I was reading a classic the other day – The One Minute Entrepreneur.
This is a distillation of the first couple of chapters, including the very same notebook idea that so many self-made people have used to build their fortunes.
There once was a young man in high school who found himself in jail, accused of having illegal drugs. This student wasn’t a bad person by any means. He had friends, decent grades, a girlfriend who loved him and a place on the football team.
But he was caught hanging out with the wrong crowd, and now he sat in a jail cell, realizing his choices weren’t necessarily the best ones he could have made.
When his father bailed him out the next morning, the young man explained what happened and said he was sorry. His father, a wise man, didn’t get angry. Instead, he offered this advice to his son:
“At any given time, you are becoming the average of the five people with whom you are most closely associated. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of whom you choose to be with.”
And so the boy took a long hard look at his closest friends and decided that he needed to spend more time with some of them, and far less time with others.
I wonder if this is true online as well. Perhaps if we pay attention to the websites we visit, the blogposts we read and the videos we watch, we gain the knowledge of the sites we visit the most.
Perhaps we would be best served by spending the vast majority of our online time visiting sites that belong to the people we’d most like to emulate.
And of course we can become friends with people who are already achieving the things we want to achieve, too.
Did you know there are studies that show if you spend time with people who are heavier than you, that you will gain weight? And the converse is true as well.
Then it makes sense that if we spend time with people who are better at building online businesses and making money than we are, we will grow in that direction as well.
Back to our story…
Then the boy’s coach offered his advice as well:
“Keep a notebook and take a minute every now and then to write down the important things that happen and the major lessons you learn. Write down the things that you discover, the thoughts you have about important decisions you make and your ideas as they come to you. Distill the most important items down to their essence so that you can read them over and over again.”
The young man did exactly that through the rest of high school and college. Because his dream was to run a million-dollar internet business and one day sell it for 7 figures, he wrote down everything related to business, online marketing and motivating online visitors to become a part of his tribe.
Then just before his graduation, when he had filled 3 notebooks full of important lessons and ideas, he went to a motivational seminar. Electrified by the speakers, he asked one of them if they could talk.
After a few pleasantries, he asked the speaker if it was true that it’s not what you know, but WHO you know that counts.
“That cliché has been around for a long time,” said the speaker. “Who you know can be important, but what matters is who knows YOU and what they think of you – your confidence, your professionalism and your belief in what you are selling. Because we are all selling all the time, whether it’s an actual product, an idea or ourselves.”
And isn’t that true online as well? You can know everybody online, but it won’t matter if they don’t know you. But if your best prospects and your customers know you, like you and trust you, then can be successful beyond your wildest imagination.
This young man went on to build a multi-million dollar business using these three concepts, along with an idea he wrote down in his notebook during his junior year of college.
A few more tips from the book (buy the book to get ALL of the tips – these are just a tiny fraction)
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