My longest stint at having a “real job” was working in the fitness industry; first in sales and then in magangement.
I guess if I had to have a job it would be in a gym.
It’s pretty cool.
You meet a lot of people.
Every day is different.
And it’s one thing you can sell the hell out of people without feeling any kind of guilt because everyone needs it.
As cool as it was it was still a job. And the thought of all that accountability and order taking (in many cases from people who couldn’t shine my shoes when it came to experience and common sense) gave me the willies.
I remember when I decided to finally quit and jump into my own business full time.
Everyone (including my wife, mom and even some of closet friends who are entrepreneurs themselves) thought I was nuts.
People often ask me what the “secret” to getting into online publishing and online marketing is and how I did it.
I’ve thought about how I could answer this a thousand different times. Most of the answers I came up with were really self righteous.
They were all centered around my experience.
My risk taking.
My business savvy.
My balls to take the plunge, etc.
And while I like to tell myself that story – we all tell ourselves stories by the way – the fact is I wanted to come with an answer that actually helps people.
This isn’t exactly the “full version” but it’s a damn good start.
Here it is.
When you’re an expert at something, you feel extremely confident about the outcome. For example, you might have a task that you do every day on your job. Whether you like doing it or not doesn’t matter. It’s a task that you perform every single day. You’ve done it for so long that if I were to ask you to get onstage and perform it in front of a hundred people, you could probably do so without even being nervous.
What if I were to ask you to execute a different task—one that you’re not so good at doing but that is something you aspire to be good at?
Let’s say your dream is to become a professional guitar player. That’s your passion. That’s what you’ve always dreamed about. That’s what you’ve always wanted to do. That’s where your heart is.
Unfortunately, you’re a lousy guitar player.
Now, if I were to put you onstage and ask you to play a guitar in front of a hundred people, you’d probably be a lot more nervous doing that than you would be performing the task you do every day at your job—the task that’s mundane, that you hate, that has absolutely nothing to do with where you want to go in life. The only difference between the two is the level of expertise that you have, and that plays directly into your state of mind when you begin to work with what I call stealth magnetism.
Every moment of our lives, we’re shifting from one emotional state to another. It’s always happening. Sometimes we’re in a happy state. Sometimes we’re in a focused state. Sometimes we’re in a sad state. Sometimes we just transition from one state to another. And stealth magnetism is about creating a positive emotional state in your mind so that other people are magnetically drawn to you.
In order for you to be able get there, you first need to gain control over your state of mind. Your mind has to be in a state of calmness and confidence, and this becomes easier once you have developed a particular expertise. My definition of expertise is purposeful engagement is greater than fixed ability. Let me explain what I mean by that.
Some people believe that expertise is something you’re born with, like a natural talent or ability. Granted, in some cases, this can happen. But my experience and my research has taught me that purposeful engagement is a better indicator of expertise; because when you’re purposely engaged in doing something, you’re constantly learning. You’re constantly using your mind.
Therefore, you develop a higher level of expertise just through your experience.
I want to take a moment to talk about IQ. I know many of you may struggle with the concept of IQ when you’re doing tasks you don’t enjoy. You think you’re not smart enough, or good enough, or that some task is beyond your level of intelligence. And many of you think your IQ is set in stone—that it is something that will ultimately dictate what you will excel at or what will hold you back in life.
Alfred Binet invented the IQ test in order to help identify children who were not profiting from the public school system in Paris. He created the test so that new educational programs could be designed to get these kids back on track. You may believe that the IQ test was designed to summarize someone’s intelligence and that is can’t be changed. In reality, the purpose of the test is to change your intelligence.
Fixed Mind-set Versus Growth Mind-set
The fixed mind-set is a limited mind-set. It requires a constant state of proof. It includes immense levels of self-doubt. When you are dealing with the fixed mind-set, your hand is constantly bluffed (and I’ll explain more about that in a minute). Alternatively, with the growth mind-set, all positive traits are cultivated or created from effort.
The formula for this is Application + Experience = Changes and Growth.
And in this mind-set, the hand is played instead of bluffed.
Let’s go back to the real purpose of the IQ test. So many of you make false assumptions about yourselves and what you’re capable of doing based on your past experiences. Again, the real purpose of the IQ test was to determine how to improve someone’s intelligence. And I’m here today telling you that you can improve your intelligence and your skill set in anything you wish. I’m here to tell you that you can keep a fixed mind-set or a growth mind-set.
A fixed mind-set means you believe your capabilities are limited. No matter what, there are aspects of your life with which you’ll never excel. No matter what, there will always be a barrier. Something is going to stop you from succeeding in a particular area of your life. When you’re in this state of mind, you’re constantly trying to prove yourself. You’re constantly thinking about those areas of your life where you do feel comfortable.
This circles back to something I talk about a lot; the theory of illusory superiority, which in layman’s terms means that the average person believes that they are smarter than the average person—that there are certain elements you feel you’re better at than the average person. And when you’re in that fixed- mind state, you constantly need to accentuate them. You constantly need to prove yourself. You feel it’s important to show people exactly how good you are at some things to compensate for the fact that you’re terrible at other things. This is all tied into your having immense self-doubt.
Of course, we all have strengths and weaknesses, but that’s a different conversation. What I’m trying to get you to think about is whether you’re in that constant state of proving yourself. When you’re in this state, you’re bluffing. You’re taking the cards that you were dealt, and instead of playing the hand with a growth mind-set (which I’ll talk about in a second), you’re looking to see what other people think about you and think about the hand that you hold. You’re trying to use illusion to change the way your hand is perceived.
With the growth mind-set, you have the awareness that all positive traits can be developed or created through effort. The growth mind-set means Application + Experience = Change and Growth. You’re aware that you can easily change and grow as a human being. Here you take the hand that you are dealt, and strategically play that hand to the best of your ability instead of trying to make it seem as if it’s something else. That’s the difference between the fixed mind-set and the growth mind-set.
Most of the things that you do in life are because you feel like there is a certain level of safety, control and predictability. For most of my friends, it’s that steady paycheck. It’s having a place to go every day. It’s knowing that there’s a certain level of predictability in his life.
For me, it’s the complete opposite. I feel like I’m being restrained and have no control when I’m in that type of environment. Here’s what I told my friend about moving from the fixed mind-set to the growth mind-set.
Let’s say you quit your job today. Instead of thinking, “Well, I’m not going to have a guaranteed paycheck on Friday”, and letting that scare the life out of you; think about all the possibilities. Think about doing your homework and doing some strategic planning. If you have things lined up the right way, then you’ll be able to do certain things on Monday that will create the desired level of income that you want on Friday.
That’s a completely different way of looking at the equation. Now, I realize that in some cases, that’s easier to say than to do. I get that. So I also explained to him that before I quit my job in sales and started running my own business, I asked myself three questions. I suggest you write these down, because this is really important for anything you choose to do with your life.
What have I done to get to this point?
Can I repeat this process over and over?
What’s the absolute worst-case scenario?
If I’ve made any other money besides what I made from my job, what have I done to make that money? Can I turn this into a sustainable thing that I can keep doing over and over—or was this just a one-off where I got lucky this time—and if I try it again, it’s probably not going to pan out. And what’s the worst- case scenario?
When I quit my job, I thought about what I did to get there and what I did to generate the money. Well, I had written sales copy for some of the biggest online Internet marketers, and that had put a decent amount of money in my pocket. I had also started researching and publishing information, much like I’m doing in this program right now. I asked myself whether I could continue writing sales copy if I needed to, even though that’s not really what I wanted to focus my career on (I wanted to focus my career on sharing all the information I had learned throughout my life with people like you).
The second question I asked myself was whether I could continue to publish information. The answer to that was yes.
And then the third question was about my worst-case scenario. My worst-case scenario was that everything that I had done would turn out to be a fluke.
That the moment that I quit my job, all of the forces would turn against me. The universe would not work in my favor, and I would fall flat on my face and not make a dime. That was the worst-case scenario.
Then I asked myself how long I could go without having an income—where I could pay all my bills, make sure there’s food on the table, and make sure there’s a roof over my family’s head without draining my savings. I was able to come up with a number that I felt comfortable with, and that was three months. I could live for three months with absolutely no money coming in. In addition, I realized that in that three-month period, I probably would be able to figure out how to get things moving again. But if I couldn’t, I could always get another job. That was my worst case scenario.
My point is this. I’m not saying that once you decide to make a change, you just believe that everything is going to magically happen. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is if you ask yourself those three questions, the first two (what have I done to get here, and can I repeat the process) will force you into developing a strategic plan. Once you have your strategic plan developed, and you’re ready to put it into place; that’s when you can begin to take control. Once you have that in place, then it’s time to shift your mind-set.
Instead of waking up on that first Monday morning and thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck coming on Friday”—instead, you should think, “I don’t have a guaranteed paycheck coming on Friday, so now I really need to execute this plan to the best of my ability to supplement my income”. Once you’re able to do that, you can repeat the process. As you get better at it, that’s when the shift starts to happen. Instead of looking at it as a problem, you start to look at it as an advantage.
The way I see it, I’m glad that someone else isn’t controlling the amount of money I make, because that’s something I can decide. I can decide how much work I want to do, and what things I want to do in order to generate the amount of income that I want for that particular week; rather than it being governed by someone else. That’s the difference between having a growth mind-set rather than a fixed mind-set.