Just because a big-shot, millionaire entrepreneur charges you $2k for their advice doesn’t mean you should listen.
A good friend of mine recently hired a famous — or infamous — ex-felon, millionaire, and entrepreneur “coach” to help whip his you-know-what into shape and catapult his hobby into a lucrative business. I have to hand it to the guy: As far as confidence, charisma, and salesmanship, he’s got it down.
Unfortunately, when it comes to his actual advice or expertise — in building up other aspiring entrepreneurs — the charisma can only go so far. When charisma overshadows (or replaces) actual substance, you have a problem. Further, when aspiring entrepreneurs blindly follow a “guru’s” very limited, closed-minded advice, reality may reveal a shockingly disappointing outcome.
1. The magic routine
In case you weren’t aware, there’s a magic routine to success, and it starts early. Like SUPER early — as in, between 3 and 6 am. At least according to this coach — and my friend, who instantly believed him.
They both — along with a slew of articles (and op-eds) — suggest morning productivity is always better than evening. Here’s my issue: It isn’t true for everyone; however, habit-forming and confirmation bias can certainly make it true.
Coming from the finance industry — and with a host of entrepreneurial night owl friends, I can confirm there are throngs of entrepreneurs and employees making 6, 7, and 8-figures who take their sleep in the morning and their work late into the night. It isn’t about when you do things; it’s the fact that you do them at all.
As far as consistency (a constant morning routine and bedtime, which this coach preaches, as well)? That alone won’t make you a dime. If, however, that’s what it takes to build your habitual work ethic and keep you on track for your task and goal completion, so be it. That said, most of us running real businesses (and multiple businesses) know no two days look identical — especially when new opportunities and unforeseen projects come up.
2. The “look”
Yes, this guy literally convinced my friend that he can’t command CEO-level respect (and get clients to pay him his worth) if he doesn’t look like he’s hyped up on steroids with an after-lift pump.
Personally, I call bull 1000x over. I’ve run businesses with my face on the figurative “front cover” and others where nobody knows my name; I prefer the latter — and my earnings do too.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to get on camera — or even post on Instagram once — to make 6+ figures with an online business. I’d know, because I’ve done it, and I’m largely allergic to cameras. Want to know why? Because I like to focus on substance, NOT worrying about a camera angle or changing out of my pajamas and into the very business attire I left Wall Street to escape. No thank you, and in no way required. The way you “look” doesn’t have to impact your business (for the better or worse) unless you want it to and let it.
3. Your value-add
The entire coaching industry will hate me for saying this, but the cold, hard truth is that while everyone might have a value-add, that doesn’t make it worth a million bucks.
I know this is controversial, but let’s be honest: If you aren’t actually an expert at what you’re selling, yet you’re presenting yourself (and charging) as if you are, sooner or later, your victims — I mean customers — are going to figure it out. Furthermore, when they do, they’re probably going to call you out in a very public way.
In terms of “what” you sell, you really have three options:
- Build a great product
- Build a great service
- Build your own expertise and capitalize on that
If you’re simply packaging yourself up like a product or service, be sure you can articulate exactly what value you really bring. If you have to convince yourself it’s worth what you’re charging, that may be an indicator bolstering your skillset (or experience) could improve — or save — your business. Sales is not supposed to feel sketchy or like pulling the wool over someone’s eyes; if it does, you may be trudging a slippery slope.