The Sovereign Man - by James Maverick

If what you're selling is in demand, you don't have to do much at all: people will always find a way to obtain it.


Many adjectives can be used to describe people who possess value, but there are two adjectives that always first come to mind: cool and interesting.

In order to avoid the interview trap, you must realize that a healthy conversation is always an exchange of value. That means that while I can ask the other person lots of questions pertaining to their value or expertise, they should ask me about something in an area where I can also provide some kind of value in return.

Value imbalance is the reason why business partnerships fail, people divorce, and friendships end.

Fortunately, it's possible to use value as a currency by trading one set of value in one area (e.g., BJJ skills) for another area (e.g., introduction into an exclusive social circle with cute girls). It's great for both parties because each person gets exactly what he or she wants. It works in all cases where you have something (information, knowledge, skills, connections) that another person wants. Life is a barter. High value people also realize that value depends on the context and have no problem letting others dominate situations where they have strong value. They don't need to prove anything. They're not jealous of others. They are at ease because they know that their domain of expertise resides somewhere else.


Time is dictated by priorities. By choosing how we manage our time, we communicate our value relative to someone else's. A reliable indicator of someone's priorities is their willingness to do something for someone else on very short notice.

Another trait associated with high-quality men is that they rarely, if ever, suspend their lives and wait for something to happen. When you wait, you give up control and surrender your destiny to someone else.

The way that a person spends their time represents much more than values or priorities: it's a mirror of themselves.

Learning to properly manage your time is like killing two birds with one stone. First, you become more productive because your efforts are now concentrated on higher priority tasks. Second--and more importantly--people begin to perceive you differently. This shifts the social dynamic. While previously others felt that your time and attention were infinite, they now realize that you have more important things to do and can't indefinitely be at someone else's disposal. People notice that you've got more important things to do. They see that you don't get involved in petty intrigues. They see that you're always busy, cutting people out by moving your attention elsewhere. They might not know what exactly it is that you're occupied with, but they sense that it must be something more important than them. This behavior earns you more respect from others.

Making time scarce automatically forces me to work on higher priorities tasks first, followed by any other ones later.

Using time as a weapon is an extremely powerful psychological tool. But before you can utilize this potent tool you must be aware of certain conditions. The first is that you must own your time and utilize it correctly. Instead of always being available to others, others must feel they have to work for your scarce time. The second is that the other person must have demand for your time. It makes no difference whatsoever if you suddenly decide to stop calling some girl who doesn't even know you exist, or one who hates your guts. You can't take away something that wasn't really valued in the first place. The third condition is that you must initially withdraw your time when someone is interested in it. If you're super-available in the first place, then you can't punish someone by becoming unavailable. The same goes for reward. The power rests in changing from being available to unavailable or vice versa.


Possessing standards is important because they establish you as a high value man in two crucial ways. First, by serving as a filter, standards force you to be more selective with the kind of people and places that you bless with your valuable time and attention. Second, by erecting standards you effectively change how others perceive you. That's because others notice that your time and attention are now scarcer, instead of being seemingly unlimited. They notice that you no longer spend your valuable time with just anyone. People are thus forced to fight for your time and attention if they don't want to be left out.


When you interview someone before demonstrating interest, you immediately sub-communicate that you're not just a person who deals with anyone--you have standards. And, unless a person passes specific standards, that person isn't worth your valuable time or interest.

One of the chief attributes of the interviewing mindset is that the person who's doing the interviewing is rarely easily impressed or quickly satisfied. The interviewer will most likely find himself in a position of skepticism or doubt.

Interviewing, negotiating, and the ability to walk away if things don't work out in your favor form a very potent weapon for the interviewing mindset. It's a preemptive psychological weapon against your adversary. The actual questions that you ask matter less than the very fact that it's you who's interviewing someone else, and not the other way around. It shows that you're the chooser. Choosers are extremely high value.


One thing I always noticed about high value men is that they possess this inherent sense of entitlement to everything, most commonly information, money, and women. They don't need to convince themselves that something belongs to them: they know it belongs to them. After feeling entitled to something, obtaining it is all but automatic; all that's left is to physically go out and get it. Once you get comfortable with entitlement, the rest usually just follows. It's like putting yourself on autopilot on the way to success.


Confidence is one of the most attractive traits that a man can have. It really lets you get away with virtually anything. Confidence is the triumph of action over thought.

The reason that confidence is so powerful is that it displays to the world two crucial things. First, it demonstrates that you don't care about other people's opinions and reactions to your actions. Second, it signals to the world that whatever you're doing is something that you've done many times before. It conveys that you have tons of experience in the area.

The key to learning anything effectively is via constant feedback, whether it's talking to locals in a foreign language or swimming at the deep end of the pool. Without this constant feedback, you'll be deadlocked; too afraid to make any progress because you're afraid to say something wrong and receive immediate negative feedback. The learning process always involves uncertainty. And that constant feedback that makes learning so effective requires confidence.

An excellent way to alleviate both internal and external doubts is by being busy. If you're on a mission to get somewhere, you simply don't have time to worry about what others are thinking. That means you also don't have time to poison your mind with any self-doubt.

Embrace the unknown. Instead of being afraid of the unfamiliar, replace that fear with the desire to do something new and obtain a new experience. Experience is the father of confidence.


You must be aware that what you spend your time doing will inevitably mold your personality in many important ways. A guy who's constantly dealing with people will have no problems in other situations of conflict. For a guy whose life consists of interacting with different people, there's also no such thing as "approach anxiety."

Either you confront others or you work for someone who does. There's no such thing as doing both. The sooner you realize that fact, the better off you'll be. The good news is that experience from one area of conflict, such as pitching your software to perspective customers, readily transfers to another area such as picking up women.

To better adapt to confrontation, you must find the source of the fear. And in order to really understand any fear, it's always useful to dig deeper and discover its underlying cause. Always ask yourself "What's the worst thing that could really happen?"

What really matters is the action; the outcome is meaningless. That's why rejection and success are really the same thing, because they both prove that you went out and actually did something. In both cases you have a unique experience and a story to tell others. In both cases you actually lived your life instead of just wondering what would have happened if you had done so-and-so. That's why my firm belief is that it's always better to do something regardless of the outcome. Showing up and embracing conflict teaches you something new about yourself and about how the world works.

When it comes to women, nothing truly matters until you go over and begin talking to her. She might be busy or you might not be her type, but all of that is a moot point. The important point is that you inserted yourself into someone else's life. Their life is now forever changed. They know that you exist. They may or may not be interested in what you represent or what you're selling, but a contact has been made, a contact that's permanent, forever etched into both of your histories.

Once you establish committing the action as your benchmark for living, you will actually learn to embrace contact, and confrontation will no longer be something that you fear. Here's a quick way to see if you've been actually living or planning to live: can the things that you've done fill up a book? If not, you better start living.


Effective communication is less about the actual content of what you're trying to do and more about the way you do it: the way you talk; the way you walk; the way you carry yourself.

A high value man never aimlessly wanders around like a lost puppy. He's always trying to get somewhere and accomplish certain things. As someone who's not afraid of confrontation, you don't immediately move over to let others pass. You wait for them to pass first, slightly adjusting yourself to avoid a head-on collision. Taking up space should be something that brings you increased comfort and pleasure.

The owner mentality is about having complete control of any environment. That consists of directing people what to do while sitting back and being served. The owner mentality is also about having options and alternatives. The high value man always knows that if the product or service he's planning to use is not up to his standards, he will simply go somewhere else.


High value people show that they are nonchalant by letting other people come to them instead of rushing to other people. Nonchalant is the exact opposite of eager, overzealous, and desperate, which is someone who you never want to be.

Nonchalance is also about picking your battles and not getting involved in minor squabbles. High value people are busy working on things that benefit them in some way. As a result, when a nonchalant guy decides to get involved in a particular situation, their actions carry more weight.

One of my most trusted indicators of growth as a man is whether I'm becoming more nonchalant about various issues, issues that I previously seriously cared about and spent lots of energy on.

Never underestimate the power of initial demand. Demand needs no energy input. It needs no convincing. It simply exists, waiting for you to harness and enjoy it. It's also very difficult, if not impossible, to create it out of thin air. Someone either finds me attractive or not. The harder you try to convince someone to do something, the more frustrating will be the experience if they do show up. On the other hand, the less I have to work on convincing someone to do something, the easier and more enjoyable the actual experience will be.


The kingdom includes the properties that you own or rent. The house you own or rent is part of your kingdom. The business you run is part of your kingdom. Second, the kingdom is a collection of people that are either outright loyal to you, or you have some influence over. People such as your close friends, business partners, a serious girlfriend or wife are part of your kingdom. Those people are naturally the ones who respect you and value your time. They're trustworthy. They're reliable. They're loyal. They keep their word. They don't flake.

Having your own kingdom puts you in a league of your own, providing you with value on steroids. There's a huge difference between entering a social setting alone as one of the guests and having the social setting in your own apartment or bar where everyone knows exactly who you are. When you enter a social setting as nothing more than some guy off the street, you'll have to prove your value and why you're cooler than the guy next to you, but when you have a kingdom none of that is necessary. People see it. They enter your house. They enter your company office. They meet your amazing crew. All of that is there, and it speaks for itself. You don't need to spend lots of time explaining your achievements.

The lack of a kingdom partly explains why cold approaching women is so challenging. The women you're approaching simply do not know who you are and what you represent. A kingdom makes it much easier.

When trying to build a kingdom in a new environment, a sign that everything is going well is when you don't have to try much to fit in with the local culture.