5 Lessons Learned In 2016

First, happy holidays! Wishing you a safe and fun season. Remember – don't talk about politics at the dinner table 🙂

Second, I wanted to share the 5 most important lessons I learned this year as it relates to business. I found that it's important to reflect every few months and it's also REALLY important to crystalize what has happened over the course of a year.

So often we keep pressing ahead, forgetting to stop and look back on what gets us here. Without that reflection it is very difficult to change the direction of our futures.

Most importantly I wanted to say THANK YOU to all the readers, listeners, viewers and live event attendees. This community has grown in many ways and it has been incredible to be on this journey with you.

I'm working on some very cool new stuff for you guys…so keep your eyes peeled.

Now – onto the countdown.

note: the good microphone didn't work which is why this sounds echo-y. I'll fix it next time

1. Remove steps

As entrepreneurs, we often think we know more than we do. Consciously or not, we assume the way we're doing a task is the best way to do it – if we didn't, we'd stop and figure out why we keep doing it.

When I constantly started asking myself “is this the fewest amount of steps I could do this in?” I naturally found ways to make everything more efficient. Making videos is a good example of this – removing steps leads to increased output, productivity and free time.

Identify the tasks you are doing and ask yourself how you can remove 1 step. Then remove another step. This is incredibly powerful.

2. Working 2 hours a week

This was inspired by a recent Tim Ferriss podcast. When you think about what you would do if you only had 2 hours a week, your priorities get really clear.

This has been a great exercise to not only find inefficiencies but also to get real about strengths.

3. Missed opportunity: the SuperBowl Test Updated

At the last Hawaii Event, I talked about the SuperBowl Test – a way to audit your app business. If your app was featured on a SuperBowl commercial, would you be able to handle it?

Originally I thought about this in terms of technical and operational specs – could the app handle that many users? Could we handle support?

Now I think about it terms of missed opportunity. Are we offering the maximum value for the maximum lifetime value? Are we collecting all the marketing info we can?

Thinking about missed opportunities really burns me. Thinking about broken tech doesn't.

I guess this is a way to incentive myself.

4. Disproportionate incentives

Different people are motivated by different offers. In my case, regular SEO writers for other sites cost $43 per article on the open market.

But, when I found incredibly enthusiastic people in a niche market, they were willing to write the SAME articles for half the price. Instead of paying them, I gave them products they wanted.

This is true for any business but is most effective in niche markets. Find passionate people and give them something where the passion is more important than money.

5. Get into the money business

I define a “Rich Life” by health, wealth, happiness and contribution. At the end of my (very long) life I want to be proud of what I did and be able to give away an enormous amount of money to someone who will improve the world in some way.

Creating wealth is an important part of this. When I met with a very financially successful investor in Silicon Valley, he told me that if I wanted more money…I need to get into the money business.

That doesn't mean I start trading Forex or give money to a hedge fund – it means that I start thinking about money as an asset in itself. How do I turn $1 into $5 without having to “work” for it the way I have to in business?

This led me down an entirely new path of learning about leveraging money and investing. It has been an exciting and worthwhile endeavor.

NOTE: I'm not a financial advisor and my results are not typical. If you want the cliffs notes, start learning about tax strategy, corporate structure and getting deals that no one else can get. If you want a cliffs notes of the cliffs notes, go read Tim Ferriss' new book Tools of Titans. If you want an even shorter summary, you are either not really serious about this topic or you don't have enough money yet. Keep working on your business!

Looking Ahead

2017 will be full of new opportunities. The app store is, in my opinion, having a second coming because of paid traffic and the potential to monetize users outside the app (high lifetime value).

Because of this I am working on some new products that will teach you how I got some extraordinary results in the app business this year. Expect to see that in a few weeks.

You can also expect some new events including:

  • Hawaii (April 2017)
  • Thailand (pending June 2017 – not confirmed yet)
  • Europe (pending Sept 2017 – not confirmed yet)
  • SF (pending Nov 2017 – not confirmed yet)

Not confirmed meaning I haven't booked the locations yet…but we are planning on having those events.

I cannot stress enough how powerful these events have been for the community. The Hawaii event in particular is the ultimate blend on inspiration, connection and recharge on life. Sipping cocktails overlooking a surf break with people just like you is about as good as it gets.

Lastly, u2's Bono often says in live performances: “Thank you. Thank you so much for giving us this life.”

I feel the same way about Bluecloud. Thank you all for being a part of this.

Rock & Roll,

CT

P.S. here's a video I made about what happened outside the office this year:

How to Make An App

 

COMMENTS

  • Freddy December 22, 2016

    Awesome Shots man! Awesome Video as well.. Well done buddy! Truly Motivational 🙂

  • Yemi December 22, 2016

    This is a great motivation and it gave a practical approach to what I read on Entrepreneur about 7 things you must learn early as an entrepreneur.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 22, 2016

    @Freddy / @Yemi – thanks! Happy Holidays to you both.

  • eky bong hengky December 23, 2016

    great content & insight again, Carter.

    Have a great holiday & keep sharing those great video : )

    thx again

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 23, 2016

    @eky – you too! More videos coming soon 🙂

  • Adrian Pleasance December 25, 2016

    Hi, I read your email, very interesting, I will try out the 5 tips you give.
    (Can I ask you a question) My grandson Kieran Pleasance, I passed all the details that you sent to me, on to him, he signed up for your training program, could you tell me how he is doing? thanks
    Adrian

  • koko December 29, 2016

    #5 is interesting and worth noting. Could you expound more on it if you got the time?
    I was just thinking about relatively similar line of thoughts before running into this article.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 29, 2016

    @koko – use your money to create more money producing assets. Do it in a tax advantaged way. That’s really the long and short of it.

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