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How To Get A Job (No College Necessary)

​How To Get A Job

​(No College Necessary)

​​At a stage in everyone’s life, there comes a point when that person realizes that if they don't get out of their room, turn off Netflix, and get a job, they probably aren't going to eat next week.

It's a sad day.

Or, probably as the result of another sad day (or a series of sad days), you might find yourself wanting a change in your career.
But where to begin?

In a world where college graduates are struggling to get jobs, how do you go about not only finding a job, but finding a job that you love and that you feel allows you the opportunity to make an impact?

There are many steps you can take to put the odds in your favor. As many people have often affirmed, getting a job can feel like a job itself. The process can seem long, daunting and stressful.

But with​ some determination and strategic application, you can land that dream job you have always wanted.

Here's how.

​Get Talented

One of the ways to prepare yourself to get a job is by learning new skills. It is not enough to rely on what was taught on the four walls of the classroom to prepare you for the right job. You have got to develop yourself with adequate skills.

Thanks to technology, there are many ways one can learn a new skill. ​Websites like Udemy offer ways where people can learn valuable marketplace skills inexpensively.

​You could attend conferences and seminars. The idea is to learn a skill and be very good at it. With time, the skill might one day be your pass to a good paying job.

Do be careful, however, not to go all in on a skill that won't get you very far. ​Remember that the world is ​selfish​. While you may be passionate about something, the rest of the world may not care.

Choose a skill that solves a need for others and you will never know what it is to go jobless.

man and woman with computer

​Don't Forget To Remind People How Cool You Are

​Of course, I want to believe you already have a good resume that showcases your skill, ability and what you are capable of.

But many people leave stuff off their resume that may be worth a hire later on.

Think about including unique skills or life experiences on your resume that are unique to you.

Have you traveled to other countries? Explain how doing so has taught you independence, how to adapt and think outside the box, and negotiation skills.

Have you learned to play an instrument, or had your writing featured somewhere interesting (like here)? Explain how you had to learn to be determined, willing to get the job done no matter what.

​Alongside your resume, it is a good idea to keep your LinkedIn profile updated as well. Include every detail as some details might be what will get you to the interview table. Some recruiters prefer going on LinkedIn to source for qualifying candidates.

It is a good idea to let your resume reflect what you are able to do and bring to the organization of your choice, so don't be afraid to include the things that make you ​uniquely you​.​​​

 Also, resist the urge to immediately click apply and send over your resume at every job you qualify for. Taking the time to update your resume and customizing it to the specifics of the job could single you out for success.

resume

​Delete Ya Dumb Tweets

​​​​​And while we're talking about social media, be mindful of what you post. There is a huge chance that prospective employers are doing a background check via social media profiles.

​A report from CareerBuilder survey in 2017 revealed that 70 percent of employers are using social media to research prospective candidate. (source).

The implication of this is obvious if you have a bad online presence; it could cost you the job.

Inappropriate or provocative information, contents or photographs is definitely a turn off to potential employers. Other habits on social media that could jeopardize your chance of being hired are:

  • ​Revealing information about doing drugs or drinking
  • ​Giving derogatory remarks about others
  • ​Being an internet bully
  • angle-right
    ​A non-professional screen name (@kittyloverboo)
  • angle-right
    ​Revealing confidential info
  • angle-right
    ​The things you say or said about your previous jobs and bosses (this is a big one)

​So be careful. If you aren't sure whether or not you should put it on social media, you probably shouldn't put it on social media.

social media apps

​​Master The Art Of Timing

​There are some seasons that favor job seekers compared to others. We understand that you might not have the luxury of waiting for a job. However, if your goal is to switch jobs, it is recommended that you commence your job search to when companies recruit.

​According to a recent TopResume survey, the best months to be in the job search are from January to May and during ​the Fall months. (source).

If you are seeking a job in the summer, consider using the period to prepare yourself. Update yourself, gain important skills, update your social media profiles, build networks, learn new skills, and so on.

​This will pay off by the time the hiring kicks off fully.

girl thinking at computer

​Friends And Jobs

​​​One of the most powerful forces on the face of the planet are when people work together.

When you're in the job search, you are right in the middle of the perfect time to reach out to long lost friends and relatives, distant cousins that are in good positions, college advisors, and others who can help you find a job.

With your huge network, there is a big chance someone in your network might be aware of an open or more importantly put in a good word for you. Letting everyone in your network know that you are searching will make them consider you, should there be an opening.

You can also network by seeking events in your chosen industry. There are cites with professional networking associations that have members that meet regularly.

Getting an opening via networking increases your chances of getting the job tremendously. Thus, you have a direct connection to the job rather than being a random applicant.

As the old saying goes, "Your network is your net worth."

​And don't be afraid to reach out for fear of not being able to give anything to the other person; one day, your friends may need something from you that only you can give them.

​That's what friends are for. So don't be afraid to reach out to the people you know.

friend network

​How Free Work Can Make You Rich

​​When you volunteer, you are making yourself more attractive and desirable to Human Resources Managers. Volunteering can help you develop skills, make new friends, and even makes you happier. (source).

Thus, dedicating your time to causes and helping others greatly increases your chances of getting a job. Even if all you can afford in a whole week is an hour, ​that hour will be well spent in the long run.

Volunteering demonstrates to employers that you have the required skills needed on the job, skills that might not be developed while in school. With volunteering, you show ​that you are willing to go above and beyond what is expected.

You show that you are willing to learn, able to serve, and always dedicated to the cause.

​If you have those traits, you're an ideal candidate for top tier jobs.

​​Play A Long Game

​If you are really serious about getting a job, recruiting agencies could also be of tremendous help.

Recruiters are usually informed on several jobs that are suitable for you and your desired skill sets. They could get you straight to the front of hiring managers thus, saving you time for searching for jobs.

You can also consider temporary jobs to get a quick job.

Although it is only temporary, it is a way to make some money. ​These temporary jobs can help you learn new skills and put some more stuff on your resume.

No one ever starts out at the top. Be willing to work a low level position now so that later, your dream job will be right there waiting for you.

Try to do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door with the company you want to work at. Instead of trying for a C-level position your first interview, play long term. Be willing to get down and dirty now so that you can rise high later.

handshake for a job

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​Obviously, getting a job can be a job in itself. Some could see it as a daunting task, but the good news is that all the effort invested will pay off in the future.

And remember: the less people who are willing to do the tasks we've outlined above, the more likely you are to succeed by following them.

You are just a few steps away from your dream job. 

​Let me know in the comments: ​what job are you trying to get?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

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Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

How To Start A Business That Will Make You A Millionaire

How To ​Start A Business

That Will Make You A Millionaire

​For someone with nerves of steel and a good head for figuring out problems, it only makes sense to be an entrepreneur.

Despite the increased risk, entrepreneurship ​is pretty logical: research in Thomas Stanley's groundbreaking book The Millionaire Next Door shows that self employed people are over 4x as likely to be millionaires as people who work for others.

But that raises a question: with failure so rampant in the startup space and knowing that a majority of businesses don't last more than 5 years (source), ​how do you start a business that both guarantees a high income (let's put you at millionaire status) and won't fail on you?

​If you're looking for a business idea, I recommend our post What Is The Best Business For Me To Start?

​While this post deals more with the nitty gritty after having a business idea, that post is a lot better for the theoretical side: narrowing down a business idea and some practical tips on how to follow through to ensure you won't flop.

​So here's how to start a business guaranteed to make you a millionaire.

​​​How To Win A Horse Race 

​​The power of past choices is not a mystery; you've undoubtedly heard many a people speak of their regrets and things they wish that they had done differently.

On a similar note, making the right decisions early on can have huge impacts later in life. The earlier you make good decisions, the better things will turn out as you grow older.

Here's where we're going with this.

In Scott A. Shane's book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship​, he records that the vast majority of entrepreneurs do not pick their businesses because the industry has increased profits or revenues. In fact, Shane says that it's not just the minority who pick the most profitable businesses: it's pretty well nobody.

Yet In Thomas J. Stanley's book The Millionaire Next Door, he records a different piece of information: normal entrepreneurs don't pick their industries well, but ​millionaire​ entrepreneurs do.​​​ Stanley says that millionaires spend significant amounts of time learning of different industries so they can build businesses in the most profitable ones.

And normally, these businesses are pretty lame: meat packers, mobile home park owners, and farmers.

So in your search for your business to bring in the big bucks, don't pick any random one and, to be like a millionaire, don't pick a business based on your passion.

Incredibly successful business owners are realists: they see that the world is incredibly selfish and while you may truly love something, that does not mean that the world will pay you for it.

It's sad, but true.

The best way to win a horse race is to pick the right horse. In your journey to start a great business, find an area of need ​before​ starting your business, not after.​​​

​The Two Apps To Save A Dying Business

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace." - Luke 14:28-32

​When starting a business, even Jesus has some advice for you: count the cost.

​There are two ways we need to do this.

​1) ​Start Up Money

​Your start up money is what you're going to need to get the business going. Bootstrap as you have to, but calculate exactly what it is going to cost to get your business going. Do the best you can to foresee initial costs, future tools you will need, and even future problems that may arise and need some money.

Be ​extra harsh​ here. If you think something will cost between $100 and $200, budget for $200.

Once you have your final number, it isn't a bad idea to add 25% to that final number. I've found that adding a percentage (I've used as high as 50%) really helps account for a lot of unexpected things that rise up and need dealing with.

​And a lot of things are going to need to rise up and need dealing with.

​2) Living Money

​When are you going to need this business to be profitable? If you have left your job or cut off other streams of income to pursue this business, calculate ​exactly​ how much the business is going to need to make for you to be able to survive.

Remember that ​revenue, profit, ​and ​paycheck ​are ​not​ the same things. Your business can bring in millions of dollars of revenue but have little or no profit. And if you aren't making much profit, you as the business owner are definitely not getting a paycheck​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

As best you can, try to predict what this business will have to bring in for you to take home a living wage. If you accurately account for expenses such as employees, problems, reinvestment, etc., then the number for how much you have to make to live off this business will probably be disgustingly high.

​​​And if you are now unemployed, you have an even bigger expense: time​​.​​​​​​​

​Know how much time you have before the business has to make X amount of dollars. If you don't have much time, I don't recommend starting a business at all. I recommend keeping or finding a job, because your business may fail or take much longer than you want to sustain an income.

The two apps that can save a dying business are easy to find a simple to use: a calculator and a calendar.

​Be careful of falling into the trap of starting a tower or going to war without counting the full cost.

​How To Turn A Penny Into A Million Bucks

MJ DeMarco, the best selling author ​The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted, believes that all successful businesses have a few things in common.

​During decades spent living without a mortgage, a car payment, or any financial troubles whatsoever, DeMarco studied the attributes of businesses that failed.

​And it turns out that knowing what ​not​ to do is just as important as knowing what to do. So DeMarco made a list.

This list included attributes that successful businesses have in common.​​​ In fact, these characteristics are so important that DeMarco calls them "The Commandments".

​We're going to take a look at these commandments (text taken from this post on the best business for you to start) and then we're going to look at how to leverage those in your new business.

Every successful business applies at least one of the principles recorded below. The most successful businesses apply them all. And you can remember them just by remembering a penny: think "CENTS".

Commandments and descriptions taken from The Millionaire Fastlane:

​Control​: Franchises and network marketing companies make for weak businesses since they lack the aspect of control. Businesses need to be able to set their own prices and control which products are created, marketed, and sold.​​​​​

The ideal business will be able to control both price and expenses (more on this and how it affects the value of your business here) and will be able to determine its own profit line. Because your skillset and business is unique to you, the best product for you will be different than the best product for other people and their businesses.

​When you lose control of things in your business, you lose competitive advantage.

​Entry​: Ever wanted to pursue a business and been turned away by a price tag that's a fuzz higher than what you were looking for?

That's a good thing.

When your business is easy to get into, you have lots of competition. This is another reason why I'm not a big fan of franchises or network marketing companies (and I have been a part of both).

The higher of a barrier to entry your niche has, the more difficult it will be for others to compete with you. Ask any lawn care business, insurance franchise, accounting firm,​​​​​​ convenience store, or any of the seven coffee shops in your town and you'll hear all about the dangers of too much competition.

Make it difficult for others to compete with you.

​Need​: The sad truth of the world is that people do not pay us for doing what we love. The world is an incredibly, incredibly selfish place and will only pay us for giving it things that it wants.

Make sure your business isn't a passion, a pipe dream, or a hot recommendation from your seemingly-savvy Uber driver. It needs to be something that your target audience needs, whether your target audience is your town, your country, or the world.​​​​​

​Time​: Even though ​people who are self employed are undeniably happier, as demonstrated in the book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, they work.

A lot.

In fact, out of 25 countries surveyed, self employed people worked more than regularly employed people in all countries ​except two​.

​While you should expect (and enjoy) the hard work while the business is getting going, being a slave to your business is not a good situation to be in.

According to MJ DeMarco's CENTS, your business should ultimately be able to separate your time from your income. While early on this means you won't make as much, in the grand scheme you never want your time to be traded for dollars.

The Millionaire Fastlane calls that wage slavery and time prostitution. Both are avoidable.​​​​​​

Your business should be able to be automated or you should be able to hire tasks out to the point where your input is ​completely​ unnecessary. It may take time to get to this stage (it will definitely take time) but there's no need for you to simply create a new job for yourself with your business.

​Scale​: Finally, we reach what may be the biggest and baddest of them all.

​The ideal business is able to reach far more than ​a few hundred people. It is able to reach thousands if not millions.

​Because if you can make a million people feel or have something, you will be a very rich person.

Scale takes different forms: for restaurants, one of the only ways to scale will be to open more restaurants. For internet business, increase your users. Whether your version of scale involves opening different branches or maximizing how many users are in love with your product, scale is where the big money happens.

Make sure your business isn't crippling you before you get it started. Don't allow yourself to open a business with inherent limits. Start a business that can reach the world.

​When you apply CENTS, your business will be infinitely more powerful.

Now let's step out of theory and get practical.

It is one thing to know all that before you start a business, but you need to apply it to your own startup now.

Or, even worse, you already have a business and are trying to correct course.

What's the best way to apply CENTS? Well, you can painstakingly go through the complete ramifications of every one of the principles above, or you can follow this simple Do/Do Not list.

Do

  • ​Learn what you can control and leverage it in your business. Maximize control
  • ​Make it difficult to compete with you. What can you do for a dollar that will cost your competitors two dollars?
  • ​Push competitors out of business
  • check
    ​Create products that others, not you, want in the marketplace
  • check
    ​Plan ahead for new products; how can you leverage existing infrastructure to create new things?
  • check
    ​Prepare to train or hire others to do your job for you
  • check
    ​Prepare yourself to have time separated from income; early on, this means ​you may earn nothing​​​​
  • check
    ​Leverage the power of the internet to scale your business to incredible heights
  • check
    ​Allow yourself to consider businesses that are not internet based (e.g. physical products) and ask how these items can be made better with the internet
  • check
    Begin the process of automation immediately

Do Not

  • ​Start a franchise or join a network marketing company; you will lack control, barriers to entry, and you will debatably lack a viable market need (I speak from experience on both accounts)
  • ​Allow yourself to be outworked or outsmarted by the competition
  • ​Go in without extensive budgeting (time/money) and planning future products
  • Times
    ​Remain set on one business idea if the markets move you in a direction; many famous companies started as ideas for something else
  • Times
    ​Allow the barriers to your business to be lowered; maintain and increase knowledge, money, infrastructure, and time barriers when possible
  • Times
    Consider only internet businesses (the desire for internet businesses now creates a higher demand for physical businesses)
  • Times
    ​Create your own job; leverage manpower and automation to separate time from income

​​A Treatise On Being Executed

​The difference between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur is a small, subtle thing. It is so easy to talk about yet so difficult to execute that many live their whole lives not truly being able grasp this concept.

The difference between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur is action. And not just a little action, but a lot.

In a study of geniuses recorded in his book Creativity, ​Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that once a certain level of intelligence is reached, world-famous achievers aren't actually smarter. 

​They simply put in more hours than other people.

​Other similar findings in the books Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (by Mason Currey) and Managing With Power (by Jeffrey Pfeffer) echo this sentiment: world class achievers aren't massively intelligent, lucky, or better than the rest of us.

​They just work more.

​So if you're looking to be an entrepreneur, science has some advice: get to it. Don't let up.

​In the long run, being a workaholic is bad for us. (source 1​) (source 2) But working hard on a project you feel is meaningful (as any good entrepreneur will know that their business is) only boosts your sense of happiness ​according to Eric Barker's research in his book Barking Up The Wrong Tree​.

So in your meaningful business, don't be afraid to put in too many hours. And if your business is successful (as it most likely will be, you spending lots of your free time on it and everything) then you can eventually sell or automate it and will never need to work again if you don't want to.

Instead of spending 40+ hours a week at your job for 40 years to retire at 65 (55 if you're lucky and never eat out), you may spend 60+ hours for 5 or 10 years to retire immediately after.

This early investment of time in your business pays off big in the long run, so don't be afraid to apply some elbow grease.

But how do we make this time most effective? How can we do in 8, 6, 4, or 2 hours what takes everyone else 10?

​While I wish I could tell you that I've found a way to harness my inner superpowers, that's (sadly) not the case.

​But we don't need superpowers to be more effective than others. We need better orientation.

People are busy. ​And not only are people actually more busy, but people today ​feel ​busier. In a recent poll by Gallup, Americans were shown to be significantly down in overall wellbeing across many indicators (source).​​​ And even though we're working a lot (source) and free time is down (source), we don't seem to be all that productive.

In fact, we seem to be wasting ​a lot ​of time. A recent study shows that during our significant hours spent at work, only about 39% of that work is spent on time that is role specific.

This means that in an average workweek, the Americans ​work on a product that fits their job description 39% of the time.​​​ (source).

Obviously, there is quite a bit of room in the remaining 61% of busy work for quite a bit of a productivity boost.

​We get that extra 61% not by working harder, but by better time management.

​Sadly, people aren't capable of our peak productivity all the time. Cal Newport reports in his powerful book Deep Work that even at the expert level, people are probably only capable of high intensity work for a maximum of four hours per day.

​Newport's research also indicates that while in a state of maximum productivity, or "deep work" that any interruptions cause our brain to literally run off track, changing our entire thought process. Getting back into deep, productive work once again strips our brain of energy and hinders us from being maximally productive.

Since we can only produce maximally for a short period every day, we need to avoid falling into the trap of everyone else and wasting our lives on busy work.

To do that, I propose that you split your tasks into three different categories: Most Helpful, Most Needed, and Can Be Finished Quickly. Let's take a look at these and see how they can benefit your new business.

​Most Helpful​: This category exists for the tasks that provide the maximum amount of value for your new business. This may be time spent ​​​​​​in tasks like product development, article writing, advertising, or structuring your team.

Guard this spot jealously. Only ​the most​ productive, powerful, and helpful tasks can go here. These tasks need not be urgent, but they do need to be done.

​Most Needed​: This is where the urgent tasks go, and this is where we end up spending most of our time in the modern work day.

Everything in modern jobs are "necessary" from answering emails to attending the infamous meetings your boss sets up for seemingly no reason.

Yet in your business, you are the one who determines what is necessary and what isn't.

Use this box for the things that are only really, ​really ​ necessary. Aim for wildfires, not kitchen fires in this one. This can include rampant employees, software bugs, problems with your payment systems, or other things that needed a solution five minutes ago.

This box isn't useful for growing your business, it's useful for saving it. So try your best to keep this box to two or three things maximum.​​​​​​​​​​ Make sure that these things are both big and need to be solved quickly. Take care of these things first, ASAP, and move onto the items in the third box:

​Can Be Finished Quickly​:​​​​​ This box is just like it sounds. It is used for items that are neither helpful for urgent but do need to get done. I usually say that if anything can be done in 10 minutes or less, it goes in this box and gets done right after the most needed urgent tasks.

These tasks have a habit of piling up or growing more severe with time; prevent future conflict (and future wasted time) by dealing with these as quickly as you can.

​The only way we can be maximally productive is to segment our time​.

​I prefer to handle my tasks in this order: Most Needed --> Can Be Finished Quickly --> Most Helpful.

I do it this way so I can put out wild fires, eliminate future distractions, and then spend my time where it really matters: in the most important, yet least urgent box named Most Helpful​​​.

And a special note needs to be made about tasks that are maximally efficient. In Gary Keller's book The ONE Thing​, he makes a surprisingly simple argument about efficiency.

Keller argues that every day should have a "ONE Thing" that is the most important, most urgent, and most efficient tasks on our schedules.

​We find the ONE Thing by asking "What can I do that will make all my other tasks easier or more productive?"

Efficiency and hard work need not be filled with busy work, but with strategy.

Find your ONE Thing that makes the rest of the day easier, then strategically execute the tasks remaining.

Building a business is hard and will definitely be time consuming. But that doesn't mean that you have to flounder around, wasting your time, wasting your money, and wasting your life​.

But the most effective thing you can do today is simply to start. That is your ONE Thing. Whatever your task in front of you is, execute it ruthlessly by starting and not stopping until it's done.

​Slavery Upside Down And My Favorite Noise In The World

​To the great detriment of​ every girl I've dated, my family, and anyone who has ever been in a car with me, I have a bad habit.

Any time my car passes a car quickly, gets passed quickly, goes around a turn quickly, or does anything that can be done with some speed, I make a certain noise...

"Nyyyyooooooom"

It's like this:

​​Nyyyooom is the noise that car engines make when the engines are working hard and the car passes you quickly.

​And just like a fast car getting to the finish line, your business needs some nyyyooom in it.

We already talked about the importance of getting started, but now I want to shift ou​r focus to what needs to happen after you take the first steps: you have to work.

And in your business, you are going to be competing against the greatest in the world; established companies with existing supply chains, leadership, and income will be your competition. The ​only ​way you can compete is to out-think and out-work your competition.

You, as the owner, need to become your business' loyal slave. "Slave" is undoubtedly a harsh word, but I chose it for a reason: as a business owner, you will rise before dawn and go to bed after dusk working. You will bootstrap to achieve whatever needs to be accomplished. You may go hungry, your checking account overdrafted, for days or weeks so your business can survive.

You may work 60 or 80 hour weeks, you may not take vacations ​ever​, and you may be mocked by those who are closest to you.

It will be slavery upside down; where you as the owner bleed, sweat, and cry until your business is built and sustainable, until you can live off your labor.

The importance of hard work cannot be ignored and it should not be forgotten, for by your hard work your business will thrive and survive.​​​​​​

To nyyyooom past others, you have to start early, work hard, think smarter, and move faster.

If you aren't willing to do that, don't become an entrepreneur.

The shortcuts in the world of entrepreneurs may take 5 or 10 years to be fulfilled, but the shortcuts in every other lifestyle may take 40 or 50 years.

Be willing to wait that 5 or 10 years, working hard every step of the way.

​Nyyyooom​​​​

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​While starting a business isn't easy, it is worth it. There isn't a key or a silver bullet to success and there certainly isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for you, but starting a business can be incredibly rewarding.

​Let me know in the comments: ​what are some practical steps you've taken to start a business? What business are you trying to get going?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

​No annoying popups, no frustrating spam begging for your email address.

If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

What Is The Best Business For Me To Start?

​What Is The Best Business For Me To Start?

​​I can't blame you for wanting to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I proudly consider myself one as well.

Despite the increased risk, entrepreneurship makes a lot of sense: research in Thomas Stanley's groundbreaking book The Millionaire Next Door shows that self employed people are over 4x as likely to be millionaires as people who work for others.

But that raises a question: with failure so rampant in the startup space and knowing that a majority of businesses don't last more than 5 years (source), what is the best business to start that both guarantees a high income (let's put you at millionaire status) and won't fail on you?

The purpose of this post is to help you find and refine your ideas of which businesses to start. If you already have an idea you like and are looking for the more practical, nitty gritty of ​​"​​​Well what do I do next?​"​​​ ​then I recommend this post, as it's more practical.​​​

​But if you're still looking for ideas, wondering which one is best... well here's the answer.

​​Passion, Purpose, And The Story Of Survivors

​If all the pieces of business advice in the world were written on pieces of paper, put in a jar, and you had to pull a few of those pieces of paper out, there's a pretty good chance all of the ones you pull out would say "Follow your passion."

Among all the business advice in the world, none is quite so prevalent as the advice that you should do what you love and what you enjoy; the money will come.

​Even in Steve Jobs' famous commencement speech, he tells graduates "I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love."

So what does the science say?

Following your passion makes for great life advice. In fact, passion is basically your superpower and following it in your life and free time will probably make you a whole lot happier.

Research by Morten Hansen in his book Great At Work shows that among people who follow their passion in the office, they were likely to work harder and with more intensity, but contrary research shows that when we are told to "follow our passions", it can make us less effective when obstacles arise. (source).

So what causes the difference between being more or less effective when following our passion? It all comes down to a sense of purpose.

In Angela Duckworth's grand slam book Grit, she says that the most important thing is seeing the master scheme of the work you're doing. Seeing "how it's important to other people, not just interesting to you," forms the basis of how we need to look at following our passion:

When it gives us a deeper purpose, it is helpful. When "following our passion" means pursuing something that only feels good in the moment, we will give up when times get tough.

And finally, in full circle, here's how this matters for the business you're about to start:

"Follow your passion" is great life advice. It may be good career advice. It can't be good business advice unless you pair it with purpose.

In MJ DeMarco's fantastic business book The Millionaire Fastlane, when speaking of a failed business near his home says:

"The obvious problem here is selfishness. The owner is following his passions, and his love for hip-hop music and culture. Maybe a life coach told him 'Do what you love.' Whatever the motive, ​the need is internal and not externally based on the marketplace​. I predicted this business would last 12 months. After 18 months, the business disappeared. The road was paved with sand because no need existed."​​​​

​In fact, to DeMarco, the overwhelming majority of businesses fail not because the owner wasn't tough enough or didn't work hard enough, but because the business didn't solve a marketplace need. (By the way, MJ DeMarco's book is so good it landed on our list of best entrepreneur books and best self help books)

So when figuring out what business you need to start, don't look at what you're passionate about; look for something that solves a real world need and that you see a larger purpose in doing.

Your business should help people and encourage you to help people even more than you are ​already doing. Your business should provide a continual feedback loop of being excited for your contribution to the world and wanting to contribute even more.

On the importance of solving a real world need instead of chasing the biggest and easiest business, Zig Ziglar's famous quote says "You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help others get what they want."

And according to Mark Cuban, businesses shouldn't be founded on passion ​because successful businesses create passion​. He says:

"When you look at where you put in your time, where you put in your effort, that tends to be the things that you are good at. And if you put in enough time, you tend to get really good at it. If you put in enough time, and you get really good, I will give you a little secret: Nobody quits anything they are good at because it is fun to be good. It is fun to be one of the best."​​​ (source).

​So don't follow your passion. Create what the world needs, work hard at it, and the passion will come.

​But that raises a question: when I think the market needs more than one thing, what do I do?

​Valedictorians And The Death Of Business

​Valedictorians are the pinnacle of success in school. Characterized by good grades and a great school waiting on them to graduate, we usually expect these over-achievers to go on, do well in college, graduate, and land a nice corporate job somewhere.

​Karen Arnold's research in the book Lives Of Promise​ shows that our expectations are pretty much on point. She followed valedictorians after high schools and just as we expect, valedictorians usually go on to succeed in college. Not only that, but after 14 years nearly half of the valedictorians who were surveyed had landed in a top-tier corporate job.

Her research shows that valedictorians are often strong, dependable rule followers that hit most metrics of success in our modern world.

​But Eric Barker asks in his book Barking Up The Wrong Tree, "how many of these valedictorians in the study went on to change the world, run the world, or impress the world?

​The answer seems to be clear: zero."

There are probably a couple of reasons for this.

First, valedictorians in school are most likely subscribers to the belief that the best way to succeed is to follow the system, not break free of it. If you are an entrepreneur, you probably do not subscribe to the same values.

Second, and most importantly for our purposes, valedictorians are taught that the best way to success is to be skilled in several different areas instead of being a superstar in one area.

This leads to what the research shows: valedictorians are ​good at several different tasks and jobs. They are rarely superstars in any of them.

As a generalized group of people that is good at a lot, excellent at a little, and never truly stands out, valedictorians are the exact opposite of what entrepreneurs need to be and do when starting a business.

Entrepreneurs need to be the grand hero in their niche, the saving grace that people want to buy from; generalization and diversity is the great enemy of a successful entrepreneur.

So what do you do when you think the market has several needs or you have tons of ideas floating around in your head?

Ignore all of them but one. Take the remaining one idea and give it 100% of your effort. Cal Newport's book Deep Work takes this idea to the extreme: Newport argues that it is only when we eliminate busy work and focus on what matters that we accomplish more and have less free time.

Newport is not the only person making such an argument. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss often cites the Pareto Principle, a theory that 80% of effects often come from 20% of causes.

Newport and Ferriss agree: people are better off maximizing the things that work rather than wasting away time with the things that don't produce as much towards your life and your dreams.

​When presented with this idea, a question should arise. If diversification is so harmful, why in the world do people talk about it so much?

​Baskets And A Good Old Mom Story

​On her first trip outside the US, my mother was a little distraught. Simply put, she had brought a lot of stuff.

The luggage for her ​relatively short trip included three times as many outfits as she needed, medicines for every fathomable scenario, chargers, four different pairs of shoes, different types of makeup ("We're going to be at a lake next to a jungle, Mom"), and all the food seasoning she could stuff into her carry-on.

My poor 5'3" mother ended up needing all sorts of help with her luggage throughout the trip... and you can guess who ended up taking her suitcase (hint: it wasn't my brother) while she carried my measly little backpack.

My mother was ready, packing everything she could ​possibly​ need. Her greatest fear was that we would find ourselves overseas and she wouldn't have something. Telling my mother that we could definitely buy ​that​ in the new country didn't do much good; her greatest fear was not having enough.

This is actually a popular concept in the realm of economics and psychology called loss aversion. It seems that humans are genetically wired to be more afraid of losses than excited by gains. 

​For example, let's say that losing $5 gives you a little anxiety. On a scale of 1-10, we're gonna put this anxiety at a three.

​In contrast, gaining $5 gives you excitement. It makes you happy. But on the same scale of 1-10, gaining $5 only gives you one level of excitement.

​From a survival standpoint, this makes sense: it's better to not have the risk being eaten by a wild animal over a scrap of food. Loss aversion definitely saved some ancient lives. (source 1) (source 2).

​Yet what is so helpful for early humans often proves unhelpful, or downright dangerous, to humans alive today. Loss aversion is where a love of diversification comes from; and just like my mother, when entrepreneurs diversify too early, they end up weighed down and unable to move and act how they really want to.

Diversification is popular because it protects people from losses. It scratches our loss aversion itch. And established businesses ​must ​diversify; often an established business reaches a "soft limit" of what is available to be gained from a certain venture that limits their gains in that arena.

But new businesses must avoid the desire to spread themselves too thin at all costs.

MJ DeMarco, author of The Millionaire Fastlane, says this:

"​A scattered focus leads to scattered results​. Instead of having one business that thrives, the polygamist-opportunity has 20 businesses that suck... ​When you segregate your effort among assets, you build weak assets​."​​​​​​

When it comes to what business ventures you should pursue, don't be a valedictorian, don't be my mother, and don't be a business with 20 weak assets that all independently suck your time dry like your personal vampire.

Don't be a generalist "specializing" in a whole slew of different things. Pick a good arena where there is a need and master that arena. No more.

If you still don't believe me, ask Andrew Carnegie, steel tycoon whose wealth eventually reached about $372 billion. He famously said, "The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket."

So here's to all of us with only one basket.

​How Remembering A Penny Can Make You A Billionaire (No, It's Not By Saving It, You Cheapskate)

​We've established that your business should solve a need and that, when starting out, you should put all your effort into one thing. But is that really all it takes to start a business?

Well, not really.

​MJ DeMarco, the best selling author mentioned a few times previously, believes that all successful businesses have a few things in common.

In fact, these characteristics are so important that DeMarco calls them "The Commandments".

Every successful business applies one of them. The most successful businesses apply them all. And you can remember them just by remembering a penny: think "CENTS".

Commandments and descriptions taken from The Millionaire Fastlane:

​Control​: Franchises and network marketing companies make for weak businesses since they lack the aspect of control. Businesses need to be able to set their own prices and control which products are created, marketed, and sold.​​​​​

The ideal business will be able to control both price and expenses (more on this and how it affects the value of your business here) and will be able to determine its own profit line. Because your skillset and business is unique to you, the best product for you will be different than the best product for other people and their businesses.

​When you lose control of things in your business, you lose competitive advantage.

​Entry​: Ever wanted to pursue a business and been turned away by a price tag that's a fuzz higher than what you were looking for?

That's a good thing.

When your business is easy to get into, you have lots of competition. This is another reason why I'm not a big fan of franchises or network marketing companies (and I have been a part of both).

The higher of a barrier to entry your niche has, the more difficult it will be for others to compete with you. Ask any lawn care business, insurance franchise, accounting firm,​​​​​​ convenience store, or any of the seven coffee shops in your town and you'll hear all about the dangers of too much competition.

Make it difficult for others to compete with you.

​Need​: The sad truth of the world is that people do not pay us for doing what we love. The world is an incredibly, incredibly selfish place and will only pay us for giving it things that it wants.

Make sure your business isn't a passion, a pipe dream, or a hot recommendation from your seemingly-savvy Uber driver. It needs to be something that your target audience needs, whether your target audience is your town, your country, or the world.​​​​​

​Time​: Even though ​people who are self employed are undeniably happier, as demonstrated in the book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, they work.

A lot.

In fact, out of 25 countries surveyed, self employed people worked more than regularly employed people in all countries ​except two​.

​While you should expect (and enjoy) the hard work while the business is getting going, being a slave to your business is not a good situation to be in.

According to MJ DeMarco's CENTS, your business should ultimately be able to separate your time from your income. While early on this means you won't make as much, in the grand scheme you never want your time to be traded for dollars.

The Millionaire Fastlane calls that wage slavery and time prostitution. Both are avoidable.​​​​​​

Your business should be able to be automated or you should be able to hire tasks out to the point where your input is ​completely​ unnecessary. It may take time to get to this stage (it will definitely take time) but there's no need for you to simply create a new job for yourself with your business.

​Scale​: Finally, we reach what may be the biggest and baddest of them all.

​The ideal business is able to reach far more than ​a few hundred people. It is able to reach thousands if not millions.

​Because if you can make a million people feel or have something, you will be a very rich person.

Scale takes different forms: for restaurants, one of the only ways to scale will be to open more restaurants. For internet business, increase your users. Whether your version of scale involves opening different branches or maximizing how many users are in love with your product, scale is where the big money happens.

Make sure your business isn't crippling you before you get it started. Don't allow yourself to open a business with inherent limits. Start a business that can reach the world.

All of these are important because these things all impact the most exciting part of any successful business: escaping.

The Escape Plan

If you're trying to nurse your slowly dying dreams of retiring in the Caribbean or buying a private island, I have good news: there's a way.

And it's not even illegal.

It isn't found in the selling off of your 401k or going into ungodly amounts of debt. No no no, this way is much smoother, much more clean.

It makes you a whole lot wealthier too.

You can engage in your escape plan and sell your business.

While get rich easy is a pipe dream best left to the realm of hopeful children, get rich fast is very, very real. And when your business solves the needs of a whole lot of people, it will have a whole lot of value that you can cash in on by selling.

In fact, the value of a business is one of the most desirable traits about a business. Unlike your stock market investments where you have little to no control of the value of your companies, your own business has multiple variables that you can control, each one with the potential to skyrocket the value of your business.

Here are just a few, with brief descriptions.

  • ​Income​: If you can increase your income, your potential value increases​​​​​
  • ​Expenses​: Decreasing your expenses increases profit and gives a potential value increase​​​​​
  • ​Customer Quality​: Not applicable in all industries, but when your customers are more likely to be repeat customers, this can impact the value of your business 
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    Type Of Income​: Not all sources of income are equal. Having income that is more likely to be repeated (subscription models, repeat orders, etc.) can increase business value
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    Owner Income​: How much you as the owner ​receive from the business can impact the value of the business ​​​​​​​​​​​

​​With each of these variables comes a chance to exponentially (yes, ​exponentially​) increase the value of your business.

Yet I haven't talked about the most important variable of all: your industry multiplier.

Just as different customers and income sources affect the value of your business, your industry multiplier determines roughly how much you can sell your business based on your profit.

And when doing the math, industry multipliers make stock market gains seem like a tea party.

Even if your industry multiplier is 2x (very, very low - sources later), this means that for every extra dollar you earn in profit, you can earn ​two extra dollars in selling. That represents a 200% return on your dollar.

Some businesses earn less than a 2x multiplier (many franchisees tell me that their businesses earn closer to 1 or 1.5x and my father verified that number for both of his franchises), while publicly traded companies can trade as high as 50x.

The average multiplier from the statistics I found was somewhere around 4 or 5x for ​most businesses.

One source says that the average for companies under $1M in revenue is 4.5x. (source).

Another source says that the average is 4.51x. (source).

Meaning that selling an average business will net you a 450% return on every dollar you made in profit in that business.

Know your industry, learn your multipliers, and leverage big ones. You won't get rich easy, but you will definitely get rich fast with an excellent escape plan.

​Practical Step-By-Step And Tip Sheet

​​​With all that out of the way, let's get rid of theory and get down to the nuts and bolts of this thing.

​We'll go in logical progression.

What is the best business for me to start?

​Idea

​​​​​​-What is something that is annoying/frustrating/needs to be fixed? Can this be fixed?

-If no ideas, ask a friend or relative: what is something you experienced today that you thought could be improved?

-If no ideas, go on Reddit or other forums and search for words like "Frustating/Horrible/I hate". A careful search should bring you many ideas for opportunities

​Narrowing Down Ideas

-Once you have an idea, ask: can this be fixed, improved, or created? Would I pay to have this problem eliminated?

-Ask friends and relatives: would you pay to have this problem eliminated?

-Ask whether or not people who don't know you would pay you to fix this problem

​Finding The Perfect Business

-Use CENTS evaluation

-​C​: Can this business be controlled? Will I be able to set my price points, control my expenses, and determine what products will be created or not created?

-​E: Does this business have a barrier to entry? Can anyone start this business without a significant financial, knowledge, or time investment? If so, pass and go to another idea. 

-​N​: Is there a genuine marketplace need for this product? Can I create more value than other similar products on the marketplace? How can I be better than the competition?

​-​T​: Will this business eventually separate my time from my income? How passive can this business be? How easy is it to hire or train others to take over my job so I don't have to worry about it? How easy is it to automate this business? Remember that automating a system is almost always better than hiring when you are able.​​​​​​​​​

-​S​: Can this business scale in new customers, new products, or both? If so, how? Will scaling require significant investments of money, time, or knowledge or will it be fairly easy? Remember that businesses should be difficult to start, but simple to scale.

​Exiting The Business

-What is my industry multiplier?

-Am I able to manipulate profits by changing price and expenses?

​-Is there a way for me to have higher quality customers or higher quality products than competition?

-How easy is it to sell companies in this space? This question may take a bit more research to answer - consider research a knowledge barrier to entry. Having to research before starting the business is a good thing.​​​​​​​​

​Decision

​These metrics above will allow you to sort out unfavorable businesses and, if you're left with multiple ideas, will help you decide which one you prefer.

You may find that one business idea will definitely be able to make more money, but another is more passive once you get going. This checklist will help you narrow down which one you want and which one is best for you.​​​​​

​​Failure

Starting a business is a risky proposition. And although your business can bring you a nearly unlimited amount of health, wealth, and wisdom, the failure rate for those who are self employed is staggeringly high.

Statistically, you have a high chance of not making it on your first venture. There's a healthy chance that you will mess something up, but you can learn from it.

Silicon Valley, land of the thousand startups, has an expression:

​Fail fast. Fail cheap.

The masters of world changing businesses want to offer you some advice: take an honest look at your business once you get going. Think with your head, don't feel with your heart, and ask yourself is this is truly a viable venture.

When the excitement dies down and the motivation is starting to slip, ask yourself if this is really the business that the world needs. If not, end it.

Failure is a valuable process in the world of business. When your business fails, it is undoubtedly a tragedy. It is sad, painful, and embarrassing. But failure doesn't mean that you should give up.

It means that you should learn.

So fail fast. Fail cheap. But never quit pursuing your dreams or becoming better at everything you do.

And don't be afraid, if you fail, to give it another shot. The payoff is worth it. Achieving financial and personal dreams has no equal in the world.

So if you do fail at a business, instead of moping, ask yourself: What can I learn from this and apply to my life and my next business?

​Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

​It may be difficult to start a business, but the payoff for your personal and financial life can be almost unlimited.

If you've now got an idea and are looking to really get going with it, check out this post How To Start A Business That Will Make You A Millionaire. It's a lot more practical and really gets down into the nitty gritty of the details with step by step instructions.

​Let me know in the comments: what​ business are you considering?

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

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What Is The Best Entrepreneur Book In 2019?

​What Is The Best
​Entrepreneur Book In 2019?

​​​Every invention we love once came from a bold, imaginative individual with a never-give-up mentality.

Every great invention came from an entrepreneur.

​But no matter how great the invention, the entrepreneur behind it was doubtless once insecure, inexperienced, and without knowledge in regards to creating.

​The best entrepreneur books dig deep into our hearts, minds, and desires to produce the incredible business that is waiting inside of us to be unleashed.

Here are the best entrepreneur books.

Who Needs An Entrepreneur Book?

To be frank, entrepreneurs do. Both the master and the novice always have new things to learn. I believe a better question may be "Who is an entrepreneur?"

Entrepreneurs can be anyone, but there are common traits that entrepreneurs share. To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, if you...

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    ​Want to create value in the world​​​​
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    ​Can think outside the box
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    ​Can see better ways to do things
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    ​Are willing to act
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    ​Are unwilling to give up
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    ​Have goals and dreams
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    ​Think that there is a better way to live life
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    ​Are capable of listening to the world's wants and needs instead of your own

​​... then you might be an entrepreneur. As such, at some point you will need (or wish you owned!) some books on entrepreneurship. 

​​​What ​The Best Entrepreneur Books Do

​​Let's go ahead and draw this nasty little distinction. 

There are entrepreneur books.

Then there are the ​best​ entrepreneur books.

Many authors claim to be writing "entrepreneur books" but in reality, they are writing sad excuses for helpful literature.

A lot of entrepreneur material is get-rich-quick junk.​​​

​With big smiling faces, we've weeded out the worst of the material for you. So with that out of the way...

The best entrepreneur books do an incredible amount for you. They almost always deal with money. Some explain where the best money comes from, how to invest in yourself, or what money should and should not be spent on.

Some talk about the reasons you should be an entrepreneur.

​All talk about business. This can include the merits of building a business (financial freedom, time freedom, job freedom, and a bigger paycheck), the pains of building a business (​extremely difficult work, forcing yourself to be dedicated, and learning how to spot market needs or wants), or the process of building a business ​(getting started, staying in business, and exiting the business).

​How To Choose The Best ​Entrepreneur Book For You

The best entrepreneur book for you will depend on what you're struggling with, what you're wanting to do, and where you're wanting to end up.

Sometimes, we just need a kick in the rear to get going.

Sometimes, we need to know how to start a big business on a small paycheck.

Sometimes, we're ready to exit our thriving business and spend some monaay.

And then sometimes, we're just looking to get some education before jumping in with all our heart (and bank account).​

Some of these entrepreneur books talk about all of these issues while others deal with one more than the others. Some talk about things that I didn't mention.

All are great for starting, going, or exiting entrepreneurs.

​​Our Picks For Best ​Entrepreneur Books

​​I've chosen five of the most popular ​entrepreneur books to review based on the quality of the information within, how practical the information is, and ​the range of topics the books deal with (called "scope"). Let's see how they all stack up and hopefully you can find the one you would like to try out.

​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​The Millionaire Fastlane (TMF) is one of the gems that should be source material for all entrepreneurial conquests.

Translation: This is a great read.

The information within is some of the greatest information ​available for any aspiring entrepreneur. Few other tomes compare with the sheer beauty of the beast that author MJ DeMarco has created.

TMF is also highly practical. MJ hasn't told me this, but I suspect that he wrote it with the sole intention of nearly all the information inside being immediately actionable.

TMF also covers a lot of material. It gets the why, the how, and just about everything in between. 

While helpful to anyone in any stage of the entrepreneurial journey, the book is more helpful to the aspiring or new entrepreneur. Experienced and wildly successful entrepreneurs will certainly find value, but the book is not written with this demographic in mind.


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    ​Great at speaking to the reader's situation
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    Extremely high quality information
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    ​Broad range of topics
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    ​Very actionable
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    ​Very inspiring
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    ​Less helpful for already successful entrepreneurs


​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​I think it speaks for itself that the two top entrepreneur books are written by the same author and I ​do ​promise that he is ​not ​compensating me in any way to write this review.

These books are really that good.​​​​​​

Check out some of the Amazon reviews if you don't believe me.

Unscripted is kind of TMF's older brother. Wiser, more experienced, and for a more aged audience.

The quality of information contained within is absolutely no less than TMF and a great addition. It covers more ​mentally stimulating material than TMF, but that does not make it less applicable.

​While TMF is written for the beginner entrepreneur, Unscripted is written for anyone getting started ​and​ for the entrepreneur who already has a glowing success story. That said, it does contain much information that the beginner entrepreneur will find more useful once they have a business.

​Do be aware that Unscripted's language is for a very mature audience. It is extremely vulgar. That's no prob Bob for most people, but some who are easily offended should probably just stick to The Millionaire Fastlane.


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    ​Very realistic in examples
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    Extremely high quality information
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    ​Broad range of topics
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    ​Knowledge for a more experienced entrepreneur
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    ​Language is vulgar


​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​Some will criticize my placing of this book as the third greatest entrepreneurial book of all time.

"But Brady," they say, "this book doesn't even talk about start-up costs! The internet! Marketing! None of it's there."

I know, I know.

What this book talks about is responsibility.

And the entrepreneur is ultimately responsible.

Responsible for their product, their distribution, their costs. Entrepreneurs are responsible for their success and their failure.

And thus this book is a must-read for any and every entrepreneur.

Every chapter starts with a real story of Task Unit Bruiser in Ramadi. It then tells a lesson that these guys learned or found true, and then an application of this lesson they've seen in the business world through their consulting company, Echelon Front.

All in all, it's one of the greatest books on the shelves today because it ultimately applies to every human. ​Every entrepreneur will find an incredible amount of value in these pages.


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    ​Real stories of Iraq War
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    ​Easy to follow
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    ​Includes application in modern times
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    ​Very actionable
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    ​Applicable to everyone
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    ​Not specifically written to entrepreneurs
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    ​Includes no specific "how-to" guide


​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW) is known as the book that launched the career of Tim Ferriss.

It's no wonder why.

It's an incredible book.

The principles held within are some of the most sacred that any entrepreneur should hold dear:

Your time and your money do not have to be connected.

Your stress is not mandatory.

You control the direction of your life and you can change it with your actions.

Tim goes out of his way to explain the exact methods necessary to build a business (a "muse" as he calls it) but many of the methods are outdated.

Even so, the principles hold true.

While Tim explains how to test a product, outsource, and profit like madness, he does a poor job of explaining the other ins and outs of the entrepreneur's life.

Marketing, sales, negotiating, what to do once you strike gold, how to truly create permanent value, how to brand, etc.

This book does a great job talking about the beginning and the ending of a business. It kinda skips the middle.


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    ​Great principles for testing
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    ​Lots of info on outsourcing
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    ​Discusses several topics
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    ​Great info for travel
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    ​Skips a lot of important info about business
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    ​Makes the process seem easy


​Information

​Practicality

​Scope

Our Rating

​​​​Rich Dad Poor Dad (RDPD) is considered a staple of personal finance when in fact, it's a great book for entrepreneurs as well.

​RDPD's definition of an asset and a liability, as well as explainers for how to grow assets and decrease liabilities, is worth the price of the book alone and will make you thousands over your life.

The book spends a lot of time talking about the author's childhood in the beginning and a lot of time talking about real estate in the end.

The childhood sections are largely unnecessary and the real estate sections pretend like rental properties are the only way to wealth.

RDPD talks about starting a business, but names its place more on the theoretical side of business. It has a lot of why without a lot of how.

All in all, definitely an incredible read, but not as great as the other incredible reads on this list.


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    ​Great definitions of financial terms
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    ​Explains why businesses are so powerful
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    ​Talks a lot about author's childhood
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    ​Talks a lot about rental properties
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    ​Not much how-to


C​onclusion

​Based on ​the quality of information, the sheer practicality, and the massive scope of the book, I recommend The Millionaire Fastlane as the best entrepreneur book of all time.

Within those pages are lessons that entrepreneurs young and old will find helpful (and even necessary!) for the beginning, middle, and end of their businesses.

Tell us in the comments below: Do you have a book that's had a huge impact on your life? If not, what kind of book are you looking to get?

Thanks for reading!

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

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How To Evaluate Dividend Stocks

​How To Evaluate Dividend Stocks

This article was originally written by Jason Evans at thepeartreeeffect.com​.

​​Dividend investing can be a great way to achieve passive, cash flow income. Heading in blind does not help so the investor has to go through financial information to pick the best investment in their eyes for their needs and not the needs of others.

Investors can use the company's statement of cash flow, earnings per share ratio, as well as the price to earnings ratio to help decide if the investment may not be as good as it seems.

This is going to be based on a perspective on using dividend stocks to generate long-lasting passive income. Of course, there are ways for management to manipulate financial statements so this is not to be taken as a hard factor ​in determining what is a good investment and what is a bad investment.

There are, however, about three factors to be considered: Statement of Cash Flows, earnings per share [EPS], and the price to earnings ratio [P/E].

The EPS formula is (Net Income – Preferred Dividends) / Shares Outstanding; this formula produces a ratio. A higher number is usually better but that is not always the case.

EPS can be manipulated by management to appear different from actual results. Tax accountants often have to separate the difference between “realized” and “recognized” earnings. Some amounts may be recognized but not yet realized.

​This happens a lot in financial statements with large long term assets as well as financial instruments which is why the other things we want to look at are the company’s cash flow and the price point, using price to earnings ratio.

We use the Statement of Cash Flows to find out where cash inflow is earned capital that we want, as compared to contributed capital.

Better than that, you want to see where the earned capital comes from… is it because they had a liquidation sale and had to sell all of their assets they use to operate? Is it because of their day to day operating activities selling their products or services? Or did they take a new loan to finance their activities or issue more shares to raise capital? These are three ways to increase the cash flow in, yet there is a big difference in each of them ​so your analysis is important. We can find all of this out on the Statement of Cash Flows.

You see, technically, dividends must come out of retained earnings. If the company does not have retained earnings, then the cash flow out of the company to investors is considered a liquidating dividend.

As a dividend investor, our goal is to make sure a company has adequate retained earnings, as well as enough cash flow coming in to cover a growing dividend as well as the operating needs to continue to grow the company. Are the stocks worth a 6x multiple or are the stocks overpriced?

Now let us look at the price to earnings ratio. The price to earnings[P/E] for the S&P 500 on December 31st, 2006 was at 17.40, compared to 23.68 on December 31st, 2016. Comparing these numbers you would say the average company is valued six times higher compared to earnings as they were ten years ago. Now that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on why the market is valued six times higher than it was.

After that you want to compare the same P/E with the average for a company in the same industry. The P/E will be very different depending on different industries. At this point, you will still be looking at the company in question, then you think it fared well at the P/E test.

If the stock is valued correctly for its industry and compared to the S&P, then it may be time to see if the dividend stock is a proper stock to provide passive income. There are two numbers that brings you to the payout ratio.

You first want to look at the company's EPS, and compare it with the cash flow. Remember when we were checking where the inflow of cash came from? You want to make sure enough of the earnings are coming from operating cash flow. If the cash flows come from operating, then you want to compare the dividend to the EPS. I know this gets a little confusing but if you write it down it is really easy to compare.

For an example, say that the companies EPS is $3.00/share and the dividend to common shareholders happens to be $1.00 per share. Do you know what this means? It means that the company pays out 33.3% of their earnings, leaving the company with 66.6% of the earnings.

Now it would be great news if the company was investing the earnings into future operations [Again, shown on the Statements of Cash Flows]. At the same time this means that the valuation of the company should go down by 1/3rd of the earnings and up by 2/3rds or the earnings that stay in the company.

That is all in theory though.

What it means to investors is that the company is earning more than they are giving back to investors and have enough to invest in themselves, which means there is room for the dividend to safely grow.

Now let us see if the payout was reversed and EPS was still $3.00/share but now the dividend is $2.00/share. This shows that the stock can cover the dividend, but there is not a lot of room for the company to increase the dividend to its shareholders until the earnings increase.

This sets up a flag of caution we should notice. Now, there is also a balance where the EPS is $3.00/share and the dividend is $1.50/share. That is a balance of 50/50. Overtime you hope the earnings will increase and so will the dividend, but at the same team leaving money in the company to invest in itself for the future and give money back to its investors at the same time. The sweet spot is hard to find and changes in a developing company compared to a developed company.

Using EPS, Statement of Cash Flows, and P/E is not a perfect vetting process, but can easily raise red flags on many companies. Using the EPS to see if a company earns enough to cover a growing dividend, Statement of Cash Flows to see where the money is coming from and going to, and the P/E to see how a company is valued can steer you in the right direction.

Dividend investing can be a great way to achieve passive income. Heading in blind does not help so the investor has to go through financial information to pick the best investment in their eyes for their needs and not the needs of others. Investors can use the companies statement of Cash Flow, earnings per share ratio, as well as the price to earnings ratio to help decide if the investment may not be as good as it seems.
This is going to be based on a perspective on using dividend stocks to generate long-lasting passive income. Of course, there are ways for management to manipulate financial statements so this is not to be taken as a hard factor to determine what is a good investment and what is a bad investment. This are, however, about three factors to be considered: Statement of Cash Flows, earnings per share [EPS], and the price to earnings ratio [P/E].
The EPS formula is (Net Income – Preferred Dividends) / Shares Outstanding; this formula produces a ratio. A higher number is usually better but that is not always the case. EPS can be manipulated by management to appear different from actual results. Tax accountants often have to separate the difference between “realized” and “recognized” earnings. Some amounts may be recognized but not yet realized. This happens a lot in the Financial Statements with large long term assets as well as financial instruments which is why the other things we want to look at are the company’s cash flow and the price point, using price to earnings ratio.
We use the Statement of Cash Flows to find out where cash inflow is earned capital that we want, as compared to contributed capital. Better than that, you want to see where the earned capital comes from… is it because they had a liquidation sale and had to sell all of their assets they use to operate? Is it because of their day to day operating activities selling their products or services? Or did they take a new loan to finance their activities or issue more shares to raise capital? Three ways to increase the cash flow in, yet there is a big difference in your analysis so it is something to keep in mind. We can find all of this out on the Statement of Cash Flows.
You see, technically, dividends must come out of retained earnings. If the company does not have retained earnings, then the cash flow out of the company to investors is considered a liquidating dividend. As a dividend investor, our goal is to make sure a company has adequate retained earnings, as well as enough cash flow coming in to cover a growing dividend as well as the operating needs to continue to grow the company. Are the stocks worth a 6x multiple or are the stocks overpriced?
Now let us look at the price to earnings ratio. The price to earnings[P/E] for the S&P 500 on December 31st, 2006 was at 17.40, compared to 23.68 on December 31st, 2016. Comparing these numbers you would say the average company is valued six times higher compared to earnings as they were ten years ago. Now that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on why the market is valued six times higher than it was.
After that you want to compare the same P/E with the average for a company in the same industry. The P/E will be very different depending on different industries. At this point, you will still be looking at the company in question, then you think it fared well at the P/E test. If the stock is valued correctly for its industry and compared to the S&P, then it may be time to see if the dividend stock is a proper stock to provide passive income. There are two numbers that brings you to the payout ratio.
You first want to look at the companies EPS, and compare it with the cash flow. Remember we were checking where the inflow of cash came from? You want to make sure enough of the earnings are coming from operating cash flow. If the cash flows come from operating, then you want to compare the dividend to the EPS. I know this gets a little confusing but if you write it down it is really easy to compare.
For an example, say that the companies EPS is $3.00/share and the dividend to common shareholders happens to be $1.00 per share. Do you know what this means? It means that the company pays out 33.3% of their earnings, leaving the company with 66.6% of the earnings. Now it would be great news if the company was investing the earnings into future operations [Again, shown on the Statements of Cash Flows]. At the same time this means that the valuation of the company should go down by 1/3rd of the earnings and up by 2/3rds or the earnings that stay in the company. That is all by theory though. What it means to investors is that the company is earning more than they are giving back to investors and have enough to invest in themselves, which means there is room for the dividend to safely grow. Now let us see if the payout was reversed and EPS was still $3.00/share but now the dividend is $2.00/share. This shows that the stock can cover the dividend, but there is not a lot of room for the company to increase the dividend to its shareholders until the earnings increase. This sets up a flag of caution we should notice. Now, there is also a balance where the EPS is $3.00/share and the dividend is $1.50/share. That is a balance of 50/50. Overtime you hope the earnings will increase and so will the dividend, but at the same team leaving money in the company to invest in itself for the future and give money back to its investors at the same time. The sweet spot is hard to find and changes in a developing company compared to a developed company.
Using EPS, Statement of Cash Flows, and P/E is not a perfect vetting process, but can easily raise red flags on many companies. Using the EPS to see if a company earns enough to cover a growing dividend, Statement of Cash Flows to see where the money is coming from and going to, and the P/E to see how a company is valued can steer you in the right direction.

Conclusion

​​​​Thanks for reading! If you're looking to learn more about the perks of dividends and cash flow over capital gains, there is some great info right here.

Tell us in the comments below: Do you own any dividend stocks? Which are your favorites?

​Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

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If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

​Disclaimer: We at Elite Happiness are awesome, but we are not licensed professionals. ​These are not recommendations and should be viewed only for entertainment purposes.

​Disclosure: I do not have positions in any of the mentioned stocks and have no intention of opening a position ​for 72 hours following this writing.

Want Financial Freedom? Cash Flow Your Life NOW

​Want Financial Freedom?
 Cash Flow Your Life NOW

​​No one in all of history has ever wanted to be in financial bondage. Freedom calls to the human spirit in every way imaginable: we are adventurers, learnings, and crave things that add excitement to our lives.

Freedom easily falls in this category.

Sadly, financial freedom is possibly further away than at any time in all of history. Study after study shows that Americans are entirely unprepared for retirement: not having enough in savings to account for an unexpected $500-1000 bill (source), that 33% believe that their financial independence depends on an inheritance (source), and that 66% know that long term care costs would have a big financial impact (source).

​Yet one study grimly sums up all the retirement information we need to know about workers in America today: the median amount of money saved in families with workers between 32 and 61 is just $5000. (source).

No one can retire on $5000. They're gonna need a few more zeroes in that account.

So when thinking of the looking problem of retirement and financial freedom, we need to ask the question of the most effective way to get there.

I want to argue that one way is quite a bit better than the others. It's called cash flow.

​Some Definitions

​To understand why cash flow is king in finances, we must first understand a few concepts and definitions. I'll start with the basics, and these are my own definitions.

​Invest​:​​​ To place your money somewhere with the intention for it to grow and make more money (hopefully ​a lot​ more money).​​​

​Capital Gains​: This is when you invest money in something and it is worth more in the future. If your house is worth $100,000 this year and $110,000 next year, that is a capital gain. ​Synonym: Appreciation​.​​​​​​​​​​​​

​Cash Flow​:​​​​​​ To receive money, often in place of, capital gains. Cash flow is the dollars going in and out of your bank account every month. If you rent out a room in your house on Airbnb and get $100, that is cash flow. ​Synonym: Dividend​.

The following definitions are taken from bestselling - and life changing - book Rich Dad Poor Dad:

​Asset​: Anything that puts money in your pocket​​​.

​Liability​: Anything that takes money out of your pocket.​​​

With those pesky definitions out of the way, let's get rolling...

​​C​apital Gains Are Valued By Emotion

​WARNING​: ​​​​​The first subtle difference between capital gains and cash flow may make you want to go and sell all your stocks that don't give dividends - just like I did.

Every time I tell people this little market secret, they immediately go silent, eyes enlarge, mouth slightly open.

 I may as well have grown wings and a tail.

​"Huh?"

​Any time that you have a capital gain or appreciation, your item is only more valuable because other people say it is.

Had a stock go up $100, price of gold is rising, h​​​​ouse is worth more this year than it is the next...

It's all the same, sad story.

You are letting other people determine your financial well-being.

And frankly?

They don't have much planned for you.

Every time an item appreciates, it is because the other seven billion people in the world are saying that it should. This is dangerous territory, because it means that whenever they say it is worth ​less​, then it is worth less and there is not much you can do about it.​​​

In essence, the heart of your investment is rooted in the human ability to reason and feel to make decisions about the world around them. That ability, I should say, isn't very good.

​Some people may argue that the value of something, such as a stock, is based on the amount that it earns. These arguments are correct to an extent.

While stocks are ​in theory​ priced based upon what they earn, this is not always the case. Market crashes or corrections are largely driven by fear (an emotion) and ​since emotion rules more than reason in these situations, your ​appreciation​ can quickly become ​depreciation​ simply because of how others feel.

In the same way, massive bull market runs (when stocks increase in value extremely rapidly) are often based off of emotional highs. There are millions of horror stories about people buying at the top of these markets.

The argument that earnings = appreciation is entirely false for some items. Precious metals and real estate (see 2008-2011)​ present some interesting counterexamples.

​Cash Flow Is Valued By The Money It Pushes
​Into Your Bank Account

The value of cash flow is exactly the amount of money that goes into your pocket. Just so I don't sound like a miming parrot, I will keep this to one example.

If you own a cash flow asset that gives you $1000 per month, the value of that cash flow is $1000 per month.

​Pretty ​simple.

​Do know that the value of cash flow is not the value of the asset. This means that if your asset is bringing in $1000 per month, you can probably sell it for more than $1000.

While capital gains are valued based on how others feel, cash flow assets are almost always valued at how much they bring in your bank account.

​Businesses serve as an excellent example of this.

​My father has started and sold multiple franchise businesses, and each was sold based on the cash flow of the business and a multiple based on market conditions.

For example, his accounting firm sold for about 1.5x what it made in one year. His insurance business, about 2.5x. If you're looking to start your own business and possibly sell it for up to ​18x what it makes in a year​, you can learn how in the world's best entrepreneur books.​​​

In this situation, ​value is directly correlated to cash flow​.

This is great.

You can't control how other people feel, but you can control the cash flow of your assets either by creating those assets and manipulating the variables or by specifically choosing cash flow assets to invest in and increasing the cash flow if desired.

For this reason alone, cash flow is often more safe than capital gains because it is less subject to feelings and more subject to ​concrete numbers.

​Cash Flow Is Easier To Predict

​In almost every situation that arises when investing, cash flow predictions are more likely to be accurate than capital gain predictions.

​Capital gains are based on ​what others say​.

​Cash flow is based on ​what you receive​.​​​​​​

Let's go through a simple example. You can purchase an ​stock that gives no cash flow (no dividends) but is predicted to grow 5% this year.

Or you can purchase a stock that for the past 15 years has had a dividend yield of 5% (we're just using easy numbers. Most stocks don't yield 5%).

If you buy the stock that does not produce cash flow, you are placing the growth of your money in the hope and dream that others will feel like this stock should grow 5% this year.

What if others feel like it should grow 10%? 

​What if they feel it should grow 1%? 

When you try to predict capital gains, you are trying to predict how ​every single investor in the world​ is going to value your company.

When you try to predict cash flow, the process is much more simple.

​Does the company have good reason to continue paying 5%?

​Is the company capable of paying a continued 5%?

When you try to predict cash flow, all you have to do is predict ​one single thing​: the profit of the business itself.

Obviously, any business is subject to gain and risk, but businesses that have continually increased cash flow (or dividends) at steady rates for years can generally be trusted to continue doing so. And because the company is continuing to perform well, there is a good chance that the company's value will increase also.

When you try to predict capital gains, you are trying to predict what the whole world is going to say about an investment a year from now.​​​​​​​​​ For this reason alone, cash flow has similar results with capital gains but with less risk than capital gains.

Capital Gains Set A Time Limit On Freedom

Traditional investment advice says that once you hit retirement age, you should sell approximately 4% of your assets per year.

Once you factor in inflation and gains on the remaining percentages, you will have 30 years worth of savings for retirement. If you have $1,000,000, this means that you will sell $40,000 per year and you can do this for 30 years.

This plan is great!

Unless there is a bad year for the market (such as 2000-2001, 2008-2011).

Unless you have less than $1,000,000 saved up in that fat bank account of yours.

Unless you live more than 30 years after retirement.

Then you're in big, big trouble. You effectively have no money. You run out.

Capital gains put a time limit on retirement - on freedom itself - because once you are out of savings, then you are out of savings.

Simple as that.

You're toast.

In contrast...

Cash Flow (usually) Lasts For The Lifetime Of The Investment

Due diligence can save you a whole lot of hurt here. Some investments provide cash flow for a limited time while others, supposedly, offer cash flow for life.

Most dividend stocks (KO, KHC, WMT, O, etc.) have paid dividends for a long time and are expected to continue doing so.

Investment real estate is usually expected to produce cash flow as long as a tenant lives within the building.

Here's why this is actually great:

It doesn't put a time limit on your freedom.

If thirty years go by and you've still got this thing, you are still receiving income from it.

If the market collapses and your stocks go down 40%, you're good. Cash is still flowing. There is little need to fear a full market collapse because companies such as the ones listed above have very long histories of paying their shareholders more and more each year.

Even if you have less than $1M in the bank, you may be forced to retire on less than $40,000 per year, but you can live a whole lot longer than 30 years.

And really, a relatively safe 4% yield isn't even that difficult to find. It just requires some searching and diligence.

If you're wanting to learn more about how to evaluate dividend stocks and learn which ones ​bring maximum return with least risk, here ya go.

Cash Flow Is Flexible

My favorite thing about cash flow can be summed up in a few neat statements:

I can do whatever I want with it.

I can reinvest it.

I can build a business with it.

I can watch a movie with it.

I can spend it.

With capital gains, the situation is pretty opposite. You can keep it in the investment (reinvest) or lose parts of or all of your investment (sell).

In some capital gains, you are required to lose all of the investment if you sell (such as selling your home).

I like cash flow because I can use it whenever, however, and on whatever I choose.

C​onclusion

Thanks for reading!

Because of cash flow's low relative risk, its ability to turn time into an asset by which you gain more money, and its versatility, it is the king to financial freedom.

Whether it happens when you are 25 or 65, cash flow is the key to being free more quickly and more permanently than those who do not use it.

​Tell us in the comments below: what are you investing in right now? 

Stay awesome. Have a great day.

​Are We "Best Content On The Internet" Worthy?

​No annoying popups, no frustrating spam begging for your email address.

If you don't think we publish the best content on the internet, we don't ​think we deserve to get to know someone as great as you.

If you do, well here ya go.

Copyright Information: Copyright Elite Happiness. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.elitehappiness.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Disclaimer: We at Elite Happiness are awesome, but we are not licensed professionals. These are not recommendations and should be viewed only for entertainment purposes.

Disclosure: I do not have positions in any of the mentioned stocks and have no intention of opening a position for 72 hours following this writing.