The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

Here are my key takeaways from Grant Cardone’s book – the 10X Rule

1. You cannot get to the next level by doing the same things. 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.

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. The 10X Rule is about pure domination mentality. You never do what others do. You must be willing to do what they won’t do—and even take actions that you might deem “unreasonable.” Almost every problem people face in their careers and other aspects of their lives—such as failed diets, marriages, and financial problems – are all the result of not taking enough action. Before you say to yourself for the millionth time, “I would be happy if I just had . . .” or “I don’t want to be rich – just comfortable” or “I just want enough to be happy,” you must understand one vital point: Limiting the amount of success you desire is a violation of the 10X Rule. When people start limiting the amount of success they desire, they will limit what will be required of them in order to achieve success and will fail miserably at doing what it takes to keep it.

2. As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams OR you will be used as a resource to accomplish someone else’s.

Any goal you set is going to be difficult to achieve, and you will inevitably be disappointed at some points along the way. So why not set these goals much higher than you deem worthy from the beginning? If they are going to require work, effort, energy, and persistence, then why not exert 10 times as much of each? What if you are underestimating your capabilities? You might be protesting, but what of the disappointment that comes from setting unrealistic goals? Take just a few moments to study history, or – even better – simply look back over your life. Chances are that you have more often been disappointed by setting targets that are too low and achieving them – only to be shocked that you still didn’t get what you wanted. You wouldn’t consider a diet “successful” if you lost 10 pounds and put on 12. In other words, you have to be able to keep success—not just get it. You would also want to improve upon that success to ensure that you do maintain it. Any desirable target or goal will always suggest something you have yet to accomplish. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve already attained.

3. 10X thinking helps you overcome difficulties you will inevitably face in your journey. Any goal attacked with the right actions in the right amounts with persistence is attainable.

When you miscalculate the efforts you need to make something happen, you become visibly disappointed and discouraged. This causes you to incorrectly identify the problem and sooner or later assume that the target is unattainable and ultimately quit. Most people’s—including managers’—first response is to reduce the target rather than increase their activity. A great manager will push a person to do more at the risk of coming up short, not target less. Never reduce a target. Instead, increase actions. Regardless of the timing, the economy, the product, or how big your venture is, the right acts done to the right degree over time will make you successful. Manage every action as though you have a camera on you every step of the way. Pretend you’re being recorded as a model by which your children and grandchildren will learn how to succeed in life. Attack everything with the ferociousness of a champion athlete who is getting his last opportunity to claim his pages in the history books. Make no excuses, and adopt a “take-no-prisoners” attitude.

4. Do not be shy to say you want success and growth. Success matters. Winning matters.

You must never reduce success in your mind or in a conversation to something that doesn’t matter! Anyone who minimizes the importance of success to your future has given up on his or her own chances of accomplishment and is spending his or her life trying to convince others to do the same. There are far too many “cute” sayings that seem to dismiss the importance of success, like “Success is a journey, not a destination.” Please! When terrible economic contractions occur, everyone quickly realizes they can’t eat or make house payments with cute little sayings. It is not enough just to play the game; it is vital that you learn to win at it.

5. Success is your duty, obligation and responsibility. Do not blame external factors – you control your destiny. Successful people create momentum by reaching their goals, which compels them to set—and eventually reach—even loftier goals.

Success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility. Treating success as an option is one of the major reasons why more people don’t create it for themselves. If you don’t consider it your duty to live up to your potential, then you simply won’t. If it doesn’t become an ethical issue for you, then you won’t feel obligated and driven to fulfill your capacity. It is fairly common for people who don’t get what they want to provide justifications—and even lie to themselves—by minimizing how valuable success is to them. Luck is just one of the byproducts of those who take the most action. Even the most fortunate and well-connected people among us must do something to put themselves in the right places at the right times in front of the right people. The reason why successful people seem lucky is because success naturally allows for more success.

6. Success is not a zero sum game – do not be constrained in your desire for success – success has no limits or shortages. Others being successful creates an opportunity for you to win as well – success is a positive contribution to all people.

Unlike a product that is manufactured and inventoried, there is no “limit” as to how much success can be created. You must rid yourself of the concept that success can be restricted in any way. Success for anyone or any group is ultimately a positive contribution to all people and all groups as it provides validation of the possibilities to all. Erase any concepts you might have that success is limited only to some and only in certain amounts. You and I can get as much as we want—at the same time. The moment you start thinking someone else’s gain is your loss, you limit yourself by thinking in terms of competition and shortages.

7. Do not play victim – you either create success or you don’t. Success isn’t for whiners, crybabies, and victims.

Success is not something that happens to you; it’s something that happens because of you and because of the actions you take. No game in life is truly enjoyable without first accepting control over how you play the game, and then the outcome of the game. People who assume the position of victim will never be secure—simply because they elect to turn over responsibility to another party. Assume control and increase responsibility by adopting the position that you make all things happen, even those things you have previously considered to not be under your control. Good things don’t happen to victims; bad things do—quite frequently—and all you have to do is ask them. Successful people take the opposite stance, and you must too: Everything that happens in your life comes as a result of your own responsibility, not merely some outside force.

8. Massive action will always benefit you – it will increase your chances of success. Doing nothing creates boredom, lack of purpose. Even doing “normal” levels of action creates mediocrity. Aim beyond average.

The more action you take, the better your chances are of getting a break. People who do nothing in their career, relationships, or whatever they want have probably given up on their dreams and are now willing to accept pretty much whatever comes their way. People in this group will find themselves spending their time and energy justifying their situations. The person not taking action has to make excuses for his or her condition; even this requires tremendous creativity and effort! People who take normal levels of action are probably the most prevalent in our society today. This level of action creates the middle class. As long as average works, they are fine with it. They don’t cause problems for others or themselves as long as conditions remain steady and predictable. Massive action is actually the level of action that creates new problems. You will end up instigating opportunities that you will have to address earlier, later, and in a different way than you would on a “normal” day, so a routine day will become a thing of the past. The only way to burst through obscurity is by taking massive action. But remember: If you don’t create new problems, then you’re not taking enough action. This activity will break you out of the hypnotic state of mediocrity that you’ve been taught to accept.

9. When you operate with an average mindset, it is easy to give up in the face of the slightest pressure. Anything you approach with an average mindset will eventually fail.

When average actions hit any resistance, competition, loss or lack of interest, negative or challenging market conditions, or all of these, you will find your project tumbling down. Average doesn’t work in any area of life. Anything that you give only average amounts of attention to will start to subside and will eventually cease to exist. Rid yourself of everything that is average including the advice you get and friends you keep.

10. 10X goals will help you stay motivated! They will fuel massive action.

The reality is that if you start small, you are probably going to go small. To maintain your enthusiasm, you have to make your goals substantial enough that they keep your attention. Average goal setting cannot and will not fuel massive 10X actions. The bigger and more unrealistic your goals are—and the more they’re aligned to your purpose and duty—the more they’ll energize and fuel your actions. Never set realistic goals; you can get a realistic life without setting goals for it.

11. Domination – not competition – is the aim.

Competing with others limits a person’s ability to think creatively because he or she is constantly watching what someone else is doing. Never make it your goal to compete. Instead, do everything you can to dominate your sector in order to avoid spending your time chasing someone else.

12. Be so obsessed about success that the world knows you will not compromise or go away. Obsession is like a fire; build it so big that people feel compelled to sit around it in admiration.

Most people make only enough effort for it to feel like work, whereas the most successful follow up every action with an obsession to see it through to a reward. If you become obsessed with your idea, purpose, or goal, you will become equally addicted to the idea of making it work. Become obsessed about the things you want; otherwise, you are going to spend a lifetime being obsessed with making up excuses as to why you didn’t get the life you wanted. Never cut anything, never dilute greatness, never pull back on your horsepower, and never put a limit on your ambition, drive, and passion. Demand obsession of yourself and all those around you.

13. Go all in when you’re solving problems – commit. Do not avoid problems – seek problems to solve all the time.

Overcommit your energy, resources, creativity, and persistence. Know that you are all in on every activity, every time you take action, every day you’re in business. You need new problems. They’re signs that you’re making progress and heading in the right direction. One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former look for problems to resolve, whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.

14. Whatever you fear most – do it now. Do not put it off or over analyze. Do it immediately.

The more time you devote to the object of your fear, the stronger it becomes. So starve the fear of its favorite food by removing time from its menu. For example, let’s say that John needs to make a call to a client, a task that immediately causes him to feel anxiety. So rather than picking up the phone and making the call immediately, he gets a cup of coffee and thinks about what he is going to do. His lengthy contemplation only causes his fear to grow, as he imagines all the ways the call could go badly and all the potentially terrible things that could happen. If confronted, he’s likely to claim that he needs to “prepare” before he makes the call. But preparation is merely an excuse for those who haven’t trained properly—and who use it as a reason to justify their last-minute reluctance. John needs to take a deep breath, pick up the phone, and just make the call. Last-minute preparation is just another way to feed the fear that will only get stronger as time is added. Nothing happens without action. The time is always now—and when you experience fear, it’s a sign that the best time to take action is at that very moment. Most people will not follow through with their goals when enough time has passed from the inception of their idea to actually doing something about it; however, if you remove time from your process, you’ll be ready to go. There’s simply no other choice than to act. There’s no need to prepare. It’s too late for that once you’ve gotten this far. Fear is a sign to do whatever it is you fear—and do it quickly. It does not take money or luck to create a great life; it requires the ability to move past your fears with speed and power.

15. Criticism is a natural outcome of success and attention. There’s no way to get serious levels of success without getting some attention. Don’t let your fear of criticism hold you back.

Most people don’t like being criticized. Criticism comes as a natural result of getting attention. This may be why some people avoid attention in the first place. Laying low in order to avoid attention (and consequently, criticism) probably means that you’re holding yourself back to some degree. Your fear of being attacked is keeping you from going for it completely

16. Excuses will never help your situation. They have no value. Do not make excuses, ever.

Excuses will never improve your situation. Do any of the following sound familiar? I don’t have the money, I have kids, I don’t have kids, I am married, I am not married, I have to find balance in my life, I am overworked, my manager sucks, people don’t tell me the truth, no one told me, I’m depressed, I’m sick, my mom is sick, traffic is terrible, the competition is giving its product away, I have such bad luck. . . . Bored yet? I know I am! Ask yourself, will any of these excuses ever improve your condition? Successful people simply don’t make excuses. They are actually quite unreasonable when it comes to providing reasons. The quality of being rare is what makes something valuable. So anything that is plentiful has very little worth. Excuses are one item that people seem to have an almost endless supply of. Because they are so plentiful, they have no value. Because they do not forward your desire to create more success for yourself, they are worthless uses of your energy.

17. Successful people commit to action. They don’t just “try” – they do.

The unsuccessful talk about a plan for action but never quite get around to doing what they claim they’re going to do. Unsuccessful people rarely commit to anything entirely. They are always talking about “trying”. Devoting yourself to something all the way means that there’s no backing out. Commit now – now means now—not a minute from now. Make your initial list of goals, then a list of actions that will propel you in that direction. Then—without overthinking it—start taking those actions. Do not get lost in the details of how to accomplish them.

18. Reach up in life – build relationships with people who are “better” than you. You will become the average of people you associate with.

The successful constantly talk about having people around them who are smarter, brighter, and more creative. It’s unlikely that you’ll hear one of them say, “I got here by surrounding myself with more people just like me.” Yet the average person typically spends his or her time with like-minded people or even those who bring less to the table than they can. Make a habit of “reaching up” in all of your relationships— toward people who are better connected, better educated, and even more successful. These individuals have much more to share than your supposed “equals.”

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