The Junkie’s Secret

““Cocaine habit-forming? Of course not. I ought to know.  I’’ve been using it for years.”” – Tallulah Bankhead (1903-1968)

As a teenager I had the impulses of a junkyard dog. If someone looked at me “wrong” I started barking. This resulted in many scraps – most of them against bigger and more skillful fighters. I managed to “win” a great many of them however, simply because I knew how to tap into something inside me – some form of fury, I suppose – that fueled my aggression. I was an unschooled but successful fighter.

Something like that exists in the realm of wealth building. There is something that burns – or at least glows – inside you that can turn you into a money making machine. If you can tap into it, you will never have another sluggish moment, never feel confused about what you need to do, and never hesitate to do it.

I like to think of this “something” as the Junkie’s Secret.

Consider the Humble Coke Addict

Take your prototypical urban dweller. Let’s make him a man in his 20s. He’s a high-school dropout, which means he’s functionally illiterate. Having been deprived of a good family, he is also lazy, foul-mouthed, and, yes, let’s make him stupid.

What is this young man likely to do for a living? You guessed right – nothing. But if he were to work . . . if you could convince him that it was in his interest to do so … how much money could he possibly hope to make in a day? I’d guess about $48 a day or $6 an hour – before taxes.

Now take that same man and give him a good crack-cocaine addiction. What can he make? Somewhere between $300 and $900 a day, depending on how heavily addicted he is.

What does this young man do to increase his income between 600% and 1,800%?

Three Habits of a Highly Successful Crackhead

1. He works longer hours. Junkies hustle for money every waking hour.

2. He works with a single-minded purpose. Nothing matters except getting the money he needs for his fix. And so he is never diverted from his goal. He can’t be.

3. Most important: He does WHATEVER IT TAKES to get his dough.

If you study the lives of America’s most successful people you will discover that they all did the following:

* worked long and hard

* managed to be enormously focused

* did what it took to succeed

Something to think about, isn’t it?

Working long and hard is important to success. And having determination and focus is important too. But to achieve really big goals . . . to climb into a whole new category . . . you have to do more.

If you took away his crack addiction, our illiterate young burger flipper could work as hard as he wanted . . . but he’d never make $600 a day. That can come only from the willingness to do whatever it takes, including things that are risky, uncomfortable, new, worrisome or even dangerous.

Junkies don’t get the respect they deserve.

Imagine what the addict’s life is like. You wake up on a park bench smelling like urine. You stretch, rub the sores on your face and forearms, and say to yourself, “Up and at ‘em, boy. Today you are going to go out there – to that cold and unfriendly city – and get your hands on six hundred bucks.”

Could you do that? Day after day? I couldn’t. Not unless I was addicted to something.

My Gift To You – The Unappreciated Power of the Junkie

You can have the junkie’s gift. And you don’t even have to smoke pot to get it.

Somewhere inside you there is a fire burning. It’s your core desire. Left untapped it will scorch your inside. Vented, it will give you the energy, the imagination and the boldness to do what it takes to win.

It is damn hard to get a new venture going, to launch a new career, or to really break away from the past. It is difficult because it is different. And because it requires you to go beyond your “comfort zone.”

Take a look at your “to-do” list for today as an example. There is probably something there you don’t want to do. You know it is important. You have highlighted it. Yet you are reluctant to do it.

Maybe it is making a difficult phone call. Or performing a tedious task. It is highly likely it is something you are not comfortable with. That’s why you haven’t done it so far. And that’s probably why your competitors haven’t done it either.

If you want to achieve more than you have ever achieved, you have to be willing to do more than you have ever done before. You need to commit yourself, put in the hours, stay focused, and, yes, do that unpleasant but very necessary task.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]