The Way The Gurus Do It

Sooner or later, you get to the question of what the top-level badasses in a given industry do and how it's not really what they teach at all.

The accusation is true... they aren't doing what they teach... but the missing piece is that you can't do what they do. Among other things, they've built a business in which their own personal badassery is just one part of the puzzle, and they can't do it all. They throw money at their problems, because they can. They don't work like a small one-man shop anymore because they're not a small one-man shop, and they can't run their business like a small one-man shop, so when they train you to build up your small one-man shop... duh, that's not what they do anymore.

It's kind of ridiculous, but when people go up to some established badass and say "I want to do what you do," the badass naturally assumes they want to know how to get from where they are to where the badass is, and tries to help with that. Except more frequently, what they really want to know is "how do I jump the queue and just be what you are right now?" and the answer is somewhere between "spend huge amounts of money" and "you can't." Which, for some reason, tends to make people angry.

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Business Rules

A lot of people will tell you the one golden rule of business. Some people say it's "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Some are less gracious, and say "do unto others as they have done unto you." Some are downright cynical, and say "do unto others before they do unto you." Sometimes we focus on exactly what to do; in Judaism, we turn the first one around, and say "that which is hurtful to you, do not do to your neighbour." My grandfather told me "never do anything you don't understand."

But the one I've found most useful is Don Lapre's "never do anything yourself that someone else will do for $5 an hour." This is also the core idea Tim Ferris hit on in The Four-Hour Work Week. Imagine my surprise when I discovered how the "scammer" Don Lapre taught me the same thing in one sentence ten years earlier.

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Sit, Ubu, Sit

There are two inherent qualities of the dog brain you can leverage to push your business efforts forward. First, that it fundamentally wants to be told what to do; and second, that it fundamentally wants to tell others what to do. And the easiest way to do this - the one most of us naturally do just out of the gate - is to tell people "do what I did."

See, here you are following along in this "how to become a badass" process, and along the way you have already started a blog and put together a mailing list. And no matter how much or how little you have done, you have done something which you can now write down and say "here is what I did." Your experience can help others duplicate your results, or improve their own, or whatever.

And people will pay for that.

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