What you see depends not only on WHAT you look at but also on WHERE you look from.
This video shares how i use distance to think clearly + 7 important things I've been thinking about on my recent Salt Lake City vacation.
These 7 things are recurring worries, thoughts, observations, and strategies that are currently on my mind. If you're an entrepreneur starting or growing a business, you'll probably find them interesting, and useful.
From market inversion, to the constituent parts of value, product development, recruiting intelligent unorthodox athletes, David VS Goliath asymmetric warfare, playing Moneyball to win an unfair game, Egypt pyramids, and my next stage of my evolution. Here's a trip inside my mind.
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments?
Here's what we cover:
1. The market has inverted, everybody is backwards (and wrong).
2. Value reigns king, and why value derives along this causal chain: Recruitment > talent > product > value > king.
3. To win on value, I must go ALL IN on recruitment (and I mean everything...).
4. Recruiting the “Intelligent, unorthodox, athletes”.
5. Why recruiting is a David VS Goliath asymmetric warfare situation.
6. Playing “Moneyball” to win an unfair game.
7. Building pyramids, my next stage of evolution.
Check out the video and let me know what you think in the comments below?
Hey everyone, Sam Ovens here. And in today's video I want to share why I get away to think. And specifically I want to share seven things with you that I've been thinking about a lot recently. And you might've noticed that last week I didn't release a new blog video. Typically, I release a blog video every Tuesday and last week that didn't happen. The reason why is because I was taking a seven day vacation with my wife Ashley, and we went on a road trip. We drove from Los Angeles here to Salt Lake City and it was an awesome vacation. And some of you might be surprised to think like, "Oh my God Sam actually goes on vacations. I thought he was a robot." A robot goes on vacations and I go on four of them each year for seven days each. And they are aligned with the equinox is every 90 days.
So it's very robotic structure for when I take them. And the reason why I take those breaks is there's a few, like one of the main reasons is because I need rest. You know, I work six days a week, 12 hours a day, and I take Sunday off every week. But then I need some longer rest sometimes to recharge my batteries. And that happens every kind of 90 days. And it also aligns perfectly with the quarters. So in business there's Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 that's the end of the year. It's a nice way to kind of break the years down. Like you've got a year, that's one chunk. Then you've got quarters, then you've got months, then you've got weeks, then you've got days, then you've got hours, then you've got minutes. Right? It's a good way to kind of structure and chunk down time.
And why I take these breaks is to get away, to have a rest. Also to have some fun. And also to go somewhere with my wife, where it's just her and I and where it's not doing any work. I do absolutely no work, no email, no nothing. It's just seven days of pure, just hanging out, relaxing. And we went skiing, snowmobiling. We met up with some of our customers, Andrew Argue and Amanda Argue. They're successful students of ours at consulting.com they're making about eight figures a year, which is more than a million a month and their company is accounting and tex.com and you should go check it out. They've done incredibly well. I remember when Andrew first started working with me on January 5th, 2016, he was making $17,500 a month with a generalist marketing agency and he started working with me, Jan 5 and he exploded in growth.
You know, within the first kind of 90 days he was making about 300,000 a month. And those results are not typical at all. So don't think that like everyone that joins our programs at consulting.com has results like that. Admittedly, he's probably the best success story we've got, right? But we meet up with him and we hung out with them. We went skiing and it was an awesome time. And another reason why I take these vacations is because sometimes you've got to distance yourself from your business. And what happens is you get too close to the thing. Sometimes you're too close to the trees and you can't see the forest and the patterns throughout it and you're just zoomed in on the details. And what you need is a real change in perspective so that you can kind of rise above it, see it from a different perspective and think like, "Am I even on the right path?"
And the things I've been worried about and obsessed with are these the right thing? So these really the things that are going to take me to where I want to go. And so these quarterly vacations are actually instrumental to growing your business. And I have some of my best breakthroughs on these quarterly vacations. So it's kind of counterintuitive. You know, like you can take time off work and do more during that time off than you could do when you're working, right. So I highly recommend it if you're an entrepreneur, you should take quarterly breaks, go away for seven days and stick to it and you'll feel free and your wife will probably appreciate you for it a lot too. But back to the point, while I was away on vacation and what I try to do is not really have any agenda or anything, but what I notice is that the things that keep popping into my mind, I'm just trying to go about my day, like going skiing or hanging out or whatever.
But what I've been observing is some things just pop into my mind and they keep popping in and they keep coming back. And these nagging things, these are the things that you really should address when you get back from that vacation, right? Because these are obviously, the things that need solving and need attention. And so it's quite cool to see what those are naturally. And I'm not even trying to work, but my mind's kind of ticking in. It's working on these things even though I'm not actually sitting down and trying to take action. And this is a very powerful strategy that a lot of successful entrepreneurs of year like Bill Gates is famous for taking like a week or two off at the end of every year and going away into a mountain camping in the mountains with just a bunch of books and reading a bunch of books, being by himself and thinking like, is this the best strategy for Microsoft moving forward?
A lot of entrepreneurs do that and the thinking you do there and the reading you do there, it's instrumental to your business and its growth. Now what I'm going to do in today's video is first of all I wanted to explain, why I get away to think. You think a lot better when you remove yourself from the situation. You kind of view it, you view it as an observer more than a participant. And when you're a participant within a situation, you cannot really be as objective and as rational as an observer can because an observer is not involved in the unfolding of the situation. They're just passive on the side. And so it's really powerful to become an observer of your own situation and try to view yourself through an objective lens because that's when you can be like, "Oh, I was probably wasting a lot of time doing that and I should've probably focused on that. But I was neglecting that."
It's a great way to gain insight and make those big jumps in your business. Now the second pace I wanted to do in this video was share the actual things that I've been thinking about, right? Not just explain why I get away to think, but tell you what I was actually thinking about. And I have seven key things that I came up with. And the first one is the market has inverted and everybody is backwards. All right? So this has been happening for a while and I'm by no means the first person to observe this thing that's happening, right? But what surprises me is that most people, most entrepreneurs, they still have not caught on to this. And what happened is in, like before the internet and before this Google search and before all of these tools, the key to really being a successful entrepreneur was probably spending 20% of your time working on making a great product or a great service, right?
And then 80% of your time was based, it's been shouting about it and telling everyone about it. So like 80% marketing and promotion, 20% product, and really honing your services. And that used to be the recipe for success. And it didn't really matter if companies had superior products because you could out market them. There were multiple cases where someone had a superior product and the company with the least superior product would win because they could just unleash a marketing firestorm. But what's happened now, and this pretty much happened since the birth of the internet, especially Google and especially social media and really all of these tools that gave the average everyday consumer A voice and more than a voice, like a megaphone. And what's happened now is that inverted, the market has inverted. And so now it's all about the product. And so really if companies want to win in today's marketplace, they should spend 80% of their time on the product and the service and making it the best they can.
And only 20% of their time marketing and sales, like telling people about it, right? Because people have amazing tools to go out and do their own research and word of mouth and all of these things, they've never been more powerful. And what still shocks me is I meet a lot of entrepreneurs and they're spending most of their time on the marketing and the sales still and they just don't get it. And if you think that like, I don't know what I'm talking about with the statement. Well, here's how I heard about it. So I actually heard about it from Eric Schmidt, who was the CEO of Google, right? Google is pretty, they know what they're doing. Eric probably knows what he's doing. And Eric quoted Jeff Bezos where he said that, "The market used to be 80% shouting about 20%." So this is Google, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, they're the ones talking about this stuff.
It is real. It is happening. And businesses that don't really understand this, they're going to fail and they're going to face death. So this is a key insight and I just keep thinking more and more and more about it. And I want to try and tell as many entrepreneurs about it because you're going to face the music. And when it comes, it's best to have been warned and prepared, right? Now, the second thing is value is king. Like if you really want to win, there's so many different details you can think about like, "Oh, does my website look cool or do I have this popup or this widget or this chat bot or all those crap, right?" And you need to focus on one key thing if you want to make progress in leaps and bounds. And the easiest way to think about businesses that you know, value is king. If you provide the most value to the customer, you will win regardless of anything else. All right?
That's just as simple as it is. And then, I started thinking about it and I was like, "Well how does value get created? How is value created for customers?" And really customers have problems and then companies provide solutions to those problems in the form of products and services. And the byproduct of applying that product or service to that problem is a solution in therefore value is formed. And so that is the equation of how value comes about. Now the better you solve the problem and the faster you solve the problem, the cheaper you solve the problem. All of these different things determine who is providing the most value, right? But how do you actually create value? How does value get created?
And really value is all about having the best product. Like whoever's got the best product or the best service, they're providing the most value, but then how do you create a great product? Well really, it's talent and this is something a lot of entrepreneurs don't go to. They're just screwing around with marketing and sales stuff, which don't get me wrong, it has its place. It's important. You can't neglect it, but it's only 20% of the equation. Then the other 80% of it is having a great product, providing value. How do you do that? Well, you have great talent and at the start this can be you. But if you really want to win, then you need to hire a team of people who can create value. Because imagine this scenario. Imagine that I have a business and I'm the only person in it creating value. I'm the only talented individual in the company innovating, right?
Well, an easy way to beat me would be to get 10 people who are talented. There's 10 times the horsepower they will win. So there's a lot of entrepreneurs businesses I see where the only person who's talent or intelligent in their company is them. And they're to easy to beat. All someone has to do is hire two talented people and they win, right? So really you need to focus on having a talented team. But then how do you get a talented team? Well, it's all about recruitment, and these are things you need to hear entrepreneurs talk about. You never hear people talk about recruitment. You never hear them talk about talented team and you never hear them talk about product, right? And you never really hear them talk about value. Instead you hear them talking about chat bots, marketing and Gary [Vee] and things like this, right?
Now, you can think about and talk about whatever you want. But if you want to win, you need to be thinking about these other things. If it's just you and you're a sole business owner, you want to be really focusing most of your attention and time on being the best or becoming the best. And once you've really started to make progress towards that, you need to work on hiring a team of great people around you. And then really what I realized is given the market and version and given that value was king and the flow of how value is created through value, product, talent, recruitment, to win, what I really need to do, me personally, my number one priority is I must go all in on recruitment. 'Cause if I go all in on recruitment and I make that my thing, that means that I can recruit a team of talented people, and that means that we can create great products and that means we can provide the most value. And that means that we can win, right?
So that's kind of how I reverse engineered it. And this was going through my mind when I was away. And so really I realized, okay, well this is quite a change for me. I'm going to be basically spending 80, 90% of my time recruiting talented people. And I think a lot of people, they never think about that. But really if a CEO, his main job, a CEO or a manager or an entrepreneur, his main role, once they get the ball rolling and once they get some cash flowing in and niche selected and all of this stuff, it's not to actually be selling or marketing or things like this. It's to be recruiting a team who can innovate and create value. And if you think about it, really a company is what parts is a company made of? It's made up of people. And a company really, if we sum total the individual people within it, we get the group and really the smartest companies, the ones that win.
And so really the company that hires the smartest people wins and no one really thinks about it like this. People when they try to hire, they typically outsource it to I don't know like some third world country and they try to cut corners on costs. No one like that I see most of the time in the online business space is really making it their number one priority to go out and hire talented people and be a recruiter. Right? And it's quite interesting to think about it because I have absolute conviction in it. I am going to be spending most of my time doing it. Whether you do or not, that's totally up to you, but I'm just sharing with you some things that I've been thinking about.
And then you might be thinking, "Okay, well Sam, if you're going to be going out and recruiting a whole bunch of people and spending most of your time doing that, who are you really looking for?" And I was thinking this too, like what are talented people? And what are the core ingredients that makes up a talented person for us as a company, consulting.com? And really I came up with this term intelligent unorthodox athletes. So the three components, intelligent unorthodox athletes. Now really why I'm looking for people that are like this is first of all intelligence, like roar brain horsepower. How do you taste this? Why is it important? Well, really the market moves so fast and our forecasting skills and ability to predict the future is pretty crap. So therefore someone's skills don't really matter. And really the only thing that matters is their ability to gain skills in the future because they are bound to change.
And what makes someone able to really learn skills is intelligence, roar mento horsepower. And what I mean by that isn't someone's IQ test. What I mean by that really is someone's ability to solve problems, their problem solving skills, their curiosity, their cognition, and really their endurance and their ability to focus, brain power. And really what I'm looking for in people is before anything else is just this raw intelligence, raw brain horsepower, more so than skill, more so than experience, more so than anything. But that's not enough. I also want people who are unorthodox. And what I mean by this is people who aren't just going to follow what's already done. Some of the worst people I see think that what's most popular is what must be true, which is terrible logic. And it leads to group think and madness of crowds and all sorts of delusions.
And it's definitely no way to actually run a business. It's certainly no way to win in business. And what I like is people who are willing to invert the status quo and go against the crowd, stand on their own, have really strong opinions and even controversial ones, but they're not delusional in this. They're backed up with data. Right? And so I really lik these people and a question I ask a lot of people to try and dig at this is what is something that you believe to be true that nobody else agrees with you on? All right, think about that question. It's kind of tricky. And what I'm looking for is people who they are able to analyze the situation, see what the crowd is thinking and see what the status quo is and the prevailing biases but then forget that a named conduct their own analysis. And then form their opinion based off that and then stick to it and bet on it against the crowd. This is what I'm really looking for. And that's what I call an an orthodox person.
And the final component, the third one is athletes. And why say athletes is because athletes are great at understanding that, they're great at understanding competition and a lot of people in business, they fail to remember that business is a massive competition and you're fighting other people every day, it never stops and they keep coming back harder, harder, harder. And you need to get stronger, stronger, stronger, and the best way, honestly, one of the best ways to do that is to work harder. And so it's not enough to be smart and it's not enough to be unorthodox and innovative. You have to be extremely smart, unorthodox and innovative and relentlessly hardworking, right? Greatness is never achieved working nine to five. So we don't want anybody who just wants to work nine to five because nothing great gets done in nine to five.
Now this doesn't mean that you can't style business and you can't run your business working nine to five. You absolutely can. Just don't ever expect to win, right? 'Cause I can guarantee you you won't. And so I'm looking for people who possess these three things like a chemical compound, right, of an apex Predator. And it's intelligence unorthodox thinking and competitive mindset. So intelligent unorthodox athletes. That's really who I'm looking for it in every single different dimension and component of my business. And I encourage you to think really about your business. What is your type of person? 'Cause not all businesses should have the same views on what is their people. It's this is what makes your culture and this is what makes your company what it is. You've got to know your type of person and go looking for them and recruit a team of them.
And then the fifth thing I've been thinking about is that recruiting. Now that we know that the market's inverted, it's all about product. And to create value, you must think about product. And to think about product you have to think about talent and to think about telling you must think about recruitment. Well now that we're thinking about recruitment, you know recruitment is really like a David versus Goliath situation. And what I mean by that is it's asymmetric warfare. There are companies out there like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, right? These big companies, they've got hundreds of billions of dollars and they're all over the world and they have got so much resources that they're like the biggest Goliath ever. And then there's companies like me and companies like the ones that you have. We are tiny compete to them. And really if the game is all about talent and recruitment, then how are we supposed to win against them?
Because one of the main focuses is, well actually their number one focus, if you read their letters to shareholders and the ones I'm talking about is Google, also Amazon, right? You'll realize that recruitment is their number one process and they're looking for smart people. And so how do you beat the enemy? How do you find those talented people when you have a Goliath kind of object in the market? Just pull a gravitating everything towards it. And it's a really good question because you can't outspend them and your brand isn't better than there's, and you don't have more time than them. So how do you do it? It's a really good question to think about. And the more I thought about it, the more like while I was on vacation I thought, well what I really want to do is play Moneyball to win in an unfair game.
And if you haven't seen Moneyball will, it's a great movie and it's also a great book. I recommend you watch both. Or you actually watched the movie, read the book. It's awesome. And I'll give you a quick kind of synopsis of it. Basically there was this, and this is going to be very vague 'cause I'm not a sports person, so if I get some inaccuracies in here, forgive me, this is just what I remember about it. But basically there was like a baseball team and they didn't have much money. They had a small budget 'cause they were just a small team. And obviously the big teams that are the famous, they've got all the money and they were able to recruit all the talent because money and fame gets talent. So then how was a small baseball team with no money and no fame supposed to win?
Well that was the situation they were in. David versus Goliath kind of asymmetric a situation. And what they did is they looked at the data, there was an analyst, a famous analyst who really looked at it and he studied the traits that were popular. And always in the world there are traits that people seem to have a bias towards over other traits. Right? And so they found that it was betting, it was something to do with betting or throwing or catching, these were the three metrics that everybody was obsessed about and willing to pay money for. They thought that these three metrics were what defined winning and success as a baseball player. Right? And so obviously people who were strong in these three things, they were gone. Forget about them. So what this analyst had to do was look for unrealized value and really look for to the players that are very talented and capable but that no one sees as talented and capable, right?
And this happens in the world all the time, right? When you're investing in stocks, the best investments aren't the ones that are already climbing like crazy and that everyone is talking about, right? I always think about it when the taxi driver and your friend who smokes weed is talking about it, do not do it. That's literally gone to my formula. If it's in the news and if you had a stud of friends talking about it and if the taxi drivers asking you whether he should invest, get out. And that was true with bitcoin and a lot of things. And really where I'm going with this is that what's popular and what's going up in value is often the worst thing to invest in and the best things to invest in and financial markets, real estate, everything are unrealized assets. And those are basically assets that have a book value or a true value that is greater than its market value.
So the perceived value is less than the book value, which is the actual real value and this happens all the time with stocks, it happens with private companies. Happens with estates, it happens with sports players. And guess what? It happens with employees, it happens with talent. And so you really, if you want to get the best talent in a David versus Goliath situation, you need to play Moneyball. And you need to look at the things that the market has a bias towards, and obviously you're not going to be able to get those people. So let me give you an example to make this real. In my company, there's media buyers, for example, people who buy Facebook ads and Google ads, things like that. We don't actually hire media buyers. We don't want media buyers like screw that did the last people in the world we want.
What we want instead is a data scientist or an engineer or even a chemical engineer or a scientist or an analyst or a statistician, right? Someone with the raw skills, because these raw skills people don't see them as valuable as they see Facebook media buyer. Someone can just be a Facebook media buyer and know how to buy Facebook ads and then they're with a whole bunch of money but have no real skill. And then someone can be a statistician, fresh out of college not knowing how to buy Facebook ads and be really cheap. And they make a way better media buyer. All right? So this is what I'm talking about. You've got to learn to think differently and look at the, you got to play Moneyball, right? So when it comes to sales reps, we don't hire sales reps. When it comes to media buyers, we don't hire media buyers.
We never hire managers. I disliked managers. I have a hatred of management. And in my views, the best doer automatically becomes the manager. So we hire doers and when we see one rise and they're the best, they're the best equipped to manage. And we don't believe anyone should ever be managing. They should always be doing and managing at the same time because the best doer is the manager. So with all of these different things, we think differently about it. And that enables us to compete against these bigger players and find these unrealized assets or undervalued assets. And we also do it with software engineers. We know that a lot of software engineers, they're an extreme demand from all of the big companies. And what they look at is specifically the number of years experience they have and also the company that person works at.
And also the languages, the coding languages that, that engineer is skilled at. So let's say someone knows React and they also know, they've got six years experience. Let's say they've got four years experience in React and they've worked at Google, right? That is what everyone's after. And so there's are vicious red sea of competition after this person. Forget hiring that person. You're not going to be able to. And then even if you can, you're going to pay through the nose for it. So instead you've got to think differently. You got to play money more than what we really look at is, we look at different things. And I won't tell you exactly what they are for this particular role, but we look at how they think, and we look at what university they went to. And typically we never look at universities, but with software engineers there seems to be a pattern persistent with that.
And what we've figured out is that we can find really good engineers that are beyond Google level that people don't see as very good and very valuable. So we've identified unrecognized talent means it's easy for us to get them and we can get them at better prices and we get great people. Whereas everyone else is fighting over here. It's true. I use the the metrics warfare and it's true, playing Moneyball. So as I tell you this video and I tell you that the market's inverted, which it has, and now that it's done this thing, if you want to win you really need to focus on value. The person who provides the most value wins. If you want to provide value, you need to work on product. And if you want to work on product, you really need to hire talented people. And if you want a high talented people, you need to focus on recruitment. And when you're focusing on recruitment and you're not a billionaire with a huge reputation, then you need to play Moneyball.
And you need to identify the biases and the blind spots and really construct your own view of talent. Find your own way of doing it. And this is how you win. And these are the things I've been thinking about, right? I just wanted to make this video and tell you what I've been thinking about on my vacation and why I take vacations. And finally point seven is building pyramids and my next stage of evolution. And what's cool to think about is that for up until this moment in time, I've really been a builder myself. I've built my own products full on. I've made my own funnels, my own ads, my own everything. I've typically built everything and done everything myself. And I've grown my company over the last six, seven years to from zero to 30 million a year. And really I've been the builder and I haven't really had a team around me that's being built in to. They've been like assistant builders, right?
And so they've definitely built stuff. But I haven't really had a company where everything can kind of be built without me, touch that there. And my biggest fear honestly, is probably what it is. It's getting older and getting to the point where I can't focus intensely and work really long hours. Getting to that point before assembling an awesome team who are smarter than me in every way, shape and form, and worked harder than me in every way, shape and form. That's my biggest fear. It is getting to that point without having this assembled. And so now really what my number one focus is going to be. A lot of people always ask me this question, like, "Sam, what do you spend your time doing day to day?" To be honest, it's changed massively. It changes at different stage of development, right? I've been a doer for like six, seven years. I've been doing everything. I know how to do everything there is in my business for like as it currently exists.
But my point is that, just think about the pyramids, think about the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and stuff and that would not built by one individual person, right? The only way to build those pyramids is to assemble a massive team and really talented people and create a good culture and things like that. And so really, I've been building small pyramids and you might think like, "Oh, it's $30 million is a lot." Really. It is, but I want to build something up again. And so with our new mission, our mission is to educate every human on earth. And so that's pretty big. And in order to do that, it is like pyramid big, right? And in order to do that, I can't do it myself. And so the next stage of evolution I have got is really just recruitment and managing and building a culture and building, architecting a great organization.
And so that's just what I've been thinking about a lot. It's like I'm now going to have to get off the tools, not completely, I'm still going to remain on the tools a lot. 'Cause I love doing. I actually truly love doing it and I would love to just continue doing it. I don't like managing people and I don't like hiring people, but the only way to build now and the only way to advance then to that next level is to become a recruiter and to hire people and to manage people, that is building. It's just a different, it's a different level of building, right? And that is what I've been thinking about. Those were the seven insights and I don't know, maybe they're helpful for you, maybe they're not, but I know the first one you definitely want to pay attention to the market has inverted and you should be focusing on product. And you should be spending 80% of your time improving that product or service. 20% of your time on marketing and sales.
Don't be one of those people that's just on social media talking about it like a big mouth and then has something shit. All right, those people are going to get their asses handed to them and they're already getting their asses handed to them. And there are writings on the wall and if you actually want to survive and win in this business game, then you need to pay attention to that message. Because it's coming and it keeps coming on stronger and it's going to keep coming. So I'm not saying that to try scare you, but it's a very important thing. And it's this, basically it. Wanted to share why I get away to think. I recommend you should get away to think too. And those are seven things that I've been thinking about.
Now, if you like this video, just click that like button and also let me know what you think in the comment section below. If you liked this video, let me know and also click that subscribe button. I release a video like this once every week as well as customer interviews and live stream Q and A's and other resources like that. Thanks for watching.