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GOLD! Anatomy of A Failed Fastlane (What You Can Learn From My Mistakes)

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Contrarian

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Dude you’re literally nuts. This is a multi-million dollar idea any you need to patent it ASAP. How accurate is it as predicting On-The-Job Success? If it’s anything over ~80% you’re nuts (nuts nuts NUTS) for not pursuing it. You probably did a sh*t job of marketing it. Dude I don’t think this idea is ready for the trash can just yet. Dust ‘em off and get back in there.

Hmm.

I didn't create the performance-based job description. I borrowed the concept from a guy called Lou Adler (who undoubtedly is worth 8 figures): Performance-based Job Description

And that formed one step of the "7-Step Performance & Behavioural Hiring System" we went to market with.

When used in skilled hands, it's extremely accurate. 90%+. It never occurred to me to build a business selling my own hiring system, independent of offering a recruiting service.

You're right though. That should have occurred to me! I was pretty soured on the recruiting industry at that point.


Thanks for asking after me @MJ DeMarco

Yeah, things are going much better nowadays.

It's been a crazy nine months in the making, but I'm still getting my marketplace business in the tourism industry ready for launch. Knee deep in the desert of desertion for sure. There's a progress thread on the inside that badly needs an update. I've scheduled that in for tomorrow now.

I've just created a role for myself heading up marketing at the company I've been selling freelance for over the past year and a bit. Taking everything I learned from the recruitment business and from my marketplace so far. My goal is to quadruple their revenue in the next 12 months and I'm certain I can do it. So now I'm getting paid to do things that improve my ability to run an online business. And just in case my marketplace doesn't work, I'll be able to use that success (and my network) to launch a high-ticket B2B marketing agency.

I'm also doing freelance recruiting work to load up the savings account. Should have at least $50k in the war chest by the end of the year.

And @Kung Fu Steve 's coaching has been invaluable this past couple of months. I've gone from being overwhelmed by feeling like I've got too much on my plate to breezing through 14-16 hour days with a smile on my face. And dropped 18lbs to boot.

So tying this back to the thread. I regret nothing about the recruitment business. It taught me what I needed to know to do what I'm doing now. And what I'm doing now is teaching me what I'll need to know how to do next.

Even though I've already invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into my marketplace business, I won't regret it if that fails either. I've already learned a massive amount.

For the sake of clarity, I'm not planning on failing. But it's an extremely complicated business model to get off the ground, so I do accept that it might not stick. If so - I've learned plenty enough already to make a more straightforward business very successful.

Process, process, process.
 

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Contrarian

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If your system is as accurate as you say it is, you need to get in on this ASAP. I’ll literally work on it with you if no one else will.

Bro do you know how much one bad hiring decision costs a company? I’ve heard averages anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. I mean realistically it can be anywhere, but it’s very damaging.

Zappos used to prospective employees a deal. . After a successful interview and training they say off them $1000 plus the hours they worked to quit. You don’t have to work. You go home, sit on your a$$, and get $1000. Why? $1000 is literally nothing in comparison to a bad hire.

Harvard Business Review: Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit–And You Should Too

But again, if your system does what you’re saying it does, it’s big. Imagine a piece of software that could produce stock returns with 80% accuracy. And employees are way more important.

Your idea is good, but I see no good evidence of a workable marketing strategy and that’s your issue. What’s your WIIFM? “What’s In It For Me.” They need to know specifically how they will benefit from this idea. Okay cool, you can predict if an employee is good or not. I know the importance of that. You know the importance of that. They don’t. Now how does that benefit the client. Interview HR workers. Interview small business owners. Get horror stories of bad hires. And immerse yourself with stories about how a great hire can really help someone’s business. You’re no longer selling an algorithm.You’re selling great employees. Make that your sales pitch. It’s akin to saying “okay this computer display has a 4323 x 2323423 Megawatthertz Electrogasm pixel display”.. alright, what the sh*t does that mean lol... “Your pictures look so good they’ll make your head spin.” Also I think you need to target CEOs and shareholders more than HR. CEOs and shareholders have more ‘skin in the game,’ and these decisions directly impact their bottom line.

but bro, companies go through so much work to get good employees. They comb through boring resumes, put prospective employees through rounds and rounds of interviews, and still after all that are only relying on a gut instinct hunch. It’s an ancient, archaic system. You have a number. A score. Have you never seen Moneyball? Please watch that movie if you havent A similar system to what your describing was used to assess baseball players in the mid 2000’s and it flipped baseball on it’s f*cking ear. It was basically a “Player performance algorithm” and it literally changed everything about baseball and how players were picked.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4QPVo0UIzc


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGf6LNWY9AI


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjf1O4jMqeM


I wrote a post on this a while back. I mean I’d pursue this or you’re gonna be kicking yourself in 2 years when someone comes up with something similar.

You're spot on about most companies' hiring processes being a complete train wreck.

Lou Adler who I mentioned above is a big name in the hiring world. And he certainly has a raving fanbase. But he and people like him are but a drop in the ocean in the overall market.

And this has always been my frustration with working in the recruiting industry. Nobody gives a shit. Hiring is something they only care about when they have an emergency, and then they usually want what's fast and cheap.

Compare awareness and adoption of Lou Adler's (or similar) principles in hiring to, say, Neil Patel in digital marketing. Or Miller Heimann or Challenger in sales. Marketers care about marketing best practices. Sales reps care about sales best practices. They only care about hiring when they're forced to care. Don't even get me started on HR!

There's an empire to be built there for sure. But it doesn't warm my heart.
 

ZF Lee

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Don't even get me started on HR!
I think I know where the shitshow all came from...
I'm working with 3rd year students on a group project, and one of them is doing a HR unit.

The entire ordeal is a ramshackle, and I'm like:
2gf7dv.jpg
 

Kung Fu Steve

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Hmm.

I didn't create the performance-based job description. I borrowed the concept from a guy called Lou Adler (who undoubtedly is worth 8 figures): Performance-based Job Description

And that formed one step of the "7-Step Performance & Behavioural Hiring System" we went to market with.

When used in skilled hands, it's extremely accurate. 90%+. It never occurred to me to build a business selling my own hiring system, independent of offering a recruiting service.

You're right though. That should have occurred to me! I was pretty soured on the recruiting industry at that point.



Thanks for asking after me @MJ DeMarco

Yeah, things are going much better nowadays.

It's been a crazy nine months in the making, but I'm still getting my marketplace business in the tourism industry ready for launch. Knee deep in the desert of desertion for sure. There's a progress thread on the inside that badly needs an update. I've scheduled that in for tomorrow now.

I've just created a role for myself heading up marketing at the company I've been selling freelance for over the past year and a bit. Taking everything I learned from the recruitment business and from my marketplace so far. My goal is to quadruple their revenue in the next 12 months and I'm certain I can do it. So now I'm getting paid to do things that improve my ability to run an online business. And just in case my marketplace doesn't work, I'll be able to use that success (and my network) to launch a high-ticket B2B marketing agency.

I'm also doing freelance recruiting work to load up the savings account. Should have at least $50k in the war chest by the end of the year.

And @Kung Fu Steve 's coaching has been invaluable this past couple of months. I've gone from being overwhelmed by feeling like I've got too much on my plate to breezing through 14-16 hour days with a smile on my face. And dropped 18lbs to boot.

So tying this back to the thread. I regret nothing about the recruitment business. It taught me what I needed to know to do what I'm doing now. And what I'm doing now is teaching me what I'll need to know how to do next.

Even though I've already invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into my marketplace business, I won't regret it if that fails either. I've already learned a massive amount.

For the sake of clarity, I'm not planning on failing. But it's an extremely complicated business model to get off the ground, so I do accept that it might not stick. If so - I've learned plenty enough already to make a more straightforward business very successful.

Process, process, process.

I appreciate the love but you're the one walking the path ;)
 

Phil Yu

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Aug 25, 2020
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Wow. I am supposed to be doing my CPA study but i spent the last hour reading your post. I read every single one, word by word. Thank you so much for sharing, i truly learned alot from your experience.
 

Contrarian

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Nov 13, 2014
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Wow. I am supposed to be doing my CPA study but i spent the last hour reading your post. I read every single one, word by word. Thank you so much for sharing, i truly learned alot from your experience.

Wow, I'm really glad to hear this was useful to you Phil. You're welcome!
 

Zaent

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Aug 5, 2017
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Wow, I'm really glad to hear this was useful to you Phil. You're welcome!
Incredible thread in its own right but particularly so to me because of how much I can identify with your situation. I'm an agency recruiter in the technology sales space.

I landed in recruitment almost 3 years ago after moving to a bigger city for more opportunity. It was supposed to be a temporary gig, and I found it after reading TMF, but my eyes lit up when I saw the low barrier to entry in doing it alone and the seeming ability to earn ~£200k a year if you were decent. Because of that I've stuck around, thinking that I would soon get to the point of being able to go solo and save ~100k to invest in my own, more scalable projects.

My experience has been very similar to yours, albeit much shorter by the sounds of things. I put in the work and smashed it my first year, being the highest percentage against target recruiter of the ~15 in the agency. I had a smaller target than more experienced recruiters, but still beat out a few other newbies in the same boat as me. In 2020 with covid I did half what I got in my first year, and now in 2021 I'm jaded and unenthusiastic. My mind has been on automation and side hustles. I'm frustrated to sell a service that no customer values, even when delivered exceptionally.

Career-wise, I feel capable of bigger things. I'm commercially savvy and technically astute, with a first-class honours degree in physics. I only do this because of the potential I thought it held. The amount of competition, lack of respect for the service, and time-consuming nature of the work makes me feel like I might be best to cut the cord now and save myself the headaches you have experienced, though.

It's like you said, are the smart entrepreneurs flocking to the recruitment industry? It doesn't seem so. There's money to be made for sure, but it takes so much to be successful that I'm now thinking there's likely some far better options.

What, though?

I'm interested in your journey and any advice you might have, as well as any posts or mentors you might be able to point me to. Thank you for documenting your story and I hope things are going well.
 

Student

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Apr 17, 2021
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I've been away from the forum for a while.

You may or may not remember me. Either way, that's not important.

I first came here two and a half years ago, a few months after reading TMF. The book that changed my life forever, although not as quickly or as much as I would have liked - for reasons of my own making.

Soppy stuff doesn't come easily to me, but I must take a moment to express my sincere and undying gratitude to @MJ DeMarco. I don't know where I would be or what road I would be on now had I not found the book or this forum, but I would certainly be a lot worse off.

When I first came here, I felt trapped in a job I absolutely despised, working for people I viewed with contempt, with others who hated it just as much as I did but who continued to work there year after year anyway.

I hated it so much I once watched back-to-back episodes of 24 from the moment I got home through to 7 in the morning, just to escape the reality of it. Yeah, almost a whole season.

I'd been screwed out of £15,000 commission from my previous employer, and fired with no notice for daring to discuss a business opportunity with somebody else and being naive enough to mention it to a snitch. Being the sidewalker that I was, I'd earmarked most of that money to pay off my credit card debt from living beyond my means. I had no savings whatsoever. I took the job because I had to.

Today, things are very different.

Thank you, more than words could ever express.

Bleurgh...OK, enough with the soppy stuff. :)

So what happened in the meantime?

A bunch of stuff. I've (almost) always worked in recruitment, so I spent a few months doing freelance recruitment. I investigated a bunch of ideas, one seriously, and which was massively beyond my financial means.

In the end, I created a recruitment business with a previous employer - one that I'd always stayed on good terms with, and kept in touch with.

I desperately wanted to start a business. I didn't have any money. I lacked direction. I was running away from more than I was running towards. Here I had a willing partner and investor. Here I had a ready-made escape. One that I took.

You wise folks will no doubt already be thinking - first mistake. And you'd be absolutely right.

This thread will chronicle the fifteen months that followed that decision. The mistakes, the failures, the learning points, and also the successes. I'll update this with a new post every day.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about the circumstances surrounding that first mistake. Why I made it, why deep down I knew it was a mistake even as I was making it, and why I went ahead and did it anyway.

Beyond that, I'll cover areas of success and failure in the business itself - the hollow victory of being anointed a "thought leader" despite having no clients, a marketing strategy that worked brilliantly (but also didn't work at all), the folly of trying to scale the unscaleable, and many more things besides.

Stay tuned for part two...
Hello Contrarian,
It's okay to make mistakes in life. That's how you become wise. The bigger the mistake, the bigger the lesson. But please share the rest of the story with us, so that we can all become wise.
 

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