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My friend called me to announce that his TikTok profile grew from zero to 20,000 in two weeks. He invested in an expensive program to earn these results, and I congratulated him. I have no reason to think he will be unsuccessful in his continued efforts to grow his profile, drive traffic, and even create a successful business on the back of it.

But what was running through my mind as I was listening to him is what’s been drilled into me over the course of my entrepreneurial career – principles that have resonated so deeply with me that in some cases, I’ve practically forgotten how or when I initially discovered them:

  • If you’re going to build on rented land, make sure you have a backup plan (build your own platform and email list)
  • Algorithms change – success principles don’t (meaning there’s no new strategy to social media success, just new behavior based on the platform)
  • Own the racecourse, not the racehorse (as my coach James Schramko is famous for saying – suggesting that building your own platform is the most valuable thing you can do)
  • Here today, gone tomorrow (as is often the case with social media)

And so, even as I’m observing a possible success in the making, I’m wary of anything that’s gotten quickly. Because what’s gotten quickly is often lost quickly too. I don’t see my behavior changing because of my friend’s success.

What's gotten quickly is often lost quickly. Click To Tweet

Am I suggesting that you should never explore the flavor of the day? Of course not! But am I calling TikTok flavor the day? 100%! You’ll be shocked how fast it comes and goes after the fact.

That said, I spend about 20% of my time experimenting with and exploring new platforms. These days, I’m having fun on BitClout (because it’s a lot like Twitter), but does that mean I won’t be giving TikTok a try? Not at all!

Still, you want to be shrewd. You want to be calculated. You want to value opportunity for what it’s worth, not for its inflated hype value. Show me an entrepreneur that spends foolishly most of the time, and I will show you a broke social circle. Because that entrepreneur borrows mercilessly from friends and family.

Value opportunity for what it’s worth, not for its inflated hype value. Click To Tweet

There will always be overpriced social media courses. So-called Bitcoin consultants. Get-rich-quick FBA and NFT hype machines. Medium and Substack gazillionaires.

There won’t always be time, though, and opportunity cost, as I’ve said before, is real. Especially when we’re dealing with so many shills.

Who will you trust? I will leave that to you to decide, but my bets are on people who’ve dedicated themselves to becoming experts in their industry, continue to show up, and have a long-established pattern of success, even amid personal challenge and failure.

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