Insight Gaining Rapid Fire Q&A's

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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There's a tendency for all of us to answer questions in the way we think we should, wish we could, etc.

You can typically cut through all of that B.S. and get down to the real by spitting out the first answer that pops in your mind. You should already be speaking (or in this case typing) before you've had a moment to form a thought. You don't want thoughts because that's what gets in the way of the pure and fundamental truth you're holding.

I think it'd be interesting for all of us to think up some questions where the answers may lead to us learning something new about ourselves, reiterating what we know is we want or think but keep avoiding, etc.

Here are some starters for anyone who'd like to participate:

  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?

I intend to answer these without little forethought soon and then come back and read my answers and ask myself "Why these answers, what meanings do they hold? Do they contain secret feelings and desires hidden from my conscious mind?" And most importantly, can a constant focus on these meanings fundamentally change my thinking to propel me closer to my goals? What will I reveal to myself?
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
    • Freedom. Not just in time, but all things. Free to go where I want, when I want, how I want. Do what I want whenever, order what I want, etc. Eat whatever I want when I want.... All things FREEDOM for any choice in your life.
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
    • Value based products that no one else has executed on. First to market. Multiples of them.
    • Moving out of the USA
    • Freeing up time... to make money, having money make the money and not time to make money.
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
    • Sylvester Stallone
    • Arnold Swartzenagger
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
    • I'd travel to very warm coastal areas and live off barely nothing on purpose. Spend my days fishing mostly and then the rest of the time helping the local people in some way such as digging wells or putting up buildings/houses for the needy. Shuffling to the next warm coastal area and doing the same. Soaking in their culture while I do it.
  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
    • On BuSo, I don't spend enough time reading to know. About the only person I spend any time on BuSo with is CCarter and he is pretty amazing at shit he gets done/does. If it hadn't been for a Skype group and a very alpha version of SERPWoo in my hands before I met her, I wouldn't even be able to say that since I don't read forums much.
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
    • Because of age and responsibilities, safety. I get several wild streaks though. I'd still get the itch to put it all on black sometimes. Before kids and getting older though, I was really risky.
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
    • Go head and switch the style up and if they hate, let 'em hate and watch the money pile up.
    • In all serious, I've never really received any that I didn't somewhat know from trial and error before. I didn't read books back then and I didn't have mentors. Forums weren't on my radar either back in 2000. I did hear this though early in life... Do the Things Nobody Else Will Do
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
    • Get a degree ( MBA ) and hire people with degrees.
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
    • Keep doing the stuff YOU like to do, even in business and don't conform to others and get off the stuff YOU like to do. At some point life gets difficult for all of us and you might get trapped doing stuff you don't like to do. When this happens, you will pray to just do 1 of the things YOU like to do.
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
    • That I ( meaning you reading this ) are a lot fucking smarter than you give yourself credit. You should have done it your way and stuck to it. Don't let other people control and fail at what you should be doing. It feels awful inside to know a business failed because you relied on another person that you thought was smarter than you, and they weren't. In reality, it comes all back to you, your fears, and your self-confidence.
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?
    • Understanding the purpose of money earlier in life. If I could have grasped this properly, I could have done business differently all my life with things such as taxes, savings, etc. I relied on others in these areas instead of knowing it myself.
 
Peter Thiel has a good one:
  • Tell me something that's true, that almost nobody agrees with you on
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
Not having to care about 'the system' or anything else that's going on because you have your own shit together and are making your own 'system'.
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
Finally putting some proper focus on my own projects at the weekend instead of just building lots of links for other people.
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
Gary Vaynerchuk
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
Playing mid stakes omaha against tourists in the Dutch Caribbean, and playing every WCOOP event on Pokerstars until I win a bracelet... always fancied being World Champion at something and some of those fields only have a few thousand in :wink:
  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
I'm really enjoying @Trankuility's thread at the moment. So much testing, willingness to change things up and test new revenue platforms and optimize. This was a tough question though because so many people here are doing great stuff and there are so few bad threads.
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
I like to think I'm comfortable and safe but most people would think I take a lot of risks. Probably am just comfortable with more so operate within my safety which probably isn't that safe really...
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
In hard times, make the hard decisions quickly... holding off just makes them harder, or worse makes them for you.
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
I don't know if people give it as advice, but you see many businesses come onto hard times and they opt to cut marketing spend and keep operations staff instead. That sometimes leads to a cycle of doom and eventual closure.
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
Listen to everyone you know who's killing it at poker and like get an account on Party Poker... I joined towards the end of the boom and still made plenty but totally missed out.
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
Diversify, diversify, diversify. If something is so popular that everyone is piling into it to make bank, even if it seems amazing while you're doing it and the $$$ are flowing freely, it's often a warning sign. I think smart stock traders have been saying something similar for generations "when the cleaner at your office gives you a stock tip it's time to get out of the market" or something like that.
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?
That I can count several millionaires among former clients, but haven't put the same focus into anything for myself (easy to fix this one... hopefully).
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
    • The freedom to get the desire to relax out of my system. I feel like I've never truly had a moment to do nothing for an extended period of time. I don't know how long it would require... a month? Three months? This seems to be the core of any of my procrastination as well, wanting to know what it's like to relax completely with nothing pressing going on.
    • And of course, purchasing a home I want in an area I enjoy with the excess funds and time to remodel the interior and exterior how I want it. Beyond that, I'd want to have enough savings to weather any emergency, and then just get out and collect experiences and share that with my friends and family.
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
    • I always have been and am still enamored by content sites. I like the idea of pumping out content on a conveyor belt with millions of visitors flowing through constantly. My best successes have been in the service side of things, but I quit that because it's not how I want to get there.
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
    • I worked for a family business many moons ago. The father had passed it on to his son, and even the grandkids were starting to pick up hours here and there. The father was a patient and generous guy, had built a huge cabin lake house. Invited me and another worker up there, let us stay in his guest house he built by hand, let us ski behind his boat, etc. That's success to me. He built what I want and began sharing it and didn't have a care in the world.
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
    • I'd do a few years in a zen monastery. Smaller than that I'd create my own smaller scale video games, take a construction or woodworking job for fun, or just sit around and read all day.
  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
    • There are tons but I have to cut the list somewhere. Here's the top portion:
      • @Trankuility (his Facebook work has me ready to fire up the PPC)
      • @Varys (his Pinterest + Female niches always impressed me)
      • @CCarter & @eliquid (masterfully marketing a masterful product)
      • @built (the hustle, determination, and course correction)
      • @turbin3 (big fan of the clarity of thought and knowledge)
      • @dresden (love the energy, positive attitude, & go-get-it-ness)
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
    • Same as Steve above, I feel like a safety person but I know my version of safe is a lot more risky than everyone else's. I want to take more risk because I know that's what will propel me forward. This is my biggest obstacle right now (one I've defeated more than once... I'd love to know how to dissolve it for good).
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
    • "Why don't you start your own business?" - The father guy from the family business, hearing me talk and knowing I had far more in front of me than working with the rest of the knuckleheads he employed. This is also where I learned how valuable B2B is... much less headache than B2C.
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
    • I'm sure there's something more overarching but this is what popped into my mind relating to internet marketing. The most frequent advice I heard and still hear that I feel is bad is to spread your eggs into many baskets. This was when people were thinking of MFA sites like stocks, and there's no telling how many millionaires and billionaires this advice destroyed. It wasted a good year of my time when I was first finding my footing. This advice makes it impossible to provide the one thing that makes you real money: value.
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
    • "You have the energy and the mind for business. Stop dreaming of and spending time making music, making movies, etc. Stop thinking about yourself that selfishly and start thinking about how you can provide massive value instead. Get started and reap the reward of all these extra years. And start building a true authority site NOW (back in 1994-1995 when I was building sites on Geocities about aliens and martial arts).
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
    • The failing, the true fails that ruin you, are a godsend. Those are the things that give you a chance to totally start over. And when your back is against the wall, the energy is unreal. You learn what you're capable of, what went wrong and right, what entire directions to avoid, and in my case you slowly shrug off the stubborn ideas you're holding on to that are keeping you from success.
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?
    • Going to college. I was an entrepreneur at heart since middle school, even if it was silly stuff like buying baseball cards and selling them to someone else at a profit, etc. I even set up a shop in my bedroom for the neighborhood kids when I was around 10. In high school I was running a full-fledged lawn maintenance business and gaining enough clients I was taking on contractors. Then I was convinced to go to college, the ole safe and expected narrative route. Wasted time in relationships, wasted time in studies that weren't for me, lost years to psychological breakdown, basically all relating to having left my true path. I have no doubt that if I could tack on the 6 or 7 years I lost back to the start of my true career, I'd already be retired and have reached my version of success. Or I would have screwed up in different ways, who knows. But that's the regret.
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
  • Solid work life balance, stable & looooong money, pervasive winning feeling. Being creatively & technically challenged and coming out ahead.
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
  • Peter Thiel style - 10x second best product. Build the best, work the smartest, make all existing solutions look dated and rudimentary. For spam or aff - it's more about being thicker, actually useful and providing value any way I can. I'm also big big big big on networking. This is a small industry - I've probably met half of you fuckers at conferences and shit and you don't even know it. Every project I've ever done has netted me great contacts. It's all about discussing ideas and opportunities, not power-speed dating at networking luncheons.
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
  • Several friends, but in terms of famous people I like paul graham, chris coyne (math / programming / startup prodigy: Co-creator of Keybase, OkCupid, and, a long time ago, SparkNotes - from his twitter bio), richard feynman, zed shaw, an any of the 350 russian / chinese counterfeiters/spammers that destroy competitive serps on a regular basis. Including the guy who mailed me a knife from the netherlands back in 2008 or so for some intense serps.
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
  • Finding some beautiful women to split this bread with and get a little slap and tickle.
  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
  • @CCarter @Ryuzaki @eliquid and every single journey thread, even the noobs. Nothing is more inspiring than seeing someone say fuckit and get theirs. All of us old dudes (<2005) say shit was easier in the past. Maybe. Or maybe you're just old and stuck in 2007. Innanets is full of opportunities, but it's up to you to execute. New kids find opportunity every day in places you didn't even know to look.
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
  • I balance both. I love spam. I love boring ecommerce. I'll invest heavily in either, on any given sunday. I'm a junky for dem gainz.
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
  • Do shit that matters. Don't fuck around with busy work (fear related procrastination) or analysis paralysis (fear of failing). Start a bullet journal and hold yourself accountable to actually do a few useful things every day. This requires prioritization and observation, but if you've got any acumen at all, you'll be able to define a goal and then measure all tasks in relation to it. That's the shit that matters.
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
  • I have 2. A: Fail, fail, try again. That's fucked. It should be 'fail, learn, fail, learn again.'. If you're not doing a thorough post-mortem on each of your turds, you're no better than a blind man playing darts. B: Work hard, and the rest will follow. Bull-fucking-shit. The model of success is activated by a ton of small wins over a long period of time - not slaving on stupid shit that doesn't matter. Dollars =/= hours.
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
  • Fuck more bitches, do more drugs, take bigger risks. Why not?
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
  • I can't even begin to type that shit out here. I've failed probably, eh, 200 times in 14 years. I have post-mortems on every. single. project. I have found that I'm slow to react to shit I learned and I tend to repeat the same mistakes out of getting too jazzed up and getting tunnel vision. I am working on it.
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?
  • Mostly around partners and taking on too many opportunities. Opportunity cost is real - and work life balance is more important than you think.
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?
    • Subconscious application of knowledge, focus, and effort towards successfully achieving every goal
  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?
    • Be prepared for a lonely and solitary road.
  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?
    • Steve Jobs: If asked to describe precisely what he did, if you take a step back and think about it, most people might have a tough time saying exactly what, accurately. He was one of the most famous, successful, and pivotal tech entrepreneurs in the last half-century....though probably not in the sense that most people might think. No, he had a vision. He perceived something tangible, something with substance, with depth, with great attention to detail so as to aid the subconscious. He perceived something that could solve problems people didn't know they had, and fill needs that they didn't know they needed. He took those perceptions, failed a lot, had some wins, failed some more, and just kept turning it into more and more of a reality.
    • Mark Cuban: He's all about hard work, perseverance, and no bullshit. I really like that later part.
    • The guy I currently work for. In short, after much hard work and a lot saving, he turned a $50K investment into a lead gen business, which has expanded far beyond that, and is now a mid eight figure business...and things are just getting started. He leads from the front, has excellent business vision, and really makes me want to demand more of myself. It is amazing to work for someone that is able to foster an entrepreneurial spirit within every department, to the point where the company almost becomes a business full of "little businesses" that are all working towards a common goal.
  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)
    • Building, modifying, driving, and enjoying sports cars and classic cars. A man among men said it best:
"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting."

-Steve McQueen

  • Who on BuSo inspires you?
    • @CCarter and @eliquid : Leading from the front. Like early 1900's adventurers and explorers, stepping into an unforgiving wilderness, backed purely by bravado and determination. Gotta admire the hell out of that.
    • @Ryuzaki : Reading his words, though I don't know him, I can clearly perceive a significant degree of depth of thought, effort, and experience behind those words.
    • @Tavin and @localcasestudy : Because they've BTDT and have the proof to back it up.
  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?
    • Safety is great. It's nice when things are stable. No one ever accomplished anything of significance without taking at least the occasional risk. Work towards safety, but keep a taste in your mouth for leaping beyond your comfort zone periodically, and taking a risk. Find the balance between the two that suits you best, while fulfilling your goals.
  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?
    • "I rarely find time in my life for people that aren't directly tied to the success I'm working towards creating."

      -Anonymous
      Years ago, an executive-level customer of mine gave me this piece of advice in the most polite way possible. This was after I got some passing business from him, and sent him a few follow-up emails over the following weeks to "see how things were going". It was my weak attempt to feel out his interest in more business. It was a niche that didn't necessarily have a high degree of repeat business. He explained that I didn't have to feel the need to keep sending follow up emails. This might hurt most people's feelings, but after thinking about it for a bit, I really appreciated that he actually took the time to briefly explain it to me, as that really snapped me out of a lot of unproductive behavior. Most people wouldn't have even bothered to respond, and would have simply deleted the email.
    • That story reminds me of Mr. Wolf from Pulp Fiction. Just because something someone says to you may come off as harsh or mean, doesn't necessarily mean it is. They might simply be giving you a generous, if brief, piece of advice to try and help you. Never be afraid to swallow your own ego long enough to listen to it, or you might miss something profound.
  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?
    • "Wisdom comes with age and experience." NO it doesn't. Some people NEVER learn. It's a great thing to periodically eat your own ego for breakfast and reassess your competence with an endeavor. Age and experience are merely opportunities, for those that choose to properly utilize them. Never assume that if you just keep banging your head against the wall, that eventually you will achieve all of your dreams. It may turn out that you happen to be the unlucky one banging your head against the wrong wall; a wall that never leads anywhere.
    • Expanding on the above, I've met people twice my age that didn't have an ounce of sense about them. I have also met people half my age, full of an uncanny degree of sense, that have made me re-examine my own life. There's a lesson somewhere in there.
  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?
    • Time is your most precious commodity. Stop wasting it on trivial, unproductive things.
  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?
    • Doing something you love is great, but it's wise to assess the marketplace and realistic revenue potential before investing significant time or resources
    • Value your time more. Periodically reassess your efforts and determine whether your same investment of time and resources could net you a much greater return elsewhere.
    • Don't inextricably tie yourself to a niche or marketplace unless there is a fairly compelling, definable, and measurable reason for why
  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?
    • Wasted time on unproductive things
    • Wasted time becoming really great at things that don't matter
    • Stop fucking worrying and wondering about what to do, and just focus on doing something, anything.
 
  • When you think of success, what immediately comes to mind that defines it for you?

Running multiple operations successfully. My main goal is to provide backend services to businesses that will help them in their overall marketing endeavors. It's going to require me to think of new ideas and concepts to help business owners and if I can successfully bring them to market, that will make me a happy person, even if it all fails it still will make me happy.

  • When you envision your path to this success, what is it?

Lots of brainstorming sessions surrounded by like minded individuals. I feel like the path will always be a struggle at some level, but I love every moment of it still. The path is filled with a lot of fog though, even at the moment, I don't necessarily know how I'm going to get to where I want to be, but from the feedback from customers/clients I feel like I'm on my way.

  • When you're asked to think of successful people, who are the first few to come to mind?

Genghis Khan, Elon Musk, Alexander The Great, John D. Rockefeller - he was a billionaire when it meant something...

  • If you were completely free of all responsibilities, what would you focus on as a passion (Has to be something other than business and what you're doing now. What else?)

I would be doing what I am doing now, writing code and talking about marketing. I am free in all senses of the word. My passion is my business cause that's what I am. If you look at the past successes like Bill Gates, if they weren't successful they would still be tinkering with computers and the field they are in, so I can't see a passion that's not around my business or my business goals. My passion revolves around bringing ideas and concepts to reality, whether mine or someone else. That's why I have no problem talking to people for hours at a time if they have a great idea they want to bring to market, cause I feed off that energy.

  • Who on BuSo inspires you?

@built. He doesn't have all the answers but that doesn't stop him from trying and learning to figure out a solution. So many people now a days just stop dead in their tracks when an obstacle is thrown in front of them and sit and wait until someone else removes the obstacle for them, eventually their fear and their mind defeat themselves so they never even bother trying to overcome the obstacles. Even when I see him doing things I know will fail, but somehow he learns and makes it work and that has me re-thinking my whole philosophy towards life.

As you grow older you start taking less risk, but you also see the world in a different light. "An old man sees all the potential problems and obstacles, a young man sees all the potential rewards and challenges." That energy is extremely difficult to re-harness, so once it's gone, it's gone forever. So when I see someone going after the odds, even odds I think are impossible and winning it helps me revitalize my own inner hunger and curiosity for the "what if" of life.

  • Are you more of an adrenaline & risk junkie or do you prefer the comfort of safety?

Definite risk taker, I've gotten a bit soft last couple of years, so I need to focus on taking more risks and bigger risks cause only when I took risks was I able to rise to my current levels. You can't get to the next level passive - it must be forged through the darkness that comes with big risks.

  • What's the best business advice you've ever received?

"Just Fucking Do It." - Dan Peña - I would add "Just fucking do it NOW!"

  • What do you think is the worst business advice that's commonly stated as good?

Don't go after passion go after revenue and the money. What people don't understand is there are going to be really late nights where you are contemplating your decisions. If doubt and fear creep in you'll ditch the project/business/idea. So when I see people telling others to go after revenue/money and then use that new money to work on your passion later on, it tells me they aren't very successful in their own endeavors, cause running a business is 24/7 nonstop. Imagine you working 24/7 nonstop at a business you aren't passionate about? You just created yourself a job, and instead of 9 to 5, you are doing it 24/7 - when will you have the time or energy to "go after your passion projects"? You won't and you'll have a nice living, but you won't be happy.

I'm passionate about ideas and concepts and executing on them, if I was passionate about playing guitar I'd do nothing but play guitar, not create a website to generate money so I can go play guitar in my spare time. I dunno I just think differently I guess. I'd rather spent 90% of my time on things I truly care about, not 10% of the time in my spare time - that's not a life worth living.

  • What one thing would you tell the younger you from 10-20 years ago?

1. Get out of bad business deals FAST! The moment profits become non-existent or costs outweigh revenue that means you've already fucked up. The iceberg is within 10 feet if you haven't already hit it. You have to keep monitoring what's ahead of you and steer clear of it miles before it ever happens.

2. And more importantly Focus on a single project. That itself will be the biggest lesson I take away from my past failures.

  • What have you learned from failed business attempts?

If it doesn't make profits it doesn't make sense. You should be profitable since day one, if not within the first month or two, otherwise there is too much costs involved and getting to profitability will require greater sacrifice on your end, your partners' end, or it will require you to give up a portion of the business to "stage off" the inevitable.

  • What are your biggest regrets surrounding business?

Not starting out as soon as I could with an idea. Waiting a bit longer until I thought the moment was perfect, which it never really came. By the time I looked up someone was already doing the idea and killing it with the exact same method I would have utilized. Basically not pulling the trigger fast enough.

Fail as fast as possible - but that requires you to pull the trigger as fast as possible. All the best ideas I worked on were immediately implemented and then success happened. Like when I wrote any of my "big posts" I didn't contemplate writing them for days, weeks, or months before, it just came to me and even in the middle of some major stuff, I would just write and write until it was done and out of my system.

I never sat there and thought about something for a long time, I just said, "Hey why not this?" and did it. I didn't pull out a spreadsheet and tried to lotus-1-2-3 the risk versus rewards nor did I ask for a case study on the potential - I just did it, and the ideas that I did immediately were always the biggest hits. The ones I took a bit more time to think about or to "figure out if anyone's fucking feelings were going to be hurt by this move", PC, they weren't that successful.
 
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