I’ve been an avid reader for years, and out of the many books I’ve read, there are a few that truly stand out. These are books that contribute a unique idea, a new perspective or a tool that propel my life. So I’m starting a new series where I profile my favorite books, the ones that have had the most impact on me. Hopefully it inspires you to pick up one of these books, or at least you can pick something from this series and allow that to spur you into new action.
I had heard of Grant Cardone years ago through a friend who works in sales. I knew Grant had a lot of content on sales training and had a very balls-to-the-wall kinda vibe. I did not know just how much until I started listening to his podcast late last year. Cardone has insane energy and insane expectations lol. Watching, listening to or reading him is definitely a kick in the pants. He takes no prisoners and goes all in.
His book The 10X Rule is about thinking big, setting huge goals and taking insane massive action towards achieving them. I think it’s an important book because as far as getting what you want goes, we tend to under-estimate just how much effort it would take to achieve our goals (if we even dream big enough). if you do 10X more than you need to do to get what you want, the chances of you getting it simply skyrocket.
My Highlights from The 10X Rule
It takes the same amount of energy and effort to make $10 million as it does $10 000. Sound crazy? It’s not – and you’ll see this when you start operating at 10X levels. Your goals will change, and the action you take will finally start to match who you really are, and what you are really capable of doing.
Another component that is required for success is the ability to estimate the right amount of effort necessary for you – and your team – to achieve a goal.
As I look back over my life, I see that the one thing that was most consistent with any success I’ve achieved was that I always put forth 10 times the amount of activity that others did. For ever sales representation, phone call, or appointment others made, I was making 10 of each. When I started buying real estate, I look at 10 times more properties than I could buy and then made offers to ensure that I was able to buy what I wanted at the price I desired. I have approached all my business enterprises with massive action; that has been the single biggest determining actor in any success I have created.
In order to get to the next level of whatever you’re doing, you must think and act in a wildly different way than you previously have been.
Only you know your true potential and whether you’re living up to it; no one else can judge your success.
Take massive amounts of action at 10 times the levels you think necessary
This is the focus of the 10X Rule: You must set targets that are 10 times what you think you want and then do 10 times what you think it will take to accomplish those targets. Massive thoughts must be followed by massive actions.
There is nothing ordinary about the 10X Rule. It is simply what it says it is: 10 times the thoughts and 10 times the actions of the other people.
The 10X Rule is about pure domination mentality.
A person who limits his or her potential success will limit what he or she will do to create it and keep it.
As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else’s.
It is not enough just to play the game; it is vital that you learn to win at it.
One of the greatest turning points in my life occurred when I stopped casually waiting for success and instead started to approach it as a duty, obligation and responsibility.
Discipline, consistent, and persistent actions are more of a determining factor in the creation of success than any other combination of things.
Instead, you must acquire the discipline, muscle memory, and achievements that result from taking massive action – while others think, plan and procrastinate.
Attack, dominate and keep your attention on the future, and then continue to repeat your actions – and your courage will grow. Do things that scare you more frequently, and they will slowly begin to scare you a bit less – until they become so habitual that you wonder why you ever feared them in the first place!
The successful know they can quantify what works and what doesn’t work, whereas the unsuccessful focus solely on “hard work”.
Results (not efforts) – regardless of the challenges, resistance, and problems – are a primary focus of the successful.
You can only be as successful as the individuals with whom you involve and associate yourself.
Stay focused on the future, be unreasonable about it, continue to add wood, and don’t focus on what people say has been done, can be done, or is possible!
And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were. – Rainer Maria Rilke
At this time, around the world, millions are engaged in some form of reflection and planning. The much-needed holiday brings some sense of rest and refreshment. The new year offers the opportunity for a fresh start.
For some of us, 2017 may have been epic. We got new achievements, bagged jobs, got into relationships, etc. For the rest of us, it may have been disappointing, heartbreaking and stressful. For all us however, 2018 is an opportunity to have another go at it, on a ‘blank‘ slate.
If the past 12 months were great, it’s the time to double down and keep pushing. If the past year was bad, then now is as good a time to begin afresh, to reinvent one’s self. It is an opportunity to let go of the past and forge ahead boldly into the future. It is the opportunity to shed some bad habits and pick up new empowering ones. It is the chance to change our thinking and our lives. It is the chance to experience something new and powerful.
Making a change can be incredibly hard, but not impossible. There is a reason why so many of us abandon ship on our resolutions mere weeks in to the new year. That is because even though the year is new, we are still the same person we were last year. The euphoria of the new year may motivate us for the next few days, or weeks. But the hard work of change and growth will still remain. The only way we will get to the promised land of our dreams and hopes for the new year is by commitment to the cause.
Nothing happens by accident. 2018 will only be better than 2017 if you have been putting the work in. There is no magic wand or miracle on the horizon to grant you all your wishes. If 2017 was bad and you did not take the time to look back, analyze what you did wrong and refocus yourself for action, 2018 will be pretty much the same. If you had a great 2017 and decide to coast on what you did this last year, then the new one will be mediocre and possibly disappointing. But if you are focused on your grand vision, and you have taken stock of your weaknesses, and are committed to digging deeper and growing, stacking your next moves on the success of your past work, then you will win.
If you are like most of us, you know what it’s like to make a bold decision to change and then slip back into bad habits and programming. Moving forward to new goals can be a series of false starts, a pattern of two steps forwards and fifteen steps back. What launches us out of this rut? What sets off the paradigm shift and commitment that allows us to finally get what we want? How can we think, live and behave in such a way that we get what we want in 2018?
The first step is to embrace the false starts as part of the process. As long as we keep getting into the ring, learning from our mistakes and adjusting our course, eventually we will get there. It may not be pretty, it may not be sexy, but over time we will win. You don’t have to be perfect, just do more of what you want in your life this year, and you would have begun to succeed.
I know this headline probably lured you in expecting the magical 5-point list or elixir to success, but this is more of an invitation, to join me on this journey. This year, I will be writing more frequently. I have been a big fan and student of personal development over the years and I enjoy writing in the genre. Over the past 24 months, I have become increasingly concerned with how the rubber hits the road, how to make practical change. It is so easy to become a self-help junkie, absorbing success porn and indulging epiphanies make us feel good. Actually implementing the advice and creating real change takes real commitment and a specific mindset.
Over the past 2 years, I have been digging deeper into content and ideas from multiple authors, vloggers, and coaches, as well as mining my own experience for lessons with the specific intent of implementing them in real life and seeing if they work. So far, I have seen tangible impact on my life. I have learned so much, my business has grown, my work is better, I’m delivering more value. I am clearer and more focused than I have ever been, and perhaps most importantly, I have begun to learn how to be a doer and how to execute. And yet, I have only just started to scratch the surface. There is still so much yet to be done and to be learnt. I will be sharing what I have learnt so far and what I continue to learn on my journey as a means to crystalize my understanding of these principle and to codify them and leave a record, a contribution to the game if you will.
So, join me as I explore the idea of How to get what you want in 2018. How to get from point A (where you are now) to point B (where you want to be).
Wishing you success and growth in the new year!
P.S. I’ll also talk on branding, design and business because that’s what I do for a living. I believe that strong design, a great strategic brand and a solid knowledge of business principles are vital for startups and organizations to live up to their full potential.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
– Wayne Gretzkey
Success > Nothing > Failure
For most people the above is true. Success is better than failure, but failure is so bad, that doing nothing is preferable to losing. Sometimes this is true, there are failures that can be quite devastating. People make ill-advised investments or decisions and lose it all.
But for the most part, the cost of failure is a nothing more than a bruised ego and hurt feelings.
The fear of failure can be incredibly crippling. And this fear keeps us stuck and stagnant. Our upbringing and society conditions us and keeps us comfortable in our status quo. We value the safe, the tried and true. Schools actively discourage making mistakes and we go through life thinking we must always have the right answers. Religion keeps us thinking we have to be perfect all the time. The idea of failure and its subsequent fear has evolved over centuries into an intimidating spectre.
And so most times, we do nothing.
For some reason, we think that in doing nothing, we gain nothing and we lose nothing. The fearing of losing trumps any anticipation of winning. And this fear keeps us from starting businesses, from ending or starting new relationships, from taking chances. But if you stand still, you lose still. Because time does not stand still, it is unrelenting in its forward movement second after second. The window of opportunity to take action may only be open for so long.
Here is the simple truth – you will fail. Especially when you are doing something for the first time. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You failed multiple times in learning how to walk. You were a complete blabbering incomprehensible mess when you were a toddler. You didn’t care or give up then and decide that this walking thing wasn’t for you. Nah you kept plowing on. You, with your big ass head and stubby legs. You kept going and now look at you with your badass self walking around and conversing fluently like it ain’t no thing.
Big ups to you!
Now apply it to your life and your dreams too. You will try, you will fail, but most importantly you will learn. And next time you will be a little better, you will suck a little less. If you stick with the process, eventually, you will win.
Success > Failure > Nothing
Success is better than failure, but as bad as failure is, it is still better doing nothing.
So go ahead and try. And fail. And try. And fail…until you succeed.
I will not lose, for even in defeat, there is a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.
– Jay Z
There is a powerful Ted Talk by Tim Ferris on fear setting, where he explores the idea of stoicism, and the practice of fear setting. In this exercise, you explore the worst consequences of failure, against the potential upside of success, against the inevitable results of doing nothing. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It will help you put your fears of failure in perspective and hopefully galvanise you to action.
Photo by Cris DiNoto on Unsplash
The thing about being creative types, philosophers and bohemians in a largely capitalistic world is that we are continually faced with the tension of expressing our art, our soul, our spiritual gift to the world while somehow finding a way to survive. Monetization (making money from our art) or subsidization (having someone else donate) becomes necessary at some point.
True, not everything needs to be monetized and we live in a real world of people and interaction on multiple layers – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Not everything can or should be reduced down to currency. However, if you are looking to monetize your passion, this as an incredibly useful way to look at it.
You have to attach something to the art – a product, a service or an experience.
I learnt this principle from Gary Vaynerchuk, watching one of his gazillion videos. He is talking to this young man who is riffing off about the things he wants to do, the heart behind his brand, and how much he wants to impact people and so on. To do this, he needs to find money to execute. In response, Gary asks if there is something tangible attached to it. If he wants funding, is there an object that can be invested in?
Having feel-good ideas are fun and wonderful. Talking about them and sharing them can be very enriching and fulfilling.
But if you are in business, especially if you are a mission-led business seeking to change the world, or an NGO tackling much needed social work on behalf of humanity, you must respect this principle. You have to clearly understand what your idea is – your goal, your purpose, your mission. And this idea must become tangible as product, service or experience.
You cannot ignore the laws of the market place, unless you plan to loot or steal the money. Think about the places your purpose and people’s desires/needs intersect, and play in that space. Connect your work to value in people’s lives.
As nice as it is to exist in our little creative bubbles indulging in artistic revelry, if we will succeed as artists or creatives, we must relax our romantic ideas of a utterly free rein creative life and link our art (the essence of our creativity and passion) to a tangible thing. Your art, your brand needs a vessel. Put your thing into a container that can be invested in or purchased.
Think about music. Musicians make music, and sell the recordings and merchandise (product), or sell skills (service) or shows (experience). There are multiple ways of creating tangible things that express your idea. Attaching your art to an object allows you to share the art. Now your audience can take with them a tangible piece or object that will bring them back to the heart of your art every time they interact with it in any way.
And that’s win-win all round.
There is only one success. To be able to spend your life in your own way.
– Christopher Morley
We are surrounded by success porn. From Facebook to Snapchat, the digital sphere is littered with quote cards spouting off generic success platitudes and motivation. You know the ones, the images of the suave guy in the impeccable suit and nice watch. Or the flawlessly shot Instagram gym model showing off her perfect abs and toned body.
I like to look at it as what I call ‘priming’. When I sit to design, one of the first things I do is to pull up my favourite sites and browse for inspiration. I spend time looking at beautiful things. It primes and stimulates my mind to think in the same vein as my inspiration and helps me know what my benchmark of quality should be.
That’s what success porn does, or should do. It is a burst of inspiration, a certain smug satisfaction, a ‘hell yeah! high five! let’s get it’ sort of moment. And it’s good. Sometimes you need that spark, that reminder.
The main problem with success porn is that you can get that hit of self righteous dopamine so many times that you begin to feel satisfied without actually doing any work.
It is easy to brainstorm, and research and learn. It makes us feel good, like we are taking actual steps. And granted, it is a first step in the process of getting what you want. But consuming content, no matter how good, whether it be Gary V or Tai Lopez or Grant Cardone or whoever your guru is, is not the same as doing the work.
The path to success is the steady consistent grind, the work, the fears, the tears. It is not as sexy as success porn, but it is the thing that actually produces results. And there are a lot of things unique to your circumstance that you would have to navigate with your own wits and common sense as well as all the tips and knowledge you have gained from your blogs, podcasts and videos.
The second subtler problem with success porn is the narrative that success looks a certain way. Success for millenials in general falls in the same boxes – a great job, a great startup, lots of money, gadgets, travel to exotic places, self care, romantic love and baecations. All of which are absolutely wonderful pleasures.
But the thing with life is…it is life. It is varied, it is complex and it is nuanced. Success has to be something you define for yourself. You don’t need to subscribe to an idea of success. You just have to find what you like, what you believe, what fulfills you and be committed in the pursuit of that. That is what success is.
I used to burnout a lot. I would work almost every waking hour for months at a stretch. In fact, I expected to flame out around June every year. I would start hating everything and everyone – my work, my clients, and my life. Then I would be basically incapacitated for a month and then bounce back. I completely disrespected my personal rhythms.
Interest and Energy are cyclical…Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.
– Tim Ferris (The 4 hour work week)
Hard work and hustle are important. You do have to push hard. Like Bruce Mau’s incomplete manifesto for growth says –
Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.
But you also need to unplug. You need to allow yourself to recover. Which can be very hard if you are a type A personality. Or you are obsessed. I have found myself lost for hours longer than I intended working. And after a long stretch of days with my nose to the grindstone, I find that a little rest wont cut it. I need unplug completely. So I take some days off, hang with friends, and do nothing, read, catch up on all my favourite shows and then I get back to it.
Everyone’s rhythm is different. Some people can work months non-stop without needing a break. I max out after 3-4 days of intense work, then I need at least one day of light work or rest. Every couple weeks or so of this, I would need at least 3-5 days to do a full reset. I find that if I respect this rhythm I can stay very productive over a longer stretch of times. Goodbye to those burn outs that would wipe out for a month at a time.
But beyond banishing burnout, unplugging periodically allows you to gain perspective. Working long and hard keeps you firmly in the thick of the forest, hacking and slashing away. Hitting that reset button allows you to step back and see the forest for the trees. You rise up to the big picture view, analyse your actions and results and recalibrate your efforts when you get back in the game. It also helps you reconnect to your ‘why’. Some times you need to remind yourself why you do what you do to avoid becoming jaded.
Being in that calm space, observing and listening opens you up to receiving answers to problems that have been plaguing you. It is the incubation space that allows all subconscious to work out the kinks and issues you have been wrestling with in the hustle. Unplugging creates the conditions for the famous flash of inspiration that jolts into our mind when we are least expecting it. Suddenly the answer appears, the smart-cut and months of wasted effort are shaved off your journey.
Working hard is necessary, but remember to rest. An unsharpened saw no matter how productive will get blunt over time from overuse.