Introducing Dan. You guys have heard me talk about him a shitload. He is a well of knowledge about anything money, business, execution, follow through, career, etc. His credentials include Stanford undergrad, and a Harvard MBA. He’s disgustingly well read, wealthier than God, and an all-around life beast.
Dan was a fund manager (retired at 36) and now spends his time managing his monies, partying, and acting half-insane.
What were some things that Justin did early on when you first met that made you like him? What made you decide to mentor him? Could this be applied globally?
I didn’t like Justin when I first met him. He was an overreaching, hyperbolic fuck and I didn’t believe a word he said. He also introduced me early on to his gardener. Ask him about that one. The main things that attracted me early on to Justin were raw intelligence, confidence (his greatest asset and his greatest liability), and fun factor.
How would you grade Justin as your protege? How could he have implemented your teachings more efficiently and what were his biggest assets and leaks during the meat of your mentorship period?
LOL Justin is not my protege. I have higher standards. He was for a long time way too stubborn, unreliable, and unemployable to be a protege. Too much fucking work. His biggest leak is he did not believe Edison’s “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” He thought it was the other way around. He also had the poker player’s disdain for making “small” amounts of money for doing things. Small, like $100 per hour. I am wealthy, but when Fidelity called me yesterday and asked if I would help them with some website feedback and they would give me $75 for half an hour, I really thought about it, LOL. And when I was worth $5mm, I would absolutely have done it.
That said, Justin is finally doing all the things I wanted him to do. But he had to learn the hard way. So his biggest leak was not listening to me from the beginning and mistaking his superior intelligence for thinking he DESERVED to be successful and taking any path that was labeled “least resistance.” No one deserves to be successful; some people deserve the OPPORTUNITY to be successful.
Given your high standards, what do you look for in a protege?
Who the fuck wants a protege? I never looked for one. But, the ones I was drawn to were:
- Willing to do anything
- FUN TO BE AROUND
- Able to teach ME something about some other area (not an exclusive tit for tat; it just makes a relationship feel more balanced)
For me personally, and I can’t speak for others, it’s about having enough of a personal connection that I actually care about you being successful. Half of life for me is just being a good sport, being able to laugh at yourself, being a person of integrity, coming prepared (in other words don’t make me do all the work- do everything you can until you hit a wall, then let me break the logjam).
Where do you recommend hanging out to find good mentors?
Worst place to find good mentors: “hanging out.” Make your potential and value apparent to someone who VALUES helping others for the sake of it. I worked with Justin because I liked him and I CARED about his success (there was no good reason for this. I am weird this way). Find people you want to emulate who are willing to take the time to TEACH. Many successful people are too self-centered, too unable, or unwilling to even describe the reasons for their own success, or too ego-driven to really care about what happens to you. People like to help those they see as younger versions of themselves with untapped potential. Mentors are by definition giving. Avoid self-centered assholes. Find them in the places you WANT TO BE.
What methods and rules do you use for everyday decision making?
Number one rule for everyday decision making: behave with integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing when NO ONE IS LOOKING. For example, I never lie to women about my age, marital status, capabilities, or the diminutive size of my private parts. I don’t believe in karma from a spiritual perspective, but I am a strong believer that she goes around, comes around. If you do the right things by everyone every day, and UNDERpromise and OVERdeliver you get very lucky.
Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. The harder I worked, the luckier I got.
Justin has talked a lot about your beastliness but I’m not sure exactly what you do. How did you go down this path?
One of the things I don’t do is ask open-ended questions that would take hours to answer and have no focus, so they’re unlikely to produce the answer I would find most helpful.
What one thing is the most important for your success?
I am more realistic about my strengths and weaknesses than most people in the world. I constantly reevaluate my “leaks” as we say in the poker world. I have always instinctively found what was valuable, interesting, and helpful from people I meet. I don’t care who you are- you have something to teach me and I am going to figure out what that thing is.
I am also neurotically fearful of failing and would do anything to avoid that outcome and to be seen as “less than” (most importantly in MY eyes than the eyes of others). I also got lucky and I think more logically than almost anyone I ever worked with. I am a keen student of cognitive biases. Everyone on here should Wikipedia “cognitive bias,” learn all of them, then be honest with yourself about how they affect you and your decision making. This is called metacognition: thinking about thinking. Very, very few people do this and understand the fallacies of their decision making processes.
If I had to pick a few things that led to my success as an investor, the first is pattern recognition. When a set of initial circumstances and facts are made clear I am good at figuring out where that cookie will crumble.
The second thing is that I don’t care who you are or what you do; I don’t care if you are my boss; if you say something wrong, stupid or questionable I am never, never going to let it go by.
The third thing is that I strip important decisions and situations to their essence. I am a strong believer in analogical thinking and find that it is the best way to explain situations to others when they are not thinking clearly. I strive to find an analogy that is familiar to the person I am talking to by using my knowledge of THEIR field of expertise to make it click for them.
Have you always been driven to work hard or did you develop habits and protocols to accomplish this? If so, what do you attribute your work ethic to and what are those protocols?
I was born this way. I do not come from a family that has my habits and drive. When you were nine years old and people asked what you wanted to be older what did you say? I said one thing: rich. I also have always had the ability to delay gratification and understood RO and return on effort. I understood that the decisions I was making in middle school would lead to where I am today. I have countless people come to me and ask how they can get where I am. They can’t. They closed out their options a long time ago by making decisions that narrowed their potential paths. I was the guy who looked at you when the bear showed up in the woods and started lacing up my sneakers- you looked at me and said “Dude, you can’t outrun a bear.” And I looked at you and said “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.” And I did, every time.
Do you think your approach can also work in different industries, or was it specific to the hedge fund world?
The part that was optimal for hedge funds was pattern recognition, but it’s not specific to hedge funds. I said the same thing in every interview I ever had, and got almost all of those jobs. They ask what is special about you and I said “I will walk through walls for you.” The difference between me and others is I meant it and I walked the walk. One difference in hedge funds and large organizations, perhaps (I never worked in one) is that there were different and probably less politics. Hedge funds are like sports. If you are scoring 30 points per game, it doesn’t matter whether people like you. You are still getting the ball. When you are reliant on “promotions” this is a grayer area. But there is a lesson in itself there. I did not end up in hedge funds by accident. I ended up there because it was optimized for both my skills and getting me to my goals.
Where or what should I start with when wanting to learn about stocks and investing? What books can you recommend?
It depends on your goals. Do you want to know about the stock market? Do you want to impress people? Do you want to get in the business? Do you want an efficient portfolio that takes little of your time?
If your goal is a long-term efficient portfolio, understand that you have almost no chance of getting good at picking securities. You have a chance to be smarter than most and REALIZE you have no chance. The only place I would recommend you pick individual securities is in an area of significant insight and expertise. Even then, it is dangerous because it’s not enough to know what is “in” or successful. You also have to know what OTHER people already think.
Warren Buffet (who I hate to quote) compared investing to a beauty contest: it’s not about figuring out who the prettiest girl is; it’s about figuring out who other people think the prettiest girl is. I addend that it’s really about figuring out what other people think about who other people will think the prettiest girl is.
Your time is not well spent in investing. Index and move on. Only when asset classes are in significant, obvious distress from sellers who have no choice (think real estate in 2008) would I recommend you really try to be an investor. Most people are just hopeless at it and those that are successful don’t even know WHY they were successful. It’s usually luck and leverage. There is an old saying that few understand: “don’t confuse brains for a bull market.”
If you can only read one book (well, two), read Classics, an Investor’s Anthology, Volumes I and II by Charlie Ellis.
What would you say is the most crucial personality trait to get ahead in business?
Willingness to fail.
To be clear, I HATE HATE HATE to fail. But in the end I will just put myself in a position and do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid that outcome.
Were you always good at taking risks? I find it hard to take risks and naturally seek out all the information before making a move, so I miss opportunities. Is there a mindset that allows you to stomach potential loss?
I am Jewish. I hate losing money. It made my job miserable and kept me up and night…but it made me better. There is an old saying: “You can eat well, or you can sleep well.” I feel, ironically, that I hate risk. Justin will tell you that I am the smallest stakes wealthy poker player he’s ever seen. Interestingly, I was WAY more bothered losing $1,000 in a pot than $100,000 in the market. I think this is because I took risks professionally in stocked, I believed they would even out over time, and in the end I wanted to eat well more than I wanted to sleep well.
If I could give you advice, and it is a bit trite, it would be to start small. If you are that scared, I challenge you to flip a coin 50 times with Justin for $100 a pop. See how it feels. Some people’s lives are just better for not taking risks. It’s ok, but you will need a lot more luck to get wealthy that way. It’s a personal choice. The only thing I will chide you for is this: if I offer to flip coins but pay you out 60/40 and you say no (and I have seen this with my own eyes) then you are just a mouse and you should be eating Top Ramen and dating someone for whom you are their only option.
I also heard a psychologist talk one time about the “snowball” and it’s an interesting technique for people who get anxious or scared. You just keep going down each bad branch of the outcome/decision tree, and ask “what’s the worst that could happen?” Keep going until the end and see if you can handle that outcome. Most of the time, it’s nowhere near as bad as you think. In addition, OWN YOUR FAILURES.
You’ve had a successful career path. Have you ever had to deal with significant failure along the way, or has it been mostly smooth sailing? (ex. going broke, unexpected job loss, unsuccessful on major initiatives, etc.) If so, give us some insight on how you dug yourself out of the hole and kept perspective. If you haven’t one through anything like that, what’s your opinion on why it’s been smooth sailing for you?
I took the wrong job (in some ways) out of business school. I thought it was the best possible job I could have gotten but realized soon after I got to this very recently hedge fund that there was no “there there.” I networked like hell and treated every job interview like it was the most important final of my life. The reason I got the job that made my career was because someone who interviewed me at Harvard Business School that I declined to continue with was so impressed that he gave my name to my ultimate employer and said you should call this guy; we are sorry we lost him. That’s the “karma” I was talking about. I was also VERY CLASSY about how I let them go. If I had just not returned phone calls or been a dick since I no longer had use for them, he would have thought I was a prick and never passed my name along.
That was a very stressful time realizing I had taken the wrong job. BUT I had excelled so much at everything I did that I knew even if the startup hedge fund, my second job after graduating, failed, I would find something else. People like to say I got lucky. Bullshit. If this one hadn’t worked, the next one or the next after that would have. I REFUSE TO FAIL. Too many people (and I have interviewed a thousand of them) like to come in and tell me why this job would be great for them. Idiots. I would go in and tell them why I WOULD BE INDISPENSABLE. They would fire their wives before they would fire me. Selfishly. Most people don’t want to help you. They want to help themselves.
How do you apply probability theory in your life outside of investing?
I play poker for fun so that’s a big application, but I doubt you care about that. In a formal way, I doubt people really use “probability theory” in a robust manner in their lives. What I DO think is very important is people’s total misunderstanding of TAILS. I have a couple good friends who used to always say “100%”. Wrong. Then I finally got them down to like 95%. Wrong. The human brain does a TERRIBLE job understanding the difference between 90%, 95%, 98%, 99%, and 100%. And it can matter a LOT when taking risks that have very bad outcomes. Any of you betting men? You really think you do a good job knowing the difference between needing 10 to 1 and 25 to 1 and 50 to 1 odds? You don’t.
I have seen this lead to overconfidence and very bad decision making. One thing I believe Justin has mentioned is the importance of black swans. It’s all related. For those of you geeks here, read up on fractal distribution versus normal distribution, specifically Mandelbrot’s “The Misbehavior of Markets.”
Here’s how Justin has developed an intuitive theory of risk: he made bad decisions for years and got to witness the outcomes. You have a chance to stand on the shoulders of people who have already made the mistakes you are planning on making. Take their advice. Justin’s thoughts on “EV” are very general and not what I would call theory, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. They are common sense. When he says dress well no matter where you go because you might get lucky it’s not probability; it’s common sense. Think more in terms of upside and downside and cost and benefit, instead of probability theory, which has the risk of getting academic (the opposite of what you want).
Looking back, is there anything about your business life that you would have changed?
Believe it or not, no. I quit when I was making a fortune because I was sick of it and my daughter got ill. I passed on a fabulously profitable (really, scary good) opportunity when I quit my first job that was a job that I had coveted my entire life. But I had the honesty, flexibility, and perspective to say “enough is enough; this is not the key to happiness; I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, and I don’t have to be the richest guy in my class.” I explored some avenues of curiosity that I always would have regretted not doing. I finally found a new passion in some creative stuff I am doing. I have made mistakes…but not in my career.
I guess the key here is that I don’t play the “what if” game. I know what I did and why I did it. The rule I use is this…if I would have made the same decision with the same information at a prior time looking back, I am satisfied. Only if I think that with the information available AT THE TIME it was dumb do I second guess myself.
What are your favorite or most influential books? DO you have any particular published thought leaders you follow?
I assume you have read Freakonomics. The authors are among the best thinkers and think about the world the way I do (or more accurately, the other way around). They don’t have bias. They take in the data in a disciplined way and just find the TRUTH without having a preconceived notion of what it is. They also provide lots of random knowledge about random topics that will make you an interesting conversationalist. You can read the blog as well; it’s mostly good.
What role did mentors play in your life? In 8 years I’ve never heard you mention one, ever. I’ve always surrounded myself with people who are better than me at whatever I want to improve at.
This may sound strange, but I can’t think of people I would consider mentors. I can think of people I admire and people I want to emulate, but not mentors. And perhaps this was my great strength. I took in all the info I could find and in the end chose what I thought was right. I never accepted “received wisdom” and you guys shouldn’t either. If something I say feels like BS, ignore it or at least poke at it. I was too busy making fun of my superiors for them to mentor me.
There are often suggestions that you have to be ruthless to get ahead in business. To what extent do you agree with this?
This is bullshit. Don’t be ruthless. Be aggressive and be good.
How do we go about building our networks and “flirting” with guys? Some general things we learned are add value, bring girls, and be fun. Any golden nuggets or specific tips you’d add?
You forgot to mention that number one is called “flying the flag.” Some of this might be a direct answer to your question and some might be random musing:
- In life and in business, don’t be afraid to highlight your WEAKNESSES and MISTAKES. Only people who are good and have confidence lead with their shortcomings. I tell a girl early on “don’t be disappointed with downstairs; you won’t be impressed.”
- I never used girls in business. I was too busy learning my craft, reading everything I could get my hands on, and working. I sacrificed that part of my life. I also met my ex-wife when I was 19, so I was not on the market like that.
- I think adding value is about being INTERESTING and knowing at least a little bit about a lot. Not for show; for real. I had the benefit of being a generalist for most of my life and for having great pattern recognition so I could relate my experience in one area to another. I am almost always able to find common ground and say something to someone I meet that says I know at least a little about what they do. This builds a connection.
- See prior response about using (not in a bad way, in a good way) your connections with people every day to LEARN. I was always the kid the coaches and teachers got annoyed at for asking too many questions. But as a result, I know a lot about a lot.
- Don’t feel the need to one-up people. It’s the worst. And ALWAYS ask questions. If you just talk about yourself, people will hate you.
Justin mentioned that you spent a lot more time cultivating wealth than cultivating vagina in your earlier years. What were the impacts of this decision and what would you recommend for someone who is 18, 21, 26 and 35?
This one may be controversial. I think things that bring a lot of immediate gratification (early spending, “vagina” as you artfully put it, partying) are in direct opposition to ultimate success. But you have to have comfort with your decisions and tradeoffs. I could have had more fun in a different way when I was younger. I didn’t. I am comfortable with those tradeoffs and I don’t regret them. But I am not confused that they are tradeoffs. My observation is that people who took the early gratification route spend a LOT of time complaining about where they end up.
Are there any methods you’d use in a marketing environment to get people to warm to you?
I don’t know that this works universally or even whether it was the best call for me, but I tend to use humor, create a connection and sense of familiarity as soon as possible, and show people that I am different and memorable. These occur more instinctively than as a tactic. This can be pretty specific to who the other person is, the environment, etc. For my world, I met a lot of people who did the same thing every day: either a management team who was making the same presentation all day or a due diligence guy who was asking the same boring questions all day.
For the first time, I would never use the presentation and make it clear early on I had PREPARED because I cared enough about the meeting to do the work, say things that demonstrated I understood something important and subtle, and often explicitly debunk some other common BS I thought they would have heard, or make fun of whatever I assumed they last guy they had met said to them (again, creates a bond).
For the marketers I would do things like when they would say “what is special about your process”- I know the standard line here. I would say “nothing, really.” BUT then I would demonstrate from everything else I said that this was in fact untrue.
It seems like you really enjoy having fun with life (making fun of superiors, wrestling people at a wedding, etc.) and yet you had to be extremely focused to perform well at your job. Do you have trouble transitioning between the two? Do you do anything to separate work and play? Is there anything you do to help with stressful situations?
For the most successful people, work is play. I loved games. I loved debate. I loved learning. I loved being right. That made my job play. I also was never stuffy and I promise you this: no one ever had a meeting with me they don’t remember.
Frequently people will say to me “remember when we met 10 years ago and you told me x?” The answer is no, I don’t fucking remember. But ask yourself why they did.
This is very specific to me personally. You can’t be someone you aren’t, and shouldn’t try to be. I was a performer when I was younger and treated most meetings as just that: a performance. There were brokers who said they would buy tickets to me talking to a management team. It was always, always interesting, if nothing else.
I am just a believer in calling people on their bullshit in the most humorous way possible. One of my favorites, not for business meetings, is “You are either lying or stupid. Neither one is great, but at least I am going to let you choose.”
The greatest thing ever said to me in a meeting was my first boss in a board meeting as I was rocking my dad’s hand-me-down suit, pink, somehow inlaid with diamonds dress shirt: “Hey Dan, did you get that off a dead Puerto Rican?
The number three guy at my company had just made his first half million dollar bonus and showed up proudly in a brand new accord. He said “What do you think? Isn’t it awesome?” I said “Yes. For an assistant manager at Sears. Grab me a coffee maker next time you are at work.”
Do you feel you can get away with what you’re saying because you’re the man, or are you the man because you get away with the things you say?
I can tell you this: everyone who meets me at our poker table absolutely refuses to believe the number of times I have been hit in my life.
I have something I call a “face wink.” It’s my way of saying “I know I just said the most demeaning, witty, belittling thing to you since you got beat up in third grade, but c’mon…you don’t really think I meant anything by it, do you?”
That’s more for social situations. In business, I just crushed people’s souls. They instinctively know when they are beat (although that doesn’t mean some of them won’t hate you for it).
Actually, you know what? It’s a lot like picking up women: be interesting and unpredictable. Cocky, interestED(!), and have an ARC. What a prick…who does he think he is? Wait, what is he going to say next? Hold on, he just did something that says he gives a shit…I was wrong about him after all. Rinse and repeat.
Note from Justin: How he gets away with it: for starters, he is the single biggest shit talker you will ever meet. He says UNREAL things to complete strangers, shit that even I wouldn’t say.
Step 1: he makes friends with people like me who will punch someone in the face if they get serious/frisky with him.
Step 2: He has a tone in his voice that implies he is fucking around.
Step 3: He walks the line like a tightrope walker, always 1mm away from going too far, but never actually crossing it.
When I tell you he says INSANE shit to people, it would require a 3 hour call to explain this. As I’ve told you guys, the first time I met him he spent 1.5 hours telling me how dumb I was, and it was the most informative 1.5 hours of my life. People ask me, how did you not hurt him? PFFT easy: his claims were valid, he backed them up, it resonated, and I realized, fuckballs, I suck. This guy can tell me exactly how and why. I need to ask a lot of questions.
This was 8 years ago. I went through him telling me how useless, dumb, and irrelevant I am almost daily for 6 years. One time we had ice cream; he was nice that day. So, there is that.
Like you, I consider myself to be giving a “performance” in sales calls and meetings. Can you give me some specific examples of how you made meetings more memorable?
It’s pissing me off because I’d hear stories for years about meetings I had and I am not doing a good job telling how it worked. One thing I would say is this: I constantly had people off balance. This is something honed over years and relates to Justin’s point about going up to the line but not crossing it. You could just see people move forward in their seats, because they knew if they relaxed, they were fucked.
In a life of ferocious competition, highest personal standards, wealth, and “success”, where have you found beauty, connection, and meaning?
My favorite question yet. I quit at the top of my career. I was burnt, my daughter was sick, and I couldn’t make the sacrifices anymore. I went a long time enjoying myself but I would say with little sense of purpose other than making up for some lost social time. In the last couple years I finally found something I love…making music and music videos with my daughter. I am more proud of that than anything I did professionally.
How have you approached “giving back”? Has the desire to do so evolved over your career?
For me, “charity starts at home.” I have been only a modest giver to traditional causes. That said, I have helped materially many family and friends around me. Both of my brothers would not have homes without my significant help. For others, it has taken the form of mentorship. For other, it has taken the form of opportunity. There are probably four friends in the world who have retired early and wealthy and would never have been there without my help. It’s very, very satisfying.
What has been the highest cost of opportunity in sacrificing yourself during your 20s for the sake of pursuing opportunity? Would you do it again after what you know today? Would you balance it?
As I said above, I wouldn’t change anything, but let’s not kid ourselves…I made sacrifices. However, my view is I have had different phases of my life and they came when I was ready for them. It’s dumb for me to mourn my sacrifices. They made me who I am today and I was never close to doing anything differently. I can’t say I would have balanced it. I used to say, explicitly “I am going to do 30 years worth of work in 10 then I will make up for it later.” And that is what I feel is happening.
Note: Dan met his wife at 19 and married at 24 so he had someone at home. This removes the need to go find vagina and he didn’t have a sense of loneliness. Had he been single, his story might be different, or maybe he’d have some regret. I think working a shit ton with no one to come home to would be a tough life after a few years.
I agree about loneliness. I also had kids. I was too busy, too focused, and had too much responsibility to notice what I was missing. I would have been lonely for sure otherwise, although there was lots of camaraderie at work. That brings up a sideways point: don’t believe most of your work “friends” are real friends. They are not.
What kind of career path would you recommend to be in high demand in the next 10 years?
Ummm…this is a two hour conference call worth of discussion. I will try to say a little. You are asking the right question about high demand. Wayne Gretzky, the best hockey player ever, used to say “don’t skate to where the puck is; skate to where the puck will be.” Careers are the same. I don’t spend time worrying about where the puck is going anymore.
I will say this: don’t sell your time by the hour or work for a company that does. Take a job where your skills are crucial to the success of the business and GENERATE REVENUE. This is called being “line vs. staff.”
Note from Robbie: This is crucial for the guys in this group. A lot of you are brilliant at what you do, but you’re replaceable as staff. Find a way to make yourself irreplaceable and you’ll gain control and options. This is the story I’ve jammed down your throats a million times about how I got a country club membership out of my boss while everyone else slaved away in the office.
In the end, do what you are passionate about and good at. I have friends who joined hedge funds when I did and went nowhere, because it just didn’t fit their strengths. No square pegs in round holes. Be realistic about what you will excel at. It doesn’t matter what you want and hope to excel at. It matters what you can really excel at. I have seen this mistake many times.
What is the best strategy to retain all material in my head and recall it on will to create free-flowing conversations?
I actually have a poor memory. BUT I don’t seek to memorize things; I seek to UNDERSTAND them. In high school I wouldn’t memorize geometry proofs and algebraic equations. I would understand where they came from so that, in a pinch, I could derive them instead of regurgitating them. I approach everything this way. No rote. CONCEPTS. Deep, accurate understanding.
Now that your hedge fund is career is behind you, what opportunities do you still want to do next? Are you just complacent with what you have now (doubtful)? Or is there some burning desire to reinvent yourself? You clearly don’t need more money, so what do you want?
I am an extremely busy retired person. I have many pursuits, not just jobs. I have helped build a very successful real estate business in the last two years from scratch with no prior knowledge. The funny thing is how much better I think about the real estate business than longtime professionals. Real estate people are dumb. I also revisited work for a few years and built a half billion dollar bond portfolio…and I had never bought a single bond in my life personally or professionally.
I believe most people investors are like workmen with a hammer: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” I strive to develop a full toolbox. I am an unattractive, short, older Jewish guy. Overcoming that socially was fun and satisfying. To me, just learn, learn, learn, challenge, challenge, challenge, connect, connect, connect. Integrity. The rest takes care of itself.
How do you make asset allocation decisions given that you “have more money than God”? Is your economic goal only capital preservation, or do you still have a risk position, and if so, what are your objectives?
For starters, in the world I came from I don’t have more money than God. Because there are some serious gods. I would have if I didn’t quit so young, but I did, thankfully. Regarding risk, a mentor of mine (I just realized I kind of did have one at some point. I just didn’t work with him of live within 3,000 miles of him) was fond of saying “you are not in the getting rich business; you are in the staying rich business.”
That said, I love investing when opportunities are ripe. It’s tedious when they are not. I have a balanced approach to risk. My number one goal was to never HAVE to work again. Working is fine. Having to work after the effort I put in was, in my mind, disastrous. I’ve been an active investor in many types of funds, equities at an earlier time before I got sick of it, and now being very active in real estate with a very small group of friends. My goal has always been to end every year with more than I started. I have failed at that once, in 2008.
What are the key financial/economic numbers that you would look at every day to form a global macro view? How did you organize information and stay on top of stuff?
I was a voracious reader of everything Wall Street for many years. What I discovered is this: reading so that you understand the real data of what has just happened can be necessary, but I NEVER made money listening to pundits and expert macro guys from places like Goldman Sachs. They sound wickedly smart and often make their cases convincingly. They have the small flaw of being right with about the same frequency of chimps. I think reading people’s opinions of markets is more likely to lose you money than make you money.
It’s easy to get distracted by the volume of data and I wouldn’t read that shit unless you simply enjoy it or want to round out the building blocks of how things work (i.e. not for prediction but for mechanics, general knowledge, and intellectual curiosity).
I still get a macro daily email from Morgan Stanley. I can’t remember the last time I read it. I used to peruse five per day as well as literally hundreds of other commentaries. When you are in the markets daily the main importance of this for me was forming contrary opinions. When you are doing what I call “intermediate” equity trading for months (not days or years) you need to have a command of the “expectations” game. I am so over that shit. It never ends.
For you guys, I believe that real money is made through passive allocation: tax efficient, low fees, low transaction costs, and if you have the capital and access, making big calls when things get screwy. There have been three calls that really mattered to me in the past 15 years. It is only when this gets OBVIOUS that I get interested. They were ahead of the internet bubble (there was a 99 percent chance there was a bubble ahead of time, not in retrospect), the aftermath of the debt meltdown in 2008, and the historically wide spreads a few years ago between cap rates and mortgage rates in some kinds of real estate.
What are your thoughts on the MBA route?
I have a big bias around MBAs. If you can go top 5, go for sure, unless your current setup. A good MBA is the biggest door opener in the world and the best way, by far, to switch the role or industry you’re in. If you want to make a total right degree turn, there is no better way to do it. I would generally NOT recommend anything outside the top 10. If you wanted to be in finance I don’t even know if I would recommend outside the top 5. This is very specific to your talent, grades, connections, current opportunities, and the relative NEED for an MBA in the field you want to pursue. Adjust for these factors. I’m a massive academic snob, so you are getting a pretty biased view.
As a sales person the most valuable resource you have is your time.
So when prospecting you learn to develop what is called a target customer profile.
These are key attributes of successful deals that you have already closed.
So if a prospect doesn’t exhibit the majority of these qualities, then you move on so as not to waste time on “tire kickers” or basically people who have no intention of buying whatever it is that you are selling.
Really successful sales people are able to quickly determine what is NOT a deal; they have literally mastered this skill.
This is an important point as you will get a lot more neahs than yeahs and there is a real opportunity cost associated with waiting on something that will never happen.
Since sales is a numbers game, you play the odds by developing daily targets and approaching more prospects that look like your past successes in order to increase your future chances of success.
With that said, even if the prospect looks good on the surface, you still have to qualify them.
If they’re not a fit, then you move on and don’t waste time because the next one that is waiting to be qualified could be the “big deal” you are looking for.
Once you find a qualified prospect, every interaction you have is designed to move them further along in the sales process towards your ultimate goal of closing the deal.
That is how good sales people consistently meet or exceed their quota.
Notice I said good and not great.
You don’t need to be great to crush your quota, but you damn sure need to be methodical.
Where am I going with all of this?
Consistently hooking up with hot chicks doesn’t happen by accident.
You are a sales person prospecting women and hoping to sell them on you and there is a process to this which this site lays out for you.
So why so many guys who know that this type of training exists and still try to do their own thing and suffer through countless fuck-ups and missed opportunities is beyond me.
Anyway back to the matter at hand, I have a target profile for women.
For example, one of the first things I look for besides the obvious physical traits is a sense of humor.
If a girl is too serious right off the bat, then I ain’t fucking with her; no matter how good she looks.
Why? Because my whole sales technique (i.e. game) is based around humor, so if she ain’t laughing then my chances of getting anywhere are slim to none.
I don’t take it personal, I don’t continue to invest time and energy, I don’t going crying to my boys about how this dumb chick who didn’t text me back or show me love; I just move the fuck on to the next chick that is ready to have some fun!
Most good sales people are able to close between 1/4 – 1/3 of what is in their pipeline.
So if you have 8 qualified prospects, then you should eventually land at least 2 deals.
Some deals have longer sales cycles than others; depends on the product you are selling and the target market you are selling it to.
If you’re a 6-foot, 6-pack, 6-figure dude, then your sales cycle will be shorter than a dude that looks like Gru from despicable me making $30k a year, and if you’re that 6’6 dude then of course your closing ratio will be higher given you have some skill.
Even still to get 8 qualified interested women you gotta approach a hella lotta chicks; especially if your profiling the most beautiful women.
So this really is about putting up the big numbers.
Finally, I don’t randomly text and talk to women about inconsequential bullshit.
If I communicate with them in any way, it’s for a purpose.
Either I’m trying to connect, or set something up; basically move them along in the process.
So I always begin each conversation with the end in mind on some level.
D (A moderator in Leverage)
It’s amazing to me how people hemorrhage their hard earned money on a daily basis. It’s also amazing how many opportunities aka layups people miss.
Lets take just a few examples from members of Leverage this week:
I had a private call with Rich which resulted in a bet to get him to participate more. He lost that $100 bet because he was too lazy and scatterbrained to post about a call I setup for him with a friend of mine who is very advanced in a field he wants to be in. He had 5 days to get this done, it took him 6, and I reminded him to do if after swiping his credit card.
Jad is moving and wanted to keep his collection of bed bug infested, frat-tastic bachelor pad ripped, worn, old and beat up, early 90’s furniture in a storage unit that costs $115/month. That’s $1380/year and it would have probably sat in there for 10 years, out of sight, out of mind, which would have lead to a 10K plus mistake!
I asked Jad to post all the pictures he had of his furniture. So he posted everything EXCEPT the only two valuable good looking pieces he had, black end-tables. He then posted on his regular facebook wall that he is giving away all his furniture for free. Guess which pieces were immediately snatched up? The black end tables. Which resulted in a fight because one of his friends thought he was getting them free and another offered him money for them. All Jad had to do was post “I’m moving and need to get rid of furniture. If you want it, make me your best offer, but I’m not helping you move it. If your best offer is $0 and you’re willing to move it, I’ll take it if I don’t get any other offers.” This would have resulted in a free-roll instead of an argument.
Sergio wants to drive all the way to fucking Anaheim from San Diego and spend $200 plus on Disneyland tickets, gas, drinks, food and lodging to take a gross slut out he met on lifestylelounge.com an adult swingers sight. There is no shot this chick is above a 7 and not complete trailer trash.
Kin asked a question about a girl who he knows on Tinder. “We both swiped right” how should I proceed? But he failed to mention that SHE OPENED HIM!! Don’t you think that might have been relevant information to include?!
Thomas showed up 2 hours late for a 3-some session with me which cost him some valuable feedback. I extended our session as a courtesy but that time earlier would have been more valuable than later to get in 3-some approach reps which weren’t really a possibility later when the rest of our entourage showed up.
And that is all things within the last 4 days!
How many parking tickets did you guys get this year?
How many late fees have you paid?
How many $5-$25 memberships do you have that you don’t use but pay for everything month?
This shit adds up FAST, costing you thousands of dollars every year!
How many impulse purchases did you make on shitty clothing that you weren’t totally crazy about, that you never wore, nor can you return because you bought it from some place that has a shitty return policy or cuz you lost the receipts by being a disorganized fuck?
Most of you guys aren’t qualified to make fashion decisions, I BARELY am, I still run everything I’m considering purchasing by experts first. And I won’t even consider buying things from a store where I can’t return it.
How many impulse purchases did you make on video games, dvd’s, stupid gadgets, camera equipment because you wanted to get into photography but never got around to it?
This shit isn’t cheap. Justin K, spent over 3K in a month on camera equipment because he had to have the best stuff. At the time he was over $50,000 in debt. Put it on the ole credit card, no big deal!
How many of you are trying to lose weight, except you can’t even cook the most basic of meals, (scrambled eggs) so you end up paying triple to eat out every meal and make it almost impossible to lose weight? Almost every restaurant loads their food with sugar and salt to make it more flavorful Sugar makes you fat, salt makes you retain water. Not good for weight loss or your bank account! Paging Joel 😉
How many of you are taking girls on dates without understanding the First Date Protocol and spending hundreds while severely decreasing your chances of getting laid?
The list goes on, and on, and on!
I can tell you right off the bat, if you don’t track your spending you are probably spewing double or triple what you think. Bank fees, overdraft fees, late payments will KILL you. You just don’t realize how badly you are getting nickeled and dimed.
Download the Mint App and start tracking your shit. It’s free and will save you big time.
And perhaps the biggest one, how is your credit score? If you are sitting on over 100K in cash, your credit score isn’t that big of a deal. But if you’re not, having bad credit is absolutely fucking killing you. Do the math, add it up and don’t forget opportunity cost of having to pay way more cash up front because you can’t finance things like rent. I have made $30,000 this year on the basis of having good credit and I haven’t paid for a plane ticket in months because I use sites like www.thepointsguy.com (thanks Justin)
It pains my heart to see people making dumb dick mistakes all day, wasting time and money on worthless shit.
I’ve recognized that thing that makes me happiest in life is women. So I do my best to spend money on things that will get more more of that. But I am still very strategic about this. TV’s don’t get me women, they aren’t on my radar. (unless we’re furnishing a vacation rental to help generate passive income that will also go towards women) I’m a sex addict, fuck off.
There is no excuse for making these mistakes. They result from laziness, failing to think critically and not understanding math.
We’ve all been there, we all mistakes, I’m just as bad as anyone… I get it.
The first time its a mistake and you’re a silly goose, the second time you’re a fucking idiot, the third identical mistake makes you an asshole.
Don’t be an asshole or a fucking idiot.
Silly goose is ok but being a minimalist is better.
I sat in my office earlier today listening to Pandora when Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me” came on (I’m from Texas give me a break). It’s basically a song about the advice the older Brad Paisley would give to his 17 year old self. This made me think of you. A blank canvas.You’re very forward-thinking which is impressive for a 17 year old. I applaud you, sir – stay in this group and you’re going to be absolutely unstoppable by the time you’ve finished your education.
Having just turned 24, I realize that I have very little time left in the 18-24 young adult age bracket. Which is a good thing because almost everyone in this age range is completely fucking retarded. Nevertheless, I’ve started to reminisce on the last several years. Regrets, successes, failures, what could I have done differently? Here’s my subjective recap and general observations of life since senior year of high school:
Senior year: Early on this year prudent, forward-thinking kids will be applying to colleges, writing essays for scholarships, perhaps taking their SAT, etc. Being a first generation college student with VV little financial backing from my parents, this was my life for the first 3 or so months of my senior year – I researched every scholarship I was eligible for and wrote essays, filled in applications. Hustled until I had filled out maybe 20 applications with essays. I think I ended up getting about 1/2 of my total college tuition/fees paid for through that effort. After that it was on to finding work – which I found as a waiter at an Italian restaurant. Started in October 2007 and worked every weekend until it was time to go to college the next August. In hindsight I’m glad that I worked so hard because it kept me out of trouble (i.e. didn’t hang out with kids who were going nowhere with their lives which was the only social circle I had access to at the time). I suppose that I could have cultivated my social skills during that time but it was too risky to hang out with that crowd and have their mannerisms rub off on me. Also cultivated a work-ethic that would serve me very well in college. Made a little $ on the side. I studied a lot after being accepted to Texas A&M which doesn’t make sense to me now. I wish I would have used that time spent studying to build a practical skillset or infiltrate a social circle. Of course I had no idea how to do that at the time, nor did I play any sports which was extremely detrimental to my social life.
My general thoughts about high school are this: The environment is artificial. Most kids don’t have any real responsibility, hence it’s easy to not care, goof off, and have fun. Those kids are rewarded with easy pussy (because we’ve all learned here at IC that girls want excitement over anything else especially between the ages of 15-25) and therefore a modicum of social prestige. Perfect. The only thing is that they’re not positioning themselves to have the best lifestyle possible later in life like you are TJ. Their lifestyle and personality is built around the assumption that they won’t have real responsibility anytime soon. These kids will have fun until about 25 at which point they notice that women are starting to place more value on finding a man with upward potential and means (yourself at this age). Unfortunately for them, it’s likely that their choice in lifestyle and lack foresight has landed them a job that will almost certainly require less skill (less $) and provide less upward mobility than what the forward-thinking kids like yourself who busted their ass will be doing by that age. This is why you should wait to get married because you’ll have so much more options the older you get. Every day that you work and cultivate your skills is a day in which you appreciate in the dating marketplace. Personality, money, and power are to a woman as a tight body, pretty face, and sweet personality are to a man. Personality/money/power take time to cultivate, which is why older men (who’ve had the foresight to cultivate these things) have more options. In my opinion, a man marrying at 25 is like a woman marrying at 15. The 25 year old guy has just started to build leverage in the marketplace, exactly like the 15 year old girl’s body and social skills have started to develop. End rant.
College: My Goal statement was this – graduate engineering school cum laude in 4 years with no student loan debt. Anything that didn’t serve my goal statement could go pound sand. Complete tunnel vision. BIG mistake. Of course engineering school isn’t a joke, especially if you want to graduate in 4 years. For me, this meant sacrificing my social life because I valued sleep and grades more than I cared about people. I achieved that goal, but to the detriment of building relationships and having awesome memories. Also never took the time to learn about who I was or what I was passionate about. I could only tell you what I did. What I was going to be – an engineer. i was extremely proud of that.
Thoughts about college: Texas A&M is the most conservative school in the US so my college experience will likely be different than yours. Being a dork didn’t help either. Can’t give much perspective on the social aspects of college. Maybe some of the other guys can chime in.
Regrets: Not finding out who I am at an earlier age, what my personality is. Valuing money at the expense of having more memories and more/better relationships. Would have been cool to have at least one hot girlfriend but not gonna mull over it. Not learning social skills – totally avoiding the social realm of life when it was easiest to participate in.
Successes: Financially independent at 21. No student loans. Not getting sucked into a broke-dick crowd for too long (was careful about who I hung around) therefore avoiding negative mannerisms, attitudes any further than what I inherited from my mom/dad. No addictions. First-generation college student graduating cum laude from engineering which was a huge confidence booster. Paid 20% down on a house in an upscale neighborhood at 22 (median resident age is 49) Excellent credit. Awesome industry. Position of authority in career. Acquired a very particular skill-set that can be used to make money on the side as an alternative investment to the stock market. Have kept up fitness and laidd a great foundation for health moving forward
Post-grad: 22-23: Still trying to adjust but all I can say is it’s harder to meet people outside of work. I had several buddies get married after college and they completely fell off the face of the planet. It has been a challenging time for me seeing as how I moved to a city different than where I grew up. REALLY glad I found this group because otherwise the loneliness would have settled in and I would be on my way to marrying a sassy, needy, overbearing 6 right now.
My viewpoint is that these are your years to build a foundation.Take care of your health. Start taking 10% of whatever you’re earning by working for the IC Guys and invest in a retirement account or investment idea of some sort. Identify the kids that are going somewhere in life and make friends with them. Mind you they may not be the coolest kids but that’s okay, you’ll be able to bring them up to speed. Maintain those relationships.
Bust your ass, lay a solid foundation and I have no doubt you’ll have married your dream woman, retired, and have a social network of all-stars by the time you’re 35.
Between coaching guys in my Leverage Program and going out with my non-client friends, I’m out at bars/clubs at night a LOT. And if you’re in a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or Miami, a lot of the better more exclusive bars/clubs will have door guys and a long line to get in. If you hate standing in that line, then continue reading this for my tips on how to bypass that line and get hooked up when you go out at night.
First time you go somewhere, get names. When you walk in, ask the bouncer’s name and shake his hand. When a bartender serves you a drink, say “thanks, what was your name again?” Shake hands and introduce yourself. Treat service industry people with respect and connect with them.
If they are busy, don’t waste their time, but if it’s a slow night or later on the evening, chat them up. I showed up to a popular bar in West Hollywood on a slow night with one of my clients 45 minutes before closing time. The usual dude with the mustache was working the door. We walked in, looked around, no chicks, walked outside. I remember from a couple nights before that a friend of mine hooked the bouncer up with a gift and I knew his name was Charles only because I wrote that down in my phone!
Side note – I take notes in my phone because I know I’m not gonna remember the bouncers, bartenders, host/hostess and servers’ names the first couple times I meet them. The result of all this is no/minimal waiting time, free drinks from the bartenders and massive social proof and love from women when they see that everyone who works there treats you like a king.
So I sarcastically said, “Hey Charles, how bad was that gift my friend gave you? :)” He laughed and we started chit chatting. I asked him where he was from and he said Canada, so I asked him if he was a hockey fan. Turns out he also plays competitively and naturally we connected over hockey for the next 15 minutes or so. Now every time I go there, he gets me right in no matter how long the line is. The other night I went out with two buddies and there was a stupidly long line (hour plus) but Charles got us right in.
One of the first times I went to a popular bar in New York, my friend and I were chatting with some girls outside smoking, playing the “Cock-Block Game.” This is a game in which you intentionally try to cock block your buddy by saying ridiculous things to the girls he is talking to. It makes for ridiculous stories.
The bouncer overheard and was really confused about what we were doing until we told him how the game worked. He started calling us the cock-block guys and from there on out, he was always happy to see us and we never waited. We also found out what he liked to drink and would buy him a drink every time he was working.
A couple years ago I challenged myself to go on 50 first dates in 30 days. There was a bar adjacent to my apartment and I would go on multiple dates per day there. The bartenders started giving me funny looks when I had a different girl show up literally every day if not twice a day. I got to know all of them and they started hooking me up with free drinks. Frequency is your friend.
Bouncers and bartenders at nice places are social beasts. They get this stuff on a really deep level and if you don’t, you’ll make a fool of yourself and risk losing out on their good graces. When I walk up to a bar where I’m buddies with the bouncer and he doesn’t greet me with a big hello, I know why. He doesn’t want to look like he’s playing favorites and letting his friends cut the line. He will get backlash, unfavorable Yelp reviews and other customers waiting in line will get pissed. So he’ll pretend like he doesn’t really know me and I’ll do the same. I’ll hang out to the side and then he’ll signal me when he wants me to walk in.
Idiots I’ve rolled with don’t get this and think we have magical powers to get into popular venues. We connect with people, take care of them and they hook us up. When you have cool friends who are socially savvy and you know how to befriend people in the service industry, you don’t have to wait in line like most amateurs. If you show up with 10 dudes, you can’t expect royal treatment from people you know because it jeopardizes their job to hook you up. The one rule that trumps all is bring a lot of attractive women and you’ll never wait.
So in a nutshell, if there was just one tip I could give you after reading all this, it’s to learn how to connect with people.
When you’re able to relate and connect to others, you’ll open the doors to a lot of opportunities in life, and not just socially.
I was listening to a client of mine named Peter complain about how expensive drinks, dinners and dates are. He said he just went on a date, spent $120 and got no love. She wouldn’t even hold his hand. But Peter is no Casanova, in fact, most women think he’s gay. I told him that pimpin ain’t easy or cheap and he had a very long road of hard work ahead of him.
I then explained the following. Most people only think of penny out, good or service in. Penny in, penny out. They don’t take time to measure anything else. In economics we talk about “utility”: An economic term referring to the total satisfaction received from consuming a good or service. Example, if I had to pay $400 to watch the Superbowl, I would. I get a shit load of utility out of that, tons of satisfaction.
In the gambling world we do often run something called a “Chinese Auction.” I’ll use something similar with respect to utility.
You meet a cool, hot chick and get her number. You go on date, it goes well, and you spend $120. You follow up with a text, but she vanishes! How much would you pay not to feel that pain? $300? The pain of “What the fuck? This girl really isn’t responding. WTF I paid for another date and nothing. Ugh this is so frustrating.” Don’t you wish you could call her and tell her what a huge mistake she’s making and how her lack of vision is keeping her from you- an awesome, authentic dude? Would you pay $800 to not feel that? How much would you pay to never feel that frustration again, $20,000? How much would you pay to know that every single girl you go on a date with will respond and fall in love you, $100k financed over 20 years?
What about the smoke show you saw at Starbucks this morning? Would u pay $900 to an imaginary piggy bank to have the balls and know how to have approached, flirted and closed her?
I could carry on for hours and the list would equal $$$ millions. I paid the fee, and all my buddies that are great with girls paid the fee. (there are very few)
Now Pain. How much would u pay to never walk past a group of hot ass girls and see them laughing and happy as fuck with a group of dudes that are certainly zeros, yet walk or drive your painful ass home to Netflix and masturbation?
What would you pay to have the life I have? Never have a single night pass where you aren’t invited to something fun. What would you pay to end the pain of sitting home watching Netflix or YouTube videos AGAIN for the 7,000th time?
What about the girl that friend zoned you and strung you along forever and shit on your dignity? What would you pay to never feel that pain again? I’m guessing a ton.
So I say, $30k over time and you say “WAAAAAAT?! No way, no how” Well listen here buddy, let me explain that you are going to pay no matter what.
You are going to buy TV’s that you don’t need to get an adrenaline rush to cure your boredom. Four pairs of $300 shoes that you don’t need so that you can be excited about something… for once. You are going to buy girls attention and affection, but guess what? The Law of Diminishing Returns will destroy that plan. Pair of shoes #1 that you buy her will get her excited, pair #6 will get you some affection. By #100 she won’t care, she already has 99 pairs, she’ll tell you to screw yourself, and every other horrible thing that you can imagine
You only have 4 options, 3 of which put you right back in the same spot.
#1 Pay $100,000’s in TVs, cars, shoes and other BS. Pain will not go away. You will not find quality companionship. You’ll be emasculated for life never feeling like you really got a quality companion and you’ll still have a lonely life.
#2 Pain. Remember the $400, $300, $800 scenarios when a girl vanishes on you? You will pay in pain. This will cost you $millions in what I call reverse utility pain.
#3 Buy the girl. I explained above how that won’t work.
#4 Pay $30k over 1-2 years for a dating coaching. Never feel the pain again. Learn a life skill. Acquire happiness you always wanted. See how your notions are faulty and flawed, why she doesn’t see u as the awesome dude you are. Feel like a man, get results, and get calls to hang out.
Option #4 is the only solution that results in what you want, you never have to feel the pain again, and it’s the cheapest. Either way, no matter what, you are going to pay. We have provided the easiest, most painless, and efficient option.
Lets take a few case studies –
1. Justin. Now a total beast and helps other guys to learn this stuff. He had pain, he paid to solve it and now he crushes it. He never has to feel the pain again. He paid a shit load. Well over $15k. He’ll be the first to tell you it was best money ever spent.
2. Cary, another mod and owner of this company paid over $15,000 and traded another $20k in time to solve the pain. You would never ever know any of these two guys were once clients. They paid the fee and it reflects in their life every single day, in dating, their body language, their friendships, social life and activities.
We all know my story- I’ve spent millions to learn this stuff and I’m not kidding. I’ve paid millions indirectly in opportunity cost- turning down jobs that would have interfered with hitting on girls 8 hours a day 7 days a week, partying, and social life, And I’ve paid over $500,000 directly in partying, clothes, travel, fun etc.
You know how much pain I have in my life, virtually zero. I don’t think I could script a better life for myself. I never feel a twinge of salty, pain, irritation, or “why me” when it comes to girls and social situations.
I find it interesting that the guys who need it the most, pay the least and put up the most resistance to paying us. The guys who need it the least pay the most, and put up the least resistance. I believe its cause the guys who are the worst, don’t get how and they are socially retarded so they just don’t understand what they need while the guys who need it the least aren’t socially retarded and understand that some tweaks and work will get them a pain free life.
You say what does $30k get me? It gets you a pain free life. “I can’t get a 2nd date” is a very common complaint. I’m sure you’re fucking up post date texting, learn to be a better texter. “Ok I learned it, still no second dates”. Well that’s not the whole problem, do u know how to really connect emotionally with a woman, do u know how to engage a woman? Nope, buy 1 on 1 time with guys who can show you. How’s your fashion? Crap? You need a new wardrobe. There isn’t one little fix. Its all the stuff you need. This curriculum and program we have built turns you into a guy with serious swagger. Keep counting your pennies you are saving by not buying it (genius), just make sure you count the twinges of pain too.
You figure it out. Either way you are going to pay, no matter what. You can pay in utility pain, or you can pay us and have the life you want.
I recently recorded a podcast with Andrew Ferebee, founder of Knowledge For Men. They have a podcast where they feature today’s most successful leaders who share their incredible stories and life lessons to help you get the life you want in the areas of health, wealth, relationships and personal growth. I went on the show to talk about facing your fears and how to become a social genius to get the life you want. Check it out here:
#1 Girls will flake. A large % of them.
#2 Dudes will bring dudes.
#3 Always have enough alcohol and mixers. You can return what you don’t use (if you are poor or don’t plan on any future parties). Just make sure you keep some hidden and only break it out if needed.
#4 have sufficient cups/glasses/wine glasses/shot glasses etc
#5 A good play list always helps.
#6 Invite every girl you have ever met or know. Relax- 90% of them won’t come.
#7 Send out initial invite (text or whatever). Remind a few days before. Remind day of. People will forget.
#8 Invite dudes who have large and great social circles.
#9 Do not invite guys who ride solo and provide zero value.
#10 Have snacks/food/etc. A chef is always a classy touch. People leaving cause they are ‘hungry’ sucks and is avoidable with snacks, microwavables, etc
#11 Be very aggressive (nicely) about introducing everyone to everyone and something they have in common: “Brian, meet chris. Chris is also a piano guy, I’m sure you guys will make piano buddies or whatever”. The sooner everyone knows everyone the more comfortable everyone gets. This makes for a good party.
#12 Its your party, remember that. Feel free to take over, entertain, get people to take shots, make announcements, it’s your job to throw the party and make sure people are having fun.
#13 Ive never been to a great party where everyone was sober. Ive been to some epic parties with crowds of people I don’t care for, but because everyone was drunk- we had a great time.
#14 Feel free to set the tone- 80’s night, dress up, The Great Gatsby, roller skates, costume, what ever. Whatever you do, people will follow
#15 invite lots of girls. LOTS. No girls = no party
#16 Cater to your guests. If they want classical music, so be it. If a select few risk killing the party, F them. Don’t concede.
#17 A TV on (with audio) or a game will kill a party vibe. Bro’s will hover around yelling at TV and chicks will lose interest in the vibe.
#18 You should be on the move a lot. Walking from guest to guest, little group to little group having short, but intimate/meaningful conversations.
#19 Pour drinks for guests and encourage them to drink/take shots. I like to have “public service announcements” where I turn down the music and announce everyone is finishing whatever drink is closest to them in 3, 2, 1, DRINNKKK. Then I turn music back up. Do this 8 times in 1 hour and you have yourself a party.
#20 Invite a boat load, mega ton of girls.
#21 Cake is for old people.
#22 Invite neighbors cause 1. they won’t complain 2. its nice/cool.
#23 Invite a gaggle of women.
#24 Don’t invite gubers, dorks, nerds or old people.
#25 While u can’t tell ppl not to smoke pot- it can turn a party slow/dead pretty quickly if everyone gets stoned.
#26 Having a bar tender = gangster.
#27 Having cocktail waitresses is more gangster. Pro-tip hire them under guise that they must bring girlfriends.
#28 Roller Skate house parties are SICK.
We surveyed 60 members in the Become A Social Genius group and asked them to how to crush a job interview. Here is what they had to say.
Before we get into the list, the most important of all is not to freak out during the interview for any reason, like these people:
1. Ask questions. I am always taken back when I do an interview and the candidate just sits there and answers questions but doesn’t actually have a conversation. Your inability to converse JUST with the person hiring you is a red flag! (Though I went against this when hiring developers aka the robots in my office who code my website and though it doesn’t effect their work, I literally can only stand 1 minute of conversation with them before I have to immediately leave the room haha)
2. Wear a properly fitted suit, posture matters.
3. If it’s a phone interview. Treat it just like a face-to-face interview. Wear the suit and use good posture. This will come across over the phone. The one difference is stand while talking on the phone. You WILL come across better.
4. Research the company and be prepared to ask questions about the company and position you are interviewing for.
5. Be prepared to answer tough questions like:
a) What was a failure and how did you recover from it?
b) What’s your greatest strength?
c) What’s your greatest weakness?
6. Be honest.
7. Relax. Just like approaching women or anything else, calm and collective gives you big points.
8. Find a connection with the person your being interviewed by that is non-business related. It can sports you like to play, alumni, places you have traveled, etc.. People like people that are similar to themselves.
9. Don’t bullshit an answer you don’t know. I would always ask a trick question when I interviewed candidates to work for me. I wanted to see if they were honest and had integrity. If they answered, “I don’t know but I will research it” then I knew I could trust them. If they gave me an incorrect answer then I knew if a project was running late or we had a major customer issue then they would potential lie to cover it up or worse give me an incorrect answer that would make the situation worse.
10. Make sure you don’t screw up any technical questions that could be considered necessary for the job. Study in advance.
11. Have specific examples ready about things you’ve done, successes, failures, etc. I always ask for specific examples and if you can’t come up with them you’re done. Don’t talk theory and tell me “what you would do” or “what I always do” as anybody can bullshit that. Give me a specific example of when you actually did it.
12. If it’s a professional interview, don’t talk about how much you drink, party, go out, like to just sit at home and watch football, etc, no matter how cool you think the interviewer is. Had this happen to me recently… Guy obviously thought I was cool enough to say something along the lines of “well on my free time I love to get way too drunk and pass out in my sweats after football”. He seemed solid before this.
13. Don’t badmouth previous employers, don’t ever make excuses for your failures and blame other people. Can’t tell you how often people give me some failure that was “their bosses fault” or “the company’s fault”. Own up to your own failures, don’t blame anybody else, and don’t act like you’ve never fucked up.
14. Understand how you can immediately come in and provide value. While I know there’s always a ramp up period, I don’t want to have to deal with dead weight for a while
15. As we all know, an interview is won way before you walk in or get on the phone. Cliche but true. What it is not obvious is how much and in what ways you can over prepare to raise your chances and completely kill it.
16. Get first-hand intel: Contact current employees. Several of them. How to do it is an art in itself. This will calibrate all of your assumptions, expectations, value proposition and overall story. If you get a current employee on your side, they will give you golden tips that make all the difference. It’s like cheating. For example: I reached out to 12 folks from my company’s office in Austin through Linkedin before my interviews. Only one answered. This person invited me to a football game and mentored me. GOLD. Another example: I reached out to a friend of a friend of a friend who had a connection in Spain (through Linkedin) that worked in HR over there. I spoke with this person and GOLD. I spoke with folks that are doing the same thing but for other companies and asked them for advice. For example, I met with a senior manager of the competition and invited her to lunch. GOLD.
17. Apart from using first hand intel in an interview, watch X-Factor, America’s Got Talent, Miss America, etc. You need a STORY and you need to be PASSIONATE about it. All of the above comments are great and will grant you a shot. It tells them you can provide value. Now, if you want to beat the competition who is better on paper, you need to convince them about how much you want it and why. Take your time to connect your what your company does and the role to your life/professional goals and past experiences, education, skills, hobbies, etc.. This means RESEARCH –yourself and the company/industry. You need to align all your past experiences to the job. All events led you here. Learn their vocabulary, their concepts and incorporate them in how you describe your past and you view the world. It has to make soooo much sense that you are the ideal candidate. When you do this exercise (part of your preparation), something magical happens: even if it is a bullshit job, you will get excited about it and you will convey passion naturally during the interview. It’s real. NOBODY conveys passion, by the way –it’s amazing how many candidates are not really invested. When one that does comes along, it’s stands out.
18. Here is an adaptation of a cover letter I have used in the past. Note that this was meant to be sent between first and second interviews which gives you extra legit points. It seems long but it’s necessary. It’s a sales pitch. Every paragraph is important and leads to the next. Note that you will not get a response in the majority of the cases which is normal. That’s why you spam this..
My name is David. I hope all is well (nice touch before going right in). I came across your profile on Linkedin when searching for marketing associates working for Walmart in Smallville (play by play). Your experience with the United Way Campaign caught my attention (connect if you can –don’t be cheesy and when in doubt, avoid this part). I am having an interview with Walmart for the marketing associate position in a couple of weeks (answers why you are contacting them –what came before was a warm set up). I am very excited about this opportunity (conveys you are a human being and you are cool –people like excitement). Walmart’s culture aligns perfectly with my personal and career goals. This position will allow me to apply my expertise in marketing and public relations: I have an marketing degree with a minor in graphic design (this paragraph conveys the reason why your request is important to you -without going deep-, that you are invested, and why this person should care). Matt (drop their name when making the ask –it’s more personal), I wanted to ask you if you could kindly (you have manners and know how to ask politely) share with me any advice you may have to better prepare for my interview (not “for the interview” which sounds like you are trying to sneak advantage –“prepare for” means you are putting in the work to being with and take it seriously). It will consist of two business cases, walking the interviewer through my thought process, as you know (call their help-a-bro mode by connecting–this person also went through this. They also need to know which interview this is.) I would greatly appreciate any tips you may have (you are conveying that his small effort will have a big impact).
Thank you very much. (Powerful to convey gratitude –“thank you” is also safe . “Thanks” is too typical and weak.)
Best regards, (formal but not too much)
David Doe (last name or not depends a lot on the vibe of the person you are contacting and the company’s culture –you make the call and, when in doubt, include it).
(the person will probably not be comfortable telling you anything that can be traced back –it’s like taping them so you need to give them your number but not directly because it’s weird. You put the email first. Email allows the call or meet up to be set up).
19. Don’t be late, dress to impress, exude confidence, don’t be weak, don’t sound weak, Don’t curse, be concise with your words, be calm, being fake is not necessarily a bad thing – it just tells me how much you want the job, Don’t “challenge” your interviewer, do make eye contact.