Back in my early 20’s when I was fresh out of college, I pretty much had two goals; to make money and to grow muscles (oh to be young again!). I naively figured that within a month or two I would easily to be pulling in $10,000 per month and have gained an extra 30 lbs of muscle. My plan was to sell a bunch of crap on the internet and start doing bicep curls. Pretty easy right? Long story short, I failed miserably at both.
Looking back now, I admit its pretty funny to think about how ignorant I was. More importantly though, reflection about this time of my life has brought quite a bit of insight. I can clearly see now that the problem had nothing to do with my ability, but rather had everything to do with my mindset. The ironic part is that in due time I was easily able to achieve both of those goals, and once I did, I realized it wasn’t that difficult! The only thing that had changed from when I failed was my way of thinking about both wealth and fitness.
So what does building wealth have to do with building muscle? Simple. They are both achieved by doing the same thing; providing value.
Huh?! Let me explain…
When I started lifting weights back in my 20’s, I remember obsessing over my biceps (typical, I know!). I would go over, grab some dumbells, do a few bicep curls until I started to feel a little fatigued, then stare at my arms in the mirror to see if they were any bigger. I never really focused on form or pushing myself to hard. Shockingly, that really didn’t work so well.
To build serious muscle, you need to assert enough resistance through lifting weights to tear the fibers in your muscle. After your workout, your body repairs the fibers by fusing the fibers together to form new muscle protein strands. For this cellular process to work efficiently, your body also requires sufficient energy (i.e. nutrition) after your workout.
Translation: to build muscle your body needs your time (weight lifting) and energy (nutrition) and some would even argue emotion (workout intensity). So what does time, energy, emotion all add up to? What do you need to give your body to get muscles in return?
You guessed it; value.
The real reason I failed at building muscles is that my focus was backwards. I was constantly focused on the muscle growth (desired result) without any serious focus on working out (generating value). Had I really paid attention to providing value to my body by focusing on lifting form, hard work, and supplying my body with the proper nutrition, I would have easily achieved the results I desired.
So much in the same way, generating wealth is much like generating strength. If money is your desired result, then you need to first focus on generating value. Most people focus on the reverse. That is why people constantly get scammed with get rich schemes that pop up in just about every industry nowadays. People simply fail to realized that money will never come to you without providing some sort of value to society and more importantly, the value you put out is always proportional to the value you receive.
When I first got started into the world of E-Commerce, I had no awareness of value concept. My strategy back then was to find products to sell, mark the price up and spam the internet with exaggerated ads and junk mail (this was before Facebook ads had arrived). How much value was I providing by doing this? Not much. And guess what I got back in return…not much!
Now that I am aware of the value concept, I can easily apply it to all areas of my life with great success. Let’s take this blog for example. The way I provide value is by sharing my thoughts, ideas and lessons to society in an neatly organized format. I know that for this blog to be a success, I always have to make that my main focus. I do not charge any membership fees, I do not spam my post with affiliate links, at this point I don’t even have any ads. Some people may snark and say that is a horrible business model, but I strongly disagree.
By providing strong value, especially free material, I can generate traffic to this site rather quickly. With traffic, comes more notoriety which again leads to exponentially even more traffic. With traffic rolling in, it is then very easy to monetize the site through speaking engagements, private counseling and workshops. Even with that in mind, my focus is always only on providing value, with the trust and understanding that wealth will follow in a proportional manner.
So, if you are looking to increase your income (or the size of your biceps!), remember to ALWAYS focus on how much value you are providing. If you can do that, you will be well on your way to success and your desired state.