Random Xpat Rantings

Contemplative dominance for the modern man

Rollo Tomassi thinks all old men must pay for young ass

Posted by xsplat on April 30, 2016

In response to my re-posting this post  (excerpt from post)

Either you are fucking multiple attractive young women who are in love with you, or you do not understand and do not have the skill sets involved.

There is no such thing as a man who could do that but chooses not to.  A fox sees grapes he can’t reach, and then tells himself those grapes were sour anyway.

And then he tell himself that all other foxes are deluded if they think they are getting high grapes.   “Your girlfriends are not really having orgasms you idiot!  Even though I have never met you or your girls, I know that!  God, how dumb can you be to think you are actually getting high grapes!”

on Rollo’s blog, and tweeting a link to it on my years old twitter account, Rollo replied:

[TL;DR Rollo is full of shit because he’s married. YaReally is too because he isn’t married yet. Read me instead because.

You aren’t full of shit. And the shit you are full of is not because you are married.

Read for comprehension.

You confuse some of your shit with the rest of your insights because you are not seducing and fucking young ass.

Or because you are too whipped to admit you are fucking young ass.

Take your choice.

Hehe,..I guess I should feel honored you’d start a Twitter account just to tell me all of that X.

From what I remember though, you’ve been ‘buying’ young ass in SEA for some time now. I’m not sure how that constitutes ‘seducing’ young ass, but hey, if you feel that what I write should be disregarded as ‘bad teaching’ because I’ve been married for 20 years, you can always look to Roosh for inspiration on how to live a rewarding life.

I still love you X. Yours has always been one of my earliest blog reads and I still pop over from time to time.

I agree with you that not censoring is the best method, because it shows the nature of the beast.

You have in your comment proved my point.

You believe that even though you have not met me or my girls, that I am lying about my personal experience. You HAVE to believe that.

Because YOU are not fucking young ass, it means I am paying for it.

That is exactly my point. You do not have a clue how to fuck young ass. And therefore you have no choice but to assume that I’m paying for it.

Discussion with commentors continues from here.  It’s surprising to me how much resistance many guys have even to the very idea of being with much younger women.  It must be about an identity crisis!  It must be about hormonal imbalance!  It must be about way out of whack priorities!  It must be this or that or that or this – but not about how great and life improving it is to be naked with young women.

People absolutely can’t stand having ambitions that seem out of reach, and will go so far as to deny other people the possibility that others have and are reaching good ambitions that they dare not have.

Posted in Dating Asians, Gender relations, Haters, LTR Game, Relationship, Sex Chikung & Kundalini, tantric | 1 Comment »

Why I don’t hire teachers. And why you should not study from teachers.

Posted by xsplat on April 25, 2016

I’m bootstrapping a small startup, and so interview for new hires every few days.  Every day I spend an hour or two going through applications.

I sometimes come across people who don’t know how to be career oriented.  They might stay too long in a job that does not advance their skills, or jump around between unrelated fields, or work at jobs that don’t match their potential.  They work at places because they need a job, not in order to advance their career.

I used to be the same way.  In Canada you needed to graduate from grade 13 high school in order to go on to university.  Grade 12 counted as a High School diploma, and that’s all I got.  After that I lounged around the house for most of a year, before getting a series of temp manual labor jobs.  I had zero career ambitions.  My ambition was to move to a Buddhist mountain retreat or monastery.

But as an employer, I have gained a different perspective.  It’s required of me to be able to understand career ambition.  I need ambitious employees who want to work near the peak of their potential, and who can grow and learn and develop along with my company, constantly refining their skills to stay relevant and cutting edge in a competitive cut throat marketplace.

Sometimes I’ll look at a resume and see that the person went straight from school into teaching.  Or they dabbled in working in their field, before moving into teaching.

Teachers are not useful to me.

You’d think that a teacher of PHP programming would be a great hire if I needed a PHP programmer.  It doesn’t work that way.  In class, you are teaching the same thing, over and over.  You are stuck at the beginners level, by design.

Only in industry are you forced to face novel situations, and only in industry is it adapt now or die.  In academia your students can’t easily evaluate the value of your teaching, and unless you have a large faculty specializing in teaching PHP programming, neither will your peers.  Even if they cared to.

I once had some specialty chemistry commissioned from a university lab.  They were affronted that I demanded a budget, and said that in Academia it doesn’t work like that.  They not only resisted, but acted insulted.  They explained that they were used to an open ended unlimited budget.  It costs what it costs and takes as long as it takes.  When I explained that I had to know the costs first before deciding if I wanted to start the project, they acted as if I was insane, and refused to even calculate the cost of materials.

I interviewed a business major and professor recently.  He agreed that he had no practical experience at all – all his experience was theoretical and only within the classroom.

Can you learn how to fuck by reading Penthouse and watching porn?  Can you learn advanced PHP programming by teaching PHP classes?

School is a preparation for learning how to work hard and consistently against deadlines.  It teaches some thinking skills, and some practical knowledge.  It is PREPRATORY.  After school comes the real training, which occurs on the job.

Companies that hire fresh graduates consciously do so in order to find that one in 10 hire who is the blockbuster of productivity.  He won’t know his value, and can be paid much less than the man who spent 10 years carefully honing his skills on a well planned career track.  These blockbuster hires make it worth the expense of hiring and training (and usually eventually firing) the other nine.

Fresh graduates are useful if they are extremely talented.  Otherwise it usually takes years of focused development before they are good at their job.  And this gets reflected in their salary, and in their job title.  A Senior PHP developer can earn more than twice as much as a fresh graduate.

Most companies can’t afford to gamble on blockbusters or wait years for their staff to to grow into their potential, and so hire the most experienced and proven staff that they can afford.  No amount of university training counts as experience, whether it’s being trained or training others.

I’m writing this post because it’s the perfect metaphor for the act of teaching about relationships between men and women.

If a man is not currently actively dating, and yet is teaching about relationship dynamics, then he is an academic.

Academics do not know that they do not know.  Instead they think they know more!  Academia is insular and self referential, and this has been an open joke ever since there was academia.  Academia and industry are like Penthouse vs Sex.

There are good, and even great academics.  And yet we have the saying “Those that can, do.  Those that can’t, teach.”  If someone is ONLY an academic, even a great academic, then he can’t do.  He can’t even know.  It’s not possible to be good at any field and ONLY teach about it.

If someone is married, and is trying to explain about relationship dynamics, he is an academic.

I don’t hire academics, because they have chosen the career path of being deliberately stuck.  Academics are treading water.  They think they have a broader perpsective, by virtue of thinking about things, but are just stuck in a very narrow and limited world.  The more they teach the same thing over and over, the more they mistake the map for the territory.  Their maps over time become loaded with sign posts that are jargon words that mean so very much to their students and to other academics, but so much less to those in industry.  “Stages of mating”.  “Hypergamy”.  “Alpha fucks and beta bucks”.

So that’s my warning.  Learn relationships from those that have the types of relationships that you strive for.

Would you like to have multiple attractive women in their most peak years in love and devoted to you?

Then don’t study about relationships from a married man .  Especially if his wife is of a similar age!

My god, I can’t imagine how a man with a similar aged WIFE expects to be and is taken seriously, when talking about how to relate with women.  Jesus what a waste of potential!  A guy would need to be blind not to notice young ass, and incompetent not to tap it.  On the regular. Or whipped or low libido.  Which are both much worse than being blind or incompetent.

And unless you want a similar lifestyle, don’t take on as a mentor a PUA.  From what I see all PUAs have a paltry sex life, and none have a bottom bitch, let alone several women who pray devotedly from their hearts and other warm spots at the alter of his lingam.  A top PUA might in one of the best months of his career score 10 girls and have sex maybe 15 times. And he’ll have to work very hard for it, using up a lot of his limited time and energy.  Whereas a guy with a harem of devoted women may have sex several times a day with different women.  And most of it will be much better quality sex.  Just by inviting his girls over, or doing a circuit between their apartments.  And he’ll never have to cook or clean.

The PUA lifestyle is in industry.  It’s practical and hands on.  The married lifestyle is a communist industry – no competition at all, and you can be wasteful and inefficient and incompetent and clueless and still think things are fine and dandy.

I strongly believe that PUA and being married are both extremes.  To be functioning at peak potential by definition means that one is neither monogamous for more than a few years nor a full time playboy.

A man needs BOTH variety, and deep and stable intimacy.  That really should be fucking obvious.

PUAs can’t know about intimacy, and married men can’t know about dating.  Both positions are too extreme.  There is not the overlap that people at the extreme ends assume.  Most of the skills for LTRs are vastly different than PUA skills.  And PUA skills are also highly specialized, and not learned through LTRs.

And multiple long term relationship skills are again a different skill set.  No PUA or married man is going to have more than a sniff of a clue about MLTR skills.  But most will assume they are experts anyway.  And won’t be shy to teach you what they don’t know.

Academics.

Either you are fucking multiple attractive young women who are in love with you, or you do not understand and do not have the skill sets involved.

There is no such thing as a man who could do that but chooses not to.  A fox sees grapes he can’t reach, and then tells himself those grapes were sour anyway.

And then he tell himself that all other foxes are deluded if they think they are getting high grapes.   Your girlfriends are not really having orgasms you idiot!  Even though I have never met you or your girls, I know that!  God, how dumb can you be to think you are actually getting high grapes!

Either you are dating now, or you do not understand dating now.

Having dabbled in dating long ago and retired means you are not industry relevant now.  No matter how many people you talk to who are in industry.  Having specialized industry skill in one area is not transferable to another.  And deep down, we all want to be neither a PUA nor monogamous forever to the same woman.  I firmly believe that.

And anyone who says that he is an MGTOW guy who does not want or need women is a liar and a loser.

MGTOW guys are like born again Christians.  They must devote a lot of time to proselytizing, because deep down they can’t believe their own bullshit, and the only way to maintain the faith is by splainin and splainin and communing and communing.

Nope.  All men want what is the most valuable asset that has ever been.  Young attractive women.  And we all want these precious assets to adore and be owned by us.

And ONLY men who consistently maintain what we all truly want are in the industry, and worthy of hiring by you, to be your teacher.

Related: Why Rollo’s therationalmale.com is an MGTOW site that is trying to keep you down

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Humble-brag. I suck at interviews because I keep blabbing inspiration

Posted by xsplat on April 19, 2016

I’m really into my businesses.  I have vision, and am articulate, and am passionate.

I interview a few people each day for new positions, and instead of probing their personalities and talents, I go on and on about my business.

It hypnotizes people.  I may as well admit that I have a talent for sucking people into my world.  I have a vast and detailed visualization about what my world is, and what it could be.  It’s seductive.  It’s a great world.  I want to be a part of it.  You would want to be a part of it.  Everybody wants to be a part of it.  Give me a few moments, and you will ask for more moments, until we will be dreaming about our certain future.

I can convince you, because I am convinced.  My dreams are crystal solid.  You will love my dreams.  Around me you will start to smell and touch my dreams. You will want to be a part of making them happen.

This isn’t a talent I tried to develop.  It’s an offshoot of optimism and belief in my own projects.  I’m not manipulative.  It’s totally genuine.  But back off a bit, and it’s way manipulative.  I’m really, really good at inspiring people.

It’s got to be unconscious skill.  When I interview applicants, they wind up wired and inspired.  Geared up and pumped up.  They want to work here, and they want to work for me.  Over the next few months they want my feedback.  They want performance reviews.  They want interviews.  I’m the big pappa, and they want my time.

Surely I’m doing the inteviews all wrong.  I’m not asking enough questions.  I’m not filtering well.

I am so personally inspired, I can’t stop myself from talking about how inspired I am.  In every little detail.  It rubs off. I could go on for hours, but it’s really interesting stuff, and people don’t get bored.  They get more and more interested.

This is an obvious humble-brag.  It’s a good talent.  But I wind up having to fire people that were not properly screened.

As my team grows, it gives me momentum and credibility and resources.  A business is a chicken and new hires are an egg; you can’t hire good talent without an established business chicken.   And you can’t afford to pay salaries without a chicken.  And if you are growing from cash flow, all business chickens are carefully grown from eggs.

So I have to hire crappy people to attract mediocre people to attract good people, all the while earning an overall profit while dragging around dead weight.

My idea at this point is to have my current mediocre talent help me screen the new hires.   I can’t help but blab on and on inspirational messages to the interiewees I mesh with.  They get all pumped up and therefore I attract talent out of my league.  My staff may be able to then screen on the second and third interviews, before the 3 month trial.  After which I’ll be happy to fire.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

What drugs you should do, what life stage you should be at.

Posted by xsplat on April 19, 2016

In case you have not noticed, I have a common weakness. When I see some thing inside myself that could be developed or aggrandized, I write a post as if I’m an expert on the subject.

I have some habits in writing. I embody a persona when I write. Forgetting all about other personas.

Have you ever done any drug?

The creative types are famous to be into heroin. It increases creativity. Check out what percentage of jazz musicians shoot up. It not merely cultural.

What about copy-writers? Pot. And booze. Is it a culture of drunk writers, or does drinking make your first draft wider?

I am this person. Until I am in that context. Until I’m on 50 micrograms of LSD. Or until I’m infatuated with a fresh teenageer. Until I’ll be introduced to the CEO of Plastics Incorporated.

When I was 17 me and a friend “went sane” on LSD. Our realization was that if we only had the opportunity to at will change places with a tree or a hedgehog or a sales executive, we could have realized that reality had an underlying principle. A principle that awareness has a nakedness to it; that even neurotic thoughts had a basis that was not neurotic. That awareness itself had a quality.

As this insight slipped away over the coming days, I felt the need to know and embody more of what I had touched on.

Through study of meditative philosophies and the deepest possible meditative practice that I could embody, I developed beliefs. That I no longer hold. I’m less interested now to know and understand the ultimate question and the ultimate answer. I feel a bit silly now that I had expectations to know.

But you can’t know what you don’t know anymore than you can know what you are unlikely to ever know. I had to try. For a while it seemed I was involved in deep natures.

On stimulants you’ll understand better than your other selves about focus, drive, and future orientation. To the extend that you still identify with who you used to be, you’ll feel naive and  mildly embarrassed for ever being so distracted.

On pot you’ll be here and now and feel stupid for ever being anything else. You’ll appreciate a massage as if every micro-moment is the incarnation of incarnation.

If you tend to being wrapped up in yourself, drinking will unfold your petals and you’ll be proud that your essence enhances the smell of the party.  Now you can dance.  Now you are among the among.

The brain holds unlimited personas and potentials, as we see in our dreams. But dreams often hide inside forgoten spaces. Drugs force dream variety into wakefulness.

I’m sitting down at a streetside cafe. The menu is presented. Do I want to be a successful entreprenuer? Do I want to be a living in the world enlightened Yogi? Do I want to be a Chi-Kung Sexual Savant? Do I want to be a free as a bird traveling lover of yum?

When I was 17 and did that LSD trip with my friend, I did go sane. I did realize Buddha nature. There is an underlying priciple, and monkeys and men are all trapped within context. Awareness itself is something. We are too distracted to see it.

At the same time, you can have had orgies, you can have developed businesses, you can have lived under a bridge, all in the same lifetime. You can have developed deep meditative awareness and lost it. Over time we switch between contexts. Just like I wished we could, and just like I imagined would lead to a profound insight.

I doubt that the hoped for insight could have been more than an ephemeral shock outside of context. This post is about the value of shifting context. The fact that we are many personas. The fact that drugs help us to shift.

* Post written drunk. The first time in six months.  The sobering up personas edited.  It was a collaboration.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Alfred Hitchcock Presents deserves to be taught in history and sociology classes.

Posted by xsplat on April 16, 2016

I’ve been watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents over these last few days. What an eye opener. All these new-fangled game techniques and social insights are old hat. I’ve been impressed by classic movies before, but was surprised at the consistency of quality Hitchcock manages to get, using different writers and actors over so many episodes.  The level of sophistication in understanding the human condition is superb.

Hitchcock made a point of having a macabre humor, and the series is laced with the bitter sweet ugliness of the human condition. Cheating husbands and wives, greed and murder. With occasional love and redemption. The series holds up perfectly well in this modern world.

I suppose one must develop a macabre sense of humor if one is to be clear eyed.

The 30 minute episodes change actors, writers, and directors, and yet each are infused with a grandfathers depth of wisdom.  He doesn’t pander to pretty social expectations, and instead expects a lot from his audience.  I have to conclude that people were more socially savy back in the day. Stuff it takes top notch manosphere bloggers to come up with as original insights used to simply be common knowledge that everyone took for granted.

It’s a useful education to get some context to our age. The more that changes, the more that stays the same.


Hitchcock makes young social conservatives come across as hopelessly naive. Cluelessly and stridently pining for a world that never was. Having endless fainting spells over the human condition. Acting as if the world has changed, or as if some new insight has been articulated.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus on divorce stats, or be alarmed at graphs that chart single motherhood. But step back to get some context, and you’ll see that “society” changes very little, because human nature is barely influenced by culture or setting. Opportunities change, and people follow changing opportunities, but people are as predictable now as they ever were.

People talk about infidelity as if it’s some new trend.

People talk about “the sexual revolution”, as if there were only one. There have been hundreds, if not thousands of them. The roaring twenties. Bohemian Paris. Medieval peasant ritual orgies. Roman orgies.

We have the same major themes now as we ever did. Falling in and out of love and lust. The desire for fidelity from mates while at the same time having the desire to not always be faithful. Greed at the expense of others. There was no golden age or location where these were not foundational motives for action. The idea of a “society” is such a silly and naive construct, that good literature and movies pierce. Over and over movies tear apart the illusion that we have a society. And yet people continue to fiercely cling to the belief and fiercely advocate that others follow their morals.

Society is only the behaviour that we wish other people would adopt. Nothing more. Individuals act selfishly. Because of this, old movies will always show our current world.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Digital nomads aiming for $2000/month keep trying to buy a clue

Posted by xsplat on April 16, 2016

I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since I was a boy, and have supported myself since my early twenties.

I hear people mentioning a digital nomad income goal of 1, 2, or 3 thousand dollars per month.

That goal will ensure failure. Most businesses are cyclical, and a low income means you have nothing to invest into R&D, talented help, and diversifying. Mediocrity is death.

Your goal needs to be at least $1000 per day.

And the reason to have THAT goal, is so that you can continue to reinvest and diversify, so that you can earn 1 million per month.

A low goal means you can not think clearly about how to make money. You ensure that your efforts are wasted. And as other commenters mentioned, any specific actionable entrepreneurial advice that you come across is bad advice.

The only useful advice is broad.
1) work hard every waking hour
2) hire or work for the most talented and hard working people you can attract
3) take risks

It’s correct that a business is about filling a need. I agree that products or services are the way to go. Some people make money with ebooks and blogs and online content, but it’s rarely more money than a plumber can make. There is money to be made in teaching people how to make money, but that’s exactly the same as selling lottery tickets. It’s willfully selling stupidity tax. It’s a pure pyramid scheme. Amway. Lot’s of money in that, but it’s not adding value.

Sustainable businesses are about adding value, and so are sustainable lifestyles. Hope and entertainment are valuable to some, and are big businesses. But the big money in hope and entertainment comes at the top of the pyramid. It’s easier to break into product and service industries.

The easiest thing about being an entrepreneur is having ideas about what businesses to get into. Great ideas are cheap and endless. I have a long list of very good business ideas, and it continues to grow.

The longer you are an entrepreneur, the better you will become at spotting and creating great opportunities.

The difficult part is the action. That often requires momentum from previous action, especially if you are growing from your own cash flow.

A person has to start somewhere, and it’s usually with low or no investment beginnings. None the less, edit your entrepreneurial ideas and limit your actions to businesses that can realistically earn at least $1000 per day.

And just because some other blog or forum or social media software became big, does not mean those are realistic businesses. There are too many uncontrollable variables involved in the popularity of user content generated social media. Unless you have a huge advertising budget. And just as in the publishing industry, author generated content on average pays poorly. Do you want to bet on your own horse? The best risk/reward for writing comes from copywriting for selling goods or services.

And as for tropical MBA, his business plan is to sell hope lottery tickets. It’s a lucrative business.

It’s easy for the uneducated to be unable to differentiate between valuable and distracting education.

I myself lost years of time and investment to an open source education site, called blackhatworld.

NOBODY CAN SELL YOU USEFUL BUSINESS INFORMATION.

There is no such thing as open source information capitalism. That does not change by having limited memberships.

If an idea is scalable, then it is scalable. If it is not, then you sell the idea. Therefore any idea you purchase is not scalable, or has already passed it’s usefulness.

ALL entrepreneurial information is entrepreneurial ONLY to the man who is charging money for it.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, don’t expect to be spoonfed. The only way to truly learn from others is to be a protege, and that will require working long and hard hours for a mentor, earning him money. There is no online club or secret society that can help you. That will only distract you and cost you time.

What you can learn from others will be broad enough to apply across many industries. You can learn the art of persuasion. You can learn about business management. You can’t learn about what business to do or the steps involved in doing them. Those who retain hope for that are subject to naivete tax.

This post is from a comment I left on the NN forum

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Being an entrepreneur is being a full time professional gambler

Posted by xsplat on April 9, 2016

Risk isn’t risk unless it’s risk.

When entrepreneurs advocate risk, it means something. They aren’t just being edgy.

Yes, keeping a nest egg is important. And yes, a nest egg can take many forms; at a certain level it is ones fame for being able to make money.

I have my own money that I don’t touch. I have redundancy. I won’t starve if some of my businesses fail. I have solid business plans that I’m confident about. But I’m still going all in, in that all my resources (not including an emergency nest egg) are directed towards business growth, and I have next to no cash flow buffer.

When planes were coming back from battle with bullet holes in certain parts, engineers first thought that those were the parts that needed reinforcing, because they could see that they were most vulnerable to and got hit with the most bullets.  Later they realized that it was the bullet holes NOT in the places they saw that crashed the planes.  This is called survivorship bias.  What survives does not directly point to what is failing.

But in business, we do study the commonalities of the successful.  Survivorship is exactly what a person needs to study, IF HE IS WILLING TO LOSE. It is not survivorship bias, if you are completely aware of and willing to accept real loss as part of the process of success

Risk is real. The fundamental value of risk is a common thread in the narrative of nearly every entrepreneur.

Real risk, by definition, means that many times the entrepreneur fails. Statistics show that failure can be expected 90% of the time.

As I’ve explained before, 90% is an acceptable failure rate. An entrepreneur can function and even thrive, EXPECTING that failure rate.

Survivorship is not about entrepreneurs who succeeded, vs those that failed and then went on to live ordinary lives, working for some other company, or scraping by in a modestly successful new venture. Survirvorship is about getting back on the horse.

A great many entrepreneurs went from rags to riches to rags to riches to rags to riches. It’s just part of the game. There is no failure in entrepreneurship. There is no survivor vs non survivor. There is only trying again. And again. And again.

I’ve seen the archetype of the rags to riches to rags entrepreneur on sit coms many times. Sometimes he is portrayed as fundamentally a loser. A loser because he is at heart a gambler. A genius gambler.

Well, yes. That’s what entrepreneurialism is. It’s being a genius full time professional gambler. You know the odds, and you expect to lose, but you know that often enough you’ll win. It’s a discipline of risk.

Taking risks means being willing to lose 90% of the time, and to keep trying again. And again.

And then AFTER succeeding, to risk again. Rinse and repeat.

entrepreurialism

This image is not complete.  There is no final win.  After the win comes the next series of fails, then another win, and so on.

Transcript of this 10 second clip with Elon Musk:

My proceeds from Paypal after tax were about 180 million dollars. One hundred of that went into SpaceX, 70 went into Tesla, and 10 into went into Solar City. And I literaly had to borrow money for my rent.



Eventually there are multiple businesses, with many failing, and the ones that succeed acting as venture capital for new ventures.

Venture capitalists also expect failure from most of their investments.  As do movie studios.  As do publishing houses.  As do drug companies.

It’s the blockbusters that fund the “failures”.  Failure is not failure.  It is just the cost of doing business.  It is factored right in to the model of success.

No producer ever expects any particular movie to lose money.  And yet the movie business model is that most movies will lose money.  No editor expects any one book to lose money,  but they all expect most books to lose money.  Entrepreneurs are always confident that each attempt will be a success.  And yet it’s not a contradiction that he knows that overall, most investments will not be successful.

You can call the blockbusters luck, but it’s not like stumbling on money in the street.  It’s luck in the same way an oil company striking oil is luck.  Eighty percent of the time, even after careful surveys, they strike nothing.  An actor or  musician might become an overnight sensation, after decades of grinding away at honing their talent, and constantly exposing themselves to lucky breaks.  If you read Steve Martins autobiography, you can’t call his grind and rise to the top luck.  He kept honing his craft, while creating chance after chance for himself.  Roll the dice often enough and you’ll roll four sixes.  Was the big roll lucky?

Most stories told by the very successful are stories of long hours and big risks.  But it’s not black and white.

My cousin adheres to the rule that he must take 3 months holiday every year. He insists that it increases his productivity.  He is a multi millionaire with tens of thousands of staff earning him money.

There have been many productivity studies that show that after a certain number of hours worked, productivity does not increase.

And yet the bulk of success stories are from men who don’t fit into the middle ground of the productivity bell curve. The most successful are either innately able to work more productive hours than other people, or they learn how to.

Entrepreneurs hone their skills while increasing their financial momentum, and are always poised to seize the moment.  There are plenty of lucky moments to seize.  Being an entrepreneur is being in the business of spotting luck – of spotting opportunity.  Opportunity is an unlimited resource.  I have noticed more opportunities than I could ever develop.

Spotting great opportunities is a skill that can be learned, and so is executing them.  As the skills grows, so too does the financial momentum that allows action.

Nothing stands still in business.  Innovate or die.  Recreate yourself or die.  Diversify or die.

And no amount of money is ever enough.  There is no such thing as a financial goal.  Even owning all of time and space would not do it, because there would still be inventions to discover and create within that time and space.  There is no such thing as retirement, just as there is no such thing as not being turned on by young women.  As long as a man is breathing, he wants to fuck hot girls, and earn more money.  Procreate, gain power, and make a mark.

As failing or going out of style is the expected outcome of most entrepreneurial activity, the most useful skill a budding entrepreneur can have is to limit expenses.  If you can live on next to nothing, you can more easily survive while you continue to fail.

If an entrepreneur puts in the hours, and can live cheaply when the chips are down, and continues to work full time on his businesses, success is only a matter of time.  That time might be measured in decades.  It does not matter.  An entrepreneur KNOWS that success is only a matter of time.  He is not guessing.  He is not hopeful.  He KNOWS it.

He can be penniless at 40 and KNOW that his decades of entrepreneurial efforts are worth more than a lifetime of scrupulous retirement savings.  What is 1/2 million in savings, compared to the certainty of an eventual larger annual income?

And why settle for mediocrity?

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Sir Winston Churchill

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Elon Musk’s tips. 1) Work hard every waking hour

Posted by xsplat on April 8, 2016

Elong Musks tips:

  1. Work hard every waking hour
  2. Do everything you can to attract great people.  Either join a group you respect or gather great people.
  3. Focus on making the product better.  R&D over advertising.
  4. Don’t reason by analogy, instead reason from fundamental principles

Bonus tip:

  • Now is the time to take risks.

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Now that I’m working harder, I’m seeing that the type of drive it takes to have great financial success is extreme, obsessive, and excludes many options from life.  Autobiographies and biographies again and again explain the incredible focus, determination and sheer number of hours put in.  I watched a 30 Rock re-run last night, and Jack and his type A personality girlfriend broke up their torrid affair due to it conflicting with their work schedules.  They were already married to their jobs.

That’s a common theme in the push for success.  There are only so many hours in a day, and you can’t build a flying all terrain supertanker.  If you want to make a machine do one thing better than all other machines, that machine is going to specialize.  If you want great business success then you must specialize your whole life towards that.

If you want to start a company, and have it be great, Elon Musk says that you need to “Work hard, every waking hour”.  He used the example of dedicating every single available resource to the task at hand.  He then built on the original idea of working hard, and explained that to succeed it’s essential to find other people who can also work hard.  He again developed from the original idea of working, hard, and talked about the aspect of hard work that is focus;  dedicate every available resource to the primary focus, which is the product.  He then moved on to explain HOW to think when working hard.  Be original, don’t follow the herd, don’t think by analogy, reason from first principles.  And then again, restating how to work hard; take risks.  Taking a risk means putting up more than you want to lose, in a non-certain gamble.  Going all in.

Put every available resource towards the single minded vision.  And then gather great people.  And keep doing the same.

The super wealthy are known to have gone all in many times.  Risking everything.  Elon has done that, and had uncertain times where his investments were at serious risk.  Rupert Murdoch, and many other big names have done that.  Success is not a certainty, and great success comes from a series of great risks.  I’ve heard wealthy men explain that they realize this, and so consciously opt out of the push for great success.

Great success comes from rinse and repeat.  1. Focus and work hard.  2. Build an organization.  3. Dedicate every available resource to greatness and growth.  4.  Repeat.

Elon could have retired with the 22 million dollar check he received for selling Zip2 when he was 24.  He could have retired again at 31 with the $165 million he received for his share of Paypal.  Instead he rinsed and repeated.  And again.  At 44 he’s worth 13.5 billion, and is not slowing down.  He doesn’t want to be holding a fishing pole as a lifestyle.  He wants to be working.  On SpaceX and Tesla and Solar City and OpenAI and his plans for a vacuum tube transport system between major cities in California.  Sometimes he talks about Mars.

I was reading the wallstreetplayboys.com site a few weeks back.  When I first read them a few years ago it did not resonate with me.  They seemed too extreme.  They seemed to only speak towards the already wealthy, or those who had made it into or graduated from top Ivy League colleges.  But this time around I was struck by how their value system was unshakabely solid.  They want wealth, and are pragmatic about it.  They detail exactly what it takes to get real wealth.  They have very practical recipes.  And their methods are extreme.  They explain that every 15 minutes counts.  Productivity and focus.  They are hard core about it, suggesting limiting reading of blogs to something like 15 minutes per week.  Explaining how to squeeze out an extra fifteen minutes of productivity at the office.  They have many tips, and also explain in detail how to leverage money to having success with top shelf women, but what is most striking about their vision of a life well lived is how intensely focused it is.

They aren’t fucking around.  They exclude from their circle of friends anyone who isn’t either a protege, a mentor, or already wealthy.

When normal people look at the successful, we see something so different that it strikes us immediately as not normal.  It’s so odd that it seems sick.  How can these people who are already rich keep focusing on making more money?  Isn’t that just greedy?  Why can’t they see the wisdom of the fable of the Mexican fisherman?  The goal of life is to be idle in a tropical location with a fishing pole in hand.

The wallstreetplayboys warn against becoming too type A, and to devote time to a social life.  Their prescription is well rounded.  And yet it’s still intensely focused.  Even social time is a type of focus; it’s time spent for a purpose.

I’ve been a workaholic entrepreneur for decades, and have occasionally been successful for a small operation, earning over $1000 per day working with no employees.  Or over $500/day with just one secretary who did all the real work.  I’ve also had long periods of poverty.   I’ve lived semi-retired, and I’ve lived doing nothing but work.  I’ve had a staff of 11 before, and had modest success before folding the company after a major client didn’t pay his bills.  I’ve had periods of having 1 or 3 or 5 or 8 staff.  But I’ve never really built an organization before.  Having employees is nothing like having an organization.

When most netrepreneurs talk about hiring staff, they talk about creating standard operating procedures and outsourcing work to low cost workers, hiring and firing ruthlessly, promoting the best grunts to managers.  That is not an organization, and it is not a vision that can lead to greatness.

It can lead to a balanced, fun, life well lived, with more than enough money.  But not to greatness.

Every wealthy business owner has always said that they are good at attracting and managing top talent.  Top talent works in a corporate structure, using tried and tested business management methods.

Hard work, and human resources.  Sacrifice.  Broad peripheral awareness while maintaining tunnel vision focus.  Making every fifteen minutes count.  Taking big risks.

That’s the story that most people who achieve greatness tell.  They explain this as a recipe.

To most people it will not sound like a recipe.  It will sound like an interesting narrative.  A piece of entertainment to passively watch, like a youtube video.  It might produce a brief emotional fix of inspiration, which most people can’t help but mistake for something actually valuable.

These stories are not shared as entertaining narratives.  They are not shared as inspiration.  They are recipes.  Do this, and then this can happen.

 

Posted in Entrepreneurialism | 3 Comments »

I’m up to 18 full time staff now

Posted by xsplat on April 7, 2016

And have more in the wings to hire.

The first floor office is having walls torn down to open up the office space.  It’s thirty meters deep, so we’re keeping the front showroom, and back kitchen, but the middle will be an open floorplan office.

I’ve hired a second 3d animator.  Impressive portfolio, and solid work experience.  We’ll be installing a motion capture studio on the 3rd floor.  The animators are just to help to make cool product promotion videos for now, but I have plans to expand on their numbers and talents into other industries.  It all has to be done with cash flow, so each expansion will be incremental, with new revenue streams with each growth spurt.

I also have a new video production manager. His portfolio seems adequate, to get us started.  He’ll hire freelance cameramen and lighting technicians and whatnot.  He says he got help on his previous projects from student interns who worked for free.  It was a no-brainer to hire these three, instead of flying in Western talent.  I had a few quotes in the neighbourhood of 10k to make one short product promotion video, for one or two people and eight days of work.  With that money I can pay all three for many months.  Almost a year, if you don’t count the bonuses and raises I plan to give them.

After the first successful product promotion video, I should be able to re-invest some of the profits to grow the video production team.  I’m told that a quality 2 minute short 3-d animation takes a team of from 5 to 10 people two to three weeks to produce.  Somehow or other I need to do top quality video advertising work from this country, and that is going to take some fine HR work.  I’ll need to get great people, and lots of them.  And then manage them.  As I manage teams of engineers.  And marketers.  My God, I’m the Center of the borg.

A big shipment of machine parts and raw materials arrived from China by sea-cargo a few days ago, and the trucking company is delivering them tomorrow.  About 12 grand worth of cool.  My three welder/fabricators will be making some awesome man-toys, under the direction of one of my engineers.  But I need to design and build a smaller machine for making some smaller precision parts, so that will delay the big project.  A second sea shipment is being put together now.

I’m having my secretary research finding the parts we’ll need to build this:

What happens when you RAID 24 SSD Hard Disks !!!!!

We need it to for 3d video and image processing.

As the staff won’t work 15 hour days like I do, progress still crawls along.  I’m still desperately understaffed.  I’m expecting the new hires for the marketing team to increase income enough to expand the staff.  Plus we’ll have some new income streams in the medium term.  If we make our deadlines, then by late November I should be able to at least double the staff.

When things don’t go according to plan is often when luck is beaming out from new cracks in your world.

For a year I had a bright young Westerner out here on a generous tax free salary, plus room and board, with options for profit sharing.  His job was to help manage my staff, so that I could have more time to be visionary.  We also invited and worked with Western interns, and had as many as four interns working at once, with four more visiting to see about working.  The optimism was through the roof, and life was at its best.

One guy I let go, another left to go take care of debts, another got homesick and decided to go on a 6 month to a year long mountain treck with his brother, and then finally the last left to work with a friend on his own startup.

Socially it was a loss, but that loss was the best opportunity I’ve had in my life that I can remember ever having.

I was forced to take over Aarons job of managing my own staff.  I got serious.  People stopped downloading and watching movies while we partied in Bali, and now are micromanaged and put in full productive days.  I’ve figured out how to hire qualified, smart, educated and talented Indonesian staff.  I’m learning how to effectively manage staff.

If I was not in the water, I would never learn how to swim.

Losing my manager was the best possible thing that could have happened to my business.

Shit is getting real over here.  The buck doesn’t stop at my subordinate anymore – I’m the one with the finger in every pie, I’m the eyes over every shoulder.  Although there is a hierarchy of command, and I get teams to self manage, and I’m working on profit sharing incentives (yes even for locals), I’m still Big Brother.  I’m the picture on the wall.  I’m all seeing, all authority.

The attitude has totally changed.  It’s not a lax laissez faire environment anymore.   I no longer have inept and stupid secretaries arriving late to work and going home early after doing nothing profitable.  Not a single stupid employee remains.  Now I have secretaries with cum-laude masters degrees, and physics, and engineering and business double major degrees.   People are all way into their work.  It excites them.  They are thrilled about the company, and take pride and pleasure in watching it grow.

I’m no longer afraid to fire people.  My personal assistant is devastated that I fired her.  She had to go home early today as she was too sad to focus on her work, training up her replacement.  She considered this place her family and her home, but I’m not running a social club.  This place is now much more like Glengarry Ross than a loose and haphazard clan of people stumbling their drunken way up and down searching for laziness.  It’s perform, and perform well, or be fired.

At first firing people was difficult.  Then it became easier.  Now I’m starting to actually like it.  I can still empathise with the staffs pain, but I get pleasure from making my business engine perform to a higher standard.  First it was 5 horsepower, then 20, like an old model T.  I don’t mind throwing away old parts. I’m not in love with nostalgia.  I’m after performance.  I’m not about restoring some classic car.  I’m not about creating a lovey dovey family.  Out with the engine block.  Out with the engine.  Out with the chassis and body and body plan.  Only one of my current staff was here two years ago.  Actually, by next week only one will have been here 1 year ago.  I’ve had my office buildings in this area for over six years.

I’m not using model T parts anymore.  Now I’m getting genuine modern parts, and even some performance aftermarket parts.  I’m not hands off anymore.  Now I’m working 15 hour days, learning how to properly manage a serious business.  I’m not joking around, and no jokers are allowed to be around me.  This is business, and business is serious business.

Oh, and the first bungalow is looking great.  The water, electricity, septic, toilet and shower are installed, real stone tile on the first floor, sandstone tile in the bathroom walls, huge fridge moved in.  It’s two story, and they have started work on the next one, which is 3 story.  I haven’t seen it in person yet, but should be able to sleep there within a week or two.  The plan is to lease out the first one on a long term lease to pay for construction for the other 4 that are on that parcel of land.  Then lease and rent all those out so that I can copy the same architecture on a larger plot of land, with more bungalows.

I’ll either sink or swim.  I’m not in a boat, and I’m a long, long way from shore.  Nothing left over at the end of the month.  Hiring people on planned income.  This is way better than playing the stock market.  Very risky, all in, but I’m learning how to play this game.  I’m starting to really like this game.  I think I can win at this game.

Or I’ll lose everything, like I have in the past.  I’ll have to fire everyone, like I have had to in the past.  Then I’ll start all over again.  As I’ve done many times.

But I just. might. make it.  This just. might. work.  Really work.  Work big.

 

 

 

 

 

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The 4 hour work week vs the 16 hour work day

Posted by xsplat on April 2, 2016

It’s common for people to switch from one strong belief to the opposite, and to proselytize each belief as the only true possibility.

I used to be a bit of a hippy.  I’ve lived in a Buddhist monastery where anti-materialism was a given, and the monks had taken vows of poverty.  I’ve long thought that status was a gerbil cage, complete with wheel.  I thought that the reason to have money was so that a person could have free time.crowd-around-altar-rainbow-gathering-hippieNow I work 16 hours a day, every day.  No lunch breaks – the laptop is beside me as I wolf down my food.  Videos are mostly educational.  If I go out it’s to the gym.   Even this blog post is a strategy to power.

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The mentor of my twenties told me that when people came closer his mid-forties age, they started to think about having kids, even if they never wanted them before.  He told me that older gentlemen naturally switch their focus towards gathering power.  “It becomes all about the power”.

As a young guy who only wanted to meditate and fuck, it was inconceivable to me that I could ever become stereotypical.sexual-tantra.jpg

Power and wealth coincidentally become much more important to the older mans sexual strategy.  And many guys switch from a sowing oats full time strategy to tree farming.  Maybe with a little oat scattering on the side.  It’s as if our sexual strategies were evolved, and different strategies become more relevant as predictably as biological clockwork.

If you want to get rich, you have to choose that item from the menu, to the exclusion of other items.  It takes focus.  The more wealth you want, the more focus you need to give.

Necessity is the mother of mental stamina.

I’ve fired one staff member, and another I was about to fire quit.   My personal assistant wanted to do a good job, she just happened to be incompetent and unable to focus. There are strong labour laws in Indonesia, and I have to give the girl about 4 months salary in recognition of her two years work here.   It’s worth the expense to upgrade.upgrade-weapons.jpg

I’ve hired four smart, talented and well educated people for the marketing team.  One of those is a video producer.  I could use a hundred more on the marketing team, just for the current businesses.  Hired a very skilled 3d artist, and will train him in 3d animation.  Hired 3 skilled fabricators.  I’m still interviewing for more engineers, and more for the marketing team.  I’m putting out a new ad for more web admins and designers.  I’m working to build a team of western educated copywriters.

But I can’t afford them.  Not really.  I’m running business expansion on sales profit, with no investors and no line of credit.  There is no cushion, other than my untouchable savings.  There is nothing left over at the end of the month.reinvested.jpeg

That is how I manage to have the mental stamina and focus to work 16 hours per day, every day.  I’ve put my self into sink or swim situations for decades, and now I’m way out in the ocean, with the direction to land only visible through old time maritime navigation.  Stars, the sun, and the waves.  I’m not afraid, I’m motivated.  I know how to swim, so I’m swimming.  It’s not a mistake that I’m out here in deep water.  It’s exactly where I need to be.deep-water-swimming.jpg

I can’t afford to increase my marketing staff.  But I can’t increase my sales without them.  I can’t afford to hire new engineers.  But I can’t develop new products and diversify my dangerously narrow income stream without them.Which-came-first

I could have easily chosen the Rich Dad/Poor Dad philosophy of limiting expenses in order to save for a future.  Instead of investing heavily in potential businesses, I’d have a retirement egg.

I’ve been having recurring dreams of losing everything.  My old jewellery vendor boards are empty, my inventory all gone, my sales gigs dried up, my transportation confiscated.  It’s not entirely comfortable being so far from land, even if I do know how to swim.REU-USA-EXPLOSION_TEXAS-11.jpg

And yet I know that this is the only path to greatness.  This level of risk, this level of focus, and this level of work is the only menu choice for me, at this stage in my life.  My work is not a burden, it is my driven passion.  I don’t want to do anything else.  I don’t wish for any time off, and turn down all invitations to do anything other than work.

In ages past there were leaders of small tribes, leaders of regions, lords, and kings.  People got their power through politics, the sword, and trade.  Often all three.  Slavery has been common to the social set-up for all of recorded history, and wealth has always moved up the classes.  Labour and their fruits aggregated from  the lowest classes of slaves owned by slaves up to slave holders, to chieftains, to regional lords, to kings.feudal-lord.jpg

The old hierarchies are just as active today as they have been for all of known history.  I have my own group of slaves and tribe members, and am a sort of small tribal chieftain.   As a chieftain I can see higher ambitions.  I am literally conquering new territories, in real estate acquisitions.  I am expanding my labour and trade bases.

I’ve spend time at a Rainbow Gathering, where hippies lived in the woods off of donations.  The ethos was that materialism was a trap, and the wise forest hippies had happily escaped it.  There was much love in the air, and it was emotionally healthy.Happy-Hippies-Embracing-Rainbow-Gathering-Washington-2011

That’s one menu choice.

Wealth and power is another.

Real wealth is attainable, for those with talent and drive.  The drive required is so extreme that it can look like a disease.  The focus required is intense.  Every fifteen minutes counts.

I’m managing something like 15 staff now, and this is just the beginning.  That’s a very small company.  I will need 50 soon.  Some people have hundreds.  Thousands.  Tens of thousands.factory-workers.jpg

Once I’ve consolidated my current positions, people will look to me with envy, and say “Wow, you’re so lucky.  I wish I could live like that”.  They will say “I want to be in his position once I get to his age”.what-me-envy.jpg

But very few people want to go through the process.dont-envy-the-harvest-of-the-rich-envy-their-planting-quote-1

The process isn’t actually that bad.  Over time you get used to it, and learn to take real pleasure from work.  Work is challenging and fun.

Posted in Entrepreneurialism | 18 Comments »

To be persuasive, limit your reality to a cartoon

Posted by xsplat on March 12, 2016

Glenngarry responded to the post on how being persuasive can be a superpower with a comment about the Frank character from Shameless that I used as an example

OK, so Frank then, who annoys me. He’s a literary creation, of course, and so can get away with some things. In the real world, he’d ultimately be reduced to preying on his family, because his glaring weakness makes him so easy to take down for someone who gets fed up. If real-life alkie Frank ever gave me any serious trouble, I could destroy him for a couple of hundred bucks: just send him a case of cheap whiskey and watch him self destruct. Repeat until you’re satisfied.

Glengarry may not have been implying any diminishment of Franks persuasion skills, however his comment inspired me to riff.  My conclusion is not sarcastic.

***************

Seems like a good take down plan. But as far as I know most alcoholics have unlimited access to booze. Alcohol is cheap.

When I was a teenager I used to steal sugar from the donut shop dispensers to use to ferment into wine. My friends were aghast that I’d reach for the sugar, and instead of pouring a little into my coffee unscrewed the lid and emptied the jar into a plastic bag. Then sat at another table and repeated. I had no job and next to no allowance, and had to hide my fermenting vats in the closet, under the bed, in an abandoned warehouse and in bushes, but I still managed to have all the alcohol I needed, with enough left over to share to crowds.

At one point in the fictional narrative Frank winds up “waking up” from a black out drunk binge drinking episode that lasted over six months. We assume he arrived to Mexico with little money.

And in the story his liver does finally give out. It took a long time, as it often does.

And at one point he is near death “living” in a heroin house. No stranger to self destruction.

Yes, he’s written as a despicable, self destructive character. He’s written to be unredeemable. He’s also written to have some innate and developed talents, and those were what I wanted to point out. No matter how despicable and destructable he is, he’s persuasive.

But I suppose this is a failure of persuasion on my part. Most people do not like to mix good and bad, even if the good and the bad are in different categories. Either a person is good, or a person is bad. People don’t like think of Batman as being bad at anything, or the Ridler as being good at anything.

When is the last time you heard of Hitler being used as an example for something that Hitler did very well? Even his incredible persuasive charisma is uncomfortable to tie to him, because, well, Hitler was bad, therefore everything about him must be bad too. He can’t be incredibly good at something also.

And after all, Hitler got crushed in the end and everything fell apart, therefore he wasn’t actually incredibly and outstandingly great at some things at all, right?

DAREDEVILIf I want to be more persuasive, I’m going to have to be more cartoonish and up the contrast to 11 and learn to think in black and white terms.

Nothing short of that could ever be popular.

**************************

Good goes with good, and bad goes with bad. Alpha traits are “good” (not merely useful) and therefore must also be admirable. Persuasion is “good” (not merely useful), and therefore only mastered by good people.

But I was the first person to ever point out that alpha does not equal admirable, in the comments section on the Roissy blog back before there was a manosphere. I argued and argued again and again with countless people about it. I met with HUGE resistance, again and again all over the place about it. I pointed out the category error that people were making.

After a while Roissy started to repeat my idea as if it was his own. After more arguments elsewhere on the manosphere, and making posts on my own low traffic blog that is read by some other influential bloggers, slowly it came to pass that nowadays it’s just taken as common knowledge. Alpha isn’t equal to admirable.

I had to fight very hard for that.

Y’all are welcome.

*********************
I can’t overemphasize the resistance people have to mixing categories of good and bad. If a person has bad friends he’s a bad person by association. If a person is a racist all of his philosophy is suspect. I’ve heard someone argue exactly this explicity, when the evidence of racism was slight to none. I could not argue him out of his position.

As soon as something is bad, everything around it is supposed to also be bad. As soon as something is good, everything around it is also supposed to be good.

This is a very true and real principle, and is ACTUALLY how real people in real life think.

As much as I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE it, I’m going to actually have to act like a fucking idiot in order to persuade people.

Related: Our emotions can not process statements that include IF, AND or AND/OR.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Managing enbiggens brain modules just like taxi driving

Posted by xsplat on March 12, 2016

Glengarrysaid

I personally know a half-dozen guys who have multiple times founded and sold businesses for $200m+. They make a good team so they keep working together. No need for IPOs.

Well, actually, to correct myself a bit I’m not sure they can keep the band together for one more go. The reason is basically that doing a VC funded startup is too stressful and some of them have had pretty serious health problems in the last few years. Judging from all my entrepreneur friends, it seems almost endemic to have heart problems, getting seriously burnt out (one was catatonic for a week or so then on a long medical leave), etc. Not unheard of elsewhere, of course, but when I start tallying up the casualties in that group they are pretty substantial.

Ya, VC funding and company valuations in excess of 200 million takes things several levels above what I can pretend to imagine.

That does sound daunting. I’m honestly not sure if I’d want to do that. Well, I don’t have the skills to, but I mean I’m not sure if I’d want to attempt to learn the skills and do that kind of business.

That’s more something that I’d want to have done, instead of to do.

I can’t tell if that’s just sour grapes talking, as I’m only just starting to dip my toes into what it takes to run an organization. A 200m plus business has to have a serious organizational chart, and some serious management knowledge must be put into play. That’s a complex social visualization that my brain is not yet wired for.

hippocampusThey say that taxi drivers who learn to visualize a map of the city in their heads have structural changes to their hippocampus.

I’d imagine that managing large teams would require embiggening of the social network brain nodule.  (Research is showing a correlation between the hippocampus and social networks)  And while keeping track of multiple changing tasks is different than memorizing a static map, I’d lay money on brain plasticity being involved in becoming better at it.

Learning piano takes years of muscle memory development. Chords and complex geometrical relationships between notes get learned in one part of the brain and then slowly transferred directly into the spine where sub-processing can occur. I’m certain that management also involves years of developing complex skills, such that complex tasks and huge visualizations become unconscious gut instinct and off the cuff insta-processing.

How old are these guys? At what age did they have their first big business, and how many employees did it have? Did they outsource the management?

Actually, I would like to be capable of that level of management. But I’d not want to jump in and be forced to swim in that deep end.

**************

I’m looking over resumes today for new hires. The old personal assistant is out, and will be replaced by two or three staff of much higher caliber. That will bring me up to about a dozen local staff members. Then I’ll need to find the video team. Then I’ll bring out a group of interns. Then I’ll start to interact with customers and models. Then…

I’ve spent the last few days researching and learning about collaboration software. I’ve used Asana and Podio before but did not like either. I’ve found a suite of other solutions that I prefer. This will help me to organize and better manage and visualize my projects and how the tasks are distributed.

The software is also designed for teams to collaborate together, which lessens my management load.

I’m focusing now on learning marketing and copywriting, however I’m also going to have to learn more about management structures. My HR kung fu is pre-beginners level. I’ve got to learn how to slot specialists into hierarchical collaborative roles, get them trained and continually learning, shift them around with raises and new demands, structure commissions and profit sharing, learn from them, and more that I don’t yet understand.

The team is still relatively small, so it’s not urgent, but even putting together a proper marketing team is going to require a lot more organizational structure than I’d ever considered.

My theory is that learning to manage teams is a developed skill that takes time to develop, for the same reasons it takes time for taxi drivers to learn a city and for piano players to learn the piano.  The brain has to grow new neuronal connections and abilities.  It’s not just a matter of reading a book and following the recipe.

digital-marketing-organisation-structure-600x415

Company-Organizational-Chart-Example

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Posted in Entrepreneurialism, Project World Domination | 4 Comments »

Living in another country makes your own foreign. Why that’s good.

Posted by xsplat on March 10, 2016

I’ve posted on engineering forums before, with an offer to have people work in Indonesia for room, board, tax free salary, plus profit sharing.  It’s never been met with interest, and here is a main reason why.

inertia-catI’ve found that most people feel rather settled and are not inclined to fight inertia.  Moving to another country is a really big deal for most people – too big a change to even seriously contemplate.  Of the small percent that do contempate it, most prefer to keep it at the daydream level.

Whenever an intern has arrived I’ve always congratulated them on being part of a limited club – the club of people adventurous enough to travel as more than a tourist.  It truly is a rare sort of bravery, and one that I respect.

And travelling is not just an existing character trait that is cool.  The act of travelling builds character.  People who travel for long periods of time come back as different people.

ever-feel-stuck-in-a-rut-going-in-circles-54821It takes character to overcome inertia and step out of the rut we’ve dug between our picket fence surrounded nest and our workplace.  And then stepping outside that rut and exploring the world is what changes our character.  It is the building of character momentum, so that we can become the type of person capable of taking more steps out of more ruts we never even knew that we were in.

indiana-jonesOur characters are quickly visible through our posture and micro-expressions.  As social animals we are fine tuned to pick up character traits, and habitually stepping outside of ones comfort zone is a character trait.  Adventurers are sexy.  Women prefer a well travelled man.

In a recent email I received:

I was overseas for a good three years, and when I got back I reconnected with a lot of guys. Some of them I hadn’t seen for about ten years.

The frustration was striking. No one was bitter (yet?) but I wrote in my journal of 30 or so old friends, only ONE was even arguably successful.

At least half of these 30 are very sharp guys, and they could all do well for themselves. But even the professional road cyclist, he was bragging about his hot girl he was talking to on tinder. Fair enough but girl lives in New Zealand. Sure, he travels a lot on the circuit, but it’s not like he’s in NZ every other weekend. Other guys are languishing in crappy teaching jobs, or working in food service.

What’s the moral of the story? Maybe I just know a lot of losers. Maybe, but the larger point is that there are thousands of guys out there who could use an opportunity like what you’re providing.

You travelled, and came back to a group of friends and good guys who did not bother to travel.  Suddenly you start to see things from an outside perspective, and suddenly it’s clear to you what they can’t see at all; that they have limited their options.  And since they have not set up habits of exploration, their characters will not be willing to be able to see other options or how limited their lives are.  They have chosen comfort, and in doing so have become people who have no choice but to continue to choose comfort.  Easy choices, limited life.

leaving-the-nestThe picket fence has been used as metaphor countless times.  People naturally want to nest, and yet we have competing urges for adventure and exploration.  Too much wandering can leave a person feeling rootless, but too much nesting can leave a person feeling stuck in one long rut that leads from office back to the house.

This is why I’m trying to create nests in several cities; to fulfil both competing urges at once.

invigorated-and-awestruckThe first time you travel to a new country, the trees are different.  The air smells different.  The climate is different.  The people are different.  This difference wakes up the senses and gives a New Relationship Feeling to life.  Life itself has a new car smell.  You become invigorated, even a little awe struck, and this is rejuvenating.  During this phase people often fall in love with the new country.  It does not last of course, and the next relationship phase is disillusionment, followed either by hatred or open eyed compromise.

But by then returning to the home country is not the same option.  By the time you have lived in a different culture long enough move out of infatuation and into disillusionment, you aren’t enmeshed in your own home culture any more, and are forever doomed to see your home culture through the eyes of an outsider.  From now on you’ll also be disillusioned with your own town.

garden-bungalowMy solution is put down roots in cultivated gardens.  To create planned oases where a tribe of like minded men gather to work on exciting business projects, live a great life, and meet interested tourists and locals.

As it’s possible to create a new rut anywhere, we’ll have compounds of bungaloes set up in multiple cities.  After many months of living and working and becoming established in one location, there will be the option to travel to a new country and life will have that new car smell all over again.

All the while we’ll remain in touch with the roots we’ve created.  There will be large screen TVs in the common rooms of the compounds used for video conferencing with the tribes in  other cities.  Friends will travel together.  We’ll have compounds of bungaloes in Bali, South America, Japan, Sophia Bulgaria, and who knows where else.

Posted in Entrepreneurialism, Happiness, Project World Domination | 1 Comment »

90% of directing is casting. 90% of managing is HR

Posted by xsplat on March 9, 2016

martin-scorseseMore than 90% of directing the picture is the right casting

– Martin Scorsese

For the last three years I’ve been pouring money onto my business gardens.  But for most projects the seeds failed to sprout, the surviving seedlings got fungal infections and died, or produced stunted and spindly growths that refused to flower.

I’ve invested more money in three years than most Indonesians earn in three generations.

My problems have always been that I have not been able to find qualified staff.  At first I tried advertising in the local newspapers.  Very few responses, and those that responded were unqualified.  Later we tried posting ads online, and at local universities.  Same problem.  I’ve posted advertisements at least 40 times.

psychotic-self-beliefI’m a stubborn mule, and am not capable of visualizing failure.  You have to be somewhat psychotic to be an entrepreneur.  You have to be incapable of believing that your real chances of business success are only 10%.  You need delusional levels of self belief.  It’s a wonder that there are any entrepreneurs at all, the risk levels are so high.

But I’ve been a self employed serial entrepreneur for thirty years, so I know that one in ten odds are not a problem.  That one successful business is enough to fund 10 more start up ventures, which means it can create a 2nd successful business.  That’s a repeatable process, and by now I do have multiple profitable businesses.

finding-treasureLast year I finally got my first big business break here in Indonesia.  I finally found my first qualified engineer.  Since then I’ve learned more imaginative ways to find talent, and have hired two more qualified engineers to join the team.  I now have a full time Human Resources assistant, and I expect to be able to draw in four more qualified Engineers over the next few months.

cant-understand-youI’ve always approached my employees the same way most men approach women.  I assumed that they were essentially similar to me.  That they had similar thought processes and drives.  I did not have an accurate theory of mind for what makes them tick, and so could not properly motivate them or structure my organization.  I always assumed that if someone had some raw talent that he could learn on the job and do just about anything.

As I don’t naturally enjoy managing other people, I have not been hands on enough with overseeing my staff, and have been stupidly slow to learn how wrong I was.  I expected people to be like all entrepreneurs have no choice but to be; self starting and self educating and self motivating.

hindsightBut people are simply not like that.

Duh.

It’s obvious in hindsight, but that took me many years to learn.

People prefer to specialize, and they prefer to avoid risks.  They like to limit their focus to one specialty and get very good at it, and use that focus to work in a successful organization that can compensate them at market rates with low risk.  They like to have a defined job description, and follow a career track that will have the focus that the next employer wants to see.

csodgeneralistvspecialist

It turns out that this works even better than people being autodidacts with generalized talents.  Specialized education and a career track and working in teams is actually much more productive than on the job training as if all people were a blank slate who can do any task set before them.  I can’t expect the web designer to be talented at both graphic arts and php back end coding.  I can’t expect the 3D modeler to become proficient at industrial engineering.  And I can’t expect anyone to be able to work with minimal supervision, especially if not working in a team.

SPECIALIST-vs-GENERALIST

I’ve had Western interns out here in the past, and I’ve made the same mistakes that I did with the locals.  I assumed that they would act as all entrepreneurs have no choice but to act, and work with minimal oversight to creatively problem solve with drive and dedication until concrete progress brings in maximized profit.  This without any background training in the tasks I gave them.

At the time it didn’t seem foolish at all.  After all, that’s how I’ve been earning my daily bread for 30 years.  If I can do it, surely I can simply transfer my inspiration and skills onto others.  What could go wrong?

But now I’m finally getting the point that reality has been hinting at all this time.

Ninety percent of business success is about hiring the best specialists you can attract, and organizing them into the most efficient hierarchies of command and collaboration.

The other 10 percent has to do with securing a good work environment in a location where the talent wants to work, financing, and finally having a good business idea.

I had thought that 90% was having the good idea, and that with a little direction most any smart person could implement the idea.

3d-video-productionI have recently placed an advertisement to hire a full time top quality video producer with 3D graphics experience.  It’s difficult to find programmers in Indonesia, but I can find people with artistic talents trained in 3D animation and the video arts.  People can’t make software here, but they can use it.

All that is left is to build the marketing team.  I’ll use locals for what I can, but the copywriters will need to be imported, or work by online collaboration.  I prefer to have people physically here, as face to face collaboration provides more bandwidth; more sparks fly.

For the marketing team I will seek out trained specialists.  We will also do in house training, but will only accept those with the innate talent and drive for the specific specialized task.  We’ll need a sales and marketing staff, and especially copywriters.

I have plans for how to attract such specialists.  Within months I will have a script and copy writing staff and video production staff, and my initial prototypes will become professionally mass marketed.

The money pit is going to grow it’s first crop of bamboo.  The bamboo will be used to build the next structures.

There will be a major turnaround here in Xsplat land, and I am seeing it all come together.

And it all comes down to HR.

digital-marketing-organisation-structure-600x415

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Entrepreneurialism, Project World Domination | 2 Comments »

Why the leader must fire team members for their personalities

Posted by xsplat on March 6, 2016

meeting.jpg

Angry Gamer commented

I have been studying Venture Capitalist funding lately and they have a lot of thoughts on teams vs solo entrepreneurship. They say 2 or 3 person teams are ideal. One individual can succeed if he hires right. But more than 3 is a disaster. As in ZERO IPOs on any founding teams more than 3. They are so adamant about this they don’t fund startups with large founding teams.

But what was interesting is the preference for 2-3 member founding teams. That was fascinating to me. So I think you are on to something with this – “Men can’t achieve greatness alone.”

That’s interesting about founder team size.

I had heard that for committees or meetings an optimum size is closer to 8.

A little digging found that optimum size is different depending on the tasks.

For programming it’s four. From dx.doi.org/10.4236/jsea.2014.712088

Results from the two experiments conducted indicate that teams of four people working collaboratively on software projects given were able to perform effectively at optimal level. This result could be attributed to the fact that collaboration with four people improves the analysis and programming skills of the participants, there-
by reducing the time spent on the task. With one of them acting as the coordinator for the team, another in charge of typing on the system; others can act as inspectors for bugs and wrong coding styles as the task progresses. Two heads are better than one, so the maxim says. But it is demonstrated in this study four good programmers will make an optimal team in computer programming tasks.

From http://themodernteam.com/whats-the-optimal-team-size-for-workplace-productivity/

When teams pool skills and resources, their decision making improves, and they can make better decisions as a group than any one of them could do alone. Researchers call this collective intelligence.

“…teams are prolific in organizations. From a managerial perspective, there is this rising recognition that teams can function to monitor individuals more effectively than managers can control them.”

So while most individuals form teams under the assumption that they’ll be able to accomplish more complex tasks thanks to the complimentary skillsets of their peers, organizations as a whole benefit from team formation by reducing the need for management.

Everyone can win from flattening organizations.

If five major skillsets are required, there doesn’t necessarily need to be five people on the team. As long as time isn’t a factor, four people covering the requirements would be preferable to five.

Teams need a clear leader though:

“We had a class on the ‘no-no’s of team building, and having vague, not clearly defined goals is a very, very clear no-no. Another no-no would be a leader who has difficulty taking the reins and structuring the process. Leadership in a group is very important.”

Keep in mind that a team can self-organize and pick what they want to work on, but the leader needs to shape how they do that, and what can be picked from.

four-group-size-ideal-for-brainstorming4.6 members is a team size sweet spot.  If the team is experienced and know each other well and doing standardized tasks, the size can grow.

What’s a typical leader-to-doer ratio? Consider the experience of the team. Less experienced, newer teams will need to be smaller. More experienced, established teams can be larger. Tomasz Tunguz, VC at Redpoint Ventures, observed that at Google team ratios ranged from 1:2 to 1:20, with an average of 1:7.

In 1970, Hackman and Vidmar set out to get a sense for that by asking two questions to individuals from groups of 2-7: Is your group too small for the task? Is your group too big for the task? The percentage of yesses to the first question fell as the second’s rose, and the lines intersected at a team size of 4.6 members.

Of course team size is not the same as organization size.  Teams collaborate on specific tasks, and the company can have any number of tasks.

project-coordinationThis is an important finding:

Decision making in particular is improved by a higher collective intelligence. You might be surprised to hear that collective intelligence is not strongly affected by the individual intelligence of team members. Rather, it’s social sensitivity and conversational turn-taking that predict collective intelligence.

She describes social sensitivity as the degree to which people can read facial expressions and make attributions about what others are thinking and feeling.

Conversational turn-taking is how evenly distributed talking time is across group members. Groups with more evenly distributed talking times tend to have higher collective intelligence.

loud-mouth206There was a potential intern who was briefly visiting (a friend of Aarons) who tended to dominate conversations.  You’d have to tackle him to the floor to get a word in edgewise.  I found it worse than annoying, but others in the group showed no signs of being annoyed by him. To me he was a blowhard with nothing interesting to say but who wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it. He loved hearing his own voice. I quietly let it be known that he would not be invited into the group. Others laughed at his clowning but to me he just sucked all the fun out of interacting with the group. Loudmouth.

One image crystallizes how I view him.  We’d all been doing shrooms. I did more than most – maybe a double dose. The guys started to get louder as they got more awestruck. I’m a more contemplative sort, so as they got more animated I went to my room to hang out with my girl. This guy went into the bathroom and then screamed at the top of his lungs “my toothbrush is melting!1!”. Others were amused but I saw it as the ultimate drama queen act. Shut the fuck up! Attention whore.

argumentativeThere was another intern who was clever and had good contributions and was well liked enough, but I had problems with him as he tended to enjoy defending his arguments more than collaborating. He liked to bicker. I saw the whole group dynamic dramatically shift after he arrived. Before we were very civil, often complementing each other. Later insults became the preferred team sport, and “good natured” arguments arose over every tiny little fucking thing. It annoyed the hell out of me, until I just couldn’t take it anymore. An altercation arose out of this intern disagreeing and refusing to follow my directions for several days despite clearly explaining that I was in charge and had made my decision and he was to use the system I chose. That was my reason for letting him go, but while I did so I vented a tirade at him explaining that I found him disagreeable.

I think others in the room were a bit shocked and uncomfortable to see me fire and lambast him like that, on the spot. But I’m not running a social club. I’m running a business.

Which is the line that came out of me when I fired my personal assistant of two years yesterday. She was routinely incompetent, but the final reason for firing her was also for insubordination; repeatedly not following instructions on a specific issue after many warnings, the last written warning letting her know she’d be fired again if she ever disregarded it. She cried about being fired and an assistant tried to beg me to let her stay, because she’ll miss her. “I’m not running a social club here. This is a business.”

did-i-stutter-bitchActually the thing that annoyed me most about my secretary was not the incompetence, nor the insubordination. It was that she was forever asking me to repeat myself. I believe the habit was a passive aggressive act; she felt powerless and wanted more power, and so was constantly challenging my choices, in deniable ways.

 

 

passive-aggressive-nevermindI have another passive aggressive employee who causes no end of trouble, and I have to keep telling her “stop using your brain!” She is forever directly going against explicit often repeated and agreed to instructions, because “she thought”. Yesterday I told her I want to scoop out her brain so that she can no longer “but she thought”, and would just do as told. She’s worth the problems though, as she’s brought in some financing and is overseeing a property development.

I did warn her, using the fired personal assistant as an example of what eventually happens to people who can’t follow orders. In her case nothing I can do will ever change her behaviour though, as she is genuinely and diagnosably passive aggressive to the point of it being a fixed personality disorder. It’s caused a lot of problems.

She’s also doting and submissive and loyal. Seems to be part of the package. Submissive but passive aggressive. And no, it’s not due to errors in my management style; personality disorders are real and serious and can’t be corrected or managed by the people the defective person interacts with. The best that can be done is to minimize the persons power to cause harm.

I offer all these examples to illustrate the importance of choosing and firing the right personalities for collaboration.

It’s not only about skill. Personality is hugely important. And it’s the leaders role to rip out strong and healthy weeds and toss them in the trash.

*************************

On the job training

Learning-PyramidI’m considering mixing internship with sales training. We’d develop some sort of syllabus and structure and devote a few hours per day to structured classes. The rest of the work day would be devoted to practical real world application. This would be offered to fresh university graduates.

I may be able to pay the interns for converting their class notes into blog posts, which would give content to the recruitment site.

Posted in Entrepreneurialism, Project World Domination | 5 Comments »

 
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