Think Big Act Bigger
Author: Jeffrey Hayzlett
Date Published: September 15, 2015
To many of our personal stories are limited by self limiting beliefs. This book about self belief, authenticity and having a bias for action. Jeffrey walks us through a series of chapters that help us regain our self belief and the right mindset to realize our maximum potential. Jeff helps us crush the fear and doubt that surround all of us, stay authentic to ourselves, find the right balance of selfish and selflessness and have a strong bias for action.
Introduction: “Because I Can”
“Acting bigger means tying visions to actions — getting beyond the stories and excuses, the self-imposed limitations, preconceived notions, and constraining structures — and becoming the biggest, baddest, best version of who you are and what you want to be.”
Chapter 1: Tell Bigger Stories
As we learn to grow our mindsets and attitudes around “thinking bigger”, its helpful to know why many people fail in this area.
“Some of them lack confidence. Some of them are afraid. But most of the time, they and their businesses are stuck in stories that say, “I can’t”.
The most important story comes from a CEO named Tania Yuki and the idea that the waters didn’t part for Moses until he stepped of the shore. The path to thinking big means having faith.
“I have to learn over and over to pull the trigger — to say ‘I don’t know the perfect answer. I don’t know how to really start to do it, I am just going to do it.'”
Chapter 2: Say It: No One Is Going To Die
The number one limiting factor to greatness is FEAR. The antidote to fear is passion. This is a simple chapter that discusses the things that hold us back and the power in passion.
“Nothing is ever going to be perfect. You’re going to screw up. Things are going to not work. They might suck. You could even fail. So what? No one is going to die.”
“Passion can override the voices saying no. It is the fuel for your climb to the top and the safety net or the bad landings.”
Chapter 3: Be Willing To Be A Little Pigheaded And Irrational
Being very stubborn and refusing to listen and believe what others say can be a valuable tool. Being pigheaded and irrational, pushing things to the limits (not beyond) is a mandatory strategy for thinking big and acting bigger.
“Reason serves our need to explain and live with our failures. Those rationalizations are powerful excuses, and excuses are the gateway drug to thinking small and acting smaller.”
Chapter 4: Kill the Squirrel
This chapter is all about The One Thing. Know what you should be doing at any point in time and make sure you are doing it. At any point on any day, there is only ONE most important thing for you to be working on. There are lots of distractions (squirrels) in this world and every minute of every day another one will run out of the bush. Stay focused.
“You must relentlessly focus on what drives your business, or you will never see the true rewards of thinking big and acting bigger. You can own your story, believe no one is going to die, and push as hard as you can while being a little pigheaded and irrational, but it will mean nothing if you fail to filter the noise.”
Chapter 5: Develop Your Own Flow
Our world is highly competitive. Likely the business we’re in has one or many competitors. Truly, our point of difference in this world is our cadence or our company culture. Knowing what cadence or culture is and how it can differentiate us is paramount to success.
“Do you think your messaging, idea, packaging, service, food, marketing, interface, design, etc., are so much better, perhaps even unique, because you look different? No, we are all the same. And if for some lucky reason you are actually unique now? Just wait.”
“Simply put, defining, maintaining, and refining your cadence — and the culture and systems it creates — keeps your company accountable and authentic to everyone it touches, especially your greatest points of difference: you and your people.”
Chapter 6: Clean Your Bathroom
Jeffrey tells the story about cleaning the bathroom at his corporate office in New York. By doing this task once a week he reminds himself and every employee that you need to keep your hands dirty and there is no job demeaning or beneath anybody.
“My goal is to get the team to … take on the toughest and dirtiest tasks so they can learn from them. Nothing makes me happier than when I push past an excuse to bigger thinking and action to prove the value of staying grounded and centered.”
Staying connected to your business means consciously doing things to stay connected. I means not losing touch with all aspects of the business. Cleaning the bathroom is being used as an example but it might mean making coffee, running payroll, working the help desk for a day. Staying connected means just that … and it will help immensely. This quote below is about contestants on Shark Tank and who will get an offer.
“They know they are being a little irrational, but they never really lose perspective. They are grounded and connected, cleaning their bathrooms and doing it all — and ready to face the obstacles ahead.”
Chapter 7: Steamroll Obstacles And Enemies
This is a chapter about not getting mad or even getting even with your enemies (or competition). Its all about getting ahead and taking responsibility for your survival. In order to get ahead and stay ahead, you need to find creative ways to crush obstacles and your enemies.
On great stories always have a villain. Who is your villain?
“If you don’t have anyone in your space, preferably a big bad enemy, then whats the opportunity to be the biggest and baddest? Who’s the Big Bad Wolf in your story?”
On a warrior mindset and kicking ass.
“That was when I decided I was not going to be bullied by people who think they’re smarter than I am. From then on I did the things that I still do today and steamrolled every villain and enemy I faced.”
Chapter 8: Be In A Constant State Of Awareness
This chapter is about being humble. As Jeffrey states, “get over yourself and admit what you don’t know.” The pathway to knowledge is humility. It allows your eyes to be open to your blind spots which are your areas of weakness, vulnerability and very likely opportunity.
On perspective and awareness. They are NOT the same thing.
“Losing perspective is about the present as it applies to the now. Losing awareness is about the present as it applies to the future.”
Truth comes when you are humble and open to your unknowns. This is a big idea from the Johari Window and self evaluation.
“Thats what awareness is leading to: a truer sense of who and where you are — not absolute truth, not perfection, not a permanent condition, just a sense of what opportunities are there, what’s coming that you may not see, and what’s possible.”
Chapter 9: Find A Bigger Pond
This chapter discusses the mindset of always asking ‘What’s next?’. It shares the same spirit of, if you’re not growing, your dying. The three strategies discussed in this chapter are 1) adapt, 2) ask and 3) automate and systematize.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in business for days or decades, or how many millions or billions you have in revenue. You must keep driving forward. Even if you want to stay the size you are and be a purpose-driven company, your purpose isn’t going to have much promise if your competitors start filling the space around your pond.”
Chapter 10: Reach Out And Touch Someone
Nobody makes it on their own. Every business success story you read about highlights an individual but make no mistake, it was the efforts of a team that got him or her there. In order to build a successful business, you must adopt a servant mentality. That is, be willing to help anyone at anytime.
“We must never let momentum, lack of time, success, ego, or any other excuse from asking those questions. We must be relentlessly thoughtful and aware, always asking, ‘How am I serving others?'”
Conclusion: Get Off Your Ass And Make It Happen!
There is only one thing left to do, go get it done! #crusheverything
“Do it! Nobody’s going to do the thinking for you or act on your behalf. No one is even thinking about you most of the time. It’s time for your to get off your literal and figurative ass and relentlessly create and own some powerful new stories about who you are and what is possible, focus hard on what matters to make those stories come to life, and make it happen by steamrolling the obstacles in front of you.”