Hey everyone Sam Ovens here and today I wanted to talk to you about long term thinking moats and asymmetric warfare. Some pretty unique things. Probably haven't heard about those, probably not really popular things that people are talking about right now. But there's a reason for that. Really the people who do the best in their market. The king pins of their different niches and the market leaders and really the captains of the industry and the people who just dominate everybody else. They don't think like everybody else. They do things almost polar opposite to what most people do. This is a really big lesson in life and business.
I'll tell you what I mean. Most business owners and most entrepreneurs and most CEOs, they think and they ask the question, what is something cheap, easy and fast that we can do to gain a competitive advantage. They want to have an advantage, they want to have an edge, because you need that to win and you need that to differentiate yourself in business, it's so important. But they ask the question, how can we get an edge with something that's easy, cheap and fast? People like Jeff Basos and people like billionaires, they ask the opposite question. They say, "What is something we can do that is expensive, takes forever and is excruciatingly hard, that gives us an advantage?"
Think about it for a moment. You'd be like, "Why would they want to do that?" Like, "Why wouldn't they just want the easy advantage?" Here's the thing. Easy advantages are quickly ... They're quickly found out by other people and they're quickly implemented, because they're easy. As soon as other people implement them, they are no longer advantages. When they're no longer advantages, your advantage ceases to exist. Then it's irrelevant and it pretty much isn't an advantage. This is the importance of long term thinking. Most people that I see in business today, they don't do this.
They only really think about now. They basically just fly by now, opportunists looking to get some money, so that they can look rich on Instagram, or looking to get some money to buy a car and buy a Rolex and things like that. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing really wrong about doing that, but that sort of mentality in the long term is going to absolutely wipe you out, because other people are going to be smarter than that and they're going to be thinking more long term. In business, what I see these days is most people just thinking what's something really easy, cheap and fast to do, so that we can get an advantage.
Things like we should run Facebook ads, we should set up this funnel, or we should do this new thing. We should jump over to Bitcoin and start talking about, or chat box, let's go talk about that, or let's go use that. But, the thing is these things are only advantages for a short period of time and then they are no longer advantages once other people find about them and do it. If you really ... If you want to win in business long term and all business is long term. If you don't win long term, you don't win. If you actually want to win in business, you need to start thinking long term and when you start thinking long term, you really start thinking like, how can I gain a competitive advantage that other people can't get easily, or cheaply, or in a short amount of time.
I'll give you a perfect example. A lot of people think Amazon is an internet business. It's just got a good website, a good brand and they've got good marketing and good SEO. But that's just the start of it. What Amazon's real competitive advantage is, is its fulfillment. It has factories. It has ships. It has airlines. It has fleets. It's probably the largest distribution and shipping network on earth. You can guarantee it. They're going to take over DHL and all of those other shippers and logistics businesses. They're going to just steamroll all of those people. They're already the largest shipper in the world and they have the most logistics in the world.
That's what really gives Amazon the advantage, because it's easy to just put a website and sell a bunch of products, but nobody else on earth can ship someone a product in one day for free and at that price, nobody. If you don't believe me try and do it. Try and start a little eCommerce business and then notice where you get screwed. It will be in the shipping, because you'll buy something, drop shipping something from China. It'll take 30 days before it gets to the damn customer and they'll have to pay for that. That's what you're up against when you're competing with Amazon.
It's not just about buying ads. It's not just about setting up a Shopify store and then having a click funnel. It's not about that. It's about something much deeper and much harder that no one else can do, because if you want to compete with Amazon in that way, you've got to go and build all of that stuff and that's going to cost you billions, billions and billions and billions and it's going to take 25 years and it's going to be excruciatingly painful and you're going to need half a million human beings to do it. Now that's a competitive advantage.
What I see in the marketplace right now is people are doing ... They built their website on WordPress with a template. Boom, done. Then they will copy somebody else's funnel. They'll use Click Funnels which is a software you can get and they'll deploy that funnel. Then they'll look at Facebook ads, because everyone is doing them and then they'll just copy someone's ad, boom done. Then their product will be generic and pretty much just a knock off of somebody else's that's watered down and not as good. Launch it and then they try and make money out of it. This venture pretty much always fails.
If it does succeed it will only be short lived, because as soon as other people notice that you're making money doing that, then they're going to come in and compete with you. If it's easy to knock you off, then they're going to win and they're going to steamroll you and you no longer have a business. But if you start thinking longer term. How can you do things that others can't. This is where the real magic starts to happen. How can you develop long term competitive advantage that other people cannot imitate, or do on their own. Now when it comes to doing this, there's four main things that ...
There's infinite things that you can do that will give you a long term competitive advantage, but there's four things that I want to tell you about right now, that you could deploy right away. The first one is just straight up, like how good you are at what you do, or how good your product, or service is, because at the end of the day, the most important thing in the world is how good the product, or service is, because that's the main thing. You want to make sure you get the main thing better than anybody else.
If you're selling ... If you're a consultant, or a coach, or a service provider, you want to make sure that your work is as good, or better than anybody else's. If it's not, well you ... The most productive use of your time right now is figuring out how to be the best. Because when you're the best, that's hard for somebody else to replicate. It's not like you're just using Facebook ads. Someone can knock that off in a day. It's not like you're just using like a funnel, or some software. Someone can knock that off in a day. But to be the best, well that's going to take thousands of hours and years of mastery and commitment and practice. Things that other people aren't going to have the stomach for.
They might think I'll have a crack at competing with this guy and then they'll try it and then they're like, "Screw that man. I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that. That's too much work for me." You want people to do that. A lot of the time when people are building business they think, "This is hard work man. This is real hard work and this is taking me a long time and I didn't know it was going to be this hard, but I like this stuff." Because the harder it is, the more grueling it is and the more gnarly the problem is that you battle through and conquer. The cool thing about doing that is, that you know that everybody else has to go through their hell fire to get to where you are.
You know that that's going to burn all of them and only a few are going to be strong enough to make it through there. I take a different sort of view on things. I try to do the things that are really hard that no one else wants to tackle, so that I can get on the other side and then have that fire kind of as a shield protecting me. The more of those things that you tackle and the more of those fires that you walk through and conquer, the more competitive advantage that you have. This is what's referred to as having a moat. A castle has a moat around it. It's like a little river, or a canal thing that goes around it, which makes it harder for people to raid it and climb the walls back in the times when castles always got taken over.
When you have a business you want to have a moat too. It's not a physical moat, but it's an abstract moat. Basically competitive advantages that are hard for other people to imitate. There's only a few ways things can be hard. One is because it's complicated and you've figured it out. The one could be that it takes a long amount of time and you've put in that time. The third is that it's very expensive and you've put in that money. Three things. Complexity, difficulty and time and cost. If you think about what makes Amazon a great business, it's tackled the most complex problems. How to ship things all around the world in one day.
It's tackled the longest things. It's taken it 25 years to build that stuff. It's hired 600,000 employees. Imagine doing that, it's a big thing and it's cost huge amounts of money. It's cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Those are things that are hard to do. It's not because they've got a funnel, it's because they're running ads. It's deep. So deep that most people would look at it and think I'm not even going to have a go. Even if they wanted to have a go, no bank would back them, because they can't raise as much capital as them and they're chances of competing with them are very low. This is an example of a competitive advantage.
You want it to be hard, complicated. You want it to be long term, or expensive. Now there's one thing that you can really focus on here in your business right now and that's systems. Systems are awesome things. Systems give you an advantage, because most people, they run their business in a way that's just like ... What's a good way to refer to it? They're just kind of guessing all the time and they just kind of do things based on the day. They wake up, they come to their computer. They check Facebook. They check Gmail and then they're like, "What should I do today? I might do this, or I might write a blog, or I might start chatting to this person on here, or I might go over here and watch this podcast. I might do a tweet. I might do a post.
That's their game plan. That's what they're doing each day. Someone who's doing that, they're not doing much. They're doing something, but it's not much. If you have systems, that means that you can just follow the systems and you don't get lost kind of in a Labyrinth, or a maze and you don't just do a whole bunch of things that really don't align in their purpose, or their objective. You get to focus on specific things that are really going to drive progress and drive you towards your goal.
Let's get some examples of some systems. Instead of just marketing everywhere by writing blog posts and things like that. You can choose a channel and master it. You could choose Facebook ads, or you could choose YouTube ads, or something and master that thing and channel all of your energy into mastering that thing, instead of it just going everywhere. Another example is, instead of just relying on people to email you, or stumble across your stuff, create a funnel, create a system. In my business I mastered Facebook ads. That's where I got most of my traffic from. I wanted to be the best at that thing and I didn't focus on anything else. I just shut off everything else and got good at that.
Then I needed a funnel to really take that traffic and convert it into customers. Instead of building a bunch of funnels, I built one. I've honed and refined one funnel for four years and I've put thousands of hours of effort into one funnel and that's a system. Now I've got two systems working together. I know Facebook ads like no one else and then funnels like no one else. Then these two things together, hard to replicate. Most people don't have the discipline, or the relentless, single minded focus. Not many people are willing to put five years into one thing.
That's what gives you an advantage. Most people are only willing to put a day, or week of work into something. Sometimes I'll put 12 hours a day of work for four years straight into one thing. That's what gives you an advantage, because other people aren't ... They don't have the guts to do that. That means that you're here and they can't get there, because they're not willing to do what it takes to get there. Another thing, other than systems is a brand. A lot of people, they launch a product and then they launch another one and then another company and then another thing. All of their effort and their energy goes into all of these different areas. Then they might close this brand, close this thing, close that, close that.
Really that means that it's all going to waste and you have no long term compounding interest on one particular thing. A really powerful thing you can do from the beginning is to create a brand. Now if your brand is going to be your own name like samovens.com and it could be Sam Ovens, that's what you could use. That's a good way to start building your name as a brand and then you can start posting different thoughts that you have about it. You can start growing your audience. You can post some different videos. Then as you're advertising you're growing your awareness and you're building a brand. Because over time a brand becomes a very hard thing to keep with.
Amazon is a very trusted brand, because so many people have interacted with it every day for a long period of time and they know if they buy something from that thing it's just going to show up. People don't even think about it, whether it's going to show up or not, because it has that brand recognition. That's another thing that makes it hard to compete with them. In my business I'll give you an example of this. I decided to create a brand and I bought the domain name consulting.com, which cost me a lot of money. Then I put the time and effort in to it, to develop content and things like that, so that we could build something for the future.
Now here's the thing. In the short term, a move like that isn't going to give you much of an advantage. It's actually going to cost you money. I lost money initially on that, because a very expensive domain. You have to build all this stuff, very expensive. In the short term you lose and most people aren't willing to lose short term. But in the long term that will give me huge competitive advantage. It'll have SEO rankings and it will have brand recognition and all of that, plus it's expensive to buy a domain like that and it takes time and effort and you have to lose money in the short term. Something most people aren't willing to do.
One of Amazon's biggest advantage is that they're willing to go under water with big oxygen tanks longer than anyone else will. Another reason why Amazon has demolished the competition is because they haven't made a profit in 25 years. Most people in my industry like online courses and coaching and internet marketing. These guys need to make a profit every week, because they need to pay the payments on their Lamborghini and they need to pay for their private jet trips that they can get some Instagram photos and pretend to be rich. They need that profit. They absolutely need it to feed their lifestyle.
It's like they've got feed this hungry beast over here that missed a lifestyle. It takes a toll on the business. The business just ends up being this neglected thing that doesn't get any attention and it's just being choked all the time for money to feed the hungry lifestyle. When you get into that situation it's dangerous. No one ever survives that. In the long term it takes everybody. All the athletes like in NFL and everything that started making a lot of money. They started having flashy lifestyles. The lifestyles started to pull on them and then the career kind of dried up a bit. The market moved, poof gone.
You don't want that happen to you. You want to try and ... The thing that can kill a business like that is doing the opposite. If you start to make ... If someone's business, if you're competing with a business that has to make profit so that they can feed their lifestyle. Then if you turn your business into one that's not making profit and you're not taking it out to feed your lifestyle, but you're recycling that money within the business, so that it can gain competitive advantage, then it will crush that other business. Then when it crushes it, you get to absorb all of that money. In the long term you can have a way better lifestyle than the person that you just overview and decimated.
This is the thing. Most people don't think long term. They just think short term. How can I get money for me, me, me today, instead of how can I beat everybody long term? This is something that no one talks about, but this is the stuff that will turn you into a eight figure earner and a nine figure earner and a billionaire and all of that. It's long term thinking. How can I get an edge that nobody else has. Another thing you can do is build a team. A lot of small businesses stay small, because they're not willing to do what it takes to get big. To get big you have to number one take more risk.
You have to invest more money. You have to go from making profits to breaking even, or making losses in order to grow. You also have to hire a team. With a team comes overhead and complexity and all of these things that suck and that you've never had to deal with before and you're like, "Why do I ... This business is just giving me money for my lifestyle. Why would I want to go through this crap?" Well most people aren't willing to go through that and so they don't.
If you go through it and you build the team. You develop the culture. You absorb those costs and take those hits to get there. Well long term you win. A lot of people in business they think, don't hire a team, just outsource it. Put VAs overseas and all of that stuff and just use a bunch of contractors. When you do this, you can't gain an edge. In business you need an edge. If you're using a contractor to do your ads and he's doing everyone else's ads, well then you're only going to have ads as good as everybody else. That sucks, because now you're not going to beat everybody, just like everybody else. That's not an advantage.
But if you hire someone in house, put them in house, you train them and you turn them into an animal. Then you've got something nobody else has and then you can start running circles around them. A lot of people in my industry, they try to outsource everything. Use contractors for everything and never build anything. Every software application that they use is somebody else's that they just licensed. Then every person they use in their business is a contractor that everybody else can hire. This means that your entire business is replicable by somebody else almost overnight.
They can find the software you're using and use it. They can find the people you're using and use them. That means that they can quickly take your advantage off you. If you have an in house team, other people can't get them to work with them at the same time. Also if you build your own proprietary systems, then other people just can't use those. Huge advantage things. A lot of the time when you're just starting out, these things aren't things that are available to you as options, because you don't have that much money, or something. But later on, this is when you want to start thinking about these things.
The fourth one really brings me to technology. This is a huge thing that you can have as a competitive advantage. When Amazon was building their business. They noticed that all the technology out there wasn't good enough for them and they wanted to be better than everybody else. They had to build their own everything. When it came to processing orders, they just didn't use a Shopify, they built their own. When it came to using a website, they couldn't find a WordPress template. They built their own. When it came to hosting, they didn't use WP Engine, or Blue Host, they built Amazon Web Services. They built their own.
When it came to shipping. They didn't like how long it took with DHL and FedEx, so they built their own. Then when it came to everything, they built their own. Now most business men these days and entrepreneurs these days they think, "Dude don't do anything yourself. Don't do anything, just use other people to do everything. Use all these software that's on the market. Use a WordPress template. Use contractors you can hire." This is a great way to start, don't get me wrong, because it's fast, cheap, easy and anyone can do it. But long term you aren't going to build a killer business if you do these sorts of things.
You want to start building your own technology. You want to start being a pioneer and trying things that haven't been done. A lot of the things that we've looked at in our business just haven't been done yet. A lot of the stuff that I've wanted to do. I'll give you an example like, multi channel attribution. Now this is complex. A lot of you probably don't know what this is, but it's when you have ... You're running YouTube ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads. You're running all of these different ads and someone might click on that one, then that one, then that one, then that one, then that one, then that one and then you've got to figure out well who ... What channel actually created that sale?
Was it Facebook? Was it YouTube? What was it? It's a problem and nothing I've found out there can do it. We've looked hard and we've looked into everything. Instead we just built our own. Now it's one of our best competitive advantages, because we know for a fact where that thing came from. That enables us to have better information that nobody else can get and it enables to make better decisions. Clearer, more accurate, more factual, scientific decisions that nobody else can make. When we make better decisions than everybody else and act on better information than everybody else, we get to beat everybody else.
This id something and it's cool, because it's not just an advantage that someone's going to share in a Facebook group and then it's gone, because it's hard and it's costly. It cost me more than a million bucks and it cost me about 18 months to build this thing. Another example. It's not an Amazon advantage, because Amazon has so much time invested, so much money, so many people, so much complexity that they've conquered. But it's still an advantage that's been good enough to give me an edge on some of the competition.
Really what this is, is it's asymmetric warfare and what asymmetric warfare is, is it's playing by different rules. In any game, if you've got a competitor than you don't want to play by the same rules as they are. That's a sure fire way to lose, because most of the time when you're a small business, it's like David versus Goliath. You don't have that much money. You don't have that much man power. If you just play by their rules, they're going to absolutely demolish you. You've got to play by different rules. That's the secret to it. That's what asymmetric warfare is about.
Examples of this is, if everybody is doing that, well than how can you do something else. If everybody is doing Facebook ads, then maybe you want to look at doing something else. If everybody is in this niche, then maybe you should go into that niche. If everybody is doing it this way, what if you do it this way. You want to start looking at doing things differently and playing by different rules, because when you start to play by different rules, you can defeat the enemy by ways they didn't know were possible and you can be much more efficient at it.
A perfect example of this is Amazon versus Walmart. Jeff Basos read Made in American by Sam Walton. Awesome book. If you haven't read it, you got to read it. I've got a copy of it right here. It's probably one of my most favorite books of all time. But Jeff Basos got the inspiration and the idea to build Amazon from reading that book. He built a modern day Walmart and that's what really Amazon is. If you read that book, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. The DNA of Amazon was extracted out of Walmart. He basically made the online Walmart. That's what Amazon is.
Amazon has not beaten Walmart. They played by different rules. Jeff Basos was trying to make more physical stores and be better at operating physical stores and supply chain, then Sam Walton at Walmart. That would be a hard battle. Probably a battle you don't want to do. What he did instead is he did it online, playing by different rules. When you play by different rules it's much easier to defeat the competition. That's what asymmetric warfare is.
that pretty much brings me to the end of this video. I just wanted to tell you about long term thinking. You want to think long term. In business if you want to win, think years ahead, or you want to think five years, 10 years out and make decisions today and take actions today that are going to give you big competitive advantage in the long term. Also moats, think about your business. Does it have a competitive advantage that other people can't emulate, or if they try to emulate it is it hard?
The third one asymmetric warfare. What game are you playing? Who is your enemy? How can you change the rules of the game and find their blind spot and get them? That's what this video is all about. If you implement stuff ... No one is talking about this stuff. Most of what people are talking about the internet when I check like Facebook, which isn't very often for this reason. They're talking about things that everyone else is doing. I use this funnel. I run ads like this. I put a chat bot up. Oh yeah that small amount of money you've got left in your bank account, put it into Bitcoin.
No one ever got rich doing that shit. They actually lost their money and got their ass kicked. What's popular is often wrong and what hasn't been done is often the things that make greatness. Just become more of a contrarian. Don't just listen to everyone and what they're saying and what's popular and everything. Learn to think for yourself and think long term and think how you can get an edge and think how you can get a competitive advantage in whatever it is that you're doing.
That's it for this video. If you liked this video. Just click that like button and also, let me know what you think in the comment section beneath. I'm going to be checking all of the comments myself personally and I'll reply to them myself, so let me know what you think. Also, click that subscribe button on YouTube to subscribe to my channel and get more videos like this. I release one each week. Thanks for watching and I look forward to sharing the next one with you soon.