What Qualifies You to Provide a Credible Opinion

Many people have strong opinions, whether credible or not, about what you should or should not do, whether backed by experience or not.

And the more people you have, the more unsolicited opinions you’ll have coming at you– from family, friends, people who work for you, and random people on the internet.

The tricky balance is allocating enough time for people and making them feel like they’re heard while not making everything open to debate.

As a leader, you often have to put your foot down and hope everyone supports the decision enthusiastically and understands why.

Ultimately, the leader makes the decision.

Ray Dalio covers this expertly in his book, Principles.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect (incredible concept) says that the most uninformed people have the strongest opinions.

The antidote to DK is #LDT (learn, do, teach)— to only voice your opinion when you have learned something and implemented it successfully yourself many times to have a credible opinion.

#LDT for giving credible opinion

To provide advice, even when you really believe in something without achieving it yourself, is to be a backseat driver or armchair quarterback.

I constantly catch myself and others voicing opinions on something. Then consider if the opinion is backed by a successful implementation to ensure that it is not from a hypocrite or an unknowing and well-meaning victim of DK.

I’ve discussed this at length with mentors many levels above me, but never yet found one who has been able to get people in a large organization to understand #LDT (to provide an opinion only when qualified).

I thought there must be a way to teach this seemingly simple concept– since it would open the eyes of many.

But my mentors have said the solution is not to force this learning on people but to have a super high bar in the first place (avoiding the problem altogether).

Isn’t it incredible how good, intelligent people can come to opposite conclusions?

How do you address leadership challenges?

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

Why am I Unbeatable

Do you know why I am unbeatable?

Not because I’m stronger than you, smarter than you, or because I “never give up”.

It’s because I don’t believe I have any competitors.


Anyone who is better than me at something I do, I want to learn from them and partner. I want to honor them and praise their accomplishments.

Over the last 30 years, by applying this strategy, I’ve built up a powerful network of friends who are there for me.

When I was a 23-year-old know-it-all, I thought I could outwork everyone.

Now I realize my vast ignorance, so I just call up the expert in that area for help.

And instead of trying to figure out HOW to do something, I now ask WHO can do it.

Focus on the “WHY” and not “WHAT”

Pros focus on the benefits, not the features.

Among folks who sell coaching and info products, the number of courses and the details are not as important as helping people see the result.

To know WHY they should buy.

The hallmark of a great copywriter is not solid grammar (we should all be able to write clearly and error-free) but the focus on benefits.

And the key to being able to zero in on benefits is having EMPATHY— which few people have.

EMPATHY comes from within, as well as from #LDT (Learn, Do, Teach), meaning that you’ve gone through it yourself to understand and have credibility.


If you’re an expert in any area– especially a consultant, real estate agent, attorney, or doctor– this is where your marketing must focus.

Things I wish I knew 20 years ago, which would have avoided me much suffering….

Things I wish I knew 20 years ago, which would have avoided me much suffering….

Choose ONE niche serving ONE type of customer doing ONE thing really well, instead of doing many things for many types of people. The latter doesn’t scale and results in headaches.

Even a technology business is still a people business first— you need relationship skill to sell, manage employees, and build partnerships. Develop EQ instead of being “just business” all the time.

The path is longer than you think, costs more than you think, and has problems your best-laid plans don’t account for. Still set goals, but don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong.

Focus on getting results, not on how you look. In due time, people will know you by your accomplishments.

Charge a LOT more than you think. Easier to service a few customers paying a lot than many customers who pay little. The less they pay, the more they expect.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Keep a list of mentors who advise you on key issues.

The “hustle” of working non-stop is a young man’s game. Take care of your body and have no guilt in enjoying down time. A fully charged hour of yourself is more productive than a full day of grinding while tired.

Turn the camera on to document the journey. Others will learn from your struggles and things they don’t have the courage to reveal openly.

Rather than trying to “network”, be choosy in having a close group of high vibration friends who have done what you want to do.

Take advice only from people who have achieved the goals you have— everyone, especially friends, love to offer you their unqualified opinions.

People who are mean to you are actually revealing their hidden pain. Be kind to them. It’s not personal.

Honor promises you made to yourself at the same level of an important client meeting in your calendar.

Happiness comes from serving others— toys and status soon lose their shiny appeal.

Your income is in direct proportion to the value of the problems you solve. What do you do well that you can scale through people, process, and platform?

Wealthy people own assets that produce residual income— so they focus their efforts by impact, not by hours worked, meetings had, or tasks done. Build a business or multiple businesses that can operate without you, but set the example as the first employee.

Give away your knowledge freely— karma will come back 100 fold, even years later.

What course should I take?

What course should I take?

We’re trying to help small businesses by training more folks to be able to help them move their business online. It starts with Learn. Do. Teach. The more we know the more we can share. I think we’ll see a crowd-sourcing of education. And what a great opportunity!

A lot of folks have been asking me for direction, so let me break down our course offerings.

All our courses are broken into 1-minute chunks. Why one-minute? That’s how much time you have.

For solopreneurs: start with Vendasta, how to start an agency.

  • Full of tons of great mini-exercises, like making videos,

For business owners, and especially local small business owners, chiro, plumber, etc., start with Social Amplification Engine.

  • Six phase process: plumbing, goals, content, targeting, amplification, optimization

You want to work ON your business not IN your business, or you’re the emotive, creative, relationship-driven type, start with personal branding.

  • Work on your WHY

All three will lead you to the same place, but you can choose where you begin, based on your skills and your situation. But begin by playing to your strengths.

If you’re trying to scale up, look at Checklist Architecture, optimization course, basecamp basics (the six threads on how we organize projects at scale)

Level 4 Project Manager Course; How do you project manage?

If you’re ready to scale, you can start using Learn. Do. Teach.

If you’re a successful business owner (doing more than $1 million/year), then look at the Nine Triangles Course. It’s a framework that will work best if you’re already doing quite well.

There are many ways in to all of our courses, but they all lead to the same framework: The 18 Module Architecture.

There’s a path for the specialists; digital markers, agency owners, stay at home moms. You’ll focus on Modules 7-12.

Modules 1-6 make up the Social Amplification Engine; good for business owners.

If you’re a partner, like Vendasta, GoDaddy, Instagram, there’s a path to train you.

No matter where you are on your journey, think about balancing learning, doing, and teaching.

Then, when you’re ready, and you’ve learned the skills, send your work over to me. We’ll work to get you hooked up in a market-place so you can begin helping others. Think of it like online dating, except for business.

As you share, you’ll get feedback, accoladates, from people like me.

Here’s a tip to get you started: find your lighthouse client. It will be easier to serve 50 businesses that are similar than it will be to serve 10 random, different businesses.

Let me know, what has been your favorite course?

What course did you start with?

What course did you find the most interesting?

How can we improve our courses?

Where have you been stuck?

Most of all, I want to see you succeed!

Hit me up.

And, do something for me, let’s start overcoming the of being on video – start replying to things in short videos! Be it your friends’ text messages, Facebook posts, Instagram messages, whatever.

Just jump in!

Check out all of our courses here.

I used to spend 3 hours learning for every one hour of doing.

Fast forward twenty years, I’m now spending 15 hours learning for every hour of doing.

My productivity has gone WAY UP, yet the percentage of time I spend actually working has done down.

My mentor, who was the CEO of American Airlines, spent hours in his corner office– feet on his desk, looking out the window.

His colleagues thought he was just spacing out, but in reality, it was his most productive time.

As CEO, he’s paid to think, not attend meetings all day.

And I’m paid for results, not the number of hours I bill.

So I spend most of my time thinking and learning– then take a couple small actions that have high leverage.

The junior folks are so eager to rush into just “doing” without consideration for strategy and competence.

Measure twice, cut once— or if you have an hour to chop down the tree, spend the first 50 minutes sharpening the blade.