When people expect a cure, their brains release freakish dopamine (the happy juices), combating pain -- and making them feel better.

  1. Ever starved yourself for a few hours? OMGOMGOMGSOOOHUNGRYOMG
  2. Then, when your bad self put something in the microwave, you started feeling better.

BAM! What happened?

  1. Dopamine releases.
  2. "I feel better."


Why do people feel better after talking to a doctor?

  • Because they feel they expect a cure is on the way, regardless of the competence of that doctor in prescribing the correct medicine.

But get this, why do people feel even better after surgery?

Because, as Harvard Medical School's Ted J. Kaptchuk puts it, people expect even greater cures from surgery.

  • The more that you expect pain relief, the more your brain releases dopamine, the more you combat pain.

Feel better.

Expect cures.

Posted on March 16

  • Bob goes to his office.
  • "I'm feeling productive today! WOOOOHOOOO!" he tells his baadddd self.

In the past, upon entering his office:

  • When he's surfed the Internet, his productivity dropped.
  • When he's started working immediately, he became freakishly productive throughout the day.

Today, he's thinking:

  • HEY! I'll surf the Internet AND be very productive.

So, he surfs the Internet upon entering the office before doing any work.

What happens?

He's not productive throughout the day.

He repeats the same habit tomorrow, thinking TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT, but he suffers from the same results he's experienced in the past:

  • When he chooses to surf the Internet as his first task, his productivity drops.

That is, he is statistically more likely to drain his productivity by choosing to surf the Internet as his first task than to start working immediately.

Peep business/life:

  • We don't know what will happen in the future.
  • But, we can choose actions that statistically favor the future we're seeking.

For instance, if an NFL coach knows that the opposing football team has a weak defensive line, and his team has one last play to gain 3 yards to win the game, he should choose to run the ball than throw because his team is statistically more likely to gain those 3 yards running than throwing.

You + Sales Example


  • You've closed business 80% of the time doing X.
  • You've closed business 60% of the time doing Y.

All other things being equal, you're likelier to close more future business doing X than doing Y, so you should keep doing X whenever possible.

Without a drastic change to something, results from your daily decisions will stay fairly consistent.

If Bob wants to get more things done, he should choose to work immediately over surfing the Internet when he enters his office because he's historically been more productive doing the former over the latter.

Do what statistically favors the results you want.


Statistically-good habits.

Posted on March 15

Say your have a traditional commission structure for your salespeople:

  1. 'You get commission per sale.'
  2. 'You get bonuses if you sell more.'

What's the issue?

That incentive system promotes the let's-screw-over-the-customer-and-do-anything-to-get-the-sale mentality.


That is, if the seller doesn't sell, the seller doesn't get paid -- and so, s/he will pitch shoddy products even if clients don't benefit from those products.

  1. Yes, short-term sales may rise in the short-term.
  2. But, pitching and selling shoddy products destroys long-term/repeat sales (i.e., an unsatisfied client who buys crap products won't return, and won't send referrals), viciously decreasing the value of your company.

You end up with S.U.C.K.

How to Align Your Incentives

Align sales incentives that mutually promotes a win/win relationship between your company and your clients.

You'll start build long-term value for both parties.

McKinsey, for instance, only promotes those who consistently increase their customers' bottom-line.

A bad pay structure on its own:

  1. 'You get commission per sale.'
  2. 'You get bonuses if you sell more.'

A better pay structure that promotes win/win:

  1. 'All sales come with money-back guarantees.'
  2. 'You get commission per successful sale, meaning you get the commission if the client is 100% satisfied with the purchase after X days/months.'



Win/win incentives.

Posted on March 14

  • You play a video game.
  • You get an unexpected win.
  • You = happy!

Now, imagine playing that same game with predictable results for hours/hours/hours/hours/hours.

The game starts to become boring/boring/boring/boring.


The dopamine (the happy juices) in your brain skyrockets when you experience unexpected happiness, and becomes stagnant when you experience predictable results.

The skyrocketed dopamine addicts drug users to using more-and-more of those drugs; likewise, with anything else that gets you unexpected-happy-goodness, dopamine viciously attracts and addicts the person to the activity.

So How Does That Affect You?

Take gambling.


Dopamine addicts gamblers with those unpredictable wins, so gamblers continue gambling to keep getting those unforeseen highs.

To the rational person, the gambler cumulatively loses money every time he puts in his chips; to the gambler's subconscious, however, he's addicted to those happy highs whenever he wins -- even if he knows he'll lose more money at the end of the day.

Think of yourself as having the gambler's tendency:

  • Making profitable, habitual, boring everyday decisions won't get you the happy juices; therefore, you won't actively seek it.
  • Making risky and unproven decisions does get you the happy juices, as your dopamine skyrockets with every unexpected gain, so your brain actively seeks the risky behavior.

Therefore, you're more prone to making disastrous mistakes that can end up destroying your business, instead of relying on the necessary-but-boring decisions that keep your company increasingly profitable.


What to do?

  1. Make sure you're executing the profitable/everyday/boring necessary decisions; if you can't, try delegating the responsibilities.
  2. Risky behavior does increase innovation; scale it down, though, based on your risk tolerance (Google budgets 20% of engineering time on risky projects)
  3. Channel your addiction to dopamine elsewhere if it's not beneficial to work, like playing a game rich with rewards (Warcraft!)


Punch dopamine IN THE FACE.

Posted on March 12

BAM: Your heart carries blood.

  • Carrying thicker blood means your heart has to work harder.
  • Carrying thinner/lighter/more-elastic blood means it doesn't have to work so hard, conserving more energy for you to expend energy in KICKING MAJOR ASS elsewhere.

(like rocking customers' lives! Yay! Hi five!)

Water thins your blood, giving you more energy.

You + Carrying Mud

Imagine you carrying a bag full of mud.

  • It's initially heavy because of its freakish density.

Now, imagine you carrying a bag of mud that's mixed with water.

How does that bag compare to carrying the bag full of mud?

  • It's lighter.
  • It's easier to carry.
  • You use less energy.

More importantly, you have more energy at the end to do anything else yo-boo-tay wants to do.

  1. Mud is like yo blood.
  2. Thin yo blood.
  3. Get more energy.

Drink more water.

Posted on March 11

You want to build the world's greatest sales force.

So, you start hiring the priciest consultants and contractors money could buy to tranform your entire sales organization: BUT DANG BAM: they don't.

So you're disappointed. You cry.


How to get revolutionary change?

Start improving one tiny thing about your sales organization.




Focus strictly on improving to achieve your revolutionary change; for instance:

  • Find one way to download your leads faster.
  • Find one way to keep in touch with prospects better.
  • Find one way to help your customers order faster.
  • Find one way to help the sales team collaborate better.
  • Etc etc etc

Tiny. Bite-sized. Manageable. Quick.

Keep improving in bite-sized chunks, forever.

  1. Revolutionary change doesn't happen overnight; seeking it further destroys what you've spent years/decades already building.
  2. Instead, improve on every little aspect of X for the rest of your FAB days to "revolutionize" your sales force.

HEY THAT'S ONE MIGHTY FINE REVOLUTIONARY SALES FORCE THAT CAME OUT FROM NOWHERE, someone might say; but, they don't really know that the revolutionary change was a result of your endless improvements.

Hi five.

Improve a tiny thing. Repeat.

Posted on March 10


But not just any education: education that helps you help others.

  • A software developer helps businesses work more efficiently.
  • A marketing consultant helps businesses bring in more customers.
  • A trader allocates resources to the most efficient companies.
  • A chef helps people eat healthier.
  • An investment banker helps businesses preserve cash to keep operations running.
  • A professional athlete entertains lots of people.
  • An interior designer helps people live happier.
  • etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

A primary difference between high earners and low earners is that high earners have more knowledge on how to provide value to others, resulting in higher pay for providing that value.

Have a freakish competitor who is taking away your customers? Find better ways than the competitor to help your customers.


Get knowledge.

  • Ask customers about problems.
  • Get research reports.
  • Read books.  Lots of 'em.
  • Get mentors to help you help others.


Knowledge that helps.

Posted on March 09

You like your crushes because you think about them repeatedly.

  • The more you think about them, the more you like them. It's the exposure effect.

It's why you're probably more fond of Geico than other insurers because you see them more on TV; it's also why you're more fond of corrupt main characters in movies than his goodie-two-shoes rival.

How To Close

Show up with a bag of cookies (or whatever gooooodie), and maybe some good tips to improve their business, along with a a flyer/proposal/etc. for your services. (Make it 5 minutes.)

  • Repeat weekly/monthly until you close.

(For more efficient effect, visit multiple potential client sites -- grab your list! -- like you popping yo cookies in every yayrea code)

And in between:

  • Email occasional tips.
  • Send thank you letters.
  • Congratulate them on X.
  • Send them gifts.
  • etc.

Provided you're not annoying the out of them, the more they see you/your-face/reminded-of-you, the more they like you.

The more they like you? The more you increase your chances of closing business.

(...and getting even more business! BIZAM)


Show up.

Posted on March 08

Tom Sawyer: "There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service that would turn it into work, then they would resign."

  • Scenario A: You pay to do X.
  • Scenario B: Someone pays you to do X.

In Scenario A, you think of X as a privilege. In Scenario B, you see X as work/drudgery/SUCK -- even though you'd consider X as a privilege if you had to pay for it.

The price of X manipulates your mind when you're valuing X.


Take diamonds.

  • 1910: What's so special about these shiny rocks?

In 1947, De Beers slapped this marketing slogan on their advertising:

  • "A Diamond is Forever."

...a symbol of love. A family jewel.

Price tag: $999999999999999999999999999999999


The perception of diamond rings skyrocketed with the high price tags, causing females (and some males) all over to go into frenzies wanting these diamond rings.

  • Because De Beers marketed the diamond rings by placing ridiculous values on the shiny rocks, peeps started placing ridiculous value on the diamonds.
  • To maintain its value, De Beers controlled the supply of diamonds, preventing a saturation of diamonds that would drop its prices.

The Luxurious

A price tag on an item changes your perception of the item.

To get customers to place higher values on products, luxury companies make their products extravagant:

  1. Hike up prices.
  2. Tweak production to use (at the least, slightly) better material.
  3. Slap on a "precious" marketing campaign.

Get higher margins.


Posted on March 07

You have a task you'ze gotsa to do.

  • a) You procrastinate on it.
  • b) You put it on your todo list (with a set time).
  • c) You do it.

What Sucks You The Mother Kuck Down?

Procrastinating on the task destroys you not once, but 976958749484894837 times.


Every time you think of Task X?

  • Your anxiety increases.
  • Your morale drops.
  • You start hating yo life more-and-more.

As a result, your productivity slooooowwws with you not being able to fully concentrate 10000000000% of your focus/energy on whatever it is that you're doing.

Take Fred

Fred procrastinates on X.

  • Fred does Task A, but X prevents him from fully kicking Task A's assss.
  • X also prevents him from beating Tasks B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, etc, etc, etc. into submission.

X further prevents him from fully immersing himself into watching TV, reading a sweet book, or relaxing to MILEY CYRUS MUSIC PARTY IN THE USA YEEEAAHHH YEEEAAHHH

  • X makes him seem as if he's multitasking while driving; he can't pay 100% of his attention to one thing (with X floating in his mind), so he sucks at all things he's doing.

The longer you delay the task, the more you experience anxiety increases, morale drops, and vicious productivity drainages in every $&"^%^ thing you do.

Don't suck. (Cuz u not suck!)

When you have a task, decide immediately what you'll do (e.g., do it now, or put it on your todo list) so you don't riddle your future with SUCK.

Immediately deciding what you'll do helps you rid X from floating in yo mind, letting you focus fully 100000000000% on whatever it is that you're doing.



Posted on March 05

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