Lewis Howes

Greatness

Guide

To

Entrepreneurship

Proven Mindsets and Strategies for Starting and 
Growing a Successful Business

Dear Greatness Seeker,

I’m a firm believer that anyone can start and grow the business of their dreams.

Not only have I been able to build a successful business out of nothing —

But I’ve also seen my friends do it, I’ve seen my coaching students do it, and I’ve interviewed so many brilliant entrepreneurs who are living proof that anyone can succeed in business.

Maybe you want to earn more money to fund a more fulfilling lifestyle. Maybe you want to replace your nine-to-five grind with a business that gives you more freedom and happiness. Maybe you want to create a bigger impact, solve big problems, and leave a legacy for yourself and your family. Maybe you see business as a fun project that you’ve always wanted to take on someday.

Or perhaps you’re already in business, but you want to get more sales, become a better leader, or detach your time from money.

No matter your motivation, let’s agree that entrepreneurship can be fulfilling, freeing, and very financially rewarding. On top of that, starting and growing a business can be exciting at times, like an adventure. And one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is seeing how happy your customers get when you give them value and solve their problems.

Let’s also agree that entrepreneurship is no easy feat. We’ve all heard the statistics
that 

80% of

new businesses

fail

(or 60%, or 90%, or 95%… nobody knows for sure, just that the number is high).

Don’t let that discourage you into thinking entrepreneurship is some lottery. It’s not. Luck is definitely a factor, but so is mindset. So is work-ethic. So are business skills like leadership and sales. So are strategies like marketing and brand design.

Many entrepreneurs don’t have these fundamentals down, and

As a result they make mistakes such as:

Through my podcast, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing countless successful entrepreneurs, from Shark Tank legend Barbara Corcoran to real estate mogul Grant Cardone to billionaire Sara Blakely.

All of these entrepreneurs have solid business fundamentals, and I can always tell  just by hearing how they talk and how they approach problems in business and life.

But on top of that, each of these entrepreneurs has a few areas of expertise they are  brilliant in. For Simon Sinek it would be leadership, for Jay Abraham it would be marketing, for Chris Ducker it would be outsourcing and finding freedom.

I’ve gone back to my interviews with these top entrepreneurs, and I’ve pulled the passages I felt were most valuable to anybody currently in business or looking to start soon.

Right now, entrepreneurship is very much in style… almost as if it’s a trend. Gary Vaynerchuk is partly responsible for this surge in entrepreneurship. When Gary talks, people listen. People are drawn to Gary’s tough-love advice and hustle mentality, and as a result he’s one of the most popular business influencers on social media. For many people, Gary gave them their first taste of entrepreneurship… and they’ve been hooked ever since.

A public speaker, 4-time NYT bestselling author, early investor in massive tech companies. 

Founder of Vayner/Media

a massive media agency in NYC serving Fortune 500 clients.

The popularity of entrepreneurship comes with good and bad side-effects.

The good — more people are realizing that they can take control of their lives and build the business of their dreams. And I’m all for it!

The bad — too many people are focusing on the “cool” part of entrepreneurship (flashy cars, private jets, social media fame) and not what they actually need to do: create and sell a valuable product or service that solves other people’s problems.

Gary Vaynerchuk agrees that many entrepreneurs are focusing on the wrong things. Here’s an excerpt from Episode #595 where Gary and I discuss avoiding vanity and staying grounded in business:

Gary Vaynerchuk: To me, I was cool, even though nobody else thought I was cool, because I made four thousand dollars selling 8000 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie cards this weekend in the Phillipsburg Mall. And so, for me, it’s interesting — I had so much self esteem around business results when that was not a “thing”, now that’s a “thing”.

It’s really interesting to get these DMs. I love the 15-year-old guys that slide into my DM and tell me stories of why they look up to me because it really is actually very funny —the entrepreneur’s cool now. When you’re 15, you want a girlfriend. You want to be popular, and I look at their photos and these are not 15-year-old Lewises. These are some nerdy-ass kids, but they’ve got ridiculously cool girlfriends, and I’m like, “Oh, this entrepreneur thing has really hit high school! This is real now! Wow!”

…It’s really fun for me that the thing I love the most — entrepreneurship — has become cool. I know that somebody listening to me who’s over 40 and loves entrepreneurship the way I do, they also know what I’m saying and that anybody under 30 has any idea of how I’m actually describing it, and then there’s that middle, 30 to 40, which is in between. But if you’re over 40 you know that when you were in high school, being a businessman or woman had zero street cred. Zero! Zero point zero, zero.

And for the kids that are listening — I know there’s a lot — like being an awesome violinist right now, that’s not going to necessarily crush it in the halls of, like, Draymond High. That was equally the same thing that I was going through, which was, nobody gave a [expletive] that I was making $10,000 at a flea market in a weekend. That meant zero status, like having a Starter jacket.

Lewis Howes: Or the music you were listening to, or the jeans you were wearing, yeah.

GV: Correct, or like scoring 13 for the team that night, or being in a band, like, you know, the cliché move all the guys did. Or being good at skateboarding. There were 9,000 other things, and it’s crazy to think, because money has always been the cliché thing that has helped some people close the gap of coolness.

LH: Yeah, but not in high school.

GV: But not in high school, and definitely not 1n 1990 to 1994.

LH: Now if you have 50,000 followers on Instagram in high school, you’re the hottest thing.

GV: Or, talk about society wrapped up in vanity, like, social. If you are a high school guy who’s a nerd, but you get a blue check from Instagram, your life changed.

LH: Changed! You could get any girl you want.

GV: The amount of people that send me things, like, “I will rip my arm off if you could help me get verified on Instagram”

It’s like, literally, things like, “I will sell you my children if you get me verified on…” [or] “Give you my home, and live in a cardboard box.” And I’m just, like, “This is the saddest [expletive] ever.” A lot of my content in the last six months has been, like, “Please do not get wrapped up in likes and your rank in the podcast list or [verification] checks.” That is such a death game, you will lose that game. You will start pandering to those results versus actual results.

LH: Like creating a great product consistently.

GV: New York Times bestseller list. I don’t pander to that. I don’t want to hire the companies that get me on a list. I want to sell more books. That’s the KPI. Impact more people, that’s even the bigger KPI, but look, I mean, the world has always traded on … Do you know how sad at this point I am when I’m on these 30, I mean, well, I’m not 30, like, Top 4,0 Influencers or 50, under 50 now, which is the only thing I can…

LH: How old are you now?

GV: 42. So, I hate it, because my feed gets filled up with, like, “Congratulations,” or the other people that are on it, trying to get me into a conversation, not because, kudos to them, because I was the most pumped too when I was like, Ten Most Important People in the Wine Business Under 40.

Amazing! I get it!… And we all get excited. Six Best Podcasts to Listen To in 2018, you want to be a part of that, you want awareness. Here’s what I would say: We’ve over-corrected a lot of people into caring about that more than the actual results, and so we care more about the facade, and we care more about, like, “Look how nice my room [is]…” We’re in a beautiful room right now, right? You’ve really done a nice job with this, I like how you put the more important people on their own wall over here.

LH: Well, they were just bigger photos, so we had to place it…

GV: No, no, no, you made them bigger. I know you! But here’s what’s interesting to me: What’s interesting is, if the concrete and steel under this building is [bad], well, this whole thing falls and it doesn’t matter that you put some tree…

LH: How pretty it is, yeah.

GV: Exactly. And I think, right now, too many entrepreneurs and personalities and 98% of the people listening to this podcast right now are caring about the decorations and the curtains and the painting in the room — not the steel and the concrete holding up the room. And I think that that’s an important conversation to be had, and I think a lot of what makes me happy and has worked for me has been the steel and the concrete.

“I  have a theory, and I really believe it. I think your worst weakness can become your greatest single strength.”Barbara Corcoran

Many of the greatest achievers I know aren’t scared by failure one bit.

Even though failure can be an intimidating idea, these top performers recognize that fear of failure paralyzes them from taking any action and prevents any progress towards their goals.

So instead, they see failure as a good thing — an opportunity.

One of these great achievers is Barbara Corcoran. In Episode #766, Barbara gives great
advice for facing failure head-on, and creating opportunities for success.

Founder of  The Corcoran Group

>> an ultra-successful NYC real estate brokerage

(Now, as one of the Sharks on Shark Tank, Barbara puts her winning mentality and keen eye for opportunity on display. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur herself, Barbara knows which traits to look for when placing smart bets on other entrepreneurs. Barbara also appeared on Dancing With The Stars, which she talked about during the episode.)

Here’s what Barbara has to say about failure and opportunity:

Barbara Corcoran: It takes a lot of courage to publicly fail, but I happen to be very good at public failure because I’ve done it my whole life and that doesn’t bother me. I think what I did not want to happen was that I look foolish or old dancing with a 24-year-old ripped stud.

Lewis Howes: Why are you not afraid to fail publicly?

BC: Because what I learned is that nobody is really watching or gives a [expletive] because the truth is that people, most of all, are thinking about themselves. So just when you think the limelight is on you and everybody is going to say “She is so stupid,” the minute they give you that one moment of attention, they’re back on to their own problems or their own selves. So it’s like an overstatement of your ego to think that you’re really that important. You know you can just move right on, you can distract people and try the next thing if you’re lucky, so no it doesn’t really amount to anything.

LH: That’s interesting because you say that most people are focused on themselves, so when you mess up publicly or you fail publicly they’ll think about it for a moment, but they’re on the wrong thing.

BC: If you’re lucky, they notice.

LH: What about when you want people to have the attention on you for the things you’re doing “good”? How do you keep the attention on you — the relevancy of yourself as an entrepreneur [and] individual — when people are focused so much? How do you keep thinking about you, your brand, [and] your business?

BC: You have to think of a way to grandstand.

LH: What do you mean by that?

BC: Good old fashion grandstand, like I built my Corcoran group brand on the backs of New York Times and Wall Street Journal. I would think of all kinds of crap to get me the attention as long as my brand name was in there. The single best thing I thought of, which was really an attempt to get publicity when I couldn’t afford advertising because it was a bad market, was my Corcoran report, and all that was a one-page report giving the average Sale price of apartments in Manhattan. I was too stupid to know that that was a wrong label, it was just my 11 sales, but it was on the front page of the Real Estate section and I was quoted on the first line. Boy, that was an eye-opener, that’s how I learned publicity can build a brand. Today’s version of publicity that I look for in all the entrepreneurs I invest in is how good you are in your social media. 

I don’t care if you’re in the sock business, if you’re in the hardware, or what’s going on. How good are you at building attention through social media because that’s the new free ride, not really free, but to a large degree free, just like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (my free ride).

So, you have to be creative in thinking of how you can grandstand. Like Grace and Lace, which started out as a baby sock company, (they were) phenomenal entrepreneurs I had.

Now it’s a full fashion line, and I think 70 million dollars in sales this year. But what they are particularly good at is they’re a husband and wife team, Melissa the wife of the team has gorgeous long legs, [and] her husband is more of a nuts and bolts guy, great at business. What she does is she constantly models and talks directly, and she has so many people that love her. She knows how to primp herself, look sexy, talk to the ladies, and get sales.

LH: So she uses her assets or skills?

BC: She’s on social media, and that’s built their entire business. Social media. And did I answer your question? Because I feel like I somehow got lost in my mind.

LH: How do you stay relevant when things are going good?

BC: I’ll give you another example. I have this company I had just bought in this past season; I was out of my mind to buy into them. It was two guys with a product called “Comfy.” It was a sweatshirt blanket. You slip into it — it’s like a sweatshirt, but it’s actually a blanket. Why do I say it was crazy to buy into it? None of the Sharks did; they were smart enough not to. It’s because of 2 loudmouth guys having a good time — pitching me a product and they had no inventory. They had hand-made their product, and they had none of the answers, but they’re great salesmen. I took some 15% to 40%, just because they’ re great salespeople. In their first year, 11 million dollars in sales. They found a way to produce and sell it. But a couple of weeks ago, it was very quiet. They have had social media coverage to the moon and back, but it was very quiet, and they hand delivered — and I wish I could remember the famous actress’ name — this sexy, cool, long-legged actress. Whoever she was, I think she was the same actress who closed the Oscars the other night.

LH: I didn’t watch. I watched the highlight video; I saw your little party on Instagram.

BC: Anyways they sent [the product] hand-delivered to her front door. Then she put out a video of her jumping on her bed in it. Within a second, [the two guys] started a social media campaign of people doing the jumps. That’s smart business. They made it happen, and then they are gonna ride it again, and it’s gonna be all over social media. They’re annoyed with me that I’m here, but I don’t have their product, but unless they want me jumping on the beds, I’m gonna put a hood on and photoshop my face to [the actress’] long legs, and I’m gonna win the contest.

LH: So grandstanding now is like more influence marketing if you can find creative ways of connecting people to an audience.

BC: Or create an audience, one by one, but you really need to be able to grandstand

Up next is another Shark from the Tank: Daymond John

Founder & CEO of  FUBU
> an ultra-successful hip-hop clothing brand

Daymond came from nothing — from working at Red Lobster and distributing flyers at $2/hour to having a net worth in the hundreds of millions and being an investor on Shark Tank.

In Episode #279, Daymond and I talked about his new book, The Power of Broke. He’s a firm believer that the best entrepreneurs — even deep-pocketed ones — operate like a broke entrepreneur would: working smart, investing time to learn the ins-and-outs of a business, and only spending money when they know it has a high chance of paying off.

But using this “power of broke” isn’t the only habit successful entrepreneurs have. Most entrepreneurs have a handful of habits serving as a foundation for their business pursuits. Without some sort of structure, entrepreneurs struggle to make consistent progress towards their aspirations… and effective habits can be that structure.

Lewis Howes: What would you say is a ritual that you, as a non negotiable for you every single day, is something you do in the morning or at night or throughout the day? Something every day that you do?

Daymond John: I read my goals. I read my goals, not every day, but I read them five days a week. I read them in the morning, when I wake up, and I read them at night, before I go to sleep. I have nine goals that range from business to health to family. Two of them expire in six months, two of them expire in five years, and one expires in 20. They’re very, very detailed in what they are. And the reason is…I want them to be the last thing I think about when I go to bed. And I reset them every six months. But I noticed that as the date comes up, I start to have this anxiety.

LH: I haven’t achieved it yet.

DJ: And most of them, you’re not going to achieve if you really set aggressive ones, but you’re going to get there 50%, 60%, 70%…

LH: Yeah.

DJ: Then reset it for a longer period of time with another, a higher goal to reach.

LH: I love it. What’s another ritual in the morning that you do? Let’s say when you’re in your home, you’re in a good routine. You’re not traveling. What’s another part of the ritual?

DJ: It’s going to be, it’s going to be getting up and it’s going to be answering emails. I mean, you know, because you want to get them out of the way. If we get to the office, you’re never going to get to them after that. My next book is probably going to be called “Death by Email.” You know what I mean? These emails, man, they kill me.

LH: What do you think is something that wealthy individuals, people that you’ve been around who have built multimillion dollar businesses, or billionaires, what do you think are two or three things that they think or do differently than people that don’t make that much?

DJ: Uh, the billionaires I’ve seen? They, first of all, I’m not saying it because of the book, but they use the power of broke. They’ll spend a billion dollars on a party cause that’s a party, but they’re very disciplined, and they won’t spend that on launching a company.

They will act like they don’t have anything, a winner mentality, number one. Number two is they write down everything. Really. They write down everything. We got into this day and age where people are typing in their smartphones. But they physically write down everything. And I remember one of them said to me, the dullest pencil will always remember more than the sharpest mind, which is a very, very interesting, and a very, very well-known quote. 

Darren Hardy would be one of my go-to experts on success. Darren is a success coach, successful entrepreneur, and a New York Times bestselling author of books such as The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster.

Former publisher of  SUCCESS Magazine
» one of the premier publications in the world of business

Darren also knows the main mistakes that hold entrepreneurs back from success.
In Episode #190, one of the main topics Darren and I discussed was sales. Sales is the backbone of any business — no matter how much you like your product, if people don’t buy it, you don’t have a business. Here’s a passage where Darren goes over the #1 selling mistake people make and how to overcome it.

Darren Hardy: Number one [grave mistake in selling] is that they fall in love with their product. And people will be telling you, “love what you do, love your product,” but that’s the mistake — that you’re in love with your product, and you can’t see the forest above the trees. You know, quite frankly, what you need to fall in love with is your client. You need to fall in love with the outcomes that you want to create for your client.

So, here’s the pathway that most people think about their business. They think, “What product do I want to create, and what do I love? I want to create mini cupcakes, I love mini cupcakes.” Or whatever it is. They have a love for something that they want to create, and then they go, “Now I need to market and sell this,” and they create sales and marketing around a product that they’ve created. And then they go, “Okay, now I need to find clients, and traffic, and get this sales and marketing in front of people.” They never really get to the outcome or the transformation or the better future that’s created for clients if they use the product or service. 

And I say you’ve gotta go at that exactly backwards. Which means that: you want to start with the transformation. Like, when I decided to write the book The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster, I started with the transformation. Like, what is it I want to bring to the world, what outcome, what result do I want to make happen in the world? And because of the gift that was given to me —entrepreneurship — and because we champion the entrepreneur globally, I want to help transform the results for the entrepreneur. And so that’s where I started. So start with the transformation. 

Then I go, who’s the client? Well, for The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster, it started primarily with the early-stage entrepreneur, the one who’s just getting on-boarded or the aspiring entrepreneur who’s sitting on the sidelines — they want to, but they just don’t know how. They’re a little nervous and scared, and if someone can just make it easy and certain for them they would step forward.

 I’ve actually been surprised that very, very, veteran entrepreneurs, some of the people that I admire, that the book had a profound impact on them. They said it simplified and clarified everything, they see some things that they’ve drifted from. But in the beginning, when [the book] was thought through, it was for that early-stage entrepreneur. So that’s the client.

The sales and marketing needs to be created to communicate the transformation to that client. Okay, now we’ve got that. Now, let’s write the book. Now let’s create the product. Now let’s build the widget that basically fulfills the transformation. It’s the reason why Jeff Bezos is crushing it. I mean, this guy… who’s going to win the monopoly board? I’ve got my money on Bezos.

Lewis Howes: Yeah…

DH: You could say Apple, you could say Facebook, you could say Google, I’d say Amazon. Amazon’s going to run the monopoly board. And the biggest reason for that is that Jeff Bezos starts with the customer. Starts with trying to solve what’s the pain point for the customer, what does the customer want to achieve, and what is the pain that I want them to help get over. And then he works backwards.

“What’s the problem that we’re trying to solve” That’s the beginning of new projects,
new initiatives inside of Amazon because they start with the customer and work themselves backwards.

[Note: Darren made this “bet” on Amazon five years ago, when the company was worth ~S200 billion. Now, Amazon is worth over $1.6 Trillion — Darren got it spot on.]

Leadership is arguably the most powerful skill an entrepreneur can have. While “solo-preneurs” exist, one person’s skills and work ethic has its limits. But by leading a team of talented and hard-working individuals, an entrepreneur can leverage the skills of other people to accomplish even greater things. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs were able to accomplish incredible feats, like sending astronauts into space and pioneering consumer electronics, because of their visionary leadership. They were able to inspire the people working for them, and even people who weren’t — consider the number of people whose “dream job” is at SpaceX or Apple. When it comes to experts on leadership, Simon Sinek is among the most renowned.

Simon’s TED Talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action
» Is one of the most popular TED Talks to date

He’s also the author of best-selling leadership books such as Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and Find Your Why.

In Episode #862, Simon and I discussed his latest book, The Infinite Game. Here’s an excerpt where he gave some powerful lessons on leadership and responsibility, drawing inspiration from his knowledge of military leadership.

Lewis Howes: So is it one person’s responsibility — that one leader of a company’s responsibility — to create a feeling of safeness, a feeling of something bigger is happening here, a feeling of —

Simon Sinek: Psychological safety and all the rest of it?

LH: Yeah, or just like, that I want to be a part of this brand or this mission because it’s something bigger than myself, even though maybe somewhere else has better opportunities (for food, or a fitness center, …). Is it one person in a business who’s responsible? Is it the executive team’s responsibility? Or, is it everyone’s responsibility to create that?

SS: Yeah. So it’s more efficient when it comes to the top, but it’s anyone’s responsibility. You know, leadership is a responsibility to people around us. It’s not a rank. You’ve heard me say this before, I know many people who sit at the highest levels of organizations who are not leaders.

LH: Right.

SS: They have authority, and we do as they tell us because they have authority over us, but we would not follow them.

LH: Right.

SS: And I know many people, as do you, who sit at lower levels of organizations who have no formal authority, and that they’ve made a choice to look after the person to the left of them, and look after the person to the right of them, and we would trust them and follow them anywhere. In other words, leadership can come from anywhere within an organization.

We were not naturally made for living in large populations. And so the way it works best is when we organize into smaller groups, which is why hierarchy matters, which is why leadership training matters.

So you asked, is the top person responsible? No. The top person is responsible for taking care of the people in their direct responsibility, and ensuring that they are charged with and incentivized to take care of the people with their direct responsibility … and the people on the front lines who’re actually doing all the work feel taken care of, and we’re happy to contribute.

LH: Yeah.

SS: There’s a marine that I know, who is a Marine General, who says the way he can judge the quality of a lieutenant is he listens to how the troops talk about their lieutenant.

LH: When he’s not around?

SS: When – is it “the Lieutenant”? Or is that “our Lieutenant”?

LH: Ooh.

SS: They take possession of their leader, right?

LH: Wow.

SS: That’s our lieutenant, right? Versus that’s — it’s always “the Colonel.” It’s never “our Colonel.” So is “the Colonel” because there’s no relationship, too distant. So as soon as we take possession, emotional possession of our leaders, there’s a sign of devotion and mutual trust. But that relationship starts with how the leader leads. Yes, we have a responsibility to give back, but we call you leader not because you have the rank, we call you leader, because you took the risk to trust first. We call you leader because you took the risk to build the relationship first. You took the risk to create the circle of safety first. You took the risk to go headfirst towards the vision first. That’s why we call you leader because you undertook an element of risk. You literally lead; you went first.

LH: Right.

SS: Right, nothing to do with rank.

LH: Into the unknown for —

SS: Into the unknown, whatever it is. And then we have a responsibility to go, I’m coming.
I support you, in this good followership too. You always do this to me, whenever we get together; you get me [laughs]. You know, the best leaders are actually the best followers.

LH: In what ways? What do you mean?

SS: The best leaders never think that they’re the final, that the buck stops with them. They always believe that they’re in service to something bigger than themselves. And even if that leader of the personal leadership position gets to the tippy top of whatever organization, they still feel that they’re subordinate to something even bigger, right? So the pope still thinks that he’s in service to something bigger than him, right?

LH: Um-hmm.

SS: A CEO of a visionary organization feels that they are still beholden to and following a vision bigger than them. So the best leaders actually are the best followers even if they’re at the highest levels of the organization, they’re still in service.

LH: Right. It may not be to a person but to a cause, to a mission.

SS: To a cause, an idea, a vision.

LH: A god, a something.

SS: Whatever it is, there’s still some sort of something that they’re beholden to, and
they’re devoted to, and they’re in service to. So followership is a thing.

LH: Hmm.

SS: And not to belabor the Marine point, but you know, Marines, when they evaluate their leaders, they’re looking for good leadership and good fellowship. So for example, when you go through OCS, Officer Candidate School selection, when somebody [is] chosen to be the leader of that group for that task. The Marines are watching the others as well. So they’re looking to see that everybody’s contributing ideas. They’re looking to see that that leader takes in those ideas but is decisive. And they’re looking to see that the members of the group, if their idea’s unpicked, they still give their all to see that the leader’s idea is successful. And if it fails, [they] give it their all to pick up the pieces and see what they can do as opposed to going, “I told you, should have gotten my way.”

LH: Right, right. “I was right.”

SS: Or sabotaging because their idea didn’t get picked.

LH: So they go all in?

SS: So good followership is as important as good leadership that we respect that when a decision is made, we will give our blood sweat and tears to see that the decision that our leaders have made will be successful and if it fails, we will help pick up the pieces because that’s the deal.

As a CEO, you’re guaranteed to have a lot on your plate. In addition to day-to-day tasks such as managing your team, prospecting, sales calls, and making big decisions, you’re also responsible for developing the vision for your company’s future.

On top of that, you’re constantly bombarded with sales pitches, proposals, and questions.

So how do successful CEOs find the time to get everything done? Than Merrill knows this problem all too well. As the CEO of real estate powerhouse FortuneBuilders — a company with over $1 billion in investments and over 4,00 employees — Than needs to have systems in place to prioritize the most important tasks and get all of them done. In Episode #161, Than and I discussed some of his strategies for efficiency and prioritization.

CEO of  Fortune Bullders
» a real estate powerhouse, company with over $1 billion in investments and over 400 employees

He’s also the author of best-selling leadership books such as Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Together is Better, and Find Your Why.

In Episode #862, Simon and I discussed his latest book, The Infinite Game. Here’s an excerpt where he gave some powerful lessons on leadership and responsibility, drawing inspiration from his knowledge of military leadership.

Lewis Howes: What are some of your rituals, what’s your morning look like? Both physically, you know, going through the motions, but also the mental preparation you have for each day?

Than Merill: One thing, now that I’m married and have a young son, I definitely have had to transition some of my hours to morning time, before they wake up, because I do work from the house. So one of the things I like to do right off the bat is, every morning, I walk down to my office, and for about five minutes I just organize my day, and I prioritize my day, and I think a lot of people don’t do this.

It’s so small but sometimes the most productive things are simple. I look at the 15 activities that I have to do for that day, and I put them in order. And I say, what’s the hardest one I’ve been putting off? … and I get that one done first. I just prioritize my time, and I time it. So I put down that I’m going to spend 15 minutes on this, an hour on this, and I’m not going to spend more time.

A lot of the time we end up spending three hours when we were supposed to write an email — or maybe we’re designing a presentation that we’re going to give to whoever…

LH: And we spend forever on it.

TM: Yeah, so you spend four hours on something.

LH: Give yourself a limit.

TM: Yeah. I give myself a limit.

LH: And you put a time measurement against each one of these priorities. Really?

TM: I always say, done is better than perfect.

LH: Of course. Good and done is better than perfect and never done.

TM: That’s the way I’ve always been, ’cause there’s always things that are going to interrupt your day, so I always make sure there’s a little bit of time allocated to that, and then just put a limit on how long I’m going to work on that. So I actually plan out however long I’m spending working that day into those “blocks.”

It’s been very effective for me, because it keeps me on track and it also keeps the mind, it can sometimes get really excited about new ideas and new things.

It’s helped me say ‘no” to a lot of opportunities that really would have been more distraction than actually good opportunities for the company.

LH: Do you feel that you say ‘no? a lot?

TM: lot more. When I started out, I said “yes” to everything. Now, it’s transitioned to “no” to almost everything.

LH: P’m pretty lucky I’m here, man! You said “yes” to me! (laughs)

Tim Ferriss is one of the most prominent and well-respected figures in the world of entrepreneurship. He’s the author of multiple New York Time bestsellers, including entrepreneurship classic The 4- Hour Workweek. He also hosts the Tim Ferriss Show, an immensely popular business podcast.

Author of the   4-hour Workweek
» an entrepreneurship classic, one of his multiple New York Time bestsellers

Tim has countless business expertise — marketing, outsourcing, lifestyle design, and more. But I find his advice on business ideas particularly inspiring for any new entrepreneur.

The best business ideas solve a real need in the market. In Episode #43, Tim and I talked over a simple method for finding business ideas that solve real problems and offer great potential.

Tim Ferriss: Skipping forward, I dropped the entrepreneurship stuff — with me as the founder — and I moved out west to the Bay Area during 1999-2000, during the .com bubble and boom, to make my billions that way. That didn’t last very long, of course.

But I’d say after the first year or so of working with a startup I became really jaded with how things were being done and decided that I wanted to start my own company and give that another shot.

That was when I started looking at, basically, my credit card statements and where I spent money. It’s a really simplistic approach that I still think is really valuable. It’s still where I think you can find the lowest-hanging fruit for business creations.

In my case, I looked at my income, which at that point was $40,000/year, (pre-tax), and then I looked at where I spent the stupidest amount of money. Just percentage-wise, you know what I mean? Like, where am I  somehow justifying spending an irresponsible amount of money? And, it was with sports nutrition. I mean, you’re an athlete, you’ve seen this before…

Lewis Howes: Right.

TF: It’s unbelievable how devout and consistent, especially, guys are with sports supplementation. And I was spending hundreds of dollars a month on sports nutrition stuff.

And when I looked at my buddies who were, say, training in jiu-jitsu at the same time, they all did the same thing, and some of them made less than I did.

So I decided to lean back on my early days, my time in neuroscience, and design a non- stimulant product which was a pre-workout product. And that later became BodyQuicken, which did exceptionally well. Not right at the gate, of course, but [it] did exceptionally well.

I remember putting that together, and it took a good, I’d say, six months to throw enough against the wall to figure out what worked (for marketing). Remember, my only advertising experience at that point was the classified ads that didn’t do anything. So, I was starting from scratch to try to figure out what worked and what didn’t. There was this new thing out, called Google AdWords, which I was one of the first users of .

LH: When was this, what year was this? Back in 2003?

TF: This was back in 2001, 2002…

LH: Okay, Wow.

TF: And, man, it was a different world then. Everything is so much easier now. Of course, everything is more competitive now, in other respects, like Google AdWords is a lot more expensive than it was then, but that’s kind of how it came together, and since then I’ve never gone back.

Coming up with an idea and starting a business is one challenge, but growing and scaling your business is an entirely different beast. When self-made billionaire Sara Blakely had the idea to start Spanx, her intimate apparel company, it took two years before she could actually get her product to market. She had to find manufacturers willing to invest their time and resources in her. She had to land patents and trademarks. It was a grueling process. But once Sara had passed those hurdles, she took matters into her own hands to grow and scale Spanx to the $1 billion company it is today.

CEO of  Spanx
» $1 billion dollar intimate apparel company

Sara didn’t use any conventional strategies — she came up with her own (brilliant) methods to build momentum around her product line. Soon enough, Spanx was in retail stores around the country and named Oprah’s favorite product of the year.

In Episode #397, Sara and I talked about how she did it. You won’t just hear the strategies she used to grow her company –  you’ll also get a glimpse of Sara’s go-getter mentality and how it propelled her to success.

Sara’s story is so inspiring to me, and I bet you’ll be just as inspired after hearing it:

 

Lewis Howes: So was it challenging to get it? Did you get it the first time, the patent?

Sara Blakely: I did.

LH: Wow, usually takes a few tries, doesn’t it?

SB: I got the patent the first try, and I got the trademark name Spanx.

LH: So it didn’t seem like there were that many challenges once you submitted it or what ever There weren’t a lot of challenges after you got the patent and the trademark?

SB: That was a really hard part. It’s just that I heard the word “no” for two years. Yeah, out of all the manufacturers, nobody thought it was a good idea, and also when you’re just yourself trying to break into an industry, like you mentioned, it’s not really in the manufacturers? best interest to slow down machines or try to give a girl with a couple grand a chance.

LH: Unless you’re going to give them a bunch of money for a big order, right?

SB: Yeah, right, so that was the hard part. Then once I had it, I cold-called Neiman Marcus, and that was the first account I called on.

LH: Did you get it?

SB: Yes!

LH: Well you were great at sales, you could sell it.

SB: I was so excited. It was my moment. I flew to Dallas, I called them, and I said if you give me ten minutes of your time, I’ll come and meet with you. And she said, all right.

LH: And this was the buyer?

SB: Yes, the buyer. I first called the Atlanta store, they were like, girl we can’t help you, we have a buying office. I’m like, where is that, give me their number! So I went in, and halfway through my pitch I could tell I was losing her so I said, you know what, please come to the bathroom with me.

She was so buttoned up, I mean Neiman Marcus… like her pen matched her belt that matched her shoes and she was like, what?

LH: Like, what am I in the bathroom for?

SB: And I’m like, just follow me to the bathroom and I’ll show you my own panty line. And I went in the stall, with Spanx and my pants and without it, and she was like, “I totally get it. It’s awesome. And I’m going to put it in seven stores.”

LH: Wow. Amazing. Just like that?

SB: Just like that. It was unbelievable. I was so nervous.

And then of course I had to call Sam, in the rental car on the way back to the airport. I called the owner of the manufacturing plant. I’m like, “Sam, Sam, it’s me Sara, I need more, I just landed Neiman Marcus!” And he was in shock.

[…] Then I called every friend I had in those seven cities, like people TI hadn’t spoken to in 20 years…

LH: “Hey go buy some of these, take your girlfriends there…”

SB: “Hi Kristina, remember me? You used to sit next to me all the time in grade school, will you please go buy this product called Spanx…” and I literally called them, and I said, I’ll mail you a check.” So I paid all my friends, and friends of friends, to go buy the product.

LH: That is brilliant actually, to get some movement.

SB: So I gave them a whole script, like go in and say, “I’ve been looking for this all my life, I can’t believe it’s here,” and create all this excitement.

LH: This is amazing.

SB: And then, of course a week later I talked to the Neiman’s buyer, and she’s like, “Sara, we are blowing out,” and I’m like, “You don’t say so, no way!” Well, I was buying them all…

LH: Wow. That’s brilliant.

SB: You have to.

LH: That’s incredible. You created your own momentum.

SB: You have to ensure your own success. So then, once I started running out of money, Oprah called and put it on as her favorite product of the year.

LH: How long was that, from the time it was in Neiman Marcus to Oprah calling?

SB: Like, a month. A month and a half.

LH: That quick? How’d she even hear about it?

SB: I sent it to her, in a gift basket. And Andre, who dresses her, put it in her dressing room, and she put them on and has basically worn them every day since.

LH: Shut up. (laughs]

SB: I’m not kidding, it was so unbelievable. I’d no money to advertise, in the back of my apartment I was selling fax machines like a month before that. But I have to say, I was working every night and on the weekends for two years quietly trying to get this, building it.

Jay Abraham is a marketing genius.

You’d be able to tell just by listening to Jay for a few minutes. Not only is his marketing knowledge unparalleled, but he has a professor”s ability to explain complex marketing concepts in simple terms.

You’d also be able to tell by seeing the results Jay is getting for his clients like Tony Robbins, ATT, Microsoft, and the New York Times.

His clients are  Tony Robbins, ATT,
Microsoft & The New York Times

Jay takes it a step further than marketing tactics (email marketing, Facebook ads, etc.). He instead looks to build a top-to-bottom marketing strategy that acquires customers and keeps them for life.

Here’s some of Jay’s marketing brilliance from our discussion in Episode #413:

Lewis Howes: What would you say is the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs or business owners are making right now?

Jav Abraham: Well, there’s probably an integration. First one, almost all of them are tactical. They’re not really strategic. They’re not really making everything advanced and enhanced and ultimate long-term game plan. Number two, they really don’t understand their market at a deep, connective, empathic level. Number three, they make it harder for people to do business with them. Number four, most people don’t understand if you market externally by regular conventional media — it can be anything from Facebook, pay-per-click, anything else — all you’re doing initially is vying for the first outer tier of periphery of trust. And most people don’t really use the greatest trust fuel tank and monetization capacity they have, which is referrals and endorsements, where they’ve already earned trust.

I mean, there’s a delta between me running an ad and you hopefully opting in and saying, “Okay, I’ll give them a chance.” You don’t say it consciously, but as long as there’s a long process, as opposed to, if Ramit says, “Hey, Jay made me this, get on the phone and have him make you that,” it’s a done deal, right? It’s a no brainer. And I look at people, and it’s very funny, it’s tangential, but we do these seminars, and they’re very diverse, hundreds of different industries. And we ask how many people run ads, how many people have sales forces. … Then we ask how many people can actually say that 20% to 100% of your business is generated by word of mouth or referrals. And it’s quite substantial.

Then we ask them, okay, what’s the percentage [from referrals), what’s the dollars? And it’s even more shocking. Uh, 60%, $2 million, uh, 40%, $500,000. Then we say, remain standing if you have in place, at least one formulaic, systematic, strategic referral generating strategy that you’re applying continually throughout the company. And 99% sit down. And for the rest we say, okay, if you have two? And the rest sit down. And then I say, well, first of all, cause I looked at so many industries, we’ve identified 93 un-duplicated referral generating strategies and systems. They require no money, no effort. Then I say, let me tell you if I’m right in my, in my perception (Tony would say my hallucination).

And I say, so I believe a referral generated prospect buys quicker, negotiates less, buys more things, buys more often, buys longer, is more profitable, is more enjoyable, refers more people, costs you nothing to acquire as opposed to how many of you spend 10, 20, 30,000 on ads and trade shows and pay-per-click, trying to get that first outer periphery of trust.
[…]

 JA: It’s pretty well known in advertising — the headline is the ad for the ad. People don’t realize it’s not just the headline that you see in an ad. It’s the opening phrase that you use. If you’re trying to get an appointment, it’s the signage you use at a trade show. It’s the way you embrace somebody at the front of the doorstep of a sale, a sales organization.

It’s the subject line in your email or your Twitter. We’ve changed the way somebody greeted somebody at the front door and tripled response. We’ve changed a headline and gotten 500% more buyers and actually higher quality tickets. Nobody looks at that. If you look at a company that sells lots of different things and you look at different places, they do it. You will see that different products, different propositions, different media, different categories of buyers are worth different amounts.

But if you don’t know that and you treat everything as equal, you’re going to spend the same amount on everything. Whereas, one kind of a product buyer may buy more profitably up front and not buy on the backend. One might not buy well on the front, but buy 20 times … We learned what’s called the lifetime value of a buyer or the marginal net worth. And it’s looking at not just generating a sale, but it’s strategically, what do you want that sale to do? And when you start looking at that, it changes your whole- I mean, we created a company from scratch, a company called Icy Hot, which is prominent today in retail. But when we, we bought it out of, out of a bankruptcy and it was only doing $20,000 and it was selling the same thing by mail for $3. And nobody had ever looked at the buying history. And we saw that for every new ten buyers that came in, eight would buy every month for life. Because there was no cure for arthritis or bursitis.

And out of every eight that bought, four would buy other products from us. And out of every four, two would buy twice a year, in bulk. So, we were selling it for $3. It cost us 55 cents to put out mail. So we were making $2 and 45 cents. Every time we brought in at $3 sale, we were accruing out of ten people, something like $200 a year for life and profit. And when we made that realization, we realized we could afford to lose upfront money as long as our cashflow would handle.

LH: Wow. So, um, you talked about funnel vision and why it’s better than tunnel vision. What does that mean?

JA: Well, I created this years ago. Most people in life, whether you have a career or whether you have a business, you know pretty much what everyone else in the career does, the way they do it… you know, pretty much, what your competitors do and the way they do it. And you know whatever else you read in a book or you go to a program or you see an article in a magazine, but that’s it. And I consider that a tunnel because it’s very limited.

But when you understand this concept of optimization, which is highest and best use, and you understand that there are probably 25 impact or leverage points on the revenue side of anything, anybody does; each one that can be enhanced from 10% to a 1000%, but it can’t be enhanced if you don’t know what they are. And then it can’t be enhanced unless, you know, higher, better, safer, more profitable, more predictable, low cost ways of replacing them.

So what funnel vision is, is taking the best options and opportunities and possibilities outside your business and funneling them into areas, activities, careers, businesses, marriages, anything you want to apply it to where it’s never been really known. And optimally is taking multiple ones and creating hybrids. So one is like this: / \ and the others like that: \
/.

LH: Taking things from other industries, drafting, adopting, borrowing…

JA:…Creating hybrids, synthesizing, and doing it continuously. And you run rings around everybody else. It’s very fulfilling because you have a power that no one else possesses.  So it gives you great certainty, great strength. It’s a very, very empowering thing. Liberating.

Starting a business takes hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. So does growing a business. As an entrepreneur getting your business off the ground, you can expect to have some 12, 14, or even 16-hour workdays. But once you’ve reached a certain level of growth or success, you can start to decrease your workload without sacrificing the business’s results. How? Outsourcing. By hiring employees, freelancers, and virtual assistants, you can start to offload repeatable tasks (like answering emails, customer service, data reporting, and cold prospecting). You’ll only need to do the most important work (business development, new ideas, building relationships, etc.). In doing so, you can finally achieve the “lifestyle entrepreneur holy grail” of working only a few hours per day, setting your own hours, working from anywhere, and building the lifestyle of your dreams. Chris Ducker is living proof that this strategy works. In 2009, Chris was a completely burned out entrepreneur. His business was doing well, but at the expense of his well being.

Chris was working 14-hour days, six days per week, leaving almost no time to spend with his family. And he spent so much time doing menial tasks in the business that he never got around to actually growing the business.

So Chris set a one- year goal to “replace himself in the business” by hiring and outsourcing as much as he could. And he did it. By November 2010, Chris was a fully “Virtual CEO.” He now worked just six hours a day, four days a week- and has written two books to help others get to a similar place: Virtual Freedom, and Rise of the Youpreneur. He was now free to spend time with his family, travel, and live his dream life.
Virtual CEO and Author of
 Virtual Freedom and Rise of the Youpreneur

In Episode #58, Chris and I talked about hiring virtual assistants and finding freedom in business and life. If your main goal in business is freedom and lifestyle, this exchange may be an eye-opener for you:

Lewis Howes: When do you know that you need a virtual assistant?

Chris Ducker: It’s a great question. It’s different for everybody obviously, right? ‘Cause this whole entrepreneurial journey is a very different one for all of us, but ultimately I believe that there will come a time in every entrepreneurial journey where you’re gonna hit a crossroads and you will have to make a choice. And at that point, the choice will be either to continue being the solopreneur that you are, working the 14 -, 15-hour days, six days a week, maybe even seven days a week, and kind of burning the candle at both ends and ultimately burning out and hitting a wall and being no good to anybody. Or the other option is to go in the other direction, and it’s truly to start building the team.

That’s the easiest way to answer the question — it’s when you’ll overwhelm, eventually. [It] will come to all of us. And it really comes down to whether you want to continue to handle it on your own or go find some help.

[…]

LH: Well, you talk about, um, you talk about creating your three lists of freedom.

CD: Now, what are these three lists and why are they so important? Yeah, I mean, this is something that I did myself. So, late 2009, I hit burnout. And I had been working those 15-, 16-hour days for a few years building my company. We were actually doing really, really well business wise. We were very profitable financially. We were very, very co fortable — about 130-odd employees. But I hit a brick wall and between Christmas and New Year, myself and my wife went away for a few days. We had a little staycation here in Cebu. We went down to one of the islands and we talked about the situation we’re in and how to get out of it. And we, you know, we came to the very, very clear conclusion that I was no longer running the business. The business was running me, and I couldn’t have that anymore. 

‘Cause I knew I wasn’t going to survive for much longer with it. You know, something was going to give. And my health was already starting to give. And so what I did is I, I was going to give. And my health was already starting to give. And so what I did is I, I remember like it was yesterday, man, it was over breakfast. I grabbed one of the paper napkins and a pen, and I just drew two lines down on this thing. And I said, right, I’m going to write three lists out here. 

And I remember my wife saying, “Well, what list, what are you talking about?” So I’m going to write down a list of all the things I don’t like doing every day, all the things I’m struggling doing, or maybe I can’t do. And then a list of all the things that I feel I
shouldn’t be doing. And I sat and I started up over breakfast, and five hours later, I had put it out into a huge brain dump of tasks over about four or five different pages. You know, you get the free hotel paper if you want to make notes and things like that.

And so, I put it all out there, and there it was. So the first list was a list of all the things, all the tasks I hated doing day to day. And I would procrastinate all day long and then rush during these tasks. I hated them so much, but I knew that the business demanded it of me. So that was the first list. The second list was a list of all the things that I couldn’t do, but I was trying to do because of my own superhero syndrome. Right? So things like designing websites, designing logos, doing everything from, you know, decent competitive analysis, believe it or not, you know, I’m a great entrepreneur, but I suck at certain things like looking through my competitors’ websites and coming up with what’s working for them. I’m a starter. I start things and build things. That’s what I do. And so that was my second list. The list of all the things I felt I couldn’t do, I was struggling to do.

And then the third list was by far the most important thing… the whole afternoon was spent on this last list. And what I did is I wrote down a list of all the things that I felt I shouldn’t be doing on a day to day basis. And the reason why this was so powerful was because number one, some of these tasks I liked doing, like training my staff, right? Number two, some of them, I was really, really good at doing like business development, but as the business owner, should I be doing those things or should I be spending more time on, you know, hanging out with my top 20% clientele or coming up with new products or services or go into networking events and you know, that sort of type of thing?

So those developed into those three lists of freedom. I didn’t realize it at the time when I started at breakfast, putting those together, but that exercise has now helped hundreds of, I mean, probably well over hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, cause I’ve done them on a whole bunch of podcasts and even live on stage at conferences and things like that as well. It’s a game changer, it’s a game changer. And I consistently bring it up throughout the course of the book as well, because it all kind of starts with that one initial brain dump.

LH: I think it’s really getting clear on what you want and what you don’t want. And the tasks you don’t want to do are extremely valuable because if you can free up all those things that you don’t want to do, if you free that up, you’re just creating this amazing energy and life for yourself. That’s allowing you to start doing what you love. And that’s what it’s all about when we create a virtual business and you have resistance — it’s freeing up the things that you aren’t great at so that you can, uh, do the things you love to do. That’s it.

CD: And, and the things you should be doing, you know what I mean? That’s the thing, the things you should be doing, the things only you can do in your business.
[…]

LH: What is the biggest gift virtual freedom has given you?

CD: I go back to 2009. I was working those ridiculously long hours. My son, my youngest son turns one. And I realized that by the end of 2009, when he turned one, I hadn’t spent a whole lot of time with him. And that made me very, very, very sad. And I’m honestly speaking, I’m choking up a little bit right now just talking about it because I lost an entire year. Okay, fine. He wasn’t running around and playing with Legos and shooting hoops with me like he is today, but it was still an entire year. And it was an entire year also, you know, and some that I wasn’t spending time with my wife as much as I wanted to as well. So for me, virtual freedom has given me the opportunity to just be there more. And a couple of years ago I had back surgery as you know, and one of the beautiful things about all the pain and the anguish and, and the, and the recovery and everything that I went through with that back surgery was that I started practicing yoga and my wife started practicing with me.

She fell head over heels in love with yoga. She’s now a yoga instructor. Actually, she’s done all the courses and all the rest of it, but you know what the really good thing about that was we got to spend, cause I was doing one hour a day, we got to spend an additional five hours a week together. And I wouldn’t have been able to do all these different things.If I’d have been shackled to my desk, the way that I was before I discovered that virtual freedom for myself. And that is the exact reason why I wrote the book, man. It was about telling people that it doesn’t need to be this way. Society has engulfed us with an incredible amount of BS when it comes to what success actually means. And success is not working 15 hours a day, six days a week, having our smartphones, you know, glued to our hands all the time.

That is not success. You know what I mean? It might be deemed “success” by a lot of people within society, but that is not- that is just being more stressed, having less time with your family and you know, what are you going to do with your money? If you’re working 15 hours a day anyway, you’re not going to spend it anywhere. You’re too busy, making more. So it really made me take stock and boy, oh boy, I just, I love being in the situation where I am today. And that’s honestly, the reason why I wrote the book is to try and educate people. It doesn’t need to be that way. There is another way to be.

Many people are satisfied by having enough passive income to sustain their lifestyle. But some aren’t satisfied by having passive income, or by having $1 million in their bank account, or even $5 million or $10 million… they want more.

One of those people is big-thinker Grant Cardone. Grant is the CEO of Cardone Capital, a best-selling business author, the creator of over 20 best-selling business programs, the founder of the 10X Growth Conference (world’s largest business & entrepreneur conference), and the owner and operator of seven private companies, including a $1.5 real estate portfolio.

CEO of 10X Growth Conference
» world’s largest business & entrepreneur conference

Grant’s net worth is in the hundreds of millions, and 1 have no doubts that he’ll be a billionaire one day. But he doesn’t just value money — Grant’s motivators also include impact on others, thinking big, and leaving a legacy for himself and his family.

In Episode #497, you’ll get a taste of Grant’s big-thinking mindset as we discuss making a difference, being rich, private jets, and more.

Grant Cardone: Go find a vehicle that will make you super rich so you could actually make a difference. Because you’re not doing it without money. Elon Musk — he’s got that option, he’s got influence, and he’s got money. And he’s got courage, like that’s a triple threat right there.

Lewis Howes: What do you say to people who don’t want to get as rich, and they don’t want to work as hard?

GC: You had the wrong data. You are under the spell. You’re in a long-term meditation that somebody put on you. You’re under a spell of “money won’t make you happy.” But you’re not happy now. Money buys groceries, okay? Money takes care of medical bills.

I mean this idea is the number one thing I hear from people… “Well, I don’t need to be rich…” Dude, you don’t even know what you’re talking about. You do need to be rich. Poor people are selfish. People that just get by are selfish. You’re selfish, because you’re always talking about yourself.

Listen to what this guy says when I said “You need to get rich, man.” [He said] “No, I don’t need to get rich.” You’re talking about you, but what about your church? What about the community, okay? What about all the little kids you could help?

LH: Your family…

GC: What about people in Africa? What about all the water problems you talk about? Rich people can literally change the world. Poor people cannot do that because they’re too consumed with their own 24 inches around them. “Well I need to eat now. I need to eat.”

LH: [..] What does rich mean?How much is rich?

GC: I’m talking about money. I’m not talking about spirituality, just financial. Because, look, if you get a bunch of money and you’re still miserable inside, then it doesn’t matter as much. But I’d still rather be rich. If I’m going to be miserable, I want some money to go with it.

LH: Exactly. At least get rid of some problems.

GC: Yeah.

LH: You’re not going to get rid of the inner problem.

GC: No, and it’s probably going to be worse. That’s probably going to be magnified. Like, if you’re on a Global 6000 [private jet] and you’ve got to fly 15 hours and you freaking hate yourself, I mean it’s going to be real bad. But dude, that’s better than being in a middle seat on Aisle 37.

LH: That’s true.

GC: So, at least give yourself the choice.

LH: So what does it mean to be rich? How much are we talking about?

GC: If you’re talking about money, I think you probably need 20.

LH: 20 million, then you’re rich?

GC: 20 million. You probably need 20. Now the problem with this — and this is where everybody hates the podcast — is nobody wants to confront the real magnitude of the mathematics. And that’s why people are like, “That’s ridiculous.” No. What you’re saying is, you can’t imagine how to get to 20 million.

LH: What is the biggest failure you’ve ever experienced, and what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from it?

GC: Biggest failure.

LH: Personally, professionally…

GC: So many failures, man. You know I wasted so many years, nine years on drugs. That was a big failure.

LH: The big lesson?

GC: The lesson there is don’t be on drugs. [Both laugh]. Any drug, like I’m telling you these drugs are so dangerous. Particularly if you have a lot of potential. Don’t use drugs.

Number two — another mistake — I was too conservative with money for too long.

LH: You were saving too much?

GC: I listened to my rich uncle, he was a millionaire. I listened to my millionaire uncle, he had too much of an influence for too long over my life. I should have been watching what the billionaires do. They don’t operate like millionaires.

LH: How do they operate differently?

GC: They throw down. The thinking is completely different. They don’t worry about the quarters. The millionaire [uncle] is worried about quarters. He’s a miser. They’re misers. I know people worth four and five million dollars that are total misers, degraded like they’re as bad off as the freaking guy on a street corner. Won’t give anybody anything, won’t share, looks for every shortcut, every sale. And I know a guy that’s a car dealer, and he must own 25 car dealerships. He’s got to be worth a billion dollars. He goes twice a year and gets one of his employees to get a new Macy’s card so he can get an extra 15%.

LH: Really.

GC: Freaking complete insanity. You know he’s probably a billionaire on paper but not a billionaire in his heart. Because the real players, the real guys, they’ll go out and buy a jet. That’s why I bought a jet. My millionaire uncle would never buy a jet, “That’s a bad investment” and all. But the billionaires, they all own ’em. Why? Because they value time over the money. They want to buy time.

LH: Because it doesn’t make sense financially for you [to own a jet] because you know you’re losing money on it.

GC: Totally. All jets go to zero. So when you buy a jet for 60 million, you know it’s going to zero. One day, it’s gonna be in some salvage lot, some joint somewhere being taken apart for parts. So you know when you’re buying it, it’s going down to zero. It’s not gonna be worth more money.

LH: But the things that it brings you…

GC: Dude, it buys you time. A jet is not like a boat. A jet can get you to business. People go to boats, jets go to people. I can just tell you, I bought that jet two years ago, and I paid for it in the first year.

LH: From the deals you got, from the time you saved.

GC: It got me to new places, yeah. And it got me a better quality of life because now my kids are with me, hanging out.

LH: Peace of mind as well.

Entrepreneurship is a journey

Along that journey, you’ll encounter obstacles. You’ll run into unfamiliar territory. You’ll have to take risks. You’ll struggle one day, succeed the next, and on the third day everything will go wrong. But you’ll keep going, and you’ll grow… you’ll find fulfillment… you’ll make more money, earn more freedom, and become happier.

During my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve faced this turbulence head on. Yet I persevered and won. Why? Because I had a solid entrepreneurial foundation.

 When things didn’t go according to plan, I could fall back on my habits, mindset, skills, and strategies — and I was able to steer my business towards success, even if it was headed towards failure. 

By reading this guide, you have just strengthened your entrepreneurial foundation. :

Here’s a brief recap of what was inside:

What you should and should not be focusing on in business
(Gary Vee)

Facing failure, finding publicity, creating opportunity
(Barbara Corcoran)

Habits and rituals of successful entrepreneurs
(Daymond John)

The most common sales mistake and the mindset to fix it
(Darren Hardy)

Leadership, responsibility, and accountability
(Simon Sinek)

How to get the most important tasks done every day
(Than Merrill)

Finding business ideas that are backed by a market need
(Tim Ferriss)

Scaling your business in an unconventional way
(Sara Blakely)

Why “funnel vision” beats “tunnel vision” in marketing
(Jay Abraham)

Why some entrepreneurs prioritize freedom over money
(Chris Ducker)

Why some entrepreneurs prioritize money over freedom
(Grant Cardone)

More Resources for Entrepreneurs:

(Books, tools, downloads, and more…)

Enjoyed the Greatness Guide to Entrepreneurship? Feel free to share it with friends, family, or anyone else you think could benefit from expert entrepreneurship advice.  Just send them this link: lewishowes.com/entrepreneur

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