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I’ve met thousands of successful entrepreneurs in my life. People flying around on private jets. People with vacation homes in the most expensive zip codes in America and overseas. People who play golf, spend time with friends and family, and generally do whatever they want whenever they want.
These people are not famous. They do not spend time giving interviews to major publications. They do not post on social media. They do not write books to influence the next generation of entrepreneurs.
You know what is surprising about these people?
None of them had a new idea. None of them tried to change the world.
They didn’t raise venture capital. They didn’t found a viral app. They’ve never even been to Silicon Valley and can’t point to it on a map. They didn’t read the new Elon Musk biography about Tesla and SpaceX and they don’t talk to their buddies about their most recent venture capital investment.
What did they do to get rich?
They found a simple opportunity and seized it. They did common things uncommonly well. They looked at the market unemotionally and figured out how to add value. They carved out a little piece of a large pie for themselves, they didn’t try to bake a pie from scratch.
One of them rolled up car dealerships. Another started a chain of body shops. A third bought a few FedEx delivery routes and it turned into an empire. Yet another started an HVAC company 20 years ago and does $20 million + in revenue today. A friend of mine buys industrial buildings that were built by somebody else.
Most of them never spent a night in their office on a cot. Less than half of them averaged more than 40 hours a week beyond the first few years. None of them started the first or the only company in their category or even their town.
It turns out you don’t need a new idea to become an entrepreneur. You don’t need to raise capital to start a business. You don’t need to attend Harvard or Stanford with a computer science degree. It isn’t about finding a totally new service or product that people didn’t know they needed. It isn’t about revolutionizing a product or service to totally change the customer experience.
I would go as far to say with complete confidence that this mindset is sabotaging today’s entrepreneurs and setting our next generation of business leaders up for failure.
Raising money and getting after a new-idea is a horrific way to maximize your odds of success. 99 out of 100 fail. Most founders get discouraged by the entire process, think it is impossible to win as a business owner, and end up going to get jobs.
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Want to hear the most surprising thing?
Most of these highly successful entrepreneurs and business owners I know today are totally normal people. They aren’t brilliant. They don’t have exceptional IQs. They did not score a 1530 on their SAT or go to a top 10 university. Many didn’t even get a high school diploma.
What did they do well?
They were consistent. They delayed gratification. They put their ego aside and did things they didn’t necessarily find interesting, fun or exciting. They did something boring. They hired people and delegated. They were salespeople who sold themselves and their ideas to customers, partners, vendors and employees.
But this violates the narrative.
The image of sexy, new idea entrepreneurship and the living legends who start companies and bend the world at their own will to change the way people live.
Stop buying into the hype. The sexy startup stories. The against-all-odds stories of success. That isn’t how business works in the real world and that isn’t how the rich people in your town got rich.
A few more thoughts:
What does winning look like for you?
For me it’s a wife who is happy, children who want to be around me, friends who make me better, a fit body and a healthy business.
In that order.
I’ve hired over 500 people in my life. Not once have I asked to see proof of a college degree.
We got our first customer at RE Cost Seg in July of last year. We just passed $2 million in total revenue since January 1 of this year. Over 1,000 studies completed so far in 2023.
Everything from a $90k duplex in North Dakota to a $150 million industrial portfolio in Florida. Twitter + my email list is our only marketing avenue.
I think this will be a $25+ million annual revenue business in 5 years.
Thankful for this place and thankful for all of you!
Working hard isn’t going to get you ahead.
A lot of people work hard for 70 hours a week until they die. Why do we glorify that?
Making good decisions and working SMART is much more likely to make you successful.
How to get rich without getting lucky: Find a way to make $100 an hour doing something simple IN YOUR TOWN.
Do it until you have $10k+ in the bank and you’re too busy to sell new customers.
Hire employee for $25 / hr to do what you do so you can sell new customers.
The real estate market is getting interesting and I'll be raising money from accredited investors for a pest control acquisition soon. Get more info by getting on my list here.