Brian Tracy

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I’ve spent a good amount of time learning from self development books, talks, and audio courses. One thing I’ve never respected is that, often, there was some course to hook people on embedded in their advice. It feels disingenuous. They always have crappy branding, too. I don’t understand how they all have the same graphic designers.

Their image is about as clean as Mr. Rogers but they have something to sell you. On one hand, I think it’s a sign of the era the majority of them were born in. We share things today, publicly, that they never would have back then. That’s why I think so many of the thought leaders coming from that industry were so clean cut and always wore business suits. They don’t share their flaws, the things that make us human. They’re also very closed off when it comes to their money and business practices which I don’t think vibes well with our millennial mindset today. Our belief today is that business should be fair, open, and honest.

The other problem is that they have too many products to sell. They always have *new* advice on how to better manage your time or life better. Where’s the timeless stuff?

Let’s contrast that clean, sales pushing image with that of Gary Vaynerchuk. It would appear to me he’s figured out a very good balance. He’s generous and gives his advice away for free. He’s savvy and talks about things we can relate to today. He swears – it’s one of his edges. He understands social media, marketing, and how to build a business. On the occasions he is selling, he’s very open about it. There’s no hidden course he’s peddling.

But this post is about this lecture by Brian Tracy.

While you can find a lot of things that are impractical in the self development field, there are a lot of gems that – I believe – take people entire lifetimes to discover. I’ve decided to take notes: here are 10 big ideas and takeaways from this talk.

Having a sales presentation and practicing the delivery is essential. This is something Zig Ziglar also believes in and it’s something I’m likely to incorporate as I get more into public speaking.

I’m thinking of doing this right now, actually. I’m constantly meeting new people and there are a lot of core ideas I find myself speaking about and I’m looking to tell my stories more effectively. If we take a look at Gary again, he uploads nearly all his talks on YouTube. And he’s done hundreds of them. He circles around his core topics that he knows by heart. His delivery is on point, every time. This is a big insight to me for public speaking because I almost found myself slipping into thinking that you would have to come up with a new spiel every time. Not the case. You take your story and own it and take it with you everywhere you go. It’s hard for you to slip on the topics you know to a “T.” This is what I’ve learned from the people around me and the “Gary’s” of the world.

E. v. E. ratio. (or entertainment vs. education ratio) he says this is what will determine your future and that most people spend 50 minutes in entertainment for every 1 minute in learning how to get better at what they do to earn their income. He defines entertainment by “tension relieving activities.”

“All you have to do to change your life is change your ratio. You don’t have to change it dramatically,”

You’re solely responsible for your life. Brian says this is the mark of the adult and that realizing this was a major turning point in his life.

Most people stop learning after the first year in their profession. They don’t have 20 years of experience, they have 1 year of experience 20 times over.

Constant learning is a necessity for moving up financially. He speaks of a story about a highly paid company that made money selling office products. Employees there pulled in 3x as much as people who worked at competing companies selling similar products to the same market.

Brian Tracy spoke to the sales manager and asked why he has so many top performing people. The sales manager said he has a method of selection: he’d interview people and ask them what their favorite books/tapes/courses are for their own personal development.

He didn’t care what the answer was, just as long as they had an answer. If they didn’t, he wouldn’t waste any more of their time on the interview.

His belief is that people who are not committed to personal learning have no future. “You don’t try to take ducks and teach them fly like eagles, you try to take eagles and teach them to fly in formation.”

Learn from the experts. That’s a simple one, right? I’m sure it’s often overlooked, too.

It’s possible to learn one principle from something and change the entire trajectory of your future by applying it. You never know which idea it’s going to be, so you have to apply the law of probability. You have to keep learning new ideas.

There’s a relationship between income and how many words you know. I don’t doubt it, the more words you know, the more can converse and relate to others.

Quoting Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker: there’s no income gap, there’s a skills gap. People with skills in demand keep earning more money. People who are not upgrading their skills or do not have skills that are in demand aren’t earning more money.

I don’t know how true it is, but it makes a lot of sense.

Lottery tickets are a sign of desperation. The poorer people are, the more money they spend on lottery tickets because they believe the only way out is for them to win the lottery (and it’s not going to happen.)

There are some solid takeaways from this talk of his.

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