The Psychology of Success: The 10X Difference

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 10X Rule" by Grant Cardone. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the psychology of success? How does The 10X Rule describe the mentality of successful people?

The psychology of success is the mentality that successful people have when approaching their goals and work. In The 10X Rule, Grant Cardone describes the psychology of success as going “all in” on what you want.

Read more about the psychology of success and how following The 10X Rule can make all the difference.

Going ‘All In’ and the Psychology of Success

People who achieve 10X success differentiate themselves by being everywhere and going over the top when others hesitate, pull back, or under-commit. The psychology of success in The 10X Rule includes being omnipresent, obsessed with success, and they see opportunities in misfortune.


A public relations executive once suggested to Cardone that he was in danger of being overexposed, that his media and online efforts were drawing too much attention to his name and company. The idea is that too much exposure cheapens a brand.

However, this is ridiculous on its face. Is Coca-Cola overexposed? It’s better to be overexposed, if that’s actually a problem, than overlooked. Your brand and reputation are valuable assets only if enough people are aware of them. For a new product or company, the problem is more likely to be obscurity than overexposure.

Rather than worrying about overexposure, strive for omnipresence, meaning your name is everywhere all the time—like McDonald’s, Google, Walmart, or Apple. Or Warren Buffett, George Bush, Bill Gates, or Oprah.

Cardone’s goal is for more than 6 billion people to hear his name every day and think of sales training when they think of him. Because it’s a 10X goal, he’ll increase his success whether he achieves it or not. The goal of being omnipresent drives his company’s decisions and actions—his employees say yes to anything that would increase his exposure and no to anything that would get in the way. This is 10X, not average, thinking

Omnipresence has even more value (besides making money) when you align it with a larger purpose. For example, Bill and Melinda Gates’ omnipresence furthers their goal of improving health around the world. Omnipresence and 10X success are the best answer to anyone suggesting you’re overexposed.

The Psychology of Success Includes Your Response to Negatives

Besides omnipresence, another way 10X thinking sets you apart is in how you respond to economic downturns.

In a financial crisis or economic slump, most companies contract, cut spending, and put major projects on hold.

However, scaling back is retreating and ignores the 10X Rule, which requires extreme action. Others’ hesitation or cutbacks offers an opportunity for you to expand your market presence. 

Remember, your goal is to dominate your market to the point that your name is synonymous with your field. That’s why, during the 2008 recession, Cardone boosted staff and marketing, as well as applying 10X efforts to make more client contacts and step up production of training materials and programs. As a result, he increased his market share.

If the economy, or any other outside force, leads you to scale back, you won’t control your destiny. The answer is always to take 10X actions, regardless of what the economy or other people are doing.

Obsession is Good in the Psychology of Success

Being obsessed with something is often seen as negative. People who are passionate may be viewed as crazy or off-balance, as workaholics, or as not “having a life.” However, in this world of short attention spans, the single-minded pursuit of extraordinary goals should be seen as a gift instead of a flaw. Obsession is a hallmark of 10X thinking and action.

Most great achievements were someone’s obsession at one point. For instance, space travel is the result of the decades-long obsession of teams of scientists and engineers with figuring out how to do it. Artists, musicians, athletes, philanthropists, and business owners are obsessed with success.

Children naturally become obsessed or fixated on whatever stirs their curiosity, whether it’s a subject like elephants, a snack, a toy, or an activity. Unfortunately, adults sometimes suppress children’s obsessions, and children give up intense commitments for average commitments.

However, obsession is a requirement for pursuing 10X goals with 10X actions. It sends the message to clients and competitors that you’re fully committed to success. As a result, they take you seriously.

So be obsessed and stay obsessed with making your goals a reality. Feed your obsession—compound your success by taking continuous 10X action. The alternative to obsession is spending your life making excuses for failure.

Go ‘All In’

Part of being obsessed with your goals is going “all in”—committing yourself fully to extreme action.

In poker, going “all in” means putting all your chips on the table or going for broke. In situations outside of poker, many people would rather play it safe and guard against losses. However, unlike poker chips, the amount of action you can take isn’t limited.

Salespeople often fail to go all in with every sale because they fear rejection or failure. But failing with one customer shouldn’t keep you from going all in with the next one. Go all in with every opportunity.


Overcommitting, like being obsessed, is another practice we’re warned against. Businesses

aim to under-commit and over-deliver. They fear not being able to meet high customer expectations, so they would rather create low expectations that are easy to exceed.

You can see how silly this is when you imagine advertising a Broadway show as featuring average or mediocre singers and dancers and then over-delivering on opening night. Of course, producers should advertise the show as outstanding and then deliver an even more phenomenal performance.

In keeping with the 10X rule, you should overcommit and deliver more than promised. The greater your commitment to a client, the more you usually end up delivering because you’re making a commitment to yourself to excel as well as to the client. Knowing you can do it with a 10X effort motivates you to do just that.

Another form of overcommitting that salespeople fear is contacting and signing up too many customers for fear of not being able to serve them all. However, making 10X efforts to acquire customers and making big promises (overcommitting) will differentiate you from competitors and compel you to deliver big.

Of course, overcommitting creates a problem for you—you have to find a way to deliver. But such challenges go along with having big goals and are signs of progress; if you lack problems, you’re not doing enough. Put another way, successful people seek out problems, while average people try to avoid them. Problems drive you to find or create solutions, so overcommit first, then figure out how to deliver. It’s far better to have too many appointments and customers than too few.

If you make it a practice to overcommit and take extreme or 10X action, you’ll create problems, solve them, and exceed both your customers’ expectations and your own.

The Psychology of Success: The 10X Difference

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Grant Cardone's "The 10X Rule" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The 10X Rule summary :

  • How to set goals that are 10 times bigger than average
  • How to use extraordinary thinking to achieve extraordinary results
  • The 3 myths that will sabotage your chances of success if you let them

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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