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Book Summary: Unscripted, by MJ DeMarco

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Article reading time: 54 min

Book reading time: 7 hours and 10 min

Note of the author: since this book is long, only the essential chapters were summarized. This is why you can see some missing chapters in the summary.

This book is 10/10. If you need one book to become rich, this one has it all.

If I had to summarize it in one sentence, it’d be this:

Extraordinary results demand extraordinary actions.

Author’s recommended read:

  • The One Thing, by Gary Keller
  • Not Everyone Gets a Trophy, by Bruce Tulgan
  • 59 seconds, by Richard Wiseman
  • Transform Your Habits, by James Clear
  • The Sense of Well-Being in America, by Angus Campbell

Enjoy!


Intro

Society has scripted you to think becoming rich is impossible. Or that you need connection, VC funding, a Ph.D. in physics, and a lot of luck.

But none of this is true. And yet, you believe it because of the script. The script runs deep inside to hide from you the fact that slavery still exists, and that you are a slave.

Modern slavery is working from Monday to Friday for 50 years before being allowed some time off as you are about to die.

Sounds familiar?

Unscripted will help you escape this hell by showing you how to build a fastlane company and live rich for a lifetime.

Unscripted is not something you try. It is something you live. It is about changing your choices, your beliefs, and your habits to change the outcome of your life.


Part 1: Confession

Chapter 3: The Modern Day Matrix: the Script

The script is how society tells you you should live your life.

  1. Go to university
  2. Get a job
  3. Work for 50 years to make someone else rich
  4. Give your money to Wall Street to protect yourself against inflation because the government cannot stop printing
  5. Retire poor
  6. Live healthy for 10 more years
  7. Die

That’s the script, the road everyone is taught to take, and the road everyone takes.

There is another road, with better outcomes. To take it, you need to unscript yourself from the script. To do that, you need to train yourself to see the script.


Part 2: The Script: Engineering Your Voluntary Slavery

Chapter 6: The Scripted Operating System: the Web of Servitude

The Script is an operating system made out of seeders, hyperrealities, temporal prostitution, life path, distractions, and model citizenship.

Seeders: they indoctrinate you into the script, and gaslight you if you dare challenge their teachings. They usually profit from you being scripted, and usually represent authority. You have six types of seeders. Some are aware of the lie they propagate, others aren’t:

  • Friends and family: they rarely want you to succeed above their own success.
  • Education: from Monday to Friday, school teaches you to obey and do what is expected of you. They shame you when you fail so they can better orientate you towards what is safe. School trains you to be a good employee.
  • Corporations: they push the script so that you spend your hard-earned money on their products to feel better about yourself.
  • Wall Street: They push the script so you give them your money which they can use to make more money for themselves (and a bit for you).
  • The government: they repeat scripted lies to get votes.
  • The media: they have become spokesperson of the government.

Hyperrealities: Your Illusionary Captors

The script does not let you see reality as it is because you are unaware it exists. The script projects onto you and your loved ones hyperrealities forcing you to do life within its paradigm. These hyperrealities’ sole purpose is to distract you from the “real” (and sad) reality.

Once you see the hyperrealities, the script can no longer exercise that power onto you.

There are nine hyperrealities:

  1. Named days: they condition you to work Monday to Friday and leave Saturday and Sunday for play. Out of the 7 days you get for yourself, you’re giving 5 to your employer, and 2 to you.
  2. Consumerism: consumerism gives consumers the impression that consumption can make them successful. Companies spend each year billions in marketing to create that hyperreality.
  3. A college degree: it doesn’t change anything to your capacity to provide value for others.
  4. Hyper-personality: a representation of someone’s personality through a medium that does not represent reality. The script worships these people as gods, making their level seem unattainable, while in fact, they are as human as you are (eg: Warren Buffett in finance).
  5. Virtual realities: video games make us feel better about ourselves by giving us the impression we are achieving something while in fact, we’re stupidly looking at a screen. Most of these games are made so that their hyperrealities replace the real reality.
  6. Entertainment: entertainment becomes a hyperreality when its investment becomes irrational or a part of one’s identity. Eg: people that cry after their favorite sports team lost.
  7. Money: money has value because everyone agrees it has. Sometimes, everyone agrees it loses its value, and so it becomes worthless (eg: Zimbabwe, Venezuela, etc).
  8. Freedom: you’re not free. You can’t go wherever you want, do whatever you want, whenever you want. You need to respect rules (visa, taxes, etc), and if you don’t, you will most likely go to prison. Everything you own does not really belong to you, as if you stop paying taxes, the government will come to take it from you. Ownership isn’t real. Freedom either.
  9. Corporations: the hyperreality wants to make you believe that corporations are autonomous entities spreading evil. The truth is that corporations are a group of people using a title provided to them by law to protect themselves against their own nefarious actions. Corporations ARE people. It’s the CEO, the employees, and the shareholders.

Chapter 9: Temporal Prostitution: Trading Good Time for Bad

There is a tenth hyperreality: temporal prostitution. By paying you money against time, society makes you think that time is infinite while money isn’t.

It’s in fact the opposite. Money is infinite, but everyone ends up running out of time at some point.

And there is worse! Ever heard of the time value of money? It’s an economics principle that explains that the value of your money will decrease over time (due to printing). $10 today is worth much more than $10 in the future.

So when you trade time for money and buy stuff with your money, you are trading part of your life you will never get back against useless objects.

Time is split into two: free time, and indentured time. The first one belongs to you. The second belongs to someone else (your boss). If you don’t create a system that makes money split from time, you will never be free.


Chapter 10: Two Doors, One Slaughterhouse, No Difference

The first door is the sidewalk. The sidewalk is about living off debt and borrowing money to spend today. It’s trading tomorrow for today’s consumption. Sidewalkers identify themselves through what they consume and fully live the script. Living to consume is their slogan.

Anyone can be a sidewalker. Net worth is irrelevant. Sidewalkers are those that spend 100% or more of what they earn. As a result, they never reach a level where money is making more money by itself.

Sidewalkers are temporal prostitutes. They let anyone f*ck their time for money.

The second door is the slowlane. It’s about saving as much as you can from your salary, investing in mutual funds, etc so you can be rich for your retirement. The equation is trading today for tomorrow.

The principle on which it rests is that time can make you rich.

Time, through patient 5% a year return (if you’re lucky and avoid financial crashes, which most likely won’t happen), will make you a millionaire by the time you are eighty years old with Alzheimer’s and about to die.

While the slowlane is based on consuming less, which is good, it is also based on living less. Every cent must be accounted for. Every 4-star hotel must be a 2-star hotel, every night out must be the $5 Domino’s pizza of the week, and every car, a Prius.

Slowlaners are not the master of their wallet. They rely on hope for their plan to work.

Hope that Wall Street will reach new highs every day. Hope that they will get a high-paying job. Hope that the government doesn’t print too much money.


Chapter 12: M.O.D.E.L Citizenry

Sidewalkers and slowlaners both do what society expects them to do. Sidewalkers obey the ads and consume. Slowlaners obey Yahoo Finance and save.

They’re good citizens. They’re MODEL citizens:

  • Mediocre: life is mediocre. Its purpose, instead of thriving, is surviving.
  • Obedient: “I am so stressed out about what the media have said about the plan of the government!”
  • Dependent: if it’s not Wall Street that owns you, your portfolio, and your time, it’s the government.
  • Entertained: “we are finally going to know why James told Sarah he loved her while he was dating Jessica!”
  • Lifeless: dreams, hope, and optimism no longer exist.

To Summarize

Seeders teach and instill the script into you.

After you got your college degree, you will have to work from Monday to Friday for a company to earn money. You are free to work for whoever you want! That money will enable you to buy a bunch of cool stuff like video games where you are the hero, cinema tickets, and a phone to follow your favorite stars.

After you refunded all of your debt and spared every nickel to reinvest in your stock portfolio, you will finally be able to afford that vacation in the Maldives you have always dreamt about…if cancer does not take you out before the flight!

How does that sound?

Yeah. F*ck this.


Part 3: Your life UNSCRIPTED

Chapter 13: The Unscripted Life: F*ck You

The Unscripted life is defined by the capacity of those that live it to say “F*ck You”. This translates to “being free from obligations most people have to attend no matter what”.

These are:

1. Freedom from work:

No need to work anymore. You can do whatever you like, be it work that you enjoy, or leisure.

2. Freedom from scarcity and frugal constraint:

It means buying whatever you want to buy.

3. Freedom from hyperrealistic influence:

The Unscripted does not care about who won the Grammy awards, or the game last night.

4. Freedom from hope and dependence:

Dependence on a boss/company, the government, or the stock market does not exist for the Unscripted.

5. Freedom from ordinary and routine:

There is no place you “have” to be in, which leads you to be spontaneous.


Chapter 14: “Fuck This” Before “F*ck You”

The “F*ck this event” is the event where you break out of the script and decide to stop let it consume your life.
It’s taking the red pill, except that it’s not as painless. The “F*ck this event” is the first step into hell.

It’s a moment of pain in your life that is so powerful that it changes you and your behavior forever.

And it gets you out of the sh*t.

If you don’t know whether you have had an FTE, then you probably haven’t.

You may have had a “f*ck this moment”, but not an event. An event changes your life forever.

The FTE has four threats. If they exist, they will likely decrease the strength of the event.

These are:

1. Mediocre comfort

If your situation gives you comfort that does not hurt badly enough to trigger change, you will unlikely change.

2. Your guarded pride and ego

To succeed, you gotta be willing to look dumb and fail.

If you’re “too cool” and fear what other people may think of you, you won’t succeed.

3. Your responsibilities

Having multiple kids with multiple women and multiple mortgages and debt for multiple stuff you don’t need will prevent an FTE from happening due to decision paralysis resting on too many responsibilities.

4. Fear

The fear of the unknown, of failure, of ridicule…will keep you from taking action. Real action.


Chapter 15: The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF)

The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework or TUNEF is a five-phase progression of both thoughts and action, both uniting in a series of macro and micro-processes.

Get “Unscripted” now on Amazon

TUNEF has 6 steps:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Bullsh*ts, Biases, and Beliefs + the 8 Belief Scams
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

Results: Unscription.

The entrepreneurial G-spot: this is the day you realize you can make an income through your company and live off it. The day you realize you can be free.

TUNEF is fueled by two processes: the micro and macro processes. Micro-processes are your beliefs and thought patterns. It’s how you define money and how you think it is acquired.

Macro processes are your repeated and modified actions. Repeated, because change happens after a process of repeating one same action. And modified, because of the feedback loop that enables you to take better actions each time.

Why most people fail

Most people fail because they are waiting for a silver bullet. A silver bullet is “the secret” that self-development books promise – and never deliver because it doesn’t exist.

The only thing that exists is working and taking action.

There is no “quick-fix”. No secrets. Only work.


Chapter 16: Our Self-Imposed Prison: Beliefs, Biases, and Bullsh*ts

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

The 3 Bs drive or derail your path as an entrepreneur. They are super important!

Belief: what you think it’s true that necessarily isn’t.

Biases: mental shortcuts protecting your beliefs.

Bullsh*t: the bs you tell yourself.

Beliefs

Beliefs are so important that they are accounted for in science (the placebo effect). Beliefs drive our actions.

You have two types of beliefs: true beliefs, and false beliefs.

True beliefs are actionable knowledge. False beliefs create mistakes, illusions, or inactions.

In psychiatry, false beliefs are called delusion.

You must address your delusions if you hope to change them. That being said, many on your path will make sure you don’t change them.

The firsts step to saying the world “f*ck you” is to unlearn the things that are “f*cking you”.


Chapter 17: The 8 Belief Scams

Most often than not, we don’t seek to challenge our beliefs. We seek to reinforce them. And most of the time, our beliefs aren’t even our beliefs. They were planted by someone else.

Right now, the SCRIPTED OS is to your brain what a parasite is to a dog. To get rid of it, you need to kill the eight false beliefs that are ruling your life. You do so by polarizing them.

When the world thinks WHITE, think BLACK. When the world BUYS, SELL.

Let’s have a look at these eight beliefs.


Chapter 18: Belief #1: The Shortcut Scam: Ordinary Doesn’t Compel Extraordinary

Events (99%) VS Process (1%)

The shortcut scam is the idea that extraordinary wins can be achieved through a shortcut, without doing the hard work that creates extraordinary results.

It’s often seen in advertising. “This pill will help you lose 20kg without any effort within a week!”

This scam comes from our culture which emphasizes events over processes.

We don’t want to exercise and go through a diet for months and months to reach a perfect body. No. The results we want to achieve must “hApPeN oVeRnIgHt”.

The truth is that extraordinary events require extraordinary effort, habits and sacrifice over a long period of time. The secret to shortcuts, as such, is that they don’t exist.

Unscripted people understand that behind all events stand a painful and long process.

Since you are likely event-driven, you need to become process-driven. Here are nine steps to help you:

1. Intelligent awareness: look at people in the supermarket. Fat people and fit people will have strikingly matching carts (ice cream in the first one, veggies and meat in the second one). In both cases, their end-state is an event. The fat guy has been eating sugar without exercising for years. And the fit guy has been eating meat and veggies going to the gym for years.

2. Modify expectations and realign the source of difficulty: Extraordinary results demand extraordinary action. That means you need to forget about the idea that you can get rich “quick and easy”. There is no silver bullet, no shortcuts. Excellence cannot be reached with mediocre efforts. Success is actually simple: take the long road, invest, be process-oriented, repeat, and reach your destination.

3. Identify and visualize the change target: if you don’t identify where you want to go, you’ll never reach the destination. Identify and visualize what you want. Be specific.

4. Attach a number to your goal: numbers help you measure your progress. If you want to make some money, know how much. If you want to lose weight, know your desired weight.

5. Identify the daily action target: identify the daily actions, the routine, that will take you to your desired destination. If you want to walk to China, that would be walking 25 km every day towards the East.

6. Identify threats to your daily target: what do you do that slows you down and that you should stop doing? Is it social media, socializing, video games…?

7. Identify the proper battlefields: if you play too many video games, it’s not about resisting the temptation to play. It’s about getting rid of the console.

8. Attack bad habits with inconvenience or pain: if you want to play video games and the Xbox is in the attic, that will make it much more complicated.

9. Act until echo: act until a feedback loop develops and you can adjust to take better action. Work until you have feedback, and then only decide on the next step. Should you continue, or adjust? A process is like dominos. Get the first one moving and slowly, the others will be moving too.


Chapter 19: Belief #2: The special scam: “I am not good at that”

Fixed (99%) VS Growth (1%)

The special scam is a double-edged belief. It is the thought that one’s current skills and abilities are enough to reach their goals, or that their skills and abilities are fixed and can’t be extended or improved.

Hard work appears as unnecessary because “we are enough”, or hard work appears useless because “we’ll never be enough”.

Both of these excuses serve to avoid hard work, and both testify to the existence of a “fixed mindset”.

People with fixed mindsets don’t evolve. They spend time looking for clues of their own intelligence and convince themselves of it. They never improve in anything.

Were you told you were a genius, a prodigy, a smart kid as a child? Then you probably have a fixed mindset.

Forget about all that now. It’s time to replace this fixed mindset with the idea that progress is first of all possible, but that it is also long and painful. However, it is the only way to change your outcome.

Implementing the Kaizen principle will help you. Kaizen is the idea that you should aim at mastery by making tiny improvements on a daily basis without comparing yourself to anyone. Three points are important here:

  • Mastery: be the best at something you can be.
  • Tiny improvement daily: have you actually worked, or action-faked?
  • No comparison: no need to compare yourself to others, you are your only competitor.

Finally, never praise intelligence, talent, or ability in other people.

Praise efforts, work, process and improvements instead.


Chapter 20: Belief #3: The Consumption Scam: How Much Time Did That Cost?

Consumption (99%) VS Production (1%)

The consumption scam is the belief that consumption has nothing to do with production.

As kids, we get stuff for free, without working for it. This is where the genesis of this belief starts.

Had we lived in nature, we would have realized that nothing is free. Every acquirement of any type of good required work (from hunting to fishing to gathering).

The consumption scam is why people MUST go to work and why many have no choices. Until they began to produce first, and consume second, they won’t be free.

We need to realize that debt = production – consumption. People that get into debt, simply consume more than they produce.

Where the slowlaners would tend to decrease consumption, fastlaners tend to increase production. It is quite simple. If you want to live well, you need to produce well.

This mindset shift is powerful. It is going from looking at what you can take, to looking at what you can give.

Here are other initiatives to take to help you operate the mindset shift.

  • Don’t follow the herd, lead it.
  • Don’t take the road already travelled, pave new paths.
  • Don’t buy a franchise, franchise your company and sell it.
  • Don’t rent, rent out.
  • Don’t borrow money, lend it.
  • Don’t buy the brand, sell it.
  • Don’t get hired, hire.
  • Don’t buy on Black Friday, sell.
  • Don’t buy the latest trend. Sell it.
  • Don’t buy stocks. Sell them.

When you shift your mind from consumption to production, you will:

  • Look at ads not for what you can buy, but for how it was designed.
  • Look at shops not for what you can buy, but for what types of items are sold.
  • Look at companies not for what they can do for you, but for what you can do for them.
  • Look at other people not for what they can give you, but for what you can give them.

Chapter 21: Belief #4: The Money Scam: I Can Get Rich by Wanting to Get Rich

Money (99%) VS Value (1%)

The money scam consists of going after money instead of going after value.

People doing this are usually called money-chasers. They change jobs often to get higher salaries, buy infomercials get-rich-quick schemes, etc.

In the end, they rarely succeed to get money because they do not understand its nature.

So what is money?

Money is a means of exchange where agreed perceived value is stored. However, perceived value and actual value (also called extrinsic value and intrinsic value) don’t always match.

Let’s take Da Vinci’s painting Salvatore Mundi. Saudi Arabia bought it for $450 million. That’s the extrinsic value. It is what the buyer thinks the painting is worth.

The intrinsic value – the actual value – can be measured by looking at the price of the material to make the painting. A bit of woods, color, and a canvas, or about $20 give or take.

So what does this story tell us?

It tells us that money cannot be chased. It can only be attracted. It is by creating something other people will perceive has value, that you will be able to exchange it against money.

Money = perceived value.

To go further, your net worth = how much value you have created for others.

So, how do you attract money?

Stop using the word money. Replace it with “value-vouchers”.

Then, you need to build a bridge so that the value-vouchers can start pouring. You do so with four building blocks:

  • Create value (product/service)
  • Communicate that value to another party that has their own estimates of that value.
  • Get a mutual agreement for the exchange of value
  • Deliver value and receive the value-vouchers

Chapter 22: Belief #5: The Poverty Scam: I Am Poor Because You Are Rich

Selfish (99%) VS Selfless (1%)

The poverty scam is a belief that value creation is a zero-sum game.

It isn’t. He who produces value (and get money for it) does not prevent anyone else to also provide value, and get money for it.

As such, poor people aren’t rich because rich people are rich. Poor people aren’t rich because they are not providing enough value.

Now, whatever you’re selling absolutely needs to be something that has both actual and perceived value. Selling something with no actual value is a scam, and you can’t succeed as an entrepreneur if you scam people.

The truth about money in the economy is that it is spent on stuff people like to buy. If that person who you are buying from wasn’t selling something valuable to you, you wouldn’t be buying it.

Polarizer: the fiduciary principle

Next time you go to a cafe, or wait for the bus, take a moment to observe your environment. You are probably staying at Starbucks developed by Howard Schulz, or wait under a bus stop made by JCDecaux. You will probably check Facebook invented by Mark Zuckerberg, or search for an answer to an important question on Google invented by Larry Page and Sergei Brin, all of this from your iPhone invented by Steve Jobs.

Maybe you’ll book a Ryanair ticket, developed by Michael O’Leary, to go shopping in Paris and buy a coat at Zara, invented by Amancio Ortega. Or you’ll decide instead to buy a multicolor lamp from Amazon, invented by Jeff Bezos.

You need to realize that if all of those (now) rich people hadn’t taken huge risks to launch their business and invent new things…we would still be living in the stone age.

Everything that is widely used today was first and foremost invented by someone who, as a result of providing value, became subsequently rich.

As such, it’s not anger you should feel towards these people. It’s gratitude.

If you also want to be rich, you need to do what these people have done. You need to embrace the willingness to “selflessly serve the selfish”.


Chapter 23: Belief #6: The Luck Scam: You Don’t play; You Don’t Win

Luck (99%) VS Probability (1%)

The luck scam is the belief that one’s fortune (or not) in life is dependent on luck.

This is ridiculous. Nothing comes for free. The author may be a millionaire, he failed several times before building his company that made him millions.

What got him there is that he never stopped, and kept on acting until it worked.

Killing the luck idea

Take a coin, bet the side it will land on, and flip.

Did you win? Do you suddenly call yourself lucky?

Did you lose? Do you suddenly call yourself unlucky?

Now, let’s imagine that if you call the coin correctly, you earn $10 million.

Suddenly, you’d call yourself lucky if you won. And yet, the odds to win (50/50) didn’t change.

Now let’s say you got 10 shots at launching the coin to call it correctly and earn the $10 million.

Well, in essence, this is exactly what entrepreneurship is. It is repeating again and again until you get to win.

So if you hope to win, you gotta play the game long enough.

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist, has studied luck and lucky people extensively. His conclusion is that luck can be influenced. While unlucky people don’t know that their behavior yields misery, lucky people do know.

He suggests three habits to adopt to be luckier.

  1. Intuition: people that follow their gut are luckier than people who don’t.
  2. Routine: if you stay on your path, you decrease chances to find a lucky strike. Talk to a variety of people, do a variety of things, expose yourself to a variety of situation.
  3. Be positive and thankful.

Chapter 24: Belief #7: The Frugality Scam: Live Poor; Die Rich

Defense (99%) VS Offense (1%)

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

The frugality scam is the belief that excessive expense reduction will someday make you rich.

It is the idea that clipping coupons and skipping the Starbucks latte will eventually make you wealthy.

This is what the slowlane get-rich gurus advertise. “Invest $100 per week and become a millionaire in 50 years”.

Yeah. Anyone heard about a thing called “inflation”?

These techniques don’t work because they are merely about defense, about spending less.

No one talks about producing more.

So the question is, can you get rich young?

Yes. Open the newspaper, you’ll see plenty of people that get rich quickly.

Get-rich-quick is possible. Get-rich-easy isn’t.

In-between quick and easy, most people will choose easy – as a result, they are not rich.

Those that got rich quick have two critical characteristics in common:

  1. A strong offense underscored by controllable unlimited leverage (CUL, aka, a scalable company). This means your income has a high ceiling or no ceiling at all.
  2. A detachment of intrinsic value (trading time for money) in lieu of a business system. This is the idea that as long as your income is attached to time, even if you’re making $1000/hour, you will never be rich. You need to disintegrate this value and find a way to make money when you’re sleeping.

Chapter 25: Belief #8: The Compound Interest Scam: Wall Street Will Not Make You Rich

Wealth (99%) VS Income (1%)

We have four problems with Wall Street.

First, Wall Street is not going to make you rich. It is making the people who manage your money rich.

Second, while you often hear about rare winners in the stock market, you never hear about the losers. Those that lost their life savings in scams, bankruptcy, mismanagement, and more.

Third, the stock market isn’t linear. Crashes happen. But that’s not something the financial gurus will tell you.

Finally, the last scam of Wall Street is time. It is in a way, one of these other “live poor, die rich” tricks. No one ever made $50 million in 10 years by investing a mere $80k salary on the stock market.

So why is compound interest so bad?

It is because of the fiscal TRIcycle:

  • Time: compound-interest gurus speak of the period of 50 years or over. As such, it’s not buy and hold, but buy and die.
  • Reality: no one knows which company will thrive, and which will die. Therefore, the “if you had invested $1000 into Apple in 1999, how much would it be worth?” is dumb. The folks writing this seem to have forgotten that Apple was an inch close to bankruptcy at some point, and only survived because Bill Gates was rich enough to let it.
    Furthermore, the famous graph of stocks growth used to show you how much “your money could be worth in 50 years” usually assumes unrealistic growth rates, like 8%, or up to 12% yearly, which isn’t risk-free (2008, anyone?) The risk-free rate is in fact, 0,03%. Yikes!
  • Inflation: if your money grows by 5% every year with 3% of inflation rate, that leaves you with 2% of real growth.

So, when do you use Wall Street, and how?

We’ll cover this in detail later on. For now, just realize that Wall Street isn’t worth it when you own $1000. It’s better to spend this money on Facebook ads for your product.

Wall Street is worth it when you own $10 million. A mere yearly 2% on $10 million is $16 000+ per month. No more, no less.

THAT is when Wall Street becomes interesting.


Chapter 26: The Biases: Your Brain’s Delusions

Remember the TUNEF framework:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Beliefs and the 8 beliefs scams, Biases and Bullsh*ts
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

In the battle for success, your real enemy is yourself – or more accurately, your brain.

Your brain is the lazy machine full of biases (mental shortcuts) that are wired to keep you as the failure that you are.

You will face seven biases in the pursuit of entrepreneurship.

If you hope to change them, you will have to be aware of thinking about how you think and act.

1. Change Adversity: refusing change is refusing success

Your brain doesn’t like change, uncertainty, or risk. It fights you so you avoid taking this path.

Change adversity is felt whenever an app or website changes its design. Everyone screams for murder! It’s because the brain has a tough time adapting.

However, if you want to succeed, you are going to have to make efforts, change and adapt. Change must precede change. If your current actions aren’t making you rich, you are going to have to change them. The first threat to change is that it’s difficult to practice.

The second threat to change is how you react to it. If everyone starts selling online and you don’t because you don’t like change and miss the trend, you may just go bankrupt.

Change can keep you poor or make you rich.

2. Righteousness: why you’d rather be right than rich

It is the partner of change adversity: you’d rather be right and poor than wrong and rich. It’s a bias.

In fact, it’s been proven that your convictions are reinforced in light of contrary evidence of their suitability.

As a result, you don’t change, you don’t act, and you stay poor.

3. Antithetical Apathy: the advice you need is the one you don’t want to follow

If your goal is to be financially free, you need to align your beliefs with that goal. If you don’t you will lie to yourself or sabotage your own efforts.

It means that you need to abandon the idea that rich people are evil. If you believe this while trying to get rich, then your subconscious will be met with two beliefs diametrically opposed. This is what antithetical apathy is. It causes stress and sabotage.

People that fear success (as I do) usually have antithetical beliefs, where they think that succeeding has a price – usually the one of being a morally reprehensible person.

4. Semmelwashing

Semmelwashing doesn’t come from you – but from others.

It is when you state a fact or truth so extraordinary and threatening to the status quo that your peers bury you for it. The semmelwashing is what you feel when everyone is against you – even though you are right.

Eg: “becoming a millionaire is possible”.

5. Podium Popping

Podium popping is the application of cherry-picked individual strategies from individuals that have succeeded.

“12 reasons why Jeff Bezos succeeded”.

“Warren Buffett says these 7 things made him rich”.

It is copying, instead of inventing, without considering the context. As such, you think that by appropriating yourself the story of someone else, you can succeed as they did.

6. Survival Spotlightning

It is when you focus on winners of rarely successful paths thinking that because they made it, it’s possible.

Eg” Uncle Jerry made millions betting on horses, so now, I will also bet on horses.”

You focus on the winner and don’t see that behind him, there are millions of losers.

7. Momentum Paralysis

When you make a decision and stick to it because of FOMO.

Eg: waiting for the bus which is not coming, staying in a bad relationship, committing to watching a movie that in all likelihood, will suck.

The principle behind this bias is the sunk cost fallacy. It is the belief that because you already have invested so much, you cannot cut your losses.

This is wrong. In accounting, sunk costs aren’t taken into account because they change nothing. Once it’s sunk, it is sunk.


Chapter 27: Bullsh*t

There are three types of bullsh*ts:

  • BS 1.0: crutches: excuses explaining failure and circumstances. It’s usually driven by “the narrative bias”, this story you tell yourself and you try to respect. For example, you may think that only assholes date girls, and if a girl wants to date you, you will say no because “you are a nice guy”.
  • BS 2.0: clichés: reassuring thoughts and slogans that keep us stuck where we are.
    • Fat makes you fat: “oh, these cookies are fat-free! If I eat them, I will not be fat!”
    • Good things come to those who wait: “one day, it will be my turn”.
    • Better safe than sorry: “building businesses is dangerous”.
    • Money doesn’t buy happiness: “I am probably happier than billionaires, so…”.
  • BS 3.0: cults: communities and people telling you what you want to hear. Often, these people got rich selling material they themselves did not apply.

Burying bs:

  1. Socrative questioning: question yourself and your biases. Call yourself out.
  2. The cancer corollary: let’s imagine you had cancer and someone comes up with the cure for $5000. Would you buy the cure even if that person represented everything you hate the most? The likely answer is yes. When you have something people want, people don’t care about your credentials or whatever else. This is the ultimate equation of money: do you have something I want and if so, how much will that cost me?
  3. Identity cataclysms: action is driven by identity. If you want to stop smoking, you’ll be more likely to do so by labeling you a non-smoker, instead of “a smoker trying to quit”. Similarly, it is time to label yourself as an entrepreneur and ACT as such.

Chapter 28: Meaning and Purpose: The Unstoppable Will to Win

Remember the TUNEF framework:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Beliefs and the 8 beliefs scams, Biases and Bullsh*ts
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

Extraordinary results demand extraordinary commitment. Commitment starts the process principle. Habits become lifestyle and lifestyle brings results.

Eg: When everyone sleeps, the athlete practices.

Where does this commitment come from?

From meaning and purpose, the core reason why you are acting the way you do even when the task at hand seems impossible.

While the three B’s we discussed above were to inspire you to start, meaning and purpose inspire you to finish.

The why is what fuels you to go through the desert of desertion. The desert of desertion is that period when the entire world seems to be trying to stop you.

The why is the camel that gets you through your desert.


Chapter 29: Bad Life Advice

“Do what you love” and “follow your passion” are the worse mainstream advice one can give someone else.

DWYL has several problems.

First, it does not take into account economics nor customer demands. It’s not what you love that you should be making, but what your customers love.

Second, DWYL is often uttered by the few successful that actually made it by doing what they loved. But don’t forget that while there is one winner of X Factor’s DWYL, there are 200 000 losers. No one ever speaks about them.

Third, no one cares that you love what you are doing if it’s not delivering value. When you go to a restaurant and the food tastes like crap, do you care that the chef is doing what he loves? No, you want good food, period.

Fourth, doing what you love will destroy that which you love. It is called the overjustification effect. You love driving? Then go drive cabs, and you will see you will soon hate it.

When you are offered an incentive to do something, you will never do it again if that incentive isn’t there.

So if you shouldn’t do what you love, what should you do?

You should love the value you create!!!

That’s right. You will get much more “pleasure” doing something you don’t really enjoy but that others value, than the opposite.

It is when people say “I love what you do” that you actually start loving what you do too.

Your why compels you to take action which drives feedback. When the feedback is positive, this fuels your passion.

Real love comes when other people value what you build.


Chapter 30: Finding your Purpose

If you’re unsure of your meaning and purpose, you don’t have one.

The only way to find it is to go out and start doing things.

Find a problem in your life, and fix it. If you have none, find a problem someone has, and sell them the solution. Sometimes, purpose can be as insignificant as the pleasure to deliver value. It’s called the value challenge. Go out and make someone smile.

Pay attention to how you feel. It’s usually very addictive. The author calls it the “entrepreneurial heroine”.

The Happiness Secret

The secret to happiness isn’t money, women, or unlimited travel.

It’ freedom. It’s autonomy. It’s owning yourself and your destiny.

Owning yourself starts with taking responsibility for yourself and your circumstances. It is about having an internal locus of control and not an external one. The locus of control is the feeling of empowerment you have to control things around you.

You need to understand that if the weather sucks where you live, you can move to another place. If the taxes suck, you can move. If your skills suck, you can learn. If you’re too fat, you can lose weight.

If you don’t believe that you have control over your life and act this way, you will never take any initiatives and achieve autonomy.

No one needs to give you autonomy. It’s there for your taking.

As extraordinary as it seems, control is actually within your reach.

You just need to choose it.


Chapter 31: How to Create a Business That Changes Your Life

Remember the TUNEF framework:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Beliefs and the 8 beliefs scams, Biases and Bullsh*ts
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

Everyone that succeeds once has failed before.

It’s ok.

The only question that matters is will this failure be your last trial, or will you keep on hustling until you make it work?

If you count the number of tries Ronaldo made in his career, he has had more “failures” than successes.

And yet the guy is the best football player the world has ever known.

As such, failing doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is to succeed once.

By the way, entrepreneurs fail on average 3.8 times before they succeed. So, chances are that you will know failure before you know success.

Luckily however, Fastlane Entrepreneurship can help you succeed faster.

The CENTS Framework

Fastlane Entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurship foundation that ensures your business succeeds.

CENTS is an acronym for Control, Entry, Need, Time, and Scale. Together, these five commandments create a productocracy.

If your business respects these five commandments, your chances to succeed are much higher.


Chapter 32: The Productocracy: How to Print Money (and Sleep Well)

Advertising Is For Losers

Businesses that deliver great value don’t need to advertise because customers spontaneously buy from them.

Have you ever seen an ad inviting you to drive a Tesla?

Nope. They don’t even have a marketing department.

In Europe, it’s the chain of shops “Action” which is famous for not advertising.

They simply are cheaper than all of their competitors, and everyone knows it.

These businesses are productocracies.

To quote directly from the book:

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 productocracy doesn’t use ads because it doesn’t need to.

Whereas ads push goods and services to consumers, productocracies use a pull strategy. The customer is naturally attracted because the product/service is so good.

In fact, the products that advertise the most often are the crappiest. They suck so much no one is consuming them due to word-of-mouth, but due to advertising.

Think about it.

When was the last time someone recommended you McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, or Heineken? These companies are the ones that advertise the most in their market.

A business that pulls is a business that gives incredible value. It’s a business that solves problems a lot of people have, and that does it well.

This is why earlier, you were advised not to focus on money but to focus on value. Because it is value that is pulling the money. Not advertising.

Engineering a Productocracy: If It Makes CENTS, It Makes Sense

While a good product is important, it is not all.

The productocracy has five commandments:

  • The Commandment of Control
  • The Commandment of Entry
  • The Commandment of Need
  • The Commandment of Time
  • The Commandment of Scale

Let’s have a look at them.


Chapter 33: The Commandment of Control: Own What You Build

The Commandment of Control requires that your business operation, from product development to marketing, to distribution, to everything else, be within your sphere of influence or diversified from influence.

Basically, it is making it impossible for anyone to crash your business overnight.

If such a person, or entity, or company exists (besides the government), you are violating the Commandment of Control.

Eg:

  • You are selling products through Amazon only. The day Amazon shuts off your seller’s account, you’re toast.
  • You own seven restaurants from a well-known franchise. One day, the company decides to roll out a mega-discount you can’t financially assume. But you have no right to refuse to run the discount. As a result, you go bankrupt.
  • Your business only runs on SEO. One day Google changes the algorithm, and you end up with zero sales.

Think of the Commandment of Control as the foundation on which you are building your house. Do you own the land, or does someone else do?


Chapter 34: Commandment of Entry: Difficulty IS the Opportunity

The Commandment of Entry rules that any market you wish to enter or problem you desire to solve should have barriers to enter so as to decrease competition and enjoy healthy profits.

The fewer barriers one business has, the more crowded the market will be, the fewer profits you are likely to make. The opposite is true as well. The higher the barriers of entry, the more likely you are to make money, the less competition you will have.

For example, there are only a handful of computer chip foundries in the world, because it is a tough business.

Likewise, it means that these companies make hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars.

Businesses with virtually no barriers of entry:

  • Selling a book on Amazon
  • Starting a blog
  • Doing dropshipping
  • Being a tour guide
  • Doing affiliate marketing
  • etc

As you see, the Commandment of Entry often joins the Commandment of Control.

When an activity has no barriers, it usually means that someone else took them down for you (Amazon has taken down a high number of barriers. As a result, they are incredibly profitable).

The Opportunity of Difficulty: THERE IS NO F*CKING LIST

Most people fail entrepreneurship because they don’t understand it’s about giving value and not buying Lamborghinis.

Entrepreneurship, at heart, is about solving problems, creating convenience, and becoming valuable.

This is why it’s better to go for the hard problems than the easy ones. The hard problems are where the big opportunities are!

When the problem takes minutes to solve, you aren’t solving any problem.

This is why there is no list! There is no step-by-step plan on building a billion dollars company because it’s likely that whoever is doing it is doing it for the first time, and needs to figure out stuff no one else figured out before.

This is why companies that invent new products are valuable.

They’re doing what is hard.

You can measure barriers with the process one needs to achieve to create the product/service that will solve the problem. The longer and more difficult the process is, the bigger the opportunity is.

On Execution Excellence

While it is advised against doing affiliate marketing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow rich doing affiliate marketing.

People succeeding in that space manage to overcome the crowd with execution excellence.

And guess what execution excellence is?

That’s right. It’s a process.

The lesson of this chapter is that if you hope to win in a crowded market (trading stocks, selling on Amazon), you’re going to have to be the best at it.

That means you are going to have to do stuff others don’t do.


Chapter 35: The Commandment of Need: How to Engineer Opportunity in Any Industry

An idea is simply a minor improvement to a product that already exists. You don’t need to come up with the iPhone, or the car.

In the realm of innovation, it’s better to be late than early. Peter Thiel calls this the “last mover advantage”. It’s the idea that the last one to innovate an already-existing product is likely to make it much better than the first one, and hence create a monopoly (Google for search engines, Facebook for social media, etc).

Anyway, entrepreneurs, as we said, are problem solvers. If you can’t find an idea, it means you cannot find problems. If you cannot find problems, it means you are not looking hard enough (probably because you are focused on yourself, and not on others).

The Commandment of Needs is the most important one. It states that if you manage to create a business that you control, with relatively high barriers to entry, and based on an actual need that needs to be solved, you will win growth, profits, and maybe even passive income for the rest of your life.

Productocracy’s Pull: Value Skew and Value Competition

The value competition is what companies fight on. Everyone tries to provide the highest value with the lowest price (or not, depends on what we are talking about). The company that wins the value competition is the one the consumer buys from.

The value skew is the subjective value of the product. Oil in Saudi Arabia is free. Oil in Switzerland isn’t.

You can skew value by making tiny improvements that your competitor doesn’t do.

Eg: When Freddy Heineken tried to sell his beer, no one was buying it.

No wonder, it’s absolutely disgusting.

So, Freddy, which was good at marketing, look at the logo of Heineken, and decided to slightly shift the “e” of “Heineken” so it looked like “the word smiled”.

It worked. He started selling for millions.

Value skew.

Value skew can also be:

  • Price
  • Ease of ordering
  • Website design
  • Guarantee
  • Refund
  • Payment options
  • Compelling story
  • Packaging
  • Customer service
  • Reviews
  • etc

How Money Moves: The Value Array and Its Attributes

A market is a giant array where products sold by brands each score on a range of attributes.

The buyer buys the product that scores the highest on his array.

Eg: a buyer looking for quality will likely buy the most expensive product. A buyer looking for value will buy the product with the best ratio quality/price. The buyer looking for the cheapest product will buy…the cheapest product.

Three identical products with different attributes, three different buyers.

Skewing value is the force behind the setting in motion of a productocracy.

If you don’t have a business yet, you can sketch the value array of a product and see how you could improve it.

Let’s look at Uber, for example.

The value array of people’s private transportation is:

  • Speed: cabs take time to come. Uber does not.
  • Cost ambiguity: you don’t know how much you will pay with cabs. You do with Uber.
  • Reliability: you know where the Uber is when it says it is coming.
  • Comfort
  • Accountability: if the Uber driver behaves poorly, he gets bad reviews.
  • Choice: you can choose who will drive you.
  • Payment ease
  • Cost: Uber is cheaper. And you get all these benefits.

Cabs did not stand a chance.

Engineering Value Skew

As we said above, engineering value skew starts by sketching the value array of your product and the industry. Identify ALL attributes.

The primary attributes concern the product itself. If you sell bread, it is the flour, the water, the yeast and all of the other ingredients. If you sell wood tables, it is the wood you use, the board, the legs, the feet of the table, if it is extendable, how well it can be dismantled and built back, etc.

The secondary attributes are about your marketing: your website, your guarantee, your packaging, etc.

Whenever you have the occasion to skew value, do it. You stand out in your market and gain more customers.

Sadly, most entrepreneurs don’t see it this way.

They fall into the trap of the 6 value myths and fail the Commandment of Need.

The 6 Value Myths

1. The market myth: when the entrepreneur ignores the market to do what he loves instead and open a fast-food restaurant next to McDonald’s…he often fails.

2. The isolation myth: it’s when entrepreneurs identify one variable only as a competitive advantage (and it’s often the same one): price. When goods or services are chosen by customers based on price only, the industry becomes commodified. Think about gas stations, air travel, or mobile phone plan. These industries compel companies to a race to the bottom to offer the cheapest prices, and shouldn’t be chosen for a productocracy.

3. The blockbuster myth: The blockbuster myth is when wantrepreneurs wait for “that one idea no one ever had” so that they can create a market and have zero competition. Whatever idea you have, you will unlikely be the first one to have it. What matters is not the idea, but what you can do to provide value in a way your competition doesn’t.

4. The crowded-room myth: It’s the idea that “someone is already doing it” and so you don’t do it, which is dumb. Do you think hairdressers think “someone is already doing it” and so never become hairdressers? No. So how do you overcome this problem? Like above. You need to skew value. If someone is already doing it, you need to add something that will “do it” better. This is how Richard Branson started Virgin Airline. He thought air carriers to go to the US sucked. “There is no sense starting a business if not out of frustration”, he said. If it already exists, find a way to make it better.

5. The empty room myth: it’s the opposite of the above. It is when, upon research, the wantrepeneur realizes that no one is doing it, and hence, “there isn’t any market for it”, which is also dumb.

6. The use myth: Don’t worry if you are not a customer for your own good. Michael O’Leary doesn’t fly Ryanair. I doubt any executives from McDonald’s eat McDonald’s. I worked as a chocolate making teacher, and I eat NO chocolate. The point is that you don’t have to use whatever you are selling, which is what the use myth is. Only other people need to find value in your idea. You do not.

13 Ways to Find Fastlane Ideas

Fastlane ideas come from two sources only:

  1. Innovation: you invent something never done before.
  2. Improvement: you improve something which is already being done by skewing value.

Innovation is what most wantrepreneurs go for and simultaneously the most likely to make you fail.

Improvement is where most ideas exist.

In practice, CHOOSE NEITHER. Do what the market is telling you to do.

Here are 13 ways you can listen to the market so you can find a way to create value.

1. Language: listen to people complaining. When they say “I hate”; “this sucks”; “I wish”; “I don’t like”, it means there is room for improvement, and hence an opportunity.

Reed Hastings started Netflix because he one day had to pay the late fees after renting a movie from Blockbuster.

If you don’t like being among people, look online. Search Twitter for people complaining, or look at negative Amazon reviews. Or pay attention to your own complaints.

2. Inconvenience: Whenever something is inconvenient, there is room for improvement. Climbing stairs was inconvenient, so the elevator was born.

3. Simplification: anything difficult is annoying and deserves to be simplified. This is why the iPhone only has one button.

4. Wants: the whole entertainment, sports cars, luxury industry, and more are based on wants. Unnecessary things that people desire nonetheless.

5. Service gaps: Bad customer service is an opportunity for someone to come and do it better.

6. Geographical arbitrage: it is taking something that exists somewhere and do it where it does not exist. It is selling Belgian beer in America, for example. Didi is the Uber of China, and Xiaomi the Apple of China.

7. Crowdfeeding entry violations: It’s simplifying a business with high barriers of entry so that the crowd can do it too. Think Shopify to sell online, Wix to make websites, Uber to become a taxi driver, etc.

8. Value arbitrage: Value arbitrage is simply adding value. It is buying something that sucks, transforming it into something awesome, and selling it for a profit. Eg: house flipping, website design, companies, restaurants, cars….

9. Repurposing: It’s about taking a bunch of “worthless” materials and making them into something valuable.

10. Marketing arbitrage: it’s about taking an asset with great value and skyrocket the marketing to have more customers.

11. Overcapitalism: it’s when a company that used to care about its customers starts suddenly caring about its profits. These are opportunities because it means that a crowd that used to be served well, is about not to be so anymore.

12. Stakeholders demotion: It usually happens when companies get listed on the stock market. Suddenly, profits become the priority, and overcapitalism happens.

13. Improvement (removement): improving a product can also mean removing a feature from the product. If the food you sell has too much sugar, removing sugar will help you improve it.

14. The worst way to find an idea: Sometimes the best way to find an idea is to do what you least want to do: get a job. When you get a job, you acquire domain experience which enables you to solve needs in the niche.

If you don’t have time for domain experience, ask the people who have it.

This is how the founder of wpengine started his company. He mailed 40 WordPress experts for an interview about his service, got feedback, and launched his company.


Chapter 36: The Commandment of Time: Earn More Than Money, Earn Time

The Commandment of Time abolishes the link between time and income. It has two components: physicality, and detachment.

If you write a book and sell 1000 copies on Amazon every day, there is no physicality. Your book sells regardless of your presence.

If you have a waffle stand where you sell waffles, there is physicality. If you are not there, the waffles aren’t selling and you aren’t earning.

The second component, detachment, enables you not to care about your vehicle of wealth.

If you own a 24/7 restaurant, there is no physicality. Your employees are taking care of it. But if you manage the marketing of the restaurant online, there is no detachment.

The Commandment of Time dictates that a real CENTS business offers you both detachment and no physicality.

To honor the Commandment of Time, forget about it at the beginning.

Focus on a Legacy Value System instead.

Legacy Value System

A legacy value system is like a tree. You need to acquire the seeds and take care of it so it grows until you can harvest the fruits called passive income.

There are six legacy value systems.

Let’s have a look at them, from the most autonomous, to the least.

  1. Money systems: it’s the goal of the Unscripted lifestyle because it doesn’t get more passive than that. Basically, it’s a money tree that is printing cash whether you sleep, work, or party. Essentially, it’s a rental business. That business is producing dividends, interests, notes, option sales and partnerships income. The money system isn’t a way to get rich. It’s a way to STAY rich, that is, you need to have a LOT of money to earn through a money system, which explains its name.
  2. Digital products system: one of the most popular systems. They concern books, Youtube videos, website templates.
  3. Software/internet systems: SaaS, apps, video games, etc.
  4. Product systems: systems selling products. The product itself and its distribution system is the central execution challenge to building this type of company. Eg: food, books, clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, inventions, etc.
  5. Rental systems: renting out stuff: real estate, garage, cars, etc.
  6. Human resource systems: systems that require people to work. While a restaurant is a product business, it requires people to work. These systems demand multiple execution from multiple people, which makes them the hardest to execute. Eg: service business (web design, copywriting, consultancy), brick-and-mortar shops, etc.

Legacy Structures

Legacy structures are other systems that support your selling. They can be podcasts interviews, Youtube videos, Facebook accounts, etc.

The Cost of a Legacy Value System

The thing about creating these value systems is that it takes time.

So, think about the fact that disregarding which lane you are getting into, you’ll have to work anyway. Would you rather work building a system that leaves a legacy, or work and leave no trace of what you are doing?

It is better to work 10 hours a day seven days a week for 10 years (36 400 hours) than work 8 hours a day five days a week for 40 years (83 200 hours).

If you work at McDonald’s for fifty years, there is no trace of your work.

If you build a company for ten years, there is a legacy. That legacy is even making you money.

Why Sell a Golden Goose?

Why would you sell a company that is making you good money in a passive way?

There are three reasons:

  1. Will your company increase, or decrease in value? When it’s time to change technology or hire new people, or learn a new skill to keep your company afloat, you may just want to sell it instead of investing time in keeping something.
  2. Growing a company is different than managing one. If you don’t want to manage, it may be time to sell.
  3. You want to acquire a huge sum and make it your money system to have all of your time back.

Chapter 37: The Commandment of Scale

Scale demands that value provided be replicated through mass or magnitude.

You need four components to reach scale:

  1. Legacy value system: your company must become an LVS by respecting the four prior commandments.
  2. Replication: whatever you offer must be replicated easily. If you sell bread, you should strive to sell millions of pieces.
  3. Mass or magnitude: sell A LOT of goods/services with moderate impact, or sell good/services with STRONG impact. Eg: selling millions of pieces of bread VS selling six or seven multi-million dollars houses.
  4. Profitable impact: you must be profitable now, not ten years later. Furthermore, the market you are in should be profitable enough so that the ceiling is high enough for you to rack up millions.

The equation behind this Commandment is the expected value equation.

E(x) = SUM * P(x)

Eg: Let’s imagine you have the choice between business A and business B. Let’s see the odds for each of them.

Business ABusiness B
-$10 000 with a chance of 60%-$3000 with a chance of 30%
+$50 000 with a chance of 40%+$6000 with a chance of 70%

Business A:
E= -10 000*0.6= -6000 USD
E= 50 000*0.4= 20 000 USD

20 000-6000= 14 000 USD of expected value.

Business B:
E= -3000*0.3= -900 USD
E= 6000*0.7= 4200 USD

4200-900= 3300 USD of expected value.

Business A is the one you should go with.

In life, EV is the outcome of many small choices and actions that one makes to improve chances to win. It is learning online marketing instead of playing video games. Starting a side hustle during the weekend instead of going fishing. Learning how to code instead of learning how to throw darts at the bar.

Furthermore, if you hope to win big, you gotta play big. The plumber and the CEO of a SaaS company are both entrepreneurs on paper. One though isn’t making money that changes his life, while the second one is. And yet, both have to deal with the same problem: shitt* customers, marketing, accounting, etc.

The Three Scaling Systems

The truth is that anything can be scaled.

You can do so in three different fashions:

  1. A customer strategy: getting more customers for your product (more clients for a SaaS, more foot traffic for a shop, etc)
  2. A chain/franchise strategy: franchise your business, or transform it into a chain (good for brick-and-mortar businesses).
  3. A channel strategy: acquiring a channel that does the selling for you. If you sell your product online, you could seek out a way to sell it through a retail chain. Most inventions scale when boosted by a channel strategy.

$2740

This number is the daily profit one should earn to become a millionaire within one year.

It’s not huge. All you need is to sell 110 units a day of a product with $25 of profits.

But let’s not put the cart before the horses. Before you impact millions, you need to learn how to impact one person, then a dozen, then hundreds.

Scale is a process, not an event.


Chapter 38: Executing Excellence: You Can’t Predict the Unpredictable

Remember the TUNEF framework:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Beliefs and the 8 beliefs scams, Biases and Bullsh*ts
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

Execution is when an idea goes from idea to reality.

But what is it exactly? Many entrepreneurs execute, but they are not doing the right thing that is going to move the needle. They are action-faking.

Action-faking is printing business cards when you have zero customers. It is learning how to code without knowing what type of code you actually need for your idea. It can also be reading dozens of books until you “feel ready”.

The truth is that you will never know anything in advance until you just do it and see what you need to know.


Chapter 39: Kinetic Execution: Everything Significant Started Insignificantly

Harry Potter started with one word. Apple started with two guys in a garage. And Walmart started with one shop.

Kinetic execution is about doing things that matter and get you closer to your ultimate goal – not reading the tenth self-help book on how to think about how to think. It’s about seeing which problem you have and solving it, before going to the next problem, then the next, then the next.

Kinetic execution is made out of:

  1. The Marketmind
  2. The three A’s
  3. The 7 P’s of process

The Marketmind

The marketmind is your master telling what to do and where you should go. It’s what the market thinks of your product. You need to understand that markets cannot be controlled nor predicted. This is why business plans are bs. The only thing we can do really is to engage the market and go from there.

The marketmind is why companies everyone expected to succeed failed, and why companies everyone expected to fail succeeded.

Eg: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s reaction to the iPhone in 2007: “it will never work”.

Markets are not predictable.

As such, your first task is to engage it with your idea to see how the idea is received.

The 3 A’s: Act, Assess, Adjust

In construction, high buildings must be flexible to bend to the wind or they break. Stiff buildings don’t resist earthquakes.

It’s the same thing in business: you have to be flexible and ready to deliver the market what it needs, not what you want to deliver.

Kinetic execution is action before answers, hence the act, adjust, assess.

Action:

Action starts as we said with poking the market. This will trigger a reaction, or a lack thereof, which will likely tell you there is a problem to solve. Solve it, then move on to the next problem.

Assess:

Once you have taken action, it’s time to listen to the feedback of the market. You have two types of feedbacks:

  • Diffusion: when the market ignores or absorbs your message (eg: no one clicked on your FB ad)
  • Echo: when the market is giving you feedback. Whatever that is, it is your job to listen and assess.

Adjust:

The point of taking action and assessing is to be able to adjust. The key to adjusting well is recognizing pattern echoes which are regular and repeated feedback from the market.

If one client tells you your design sucks and nine other love it, then you’re good as you are.

If one client loves your design and nine others hate it, you probably should adjust.


Chapter 40: The Seven P’s of Process: Go From Idea to Productocracy

The seven P’s are plan, proof (soft), path, prototype, proof (hard), productocracy, propagate.

1. Plan

This step is merely assessing if your idea makes CENTS. Then, you need to make sure you have a market to buy.

2. Proof (soft)

Now you need to make sure your idea can actually work before spending thousands on something nobody wants. This step is also called “validation”.

You can validate in five different ways:

  1. Language patterns: we already talked about it. However, it’s not because you are coming up with a solution to a complaint that people will pay for it.
  2. Channel research: if a similar product you want to sell has a lot of reviews on Amazon, you can speculate it sells well and that there is demand.
  3. Search volume: log into Google keyword planner and see if people are looking for a service/product you want to sell.
  4. Interview the market: find a group on Facebook with your audience, place an ad, and see what it yields. Or do what was said above, where you call 40 professionals to see if they’d be interested in the solution you want to create.
  5. Market simulation: the idea is to create a landing page where you sell the product even if you don’t have it. You can whether collect email addresses of people that are interested in your product, or “sell” where the page broadcasts “sold out” once customers are trying to buy. Beware though that getting an email and getting money are two different things.
    The other idea is to build a dummy version of your product. That works well on Instagram where it is picture-based. Finally, you can also pay an influencer to talk about your product.

3. Path

Now that you know your idea has potential, we will design a path that will lead to your first sale.

Your path is basically identifying the main things that need to be done in order to have your operation running.

Let’s say you want to make and sell a board game. The path would look like this:

  1. Source board game manufacturer
    • Secure product samples, cost estimates
    • Negotiate pricing
    • Evaluate financials
  2. Create the boardgame
    • Graphic design, theming and branding
    • Card creation
    • Board creation
    • Humor testing
    • Prototyping
  3. Operation
    • Create the LLC
    • Get insurance
    • Get a bank account
  4. Website creation
    • Find a hosting company
    • Design hosting
    • Find a mailing list software
  5. Launch
    • Find influencer
    • Get press releases
    • Marketing plan

As you can see, launching a new board game only has five major action blogs, each being divided into smaller sub-tasks.

What matters most is to identify what is critical to do (like finding a manufacturer) and what isn’t (printing business cards).

You won’t be capable to do everything yourself. You will have to outsource some of it, and learn what you cannot do nor outsource.

4. Prototype

This is the part where you build the minimum viable product. If you build an app, that’s the beta version.

Basically, you should learn what you need to learn to build your product as you are building it. No need to learn Python if you are asked to learn Javascript.

Expect a lot of learning and trial and error to be going on.

Second, you should build a product the market will ask you to build. Nothing is better than to reverse-engineer the solution you envision.

The prototyping phase is the hardest phase of entrepreneurship. It is the moment when one spends months, if not years, creating a product. It is hard and suddenly, any other ideas seem more attractive than the one you are currently working on. This is called the shiny object syndrome. Don’t give in and stay with your idea.

Motivation can fade. Giving up seems like the right thing to do. This is normal.

Only those that persevere will win.

5. Proof (hard)

Once your prototype is ready, you can launch it in the market and see. What you are looking for is hard-proof, and hard-proof is a sale. When you get it, your entire life changes…. Good bye 9-5, you will be providing value by yourself.

The customer life cycle starts now until Propagation.

This cycle is when strangers are turned from being oblivious to loving your product.

It has 7 steps:

  1. Awareness: exposing your product to your target customer
  2. Evaluation: providing the customer with enough information to make a decision
  3. Onboarding: when strangers become prospects (through following an IG account, signing up to a mailing list, etc)
  4. Purchase: when the prospect buys your product and become a customer
  5. Use: monitor how your customers use your products: eg: they buy more/less, ask for new options, etc.
  6. Engagement: building relationships with your customer (discounts, special offers, new products, asking for feedback)
  7. Discipleship: Your customers become loyal ambassadors for your brand, bringing you more customers.

Every time you push your product into the market, you are going to get one of these three reactions:

  1. An echo: it can be a question, a comment, a tweet. Any reaction that isn’t sales.
  2. Diffusion: if nothing happens, don’t panic. Make sure you didn’t make a mistake somewhere. Check your channel. Are you advertising to the right audience? Then check your reach. Maybe you simply didn’t reach enough people. Finally, check your message. Most likely than not, your copy sucks, your photos too, and your website is lame.
  3. A conversion: congratulations, you have gone further than most people dream of. It’s time to get back to the act, adjust, assess mode and see how expensive it was to acquire a customer, how you can improve your product, acquire more clients, etc.

6. Productocracy

So you made a sale. Great.

But does your customer love your product? Plenty of people sell, only to be asked for refunds later on.

If your product has sold because of effective marketing and not because of delivering value, then you will not reach a productocracy.

You reach a productocracy when one-time buyers are converted into life-long customers and tell all their friends about what you sell.

If your customers are unhappy, it is your job to keep on changing/improving the product until they are satisfied.

The three signs of a productocracy are:

  • Reorders or renewal
  • Private emails with positive feedback
  • Public reviews or praise from strangers

7. Propagation

The final stage, and the one where the money starts pouring in.

Propagation is simply exposing your product/service to more and more people.

Attention, only productocracies reach this level. If your product does not satisfy, it will not propagate – simply because you need word of mouth for it to propagate.

Propagation is accomplished by reach expansion, channel expansion, or network expansion.

  1. Reach expansion: it is simply putting your product in front of more eyes through ads, blogging, etc. If your product is a real productocracy, don’t hesitate to give a free sample. People getting your product for free will tell their friends who will buy it.
  2. Channel expansion: if you are selling your product on Amazon, you should start selling it on eBay, Rakuten, on your own website, and maybe even opening a brick-and-mortar shop.
  3. Expansion of network: can be partnering, networking, or getting influenceable people to recommend your product.

Chapter 41: Make Execution Better: 13 Best Practices

#1: Expect Difficulty and Deviation

Difficulty is self-explanatory. You don’t make millions solving easy problems.

Deviation is the idea that by listening to the market and adjusting, you’ll probably end up with something completely different than what you had thought of at the beginning.

That’s ok. What matters is to have a viable CENTS business. Nothing else.

#2: Be Monogamous

Developing a productocracy takes time, commitment, and focus. You are neither Elon Musk nor Richard Branson. Focus on one thing first. Once you make millions, then maybe you can start exploring other options.

#3: Balance Is Bullsh*t

Extraordinary results demand extraordinary actions. You won’t get there by “having a healthy work/life balance”. It’s all in, or all out.

#4: Environment Is Everything

If your environment depresses you and disgusts you, move. Find that city, country, group, cafe where you can give your best and that inspires you to struggle.

If your friends have bad influences, ditch them.

#5: Gatekeepers Are Dying – Don’t Ask for Permission

Youtube, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and more empower you to do anything you want where there used to be gatekeepers.

If you fail at the X-factor audition, practice and publish your music on Youtube.

The market is the ultimate judge.

#6: Build a Brand Likened to a Personality

A brand is more than just a logo. It is how the business acts, its values, the way it cares about customers.

The strongest brands play a role in the identity of their customers: Apple, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Lamborghini…

#7: Consistency Builds Brands

A brand is earned. It is by showing (and actually doing it) that you care about your customers that they will grow your brand.

#8: Sell or Be Sold

Sales is the most important skill you could develop. Think about the number of people you are going to have to sell to: colleagues, partners, banks, investors, your spouse, your kids, your employees. As such, learning how to sell is a must.

Here are some strategies to help you out:

  • Tell a story, your story, of why you are in business. People prefer dealing with people than with faceless corporations.
  • Humanize your corporation: post photos of yourself or of people working for you, engage on social media, etc.
  • Appeal to self-interest, meaning and purpose: the quicker the customers learn what’s in it for them, the quicker the sale, which is why you are not selling features – you are selling benefits!
  • Build a community.
  • Prioritize social proof: the best selling method is word-of-mouth, hence the need to get testimonials on one’s homepage.

#9: Shelve Your Personal Biases

It’s not because you hate Facebook ads that Facebook ads don’t actually work. Your perception is not reality. Business is complicated enough for you not to try to be right over being rich.

#10: To Hell With SEO

If the only way you survive is thanks to SEO, you don’t have a business. People shouldn’t buy from you because you are first ranked in Google. They should buy from you because they love you!

Also, the truth about SEO is that it works when people go to your website organically, meaning when your website is providing something they value. So focus on value, not on SEO.

#11: Avoid Fads. Choose Trends.

Fidget spinners are fads.

Blockchain is a trend.

#12: Avoid Politics in Your Business

#13: Not Everyone Loves Coffee

You will be criticized no matter what you do.


Chapter 42: The Four Unscripted Disciplines: Design, Then Ensure Your Future

Remember the TUNEF framework:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 Bs: Beliefs and the 8 beliefs scams, Biases and Bullsh*ts
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four Disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

We arrive now at the last part: the four D’s.

While making money is difficult, keeping it is harder.

The 4 D’s and the discipline to respect them complete your unscription process.


Chapter 43: Comparative Immunity: Well-Dressed Slaves Are Still Slaves

Screw the Joneses

Comparison is the path of perpetual misery.

So don’t compare yourself, as you will always find someone who is richer, better looking, etc.

Instead, be grateful for what you have.


Chapter 44: Purposed Saving: Prepping For a Lifetime of Passive Income

Your three objectives of purposed savings are lifetime passive income, early retirement to pursue your dream, and tax relief.

Lifetime Passive Income

As we said, the best way to reach passive income is through the money system. Four or five million at a 2% interest rate is between $6500 and $8300 per month passively. Enough to live anywhere you want.

In order to structure this system, you need to have money and in order to have money, you need to earn it – and not spend it.

Early Retirement and Dream Pursuit

When money isn’t a problem, you can do whatever you want without time or financial constraint.

Tax Relief

You are going to have to pay taxes – a lot. Save for that.

Financial reconstruction: Purposed Saving

Financial reconstruction enables you to develop good financial habits. It consists of five retooling phases: reframe, reform, reduce, reallocate and remind, reward.

1. Reframe

Change the name “money” for value-voucher as we said earlier. Understand that one euro earned now is a euro that will create a lifetime of interest. Every euro saved is a freedom fighter.

2. Reform

Cancel every subscription that is sucking money out of you.

3. Reduce

Pay off debt.

4. Reallocate

Get some money into your money system every month.

5. Reward

Reward is when you treat yourself for having flexed your muscle and not spent a dime.


Chapter 45: Measured Elevation: Reward and Enjoy the Ride

The truth about money is that most people are broke – even those making six figures a year. And that’s because everything is spent.

As such, what you need to do is knowing how much you can spend maximum per month and not go over.

If before buying something, you are thinking about whether you can afford it – sorry, but you can’t.

Reward yourself, fine. Made $15k on a deal? Buy yourself a $1k phone. Made $10 million? Get a Lamborghini.

But no need to rent the most expensive suite in Vegas.


Chapter 46: Consequential-Thought: Protecting Your Life

While it needs a process to build events, one event can kill a whole process.

Consequential-thought is the foresight into the consequences of our actions and knowing that our choices are unfairly weighted toward the bad ones.

The truth about life is that it is not equally “consequenced”. You can take 10 years to build your dream house and accidentally burn it because you didn’t pull out the cigar.

One bad action can invalidate thousands of good ones. The other way around is not the case.

Eg: it takes one shot to be a heroin addict.

The same thing goes for everything else in your life. Negative relationships or situations will eventually attract an event that will destroy everything you have carefully built.

This is why you need to think about the consequences of your actions before you act – why you need to become a consequential thinker.

You always have a choice, because you are the one that decides how you react to events.

In fact, where you are right now is where you have chosen to be. It may hurt, but it is the truth. Choice is our most powerful weapon.


Part 5: A New Dawn: Never Work Again

Chapter 47: Welcome to F*ck You

Once you have united the five components of the Fastlane – namely belief, meaning and purpose, a CENTS business, execution, and discipline – you reach the “f*ck you” level where you can just do whatever the f*ck you want.

Fail to add one of the components and you will fail. All five are required.

Now, there are five types of people that will fail, each missing one component.

  1. The competent self-destructor missing belief: your ideas are always dismissed, or you think you need to be greedy and scammy to make it work.
  2. The wanderer missing meaning: you get discouraged and struggle to find out why you’re doing all this, and don’t do it as a result.
  3. The “pay the bills” entrepreneur missing a CENTS business: your business pays the bills but won’t buy you freedom.
  4. The idea entrepreneur missing execution: these people are committed to the idea of wealth, but not to the one of execution.
  5. The gambling rockstar fallen from grace missing discipline: you can’t save the money you’re earning.

Which one are you likely to be?


Chapter 48: Your Last Business Ever (If You Want to)

The Unscripted Money System

It’s made of three pots:

1. The “f*ck you” pot

This pot is for the money you can afford to lose, namely:

  • stock investment
  • angel investing
  • poker
  • anything else

2. The home pot

This pot is optional and serves to pay for your dream house, which will be the biggest expense in your life. The author recommends not to have a mortgage but understands that one could still get one if it makes sense financially to have the paycheck pot paying for it.

3. The paycheck pot

It’s the money system, the most important pot as it’s the one giving you money without you having to do anything.

The purpose of the paycheck pot is not to grow it, but to rent it out so you get a regular income.

Once 5% on the paycheck pot covers your lifestyle, technically the rest is f*ck you money. You can invest your paycheck pot into anything that gives you a stable and predictable return. These are:

  1. Stock Dividends: it’s companies paying off dividends. They are not obliged to, and the dividend they pay varies according to the economy and cashflow.
  2. REIT Dividends: these are dividends from corporations that manage real estate and perceive rent. It’s like being a landlord without the pain of having a tenant.
  3. ETF: Equity-traded-fun: it’s a fund that buys a bunch of stocks and evolves with their performances.
  4. MLP Partnership Income: similar to dividend stocks.
  5. Bond Interest: payment from loans you make to companies, countries, or cities.
  6. Loan Interest: similar to bonds
  7. Managed Income: payment from a pool of financial instruments that can be a mix of all of the above.

Before you proceed, you should observe the seven rules that ensure your capital remains safe.

Rule #1: The rent rule

Every time you cede your money to get some dividend, demand rent, not hope. You absolutely cannot afford to lose your capital, or to maybe eventually receive these 3% you signed for. Whatever you’re receiving must be a sure deal.

Rule #2: The snap rule

The world economy is not stable. As such, whatever you invest your money in should remain highly liquid and sellable at the snap of your fingers.

If you see a financial storm arriving, you should be able to sell your assets in the hour that follows.

Eg: REITS, bonds, ETFs… can be gotten rid of instantly. Real estate cannot (selling a house takes time).

Rule #3: The apocalypse rule

The biggest and only threat to your paycheck pot should be a global financial apocalypse and nothing else.

Meaning: your investment should be kept in banks “too big to fail” where, if they did fail, such failure would unleash worldwide financial apocalypse.

Big banks often means “big scrutiny” and “minimum transparency”. Indeed, financial scams often come from tiny banks that can trick the regulators by operating in the shadow.

Big banks cannot afford to scam their customers.

Rule #4: The three months in three years rule

This rule states that if, over a period of three months or less, any asset appreciates and enables you to cash in gains that represent three years of dividend, sell to take the gains, and buy back once it crashes (and you still trust the investment).

Eg: If you buy a stock for $100 USD that has a 5% yearly dividend and the stock appreciates to $116 USD in less than three months, you should sell and take the profit.

Money now is always better than money later.

Rule #5: The Admiral Ackbar rule

If you see stocks with 18% dividends, it’s probably a trap. This rule states that things too good to be true are scams or traps.

Rule #6: The 1% rule

Avoid any fund with a management fee greater than 1%.

Rule #7: The ostrich rule

The rule states that you should not invest in businesses that have no future or are built out of fads (RadioShak, Kodak, Crocs).


Chapter 49: Unscripted

Congratulations.

You are now Unscripted.

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