22 mins read time
So you want the fast-track to your first million?
After launching a handful of businesses and brands over the last several years with the view to building a lifestyle of Freedom and Adventure, i’ve pinpointed three DEVASTATING mistakes that will keep you from achieving your freedom dream much faster…
And they aren’t what you think.
When I find myself doing these things, I notice that not only am I struggling to hit business targets but I also get really personally unhappy as well.
This is not about adding goals or changing habits as most "new year's resolution" rubbish would have you doing.
This is about ELIMINATING the things that are standing in the way of you doing what you want to do.
It’s faster, easier and much more effective to avoid the things that hold you back rather than try hard to do more all the time.
Crazy Highlights Of This Past Year (aka "Expect similar results for yourself"):
- Realising that my Freedom Business friends and I actually have a life like an action/adventure movie (e.g. Entourage)
- Had some large companies sneak me in the back door and consult them on specialist (and wildly profitable) marketing campaigns
- Personally sold over a million dollars worth of products and consulting services online
- Had hundreds more of our clients quit their day jobs, automate their businesses or change their lives through our training program
- Opened Freedom Studios first office in Melbourne
- Employ six happy, awesome people with an estimated five to ten more coming on board next year to live the dream
- Bought a dream car, the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG coupe after following their “the best or nothing” philosophy (more on this below)
- Oversold 100+ tickets to our private Freedom Business event at an amazing ski resort in Bulgaria
- Learned to say no to the things I don’t want in order to make room for more of what I do
- Built my own gym and hired a trainer so I can go whenever I want and don’t wait for equipment or suitable times to go
- Gave myself permission to enjoy life a lot more
Plenty of late and fun evenings. Beers, beaches and dates. As well as productivity and hitting those targets.
Now was this all a goal list I wrote down at the start of last year?
See i’m starting to realise the real secret that this sort of success isn’t some list of goals that you write down and then slog it out hard and miserably for several years to one day climb the mountain and taste success at the top.
Raw determination, motivation and grit are important but as humans we only have these things in a VERY limited capacity (science has proven this).
Plus if all you do is work hard (and building a business IS hard) then you will burn out early and become completely disenchanted by the whole idea.
The secret of success in one sentence:
It's all about 1. Getting rid of negative influences and 2. Having the right daily systems and processes setup so that the things you want in life show up AUTOMATICALLY.
Success is also about setting up these systems so you are ENJOYING the ride to glory as well.
You want your life systems to produce results financially AND personally. Too often we neglect to book in holidays or fun down time in our calendars and instead, prioritising the next big sale or product launch. This leads to burnout and an inability to continue in Freedom Business for the long haul.
This burnout disease was contracted by a couple of people I knew closely last year. R.I.P.
Mostly though as I was saying earlier, success can boil down to ELIMINATING the things that are keeping you from the things that you want. The 80/20 principle that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.
So eliminating (DESTROYING) that other 80% of things that are draining you of success is where it’s at.
I’ve had a lot of fun identifying and setting clear boundaries on the people, places and situations that are not serving me.
It’s also been a difficult thing for me to learn to say no, however the more I say no I realise the happier and more productive I become.
The below 3 mistakes are a detailed extension of what it means to say no to the right things and thus putting you on the path to what you really seek.
In personally chatting with other wildly successful millionaires and looking back at what has made me happy over the past several years, I wanted to show you the three mistakes I’d been making on the path to my first million dollars….
Eliminate these three BEFORE you begin and you’ll put yourself on fast track for your own Freedom Business success and happiness from day one.
Disastrous Mistake You Must Eliminate #1: Feeling Guilty For Wanting (And Having) Success
Your ego is the mind-power which helps you project yourself and your desires. It can make you strong and resourceful, or put obstacles in your way, according to the sort of influence you feed it.
- Napoleon Hill
Absolutely any form of shame or "success guilt" you may have needs to be eliminated IMMEDIATELY for you to grow rich with peace of mind.
Any queasiness around selling a product or service that you genuinely at the bottom of your heart believe is a great product needs to be eradicated immediately.
This is where business starts… You building something that does what you say it’s going to do and absolutely delights the customer at the same time.
I was speaking at the Lifestyle Design Convention in Zurich last week and had a young female photographer tell me about her photography blog she built that is starting to get a few followers and enquiries.
Her big problem was that she felt bad about charging people for her services because it’s something she is passionate about and finds it fun to do anyway.
At the end of the day though she was frustrated that the income she wants wasn’t showing up.
She felt guilty charging people for something that she gets so much joy out of doing for free.
What I told her was very important:
You need to give people the PLEASURE of buying something from you.
When you have a great product, you absolutely need to charge what it’s worth for people to value it.
Also very important is that there's a mechanism in the brain that fires off dopamine (the feel good chemical) when you make a purchase. And as a businessman or woman that's exactly what you want to happen.
If she was to run around doing photography services and consulting for free, then the world will not value her or her product at all and she would continually be frustrated with the minimal income that her passion was producing, probably leading her to dislike her passion in the long run.
It's quite simple... When you give the best. You can charge the best.
Give people the PLEASURE of purchasing something from you.
How nourishing a healthy personal ego is important for you to avoid “success guilt syndrome”
I read a very interesting story the other day about Ray, a downtrodden salesman who was struggling to maintain his family and professional life due to poor business performance for a number of months.
He used to be really successful and enthusiastic but unfortunately found himself missing the vibrance, fun and colour in life which was starting to reflect in his poor sales and putting strain on his financial life, marriage and happiness.
His consultant, the one and only Napoleon Hill, advised him on one simple cure:
1. Trade in your old car for the newest model that excites you
2. Go and buy the best fur coat for your wife even if it costs over $5000
3. Go to a tailor and have a complete wardrobe of fresh new suits made up
4. Have the new fur coat gift wrapped, put it in your new car, hire a chauffeur and have them deliver the new car and coat to your wife when you aren’t home
Despite freaking out about these expensive items with the obvious worry of the financial strain that these purchases may produce, Ray did the exact prescribed steps coming home to a new car, happy wife and a massive surge in confidence with the new suits.
This boosted Rays ego so much he no longer felt inferior or downtrodden when closing out on new deals and so was able to gain a massive investment to start his own new business that he’d wanted to do for years.
A great recent example of this principle is Neil Patel who, after spending $162,301.42 on clothes, made $692,500 as a result.
I’m guessing that much of this result is the healthy ego-boost and confidence surge that Neil experienced and therefore projected when talking to people and attracting new clients.
Now am I saying a new car or $100k on clothes is going to bring you all the wealth and happiness you desire? No.
I’m saying that too often we hold ourselves back from what we really need to do, to go to the next level and be the best.
This means nourishing a healthy personal ego that aligns you with your goals.
Celebrating the "mini wins" along the way
When our Freedom Business training members make a sale or have a win in their business, the first thing I advise them to do is go and buy something or book a trip somewhere JUST FOR YOU.
Forget about the business for a day or so and just do something purely for your own joy.
This anchors the feeling in your subconscious mind that success is a GOOD thing... which sets the natural course for your mind to get more of it.
If all you do when you have wins in your business is go back to work or chase the next sale, then your mind will get tired and burn out fast.
It's all about the mini-wins along the way and rewarding and reinforcing that behaviour by doing things that excite you.
Side note: There's a theory that all we do and achieve in life is all "programming" of the subconscious mind. If this subconscious mind stuff interests you, check out the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. The jury is still out for me, however I do know that reinforcing positive success habits is extremely useful.
Timothy Marc Studios Melbourne
An example of "Business Ego Nourishment":
Last year I built Freedom Studios, an ultra modern inspiring office space in Melbourne.
I’d put off having our own office for a few years as I feared that this may cripple my personal freedom as i’m normally used to running my businesses from a laptop anywhere in the world.
Thankfully I decided to put aside the fear and take the VERY expensive and large task of setting it all up and as a result it’s given me more freedom and productivity to produce even better work and results, whilst providing our team members with a great place to come and do great work.
It also attracts the right type of clients and staff to our organisation.
EDIT: Hilarious! Just as I was typing this part of the blog post a successful director of a very large group of companies dropped by the studio to book in a time to grab a coffee with me after walking by and being curious and inspired by our office space. HAHA!
It’s meetings like these that lead to more clients, more contacts, more money, and more success.
Like Neil and his new clothes, or Ray and his new car, an inspiring office space can be the next level ego-boost for your business to stand out and say
“Here we are. We are the best. We are here for the long haul. Give us your money and we will give you amazing products and services.”
This is all about congruence.
You’re not going to attract great customers, clients, staff or be inspired to do great work if you’re not nourishing your own healthy ego.
Poor ego nourishment is crappy self talk and beliefs like...
“Why does little old me deserve to make all this money and be successful?”
“Money is the root of all evil”
“There are so many problems in the world I should not be selfish and instead help people and solve the world's problems”
These soul-crippling thoughts need to be permanently eradicated from your being if you want to actually be able to sell more stuff and do the things you want to do.
The bottom line is that money is simply an enabler.
If you’re a shitty person, money makes you more shitty.
If you are generally positive and want to do great things and have fun along the way then money will enable you to do more great things and have more fun.
If you really are passionate about helping the world in some way, then debating about the problems all day, watching conspiracy theories on YouTube or just showing up to volunteer isn’t going to make a dent.
For you to solve the problems in the world you’re going to need resources... resources in the form of MONEY.
The only way i’ve known and seen people create lightning fast success in their life has been through building their own Freedom Business.
The Five Step Freedom Business Process™:
1. Solve a burning problem
2. By creating a great PREMIUM product or service
3. And charging people for it
4. Whilst giving an amazing experience through the delivery of the product
5. Systemising and automating steps 1 through 4 so you don’t go insane and have ample time for fun and adventure (i.e. Freedom)
When I started a video production company from a kitchen table several years ago, I solved the burning problem of businesses needing their websites to stand out from the competition.
I did this whilst simultaneously delivering the features and benefits of their products via a premium video sales copy experience.
Boom. A sales video business was born and rapidly took off.
I tweaked the user experience so that the delivery to the client was flawless and then automated the entire operation through virtual staff so that I could live, play and work anywhere in the world.
These five steps seem simple in themselves, however the actual mechanics are quite tricky until you know them. The very purpose of this entire blog and our Freedom training programs are to show you the mechanics in no matter what industry or business idea you choose.
Disastrous Mistake You Must Eliminate #2: Stair-Stepping Your Goals
[See the video above at the top of this post for detailed info on this mistake]
You must go ALL OUT and BIG or not at all.
Don’t make the mistake of dipping your toe in the water by creating a small, mediocre business with a brand that doesn’t stand out.
When you create your life or business it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking
“I’ll start with something small, then work my way to the top”. - Everyone
I heard this from my personal trainer who is launching his new business the other day.
This is a terrible attitude and the reason most businesses fail.
Because of this attitude there’s thousands of small mediocre businesses competing with each other with a very small amount of premium companies up the top.
Wouldn’t it make sense to go where there is less competition?
The big problem with starting with small thinking is when you enter the market at the lower level, you’re forever known as the “lower level”.
This happens when you charge a low price for friends or for the first customers of your business.
You get known as the "low price guy" and are doomed.
This happened to me in the early days of having a small design agency. I charged a low amount just to get the business and then regretted it immediately when I had a email inbox full of new client referrals who all expected the same low price.
THE INSPIRING STORY OF MERCEDES-BENZ
This is my car. Which I bought for more reasons than it goes really fast and looks really cool.
Before the founder of Mercedes-Benz built one of the most recognisable highest quality products and brands in the world, he was in his small workshop tinkering away with the vision of building the first great engine.
On his wall he had posted up four simple words. I feel that these words are the very reason that Mercedes-Benz has become the name of quality, success and inspiration that they are today:
"THE BEST OR NOTHING"
So when Mercedes was building this first engine, he made sure that every component, every screw, every process that went into this beautiful machine was the ABSOLUTE BEST or he wouldn’t do it at all.
Moral of the story:
When you start something. You might as well be the best. Go for premium. Go for quality. Deliver the best service.
This should echo into everything you do. From the way you dress to the way you speak to people it should all say “this is a person of RESPECT”.
When my sister and brother in law went to Milan, he was wearing shorts around everywhere. The Italian people were scoffing at him and snobbing him everywhere and he had no idea why.
What they found out is that the Italian people dress really well, not so much for themselves, but as a sign of respect for the people around them. When you dress well and go out into the world you say “I respect you so much that I am dressing nice for you”.
I cringe when I think of some of the horrid ensembles I wore to some corporate business meetings (but still won the business in most cases).
A simple example of how I apply the “no stair-stepping” to clothing:
I used to feel weird about spending a high amount of money on clothes.
Now I spend what most people consider a LOT of money on an expensive wardrobe. This is because how you look has a very positive impact on how you feel and also how people view you (see more evidence here).
Just like a brand, whether we like it or not people make snap judgements based on how you present yourself.
I used to fight this forever… thinking “people should just like me for me not the clothes I wear”.
Having said this I only buy a few high quality items that will last for a very long time. A smaller wardrobe where everything goes with everything else means that I only have 20% of the clothes that most people have, but they are much nicer and last much longer.
Also the beauty of having a smaller amount of higher quality items is that makes it much easier for me when packing for flying around on the next freedom business adventure or to the next meeting or conference i’m speaking at.
The old proverb goes “Don’t put the cart before the horse”. In this case you really do need to put the cart before the horse.
Start dressing, acting and being the person you want to be NOW.
Disastrous Mistake To Eliminate #3: Being Too Nice
Don’t sacrifice your time, resources or even thoughts on people who don’t “get it” or simply don’t deserve it.
Dan Kennedy (bestselling author of some of the most influential business and marketing books of all time) states that "at every single step of the way you need to charge people when you are helping them, consulting them or delivering any form of value or else they will leave you, lose respect for you and create a myriad of problems.”
When I first read this years ago I thought
Rubbish. Dan is a miserable, rich old man and he doesn’t seem nice. If I can’t be nice I don’t want to play this game
...and I used to be one of the nicest, most accommodating guys around.
That is until I got burned way too many times.
People taking advantage of my time, advice and more importantly agreeing to do things that deep down I don’t want to do or has no long term benefit to me or my business.
This can be interpreted as selfish, yes. People may say that i’m selfish because I won’t give them 5 minutes here or go meet them somewhere…
However we all know that 5mins turns into an hour and that hour turns into an afternoon.
I’d much rather be writing blog posts like this or developing one of my businesses, or skiing in Austria and having a cocktail with a friend.
Derek Sivers created a post on his blog called “Hell Yes Or No” that has become a certified classic must-read amongst entrepreneurs.
Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” - then my answer is no
So after accepting the reality that not everyone is as nice as I am or as trustworthy or shares my vision on what i’m trying to create, I’ve had to “harden up” and draw very clear boundaries on who I work with and who I hang out with.
FYI: I really REALLY dig Mark Mansons blog but specifically his thoughts on personal boundaries.
I now only choose to hang out with people who are a "Hell yeah!" These people share these values with me:
1. Mentally stable
2. Loyal and trustworthy
3. Like a laugh and don’t take life too seriously
4. Work hard and get down to business when it’s time
These people are rare, but when you meet them they are the best thing that can happen to you.
I would, without a moment's hesitation, trade all the money and success in the world for my small group of close friends.
Having a small group with the above four qualities is like an absolute success force multiplier.
What you find is that if you only align yourself with people that share your values, you subconsciously live up to them and make decisions aligned with them naturally.
As the age old saying goes “you are the sum of the 5 people you hang out with”.
So select people who align with your values and don’t settle for anything else.
I’m so grateful that our Freedom Business training community attracts mostly people who “get it”.
These people are the reason I personally work so hard to make sure our consulting and training is on the cutting edge and delivering amazing results consistently year in, year out.
Steve's Freedom Business Story:
An example of one of these people who joined us in the second round of our Freedom Business Training Program is Steve.
Steve struggled early in his Freedom Business endeavours and at numerous times got frustrated and wanted to quit.
I’ll never forget talking to him on the phone a couple of years ago where I could hear in his voice that even though it was tough in these early “heavy lifting” days, he was committed to going all the way.
Sure enough, the other day Steve posted in our private Facebook community during one of our challenges:
Remember, for whatever reason Steve was SECONDS away from quitting until I talked to him on the phone and he decided to push through and go for it.
Imagine if he stopped going for what he wanted?
Imagine if you knew you were just around the corner from success and all you needed to do was keep going that little bit further.
At the end of the day:
It all comes down to deciding what it is you want and using the right plan/support to go out there and get it.
Do you have a dream that keeps you up at night? That calls you away to a new adventure or new people or a new business idea?
What if it wasn't just a fantasy and that thing you are searching for deep down is actually out here in the world searching for you too?
Eliminate success guilt.
Eliminate stair-stepping goals and just be the best.
Eliminate being too nice and just go find the lifestyle that's already looking for you.
You have my 100% full support.
Let me know in the comment section below - what is it that you are seeking?
PS. Please leave a comment or question below and i'll personally hit you with a reply
The 3 Enormous Mistakes