The Dropout Multi-Millionaire: 37 Business Lessons
Let’s start with a little background. “This book is about failure.”
I actually love this opening line because it sets the tone for everything you’re about to read … and hopefully learn. I really want to drive that point home…because if you don’t understand that success is born of failure, then you should stop reading now and come back later when you’re ready to accept that fundamental truth.
Yes, this book is about failure. It’s also about success.
The underlying principle is that you cannot succeed at a high level unless you have first failed … And then learned … and I failed a lot.
In the last thirty-five years, I have founded or co-founded six different, very successful companies in four different industries. I franchised a landscaping company, have done three startups in the insurance industry, as well as an internet marketing company, and I now own a chain of restaurants. Two of my companies were sold to venture capital firms, and one went to a private equity firm. One of those companies went public. At their peak, the successful companies I built and sold were worth hundreds of millions of dollars. I have also consulted for multiple companies, from small businesses to multi-billion-dollar private and public companies in the areas of sales and management. I became a millionaire at the age of forty and made over a million dollars a year for the first time at the age of forty-one.
I also started many other companies that weren’t successful at all. Many of them failed spectacularly, and I lost a significant amount of money. I would go so far as to say, I have failed far more than I’ve succeeded.
What I want you to understand is, while I failed, I also learned. That is why I love the phrase…
“Sometimes you win … sometimes you learn.” Failing is the key to success!
What kind of filter do you have?
Learning through failure is one of the most powerful experiences you can have. Applying your lessons gleaned through failure is what will make you successful in the future. Learning through failure is how you develop your “success filter.”
Every one of us has a subconscious filter that we use to instantly analyze virtually every decision we make. Everything you see and hear goes through this filter before your brain accepts it or rejects it. Chances are, you don’t even realize you have this filter, and you have probably never thought about the fact that it is controlling every decision you have ever made.
This filter operates on a subconscious level. You literally don’t even know it’s happening … and it’s happening in realtime. It is the sum total of every single experience you have ever had. It is a product of your interactions with each person you have allowed to be a part of your life. It is the entirety of every written word of every book you have ever read and everything you have ever seen on TV or elsewhere.
Your brain has learned from everything it has ever been exposed to.
Whatever and whoever you allowed access to put information into your brain has helped to form this filter.
This subconscious learning is similar to that of a child who has grown up in France, speaking French and not English. Their brain has been exposed to French, and so, that is how they think. They will always think and speak French. Their mannerisms will be French. They will judge the world around them based on growing up in France. They will always think this way unless, at some point, they decide to learn something else.
Only then will they start to see life from a different perspective. They can allow themselves to learn a new language. They can experience different world views. The only challenge with this new change is that they will be filtering all this new information through their current “French Based” filter that they have developed their entire life. The current filter will then either accept the new information or reject it. This process of change will take time and effort and will not be easy.
Now think of all the people in your life and all the media you absorb every day.
Your absorption of the world around you started the day you were born. Your parents started putting information into your brain from day one during what is called the nurturing phase of life. You will always be a product of whatever information they put in there.
Here is where it gets interesting and complicated. The information they put into your brain was a product of their parents and their lives growing up.
You are literally the next step in the evolution of your family learning.
Then you went to school, and your teachers started influencing you. They pushed you in new directions and new ways of thinking. What they taught you came from their parents and their educational background. Many times, this information conflicted with what your parents had taught you, so your brain had to start making decisions on what to think and believe. Your filter and the way you saw the world was challenged.
Then there were your friends. They also had different thoughts about the world from their parents and their upbringing. They tried to influence you to think their way. We call this peer pressure. Once again, your brain had to decide what to accept and what to reject. Your choice of friends is important on many levels. Your filter continued to evolve.
This process of new input continued through high school and maybe college, where your professors got their shot at changing the way you think. They also wanted to affect your personal filter to think their way, based on their life experiences … their education … their friends, and their parents.
Even today, your decision-making process is affected by everything around you in life. In fact, your filter can instantly change based on the last argument you had with your spouse or the last book you read … or even this book you are reading right now. You will accept or reject what is in here based on that filter.
Every future decision you make will be filtered based on whatever experiences you have had in the past, as well as what is currently going on in your life. Your brain will then make an instant decision as to whether to accept or reject the information and whether or not you should add it to your filter to be used at a later date. All this activity is going on behind the scenes. You are probably not controlling it… No, it is controlling you, and you have no idea it’s even happening.
If you think about the billions of bits of information that your mind has soaked up and the endless avenues that it took to gain everything you know … it’s quite amazing. Each of us took all that information and accepted or rejected it, and then we made it part of our critical thinking process—our personal filter. We are literally a product of not just our past but of the past families and histories of everyone in our lives.
I can’t stress enough how important this filter is to your life. You will succeed or fail in life and in your business endeavors because of this filter and the decisions it leads you to make.
When it comes to your career…
So here you are, brand new in your business, making decisions every day that will affect your family and your future.
Chances are you haven’t been successful in your own business yet, and you don’t have any experience making the kind of decisions you are going to need to make moving forward to keep yourself out of the business failure statistics listed on the back of this book’s cover. Most people in this situation would start talking to friends and family about their thoughts on what to do.
If this is you, I want you to ask yourself a few questions about the people you’re taking advice from:
Are they businesspeople?
Are they successful in whatever endeavor you want to pursue?
Do your friends have the successful experience and knowledge you need to influence your decision-making as you grow a business?
These are critical questions you need to ask yourself before you accept advice from anyone, and especially from anyone you personally know.
This next sentence is so important that I am going to highlight it…. If you … or whoever you took advice from … has never experienced real success in what you are trying to achieve, you will not have the correct filter or the critical thinking skills needed to make the right decisions when they must be made. You will only guess at the path you should take.
If by chance, you get lucky and make the right decision, that will go into your filter, and it will help you make more good decisions down the road. But if you make the wrong decisions and don’t learn from them, your filter will become a negative “failure magnet.” That negative filter will set you on a path of continuously making bad decisions. You will technically be conditioning your mind to fail … and once that happens, you will be hard-pressed to change it on your own. You will need help from someone who can show you how to make better decisions and succeed.
A very successful and wealthy friend once told me, the only difference between a rich and successful person and a broke person … is the way they think.
Let me say that again …
The only difference between you … and Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos … or Elon Musk … is the way you think…
They started life the same way you did. But they went on to be wildly successful because of how they think and what they have in their filter—what they have exposed themselves to and learned.
Do you have a success filter or a failure filter? The good news is you can change it if you want to—as long as you’re willing to listen and learn from someone who has the success you want. Then you just have to take the time and effort to do it.
There are two business lessons that I want you to retain as you move on from this section of the book.
Business Lesson #1… Be careful what you allow in your brain. It will affect everything in your life.
Business Lesson #2… Be honest about your situation and your personal filter. If you do not have a success filter, you need to find someone who does and allow them to help you. The only thing standing between you and success in this situation is your ego. Your ego will take you down a dark path if you let it. The truly unfortunate part here is that if you do not have a success filter, you will probably not make the right decision to allow someone to help you, and your failure filter will continue to evolve just like it has in the past.
The old saying, “The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer,” is true. It is a product of having either a success or a failure filter.
One Last Point of Order
I am always rightBUY NOW
Let me explain.
Everything you are going to read here will work 100% of the time … 80% of the time.
This means that 20% of the time, what I’m telling you will not
work because of outlier situations that always pop up.
Outliers are certain situations that defy logic, cheat justice, or are a result of pure, undeserved luck. That said, 80% of the time, I am right … and since I just told you that I’m wrong 20% of the time… I’m actually right about that as well … which makes me right … 100% of the time!!!
So, if you disagree with me on a certain point and feel the need to tell me I’m wrong… Well, I already told you I’m wrong 20% time, which means I’m still right.
Wrap your head around that for a minute, then let’s get started!