Today in the shower I mentally crystallized a really simple way to think about making a lot of money.
First, I was contemplating the fact that money is not inherently valuable of itself. It's just ones and zeros on a screen or dirty paper in your wallet. What money is, is an idea that we use to signify value. And this is key: Value is what's valuable.
So an easy way to think about creating wealth is to break it into two steps:
First, create something of value and
Second, get the value you create to a lot of people.
And that's all there is too it.
It's simple really, and mirrors my favorite Peter Drucker quote "Business is Innovation and Marketing".
So which is harder? creating value or distributing it to a lot of people. For me, it's definitely the latter. Getting value out to many many many people has been difficult for me, and I think it's where most people get stalled. And yet it's our success as distributing the value we create that really determines our wealth.
Breaking this down further, this is a system design problem. Once we're clear on the value we want to create (for example, help entrepreneurs build their dreams, or deliver fun with DiscoChristmas) we need to take time to design and build the distribution systems that will allow us to deliver the value we create to the maximum number of people.
The better the value delivery system, the more value can be delivered, and the more money will flow back to us.
I could write a book on this, but essentially I've spent the first part of my career becoming skilled at creating value (see my PSST! Product Framework) and now I'm excited to dig into becoming a master of designing and building value delivery systems.
Because it's really those two things that allow us to have massive impact as entrepreneurs. We need to create value, and build systems to deliver the value we create to millions of people.
What I didn't tell you is this was a cold shower. Thanks to the crazy inspiring Wim Hoff for introducing me to the practice of taking 3-minute full-cold showers. In addition to being fantastically invigorating, they seem to produce clear straight-to-the-point thinking.