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You don't need to be Ivy League educated, have money, be creative, or even have an idea to get rich. You just need to be willing to break the rules.
At nineteen, I founded a software company with $119 in my bank account. Five years later, it was valued at $10.5 million. I don't consider myself exceptionally brilliant. I just realized something few people know: You don't need lots of money or an original idea to get really rich.
Now, I make more than $100,000 in passive income every month, while also running my own private equity firm and hosting The Top Entrepreneurs podcast, which has more than 10 million downloads. This book will show you how I went from college dropout to member of the New Rich. And I'm holding nothing back. You'll see my tax returns, my profit and loss statements, my email negotiations when buying and selling companies.
It's time to forget your grandfather's advice. I'll teach you how to be a modern opportunistinvestor, entrepreneur, or side hustlerby breaking these four golden rules of the old guard:
1.Focus on one skill: Wrong. Don't cultivate one great skill to get ahead. In today's business world, success goes to the multitaskers.
2.Be unique: Wrong. The way to get rich is not by launching a new idea but by aggressively copying others and then adding your own twist.
3.Focus on one goal: Wrong. Focus instead on creating a system to produce the outcome you want, not just once, but over and over again.
4.Appeal to the masses: Wrong. The masses are broke ($4k average net worth in America?). Let others cut a trail through the jungle so you can peacefully walk in and capitalize on their hard work.
By rejecting these defunct rules and following my unconventional path, you can copy other people's ideas shamelessly, bootstrap a start-up with almost no funding, invest in small local businesses for huge payoffs, and reap all the benefits.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Nathan Latka is the principal of Latka Capital; executive producer and host of The Top Entrepreneurs podcast; and CEO at two companies he's recently purchased. He is also the star of the hit reality show Latka's Money (more than one million viewers tune in every episode) and CNBC's Million Dollar Roadtrip. He is the founder of the software company Heyo. This is his first book (and we had to pay him a lot to reveal it all!).
Read an Excerpt
As I began writing this book, my mom called. “You’re making so much money,” she said. “It’s going to cause havoc if you happen to die, God forbid, and you don’t have a plan for your assets.” It’s funny. Three years ago she was skeptical when I chose to drop out of school. Her message changed from “Stay in school!” to “Get a will!” More on me later. . . .
Let’s talk about you first.
You know those people whose lives you just can’t figure out? They travel the world whenever they want. They barely work. They’re always with their family, or conquering the kind of grand life adventure you’ve reserved for . . . someday. Somehow, they’re happy with their life as it is—not just hiding behind a “perfect life” façade on social media.
There’s the kid from your college dorm who dropped out and has since raised $1M in start-up funding. The dad you see at your son’s soccer games, or at your gym, who drives a Range Rover and is always around in the middle of the week when most parents are working. Your neighbor who quit her corporate job and now has her own business that you hear is making her $10K or $20K a month.
You know these people are average at best. They’re not supertalented or smart, but they’re living like kings and queens and you’re dumbfounded.
What they know that you don’t is how to be a capitalist without any capital. There are four golden rules that the business world has sold us to keep us from being successful. Those rules must be broken. And the people you’re thinking about have mastered breaking those rules. It’s easy to dismiss the superrich as trust-fund babies, or to assume their spouse is the breadwinner. Or we think maybe they’re not rich at all and just racking up credit card debt. These scenarios will be true for some people, but I’m not talking about them.
I’m talking about the people who are wealthy by their own doing. Their families have nothing to do with their fat bank accounts. You can’t stand their weekday Instagram posts from their sailboat, or the sight of them on another overseas vacation, but as much as they annoy you, you’re also dying to know how they do it. How are these people so successful—and free— while you’re withering away underneath fluorescent lights at your desk job 50+ hours a week?
It’s because they’re part of the “New Rich,” as Tim Ferriss calls the segment of the population who have figured out how to maximize everything in their life—even if it’s not much—so it becomes an asset that works for them. The New Rich are resourceful with their time, their money, and their energy. They get what they want when they want it. They travel however much they want. They have blank calendars. And they have very, very few expenses.
Tim Ferriss introduced us to the New Rich over a decade ago in his book The 4-Hour Workweek, but a lot has changed since then. Today my peers and I are getting rich not just by starting companies from scratch, but by leveraging gold mines like Instagram and Airbnb that didn’t exist in the early 2000s. We drive wealth by taking advantage of new tools quickly and figur- ing out how to get those tools to work for us so we can work less.
When an average person sees a new rich person, they assume that new rich person has some magical quality. It’s not magic. The average person just doesn’t understand how the rich person got so rich, so they explain it away as “magical.” A magician practices a series of “moves” or “tactics” behind a curtain so that when the trick is put together, the average viewer misses the sleight of hand. If you saw the magician practicing behind the curtain, you’d think, “I can pull that trick off, too!” Building wealth is the same.
These magicians practice behind the curtain, but I’m holding back nothing in this book. I’ve been a wealth magician for the past decade, and despite my lawyer’s recommendations, I’m sharing everything in this book so you can pull off your own “wealth magic.” You’ll see my tax returns, my profit and loss statements, my email negotiations when buying and selling companies. I’m sharing it all so you can study and get a very real sense of how I’ve built my empire. I’ll take you behind the curtain of the New Rich so you can become part of the inner sanctum.
The lifestyle you want is not out of your reach—you just don’t know the moves yet. This book will lead you through those moves, starting with some I began making at the age of nineteen. You’ll learn how to replicate the inner workings of more than twenty revenue streams I now have at twenty-nine years old.
If you’re ready to join the New Rich, read on, my new wealth magicians!
MY STORY AND WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK
There are a few things you should know about me:
» I’m a college dropout.
» I started my first company in my Virginia Tech dorm room when I was twenty. Within four years I hired forty people and grew the company to $5M in sales and a $10.5M valuation.
» I walked away from a $6.5M acquisition offer for that company when I was twenty-three.
» I don’t have a résumé.
» I bought my first piece of real estate on my own when I was twenty-four.
» I bought my first company when I was twenty-six.
» Today, at twenty-nine years old, I run my own private equity firm, buying and selling companies.
» I use patterns and data to drive my decisions.
That last detail is probably the reason I’ve gotten this far, and it’s how I’m going to help you get here, too. I’m not going to waste your time with small talk and rah-rah positivity. If you’re familiar with my podcast, The Top Entrepreneurs, you already know this about me. I have interviewed more than five hundred of the world’s top thinkers, disrupters, and CEOs in search of patterns that anyone can apply to gain wealth, work less, and get what they want out of life. I get to the data and I get to the numbers so you and I can learn from the real stuff. In fact, I pressure these CEOs so hard, they share secret strategies they wish they didn’t share, and threaten to sue after their episode goes live. Their fault! (Your gain!) An unfortunate side effect is that I’m the most sued podcaster—you should see my wall of cease and desist letters (a beautiful thing! I always win these contests!).
This book is a natural extension of my podcast. I will present the secrets of the New Rich and feature real stories from twenty-year-old dorm-room CEOs, Airbnb millionaires, filthy rich software founders, and financial technology billionaires—all of whom are building their wealth every day, right now. We’ll get their stories, but just as important, we’ll look at the real numbers behind their businesses so we can understand how they make it work.
Then there are the patterns. In all my time talking to top entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed that their execution plans follow similar patterns that counter conventional business wisdom. These patterns directly correlate to wealth, freedom, and a lot of winning—and they’ll surprise the hell out of you. Once you learn about them in the chapters ahead, you’ll realize building wealth is so easy it’s unbelievable, and you’ll join those rich friends whose success baffled you just a few months earlier.
My obsession with numbers is so fierce that it’s the reason I dropped out of college. That, and the money-smart mindset my mom has instilled in me since before my memories kicked in. She swears that during a car ride when I was five years old I asked her why we never went out to dinner anymore. She explained that she and my dad had to make choices. They’d recently decided to move our family into a new, big house in the country. Since making that choice, they had to choose not to spend money on other things, like eating out.
I sat quietly in the back seat for a long time. Then I said, “So, Mom, can I choose to get into my piggy bank and take us out to Pizza Hut tonight?” She didn’t take me up on it. Instead, she and Dad chose to take us out to dinner that evening, but the lesson was clear.
I have no memory of this conversation, but when I hear the story it says so much about how my parents raised me to think like an entrepreneur. Mom wasn’t talking about the family budget that day—not exactly. Her bigger point was that you have to make choices based on the life you want to live now—and the life you want to live in the future. It’s all about opportunity cost. Sometimes that means less pizza in exchange for the big coun- try house (except when your five-year-old breaks your resolve in a two-minute conversation). Other times it means following your gut when you see a big opportunity in front of you, even if it goes against everything you’re told you’re “supposed to be doing” with your life.
That’s where I found myself when I decided to drop out of college. I stayed until my junior year, but I’ll never forget the moment I realized school wasn’t for me. It was during a statistics course very early on in my time at Virginia Tech. I should have loved this class, but the teacher was so boring and I had other things on my mind.
The midterm that semester was my wake-up call. I’d stayed up the night before preselling a Facebook fan page product I’d just launched. I was very tired, but I’d sent out $1,400 in sales proposals that night, so I had no regrets. I had set up a ping on my phone so it would make a sound every time a new PayPal sale came in. My phone was across the room during the test, but I heard it ping twice in the two-hour exam period. I was selling my product at $700 a pop, so I made $1,400 before the exam was done. I failed it, but that failure turned into unstoppable momentum to keep growing my business.
I realized I was a capitalist the moment I got those failed test scores. I thought, If I can fail this exam and make $1,400 while doing it, school is just not my thing. I stuck with it a couple more years but I knew I had to get out and build my company. If you’re a student reading this, keep going. It gets even better . . .
When I finally did decide to leave school, one of the first things I did was call Mom. I thought she’d be livid with me for wanting to quit—especially after she’d worked three jobs to pay her own way through college. Now my parents were paying my tuition, and there I was, throwing it away. But she wasn’t angry at all. She just told me it was my choice, but I should think about my options. It was the only time in my life when my parents would pay for me to go to college (I was fortunate and thankful), so she suggested I finish my degree in case one of my business ventures failed down the line.
She had a point, but I knew I’d never push myself to be successful if I had that safety net under me. I told her I just had to go.
Mom said she knew she’d raised three stubborn, ambitious kids, so she wasn’t going to stand in the way of what we wanted to do. She just pushed me to consider my choices before jumping.
All I could think about were the numbers. I knew I could go way bigger than $1,400 in an afternoon if I put more time and energy into my business. Forget the rules, or what anyone said I should be doing with my life at twenty years old (thanks, Mom, for not being one of those people). I saw my opportunity and I was going for it.
Table of Contents
My Story and Why You Need This Book 3
Wealthy People Sold You These Four Lies 7
FAQ: Who This Book Is For, and Not For 10
Part 1 Rules To Break, Rules To Embrace
1 Rule 1: Don't Focus On One Thing 17
How a College Side Project Made Me $6,400 18
The $180K "Pop-Up" Accident 20
My Calendar Patterns: Three Projects at Once Doesn't = Three Times the Work 23
2 Rule 2: Copy Your Competitors 26
"We Just Copied Dropbox" 27
How to Decode a Winning Pattern to Copy 27
Secrets to Copying Using Freelance Sites 29
3 Rule 3: Quit Setting Goals-They're Keeping You Broke 31
The First $700 I Made 33
Outsourcing: My "Starbucks Process for System Testing" 37
How I Pay $29 to Get Back Nine Hours of My Time 41
The Seven-Figure Podcast System 48
4 Rule 4: Sell Pickaxes To Gold Miners 56
Why Do Thousands of Private CEOs Tell Me Their Revenue? 57
Look in These Seven Places to Find Your Next $5K 61
Rockefeller and His Sulfur Problem: Work a Liability into Your Growth Plan 67
5 The Hew Rich Arsenal 72
Should You Use Fear to Sell? 73
Negotiate When You Don't Have To 78
How the New Rich Get More Done in Less Time 87
Part 2 Money: Get It, Keep It, Grow It
6 Your Hidden Money 93
Airbnb Tricks You Haven't Thought Of 94
Three Websites That'll Pay for Your Car While You're Busy 96
Automatic Income: Patreon and Other Ways to Sell Your Digital Product 99
7 Live Like A King Without Owning A Thing 101
How I Traveled Asia for Forty-Five Days Spending Almost No Money 103
You Have to Read This Email 109
The Email That Got Me a $350K White Rolls-Royce Ghost for $0 118
8 How To Invest In Real Estate 121
Income Report from My First Real Estate Deal 122
My Real-Life Bank Negotiation 134
Putting $0 Down (0 Percent) to Buy a $200K House 136
9 Spotting Businesses To Buy For Very Little Money 151
The No Money, No Lawyers Way I Buy Companies 153
How to Buy a Tech Company If You Have No Tech Experience 170
Negotiating the Best Deal: Ask This One Question 170
Part 3 How The New Rich Build Businesses
10 Unconventional Investing 187
1.2M Watched Me Do This Food Truck Deal Live on Facebook 187
Riches in Hostels 190
What My Dividend Checks Look Like 193
11 How To Get Rich By Copying Your Competitors 197
From Affiliate to Competitor ($18M Bizness Apps vs. $2.4M BuildFire) 198
Reverse Engineer: The Easy Way to See Your Competitors' Systems 213
Attack Their Distribution Channels: How I Got #1 Spot on Popular Industry Blog Post 220
12 Multiplying Your Business 226
One Question I Ask Customers
That Gets Them to Pay 2x More 227
Growing Revenue: How to Get to $1M 228
No-Cost Sales: From Spreadsheet to $2K Each Month in My Pocket 236
13 Selling A Business 238
One Sentence I Use to Get Offers Without Sounding Desperate 239
Sell Pickles to the Lettuce Guy 241
My Pay Stub: I Was Twenty-Six, CEO 244
Appendix 1 Top 100 Facebook Groups For Entrepreneurs 253
Appendix 2 Top Organizations For Entrepreneurs 258
Appendix 3 Top School Clubs 264