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The 10X Rule Book Summary

This article is a summary of the book The 10X Rule.

Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule is a book about success.

The author spent three decades studying people that made it big in life.

Insights gained through this research allowed him to create a recipe for fortune. It’s core theme is how a person’s thought process and work ethics combine to manifest great achievements. Turns out, it’s not ephemeral factors like luck that make us successful.

Rather, prosperity is something we build for ourselves.

Here’s how.

The 10X Rule – Ten Times What?

Cardone says that taking action is the only way to get results. The basic idea is simple :

  • You start with a target that’s ten times larger than what you want.
  • And then you work ten times harder than what you think will be needed.

Inculcate massive thoughts and follow up with massive action. It’s kind of a corollary to the “Atomic Habits” principle. Sure, nothing is guaranteed in life. It’s all too common to face adversity and failure.

But you’d set an audacious goal. Even if you fall short, you will be much farther along than where you’d started from. At the same time, you will have built a habit of working very hard.

It’s easy to see that the 10X Rule has two parts: the thinking phase and the doing phase. Both are needed if one wants to keep making progress. It’s important to never stop pushing forward.

After you achieve one goal, you must set another (and work towards it). If you abandon the hunt for greater rewards, the cycle of success will crumble.

You never know when or if you have realized your full potential. Again, the term “full potential” is hard to pin down. As a person evolves and grows with time, so does their potential. That’s why it’s imperative to keep making conscious efforts to improve your lot in life.

An interesting thing about success is that it’s like a breath of fresh air; although your last breath is important, it’s not nearly as important as the next one

There’s no such thing as a “free lunch” in this world.

Doing anything requires you to put in time and energy. If you have to do work anyway, why not just work ten times harder and enjoy the big rewards?

Why the 10X Rule Is Vital

Cardone brings up the story of his first business.

Here was a bright 29-year old with a dream of changing the world and the idea to propel him forwards. He expected the business would provide him with the same level of income as his old job within three months. In reality, it took three years to get there.

That was how he learned that instant success is a myth.

The going was tough.

Cardone was ready to quit many times along the way.

He would feel that his target was too difficult, or that his clients were idiots, and even that the market wasn’t ready for his product.

But eventually he realized that the problem was with him: he’d never correctly estimated the sheer amount of effort it would take to move a new product into the market. There was an epiphany —

Any venture, started with an inadequate amount of preparation, is doomed to fail.

This is what people have to realize.

Problems rarely exist with the external environment. It’s the internal mindset that ultimately controls success.

If attaining a goal seems difficult, the easy way out is to just move the goalposts.

But in order to be successful, and keep being successful, one has to realize that cop-outs don’t help.

If your goal seems unattainable, work harder. Take the risk of coming up short; but never, never target less.

Any target attacked with the right actions in the right amounts with persistence is attainable

And that’s why the 10X Rule works: it doesn’t let you quit or back down. It pushes you to make every effort and get what you want.

The 10X Rule Summary, Part I: Your Greatest Weapon Is Your Mind

Your thoughts manifest your reality. A cynical person, someone that hates everything, will never have enough motivation to do much.

On the other hand, if you truly believe yourself to be capable of extraordinary success, you’ll find yourself full of positive energy. A mindset like this will push you to diligently work towards accomplishing great things.

Set audacious goals

Society has convinced us to set ‘realistic’ goals. Most people follow this advice. And most people never make it big in life. See the correlation? Cardone argues that easily achievable goals are never enough to keep a person motivated. If your goals are small, you will tend to bail out the moment you face adversity. A massively ambitious goal is what will keep you interested enough to follow through. The philosophy behind 10X goal setting is simple —

Your goals are there to fuel the actions you will need to take

Small, easily achievable goals will only let you take small, easily doable actions. If you have massive goals, you will put in massive efforts. Success comes to those that work hard and push forward.

Control everything

Essentially, if you want to be successful, you have to be responsible first. If you’re spending your time making excuses, you won’t have any left to dedicate to working towards your goals.

Being responsible means that you will always be on the lookout for ways to improve your situation in life.

Sure, bad things happen. Not all plans pan out. It’s not possible to predict or control every eventuality. However, the 10X philosophy encourages responsibility.

So, how can you be responsible for something you have no control over? It just means that whenever you face any adversity, you should not just quit.

Rather, you should look for ways to improve your situation going forward. You need to become someone who makes things happennot someone to whom things happen.

A responsible person fixes problems, whether they see them coming or not

Let’s take an example here.

Suppose a three-hour power outage in your neighborhood caused your food in the fridge to go bad. In cases like this, it would be easy to say, “Well, shit”, give a shrug and move on with life.

But you need to take charge. What can you improve? It would be a good idea to invest in a generator. It never hurts to be prepared.

A mindset like this is a healthy way of asserting control over your own life.

A responsible person fixes problems, whether they see them coming or not. They are never happy with the easy way out.

When you begin to control everything, you won’t ever need to be a victim of circumstances again.

The 10X Rule Summary, Part II: Go Big or Go Home

Once you have mastered your mind, you’ll become a highly responsible person. You will have set great goals, and have cultivated the grit to see things through. You’ll be thinking 10X larger. It’s now time to actually do stuff. This is the second phase of the 10X Rule —that of taking action at very high levels.

It’s natural to wonder exactly how much one has to exert oneself to be successful. There isn’t one answer to this question. The more you work, the better your chances of making a breakthrough. Most people fail because they didn’t take the right levels of action.

So what exactly does the “level” or “degree” of action mean? Cardone classifies action into for types.


This means backing down from challenges.

The once bitten twice shy idiom is at work here.

Sometimes, you don’t get the results you were looking for. It’s even possible that the action you take backfires.

Think of that time you lost money on a bad investment (remember $Shib?), or the cramps you got because of exercise. We’ve so many businesses and governments crumble over the past two years.

Things like this can make one apprehensive of taking risk.

You might think that, in the long run, it’ll be good for you if you keep operating at your current levels. At least you’ll will be avoiding failure this way. People often use these tricks to justify the retreating mentality.

Needless to say, this is an unhealthy habit. It conditions you to hold back on your true potential.

You’ll spend valuable time and energy justifying your stance, when you could have focused on improving your life. In the end, this mindset can only make things worse.

In the investment example above, you might think it’s better to keep your money in the bank.

But the way inflation is going, it will just reduce your purchasing power and make the bank richer.

Never retreat. Use your brain and find good investments.

Do nothing

Similar to the “retreaters”, there exist people that do nothing when faced with an opportunity.

They give in to laziness and inertia, and allow life to pass them by. Having given up on their hopes and dreams, these people are happy to accept whatever comes their way.

Signs that you are doing nothing include exhibiting boredom, lethargy, complacency and lack of purpose

This might seem counterintuitive, but it takes energy to do nothing.

Think of it this way — if you let an opportunity go, you’ll have to explain your action to somebody (be it your parents, your spouse or yourself).

The do-nothings spend their time and energy coming up with excuses. It’s common to find them indulging in distractions like web-browsing, gaming, golfing, watching movies or some such.

Why distractions? Because these people will have excess energy left over from doing nothing. Again, that energy will have been better spent in building a better life for themselves. 

The retreaters and the do-nothings work hard at not succeeding.

“Normal” levels of action

A vast majority of our population is made up of people who take normal levels of action.

In professional life, this translates to employees that complete their given tasks on time, nothing more and nothing less.

In business, normal action means to earn the average revenue for the given sector.

And in terms of personal income, it means the middle class — earning average salaries and saving average amounts.

Average is the keyword here.

These people live unassuming lifestyles. They fit in, and get by in life.

Occasionally they create something of exceptional quality, but never do so in exceptional quantities. Common sense tells us that this is the acceptable way to live. Not everyone can be a Bill Gates, after all.

Because your way of life is considered acceptable, you never stop to consider if it can be made better.

That’s what makes this so dangerous — because your way of life is considered acceptable, you never stop to consider if it can be made better.

Things start to crumble the moment something abnormal occurs. Simple misunderstandings can cause average relationships to fall apart. And economic recessions means the average employees get fired.

This normal mindset is also the easiest to rectify.

The normal people will already have a habit of laying out a plan and working on it. All they have to do to be honest with themselves and say they want something more out of life.

Then they’ll be able to think bigger and work harder.

Massive action

This brings us to the final degree of action, the major league, so to speak. These people are not happy with what society tells them is good enough.

Where the normal salesman makes 2–3 calls in an hour, the “massive” worker will complete 20–30. Average students will only read the textbook; exceptional ones will watch YouTube videos, take practical courses and read blogposts in addition.

The laws of statistics themselves help these people out —repeat an experiment enough times, and you’re bound to get a favorable outcome.

Cardone argues that massive action is the default state of human behavior. Think of when you were a kid. Chances are, you’d have been running around the house playing and exploring.

You’d have asked a hundred questions and made a hundred friends.

This holds true even in the animal kingdom: the anthill is a madhouse of activity and grazing animals spend most of their lives foraging.

Massive action is ingrained into our subconscious by evolution. People just have to learn to thrown the shackles society places on them.

Recommended read: How to Succeed in Life: 4 Mental Shifts You Must Make

Ten Times How?

It’s now time to put what we have learned so far into practice. Here’s a few pointers:

  • Obsess over success. Cardone argues that obsession isn’t a disease. Rather, it’s a fuel that keeps pushing you towards a goal. If you make success your goal, and keep obsessing over it, you will the energy to take massive action
  • Competition is for sissies. You shouldn’t be looking to just be a competitor in a game. You should be the one that owns the game. Come up with a noble idea, put in massive actions, reap massive rewards, and be the trendsetter in your chosen field.
  • Expand, never contract. When you have found your calling — be it the right profession, the perfect business opportunity, or the right market niche — go all in. Commit all your energy and creativity into making your product successful. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to expand your business, even if the market is down. With the real estate collapse in the 1990s, many companies were laying off employees. Cardone had done the opposite; he hired a lot of competent people. Sure, it was a big risk and his revenue took a hit. The long term benefits proved to be worth it, though. He’d earned the loyalty of many good, reliable people. And his business boomed.

The 10X Rule Summary – Conclusion

This is the end of our The 10X Rule summary.

Success is not a zero-sum game.

It just seems that way to the complacent masses. But when you set your sights high enough, and work hard enough, you’ll find that you are actually creating success

You’ll have built an exemplary business, or a healthy relationship, that benefits more than just you. A life like this enriches society, lifting up not only the doer, but everyone involved with them.

And that is the essence of the 10X Rule — creating extraordinary success through extraordinary efforts for large numbers of individuals.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

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