Hello, Believe Nation! My name is Evan Carmichael. My one word, is believe, and I #Believe that entrepreneurs are going to solve all of the world’s major problems.
So, to help on your journey, today, we’re going to learn how you can execute on your plans. And as always, as you’re watching, if you hear somethin’ that really resonates with you, please leave it down, in the comments below, and put quotes around it, so other people can be inspired. And when you write it down, it’s much more likely to stick with yourself as well. Enjoy.
EXECUTE On Your PLANS!
So, it’s easy to have ideas. It’s very hard to turn an idea into a successful product. There are a lot of steps in between it. It takes persistence, relentlessness. So, I always tell people, who think they want to be entrepreneurs. You need a combination of… Stubborn relentlessness, and flexibility.
And you have to know when to be which. And basically, you need to be stubborn on your vision. And because, otherwise, it’ll be too easy, to give up. But, you need to be very flexible on the details, because as you go along, pursuing your vision, you’ll find that some of your preconceptions were wrong, and you’re going to need to be able to change those things.
So, I think taking an idea, successfully, all the way to the market, and turning it into a real product that people care about, and that really improves people’s lives, is a lot of hard work.
My assistant’s got a great thing now, in this. Once, in every four months, somebody sends an email saying, I got a huge startup, that I want you to invest in, but you’ve got to sign this NDA, right, which literally, every time, gets an email back, that says, f*** you, right?
And the reason is, I’m a humongous believer, that ideas are sh**, and that execution’s the game, right? We’ve all got ideas. Everybody’s got ideas. Do we f***** ideas we all have here? We can probably sit here, for the next two hours, draw them all out, record ’em, and predict the next 78 great startups over the next nine years. And? So, I think the thing that is another theme, in entrepreneurship, is there is way too much fodder, brought to the idea.
Uber was Magic Cab, three years earlier. Uber is not an idea. Uber existed. It’s called Magic Cab. But, the guys that execute it, sucked. So, they lost. So, I think, if there’s any level of romance, left in this room about your idea, I’d like to suffocate it, because I think the actual situation is, what you actually do with it.
Glen: You’re a fantastic, direct response marketer, with your mail order business! Can you talk to us, about the dollar into two concept?
Well, we all pay taxes, and we all hate the idea, that if you’re losing that money. But, there’s a difference, between hating that you lose that money, and hating to pay taxes. I love paying taxes. If it is the fair amount, and if it is used wisely, I think we all have to contribute to it, because that’s how you set up social programs, that’s how you build infrastructure, that’s how you have a military, and all of those kinds of things.
So, that’s great. But, I always has the belief, that the money, that they’re paying taxes, I want to make up, through wise investments. So, this is why I got into real estate, right away, in the 70s, and I started buying raw land, and developing that. I started buying apartment buildings.
And, you know, just think about it. I remember, in 1974, I bought my first apartment building, and we bought it for 215,000 dollars. It was, then, a lot of money. And I put only down, maybe 35, 37,000 dollars. But, within two years, the apartment building was worth, instead of the 215, 350,000 dollars, and I sold it.
So, imagine now, how much gain there was, right? I mean, so we made hundreds of percent, of my initial investment. So, that’s what I’m talking about. So, it takes thoughts, and ideas, can make much more money, than actual, physical labor. And physical labor is always part of the action, because I always say, you got to work your ass off, no matter what you do, because now, we have a great idea, but then, you still have to implement it, and you have to hustle.
You have to go to the bank, get the financial statement, do this and that, and raise money sometimes, and you go, and look at the thousands of apartment buildings, to find the right one, and all of those kinds of things. So, you still have to work. But normally, if it’s just physical labor, you can never make the money, than you can make, when you have ideas, so this is why it’s important.
I always tell people, I say, the secret is, is there are certain times, don’t think. Like, when you get up in the morning, don’t think. Just roll out of bed, go to your life cycling, or go on a bicycling ride, or go to the gym, work out, you know that’s what you have to do, and then, read something, and learn something.
So, don’t even think about it. But, there’s other times, when you have to really think, and you really have to get creative, and have a clear vision of where you want to go, and what you want to do, and that’s what I always had, and that’s what I always believed in.
I always believed in making money, so that then, you can do something with that. You invest in it, and all this, eventually, you create a family, you get some of your kids in order, and stuff, but also, for charity. Look, I have the Schwarzenegger Institute, that you will see.
‘Cause, we have to raise money all the time, and make money, to pay for that, and to support that. 50R20, the environmental organization, well, any organization, any idea is great, but if you don’t lift the money, you can’t implement anything.
And so, this is why it is important, that if it’s an environmental organization, or if it is an afterschool programs, that are nationwide, where we raise millions and millions of dollars every year, or if it is just living in a great mansion, or driving a nice Bentley, and a Bugatti, those are the kinds of things, it takes money, to do all those kinds of stuff.
So therefore, I believe in making one dollar into two, and having a good time, way to pay my taxes. So, when someone says, Arnold, I say we have bad news. You owe 50 million dollars, in taxes. I say, wow! Yes! And then, they’ll look at me, and says, what are you happy about?
Glenn: He’s finally lost it!
Because, that means, we must’ve made a lot of money, to have to pay that much money, in taxes! And they said, yeah, that’s a way of looking at it. And I say, that’s the way I look at it.
The reality is, reading a book, or going to a conference, or having a great conversation, where you get this golden information, that’s all fantastic, but what makes mastery, is execution on the ideas, not the ideas. And so, no idea works, unless you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, do the practice, invest the time, put in the effort, do the work.
I think we’ve all observed a lot of people, who they love reading the books. They love showing up at the courses. They do all the online training, and nothing ever changes. And they say, well, I don’t know why it doesn’t change, why my life doesn’t change, why my thinking doesn’t change, why my performance doesn’t change, why my relationships don’t change.
Well, it’s because ideas don’t work, if you don’t execute on them. So, if you look at the great business builders, you look at any great performer, one thing that makes them great, is their grit. One thing that makes them great, is their hunger to practice. One thing that makes them great, is they’re will to sacrifice. I mean, yes, they’re passionate, but did you know, the root of the word passion, is suffering.
You’ve got to be willing to suffer, for your vision. You’ve got to be willing to suffer, to reach BIW, best in world. You’ve got to be willing to suffer their ridicule and laughter, of your critics and your cynics, to get to a place, called world of class.
I knew I wanted to be in show business, and I just happened to luck out, and things happened. I think you know, you know what you’re supposed to do, deep down inside. I think everybody does, and a lot of people just don’t go after it, you know?
And like most people start off, they say, I want to be a this, but I’m going to get that, to make sure I have somethin’ to fall back on. And what you’re doin’, is you’re settin’ yourself up for failure, ’cause you’re goin’, there’s a possibility, that I’ma fall back. And when you put that out there, then you fall back. But, if you just say, hey, this is what I want to do, and you go do it, you usually get your stuff the way you want it, man.
The way, of the entrepreneur, is actually about going, looking at the world, and finding problems. It’s actually, some people think that’s a negative mindset, but actually, I find it as, it’s a curious mindset, is you’re out there, looking for problems, looking for things, that aren’t the way they should be, or could be. Okay, you got a good idea. Look, everybody’s got a good idea.
You know, now, the… Okay, everyone has an idea. Not everyone has a good idea, but lots of people have good ideas. Look, Uber’s a good idea. You push a button, and get a ride. I don’t know if you were the first person to think of that idea, but we are the first person to do it. And so… You got to just go do it, then. You got to just get out there, and go do it. So, it’s easy, to have the idea, or straightforward. But then, you’ve got to have enough guts, to go out there, and try. And that’s, that’s the way of the entrepreneur.
You need to execute, and you need to execute as fast as possible. Because, the thing, at the end of the day is, whether you feel you have competitors, or not, sooner or later, you’re going to have someone, and if you can’t move fast enough, someone’s going to beat you to the punch.
So, make sure whatever you’re doing, you get something out, within a month or two. If it takes you longer than that, you’re taking way too long. I created this company, called Serph, and it was in Rockwell, Texas, right by Dallas, and I had this brilliant idea. Have any of you guys heard of the Media Temple Grid Server solution?
That was my idea, a year or two, before it came out. And I spent a million bucks on it, tryin’ to actually do that idea, before Media Temple. The funny thing, is that I have a million bucks, so I had to actually borrow a million bucks, and I spent it on business partners, who moved really slow, and really wanted the best that they did. Within 12 months, we launched nothing.
They also had some of the problems, in my previous slide, right, like financial instability, and they had a family, and kids, of I think like, six? So, I even bought ’em a home in Rockwell, Texas, that cost 200 and something thousand. Why did I buy it, instead of renting it? I have no clue, I was stupid and young. But nonetheless, I lost over a million bucks, on that, of borrowed money.
Not investor money, but borrowed money, that I had to pay back. And it failed miserably, because we never launched anything. If you can’t launch something, someone like me, the tumble’s going to beat you to the punch, get a ton of customers, and make a lot of money. So, lessons I learned from that, set deadlines, no matter what. You have to set deadlines. People have to be held accountable to ’em as well, right? Can’t just set a deadline, it passes, nothing happens, someone better be meeting ’em.
If not, you know, something has to change. You also need to make sure they’re small. At the deadline, if the milestones, goals, are too big for those deadlines, they’re not going to get met. So, make ’em really small, and tangible. That way, you can see it, really well in advance, if they’re actually going to be met, or not. And last, but not least, don’t worry about perfection.
A lot of people, like dude, I’m going to create the most perfect version of, you know, whatever it may be. That software has a lot of buzz. Mine’s going to be perfect. Perfection is overrated. Nothing is ever perfect. You’re going to continue to have to iterate so forth, and so on. It’s never going to be perfect. There’s always going to be issues. Just get it out there, and start tryin’ to make money.
Interviewer: I think, you famously said, strategy is five percent of the answer, and execution is 95 percent? So, what does that mean, and how did you actually, what did you do differently?
Carlos: You know, the five percent, yeah, I said… Five percent of a challenge, is strategy, and 95 percent of the execution. This, I said it, as a CEO of Nissan. I said it, also, as CEO of Renault, and I said it, as deputy CEO of Renault. When I said it the first time, it was mainly in France.
And I was, to the top management of Renault, in France, because there was a tendency, in the company, to spend too much time on strategy, and leave the execution for other people. And this is where I said, yeah, strategy is fine, it’s very important. But, it’s only five percent.
If you don’t go to execution after this, the delivery, and the performance of the company is going to be very weak. I really, I really believe it. Now, it doesn’t mean that strategy’s not important, but when you establish north, and you know exactly where north is, for the company, you’ve done something very important, because you’re giving the direction.
But, if you don’t stop moving north, if you don’t stop mapping, and establishing milestone, you’re never going to be getting there. You’re never going to be getting there.
People start what if-ing themselves, alright? They say, aw I got this great idea, but what if I do all this work, and it doesn’t work? What if I put in all this time, and become an excellent employee, and I don’t get promoted? What if, I put in all this work, to become an excellent salesman, and I don’t sell? What if, what if, what if?
And I tell ya, what if. What if, you don’t do sh**? Where are you going to be? ‘Cause, it isn’t going to be any better than where you are now. Alright? It’s very easy for people, who are in the beginning levels of success, or the beginning levels of their success journey, to tell themselves stories, that other people’s circumstances are better than theirs, that the other people have rich parents, they’ve got luck, they’ve got better circumstances.
They got less obstacles. And they say, and I understand, you know, that if you just do the work, you’ll get the result. But, what if? Okay, they want to believe it, they want to succeed, but at the end of the day, they don’t f****** do it, because they talk themselves out of it. Alright?
This is easily the number one thing, that keeps people from succeeding. It’s the number one thing, that keeps people where they are. It’s the number one thing, that keeps people broke. It’s the number one thing, that keeps people in a situation, of frustration, or… Basically, regret.
And what ends up happening is, is that they end up going through their life, accepting what they’re dealt, doing what they’re told, and they end up at 50, 60 years old, wondering what the f*** happened. Well, I’m going to tell you what happened. You talked yourself out of going after what you were supposed to go after. You talked yourself out of your purpose.
You talked yourself out of the idea, that success is cause and effect, not magic luck, or magic fairy dust. That’s what happened, okay? And that’s the number one thing, that keeps people from succeeding. It’s the what if story, that they tell themselves, over, and over, and over again, as to why they can’t move forward, and other people can.
Why, if they do the work, it still isn’t going to work out. Success is easy, guys! It’s f****** easy! It’s making a plan, and executing the plan, every day. It’s that easy. It’s that easy. Okay, and people will always be like, Andy, it’s not that easy! There’s got to be luck to it!
You know, f******, my friend, he created the super snuggy snowball machine, and it made 100 million dollars, in one day! Well, you ain’t your f****** friend! You’re a regular dude, just like me, and I’m tellin’ you, and you can choose to believe whatever the f*** you want to believe, but the reality is this.
Make a plan, work the plan. Make a plan, work the plan. Make a plan, work the plan. And whenever the plan doesn’t work, you change the f****** plan! That’s called failure! It’s called learning a lesson! It’s called adjusting! On the run, you are not going to have a perfect plan, from start to finish, just because you thought of an idea.
That’s reality, okay? So, when we talk about the what if story, you’re telling yourself, the what if story, you’re trying to justify your fear with, it’s bullsh**. It’s bullsh**. If you do the work, and you do it for a long enough time, and you have at least average intelligence, you will be successful.
Period. End of story. Now, you can accept that, or you can go out, and you can look for all the little exceptions. You can look for the, you know, the glory stories, the guys who make millions of dollars, in one year, which they don’t. You know, it doesn’t happen to the average guy.
You go out there, and say, oh they got lucky, look. That’s all luck, it’s all luck. Or, you can accept the fact, that for people who don’t get lucky, like us, that there is a way to still do it, which is to f****** make a plan, and execute the plan, and do that relentlessly, consistently, over the course of f****** ten years, and you’ll be where you want to be.
Alright, I’m not a f****** smart person, I’m not overly intelligent. I just make a list every day, and execute on it! I don’t worry about what if.
I don’t think about, what if I do this, and it doesn’t work out the way I want? I know that it’ll work out in some way, and because I’m smart enough to adjust to plan, on the way, I know that it will at least end up somewhere close to where I want to be. It’s not that hard. Quit over-complicating it. There are no what ifs. If you do the f****** work, the result will be there, period.
Well, the last, and the most valuable lesson, as an entrepreneur, I learned, was about the value of execution. Way too many people. Way too many people, spend too much time, thinking about the vision. We are taught, that you have to build a better mouse trap.
Every venture capitalist will tell you, that to be a successful entrepreneur, you need a breakthrough innovation. Well, you have to assume, none of us, or at least most of us, are not the smartest people in the world. There are lots and lots of great, great inventors out there.
How are we going to be the person, who’s going to always build a better mouse trap? Well, to be successful, you don’t have to build a better mouse trap. You just have to build a different mouse trap. And as long as you’re executing well, the business, all of this, comes down to block and tackle.
It’s not about the great vision, it’s always about the great execution. And you can always succeed, by out-executing your competitors, not necessarily having the best product in the marketplace. And I think that Microsoft is a great example, where they took a same product, that other people may have had, but they executed substantially better, and today, the market leader, in industry.
Thank you guys so much for watching! I hope you enjoyed. I’d love to know, what did you take from this video, that you are going to immediately, now apply, to your life, or your business somehow. Please, leave it down, in the comments below. I’m really curious to find out.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Julio Velez! Julio, thank you so much, for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and posting that review on your YouTube channel. I really, really appreciate the support man, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the book.
Today’s book is called, Your One Word, by Evan Carmichael.
So, thank you guys again, for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is, much love. I’ll see ya soon.