Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
For questions about fundraising, click here.
All profits made from this website go to funding and furthering Mike Norton's education, which leads to better content for this website, new equipment, as well as the research & development of new inventions.
What is Mike's educational level and educational philosophy?
When Mike first started, he wasn't actually formally educated beyond high school, and even in high school, he didn't do that well. This was mainly because of boredom that led to him not paying attention in class and accumulated disciplinary issues, a lack of understanding of why to appreciate education to begin with that stemmed from the negative influences of his immediate environment, and the fact that the topics he was interested in learning often had nothing to do with what he was being formerly graded on as part of the standard and general curricular pipeline at the time.
From website programming to solar-mechanical engineering, he is, and has always been, almost entirely autodidactic, having earned awards as an educator, essayist, and business strategist completely off of his raw skills, and ability to learn quickly, alone.
Though, Mike is absolutely not against formal education; he simply believes that public education needs great reform. One of the greatest flaws of the modern institutional educational systems in countries like America is that they're geared more for indoctrinating students to focus on tests, which inadvertently convinces students to base their senses of selves and self-esteem off of tests, rather than to attain a personal level of mastery in any given subject.
Tests absolutely have their place, but the way cultures like America and China have designed their systems makes students afraid to make mistakes in the classroom, which is a fear that he believes is the number one inhibitor to learning, because the mainstream culture largely leads people to believe that grades alone dictate a person's value and intelligence, when they shouldn't, which defeats much of the purpose of even coming to school.
Therein, he understands the vital need for the third-party verification and licensing of a person's skills, such as what would be needed in the case of medical doctors; however, he champions the cause for general educational reform.
Contrary to the current establishment, he believes that the classroom is exactly where students should feel comfortable making mistakes, for people learn best when they're intrinsically motivated and devoid of the fear of failure. What he suggests for a better educational system will be explained in detail in an upcoming publication.
So, living by his own educational philosophy, he teaches himself virtually everything he knows, in the comfort of his own home and throughout his travels around the world. He only relies on college and certification programs to get third-party verification of his mastery in any given subject. This means that he typically already knows or has achieved a competent level of personal mastery in the subject he wishes to pursue, before he even enrolls.
He believes that there is merit in standardized intelligence aptitude tests (e.g. IQ, ASVAB, and MENSA); however, he doesn't believe that these are the end-all tell-all about what a person can accomplish, and encourages people to neither let tests like these, nor standardized grades define or discourage them from pursuing whatever it is that they truly wish to pursue in life. He believes this, even though he himself scored within the top tiers of the US military on the ASVAB without even full utility of his brain at the time.
He's earned a Bachelor's in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University, along with a myriad of other business certifications.
Currently, however, he's teaching himself physics in order to earn another degree from the University of York, as well as certifications in logic, psychology, neuroscience, and economics from other universities (such as Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and Princeton) as well.
As a linguist, he currently speaks 9 languages after having nomadically traveled to many places around the world.
NOTE: The answer to this question will be updated over time, for Michael espouses a growth mindset of a lifelong pursuit of developing education.
How is NortonsMind.com (NM) funded?
NM may offer certain things for sale, such as books, but they're not required to access the content of the site. NortonsMind is primarily self-funded by Mike's other business ventures. For more details, visit the Fundraising page.
What is Mike's MBTI personality type?
Mike has dreadlocks and in some of Mike's pictures, he has a pipe in his mouth. Does he smoke or do any drugs?
I DO NOT smoke or do any illegal drugs! I bought the pipe simply because I am a Sherlock fanboy! (ref. memory palace).
You should probably stop stereotyping people with dreadlocks, as well! It's just a hairstyle!
Dreadlocks are the most suitable hairstyle for my type of hair, not only because it's cool looking (to me, at least), but because I travel to countries wherein there aren't many black people, and they have no idea how to properly cut hair like mine; thus, growing my hair out is just practical for my lifestyle. Therefore, since my wife is my partner, she does and maintains my hair for me.
And yes, my hair gets washed regularly, like anyone else's hair does. I have very mixed genetics, so my scalp doesn't dry out if I wash it every day. Dreadlocks are just knotted hair, and there are many ways of getting dreadlocks; the infamous, stinky, and unsanitary neglect method is only one method of getting dreads, and it isn't the way I got mine.
I wash my hair and my wife crochets them for me.
With the kinds of mountains I climb and the wildernesses I explore, I believe that smoking or doing drugs in general would be pretty counter-productive for me.
Though, I don't judge people who do smoke; I just don't find it practical for my chosen lifestyle. And I wouldn't do illegal drugs anyway, because I'm a father. I have to set the right example.
It's also another stereotype that black men don't make good fathers.
There are a lot of black stereotypes I get mistaken for being. I'm used to it.
I'll occasionally drink, but never to excess; you'll never see me drunk.
Other than that, I live a very healthy lifestyle heavily influenced by martial arts, mountaineering, and cross-country running.
I don't even eat fast-food. The last time I even had McDonald's was like...years ago.
I don't even take supplements for my muscles, either; they're the result of the right kind of genetics, combined with years of daily training with a good diet.
I've been a very active martial artist for 14 years now, plus Navy SEAL training, plus climbing mountains and stuff. I'm all natural.
Did Mike Norton really gain a top secret security clearance by the FBI at the age of 19?
Though, civilians and veterans who don't know what it's like should know that there are many different kinds of jobs that you can sign up for when joining the military. What Mike did sounds more impressive on paper than it was in reality.
He was not some war hero; Mike served two deployments in the Middle East: one ground deployment in Manama, Bahrain at NAVCOMTELSTA (Naval Computer Telecommunications Station) while sharing voluntary extracurricular duty as part of the Emergency Response Team, with another sea deployment on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was an enlisted who left the military at the rank of E4.
His performance wasn’t stellar, but he did his job, and received an honorable discharge and full benefits for completing his contracted time served.
Did Norton really get a 93 on his ASVAB?
He took the test three times to verify.
In the recruiter's office, he scored in the low 70s. Upon swearing in, he got an 87. Then, he took it a final time in the Middle East, though unrequired, and got a 93.
This was during a time when he had tumors heavily affecting blood flow to his brain; therefore, what his current and true IQ/ASVAB score would be is unknown. However, he doesn't actually care, nor does he think you should care. It's only listed as a part of this website as a matter of supportive credibility, something tangible that can be traced and verified, which adds to the social proof of the website. For example, there are lots of people on Quora who ask about IQ, constantly; ergo, because it is a frequently asked question, the answer is here in the FAQ of this website.
However, it doesn't actually matter to him, but it does matter to some audiences, which they use to understand how a person can be an "uneducated educator".
Mike himself though, does not actually attribute much value to quantifications like these. He rebelled in high school, and has demonstrated many times throughout his life what he actually thinks of things like GPA scores: not much.
Though it is a professional "G" intellectual aptitude test, the ASVAB isn't accepted as a replacement for MENSA. It's difficult to take actual pride in something like that, even though it does determine what branches you can enter and what jobs/rates you can try out for (e.g. needing to score a 60 in order to become a nuclear engineer).
For what truly matters though, see the educational philosophy answer above. IQ, ASVAB, etc. means absolutely nothing if your character doesn't have the right stuff.
Is Norton a member of MENSA?
No. At least, not yet.
Both Mike and his wife Karina passed the MENSA tryout test, so it's safe to say that they're both likely MENSA-worthy. But neither of them have finished the process of qualification.
How can a person with such a military background become a public figure?
Ask people like Jesse Ventura. Ask the Navy SEAL actors who played in the movie Act of Valor.
An FBI security clearance needs to be renewed every 5 years; therefore, Mike Norton does not actually have one anymore. It's just a part of his background. No confidential information is actually being given away on this site, or anywhere in his work.
Of course, there are people in the military who disagree with the concept of being a public figure in that regard; if an investigative journalist were to do a thorough background check, of course people would be found who don't like Mike Norton or what he's doing, as well as any other people with histories similar to his who have done the same.
That's natural; you can't please everyone.
If Mike is supposed to be super smart and all...does he ever make mistakes?
F*ck yeah, douche bag!
I'm human just like you are!
I acknowledge that my shit stinks!
I'm not trying to sit here and be perfect for everybody!
You'll ne'er see me laugh at someone in the Norton's Mind community for making a mistake, misspelling a word, etc.
You'll only see me ridicule the people who arrogantly come on the page and speak down to everybody, come from a false sense of superiority, etc.
Only a fool thinks he knows everything; I'm only smart enough to know that I'm a fool.
And everybody knows something that I don't, and vice-versa. So, if you see any mistakes that I make, or info that can be expanded upon, etc. f*ckin' TELL ME! Don't tear me down! The NM community is supposed to be a comfortable place for everyone.
How can that be accomplished if I try to project some shady, bullshit god status over social media? It can't be.
Shit...I forgot to keep speaking in third-person. Eh, I'll do it for the next question. *ahem*
Does Mike have a life?
Does Mike go out partying like "YOLO! Let's see if I can win the next Darwin award for dumbass drunkardness!"
...No. Absolutely not.
Mike actually lives a very disciplined spartan lifestyle in the sense that he keeps few possessions except for books, and two laptops that he uses for work. He has some video-games, but not more than he can keep in a suitcase, and he only makes time to play them every once in a while.
He doesn't have many close friends; the members of his household are pretty much his world. Most times, he doesn't even go outside; he's been known to go for three to six months at a time without actually leaving his house. If he's not actively traveling with his family, then the world of books (that he often reads to his child), the occasional movie with his family, and music-driven imagination are far more interesting than menial conversation with people he barely knows. He chooses instead to devote himself utterly to the perfection of a specific skill, or the accomplishment of a specific goal.
He'll watch movies, but he doesn't watch any TV; he hasn't in over 14 years.
The average day for Mike is:
- Wake up
- Work (build something, take care of business clients, etc.)
- Practice some kind of skill
- Spend time with wife and child
- Repeat process
Mike doesn't really have a set circadian rhythm, either. Sometimes, he'll wake up and begin that routine at 2 am, and be completely nocturnal for several weeks or months at a time, and other times he'll be on a normal day schedule like everyone else.
What happens is that he'll become so focused on something, that he won't want to go to sleep for an extra hour or two at night, which then pushes his body clock back one or two hours at a time, which creates a circular process of being sometimes a night person and sometimes a day person.
For instance, if you were to set a bedtime for 11 pm, but then be so focused on a project or practicing some kind of skill that you don't go to sleep until 12 am (an hour past what you were supposed to), then your body will start falling asleep the next night at 12 am, instead of 11 pm.
Repeat the process the next night, and you'll fall asleep at 1 am, instead of 12 am.
Repeat the process the next night, and you'll fall asleep at 2 am, instead of 1 am.
Repeat the process the next night, and you'll fall asleep at 3 am, instead of 2 am.
Do that for twenty-four or so days and so on, and you'll eventually find yourself back to falling asleep at 11 pm again, the completion of a circle.
Sleep is secondary to Mike, and every, single, waking moment is dedicated to writing, studying, thinking, etc.
Don't believe it? Let the existence of this very website, and StrataGem Internet Marketing.com be proof.
Mike wrote nearly alllllll of the content for both sites...himself. Think about it.
..........think about it. Think of the volume of content, how much there is. How it's written, and the studying that had to have gone into its production beforehand.
You'll find that it makes sense.
He's written close to two-hundred thousand free-writing journal entries as well. And he's read several thousand books in his short 28 years of lifetime.
He's a self-employed business owner of pure play businesses, so he doesn't have to follow anyone's schedule or working hours but his own, which allows him to be this way.
That's pretty much all he does: he spends time with family and masters some kind of skill. The end result? He's a man that his family can absolutely depend on for literally anything, and he always has something to speak about with his wife because he's reading something new, or done something new...just not outside.
It's an actual fact that he spends more money on books than he does on rent per month. That's not sarcasm; he really does.
When he's in Spain, he'll definitely set aside time to hang out with the martial artists he trains with when an event comes up, or if he's in Iceland, he'll hang out with a couple Icelandic friends he made during the moving process. He usually has a small handful of friends in each country he travels to, but overall, he's not a social butterfly.
It's conventionally known that the more you know, the less you speak. If Mike is truly as talented as he projects himself to be, why make a website egotistically featuring his "mind" and sharing his opinions? Aren't the truly intelligent quiet?
This one actually wasn't an FAQ from another person; it's an FAQ that I ask myself every single day I look in the mirror, because I suffer from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a relatively new term coined to describe people who are legitimately good at something, project that they're good at something, but doubt themselves.
Contrary to the nature of the website showing pictures of myself everywhere, the fact that it's named after my last name, etc. I am not actually as confident as I project myself to be; I'm confident in what I can instrumentally prove, and I have faith in my own willpower (if there even is such a thing as free will), and I understand what it takes to engage the first neurological system of decision-making in the target demographic groups that I'm marketing myself to (ref. neuro-marketing).
The world just needs social proof. If I didn't have any pictures of myself traveling, if I didn't make videos speaking the way that I do, etc. but then had the nerve to try to tell the world that I'm worthy of being an educator despite my past, what would you think? In a world where everyone lies, and the statistics show that the likelihood of a black gentleman, such as myself, who's an award-winning author, Internet marketing strategist, and mechanical engineer who designs his own clothes, speaks 9 languages, has traveled the world, and doesn't rap, (who's self-taught no less!) exists is possible, but the chances of it would be so unlikely that, yes, you would have every right to question me as a liar, especially with how easy it is to fake identities on the Internet.
You're an intelligent person; intelligent people tend to be skeptical as a natural survival mechanism. Thus, I can't build a career without social proof. I can neither realistically expect to earn your trust, the trust of donators, nor the trust of investors in my inventions without something tangible to show for it, without evidence that corroborates my claims that I am who and what I say I am...
...without being willing to lead from the front, and demonstrate by example: Alexandrian style.
That and the fact that I believe the key demographic group that I'm targeting with my content needs a face that they can see is real and imperfect with a story that they can connect to in order to trust and be emotionally moved enough to take a second look at their education, especially if they don't have much money, because it's never too late to teach yourself.
I believe that my people need someone who is willing to be trolled, criticized, mocked, and laughed at publicly as he makes mistakes in his efforts to teach himself, because that's a hugely crippling fear that makes many people from the psychographic group of which I come fool themselves into thinking that the difficulties that come with self-education isn't worth it, but it is.
It's always worth it.
And by "my people", I'm not in any way, shape, or form talking about race; I'm talking about psychographics; I'm talking about memetics; I'm talking about the fucking underdogs of life: white, black, green.
Therefore, it is just necessary that I put myself out there like that; I know I can come off as arrogant, even if I don't mean to, but when you come from the fractured origins that I do, you don't have much to work with but your own story to sell. My story was the only marketable asset I had (at least, in the beginning).
The same thing goes with many rags to riches stories, such as Eminem.
Eminem is one of the best rappers, if not the best rapper, in the world right now...but understand how he got famous and financially free to begin with, considering the impoverished beginnings that he came from. Rapping is just the conduit through which he sells his own story. I'm doing the same exact thing, but not through rap.
There is also another quote from Lao Tzu that goes:
"He who knows, does not speak;
he who speaks, does not know."
While this wisdom can apply to many social scenarios (in which I am usually the quietest person in the room), I dare to question statements like this (without meaning to pull it out of context), by daring to ask a counter question: "If he who knows never speaks, then does he not damn the rest of the world who does not know to perish in idiotic self-harm? Therefore, the man who knows should speak...at least, a little more often."
Just because an old Chinese guy said it, doesn't make it incontrovertibly true; I challenge people to challenge quotes of conventional wisdom like this, because this also implies a "No True Scotsman" illogical fallacy.
There are also the 48 Laws Of Power to consider, as written by Robert Greene, in that people who outshine others often become the victim of other people's insecurity. I believe the quote went:
"By letting others outshine you,
you remain in control, instead of
being a victim of their insecurity."
Think of all of the people with Ph.Ds who study and study their entire lives, have accrued a ton of educational debt, and still live as the working poor, if they're even able to get a job to begin with, let alone create a job and succeed at it? Yeah, they're definitely going to feel a certain kind of negative way about some random street rat who just comes out of nowhere who's attained a level of freedom, knowledge, and wealth that they haven't, while still showing a disregard for conventional wisdom, rules, and the status quo, who can easily beat most of them in many debates in most topics that they got a degree in, yet I haven't?
And don't even get me started about the racial nationalists who base so much of their ethnocentric pride on IQs.
There's a lot of egotism, envy, and insecurity in academia; don't be fooled.
Outshining people in my immediate vicinity is something that I've made the mistake of doing repeatedly my entire life, but if I'm aware of that, then it means one of three things:
- I don't actually care
- I'm not actually as smart as I think I am
- I do care, and I am as smart as I think am (not?) but I'm willing to take the risks involved with showing myself in the light like this for the sake of a greater good that I hope to achieve, or at least inspire others to achieve who are better than I am when and where I may fail.
I'm going to have to roll with option #3. In this, I think the most accurate conclusion is that I'm less intelligent and wise than I project myself to be, yet more intelligent and wise than I give myself credit for when I look in the mirror: imposter syndrome.
What is the point of NortonsMind.com (NM)?
The mission of NM is simple: to share thought-provoking information that benefits other people's lives, and inspires civil discourse.
NM seeks to provide a stable platform on which others can respectfully converse, especially if they disagree with each other. Non-violent disagreement between other people of the NM community and even Mike Norton himself is not only acceptable, but encouraged. Therein, people from both sides of the political pendulum, every religion, creed, and espousers of every philosophy are welcome. The maxim is merely to respect each other, even as you disagree.
From the competition of ideas that debates create, truly new and innovational ideas can form that can inspire inventions, and new philosophical viewpoints with which to expand one's mind.
What were Mike's neurological and psychological disabilities/inhibitions?
Psychologically, Mike was diagnosed with PTSD, clinical depression, and insomnia from different psychologists both while serving in the military, and after his honorable discharge. This stemmed from a history of child abuse, and other traumatic events that have occurred throughout his life.
Neurologically, Mike suffered from multiple benign tumors in his skull that grew during years of neglect without detection. This greatly affected his nervous system and blood flow, which affected his ability to fully use his brain while growing into adulthood. The tumors were finally detected and surgically removed at the age of 27.
Mike unwittingly adapted without realizing that he needed medical attention. Most people around him didn't realize how sick he was either, because of the way he carried himself. Once he received medical attention, however, life became far easier.
What will get someone banned from Mike Norton's page or debate groups?
The primary thing that will get people banned from the NM page and debate groups is disrespect, towards either him or other members of the community. Other than that, it's actually pretty challenging to get banned. You have to creatively think of ways to try to get banned. Even if you're a racist extremist, you won't get banned for your beliefs alone; you'll get banned for how you choose to express those beliefs toward Mike and other members of the community. There are a series of rules in the debate groups (particularly the paid one) that must be followed, but not following them won't necessarily result in a person being banned; it'll just make them lose the debate.
Mike is not a fan of political correctness; he believes that no matter how offensive a fact is, if it's verifiable and/or shared with the intent to corroborate a logical point, no one should ever be banned for that, no matter how many people's feelings get hurt in the process. He believes in the difference between personal attacks and uncomfortable truths.
No one will ever be banned for misspellings, slang, colloquialisms, swearing, or sarcasm either. Mike himself is a very sarcastic person, who uses slang, colloquialisms, and can often be seen swearing quite a bit; it would be hypocritical to ban people for that reason. And of course, Mike's a human being too; every once in a while, you'll see him misspell a word; it's inevitable for anyone who types in real-time on social media.
He believes that people should feel comfortable and not have to worry about being judged for their unique voices and speaking styles. Grammar should only be scrutinized during the cases in which the meaning of a statement is uninterpretable.
He will, however, single people out who make fun of others for their mistakes, especially if they have mistakes themselves. That's not to make people with misspellings feel stressed; it's to make examples of hypocrites who forget that we're all human. The original person with the mistakes will never be made fun of by Mike, only the hypocritical person will be. Mike will turn into a straight savage very quickly to clown trolls and very disrespectful people, who will then be subsequently screenshot, and made an example of for everyone else's comical pleasure.
If Mike writes all of the content for the website, does that mean he's speaking in third-person when he writes things like this FAQ?
I'm speaking in third-person right now. Well...not right now now...but, throughout this page, and the site, I do, indeed speak in third-person.
No, it's not because I think I need to in order to prop my ego up; it's just because I think it's appropriate for certain sections of the site. There's a difference between copywriting, content writing, and literary writing.
Why is Karina always in the background? Is Mike some narcissist who abuses her?
Mmmkay, I spied some people gossiping this question on reddit, so I'm going to answer this here, and continue speaking in first-person to do so.
This is a very serious accusation. I'm eccentric, not dangerous.
Do I talk about having fought in the streets for money? Yes, but women weren't my opponents; are you kidding me? A man should never hit his wife, nor should he his children. Without Karina?
...none of this would be possible.
Literally, none of this.
I've never raised a hand to my wife, nor do I plan to. And I'm absolutely against hitting members of one's family, like children. Especially because of the way I was treated as a kid. Hitting your family members is devolutionary, and so is emotionally neglecting them because of an out-of-control ego.
Do I have an ego? Yes...
...but so do you. We all have egos; they're a byproduct of advanced brains.
...especially because, unlike most men, I know what it feels like to be raped. I would never wish or inflict that upon any human being.
I work and study very hard. I'm sober and attentive, never having had to deal with drug/alcohol addiction problems. And I've been seeing a professional, on and off, for any and all psychological issues, so far as diagnosed being PTSD, depression, and insomnia, with depleted melatonin levels.
But other than that, I'm alright; I'm a functioning member of society, despite my past.
No, I'm actually a person who devotes himself utterly and entirely to a specific thing until I master it. You can see that in my work; you can see that in what I've been able to do with my life so far. This also reflects in my relationships with people, especially my wife. I don't have many people in my social circle, because I have limited energy and time. Thus, I choose a few people that I trust and love most, the people I find to be most worthy of suffering for, and I devote my absolute all to the healthiness of those specific few relationships with good communication. That behavioral pattern reflects in everything I do, not just romance. There is a chapter in Fighting for Redemption that's to the contrary, but understand that that was one moment in my life, during the worst part of a suicidal depression; that doesn't define me as a person, and the process of writing about it so openly is part of facing it, taking responsibility for it, and relinquishing it.
She's in the background mainly because she chooses to be. That, and the fact that it's just practical because there are only two of us; someone has to hold the camera, but there are some videos featuring her.
Keep in mind that English is Karina's fourth language.
Besides, she's actually in the process of developing her own Yoga website. She got certified in India, and her website is upcoming. It's called yogabykarina.com.
I'm the leader of my website, and she's the leader of hers. Mine just got completed first is all.
She wields the camera for my videos, and I wield the camera for hers.
We're partners; that's how it works.
I help her; she helps me. We're a team, an unlikely power couple.
And I'm willing to bet that when Karina launches her website, there won't be people equally questioning her about why I'm not in more of her videos.
The word "narcissist" and "egomaniac" get thrown around a lot these days, but they're becoming overused and watered down. I can be snarky, because I do have a huge ego, but men with true NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) usually like weak women who become absolutely dependent upon them, which makes the narcissist feel superior. Karina's not that kind of chick; she's highly educated, highly intelligent, highly accomplished in her career, speaks 9 languages (just like me, but different ones), doesn't need me for money, doesn't need me for anything.
We were just two introverted, nomadic, lone wolves who met in China, fell in love while working for the same private school as teachers, and we agreed to share the same life purpose while traveling the world together; that's all.
It's that simple.
And also, people with true traits of what psychologists call "the dark triad", consisting of NPD, anti-social disorder, and sociopathy, tend not to be able to finish the things they start, nor are they very introspective.
I'm not social, but I don't have anti-social disorder; it's important that people realize that having anti-social personality disorder, and simply not being social, are actually two entirely different things.
Anti-social personality disorder isn't so much about being introverted; it's actually about not taking consideration for consequence. But most people with no background in psychology get these two terms confused, as if they're interchangeable; they're not.
Isn't it difficult traveling with a child?
Not as difficult as most people think. Besides, we do have a situated place. To not have a family headquarters would be neglectful to my child(ren)'s education and social life.
F*ck, I'm speaking in first-person again.
...Dah, well. F*ck it.
People make it seem like traveling is something that's so difficult to do or accomplish, but it's really not. A plane ticket is only typically a couple hundred dollars, and you can rent AirBnB places for pretty cheap in most areas of the world. Remember the exchange rates in most countries; it's far cheaper in other exotic areas of the world than it is in America. The average American spends far more just by living in America than they would be traveling, but most people don't think/realize that.
It's more of people's psychological attachment to where they are, being creatures of habit, making excuses for why they can't live the lives they want. Most people, anyway. Not everyone, of course, but most people.
You absolutely can travel and still have a family; it's a question of how badly do you want it, and are you creative enough to think of legal ways to fund yourself? Most people actually are; it's just a matter of breaking their belief that they can't.
Now that we have a child, our traveling will slow down, but it's not going to stop. It'll still be some years before school starts, and schools offer plenty of holidays to travel on. It's fine. It's a matter of willpower, self-discipline is all.
Where would Mike be without his wife?
In China, working as a college professor after eventually leaving the private school I worked for after getting my business and physics degree, with lots of dogs as pets. Most people make of fun of crazy cat ladies; well, I'd be a crazy dog guy, and I wouldn't talk to most people except those that may deliver me food.
My vacations would probably consist of routinely climbing Cui Hua Shan, the mountain on which I made friends with migrant workers who live there, villagers of the Chinese mountains that I discovered while nomadically traveling into the wilderness during spring break. I'd also help the mountaineers there, perhaps. They knew me by name, and I was cool with most of them.
I would build some things, draw lots of designs, build a library of journal entries.
...and then eventually die, without having done much to put myself out there into the world as a public figure.
With my wife and child however, I have a different purpose, a different motivation to do things, to make money with my ideas which requires becoming a public figure as part of the strategy to do so, which changes everything.
Mike openly declares what inventions he's working on to the public by listing them on this website for people to track; isn't he afraid of having his ideas stolen?
I'm fully aware of the legalities behind publicly releasing the concept of an invention; however, I paraphrase a quote by Guy Kawasaki, from his book The Art Of The Start: If you can’t talk about your idea, then you likely don’t have such a great idea to begin with. Many "inventors", who aren't actually worth their salt, fabricate excuses not to talk about their ideas and, as a result, they ultimately get nothing accomplished.
In contrast, I believe in leading from the front, by example. This also prevents me from being taken advantage of in the unorthodox way that people like Nikola Tesla were in the past, by people like Edison; if the public knows who the real inventor is from the start, then it's almost impossible for a sly businessman to claim credit for the things that I accomplish. I won't have to wait 100+ years after my death to be acknowledged for my contributions.
The downside is that, yes, it draws a lot of attention (not all of it positive), but the upsides counteract them if I have the psychological strength to deal with being mocked/made fun of, the dangers of being targeted for my ideas, and the ability to independently raise funding and lead the research, development, logistics, and marketing of my own projects.
I’m not revealing the design plans for my work; I’m not revealing the ins and outs of how I research and develop them; I’m merely stating a description of the abstract concept of what I’m working on, along with its status of development.
I could tell you that I’m inventing a new kind of virtual reality system (I'm not, but humor the hypothetical), but that doesn’t mean that you know how to actually design it yourself, and even if you did have the engineering and computer programming skills to, it doesn’t mean that your design would be the same as mine, which you have a right to, regardless. Unless someone rips my idea completely and directly (which is also my responsibility not to release the exact plans of how to do so to begin with), if someone makes a better innovation than I do from simply me talking about it, then that's my fault, not theirs.
That's the nature and beneficial beauty of competition for humanity. Bring on competition, I say; that leads to higher challenge, better products, and higher levels of technological evolution for humanity. And that's what really matters most.
If I can't hack it in the heat of the market, then that's something I need to take responsibility for, and thus step the fuck out of the kitchen, or work harder and smarter.
Stating publicly what I’m working on is a declaration of how serious I am, because the public, my audience, can hold me accountable for updates on its production.
The shame factor of not completing what I claim to be setting out to do is enough to motivate me to actually get it done, and in a timely fashion.
If someone were to steal a unique concept of mine, and do it better, then they deserve to have it, because most of my inventions aren’t exactly easy to make to begin with.
Ergo, I have little to no fear of people stealing my ideas. I know that people will try to, but that doesn’t mean that they can actually beat me in the market, even if they do.
That's real confidence in myself.
Besides, if I don't talk about what I'm working on publicly, it would be a lot harder to acquire funding to begin with, as well.
How is it possible that Mike teaches himself everything, especially a subject as hard as physics?
Well, first off, I don't know everything, and I've stated multiple times that I make plenty of mistakes all the time, which is why you'll never see me make fun of other people for making mistakes. You'll only see me clown people who try to clown others as they strive to learn.
Why does it sound so ridiculous to people when I say that I'm teaching myself physics? It's a subject like any other, one of the hardest, sure, but as long as you have a baseline for what is correct and what is not correct and look up answers after not cheating yourself in practicing how to solve stuff...yeah, it's quite possible.
I need help on the applied stuff, which is why I still need to go to a university to get guidance, but for the most part, it's not impossible to teach oneself virtually anything.
"Teaching myself" means I'm not just picking up the book and flying through it; that statement means exactly what it says: I'm teaching myself. For some books I can; for others, I can't.
Either way, it just requires the triumph over trial and error through willpower; that's about it, which is why I look at a person's personality, where their heart is, before I give a rat's worm-infested anal tract about superficialities like their GPA scores.
You have to think: the subject came from somewhere: scientists teaching themselves how to mathematically describe what they observed in nature or thought about nature.
That's all it basically is. No one taught Newton his laws; he just came up with them on his own and tested them into perfection.
Up to a certain point...
...Up. to. a. certain. point...
We psyche ourselves out of our true capabilities.
Of course you can teach yourself physics; you can teach yourself anything. Stop thinking you can't; that's where people truly fail themselves. Failure, making mistakes, these are all part of the process of learning. It's completely natural.
You completely stopped speaking in third-person for this FAQ page, don't you care anymore?
Nahhhhhh.....I......kinda stopped giving a fuck.
How is it possible that Mike's able to build three companies while still finding time for family?
Well, firstly, I don't "find" time for family; I make time for family. The businesses come after; family always comes first. Always.
Secondly, it's not as difficult for me as it would be most other people. It's ironic that in person, I seem pretty aloof, absent-minded, and I talk to myself...yet I can keep a lot of information in my head that pertains to stuff I truly care about, which, combined with good time-management and self-discipline, makes it completely possible.
Norton's Mind is a sole-proprietorship that I've engineered to automate itself with evergreen content. This means that the articles that I write, and the videos that I make, because of their nature, will be just as relevant when I first wrote them as they will likely be a year from now. Once I create content (such as a critique of Shakespeare's Macbeth), it attracts a certain demographic group of people based upon what they type in the search engines. They engage with the content based upon the tags of the article(s), and I get to them when I make the time to, accordingly. It's also automated by the money I invest into PPM and PPC advertising, which also brings in people (like yourself) without me even needing to be at my computer.
Apply the same concept with StrataGem Internet Marketing; that business requires me to be attentive with live consulting and remote work, but it's not as difficult for me as you might think. I designed what's called an automated e-mail funnel system that hooks people in and recommends them content that I've pre-written on the site without me actually having to do it manually.
The hardest part is really the brainstorming of and building the systems in the very beginning, based upon the analytical data that I track about the behavior and interests of my target audience. Figuring out how to design it is akin to solving a complex puzzle, but once it's actually solved...it's so simple.
Sure, the initial stage might force me to work over 100 hours per week during the first month or so of development, sure, but with enough grit and willpower, I suffer for a month to live freely with automated passive income for...pretty much ever. For as long as I want, while updating either site at my own pace, comfortably, afterwards.
For example, let's say I invest $5,000 in the first year into certain videos like this one (which you've probably seen on social media already):
...in a Facebook PPM campaign targeting people that don't already like my page, based on the psychographic information that I track them by, from the books they read, increasing the chances that they'll like the video. Then, let's say that I reach a few hundred thousand people that year with the $5,000 investment.
Then, let's say, according to the Pareto Principle, that ~20% of the several hundred thousand I reach ends up following me and buying at least one item on my website. If it only cost me about a dollar per conversion, while I have a 70% royalty on my book, or T-shirts, and what have you...then let's say I bring in a total revenue of ~$20,000 in passive income, which is an ROI of ~400%.
Then let's say I have a 30% reinvestment rate in another video I produce for the next marketing campaign to a different psychographic group of people from the last year's profits. That's a reinvestment of ~$6,000, which is a marketing budget growth rate of 20%, which pays for itself because it's automated.
And there you have it. That's what I was doing when I released the first three videos before the launch of the site, and what I meant by how I was "testing the market"; it was a triple a/b/c split test of psychologically testing the reactions of the audience, based upon how the choice of music, lighting, my hairstyle, facial expressions, vocal tones, vocabulary usage, etc. affected what reactions I got from the audience. This led me to determine the best video suitable for the automated marketing campaign for the first year. Next year, it'll be something different.
This absolutely frees time for family.
...and that's not even touching Google Adsense, the monetization of upcoming evergreen YouTube videos.
What makes it truly difficult is not maintaining the businesses themselves, but my own ambition that drives me to reach my own self-set goals.
So the answer to this question is: highly simplistic yet sophisticated automated business engineering, and the ability to keep a massive amount of information in my head with minimal effort, and for whatever else: I can easily connect the dots of whatever it is from its first principles.
This may sound arrogant, but it's just true: What's difficult for some people may not be as difficult for others.
For instance, I type anywhere between 118 to 140 words per minute, depending upon how tired I am, whether or not I have a clear focus on what I want to write about, and whether or not I truly want to write it. This means that it only takes me an average of 4 to 5 minutes to write a basic college-worthy essay, plus maybe 30 minutes for research time, which you'll see on this website. With an error-rate of less than 20%, I don't even need to proofread my work that much.
While that may sound impressive to some, though, what can kill me is how those stats can sometimes make me overconfident, which leads to procrastination, which can lead to self-defeat when I'm tasked with timed projects.
Those stats also change when I'm forced to work on a project that isn't of my own ambition's, and I'm only extrinsically motivated to work, rather than intrinsically. If I'm doing work for other people in subjects that I'm not already proficient in, then it may take me anywhere between 4 to 6 hours to write an article instead.
In reference to your social media accounts, why do you post about video-games and anime? Isn't this supposed to be an educational page?
Of course, it is! But I'm also a human being too, you know. You must be one of those people who still thinks the teacher lives at school. This is not your typical educational page; I post articles I write of Shakespeare, logic, science, etc. north of five times per week. The rest is play time. Play time is actually -key- to developing imagination and autonomous thinking. Just ask Finland. Their kids play in their school system more than just about any in the world, yet they're ranked as the best on the planet. Why could that be?
Mike, you're such a rude asshole! You contradicted something I was saying on your page and now you made me feel stupid and I want to leave! What do you have to say for yourself!?
Don't. It happens to me too, all the time. Watch this video.
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