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Vigilante

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I thought you guys and gals might get a kick out of a quick "fast lane" exchange I had today.

I stopped by my office, which is about a 9 iron away from Best Buy's corporate office.

Someone stopped by my office while I was there, and asked me if I would help them on something. Something that they... as an employee of someone else's company... was tasked with accomplishing. Could I have done it? Yep. Could they do it without my (uncompensated) help? Yep.

"Sorry. I'm leaving in 5 minutes and can't help you." I said.

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Home" I said.

"At noon? Why?" she asked.

"Because I can. That's the difference between you and me."

She knew exactly what I was talking about.

She looked at the decanter of Jim Beam Black that I keep on a shelf in my office.

"Why do you have that here?" she asked.

"Because I can. That's the difference between you and me. That decanter represents my ability to do what ever the hell I want. And you can't. And that's freedom to me." (I seldom if ever drink from that decanter, by the way. It's more symbolic for me than practical. But I can...)

She left, and went back to the cubicle that had been assigned to her by her employer.

I left, and went home and played with my 7 month old baby.

You could come back to the office 5 years from now... and either she or someone exactly like her will still be occupying that cubicle.

Blaze your own path.
 
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Vigilante

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Bar none... if you remember nothing else from this thread...

(and this wasn't the point of the discussion, but...)

time is the single most important asset that you own.

There are dozens of people that want to "bounce their ideas" off of entrepreneurs. Usually what that means is they hope you will work for them, or their idea, or chase their dreams with them.

To most clock punchers, an entrepreneur is unemployed. I went home at noon today, so I should volunteer my time to their project. (By the way, they are sleeping when you are on the phone with Asia at 2AM, and they're in their pajamas sipping mimosas while you are in your warehouse Saturday morning at 6AM taking inventory... but nobody sees that.) Most people assume you're their free career coach. 99% of them are either moochers or action fakers. The 1% that are action takers reveal themselves as such over time.

Protect your time. Absolutely volunteer your time to worthwhile efforts including teaching people... but on YOUR schedule.

The single most important factor that larger companies don't get is how much time is wasted in non-productive meetings, in singing happy birthday to Patty from seven cubicles over, or in recapping business analysis that is never read by anyone.

Entrepreneurs.. guard your time. That's why you can do more in 2 hours than most "employees" can do in a day.
 
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JAJT

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You guys badmouthing Vigilante don't understand why his approach was better.

It's called a pattern interrupt.

It's a powerful tool that rattles the status quo and snaps people out of their ingrained zombified responses. For brief moments they don't know how to respond and forces them, even for a second, to think about how to respond.

Picture this. She comes to his office, asks for his time and he says "Oh, thanks so much for stopping by, I actually have to get out of here so I'm afraid I can't spend any time with you today, from the sounds of it you likely have it under control anyway - let's talk later".

What was accomplished here? Nothing. She says "okay, thanks so much anyway" and goes about her day. They engaged in normal, everyday chit chat and followed the socially agreed-upon method of declining an offer. The conversation flowed like every conversation throughout every other day to every other person. No braincells were harmed in the making of those sentences.

Now think about his actual response: "Because I can". This isn't a normal response. It wasn't expected. It evokes actually thought. It probably ruined her day as she compared her life. He can go, I can't. He can play with his kid while I hire strangers to watch mine. He can have a drink at work in open view without getting in trouble while I look over my shoulder in crippling fear if i want to watch a video of cats dancing on youtube. Because he can? What the f*ck am I doing with my life?

That's why his response was valuable. It forced thought. When was the last time you ACTUALLY stopped to think during you daily routine? When has your day to day habits been aggressively questioned? Do you live "because I have to" or "because I can"?
 

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Questions I was asked and Things said to me

This past week:
What do you do for a living?
What are your payments on that?
You are one lucky guy to have a Ferrari!
Find me something to sell online. - I love this one!

Things said to me during the real estate boom:
If you find anything good, let me know.
I'm in on your next purchase.

People don't really want your help. They want you to do all the work. I go in the office from 11am to 2pm usually. Why... because I...
 
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Vigilante

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you sound rude, just to rub it in her face.

she ask the wrong questions though.

She stopped by my office... to ask me to do her work for her... for free. She doesn't work for me. Was it rude for her to ask me to do something for her for free? Either way, it doesn't matter as you strike me as the type of person that is likely on the "ask" side of this equation.

She got a free business lesson instead. What I gave her is worth more than what she asked me for.

Save your etiquette lessons for someone else.
 
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Vigilante

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One more aspect of "workers" that they don't get about entrepreneurs...

They are "at work" when they are sitting in their cubicle. Entrepreneurs are "at work" in their car, at dinner, and walking through a mall. We're not confined to time that is quantifiable on a time card.

That is a hard mindset to grasp for people who trade their time for time based compensation.
 

Vigilante

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True story :::

So I was sitting on a remote beach on Oahu on the Hawaiian Islands, ready to watch a surf competition. The competition happens once a year, by private invitation. Only 24 surfers are invited (pros) and they get 24 hour notice when the conditions are perfect. We happened to be staying a few minutes down the road, and timing was lucky.

As I am sitting there in my floppy hat and shades --- sun chair buried deep in the sand --- the only billionaire I know personally in the world sat down next to me and said hello. I marveled at the fact that he was there - small world (there were probably only 50 spectators total there... because the competition literally came up overnight.) And he says "listen... this level of competition only happens once a year with these conditions." We chatted a while. I bet nobody else on the beach even knew who this guy was. That's the way he would want it. He probably flew in on a G6 to catch the waves and the watch the competition (my speculation.. he said nothing of the sort.) He looked like your average tourist/surfer. I know he has a place near there that he visits frequently... but the fact is he was there. On that day. To catch the best of the waves of Hawaii, on the best day to be there.

And I thought to myself ...

"...because he can."

p.s. the money is self made, by his family working together... in this generation.
 

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One more aspect of "workers" that they don't get about entrepreneurs...

They are "at work" when they are sitting in their cubicle. Entrepreneurs are "at work" in their car, at dinner, and walking through a mall. We're not confined to time that is quantifiable on a time card.

That is a hard mindset to grasp for people who trade their time for time based compensation.

You are absolutely right. The employee prefers to escape EVERYTHING work related as soon as their time is up. They go party, drink, and watch American Idol. The entrepreneur is always thinking about ways to do things better. I have honestly thought about a new sales approach while 60 feet under water diving a barrier reef on vacation to the Caribbean.
 
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Vigilante

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MJ's lambo --- to him --- was freedom. It was less about the car, and more about the symbolism. Not a symbol to the world --- but a physical representation to him privately --- that he had made it. He built it. He could --- buy --- a ---- Lambo.

The external world didn't understand his perspective on it, I bet. That wasn't important. How do I know that it was just a symbol of freedom to him? When he decided to... he got rid of it. It was just a car to him at that point.

He didn't need to apologize for it. Some people would look at his Lambo with envy... and those are slow laners. They'll never have one. Some would look at his Lambo and get motivation... and those people some day may be driving one of their own. MJ's Lambo meant the American dream is still real. Two different people could look at the same car and draw two different conclusions as to how it applied to them. Welcome to America.

And I'm not apologetic for my direct answers to her direct questions if you can see the (smaller scale) parallel.
 
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Vigilante

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Those of you dissecting my degree of narcissism completely missed the point.

Fortunately, she didn't. She brought me a halloween cupcake this morning.

Your comments, on the other hand, provide more insight into your own world view than any reflection on me.
 

Greg B

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This thread has been motivational to me and actually drove me to action. I became aware of a need today, walked into a store and made a pitch to solve their need. Within 20 minutes, they are considering using me to fill a 50,000 unit order that will be worth $150k in sales. Keep in mind, I have no equipment or location to make these units should I get the order but I feel like I'm under motion.
 

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Vig,

I'm new to this thread and I know you requested it to be closed ... I have to decline, because this is, once again, one of those GOLD threads. Closing it (or stickifying it) would bury it. Give it a few weeks and it will be in the top ten for views/posts.

There are multiple lessons here ... and great ones at that. And again, some of the lessons are not in reference to the original post, but in the responses that follow.


As for the original post, without body language and vocal tone, one cannot conclude anything.

That said, if I was asked and solicited about "how I did it" - my answers would have been the same.

If anyone asks for my opinion, expect the uncensored truth. If you expect, "rah rah" or "you can do it!" you've asked the wrong person. This lady probably expected a default answer "oh, you know, work hard and dream".

We are similar creatures and I certainly wouldn't worry about the few people here who have decided to interpret your responses within their own framework of esteem.
 

Vigilante

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Life is stranger than fiction.

An unemployed friend asked me today what my job was, because "pretty much all he sees me doing is posting videos of my baby on Facebook."

:)

Let that comment soak in.
 

AllenCrawley

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You all that are calling Vigilante out are spot on! Who does he think he is? Doesn't he have a moral obligation to help this girl out? To do his fair share? After all he clearly has more free time available than she does and he has the skills and ability to actually help her. She's the less fortunate one here. To add insult to injury he proudly rubs her nose in it! She does NOT need a "pattern interrupt"! She clearly needs the government to step in and enforce "time redistribution".

You guys are ridiculous! As I read that story I was thinking how inconsiderate she was for trying to impose on him. BTW, in case you haven't caught on yet, the previous paragraph was sarcasm. As has been said already, some would have responded differently but I can assure you I would have responded in a similar way as Vig. I may not be money rich but I am time rich. I have become more and more guarded of my time and who I let share in it.

I for one am grateful for the sharing of time and expertise Vig has share with us here in this forum. You know why he does that? Because he can!
 
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Vigilante

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Here's to Greg B and to taking action ...

Fastlane 10-31-12.jpg
 

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I remember Russ's posts where he emphasizes time spent vs time projected and wasted. People would come and complain about lack of time. (and results, but NOT effort)

"Oh, I need to find this info and this one.. poor me how long would that take"

Russ - "This would take 5 minutes. Next?!"


"Oh, I spent the day looking up XYZ online"

Russ - "This would take 30 mins. Next?!"



We fake ourselves, lie to yourselves, and are lied to, by ourselves. That's why Vig's message is refreshing. It's the truth to such a person.
 
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Vigilante

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Fact : I average 2-3 partnership inquiries per month.

Fact : I have exactly zero partners.
 

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An unemployed friend asked me today what my job was, because "pretty much all he sees me doing is posting videos of my baby on Facebook."

Such a short statement is profound.

Think about it.

The implication being: If one has a job, one does not have time for family.
 

Greg B

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At one point in my life I would have been offended by your post. I would have suggested spending time with her to teach and show her the way. I'm slowly learning to accept that nobody is out there just looking out for my best interest. Tuff love with a real message will make those who want it stronger. Those who don't get it, probably won't help much.

I have been her before. Asking people more successful how it's done, for help. The more I learn on my own, the more respect I have for others (what they have accomplished and their time) that are successful because I am starting to understand how much effort they have put forth to get where they are.
 
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Vigilante

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People often criticize Bill and Melinda Gates for not giving more to charity.

Those same people ... have no idea how much Bill and Melinda Gates actually have given to charity.
 

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Vigilante, your response was spot on. I also don't have patience for these time wasters anymore.

An old friend usually asks me how she can get rich, get out of debt, etc. When I make suggestions she argues about why she can not do it and why I am wrong, etc. For years she has been asking me this and reacting the same.

I think she is looking for the magic answer that does not require her to do anything. So I have learned to limit my answers or just make a joke because people like this do not really want to know anything.
 
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Vigilante

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Let's look at two approaches.

1. She asked me how I was able to leave at noon (when I got there at 10am) because she lives strapped to her cubicle married to her time card. I gave her a shot of water to the face.
2. She asked me why I had a Madman drink setup in my office. She got the reality of the answer to her question... because I can.

Now lets look at the collective approach of several critics on the thread.
1) I can't help you and
2) get out please.

In the long run, who might you guess she would find to be the a**hole and who would you guess gave her more life?
 

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Somehow I've missed this thread all these years. The first few pages were hilarious. When I first joined the forum I was an idiot and I got berated by half the forum, but within the first month Vigilante gave me a personal phone call. We talked for 5 minutes or so, and his advice has been life changing for me. My wife has been able to stay at home with our son, and it's thanks to his advice. If you get advice from someone like Vig or MJ take it and run with it. If it offends you then you're in the wrong place.
 

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That reminds me, I know I am not "there" yet but my friends all know I will be and work hard to get there. I always get "yo, someday we should be business partners" or "hey, ill go in half with you on a project." Basically, they want me to do all the work and them reap the benefits. There are friends who help me unconditionally and I do not forget them or their help. It is amusing to hear sometimes.

I have a friend that came to me with a "great idea" for a website, proposed a 50/50 partnership. However, he said he didn't have the time to work on it or any cash to invest in having it developed. I guess he thought the idea alone was worth the equity position, lol.
 
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Had my first 'because I can' moment. I use a 100 euro banknote as a bookmark. I was asked why and I answered with 'because I can'. The banknote represents how I no longer live paycheque to paycheque. In the past I'd have taken that hundred and spent double with credit as soon as I had it. Now if I lost the 'bookmark' tomorrow I wouldn't care because I'm in complete control of my finances, which is something most people can't say. :coolgleamA:
 

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I thought you guys and gals might get a kick out of a quick "fast lane" exchange I had today.

I stopped by my office, which is about a 9 iron away from Best Buy's corporate office.

Someone stopped by my office while I was there, and asked me if I would help them on something. Something that they... as an employee of someone else's company... was tasked with accomplishing. Could I have done it? Yep. Could they do it without my (uncompensated) help? Yep.

"Sorry. I'm leaving in 5 minutes and can't help you." I said.

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Home" I said.

"At noon? Why?" she asked.

"Because I can. That's the difference between you and me."

She knew exactly what I was talking about.

She looked at the decanter of Jim Beam Black that I keep on a shelf in my office.

"Why do you have that here?" she asked.

"Because I can. That's the difference between you and me. That decanter represents my ability to do what ever the hell I want. And you can't. And that's freedom to me." (I seldom if ever drink from that decanter, by the way. It's more symbolic for me than practical. But I can...)

She left, and went back to the cubicle that had been assigned to her by her employer.

I left, and went home and played with my 7 month old baby.

You could come back to the office 5 years from now... and either she or someone exactly like her will still be occupying that cubicle.

Blaze your own path.

If I hadn't gotten laid off 4 years ago, I'd be sitting here right now (Sunday morning as I write this), dreading the thought of heading back to the cubical Monday morning.

When I started my business, I would stay up late at night doing mundane things like working on my fliers to hand out to customer prospects, and questioning myself if I was crazy for doing this. Things of course got better as I slowly built up my customer base.

My business is steady now, and it pays the bills. I don't seem to be making as much as I did in the corporate world, but then again, working from a shop in my basement, I can claim a lot on my expenses, so in reality, I'm probably doing about the same as before.

But it didn't take me long to figure out:

I CAN give myself a raise anytime I want by working to get more customers, and not rely on external sources, or having to kiss someone's butt.
I CAN eat lunch when I want.
I CAN run my customer contact schedule to best avoid rush hour traffic (I'm in northern Colorado, and most of my customers are in the Denver area).
I CAN go to the bank and post office when I want without having to tell someone.
I CAN have a beer while I work if I want.
I CAN take a nap during the day if I want (but I'll make up for it by staying up until 2am).

When I read your post, Vigilante, I thought of the time in the beginning of my business when I would be pulling my hair out of my head figuring out how to solve the problems I was facing. Going from a corporate environment where you can tell customers 'someone else' is to blame because they didn't get a problem solved in a timely fashion, where when you're self employed it's solely on YOU to figure out how you'll solve their problem!

This women just didn't 'get it', but maybe you got her to think. Unlike running your own show, she didn't have to be creative when faced with finding a solution to a problem - 'management will take care of it'. In my business, having to learn to improvise is commonplace. Being on this forum is incentive for me to strive to continue to learn and improve.

Whenever I'm working on some pain in the butt repair item that won't cooperate, should have taken a 1/2 hour to fix where I've wasted a better part of a day on, and I'm cursing while thinking about throwing the damn thing against a wall........well, I'll take a break to pause and remember I don't have to go back to that cubicle that had been assigned to me by my employer.

Thank you!
 

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