Every 6 months, I buy a new exotic car, and every 6 months, I make new friends. I tend to lose friends quite often and even though many would believe that this is a bad thing, you will shortly understand why it is nothing but great. In the past 8 years, I have made over $7,000 betting against my friends or family members. In fact, I actually traded their friendship for money.
While many entrepreneurs know that finding friends who value your entrepreneurial mindset is difficult, it is also very difficult to keep them simply because your mind is always evolving and interested in success and victory, while they are content with their lives, no matter how miserable and unfitting it may seem to you. If you feel that this is happening to you as you undergo your journey to a successful future, simply wait until you succeed to see how the dynamics of your friends and family changes in your very own eyes. I talk of this drastically in detail in the Third Circle Theory where I discuss the impact and changing model that your entourage goes through as you evolve.
I, myself, figured the only way I could keep my friends would be to help them evolve with me, or simply weed them out quickly. While it’s okay to have friends who are not as driven or as motivated, it is also pointless to have friends who never deliver on their words and tend to become jealous of your success, despite the fact that they never attempted to succeed themselves.
Years ago when I purchased my first Lamborghini Gallardo, I had a great friend named Ahmad, one who certainly had a desire to succeed. He was ambitious but lazy; he was confident in himself but hardly had any success in anything he did. After years of friendship, I found myself constantly pushing him but yet he never actually accomplished anything until one day he saw my Lamborghini and made a serious bet with me. His eyes grew bigger as he experienced my Gallardo from its visual appeal to its sound, and it became clear that Ahmad was now motivated and as a result made the decision to tell me that in 2 years, he himself would have his very own Lamborghini Gallardo. While I looked at him and saw the sparkle in his eye, I also knew that he was lazy and very far from that goal. So I decided to bet $3000 that in 2 years he wouldn’t even have $100,000 to buy a Lamborghini or even be in a position to finance one. The bet was simply that 2 years from that date, Ahmad would show up with a Lamborghini Gallardo or show me his bank statement with at least $100,000 in it.
A year passed and our friendship continued but Ahmad was still far from his goal, reality was he had yet to even start saving specifically for it. I reminded him with subtle hints that the clock was ticking. He brushed it off and laughed. Another year passed and that very same day came where Ahmad had totally forgotten his initial bet, goal, dream or whatever else you want to call that. I approached him and asked him to cough up the cash and he looked at me as if I had asked him to kill his mother. He offered me a deal which was that our friendship was worth more than $3000, but I simply declined and collected my $3000 instead of keeping our friendship intact. Truth be told, I didn’t care for $3000, but I knew at that time that I cared less for Ahmad than I did for the $3000. The reason was that I have one essential rule in business, one that you never break. That rule to this day has helped me achieve milestones before I was even 30 years of age, milestones that some people will never achieve through their lifetime. What is my rule?
“You do what you say you are going to do, or you simply shut the fuck up.”
I am a firm believer that you do exactly what you say you are going to do. You do so without fail and you make sure that you allow no one to call you a liar.
That was the last time I spoke to Ahmad, and it seems that today he still hasn’t graduated past his $10000 G35, which is now over 11 years old.
After my Lamborghini came my Aston Martin, a car that quickly became infamous, but also got a lot of negative attention from folks who displayed their jealousy through letting everyone know how easy it was to acquire an Aston Martin. One of those individuals was a guy named Josh, who simply believed that his ‘96 Viper was equally impressive and expensive as a newer Vantage, and wanted to make sure he let everyone know of his disapproval with the color choice I had made, which at the time was about $30K more than the Viper. I simply extended an opportunity for him to make money by betting him $1000 that in 6 months, he still wouldn’t have nor be able to buy a Vantage regardless of what they cost by then. Putting no minimum purchase price or mileage requirements, I allowed this open bet to work out in his favor if he indeed was driven to succeed.
Six months came and I once again heard nothing, which was an indication of failure. I had to track Josh down through his work only to find out that he was still driving the same old Viper, and no indication that he was closer to his goal than before. I knew that he would fail, which is why I took that bet to begin with, and allowed him multiple paths to win. One of the main rules that you learn early on when you are successful is that successful people don’t bash more successful people’s belongings or methods. They rather observe and choose to act differently, but never burn a bridge in order to simply gain more attention themselves. As we once again covered this trait in the Third Circle Theory, this is basic human nature when it feels like it belongs to the 2nd circle simply because it cannot graduate past the first.
$4000 richer and a year or so later came a very pretty Maserati that had just about everyone talking. This car was nothing special other than the fact that it looked like a million bucks. At the time, one of the guys that worked for me who was very much aware of the market on Maserati cars knew how much they had depreciated and how easily attainable they were. He also knew that they were quite expensive to fix which was why many of them depreciated so fast once their warranty expired. He acknowledged the beauty of this later model but mentioned how easy it would be for him to buy one. Since he drove a Camry at the time with no drive for something better despite the actual passion for the higher end cars, it was a no brainer for me to take a $1000 bet that he himself wouldn’t be driving one anytime soon regardless of how cheap they had become.
Once again my hunch was right and the bet was once again lost out of the fear of running into unplanned mechanical breakdowns that cost an arm and a leg. The argument was made that he still could afford one but the counter argument was made that thinking you can afford one and actually owning one is different. Risk equals reward, no risk means no reward. More importantly, fear was what paralyzed him from acting, and as a result, he not only lost a bet but held himself way back mentally.
My final bet that earned me my last $2000 was a very close friend of mine named Ricardo, his desire for my Maserati, enjoyment of my 997.2 911 Cabriolet, and finally his dream of owning a Grand Turismo seems to have crossed his mind all at the same time when he got promoted earning 2 times what he previously was. This excitement coupled with his arrogance made him take a bet that he indeed would have his very own $70,000+ exotic by the 6 month mark of his promotion. A very risky bet, or so you would think, for me, as he previously hardly had this type of income and his expenses would have easily been handled leaving plenty of money to buy his dream car. I once again accepted this bet that I hardly could lose. Despite what the surface of the situation looked like in this case or the past few cases, the reality was that my bet was not against their inability to buy a car but rather against their judgment and character.
You see Ahmad never accomplished anything, and so he wasn’t going to start by spending a $100,000 on a car. While Josh already had a Viper he displayed significant jealousy instead of respect, which meant his inability to belong. While my employee could have afforded that Quattroporte, he never owned anything of value because he was always afraid to venture in the unknown. Finally while Ricardo certainly had the means, he always spoke too soon and was never driven to succeed but rather always followed the easy route. Owning a $70,000 Maserati when you never have previously and are on a budget is never easy. These were not good bets for any of them to take, simply because they went against their character and state of mind at the time of the bets.
They all lost, and while they continue to dream others like them with the right mindset, attitude and drive achieve. The funny part is that anyone who makes a bet with me will always lose, even before the bet. Think about the reasoning behind their drive to pursue their dreams. If your goals are only driven by proving others wrong, they simply will be achieved. You must set milestones and reach them, rather than bet you will reach what others have achieved which holds no relevance or context to you very own life. That by itself is a losing trait or what I call a bad bet.