Christian J Smith, professionally known as “Mr. Frost” has something to say to all the young aspiring hustlers out there today. He calls it “Monk Mode”, and it is a lifestyle and solution to a problem in people’s lives that they often aren’t aware of. In a Q and A with Christian J Smith, trader, and entrepreneur, he will offer a unique perspective on why “Monk Mode” is the key to being rich. This is part 1 of 2 for the Monk Mode 2020 Q and A with Mr. Frost.
Medina: This is a very dense topic, by all means, Mr. Frost go ahead and set the tone so everyone can gain a better understanding of what Monk Mode is.
Frost: The biggest problem today is staying focused in an increasingly distracting world. People are often trying to focus through a myriad of distractions in their life, instead of eliminating them. True focus comes from having nothing other than what contributes to the task at hand around you or in your line of view. Imagine yourself locked away in a room somewhere; nobody has access to you, and there is nothing else in the room with you other than what is strictly needed to get the work done. Think of the early days of some of the biggest and wealthiest companies today, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. Think of some of the most prolific writers, artists, and creators we know today. There is a common theme amongst the greatest of our time, and it all goes back to Monk Mode.
Medina: What were the founders of these companies doing in the early days that amassed them massive success? What separated these creators from everyone else?
Frost: They were in their dorm rooms, “in the lab” building something big for hours on end every single day without distraction; Monk Mode. I shall mention some examples of people you may be familiar with, but never realized used “Monk Mode” as a means of being productive, creating results, and achieving great success. For example, Mark Twain wrote much of the adventures of Tom Sawyer in a shed of the quarry farm in New York one summer. His workplace in the shed was so isolated from the main house that his family had to blow a horn to attract his attention for meals. Another example is Woody Allen a popular screenwriter, who within the span of 44 years, wrote 44 films, that received 23 academy award nominations. What was the cause of this insane productivity from Woody Allen? During this period Allen didn’t own a computer. He completed all of his creative work free from electronic distraction on a manual typewriter. Think of J.K Rowling, the writer who was absent from social media during the creation of her notoriously famous Harry Potter novels. Her staff took to eventually creating a twitter account for her, however, she only posted one public tweet during the first year back in September of 2019. J.K Rowling’s tweet read, “This is the real me, but you won’t be hearing from me often I’m afraid, as pen and paper are my priority at the moment.” J.K Rowling is the first person to become a billionaire by writing books. One of my favorite examples is Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft who famously conducts “Think Weeks” twice a year. He would isolate himself often in a lakeside cottage to do nothing but read books and “think big thoughts”. He is one of my favorites, as he is the first person I ever read about that began cultivating the “Monk Mode” lifestyle and mindset within me. It was during his Think Week of 1995 that Gates produced his famous “Internet Tidal Wave” Memo, that reshaped the direction of Microsoft, and thus playing a big role on the internet as we know it today. Ever heard of Kobe Bryant is in the gym hours before his games started getting thousands of shots in, with no one else in the gym but him? See, lots of us often hear things like this, but we let it go over our heads instead of applying this same frame of mind to our own lives. Luck may certainly play a part in any success, but if you look deeper there is a common trend amongst many of the greatest in the world we know today. Long periods of interrupted time with nothing but focus on the task at hand, developing and perfecting your craft, your product, your business, and your life; that is the key.
Medina: Do you believe that complete isolation, whether it be temporarily or permanently, plays a big role in seeing success in life?
Frost: It’s no coincidence that you may hear stories of people that went to prison, and all of a sudden they are reading books, writing books, they are painting, and suddenly start working out and get into better shape. While there is a lot of bad that may happen within the prison system, I want to focus on this same concept. Why do these people in prison often start doing things that they normally wouldn’t, especially in regards to creative works of art? Well, ask yourself something. For one, what is really there in prison to distract these people? Also, what kind of environment are these people in? Some may say locked up in a cage, but I actually see that as a benefit. See these people are the true epitome of being disconnected from society, social media, and all other distractions, and they are left alone to be with their own thoughts. Thus they can think more clearly, focus better, and are more inclined to actually produce quality work, and see true change in their life. My main focus here is to provide you with perspective. Maybe we should all lock ourselves away in a “cage” once in a while, disconnected from every one, with nothing but a typewriter and a rule that we can’t leave until we get our work done. I for one can attest to some of my greatest work coming from these long periods of uninterrupted time. Going “Monk Mode” for 3 months at a time, during these periods I saw my most profitable months ever when it comes to trading, and it happened every single time I went into Monk Mode. Suddenly I was reading 2-3 books a week for my own pleasure. During one of these phases I typed up hundreds of pages worth of creative material, and then after recorded over 50 hours of video content in the span of only three days, and honestly, it was easy to do because I was focused and “in the zone”. I had no other “outlet” that could possibly shift my focus, and thus my mind went to work, and I created work in-depth, work that truly went “deep”. Being able to do this can be seen as a superpower today because while everyone else is distracted, thus creating shallow work, you will be one of the few that truly creates something that stands out, you will simply stand out as a person. You will be one of the greatest at what you do because you are putting a full 100 points into what matters, while everyone else is splitting their focus.
Medina: What are some problems today with social media, if any, that makes Monk Mode necessary?
Frost: In the age of the internet and especially social media, there is little “deep work” that is being done. Here is a quote from the book “Deep Work” By Cal Newport that I believe definitely sets the tone: “Deep work. Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skills, and are hard to replicate. Deep work is necessary to wring every last drop of value out of your current intellectual capacity.” We live in a time where instead of actually doing the work, people would rather post on social media about doing the work to give off the ”perception” of them working hard, when in fact they are not. People are more concerned with being popular and getting famous, instead of actually getting results. There is less of being present in the moment, and more of trying to capture it, not realizing that often results in us missing out on truly experiencing the moment. We live in an age where hardly anymore are their people that set aside long periods of uninterrupted time to focus on one single task at hand without distraction, when in fact it’s only when people enter into this “Monk Mode” that truly creative, unique, work that has depth is created. The BS idea of “multi-tasking” has slowly been drilled into our heads as a productive thing to do when it’s the furthest thing from that. All it does is disrupt our focus from the task at hand, and it prevents us from creating something that truly goes deep. Constantly shifting our focus from one thing to the other prevents us from performing at our full intellectual capacity. Studies show that every time we stop what we are working on to do something else, it takes around 25 minutes to refocus – “task residue” from our previous work makes it impossible for us to properly concentrate on the current task at hand. Then there are the people who complain about wanting more out of their life, but when they get home from work they turn on the TV for entertainment and waste their time, doing nothing to elevate themselves out of their situation. The only difference between a dream and reality is action.
Frost: We’ve all seen it, people working on a project or doing homework, and here they are and constantly checking their phone for social notifications. A phone call and email here, a status update there, a “Netflix and chill” here, all distractions keeping them from focusing on the task at hand. Work that gets done during periods of distraction tends not to create new value in the world, does not go very deep/in-depth, and are easy to replicate. I’m certainly guilty of this and was trapped within poor habits for a very long time until in recent years I’ve worked on better optimizing my brain for performance. I realized there was no way I was going to get to the next level of my life by working like how I was before, I needed to change. I also needed to change the people I was around. I learned that I actually work best when I am not around people at all, I hate small talk for one, and secondly, I am an introvert. I love being alone and doing my own thing. I also truly value things that are complicated and get me thinking. I am not that great at speaking off the top of my head, but I create great work when I type or write my thoughts onto paper, it’s just how my brain works, and also why this article on Monk Mode is even possible. Introversion I find is a common theme amongst some of the greatest intellectuals of our time, inventors, writers, Ceo’s, etc, just research them.
Frost: I learned that I needed to detach myself and make myself harder to reach so that people could not uninvitingly come into my life to distract me, whether it be online or in person. When you are a person of value, people often want your time. They want to interview you or simply hang out with you to “pick your brain”. You must remember what truly moves the needle forward in your life, and if an activity does not align with you, or contribute to the bigger picture, then you must get comfortable with saying “no” to many things, and people. People can be energy drainers. People will often fight for your attention the more you distance yourself, and will try to shift your focus from your work to them and what suits them best if you aren’t careful. Like a few of the examples I provided earlier, some of the greatest of our time could not even be reached during the periods of peak productivity and creative work creation in their lives, if at all. They adopted a monk mode lifestyle that optimized them for results.
Medina: Do you believe Social Media has any negative impacts on the new generation, and if so, how can people start overcoming them?
Frost: We live in an era where our minds are constantly so stimulated by our electronics and the platforms they provide that we’ve become uncomfortable with being bored and simply being with our own thoughts. People go out to eat and hang out with their friends, and instead of speaking with each other, everyone is looking down at their phones. Remember the good ole days where kids used to go outside and play to enjoy nature and make friends, and nowadays we just shove an iPad in their faces to keep them quiet? Things have changed for sure.
Frost: Only a small percentage of people are actually using social media today to level up their life and produce results. Everyone else is just a consumer and uses it for entertainment, and to watch other people’s lives instead of working on their own. It is crucial to prioritize your life in that you only “entertain” what truly moves the needle forward in your life. This is of course if you actually want to become abundantly wealthy, healthy, successful and not just another mediocre individual following the status quo, unable to think outside of the prescribed consensus that “society” provides. Remember that the single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. So be very careful about the influences you let mold your mind.
Frost: Start by taking by turning off your phone and call notifications, and be more present in the world around you. Take other people out of the equation and ask yourself, “Who am I?” And what do I want to do?” That’s the beginning, it opens up the conversation for change in your life, and what you choose to do from there shapes the rest of your story.
Frost: A good book to read is “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. In this book, he mentions creating and having a success list. Essentially this includes no more than four tasks to you focus on at the start of each day that plays a crucial role in “moving the needle forward” in your life. You can’t do anything else until those four tasks are done, no matter what. Are you beginning to grasp the perspective? It is having this level of discipline that ups your productivity because you are not only working when you feel “motivated”, but you have a clear process at hand that can sustain and furthermore rinses, wash, and repeats results day in and day out. No results? What are you out partying for? Get back to work.
Medina: Is Monk Mode similar to a 30-day challenge or 90-day blitz?
Frost: No, this isn’t some “30-day challenge”, and here’s what I mean. Of course, you can start out that way, but Monk Mode is a lifestyle. Once you begin looking at Monk Mode as a lifestyle and not just a temporary state you enter into, you will automatically begin training your mind to focus on producing long term results. The biggest obstacle is removing all “outlets” that offer you the chance to get distracted and fall back into negative thought patterns and behaviors that do not contribute to the bigger picture. By doing a “30-day challenge”, already what you are telling your brain is that you aren’t looking to truly change, because after 30 days you are ready to slip right back into the life you were living before. You want to eliminate the possibility of that even happening.
This is a commitment, you have to be in this for the long haul. Believe me, the past few years I’ve definitely had my fair share of being a social media influencer, on every platform “posting” all day long, wasting time going to parties, and being all in the mix. However, I’ve also had my fair share of alone time and focus towards developing my skills as a trader making lots of money, working on my body, and on my brain. I regret nothing, as having been a “part of both worlds” sort of speak, it has offered me perspective on the things in my life that I need to focus more on, and what I need to eliminate. I’ve learned what aligns with my purpose, and my goals, and what makes me happy. I’ve learned that I need to be careful of the company that I keep, as the wrong people around me can and will negatively influence my behavior. I cut off many people in my life for this very reason. Remember, don’t try to focus through distractions, eliminate them. Monk Mode is about optimizing your life to produce results. Getting results should never be a temporary goal for a person, it’s a lifelong commitment. We must always be growing. It’s why in 2020 and beyond going completely Monk Mode will be a long term priority for me because I am looking for true change and growth in my life.
Do you get what I mean?
Medina: Yes, that definitely makes sense.
Medina: How is it relevant? Why is Monk Mode the key to being rich?
Frost: Here is a video I made that helps cover build upon this perspective I am about to share: “Click Here”
The new opportunity today is learning how to be special in the new marketplace. I believe the online business collapse is already happening, a bubble is beginning to burst. So obviously today we are experiencing the booming internet, the digital age. It is so simple for people to pick up a phone, get an internet connection, and start making money online. However, because it is so easy is what’s dangerous. There are a lot of people becoming “successful” by literally doing nothing, we see it all over social media today. People are not building actual skillsets and an actual business, and in most cases, they are selling “air” in regards to the value they provide yet it’s still easy for them to make money. These are the same people we spoke about earlier, who don’t go deep/in-depth with the work they do, and thus they don’t have anything that truly stands out and is unique. However, when the economy goes for a downturn, all these people that are chasing “hype” and “shortcuts” are all going to end up broke, and will come back to people like us that offer real value, and built an actual skillset and business for the long term.
Frost: Think about John D Rockefeller in the Oil industry. There were thousands of other people getting into this industry at the time, selling the same exact product, and thus everyone’s margins went down and down. All of these people were average, and you had thousands of businesses selling the same exact thing. So what happened to this industry? Eventually, all the money went to ONE person. It all went to Rockefeller. We can see this happening with Amazon right now. See what Rockefeller did was not only create a superior product and customer experience, he also refined everything. He found every single thing that made everyone else average and became excellent at it, and because he had the better run business and product, all the customers went to him. He could pay more to get the customers because his business was so much more optimized, and put all the other thousands of other people out of business. He actually went on to buy all of their oil refineries because they were so average that they could not compete, and this is the huge opportunity that’s happening right now.
Frost: I believe we are going to have a massive recession, and a lot of people are going to start struggling as we enter into the new decade of 2020 because we have an excess of average. Any kid can go out there and open up an eCommerce store, runs some facebook ads and boom they have a business. This doesn’t just apply to people courses, the same applies to dropshipping, with SAAS. Any type of business out there isn’t that hard to do any more online. Look at all the supplement companies out there now. They have the same exact funnel, same landing page, same exact sales message, and same product. Back in the day having a funnel used to put you in the top 1%, and now it’s something that anyone can have in a matter of seconds.
Medina: So how do you stand out? How do you isolate the market all to yourself?
Frost: Simply having an amazing product and customer experience, and being the best at what you do. Everyone else is just focused on selling. This is the opportunity to stand out by creating work that goes deep, the time to focus on getting so good at your craft that you dominate your entire market. If you remember my examples at the beginning of this article, you know that Monk Mode plays a crucial role in achieving this. This is the time now in the marketplace where the person with the best product, customer experience, and disciplined well-run business will slowly start making all of the money. You can focus everything on the product now, and it will almost take care of itself. You put 100 points into what matters, while everyone else is splitting their focus and creating average work, and you are going to win. People do not go to who is screaming the loudest, they go to has the best product, to who is the best. These people also stay because their customer experience is superior. The days of copying everything and everyone else out there and “winning” are coming to an end. This is literally what is going on today, and we all saw what happened to the oil industry. It’s happening again, and this is the opportunity. Take the same exact effort you put into the ads and the funnel and just put it into the product instead. Create something unique, become unique, and be so good that people simply can’t compete with you. You will win.
Frost: As a trader, I always like to reverse-engineer my successes and failures, and figure out why things work out the way they do when it comes to the charts, and in life in general. I often wondered why my community FrostFXTheMarketMasters took off the way it did back in early 2017 and 2018, and then I realized it was because of one thing and one thing only; Monk Mode. I see it everywhere today in the trading space, thousands of individuals looking for the “holy grail” and “trade copiers” to try and make money in the market instead of actually developing their skills and becoming a great trader themselves. People are unwilling to put in the sweat equity required to develop skills such as trading. Everyone again is focused on copying everyone else to try and make money. Looking objectively at the situation, I realized that my community took off the way it did because I was one of the only few who actually devoted a tremendous amount of time towards developing my skills as a trader. I was consistently profitable and had found success in the market, and thus when everyone else was looking for a hand who did they go to? Me. I won because I was one of the only people who could actually lead the way, while everyone else was simply following, and copying. I became so good that I became the person that people tried to copy and emulate. Understand that I am only trying to make the point of why it is so important to become the best at what you do, unique, and skillfully superior to the majority. Everyone else simply can’t compete. Monk Mode is the Key to being rich.
Medina: That was great. Is there anything else that you would like to say before we wrap up part 1 of this Q and A?
Frost: I recommend that everyone check out part 2 of this interview as it is crucial in further understanding the Monk Mode philosophy.
- Christian J Smith “Mr. Frost” @officialfrost