August 27, 2022

3 Big Business Lies (And the Actual Truth)

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In today’s issue, I’m going to share 3 pieces of advice that I’ve received about business, that I think are lies.

When I say “lies”, I don’t mean to insinuate that the person sharing the advice is being intentionally deceiving, but instead, they’ve been deceived themselves.

And in a world of armchair quarterbacks, the same bad advice gets regurgitated repeatedly.

So, it will get passed along to a bunch of people that act on it, only to find that it’s not true.

Let’s put a stop to that.

Always Do Your Diligence On Business Advice.

When you’re reading advice from people on social media, ask yourself:

  • Does this person actually do what they say?
  • Does this person operate in a way that aligns with my values?
  • Can this person prove, without a doubt, that they are having success?

If you cannot answer a resounding, “Hell Yes!” to each of these, then consider taking advice from someone else.

And even if the answer is yes to all three, remember that everyone’s experience is different.

With all of that out of the way, here are 3 pieces of advice that I think are incorrect, and some updates from me, to make them right.

You Should Find a Mentor → You Should Attract a Mentor

Life is not a Disney movie, where some down-on-their-luck person comes under the wing of a successful business magnate, and life is peachy keen.

Has that happened? Sure.

Is hoping that happens to you a good approach? No.

The people who end up with great mentors make themselves attractive to other successful people. They share their thoughts and learnings openly, participate in discussions, make meaningful progress, and invest in relationships with other people who are doing the same.

There has literally never been an easier time with social media and private communities.

Action step: Join a few communities on Discord or Slack and start sharing everything you’re learning in real-time. Do the same on a social media platform of your choice. Get on sites like LinkedIn and start creating content about what you know. Find the people who want to spend time with you and grow together.

Help Everyone → Invest in Reciprocal Relationships

There are 2 types of people in this world:

  • Group A: Those who receive help and value and absolutely never return it.
  • Group B: Those who receive help and value and return the favor when relevant.

Make sure you are spending your time building relationships with people in Group B.

That may sound highly transactional, but most relationships ARE transactional in the very beginning. Reciprocity is simply the way that people show they are committed to a relationship.

And reciprocity can come in many forms: love, support, knowledge, mental help, physical help, etc.

You can’t afford to help every single person, especially if they belong to group A above.

Action step: Do an audit of your ecosystem and figure out who is invested in you and who is taking advantage of your generosity. Spend more time with the former, and start to eliminate the latter.

Take Big Risks to Make it Big → Take a Lot of Small Risks

One of the most common narratives on the internet is that you have to “go all in” and “have no backup plan” in order to be successful.

People will cite the success of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs to further drive home their point. But this is simply survivorship bias.

Instead of looking at Musk, Bezos, and Jobs, ask yourself this question instead:

“How many people have tried to do what these three did, and failed?”

If 3 out of a million make it, it’s probably not the right choice for you.

Instead, think about how you can start small and don’t flush years of your productive time down the drain on one “big” idea:

Action Steps:

  • Look for the lowest hanging fruit - how can you make $1?
  • Try many different things at once - lay out all of your options.
  • Find the 20% of your effort that leads to 80% of the results - Double down on those.

As Daniel says above, "stay in the game" everyone.

That's all for today.

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