Who can forget the iconic moment when Sean Parker (played by none other than Justin Timberlake) looked over at Mark Zuckerberg during the movie “The Social Network” and told him that a million dollars just isn't cool anymore -- you know what’s cool...a billion.
As you can tell by his body language, those words really stuck with Mark and sold him on Sean Parker joining the company because his vision was not for the quickest payout, but rather the largest -- being called a billionaire. Sean Parker was correct; it is in fact true, being a millionaire just isn’t cool anymore, because there are too many of them out there.
A billion dollars is cool. Being labeled as a billionaire by Forbes is where you want to be and where you should set your bar. As an ambitious person in the year 2013, you should only have your eyes on attaining the glorious status of a billionaire. It also sounds a lot cooler…leave it to Dr. Evil to be a millionaire.
But, just like we always do, we'll up the ante here. It’s not just about a billion dollars anymore because eventually that will go the same way as a million. As more and more money is printed, there is more to go around.
You should aspire to make a trillion dollars -- that should be your goal because it is the highest status you can possibly attain in life. It allows you to show a big middle finger to this world and say that you defied all the odds and changed the way the world works. That should be your goal and here is how to go about achieving it.
First let’s be very clear on what a trillion dollars actually is: it’s a million millions. It’s a thousand billion. It’s a one followed by 12 zeros. It looks like this 1,000,000,000,000. Apple is the first ever company to be valued at 1 trillion dollars, so it is possible for those of you that think it isn’t. The big money isn’t in creating products that are necessary for human life. Those will get you a billion, but not a trillion.
The real money lies in creating lifetime customers. It’s about creating lifelong customers that you have made believe that your product is necessary for them to keep buying to constantly keep up with advances. It starts with one customer and then builds until you’ve created millions of these customers. It is exactly what Apple does. And that’s how you get to your trillion.
You can make millions of dollars by making a product that people want, but those are mere trends. What we are talking about here are lifelong customers who are loyal. It is making people believe that they will be inconvenienced if they don't buy it. Make them fear the outcome of not having it. It’s like still being stuck with the iPhone 3 in 2013.
Of course to pull something off like this you need a killer idea. You need a groundbreaking idea that will change the world. You have to find out what it is that is missing from humanity. Know the void and then hand it to them on a silver platter -- and charge sales tax. It must be something that you love to do. Something you are passionate about and not in it just for the money, but to actually change the way the world is being lived today.
After the Second World War, a few privileged Americans developed a brilliant formula for building an unimaginably huge economy:
[Our economy] demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns [...] We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption.
~American retail analyst Victor Lebow
It’s about being a high level marketer just like Steve Jobs. He didn't even know how to code; he just had a vision and knew how to market that vision to America and then the world. That is what made him special and that is what allowed his company to be worth 1 trillion dollars. Trillionaires work day and night to create and sustain their own economy, supply and demand, population and global influence.
The secret here is to think of yourself as your own customer. What would you need to make you happy? How much is just enough to keep you unhealthy and unfulfilled to the point where you would keep wanting more as if you would be selling drugs?
Think about it, the world is constantly trying to convince us to consume; they advertise to us at every angle. They want you to keep wanting more and keep feeling unfulfilled. Why do you think Apple comes out with the iPhone 5 and then the 5S only a year later? Because there are new features that you just must have! And that is how consumers think.
Consumers become addicts to poor skills. We get stuck on social media all day long and waste our time. We watch garbage on TV. We spend money on nonsense that we believe we need rather than understanding it is a luxury. And that is why trillion dollar companies exist, because the people don't know how to separate their wants from their needs.
So your job is to take advantage of that. Make the people feel like they constantly need your product rather than want it. When it is a want, it is a trend, but when it is a need to live life, like buying the new iPad every time it comes out because of the fear of being left behind – it’s a trillion dollar idea.
What you need to be to make a trillion dollars is creative, curious, resilient to distraction and patient because all great things take time. And to make these all possible: self-reliance – an unswerving willingness to take responsibility for your life, regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is. Create these qualities within yourself and your way of life and then transcend it to whatever you are creating.
Think about how your life was shaped by high-level marketers. It’s the American system and it is what has allowed this country to prosper more than any other country. Society has made it feel good and acceptable to become addictive spenders. And it is only going to keep going up. In America, consumer spending makes up to 70 percent of the economy. That’s a huge chunk of money that this country is relying on to survive. This is why you need to strike while the iron is hot.
In 2012, consumers have spent a record amount of money and are on a four-year high of spending. The average amount an American spends a day is 85 dollars. They won't stop spending anytime soon as that number is projected to keep going up, which opens the gateways to your trillion-dollar check. It’s about being in the consumers’ faces everywhere they look. From their favorite websites to their favorite shows.
High-level marketers such as Steve Jobs have designed your life, from the years you work at a shitty job that you hate, to the Ferrari you are dying to have, to your Ikea furniture that broke 10 days after you assembled it. They show you everything you want and give you what you need, but always keep you looking for more.
The trillionaire-making strategies you encounter are so insidious because of how normalized they’ve become. You’ll find them creeping into your life not only explicitly, in magazines and commercials, but implicitly, in the way other people around you — even people you love — expect you to live.
To become someone who makes a trillion dollars, you need to make your life about the average American who is constantly spending. You need to study them and then give them exactly what they are looking for: simply more. What that more is, is what you decide to bestow upon this world from an idea that dwells in your brain. You should start now.
Preston Waters | Elite.