$1M US Token, 10 Years or 10 BTC (No Typo)
Level 1 - NGMI
Welcome Avatar! Back in the middle of the 2010s, we had a popular post on getting to $1M US Token by the time a decade has passed. We’re updating that post and are happy to tell you that it has gotten even easier to get to $1M US Token (or 10 BTC – not a typo). In a world of zero interest rates AND work from home, it is 100x easier to get a second income stream. We’re also adding some tables and charts/high-level explanations as well.
The NGMI Friendly Plan to Avoid Bugs
Step 1: Get a Career at minimum. If you’re forced to get a Job (something that is not performance based – set payment on an hourly wage) then you want to make sure you’re working from home. A job is only acceptable as a temporary position. You can take a job only under the condition that it is 1) not minimum wage and 2) you can transfer the skills to your future career or business. No exceptions to this rule.
Career: Do not be fooled by high salaries or high hourly wages. Even if you're making $100 an hour that is only $200K per year. The Company will do everything in its power to prevent you from making more money than that. Easy career choices are: 1) M&A investment banking, 2) Enterprise sales or 3) technology, which is typically more RSU based than commission based – equity is just as good as revenue share and is sometimes better. So. A career is something that pays you based on *performance* commission/equity shares.
Business: Eventually you will start a business. A Business is something that makes money *while you sleep*. This means it has recurring income of some shape or form. A business is a minimum of 4x more valuable than your income. If you make $100K US Token per year in income, this is not the same as $100K US Token from a business. You can sell that business for a minimum of $400K US Token (4x earnings in a terrible situation/bad business model). This is 4x your annual income. You cannot sell your career or job.
Step 2 – The Right Skills and the Right Initial Business: If something can be learned in less than a month it's *not* a transferable skill. Transferable skills are skills that are unique to you. A simple person to person example?
Someone tall should focus on sports where height is a benefit (not a jockey for horse racing). Someone who can jump high should focus on sports related to that particular skill. Figure out what your skills are and build from there. If you still have zero skills after reading this paragraph then go into sales since it is a skill EVERYONE must be good at. No exceptions.
Sales: You already knew this one was coming. If you're good at sales you will always make $200K+. Emphasis on good. You sell to people with money (primarily older women worried about their fading looks) or you sell extremely expensive items to wealthy men (insecurity once again).
That's generally how the market is split up. If you are good at sales you are not selling to your typical middle class man. Why? He is usually a weird frugal guy who refuses to buy anything. You sell to either women or you sell to wealthy men who are willing to pay a premium for high quality products/services.
Target insecurity. Luxury items are the best for this.
Once you understand how to sell, you want to go into B2B sales. This means business to business transactions since the dollar value is higher (so are the margins).
Showcase Skills: Whatever you are good at. If you are a fitness trainer for now, you should put yourself in situations to show your skills. This will naturally drive clients/business to you. If you are good at video design, you should do tons of video work until you are “noticed”. This is the easiest way to “network”. Networking just means ability to show your skills and eventually someone will see it.
Production Improvement: This is *largely* overlooked. Many people say "I can't think of a new idea or product". So what? It doesn't matter. What about improving the actual efficiency of the product or business.
This is either on the cost side or on the revenue side of the equation! If you tell a company that you can reduce its costs (Total Cost of Ownership = TCO) by 50% at a cost of just 5%? They are going to hand you money.
On the other side... If you can improve their sales funnel that results in a revenue increase of 5-10%? They will pay you a few hundred basis points for that product. You don't need to recreate the wheel. Make the wheel run smoother.
Basic Maintenance Business (Basic Recurring Revenue): The clearest example would be property management. Creating a stream of income in a niche neighborhood and managing properties for wealthy individuals. Once you gain the trust of a few wealthy men? They will refer you to other wealthy individuals looking for some monthly income.
Once you've gotten the tasks down (insurance, good tenant screening, solid marketing of each rental property) it becomes a easy monthly paycheck. You can do this for many other industries as well.
Continuity: You're able to private label your product and you've set up a monthly rebill. All your income comes from the re-bill and gaining the customer is the real headache. The manufacturing of the product is meaningless since anyone can set up the infrastructure in China (even an fool can do this!). The real skill is getting the quality up, getting the sale completed and making sure other people don't try to steal all of your market share.
The best example is one everyone knows of... NetFlix. Probably the best re-bill on the planet (perhaps the mortgage market is even better since there is emotional attachment to making the house payment)
Step 3: Onto $1M US Token or 10 BTC (Not a Typo)
You need to invest about three years to be free. Sticking by this mantra. If you work long hours 60-80 hours a week for about three years, the skills you acquire will set you in the right direction. If you attempt to shortcut the pain, chances are you’re NGMI.
Life has a weird way to making people pay the “tax” to become successful.
The above assumes extremely low values for your business (assuming it is growing). It assumes you don’t get promoted quickly. It assumes you get 0% investment returns for a decade. It also assumes that you give up entirely after a decade and decide to move to Thailand.
Year 1: Get a high paying job and try to be well liked politically. Once you are well liked within 6 months… since first impressions last a long time… You can then build skills in copywriting
Year 2: We assume you are still building skills, this is honestly extremely conservative
Year 3: You figured out the office politics game and you are on your way to clean promotions. No need to try harder. You have enough skills and launch your first business
Year 4: You make your first $5K online. It isn’t much but its able to pay all of your utility bills and you realize it is 100% possible to make money online
Year 5: You sell a niche product and it ends up generating enough money to pay for rent expenses a couple of grand a month!
Year 6: You get your breakout year, promotion and a good year in the business which leads to a livable wage
Year 7-8: You hit a rough patch and stagnate but still earn about the same for a few years. You have a new small niche idea unrelated to your current small biz
Year 9-10: The niche is successful and is starting to make money while you suddenly realize you’re a millionaire. No excitement no nothing. You’re easily worth a million US Tokens
Business Sales Multiples: At this point you’re going to become “unemployable”. As your online biz catches up to your corporate income, you will end up quitting (When it generates 2x your career income). If you sell your biz at 5x earnings at $100K a year (later) this is $500K. This is 10 years worth of income for the average US household (in a single day), this would be 100 years of savings at a 10% rate. You’re set.
Source for above is pitchbook.com. Software and other high margin businesses are way higher than this! The sky is the limit.
Step 4 How Much Does This Process Cost: Instead of giving you a vague answer of "it depends" we'll give you a real answer. If you're looking at a business that you believe can generate $1-2 million US Tokens per year, the start-up cost is usually around $50K. This is exactly why low level, high-risk angel investment rounds come in at roughly $25K. They want a large portion of equity in exchange for covering half of the cost for you. There are millions of markets and the number can of course be larger or smaller.
Before moving on… this is why you need to save money your first three years. Yes. It sucks. You are forced to limit your partying/going out to a day or two per week. And. It is worth it. You get to save enough money to start your own small business. If you spend less to start up... your addressable market is *usually* smaller. So on and so forth. It is impossible to give an exact cost breakdown but we'll go ahead and try.
1) $5K demand check (10%). You start with a quick demand check before you even get started with your idea. If you're going in blind without even bothering to check for demand, you're playing with fire. With social media, Google and many other tools on the internet... You can drop $5K to make sure there is a potential market. You can easily spend $500 in a day without anyone batting an eye at Google, Facebook or otherwise.
It is straight forward. Send traffic to the sales page, see how much converts. If conversion rate is awful then you’re screwed. Have to come up with a new idea. A good/great conversion rate on paid ads is around 3-5%.
2) $10K website design/sales page (20%). You can do it on the cheap yourself for a few hundreds dollars. If you want it done at an elite level, you need to hire a real designer. Get everything set up cleanly and if the product fails, you'll have a template to use later. Just make sure this page is rock solid.
3) $20-25K product manufacturing and design (50% or so). This is the bulk of the costs. You have to find a place to produce your product. Send samples back and forth. Commit to a minimum number of units etc. You will pull your hair out during this process.
4) $10K miscellaneous specific items for your company. Unlike the first three items, this is vague because it is literally impossible to know what you're making or where the problems will arise. There is one thing for sure however... problems will arise. Payment processing, quality control on the product, incorrect targeting etc. Something will go wrong and you'll lose at least $10K.
No Ideas? Great. Go into affiliate marketing. If you have no skills and no money to start with, you have to learn copywriting. Take a product that you know sells well and become an affiliate. This forces you to convert sales on their behalf! This costs less money and it also forces you to become good at paid ads.
Step 5: Scale, Scale, Scale – Spend, Spend, Spend
Well now that you’re a US Token millionaire, it is time to scale and try to get rich/wealthy. If this is rich/wealthy for you, that is great. You’re going to get bored. And? Go back to the same video game. The video game of trying to make money.
For better or worse, our background is actually in paid ads. This current project (building out a decentralized platform) and hoping that small businesses spring up around it is a HUGE undertaking. We could fail miserably (no risk, no reward!)
We’ve never really done an organic campaign before. Organic campaigns are harder in terms of scale but easier in terms of retention (if you target smart people they are usually the most likely to build things of value).
That is neither here nor there.
What is important is learning paid ads. Paid ads will guarantee that you are always making money if you can convert. A classic question is “If you’re spending $1 per ad and it’s making you $1.00001 per dollar spent… What should you do?” The answer is you spend billions as long as it is making you a return! Normally, you would want to adjust the ad and make it better. And. This misses the point about paid ads. As long as the ads are making you money, you run them until they turn red.
Paid Ads: A person is in Pain or they are seeking Pleasure. Provide a solution to get rid of the pain or provide a solution to obtain pleasure. That is how you sell. In 99/100 scenarios you want to sell with Pain not with pleasure. Don’t try to sell with logic. Start selling with emotion.
This is the most mind boggling concept for people who focus primarily on numeric based skill sets. Engineers and Quants in particular attempt to apply logic to humans and it simply doesn't work. People make their purchasing decisions based on emotion and feelings. This applies to wealthier people as well. The only difference is that the wealthy person *does research* and makes sure he clears enough "utility" from the purchase.
Men who are desperately looking to get rich quick will shell out thousands of dollars for “get rich quick schemes” and women who seek beauty will pay top dollar for any physical improvement. That really boils down the two sexes in a single sentence. Men want money to elevate their “worth/status”. Women want looks to elevate their “worth/status”. The numbers are clear as day when you look at both industries.
Want a Starting Point? Informercials for Pain: Infomercials are not there for fun. They are spending money on the airtime. Notice... What products are being sold? Primarily: 1) products for lazy people, 2) depression/insomnia products and 3) alcoholic recovery products.
Laziness Products: This makes sense. The type of person watching infomercials late at night is likely a procrastinator. They see a "cool gadget" that will save them 5 seconds on dicing tomatoes... This gives them an extra 5 seconds to watch more television! Hooray!
Depression/Insomnia Products: This also makes sense. A lot of *late night* infomercials are targeting people with sleeping issues. Someone is up watching TV all night at 2 in the morning.
Typically, before these commercials come on, at around 10pm or so… they have "dating products" because if you're at home watching TV on a Friday/Saturday night you're likely lonely. So. Sign up for eHarmony! Then when the viewer has not taken action and feels depressed at around 1am... Boom! Here are some depression/insomnia medication products!
Alcoholic Recovery Products: The last subset is the alcoholic recovery section. A lot of people come back from another depressing night out trying to score at the bar and stumble onto their couch to watch TV. Many of these people have serious alcohol issues and the infomercial is right there to "save them".
Pleasure Commercials: Go watch the commercials for any major *sporting* event and you'll primarily find beverage and insurance commercials. Alcoholic commercials are clear as day. You're watching a fun event. You want to be entertained. Nothing better than a "cold one" to increase your pleasure.
The best example we can think of from the sports industry is actually Rolex. They are tied directly to Tennis. If you’ve watched a tennis tournament on TV/live you know that Rolex is the sponsor. It’s hard to explain. The brand is directly linked to tennis in such a way that the average person on the street will recognize the consistency. Smart move by Rolex as the customer base for tennis is usually wealthy.
Step 6: Stay Focused Usually a Lot of Nothing
If you’ve succeeded in anything, you notice that a lot of life is “nothing”. This means?
Results are not linear. Just like sports, you want to “peak” or “improve suddenly” towards the end of the season. Life is the exact same thing except it is on steroids. If you don’t think about quitting at least 10 times before it becomes successful, you’re not going to see the rewards
In the media you’re taught that you get better every day. This just isn’t how life works. Reality is a lot more volatile.
You saw this on the old blog. We’ve considered quitting at least 20 times but there is a clear opportunity to create a decentralized entity where tons of small players can create mini income streams. We’re placing our bets there and have no problems with people building around the jungle concept.
The last 2-3 years have been painful, since running an e-book biz at break-even (and eventually a loss when we dumped it into Clownhattan) is not “fun”. Maybe we end up being wrong. And. It sure beats letting the institutions and hedge funds steal all the coins from retail.
We don’t know what you’re good at. Maybe it is a sport, maybe it is sales, maybe it is something in tech. All we ask is that you think back. With your biggest accomplishment, was it tons of nothing and a sudden a big step up? We’d wager yes.
The real world is no different. Businesses have the same inflections! Just be willing to eat losses/pain for long periods of time.
Step 7: Be Smart
The world is going to be in a tough spot over the next couple of years. The job market is weak, students have tons of debt and many people lost everything in 2020. Instead of being full of yourself, take the extra money and tip waiters, bartenders, barbers, etc. 50%. This is a better use of your money than the insecurity complex of a Lambo “Hey look how rich I am! I am so important that I have to show it!” (in the real world no one successful needs to prove it, everyone in the room already knows who they are).
Said another way “Fame is just harassment from regular people” – Throwback to a 2014 quote!
The vast majority of people will not take action on anything here so you’re really competing against practically no one. The vast majority will just say “wow that makes sense” and go back to watching Netflix or a sports game. The rare people who try will also give up within a year (usually takes 3 years to see good returns). This is why you need to be smart about vocalizing your accomplishments
As a rule of thumb you always make 70-80% of what someone else makes. You need to practice the art of downplaying income generation. If someone makes $200K a year, say you make $150K. If you’re in a room full of ultra successful people like yourself, say you make “$500K” if the average person in the room is making a million. As you move up, it is actually smarter to lie down *more* as you avoid the inevitable ego battle.
People with nothing to lose are scary. Do not give them a reason to act on their emotions.
Step 8: Mentally Remain Checked In
This is not going to be easy. The seven steps above make it seem like a cake walk. It isn’t. When you start something new there is an incredible amount of stress. You’re staring into a black hole with no one to help you. No one.
Even this project has somehow created a lot of tension/anxiety. Why? No idea.
Our guess is that the strategy is 100% new, 100% different and 100% unproven. While the money part doesn’t matter (already financially independent) when you try something entirely new, there is a different type of stress.
Below are some quick “tricks” to help you remain sane when things are looking bleak
1) Ask yourself, are you delivering *more* value than 10x the price of what you’re offering? Using this website as an example. $100 is 1,000x more value than a college education and easily 50x better than competition (Charging $5-10K a year). It isn’t even debatable at this point
2) Don’t do work when you’re mad. If you do work when you’re actually mad the quality will decline. Neutral to happy is best.
3) Is your audience growing? Even if it goes from 10% growth to 1% for a while, growth is growth. The bigger you get the more volatile it gets. +20%, 0%, 0%, 10%, -4%, +14% etc.
4) Are you excited to do the work? If the answer is no, you should get ready to sell the business. If the answer is yes? Continue. Your interest will shine through in the quality
5) Avoid drugs, alcohol and stimulants during a down day/week. If you get in the habit of masking your bad days with drugs you will end up the same as the people at happy hour. Desperately waiting for a time to drink to reset their entire mental framework.
Step 9: ????
Once you find your niche you’ll have your own additional skills/tricks. Keep them to yourself and use them to build up your own income streams. Chances are… you will find a niche within about 3 years and hit it “big” in about 5-6 years (averages from what we’ve seen). If you start at age 22 or age 32 or age 42 it doesn’t seem to matter. The one difference is the guy at age 22 has a ton of energy while the guy at age 42 needs to make some big sacrifices/decisions related to what he values most in his life.
Nothing here is to be deemed legal or financial advice in any way. These articles are simply opinions written by a Cartoon Bull Avatar run by anonymous individuals.
I didn't want to post this on Twitter, to not have people I know, have more insight into my life and finances... I just wanted to state that I started following years ago and the decisions I've made in my life followed the early advice given which mimics what's on this post. Moved into sales, crushing it big now, and took a shot at doing something on my own, which I will say was extremely nerve-wracking as I was concerned about what my company would think if they found out.
I have since closed a decent amount of business that will cover my expenses. It's hard to see it when you start off poor like I did but it almost feels not real sometimes. You guys have helped people that came from lesser places (In my case, Latin kid from The Bronx) to make huge changes that have put me on equal footing with people who have advanced degrees, ivy, etc in the fund/PE space that I work with today.
This also allowed me to not even care about the recent crypto crash. I know the money is coming in and I don't need to worry about selling because I'm secure, just need to build and make it.
This may not mean much but thank you guys
Are we all just gonna ignore the fact that even a $20k business (not even $2k per month) can be sold for $100k!?
No need to get intimidated when thinking about it. Just get started.
Brilliant post - let’s fucking go!