This article is part of a series on strategies and hacks of self-made billionaire entrepreneurs. We divided it into eight parts: Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Jeff Bezos, Elizabeth Holmes, Steve Jobs, Reid Hoffman, and Elon Musk.
Billionaire Entrepreneur Strategy:
"You can't make money agreeing with the consensus view," asserts Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world ($169+ billion under management).
Doing what everyone else does is going to bring you average results. That's the definition of average.
To Dalio, the key to having enduring, extraordinary performance is to do what others won't or can't AND to be right.
This is easier said than done. For example, 86% of professional investors do not beat the market. The numbers are sobering for entrepreneurship too: 30.9-37.6% of new businesses fail in the first three years.
In a recent op-ed, Dalio explains why it's so hard, "Whenever you're betting against the consensus there's a significant probability you're going to be wrong, so you have to be humble."
The good news is that with enough practice, you can put the odds in your favor.
Billionaire Entrepreneur Hack:
Thinking independently is more than one simple hack. Broadly speaking, it requires:
Here are ways to hone each of those abilities:
Ability #1: Stand Up Against The Herd
We are wired to want to fit in socially. So, standing up against the herd is extremely hard. Fortunately, courage is a skill that can be practiced.
Emerson Spartz, founder and CEO of Spartz Inc., a digital media company that owns a network of sites like Dose and OMG Facts (45+M monthly visitors), practices daily what he calls comfort zone challenges. "These are little things I do that cause me to feel uncomfortable and socially awkward, but have no real negative impact," Emerson says. These challenges train him to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, so he has courage when he really needs it.
His favorite challenge is the coffee cup challenge, which is simply asking for a 10 percent discount when you buy coffee.
Ability #2: Develop An Information Advantage
One of the easiest ways to beat the herd is to have an information advantage. Here are four ways to get that advantage:
Ability #3: Develop An Analytical Advantage
This is where many of the billionaire strategies mentioned in this article can be applied:
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