What Is the 10X Rule? How to Multiply Your Success

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What is the 10X rule? How does Grant Cardone describe the 10X rule in his book named after the rule?

Grant Cardone describes extraordinary success and how to achieve it in his book The 10X Rule. So, what is the 10X rule? The rule is: set goals that are ten times higher and put in effort that is ten times greater to accomplish results that are ten times better.

Keep reading for the answer to the following question: what is the 10X rule?

What Is the 10X Rule?

Few people have what they think of as success. They want more in their career, finances, health, relationships, or some other area. Regardless of how you define success, to reach the next level, you need to think and act differently.

You’re where you are now because of the way you’re thinking and acting—whether you want to find a job, lose weight, find a partner, or increase your income or savings.

So, what is the 10X rule? The 10X Rule is about radically changing your thinking by setting 10X goals, then acting at a 10X level to achieve them. Here’s what this means.

Set 10X Goals

Most people set modest goals. Our goals are based on beliefs drummed into us by others, who define what constitutes “enough” or what’s realistic. We’re told that if we set unrealistic goals, we’ll just fall short and get discouraged; that we should be happy with “enough” to live comfortably. Or, we’re told that if our expectations are too high, we’ll end up unhappy.

However, you’ve probably been disappointed more often in the past by setting goals that are too low rather than too high—because when you set low targets and hit them, you know it’s not much of an achievement and you feel dissatisfied.

But if you set a huge (10X) goal and come up short, you’ll still achieve more than you would have in hitting a lesser goal. For example, if you originally set a goal of making $100,000, then boosted it to a 10X goal of $1 million, wouldn’t you rather come up short on the $1 million goal?

When you aim for only “enough” to be comfortable, you’re limiting yourself to being happy with just a little success. As a result, you’ll put in a limited amount of effort, get little in return, and won’t keep it very long. (Chapter 8 looks more closely at the trap of aiming to be average.)

Here’s how average goals tend to work out. If you spend your life making only enough money, you’re likely to end up with less than enough when something unexpected happens. If you exercise only once a week, you’ll get sore muscles but no significant improvement. Becoming good (or good enough) at your job won’t sustain you when the market demands excellence. You’ll have expended energy for no payoff—only 10X goals deliver a big payoff.

Extraordinary or 10X goals are, by definition, bigger than what most people can imagine and achieve.

Further, if you’re not working toward your own big goals and dreams, someone else will likely use you to accomplish theirs.

What Is 10X Rule Thinking?

What is the 10X Rule? It means you must set goals that are 10 times what you think you want.

People who are engaged in 10X-level thinking—that is, extraordinarily successful people—don’t aim just at achieving an ambitious goal, for instance, running a successful business. Instead, they aim to totally dominate the area or market they’re operating in, and they’ll take extreme action to do so.

If you want to succeed in a big way, you need to adopt a domination mindset. This mentality isn’t about controlling others, it’s about setting a standard others measure themselves against. Don’t do what other people or companies do—instead, be willing to do whatever they won’t do, even to the point of seeming unreasonable.

Remember, if you undertake any task with a mindset that limits the outcome, you’ll limit your efforts to achieve it. (Chapter 9 looks at how to set your own 10X goals.)

Take 10X Action

There are numerous books, programs, and speakers providing advice on how to succeed in business by setting goals, practicing time management, being disciplined and persistent, and managing your career.

But you don’t hear much, if anything, about the one mindset or behavior that will guarantee extraordinary success: extraordinary effort.

In looking at his own life, Cardone realized that the common denominator in each of his successes was that he did 10X more than anyone else did. For every sales presentation, call, or appointment that others made, he made 10 presentations, calls, or appointments.

When he began investing in real estate, he looked at 10 times as many properties as he could buy. He started a business without a business plan and little knowledge or connections, but through extreme effort, he made it a success. Whatever he did was done in a big way, with massive action.

Most of the problems in people’s lives—from failed diets to financial or relationship problems—stem from not taking enough action. (Learn more in Chapter 7: four degrees of action.)

10X Thinking and Acting

What is the 10X rule comprised of? Thinking and action work hand in hand: Set goals that are 10 times higher than you’re inclined to and do 10 times what you think it will take to make them happen. 

Extreme goals must be followed up with extreme action.

People typically make four mistakes in working toward their goals, which are discussed in later chapters:

1) They set expectations that are too low and not sufficiently motivating.

2) They underestimate the effort and resources it will take to achieve the goal.

3) They spend too much time competing and not enough time dominating their area.

4) They underestimate the obstacles they’ll have to overcome.

The foreclosures in the 2008 financial crisis illustrated these missteps. People who lost money or property failed to properly set goals enabling them to survive the crisis, and they underestimated the effort required to achieve them. They acted with a herd mentality instead of taking the level of action that would have insulated them against setbacks.

Success Is Ongoing

Being successful isn’t a one-time achievement; it’s something you create over time.

In the Middle Ages, it meant rising or “succeeding” to the throne but also keeping it. Rather than being just one event or achievement, success is ongoing—you have to build on it in order to maintain it. For example, your diet isn’t a success if you lose 10 pounds but gain 12 more. You can mow your lawn once and it will look great for a week, but you can’t consider your lawn a true success unless you maintain it.

Once you accomplish something, you must build on your success in order to sustain it.

Further, success is forward-looking. It’s like breathing: your last breath isn’t as important as your next one. You can’t live the rest of your life on the last breath you took.

Each success builds momentum for the next. Highly successful people are driven to keep creating more success because to be happy, they need to live up to their potential. Being dissatisfied and wanting more success is a positive rather than a negative. For example, most people would want to increase the love they feel for their family each day, rather than being satisfied with the love and connection they felt yesterday.

Focus on creating the kind of success that builds on itself. Chapters 3-5 further explore what success entails.

What Is the 10X Rule? How to Multiply Your Success

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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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