Money-Making Warnings

Making money is why you’re here. I want to offer my original money-making warnings. I hope these ideas will irritate you, stimulate you, and cause you to think–maybe even to send me an angry letter. Here they are:

1. Best-selling business books are generally stupid

Almost without exception, the list of the Wall Street Journal’s best-selling business books are useless for any serious business person. The books are simplistic beyond reason and offer no practical advice. As I write this the number one best seller is Who Moved the Cheese? I can’t imagine a more embarrassing book.

Good, useful business books can be found by reading reviews in the WSJ, Barons, and your local newspaper. Buying business books based on sales or the quotes on the cover is worse than a waste of time. There are, of course, a few good books on the list, (e.g. The Millionaire Next Door) but very few.

2. Multi-level marketing is a fraud

Someone always gets hurt in any MLM scheme. A few people may make money, but the losers pay for the winners and probably outnumber them 50 to one. I tried MLM and was fed amazing half-truths. They told me MLM was taught at Harvard. Untrue. That they are really selling a service, or product, not just recruiting. Untrue. People were making $20,000 a week selling whatever. Doubtful.

I recommended skepticism because MLM appears to be easy and inexpensive. In fact, the few who are successful spend as much time working as any entrepreneur, yet always risk the loss of their “down line,” the inability to sell their product, or recruit new sales people. In my opinion, MLM is almost always a fraud.

3. Don’t set goals

Setting goals implies that you must do something you don’t want to do to get something you want. If you talk to successful people, you will learn many would do what they are doing, even if they were not paid. Their success is based on their enthusiasm, their energy, and their love of the day-to-day challenges.

Successful people don’t work for that car, that money, or that yacht. They do what they do because every day is exciting and challenging. Putting a picture of a Mercedes on your refrigerator, so you can see it and strive for it every day, has to be the most depressing and most self-defeating way to get what you want.

Find what you like to do every day and the rewards will follow. I like the disk jockey’s quote: “I don’t feel like working today, I think I’ll just play some records.”

4. A job worth doing is worth doing poorly

You may make mistakes, but the analysis paralysis can be more devastating to your growth than just plunging ahead and buying a note or real estate, or investing in “something.” Too many people take our courses repeatedly, but never commit to really marketing their business. It’s safer to just take courses, read books, and come to conventions.

Far too many people are afraid to send out marketing material or meet with a Realtor for fear they will make a mistake. I often tell my students that if they had seen how many mistakes I’d made in my investing career they would never listen to me!

But fear of making a mistake will impede your growth faster than taking the risk of doing the job poorly. You will recover, and the lesson learned may be the most valuable you will ever learn.

5. Getting bored is good

Boredom is a disease of the successful. If boredom does not scare you, then get a corporate or government job, where every day is the same. You will never be threatened and will seldom have to learn new things. A business person, on the other hand, must change every day and must be like the rabbit in the field, always wary of predators and competitors.

As soon as you have the rules figured out, they change them. However, you are meant to be an entrepreneur if you bore easily, like challenges, and enjoy figuring out the changing rules. This has never been truer than now in our amazing technological world.

Everything you learned five years ago has changed! So boredom is a great motivator for successful business people, especially those who are creative and can stay focused as they change, grow, and mature with their businesses.

In short, I have discovered other more obvious rules for success as an investor: Be a risk taker, don’t follow the crowd, focus on good health and a supportive family life, don’t listen to advice from people who don’t have what you want, and never buy anything from an infomercial.

I hope you find these rules stimulating–or at least annoying.

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