“Success is not something you pursue.
It’s something you ATTRACT by the person you become.”
This quote is one of my favorites from Jim Rohn, the all-time greatest teacher in the arena of personal development. Another concept I learned from Mr. Rohn was what he called the “economic ladder” … that ultimately, we get paid based on the value we bring to the marketplace.
One of the guys in my Mastermind group is a well-known former tech CEO, now Chairman of the Board of one of the biggest companies in the world, and partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. This guy once made $71.84 million in one year. How could one man bring so much value to the marketplace? It’s an interesting story.
He went to a historically black university on a music scholarship. While there, he sold stereos to earn money for expenses. After college, he started as a salesperson for IBM, and advanced up through the company based on his results. As he brought more value, he earned more income and more opportunity. He eventually became the General Manager of a division at IBM worth $37 billion, with over 30,000 employees.
TWO YEARS away from retirement, after 27 years with Big Blue, he took a risk to leave IBM, move to Silicon Valley, and take over a security software company that had been underperforming expectations. At the time, he became the only African-American leading a major US technology company. In an era immediately following the dot com bust, he leveraged his knowledge and experience to grow his company from $600 million in annual revenues to over $6 billion! His leadership led to massive gains for the company, and he was rewarded handsomely for this success.
His story can be an inspiration to us all. He gained knowledge, added experience, and internalized value, which he later leveraged for greater and greater success. Anyone can do this. How? Read on.
The first step to learning / gaining knowledge is the AWARENESS of things you don’t know. There’s a great lesson I’ve learned that’s called the “Circles of Knowledge.”
The interior circle is all the stuff that we don’t even know we know. This is instinct, habit, stuff that’s so routine in our lives that it becomes automatic. It’s by far the smallest circle of knowledge.
The second circle is all the stuff that we know we know. Most of the pieces of our past education, both formal and informal, fall here.
The third circle is all the stuff that we know we don’t know. Everything you have considered learning is here … a new trade or hobby, another language, or some specific skill related to your business that you want to develop. The key is that you are at least AWARE that these skills exist.
But the outside circle – really the rest of the whole page – is the area representing what we don’t even know we don’t know. There’s SO MUCH in this area for all of us, despite what some might think! The FIRST key to gaining this wealth of knowledge and value is to develop an awareness of all the things that are represented by this circle.
This is a main reason why every opportunity to learn is so valuable. When you attend a class or seminar, read a book, or watch an educational video, you will often be hit with ideas that were outside your awareness until that very moment. This awareness moves those concepts from your 4th to 3rd circle, then as you learn the concepts, they move from your 3rd to 2nd circle. Ultimately, as ideas and concepts in your life become INTERNALIZED, they move into your 1st circle.
It’s important to engage in some form of personal growth DAILY. Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning concept is really just a great way of “routinizing” the process of daily personal development. Andrew Bosworth — one of my old Cutco mentees, now one of the top executives at Facebook – put it so eloquently when he said:
“The compound interest of humanity is our ability to improve ourselves every day.”
Consider these questions right now:
How are you different TODAY than you were one month ago?
Are you seeing measurable progress in your level of personal growth?
If you’re constantly learning, note also that you will get a lot of repetitive information. That’s good, not bad. Repetition is very important to create buy-in in our lives. There will be many ideas you’ll hear that won’t take hold until you’ve heard them a bunch of times. But eventually, a good idea will take hold and become a part of who you are. That’s what I mean by INTERNALIZATION OF VALUE. I’ll come back to this later.
As you gain in knowledge, what’s important is to put that knowledge into ACTION.
Consider right now your own activity and your own habits. What does your work ethic say about you? What habits do you have that are leading you in a positive direction? What habits do you have that are leading you in a negative direction? Identify one activity right now that you want to do MORE of. Your activity is leading you in a certain direction. Recognize that now.
What about your results? What do they say about you? Are you achieving a majority of the goals that you set for yourself? My friend from the opening story took on a sales job where he could, for the most part, control his own level of activity and effort. He advanced up the ranks at IBM because of his results. If you can learn to set specific goals, then apply your activity and effort in the direction of those goals, you will often achieve what you set out to do. Learning to do that in the small moments will make you more capable of accomplishing the same thing in the larger moments.
As you continue to learn, and you put your learning into action, you will gradually BECOME the kind of person who is capable of contributing more value to the world around you. As your value becomes INTERNALIZED, you’ll naturally be more effective in most things that you do, especially in your work. The doors of opportunity will open for you, and you’ll have the choice to charge through those doors.
There are a number of skills or qualities that must be internalized for lasting, high-level success. I’ll touch upon those things in my next blog (soon) … The Magic Secret – part 2.
So why is this the Magic Secret?
In truth, it’s not a secret, and it’s definitely not magic. But for whatever reason, most people just don’t seem to understand the incredible power of daily personal growth.
Imagine you had $100 today, and this $100 grew by 1% every day.
In one year, you’d have $3678.
In two years, it would be $135,000.
In three years, $5 million.
In four years, $182 million.
In five years, your $100 would have grown to over $7 BILLION.
Think about growing YOURSELF in that same manner. If you do so, the possibilities for your life are limitless!