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.
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.
With modern pop songs with lyrics like “I will sleep when I die” and celebrities like DJ Khaled bragging about the bags under his eyes, it is clear that many people believe that sleeping as little as possible is the most effective solution and something that be proud of.
I’ve seen everyone from high school students to CEO’s show off that they only slept 4 or less the night before. But it turns out that this isn’t the optimal or most efficient way to succeed.
Dustin Moskovitz, the youngest billionaire in the history of mankind, wrote an article where he said that Facebook would have been more successful sooner and he would have been a more effective worker if he had taken some time from work to sleep more, eat healthier, and exercise.
“In my long political career, most of the mistakes I made, I made when I was too tired, because I tried too hard and worked too hard. You make better decisions when you’re not too tired. So that would be my only advice.” -Bill Clinton
Arianna Huffington was so driven by this topic that she wrote a whole book on it called The Sleep Revolution (affiliate link) and went everywhere she could to promote it. She herself is an entrepreneur who learned the lesson the hard way by collapsing from exhausting after weeks of overexertion.
Sleeping more will save you years of wasted time, energy, and effort in the long run. Here are the best tips I learned from my research on sleep:
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.
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:
A Mastermind Group is not to be confused with a paid, monthly coaching call that has stolen the name “Mastermind.”
Imagine hitting all your life and financial goals. Sounds great, right?
But many people who get there hit a funk.
Pat Flynn, an online entrepreneur, received this chilling email not long ago. He shared this email in his book Will It Fly? It’s worth sharing if you think money alone is all that matters:
Subject: I make $20,000 per month and I’m not happy.
Hi Pat, I’m sorry to email you like this, but I had no one else to turn to. I feel like I know you because I listen to your voice all day. You’re like a friend, even though we’ve never met. Sorry if that sounds weird.
Anyway, I want to thank you. You don’t know this, but you’ve taught me so much about how to build a successful online business. I currently generate over $20k per month in recurring revenue, but here’s the thing…
I’m unfulfilled. I’m not as happy as I thought I was going to be.
A few years ago, before I started my company, the thought of making this kind of money online was a pipe dream. Now that my “dream” has come true, I realize that I didn’t give my dream much thought at all and there’s much more to life than just making money.
I don’t even know why I’m emailing this to you, Pat. Maybe just to get it off my chest and share it with someone who might understand because you seem to have it all figured out. I don’t know. I just opened my email and started typing, which is funny now that I think about it because I jumped into it without a plan, sort of like how I started my business. Clearly I need to work on that.
Anyway, I don’t expect a reply because I know you’re busy. Thank you Pat, for all you do.
This man is not alone. Throughout my hundreds of hours of study of successful people, I’ve found many celebrities and successful entrepreneurs come forward with the same conclusion that wealth and/or fame doesn’t guarantee happiness.
What separates them from the rich and happy people?
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 a loser.”
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.
You know the problem with all the “beginner’s guide to CrossFit” articles on the web? They’re all written by people who never actually experienced Crossfit for an extended period of time.Instead, they’re telling you what it’s like based on a handful of visits, hearsay, their own opinions, interviewing a trainer (or salesman), myths, superstitions, and false assumptions.
It’s been over a year since I started doing CrossFit. During that time, I went on four or five times a week to one of their classes (they call them WODs, work-outs-of-the-day). I want to profile my review of CrossFit so far, and for once, you’re going to hear it from someone who is naturally pretty skeptical and hasn’t “drank the Koolaid.” There are definitely some myths that need to be shattered.
I want to share with you the truth about CrossFit from someone who has actually been through it, show you my results, and give you my review.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a training program that focuses on increasing your general athletic fitness across numerous cross-training areas, including cardiovascular, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, agility and so on.
It started by focusing on training police and military. Since then, it has branched out to train everyone, including the average middle-aged mother.
In simple terms, it is cross fitness training. Your goal is to become healthy and fit across numerous areas. Think decathlon versus sprinting.
You’re more of a generalist than a specialist. You may not lift the most weight in a specific lift or run the farthest or fastest in another. But on average across all these metrics, you score higher than most others. And technically, you can be a specialist at CrossFit by competing in the Crossfit Games, which throws a wide variety of tests each year to test you in all these areas.
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” -Steve Jobs
I got an email from a reader. If you’re part of my email newsletter, you get first dibs on me. Here’s what she said:
I am trying to juggle an Etsy store, work at a Michelin Star restaurant, and take a Digital Marketing course. I’m trying to use the restaurant job to finance my endeavors and bring my Etsy shop to profitability and use my new skill as a Digital Marketer. But I’m not sure where to begin as a Digital Marketer and also how to memorize so much information in a short period of time for my new restaurant job. I basically need motivation and consistency to keep me in the right direction. After reading your blog, it seems you are the master of these two things.
Here’s my reply (and an open letter to everyone who has ever been overwhelmed):
Dear Stressed Student,
It’s time for a quick story…
Once upon a time, there was a boy in his twenties who had high hopes and dreams. And although he had tons of energy to pursue his goals, he was overwhelmed by the advice online.
He wanted to get better at dating, but was paralyzed by the hundreds of contradictory articles and videos. He wanted to grow a YouTube channel, but also wanted to grow an Instagram page and travel the world.
These goals lead him to more advice on the Internet that overwhelmed him even more and spread him work super thin across different subgoals. He was making no progress in any goal because his energy and focus was split.
One day, he watched an interview of Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world. Buffett said that he and Bill were asked what was the biggest factor that lead to their success independently. They both said, “Focus.”
This boy read the book Essentialism, which confirmed how different goals diffuse your progress just like the sunlight without a laser-focused magnifying glass will not burn a spot on the ground.
From there, he started listening to hundreds of interviews of millionaires and high performs via podcasts and kept hearing about the importance of focus. It made perfect sense and he said he would focus. But months later, he found that he wasn’t as focused as he could be. He was constantly tempted by new ideas and different things he could do.
Then, he turned to his struggle with motivation as the cure. He studied what multi-millionaires, like Steve Harvey and Arnold Schwarzenegger, had to say about motivation. On how they achieved so much success by staying motivated while everyone else gave up during the toughest times because their dream was so much bigger than their fear, procrastination, and anxiety.
This boy is me. Focus and motivation are clearly important, but tough to execute on in practice. What if I don’t have a dream as big or compelling as Arnold? How can I stay motivated?
Fortunately, I didn’t stop there. I’ve studied the topic in more detail and may be able to help.
It’s easy for us to juggle too many needless tasks. That’s what most people do. It can be tough to make ends meet in life, so sometimes you may have to juggle two things.
But sometimes, you have to do what you must to do what you want. For example, make learning digital marketing your main focus in your free time, and be content with doing as much as you can at your restaurant job to pay the bills for the time being.
Common sense is not so common. It’s a trap for people to say, “that’s obvious” yet end up never doing it.
Sometimes, you can think your main problem is one thing (motivation and consistency), but be completely unaware it’s another (lack of focus). Other times, you need help in all three because you’ve chosen the wrong motivation and it’s not enough to keep you going.
I don’t know enough about your situation, so it seems like all three are actual problems. If so, here’s what you can do if you’re ever feeling de-motivated or lacking in consistency:
1. Find A Reason Bigger Than Your Resistance
In certain circles these days, this advice has become a cliche. But it’s still true.
There are nuances to this advice that are worth mentioning.
Some people say that you need to find a why that makes you cry. I don’t think so. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the only person that smiled at the gym because he knew every painful repetition lead him closer to be Mr. Olympia, his ultimate dream.
Steve Harvey was more anxious and scared than the average person each time he got on the stage. He didn’t negate the fear. He did it anyways because his dream of being the #1 comedian was so big.
Your dream doesn’t have to be monumental It just has to be bigger than your resistance.
2. Find Work That Is Better Than Play
Another way of going about channeling your energy and having the motivation to focus is to find something you enjoy so much that it’s not work. Many of the world’s most successful people have followed this formula.
Keep in mind that we have to be at least somewhat practical.
Some say that you can turn anything you enjoy into a modest full-time career. I won’t say we are there yet. I’ve tried it in many fields and it’s tough. Sometimes, certain markets don’t have enough money to monetize just yet. So have a dose of practicality in what you choose … for now.
But also keep in mind that fields are opening up. We are in an age where a man can make millions playing video games, editing the footage, and putting it up on his YouTube channel. It’s also an age where there is a lot of competition for a position like this and tens of thousands vying for those spots at the top.
Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s digital marketing or something else, make sure you enjoy it and aren’t doing it mainly for the money.
What I love about Richard Branson and his brand is that he makes sure everyone has fun working for his company. Work doesn’t have to be a horrible chore. Even if it’s work that is mundane in nature and seems like you can’t turn around, he makes it fun somehow. Maybe it means dressing up as a woman, dancing around naked, or jumping into a pool in a suit. It doesn’t require tons of money to have a boatload of fun.
3. Consume the stories of people you want to be like
What lifestyle do you want? Be as detailed as you can. What does their day look like? What do they do for fun? How do they live?
Then, study as much as you can about them. Maybe you prefer a digital lifestyle where you can work from a laptop and travel the world. Who has that lifestyle? Maybe it’s Ryan Lee, Pat Flynn, or Casey Neistat. They all live different flavors of that. You can be even more detailed in what you want to narrow down who to study. Maybe you don’t like making videos, so Casey is out.
I often check if the person I choose has written a book. I’m often surprised that they have, usually on how they did it. This has happened for two people recently I admire, Gary Kasparov and Michael Strahan.
Studying the toughest parts of people’s lives helps you understand how they got through it.
They persevered when everyone else quit. The darkest times are usually right before the sun rise. Sylvester Stallone was homeless before he got his first break. The billionaire John Paul DeJoria slept on his streets with a kid at 21. There are plenty of stories like this if you look for them.
4. Use the Tiny Habits technique
We’ve all tried to use pure willpower to stay focused or started on something … and failed. For me, it was working out at the gym. My history of working out was littered with years and years of procrastination and inconsistency.
Then, I tried something new … and it worked like a charm.
Commit to a consistent routine that’s so easy that you can’t help but to do it. I learned this from Stanford professor BJ Fogg’s years of study on habit formation.
Don’t increase how much you do until you’re thoroughly comfortable and it’s become ahabit. For me, this was just five minutes of exercise a day. Each time I got there, I wanted to do more because it was so easy to do five minutes. But the tiny commitment helped me get over the biggest hump, which was getting out of the house.
No matter where you are, someone has accomplished what you want with worse starting circumstances. That means you can do it too.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” -Epicurus
One baby step at a time.
Now, it’s your turn…
Please leave a comment below and let me know:
What’s the number one reason you do what you do?
I would love to hear from you.
Also, if you haven’t already, sign up for my free newsletter to receive the top secrets of high performance I’ve learned.
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.
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: