When I met Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple at The Titan Summit in Zurich late last year he shared an insight I’ll carry with me always.
Yet–what I’ll never forget from that unique encounter with a game-changing genius is this one line he offered to me as I interviewed him on the stage:
“I made a decision early on that when people were not nice to me I’d be nice to them.”
In today’s Mastery Session called “The 4 Signs of a Genius Entrepreneur” you’ll discover:
Hope this helps. Be world-class. Bye.
We’re getting a lot of requests for seats to my famous annual self-transformation event Personal Mastery Academy…
If you’re ready to be in this room of heroes, please note:
We’re also happy to provide you the transcription at no cost.
Hi, it’s Robin Sharma, author of The Leader Who Had No Title, founder of The Titan Academy and I’m really excited to share this Mastery Session with you because it’s all about the 4 Signs of a Genius Entrepreneur. Perhaps like you, I’m fascinated by Steve Jobs. Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs is still one of my favorite books. I’m fascinated by Elon Musk. I’m fascinated by a Richard Branson. I’m fascinated by Rockefeller. I’m fascinated by a Henry Ford. I’m fascinated by the Tatas.
I’m fascinated by the great entrepreneurs of this world who took a small or large idea, and nurtured it and fueled it into something that completely allowed them to own the game and disrupt often entire industries.
Entrepreneurs themselves - I’m an entrepreneur and perhaps you are - but I believe entrepreneurs are very fascinating people and I think also we’re very eclectic. I wanted to walk you through the four signs of a genius entrepreneur because when you spot them, then you can model them and maybe even you’re one of them. I’m going to get in to the first one.
Every genius entrepreneur has an eccentric vision. They’re possibilitarians. They are the people who said, “You know? Well, here’s the way the industry has always been, and here’s the way the status quo is, but here’s what we’re going to do.”
What’s coming to the top of my mind right now as I record this, is Uber. You’ve got Travis Kalanick, and literally through that single app. They don’t own any taxis, they don’t own any cars, they don’t really have any inventory but through that single app, Uber disrupted the entire industry of that level of transportation.
These people, these genius entrepreneurs come up with a ridiculously disruptive idea that is absolutely eccentric in its vision and that’s why people call them crazy. And I’ll simply say to you: if your vision is not routinely called crazy, then perhaps your vision isn’t big enough and disruptive enough. We change the world when we change the game.
The second sign of a genius entrepreneur is simply their “I can” is larger than their “I can’t”. Now, what do I mean by that? You look at a genius entrepreneur, they all run one dominant mentality and it’s simply this: do whatever it takes. I’m going to repeat that again because it’s so important. Genius entrepreneurs run a dominant mentality which is, do whatever it takes. They have rare-air levels of confidence. They have extreme levels of self-belief.
You see because no one will believe in you until you first believe in you. Look, I’m no genius entrepreneur but you might have read my books, you might have been to my annual events like The Titan Summit or Personal Mastery Academy. You might follow me on social media, where we have millions of followers.
Here’s my point. I had a vision to write a book that people laughed at. I used to be a litigation lawyer. I actually self-published my book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari in a 24-hour coffee shop. Now, I’m blessed to speak to thousands of people at my events or the corporate events that I do, and here’s the thing. My first event, 23 people attended. 21 of those people were my own family members.
I still remember being at The American Booksellers Association event in Chicago and I took a copy of the cover of my book and I put it around my neck and I stood at the top of the escalator so all the book agents and publishers would see this. Security would say leave and I’d come back. I was absolutely relentless and my point was, people laughed at me. I used to do a lot of media back then. I’d get on radio shows and some of those radio hosts were rude. They’d make fun of the titles of my books. They’d say, “What does a litigation lawyer know about personal mastery and leadership?” I believed in myself. My self-faith was larger than the chattering voices of my critics and my cynics.
When you look at a genius entrepreneur like an Elon Musk, like a Jeff Bezos of Amazon, you will realize that their “I can” is a lot larger than their “I can’t.”
Everyone laughs at them. They say, “This will never work.” But deep within their core, they viscerally know that it will. I guess related to that is a key insight I want you to re-calibrate and dial into which is this, instinct is always more powerful than reason.
You see? Your intellectual mind is based on what’s worked in the past but your instinct is so much wiser. If we just relied on reason, we’d still be driving horse buggies. If we still relied on reason, we wouldn’t have Google. If we still relied on what was reasonable, a lot of the great scientific advances, artistic innovations wouldn’t have happened because they weren’t reasonable. They weren’t intellectually possible. They were all formed by something so much more powerful which is instinct.
Genius entrepreneurs, their “I can” is so much larger than their “I can’t.” Also, when they face problems, they see them as possibilities. For the victim, it’s like, “Oh here’s the problem so I can’t do it. Throw in the towel. I’m going to go ‘boohoo’ and give up on my ambition.”
The genius entrepreneur says, “Okay, there’s a problem. What’s the opportunity? I’m going to go around the wall, through the wall, beneath the wall. I’ll dig a hole under the wall.” Their brains have been trained to search for ways through the wall where most people say, “I’m going to give up.”
Which brings me to the third sign of a genius entrepreneur. You know you’re in the room or in the marketplace with a genius entrepreneur, through their palpable and radiant optimism. If this was so obvious, why don’t we see more radiant optimists in work? A lot of people are just getting through the day. A lot of people are just coasting through life. A lot of people are in such a trance born of distraction and apathy, that they have disconnected from their positivity. Genius entrepreneurs - I mean, let’s go to Steve Jobs. If you read Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs, you will learn about Bud Tribble.
Bud Tribble was at Apple and he came up with a term called “Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.” Simply said, if you were in a meeting with Steve Jobs and he had a vision, let’s say it was the iPod or the iPhone or the confluence of music and et cetera, et cetera. His passion and his belief was so real to him, that you are almost seduced and hypnotized into a field where your own version of reality was distorted so you actually believed him.
Now, if you want to be a genius entrepreneur, if you want to be a genius producer, no matter what it is that you do. You have to get to ideas and you have to so believe in your vision for the future or the new product or the new project that everyone around you is hypnotized by your radiant optimism. Again, that starts by believing in yourself and trusting in yourself and not really buying into the majority, and getting really good in your own skin.
Which brings me to the fourth and final sign of our genius entrepreneur which is otherworldly acumen. Look, you can have a great idea. You can be incredibly enthusiastic. Your “I can” can be larger than your “I can’t,” but here’s the thing that ultimately will make you a genius-level entrepreneur - it’s skill. It’s acumen
I mean when I work with the billionaires as their private adviser to help them exponentially grow their businesses or craft world-class lives that make history, when I work with the people from across the planet who try to get into The Titan Summit, my 4-day annual flagship event every year, when I worked with the best of the best, I mean a lot of NFL athletes, NBA athletes, football superstars who follow my work, here’s the one thing they all have in common: they have otherworldly levels of acumen. They have practiced well past the 10,000 hours that Anders Ericsson has taught us is the beginning of exceptional performance. They practiced the 3.44 hours of training every single day. They have invested so much of their energy and their time and skills, in not only practicing their craft but learning about their craft and populating their life with peers who are world-class and they have really made the sacrifices required so that the one thing they want to be best in world at, has become their dominant obsession.
The result of that, when they do that every single day is literally otherworldly acumen. What I mean by that, is when you see them on the football field or when you see them as an entrepreneur, when you see them doing the work that they do, you literally step back and go, “They’re otherworldly good. I’ve never seen someone with that level of insight. I’ve never seen someone lead or work that way.”
I’ve never seen someone bend the ball like Beckham used to bend the ball. Beckham’s father said Beckham used to spend every single night on the playing field when he was a little kid. We look at the Brazilian footballers and we say, “They must be genetically gifted.”
No. The whole culture in Brazil is, little kids play football. By the time they’re 13, they’ve touch the ball millions of times. Of course, North Americans can’t touch their acumen. The 4th sign of a genius entrepreneur, otherworldly acumen. Born of deep, daily, deliberate practice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Mastery Session. I hope it’s been valuable more than anything else. Please take at least a few of the insights I’ve so lovingly and passionately shared with you and get traction on them today. How? By doing them. By thinking about them, and then by executing on them. I wish you well. I’ll talk to you really soon. I’ll see you in the next Mastery Session.