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1

What's this Chapter?

Ch.2 - Make Everything Your Own - Self-Reliance

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What's this Chapter's Judgment?

When you work for others, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. Your creative spirit is squashed. What keeps you in such positions is a fear of having to sink or swim on your own. Instead you should have a greater fear of what will happen to you if you remain dependent on others for power. You goal in every maneuver in life must be ownership, working the corner for yourself. When it is yours, it is yours to lose - you are more motivated, more creative, more live. The ultimate power in life is to completely self-reliant, completely yourself.

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The Hustler's Empire
The only way to survive was to admit you were on your own, learn to make your own decisions, and trust your judgment. Do not ask for what you need but take it. Depend only on your wits.
As he sat there bagging drugs that first day, Curtis realized that this went far beyond a momentary lull in his life in which he needed some quick money. This was a turning point. He looked at the other baggars. They all had suffered downturns in fortune - violence, prison time, etc. What was the essence of the problem?

They had become scared and tired of the grind. They wanted the comfort and security of a paycheck. And this would become the pattern for the rest of their lives - afraid of life's challenges, they would come to depend on other people to help them. Perhaps they could go onlike this for several years, but the day of reckoning would come when there were no more jobs and they had forgotten how to fend for themselves.

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The Hustler's Empire
The game the music executives were playing was simple: They owned you music and a lot more. They wanted to package the artist in their way, and this dictated all of the key decisions on the music videos and publicity. In return, they lavished you with money and perks. They created a feeling of dependence - without their massive machine behind you, you were helpless in the face of a viciously competitive business. How is this essentially like being a high-paid baggar?

In essence, you were exchanging money for freedom. And once you internally succumbed to their logic and their money, you were finished. You were a high-paid baggar doing a job.

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The Fearless Approach
What's this chapter's quote by Fifty?

"I was born alone and i will die alone. I've got to do what's right for me and not live my life the way anybody else wants it." - 50 Cent

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The Fearless Approach
You came into this life with the only real possessions that ever matter - your body, the time that you have to live, your energy, the thoughts and ideas unique to you, and your autonomy. But over the years, how do you tend to give all of this away?

You spend years working for others - they own you during that period. You get needlessly caught up in people's games and battles, wasting energy and time that you will never get back. You come to respect your own ideas less and less, listening to experts, conforming to conventional opinions. Without realizing it you squander your independence, everything that makes you a creative individual.

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The Fearless Approach
You came into this life with the only real possessions that ever matter - your body, the time that you have to live, your energy, the thoughts and ideas unique to you, and your autonomy. But over the years, how do you tend to give all of this away. True ownership is not about possessing things or money or titles. You can have all of that in abundance but if you are someone who still looks to others for help and guidance, if you depend on your money or resources, then you will eventually lose what you have when people let you down, adversity strikes, or you reach for some foolish scheme out of impatience. Before it is too late, how must you reassess your entire concept of ownership?

True ownership can come only from within. It comes from a disdain for anything or anybody that impinges upon your mobility, from a confidence in your own decisions, and from the use of your time in constant pursuit of education and improvement.

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The Fearless Approach
True ownership can come only from within. It comes from a disdain for anything or anybody that impinges upon your mobility, from a confidence in your own decisions, and from the use of your time in constant pursuit of education and improvement. Only from this inner position of strength and self-reliance will you be able to truly work for yourself and never turn back. If situations arise in which you must take in partners or fit within another organization, why are you mentally preparing yourself for the moment when you will move beyond these momentary entanglements?

Because if you do not own yourself first, you will continually be at the mercy of people and circumstance, looking outward instead of relying on yourself and your wits.

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The Fearless Approach
Understand: we are living through an entrepreneurial revolution, comparable to the one that swept through Fifty's neighborhood in the 1980's but on a global scale. The old power centers are breaking up. Individuals everywhere want more control over their destiny and have much less respect for an authority that is not based on merit but on mere power. We have all naturally come to question why someone would rule over us, why our source of information should depend on the mainstream media, and on and on. We do not accept what we accepted in the past.
It is harder for us to realize that we are essentially alone in this world and in need of the skills that Fifty had to develop for himself on the streets. We have layers of support that seem to prop us up. But how are these supports illusions in the end?

Everyone in the world is governed by self-interest. People naturally think first of themselves and their agendas. An occasional affectionate or helpful gesture from people you know tends to cloud this reality and make you expect more of this support - until you are disappointed, again and again. You are more alone than you imagine.

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The Fearless Approach
You are more alone than you imagine. How should this not be a source of fear but of freedom?

When you prove to yourself that you can get things on your own, then you experience a sense of liberation. You are no longer waiting for people to do this or that for you (a frustrating and infuriating experience). You have confidence that you can manage any adverse situation on your own.

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The Fearless Approach
As part of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter's strategy, why did he refused to have the usual entertainments in his cell - television, radio, pornographic magazines?

He knew he would grow dependent on these weak pleasures and this would give the wardens something to take away from him. Also, such diversions were merely attempts to kill time. Instead he became a voracious reader of books that would help toughen his mind.

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The Fearless Approach
Think of it this way: dependency is a habit that is so easy to acquire. We live in a culture that offers you all kinds of crutches - experts to turn to, drugs to cure any psychological unease, mild pleasures to help pass or kill time, jobs to keep you just above water. It is hard to resist. But once you give in, it is like a prison you enter that you cannot ever leave. You continually look outward for help and this severly limits your options and maneuverability. When the time comes, as it inevitably does, when you must make an important decision, you have nothing inside of yourself to depend on.
Before it is too late, you must move in the opposite direction. You cannot get this requisite inner strength from books or a guru or pills of any kind. How can it only come from you?

It is a kind of exercise you must practice on a daily basis - weaning yourself from dependencies, listening less to other's voices and more t your own, cultivating new skills. As happened with Carter and with Fifty, you will find that self-reliance becomes the habit and that anything that smacks of depending on others will horrify you.

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Keys to fearlessness
As children we all faced a similar dilemma. We began life as willful creatures who had yet to be tamed. We wanted and demanded things for ourselves, and we knew how to get them from the adults around us. And yet at the same time, we were completely dependent on our parents for so many important things - comfort, protection, love, guidance. And so from deep inside, how did we develop an ambivalence?

We wanted the freedom and power to move on our own, but we also craved the comfort and security only others could give us.

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Keys to fearlessness
In adolescence we rebelled against the dependent part of our character. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from our parents and show that we could fend for ourselves. We struggled to form our own identity and not simply conform to our parent's values. But as we get older, how does that childhood ambivalence tend to return to the surface?

In the face of so many difficulties and competition in the adult world, a part of us yearns to return to that childish position of dependence. We maintain an adult face and work to gain power for ourselves, but deep inside we secretly wish that our spouses, partners, friends, or bosses could take care of us and solve our problems.

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Keys to fearlessness
In the face of so many difficulties and competition in the adult world, a part of us yearns to return to that childish position of dependence. We maintain an adult face and work to gain power for ourselves, but deep inside we secretly wish that our spouses, partners, friends, or bosses could take care of us and solve our problems. What must be our new attitude toward this part of us?

We must wage a ferocious war against this deeply embedded ambivalence, with a clear understanding of what is at stake. Our task as an adult is to take full possession of that autonomy and individuality we were born with. It is to finally overcome the dependent phase in childhood and stand on our own. We must see the desire for a return to that phase as regressive and dangerous. It comes from fear - of being responsible for our success and failure, of having to act on our own and make the hard decisions.

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Keys to fearlessness
In the face of so many difficulties and competition in the adult world, a part of us yearns to return to that childish position of dependence. We maintain an adult face and work to gain power for ourselves, but deep inside we secretly wish that our spouses, partners, friends, or bosses could take care of us and solve our problems. How do we sometimes find an opposite yet equally pathetic excuse?

We will often package this as the opposite - that by working for others, being dutiful, fitting in, or subsumming our personality to the group, we are being a good person. But that is our fear speaking and deluding us. If we give in to this fear, then we will spend our lives looking outward for salvation and never find it. We will merely move from one dependency to another.

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Keys to fearlessness
For most of us, critical terrain in this war is the work world. Most of us enter adult life with great ambitions for how we will start our own ventures, but the harshness of life wears us down. We settle into some job and slowly give in to the illusion that our bosses care about us and our future, that they spend time thinking of our welfare We forget the essential truth that all humans are governed by self-interest. Our bosses keep us around out of need, not affection. They will get rid of us the moment that need is less acute or they find someone younger and less expensive to replace us. Why is this reality essential for us to own up to?

If we succumb to the illusion and the comfort of a paycheck, we then neglect to build up self-reliant skills and merely postpone the day of reckoning when we are forced to fend for ourselves. Your life must be a progression towards ownership - first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce.

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Keys to fearlessness
If we succumb to the illusion and the comfort of a paycheck, we then neglect to build up self-reliant skills and merely postpone the day of reckoning when we are forced to fend for ourselves. Your life must be a progression towards ownership - first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce. What are the 4 steps, which you can think of as a kind of blueprint for how to move in this direction? (4)

-Step 1: Reclaim Deat Time
-Step 2: Create Little Empires
-Step 3: Move Higher Up the Food Chain
-Step 4: Make Your Enterprise a Reflection of Your Individuality

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-Step 1: Reclaim Deat Time
Time is the critical factor in our lives, our most precious resource. The problem when we work for others is that so much of this becomes dead time that we want to pass as quickly as possible, time that is not our own. Almost all of us must begin our careers working for others, but how is it always within our power to transform this time from something dead to something alive?

If we make the same determination as Vanderbilt - to be an owner and not a minion - then that time is used to learn as much as we can about what is going on around us - political games, the nuts and bolts of this particular venture, the larger game going on in the business world, how we could do things better.

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-Step 1: Reclaim Deat Time
If we make the same determination as Vanderbilt - to be an owner and not a minion - then that time is used to learn as much as we can about what is going on around us - political games, the nuts and bolts of this particular venture, the larger game going on in the business world, how we could do things better. What's the lesson?

We have to pay attention and absorb as much information as possible. This helps us endure work that does not seem so rewarding. In this way, we own our time and our ideas before owning a business.

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-Step 1: Reclaim Dead Time
What is the truth about becoming self-reliant at work?

Your bosses prefer to keep you in dependent positions. It is in their interest that you do not become self-reliant, and so they will tend to hoard information. You must secretly work against this and seize this information for yourself.

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-Step 2: Create Little Empires
While working for others, your goal at some point must be to carve out little areas that you can operate on your own, cultivating entrepreneurial skills. What does this mean?

This could mean offering to take over projects that others have left undone or proposing to put into action some new idea of your own, but nothing too grandiose to raise suspicion. What you are doing is cultivating a taste for doing things yourself - making your own decisions, learning from your own mistakes.

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-Step 2: Create Little Empires
While working for others, your goal at some point must be to carve out little areas that you can operate on your own, cultivating entrepreneurial skills. How is there something to be gained no matter what outcome is reached?

If your bosses do not allow you to make such a move on any scale, then you are not in the right place. If you fail in this venture, then you have gained a valuable education. But generally taking on such things on your own initiative forces you to work harder and better. You are more creative and motivated because there is more at stake; you rise to the challenge.

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-Step 2: Create Little Empires
What must you keep in the front of your mind at all times?

That what you really value in life is ownership, not money. If ever there is a choice - more money or more responsibility - you must always opt for the latter. A lower-paying position that offers more room to make decisions and carve out little empires is infinitely preferable to something that pays well but constricts your movements.

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-Step 3: Move Higher Up the Food Chain
Borgia was a kind of self-reliant entrepreneur before his time. He understood that people are political creatures, continually scheming to secure their own interests. If you form partnerships with them or depend upon them for your advancement and protection, you are asking for trouble. They will either turn against you at some point or use you as a cat's paw to get what they want. Your goal in life must be to always move higher and higher up the food chain, where you alone control the direction of your enterprise and depend on no one. What's the lesson?

Since this goal is a future ideal, in the present you must strive to keep yourself free of unnecessary entanglements and alliances. And if you cannot avoid having partners, make sure that you are clear as to what function they serve for you and how you will free yourself of them at the right moment.

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-Step 3: Move Higher Up the Food Chain
Since this goal is a future ideal, in the present you must strive to keep yourself free of unnecessary entanglements and alliances. And if you cannot avoid having partners, make sure that you are clear as to what function they serve for you and how you will free yourself of them at the right moment. Why must you be so ruthless?

You must remember that when people give you things or do you favors it is always with strings attached. They want something from you in return - assistance, unquestioned loyalty, and so forth. You want to keep yourself free of as many of these obligations as possible, so get in the habit of taking what you need for yourself instead of expecting others to give it to you.

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-Step 4: Make Your Enterprise a Reflection of Your Individuality
Your whole life has been an education in developing the skills and self-reliance necessary for creating your own venture, being your own boss. But there is one last impediment to making this work. How so?

Your tendency will be to look at what other people have done in your field, how you could possibly repeat or emulate their success. You can gain some power with such a strategy, but it won't go far and it won't last.

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-Step 4: Make Your Enterprise a Reflection of Your Individuality
Your tendency will be to look at what other people have done in your field, how you could possibly repeat or emulate their success. You can gain some power with such a strategy, but it won't go far and it won't last. What must you understand?

That you are one of a kind. Your character traits are a kind of chemical mix that will never be repeated in history. There are ideas unique to you, a specific rhythm and perspective that are your strengths, not your weaknesses. You must not be afraid of your uniqueness and you must care less and less what people think of you.

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-Step 4: Make Your Enterprise a Reflection of Your Individuality
What kind of uniqueness do you express?

This uniqueness that you express is not anything wild or too strange. That is an affectation in itself. People are rarely that different. Rather you are being yourself, as far as you can take that. The world cannot help but respond to such authenticity.

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Reversal
We might think of people who are independent and used to being alone as reclusive, prickly, and hard to be around. In our culture we tend to elevate those who are smooth talkers, seem more gregarious, and fit in better, conforming to certain norms. They smile and seem happier. This is a superficial appraisal of character; if we reverse our perspective and look at this from the fearless point of view, how do we come to the opposite conclusion? 1/2

People who are self-sufficient are generally types who are more comfortable with themselves. They do not look for things that they need form other people. Paradoxically this makes them more attractive and seductive. We wish we could be more like that and want to be around them, hoping that some of their independence might rub off on us. The needy, clingy types - often the most sociable - unconsciously push us away. We feel their need for comfort and validation and secretly we want to say to them: "Get it for yourself - stop being so weak and dependent."