The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

Is CENTS Destructive to Action?

Learn how to build wealth and win financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)

Atul Joshi

PARKED
Jul 16, 2019
2
0
20
India
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.
Thus you are saying wasting time on thinking is rubbish.
But doing something can give experience that makes you take better choice.
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
33,396
128,408
Alpine, UT
You didn't own each and every limo. You didn't employ limo drivers. So did you have complete control? No

Not one person or entity could destroy my business. In other words, one company couldn't call me up and say "Hey, we quit" and boom, I'm out of business.

That's the Commandment of Control. It's about one control apparatus having domain, not a diversification of 5,000 of them who amounted to paying customers.

No business is perfectly immune from control issues because we have customers.

The same control issues exist in a job; ONE COMPANY says you're FIRED and you're out of business.

Does your business have the same type of arrangement? Where ONE company can say "Adios!" and your business is f*cked?

If so, you violate control.
 

socaldude

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jan 10, 2012
1,892
4,305
San Diego, CA
I think you can extend the CENTS framework to "second order" or "third order" commandments or principles. Kind of like the greeks in options have second order greeks. They go deeper and more complicated than at first sight or prima facie in law.:rofl:

There is nothing wrong with just focusing and mastering one variable of the CENTS model.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Matt Dassel

Contributor
May 15, 2018
35
24
I just saw Instagram apparently removed their likes counter. Completely ruined most influencers' metric.

Control commandment calling here.
 

SIDI

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 5, 2018
44
48
I'm not sure it's necessarily CENTS.
CENTS is merely a framework which enables you to measure where you are and assess potential opportunities.

I'm really struggling to get started because every idea I come up with, after doing research to understand the opportunity I realise that the opportunity isn't big enough. Either it's already been done, or I'm struggling to see how I can do things better than what people are currently doing them.

I think that applying a framework such as CENTS helps to measure the opportunity, however I am finding it very difficult to get over the hurdle.

I am struggling because it seems stupid to start something when I believe that the ducks are lined up against me. A limiting belief in my own ability perhaps, or holding the potential competitors on too high of a pedestal.

Weak a$$ whinging post I know!

I guess if you don't shoot, you can't score. I'm struggling to take that approach.
 

Haelios

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Summit Attendee
Jul 9, 2019
54
119
Virginia
I'm really struggling to get started because every idea I come up with, after doing research to understand the opportunity I realise that the opportunity isn't big enough. Either it's already been done, or I'm struggling to see how I can do things better than what people are currently doing them.

You shouldn't be too concerned over thinking whether your idea is done or not. What you need to be thinking is how to twist those ideas into something that's more worthwhile for you and the marketplace. This is an extreme example, but I would go crazy for someone who could create a phone service that doesn't place me with someone who just learned how to speak English or doesn't try to screw me over with stupidly high rates for service that disconnects every other second!

Weak a$$ whinging post I know!

Don't be ridiculous! It's important to acknowledge your faults here and there. If you kept to yourself, you wouldn't be able to receive help on these sorts of things since everyone wouldn't know where to begin.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

lunga ngcobo

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 29, 2019
143
206
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.


I agree 100%.

For years micro property development funding in township areas was non existent in south africa. But that still didn't stop me from developing 2 properties with my own money. And a lot of other developers had done the same until lending companies started noticing the trend in 2018. Now in 2019 lending institutes are funding these developers.

If you think about it, my business was almost impossible to scale (centS) up quickly until this year. Now I have an opportunity to scale my property business faster than i ever though.

Guess what? The lending companies will only select micro developers who have years of experience in the sector. People like me ;) , who stuck around even though there was very little hope we could ever be noticed by the big dogs.
 

lunga ngcobo

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 29, 2019
143
206
I'm not sure it's necessarily CENTS.
CENTS is merely a framework which enables you to measure where you are and assess potential opportunities.

I'm really struggling to get started because every idea I come up with, after doing research to understand the opportunity I realise that the opportunity isn't big enough. Either it's already been done, or I'm struggling to see how I can do things better than what people are currently doing them.

I think that applying a framework such as CENTS helps to measure the opportunity, however I am finding it very difficult to get over the hurdle.

I am struggling because it seems stupid to start something when I believe that the ducks are lined up against me. A limiting belief in my own ability perhaps, or holding the potential competitors on too high of a pedestal.

Weak a$$ whinging post I know!

I guess if you don't shoot, you can't score. I'm struggling to take that approach.
Some businesses can not be built from scratch SiDi.

Take for example: A company that manufactures toilet paper. Toilet paper production Meats CENTS but ENTRY is tough for someone who has empty pockets. Why? because you need to buy industrial machinery and rent industrial space. Or you may choose to import toilet paper from china, but there is still high ENTRY barriers there because you need to have buying power.

Solution: What you can do is start other small businesses and save the money for your fastlane business. I see lots of millionaires where i live who started with smaller businesses and have managed to save up enough to buy big industrial machinery.

The fastlane is not as straight forward as the books say. Just start something and start it NOW!!
 

SIDI

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 5, 2018
44
48
You shouldn't be too concerned over thinking whether your idea is done or not. What you need to be thinking is how to twist those ideas into something that's more worthwhile for you and the marketplace. This is an extreme example, but I would go crazy for someone who could create a phone service that doesn't place me with someone who just learned how to speak English or doesn't try to screw me over with stupidly high rates for service that disconnects every other second!



Don't be ridiculous! It's important to acknowledge your faults here and there. If you kept to yourself, you wouldn't be able to receive help on these sorts of things since everyone wouldn't know where to begin.
Some businesses can not be built from scratch SiDi.

Take for example: A company that manufactures toilet paper. Toilet paper production Meats CENTS but ENTRY is tough for someone who has empty pockets. Why? because you need to buy industrial machinery and rent industrial space. Or you may choose to import toilet paper from china, but there is still high ENTRY barriers there because you need to have buying power.

Solution: What you can do is start other small businesses and save the money for your fastlane business. I see lots of millionaires where i live who started with smaller businesses and have managed to save up enough to buy big industrial machinery.

The fastlane is not as straight forward as the books say. Just start something and start it NOW!!

I guess the issue is that at the minute I’m chasing money as opposed to providing value. I’ve read the book, it makes logical sense. I’m just being lazy in thinking about it!

Thanks both for the responses
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

James Klymus

Gold Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Dec 28, 2018
382
1,379
26
Chicago, Illinois
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.

I'm glad you posted this clarification, because after I read Unscripted I thought that I had to have the perfect CENTS business, Or else the business wizard would come out from the sky and come beat me with a hockey stick.

It could have been clarified in the book, but how I interpreted it was that I needed to have all the CENTS requirements.

I'm sure i'm not the only one who thought this.
 

JWM

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Apr 14, 2018
81
119
Australia
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.
I'm always telling myself this, while CENTS is a major component of what you teach, I knew when starting out that I shouldn't follow it religiously in the early days
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

KIBET

New Contributor
Jul 4, 2019
4
3
Thanks
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.
MJ this is what has given me sleepless nights for the last few weeks. This post comes at the right time❤
 

KaitoKid

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 25, 2019
7
1
The other extreme though is doing everything and ignoring the CENTS. But yes, that's probably still better than doing NOTHING.

My biggest concern when I wanna commit to an idea which doesn't satisfy the CENTS is that if then I change route completely I'll probably waste the skills I acquired in that field.

For example, I just did an app in the Italian language, I learned a little of code (from zero). So maybe I can have another idea for another app. What can happen then is that I get a beautiful idea in another field and I'll start from zero.
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
33,396
128,408
Alpine, UT
Bump, just a reminder that sometimes it's better to just get your feet wet, create value, and earn a profit. CENTS is a high-level, long-game strategy for bigger outcomes.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

consignia

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 19, 2019
32
29
Amazing! I think sometimes it's a matter of giving it a little twist, even if the competition is already there, if you can do that one thing different you can crush it
 

KaitoKid

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 25, 2019
7
1
CENTS is an ideal. Sitting on your a$$ violates the principals of C, E, N, T and S 100% of the time. Selling lemonade out in front of your house is better than doing nothing. A business that violates almost all principles is better than doing nothing.

Yes, that's a point.
And it is a strategy, in the sense that you can develop what's weak on CENTS to make it stronger on CENTS.
Focus is the key. The target.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

ElleMg

Pronounced like the Elle in excellent
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2020
215
387
UK
I knew this would be a great thread 5 lines in.

Although as a new entrepreneur I was money chasing and simply skewing value in small and insignificant ways, I made cash and got good feedback, it fed the feedback loop.

Maybe I'm too focused on CENTS which is blocking my creativity, I dunno.
 

pappaishere

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Feb 8, 2020
22
20
World
I'm totally agree about it. The first time that you take action is scary.

Take actions when you didn't know where to start and which one are the step by step actions, is really difficult, cuz you feel like lost in the ocean; I felt that in my blood and I think many of entrepreneur felt in the exact way one time.

Btw, 1 week ago, reading the famous thread GOLD! - The "Astonishing Secrets" Thread i started to see things in another way. I started to call the niche that I aiming (cleaning company of my city, high offer and low demand ), and something very incredible happened.

After 3 years of reading books, watching videos, try to make something like SMMA and another stuffs, i found that just put yourself in a position for helping others in honest way and try to found their NEEDS is incredible powerful, the ironic thing is that i called and i specifically answer which are the biggest problems that this companies had passed and still have and they really quietly told me; they was like a glass of water that poured, i found many commons in their concerns, like personal/hiring problems, marketing problems and many others.

An owner of one company says that she likes me and the way of my propose questions, she offered me to become a salesman for her, this is happened just with an afternoon of interviewing calls, one agenda and a damn pencil.
Just because I was truly interested in their problems for figuring out a way for resolve their difficulties.

I made a face-to-face interview with she, I like her and she likes my attitude.

Better make something than nothing; and read another time The Secrets of the Millionaire Mindset LOL

Now let's see what happens! I am in the game now. That's for sure not a way for become a Fastlaner, but while I'm working in this niche i can improve my sales skills and i can get tools for become a better person, and apply what I had and I still learning. Test the market, make new connection, network and figuring out what can I create for deliver value in this niche.

I don't know why, but i'm 100% sure that every steps after the first'll became easier. It's a sensation.

<<<<< sorry for my english folks i'm here even for improve it ! >>>>>>>>>>>
 
Last edited:

Jdes91

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Oct 5, 2020
31
25
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.
I had a similar issue in that BEFORE I ever read Unscripted I had way more business ideas and I was way more creative I felt, and then I read CENTS and felt a little discouraged because it wipes out a lot of opportunities. However, I agree that it is important to just take action and see where it leads.

For instance, my goal is to develop apps and websites that address pain points in certain apps and services (a translation app, an app which helps connect LP sellers and buyers, and an app that connects people who want to sell and lend books to others, which bypasses the traditional library model which is getting a little outdated).

I'm not really able to start developing apps yet since I dont have any experience with it, so right now the best course of action is to learn coding and website development, and consult WIX and squarespace as well. I'm not ready to launch my ideas, but those are the incremental steps I'm taking towards getting it done. Eventually they will fit the CENTS framework.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

sambreaker20

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 4, 2011
49
23
Thank you for saying this. It’s very annoying and counterproductive when someone is trying to get into Fastlane business and mentioned some small business like flipping and veterans out of the gate just yell NOT FASTLANE!
 

Antifragile

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,350
3,395
Metaworld
What a great thread and a reminder! Thanks MJ.

I started first business well before reading your books and had to learn "the hard way" CENTS and its importance. But that isn't the point, the point is that almost every business at the inception doesn't really meet CENTS framework!

This morning I did some P90X Yoga watching my old CDs that I bought a decade ago! Here is an example of a personal trainer (Tony) whose business lacks control, entry, time and scale. Holy smokes, he should never have started but he did and he found a way with P90X to get all criteria met. He sold a video training program to millions of people like me!

Before reading MFL and Unscripted , I was fortunate to speak to a local legend - Brian Scudamore who started 1-800-GOT JUNK. Today it clearly meets all CENTS criteria, but at the inception it didn't. It was a guy with a truck! Barriers to entry? Low! Scale? Haha, right... Time? Yeah, he worked on the truck himself at the start. Now it's the biggest junk removal company in the world because he franchised it.

My point is that grit in business to find your way to meeting CENTS is far more important than waiting until some magical lightbulb moment when you finally have "the idea!" that meets CENTS.

Start now and work at it... Take massive action and enjoy the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. :)
 
Last edited:

FlorianR

Contributor
Mar 16, 2021
21
36
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.
So true. The most important thing is to just take action. I’m making merch for my niche specific social media page. I was surprised to see some of the market (my followers) respond positively to my first designs. I even got buying signals from a few of them. The business model is in no way CENTS except for some Control, Scale, and Need is more just a feeling of being part of the brand, not any real painful need. Yet the market still gave me some buying signals. A business like this won’t make me a multi-millionaire, but it can give me a good amount of side cash. Just take action!
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

Manfern

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Mar 7, 2013
26
18
32
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Is it possible to evaluate CENTS from position of necessary and sufficient? - what required to continue this business and when to stop and let go, because doing everything by trial and error not very efficient I think.

I like to think about control like owning it, nobody can f*ck you over that much.
More powerful position and strategy.
 
Last edited:

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Must Read Books...

Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore
Top