Success Doesn’t Take Lots of Hard Work - Caleb Jones

One of my favorite business writers of all time is Robert Ringer. In his original book, Winning Through Intimidation, he talks about an important concept called the leapfrog theory.

This concept states that being successful doesn’t take a lot of work or a lot of time. If you want to be successful, you simply do a few things, do them correctly, and then you’ll be successful. It doesn’t take 100-hour work weeks. It doesn’t take 25 years. It happens pretty fast.

This is in direct conflict with Societal Programming, which says that if you want to be successful or rich or whatever, you have to essentially become a workaholic for the rest of your life, unhappily slave over hard, painful work, and sacrifice everything else fun in your life, pretty much forever.

Nope. Wrong.

As I’ve written about before, I started out at age 18, by myself, with no money, no contacts, no people skills, no real technical skills, no education, and barely any job skills.

Just two years later, when I was twenty, I was making the modern-day inflation equivalent of $6,000 a month.

Did that take me 25 years of busting my ass and having no fun for the rest of my life? Nope. It just took two years.

That’s all. Just two years.

By the time I was 27 years old, I was making a six-figure income in 1990’s dollars. I don’t know what that would be adjusted for inflation today, but it would be a lot.

Nothing at age 18 to a six-figure income in 1990’s dollars in less than nine years… and much of that nine years was spent farting around, making mistakes, getting married, learning how to be married, raising kids, and other stuff that had nothing to do with work or being successful.

Once I quit my last full-time job and went full time with my business, with very little income, I went from that to six figures (again, in 1990’s dollars which is worth much more than today’s dollars) in exactly 3.5 years.

25 years? Nope. 20 years? Nope. 10 years? Nope. Just 3.5.

And again, back then, I had absolutely no time management skills whatsoever. I wasted entire years of my life spending hours and hours a day doing stupid, wasteful, incorrect things.

In other words, I went from zero to a six figure income in 3.5 years while doing most things wrong. Yet I still got there.

Do you know why?

Because success is actually somewhat easy. Success actually doesn’t take very much time at all.

Do you have to work to be successful? Of course! I spent several years working pretty hard to achieve those results. But it was only a few tiny years out of my life. Statistically, I’ll live to be into my nineties. Does it bother me I had to spend two or three years out of my likely 90+ years to be successful? Of course not! How stupid!

This applies to you, too. You’re going to live a very long time. If you just take one, two, three, or maybe on the outside, four years of some reasonable focus in your life, you’ll be successful (financially, or with women, or with whatever other area you want). Then all you have to do is maintain that success, which is way easier than achieving the success, and takes way less time, particularly if you follow my Alpha 2.0 business and lifestyle advice that I lay out in my book.

Society doesn’t want you to know any of this. Society wants you to think that being successful is really hard and takes decades of painful sacrifice.

Poor people and losers want you to think this because it gives them an excuse to be lazy. “It’s too much work,” they say, even though they’re wrong, “So it’s not worth it. I don’t want to bust my ass for 20 years to be rich. I’ll just make $20,000 a year for the rest of my life instead.” If they can get you to think that being successful takes mountains of hard work, they might get you to think they’re not being lazy, when in fact they are.

As Robert Ringer pointed out in his book, rich and successful people also want you to think this. That’s because once they achieve a position of power, they don’t want the competition. They also don’t want anyone to achieve success faster than they did… that pisses them off. They want only a few people to succeed, and they want those people to “put their nose to the grindstone” and “put in their time” before they achieve success.

So you get this false Societal Programming from both the poor losers and the successful rich people: being successful is really hard and takes mountains of work. It’s not worth it. Just be mediocre. That’s easier.

It might be easier, but it won’t make you happy. I’m one of the happiest men I know, and if I hadn’t put in those few years of work almost 20 years ago, I wouldn’t be very happy today. I wouldn’t be miserable, but I wouldn’t be happy.

Do you know what?

Happy is better.

Success doesn’t take a long time.

23 Comments on “Success Doesn’t Take Lots of Hard Work

  1. Hey Caleb,

    You have achieved a reasonable level of success in multiple domains which range from business to dating and fitness despite starting from scratch. People achieve a baseline level of some success in these domains just by trying hard and grinding and then plateau permanently. What did you do differently? Do you have an universal and actionable method/system to identify the “few” things that you have to do well to achieve success in a domain new to one wherein one has little/no experience?

  2. I admire your hard work. I can really relate to this, 5 years of working hard to have high salary is worth it. Only few are willing.

  3. Dammit… exposed another one of my false Societal Programs.

    My number one goal in 2018 is to reach 6 figures, something I’ve never done.

    And, the more I read articles like this, the more I feel I need to just join your business coaching program.

    Seems like one needs the right business strategy and system to be in 6 figures.

  4. Hey caleb, if you knew what you know now back then how much quicker would you have hit those income goals?

  5. “It’s too much work,” they say, even though they’re wrong, “So it’s not worth it. I don’t want to bust my ass for 20 years to be rich. I’ll just make $20,000 a year for the rest of my life instead.”

    I agree. That’s been my rationalization for a long time. The whole “kill yourself for a quarter century then MAYBE you’ll be able to live out the next half century to do whatever you want” narrative is completely false. I’ve never believed that. People have no idea how much they can accomplish if they took 8-10 hours (the common workday) on getting information about stuff and doing dedicated research on being successful (in the traditional sense anyways, my hippie ass believes that being successful = not getting in trouble with the law and doing your best not to inconvenience anyone, but that’s just me). Only the west has become too nihilistic in its actions (thank you, welfare state?) to care.

    For me its not that its too much work so much as its not worth it to have an income of any more than $30000 in the west, since if you make much more than that a good amount of it will be taken away. That’s been my “rationalization” for about 7 years now. But I’m starting to realize, do I have much to lose in the first place? I don’t have a mortgage nor make car payments: The only real debt I have is a credit card and some student loans. I’m starting to realize that even if the department of education seizes 10% of my income (if they care enough to file a judgement) and if the IRS seizes 25% of it, I’ll be good either way.

    You called me out for denying that I’m MGTOW in past comments, Caleb. I never said I was not MGTOW. I just happen to be a MGTOW that doesn’t use the title to champion stupid external solutions. I don’t wear the title like a badge on my sleeve like many MGTOW do. I just kinda do me: Don’t care about raising a family (yet, maybe in the future but I doubt it), am cool with renting forever, don’t care about having a cool car (I’ve owned the same car for 11 some odd years now). If that’s MGTOW, then I guess I’m MGTOW.

    So my problem isn’t nihilism. Its not worrying about how much big brother is gonna take away from me. Its overwhelm. That’s always been my biggest problem. I have a deep thirst for knowledge, but I take it too far and get sensory overload from all the stuff that I read/tutorials I watch etc. Is there a solution to this? I’ve been looking for years.

  6. Great article.

    I leap-frogged my way from a paltry $32K to over $140K salary (in today’s dollars) from ’95 to  ’01 by literally creating my own six-figure jobs outta thin-air. My greatest successes were in the volatile software industry *after* the dot-com bust. Oh, btw, I dropped out of college, had no degree, and working in a highly technical field leading other degreed professionals.

    I didn’t “work hard” to get there. Rather I figured out the dynamics of the job market, especially the hiring/budgeting/business processes, to QUADRUPLE my salary in a short six years. I parlayed my education, skills, knowledge and experience from position to position to get there. After that, I went solo, making over $200k/yr as a consultant until I “retired” in ’03. Now I hardly work at all, having developed techniques to build passive investment income.

    I published a book about how to do what I did in ’05. But, surprisingly, few people bought it, and others discredited it as, laughingly, a “get rich quick” type of book.

    I guess people are more comfortable holding onto their societal programming rather than look for ways to workaround the roadblocks deliberately set for advancement. It’s just safer to do the ‘ol hard-work program and commiserate with the majority of others doing the same than to dare step out , and stand out on your own initiative.

    People agree with the statement, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.” But few really use their heads to accomplish that.

  7. You have achieved a reasonable level of success in multiple domains which range from business to dating and fitness despite starting from scratch. People achieve a baseline level of some success in these domains just by trying hard and grinding and then plateau permanently. What did you do differently?

    1. I cleaned out the Societal Programming in my mind that was directing me into places that wasn’t making me happy.

    2. I got very clear about my goals and objectives.

    3. I got good at time management.

    4. I hit it hard.

    Do you have an universal and actionable method/system to identify the “few” things that you have to do well to achieve success in a domain new to one wherein one has little/no experience?

    Those are called Key Success Factors. I’ve discussed them here, as well as in my monthly coaching program.

    Seems like one needs the right business strategy and system to be in 6 figures.

    They do. I have something coming out in a few months that directly relates to this. Can’t talk about it yet though.

    Hey caleb, if you knew what you know now back then how much quicker would you have hit those income goals?

    Six months or so, 12 months if the economy was really bad. I talk about that in detail in my book. If you took all of my money and businesses away from me right now, I’d be right back to six figures (or very close to it) within six months or so doing something else (or similar).

    True financial freedom is not just having money, but the ability to recover lost income as fast as humanly possible.

    So my problem isn’t nihilism. Its not worrying about how much big brother is gonna take away from me. Its overwhelm. That’s always been my biggest problem.

    I make six figures and I only pay about 17% in total taxes, legally.

    Follow the Alpha 2.0 system and you won’t need to worry about taxes. Follow Alpha 2.0 and do five flags, and you won’t have to worry about taxes at all. And again, it’s all legal.

  8. I make six figures and I only pay about 17% in total taxes, legally. Follow the Alpha 2.0 system and you won’t need to worry about taxes. Follow Alpha 2.0 and do five flags, and you won’t have to worry about taxes at all.And again, it’s all legal.

    Very cool. When the time is right, when I begin to make more money, I will do the research on that kind of stuff. I’ve read your articles and stuff in Unchained about it, I will keep it all in mind.

    But you still haven’t answered my question about dealing with overwhelm, Caleb. What is a good method of dealing with overwhelm when gathering information about Alpha 2 related stuff? It seems that whenever I begin to gather information about something, I start getting neurotic about if I am applying what I am learning properly. I suppose its perfectionism, but I don’t want to waste time and energy.

  9. am cool with renting forever,

    Do your neighbors ever bang on your walls when you’re having sex and threaten to call the police if you don’t shut up?

     

  10. Its overwhelm. That’s always been my biggest problem. I have a deep thirst for knowledge, but I take it too far and get sensory overload from all the stuff that I read/tutorials I watch etc. Is there a solution to this?

    Sure, the solution is STOP FUCKING READING SHIT AND GET TO WORK.

    Pick one thing, focus on it, stop reading about other shit, and get to work. If you can’t do that, you may have something like severe ADD or ADHD and need to address that, which I can’t help you with.

  11.  What is a good method of dealing with overwhelm when gathering information?

    I fall in the same trap too, to many times.

    What I think I should try to do is to act more and think less. Research –> Make a Plan –> Act on it also track progress and make deadlines. Something like following the SMART criteria to any goal you have.

    But as a good ENTP I am, I spend a lot of my time brainstorming and brainfarting without taking action or relying on mood and not discipline

  12. Pick one thing, focus on it, stop reading about other shit, and get to work.

    That makes perfect sense. It isn’t that I cannot do that, its just that for me its extremely difficult to do so without thinking about other things. But I know I can overcome. Just gonna take some concentrated effort. Which I do not mind.

    If you can’t do that, you may have something like severe ADD or ADHD and need to address that, which I can’t help you with.

    My dad had OCD, and its probably passed down to me. Its also been speculated that I have high functioning autism. Still, I do not think those are excuses. I do not consider either of those disabilities.

  13. Joelsuf and Zan, we still have one free place in the business mastermind group. Joelsuf, you were actually the first one I sent a PM in the Alpha 2.0 forum. Maybe you didn’t see it. So if you want to have a group where we motivate each other and hold each other accountable, let me know.

    I’ve already got many guys responding to my thread in the forum but then for some reason, most of them didn’t follow through. They were first really excited to join the group, but I didn’t hear back from them after I contacted them. So I don’t know if there is something wrong with the forum software and they didn’t receive my message, or they weren’t serious about it, to begin with. I think it’s the latter since with the other three members everything in the communication went fine and we have our weekly Skype call established now and are moving forward with our weekly goals.

  14. Caleb you said you don’t disclose your financial or legal information on internet? You never told us about how much taxes you pay.but here you did. What changed?

  15. Caleb you said you don’t disclose your financial or legal information on internet?

    Correct.

    You never told us about how much taxes you pay

    Yes I have. I’ve mentioned it before. It also changes every year.

    What changed?

    Nothing. I don’t care if you know what percentage of my income I pay in taxes; that reveals nothing. When I talk about disclosure I’m talking about how much money I make, what my net worth is, where my specific investments are, specifically how my finances are structured, etc. I’m not talking about those things publicly.

  16. I knew something was up at my job!

     

    Everyone comes by and says “you have a hard job!”

    they tell me at exactly the times im so engaged opening customers it doesnt feel hard to me.

    go away critters!

  17. Caleb, in one of your articles over at SublimeYourTime, you remarked that the service/product one markets isn’t as important as the marketing itself. You also stated you had personally seen businesses that offered shitty services/products still succeed inspite because they marketed well.

    My question is – if your service is shitty, won’t the market ‘find’ you out and adjust accordingly?

    If you were a shitty consultant, didn’t deliver as you promised you would when marketing yourself, I doubt yoy would be as successful a consultant as you are right now would you?

  18. if your service is shitty, won’t the market ‘find’ you out and adjust accordingly?

    Yes. It depends on the scale though. If you are a Fortune 500 company with billions of dollars at your disposal, you can overcome your shitty products/services through marketing scale alone. That’s how companies like American Airlines and Wells Fargo stay in business. (Along with corporate welfare.)

    If you were a shitty consultant, didn’t deliver as you promised you would when marketing yourself, I doubt yoy would be as successful a consultant as you are right now would you?

    Correct, but the example I’ve given before is that back when I was an IT consultant, I wasn’t a bad consultant, I was a decent consultant, BUT, there were other IT consultants in my city who were clearly better than I was (more technical, had better info, etc), yet they were making far less money than me. Because they were A) shitty marketers and B) unskilled business managers.

    So bottom line: Marketing is critical, but it does not make up for shitty products and services unless you are a massive corporation.

    If you’re a small business, yeah, your products/services need to be at least “decent,” regardless of how well you market, though you’ll make even more money if they’re great.

  19. Do your neighbors ever bang on your walls when you’re having sex and threaten to call the police if you don’t shut up?

    How many times out of 100 would that happen? My guess is less than 5.

    2% rule, homie.

  20. Something weird is def happening with the new american outlook on work.  Its like a bitch fest about rich people, minimum wage, and “priviledge.”  I even catch so called red pill guys getting hung up on this victim mentality.

     

    We were born to work!  Its good for the brain to be problem solving and good for the body to stay active.  Might as well become damn good at what we do, earn more money, confidence and attract more people to us while we do it.  My motto for this year on my fridge is ” he who dares, wins.”  95 percent of people will pussy out, so just showing up and trying increases the chances of winning exponentially.

  21.  I even catch so called red pill guys getting hung up on this victim mentality.

    That’s because the red pill “movement” is just as bad as any other form of collectivism. And collectivist philosophies rely on victim mentalities. You’ll never see collectivists not claim that they are victims of some sort. The Red Pill people are no different; they are the exact same as the social vengeance warriors they attack, only it is from a different direction.

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