Weekly Whisper for June 7, 2024

Advice to my fourth college graduate

Advice To My Fourth College Graduate…and All Seven Children

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My fourth child became our fourth college graduate on Mother’s Day.

She graduated from SDSU in just four years with her teacher’s certificate while also waiting tables to help pay her way through school.

She’s a beast, just like her two brothers and sister before her, her roommate younger sister who is following in her footsteps, and her two younger sisters still at home.

Four down, three to go…maybe.

I say maybe because we do not pressure our kids to attend college despite my wife and I having three degrees between us. (Lots of B.S. around here. I’m just sayin’.)

In fact, we don’t pressure our kids to do anything other than:

  • Finish what you start

  • Be kind and considerate

  • Take no lip from anyone

  • Shut up and do the work.

What do I mean by that last one?

Let’s take a look at Twitter (gimme ten more years to call it X…this old dog is slow to learn new tricks) to illustrate my point.

Recently, on Twitter, a 23-year-old wanna-be influencer made a post that got him ratioed.

As the dust was settling, he replied,…

Wes, thanks for the feedback. This was my first shot at the whole “bait” thing. Didn’t expect it to blow up like this.”

Well-meaning but misguided young buck on the interwebs

My advice to him was…

“I thank God I was in the Air Force when I was 23…in 1993, and not posting shit online. (I didn’t even get online for several more years.) I thank God when I was a rookie in sales in 1997…I wasn’t posting shit online. I was selling. I was grinding. I had a wife, an infant son, another on the way, and I had to sell. Because I could focus on selling, I did, and it has enabled me to provide for a family of 9 on my income alone for 29 years. I know it’s tempting to test the waters and grow a following online, but likes and shares won’t buy diapers or donuts or beers or bourbon or burgers. Buckle down and sell. You’ll be glad you did.”

It’s The Most Dangerous Time Ever To Be Stupid

We live in dangerous times.

While there have always been shysters and carpetbaggers and absconders and bullshitters—let’s call them S.C.A.B.s for short—technology is making it easier than ever for a few people to scam a lot of people with a few flicks of their thumbs.

While the phishers who steal from our grandparents are the worst, right behind them are the “influencers/thought-leaders.”

These SCABs leverage scarcity and FOMO and other manipulative gimmicks to lure unsuspecting victims into their silver-gold-platinum-diamond-ruby-warrior-king-pinnacle-velvet-war room-elite-executive-$5k mastermind only to then tell them…

Only to then tell them…

“…the answers YOU REALLY need are in my $100k really-super-secret mastermind,”

Typical SCAB

Only to then…well, you get the point.

There really is a sucker born every minute.

But in many ways, it’s not their fault.

Trillion-dollar companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars over the last two decades alone to get inside our brains, get us hooked, and keep us hooked, which gives the SCABs a fast track to profit off of our fears, uncertainties, and doubts…and they have…and they continue to do so.

Which led the aforementioned young buck to attempt to “bait” the world into engaging with him by throwing out a stupid—I mean, STOOPID—”controversial take” so “the world” might see him as some sort of “thought leader” and throw likes and re-quotes and comments at him.

Alas, t’was not to be for this sprightly young buck.

But, to his credit, he took it on the chin and seems to be staying in the fight, albeit with an adjusted process of shutting up and doing the work.

We shall see.

One-Day Goo-roos

Fast forward to today.

I invest in a new training program, and the first post I see in the community is…

Noob: Total noob here…I don’t how to do (content for my audience.) I also don’t know who my audience is.”

Person 1: “What’s your offer?”

Noob: “Don’t have one. Really new at this.

Person 2: “Well what do you do?”

Noob: “To start off offer services for Facebook ads.”

Person 1: “If you’re new to FB ads, how are you offering services for FB ads?”

Noob: “Learn it I guess.”

These “noobs” are everywhere.

They have no passion, no drive, no curiosity, and no desire to serve anyone other than their bank accounts.

They are looking for the path of least resistance…the shortest path to make a buck.

They are the Gordon Gekkos of today:

And they’re buying AI courses to “make a year’s worth of content in five minutes” and advertising courses to “get your message out to the world for just pennies a day,” 

But they have no experience and no passion and no interest, so their computer-generated content is the same as everyone else’s.

But this content is free to create—with the “right prompts” purchased from the goo-roos one day ahead of the new goo-roos—so we are FLOODED with crappy offers that promise the same overnight success they bought.

But as Stalin knew,…

Quantity has a quality all its own.”

So after seeing a thousand or a million of these “goo-roo SCAB offers,” even the most disciplined, most professional, most dedicated among us can fall into the trap of thinking,…

Wow. I’m not having that type of success…and that goo-roo was a nobody just 47 minutes ago, so there must be something wrong with me. Maybe I should get that course…attend that conference…join that mastermind…they all sure seem to be happy, healthy, and successful…and that guy wearing his wife’s capris pants and the nasal strips has a lot of pictures in a private jet…and that other cult SCAB says he has bazillions in real estate…so, clearly, there is a super secret sales success shortcut that I’m missing.”

On the one hand, there are “secrets” in sales, business, life, and especially Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that elude us because we can’t know everything about everything.

But they are not “secrets of the ages.”

Small Levers Swing Big Doors

Instead of “secrets the ages,” there are just proven, effective ways of doing things, i.e.,

  • The magician who knows how to redirect the attention of his “mark” so he has time to palm a coin to “pull” it out of their ear a moment later.

  • The salesperson who knows how to set an agenda for every meeting with a decision-maker to set the tone and remain in control of the conversation and negotiation.

  • The BJJ fighter who knows how to get his opponent leaning backward, so they overreact and end up getting thrown forward with their own momentum.

While these are all simple “secrets,” they are hard to master, and therein lies the real secret to success: having the drive, determination, and discipline to stick with something until you master it, i.e., you literally cannot do it wrong, regardless of the scenario or the pressure.

That’s where a mentor or coach becomes invaluable.

In the summer of 2006, Steve Clark showed me these powerful levers as my sales mentor, first via his 12-week sales course, then as a private mentor, and my life changed forever.

Literally, every day when I train Jiu-Jitsu, I learn some little nugget that improves my game, despite training 5 to 6 days a week, since January 2017.

That’s 7+ years of 250 training sessions per year that are 90 minutes each—over 2,800 hours of hands-on grappling—and I still learn something every single day.

Who’s pushing you like this in sales, business, and life?

If you’re not getting the results you want, expect, and need, find someone to help you.

Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.

The Business Fixer Stuff

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