Sometimes, You Gotta Break All the Rules


We are drowning in rules. Everywhere you look someone is giving you the “7 things for this” or the “The 10 things for that.”

And it doesn’t stop there.

Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, had 13 rules.

Steven Covey has “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”.

Amy Morin has “The 13 Things Mentally Strong People Do.”

And let us not forget the government. Each year the American congress enacts roughly 3,000 pages of new regulations. Let’s face it, we LOVE rules.

I grew up in a very conservative christian home. As kids we weren’t allowed to go to the movies or even play cards. (because people use cards to gamble and gambling is a sin.)

Hell, I didn’t even have my first beer until I was 19.

Maybe it was my strict upbringing, but I’ve always been a contrarian. If everyone is telling me to go one direction I fight to go the other.

When I launched my first company, I looked around at an industry dominated by internet marketers trying to make a quick buck selling one-off products.

I was told that if I wanted to be successful I should do the same.

But I wanted to build a real company. One that would be around long after the fly-by-night opportunity seekers were gone.

So I did just that, and Trade Empowered became one of the most successful education companies in the world.

But even I am not immune to the lure of conventional wisdom.

A few years ago I was sitting in a meeting with my friend and business partner Mark. We were discussing the rollout of some new products and my ideas to grow the company.

Mark kept pushing me to think in terms of a “lifetime customer”.

Having been in the information business for more than a decade I tried to explain to him that the average retention time was only 4 months. It was foolish to try and retain a lifetime customer.

Mark listened intently but each time he came back to the same idea. He’d say,

“I hear what you’re saying but I’m just not convinced. I think you can build a movement. I think if you give them a good reason to stay they’ll never leave.”

Mark doesn’t listen to what the masses say. He knows if 90% of people doing it, it’s probably wrong.

Lucky for me I listened. I reimagined what my business could look like if I created a place where people got so much value they never wanted to leave.

That place for us, is the 9 Figure Network.

Over the past two years it’s become the most valuable community you’ve never heard of,

and if the growth continues it’s going to be the most valueable community everyone’s heard of.

Some rules are worth following. They give us a framework to launch from.

But there are also times when you need to ignore all the “experts” and buck the trend.

Happy New Year! It’s good to be back.


P.S. Anther reason it’s good to buck the trend is because that’s where the opportunity is. If you look and sound like everyone else it’s tough to carve out brand for yourself.

But that’s a subject for another letter. 🙂

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