Writing To My Friends

A hack to get my creative juices flowing.

July 05, 2019

Lately I have been writing on Facebook to my friends. I’m trying to help encourage them to start growing and changing their lives for the better.

This was mostly an experiment. It was to see who still existed on FB, and also to test some of my content on my friends.

I found it really easy to write to my firends, which was surprising. It’s a lot easier to write something that’s helpful when you really care about the person.

These are the things I wrote in the last week or so. You might notice some of the semantics from other places on my blog.

Start A Business To Get Rich

You won’t get rich renting out your time (aka, a job). You’re just trading dollars for time.

To get rich you need to earn non-linearly. You need to be able to make money while you sleep.

Products (Physical and digital [courses, ebooks, resources]), content (blog, podcast, video), code (app, website, tools) can scale beyond yourself. They can be automated and earn non-linearly.

It also takes a non-linear amount of effort up front. Expect years of work with no pay. But when it clicks, you’ve built a system that’s valuable. You will earn money in exchange for the value you (or your system) produce.

Check out @naval for more on this.

1000 True Fans

The rule of 1000 true fans is all I needed to be convinced that it’s easier to work for yourself and build wealth through entrepreneurship.

The rule of 1000 true fans works like this: Essentially, to make a living working for yourself, you need to have 1000 people pay you $100 a year to make $100,000 a year. After taxes, that’s not a bad income.

Let’s put that in perspective. There’s 7 BILLION people on the planet. Even in the USA alone there’s 300 Million. All you need is 1000 people. That’s 0.00033% of the population.

Now, if you live in a small town, it might be harder to get 1000 people to pay you within a 25 mile radius. Luckily, we have the internet. Facebook alone has 2 Billion active users. There’s huge audiences out there looking for the value you have to provide.

Not only that, but you can cater your customer’s experience to be the best they’ve ever had. Something that bigger brands and companies can’t do. You have an edge, and you can find your 1000 true fans.

What value are you going to provide for people? How are you going to contribute your skills to build wealth? Where will you find your 1000 true fans? Can you make something that’s worth $100?

I’ve got a suggestion for something you can make. If you help save people time, and make them more money, you will have no problem selling something for $100. People see the value in convenience, saving time, and saving (making more) money.

For those interested, here’s the full essay about the power of 1000 true fans: https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/

Everyone Can Be Rich

I think everyone has something to offer. If you don’t, learn specific skills that make you valuable.

If you can build something (physical or digital) that provides value for others, you can make money. If you can’t build something, learn the skills necessary to do everything it takes to make something valuable.

I spent 3 years learning how to make websites, do SEO, and make web apps before I made a single dollar online. But, I now have that knowledge forever. I can build whatever I want given enough time.

Invest in yourself. Believe in yourself. Pay for the course. Get an apprenticeship. Get close to people who are doing what you want to do.

Yes it takes time. Yes it takes grit. Yes it takes patience. But anyone can live a rich life. It’s a matter of education, diligence, and delayed gratification.

You Choose Your Life

Everything is up to you. You can’t blame anyone else.

You don’t get to necessarily choose what happens to you (most times you do), but you always get to chose how you respond.

How you respond is much more important than what happens to you.

And even in the vein of not being able to choose what happens to you — you choose the people you surround yourself with. You choose the things you say and don’t say. You choose how you spend your time. You choose your investments. You have a lot of control over what happens to you.

You will always reap a harvest of the choices you sow today.

And the choices you make today can be one of two things:

  • For your benefit.
  • For your detriment.

There is no middle of the road. You’re either growing or shrinking.

You’re making choices everyday. Those choices are creating the person you will be in the future. You’re choosing what happens to you. You’re choosing your path in life.

Successful Habits. Successful Life.

The quality of your habits generally determine the quality of your life.

How you sleep. How you eat. How you exercise. How you work. How you talk (positive or negative).

Habits are automatic responses to environmental signals and changes. Cultivate good habits, and you’ll be in control of how your environment affects you.

Bad habits, on the other hand, are like a leaky bucket. You don’t realize how bad things are until it’s too late.

Eliminating bad habits, and incorporating good habits into your life will make a dramatic effect on who you become in one year, five years, ten years.

Sleep 8 hours a night. Eat good food, mostly vegetables, and not too much. Walk a bit everyday, and do some lifts/body exercises a few times a week. Work on something you’re passionate about for at least an hour everyday. Talk positively and use that to fuel your attitude.

Life is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Take time to take small steps in the right direction. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Optimize to be the person you really want to be in a few years.

I’m not the same person I was a few years ago. I won’t be the same person I am now in a few years.

Here’s a guide to building good habits (excellent book): https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

Environmental Impact

Your environment shapes most of your behavior. It’s the people you hang around, your family, your co-workers, your peers.

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

We don’t do it on purpose. It’s human nature. We’re hard-wired to fit in. Fitting in means other people will like us. Fitting in means less confrontation.

But, what if you want to break the mold? What if you want to become someone else? Maybe you want to be rich, maybe you want to be fit, maybe you want to be happy.

Two things: 1. Get rid of toxic relationships. 2. Cultivate positive relationships with people that support you or are where you want to be some day.

You won’t get rich hanging around people who don’t work. You won’t get fit hanging around people who don’t move or eat healthy. You won’t be happy hanging around people who are always negative and pessimistic.

It’s a simple concept, but so many people get it wrong. They have the same friends their entire life and wonder why they never made anything of themselves.

If you can’t escape the people around you for the time being, get into books.

I’ve got a secret for you: books are the best way to escape your current environment and enter into the brains of some of the greatest humans on earth.

If you don’t like to read, read stuff you like to read until you do. You can gain wisdom, gain knowledge, and gain new mental models from the right books.

You can become better. Change your environment, and you’ll change yourself.

Think Long Term

Short term thinking is what keeps most people from growing and achieving their goals.

People want convenience right now. They want gratification right now. Entertainment right now. Satisfaction right now.

The secret to success in life is delayed gratification.

There’s pain of discipline, and pain of regret. No matter what, there’s pain, but the pain of discipline creates actual gratification and satisfaction.

The longer you can put off convenience, gratification, entertainment, and satisfaction, the better those things will actually be in the future.

The longer you put in the work, grind out your daily tasks, stay focused on what matters, and have self control, the quicker you will reach your goals and become the person you want to be.

When you only think about the short term, you make decisions that stifle your future self. You spend all of your money. You eat way too much. You complain about minor things that don’t really matter. You take any ‘good’ opportunity that’s thrown at you.

When you think about the long term, you make informed intelligent decisions. Will I regret buying this thing I don’t need? Will I regret taking this job that takes me away from my family more?

Some of the worst things in life are free and easy. Sex outside of marriage. Your first shot of heroin. Complaining on social media. Sitting on the couch watching TV every evening.

Some of the best things in life are free and hard. Going out for a run everyday. Showing up to work on time. Listening to others. Helping your friends when they need it. Saving and investing money every month. Learning new skills. Being ethical and honest.

Anything that is good takes a lot of work up front, and becomes a blessing for the rest of your life.

You get to choose when you want the pain - now or later. If you choose now, then you’re going to have good success and no regrets. If you choose later, get ready for life that goes nowhere. Regret is poisonous.

Consistency Is The Key

Consistency is the key to growth and progress. There’s nothing more powerful than momentum and compound interest.

By simply deciding to show up everyday and do the things you need to do, you have a significant advantage over most people. Most people can’t stick to what they say they’re going to do. Most people don’t have the discipline.

If you improve something by 1% everyday, by the end of a year it would be 37x greater than it was at the start. On the contrary, decreasing 1% everyday for a year essentially gets you to 0. Are you growing or shrinking?

The first business you start will probably fail. The first book you write will probably flop. The first YouTube video you post will probably get 0 views.

That’s OK. It’s part of the process.

The goal isn’t to build a single massive business, it’s to work on something so it becomes a business. The goal isn’t to write a New York Times best seller, the goal is to write books consistently. The goal isn’t to have a single viral YouTube video, it’s to build an audience by posting on a consistent schedule and get better at making videos.

By changing your goal from being a ‘results based’ goal, to a ‘systems based’ goal, you start to see how it’s more powerful.

By consistently performing the actions above, you can see how it would lead someone to become a successful business person, or a best selling author, or a YouTube influencer. When you consistently work towards something, it eventually happens.

My goals are to write some code everyday. Write some words everyday. Play with my kids everyday. Get enough sleep everyday. Etc.

My goals are action. My goals are consistent progress. Eventually, I’ll become the person that I set out to be years ago.

The process is the goal. Otherwise, good luck trying to reach that lofty goal that has no plan of how you’ll actually do it.

Consistency is the key. It unlocks the wealth hidden in every worthy pursuit. Excellence done consistently will produce great profits, while inconsistency produces waste.

What you do consistently will grow.

A Little Bit At A Time

People overestimate how much they can get done in one day.

But they underestimate what they can do in a year.

We stress ourselves out, almost daily, trying to check off our to-do lists and getting everything done that needs to get done.

We feel like because we were only able to spend 10 minutes doing something that we actually enjoyed doing, that we aren’t going to be able to get anywhere with our passions or dreams.

But it’s not about how much you got done today. It’s about how much you get done over time. That’s what really matters.

Growing and working just a little bit everyday compounds over time.

When you put your head down and commit to something for an extended period of time, amazing things can happen.

All of a sudden, when you spend an hour a day for a month doing something, it’s almost a full week’s worth of work on that thing. That’s a lot of time to get some incredible things done.

Many people could write a book, or lose 40 pounds, or make an extra $5000, with just an hour a day for several months.

Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t accomplish all of your goals in one day. You have to master a habit before you can improve it.

Big things take time, and big things start small.

Big things start really, really small.

10 Years

To achieve great things in life, it takes time. But maybe not as much time as you think. People usually don’t think about their entire life, they just think about the next few weeks.

It takes 10 years to build something great. That’s really it.

You’ve probably heard about the 10,000 hour rule. It’s a metric people use to estimate how long it takes to become a true master at some specific skill.

10,000 hours is roughly 20 hours per week for 10 years.

10,000 is definitely over-estimation. It doesn’t take that long to be truly good at something. It might take that long to become the best in the world at something.

But having that mindset (that it’s going to take 10 years) is a good mindset to have. If you can just hold your breath for 10 years, you can become any person you want to become.

I’m 27. I still have another ~60 years on this planet. If it only takes 10 years, part-time, to become the best in the world at something, then I can do that and reap the benefits of it for another 50 years.

Maybe you’re 50. You still have another ~40 years on this planet. Even you, can spend 10 years completely rewiring yourself to become a master at anything you’ve ever wanted to be.

And, you’ll be able to have the rewards of your success for the next 30 years. Sounds like a good deal to me!

Please. I’m imploring you. If you truly know yourself, and you know who you want to be, take the next 10 years and work towards it.

It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time. It’s better to accept that up-front, and put in the work a little bit at a time.

You can become anything you want to be in this world. You can be rich. You can be healthy. You can be a great parent. You can travel the world. You can help thousands of people.

Can you hold your breath for 10 years?

Just Start

Build a habit before tracking anything.

Tracking progress is a powerful tool. It allows you to get a dopamine shot when you’ve progressed towards your goals. It also helps you wrap your head around your progress and how you can improve more in the future.

Though it’s powerful, it’s not something I would recommend until you have built a successful habit.

You’re not going to see your weight drop after a week of intermittent fasting.

You’re not going to see your bench press increase after a week at the gym.

You’re not going to feel energized by getting enough sleep a couple of times.

The habit needs to be established first before measuring progress. Otherwise, you’ll be discouraged when you don’t see any progress for some time.

Life is a marathon. You shouldn’t expect to be someone totally different tomorrow. Things take time. And the most important things take a really long time.

Try going for a walk everyday for three months. Doesn’t matter how far. I guarantee you’ll feel the benefits.

Now after three months, start to track how far you walk. Now you’ll start to see even more benefits as you go longer and longer.

If you started to go longer and longer from the beginning, you probably would have quit. It would have been hard. You didn’t build the habit.

But since the habit was established, now you can grow that habit into a powerful tool for your success. You can easily see how you could increase it to be a running habit, or any other exercise habit.