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NOTABLE! Lessons shared to me by the ultra-wealthy

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amp0193

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This thread will be a compilation of advice / stories shared to me by some incredibly smart and successful people.


First story, from a billionaire:


"My father taught me everything I know about business.

He started out selling watches. Cold calling stores door to door.

He had built a nice little business for himself, and was ready to bring on help, so he brought along someone new to train.

They arrive in a new town, and visit the general store.

My father asked the manager "Is there anyone in town that you think would want to buy my watches?"

The manager, who's skepticism had vanished after realizing he wasn't being pitched to replied: "Oh, well, how about me?"

"So my father goes into his normal pitch. Different premium features for this or that. Best in quality, yada, yada.

And the manager is loving it and asks "How do they come?"

Now, my father was used to selling watches 1 or 2 at a time, and was happy to sell just a couple in a day.

However, before he was able to answer, the trainee butts in to say "They come by the tray". (a tray, being 12 watches).

So the manager says "Ok, I'll take 1 tray".



Lesson 1: Make bigger deals.



What is "the tray" for your business?


If you sell to hotels... are you cold-calling individual hotels... who may or may not be even allowed to make a decision? Or are you getting a deal made at the corporate level, to get set up in all the hotels?


More lessons to come.
 
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kleine2

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"My father taught me everything I know about business.

He started out selling watches. Cold calling stores door to door.

He had built a nice little business for himself, and was ready to bring on help, so he brought along someone new to train.

They arrive in a new town, and visit the general store.

My father asked the manager "Is there anyone in town that you think would want to buy my watches?"

The manager, who's skepticism had vanished after realizing he wasn't being pitched to replied: "Oh, well, how about me?"

"So my father goes into his normal pitch. Different premium features for this or that. Best in quality, yada, yada.

And the manager is loving it and asks "How do they come?"

Now, my father was used to selling watches 1 or 2 at a time, and was happy to sell just a couple in a day.

However, before he was able to answer, the trainee butts in to say "They come by the tray". (a tray, being 12 watches).

So the manager says "Ok, I'll take 1 tray".



Lesson 1: Make bigger deals.



What is "the tray" for your business?


If you sell to hotels... are you cold-calling individual hotels... who may or may not be even allowed to make a decision? Or are you getting a deal made at the corporate level, to get set up in all the hotels?


More lessons to come.
Can I guess some lessons?

High touch sales are a great way to start, even if later on it doesn't scale.

Ask who they know that wants watches, not whether they want watches.

Have a younger trainee to keep things fresh.

When someone wants to buy something, be flexible, even if it's not exactly what you sell right now, find a way to accommodate them and to make it seem like something that you already sell.
 

amp0193

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Can I guess some lessons?
High touch sales are a great way to start, even if later on it doesn't scale.
Ask who they know that wants watches, not whether they want watches.
Have a younger trainee to keep things fresh.
When someone wants to buys something, be flexible, even if it's not exactly what you sell right now, find a way to accommodate them and to make it seem like something that you already sell.

Great takeaways!

Yes, there's a lot packed into that #truestory

When you ask people for help or advice, it disarms them.

Even if your end goal is to sell to them... play the long game.

Don't be pushy.
 

amp0193

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On getting to the next level:


"When I started my company, the first year we did $400k in sales and we knew we were onto something.

Then the next year we did a couple million and we thought we had achieved something great.

But a couple years later we hit 10M and it was like holy sh*t.

Last year we did 200M.


There is always another level.

You need to constantly be asking yourself "Why am I not bigger?"

And then don't be afraid of how big.

Just always be moving the ball forward.

To reach the next level you must fundamentally alter your business.


Too many small businesses are just trying to get by.



Lesson 2: What got you here, won't get you there.



In 2020 are you trying to do the same thing as 2019, but incrementally better?

Or are you re-inventing yourself?
 

amp0193

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"When I was young like you, I too was manufacturing products.

I grew my business to 300 employees. Then 3000 employees and 3 factories.

But I wasn't making much money.

Then, I started leasing.

Now, I only have 3 employees... and I make way more money.

What if instead of selling 1000 units, you could lease 1000 units at $150/mo?

You make your money back in 9 months, and now you have recurring revenue. Recurring revenue makes a business way more valuable.

You provide a little regular maintenance, and sell them a new unit after 2 years.

You can eke out a living doing manufacturing... but you've got a tiger by the tail.



Lesson 3: Add recurring revenue streams to your business.
 
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amp0193

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"I only have one business theory: every employee is a headache. And the size of the headache is inversely proportional to the amount they are paid"

Lesson 4: Stay lean.
 

Andy Black

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These are great @amp0193.

Can you attribute those quotes to whoever said them, or give some context to who those quotes are from?
 

Andy Black

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amp0193

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These are great @amp0193.

Can you attribute those quotes to whoever said them, or give some context to who those quotes are from?

It's all going to be snippets of advice from a handful of people. Mostly net worth of $100M and up.
 
D

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It's all going to be snippets of advice from a handful of people. Mostly net worth of $100M and up.

May I ask how does one meet people with +100M net worth? Were there your clients, or are you also part of the 100M people club?

Also this thread is great, I see a notable flair coming soon....
 

amp0193

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May I ask how does one meet people with +100M net worth? Were there your clients, or are you also part of the 100M people club?

Also this thread is great, I see a notable flair coming soon....

All connections were made intentionally or coincidentally through the course of running my business.


I am far from being in the 100M club myself. Give me another decade.
 
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Jarvis

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Great quotes @amp0193.

Especially lesson 2 hits it for me. What I did so far brought me to the current point (being employed) but to fulfill my dreams I have to do something different (be my own boss, change something to earn more, ...). Without changing anything it's unlikely to progress further.

Looking forward to more of them.
 

amp0193

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2 weeks ago, I began working with someone very smart, who is going to pilot a leasing program for our products in his area.

He is going to operate the business as a separate entity, for which, we will be the supplier of product at wholesale cost.

Today we touched base, as he is getting his first demo unit next week.

He already has 30 appointments set with potential b2b customers. And he hasn't even gotten the product.


Lesson 5: When you have an idea, take swift action to test it.
 
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Xeon

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2 weeks ago, I began working with someone very smart, who is going to pilot a leasing program for our products in his area.

He is going to operate the business as a separate entity, for which, we will be the supplier of product at wholesale cost.

Today we touched base, as he is getting his first demo unit next week.

He already has 30 appointments set with potential b2b customers. And he hasn't even gotten the product.

Lesson 5: Take massive action now. What are you waiting for?


I always hear the words "massive action" being used in entrepreneurial circles. Does it mean to make big, bold moves (which also may have a high chance of setting you back)?
 

consignia

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"When I was young like you, I too was manufacturing products.

I grew my business to 300 employees. Then 3000 employees and 3 factories.

But I wasn't making much money.

Then, I started leasing.

Now, I only have 3 employees... and I make way more money.

What if instead of selling 1000 units, you could lease 1000 units at $150/mo?

You make your money back in 9 months, and now you have recurring revenue. Recurring revenue makes a business way more valuable.

You provide a little regular maintenance, and sell them a new unit after 2 years.

You can eke out a living doing manufacturing... but you've got a tiger by the tail.



Lesson 3: Add recurring revenue streams to your business.

Love this one, so true!
 

fastlanedoll

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I always hear the words "massive action" being used in entrepreneurial circles. Does it mean to make big, bold moves (which also may have a high chance of setting you back)?

Agree.
I worry inexperienced entrepreneurs may take this too far and become reckless.

The truth is (from this no-experience entrepreneur :p), entrepreneurship is more about careful preparation than actually performing some grand action.

Its about forming an idea, educating yourself about this subject, researching the market, analyze the angle of attack & your competition, testing the market, adjusting.. Etc etc before actually taking that 'action' and launching something.

I suppose you can call the aforementioned 'action', but its more quiet & stealthy, and not the 'IMMA PUT A MIL INTO THIS IDEA LOLZ' kinda way.
 
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amp0193

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The truth is (from this no-experience entrepreneur :p), entrepreneurship is more about careful preparation than actually performing some grand action.

It's a mix of both. But if I had to pick one, I'd pick action. Fast, and swift action leads to quick learning, adjusting, pivoting. More than you can ever learn by preparation and study.

You prep to come up with your hypothesis, then test as fast as possible.


In the above example, neither he or I know if this is going to work out. The "preparation" is that we both think it'd be a good idea, and it makes logical sense.

But we're not putting "a MIL" into it. We've invested 1 unit of product and some time.



That lesson was meant to be as a counter to many threads here on the forum where people talk about being scared to even pick up the phone. Or they spend weeks/months action-faking, when in one week, if they really put effort into it, could be making dozens of appointments with potential customers.


I changed the lesson though. It's not really about "massive" action. It's about swift action.
 
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Ronak

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2 weeks ago, I began working with someone very smart, who is going to pilot a leasing program for our products in his area.

He is going to operate the business as a separate entity, for which, we will be the supplier of product at wholesale cost.

Today we touched base, as he is getting his first demo unit next week.

He already has 30 appointments set with potential b2b customers. And he hasn't even gotten the product.


Lesson 5: When you have an idea, take swift action to test it.


This will also allow you to get access to competitors products, because leasing is a separate business. You can become the go to lessor for different models and have the manufacturers fighting each other to sell to you. Brilliant strategy!

Do you have a piece of the leasing biz?
 

amp0193

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This will also allow you to get access to competitors products, because leasing is a separate business. You can become the go to lessor for different models and have the manufacturers fighting each other to sell to you. Brilliant strategy!

Do you have a piece of the leasing biz?

I do not have a piece of this particular one, but the territory is small. He wants to pilot it, figure out the system, so that I can implement in other locations and grow the value of the company.

In this case though, leasing is going to increase exposure of my products in target areas, which should in turn increase direct sales. It's like a marketing campaign that I'm getting paid to do.
 

The-J

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I always hear the words "massive action" being used in entrepreneurial circles. Does it mean to make big, bold moves (which also may have a high chance of setting you back)?

One thing I've noticed is that the big decisions and the small decisions kind of feel similar.

Placing a big order, making a hire, choosing a strategic partner, all of these are "massive action" but I've agonized over decisions much smaller (like what to eat for lunch LOL).

I remember back when I had a 9-5 job at a startup, the CEO and his management team spent an hour and a half discussing back and forth what kind of food to order for the team that day. This same team took less time to decide to place a $75,000 order of a brand new product. I remember the decision to spend $30,000 on ads in a single day was made over 3 Slack messages.

I think we as people have a hard time understanding the gravity of our decisions in general, and this leads to some actions having a disproportionate impact compared to the effort needed to make them and the risk taken on. Massive action is taking action that has a disproportionately positive impact.

By the way, we ordered pizza that day. I think it was maybe $150 worth of pizza.
 
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kleine2

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I always hear the words "massive action" being used in entrepreneurial circles. Does it mean to make big, bold moves (which also may have a high chance of setting you back)?
My interpretation of massive action is in the quantity of actions. For example if you are planing to reach out to people just do it all now. Don't wait and don't do it one thing at a time. Just do. But it's about small things that don't take a lot of time and focus. The big things need to be prioritized.
 

Kak

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All connections were made intentionally or coincidentally through the course of running my business.


I am far from being in the 100M club myself. Give me another decade.

This is great. It says says everything you need to know about. How did he get to know these people? He made the connections and he conducted business.

Don’t put the cart before the horse. Jump in and run your business and good things happen!

Having very much enjoyed your summit presentation and your take on business and dealing with problems... I think you’re right. You’ll make it there.
 

amp0193

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Here's a collection of thoughts from a CEO doing 8-fig annual revenue on hiring and employees:

  • Don't over title a new hire. Give them something to grow and aspire to.
  • The right person for today, might not be the right person when the business grows, so:
    • Don't become friends with your employees
    • Don't hang onto them too long
    • Give them opportunity to grow into the role as it evolves, or be prepared to re-assign or let go.
  • Early on, hire generalists. Later, hire specialists.
  • Finding the right person is an intensive process
  • Constantly re-invent your organization. Craft it around key roles and make a big investment in those people who will take it to the next level.
  • Bring in people who share your passion and believe in the mission. Not just someone who wants a job.

Lesson 6: You owe it to your business to invest in getting the right people.
 
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amp0193

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Early on in my business I negotiated a deal for exclusivity rights for the training on how to use a company's new software product.

That company ended up going through the roof and everyone wanted to buy the software.

There were several companies that customers could buy the software from, but they bought it from us, because we had the rights to the training.



Lesson 7: Having exclusivity on something fundamentally increases the value of your company
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Upgraded to Notable, some good advice-bites.
 

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Im going through Felix Dennis's book again.

''Execution is key, not the idea''

Really important, some people out there make millions or billions of dollars selling pencils, or toilet paper, socks, bed sheets, tooth paste... really simple items. It's proof that you can make a business out of almost anything. How many new entrepreneurs could create a business selling pencils? You would hear, oh its to hard, it's already being done or I don't have any money!

I really think its about HOW you execute the idea, throw a random guy against (insert random millionaire) and have them sell the same product. Guaranteed that there will be two different results.
 

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