This defies basic human logic because most people believe if they want to “make some money” they should try and “make some money”.
Most companies that aim to just make money rarely make any money. This is because money derives from value and value derives from helping people.
When you aim to “just make money” you’re blinded by the money and you forget the most important thing – helping people by adding value.
For most of my life I only understood the “direct approach”. I could only see things logically by drawing straight lines and aiming for my goals directly. After years of struggling I started to realize that most of my achievements came indirectly.
Almost all of my achievements were accidental. They were indirect byproducts created by trying to achieve something else. It was like my accidents were more successful than my plans.
How could this be?
This idea fascinated me and it became my obsession.
I scoured the earth looking for answers. I read books, watched documentaries and dug into one of the most feverish searches of my entire life. Everywhere I looked I found occurrences of the same thing. The world was full of indirect discoveries.
For years I felt like I had the tail of something big, but nothing came of it…
Then one day it hit me!
Nature never moves in straight lines but basic human logic does. Nature creates perfect order from chaos. Human logic creates chaos from order. Nature was an indirect thinker, it always moved in angles and it was very good at it.
This discovery changed my perspective on everything.
I was blind but now I could see.
I started applying the indirect approach to everything in my life including my business. My business was doing ok but it was stagnant, indifferent and unexciting. It was the result of direct straight line thinking and it always had me frustrated.
I looked upon my business with new eyes and everything became clear to me. I was too logical, too rigid and too planned. I could only see in straight lines. I couldn’t see how everything was interconnected.
I started to aim for my goals indirectly and taking the opposite view that I had done in the past. The results were astonishing. My business went from being stagnant, un-exciting and barely profitable to a rapidly growing $20m /year machine.
This year Forbes featured me on their “30 Under 30” list with a net worth of $65,000,000 and I was able to retire my parents to the Caribbean as a way to thank them for supporting me when nobody else would.
How did my life and business go from being unexciting, stagnant and nothing special to the place where it’s at today?
It took new eyes, a new perspective and a polar shift from the direct to the indirect.
There’s countless things this change in thinking has presented to me but I decided to make a list of the top three so that you can start applying them to your own life and business today. This isn’t your typical business advice but then again, these aren’t typical business results.
Here’s the three things:
1. The Self Illusion
In business there’s one enemy you will come up against again and again. This enemy will make you question yourself and doubt your every move. It’s like a dark force that has you by the heels. A monster that’s breathing down your neck.
This enemy is you.
When I got started in business I was shy, awkward, clueless, poor, horrible at managing money and had no idea how the world worked. I believed this was “me” and it paralyzed me from taking action. By far the biggest challenge I had to face was loosing myself, my character and my identity of who I was.
Society has phrases like “Be yourself”. “Stick to your roots”. “Don’t forget where you came from”. Have you ever stopped to think about who you really are? Where is this thing you call the self? The self doesn’t exist, it’s merely you clinging to an identity built up of stories about the past.
It’s been my observation that the only way to achieve success is to become the person who deserves it. When we become this new person we are no longer ourselves. You see, this is the issue with our understanding. We believe we are something when we aren’t anything.
To succeed in business you have to change who you are. You have to constantly evolve. This is impossible when you cling to your identity and believe you are the way you are. You have to slaughter your self image.
Instead of answering the question “Who am I?” Try answering the question “Who am I becoming”. Decide who you need to be to be successful and then grow into that new character. All the worlds a stage and we are merely actors.
2. The Mirror
People don’t have business problems, they have life problems that reflect in their business.
Most people try to start a business by focusing on logical business things like their website, sales skills, marketing etc. When they experience a business problem they think it’s a business problem and they attempt to solve it by focusing on the same things. This rarely works.
To put it simply, business is like a mirror. It’s like holding a mirror up to yourself and looking at the reflection. Whatever habits and behaviors you display yourself will be reflected right back at you in your business. As above, so below.
Let me give you some examples:
Most people believe that nobody will pay for their skills and they won’t get customers. They don’t believe in investing in themselves so how can they believe others will invest in them? They’re seeing a mirrored image of their own belief.
We see this with sales people too. If they struggle to get people to make a decision and they keep getting “let me think about it”. They’re likely “thinking about it” when they’re buying themselves. People sell the way they buy and buy the way they sell.
90% of the time the problem in your business is coming from your own personal life. Clean it up there and it vanishes. When you’re starting your own business you must be aware of the mirror and display the behavior you want to receive.
3. Patterns Of Existence
You’re not the highest version of yourself which you can imagine, you’re the lowest version of yourself which you can accept.
Most people have hopes and dreams but they rarely achieve them. They write down things they want and wish happy thoughts but nothing ever comes of it. People always regulate to the lowest version of themself which they can accept, not the highest version of themself which they can imagine.
Change comes from lifting your standards not your dreams. People binge watch tv series and leave their dreams on the back-burner for later but they will fight like hell to not breach their standards. This pattern presents itself in everybody.
Here’s a common example:
If you want to observe somebodies pattern of existence, look at their bank account. Most people have two numbers “Desired balance” and “Panic balance”. They want to have more money in their bank account but the force of desire is nowhere near strong enough to make them do something about it.
Then there’s the “Panic balance”. The number that somebody panics when their balance falls below it. The moment somebody finds themself below the panic balance they explode into action and work tirelessly until they’re back in the safe zone.
These two numbers present a persons financial dreams and standards. They do nothing to achieve the dreams but they fight like hell to not breach their standards. This same pattern of existence show’s up everywhere in a persons life, not just their bank account.
When you want to change your life or business try to map your dreams and standards and understand where they are. Find the lowest version of yourself you’re willing to tolerate and then work on lifting that standard to where you truly want to be. When you do this you’ll light a fire within you like nothing else.
I hope this helps you on your journey!