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NOTABLE! Business is easy and it affects forum participation from heavy hitters.

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Ravens_Shadow

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Part 1: Business is easy, internal battles are hard.​



I’ve been pondering about my view that business as a whole is easy, it’s fighting your internal battles while building a successful company that’s hard. The tasks that I do on a daily basis are mostly simple and I’m honestly just typing stuff or clicking my mouse in a certain order based on decisions that I make day in and day out. Whether it deals with taxes or selling to a fortune 500 company, or managing my team, it’s a mostly simple set of processes if you have the knowledge. Getting the knowledge is pretty easy as well as all you have to do is try to do the task, see where you fail, and then try a different approach. If tasks are well out of your realm of knowledge and you don’t want to do that task, you delegate to a professional and now everything is easy again. With a business you have four core things that you need to get right:

  • You need to offer a product or service that provides value to a customer, with some value skew that is better than competitors.
  • You need to spread the word about your product or service so that people can buy it.
  • You need good customer service/onboarding/support.
  • Sales to back all of this up.

That’s it, that’s all a business needs at its core to be successful. At the heart of these four things are a lot of nitty gritty processes that have to happen to make your product a reality. I do want to clarify and say that solving a problem, or doing R&D for a new product, may be extremely difficult. In my businesses case, our product R&D was very difficult, but most of that work was delegated to my team and I just vetted the work as it was completed (easy). Where it got hard was having the patience not to pivot, or having the patience to keep pushing through with the R&D and justifying to myself why it was necessary to keep spending more money until we got it right.


Where the journey gets hard is dealing with your internal struggles:

  • The business isn’t making any money yet, I need to pivot immediately!
  • Why did that customer say that to me? I need to defend myself and show him he’s wrong!
  • Oh shit, that wasn’t supposed to happen and now our customer is pissed! Let me get super stressed about it and try to figure this out in the most painful way possible.
  • Why didn’t I reach my revenue goal? I must be a shitty entrepreneur that isn’t cut out for this.
  • You know what? This is taking a lot of time and work day in and day out.. Maybe I should just give up on this idea?

Day in and day out we fight internal battles over what our definition of success is, what revenues we should’ve hit by now, what customers we should’ve had by now, or some other expectation that wasn’t met. When we don’t meet these expectations we often feel let down, and in my opinion without good reason. Everything in business that is difficult deals with your core emotions. The tasks are easy, the emotional toll isn’t.

If you can learn to control your emotions, stress levels, and patience.. you may find that your business is actually quite easy, and if it isn’t easy, the process to learn how to do it is when you break it down. The ability to keep on keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other, or slogging through the desert of desertion is where it gets hard. When you’re so far in the weeds and you don’t even remember how you started your journey, yet you’re still miles away from your goal.. That’s when it gets hard. Everything with business is a test of mental aptitude and toughness. If we can learn to control our emotions and keep a level head, we may just find that both running our business and managing our internal struggles are easy to overcome.

Part 2: Forum participation by successful entrepreneurs​


The theory above leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about: Forum participation from the eyes of someone who has built a successful business.

Many people join this forum every day, make a big introduction and then fade away. In the past (and some today still hang around) we’ve had heavy hitters making huge contributions to the forum in hopes that newcomers and regulars will be able to succeed with the knowledge that is being passed on. The same questions from newbies appear over and over: How do I start a business, should I go to school, should I leave my girlfriend/boyfriend etc and I think that this inability for someone to come up with their own solutions to simple questions time and time again can frustrate the heavier hitters out there. Alright, so newbies are asking questions, they may not be the right questions, but they are asking questions and participating in the forum none the less.

So why is it that you almost never see serious questions being asked by people with businesses doing over $1m in revenue here on the forum? The answer to this problem lies in the fact that people who are capable of building a business to that revenue number are capable of solving their internal problems and problems with the business themselves. They have figured out the process of asking the right questions and solving problems themselves. Whether it’s a google search, a brain dump into a google doc or spread sheet, or a phone call to a friend, these are more efficient ways of solving tough problems. I currently cannot think of a question that I could ask the forum that I couldn’t solve for myself and in a lot of cases, I feel like I would get better results by asking someone I know directly. And since we know the hard part of business is emotional/internal, more likely than not, we aren't going to vent that here on the forum.

So where does that leave the heavy hitters? Well, the only thing we can do is post threads about our experiences and hope that it helps others on their journey. The questions out there that are being asked are rehashes and we don't want to answer them. When I see these questions, I just ignore them because I know that more likely than not, that person will get their answer and never come back. My time is valuable and is best spent either updating my progress thread for my own journeys documentation or writing up larger one off posts like this one vs responding to anyone directly.

Some good threads come up from time to time from heavy hitters, but they are more philosophical in nature rather than a call for help. So what is the role of the forum now for us? Once we reach a certain level of success and we no longer need the forums help, what's keeping us around? The summits are great and it's one of the things that I look forward to the most each year, but it's only once a year either through MJ or another group of guys and the connections that we make in person are extremely strong. I get my "fill" of other entrepreneurs through one on one chats with my friends that I met at these events. I don't know how to keep heavy hitters here and incite more participation other than encouraging the offload of knowledge in return for the forum or books helping you if they have.

Just a thought.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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So, in your estimation does the forum only exist for the following three possibilities?

1. Inspiring others.
2. Asking specific questions
3. Emotional venting.
 

Ravens_Shadow

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So, in your estimation does the forum only exist for the following three possibilities?

1. Inspiring others.
2. Asking specific questions
3. Emotional venting.
Yes, and a 4th possibility would be general water cooler talk with like minded people. 5th would be spreading knowledge which is the most important point here.
 
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Kung Fu Steve

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I lurk everyday.

I try to cherry pick a few posts here and there to respond to someone who I think asked a genuine question (regardless of where they're at in their journey).

Once in a blue moon I'll write something up (philosophical, you're right, I've learned there is no such thing as a business problem. There are only personal problems that effect your business).

But if I'm being honest... I struggle with a many of the "big contributors" on the forum right now. Most give out horrible advice. Never ask clarifying questions. And there's lots and lots of ego. And people eat it up. Especially someone who's just getting started in business.

Never forget there's a bit of a shadow forum on here too. There's many brilliant people who lurk still but just don't post for those reasons. I get at least one phone call a week from a fastlaner.

We love the forum. Always have.

But these days, some of us just want to sit behind the velvet ropes away from the chaos and 30k millionaires :)

P.S. I've been thinking long and hard about posting a progress thread in the insiders. Still trying to work out the details but I may just do it for my new venture.
 

ljean

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How about a sub-forum for "heavy hitters" only, to shoot the sh*t and the like?
 

Ismail941

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I agree we are not perfect.

Demarco shared and shares what worked for him. It doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for everyone Like 8 billion people. I can acknowledge that, people who are new - they tend to take personally if entrepreneur is not Meant for them.

But it might be gonna work as inspiring and aspiring people. I think the word is proximity. Proximity is powerful. If good people are coming to this forum with entrepreneur intention, that means they are looking for Right guidance.
 

Greg R

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Part 1: Business is easy, internal battles are hard.​



I’ve been pondering about my view that business as a whole is easy, it’s fighting your internal battles while building a successful company that’s hard. The tasks that I do on a daily basis are mostly simple and I’m honestly just typing stuff or clicking my mouse in a certain order based on decisions that I make day in and day out. Whether it deals with taxes or selling to a fortune 500 company, or managing my team, it’s a mostly simple set of processes if you have the knowledge. Getting the knowledge is pretty easy as well as all you have to do is try to do the task, see where you fail, and then try a different approach. If tasks are well out of your realm of knowledge and you don’t want to do that task, you delegate to a professional and now everything is easy again. With a business you have four core things that you need to get right:

  • You need to offer a product or service that provides value to a customer, with some value skew that is better than competitors.
  • You need to spread the word about your product or service so that people can buy it.
  • You need good customer service/onboarding/support.
  • Sales to back all of this up.

That’s it, that’s all a business needs at its core to be successful. At the heart of these four things are a lot of nitty gritty processes that have to happen to make your product a reality. I do want to clarify and say that solving a problem, or doing R&D for a new product, may be extremely difficult. In my businesses case, our product R&D was very difficult, but most of that work was delegated to my team and I just vetted the work as it was completed (easy). Where it got hard was having the patience not to pivot, or having the patience to keep pushing through with the R&D and justifying to myself why it was necessary to keep spending more money until we got it right.


Where the journey gets hard is dealing with your internal struggles:

  • The business isn’t making any money yet, I need to pivot immediately!
  • Why did that customer say that to me? I need to defend myself and show him he’s wrong!
  • Oh shit, that wasn’t supposed to happen and now our customer is pissed! Let me get super stressed about it and try to figure this out in the most painful way possible.
  • Why didn’t I reach my revenue goal? I must be a shitty entrepreneur that isn’t cut out for this.
  • You know what? This is taking a lot of time and work day in and day out.. Maybe I should just give up on this idea?

Day in and day out we fight internal battles over what our definition of success is, what revenues we should’ve hit by now, what customers we should’ve had by now, or some other expectation that wasn’t met. When we don’t meet these expectations we often feel let down, and in my opinion without good reason. Everything in business that is difficult deals with your core emotions. The tasks are easy, the emotional toll isn’t.

If you can learn to control your emotions, stress levels, and patience.. you may find that your business is actually quite easy, and if it isn’t easy, the process to learn how to do it is when you break it down. The ability to keep on keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other, or slogging through the desert of desertion is where it gets hard. When you’re so far in the weeds and you don’t even remember how you started your journey, yet you’re still miles away from your goal.. That’s when it gets hard. Everything with business is a test of mental aptitude and toughness. If we can learn to control our emotions and keep a level head, we may just find that both running our business and managing our internal struggles are easy to overcome.

Part 2: Forum participation by successful entrepreneurs​


The theory above leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about: Forum participation from the eyes of someone who has built a successful business.

Many people join this forum every day, make a big introduction and then fade away. In the past (and some today still hang around) we’ve had heavy hitters making huge contributions to the forum in hopes that newcomers and regulars will be able to succeed with the knowledge that is being passed on. The same questions from newbies appear over and over: How do I start a business, should I go to school, should I leave my girlfriend/boyfriend etc and I think that this inability for someone to come up with their own solutions to simple questions time and time again can frustrate the heavier hitters out there. Alright, so newbies are asking questions, they may not be the right questions, but they are asking questions and participating in the forum none the less.

So why is it that you almost never see serious questions being asked by people with businesses doing over $1m in revenue here on the forum? The answer to this problem lies in the fact that people who are capable of building a business to that revenue number are capable of solving their internal problems and problems with the business themselves. They have figured out the process of asking the right questions and solving problems themselves. Whether it’s a google search, a brain dump into a google doc or spread sheet, or a phone call to a friend, these are more efficient ways of solving tough problems. I currently cannot think of a question that I could ask the forum that I couldn’t solve for myself and in a lot of cases, I feel like I would get better results by asking someone I know directly. And since we know the hard part of business is emotional/internal, more likely than not, we aren't going to vent that here on the forum.

So where does that leave the heavy hitters? Well, the only thing we can do is post threads about our experiences and hope that it helps others on their journey. The questions out there that are being asked are rehashes and we don't want to answer them. When I see these questions, I just ignore them because I know that more likely than not, that person will get their answer and never come back. My time is valuable and is best spent either updating my progress thread for my own journeys documentation or writing up larger one off posts like this one vs responding to anyone directly.

Some good threads come up from time to time from heavy hitters, but they are more philosophical in nature rather than a call for help. So what is the role of the forum now for us? Once we reach a certain level of success and we no longer need the forums help, what's keeping us around? The summits are great and it's one of the things that I look forward to the most each year, but it's only once a year either through MJ or another group of guys and the connections that we make in person are extremely strong. I get my "fill" of other entrepreneurs through one on one chats with my friends that I met at these events. I don't know how to keep heavy hitters here and incite more participation other than encouraging the offload of knowledge in return for the forum or books helping you if they have.

Just a thought.
Thanks for the perspective @Ravens_Shadow. It has been amazing to have a seat at the table and being able to watch your progress.

I show up to the forum almost every day or a few times a week to check-in. More lurking now... And now I use the forum as a database when problems do arise. More importantly, I pass the forum and book on to the high schoolers that I'm mentoring.

My business has been doing better than it ever has, but I no longer feel the need to tell everyone about it. Process and execution are the same as well, just the numbers are getting gradually bigger. My process was the same as before so there is no sense repeating it.

Substitute context and everyone's process is virtually the same in essence.
 

jesseissorude

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So what is the role of the forum now for us?

Sometimes there's a question I have that is answered in a long thread from years ago, and I stumble across it because of the search function (and by digesting a huge thread that spans years of discussion... the options trading thread was a great example)

But those answers are out there already.

For new posts, I personally get the most benefit from reading progress threads. I want to find out how someone got to the point of a forum being an inefficient way to get your questions answered.

Once we reach a certain level of success and we no longer need the forums help, what's keeping us around?
My time is valuable and is best spent either updating my progress thread for my own journeys documentation

Updating progress threads is the most helpful for us small guys. It teaches how you solved a problem instead of providing a discrete answer like "use CBO on ur FB ads lol"
I lurk those threads like crazy and just never interact because I'm absorbing.
As Ismail941 just said:
Proximity is powerful.
---


"big contributors" on the forum right now. Most give out horrible advice. Never ask clarifying questions. And there's lots and lots of ego. And people eat it up.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who's had this thought.
 

MJ DeMarco

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The forum has an self-extinguishing business model.

Success usually means departure, unless those who departed have something to sell, like an expensive coaching program or some type of paid mentorship -- then they return. It is somewhat sad to see someone return after X years after having some type of success, and the only reason why they return is to sell their $1997 coaching program or some other selling proposition.

The forum is kinda like Match.com -- if you find the love of your life, you have no need for Match.com. Success at Match = They Lose A Customer.

If you succeed at business, or are in scaling mode from $2M+, the answers to problems need much more dedicated silos of information and knowledge, which usually is found in trial and error, or through internal deliberation. The more you advance in business, the less help you will find from the "general public".

I know in my own business (publishing) there are questions I can't ask because I simply don't expect anyone to be in the same situation as me.
 

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The forum has an self-extinguishing business model.

As I focused on my own industry (same as yours for those who don't know), fewer posts applied to it (vs being in the phase of building a business and not knowing what to do) so I stopped reading/responding to many threads.

But there were other things that started interesting me more, and out of all the communities I've participated in so far, I know I can always find someone on this forum interested in these new things who is also an entrepreneur and has an unscripted mind.

So I may no longer check and reply to certain business threads but I'm more active in investing threads, personal growth threads, etc. To me, this forum isn't just a business forum. It's a 100% lifestyle forum with people eager to question dogmas, build alternative lifestyles, and continue learning new stuff. Business is a big part of it, but so are many other topics often discussed on this forum.
 

Johnny boy

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Usually the guys doing well are happy with their progress. They have the fundamentals down and they know the answers are pretty simple.

Love your post, most of life is just about avoiding the 99 million common pitfalls that are tempting and easy to screw up. It’s an easy game but when there’s so many ways to make stupid mistakes, it makes it a little harder for most people. There’s always something holding them back.
 

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I’m regularly in the forum, Facebook groups, and now on Twitter it seems.

I like helping people one-to-one, seeing patterns, trying to find the root cause, trying to summarise, and then trying to help at scale by creating something to point people to going forward.

When I was in IT peers would laugh because I’d keep saying “I’ve a script for that” (meaning I’ve written some code to solve that problem that keeps coming up). Over the years in here I now hunt around for threads I’ve written instead of scripts.

It can get tiring answering the same questions, but I try to remember they’re not from the same people.

I post loads of little progress threads in the hope some people are inspired to also start without knowing wtf they’re doing. I forget to update some and some just trail off. I don’t think it matters. If the breadcrumbs help them great. I get clarity writing.

I think I’ve learned to write better. More to the point, more supportive, more so folks think for themselves (by asking questions).

But then, I find people and their stories fascinating. Except for those who think I’m here to build a personal brand and use the forum for lead gen purposes. I’ve learned to ignore those folks, and even thank them for encouraging me to step outside the forum and actually build a personal brand for lead gen purposes.

I still like the forum, I’m just more wary of people.
 

Andy Black

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As to your excellent post @Ravens_Shadow ... the more experienced we get at anything the simpler it seems.

At the moment I think business is incredibly simple:

“Add value. Get paid.”

The reason it’s not easy is because we f*ck it up and over-complicate it. And that’s because we don’t believe it’s that simple, and believe every Tom, Dick, and Harry who tells us what we “need” to do to be in business.

It’s interesting seeing the different paths taken by those in motion. What they have in common is a zero f*cks given and an “I’m doing it anyway” attitude.
 

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MJ called me out a couple years ago on this.

I didn't choose my words very carefully and said something along the lines of "I don't get any value here anymore" -- while it kind of felt that way in a moment of weakness he pointed out something (very lovingly) that if it weren't for several people on this forum I wouldn't be at the place I am today.

He didn't say that because he was trying to be a dick. He said it because he was right.

I started lurking here early 2008 and since then, 3 7-figure businesses later and becoming the head trainer for Tony, traveled the world, did all this stuff -- NONE of that would have happened if it weren't for the people I met here.

I owe this community big time.

So while I don't always post and I tend to avoid several unnamed individuals on here because I know they're full of shit -- I'm not going anywhere.

I'll do my best to provide value along the way and maybe my silly little posts help someone like the old posts helped me.
 

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So why is it that you almost never see serious questions being asked by people with businesses doing over $1m in revenue here on the forum? The answer to this problem lies in the fact that people who are capable of building a business to that revenue number are capable of solving their internal problems and problems with the business themselves. They have figured out the process of asking the right questions and solving problems themselves.

I think this is the main reason. When you are first starting you don't even know where to start or what to ask. That's why we see many general questions about LLCs, dropshipping, trademarks, etc... But as you start to progress and learn, you wouldn't ask super specific niche questions on this forum. It's just too general and chances of getting an answer by someone that's in the exact same boat is slim.

If I had an Airbnb specific question about what style dining table to get, I'd post it on biggerpockets or a dedicated vacation rental forum.

If I had a super specific FBA question, I'd post it in an Amazon seller forum.

This is of course, after I've googled and youtubed my question, called my CPA/attorney and have asked all of my friends that sell on Amazon. Only then, do I usually post a question some where.

The people doing over $1m in revenue can help by answering the general questions that pertain to all types of businesses.

EDIT: I see my original post got cut off.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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But there were other things that started interesting me more, and out of all the communities I've participated in so far, I know I can always find someone on this forum interested in these new things who is also an entrepreneur and has an unscripted mind.

Yes, I've been very happy having discussions that pertain to meditation, mindfulness, happiness, and other disciplines not really directly related to business. This is because Unscription is not about succeeding in business, but about succeeding in life, with business being the means and the methods.

For example, @Johnny boy reporting of his DMT experience. . . not business related, but very interesting to hear the perspective.

What good is a successful business if you're miserable every step of the way, and after as well?

Also, the more experience I get in dealing with entrepreneurs, the more I realize that 90% of this game is the inner game; beliefs, mindset, motivation -- that 90% has a knack of figuring out the 10% -- which is the action and application.

I realize this is frustrating to most newbie/wannabe entrepreneurs -- they want to enter this game with the same negative beliefs and poverty mindset and still succeed.

Until you beat the inside game, you'll never win the outside game.

that if it weren't for several people on this forum I wouldn't be at the place I am today.

Maybe not, maybe so.

Perhaps the forum just shortened your learning curve and you are where you are now in 10 years, instead of 20. In other words, give yourself some credit. You were willing to work the inside game, to get the outside game right. Your inside game led you here, and the rest was like going with the wind at your back...
 

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I owe this community big time.
And the community owes you big time. I always look forward to a Kung Fu Steve sighting.

Until you beat the inside game, you'll never win the outside game.

I have personal experience backed up with numbers and data that have proven this in my life. I just wish new people on the forum could understand they need to buckle up and dedicate themselves to something that will take years. You mention in your books that it's a process, but I think it's very difficult to de-program yourself from thinking there is a silver bullet easy solution. This is America after all.

I am working on gathering all of this stuff that took me years to straighten out and post it. It's just so much work, but I believe it will help someone else if it has helped me. To me the value of the forum is connecting. Learning that someone else has the same struggles, that you aren't a freak. That someone else has been there and done that. And most importantly, sharing the failures so the rest of us can save years of struggle. That's huge.

IMO I don't think there is a better forum out there for this topic.
 
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biophase

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Also, the more experience I get in dealing with entrepreneurs, the more I realize that 90% of this game is the inner game; beliefs, mindset, motivation -- that 90% has a knack of figuring out the 10% -- which is the action and application.
That's something that I've definitely learned and seen throughout the years. The goal of wanting to make money is a thin shell. If you don't have your brain in the proper spot as it pertains to your health, lifestyle and habits, you won't last very long in business.
 

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The forum has an self-extinguishing business model.

Success usually means departure, unless those who departed have something to sell, like an expensive coaching program or some type of paid mentorship -- then they return. It is somewhat sad to see someone return after X years after having some type of success, and the only reason why they return is to sell their $1997 coaching program or some other selling proposition.

The forum is kinda like Match.com -- if you find the love of your life, you have no need for Match.com. Success at Match = They Lose A Customer.

If you succeed at business, or are in scaling mode from $2M+, the answers to problems need much more dedicated silos of information and knowledge, which usually is found in trial and error, or through internal deliberation. The more you advance in business, the less help you will find from the "general public".

I know in my own business (publishing) there are questions I can't ask because I simply don't expect anyone to be in the same situation as me.
Well I'm here for a couple of reasons. Besides the friends that I have on this site, I like being able to help. I haven't been posting much lately as there are only a small handful of people that care about the knowledge that I have.

I posted a lot of information many years ago. That information just melted away into the archives.

I already had business success prior to coming to this forum. But I've still gained knowledge, made lifelong friends, and have been able to witness many success stories (including @Ravens_Shadow ).

*Edit* removed info not related to post...

I truly like what has been done here. You have built an incredible resource for many that need it.
 
Last edited:

Kung Fu Steve

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Well I'm here for a couple of reasons. Besides the friends that I have on this site, I like being able to help. I haven't been posting much lately as there are only a small handful of people that care about the knowledge that I have.

I posted a lot of information many years ago. That information just melted away into the archives.

I already had business success prior to coming to this forum. But I've still gained knowledge, made lifelong friends, and have been able to witness many success stories (including @Ravens_Shadow ).

If I remember correctly, my success story was removed partly due to the fact that it was not as a result of this forum or books.

I truly like what has been done here. You have built an incredible resource for many that need it.

Love you, brother. You took me under your wing at the beginning.

Drinks are on me ... at the all inclusive resort...
 

MJ DeMarco

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my success story was removed partly due to the fact that it was not as a result of this forum or books.

Did I do that? If so, I don't remember, nor would I understand why I would.

Here is your bio...

 

ljean

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Did I do that? If so, I don't remember, nor would I understand why I would.

Here is your bio...

There are only three "featured user" tags on the forum?
 

SteveO

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Did I do that? If so, I don't remember, nor would I understand why I would.

Here is your bio...

Thanks for that. I was talking about the first success story that I had posted around 9 or 10 years ago.

Not a big deal though. We did talk about it a number of years ago and you gave me a couple reasons.

I should not have brought this up. It was not necessary in the context of my post. Sorry. I was composing a positive post. Don't know why I added that.

I've been ill the last couple days and just got in one of those moods.
 

Marigold

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Part 1: Business is easy, internal battles are hard.​



I’ve been pondering about my view that business as a whole is easy, it’s fighting your internal battles while building a successful company that’s hard. The tasks that I do on a daily basis are mostly simple and I’m honestly just typing stuff or clicking my mouse in a certain order based on decisions that I make day in and day out. Whether it deals with taxes or selling to a fortune 500 company, or managing my team, it’s a mostly simple set of processes if you have the knowledge. Getting the knowledge is pretty easy as well as all you have to do is try to do the task, see where you fail, and then try a different approach. If tasks are well out of your realm of knowledge and you don’t want to do that task, you delegate to a professional and now everything is easy again. With a business you have four core things that you need to get right:

  • You need to offer a product or service that provides value to a customer, with some value skew that is better than competitors.
  • You need to spread the word about your product or service so that people can buy it.
  • You need good customer service/onboarding/support.
  • Sales to back all of this up.

That’s it, that’s all a business needs at its core to be successful. At the heart of these four things are a lot of nitty gritty processes that have to happen to make your product a reality. I do want to clarify and say that solving a problem, or doing R&D for a new product, may be extremely difficult. In my businesses case, our product R&D was very difficult, but most of that work was delegated to my team and I just vetted the work as it was completed (easy). Where it got hard was having the patience not to pivot, or having the patience to keep pushing through with the R&D and justifying to myself why it was necessary to keep spending more money until we got it right.


Where the journey gets hard is dealing with your internal struggles:

  • The business isn’t making any money yet, I need to pivot immediately!
  • Why did that customer say that to me? I need to defend myself and show him he’s wrong!
  • Oh shit, that wasn’t supposed to happen and now our customer is pissed! Let me get super stressed about it and try to figure this out in the most painful way possible.
  • Why didn’t I reach my revenue goal? I must be a shitty entrepreneur that isn’t cut out for this.
  • You know what? This is taking a lot of time and work day in and day out.. Maybe I should just give up on this idea?

Day in and day out we fight internal battles over what our definition of success is, what revenues we should’ve hit by now, what customers we should’ve had by now, or some other expectation that wasn’t met. When we don’t meet these expectations we often feel let down, and in my opinion without good reason. Everything in business that is difficult deals with your core emotions. The tasks are easy, the emotional toll isn’t.

If you can learn to control your emotions, stress levels, and patience.. you may find that your business is actually quite easy, and if it isn’t easy, the process to learn how to do it is when you break it down. The ability to keep on keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other, or slogging through the desert of desertion is where it gets hard. When you’re so far in the weeds and you don’t even remember how you started your journey, yet you’re still miles away from your goal.. That’s when it gets hard. Everything with business is a test of mental aptitude and toughness. If we can learn to control our emotions and keep a level head, we may just find that both running our business and managing our internal struggles are easy to overcome.

Part 2: Forum participation by successful entrepreneurs​


The theory above leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about: Forum participation from the eyes of someone who has built a successful business.

Many people join this forum every day, make a big introduction and then fade away. In the past (and some today still hang around) we’ve had heavy hitters making huge contributions to the forum in hopes that newcomers and regulars will be able to succeed with the knowledge that is being passed on. The same questions from newbies appear over and over: How do I start a business, should I go to school, should I leave my girlfriend/boyfriend etc and I think that this inability for someone to come up with their own solutions to simple questions time and time again can frustrate the heavier hitters out there. Alright, so newbies are asking questions, they may not be the right questions, but they are asking questions and participating in the forum none the less.

So why is it that you almost never see serious questions being asked by people with businesses doing over $1m in revenue here on the forum? The answer to this problem lies in the fact that people who are capable of building a business to that revenue number are capable of solving their internal problems and problems with the business themselves. They have figured out the process of asking the right questions and solving problems themselves. Whether it’s a google search, a brain dump into a google doc or spread sheet, or a phone call to a friend, these are more efficient ways of solving tough problems. I currently cannot think of a question that I could ask the forum that I couldn’t solve for myself and in a lot of cases, I feel like I would get better results by asking someone I know directly. And since we know the hard part of business is emotional/internal, more likely than not, we aren't going to vent that here on the forum.

So where does that leave the heavy hitters? Well, the only thing we can do is post threads about our experiences and hope that it helps others on their journey. The questions out there that are being asked are rehashes and we don't want to answer them. When I see these questions, I just ignore them because I know that more likely than not, that person will get their answer and never come back. My time is valuable and is best spent either updating my progress thread for my own journeys documentation or writing up larger one off posts like this one vs responding to anyone directly.

Some good threads come up from time to time from heavy hitters, but they are more philosophical in nature rather than a call for help. So what is the role of the forum now for us? Once we reach a certain level of success and we no longer need the forums help, what's keeping us around? The summits are great and it's one of the things that I look forward to the most each year, but it's only once a year either through MJ or another group of guys and the connections that we make in person are extremely strong. I get my "fill" of other entrepreneurs through one on one chats with my friends that I met at these events. I don't know how to keep heavy hitters here and incite more participation other than encouraging the offload of knowledge in return for the forum or books helping you if they have.

Just a thought.
I found that a very interesting read.

I have my own Discord group with 400 people that I help mentor and I do it because I love to help others succeed. I've experienced the same phenomenon. People come in, get what they need and then they leave. The ones that stick around the longest helping 'newbies' do it because they enjoy it. I think that would be the main reason for a selection of 'hard hitters' sticking around. There's a lot of joy in helping others succeed but it won't appeal to everyone.

But in my group some of the long termers seem to like the ego boost of being seen as knowledgeable and all-knowing. ;)
 

WJK

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Part 1: Business is easy, internal battles are hard.​



I’ve been pondering about my view that business as a whole is easy, it’s fighting your internal battles while building a successful company that’s hard. The tasks that I do on a daily basis are mostly simple and I’m honestly just typing stuff or clicking my mouse in a certain order based on decisions that I make day in and day out. Whether it deals with taxes or selling to a fortune 500 company, or managing my team, it’s a mostly simple set of processes if you have the knowledge. Getting the knowledge is pretty easy as well as all you have to do is try to do the task, see where you fail, and then try a different approach. If tasks are well out of your realm of knowledge and you don’t want to do that task, you delegate to a professional and now everything is easy again. With a business you have four core things that you need to get right:

  • You need to offer a product or service that provides value to a customer, with some value skew that is better than competitors.
  • You need to spread the word about your product or service so that people can buy it.
  • You need good customer service/onboarding/support.
  • Sales to back all of this up.

That’s it, that’s all a business needs at its core to be successful. At the heart of these four things are a lot of nitty gritty processes that have to happen to make your product a reality. I do want to clarify and say that solving a problem, or doing R&D for a new product, may be extremely difficult. In my businesses case, our product R&D was very difficult, but most of that work was delegated to my team and I just vetted the work as it was completed (easy). Where it got hard was having the patience not to pivot, or having the patience to keep pushing through with the R&D and justifying to myself why it was necessary to keep spending more money until we got it right.


Where the journey gets hard is dealing with your internal struggles:

  • The business isn’t making any money yet, I need to pivot immediately!
  • Why did that customer say that to me? I need to defend myself and show him he’s wrong!
  • Oh shit, that wasn’t supposed to happen and now our customer is pissed! Let me get super stressed about it and try to figure this out in the most painful way possible.
  • Why didn’t I reach my revenue goal? I must be a shitty entrepreneur that isn’t cut out for this.
  • You know what? This is taking a lot of time and work day in and day out.. Maybe I should just give up on this idea?

Day in and day out we fight internal battles over what our definition of success is, what revenues we should’ve hit by now, what customers we should’ve had by now, or some other expectation that wasn’t met. When we don’t meet these expectations we often feel let down, and in my opinion without good reason. Everything in business that is difficult deals with your core emotions. The tasks are easy, the emotional toll isn’t.

If you can learn to control your emotions, stress levels, and patience.. you may find that your business is actually quite easy, and if it isn’t easy, the process to learn how to do it is when you break it down. The ability to keep on keeping on, putting one foot in front of the other, or slogging through the desert of desertion is where it gets hard. When you’re so far in the weeds and you don’t even remember how you started your journey, yet you’re still miles away from your goal.. That’s when it gets hard. Everything with business is a test of mental aptitude and toughness. If we can learn to control our emotions and keep a level head, we may just find that both running our business and managing our internal struggles are easy to overcome.

Part 2: Forum participation by successful entrepreneurs​


The theory above leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about: Forum participation from the eyes of someone who has built a successful business.

Many people join this forum every day, make a big introduction and then fade away. In the past (and some today still hang around) we’ve had heavy hitters making huge contributions to the forum in hopes that newcomers and regulars will be able to succeed with the knowledge that is being passed on. The same questions from newbies appear over and over: How do I start a business, should I go to school, should I leave my girlfriend/boyfriend etc and I think that this inability for someone to come up with their own solutions to simple questions time and time again can frustrate the heavier hitters out there. Alright, so newbies are asking questions, they may not be the right questions, but they are asking questions and participating in the forum none the less.

So why is it that you almost never see serious questions being asked by people with businesses doing over $1m in revenue here on the forum? The answer to this problem lies in the fact that people who are capable of building a business to that revenue number are capable of solving their internal problems and problems with the business themselves. They have figured out the process of asking the right questions and solving problems themselves. Whether it’s a google search, a brain dump into a google doc or spread sheet, or a phone call to a friend, these are more efficient ways of solving tough problems. I currently cannot think of a question that I could ask the forum that I couldn’t solve for myself and in a lot of cases, I feel like I would get better results by asking someone I know directly. And since we know the hard part of business is emotional/internal, more likely than not, we aren't going to vent that here on the forum.

So where does that leave the heavy hitters? Well, the only thing we can do is post threads about our experiences and hope that it helps others on their journey. The questions out there that are being asked are rehashes and we don't want to answer them. When I see these questions, I just ignore them because I know that more likely than not, that person will get their answer and never come back. My time is valuable and is best spent either updating my progress thread for my own journeys documentation or writing up larger one off posts like this one vs responding to anyone directly.

Some good threads come up from time to time from heavy hitters, but they are more philosophical in nature rather than a call for help. So what is the role of the forum now for us? Once we reach a certain level of success and we no longer need the forums help, what's keeping us around? The summits are great and it's one of the things that I look forward to the most each year, but it's only once a year either through MJ or another group of guys and the connections that we make in person are extremely strong. I get my "fill" of other entrepreneurs through one on one chats with my friends that I met at these events. I don't know how to keep heavy hitters here and incite more participation other than encouraging the offload of knowledge in return for the forum or books helping you if they have.

Just a thought.
I'm here because I find that operating a business day-to-day is right up there with watching paint dry in slow motion -- hour after hour, day after day, and year after year.

Once you've figured out that business is elegantly simple, most days are just a grind. Then there's that terrifying moment when suddenly everything falls apart. If you're not prepared for that particular event, you start over again. It gets easier the second or third time. And you change over time. You find that you see things differently and put elements into completely different groups from when you started. This forum reminds me of that fact as I read the beginner's posts. I tell myself, "Oh yeah, I remember that," as I look through the posts. As I read, I become more grateful for all those years and moments that I have survived. A lot of the issues presented in the forum are now a footnote in my journey.

My challenges are different now.

1. I'm retired and on a maintenance program to make sure that I don't outlive my assets. Yes, I want to have some fun along the way. But, I don't want to be one of those seniors who is living on social security checks.

2. I want to stay sharp and on top of business changes out there in the greater world. Every day is a new day...

3. I want to help those who are coming up now. The tools may have changed, but the business basics are the same. There's still no instant success that is lasting. The newbie still must become a seasoned, mature business operator. If it weren't for some very good mentors, I wouldn't be here.

4. I'm learning to delegate better and to simplify my life. I'm weary of making so many decisions that really don't matter. I'm learning to quit everything that isn't really important to me -- hobbies, businesses, side gigs, etc. I'm making room in my life for more pleasure and less work.

5. Since my days have started to look alike to me, I've been posting once a week on Andy Black's post. I list my wins for the week and my plans for next week. Then I copy them into my daily notes for Saturday. My wins are smaller these days than they used to be. I'm coasting rather than striving like I used to...
 

Rabby

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I like to explain things sometimes. It's entirely self-serving too... I read what I type, realize I've been doing it all wrong, delete it, go change everything in the business, and then come back and post the new explanation once I've tested it out. The only problem: then I read the new explanation I'm typing, realize I've been doing it all wrong and...

Anyway, writing about things you've found out, to a live audience, can be pretty beneficial. It keeps you honest about what you're doing, and makes you evaluate whether it's really the most effective thing you could be doing.
 

Ravens_Shadow

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I appreciate the different views and responses here. I do feel compelled to give back to the forum as it's given so much to me and I will continue to do so from time to time as I come up with other thread ideas on major topics I feel like I have an opinion on or a lesson to share.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Why?...what happened?

My guess is comfort and perspective.

When you get older, more money isn't going to change anything and you start valuing peace, comfort, no-drama, and health.
 

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