Edited by Frederick Mann
Copyright © 1995 - 1997 TLH, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
First, millionaire entrepreneur Nick Penn exposes some widespread myths about making money. Many people prevent themselves from making money by clinging to these debilitating myths. In exposing these myths, Mr. Penn applies certain thinking skills. In reading Mr. Penn's arguments, try to identify the thinking skills he uses; ask yourself in what other areas you could apply these thinking skills.
Second, Frederick Mann describes the "Infinite Bootstrap Principle." Practically everybody can apply this principle (and its powerful sub-principles) to leverage his or her resources into a fortune within a few years.
SO, YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO HAVE MONEY TO MAKE MONEY
Copyright © 1995 by Nick Penn
In a recent book, an author, writing on success, soberly pulled down myth after myth, debunking common wisdom over and again. Hard work? You'll die young. Genius? They are often starving, and, conversely, there are many rich idiots. Persistence? Go wait in line and see what happens. After clearing the forest of all visible foliage, he planted his own seedling of a theory. He said, you have to be willing to do "whatever it takes." Not that you'd actually have to do it, you just had to be willing to do it. Sigh! After a fresh and powerful lead-in! Brother, was that lame! Using his own style of actively divining the truth, one could imagine a scenario where two people both wanted to be President in the next election. Both might be willing to do "whatever it takes." Clearly, one of them wasn't going to be President, no matter how willing he was to do anything, or not. The author's bromide [or saying] failed a simple test he clearly had the ability to apply. Yet he was convinced he had found the secret at the end of the long line of success bromides.
Isn't it amazing how clearly we can see the errors of other people's ways, and so few of our own? What is the source of our myopia? Why are we so clueless to the way success is created? How is it we find ourselves in the situation of today? Consider history. Humans have been around (conservatively by archeological records) for 30,000 to 40,000 years. Despite all efforts over the millennia, it has only been in the past century that man has remotely come to success, as we now grasp it. Mountains fall before our machines. The winds carry us in flight. The waters part for our passage. We control fire, calling forth the genie and quenching it at will. Yet no one has written an objectively honest book on success. Why?
Perhaps, we do not yet know our own nature. We are told, man, by nature, is a rational being. If this were true, why is 90% of our history unrecorded? Julian Jaynes [The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind] suggests man has only attained consciousness in the last 4000 years, or so. Prior to that, he says, man had a different kind of thinking, he calls the "bicameral mind." He argues, most compellingly, that the invention of written language created this new way of thinking, we now call consciousness.
So, is man a rational being by nature? Or rather, rational by later design, impressed upon the animal substrate (albeit self-imposed)? I favor the latter. We are, essentially, non-rational, animal-like "machines" with an "Engineering Change Order" added to alter our basic software organization. If we give ourselves a little less credit for our origins, and brand ourselves as animals modified to be capable of occasional rational thought, our recent accomplishments stand out even more wondrously. We also know where to look for future advancement.
Surely, we are much more the "animal" than we like to think. As such, we will carry many of the animal ways, including the earlier human bicameral tendencies and native animal instinctual patterns forward, into our modern lives. Further, our default responses will be actively chosen from these arcane systems. Let us not make the mistake of assuming the draw toward irrational socialism is an innocent misunderstanding. It is much deeper than that. The animal substrate biases our later skills away from reason and toward (non-rational) instinct. This bias should not be denigrated. After all, the animal substrate is the survival machine which got us to where we are, today. It is, however, not the best survival skill we now have at hand. Instead, the bias should be expected, recognized, compensated, and thereby corrected. Such is the current human condition.
The "One Wrong Idea"
One manifestation of this human condition occurs in a symptom preventing advancement, I call, the "One Wrong Idea." To illustrate, consider that advancements do not happen in a vacuum, as legend would have you believe. Actually, advancements are not so much the discovery of new ideas, as they are the embattled displacement of old ideas. [Editor: Throughout history the greatest advances in human understanding have come in a "revolutionary" manner (overcoming the old ideas with new ideas) as opposed to an evolutionary manner. Interested readers may wish to refer to Thomas Kuhn's The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions.] Popular belief supposes that the great ideas of history are discoveries. The great thinkers are thought to have conceived "out of nothing" ideas which created great advancement.
One such example is the legend of Newton's falling apple. Out of nothingness, chaos as it were, came the inspiration which gave us classical mechanics. About 2,000 years earlier, however, Aristotle claimed, "being at rest" was the preferred state. The hidden premise was that the earth was the preferred frame of reference for all observation. Simple observation tended to confirm Aristotle's claim. An object in motion tends to slow down and come to rest. This idea holds well for all actions upon the earth. It would pass as a law, until one looks to the heavens and sees non-resting motion there. What to do with the dilemma? Ignore it. The motion in the heavens were just explained away, as being of a different kind or "divine." So Aristotle's description of physics adequately described all to which it was applied.
Why was it 2,000 years before a Newton proposed there might be no preferred state? Was it because there was no idea existing on the subject? Oh no! It was because there was a very good Aristotelian idea already existing, standing firmly in the way of progress. The old idea explained well the limited range of application it addressed. Even though the problem of heavenly motion clearly refuted Aristotle's idea, it seemed so remote as to be inapplicable to systems on earth. The problem for advancement was not that Aristotle's idea was so bad, instead it was Aristotle's idea was so good! Aristotle had the "One Wrong Idea" which stood the test of time well. Only the exceptional thinker, Newton, challenged the prevailing conventional wisdom. Only then did mankind become more successful, advancing into the age of the machine.
[Editor: In many instances what we already know about a problem or topic blinds us to greater insight or new solutions, and thus becomes the problem itself. Clinging to old perspectives often prevents us from finding new perspectives. A perfect example is Aristotle's idea on physics. His idea/perspective was so "good" (familiar) that it blinded humanity to other, possibly better perspectives, such as Newton's. Therefore the solution to overcome many problems is, as discussed in Report #13A: The Millionaire's Secret (I), to jump out of old perspectives and look at things from new perspectives.
In addition, although the "wrong ideas" Mr. Penn refers to are harmful in many cases, they are in other instances very useful. The very reason such "wrong ideas" come about in the first place is that they serve a function in a particular time and place. They become outdated and harmful "wrong ideas" when they cease to function in a different time and place. One example is the "scarcity program" mentioned in Report #13A: The Millionaire's Secret (I). In primitive times when a human or animal did not know when the next meal would be available, it was beneficial to have a "scarcity program" to ensure that the human or animal would eat as much as possible when food was available, thus ensuring survival. This same "scarcity program" becomes harmful in a different time and place, such as our own. Witness the number of overweight persons!
Another example of a "wrong idea" working in one time and place but not another is the example Newton's idea on physics. It was very functional in explaining the universe during his time because it was much better than Aristotle's. It became a stagnating and harmful "wrong idea" in Einstein's time, however, because it was the accepted perspective and prevented new, possibly better perspectives and ideas from being accepted - like Einstein's.
It follows from this that, since humans are always learning, that most of our ideas become "wrong ideas" at certain times and places. The trick then is to realize when yesterday's "good" idea becomes today's "wrong idea," such as the ideas Mr. Penn points out. This is why constantly questioning accepted ideas is so beneficial - it weeds out the "good ideas" that have turned into "wrong ideas" and replaces them with new, more beneficial ideas. (This is also what reprogramming your brain and self-improvement are all about.)
The two primary effects of "wrong ideas" are stagnation of thinking and undesirable results. "Wrong ideas" cause stagnation of ideas because they are accepted as "the final answer" and prevent new, possibly better ideas and perspectives from coming about. Therefore not only is questioning the conventional wisdom of "good ideas" beneficial, it is also beneficial to not automatically disregard those new ideas which seem "weird" or contradict the current ideas. See Report #03: How to Improve Your Information
The second negative effect of outdated "wrong ideas" is that they cease to produce desirable results - or the results gradually get worse. This is like the outdated map explained in Report #13A: The Millionaire's Secret (I). If the map you have is old, outdated, and inaccurate, you're less likely to arrive at your destination - or produce the results you want.]
In turn, Newton's idea stood squarely in the path of further progress. At the turn of the century, Lord Kelvin, smugly announced the end of science. No further advances were expected. He suggested the patent offices be closed. Almost all that was to be known of physics was assumed known. There were only two minor clouds on the horizon for physics, which he predicted would be quickly explained away. A few short years later, one cloud turned into Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the other into Quantum Mechanics. Both revolutionized our very core understandings of physics! These two concepts unleashed advances from solid state electronics all the way to nuclear power. You see how tenacious Newton's "One Wrong Idea" had become? For almost 300 years since Newton, no one had successfully questioned Newton's assumptions.
Einstein simply carried Newton's frame-of-reference conjecture one step further. Not only are there no preferred frames of reference in space, there are no preferred references to time. From this simple assumption, all of Einstein's further advances can be drawn. It was only a small idea in Newton's theory of motion that was wrong. The "One Wrong Idea" was that time was absolute everywhere. Man's advancement in harnessing the power of the atom was delayed 300 years, as a result of this one wrong idea.
[Editor: Einstein followed the principle of questioning conventional wisdom, and as a result he exponentially expanded human understanding. Do you see a pattern emerging here?]
"You Have to Have Money to Make Money"
Just as there have been minor changes in view that have enabled man's control of power to go from feeble to atomic, minor changes in understanding of success can enable man's control of wealth to go from subsistence to abundance. Still, there are many false sayings in the common vernacular. These sayings are conventional wisdom. They represent the best judgments of non-rational animals. They offer "One Wrong Idea" after another. As such, they positively prevent people from reaching their rational, conscious potential. In the arena of success, possibly the worst is: You have to have money to make money. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How many times have you heard this bromide repeated? What is its general purpose? Like sour grapes, people must justify their own lack of success. Rather than take the initiative to improve their situation, or at least try and thereby be educated if nothing else, they prefer to quote a bromide based on the judgment of a non-rational animal. Would you take a monkey's advice on how to organize your finances? Would you let a baboon decide where and how you should live? Of course not. Similarly, you must recognize the source of conventional wisdom on success, and reject its mind-numbed roots.
Let's explore this bromide and test its content for truth. You have to have money to make money. It seems so obvious. It has been repeated so often, its propaganda-like message rings of truth in our nearly bicameral minds. As such it is hard to resist. After all, business is about capitalism, and capitalism is about acquiring money, and acquiring money is how you gather the tools of production, and you can't produce anything without the tools, so you have to have money to make money. Do you see the false premise in this line of reasoning? Probably not. It seems so reasonable, so rational, doesn't it? But wait! Is money the means of production? Is money the value of all things? Consider Adam Smith's wonderful revelation in Wealth of Nations. Labor is the value of all things. Money is valued in terms of what labor it will buy. In the final analysis, there is no other value. How does this affect the previous line of reasoning? All anyone will ever have is their labor, or fruits of their labor traded, value for value. All they can ever sell, honestly without coercion, is their own labor. An analogy may serve to illustrate the point.
Imagine an isolated kingdom, run by a benevolent king. By decree of his father, he owns everything. He is benevolent, however, and does not assume his subjects are his property or slaves, but free men, free to choose. Now, all the land is the king's. All the animals are the king's. All the money belongs to the king. Everything but the people are the sole property of the king. How can this king become richer? Short of immoral conquest or enslavement, he cannot. In fact, it is doubtful he can even survive. Who will feed him without payment, who will till the fields without reward, who will haul the produce without recompense? Without the power of production, the king is a rich pauper. In short, in the given scenario, the king cannot become richer while owning everything. If it takes money to make money, no one would be more able to make money than this king.
On the other hand, who can make money in the given scenario? If the king has wants and needs to be fulfilled, short of using force, his only method of doing so is to reward those who will serve him. For that matter, how will he initiate force, single-handedly, without hiring thugs to help him do so? In other words, he has no power at all unless he allows the people to come into ownership of something so he can attain subsistence, let alone prosperity. How can the people possibly come into ownership of something if it takes money to make money? By the bromide, they can't. They don't have it. He has it all. They'd have to have money to make money, right? They must be out of luck. By reality, however, you can see it is the people who will come to wealth in this system. When they "mix their labor with the soil" abundance follows. The excess production can be traded with the king for a portion of his (other) wealth. The king may come to greater wealth by wise management of his wealth, but clearly, by percentages, it is the people who stand to achieve the greatest measure of increase. It is the people who have the "real" money, that being the labor needed for production. Each peasant possesses as much of this "real" money as the king himself. The king has stored wealth, in the form of gold, land, property, etc., but without labor, these cannot be brought into any kind of useful, life-sustaining products or services.
Now, from the example back to the reasoning, we can conclude, the bromide is unsound. "You have to have money to make money," while based on a truth, that capital facilitates labor, has become oversimplified. It is actually used in a venomous fashion, used to kill the drive to succeed. It contains the "One Wrong Idea" standing squarely in our path of advancement. The truth, let it be known, as derived from our exploration of the above scenario, is instead: Someone else has to have money before you can make money.
Have you ever heard the truth stated so clearly before? How much further toward wealth would we be, if this truth were generally known? Whenever you hear the tired and inaccurate bromide brought up, be sure to pipe in with the truth. Say resolutely, No! Someone else has to have money before you can make money. Explain using the isolated-kingdom scenario if necessary, and assure the people, you are happy to observe there are still people with money in the world, so there is yet hope for our own future prosperity.
"You Have to Spend Money to Make Money"
Now, similarly, another ancillary bromide stands squarely in the path of advancement, and says: You have to spend money to make money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, let's explore this bromide and test its content for truth. You have to spend to make money. It, too, seems obvious. It has been repeated often. It rings in our ears like propaganda, and is hard to resist. It is quite similar to the first bromide, and, like the first, is sometimes used as a barrier against initiative. The concern about lack of money has been adequately addressed above. A deeper analysis is needed to discover the problem. This bromide is meant to roughly resemble the truth. Ongoing businesses use up or expend resources. Certainly, even in its most rudimentary form, defining money as labor, this is true. For businesses to survive and expand, they need to use up or expend resources. Most fundamentally, they consume time.
In fact, the greatest expense in increasing your personal power is opportunity loss. Since you can't work on everything, you must choose what you will work on, and consequently, what you will not. Many people are too busy making money to get rich. Whatever your course, you will "spend" your precious time. By spending time on anything, you forego other opportunities on which you could spend time. This is called "opportunity loss." So it's important to carefully choose what you spend time on.
[Editor: Because your capability to utilize resources is limited - particularly by time - is why your ability to choose is so critically important. Essentially everything you choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, affects your "opportunity loss." The better choices you make, the better you can utilize your resources and minimize your "opportunity loss."]
Despite the ring of truth, part of this bromide's venom lies in the false justification of expending resources. It is too easy to be deluded into spending money (or time, meaning labor) on unnecessary frills, poorly conceived efforts, false starts, or other bad ideas, justifying the expenditure by saying, "you have to spend money to make money." Spending, in and of itself, cannot lead to wealth.
The "One Wrong Idea" in this bromide still waits to be uncovered. Returning to the same scenario of the rich king and the poor people in our isolated kingdom for illustration will help. To recap, the idea that the people have to spend money before they can make money is patently unsound. The people have no money. Therefore they cannot spend money they don't have. Yet we have determined that they are the most likely to make money in that scenario. It was pointed out, however, that they do have something more basic in value than money itself, that being labor. In essence, it is true that they need to "spend" their labor to earn money. This is extremely rational thinking. However, this still does not justify the damage embedded deep in the bromide.
The problem lies in the command nature of the bromide, and a common error of logic. You HAVE TO spend ... to make ... The intended equivalence of the two words "spend" and "make" in the command implies they are synonymous. Consequently, spending money and making money have become horribly intertwined and confused in the common vernacular. Hence, you see TV commercials that suggest "investing" in a new automobile, clothes, or even something as temporal as a meal. These are not investments, but consumptions. Spending does not automatically create wealth. Similarly, the word "save" has been abused in the same manner. You hear commercials suggesting "saving" money by buying some product. Buying is not saving.
[Editor: The distinction between "spending" and "investing" is a very critical one that deserves further discussion. "Investing" is very simply the action of putting aside something valuable. In other words, not using something now. Second, an "investment" is also something that you expect to have greater value in the future as a result of your not using it now. Finally, an "investment" is something that you would expect to increase in value on its own, such as stocks or property.
"Spending" on the other hand, is not forgoing the use of something now. In other words, it is using something now. If you buy clothes you are not "investing" in them because in most cases you use them right away. When you "spend" on something you are not forgoing the use of its value and therefore you are not "investing." Another aspect of "spending" is that you do not expect the item you "spend" on to go up in value. Therefore you do not invest in clothes or cars. You would not expect the value of a car (other than a collectible) to go up. When you realize the true nature of "spending" and "investing" it becomes clear that "spending" is NOT "investing."]
Collinearly, spending is not making. To explore the example, the people could "spend" their precious labor by pairing up in twos, with one person digging ditches, and another filling them in behind. At the end of a long labor expenditure, there would be no gain. Spending their (only real) money would not make them money. So spending is not synonymous with making.
The poison in this bromide is in the misapplication of the concept of spending. Spending for spending sake will not create abundance. So, while spending may be (in the most extreme sense) antecedent to making money, it is in no way sufficient to make money.
Here, the error in logic becomes visible. It is the application of modus ponens (from the Latin, roughly, mode of placing), incorrectly "Affirming the Antecedent." The error follows the pattern "If B (making money) then A (spending money). Now A therefore B." While "A" may follow "B," it does not always have to. It is true that in order to make money, you must spend something (labor, time or money). It doesn't follow: If you spend money, you will make money. Nor does it follow that you have to spend money to make money, because there are other things you can spend in order to make money.
This logical error is so commonly made that it has a name: Modud Ponens or "Affirming the Antecedent." It should not be too surprising, therefore, that some people are tricked by it. It is reasoning consistent with the nature of a primitive, pre-rational substrate.
Returning to the kingdom, what is antecedent and necessary to the people making money? Is it spending their money, or "spending" their labor? No. We've seen how they can spend all their labor digging and filling ditches and make no money. In an almost exact parallel to the previous bromide's revealed truth we see instead it is only when the king spends his money (stored wealth, in this case) for their labor, that they have any chance of making money.
Well then, this bromide was harder to de-fang, and was based on unsound logic, so why bother with belaboring its analysis? It was worthy of examination precisely because of its "One Wrong Idea" content. When the truth is finally understood, in retrospect, it is clear that this bromide stands squarely in the path of progress.
So do you have to spend money to make money? Do not be deceived into missing the truth. The truth, let it be known, is instead: Someone else has to spend money before you can make money.
Have you ever heard the truth stated so clearly before? How much further toward wealth would we be, if this truth were generally known? Whenever you hear the tired and inaccurate bromide brought up, be sure to pipe in with the truth. Say resolutely, No! Someone else has to spend money before you can make money. Explain using the isolated-kingdom scenario if necessary, and assure the people, that you are happy to observe there are still people with money in the world, and as long as we have labor and they are willing to spend their money, there is yet hope for our own future prosperity.
[Editor: "The idea that "Someone else has to spend money for you to make money" is a key wealth principle. "Making money," as Mr. Penn points out, does not require you to spend money, only your time and effort. Through your effort you create something of value and then, when someone else buys that item of value, you "make money." Take a wood carver, for example. She takes a meaningless block of wood, and through her personal value added creates a beautiful work of art. However, the actual making of money occurs when someone else buys this new valuable work of art.
So if you owned a hardware store and wanted to "make money" you would do so by using your time and energy to create the value of renting a place that would make it easier for people to get tools, stock the store, advertise, help customers and finally sell products at a price that would cover all your expenses and then some. Through your time, effort and personal value added you have put together all these ingredients and "made money." In these cases, although something may have been created of value, no money was made until other people spent money. So in order for you to "make money" you have to use your time and energy to create something of value and then get someone to buy it.
Point to ponder: Do government bureaucrats create something of value that people willingly want to buy? Do government bureaucrats actually "make money" or do they really "destroy money" by harming those who produce?]
The Path to Wealth
Why was it so important to dispel these two, ever so common, bromides? It is not until the truth is known, that a path to wealth can be plotted. Once you know "Someone else has to have money before you can make money" and "Someone else has to spend that money before you can make that money," you can begin looking for someone with money, spending money.
Let's examine the path to wealth. There are only two ways to achieve wealth. One is to create it all yourself. The other is to trade for it. The principle of "Division of Labor" says the first method is ineffectual. It is not efficient to create every labor-based value yourself. Adam Smith uses the manufacture of straight pins as an illustration of this in Wealth of Nations. He said, without training or knowledge of the equipment involved, an average person could make between 1 to 20 pins with a day's effort. He then addressed what skilled workers could accomplish:
"I have seen a small manufactory of this kind where ten men only were employed, and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when exerting themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day. Each person, therefore, making a tenth part of forty-eight thousand pins, might be considered as making four thousand eight hundred pins in a day. But if they had all wrought separately and independently, and without any of them having been educated to this peculiar business, they certainly could not each of them have made twenty (individual pins)..."
Generally, individuals working alone do not come to wealth, but usually little more than subsistence. Certainly, the man who maximizes his production, and trades with others for the things he does not produce is on a surer path to wealth. In Adam Smith's example, at least in the case of making pins, the path of cooperation and trading is over 2,000 times better.
So, you find yourself here, wanting to increase your personal power and wealth. You're in luck! You don't have to invent commerce. Thankfully, it was already invented by those before you. You don't have to have money, to make money. Fortunately, there are already those who have money, so you can make money. You don't have to spend money, to make money, either. Most fortuitously, there are already those who are spending money, so you can make money. So what is your path to be? It should now be relatively easy to discern.
"It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World"
Perhaps a little worry creeps in, now. Just when success is within reach. Another bromide is raised. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there - the little guy just can't survive. Once again, nothing could be further from the truth.
The hidden premise in this bromide is that competition is fierce and cannot be overcome. It is true that competition occurs in a capitalist system. The bromide, however, is based on an animalistic view of endeavor. Much like sports, it is assumed there must be a winner and a loser. Without communications and cooperation, this may be true. Without cooperation, men would be left entirely at the level of their own means, just as basically some animals are - though there is a great deal of communication and cooperation in the animal world. There could be no gain or increase of production possible with specialization and division of labor - which depend, among other things, on communication and cooperation. The "One Wrong Idea" in this bromide is: Cooperation does not develop spontaneously.
[Editor: Robert Axelrod is the author of the book The Evolution of Cooperation. He started an academic project with the question: "When should a person cooperate...?" He demonstrates how cooperation emerges spontaneously among egoists without central authority. The simple fact is that, as we humans become more conscious and rational, we tend to cooperate because it's in our self-interest to do so.]
Returning to the isolated-kingdom scenario one more time, who is the little guy and who are the ravenous dogs in the example the bromide suggests? Is the king recalcitrant? Unwilling to be fed in return for some portion of his wealth? Are the peasants so independent that they can produce their subsistence out of thin air? Or are they willing to trade some of their labor for the use of the king's capital? Surely neither is the case, or all would starve. The king only has one brain and two eyes and two hands and the other usual components, just like everyone else. He can't plant an entire kingdom single-handedly, nor run all the mills, nor tend to all the livestock, nor oil all the machinery.
We are far closer to having more or less the same abilities as a species, than we are notable by individuals possessing exceptional talents. We are all "little guys." Even the king himself has no more physical powers than the average. It is only because we bow to the king that makes him somehow seem bigger and stronger than he really is.
So is it a dog-eat-dog world out there - the little guy just can't survive? Do not be deceived into missing the truth. The truth, let it be known, is instead: We are all the little guy, it's a human-cooperate-with-human world out there, when we become conscious, rational and moral.
Have you ever heard the truth stated so clearly before? How much further toward wealth would we be, if this truth were generally known? Whenever you hear the tired and inaccurate bromide brought up, be sure to pipe in with the truth. Say resolutely, No! It's not a dog-eat-dog world out there, where the little guy can't survive. Explain using the isolated-kingdom scenario if necessary, and assure the people, that you are happy to observe the great wealth accumulated in the world as a sign of both our cooperation and our competition [Editor: refer to note below]. There is yet hope for our own greater, future prosperity.
Doggedly insist on correcting these bromides. While these primitive, animalistic pseudo-rationalizations stand undispelled, it is difficult for all people to succeed. If others have less success, they have less money and stored wealth to spend. Since you can't make money if others don't spend money, you do yourself no favors by keeping the vital truth secret. It is in your interest to spread these truths as far and wide as possible.
So, now, be free to travel the path of freedom toward success. Even if you now have nothing, you still can aspire to and achieve great wealth. How? Go where someone is spending money, save him some, and a portion of the savings will be yours. This may be by working for a pay check, or inventing a new product or service. Clearly the more you produce, or help someone else to produce, the greater your rewards will be.
Notes by the Editor
Competition. Many people believe that cooperation and competition are opposites and that cooperation is good while competition is evil. Consider a football game. The two teams compete to win. But in order to play the game at all, they agree to play by the rules; in other words, they cooperate. In this instance, they have to both cooperate and compete for the game to be played. In the absence of either cooperation or competition, there's no game.
For certain things, like two or more men wanting the same woman, competition is simply a fact of life. For the men it's bad because only one of them can get the woman. For the woman it's good because she gets the best man - hopefully!
Competition between two car manufacturing companies to produce the best car at the lowest price is good, because the customers benefit. If the two companies were to "cooperate" by agreeing not to undercut each other, this would be considered "evil price collusion" by many.
In general, competition is good because it motivates us to improve and become the best we can! Competition motivates us to work better, more efficiently, and more effectively, and to provide better products and services.
Additional Editorial Notes
An abstract analogy for sloppy thinking could be called "tolerance build up." There's a dreaded phenomenon in production management known as "tolerance build up." This is essentially when very small deviations from what is needed, usually in a mass production line, lead to large deviations in the end product. For example, a 1/1000th of an inch deviation in each of 1000 steps in the production of an item would lead to a 1 inch deviation in the end product. This could be disastrous for parts that need to be very accurate, such as engine parts.
The same principle applies to thinking. Small deviations or "wrong ideas," otherwise known as sloppy thinking [as mentioned in Report #13A: The Millionaire's Secret (I)], often creep into our thinking. Such minute errors in the way we think about things may make a big difference in the end result of our thinking - and the consequential actions we take, and thus our success or failure; particularly where such deviations are cumulative in nature. Remember, the difference between success and failure is often very slim.
THE INFINITE BOOTSTRAP PRINCIPLE
by Frederick Mann
Some of the benefits you'll gain through learning and applying the Infinite Bootstrap Principle:
An example of the (not quite) Infinite Bootstrap Principle in nature is an oak tree. It starts as a little acorn that uses the little resources of the soil and water available to it, to grow into a sapling with leaves. As a sapling it then utilizes water, minerals in the soil, and energy from the sun. It then applies all of these resources to increase its size still further, into a small tree. The small tree then uses it's expanded leaf surface area to gather even more of the sun's precious energy until ultimately it turns into a mighty oak. This is the process all "little acorns" use to become "mighty oaks."
Of course, acorns do it automatically - we humans have to do it consciously and intentionally by decision.
How Do You Make Decisions?
We all make numerous decisions every day. Obviously, all our actions (and non-actions) follow after decisions. The way we express our freedom of choice is to make decisions, and then to act in accordance. The quality of your decisions determine your level of freedom, your happiness, your wealth - even your health!
But how do you make a decision? What mental steps or thought processes do you apply? If you ask this question to 100 people, how many do you think will be able to tell you? Most people make most of their decisions with little awareness of the mental steps or thought processes they go through. One of the first aspects of the Infinite Bootstrap Principle you'll discover is that if you become more aware of just how you make decisions and you improve the thought processes involved by, say, 5%, then you'll improve the results you create in life by about 500%!
How do you decide what's a worthwhile opportunity and what isn't? What if your decision-making procedures in respect of opportunities are such that you reject many golden opportunities that come your way?
Improving your decision-making process will help you increase your personal power a great deal, and as a result will help you produce much better results.
In his book The Human Biocomputer (Preface to Second Edition), John C. Lilly, M.D. wrote:
"In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the mind, there are no limits."
He also wrote:
"All human beings, all persons who reach adulthood in the world today are programmed biocomputers. No one of us can escape our own nature as programmable entities. Literally, each of us may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less."
We're not only programmable entities, we're also programmers who can reprogram the programs we run on!
As we shall see later, in order to apply the Infinite Bootstrap Principle, we have to reprogram our brains - and in order to reprogram our brains, we have to make conscious decisions.
If we don't make conscious choices and concerted efforts to reprogram our brains we automatically default to the pre-existing programs we have. According to Robert Fritz in The Path Of Least Resistance, about 85% of our pre-existing programs work against us. If his estimate is anywhere near accurate it becomes obvious that reprogramming your brain is a crucial success element. After all, how can you expect success when 85% of your programs are working against you?
Optimal Utilization of Resources
The Infinite Bootstrap Principle has to do with the optimal utilization of your resources. You have certain resources available to you. You can use your resources to gain ownership, control, and/or cooperation of additional resources. You have the ability to utilize all these resources to create practically anything you like. And you have the ability to expand your creations - virtually without limit... in all dimensions...
You can apply some of your resources for personal growth and development. You can continually expand your personal power and influence. You can apply your resources to accelerate your own growth and expansion in all dimensions - and you can do the same in respect of all your creations - virtually without limit... in all directions and dimensions...
The first curve above is a "normal" curve. Consider the earning ability of a typical individual. It gradually increases, levels off, reaches a plateau, and then drops off to zero with the death of the individual. Utilization of resources is minimal.
The second is a growth curve containing two crises and recoveries. Early in the curve, you can often recover completely from a crisis (such as losing your job) - or even emerge stronger than before the crisis. Later in the curve, it becomes more difficult to recover completely from a crisis. Utilization of resources is also minimal.
The third is the growth curve of the anorexic. The anorexic operates as if subject to a powerful, irrevocable command to eliminate or kill the self - to shrink the self and the body to zero. It's important to understand this, because it's the exact opposite of the Infinite Bootstrap Principle. All resources are rejected.
(The alcoholic or drug addict follows a similar curve, except that the powerful, irrevocable command is to escape from the self, because the self is perceived as unbearable.)
Fourth is the exponential growth of the Infinite Bootstrap Principle. You seek to grow in this fashion in all appropriate directions and dimensions. All appropriate available resources are accepted and utilized optimally.
(For us as individuals to fully implement the Infinite Bootstrap Principle, we'll have to become biologically or physically immortal - in other words, eliminate death!)
Resources Available to You
You may have far more resources available to you than you consciously realize:
Our ability to maximize the utilization of resources (applying the Infinite Bootstrap Principle) is one reason behind our "expanding-pie economy." Cultivate the habit of constantly looking for additional resources you can utilize. Become more resource-conscious! Remember what Buckminster Fuller said in Report #13A: The Millionaire's Secret (I) about our resources on earth being so plentiful and abundant that every man, woman, and child should be a millionaire many times over?
Important Aspects of the Universe
The most fundamental reason making possible the Infinite Bootstrap Principle is sunshine. Our sun shines all the time, sending us an abundance of free energy. We can utilize this energy in an indeterminate number of ways to do practically anything we can imagine. Think of the over-abundance of the sun's energy - this huge surplus just waiting for us to put it to work!
A great deal of energy from past sunshine has been stored in forms of coal, oil, combustible gas, plants and animals. Atomic energy is stored within matter itself. This energy is available as a resource for you to utilize.
You have a mind-over-matter ability. You can decide to make the fingers of your hand close around a stone and pick it up. You can decide to make your shoulder, arm, and hand throw the stone. Think for a moment what an incredible power this is and that you have this power!
A farmer can make a hole in the ground, plant a seed, and pour some water. The seed germinates, grows roots, obtains nutrients from the soil; then breaks out above the surface of the soil, grows leaves, gets energy from the sun, and produces fruit for the farmer to eat.
The farmer can use his mind-over-matter ability plus tools, equipment, and machines to grow enough food to feed a thousand people.
These two aspects of the universe - available energy plus mind-over-matter ability - make it possible for people to produce more than they consume.
Energy is abundantly available. We can limitlessly increase our intelligence and knowledge. There's no limit to the tools and machines we can create.
You can use whatever limited resources you have available to you now to produce practically anything you can imagine!
Obstacles to Expansion
Unfortunately, there are obstacles to putting the Infinite Bootstrap Principle to work:
Earlier I wrote that you can turn obstacles in your mind into power facets of your personality. The basic way you do this is to observe yourself - including your thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, feelings, and emotions - the actions you take, and the results you produce. And you also become willing and capable of questioning everything. You'll make a series of self-discoveries about obstacles in your mind. Every time you clear up such an obstacle, you gain in your power to clear up both similar and other obstacles - thus converting every obstacle encountered into a power facet of your personality! As Nietzsche said, "What doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger."
More on Decisions
We're concerned here with three kinds of decisions:
A key success principle in decision-making is asking yourself why you do things. You make choices almost every waking moment yet few people realize this. One way to become more aware of how you make decisions is to consider every thought, action, and emotion a decision. You will soon realize how few of your decisions you are aware of. Another way to become more aware of your decisions is to ask yourself, "Why did I just do/choose that?"
Automatic decisions, however, are appropriate when performing routine actions, such as driving a car. Although you need to consciously decide where to go, you allow the myriad of routine decisions involved in driving (such as when to press the brake pedal) to be made automatically.
The essence of the conscious decision is that you wait and think before you act. You also become conscious of the mental steps or thought processes you go through in making your decision. You learn new methods for making decisions - new mental steps and thought processes - new questions you ask before you decide.
Some decisions are unimportant in that the situation is such that whatever you decide won't make much difference. As a weekend golfer, it doesn't make much difference whether you use a six or seven iron on a particular hole.
Other decisions can literally "make or break" you. Whether the gun is loaded or not when you decide to pull the trigger can be a life-or-death decision. Who you decide to marry can result in joyful bliss or a sad disaster that ruins your life. These are seminal decisions.
Your decision to begin applying the information in this report could be a seminal (from "semen") decision. It could be the beginning of your fortune - a decision that gives birth to your fortune!
Earlier I wrote that by learning and applying the Infinite Bootstrap principle, you'll increase your intelligence and creativity every day. You can go even further and accelerate the increase in your intelligence and creativity every day! You're constantly on the lookout for resources to increase your intelligence and creativity. You're constantly clearing out mind obstacles, thus making more intelligent decisions. And then you apply your intelligence and creativity to improve your intelligence-increasing and creativity-increasing activities! Think about which resources you can apply to leverage the power of any of your resources! If you continually apply all appropriate available resources to improve and expand your operations, you cannot help but achieve what you want.
When you make an unconscious or automatic decision, you're simply running according to a program in your brain. On the other hand, when you make a conscious decision, you're also reprogramming and improving your brain. You see, when you make a conscious decision, you're observing and examining yourself and your thought processes; you question what you're doing. You learn what works, what doesn't work, and what works better. So you become more intelligent and more creative.
We become much more effective in producing the results we desire by reprogramming the programs we run on. The very activity of making decisions consciously reprograms your brain!
In order to begin applying the Infinite Bootstrap Principle you need to become the programmer of your own brain. For example, delete the "scarcity program" out of your brain and begin operating according to the "abundance program."
If you don't start reprogramming your brain, you'll continue to be controlled by the programs that were installed in your brain by nature and other people - programs that were not of your choosing and may not be beneficial to you.
Many more relevant principles are described in Reports such as: #15: How to Achieve Ultimate Success and #10: How To Achieve and Increase Personal Power.
Benefits of Applying the Infinite Bootstrap Principle
The biggest overall benefit is that if you're trapped in the "normal" growth curve, you can make the necessary shifts in perspective that enable you to move into the "Infinite Bootstrap Principle" curve. Rather than being the effect of the world around you - like a reed blown, bent, and broken by the wind - you become the cause in your life and in your environment. You become much more producer and creator than consumer. In addition to the benefits listed above, you'll gain as follows: