Life isn’t fair.
The rich seem to keep getting richer.
Good timing can often matter more than hard work.
Well-connected individuals sometimes secure better jobs than those who are more qualified.
It’s easy to let the “unfairness” of life deter us from pursuing our dreams.
However, there is another perspective you can adopt—one that focuses on you developing your own unfair advantage.
There are several key advantages that can enable you to stand out in the marketplace and construct a competitive moat around yourself.
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Quick Stop: Your entrepreneur friends would appreciate you sending this information to them… Seriously.
Ok now let’s explore these insights and learn how you can leverage your own unfair advantages to increase your odds of success.
Money: Amplify Your Resources
Money provides the luxury of time to develop a product and a greater ability to reach a critical mass of people.
Think of it this way: if you were building the first airplane, having more money in the bank would allow you to test more planes and have a longer runway to get those test planes off the ground.
But what if you don’t have a substantial amount of money?
You can still create an unfair advantage by making personal financial decisions to make your money go further:
moving to a less expensive location
freelancing for additional income
cutting down on unnecessary subscriptions and expenses
automating your savings and investments
negotiating better deals on bills and recurring payments
Remember, you don’t need YOUR OWN money to build a business.
Even if you need significant capital to start, your ability to effectively pitch your business idea to investors and sell your vision can become your unfair advantage.
In fact, these are skills I teach people no matter how rich they are!
Intelligence and Insight: Solve Problems Others Miss
Being “smarter” than most people certainly offers an advantage, as it allows you to solve problems quicker than the average person.
However, an even more significant advantage lies in your ability to notice lucrative problems that others overlook.
Steve Jobs noticed a problem with personal computers and firmly believed in the importance of aesthetics and simplicity, which few people noticed or cared about.
To develop the unfair advantage of Insight, consistently be on the lookout for consumer pain points and frustrations.
Ask questions that dig deep into the root cause of people’s problems.
By doing so, you may discover a lucrative product idea before anyone else.
Train your mind to think critically, question the status quo, and identify opportunities that others don’t see.
Luck: Cultivate Fortuitous Encounters
Research shows that timing accounts for almost 50% of a startup’s success or failure.
While being at the right place at the right time may seem like an uncontrollable and unfair advantage, you have more influence over luck than you might think.
Simply believing you are a lucky person makes you more likely to experience good fortune.
This mindset allows you to see unexpected events as opportunities and act on them.
I can write an entire book on this concept but let’s keep it short here for now…
To cultivate luck as your unfair advantage:
Reflect on chance encounters and perfect timing from your past that have led to positive outcomes in your life.
Practice gratitude for the luck you’ve had, as it enhances your mind’s ability to spot lucky opportunities in the future.
Combine this lucky mindset with a willingness to take action—engage with people, put your ideas out into the world, and immerse yourself in environments where cutting-edge ideas converge.
For instance, if you’re a tech entrepreneur, you’ll want to spend more time in innovation hubs like Silicon Valley.
Education and Status: Forge Your Own Path
Attending prestigious schools or working for renowned companies like Harvard, Stanford, Google, or Goldman Sachs can provide a significant advantage.
These affiliations convey the perception that you’re special and can add value.
For example, if you’re running a financial product startup, having experience as a former Goldman Sachs employee, or being a London School of Economics graduate can open doors to influential connections.
But what if you can’t access these prestigious institutions?
You can still develop an unfair education and status advantage by embarking on a self-directed learning journey.
Focus on acquiring marketable skills such as programming, design, engineering, or sales.
Become an expert in two seemingly unrelated fields that you can merge, enabling you to offer unique insights and solutions.
Educators – study Psychology and Gamification
Marketers – study Consumer Behavior and Neurology
Product Designers – study Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics
Urban Planners – study Architecture and Environmental Science
There’s one life heuristic that can truly provide an unfair advantage: make learning your number one priority.
Base your adventures, jobs, and entertainment choices on the opportunities they provide for personal growth and knowledge acquisition—even if it means temporarily sacrificing more lucrative or enjoyable experiences.
Whatever you learn, use it to increase your generosity.
Building a skilled and generous reputation will do more for your status over several decades than any prestigious degree alone.
In conclusion, life may be unfair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome its challenges.
By leveraging your unique unfair advantages, regardless of your background, you can level the playing field and increase your odds of success.
Money, intelligence and insight, luck, education, and status are all potential avenues for developing your unfair advantage.
Embrace these principles and take action today to unleash your full potential!
Identify your unfair advantages: Reflect on your strengths, experiences, and unique attributes that set you apart from others.
Amplify your resources: Find creative ways to make your money go further, whether by reducing expenses, freelancing, or seeking funding opportunities.
Foster insight and problem-solving skills: Train your mind to notice lucrative problems by consistently asking questions and challenging the status quo.
Cultivate luck: Develop a mindset of gratitude and optimism, actively seeking opportunities and taking action when unexpected events arise.
Forge your own path: Take charge of your education and status by pursuing self-directed learning, acquiring marketable skills, and becoming an expert in two distinct fields.
Make learning a priority: Seek out experiences that offer personal growth and learning opportunities, even if they may initially seem less lucrative or enjoyable.
Be generous: Share your knowledge and skills with others, building a reputation as a skilled and generous individual over time.
Remember, your unfair advantage is within reach, waiting for you to seize it.
Embrace the journey, remain resilient, and continue to develop and refine your unique strengths.
You have what it takes to succeed!
Brian “doing something about it” Orr
P.S. If you’d like my help in discovering your unfair advantage, click below to schedule a call…