Ignoring Doubt and Embracing Success (with Flex Lewis) Pt. 2 March ‘23 Ep 619



In this episode, the host and guest, Alex Hormozi, explore the intricacies of entrepreneurial success, personal branding, and the delicate balance between passion and business. Alex candidly shares his journey from fitness enthusiast to gym owner, revealing the transformation of his passion into a job and the consequential loss of enjoyment in training. He emphasizes the importance of seasons in life, allocating time to various aspects such as relationships, fitness, and business, and discusses the concept of 'minimum effective dose' to maintain progress without backsliding. Alex also delves into productivity hacks like early rising and no morning meetings, and the significance of deep work. He stresses the importance of knowing the input-output equation for success, ignoring naysayers, and the power of consistent, focused effort. The conversation also touches on the strategic approach to business, including the identification of constraints, leveraging personal branding for business opportunities, and the need to say 'no' to focus on growth. Alex offers insights into his business structure at Holdco and the importance of recruiting top talent to scale businesses effectively. Finally, Alex and the host discuss the critical nature of selecting the right business opportunity that aligns with one's skills and desired problems to solve, advocating for a singular focus on a 'whale' rather than scattering efforts across multiple ventures.

Summary Notes

Overcoming Doubt and Persistence in Success

  • Ignoring naysayers and self-doubt is crucial for long-term success.
  • Persistence in your actions leads to success over time.
  • The podcast aims to discuss customer acquisition, monetization, retention, and lessons learned.

"You ignore everybody who tells you that you're wrong and tells you that you're not going to get there. And most of all, you ignore the thoughts that you were telling yourself about why you're not going to get there. Because you are wrong on a long enough time horizon if you do the thing. And so if you do that, it becomes unreasonable that you won't succeed."

This quote emphasizes the importance of perseverance and ignoring external and internal negativity to achieve success. It sets the tone for the podcast's focus on business growth strategies and learning from failures.

The Impact of Monetizing Passions

  • Transitioning a passion into work can diminish its enjoyment.
  • A mentor advised against monetizing passions to maintain their joy.
  • The speaker experienced a shift in their relationship with fitness after opening a gym.

"I actually had a mentor tell me. He said, never monetize your passion. He's like, because it becomes work."

The quote reflects the mentor's advice, suggesting that turning a passion into a business can lead to a loss of enjoyment, as it becomes just another job.

Training and Fitness as a Business Owner

  • Fitness was a passion until it became a job.
  • Training became a requirement for maintaining the image of a gym owner.
  • The speaker views life in seasons, focusing on different priorities at different times.
  • Maintaining fitness requires less effort once a certain level is achieved.

"I've got seasons of relationship building with Leila. I've got seasons of physique stuff. I've got seasons of work business wise."

The quote explains the speaker's approach to balancing different aspects of life by dividing them into 'seasons' and focusing on each one at different times, implying a strategic approach to personal and professional life.

Productivity and Focus

  • Early mornings are key for productivity.
  • Avoiding meetings before noon allows for deep work.
  • Setting a daily goal the night before helps maintain focus.
  • The speaker shares their personal productivity strategies and routines.

"If someone just did those two things, I don't start working at four. I probably start working around six. So I'll wake up at five, have a cup of coffee with layla, hang out, whatever. At 06:00 I start working from six to noon."

This quote highlights the speaker's morning routine and suggests that starting work early and avoiding early meetings can significantly enhance productivity.

Seasonal Focus and Prioritization

  • Defining seasons of life helps manage time and focus on specific goals.
  • A "season of no" involves declining opportunities that distract from main objectives.
  • Priorities must be clear, and the minimum effective dose of non-priorities should be identified.

"We look at each other, we're like, this is going to be a season of no. And so we stick to that season until the thing is done."

The quote illustrates the concept of a "season of no," where the speaker and their partner consciously decide to focus on specific goals and decline other opportunities that may distract them.

Personal Branding and Business Growth

  • The personal brand is seen as a responsibility that facilitates business deals.
  • Content creation for personal branding is systematic and team-supported.
  • The speaker's personal brand growth is acknowledged as time-consuming but strategic.

"So I see the personal brand as part of my responsibility from a business perspective. That is what brings in a lot of the deals that we do, is people who saw me on Instagram read the book and then decide to apply@acquisition.com."

This quote explains how the speaker leverages their personal brand as a business tool to attract deals and opportunities, highlighting the strategic integration of personal branding into business development.

Social Media Strategy

  • Alex enjoys Twitter and tweets 3-5 times daily.
  • Tweets are expanded into short format video explanations.
  • Some tweets have deeper stories, leading to long-form content for podcasts and YouTube.
  • The content creation cycle is based on a 14-day schedule.

"And so I tweet probably three to five times every day. And so then I take my tweets, and then we get in front of the camera, and I just basically explain with more context what the tweet was about in a short format. And then probably four of those tweets out of like, 30 have a deeper story to it. And so we then make four or five long pieces of content that become podcasts and YouTube videos from that."

The quote explains Alex's content strategy, where daily tweets are a starting point for creating both short and long-form content, with a focus on providing additional context and storytelling.

Business Operations and Growth

  • Alex's day-to-day activities include writing a book, managing cash flow projections, and due diligence calls for investment opportunities.
  • He also engages in recruitment for scaling companies, looking for potential CEOs or COOs.

"And then the rest of the time, it's write the book. Cash flow projections from a deal, hopping on with doing a diligence call with a senior leader at a company we're thinking about investing in and seeing if we think that they're the person who's going to take it to the next level."

This quote outlines the various tasks that Alex undertakes to grow his businesses, including strategic recruitment and financial management.

Company Structure and Strategy

  • Alex runs a holding company (Holdco) with a team of about 25 people.
  • Holdco operates on the theory of constraints, focusing on identifying and solving the single constraint that impedes business growth.
  • The company has subject matter experts to address specific constraints like sales, marketing, or logistics.
  • The goal is to deconstrain the business for continuous growth.
  • Holdco also has a strong recruiting function to find and place top talent within portfolio companies.

"We have subject matter experts across departments, because typically we operate from theory of constraint, which is that every single business is not growing because of a single constraint and a system will grow until it is constrained again."

This quote delves into the operational philosophy of Holdco, emphasizing the importance of identifying and overcoming business constraints to facilitate growth.

Entrepreneurial Advice for Startups

  • For entrepreneurs starting out, Alex advises to sell one thing to one person on one channel.
  • Consistency is key to moving from six to seven figures.
  • Scaling further may require back-end products to increase customer lifetime value.

"Sell one thing to one person on one channel. So a lot of people try and get really cute and try to do lots of things, but zero to six figures, which is really just sell something to a specific customer on one channel."

Alex provides clear advice for new entrepreneurs, emphasizing focus and simplicity in the initial stages of business growth.

Starting a Business

  • Alex outlines a step-by-step process for starting a business, including setting up an LLC, opening a bank account, and processing payments.
  • The emphasis is on direct sales and delivering the promised product or service.

"First thing I'd say is, be you, not me, because you're not going to beat me and be, you know, one, get an LLC set up through the legal zoom. Two, go to take the LLC to bank and get them to give you a bank account. Step three, set that bank account, hook it up to stripe or PayPal to get a way to process money."

Alex offers a practical guide for starting a business, highlighting the importance of legal and financial setup and the need to focus on sales and service delivery.

Personal Growth and Networking

  • Flex shares his own journey of personal growth and the importance of being around people who inspire improvement.
  • Both Flex and Alex stress the importance of learning from failures and continuously striving for betterment.

"You got to get beaten down. You got to be and have an incredible mindset to focus forward and learn from every mistake that has come."

Flex's quote underscores the necessity of resilience and a strong mindset for personal development and success.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Humility

  • Alex and Flex discuss the importance of humility and learning in entrepreneurship.
  • They agree that success is earned through hard work and not given.
  • Alex encourages sharing knowledge and resources with other entrepreneurs.

"The only way this grows is through word of mouth. And so I don't run ads, I don't do sponsorships. I don't sell anything. My only ask is that you continue to pay it forward to whoever showed you or however you found out about this podcast, that you do the exact same thing."

Alex emphasizes the role of community and word-of-mouth promotion in growing entrepreneurial ventures, highlighting his personal approach to sharing value without direct monetization.

Identifying and Solving Problems

  • To achieve success, one must determine the problem they are trying to solve.
  • Different scenarios must be played out to find the optimal solution for the identified problem.
  • It is crucial to choose which problem you prefer to solve after considering the possible outcomes of each scenario.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of these steps through personal examples and hypothetical scenarios, such as bodybuilding and career choices.

"So my three favorite questions to ask when we're trying to make a big strategic decision is, number one, what problem we're trying to solve. Number two is let's play it out. And number three is which problem would you prefer?"

The quote highlights the three critical questions Alex uses to make strategic decisions. These questions help in clarifying the objective, exploring potential outcomes, and deciding on the preferable challenge to tackle.

Input-Output Equation for Success

  • Knowing the input-output equation is essential for success.
  • One must identify the primary actions that will accumulate benefits over time.
  • Alex lists ways to acquire customers as an example of understanding the input-output equation.
  • Without knowledge of the necessary inputs, achieving the desired outputs is improbable.

"If you do not know the input output equation for how you're going to be successful, you will not be successful."

This quote stresses the importance of understanding the actions required to achieve success. Alex is asserting that success is unattainable without this knowledge.

Persistence and Ignoring Doubt

  • Success requires consistency in performing the identified actions.
  • Doubts, both from others and oneself, should be disregarded.
  • Creating "unreasonable equations" for oneself can set a foundation for inevitable success.
  • Alex advocates for a relentless approach to action-taking, based on the belief that sustained effort over time makes success a reasonable expectation.

"And you ignore everybody who tells you that you're wrong and tells you that you're not going to get there. And most of all, you ignore the thoughts that you were telling yourself about why you're not going to get there, because you are wrong on a long enough time horizon, if you do the thing."

The quote encourages ignoring external and internal negativity and focusing on the actions that lead to success. Alex suggests that with enough time and effort, self-doubt will be proven wrong.

Time Management and Prioritization

  • Time should be allocated efficiently to prioritize actions that lead to success.
  • Alex advises against engaging in time-wasting activities and to focus on the few inputs that matter most.
  • The concept of opportunity cost is implied, where time spent on non-essential activities could be redirected towards goal-oriented tasks.

"Because the people who are further ahead of you have no more time than you do. They do things differently than you."

Alex points out that successful individuals do not have more time than others; they simply use their time more effectively by focusing on critical tasks and eliminating unproductive activities.

Embracing the Learning Process

  • It is important to engage in activities that align with one's interests and to iterate based on experiences.
  • Alex discusses the value of directionally correct action over inaction due to a lack of perfect information.
  • He emphasizes that practical experience is more valuable than theoretical knowledge, especially when starting out.
  • The process of starting and learning from multiple businesses is highlighted as a path to eventual success.

"So the only thing you can do, taste, and then iterate."

This quote encapsulates the idea of starting with an action, learning from it, and then making adjustments based on the experience gained, rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity or complete information.

Acceptance of Past Choices

  • Both Alex and Flex express contentment with their past decisions, as they have led them to their current positions.
  • They acknowledge the importance of every experience in shaping their journeys, suggesting a belief in a deterministic or fate-driven path.
  • The "butterfly effect" is mentioned as a reason to avoid changing past decisions, due to the potential for unintended consequences.

"Not really, because I like where I am and I wouldn't want to mess with that. And so I wouldn't want to butterfly affect my way out of not being in the position I'm in."

Alex expresses satisfaction with his life's trajectory and a reluctance to alter past decisions for fear of losing his current status, illustrating the acceptance of one's life path and the cumulative impact of all experiences.

Selecting the Right Opportunity Vehicle

  • The process of choosing the right opportunity involves assessing personal skills and matching them to available opportunities.
  • Identifying the most challenging aspect of each opportunity is crucial to determine which one aligns with personal preferences and strengths.
  • The goal is to find the opportunity with the highest leverage that matches one's skill set and a problem one is confident in solving.
  • Inputs and outputs should be analyzed to maximize the number of inputs for achieving the desired outcome.

"So picking the right opportunity vehicle a lot of times comes from, like, what problem are we solving?"

This quote emphasizes the importance of problem-solving in the process of selecting an opportunity. The idea is that the opportunity should be chosen based on the problem one is most equipped and eager to solve.

"Which of these three problems that are the hardest parts of this is the one that you'd prefer to tackle?"

The relevance of this quote lies in the necessity to identify and confront the most significant challenges within an opportunity and choose the one where the individual feels most capable and motivated.

Post-Retirement Opportunities and Focus

  • Flex discusses the abundance of opportunities he faces after retirement and the challenge of choosing the right path.
  • He mentions the enjoyment of hosting a podcast and sharing knowledge, yet questions whether it is the best use of his time.
  • Flex draws parallels between dedication in bodybuilding and the effort required in business and personal life, acknowledging the necessity of focus to excel in any endeavor.

"I got so much opportunity in every different direction now that I've retired."

Flex's statement highlights the overwhelming number of choices and directions available to him post-retirement, indicating the difficulty in narrowing down to a single focus.

"It's just putting effort into something and becoming good at it, because you're going to fail."

This quote underscores the universal principle of effort leading to mastery, regardless of the field, and acknowledges the inevitability of failure as a part of the learning process.

The Concept of the "Whale" in Opportunity Selection

  • Alex suggests that instead of chasing many small opportunities, one should focus on finding a significant, high-impact opportunity, referred to as the "whale."
  • The anecdote about a world-class athlete with multiple businesses illustrates the power of focus and the potential for success when concentrating efforts on a single venture.
  • The equation for success (volume times leverage equals output) is introduced, emphasizing the importance of leverage in maximizing returns on effort.

"I think to answer the original thing, if I were to give my one two cent on it, it would be, you need to find another Moby Dick because right now it's like you're chasing lots of little fish, but you need to find the whale."

Alex's advice to Flex is to seek a substantial and impactful opportunity, akin to hunting a whale instead of many small fish, to achieve greater success.

"Volume times leverage equals output."

This formula provided by Alex encapsulates the relationship between the quantity of effort, the leverage of each action, and the resulting success, highlighting the significance of choosing activities with high leverage.

Entrepreneurial Commitment and Decision-Making

  • Alex discusses the importance of dedicating a significant period, like five to seven years, to a single entrepreneurial endeavor.
  • He introduces the concept of "entrepreneur seasons," suggesting that entrepreneurs have a limited number of significant opportunities they can pursue in their lifetime.
  • The discussion emphasizes the critical nature of making informed and strategic decisions about which opportunities to pursue.

"It's the most important decision you can make in your entrepreneurial career. What are you going to dedicate the next five to seven to."

This quote by Alex stresses the gravity of committing to an entrepreneurial venture and the impact of such a decision on one's career trajectory.

"I've got maybe like eight seasons in me from beginning to end."

Alex's metaphor of "entrepreneur seasons" conveys the idea that an entrepreneur has a finite number of opportunities to make a significant impact, necessitating careful selection.

The Infinite Game of Life and Business

  • Alex provides a parting thought on the nature of life and business as an infinite game, where the objective is to keep playing rather than to win.
  • He advises that the key to success is to persist and not quit, as the only way to lose in business is to stop trying.
  • The infinite game concept applies to various aspects of life, including health, marriage, and business.

"Once you pick, just don't stop."

Alex's final piece of advice is to persist in the chosen path, emphasizing the importance of continuous effort and perseverance in achieving long-term success.

"The point of the game is to keep the game going."

This quote encapsulates the philosophy of the infinite game, where the goal is not to reach a definitive end but to maintain progress and stay in the game.

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