“I was walking down the street and I said said to my then wife Marla, ‘That beggar over there is worth $900 million more than I am…. Because I’m $900 million in debt.” Think Big and Kick Ass, by Donald Trump, 2007.
“I was walking down the street and I said said to my then wife Marla, ‘That beggar over there is worth $900 million more than I am…. Because I’m $900 million in debt.”
Think Big and Kick Ass, by Donald Trump, 2007. pic.twitter.com/dcQsVMNy7a
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 8, 2019
Journalists should read Trump’s books, they are excellent.
The Art of the Deal inspired me to 10X my life.
Trump, who as a speaker for the learning Annex saw Tony Robbins in action many times, understands the power of focus and framing.
“The more focused I am on doing things I love, the less stress I experience.” – Donald J. Trump
Focus in mentioned 26 times in Think Big and Kick Ass:
- “When I started my career in real estate, I had a problem. I had no money to invest in the properties I wanted. But I didn’t focus on it and let it stop me. I focused all my attention on buying properties without money!”
- “I used the focus on my will and the power of my enthusiasm to build even more momentum.”
- “I focused on my passion, and a lot of money has come to me.”
- “If you want to become successful and stay successful, you must learn how to focus.”
Trump also understands the role of self-talk and focus, writing, “If we were to say to ourselves, ‘I’m so unfocused’ instead of “I’m so stressed out,” I think we could clear things up more quickly.”
I wish I had read Think Big and Kick Ass before writing Gorilla Mindset, as there are many overlaps between the books.
To maintain momentum, you require a lot of energy. To maintain your focus, you must have energy. Each pillar is important.
I am obsessed with ways to increase my energy, as I believe in myself. If I keep moving forward, everything will work out.
Trump talks about energy in Think Big and Kick Ass. “Your belief generates the power, the skill, and the energy to succeed at achieving your goals.”
Trump cites chess player Bobby Fischer as an example of a person with high energy and focus. “He boasted that he gave 98 percent of his mental energy to chess, while others gave only 2 percent. That explains his success. He enjoyed the challenge of focusing his mental energy.
Trump’s Mindset = Push, not permission.
In the Art of the Deal, Trump describes his deal making style. Making deals isn’t only about real estate sales. All of life is deal making.
Trump, a momentum player with intense focus and high energy, pushes: “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.”
When one of Trump’s employer came to him with a problem, Trump’s solution was simple, “‘Keep pushing,’ I tell him.”
Later in the book Trump tells someone else, “‘Well, push, John,’ I say, ‘Push hard.'”
Trump doesn’t ask the media for permission.
He pushes his message.
Once the world became obsessed with Donald Trump, I did what it seems like few others who write about Trump have – I read his books, and this included The Art of the Deal. Although Art of the Deal was entertaining, like most books in the genre, it’s too vague to be applied to real life.
One section that stuck with me was “A Week in the Life.”
Trump kept a diary of his daily and weekly activities, and it blew me away how busy he stayed. It also shamed me. Why wasn’t I working harder?
I had good reasons for my time-management plan. Too many people have spazzy energy and lack focus. The problem most people have is doing too much, and not staying on task.
Most people are busy for the sake of being busy, and aren’t focused on 80/20 (Pareto moves).
I stayed on task, perhaps to a fault, and this slowed my growth. I needed to take a more Trump-like approach, and increase deal flow.
I focused on building up several properties at all once:
- Team took Facebook page to 400,000 likes,
- Produced feature-length film on free speech,
- Funded and produced second film,
- Held Gorilla Mindset seminars,
- Launched an events business,
- Supplement and Lifestyle company,
- Built a media presence,
My productivity increased, and that’s without a doubt because of Trump’s book.
The downside to A Week in the Life is chaos.
A lot of people freak out by what’s happening in Trumpland, and I’m not here to change your mind on that. (Cernovich.com is apolitical and is about mindset, lifestyle, and winning at life.)
Chaos is part of a high deal flow lifestyle. For example, the first manufacturer for Gorilla Mind had to be fired. This set production back by 7 months.
When you have a lot of projects ongoing, you don’t always know every detail about what’s happening, and that can lead to some confusion, and is stressful for most people.
Most people in life want certainty. The irony is that certainty is another word for undiversified. Your one job or business is certain? It seems that way until you lose it. Life isn’t certain, and the way to mitigate uncertainty is to diversify your assets, income flows, and mindset.
Those who demand certainty find it frustrating to work with me. “I don’t know right now,” and “We will figure it out” are mantras I live by.
Where some see chaos, I see an OODA loop:
The OODA loop is the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach favors agility over raw power in dealing with human opponents in any endeavor.
Cernovich does not have any large billionaire backers, yet look at what we have accomplished. This is because we are agile, we move fast, we don’t have fixed plans, we respond to changing battlefield conditions.
To apply the OODA-loop in your own life you need to have the right mindset.
1. Observation. Sharpen your senses. Practice your skills of observation. Go for walks where you simply listen and watch. You will be amazed at what you see. Birds chirping. Couples feuding. Strange chalk marks in alleyways. Listen to your mind when you see something. Pay attention to the world around you.
2. Orientation. This is the big one. It means always striving to improve yourself be it through reading new books, listening to podcasts, or learning new skills. To orient effectively you must train your mind to recognize patterns, understand history and psychology, and even know your enemy.
3. Decision making: this one just comes with time, and with mentorship. This is why training schools exist in the military, or practice for sports teams.
4. Action. You need to strengthen your body. Lift weights. Get in shape. Eat right. Practice breathing. Everything described in Gorilla Mindset. This way your body and your mind will be prepared once you decide to take action.
Be ready to take your lumps and losses.
Trump’s companies plead bankruptcy a few times, although how many times is subject to debate. While some see these bankruptcies as evidence poor business acumen, others seek the bankruptcies as what you’d expect to find on a successful businessperson’s balance sheet.
Here is a basic math problem:
You do three deals of equal value, that is, you invest $100,000 in three businesses.
Deal 1. You lose all of your money and the business files for bankruptcy.
Deal 2. You lose all of your money and the business files for bankruptcy.
Deal 3. You make a 10X return.
“This loser pled bankruptcy twice,” is one way to characterize what happened. Another interpretation is that you have a net profit of $800,000. Both interpretations are true, which is yet another reason that much of what you read is simultaneously true and false.
Human nature loathes a loss, and most can’t take the L and charge it to the game.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy. The Misconception: You make rational decisions based on the future value of objects, investments and experiences. The Truth: Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.
You have to know when to get out. When? (See the OODA loop, above.)
You’re also going to get a lot of hate from critics and losers when you take a loss.
Your mindset must be to take the long view, and realize your life isn’t fixed at any given point. Don’t let the haters and losers get to you, and don’t be seduced by the fans. Keep moving forward!
My favorite quotes from The Art of the Deal.
On responding to haters. “My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want about theirs.”
On instincts. “One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And is the third is sometimes your best investments are the ones you didn’t make.”
On media. “Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don’t enjoy doing press. I’ve been asked the same questions a million times now, and I don’t particularly like talking about my personal life. Nonetheless, I understand that getting press can be very helpful in making deals, and I don’t mind talking about them.”
On self-promotion. “The most successful painters are often better salesman and promoters than they are artists.”
On negotiate. “My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”
The Patreon Lawsuit Involving Owen Benjamin Explained by a Lawyer
Patreon, a platform popular with podcasts, journalists, and comedian faces significant legal peril due a fascinating quirk of California law that no one seemed to have noticed.
- Summary: Patreon banned Owen Benjamin. Owen Benjamin’s backers moved for arbitration, alleging various causes of action. Under the arbitration procedures spelled out in Patreon’s Terms of Service, Patreon must pay the filing fees, which could total millions of dollars. Patreon cannot collect those fees back, even if Patreon wins the arbitrations.
Tech companies face almost total protection from lawsuits due to a law created by Congress to encourage freedom of speech on the web. Because of this, companies have gotten sloppy with the Terms of Service.
Patreon’s Terms of Service, like nearly every other tech companies, provide that anyone who wants to use Patreon must do so in arbitration. Patreon’s TOS also ban class actions or any joint actions.
Patreon’s TOS mandate arbitration and ban class actions because individual consumers who suffer small harms aren’t able to find a lawyer to take their case. Again, all tech companies do this. Let’s not single out Patreon. Here is Amazon:
- Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service, or to any products or services sold or distributed by Amazon or through Amazon.com will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify.
Here is PayPal:
- By opening and using a PayPal account, you agree to comply with all of the terms and conditions in this user agreement. The terms include an agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration on an individual basis.
Owen Benjamin Gets Banned. Dozens of his backers individual claims for arbitration.
Patreon, by banning a Creator, disrupts the economic relationship between Creator and Backer. In legal terms this is called tortious interference with a business relationship.
Patreon, under California law, must pay the arbitration fees in advance. These fees can be upward of $10,000 per case.
If dozens of backers move for individual arbitration against Patreon, you can start doing the math.
Benjamins’ Backers Put Patreon on Notice; Patreon Unilaterally Amends its TOS to Bar the Claims the Parties were Going to Bring.
In early December, numerous defendants told Patreon that they intended to move for individual arbitration.
Patreon’s TOS suggest that contacting them before seeking arbitration is required, although this provision could be read as a request rather than a demand.
- We encourage you to contact us if you have an issue. If a dispute does arise out of these terms or related to your use of Patreon, and it cannot be resolved after you talk with us, then it must be resolved by arbitration.
Because Patreon wrote the TOS, the terms will be resolved against Patreon. In law this is known as contra proferentem. Any ambiguous language will be read in favor of the party who did not draft it.
The TOS, to me and many others, looks like a pre-filing demand. Others may claim the terms read otherwise. Contra proferentem applies.
Two or three weeks later, Patreon unilaterally altered the Terms of Service by adding this clause:
- You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs. These terms remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.
Patreon claimed that its unilateral change to the TOS “remain in effect even if you no longer have an account.”
Yes, Patreon literally changed its TOS after it was contacted by arbitration claimants, who were required to contact Patreon before moving for arbitration.
Patreon filed a Mass Action against the Arbitration Claimants.
Patreon lost several procedural motions before arbitrations. After losing these motions, they sued the arbitration claimants in California State Court.
Realizing that the arbitration fees would be in the millions of dollars range, Patreon filed a group action against all 72 arbitration claimants. Patreon sought an injunction, that is, they want the Court to order the arbitrations to be stopped.
Here is what Patreon’s TOS says about group actions:
- Arbitrations may only take place on an individual basis. No class arbitrations or other grouping of parties is allowed. By agreeing to these terms you are waiving your right to trial by jury or to participate in a class action or representative proceeding; we are also waiving these rights.
To drop my lawyer’s latin again, contra proferentem. Patreon can’t claim that when they said that “other groupings of parties is allowed,” applies only to arbitrations. That provision is subject to an ambiguous reading at best.
How can Patreon file a group action against 72 defendants when Patreon barred group actions? They can’t.
The Patreon Hearing.
The 72 defendants were represented by well-known First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza.
The Court issued a tentative (not final) order denying the injunctions.
During the hearing, Patreon’s counsel brought up additional cases that it claimed applied to the lawsuit.
The Court suggested that Randazza file a supplemental motion addressing those new cases Patreon’s counsel cited.
Reporting live from a major legal action involving Patreon and several former patrons of Owen Benjamin.
Several former patrons of Benjamin filed arbitration actions against Patreon after Benjamin was banned.
Patreon then sued those former backers in California state court.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Under the Court's preliminary ruling,
ANY LARGE CREATOR banned by Patreon
can have his or her backers move for arbitration.
Patreon will have to pay millions of dollars in legal fees upfront.
This is a HUGE workaround for Big Tech censorship.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
The judge is seeking further briefing on a procedural legal issue and will take the matter under submission.
The tentative ruling went against Patreon, but the Court is going to ask for further briefing.
We will have to wait a couple of weeks for a formal judgment!
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 13, 2020
Patreon will probably lose, and should lose, its State Court action.
Patreon’s TOS required parties to use arbitration. Group actions were banned. The parties complied with the TOS, first by putting Patreon on notice as to their claims.
Once the parties put Patreon on notice of their claim, Patreon was barred by well-established law from amending the TOS in a way that would foreclose those claims.
If a popular creator were banned from PayPal, could he or she have her backers move for arbitration as well?
That’s a specific question that many lawyers are looking at now.
Patreon, like Door Dash before it, banned class actions before decision that group actions are in fact an inefficient way of resolving cases.
Here is what a federal judge told one tech company who complained about a “loophole” being used by the parties:
DoorDash Ordered to Pay $9.5M to Arbitrate 5,000 Labor Disputes:
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Rejecting claims that the legal process it forced on workers is unfair, a federal judge Monday ordered food-delivery service DoorDash to pay $9.5 million in arbitration fees for 5,010 delivery drivers’ labor demands against the company.
“You’re going to pay that money,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in court. “You don’t want to pay millions of dollars, but that’s what you bargained to do and you’re going to do it.”
Of course anything can happen in a court of law, and the judge will be issuing a final ruling in a few weeks from now.
CNN’s Brian Stelter Apologizes for Mistake (Good Man)
Update: Brian Stelter has apologized.
This was a full and unequivocal apology, and all of us should applaud it and remember it when our time to own up to mistakes arises.
(Because that day is coming for all of us, sooner or later.) pic.twitter.com/QWtBLDsK4s
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 1, 2020
CNN’s Brian Stelter falsely accused a woman of spreading disinformation tonight, in a Tweet Stelte deleted without apology after it was revealed that Stelter lying.
The lie concerned a fire started by rioters in Washington D.C. Katrina B. Haydon reported that St. John’s church near the White House was on fire.
Box Alarm 1525 H St NW. #DCsBravest had fire in basement of church. Fire extinguishing. Checking for extension.
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC Lite (@dcfireems) June 1, 2020
NEW: Fire was in basement of St. Johns, and is out, my @washingtonpost colleague @phscoop reports from DC fire department. Firefighters got there w/ a police escort and quickly put out the blaze. Did NOT appear to cause any significant damage, and it is unclear how it started.
— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) June 1, 2020
Stelter attacked the woman, baselessly accusing her of lying.
Brian Stelter has yet to apologize to spreading disinformation.
Shannon Bream and live video feed on Fox
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
He called you a liar and then deleted it. Amazing.
— Jarvis (@jarvis_best) June 1, 2020
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) June 1, 2020
Accuses me of either lying or being too dumb to communicate what I’m seeing on live TV, then deletes it pic.twitter.com/A8tCQ5JOdT
— Katrina B Haydon (@katrinabhaydon) June 1, 2020
Did Brian Stelter lie to protect violent protesters?
Why did Stelter lie?
Is he trying to provide propaganda for violent protesters and domestic terrorists?
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 1, 2020
“Burn It Down,” ESPN Writer Encourages Arson of Low Income Housing
ESPN sportswriter Chris Palmer Martin Tweeted, “Burn that shit down. Burn it all down.” The burning building was a low-income housing area in Minneapolis. (Minneapolis vandalism targets include 189-unit affordable housing development.)
When rioters neared Martin’s home, he called them “animals.”
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020
The media has a history of supporting ANTIFA.
CNN in 2017: Antifa opposes hate and seek peace through violence
— Scooter Downey (@TrueLegendFilms) May 30, 2020
Media bro’s went from ANTIFA is good to ANTIFA doesn’t exist https://t.co/XWormC5xNE
— Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 31, 2020
Hoaxed Movie Uncovers the Media’s Relationship with ANTIFA
Watch the Hoaxed Movie Trailer