Uncovering Insights And Wisdom With Your Future Self (with Danny Miranda) Pt.2 July ‘23 Ep 613



In a candid conversation, Alex Hormosi delves into the entrepreneurial psyche, addressing the transition from fear-driven action to faith-based decisions. He reflects on his own journey, noting how fear and anger initially propelled him, and how over six years, he gradually incorporated enjoyment into his work ethic. Hormosi emphasizes the importance of reducing liabilities to make strategic decisions and recounts his early struggles, including sleeping on a gym floor to avoid dual rent costs. He candidly shares his fear of failure and the extreme lengths he would have gone to avoid returning home defeated. Hormosi discusses the psychological concept of the Solomon paradox, suggesting that individuals give better advice to others than they take themselves, and introduces the Solomon Project, a self-coaching technique involving dialogue with one's future self. He also touches on the pitfalls of success, how it can lead to alienation, and the power of documenting one's journey, especially during low points, as they become pivotal narratives upon reflection. Hormosi concludes by challenging listeners to define their input-output equation for success and to exponentially increase their input to achieve their goals, highlighting the importance of leveraging resources and gradually relinquishing control for business growth.

Summary Notes

Entrepreneurial Journey and Emotional Fuel

  • The entrepreneurial journey often requires one to abandon the initial motivation that led to quitting a job.
  • The process of transitioning from a job to entrepreneurship is driven by various emotions, including fear and anger.
  • Over time, the emotional fuel for entrepreneurship can evolve from negative emotions to more positive motivations, such as enjoyment of the work.
  • Long-term thinking and strategic planning become feasible once basic financial needs are met, reducing the fight-or-flight mentality.

"Fear and anger are what drove me to take action. Like, I didn't have a lot of faith, I had a lot of anger, and that's what I had. And so that's what I used."

This quote explains that the speaker was primarily driven by negative emotions, rather than faith or confidence, when they started their entrepreneurial journey.

"I just do the things that I enjoy and that I've been rewarded for doing in the past."

The speaker indicates a shift in their motivation from negative emotions to doing what they find rewarding and enjoyable.

"You decrease your liabilities. You decrease all of the things that stress you out."

Here, the speaker suggests that reducing financial stressors can help entrepreneurs make better decisions and adopt a longer-term perspective.

The Reality of Entrepreneurial Sacrifice

  • The romanticized view of entrepreneurial hardship does not align with the reality of the experience.
  • The speaker endured significant personal sacrifice, including sleeping on a gym floor, to pursue their business goals.
  • The perception of suffering and sacrifice can be starkly different from the glorified versions portrayed on social media.

"I slept at the gym. And I remember I would read the Instagram motivation manifesto when it was just like, stock images of girls that were like, chase your dreams, whatever, and I'd be like."

The speaker reflects on the contrast between the motivational messages on social media and the harsh reality of their own entrepreneurial sacrifices.

"The rocky cutscene lasts 30 seconds in the movie and lasts five years in your life."

This quote highlights the discrepancy between the brief, glorified depiction of struggle in media and the prolonged, gritty reality of entrepreneurship.

Persistence and Resilience

  • The fear of failure and the determination not to return home as a failure were powerful motivators for the speaker.
  • The speaker considered extreme measures, such as driving Uber and stripping, as potential backup plans to avoid failure.
  • The concept of relentless work, akin to the historical context of slavery, is used as a metaphor for the speaker's level of commitment to their goals.

"I didn't know if I was going to win, but I did know I wasn't going to stop."

This quote encapsulates the speaker's mindset of unwavering persistence despite the uncertainty of success.

"For me, I wasn't in an extreme scenario like that. But it felt that way because to me, the idea of going home a failure might as well have been death."

The speaker compares their fear of failure to the extreme conditions of slavery, emphasizing the intensity of their drive to succeed.

The Role of Imagined Adversaries

  • The speaker creates "fake enemies" in their mind to fuel their motivation and drive.
  • They criticize the advice often given to entrepreneurs to follow their passion, arguing that passion is developed through action and success, not pre-existing.

"I will fabricate other people talking shit about me who aren't even thinking about."

The speaker admits to inventing adversaries as a psychological tactic to motivate themselves.

"You don't fall in love with things unless you're good. And you only get good at things if you suck first."

This quote challenges the common advice to pursue passion, suggesting that proficiency and passion are the results of perseverance through initial failure.

Modern-Day Health and Lifestyle Concerns

  • The speaker speculates on what current practices might be viewed as misguided in the future, similar to how smoking is perceived today.
  • They express concern about the widespread use of medications for mental health without fully understanding their long-term effects on the brain.

"I think brain meds are like, we have no idea what's going on in the brain."

The speaker suggests that the current approach to mental health medication might be seen as naive or reckless by future generations.

Historical Perspectives on Mental Health Treatments

  • Shock therapy and lobotomies are viewed with disbelief in modern times.
  • Concerns are raised about the early prescription of psychotropic drugs to children.
  • There is an acknowledgment of the potential for abuse where solutions are offered to meet a need.

"Shock therapy of, like, 50 years ago. We're like, I can't believe we did that. Or like, lobotomies, you know what I mean? I can't believe we used to do that."

This quote reflects a sense of disbelief and criticism towards historical mental health treatments that are now considered crude or inappropriate.

Systemic Issues and Accountability

  • Comparison made with workers' compensation issues.
  • Challenges in creating systems that are fair without being exploitable.
  • The speaker identifies as a "global optimizer" but a "local minimizer," suggesting a willingness to make small sacrifices for greater good.
  • The media's role in sensationalizing individual cases is criticized for impeding societal progress.

"And so it's kind of like workers comp. Charlie Munger talks about this, but it's like, it is absolutely wrong that someone should work and get injured on the job and not be compensated by the company that they were doing work rightfully so, for."

This quote highlights the ethical necessity of compensating employees for workplace injuries while also recognizing the systemic challenges of implementing fair compensation practices.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Optimization

  • People and groups tend to optimize for short-term rewards rather than long-term benefits.
  • Predicting behavior can often be based on the immediate rewards available.
  • There is difficulty in making informed decisions that are not solely based on short-term outcomes.

"Should we print more money or should we reel things back? Well, short term, this one's better. That's what we'll do."

This quote illustrates the common preference for short-term solutions, such as printing more money, despite potential long-term consequences.

Personal Approach to Control and Influence

  • The speaker dislikes discussing politics and focuses on areas they can control.
  • The speaker's father influenced their approach to only engage in situations where success is likely.
  • Preparation and understanding the rules of the game are key to success.
  • The importance of defining success metrics and goals is emphasized.

"I've never been in it ever. I've just never gotten involved because I try to play games that I have variables that I have control over."

The speaker expresses a preference for engaging in activities where they have control and can influence the outcome, avoiding areas like politics where this is less feasible.

Media Consumption and Informed Decision-Making

  • The speaker discusses the difficulties of being informed in the current media landscape.
  • There is an emphasis on the importance of being an informed voter, despite the time investment required.
  • The speaker chooses not to engage in political discussions due to a lack of sufficient information.

"It takes weeks to be informed about what buttons you're pressing."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's belief that making informed decisions, such as voting, requires significant time and effort to understand the issues at hand.

Personal Impact and Contribution

  • The speaker values the personal impact they have made through their work and interactions with others.
  • There is a strong sense of responsibility to provide quality content and guidance.
  • The speaker shares motivational insights on perseverance and overcoming challenges.

"I get stopped in the street every day from multiple people being like, dude, I read your book. I quit my job, and I'm doing a million dollars a year."

The speaker takes pride in the positive impact their work has had on others, suggesting that their contributions have enabled others to achieve success.

Self-Reflection and Future Outlook

  • The speaker does not foresee a future in politics.
  • There is contentment expressed with the current path and the impact being made.
  • The speaker's focus is on areas where they feel they can make a difference.

"Not on any time horizon that I associate with the current identity that I have."

This quote indicates the speaker's lack of interest in pursuing a future in politics, as it does not align with their current identity or goals.

Engaging with Audience and Sharing Insights

  • The speaker encourages audience engagement and the sharing of the podcast to help more entrepreneurs.
  • A psychological concept known as the Solomon paradox is introduced.
  • The speaker discusses a personal practice of self-coaching for gaining insights.

"The only ask that I can ever have of you guys is that you help me spread the word so we can help more entrepreneurs make more money, feed their families make better products and have better experiences for their employees and customers."

The speaker requests audience support in sharing the podcast to extend its positive impact on entrepreneurs.

The Solomon Paradox

  • The Solomon Paradox is a concept where individuals give better advice to others than they follow themselves.
  • It has been studied in various contexts, including relationships, where individuals can clearly advise others in similar situations but fail to apply the same advice to their own lives.
  • The paradox suggests a disconnection between knowledge and personal application, possibly due to emotional detachment when advising others.

"The reason that it's a paradox is that he gave exceptional advice to everyone else, but his actual life was in ruins."

This quote explains the core of the Solomon Paradox, highlighting the contrast between the quality of advice given to others and the state of one's own life.

"And so they've studied this with relationships. They'll have somebody in a weird romantic relationship, tough setup. And they'll whitewash the names and say, hey, there's a lady. And she's getting beat by her husband once a month, and it's happened for four years. And this time, she says that her husband says that it's not going to happen again. What do you think that woman should do?"

The quote illustrates how the Solomon Paradox is studied, using anonymized scenarios to reveal how people advise others differently than they would act themselves.

Self-Advising and Accountability

  • Self-advising is a method of drawing upon one's own knowledge and context to guide personal decisions.
  • The speaker has found traditional therapy and performance coaching lacking due to the time needed to provide context for personalized advice.
  • The speaker introduced the concept of consulting an '85-year-old self' as a means to leverage complete context and aligned incentives for self-advising.
  • This practice is termed the "Solomon Project," which involves a recurring self-dialogue to hold oneself accountable.

"And so one of the issues that I've had with therapists and performance coaches and things like that is that I would say maybe I've spent like, five, maybe 10 hours in total in a setting like that. I'm not very good at it. And it's because I usually feel like I'm spending the majority of my time trying to give them enough context in order to give me advice."

This quote highlights the speaker's dissatisfaction with traditional therapy due to the inefficiency of providing sufficient personal context.

"And so sometimes it's really hard to hold yourself accountable. And so I'm just asking my 85 year old self to hold me accountable to what I say I want, right?"

The quote underscores the challenge of self-accountability and introduces the speaker's unique approach to addressing it by consulting an imagined future self.

The Importance of Documenting Life's Journey

  • Documenting life experiences, especially failures and low points, is crucial for understanding personal growth and success.
  • The speaker regrets not recording the struggles faced during the early stages of their career, as these moments are valuable for storytelling and learning.
  • The speaker emphasizes the long-term benefits of documenting life, which often outweighs the immediate costs or effort involved.

"And so I have a recurring calendar meetup with myself for an hour on Mondays. It's the first thing I do, and I have a back and forth dialogue with 85 year old me."

This quote describes the practical setup of the Solomon Project, illustrating the speaker's commitment to self-reflection and self-guidance through scheduled dialogues with their future self.

"The biggest regret I have is not documenting the failures. It's like not documenting the low points, because everyone wants to document the success story. But the only way you have a success story is if you show where you came from."

The speaker expresses regret for not capturing the challenges faced, emphasizing the importance of documenting the full journey, not just the successes, to provide context and learning opportunities.

Capture and Feedback Loops

  • The concept of "capture don't create" is mentioned, which suggests documenting real moments rather than trying to create content.
  • The speaker has shifted to documenting everything and recognizes the immediate benefits of doing so, particularly when sharing content publicly.
  • Posting documented experiences provides a feedback loop, which is especially important for moments that are difficult to remember or acknowledge.

"And so what I've tried to do with how we've oriented our life is that I give myself local benefit and global benefit. So I get fast feedback loops for documenting what we do now. And so we document everything."

This quote reflects the speaker's current practice of documenting life experiences for both immediate and long-term benefits, highlighting the value of feedback loops in reinforcing the habit of documentation.

Embracing the Human Experience

  • The human experience is defined by both the highs and the lows.
  • Embracing difficult times as part of life can provide a sense of gratitude.
  • Difficult experiences often lead to defining moments that shape our identities.
  • Conversing with one's future self can provide perspective and motivation to endure hardships.
  • The entrepreneurial journey is likened to enduring both "rainy days and sunny days."

"What makes the human experience in its entirety the human experience is the highs and the lows." "Embracing the totality of the experience can give you gratitude for what feels locally like a low point." "These will be the stories you tell."

These quotes highlight the importance of accepting both positive and negative experiences as integral parts of life, and how they contribute to the stories that define us.

Perspective on Adversity and Growth

  • A friend's experience with cancer provided a unique perspective on adversity.
  • Adversity, such as bankruptcy or illness, is seen as a part of being human.
  • The entrepreneurial journey is long and filled with challenges that require resilience.

"How cool is it that I get to live this part of the human experience?" "You can't skip weather." "That rocky cutscene is five years, not 30 seconds."

These quotes illustrate a mindset that values the experience of adversity and the recognition that overcoming challenges is a prolonged process, not a brief moment as often depicted in media.

The Evolution of Recognition and Support

  • Public perception and support can change as one progresses from struggle to success.
  • Initial support can turn into resentment as one surpasses the achievements of others.
  • The phenomenon of being celebrated only after achieving success is common.
  • Changes in how one is perceived are linked to the success and influence they gain.

"Everyone believes in the American dream until it comes true." "People root for you on your way up because you remind them of their dreams, and they try to tear you down once you're there because you remind them that they gave up on them."

These quotes reflect on the paradox of support, where initial encouragement can shift to envy or criticism as one achieves their goals, reminding others of their own abandoned dreams.

The Impact of Changing Environments

  • Changing one's environment can lead to significant personal and professional growth.
  • Old environments can reinforce past behaviors, while new ones can foster change.
  • The story of Jesus not being accepted as a messiah in his hometown is used as a metaphor.

"If you want to become a different person, then change your environment, because the environment you have is reinforcing the person you used to be."

This quote emphasizes the importance of environment in personal development and the potential benefits of leaving one's comfort zone to grow.

The Challenge of Input and Output

  • Defining and understanding the input-output equation is crucial for progress.
  • Increasing inputs significantly can lead to greater outputs and achievements.
  • Entrepreneurship involves learning how to leverage inputs for maximum output.
  • The journey of entrepreneurship requires giving up control to gain leverage.
  • The challenge is to work out the input-output equation and increase inputs tenfold, then a hundredfold.

"Define the input output equation that gets you closer to where you want to go, and then ten x the input." "The thing that you unlock in the game of entrepreneurship is leverage."

These quotes challenge listeners to identify the actions that will lead them to their goals and to massively increase their efforts in those areas. They also introduce the concept of leverage as a key to success in entrepreneurship.

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