This bottle of mouthwash costs $25.
Actual instructions: “swig generously & gargle prior to all public appearances”
And yet, people are happily paying that much. Why?
Yesterday, I asked you to think of one thing you would teach your younger self. This luxury mouthwash is my answer.
A few years ago, I thought people only cared about results. For example:
- You joined our Dream Job course. How big of a raise did you get?
- You hired a personal trainer. How much weight did you lose?
- You’re buying a $1,000 handbag. Is it 10x better leather than a $100 bag?
So naive. Over time, I’ve learned that some people don’t only want results. Many people also want an experience.
All mouthwashes kill germs and freshen your breath. That’s table stakes. Even the discount brand can do this.
So why do some people pay more? Does Aesop kill 5 times more germs than Listerine? Does it keep your mouth clean for 5 times longer?
No. It’s about the emotion, the feeling, the packaging. It’s about the identity you create by indulging in a luxury product.
Notice our first reaction: “LOL, stupid people. Don’t they know they’re getting ripped off?”
But it’s not stupid.
Why do you think Mercedes-Benz chose “the best or nothing” as their slogan? Can’t a Honda Civic get you from place to place without premium sound or a 577 horsepower engine? Of course. But Mercedes owners want more than functional transportation. They want an experience.
This one realization — that experiences can matter just as much as results — has utterly transformed my business and my life. It’s like an entire part of the world has now become visible to me. And I can choose when I want to pay for an experience…or when I just want to get the cheapest thing (e.g., my spatula) because it makes no difference to me.
That’s where we kicked things off yesterday. No matter who you are, you know something that other people need to hear, too. (If you missed it, you can read what other people said they would teach their younger selves here.)
The surprising value of skills you take for granted
Every single one of us has something to share with the world. Surprisingly, this can be a skill we don’t think anybody would value enough to pay for.
- You might think your ability to cook is trivial. But I pay a private chef a lot of money to do exactly that for me.
- You might think walking your dog is a mundane chore. But some people make their living from it.
- You might think “everyone” knows how to use popular websites. But in college, venture capitalists paid me to explain how MySpace and YouTube worked.
You don’t have to be an expert, an author, or a guru to get paid for your expertise. You just need something that you could teach your younger self.
Let me show you an amazing example.
How to build a following by sharing lessons to your younger self
Tom is a tutor who built a following of over 300 people (fast) by sharing the studying techniques he figured out in college. He doesn’t have a Ph.D. in Education or a string of Amazon best-sellers on study hacks.
What he does have is something his younger self would love to know.
In this short video, Tom explains how he went from wanting to share something with the world to actually finding the “hidden expertise” from his past that other people could benefit from.
Anyone can do this. You just have to know where to look.
For example, consider some of the key insights in this video with Tom:
- He didn’t just pick some random experience to share. Instead, he thought carefully about something he struggled with (studying for difficult technical exams), how he overcame it, and how other students could save time by following in his footsteps.
- He noticed that textbooks, professors, and typical studying advice were letting technical students down — and tailored his advice to fill those gaps for others.
- He didn’t run seminars on how to study a year in advance so you can pass your exams “someday”. Instead, he focused on students who are rapidly approaching test day (because those are the people who need Tom’s help NOW).
Tom started with no readers, no website, not even an idea. Now he has hundreds of people reading his emails and even paying for his expertise.
This is the power of sharing your gifts with the world.
NEXT: 3 questions to tap into your hidden talents
Yesterday, we talked about what you wish you could teach your younger self.
Now, I want you to ask yourself three questions to start narrowing down what you could share with the world.
- What do other people struggle with that comes naturally to you? (Playing the piano? Managing your money? Hosting dinner parties?)
- What do your friends say you’re amazing at? (Ask them. Maybe it’s organization, dressing well, and reading people)
- What if you had 3 extra hours per week? What would you do? (Maybe read fashion blogs? Go to the gardening store? Talk about relationships?)
After you come up with some answers, start thinking about who might pay for your help in these areas. Post 1 answer in the comments.
For example, if you’re great at dissecting your friends’ relationship problems, you might say “I could be a relationship coach who helps shy men naturally attract the woman of their dreams”.
Or if you love gardening, it could be “I help people start container gardens.”
This doesn’t need to be perfect yet. I’ll help you shape and sculpt your idea over the next few weeks. For now, we’re just brainstorming. Have fun with it.
P.S. Just as our “younger selves” have a lot they could learn from us, we have a lot we can learn from people more experienced in starting and growing an online business. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to introduce you to many of these experts for an “insider’s playbook” you can use to start sharing your gifts faster than you thought possible.
First up: Someone who went from a near-death experience and living on $500/month in one of America’s poorest cities to turning his talents into a $5M/year online business.