"The Knack for Getting Money" was a very popular post yesterday. In it, we looked at the success of two people with a real knack for making money - Judd Weiss and 50 Cent. I invited both of them to comment, and Judd kindly wrote this up. Here's Judd:
The Knack for Getting Money is a broad matter that cannot be fully understood from a sound bite, but I can say a few things.
I don’t know what a hangup for making money is. I try to offer something people will willingly pay for, and then they pay for it. What’s to be hungup about?
After years of pushing people (and my employees) to get out there and do more and become greater; perhaps the most significant trait that I’ve noticed, more than intelligence and skills, is that they’re genuinely excited.
It’s helpful to look at abnormal achievers in other fields. Sports always serves as a quick visual example. Why did that basketball player bother to get so good playing a game? Why did a body builder put so much muscle on his body? Why do some men consciously work to sleep with a ridiculous number of women? Why do some guys knock it out of the park with their income?
I’m going to assume basketball players don’t do it because they necessarily enjoy the physical act of jumping and running. That body builders aren’t always loving the pain and strain. As enjoyable as sleeping with women is, dare I say that those who are high achievers in this regard aren’t simply after the physical genital rub. And dare I even suggest that as fantastic as having a pile of money to spend is, high earners might not be primarily motivated for that.
No, I say they’re all after accomplishment. And they’re excited to achieve it.
We have plenty of wood, plastic and glass in our life. You can look at a trophy as just another piece of wood, plastic or glass. But that would be missing the point.
Who doesn’t like the cars and property and perks? But I believe with many achievers, earning money is actually more a form of self discovery.
How do you know what you’re really capable of until you accomplish something? How do you know that you’re still capable if you’re not still accomplishing?
People want to accomplish things while they’re on this planet. Some are more excited to do that than others.
When you’re excited to do something, you’re a lot more willing. Willing to spend time, energy, money, resources. Willing to learn and suffer setbacks and keep charging forward. That is focus and drive.
Everyone is excited on a powerful roller coaster. Some can’t handle that rush and want off right away. Some never get on. Some only tolerate it up to a moderate point. Some want to go balls to the wall.
There’s people that don’t wait until they’ve learned everything they can before beginning, teaching them kind of gets in their way of getting out there. By starting on their path, they pick up their “knack”.
By “knack” to make money, you’re referring to the “ability” to make money. There are many important characteristics to develop to improve that ability. Chess masters weren’t born with a strong ability for chess. Olympic medal swimmers weren’t born with a strong ability for swimming. Your ability is developed. It helps when you are excited and driven to build it.
Brilliant stuff. You can read Judd's blog at hustlebear.com - a good place to start is his About page, or perhaps "How To Handle Lawyers Threatening You" - just note Judd swears a lot. More than me even! But there's definitely some brilliant business/achievement insights over at Hustle Bear.
To expand on this a little bit more... some advice to aspiring achievers out there.
You can’t get to the land of milk and honey without passing through the dark forest. Be willing to eat shit and take abuse. It’s not easy, but you’ll soon realize you left behind almost everyone who couldn’t handle it.
Some good discussion in this thread at Hacker News about how to evaluate people with a business skillset if you've got technical skills already.
I reckon "a knack for getting money" is probably the most key thing to look for in a businessperson. Some people have a knack for getting money.
All the business skills in the world without the knack for getting money doesn't fly. Well, maybe for employee #7,632 once a company's made it. But not for starting something up. You need to hustle and get money of some form real fast early on. A business guy who can't get money is probably worse than useless - if he wasn't on board, you'd be worried about solving the money problem yourself. But since he's supposedly the business guy and seems to be doing business guy stuff, you think things are cool. But things aren't cool. Go long enough without money, you die.
So, where do you get a knack for getting money? We're not born with it. It's acquired through action somehow. What's it take?
When I was younger I used to think that the key to learning was simply putting in more hours than anyone else. I thought I could become the best soccer player simply by dribbling the ball around the cones for more hours than anyone else.
I’d usually train for less than an hour per day, but every couple months I’d lose a close game, decide to do repetitive drills 5-6 hours per day and subsequently give up before the end of the second day.
At the time I didn’t understand why I couldn’t sustain motivation, but looking back there’s two primary reasons my approach was unsuccessful, and they’re likely the same problems that probably impact your ability to learn and produce results as well.
Lack Of Engagement