10x MULTIPLIERS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

A provocative and persuasive series of interviews and discussions on the topic
of developing and expanding “Abundance Multipliers” in the 21st century global economy.

10x MULTIPLIERS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

A provocative and persuasive series of interviews and discussions on the topic
of developing and expanding “Abundance Multipliers” in the 21st century global economy.

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EPISODE 28

The First Capability For More Abundance – Episode #28

April 23, 2014

EPISODE 28

The First Capability For More Abundance – Episode #28


In this episode of 10X Talk Dan and Joe discuss “The First Capability For More Abundance” where they discuss how entrepreneurs can have a more abundant life and much more. Here’s just some of the clarity and capabilities you’ll develop from listening to this episode:

* One of the most important capabilities for Abundance Dan has discovered having coached over 6,000 entrepreneurs

* The fundamental difference between people who have a hard time in life and people who have an easy time in life

* How to utilize your own experience for more learning and satisfaction

* Dan shares the single most important decision any human being has to make about their life

* How to fully understand and increase the value of any situation

* The greatest pro-active power you can exercise right now if you want more confidence, cooperation, and value creation in your life

Episode Transcript

Joe Polish: Hello, everyone. It’s Joe Polish.
Dan Sullivan: This is Dan Sullivan.
Joe Polish: Hey, Dan. Here we are 10xTalk. In the last episode, we talked about the impact filter that you had created after you had attended my Genius Network meeting.
We were talking about some of the different criteria and you shared some great ideas that you got like starting every business with writing a sales letter and the idea of handwriting some of the greatest writers and thinkers that you admire the most so you can integrate the words into your own, I guess writing DNA, the strategy of paying everyone who does work for you 10% more, an idea you got from my friend Joe Weldon who came to 25K talking about speaking in actions, not abstractions.
Then you’re going through all the list of how people get the most value out of an experience by using your own experience in my 25K group of how you do it. Then you mentioned a comment about, “Let’s talk on the future episode about the reverse of that.” About how some people cut themselves off from getting value out of meetings, events, opportunities, and probably life in general. I’d like you to go into that whole subject and talk about it.
Dan Sullivan: In the program right now, because of the work that I’m doing with Peter Diamandis in the Abundance 360, I’ve been taking a lot of things that we’ve done with coach since we started the first workshop programs in 1989. I’m reconfiguring it in my mind, putting it together in new ways.
I started coaching in 1974 and I’ve personally coached 6,000 very interesting, intriguing individuals over that period of time. I was beginning to think, “Is there a no or no go attitude that makes the difference between people who seemed to have a really tough time in life and the people who seem to have an easy time in life.”
I came up with a concept that’s all a question of gratitude, whether people approach their life, their experiences, their relationships with a sense of gratitude or whether it’s the opposite of that, which I think is a combination of envy or it’s combination of resentfulness that people have.
There’s a lot of people who are what I would call, “On the take.” They’re trying to take from life, but they don’t start off by giving anything to life. I think that that is something that closes doors for a lot of people. They can be highly talented. Joe, you and I have met people who are super talented, in spite of their attitude, they’ve been super successful. They’re enormously ambitious.
When you look at their life over quite a long period of time, it’s marked by enormous amount of disappointment and setbacks and just generally an unhappiness on their part, because they’re expecting to get more out of life and they are always somehow coming up on the short end. That was just my thought about it and I just had this central focus of gratitude.
Joe Polish: What are some of the lessons and actions and strategies that you can share with people listening? You have this great operating system and you’re also really aware of how people have operating systems that are loitered with viruses and always breakdown and always shut people off. How do you hack into your brain and wire it differently so that you don’t trip yourself up and so that you don’t leave a lot of scorched earth as you go through your experiences with others?
Dan Sullivan: One of the things, and I’m going to continue on with the theme of gratitude. One of the interesting things about gratitude and I’m just going to talk about it, because it’s closely associated with another word, which is appreciation.
One year, my staff for a Christmas present gave me the really big dictionary. This is the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s 15 volumes. What most people would get in a 300-page book, I got in 15 books that each have 500 pages, so it’s about 7,500 pages. You could imagine how in depth the actual definitions of words are.
The word appreciation in the Oxford English Dictionary is a column and a half and they give you about 15 different uses of it over the last five or 600 years. There’s two meanings that really pop-out of it. The first one is create increase value so that when you appreciate someone, you’re actually increasing their value.
If you think of the word appreciation that’s used in the economic world, finance world, and we talk about gold appreciating, we talk about real estate appreciating, we talk about stocks appreciating the value of anything as appreciating means the value is going up.
I just linked up that notion of appreciation back to gratitude and I says that when you’re grateful for something and you express that gratitude, first of all you take up the value of that in your own mind, but in expressing it, you actually take the other person’s sense of value up of who they are and what they’re doing.
Then the second meaning of appreciation is to fully understand. There’s a term, “I now fully appreciate the situation.” It’s used to military terms. It’s an old form. We don’t use it anymore, but scouts were send out to appreciate the battlefield, to fully understand the battlefield and they would report back.
I link that also back that when you’re grateful for something, you’re actually saying, “I fully understand the importance of this. I fully understand the value of it.” More and more, I’ve been playing with that, that whenever I go into a situation, whenever I’m meeting a person, what I try to do Joe, and it takes time so I have to be choosy, I have to be selective about doing this. I’ll sit down and before I meet the person, I’ll write down, eight things I’m grateful for about the person.
It’s not necessarily they’ve done anything for me, but I’m just grateful for who they are. I’m just grateful for how they act. In this case, I don’t actually say these things when I go into the conversation. I might, I might not. I certainly wouldn’t tell them all the eight things.
When I was coming here, I just decided that I was going to write down eight things that I’m really … It’s a little bit stilted. What it does is it sets me up first of all with a higher sense of the person’s value, but the other thing is it sets me up with a much fuller understanding of how significant they are.
When I go into the meeting with them, whether it’s social or whether it’s business, they pick up on the fact of my appreciation. They just pickup on my attitude. I’ll just naturally talk in a way and communicate in a way that comes from appreciation.
Yesterday, I was in a little meeting and there was a working relationship difficulty where three people were having a little bit of difficulty with another person in the company. The way they were talking about the person that they were digging a bit of a negative hole about that person.
Joe, have you ever seen this situation where somebody starts saying something negative about someone and then everybody piles on?
Joe Polish: Oh, yeah it’s just like …
Dan Sullivan: After a while they’ve dug themselves such a hole that it’s going to be very difficult for them to actually communicate with this person. I pointed out, I said, “You’re not preparing your minds in the right way for having a meeting with this person.” I said, “What I would suggest is that you don’t talk to this person until collectively you find eight things that you’re really grateful about this person for. You just prepare yourself in the best possible way for actually meeting the person.”
I said, “I don’t really care what you talk about, but if you go in from your negative hole, I’ve got to tell you, you’re going to produce a very negative result. If you go in with a sense of appreciation, you’re going to loosen the situation up. You’re going to inject positive energy into the situation.”
It hasn’t happened yet, but they were struck by this. They said, “We don’t really appreciate anything.” I said, “Yeah, because that’s the way you’ve set it up. If you spent some time and actually wrote it out, you’d be quite amazed at how much there is to appreciate about this person, because I know the other person than there is.”
I’m just putting this out there that this is a very active principle. I don’t look at gratitude as something that somebody does for me and then I’m grateful. I use it as a very active and proactive principle that it’s something that I’m going to do for any situation or I’m going to do it for any individual that I’m involve for. It doesn’t matter what they do for me, it’s how I’m going to setup the situation.
Joe Polish: I don’t want to take it off the subject too much. How do you decide when to cut someone out of your life?
Dan Sullivan: Usually they volunteer.
Joe Polish: You usually don’t have to have that godfather talk until in the way they’re just going to go off. Mentally, I know you’re very good about criteria and boundaries. I already know in a lot of ways what crossing the line with you. I know that someone can be incredibly nice to you as a client, but if they’re abusive to your staff, you’ll never tolerate it.
I already know some of your MO. It’s more so a question for people listening. You do have such inability to find appreciation and great qualities of people. One of the things you’ve done for so many of your strategic coach clients, myself included, is you’re able to edify and see things in them that they don’t even see themselves.
At the same time, you also know when someone is so incredibly toxic that the time and energy needed, it’s not your role, it’s not your responsibility and at a certain point, it’s like Peter Diamandis has this … Peter’s laws and one of them is, “The reverse of the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It’s the squeaky wheel gets replaced.” I know you have your own way of thinking about that and I’m wondering if you could just speak to that.
Dan Sullivan: You used the word criteria and it all comes down to criteria. What I try to do is depersonalize the situation that is not necessarily about the person. It’s about certain kinds of behavior. There’s certain kinds of behavior that I don’t want to be around it. There are certain ways that people act.
I’ve told myself that if I’m ever in this situation where this behavior … I’m very specific about things, because my feeling is that if you have things going around in your head that tells you you don’t like something, write it down and actually establish some laws for yourself that this is unacceptable. This is very unacceptable behavior.
If you’ve sold yourself on these set of laws, then what I’ve discovered is, it’s much easier, I’m not saying it’s really easy, but it’s much easier to actually just call somebody on it and I says, “Look, the way you’re acting right now is really quite unacceptable. I tell you that I can’t operate in a situation where somebody’s operating.”
It’s not about the person. You’re not saying that they’re not worth anything. It’s just that they’re demonstrating a set of behaviors that’s just not acceptable. First of all, very few people talk to other people that way because they usually make a personal attack. I’m not making a personal attack. I’m simply laying out some criteria if we want to have some cooperation here, then these are the rules. I won’t get involved if these rules are not followed.
One of two things happens with the person you just never see them again or they do their best to actually correct their behavior. I think both outcomes are desirable.
Joe Polish: Yeah, that is great. Even in your book, you wrote, “The laws of lifetime growth.” If you just take a look at that title, you think in terms of laws not, “Please laws.” You write your own rule book. This is the rules, these are my laws and these are the boundaries that work for me, these are the things that don’t. You follow your own laws.
When you behave your own laws, you don’t get yourself in a self-imposed prison with relationships you don’t want, with situations you don’t want. When you do find yourself in messes, you’re a guy that I know gets out of them far quicker than anyone else and you tend not to repeat mistakes, because you’re so good at learning from it.
Dan Sullivan: First of all, I’ve spent full periods of my life when I’ve been through that and it was very painful. It’s not like I was born this way. I often say every entrepreneur I know tells a better game than they actually played. Everybody talks about the high points, nobody talks about the low points.
As a result of my business career, I’ve gone through divorce, I’ve gone through two bankruptcies. I have to tell you, I make a joke about it and I call it extreme market research. I have to tell you, it was very painful when I was going through it. I can remember months when I just wasn’t making any headway. It was very painful, very frustrating.
What I wanted to do was learn as much from those experiences as possible. I’ve always had this real desire to use my own experiences, my number one school. These are lessons, they’re painful lessons, but nevertheless they’re valuable lessons. There’s just certain people who they’re new to my life, but I’ve met someone like them in the past and the behavior is the same.
I didn’t call it in the past and now I call it really fast. I says, “Look, this is unacceptable. I’m not going to put up with this. If you want to deal with me and you want to be in a relationship with me, these are the rules.” “Who are you to give the rules?” I said, “Everybody can make their own rules.” I said, “I’m just telling you what mine are.”
Joe Polish: Do you find yourself at times or almost never at this point in your life and you’ve been very open with that episodes in the past about how parts of your life when things didn’t work. We talked about when you had your bankruptcy and divorce. As you call them extreme forms of market research. You’ve been very open and what you’ve written about … It’s strategic coach on 10xTalk about things that work and things that don’t work. Do you second guess yourself?
Dan Sullivan: I catch myself very quickly doing it. The trigger is always there to second guess yourself. I think what I’ve trained myself to do is to immediately switch into the lesson format. “Okay, this is what happen. I’m taking it off. I’m feeling really crappy.” What’s the lesson to be learned here so that it doesn’t get repeated?
I think the big thing as I said, I think everybody should be allowed to mistake. I don’t think they should allow themselves a second mistake of the same kind. I think where I really see people living lives that they find incredibly unsatisfying, the reason for that is that they keep making the same mistake over and over again, even though each time they did it, it was extremely painful and they would never want to repeat it.
Nevertheless, they didn’t take that seriously and they didn’t actually put it under the spotlight and say, “Okay, what do we have to do now so that this never gets repeated again?” I think the law has come out of that experience.
If you drive through a city and you see a traffic light and you stop at a traffic light, remember that’s a memorial. Somebody was killed or injured at the spot that’s why they have the traffic light. A major city has all these memorials all over the place and they’re called traffic lights or stop signs.
Joe Polish: Bringing it back to where you’re talking about gratitude, you said it’s a very attractive principle versus reactive. You’ve always made a great distinction between the two and I’d love to have you talk about that.
Dan Sullivan: Reactive is that you’re passive and the world does something good for you. If somebody else does something good for you and you say, “I’m grateful for that,” but you’re not the one that started the whole process. Somebody outside of you started the whole process. You’re reacting.
It was somebody else’s idea to do something good for you and you’re just responding in a generous or graceful way or a polite way anyway. The difference is that proactive gratitude doesn’t depend on anyone doing anything for you. It depends upon you looking at something and saying, “I really appreciate the value in this and I really appreciate what’s really involved going on here.”
The whole activity happens in your brain. You’re the self-starter here, you’re starting the gratitude process and it doesn’t require something to be done for you or something good to happen for you. This is a great power Joe. If you think about this, this is a phenomenal power.
It means that in any situation in life, I can start a value creating process. I can start an understanding process that increases the value of everything around me. It doesn’t matter where I’m born, it doesn’t really matter what my circumstances are. I can constantly increase the value of my experience just by being pro-actively grateful.
Joe Polish: Is this something that you noticed is difficult?
Dan Sullivan: It’s like going to the gym, Joe. Your first time, it’s hard, it’s painful and everything like that. You’re one of the most constant gym rats that I know. Has it benefited you, the workouts? I know you do the P90X and that’s a workout and a half. Is it worth the effort and the years that you’ve devoted to this?
Joe Polish: Yeah, absolutely. Do I always enjoy it, no. Do I enjoy the consequences of it, yes, because they’re very positive and there’s so much value that it’s the consistency of doing it is absolutely worth the investment.
Dan Sullivan: The other thing is that you constantly have an increase of muscle and confidence. That’s one of the biggest things about fitness. People say, “What’s fitness?” I say, “It’s muscle and confidence that your brain has its total confidence that regardless to what comes up, you have the muscles, you have the physical capability to handle the situation.”
I would say that, “If you make the connection that gratitude is an incredible intellectual, psychological, emotional muscle.” I’m going to practice gratitude, 3:00 to 4:00 that’s when I’m practicing gratitude, you don’t feel as I’m practicing gratitude. What’s that mean?
I say, “What’s spending three or four hours at the gym and it means going and working on certain muscles.” I was just going to work on a muscle that increases my ability in any situation to actually pro-actively create value in that situation before anything good happens to me out of the situation.
It’s just neat way to approach life. Then I’m not sitting there and saying, “Where is the meaning in life? Where is the purpose? People are supposed to give me a purpose and a direction and a meaning.” I say, “Wake up. Read the fine print when you were born. Is there any promise like that when you’re born?”
I checked mine out. There is nothing in my fine print of my contract when I came into life that tells me that anyone or anything is supposed to do anything for me. The fact that your parents take care of you, that’s a bonus. The fact that you grow up in a country that’s very free, that’s a bonus. You can do anything to deserve this.
It was just a lucky roll of the dice and here you are, you’re born healthy, you’re born smart, you’re born creative. These are all bonus. You’re in bonus territory. You don’t deserve anything as a result of this.
Joe Polish: Let me ask you something also because I constantly remind myself when I’m feeling moody or whatever, that the mere fact that I was born in America is just a fantastic bonus. It really is, and that I have so many advantages that are available to me.
For people that are having continuously crappy days or having things happen to them and pulling themselves out of the mud, if they’re really deep in the mud mentally, financially, terrible breakup, a tough illness, I know you’ve had so many experiences in your life, plus one of your early, I don’t know if you’d call it a career job as you are going around interviewing handicap people and disabled people and you gained some really incredible insights out of people that were experiencing tremendous amounts of pain and even what you learned about gratitude in the process.
For people that are listening to this are like, “Man, you don’t understand my situation or easy for you to say.” What would you say to that type of thinking?
Dan Sullivan: You write down to the single most important decision that any human being has to make about their life. I think I may have said this already in a certain fashion, but you can choose to create it or take what the world gives you.
I remember Gilda Radner, the great comedian on Saturday Night Live who died way too early. She had this great line and she says, “When I was a little girl I wanted to be somebody.” She says, “Now that I’m older, I realized I should have been more specific.”
The whole thing about this is that, when it comes right down to it at the end of your life, there is only one person who’s completely 100% responsible for everything that happen to you. No one else is responsible for it. When I’m talking about what happen to you, not the events, but your actual experience of the events.
All sorts of weird things can happen in life that’s beyond our control. You can be in a war zone. You can be born not physically well. You can have all sorts of disadvantages, but those are just the events. Those are outside. That isn’t who you are. You are the person who respond to those things and some people can go into a pity stage, they can go into a victim stage.
What they don’t realize is that’s a pure choice, whether they want to do that or not. You can choose not to. You can choose not to respond to it in that way. That’s what I noticed, just a reference to the disability and handicap, I actually interviewed in depth 40 people with 40 different kinds of disabilities.
These were the best to the bunch. These were people who had really made their lives great. In every case, I noticed that there was a complete take control. They did not feel sorry about themselves. They did not think that they were weird. They couldn’t care less about the whole notion of normal. They just had their life to live and they had opportunities. They had talents. They just put them all together in a unique way.
They were far more successful than a lot of people who were just born with every advantage but never actually took advantage of their advantage.
Look at Sean Stephenson, a great friend of yours. Sean could have died a 110 times by the time he was 10 years old. Has given every physical disability that one human being can have and still survive to adulthood. Look at the life that he’s created out of this.
Joe Polish: For people that don’t know Sean, to understand dot com, he’s 3-feet tall, he has a brittle bone condition, had over 200 bones break in his body, major bones. By the time he was 18 years old, incredibly deformed arms and he’s never walked.
Dan Sullivan: Constant pain.
Joe Polish: Yeah, constant pain. He’s 3-feet tall in a wheelchair and now he’s married to the love of his life. He has stand and it’s so interesting. Sean constantly gets clients that they’re definitely afraid of dating and finding a partner. They’re like, “I’m not good enough. I’m too old, I’m too young. I’m too fat. I’m too this, I’m too that.”
He’s like, “Dude, I’m 3-feet tall in a wheelchair. Look at me.”
Dan Sullivan: What does he weigh? He weighs [inaudible 00:24:37]
Joe Polish: 45-pounds.
Dan Sullivan: He weighs 45-pounds. He is a major platform speaker. He is a best-selling author. He’s had lots of videos and everything else. Who’s body you want to walk around in the day, yours or his? First of all, you can’t walk around in his body, but he’s got an outrageous sense of humor and everything else. This was all a series of choices that Sean started making at a very early age.
Joe Polish: Yeah, exactly. Last thing I’ll mention then I’ll ask you one final question, we’ll wrap up. I’ve seen a lot of seminar speeches and stuff where they take the word responsibility and they break it up and they’re like, “Response ability.” Sometimes it’s affectively explained, other times it’s just acute seminar cliche’.
I think what you just talked about on this episode is the greatest explanation that I have ever heard or seen as it relates to being responsible is how you respond in your ability to increase and your ability to respond.
Your whole notion of gratitude and how you do it, and how you’ve talked about it is literally a methodology that anyone listening to this, who will have a lot more abilities to respond to life would be a hell of a lot more grateful if they basically give their brain the directions that we’ve talked about on this episode and the previous episode as it relates to gratitude and just treating people in general.
The whole response ability, because this is about developing abilities, right?
Dan Sullivan: Yes. It’s all about abilities and you’re going to be working on something, you might as well work on this. There’s a fail safe and just one last thing before we close off Joe is that gratitude is a very interesting sensation in your nervous system that literally when you’re feeling gratitude, you can’t think any negativity.
You can’t be envious and grateful. You cannot be guilty and grateful. You cannot be angry and grateful. You can’t be feeling unfairly treated and feeling grateful. The reason why I just developed this one quality is because I don’t try to change negative habits. I don’t try to change negative thoughts. I just cut off their air supply.
Joe Polish: Okay I just got out there. Love it. You know what, that’s the recommendation over there. The last thing Dan, how does this help someone grow a company 10 times if it’s not obvious?
Dan Sullivan: Just imagine the impact that day by day. Again, I have a saying, “You could spend all day from morning till night writing out what you’re grateful for, but you have to be selective.” Two days from now, I’m in New York and I’m giving a big speech. Tomorrow on the plane ride up, I’m just going to write out the eight things that I’m really grateful for the opportunity to speak to this group.
What I’m grateful for by the particular type of people who are going to be there, and I’m grateful for the person who invited me and everything else. Then when I walk into the room, I’m coming from this attitude and it really doesn’t matter what I say in the speech, what’s going to get communicated is my basic thing that I’ve really increased the value of this group and I have really fully understand the importance of who they are. Regardless of what I say or how the speech goes, it always turns out really well.
Joe Polish: Because you set it up that way, and so that’s great.
Dan Sullivan: I don’t allow any room in my mind for anything negative to happen.
Joe Polish: I guess the thing I will end with is, thank you Dan. Always just such a useful directions and insights that you always share and you’re living example of all of this. I want to encourage all of our listeners to share this with someone that you know who could benefit from hearing that you’d be doing them a favor and probably yourself a favor too if you interact with them.
In order to have the conditions that you want, that’s how you set it up and I’ve really learned to think through spending time with you Dan how to think in terms of the conditions I want in my life. In order to have those conditions, you got to set things up. I’m not just going to get conditions just because I want them, unless I’m really lucky, but even that having access to money, opportunities, so much abundance isn’t anywhere as exciting and useful if you are not approaching it and experiencing it with a good attitude.
This is all encompassing better way to just operate. Thank you.
Dan Sullivan: There is a multiplier that comes out of this. You influence people, you attract opportunities to yourself, you attract capabilities to yourself. If you’re on a 15-year strain of really good luck, it shows up as 10 times.
Joe Polish: Exactly. To all our listeners, I’ll probably say this on many of our episodes to remind you what is the actions that you’re going to take as a result of hearing this. How can you apply this to your life personally and professionally today, right now. Please leave your comments on 10xTalk.
Thank you for listening. Me and Dan look forward to hearing the results and successes you have. If you’ve not downloaded the free reports and things that we offer on the website, if you’re listening to this on iTunes or another places, go to 10xtalk.com and check it out.
If you’re ready for some real serious in depth beyond 10xTalk, check out strategiccoach.com and 25kgroup.com because there’s much more with this game from and we’ll talk with you on the next episode of 10xTalk. Thank you, Dan.
Dan Sullivan: Thank you, Joe.

Question: What things have YOU done to increase the value of a situation?



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