180. The Secret to Success & Why Should You Read A Book A Day?

07 takeaways from this talk:

00:00:29 How successful would you be today if:

Mentors and role models have the power to impact your life.

00:03:17 Every year 100,000s of people move to Hollywood to chase their dreams of breaking into show business. Most fail. What is it about the VERY, VERY few who beat the odds and actually broke into show business? What did they do differently, and how can we copy it?

“You will NEVER find all the answers from just one person. But if you can download the mindset and advice of successful people who came before you, then you will get what you want. Mentors are a short cut.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In Rory Sutherland’s talk The Next Revolution Will Be Psychological Not Technological he argues that one thing all ‘the next big things’ have in common is that they come from a place you wouldn’t expect, and when people do try and predict the future they basically take the most visible form of progress they’ve seen in their own lifetime and extrapolate upon it.

In my interview with Derek Banas, he points out that when it comes to online marketing, one misconception people commonly have are that they believe what all the gurus are saying and they have no idea how quickly marketing strategies change. Online marketing changes on a month-to-month basis.

In the documentary Transcendent Man, Ray Kurzweil explains most inventors fail not because they don’t get their gadgets to work, but because the timing is wrong. People don’t start a project when the hardware and the technological capability doesn’t exist yet to support it; but in fact you should do that… Information technology follows relatively predictable trajectories, and you can use this as a planning tool. Meaning you can’t just take projections for just 2, 3, 4, or 6 years, but 10, 20, 50 years from now and invent with the technologies of the future. You can’t build those devices yet, but you can describe them and write about them.

In my interview with Dave Trott, he argues that 90% of university graduates are loafers and skivers who want the fame, fortune and satisfaction of working on projects they’re passionate about, but don’t want to take the initiative required to find their own way to success, preferring somebody give them a ‘universal set of rules’ needed to become successful, and when they don’t get their way they complain. This lazy mentality is the unfortunate byproduct of an educational system which rewards students with passing marks for blindly repeating what their teachers tell them to, and then those students spend their free time playing around and getting drunk. This is how they have learned and have been trained to behave going into the workforce. He has found that this applies to graduates in general, regardless of their field of study.

Lastly, as explained in my lecture 25 Reasons Startups Fail Within Four Years, one of the reasons is because of bad advice from friends and family. For more on avoiding this pitfall, watch the lecture Growing From Zero to Many Users byAdora Cheung.]

“Your ability to copy is the biggest predictor of success in life.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In Andy Baio’s Creative Morning talk Copy, Cut, Paste, he quotes Zach Barth as saying “The act of borrowing ideas is integral to the creative process,” and further warns that being sued for copyright infringement carries with it a penalty of can ruin your life, and definitely the life of your business.

In John Oliver’s show on Patent Trolls, he explains that of the 4,700 patent lawsuits filed in 2012, 3,000 were from ‘patent trolls,’ and the number of lawsuits filed by ‘patent trolls’ has nearly tripled, costing investors over $500,000,000,000 since 1990.]

00:10:03 Basic rules for finding success:

  1. Spend 33% of your life mentoring and helping people at a lower station in life than you are. You help them improve and it helps you feel good about yourself.
  2. Spend 33% of your life associating with people at the same station in life as you; your friends and peers.
  3. Spend 33% of your life being mentored by people 10 times more successful than you are. They will make you feel uncomfortable, but that feeling will push you and give you the tools needed to succeed. Don’t find a mentor who is only 1 or 2 times more successful than you; go to the top and go big!

Everybody wants the good life, but not everybody’s willing to invest in getting it.

00:11:43 Be humble. After turning Walmart into a successful billion dollar business, Sam Walton was arrested in Sao Paulo for doing business reconnaissance and getting onto his hands and knees in a local grocery story to measure the distance between the shelves on each aisle. Even as a rich man he wasn’t cocky and he never stopped learning.

00:12:36 Perservere. Most stories you hear about are only the successes at the end; not the slow long collection of failures along the way to becoming a success. Bill Gates started as an entrepreneur at the age of 12, and didn’t become a billionaire until he was 31 years old. From age 20-30 Bill Gates claims he never once took a day off from work.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on this, watch the TEDx talk Why You Should Be Suspicious Of The Stories You Hear by Tyer Cowen.]

00:14:02 Read. Sam Walton of Walmart built a $160 billion business, and then wrote a book about it. Millions of other successful people have done the same, and for just a couple of dollars you can have access to their knowledge.

The average American buys 17 books a year and maybe reads one a month. Books are not one time events, they are experiences to be read over and over.

00:16:01 Stoic versus Epicurian. Should you sacrifice pleaures today to enjoy them tomorrow, or enjoy pleasures today because you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow? Want the good life? Toughen up.

A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurian. Toughen yourself up.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Want the benefit of having 63 professional advertisers helping you with your advertising and branding strategy? Then order How to Shape Human Behavior (2nd Edition) now!]

4 thoughts on “180. The Secret to Success & Why Should You Read A Book A Day?

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