Welcome to the 502 new Contrarians who joined last week. Ps - couple of you a big boy hitters on here… I see you.
Oh, if you didn’t know now you know… got a hot little giveaway going. Click for details.
Rant Before the Revenue:
*If you don’t want the rant scroll down for the $$*
Humans. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of emails that say “I hope you’re doing well in these trying times,” (although I may, cough, be guilty of sending 1 or 70 of ‘em). I’m tired of conversations (mine included) that default to politics, protests, posturing. Conversations where we are all knowing and the other is an imbecile. Yes, I am very worried about our government, Big Tech, overreach, social unrest and tactical things like inflation, stock market plunges and economic downturn. But here’s the truth…we all need to gander a second or two longer in the mirror, and do a little less pointing with those trigger-happy index fingers. I’ve never met a perfect human. I’m not, and I’d wager a bet you also aren’t.
This tough love, is the only way forward. After all, why do we magically think that as a self created clock changes one year to the next so too will our lives change? Does that sound as ridiculous when we say it out loud as when I write it?
New Year, New Me. Uh huh.
So I have some questions for you, and for me, and for all of us:
Are you spending more time on hating Trump or hating liberal media than you are creating the life that you want?
Have you watched as many snippets on how to get healthy, create wealth, raise your kids, better your community, and grow your business as you have on riots, protests, capital storming and memes on all?
Who are you going to blame for your life not going the way you want when orange man is gone or when big Zuck finally gets beaten down?
You, me, most of us, small normal people, probably can’t affect the outcome. Or, more likely, we’re not willing to do what it takes to change the outcome. So instead we post angry rants on social media. We silo out friends and family who don’t agree with us, we seek to BE RIGHT not to understand. We virtual signal on both sides and shame those who don’t stand with “us.”
But riddle me this: is your post on social media REALLY going to change anything?
I have a challenge for you this week; don’t look at a single political post unless you’re going to take massive action about it. Don’t speak a single word about it unless you are going to do something to be part of the change you want to see in the world. This week don’t say once the words, “Trump” or “Facebook” or “Mark Zuckerberg” or “censorship” or “storming The Capitol”…unless you plan on taking action. Think about it this way: if you post pictures about eating healthy and working out, do you get fit? Not last I tried.
BUT - You can’t be an ostrich with your head in the sand as the world implodes!!! Agree. But are you just signaling? Or are you doing something? My guess my friend, you ain’t doing sh*t. Tough words. But I said them to myself in that mirror on a night after I felt a hangover not from alcohol, but from hate and vitriol and why’s and how’s and I can’t believes.
So - unless you plan on doing something about your respective “it.” Let’s stop fueling the fire. Instead of talking so much. Why don’t you go do?
Go out and earn so you can donate to the campaigns that you care about.
Go out and build the opposite of the platforms you despise.
Go out and help in the communities you say are disenfranchised.
Even better - go befriend someone you think couldn’t be more wrong. You love Biden - go befriend a Trumper. You hate Biden - go befriend his donor. But don’t you try to change their mind. You don’t know better, you live a different reality. Just walk a mile in their shoes. BE the best example of your ideas, instead of telling it. You just may surprise yourself.
Whatever side of the equation you’re on, how about we all do more, try to understand more, and preach a little less. And maybe, just maybe, we can heal a nation by realizing we all have a hell of a lot more in common than not.
After all - opinions are like a*holes, everyone’s got one and let’s be honest, rarely do we like to see those things do we... at least in public, wink.
The Man in Mirror: The Money of Y-O-U
Let’s continue with this theme. We usually have a lot of external ideas for making that paper (buying modular to save 1/3, cashflowing on dirt, $324k from a newsletter). I love that. My goal with Contrarian Thinking is for us to think critically and cashflow unconventionally.
After all, if we have freedom of thought and financial freedom what can’t we accomplish?
But this week we’re taking it internal. We’re looking in the mirror.
The top lists on Amazon’s bestseller list this week are these… and I think that’s about right. We can educate ourselves through history but also we need to look at our own habits and take some ownership. You down?
So we’re going to talk about the power of making people like you, a new age-y word Emotional Intelligence (or EQ), and how to cultivate it.
What is it?
Ok, makes sense.
But why does it matter?
I’m not too into woo-woo, so here’s some numbers for you on why mastering yourself may be the absolute fastest path to increasing your wealth:
Every additional point in EQ correlates to $1300 increase in salary.*
90% of high performers have high EQ’s, 20% of low performers have high EQ’s.*
Emotional intelligence may be the most powerful predictor of performance, leadership, and personal growth, beating off more than 30 other indicators.**
In one randomly optimized test, EQ explained over half of success in all jobs.**
95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10% to 15% actually are***
Most investors before they invest ask, “do I like and trust this person to give them money?”
Let me tell you a little story about EQ or as we say in the west, “becoming someone you can hang your hat on.”
Leaving Dead Bodies
I remember a day back in 2007, I was at my very first job. I came up with a new business idea for our firm and was THRILLED they decided to use it. I thought since it was my idea I’d get to work on it. Oh Corporate America, you can be a real you know what. Instead, they took (cough, stole) my idea and gave it to a colleague to run.
I sat across from my boss letting this truth sink in and asked him, “Why?”
He said something I’ll never forget. “We got feedback; you would leave dead bodies behind you in your wake to succeed.”
My throat caught. Keep it together Sanchez. I asked, “Why?” He said, “You don’t join the group lunches, you don’t plan group outings, you don’t participate in the group chat.” He was right, I didn’t. So I did the only responsible thing one can do, I nodded, walked out, and promptly cried like a toddler.
My intensity was a bit much, I suppose. My EQ was floor level. I was single MFing focused, impressions be damned! Honestly, I never would have railroaded anybody. I knew I could accomplish it without needing any tomfoolery. But I was also scared at failing, that fear led to a lack of context. BUT - perception is often reality. Especially for a lady in finance. I’ll never forget that story. Except well, I did.
Despite closing big deals, building cool things, exiting companies I never could quite pull off the whole being buddy buddy at the office thing. Then - I read Emotional Intelligence 1.0 and How to Win Friends & Influence People, about 10 years ago.
Those two books changed my life: I learned to sell INSIDE the company and outside. I hated it a bit, it never felt perfectly right, but it led to much more success than I could have imagined. So if you are hyper-rational like this here young lady, maybe this will work for you too.
Oh, if you think you already know it all. You’re probably wrong.
How to increase your EQ in 5 Steps:
Tap Into the Profits of Being Personable:
Read Emotional Intelligence 2.0 - It’s maybe a 2-hour read, the size of a small coffee table book and starts out with a story about surviving a great white shark attack. So should be an easy one.
Read How to Win Friends & Influence People - My key takeaways:
Be genuinely interested in other people.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. (5 to 1 ratio)
Talk about other person’s interests.
Make the other person feel important – sincerely.
Read Complex Character Novels - Turns out that getting into another person’s skin by immersing yourself in a good book can help you increase your empathy skills. I’d recommend anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, The Diamond Game by Neal Stevenson, and The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien.
Ask for Feedback - Do a scary thing. Ask 10 people who know you most, what your biggest hairiest gnarliest faults are? Specifically how are you not self aware or reactive to conflict instead of responsive?
Instead of you doing one deal that will profit for you once, you’ve just gotten a lifetime upgrade. Now THAT is doing some sh*t. It’s harder than business or doing a deal, but its ROI is exponential.
Since we’re contrarians, side note: stay true to you. Don’t confuse being likable with doormats.
Tales from A Military Spouse
My fiancee, Chris, is a former special operations military man. He told me a story that stuck with me… maybe it’ll stick with you too.
An acquaintance of his from a three letter agency, of a place that can’t be named, with deeds just as nameless, Let’s call him ‘Chuck’, reached out to Chris for a chat.
Chuck said to Chris, “Every analyst who does what I did, deep inside they want to be an operator like you. They want to get their hands dirty, they want to be in the fray. I did too… but most of us won’t admit, we don’t have the violence in us. I know I don’t have the violence in me. But you Chris… you do.”
He continued... “In fact, [a coworker] said, ‘Chris is the type when you do him wrong, he’ll smile to your face in a way he genuinely wishes you hadn’t… and then find you in the dark of the night for violent deeds’.”
I took in a deep breath as Chris told me this last line, ready to stand up for my sweet hearted, kind, generous man who’s saved more lives than I know and would give you the shirt off his back, except if you left it on purpose.
My favorite part... Chris’s response to Chuck with a big smile, “Awww.. thank you. I appreciate that.”
And wouldn’t you know it, he meant it. Because for Chris and his compatriots violence of action in their capacity was sometimes the necessary element needed for change. It was a commitment to the one change-making factor on which they could act when all other avenues ceased to be options.
So here’s to knowing who you are, and sometimes to erring on the side of violence.
Violent action in your pursuits and sometimes violent uncaring of what anyone thinks about that.
We’ll leave the petting kittens, planning company parties and frivolous corporate nonsense to someone else.
We’ll get ‘em to like us, but we’ve also got work to do.
Question everything, and do more - talk less,
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*Referenced in Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
**According to the TalentSmart test.
***According to research by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich