Be Obsessed or Be Average

By Grant Cardone

Date: 01 May, 2019

Just the Highlights in : 11 Minutes

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Summary and My Thoughts

I’ve seen this book as well as Grant Cardone’s The 10x Rule recommended many times so I was excited to dive in and see what I could take away from the famous salesman; especially with such a provocative title as Be Obsessed or Be Average. The book reads almost like a personal development/business meeting pep rally of sorts; and it would be easy to write off some of the comments as superficial, banal, and bromidic but I will try to boil down the essential points which may be difficult since it seems like he jumps in his chapter between different points and the book switches between personal development to business and then back to personal development.

If you want to live more than an average life, if you want to achieve or accomplish a life that is noteworthy in terms of success (be it financial or otherwise) you must understand that your entire focus, your thoughts, and you decisions should be completely tuned toward achieving this purpose. You will need to become obsessed in your actions, not simply just your thoughts. Settling for an average life opens you up to more risks more so than the risks involved in actively attempting to achieve more. As for more, you should aim your goals higher than you originally imagined (10x even) and envision you having already achieved them. To bolster this “obsession”, you need to have a overarching purpose that drives your goals, goals which you should revisit daily to refuel your obsession and focus each day. You should ignore the doubts that may creep and discourage you and avoid or disregard the comments of people who even with the best intentions attempt to stifle your efforts. As for business, sales is the key and your business should be comprised of individuals who share common traits toward succeeding in life and that business. Control is crucial for allowing you to work toward your goals in both your life and business. Your obsession should fuel your persistence, you should in effect burn your boats and realize that quitting is simply not an option at this point, you should always be working and obsessing over becoming better and reaching and possibly even exceeding your potential.

Chapter 1 - Obsession Saved My Life

Grant begins the book with a short autobiographical section that details the financial ups-and-downs of his life and the tragic death of his father that forces his family to downsize considerably. This experience sparks an obsession to make it big. Despite this initial obsession, Grant found himself addicted to drugs and hating his small job working at a car dealership, this downward spiral eventually ends with a visit to rehab. After leaving rehab, Grant was determined to channel his addictive personality, his obsession, into financial success; first by throwing himself 100% into his car dealership sales job. Instead of denying your obsession, you should refocus it in productive and effective ways to become more successful. You shouldn’t take advice from average people who live average lives rather you should study the lives of successful people who can be described as obsessed. You should use your obsession to provide energy to throw yourself fully toward your life’s dreams.

Chapter 2 - Obsession Is Your Only Option

Only you are responsible for your success in life. Obsession with success isn’t limited to just financial success nor does it mean to neglect other areas of your life in favor of one specific area; rather your obsession should be to be successful in all areas of your life; that you’re capable of succeeding in all areas. Your obsession should always push you to never be fully satisfied or settled in your life, you should always be obsessed with pushing your limits and reaching a higher level. Oftentimes people will point to others who seem obsessed with the idea of success in a negative manner to deflect from their own shortcomings and dissatisfaction with settling in life. Settling for the middle-class is dangerous because it can easily be taken from you, you should seek to thrive and prosper instead of choosing to settle for less. Average or the middle class is no longer desirable in today’s world and many people who settle for this lifestyle will be unhappy when they realize that they’ve been sold a bill of goods. Never take life advice from a quitter, average people are quitters because they quit striving for a better life and quit short of their potential. You are the only one who has your dreams. You can’t simply be hooked on the idea of success, you must adopt a die-trying mentality and obsession toward achieving this success. Anyone who has achieved anything in life did so through by being obsessed rather than settling to be average.

Chapter 3 - What To Be Obsessed About

To properly become obsessed, you must have a defined purpose to direct your obsession toward. Grant presents a list of questions to automatically answer about different areas in your life to help discover your purpose. Your purpose should ultimately be composed of what constitutes as a complete life for you. You should refuel your obsession and revisit your purpose on a consistent basis as your life changes and goals are achieved, your life is constantly in transition. Grant recommends writing down your goals daily as an aid to help you refocus and refuel your obsession. By goals. Grant doesn’t mean immediately achievable tasks but far off goals to aim his obsession toward. He accomplishes goal setting by multiplying his current quantifiable metric by 10x and writing it down in the present or past tense rather than future tense. As you write your future goals down, you will find that your thoughts, actions, and obsession will work to achieve the goal automatically; it keeps your obsession focused.

Chapter 4 - Feed The Beast

Stay focused and feed your attention to the activities and people that support you in your purpose and obsession, do not allow yourself to feed other activities or people who do not support or even actively work against your progress toward your goals. You should judge yourself less for coming up short rather than never making an attempt at a specific goal. You should wake up and go to sleep focused on your goals so much so that you naturally internalize them and perceive the world as an environment of opportunities to achieve those goals. You should always stay focused on the future and be obsessed with learning something either new or better to help you toward your goals. You should be obsessed and focused on being economically sound and getting your money right in both life and business. You should surround yourself with equally minded people that support you in your goals and you support them in theirs.

Chapter 5 - Starve The Doubt

Doubt is the dream killer and the biggest obstacle in the way of staying the course. You should not tolerate doubt or blame in your life as they both rob you from the focus and obsession necessary for achieving your goals. Grant describes a personal experience where he thought he was suffering from burn-out, however the burn-out wasn’t the result of his workload but more-so because he lost focus on his bigger purpose to fuel his obsession; he simply needed to reaffirm his purpose. He advocates that time-off and vacations are not the solution to resolving burn-out but the re-affirmation of the purpose behind your actions and your obsession is necessary. Instead of worrying about work-life balance, you should be focused and obsessed with having it all, you should never be in a situation that calls for you to sacrifice one area of your life for another. You will also be challenged by doubters, naysayers, and worriers who will try to dissuade from your obsession, these may come from those closest to you who simply do not understand the importance of obsession; a lot of these people are simply justifying their average-ness. You may also have to deal with haters who actively work against you but you can use them as a form of promotion, to generate great ideas, and/or as a sign that you’re on the right track. Massive success is the best revenge.

Chapter 6 - Dominate To Win

Dominate your mind-set by controlling your thinking, your actions, and your choice otherwise your ambitions and energy can lead you in multiple directions wasting time, energy, and other resources. You should dominate your time by controlling strictly which activities call upon your available time. Dominate your money by removing all negative thoughts that may have resulted from our middle/lower class upbringing about finances. You should be obsessed about helping your people do well, this may involve showing them how to produce more money in pursuit of a greater purpose; this results in loyalty and dedication. You should dominate your area of expertise. Dominate your brand by elevating your marketing.

Chapter 7 - Stay Dangerous

By being careful and attempting to avoid danger, you are essentially courting danger. The only way to reduce risk in life is to take calculated risks that will produce an effect to add security to your life. Comfort is your biggest threat, you should move out of your comfort zone, this tactic will provide opportunities for personal growth that is necessary for achieving your goals. You should be constantly moving to a bigger pond and meeting and connecting with new people that are more influential and smarter. You should take risks with your investments, the bigger the risk oftentimes means the bigger the payoff if you succeed. You should always be forward-thinking when it comes to technology and how it can aid your business and personal life, you should focus on being able to master the new technology for these purposes. You should play the role described by your goals until it is reality and stay in position to strike even if that positive seems dangerous. You should love fear as an indication of what you should do and constantly embrace danger and discomfort as a means of promoting growth.

Chapter 8 - Obsessed With Sales

Sales are the most important part of achieving success in business, it is necessary for survival. The best way to become better at selling is to become obsessed with the product that you’re selling. Many salesmen fail to go all the way to prompting the customer with the order, you should always go all the way and complete the sales pitch. To keep yourself and others motivated and effective, you should always push yourself and others while holding each other accountable. The key to determining success in sales is to quantify the effectiveness of your sales effort and quantifying your success. You should make a sales meeting a daily staple where you refocus and re-energize your team while practicing and perfecting the sales pitch. You should sell by example by showing your employees and coworkers how to successfully make a sale.

Chapter 9 - Overpromise, Overdeliver

Contrary to under-promise and over-deliver; you should over-promise and also over-deliver. Under-promising is a form of deception, instead you should over-promise which then will inspire you and obligate you to over-deliver even on that promise. To be in the world of industry giants, you must make giant claims, giant claims lead to the obsession of being the best and promote the best marketing for your business. By making giant claims and committing big, you are obligated to deliver big, you should always push to perform and achieve at a higher level. Your creativity is correlated with your commitment level. You should commit first and then allow yourself the creativity and focus to determine how to deliver upon your commitment. Even if it hasn’t been done before, it doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of doing it. You should always be revising your sales pitch and taking advantage of your competition’s lousy delivery by creating convincing and large claims that require your full commitment.

Chapter 10 - Build An Obsessed Team

Your team or your business should share same commitment and obsession toward success. You should move beyond a one-man business and trying to keep your payroll small, you should grow your business and your revenue will follow as well. You should attract top talent by developing the reputation of a place that people want to work, if you do great things you will attract people who want to do great things. You should always be hiring if the opportunity presents itself and the candidate fits the mold of success that your company requires. Always be hands-on when reviewing resumes and make an effort to be involved in the interview process to ensure that the candidates meet your requirement. Look for candidates who are obsessed on doing great work and achieving great things, not simply grinding away for a large pay check. You should always seek out top talent and acquire it and roll with turnover as it shows you the success of that talent that you had acquired. If you need to let someone go, it’s a good thing and you should look at as an opportunity to bring in someone more valuable to your business’s mission. You should present great rewards and incentives for performance within the company and build a culture about your company’s purpose, a culture of success and dedication.

Chapter 11 - Be A Control Freak

You should always seek to obtain complete control of the different areas of your life, this includes the power to determine, predict, and influence outcomes. The inability to assume control over their lives is the trait of people who live average lives. You shouldn’t wait for someone to give you control, rather you should actively seek out opportunities to capture control. If you can control the process than you have the ability to control the results. You should be a control freak, contrary to popular culture.

Chapter 12 - Obsessed With Persistance

You should be obsessed with persistence and seeing your goals through to the end, quitting should never be an option. Your obsession provides you with the ability to push through your failures and learn from them rather than simply quitting and settling. You should complete every task, finish everything you start, and quit walking away from unfinished projects. If you hit a wall, don’t focus on the obstacle but look for creative ways to take another run at it. Be prepared for others around you to quit or give up, don’t depend on them, your persistence begins and ends with you. Use yesterday’s successes as fuel for persisting today but also stay interested in the next success. Stay busy generating interest or income or learning something that keeps you going and helps you avoid complacency. Never settle or be satisfied with your triumphs, use them as fuel to move you to further success. Most people quit before the miracle happens, so stay persistent until the miracle happens. Instead of aiming for perfection or using it as a crutch to not get started, you should focus on getting it done then getting it done right.

Chapter 13 - Obsession Forever

The secret to sustaining obsession is to focus your efforts on everything that will fuel you for the long run and ignoring, eliminating, or blocking out anything that drains you or causes you to doubt. You should always raise and refuel your obsession by re-clarifying what your obsession is based on two criteria: it improves the outcome of your life and others’ lives, it moves you to reveal more of your potential. You should attend events that allow you to meet new and more successful people. If you take a vacation or vacations, you should pursue locations where you can meet other successful people to build your network. You should seek mentors or a coach to help you develop your goals and obsession and to keep you focused on your journey. You should shop outside your reach to give you the incentive to want to achieve and do more. You should continuously be invested in education to help expand your knowledge in aid of progressing toward your goals. You also be focus on your physical health to give you energy as you pursue your potential. Also, you should be charitable and give back to the community and to those in worse circumstances as an act of gratitude for your success in life.


Blake Adams is a writer, software developer, technical consultant, and financial independence enthusiast living in Oxford, MS.

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