Jeff Lerner says the ultimate goal is to be happy, to live a life of purpose, passion, fulfillment, progress. In fact, the more you close the gap between where you are and where you wanna be, the happier you’ll feel. “Progress toward our legacy is actually happiness,” he explains. “So I built this framework to make that happen for myself, and it’s what we teach our students inside Entre Institute.” All right Jeff, let’s hear it. What’s this magical happiness slash wealth formula?
It starts with the ground. If you wanna get up to the clouds of happiness that most people never achieve, you have to start from the ground you’re on. And that’s your environment. Family, surroundings, culture, location, et cetera. Your environment generally tries to keep you on the ground. “Get your head outta the clouds,” right? “Don’t dream so big.” But Jeff believes all of us can be happy and successful and really have it all. You might need to change your environment though.
Then you need a lever to hoist you up the three rungs of the legacy ladder: from income to growth to wealth. That lever? Is knowledge. But not just tactical knowledge, like the stuff they teach you in grade school; you need to acquire strategic knowledge and then apply action to that lever. And then the fulcrum, if you will, is our habits. Entre teaches three types of habits: personal, physical, professional; and how to organize them, track them, set KPIs, and optimize ’em going forward.
“At a high level, we stack our habits in order of self-interest or self-care,” Jeff says. “We start with physical, because if you can’t take care of one, you can’t take care of multiple, and you certainly can’t take care of many. Personal, then, is how you take care of a few. Your family, your close friends. And then professional is how you take care of the world, your customers, your audience. How do you deliver value out there that can be traded transactionally for income?”
The load-bearing elements for this big ol’ teeter-totter that’s gonna launch us up to rich and happy and fulfilled, then, are a) environment and b) habits. If you have family telling you to lower your expectations and quit wasting your time and why can’t you just be content with what you have? Or friends who clown on your new side hustle? You need to get away from that negativity. And if you’re struggling to get up in the morning or do what needs done? Then you gotta build better habits, right?
“A lot of times we have everything we need if we just do the work on our environment and our habits,” Jeff says, “to create the sturdiness that can allow us to operationalize the leverage and the opportunities that we have over time, long enough and consistently enough to actually get the result. But what determines how much leverage we actually have? One is the length of the lever itself. How much knowledge do you have? And also the placement of the fulcrum. Your resources: capital, tools, network.”
“If you’re not moving clearly and quickly in the direction of your passion, fulfillment, purpose, drive, legacy, and ultimately, happiness? Then what’s missing? At Entre we go into much greater detail, but that’s basically the mile-high overview,” Jeff says. Man, every time I watch a Jeff Lerner video, I can’t help but go, “This guy is the king of taking simple things and making them sound complex.” Sixteen minutes of word salad when he could’ve just said, “Hang around people who lift you up, take care of yourself, learn valuable skills, and work hard and consistent.”