Knowing why something should be done is far more important than knowing what to do. Spend more time to understand the principles or philosophy behind what you do. Understanding principles allows freedom for opportunities and practices to adapt to that framework because you know what counts most.
WinTheWealthGame believes in 3 principles. In my entrepreneurial journey, these principles have served me well. It gave me an advantage over my competition.
In this post, I talk about these three core beliefs or principles.
The internet is full of entrepreneurs who cut corners. They sell “quick and easy” promises that cannot lead to any sustainable success.
Unfortunately, human psychology looks for the easy way out and these ‘gurus’ pounce on that. It's complicated to build a business, they’d say. Why bother putting yourself through it if there is this wonderful magic ‘thing’ you can buy from us? Just swipe this or that and you’re off to the races. Bingo!
I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. Business models which promote short cuts are almost everywhere. Others advocate methods that avoid the real-life business building process.
These business models are doomed to fail. Look at all the people who took those courses and followed the advice. They're still stuck without any real business or results.
The first foundation of real business is a product. You need to create your own products that people want and need and sell it direct to them.
Let me add a footnote here.
Creating your own products is the end goal. Using affiliate products is only a stepping stone towards that goal. I advise you to only sell affiliate products you use yourself in the line of your envisaged business. It will be the tools you use or something that compliments your own products.
You could start by selling affiliate products to focus on mastering the skill of marketing. You’re not bogged down with product creation and customer service. These will come in due course as you become skilled in marketing and building a following of fans.
To have a real business, you must build a value-based business.
Let me jump back to my years as an economist and talk about money. Apart from money having a role as paying for products and services, it is also a store of value. You put a value on the money you have. For you to part with your money during a transaction you want to receive equal or more value in return.
It’s a simple transaction of exchanging value. If you receive more value (the product or service you buy) that what you give up (the money you pay), you feel you got a bargain. If not, you’ll feel ripped off.
In business, you’re the one that must provide massive value to your customers. If they receive value, they’ll give you money with a smile. If you have an attitude of always providing great value, you’ll never be short of money.
You have to sell products and not only give them away free. Free has its place but in the end, you need to make a profit to have a sustainable business. The point I’m making is that you must value what you create and sell it for what’s it is worth. Don’t fall in the trap of undervaluing and underpricing your own worth.
Building a business is not easy. But you don’t need to be a superhuman to succeed.
Blogging, email marketing, sales funnels, and social media are all tools you will use. I’m not saying they’re unimportant. Understand they are tools or vehicles you use in your business.
There’s a saying that the closer you get to where money exchange hands the more money you will make. That’s why selling your own products is the business model I prefer. It’s where a transaction takes place between you and a customer direct. Other people are between you and the customer with affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, etc.
A business that sells a valuable product direct doesn’t suffer from get-rich-quick gibberish.
Let me clarify what I mean by “product”. It could be:
These are all products that are unique to you. No-one else has exactly the same products. They reflect your knowledge, expertise, and personality. You sell them directly to your customers without any middleman.
The principle in the last paragraph is crucial. You are a unique brand and you’re earning income direct. You are selling useful products direct to people who want and need them.
Everybody is in love with the idea of passive income. Passive income is about receiving money while doing nothing yourself. You did not lose any blood, sweat, tears, and energy to earn that income.
That’s not what an online business is about. You are the brand. Your blood, sweat, tears, and energy must go into building the brand. This is an active business income.
For example, take the icons of passive income, Pat Flynn (from SmartPassiveIncome) or Tim Ferris (from 4 Hour Work Week). Do you think they don’t work full time in their businesses? So, think before you decide your business is going to be passive income for you.
Maybe at some future date, it will become passive income if you hand over the management of the business. Even then you will be from time to time involved in strategy and the direction the business takes.
Even if passive income at some future date may be your goal, you have to enjoy and feel fulfilled with what you’re building now. If not, it’s going to be long, hard, and joyless days ahead of you.
One thing as real as the rising sun is that you will go through hard times and no money is coming in. Working on something you're passionate about will get you through those times. If money is the only motivator for you, you will not last through those initial cash strapped times.
The pursuit of passive income right out the gate will leave you broke. First, create steady income before you even start thinking about passive income.
Your business will grow to the extent that you grow. If you want an extraordinary business, you must become an extraordinary person.
Every business phase requires a different skill set. A startup business requires different skills from running a million dollar business. The same applies to a $10 million or $50 million business. Each level requires different extraordinary skills. Successful businesses of 5 or 10 years often fail. The skills levels in the business did not expand with the business.
To be successful and keep on growing your business, you have to get rid of any ‘employee’ mindset you may have. You’re the boss. You must develop your skills, mindset, and character to beat any ordinary person by having:
You need a set of new skills that allows you to rise above the rest. Most people don’t want to do this and they stay ordinary. One percent of people who become successful do what 99% don’t want to do.
Your business is inextricably linked to your character and skills. A lazy scatter brain won’t be able to build a successful and effective business.
Let me tell you about the 4-minute-mile day.
The basic story behind this is Roger Bannister and the 4-minute mile. On 6 May 1954, Bannister broke through what was impossible before.
Gifted runners with brilliant coaches tried to run the mile under 4 minutes since 1886. Breaking this barrier has become as much a psychological barrier as a physical one.
The experts of the time agreed on 3 conditions for breaking the barrier. They said the weather must be perfect with no wind, a hard and dry clay track, and a huge crowd urging the runner on.
Bannister trained without a coach. He followed his own training plan. He ran the sub-4-minute mile on a cold day, on a wet track, and in front of a small crowd. He proved the prevailing truths as not true.
Only 46 days after Bannister’s achievement, another runner improved Bannister’s record. A year later, 3 runners broke the 4-minute barrier in a single race. More than a 1,000 have broken that ‘impossible’ barrier since.
Once the impossible became possible, the flood gates opened. It was the psychological barrier that was the most difficult to overcome. Bannister changed the mental model of runners. He changed the belief that a runner can't finish a mile under 4-minutes.
We can apply Bannister’s legacy to business. Like Bannister, we can do things that people once believe is impossible.
The lesson for us is that our mental model may hold us back. I want to encourage you to adopt a 4-minute-mile attitude every day. Don’t try to only be the best. Don’t accept the limitations and trade-offs that define conventional entrepreneurship.
Character and skills are as important as tools and marketing tactics. Thus, WinTheWealthGame publishes content about these topics. It includes topics like habits, productivity, strategic thinking, communication, and leadership.
My wish is that you become an outstanding new breed entrepreneur and thus you can’t neglect these traits.
Keep in mind no-one can ever take away your character and skills. They’re assets belonging to you. You can’t give them away or bequeath them. Which means you can’t receive them as gifts either. You have to do the work to get them.
Business models may change. Opportunities will change. But with the right character, mindset, and skills you will always come out on top.
Transform your beliefs. Change what you believe is possible for you to achieve. Break the 4-minute barrier in your head every day. Show up every day with the belief that the ‘impossible’ is possible.
This is one of my hard lessons learned. I started a brick-and-mortar business but we rented the premises. It turned out to be a big mistake. To make a long story short, an unethical landlord started to use dodgy business practices. He canceled the rental agreement after I obtained a court order against him. With no premises, the business could not continue.
Let me explain what I mean when I say build on your own property in the digital world.
If you register a domain and get hosting you own that piece of digital property. Think of the internet as a place with millions of properties. Your domain name (yourwebsite.com) is your property address. That’s your property and no-one can own that same name or property. You put your content there and nobody can interfere with it.
You will use tools in setting up and running your online property. For instance, you will rent hosting services. You don’t own that but you can move to another hosting service without any issues. You will use an Autoresponder service for email marketing. You can move to another provider in no time if you keep your email database somewhere else.
But if you build your business on a social platform, like YouTube or Facebook, you don’t own that property. They may close your account without even having to explain why. Your business will be gone in a minute.
Those platforms may not even close your account for your business to take a nose dive. All they have to do is change their algorithm. Your traffic may be gone, which means your income and profit will fall.
Having said this, you can still use YouTube as a tool to host your videos. But embed them on your website and drive traffic to your website, not to your YouTube channel. Build your subscribers on your email list, not on social media likes and follows. That's like building on quicksand.
Own your brand. Link your brand to your name and your face. People will recognize you and your brand and will come back. You’re building a moat of protection around you. You have fans that know, like and trust you.
Should you get banned from a social media platform or an algorithm changes, your fans will find you. All you need to do is send an email.
You don’t need millions of fans. What matters is that you are real and authentic. You connect with real people and build a relationship with them. A small fan base of a 1,000 engaged people can allow you to earn quite a decent income.
Don’t be at the mercy of platforms you don’t own. They have only their interest and shareholders at heart, not yours. Create and own your brand own your own property.
I’m calling the new breed of online entrepreneurs who want to win the wealth game Wealth Hackers. I have created this Manifesto for Wealth Hackers and it summarizes the above:
This is the most effective approach to building a real, sustainable online business. It's a business created for long-term growth.
This Manifesto described what I focus on and the principles I follow. If you want to learn more and you agree that this is a sensible way to build a business, you're in the right place.
You're welcome to join the Wealth Hackers of WinTheWealthGame.
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