“UNSCRIPTED” by MJ DeMarco
If you don’t know, let me break it to you: Slavery still exists. Except today’s contemporary slavery is called the SCRIPT — an implied social contract whereas a gilded cage is exchanged for voluntary indebtedness and lifelong toil, a price sacrificed by a non-redeemable fifty-years of Monday through Friday, an invisible servitude in which freedom is only promised by the arrival of life’s fading twilight. UNSCRIPTED is your blueprint into an awakening of abundance, freedom, and happiness; a keystone to unleashing a life few dream of.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: THE ROAD TO A CONVENTIONAL LIFE
The rich get richer because the rich aren’t bound by the SCRIPT — they’re the ones profiting from it.
A compromised party is someone who holds the SCRIPT as their life’s operating system. Compromised parties can be friends, family, coworkers, and authority figures: teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors. As such, SCRIPT propagation is parroted; the compromised party was taught X, Y, and Z as a youngster, and now, as an adult, they will convey the same beliefs because it’s the only reality they know. The nine-to-five, paycheck-to-paycheck, live-for-a-weekend is their life, and it shall become yours.
When it comes to SCRIPTSpeak from the SCRIPTED, ask yourself this: If I accept average advice from average people living average lives, can I expect to be anything but average?
Like a compromised party, a prejudiced party also disseminates SCRIPTED doctrine. However, whereas a compromised party parrots platitudes simply because they think it’s best for you, a prejudiced party profits from SCRIPTSpeak.
THE SCRIPTED OPERATING SYSTEM: THE WEB OF SERVITUDE
Here is the SCRIPTED OS decoded:
THE SEEDERS: Like a torrent hosted within a computer system, seeders write and enforce SCRIPTED doctrine. As described earlier, seeders are compromised or prejudiced parties.
THE HYPERREALITIES: The SCRIPT’s illusions, the hyperrealities reinforce your obedience and captivity through deception, distortion, or diversion.
TEMPORAL PROSTITUTION: Seeders and their hyperrealities sanctify a criminal trade for your most precious asset: your time.
THE LIFE PATHS: The illusion of free choice and deciding your slave owner: Door A, the Sidewalk; or Door B, The Slowlane. Both lead to the slaughterhouse. Neither makes you the boss of you.
DISTRACTION: If you’re distracted, the SCRIPTED OS stays hidden. M.O.D.E.L. Citizenship becomes a foregone conclusion.
M.O.D.E.L. CITIZENSHIP: You unwillingly become a SCRIPTED servant who is (M)ediocre, (O)bedient, (D)ependent, (E)ntertained, and (L)ifeless and who then becomes a seeder, a compromised party propagating the SCRIPTED OS.
THE SEEDERS: OUR LIFE SUCKS, YOURS SHOULD TOO
#1) FRIENDS AND FAMILY: OUR LIFE SUCKS, SO YOURS SHOULD TOO.
If the people in your family or peer group are NOT happy and living a life you would like to lead, their life advice should be considered cautiously.
#2) EDUCATION: GET IN LINE, RAISE YOUR HAND, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
Educational institutions and their SCRIPTED tentacles are now manufacturing entire generations of brain-dead adults who never failed in their entire life and have a wall of participation trophies to show for it. Their greatest accomplishments are caricatures in the virtual versus the real world. They’re brainwashed to believe that life is fair and it will protect your feelings.
#3) CORPORATE SEEDERS: BE ALL YOU CAN BE
Aimed straight at our kids, the SCRIPTED message is clear: Adult success is correlated to buying shit. Flash your credit card, finance your rock star life, and show up styling. Do so and happily-ever-after is your reward.
#4) THE FINANCIAL SEEDER: TRUST THOSE WHO CANNOT BE TRUSTED
The goal is your undying belief that your life savings are in good hands. When you find out it isn’t, it’s too late. You’re too old, or worse, dead.
#5) GOVERNMENT: THE SANTA CLAUS FOR ADULTS WHO LIVE LIKE CHILDREN
when you participate in a SCRIPTED economy — paying a fortune for a college degree, financing a thirty-year mortgage, buying a bunch of crap you don’t need — you bankroll government.
#6) MEDIA: WE’RE OBJECTIVE IN OUR SUBJECTIVITY
As in the movie’s Matrix, your SCRIPTED life is integral to the machine’s survival. By chasing the next greatest gadget and the next greatest weekend high, you intravenously tap yourself into the belly of the beast. Yes, the rat race needs rats. The slaughterhouse needs lambs. Question is, are you willing to sell your soul for a weekend and television?
HYPERREALITY: YOUR ILLUSIONARY CAPTORS
Because your brain deficiently perceives reality, what follows is a great cascade of false conclusions causing misguided beliefs. Misguided beliefs cause misguided actions. Misguided actions produce unwanted results. And unwanted results create dissatisfaction.
Hyperreality #1: Named Days
Named days order the week by titles, Monday through Sunday, carrying with it the implication that Monday starts work and Friday ends it, while the weekend reserves play. The fact is, named days are a hyperreality, one the industrialized world has perfected to perfection.
Beneath the named-days scheme is a man-made illusion your mind has made real — the illusion that your life’s limited and precious time must be systematically segregated by days, with each day’s title designating whether work or play is expected.
Hyperreality #2: Consumerism
Consumerism is the myth that consumption can produce success or happiness. Despite that Vogue magazine, despite that Audi commercial, despite that banner ad, you are not what you own, but you can be owned by what you own.
Hyperreality #3: A College Degree
The “college degree” hyperreality is two-pronged. First, it is the stale idea that intelligence and financial wealth require a college degree, regardless of cost, and more so, a life without one is forever underscored by underemployment and underachievement.
Hyperreality #4: Hyper-Personality
Hyper-personality is a person’s public image, a facade projected by fame or social media, a carefully crafted mirage that does not represent the real, humanized version of the individual.
Hyperreality #5: Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a captivating and addictive simulation of an alternate reality exploiting a series of enticement heuristics: competition, goal achievement, faux improvement, and positive feedback loops. Virtual reality (VR), much like its sibling hyper-personality, plays on our desires to feel worthy and respected — while doing so with comfort and ease, void of risk and public humiliation.
Hyperreality #6: Entertainment
The entertainment hyperreality is an emotional or intellectually irrational investment in an entertainment format — sports, television, movies — where the investment becomes either an impassioned part of your identity or an erroneous belief about reality.
Hyperreality #7: Money
Money, the world’s dominant hyperreality, is a mutually shared belief that physical money (a stack of paper bills) or virtual digital money (a number on a computer screen) is valuable and that the person possessing it is equally valuable.
Hyperreality #8: Freedom
The most fraudulent hyperreality running rampant in the First World is freedom itself — the perception that we come into this world free and unencumbered, a sovereign person born with inalienable rights that cannot be co-opted, confiscated, or subjugated by any laws, customs, or beliefs.
Not true. Not for you, me, or anyone else.
Hyperreality #9: Corporations
Underneath the corporate veil, cranking the gears, aren’t monkeys, robots, or artificial intelligence but people: managers, employees, corporate executives, and shareholders. And these people are capable of every sin imaginable. Corporations are evil and greedy? No, people are evil and greedy!
TEMPORAL PROSTITUTION: TRADING GOOD TIME FOR BAD
**Temporal prostitution **— the subordination of time to money; the presumption that time is unlimited and can be fecklessly traded, squandered, and dishonored, while money is piously coveted as a limited resource.
Free time today is better than free time tomorrow. Youthful time sold today (working five days a week) so you can buy elderly time later (retirement in your twilight) is a bad bet.
Under temporal prostitution, the things you buy cost more than just money — they cost future fragments of your life, transforming FREE time into INDENTURED time.
Free time is the time you own, and it’s the only time that’s important. No one has a claim on it. You do what you want: sleep in, write, read, whatever warms your heart.
Conversely, indentured time is time someone else owns: school, studying, work, traffic, your biz, etc.
THE LIFE PATHS: TWO DOORS, ONE SLAUGHTERHOUSE, NO DIFFERENCE
DOOR #1: THE SIDEWALK (TRADE TOMORROW FOR TODAY)
The Path: The Sidewalk
The Promise: Happiness through consumption
The Leash: Consumption and entitlement
The Collar: Debt and dependence
The Slavemaster: Corporations and/or government
The Rat Race: Consume, debt, work (or vote), repeat
DOOR #2: THE SLOWLANE (TRADE TODAY FOR TOMORROW)
The Path: The Slowlane
The Promise: Freedom later through investing
The Leash: Deprivation
The Slavemaster: Time and Wall Street
The Collar: Hope
The Rat Race: Save, work, invest, wait, repeat
While the Sidewalker is leashed and collared by consumption and debt, the Slowlaner is leashed and collared by deprivation and hope. I call it the HOPE, STOP, and WAIT plan.
Hope I have a job — not just a job but a good job.
Hope the economy gives me that good job for the next fifty years.
Hope the stock market yields 10 percent a year and doesn’t crash.
Hope the housing market doesn’t implode and erase my equity.
Hope I’m alive by retirement.
Hope I’m healthy.
Hope the government doesn’t hyperinflate my savings or the currency in which it is denominated.
Hope the government can continually fund a bankrupt Social Security program.
The SCRIPT wants you to HOPE, STOP, and WAIT because by the time you discover winning at this crap is like snake eyes at the craps table, it’s too late.
Many who struggle financially have a strong work ethic — the problem is their “hard work” is being channeled in an ineffective and outdated system.
DISTRACTION: THE MINISTRY OF ENTERTAINMENT
You see, if you’re too plumply entertained in hyperrealistic distraction, you’re no threat — no threat to the paradigms and certainly no threat to the meat grinder awaiting. Just sit back, relax, and focus on your movie because this train is leaving.
M.O.D.E.L. CITIZENRY: SERIAL #666–77–8888
As the SCRIPT’s newest manufactured M.O.D.E.L. Citizen, life is:
(M)EDIOCRE: Life has regressed into an unremarkable yet comfortable ordinariness, where thriving is not an objective, but surviving.
(O)BEDIENT: Free-thinking is dead; you follow popular opinion and trust your government and the news organizations fanning the flames of your biases.
(D)EPENDENT: You’re a debt serf owned by an army of corporations: product and service producers, Wall Street, government — or worse, you are owned by time.
(E)NTERTAINED: Your entertained and humored mind distracts the heart to the point where your soul is no longer heard.
(L)IFELESS: Dead at twenty-five but not buried until seventy-five. Goals, nonexistent. Optimism, scant. Dreams, murdered.
SCRIPT has an escape through UNSCRIPTION — a life-changing subset of thought and action underwritten by entrepreneurship.
As “fuck you” implies, UNSCRIPTED is about pure, unadulterated life and liberty. Life means owning your time and thoughts while curating your existence. It is not just to be, but to become. The “fuck you” of liberty has five primary freedoms. They are:
- Freedom from work
- Freedom from scarcity and fiscal constraint
- Freedom from hyperrealistic influence
- Freedom from hope and dependence
- Freedom from ordinary
FUCK THIS” BEFORE “FUCK YOU”
The “fuck this” event is a traumatic moment, epiphanic, and painful. It’s a pejorative mental breakthrough, one that sounds like any of the following: “No more!” “I’ve had it!” or “I can’t live like this!” The FTE smacks you when the pain of the status quo finally exceeds the anticipated pain of its escape — the point of no return where nothing else matters.
FTE’s are memorable and often unmistakable. If you are unsure of yours, more than likely you have not had one.
You see, most people are “interested” in entrepreneurship, financial freedom, and success — but most never commit. Why? It just doesn’t hurt bad enough.
There’s only one way to tell the difference between a fake FTE and a real FTE. A fake FTE has four threats and any one of them will send you right back to the SCRIPT. A real FTE has no threats; to breathe or not to breathe isn’t a conscious choice — it just happens.
Threat #1: Mediocre Comfort
A real FTE doesn’t care about mediocre comfort. Give a man an OK job that pays just enough to provide mediocre comfort and I’ll show you a man that will keep his job indefinitely. This is by design.
Threat #2: Your Guarded Pride And Ego
if you’re not willing to take a minimum-wage job, you’re not willing to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs can go weeks, sometimes months, without getting paid. Are you willing to make that sacrifice? If you aren’t willing to work for the minimum, how can you expect to work for nothing?
Threat #3: I Have Responsibility
Responsibility necessitates consumption. Stack extemporaneous responsibility into life and consumption is mandated. And the SCRIPT loves consumption.
Threat #4: Fear
A real “fuck this” event fears nothing. An epiphanic FTE understands that the world doesn’t end when you lose your job.
THE UNSCRIPTED ENTREPRENEURIAL FRAMEWORK (TUNEF)
The micro- and macro-processes scaffold the framework and grease the entrepreneurial G-spot, UNSCRIPTED’s birthplace.
The first subprocess is your micro-process. Your micro-processes are your thought patterns — your beliefs, biases, and your ability to self-reflect. It’s how you think, feel, and interpret the world around you.
The framework’s second subprocess is a macro-process. Macro-processes are repeated and modified actions. The words “repeated” and “modified” are critical to results, changing the action from an event (a solitary action changing nothing) to a process (an action chain that changes everything).
OUR SELF-IMPOSED PRISON; BELIEFS, BIASES, AND BULLSHIT(3B)
BELIEFS: What you think is true that necessarily isn’t.
BIASES: Your mental shortcuts and default assumptions, either reaffirming or protecting your beliefs.
BULLSHIT: Your internalized narrative about why things are, or simply, the bullshit you sell yourself.
BELIEF #1 THE SHORTCUT SCAM: ORDINARY DOESN’T COMPEL EXTRAORDINARY
The shortcut scam is the idea that extraordinary results can be achieved by uncovering a secret bypass or a miracle weapon, and such can skirt the real hard work that actually creates the extraordinary results.
The process-principle is an intelligent awareness that extraordinary results require an extraordinary effort consisting of daily habits, routines, and sacrifices.”
Here are nine steps to help you moving toward the process side of the event/process dichotomy:
- Intelligent awareness to neurological defaults
- Modify expectations and realign the source of difficulty
- Identify and visualize the change target
- Apply mathematics to the goal
- Identify the daily action target
- Identify threats to the daily target
- Identify the proper battlefields
- Attack bad habits with inconvenience and/or pain
- Act until echo
BELIEF #2 THE SPECIAL SCAM: “I’M NOT GOOD AT THAT”
The special scam is a double-edged belief that our innate talents are enough to accomplish our dreams — OR that our innate talents are immovable, fixed characteristics immune from improvement.
Underneath the special scam lies the greatest destructive force to our dreams: a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that talent alone causes success and that your basic qualities of intelligence, athleticism, and even rhythm are fixed traits that cannot be changed or improved. Ha, yes, rhythm!
New skills can be acquired and mastered regardless of your current level of talent or intelligence.
BELIEF #3 THE CONSUMPTION SCAM: HOW MUCH TIME DID THAT COST?
Debt mandates the necessity of future work — even if you cannot find work.
Consumerism has no balanced middle; you’re either a consumer or a producer. Or worse, you deny the paradigm altogether.
BELIEF #4 THE MONEY SCAM: I CAN GET RICH BY WANTING TO GET RICH
Most people are broke and remain broke because the money scam has made them perpetual chasers of something that cannot be chased — it can only be attracted by offering perceived value.
BELIEF #5 THE POVERTY SCAM: “I’M POOR BECAUSE YOU’RE RICH”
Sorry, you’re poor because you keep buying shit you shouldn’t buy — including fantasies that don’t exist.
That truth is this: Everything great in society has happened because money moved massively due to massive value creation and delivery — and yes, this created rich people. Without wealth, you’d be transported back to the dark ages, where you’d shit in an outhouse, burn candles for light, and use pigeons to send letters to your nana in Akron.
Great value precedes great wealth. If you want to make millions, impact millions. Become a worthwhile fiduciary to your fellow man and you will stop being worthless.
BELIEF #6 THE LUCK SCAM: YOU DON’T PLAY; YOU DON’T WIN
Luck — bad or good — is just what you call the results of a human being consciously interacting with chance, and some people are better at interacting with chance than others.
Unlike money, luck has no brain and holds no grudges or prejudices. It only reacts to the mathematical probabilities of an applied stimulus.
BELIEF #7 THE FRUGALITY SCAM: LIVE POOR; DIE RICH
Frugality scam — the belief that obsessive expense reduction, penny-pinching, and experiential deprivation will someday pay off in the opposite: rich life experiences, freedom, and abundance.
If you don’t have a sizable income, it doesn’t matter how cheap you are! You can’t squeeze a dime from a nickel!
Get rich quick might indeed exist, but don’t mistake that for get rich easy. Years of disciplined, focused work channeled into the right business system can make it happen. Easy is not a part of the equation.
BELIEF #8 THE COMPOUND-INTEREST SCAM: WALL-STREET AIN’T MAKIN YA RICH
The compound-interest scam is this serendipitous orthodoxy that the stock market will someday make you, the common man, uncommonly rich.
Wheeled by (T)ime, (R)eality, and (I)nflation, the fiscal TRIcycle debunks compound interest, and it’s why it won’t make you rich.
Truth #1: Time
Resign yourself to compound interest for wealth and you’ve resigned yourself to “hope and time” for freedom: hope I’m alive after X decades; hope my money is worth something after X decades; and hope the markets yield X percent after X decades. Sorry, hope based on variable returns, variable market instruments, and variable life expectancy is a bad plan.
Truth #2: Reality
In the financial markets, an interest rate (or a growth rate) must be attributed to a financial instrument, such as a stock, bond, or an asset class. Interest (or growth) rates cannot exist without a corresponding instrument or asset class attached. This creates the rate! And each instrument carries risk, which means you could lose some, or all, of your money.
Truth #3: Inflation
The Utopian Charts cannot be trusted because trust is not in the calculation. Can you trust the government to be a good steward of taxpayer money? Can you trust fiscal policy makers to keep inflation from exploding? Can you trust a growing economy for five decades? Answer these questions honestly and you’ll realize inflation is a gamble and your bet is placed with people who historically have not been prudent.
Failure is normally temporary and can be remedied by trying again. A compound-interest failure is permanent because its attempt spans decades. Trying again is impossible.
In the end, Wall Street is not a place for growing wealth but a place for asset speculation, earning income, and deploying capital. Yes, save early and often. However, don’t think you can sail to the promised land on a compound-interest wave — it’s ineffective for creating wealth unless millions are amassed FIRST; then it’s powerful, perhaps as powerful as Lustig’s money-printing machine.
THE BIASES: YOUR BRAIN’S DELUSIONS
As you pursue UNSCRIPTED using (TUNEF), there are seven primary brain battles you’ll face. They are:
CHANGE ADVERSITY: WHY REFUSING CHANGE IS REFUSING EXCELLENCE
Your brain’s quarterback in the (Authentic You vs. Your Brain) war is change adversity. Change adversity is your brain’s predilection for comfort and status quo despite being surrounded by change. Behind change adversity is what’s called a status quo bias — our brain’s preference for predictability over instability. With change adversity as our brain’s frontline defense, change adversity’s threats are double-edged.
RIGHTEOUSNESS: WHY YOU’D RATHER BE RIGHT THAN RICH
Righteousness is not about being fair or just but about our urgency to see and hear only things that support our biases, while discounting, ignoring, or arguing the rest.
ANTITHETICAL APATHY: THOSE SUFFOCATING SHOULDN’T HATE AIR
If financial freedom and autonomy are your goals, your beliefs must align with those goals. If they don’t, you’ll either (A) lie to yourself, or (B) sabotage your effort, causing tension and stress. Both make goals unobtainable.
SEMMELWASHING: UNCONVENTIONAL COMPELS CONVENTIONAL REACTIONS
When traditional paradigms are opposed or questioned, not only is the message attacked but so is the messenger. A Semmelwashing is the friction we face when other people discover we aren’t following the conventional SCRIPTED brainwash.
PODIUM POPPING: WHY SOMEONE ELSE’S PEN CAN’T WRITE YOUR STORY
We’re all perfectly imperfect. Including our heroes. While doing X, Y, and Z might have worked for Jobs, it might not work for YOU. Every one of us needs to stop hero-worshiping mortal beings and be our own heroes. Be a hero to your wife, to your family, and to your children. Stop trying to write your story with someone else’s pen and, instead, start using your own.
SURVIVAL SPOTLIGHTING: FAILURES KEEP THEIR MOUTHS CLOSED
Survival spotlighting, which is similar to podium popping, is when you focus on the survivors of some process because they’re showcased, while overlooking those who are not, usually due to lack of visibility, and hence, you come to an inaccurate conclusion.
MOMENTUM PARALYSIS: WHY YOU CAN’T MOVE DESPITE MOVEMENT
Momentum paralysis is not about immobility but being unable to depart from your current course of action. It is our tendency to allow momentum, or flow, to carry us through life rather than making proactive decisions, which are decidedly better for our future, even when those decisions have painful or uncomfortable attachments.
BULLSHIT FROM BULLSHITTERS: CRUTCHES, CLICHéS, AND CULTS
This story exemplifies the next B among the 3(B)s: bullshit.
Bullshit 1.0 is crutches: the stinking pile of excuses and manufactured fairy tales we tell ourselves. These scapegoats justify do-nothingness. Other times, they explain away failures or circumstances. And as long as we clutch these convenient fantasies, change adversity and righteousness bribe us into buying our victimhood.
Bullshit 2.0 is clichés: a bunch of meaningless mantras and proverbs revered as gospel; pithy slogans, sweet and soothing, reassuring, and unfortunately, invitations for more do-nothingness.
And Bullshit 3.0 is cults and their leaders: gurus and slithery figureheads who will fill your head with whatever you want it filled with.
Money buys happiness when you let it buy your freedom.
The paradox of practice is the art of selling a strategy that the author doesn’t really use or that isn’t responsible for making him rich.
BURYING BULLSHIT: THREE BULLDOZERS
TECHNIQUE #1: SOCRATIC QUESTIONING
Socratic questioning is a disciplined inquiry into trains of thought. By looking into the depths of these trains, biases, assumptions, and possible blocks of progress are uncovered.
TECHNIQUE #2: THE CANCER COROLLARY
The cancer corollary is a hypothetical syllogism that exposes cerebral bullshit and eradicates it. Used willfully, it kills paper crutches and dartboarded excuses. Anytime your cerebral dogma mouths off and argues you’re too young, too old, too poor, too this, and too that, the cancer corollary breaks the pattern.
When someone has what you desperately want or need, their backstory becomes irrelevant. And this is relevant because it proves that race, education, divorce, marriage, ugliness, this, that, all are self-funded delusions. The fact is when you have what others want, no one cares about your circumstances, your whys, your motives, your degree, your history, your anything!
TECHNIQUE #3: IDENTITY CATACLYSMS
Real change comes from identity and self — not from interim motivations jump-started by books or YouTube binging. Basically, you have to BE what you want to become FIRST so the actions can follow. Don’t TALK about it; BE about it. BE. ACT on being. Then HAVE.
MEANING-AND-PURPOSE: THE UNSTOPPABLE WILL TO WIN
Great results require a great commitment. Commitment fires the process-principle where habits become lifestyle and lifestyle becomes winning results.
BEWARE! THE WONDER TWINS OF EPICALLY BAD LIFE ADVICE
When passion doesn’t solve people’s problems, passion doesn’t pay bills.
Notably, when the world kicks on your feedback loop and says “This is awesome” or “I like this; here’s my cash,” you too will love what you do.
The feedback loop drives passion, which drives action, which drives results. See, it’s easy to love what you do when others do too.
Don’t be passionate about what needs to be done; be passionate about what you WILL BECOME.
IGNITE YOUR PURPOSE, INVIGORATE YOUR SOUL
If there’s something obsessive in your life keeping you awake at night, congratulations, young Skywalker — the Force is strong with you. And therein lies the chasm between interests or commitment; shallow desires don’t compel sacrifice, whereas a committed purpose sacrifices everything. It borders obsession.
Denying the control in your life denies your free-range freedom and blunts autonomy and happiness. You can always control what you do and how you think.
HOW TO CREATE A BUSINESS THAT CHANGES YOUR LIFE
Represented by the left circle and unionized with a strong meaning and purpose coupled with rewritten beliefs, Fastlane Entrepreneurship is encompassed within one governing principle — a productocracy — followed by five core Commandments, frequently referred to as CENTS.
THE PRODUCTOCRACY: HOW TO PRINT MONEY (AND SLEEP WELL)
A productocracy pulls money to the value creators, businesses who grow organically through peer recommendations and repeat customers, compelled by a distinguished product/service not readily offered elsewhere.
The evidence of heavy advertising signifies an increased probability that a productocracy — an incredible “tell your friend” company — is not evident.
Few make buying decisions based on advertising. Instead, buying decisions are made through social media, personal recommendations, and peer reviews.
Perceived value hustlers are interested in having the best marketing, the best copy, and the best sales funnels — not the best product.
THE COMMANDMENT OF CONTROL: OWN WHAT YOU BUILD
To ensure you’re on the top side of the food chain, the Commandment of Control requires that your entire operation, from product development, to marketing, to distribution, to other operational components, be within your sphere of influence, or diversified from influence.
Amazon is a perfect (as well as dangerous) illustration of how entrepreneurs “hitchhike” themselves into one-way trips with another business. Hitchhiking is when your business is symbiotically codependent with another vehicle owned and driven by someone else. And that “someone” cannot be trusted or controlled. Yeah, you’re at the mercy of a corporate stranger and his driving, his decisions, and his motives.
The CONTROL Commandment is not about absolutism but about risk mitigation and probability. You can violate CONTROL, defy the odds, and still succeed.
Take for example a company like Facebook, Airbnb, Alibaba, and Uber. None of these companies really owns anything, but instead, they control things. Facebook makes no content but controls it. Airbnb owns no real estate; Uber owns no cars; Alibaba owns no inventory — they all control it. As you can see, control does not always equate to ownership.
THE COMMANDMENT OF ENTRY: DIFFICULTY IS THE OPPORTUNITY!
The Commandment of Entry states: As entry barriers to any business or start-up process weaken or become “easified,” so does the strength or the potential of the opportunity. Simply put, the easier the opportunity, the worse it is. Conversely, the harder something is to solve, the greater the opportunity.
Entrepreneurship is about problem-solving, creating convenience, satisfying desires, and becoming valuable.
If you’re an entrepreneur scoping for ideas, the best are the hard ones because the difficulty represents the opportunity. When difficulty doesn’t exist and the Commandment of Entry looms, another red flag is hoisted: you aren’t solving any problems.
The magnitude of the problem solved is the magnitude of the money you can make.
THE COMMANDMENT OF NEED: HOW TO ENGINEER OPPORTUNITY IN ANY INDUSTRY
Whenever you say, “I can’t find ideas,” what you’re really saying is, the world is perfect and it needs nothing.
The Commandment of Need states that if you own a controlled and entry-barred enterprise that provides relative value, satisfying needs or wants, you will win growth, profits, and possibly, passive income for life.
To dominate markets and win sales, engineer a value skew. It starts by identifying the value array and its attributes. Here’s how:
First, examine both your product and its industry with the goal to identify every value attribute, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Remember, you don’t know what’s important to your customer, so brainstorming every one is the best practice.
The second attribute group is its secondary attributes, which consist of the product’s marketing and delivery to the customer. This would be your website’s design, order processing, photos, company story, customer service, shipping, refund policy, telephone (or lack thereof), sales copy, reviews, social media posts — anything that could make or break a sale is an attribute.
Wherever you can skew value within a product’s pool of attributes, you stand out and cast a bigger market tent. The bigger the skew, the more attractive your company becomes to the consumer.
VALUE SKEW: THE 6 MISAPPROPRIATIONS MYTHS
- The Market Myth. This is where the business owner ignores the market and doesn’t see relative value as a success metric.
2. The Isolation Myth is the figurative equivalent of going to a gunfight with one bullet in the barrel, evaluating value and opportunity contingent on one sliding variable: price.
3. The Blockbuster Myth. This is where you errantly isolate the value metric based solely on your ability to craft a unique product never before seen.
4. The Crowded-Room Myth reasons that your idea is no good because someone is already doing it. The market is too crowded and there isn’t room for you.
5. The Empty-Room Myth. Once the entrepreneur discovers the room is empty, the idea is devalued based on the rationale, “Oh, there isn’t a market for it” or “There mustn’t be any money in this industry.
6. The Use Myth. Yes, you must believe in your product and its superiority. You must be a fan of its value to the world, but you yourself? The use myth holds that only other people need to find it valuable; you do not.
FINDING “FASTLANE” IDEAS (13 WAYS)
Finding Fastlane ideas and creating value comes from one of two sources:
1. Innovation: You blaze your own path and do something never done before.
2. Improvement: You tread an existing path and do something being done already but do it better by skewing value attributes.
- Language. Pay attention to what you hate, no matter how nuanced or stupid it might sound. What do you wish was easier? More convenient? Less painful?
- Inconvenience. Anything inconvenient is an opportunity. The inconvenience can be the product itself or the process surrounding the product.
- Simplification and/or Easification. Anything complicated which needs simplification is an opportunity.
- Wants. A want is something desired but not necessarily needed. Utility and functionality are secondary. Want opportunities are plentiful because demand can be influenced by marketing.
- Service Gaps. Crappy customer service is an opportunity.
- Geographical Arbitrage, or Changing The Pond, is taking something common in your area and repositioning it to an area where there is an inadequate supply.
- Crowdfeeding Entry Violations. The best opportunities rarely come from joining the crowd, but serving it.
- Value Arbitrage. The mechanism behind value arbitrage is simply adding value.
- Repurposing is taking various raw materials and reusing them for some other purpose not easily recognized.
- Marketing Arbitrage. The truth is, the world is full of shitty marketers, bad salesmen, and poor communicators. You can create the greatest product on the planet and no one will know about it with poor marketing. If you can’t persuade or motivate someone to buy and try, you’ll fail.
- Overcapitalism is when any business organization abandons its original value-creating mission and instead prioritizes profit — so much so that it’s disgustingly obvious.
- Stakeholder Demotions. Stakeholder demotion usually begins once a company receives outside funding as customer satisfaction becomes secondary to investor satisfaction (ROI).
- Improvement’s counterpart is removement. Removement is when your product removes or subtracts something, becoming differentiated. It is addition by subtraction, whereas the subtraction is the removal of something while the addition happens within your value skew.
The fact is, most new businesses spawn from the founder’s domain experience. Domain experience is any activity or industry you are intimately familiar with.
Unfortunately, many aspiring entrepreneurs remain aspiring for one simple fact: They refuse to acquire domain experience — namely, job experience. And in doing so, they isolate themselves from opportunity. If you’re not getting out of the house and encountering life, you won’t encounter life’s problems. Opportunity doesn’t ring doorbells and it certainly doesn’t wait for “someday.”
This practice, asking an audience about their problems, is called solution selling.
THE COMMANDMENT OF TIME: EARN MORE THAN MONEY, EARN TIME
The Commandment of Time has two components. The first is physicality, where your value must exist in space-time separate from you. This book exists regardless of my existence. On the other hand, if you consult for a living, your income stops when you stop. There is no physicality.
The second is detachment. Eventually in your enterprise’s evolution, you must detach from its physicality, effectively freeing your time and life. When this is accomplished, it puts you “on the clock” 24/7, giving you the ability to earn perpetually THROUGH time versus IN time. This is how you wake up and earn a day’s wage before brewing the morning coffee.
The big irony of passive income is it’s anything but passive. Every single entrepreneur I know who enjoys passive income today exercised an extraordinary and committed process yesterday.
To honor the Commandment of Time, simply forget about it. Yeah, forget about it, but only in the short term. Instead, focus on legacy value systems (LVS) for the long term.
There are six legacy value systems, each capable of passive income. Some are more autonomous and hands-off, while others require more babysitting, sometimes for years. In order of legacy strength, they are:
- Money Systems
- Digital Product Systems
- Software/Internet Systems
- Rental Systems
- Human-Resource Systems
- Product Systems
Your objective in creating legacy value through a business system is an immediate payment of MONEY, but an eventual payment of FREE TIME.
THE COMMANDMENT OF SCALE: WIN LIFE & LIBERTY, NOT DINNER AND A MOVIE
Scale instructs that legacy value systems must be replicated through mass or magnitude while making a profitable impact.
The four definitive components are:
1. Legacy value system
3. Mass or magnitude
4. Profitable impact
Expected value is the expected outcome of many occurrences. For EV to work, you need occurrences. In entrepreneurship, we call occurrences failure.
The more lives you impact in either scale or magnitude, the more money you will make. In other words, impact millions to make millions. If there ever was a “secret” to wealth, both monetarily and spiritually, “impact millions” are the only two words needed.
There are three basic scale strategies, each with their own internal challenges. They are:
- The Customer Strategy
- A unit strategy is a local business iterated in multiple markets through replication, chains, network marketing, or franchising.
- Channel Strategy. Instead of selling directly to the consumer (a customer strategy), your product is sold to a channel, or a distribution center. With a channel strategy, your challenge isn’t selling to your end user but selling wholesale to the decision-makers of the channel.
KINETIC EXECUTION: EVERYTHING SIGNIFICANT STARTED INSIGNIFICANTLY
Kinetic execution is meaningful action before answers, a method of situational and incremental problem-solving graduated to resolve a larger problem, which culminates into your business solution.
Kinetic execution’s first component is represented by the outermost circle — the marketmind — an understanding that the market cannot be forecast, predicted, or tamed. As an entrepreneur, the best we can do with the marketmind is engage it.
Whenever you interact with the market, two types of reactions are inevitable: (1) the most common, diffusion; and (2) the desired, echoes.
Diffusion is when the market absorbs or ignores your message/value proposition and chooses to do nothing. Despite this, it’s still a reaction.
A market echo is direct feedback — a reflective, unbiased, and uncensored representation of the marketmind.
Saturating the market with your action is great, but you’ve got to tune your senses and unwrap the gifts of echoes. Inside you’ll find clues to where you should and should not be heading.
Action and assessment are worthless without ADJUSTMENT. The entire point of grinding the first two As is to uncover how to react.
THE 7 PS OF PROCESS: GO FROM IDEA TO PRODUCTOCRACY
Kinetic execution’s final sequence is represented by the innermost circle and the customer life cycle: the 7 Ps of process. The 7 Ps are where shit gets done.
- Plan (but don’t go crazy!). The kinetic execution planning phase is relatively short and confirms the strength of your opportunity by a CENTS evaluation.
- Control. Does your solution have any primary dependents for execution? If so, what control risks can be mitigated? Does your solution have secondary dependents? Partners, suppliers, manufacturing, importers, channels?
- Entry. What are the entry barriers for your solution? What key resources, assets, or relationships strengthen, and can strengthen, your entry walls? Does your solution require substantial resource inputs and/or coordination for execution? Is the concept-to-launch two days? Or two months? How will your competitor(s) respond to your solution? And can you sustain their adjustment?
- Need. Have you identified ALL the value attributes within your industry?
Is your proposed skew strong enough to adequately firm a unique selling proposition (USP) relevant to your target customer? Can you effectively communicate this value skew to your target customer? How is your solution monetized? What are your primary and secondary revenue models?
- Time. What resources, if any, are needed to dissolve your solution from YOUR time? What dependencies are needed to dissolve your solution from YOUR time? What are the future challenges for these requirements?
- Scale. Are there existing mediums, channels, or partners that can reach large numbers of your target market? What is your solution’s scaling economy and their resources — funding, infrastructure, and human capital — required to scale it? Are there any scale challenges in the cost structure and/or supply chain?
After your concept survives the CENTS wringer, it’s time to prove its worth.
Nothing sucks more than spending months and thousands of dollars only to discover the market doesn’t want your product. Soft proof’s objective is to verify your concept/idea with the marketmind before spending a fortune in resources. In entrepreneurial circles, the soft proof is often referred to as “validation.” You can soft prove your concept, either indirectly or directly, using six different methods.
- Language Patterns
- Channel Research
- Search Volume
- Ask/Interview The Market
- Market Simulation
Captured email addresses are circumstantial soft proof; cash is a verdict and hard proof.
Once your idea is soft proven, you’re ready to draft your process path.
The key for an effective process path is to define the major action blocks and their requirements while eliminating unnecessary actions and their costs.
After outlining the process path and confirming soft proof, you probably need a functional prototype. For digital services, this is your beta version.
Your objective in the prototype stage isn’t a feature-rich masterpiece but something simplistic yet valuable and economically demandable to the marketmind. In the end, it must do what you claim.
The prototype stage is the valley within the desert of desertion where entrepreneurs are clubbed with shiny-object syndrome — every idea seems better (and easier) than the one they are working on. With no feedback loop — zero sales, emails, or market resonance — for months, the motivation cycle stalls and passion can quit us. This is normal. Expect a long and lonely walk. Mud through it and let the marketmind light the way.
The next three stages within the kinetic execution model all occur within the customer life cycle, a transitional process where strangers are turned into prospects, prospects into customers, and customers into disciples. The life cycle has seven steps:
- AWARENESS: Exposing your product to the target customer. Example: Your target customer sees your product’s ad in their Facebook newsfeed.
- EVALUATION: Providing your customer with enough information to make a decision — a website visit, a white paper, FAQs, an internet search. Example: Your target customer visits your website and reviews your offer.
- ONBOARDING: Converting strangers into prospects by securing them into your marketing ecosystem. Example: Your target customer provides an email address or signs up for a FREE trial.
- PURCHASE: Converting from a prospect to a customer. Example: Your customer converts from a FREE trial to paid premium or buys your product after being emailed free content.
- USE: Management and monitoring how customers use your product. Example: Most of your target customers renew or reorder your product; others ask for a variation of it that you do not have.
- ENGAGEMENT: Interaction and relationship building with your customer to foster retention and/or repurchase. Example: You send your customer a periodic email regarding trends or topics within your industry.
- DISCIPLESHIP: Creating loyal customers who become evangelists for your company, hence fulfilling the productocracy prophecy. Example: Your target customer shares and recommends your product on social media and in person.
Only act, assess, and adjust (followed by these three checkpoints) can flag a failure worthy of, “OK, this didn’t work…next idea.
- Checklist Your Channel: Are you sure you’re leveraging the right channel with the right targeting measures? Or is there a better medium to reach your audience?
- Checklist Your Reach: Check the sample size and ensure it’s large enough to warrant conclusions about its data. I’d recommend at least 10,000 impressions and/or 1,000 clicks.
- Checklist Your Message: I’d estimate most launch failures are from failed offers, not from failed products!
The final P of kinetic execution is the money stage: propagation. This is where millionaires and billionaires are created. It’s wild growth, scale, and exposing your productocracy to the masses.
Regardless of industry, propagating a productocracy is accomplished by reach expansion, channel expansion, and/or network expansion.
Preservation of cash and its ultimate redirection into growth is the only thing that matters.
MAKE EXECUTION MATTER:
13 BEST PRACTICES
- Expect difficulty and deviation.
- Be faithfully monogamous.
- Balance is bullshit. The escape from conventional living is paved by doing the opposite of what conventional wisdom preaches. Great results come from great imbalances.
- Environment is everything.
- Gatekeepers are dying; don’t ask for permissions.
- Build a brand likened to a personality.
- Consistency builds brands.
- Sell or be sold.
- Shelve your biases. Look, business is hard enough. Don’t make it any harder by letting your limited worldview corrupt the real world. Again, your perception is not the reality.
- To hell with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Free traffic and expanded margins compliments of SEO are entirely different from free traffic and expanded margins compliments of a productocracy.
- Avoid fads or trends. Fad businesses might be poor ventures to pursue, but they can provide valuable business experience, especially for those who are just getting started.
- Avoid politics in your business. Unless your business IS politics, never infect politics into your business as you risk alienating half your customers.
- Not everyone likes coffee. Not everyone will like your product. Some will even waste their time attacking you. The fact is, anytime you put your creative works out into the marketmind, you are guaranteed to hear from haters, detractors, and people who don’t like what you are doing. This is normal. The best you can do is assess, adjust, and act (if their criticism is legit) or ignore.
Here are some selling strategies to get your productocracy moving.
TELL A STORY
If you want to sell more of anything, give your product or company a story. People love stories because it’s how we make sense of our world. Linking a story to your company or product gives the customer a chance to become part of the narrative. When the story resonates with your customer’s identity, it strengthens your brand.
Who would you rather do business with? Tell your audience WHY you are in business; be fiduciary about it. When they make the connection, they will choose you over the big bully on the block.
HUMANIZE YOUR CORPORATION
The fact is people want to do business with relatable people they like, not mammoth corporations hidden behind a bureaucratic wall.
APPEAL TO SELF-INTEREST, MEANING, AND PURPOSE
The ultimate consumer doctrine of selfishness is what’s in it for me? The quicker and cleaner your customer learns what’s in it for them, the quicker the sale. Forget features, doodads, and sparkly accoutrements — sell benefits.
PRIORITIZE SOCIAL PROOF
The best sales secret isn’t about sales at all. It’s peer testimonials and reviews. It’s the good word from your friends, family, and neighbors who have purchased in the past. In a digital “sharing” economy, social proof is the primary method in the buyer’s decision process, not advertising.
THE 4 UNSCRIPTED DISCIPLINES: DESIGN, THEN INSURE YOUR FUTURE
Once you accomplish a scaling productocracy, the four disciplines finalize the difference between lifelong UNSCRIPTION and fleeting success. They are:
1. Comparative Immunity
2. Purposed Saving
3. Measured Elevation
4. Consequential Thought
COMPARATIVE IMMUNITY: WELL-DRESSED SLAVES ARE STILL SLAVES
Comparative immunity is being at peace with your present pace while abstaining from the unwinnable game of comparison.
Comparison is future-oriented and focused on what is missing, creating anxiety. Gratitude is present-oriented and focused on what you have, creating peace.
PURPOSED SAVING: PREPPING FOR LIFETIME PASSIVE INCOME
The second UNSCRIPTED discipline, purposed saving, is THE ONE that gates the promised land: the end of forced servitude, past-due electric bills, car payments, and price checking a box of Cheerios. The end of doing shit you hate for a paycheck you can’t survive on.
Your three objectives under the purposed saving discipline are:
- Lifetime passive income. Growing your net worth is a job assigned to your business. The end game is the money system, which can be funded from two sources: (1) purposed saving from business income; and (2) a business sale, known as a liquidation event.
- Early retirement and dream pursuit.
- Tax relief. A total financial reconstruction consists of five retooling phases. They are:
STEP 1: REFRAME
Reframing is changing your perception about money. First, rename money as value-vouchers. Second, see one saved dollar as a tiny passive-income machine that produces a nickel in lifetime passive income.
STEP 2: REFORM
The second step is reforming expenses and cash outflow. This involves eliminating any expense that is not conducive to an UNSCRIPTED objective.
STEP 3: REDUCE
The third step of attack is reducing debt, eventually paying back everything you owe. You must attack your debt and label it an enemy of the state.
STEP 4: REALLOCATE (AND REMIND)
Financial reconstruction’s fourth step is to reallocate *something* into your money system every month, even if it is only a few dollars. Optimally, allocate any surplus income after covering your business and living expenses.
STEP 5: REWARD
Reward is the final phase of financial reconstruction for purposed-saving: giving yourself a gift for milestones achieved.
MEASURED ELEVATION: REWARD AND ENJOY THE RIDE
Measured elevation is the discipline to raise your lifestyle disproportionately as your income rises. In essence, measured-elevation is the successful management of the reward phase in the purposed-saving discipline.
CONSEQUENTIAL-THOUGHT: PROTECTING YOUR KICK-ASS LIFE
Consequential-thought — the foresight into the consequences of our actions and knowing that our choices are unfairly weighted toward the bad ones.
More money doesn’t solve money problems. While a big income can postpone or hide consequences, eventually the consequences outlast the money. Chronic bad decision-makers are left nowhere to hide.
YOUR LAST BUSINESS EVER (IF YOU WANT)
An effective UNSCRIPTED money system is allocated into two pots and an optional third. The size of these pots is dependent on your lifestyle goals as well as your risk tolerance for each item they represent.
THE “FUCK YOU” POT
The “fuck you” (FU) pot is idle cash sitting in brokerages and money-market accounts, usually doing nothing, and yes, making nothing. The point of the “fuck you” pot is not about yields or returns, but about options, or choices.
THE HOME POT
The optional home pot is your dream home, owned free and clear without a mortgage. While mortgage interest can be deducted on your tax returns, spending one dollar to save thirty-three cents never makes sense, whatever your tax bracket. Your biggest lifetime expense will be your home. If you remove this expense, money will never be an issue. The other alternative (and why the home pot is optional) is to have your next pot — the paycheck pot — large enough to pay your monthly mortgage nut (or rent) without stress or issue.
THE PAYCHECK POT
The paycheck pot is the lead horse while the others are auxiliary. For the UNSCRIPTED entrepreneur, the paycheck pot is the end game — a passive-income system of financial instruments that pay your bills, fund your lifestyle, and throw off regular cash you can count on. Such financial instruments can be bonds, ETFs, options, stocks, bank deposits, investment trusts — anything that delivers a published, predictable yield.
For our paycheck pot, there are six primary instruments we deploy to effectively rent our money. They are:
- Stock Dividends
- REIT Dividends
- MLP Partnership Income
- Bond Interest
- Loan Interest
- Managed Income
No matter if you’re investing ten thousand or ten million, there are seven rules I incorporate to ensure my principal is kept safe and the income flowing.
- The rent rule states that anytime you cede control over your paycheck-pot money, demand rent, not unconditional promises and coin-flip pipe dreams.
- The snap rule requires that paycheck-pot investments must remain highly liquid, or recallable back to cash at the snap of a finger.
- The apocalypse rule holds that the only catastrophic threat to your principal investment has to come from a global financial apocalypse.
- The “3 years in 3 months” rule. If any of your investments, whether they be stocks or bonds, appreciates unrealized gains greater than or equal to three years in dividends in any three-month period, SELL and take the profits.
- The Admiral Ackbar rule. Dividend traps: alluring investments that ping your radar NOT because of a great balance sheet, but because the dividend yield is eye-poppingly tempting. The Ackbar rule is the classifying identifier between an income investment and a speculative one. The rule is not disqualifying (although I avoid them) but qualitative — such “investments” don’t belong in the paycheck pot but in the speculative “fuck you” pot.
- The 1% rule. When dealing with managed distributions from managed funds, avoid any fund with a management fee greater than 1 percent, excluding interest charges.
- The ostrich rule states that you should avoid investments where the business no longer jives with either the cultural or economic climate.
My friend, this is the first day of the rest of your life. It is precious and IT IS YOURS. Don’t give the SCRIPT the deed to your life — claw it back, rip it up, and rewrite your own UNSCRIPTED story.