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Is CENTS Destructive to Action?

Discussion in 'The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Mind' started by MJ DeMarco, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Over the years I've read thousands of introductions here.

    A common thread I've seeing follows the following format:

    A) I have 3 ideas, X,Y, and Z.
    B) None of them meet CENTS.
    C) X is missing entry, Y is missing scale, and Z is missing a mix of both.
    D) I don't know what to do.

    The end result is the person does NOTHING.

    The problem with this mentality is that it causes you not to engage the market.

    And market engagement (CENTS OR NOT!) is what causes you to personally grow, gain skills, and even uncover newer or better opportunities.

    Just because something isn't initially CENTS, doesn't mean you should ignore it. CENTS can come into play after years of engagement, not in your first week.

    Also, if you're just looking to scrub up some WINS and some small cash profits, CENTS is probably the last thing you should be looking at --- but just NEED.

    Folks, don't complicate this. CENTS exists as a guiding framework for entrepreneurs who are looking to do things bigger than they've ever done. But if you've never done DONE before, I wouldn't let it stop you from starting.

    Do something. Anything. Small wins, small profits. Take swings at the plate, learn how to make contact. Once you're ready to go into the deep end of the water, CENTS can be insurance policy that your effort pays life-changing wealth VS bill-paying profits.

    TLDR; Don't let CENTS stop you from striking out into the world and grabbing your first small win.
     
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  2. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Very good point, but it's fair to say the N piece of CENTS is always necessary, right?
     
  3. mardybum
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    I think sometimes you just figure CENTS out while you are at it.. It is impossible to have all information regarding CENTS before you start out.
     
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    awestbro New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    My biggest takeaway from TMFL was action over everything. If you never start because of CENTS/ lack of confidence/ a million other potential reasons you have failed (trust me, I've let myself fail for years from analysis paralysis/ imposter's syndrome/ "I don't know enough").

    You don't fail if you've taken action towards a goal, you've learned. Let CENTS be the guardrails that guide you towards bigger success once you're already on the road.
     
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  5. RazorCut
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    Totally agree. Action creates momentum and once you build up enough of that you can become unstoppable.

    None of my early businesses met all of the CENTS criteria but I haven't had to fill in a job application form in close to 25 years.
     
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  6. RazorCut
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    Unless you purposely manufacture your business model around that core rather than looking for needs and picking the best fit.
     
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  7. jpn
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    jpn Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Its not the CENTS framework that is destructive. It is the act of overthinking.

    And if you’d given any other framework. Even a very simple one, people would overthink and not take action.

    I’m sure that if all you said was: take action, go sell something that people need. People would be over thinking, what action should I start with? Making a website? Should I learn to code first to build my website to sell what’s needed? And what is needed? Do you think people need toothpaste enough, or should I sell something else?

    People are afraid to take action without having all the answers. They don’t realize no one has all the answers when they start. I should know. I was one of these people.
     
  8. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Yes, definitely. Without need (value), money doesn't move
     
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  9. SamRussell
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    I've certainly felt like that myself with business ideas. I have an idea for something, half a$$ it, give up; or have an idea, turn it over in my head and never give it a go.

    Weirdly (or maybe not...) I see a similar process with my guitar students when working on more creative exercises, or when I ask them trickier questions.

    Sometimes, to find an answer, we have to poke at the question. Try a few things out, start with an assumption, work through the consequences and see if it works or not. Sometimes we have to sit and think about a question for a few minutes to get the answer...

    But quite often, if we can't answer a question straight away, we assume that we don't know the answer, when in fact we do, the answer just takes time to come to mind. It's like our brain is a slow hard drive that needs a second to find the answer.

    I've actually tested this with students before... asked a question and said they have to sit in silence for 5 minutes until someone gets the answer. No-one answers straight away... but after 1-2 minutes hands go up.

    To bring this back to what you said, we have to try a few things out. It reminds me a bit of a principle from the book PsycoCybernetics, which said (to massively paraphrase):

    Before you can do something right, you have to teach your body all the ways of doing it wrong... so that it can not do them
    Thanks for the thread MJ, I've been sitting on an idea for a few weeks now and I'll get it online this weekend.
     
  10. Sander
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    Sander But I get up again... Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Know a person who read TMF a couple of years ago now.

    He still haven't got THE idea that meet the CENTS.
     
  11. Charnell
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    Big big big facts.

    Years of CENTS neglecting money-chasing, hustling, and just taking action has led to skills and the ability to do better things, some of which still don't follow CENTS to a core. But that comes with time like you said.

    One thing to keep in mind is if you do enough mental gymnastics, you can convince yourself any business violates CENTS (if the competition has a big enough budget).
     
  12. Never1
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    100% spot on. The business I'm working on is something I want to use, personally/professionally, and I'm pretty sure it meets most of the CENTS criteria. However, I haven't given it too much thought and don't want to waste time worrying about it being a homerun. Deep down I know that whatever experience I gain from the process will get me one step closer to a real fastlane outcome.
     
  13. Ernman
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    Thank you MJ - an important thread. I believe you even said in your book(s) you don't need all the CENTS elements to get started.
     
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  14. CopyDane
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    Honestly I can admit that CENTS conveniently became an excuse for me not to take action. Quite ironic actually.

    I would get an idea that seemed pretty awesome. I'd then think it through a little more - and woops, what'ya know - it didn't meet entry or time or one of the other three simple, but powerful letters.

    ..Aah, what a relief.

    "Now I don't have to do that thing anyway, which is pretty sweet, because it all seemed a little uncomfortable anyway."

    ^ That's my main problem (and probably other wantrepreneurs' main problem aswell).

    Quite frankly, I'm not taking action because my ideas don't meet CENTS.

    I'm avoiding taking action, because I'm afraid of not being sufficient. Not being appreciated. Not being accepted. Nothing being good enough. Not being.. perfect.

    In my mind, I have to please people and be acknowledged and appreciated by them. And after 10 awfully unsuccesful cold calls, it becomes too much. Too much shame, too much self blame, too much self doubt etc.

    And then what do I (you) do? We look to rationalize why it's okay for us not to be taking any action. Because if we succeed in that, we can stop taking action with good (false) conscience.

    ..After all, it is way more comfortable to stay emotionally safe than risk bothering other people and being told 'No' and eventually hit the spot and start the journey to creating the wildest and most fantastic entreprenurial adventure you could ever dream of..

    Damn, what am I (you) doing?
     
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  15. Timmy1990
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    I found it was, when I first read your books I dismissed everything that didn't meet CENTS.
    I felt lost.

    The books plus this forum is alot of information to take in, in a short space of time.
     
  16. Bekit
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    Bekit Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    At the end of the Millionaire Fastlane, there's a paragraph that says,

    CENTS doesn't intrinsically lead to paralysis. It's your mindset and your choices that determine whether you will take action or not.

    If someone uses that as an excuse, I think the deeper issue is that they aren't committed to process; they're still looking for an event.

    I am in an early, "small win" stage, where I am violating the commandment of time. But that doesn't mean I can not take action. I can do SOMETHING, and that will lead me forward, develop my skills, and improve my ability to take bigger action.
     
  17. Anakalypsi
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    This thread is exactly what I and a lot others I'm sure needed to read today!

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Jello
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    To start something is not always easy but it's not always the starting up what leads to procrastination. Sometimes you're stuck when your business is running fine and you are afraid to expand and are in doubt if cents does apply.

    That's the situation I'm in now.

    My business is running fine but to go fastlane I need to start to scale and find more clients therefore I need to do certain things.

    But I don't do those things, I'm procrastination and putting things off. Overthinking to much and ask myself if it is really fastlane.

    Apart from the T(time) everything else does apply. Control, Entry, Need, Scale.

    But it's no problem that I have to put in time. As long I'm making profit and making real money (profitmarge 40 to 60% before taxes) and put this profit in investments or other businesses that not require much of my time I can go fastlane.

    The problem is that I don't take any real action to expand my business.

    Why?

    Because I'm afraid of success and in the same time I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid of both.

    So I keep thinking and thinking if cents does apply and if I'm in the right business and if it's not better to do something else. In the mean time totally ignoring everything else what's written in TMF and Unscripted.

    Execution is king.

    I know that I have to start a execution thread or ask more around not only on this forum but everywhere. And I have some great contacts.
    But I keep putting things off and keep thinking now is not the right time. I'll wait when the right moment comes.
     
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  19. ZF Lee
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    ZF Lee Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Thanks MJ for the reminder!

    I must also say, a big SORRY. To all the good folks, here on TFLF.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WARNING: Long story....includes some details I didn't add on my progress thread.

    I'll admit that in my first days here, I was pretty disgusted with this forum when most of time, all you folks said was 'Take Action!'

    Take action, take action, take action!

    I actually 'formally' took action around last year, when my girl was showing signs that she was didn't like what I was doing with my progress.

    Got onto Upwork, and got a few jobs. Earned around 1/10 of the minimum wage in a few months.
    Learned a lot on working with other people, overdelivering, setting expectations and being resourceful to get info from industries I knew next to nothing about.

    I went to my first meetup.com meetings. Found a few great groups (and a few scams along the way, but that's in my progress thread):p

    Good, right?

    Something bad happened.

    I slipped back into my past SCRIPTED attitude of just getting by with studies, reading without action, and letting my Upwork progress slip. :arghh:

    Then, around February this year, I saw EXACTLY what would happen if I didn't work fast enough to reinforce my actions and behavior to UNSCRIPT myself mentally and physically.

    A relative of mine placed TOO MUCH of his time on a girl, to the point that when the girl broke up with him under some silly conditions, he just fell apart.

    Instead of dealing with the problem himself, like a man, he just spilled everything to his relatives and parents.

    And of course, family drama followed, plus we discovered that he really f*cked up his life.
    We are talking about having next to ZERO networking with successful people, crap grades, hanging on to toxic people that needed to be cut off ASAP, plus shitty mindset on motivation and value creation.

    Basically like seeing a plant near death under a scorching Arizona sun.

    Really woke me up.

    Read up Atomic Habits, pushed myself to follow the F*cking Habit Stacks I wrote for myself, and redid my Upwork profile and revised my proposal writing style. Spent nights firing off messages and creating REAL RELEVANT samples on the fly (not fake-shit 100-day-challenge-headlines, @Azure:playful:).

    In a few weeks, I was shocked to find folks coming in, offering to pay me above my usual rates for simple writing and article jobs I thought 'anyone' could do.

    I had to raise my rates TWO TIMES in a row once the 5-star feedbacks came rolling in.

    On Monday, I'll be having an interview with a top Singapore email marketing guru who is partnering with an upcoming Amazon trainer. If all goes well, the starting rates will be nearly 190% my initial regular rates, when I first started out (I counted twice on a calculator to make sure I wasn't wrong). Plus, he'll be giving me daily work of up to 3 emails, so I'll not only be making bank, but TRAINING my COPYWRITING under even more challenging situations!

    I had never written a single email that converted before (besides Quora and TFLF posts lol). Before, I had just done articles, landing pages and product descriptions that my past clients never discussed their conversion rates before.

    Plus, I went back to my long abandoned meetup.com groups, rebuilt my connections with the good folks there by offering samples and free help, and in a few day's time, I'm going to a private entrepreneur's event that is typically a closed event for outsiders!

    I attended a neighbourhood meeting in my new place (I moved from my accoms to save the rent). I filled my plate with food from the buffet, hopped to a table, greeted and introduced myself cordially to the folks there.

    I discovered a guy who owned some units there to rent out, plus a young chap who's used to study at MY university and is working at a startup based in Singapore. Damn, surprised to find people with track records, in an event where folks just went to eat!

    When I came back home, I had to listen to the same old tired drivel from my relatives and friends about their shitty college and workplace folks that they had to deal with.

    I suddenly realised at that moment that I could drop bad friends and make new friends very quickly, anytime that I chose. And I roughly knew WHERE to find good relationships, and HOW to grow them.

    I'm not exactly there yet, but the crazy thing is that all this happened in ONE and a HALF MONTHS.

    That's rounded up to around 46 days.

    For that, my dear Fastlaners, I'm sorry I took the 'Take Action' advice very late, when I could have just done it in the first day after finishing TMF.
    Thanks everyone.

    Really happy, yet ashamed of myself, at the same time.
     
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  20. Kevin88660
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    Kevin88660 Bronze Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Totally agree.

    CENTS should be a direction and we will figure it out along the way.
     
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  21. PetePreneur
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    This is exactly what I was thinking the other day. The end goal should always be to eventually create a CENTS type business, but people are just using it as an excuse to not get started on this forum I feel.

    My strategy is to go into online retail in a niche and gradually transition into creating a product brand within my niche because I don't have enough money or knowledge to create my own product brand just yet. This business should follow the CENTS rules more closely.

    It's very difficult to create a CENTS business from the start because they have high barriers to entry, which often means you need either lots of money to start them or you need to have highly specialised, difficult to acquire skills or sometimes both. Ironically these problems will become your strengths if you can make it work because others won't be able to compete as easily!
     
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  22. Jello
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    Wow, very inspiring, just a very inspiring post.
    Respect
     
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  23. wordwarrior
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    wordwarrior Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Yes! Perfect is the enemy of good/it’s easy to do nothing perfectly. Besides, I’ve heard many anecdotes about entrepreneurs failing at their first 3-4 ventures before making it.

    The venture I’m thinking of is far from perfect, CENTS-wise, but it has the potential to easily morph into something else (perhaps there’s even a software angle that will manifest itself).

    Sitting around waiting for the perfect idea or opportunity is letting the sands of life’s hourglass drift by. Better to put your best foot forward and start learning and improving at entrepreneurship.
     
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    TMF readers are waiting for an EVENT in which they find an idea that completely follows CENTS.

    How ironic.
     
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  25. socaldude
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    socaldude Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    If you have to start out as an arbitrager then so be it.

    Simply buying low and selling high in different markets.

    Then once you know the insides and secrets of that market you can maybe move in with something that meets CENTS. Once you know how sellers and buyers behave in that market. Because after all the common denominator in every market is human behavior/decisions.

    Usually when you create a product or a service that's completely yours and you own all the rights then it can easily fit the CENTS model. These days you can sell franchise rights, set up independent contractors, set up affiliates etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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