At 25 years old, Grant Cardone was headed for death. He had no money, was barely keeping his job and his severe drug habit had gotten him beat to within an inch of his life. When he enrolled in a rehabilitation program, his counselor advised him to give up on his dreams of making it big and concentrate only on living a drug-free life. But Cardone said no. He said no to settling for just making it. He said no to giving up on obsessing about his dreams of making it big. Instead, he decided to refocus his obsession on something worthy. He went back to his job at the car dealership and threw himself into sales. Three years later Cardone was in the top 1 percent of salespeople in the entire auto industry. And he was obsessed with going bigger. Today, Cardone is one of the most famous motivational speakers in America, and he has no plans to stop growing his brand until seven billion people know his name. He is absolutely obsessed with success and he wants you to become obsessed as well. This book sets out to destroy the stigma our society has on the word obsession. For Cardone, obsession was what saved his life and now he wants to share it with the world.
Be Obsessed or Be Average By Grant Cardone
Here’s what you’ll learn about in this book review + cliff notes + basic summary:
⁃ How to figure out your purpose and align it with your obsessions and goals.
⁃ How to take control over every sector of your life, and make every action part of achieving your goals.
⁃ How to surround yourself with only the best and brightest and most encouraging, and to avoid the naysayers and doubters.
Interesting Quotes by Grant Cardone in this book:
“The obsessed are the industry builders, disrupters, titans, game changers, and living legends others admire and wish to emulate. The obsessed don’t just make the world go around. They make the world worth living in.”
“If you don’t have haters, you are not obsessed. If you don’t collect haters, you are doing nothing. If you don’t have haters, you are a threat to no one. A guaranteed indication that you are onto something and making things happen is getting and having haters.”
“Maybe you are just about the money at one point in your life. Well, good. Get that right. Or maybe you don’t care about money and just want to help people. Then get that right. Maybe you want to do it for self-respect or for respect in a community. Then accomplish that in a massive way. Or you could decide to feed them all and compromise nothing. Being obsessed with your sense of purpose across all the parts of your life will allow you to accomplish all the things you desire and become aware of those things maybe you couldn’t see before.”
“The most successful people in the world share one thing in common: they allowed themselves to be obsessed with achieving their goals.”
1) Give yourself permission to become obsessed.
“The obsessed embrace the fact that they – and only they – are responsible for their success.”
Cardone explains that the surest sign that you are ready to become obsessed is a deep frustration with settling for average and with the people around you who are encouraging you to settle. When it comes down to it, you and only you are the one who gets to choose whether you’re going settle for less, or whether you’re going to become obsessed with wanting more out of life.
It’s time to give yourself permission to become obsessed. And your first task is to tell yourself – now and repeatedly – that you really can have it all. Success is the attainment of potential, and your potential will expand and reveal itself to be bigger than you ever dreamed as long as you keep pushing yourself to achieve more. Obsession does not allow for satisfaction or complacency. You will have to deal with the fact that you will always be uncomfortable.
And when the naysayers in your life try to convince you to quit, remind yourself that they are not really talking to you. They are talking to their past selves – the selves that quit – and now they’re desperately trying to rationalize their own failure by trying to bring you down to their level.
Millions of people tell themselves that they don’t need to have it all—that they just need to have enough. But what happens is when they reach their mediocre goals, they realize that it’s just not enough. They are stuck working long hours at something they are not passionate about and they have to beg and scrape for every minute of free time to spend with family and friends.
So give yourself permission to break from the pack and become obsessed. Quit worrying that the people in your life will think you are crazy and just embrace the crazy. You are the only person in the world who truly knows what you want and you are the only person in the world who can give you what you want.
2) Figure out your purpose and tie it to your obsessions.
“Once you know what your purpose is at this time, you can stop your little acts of denial and self-sabotage that are keeping you from going forward.”
How do you figure out what is worth being obsessed with? Not every task you will have to perform is going to be right up your alley; becoming massively successful involves massive amounts of hard work and struggle. In order to identify the obsessions that are worth your time, you first have to find your purpose.
Finding your purpose involves asking yourself several specific questions and answering them honestly. Here are some of the most powerful questions Grant recommends you answer for yourself (ideally, inside of a journal or your note-taking device of choice):
– What excites me right now?
– What do I want to do that causes me to forget to eat?
– What am I willing to do for no money?
– What can I do better than anyone?
– What do I want to be remembered for?
The answers to these questions will give you answers about which obsessions are worth your time and which you can give up.
Also keep in mind that these exercises are certainly not meant to be done once and forgotten; you must constantly be redefining who you are and what you want based on how you grow and change as a person. Cardone describes this as rebooting your operating system. One of the ways he suggests to refresh your obsessions is to make a daily practice of writing down your goals. Make your goals enormous – goals that everyone else will call unattainable. If you are going to dream, dream big.
3) Feed your obsessions and starve your doubts.
“Stay focused on what allows you and your business to grow, and invest no time, energy or resources
into those things and people that don’t.”
If you don’t feed what Cardone describes as your “beasts”, your obsession will falter, your goals will fester and you will lose all sense of your purpose. This means waking up every day ready to set higher goals, do more and surround yourself with people who are doing the same thing. Banish words like “impossible” from your vocabulary. Integrate your goals into every moment of your life. Eat, sleep and breath them – that is what it means to be truly obsessed. Keep your eyes locked on the future rather than dwelling on the mistakes and disappointments of the past.
When he was starting out, Cardone set himself a goal of buying twenty apartments. Today he owns almost five thousand units that are worth $400 million. Now he sets himself a goal of owning forty thousand living units with a $4 billion real estate fund. He already achieved what most would call impossible, so now he chooses to reach for the impossible yet again.
Feed your beasts by constantly learning about your industry. Feed your economic beasts by getting your money right and then putting it to work for you in investments. And finally feed your social beasts by surrounding yourself with the most successful and most encouraging people.
The alternative is to let the naysayers and doubters into your life. Doubt is the killer of dreams. It sabotages your goals. Everywhere you go you will encounter doubt, and you will encounter people who make themselves feel better by making you doubt. Never take advice from a doubter – only take advice from people who are as successful as you want to be.
Bring your friends and family on board by letting them know that you have given yourself permission to be obsessed and that you will not tolerate their doubt in your life. Oftentimes, the people who love you the most will be your biggest naysayers because they don’t want to see you get hurt. So you have to let them know that you are prepared to go all in, despite the risks, and they can either encourage you or get out of your way.
4) Dominate every sector of your life.
“You can’t dominate your business or life – hell you can’t even create a corporate or family culture – unless you dominate your own mind-set.”
Dominating yourself means taking control of your attitude, your ambition, your energy and your confidence, and making it all work for you. It means not letting your problems and fears drive you, but instead being driven by your hopes and goals. It means weeding out the behaviors that harm you or set you back – behaviors like smoking, drinking, gambling, etc.
Your time is precious and you need to meticulously plot out your life in order to capitalize on what little time you have. Cardone boasts that he does not manage time – he creates it. He makes every moment count double for him, by combining date nights with business meetings and taking his children to the gym while he works out. Blank space on his calendar is destructive and useless.
In order to dominate your finances, you have to set yourself up with a system of principles, procedures and mantras when it comes to your money. It means allowing yourself to discuss money with others and not be shy about your desire to make more in order to get yourself closer to your goals.
Dominating your area of expertise means constantly telling yourself that you are the best of the best – even if you are not quite there yet. It means dominating your brand by never being ashamed to promote yourself.
Dominating your life means dominating every sector, and watching them all come together to feed into your obsessions and purpose.
5) Make sales your top priority.
“Sales is not a department, a career, or someone’s job. Sales is the god of any business.”
The most important line on the financial statements of every company is the revenue line, says Cardone. While research, production and management are all important to your business, sales is the lifeblood. It doesn’t matter if you like sales or not. You need sales to survive. In order to become obsessed with sales, become obsessed with your product. Become obsessed with the need to see your product in the hands of everyone out there.
Follow sales pitches all the way through and demand the same of anyone working for you. Too many sales transactions go unclosed simply because the salesman was too timid to actually walk the process all the way through from pitch to proposal to final offer. According to Cardone, this means demanding that your sales people meet their quotas, punishing those that don’t and rewarding those that do. It means having a sales meeting every single day to get your team pumped and ready to dominate the market that day. And it means setting yourself up as an example every day, and inspiring others.
6) Be dangerous.
“Avoiding danger makes sense only if you want to make cents. The only way to reduce risk is to take risk.”
Comfort is the biggest threat of the obsessed; complacency is a curse. There is no such thing as playing it safe because as soon as you think you are safe you will have the rug yanked out from under you. Cardone advocates moving to a new city when you find yourself too comfortable with your living situation. You cannot grow your network if you never meet new people or interact with different communities. Do the things that absolutely terrify you and then learn from your triumphs and mistakes. Don’t worry about being unpopular; worry about disappointing yourself. And take risks with your investments and then follow through in order to grow your money.
And quit following the mantra “Underpromise and overdeliver.” You should never be underselling yourself at any point. Instead, overpromise and then let that fuel you to overdeliver. When you make giant claims, you get people excited. You get them to root for you and you get them to become as obsessed as you are. You will appear to be the most confident person in the room, and eventually you will become the most confident one.
7) Hire the best and get them obsessed.
“If you are doing great things, other people who want to do great things will find you and want to work with you.”
You cannot be the best if you do not surround yourself with the best. You cannot maintain obsession unless the people you work with share in your obsession. And your business will not thrive if your employees are not willing to do anything to see that business succeed.
This means opening the doors of your business to strangers and that is a scary thing. Many business owners refuse to let anyone work for them, because they don’t believe anyone can do the work better than them. And these business owners burn out and drop out. The truth is that businesses are made out of people and you need more voices to contribute to your cause.
This doesn’t mean you should settle for anything less than the best, and that means that the hiring process is occasionally going to be a nightmare. You have to go through massive amounts of people to find the right few. Luckily, if your business is thriving and you are demonstrative about your obsession, you will often draw the right people to you. Always be on the lookout for new employees, even when you don’t currently have open positions. Know exactly what you are looking for; compose a list of qualities of the ideal employee and use it to evaluate everyone you meet.
Then, when you have your team, pump them up! Reward excellent performance, hold staff meetings every day and constantly enforce the company culture you want to see. Don’t feel ashamed of wanting your office to reflect your beliefs and attitudes. Build the culture you know is nurturing, and watch your team mold themselves into it.
8) Take control.
“Every day you and I are given the opportunity to grab the reins and ride the beast, to control our own environment.”
Cardone is absolutely 100 percent unapologetic of being a control freak, and he doesn’t want you to apologize either. People who dislike control are people who have either never had it, or have misused it in the past. Control is not always the same as leadership. When things go wrong, a leader might bear the consequences, but the person in control gets the answers. Exerting control takes courage and confidence. You have to believe that you are worthy of that control, and know in your heart that you are wielding it with integrity and purpose.
If you refuse to take control, you will allow yourself to be controlled. Someone is always going to have the control, so you might as well make it yourself. People refuse control because they fear the responsibility it brings; they would rather have someone else to blame if things go wrong.
Don’t wait for someone to give you control. Constantly look for opportunities and seize them.
9) Refuse to quit.
“The difference between success and failure is staying in the game when others throw in the towel.”
You are not going to achieve massive success the first time around. This is pretty much a guaranteed fact of life. And almost everyone who is massively successful has stories about times they failed, and times they thought about quitting. Walt Disney, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and thousands more were rejected and discouraged again and again. But they didn’t quit. If they had, we wouldn’t know their names. We don’t know the names of quitters because they fade into obscurity.
Quitting is the only surefire way to failure. Cardone describes wanting to quit every day for two years after starting his business. But he dug in his heels, prayed for signs, followed the signs that came his way and after a long struggle, he started to replace disappointments with achievements.
One enemy of persistence we can all learn to avoid is the perfectionist trap. When you become obsessed with making something perfect the first time around, you wait too long, delay and delay and eventually give up. Instead, Cardone counsels to “Get it done, then get it right.” Make the product, write the book and then make updates and edits afterward. Persistence will bring perfection over time.
My Takeaways from this book:
There are always going to be people telling you that obsession is a bad thing, but they are not really talking to you. They are trying to convince themselves that it is not so bad to be average. Ignore them, commit yourself to your purpose and let your obsessions run wild.
Some actionable things you could do from this book:
– Daily Goal Practice: Every day, physically write out a list of your goals. Goals are something you seek to achieve, either in the long-term or short-term. Cardone recommends phrasing your goals as if you have already achieved them.
– Every month, sit down with your list of goals and evaluate them against your potential. If your potential has grown, grow your goals to match it. For example, if your goal was to make a million dollars, and you achieve that, set your new goal at five million (or more.)
– Sit down with your friends and family and tell them about your obsession. Invite them to join you on your journey and make it clear that you will not tolerate naysaying. Be loving, but firm.