35+ Hacks to Win in Business and Entrepreneurship
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
So you want to be a successful businessman or entrepreneur.
But you know it ain’t easy.
And you want to get off on the right foot or, if you’ve already started — avoid common pitfalls and succeed. Massively.
Charlie Houpert and Ben Altman are two successful entrepreneurs who have done just that. With a youtube channel boasting 200 popular videos and 2 million subscribers and counting, these two were able to quit their suit-and-tie jobs an travel around the world learning from the best.
In their channel, Charisma on Command, Ben and Charlie share strategies on becoming successful in business and personal relationships.
They teach viewers how to create confidence and take wise risks, to emulate the stars (literally) and win people over naturally and irresisitbly.
They started Charisma University to train interested students in real-life charisma techniques distilled over many years. But much of their best material is out there for you to see for yourself…if you had the time to see for yourself.
If you don’t, you’re in luck!
Last month, I took the time to go through 200+ of their videos and compiled the 35 best business-and-entrepreneurship tips for you.
If you’ve ever wondered “How to crush any interview,” wanted to know “How to be popular without changing who you are,” or were curious about how online entrepreneurs like The VlogBrothers, Logan Paul, and PewDiePie made it big, this is DEFINITELY your jam.
This article includes 35 videos in these categories:
- Winning at interviews and networking
- The entrepreneur life & Success hacks
- Secrets to selling
- Playing (and winning) the mental game
This is a continuation of the Charisma on Command Summary Series.
How to Crush Your Self-Limitations and Step Into Your TRUE Self: Introducing the Charisma on Command Summary Series
It’s time to come clean: You are not who you want to be. You know it, deep in your gut. You are not yet who you want to…
Ready to begin?
WINNING AT INTERVIEWS & NETWORKING
Lessons from Evan Carmichael.
- Redefine “networking.” It’s not going to career days with suits, getting business cards, sending generic emails, etc. Don’t go to “networking events.” But go to other events that have something else going on besides meeting people to get a job.
- Make it easy for people to talk to you. Ex: Evan wore branded shirts that would make people ask him questions. Or a guy walked around with a beard, and people would ask about it.
- Be prepared to introduce yourself. Just say “what brings you here?”
- Get people talking about themselves and what they really want. “What do you hope to get out of this? What cool stuff are you working on now?”
- Play matchmaker. Don’t just think whether the person is helpful for you, think if you know people you can connect to each other.
Exercise: Make a list of people in your life, about 20–25 names. Write down what these people need. You don’t always know, but there may be some obvious connections that can help them.
- 1st, don’t stress. Look at it from the perspective of you at 80 years old and this job won’t seem that important.
- Go through your professional life and write 5–10 most pivotal moments where you demonstrated leadership or made you interested in your industry.
- Write what each moment shows about your job strengths and weaknesses (what adjectives would you use?).
- Turn 3–5 of these into stories. (setting, problem, solution, result). Don’t just say why you’re qualified. They already have your resume. Telling engaging stories makes people like you.
- With your weaknesses, tell a story how you overcame.
- On interview day: an hour before the interview, get yourself into a good mood.
- Pay attention to people in the waiting room. The interview starts as soon as you enter the building. Be personable to the secretary, and everyone else.
- Open your body language.
- When they ask you if you have questions, ask: “A year from now, if things go well today and I get this position, what will I have to have done so you will think ‘that was an awesome decision and this person is fantastic.’” It gives you the metrics, makes them think about hiring you, and most employers love this question.
THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP LIFE & SUCCESS HACKS
- Figure out who you want to serve. Who do you care about? Who do you identify with? Pick a SPECIFIC GROUP of people.
- Once you have your group, how do you know what they want? Interview them. Ask them about their fears, frustrations, aspirations.
- Now ask, “how can I deliver that?”
- Validate the idea. Build a simple website.
- Get eyes to it. Go to where people already are. Ex: Charisma on Command went to YT because it’s a huge search engine/platform.
Is a lifestyle business for you?
- For people who want to control their time.
Coming up with your idea
- Brainstorm with these 4 questions:
- What would you do with $100M? What would your days look like? You don’t want to build a system that will trap you so start with thinking about what your ideal life is.
- If you were guaranteed success, what would you do?
- What are you already doing for free?
- What skills do you have?
Now look for overlap
- Understand your audience: what are their biggest fears, challenges, frustrations, dreams come true? Interview them and ask these questions.
- Helpful course: marketing step by step by Eben Pagan
How to make money without risking money
- Co-creation: Let your customers tell you what they want. Create a group of customers and with them, create your product. Send them a survey: What do you want to learn? Pick 6–8 things from this survey.
- Pre-selling: Sell the product before you make it. Tell them the results from the survey and ask: would you pay $500 for this? When 25 say yes, they get special bonuses and become the inaugural class.
- Case study: a friend started posting coffee-related posts on Instagram and built a following. Then he surveyed followers about their most annoying challenge. Then he used their exact words to reflect what they wanted, launched a kickstarter, raised the money, made the product, and launched.
Do it faster
- Find someone who’s done it before. Business coaching/mentorship helps most. Find someone who is living the lifestyle you want and ask them.
Case study: Gary Vaynerchuk. He interrupts people, says things they don’t like,and irritates them, but always ends up being friends with people in the end. How?
- Touch: When Gary senses people are crossing a line into aggravation, he touches people in a friendly way.
- His compliments are genuine. He’s nice to guests and employees as well.
- He starts with touch, compliments and humor to build goodwill in the first impression so that later on if he offends people, this will help.
- He’s consistently authentic. He never changes his personality to fit situations. People already expect him to call them out, so people think “it’s just Gary being Gary.”
- His bluntness is mixed with humor and kindness. So when he’s praising someone, people believe he means it.
- He apologizes quickly if he needs to.
- He’s great at getting attention: Willing to be goofy, high energy. Uses jump cuts and intense emotion keep the brain engaged because the brain loves emotion and novelty.
- Builds routines to create high energy. When you wake up, move your body, make noise and say something positive for 30–60 seconds. Have an excited morning routine.
- Transfered Vine skills to Youtube: able to make a point/story in 6 seconds. Cross-collaborates with other content marketers. Learned to integrate products into content. On youtube, they’re great at creating hooks, making people wonder what crazy things will happen next.
- He reinforces in-group identity. Incorporates fans into his videos, interacts with them, calls out those who support him.
- He’s the master of capturing attention: Thumbnails and titles have color contrast, mystery, emotion. And faces — people pay most attention to faces, especially faces with strong emotions. And he sticks many emotions in a few-second arc.
- The quality of a message is secondary to its ability to capture attention. If your message isn’t being received, don’t blame the audience. Position yourself to catch their attention.
- Callback humor: PDP uses the same intro to refer to others. Iit references things you “just had to be there for.” He also parodies Youtube.
- He often talks tongue in cheek: which makes his clickbait okay.
- He gets away with things that would destroy others: 1) build a persona in advance that lets you get away with things. 2) Not apologizing and deflecting with humor. A touch of irony and well timed humor can help you get away with a lot.
- Great leaders change unfortunate situations into something great opportunity. Hallmark of leadership: transforming challenges into something motivating.
- Focus on your locus of control. We like to focus on things we can’t control because that allows us to blame someone else and protect our egos. But complaining doesn’t help: the only real option is to step up your game and improve.
- Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics (Ex: in basketball, that’d be stats that help individual players, but not the team) Winning means returning to a system of continuous improvement every day, which values work ethic and hustle, things that are often overlooked. When the right actions and attitude are in place, winning will come automatically.
- Make it about other people: care about serving others, build others up, notice the people others overlook.
SECRETS TO SELLING
We all sell, especially selling ourselves.
- Build rapport. Start with a compliment, a relatable story. You want people to feel “I like you” AND “I am like you.”
- Talk about the results the product will get your clients. People don’t buy drills, they buy holes. They want results.
- Demonstrate a process or the results of a process. It helps people visualize what they’re getting.
- People are partly buying products; they’re partly buying the seller. They’re deciding if they want your emotional state. That’s why nervousness doesn’t work. Sell certainty, confidence, enthusiasm. It makes you think you’ll feel like he does when you do what he does.
Believe in yourself and the product you are selling. Don’t sell a product you can’t be enthusiastic about. Improve it or move on. You should also be enthusiastic about yourself — take some time to review the great things about you, so you can convince the person that “buying you” is a great idea for them!
How Tai’s “in my garage” video works:
- The film is made on a cell phone with low prorduction quality. Low production often feels more authentic, spontaneous, trustworthy (think Blair Witch Project). But you do sacrifice a sense of authority.
- Tai drops hints of authority: talking about how he spoke on TEDx, talking about being well-read and showing it with his 7 bookshelves, and showing his Lamborghini.
- Grounds his success story on a relatable path. He talks about how he used to sleep on couches and have only $47 in the bank.
- The mechanism: getting a customer from a place they don’t want to be to where they want to be. Don’t introduce the mechanism until you’ve established authority, trust, desire. No one cares if you say “I want to share things with you” unless you first establish credibility.
- Speak to common objectives: He knows where viewers’ minds are at. He raises probable objections and also disqualifies specific people “only optimists need apply.” This will make your ideal customer feel a pull toward your product. It’s a skill to know who you are a match for.
- Call to action. Repeats the call to action multiple times with different reasons each time — it’s free, it’s quick, you can do it today. The sub communication is: you have more to lose by not clicking than by clicking. The closing action matches other peoples’ experience of you. He waits until people have watched a 55-min video before they start selling. Rule: Don’t ask for big commitments from people who’ve only just met you.
- If you want to communicate any message, you first need attention. All good education is spliced-in entertainment. They don’t always lead with the most practical stuff. They start with questions that spark curiosity (see Hank from CrashCourse).
- They build trust by sharing vulnerable stories. Ex: John shared his experience with depression and vulunerability.
- They create engaged communities. They’re great at bringing people together for a common cause. They spent a few months making biweekly vidieos to each other.
Start within a community you’re already part of (the brothers’ first breakthrough video was a Harry Potter fan vid).
Then once you have your followers, differentiate yourself by talking about what you believe. (see Simon Sinek’s Start With Why) People want to be around others who believe what they believe. You need to let people know what you think life is about. You gotta find a way to let people know what you’re passionate about.
Create a way for people to identify and signal their affiliation. This could be secret handshakes/signs, unique insider words/phrases, and a name for people to call themselves (“nerdfighters”)
Invite them to the same physical location. Here’s where the magic happens.
- They credit their community for their success. The more it’s about you, the weaker the community. Keep the focus on other people.
PLAYING (AND WINNING) THE MENTAL GAME
A famous 1984 psych study found that smiling made people happier, even when they did it mechanically (holding a pencil with the upper lip).
The way we use our bodies creates a psychological reaction in us (changes the chemicals). If you have a “boss posture” it literally increases testosterone (in men).
This is why “fake it ’til you make it” works. If you’re feeling scared in a social situation, just go out and dance and you will feel much better!
Sometimes the people closest to you do not like it when you improve yourself and change your choices.
- Toddler Technique: The first thing toddlers do when they fall is not cry, but look around to see how people around them react. If mom is concerned, they cry. If not, they keep playing. So when people start being negative, just ignore it. It usually goes away.
- Purposely misinterpret passive-aggressive questions as literal: This takes the wind out of their sails. “What are you going to do with a philosophy degree? Open a philosophy store?” “No, I don’t think that’s a great idea.”
- Be vulnerable: Let people know the emotional reasons for your choices.
- In response to “I could never do that,” say “It’s a good thing you make decisions for you and I make decisions for me.”
- DON’T recruit people. Instead of getting into arguments about ideas, just live your life and show them.
- Find at least one other person who’s got your back.
- Change your physical state: Exercise, move, stretch, splash water on your face. This affects your subconscious feelings more than telling yourself it’ll be okay because your subconscious does not speak English.
- Find the lesson. For things that linger, like every time you do X you feel Y, don’t shrink away. Engage and look for what you need to learn from it.
- Filter your environment. Don’t let yourself be barraged by negativity. Craft your environment to eliminate non-actionable negative feedback. Start with social media.
- Embodiment. The subconscious is not verbal. You need to have an experience, even an imagined one, to change things. To embody the release of self-doubt, free write 3 pages and dump everything that bothers you to get it out. Then trash it, and it’s gone. You can also write an apology letter to yourself from someone who wronged you.
- If you have a strong enough why, anything is possible. Self-doubt is usually serving you in some way. You need to create a stronger WHY to crush the “why” that is fueling self-doubt. Get self-righteously pissed at yourself for letting self-doubt walk over you.
Stress kills. So learning to eliminate it is a crucial skill.
- Don’t externalize stress: We think outside things create stress. But actually, it comes from inside.
- What is stress? Needing to have something turn out a certain way that we think we can’t control. The fewer things you think you need, the less stress you have. 1st thing to let go of: the past.
- Fear setting: Imagine the worst happening, and realize that it would suck but you could deal with it. Things are not as bad as they seem.
- Tree planning: Increase your feeling of control to reduce stress. When Charlie was concerned about his finances, he wrote 3 pages of methods to earn more money so he knew he had a game plan.
- Swish pattern (NLP pattern): Place the image you don’t want to happen in one hand. Place the image of what you want to happen in another hand. Play the negative image and as soon as you start to feel nervous, switch to the other hand. Do this 10–20 minutes. That trains your brain to automatically switch from negative to positive when the situation happens.
We overestimate the intensity and duration of the happiness we feel when we get what we want. Things we pursue take a lot of time and the happiness we get when we succeed is very small.
There’s a happiness ladder. Starting from bottom to top:
- Stuff: It’s nice and necessary but doesn’t create lasting happiness. It’s also easily manipulated by the media.
- Experience: Instead of accumulating things, we want to experience the world. If you want it just for the instagram photo, though, it’s wrong.
- Growth: Learning new things can be fun. But it still leads to emptiness when there’s no connection or contribution.
- Connection & contribution: Everything we do is to share with other people in a meaningful way. Even solitary people need a form of connecting and giving back.
- Appreciation: If you can shift from lack to gratitude, you’ll be happy.
He was supremely confident without being overly arrogant or losing people’s love. How?
- He often trash talked his opponents. But his confidence was real while his arrogance was performed. If you’re going to brag, take it so far to the extreme that people laugh.
- A clash of frames: Ali takes over the frame in communications. He’s firmly rooted in his own frame. He’s used to setting the tone in his interactions. In sales pitches, dates, etc, it is usually good to be the one taking charge.
- He’s not afraid of being totally real/honest: Admitting what you don’t know takes guts, and he is willing to do that. People know what he stands for because he tells the truth and is okay with the consequences. He’s not blown by social norms. Think of something you believe that you are hiding and stop hiding it.
We often have unfounded beliefs we cling to that limit us. Here’s how to spot them:
- Marketing often trumps our own lived experiences.
- If you constantly think the world is crazy, pause and consider if there’s something wrong with the way YOU look at the world, a belief keeping you from getting what you want. Ex: Charlie tells the story of a guy at the airport who kept telling people they were going the wrong way, not realizing the way he set up the lanes was confusing people.
- When you see a cultural phenomenon you don’t understand, something popular you don’t get, try to see what fundamental part of human psychology is being invoked. Take the fundamentals of what works and use it in your own work.
Wrestler McGregor is a master at the mental game.
- He visualizes EVERY STEP of the process. Not just winning the match but the entire process of walking in, wrapping his hands, etc.
- He visualizes the DETAILS. He plays specific fight sequences in his mind and has the courage to speak it out. Imagine potential situations and how you’ll react.
- He creates PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION of his vision. Vision boards aren’t new, but Conor also borrowed someone else’s trophy, took a picture with it, and looked at it every day. He also has a mural in his gym. He makes his practice situation simulate reality as closely as possible.
- He dreams of what others have never achieved, but it’s grounded in reality. He doesn’t deny that a great fighter will take hi down, but says “I’ll butcher you from the bottom.”
- He watches others’ fights. He looks at great fighters, but also looks at his own lost fights to see where he can learn it. He looks at when his opponents have been beaten by others, and then imagines himself doing it
- He visualizes every second of every day. Every time he zones out, he’s thinking of himself fighting. We all do this anyway, but we usually visualize the negative. But Conor spends hundreds of hours purposely visualizing the positive, not the negative.
- Don’t just think it, SPEAK IT. Be vocal. This can be dangerous because the more you talk the less action you might take. It gives you a “premature sense of completeness.” Don’t visualize with a sense of satisfaction, but with a sense of HUNGER.
Everything is created twice: first in the mind, then in reality.
That’s why great businessmen are often called “visionaries.” Either the visualizations shape reality or they give him enough confidence to do what he wants.
Visualize when you’re doing mindless tasks. Use that time to get in extra reps.
Productivity is about doing important stuff more quickly, not just doing a ton of things.
- Kill your “Bob”←lazy side. Every Sunday take 10 minutes to write down what you’d do to accomplish your goal if you had infinite time. Then prioritize. First thing on the list is high impact stuff that you could do quickly. If the thing is huge, chunk it in 60 minutes and do it once a day.
- Make an escape room. Set a timer and crank until it rings.
- Say no to time vampires. Anything that sucks your time and gives you nothing back for it. Social media, etc. Looking at your phone for 5 minutes costs more than 5 minutes because it kills your flow. Biggest time suck is TV.
- Say no to brain-drain activities. Anything that makes you useless afterwards, like drinking.
- Wake up your body to wake up your mind. Exercise takes time and can fatigue you. Set a 60 sec timer and do jumping jacks to energize rather than fatigue.
- Time arbitrage. Write down things you do that others could do and hire someone else to do it.
Continue Reading the Charisma on Command Series Here:
How Watching Game of Thrones Can Make You More Likable (But Only If You Do These Things)
Part 6 of 7: Charisma on Command Summary Series
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