The 10X Rule Review
Rest comes to those who deserve it
The BIG rule:
When those most educated of us decide to sit down and read something of value to us, whether it's emotionally, smartly, or of exciting value to us, then we become better individuals, those who decide to better themselves, not because they are required to, but because they know that they have a long life to live, and that life will lend itself to the acquisition of a great deal of knowledge. To throw this life away, this chaotic blessing, is to be a lesser person, and to exist in a state lesser than what you may be is a state that nobody deserves to have inflicted on that person.
Now, to what piece of art, to what honour, do I give my own little blessing, and bring out my most dignified of prose in order to bring across my most refined of thoughts? Simpler to state than to plod along, I suppose: The 10X Rule, written by a gentlemen called Grant Cardone, is a business book about how to succeed in your life and your business and I suppose the entire Fresh Prince of Putting On Bel-Airs idea breaks down here, given that this was published in 2011 and with prose that isn't inspiring, except for the ideas contained within. Yes, I could just as easily talk like Abraham Lincoln for this entire review, though given that it's prose that is unnecessarily dense, though perhaps poetic in its construction, I do not talk so often like this, as simple ideas spread best.
I will admit, after having made that last article detailing all my experiences with The Beginner's Guide, I wanted to break up the monotony with something simple. Thirteen thousand words, you say? Gee willickers, when can I start ignoring that? Whenever I read my past work, with the caveat that I was the bloke who wrote it, I always find my eyes glazing over and my brain filling out a checklist of "things I would rather be doing right now", because I already know everything within. I'm reminded of somebody whining on the wayside about how weeaboos have zero appreciation for the mecha genre when they call it "generic", because at the time that mechas came to fruition, there was literally nothing like it that has ever been created before. The people creating mecha had no rules to follow, because they were the ones inventing the rules! My work is a bit like this: it's generic to me because I'm used to it, but to somebody not familiar with it, it's as unique
How it works:
Remember when my reviews were only 3,000 words long, instead of triple that? Good times. I feel envy for the Zero Punctuation bloke; he does five minutes a week and everybody likes him. It's a shame he felt the power of feature creep. It used to be four minutes a week!
Now we are at an impass where we much ask ourself: what is is the 10X rule. While I realise the tone of this review will make it sound like an advertisement instead of an analysis of a book that I happened to read one day and had absolutely nothing else to look it, I assure you that I am still my broke old self, and I earn zero money off of this thing. Also we found this new site called CSGO Lotto—so I'll link it down in the description if you guys want to check it out. We were betting on it today and I won a pot of like $69 or something like that, so it was a pretty small pot, but it was like the coolest feeling ever. I ended up following them on Twitter and stuff, and they hit me up and they're talking to me about potentially doing like a skin sponsorship.
It's a meme you dip. And now I immediately regret having visited that link, as I just wasted two hours of my life on that I will never get back. Never click on it. In fact, ignore my having said it at all. Do you know what type of comedian takes another person's joke and then pretend it was their own, filling up space because they don't have enough creative potential to reconcile their career in a field that they have made a serious mistake in indulging? That's right - Amy Schumer! Actually, I feel bad for her, seeing as she'll be irrelevant within five years and this joke won't make any sense, and will be seen as petty at best. I would like to sincerely apologise for that low blow. I am really, incredibly, sorry.
The book is simple, and it comes right out and introduces its staple: the 10X rule, which becomes less and less relevant as the author goes on and talks about their opinions about business, about anti-competition, and being aggressive in every single thing you do. Naturally it was banned in Canada for being too offensive, but I was able to smuggle it in thanks to a contact in Quebec, which was able to retrieve a copy from la mere patrie for my perusal. It states, simply, that whatever you do, you must aim for ten times that amount, as it is better to aim for a million dollars and come up short half of that, than it is to aim for a hundred thousand dollars and succeed in the same amount of time. It's a goal-setters book, essentially.
The first and immediate concern pressing this rule is that, as a matter of principle, it is not possible to achieve certain short-term goals at ten times the efficiency. You cannot expect to do three hundred push ups instead of thirty in one day - it's physically impossible. You cannot lift one thousand kilograms instead of a hundred - and for some people, they cannot even lift ten. For a young person, earning even a thousand dollars is a tough call, so earning a million is out of the question for that period in their life. The purpose of the goal is to always aim a little bigger than you think you can, and in doing so, are encouraged to do what is, at the moment, impossible for you for.
The second flaw of this rule is that, as a matter of course, it encourages workaholism. I remember one specific story in the book where Grant is telling a client to skip out on Sundays, because his business was tanking and he needed to salvage it before it all went to pot. Solid advice, because if your business is failing, you have to take a little less time off in order to make it great. Imagine if you got a day off of work, or a day off of school, just because of freak weather or something or another. What can you do with that day? That whole period of time to do whatever you want? You have six, eight, maybe even ten hours to yourself, free to indulge! To spend all that time lazing about doing absolutely nothing is one of the greatest human mismanagements, because it shows that you don't respect yourself enough to make yourself great.
But then, immediately after, he says that "Sunday is a day of rest for when you worked hard the other six days". Why am I reminded of Japan with this sentence, with its constant emphasis on work above everything else, where if you're not sleeping or in school, you're working? I understand what he's getting at: make the most of your time, and play hard when you're not working. But when you phrase it in such a way where it implies that, above all else, you have to work hard all the time, with very little exception, then it encourages a damaging mindset that drains the willpower of the individuals involved at the expense of their mental and physical health. The secret to hard work is to know when your willpower is drained, do something that can replenish that (like making a decent meal instead of focusing on the frozen foods that do nothing for your stomach), and then work at it again. Don't work all the time, please! If you do, you will hurt yourself more than bring benefit.
Now, these are two big flaws of the rule, the guideline with which to live your life. Grant talks at length about a similar principle called "massive action", where most people - without even realising it, mind you! - are at lower levels of activity, where only those who take massive action to reach their goals by working hard, learning as much as they can, picking up as many contacts as they can, and running their business as effectively as they can given the resources at hand, are the ones who may succeed. It's a good principle, and one which I recommend, because the leaders in competition are those who, simply, do a little bit more than what everybody else is doing. It's false that you only use 10% of your brain power (and if it was true, brain damage would be a lot less worrying). But it is true that most people only use 10% of their true potential - hence, the 10X rule.
Most people are on three planes of action. There's the retreat plane, where they run away from anything that might change their lives or cause them to wake up from their living situation, must like religious people atheist discourse. There's the static plane (the real name I cannot recall as my contact was forced to move back to Quebec due to his separatist plot discovered by the RCMP), where most people live through life as they mean to go on: doing absolutely nothing of exception, where people live and die, with little hardship and with little to their name. And then there's the "do nothing" degree, where people don't even do anything at all. It's a bit like Hopsin said. "Who the fuck is Hopsin?" you ask me, poor and illiterate. I would tell you, but he's a black rapper, so your racist ass wouldn't be interested.
An interesting parallel to these planes of action is his complaint about the middle class, saying that most people settle for that social status because they have been taught at a young age that it's a comfortable place to live in, despite economic crises causing them to go into either hard times, or outright poverty, unlike the upper class who has enough money to spend comfortably no matter who they are. The middle class, essentially, is a static plane, where people get to that area of their lives and have no desire to move up, because they are satisfied with where they are. Because they never grow as people, they never earn the respect of the world, and as a result they die, alone, and unremarkable, forgotten within a decade. Middle class in North America is a big lie, where you are told that it's okay to be unexceptional, despite the world needing none of that. In fact, what North America considers "middle class" is actually "working class" in Europe, where you have to own property to be in that middle class (and therefore be slightly more financially secure).
Is it classist to assume that, when some people have worked their entire lives to get to be middle class, they should be admonished for stopping at this point? We must remember: the rule is relative, not an absolute. Perhaps for the most poor and unenlightened, a person who spent their life in the streets and earning enough to buy their own house is indeed putting ten times the amount of effort into things than the middle-class person who does not seek to be a plutocrat, being content working at one times the amount of effort, and therefore, not changing a damn thing in their life. But when you get to that point, and have looked back on your life and realised what a milestone it is in order to change your life in such a dramatic way, you cannot, you must not, stop! You got to this point in your life, being able to live as so many people life, with more privilege than you have ever known. Now that you own more than ever before, it's time to start anew, and begin your quest to an even better living standard.
And this is where the fourth and final degree of action comes from: taking massive action. When you take massive action, you are not content with who you are, you are not okay with being average, and you are not okay with making average work. You seek to be, above all else, exceptional. You seek to leave the world a better man, a better place, than when you entered it! The first step to being that man, seeing that world, is to understand that, above all else, you have an obligation to give back, an obligation to be as successful as you can be for somebody of your ability, and to excel in all that you do to improve. The first step is to understand that you have more means that you have ever had, at any point in time, to make your way in the world. And to do that, you may take massive action.
What is massive action? It's when you decide to take your day off and decide to learn a new language instead of playing video games. It's when you decide to play a video game that changes your life instead of one that just entertains. It's when you seek to make entertainment instead of just consuming it. It's when you decide to write about the dangers of consumerism as opposed to being a manufacturer. It's when you decide to write about the ethics of your industry instead of just being content with injustice in it. It's reading a book instead of reading the news, and reading a novel instead of a magazine, and a non-fiction book instead of a novel, and a legal journal instead of a nonfiction. It's writing a journal every day to learn more about yourself. It's learning what you need to do to be a better man. And, especially, it's being that better man.
I know somebody who wants to be, above all else, average. He does not want to be exceptional. When I talk to him about it, espouse to him the benefits of being the best you can be, he rejects it. I'm not making this up. Do you know why he is justifying his opinions, his misguided opinions? It's because he does not want to bring attention to himself. He does not want to be noticed. He does not want to have responsibility thrust upon him. Ladies and gentlemen of the Froge Court: I present to you the product of thirteen years of mandatory schooling. This is the person who will be working in your businesses. This is a lost soul who will live, die, and do nothing in his life, alone and forgotten within the decade's end.
Am I being mean to bring attention to this theoretical fellow, this person who, most certainly, exists in your life as well as mine? Gentlemen. Do not bring to me your ideas of what is polite when being polite has not worked thus far for somebody of this statute. We must understand that, above all else, good medicine tastes bitter. There is no improvement without criticism, because somebody telling somebody that they are perfect, when they are not, is the most damaging thing you can do fo them. When somebody says that they did not ask for your opinion, you tell them right back: "You may not have asked, but you are in need of it most. I'm telling you this because I know you can be better than you are now, and I don't want you to be hurt because of what you aren't yet capable of.". And if they decline to hear what you have to say, as they are likely to do, then leave them to their own devices. They are not your problem to solve. A relationship is always met halfway. You cannot force somebody to enjoy you - you may only give them the opportunity.
To take massive action is to give yourself the opportunity to be somebody greater than yourself, and take those opportunities as often as you can. It will be hard, and it will be scrubby, slippery, as you may not be used to this. To be frank, I am not used to this. But when you dedicate yourself to being exceptional, then by sheer force of will, you will be exceptional. When you see the stories of men who came before you, in all that they did, with sheer determination and the decision to become somebody who wants to make the world a better place, then who cannot be inspired by their stories? We live in a great world, with a great deal of people to look up to. There will be many who doubt you. You are not them. You are not obliged to be them.
I realise this review isn't too funny. It is, however, important. If by some chance you wish to earn some charity titters, please insert a joke somewhere in it. Look, I'll even fill in the blanks for you. Here's a section!
Insert jokes here:
Alright, are we good? Let's move on.
How I felt:
There are other aspects of this book which is worth talking about. Granted, I could continue to talk about what it means to be a great person, but it is a decision that you come to for yourself, and not because somebody else tells you to, and then you are immediately inspired to make something of yourself. It comes as a decision based off the encouragement of dozens of pieces of advice, dozens of individual forces, that teach you all the benefits of deciding to be exceptional. I cannot force you to be exceptional all on my person, just as I cannot change a religious person's mind and decide to cast off their faulty dreams of the world. But, months over time, perhaps years, each remark against the idea of being average, will wear on them, and perhaps cause them to lose their manipulated mindset. The same is for you: my remarks, over a period of years, will wear on you, and improve you for the better. Slowly. With certainty.
It is a good book, I suppose. It is legitimately inspiring in the way that it tells you all about the benefits you earn by being greater than yourself, and in addition, all the hazards of being average. It is written by a man with a lot of stories to tell about himself, and though the prose is competent, it is not an example of excellent writing. The ideas within, however, are examples of excellent thoughts, and they are - with some exception - excellent rules to live your life by. Always take more action than necessary. Do more than the required amount, and your customers will appreciate you. Manage your time well, and take care of yourself, and set goals that visualise you, in the future, being who you always wanted to be. And then take steps to be that you. An old man will visit you in the future, and that old man will be you. What legacy will you leave him?
But, what are those exceptions of ideas? What are these ideas which caused me to, on many an occasion, close up the book and then swap it out for a more trustworthy one? A few. As before, I have stated that it may encourage workaholism, as it is a very black-and-white book, with little room for argument's sake on the behalf on the author. Perhaps somebody should tell him that it is necessary to give counter-points for the arguments that he states, that it is welcome to express the limitations of the philosophies he write. I understand, it is hard. I expect him to get better at writing just as I expect to get better at writing. The bottom line is that it is always more convincing to let a person see all the information and come to their own conclusions about a thing, as opposed to expecting them to look at what you are saying and "just get it". Fortunate for Grant that I do "get it", as I was able to see the limitations, and work around them. But the audience should never have to justify the thoughts of the writer; that is the writer's job.
The author blatantly says that "obsession is a good thing", because it means that you're more incentivised to get things done in a faster period of time, and do more than those who aren't obsessed. The problem is that, as I have said, he never brings out the downsides of this tactic, where he doesn't tell us to take a break or to wank off once in a while, because he's so cocksure that everything he says is so brilliant we will be able to follow his words to an exact science without any consideration of the practicality. Granted, I would much rather be obsessed with learning as much as I can about a thing as opposed to something completely banal, like competitive Pokemon, or competitive Smash Brothers, or competitive anything that exists to be won as opposed as a gateway to something that perceivable improves your life skills. Oh, you bred six IVs? Why didn't you just hack it in, save yourself time to watch all the Adam Sandler movies in descending order of quality.
The issue is his liberal use of the word obsessed. What am I obsessed with? Writing? Not particularly - it's a thing that I do, to be certain, but it's not something that I would be significantly pissed off about if somebody were to make me quit for a week. Uncomfortable in a bad way, seeing as the most whole I feel as a person is when I'm learning as much as I can about the things I really care about, using this as a conduit to help people earn the same amount of confidence and skills that I have, doing whatever they please, getting really good at it, and finding themselves happy to live every day as opposed to just wading through their lives. At the same time, I can do that in other ways. The other ways just take a little more time, and are a lot more ineffective at what I choose to do.
I write every single day, and publish every single day. When I say I'm sorry for not publishing an article, I mean it. Every day is a chance to influence somebody, to impact them for the better, and change their life the same way as I have changed. I understand that a lot of people will think I'm preachy, or that I expect them to change all for me. No, dear. I expect you to change for yourself, because nobody else will every understand you the same way that you do. Nobody feels like you do. I can help you feel good, but you must meet me halfway and listen to me. That's why I write: it's all for you, not just for me. I'm okay with myself. I'd be a lot less okay if I couldn't reach you.
I'm not obsessed, though. I don't wake up in the morning and decide to bang out two thousand words in an hour. Yeah, I want to get to that point to make my workflow a lot easier to manage, but most of the time that I'm writing I'm just pushing myself to get through it, to understand that this is what, above all else, I have done well for the world, and to not quit, because quitting means I lose everything that I have built up over the past six months. It's hard, actually really hard, to be a writer. Not because it's physically difficult - but when you are sleepy, it can be that to - but because actually constructing words in the proper way, all passively applied, is a thing that requires a lot of mental devotion and willpower to successfully pull off. Like, I couldn't even tell you what I wrote down last paragraph without looking at it. That's how devoted I have to be, to write.
To be obsessed means that you are waking up, every day, and doing a thing for the entirety of your day. I was obsessed, in a non-positive way, with games like DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2, games which ultimately brought no benefit to my life. They were time sinks. But when I started to make a game, that one game I did right before I started up this blog and won't be publishing for a very long time, then I was obsessed. I wanted to wake up every morning and spend six hours every day just working on it. I wanted to spend all my time on it, learning the innards of the engine, learning how to program, learning how to draw and write dialogue and make characters and a world and so on and so forth. I was obsessed. But even then, my health took a massive toll.
I would wake up, work on a game, go to sleep. When I wasn't working, I was reading up on other games, on TVTropes, learning about how to make the best game I could make given my best abilities. I wanted to know what to do, how to do it, and I used my knowledge to bloody well do it. But it was unhealthy. I never went outside, I didn't vary my habits, I barely ate, my eyes would hurt a hell of a lot, and my wrists would protest through the entire day. It was aching, aching work. And though I could be proud of the final product, only making it in six weeks, it was clear that my deadline was unrealistic for the amount of content I expected to put into it. So I had to trim it down. I still hit deadline, sure, but at about a third of the game - don't even get me started on when I tried to work with other people. Other people... if you're not running a dictatorship, you will never run an efficient business.
I was obsessed, simply. But it also wasn't positive. Alright, so I learned a hell of a lot about development. I learned how to sell, market, spread my worth. I did it very poorly, only distributing about twenty copies and no sales (but with universally positive reception, except for Good old Games rejecting it due to standards which were never explained to me even after a follow-up, so fuck them). I learned a lot about game design, learning how to balance enemies, making a simple yet effective core game mechanic. Alright, so the controls were kind of piss, even after I learned a good deal about how to play the game - and I made the thing on a proprietary engine, which is a right pisser because viewing the source requires using that engine, unless I want to rebuild the entire thing. I learned a lot, simply. I could share stories about development! But it was development hell.
I could have done the same thing in twelve weeks as opposed to six, and I would have learned the same amount, even doing things a little bit better, and with room to expand upon the story and the characters. Maybe learn how to make a kick-ass final boss, instead of the simple hacks I threw in for my one boss. I could have done all of this without causing myself so much undue stress - and perhaps I could have learned to work with... other developers, pause for effect because everybody is an idiot except for me, of course! I didn't have to risk my health and get bed sores and sleep for five hours every night all for a game. Yeah, it was devotion. But there is such a thing as being too devoted when all you need is to take a break and understand that bad things can happen when you work too hard.
And that's just the one idea I had a big umbrage with. There was a section in the book where he said that "competition is for pussies", which wasn't the actual title of the chapter but I like my version better so hush. It said that competition is an unnecessary drain on resources and effort, because you have to unseat a competitor from the marketplace and fight an uphill battle in order to keep your spot at the top. The answer is to do something that nobody else in the world does, and do it so exceptionally that everybody has to flock to you - think Xerox or Google. Basic Seth Godin marketplace strategy shit, and it's damn good advice.
The problem with being the Google of your industry... is that you're the Google of your industry. When you clamp out all competition, everybody hates you. In fact, you have sizeable groups of people devoted exclusively to hating you, such as yours truly right here railing on anything I feel damages the world. And, certainly, almost every company that Grant details as an example of an industry-dominator are not universally well-received at all. McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks... the like. When you're called the McDonalds of whatever, then it isn't a compliment. It's a sign that something went horribly wrong in the ethics and formation of your business, appealing so blatantly to the most populist of citizens that you don't even care about what impact your products have on them. If somebody calls me the "McDonald's of Blogging", I'd be fucking offended. But if somebody was to call me the "Boston Pizza of blogging", then that's something to be proud of (note: I have never set foot inside a Boston Pizza).
I don't doubt the existence of such a thing as a "benevolent monopoly", but I have never seen it occur, seeing as whenever somebody gets a lot of power, and they are of perfectly average spirit, then they invariably take compromises in order to see their power be increased, as opposed to attempting to win through the benefit of everything that they touch, E.G. actually being the best in their field as opposed to something that people get because they're addicted to the product or they're ignorant of all the harm that goes into it. Yours truly could make a benevolent monopoly, because I am a man of class, and a man who understand the horrors of the world and all that I wish to stop it. For anybody else, this is a very dangerous business, and not one I would recommend Grant panhandle so shamelessly without a severe lesson in ethics, or a bundled copy of "No Logo". That one was for the anti-globalisation crowd. Peace!
What I learned:
Overall though, the good far outweighs the bad, which should be apparent by me barely talking about all the good parts, because if you're read my blog, you've pretty much read everything you can learn from this book. But it's exceptionally helpful to have a book to peruse through to consolidate all that knowledge in one place, as opposed to gleaning it over time. It taught me a lot about how to manage my time, about how to be a much more enthused person, about how to make goals that benefit me, and how to dominate your sector and blow your dick clean off et cetera and so on. It isn't an exceptional book, but it is an inspiring one, and for what it's worth, it's very much worth reading.
If you're a completely hopeless sack of shit lying down on the couch reading this while watching the HOTTEST DANK MEME VINES TRY NOT TO LAUGH OR CRINGE CHALLENGE 2016 HD, then this book will get your fat ass a centimetre off the couch and one step closer to falling on the carpet, at which point you might sit up and maybe watch the 2015 vines and slowly stave off death. But for the rest of you who have an idea or a small business or whatever, and you need that special sauce that will teach you how to dominator your sector and blow your dick clean off et cetera and so on (if you say it often enough it eventually becomes funny), then this is a great place to start, so much so that I recommended it to a friend, even though they absolutely did not need it as they run one of the most popular art blogs on Tumblr right now. I would pimp it, but I would like to wait for the fallout to come crashing down and see how a popular blog stays that way.
At any rate, I have learned to not take my blogging opportunity for granted, and to work on it whenever I can, as to not work on it means I come one step closer to being unexceptional, as opposed to dominating my sector and blowing your dick clean off et cetera and so on. You see, it was funny, wasn't it! Ah, you're not laughing? Well, how's this bombshell: "Sector" sounds somewhat like "Sex". Get it? "Sexed her"? Because it's the book the 10X rule... or should I say... the ten SEX rule. 10SEX. "Ten sex"? Get it?
I wrote this in two hours.
Slightly more than ten: Froghand.
Today's page was updated on 2016-11-29 and created on 2016-11-27!
I hope this makes up for my recent absence. It's harder mentally to not do work, than it is to physically.