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Guest06196

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Inspiring story.

The only thing I do for you, to thank you, is to tell you don't worry about a university degree. I graduated from the most prestigious university in my home country. It took me a few extra years to get into it due to fierce competition. I was young and determined. This decision wasted my valuable years in my early twenties.

I enjoyed telling other people where I studied and waiting for them to express their admiration. So naive. It's like a guy needs this Rolex watch to obtain other people's approval. It only demonstrates a lack of confidence and sense of insecurity.

Also, the knowledge I obtained does not require a degree. Pick up a good book or an online course will give you more than enough understanding. Coupled with practical experience, you learn a lot faster. Students do this the other way around. Let's learn this theory and maybe we will have the opportunity to use one or two percent of my repertoire.
 
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LiveEntrepreneur

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Inspiring story.

The only thing I do for you, to thank you, is to tell you don't worry about a university degree. I graduated from the most prestigious university in my home country. It took me a few extra years to get into it due to fierce competition. I was young and determined. This decision wasted my valuable years in my early twenties.

I enjoyed telling other people where I studied and waiting for them to express their admiration. So naive. It's like a guy needs this Rolex watch to obtain other people's approval. It only demonstrates a lack of confidence and sense of insecurity.

Also, the knowledge I obtained does not require a degree. Pick up a good book or an online course will give you more than enough understanding. Coupled with practical experience, you learn a lot faster. Students do this the other way around. Let's learn this theory and maybe we will have the opportunity to use one or two percent of my repertoire.
Hmm I guess I could ask you this then, do you recommend going to university as a "backup plan" that's what everyone tells me. I can see the logic behind it but I think its pointless if you don't enjoy the degree. Good money will be pointless when you are miserable at your job.
 
G

Guest06196

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Hmm I guess I could ask you this then, do you recommend going to university as a "backup plan" that's what everyone tells me. I can see the logic behind it but I think its pointless if you don't enjoy the degree. Good money will be pointless when you are miserable at your job.

This argument can be turned around: As a backup plan, you don't have to do a college degree immediately. Let's say you own a factory and somebody tells you this fabulous new equipment will increase your output and it's worth it, although the cost is high (3-4 best years of your life, a large sum of money, opportunity cost, etc.) As a factory owner, do you buy the machine immediately? Of course not. You'd wait and observe. In the meantime, make the best use of your existing equipment. Who knows in 3 months the market changes and your product is going out of favor? (man it happens all the time. a few years ago accounting and law were so popular. why don't you try to get a job in these fields now? I'd say even getting a intern slave position would be cut-throat competition.)

The market only cares what you can bring to the table. Interested in finance? Easy. Learn whatever you can online or from books (it's 2017 already, you can everything online) and start trading. If you want a job, show them your trade record and you can get an offer anywhere in the world. What if you don't have a impressive trade record? Maybe you're not cut out for it. Do you still want a job in that field? Same goes for most subjects like coding.

When a degree is a must is when 1) you want to be a doctor or cpa, etc. 2) some established companies (although exceptions happen all the time), due to internal procedures. Good luck. I've put myself in these situations before. It felt like there is always someone holding your b*lls. There is always your boss, your boss's boss, the lord from another department, the procedures. The list is never ending.

I spent roughly 10 of my best years in pursuit of degrees from prestigious universities. From my personal experience and a guy I know from Penn, these degrees do very little for you. In consideration of the cost, not worth it.

Hey mate you live in 'stralia too!
 

LiveEntrepreneur

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This argument can be turned around: As a backup plan, you don't have to do a college degree immediately. Let's say you own a factory and somebody tells you this fabulous new equipment will increase your output and it's worth it, although the cost is high (3-4 best years of your life, a large sum of money, opportunity cost, etc.) As a factory owner, do you buy the machine immediately? Of course not. You'd wait and observe. In the meantime, make the best use of your existing equipment. Who knows in 3 months the market changes and your product is going out of favor? (man it happens all the time. a few years ago accounting and law were so popular. why don't you try to get a job in these fields now? I'd say even getting a intern slave position would be cut-throat competition.)

The market only cares what you can bring to the table. Interested in finance? Easy. Learn whatever you can online or from books (it's 2017 already, you can everything online) and start trading. If you want a job, show them your trade record and you can get an offer anywhere in the world. What if you don't have a impressive trade record? Maybe you're not cut out for it. Do you still want a job in that field? Same goes for most subjects like coding.

When a degree is a must is when 1) you want to be a doctor or cpa, etc. 2) some established companies (although exceptions happen all the time), due to internal procedures. Good luck. I've put myself in these situations before. It felt like there is always someone holding your b*lls. There is always your boss, your boss's boss, the lord from another department, the procedures. The list is never ending.

I spent roughly 10 of my best years in pursuit of degrees from prestigious universities. From my personal experience and a guy I know from Penn, these degrees do very little for you. In consideration of the cost, not worth it.

Hey mate you live in 'stralia too!
Yeah man, in the aus. I agree with what you said, alot of stuff can be learned online fair enough you can't get some jobs without a qualification but that's what I love about this era you can say screw this degree I will do some freelancing, or build a online business so many possibilities.
 

PTP

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Inspiring story.

The only thing I do for you, to thank you, is to tell you don't worry about a university degree. I graduated from the most prestigious university in my home country. It took me a few extra years to get into it due to fierce competition. I was young and determined. This decision wasted my valuable years in my early twenties.

I enjoyed telling other people where I studied and waiting for them to express their admiration. So naive. It's like a guy needs this Rolex watch to obtain other people's approval. It only demonstrates a lack of confidence and sense of insecurity.

Also, the knowledge I obtained does not require a degree. Pick up a good book or an online course will give you more than enough understanding. Coupled with practical experience, you learn a lot faster. Students do this the other way around. Let's learn this theory and maybe we will have the opportunity to use one or two percent of my repertoire.

Thanks for the advice! As it stands right now, i'm taking my first year of college off with the ability to go back if I decide to. This allows me to keep working on my business and see where I am in a year. At that point I'll decide what to do and go from there. I'm not huge on burning bridges unnecessarily and want to have the most options possible.

The only appeal college has to me right now is that of the social aspect. However, at the moment i'm not willing to drop $100k+ just to make friends.

Currently though i'm quite enjoying the process and i'm excited to see where this path leads!
 

E-Sharp

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Just seeing this thread for the first time. Super impressive, PTP!
 

D.I.Schuyler

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Inspiring story.

The only thing I do for you, to thank you, is to tell you don't worry about a university degree. I graduated from the most prestigious university in my home country. It took me a few extra years to get into it due to fierce competition. I was young and determined. This decision wasted my valuable years in my early twenties.

I enjoyed telling other people where I studied and waiting for them to express their admiration. So naive. It's like a guy needs this Rolex watch to obtain other people's approval. It only demonstrates a lack of confidence and sense of insecurity.

Also, the knowledge I obtained does not require a degree. Pick up a good book or an online course will give you more than enough understanding. Coupled with practical experience, you learn a lot faster. Students do this the other way around. Let's learn this theory and maybe we will have the opportunity to use one or two percent of my repertoire.

That's "gold" advice!
 

IMEVO

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Way to go PTP! I'm new to the forum and want to thank you for sharing your story. I'm inspired by your hard work and focus. You make me want to work harder. Thank you. I'm happy for your success and hope you keep hitting your goals. You deserve it.
18 and your whole life ahead of you. Awesome!
 

hayden0001

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My 1 year anniversary of joining FLF is coming up in a few days. This past year has set the precedent for how I am going to live for the rest of my life.

I am an 18 year old senior in High School who runs an online eCommerce business . My company was started at the beginning of 2016 when I was 17. My first sale on ebay was on February 7 and my first sale on my own website was on April 24. Revenue since then is getting close to reaching (my Grant Cardone 10x goal from earlier this year) of 6-figures.

When I first started the company, my goal was only to learn. While I obviously wanted to make money, I didnt actually plan on making anything at all.

Startup bros was where I learned that eComerce was actually a thing. I spent well over a month and probably a few hundred hours looking for something to sell. I became known as "the troll" by my family and friends because I would lock myself in my room for hours on end doing product research everyday of the week. However, it was not until I came here and read the mega threads by @Ecom man and @biophase that I found a product worth selling.

The were 3 separate times where I told myself that I was going to shut down my store because no one was buying anything. I worked 3 months on a side project only to realize the product and niche was trash.

For the majority of this year, I was hesitant to grow this business just due to potential outside factors that I had no control over that could shut it down. However, after looking at the direction my company was headed, I decided to shift course and pursue a different path than what I had initially intended. This helps to hedge against some of the risks involved, and creates something I see myself working on 10-15 years from now.

  • I have decided to begin to build a brand rather than just another eCommerce store. All doubts about the longevity of the niche have been erased and I am now ready to grow this over the next decade+.
  • Company instagram account over 18k followers, Facebook nearing 1k.
  • Began the process of getting my products made domestically in the USA. Getting designs made with changes that I was not able to get my manufacture to make in China. This will allow me to regain control over the supply chain.
  • Found a mentor in the manufacturing sector who used to run his own company. His advice has been extremely beneficial as I try to bring a new line of my unique proprietary products to market. I have also been meeting with other people in the eCommerce/manufacturing sectors as well and I am learning exponentially more than anything I have ever been taught in school.
  • I joined toastmasters after reading @Envision 1 year FLF thread. Public speaking has allowed me to be more bold and less nervous when going out and talking manufactures/business owners and adults in general. It has allowed me to be bold enough to approach people I would have been to nervous to approach in the past. Public speaking has been the number one most life changing thing for me.
Takeaways
  • Just start something already! My first order from China was for 15 units. Seriously, 15 units and it cost me less than $200. It grew from there to an order of 30 then 60 then 100. This isnt rocket science. I didnt need a degree or a business plan or $10,000 in funding. All you need is the work ethic to put in the hours to find something worth while and the belief that you will find it.
  • Dont listen to the noise. You do you. Other people dont know what they are talking about. I remember during the research phase where I was called "the troll", no one thought I was going to find anything. People made fun of me for being "antisocial." Even when I had a product, I made the mistake of telling kids at school what I was doing. They made fun of me and laughed saying it was never going to get anywhere. I dont talk about my business at school, especially not my sales, but now a year later, people see my social media accounts and are starting to take an interest in what I am doing. Go figure....
  • Have a clear purpose in life and spend every waking second trying to achieve that. On my mirror I have my definite chief aim. Next to that I have a note card with the phrase "I am completely independent of the good and bad opinions of others." Next to that I have my goals. I read these every morning and night. On my wall in my room directly in front of my bed I have my vision board with a Mclaren 570s, Mother Terasa, and Pope JPII. All around the walls are quotes from books written onto note cards. Sometimes when I am driving, I will spontaneously begin reciting my definite chief aim in a loud voice. This is all meant to keep my goals in mind at all times. I believe it was @Fox who spoke about "brainwashing yourself for success." There is definitely something to it.
My Goals
  • Get my proprietary products made in the USA.
  • HEAVILY get the name out on my brand when I get USA products.
  • Diversify what my brand sells. Build a strong brand name.
  • Begin selling to retailers. Get into at least 1 big box retailer in 2017.
  • Take my company to 100+ million/year revenue 10-15 yrs.
  • Millionaire by 25. Have the option to retire at 30 (even though I know I wont;)).
  • Find more mentors where we can both mutually benefit each others businesses.
  • Graduate high school.
If you get 1 take away from this post, let it be that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. I know this advice is constantly repeated. However, it is repeated because it is true. If you have internet (which you do because you are reading this) and $200, you can start a business and grow it. If a teenager can start a business at 17 years old, working on it after school and on weekends, what is stopping you?

I want to say that this is not a success story. A success story would suggest that I have accomplished my definite chief aim, which I have not. Rather, I hope my story can provide motivation to you and serve as an example of what can happen when you start.

A special thank you to first of all @MJ DeMarco without first the forum, then book, I would not be here today.

Also thank you to @biophase @Ecom man @AllenCrawley @Vigilante @Envision and all the others who post on a constant basis. I can confidently say that 1 year of reading your posts has been more valuable than 12 years in public school.


*Can a mod please change the Prefix from "rant" to a plain tag. It wouldnt let me post unless it was a rant.

WELL DONE THIS IS SO GOOD, I AM GOING THROUGH ALL THIS AT THE MOMENT :)
 

WarWizard

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My 1 year anniversary of joining FLF is coming up in a few days. This past year has set the precedent for how I am going to live for the rest of my life.

I am an 18 year old senior in High School who runs an online eCommerce business . My company was started at the beginning of 2016 when I was 17. My first sale on ebay was on February 7 and my first sale on my own website was on April 24. Revenue since then is getting close to reaching (my Grant Cardone 10x goal from earlier this year) of 6-figures.

When I first started the company, my goal was only to learn. While I obviously wanted to make money, I didnt actually plan on making anything at all.

Startup bros was where I learned that eComerce was actually a thing. I spent well over a month and probably a few hundred hours looking for something to sell. I became known as "the troll" by my family and friends because I would lock myself in my room for hours on end doing product research everyday of the week. However, it was not until I came here and read the mega threads by @Ecom man and @biophase that I found a product worth selling.

The were 3 separate times where I told myself that I was going to shut down my store because no one was buying anything. I worked 3 months on a side project only to realize the product and niche was trash.

For the majority of this year, I was hesitant to grow this business just due to potential outside factors that I had no control over that could shut it down. However, after looking at the direction my company was headed, I decided to shift course and pursue a different path than what I had initially intended. This helps to hedge against some of the risks involved, and creates something I see myself working on 10-15 years from now.

  • I have decided to begin to build a brand rather than just another eCommerce store. All doubts about the longevity of the niche have been erased and I am now ready to grow this over the next decade+.
  • Company instagram account over 18k followers, Facebook nearing 1k.
  • Began the process of getting my products made domestically in the USA. Getting designs made with changes that I was not able to get my manufacture to make in China. This will allow me to regain control over the supply chain.
  • Found a mentor in the manufacturing sector who used to run his own company. His advice has been extremely beneficial as I try to bring a new line of my unique proprietary products to market. I have also been meeting with other people in the eCommerce/manufacturing sectors as well and I am learning exponentially more than anything I have ever been taught in school.
  • I joined toastmasters after reading @Envision 1 year FLF thread. Public speaking has allowed me to be more bold and less nervous when going out and talking manufactures/business owners and adults in general. It has allowed me to be bold enough to approach people I would have been to nervous to approach in the past. Public speaking has been the number one most life changing thing for me.
Takeaways
  • Just start something already! My first order from China was for 15 units. Seriously, 15 units and it cost me less than $200. It grew from there to an order of 30 then 60 then 100. This isnt rocket science. I didnt need a degree or a business plan or $10,000 in funding. All you need is the work ethic to put in the hours to find something worth while and the belief that you will find it.
  • Dont listen to the noise. You do you. Other people dont know what they are talking about. I remember during the research phase where I was called "the troll", no one thought I was going to find anything. People made fun of me for being "antisocial." Even when I had a product, I made the mistake of telling kids at school what I was doing. They made fun of me and laughed saying it was never going to get anywhere. I dont talk about my business at school, especially not my sales, but now a year later, people see my social media accounts and are starting to take an interest in what I am doing. Go figure....
  • Have a clear purpose in life and spend every waking second trying to achieve that. On my mirror I have my definite chief aim. Next to that I have a note card with the phrase "I am completely independent of the good and bad opinions of others." Next to that I have my goals. I read these every morning and night. On my wall in my room directly in front of my bed I have my vision board with a Mclaren 570s, Mother Terasa, and Pope JPII. All around the walls are quotes from books written onto note cards. Sometimes when I am driving, I will spontaneously begin reciting my definite chief aim in a loud voice. This is all meant to keep my goals in mind at all times. I believe it was @Fox who spoke about "brainwashing yourself for success." There is definitely something to it.
My Goals
  • Get my proprietary products made in the USA.
  • HEAVILY get the name out on my brand when I get USA products.
  • Diversify what my brand sells. Build a strong brand name.
  • Begin selling to retailers. Get into at least 1 big box retailer in 2017.
  • Take my company to 100+ million/year revenue 10-15 yrs.
  • Millionaire by 25. Have the option to retire at 30 (even though I know I wont;)).
  • Find more mentors where we can both mutually benefit each others businesses.
  • Graduate high school.
If you get 1 take away from this post, let it be that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. I know this advice is constantly repeated. However, it is repeated because it is true. If you have internet (which you do because you are reading this) and $200, you can start a business and grow it. If a teenager can start a business at 17 years old, working on it after school and on weekends, what is stopping you?

I want to say that this is not a success story. A success story would suggest that I have accomplished my definite chief aim, which I have not. Rather, I hope my story can provide motivation to you and serve as an example of what can happen when you start.

A special thank you to first of all @MJ DeMarco without first the forum, then book, I would not be here today.

Also thank you to @biophase @Ecom man @AllenCrawley @Vigilante @Envision and all the others who post on a constant basis. I can confidently say that 1 year of reading your posts has been more valuable than 12 years in public school.


*Can a mod please change the Prefix from "rant" to a plain tag. It wouldnt let me post unless it was a rant.


Hey @PTP,

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing.

It's inspirational hearing of youngsters succeeding, and breaking free of the indoctrination and 'system'.

I wish I had your mindset and focus at 17/18.

It's taken me years of working on my mindset to even just start seeing 'clearly'.

Keep up the great job and keep inspiring those of us on the journey ;)
 
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PTP

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Wow, this is really inspiring. Congrats on the success! And keep us all updated on the progress.

Thank you! I should be posting my 2 year update in the next month or so. So much has happened!
 

sparechange

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When you picking up the mclaren! Always walk by the dealer in vancouver, gorgeous car
 

Copperfield

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I would like to thank you for this. First of all because after reading this I decided to write back to you. I have never been a participant in any forum before. You are mentally close to me, despite the fact that I am much older than you because I am 40 years old. I had several businesses including a factory employing 150 people. Currently, I start from scratch in a new it business, people like you are my inspiration. I am happy about your happiness and I wish you good luck. Joining this forum is one of my best decisions.
 

Kraelog

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Congratulations!!! Magnificent doing this in high school.
 

Zedd9165

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I feel really nice when young men get into something productive, develop their skills, talent and grow with it. All the best for your future endevours.
 

ruzara5

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Dont listen to the noise. You do you. Other people dont know what they are talking about. I remember during the research phase where I was called "the troll", no one thought I was going to find anything. People made fun of me for being "antisocial." Even when I had a product, I made the mistake of telling kids at school what I was doing. They made fun of me and laughed saying it was never going to get anywhere.
Research is key.
 
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Bishop

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So @PTP

It's almost exactly a year later from your original post. Any victories, failures, or lessons learned that you want to share? Just wondering how you are getting along.
 

PTP

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So @PTP

It's almost exactly a year later from your original post. Any victories, failures, or lessons learned that you want to share? Just wondering how you are getting along.

Thanks for the bump! I'll be posting an update in the next few days once I get a chance to sit down and do a proper write up.
 

PTP

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Year 2 Update:

It's time for a long overdue update.

2017 was a crazy year. Looking back at my last post in December '16 to where things are now, it's almost hard to comprehend how much has changed in such a short time. If there is one thing I want to stress in this post, it's the need to get moving, now. For those of you who are still waiting on the sideline until the right time to get started, you're losing. Period. As the quote goes, "the best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now." With that, let's get into it.

Made in USA

In May I launched the first of my 3 new proprietary designed USA made products. The process took over 6 months entirely due to my own mistakes and lack of knowledge. After months of back and forth work, the first designer I hired and paid ended up delivering a terrible drawing that couldn't be manufactured. Then the talks with the manufacturer we were going to use fell apart leaving us with no manufacturer and no designs.

My brother ended up helping me design 3 rough models of what I wanted each to look like. I also ended up finding another manufacture by sheer luck who was able to adjust the designs my brother made to be machinable.

Tight cash flow wouldn't allow for the purchase of all 3 designs at once so I had to order one at a time until I could afford the other models. Once the first design was ready and shipped, I made a clean break in the brand and switched the brand name and URL. At the same time I removed all the Chinese made products from my website despite the fact that some of them had 80+ reviews and were selling well.

This re-start of the business caused sales to drop 40% in May. It was a tough month mentally but was 100% necessary for my long term vision of the business.

Once cash flow allowed for the launch of the 2 other models, sales shot up 136% in June and have been steadily increasing since then.

Growth

Sales this year were 75% higher than the stretch goal I had set in January last year. Most of it can be attributed to the new products, as well as reaching out to a lot of YouTube influencers and having them do reviews of the products. About 90%-95% of sales are organic/referrals and 80% of sales are from my own store.

A result of this growth is that my parents are becoming much more involved in the business. My dad handles the accounting and my mom packages and ships out all orders. I'm also in the process of re-locating to an office space and will be hiring an employee in about 1 month. By the end of the year if all goes to plan, i'll have 3-4 full time employees and possibly be looking to re-locate again to a larger space.

My goal is to have my dad become my full time business partner and work on scaling the business and growing a team together.

School

I did graduate high school, albeit barely :playful: The more time I spent on the business, the worse my grades got. Most days were spent answering customer service emails or doing anything other than school.

Also, I decided to take a year off from college. This allowed me to continue to grow the business and see where it would take me in a year. Instead of deciding not to go and "burning the bridges" so to to speak, I first made sure I could get back in if things didn't go well.

Also screenshotted this gem when I rejected the admission. Not sure how often this window is shown, but it's nice to do the rejecting for once!
college drop out.png
Needless to say I probably won't be headed back and it sure feels good to be free!

2018

A couple things that are in the pipes:
  • Creating a 2nd website that will be an extension of my current brand. I have a few reasons for doing this but got the idea from Tempur-pedic (They have a separate shop for only their pillows vs their main store with everything)
  • Develop new products and expand horizontally into a new niche. Currently have one new prototype finishing up in 2 weeks.
  • Grow the team to take myself out of the day to day operations so I can focus on new products and growth.
  • B2G and B2B sales.

If 2018 is going to be anything like 2017, it's going to be an exciting year. However, none of it would have happened had I not made the leap and put in that $188 order back in 2016. You don't need another book, you don't need another course, you don't need to drop out of school or leave your job to start. You don't need any of it.

What you need is to start selling something - almost anything. It doesn't have to be a home run, but it can't be a garlic press. Just by selling something and interacting with the marketplace everyday, you'll begin to see what works and what doesn't.

Another crazy thing happens when you start selling. Your customers will tell you what they want! I can't tell you how many times a customer has come to us and suggested we make a product they want to buy. It's crazy. You just need to decide on the first one and they will come up with the rest.

A lot can change in a year, where will you be in 2019?


Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read this far. I really appreciate your time and hope you have a great 2018 :fistbump:

PS: My dad and I will be heading out to the Summit this week. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone that's going and seeing the faces behind the profiles!
 

AllenCrawley

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I’m so happy to have met you at the Summit this year. You are crushing it! Let me know if I can help in any way.

Thread marked gold and rep’d.
 

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NJ
MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 578286" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Man, I'm so jealous of some of you young guys that have figured it out so quickly. I didn't figure out much of this type of stuff until nearly a decade later. I guess that's why I wrote TMF ...

That's what I feel too. I'm 24 and didn't have much perspectives and an entrepreneur mindset until lately. But I'm glad I got to read TMF in my 20's at least. Thank you so much for this book. I just finished it yesterday and it was a gold miner until the last page.
 

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