I’ve always wondered why billionaires don’t come out with get-rich products and why you rarely see interviews with them. And the interviews you do see are ones where they’re only talking about their business. They don’t talk about ‘success’ or anything like that.
If it’s Mark Zuckerberg, he only talks about the future of Facebook. If it’s Bill Gates, he only talks about how they’re curing all types of viruses and philanthropy. If it’s Elon Musk, he only talks about where he envisions the future of solar panels and electric cars.
You never see them talk about ‘here’s how I became successful’ or anything like that. Of course you see small tidbits here and there in interviews. But you only get a sentence or two.
One thing you’ll notice is that extremely powerful and successful people are very secretive with how they think and what they do.
Peter Thiel is one of the founders of Paypal along with Elon Musk and in his book, he says a couple things. One thing he says is, “Every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside.” And another thing he says is, “Unless you have perfectly conventional beliefs, it’s rarely a good idea to tell everybody everything that you know. So who do you tell? Whoever you need to, and no more.”
If you read the book, The Facebook Effect, it talks about Mark Zuckerberg and one thing that keeps coming up in the book is that people say Mark Zuckerberg is hard to read. You never know what he’s thinking. You can also hear the same stories about Bill Gates. Bill Gates was very quiet and deliberate, he rarely revealed what he was thinking.
You have to ask yourself, why?
Why is it that the people who can most help others in business and in life, are the ones who are the most quiet about it?
Here’s what happens…
Extremely powerful people hold back because it’s rarely an advantage to reveal what you’re thinking. In business, you’re in this ultimate competition. And imagine you’re playing a chess game, but before you move, you tell your opponent everything you’re thinking of. You tell him that you’re going to move your piece here, then he’s going to go here, then you’re going to take his pawn, and so on.
There’s literally no benefit in telling your opponent what you’re going to do.
And that’s how it is with business.
The most competitive entrepreneurs in the world, aka billionaires, don’t want competitors to use their own strategies against them. And that’s just one reason why it’s good to stay quiet.
As Peter Thiel said…unless you have perfectly conventional beliefs, it’s best to stay quiet.
To grow a massive empire, you have to think in ways that other people don’t. So your thoughts can be pretty out there. And when people don’t agree with your thoughts, what do they do? They argue with you. They call you unethical, they try to undermine you…they do everything they can to stop you.
So you just learn to shut up and not tell people what you’re really thinking because there’s no use in making things harder on yourself than they should be.
Smart people understand how useless it is to argue with someone. They’ve found that when you argue with someone, neither side changes their opinion, so they don’t waste their time arguing at all. They just let you go on believing what you believe.
Imagine you’re trying to argue with someone who doesn’t believe in gravity. You say gravity exists and they say it doesn’t. And you go back and forth, back and forth, and this person keeps saying it doesn’t exist.
Well…smart people don’t even argue in the first place. And they don’t argue because they know they’re right. They don’t argue because they would rather spend their time doing something else.
Instead, they just let you believe what you want to believe. And if you go and jump of a cliff then they’ll think, “See, I told you so.”
You don’t need to argue with someone when what you’re saying is true.
And when you’re building a business, you believe your thoughts are 100% true. So you just keep them to yourself because you don’t feel like debating it with people.
Holding back is a huge advantage is business.
And there’s always something, someone is holding back. Either intentionally, because they see it as a disadvantage to let you know how they think, or unintentionally, because there’s not enough time in the day to teach you everything they know.
If you meet Mark Zuckerberg in an elevator, even if he wanted to tell you all the secrets he knows about building a massive empire, he just doesn’t have the time to tell you everything.
You need to figure out what someone is holding back so you have more information to implement in your business.
There’s this concept called the Black Swan. And a Black Swan is an unpredictable or unforeseen event. It’s something you literally didn’t know existed, so you couldn’t even ask the question to get the answer.
And everyone has a Black Swan inside them. Everyone has some type of information they’re holding on to that they’re not revealing to the world. Something about themselves, about their business, about something, that if you knew, it would completely change everything.
And extremely powerful people have multiple Black Swans.
They hold back because they don’t know you. They don’t know what your intentions are so they stay quiet until you reveal more about yourself.
They don’t know if you’re trying to steal things from them. They don’t know if you’re secretly recording them. They don’t know you. So they don’t reveal anything to you.
Don’t take anything at face value. Understand that people are holding back from you and you need to get inside their head to figure out what they know.
The greatest business minds don’t reveal what they’re thinking. So you have to ask yourself, when should you reveal your thoughts and when should you hold back?