Dan Lok

How To Systematize Your Business If It Isn’t Working

Remember when you first started your business and you measured time from one deadline to the next, one task to the next?

One of the biggest challenges you’ll have when you start a business is the number of tasks that you’re taking on.

You’re the expert at everything. You wear the suit and make executive decisions and chat with clients. You roll up your sleeves to make the coffee and fix the photocopier when it breaks down.

The business becomes a part of you so you are living and breathing and dreaming it from morning until night.

At this point, your friends and family are probably wondering where you’ve gone, if you can be separated from your business the way employees can be separated from their jobs. Clearly, you need to make some changes to your professional life so you can have more of a personal life. But how?

The good news is, it’s possible to systematize your business if it isn’t working. It starts with a closer look at all the roles in your company, and then deciding how you can delegate responsibilities to other people.

Watch this video on how to systematize your business so you’re working on it, not in it.


1. Decide What All The Aspects Of Your Business Are

In a typical internet business, for example, you have so many aspects to manage. You have content, copywriting, list building, getting traffic, having offers, technology, and finance. These are some key areas you have to focus on.

Right now, you may be working on all of the areas shown below.

You could be working on all of these areas of your business.


In each of these seven aspects, you may also be working on any or all of these tasks.

You could be completing all of these tasks.


Maybe you’ve done most of these tasks before, maybe you don’t know how to even begin doing some of these things, like a teleseminar or RSS feed.

As you expand your business, you will need some help with any of these seven areas. At this moment, let’s pause and take a look at the org chart of your business to see where you need help.

2. Draw Out An Org Chart And Decide On Roles In Your Organization

An organizational chart, or org chart, shows all the roles in your business, from you, the CEO, to everyone else in management and those with the least amount of responsibility.

This is what an org chart looks like for a typical business with one person. Now you can see why entrepreneurs seem to have split personalities. You have to do all the roles and handle all of the tasks.

No wonder you’re overwhelmed! You’re the only one in your org chart.


You can also see that this format cannot work over time. You cannot sustain it.

If you aren’t feeling the exhaustion already, you will. You can’t just stick your head in the sand and hope the problem will go away.

Now instead of just putting your name on all of the roles and responsibilities, like you did in the org chart above, diagram it out more clearly by role. You have several responsibilities but they all contribute to the same end objective.

As the CEO, your objective is to work on the mission. You are the leader, the conductor of the team. To turn your dreams into reality, you need to figure out what roles contribute to your mission.

Every business has four core functions: operations, finance, marketing, and people. Each function includes different responsibilities. When you’ve figured out the functions of your business, you can start clarifying expectations for each role.

Decide on roles and describe each role.


3. Assign Names That Clarify Your Expectations For Each Role

Define and name each position in your business but give careful consideration to each name. For example, there is an assumption of seniority when you call someone the Director versus calling someone the Sales Manager.

The way you create a title also makes a huge difference. For each position, assign a name that shows your expectations for each.

If you called someone a Marketing Manager, what do you think that person’s job would be? What if you called that same person the Chief of Revenue Generation instead? Notice how the purpose for that person changes depending on the role you assign them.

4. Systematizing Your Business Requires A Clear Plan

You are not your business. You are you. You create value in the marketplace and you create wealth for your family.

To separate yourself from your business, start delegating others for the other roles in the organizational chart. It may not happen overnight. You will still be in many of the roles when you start.

Over time, you will find someone to be your Chief of Revenue Generation. That is their role. Their responsibilities will be to generate revenue for the company, and that may include different aspects of marketing.

But to systematize your business, you must first decide on all the roles and responsibilities in your company, starting with you as the CEO. Over time, you will find people to take on those responsibilities as you delegate more tasks to other people, while you continue to oversee the mission.

This method is the first step to take so you’re working on your business, not in it.

Are you working on your business, or in it? Comment below.

How to Hire the Right People: Lessons From A Future Billionaire

How do you hire the right person so you can build a highly successful organization?

The choices you make are critical. Like a great marriage or a bitter divorce, hiring or firing an employee affects everyone. If the new person is the right fit – harmony for you and the team. If it’s a bad fit, like a bad divorce, not only do you lose time and money, it affects the morale of your team.

So how do you know if a person is the right fit for your company? And if they seem like a good candidate, but lacking in skills, how much should you spend training them if they still need to develop their skills?  

Before you answer those questions, understand the marketplace. The best people are trying to decide amongst several opportunities at once. If you want to get their attention, you have to cut past all the noise of all the recruiters and ads.

When it comes to building a company and organization, having the right people in place is most important. In business, the best team wins because they will find a solution no matter what happens to the market or the economy. The right team and right culture will be resourceful and will always be able to solve problems.

My hiring philosophy and my leadership style are very different from most CEOs and business owners. Most companies hire based on resumes. My company does not. Not a single person on my team has ever submitted a resume. Even though we are a rapidly growing global organization, no one on my team has done a traditional kind of approach.

Watch this video about how we hire the best talent.

Do you want to hire the right people? Click here to talk to one of the leaders on my team who’s an expert in this area.


Hire For Attitude And Train For Skills

There’s a saying, “Hire for attitude and train for skills.” Even for the leadership positions within my organization, not every single person was “qualified” for the job. None of them “have the training” for their particular position.

They might join the team to do a certain task and from there when I see they’ve got potential, I give them more and more responsibilities. They rise up the ranks depending on their attitude, their skills, their capabilities, their desires, and their loyalties.

I don’t believe in resumes because anybody can write a good resume. A candidate can give a very good interview but when you actually hire them, they’re terrible. The reason they are good at giving interviews is because that’s what they do. When it comes to getting the work done, they cannot do it.

So I like to make people jump through a lot of hoops. Not the traditional hoops in which you submit a resume and go to multiple interviews and take personality tests or complete certain tasks to see how you perform. Talk is cheap.

The people who apply to my organization send me a video resume. I get a better sense of their personality on video. After they send me a clip, I give them a series of projects to see how they perform. I watch their attitude and I always give them different opportunities and chances to excel. Then I ask for feedback from my team.

If the candidate does well, then I give them more and more responsibilities. I always look at a person, not their skill set because skill set and knowledge can be acquired later.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, also looks beyond the resume. A question he likes to ask during the hiring process is “What didn’t make it onto your resume?” Candidates can talk about their personal accomplishments… anything that would show their resolve, empathy toward others, or ingenuity.

Hire People For Your Company Environment

Everyone is different. Some people thrive in a more quiet and calm environment. Some people thrive in chaos while others work better when everything is very systematic.

My organization moves so fast that when something doesn’t work, we change direction immediately. So if a new hire is not used to that kind of environment, they might crack under pressure. We are very nimble, flexible and quick.

If there’s something I want to implement, we just do it. If there’s something we need to change, then we change direction like the flick of a switch. It’s very very fast. Most people are not used to that kind of environment.

The people we bring in like the challenge and this kind of pace. They are at home. Others may find this speed way too stressful. Then they will leave because it’s not a good fit. Or they quit because they don’t have the right energy with other team members and they don’t get along with the team culture. It’s an organic process.

Hire Young People To Keep Up With Trends

People have asked me why there are so many young people in my organization. They ask, “Why is a kid responsible for millions of dollars of marketing budget?”

They think I should hire someone with 10 years of experience. But I don’t believe in that because at the end of the day, my team is in the online education business where things move incredibly fast.

I need to be on the pulse of what’s happening day to day, hour to hour. I hire millennials so that I know what they’re thinking, even if they make me feel old. They always bring in new ideas about what’s hip and what’s trending. If I want to know what young people are thinking, I need to have young people in my organization.

Hire a Team of High Achievers

I love the Russian Doll Principle. When it comes to hiring, a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs and CEOs hire people who are smaller or worse than they are.

A CEO who is hiring a manager will look for someone who is less skilled, and then that manager will hire a team leader who is less skilled than the manager. Then what you will have is a company made of dwarves.

On the other hand, if that CEO hired a manager who has better skills, and the manager hires a team lead with better skills than the manager… you end up with a company of giants.

The CEO or manager hires people that are smaller than them because of their insecurities. They are afraid that if they hire someone with better skills, they can’t manage them or get their respect. If they hire someone less skilled, then they can more easily control them. This type of superior/inferior thinking is common in Asia.

The problem is when you hire less skilled people, the organization doesn’t grow. Hiring people that are better than you will get you that company of high achievers.

Russian Doll Principle: Hire the Right People

Hire a Team of Specialists

As the leader and CEO of my company, my job is not to make sure that directors, department heads and executives can’t do their roles better than I can. That’s not what a CEO does.

Each person in the company has their own area of expertise. As the visionary, my job is to come up with the strategic plan for each of them to execute. My job isn’t to outperform them at certain tasks.  

Think about the book, The Art of War. In military terms, the general is not necessarily the best horseman or archer, or even the best soldier. The general is the one that sees the big picture, such as how to mobilize the troops and where to allocate resources. Similarly, the big picture is the CEO’s job.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, wanted a team that liked to create and explore. He didn’t want people who were only skilled in management, so he devised a test as part of the interview process. Those who asked questions and showed excitement and showed promise that they were A players made the cut.

So, to hire a team of specialists, find people who are experts at what they do. They should also be creative A players who are very motivated.

Hire Motivated People, Then Get Out of Their Way

I think it’s very difficult to motivate people. The better solution is to find people who are already motivated.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That means, instead of trying to motivate people with motivational quotes and all that stuff, find people who already have the fire and desire within them. When you find good people who are already motivated, then all you need to do is create the culture, and give them responsibility, authority and power. Then get the hell out of their way and let them do their thing.

Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, says that one way to find out a person’s motivation level is to ask them about who they admire. You will quickly find out who is there for the paycheck and who really cares about their work depending on their answer.

Motivated people will make stuff happen. They will want to help you grow, not because it’s an obligation, but because they have that desire.

Myself, I’m a very motivated person. I don’t need people to motivate me or pump me up. I am motivated. I’m driven. So I want people with the same desire in my organization.

If you spend so much time trying to motivate your people, then you’re not spending enough time getting work  done or moving forward. So find motivated people and get the hell out of their way.

Hire People Who Will Pay for Their Own Training

In this very competitive business, the key to thriving in any economy is constant learning. It doesn’t matter how much success you had in the past. What matters is where you’re going in the future and what you’re doing now.

As the leader of a global education organization, I believe constant learning is extremely critical. I invest hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in my own education and I expect my members to do the same. My training policy is very different from most organizations because I don’t pay my team to attend workshops. My team members invest in their own education.

They pay for their own flight, their own hotel, their own workshops and courses. I don’t want them to do it because it’s an obligation or it’s required for their promotion. If I invest in my own education, they should do the same. When they upgrade their skills and perform better, they will get compensated.

The other reason is if they invest in their own education, they will pay more attention and get more out of the training. I lead by example. I’m always learning, reading, and attending workshops. When it comes to education, I don’t take shortcuts. I’m a good leader because I’m a dedicated student, and that’s the culture a successful company should have.

If you want to hire the right people, you must hire people with a desire to work hard and excel at what they do. It does not matter if they are more talented than you, or younger than you. When you have a team of high achievers, you will have a powerful team.


Do you want to hire the right people? Click here to talk to one of the leaders on my team who’s an expert in this area.

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The Best Strategy To Get Clients Fast

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want to grow your business fast. But if you want high-paying clients, then you must be willing to go against conventional wisdom.

Not everyone can be your client. If you say, “Anyone is my client,” then you’re in trouble.

Many new entrepreneurs think everyone and anyone with money is a potential lead. But for you, you must be more selective.

Most advice out there recommends that you talk to everyone you know, get involved in local business communities, optimize your website, and get into as many social media platforms as possible. But what happens if you try to catch a fish with a tiny net in an enormous sea?

You’re lucky to catch a fish or two! So if you’re patient enough to grow your business slowly, if you want to talk to dozens of people to get your first client, then follow those conventional strategies that require a high degree of time and effort. Eventually, you will find your first client. But your troubles don’t end there.

You’re new and no one has heard of you, so your first client doesn’t want to pay you hundreds or thousands of dollars. You might even have to offer some advice or service for free, just to get your first testimonial. Meanwhile, your rent and your phone and electricity bills are waiting to be paid. So what can you do to cut through this slow and painful growth stage? Is there a way to fast forward this process?

Back when I was running my one-man advertising agency as a copywriter, I was trying to get clients from all over the place. I would do the work for anyone who would hire me. As long as the client breathed, they were good enough for me. Everyone was my customer.

However, over time and with more experience, I realized that to grow my business, I had to use one powerful strategy which I’m going to teach you today to get that ideal high-paying client fast.

Watch this video to learn how to grow your business faster.

The Kingpin Strategy to Get Clients

Here’s the problem. If everyone is your customer, then nobody is your customer. What I needed was that one account that would improve the quality of my clientele. I didn’t need dozens of clients paying me a few hundred each for my services.

I just needed a couple of high-ticket clients paying me thousands for the same service. My goal was to make the same income with fewer clients. So what I had to do was find the kind of client I would attract when I had more experience… and attract that client now.

When I was struggling as a copywriter, I came across a book called Guerilla Marketing. It’s a very famous book series on small business and marketing written by Jay Conrad Levinson. Now Jay has sold over 20 million books worldwide for the Guerrilla Marketing series. He was one of the most well-known educators and marketing gurus of our time before he passed away. So I approached Jay.

At the time, Jay was marketing a Guerilla Marketing Association membership. I went to his website and saw what he did so I rewrote the entire page. I sent it to the Guerrilla Marketing Association and got a reply from Jay personally. He thanked me because I had delivered value before asking for anything in return.

“Wow, you know what, young man, that’s very nice of you,” he said. He actually used the material and it helped him to generate more sales. Afterwards, I asked him, “Hey, Jay, since you’re getting value, is it okay if you give me some kind of recommendation and endorsement?” He said he was more than happy to do that. And he did.

That was my first Kingpin client.

By getting Jay Conrad Levinson, a well-known marketing guru with credibility and authority for so many small business owners, I could approach potential clients differently. I could say, “I have an endorsement from Jay Levinson who wrote Guerilla Marketing, who sold 20 million books.” That reference impressed my next client.

At the beginning of your career, when you’re  establishing credibility and reputation, don’t chase everybody. Decide on the one person or company that will launch your career and serve them.

For example, in the tech world if you could work with Google or Amazon or Microsoft you could get then get other high quality clients. Everybody else will look at that account and say, “If you’re good enough for them, you’re good enough for me.”

You skip that learning curve and grow your business much faster. You can also use this technique to draw in more customers at one time.


The Kingpin Strategy To Get Clients Fast

Let me give you another example of the Kingpin Strategy from a different perspective. In the United States, they have these huge events. The Learning Annex back then was doing massive conferences with 5,000 to 25,000 people using this Kingpin Strategy.

They would bring in “Kingpin speakers,” such as Donald Trump before he was president, Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, and Bill Clinton to draw people in.

They paid them a huge speaking fee to have them show up at the event. At the same time, platform speakers or platform closers who aren’t paid to be there will offer their programs or products. They would make a 60-minute or 90-minute pitch on stage to draw in the crowd.

These events don’t make money from 5 to 20 thousand people’s tickets.They make money from these platform closers. The event organizer would do a split with anything that the closers sell. Imagine if someone is speaking to 10,000 people and he is selling a $1,000 package.

If he sells 500 of them a day, a multi-day event would generate millions of dollars. The platform closures would get a 30 to 50 percent commission because the organizers are the ones spending all the money. The organizers made millions upon millions of dollars from these conferences going around North America, even the U.K. That’s how the business model works.

That’s the Kingpin Strategy from a different perspective. So ask yourself the question. Who is that one company, that one organization you could get that would change everything. From then on, you leverage that one person’s name or that organization’s name for the rest of your career. Before you know it, you go from a nobody to a somebody.

How will you apply the Kingpin Strategy to get new clients? Comment below.

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How To Read People: Mastering the Winning Edge In Negotiations

Many people have hurt loved ones and lost business deals because they misunderstood or misread important cues. But what if you could strip away the masks that people wear and decode the real meaning in their words so these situations don’t happen?

If you could strip away the masks, wouldn’t business deals be so much easier to complete? You see, one of the most valuable skills that you can master in life and in business is the ability to read people. It will give you the winning edge in mastering negotiations, in business and in life.

I have the ability to read people because I meet so many people every single day. I’ve met thousands and thousands of people face-to-face.

Today I’m going to teach you some of the fundamentals on how to read people that will help you in business and in all areas of your life.

First, let’s define reading people. It’s by observing people, sometimes from a distance and knowing something about them, such as getting a feeling without them telling you. The way they talk, the way they walk, the way they stand.

It’s important to know these things because if you’re in sales, business, or negotiations, you want to have that upper edge when it comes to negotiating with or influencing them. This also applies to relationships with family. If you can read them, you have an advantage.

Watch this video about how to read people in business and in life.

Clue 1: Reading Their Eye Movement

Let’s begin with the body part that’s a natural truth and lie revealer. When you’re talking with people, look where their eye movement goes. Here’s a very simple example.

If someone is afraid to make direct eye contact with you, and they’re looking down, it’s like they are hiding. They don’t want to make eye contact. They may also be shy or intimidated.

If they’re looking at the top left corner, it means they are trying to remember something. For example, if you ask them, “Who is your best friend from high school?” and they look to their left, you know they are probably telling the truth.

If they’re looking to the top right corner, they are constructing an image. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying, it’s more like they’re visualizing something. For visual people, when you’re getting them to picture a concept, structure, or process, you might see them looking to the right.

If they are looking at the bottom left corner, it means they are having an internal dialogue. You could be disagreeing with the person. It could be their beliefs are different than what they’re hearing and they’re conflicted.

So if you give them a piece of advice and they’re looking to the left, chances are they are disagreeing. You’re challenging their beliefs.

If they are looking at the bottom right corner, they are digging into some deep feelings and emotions and trying to create a sensory experience. For example, they could be imagining the wind in their hair as they cruise the highway in their first convertible.

The eyes have an abundance of information about a person, but what if they are too far away for you to see their eyes? Their distance from you gives clues as well.

Eye movement gives you clues about what someone is thinking.



Clue 2: Reading People’s Distance

When you’re communicating with someone and they are far away, it means they aren’t listening and they aren’t interested in what you have to say.

If they’re getting closer and closer as you’re talking to them, it means they are responding positively to what you’re saying to them.

Most of our body language comes from non-verbal gestures such as how close or far you stand from someone. The gestures you are using and whether you wave your hands when you speak all show how expressive you are.

Physical touching also gives important cues. What does it mean if you’re sitting close to your friend and you touch her knee with your hand? What does it mean if you’re sitting close to someone, but that person is your client and you touch her knee?

Our ability to understand non-verbal cues can be the difference between disaster and deep connection. A touch can be offensive if done incorrectly, like a hand on the knee at a business meeting. A touch can be reassuring like a hand on the shoulder after hearing about tragic news. And this awareness doesn’t just apply to one-on-one situations.

More and more business meetings are happening on video screens. You can learn a lot from your observations. If your client is sitting back in his chair and looking at the floor during the meeting, he is sending you a message. You need to change what you’re talking about to get his attention back or lose the deal.

When it comes to communication, 55 percent of what we say is said through our body language. The rest of our communication is through the tone of our voice. Only 7 percent of our message is actually with the words we use.

In fact, if you’re confident in your understanding of body language, you can use it to strike up a wordless dialogue with your clients and build a connection with them.

Clue 3: Reading Someone By Mirroring Them

When you’re talking with someone and you can see they are trying to mirror your body language or copy you, then it means that person is trying to establish some kind of bond with you.

This is something you can do in negotiations. When you’re closing a deal in front of someone and that person sits back and crosses their legs, you can do the exact same thing as well.

It’s like doing a dance. At first, you may be mirroring them, and later you are leading them and they are mirroring you, without even being conscious of it. This is a way to build rapport, but be careful not to do it too obviously.

Clue 4: Reading Arm Movement

Body language will tell you a lot about the other person, but always remember the bigger picture. Let’s go back to the meeting room example. Sometimes, these places have the heat turned down, so people cross their arms to keep warm. In this case, they aren’t reacting to you.

But at other times, if someone has their arms crossed the entire time you’re talking, it means they’re trying to protect themselves. They’re shielding themselves from influence. If they’re more open to what you’re saying by leaning in or putting their hands on their chin, they’re listening to you.

Now, if a person is playing with their hands too much while talking, it actually means, “I like this.” Or when they are thinking, their fingers are tapping. Watch for these gestures. If you’re in the middle of a negotiation, the tapping could mean they are seriously considering your offer.

Clue 5: Reading Leg and Knee Positions

Legs and knees can give you as much information as arms and hands. If someone is nervous, or ADD, or scatterbrained, they’ll bouncing their knee or their leg. Shaking a leg under the table means they are nervous and you have the upper hand.

If you are talking to someone and you can see that they are pointing their knees towards you, they’re interested in what you are saying. That’s great bonding. But if their knees are pointing away from you, that means they want to get out of there. So if their knees and feet are pointing to the exit, it’s time to stop talking.

A person’s body language is like the close-captioning feature on your screen, adding more information to what you’re already hearing. Pay as much attention to a person’s body language as their words if you want to get the entire message.

If you want to bond with someone, do a quick test. If you touch them and they pull back a bit quickly, release, don’t touch. It means it’s no good.

Those are some of the fundamental skills on how to read people. Practice these techniques on your colleagues, friends, business partners, your spouse… and see if they work for you.

Are there other clues you want to know? Comment below.

7 Powerful Lessons I Learned On How To Build An Empire

Imagine if the YouTube kid celebrity you’re watching on your screen is the next Mark Zuckerberg. Or next Vera Wang. Or next Kylie Jenner.

You can’t always predict what will happen in the future.

The first part of my life was a bit of a disaster and nothing like the success I have now.

My childhood sucked. I was born in Hong Kong and I immigrated to Hong Kong to Canada years ago with no money and no connections and not a word of English.

Growing up, I was only one of three Chinese in my school, so I was an outsider. I didn’t get along with the other kids, who made fun of me and teased me. I got beat up a couple times.

My mom and dad got divorced when I was 16 and that was one of the reasons we immigrated to Canada. I wasn’t one of those people that was born with big dreams. I didn’t have great talents. My teachers said I had average intelligence. I dropped out of college.

Not in a million years would I have imagined myself doing what I’m doing today, writing books, speaking in front of thousands of people, and mentoring millions of entrepreneurs around the world.

It was my dysfunctional childhood that made me the functional achiever that I am today. My parents’ divorce and my tough time in high school both also had a part. It’s because I was the only child in my family that I had to learn how to stop being a boy and grow up so I could take care of my mom.

Now, after building 21 companies and starting a global movement for entrepreneurs, I want to share with you seven powerful lessons I learned when building this business empire.

Watch this video about seven lessons I learned on how to build an empire.


Lesson 1: Adversity Is Your Advantage

People look at their childhood as wounds. I see adversity as your greatest advantage. I hope your childhood sucked too. Because going through difficult times is like a workout for your emotions and your psyche.

When you work out at the gym, you tear your muscle fibers and when they grow back, they are stronger. That’s the first lesson I would like to share with you. Don’t look at your past as your wounds. They’re your muscles.

Business is not a sport for the wannabe. Business is tough. I failed at 13 businesses before having my first success. Statistically, 96 percent of businesses fail within the first 10 years. So in ten years, only four businesses would still be here.

The game of business is for the ambitious, not the weak. It’s for the committed, who will do whatever it takes to succeed, as long as it’s moral, legal, and ethical. I haven’t met a super successful person in my life who hasn’t overcome a lot of adversity.

I’ve lost over two million in business. It doesn’t mean I’m smarter or more talented. It just means I’ve made more mistakes.

Lesson 2: Love What You Do

There’s a saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” That’s a load of crap. So many people follow their passion, yet they wonder where their money is. If you want to follow your passion, you’d better make sure your passion makes you money.

For example, I love teaching and speaking about business at events. I could do that all day. The problem is, I hate travelling. I don’t even like to commute to work. I work from home. So imagine how I must feel about travelling from city to city. But I am willing to do what I don’t like to do because that allows me to do what I do like to do.

You would be exceptional at what you do because the marketplace will always pay for value. So it’s not about the money. It’s about choices and lifestyle. In my book, F. U. Money, I talk about financial freedom.


Want to find out more about financial freedom? Download the F.U. Money ebook or audio version here.

Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the luxury of not having to do something when you don’t want to. It makes no sense when you work hard and you still struggle to make ends meet.

I believe entrepreneurs who do a good job and deliver value to the marketplace deserve to be well paid. Money earned is a byproduct of value creation. The more money you make, the more value you deliver. Most successful people are successful because they serve a lot of people.

You deserve to make a nice profit and feel good about it.

When you learn how to make money, it is a gift. You’re morally obligated to make as much money as you can.

Lesson 3: Save Yourself Before You Save The World

The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them. It’s your responsibility to maximize your profits as an entrepreneur.

Here’s an analogy. If you’re giving blood, how many bags of blood can you give before you pass out and die? That’s employee mentality: one person, one donation. You want to give blood? Build a hospital. That’s entrepreneurial mindset.

So maximize your profits. Now some people say that “Money isn’t that important,” and “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” People usually say that as a defensive statement, or they don’t have any money or they don’t know how to get some.

Money is only supposed to do two things. First, it gives you comfort. Second, it allows you to extend what you do beyond your physical presence. So think big. Think about how you can grow your business and reach more people.

Most businesses fail because they aren’t getting enough attention in the marketplace. If you want to grow your revenue, your brand, your company, you must get attention.

Attention is the new currency. Are there any products and services in your industry that are lesser in quality than what you’re offering but they’re selling more? The reason is they’re committed to getting attention.

For example, I have a YouTube channel where I upload my videos, a podcast called The Dan Lok Show, and blogs on my website. That’s all free content. But that’s not how I make my money. That’s something I do to promote my brand.

You have to get yourself out there to push your name. There’s so much noise out there on the marketplace nowadays. One tweet or one Facebook post is not enough. Don’t think in terms of one. Think bigger. Not one tweet. A thousand tweets.

It also means when you’re getting attention, not everyone will like you. First they will ignore you… then they will laugh at you… then they fight you. Then you win.

Lesson 4: Promotion Over Creation

Visibility is more important than ability. Spend time promoting your brand. Every day I have Facebook posts. Instagram posts. Blogs. YouTube content. Emails to subscribers.

I’m very focused on promoting my brand and selling what products and services I already have. Then, when I reach a certain level of success, I create more products and services.

You’ll get some haters when you promote yourself. It doesn’t matter. You’re getting attention.

Lesson 5: Stop Pretending And Start Asking

Entrepreneurs who say their business is fine are using an acronym.

Freaked out

In debt

Not making enough money

Emotionally stressed out

Here’s some inside information. When I go to a speaking gig for a thousand people, only about five percent will come up and talk to me afterward. And out of the five percent, less than one percent will follow up.

They would come up to me and tell their stories. I love to hear their stories. They spend 20 minutes telling me what they do. But they never ask me, “Dan, what do you think?”

Here’s a tip. If you want to establish a relationship with powerful, successful people, don’t go up to them and pitch your stuff. It sounds like you want them to endorse your products to their clients and partners even though they don’t know you.

Here’s how to follow up after a speaking gig. Don’t give them your business card. It’s not their job to follow up with you. They’re already successful. It’s your job to follow up with them. Ask for their contact information.

After that, ask them two questions.

  1. How can I learn more from you?
  2. What’s your most important project that you’re working on that I or my network can add value to?

Lesson 6: Master, Don’t Dabble

A lot of entrepreneurs have shiny object syndrome. They follow whatever is the flavour of the week or the flavour of the month. They never take the time to master anything.

In my career, I focused on building one skill before the next. First, I focused on marketing, then internet marketing, then management leadership, then deal making, then investing. But it was one thing at a time.

And even when you’re working on mastering a skill, you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going. Most entrepreneurs spend too much time thinking about what they want to do.

Remember: perfection is the enemy of progress.

So you wrote an article you don’t like. It doesn’t matter. Upload it. You wrote a blog post you don’t like. It doesn’t matter. Upload it. Tweet the crap out of it.

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, said, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of a product, you’ve launched too late.”

Let my words ignite the power, the drive and the desire within you. Just go out there and just do it. Forget the naysayers, ignore these people and just do whatever it takes to achieve your goal and just do it.


Do you want to know how millionaires actually think? Click here to find out more about Dan On Demand where I reveal the secrets to developing the millionaire mindset.


Blue Ocean Strategy: The Art of Innovating A Sustainable Competitive Advantage In Your Market

With hundreds of thousands of new businesses starting up each year, is it possible to break free from your competition?

No business wants to be in a Red Ocean, fighting against cutthroat competition that turns the water bloody red. Every industry, all your competitors, are in the Red Ocean, like shark infested waters where everyone fights for the same prey.

Instead, we all prefer the Blue Ocean… calm, peaceful…and the only business of its kind in that market. Ideally, every business wants to be in the Blue Ocean, but what must your business do to be in this uncontested market space?

Before I share the business model that will differentiate you, let’s take a look at a recent phenomenon that disrupted the marketplace. Uber.

Taxis have been around for a long time as a public transportation option. There are many cab companies. Each one tries to stand out by saying, “I am better than everybody else. My services are better than everybody else’s.” But there’s one problem.

These statements may or may not be true and consumers become confused. They’re skeptical because they don’t know what is good and what is not so good. Just because you say you’re better doesn’t mean you’re better.

Then Uber comes along and introduces the concept of ride sharing services. They completely change how we pay for cab fares. No more tipping or carrying credit cards or cash. No more wondering exactly where your cab is.

There are good and bad points to this disruption, but that’s part of capitalist society. For Uber, competition becomes irrelevant. For taxi companies and drivers, they lose market share. So what can your business do to move yourself to an untapped environment?

There are three models you can follow. To be different, to be a giant in a vast blue ocean of customers, you must follow the third type.  

Watch this video about how the Blue Ocean Strategy makes your business stand out.

1. Me-Too Business

In the first kind of business, the Me-Too Business, you are the same as everybody else. If you’re put next to the competitors, your message and products get swallowed up before your consumers can tell the difference. You look like everybody else. You provide the same product and service.

For example, there are over 35,000 health clubs in the USA, and at least ten, maybe more, major health club chains, each with 100 to 2000 locations. How can a customer decide to choose your club instead of someone else’s?

Maybe you tell them about your features. Does your location have a workout area? Group exercise classes? Personal training? Not surprisingly, most health and fitness clubs have these exact same features. You need to do more to stand out.

2. Me-Better Business

In the Me-Better Business, you’re better than everybody else. Maybe you’ve been in business longer than your competitors, maybe your packaging is better, or your warranty or your technology is better. It doesn’t matter. In the Me-Better Business, you’re the one saying you’re better.

Your health club is better because there are so many locations that a member can work out anytime, anywhere. Your club has the best equipment and programs for losing weight. Or, your club has more equipment and personal trainers. These are the reasons why you say your club is better.

How can you get your customers to say your club is not only better, but the best because you are different?

3. Me-Only Business

The Me-Only Business is where you want to be because you are the only person in that space that does what you do.

In the 1990s, a women’s health club broke into a market already saturated with health clubs, but it realized there was an untapped market in the fitness industry. At one end, there were high-end, full service health clubs. At the other end were home exercise programs that required little or no equipment. This club found a Blue Ocean somewhere in the middle.

It was different from a typical health club because machines were arranged a circle in groups of ten so members could talk and support one another while working out. The nonjudgmental atmosphere included the lack of mirrors on the wall. Most importantly, the company, Curves, offered value at a lower cost.

It also created a new demand for fitness consumers. And it wasn’t the only company to create new demand in the last decade. It’s possible to find a Blue Ocean in a 200 year old industry that has entertained generations.

It’s a Blue Ocean for a Me-Only Business

Creating A Blue Ocean In A Declining Industry

If you’re thinking you can’t find a Blue Ocean for your new business, think about the challenges Cirque du Soleil had in a declining, centuries old industry: the circus. Children wanted to play video games, and people protested animal rights. So what did they do?

Let’s start with what they didn’t do. They didn’t cater to the traditional end users, the children. They appealed to the traditional purchasers, and charged a lot more for an entertainment experience. Adults and corporate clients who enjoyed the theatre, ballet, Broadway shows, and opera now had another option, but in a circus setting.

Cirque now had an uncontested market space and they had eliminated costs. No more animals to feed and multiple performers to transport. People now came to the circus instead of the other way around. And they were now catering to upscale audiences.

Discovering a Blue Ocean is possible, whether you’re in an old market, or a new one. In the case of iTunes, they entered an existing market and created a new one.

Creating A Blue Ocean By Competing With An Existing Market

Now how does a company create its own market by competing with one that already exists? It can, if the current market is entirely illegal.

In the late 1990s, file sharing programs enabled the illegal downloading of digital music files. A demand for MP3 players to play mobile digital music was answered with products such as Apple’s iPod. After making an agreement with five major music companies, Apple’s iTunes offered à la carte song downloads.

Consumers no longer had to buy an entire CD for one or two songs, which was previously a major annoyance. They could get the specific songs they wanted and recording companies could have the copyright protection they wanted. It was a win-win that started a new trend.

Fast forward to today, when millions of songs, movies, TV shows, books, and podcasts are now downloaded on iTunes. Apple has been dominating this Blue Ocean for more than a decade.

Now I’ve shown you examples of how companies have created their own Blue Ocean, by breaking free from tradition, like Cirque du Soleil did, or by creating a demand, like Curves did. But what if you’re a small company, or a micro business, or sole proprietorship? How can you disrupt the marketplace?

Dan Lok’s Blue Ocean Strategy

I’ve started a lot of businesses in my career. Some were Me-Too. I mowed lawns, fixed computers, and operated just like everybody else with a single employee company.

I’ve also had Me-Better businesses in which I was striving to have better marketing skills, management skills, better service, or better products.

But where I found massive wealth was the Me-Only Business. That’s when you’re the best one in the world at this one thing that only you can do. You may not get there overnight, but you can get a bit closer over time. How I created a Me-Only Business was by creating a certification program.

I founded the High-Ticket ClosersTM Certification Program which graduated thousands of students worldwide in its first year. The concept of a salesperson wasn’t new, but the term “High-ticket Closer” to describe people who close deals for premium products wasn’t familiar to most people. That put me in a Blue Ocean.

Your business idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary. You just have to give the marketplace that perception. That perception they have becomes the reality if they perceive you as Me-Only.

Once you’re doing something nobody else is doing, then you have dominated the marketplace and you have applied the Blue Ocean Strategy.

So, think about how you can find the Blue Ocean and dominate it.

How could you apply the Blue Ocean Strategy to your business? Comment below.

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