😠 A bunch of billionaires bullied me for my own good
😠 A bunch of billionaires bullied me for my own good
Lessons from 9-figure humans so we can catch a few 0's.
Good afternoon Contrarians,
There is a truth:
If you want to be rich, hang out with the rich.
It turns out success is contagious. You hear from us at Contrarian Thinking every week, but what if we gave you access to millionaires and billionaires? What if we let you steal the quiet conversations they usually never share?
That’s this newsletter.
An inside peek into humans who have become my friends and confidants that young Codie would have freaked out over having the chance to chat with.
Today in 10 minutes or less, you’ll learn:
✔️ Small thinking with Perkins
✔️ Who not how with Hormozi
✔️ The Funnel to Nonconformity
✔️ Becoming a black belt with Park
✔️ No one cares about you, except…
#1 Bill Perkins:
Author of Die with Zero, commodities hedge fund manager, professional poker player
I sit at Bill Perkins' $50M+ compound overlooking the lake in Austin, TX.
This hedge fund manager and investor knows a lot about making millions and taking big bets. In fact, he just bet a dude $200k he couldn’t lose 50% body fat.
Bill invited me over after watching me online -- we co-invested in a deal and spoke on a panel together. He is one of those guys who reaches a hand down to pull others up. This particular Saturday, he cuts right to the chase. He looks at my husband and I and says:
“You’ve invested in small businesses so long, small has infected your thinking.”
I took a deep breath. He’s right.
“You need to shed the bullshit, or you’ll never be truly big.” Ugh. That hurts.
There are so many levels to this game of business. As you’re growing, you’ll realize you keep outgrowing yourself and the games you used to play.
The biggest life hack isn’t a tactic or a tool. It’s a way of thinking.
Bill thinks in billions. I think millions.
What would happen if you just added a zero or two to the potential of the ideas in your head? I think that might be the difference between being a world changer, or not.
I picked up the call from my bud, worth $100 Million+, Leila Hormozi. I was drowning, and she was throwing a lifeline.
There’s a weird thing that happens to every CEO… At some point you want to either jump off a cliff, have a good cry, sell the biz, or fire everyone. Ask any CEO, it always happens.
But it’s usually because of one issue that no one ever tells you when you start. Your people.
You don’t have the right people in the right seats, and it slowly kills you. But Leila is a master at people. When I’m struggling with humans, I go to her.
She said a line that f’d my mind and also freed me: “You don’t have a business, you have a job.” Yup.
“Until you hire right, your business owns you not the other way around.” Damn.
Her most powerful hire? A people officer. Not some BS, PC HR person but someone who solely obsesses on hiring, recruiting, training, and keeping incredible humans.
My realization… You don’t have a how problem, you have a who problem. Solve that and you solve everything.
#3 Chris Petkas:
Former Navy SEAL, head of Contrarian Thinking Capital VC Fund, AI expert
Speaking of people issues, my husband Chris taught me this framework he learned as a navy SEAL. Any process used when lives are actually on the line tends to work pretty well.
It’s called the CEE Frame: critical, essential, or enhancing.
It turns out all needs are not equal. You realize this quickly when you run your own business. Your team will always ask for more money, more hires, more stuff. So how do you split X resources into a thousand different buckets? You use a framework.
How it works (simple & brilliant):
When someone on your team wants something, ask them: Is this person, or thing, or resource critical, essential, or enhancing?
A simple example — your driver on a road trip comes to you and says they need something:
Critical: “We are out of gas, it is critical that we refuel.” We’re not going anywhere until this is fixed.
Essential: “We have a flat tire but we’re using a spare for now.” This is a priority, but we can keep moving in the meantime.
Enhancing: “We would get there faster if we had a supercharger on our car.” What we have is fine, but here’s how we can make things happen quicker.
Teach your people to prioritize. It turns out most perceived criticals are just nice-to-haves.
You’re welcome for the time, stress, and money this will save.
#4 Alex Duran:
Permian Capital hedge fund manager, Helium Venture Capital manager
Alex manages a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He is big time. He is also the number one mentor in my life who doesn’t even know he is.
We’ve been friends for a decade plus, and I sit on the board of his hedge fund. We have a habit of late nights, good wine, and tough questions about the world around us. One night I was candid asking how he made his fortune. I wanted things to replicate...
The simplicity of his reply surprised me. “I train my brain to perform one task incredibly well. One task alone... to never conform.”
Here's how he explained it:
The Funnel to Nonconformity:
+ Become a funnel for ideas
+ Let ideas fight based on merit, not emotion
+ Find courage to act in nonconformity
= Opportunities others never see, or are too scared to act upon
An uncrowded market leads to outsized returns in life, and wealth. He is a special human because not only is he successful financially but his wife is my best friend, his kids are the model I’ll hold my own to, and he’s a real friend to the humans in his life. That's real-rich.
#5 Donald Park:
Former Vista Equity partner, co-founder of h.wood Media & Ionic Partners
I couldn’t figure out what to do. I had options coming at me like a firehose. I was frozen. Stuck. Lost. So I do what I always do when I’m too close to my own problems: go ask the smartest people I know to help me solve them.
I asked Donald for one hour to listen and help me ask the right questions. After my 20-minute word-vomit to the tune of, “Should I start this business? Take this deal? Do I double down here? What about get rid of all this?”
He said, “Is any of this something that no one has ever done before?”
Him: “Who has solved some part of this and won? Who can you model?”
Me: I list off a bunch of examples…
Him: “Everything in life has a model. How much easier is it to build something if you’ve seen it with your eyes? What about if you can actually get your hands on a blueprint? What about step-by-step directions? What if you could talk to the exact person you want to model?
Today, that’s all possible. Instead of you assuming you have to create a wheel from scratch, just imitate it.”
Maybe that’s why we call Donald the Black Belt.
Have you ever wanted to be a black belt in multiple areas of your life? Have the six pack and the 8 figures and the perfect relationship? Don’t we all want that?
Donald is one of those humans who is a literal black belt in Jiu Jitsu, but also in private equity and investing as well as in his community. Probably because he follows this frame: find a model, then follow the directions.
#6 Andrew Wilkinson:
Founder of Tiny Capital, billionaire, very nice Canadian
Andrew Wilkinson had just taken his company public. $850Million CAD valuation. Oof.
So when he came to Austin, I had to sit down with this internet friend IRL and see what I could learn.
It quickly became a therapy session where I told him all my fears about taking risks and starting new endeavors. He has invested in dozens if not 100s of companies. He's also lost $10million of his own money on just one SaaS company. He knows risks and what it is to lose.
So I asked him, “Andrew, how do you get comfortable with failing publicly? What if your bets don’t work?”
His response: “No no one ultimately cares about you. No one will remember you. No one will care about your failures. You are the only person who sees themself in the mirror.” Poignant AF, Andrew.
We all create a story about being the star in our own show. But it turns out we aren’t a star in anyone else’s. So what if you did the scary things, took the risks, and failed? Because no one ultimately cares anyway.
#7 Mike Chandler:
World Champion UFC Fighter, multi-time founder, podcast host of Walk on Wisdom
I was filming a video with the UFC champ Mike Chandler, so I texted him to ask what he wanted to talk about? His response: “We can talk McGregor fight, app, podcast, kram (his company) -- all my passion projects aside from main ones of being a husband and father.”
I took a pause. I interview a lot of famous people. But can I tell you how many of them upfront caveat that their main priority is their family? That would be a big huge goose egg. Not even me.
We proceeded to talk for an hour, do a workout, learn some grappling moves, and with each conversation I realized… He was being honest. No virtue-signaling good humanity here. He realized without his fam the money and the punches don’t really matter.
So it’s fitting to end with that. The deadliest man I know -- who can err on the side of violence -- doesn’t care about the glory but instead the legacy in the form of a woman he’s chosen and two children he’s raising.
Disclaimer – This is the “Be an adult” section. This article is presented for informational purposes only. The opinions stated here are not intended to recommend any investment or provide tax advice. Neither are they an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any current or future investment vehicle by Contrarian Thinking, LLC or its affiliates. All material presented in this newsletter is not to be regarded as investment advice, but for general informational purposes only. Investing does involve risk. We cannot guarantee profits or freedom from loss. You assume the entire cost and risk. You are solely responsible for making your own investment decisions. We recommend consulting with an advisor. By reading/sharing this newsletter or consuming our content on our other channels, you are indicating your consent and agreement to our disclaimer.
Hey Cashflow crew! By now, you know that Cashflow is being sunset at the end of 2023. If you missed that announcement, you can read the original post in Circle or search “💰Announcement - Cashflow