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Be Obsessed or Be Average by G. Cardone, Summary & Review

Book Review

According to Inc. Publishing, Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone (author of The 10X Rule) has been rated as the most motivating book of 2016 with over 300 positive reviews on Amazon and a stunning 95% approval rating. It is available in print, electronic and audible formats.

The book breaks cliches about cold-blooded, pragmatic and cautious entrepreneurs, and reveals the importance of passion on the road to massive success and wealth.

According to the author Grant Cardone, such thing as passion is the only way to stand out, overcome your narrow mindedness and break free from an idle state.

Whether you already have a business, want to start one, or want to gain confidence and know-how this book is for you.

The book is full of passion, but don’t be misled — it’s not only a passion for sales as it may appear. Grant Cardone is a top-level professional, a real estate investor, a millionaire entrepreneur and a natural-born wizard when it comes to sales but he doesn’t claim that you only need to be passionate about sales and money. It’s all about the idea, and it can be anything. Don’t give up on your dream, plan on how to make it real and break the shackles of stasis. Be passionate about not being passive and remember that only you are responsible for your success.

+ Pros

A great source of inspiration for anybody, especially going through some rough times.

− Cons

Probably, the author’s ego from time to time and a relative categoricalness.

Grant Cardone is a third-generation Italian immigrant. His father worked hard along with his partners to grow a business and provide a better future for the family. He started by establishing a life insurance company, but his partners took it away and left him with nothing. Later he went on to become a stockbroker, which allowed his family to reach middle-class status. They now had a house by the lake, an expensive car, and even a yacht. A dramatic change in the quiet life of little Grant Cardone happened when a sudden heart attack took his father’s life. His mother, a housewife, had no business experience and all they had left after father’s death was some insurance money, a large house, and bills that were way above their budget.

The house was soon sold, and the family had to save as much money as possible, living as modestly as they could to get kids through college. The mother taught them to appreciate whatever they had and be thankful.

Sixteen-year-old Cardone refused to settle with a position like that and swore to his mother he is going to get rich. A middle class was not enough for him. His mother, raised in poverty, didn’t understand his intentions and thought he should abandon his ambitions.

Grant used to be a problem teenager and was expelled from school due to constant conflicts. He later got addicted to drugs and, even though he made it out of college, it showed to be but a waste of time. He only made it through to make his mother a little happier. He left with an accountant diploma and a $40000 student loan to pay back. He was still determined to become rich, but he felt devastated and empty. He later hit rock bottom, that affected him as a person.

He took a job at a car showroom but due to his drug addiction ended up in a rehabilitation program. A month later, as soon as his medical insurance has expired, he left the clinic followed by parting words of doctors, who treated him: “You are an inadequate person. You will never achieve anything in life. Forget all your dreams about wealth and prosperity. All you need to concentrate on is to stay away from drugs”. Cardone wasn’t pleased to hear it. He came home and made a plan, defined every goal he needed to achieve and began his journey. He remembered the promise he gave to his mother. It was then when he realized that his self-destructive lifestyle as a result of giving up on his dreams and submitting to the influence of his overly cautious and guarding mother.

The first step was to concentrate on what he already had — car sales. Once passionate about drugs he became passionate about sales. He was the first man in, the last man out. He went on to become the best salesman and eventually took a position of top-manager. But people were cautious about him and told him it seems like he just replaced one addiction with another. Cardone had a different opinion. He became obsessed with the idea of getting rich, and for the first time in his life, he got to taste the power of obsession.

What is this power? Let’s take a look.

Book Summary

Idea № 1. Never settle with less, strive for the best

Every person had a childhood dream. Some dreamed of becoming an artist, some dreamed of becoming a ship captain, sailing around the world and some dreamed of quiet family life. But how many of us made their dreams come true? As we grow our way towards adulthood, we gradually accept the idea that our dreams dissolve with our childhood.

It seems like in our childhood we had a much better idea of what we want for ourselves in life. Click to Tweet

Life presents quite a limited set of opportunities, and we embrace the idea of being happy to live like an average citizen or “not worse” than that. We become so glad to make it into the middle class. Such a mindset is unacceptable for Cardone. He hates the word “average” and sees it synonymous with cowardness, laziness, mediocrity, and conventional thinking.

The middle class is not the ceiling. It is a place you should leave as soon as possible or get stuck there forever. Most of the people stay.

Steady income, a lovely house, a car, a vacation trip once a year and enough savings to educate your kids — is that the limit of your dreams? That’s the mindset of average people. They neither understand the obsession, nor they have ever experienced it.

GRIN tech’s note: we recommend to read ours THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING F*CK BY MARK MANSON summary to experience a funny contradiction with this Be obsessed or be average summary.

If you want to rise above the average, make your plan for life as the author recommends. Write down all your aspirations, including those long abandoned and get to work.

Idea № 2. Don’t fear the failure and listen to no one

Your friends, colleagues, and relatives can be worried about you and, with the best of their intentions, can discourage you from following your dreams. Cardone advises ignoring the discouragement.

His mother was a great example. Grant Cardone was about to expand his business and planned to take a partner in, but his mother insisted he shouldn’t do this for her husband lost everything because of partners. His mother also tried to discourage him from moving to California for she was convinced only crazy people live there because the life in the state was costly. She never lived in California, she had zero business experience and never had a single partner, but she was persistent in teaching him how to do things. You will meet people like that a lot. They don’t necessarily mean bad to you but let it not stop you and discourage you from your dream. Keep moving.

Obsessed people are not afraid of failure. Every failure is a push forward and a signal to proceed.

There has always been a controversial stance on obsessed people in our society. Cardone considers them to be hardworking, courageous entrepreneurs, who continuously change the world for the better. On the other hand, society often sees them as crazy, egotistical and greedy individuals.

Average people often claim that success is not everything, but don’t even try to challenge themselves to savor it. They don’t take risks, and they are not going to. It doesn’t make them bad people. It just makes them people who cannot understand the obsessed. Do not come to them for moral support, help or advice. If you’re obsessed with success, surround yourself with like-minded people and ignore skeptics. Sooner or later, they are going to be crushed by your achievements anyway.

Idea № 3. To sustain the obsession, always focus on your dreams and goals

As soon as you check one box in your list of goals moves on to the next. Do not dwell on that feeling of satisfaction that completion brings.

Cardone brings up his return from rehab a couple of times in the book. The day he made solid plans for the future is very important to him. Since that day Cardone made it into a ritual of planning. Once he achieved a goal, he went on to plan the next one. He planned on a goal to acquire at least 20 apartments, which seemed unrealistic at the time. He knew nothing about real estate. Five years later he already had twice as many apartments in California. Sure, it’s not enough to write it all down. Grant Cardone spent a lot of time researching the real estate market and its nuances before the first deal went through. Having the list keeps you from forgetting your destination.

Cardone tells about Jim Carrey, now a world-famous actor and comedian, writing himself a blank million dollar cheque when he was struggling and had almost nothing on his account. He put it on display to see and inspire himself to move on and not give up.

Concentrate on the future and don’t look back.

Idea № 4. Those who set small goals are doomed to constant financial difficulties

“Average” fear financial losses, and that’s why they never take risks. But Cardone insists that the most significant threats come with idle hands. People complain about the lack of money, often spend this money on trivial and useless things instead of investing whatever money they have and make it work. Such people won’t even lift another finger to change their lives. Managers think about cutting on staff and equipment instead of working in the direction of profit increase. People complain about a low salary but don’t hurry to quit the job they hate in pursuit of a better future.

Cardone remembers his times working at an oil refinery. People worked hard there to earn whatever living they could, but every Friday they wasted a good portion of their modest salary at a bar. They were always ready to work overtime, but it would still leave them with little to nothing. Cardone convinced that it all happens because talking about money and finances was considered inappropriate for a long, long time. And to this day people rarely discuss money, rarely think about money and even worse — waste money irresponsibly.

People who don’t thrive to multiply their finances always worry about its insufficiency. Just set a goal and work to prosper. Do you have a bank account? Make your money work and turn it into a financial asset. Click to Tweet

According to Cardone money is a lot like a jealous lover — never tolerates disdain.

Idea № 5. Your haters are your best promoters

There were times when Grant Cardone used to be highly sensitive to toxic comments on social media but eventually learned that those are but a part of success. Haters bring you publicity and raise your exposure in the world, promoting you for free. Cardone considers them to be even more helpful than his appreciators.

More success leads to more haters, which eventually make you thrive.

Haters not only promote you but also can serve as a fresh supply of ideas. Their negativity fuels the obsession. Someone named Tom once left a comment saying that only egotistic people like Cardone decide on having kids past the age of 50. Cardone, who had a lot of difficulties with child conception all through his marriage, didn’t reply. Instead, he launched a TV show, where he and his wife discuss family issues, parenting, kids, and marriage.

Never seek approval. Obsessed people don’t blend in, don’t try to fit — they create their environment and do not care for opinions of haters. Your success is the best revenge.

Idea № 6. Never waste your time on nonsense and useless people

If you are obsessed with anything, put everything that stands in its way aside. Everything that doesn’t make you closer to your dream is meaningless. Forget about small talk, social media, and Netflix marathons. From now on there are two types of things in your life: those that bring you closer to your dream and those that separate you from it. For example, lack of free time can be an obstacle. So you can hire a gardener or a maid service to free up some time for the execution of your plans.

Cardone found a perfect balance between family and business so that none of those suffering. One of the reasons for that to become possible is that his wife is a fellow-thinker, a companion and a partner. They do business together; they spend mornings with their kids, take them to school and proceed with their day. They manage to balance between personal life and business. They also have their business responsibilities correctly distributed between each other.

Avoid pointless conversations and people, who only throw you off the course. It’s the worst time to be polite, leave and don’t ever waste your precious time and resources on such individuals.

A time spent in the company of successful people is a time spent well. But don’t get envious: reaching their positions requires courage, the strength of character, a lot of time and patience. Learn from them, not from “the average.” Cardone recalls that once he started making his first serious money, he switched to the best clothes possible for him and tried to look the sharpest. He looked at his clients wondering which one is going to pay for his new suit and a pair of shoes.

Cardone considers a vacation to be pointless for the obsessed. Work is the best for them, but if they decide to take some rest, it has to be the best. Instead of just spending some time away from work, maximize the amount of pleasure and impressions you can get. Book the best room at the best hotel. If you think whether you should go for “breakfast included,” you don’t even deserve a vacation.

Idea № 7. Avoiding risk, you avoid big money

Cardone reveals that the only way to avoid risk is to take one. To gain, you have to spend. Invest in your business to make it prosper and remember: comfort is the biggest threat to a businessman.

Ships built for open waters. Nothing wastes your potential more than comfort — a real enemy of obsession. Click to Tweet

To leave your comfort zone start by changing the place of living. You can become a big fish in a small pond, but it’s a dead-end of comfort and decline. Always expand your limits and opportunities.

Cardone regularly changes places of living. His very first time was not the best as he remembers it. He moved to Houston, where his brother and sister lived. He felt every bit of support they provided him with but something was off, and he moved to California. That was where he finally unleashed his potential. It turned out to be of critical importance to place yourself in an unknown, new environment that would challenge you to use everything you have. That’s what keeps you on the go and prevents you from stagnation.

And that’s why GRIN tech’s team works remotely 🙂

Cardone insists it is crucial for personal development. Obsessed people “conquer” one city and once they gain confidence and strength, they move to another. That’s when the realization comes: success does not correlate where you live. You can, and you must be able to survive and thrive everywhere you go. By reaching new horizons and discovering territories, you feed your obsession.

Don’t forget about new technologies. Keep your ear to the ground and have your finger on the pulse to be one step ahead of your competitors. Did Facebook launch a live stream feature? Cardone got in immediately and eventually found himself among the most successful streamers. Any new technology is an environment to explore, adapt and put to use. Just like a new city, where obsessed people feel like pioneers, new tech means new contacts and new products.

Idea № 8. You can’t make big bucks on your own: build a successful team

There are a lot of one-man-businesses in the USA. Their average income is barely higher than the average salary across the country. Owner of such one-man-enterprise works overtime devastates his body with sleepless nights and can’t afford a vacation, because otherwise, his business will fall. That is an example of a business being nothing more but a prison built by its owner.

You can’t build a big business all alone. A lot of the times people start a business, later think about hiring a couple of extra hands, train them and it ends with a decision to go back to single-handed management. People think they would make it all the better by themselves.

For the first ten years, Cardon had his business entirely dependant on him. It was devastating, and it was slowing the company down. The average people tell you to be happy with what you have, not to reach for the sky. Cardone despises it. So he finally decided to take a partner in, and that partner hired all the necessary staff. So what?

Cardone eventually realized that business is not a one-man-theatre. Successful companies have a lot of people working for them. As they expand their businesses, their teams expand alongside. It is a sure sign of a company with an obsessed leader who is never satisfied and always willing to evolve.

Another commercial break. Stand by. We advocate our solution of “Hire a dedicated team to build your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)” precisely for the same reason – you can spend time building a tech team – or get feedback fast with smart outsourcing and gradually develop your in-house expertise.

Good employees are a cornerstone of your business, and they are hard to find in the environment full of average people. Recent research showed that only 13% of employees do their jobs, while the rest either pretend to be busy or distract their colleagues. But the very attendance at their workplace doesn’t mean they do anything meaningful. They probably obediently do what they’re told to and don’t aspire for more.

You need to be able to find the right people, test them practically and only then move on to provide the best working conditions. Pay attention to CVs you read, read as many CVs as possible and interview as many candidates as possible. These people will only help your business grow if they understand and share your ideas. That is the principle Grant Cardone steadily follows when hiring. His brand is his child, and he has no intention of letting random anybody near it. Your employee must aim not only at a higher paycheck but also at future opportunities. Cardone is a proponent of constant control. Each employee’s efficiency must result in actual numbers, which you need to keep track of. Cardone gives his team occasional lessons in sales. When there’s a client, who is refusing every proposal Cardone makes a telephone call himself, while his team observes. Needless to say, that in the end Cardone makes a deal and his team gains valuable experience.

Summary of Be obsessed or be average summary

Well, writing yet another “I’d hardly recommend reading its full copy” makes me feel like killing lots of vibes of those business and self-improvement books. On the other hand, if I save at least a tiny fraction of our readers’ lives – it’s worth it.

Should we launch a startup with book summaries on subscription? haha

DISCLAIMER: You might want to read the book in full and form your own opinion