3 Things to Invest In

If I were interested in making a quick buck, I might be telling you 3 “hot stocks you absolutely must invest in.” I could tell you to buy a product that gives me a commission.

Instead, I’m going to tell you the three things I’ve invested my time, money, & effort into that’s responsible for all of my success.

They might not be what you think of first.


“First you do the best you can. Then when you know better, do better.” -David Hira

Knowledge really is power. Everything I’ve done boils down to having the right information on how to do it.

Or spend years with trial & error to figure it out for myself. Either way, your choices are only as good as the information you use to make them.

In a time where information is freely available online, it’s difficult to sift the golden nuggets from all the useless crap. When you find something valuable, however, there’s nobody who can take it from you.

Whatever treasures you hoard in your mind are yours, and yours forever.

Knowledge is the best return on the investment you can possibly hope for.


There are things / ideas / strategies / tools that will help you get where you want to go.

Then there’s everything else.

The secret to lasting success is owning what you build. I don’t care how many followers you have on Twitter. I don’t care how many likes you have on Facebook. Any platform you build on can change their rules tomorrow and everything you’ve worked so hard to build can disappear instantly.

Unless you own your platform.


The quote about knowing better so you can do better was told to me by one of my favorite coaches & personal mentors. He’s an incredible person with an even more incredible story. His insights, suggestions, and advice come from a lifetime of experience, and every single nugget he shares is pure gold.

When I listen to what he tells me, it saves me years of learning it myself. That’s the power of coaches.

Great advice is worth exactly what you pay for it, too. Coaching ain’t cheap. It’s not easy to put their knowledge into action, either.

But it’s so worth it.

Coaching helps catapult you forward. It instantly establishes momentum. Momentum creates wealth.


  • Put in effort to gain things that can’t be taken away
  • Quality relationships with quality people are priceless & worth everything you can spend to maintain them
  • Knowledge is power (when put into action)

Never Blame the Audience

Everybody’s had a bad day at work. Usually that doesn’t involve a room of 2,000 people watching you have a bad day.

As an entertainer it’s easy to tell yourself that it was the crowd’s fault. They were too drunk. They were too busy texting. They were too this. Too that.

Whose fault is it?


One of the most valuable pieces of advice I got from a fellow performer is “never blame the audience.”

Anyone can do the easy shows. It takes a true professional to pull through a rough environment with a successful show.

How do you get to that level?

Never blame the audience.

Blaming the audience allows you to ignore what you did (or didn’t do) that you could have to have a successful performance. If you have an off night, ask yourself what you could have done to avoid whatever problem derailed you.

Did you focus on the one person texting and forget about the 1,999 who were having a good time? Did you give the mic to someone who was completely wasted?

You’re responsible.

As the performer, your job is to take control of the experience for the audience so they feel comfortable putting their attention in your hands. They have to feel secure in your leadership before they can relax enough to enjoy whatever you’re about to lead them through.

Your Company

I can’t tell you how many CEOs, owners, and upper management folks blame poor results on consumers, crappy sales people.

Everyone but themselves and their poor leadership.

Have an amazing product that you know will change lives, but nobody’s buying? It’s your fault.

It’s your job to find where the breakdown in communication is, and fix it.

It all boils down to communication.

Your focus is not on finding the solution. You’re busy blaming every one else which allows you to continue ignoring how your website is difficult to navigate. Your sales process feels like a scam. Your employees are checked out because you’ve shown them you don’t value them.

Whatever the issue, it’s your responsibility to find a solution, get the results you want, and move on.

How do you fix it?

Take an honest look at how you run your business, and that’s difficult to do. Sometimes you’re too close to a problem to find the solution.

(Or you don’t know you’re looking at the problem when you’re staring it in the face.)

That’s why it’s important to get an outsider’s perspective. (Good) performers have directors. They have a whole creative team to provide feedback. They probably have a mentor or coach, too.

Who is in your mastermind? Brain trust? Advisory board?

Find a team of high quality people who can help you take responsibility for how you’ve been doing things, and help you find better ways of doing them in the future.

It’s the only way things will get better is if you know better.

Then do better.

Remember. Never blame the audience. It’s on you.

Strategic Hurdles

How often have you seen someone get famous “overnight” only to crash & burn a year or two later? Sometimes a slow success is a blessing; not a curse.

Mainly it happens because they haven’t had time to adjust to the new challenges, demands, and problems of managing their time & demands for their attention.

Seems like the moment you get a little bit of exposure, people start contacting you out of nowhere, expecting you to give them value in exchange for no effort on their part. If you don’t have a way to protect yourself from those requests, you’re going to crash and burn hard.

Personal Example

In 2013 I had the honor of performing at the world famous Magic Castle in LA. It’s an exclusive members only club. If you’re not a member, you have to know one to get in.

No exceptions.

I can’t tell you how fast my Facebook “Other Messages” folder filled up with people who were asking me to put them on my list of comps.

No thanks.

Now, how do you deal with those kinds of demands on your time & resources from people who are only interested in what you can do for them?

Strategic hurdles!

Use low stake, trivial demands on their time to earn the request.

“Hey Frank! Thanks for your interest in being my guest at the world famous Magic Castle! Take a picture of yourself in front of a palm tree, holding a sign that says ‘I love Jonny!’ and tag me on Facebook. I’ll see the alert on my feed, and add you and a guest to the comp list. Looking forward to seeing you Friday!”

This is a club where actors, directors, designers, and those in the know are regularly in attendance. This is an incredible opportunity to rub elbows with movers and shakers if you play your cards right (pardon the pun). People go to incredible lengths just to get in.

Know how many strangers took me up on the offer?


Strategic hurdles make a difference.

They save you time. They save face. They help weed out the takers.

How can you apply this in your own business?

Next time you’re looking to partner up with someone, or hire the best candidate, put a small hurdle in their way.

The motivated people (who recognize the value in the opportunity you’re offering & are willing to put in effort to get it) will clear it with no problem.

For the people who aren’t willing to put in the least effort possible with trip over it and fall.

It can be something as simple as asking for a review of your site in the form of a haiku. Tagging your company in a fun photo on Instagram. Sending you an email with your followup thoughts after an interview. It can be anything.

Save yourself the headache of wasting your time on energy vampires who only want to take, so you have something to give the winners!

Magic of Success

Magicians are in the business of creating experiences that are absolutely mind blowing. No matter how impossible it seems, however, tricks work by making use of natural principles of nature.

If you look at people who are massively successful, it can seem like it happened as if by magic. They started a company and *POOF* they’re incredibly successful.

Success, no matter how incredible, is the result of effort applied in accordance to certain fundamental principles. I’m going to explain how magicians do what they do to help you understand what it takes to be successful in your own way.

I’m not supposed to do this.

I’ve consulted for Criss Angel. I’ve performed at the world-famous Magic Castle in LA. I’ve entertained United States troops stationed overseas.

I’ve been in magic my whole life, and I know my way around the world of mystery.

What I’m about to tell you is absolutely forbidden in the magical community; I’m going to reveal the secret to every single trick you’ve ever seen in your life.

Not only that, once you’re in the know, I’m going to explain exactly how you can use that knowledge to conjure results in your personal & business life that will look like pure magic to outsiders.

Anyone looking in won’t be able to comprehend how you can get incredible results, but you and I will both know there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Here Goes

Magic is boring.

There, I said it.

That’s the biggest secret in magic; just how simple it truly is.

People want magic to be this exotic thing that lives in a secret dusty room holding arcane knowledge, rituals, spells, and even a hex or two. But when it comes right down to it, magic is actually elegant in its simplicity.

Sure, there are magical masterpieces requiring feats of engineering and technology that are phenomenally complex to create, but no matter how complicated the machinery every single trick you’ve heard about is built on fundamental psychological principles that work across all cultures.

Those principles reveal truths about how we, as people, navigate the world, make decisions, & think about ourselves.

I’m going to dive into what it all means for business, relationships, and beyond.

*pulls a book on the shelf which swings open to reveal a dusty room, and walks in*

The Secret To Every Magic Trick Ever

 “The magician creates the context for logical assumptions that are later shown to not be true.” ~Jonathan Pritchard

Forgive me for quoting myself, but I want to make sure the world knows I said it first.

There’s a lot going on in the quote, so let me break it down piece by piece, and explain how it applies to other worlds outside magical performance.

The Magician…

This is the agent of action. This is the person who is making things happen. This is you.

Since prehistory, magicians (shamans, spirit guides, etc) have fulfilled a very important role in societies as someone who understands the forces of nature, and uses that knowledge to bend reality to his/her will.

They are considered to be in possession of knowledge that is beyond ordinary comprehension, and capable of creating miracles.

I love that idea because it is so very close to reality. Everyone knows something that seems so obvious to them, but appears completely mystifying to anyone else. In this way, we are all magicians of our own lives. We understand the world in a unique way, and we can all use that power to create amazing results.

…creates the context…

Context means everything. Context is the reason a comedian can call someone a name and everyone in the room laughs, but if you try it at a bar you’ll get a lesson in manners outside in the parking lot.

Context is the basis for relationships. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything exists in relationship to everything else in the universe. It’s the circumstances and facts around an idea or situation that helps shape its meaning.

How context is built, and used, has far-reaching implications.

A magician is on stage in a theater. People know that the magician is going to be performing tricks, and that it is a performance. These are all parts of the puzzle that come together to provide a context for the audience to enjoy the magical performance.

The experience is further crafted through the performer’s words, actions, music, lights, and every other tool of stagecraft at his disposal. Every element in use helps create a context which creates a reality where magic lives.

Just like the magician, you create the context in which other people perceive you. Everything you do, everything you say, everything you wear, etc. creates the context in which people can understand you.

Once you realize you are in control of how you are presenting yourself to the world, you can start taking ownership for the results you are getting (or not).

…for logical assumptions…

“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.” ~Charles Darwin

The magician shows a coin in his right hand, drops it in his left hand and closes his fingers around it into a fist. With the wave and snap of his fingers the coin vanishes.


Your eyes saw the coin in his right hand, and watched the hand turn over above his left palm. You know the coin drops into the left palm because gravity is a fundamental force of nature. Logical.

And that’s where the magician leads your mind astray.

It’s logical to assume that if you turn your hand over, the coin will fall to the floor.

What’s not logical is to think a person has spent 20 years learning how to hold a coin with the muscles of the hand in a way to make it look empty from above.

The magician doesn’t announce, “Behold, my empty right hand!” He just behaves in a way (creating the context) that would make you think it’s empty (logical assumption).

If he were to state “My right hand is empty” he knows you would immediately challenge him immediately. Instead, he behaves as if the hand is empty, your mind tells you it’s empty, and you believe it. After all, why would you lie to yourself?

To help us navigate the world, our minds help build guidelines and general rules about how the world works (like gravity will make a coin fall from an open hand when turned over), and uses these as shortcuts to decision making.

These assumptions operate at a level that precedes conscious thought. You aren’t even aware that your mind is doing that for you. If you want to discover what kind of assumptions you’re working with, look to the major points of conflict in your life. You’ll be sure to find beliefs and ideas about what is true about the world that is out of alignment with reality.

The most powerful way to change your perception of the world is to challenge your beliefs and fundamental assumptions about reality. It can be uncomfortable, but if you want change in your life, you’re going to need to work on the assumptions that are dictating your reality.

…that are later shown to not be true…

In the example of the coin disappearing, your assumptions about coins dropping towards the floor creates a narrative in your mind that tells you that the coin is now in the magician’s left hand.

The more you trust your own conclusions (based on “logical” assumptions) and the longer you hold those beliefs, the stronger the magical effect will be when it’s revealed that things aren’t how you thought they were.

In the context of a magic show, this experience is fun. It makes people laugh, clap, and gasp with wonder.

In the context of the real world, this experience can be devastating. You thought you had the contract and your client (seemingly) suddenly goes with another agency. You thought your partner was faithful, and you find out they’re not.

The list can go on forever.

And, it can be incredibly empowering.

You thought you couldn’t depend on anyone else, but the whole community shows up to help you (The plot behind, “It’s a Wonderful Life”).

Things aren’t always as they seem, and if you find yourself in a reality where things don’t match up with how you thought they are, then it’s your assumptions that need revising.


That’s the secret to magic and success.

Context is everything, your assumptions dictate your perception of reality, and sometimes life isn’t what it seems (and that can be a great thing!).

If you’ve found this article helpful, I’d sure appreciate you sharing it with your friends. Let’s help make the world a better place by promoting great material!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to leave a comment, or message me directly. I read everything that comes through the inbox.

Let’s start a conversation.

5 Mental Locks (& How to Pick Them)

Standard Social Narratives

Disney cartoons. Romantic comedies. Books. Family upbringing.

They’re all selling you a story about how things should be; I call it the standard social narrative. It’s a collection of assumptions about how you should be, how others should treat you, and so on.

It’s baked so deeply into our culture that it’s difficult to recognize which story we’re writing and which story we’re reading.

Given long enough, if you wind up reading someone else’s story more than you write your own, these silent mental narratives can bind you more strongly than any physical chain.

What you believe is stronger than what is real.

Make the Invisible Visible

“I need to find the one.”

“My friends don’t actually like me; they just tolerate me hanging around.”

“I need to get a real job.”

These are just a couple examples of the mental narratives that we tell ourselves that can quickly constrict our way of thinking if we’re not careful. You’ve likely been thinking them so often that you don’t even realize they’re passing through.

Even though your conscious mind might not register them, those thoughts still shape the way you think about life, make choices, and interact with others. In short, they affect everything.

That makes them incredibly powerful, and without controlling them they can destroy you.

And you can’t simply wish your way out; you have to address them directly and dismantle their hold on you.

Every year you don’t deal with these silent narratives is another year you’re holding yourself back in business, relationships, money, and health.

5 Most Common Mental Locks (and how to pick them)

Over the years of studying the mind, working with clients, and reading as many books as I can by the best thinkers through time, I’ve uncovered 5 of the most common silent narratives that are keeping you trapped in your status quo.

Lock 1: “I need to figure things out first.”

Never before in the history of mankind have we had more information on hand, instantly. “Knowledge is power,” we say.

Information, by itself, is one of the worst ways to make change in our lives. You already know what to do. You have the answers already.

If “knowledge is power” were true, you’d already be the most powerful person in the world. You keep searching for the next detail. One more secret. And everything will change.

But when everything stays the same, you make a shift.

Instead of aggregating information, you now start looking for ways to apply it.

This is what I like to call “tactical hell.” You now try anything under the sun without an overarching strategy to guide our efforts. Eventually this will completely demoralize you, drain your energy, and make you less likely to try anything else in the future.

So what’s going on?

Lockpick 1: Potential to Kinetic Energy

Information overload, and paralysis by analysis keeps people from putting in effort by taking ACTION.

Action means you’d actually have to try. You’d actually have to care.

You might fail.

Once we figure out strategies to get our needs met, we tend to stick to what works. Even if it’s not working all that well. We get comfortable.

And the only thing that’s going to make a difference is action.

When I was learning to drive, I drove my Dad crazy with questions. I wanted to know everything there was to know about driving. Eventually though, I realized I was, in a way, stalling.

Instead, I had to take action.

We went out to a parking lot & I learned more in 10 minutes of trying it than I did in weeks of talking.

Since then, I’ve learned a way of thinking about opportunities I like to call Regret vs Disappointment.

I’d rather be disappointed than live with a regret because that means I at least tried.

Failure, disappointment, and making mistakes are an ESSENTIAL part of success and it’s the fear of all those that’s keeping you in the comfortable status quo.

Information is out there free and it’s worth exactly what you paid for it.

Action is priceless.

Lock 2: “I don’t have good ideas.”

Guttenberg screwed everything up.

Before him, humans were essential for everything. But that bastard put thousands of scribes out of work with his printing press. From that moment forward, we’ve been moving faster and faster towards a future where automation will eat every kind of manufacturing job that humans used to do.

With the development of the internet, it’s moving forward at light speed.

As we move out of an economy of labor, all our job security is leaving too. The only way to have control in the middle of the chaos is to start your own side business. It’s the fastest, most cost-effective strategy to drastically improve your income.

One of the biggest mental locks I see clients run into is the story, “Starting a business is hard.”

The belief is a dangerous shape-shifter that can take many forms.

  • I don’t know what people would pay me for.
  • I have so many ideas that I don’t know where to start! I don’t know how to start making money off ‘em.
  • I haven’t had one original idea. Seems like someone’s already doing anything I dream up.
  • I get distracted too easily. I never see a project through to the finish. I’ll start something, and then start something else.

Lots of people have versions of these beliefs rattling around in their head. So if you recognize one of those in yourself, you’ve got good company.

So how do we pick this lock?

Lockpick 2: Two Factor Authentication

My whole life is online. Keeping that information private is incredibly important to me. That’s why I’ve enabled 2 step verification on all my profiles online.

Not only do I need to remember my username & password (step 1), I also require a physical token or single-use number code texted to me (step 2). This way, I’m the only person who would feasibly have both pieces of information.

This keeps private things private, and drastically reduces the number of unwanted eyes on my information as low as possible.

Success is the same way.

It’s like success has its own 2 step verification, and if you don’t know the two questions to ask, you won’t have access to all the money, freedom, and control waiting on the other side of your efforts. Fortunately, I’m going to give them to you.

See, starting a business can be difficult. There are a bunch of skills you don’t have, questions you don’t have answers to, and your inner critic is yammering away nonstop. The cool part is, you don’t have to come up with a million good ideas; you just need a single profitable idea. One.

Usually, that idea is something you already know so well that you can’t imagine other people not being able to do it. Often you’re too close to it, and you don’t realize how valuable what you know already actually is.

Think about what you’re good at, what your friends & family ask your help with all the time, and what you enjoy doing already. If there’s a significant overlap of those areas you’re off to a good start.

Once you have an inkling of what your business idea is, here’s the 2 step verification to run on the idea to see if it will unlock success.

Think about your ideal customer you’re planning on selling to and ask these two questions:

  1. Do they have money to spend?
  2. Are they willing to spend that money?

If your idea doesn’t get a “yes” from both questions, it’s not a good business.

I’m not going to spend a majority of my time going after clients who want services, but don’t have money to spend on them.

I volunteer a couple hours a month at a professional development coalition for people who want coaching but don’t have the budget for it. It’s a great place to connect with motivated people who want to learn, but aren’t able to pay for it. Since most of the people who attend those free workshops don’t pass the first question, they’re not my ideal potential client.

I focus on working with companies and corporations because 1) they have a budget and 2) they recognize they need to spend money to make money. I focus on working with entrepreneurs who are already making money, but want to figure out how to free up more of their time with new ways of thinking about creating value.

So whatever idea you have, make sure it passes the 2 factor authentication process before moving forward.

Lock 3: “I want passive income.”

Ah, yes. The siren song. Money while you sleep!

Sounds good, right? Get paid while you do nothing! I know why it’s so attractive, too. It’s because you’re already super busy with your normal 9-5 job, and it’s stressful as hell. You’re barely maintaining as it is, and the idea of throwing a second job on top of that will only serve to push you over the edge.

So you look for the easy button. You look for the guy telling you, “I made six figures this year on auto-pilot!”

What they don’t tell you is how they made it. They made money telling you how they made you buy their product about how they made you buy it. It’s no different than a multi-level marketing scheme.

But your back is against the wall. What are you supposed to do? You understand that you can’t go on living the way you’re living, so something has to change.

Lockpick 3: Make what you’re already doing more profitable.

I know a lot of successful people. One of my favorite people in the world (who I learned a lot of this stuff from) makes a ton of money, and you’d never know it. He doesn’t have a flashy house. He doesn’t live in a high rise apartment. If you saw him, you’d think he’s just like any other guy.

But he’s not.

He has multiple ways of making money, and a lot of those qualify as “passive income.” He’s written books and created courses that sell at a steady rate without much attention needed from him. He put in the time up front, and then that effort pays off again & again.

But he doesn’t spend his days sitting back and watching the sales click in.

He’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever seen in my life. He is constantly working to optimize his systems, training his crew, and constantly finding ways to push how much he can achieve in one day.

He is about as far from passive as you can get. He’s active plus some.

If you want to be successful like him, you’re not going to get there by doing nothing. You don’t need to focus on your passive income, you need to learn how to make your active efforts more lucrative!

That means you’ll have to stop looking for that magic bullet. The short answer. You have the answer you’re already looking for; the job you already have.

Improve your active income.

Work on building skills that are rare and valuable in your industry. Find solutions for leadership. Find ways of doing things in a way that’s better than anyone else at your company.

Once you’ve demonstrated your value to the company (by showing how much money you’ve made & saved them), renegotiate your salary. Then, take the skills you’re already selling to the company you work for, and then start a small freelancing business on the side.

You’ll be able to make more per hour as a freelancer because a company’s whole goal is to sell your work to the client for more than they pay you. You might not be able to sell as many of your hours to your own clients, but the clients you do land will pay better than your job does.

This usually takes the wind out of people’s’ sails. They want the success pill. They want the easy way.

Building your pre-existing skills, working on being a more productive employee, and freelancing mean they actually have to put in some effort. It’s not the “sip coconut rum on the beach” dream they have.

That’s the bad news. The good news is most people aren’t going to do it. Which means you stand a much better chance of making it farther with less effort because you have fewer competitors.

Lock 4: “I can’t get a raise.”

There’s a part of Lockpick 3 that usually trips people up: negotiating a better salary. The main reason is they believe the silent narrative that the economy is garbage, and they should be thankful they have a job in the first place.

I get it. The news is on a 24/7 cycle explaining why we’re headed for global financial ruin, and your manager is constantly talking about how tight the budget is. You’re happy for the 3% raise you got this year, so you should probably not stick your neck out by asking for more money.

If you believe that, you’re right; you don’t deserve the raise.

Lockpick 3: Cost/Benefit Thinking

Once upon a time I worked at Disney. I was hired as part of the college internship program, and a part of the agreement was getting to attend Disney University.

Disney. University.

I took as many courses as I could in the 9 months I was there. I recognized there would be no better opportunity to see the inner workings of how one of the most recognized brands in the world operates.

One of the classes I took that did the most good was “The business of marketing you.”

The instructor explained how to negotiate your salary during the hiring process, and explained it’s exactly the same way after you’ve been hired, too. Since that time I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process, and can tell you first-hand it works.

Hiring someone is a costly process. There’s so much time that goes into it that a company wants it over as quickly as possible. It’s not an unreasonable number to expect a company to spend between $5,000 to $10,000 searching for the right candidate.

Now that you know how expensive it is for them to hire someone new, you have. . . leverage.

When you go into your negotiation ready to explain the ways you’ve made the company money & saved the company money every week you’ve been there (you’re keeping track of that in an ongoing Google Slideshow, right?), you also know that it makes better financial sense to give you the $5,000 to $10,000 raise instead of gambling on the prospect of firing you and looking for someone new.

Your institutional knowledge, proven benefit to the corporate, etc are just too valuable to squabble over a couple thousand dollars.

It’s barely noticeable to them, but makes a huge difference to you.

Lock 5: “Yeah, well, negotiating might work when I’m getting hired, but my company won’t let me renegotiate.”

During my time as a traveling entertainer, I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a television thing. Fortunately (because I’m a hell of a networker) I had a friend who lived there, and could show me around. We met when I worked at Universal Studios (yeah, I worked both sides of the fence. Disney AND Universal. Don’t tell ‘em.)

When I had a free afternoon she took me to a couple bazaars and I shopped around for some trinkets to bring home. She was my personal negotiator. She was from there, so she knew how to haggle like a pro.

At a hookah shop we talked about how different it is in Turkey vs America. Americans don’t really negotiate for anything other than cars, and even then there’s a booming business for people who dread that whole process (carmax.com).

We don’t want to come across as cheap, needing charity, or rude. You might think you haven’t been working at your job long enough to re-negotiate your salary. There’s any number of reasons why you’re leaving money on the table. I get it.

But the thing is, everything is negotiable.

You can’t let your mind trap keep you locked out of making more out of your time.

Lockpick 5: Think like someone who has earned it.

The easiest way to think like someone who earned it is to be a person who has earned it! Exchange value for value. It’s the only way the world works. Otherwise someone is stealing from the other person in the exchange.

A top level lockpick knows that negotiating can actually make you more attractive to a company. When you do it the right way, you’ll make your boss eager to give you a raise.

Caveat. If you’re someone who complains all the time. If you’re someone who gossips all the time. If you’re someone who leaves at 4:58 everyday without saying bye to anyone. I’m not talking to you.

The cool part is, I know that’s not you. (They never get this far into the article. They’re looking for the easy path, and that leads to the lowest level. You’re a top level player!)

I don’t care how wrecked the economy is because no matter how bad it is, it just means the valuable people who know how to thrive (no matter what) are worth that much more. Your company (if it’s smart) will want to do everything in their power to keep you happy.

That’s why the first step of picking this lock is understanding the way an elite level performer thinks, and then align your thinking to match.

Before reading this you probably had an unspoken narrative that you should kiss the ground simply for having a job. You don’t want to cause any ripples and wind up getting fired.

Now, though, you understand you always have options. If you don’t have options, dammit, you’re going to create them.

Everyone benefits by negotiating. It’s a win-win approach to look for solutions that make everybody happy.


You made it to the end!

*high five*

I know it’s a lot of information to digest all at once, and I think you’ll agree it was worth wading through. I hope you use everything in here to unlock your mind from those limiting beliefs, and then negotiate yourself into a better position in life.

Do that and you’ll be making powerful change.

If you think you know anyone else who could benefit from this article, please do you, me, & them a solid by sharing it with them.

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How Do You Motivate Employees (& Yourself)?

Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Rewards

Extrinsic rewards are physical objects or tangible benefits bestowed by an outside agency (like winning a trophy or a gold medal). Intrinsic rewards are the feelings & emotions accompanying an activity for its own merit (like the feeling of accomplishment at the top of Mt. Everest).

There are thousands of ways employers have tried to boost morale & worker satisfaction in an effort to maximize bottom line earnings. But, what actually works?

Extra vacation days? Annual bonuses? Fun work environments? Team building exercises?

There’s an interesting study from 1973 that demonstrated that extrinsic rewards often backfire. They tend to undermine the intrinsic motivation to perform at a high level which results in poorer job performance overall.

The Study

In a nursery class of 3-5 year old children who liked to draw, researchers divided them into 3 groups:

  1. Those who were told they would get a certificate for drawing (Expected Group)
  2. Those who were not told they would get a certificate for drawing, but would receive one afterward (Unexpected Group)
  3. Those who were neither told about a certificate, nor received one afterward (Control Group)

After the initial session, researchers waited a couple weeks and then implemented the second phase of the experiment.

All the children were in a room with paper & crayons, but no mention was made of a reward for drawing. Children in Groups 2 & 3 spent the most time drawing whereas children in Group 1 spent the least time drawing.

What Does This Mean?

If you use a quid pro quo system of motivation for employees (like a cash bonus), you’ll actually decrease motivation to do a good job at that task unless you continue the rewards. At first, the money triggers a release in dopamine in exactly the same way as someone anticipates the effects of tobacco, cocaine, or any other kind of addictive drug.

The weird thing is, however, people tend to overestimate how much they’re going to enjoy the payoff when it actually gets there, and they acclimate to the dopamine hit. That’s why entrepreneurs & performers who choose to turn a hobby into a full time career tend to go through a period of feeling very low motivation to do something they previously loved to do for the sheer joy of it.

“If I’m not getting paid for it, why would I do it?”


So How Do You Get The Best Results?

There’s the easy way, and the hard way.

The hard way is to find people who love to do the thing you need done, and then set them loose. Let their intrinsic motivation of satisfaction drive their efforts for you.

Finding this perfect overlap of interest & job can be time consuming and difficult. That’s why it’s the hard way.

The easy way is to make rewards unexpected and random. Understand, however, when something happens once people will expect it again. The trick is to do it at random intervals as opposed to a “random” annual bonus at Christmas. (Same goes for verbal praise, and any other form of positive feedback. Random distribution is more effective.)


  • Money & extrinsic motivators are much less effective than aligning someone’s intrinsic motivator to complete a task
  • If you’re going to use an extrinsic motivator, it’s much more powerful if it is given unexpectedly