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GOLD! The CENTS Business Commandments for Entrepreneurs

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MJ DeMarco

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Thought I'd start a thread based upon the CENTS Business Commandments found in The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED, just in case someone searches for it by search engine.

Since this concept is covered in both books, I don't think I ever posted an "official" thread on the topic. It would be nice to have a thread for it, especially for people who have never read my books and come across the concept in some other venue or dialogue.

Also, I'd like to document its existence beyond the 2 books, just in case another 21-year old wannabe coaching guru steals it and claims it as his own.

So here we go...

The CENTS Business Commandments
(As found in The Millionaire Fastlane (CENTS) and Unscripted by MJ DeMarco)

The CENTS Business Commandments is a methodology used for testing the veracity of your business idea or opportunity from an Fastlane entrepreneurial perspective. The CENTS Commandments is the foundation for a Fastlane Business found in the Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF).

The purpose of the commandments is to improve your probabilities for creating a business that can change your life forever through RAPID WEALTH ACCELERATION, both income (business profit) and net worth (business valuation.)

The centerpiece of the CENTS Commandments is NEED, or relative value -- value relative to other offerings available in the marketplace. Relative value considers the entire marketplace -- a blog full of fitness tips might be valuable, but it isn't RELATIVELY valuable because there are thousands of similar blogs.

TheFastlaneCENTSBusinessStructure.jpg

Each Commandment is as follows...
 

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MJ DeMarco

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The Commandment of Control (Cents)
The Commandment of Control requires that your entire operation, from product development, to marketing, to distribution, to other operational components, be within your sphere of influence, or diversified from influence. It’s owning what you build, effectively giving you black-swan insurance. It’s immunity against catastrophic events that can derail your gig overnight.

In effect, the Commandment of Control is risk mitigation allowing you to sleep well as a shark in the ocean. Behind the Commandment of Control is a simple question, which reveals your food-chain positioning: Is there one person or entity that can instantly kill your business with one decision? Are you fishing in a pond controlled by someone else? And what happens to your business when that pond is taken away?

The Commandment of Control (and a productocracy) begs that this answer be NO.

If it isn’t, you’re at the mercy of the sharks, and your pecking order on the food chain is demoted to prey.

EXAMPLES (NETWORK MARKETING)
If you’re not familiar with network marketing (or MLM), you might be familiar with its telltale pattern: Some long-lost friend you haven’t heard from since Chumbawamba wants you to go to some ambiguous meeting at some ambiguous hotel so you can hear from some ambiguous speaker. And then you’re told how you can make millions selling some overpriced product if you just sell it to your friends and family, and they sell it to theirs, and so forth. If you're ever fooled into a meeting, take a look around. The room is full of guppies. The sharks? They own the company or are chilling in the founders’ circle.

Unfortunately, most people need to learn the hard way. And yeah, I was once “most people.” Sometimes being told “the fire is hot” isn’t sufficient—you need to get burnt. My burn came during my young twenties, and it marked the last time it would happen. I had brief success with one company until my top distributor quit. Her reason? The company discontinued a product favorite. Two events over which I had no control.

Hear that water being sucked out of the pond?

Instantly overnight, my income was slashed in half. Within months, it dwindled to nothing more than an entree at Applebee’s, of course assuming I bought a shit-ton of product and stashed it away into a basement closet. But hey, if I just meet my $500 sales quota by buying this garbage myself, I’ll qualify for that cool super $100 downline bonus! And I'll get a fancy gemstone title (Emerald/Diamond) that means absolutely nothing in the real world!

Anyhow, such events characterize the black swans risked when violating control as guppy.

In the network marketing space, Solavei, Vemma, and WakeUpNow are just a few that recently have imploded, leaving millions of distributors (guppies) wriggling for dead in an empty pond.

In WakeUpNow’s case, a letter from the current management blamed the former CEO for taking advantage of his position. Specifically, they stated the former CEO “made decisions that put the company on an irreparable negative trajectory; and sadly, he went to great lengths to keep many of these decisions secret from the rest of the management team and board of directors. Furthermore, they mentioned that the CEO’s “deceptive actions had put the company in a position from which it could not recover. In the end, his decision for a privileged few outweighed the incredible heart and dedication of the many.”

Now imagine if your business relied on this company. Imagine giving this company your heart and soul for years, and that your family depended on them. And now, in a matter of days, gone.

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t escape Commandment-of-Control tragedies with just a bruised ego and a tiny income drop—years of work can unravel in hours. This forum is rife with such horror stories. For example, imagine having your company instantaneously shut down—and the only person standing between its failure or resurrection is a minimum-wage employee halfway around the world, who can’t write clear English.

OTHER EXAMPLES:

  • Control Violation #1: You manufacture and sell widgets to Walmart. Walmart is your only customer. When Walmart stops selling your product, your sales go from $600,000 a month to $0.

  • Control Violation #2: You run an online eCommerce store leveraging the Amazon affiliate program. You’ve done quite well. Suddenly, Amazon decides to terminate all affiliates doing business in your state, due to a disagreement with your state’s government. Suddenly, your store is empty, as will be your bank account.

  • Control Violation #3: You’re an affiliate marketer who sells XYZ’s product, moving thousands of dollars in sales monthly. XYZ suddenly files for bankruptcy or disappears. You and thousands of other affiliates are left hanging out to dry.

  • Control Violation #4: You’re a network marketer and your company’s founder is indicted for fraud. The FCC shuts down the business. Your downline that took years to build is gone overnight.

  • Control Violation #5: You buy a burgeoning, relatively unknown franchise from a franchisor who likes to push the envelope with its advertising. The franchisor is interviewed on national television and makes some inexcusable, racist comments. The entire spectacle is a foot-in-the-mouth, social media shitshow. Suddenly, your business is regarded negatively. By the time the dust settles and memories fade, you’ve gone out of business.

  • Control Violation #6: You run an online store selling a highly commoditized product that relies solely on SEO (search engine optimization). Most of your traffic and sales come from Google searches. Google’s new “Panda update” changes their algorithm and penalizes your website for nefarious SEO and backlinking tactics. Suddenly, 10,000 hits per day are reduced to 100. Your product’s margin is so thin that you cannot afford to advertise. You go from living large to not living at all.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I'm amazingly thankful and we are so lucky to have people like MJ. I'm so curious to know, what he gets out of all of it, or maybe if MJ ever stumbles across this question - I understand the money part very well, but is it just the "giving back" mission why you are helping us? Is it like a charity? Or is it more of a mission to educate the world and get rid of as much bad advice as possible?
All the above.

The feeling of being free from the job scam, the debt scam, and the Wall Street scam is something I wish for everyone. There's another way to do life and it isn't much more difficult than getting up at 6AM for 50 years and praying you keep a job -- one yields a life of dreams, the other, kills dreams.

As for what I get out of it?

Having people tell me "you changed my life" never gets old. I had dozens of folks say that to me last weekend, not to mention the daily emails I get saying something similar.

I'm making a difference. I love when I see someone see the light, and then follow that light to a path of autonomy and freedom. It warms my heart.

Ultimately I hope to leave a legacy that survives beyond my time on this planet. ;)
 
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The Commandment of Entry (cEnts)
The Commandment of Entry identifies poor opportunities and crowded markets that should be avoided. The Entry Commandment also gives insight into where real opportunities hide. By definition, the Commandment of Entry states: As entry barriers to any business or start-up process weaken or become “easified,” so does the strength or the potential of the opportunity.

:bulb:
Simply put, the easier the opportunity, the worse it is.

:bulb:Conversely, the harder something is to solve, the greater the opportunity.

If you’re an entrepreneur scoping for ideas, the best are the hard ones because the difficulty represents the opportunity. When difficulty doesn’t exist and the Commandment of Entry looms, another red flag is hoisted: you aren’t solving any problems.

Think about that.

If you do something that takes minutes to accomplish or solve, was there really a problem? Or are you merely stacking yourself atop a mountain of already existing solutions? If you’re starting a Mexican restaurant in a city full of Mexican restaurants, you aren’t satisfying dire cravings.

The unfortunate reality of “it’s too hard” as a roadblock is great ideas are overlooked.

If your idea requires advanced programming and you don’t know how to do it, you move on to the next idea. If your invention requires electrical engineering and plastic mold injection and you don’t know where to find these people, darn, next idea.

And then the circle jerk of idea-hopping ensues, a never-ending scavenger hunt for the next great idea, the one simplistically executed or invented, the one that exactly fits your skillset and knowledge base, and the one that, unfortunately, solves nothing.

Again, the difficulty is the opportunity.

The magnitude of the problem solved is the magnitude of the money you can make.

The Commandment of Entry is underwritten by the process-principle: Starting a business, or entry, isn’t an event, but a process reflecting the execution time needed to solve the problem. Much of this time is composed of a learning curve. Entrification is building a moat erected from difficulty, keeping easified entrepreneurs out of your castle.

EXAMPLE:

Imagine you live in a bizzaro city with a bizzaro government. In this city, the government loves restaurants. To incentivize their creation, the city government will fully subsidize any restaurant proposal. To take advantage of their generous offer, you stroll into city hall, fill out a form, and bam, here’s your blank check for your eatery. With the blank check comes an entire “start-up manual” on how to get your restaurant up and running.

Unfortunately, this government policy has not come without consequence. As you can guess, the city is jam-packed with restaurants. You can’t walk ten feet without seeing a restaurant. Every commercial building has one. Every corner. Heck, even some residential homes are running restaurants out of backyard garages.

So let me ask you…

Is starting a restaurant in this city a good choice? A gold mine of opportunity?

Of course the answer is a big fat NO.

Hopefully you see the obvious mistake (and foolishness) of starting a restaurant in a city smothered by restaurants. And yet, how is this foolishness any different from starting, say, the forty-millionth blog? How about joining a network marketing company that has saturated a particular geographic region?

The difference is simply visibility.

In our restaurant example, “easification” occurred when the government made it super easy and super cheap to open a restaurant. Suddenly, restaurants are everywhere because entry barriers—namely money, risk, and even experience—were removed from the creation effort. Anytime getting in business is as simple as filling out an online form or doing something so simple that a bum on a street corner can do it, the red flag of “easification” is flown. When that flutters in the wind, so flutters the potency of the opportunity signaling an entry violation.

THE OPPORTUNITY OF DIFFICULTY: THERE IS NO F*ckING LIST

Failed entrepreneurs fail for many reasons.

One is they don’t understand entrepreneurship—what it is and what it is not.

Entrepreneurship isn’t about nomadding in Thailand on a beach with an open laptop while drinking an umbrella drink. It's not about flashy cars and fistfuls of cash posted on Instagram, passive income, or a Forbes cover story.

Entrepreneurship is about problem-solving, creating convenience, satisfying desires, and becoming valuable.

When you create something that takes a big effort to solve, you ensure you're solving problems and becoming valuable.

Easy solves nothing.

Excerpt From: MJ DeMarco. “UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.”
 
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The Commandment of Need (ceNts)


IMPERFECT WORLD EQUALS PERFECT OPPORTUNITY
  1. How do I find a great business idea capable of a productocracy?
  2. How do I find needs or create value?
  3. I can’t think of any good ideas!
Everyday I read something like the above.

If you’re a terrible idea person, what you’re really saying is that you make convincing excuses. Remember, entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. Whenever you say, “I can’t find ideas,” what you’re really saying is, the world is perfect and it needs nothing.

Only in a Utopian world are there no problems, needs, or wants. Everyone is happy. Content and roasting marshmallows over the campfire. Whining about not seeing ideas is admitting to world perfection. Or is the more likely answer? That there aren’t any easy problems, needs, or wants to be filled?

People who don’t see opportunity can't see it because they don’t want to see what they need to see: unknown variables, new skills, hard work, trial and error, risk, and failure. Instead, they look for something that doesn’t exist: the clear path, the step-by-step blueprint, complete with a millionaire mentor, a VC-funded bank account, and a fail-safe job waiting as a safety net. No wonder most people are idea-empty.

The Commandment of Need is our most important CENTS Commandment for a productocracy because it defines our opportunity. If CENTS were a table, the Commandment of Need would be the tabletop; the other four commandments the legs. The Commandment of Need states that if you own a controlled and entry-barred enterprise that provides relative value, satisfying needs or wants, you will win growth, profits, and possibly, passive income for life.

You’d think that such a simple idea—needs and wants—was Captain Obvious, Entrepreneurship 101, right? Not exactly—more like advanced business strategy.

Need must equate to value, and not just any value, it must be relative value.

Look up the word “value” in the dictionary; it reads relative worth, utility, or importance. The key phrase here is “relative” or “relative value.” The Commandment of Need’s central thesis is relative value, and it’s the keystone to becoming needed.

The richest people in the world are rich not because they create, control, or manage just value, but value relative to what already exists.

Specifically, your blog full of fitness tips might indeed be valuable, but it isn’t relatively valuable—it is too ubiquitous when submerged into the global marketplace.

The importance of relativity could be seen in our fictitious city overburdened with restaurants: If you open a pizza bistro and there’s already twenty-five other pizza places nearby, have you provided relative value? Your pizza might be darn good, but relative value doesn’t exist because more than likely, a few other pizza joints are also darn good.

Does "do what you love" change this reality? NOPE.
Does "follow your passion" change this reality? NOPE.

Sand could be worthless or priceless depending on its relativity in the marketplace: Offered in the Sahara, it’s useless. In a valley preparing for a flood? Worthy. Your passion for sand does not make sand relatively valuable in the desert.

Value is always relative based on market economics.

And yet, why do so many entrepreneurs insist on ignoring the market, and instead, selfishly think they can tame the market to their personal fantasies?

How to Engineer Relative Value

Anytime someone gives you money, that person has said, Congratulations, you’ve won the value competition.

You see, everything you buy is subject to a value competition: a weighted evaluation with respect to your preferences. This evaluation ultimately determines who wins your money and who does not.

The value competition games your head anytime you consider buying something. It determines when Brand X is bought over Brand Y. Within this weighting game, you analyze multiple buying attributes for each offer and determine where the value skew exists. The value skew identifies the winner in the value competition.

For example, let’s say you’re looking to buy Brand X. Brand X is the cheapest, and it’s endorsed by Dr. Shnoz. However, you also notice several other things. Brand X has no reviews. The website looks like it was designed in 1999: the pictures are blurry; there’s no “about us” link; and Comic Sans font is everywhere. You can’t find a refund policy, a telephone number, or how much shipping costs. All these things are noted in your head.

Brand Y, however, is 22 percent more expensive and isn’t endorsed by a celebrity. However, Brand Y has a professional website with clear photos, an “about us” page with an intriguing story, a clear refund policy, a toll-free number, and an impressive collection of positive reviews. Brand Y also has free shipping.

In your value competition of Brand X versus Brand Y, you make a weighted determination on attribute importance and make a decision. You might be swayed by Brand X’s cheap price, whereas others might be dismayed by Brand X’s poor public appearance. The point is: this competition strikes everyone differently.

This collection of value attributes (story, price, pics, endorsements, refund policy, aesthetics) forms to create a value array.

For instance, if you’re a single lady, you use a value array and its attributes to determine dating decisions: Justin has a great job, a nice dog, no baggage, and is tall, dark, and handsome, while Trent lives with his mother, has two kids from two different women, and is short and stocky. Which man do you want to date? The answer springs from the value competition, the value array, and the attributes important to you.

The value array and its attributes are the measuring stick delineating YES, I want to buy this, or NO, I’ll look elsewhere. You NEVER know which attribute is the lynchpin that causes someone to buy or not to buy. In the dating scenario, it could be Trent's vivacious charisma that causes you to date him, despite the other less appealing attributes.

With respect to products and services, ultimately, skewing value and winning sales boil down to the value array and its collection of skewed attributes.

And if you don’t have a business yet, the value array can be used to exploit potentially potent business opportunities.

The value skew pulls the Commandment of Need’s cart.

Skew value clearly and overwhelmingly, and that cart fills with cash.

The value skew is the force behind the pull of a productocracy.

Companies that do not skew value do not satisfy the Commandment of Need, and ultimately such companies do NOT survive unless they employ an aggressive mix of advertising and marketing, often resorting to bro-marketing techniques and tightly quarantined sales funnels.

Impact millions of people with your relative value, and eventually, you will make millions. And most importantly, impact the life of one: You.

Excerpt From: MJ DeMarco. “UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.”
 
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MJ DeMarco

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The Commandment of Scale (centS)

A productocracy’s fifth and final CENTS Commandment within the Fastlane structure is the Commandment of Scale.

Scale instructs that legacy value systems must be replicated through mass or magnitude while making a profitable impact.

The four definitive components are:

1. Legacy value system
2. Replication
3. Mass or magnitude
4. Profitable impact

First, your offering must eventually evolve into a legacy system in accordance with the four prior commandments. A legacy system carries the components of the TIME component, both physicality and detachment.

Second, your LVS must be replicable, or easily copied into multiple units, locations or chains.

Optimally, this replication should extend among hundreds or thousands, if not millions, of units. For instance, software is easily replicated. The same goes for a website service where increased users and traffic extend replication. My forum receives over 100,000 visitor sessions per month. In the ten years I owned my Internet company, I served a multitude of millions. Physical products like this book also offer replicative elements; my printer can print one million books as easily as 10,000. Replication turns one store into twenty, one duplex into a dozen, and hundreds sold to millions.

Third, replication must have either mass or magnitude. Most people think scale automatically equates to mass-market millions or operating in multi-billion market size. However, scale can also be graced through magnitude, or the gravity of your impact. For instance, if you provide housing for twenty families (not mass market), you’ve scaled by magnitude and probably are doing well—housing is a magnitudinal endeavor. Sell ten restaurant franchises for your organic, GMO-free restaurant, and again, brute-force magnitude occurs.

The fourth element in the definition is a profitable impact. The UNSCRIPTED business is about profits, not ten years from now but within your first year. Nowadays, too many businesses are labeled a success by virtue of growth or run rates. Many never make a profit for years and bleed cash like an Instagram playboy. Most start-ups birthed on the tech coast create value and make an impact. The problem is, they don’t make a profitable impact for years.

Amazon is a great example of a company that makes a phenomenal impact but largely hasn’t been profitable. Remember: Selling hundred-dollar bills for fifty bucks isn’t what we want. “Bleeding value” might grow a company fabulously and have VC’s drowning us in term sheets, but that’s not our objective. Let the deep-pocketed sultans of Silicon Valley make those gambles.

Your goal is UNSCRIPTED, which demands profitability now, not later. And if you want to create the next hot start-up reveled on TechCrunch, the better bet is doing it UNSCRIPTED where “F*ck you” opens up more possibilities.

As producers, we are in the business of serving consumers—not few, but many. However, before impacting the masses, we must first impact one—and do so profitably. If you can impact one profitably and your legacy system is replicable, congratulations, you’ve laid a scaling track.

The act of profitably impacting many is where your income (and life) makes quantum leaps. Optimally, your business solution should impact an industry large enough to impact your life. If you have a software solution appealing to hospitals, the appeal of magnitude scale exists. If any business owner could use your product, the appeal of mass scale exists.

The market size constructs the ceiling under which we limit ourselves. If your solution sells for twenty bucks and your target customer is an Internet-savvy octogenarian who owns a Corvette, the market ceiling is at your ankles. How big is that market? You can’t fill a pool with an eyedropper. Olympic swimmers don’t train in bathtubs. Swim in bodies of water large enough to take you somewhere.

Excerpt From: MJ DeMarco. “UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.”
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Done!

Thread is OPEN and I marked it GOLD because every aspiring entrepreneur who hasn't read my books needs to read it!
 
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The Commandment of Time (cenTs)

Imagine waking up and realizing you made more money overnight than you did in one week at your last job.

That's the power of our 4th CENTS Commandment, the Commandment of Time which abolishishes the causal relationship between your time and income. Temporal prostitution is dethroned, and income no longer requires life rations.

The Commandment of Time has two components. The first is physicality, where your value must exist in space-time separate from you. My books exist regardless of my existence. On the other hand, if you consult for a living, your income stops when you stop. There is no physicality.

The second is detachment.

Eventually in your enterprise’s evolution, you must detach from its physicality, effectively freeing your time and life. When this is accomplished, it puts you “on the clock” 24/7, giving you the ability to earn perpetually THROUGH time versus IN time.

This is how you wake up and earn a day’s wage before brewing the morning coffee.

Unfortunately, the Time Commandment is the most misunderstood and perverted CENTS Commandment. Instead of time being honored, it is worshiped. Why? Because it’s the gatekeeper to every starry-eyed entrepreneur’s wet dream: passive income.

THE MYTH OF PASSIVE INCOME

The passive-income lure sounds deliciously simple. Just upload an unedited four-page eBook to the Kindle store and, wham, watch the cash come pouring in! Unfortunately, such simplicity is about as complicated as a zero-calorie cheesecake.

For the unwashed, passive income is mystically clothed like free or easy money. It resonates like entrepreneurial welfare, where value is disrespected and money comes for nothing—no effort, no challenge, and no work. Nothing could be further from the truth. The big irony of passive income is it’s anything but passive. Every single entrepreneur I know who enjoys passive income today exercised an extraordinary and committed process yesterday. Passivity? LOL. It played no role.

Passive macro-events (and action-faking) doesn’t produce passive income. Launching a podcast, interviewing three people, and giving up a week later is not the path to passive income. Neither is uploading one badly programmed app to the Apple store and expecting thousands of downloads.

Satisfying the Commandment of Time (and getting to the point of a sustainable, life-altering passive income) takes months, sometimes years, of nose-to-the-grindstone effort. We’re talking about ten-hour days six to seven days a week demonstrated by the process-principle. Or is your expectation in line with the event-driven, 4-hour crowd?

While I’ve enjoyed passive income for nearly twenty years, its road has not been passive. In my first business, it took me several years to create passivity. Ask any of my friends and they would confirm: I’d hibernate in my office for days and not come out except to reload on the Ramen and Red Bull.

My publishing company and my forum? Again, years.

When I started my forum years ago, I was the primary content creator because I had few users. I literally commented on every thread created. That's right, every thread. Sometimes I just talked to myself. Think that was time-consuming? Or do you think I just kicked my feet up on the sofa and smoked a cigar while daydreaming about the forthcoming passive-income avalanche?

Entrepreneurs who play this game with a foremost objective of passive income are delusional. And if I had to guess, lazy.

Your business bull’s-eye is a productocracy and fiduciary entrepreneurship. Much like value is a predecessor to money, a systemized productocracy is a predecessor to passive income. Honor the Commandment of Time; don’t collapse to your knees and sacrifice your firstborn for it. With a productocracy in your corner, passive income eventually comes knocking.
 

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Good ol’ CENTS.

If you don’t have Control, you’ll be making TENS, not millions.

No barrier of Entry, and it’ll be too easy for random C*NTS to overtake your business.

Without a Need you’re fulfilling, only a small SECT of people will give you money, or worse, nobody.

Too much attachment to Time and you’ll —— sh*t, can’t make any slick anagrams from SECN ...

There goes my attempt to be clever.

Thanks for this gold mine of a post, MJ.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I'm amazingly thankful and we are so lucky to have people like MJ. I'm so curious to know, what he gets out of all of it, or maybe if MJ ever stumbles across this question - I understand the money part very well, but is it just the "giving back" mission why you are helping us? Is it like a charity? Or is it more of a mission to educate the world and get rid of as much bad advice as possible?
A combination of all of the above. Some things money can't buy, like having an inbox of "you changed my life" emails. Really feels inspiriting to make a difference and do something with your heart as the priority as opposed to the wallet. At times it does feel like charity because I'd make a lot more focusing on something else.

testimonials.png

A lot of it comes back to when I was 20 ... I wrote the book(s) I wish I had available to me.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Isn't he talking about the ease of entry?
A complete sentence would help to explain the use of the word.
Something difficult that now has ease of entry -- for instance, in 1997 it was difficult to start a website.

It is now "entrified" -- very easy. And hence, a crowded space.
 

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Done!

Thread is OPEN and I marked it GOLD because every aspiring entrepreneur who hasn't read my books needs to read it!
I'm amazingly thankful and we are so lucky to have people like MJ. I'm so curious to know, what he gets out of all of it, or maybe if MJ ever stumbles across this question - I understand the money part very well, but is it just the "giving back" mission why you are helping us? Is it like a charity? Or is it more of a mission to educate the world and get rid of as much bad advice as possible?
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Bump, the founding principles of The Fastlane Forum and Unscripted Entrepreneurship.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Just to play devils advocate - for Entry, you COULD still start a business that has a low barrier and succeed if you outwork/outlast those who just entered because it was easy right?
I covered this in both my books. It's called execution. 2Es defeat 1E... Executional excellence can defeat ease of entry.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I honestly just saved this picture myself haha @MJ DeMarco you should trademark this. You don’t want anyone stealing it. This is what I think about for any idea that pops in my mind.
It's copyrighted because it's in my book.
 

LittleJohn

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I'm amazingly thankful and we are so lucky to have people like MJ. I'm so curious to know, what he gets out of all of it, or maybe if MJ ever stumbles across this question - I understand the money part very well, but is it just the "giving back" mission why you are helping us? Is it like a charity? Or is it more of a mission to educate the world and get rid of as much bad advice as possible?
The story / anecdote in UNSCRIPTED about Heaven and Hell appearing the same but in Heaven each person is using their 3 foot fork to help others eat the food comes to mind.

One of the messages glaring at me as I finished MFL and now into UNSCRIPTED is Money chasing = losing proposition, while creating value/convenience/solutions/helping to solve a problem for people attracts money via 'money vouchers' so to speak where money acts as the medium placeholder that facilitates the exchange of value from the creator to customer.

I am now Tuning my frequency to hone in on ideas and opportunities to serve the people on this planet. :)
 

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MJ DeMarco

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How did you come up with this acronym, MJ?
It didn't start that way when I first identified the 5 commandments I thought were most important.

Yet, I was fortunate enough to have it form an acronym ... it was originally started as NECST (because NEED is always the most important) and then I later decided CENTS was easier to remember, plus, If it makes CENTS, it makes sense!
 

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Of course it's ok, anything that helps spread the CENTS message, just make sure it is credited to the book!
Thanks @MJ DeMarco, I created a CENTS Business and Idea Evaluator spreadsheet here. The purpose of CENTS is to improve your probabilities for creating a business that can change your life forever.

The purpose of the spreadsheet is to have a quick, visual method for analyzing businesses and ideas based off the CENTS commandments without having to open/find relevant info in the books/forums.

A few notes:
  • To copy the sheet and edit it on your own, go to FILE --- DOWNLOAD AS in the menu to save it
  • If you view the notes inside the brief description of each commandment, you will see the full text from this forum post
  • I added step 3 since there are uncertainties when evaluating a business idea. For example, you may not know or may have to research whether or not the business can provide the necessary relative value required. This area allows for adding your own notes/thoughts/questions for further research/evaluation
If anyone has feedback/suggestions let me know and I can consider updating the master sheet. We all think, visualize and learn differently, hopefully this framework is helpful for others as it is for me (I'm sure some people hate spreadsheets).

I also created a separate forum post for those that haven't seen or looked at this thread lately.
 
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Vigilante

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If you are in the Tampa area, stop by and catch my address this Saturday to Tampa area entrepreneurs. Cigar City Humidors by BCIC Cigar was selected to display at the Tampa Entrepreneur's Showcase this Saturday at the Clearwater Library, and they asked me to speak at 2PM. I will be talking about the CENTS business commandments from my friend MJ DeMarco and his best selling books "Unscripted" and "The Millionaire Fast Lane." Come learn how Control, Entry, Need, Time and Scale all play a role in testing the veracity of your business idea.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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404profound

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Thought I'd start a thread based upon the CENTS Business Commandments found in The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED, just in case someone searches for it by search engine.

Since this concept is covered in both books, I don't think I ever posted an "official" thread on the topic. It would be nice to have a thread for it, especially for people who have never read my books and come across the concept in some other venue or dialogue.

Also, I'd like to document its existence beyond the 2 books, just in case another 21-year old wannabe coaching guru steals it and claims it as his own.

So here we go...

The CENTS Business Commandments
(As found in The Millionaire Fastlane (CENTS) and Unscripted by MJ DeMarco)

The CENTS Business Commandments is a methodology used for testing the veracity of your business idea or opportunity from an Fastlane entrepreneurial perspective. The CENTS Commandments is the foundation for a Fastlane Business found in the Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF).

The purpose of the commandments is to improve your probabilities for creating a business that can change your life forever through RAPID WEALTH ACCELERATION, both income (business profit) and net worth (business valuation.)

The centerpiece of the CENTS Commandments is NEED, or relative value -- value relative to other offerings available in the marketplace. Relative value considers the entire marketplace -- a blog full of fitness tips might be valuable, but it isn't RELATIVELY valuable because there are thousands of similar blogs.

View attachment 18212

Each Commandment is as follows...
Thank you for posting this in a convenient spot, MJ. I must admit, even after reading it twice, old consumerism habits die a slow, miserable death. This ongoing shift had brought me many lessons in self-discipline and sacrifice, and it spotlighted my immaturity in many areas.
 
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AdrianB

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There is great value on this forum! I am new here, I've just bought the book UNSCRIPTED and I'm so unpatient to left working office and start reading it. I haven't understood yet what is in the Insiders threads, but I'm really interesting in everything people are sharing here. Hope I would also be able to contribute asap. Appreciate all the work, thank you MJ DeMarco!
 

Rawseed

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I'm in that part of the book, but I could not find the meaning of "Entrification" what does it mean? @MJ DeMarco
I understood 'entrification' to be the process of starting your business. The process of going from idea to profit.
 

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