Download: MP3 (24.2 MB)

Does money come as a result of focusing on the money or focusing on quality work?

Matt says it’s focusing on the quality. I think it’s a little bit of both. You do have to focus on the quality, you do have to focus on value to people and enriching their lives, but you also have to sell.

Matt and I did a double recording a couple weeks ago for this episode, so we’re already pumped from the beginning since it was the second show we did in a day.

It’s shorter (half an hour) but it’s fiery. We talk about quality, doing good work, the necessity of selling your work (even if you feel awkward), why you need to change your mindset about money, and why happiness is not about reaching the Lambo Goal.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • As long as you focus on doing quality work, the money will flow.
  • Keep doing good work and people will notice.
  • Provide so much value that people want to donate out of gratitude, but don’t forget that you also need to sell.
  • Give people free value and create solutions for their problems.
  • Reality will align itself with your mindset.
  • Doing the same things, thinking the same things, and hanging around the same people are going to keep you in the same place.
  • Say, “I’m a success,” and then act it out.
  • Happiness is a choice—if you are not happy right now, you’re never going to be happy.
Show Notes
  • 01:45 Sean: Ben says, “I’ve heard people say that if you want to make money, you have to not focus on the money. Have you found that to be the case?”
  • 01:51 Matt: Definitely. Obviously, you have to be smart and balance your money. Don’t be throwing it at people.
  • 02:16 Sean: Ben is probably referencing Apple. In Steve Jobs’ 10 Rules for Success video, he talks about how Apple believes people can make a real difference and change in the world. They believe in making quality products, quality software, that actually helps people. To them, money is a byproduct of that. They’re not just focused on the money, they’re focused on these core values and money comes as a result of that.

Quality Work Makes Money

  • 03:07 Matt: Right now, one of my employees is from another state and he’s starting from scratch. He’s got a little bit of debt and he’s working on getting a house and a car. He was asking me, “How do I work on a daily basis without thinking about how much debt I have and how I need to be saving for a house? How am I supposed to work when I have to save for all these things or pay these things off?”‘ I was telling him that I understand the struggle. I’ve been there.
  • 03:41 The majority of my businesses owe the other businesses money. I’m worried about that, because if one of my businesses borrows from another, I have them pay an interest rate. He was asking how to stay focused working and maintaining good quality when you’re worried about money, since it’s the next thing up there with oxygen. I told him, “You just have to focus. Think about it this way: the money will flow when you do high quality work and people recognize that. The only way people are going to recognize that is if you put in the time and do some extraordinarily high quality work.” Sure enough, this guy’s been doing it for a couple weeks and I’ve been seeing it, so I’m giving him a raise.

As long as you focus on doing quality work, the money will flow.

  • 04:52 I was at a graduation party this past weekend, and someone was asking me what made me so successful. Focus was my answer. You have to stop thinking about making money and focus on the work. Focus on the client. In my property management group, we cannot keep the customers out because from the very beginning, our sole core value was quality, and everyone knows that. Within the first year, we did a ton of great one time jobs, but then they would call us with significant referrals.
  • 06:00 If you do high quality work for your clients and customers, they’re going to tell other people. Eventually, it’s going to get bigger and bigger until it’s insane. Stop focusing on the dollar amount and just focus on your work and your customers. Focus on your quality, writing, and putting together a plan.
  • 06:48 When I was a kid, one of the hardest things for me was learning how to budget. I was making money, but I also had expenses, and my parents were trying to teach me responsibility. They would tell us that we had to pay for rent, food, and gas, which taught us that you have to learn to allocate money and balance it, but at the same time, do not focus on it. Your funds will go up and down, but focusing on the amount can make you stir crazy.

Keep Doing Good Work

  • 08:17 Sean: Noah says, “It sounds like Matt is saying there’s an element of faith in making money when you do quality work.” I don’t know. Would you say there’s an element of faith, Matt? That you just have to do good work and hope things work out?
  • 08:30 Matt: It does sound like that. When you think of a tip at a restaurant, you think 15% or 20%. Some of our clients will give $5,000 or $10,000 as a tip after doing our work. Are we believing in faith for that extra? No, we didn’t even think someone would want to do that. They gave those tips because they were astonished that someone would go above and beyond, give them stuff for free, do high quality work, and show up every time like you say you will.

If you do quality work, people will notice.

  • 09:14 Sean: It will be recognized. Here’s the formula: do good work and continue to do good work. Eventually, people will recognize it. If you haven’t been recognized, don’t question the formula, but do more good work. How often? Do it every day. Do it longer, do it two years or five years. They say, “The greatest artists aren’t discovered in their time,” but that quote came from before the internet. You’re not going to be ignored forever.
  • 09:56 Even if you have no audience, you have friends. If you’re an artist and you’re producing work that is just timeless beauty because you’ve spent tens of thousands of hours for years, even if you have no followers on the internet, you have friends. Your friends will snap a picture with their iPhone and put it on their Instagram with their 800 followers, and you will get noticed. You have to keep going. Do good work and keep doing good work.

Sell Your Good Work

  • 10:28 Justin says, “People don’t give money to people focused on making money, they give money to people focused on delivering value.” You also have to sell—that’s the balance here. You can keep doing good work and providing value, and you’re going to get people giving you donations. Yesterday, someone gave me a 30 Euro donation on PayPal. They just said, “Thanks so much for all of your work and how much effort you put into quality.” They donated money to me. Think about that for a second. Are people just donating money to you?
  • 11:35 You’ve been doing a really good job, going above and beyond, and delivering value. Are people begging to give you money—not begging for money or for you to give them free things? This person didn’t even ask if they could send me money. They didn’t ask for my email address for Paypal; they found it and they just sent the money. If you don’t have that happening, then you’re not providing enough value or you haven’t been doing it long enough. You’ve got to focus on providing value and quality, but the counterbalance is that you do have to sell. You cannot survive off of random PayPal donations or tips. It has to be a balance.

Provide so much value that people want to donate out of gratitude, but you also need to sell something.

  • 12:48 That’s probably going to feel dirty to you (Related: e124 How to Market Your Products or Services Without Feeling Awkward). We have this stigma around selling that it’s bad and gross. You think of a salesman and you think of car salesmen and a weird feeling in your stomach. That’s because they’re trying to get you to do something you don’t really want to do, but what you need to do is think about serving people and coming up with a solution that will make their lives better.
  • 13:33 Join the Community, because your life is worse off without it. I’m doing you a disservice if I don’t sell it. These are epic people and the mindset here is unprecedented. You get in this place where you forget that people don’t think like this in the real world. They don’t think about providing value, putting quality into their work, caring about the production, and showing up every day. That’s how we think here, and it’s contagious.
  • 14:28 If you want to accomplish anything and be successful in life, you cannot afford to not be around people like this. 90% of the listeners out there are not around people like this. If you’re part of the small percentage who has people, that’s awesome. Stick with that. If not, we have the Community here, so sign up now. You’re making a mistake if you don’t. I just sold very hard to our listeners, but I don’t feel guilty or gross about it because I’m doing them a disservice if I don’t tell them. I want to help them and solve problems for them.
  • 15:41 Matt: I’m not saying to just show up and give high quality work for free. You have to make money. At the same time, if you’re offering a low quality service, people aren’t going to jump at you to pay. I literally have customers throwing money at me. They won’t leave me alone because they want high quality work and communication. They want to know that you care about whatever it is they’re asking for.
  • 16:25 Obviously, you’re going to have some difficult clients, but not everybody in the world is like that. Every time you do high quality work and you don’t feel like you’re getting paid as much as you should, a better opportunity might come from that. You’re sucking it up, sacrificing, and providing high quality, so before you know it, that opportunity is going to come where they’re throwing money at you. Try it for a month. Provide hard core, excellent quality work, and people will throw money at you.
  • 17:52 Sean: To answer Ben’s question a little better: yes, not focusing on the money makes money. You have to focus on the people, your vision, and the value you want to contribute to this world. What do you believe? What are your core principals? Focus on that and provide value to people, but pair up giving people free value with creating solutions for them (Related: tv022 Rule of Reciprocity). You’re so in tune with them, you’re listening to them, you know them intimately, you know their struggles, and you create something you can sell that will help them with those struggles and you actively sell that thing. Just like you wake up and write, you wake up and sell that thing—that’s how you make money. You can’t sit back passively.
  • 18:47 Matt: You provide the high quality work. Don’t start wishing they would throw money at you—go sell. You knock on their door.

Change Your Money Mindset

  • 19:33 Sean: Brookes asks, “How effective is pretending like you don’t have money problems and thinking long-term, and when should you admit that you’re a poor person for the moment?” You have to start with the mindset and the actions if you want to get out of your situation. If you’re in a situation you don’t like and you’re in Scarcity Mindset:

Doing the same things, thinking the same things, and hanging around the same people are going to keep you in the same place.

  • 20:12 You have to start by changing the way you act, speak, think, and the people you hang around while you’re in the place you don’t want to be. There is never a time to say, “I’m a poor person,” because as soon as you say that, you are a poor person. You say, “I am a success,” regardless of your situation and what your circumstances look like. Say you’re a success and act that out, back and forth. It’s a positive feedback loop.
  • 20:56 You bring people into that mix and it amplifies the positive feedback loop. That’s what gets you out of the hole. You don’t ever say, “This is who I am right now.” You don’t go by the circumstances. Reality aligns itself with your mindset. We don’t have Lambos out in the parking lot. We’re doing this because we have a goal and we’re believing that we’re going to get there. The reality is: you’re in a hole, you’re a poor person, and you’re in Scarcity Mindset, but you have to change the way you think so that reality can align with your mindset.
  • 22:08 Matt: There’s enough negativity around every day to bring you down enough to make you not want to execute the things you have to get done to be successful and get out of that hole. You have to be positive. If you’re in a hole because you’ve had a rough time and things are rocky, don’t get down. We all have those days. Even when you have money, you wish you didn’t. Sometimes, it’s frustrating having money, because you have the IRS calling you. Don’t think that getting more money will buy you happiness.
  • 23:07 Sean: Happiness is not reaching the Lambo Goal. Happiness is not getting out of your circumstances.

Happiness is a choice.

If you are not happy right now, you’re never going to be happy.

  • 23:14 Happiness does not come from external things. You might get fluctuations, short highs, or quick shots of dopamine, but that’s not happiness. Happiness is saying, “I’m happy,” regardless of the circumstances. That is the only way you can guarantee happiness when something else happens in the future. The only way to know if I’ll be happy when I reach my Lambo Goal is if I’m happy right now.