What would your life be like if you were earning 10x the amount you are now?
Where would you live? Where would you travel? What causes would you support?
In 2011, I was fortunate to be making a comfortable income, and I had been making more or less the same amount for the previous five years.
However, it was that year I discovered some simple tweaks that allowed me to start GROWING my income — to the point where in 2014 it was approximately 10x the amount it was just four years before!
I feel very fortunate to be where I am today, so I wanted to share these 7 tips with the hope they can help you do the same, and perhaps in even LESS time than it took me.
While I wrote this with entrepreneurs in mind, I believe anyone can use what I’m about to share to at least DOUBLE their income, and even if you screw up and only apply half of this stuff… you will probably increase it by 20–30%!
So I urge you to at least try what I’m about to suggest and see if it works for you.
1. Stop Watching Porn
I quit watching porn not because it was hurting my work life, but my sex life.
Porn hijacks your brain with the force of a hit of heroine. And if you don’t have anything pressing to do that day, once you take that hit… you will just keep clicking and clicking ’til your day is gone!
WORSE than the time wasted is how it starts to affect your sex life. The way it bends your reality is a topic for another blog, but the bottom line is unless you do something about it, it will greatly hurt your productivity, especially considering porn “lives” where you probably make a good portion of your money these days— on your computer!
Maybe your personal time-suck isn’t exactly porn — it could be video games, reality TV, gossip sites, whatever.
The key is identifying what your big distraction is, and getting it under control.
ACTION STEP: For now, don’t try to quit your distraction forever — just commit to giving yourself 30 days off of it.
If it is porn, delete any and all porn on your hard drive, and install the K-9 blocker so you aren’t tempted to visit sites. Make yourself a crazy password that is 25 digits long (I’m serious), and don’t save it on your comp — write it on a piece of paper. Then put it away in a drawer, so even if you are tempted to slip, it will be hard work to do so!
And boom — you just gained several strong hours each week of productivity.
*Bonus points: Get in a relationship! Easier said than done, I know, but dating can be such a huge distraction. And there is nothing like having someone else to support you in reaching your income goals!
2. Get Out Of Your “Social Cyclone”
Four years ago I was living in Los Angeles, a city I had called home for many years.
It seemed like every night of the week it was someone’s birthday, or there was some sort of of special event. I’d tell myself “one drink” — but you know how that story goes — soon I’d be out late and wasted, and my entire next day was ruined!
It’s one thing to be social, but trying to keep up with every single thing my friends were doing had become a “Social Cyclone” that was sucking away at every other part of my life.
So what did I do?
First, I realized I didn’t have to go to every single thing I was invited to.
Even a close friend’s birthday party, I’d simply tell them I would take them out to dinner on a different night — and that way they’d get to celebrate twice!
What was even more effective was, I moved!
Now, I’m not suggesting you actually move out out of your freakin’ city (unless you live in say, Cleveland, perhaps), but I’ll tell you what — the two times in my life I have moved to completely new cities were the two times I instantly became the most productive.
With the phone not ringing and the Facebook evites not popping up as much, all I had left to do was work! And it was during these “grind times” that I started the two most profitable businesses of my life.
ACTION STEP: Realize events are optional. There will always be another party. You can always make something up to a friend. Don’t skip your mom’s birthday, but more often than you are now, make growing your business your priority event.
Even if you aren’t in work mode, just taking a night for yourself to hit the gym or read a book will increase your brilliance significantly the next time you do hit the biz.
3. Give Up On Being “Social Media Famous” (Or Even Relevant)
You know that guy on your Facebook friend list that is always posting shit all freakin’ day long?
Ya, I used to be that guy.
If I had a funny thought, it was going up. New Funny or Die video? I was breaking that shit FIRST.
I would tell myself, “Posting doesn’t take long. What? Three minutes to write and hit ‘Post’? That’s not a time suck!”
And actually, it’s not.
What IS a time suck is reading all of the comments, counting all of the “likes,” and, oh yeah, responding to all of the comments, and … oh shit, I just got five new likes! Who could those be from??
ACTION STEP: Limit your posting to your “off-work” hours. And even if you aren’t as bad as I was, think about why you are posting before you post.
Oh, and even if you think you aren’t “that guy” that posts too much, I’m asking you to consider just for a moment that you actually *could* be “that guy”!
And those likes aren’t gonna buy you a house.
4. Drop Profitable Projects That Have Low Potential
Four years ago, I had three different businesses. All were profitable, and one of them was an event planning biz that was a whole lot of fun…
However, the time required for the event planning business was equally and sometimes even MORE demanding than the other two. And it NEVER made as much money, and since I didn’t want to become an event planner full-time, I knew it never would.
So as much fun as it was, I dropped it.
ACTION STEP: You and I aren’t Richard Branson. Pick ONE business that has big potential. Even Richard didn’t start something new until his previous businesses were automated, which brings me to # 5 …
5. Go For A Smaller Piece Of A Bigger Pie
One night, I was having drinks with a very successful friend of mine — we will call him “Rex.”
Rex had just sold his company for over 20 million bucks and was retired young and living the life.
Rex said something to me that made a lot of sense. I asked him, “Now that you are financially free, do you think you will ever go back to work again?”
I was expecting Rex to say he would start a charity or start some passion project that would bring him boy band ass for the rest of his life such as a lingerie line, so I was amazed when Rex said:
“Yes, when I go back to work, I’m going into the energy drink business”.
I was shocked. This was the year 2011. There were four big energy drink brands and literally DOZENS of new ones failing every year.
“Rex, are you serious? Isn’t that market saturated as f-k?”
Rex takes a slow sip of his Red Bull vodka and says to me:
“It has a lot of players, yes. But it’s a $11 billion industry. Eleven billion. No one has done an energy drink for ‘X’ yet. [Out of respect for his idea I’m not gonna reveal what X was.] If I have 1% of that market, it will pay me enough money to have one of the nicest apartments in Manhattan. Enough to fly private. One percent. That’s all I want.”
I took this advice to heart. Up until that point, my business background had been in the dating advice business, selling programs that helped men and women have better relationships.
It was a big business, so I thought. My mentor in the space had basically created the category of “relationship advice” and was doing 20 million a year in sales. A lot of loot.
But then I thought about it; his was the # 1 or # 2 biggest company in the world of dating advice.
Rex could be the TENTH biggest company in the energy drink biz… and be FIVE TIMES bigger than that!
I got out of the dating advice business, set my eyes on a bigger pie, and went for 1%.
ACTION STEP: A bigger market does not necessarily mean it’s harder. It takes the same amount of work to create and sell a course on how to train guinea pigs as it does to train dogs. What a big market DOES mean is that your buyers are PROVEN to be there — and by the millions! So don’t see competition in the market as a downer, but as PROOF that your idea can also be a big success.
6. Work On A Timer
For many years, the most difficult part of my workday was STARTING TO WORK! And once you get going these days, distractions are endless — texts, emails, likes. Then after you check the likes, it’s time to check if new emails came in. Then once you read those emails — HEY, maybe I got some more likes! Let’s go check!
And soon, hours have passed and you may as well have been watching porn!
The only thing I’ve found that works for me is “The Timer.”
The Timer goes like this:
Take out your phone and turn it on airplane mode.
Whenever possible, turn wifi off also.
Then, set your phone’s Timer for 33 minutes.
During that 33 minutes, all you do is WORK.
When the buzzer rings, you get a 6-minute break to pee, check your email and check your likes.
Time that 6 minutes too, or you will never start back on the Timer again!
When I really start jamming on this cycle, I will bump the timed sessions up to 50 minutes, with a 10-minute break.
If I’m REALLY struggling to start work, I will start with a 10-minute session, and a 2-minute break.
If you are mid-sentence when the Timer goes off, that’s actually GOOD!
That’s because then you have an exact point in which to start working again.
ACTION STEP: Start working on The Timer at 33 minutes on, 6 minutes off. Commit to doing X amount of timed sessions a day. Start small. Give yourself a longer break after, say, three sessions to reply to emails or get food or whatever if you need it. It sounds simple, but this Timer trick has been used by countless millionaires, and it really could make you one. Seriously, give it a try.
*Bonus points if you do sit-ups or squats during your breaks! It’s the only way you’re gonna get on the cover of Forbes and Fitness in the same month.
7. Want Something HUGE
From the years 2007–2011, I made about the same amount of money, and I was pretty happy with it. I could afford to rent a decent place, eat out and give a little love to my favorite charities. I was quite content.
But then I decided I wanted to OWN my own place.
New York City real estate is INSANE expensive, and it didn’t help that prices were shooting up and up and up!
Plus, at the time I had scored a great deal on my rental place. Because of this great deal, owning something even equal in square footage was waaaay more than I could afford!
For the first time in a long time, I became ultra-motivated to earn.
I had also started hanging out with people who had success in business much greater than my own.
They say you are a sum of the five people you spend the most time with, and being around people who were more successful than me made me want something I feel we humans are even more deeply wired to want: to be at the same level as the rest of the folks in your “tribe.”
It was this drive that motivated me to do the previous six things, work my ass off and grow my income by 10x, which led me to one of the proudest days of my life — the day I closed on the exact condo I wanted in NYC.
ACTION STEP: Want something HUGE. Set yourself a financial goal that you will have to 10x your income to get!
It might be a nice house of your own, or maybe you want to make a big contribution to a cause you believe in, like building a well with Charity: Water (10K) or building a school with Pencils Of Promise (25K). Or maybe it’s just creating a nest egg for your kids or being able to support your hardworking parents.
I’m a firm believer in that if you don’t want something you can’t afford… your income will NOT rise very quickly on its own… so set your sights high. Follow these 7 steps, and I promise you, you *will* do it.
Let me know how it works out for you.
P.S. I know I said not to post on Facebook, but I also realize you may want to share the lessons in this article with your friends. So go ahead and post it, but maybe do it with the headline, “This will be my last post for a while … off to crush my financial goals for this year!” And don’t you DARE check those likes!
P.P.S. Ok, ok. You can check the likes when the Timer is up.
Now get to work!