Mistakes, tips, lessons, and a mantra


Always a good time to summarise some lessons learned:

Point one: Focus on your strengths.

Point two: Find a market for what you can do, or for what you know, or for what you’re good at. And remember: It’s widely acknowledged that McDonald’s burgers are second-rate, yet they make millions of dollars every year. Why? Because they are good at distribution. Your product or service doesn’t have to be the best ever before you can take it to the market. Do your best, focus on delivering value, master marketing and distribution, and hope for the best.

Point three: Bring your service or product to the attention of people or businesses that are interested and already paying for a similar product or service.

Point four: If you succeed in making money with something, repeat dozens, or hundreds of times, or thousands of times – whichever is applicable.

* * *

A thought has been growing over the past week or so about what I’m doing now versus what I had done since 2006 to make money. I thought that what I did wrong was to look at what other people were doing to make money rather than to focus on my strengths, and then also at the amounts they were (apparently) earning – if the amounts were attractive enough, I wanted to do the same thing; if in my opinion the amounts were too paltry, I wasn’t interested. Also, when I did manage to generate a few dollars, I didn’t repeat what I had done often enough. All of this kept me stuck in a perpetual maelstrom of “It’s not working,” or “It’s not working well enough,” and “What else can I do?”

This reminds me of my mantra these days: Start small; keep it simple; refine and repeat.


Is success within my comfort zone?

I believe success – and I’m talking about the usual type here, which means more money – is in the road on which I’m currently traveling. I would have to go deliberately off-road, into the pastures to avoid it.

I’m not comfortable with ignoring something I believe to be true and replacing it with an alternative. It’s too much trouble. So, as I type these words, I am activating the conviction in my brain that I am comfortable with success – that success is indeed within my comfort zone.

It’s simply easier this way.


No idea or project with which you earn money needs to be profound. There doesn’t need to be any trumpets, and nobody needs to go crazy with excitement or anticipation. The product or service should just be good enough to meet someone’s needs, or good enough to make their lives a little easier, or a little more convenient.

And then, simply repeat what worked a few hundred or a few thousand times.


Attitude Towards Money X leads to you not buying things you need, and not doing things you need to do. It can also hamper your attempts to make more money.

Attitude Towards Money Y makes it easier to buy what you need, and to do what you need to do. It also makes it easier for you to make more money – you see opportunities many other people don’t see, and you take action without feeling rushed, confident in your expectation of success.

(Thoughts formulated on the way back from a grocery excursion during which I spent NT$482 on oatmeal, yogurt, milk, water, shampoo and bananas. I specifically thought of the razor blades I didn’t buy and my glasses I still have to replace. I also thought how I had purchased my favourite shampoo again for NT$159, which I didn’t buy the last few months because I had deemed it too expensive.)