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NOTABLE! Harsh Reality vs Pursuing Your Dreams

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TinyOldLady

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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.
Thanks a lot! You are right, nobody would steal my idea for a saturated market. So the idea is coloring books. Since I am already a fiction writer, I also hope that the additional content would help me with amazon algorithm. But this is not the main reason. The main reason is, that I have practiced pen drawing my whole life, I just didn‘t see what I should do with it, because it seemed just too ridiculous to make money with such a simple skill :happy: . Now I finally see the elephant in the room.
I have checked a lot of different coloring books on amazon. There is still demand, according to the reviews. I have list of things, that people like/dislike, and can clearly see why some books are loved and most are not.
 

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The-J

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I can't seem to find the Seth Godin article I read this from, but one of the traits of successful entrepreneurs he mentions is an almost delusional belief in oneself.

You mention the harsh reality that most people never make it. One aspect that Seth Godin believes that entrepreneurs share is that they simply don't worry about the possibility of not making it, because it's just not an option in their minds. Limiting beliefs? None whatsoever. Fear? Of course they're afraid, but it's not failure that they're afraid of. They're much more afraid of being wrong now and having to pivot painfully and slowly. Thing is, they know that they will pivot if they're wrong. It's just a fact of life. If they're wrong, they will lose money, investors will lose money, people will lose confidence, and they'll have to go through more pain to try and make their vision a reality. It sucks, but it is what it is.

Quit? Never. Pivot? Maybe, hopefully not but maybe.

Most people quit before they reach their destination anyway (see: OPs avatar picture) so if you never really stop, then your odds of making it vastly increase because you're always in the game. Instead of a 1% chance, you might have a 30% chance just by virtue of the number of times you try.
 

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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)

Thanks a lot! You are right, nobody would steal my idea for a saturated market. So the idea is coloring books. Since I am already a fiction writer, I also hope that the additional content would help me with amazon algorithm. But this is not the main reason. The main reason is, that I have practiced pen drawing my whole life, I just didn‘t see what I should do with it, because it seemed just too ridiculous to make money with such a simple skill :happy: . Now I finally see the elephant in the room.
I have checked a lot of different coloring books on amazon. There is still demand, according to the reviews. I have list of things, that people like/dislike, and can clearly see why some books are loved and most are not.

I'd say go for it. If there's little risk and a relatively easy way to test it, there's little harm in doing it. Also, I'd consider this specific niche still way less saturated than for example romance.

Glad to hear you finally published your first novel. Good luck with your next book!
 

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Most people quit before they reach their destination anyway (see: OPs avatar picture) so if you never really stop, then your odds of making it vastly increase because you're always in the game. Instead of a 1% chance, you might have a 30% chance just by virtue of the number of times you try.

Solid post, and particularly this part. Thank you for your perspective. I'd agree that simply deciding not to quit greatly increases the odds. Because if you give yourself 5 years to make it, your chances of making it are obviously much lower than a person who's not going to quit, even after 10 or 15 years. In publishing, this may be the difference between putting out just 5 books vs 15, one of which strikes it big.

I'm really enjoying all the perspectives in this thread. Grateful for all the responses!
 

Fr33zerPop

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I can't seem to find the Seth Godin article I read this from, but one of the traits of successful entrepreneurs he mentions is an almost delusional belief in oneself.

You mention the harsh reality that most people never make it. One aspect that Seth Godin believes that entrepreneurs share is that they simply don't worry about the possibility of not making it, because it's just not an option in their minds. Limiting beliefs? None whatsoever. Fear? Of course they're afraid, but it's not failure that they're afraid of. They're much more afraid of being wrong now and having to pivot painfully and slowly. Thing is, they know that they will pivot if they're wrong. It's just a fact of life. If they're wrong, they will lose money, investors will lose money, people will lose confidence, and they'll have to go through more pain to try and make their vision a reality. It sucks, but it is what it is.

Quit? Never. Pivot? Maybe, hopefully not but maybe.

Most people quit before they reach their destination anyway (see: OPs avatar picture) so if you never really stop, then your odds of making it vastly increase because you're always in the game. Instead of a 1% chance, you might have a 30% chance just by virtue of the number of times you try.
I agree. I can't remember who said it but they said most entrepreneur failure is in EXECUTION (Maybe Seth Godin in The Dip). While we certainly can fail at our actions, more likely we simply fail to move forward. We (often implicitly) decide it's not worth our time or money to continue to work toward the goal. BUT-- this assessment is often made not out of a quality critical assessment of the viability, but rather simply out of the desire to go do something with easier/immediate rewards.
 

Fr33zerPop

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Thanks a lot! You are right, nobody would steal my idea for a saturated market. So the idea is coloring books. Since I am already a fiction writer, I also hope that the additional content would help me with amazon algorithm. But this is not the main reason. The main reason is, that I have practiced pen drawing my whole life, I just didn‘t see what I should do with it, because it seemed just too ridiculous to make money with such a simple skill :happy: . Now I finally see the elephant in the room.
I have checked a lot of different coloring books on amazon. There is still demand, according to the reviews. I have list of things, that people like/dislike, and can clearly see why some books are loved and most are not.
I think that's a great idea. If I were trying to evaluate it, I'd put these pieces together:
-- The qualities you see that the market is still buying
-- Avoiding the qualities that are fading (adult coloring therapy books maybe?)
-- A visual subject that is largely untapped in coloring books (I've seen a lot of patterns and flowers, but not as much architecture, pizza, or maps for example)
-- A non-visual theme that I'm passionate about (health and wellness, Jesus, electronic music, relationships)
-- My target purchaser (I should know who I want to buy these: adults for themselves for fun, adults for their kids, adults for their kids to give as a gift to another kid, adults to give as a gift to another adult, gag gift, wedding gift, office gift, graduation gift, curriculum or therapy bulk purchase, personal organization... It will probably only fit one of these categories)
-- My target price (making sure it aligns with my purchaser's motives)
-- How my unique perspective/art will make it special (this is where you insulate from faster/cheaper competition)

Then, I'd take that brainstorm page and try to come up with new connections that I hadn't thought of, like...
-- A wedding coloring book for the guests in attendance (gift)
-- A kids coloring book with hand-drawn brick (formerly known as Lego) favorite kids foods
-- A personal diary/journal that has coloring pages for goals/achievements.

So, you probably already know what you want to make, but maybe this sparks some new ideas for niching down if you're feeling like the market is too wide. If you could sell it at a Saturday market, there's probably an online audience out there for you. You could even promote it with YouTube videos that point people back to it, like free drawing tutorials, or pen/paper/pencil reviews.

Hope your entrepreneurial gears are whirring...
 

Primeperiwinkle

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You could always use Bayes Theorem..


The Theory That Would Not Die by Sharon McGrayne

Probability and Statistics for Business Decisions by Schlaifer and Raiffa

Superforecasting The Art and Science of Predicting by Philip Tetlock

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All The Facts by Annie Duke

Probability, Frequency, and Reasonable Expectation by R.T. Cox

Applied Statistical Decision Theory by Raiffa and Schlaifer

An Introduction to Markov Chains by Schlaifer


This is from the preface in the first book..

“In a celebrated example of science gone awry, geologists accumulated the evidence for Continental Drift in 1912 and then spent 50 years arguing that continents cannot move. The scientific battle over Bayes’ rule is less well known but lasted far longer, for 150 years. It concerned a broader and more fundamental issue: how we analyze evidence, change our minds as we get new information, and make rational decisions in the face of uncertainty. And it was not resolved until the dawn of the twenty-first century. On its face Bayes’ rule is a simple, one-line theorem: by updating our initial belief about something with objective new information, we get a new and improved belief. To its adherents, this is an elegant statement about learning from experience.”

Anyhoo.. it’s basically a mathematical way of looking at the world that helps you make radical yet HIGHLY effective decisions based on the information or lack of information that you have. Bayes Theorem has changed almost every aspect of the world we live in.. yet most ppl have never heard of it.
 

Redwolf

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Thanks a lot! You are right, nobody would steal my idea for a saturated market. So the idea is coloring books. Since I am already a fiction writer, I also hope that the additional content would help me with amazon algorithm. But this is not the main reason. The main reason is, that I have practiced pen drawing my whole life, I just didn‘t see what I should do with it, because it seemed just too ridiculous to make money with such a simple skill :happy: . Now I finally see the elephant in the room.
I have checked a lot of different coloring books on amazon. There is still demand, according to the reviews. I have list of things, that people like/dislike, and can clearly see why some books are loved and most are not.
Are there any "high art" coloring books? Like fantastically good drawings? Little kids won't care, but the parents would be like wow, that's a really nice drawing my kid colored in. And if it's anime/fantasy/licensed materials, probably anime nerds would buy them too.
 

Fr33zerPop

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I think that's a great idea. If I were trying to evaluate it, I'd put these pieces together:
-- The qualities you see that the market is still buying
-- Avoiding the qualities that are fading (adult coloring therapy books maybe?)
-- A visual subject that is largely untapped in coloring books (I've seen a lot of patterns and flowers, but not as much architecture, pizza, or maps for example)
-- A non-visual theme that I'm passionate about (health and wellness, Jesus, electronic music, relationships)
-- My target purchaser (I should know who I want to buy these: adults for themselves for fun, adults for their kids, adults for their kids to give as a gift to another kid, adults to give as a gift to another adult, gag gift, wedding gift, office gift, graduation gift, curriculum or therapy bulk purchase, personal organization... It will probably only fit one of these categories)
-- My target price (making sure it aligns with my purchaser's motives)
-- How my unique perspective/art will make it special (this is where you insulate from faster/cheaper competition)

Then, I'd take that brainstorm page and try to come up with new connections that I hadn't thought of, like...
-- A wedding coloring book for the guests in attendance (gift)
-- A kids coloring book with hand-drawn brick (formerly known as Lego) favorite kids foods
-- A personal diary/journal that has coloring pages for goals/achievements.

So, you probably already know what you want to make, but maybe this sparks some new ideas for niching down if you're feeling like the market is too wide. If you could sell it at a Saturday market, there's probably an online audience out there for you. You could even promote it with YouTube videos that point people back to it, like free drawing tutorials, or pen/paper/pencil reviews.

Hope your entrepreneurial gears are whirring...

View attachment 37510

From Ray Dalio's book "Principles"
Love it. And, for those of you visual people, it even comes as a nicely done YouTube animation:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKz095P7LdU
 

Fr33zerPop

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Are there any "high art" coloring books? Like fantastically good drawings? Little kids won't care, but the parents would be like wow, that's a really nice drawing my kid colored in. And if it's anime/fantasy/licensed materials, probably anime nerds would buy them too.
Or what about the pen-n-ink drawing equivalent of those fantastical hyper-real photoshop works? I'm thinking fairies-waking-up-from-dark-bogs-touching-brooding-dragons-snouts or sci-fi-ringworld-retro-dystopian-city-with-too-many-swag-hung-electrical-cords (that one would no doubt ship with a pink and purple pen for all that neon) :)

Oh, and there's lots of post-copyright material out there you might be able to capitalize on as well. Why let Disney have all the copyright-free fun?
 

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TinyOldLady

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I think that's a great idea. If I were trying to evaluate it, I'd put these pieces together:
-- The qualities you see that the market is still buying
-- Avoiding the qualities that are fading (adult coloring therapy books maybe?)
-- A visual subject that is largely untapped in coloring books (I've seen a lot of patterns and flowers, but not as much architecture, pizza, or maps for example)
-- A non-visual theme that I'm passionate about (health and wellness, Jesus, electronic music, relationships)
-- My target purchaser (I should know who I want to buy these: adults for themselves for fun, adults for their kids, adults for their kids to give as a gift to another kid, adults to give as a gift to another adult, gag gift, wedding gift, office gift, graduation gift, curriculum or therapy bulk purchase, personal organization... It will probably only fit one of these categories)
-- My target price (making sure it aligns with my purchaser's motives)
-- How my unique perspective/art will make it special (this is where you insulate from faster/cheaper competition)

Then, I'd take that brainstorm page and try to come up with new connections that I hadn't thought of, like...
-- A wedding coloring book for the guests in attendance (gift)
-- A kids coloring book with hand-drawn brick (formerly known as Lego) favorite kids foods
-- A personal diary/journal that has coloring pages for goals/achievements.

So, you probably already know what you want to make, but maybe this sparks some new ideas for niching down if you're feeling like the market is too wide. If you could sell it at a Saturday market, there's probably an online audience out there for you. You could even promote it with YouTube videos that point people back to it, like free drawing tutorials, or pen/paper/pencil reviews.

Hope your entrepreneurial gears are whirring...
Thank you so much for your input! Brainstorming connections is a great idea! Pizza is already on my list :p
Are there any "high art" coloring books? Like fantastically good drawings? Little kids won't care, but the parents would be like wow, that's a really nice drawing my kid colored in. And if it's anime/fantasy/licensed materials, probably anime nerds would buy them too.
Thank you. I have the impression, that the realistic drawings are not that popular.
 

hellolin

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Love it. And, for those of you visual people, it even comes as a nicely done YouTube animation:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKz095P7LdU

"I have a set of principles that I believe everyone could adapt".

"Number one is embrace reality and deal with it".

Opps Ray, sorry to tell you, that's 90% of the humanity, gone, out of window. We'd be lucky the rest of the 10% can embrace this principle for the rest of their working lives, not even including retirement.
 

Black_Dragon43

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Oh dear, what has the world come to?

I find people like this guy really sad. I can bet he’s a leftist, 1001%! He’s lucky for sure heh.

Thing is I have no doubt that some people are momentarily “lucky”, and could become very rich in the process. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately for them, they usually don’t stay that way because they’re not very smart.
 

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@Black_Dragon43 the sadder part are all the comments below this video of people agreeing that it's better to give up on life. I wish it was satire.
 

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People generally pursue the path of least resistance, which is why drop shipping for example took off in such a big way.
 

fastermillionair

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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?

You do the exact opposite of what most people in those niches are doing. Case in point James Jani, who makes youtube videos in a heavily saturated niche but gained a large following. He doesnt make plain simple boring youtube videos about his life which most people do. Rather he makes videos on controversial topics which people already know about- he just re-inforces their beliefs with good storytelling.

Likewise i know people from poor backgrounds who have made it far. It may seem like the odds are stacked against you but in reality its not always the case and the odds may be in your favour if you seek the opportunities. Also luck plays a huge factor.
 

Fr33zerPop

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His sarcasm is saying that doing everything "right" is no guarantee, and the advice from successful people is likely horribly near-sighted. We're terrible at identifying when we got a random or inherent leg up--mistakenly thinking others will have a similar experience.*

1) Learn to be hyper-aware of what makes your situation unique, and strategize with enthusiasm your unique place/skill/passion/experience/angle/product for someone else's unique solution. For me, I'd rather sell "my unique" thing to 10000 people than compete to sell the obvious thing to 7 billion.

2) Random situations will give some people more favorable opportunities than others--but we can change the frequency of ours. Learn what "a good opportunity" would be in your situation and make yourself more available to them. This might mean more networking, pressing through that one big fear you're trying to avoid, or dropping pride/laziness/fear and really evaluating your audience's need--and adjusting your product. We can't make the opportunity bus come by our house more often, but we CAN be on the curb, shoes tied, ready to jump on.

* Want a good example? I've seen tons of people selling "make your own video course" be-a-millionaire courses. They teach all the "steps" of their journey, but fail to recognize that they are highly motivated, very charismatic people--essential to their success. Many people will fail using their product because they don't have similar personality skills developed.
 

Christopher104

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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?
You seem to be describing slow lane exits and I agree with you, most of those people never see the dreams most stars are living. The problem is that it's everywhere and we only see success like Unscripted has pointed out.
 

Christopher104

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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?
Also, I would argue that you first need to make a living in your niche, then innovate it. What can you do better than anyone else... that sort of thing.
 

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People generally pursue the path of least resistance, which is why drop shipping for example took off in such a big way.

Which is understandable given how easy it is to set it up vs setting up a big company. The question is which one is later easier as perhaps the difficulties associated with launching/managing a big company are actually often easier to handle than the difficulties of competing with the entire world.

You do the exact opposite of what most people in those niches are doing.
Also luck plays a huge factor.

These two are IMO connected. Sometimes doing the exact opposite works, sometimes it doesn't. Luck often decides, not your skill or knowledge.

1) Learn to be hyper-aware of what makes your situation unique, and strategize with enthusiasm your unique place/skill/passion/experience/angle/product for someone else's unique solution. For me, I'd rather sell "my unique" thing to 10000 people than compete to sell the obvious thing to 7 billion.

That's a very good observation, thank you for that.

You seem to be describing slow lane exits and I agree with you, most of those people never see the dreams most stars are living. The problem is that it's everywhere and we only see success like Unscripted has pointed out.

Not all of these have to be Slowlane. Content creators of any kind (writers, vocalists, YouTubers) can be Slowlane or can be Fastlane. It all depends on your approach.

Also, I would argue that you first need to make a living in your niche, then innovate it. What can you do better than anyone else... that sort of thing.

So you may be a horrible operator in a given niche but a great innovator. I don't think that you always have to make a living in it first. I mean, Elon Musk was never a rocket engineer...
 

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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?

There is so many things going on here...

I get what you mean. What you are trying to say and setup, I do.

But my thought is this:

1. "vast majority of actors are broke" - If you are talking about the ones that went to California and are waiting tables, those aren't actors. They're waiters.

2. "Most novelists make peanuts" - most of them aren't novelist. They maybe have a day job or career. Writing is their side hobby. They more than likely aren't novelists.

3. "Wannabe influencers" - keyword being wannabe. These people aren't influencers.

So right off the bat, based on my logic and thinking.. the so called "actors" market is cut back 80% or more. Same with novelists and influencers. What might be a huge market/audience to you or others, is really only 20% to me because real actors are not waiting tables.

The actors who make this their full-time job are to me. So now the market is so much smaller and I can base any numbers/stats on just those that actually matter.

So when this is done, is the new small pool of actors really broke now? And what's broke? Homeless or just getting by? $1m Ferrari or G6?

Maybe the frame needs to be changed. Who are really actors? What is really broke?

When we exclude hobbiest and part-timers and dreamers who have never been in a movie/tv series.. what does the outcome look like now?

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.

So in one thought, the NBA basketball player was often simply lucky. A certain series of events worked out for them while not working out for others.

But then in another thought, you are trying to actively chose carefully what you pursue so no time is wasted in something unrealistic.

BUT, how do you know what's realistic? Also, if it's all down to luck, why even plan or be careful in what you choose as to not waste time since luck and life is gonna pick for you?

If we all assume an NBA player gets to where he is based on luck and certain events happening to them, how does the next Michael Jordan who maybe right now is in the 2nd grade get to the NBA if he decides today it's just luck and he needs to quit wasting time being unrealistic? Especially if his parents think the same way?

The truth is, the "lucky" events happened because of certain events the believer did before hand, proactively towards their dream/goal.

Jordan didn't get lucky. Sure certain events happened to him to have him in the NBA, but those events happened because of what he did prior. Those events prepared him for the next event and the next so that when things lined up, he was at the right place at the right time.

Those events can't unfold without the event before it. Like you said, a certain series of events happened. But you got to put yourself in that series, in those events.

He didn't sit around thinking it wasn't realistic and wasn't going to happen and he needs to chase another dream. If he did, he wouldn't have been watching replays of games, doing 1k freethrows, working out, making dunks, playing college ball, etc to get to the level he did when it was "go time".


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.

Some people do get lucky by being at the right place at the right time. People win the lottery.. Some people get a magical VP of Marketing job at an agency when they know 0 about marketing online.

But time snuffs them out.

I know a guy that got back to back jobs as senior level marketing talent. VP this, CMO that, SVP here, etc... Honestly, I was jealous when it happened to him. Mainly because I taught this guy everything he knew and just 6 months ago he was asking me about PPC and SEO.

But guess what, he lasted 3-6 months in each of those roles and was fired at each.

So time snuffs you out in one way or another. You might get the 15 minutes of fame and the lucky draw, but if you can't output and perform at that level, you get thrown to the waste side. Knowing this, I now don't care about who life makes lucky, because it will end when it is suppose to. Luck maybe pulled the ticket for you ( I dont believe this ), but luck doesn't keep you in the game when it's "go time".

On Elon and how luck played a big role in the last final try for Space X, that wasn't luck. That was countless tests, checklists, top talent and failures to learn from. That wasn't luck... it wasn't luck he was determined to keep trying, that he and his team had all this failure data prior.

And those actors that live in california you keep referencing, they aren't actors. They're waiters. Quit making the "pool" of actors so large to fit your model/belief. Just because I call myself an actor, doesn't mean I am one. Why are you in belief these other ones are too? Because they claim to be?
 
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Thank you for your detailed response, @eliquid. One thing I learned from your post is that we may confuse dreamers with doers.

Both being a successful actor and, say, a successful owner of a B2B company (something few people consider "sexy") may not have that extremely different odds.

It's only that there are many more dreamers who want to be actors (creating an illusion that the field is very competitive) and much fewer dreamers pursuing the B2B opportunity (creating an illusion that the field is wide open).

In reality, in both cases the odds may not be that drastically different for the right person. There are just way more dabblers in the movie industry but they aren't really your competition, sort of like academic books don't compete with commercial non-fiction.
 

Kevin88660

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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 think it boils down to two things
1) Have a leap of faith
2) know your why (really about handling opportunity cost)

Number one is pretty straight forward. All great achievements are started by confidence that is not grounded in evidence because otherwise you would lose the will to fight. It is not that the entrepreneurs do not logically understand this but they chose not to because it is in their own interest to ignore the reality at a conscious level. Successful entrepreneurs in their interview often admit that. On some level your beliefs help to reinforce yourself to be either the norm or the exception, and since the odds are already screwed in the physical realm, I cannot afford to screw it up in the mental and spiritual realm...

2) It boils to thinking about what you stand to lose if you fail. A colleague fresh grad who can go back to work after 2 years if he failed his business. Nothing to worry about!

If you need to pay the bills then keep your job until the side hustle becomes profitable. Nothing much to lose if it didnt work.

If you are crazy about being an actor and nothing else then the odds doesn’t matter..because the status quo is a failure and only rational option is to die trying.

Most of the time it is only difficult when you stand to lose something. Taking on some financial risk or giving up a well paying job you don’t really hate, for something you love but more likely you will fail than succeed. Well then either chicken out or be a good gambler. There is a Chinese saying in Asia “If you come to the gambling table then be prepared to accept your losses”. No easy decision but better bite the bullet before you start than to hesitate and chicken out halfway. There is always a great deal of overlap between starting a business and taking a gamble, even though some might hate to associate in that way. Many People who hit the largest jackpot in business had prior history of bankruptcy. They took risk in what normal people consider as irresponsible.
 

Fr33zerPop

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There is so many things going on here...

I get what you mean. What you are trying to say and setup, I do.

But my thought is this:

1. "vast majority of actors are broke" - If you are talking about the ones that went to California and are waiting tables, those aren't actors. They're waiters.

2. "Most novelists make peanuts" - most of them aren't novelist. They maybe have a day job or career. Writing is their side hobby. They more than likely aren't novelists.

3. "Wannabe influencers" - keyword being wannabe. These people aren't influencers.

So right off the bat, based on my logic and thinking.. the so called "actors" market is cut back 80% or more. Same with novelists and influencers. What might be a huge market/audience to you or others, is really only 20% to me because real actors are not waiting tables.

The actors who make this their full-time job are to me. So now the market is so much smaller and I can base any numbers/stats on just those that actually matter.

So when this is done, is the new small pool of actors really broke now? And what's broke? Homeless or just getting by? $1m Ferrari or G6?

Maybe the frame needs to be changed. Who are really actors? What is really broke?

When we exclude hobbiest and part-timers and dreamers who have never been in a movie/tv series.. what does the outcome look like now?



So in one thought, the NBA basketball player was often simply lucky. A certain series of events worked out for them while not working out for others.

But then in another thought, you are trying to actively chose carefully what you pursue so no time is wasted in something unrealistic.

BUT, how do you know what's realistic? Also, if it's all down to luck, why even plan or be careful in what you choose as to not waste time since luck and life is gonna pick for you?

If we all assume an NBA player gets to where he is based on luck and certain events happening to them, how does the next Michael Jordan who maybe right now is in the 2nd grade get to the NBA if he decides today it's just luck and he needs to quit wasting time being unrealistic? Especially is his parents think the same way?

The truth is, the "lucky" events happened because of certain events the believer did before hand, proactively towards their dream/goal.

Jordan didn't get lucky. Sure certain events happened to him to have him in the NBA, but those events happened because of what he did prior. Those events prepared him for the next event and the next so that when things lined up, he was at the right place at the right time.

Those events can't unfold without the event before it. Like you said, a certain series of events happened. But you got to put yourself in that series, in those events.

He didn't sit around thinking it wasn't realistic and wasn't going to happen and he needs to chase another dream. If he did, he wouldn't have been watching replays of games, doing 1k freethrows, working out, making dunks, playing college ball, etc to get to the level he did when it was "go time".




Some people do get lucky by being at the right place at the right time. People win the lottery.. Some people get a magical VP of Marketing job at an agency when they know 0 about marketing online.

But time snuffs them out.

I know a guy that got back to back jobs as senior level marketing talent. VP this, CMO that, SVP here, etc... Honestly, I was jealous when it happened to him. Mainly because I taught this guy everything he knew and just 6 months ago he was asking me about PPC and SEO.

But guess what, he lasted 3-6 months in each of those roles and was fired at each.

So time snuffs you out in one way or another. You might get the 15 minutes of fame and the lucky draw, but if you can't output and perform at that level, you get thrown to the waste side. Knowing this, I now don't care about who life makes lucky, because it will end when it is suppose to. Luck maybe pulled the ticket for you ( I dont believe this ), but luck doesn't keep you in the game when it's "go time".

On Elon and how luck played a big role in the last final try for Space X, that wasn't luck. That was countless tests, checklists, top talent and failures to learn from. That wasn't luck... it wasn't luck he was determined to keep trying, that he and his team had all this failure data prior.

And those actors that live in california you keep referencing, they aren't actors. They're waiters. Quit making the "pool" of actors so large to fit your model/belief. Just because I call myself an actor, doesn't mean I am one. Why are you in belief these other ones are too? Because they claim to be?
I like this perspective. It's also important for us to distinguish between "success" as we define it, and "the most successful person at it sitting on Conan". A lot of times we use extreme success examples (Musk), but that kind of outstanding success isn't necessary for us to consider ourselves successful. In your example, now I don't have to be the best actor, I just have to be best enough to join the group of actors who can pay the bills and feel satisfied about their work. Again, the odds drop in our favor. If having the right perspective can be the difference between persistence and giving up, then getting our perspective right can be a critical factor to our success!

For more perspective, here's a great video on luck/chance by Veritasiam that I like:
View: https://youtu.be/3LopI4YeC4I
 

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