It’s not hard to get ahead.
Hear me out. The average person is unwilling to make changes. The reason is they have rules.
Rules limit potential.
Being in the top 1% requires you to look at won’t you won’t do and change your mind. Because if you always do what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting the results you’ve already got.
The title of this story comes from a highlight in a story by writer Smoul. It’s a reminder it’s time to do these things 99% are unwilling to do.
Realize you have value
I recently ran a mastermind session.
In my prep work for the workshop, I noticed a pattern: many participants didn’t think they had value. I saw the same trend with employees at my old job.
It’s not that they couldn’t start an online business. No. It was that they didn’t think what they’d learned in their job had value. It felt like common knowledge.
Every life has value. Every career has value. Read that again.
Your unique life experience is a godsend for a certain group of strangers. Once you can see your own value, then others will start to see it.
I moved house a few months ago.
A community organization occupies a building a few feet away. They do good work and help the youth.
Less than 7 days after living next to them, I began to see their abuse.
For 8–9 hours a day, including weekends and public holidays, they’d play live or pre-recorded music full blast. My 6 month old daughter couldn’t get to sleep so I vowed to do something.
Even if someone plays your favorite song of all time, you don’t want to hear it at 3AM while you’re trying to sleep.
I rang the local council and reported them. Nothing happened. I followed up. Nothing. Then I got angry and demanded action. I told them I wasn’t getting off the phone.
The operator put me through to a council manager. He promised to investigate. Things were looking up. I smiled.
Two more weeks passed and nothing happened. I followed up with the manager. They’d gone out to do a site review. They got sweet-talked by this community organization.
“They only do it 7 times a year. They’re nice people. They’ll quiet down and install soundproofing.”
The structure they played music in was a tin shed. As a former sound engineer I knew there was no easy way to limit the noise. I did some digging and found the last building permit they got was in 1975.
I asked the council to review the permit to reflect the new use case.
Another week passed and I got told “sorry it’s existing use.” That meant because they’d created noise for so long they didn’t have to stop. The council dropped the case.
I got the environmental protection authority involved. I contacted a member of parliament. I messaged people I knew on LinkedIn who might know how to help. I got advice from a family member who’s an expert in local laws.
I walked around my neighborhood for a week and spoke to every neighbor. Each chat took 30–60 mins. Turned out others had made many complaints too but nothing happened.
The last neighbor I visited let me see into his backyard. It turned out they had a marquee and garden shed as well that they played live music in. Both structures were hard up against the fence.
No wonder it was so loud. It wasn’t even a music hall.
I reported these new developments to the council along with photos via email. “They haven’t told you the truth and here is evidence.”
The next day I got a strange call…
“I slept on it and we’ve changed our mind.”
Despite the community organization’s good work and strong reputation, they got served a cease and desist notice. My goal and the council’s wasn’t to shut them down but to have them relocate.
After almost 50 years the impossible problem got resolved. The residents got peace and quiet and the community organization got a cool new venue where they can make as much noise as possible.
The residents say I should run for mayor lol. No chance.
99% of people just let the noise issue slide. They accepted it as the norm. The neighbor closest to the disturbance had marching bands playing two feet from his bedroom window at 8 AM on a Sunday.
He got used to it.
Every time they did more renovations or made more noise he said to himself “better the devil you know that the devil you don’t.”
They cut down trees in his backyard without permission. They planted a big tree in front of his windows, so he went from getting beautiful all-day sunlight to total darkness. He told himself if the hall got demolished a new housing development would be worse.
This is what oppressed people do.
They let strangers have power over them. Don’t let anybody sh*t all over you. Stand up for yourself.
Put yourself out there
Being influential or famous can seem like a drag.
99% of people don’t want to stand out. They’re afraid of what people will think. I felt like that when I shared my mental illness battle.
I assumed people would think I was a weirdo and run away like they did in high school. The opposite happened. Being open with strangers attracted new people into my life.
People are so busy with their own problems, that even when they discover yours, they’ll probably forget about them.
Ask for the cheeky sale
Life is a game of sales.
You either persuade others or spend lots of time being someone else’s servant who will do the persuasion for you.
Something as simple as dating requires persuasion. So does getting a job. There’s no point avoiding it or feeling like a used car salesman.
Shoot your shot. Ask for things you haven’t earned yet. Bring opportunities to their natural conclusion. “Would you like to go ahead with that?”
The art of sales can make you wealthy. It’s a skill anyone can learn and it starts by ignoring what 99% of people think — that sales is bad. It’s not.
Sell or be sold.
Fail like you did last time
A friend said to me “I won’t fail like that again.”
That’s ego. That’s scoreboard mentality. No one cares about the losses. In fact I do the opposite and aim for losses. The more losses I have the closer I get to figuring out what DOES work.
One failure isn’t the end. No. It’s just the beginning.
Let the failures happen and make sure to learn from them. Just don’t let them force you to give up. Just because something happened one time there’s no guarantee of a repeat.
The 99% crowd have one bad failure and then use it as an excuse for the rest of their life to not try or do anything extraordinary. What a waste.
It’s okay to feed yourself first, despite what the justice warriors say
There’s this false belief that making money is evil.
That you’ve got to be in it for the love from day one and making a profit is evil capitalism at work. What nonsense.
If you can’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of other people. That’s why it’s important to master the money game first.
In the beginning of your ascent it requires a little selfishness. I met one person recently who helps people avoid American health insurance scams. They paid $20,000 a month for SEO to lead people to the free information on the topic, although their business didn’t even make 6-figures yet.
The same happened to me with my online academy. I tried to give away scholarships at the start before I could even pay myself. I realized the not-for-profit charitable stuff needs to happen after you can feed yourself.
If I’d stayed on the original path all the free scholarships would have bankrupted me. Then who could I help? No one.
99% of people are unwilling to be a little selfish because they’d rather virtue-signal and stay broke, therefore never having the resources to help people with their unique talent.
Take care of you first then invest in others.
Make some cash to splash
Average people don’t want to make decent money.
They tell themselves they do but they’re unwilling to sacrifice a small part of their life to achieve it. 6 months is too much. A few weekends of no Netflix feels like a prison sentence.
It’s harsh to say but it’s true.
Money is a resource that can be used to progress further in life. The trouble is average people have way too many excuses and limiting beliefs about money. They say they don’t, then they complain about $5 expenses that can potentially make them money.
Money is the reward for struggle.
And when you struggle the lessons learned create a type of wisdom that a college degree can’t buy you. The process hurts. You’ll feel like giving up. It’ll test every part of your life.
Without money life becomes one big struggle.
Money becomes a mental illness that destroys the art of focus. Because when all you can think about is the next paycheck or how much things cost, how can you ever do something extraordinary? It’s real hard.
Get money off the mind so you can concentrate.