An Exceptional Story to Start the Day
Abel is an entrepreneur/internet/information marketer offering nutritional information, supplements, coaching, etc.
He's had a cool journey. He studied the mind and music in college. He ripped though high school and college in 6 years. He was a high-paid consultant for a while and ran his internet business on the side. He made a decision to leave consulting for good in 2012 and has done very well for himself. He's in his late twenties now.
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Thanks to Dean of Lifestyle Hacking and Abel of Fat-Burning Man for taking the time to share this.
Here are my notes on the podcast, which you can find here on iTunes: (Link)
Abel is a super smart, super curious, super effective guy. He still struggled with a half-in, half-out lifestyle with his business even though he hated his day job. Even when his day job was paying six figures and only required 15 hours of work a week- he still hated it. It took him a while to leave but now he is making more money that ever because he has more energy and focus and is living on his own terms.
Cultivate Diverse Experiences and Commit to the Journey
Abel drove across America in search of adventure and his next home- driving a Mercedes diesel running on vegetable oil.
Abel studied hard science, psychology and music in college and studied abroad.
Abel self apprenticed. He was always doing his own, self directed research on what ever interested him or let him achieve his goals. He also sought out advice from successful entrepreneurs in Austin and at parties/conferences.
If you don't know what to study, just ask around for the most passionate professors and take those courses. Even if you think you know what you want to study, do this for your electives. Get a book or an online course in something that interests you and see it through. Set a date and finish, then do the next one.
Keep your Options Open
Be careful with money. The more simple a life you lead with less debt and obligations, the easier it is to leave a job that is holding you back. However, this is a catch 22 in many cases. You do need to take on debt to get educated enough that you can one day pay off that debt and leave your job.
This isn't a clean, easy case of "Always avoid debt."
But, debt does limit options. Education, conversely, expands options.
So, make the most of your formal and informal education. The richest people in the world are those who have mastered the use of debt. The happiest people in the world well, I have no advice for that- but it seems to involve some sort of mastery of self and your own education.
Keep Going, Aim for Mountain Tops
Don't get discouraged if you don't feel like you have great traction from time to time. If you are learning, doing, reflecting and putting yourself in the mix- you are making progress.
It is important that you pick a distant mountain top and say, "I'm walking to that." You then just start putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes you slip, sometimes you fall. Sometimes you rest. Sometimes you backtrack. Sometimes you decide to aim at a different mountain top. It would be impossible to plan each step before beginning the journey. Once you know why you are on the journey (what mountain peak you are aiming for), things become a lot easier.
Along the way- constantly learn and re-evaluate. Ask yourself meaningful questions.
-What am I working towards? Am I building towards something?
-Where do I go from here? What's the next step?
-Is this good? Am I happy?
Abel wanted to live on his own terms, make good money and have a big impact by helping people. Don't get too specific in picking a mountain top- just know the qualities/big picture items you want to have in your life and focus on attaining those. There is a need for massively detailed thinking along the way, but not for the far off mountain peaks.
Abel conducted deep research into nutrition before releasing his fitness products. He has his own weight/health problem. He fixed it. He created a solution to his own problem- but it was a common problem that lots of other people have and want to solve. He created content and products around that solution and offered it to others.
Separate Yourself from the Competition by Small Steps
In a race, over time, gaining a foot a day on your running mates leads to you being miles ahead. Compound interest is like magic: this works for money, experience, and happiness.
-Read a software, hardware manual. This will put you in the top 5 percentile of people who use that product. You now have an edge on all of them. Mark Cuban did this with computers. NO ONE ever reads the manual. Almost no one uses MS Word or Photoshop or their Laptop for anything but the most basic functions- so there is always an opportunity there.
-Start a blog. Just start writing. As you now have a medium, you'll improve your writing over time and think of better content.
-Start a podcast. Abel said it takes about a year to get your podcast setup. So, better start today if you want to be an awesome podcaster.
-Network. Tell people what you are trying to do and let them help you. Abel did this in Austin and at parties/conferences. He found people that had already succeeded at doing what he wanted to do and asked them for advice.
Set your Launch Date
Set a date and/or criteria for you leaving your job. Don't leave it up to "when I'm ready" because your fear of the unknown will keep you chained to your steady income day job that you hate and want to leave but can't because of the steady income even though you could be earning 10 times as much if you just left it.
Be Prepared for People not Helping
Abel asked for equity in his small consulting firm. Their answer was basically, "We want you to get older, not better." People do not want to share with you. The easiest way to have equity is to start something yourself. That way you get 100% rather than clawing for 1%. Is it that easy? No. Is it worth it, well- you pick your peak to climb to.
People will second guess you. They will project their own fears onto you. They will remind you of all that you are giving up. They will call you crazy. They won't wish you luck.
Don't spend time with these people. Find Cheerleaders and Mentors and Running Mates.
Build Multiple Income Streams
Have lots of channels to get your message out there.
Have lots of ways that people can consume your message.
Offer them lots of different products because each person is different.
Offer one-on-one coaching, an app, a plan, books, an email series, a podcast, webinars, live workshops.
Build assets over time that keep paying you. Copyright, Brand, Intellectual Property, Knowledge, a Network.
Build an income vehicle that let's you take massive action and get results. You should have a business where the more work you put in (your time or a team's), the more you get out. You can chose to stay small, but there should be efficiencies of scale.
Once a business has proven itself viable (some sales, revenue responds to marketing efforts), then you can simply scale it up. 99% of people never get this far.
The Wright Brothers built an awesome glider first- they spent time and effort to achieve un-powered flight. Once that worked, they added an engine and now you have powered flight. If the business works as a glider, it will soar as a plane once you add some more power. That power is usually you working full time on it, building a team and re-investing income.
Success is Not Linear
It goes in fits and starts. If takes a lot of time and effort to get to $1,000 a week in income. Once you have that, it takes much less time and effort to get to $10,000 a week in income because your market and business model are validated.
Remind yourself of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Keep going.
Big dreams inspire you towards action and keep you going in a way that small dreams do not. It's easier to raise $10M than to raise $100,000 because you probably have to talk to much richer people and have a much more inspiring dream to use that $10M, and that will open up peoples hearts and wallets more easily.
Making A Difference
Once you reach some people, it becomes addictive.
Once you make a difference in someone's life, it becomes very hard to keep doing things (your day job) where you don't make a difference.
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