I used to think profit followed pain. That the only way to make big money was to suffer greatly.
Then I made my first million, looked back, and decided the opposite was true. I saw that the projects I worked hardest at I made the least from. And vice versa.
In fact, I’d spent thousands of hours pursuing businesses that made little or no money. Or in many cases, lost money. And yet, of that first $1,000,000 in profit? Kid you not, the bulk of it came from one ad that I spent maybe six hours on.
So you can see how I over-corrected and thought, “Golly gee, the secret to making millions is to stop working so damn hard.”
Fast forward a few years and millions more in profit. And here’s what I’ll tell you: both formulas are wrong. Or at least, far from ideal.
The sweet spot, I’ve found, is somewhere in between. Actually, a careful combination of the two.
You wanna make business as easy as possible. Strip away every thought, every action, every expense that’s not increasing revenue quickly and significantly; and double down on the one or two or three things that are.
Now you’ve got fewer to-dos and more free time than you’ve had in years. And business is booming, right?
But you shouldn’t stop there, like I did, after reflecting on my first million.
Where I told myself, “Don’t look for sh*t to do. You know none of it matters. Just let your ads runs and read books all day like Warren Buffett does.”
See, after about a year of that, I realized:
- Yes, I’m getting smarter.
- And that’s good and all.
- And “less but better’s” working.
- My income keeps going up.
- And, don’t get me wrong…
- I’m not trying to waste time and money…
- By looking for minors to major in.
- But I’m honestly bored.
- And feeling a little lazy.
- And isn’t my work ethic what got me here?
- Shouldn’t I use it to my advantage?
- I mean, any idiot could model my simple business.
- Couldn’t they?
- So how do I get (farther) ahead?
- And stay there?
- Without spinning my wheels?
- Like I did in the early days?
And the answer, of course, was to find ways to work harder at the easy tasks that mattered most.
Which is a really long-winded way of saying: work smarter and harder. Not just one or the other.
And that’s super embarrassing to admit.
But that’s the thing about clichés, isn’t it?
You don’t appreciate ’em ’til you live ’em.
Then you’re all: “Damn, did I really just spend two years figuring out the hard way what I’d already heard 793 times before I even started?”
In this case, yep. Sure did.
My hope is that you won’t. That somehow, this story finds you and hits home and gets your approach right… from the get-go.
So, one last time: make the work as easy as possible. Find out how little you can get away with doing. You’d be surprised.
It’s probably a handful of things, max. If you’ve got an internet business, like me? Three, tops.
Then do as much of that as you can. As good as you can. As consistently as you can. Such that, competitors would rather eat their own eyeballs than try to keep up.
That’s what I’ve found best for making multiple millions per year, year after year, anyways.