Traits of Success From The 10X Rule: What It Takes

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 are the traits of success according to The 10X Rule? Are there common characteristics of success among people that achieved big goals?

The 10X Rule aims to help you achieve big things by asking you to put in extraordinary effort. The traits of success identified in the book are consistent with this message.

Keep reading for the four traits of success from The 10X Rule.

Traits of Success

As this book has shown, success has little to do with economics, education, or demographics.

It stems from how you approach situations, challenges, and problems. This chapter looks at the common qualities, personality traits, and habits of successful people. Adopt the following actions and mindsets and you’ll be successful yourself.

Think Big

Have big goals and aspirations: Set “unrealistic” or 10X goals; small goals won’t inspire you or make you stand out. If you don’t set and focus on your own goals, you’ll spend your life working for the objectives of others. 

Break with tradition: Challenge traditional thinking. Don’t be concerned with the way things have been done in the past; find new and better ways to do them. 

Take risks: Many of us are taught to avoid risks and play it safe; to never really go big. Take enough risks daily to create success. Life is a lot like Vegas: you have to put something significant in the game to get a return.

Create your reality: Create your own reality by accomplishing your dreams. Don’t let anyone else set limits for you or define your reality. 

Have a can-do attitude: Tackle every task with a can-do attitude. Use phrases like “we can do it” and “let’s make it happen,” which assume there’s a solution.

Be on a mission: Treat your work as a mission, not a job. Approach every call, email, and presentation with your mission in mind. Otherwise, your work will be just a job and probably unfulfilling.

Create wealth: Successful people aim to generate wealth (not income) through ideas, products, services, and solutions. Unsuccessful people work to make money, then spend it on unimportant things or protect it. Also, poor people spend money on the things affluent people use to create wealth (rent, interest on loans, credit).

Take Action

Welcome change: Constantly seek ways to improve how you do things, anticipate economic trends, and identify and seize opportunities. Change keeps you excited and motivated. This attitude towards change is one of the main characteristics of success.

Always say yes: Say yes to opportunities until you’ve become so successful you have to start saying no to manage your time. Saying yes to everything opens you to new experiences, adventures, solutions, and greater success.

Take constant action: Make action a habit. Always be doing something, even while on vacation—never stop doing things to get attention for your products and ideas. Not every action will pay off immediately, but cumulative action will generate extraordinary results. 

Commit first, then figure it out: Fully commit yourself to whatever you plan to do; then work out the details. When you act instead of waiting, you outmaneuver competitors. Your commitment spurs your creativity and problem-solving.

Be highly motivated: To do 10 times more than the next person, you need to be highly motivated. Constantly set new and higher goals for yourself. Use your successes to inspire and motivate yourself to achieve even more.

Work smarter: Don’t just work hard, take the smartest approach to reaching your goals. Always look for ways to improve your methods—for instance, developing a better public relations program or better product, or finding new investors or more talented staff. When you work smarter, you get better results and the work is more rewarding.  

Figure it out: Always take responsibility for solving problems. When you don’t know an answer, tell yourself, “I’ll figure it out” rather than “I don’t know.”

Persist: Stay the course regardless of any problems or setbacks. Persistence is more important than talent. When you encounter resistance, redouble your efforts. Many people give up, so learning persistence gives you an opportunity to stand out.

Go All Out Is One of the Key Success Traits

Go all the way: You can’t succeed by taking half measures. Don’t settle or make excuses. Until you win a customer you haven’t gone all the way. No matter how many times you call a client, if you don’t close the deal, you’ve wasted your time. Go all the way and make the sale.

Be unreasonable: You need to think and act unreasonably—in ways others view as irrational or unrealistic—to get extraordinary results. Salespeople who are unreasonable get the sale. Most people act reasonably and get mediocre results. In contrast, people willing to be unreasonable change the world.

Fully commit: Commit yourself fully to action. Success requires jumping in with both feet. Unsuccessful people say they’ll give something a try, but typically fail to follow through on activities and obligations.

Embrace danger: People are often so cautious that they don’t live full lives. However, to accomplish anything big by acting at extreme levels, you need to embrace danger and risk.

Focus on results: Focus on results, not on the time spent on a task or activity. Unsuccessful people always talk about how much time they spend at work even if they don’t accomplish anything. It’s like going only as far as the front hallway when it’s time to take out the trash—you still have a problem because you didn’t get the job done. Results, not effort, are what counts.

Commit to Personal Growth

Leave your comfort zone: Seek out new situations and challenges rather than becoming too comfortable in your daily routine. Complacency kills creativity and the drive to achieve.

Learn continuously: Make time for reading, studying, and educating yourself. The most successful CEOs read 60 books and attend six conferences a year, while the average employee reads fewer than one book a year and earns 319 times less. What you invest in yourself determines your wealth, health, and future.

Connect with smart people: In seeking out new relationships, “reach up” by associating with smarter, more successful people than you. This encourages you to improve yourself to rise to their level. You can learn from them, too.

Be ethical: Ethics means more than not breaking the law. It means doing your utmost to succeed—doing less is stealing from your family, future, and company. It means following through on commitments and living up to your potential.

Be disciplined: Discipline is the self-control and motivation to complete tasks and follow through on commitments. You need discipline to exceed what others are doing.

Support others: You can only do as well as the people around you. “Me first” thinking undermines the group, which ultimately hurts you, too. But when everyone is improving and succeeding, it will support your success.

Look Forward

Seize opportunities: View every situation—even if it’s a problem—as an opportunity. 

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. Solving problems leads to new products, customers, and financial success. When a problem affects an entire market, the person who views it as an opportunity will come out on top.

Embrace challenges: Challenges hone your skills and motivate you. Don’t look at challenges as losses; let them inspire you to engage and win. The more you win, the more you’ll come to relish challenges.

Be courageous: Courage is acting in spite of fear. You can increase certain skills through training, but you only develop courage by doing. The more action you take, the more your courage will grow. If something scares you, do it so often that it becomes less intimidating and you wonder why you ever feared it.

Seek to solve problems: Seek out problems and solve them and you’ll separate yourself from the pack. Those who solve problems are heroes—the bigger the problem, the bigger the success. 

Act now: The present is where you create the future you want. Make a habit of acting now; don’t waste even a second by delaying. While others are figuring out what to do, you’ll already have finished doing it. The more you do, the more momentum, skill, and confidence you gain so you can do even more.

Exercise: Develop Success Traits

The 10X Rule describes a variety of qualities, personality traits, habits, and characteristics of success. They fall into the categories of thinking big, taking action, going all out, looking forward, and committing to personal growth.

  1. How many of the success traits described in the above chapter do you share?
  2. Which one would you most like to work on and why?
  3. Which one can you focus on immediately; what steps can you take to practice this trait?
Traits of Success From The 10X Rule: What It Takes

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  • 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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