What about the first $4 million?

“It’s the only reason Richard Koch, the 80/20 godfather, can work an hour a day and build a net worth of $330 million over 25 years (starting with just $4 million).”

I read that in an email the other day, I can’t remember from whom. One of the newsletters I subscribe to about 80/20, I guess. 

Mountaineer with pickax climbing up a mountain.

Don’t be taken in by super successful entrepreneurs touting the 4-hour work week. I takes hard-work and determination to reach their part of the mountain.

When I read it, I started to grind my teeth, because although I’ve pulled this sentence out of context slightly, it’s the kind of nonsense peddled by all kinds of fake plastic “gurus” about how we shouldn’t be working for more than 4 minutes every 2 weeks.

The thing is, Richard Koch, who is indeed the 80/20 godfather, damn well didn’t start out working only an hour a day. That’s not how he built his fortune. Pay attention to that final aside, stuck in brackets as an afterthought: “starting with just $4 million”.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have have “just” $4 million dollars lying around to start a personal empire. Do you? If you do, I’m not sure why you’re on my list. I’d like to be on yours!

This information is of no relevance to you and I, beyond perhaps being a little aspirational.

What you and I need to know is, how did he get to that first $4 million?

This is the stuff those super-successful entrepreneurs conveniently forget about. I love The 4 Hour Work Week… but I’m not at that stage yet. Neither are you, I’m guessing.

These super-successful entrepreneurs don’t tell us about the hard slogs and trial and error and that brought them to the point they can work an hour a day. Because those stories aren’t as headline-grabbing and sexy as “work an hour a day and build a net worth of over $330 million!”

“Work really bloody hard for a few years, try a bunch of stuff that’s not going to work until you find what does work, fail over and over again and get back up over and over again, then discover what you really want to do and how you’re going to do it – and finally your business is making great money and you’re doing some good in the world.”

That’s the truth – but it’s not as pithy and attractive as “4 hour work week”, is it?

I’m still working up to my first million. Not that that’s even my goal; it’s not. I’m guessing you’re not there yet, either.

But how are you getting there? Alone, or in a supportive group of like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs?

Groping blindly in the dark, or following the advice of someone who’s been there, done that, and will share their successes and failures with you?

Relying on guesswork, or trying a bunch of stuff someone else has done, and laid out so you can see how it works?

I groped around in the dark for a couple of years before I stuck my hand up and asked for help. Because the truth is, it’s not just long hours of hard work that build a business in the early years; it’s asking for help. None of us can do this alone, and we don’t have to. I’m so glad I didn’t, or I know for a fact I’d have gone and got a J.O.B. that I really didn’t want by now.

Instead, I joined a group, took advice, and put the work in.

Am I successful? Well, I’ve not reached my goals yet, but yes I am. I’m living the life I want and working towards being truly comfortable.

Are you? Could things be a little more comfortable? A little less lonely?

Need a bit of direction or a helping hand? You’re in luck, that’s exactly why I wrote my book, Business For SuperheroesIt charts exactly what I did to get where I am today.

You can grab yourself a copy, here. Get reading!



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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