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Have you had your "FTE"? (Or Was it an FTM?!)

Oilman

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@Mikkel linked me to this. Just took a brief look at this. Here's mine:

Worked at current place for nearly a year. Did all kinds of stuff like show up on time, don't talk back, help out with other stations.

Last weekend was the death blow. Manager was disrespectful, on top of doing illegal activity that I don't think will be appropriate to discuss on a public forum. Today I had a chat with an older coworker, told him about said illegal activity.

Interesting nomenclature "FTE".
 
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Oilman

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I came back from a deployment to Iraq in 2016. I went back to my engineering job. It was my third deployment but things seemed very different. My job never excited me but the lack of passion I had for it bothered me. It was like I needed to keep my adrenaline up but there was nothing to replace it. I went to business school (for free) to switch it up but after finishing my program, I just became a consultant working for a firm where the majority of the consultants didn't have business degrees.

The FTE happened on my second project where my project manager gave me the old "put these binders together" tasks. I heard a similar story from other people so I know that this has got to be some type of kiss the initiation milestone. Like they really want see if they have your nuts. I went from working on engineering projects to a "top 10" business program, all to have some clown tell me to put binders together. I started resignation letter that day but didn't send it in until 2019. I didn't have an exit plan I just new that this wasn't it.

Now I am taking my licks and figuring out how to be an entrepreneur. The hard lessons keep coming but there is something about feeling like control that gives me that adrenaline spike that I have been missing since 2016. I love helping people but God help me to not run out of money before I figure this out.
First of all thank you for your service.

Second of all, I'm just posting this on limited time so bear with me. I wish you the best of your luck. All my life I've had mostly predatory jobs, we're talking about changing starting pay, not promising raises, etc.

I don't know how else I can make this more eloquent besides best wishes.
 

futurePorscheDr

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Worked at big consultancy firm and mainly worked in a particular industry. Came up with a great (software) product that we could build and sell across our clients. I set-up an offshore development team, created the product and organised a number of demo sessions. We went on and sold it to a number of clients.

This resulted into 6-figure revenues for our firm. They've further built out this IP and have gone on to make even more revenue.

My boss took all the credit.
I received an amazon gift voucher.

omg, when you said you came up with the product, I thought you quit and developed the product for yourself.

It's absolutely true, every level of boss will want to take credit, like a F*cking flock of different kinds and different size of vultures. Then don't want to give anything to the guy on the bottom who actually made it happen, and then they wonder why employees are doing the bare minimum.
 

futurePorscheDr

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The next day comes and I'm really sick now. At 4:30pm my boss sends me an email asking me to write her an overview of what was discussed the day before at the budget marathon meeting because she wasn't involved. She also wanted an update to a spreadsheet and she needed it by 7pm because she had a call with our London office where it would be discussed.

I turned off my phone, ignored her email and just slept.

I went back to work the next week and my boss had flown in from Melbourne to Sydney for some meetings and she sent me a text on her way in from the airport that she'd had a cancellation for her 9:30am meeting and did I want to catch up.

She rolls up to the meeting room a few minutes late and the first thing she said to me was, "I was pretty disappointed you didn't reply to my email last Thursday, I know you were sick and on holidays, but I really needed that info for my meeting."

This was my FTE.

I picked up my notepad and pen, told her it had been a pleasure, walked back to my desk, packed up a few of my things and left. My staff just looked at me a bit confused as I gathered a few personal effects and told my secretary that she could send me the rest next week.

I was in an Uber on the way home and my phone rings, it's my now ex-Boss, "Where did you go?"


It's almost comical, they think b/c they're the boss, they can do absolutely nothing, claim credit for everything, then express no gratitude, instead express "disappointment", then demand more.

in so many ways, employment is too close to slavery for comfort.
 
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emavery176

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My latest "FTE" story is rising cost of living. The rents in my city (Atlanta) have almost doubled in the past 1.5-2 years. I have lived in the same apartment since 2016. The rent in 2019 was 900 and now it's 1700 minimum.
 
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realbillperry

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My mom passed on April 29. I've been reading, and action-faking mostly before. With SOME action-taking. My website is up and can make products.

But her passing (at only 70 years), hit me. Just making me realizing I'm running out of time (We all are I guess).
She spent most of her adult life settling from what I can tell, and I could've done more to put myself into a position to help her in terms of money and Quality-of-Life.

That's my FTE.
 

acars513

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My FTE happened fairly recently. I had been in the financial services industry for the last few years (where I thought I wanted to retire from) as a banker at a branch. This bank was not paying nearly enough so a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in working for the company he is at and has been for over a decade. It's small, family owned business. I was reluctant at first but with a significant pay increase, I could not turn that down. Within the first few months, my boss was, essentially, telling me they will be training me to eventually take the shop over as the manager of this particular shop. He explained to me that he has been with the company for many years and that "we make the most money out of all of our other shops!" as well as "this will all be yours!". After noticing how stressed he is all the time, his hair falling out, his negative attitude toward the world, his devotion to not that much money (60 plus hours a week) and the sacrifice of never being with his family, all the while, him complaining how much his wife is always mad at him, complaining about customers and how everyone sucks unless they are from this particular area (we work in the neighborhood he grew up in) and his total aura of sadness, I am supposed to be filling his shoes? Is that what will happen to me (or anyone) that takes over his position? In that moment, I could see the future and it doesn't look good if this is what life looks like in 10 years! No way! FTE INCOMING! Nope. No more. I'm done. I am ready to be my own boss, make my own fast lane venture and not just get by because another job will offer me more money in exchange for 50+ hours a week of my time. It's more valuable than that. Way more valuable. I am forever grateful for finding these books, this forum, and community. This is only the beginning!
 
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Kevin88660

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My FTE happened fairly recently. I had been in the financial services industry for the last few years (where I thought I wanted to retire from) as a banker at a branch. This bank was not paying nearly enough so a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in working for the company he is at and has been for over a decade. It's small, family owned business. I was reluctant at first but with a significant pay increase, I could not turn that down. Within the first few months, my boss was, essentially, telling me they will be training me to eventually take the shop over as the manager of this particular shop. He explained to me that he has been with the company for many years and that "we make the most money out of all of our other shops!" as well as "this will all be yours!". After noticing how stressed he is all the time, his hair falling out, his negative attitude toward the world, his devotion to not that much money (60 plus hours a week) and the sacrifice of never being with his family, all the while, him complaining how much his wife is always mad at him, complaining about customers and how everyone sucks unless they are from this particular area (we work in the neighborhood he grew up in) and his total aura of sadness, I am supposed to be filling his shoes? Is that what will happen to me (or anyone) that takes over his position? In that moment, I could see the future and it doesn't look good if this is what life looks like in 10 years! No way! FTE INCOMING! Nope. No more. I'm done. I am ready to be my own boss, make my own fast lane venture and not just get by because another job will offer me more money in exchange for 50+ hours a week of my time. It's more valuable than that. Way more valuable. I am forever grateful for finding these books, this forum, and community. This is only the beginning!
Have you seen the financials of the shop?
 

acars513

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Have you seen the financials of the shop?
I have. One of my responsibilities of the shop is our in house accountant and we do, in fact, make waaayy more money than all of the other shops (last year we made 4.3m and our second place shop was less than half that).
 

Kevin88660

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I have. One of my responsibilities of the shop is our in house accountant and we do, in fact, make waaayy more money than all of the other shops (last year we made 4.3m and our second place shop was less than half that).
Won’t it be a good deal if you take over provided that the terms and conditions are favorable?

Why not discuss succession plan now if the boss is as keen as he says.

How would you value the shop based on PE multiples and existing hard assets?
 
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acars513

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Won’t it be a good deal if you take over provided that the terms and conditions are favorable?

Why not discuss succession plan now if the boss is as keen as he says.

How would you value the shop based on PE multiples and existing hard assets?
A couple of things for context:

I have zero desire to work any more in this industry than I already do. The owner is the son of the original owner who bought the business back in the 70's or 80's and he has no inclination to sell due to their rapid expansion.

I came from the banking industry (retail) which I didn't exactly hate but knew I could do better. I was offered this position due to the much higher pay. I have only been here for about 6 months and in that short amount if time, the FTE has happened. And I am so glad it did and that I found this community!

It isn't just this specific shop but the company as a whole is valued quite favorably. The owner constantly gets calls from private equity firms regarding buyouts and/or M&A. He has no intention on selling anytime soon and, potentially, wants to pass it down to his children as well. He also is not open to the idea

Long story short: I am ready to be my own boss, have my own business where I provide incredible value to customers and help those with their business needs as well as carve my own path.
 

Zac_UK

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So this is an open call for everyone to share their "FTE" story, otherwise known as their "F*ck This Event."

A "F*ck this event" is an incident in your life that pushes you over the ledge of a SCRIPTED existence. It is a pejorative "I've had it!" or a "I can't live like this!" moment that screams it's time for you to change.

Interest moves to commitment. Thinking moves to action. Desire moves to obsession.

I described mine in both books -- getting stranded in a limousine on the side of the road in a blizzard.

What event in your life screamed to your soul, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"?

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My FTE was in my work place, I was a principal engineer in R&D and was comfortable, I’d been working for that company for over 9 years. They had a tradition where when you get to 10 years service the CEO gives you a handshake, they take a photo and put it up on the office wall in an area marked “the big 10 club” with photos of all the people with 10 years service.

In my roll I’d worked with the CEO loads so wasn’t too interested in a handshake but as I approached 10 years I started to think I don’t want to have been stuck in the same place for 10 years and that it’s not something to celebrate, it just shows a lack of drive and ambition. The photos on the wall were all the old guys who had been there ages and had resigned themselves to the same life and would stay until retirement.

I thought F*ck this, they are not getting me on that wall, so I quit before I goto 10 years and worked in my own business.
 

Kevin88660

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Even STEM graduate jobs are being outsourced to India.

I don’t know if anyone needs a bigger warning sign than that.

Zoom is a game changer.

You are only worth as much as the next cheaper replacement.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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Even STEM graduate jobs are being outsourced to India.

I don’t know if anyone needs a bigger warning sign than that.

Zoom is a game changer.

You are only worth as much as the next cheaper replacement.
One of the most severe shortcomings of my business is that with rare exceptions, everything is done via Zoom.

You may say this is a good thing, but I see it as a disadvantage. My biggest projects were in-person, I had a huge client I did consulting for in Switzerland for example.

People would never pay a premium for a Zoom call, but they would for in-person. Tony Robbins on Zoom vs Tony Robbins 1-1 in-person — you’d have people paying millions for the latter but not for the former.

If I could meet clients in-person I would easily be 10x bigger. Selling anything would be significantly easier. People touting the laptop lifestyle don’t understand the value face-to-face has in influence. As things stand I invest a ton in my image over Zoom — my office has to be perfect, my dressing has to be perfect and so on. This is how you intimidate people and get them to give you big money — nobody gives you money unless they feel intimidated by you. Easier to intimidate in-person than behind a keyboard.

Yes, the Indians are taking over STEM zoom calls because it’s seen as low-value.
 

Richard Peck

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One of the most severe shortcomings of my business is that with rare exceptions, everything is done via Zoom.

You may say this is a good thing, but I see it as a disadvantage. My biggest projects were in-person, I had a huge client I did consulting for in Switzerland for example.

People would never pay a premium for a Zoom call, but they would for in-person. Tony Robbins on Zoom vs Tony Robbins 1-1 in-person — you’d have people paying millions for the latter but not for the former.

If I could meet clients in-person I would easily be 10x bigger. Selling anything would be significantly easier. People touting the laptop lifestyle don’t understand the value face-to-face has in influence. As things stand I invest a ton in my image over Zoom — my office has to be perfect, my dressing has to be perfect and so on. This is how you intimidate people and get them to give you big money — nobody gives you money unless they feel intimidated by you. Easier to intimidate in-person than behind a keyboard.

Yes, the Indians are taking over STEM zoom calls because it’s seen as low-value.

10000% correct + same with software.

Although SaaS has overt value, a physical "thing" that you get (even as simple as a box) is highly important. It's one of the reasons I got some flash drives a year ago for when I start distributing products for my company: -

703e0f11fc7890ebfd9395da5dd35bd9.jpg


Making the offer an "in person" affair is, to me, significantly more valuable than getting them into a digital funnel.

Anything you can do to cross the digital divide is worth the investment in my view.

This is how you intimidate people and get them to give you big money — nobody gives you money unless they feel intimidated by you. Easier to intimidate in-person than behind a keyboard.

I've said this for a LONG time and nobody cared.

I called it "social dominance" -- small things you do to confer superiority. Trump is a master of it, as was Hitler and Mussolini. Caesar also did it extremely well. Obviously not to emulate any of those people, but it's lost on me why - if you are dealing with decision makers - you show up looking, or sounding, like shit.

A more poignant example I read about was from Felix Dennis. When he mentioned telling his team that if he got up to leave a negotiation (they were talking to a Dutch magazine company who wanted to buy one of their titles), he told his colleagues that under no circumstances would they question him or his decision. If he left, they all left without saying anything. If I remember correctly, that's exactly what ended up happening and it scared the Dutch into complying with their demands for a higher valuation.

Here's a picture I have of Felix from my commonplace. I wonder who was the one who ended up with £750m+ net worth...

8fe3b5a3486cdfa82fbc52550029a8ee.jpg


Further, and in keeping with my work looking at the "brand" side of things, the key thing I found was "never sell the product". You innovate on what the product is able to "do" and you sell the shit out of that instead. In that regard, much of what makes higher end stuff perceptively valuable is its allusion to the position it is able to help you attain. Whilst many call it "status", I believe it to be more than that - more akin to power.

Rolex had some ads which did just that...

c1624aeb8f8d2780b5319e452420cd93.jpg


Almost zero mention of it being a watch.
 

Kevin88660

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One of the most severe shortcomings of my business is that with rare exceptions, everything is done via Zoom.

You may say this is a good thing, but I see it as a disadvantage. My biggest projects were in-person, I had a huge client I did consulting for in Switzerland for example.

People would never pay a premium for a Zoom call, but they would for in-person. Tony Robbins on Zoom vs Tony Robbins 1-1 in-person — you’d have people paying millions for the latter but not for the former.

If I could meet clients in-person I would easily be 10x bigger. Selling anything would be significantly easier. People touting the laptop lifestyle don’t understand the value face-to-face has in influence. As things stand I invest a ton in my image over Zoom — my office has to be perfect, my dressing has to be perfect and so on. This is how you intimidate people and get them to give you big money — nobody gives you money unless they feel intimidated by you. Easier to intimidate in-person than behind a keyboard.

Yes, the Indians are taking over STEM zoom calls because it’s seen as low-value.
The lack of geographical entry barrier means most jobs involving people sitting in front of their computers face global competition.

Depends what do you mean by “low value”. You could hire 3-4 software engineers at the cost of one compared to doing it in a developed country.

Imo If you do your business in a developed economy it best has some sort of physical or regulatory barrier to entry (local license, certificates and examination).
 
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Black_Dragon43

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Here's a picture I have of Felix from my commonplace. I wonder who was the one who ended up with £750m+ net worth...
Lol this is an amazing picture. Such a huge difference between the three guys. You can clearly see who the one going places is, and who the “brokies” (as I like to say) are lol


I called it "social dominance" -- small things you do to confer superiority. Trump is a master of it, as was Hitler and Mussolini. Caesar also did it extremely well. Obviously not to emulate any of those people, but it's lost on me why - if you are dealing with decision makers - you show up looking, or sounding, like shit.
I’ve always done this instinctivrly, but the best book I’ve ever read on it is probably Winning Through Intimidation by a guy called Robert Ringer. I never actually finished the book, but read about 60% or so of it when I was in my early 20s.


A more poignant example I read about was from Felix Dennis. When he mentioned telling his team that if he got up to leave a negotiation (they were talking to a Dutch magazine company who wanted to buy one of their titles), he told his colleagues that under no circumstances would they question him or his decision. If he left, they all left without saying anything. If I remember correctly, that's exactly what ended up happening and it scared the Dutch into complying with their demands for a higher valuation
This is a good one — my favorite comes from Bill Bartmann who became the 25th richest man in America building CFS a debt-collection company before they were investigated, assets frozen and bankrupted (he was innocent though). He recounted one of the biggest negotiations, where they were negotiating with a big bank, all those guys having Harvard, Stanford, etc pedigrees while he was basically a dropout. And the same thing happened — he told them they’re wasting his time, got up and left. And as soon as they reached the bottom floor, the Harvard MBAs called them back in and the deal went through.

Incidentally Bill also became a motivational speaker after going bankrupt, wrote Billionaire Secrets to Success (one of the earliest get rich books that I’ve read and that had a big impact on me, I still have a copy with me, pic attached), and I bought one of his courses which made a big difference in my life too, called 9 Steps to Achieve Any Goal.

IMG_4796.jpeg

And then he started CFS II once again, and started making it big again, before he passed away in 2016 during heart surgery.

A true legend with one of the most inspiring stories. The debt collection industry has always been an interest of mine too.
 

Richard Peck

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This is a good one — my favorite comes from Bill Bartmann who became the 25th richest man in America building CFS a debt-collection company before they were investigated, assets frozen and bankrupted (he was innocent though). He recounted one of the biggest negotiations, where they were negotiating with a big bank, all those guys having Harvard, Stanford, etc pedigrees while he was basically a dropout. And the same thing happened — he told them they’re wasting his time, got up and left. And as soon as they reached the bottom floor, the Harvard MBAs called them back in and the deal went through.

Incidentally Bill also became a motivational speaker after going bankrupt, wrote Billionaire Secrets to Success (one of the earliest get rich books that I’ve read and that had a big impact on me, I still have a copy with me, pic attached), and I bought one of his courses which made a big difference in my life too, called 9 Steps to Achieve Any Goal.

IMG_4796.jpeg

And then he started CFS II once again, and started making it big again, before he passed away in 2016 during heart surgery.

A true legend with one of the most inspiring stories. The debt collection industry has always been an interest of mine too.

Amazing example, thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to research Mr Bartmann more.

There's a funnier one - whereby Hitler called the Czech president to the Reich chancellery to discuss the situation in the Sudetenland. Czech guy was very weak and Hitler kept him waiting for 4 hours whilst he finished watching a film. After this, they immediately started pressuring the president to "accept" German protection otherwise Czech would be invaded the following morning. The president had a heart attack and had to be resuscitated. He then agreed to Hitler's demands.

When Caesar was aiming for re-election, he was so popular that one of his laws was being vetoed by Bibulus. The Roman people loved Caesar and it was arranged for a bucket of manure to be poured all over his competitor. According to some sources, he almost died and ended up leaving Caesar to make all the decisions for the rest of the consular year. Here's a more in depth article of the episode.

Lol this is an amazing picture. Such a huge difference between the three guys. You can clearly see who the one going places is, and who the “brokies” (as I like to say) are lol

Indeed - it's always been intriguing to me how so few business courses actually have any information about how you present yourself. There seems to be an acceptance nowadays for extremely low standards of dress and etiquette, as if everybody wants to be poor. Your eyes should burn with intensity.

In my opinion, physiognomy is real.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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Indeed - it's always been intriguing to me how so few business courses actually have any information about how you present yourself. There seems to be an acceptance nowadays for extremely low standards of dress and etiquette, as if everybody wants to be poor. Your eyes should burn with intensity.
I think low standards are imposed by the buyers to be honest. They want to hear that anyone (yes, even them) can get rich. So that’s what they get.

A business course created for the truly motivated would have a very small audience. The reality is that it’s only by accessing the mass market that you can make a lot of money selling it. And the mass market is buying the dream.
 
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Kevin88660

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Indeed - it's always been intriguing to me how so few business courses actually have any information about how you present yourself. There seems to be an acceptance nowadays for extremely low standards of dress and etiquette, as if everybody wants to be poor. Your eyes should burn with intensity.

In my opinion, physiognomy is real.
Depends on industry culture.

The hotel industry is pretty solid in their dressing and appearance. They demand their staffs to dress to the highest standard.

The software guys are like as long as our product kick a$$ even the sales rep can wear jeans and T-shirts.
 
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Richard Peck

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Depends on industry culture.

The hotel industry is pretty solid in their dressing and appearance. They demand their staffs to dress to the highest standard.

The software guys are like as long as our product kick a$$ even the sales rep can wear jeans and T-shirts.

I was referring more to the courses/resources that help people start businesses. A lot of focus on how/what but little about presenting yourself like you want to achieve something. Even in the software industry, where dress codes have been famously lax, the nearer to the money you get, the more formal things tend to be.

Larry Ellison is a great example of this - dressed in Brioni whilst everyone else was in jeans/tshirts. This was a conscious decision, which I've lost the reference for. It may have been in the book "Softwar" which I read some time ago.

Another picture from my commonplace, this time of a young Larry Ellison. The eyes never lie: -

6376568ca282227825bba13cbb60b85e.jpg


Ultimately, it's all sales. If you're comfortable dressing like a slob to sell, that's on you. Some make it work but I always felt having a professional demeanour to be worth the investment. Obviously don't overdo it, but taking care of your appearance is very important, especially if you want a seat at the top table.

I think low standards are imposed by the buyers to be honest. They want to hear that anyone (yes, even them) can get rich. So that’s what they get.

A business course created for the truly motivated would have a very small audience. The reality is that it’s only by accessing the mass market that you can make a lot of money selling it. And the mass market is buying the dream.

Absolutely agree, and that's partly my gripe with it all - the resources you're referring to are accessible. The barrier-to-entry for consuming them is access to YouTube or Instagram, which is why most of their audience will not be successful.

If you want to win, you cannot do what the masses are doing. If it worked for them, they'd already be rich. Most gurus are pitching masturbatory nonsense, which, as you've said, is not going to give you anywhere near the sharpness/edge required to ascend.

I think real value comes from specificity. It's difficult to be specific when you're selling to a mass audience, so everything gets watered down to talking-points that are simple and generic. What you really need is knowledge the other party does not, applied in a way that provides a result better than they could achieve on their own.

It seems people are drawn to fads which have a basis in the idea that they're gaining access to "hidden" knowledge in the form of a new trend. SEO, social media marketing, dropshipping, crypto and AI fit into this. The "trick" that's sold is they can take advantage of the trend to make money. Whilst this may work in the short term, it almost always fails in the long as they don't build the leverage required to survive the collapse of interest in the fad.

Because the value is in the trend (not the person doing the work), they get away with a lot of faux-pas' simply because the demand for what they're offering may be quite high. However, the old rules still apply; work hard, network like a maniac with high performers and continue to develop extremely potent offers that appeal to decision makers.

Everything else should be ignored.
 

Kevin88660

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I was referring more to the courses/resources that help people start businesses. A lot of focus on how/what but little about presenting yourself like you want to achieve something. Even in the software industry, where dress codes have been famously lax, the nearer to the money you get, the more formal things tend to be.

Larry Ellison is a great example of this - dressed in Brioni whilst everyone else was in jeans/tshirts. This was a conscious decision, which I've lost the reference for. It may have been in the book "Softwar" which I read some time ago.

Another picture from my commonplace, this time of a young Larry Ellison. The eyes never lie: -

6376568ca282227825bba13cbb60b85e.jpg


Ultimately, it's all sales. If you're comfortable dressing like a slob to sell, that's on you. Some make it work but I always felt having a professional demeanour to be worth the investment. Obviously don't overdo it, but taking care of your appearance is very important, especially if you want a seat at the top table.
Reminds me of Elon Musk who says “Tesla spends no money on marketing” but never denies about rumors of him having done plastic surgery in the past.

Same with Michael Jackson.
 
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