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I want to talk about this concept I call Gold Miner.

A gold miner is someone who is always looking for something positive out of every situation.

What a lot of people tend to do is they try to find someone who mostly shares gold—this is good, you want to find people who mostly share gold. But what you don’t want to do is completely ignore people that you disagree with, who maybe share things you don’t like, or have different views than you, or things that you would consider junk.

It’s easy to pay attention to the people you mostly agree with and who give you things you appreciate.

But a lot of people tend to ignore and avoid people they disagree with. Even if there was something good, they don’t see it because they throw everything out.

A gold miner doesn’t care how much they have to dig through. All they care about is finding that one little bit of gold anywhere they can find it.

Every situation you encounter, every conversation you have, every book you read—you’re looking for that little piece of gold. You’re looking for the million-dollar idea.

This sounds simple in concept, but most people don’t do this. Most people aren’t gold miners. Most people are looking for the one little thing they disagree with so they can disqualify the person as a whole.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • A gold miner is someone who’s always looking to get something positive out of any situation.
  • Don’t allow your perception of another person to blind you from the gold they might have to share.
  • Don’t look for something to disqualify the person—look for the gold idea.
  • Even if you disagree with 100% of what you’ve read, it can help confirm the opposite for you or trigger an idea in your mind.
  • Don’t think you’re above learning from anyone.
  • Listening to people doesn’t mean you have to emulate everything about them.
  • Value is not just about what you hear or read, it’s what that content makes you think.
  • If you only surround yourself with people who agree with you, it hinders your ability to grow.
Show Notes
  • 02:00 Sean: What do you think of when you think of a gold miner? What does a gold miner do? Paint a picture.
  • 02:45 Ben: For some reason, at first, I was thinking about the people who go to the river with those sieve things and they’re trying to get the gold out of the river. Sean’s talking about someone who actually has to get dynamite sticks.
  • 03:00 Sean: Yeah, did you ever play Minecraft? In Minecraft, you go underground, you’re mining, and the diamond pickax is the best, because it’s super fast. You’re down there for hours, sometimes, and it’s nothing—it’s just cobblestone and garbage stuff, but then you open up into this underground canyon. It’s like Lord of the Rings or something. It’s super tall, and sometimes there’s water underground coming out of a little waterfall. It’s crazy. You’re placing torches and you’re illuminating the room gradually. You look up on the wall, and something sparkles. It’s gold! You go up and you mine it. It took you hours to get to this point, but you found the gold. It’s such a rewarding moment.
  • 05:45 Ben: Very similar to how it happens in real life, I suppose.
  • 05:38 Sean: That’s what I’m talking about with a gold miner. This concept of being a gold miner is that you’re finding value in unexpected places.

A gold miner is someone who’s always looking to get something positive out of any situation.

Don’t Ignore Those Who Disagree

  • 06:01 What a lot of people tend to do is they try to find a person to follow, to listen to, or to read, that mostly shares gold. That makes sense. You want to go to the people that are mostly sharing gold. What most people don’t do is listen and keep their eyes and ears open and even seek out other sources that are not always sharing 100% gold. They tend to completely ignore people that they disagree with, which is not good for a lot of reasons. It creates an echo chamber. They don’t like to follow or listen to people that they don’t like or don’t agree with completely.
  • 06:47 This is not a good idea. I try purposefully to follow people online and subscribe to people online that I actually disagree with, or at least don’t agree with everything. Sometimes, I feel that desire when someone shares an opposing view. Maybe it’s political. Maybe it’s about business. Maybe it’s about relationships. Maybe it’s about work, balance, or health. Maybe I disagree with them, and for a moment, I feel this urge to unfollow them. “I don’t agree with you. I don’t want to hear your opposing views. I don’t want to see it in my feed.” There are a lot of tools today that give us the ability to craft and curate our own feeds and the people we subscribe to.
  • 07:35 Everywhere you go, you can follow boards on Pinterest, friend people on Facebook, or hide posts on Instagram. We can create these bubbles for ourselves, these echo-chambers, where we never hear dissenting opinions, and we also miss out on a lot of value that’s hidden inside a package that isn’t something we completely, totally, 100% agree with.
  • 08:07 Ben: Sometimes, it’s not necessarily that we disagree with this person. I think of that expression, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Sometimes, maybe it’s your opinion of that person and whether or not you respect their opinion or you see them as an authority. Maybe you have some accomplishments under your belt, and you can speak with authority on certain things. There are other people in the influencer space, and you think, “I’m probably more of an influencer than that person is,” or, “I know someone who’s more of an influencer than that person is.”

Don’t allow your perception of another person to blind you from the gold they might have to share.

  • 09:04 I think it can even happen with people you do totally agree with. I’ll get to that in a minute.
  • 09:12 Sean: Think of a pie that’s cut into 16 slices. These are pretty thin. Imagine that someone eats all but one slice. That’s what the pie chart looks like for people that we feel only share junk, or they share things that we disagree with. The piece of pie, the one slice that’s left, represents a gold nugget, something that’s valuable. A lot of people look for not the one gold nugget, but instead, the thing they disagree with. All they’re doing is listening, waiting. If they agree, they’re silent. If they disagree, that’s it. All the alarms go off. That’s when all hell breaks loose. That’s when they’re done with this person.

Million-Dollar Ideas

  • 10:08 Sean: It’s such a shame, because the mindset you want going into anything—looking at someone’s profile, watching their video, reading a book—you want to go in with the mindset of, “I want to find a million-dollar idea.” Let’s say that a bunch of people had fast food, and one person crumpled up their trash and threw it on the ground. Cups, bags, ketchup packets… they crumpled it on the ground.
  • 10:42 There are ten people there. Every single person except one, nine people, crumpled up their fast food trash and they threw it on the ground. The last person wasn’t hungry. He didn’t eat anything. He just wrote a check, a $1 million check, that was blank. It could be to anyone. He said, “Whoever finds this, they can have it,” and he puts it in the pile of trash. Would you be willing to dig through the crumpled fast food trash to get the check?
  • 11:23 Ben: One time, when I was in sixth grade, I went into a dumpster looking for my retainer, which I had accidentally thrown away. This is a true story. My parents were going to kill me if I didn’t bring it home. It turned out that one of my friends had picked it up from the table, and it wasn’t in the dumpster. At the time, that retainer was like gold. My eyes were so attuned to the shape, look, and color of the retainer. I was going to find it.
  • 12:35 There are a lot of different mediums to follow, but I think about mining for gold in books. The million-dollar idea that you’re looking for is not something the author has that you’re trying to find, but it’s something you already have. You’re looking for something to uncover that idea for you.
  • 13:04 Sean: It definitely can be.
  • 13:09 Ben: It’s not something that’s got to be a million-dollar idea for me and for everybody. Even in the stuff that doesn’t seem valuable, with the right approach, the right mindset, you can make it a million-dollar idea.
  • 13:28 Sean: It’s so true, the power of having a gold mining mindset. Even if I disagree, not with half of what I read in a book, most of what I read, or 99%, but even if I disagree with 100% of what I’ve read, the opposite idea could be triggered in my mind. Think about the value of that. If you knew there was a million dollar check in a pile of garbage, you would go after it. You would dig through it. You would mine for that gold. That’s the mindset you need to have going into everything. It’s not about waiting until you find something you disagree with.
  • 14:16 It’s not about listening to an entrepreneur on his podcast, reading his blog, or watching his videos, and going, “Look at that car he bought! His priorities are out of whack,” or, “Why is he hanging around those people? Why doesn’t he spend time with his family? He keeps talking about traveling or doing crazy things.” Maybe it’s something that’s not good. Maybe he’s talking about being selfish. Has he had any one good idea? Has she given you something that has sparked something for you?

Don’t look for something to disqualify the person.

Look for the gold idea—the nugget that will change something for you.

  • 15:06 I’m not saying you have to say, “Sorry guys, I can’t hang out with you. I have to go to the dumpsters.” You don’t have to follow terrible people all the time. I’m just saying that so many people I see immediately shut down as soon as they encounter any kind of dissension, anything they disagree with remotely. They shut the person out of their lives and they don’t listen.

Be Willing to Learn From Everyone

  • 15:40 Ben: I started getting these YouTube ads that were always Tai Lopez walking me through his house. I watched a little bit and listened to what he was talking about, but the thing that stuck with me the most was that he mentioned that he reads a book a day. My brain fixed on that, and I started thinking about it more and more. As far as an education goes, learning new things, books are gold mines in and of themselves. The author is putting a significant chunk of their expertise into a book that you can read, and it may cost you $15 or $20, or the cost of gas to get to the library. If you think about it that way, it’s insane how much knowledge you can acquire for such a small amount of money.
  • 16:59 Sean: Most people who write books don’t write hundreds of books or dozens of books. Of the people who have written a book, which is a very small subset of the population, most have probably written one. Very few have written more than one, because it’s such an effort. A lot of authors will say that it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done. Authors are compiling, often, a lifetime of experience into one book with hundreds of hours spent editing out anything that isn’t valuable. It’s a condensation of value and knowledge. There’s so much wrapped up inside of these things.
  • 17:58 Sean: Ben mentioned Tai Lopez. I pay attention to Tai Lopez. I have listened to his stuff. I don’t religiously listen to everything. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says or does, but he has given me ideas. Think about everything I’ve said on the seanwes podcast, the ideas and value you’ve gotten and the quality of that. I wade through a lot of junk, and I bring back the gold nuggets for you. I try to produce very little junk for you to have to wade through. Before you judge me for listening to, watching, and paying attention to someone like Tai Lopez, who you may disagree with, think about the kind of value I’ve provided over the past year or two. Remember the fact that I have been paying attention to Tai Lopez and other people like Tai Lopez during that time.

If you pay attention to someone or listen to them, it doesn’t mean that you have to emulate everything about them.

  • 19:06 You need to be a learner. You need to be a learning machine. You need to be a gold miner. I’m just looking for the gold. I have gotten ideas from Tai that have quantifiably made me multiple six figures. I literally turned around from one 12 minute video and applied it, and I made multiple six figures. I am not above learning from anyone, and that’s what I’m advocating here. Don’t think that you’re above learning from anyone. Tai Lopez said, “Pay attention to what your haters say about you. They’re going to say bad things, but you also want to pay attention to the things they say you’re good at. My haters dislike a lot things about me, maybe everything, but the one thing they will say is, ‘You can’t compete with him on reading books.'”
  • 20:04 If there’s anything he does well, if there’s anything he’s done that’s good, it’s advocating that inner-city kids should read books. He’s gotten more people to read books than most of the world. You can put him down for whatever reason you want. There are plenty of reasons to choose from, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t have the mindset of a gold miner and be willing to learn from everyone.

Indirect Gold

  • 20:45 Ben: In the past, I’ve done this to my detriment, I think. I’ll find a piece of content, whether it’s a podcast, a book, or whatever it is, and I’ll decide to consume it. I’ll start reading. This is good story-telling, but they’ll say everything they’re going to say within the first quarter of the piece of content. They want you to know what to expect. They want you to know where it’s going. In the past, I’ll get halfway or three quarters of the way through and I’ll say, “I agree with everything, and I feel like I’ve gotten everything I need to out of this piece of content.”
  • 21:35 Sometimes, there’s gold hidden in that last three quarters of the content. You can’t spend your time consuming everything so you don’t miss anything, but if you choose to consume something, see it all the way through. You don’t want to miss out on what might be a concept that you get, but they’re going to make it so practical in that last chapter that it unlocks something for you.
  • 22:06 Sean: I’ll give you another layer of benefit as well, which I think applies to podcasts.

Value is not just about what you hear or read—it’s what that content makes you think.

  • 22:21 It’s the ideas that you get. One of the most valuable things that people don’t recognize is that you listen to our podcast, and we are creating a space and a context in which you can think about something. When you want to come up with ideas, work through a problem or you feel like hitting a wall, when you pull up any of the podcasts from the archive of this show on the topic that you’re struggling with, you may hear an idea that solves your problem.
  • 22:57 What that episode will also do for the duration of that hour is put your mind in a headspace that is susceptible to solving this problem. Otherwise, you’re working against nothing. Maybe distractions are pulling you away. When you enter into this headspace, which a book can give you, a video can give you, or a podcast can give you, it puts you in a mindset where you’re thinking about these things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to podcasts where nothing they said helped me objectively, and many times they said things I disagreed with, but in that disagreement my mind was processing things on this topic and I got ideas. I stopped the podcast. They didn’t know that they helped me, but they just helped me.
  • 23:53 Ben: The fun thing about that is what’s really going on when you fix your mind on something, which you have to do when you’re consuming content, reading a book, or whatever it is. It’s not just what you’re consciously aware of, but it’s what’s going on in the background. Your mind is working on things in the background.
  • 24:23 Cory: I definitely agree. Always be looking, always be searching. Listen to everybody and pull out what you can. You can always pull out something. Your mind is always turning, always spinning. I love what we’re saying about how even if you disagree with someone 100%, it can just make you think about what you think and give you more ideas.
  • 24:50 Sean: I hope the next time you browse your Twitter feed and you see someone say something you disagree with, you remember this. Has this person ever given you any value? Has this person ever triggered a thought in your mind that produced something positive? Have they ever given you any idea?

Think twice before you block someone out of your life because you disagree.

  • 25:18 Cory: You’ve got to audit yourself. Maybe you are, without even realizing it, the person who’s listening and, as soon as you disagree, you shut off your mind. You’re not helping yourself by just thinking about how much you disagree with that person. That’s not the gold miner mindset.
  • 25:41 Ben: This isn’t just about the content you consume. It’s also true of your personal relationships. If you only surround yourself with people who agree with you, who will tell you that you’re right, it hinders your ability to grow. Fashion your digital world the same way you do your physical world.
  • 26:04 Sean: Have you ever been wrong at any point in your life? That means that someone you previously disagreed with was probably right. At the time that you disagreed with them, maybe you shut them out of your life. If you hadn’t shut them out of your life, maybe they would have shown you that you were wrong sooner. If you hadn’t constructed an echo chamber around yourself in your personal “real” life or in your digital life, you would be able to grow.