A success hack, you ask, what is it and why should you care?
It’s a great question.
By reading this post, you’re taking action to conquer your goals and live your dreams.
This post will help you on your success journey by revealing unusual success hacks that work.
When I first started my business, every day was a struggle.
I started out with nothing.
And when I say nothing, I mean nothing.
I was a kid out of school with no experience or track record.
I had no customers, zero revenue and my bank account was a rounding error.
Whatever I tried, didn’t work.
The advice the ‘experts’ gave me wasn’t worth the paper it was on.
My friends and family thought I was nuts.
I was willing to try anything to conquer my goals.
There were many books and seminars that talked about success, but the authors never made it on their own
And this is where the truth is stranger than fiction.
Picture it. People who want to succeed giving their hard earned money to ‘experts’ who never made it big.
Sadly, it was the blind leading the blind.
Why I didn’t give up, I still don’t understand.
I suppose it was my burning desire to help people solve a problem that I was also passionate about solving.
I built a highly profitable 8 figure business from nothing.
What I’m about to reveal are the success hacks that made this possible.
Success Hack #1: Run Your Business Like You’ll Keep It Forever. Plan Your Business Like You’ll Sell It Tomorrow
I sold my 8 figure business thirteen years after starting it.
When building my business, I was fortunate to have friends and mentors who run large companies.
Some of these large companies are public, others family owned, or both.
Either way, these companies are brilliantly successful.
Public companies are under pressure to keep shareholders happy. Quarterly profits are always top of mind and rule the day.
My friends and mentors at public companies viewed long term planning as six months to a year, at most.
Private companies don’t have the pressures of answering to shareholders. And as a result, private companies focus on what’s best for their customers.
For my friends and mentors at private companies, long term planning involved years. Even decades.
I am and always will be a student of success.
I analyzed the success and failures of private and public companies. In the process, I challenged myself to take the best of both worlds and combine them.
From private companies, I internalized the fierce loyalty of putting customers over profits. Doing what’s right for the business, instead of what’s easy.
From public companies, I internalized the respect and attention to profits. As important is the ability to scale through systems and automation.
Combining both short and long term thinking is easier said than done.
But when you do it you’ll rock the house.
Thinking you’ll sell tomorrow keeps you from becoming complacent.
Thinking you’ll be in business forever avoids putting profits over customers.
Success Hack #2: Done Is Better Than Perfect
In building a profitable 8 figure company, I learned that good is good enough.
I beat my well capitalized and experienced competitors through speed to market.
If you’re serious about success, ‘done is better than perfect,’ must become your new mantra.
In an earlier post, I discussed the power of ‘done is better than perfect.’ Let’s take a deep dive into the details.Chasing After perfection robs you of success.
9 Reasons Why Chasing After Perfection Robs You Of Success
Chasing after perfection is a fool’s game. Below are nine reasons why.
- Customers don’t care. Perfectionists strive for perfection in the smallest of details. Most customers either won’t notice or care.
- You don’t exist if you don’t produce. You may have the best offering in the history of the world. If you chase after perfection and don’t release it, you don’t exist.
- Momentum. Doers have momentum from being in the market and win. Perfectionists aren’t in the market, have no momentum, and lose. Every time.
- Mind Set. Dreamers chase after perfection and nothing gets done. Action trains your mind. For a dreamer, getting things done today becomes ‘one day.’ But ‘one day’ doesn’t exist.
- Reputation. Your actions, not your words say it all.
- Perfection Is An Illusion And Doesn’t Exist. Whatever flaws you may see, your customers either won’t care or notice. Perfection is an illusion. It doesn’t exist. Get over it.
- It’s A Numbers Game. You’ll never know if something is successful until you’re in the market. The more times you’re in the market, the higher your chance of success. Chasing after perfection eliminates this necessary process. And worst of all, your competition will demolish you.
- Practice Makes Perfect. The more you put products or services on the market, the better you become. It’s that simple.
- Time Waits For Nobody. You’re either in the market or not. Whether you’re a pauper or a billionaire, you only have 1,440 minutes a day. Make each minute count.
Empires Built By Adopting Done Is Better Than Perfect
Say what you want about Microsoft, but the results say it all. Microsoft continues to be the world’s largest software maker.
And Microsoft is one of the world’s most valuable companies, year-over-year.
From MS Office to Windows, it wasn’t until version 3 that Microsoft got it right.
Unlike Apple, Microsoft doesn’t win awards for design or user interface. But this never stopped Microsoft from going to market.
Until recently, Facebook’s motto was a play off done is better than perfect.
Facebook’s “move fast and break things” created its dominance.
Facebook focuses on getting tools and features to market, imperfections and all.
Even through Facebook changed its mantra to “move fast with stable infra,” the focus is still on speed.
There would be no Facebook or Microsoft had either company waited for perfection.
Done is better than perfect.
All day long.
Success Hack #3: Chase After Solving Problems, Not Money
Want to become rich and successful?
Follow this success hack and chase after massive problems you’re passionate about solving.
Think about this for a moment.
I started my first company with no money, experience or team. Despite this, I built profitable 8 figure company.
I started my second company with plenty of money, loads of experience and a team.
My second company morphed into a 7 figure loss.
Why the difference, you ask?
The first company should have failed, but didn’t.
The second company should have been a success, but wasn’t.
Master this success hack and you’re well on your way to achieving massive success.
Here we go.
The formula for success is:
Success = Passion + Solving Massive Problem + Paid To Solve Problem
Channel your passion to solve a painful problem affecting many people who will pay you to solve the problem.
My first company, Embanet, was a huge success because of my passion for solving a massive problem.
Helping people came first. The money came afterward.
My second company, Total Health Diabetes, was started from ego and greed.
I was chasing the money, not the passion.
A 7 figure loss was the result.
Wondering how you can find and solve massive problems?
Read this post for an in-depth approach with a proven track record.
And this is a great transition into our next success hack.
Success Hack #4: Being An Entrepreneur Is An Excuse To Help People Remove Their Pain
Empires are built when you find a solution to a painful problem affecting many people who will pay you to solve itClick to tweet
Success is at the intersection of your passion solving a massive problem.
Sound too good to be true?
Netflix eliminates late fees and driving to a video store through on-demand streaming.
Uber makes it all too easy to have a clean car arrive at your location in minutes for a reasonable fare.
Google saves you time by helping you find what you’re looking for with the click of a button.
Square became the savior for small businesses who want to accept payment by credit cards. Becoming a stripe merchant is fast, easy and inexpensive.
Ring gives peace-of-mind to homeowners while reducing crime rates through its video doorbell.
Duolingo eliminates the cost of learning another language while making it fun.
Zappos makes it a breeze to order shoes online by offering great prices and a free return service.
Six massive business empires built from a passion to solve painful problems.
Success Hack #5: Greatness Comes From Resourcefulness And Not Resources
Choosing resourcefulness over resources is a little-known hack that has built empires.
Writing the check is all about using your resources.
But remember, just because you can write the check doesn’t mean you should.
If you can’t write the check, even though you want to, consider this a blessing in disguise.
Often, desperation is the mother-of-invention.
Success guru Tony Robbins agrees. Click the picture below to view a Robbins talking about resourcefulness and resources. (A quick heads up, Robbins uses graphic language.)
Check out this post here where I share how my first company,
Embanet succeeded with no resources.
On the flip side, my second company, THD, failed because of too many resources, amongst other things.
Embanet became a massive success because of what it didn’t have. Lack or resources forced the team to figure out ways of doing things that had never been done before.
And innovation made Embanet faster, better and more profitable
For this success hack, check out the Resourcefulness Success Funnel™ below.
Let resourcefulness over resources be your path to success.
Did you notice that Resourcefulness Success Funnel™ is all about emotions?A can-do mindset, more than your wallet, is your key to massive success.
Success Hack #6: Lacking Is A Strength, Not A Weakness
Lacking is a strength, not a weakness, that leads to greatness.
Success hack six flies in the face of so-called conventional wisdom.
The experts are wrong when they tell you otherwise.
Apple’s founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, came from humble beginnings. Opportunity knocked when a local computer store ordered 50 kits of the Apple I.
Working out of Wozniak’s garage, aka free rent, and ordering all the parts on credit did the trick. Both Wozniak and Jobs had no money, but big aspirations.
Apple started out by bootstrapping its growth. But this ‘lacking’ led to innovation, creativity, and culture that changed the world.
By all standards, Harland Sanders, aka the Colonel, was washed up at age 62. Sanders took no notice when he launched his fast-food chicken idea next to a gas station.
Not having money to pay the rent, Sanders exchanged his services at the gas station. Sanders resolve ensured Kentucky Fried Chicken became the success it is today.
The Google you know and love today was anything but when it started in 1995. Remember that search was not lucrative and the Internet was not proven.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin started from nothing. Working out of a garage was just the start. Lacking in every which way, the boys figured out how to build servers on the cheap to save money.
All the companies above lacked everything but passion and vision.
Lacking, not having, is a success hack that gave these companies an edge to win.
What’s your excuse?
Success Hack #7: Just Because You Can Write The Check Doesn’t Mean You Should
Both in business and life, my biggest failures came when I wrote the check because I could.
This success hack is anything but simple to follow.
It takes discipline, creativity, and focus not to write the check.
Speaking of saying ‘no,’ you can read about why you should be saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’ in this post.
Despite what the so-called experts will tell you, money is usually not the answer to your problems.
In both business and life, can money make the difference?
Absolutely. But only under the right circumstances.
Writing the check should be your absolute last resort.
How do you know when to write the check?
The combination of success hacks 5, 6, and 7 are the lethal combination of the Success Hack Trifecta™.
Check it out with the illustration below:
Your sweet spot of success comes only after:
- You’ve exhausted your resourcefulness
- You’re not able to move forward from lacking what’s needed
- You write the check
But here’s the thing.
You’ve written the check for a resourceful solution that allows you to get by on the bare minimum.
This my dear reader leads to massive success.
And if it turns out you don’t need to write the check, you’re a rock star!
In closing, just because you can write the check doesn’t mean you should.
And most times you shouldn’t write the check.
Above all else, remember success hack 7 when it comes to my next success hack, marketing.
Success Hack #8: Spend Like A Pauper On Your Marketing Tests And Like A King On What Actually Works
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half. – John Wannamaker
Johan Wanamaker nails it, with a smile, when it comes to spending money on marketing.
For most entrepreneurs marketing is a complicated and elusive ‘black box.’
Let success hack eight be both your savior and money maker.
Most startups fail from running out of time, not money.
Yes, the startups that close their doors don’t have money in their bank.
Lack of money is the technical reason of why the startup failed.
But the real reason is that the startup ran out of time to prove its concept and attract customers.
When it comes to marketing your goal is to:
- Run as many marketing tests as possible for as little as possible as quick as possible.
- Find out what works the best
- Open your wallet and spend big on what’s working
Success Hack #8 In Action
At my first company, Embanet, we ran up to 25 marketing tests for no more than $200 each.
Once we knew what worked, and most importantly what didn’t work, we spent millions to make millions.
How did we know what worked?
We ignored the number of leads generated and only looked at the cost per customer.
As an example, suppose we have two market tests. Test #1 generates 1,000 leads. Test #2 generates 10 leads.
Which campaign is better?
Being the rock star entrepreneur that you are, I’m sure your answer is, “I have no idea, I need more data!”
And you’re right.
So here’s the data.
Suppose Test #1 costs $100 per customer and Test #2 costs $20 per customer.
Customers trump leads, all day long.
Test #2 generated 1% of the leads compared to Test #1.
But Test #2 is five times less costly than Test #1!
This my dear reader is why success hack eight is the only way to go.
Still wondering how and why this works?Spend like a pauper on market testing, and like a king on what actually works.
Success Hack #9: The Experts Are Wrong
Success hack 9 is to know that the experts are wrong.
When building my first company, Embanet I ignored experts.
Had I bothered to listen to the experts, I would have stopped before I started.
Remember, I was that kid right out of school with no money, experience or team.
Despite this, I built an 8 figure business.
When I became lazy, egotistical and ignorant from my success, I listened to the experts.
And I built a 7 figures business.
But it was 7 figures of all losses.
Why are the experts wrong, you ask?
The answer to why the experts are wrong is a post unto itself.
But let’s start with a few reasons for you to think about:
- When looking to the future, experts look the past. But the past doesn’t equal the future. Ever.
- Experts assume too much. As the saying goes, when you assume too much, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.’
- Too much knowledge is dangerous. When you know too much, you take fewer risks. In this case, ignorance is bliss.
Still don’t believe me?
What would you say about a kid who didn’t speak until he was 4 years old and is considered lazy by his teachers?
And if this isn’t bad enough, there’s more. Our boy developed a reputation for asking abstract questions that made no sense.
I can hear the experts now who are saying this kid has no hope or future.
It’s a good thing Albert Einstein didn’t listen to his teachers or the experts.
Are you ready for your second spelling lesson?
Impossible is spelled “I’m Possible.”
Success Hack #10: Don’t Think. Just Do.
When it comes to your success, learn success hack 10, and learn it well.
Don’t Think. Just Do. – Horace
Indeed, the words of the Roman lyric poet Horace as true today as they were in his time.
What I’m about to say has no judgment and is an observation.
I’ve painfully watched brilliant people fizzle and fail.
On the flip side, I’ve joyfully watched less-than-brilliant people prosper and succeed.
What’s the difference?
Successful people don’t think. Successful people do.
Do-ing creates momentum. Do-ing creates lessons learned from failures. And do-ing creates valuable experience.
If you’d like to be a legend, in your mind, just think.
Be a doer and not a dreamer.
Success Hack #11: The Best Time Of Your Life Is Right NOW
“Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.” – Kay Lyons
Whether you realize it or not, the best time of your life is right now.
When I was building out my first company, Embanet, I started with nothing. My goal was 10,000 student enrollments.
As I approached 10,000 enrollments, I changed my goal to 50,000 enrollments.
When I was circling in on 50,000 enrollments, I once again changed my goal.
It got to the point where I caught myself in a vicious circle.
Goals, particularly a definiteness of purpose, are precious.
You can read this post here for all the details on setting up your definiteness of purpose.
My mistake was to believe I would be happy once I achieved a milestone.
I was playing the fool’s game.
Enter success hack 11.
The true reward isn’t money or fame, but instead, the journey itself.
Enjoying your journey, with both your successes and failures, is the true reward.
Could life be better, you ask?
But it could also be worse.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Once I started to enjoy the journey, my success rolled in bigger and faster.
Enjoy your journey and focus on the long game.
The bumps along the road, in the scheme of things, are learning points.
And the truth is, all any of us have is the moment.
Many people lust after it. Few achieve it.
I’ve shared 11 unusual success hacks that helped me build an 8 figure business.
These success hacks are not theory. Instead, these success hacks come from over two decades of heavy lifting in the trenches.
But knowing these success hacks is not enough. Despite knowing these success hacks, I didn’t apply them when I started my second company.
The results showed. I plummeted from a highly profitable 8 figure company to a 7 figure loss.
I deserved it. My earlier success had me lazy, egotistical and ignorant.
So, my dear reader, as you leave my post and get back to your busy life, I have only one question for you.
Dreamers have the knowledge and do nothing with it.
Doers take the knowledge and apply it.
Now that you have these 11 unusual hacks to unlock sweet success, will you be a dreamer or a doer?
The choice is yours.
It always is.
And with this in mind, go out there and unlock your sweet success. I know you can do it!
Here’s to you and your success!
Your Raving Fan,