Failure is GreatAs we discussed in the last episode, failure is how we learn. As babies, when we learned to walk, we didn’t get up one day and decide that we were going to walk across the room. First, we crawled and we stumbled until we figured it out.
Jay said, “If you believe that you only need insights and perseverance, failing is how you get those insights. If you’re not trying new things, then you’re [going to] have the same information as everybody else. The only competitive advantage you will have in business in the 21st century . . . is to get insights from your customers faster than the competition.”Restaurants have a high risk of failure. There was a man who knew this, but he wanted to open a restaurant. So, he looked at the reasons restaurants fail. 1) Too many items on the menu. 2) Humans all eat at the same time, so we can’t fill all the seats if we have a party of two sitting at a table for four. To solve these problems he decided to have only three items on the menu and seat people next to strangers or wait at the bar—a high-profit area. The question was, what type of restaurant would allow him to get away with three items on the menu and seating with strangers? The answer was a Japanese steakhouse by the name of Benihana, and the restaurant has been killing it for more than 50 years. The founder of Benihana, Hiroaki Aoki, learned from the failure of other restaurants to start his own successful one. Like him, we can learn from the failure of others and our own failures to gain insights.
Our Unique Superpowers Make Us SuccessfulEveryone is unique and this is what makes us special. Despite this, many people try to be someone they’re not. “Everybody else is already taken, so you should be you. There’s something that makes you unique that is your competitive advantage. It’s a superpower,” Jay said. For Jay, it’s dyslexia. When he was a kid, he didn’t want to be embarrassed when there was a group project, so he raised his hand and offered to be in charge. He delegated out the tasks, which gave him great training for being a CEO. It gives him a competitive advantage because he thinks differently. Walt Disney was dyslexic and so is Richard Branson. Jay has a friend who’s never had a regular job. He is great at connecting with people. He seems to know everybody, and there’s always a piece in the middle for him. Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD in sixth grade. He couldn’t focus through class, so doctors put him on medication, which put his head in a fog. However, he could focus in the pool, so he asked his mom if they could take him off the medication if he promised to swim every day. By 10 years old, Phelps was a nationally ranked swimmer and he’s now won 23 gold medals. We must find our superpower. If we don’t know what it is, one way to find out is by asking what our friends come to us for advice on.
Passion Makes Us UnstoppablePerseverance is tough. We’re going to hit obstacles. We’re going to feel alone sometimes. But Jay said, “If you can turn your perseverance and persistence into passion if there’s a purpose, a higher reason for why you’re doing things, it’ll pull you through.” Anyone can make shoes, but Toms has its specific purpose: to improve lives. For every $3 they make, they give $1 away. This makes customers feel good about buying from this company and employees feel good about working there. It gives them a higher purpose to work toward. In our businesses and in our lives we must find some higher purpose to work for. This will give us fulfillment and help us feel like we are having an impact. For most people, this purpose will be helping others in some way.
“Happiness comes from helping others. Success comes from helping others. Do you want to help yourself? Help others first,” Jay said.
We Can’t Go It AloneJay used to be president of the world’s largest music company. He remembered going to a concert of 100,000 people in the stadium. He watched the artist sing his heart out to the crowd, the embodiment of the self-made man. What the audience couldn’t see was the songwriters, producers, musicians, managers, lawyers, makeup team, or the hundreds of people it takes to make that happen. There is no such thing as a self-made person. No one has all the knowledge. No one can do it all by themselves. The good news is that there are tons of people who want to help us. We don’t have to do it alone. We can find mentors to help us. The mentors we want aren’t the billionaires. Generally, we want someone who is a few rungs above us. These people will be better equipped to help us with where we’re at. We can find mentors through LinkedIn, mentorship programs, charities, etc. But we shouldn’t just reach out to someone cold. We should be giving them value by commenting on their posts or reviewing their books. We should build a relationship with them, and never really ask for them to be our mentors. If they become our friends, naturally we’ll go to them for advice and they’ll want to help us. We should also look for those who are a rung or two below us to be their mentor.
Everything is a Tech StartupOn average, Americans spend 5.4 hours on their phones every day (Source: TechJury). Everything is digital or moving digital. We must center our businesses online to keep up. When we start a business, even if it is a business in a physical location like a restaurant, we need to make sure we have an online presence. We need to ensure that we function online and that we can reach people online.
We Must Fill a VoidJay asked, “Why would you want to have competition?” Why would we want to spend our time and resources trying to be the best when, instead, we can fill a void and automatically be the best? If there is no one else providing what we are providing, we will be the best. How do we find these voids? With every new invention, new voids are also created. When the PC came out, it was the most expensive thing any home would have other than a car. A friend of Jay’s realized that people would want to protect this thing they just spent $2,000 on. He started making dust covers. Then he started making mousepads. Then containers to hold floppy disks. The same thing happened when the iPhone came out. Apple didn’t think about making accessories, so someone else did.
“There’s always an opportunity to fill a void,” Jay said.
Spatial Reality is a Trillion Dollar OpportunityJay believes that in the next few years spatial reality will really take off. We’ll be able to wear glasses with an interface that interacts with the real world. We’ll be able to see information that is tied to the environment. There is a huge opportunity to create many different small apps related to spatial reality. Just like with phone applications, which started coming out slowly and have grown to number in the millions, we have a great opportunity to be the first ones creating apps for spatial reality. There are millions of possibilities for apps that could work with spatial reality, so why wouldn’t we want to jump on this opportunity?
Working Hard Doesn’t Make Us Rich; Working Smart DoesIf working hard doesn’t make us rich, what does? Working smart. How do we work smart? One way is through how we structure deals. If we’re marketing for someone, and we do a great job, making them a million dollars, and we’ve agreed they would pay us a flat rate every month, we’re missing an opportunity. Instead, we can ask for something like 10%, so when we make them a million dollars we can get $100,000. We can say, “If I achieve the goals you set out, will you renew me for another six months?” Or we can ask, “If I double our numbers, will you double my salary?” How we structure deals can make a big difference when it comes to how much we earn for our work.
Remote Workers Are Our New Competitive AdvantageThroughout history, no company was able to hire the best people. They hired the best people within less than 20 miles of their office. Now, we can hire people from all over the world. We can hire the best people no matter where they live. We also don’t have to live in a cramped apartment in a major city to run our business. We can live anywhere we want to live. Jay said that remote workers have less turnover. They’re 40% more productive. They save us on average $11,000 per employee, and they’re happier because they can spend the 80 minutes of commuting they would have done with loved ones. Jay tested each of these 12 truths by teaching them to a young man who had nothing. Within a year, this man had made more than $1 million dollars. These truths can help us create opportunity, maximize wealth, and control our destiny.
Key TakeawaysThank you so much Jay for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode: 1. Failure is an opportunity to learn. 2. There’s something that makes you unique that is your competitive advantage. It’s your superpower. 3. When we are working toward a higher purpose, we’ll have more fulfillment and happiness. 4. We can’t do everything by ourselves. We should seek out friends and mentors to help us along the way. 5. Because everything involves technology, we must center our businesses online. 6. Fill the void. Voids provide great business opportunities. 7. There is a huge opportunity with spatial reality. 8. We must work smarter with how we structure deals. 9. Remote work allows us to hire great team members and live wherever we want.
Connect with JayTo learn more about or connect with Jay:
- Connect on LinkedIn
- Visit his website at JaySamit.com where there is a free workbook for Future Proofing You