Good morning, Believe Nation.
Today we’re going to talk about the habits of successful people.
Rule number one is my personal favorite and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best. And as always, guys, as you’re listening, if you hear something that really, really resonates with you please leave it in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired. And also, as you write things down, you’re much more likely to keep it in here, as well. Enjoy.
HABITS of Successful People
The power of 21. So when I’ve been telling you to get that gold, to get that dream, and I’m just been telling you, driving and driving and driving and driving, what I’ve been talking about is consistency.
And for some of you, for real, for real, you’ll never have it, you’ll never be it, you’ll never do it because you don’t have any consistency. Listen to me, you are killing me and you are killing yourself.
You start and you stop and you start and you stop and then you start and you stop and your goal, you got to own a wall, you got the Bentley on the wall, you got the gated community on the wall, you got the degree on the wall.
But the problem is you keep starting and stopping and starting and stopping. And all I’m asking you to do for me is I’m asking for consistency. Alright, alright, so I’m talking about the power of 21, do you hear what I’m telling you? I’m talking about doing something for 21 straight days.
Now, it may not work. I remember when I first did this. The first thing I started, my boy Holler and Heal, he gave me a book called Book of Proverbs and he told me to read like a book of proverbs a day for 21 days.
He like, “E, just start a habit!” for real, we started with reading proverbs, something real simple, but he said, “E, if you can do something for 21 days, “like you’ll never have to think about it.”
I don’t know if you caught what I told you this morning, I woke up at 3 o’clock this morning, 3 o’clock burnt out, tired, like you know, E, I can’t do it. I just boom went back to sleep, boom three minutes later, my body woke me up.
What am I saying to you? I’m telling you consistency, habits. My body like, “Yo E, I don’t know what you’re doing. “I don’t know what you think you’re doing, “but we don’t do that. “Sleeping’s for suckers, get up.”
I started all over again
Listen to me, not my mind, my body kicked in and said, “Get up!” We’re talking about consistency. And so I read the Book of Proverbs 21 straight days, right. And I started doing other stuff. I said we’re going to exercise for 21 days.
I just started trying to do stuff for 21 days to see if I can do it and what I discovered is, for real, and I’m going to be honest with you all, I did 14 days and then I started all over again.
This time I did 16 days, then I started all over again. Then I did 18 days and I started all over again. And I did 21. Some stuff I can do 21 straight days. Some things I got to start and stop and start and stop and start, but when you get to 21, there’s power in consistency.
Interviewer: What do you see is some of the common habits of these successful people, outside of believing in the best in people like you talked about, not being as critical, you know, being flexible mentally, whatever. What are some of the other habits?
I think that the most important attribute of a good leader is somebody who listens well. A good leader knows what he thinks. So there’s no point in spouting what you think to your team. What you need to do is learn from your team, learn from your customers, listen.
“The reason it consistently gets voted best airline in the States is because we listen and we get all those little details right, so that our customers are happy.” – Richard Branson
I’m a great believer in writing things down. So if I’m having a meeting and people are coming up with lots of ideas, if I don’t write things down, I know I’m only going to remember a couple of things the next day.
Write things down
And often quite a lot of my meetings are at the bar at one in the morning, and I know definitely I’m not going to remember the next day what my staff have told me. So again, write things down.
And then the next day you can pull out your list and you can set about sorting things out. If I’m flying on a Virgin Airline, I’ll meet all the passengers, I’ll listen to them, write things down. I’ll meet the staff, listen to them, write things down.
And sometimes it’s tiny little things, but it’s those tiny little things that make for an exceptional company over an average company. Here in America, Virgin America, we started it a few years ago, I think the reason it consistently gets voted best airline in the States is because we listen and we get all those little details right, so that our customers are happy. If our customers are happy, your staff are happy, your staff smile. And it’s quite rare in airlines to have a staff that smile, but they do smile because the customers are happy and everybody’s happy.
Interviewer: So listening is the key.
Read A Lot
I should mention one thing about reading. It was at the library here at Columbia, which I spent probably more time than any other student, I lived there, practically. And I pulled a book out there, happened to be a Who’s Who in America, and it told me something about my professor Benjamin Graham and then I looked up, and I went to the librarian and I said, “I want to learn more about this, “because I learned this over here.”
That changed my whole life. We own Geico now because of that librarian directing me to some other book and then following through on that. It’s a chance, I read about 1/5 the pages that Bill does, but I still spend five, six hours a day reading.
You just can learn so much. I particularly love biography, to be able to live the lives of these people that have been so, seem so extraordinary, the lessons and the excursion that they faced, just everything about them. You can’t get enough of reading.
Work Like Hell
I think my life would be very unbalanced by most people’s definition, since I work quite a lot. I probably put in between 70 and 100 hours a week of work, which is a lot. And then what most of my remaining waking hours are spent with my kids. That’s my life. I would say it’s roughly unbalanced. And then just work like hell. I mean you just have to put in, you know, 80-hour, 100-hour weeks every week.
Interviewer: That’s a lot of work.
But all those things improve the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100-hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that in one year you will achieve what they achieve, you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.
I’m lucky to know a lot of famous people, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jack Welch, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, I know all of them. I would like to share with you that those people, the difference between those people and other people, they are always optimistic for the future.
They never complain. They always try to solve the problems of the others. And I think, where is the opportunity? The opportunity always lies in the place where people complain. Some people said they complain, you think, hmm, if I can solve that complaint, that’s the opportunity.
That’s what I did. Don’t complain. Let the other people complain. Those people complain, those people hold still. And do not always say, “Well, I don’t have.” Think about how you can make things different. Use your own brain to think.
Interviewer: You tried to get into three colleges. Each time they rejected you.
I tried, there is examination that young people, if you want to go to university, you have to take the examinations. So I failed it three times, but I had a lot of fail. I failed for funny things. I failed a key primary school test for two times, and I failed like three times for the middle schools.
“The opportunity always lies in the place where people complain. Some people said they complain, you think, if I can solve that complaint, that’s the opportunity.” – Jack Ma
You would never believe, in Hangzhou, my city, there is only one middle school that last only one year. It was changed from primary school middle school, because our graduates of our school, no middle school accept us because we were too bad. It would become a middle school.
I told myself some day I should go teach there
Interviewer: What effect did it have, though, being rejected?
I think we have to get used to it, we’re not that good. Even today, we still have a lot of people reject us. I think, when I graduate from universities, and for three years I tried, fail in the universities, so I applied jobs for 30 times, got rejected.
I went for a police, they said, “No, you’re not good.” I went to even the KFC. When KFC come to China, come to our city, 24 people went for the job. 23 people accepted. I was the only other guy. And we went for police.
Five people, four of them accepted. I was the only guy that did not receive it. So to me, being turned down, rejected, oh by the way, I told you I apply for Harvard for 10 times, rejected. I know I be rejected, I just want to say that.
Charlie: They’re sorry now, they’re sorry now. 10 times you wrote them and said, “I’d like to come to Harvard.”
Yeah, and then I told myself some day I should go teach there, maybe.
Here’s what I’ve created for my life and anyone I know succeeding. I’m a 17 year-old kid from Azusa, California, with no real education other than self-education, with no background, with parents that did their best, all of them, with no money, but I did one thing.
I love people and I had an enormous demand I made upon myself and I sculpted my mind and my emotions to get me to do whatever it would take to achieve and to contribute.
But to do that, I did it by using my body and changing my focus. I did it by putting myself in a key physiology and using what I call incantations. Can you train yourself to believe something, yes or no? Absolutely.
How many of you have ever made the fatal mistake of going to Disneyland or Disney World and while you’re there made the fatal mistake of going to a ride called It’s a Small World After All? What happens for about a week after you’re out of that damn place?
You’re still singing this thing in your head in 24 languages, right? Well let me tell you something. How many of you have things when you want to go achieve them and then this part of your voice goes, “Oh, it’s not going to happen,” or “Forget it.”
How many get a voice that sometimes interrupts that good pattern, say “Aye.” What you want to do is train a new one. So starting when I was 17, I started doing incantations, not affirmations.
I was able to influence people that were far more successful that I was at the time
Affirmation you go, “I’m happy, I’m happy, “I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy.” What’s the problem? You haven’t changed your what? Your what? Physiology, if you don’t change your physiology, you won’t get anything.
So in incantations, not only do you speak it, but you embody what you’re saying with all the intensity you can. Then you do it with enough repetitions that it sticks in your head.
Like It’s a Small World, now the conversation in your head is always the same and it gives you what you want. So use your body and your voice. So, 17 years ago, I started doing things. I was working for Jim Rohn, the speaker.
I was 17 years old, I had long hair, minestrone soup acne on my face. I was trying to call on Bear Stearns type of people and convince them why they should go to this man’s seminar and be more successful.
I was driving a 1968 Volkswagon that I had earned at 40 hours a week as a janitor. The only way I did it was park far from the building and then go in, and I love people. I believe when I put myself in state, and I was able to influence people that were far more successful that I was at the time. I would do something that I still do backstage and I’ve done for 23 years, because I don’t hope I’m going to be in good state, I demand it.
I would imagine the abundance in my life
So I do an incantation, using my whole body, and saying, “I now command my subconscious mind “to direct me in helping as many people as possible “alive today to better their lives. “Body, give me the strength, the emotion, “the persuasion, the humor, the brevity, “whatever it takes to show these people “and to get these people to change their lives now.” And I will do that literally driving in my Volkswagon to a meeting in LA on a freeway for 40 minutes.
People are looking at me, I’m screaming at the top of my lungs. They’re going, “I know he’s a serial killer, I know he is.” But by the time I enter that room, when two people meet, if there’s rapport, the person who’s most certain will always influence the other person.
And I was totally certain and they were trying to get revved up to certainty. Do you agree with this, yes or no? I do another one, because I was poor, I changed my mindset. I kept doing things but I never got beyond it. I’d say, “God’s wealth is circulating in my life. “It’s what flows to me in avalanches of abundance.
“All my needs, desires, and goals are met “instantaneously by infinite intelligence, “for I am one with God and God is everything.” And I would imagine the abundance in my life and I would feel so grateful. And a year later I went from making $38,000 a year to making a million dollars a year in one year.
Give Honest Feedback
I’ve started, and I’m still not great at this, either, and these are always works in progress when it’s not the thing that comes most natural to you. But what I think I’ve been doing well lately is I’ve been giving more honest, critical direct to people’s face feedback. I tend to be a little bit softer. I’m much more of a honey over vinegar guy. Between our former managing director Kelly and AJ, they’re very straight shooter operators, they’ve moved me along.
I’ve definitely evolved in that category. I’m definitely better at it. I still want to deal with a ton of empathy and heart and soul, but shooting it straight is bringing more value to me and it’s just speeding up the process of victory.
Can’t have a CEO, I don’t know I wouldn’t say I’m not, I’m very decisive, but boy, delivering bad news does not come natural to me and I don’t love it. So building infrastructure around me and then doing it myself has been important.
” I still want to deal with a ton of empathy and heart and soul, but shooting it straight is bringing more value to me and it’s just speeding up the process of victory.” – Gary Vaynerchuck
Evolution that I’ve done been much better at being a mediator than I’ve done on Wine Library, and what that’s given me is the thing that a lot of you know that I value, which is speed, those two.
Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Imane Injar asked me to. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover in the next edition of Believe Life, please leave it down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.
I’d also love to know what did you learn from this video? What was the most important takeaway that you’re going to apply to your life or your business immediately, now that you saw this clip? Please leave it down in the comments below.
If you have anything you’d like to add, a tip, a suggestion for other people to be more successful, habits that you feel maybe we missed, leave it down again in the comments. I’m really curious to see what you wave to say.
Finally I want to give a quick shoutout to Esteben Serrano. Thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, it really, really, really, really means a lot to me, and I hope you’re enjoying the read.
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, have an amazing day, and I’ll see you soon.