System of Success (S.O.S.) Exercise
This is Scot Anderson’s Dice Game of Probability.
For this exercise, you will need two dice. There are over
two million millionaires in America today. Over one million
of those millionaires started out with less than one
thousand dollars. One million of the self-made millionaires
failed more than ten times in businesses. When they
did finally start the right business, the average rate of their
return was a hundred times. That’s average. Some people
made fifty times their investment. Some people made 200
times. Some made 500 times. The average rate of their return
What I want you to do is pick a number between 2
and 12. Write that below beside the word “business.” Every
turn, you will pick a number. You will do a little math here
to keep track. Every number you pick represents a business
that you start. You will start off with a thousand dollars. I
don’t care who you are. If you put your mind to it, you can
come up with a thousand dollars to start a business.
In the investment column, write how much you are
going to invest. I have to let you know that there is a huge
chance you will fail. The odds are greatly against you. You
can, if you want, just hold onto your $1,000 and not risk
losing it. What you are going to do is roll both dice. If you
do not roll your business, as you probably won’t, you lose
that $1,000. Each roll represents three months, so every
three months, you can get a new $1,000. If you happen to
hit on your business, you get 100 times the amount you
invested. Now, go to the next line and write in your new
investment. Once again, you risk as much as you have. If
you have zero, don’t forget to get your new $1,000. But if
you have $10,000, you can risk it all or part of it. See how
long it takes you to become a millionaire.
Business (your #):
Number You Rolled:
Made or Lost:
Your New Total:
Here is an example of one of my rounds in this game.
It is not my best. In fact, it is closer to my worst. Realize
that I have never not become a millionaire in this game.
First of all, I picked the number 7. Why? Seven has the best
odds of coming up. Just like in business, you can start any
business you want, but there are better businesses to start
than others. There are businesses with better odds. Starting
your own restaurant, you have a nine out of ten chance of
failure. If you start a franchise restaurant, you have only a
fi ve out of ten chance of failure. The odds are better.
Forget that garbage about starting a business you
love. Those business fail more than any others. You know
what I love? Making money. Start a business that makes
money. Once you have lots of money, start a business you
love. I risked all $1,000. It’s like starting perhaps an eBay
business, something cheap, inexpensive, with little start up
cost. My first roll is a 6. I lost my money.
For the next three months, I reinvest another $1,000.
Once again, I rolled a 6. I did this eight turns in a row. I
rolled a number of 9s, a number of 4s. Do I quit, give up?
I have invested all I have for three years. “Let’s just stop.
This will never work.”
No risk, no reward. Finally, nine rolls and $9,000
later, a 7 comes up. That was nearly 3 years. But I hit
$100,000. I am going to now risk $10,000. I don’t think it is
wise to put all my eggs in one basket. So my next business
venture might be writing a book. This might cost around
$10,000. Maybe I will buy some property with $10,000
down. This time it only took three rolls to hit a 7. I am now
Now let’s invest $100,000. Let’s start that dream
restaurant. Six rolls later, I now have $10,000,000. It took
me less than five years. It took some big risks. It took me
sticking in there for nearly three years, failure after failure.
Do you see how the principles work with the law of probability?
The whole purpose of that exercise is for you to
be able to picture the process. You start a business and in
ninety days, it’s not working? Either tweak it or scratch it
and start another. It still didn’t work? Do another. Finally,
your business hits. Now do something bigger.