The biggest misunderstanding that I see people have about success is to assume that there are no problems on the other side of it.
For top performers, success isn’t about having any more challenges, it’s about upgrading the quality of the challenges you face.
Talented, ambitious, driven people understand that on the other side of success lie bigger and more complex problems to solve. And that energizes them.
I was once chatting to a friend who is a parallel entrepreneur—the founder of almost a dozen companies, with a $200 million net worth. I asked him what he likes to do for fun.
He didn’t hesitate for a moment, and shot back, “When I have time off, I dream of new problems to solve and I write business plans for new companies!”
If you want to get to your next level of success, stop trying to solve your current problems and start focusing on how you can take on even bigger problems.
As Daniel Priestley once wrote, “Consider the entrepreneurs you admire most. My bet is that if you look closely you’d discover they have much bigger problems than you.”
Here are 30 counterintuitive ways to get to your next level of success. I don’t care how many you disagree with, look for the one that feels impossible or the one you know would change everything…
- Create a “What Scares Me list.” Ask what you’d do if you had no fear. Fear is often a mask for desire.
- Admit that you’re addicted to solving problems. Stop solving them and start seeking people who can solve them for you.
- Ask who you want to be in ten years. Then travel through a time warp by doing what that person would do—right now.
- Do the opposite. Go deep where you used to go wide. Go wide where you used to go deep.
- Ask the ‘dumb’ and ‘obvious’ questions everyone else is afraid to ask.
- Stop doing everything that’s not in your Zone of Genius. Spend most of your time doing only the 1-3 things that make you feel most alive.
- Spend time with people who are 25 years ahead of you in terms of success. Most of them will be 25 years older than you. Some of them will be 10 years younger than you.
- Tell your team to make themselves redundant every 18 months. They’ll be afraid you’ll fire them. In fact, you’re creating ways for them to work more and more in their Zones of Genius—doing the things that no one but them can do.
- Don’t answer any email that doesn’t move you closer to your mission.
10. Try to get thrown out.
11. Think of the top 10% of your clients. Make it your mission to have 100% of your clients be like them within the next 12 months.
12. Make a list of everything that drains you and everything that energizes you. Stop doing everything that drains you. Double down on everything that energizes you.
13. Send your team flowers when they make a mistake or they challenge your thinking. Create a culture where it’s safe to innovate, to make mistakes and to be more intelligent than you.
14. Say Hell No to everything that’s not a Hell Yes.
15. Set a high aspirational hourly rate. No one will value you more than you do. Pay someone to do everything that costs less than your personal hourly rate.
16. Create leaders, not followers.
17. Look for what no one else can see. Say what no one else will dare to say.
18. Admit your weaknesses. Vulnerability is your superpower.
19. Assume you belong, rather than trying to fit in.</
20. Build a business with as few people as possible. When you do hire—hire overlings, not underlings.
21. Spend money on things that make your life effortless.
22. Output > Input. Write more than you read. Create more than you consume.
23. Build a community of people who fascinate and inspire you.
24. Become known as someone who helps others succeed.
25. Commit yourself to a mission far bigger than you. If you can do it alone, you’re not dreaming big enough.
26. Be in it for the long haul. Choose a mission to commit to for the next 25 years. Your secret weapon will be the patient execution of what everyone else knows they should be doing.
27. Prioritize your health, your relationship and your family above your business success. They are your true measure of success.
28. Put at risk your current success by doing things you’d never do or stop doing things you always do.
29. Stop looking for someone to save you. You’ve got this. You’re more powerful than you know.
30. I lied. I only know 29 ways to help you get to your next level of success. #30… That’s for you to discover!
What’s holding you back the most from your next level of success?
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