50 Rules of Success

The most interesting rules of success taken from various interviews that highly successful people have given over many years. I watched almost all of the videos from Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel as of March 2016 and took the ones I found the most interesting ones. Enjoy:

  1. Efficacy > Efficiency. Pick the right thing to do from the start instead of efficiently doing the wrong things. (Tim Ferriss)
  2. Always pick the 20% that yields 80% of the results. If you could only work 2h/week on your business what would you do? (Tim Ferriss)
  3. Do one thing uniquely well, so that you are very far from the competition, leading to a monopoly. (Peter Thiel)
  4. Perseverance is hard work you do after you get tired of doing hard work. (Newt Gingrich)
  5. Don’t chase field mice, hunt antelopes. A lion might get a nice feeling after catching a mice, but the next expense is negative and it will die in the long run. [Analogy to make us question whether we’re focusing on the big things and setting the little things aside] (Newt Gingrich)
  6.  Note every single failure you have. You can have a lot of failures. You just need to hit home once. (Alexander Graham Bell)
  7. If you’re investing, diversify your investments. Whatever money you’ve got, you shouldn’t put more than 5% into one idea, and no more than 20% in any sector (e.g. energy, gold) (Kevin O’Leary)
  8. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths — do things that you’re good at. [outsource or delegate the others]. (Gary Kasparov and Kevin O’Leary)
  9. Read, read, read [in various interviews he says how he reads a lot]. (Warren Buffet)
  10. You can’t give away what you don’t have. You can’t build a business about something where you give out knowledge you don’t have. (Wayne Dyers)
  11. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. [Remember, the only world our brain knows it’s the one it constructs]. (Wayne Dyers) E.g. for you the world is a friendly or hostile place? When you see the world that way, that’s what you’ll create and foster around you.
  12. When you’re in the zone of doing things that no one has ever done, if you’re not failing, you’re not taking enough risks. (Michael Dell)
  13. Learn, read, observe a lot.
    • Imitate and copy success.
    • Remix. Will be garbage at the start. It’s ok.
    • Persevere. (J.K. Rowling)
  14. Go and get knowledge. The money will come if you’re learning and improving your craft. After that, delegate, don’t hold on to some of that knowledge. Put others doing things. (Gordon Ramsay)
  15. The customer is king. Without them, the business is history. (Gorgon Ramsay)
  16. Always be questioning. It is not enough to just live in the world as it is, and to take what you’re given, follow the things that adults told you to do, your parents told you to do, society. Have the scientific mindset of taking everything you learn as provisional, susceptible to be questioned, refuted, changed. All the things around us that people tell us are just the natural ways the things are and will be — they aren’t natural at all, they can be changed, and many times are wrong and should be changed. There are real fundamental problems that you can do something to address. (Aaron Swartz)
  17. The more you postpone putting your product out there, and receiving real feedback from real people (users), confronting your ideas with the test of reality the more time you’re wasting working on a idea that may actually not be successful. Instead, get it out there fast, confront it with real people with real issues and figure out what makes those people happy. (Aaron Swartz)
  18. Everything is built upon something else. Recombination. (Aaron Swartz)
  19. Believe that you can accomplish something. Not doing so precludes you from taking any action that can lead to you accomplishing something. (Aaron Swartz)
  20. Don’t be afraid of failure. Fail a lot quickly, and eventually you’ll succeed. Healthy disregard for the impossible. (Larry Page)
  21. A lot of people don’t have the courage to try stuff in business. “Screw it, just do it.” Just give it a try. (Richard Branson)
  22. Delegate. Find people that are better doing things that you do during the day, to replace you at it. (Richard Branson)
  23. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” (Richard Branson, Virgin Group)
  24. Have a clear goal in your mind. Visualize it. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  25. We don’t achieve big things by accident. Shoot for the stars. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  26. Work your butt off. You will have to make a lot of sacrifices. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  27. Don’t be realistic. Don’t listen to naysayers. “You can’t do this, you can’t do that. It’s not realistic.” (A. Schwarzenegger)
  28. Don’t be afraid to fail. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  29. Model success. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  30. Believe in yourself. Visualize it. Believe it. (A. Schwarzenegger)
  31. Attract great people (Elon Musk)
  32. Work super hard. Every waking hour. If someone is working 50h/week and you’re working 100h/week then in a year you’ll get twice as much done as him. (Elon Musk)
  33. Visualize your success. Really visualize a video of the things you want with you in it. (closed-eyes, and see the images/video, feel like you’re really there). (Jim Carrey)
  34.  See challenges as beneficial so you can deal with them in the most productive way. (Jim Carrey)
  35.  Risk being yourself. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. (Jim Carrey)
  36. You might fail doing things you don’t want. So might as well fail on doing things you love. (Jim Carrey)
  37. Be world-class in your business.
  38. To go through challenges, ask “what is the next right move?” After you accomplish it, ask what is the next. And so on. (Oprah Winfrey)
  39. Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. There is no luck without you being prepared to handle that moment of opportunity. (Oprah Winfrey)
  40. Race as hard as you can. Do not look at the other guy. It takes energy in a race to keep looking back. You need to give everything you got all the time. (Oprah Winfrey)
  41. “The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’” (Jeff Bezos, Amazon)
  42. “There’s an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, ‘It’s not the right time just yet.’ There’s no such thing as a good time.” (Kevin Plank, Under Armour)
  43. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” (Marissa Mayer, Yahoo)
  44. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” (Steve Jobs, Apple)
  45. “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” (John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil)
  46. Work really hard (Matt Mullenweg (WordPress and CEO of Automattic, which is a multi-billion dollar, fully distributed startup))
  47. Don’t worry about failing. It’s normal. Experts fail the most as they try the most, we just don’t hear about it. They also learn with it and are resilient to those failures. Be resilient. (Matt Mullenweg)
  48. Be around great people so that you can learn about what interests you the most even if everything else sucks, e.g. being in a company where you’re constantly learning from great people. when you enter a band you should be the worst musician in the band, because that means you have that much bigger opportunity to learn. (Matt Mullenweg)
  49. Break the rules, and if you don’t get in the way of somebody else getting what they want when you’re doing it, no one will get mad (Simon Sinek)
  50. Take responsibility. Sometimes you are the problem (c.f. Doctor’s Plague). (Simon Sinek)

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