To most people, my behavior looks contradictory. Example: I'll use a YouTube video to tell you to stop watching YouTube videos.
When people see this, it makes no sense to them. They think I'm dishonest, hypocritical or just plain weird.
YES, there is. And once you understand what it is, everything will make sense to you and click.
1. Why Warren buffet said: "The ants go where the sugar lies". And why incentives are the number one driver of human behavior.
2. Why people in China will make sure they kill somebody when they run them over in their car. And why they kill their non-male children. (this is a horrific example, but it will teach you a lot).
3. The Polaris Star -- the true north objective/goal that people optimize for. When you understand somebodies Polaris, you'll understand everything they do.
4. Why most peoples Polaris star is fame and how this changes their behavior, pollutes their message and harms their users lives.
5. Why my Polaris star is student results and why everything I do is centered around this single objective. (this will make things click!).
6. Why famous people suck at business and people who are good at business aren't famous.
7. Amazon's Polaris star objective and how they break that down into four key measurable goals. (best business lesson you can learn).
8. Why people buy products because of value, not the CEO's social media fame. And why you need to wake up and understand this.
9. How to define your Polaris star and then single-mindedly focus on it and obsess over it until it's done.
Sam Ovens & the team at Consulting.com.
Hey, everyone. Sam Ovens here and in today's video, I want to explain my strange behavior and the reason why I do some weird things, or some things that seem hypocritical, or untruthful, or kind of weird, all right?
And what I mean by this is ... Let me give you an example. Quite a lot of the time, I will run ads on YouTube or on Facebook and I even create content for YouTube. This is what this video is right now. I'm creating a video, putting it out on YouTube, right?
But in a lot of my videos, I tell you to stop using YouTube, to stop using Facebook, and to stop using Instagram and all of this stuff, right? So, a lot of people, I've noticed, they see this and it blows their mind. They're like, "Whoa, something's weird here. Something's wrong". And they're like, "Well, why are you telling us not to use YouTube or Facebook if I'm literally seeing you on YouTube or Facebook," right?
And so, you'll notice I do a lot of things like this. There's a lot of things that look like contradictions. And they look really weird. It's like I say one thing, do another thing. And in today's video I want to explain it and show you the reason why, because once you understand the reason why, it'll all become clear to you.
And really, the thing that drives people's decisions and their behavior ... If you want to understand what drives any individual to behave the way they do, then all you have to do is think about, what are they optimizing for? Because humans are always kind of optimizing for something. And there's some kind of goal or destination where they want to arrive to. And their behavior is aligned to best achieving that goal.
And once you understand this and once you understand to ... When you're seeing someone doing something, you want to ask yourself the question, what is their intent? What are they trying to achieve? What are they optimizing for?
And once you know that, then you'll start to understand why people do the things that they do. Because, as Warren Buffet says, "The ants go where the sugar lies". And what that means is, humans are controlled by incentives. Incentives drive pretty much all of human behavior.
And if you don't believe me, then just look at the economy. The economy has money in it. Money is an incentive. Why do people wake up, and go to work, and learn, and go to school, just so they can go out and get a job and then work, work, work, work, work? Why do they do that? Well, they do it for an incentive, which is money, right?
And then, if we look at the more extreme cases ... If we look in China, where there was a ... There's a law in China that says, if you run someone over with your car and they don't die, you have to pay for their medical bills for the rest of their life, right?
And so, what happens in China, because of that rule, is that a lot of people hit someone in their car and then they check to make sure if they're dead. And if they're not dead, they reverse back over them and make sure they definitely are dead, because they don't want to have to pay for their medical bills. And that's kind of a horrific example, but this just shows you the power of incentives on influencing human behavior.
And another example from China is when they had the one child birth rule. And I think they've gotten rid of that recently, but this definitely existed for quite a long time. And you can research about it, but basically, China had an overpopulation issue and they said to the people, "Look, you can only have one child per family".
And so, then what happened is, a huge black market opened up of abortions and ... Because a lot of people still got pregnant, but they already had their one kid, so they had to have an abortion. And then what happened, which was something that nobody kind of foresaw when the law was made, was that families wanted to have a male child, because they wanted ... The male carries the name of the family and they wanted their family to live on. And so, even if they had their first born and it was a girl, or if they were pregnant with a girl, they would abort it and just wait for a boy.
And all of this, which seems pretty crazy ... This is like life and death. Killing your own children, sort of thing, which is pretty horrific, but incentives were at the core of this human behavior.
And so, if you want to understand human behavior, always look for the incentives. Ask yourself, what is their intent? And now, once you understand that, everything will make sense.
And, like I said, in today's video, I want to explain why my behavior seems strange and what I'm optimizing for. And really, I refer to this thing as the Polaris Star. And so, you've just got to imagine a star ... Just color this in a bit so it's clear for you to see, all right?
So, this is the Polaris Star and what it is, is it's your true north. So, the Polaris Star is basically the North Star. And back in the day, when people were sailing out at sea and you had no reference points ... like if you had no land that you could see and there was no other ships or anything out there, you could very quickly lose your bearings and you needed to understand where you were going.
And so, what the sailors did is they would use the North Star, the Polaris Star, to guide them. And so, what you want to do is try to find out what someone's Polaris Star is. What is their true north that they're optimizing for? And then this will start to make a lot of sense.
Now, with me, what my Polaris Star is, is it's student results. So, consulting.com is my company and it's basically an online education company. And we teach people how to start and grow their own business, all right?
Now, the number one most important thing to me is student results. That is the most important thing. So then, everything I do kind of revolves around this, all right? And so, whenever I make a decision, I'm thinking about this.
And so, when I create YouTube ads, or Facebook ads, or when I create a content video and I tell people, stop using YouTube and Facebook, it seems like I'm being a hypocrite, but really, I'm thinking, "What's best for the student?"
And quite honestly ... This is truly what I believe and I have absolute conviction in it, is that spending a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and spending a lot of time on Instagram and Facebook seriously ruins your brain. It is the antithesis of education.
If you want to learn, and if you want to improve your life, then you don't spend time on these things. You spend less time on these things. And I've played with this myself. I used to spend a lot of time on social media, but then I noticed I wasn't making a lot of progress and I was getting kind of ... my mind was getting all twisted and warped and all ADD.
And then I started to really study it and research it. And then I started to find out that social media and all of these things, they get you addicted to instant gratification, which is very, very bad if you want to achieve long-term goals.
And so, I decided to try doing some experiments. I decided, like spending less time on social media, and I just watched what happened. And big things happened. I learned more. I was more calm. I was able to focus better. I had better endurance. And I was able to stay more single-minded on achieving goals and getting things done.
So, I decided to completely eliminate it and it got even better. And so, I looked into the research. I tried both and what I found is that the less time you spend on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, all of these things, the better your life will be. Seriously.
So, when I tell you that, I'm not thinking, "How can I best look to these people watching this video?" Because if I said, "Hey, you should follow me on YouTube and you should click that little bell button beneath there so that you get a notification every single time you watch my video," that's not good for you.
I see a lot of social media influencers. They tell people, "Turn on notifications so that you get a pop-up notification". And then they tell people, "Comment on my video in the first 10 seconds of it". And then they start releasing a video every single day. And, basically, what they're trying to do is ... Their Polaris Star is definitely not student results. Their Polaris Star is fame.
And when your Polaris Star is fame, you behave very differently. First of all, if you are a celebrity, or if you are a social media influencer, you're trying to optimize for followers and subscribers and things like that, right? And so, all of your behavior changes.
You're going to start really hammering people to subscribe and then you're not going to create content like this, because this sort of content isn't really mass-market, mind-numbing content. And so, I'm not going to get hundreds of thousands of viewers really quickly. I'm not going to get millions of subscribers really quickly, because there isn't that many people out there that are interested in this sort of thing, right?
Most people just want to be entertained, and basically, just vegetate, all right? And so, they want to see these different videos like those Paul brother videos, which I can't even watch. I almost had an aneurism when I tried to watch one of them. I only got about 10 seconds in and I had to get out, all right? But it's amazing, that's what a lot of people want.
And so, I'm not trying to optimize for subscribers. I'm not even trying to optimize for views, or fame, or anything like that. I really don't care about those things. What I'm trying to optimize for is student results. And how I do that is by honestly providing you with the best information, so that you can change your life, learn something, and actually get results.
And that is different from others, because they just want you to subscribe, and get followers, and share, and like it, and do all of that.
You'll also notice that the length of my content ... I make quite long videos compared to ... A lot of other people make short videos, right? The average person's attention span is very short, so they have to make short videos that have cuts all the time in them. And that's because they're appealing to fame.
But instead, I'm trying to appeal to people that want to improve themselves. And to do that, it's not going to be these ADD, strobe light videos. It's going to be focusing on something in a single stream, from end to end, and taking away key pieces of information, so that you can apply it and change your life.
So, hopefully that explains a lot to you. And that's why I will use vehicles like Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and YouTube videos to tell you these things, because seriously, what is best for you is to not be on these platforms.
And a lot of social media influencers will never tell you that, because it's harmful and detrimental to their following, right? Because I'm actively telling people, "Delete the platforms that you follow me on, because I don't really care if you follow me or not".
To be honest, what's best for you is to not follow anybody. It's to just find out what you want in life and then get to work on achieving it and that's it. You just keep going at it, day after day, just keep grinding at it.
And you don't need to listen to all of these different people's opinions. You don't need to listen to all of these podcasts. You don't need to listen to any of this crap. You most certainly don't need to subscribe to someone and turn that goddamn bell button on that's going to pop up and notify you all the time.
These people, they don't have your best interests at heart. What they have is, they want to be famous. And when you get a notification from them and click their video real quick, it boosts the algorithm. And then it starts to give more traffic to their video, because the algorithm perceives their video as really hot, because a lot of people are watching it, right?
So, that's why, on YouTube and social media these days, it's really messed up. You've got a lot of people that are optimizing for fame and then giving you business advice, which, in my mind, is completely fucked up, because fame is not business. And so, someone who has a lot of followers on the Internet, that doesn't mean they're good at business.
In fact, I've found the inverse to be true. If somebody has a lot of followers, what does that tell you about them? Well, it tells you that they've been trying to get a lot of followers, right? Because people don't get a lot of followers by accident. So, if someone's been trying to get a lot of followers, then that means they've been trying to get a lot of followers.
Now, is trying to get a lot of followers the same as being successful in business? No. It is not. So, if someone is trying to get a lot of followers, then it is safe to assume that they are not being good at business, or getting better at business, because this one takes time away from this one. And so, if they're doing this, then we can assume that they're not doing this. Or if they're doing this, then they're not doing much of this.
And so, then, what that really tells us about them is that they're probably not very good at business. Seriously. Most people can't see it this way. The world's been kind of all misled into thinking the person with the most followers and the most views is the best at teaching you how to start a business. That is just not true at all.
And you need to learn to see clearly. You need to see these things, all right? Once you do, it'll change everything, because quite often, the people that have the best advice, they're not famous people. They're tinkerers. They're people that don't really want to be famous or anything like that. They're not spending their days making these fancy videos, like walking around in front of cars and jets. They're just working on something with their full concentration, and experimenting, and trying to figure out what works, what doesn't. And those are the people that can teach you the most.
And I had to honestly learn this one the hard way. I had to navigate through the business minefield of experts. And, at first, I thought the most famous person must be the person who is the best. It is almost never, ever true. It's actually a warning sign, not a signal that you should learn from that person.
And so, once I made this mistake a lot of times and I learned, then I learned who to really look for. And it's the tinkerer. It's the person that can show you the results and it's the person that doesn't really care about being famous.
And you've got to learn to spot, what is somebody's Polaris Star? And you might be thinking, "Well, Sam, why on Earth would you just want to help us and at the cost of your social media following and things like this?" If I create YouTube videos telling you to delete YouTube and to stop watching YouTube videos, then that might mean that I don't get somebody watching my YouTube videos or I might not get a subscriber, right?
And if I tell people, "Delete Instagram. Delete Facebook," then that might mean that I'm not getting people following me on these channels. Why would I deliberately go out and harm myself? This is what a lot of people think. They're like, "This doesn't make sense. Why would he do that?"
And it'll make a lot of sense when I explain it to you this way: What I've found is that it's value that matters most. Value is number one. And so, if you tell somebody something, and they take that piece of information away and apply it in their life, and then if they get results from that, then it doesn't matter if they're following you or not, they're going to be a fan.
And really, what I try to do, is build a fan base of people that listens to a piece of information I gave them. They applied it, got real good results, and I don't care if they follow me or not. All I care about is that, because then they think of me as someone who provides good information that gets results, not somebody who just creates hypey information to try and get subscribers, because I really don't care about subscribers. I just care about students' results, all right?
And so, that's why I do this. That's why my behavior seems very strange. A lot of the influencers, they're doing all of these short videos, lots of these strobe light cuts, and they're talking about generic topics. And it's almost like, Hollywood meets business, meets D-grade celebrity, all coming together. And that's because that's what's popular on the Internet. But that what's popular isn't what's best for you.
Popularity is not something that signals causality. And causality is when you do something and it's causal. It creates a reaction, a desired reaction. But popularity does not mean causality, right? It's almost a warning sign. And that's why I behave that way.
And really, this is a good thing to think about for yourself. You really want to define what your Polaris Star is. What is that one thing that you care about more than anything? Because this makes a big difference.
And I'll give you an example with Amazon. So, with Amazon, they know that there is really about four or five things that they're optimizing for and if they achieve this, then they win, right? They've got it boiled down and crystallized to this degree.
And what their number one kind of ... or what their Polaris Star basically is ... I'll just draw this quickly. Amazon's Polaris Star is customer obsession, all right? So, that's what they're optimizing for, but they achieve this by breaking it down into some key components, or key axes. And the first one is widest selection. So, Amazon ... Or, actually, I'll list out all four of them and then I'll explain each one.
So, the first one's widest selection. The second one is the lowest prices. The third one is the fastest shipping, and the fourth one is the cheapest shipping. Now, you want to pay very close attention to this, because this is one of the most important business lessons you can possibly learn.
With a company, you need to define your Polaris Star. What are you trying to optimize for? With Amazon, they want to be the most customer obsessed company in the entire world, all right? But it's all very well saying that statement. How are they going to achieve that? How are they going to measure that? How are they going to form KPIs to do that, all right?
Well, they have to break it down into these four components. They know that if they have the widest selection, the lowest prices, the fastest shipping, and the cheapest shipping ... They know if they win along those four axes, then they win this. And if they win this, then they're the most valuable company on Earth.
And that's why they've actually achieved that. They achieved that for a short while. They were valued at more than a trillion dollars and they were at number one on the list. And it's kind of fluctuating a bit right now. And so, this will teach you a lot. This makes business a lot more simple.
So, widest selection means they wanted to have the widest selection of available products online from books, to Kindles, to audio books, to kitchen appliances, clothing. Anything you can think of, Amazon wants to have it stocked. And they do. They win on this. They have the widest selection out of any eCommerce store in the world, by a wide margin.
Lowest prices. So, they want to have the lowest prices, cheaper than you can buy it anywhere else. And they achieve this. And if you want to know to what extremes they go with lowest prices, Amazon actually has pricing bots. And what these are is, they're basically computer programs that go out and crawl all of these different eCommerce websites and pull their prices in real time, basically every couple of seconds.
And what they're doing is they're crawling these sites, fetching back the data about what the lowest price is and then they're automatically making their price lower than that. So, they're always at the lowest. They don't even require a human to do that. If one of their competitors changes their price on a bar of soap, then in a couple of seconds, Amazon will change their price on a bar of soap and be cheaper. I kid you not. They do this. And that's because this is important to them. Same with the widest selection.
Then fastest shipping. Amazon does provide the fastest shipping out of pretty much every eCommerce store on the Internet. They've got same-day delivery. Overnight delivery. And their logistics network is insane. No one can get something to their customer as fast as Amazon can, or as reliable as Amazon can, and that's because it's one of their key focus points.
And to do this, Amazon had to go to the extreme. They actually had to ... Most eCommerce businesses, they would just focus on the website. Ebay was actually bigger than Amazon for a while. And Ebay just focused purely on getting people to come and list their products and things like that. And people would buy their products and then they didn't worry about the shipping part. They just left that up to the seller to go and ship the product to the customer. And they thought everything would just take care of itself.
And it kind of did until Amazon got real good at fast shipping. And then, as soon as Amazon got real good at fast shipping, people stopped buying from Ebay, because they were like, "Well, I can buy this from this person here, but I don't know if it's going to arrive on time and I don't want to deal with all of these headaches. Amazon might be a little bit more expensive, because it's brand new, but they can get it to me tomorrow," right? When Amazon started to beat the average shipping time from most of their competitors, the demand just went from their competitors over to Amazon.
Then, cheapest shipping. This is another important thing. Amazon's basically free. They can give free same-day shipping or free next day shipping. So, not only do they have the widest selection, the lowest prices, the fastest shipping and cheap to the point that it's free. They win on all four of these axes and therefore, if they win all of these, then they win this. And if they win this, then amazon wins, all right?
This is honestly one of the best strategies that I've ever seen. And it's so simple. It's so clear and not only have they formed it in theory, but they've executed it in practice and won. So, that's how you know that this is a really good thing to learn from.
And the whole time Amazon was basically alive ... They've been around for a long time. In the early days, a lot of people couldn't understand Amazon's behavior. They were like, "This company is a scam. And this Jeff Bezos guy is an idiot. What are they trying to run? A nonprofit or something?" Because Amazon didn't make a profit for 25 years. They were making losses, breaking even, losses, and people couldn't understand it.
They were like, "This is a company and they're not behaving like a company. They're a company, but they're not making profits". So, everyone was up in arms and calling Amazon a scam, right? But this is what I'm talking about. This is idiosyncratic thinking. When someone's doing things that don't make sense to you, but it seems to be working for them, pay very close attention, because something's going on, right?
No one could pick this up back then. Everyone thought Amazon was an idiot. And then, what happened is they won. Because while all the other companies were focusing on profits, Amazon didn't really care about profits and they were focusing on the customer.
And by focusing on the customer relentlessly, over the long-term, they were able to provide the most value to the customer. And as soon as they were able to do that, everyone stopped buying from other companies and started buying from Amazon. And then when that happened, they started making a lot of money and getting very valuable.
And so, this is basically where I got my line of thinking and train of thought from as well. With me, I basically focus on ... I'll just rub this out. So, I'll just put up here, consulting.com. What I'm optimizing for here is student obsession, all right?
This is what I'm optimizing for and that is why my behavior seems kind of strange sometimes, because I will do things that seem kind of weird, like using social media to tell people not to use social media. It seems kind of hypocritical and contradictory, but really, what I'm thinking about is not what's best for me, and my subscriber count, and my following. I don't care about that. What I care about most is what's best for the student, because I know what's best for them is what's best for me. It'll just take a bit of time to work itself out and for that kind of shift in the market to occur.
And so, this is basically my point. This is why my behavior seems a little bit strange sometimes, but when you look at what I'm optimizing for, it makes perfect sense. And so, I really highly recommend that you, for your company, define what your Polaris Star is. What is your key thing you're optimizing for? And then break it out into its core components and its axes. The axes along which you want to win.
And if you win those things, then you get that. And if you get that, then you get that. And then, when you provide value to your customer, social media does not matter. Why do people buy a car? Or why do people buy a MacBook Pro Laptop or an iPhone? It's not because the CEO has the biggest following and the highest engagement on social media. It's because the product's the best. The value it provides to the customer is the best. And when you win that, you win everything.
But right now, the market's in a kind of delusional state, because they've started to believe that likes, followers, and all of this means success. It doesn't. And they're trying to pull you in and become a part of this festering pull of stupidity. And what's best for you is, honestly, to get the hell out of there.
You should delete Instagram off your phone. Delete Facebook. If you've got the YouTube app, delete that too. And if you're on lots of people's email lists and you're getting all of these emails, delete it. And just stop inviting people to come and fuck with you. Stop inviting people to bombard your consciousness with messages all day long, because that's basically what subscribing to people and following people is. It's an open invitation to come and screw with your brain and distract you from the main thing that you should be doing.
And so, once you define this, all you need to do is do it. And you don't need to follow other people or do any of this crap. You can go out and seek information when you need it, like if you've got an immediate problem that you need to solve in order to achieve this. Sure, go to YouTube. Search for the right video. Find it, get the information. Or buy a course, get the right information. Or go to social media to conduct some research, but then get out.
I'm not saying these tools are all bad. They're only good when you go onto the platform with a single intent and you just achieve that single intent and then get out. Do not go in there just kind of looking, or just waiting for something to happen, because all that will happen is that you'll waste your life.
So, that's it for this video. If you liked it, just click that like button and then hit that subscribe button, but do not turn on that notification bell, all right? Because these videos ... I only release one of them each week and they do help you improve your life and your business, but they're not that important that you need to be interrupted in the middle of your day. You can just get to them once a week and just use the ones that are going to help you the most.
And also, let me know what you thought in the comment section below. So, thanks for watching this video and I look forward to seeing you in the next one soon.