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WJK

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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.
You're absolutely right. There comes a day when there is no one left to impress. You ask yourself if chasing more stuff is really more? Will working like crazy make a better future, or will taking a quiet walk with my mate be a better idea? Should I work today at growing my business(es) or make my new granddaughter a quilt featuring her name?

Also, the day comes when you hit a wall where you ask yourself, what do I do now that I've been to my Mt. Olympus? Do I climb another? Must it be higher than the last? Can I just take a rest and still feel fulfilled?

This a deeply personal choice. When is enough, enough?
 
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WJK

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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.
In the past, I never would have NEVER taken the time nor the energy to post on this forum. I way too busy to do any of this. My life was more than full of business deals, chores, and taking classes.
I love to write and help other people. I want to do more creative stuff to balance my business activities. So, I tried starting my own blog to scratch that itch. I learned Word Press and built my website. I was doing my own art for the posts, which was really fun. It all very exciting -- except the reality of posting once a week was overwhelming. It quickly became another job that I don't need. I'm trying to pare down and decide what I want to keep during this phase of my life. So, I dropped the blog. I just post here as I have the time and the interest. Hopefully, I can help others that are trying to get started or those who are stuck in their journey.
 

MTF

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I just post here as I have the time and the interest. Hopefully, I can help others that are trying to get started or those who are stuck in their journey.

I, for one, appreciate your posts on this forum a lot because you speak through very rich life experience.
 

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Thank you @Ravens_Shadow for this eye-opening post. It's clear that many of us are still losing at our inner game. We demonstrate it by asking self-doubting/validation questions or feedback on an idea before even taking the first step towards validating our idea. Yes, that is me and I am still struggling to listen to my gut and take enough action in a row to have the market be the validator instead of my inner insecurities.

For all of us who are still in this vicious cycle do you have any shortcuts/suggestions to get our game face on?
 
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Also, the day comes when you hit a wall where you ask yourself, what do I do now that I've been to my Mt. Olympus? Do I climb another? Must it be higher than the last? Can I just take a rest and still feel fulfilled?

This a deeply personal choice. When is enough, enough?
Joe Dominguez emphasized that a person should take time to define "enough."
What that means is different for every person, but a person needs to define that, because it's the sweet spot between fulfillment and more headaches and bills.
 

WJK

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Joe Dominguez emphasized that a person should take time to define "enough."
What that means is different for every person, but a person needs to define that, because it's the sweet spot between fulfillment and more headaches and bills.
This question of enough has several levels.

1. One of the threshold questions is if I have enough assets and cash flow to make me & mine comfortable? Is that income stable and adequate? How long will it last? What are my risk factors with my current situation?

2. Can I afford to use any of my nest egg to start something new if I decide that I want to step out again? Can I afford to lose those start-up monies?

3. What issue must I address to feel like I have a fulfilled life? What kind of purpose and meaning do I need? What am I going to do with my time? How am I going to stimulate my brain and my body?

4. How will my decisions affect my loved ones? Are they at the same stage of life as I am? How will my decisions change their lives? Are they supportive of me pivoting in my life? Do they agree with my proposed changes and share my feelings?

5. How have my goals and priorities changed? The stuff I wanted when I was young no longer has any pull on me. Over time, how have I changed? What do I want now? What does my idea of my life look like?

Things like -- do I need a bigger house or do I want to down-size? Do I want to change my lifestyle -- either upgrade or simplify? Do I want to hire someone to do some of the chores -- or take back some of the responsibilities? etc...

I can list some more, but those questions are enough to start the conversation.
 

garyfritz

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When you get older, more money isn't going to change anything and you start valuing peace, comfort, no-drama, and health.
Bingo. I'm almost 65. I've gotten 2 cancer diagnoses in the last year, and one of them is considered "incurable." I may have a year or two left, or I may have 20 -- no way to know. That changes your outlook.

I've been grinding for the last year (with lots of time off for medical stuff and working my existing business) to add a new client with really good income potential. The last requirement is to pick up some certifications. I've already passed some exams, but the hardest one I rushed and failed once already. I've been studying part-time for months, and my exam re-take is scheduled next month.

And if I biff the exam again, I may just say "screw it" and walk away. I don't really need the money -- I already have a nice inheritance planned for my sons. I've enjoyed the work but I wouldn't miss it (much) if I stopped. I may actually retire, or at least semi-retire. Buy myself a new Tesla and take a bunch of road trips. Do some international travel once that's possible again. Live, while I still can.
 
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joshuajwittmer

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With a business you have four core things that you need to get right:

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:

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
Thank you @Ravens_Shadow for providing this valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. And thanks to @MJ DeMarco @Kung Fu Steve @MTF @Andy Black @PapaGang @WJK for providing a glimpse into the journey and process.
 
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57felix

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Your story is interesting and easy to understand. It helped me realize some knowledge for myself. Thank you so much for this sharing.
 

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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.
Saving a good chunk of this. An enlightening piece on what business truly is about.

Thanks Raven!
 
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otek

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Great post!
Did you at the same time Showcase how to handle the internal struggles, the stress?
- Reminding yourself that the business is easy
- just small steps, no step is too hard to take. Then just take one after another.

One loosely related thing came to mind. Remember how watched some clips from Elon Musk. He said that rising the necessary funds is just a series of phone calls.

Focusing on The process and illustrating to yourself that the one step is actually easy.
 

Antifragile

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I joined because of the books. Reading Unscripted helped me justify and explain (to myself) some of my own behaviour. It was like reading my own thinking but this time I didn't feel crazy, I felt validation.

And yes, after joining I barely posted and left. I just kept building my business until @MJ DeMarco launched his text messaging updates. That personal connection to the author of a book that I liked and gifted so much made a difference.

By this thread's definition, I am a heavy hitter with a medium sized business. Although in my own mind, I am a small fish in a big pond. And @Ravens_Shadow you are right, I don't ask questions that actually matter to me. I also don't feel comfortable sharing too much and only recently pulled the trigger on an AMA.

Why stick around? What's the benefit? Am I getting anything out of the forum?

You really got me thinking here. I know that one of the most impactful relationships has been @Kak and his push for thinking BIGGER! The sheer energy of that guy is contagious and I like it. Latest show with @Bigguns50 was another nod towards that. I've also had business & non-business related exchanges and useful conversations, thinking of @SteveO @MTF (especially lately with discomfort club! Love it) @thechosen1 @MitchC @Andy Black and a few others.


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.

This is very interesting MJ, I get it.

On the one hand I don't need the forum and maybe I should leave. On the other hand, I've used tips like Jarvis/Jasper, Wim Hoff and a bunch of little things to better my life. If I choose to waste my time on the internet, it could be twitter but it's been more fun to engage with people here. Who knows? I'll have to give it more thought.

Regardless, this place has some 10/10 people. And I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know them.
 
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Kak

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I joined because of the books. Reading Unscripted helped me justify and explain (to myself) some of my own behaviour. It was like reading my own thinking but this time I didn't feel crazy, I felt validation.

And yes, after joining I barely posted and left. I just kept building my business until @MJ DeMarco launched his text messaging updates. That personal connection to the author of a book that I liked and gifted so much made a difference.

By this thread's definition, I am a heavy hitter with a medium sized business. Although in my own mind, I am a small fish in a big pond. And @Ravens_Shadow you are right, I don't ask questions that actually matter to me. I also don't feel comfortable sharing too much and only recently pulled the trigger on an AMA.

Why stick around? What's the benefit? Am I getting anything out of the forum?

You really got me thinking here. I know that one of the most impactful relationships has been @Kak and his push for thinking BIGGER! The sheer energy of that guy is contagious and I like it. Latest show with @Bigguns50 was another nod towards that. I've also had business & non-business related exchanges and useful conversations, thinking of @SteveO @MTF (especially lately with discomfort club! Love it) @thechosen1 @MitchC @Andy Black and a few others.




This is very interesting MJ, I get it.

On the one hand I don't need the forum and maybe I should leave. On the other hand, I've used tips like Jarvis/Jasper, Wim Hoff and a bunch of little things to better my life. If I choose to waste my time on the internet, it could be twitter but it's been more fun to engage with people here. Who knows? I'll have to give it more thought.

Regardless, this place has some 10/10 people. And I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know them.
Stick around. I don’t care what level you’re at… Utility and friendship shows up frequently. Sure you have to sift through a lot of retarded content, but even if I read every word of the stupidest shit on this forum (thinking specifically of ransom nEgoTiaTioN) it was worth it to connect with some of the amazing friends I’ve met here.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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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.
I think this largely depends on what the initial motivation for people coming here is. If it’s just making money, sure, once the money is made, they’ve got no need for the forum.

But some of us are here for the community. To know others, share our thoughts, and discuss topics of mutual interest. I’m part of this latter community, so I hang around. It’s a passion of mine to discuss different subjects, learn, share, argue with people and challenge myself that way. Where else can I talk business with people?
 

Walter Hay

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Why stick around? What's the benefit? Am I getting anything out of the forum?
In answer to the last question, I say a resounding YES. I can't say that I need the forum, but since I found it in 2014, I have greatly enjoyed participation.

I am retired, long past my use by date, but have always been a workaholic, which probably contributed to my urgent need of heart surgery in 2010. Retirement then did not suit me, so I began writing books and posting on what at the time was an excellent business forum.

That forum deteriorated seriously when the new owners managed to have their links incorporated in new smartphone apps. The old stalwarts quickly faded away. I searched and found the Fastlane Forum. What a relief!

What I have enjoyed doing on this forum for the past 8 years is helping people. I am a soft touch and this is evident in the numerous extended PM conversations I have had with members seeking help.

But I sell books via the forum (mostly)!! Believe me that is not a business. Return per hour on writing and then supporting buyers is very poor, so why do I continue doing it? I have published the answer on the forum (in my How I Made My First Million...thread) and that is that in that first business I quickly learned that most people don't value what they get for free.

When I gave away free samples of my chemicals they gathered dust on a shelf. When I sold a larger sample at a discount, it was promptly tested.

So here I am still contributing at 83 years of age. AND I am still writing. In my Marketplace Offer I mention that I have a fourth book in my head. Well, it is near completion and I have #5 well under way. Retirement still doesn't suit me.

My contributions range well outside business issues, simply because I like helping people. I know religion is taboo, so I won't say anything about it other than to say my religion guides my life. It teaches me empathy, compassion, and that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

I know that I have slowed down in my rate of posting, but I have even slowed down in my walking speed. At this stage I think what will stop me is the grim reaper.

This forum is unique. Sure there are many takers, but there are also a large number of givers, and they tend to be the stayers.

Walter
 

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In answer to the last question, I say a resounding YES. I can't say that I need the forum, but since I found it in 2014, I have greatly enjoyed participation.

I am retired, long past my use by date, but have always been a workaholic, which probably contributed to my urgent need of heart surgery in 2010. Retirement then did not suit me, so I began writing books and posting on what at the time was an excellent business forum.

That forum deteriorated seriously when the new owners managed to have their links incorporated in new smartphone apps. The old stalwarts quickly faded away. I searched and found the Fastlane Forum. What a relief!

What I have enjoyed doing on this forum for the past 8 years is helping people. I am a soft touch and this is evident in the numerous extended PM conversations I have had with members seeking help.

But I sell books via the forum (mostly)!! Believe me that is not a business. Return per hour on writing and then supporting buyers is very poor, so why do I continue doing it? I have published the answer on the forum (in my How I Made My First Million...thread) and that is that in that first business I quickly learned that most people don't value what they get for free.

When I gave away free samples of my chemicals they gathered dust on a shelf. When I sold a larger sample at a discount, it was promptly tested.

So here I am still contributing at 83 years of age. AND I am still writing. In my Marketplace Offer I mention that I have a fourth book in my head. Well, it is near completion and I have #5 well under way. Retirement still doesn't suit me.

My contributions range well outside business issues, simply because I like helping people. I know religion is taboo, so I won't say anything about it other than to say my religion guides my life. It teaches me empathy, compassion, and that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

I know that I have slowed down in my rate of posting, but I have even slowed down in my walking speed. At this stage I think what will stop me is the grim reaper.

This forum is unique. Sure there are many takers, but there are also a large number of givers, and they tend to be the stayers.

Walter

Walter, thank you for helping me 2 years ago when I really needed it, even though I ended up falling in that particular venture. You gave me the confidence (and knowledge!) at the time to take action.

And yes, you are a soft touch in all the best ways. I appreciate that you're here and so mentally sharp despite the old bones. You're a true entrepreneur from a very different generation. I mean, you were out there doing big things in the 50s and 60s!

Speaking of the 50s and 60s, would you say life was better in the U.S. back then? What was your experience living in that world?
 

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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.

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.
I have heard this phrase so many time, but never took it seriously until now

What are some effective frameworks/activities to beat the inside game that you have seen work on yourself or other?

I suspect my struggle is overthinking or maybe thinking too small.
 
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Walter Hay

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Walter, thank you for helping me 2 years ago when I really needed it, even though I ended up falling in that particular venture. You gave me the confidence (and knowledge!) at the time to take action.

And yes, you are a soft touch in all the best ways. I appreciate that you're here and so mentally sharp despite the old bones. You're a true entrepreneur from a very different generation. I mean, you were out there doing big things in the 50s and 60s!

Speaking of the 50s and 60s, would you say life was better in the U.S. back then? What was your experience living in that world?
It's always a pleasure to hear from those that I have helped.

Although I identify myself as a world citizen because I have traveled extensively and lived for sometimes long and sometimes short periods in the USA and UK, I am an Australian, and that is where I have chosen to settle down.

Australia in the 50s and 60s was in recovery mode after WW2, and in the 50s we still had rationing for a while. There was an air of optimism with the war over, and after experiencing wartime restrictions and shortages people not only began letting their hair down, but business activity was buzzing.

In 1953 I began my first job as a messenger boy with a huge shipping company, and that gave me a great insight into the shipping world. I handled the documentation for imports and exports, often delivering them to the ship's captain and returning them to head office. I spent a lot of time on cargo ships, and traveled in luxury in one of them with my own cabin, and dined with the captain and officers. Staff training included leaping across the gap between the little pilot boat and the huge ships riding the enormous swell entering Sydney harbour. Timing was all important as the landing at the bottom of the ladder rose and fell while the big ship ploughed through the swell and the pilot boat went up and down. My work involved visiting Customs House to carry out clearance work.

I had to check for accuracy the ships' cargo manifests, and watched while the only male typist meticulously transferred the details from the documents I brought from the ships' captains. The girls in the typing pool weren't allowed to type the manifests because only the male typist could be trusted to always be precisely accurate! With me looking over his shoulder, I saw him repeatedly scrap almost complete pages because no corrections were permitted.

Manufacturing was shifting from production of war supplies to local requirements, and in the 60's that gave me the opportunity to start my first business as an industrial troubleshooter with my specialty chemical business.

Overall it was an exciting time. Now I enjoy watching the cattle and kangaroos grazing on the other side of our garden fence.

Walter
 

Simon Angel

Gold Contributor
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Apr 24, 2016
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It's always a pleasure to hear from those that I have helped.

Although I identify myself as a world citizen because I have traveled extensively and lived for sometimes long and sometimes short periods in the USA and UK, I am an Australian, and that is where I have chosen to settle down.

Australia in the 50s and 60s was in recovery mode after WW2, and in the 50s we still had rationing for a while. There was an air of optimism with the war over, and after experiencing wartime restrictions and shortages people not only began letting their hair down, but business activity was buzzing.

In 1953 I began my first job as a messenger boy with a huge shipping company, and that gave me a great insight into the shipping world. I handled the documentation for imports and exports, often delivering them to the ship's captain and returning them to head office. I spent a lot of time on cargo ships, and traveled in luxury in one of them with my own cabin, and dined with the captain and officers. Staff training included leaping across the gap between the little pilot boat and the huge ships riding the enormous swell entering Sydney harbour. Timing was all important as the landing at the bottom of the ladder rose and fell while the big ship ploughed through the swell and the pilot boat went up and down. My work involved visiting Customs House to carry out clearance work.

I had to check for accuracy the ships' cargo manifests, and watched while the only male typist meticulously transferred the details from the documents I brought from the ships' captains. The girls in the typing pool weren't allowed to type the manifests because only the male typist could be trusted to always be precisely accurate! With me looking over his shoulder, I saw him repeatedly scrap almost complete pages because no corrections were permitted.

Manufacturing was shifting from production of war supplies to local requirements, and in the 60's that gave me the opportunity to start my first business as an industrial troubleshooter with my specialty chemical business.

Overall it was an exciting time. Now I enjoy watching the cattle and kangaroos grazing on the other side of our garden fence.

Walter

Very interesting stories and descriptions - thank you, Walter! I can only imagine how many things happened that just can't be fit in in a single post. And I'm glad to hear that you've always found ways to enjoy life!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
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Sep 13, 2014
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World citizen

Jeff Daniel

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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.
Thank you this is really helping me at the moment
 

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