This morning I woke up and spent $1122 on Bill Baren’s new “Premium Packages Success System Program”. The following is my self-justification/self-reasoning/public teaching opportunity/meta-analysis of purchasing decisions, self education, and abundance vs. scarcity mindsets.
Disclaimer #1: Bear with me…these are not extremely polished thoughts like the ones that will end up being published in The Gap Year Experiment when I write and release it as my second book, to be released 2016. This is instead my urgent, spontaneous, and scrambled attempt to take the rapid, scattered inner thoughts activated during and after my purchasing decision (and marinated upon during a shower, where obviously the world’s best ideas come out of the ether and into our heads…clearly!) and ink them onto electronic “paper” before I forget all of them and miss the opportunity to properly self-assess and use my thoughts as a teaching opportunity here and in the future. Therefore, apologies if I’m all over the place.
Disclaimer #2: I’m really happy I was able to use the above picture. My facial expression from shenanigans at the Thiel Foundation Summit a couple months back in Las Vegas is priceless. I don’t remember who photobombed me, but his face was perfectly positioned for me to add the red speech bubble and text. Enjoy…
Just yesterday, I flipped out multiple times in one day over money…
Before paying for lunch, I had to self-justify saving a Euro here or there if I bought a cheaper option off the menu at some random sandwich shop in Berlin. When I had to pay to spend half a day at Betahaus, a co-working space just a few blocks away from where I stayed last night, I had to self-justify that too, and although I got a solid day’s work done yesterday, when I spent something like 7 Euros to enter the space (which is nothing…), it felt as if I were a puppy running freely in a plush green suburbia backyard only to venture too far and get viciously shocked by some underground electric fence that triggers harming pulses to my collar. Even last night, when I shared a lovely little dinner with my current host and his co-working space buddies, and everyone chipped in 10 Euro to cover the cost of food and drink, for some reason I thought about it way more than I should have, when in reality, I saved money because the same meal would have cost three times as much in any restaurant.
And it isn’t like I’m broke, begging for money as if I were homeless (actually, I am sort of homeless right now, but I preferred to be called a “work-cationing digital nomad” for the next couple months, thank you very much!). I have savings that can comfortably take me through my book launch next year, the beginnings of a really powerful marketing consultancy service – after helping clients like Keith Ferrazzi and the Founder of UGGs in the past – that I can look to scale, a growing public speaking brand that I have been looking to scale, and plans for two book proposals that will be pitched next summer upon release of 2 Billion Under 20, as well as other business ideas to roll out with that brand upon launch. I’m planning right now so I can play a bigger game in a few months, and I know that, so spending previously and purposely saved funds until those plans officially roll out shouldn’t be an issue…right? There’s ways to make money all around us, and I have more saved up that most baby boomers do (which is scary to think about), plus I’ve even gone so far as to make lists on my phone of “What To Do If You’re Running Out Of Money But Don’t Want (Or Can’t Get) A Job” in the slightest of chances that everything (and I mean everything) that I’m planning right now falls through and my bank account dwindles closer to 0.
In short…I’ll be fine. I shouldn’t worry about lunch, or a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or anything small for that matter.
And actually, this mindset will hurt me if I continue embodying it…
There’s this notion of an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset that I’ve been thinking about and toying with all year long. After hanging out some of the world’s smartest and most talented young people from all walks of life, and after chatting with and interviewing everyone from major tech CEOs to NYT Bestselling authors and professional athletes, I see that they all have an abundance mindset. They show appreciation and gratitude for what they have achieved and accumulated, and then are able to go forward and make more or accomplish more because they are operating from a proactive stance on their goals rather than a reactive mindset and “small” mindset that would limit their capacity for success.
Greg Reid is an amazing thought leader who writes all the new installments in the Napoleon Hill “Think And Grow Rich” series. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking alongside him last year at a conference in Gainesville, FL, and was invited to speak at his personal mastermind event next March. Here’s a man who’s been able to make friends with and interview all the extremely successful people of his generation (my parents’ generation) and follow in the footsteps of the great thought leader Hill. You know what his email signature asks?
“How can it get better than this?”
He’s literally daring the world to show him ways his life can get even better than it is now. The dude is thankful for what he has, and lives in an abundance mindset where he invites even bigger and better things to happen in his life. While I’m flipping out about a thousand dollars, he’s flipping out about how awesome it is that he signed up for an amazing new course and invested in a great learning opportunity, and asks the world to show him the way for even more abundance. Pretty cool…
Com Mirza, “The $500 Milllion Man” I had the pleasure of interviewing back in September, sets an alarm on his phone for every waking hour, and takes a minute to be grateful for what he has and is accomplishing. Think that’s part of the reason why he’s had so much success as an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist? You bet. He’s able to put in perspective what he has and what he’s thankful for, and then operate from an abundance mindset to help more people, seed more entrepreneurs, and accomplish more. He’s not worrying about that cup at Starbucks, or seemingly small problems whether they are financial or not. He’s focused on the bigger picture, as I need to be.
I actually carried five $100 bills with me – $500 cash – for a month or two before I moved to New York in October in order to instill in me an abundance mindset. The idea is that whenever I would begin flipping out about some small, inconsequential purchase or decision, I’d realize what I truly had and could afford, and stop worrying, instead taking the same brain space and applying it to the hairy, audacious goals and visions I have for the future rather than “sweating the small stuff”.
My purchase this morning of Bill’s course was certainly another step in the right direction as far as creating in myself an abundance mindset. Let me invest this money and time into myself rather than worrying about the surging costs of pumpkin spiced lattes (who drinks those anyways?).
Which brings me to another point. Would you invest in something if it had the potential to return 5X, 20X, or even 50X your original investment?
Perhaps this is Bill and Eben Pagan’s genius, ninja-grade copywriting that has planted thoughts in my head to spew back out in this post like a programmed robot, but part of my justification for spending $1122 this morning was the notion that I could bring in a few more high-paying, well-acclaimed clients for my marketing specialist services that I tend to do right now on a case-by-case and spontaneous basis. To date, the two or three clients I’ve had have fell into my lap and/or came through targeted reach-out efforts on my part, but my efforts have not really been documented or put into processes yet so I can go out and secure more clients at this high level, which is the only level I want to consult at given that most of my time right now is dedicated to 2 Billion Under 20 as a book and as a much bigger business in the future.
Joe Polish, a genius marketer and master networker in his own right, who runs in the same circles as Eben and Bill, calls these “ELF” business opportunities or clients, which stands for Easy, Lucrative, and Fun. Since Bill’s course is all about creating programs, marketing, and positioning for securing high-paying and high-value customers, my thought process was that if Bill’s insights help me gain at least one new client, I will at least 5X my return, if not 20X or 50X+ my investment if I grow a sustainable marketing consultancy offering that doesn’t drain my time and allows me to help other people impact their customers in a positive way.
Also, it is sort-of a free “gamble” at the roulette table.
My flight out to Europe was paid for because of a conference I spoke at in Oslo. That’s the $1,000 right there.
Also, over the course of this past year during The Gap Year Experiment, I’ve received tens of thousands of dollars worth of advice and coaching for free from mentors and successful people alike who agreed to share their thoughts and practices with me. I’ve hacked my way into over something like $15,000 worth of conferences for free in between a 6 and 9 month span (and I still have some time left in this year to grow that number!). Therefore, I have tens of thousands of dollars worth of “free” investments that I can make for my self-education over the next few years given the money I’ve saved.
I told my mom this morning about what I had just done, and she replied, “Omg Jared. That is a lot of money.” And it is (I’m obviously nervous about the decision still, or otherwise I wouldn’t be having this gigantic meta-analysis)…But if $1122 is expensive for a course that may pay for itself with just one new client booked, imagine what college would be costing me this year with little promise of similar returns if we are going to be bluntly honest with ourselves and society…(note – college is still probably a decent investment for most people, if they really understand what it is they are studying for and how they will get their ROI for their educational investment, but there’s no guarantees or promises a degree can provide in our generation unlike for our parents or grandparents, whereas a course from a thought leader vetted by others I trust built off of proven systems at least has some promise of a return for me).
And trust is the next reason I made the purchase.
I bought this off the word of someone I admire and trust.
One of Bill’s biggest affiliates in his product launch was Eben Pagan, one of the top Internet Marketing gurus in the world and someone I’ve come to really respect and look to study from. Eben stands in the position to choose who he promotes and affiliates with very selectively, so if Bill was one of his choices, and Eben was willing to ferociously email his “list” with Bill’s course offerings, I’m hoping I can rest assured that the course will be of high quality and beneficial to me. It was at Eben’s event in the first place over the summer where I met people like Bill Baren, Joe Polish, Com Mirza, and many other people I’m privileged to learn from and have in my network today! Eben’s already proved his value and trust to me (not to mention I was introduced to him from one of my top mentors, David Hassell, whom I really trust), so I don’t think I can go wrong.
This is an important thing for all of us to learn. The more value we can provide to others over time, and the better we are as communicators (see my last blog post about the importance of communication), the more we can charge, accomplish, and move ahead.
There’s too many other thoughts I have about this, and I want to stop rambling now, but here’s a few more things I’m interested in studying off of this purchasing decision and the ramifications of buying the course:
1) I want to learn exactly how Bill and Eben convinced me to buy the course this morning, because that is very powerful marketing given that I’ve never purchased a course like this before due to my youth and aforementioned frugality. So, learning how I was sold on this course is more education in itself than an entire year’s worth of marketing and sales courses.
2) As mentioned previously, I’ve received tens of thousands of dollars worth of world-class business (and health, relationship-building, community-building, and lifestyle design) education this year for free, but will having some “skin in the game” push me to implement some of the lessons faster than when those lessons were received for free (aka some wallet accountability)?
3) Now that I’ve committed to taking this course and spending that money, I’ve been thinking back to all the tangential learning opportunities and “free” educational resources I’ve had, from conversations with influential and successful people to free conference passes, course codes, and just ubiquitous online content like blogs and MOOCs…How can I better capitalize on all the treasure troves of information and strategies being thrown my way by my network without spending thousands of dollars so I can show my mentors, acquaintances, and kind sharers-of-their-time alike that I am in fact listening to their words and valuing their contributions to my self education?
4) Countless people I know have risked a lot more money and financial security to become part of similar courses, high level mastermind groups, etc and all have had incredible results from it. Will the same happen with me, and how can I make such changes happen? I remember meeting life coach Kate O’Brien, who told me she and her husband each invested in joining high-end mastermind groups for tens of thousands of dollars when they definitely did not have the funds to do so. Within months however, they were earning more money then they ever thought possible, and now live one of the most enviable lifestyles, running teleconferences and masterminds of their own that include speakers like Jack Canfield and moving their young family for the year to an entrepreneurial community in Bali where they are living a five-star lifestyle for pennies on the dollar while enrolling their children in one of the world’s best schools praised by folks like Richard Branson and Al Gore (Kate…if you’re reading this, know you’re a huge inspiration to me! Miss ya!). Same with Gry Sinding, a new friend that Joe Polish recently introduced me to. Gry is one of Norway’s top business coaches and internet marketers now, and attributes a lot of her life’s turn-arounds personally and professionally to investing in these types of courses and trainings even when she couldn’t afford them.
5) What’s the worst that could happen? Perhaps I need to stop over-analyzing a $1122 purchase and take on an abundance mindset about bigger and better things ;). Baby steps…We’ll get there eventually.
Disclaimer #3 – I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on all this. Was any of this helpful? Insightful? Were you entertained by reading me analyzing my own buying decisions? Again, I wrote this partially as notes that I can look back on, study, and do more research with when it comes time to write The Gap Year Experiment as a book and really develop insights from my gap year that the masses can truly benefit from in becoming more conscious when making major life decisions, but in the meantime, I also want to make sure my rants are read and valued. Shoot me a note at http://gapyearexperiment.com/contact/ with your thoughts!