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NOTABLE! Harsh Reality vs Pursuing Your Dreams

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MTF

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In the most glamorous, dream-driven niches, business models, or careers, the harsh reality is that very few people reach the top. For example, the vast majority of actors are broke. Most novelists make peanuts. Wannabe influencers will never reach the high level of success they expect. Most bloggers will quit before they start making any money, let alone reaching five or six figures.

Knowing the harsh reality (or perhaps ignoring it?), most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people. Sometimes it's caused by their belief that you need to do what you love. But often it's not even that. They just see so many people making a living in a given niche (say, YouTubers) that they think they can do it, too. But the competition is so fierce that the odds are stacked against them.

How do you protect yourself against this naive thinking that the harsh reality doesn't apply to you? I mean, if most novelists end up making pennies and just a handful of authors make most money, what makes you think that you'll be better than them? Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?

Or do you believe that if you really care about pursuing a given business, you'll succeed no matter what the reality is for most people?
 

.B.

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Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?

Interesting topic. Somehow maybe the answer is already in your question.

most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people.

The people who pursue those popular businesses don't have more information about the reality of business at that stage in their pursuit of freedom/ money.

It may just be a necessary entry point for many. A few may be lucky, and the majority will discover the reality the hard way.

And they then either investigate further to find avenues where statistics are more in their favour, or they give up their dreams and go back to their 9-to-5 job...
 

MTF

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The people who pursue those popular businesses don't have more information about the reality of business at that stage in their pursuit of freedom/ money.

It may just be a necessary entry point for many. A few may be lucky, and the majority will discover the reality the hard way.

And they then either investigate further to find avenues where statistics are more in their favour, or they give up their dreams and go back to their 9-to-5 job...

So would you say that it's just ignorance, or perhaps even willingly choosing not to know the reality so as not to demotivate yourself? I guess that many desperate people may think that their chosen popular business idea "has to work." If the odds are stacked against them, they just won't listen. Because IT HAS TO WORK.
 

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Then a real entrepreneur, when sees a trend like that (e.g. lots of people want to become influencers), builds a service that can be sold to many of these gold diggers.

Just think about Canva: how many influencers are using it to create FB / Instagram content. While Canva earns big amount of money serving them.

As the saying goes: in times of gold rush, sell shovels.
 

Bombastik_80

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I don't think I tell anything new here with mentioning the survivorship bias.

You never hear of the guy who tries to be a novelist but fails.

You always see just the radiant successful ones.

 

.B.

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So would you say that it's just ignorance, or perhaps even willingly choosing not to know the reality so as not to demotivate yourself? I guess that many desperate people may think that their chosen popular business idea "has to work." If the odds are stacked against them, they just won't listen. Because IT HAS TO WORK.
Ignorance for many.
And for some, it is because their subconscious mind filters out any information that does not fit with their current beliefs. To a point that it will seem to you that they act totally irrationally.
That is probably when you get the impression that they won't listen.

I talked with a lot of "Digital Nomads" while I was in Gran Canaria who really had a naïve view of business and who were believing incredible bullshit from various marketing gurus. And they did not even seem to be interested to hear about the experience and information that I was trying to give them so that they would not waste months of their life on a project that had no chance of success...
 
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In the most glamorous, dream-driven niches, business models, or careers, the harsh reality is that very few people reach the top. For example, the vast majority of actors are broke. Most novelists make peanuts. Wannabe influencers will never reach the high level of success they expect. Most bloggers will quit before they start making any money, let alone reaching five or six figures.

Knowing the harsh reality (or perhaps ignoring it?), most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people. Sometimes it's caused by their belief that you need to do what you love. But often it's not even that. They just see so many people making a living in a given niche (say, YouTubers) that they think they can do it, too. But the competition is so fierce that the odds are stacked against them.

How do you protect yourself against this naive thinking that the harsh reality doesn't apply to you? I mean, if most novelists end up making pennies and just a handful of authors make most money, what makes you think that you'll be better than them? Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?

Or do you believe that if you really care about pursuing a given business, you'll succeed no matter what the reality is for most people?

w0r9qag3cx001.jpg
 

KenDunlop

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In the most glamorous, dream-driven niches, business models, or careers, the harsh reality is that very few people reach the top. For example, the vast majority of actors are broke. Most novelists make peanuts. Wannabe influencers will never reach the high level of success they expect. Most bloggers will quit before they start making any money, let alone reaching five or six figures.

Knowing the harsh reality (or perhaps ignoring it?), most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people. Sometimes it's caused by their belief that you need to do what you love. But often it's not even that. They just see so many people making a living in a given niche (say, YouTubers) that they think they can do it, too. But the competition is so fierce that the odds are stacked against them.

How do you protect yourself against this naive thinking that the harsh reality doesn't apply to you? I mean, if most novelists end up making pennies and just a handful of authors make most money, what makes you think that you'll be better than them? Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?

Or do you believe that if you really care about pursuing a given business, you'll succeed no matter what the reality is for most people?
I try to avoid thinking about 'the odds'. Let's say I want to become a world-famous bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger. (I don't, but whatever). When Arnold was young, people rightly told him that there was no money in bodybuilding. Lots of people probably told him the 'chances' of reaching his goal were very low. But think of it this way; if you go to the gym, even once, the 'chances' of you becoming a world-famous bodybuilder just went up, and you made them go up proactively, you didn't roll a dice.
Arnold worked out for five hours a day, every day, just like his hero Reg Park. And when he achieved his bodybuilder physique, he didn't stop there. He was active in getting attention in Hollywood for bodybuilding and starred in a film documentary. He made sure he became a famous bodybuilder, all just as a stepping stone to his acting career!
 

MTF

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Then a real entrepreneur, when sees a trend like that (e.g. lots of people want to become influencers), builds a service that can be sold to many of these gold diggers.

Just think about Canva: how many influencers are using it to create FB / Instagram content. While Canva earns big amount of money serving them.

As the saying goes: in times of gold rush, sell shovels.

Very good point. You're essentially still benefiting from a huge, established market, but with 1/10, if not 1/100 the competition as way fewer people sell shovels.

I don't think I tell anything new here with mentioning the survivorship bias.

You never hear of the guy who tries to be a novelist but fails.

You always see just the radiant successful ones.


Good observation and another reason to be cautious when getting tips from successful people. As the article points out:

In short, the advice business is a monopoly run by survivors. As the psychologist Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, “A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight.”

I talked with a lot of "Digital Nomads" while I was in Gran Canaria who really had a naïve view of business and who were believing incredible bullshit from various marketing gurus. And they did not even seem to be interested to hear about the experience and information that I was trying to give them so that they would not waste months of their life on a project that had no chance of success...

Many digital nomads don't care about making more than perhaps $5k a month. It's more than enough to live like a king in SE Asia and many other places. Their priorities are different and maybe they really don't care about improving their business.


Here the point about survivorship bias is very relevant. Elon is an outlier, plain and simple. He's a business genius with a lot of luck. Not that he can't give good advice; it's just that his advice won't apply to most mortals.

I try to avoid thinking about 'the odds'. Let's say I want to become a world-famous bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger. (I don't, but whatever). When Arnold was young, people rightly told him that there was no money in bodybuilding. Lots of people probably told him the 'chances' of reaching his goal were very low. But think of it this way; if you go to the gym, even once, the 'chances' of you becoming a world-famous bodybuilder just went up, and you made them go up proactively, you didn't roll a dice.
Arnold worked out for five hours a day, every day, just like his hero Reg Park. And when he achieved his bodybuilder physique, he didn't stop there. He was active in getting attention in Hollywood for bodybuilding and starred in a film documentary. He made sure he became a famous bodybuilder, all just as a stepping stone to his acting career!

So given the chance to know your odds, you still wouldn't think about them? If, for example, through research you could learn that 1 in 1000 people become successful bodybuilders, but 1 in 100 people become successful business owners selling products for bodybuilders, you would still prefer not to think about it if your primary goal was to make money in this industry?
 

KenDunlop

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Very good point. You're essentially still benefiting from a huge, established market, but with 1/10, if not 1/100 the competition as way fewer people sell shovels.



Good observation and another reason to be cautious when getting tips from successful people. As the article points out:

In short, the advice business is a monopoly run by survivors. As the psychologist Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, “A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight.”



Many digital nomads don't care about making more than perhaps $5k a month. It's more than enough to live like a king in SE Asia and many other places. Their priorities are different and maybe they really don't care about improving their business.



Here the point about survivorship bias is very relevant. Elon is an outlier, plain and simple. He's a business genius with a lot of luck. Not that he can't give good advice; it's just that his advice won't apply to most mortals.



So given the chance to know your odds, you still wouldn't think about them? If, for example, through research you could learn that 1 in 1000 people become successful bodybuilders, but 1 in 100 people become successful business owners selling products for bodybuilders, you would still prefer not to think about it if your primary goal was to make money in this industry?
I've got a very goal-based approach to this. If your goal was simply 'succeed in the bodybuilding industry' and you knew you had a better 'chance', or less resistance, selling products to bodybuilders then that would be a legitimate way to do it.

If, like Arnold, your goal was specifically to become a world-famous bodybuilder, then you won't want to look at the easier option because it doesn't align with your goals.
I think Arnold's girlfriend at one point wanted him to 'settle down' and work in a health food store in LA, so this more or less actually happened. Before then, he had people in Austria telling him not to go to America and just become a police officer like his Dad. His 'chances' at those occupations might well have been better, but he wasn't interested.
 

MTF

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If, like Arnold, your goal was specifically to become a world-famous bodybuilder, then you won't want to look at the easier option because it doesn't align with your goals.

I understand. That's a good way to discern between two completely different things: doing something sexy because everyone else is doing it and you hope you can be one of the cool kids (say, being an influencer) and doing something sexy/unsexy/doesn't matter because YOU want to do it and care about it so much you don't care about the odds at all.
 

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Interesting topic.

Ever since I was a kid the way I talked myself out of being nervous when trying new things, was to tell myself that if other people can do it then so can I.

This is true for most things and has helped me a lot through life. When I became a mechanic I had to get my CDL to drive a bus, but I wasn't nervous because there are thousands of bus drivers so if they can do it then so can I.

Obviously it is not a true statement, just because others are in the NBA doesn't mean I can be. But I bet you I can become a damn good basketball player, because guess what? There are thousands of other great basketball players that aren't in the NBA so I could be too. (I suck at basketball for the record)

I guess I am part of the naive thinkers who think the odds don't apply to them, because I agree with what you're saying. Most people won't make it, and the odds are stacked against us.

But there is not a second where I don't think I am going to make it. Naivety? Confidence? I'm not sure.

And at the end of the day, the worst odds you have of succeeding are if you don't try at all.
 

MTF

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This is true for most things and has helped me a lot through life. When I became a mechanic I had to get my CDL to drive a bus, but I wasn't nervous because there are thousands of bus drivers so if they can do it then so can I.

Obviously it is not a true statement, just because others are in the NBA doesn't mean I can be. But I bet you I can become a damn good basketball player, because guess what? There are thousands of other great basketball players that aren't in the NBA so I could be too. (I suck at basketball for the record)

I would say this doesn't apply to this example. There are thousands of bus drivers all with similar skills. There are no "top10" bus drivers making 100x more than others or possessing 100x better skills, attracting more passengers, or whatever. There's no "elite" that you have to join to be a "respectable" bus driver.

In the same vein, you can become a good basketball player but it doesn't mean you'll ever become an NBA player. Your odds are just extremely low and unless it's your #1 biggest dream ever, it realistically doesn't make sense to pursue this goal. These guys aren't merely damn good. Not even great. They're one of a kind, and are often simply lucky (lucky as in, a certain series of events worked out for them while it didn't work for countless others - a single injury at the wrong time can ruin your career).

So I'm not saying at all that we can't learn new things or use this "the odds are stacked against me" as an excuse not to pursue big goals. It's more of being cautious of this bias and choosing carefully what we're pursuing so that we don't waste time chasing something that's completely unrealistic for everyone but a few select people.
 

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This is why I like to say, passion is a horrible business model.
 

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In the most glamorous, dream-driven niches, business models, or careers, the harsh reality is that very few people reach the top. For example, the vast majority of actors are broke. Most novelists make peanuts. Wannabe influencers will never reach the high level of success they expect. Most bloggers will quit before they start making any money, let alone reaching five or six figures.

Knowing the harsh reality (or perhaps ignoring it?), most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people. Sometimes it's caused by their belief that you need to do what you love. But often it's not even that. They just see so many people making a living in a given niche (say, YouTubers) that they think they can do it, too. But the competition is so fierce that the odds are stacked against them.

How do you protect yourself against this naive thinking that the harsh reality doesn't apply to you? I mean, if most novelists end up making pennies and just a handful of authors make most money, what makes you think that you'll be better than them? Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?

Or do you believe that if you really care about pursuing a given business, you'll succeed no matter what the reality is for most people?
Wow amazing thread @MTF! Thanks for bringing this up. As entrepreneurs, we often feel the compulsion to be positive because that's what our peers expect of us, and have a tendency to repress any negative, and don't even want to contemplate the possibility that we will fail. Which I think is not a very functional perspective, but I know many would disagree.

So here's how I approach this.

At the bottom of this discussion is your philosophy as to what causes success. If you believe success is a matter of luck, then you will feel that your chances are small, the more participants there are. After all, not everyone can be successful.

The alternative is believing that success is a matter of cause and effect. If you believe this, then you (and maybe everyone else) may not know the "success formula", but you know that it is out there. You know that success is never a matter of luck, rather it's about discovering what this formula is for you, in that particular industry or niche.

There is a third possibility as well. Not having ANY kind of belief, either that it's possible or that it's not possible. And then you simply set out to discover if it's possible. So if the activity or business matters to you, it's something you enjoy, then you will do it, always doing your best to reach success, and removing ALL limiting beliefs as to what may be possible. The truth is that you simply do not know.

Regarding this third option, there is this tendency in business circles to give overwhelming power to beliefs. You need to belief this or that in order to be successful. If you don't, you don't even have a chance. However, my view is that it's NOT an empowering belief that gets you to success, but rather disbelieving your disempowering beliefs which makes you open to doing what it takes to succeed. It's those actions that take you to success.

So which one do you believe, and why?

Personally I believe the second one. Success is a matter of cause and effect. To succeed, I don't necessarily need to be the best, I just need the right formula. So if the respective business is something I care about, I believe that I can succeed if I just discover the right formula, the winning combination that opens the lock.
 

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I believe you should only pursue passion after you have your bases covered. Let’s say after you are debt free, financially free, have a break, etc. Not required, but gives a huge advantage.

I also believe most people write off ideas like this without ever even attempting them, and like starting a business, most of the “failures” never gave an honest effort in the first place.

For example, let’s say you want to be a famous musician. I might ask “how many shows do you play each month?”

If your reply is “each MONTH? That’s so many! I can barely get a couple gigs a year,” or if you only play in one town, or if you refuse to travel, or you only play certain types of up scale venues, then you aren’t going to make it because you aren’t even TRYING enough to be in the running.

What I mean is, you have to at least enter the race if you’re going to win.

And the people who are really in the race aren’t walking.

They’re doing everything they can - their personal lives are fully oriented towards their goal. If you’re not, you’re not going to make it. You’ve got to be all in.

Jordan Peterson said “some games can only be played if you’re all in” - and that really hit me. He’s right!
 

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Do you have a college degree? You beat out 93% of the world.

Ok-- maybe that's a cheap shot.

Take the US, for example. Most people you probably know have degrees. Care to guess what percentage of the U.S are college educated? 80%? 60 something?

Its 35%-- that's a minority.

There are dozens of things that you've done in your life without thinking that are statistically impossible. Even being born-- you beat out 100 million other sperm-- is an anomaly.

Now, the flipside.

Have you ever raised $1 million in capital? Ever sold $1 million worth of products or services?

There are tens of thousands of people who have, maybe even millions. If you were to rent out a ballroom in a hotel, they would fill it up 10 times over, and still not run out of those people. To those people, it's nothing special, just normal routine, they can do it in their sleep. But they weren't born that way. They took a certain path, and now, it's 2nd nature. If they can do you, so can you-- or even better yet, you can partner with them.

Odds/averages are largely meaningless because you are a unique individual. I believe that half the battle is in just willing to try. Business is a great equalizer- it doesn't depend on physical skill to achieve great feats like football or basketball would.

Ultimately, it should be a consideration, but not the primary focus. Starting an airline is statistically a poor financial proposition. That's a good reason to avoid it.

But if you spent your life in the industry, figuring out countless ways to beat the odds by improving the different aspects of the flight experience, and have built out a team of people that can help you, by all means, you should go for it.

My philosophy is to use the odds where it helps and adjust your perspective to where it makes sense.
 

MTF

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This is why I like to say, passion is a horrible business model.

Both you and me made a lot of money in self-publishing. This is a very passion-based business model. Would you say we were lucky?

I mean, in your case, there are countless get rich books. The odds of TMF becoming such a huge bestseller as it is today were extremely low. Even people with big followings who publish their own get rich books don't reach the same level of success as you have done. Most books (even those very popular at the time of publication) stop being talked about within a year or two. Yours is still killing it.

So which one do you believe, and why?

Personally I believe the second one. Success is a matter of cause and effect. To succeed, I don't necessarily need to be the best, I just need the right formula. So if the respective business is something I care about, I believe that I can succeed if I just discover the right formula, the winning combination that opens the lock.

I guess I believe reality. I do agree that you can very often achieve whatever you want with the right formula. But sometimes life chooses for you. You can simply be in the right place at the right time while someone else isn't.

Entrepreneurs do like to avoid talking about it. But even for the world's greatest entrepreneurs, luck played a big role. Elon Musk would have failed with SpaceX if it wasn't for that final try that worked out.

In my case, one person told me something that is basically responsible for my business success. If it wasn't for her, I'd probably never figure it out. So I was lucky in this aspect. You could say that I was hanging out in the right environment and it was another matter of cause and effect. But most actors live in California, yet most work as waiters lol.

I also believe most people write off ideas like this without ever even attempting them, and like starting a business, most of the “failures” never gave an honest effort in the first place.

That's a very good point. I know that many authors don't really write that much or if they do, they write with no consideration for the market, publishing stuff nobody cares about. Then they complain that it's impossible to make money with books.

So this is a very solid argument that actually the odds may be rarely stacked universally against everyone. They just may be more stacked against those who aren't really in tune with the market. For example, I'd get totally crushed if I were to launch a TikTok profile because I completely don't get it. Meanwhile, a cool kid would probably have much better odds, even though the odds in general are stacked against big success with so many kids (and now also adults and companies) competing for attention there.

Ultimately, it should be a consideration, but not the primary focus. Starting an airline is statistically a poor financial proposition. That's a good reason to avoid it.

But if you spent your life in the industry, figuring out countless ways to beat the odds by improving the different aspects of the flight experience, and have built out a team of people that can help you, by all means, you should go for it.

My philosophy is to use the odds where it helps and adjust your perspective to where it makes sense.

Solid observation, thank you for that. I like how you point out that even when it's best to avoid things with a statistically low chance of success, you can still approach it from a personal point of view that can help you "beat" the odds.
 

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I guess I believe reality. I do agree that you can very often achieve whatever you want with the right formula. But sometimes life chooses for you. You can simply be in the right place at the right time while someone else isn't.

Entrepreneurs do like to avoid talking about it. But even for the world's greatest entrepreneurs, luck played a big role. Elon Musk would have failed with SpaceX if it wasn't for that final try that worked out.

In my case, one person told me something that is basically responsible for my business success. If it wasn't for her, I'd probably never figure it out. So I was lucky in this aspect. You could say that I was hanging out in the right environment and it was another matter of cause and effect. But most actors live in California, yet most work as waiters lol.
Absolutely... most of the make or break things seem to be chance occurrences, looking back. And how could it be otherwise? Life occurs through specific, super concrete events, not through abstract, general principles.

As you remarked in your case, one conversation was a turning point.

However, these things are not possible unless we take action, action guided by abstract, general principles. Unless we put one foot in front of another, doing what it takes to move our mission forward.

You did not know that that conversation would be a turning point for you. You had no way of knowing. In that way, you can look at it as a chance occurrence. That you met this specific person, and they said the specific thing. But the fact that you WERE interested to take action and move ahead is what made that conversation possible in the first place. If you had not applied the general principle of taking action, and moving forward, that conversation would not have happened.

Same thing for Elon Musk. He would have failed if he hadn't applied certain principles, such as never giving up, learning from his mistakes, and so on. The application of general principles, over the long run, makes "luck" possible. Your cumulative chance of success expands over time.
 

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Knowing the harsh reality (or perhaps ignoring it?), most people still pursue these most popular businesses, thinking that they'll be special, that the statistics apply only to other people.

How do you protect yourself against this naive thinking that the harsh reality doesn't apply to you?
As Ronak basically says, looking at the distribution of winners and losers only really matters if all participants are equally skilled (or if skill doesn't matter). It's possible to look at a market rationally and decide that you have the ability to outperform the leaders. Whether you're right or not is the real question.

I think the only real protection is familiarity with the market in question (well, and also a reasonably accurate view of your own abilities). Can you explain exactly why the current winners are winning? If you can't, then either you aren't familiar enough or it's luck. Assuming you think you know what makes them successful, can you find other participants that tick the same boxes but aren't successful? if so, then either you're missing something or its luck. Then assuming you've nailed the winning formula and that you can outperform it, how responsive is the market to new entries? There are plenty of places where your product can be better but not "better enough" to make anyone switch.

Of course, that's probably still insufficient analysis, but if you can do that, I think it safely rises above naive.
 

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I think when you truly aim for the top the competition isn't as thick as it seems.

Basics:
Pick a smart niche that you spot an opportunity in and have some skills that give you a winning shot

The numbers:
- Most will not even show up with any real attempt - 30-50% gone there already
- Most who do show up will just aim for okay/average level results - another 20-25% there
- Some people will aim big won't have the ability to reach the top and probably should have done something else (10-15%)
- And only a few people are left who are your real competition (like 10% or less)

Bonus:
If you figure out a good angle early in the game you can reduce that 10% of people left down to 1% or less by having your own unique approach. Pick a niche within a niche and make the odds even better.
 

Ronak

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There are plenty of places where your product can be better but not "better enough" to make anyone switch.
This is a huge deal! Entrepreneurs automatically assume that if a product/service is better, then you will automatically win. It likely has to be at least twice as good as the current offering to make a dent. Otherwise, your timing is probably more important than how much better the offer is. If you release something that's 50% better, but after another competitor has gained traction, you would've been better off shipping earlier, even if it wasn't "ready" or was inferior to your later version.
 

MTF

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Can you explain exactly why the current winners are winning?

Sometimes there's no way to explain it. You can't always understand why someone is winning because you can't replicate their process/environment/state of the world when they started exactly.

- Some people will aim big won't have the ability to reach the top and probably should have done something else (10-15%)

What makes you think that you don't belong to this group? Ultimately that's what this thread is about. We think we are better than others. But others also think they're better than others.

Also on this topic:
 

splok

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Sometimes there's no way to explain it. You can't always understand why someone is winning because you can't replicate their process/environment/state of the world when they started exactly.



What makes you think that you don't belong to this group? Ultimately that's what this thread is about. We think we are better than others. But others also think they're better than others.

Also on this topic:
If you can't explain why the winner is the winner, then you're basically back to blaming it on luck. That doesn't mean that you can't still be successful of course, but you asked how to protect yourself, and the more your business relies on luck to succeed, the less protected you are.

Also, if you can't adequately explain the winners, it makes the second question much harder because you won't know what you need to be good at. Imagine someone putting their first book on Amazon today with the mindset that the only thing that matters is how good their writing is... Crappy cover, no promotion, no prior evidence that they're good at anything. It might work, but you probably wouldn't bet on them. Even if the writing were excellent, it would be a naive approach, essentially relying on luck/hope.
 

hellolin

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"Why not launch a business with very few competitors where you have much higher chances of success?"

This is the hardest thing out of all the things you listed, that's why people rather pursuit a dream that has 0.01% of becoming real, because following the footsteps of someone who has done it is still much easier than figuring out your own way in a field that still has very few competitors.
 

Fr33zerPop

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Very good point. You're essentially still benefiting from a huge, established market, but with 1/10, if not 1/100 the competition as way fewer people sell shovels.



Good observation and another reason to be cautious when getting tips from successful people. As the article points out:

In short, the advice business is a monopoly run by survivors. As the psychologist Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, “A stupid decision that works out well becomes a brilliant decision in hindsight.”



Many digital nomads don't care about making more than perhaps $5k a month. It's more than enough to live like a king in SE Asia and many other places. Their priorities are different and maybe they really don't care about improving their business.



Here the point about survivorship bias is very relevant. Elon is an outlier, plain and simple. He's a business genius with a lot of luck. Not that he can't give good advice; it's just that his advice won't apply to most mortals.



So given the chance to know your odds, you still wouldn't think about them? If, for example, through research you could learn that 1 in 1000 people become successful bodybuilders, but 1 in 100 people become successful business owners selling products for bodybuilders, you would still prefer not to think about it if your primary goal was to make money in this industry?
I struggled recently to give my kids good advice on how to analyze if the odds (for a business idea) are good, or stacked against them. What's a good way to "do the research?"
 

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I struggled recently to give my kids good advice on how to analyze if the odds (for a business idea) are good, or stacked against them. What's a good way to "do the research?"

I'm not an expert by any means but if it's something many people talk about and many people do, and there are many how-to resources for it, the odds are probably stacked against you.

This, plus virtually any career/business that people engage in because of status. The odds are definitely not stacked against you when you want to build most B2B businesses. But they probably are stacked against you if you're after a profession/business that gives you fame.
 

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I am currently in a situation, that relates to this thread, and I would love to hear your opinion.
There is this product I want to create, but just because I think it would be the best use of my skills.
The harsh reality is, the hype of the product is gone a couple of years ago and there is a lot of products like this in the world. I did some research. Many of the products are really shitty, made to ride the wave apparently. I can clearly see what I can improve (what kind of value I will provide), I checked some of my options and I am willing to put in the time.
Though I am good at this skill, it will be a lot of work, so I am not going to do it out of passion, but because I think this is somehow my best chance to create a nice product for people.
So despite the faded hype I still plan (actually started) to create this product, see what happens, and hopefully learn a lot in the process.
What do you think? What would you do in my case? Even if I am fooling myself and there will be no added value to the saturated market, isn‘t it better to try, instead of not trying?
I just fight a lot with that voice in my head, that say: maaaan, you always miss the train

(PS: @MTF this year I have finally published my first fiction, as I promised on my insiders thread 4 years ago:happy:. It feels really different than I imagined :blush: I am officially an author now and my next book is currently being edited)
 

Fr33zerPop

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I am currently in a situation, that relates to this thread, and I would love to hear your opinion.
There is this product I want to create, but just because I think it would be the best use of my skills.
The harsh reality is, the hype of the product is gone a couple of years ago and there is a lot of products like this in the world. I did some research. Many of the products are really shitty, made to ride the wave apparently. I can clearly see what I can improve (what kind of value I will provide), I checked some of my options and I am willing to put in the time.
Though I am good at this skill, it will be a lot of work, so I am not going to do it out of passion, but because I think this is somehow my best chance to create a nice product for people.
So despite the faded hype I still plan (actually started) to create this product, see what happens, and hopefully learn a lot in the process.
What do you think? What would you do in my case? Even if I am fooling myself and there will be no added value to the saturated market, isn‘t it better to try, instead of not trying?
I just fight a lot with that voice in my head, that say: maaaan, you always miss the train

(PS: @MTF this year I have finally published my first fiction, as I promised on my insiders thread 4 years ago:happy:. It feels really different than I imagined :blush: I am officially an author now and my next book is currently being edited)
It's hard to answer that without knowing what your product is. If it's a very oversaturated market as you say, I don't think you need to fear others stealing your idea at this point. And, if you're truly bringing your own unique value to it, all the better. No one can take your special personality from it.

Without knowing what it is, I imagine the answer is to keep putting the idea in front of your audience--as a discussion at first, proof-of-concept next, prototype small offering, etc. I'm learning that when I feel uncomfortable that I'm taking too much of a risk in my time or money, it's because I'm losing confidence that there's a market. If I had people asking me for it, it'd be a no-brainer, right? So, that uncomfortable feeling is my signal to take a pause and go find my audience again and ask questions. Be ready for flat out rejection, or sharp critique, or empty promises of purchases. Everything. Get a thick skin on and take my ego out of the equation. Go solve their problem. If I have a solution without a problem, I've lost my focus on the goal of solving people's problems in a way that is a win for everyone.
 

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