I recently had someone ask me the question “How do I become successful at life?”
While most people would respond to this question by saying that “Success is individual” it’s subjective, and no one can tell you how to achieve success… I respectfully disagree.
Becoming successful in life is actually pretty simple and, as Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”.
By society’s definition, I guess that I am pretty successful.
I have an apartment by the beach, a 7-figure company, a beautiful girlfriend, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I have an amazing social circle.
I don’t say this to brag, but rather to point out that I’m not talking about hypotheticals here… I practice what I preach and live what I teach.
I’ve helped thousands of men overcome their biggest obstacles and live the lives that they want (everyone from accountants to bankers to high school dropouts to professional athletes) and while the details of the journey to success may vary, the core principles will always be the same.
Here it is
Step #1: Gain Massive Clarity on Your True Desires and Clearly Define Success for Yourself
The first and most important step on your journey to success is simple.
Define what success means to you and what specific outcomes you would like to achieve in order to feel successful.
This step SHOULD NOT be taken lightly and you won’t finish it over the course of an afternoon, day, week, or even a month.
If you are serious about building an amazing life, then you must think deeply about what success really means to you.
Ask yourself what you want and why.
Here’s an exercise that I’ve used in my own life to gain clarity on what I want over the past few years.
-The 30 x 3 Exercise: Write down 30 things that you want to Have (beach house, Ferrari, etc.), 30 things you want to Do (skydive, travel etc.), and 30 things you want to be (world class artist, BJJ black belt etc). Next, you are going to go through the list and pick the top 3 in each category
Next, you are going to complete something called the 7 levels of why
-The 7 Levels of Why: For this exercise, you will take the 9 items that you previously wrote out and you will ask yourself “Why do I want to be, have, or do this?” for example if you wrote “Own a 7-figure company” your level 1 “why” might be… “ I want to have more financial freedom and feel like I’m adding value to the marketplace
Great. Now let’s get deeper.
Why do you want more financial freedom and to add more value to the marketplace?
You’d likely respond with “I want more financial freedom so that I no longer have to stress about my bills, can take care of my parent, and give my children the lives they deserve”
Great! Now let’s get even deeper
Why do you want to take care of your parents and give your children the lives that they deserve?
“Because my parents didn’t have much growing up, I know what it’s like to be poor and I want to make sure that nobody I love ever has to experience that feeling again”
And you keep going until you have asked the question “Why” 7 times.
If you do this right, this exercise will change your life.
-The Magic Wand Exercise: Finally, you are going to ask yourself a simple question. “If I could wave a magic wand that made time and money completely irrelevant, what would I do with my life after I went on all of the vacations, enjoyed all of the creature comforts, and gave to the people I love?”
The answer to this question might change your whole future.
Step #2: Redefine Success Based on Values, Actions, and Habits… Not Outcomes
The second step on your path to success is to redefine success to be process and value-focused… Not outcome focused.
Here’s what I mean.
If you decide that “Success” for you means being self-employed, no debt, with a great body, and a loving spouse… That’s awesome.
But it will also take you a long time to achieve that goal, so what are you supposed to do? Feel like a complete and total failure until you reach your goals?
Of course not! And even once you reach your current definition of success, you will likely have a new definition that you are pursuing.
Therefore, I recommend an exercise suggested by podcast guest Dan Millman called “Success Now”.
Although Dan didn’t directly prescribe this exercise, the idea for it came about from my interview with him.
Here’s what you are going to do.
When you look at your big future vision, all of your crazy goals, and deepest desires that constitute your definition of “Success” I want you to ask yourself… Who do I need to be and what values/habits must I uphold in order to achieve success?
Taking our example from the last point, if your definition of success was the 7-figure business, spouse, house on the beach, and great body, you need:
- Regular exercise
- A healthy diet
- A daily list of “To Do’s” that is accomplished in your business
- Date nights
- And thousands of other small tasks and mindsets
So what you are going to do is make a list of your top 10 “Success Based Values” and your top 10 “Success Based Habits”.
Then, you are going to type/write out the following statement for each.
I feel successful anytime that I move towards discipline. I move towards discipline anytime that I wake up by 6 a.m., train my body for at least 20 minutes, and read a nonfiction book for half an hour
You are basically breaking your goal down into its smallest possible pieces and then giving yourself permission to feel successful anytime that you take action on one of those small pieces.
I know this might seem a little weird or counterintuitive, but I promise you that there is nothing worse than stopping yourself from feeling success and happiness because you haven’t reached a certain milestone in your life.
Step #3: Determine and Clearly Write out the Logistical Requirements of Success (the Who, What, When, and Where)
Now that you have clarity on where you want to go and you have given yourself permission to feel successful now (with clearly defined parameters) it’s time to figure out the “How” of your success.
This is possibly the simplest step but it’s also the most fluid.
Until you are actually in the trenches pursuing your goal you won’t really know what you need logistically to achieve success, but you can get a head start by asking the following questions…
- Who do I need to help me achieve success? (Mentors, spouses, business partners, family members etc.)
- What do I need to do in order to move towards my definition of success? What do I need to learn in order to shorten my learning curve?
- When do I need to make big moves towards success? (Is there a time of year, a certain trend in the marketplace etc.)
- Where do I need to be in order to capitalize on opportunities and accelerate my journey (E.g. If you want to become a real estate mogul, living in rural Missouri in a city with fewer than 10,000 people isn’t an ideal location for pursuing your definition of success)
Step #4: Commit to Laying at Least 5 Bricks A Day
Once you know what you want, why you want it, how to get it, and how to enjoy the journey… It’s time to get started.
And to get started, I recommend a very simple framework called “The Bricklayer”.
The concept is simple.
If you want to build a castle, you can’t do it all at once, you must do it one brick at a time (even if you have people helping you)… Your life is the same way.
If you want to be and feel truly successful, then you must get there brick by brick, action by action, and day by day.
To help simplify the process, you are going to commit to laying 3–5 bricks a day in your health and fitness, social life, career, and personal growth.
You define what these bricks are but here’s an example from my life.
Brick 1: Drink a green smoothie
Brick 2: Eat 2 whole food meals and drink 8 glasses of water
Brick 3: Go to the gym and train
Brick 4: Sleep at least 8 hours
Brick 5: Ride my bike on the beach for 60 minutes
Brick 1: Text someone I love and tell them that I’m thinking about them
Brick 2: Take time out of my day to connect with my girlfriend
Brick 3: Bounce ideas off of my best friend with regards to business
Brick 1: Check in with my sales team and talk about KPIs
Brick 2: Review and optimize my Facebook advertising to ensure that my primary sales funnel is performing at or above the expectations
Brick 3: Write 1–2 responses on Quora
Brick 4: Talk with my director of content about our marketing strategy for the year and strategize
Brick 5: Send emails to heavy hitting podcast guests that will drive traffic and revenue
None of these things are particularly challenging or arduous.
But over the years, brick by brick they have helped me build the life and business that I have today.
Step #5: Ruthlessly Track Your Results and Tweak Your Approach
The final step to success is to ruthlessly track your results and modify your approach.
As Peter Drucker says, “What gets measured gets managed” if you aren’t measuring the output and results in your life, then you cannot effectively manage it.
If you want to be successful, you must create a list of Key Performance Indicators or KPIs that you will track daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
Here are a few of mine
- Monthly P & L
- My bodyweight
- My sets/reps/weight in the gym for my major lifts
- The number of dates I went on with my girlfriend
- The number of interviews I conducted on my podcast
- And many many more
While the final destination of “Success” is different for everyone, the approach, the how of success will not vary from person to person.
If you follow the simple framework that I have outlined above, you will be able to drastically improve the results that you generate in your life and business, and you will be able to do it faster than you thought possible.
Whether you want to become a millionaire real estate investor, a world-class bodybuilder, or a modern day monk, it doesn’t matter. The process is the same even if the results are different.
So I challenge you to apply this framework in 2018. Create your own definition of success and then get after it.
You won’t believe where the road will take you.