Tai Lopez is an investor, partner, or advisor to over 20 multi-million dollar businesses. Through his popular book club and podcasts Tai shares advice on how to achieve health, wealth, love, and happiness with 1.4 million people in 40 countries.
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What we chat about:
Best Business Book
- Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Peter D. Kaufman
Tai Lopez: I’m ready. Let’s go.
John Lee Dumas: Tai is an investor, partner, or advisor to 20 multi-million-dollar businesses. Through his popular book club and podcast, Tai shares advice how to achieve health, wealth, love, and happiness with 1.4 million people in over 40 countries. Tai, take just a minute. Fill in any gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Tai: I always like to build businesses around the concept – what do I wish someone had done for me? So Charlie Munger, the billionaire, business partner of Warren Buffett, calls that the Golden Rule of Entrepreneurs.
So I looked back and I said, “What do I wish had really been different in my life,” and I read this psychology textbook that said the three biggest regrets of the average human is romantically, who they dated, the career they pursued, and the education that they were put through. I decided I would focus on the education side so I kind of started this thing.
I started out informally calling it the Knowledge Society. It’s based on Peter Drucker in the 1960s said, “We’re coming into an information age where you’ll have lots of information at your fingertips. You’ll have Google, and you’ll have this and that.” That came to pass like he predicted.
But he said, “That’s an intermediate step. The next step will be the knowledge society where people not only know things at an information level, but knowledge is information in action.” Between age six and age 18 I learned a few things.
I went to public school. My mom tried a little home-schooling, did a little bit of private schools. So I did the whole gamut. Then you kind of pop out into the real world and you go, “I don’t really know that much.” So where I am mentally now, as an entrepreneur is like – what gaps do I wish would have been filled in, in my life and maybe a few other people will be interested in them too.
John: You mentioned Charlie Munger. Have you read Poor Charlie’s Almanac?
Tai: Oh, yeah, I’ve probably sold more – you know I own the largest non-fiction book club in the world. So I sell books without even being paid. I just recommend the books that I’m reading. One of my top books, probably my top ten for everybody to read – entrepreneur or not – is Poor Charlie’s Almanac.
A new book just came out about Charlie Munger. He didn’t write it, but it’s another great one. I forget what it’s called, something investor, or something. I love him. I love Warren. My mentors – I’ve had five main mentors and three of them were in love with Warren. They had a man crush on Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, so even at 19 I started hearing about – I’m like, “Who is this guy?”
Then you get older and you’re like, “That’s why they like this guy.” I think Bill Gates said, “Charlie Munger’s the smartest person he ever met.” And Bill Gates, that’s coming from a pretty smart guy.
John: Absolutely, and it’s kind of a shame that you’re not affiliated with those book sales because you can only get the almanac, Poor Charlie’s Almanac, in the physical form. It’s like a $65.00 and it is a beast. I don’t even think like a three- or four-year-old child could pick this up. I mean, it’s a massive book.
Tai: It’s unreal. I mean, I’ve put little links on my website, and I think we put Amazon links there. But you make like the average book – you’re not going to get rich recommending Amazon books. A lot of people just go buy them. I put little links sometimes and we make a few bucks. But it’s not much of our income coming from that.
Really, you know, I have this framework of thought which is – I want to live my life. Because there was this ancient saying thousands of years ago, that said, “If you don’t love yourself, who will? But if you only love yourself, what are you?” So what this philosopher was saying is there has to be an element of selfishness to your life. Because if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else is going to pay your bills.
On the flip side though, if you get so enamored with your own vision and your own life and making money, you cease to be really part of this inner connectedness that makes humans human. So I took that saying from a thousand years ago, and I modernized it for myself. I said, “50/50 rule: I’m gonna live 50 percent of my life selfishly, just blatantly.”
I’ll be like, “Listen.” Sometimes people are like, “Fine, why do you have Ferraris? You could save the environment by having a Prius.” I’m like, “I know. But this is the selfish side of my life and I hope that the other 50 percent makes up for it,” and in truth and actuality Lamborghini and Ferrari, I drive them so few miles that I probably burn less gas than most Prius people.
But even if I wasn’t, I don’t believe – and that’s kind of tongue in cheek – I think that when you look at human motivation that when you remove selfishness from it− I sometimes tell my employees – I have about 60 full-time employees for the Knowledge Society and I tell them – “Some of you aren’t greedy enough. I need more greed from some of you.”
Now there are some of them that are a little too greedy and I’m like, “I want you to go,” “Tai, I’m a sales guy for you. I want to be able to take my family to Hawaii, so I got to hit my goal and I want that money.” But like I said, when you know your own motivation you can see which side of the balance you’re on, a little too much or too little, and you get to that 50/50 kind of. When you get that 50/50 – I’m not sure I’m perfect at doing it – but if you could do it, it’s a beautiful thing.
John: Tai, when you were chatting a little bit earlier you were talking about who is going to pay your bills if you’re not a little bit selfish. We talk a lot about revenue on EOFire because it’s important for entrepreneurs to create viable businesses. Now you’ve done just that. Now you can get as specific or be as vague as you want to, but let’s kind of break down how you generate revenue with your business as Tai Lopez.
Tai: I have lots of different businesses. I’m an investor now. So over the years I’ve – I was on a podcast and I didn’t answer the guy and he got super bad, and didn’t answer. I told him. I was like, “Bro, you don’t understand economics. Publicly traded companies, you have to produce numbers. That’s part of the SCC regulation. Private companies, you don’t.
Lots of people don’t understand economics. But I built all types of business. Things that I’m doing now, one of the businesses – these are 20 million plus. I don’t like to get too close. But these, you can hit a hundred million dollars with this kind of stuff. I have different businesses doing different things. A lot of my business I don’t do publically.
Now, it’s funny. A lot of people are like, “Tai, you just came out of the blue.” I’m like, “No.” People think I’m more show off than I really am. I’ve been doing this stuff forever, and just − you don’t always want people to – there’s an old saying, “Sometimes it’s better to be the,” – it’s a South American saying – “It’s better to be the President’s brother,” and what they mean by that is that the President’s the one that the coup comes and all the assassin’s bullets are coming from. So some of these businesses − the one − and these are quick. These have a quick growth.
I know how to take a business from zero to 10, 20 million bucks. It’s not that hard in the modern world. It’s harder to do – now I’m focused more on bigger things. I’m mostly now focused on stuff that I think will do a hundred million dollars, and potentially have a billion-dollar valuation. Whether I’ll be able to pull it off or not?
But I’m not opening up a Mom and Pop pizza’s place in the backyard that could make a hundred grand and a great living for a family. Not because I look down on that, but I’ve done those type of businesses and to me, life is – I do a good big of martial arts and I do Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and boxing and I was training yesterday and I saw that movie, Creed.
John: Not yet – it is on my to-do list.
Tai: There’s a great scene where Sylvester Stallone is looking at Michael B. Jordan and he’s teaching him how to shadow-box in the mirror. He’s like, “When you go in the ring, this is who you’re fighting: the guy in the mirror. The other person is just somebody in the way.”
So when it comes to numbers, people want to compare numbers. I’m like, “Well, you know, there’s all. I hang out.” Here’s my rule for people, and I try to follow this. I did a TEDx talk earlier this year. I think it’s the fastest growing one out there in the world right now. It’s called the Law of 33 percent.
I didn’t have time because it’s only 18 freaking minutes, but one of the things I tell people is “If you want, I’ve got a tried and true way, if you want to become a millionaire. I’m gonna tell you how to do it. It’s the best advice I’ve ever read. You know I read a book a day and stuff like that and I’ve read great advice. This one’s better.” T
he best advice is, if you want to make a million dollars, hang out with people that if they made a million dollars, they would be very embarrassed. So you want to get a six-pack, hang out with people that having a six-pack would be embarrassing because they have an eight-pack, and their obliques are cut and all shredded up. So this is – you want to make a ten-million-dollar business, you hang out with people that ten million’s chump change.
I’ve gone through that kind of mentor ladder. I started out with mentors. Not all my mentors – it’s not all about money, you know. I want the good life. That’s my one party. You’ve got to have one party. I want to have a good life.
Eleanor Roosevelt used to say, “Life’s like a parachute. Jump. You only get one shot at it.” There is no: hit the ground and go, “I’m going back up in the plane.” Maybe if there’s reincarnation, but I don’t know what happens after death, so I still know what I know.
When you go after this good life and one of the areas that’s very important which is wealth, this is a hard one to get – financial independence. You hang out with people that it’s very embarrassing. By doing that all of a sudden you re-ratchet your mental barometer – what’s normal for you?
Now the other day, Mark Cuban was here. He loves basketball so we were shooting basketball and talking for four or five hours. Now when I hang out with Mark Cuban, I wish I would have had that mentor when I was 18. I wish that’s who I would have been talking to when I was 15, but I was in the school system which for good or bad didn’t work quite as well as intended.
But when I’m with him, do you think I’m gonna go, “Mark, I’ve got this amazing idea. I know a way we can go in business together and let’s make a million bucks.” I mean, he made 3,000 million. He has three-billion-dollar net worth. So when I’m around him all of a sudden my expectations, my status quo changes.
People ask me about reading a lot. “How much do you read?” I say, “Well, it depends on who you want to reset your barometer.” The average person buys 17 books a year now. It’s actually at an all-time high because of eBooks. But they don’t finish 17 books and most of those are fiction books. Now if you listen to Warren Buffett, who is the second richest man in the world and maybe the greatest entrepreneur investor of all time, he says he reads 400 to 100 pages a day for 50 years. He says now he’s getting old, so he’s only doing− He reads three to five books a day.
Now a lot of people go, “That’s not possible.” I’m like, “Well, it is possible because he started with nothing.” He came from the middle class, and it does work. But what happens is, we get caught in the Law of 33 percent. We hang out with people on our own level, so it becomes the blind leading the blind and everybody goes, “Well, pat yourself on the back if you read one book a month.” Well, who is doing the patting.
I asked Mark Cuban, “How much to you read?” He says, “I got to read hours. Part of the reason I have a private jet is so I can read.” I got to interview Hillary Clinton last month. I’m not very political but I talked to her on books. She reads hours.
I’ve never met – I’ve done a real survey of almost a hundred percent of the people off the top are doing a lot of reading. So that comes from that 33 percent of hanging out with people that are where you want to be 20 years from now. It takes a lot to get to them because they don’t want to hang out with you at first. Hopefully, slowly but surely, you make your way up to those people.
John: So Tai, you are not an overnight success, as you’ve clearly stated already. What I really want to kind of get into, is a story that you’d be willing to share about when times weren’t so great, when you struggled, maybe what you would consider your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. When I say that, Tai, when I say worst entrepreneurial moment, does something come to mind?
Tai: After high school, I was 18 years old. I had a choice to go to college or I got this kind of weird crossroad kind of path I could take which was a guy named Joe Salatin, who back then wasn’t too well known. Now he’s pretty well known as one of the farmers and thinkers that’s pioneered non-chemical farming and food production.
Now that’s pretty popular. But he was doing it back in the 60s and 70s and I got out of high school and he said, “I’ve decided I’m gonna open up a mentorship apprenticeship program. You can move to my farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the middle of nowhere, not even a light in the little town. You can live on my 550-acre farm for three months. So I went up there.
My mom said, “Well, you can always go to college later, but you can’t do this. This might not be around.” So I went there and I ended up spending 19 months on a farm and then I went and lived with the Amish for two-and-a-half years. So I learned a lot about life.
I grew up with a single mom when I was young and remarried kind of a tumultuous upbringing. My dad was in prison when I was born. So those years on the farm kind of helped me get my emotional stability back. But they didn’t teach me a ton about money. So I came out of those and I had spent years. I knew how to milk cows, and ride, saddle up horses, and stuff.
But I came back and realized it was time to come back to the modern world and I found myself after a series of events in a mobile home. Didn’t have even a room. Had a couch. All I could sleep on. All the money I had saved up – I had travelled the world and met mentors, but again I wasn’t meeting mentors on money. I was learning more about other things.
So I had $47.00 in my bank account and I couldn’t sleep on this couch. It was too small of a couch for me and people were waking me up. It was loud. I remember looking at myself. Actually I remember just laying there and going, “Is this it? Tai, you know, you’re in your 20s now. You have no college degree. You have no money. You’ve lost touch with all your friends. You don’t have a car. You don’t have a girlfriend. Are you going to be stuck here?”
That was a turning point because I’d stumbled on a – I have always liked to read and I stumbled on a book. I think it was a few ones but one of them was Tony Robbins and one line’s all I remember. He said, “When you succeed you party. But when you fail you ponder, and all great things come from pondering. All changes come from pondering.”
So on that couch I began to ponder and I look back and I reach back for some of that wisdom from these farmers. I remember Joe Salatin telling me, “Learn from people who have done it. Learn from mentors who have done it.” So I decided, “I’m gonna find somebody in the modern world that’s made enough money that they didn’t have to sleep on a couch.” I
just literally flipped through a phone book. I’ll never forget. It had yellow pages. I flipped through and my uncle had said, “Tai you don’t have a college degree. You’re gonna have to get a commission-based job. Nobody’s gonna hire you for regular salary job.” So he said, “Look either at selling cars or getting into selling financial products like stock, investments, so on, and insurance and all that.”
So, I just flipped through the phone book, in Raleigh, – I was in Clayton, North Carolina. I flipped through the paper and there was a full-page ad just stuck out to me – this guy, never heard of him. His name was Mike Stainback. I made a phone call and I called and I showed up at his office and he had a secretary, Cathy, and I remember she said, “Go the back of the office. He’s back there.”
So I went in. I said, “Mike, you don’t know who I am. My name’s Tai. I don’t really know you, but you must know how to make money because a full page ad in the yellow pages is like $20,000.00, and you got this nice office.” I said and this is what I learned on the farm. You use sweat equity. I said, “If you show me what you know, I’ll work for you for free.”
He was about 20 years older than me. He had a big mustache. He looked like Tom Selleck. He was sitting in this chair, kind of swiveled away from me, like I was to the side. He just slowly swiveled the chair to look me face to face, and he said, “Tai, I been looking for someone like you for 20 years. You come back in the morning. I’m gonna give you an office.”
I started to walk out and he said, “One more thing.” I remember I was like half-way through the door, and I came back around. He said, “And now I’m gonna tell you something, Tai.” He’s a Southern guy. He said, “And if you listen to me, one you’re gonna hug my neck.” I’ll never forget that. It’s kind of a Southern way. It sounded like a weird sentence.
I showed up the next morning. I didn’t have a suit, but I found a suit at a thrift store. I remember it had shoulder pads. That’s how old it was. It was this huge suit, two sizes too big. I don’t know what he thought of me.
I showed up in the morning there. He did have an office, but he didn’t really have space for me, so he had just taken a closet, moved two filing closets and given me a desk and a chair. It was so tight you could not – you know like an airplane when you can’t lay back one inch?
He gave me a list and he said, “Cold call these people.” But out of that, and that was pretty tough. I had told him, “You don’t have to pay me unless I make you more money than you’re making now.” Which by the way, for anyone listening, is the biggest opportunity in the world right now.
As a little side note – people always ask me about trends and so on. The greatest and most predictable trends are demographic trends. In the United States and most of the world, you have an aging population, and they own businesses and they have no one who wants to take it from them. Their kids don’t want them. So the biggest opportunity is dropping youthful energy that doesn’t have money and dropping in and everybody thinks you have to start a business from scratch.
I said, “Well, do you?” I just did a little conference the other day, a pretty big conference. I said, “Do you guys think people invest in real estate – what percentage of them find a piece of raw land, cut down the trees, pull up the stumps, bulldoze it and build an apartment complex? What percentage of people making money at real estate do raw land deals? Very few.”
I said, “What percentage of them buy an existing property, rehab it, paint it, fix it up.” That’s how the founder, the guy who bought the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss – actually believe it or not tonight I’m actually going to dinner, right after this, with the owner of the Lakers, Jeanie Buss, before the game. It’s pretty cool.
John: That’s how he got his start?
Tai: Well, this is his daughter, but he got his start $14,000.00 or $7,000.00 he saved up. He bought an existing condo. So rehabbing businesses, when these people retire, is gonna be – that’s what I’m kind of focused on. I buy businesses. You know, everyone things you’ve got to start a business from scratch. I’m like, “Well do you have to do real estate from scratch.” And everybody gets it. “Oh, yeah, you can buy existing things and then you get a jump start of ten years.”
You don’t have to build – building a skyscraper’s hard. It takes a year to build the foundation. So with Mike Stainback, I was youthful energy. Dropped in. Didn’t know much. Didn’t have any money, but he gave me that cold calling list.
There was one other quick turning point. About three months into it I was a little bit struggling. Cold calling’s very hard. I was cold calling and he was, “Here call people about their health insurance and life insurance and investments.” I was like, “I don’t even know anything about them.” One day, I learned from my mentor Joe Salatin that I should always be open minded.
We live in a very cynical world. I saw an ad on the internet and this was in – I forget what year, early 2000s – I saw – it was an ad. It said, “How I made $30,000.00 working on the beach on Hawaii today.” Of course your first thought is, “Red alert, alert. Get rich quick scam.” But I learned from my mentor, “Eh, check it out,” you know, start positive. So I clicked it and it was this guy, Corey Rudl. I don’t know if you ever heard of – you’re down in San Diego, right?
Tai: Corey Rudl was the first internet dude down in San Diego. He ended up dying in a car crash in 2007. But he had this little program. It was one of these long-page, single-page, interested show kind of sales pages. I read the whole thing – took me an hour. He said, “I’m gonna teach you how to do this net.” It was like, I remember it. It had some upgrades and upsells. It was total, somewhere between 200 and 500 bucks.
At that time, literally, I’d gone from $47.00 in my bank account and made maybe another hundred or so. That’s all the money I had, and I said, “I’m going to double down my own brain.” That’s what my mentor had told me. I bought the program. Back then I think they mailed me a workbook. I don’t remember anything about that course.
But I remember it said there’s this new thing called Google Ad Words. So I said, “Okay,” and I signed up, and I was one of the first people that ever used Google Ad Words. I’ve been lucky like that, to find people who pointed me to the cutting edge. I was one of the first people on Facebook. Now I think I’m the biggest guy on YouTube, Google tells me. There’s a few brands like Coca Cola that were similar. But you got to catch trends relatively early, and you do that by having a somewhat open mind.
So got on Google Ad Words and all of a sudden it became easier to do lead generation. Back then, for those of you who do Google Ad Words will understand this – I would bid on key words and send them to a lead generation page where I’d share what I could help them with in finance. It cost me 40 cents a click. Right now, it’s 17 bucks a click for those same words. I could generate a lead, a sale, for $100.00 and my commission, on average, was 1500 bucks. You spend a hundred. Six weeks later, I’d make 1500.
It started working so well that Mike Stainback – and then he had a guy he worked with. We worked in partnership with GE, the biggest company in the world. GE Capital, or GE Financial Services, and the CEO, John McGilchrist called me.
He said, “Tai, the average sales guy for us is submitting 2,000 a week of potential commissions. You submitted – I think it was either 30,000 or 60,000 this week.” They were like, “And you’re only in your early 20s and don’t know anybody. Are you doing something illegal?” That what he asked me.
I was like, – I didn’t want to tell him because then I was afraid that he would tell everybody else how I was doing it. So I was like, “John,”– we’ve become friends over the years. I was like, “John, no it’s totally legal. I’m just using technology.” I told him that. I told him the truth. I’m like, “Dude, I’m using technology.”
So, those two crossroads events. It really was three. One was getting to the bottom and going, “I draw the line in the sand. I’m on the couch. I ain’t gonna do this anymore.” You step across the line in the sand and you just never go back. I don’t think you have to go back. Sometimes you have up and downs, but I’ve never been back to that point.
Then the second one was – a lot of people think all the answers are within, and there’s some truth to that. Some things only you will know. But you don’t learn English from within. No baby is born understanding what gerunds, conjunctions – I mean, you learn that. So I learned from somebody 20 years ahead of me, Mike Stainback.
Then the third thing was – you can’t be cynical because cynical people never catch the cutting edge because everything that’s cutting – I mean, think of things that have been cutting edge. At one point Tesla, talking about electricity, it’s like “This is a madman,” and Wright brothers, and Albert Einstein, and some of these people were like, “We’re gonna hang you. We’re gonna burn you.”
So now in the modern world I see this cynicism. It doesn’t even make sense. The world is the greatest it’s ever been. There’s still racism and sexism and all this, but there’s way less. We have a black president. It still exists, the racism. But there’s no other time in history there’s been more opportunities for people of any ethnicity, any gender. Yet people now – I’m like, “I get it.”
I just finished Malcolm X’s autobiography. I get why he was mad. His dad was taken by white people and his head was put on a railroad track and run over by a train. So I’m like, “Okay, this dude had a lot of rage to society justifiably.” Now there’s still that rage, and there’s still cause for it. But when it comes to entrepreneurs, people are so cynical. It’s beyond my belief.
I’m so glad that when I saw that ad. I don’t know if Corey Rudl really made $30,000.00 in Hawaii that day. But I’ll tell you, I learned how to make more than $30,000.00 from that little program that I spent 200 bucks on. So you know, it’s a good time. It’s like, what is it? “It’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times.”
John: Tai, did you ever “hug your mentor’s neck?”
Tai: Oh, yeah, we talk all the time. I mean, we talk a few times a year. It’s funny. Now I get people – because people hear this, that I’ve mentioned this – I get people going, “One day, Tai, I’m gonna hug your neck.”
John: I’m gonna hug your neck.
Tai: I’m like, “You got to come up with your own. That’s Mike’s.”
John: It’s Mike’s. Tai, we got a lot to jam on coming up here, but we’re gonna take a quick minute to thank our sponsors.
So Tai, there’s a lot that we could get into right now. I mean, I was really just – it was so cool to meet you in person at Thrive. It was a great event put on by Cole Hatter about Make Money Matter.
People like yourself, and me, and Gary Vaynerchuk, you know, we got to take the stage; kind of talk about how we’re looking to make money matter in our own lives and kind of going from just success into significant. So as we close out here because you got places to go; you got people to see. You got the Los Angeles Laker’s owner’s daughter to go hang out with right now.
Tai: She’s the owner. The owner died, so now she owns the Lakers. Her and her brother, they own it – 50, or close to 50/50.
John: With the Laker’s owner right now, let’s kind of close this down because again, you’ve just been sharing so much awesomeness and I just love how you see kind of shift into a lower gear when you start talking about this stuff. It’s just brilliant to see your mind work. Kind of maybe end strong with Fire Nation as far as how you are kind of seeing this world that we live in.
You alluded to it a few times. It’s the greatest world ever. It’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times. What do you want to mention to our listeners, entrepreneurs who are just looking to get going and to make something happen? What do you want to leave with them?
Tai: It’s been interesting how I’ve kind of come forward and publically, as opposed to just being a behind-the-scenes entrepreneur. The things that I thought people would want to hear, and what was important to them, were not necessarily what people actually value. The biggest area that people have maybe got some value from what I say is about motivation.
Because at the end of the day, we do live in the information age. Peter Drucker was right. We do know that if we go to the gym three times a week, if we don’t eat processed food, we’ll be healthier. We don’t live in a time – I mean, my grandma in the forties, she said, “We used to smoke and think it was great for you.”
Tai: They didn’t have any information. So we have the information. Most entrepreneurs, the great Howard Shultz, the man who built Starbucks, he says, “Beware of silver bullets.” So sometimes people go, “Tai, what’s the silver bullet? Is it learning Google Ad Words, Facebook ads? Is it understand how converting funnel? Is it podcasts? Is it this and that.” All those are very important components. But in the information age, if you can’t transfer your actions into the knowledge society where it’s in action, then you just become book smart and you just actually become less happy.
Because when my grandma was smoking in the forties, at least she thought it was healthy, so at least she enjoyed it. If you’re gonna smoke, at least smoke with bliss. “I’m smoking a cigarette. This is great for me.” Now everybody’s smoking, they’ve got the part of their brain that goes, “I like the nicotine. I’m addicted.” But the other part that goes, “This is bad for me,” and you get this dichotomy within. It makes you unhappy.
For people listening, what I would leave you with is – you got to know how to motivate yourself, and you’ve got to be painfully honest, and you have to peel back the layers of society. Because society – there’s something called social controls. Any sociologist would tell you, society tries to put dampers on people. In places like Sweden and Norway they actually have a word for it. They call it [foreign word] [0:30:13.2] which means the law of not trying to push ahead of the pack.
When most people try to motivate themselves, maybe you’re – and I think there’s four – do you have two minutes? I’ll give you what I think the four–
John: Yeah, love it.
Tai: I call them the four Ms. I know there’s more motivators, but I’ve found these to be the primary drivers. Material – money/material, that’s the first M – money and material things. The second is mating/love, romance, sex, whatever you want to say. The third one is mastery/status, and the fourth one is momentum or movement.
So if you’re somebody listening to this and you can really peel back the layers of society, look yourself in the mirror and go, “I like money. I like material things.” The day you do that, as long as you keep the pit bull under control because a pit bull is the greatest thing you can ever have when a home intruder comes in.
You do not want to have a Pekinese dog when the masked intruder breaks into your house. You want to have the big Rottweiler, Pit Bull, German Shepherd. But if you ever let that thing get off its leash, it’s gonna turn and kill you.
So you can come to grips with your love of material things, if that’s you, listening. It will be your drive and the world will be a better place because to really make money, you have to give a lot of value to the word. The value proposition of what you’re doing has to be pretty high. Bill Gates may be a greedy bastard. I don’t know. Warren Buffett may be a greedy bastard.
But Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, they had a positive effect on the world – not perfect, but a positive. Adam Carolla, hilarious podcast guy – I’ve been on his podcast a few times, and he says the funniest things. He goes, “Man, people say pharmaceutical companies are greedy. I want them to be more greedy. I want somebody to make a trillion dollars and come up with a cure for AIDS,” and I’m like, “Here’s your one trillion dollars,” because that’s value for the world. So if that’s you, and that’s your M, embrace it but control it.
Second one – mating – I just finished Hugh Hefner’s, a biography on Hugh Hefner. Clearly the man was driven by, he liked women. But he was also, to get the value for himself, back in the sixties; he was interviewing Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was doing things that benefited society in being one of the first people to not rail against segregation.
So if you’re that person, hey, next time you’re gonna eat junk food at midnight, put pictures of the most beautiful girl and tell yourself the truth, “Pretty women got lots of choices. If you’re fat she probably gonna date somebody else.”
John: Ain’t gonna be one of those choices.
Tai: Yeah, and people get mad at that, and I’m like, “Well, one of my mentors one time looked me in the eye and he said, ‘Welcome to the world, Tai.’” I remember I was complaining about something. He went, “Welcome to the big, bad world.”
The third one is mastery and status. Some people – Charlie Munger is motivated by this, he admits. He says, “The earned respect of your peers is one of the sweetest feelings in the world.” So for him he wants to live life in such a way. He’s motivated by the people he respects respecting him back. That’s have a level of mastery and status.
It feels good to be able to be at a party, sit down at a piano, play a nice song, and people look and go, “That was nice.” There’s a mastery. So, some of you listening are very motivated on mastery.
A fourth one is more me, what motivates me, and that is movement or momentum. For me, you know Richard Branson had a cool life because I’m doing magazines and he got that rock and rolling. Then he’s going, “I’m launching Virgin Air.” He’s moved, has 300 businesses under Virgin brand. He’s clearly a man who likes momentum and moving to the next thing. A lot of entrepreneurs and when you come to grips with these four.
Everybody’s a combination and it’s not a perfect metaphor, but it is a good metaphor. This is what will keep you from procrastinating. If you go, “Tai, I’m petrified of quitting my job and becoming an entrepreneur.” I’m going, “You’re focused on the fear.
In the 25 cognitive biases of the brain, how we decide things, the biggest and the strongest bias which even is stronger than fear is reward.” That’s why people in communist Russia would still do black market things even though the price of being caught might have been death. But the reward of making a few bucks outweighs that.
So if you can get clear and you can go, “I suck at going to the gym. I hate the gym.” And you wake up every day, “I hate the gym. I hate the gym.” I’m like, “Focus on one of the four Ms.” If you can go, “Brad Pitt got Angelina Jolie. I like Angelina Jolie.” Then you’re just in the gym going, “Angelina Jolie.”
They did a study. They had pretty women, while men were bench pressing, sit on the guy’s chest. The average man could lift 10 to 30 percent more. He got a surge of testosterone because that’s how men are motivated. I think it was – what was the guy, the famous Greek billionaire? He said, “Without women, all the money in the world wouldn’t matter for most men.” Know your thing. Each of you are different. If you do that, life starts to fall in place.
John: Okay, Tai. There’s just a few things I want to tie together here for Fire Nation. I mean, I love that phrase that you use about transferring your actions into the knowledge society. Fire Nation, really get that. Of course, these Ms, Tai, that you went through incredibly well: the money, the material, the mating, the mastery, the status, and the momentum, the movement. Which one are you, Fire Nation? Take some time. Think about it.
It’s January 3rd, Tai, when this is going live. So kind of share with Fire Nation as we wrap up here, what do you have going on right now? What do you want Fire Nation to check out in Tai’s world?
Tai: I do a lot of stuff live streaming online. We get 25,000 people on these live streams just because about a year ago I was doing some in-person events. It’s hard to leverage. It’s hard to find a place that can hold 25,000 people. So we did it for about a year, and we continued to do these live ones.
The best place, if you just go to tailopez.com and join my Book of the Day free email newsletter. I send out reviews. I just read a book today, a great one called Creating Rituals, how to set up your daily routine. Instead of you having to read the book, I’ll just send you a quick summary of the best points, simply free, and in those emails I also include what else is coming up, my next live call, where I’m on Instagram under Tai Lopez, and Snapchat and all these.
But I’m starting to do these live events too, probably once a month. We’re experimenting. So in January I’m doing one in Manhattan. In February I’m doing one looks like back here in L.A. Then I’ll be in London. Those three cities are the main ones.
So that, if you go to tailopez.com, that’s a great place. Get on that Book of the Day thing. Then YouTube, my channel under Tai Lopez, I started. I’ll tell you something cool. I get a lot of people here in Hollywood want to make a TV show. I haven’t decided if I want to. I’ve learned. I know how the TV game works. The second you sign that contract, they kind of do whatever they want with your image.
So right now I’m just controlling the show myself and building it on – I just decided to put the episodes on YouTube and then see which station wants to come directly to me, which channel. This TV show, it’s pretty cool. It’s just a day in the life and I’m showing all kinds. It’s pretty entertaining. It’s a little controversial, you know.
John: Nothing wrong with a little controversy.
Tai: There’s women. There’s cool stuff. You’ll learn. I’ll tell you, for all those people that laugh, a little quick practical cutting-edge thing. Snapchat’s gonna be big. Snapchat’s gonna be – I think it’s the Instagram killer. I think Snapchat’s gonna beat Facebook by engagement.
John: What’s the best way to use Snapchat?
Tai: For entrepreneurs this sounds self-serving but if you follow my story, it’s just my name Tai Lopez, and the numeral one. Tai Lopez and the number one. Then so what you want to do is, you can Snapchat a picture just to one person. This is not a good tool for entrepreneurs in my experience.
They rolled out a feature not too long ago that you post to your story, and it’s available for 24 hours. What it creates is a slide show, and what you do with the – so you can just click through it. Like I’ll post 20 pictures or videos of my day and if you want to watch one you let it run for 10 seconds or if you want to skip it. It creates this slide show. So a lot of people are always asking me, “What’s your daily routine? What’s this?”
So you as a business owner, or what I’m doing is, you can just post all kinds of stuff. So if you own a restaurant, man, you should be Snapchatting. The cool thing about Snapchat – I’ll give you guys a hint – I know a thing or two about social media. The only network that you can’t over-post on is your Snapchat story. It’s impossible. You can post a thousand Snapchats because they only last 24 hours, they rotate. I don’t have time to explain. Just trust me; you can’t over-post on Snapchat.
You can over-post on Insta. It’s hard to over-post on YouTube. You can post a lot. My buddy Willy Rex was here. I got this accelerator business program and I had him come on. He has 14 million YouTube subscribers. He posts three videos a day every day for five years, and he got – he’s a star dude. He’s like killing it. He’s in Spanish-speaking countries.
YouTube – can’t really over-post. Facebook you can over-post. Snapchat is the shit, man. Snapchat is – if I could own any – obviously I don’t want to own Google or Facebook just because they’re worth so much, but of the upcoming? Periscope and Mirror Cat are pretty cool too. You can reach a lot of people.
But a lot of you business owners, just start snapping behind the scenes, then you press “Add to my story,” and boom. It’s cool. Then it will show you how many people see each image or video in your story and it’s cool. You’ll starting seeing that you go up from ten people, 20 people, a thousand people, and some of you will go up in the five thousands, and the ten thousands, and it’s cool.
John: Fire Nation, Tai Lopez says Snapchat. JLD will be Snapchatting. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with TL and JLD today, so keep up the heat, and head over the EOFire.com. Just type, “Tai,” T-A-I in the search bar. His show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. And of course, check him out at tailopez.com.
Check him out on Snapchat – Tai Lopez1 – and every other place that you want to follow him you can find at his website tailopez.com. So Tai, thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Tai: Thank you, man. That was awesome.
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