Category: Business
Billionaire Kevin Plank advice

Unsuccessful Business People Make Decisions Slow. See How Billionaires Are Different

How fast should you make a business decision? Should you spend weeks or months getting every fact to make sure you don’t screw over your company? It turns out that you want to decide fast.

Napoleon Hill spent his life studying 500+ of the richest people in the world in person thanks to his access with Andrew Carnegie. He wrote books telling us how they did it and how you can do the same.

One of the things that he said was that he and Carnegie found that if you are unable to make a quick decision even when you have enough information you need, you will not follow through on your goals or be successful.

Now, this is important for two reasons:

First, note that he says you need enough resources. This means that making decisions without enough information is foolish and it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you make them.

Second, once you have the necessary info, you have to make your decision quickly. Hill went on to say that successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change. Unsuccessful people make their decisions slowly and are quick to change. 

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The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin Summary: Accelerated Learning Techniques

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin Summary: Accelerated Learning Techniques To Become A SuperLearner

Josh Waitzkin became a national champion in two skills by his early thirties: chess (as a teen) and Tai Chi Chuan, a competitive martial arts. Later on, he became a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the first student to do so under Marcelo Garcia, a man widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers in the world.

He was also the basis for the popular chess film, Searching for Bobby Fischer. What was his secret for mastering so many skills so early when most people can’t master one skill in their entire lifetime?

According to Josh, the secret was that he was better at learning than others. He succeeded in his  second skill after quitting chess by applying his ability to learn. The great news is that Josh wrote a book, The Art of Learning, to teach you how to learn better.

Here is my The Art of Learning summary. You will learn the top accelerated learning techniques to learn faster, retain the information, and progress in your chosen craft quicker.

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Brian Tracy Time Management Productivity

Brian Tracy’s Top 17 Time Management and Productivity Principles

“If you have two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” -a Brian Tracy quote on time management (He’s telling you to do the hardest task first always).

How come some people seem to get three times as much done as us even though they don’t appear that much smarter or harder working?

I’ll tell you it has nothing to do with luck versus hard work. They are smarter with their time and get more done in a day than we do in a week by doing what’s most impactful first.

I wanted to share with you some of the top insights I have learned from studying time management masters. The advice here comes from extensive studying of Brian Tracy’s personal time management videos, articles, programs, and books. If you do not know who he is, he is a highly successful salesman, speaker, and personal development thought leader who started out as a broke high school drop out.

Enjoy:

1. Make A Mindset Shift

The first thing you have to do to be great at time management and productivity is a mindset shift.

Brian Tracy argues that all the techniques on time management in the world won’t help you if you still hold the belief that you are bad at time management.

He recommends you program into your subconscious that you are great at time management and organization even if you aren’t. When people ask you, tell them you are. You have to start believing it so that you don’t hold yourself back and so that your subconscious can move you towards new results.

Being better at productivity is a long-term habit-forming process. It takes determination, perseverance, and decisiveness to commit to the process.

You must be determined and keep working on it for an extended period of time. You really have to want to change and stick to it.

2. Understand Your Values

Now that this is covered, you need to understand what you value most. If you don’t set your priorities straight, how can you prioritize?

To properly prioritize, you must have values beyond just your career and business objectives. What are your values and goals for your life?

You could end up pursuing a goal that you don’t have any interest or in. This ends up being unproductive in the long run even if you’re efficient in completing the task. It’s unproductive because even if you can’t achieve that goal in half the time, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care about the goal.

To avoid burnout and exhaustion at work, you must combine a deep passion and interest with what you do at work. People who don’t enjoy what they work get burned out eventually from overwork.

However, others never burn out because work and play become synonymous. I’ve heard a lot successful people say this including Brian Tracy, Richard Branson, Will Smith, and Warren Buffett.

3. Use The Pareto Principle: What Is The Highest Impact Activity You Can Do? Do It.

The Pareto Principle is basically a concept that applies universally to many things in life: 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. An example of this playing through is wealth: 80% of the world’s wealth comes from less than 20% of the people in it.

You will find that this principle is more pronounced in certain areas. Use this in your prioritization.

Ask yourself: What is the #1 thing you can do this week that will bring you the highest impact?

What is the #2 thing?

Usually, it’s very obvious. Do that first. Begin the day with that.

Brian is well known for his catchphrase, “Eat the Frog!” It comes from the book with the same name. It describes street performers who will eat the ugliest frog first as part of an act to get it over with. In the same way, you must start with your ugliest, toughest task first. By doing so, you make the most progress.

By simply “eating your ugliest frog first”, time management becomes simple.

Another related principle that will help is the four quadrants principle called the Eisenhower Matrix.

4. Do This To Defeat Procrastination

Having trouble beginning? The best way to be productive is to begin immediately. Start your day with your most important task. To motivate yourself, say to yourself “Do it now! Do it right this instant!” 10 to 30 times with emotion and enthusiasm. It will help move you to begin.

Note: this doesn’t always work because you don’t enjoy what you do.

For example, you could be in law school or medical school only because your parents want you there. All the motivation in the world can’t push you to continue.

Push through short-term procrastination to move to a long-term goal you do like. For instance, do a job you don’t enjoy to work towards a long-term goal you will enjoy.

5. Avoid Distractions and Multitasking

Stopping and restarting an activity constantly can require 5 times the amount of energy. You get disoriented because you were interrupted, you have to readjust, you have to re-orient, and you have to prepare to begin again.

If you can, avoid any distractions that results in this kind of start-stop behavior. Stay focused.

Studies have shown multitasking to be unproductive, even for the most adept tech-savvy teen. You can accomplish more by avoiding multitasking and focusing.

6. Avoid Semi-Productive Activities. They’re the Worst Distractions.

Your worst distractions and evils to your time management are not the things that are clearly unproductive. Those definitely play a part. But the biggest evil is usually the things that are somewhat productive.

These are usually things that are not important but made to look urgent. Examples include answering emails, people asking you for help in person, or listening to self-help when you should be working.

As you can see, the last one is an example of the most dangerous. It’s things that you can rationalize away as “productive enough” to avoid your most important task.

7. Delegate

Outsources tasks to people who can do it better than you so you can focus on what you do best. It’s one of the best ways to leverage your time and energy.

If you run a business, this is essential to succeeding and scaling.

According to the book Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Richard Branson said that the key to moving from 7 figures to a billion dollar business was hiring the best people to do things better than you can and trusting them with it.

Brian Tracy recommends the rule of 70%: if they can do the job at least 70% as good as you, give them the responsibility.

I recommend finding someone who can do the job even better than you if possible.

8. Use The ABC Method

This is a time management method coined by Brian Tracy. It’s really simple. It’s very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix:

Group your tasks into A, B, and C buckets.

A tasks are the ones with serious consequences if you don’t do it. These are things like a big project or meeting.

B tasks are ones with mild consequences. This is like a mildly important email you need to respond to. Never do these until the A tasks are complete.

C tasks are things that have no consequence but would be nice. This is like having lunch with a friend or personal activities. Don’t do these until A and B are done.

Now, organize everything in your A group into a numbered priority list and start with #1.

If you want to go even further, you can add D and E buckets. D are things that can be delegated to other people. E are things that should not be done at all and eliminated: maybe it’s smoking or a pointless, unproductive activity someone planned for you.

9. Remember The Most Important Part of Prioritization: Higher-Level Understanding

The ABC Method or any other techniques fail if you don’t understand what truly matters to you.

You can get really, really, REALLY productive at business. But you can fail to prioritize family time with your child and regret it because you forgot to value it.

20 years later, your child is off to college and things can’t be changed.

Don’t fail at bigger picture productivity.

Ask yourself what matters most to you. Prioritize these things.

Here are some of the most common values to consider:

  • dating life
  • things you wanted to do before you get old
  • business and wealth
  • career development
  • acquiring necessary skills
  • meeting people or life goals
  • family time
  • having the people who love you love you
  • big accomplishments before you die
  • what you would regret most at your death bed.
  • new adventures
  • new experiences
  • travel

10. Be Willing and Able To Say No

When you’re just starting out in life, you have plenty of time but not many credentials, skills, or opportunities. It pays to say Yes to everything you’re offered to get your foot in the door.

But what gets you in the game won’t take you to the next level. Once you reach a certain level of success, you’re overwhelmed by too many opportunities. Saying Yes too often will exhaust you to death.

But many people don’t make the switch to saying no because they were not given many opportunities starting out and maintain a scarcity mindset.

Musicians like Lady Gaga and supermodels like Cara DeLevigne have done speeches about this. Businesswomen and actress Jessica Alba has talked about this. Ariana Huffington wrote a whole book inspired by this thought, called The Sleep Revolution, after she collapsed from exhaustion from saying Yes to too many things. Oprah Winfrey has mentioned it too in her book, What I Know For Sure.

Learn this lesson ahead of time. Sometimes, it’s ok to say No. No is enough of an answer. It is one of the most powerful productivity tools out there.

Note: This rule may not apply if you’re young. If you’re young and starting out, you may want Yes more often to get more opportunities.

11. Learn To Read Faster

In one of the few appearances Warren Buffett and Bill Gates did together in front of business school students, they were asked what the most superpower they wanted.

Both responded that being able to read faster would have been huge for them. Both of them credit the power of reading the right books and applying the knowledge as massive contributors to their massive wealth. In fact, Warren said that he would have saved ten years of his life if he read faster — that’s how much he reads!

Are you exercising your mind? The last book in this pile I recommend

A photo posted by Motivation Success Quotes (@willyoulaugh_) on


Readers are leaders. Constantly feed your mind with information from the smartest people ever and keep up to date with trends in your industry.

Even if you don’t think you read a lot, most people do: they have to check email, respond, or write things. By learning how to do something faster that you already do naturally, you are saving a lot of time over your life time.

There are plenty of free Speed Reading courses and videos online as well as paid courses. My lessons on speed reading can drastically help you increase your speed while maintaining retention of information by 250%. They are worth the price of a premium paid course.

Warren Buffett mentioned in a speech he did with Bill Gates that he probably wasted years of his life reading slow.

12. Avoid Useless Meetings

If you’re paying each employee $50 an hour for example and you have 10 people at a meeting that lasts an hour, that meeting just cost $500. Is the time spent at the meeting worth the investment?

Eliminate unnecessary meetings, only invite the people necessary, and make the purpose of the meeting clear from the start.

Meetings generally are a great way for employees to goof off or waste time. They often go longer than they should. Be aware of this. Always start on time even if people haven’t shown up.

You don’t want to build a culture of holding up everyone who showed up on time for the one person who’s late. That will just encourage more people to show up later and later.

I wrote an article with plenty of examples of billionaire productivity secrets as further proof.

13. Achieve Email Time Management Mastery. How To Get To Inbox Zero

Emails take up the bulk of most people’s day and are a major time waster. They’re usually unimportant requests that take up your time and energy. Here are the main things you can do to master email:

Never check email in the mornings or the first thing you do when you wake up.

Email productivity

Many successful people don’t do this. And then they learn the hard way.

It’s a huge mistake because you are failing to start your day with the most important task to you. Instead, you are giving yourself to the mystery of whatever requests come in by email, even if they are distracting or unimportant. You are letting other people’s requests and objectives control your life.

Rather than being a controller of your life, you are playing the reactive victim. That’s not what winners do.

Commit To Checking Your Email Only 2 Times or Less A Day

Emails can function as a huge bottleneck and time suck. What this means is that it’s one of those activities that isn’t scalable if not done right. It requires one person’s concentration and effort, which can only be sped up so much.

Check your email in bulk once or twice a day max to avoid distraction. Email can function like social media or other distracting entertainment where one thing leads you down a rabbit hole of wasted time. You can end up spending a lot longer than expected.

Rather than letting email control you by checking it frequently multiple times a day, limit yourself. Checking it more frequently can act as a start-stop distraction as well.

Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, started at multiples times a day, went to 2 times a day, and finally went down to 1 time a week.

Email Anxiety: Thousands of Unread Emails – Understand It’s OK

I heard a story from a friend of Brian Tracy’s. He had thousands of unread emails and took a deep breath…

and deleted them all.

He reasoned that if they were truly important, these people would email again to get in touch. A lot of the busiest CEO’s of the top companies in the world are very hard to reach via email. They are bombarded and can’t answer them all.

Most of the requests are unimportant anyways.

Sure enough, the people who really wanted to get in touch sent another email. The other 90% never emailed again and weren’t important to begin with.

It’s to be expected that this person is busy and may have missed the email. People will understand that you may be a busy person.

I have suffered from similar anxiety from all those unread emails. It came from this perception that most of these emails were critical or important and I had to answer them all. That was often not the case. Most of the emails weren’t that important.

Limit Or Do Not Use Email

John Paul DeJoria, a billionaire, has chosen to not use email because he would be bombarded by emails if he did. It would control his day. Instead, he relies on in-person meetings, snail mail, and telephone. It helps him firmly establish and do what’s most important.

Filter Your Emails with a Gatekeeper

Many successful people set up a system so that only the most important and urgent emails end up in their email inbox. Although they get thousands of emails, only a couple end up in the primary inbox. Usually, a secretary or assistant can really help with this if you explain to them what you want.

The filter strategy

Ask your gatekeeper to use Gmail. Tell him or her to tag emails into only 2 categories while deleting or archiving the rest. These tags are: Important and Urgent! and Important and Not Urgent.

If you can’t afford a gatekeeper right now, you can manually limit emails.

Here are a few tasks you can do:

  • unsubscribe from useless newsletters
  • block spam emails
  • start with a fresh email and only give this address to the most important people.
  • Have a second email inbox for the moderately important.

14. When In Doubt, Throw It Out

Brian Tracy has employed a simple method for organizing and dealing with overwhelm of requests. This method has helped many people stay organized and efficient, even when they doubted it.

“When in doubt, throw it out.”

This applies to everything from emails to phone calls to papers on your desk.

Most people fall deeper and deeper into overwhelm and anxiety because they let the emails and papers pile up. Eventually, they are so overwhelmed or disorganized from all the requests.

Brian reasons that if they really want to reach you, they will send another message. Delete everything and the people that really matter will contact you again with the same message. This turns out to be true.

Note: for emails, this can be a short-term fix because you will continue to get bombarded with spam or unimportant emails. I suggest starting a new email address and only giving away that email to the most essential, important, and useful people and services.

15. Remove Inefficiencies

Find Out and Fix How You Are Wasting Other’s Time

Managing guru Peter Drucker said that we don’t only waste our own time but other people’s time as well. You may have made your own life as efficient as possible but how can you make your interactions with others more efficient? Ask them: how am I wasting your time and how can we be more efficient? Often, they will be happy to tell you and it will be a win-win situation for both of you if you can fix it.

When you meet with someone or ask to meet with someone, be as efficient as you can with what you want to do and get started. A great rule, given to me by Brian Tracy, is this: Say “I have 3 points I have to talk to you about and then I will let you get back to your work.”

Get To The Point

A lot of idle time is wasted because of needless small talk or confusion about the direction. If someone comes to you in your office, for example, you can respond with something like “Thanks for coming by. What can I do for you?” It’s polite and gets straight to the point on what can be done while eliminating room for idle chit chat.

Remove Distractions & Interruptions

Sometimes, you need that zone of focus for an extended period of time with no distractions. Interruptions can cause start-stop behavior, which, as I mentioned earlier, can lead to wasted time.

One great starting point is to set aside 1 hour in the morning and afternoon with a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

The 3-Point Technique

This 3-point technique is simple but effective: Get to work 1 hour early, work through lunch, and stay 1 hour late. By doing so, you accomplish many things:

  • You start the day and end with very few if any distractions because no one is there
  • You get the most important tasks done
  • You get in the groove and flow of working before and longer than others
  • You get more work done since you’re spending more time
  • Probably the biggest benefit: You avoid the rush hour of traffic and skip out on all the wasted time commuting to work

My Secret Life Hack: Leveraging Fringe Hours

Brian Tracy says an average person can finish a whole college semester’s worth of time by using their drive time to work to learn through audio books. Turn your car into a university on wheels.

I’ve applied this secret to every area of my life where I’m just standing or sitting and waiting. Maximizing these “fringe hours” has helped me get several hours worth of extra reading time in per week, which works especially well since I’m a better listener than reader.

If you’re waiting in line at the store or at a restaurant, shopping for clothes, going for a run, at the gym, or in your car, consider consuming podcasts, audio books, videos, book summaries, and courses that will advance your future. I’ve tested out audio and text book summary apps too. Check out my Blinkist review here.

16. File Away & Organize Useful Information. Consume It When You Can

Brian Tracy is great at this. He files away very useful information in articles, magazines, or web articles. Whenever he has free time (sitting in line, on the bus, waiting, etc.), he consumes this information and gets ahead of his competitors.

17. Reward Yourself

According to numerous studies in the book, The Power of Habit, good and bad habits form through a cycle of triggers and rewards.

Reward yourself each time you do the right thing. Brian Tracy did this with his sales teams. He would place a bowl of jelly beans in front of them and they would be able to eat one each time they made a successful call.

Be creative and see if you can come up with a reward that is healthy as well. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose. Maybe you can buy yourself a self-development book if you spend extra time doing the things you don’t want to.

18. When You’re At Work, Only Do Work

Brian argues that up to 40% of an average person’s 8 hour work day is wasted on unproductive activities, like small talk, bathroom breaks, or going on entertainment sites you shouldn’t be on.

Make sure that when you’re at work, you’re fully engaged as much as you can.

You may need an occasional 5 minute break to rejuvenate, which is fine. Just don’t go overboard with the 17 minutes here and 7 minutes there.

Conclusion

This guide is meant to be a comprehensive how-to. Save this and reference it whenever you need some help.

If it’s too much, I recommend reading a couple sentences every day and using that advice.

If you learn nothing else, remember to do the #1 most important long-term task FIRST.

Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment with the best tip you learned here and how you are going to implement it. Remember: Action takers get ahead! 

Want more secrets like this? Sign up to my email newsletter below and you will get insider tips I don’t share anywhere else.

Views – 1661

Nike billionaire phil knight's rule for success

10 Rules For Success I Learned From The Creator of Nike

I’m so excited about this. 

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, one of the most successful start-up stories of all time, has finally released a book. It’s called Shoe Dog. It’s a memoir and fairly quick read.

Nike has to be one of the most well-known global brands for the last few decades.  Steve Jobs gave a speech in 1997 and talked about how amazing Nike’s brand and marketing is. He marveled at Nike’s marketing strategy to be able to rise above others in a commodity industry. Even to this day, Nike still holds a top spot in the market; that’s very difficult to do.

 

Nike started with a few hundred dollars borrowed to $35 billion in sales a year. This book explains the story. I’ve already read a ton of books by billionaires but this one has become one of my favorites.

Here’s what I learned:

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Views – 296

How do I continue to do something that I started and loved?

How to Deal With Multiple Passions To Find A Job You’re Passionate About (And Not Give Up Along the Process)

Does this sound like you?

Whenever you start to do something in a field (that you love), you feel interested initially and you put in all your effort. But after some time, you lose interest and stop doing it although you still love it. 

How do I continue to do something that I started and loved?

Today, I want to share with you:

  • how to solve the dilemma of “multiple passions” and find your calling.
  • why there’s massive, disproportionate reward with being the best in the world.
  • how to get there without burning out because you can even if you’re passionate about it.

The Dilemma of Multiple Interests and How To Tackle It

Ever since I found about the “Follow Your Passion” movement a few years ago, I struggled because I thought I had multiple interests and believed it was a bad thing. It seemed like successful people only had one interest and focused on that interest for decades until they got rich. I was told that you have to focus on one interest because no one has ever become successful at multiple skills except for once-in-a-millenium freaks like Leonardo DaVinci, Ben Franklin, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But it was so hard to restrain myself. I had dozens of interests, like video games, YouTube, manga, anime, personal development, business economics, music, and so on.

Now, there are a couple of TED Talks that argue that people like us have their own label. We are called “multipotentialites” or “polymaths.” They argue we should be proud of who we are and the world needs us.

I respectfully disagree.

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Views – 490

hacks to overcome procrastination

How to Overcome Procrastination Using A Weird Asian Nerd’s New Science-Backed Strategies

How do you overcome procrastination? We all have it. We all want to fix it. We all hate it. Yet we still find ourselves putting off what we know we should be doing to do something more fun (but less productive).

I’ve poured over advice from the world’s most successful people on this topic, like Brian Tracy. And want to provide you with some tips.

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Views – 643

what is a mastermind group

How To Start or Find A TRUE Business Mastermind Group

If you haven’t heard about mastermind groups, you will soon if you consume advice from millionaires. So I thought it’s useful to tell you the truth about mastermind groups, the good and bad, so you’re prepared.

What is a Mastermind?

A mastermind is a concept developed by Napoleon Hill, a man who spent 20 years studying 500 of the wealthiest people in the world at close range.

Mr. Hill went on to write a few books about wealth, including Think and Grow Rich, which went on to sell over 15 million copies and make thousands of people into millionaires.

A mastermind might help you get wealthy. Or even more wealthy, successful, and fulfilled, if you already are rich.

Let’s get to it:

I’ll tell you what’s NOT a mastermind:

It’s not when a group of people each pay a $10,000 monthly fee to one person so that this person can meet up once a month and coach these people, while mostly letting the participants help each other.

That’s called a coaching business.

Yet, this seems to be the general idea of what a “mastermind group call” is for a lot of online businesses: people paying a monthly fee ($1,000 or $10,000 or $100 per month) for help.

It’s epidemic in the internet marketing world.

And maybe you’re not in that world, but it also seems to be true for a lot of niches that use the internet: let’s say, just as an example, you have a blog on making wooden sculptures. If you look for help on how to make your blog better, and you go deep enough online, you will find advice.. eventually from people in the internet marketing world. And what happens is the wood-making niche now starts up their own masterminds.

I have stumbled across numerous people in the online marketing world, some of which were good, some bad, some veterans, and some fairly new in the market.

It seems to be a rather re-occurring theme with many of them to have this “Mastermind.”

And some people make a very good income off of it.

In fact, some of the people in the “wealth creation”, “abundance”, or “millionaire” niches online, also have this skewed idea of a mastermind.

However, I don’t think that’s a real mastermind according to how the great Napoleon Hill would describe one.

A real mastermind is one where no one is paying a cent to anyone else. This removes any pressure or distorted feelings, perceptions, or dynamics of the situation.

A mastermind is supposed to be a collaborative effort where successful people come together to help each other. It’s something where your peers can cover your weaknesses.

Here’s an excerpt from Napoleon Hill illustrating this concept with one of the wealthiest people in the history of mankind, Andrew Carnegie, someone he studied closely for decades:

mastermind group

A Mastermind Group is not to be confused with a paid, monthly coaching call that has stolen the name “Mastermind.”

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Mindset the New Psychology of Success Book Summary

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Book Summary

After decades of research, Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck found that your beliefs have the ability to affect whether you reach become successful or not. She formed a theory around two core mindsets that categorize the successful from the unsuccessful: the fixed versus growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset

What are the differences between a fixed and growth mindset? Let me explain:

What Is A Fixed Mindset? 


Fixed mindset people believe that their skills (intelligence, ability, potential, etc.) are fixed from birth and unchangeable. As you’re going through section, if you realize many of these traits align with how you are, it’s agood test to confirm you have a fixed mindset.

Fixed mindset people have the following characteristics:

  • They hide their deficiencies and will not admit they have them.
  • They don’t enjoy the journey as much as the success at the end.
  • They care more about feeling superior, special, and different from others.
  • They believe their are finished products already rather than works-in-progress.
  • Their self worth and competence is based on their actions and perception by others.
  • They are in school to get good grades — even if it means cheating to do so, not to learn.
  • They put in as little effort as possible because they think smart people don’t need to try hard.
  • After a negative event they caused, they label themselves as something negative. After a positive event they caused, they label themselves as something positive.

They have beliefs and statements like:

  • “If you don’t succeed, never try again.”
  • “Once tried, once failed, never try again.”

Fixed mindset people have thoughts like:

  • “The world is out to get me.”
  • “Nothing good ever happens to me.”
  • “Life handed me a bad life and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Because they believe their abilities are unchangeable, they evolve behaviors to protect themselves. For example:

  • They will cheat or avoid challenges to hide their deficiencies in skill rather than be okay with it and grow.
  • They avoid opportunities where they can learn and get better if it means exposing their deficiencies.
  • They have a sense of urgency to succeed now because their results measure their worth forever.
  • They will do whatever they can to appear special or different from others.
  • They refuse to try if it means losing because they fear judgement.

After A Failure

Fixed mindset people often have tons of excuses for why they didn’t succeed. They pick excuses that are outside of their control so they can cover up their weaknesses.

After a failure, they may make statements in their head or out loud like:

  • “I’m worthless.”
  • “I’m a loser.”
  • “I suck.”

After a failure, they:

  • Pick a fight.
  • Pout and whine.
  • Sit there and cry.
  • Lock themselves in their room and cry.

They do this even if the failure is not even close to a devastating event. It could be a mid term instead of a final or someone brushing them off instead of an outright rejection.

Any event they cause, good or bad, are labels of themselves. For example, if they win an award, they think, “that means I’m smart.”

Fixed Mindset People Are Normal The Rest Of The Time

Fixed mindset people are not always negative. They can act just like positive growth mindset people most of their lives. But they reveal their differences after they fail.

What is a Growth Mindset?

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Views – 387

branding 101

Why Branding Is Important and How It’s Different From A Commodity: An Epic Beginner’s Guide to Secrets of Branding

Before I even started studying businesses and billionaires, I had an unanswered question as a kid. How does a company stand out from all of its competitors that are selling almost the same thing?

That’s quite a weird question for a kid to have. But not so bizarre when I noticed the cut-throat street competition in China and all the lookalike restaurants and gas stations in America. In a highly competitive world, what can you do other than just compete by lower prices until one of you goes bankrupt?

My father, who used to run a tech business in China, said that he would see businesses cut their prices as low as they can go, even to the point of being unprofitable, in order to kill their competitors. How the heck do you counter that? 

Fortunately, these are not new business tactics. Since the dawn of time, the art of business has been honed down to a masterful skill. The problem is that people are too lazy to study history … so they repeat it.

Today, I want to share with you one powerful tool you can use in your toolbox to be a business rockstar: branding.

To explain branding, I have to tell you a story from the billlionaire, Warren Buffett‘s life.

Mr. Buffett used to have an investment style that was based mainly on mathematics. He only bought companies that were going out of business and were willing to sell for less than what you can sell its assets for (assets are stuff like factory parts, trucks, etc.).

He called this “searching for cigar butts” because these businesses had one puff left in them, but the puff was free.

After decades of mistakes, he learned that this strategy sucked. These businesses were not as profitable as just buying a great business and holding it for a long time. Why?

  • You can’t always sell the parts of the business right away.
  • You have to deal with hordes of angry employees who hate you for shutting everything down.
  • If the industry is dying, you’re fighting an upstream battle you won’t win. For example, he was in the textile business and no matter how exceptional his managers were, it was clear that competitors overseas could just do everything they did for a lot cheaper .

If you get into a great business, you have the opposite effect: the wind is pushing you where you want to go.

Therefore, his approach shifted to studying the fundamental traits of a great business. These businesses are rarely ever commodities. They’ve mastered the art of branding and have risen above their competitors.

What Is A Brand and What Is A Commodity? Which Are You?

“The difference between branding and sales is simple. Are you trying to convert or are you trying to create an experience? The latter always wins.” –Gary Vaynerchuk

What exactly is a brand? As hinted at, a brand is the reputation of your company, product, or personality in your market. The appeal of a brand is that it outsells competitors in the long term because you have built up so much goodwill.

There are many ways to build a brand, including appearing everywhere, out-caring competitors, over-delivering, and investing in customer experiences that go beyond the short-term one-time transaction.

A commodity is something that can be replaced purely by the ingredients alone. You wouldn’t pay any extra for one company’s product over another. An example would be someone who sold salt or napkins. You couldn’t care less which one is better.

These businesses are really hard to compete in because it’s hard to forge a competitive advantage that others can’t copy. You are competing on how much cheaper you can manufacture the napkins for or any additional features of the napkin like comfort, quality, and durability.

A commodity usually doesn’t have much brand presence built around it and focuses on the one-time transaction. There is usually no thought put into how a company can over-deliver beyond the initial transaction so that the experience is so good that they build a reputation and the customer tells others about it.

Why Branding Matters

The entrepreneur Neil Patel properly explains the power of a brand. When you think of a credit card, shoe, phone, computer, or car, a specific brand will probably pop into your head and you’ll probably go to them immediately (American Express, Nike, Apple, BMW, etc.). You don’t always Google for these terms and simply compare companies based on features like a commodity. Their reputation already has significant influence on your decision in their mind.

To answer that, I have to point to sodas and candy. There have been countless double blind scientific tests done comparing the most recognizable sodas in the world, like Pepsi and Coca-Cola, with store brand colas. Guess what? People rated the sodas the same when they couldn’t tell which it was. Yet when they knew what it was, they were willing to pay five to ten times more. 

Warren Buffett makes a similar analogy with chocolate bars in the U.S. People will actually refuse to buy a store brand chocolate bar that’s cheaper and go to another store to get a Hershey’s bar if it’s not in stock. That’s really powerful.

So, to answer your question, proper branding can shoot your customer loyalty through the roof and allow you to charge a lot more for the same quality product. 

Warren Buffett calls this concept economic goodwill. This is the monetary value of your company’s brand value that isn’t quantified in their balance sheets, a magical concept that took him many mistakes to learn. It’s like saying a person’s life is worth more than what you can sell his organs for. Similarly, Coca-Cola is worth a lot more than what you can sell its factories and resources for; they have a lot of intangible brand value that they’ve build up over decades that isn’t quantified in accounting.

A great business often has a brand or is in the process of building one. A commodity business usually is worth what you can sell its parts for because it hasn’t built a brand yet.

Now, there is a limit to how much you can charge before your customers get mad at the lack of quality. We’ll cover that in another section.

And great branding isn’t easy to build. Warren Buffett says a reputation can take twenty years to build and ten seconds to destroy. We’ll cover that later too.

When Has A Brand Gone Too Far and Exploited What They Have?

There are plenty of candidates for great brands, like Apple, Legos, Barbie, Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, See’s Candy, Beats by Dr. Dre, Gucci, Patron, or Northface. But which of these have gone too far? What happens when you exploit your brand and cross the line? What if you charge excessive amounts for the same quality products your customers can buy elsewhere for cheaper and they catch on to it?

Well, the brand reputation gets tarnished.

People are willing to pay 2x to 10x more for the product EVEN THOUGH most double-blind quality experiments for their products versus a competitor show that their competitor’s product is equal or BETTER quality.

Northface

I’ve fallen for this trap numerous times. I’ve caught myself about to buy a $200 Northface jacket because the logo was recognizable and it’d make me feel cool in school EVEN THOUGH the employees at the store urged me to get the $49 equivalent from a nameless brand. It was SO tough for me to not buy the Northface EVEN THOUGH the quality of the nameless brand was clearly a bit better.

Beats By Dre

I have seen this same phenomenon play out when I considered Beats by Dre headphones. This video explains it really well:

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