10x Is Easier Than 2x

Dan Sullivan with Benjamin Hardy

Embrace 10x and Usher in a Life That’s Simpler, Superior, and More Spirited.

Imagine being the captain of a thriving start-up, one that initially rode a wave of skyrocketing growth. Now, picture hitting an insurmountable brick wall, stuck on an infinite loop of mediocrity. Your work days are longer, heavier, and more demanding than ever before, yet you barely see the dial twitch.

Sounds like déjà vu?

Our pedagogical and corporate paradigms brainwash us into believing that success is a linear, limited, 2x game. The idea is, for every dollop of effort you put in, you get an equal dollop of reward. Want to double your profits? Then you should be ready to double your clock-in hours.

Yet, reality often paints a different picture. You see folks slogging 80-hour weeks barely moving the needle, while others, vacationing half the year, are rolling in exponential rewards.

Enter Dan Sullivan, with some food for thought: The latter group isn’t just thinking bigger. They’re thinking 10x. In other words, they’ve embraced a nonlinear, infinite, and quite literally, a 10x mindset.

Now, “going 10x” may feel like scaling Everest, and truthfully, it can be. Embracing 10x means constantly trimming the fat—that 80 percent of your vision, identity, and circumstances that don’t serve you anymore. It means realizing that the approach that got you here, isn’t your ticket to the next level.

But, there’s a silver lining to the 10x cloud. If you can push through the initial discomfort, you’ll realize life can be simpler, superior, and more spirited than you’d ever thought. Because the audacity of a 10x goal keeps most at bay, the competitive landscape is sparse. The 10x arena is often a playground for high-value collaborations.

Likewise, since 10x demands your all, life boils down to the bare essentials. Only a few of your current thoughts and actions will propel you to the 10x stratosphere, so you can afford to go all-in on those and scrap the rest. The end result—you do less but achieve way more.

Intrigued?

As we journey through this Summary, you’ll learn the art of 10x thinking and get a blueprint for immediate deployment. If you’re game to commit, buckle up. You’ll soon be waving adieu to those plateau blues.

10x is More Straightforward

Try this little experiment. Say, you’re asked to jot down how you could pump up your profits by 10 percent. Give it five minutes and you’ll probably have a laundry list of options.

Now, suppose you’re asked to brainstorm ways to boost your profit ten-fold. Your list just got considerably leaner, didn’t it?

If you’ve ever chased a 2x goal, you know how mind-boggling it is to be staring at a sea of viable routes. Which one do you pick? Do you try to juggle them all at once? And where in heaven’s name will you find the extra bandwidth?

Now, if you’re targeting a 10x goal, your options boil down to maybe two or three. Your analysis paralysis and decision fatigue take a nosedive too. It’s a paradox, but thinking 10x can often feel like lifting a weight off your shoulders!

Now, you might wonder, What if I’m not ready to go 10x? What if I’m content with 2x?

Well, my advice is, shoot for 10x regardless. At the very least, it’ll clear the fog to the most likely path to your 2x goal, saving you a whole lot of teeth-gnashing and nail-biting. Plus, it gives you a broader margin for error. As the age-old Norman Vincent Peale proverb reminds us, “Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Falling short of 2x can be a lot more disheartening than not quite hitting 10x.

For those who are raring to go full throttle, there’s a second way in which 10x goals are simpler.

Going 10x not only whittles down your potential pathways to success, it also trims the tasks and actions needed to hit the jackpot. If you’ve heard of the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle, you’ll appreciate why: in any situation, 80 percent of results come from just 20 percent of efforts.

When you go 10x, you laser focus on that 20 percent of high-ROI tasks and actions—almost instantly decluttering and simplifying your life. You sever ties with the nonessential—and boy, does it feel liberating!—and zero in on what truly matters.

Yes, each leap to 10x does mean you’re leaving behind 80 percent of your comfort zone. But is that really a loss? Will you miss the self-doubt, the energy vampires, and those low-ROI tasks? Or, will you heave a sigh of relief, feeling unburdened and lighter for having shed those weights?

 

The Allure of a 10x Lifestyle

Why settle for the drudgery of ordinary when you could dance with extraordinary? The 10x life is not for everyone, but everyone has the option to choose.

Earlier we talked about the allure of the 10x goal. It switches your focus from abundance to high-quality, enabling you to shift your energy towards the profitable 20 percent.

Discard that redundant 80 percent, and you have more room to enhance the quality of your crucial 20 percent. Paying attention to the cream of the crop is what allows your 10x goal to take form.

Practically speaking, this means overhauling your identity and your standards.

Your identity is a narrative you weave about yourself, consciously or subconsciously, through your actions and thoughts. Say, you’ve convinced yourself that you aren’t “cut out” for a 10x life. Whether you’re aware or not, this mindset will constrain your possibilities.

Similarly, your standards – those subconscious commitments – won’t change until you acknowledge them. They are the minimum threshold for your actions and thoughts, stemming directly from your self-perception. So, if you think you can’t achieve 10x, your standards will mirror that belief.

Examine your current identity and standards. Is your self-perception based on calculated narratives or accumulated past tales? Do your standards encourage growth or complacency?

Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself in the latter category. Everyone starts somewhere. Fortunately, Sullivan offers a four-step roadmap to amplify our identity and standards in line with our 10x goal.

Firstly, desire transformation. Growth only happens when you thirst for it.

Next, you need to muster up the courage to discard your 2x goals, identity, and standards. It’s time to abandon that comfort-inducing 80 percent.

As you take strides, you’ll acquire new skills demanded by your 10x goal, identity, and standards. As you work on these skills, you’ll notice a surge in self-confidence, powering you to repeatedly achieve 10x.

Some people love thrill-seekers, you could love 10x leaps. Don’t let fear hinder you from the treasure trove of experiences that await.

Living the 10x Life is More Rewarding

Maybe skydiving isn’t your idea of fun. But as we hinted in the previous section, another kind of leap – the 10x leap – can bring immense satisfaction and joy.

Our final probe into the 10x life zeroes in on the difference between desire and need.

Chasing “needs” feeds into the scarcity mentality. Sadly, that’s the default societal mode. Justifications rule the day, and everyone is always on edge.

Contrastingly, chasing “wants” nurtures an abundance mentality. By definition, a 10x life manifests opportunities and resources that were non-existent. It’s plausible that these resources would never have been if it weren’t for you actively seeking them out.

Thus, “wanting” isn’t selfish. It’s only with this mindset that abundance becomes a reality for you and those around you.

This leads us to two conclusions. First, a “wanting” mindset and a 10x identity go together. No one “needs” exponential, nonlinear growth, but you can break through these limits and become someone who does.

Second, 10x goals demand a “wanting” mindset. They can only emerge from abundance, and abundance can only stem from wanting.

When you unabashedly chase what you want, simply because you want it, you identify and learn to cultivate what Sullivan refers to as your unique ability.

10x goals are deeply personal. No one will want exactly what you want. So, as you hone your 20 percent, the 10x identity you embody will be remarkably unique and specialized, making you invaluable. You’ve stopped competing with others and slipped into the flow. Life then becomes inherently energizing and rewarding, and offering such mastery to others becomes your greatest joy.

It might go against everything you’ve ever heard, but soon enough, you’ll find it to be true: 10x is indeed simpler, better, and more enjoyable.

 

Your 10x Journey? Been There, Done That

Sullivan, ever the lover of dichotomies, slams the world into two camps: “the gap” folks and “the gain” folks.

Gap folks are always on the hunt for the elusive “could-have-been” or “should-have-been.” Don’t get me wrong, ideals can make for great compasses, but when they turn into your only self-worth metrics? You might as well be chasing the horizon. Spoiler alert: you’re not catching it.

Now the gain group, these are your past-lookers. They’re not brooding over what they aren’t. Instead, they’re throwing a party for what they’ve become since day one. Life, for these people, isn’t a battle, it’s a tutorial level. Even the fiercest challenges are opportunities to level up.

So, ask yourself, where’s your tent pitched most of the time?

Now let’s do a little exercise, let’s crank up that gain mindset. Recall a time when you jumped the scale tenfold. Most people can think of one instance. Dig deep, and you might find five or more. This simple exercise is proof that your 10x future is just as possible as anyone else’s. You’ve climbed the 10x mountain before, you can do it again.

For those living in the gap, this exercise might feel a bit touchy-feely. But this isn’t about playing in a sandbox. Sullivan argues, you can’t move forward unless you learn to appreciate your past achievements. If you’re stuck in a rut, maybe it’s time to stop beating yourself up and start acknowledging your progress to grease those stuck wheels.

Your Next 10x? It’s in the Cards

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably pumped up. You’ve realized that 10x-ing your life can be simpler, more rewarding, and way more fun than you thought. In this final section, we’ll look at a couple of ways you can lay the groundwork to make 10x your new normal.

First off, trash the industrial, linear concept of time.

We’re not stuck on an assembly line cranking out widgets, yet we’re holding onto this outdated concept of time. Spoiler alert: it’s not designed for creativity, flow, or your 10x future.

Contrarily, athletes and entertainers operate in a non-linear, quality-driven approach to time. They have three distinct modes: preparation, performance, and recovery. This approach is 10x-friendly. Because, let’s face it, 10x results demand 10x preparation and 10x recovery.

We generally appreciate the importance of preparation. But the recovery aspect is where we often trip.

Sullivan swears by his “Free Days,” and insists you’ll see 10x results by working less and resting more. Sounds nuts, right? Challenge yourself to block off several Free Days for the next month, quarter, or year. Commit to them, and watch the magic unfold.

The second strategy? Empower your team to manage themselves, without you hovering over their shoulders. High achievers can often be their own worst enemies, acting as growth bottlenecks. Remember, your job is to focus on the top 20 percent ROI tasks. Let your team handle the rest.

“But, I don’t have a team,” you protest. Well, according to Sullivan, that’s why you need one. Even solopreneurs eyeing a 10x journey need a part-time personal assistant at the very least. And for those whose 10x goals don’t fit the traditional work mold – say, managing a household – Sullivan would suggest hiring help.

Your Unique Ability is just that – uniquely yours. By bravely reorganizing your life, you can share more of it with the world, bringing immense value to yourself and those around you.

Conclusions

Going 10x isn’t just a lofty ambition, it’s a journey to a life that’s currently beyond your wildest imagination.

Whether you’re aiming for personal, professional, or a blended growth, the 2x mindset won’t cut it. Yes, ditching 80 percent of what you know can be scary, but remember, going 10x is surprisingly simpler, better, and way more enjoyable than you might think.

A 10x life isn’t for everyone, but for those who choose to walk this path, the rewards are limitless.

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