Profits are Made on the Buy, not the Sell

During one of the speeches at The 21 Convention 2011 of Orlando Florida, one of the speakers said something pretty extraordinary. He said that — in regards to all areas of life, not just wealth, but even things like intimate relationships, friendships, etc — profits are made on the buy, not the sell.

I thought this was pretty profound, so I started thinking about it on an almost daily basis. In a distant sense, implementing it. The literal, physical results have been pretty profound, and strongly encouraging for continued use. I mean this across the board to.

So what’s the deal? Is it some magical thought process?

Of course not, it’s a reflection of reality, one very supporting of a strong self-esteem, in the sense that it aids you in accurately valuing your-self. Specifically your time, your money, your effort, your mental energy, your emotional energy, the products of your work, etc. It really gets you focused on where you are spending yourself. And it begs the question on every “transaction”: is this a wise choice for my value?

Is this what I am worth in a given scenario, or am I worth more, or less? What do I deserve based on the competence and execution of my (fill in the blank)?


Some real life examples of how this has looked for me include the following,

New Laptop

Unfortunately I made the wrong choice last year in purchasing a Dell. The computer was simply not meant to handle what I needed it to do. It was riddled with hardware problems, and I completely lost trust in it to last me even another year. I seriously considered going to a Mac, but quickly realized I would be paying out the nose for dramatically inferior hardware. And for what, to be able to edit video in Final Cut? No thanks.

Over the course of a few week I then spent maybe 2-3 hours total scanning around for a laptop that would meet my needs, and was not a Dell. I then realized that tinkering around periodically was a big waste of time, so one morning I woke up and was determined to buy a new laptop, come hell or high water. It took just under 3 hours (straight), but in the end I was confident in my decision after staying glued to my then current laptop without moving an inch. I spent a total of $1,300. For that I got a smoking awesome laptop, from a company that served me flawlessly for 4.5 years, HP. I also got a free Xbox 360 with my laptop, which I sold on Craigslist in under 2 hours, cash in hand, for $175.

Dropping my new laptop price to about $1,125.

Moral of the story, those solid 3 hours were worth 10+ fragmented ones. I invested my time, and focused thought into what I judged an extremely important investment. In fact there is no greater investment I can make work wise. My laptop is by leaps and bounds, my core tool for doing anything and everything. And it needs to be fast, and work without meaningful risk of failure. (My previous laptop had serious issues only days before the London convention, which was a real wake up call that I need to be able to count on my equipment to work when I need it most).

In regards to the fiat money invested in the laptop, while I made out awesome on the laptop price, it is still a serious investment for me, even if my old laptop sells for a decent price. The same concept applies though, and the dollars invested in this new computer will in large part, produce the next $xx,000 (by my hand and the speed at which the computer can respond without fucking up, overheating and crashing).

New Gun

I bought a new gun, after selling my old one on ArmsList. The story is almost the exact same. I realized I could no longer rationally trust my old gun. Lifetime warranty or not, the thing had to many damn problems, and was unreliable at best. Considering that I carry this gun on a daily basis for the defense of my life, I realized I needed a new one. Quickly realized dabbling around was a waste of time, and subsequently, spent about 2 hours straight picking out a new gun online, watching reviews, searching for potential problems, pros, cons, etc.

Took about 2 hours to make my decision, and another 20 minutes to shop around for the best deal on it (ultimately realizing that the local gun store was essentially the best deal for the money and time required). The minute I held the gun in my hands — it being the original gun that my previous gun was “modeled” after as an “improvement” — I knew immediately that I had made the right choice. This was then confirmed by putting 200 rounds through it, and realizing what a joy it was to conceal carry.

In short, this new gun is a better gun, for a small investment in money, that comes with a lifetime warranty, that I strongly suspect I won’t be needing very much or very often, if at all. It’s a gun I can trust to go BOOM when I need it to.

What a concept for a firearm eh?

New Girlfriend

Outwardly, this is amusing to me for a number of reasons. For one, there have been a number of comments on this blog damning me for my contrarian thoughts on male/female relationships. Me being arrogant, selfish, narcissistic, self-centered, and so on, and especially in this arena of life, come to mind. The irony is that these comments were made in the midst of meeting and now dating my first girlfriend, who, to a stunning degree, holds the same values as I do and have expressed on this blog.

For two, some have criticized me for just now starting my first relationship, in regards to The 21 Convention, as if this makes me a charlatan of sorts. The reality is, the only thing I have ever really claimed in regards to finding speakers for The 21 Convention is that I have a very keen and highly developed “eye” for finding (although I am not perfect) men of reason — men of the mind. What field they study and what subject they want to speak on, is typically of little relevance to this. My interest lies in their commitment to reality first, and secondly, in their ability (as I saw it once put, the gold standard of ethics) to consistently discover the subsequent facts of reality.

Whether they want to talk about economics, philosophy, intimate/long term relationships, paleo diets, high intensity exercise, or plain old pickin up chicks — I welcome it, because valid information across the entire spectrum of human knowledge stems from the same place: man’s mind and it’s ability to accurately perceive reality.

In light of this, and that the criticism is ridiculous, it’s also contradictory given my history. I came from a place of complete lack. At 17, I had no idea how to hold a conversation, let alone start a new one with a girl I found attractive. That was terrifying, to say the least. It then took me a few years to derive valid information from a corrupt PUA community, and a boat load of personal experience (read: lots of failures, few successes), and integrate it into my self. Once I had that figured out, it became a matter of figuring out what the hell I want in a girlfriend (on the premise that a committed relationship was at the very least, worth experiencing), being patient, and finding that.

Well, in light of the things I write on this blog, it should be obvious that I am pretty exact in what I want to buy, and subsequently, that this would and should take a while. Well, duh, it did. And to say that my first girlfriend is pretty awesome, is an understatement.

In conclusion, so far as I am concerned, which is the only concern I care about in this matter, I took the most rational course of action possible for starting my first relationship. I acted on the best of my judgement every step of the way, and won. I did not “compromise” and date some girl that did not meet my standards “for practice”, I was patient, and found one that met all of them, and exceeded most of them. I have had the same attitude for casual/short term relationships my entire life: no compromise.

Compromising in this arena of life, I think, and as I’ve stated before, is an exercise in self-hatred. Sex is to intimate an experience for it not to be, no matter if it’s a one night stand, fuck buddy, open, or exclusive relationship. The standards will and should change between the experiences and the parts involved, but not the fact that you should have concrete standards, and to not have them results in damaging experiences all around.

— Anthony Dream Johnson

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

5 Responses to Profits are Made on the Buy, not the Sell

  1. sanjay (uk) September 14, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Yet another great article APJ. And the concept that profit is made on the buy not the sale is very important

  2. Will September 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Hey Dream,

    I grasp the general obvious meaning of this, but after reading this post, the greater significance of this concept “profits are made on the buy, not the sell” still does not make sense to me, especially in terms of valuing your self, time, money, etc.

    Can you elaborate on the meaning of that phrase because I would really like to understand it.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson September 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

      In its simplest form, I interpret it to mean a shift in focus from output to input. IE, a solid laptop (an investment) is going to underscore every single little thing I do this year, and the next.

      A reliable handgun is going to underscore, at the very least, my level of confidence in my ability to defend myself and my loved ones while carrying subject firearm. The extra $140 I had to spend on this investment vs my old gun is an investment, but an investment well worth it. More so than say another $140 worth of ammo pumped through my old handgun in the hopes of becoming more accurate (with a handgun I did not trust).

      My girlfriend, in say, a work related/investment sense, is going to underscore much, if not everything I do while in a relationship with her, because she affects my available mental attention, emotions, ability to concentrate (for better or worse), general enthusiasm, etc. She is the input, my work, in this specific context, is the output.

      Profits are made primarily on the input, not the output.

      Making sense?

  3. Will September 15, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    With the words input and output I understand it a lot more.

    You must strive to operate at the highest level and that means making sure your structures in place that create x output are the best and highest possible for you.

    In terms of buy and sell, would it make sense to say that those words were used in being all about you(the individual), not in regards to someone else buying. So profits must ultimately derive from the buy and be based on what you are investing and if you do not buy for yourself(self-development as well as actual acquiring) then you will not really be able to sell to your best potential.

    How does that seem in relation to how you interpreted it Dream?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson September 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      That’s exactly what I said, stated more more eloquently. Cheers. I feel my own understanding of what the hell I was saying has just increased.

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