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If You Are Smart, You Have $100,000 Trapped In Your Head

The only way to control your income, and therefore your life, is to create a product.

Since the day you were born, you were taught to go to school, get a job, and save until you can retire and finally do what you want.

You were conditioned to obey the authority. To learn things you don’t care about so you can work for people you don’t care about so you can eventually live a life you care about… and with a simple observation of society, that day is unlikely to ever come.

Without realizing it, you were programmed as a line of code in society to sell a product for someone else.

Your entire life has been spent building everyone’s dreams but your own.

The good news is, times are changing.

The decentralization of work has begun.

There are more opportunities than ever.

Remote work is the norm.

Freelance work has increased from 36% of the workforce to 46.6% since 2020.

The creator economy is projected to double from $250B to $480B by 2028.

Thanks to the internet, the power is shifting back to the individual.

I realized this early.

YouTube was just picking up steam when I was in high school.

I noticed that most people were creating content around their skills and passions. They taught others what they’d learned throughout their journey, and their personalities made them unique.

This led me to do everything in my power to do the same.

I started YouTube channels and tried business models like dropshipping, freelancing, and agency work.

I dropped out of college after learning to code and getting a job at a web design agency. With what I learned there, I started my own.

But there was a problem. I wanted freedom. I quickly realized that client work was quite similar to working a 9-5 job.

I was doing freelance projects I didn’t care about for people I didn’t care about.

This led me to social media and Twitter.

In between then and now, I’ve gotten out of client work, work 2-4 hours a day on average, and made $4.1 million in revenue last year with absurdly high-profit margins as a personal brand.

Digital Leverage

Social media has set the scene for anyone to do what they love.

The only people who don’t believe this are the pure consumers. The people who doom scroll, creating more problems in their life, and the people who horde information, but never do anything with it.

Everyone is a creator and consumer.

You text your friends. You have conversations. You have ideas. You create every day.

You purchase products. You consume content (like we have been since the newspaper and radio). You consume every day.

You must consume to create, but if you don’t strike a balance, your mind becomes a jumbled mess of stress and anxiety that blinds you from your potential.

Social media is where the attention is right now. That may change, but the principle still remains:

If you want to take control of your life, you must create and distribute a valuable product where the attention is. You must contribute more than you take from humanity. Right now, that’s on social media, and it’s foolish to think you shouldn’t be competing in this new game.

The beautiful thing is this:

  • You don’t need startup capital
  • You don’t need a lot of experience
  • You don’t need a lot of followers
  • You don’t need to worry about saturation
  • You don’t have to be neurotic about profit margins, operating costs, or supply chains

Technology has advanced to the point where you can run a one-person business with 90%+ profit margins and 2-4 hours a day of work.

This is what led to me building Digital Economics.

Building Distribution

You need an audience.

Right now, it’s on social media.

Most people think of social media as a silly app on their phone, yet they spend the majority of their life on it.

You’ve still yet to make the connection that it is a massive part of the economy, business, learning, and life in general.

Our ancestors had small audiences for the role they played in their tribe.

As the world advanced through the printing press, radio, and television, how we acquired an audience for our work has drastically changed.

The point is this:

You need a group of people who know what you do and how it helps them. That’s what the business you work for does. That’s the only way to become the CEO of your life.

You don’t need to go knocking door to door. You don’t need to send thousands of cold emails. But you still need distribution for your work.

Right now, you can post your writing on an app like X, have a larger account repost your work, and gain hundreds of followers in a day.

Most people think they can’t build an audience because they haven’t taken the time to learn the sovereign skills of writing and persuasion.

They don’t think they can:

  • Write an impactful post by emulating what works (we all start as copy cats, how else do you learn?)
  • Write a DM to a large account to offer a form of value (knowledge or money) to build rapport.
  • Persuade them to exchange that value for something you want (a repost on social media).
  • Or, write a thread about someone in hopes that they repost it because it adds to their social proof (example from the other day, he had others repost this and when I last checked, it got him close to 700 followers.)
  • Get tens of thousands of people to see your post, many of them following you.
  • Continue the process until you have an audience begging to pay you.
  • Launch a product and attain your freedom.

As you practice skills, they decrease in the amount of time it takes to see results.

It will be difficult at first, as all things are, but your time invested will decrease to 1-2 hours a day of writing and self-promotion.

Most people are stuck with the education of a slave, learning a career-specific skill to execute a specific string of tasks for the rest of their life.

They become attached to that skill and refuse to learn anything that will increase their potential.

Don’t be that guy or girl.

If you want to take control of your future, you must build an audience with writing and persuasion – the skills that have been in the toolbelt of the free since the day we carved symbols into a rock.

Building A Product

You can be a freelancer.

You can be a coach.

You can start an agency.

But you still won’t achieve the one big goal you set out to when starting a business:

Full control over your time.

This is the trap of service businesses. They can be useful as a starting point, but I’ve recently changed my mind.

In the past, I recommend people start a service business and progress their way toward a product as they build an audience.

Many succeed with this approach, but even more fail.

They adopt the false notion that you can replace your income by learning a skill in a few hours and scamming your clients for delivering terrible results.

By all means, if you have the right head on your shoulders, start a service business and make some money.

If you haven’t developed yourself in the slightest, you’re better off playing the long term game.

  • Improve yourself
  • Document your journey in public
  • Turn your improvement into a product
  • Help others achieve the goals you did

Products are the highest leverage play for those who want full control over their time. Products fulfill themselves and sell while you sleep.

This is why we start with building an audience.

  • You maintain a long term mindset
  • You are in it for the right reasons
  • You set yourself up for decades of success
  • You help more people get results with a product
  • Your content doesn’t feel trapped and narrow
  • You write content to discover what your audience wants (based on engagement)
  • You use that as firepower to make your product a success

You have $100,000 trapped in your head.

How do you extract it?

First, understand why people buy a product.

They want to see a transformation. They want to see a slight or drastic improvement in one area of their life.

They want to increase their market value through skill acquisition, productivity, and self-improvement.

They want to make more money, free up time, and increase their quality of life.

So, we start with the eternal markets. Health, wealth, relationships, and happiness.

That is how we position any product we sell.

Now, follow these steps:

  • Turn yourself into your customer avatar
  • List out your interests
  • List out your goals
  • List out your problems
  • List out exactly how to overcome the problem and achieve the goal

Now you have a brand message, dozens of content ideas, and the starting point of a profitable product.

For potential ideas, these can be anything related to nutrition, training, mental health, spirituality, skill acquisition, productivity, psychology, or anything that you can learn and benefit from in life.

If you haven’t achieved much in your life, that’s the first step.

Yes, you have to get out of your mom’s basement and cultivate some form of value. Shocker.

If you’ve already achieved a goal in your life, you’re set. Package up everything necessary to achieve that goal into a digital product.

A course, coaching, cohort, workshop, template, checklist, system, tutorial, program, tracker, or anything else you’ve seen other brands or creators sell.

You can sell a physical product or service, but in my eyes, everyone’s end goal should be to sell a high-profit digital product that requires minimal upkeep and sells while you sleep. We do want freedom after all, but you need an audience to do that.

If it’s already selling, good. Don’t assume that everyone knows about it. Sell it under the most unique brand you can find – your own – and be the first to introduce people to the importance of that product. It will sell.

Write to your past, current, and future self to attract an audience.

Build a product you’ve used before, but better. Build a product you want but doesn’t exist. Build a product that solves a problem in your life.

Promote the product by illustrating why it impacted your life. Personal experience is what separates you from everyone else. Nobody can replicate it.

We teach this progression with templates, tasks, and personal guidance in Kortex University.

Most businesses fail because they try to solve a problem they haven’t experienced. Don’t be one of them.

Imitate, Then Innovate

You are a copy cat.

Every single idea in your head was either observed or learned by something external to you.

The discoveries you’ve made through self-reflection are only possible because of this.

It is quite stupid to think that you shouldn’t copy other people. Especially if what they are doing works.

Imitation is how we survive.

Everyone is an imitator and innovator.

The innovators create and test new ideas.

The imitators bring those ideas to life and spread them throughout humanity.

Obviously, you don’t just copy-paste what others have done. That’s how you become an outcast. Use your brain and think long-term for a bit.

If you don’t know what to write or create, you have to immerse yourself in the writing or creations of someone else.

Preferably many sources until your mind is overwhelmed to the point of exploding.

That’s what creativity is. The release of tension that results in a breakthrough.

Create a database of writing you love.

Practice writing based on what works, but with your own ideas.

Purchase digital products similar to that you want to create. Study the structure and fill the gaps of your own.

When I created a digital product teaching the skill of web design, I knew quite a bit, so I outlined the product.

But, I had to purchase other courses and discover which parts of mine were missing. Only then could I finish the product and ensure that it was decent.

The rest comes from iteration.

You have to put out writing and products that suck.

You have to look like an idiot.

You have to get feedback as to whether or not your creations are valuable. Only then can you improve, because you wouldn’t know how to improve otherwise.

Write to build an audience.

Launch a product to earn your freedom.

Enjoy the rest of your day.


Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 7-8 figure creators, influencers, and social media brands. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

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