I don’t believe in luck, and I don’t believe in overnight success.
In my experience, your “luck” — which can be more accurately described as a statistical likelihood of achieving a positive outcome — is directly dependent on controllable factors such as preparation and training.
“Overnight success,” though it sounds pretty great, is never actually overnight.
Just like luck, it, too, requires preparation and training, usually years of it, before life-changing results can be expected.
Even if that success arrives quickly, the foundation for it is always the product of gradual, consistent diligence.
In my line of work, the same holds true.
So when huge opportunities that seem so good that I have to question every tiny little detail come around — opportunities that can individually change the course of a career — I never view it as a winning lottery ticket.
I view it as the product of the daily grind, week in, week out, for years on end.
I Was Expecting to Be Bored. Instead, I Walked Away Terrified.
This was the thought going through my mind after I got off a phone call a few weeks back… a phone call that still sends chills up my spine every time I think back on it.
It all started off routinely enough. Just another call with another company founder.
The thing is, with most of these guys — and this is something that takes years to recognize, and even longer to become immune to — 95% of the conversation is them trying to sell me on an idea.
They’re all salesmen first and foremost. From the head of the smallest public company you can name all the way up to the all-time greats like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs.
Their main skill is talking fast, talking constantly, and sweeping aside resistance before their audience even has a chance to formulate it.
And when they’re not selling you on an idea, they’re selling you on themselves.
Track record, the all-time favorite “I started with nothing” story, which we’re all suckers for to one degree or another…
With this guy, though, all of that was different.
I’d been introduced to his personal story and his background before I ever picked up the phone.
After That Phone Call, Things Could Never Be the Same
He was a young, wealthy serial entrepreneur. He was an author, a world traveler.
He was the kind of person who had to force himself to sleep for four hours a night just to stay sane, and probably used that respite to dream about his business plans in a more abstract framework.
What was most compelling of all, however, was this chart, which had been send to me, along with other materials concerning him and his most recent endeavor, by a mutual friend.
It was the reason behind the introduction.
Our mutual friend — the guy making the introduction — had known this CEO for many years.
Long enough to have invested in his last major business development plan, the results of which are illustrated in the chart above.
The plan took years to fully unfurl, but when it did, it had taken a tiny $10 million mining company and turned it into a mining empire worth close to $1 billion.
For our mutual friend, who participated as an investor for seven of the 11 years the whole thing took to mature, it meant a return of 80x.
That’s an 8,000% gain… enough to turn a small investment into a life-changing fortune.
How Long Would You Wait for an 80x Return?
Before that call started, I remember looking at this chart, taking it all in, and imagining what a $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 initial investment would have looked like when it was all over.
I had to pull myself back to reality after a few minutes because, as we like to say in this business, “past performance is not indicative of future results.”
What if this chart I was looking at represented the peak of this guy’s career? He was rich already… What if his hunger was gone? Worse yet, what if he was due for a failure?
When the call started, I figured I was in for a good 45 minutes of self-aggrandizing, but what I got was the exact opposite.
He didn’t talk about himself or his achievements at all.
To Avoid Mass Hysteria, They Kept it a Secret as Long as They Could
Instead, he told me a horror story that had my skin covered in goose bumps.
It was a story of one of history’s greatest screwups — the product of arrogance and shortsightedness on a global scale — and the main perpetrator was none other than our own federal government.
At the heart of it all was a resource — a metal so important to the mechanism of modern society that its demand outstripped lithium demand by a factor of more than 400.
It was this demand, which had been skyrocketing under our noses for the last 20 or so years, that moved this CEO to buy that tiny $10 million mining company back in the early 2000s… the seed that grew into the $1 billion empire outlined in the earlier chart.
Only difference is, today, global demand for that metal has reached catastrophic levels, for the first time ever outstripping supply.
It was about to deal a crushing blow to the economy, perhaps to the point of panic in the streets.
I gained at least a few dozen grey hairs in the days following that conversation… but that initial fear soon evolved into something else.
There was a solution to the problem, and I had to do my part to make sure that solution was realized.
My first step: to spread this story as far and wide as possible.