Ever heard the term “10x”? In the tech world, it refers to “one employee who can produce the output of 10 mediocre ones.” But 10x can also be applied to products. For instance, Larry Page, the CEO and cofounder of Google, expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition’s — in other words, 10x. “I absolutely believe there are people out there willing to do whatever it takes to be great at their jobs and go above and beyond,” says Grant Cardone, author of The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure. “This is when people expand their roles and grow to be a valued 10x employee — someone with an expertise as opposed to someone just collecting a paycheck doing the minimum. People like this do exist.”
So how can you become 10x? Here are 10 attitude shifts anyone can make that will take you to 10x level at work.
1. Turn on the positivity when you need it most. “That’s a huge attitude shift that would change the game for millions,” says Cardone. Positivity fuels ultra-successful people, and it’s an absolute necessity when it comes to crushing it in the work world. As Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
2. Go all in. “Approach a task with full commitment and decide to see it through no matter what,” says Cardone. That alone will give you an edge over many people out there, he says. (About 20 percent of adults claim to be chronic procrastinators, researchers have found.)
3. Don’t dwell on obstacles. “I’ve had several friends tell me they want to change career paths but they can’t because of XYZ,” says Shari Storm, author of Motherhood Is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to Be a Better Boss. “The list is long: Nobody will hire them at their age; companies want [someone with] different experience than they have; the field is too difficult to break into…” Her advice is always the same: Spending any amount of time thinking about the way someone might tell you no is wasted time. “Instead, start asking, start trying, start figuring it out,” Storm advises. Don’t fret about the possibility of rejection until you have a real live rejection in front of you. Then determine how to overcome it.
4. Be resourceful. “If you run into challenges along the way,” Cardone says, “that’s when you have opportunity to get resourceful and creative.” In fact, an IBM survey of 1,500 chief executives found creativity to be the factor most crucial for success.
5. Be disciplined. “Do more of what you need to do,” says Storm. “If you’re building your business, require yourself to make 10 or 20 or 30 prospect calls each day. If you’re a boss, force yourself to get your reviews done one week before the deadline. Every job has a list of things that, if completed consistently, will make you uber-successful. Do those things.”
6. Learn from your mistakes. “While it doesn’t do us any good to beat ourselves up over our failures, it does do us a great disservice not to learn from them,” Storm says. A recent study found that believing you can learn from your mistakes even alters your brain chemistry and improves future performance.
7. Don’t ever indulge in self-pity. “Successful people don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves because they’re on to the next thing,” says Cardone. “The idea here is to have goals so big that problems pale in comparison to them. Your goals require all the focus and attention. You end up switching your mind-set and are suddenly taking massive action instead of hanging out feeling sorry for yourself. You’re too busy doing something.”
8. Don’t worry about saving face. Many times, people refrain from asking important questions because they’re worried about looking stupid or losing the respect of others. But Storm says you have to let those fears go. Instead of trying to look like you know it all, ask the right questions to stay in the know. She recalls the time she named a product at one of her first jobs, but failed to get it trademarked. A few years later, another financial institution trademarked the name and she was left with egg on her face. “What did I learn?” she asks. “[That] I don’t know what I don’t know. The higher up the organization chart and the longer you’ve been at a job, the harder it gets to admit this.”
9. Don’t waste energy on stuff you can’t control. “Successful people use their energy taking massive action,” says Cardone. “They have a focus on a goal and are obsessed with it. When they find themselves challenged, 10x employees look for solutions, not excuses — and they don’t complain.”
10. Know how to face change. Embracing change is a key factor in a person’s ability to thrive in today’s business world, according to Storm. “One trick I recommend is to have a well-practiced catchphrase that you say when someone springs a big change on you,” she says. “Often, our first response is not our best nor final response, so train yourself to have an effective first response. Something like, ‘That’s interesting. Let me think about that. Can we talk more about it in a little while?’ Learning of a significant change often causes knee-jerk reactions. Modifying knee-jerk reactions can do amazing things for your career.”