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Money Plus Entropy
In episode 374, I took about ten minutes and did a preamble on my thoughts and concepts of the word money and why I believe my personal outlook on money is why we continue to grow at the rate we grow. I covered a couple of good tight examples of some penetrating principles, some fallacies that got us to where we are now. Kerri and I have lived through and watched so many people fail and so many people make it. Since we know them personally, we have their story and I was able to extract a lot of that as ammunition for some of these laws and principles. What I’m talking for the next couple of podcasts is my newest book, which I have no clue when this one’s coming out because it’s behind my Growth book.
These principles that are coming out of a book are centered around money. Money’s inanimate. Money doesn’t care who holds it. Money doesn’t know the heart of man. I want to jump right in. I do think these two nuggets here would make a lot more sense if you read episode 374. This first nugget is called the expectation of entropy. The first part I have to do here is I have to define, what is entropy? The Law of Entropy, says that anything man-made or God-made is built to go from order to disorder. Everything is built to break down. The tree I’m looking at in my backyard at some point is going to break down and stop being a tree. My human body is in a constant state of breaking down. I love saying that if you leave a car in a desert and you go back in 80 years, is it a car? No, it’s a chunk of metal. At best it’s a chunk of metal, probably a chunk of rust. Everything, including your checkbook, including your business, is built to go from order to disorder. Nothing goes to order, it doesn’t happen. The Law of Entropy is innately known to people. It’s because of that that people have a very interesting take on money.
You're either in a storm, going out of a storm, or about to go into a storm. Click To Tweet
In this chapter, which is simply called The Expectation of Entropy, the big idea is that some people almost have a welcoming set of arms. The assumption is, “I know entropy at some point is going to wipe me out. I’m ready for it.” Because of their expectation of entropy, they don’t ever get going. They don’t put the gas down until done. They expect that they’re going to get wiped out. Part of it is they witnessed those that have gone before them fail time and time again. Entropy crushed all those around them and they think it’s going to happen to them.
The hope of this chapter is that you’ll be able to navigate entropy instead of fighting it. The hope of this chapter when this book finally comes out is I can give you some tools that when the world was crushing. Kerri and I in the late ‘90s, our chain of video stores were crumbling. I was taking all the money out of our big sign company and consulting firm to save the video stores. We were getting annihilated. Entropy was wiping us out. It was a perfect description of entropy because the VHS industry went to DVD. DVDs got wiped out with direct stream. Direct stream is going to get wiped out. Nothing lasts forever. 100% of the main sources of income fail 100% of the time. The key is this, the hope is that yes, entropy is going to come but you want to learn to navigate it and not fight it. You don’t want to go straight at it like I didn’t in the late ‘90s and get annihilated. Why don’t you tiptoe to the right and let entropy go by and let whatever entropy’s naturally going to destroy, such as an industry, a product line, an employee, a relationship?
Let it destroy that because that’s what entropy does, but don’t let it destroy you with it. You’re either in a storm right now financially or you’re about to come out of a storm or you’re about to go into a storm. That’s it. There are only three money positions in life. If you’re about to go into a storm, storms come and go, they don’t last forever. If you look up in the sky right now, are there clouds? Look later, there won’t be. It would be a nice blue sky. The key is it passes. Don’t fight entropy with your money. You fight entropy with time by navigating it. This is the one area of money that goes against episode 374, where you do shelter and you save money for the rainy day to pass so you can then leverage it. I want to get right to the heart of the issue. The hope is you can navigate it. Here’s the one simple way to navigate. You ask yourself on a quarterly basis, “Do I have evidence?” Meaning something is climbing. Growth in a product or a service industry is climbing either in your company or another’s, “Do I have evidence that what I’m currently leveraging my money into is worthy of continually leveraging my money into?”
I’ll give you a great example. Had I known this lesson of entropy and how to navigate it in the late ‘90s, every quarter, I could have asked myself, “Do I have the same store sales growth by renting these VHS tapes? Yes or no?” For the first many years, “Yes.” All of a sudden two quarters in a row, it was flat sales. Then multiple quarters in a row it was less and less. I didn’t have evidence that I should continue leveraging our money. I even was robbing from my other companies and leveraging their money into this failing, miserable VHS industry. The question is, is there evidence, meaning growth that you should continue to leverage your money and your talents into? You need to cut your tail off and stop being a mouse and be a man and step up. If you’re a woman, step up as a woman and cut it. Stop putting the money into where you have evidence that your company and everybody else’s companies are going backwards with that product line. Cut it. Save that money. Shelter that money until you do the R&D of a better product that either you can prove you can grow or other companies. You have physical evidence that they’re growing that product line. Then you can let the clouds pass and let the storm pass.
I wish so much that I could have stepped aside and not spent the hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to fight renting VHS tapes when there’s nobody renting VHS tapes now. It doesn’t exist. That’s like selling buggy whips. The horse and buggies, they went into vehicles called cars. Allow entropy to happen. The third thing about entropy that I want to shine some light on and the hope of this chapter is that if you have a feeling that you know entropy is going to eventually wipe you out. The feeling is based on what’s called visible champions, then understand the entropy that wiped out your visible champion, that same entropy doesn’t have to wipe you out. That was their dream and their nightmare. It doesn’t have to be yours.
As we’re growing up, most people have a parent, multiple parents. If you don’t have parents, you might have grandparents that raised you. Somebody raised, unless you’re a foster child from birth. Even then you had mentors, somebody fed you, changed your diaper and raised you. Those people around you, the three to five closest to you are defined by many as visible champions. Meaning, the average person finds one or two seeds of good in each person around them, even if they don’t care for the people. They see one or two seeds of good and those are the many champions.
The question I have for you is when it comes to money, the people that raised you and mentored you to 25 years old, that’s the key age, especially from 8 to 25. Those people you saw that witness to you visibly, their work habits, how they used the money, how they talked about money. Were those champions of leveraging money or were they champions on saving, scrimping and talking negatively about money? Your visible champions allow you either a quick start of navigating entropy. I was very lucky. I had great visible champions with money that raised me and made it a little bit easier dealing with the crap I put myself into at the video stores in the ‘90s. This bleeds into the next chapter that I’m going to discuss about money, which is self-talk.
This first chapter I just covered is this expectation of entropy and it finished with did you or did you not have enough visible champions about entropy? If you didn’t, there is a good chance when the subject of money comes up in your house. You have what is called self-talk. If you’ve heard my podcast for any length of time, you know I’m a big proponent of talking about 80% of self-talk is negative. The number one punishment in the world, in any country, in any language is solitary confinement. For hundreds of years, people know if you put somebody in solitary confinement, they’re not allowed to talk to anybody for months. Not even the guard that feeds them food, if they’re in prison. They will eventually go loony. That’s how it is. 80% of self-talk is negative. It’s like a pinball that goes over and over and over time, it’s only very rare people like the prisoners of war, those POWs that come out five years later. It’s such a rarity that they come out with any type of positive mental attitude.
Self-talk, as a rule, leads to destruction. It’s very seldom that you hear self-talk leads to anything uplifting. The big idea of this chapter is that self-talk kills more great ideas and more great potential businesses than any other reason. It’s not lack of money. It’s not poor management. Most ideas never get out of the gate because the owner of the idea doesn’t give it a fighting chance. They allow the entropy of the idea. The hope of the chapter is that you’ll understand that your type of self-talk is a decision. Attitude is not circumstantial. The circumstances that you’re currently involved in have no predication to your attitude. It’s a choice. You could be going through the worst nightmare in the world. It doesn’t mean your attitude has to suck. Number one, 80% of self-talk is negative. Number two, don’t know talking negative. What that means is you have to condition yourself to see and know and understand that you’re talking negative. The point of point two is don’t know talking negative. It’s a slang term for I didn’t know I was talking negative. Do not allow yourself to talk negative.
Your type of self-talk is a decision. Attitude is not circumstantial. Click To Tweet
Many people have no purposeful self-talk. Remember in high school or even college where you’d watch TV with these great athletes. You see them in the corner sometimes even with headphones on, jumping up and down and they’re psyching themselves up. They’re self-talking, their coaches are talking in their ear. They’re literally building themselves up so they can take the wrestling match or take the stage or step on the football field. How many times have you seen when the national anthem has done in a sport that some people are so filled that they start jumping up and down and then they go on a rant of self-talk before they take whatever field it is? If it works in athletics, why doesn’t it work in business?
How many times did we see Michael Jordan mumbling to himself right before taking a free throw? Another painful thing about self-talk is many people don’t have an uplifting association telling them it’s okay to form a mantra or self-talk. Many of you that follow this know I do have a prayer that I say out loud every Monday. It takes me 25 minutes to pray over the company. It’s half a prayer, half a mantra. I got to remind myself, my vision, my purpose, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It’s self-talk.
Finally, I’ll never forget reading a book by a billionaire, Rich DeVos, and that his 40-year assistant asked if he could write three pages. I think the book is called Hope from My Heart. His assistant asked, “Could I write three pages? I’ve seen this man fight the Senate. I’ve seen him fight world leaders. I’ve seen him battle the leaders of South Korea. In all of my years where I’ve been the assistant to this man, not once has he ever raised his voice. Not once has he said a negative word about another human being. This is the most gracious, soft-spoken man I’ve ever witnessed walking planet Earth.”
Some of you know I went eleven years after reading that book and didn’t say a negative word, not a swear word, never raised my voice. The only thing that broke it is my child was falling down the stairs and I caught her and said a swear word. She goes, “Daddy, you just said a swear word.” Since that time, I have slipped a few times, but I don’t allow my circumstances to determine my attitude. If someone says, “How are you doing?” “I’m amazing.” I can’t tell you how many people, “That’s awesome.” Amazing but I’m still looking to improve.
Money doesn’t know or care who’s holding it. However, if you’re going to leverage money, you might want to build yourself up through self-talk and mantras of your viewpoint of money. If you know you have a negative slant towards money, you need a mantra or some self-talk that can correct it. It’s going to take 30, 60, 90 days until you to view even holding money in your mind differently. It doesn’t scare you. Instead of being anxious, you want to be excited. You want to have the opportunity to put money to use. You want the authority and the responsibility of having and using a lot of money. This is episode 375. I’m going to keep pounding money until people view it differently. I hope this helps. Take care.