Don't stop to smell the roses: Grant Cardone
Speaker, entrepreneur and author of The 10X series Grant Cardone on why he doesn't believe in 'stopping to smell the roses'
Grant Cardone's is a rags-to-riches story. He was fired from eight jobs in his youth before he decided to start his own company. Having lost his father when he was just 10, Cardone, his mother and four siblings lived in fear. "It was fear of whether we had enough food in the refrigerator and whether there's enough money in the bank.
"When you're in fear, it's very difficult to dream about possibility. Our income provider had passed away and nobody else knew anything about income. That was my first lesson in finance - at 10 years of age. But I didn't know I was being taught." At 25, Cardone decided to get his troubled life in order and finally, dared to dream.
From a job at McDonald's at 16 to working on an offshore rig in Louisiana a year later, Cardone says his high school and university education "inhibited his ability to create a life he wanted". Even with an accounting degree from McNeese State University, Cardone did not know how to balance a chequebook and he certainly did not know how to "get" money. According to him, one does not 'make' money, you have to collect it from someone else.
Soon after, he began to "relearn this life" and went knocking across doors in America offering a different way to sell. "I didn't like the way I was taught to sell - through control, manipulation and avoiding questions." Cardone therefore offered more transparency. He was upfront about his prices, which is often what customers wanted to know first. "I wouldn't try and trick the client into liking me. Trickery and deception will never out-produce authenticity, transparency and speed."
Now, at 61, Cardone dons many hats: from entrepreneur to educator, marketer, investor and author, he has 17 partnerships and companies spanning across the education system, the automobile industry, event management, sales and real estate. He's also the CEO of Cardone Capital. Currently, his net worth stands at approximately $300 million and he does not desire to slow down any time soon.
"Certainly there's value in slowing down, but for what? It's not about rest - I'm not a camel. What I need is purpose." According to Cardone, workplace burnout is not a legitimate concern but rather something created by therapists, managers and people who do not want to work. And yet, he says there are days when he does not want to leave his bed in the morning. "We all have to do things we don't want to do. I've had people tell me for 45 years that I'm going to burn out and I've never burned out. The only time I get in trouble is when I don't have enough to do. And I think everybody is like that, they're just denying it. My priority is to contribute. It's not money, it's about what I can do to benefit the purpose-line. So I'm not just doing a job but I'm making a difference.
In a world where millennials are urging one another to slow down, smell the roses and practise both self-care and self-love, it is confusing to hear Cardone dismiss workplace burnout and promote 24/7 hustle. But his net worth seems to corroborate his point. Cardone gestures at the Dubai skyline outside the window. "If this city slows down, it will not get built. The reason it was built in 48 years is because somebody said, 'We're not slowing down'. Somebody had a vision, and they insisted the vision become a reality."
In his own companies, Cardone is the visionary and innovator and it's often his way or the highway as he runs a tight ship. He often looks for determination, compliance and intelligence in potential employees. But not creativity, and certainly not innovation. Democracy is shown the door in Cardone's companies as orders are given and employees are expected to follow. "I want to win, and I want a team that wants to win. I don't want a lot of 'we should do it this way' because while we're talking about a better way, we could have already done it. The vision has to come from the leader. America is being run into the ground because there's division and nothing gets done," he explains.
Today, these leadership methods may seem outdated and yet, it is hard to ignore their success. Even on Instagram, Cardone's profile has garnered a following of over 2.6 million people. Until about eight years ago, his success story was known only among those in the US. But, now, with eight books under his belt, Cardone has become a global brand.
His most famous book, The 10X Rule, has since grown into an annual 10X Growth Conference. 10Xing means devoting 10 times more energy, effort, and time to achieve your goals. Discussing money could be a taboo for many, but not for Cardone who was in town recently as part of the 10X movement. "I've always wanted to be rich," he says candidly, as he recalls the time when he was eight and lost a coin, a quarter to be precise.
That day he got advice from two people - his father who screamed, "Never play with money" and his grandfather who said, "Never go anywhere with one quarter."
Cardone shares, "I've found that the solution is to have a lot of quarters. People don't talk about money because they're having problems with it." He shrugs and continues, "Know three things about money: how to get it, how to keep it, and only keep it to invest it, not to spend it." But before any of that, one ought to invest in oneself, he says. "I invest in my education and how I brand myself. Once I got out of university, my education started from using Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to build a brand. It was about who could teach me about real estate and blockchain, the things that are happening right now."
Interestingly, Cardone - whose foundation mentors children without fathers - recommends looking for the right person to work for not the right company or industry or even profession. It should be a person who you could work with to get wealthy, not just a job. "Look for someone who has a vision, somebody with courage, with money, with a product or service and someone who is willing to move forward and put those at risk." When asked who he had found, Cardone says, "That is me."