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You see it in the news:

  1. 'MJ had a gift.'
  2. 'He was born with it.'
  3. 'He was lucky.'

Yet, here's what you don't really hear:

  • Michael Joseph Jackson worked his butt off.

What people saw on stage at his peak was a culmination of decades of grueling hours of dedication to his work and perfecting his craft.

His childhood consisted of him spending thousands of hours in the studio rehearsing, practicing, and ensuring he hit every note.

He carried that mindset into adulthood, spending several consecutive days and nights in the studio to fine-tune every second of his individual records.

According to those who knew him most, he was the hardest worker they knew.

Spike Lee speaking on Michael's "legendary work ethic" said this:

I’ve met a lot of great athletes, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and these guys are known for their work ethic. And as great as Michael was, and as great as Kobe is, Michael could give those guys a run for their money when it comes to work ethic.

Kobe Bryant on his mentor:

When I say different, I mean different in the sense of being obsessed with your craft, paying attention to the details, and working your tail off day in and day out and being consumed with what you do. He made me feel it was OK to be that way and helped mentor me in that department.

Said Berry Gordy:

He was driven by his hunger to learn, to constantly top himself, to be the best. He was the consummate student. He studied the greats and became greater. He raised the bar and then broke the bar.

More quotes from those who worked with him (courtesy of

"He would be dancing up a storm while singing and doing all of those 'grunts', 'oohs', 'ahhs' vocal sounds that would pepper his tracks. He asked me to take up the carpet so he could dance, and in between takes, he would sing other popular songs of the day just to freestyle and acapella, and we would talk about the music we liked."

"The last weekend of recording on HIStory, he came to me and Eddie Delena, and said, 'I'm sorry, but I don't think any of us are going to sleep this weekend. There's a lot to get done, and we have to go to Bernie on Monday morning.' He stayed at the studio the entire time, singing, and mixing...I told him the story of John singing 'twist and shout' while being sick, and though most people think he was screaming for effect, it was actually his voice giving out. He loved it, and then went in to sing his heart out. . . ."

"I think very few people realized how deeply MJ was involved in his records. He had an incredible music vocabulary -- from showtunes to jazz, to whatever was on the radio. He studied."

Talent = myth.

We tell kids they can be anything they want to be if they set their mind to it.

So they jump from "I want to play in the NBA!", to "I want to cure cancer!", to "I want to win American Idol!".

What they forget:

  • Perfecting X takes decades of hard, strenuous, freakish hard work.

Professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, MLS, etc, etc., etc., etc. have over a decade of experience practicing and improving and excelling at their individual crafts.

Likewise with Nobel laureates, world championship chessmasters, renowned programmers, and any other top X.

Michael Jackson's greatness didn't come from talent; hard, strenuous, work produced his greatness.

Prepare for the long road ahead to achieving greatness.

Rest in peace, Michael.

Posted on July 08

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  1. You have an ordinary day.
  2. The next day: same thing.
  3. The same thing over, and over, and over, and over.

The next thing you know:

  • You're halfway through your career -- not growing, learning, expanding, thriving.

Going everyday without pushing yourself keeps you stagnant.

Why push yourself?

Take Johnny.

  1. Johnny wants to grow muscles.
  2. He picks up 20-lb weights.
  3. He lifts them easily.
  4. He continues doing that daily.

He doesn't grow muscles.

Take Billy.

  1. Billy wants to grow muscles.
  2. He picks up 20-lb weights on his first day.
  3. He lifts them easily, so he increases the weights to 30 pounds.
  4. The next day, he increases the weights to 35 pounds.
  5. Then 40, 45, 50, 55 pounds for every successive day.

Billy grows his muscles.

Push Yourself to Grow Your Business

Seek an X% increase in:

  • productivity
  • sales
  • customer satisfaction
  • customers
  • innovations
  • yaddas today/this-week/this-month/this-year.

Stressing yourself in X grows your capacity to become better at X.

You'll gradually see a freakish growth in your business.

The rule of thumb:

  • If you have an ordinary day, you're not growing.

Challenge yourself daily.

Posted on July 07

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You've been selling Products A, B, C, D, E for 8 quarters.

You calculate your profit margins for each product for those 8 quarters:

  • Product A: 32%
  • Product B: 5%
  • Product C: 38%
  • Product D: -12%
  • Product E: 24%

What do you continue selling?

Quickly, your bad-self realizes:

  • "Hey! We're losing money selling Product D!"

So, you quickly and correctly eliminate Product D from your list of offerings.

What about those other 4 products that are profitable?

First, understand the meaning behind profit margins -- something seemingly easy to understand but seldom used as a strategic tool.

It's a reason why when you walk into the typical small business store, you're confronted with 99868075699569965 product/service/menu options.

What do profit margins tell you?

Profit margins tell you this:

  • For every $1 I spend, I make X.

For instance, in the above example, you make 32 cents for every $1 you invest into Product A.

Now, unless you're Master of Disaster, you want to invest into products that give you the highest return on your investment.

If you pour $1 into Product B, you make only $0.05.

Peep that comparison on a grander scale with a $2MM investment into each product:

  • Product A will net you: $640,000
  • Product B: $100,000

The simple moral? Invest more into those that give you the highest returns -- and more importantly, eliminate the dead weights so you can invest more into the biggest profit earners.

But wait! There's more!

You might go off and tempt yourself:

  • "Hey! Product C gives us the highest returns! Let's invest everything into Product C!"

While small businesses that focus on selling anything and everything make chump change, and those that focus solely on one single high-earning product make good dough, the latter business type sets itself on a much riskier path.


Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, Washington Mutual.

Credit crisis.

What happened? Those banks hedged their bets on what they saw as their single biggest earner: mortgage-backed securities.

When the motherfreak hit the fan as borrower-after-borrower defaulted on their loans, KABAMBAZOOKA: those banks died.

The key? Yes, invest heavily into your highest earner; but realize that market conditions can change rapidly, rendering your cash cow a coked-up ostrich that hawks Tupperware parties thinking HETHEMAN - but-he-ain't-no-man, he-a-coked-up-ostrich-selling-Tupperware.

So, you need a product line filled with strong backups -- such that if market conditions hit your top-selling offering hard, your business will still soar without a hitch.

(For instance, in the above scenario, you'd keep Products A, C, and E. If you're feeling a little riskier, you might go with A and C.)

The ToDo
  1. Rank your products by their profit margins.
  2. Hedge your bets on the premise that if your top-earnering product fails next month, your company will be a-ok with the other top earners.
  3. Eliminate the low earners (or sell the product biz division) and the sucky-suck $ drainers.
  4. Continually experiment with other new offerings to see if you can displace your top-earning products.

Pitch The Company's Dream Team

Posted on June 04

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  • "I will complete these tasks by 5pm."
  • "I will grow this company into $10MM in three years."
  • "I will complete 5 projects entirely by this Friday."
  • "I will be more productive today than I was yesterday."

When deadlines arrive, you're barely 10% into accomplishing your original goals.

You do this often.

  1. You set goals.
  2. You fail to meet them.
  3. Repeat vicious cycle.

"I suck," you tell yourself.

But you don't suck; you're human.


Why do you often fail at your goals?

Humans have a tendency to be overly optimistic about their abilities and their futures.

Take Bob.

  1. "I will use credit cards to buy X!"
  2. "I will make so much more money to pay these off!"
  3. "YAY!"

Bob soon drowns in debt.

Bob's not the only overly-confident person.

  • 80% of drivers believe they're above-average drivers
  • 94% of professors believe they do above-average work
  • 99% of students believe they're above-average in getting along well with others
  • The majority of Americans believe they'll be above-average income earners in the future
  • The majority of corporate CEOs believe their companies will thrive more than their average industry-counterpart.

We human peeps believe in ridiculous fantasies -- a sense that everything will go according to our idealistic plans; when we come short of our expectations, we cry.

How do you do you combat optimism bias?

This cheese:

  • Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

That is:

  1. Choose a desirable goal - something you would like to accomplish.
  2. Choose a goal that's much more crazy-ridiculous.
  3. Aim for the crazy-ridculous one.

Even if you miss, you'll have a much higher chance of accomplishing your original goal.

For instance, say you're shooting to build a solid $5MM business in 5 years.

  1. Now, set a ridiculous goal (e.g., $25MM in 5 years).
  2. Shoot for that ridiculous goal.Result: You set yourself with much higher chances to achieve the goal you originally set.

Setting a more ridiculous goal than what's desirable helps you fight against the common human tendency to be overly optimistic about your abilities/future.


Shoot for the moon's mother.

Posted on June 02

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  1. You're shooting to accomplish Goal X in two days.
  2. Two days come, and you haven't accomplished Goal X. FAIL.

What happens?

  1. Subconsciously, without any concrete goal set, you start working slower trying to accomplish Goal X.
  2. A week passes you by.
  3. Two weeks.

You finally finish.

What you had hoped to accomplish in two days turns into two weeks.

Freakish time wasted.

Massive opportunities to accomplish more things = down the tubes.

Why Humans Suck With Goals

  1. Billy Bob Krishnaramanan sets a goal.
  2. He fails at his goal.
  3. He keeps working on his old goal.
  5. He finishes his goal.


  • When you set concrete goals, you subconsciously drive yourself to complete Goal X by Date Y with maximum effort.
  • When you have no due date for a goal, you aimlessly plow through your days hoping to accomplish something-anything-I'll-complete-it-sometime.

Setting no concrete due date to accomplish that old goal makes you expend freakishly more time on the %^@%^@ than necessary (e.g., a goal that should've taken two days turns into weeks because you've set no new target date).

Try this:

  1. Set a goal. ("I will accomplish X by Y date.")
  2. When the date comes, set a new goal with a new due date (with the original goal included if you haven't finished it).
  3. Repeat.

You'll see yourself accomplishing things quicker, as you become more efficient with your time.



Posted on June 01

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  1. You need Unfamiliar Item XYZ.
  2. You go to a store.

You have two options:

  1. Walk around and look for the unfamiliar item.
  2. Ask a store worker for the item's location.

What do you do?

Macho Manchild thinks he's The Macheezmo.

  • "I'll find the $^@$ item," he says.
  • "I don't need help thank you very much!" he screams.
  • "I will find the mother $@^!$ with EASE!"

He walks around:

  • familiarizing himself with the store's layout
  • testing and experimenting different aisles
  • frustratingly goes back and forth until he slowly pins down the item

He finds Unfamiliar Item XYZ 20 minutes later.

Take Sally Susie

Contrast Macho Manchild Macheezmo with Sally Susie.

  1. Sally Susie walks into the store.
  2. "Excuse me," she asks Store Clerk Chloe. "Where can I find XYZ?"
  3. Clerk Chloe leads Sally Susie to the item.

Sally Susie finds the item in 2 minutes.



Ask In Business

You'll venture into 978590487549980634 unfamiliar territories with your business/company/position/etc.

  • Trying to do everything yourself amplifies the amount of time it takes to do unaccustomed business stuff.
  • Asking somebody who's familiar with where you're trying to go? You ridiculously shorten the time to XYZ.

Macho Manchild Macheezmo took 18 more minutes than Sally Susie on one simple task.

You multiply that by 978590487549980634 number of tasks that you'll tackle = DANG SON.

Attempting to:

  • Hire your first employee?
  • Grow a million-dollar business?
  • Build an enterprise system for your company?
  • Rebrand your corporation?
  • Increase quarterly net profits 10 straight times?
  • Drastically turn around your debt-to-equity ratio?

Ask somebody who's been there.

They'll be able to steer you toward the right direction, while keeping you away from cliffs and edges that could annihilate you.

Result: faster and safer.

Ask who?

  • Get referrals.
  • Seek consultants.
  • Search message boards.
  • Attend networking events.
  • Cold contacts.
  • The Yaddas.

Shorten the amount of time to get to XYZ like a mother !@$!@^@!.



Posted on May 26

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King Kong CEO:

  1. rips his employees for mistakes
  2. confines them to roles within strict boundaries
  3. treats them like cost items on a balance sheet

What results?

  • scared employees
  • uncreative employees
  • unproductive employees

King Kong CEO creates a political culture where employees hate the environment, the work, and the CEO.

It's the typical horribly-$^@-managed company.

Business Management = Not Hard

Managing a business is like being a good parent.

That's it.

A kid grows up in an environment where:

  • wins are cherished
  • challenges are big but beatable
  • and mistakes are quickly forgotten

That kid becomes more self-assertive and becomes more confident in his/her abilities.

Likewise, employees who grow in a nurturing environment:

  • take more initiative
  • take more risks
  • produce more output

The nurturing environment:

  • values every contribution
  • understands precisely their members' goals and weaknesses
  • knows what motivates each team member to excel
  • makes every one of their employees self-sufficient to do what's necessary

Employee Eddie starts getting into the productively-good habits -- as his company builds a nurturing environment where he and his fellow team members can succeed and thrive.

Innovative companies involve every single one of their team members continuously innovating every aspect of the company -- from hiring new team members to acting on customer feedback to building new products.

Cultivate a ridiculously nurturing environment to help your company's team members take initiative, innovate, and improve your company by X multiple.

Parenting skillz.


Posted on May 21

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A reporter once asked Mohammed Ali how many sit-ups could he do. His reply?

"I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts."

Pain drives you to get better at X.

Kobe Bryant didn't spend his childhood playing against other 12-year-olds; he forced himself to play against his father's professional teammates.

Gaining proficiency at something is like building freakish muscles:

  • The more you stress yourself, the stronger you become at it.

Likewise, the less you stress yourself, the weaker you become at it.

Seek pain.

Posted on May 18

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  1. Store A puts their freakishly profitable products in little boxes that they show only to select customers.
  2. Store B throws a big-frickin sign that showcases their most profitable products that captures everyone's attention when they enter.

Who wins?

Think about this:

  1. No matter what little pseudo-expert tells you, marketing is a numbers game.
  2. The more exposure you give Product X, the likelier you'll sell Product X.
  3. Even if a product averages a conversion rate of 0.01%, that product will double its sales if it reaches twice as many prospects.

That means this mofosokofroko:

  • The more you people you show your most profitable products, the more profits your company will generate.


  1. It's a reason why you see bookstores displaying its bestsellers right in front of you when you walk into them.
  2. It's a reason why Google places its best converted ads on top for more exposure.
  3. It's a reason why you see one very &%$^ specific vendor when you walk into a stadium.

The more exposure you give a product, the more that product will sell.

The more exposure you give your most profitable products, the fatter you'll grow your company's bottom line.

  • If you run a store, place humongous signs/displays/yaddas that showcases your most profitable products.
  • If you run a service business, let the prospect know about your most profitable offerings upfront.
  • If you run an ecommerce website, place humongous signages on the top-fold of your homepage that showcases your best-performing items.
  • Yadda.

How do you know your most profitable offerings?

  1. One item can generate a $50 profit, but converts only 1% (i.e., $50 profit for every 100 customers).
  2. Another item can generate only a $10 profit, but converts 10% of your prospects (i.e., $100 profit for every 100 customers).

How do you find out those figures?

Test, test, test, test, test.

  1. Experiment with a sample size.
  2. Determine winner.
  3. Show off winner.

Sample sizes can be as small as 30 to as high as 1000 -- depending on your allowable room for error (and also your business type).

When in doubt, consult a statistical expert/consultant/professor about what sample size you should target with your particular operation.

You'll discover the products with the highest probability to generate the most profits for your company.

And then the crazyridiculouscabbagepatchausageeggmcfuffintothemofo easy part:

  • Expose them to as many people as %$^@%^@ possible.



Posted on May 05

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Lebron, Nadal, Crosby:

  • To win the game.
  • 4-quarters/3-sets/3-periods.
  • ...against X opponent.

One clear goal -- with a time limit.

Chances are:

  • You have tons of goals.
  • You're trying to tackle 5/10/20/30 goals at this minute.
  • You never know if you performed well (i.e., you won or loss).
  • You have goals you want to "accomplish today, but if I can't accomplish them today, I can accomplish them tomorrow. YAY! HUG ME!"

Performing at your peak takes getting into the zone -- with one distinct, clear, freak-tastic goal that lets you know:

  • "If I don't acomplish X in Y minutes/hours/periods, I lose."
  • "If I accomplish X in Y minutes/hours/periods, I win."

Psychologically giving yourself a win/lose scenario gets you performing.

The losses also give you feedback on what you can do to win in subsequent scenarios.

How to Get Into a Zone

Here's what you can do:

  1. Choose something you want to beat the mother %^^% down in the next 5 minutes.
  2. Set a timer.
  3. Go.

You = in the zone.

Use the above model to tackle other stuff/goals/tasks/projects.

Keep track of your win/loss records; make it a game.

See yourself performing ridiculously much more, as your more productive boot-ay gets stuff %$^@%$^@ DONE.


Freaktastically clear goals.

Posted on May 04

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