november 2016 | Sharma
How Business Titans Do It
This is a Mastery Session that I call How Business Titans Do It.
Nelson Mandela is a titan of humanity. Mozart is a titan of music. Edison and Einstein are titans of invention and science. What I really want to dial into is: How do the best of the best in business achieve their staggeringly noticeable results? The seven points that follow apply to titans of business whether it’s Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, the great celebrity CEOs or massively successful entrepreneurs.
1Titans bulletproof their interior life
Almost every one of the best of the best in business has bulletproofed their interior life. By that I mean you can change the world by being a business titan or you can get knocked down. You don’t get to do both.
The starting point for being a titan in business is developing an interior core. This means that you have such a strong interior core that you can stay true to your ambition, even when people laugh at you and dismiss your impossible dream. You stay focused and dismiss the naysayers. That is interior bulletproofing.
How do you do that? It’s about reading the autobiographies of people who’ve done it. It’s about listening to the right podcasts that fuel your positivity. It’s about protecting your mindset, heartset and energy. It’s about taking the time to work on yourself and also noticing the things that activate your fear.
Rather than running away from the things that activate your fear, go into them. When you notice the fear, it no longer has any power over you. The more time you can spend on your interior life, bulletproofing your mindset and your emotions, taking care of your physical life through fitness, proper nutrition and getting enough rest, the more you can strengthen your spiritual core, so you’re living for a cause larger than yourself. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you have not discovered something you are willing to die for, then you’re not fit to live.” If you want to be a titan in business, just imagine developing a compelling cause that is so much larger than your own ego, something that is so massively attractive to you as a human being, that you would take a bullet for it – you will be undefeatable.
2Titans stay in their own lane
When you stay in your own lane, you have no competition. When you stay true to your own vision for your future and your business, you have no industry peers. We get trapped a lot of the time because we measure our success by what our industry peers are doing. We get knocked off our focus by thinking about the competition. You want to stay true to your vision. You want to stay in your own lane.
We live in a world where we are afflicted by interruption and addicted to distraction. If you want to be a titan in business, you need to wire in a monomaniacal fidelity to your loftiest vision. You need to create a tight bubble of total focus around your thinking and energy, so that none of the shiny toys of the moment get through that porous bubble. You want to stay focused on your dream and goals – you want to protect your mindset. That’s what business titans do. They stay in their own lane. They’re not always distracted. They don’t always chase the opportunity of the moment. They say, “Here is my vision. Here is my priority,” and they build a monomaniacal focus around that.
3Understand that income earned is a result of value delivered
Business titans understand that income earned is a result of value delivered. The marketplace rewards contribution. What the average performer does in business just concerns the cash grab – “how can I deliver the least amount of value and get the most amount of cash?” That is a recipe for a very short career.
Do you want to rise to iconic and be a business titan? Do you want to own your industry? Here’s what you do. You run the philosophy I call the 10× value obsession. It has allowed my clients to build fortunes in business. The 10× value obsession is this: relentlessly coach your team to think about one key idea. How can we deliver 10 times the value that our clients expect for what we give them? Most business people are stuck in scarcity – they think there’s not a lot of money or resources, and they’re all about the competition. They’re really coming from a place of great fear. Titans are fundamentally different. They’re not about scarcity. They’re about generosity. They run the 10× value obsession – it’s their dominant philosophy.
The way titans do business is really their mindset – how can I give my customer 10 times the value that they’re paying for? If you do that consistently, what happens? You don’t just have customers, you have fanatical followers. You don’t just have a business, you create a movement. Don’t be about building a business, that’s what the average business person does. Be a titan. Be all about creating a movement.
4Install the NSI mentality
Business titans install the NSI mentality, which stands for Never Stop Improving. Building a great company is not so much about revolution or one big project or innovation that allows you to own the game. If you look at the best companies on the planet today, they’re all about incremental improvements done consistently every single moment. Building a great organisation is not so much about revolution, it’s much more about evolution. Small, daily optimisations and iterations done consistently over time lead to a world-class company. NSI: Never Stop Improving.
If you look at titans, everything they do is about improving. They want to improve their mentality and their health. They want to improve the way that they work in terms of their craft. They’re always trying to coach and mentor their teams, because the job of a leader is to create more leaders. They’re always improving the business – Michael Gerber’s idea of not just working it, but working on it. If you want to be a titan, it’s all about NSI. Think about relentless optimisation of the most important elements of your organisation
I hear a lot of entrepreneurs and business builders say, “When I encounter a roadblock in business, I get knocked off my game. I get discouraged. I want to throw in the towel.” Martin Seligman, one of the preeminent researchers and thinkers in positive psychology, has a term called “learned optimism”. I’m putting a little spin on it – relentlessness is a muscle.
What I teach people right now is simply this: being a titan is a lot about building the right muscles for relentlessness and persistence. Grit is a muscle. How do you become great at lifting weights? You practice and you build a muscle. We now know from neuroplasticity that the brain is very much like a muscle. If you want to build a better brain, you flex the muscle by doing the right things.
How do you become absolutely relentless, unstoppable and undefeatable as you make the ascent to your loftiest ambitions as a business person? You practice it every day. That’s the opportunity to be a titan. You get knocked down – the victim sees it as failure. You see it as fuel to get stronger, braver and unstoppable. Learn how to be relentless through daily practice so the muscle of relentlessness and undefeatability gets stronger and stronger.
6Titans never stop learning
NSL – Never Stop Learning – is the sixth way that business titans own their game. One of the best things in my life, and I am absolutely no guru, is that I adore learning. I understand that education is inoculation against disruption. We live in a very volatile time in terms of the global economy and society at large. How can you bulletproof your mindset, heartset and organisation? How can you protect your assets of energy, focus and self-discipline?
It’s about learning – this is one thing I have realised while advising and coaching the people who come to my Titan Summit every year and helping them build their fortunes and world-class companies. These billionaires, business builders, innovators, industry leaders and humanitarians – some of the most successful people on the planet – all understand the value of learning. They understand the value of investing in themselves. Ultimately, you can never rise higher or achieve any more than the level of your self-identity. You see yourself deep within – sometimes unconsciously – in terms of your interior story. If your story is – “Well, you know what? I’m average. I can’t be one of the great ones in business. The people I admire are cut from a different cloth.” – then obviously your daily behaviour will reflect your deepest beliefs.
The real work to be done is on your interior story – your self-identity. One of the best ways to work on that is through learning. How do you learn how to build a great company? You learn how other people did it. You learn the strategy, how they hired the right people, developed world-class products and disrupted their field. When you have looked at that, you realise that these people are actually not that different than you are. You can learn their strategy and tactics, but there are few things as valuable as seeing someone else’s example.
NSL is really about the 2× 3× mindset. To double your income and impact, triple your investment in two core areas: your personal mastery and your professional capacity. Double your investment in becoming stronger, braver, wiser and more confident, fearless and loving. And in your professional education, double your investment in becoming so good at what you do that you become the undisputed heavyweight champion of your craft.
7Know your mighty mission
You really want to dial into a purpose that not only touches you intellectually, but also touches you emotionally and even spiritually. Like humanitarians such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Jonas Salk and Mother Teresa, all of the great business builders are not motivated by income. They’re not driven by ego. The true titans were driven by a mighty mission, something deep within themselves. They had developed and locked into some kind of idea or concept. Maybe it was a business idea that would help billions of people or an app that would allow people to do something a lot easier or a product with the utility to change the way people did business.
I don’t know what your disruptive product or big idea is. Here’s the key idea: you don’t lock into it from the intellectual part of your brain, you go deeper. You lock into it emotionally, viscerally and spiritually. If it becomes a cause that touches your core, something deep within you will shift. It’s like a switch will go on. You will tap into something far bigger than making money and becoming famous – something far bigger than those tiny ego pursuits that keep you small. You start to lock into your heroic ambition. That’s when you wake up at four in the morning while your peers are asleep. That’s when you’ll develop a fire in your belly that allows you to run through walls. Where other people see problems, you see possibilities. Your fire becomes so contagious that everyone around you gets enrolled in that vision. That’s when you tap into your interior greatness, which makes you truly unstoppable.
The seventh thing that business titans do is discover a mighty mission. Don’t just pursue an idea because it will make you money. That is a recipe for failure. At my Titan Summit last year, I interviewed the iconic NBA superstar, basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, who is also an entrepreneur. He said, “When I did things for money, they never worked out. When I did things because they were fun, which is really about passion and doing things that fuel your joy, that’s when I made the fortune and became really successful.”
I hope I’ve shared some real insights that will allow you to dial into owning your game within your industry. Ultimately, to be a titan is to work with love, to develop the talents of your people with love, to serve your marketplace with love, to create products and a level of craft, which is really about love, and to bring such great value to the world that the entire world feels your love. If you do that, you really do build a movement rather than just a business. Go out and rock your craft. Own your game.
This article is an edited version of the Mastery Session at: goo.gl/fXbXQY