Dennis Yu

Exposing the 4-Hour Workweek Myth: The Reality of Entrepreneurship

Let’s chat about this whole 4-hour workweek thing that’s been floating around. You know, that idea where you’re sipping a cocktail on a beach, working just a few hours a week, and everything magically falls into place? Well, reality check—it’s not as simple as it sounds, especially for those diving into your careers or hustling as entrepreneurs. Now, I’ve been around the globe as an entrepreneur, and let me tell you, success doesn’t just drop in your lap. Sure, there might be a few unicorns, but it takes serious grind and effort for most of us. Life throws curveballs, plans go sideways, and you work harder than you ever imagined. I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade, but I’ve found that the 4-hour workweek vibe can send mixed signals, especially to those just starting. Working a few hours a week isn’t the magic formula, especially when pulling a fat paycheck. In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve poured my heart and soul into my ventures. Success isn’t about clocking in minimal hours; it’s about putting in the sweat equity and dealing with the unexpected twists and turns. Even if you’ve got what seems like the perfect plan, the real world has a funny way of shaking things up, and suddenly, you’re putting in more time and effort than you bargained for. Let’s be real—success, whether in business or your career, is about grinding it out. It’s about facing challenges head-on, learning from your stumbles, and consistently putting in the work. Don’t get me wrong—flexibility and work-life balance are crucial. But it’s about finding a rhythm that matches your professional responsibilities while pushing you to grow personally. So, as you navigate your path, remember that the 4-hour workweek is a cool concept, but achieving your goals is a journey that demands hustle and dedication. Embrace the challenges, learn from the hiccups, and recognize that the real deal often takes more time and effort than the dreamy idea of a minimal workweek suggests.

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The Myth of Overnight Success

The time is 1:26 am, and I’ve just wrapped up my emails and messages that are more than 600 a day. Though it’s unbelievable, someone stole our cameras with all recordings of the presentation I gave at  CEO Lawyer  Summit. So, now I have to re-film it. Deadlines are deadly It will take me at least 2 hours to complete — but deadlines are just ahead of me, and the buck stops with me. My life may look to you like a simple “4-hour workweek” only if you see it on social media. But I’m living like this for more than 30 years. In the start, I only consumed the off-the-dollar menu at McDonald’s to save some money. At that time, I couldn’t afford to stay in luxury conference hotels, so rather I stayed in fleabag motels and filled my pockets with food to eat later. I had to borrow money from my friends so that I can make my payroll. And yet I do not feel that I’m “successful” as a digital social marketer. Entrepreneurship and overnight success Entrepreneurship is not as easy as it looks from the outside until you experience it yourself and face very frequent table problems. I interviewed a person yesterday who, overnight, earned 87 million dollars. And this overnight success means the person took credit card debt for about 8 years, which was just paid only last month. You will see some people on the internet achieving the success you want in a few years. On the other hand, you could be just half of them, but don’t be discouraged. Either they are not giving you the whole information about their journey, or you might not be aware of the fact that it has taken them a decade or more to achieve that milestone. In this way, most people leave during the journey getting disappointed, which they shouldn’t.

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How To Build a Unique Personal Brand in 2024

A company stands out in the crowd – in terms of increased sales, more awareness, and better customer experience because of a strong and value-focused brand. For instance, the Adidas brand is a company known for sporting success. As a sportsperson, you are confident about any product you see the Adidas logo on. That is the value the brand has projected to its customers over time. In the corporate world, branding reflects a company’s values, how it acts and serves the people, and how those values are projected. It is what a company stands for. However, it is not just for companies. Professionals have unique goals, interests, skills, values, and stories to share. And in an ever-growing digital world, having a personal brand is expected. I want to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how you can grow your personal brand because whether you are a founder or an entrepreneur, it is hard to become known, especially if you do not define your personal brand. I will give you a little tour of how to do it. I hope that by the end of this article, you will know what you need to do to develop your personal brand, be seen on social media, what to say, how to connect, and use some pro-level tips. Table of Contents What Is a Personal Brand? A personal brand is similar to corporate branding (a company’s all-inclusive marketing strategy) in many ways – but more personal as it is who you are, what you stand for, and the values you want to project to others. Personal branding is steps/plans, actions, and guidelines that prove you are who you say you are when we look at your identity and values. A personal brand helps individuals market or communicate their identity and core values to potential employers or clients.  Several aspects are involved in building a personal brand, but in an ever-growing digital world, building your personal brand is vital in the online space. Having a personal brand online is synonymous with having an online presence and can be achieved by growing an online presence on social media platforms and through a personal brand website or portfolio. Let me show you what it means to build your personal brand across different social networks. How To Build a Personal Brand on Facebook Many people use Facebook as a user. For instance, if you click on my user profile, you will see my posts, videos, and photos I have posted, as well as the number of friends I have on Facebook. What I want you to do, as a young entrepreneur, is to create a public figure page. Search for me on Facebook, and you will find my profile and public figure accounts. The latter is a business page called Dennis Yu. With it, you can access ads and analytics.  On my business page, you can see that I have different posts that look personal and friendly, where I am interviewing other people in our industry, speaking at conferences, and hanging out with clients. You want to use inception here when you influence people who influence your target market or people who you want to buy your product or service, especially if it is a SaaS. You want people to see who your other customers are in a non-sales way. So I can come here and create ads.  I also want you to know about the power of videos. They can be powerful when you make short vertical or horizontal videos on your smartphone without making them look like ads. When you make videos like that, you get people to believe you are bigger than you are. That is the whole thing about trying to look big. I asked my buddy, Grant Cardone, to record a video on how to make one-minute videos. Here is what he did. Grant made a video rather than talk about making a video. The key to making one-minute videos is to capture the audience’s attention. Grant was recording it on his phone, and then his little girl came in and interrupted unexpectedly. That is perfectly fine. What he did was get your attention. You are not trying to make a professional video. You are just trying to humanize the person behind the camera. Now, what I did next was to boost the video using ads so 130,000 people saw it, many of whom were fans of Grant, and I got this for maybe half a penny for each person to watch my video. So think about the stories that you want to tell, and think about your product. Think about your idea and story as a founder. Talk about how you are solving problems and everything except for, “Hey, we have a cool software product. Sign up for a demo. I would love to spend 15 minutes with you.” You could certainly do that, but you want to earn the right to get people’s attention, and you can see here that this is driving more people who want to engage. That is how you build relationships at scale.  How To Build a Personal Brand on LinkedIn Now, I want to show you the same thing on LinkedIn. If we come to LinkedIn, you will see that I have 30,000 connections. I make different posts and often just cross-post from other channels like Twitter, where I take a screenshot and then say, “Hey, who is with me on this one?” That moves people to engage by liking, sharing, and dropping their comments, which I also reply to and engage in further discussions. That is how you drive engagement on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will be fantastic for you to drive business development and partnership deals because you put things out there about what you believe in that is tied to the values of your product and talk about challenges. When you are authentic, which you have heard before, but in a professional and empathetic way, you will see all these people wanting to

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When you speak your goals, the universe will conspire to achieve them

6 years ago, Mark Wagner, had a mission to build a software company. Here’s his YouTube live: And today, he is a co-founder at Gantry Technologies, creating dashboards for companies who want to get the most out of their Kubernetes infrastructure. Most people are afraid to vocalize their goals– keeping them inside, fearful that letting others know could lead to ridicule if they flop. But the brave few who take the initiative to put their goals on display for all to see will attract help from all corners of their life— people they didn’t even know could help. Witness the power of the one-minute video. In this case, more like 10 minutes. And for good measure, Mark made another one, this on what he’s hoping to do after college. You can use video to also ask questions and as an exercise to help you clarify your thoughts. People think video has to be “perfect”, so they postpone making it, robbing them of the opportunity. Being on video is unavoidable, so we must all build skills here– whether through Zoom calls, client meetings, training, or even hanging out with relatives across the country. As entrepreneurs, we all know the importance of telling our story and sharing it with the world. Making videos is a great way to do this- but what if you’re afraid people will judge your video or not like it? You may be suffering from perfectionism in which case you need to start making one-minute videos that tell your story so that others can see who you are and help make your dreams come true. It’s time to take the plunge and start making videos. Yes, videos are scary but they can also be very rewarding when you share your goals with people who want to help you reach them. We recommend starting out by telling your story in one minute or less using a video blog (vlog) format. This will give you practice editing and screen shooting while sharing what motivates you most about running your business without being too overwhelming for yourself or others. If that sounds like something worth doing then let us know! Our team is ready to partner up with you so we can create an amazing marketing plan for success together.

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Extreme ownership has taught me that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

Extreme Ownership has taught me that… This morning, one of my managers requested a raise to the highest pay tier in the company. And he requested that we promote a few other people to the manager. He has the worst-performing team in the company by far. A younger Dennis would have been mad— I would have said “How dare you ask for a raise when your team is wasting money like crazy.” But extreme ownership has taught me that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. Because I didn’t make his team’s performance more clearly and consistently enforce our standards, he would have thought that merely punching the clock was enough for advancement. And so his team members believed the same, too– that automatic advancement is guaranteed, even if the performance isn’t there. If you want a goal-oriented team, focus on the results, not how much time they’ve put in or how hard they’ve worked. Then you can gladly reward those who get the job done.

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Dennis Yu

I made a lot more money when I had a smaller team.

The larger teams have given me a bigger “empire” of people, projects, and gross revenue. But when it comes to profit, I did far better years ago. You see, the more people you add, the more overhead you have to manage. And it’s harder and harder to catch low-quality team members trying to sneak in— the unemployed brother of one of your employees and the slacker who believes you are rich, so they can just coast off your hard work. Yet if your company is not growing, you’re not creating upward mobility for your good people, who will leave. No matter the industry, your #1 challenge as a business owner is recruiting leaders who care about the company almost as much as you do.

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Do you know Tristan Parmley?

If you want to know how to run a 7 figure agency, follow Tristan Parmley. Like me, he’s had personal struggles and been burned in business dealings. He’s one of the hardest workers I know. He ran 10.1 in the 100 meters, by the way, setting his university record on his way to being a champion D1 athlete. He chose a niche– chiropractors, so we started ChiroRevenue in the fall of 2020. He made sure to have people, processes, and platforms– finding others who were strong in the areas he is weak. He sought out partners, instead of seeing “competitors”– believing a smaller piece of a big pie is better than all of a tiny pie. But his desire to win caused him to take shortcuts and ruin his professional reputation. He renamed ChiroRevenue into The Lead Cure and instantly declared he had a 7 figure agency. Go look at the LinkedIn or Facebook for The Lead Cure and you’ll see it’s got the old ChiroRevenue posts still. That’s because he just renamed all the accounts, instead of creating something new. My hope is that Tristan can swallow his pride and repair what he’s done. He’s a bright young man who could still be a success in the future.

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Leverage your weak connections for a network boost.

Winning Ugly

I’m exhausted from staying up late the last couple of nights getting stuff done. This is called WINNING UGLY– where you win, but not gracefully. I’ve found that entrepreneurship, as portrayed on social media, is not glamorous. It’s WINNING UGLY– those mundane moments where you’re grinding out documents, dealing with unhappy customers, and being frustrated by employees who do shoddy work. I’ve been coached by billionaires and CEOs– who I had thought were god-like, perfect people. But when I got to know them, I heard about their failures and how they dealt with things that went wrong. And their perseverance for years until finally, the compounding effects of their effort began to multiply. WINNING UGLY is about relentlessly focusing on getting the result, over and over, not about how you look in the process. Are you WINNING UGLY?

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Remember I told you this was coming

The next wave of millionaires and billionaires is coming from the health sector. Baby boomers are getting older– leading to chronic health problems that traditional medicine (pills and surgery) doesn’t have an answer to. Growth-minded entrepreneurs and mid-career professionals are overworked and stressed out– facing problems that cannot be solved by more coffee and working harder. We all want to have whiter teeth, feel better, look better, make more money, provide for our families, and achieve “success”. You’re seeing a ton of “get rich quick” courses, peddled by breathless 21-year-olds– with 20 years of experience, about how easy it is. You’re going to see “Limitless” pills plastered in ads everywhere– and even mattress companies claiming they can give you a competitive edge. The winners (of which I hope you and I be in that group) will have these characteristics: + Massive social proof– not just celebrities with paid endorsements who are 3 degrees away, but friends causing their own friends to buy. + Cross-functional– you’ll see a wave of figureheads who are highly knowledgeable in business, fitness, medicine, public speaking, marketing, and so forth. This causes society’s definition of health to expand from just treating the sick to preventative care and maximizing peak performance. + Products that our services, and services that are products- You can “buy” physical products, but they will have subscriptions, online membership programs, and live events integrated. The next wave of influencers won’t be the rented Lambo type but tell emotionally powered stories that eventually lead to a product sale. I’ve been intentionally aligning myself with these folks since I know they need systematic digital marketing not to be “famous”, but because championing their cause (if I believe in it) leads to building a community, which leads to the purchase of products. Watch the billionaires start podcasts, sell courses (and even courses on how to create courses), peddle skin creams, and tell you about their membership programs. According to AARP, the average cost of having cancer is $150,000. This destroys health, wealth, and families at the same time– the financial and emotional burden is tremendous. And it’s not just on the patient herself. Your car insurance payment will be lower or disappear when self-driving cars eventually come around. But your healthcare costs will skyrocket. And that’s both with traditional medicine, as well as non-traditional forms– natural medicine and Eastern practices that range from good old-fashioned exercise to eating, impacting your microbiome, cellular-level hypoxia, and mental well-being. Remember I told you this was coming– as you start to hear more and more about these topics.

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Limiting Beliefs

+++I’m not being paid enough.– employee mindset +++I need to create more value so I can earn more.– owner mindset +++It’s THAT person’s fault, not my problem.– employee mindset +++How can I solve problems instead of creating them?– owner mindset If you’re struggling to pay bills, get your projects done, or get out from under the massive weight on top of you, consider your limiting self-beliefs. Thank you to Woody Marks for the gold nuggets, helping me grow as an entrepreneur.

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