FFLTV: Questioning Your Life Path & Why I Disagree With Peter Diamandis

Today we’re going to talk about why I disagree with Peter Diamandis. We’ll talk about launching multiple products at one time. We’ll look at how you determine your life path, and we’ll look at a men’s fitness company.

This past December 500 entrepreneurs and capitalists joined me in Austin, Texas for Freedom Fast Lane Live. We had a great time. It exceeded my expectations and I think everybody’s expectations, and it was keynoted by Peter Diamandis, who I love. I recommend you read all his stuff. He’s a phenomenal human being. I liked him even more after meeting him in person, but there was one particular topic on which we very much disagree.

Peter made the argument that it’s not a matter of if we will have a universal basic income. It’s a matter of when we will have a universal basic income. I say that that’s a bad idea. Now, I did a video for this on capitalism.com, and it went semi-viral. It had tens of thousands of views within a 24-hour period on the Capitalism.com Facebook page.

Now, I’m going to clarify something, and I also want to respond more to the point that Peter made because I wanted to respect our time on stage, and I didn’t really feel like we could go down a political rabbit hole there. But there’s basically two reasons why I think the universal basic income is a bad idea.

The first is that it’s completely unnecessary. When you’ve got abundance, especially the type of abundance that Peter Diamandis believes we will have in the next 30 years, which I hope happens. I hope he is right, but when you have that type of abundance, what happens is that you have downward pressure on prices of everything, so you don’t need to just give out money when prices are plummeting.

If things are easy to get, they’re cheap to get, then you don’t need to worry about dolling out cash because basic provision of value, somebody just putting a little bit into the economy and getting any sort of an income will cover most of their needs.

Look, we’ve seen this, history proves this. History shows that cost of living plummets, and the expectation of the standard of living goes up over time. We can look at history and see the cost of living plummeting and the real standard of living going way up even compared to just 50 or 100 years ago. That will continue, especially if we have the type of abundance that Peter believes will happen, so we won’t need more government stimulus.

We will need less government stimulus, so the idea of a universal basic income is essentially unnecessary.

Now, we could stop the conversation there, but there’s one more point that I think is flawed in the argument for a UBI, and that is that people argue that if you give people their basic needs through a stipend, through cash from the government, that they’ll suddenly become more creative and more entrepreneurial.

The opposite is true, and here’s why.

I believe that Robert Herjavec was right when he spoke on our stage a year plus ago when he said that, “Most of the entrepreneurs I know started a business because they were running from pain. They wanted a different type of life. They were running away from something.”

If we remove that incentive, what incentive is there to be creative?

Look, necessity is the reason why people become creative. Having your basic needs met won’t make them more creative.

It will remove the pain that causes the creativity in the first place. How many entrepreneurs do you know that are like, “I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and was really rich. That’s why I’m successful?” Versus how many people do you know who said, “I started with nothing, and I grinded and I hustled until I was successful?”

I know about 50 of those to every one person who’s like, “Yeah, I was born successful, and I stayed successful.” I know a lot of people who were born into money that did not become entrepreneurs because they did not have any desire or any need to create something new, but I know a lot of people who started with nothing, who were dirt poor and created something amazing because of that, and if we remove that incentive, we kill entrepreneurship, we kill creativity, and that’s why a universal basic income is a stupid, ridiculous idea.

Q: “Do you ever question your life path?”

A: Since I am a successful entrepreneur, I only question my life path about once or twice a day, so I think I have the benefit of questioning it less than most people. Look, yes, of course, all the time I question if I’m on the right path because it’s really easy to look at social media, to look at other people who are successful and say, “Ah, I should have done that. I should have done this.”

Tim Ferriss actually has a great point about this in The 4-Hour Workweek, where he talks about when you come back from either a vacation or a mini-retirement, you look at somebody who just got some certification or a six-figure job, it’s really easy to measure success based on someone else’s standards. It’s really, really easy to do that.

It’s so easy to be comparing ourselves to other people. I do it. I do it all the time. I question my path almost on a daily basis.

If you were to see my journal, it is just filled with me analyzing what’s going on, what’s working, what’s not working, if I should change, if I should shut down Freedom Fast Lane, if I should shut down my other businesses, if I should just buy a nice house, sell my businesses, sell my investments, and just live a nice, cushy lifestyle. Of course, I think about it all the time.

Now, this is the fundamental flaw: believing that there is an ideal life path. That is where the fundamental flaw is. There is no perfection. There is no ideal place for you. There is no God’s plan for you. There is no what the universe has for me. It is what you create. It’s what you decide. You are constantly creating your life path. It is not predetermined for you, so the only way that we can measure that is through progress, not perfection.

So I look at what is the next best step for me rather than saying, “What is going to create the perfect picture?” and I fall into it. I want the perfect relationship and the perfect business and the perfect child and the things that are going to make everything cozy and perfect. We all fall into that, but the reality is there is no end point, there is no perfect path. There is only progress.

So, if you have an idea of where you want to go, it’s easy to compare ourselves to that picture, to compare yourself to what I view in the world as what is ideal, and that’s when you end up really depressed and questioning everything you’ve ever decided. And then there is comparing yourself to where you came from.

We were at our Christmas party a couple weeks ago. We were sitting around with some of my team members, and we were talking about where we were a year ago, and it blew my mind all that had happened in the last year. I had forgotten that certain initiatives we started had only begun in the last year, and that same day I had been questioning my life path, feeling like I wasn’t making any progress. We only see the immediate problems in our lives.

We so rarely look at the progress we have made, and the longer timeframe that you can analyze your progress and the longer timeframe you can commit to something, the more successful you will be and the happier you will be because you have a more accurate picture of the progress that is actually happening in your life rather than comparing yourself to the supposed immediate and overnight wins that you see on the media and in social media, so it’s progress, not perfection.

Q: “Do you focus on one product at a time, “or can you promote many at the same time?”

A: Theoretically, you could launch multiple products at the same time. I have seen people do it, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Even in my businesses that are established, that have 15 products and a list of 25,000 people, people who have bought things from us in the past, even businesses that I advise that have hundreds of thousands of customers, I vary rarely recommend that they launch more than one product at the same time because I’m yet to see an example of someone doing it well.

It takes a good 30 to 90 days to get a product into enough awareness to where you have repeat customers and you have your existing customers coming back and buying the product that you launch. So doing two at the same time is like trying to start two businesses at the same time.

I recommend that you should do as few things as possible in your business, and you will actually have success faster by focusing on doing a few things well rather than a lot of things really, really poorly. This is 100 percent true on product launches.

I have seen a lot of successful businesses have one product do amazingly well because they had all of their focus on that one product, and I have seen a lot of businesses then crumble because they said, “Great, we’ve got one successful product. Let’s launch five at the same time.” And now they have one winner and five losers because they didn’t have the same focus that they had on that one product on the subsequent products that they launch.

The benefit of doing one at a time is you can align all of your marketing budget, all of your repeat buyers, all of your customer list on that one product, which allows you to launch faster, it allows you to be more aggressive in your ad spend, it allows you to rank for better keywords, and it doesn’t distract you on we gotta do this one and then this one and this one. So my recommendation is almost always go one at a time rather than trying to do a bunch of things at once. You’ll grow much faster that way.

I believe that the fastest way to financial freedom is to build a business and invest the profits, and this is the part of the show where we look at one of our student’s businesses and look at what they could do better, where they’re making money right now, and what their biggest opportunities are.

Q: Hey, what’s going? Nate Kennedy, member of the tribe here. Little bit about myself. I have been in the Internet marketing space for over a decade building online offers and buying media and optimizing offers. So reason I joined the tribe, so I got quite a bit of experience in offer-building and creation but not a whole lot in brand-building, so I joined the tribe to help me with a brand that I want to build.

So the brand is called militaryfit.com. It’s militaryfit.com. Bought the domain about eight months ago. Been struggling to really dial in exactly what this is and how we’re going to help, and I know exactly what I want to do with it but struggling with regards to the direction to take it to reach that goal. So we got a major epidemic in America that I see and is frustrating, and I want to help cure it, and that epidemic is the pussification of American men that is going on right now and just demasculinating so many men.

I want to create Military Fit as a brand, as a business to help with that and to help cure that problem, which I actually think is a big challenge, and we’re going to do that with two ways. I know with fitness, which is a big part of what I do, and mental, so we got to help with both of sides to help cure that epidemic, and so that’s what I’m looking for some feedback on. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much.

A: Hey, Nate. First of all, great beard. Even better poster in the background. Looks kinda familiar.

Hey, so I love the idea that you’re sitting on. I think you’ve got a great name of Military Fit, and I so resonate and align with the mission and the message that you are trying to spread in the world. I have kicked around businesses on this exact same idea. I actually own the domain name goodmenproject.com and millionmanmission.com, and eventually I’ll do something there, so call me when you want a joint venture about that one.

I think you’re also very timely. I think you’re right that this is a problem in the world and a gap in the marketplace, and there’s a demand for this. And we see really an uptick in attention on men doing manly things because we have been kind of, there’s been like a push for the emasculated man for the last 30 some years, and so there’s obviously going to be a counter trend, so I think your timing is perfect on this. I love your idea of where this is going to go.

The question is going to be what products do you sell, right? What is that type of a person going to buy? We can address that second. The primary thing that I would recommend you focus on is how are we targeting the person who’s going to show up for that. This would be my recommendation. You have experience running media, building communities, driving traffic, so it would be my recommendation that you aggregate that into one place.

The easy place is going to be a Facebook community, or it’s going to be a blog if you want to go that route, and that way you can get guest contributors. You could go the podcast or YouTube route, but seeing as how you don’t have a lot of momentum on this project yet, I would recommend you shelve all of that for later. To start like that, I know you’ve been sitting on the domain for a few months now, wondering what my best course of action is.

My recommendation would be to make a Facebook community or a blog and start putting other people’s content with your own commentary in there and start driving ads to build up the eyeballs to that community. Once you get about 1,000 people sharing your posts, liking your posts, or in a Facebook group and they’re interacting with one another, then we can look at, okay, what can we do to complicate this process.

So what it might look like is for you to make one video or one ad, drive that traffic to a community, a Facebook page or a blog, for you to put your content and other people’s content in there. When I was doing this in the yoga space when we launched Zen Active Sports, we used other people’s content, and we put it on our Facebook page. It drove some ads to it, and since it was other people’s content, we didn’t have to do anything to make it, and people still associated that content with us, so they liked our page and came back and bought our products. You can do the exact same thing.

I mean, can you imagine just having your own commentary about that scene from Braveheart where Mel Gibson yells, “Freedom,” and every man beats his chest and is all pumped up about life and you talk, have commentary about how we’ve lost this sense of masculinity?

You make a blog post about this, put it in the Facebook group, and you have people talking about it. Now we’ve got some popcorn popping. We’ve got some firepower we can work with. When you’ve got about 1,000 people talking about the content you’re putting in there or the content that other people are putting in there, you’ve got people resonating with this mission. They want to produce content, they want to be a part of what you’re talking about.

Now it might make sense for you to do a YouTube channel or probably a podcast for something like this, and since you have the audience, you could quickly rank that, and now you’ve got an audience of people who are rallying behind this idea. It’s then we can look at are we selling kettle bells, are we selling workout equipment, are we selling supplements, are we selling info products, are we selling workshops or retreats, are we selling relationship training. Then we can ask that question.

I’m a physical products guy. I’m also an information products guy. I like the model of having a high-end experience along with physical products that that community can consume. That’s what hits me in the face with the idea that you’re talking about.

If it’s militaryfit.com, it might be a bootcamp hosted by a former Navy SEAL who’s going to make you exhausted in three days and turn you into a bod adonis. Is that the right term? A physical specimen of a man in three days. Plus you’ve got physical products that you can sell to all the people who don’t come to your workshops. I think that is the opportunity that’s sitting in front of you.

I think you’ve got a huge upside to this if it’s a focus that you want to put your attention on, and I think it just comes down to you having the audience and effectively launching products to that audience.

I believe that all of the world’s problems, whether it is income inequality, whether it is poverty, whether it is men not being men and not leading their families, I believe that all of these problems can be solved through the profit motive, through being an entrepreneur, through capitalism, not through government, not through waiting for somebody else, not for voting for the right guy or girl but by you doing something about it, by you being the change that you want to see in the world, by you actually profitably creating a solution to the problems that you see. That is why this conversation matters.

That’s why we need more entrepreneurship and capitalism. That’s why you are the greatest shot that we have of change in this world. Thanks for watching the show. We’ll see you on the next episode.

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