Attention isn’t the new currency.
Information is what we process with attention.
That’s all humans really do…
We process, store, and use information to create or destroy.
I’d like to believe that the unconscious, evolution-aligned intent behind modern technology, like social media, was to allow us as humans to gain access to information we wouldn’t normally have. Thus increasing our potential in life.
Information leads to awareness of opportunity.
Awareness of opportunity leads to profitable ideas.
Profitable ideas lead to positive behavior change.
Manipulation of information can lead to death, destruction, and getting stuck in your own head… but we’ve talked about that before.
Instead, I want to discuss the positive aspects of the information age we live in (and how you can take advantage of it).
I want you to understand one thing:
Everything is information.
Our genetic code is information. Light is information that our eyes interpret in a way that aligns with our survival. Our programming is the result of information repeated over time.
Information is how humans form beliefs, which shape our thoughts, and go on to influence behavior.
Information is what culminates as tension — or resistance — that when relieved, leads to discovery, innovation, and creative breakthrough. New ideas that can impact the future of the cosmos.
Information is what allows us to survive and thrive, as it comes before anything else that uses information as its foundation.
Everyone has the same big goal they are trying to achieve:
Increase the quality of their human experience as much as possible.
Our thoughts, emotions, and actions — which are all forms of information — dictate our experience, which is information in the form of feedback.
You see, the human mind needs ordered information to keep itself, well… ordered. Like sports, religious doctrine, or routines. Once we have the information to play a game well, through learning, and then play the game that results in experience, that experience will be higher quality than if we were fed scattered information.
There is content and there is consciousness.
The structure of the content is what determines happiness and fulfillment. That content can represent order or chaos, the latter resulting in a poor quality of experience.
While most use information as a way to distract themselves from the problems in their life (through argument, mainstream news, and flavor-of-the-day drama), others realize it is a trap and let curiosity guide them in the opposite direction.
Then, there are those I genuinely feel bad for… the ones that are trapped consuming negative content about how courses and other information products are bad to sell. If that’s you, gain some perspective. You live in the information age. Don’t write off an entire epoch of existence because you had one bad experience with a sleazy marketer.
If you fall into the curious group, this letter is for you. Why?
Because you have $100,000+ worth of information in your head.
In this letter, I want to propose a system for packaging up that knowledge to distribute to others in a valuable way.
A way to use information for good while opening the potential to profit handsomely.
Controlling the content (information) of your consciousness and guiding the content (through content) of others’ consciousness. Both (preferably) resulting in a high-quality experience.
A journey of both self-actualization and self-monetization that eventually results in self-transcendence.
Increasing your quality of life, then others.
Notice how this information (the content you are reading right now) can lead to potential opportunities. Don’t manipulate what I’m saying with your mind just yet. Be open. Hold the idea in the realm of possibility for the rest of this letter.
How I Turned My Knowledge Into A 7 Figure Business As A Value Creator
It’s been a bit since I’ve discussed my story, and we have quite a few new people reading since then, so here are the cliff notes (I’ll rewrite my story at some point for an entire letter):
- I tried and failed at most marketable skills and online business models
- I lost $8,000 trying to make them work and had to get a web design job for the sake of survival
- My knowledge and skills compounded to the point where I made freelance web design work
- I started writing on Twitter and pivoted my freelance offer for the following I was attracting
I started on Twitter 3 years ago.
In my first year, I launched 3 information products and pulled in my first 6 figures of info product sales.
First was a “how to freelance with web design” product.
The second was a product that taught how I built the websites.
The third was how I grew on Twitter and used it as my sole way of landing freelance clients.
Eventually, I bundled all of these up and sold them at a discount (now they are a bonus for joining Modern Mastery).
In my second year, I started branching out to new platforms like Instagram and podcasting.
During this time, I tried launching 3 other products that failed miserably by my own doing and lack of promotion. A physical planner, a self-help eBook, and a course on offer creation (also all bonuses for Modern Mastery).
I also tried selling multiple high-ticket offers. I saw success with marketing consulting for creators and ghostwriting, but was quick to get out of ghostwriting as it was a massive time suck (meaning it went against my values and didn’t align with my goals of maximum time freedom).
This is when I launched Modern Mastery.
I launched the community with the information I had already put out.
Now, finally, in my third year, I feel as if I have the product and service stack that will carry me through a solid 10 years of hyper profitability.
What’s the lesson here (before we dive deep into how you can do the same)?
1) I have the experience to talk about this. I’ve sold 6 figures each of info products, coaching, consulting, freelancing, and agency work.
2) Constant building and iteration.
NONE of what I built went to waste. It gave me something to build on top of and refine my ideas further.
This is where most creators go wrong.
They wait to launch something because of a deep-rooted fear.
They know the first product is going to suck, because it’s inevitable, so they prevent themselves from iterating early — which opens them up to a higher income ceiling faster.
How To Extract The Value Stuck In Your Brain
In this letter, I want to discuss how to ideate the perfect product while doing what you enjoy in this life.
If your personal brand revolves around what you do, your product revolves around your unique way of doing it.
What you do = what you do on a daily basis in pursuit of your goal for a better life.
How you do it = the system, method, or process that you’ve created to get better results. This comes from experience and experimentation.
I sold a freelancing product because I had made 6 figures with freelancing. I knew how to do it well and had processes in place for landing clients, delivering the service, and making it sustainable.
I built a membership community based on what I do on a daily basis. Like having a reminder and accountability for completing your daily ‘priority tasks’ during focused work.
I now sell a writing product because I had built my entire 500K+ audience with a 2-hour-a-day writing (and walking) habit.
Others sell minimalist training programs that go completely against the accepted ‘good’ advice for lifting weights. If someone only has 2 hours a week to train, because they work long hours, but they still made progress… that is unique, and your marketing is already laid out for you. They sell a system to those with limited time because they’ve experimented to the point of getting results.
In summary, everyone that has productized themselves has done 3 things:
- They improved their quality of life through personal and professional development
- They learned necessary skills and interests along the way to increase their quality of life
- They started posting online regardless of ‘how basic’ they thought their information was
I want to pose this question to you:
Is there any better business model you can think of?
To self-actualize, self-monetize, and use business as a modality for self-transcendence?
To increase the quality of your human experience (what everyone is trying to do) and pass down what you learned along the way?
There are other viable business models of course, but I genuinely believe this is the way of the future.
If we lived in accordance with our nature, there would be one business for every one person on this planet. All unique. All fulfilling the perfect purpose.
This will never happen of course, but that just means it will never get saturated (if, and only if, people take their piece of the pie and leave it at that. Know when enough is enough).
Here are 3 questions you can contemplate this week to brainstorm a profitable product idea:
1) What is the highlight of your day?
Is it writing? Journaling? Meditating? Yoga? The gym?
This is the most difficult part because it slips under most people’s nose.
These are the things that seem so “normal” to us that we think others wouldn’t benefit from our perspective.
If you journal, can you create a journal for yourself and sell it down the road?
Can you create your own yoga routine?
How about a writing system?
What is the thing you enjoy doing, to the point of it being effortless, that benefits your life so much to the point of you wanting to teach others?
2) What do you do better than your peers?
If your friend expressed genuine interest in what you do, what is that one thing that you could teach them everything about?
What is something that your friends will criticize you for because they don’t understand it?
Like how Chris Bumstead, a champion and competitor in Mr. Olympia, said how he had to give up a “normal” life to achieve greatness. He would skip partying and eating out to recover and cook healthy meals. His friends didn’t get it, but he sure as hell knew that it led toward something they couldn’t fathom.
3) Who do you follow and what do they sell?
Success is counterintuitive, and this is the best advice I can give related to ideating a great product:
Sell what is already selling.
Please for the love of all things holy do not take this advice lightly. Those 5 words single-handedly created the foundation of my business.
This requires you to immerse yourself in the digital environment you want to join, like success by osmosis (or “your network is your networth”).
Pay very close attention to those you aspire to be like.
Reverse engineer their profile, content, landing pages, products, and anything else so you can piece together the puzzle of their success (and then replicate it).
4) A Bonus For Those That Haven’t Started
If you haven’t started, you need to be decisive.
Pick a path that slightly interests you and start acting today.
Look at the books on your shelf, the videos in your browser history that you watch to learn (not distract yourself), and who you follow on social media that inspires you to be better.
Set a goal, learn from those who have achieved it, and replicate their success.
Creating A Profitable Product (In The Simplest Way I Can Explain It)
Before we start, I want to reiterate the context of this entire letter.
We are discussing this from the perspective of productizing yourself via information. We will not be discussing physical products, freelance services, or even B2B (business-to-business) sales.
This is the You2You business model, or if it helps you frame it in a less selfish way; the Creator2Creator model. Your brand, product, content, and every other facet of your business comes from organizing the information in your head, solidified through experience, into a creation that others perceive as valuable.
You build for yourself and attract those that resonate with what you’re building.
One key point that most miss:
This has to be done in public.
You need data to know whether your information is valuable or not.
Starving artists love to create what they think is valuable, and when others don’t validate their ideas, they blame everyone but themselves for their inability to pivot, iterate, and create something that actually serves the collective good.
Let’s dive in.
Use these 7 (non-linear) steps to turn your self-improvement journey into a self-monetization journey:
1) Become Above Average In Select Skills Or Interests
Motivation gets you into this game. Learning is what helps you continue to play. Creativity is how you steer. Flow is how you turbo boost the results beyond all rational standards and reasonable expectations. — Steven Kotler
We’ve discussed skills and interests multiple times before, so I’m assuming many of you have already begun learning the ones that interest you.
Here’s something that most people don’t want to hear:
If you aren’t seeing the results you want, in any endeavor, it’s because you aren’t skilled enough. You haven’t put in the necessary time to learn how to play, win, and become artful in the game.
Without this focus on learning, we tend to focus on the desired outcome that we don’t have. We begin to compare ourselves to the results of others that have a higher skill level (that isn’t visible to the unskilled eye).
I had a comment on one of my posts the other day.
Someone asked why he wasn’t growing on social media even after following common advice on how to grow.
It’s still a skill problem.
There is only so much about a skill you can learn from learning alone. You have to marinate your skillset in the market. This expands your awareness around the skill. You pick up little nuances if you don’t mindlessly repeat what you’ve been told to do.
You can comment, engage with big accounts, or follow any of the other fundamental social media growth advice out there — but if you aren’t seeing results, you have to identify what’s causing that blockage.
Is it your messaging? Are you fluent in English? Do you add a space before punctuation ? Is there a crucial piece of what you learned that you didn’t think was important?
In most cases, you can’t go wrong learning how to write, how to market, and how to sell.
Business is transactional in nature.
Writing, marketing, and sales will teach you human psychology, but in a practical way that spills over into all transactional areas of your life.
2) Build Something With Those Skills Every Day
Don’t learn if you don’t have something to build.
But don’t let this trick you into thinking that your entire life isn’t something you are building.
Meaning, be ruthless with eliminating distractions. Information that stems from distractions leads to disorder of the mind, and as we’ve discussed, that leads to overwhelm, anxiety, and lack of clarity — the opposite of building.
If you are learning marketing, build a brand.
If you are learning spirituality, build a life.
If you are learning any of the infinite skills that stem from either of those, apply what you learn to your life, business, or both. Hold that intention in your mind.
3) Document Your Learnings, Discoveries, & Results
Treat the internet as a way of documenting the information that makes sense, sparks excitement, and is valuable to you. Document your ordered consciousness so that others can benefit.
The internet is a public note-taking software, public journal, and public school that shortcuts your way to massive opportunity, but only if you treat it as such.
We discussed last week how “start, build, teach” is the best way to retain what you learn.
4) Experiment For Holistic Understanding
I’ve always loved doing things “my own way.”
My own way = implementing the best teachings from multiple sources until I have a unique way of doing it.
With fitness, I’ve tried every training style under the sun. I enjoyed minimalist, high-intensity, full-body training 3 days a week the most.
With diet, I’ve tried vegan, ancestral, carnivore, IIFYM, keto, and calorie restriction models like intermittent fasting.
From that experimentation, I can navigate the health space artfully. I can take the most enjoyable aspects from each of those diets and create something new that I genuinely enjoy (that gets me results).
If I wanted to slap a name on my diet or training program and sell it, I could. And with my marketing knowledge, I would do a damn good job at it. But I’ll leave that space less saturated for now 😉
This is the way of the synthesizer.
Since most niches have been filled in multiple industries, this is the way of the future, as it allows for infinite creativity and lack of saturation.
Similar to how Electronic Dance Music came about from technological advancements. New genres and subgenres are being created every week. The electronic industry continues to grow because the technology allows DJs and producers to infinitely innovate.
Creators are just IJs.
Ideas are the sounds, content are the songs.
Create your mix, play it loud, and attract an audience.
5) Iterate On Your Process For Efficiency & Results
Once you have a holistic understanding of the skill or interest you want to pursue, create your own process.
Literally, write down your own SOPs.
SOP = Standard Operating Procedure in business.
Like an SOP I had for creating client websites as a web designer that turned into a web design course (of course, I had to add a bit more detail to the curriculum, but that’s the easy part).
It is a set of steps, with a description, on how to perform a certain task that gets a result. A system.
When you follow this system and gain direct experience from using it, you will encounter problems. Especially the first few times around.
When you encounter this problem, make a small change to your system.
Test again, see if it works, and repeat the process until you have something that consistently gets results.
Another example of this would be my Power Planner.
I created a productivity system for myself.
I would write down certain things every day to ensure I was completing my priority tasks. I experimented with multiple planners and took what I liked most from them.
Eventually, I packaged it up, sent the designs to a printer, and created a physical planner (that I stopped selling because I hated handling inventory from my small apartment).
My course, The 2 Hour Writer, started off as templates that I created for writing my newsletters based on what I had learned about writing, persuasion, social media growth, and marketing.
That one took a bit more testing and experience, but the point still stands.
I show my process for creating a system in Notion and turning it into a product inside MMHQ.
6) Steal Marketing & Structure That Already Works
“Sell what’s already selling.”
This is the single best piece of counterintuitive advice I’ve received.
I created The 2 Hour Writer because I knew how hot the writing market was in my little Twitter circle.
I knew that people were selling 7+ figures a year in writing products on Twitter alone.
I knew that I had a unique take on writing, even when I don’t consider myself a writer, and had the results to back it.
To make it even easier on myself, I was able to take the best aspects of certain writers’ landing pages.
- The headlines
- The burning problems
- The offer and curriculum structure
- The guarantee, benefits, FAQs, and the rest
- The positioning (not “make money online with writing”)
This is no different from any other product I’ve created.
My first product, an ebook on how web developers can start freelancing, was created because:
- I knew the developer market was hot, they love buying courses (I was a developer)
- They were on Twitter and actively following people
- Most dev courses were underpriced on Udemy (a course platform). I knew I had to differentiate myself with a personal brand on social media to charge more and pull in a sustainable income.
- I had purchased a similar freelancing course myself and gotten results with it
Since I had results and my own way of doing things, I decided to create my own.
I could use the seller’s content, marketing, and ebook itself as inspiration for my own.
I outlined my product, pulled inspiration from others to be sure I was covering everything, and wrote it with the knowledge in my head.
Buyers buy again. Remember that.
How many courses, on the same topic, have you bought? And why do you believe that someone wouldn’t buy yours if you created something similar?
I personally don’t affiliate for many products because I usually have the results, and don’t want less than half of the earnings.
If I want something, I create it. If I want to sell a specific type of product, I create it.
7) Build Distribution & Systemize Promotions
There are a lot of moving pieces in business.
Brand is one of those things you don’t have to change too much.
Product is similar, but you should maintain and update it when the time is right.
Content and marketing, on the other hand, these are a consistent effort.
Content is for building distribition.
- An audience
- An email list
- A community if you feel like it
Marketing is for distributing your product through promotions.
- Plugging in your social posts
- Promoting in your newsletter
- Changing up the angle and messaging
The only way you will succeed in the great online game is with persistence and iteration.
Make a bunch of noise and laser in on signal.
Throw a bunch of tweets at the wall for a month.
(Be sure you are working to get eyes on your content through networking, replies, or paid growth).
Note which content does best and begin to say 1 thing 1000 different ways. Post it to other platforms, turn it into a newsletter topic, and turn that newsletter into a YouTube video.
Same with marketing.
Promote, see what gets the most clicks and conversions, double down, continue testing, and repeat.
Remember, 10-year mindset, not 2-week mindset.
Your content and promotions, after 1-3 years, will be so good that “how-to” advice will start to mean nothing to you.
You learn to harness the power of self-awareness and intuition.
You have to start writing, building, and promoting.
If you’re anxious, remember that the unknown becomes known with time.
You’ll have to lean into it at some point, might as well be now.
An autonomous, profitable, and fulfilling future awaits.
— Dan Koe
What Happened This Week
Digital Economics is open for Enrollment until tomorrow night. If you missed enrollment a month ago, and want to join midway through, nows the time. The next cohort is in February.
In Modern Mastery, I posted a strategy for planning 3 years of unique content. Like building a mental warfare strategy to become a great while others are focused on copying the greats.
A new YouTube video about how to escape the matrix is going live tomorrow. Last week’s video was a philosophical musing on how to “be yourself.”