At the urging of a mentor, I signed up to watch Tai Lopez’s “Million Dollar Blueprint” talk. Over the four-hour runtime, Tai shared a compilation mixtape of his favourite pieces advice that he’d gleaned from the books he’s read.
In order to save you 3 hours and 53 minutes here are all his nuggets of information in (roughly) seven minutes.
Whenever you have a thought that begins “I can’t do this because…” you are experiencing learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a psychological phenomenon that is caused by so many adverse reactions to doing something, that you stop doing that thing even when you could easily overcome the adverse reaction.
According to Tai this is expressed by humans when we blame our circumstances for our inability to act, for example saying, or thinking:
- “I can’t do this because…”
- Of my race
- I’m unlucky
- I’m a man/woman
- I was born poor
Essentially things you can’t change about yourself.
If you can’t do anything about something, why worry about it? The solution is to focus on the things in your life that you can control, and build up for there.
You have complete control over your actions and how you spend your time. Start doing things that are going to make you financially successful, and you’re far more likely to become financially successful.
- Psychotherapist Mike Tyrell has three simple techniques for getting over learned helplessness
Your VRIN score determines how much you’re currently worth and how much money you can potentially make. Rate yourself out of 10 for each of the categories:
- Valuable: What is the value of the service you provide?
- Rarity: How unique is the service you provide?
- Inimitable: How easily can what you do be copied?
- Non-substitutable: How easily can you be substituted?
The average of those is your VRIN score. In order to give yourself an accurate score you need to be honest with yourself. To give you an idea of a base rate, Tai ranked a front-of-hours McDonald’s employee threes across the board.
The VRIN score system is a great way of looking at how you can increase your financial success. By focusing on improving what you scored yourself lowest in you’ll bump up your VRIN score, and therefore how much more people are willing to pay for your service.
- Jay Barney of the A & M Texas University has a fantastic essay on maintaining a sustained competitive advantage
When looking for business opportunities/trying to improve a business model look at all the current trends and implement them.
Make a list of trends that have been going on for the last decade and choose “two to four trends” to implement into your business idea. Tai used SnapChat to illustrate his point, Snapchat incorporated the trends of:
- Social media
Any less than two trends and your business won’t be part of the zeitgeist and any more than four and your product will likely confuse customers and investors.
He also shared two essential pieces of advice about trend stacking:
- “Don’t be the first or last to try an idea”
- “Go after trends that interest you”
If you go after trends that are more than 10 years old, their “trendiness” won’t have a very long shelf life. If you go for bleeding edge trends people are less likely to trust your product because the idea isn’t proven.
By using trends that interest you, you’ll stay motivated and be more passionate about your product which will dramatically increase the odds of its success.
Sampling vs Secrecy
Don’t keep your ideas secret. The first reason is that if your idea is so easy to do that you’re afraid to tell anyone about it; it’s probably already been done, or unlikely to be lucrative as it’s easily copied.
The second reason is that you need feedback on your ideas to improve them. If you have an idea for a business quickly build a prototype and start letting people try it out (like the way you get “samples” of new products at supermarkets).
Build the feedback you get from your samplers into your product and create a “positive feedback loop”. Implement the feedback and you’ll continually improve your product’s quality and build momentum and buzz about what you’re doing.
Once you’ve got a product that the majority of people like, it’s time to launch. When you launch remember to keep that positive feedback loop in place.
Finally don’t wait till your product is “perfect,” that’ll never happen. Just launch it when you feel it’s a good enough thing for people to pay for.
In order to be successful, you need to build a routine that works for you. Tai shared the routine that works best for him, and you should try a few routines before you find one that works for you.
Tai’s routine is based around these principles:
- Divide your day into four chunks
- Do the hardest thing in the morning
- Do the “autopilot” stuff in the afternoon
- Reward yourself in the evening ONLY if you did the hard work
Typically your mind is most creative and energetic in the morning which is why you should complete the “hard” tasks then, you also have greater reserves of willpower during the morning.
In the afternoon/evening, it’s time to complete the tasks that you can do without spending as much mental energy.
It’s important to reward yourself in the evening, and not continue to work. You need to keep your happiness and relaxation levels up if you want to continue to work hard. The only caveat is that you reward yourself when you deserve to, otherwise you’ll be more miserable in the long-term.
Find a mentor/join an accelerator
In order to speed up the rate of your success, you need to leverage other people’s wisdom and knowledge. The two best ways of doing this are finding a mentor or joining an accelerator.
For those of you who can’t currently afford to join an accelerator program, you should look at other ways to better yourself. You can do a multitude of online courses for free, as well as a number of premium online learning outlets offering free trials for their services.
Tai recommends spending 25 per cent of your income on investing in yourself. Unlike most other investments, the return you’ll get from yourself is a far less risky option.
- David Cohen, co-founder of the TechStars incubator, has revealed his three steps to finding a great mentor
You should make decisions based on logic and less on emotions. Tai uses the principle if you agree with something “38 per cent” you should do it.
If you wait till you’re 80 per cent sure of something you’ll have missed the opportunity, if you act when you’re less than 38 per cent sure you’re taking too much of a risk.
Uncertainty is unavoidable when making decisions, certainty is a privilege reserved for the past.
Tai didn’t really explain what it means to “38 per cent agree” with something. However, the idea that you should act on things that you’re fairly sure will have a positive outcome is a solid one. You can play the “ifs-and-buts” game all you want, but you’ll never know for sure until you act.
Similarly, the consequences of failure are actually more positive than people believe. You learn far more when things go wrong, so even if you do end up acting too rashly and “failing” look at that investment as education.
- We’ve got an article all about how to overcome decision-making paralysis
Have a “massive vision” (within your circle of competence)
Tai’s final point was that you should have a “massive vision” that is only limited by what you can actually do. I’ve broken this section down into four learning points:
- Make your goals realistic
- Have a “vision”, make goals that send you toward your vision
- Have bite-size daily goals
- Your six-hour plan is more important than your six-year plan
What he seemed to be saying was that you need to break down any goal that you have into daily steps that you can do to reach that goal. This way your overall “vision” is more easily achieved as you’re taking steps toward it each day.
Philosophically, I believe you should make “unrealistic” goals as most of us are unaware of what we’re capable of. With that said, if you’re just starting out on the journey to success, setting more “realistic” goals and hitting them may help you realise what it is you’re truly capable of.
Key Takeaways of the “Million Dollar Blueprint”
Alright, there’s Tai Lopez’s four-hour talk in (roughly) seven minutes. His main points again are:
- Don’t limit yourself with things about yourself that you can’t change
- Learn your VRIN score and use it to guide improvement in yourself and your business
- Include around three trends that have been around for the past decade in your business
- Give out samples of your product, and use the feedback to make your product better
- Develop a work routine that is effective for you
- Spend 25 per cent of your income on bettering yourself
- Being “fairly sure” something is going to work is good enough
- Dream big, but keep your goals realistic
If you found this roundup useful please share it with a friend, if you have any questions about Tai’s ideas send us a message on Facebook
Here are some other talks from successful individuals:
- Ryan Windsor reveals how to turn £6,250 into £1,500,000
- Damien Elston’s “Fear induced obstacles to success” talk in 5 minutes
- How to build a £1,000,000 property portfolio in just 2 years