By Dan Kennedy
“They Don’t Want You To Know”
There is a tendency amongst authors writing about ‘success’ – as well as entrepreneurs and CEO’s telling their success stories – to be warm ‘n fuzzy and present classically popular ideas palatable to the largest number of people. To say that nice guys win. That having a positive attitude and drawing little smiley faces above the i’s you dot will not only endear you to people but actually attract prosperity. In truth, there is little evidence of this. None of it is harmful in moderation, but it conceals fundamental truth about ultra-high achievers: they tend to be tough, intolerant, hard-driving, demanding, competitive people often viewed as difficult, mean and ruthless by others. And they tend to have a profound sense of superiority usually viewed as arrogance. It sometimes gets them in trouble, but it is also an essential factor in their success.
Quoting a Forbes reporter: “Donald Trump has a dim view of the world. To the real estate mogul and TV star most people are either ‘enemies’, ‘bastards’, ‘sleazebags’, or ‘stone-cold losers.’ “ Bill Harrison recently gave me a phenomenal book by one of the richest Europeans you’ve probably never heard of, Felix Dennis, ‘How To Be Rich’, which has much to say about this, and should be read by anybody who thinks they sincerely want to be rich. (It’s also a fun read.)
These individuals who raise themselves to great wealth and power exhibit messianic beliefs from the beginning. Gene Landrum writes about this extensively in his must-read books on the high achiever’s psyche. He cites countless examples; one, Napoleon being told by his mother while still in the cradle that he was born to rule the world. Andrew Carnegie spoke of having a sense of enormous superiority over ordinary men. In the book ‘The Alexander Complex: The Dreams That Drive Great Businessmen’, its author notes thatgreat business empiricists “live in the grip of a vision. Because they are convinced they can change the world, they often do.” With this sense of superiority comes the unavoidable conviction that most others are profoundly inferior. These individuals see themselves as strong and disciplined, others as weak and undisciplined; themselves as independent and in control, as kings, others as dependent and in need of constant supervision, as pawns to be moved about as necessary. These individuals have a centric vision, demanding that the world revolve around them. They see their rightful place as atop the hierarchal pyramids because of their superior studiousness, tough-mindedness, discipline, determination and resilience. (NOT superior intelligence, as Dennis points out, and as I have frequently stated.) While they may say that there’s nothing significantly different between them and other men on the street, because humble plays well, they privately know the opposite to be true, and have disdain for all those who could but don’t.
Further, these people take (legal) advantage when and where they can. Sam Walton cultivated an image as the folksy fellow in the battered pick-up truck, but Andy Griffith he was not. Walton’s success formula focused on minimized labor costs, grinding vendors down on price repeatedly, and forcing manufacture of most goods overseas. Wal-Mart has always been run with an iron fist: wage caps; extensive electronic surveillance of employee phone calls and workplaces; prohibition of purchasing agents accepting so much as a cup of coffee from a vendor; an internal security force investigating every deviation of company policy. NIKE founder Phil Knight made his fortune in shoes by paying Indonesian factory workers less than a dollar a day …eventually admitting that his company had “become synonymous with slave wages.” Bill Gates an elephant eagerly stomping mice. Opportunism, even predatory opportunism is heavily in play. One rich client of mine I won’t name recently told me – gleefully – that economic slump in his industry prompted him to open up his piggybank, because it was the ideal time to steal competitors’ best employees and advertise more aggressively than ever to build market share. Rockefeller famously said, “I buy when there is blood in the streets.”
Attitudes and behaviors most view, at best, squeamishly, and at worst, as evil, are accepted by high achievers as what separates the men from the boys. A very rich man I got to know 20 years ago, who made his money buying up cash-strapped companies at virtual gunpoint, told me: “I have five secrets. Five reasons I am rich while others are not. One, I am willing to pick up turds with my bare hands when necessary. Two, I am willing to trample the weak without qualm. Three, I am a very tough sonofabitch, I’m damn near impossible to knock out, but I’m still careful to pick fights with inferior opponents as much as possible. Four, I don’t care about being liked. Five, I only generously reward performance.”
These are some of the success secrets “they” don’t want you to know.
DAN S. KENNEDY is a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; highly paid and sought after marketing and business strategist; advisor to countless first-generation, from-scratch multi-millionaire and 7-figure income entrepreneurs and professionals; and, in his personal practice, one of the very highest paid direct-response copywriters in America. As a speaker, he has delivered over 2,000 compensated presentations, appearing repeatedly on programs with the likes of Donald Trump, Gene Simmons (KISS), Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Cookies), and many other celebrity-entrepreneurs, for former U.S. Presidents and other world leaders, and other leading business speakers like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Tom Hopkins, often addressing audiences of 1,000 to 10,000 and up. His popular books have been favorably recognized by Forbes, Business Week, Inc. and Entrepreneur Magazine. His NO B.S. MARKETING LETTER, one of the business newsletters published for Members of Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, is the largest paid subscription newsletter in its genre in the world. https://gkic.infusionsoft.com/go/bodk/rlorans