A sobering word about the times we’re living in right now

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Regardless of which political or social viewpoints you identify with, I think we can all agree that there’s an unprecedented level of insanity in the world right now.

Washington DC… pandemics… riots…

“…but wait, there’s more!”

It’s fair to say few of us have ever lived in such a vortex of uncertainty.

But let’s put this in perspective – – – >

Chris Hurn sent me a book, The Bonanza King, which is a biography of John Mackay, the Irish immigrant who made more money in the Gold Rush of the 1850s and 60s than anyone else alive.

Mackay’s story is interesting… but not nearly as interesting as all the chaos that was swirling around at that time:

  • The Irish potato famine was killing six million people and desperate immigrants were FLOODING the ghettos of New York and Boston on a daily basis.
  • Overt, bitter racial and ethnic prejudice was the norm
  • Massive rates of unemployment
  • There was an outbreak of {cholera – typhoid – ________ – enter your scourge of choice} somewhere in every major city literally every week, with festering mud puddles and sewage in the streets
  • The U.S. Civil War was brewing, then underway, with thousands of soldiers being cut down by their own countrymen
  • The transatlantic cable with morse codes transmissions from Europe was set up, worked for 9 days, then suddenly and inexplicably failed – then didn’t work anymore for years
  • Low-wage workers were swinging sledge hammers to build a transcontinental railroad
  • In the absence of a railroad, it took weeks and even months for news from the East Coast to reach the West Coast
  • The mining towns of California and Nevada were lawless dens of chaos
  • Civic life was mob rule, and extremely common for miners who stole gold or violated others’ property rights to be instantly hung from nooses without a trial
  • Prostitution, alcoholism and organized crime were rampant
  • Native Americans were being driven off their land from coast to coast (and weren’t too happy about it)
  • Most people don’t know the California gold rush generated the money the North needed to win the Civil War
  • The completion of the railroad massively disrupted local economies – in both good and bad ways
  • Immigrants and fortune seekers often had to sail around the bottom of South America to get to California, a trip that took months
  • Many, MANY mining accidents, fires, cave-ins and deaths
  • Gold seekers sometimes made glorious amounts of money, only to be bankrupt within days or weeks
  • A “Pineapple Express” tropical storm from Hawaii = “Category 6” storm that only happens once every 200 years, struck the coast of California in 1862, washing out entire VALLEYS (not just towns) in one fell swoop. The new governor was sworn in on a raft.

So… we’re sweating Day 304 of a global pandemic and you can only talk to your kids on Zoom (in 2560×1440 resolution with noise cancelling headphones) and the only restaurant food for the last 2 months has been takeout.

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And the US presidency is a freaking circus…

I contend it’s still better than waking up to megaphones, sirens and flashing lights and raucous banging on your front door at 3:34am in Stalingrad, then the Secret Police give you three minutes to pack and say goodbye to your family before they ship you to a gulag in Irkutsk.

It’s also better than “Born in the USA” in 1862.

“OK Perry,” you say. “Appreciate the historical perspective. I solemnly promise to bitch a little less this week. But what am I supposed to DO?”

Let’s start with what you should NOT do.

I would greatly discourage you from spending any time trying to figure out which one of the 578 available political narratives you’re going to glom on to, then use as a cudgel for smacking everyone else on the head.

In fact a much better idea – which a whole bunch of my Roundtable members are doing – is a SOCIAL MEDIA FAST where the only social media you participate is positive, business or spiritually focused constructive activities.

With NO politics and no bitterness, anger and vitriol.

AND, above all:

STAY

IN

YOUR

LANE.

Period.

Innovate your company. Serve your customers. Fix your broken systems. Better yourself.

Get educated.

Solve problems.

Invent new things.

This is what I’m doing.

Two days ago I just submitted my first scientific paper to a peer reviewed journal. It took 7 months and probably 2-3 hours of work per day.

In the last month I’ve onboarded a C-level person in my company, started a nonprofit corporation and initiated a new foray into cancer research.

My 20 year old came down with COVID last week and since I have 20+ Roundtable members coming to Florida next week, I’m quarantining in an AirBNB 2 miles from home to make sure I’m safe for everyone.

I am VERY VERY VERY focused.

And I am NOT watching CNN. At all.

People who behave as I am behaving… will literally own the world in about five years.

People who have their head stuffed in the current political drama may not own ANYTHING in five years.

Once again.

STAY IN YOUR LANE.

Over and out.

Perry Marshall

Photo by Justin Lawrence on Unsplash

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23 Comments on “A sobering word about the times we’re living in right now”

  1. This is actually bad advice. It is strange to see so many people welcoming such advice, but it is bad, bordering on dangerous.

    To disregard political, environmental, social or technological factors and their impact is about as stupid as building a castle on the top of what is perhaps quicksand. Sure, your audience may comprise mostly of one-man e-shops with tiny revenue streams that may have jumped up since the lockdowns began, but the entire world right now is ravaged by business closures that the business leaders and owners could have done nothing about, and have no answer to.

    I have been forced to shut down five restaurants that brought in over $11 million in revenues in 2019. But hey… it’s not so bad because I am not yet being put on a train and sent to a gas chamber. Right?

    Horrible.

  2. All this is true, the historical perspective is great, but dismissing the interest for politics as a whole as nonsense is a mistake. A healthy and stable institutional framework, with laws, regulations, functioning courts and protocols for decision making in the public sphere is what allows entrepreneurs like yourself to do what you do. Politics is a messy, dirty business, as it has always been, and the way new media leads to ever more polarized positions doesn’t improve the situation. But there’s no better way, to date, for society to do the choices it has to do. And, as you say, it’s much better to have what you have in America than to have KGB knocking at your door. The antistate, politicians-demonizing mindset of so many American entrepreneurs is unfair and contrary to their own interest.

    1. If people are going to get involved in making the political system better, I AM ALL FOR IT.

      But that is not 99% of people, and being zoned out from watching CNN and obsessing about things you have no part in controlling does not solve anything whatsoever.

  3. Thanks for reminding me of what I know and reaffirming the small steps I’m taking in the right direction.

  4. Hi Perry,
    I love your idea “TO STAY IN YOUR LANE”, and I have never spent any time on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
    I only use selected non-mainstream websites and Podcast channels, as well as a WhatsApp group of informed friends to get updated about what is happening in the world.
    Though, I am not fully convinced that I should totally disconnect from these health & political news, given the fact that I believe that we are loosing various degrees of our fundamental freedoms (freedom of speech, freedom of demonstration, restriction of movement and business opening with lockdowns, freedom of political & religious opinions, data confidentiality…) in the main European countries and in the USA, and that I need to be concious of what is going on, in order to be able to protect myself and my family but also to modestly contribute to the fight against this loss of degrees of freedom by spreading the word to people who aren’t aware of it, who don’t want to see what is happening or who submissively accept these reductions of degrees of freedom.
    You said a few months ago in another email that one should be worried and spend time only on what one can control. Obviously, in the short term, I can’t control what is happening. Though, in the medium and long-term, I believe that if many people become “activists”, they can slowly influence what is happening in the world and change our destiny.
    I don’t want to drag you into a political discussion, but any further input and thoughts about this dilemma would be very welcome.
    Keep it up and thanks from th great work.

  5. that’s a great message perry! I do want to focus on working on our website but I was having problems with google ads. Do you know why Google wouldn’t ever display conversion data on my account? No matter what I did I couldn’t ever get an idea of where my conversions were coming from..sale after sale the conversions bar just read a big fat 0…0…0….0… what gives?

  6. Perry, thanks for the perspective. I pray your son gets well soon, and you, family and clients remain healthy and safe.

    Staying in my lane…

  7. I agree with what you say to stay focused and let the fires burn cause I can’t do much about it. I just bought up a small company that I’ll be concentrating on to bring it back to life. Now’s the time to build.

  8. I love reading your messages Perry
    Your insight and advice l find to be uplifting and sometimes inspiring
    After 32 years in medical/ health care practice the need to focus and not be distracted is vital
    Your email today is so appropriate for our times
    All the very best to you and your family
    From down under Melbourne Australia
    Cheers
    Warren

  9. What a summary of our ‘current World!’ The 1850s and 1860s California times were incredibly instructive. Thanks Perry for keeping my head on straight and pointed in a constructive direction. Ten out of ten, mate. GD.

  10. This is an excellent article. This is Mark Hugo for Minneapolis. I’ve been promoting your book I’ve been recommending your Concepts and ideas. This article however is generic thank you for the perspective. This needs to go viral.

  11. Well said, Perry! I couldn’t agree more — especially about not “gloming” onto any particular political narrative, and staying in your own lane. I would add, stay in a transcendent state while engaged in expressing one’s purpose, dharma, in new ways appropriate to a Quantum/Aquarian/Digital and that elevate the mind field of humanity. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  12. Thank you, Perry, for your bit of sanity today. I receive hundreds of emails each day and usually “triage” the list emails. Thankfully your subject line caught me and the time taken to read your message was a much-appreciated break. I’ll pay a little closer attention to Perry Marshall in the inbox going forward.

    P.S. I’m a book publisher. I appreciate how you and Robert Skrob put together Detox, Declutter, Dominate. If the world takes a hint, we’ll probably see a lot more books of this trim size, layout, creativity, and simplicity in the future (looking for an opportunity to produce something similar in design ourselves soon). Kudos brother, keep it up.

  13. Yes! The perspective and the opportunity to arbitrage our energies (relative to everyone else) is exactly what we Planet Perry peeps should be doing. Now, more than ever is a time for Renaissance.

  14. Online, at an eCommerce Summit, I “met” someone who’s going to be important in my life; as yet, I’m not absolutely sure how, but I know he’s a good person who will have a positive influence on me. Perry, you too are a good person and I constantly got referred back to you as I listened at the Summit. Stay safe and well.

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