Adding new things to a business is a sexy topic — think funnels, widgets, Messenger bots, new marketing channels, new ad types, the ideas are endless.
Sacrificing things, and doing less on the other hand, is not sexy.
Sacrifice is tricky thing to get right, most entrepreneurs get it wrong.
If you don't sacrifice initially when starting your business, you’ll never have the time, attention, and energy required to build something from scratch.
Most entrepreneurs get this part right, and eventually get to a point where they can quit their job to go full time with their business.
But most entrepreneurs eventually hit a plateau doing certain activities and getting certain results.
At some level, they know in order to go to the next level they need to do something (or many things) that are different, but they’re unwilling to let go of what they’re doing in the moment in order to get there.
There’s many reasons for this which I explain in the video, but I’m telling you this is the proven process of how to go the next level, regardless of what level you are already at in your business.
The reason is because whether you are at $0, $5,000, $10,000, $100,000, or even $250,000 /month and beyond, you can always sacrifice current activities, and replace them for even smarter, long-term oriented projects!
This video will show you how to evolve out of your current daily workload, so you can have an even better future, and have more fun by doing more thrilling work.
I share practical tips and personal stories on how I’ve used sacrifice as a weapon to build an 8-figure /year business in 7 years, and how you can use it climb to all-time highs in your business.
Here's what we cover:
1. Sacrifice, yield, and asymmetric returns — how to continuously evaluate, cull, and replace the activities you do, to get even bigger rewards.
2. Different categories of sacrifice: Financial, opportunity, attention, ego, time, food (this one’s interesting).
3. Sacrifice occurs when: You choose a better tomorrow at the cost of today.
4. Lack of sacrifice kills business: When you can't step out of your current day-to-day tasks to BUILD your business by working on high yield, long term projects because your attention and energy is 100% captured in the daily running of the business, you know your time is near.
5. So what do you do? You must be conscious of all forms of sacrifice, and realize that on-going sacrifice, will always deliver you a better tomorrow.
6. Why sacrifice often means giving up something great, for something exceptional.
7. Personal stories of sacrifice (and why I no longer do Instagram Stories).
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments?
Who has an iPhone? Who has an Android. Yeah. I got an Android recently because of one feature. That assistant for when you're getting a call. Has anyone seen how that thing works?
The automated response?
If someone's calling you, you can just click screen call and then this thing goes, "Hi, this is Sam's phone, what are you calling about?" And then they say ... And then it just transcribes it in real time. On my screen I can see ...
And then I can press a button and it will be like, "Tell me more. Or what was your name?" Or different things and then I can choose at any point to just click talk and just be like, "Hey, how's it going?" Or I can just click, "Sorry. He's not available." I got it just for that feature.
Is it an app?
What's the name?
No, it's the native phone. It's only available on the phone. It's not an app. It's the pixel three. [crosstalk 00:01:24].
That was the main reason why I got it. But no one really has my number or calls me anyway. So it doesn't add that much value, but I just wanted that feature bad because everyone has experienced a time when you see a number and you're like, "Oh I could be that person." You know what I mean? It could be that person. You've always got a person who you're expecting a call from and it's important and you answer it and it's fucking the wrong person. You can't get rid of that and it's annoying. You're like, "Damn, I shouldn't have answered it."
Sam, I have a Google voice number and you can have that app on any phone and when someone calls [inaudible 00:02:05]. So when you pick up, you hear who it is and you can choose because they have to say and you can choose to take the call or not. So it gives you some of that functionality.
True. It gives you some, but you can't ... The cool thing I like about this is it doesn't even require your hearing or speaking. So it truly just shows it and then you just tap one button because it calc- ... It uses AI to figure out what response you might want to add and it just shows it as a button so you don't even have to type it or speak it or do anything and it's real time. It's not like the person sees it and then it's like waiting, calling me, then I answer, then I've got to listen to it and then I've got to choose an option. But that's probably better than nothing.
Anyway, my point with this was that was the feature I wanted and also, iCloud sucks. Google Drive is the best, especially if you use G Suite business, which you should because it's $10 a user per month and you get unlimited Google Drive storage. But you also get unlimited Drive storage with your pixel and it just saves everything to Drive instead of iCloud.
But one cool, accidental by-product, which is actually the most value I got from the pixel was its UI and its user experience is nowhere near as good as an iPhone X. Like an early iPhone, yeah, it's probably better, but iPhone X is amazing. And what I didn't understand is it was worse and at first I was like, "Oh damn, the iPhone X was kind of better."
I fucking never use the thing. And I was like, "That's actually a good thing." I was like, "That's a benefit." But most people would think that's not a positive thing. They think that's a ... So it's actually been a great choice. If you want to use your phone list, get an Android. I'm not kidding. Nothing will make more of a difference. My screen time's gone down to like 21 minutes and 20 of those minutes is meditation.
No kidding. That's it. If it wasn't for the 20 minute meditation, then it would probably be non-existent. We're going to go into this topic of sacrifice and I can tell you, you just need to go out. If you want to do some market research on this, just go for a walk and just watch the human race go like this. It's real bad. It's actually a problem, a really bad problem.
And it's ruining people's brains and everything. And if you want to sacrifice, one of the easiest places to grab a lot from is bloody phone time, just looking at that thing and checking that thing and using that thing. And what you should do if you've got an iPhone or an Android is turn on that screen time. It'll just calculate it in the background.
At the New York Mastermind, I made people do it and it had already been tracking them and I looked at some people. Some people have five hours. These were people in the mastermind, five hours on a fucking phone. That's kind of sad. That's a lot of life, for what?
So if you're spending any more than honestly like 40 minutes on your phone and you can tell, this isn't a subject of, "Oh, am I?" No, the phone tells you. If you're spending more than 40 minutes on that thing, that is a place to take some from. This is an easy spot.
The two places we get a lot from, well, there is a few. Phone, social media and food. Those are probably the three best. Or alcohol if you drink alcohol. That robs massive time because it's not just the going out and the doing of it. It's the consequences that come from the doing of it. So it has a long half life, it can be like you do the act, you pay for a week. So there's a long tail to it. So it's really not good.
But we'll go through some of the things that you can sacrifice because I know a lot of them because I'm constantly looking and finding them and sacrificing them. And why are we going to start here is because to do this, you need time, energy, attention. To build anything good takes time and you have to try and you have to care.
There's no one that does things without that. If you do something without those ingredients, it will just be shit. You might build it, but everyone's going to look at it and just be like, "Yuck." And you can't build any business off that. So we're going to start here, free up time, energy, focus. So then we can build these other things.
So we'll get to it. I'm just going to take a photo of this so that I remember as we go through. So the argument for this and why this is important is because we can't build things or do anything without action. And action requires time and energy. We can't get that from any other thing other than our human body. And our human body can't perform concurrent operations or be replicated.
So you are actually the true constraint of being a human is time and energy. Those are basically the two things. This is what life is. Energy over time. That's all you have. And so where you put it determines what you get. And what's interesting to me is that every human has the same amount of energy and time, give or take different lifespans. But on average, right? So that's normally distributed. You don't see an exponential curve with distribution of time and energy and focus.
But when you look at the results people get, it is anything but normal. It is the most skewed distribution curve you've ever seen in your entire life. There are people that have trillion dollar companies and there are people who have no company. Compare that to the time, the human beings, the two humans variables in this equation, they are the same. They trade the same thing, they eat the same, they eat slightly different things probably, but they're still eating organic materials. They're still functioning as an organism.
There's no AI robots yet. I like things, I like understanding things that you just absolutely know are true and then we can work from there. Right? So when you understand that, it makes you think differently about what you choose to do because you can't get it back. You could choose to grow a YouTube channel, right? Sure. That'd be great. I'd like to have a YouTube channel like Casey Neistat or something, but that dude has to trade his life for that. That's his life's work. He doesn't have other things. You know what I mean?
And so you could also build YouTube as a platform, right? But you can't do that and be Casey Neistat. You can't. You can't do everything. So you have to very carefully pick your battles and the worst thing you can do is like not choose something, not commit to something or try to do lots of things.
All of these things are wrong. The best thing you can do is choose the right thing and stay on that thing for your life. Yeah. So this is where we get into sacrifice. So how do we determine what we sacrifice always comes back to this. So there's two types of ... If we are here, if we're here and then the goal is here, then this thing here ... What's a good thing for an action? We'll just call it an action.
I would define this as X action. This is how I measure the things and decide what to sacrifice and what not to sacrifice. So if I combine this X action with now, does it make progress towards goal or does it make no difference or does it regress? Regression is away from goal, right?
Now you can't even start to do this sort of reasoning until you actually define this. That's why we started here. Because you can't optimize variables to be efficient at achieving anything or everything. That doesn't work. You can only optimize. Think of this as a conversion pixel or custom conversion, right? This is exactly what it is. This is how machine learning algorithms work and they know how to target and narrow down and optimize because you set the thing that you want, you load it with the variables that it is to shuffle and optimize and then it gets to work, shuffling the best combination of variables to achieve that result. That's what it does. If you have really clean thinking, that's what you can do with your brain. Actually better than that algorithm.
So you have to state the goal. You don't launch a Facebook ads campaign and it's like, "What's the goal? The conversion of ... " You're like, "Don't know. I don't know what would happen." Probably nothing. So we've already done the goal. We know where we are now. Then we have to ask ourselves, "Does this action get us there?"
So to use some real basic examples, does drinking 20 beers and being hung over for a week, get me closer towards $1 million a month? Does it? Does it get me just the same?
Yeah, pretty bad regression and then it even has second order consequences. We are like, "Now I'm depressed that that's what I did and I know I didn't want to do that. So now I'm beating myself up so now I'm getting sick and third, fourth order consequences, right? So now I'm really getting fucked for my decision." And you have to learn to look at your decisions like this.
They're not just those immediate isolated things. They have second, third, fourth order consequences all the way down. And when you start to look at things clearly like going out and getting drunk and being hung over and what the real cost of that is, you won't do it anymore.
Maybe unless you're an alcoholic, in which case you need to change your environment. If your friends always beat you on, I don't think I could have been this rational and had enough willpower to not drink in my old environment because it was so ingrained. Plus New Zealand culture is all about drinking, too. And so yeah, when you really look at this seriously and you think this is really important, then sometimes it takes extreme measures to change it. Not just willpower but changing your environment.
Another one is spending five hours on your phone staring mindlessly into photos of other people eating ice cream and kissing babies and shit like that. Does that get us closer towards the goal?
Nope. So you see how to do this thing? It's pretty easy. Most people are quite unaware of where their time goes. Because we know how to evaluate whether a thing we do should be done or not done, right? But how do we know what things we do so that we can actually choose which things to eliminate. So you need to take a baseline and you need to know where your time currently goes.
And I pretty much do this at every single event, but the exercise is just called 100 units of time and it's very simple. You just want to set an alarm on your phone, a repeat alarm for every 30 minutes, every hour. You want to have a notebook next to you, like the ones that we handed out, any type of notebook and then every 30 minutes or every hour, just write down what you did, what were you doing?
And you've got to be totally honest for it. So if you were looking at Facebook, don't say that you were doing sales calls because a lot of the stuff we talk about requires people to be honest with themselves, pretty much everything. And so really record down where it goes and then do that for seven days and don't change what you do for those seven days to try and make it look better.
You'll get the best results if you just truly do what you normally do and you were just recording it to just get a baseline, kind of like a blood test. Just take a measurement of it. And then once you've done that for seven days, you want to then take all of those objects that you spent time on and you want to categorize them.
So you can create a category like let's say you watched Game of Thrones one night on Netflix, then you watched, I don't know what other shows there are. Actually, Game of Thrones isn't even on Netflix, is it? I'm just going to make up some stuff. So let's say you watch Game of Thrones on Netflix for a few nights and then you watch some other show on Netflix and then you watch some other show on Netflix. We could just create a category called Netflix, right?
And then if you were doing email, but to all of these different people, sometimes reading, sometimes replying, you could just categorize this as email. You get what I'm saying? So we can create some categories that encapsulate these different objects. And then you want to add up the time total for each category. So if I watched nine episodes on Netflix, each one hour, the Netflix category would have nine hours total.
Now we can see where our time goes on a week into these different activities. Now you're not just recording your time during work hours, it's all of the time except for the time you're asleep because when you wake up you can write down how long that was. Because you want to know personal life and business life, it's all the same thing really. It's life. And a lot of business wins come from personal life. A lot of personal life wins come from business. These two are synonymous. You measure both.
And then you can work out the total amount of time. So you take up all the categories, sum it. Say it was, I don't know, 100 hours. Now if Netflix was nine hours and the total time I recorded was a 100 then that would be 9%. So then you assign a percentage category to each one, right?
Now,, you actually have a good snapshot of where your time goes on a percentage basis. Makes sense?
Nothing will be more enlightening to a human than doing that exercise because time is a blur. It's like a concept and if you don't measure the thing and you don't actually record it and track it, it's an unknown thing. It's like a human being. Before they actually knew how human anatomy worked back in Da Vinci's era, right? He was one of the first people to dissect a human body and actually see that the heart was here and that it pumped blood around. People at that time thought that your head was a cooling mechanism for blood. It was just cooler because you can see how. They probably got hot when they were moving and then their face felt cold when it was sweating, so they're probably like, "Ah, okay. Cooler. Blood cooler." People were totally unaware. They had no damn idea what was going on. They didn't know a brain was in there and that their brain thought or had synapsis in it or neurons.
So when something's unaware, you truly have no fucking idea. And time and where people spend their time is the same. It's totally like that. People have no idea. So you want to take something that you have no awareness of and make it very aware and you have to do that first before you can make any type of change. Because until you make the unconscious conscious, it will dictate your life and you will call it fate. So here we are making it conscious. Makes sense?
Sam, a question. What about the timeframe of [inaudible 00:22:20] exercise. Because not each week is the same. After the last Mastermind, I decided to do the exercise and then there was a problem in all the software things and I was finding myself just 50 hours a week only sorting problems because of the software.
Yeah, so you do it. You do it. This isn't a do once, done forever thing. Life changes. Your job, your responsibilities change, everything changes. So you have to do this every now and then. I would probably recommend doing it like once every month or once every two months because things change.
There was a point in time where I was doing a customer interview pretty much every day and I was doing Instagram stories every day. I was releasing a blog post and I was doing all of this other stuff, Q&A's for all of these different programs and it was fine and it was working fine for a few months, maybe even six months. But then it got to a point where I needed to do other things that were important and I couldn't do them because I had no damn time, energy or attention left.
And so I had to perform this exercise and some things had to get cut like Instagram stories. Great decision. And customer interviews, delegated them to Nick Hauser. All right, I did that to assess. So that answers your question, right? You measure baseline and then you know what to change to be more efficient in that environment.
But when things change later, you'll need to do it again because whenever you need to add something or do another project that demands a lot, you have to free up stuff, mostly time. And attention and energy. And this is when you do this exercise, right? Whenever you need attention and focus and you don't seem to have it, this is the exercise because you can't really do a shitload of stuff and then just try and willpower out some more attention. It doesn't work.
You have to cut some things and I can tell you that works really well. Nothing actually works as well as that. And the best people in the world at their different things, they know that and they're real good at doing that. You see Leonardo DiCaprio use social media, you see him do interviews, see him do anything but a really fucking good movie? No.
That dude keeps the main thing the main thing. The best basketball players in the world aren't the ones with the most followers on Instagram or the best YouTube channels. They just fucking win. Winning speaks louder than photos and likes and shit like that.
So that exercise is what you should do when you get home. But you need seven days to do it, we don't have seven. So we need to hypothetically do this for the past seven days so that we can actually see what places people are putting their time so that we can ... Because what will happen is immediately once you see these things, there's going to be a lot of emotional attachment to them because you are doing them.
And when I say you've got to cut them, people are going to be crying. So we got to go through that now just to show you how we can rationalize these different things because otherwise, you'll see the thing and you'll justify it to yourself. I need to keep doing this Instagram story thing. But you don't.
So think about the past seven days. I'll give you a couple of minutes right now and just write down roughly where you think most of your time goes. Is it strategy sessions, watching TV, drinking, partying, traveling. Just write down percentages of where you think your time goes and you should have a pretty good idea.
I thought you were the one that did the work at the company.
Did you just said you did all the work at the company?
So why aren't you writing it down?
I have my calendar, I optimized it very good so far.
Write it down. There's no end to the optimization. The best optimizations are the ones when you swear you're as efficient as you can possibly get and then you still throw out 80% of the shit you're doing. That's when you're getting into the good stuff. When you're already efficient and now we're getting rid of some stuff. That's how you go. Because then you're trading winners for better winners because you might remove wasteful things. So you've now got mostly constructive things, but now we're sacrificing less constructive things for more constructive things. You see what I mean?
It's not just a game of removing dumb things. It then becomes a game of removing less smart things for more smart things.
I'm just going to grab a LaCroix while you guys write down these things.