This article is the final installment in a trilogy inspired by quotes found in the book Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World. “5 Bold Quotes for a Better You” and “5 Bolder Quotes” are the first two articles. All of these quotes are designed to help you and me think and live boldly.
Here are the final 5 quotes:
“When forced to compromise, ask for more.”
This is a common immutable law among experts in negotiating. Secrets of Power Negotiating, a blueprint book that lives up to its name, discourages ever meeting in the middle. Never Split the Difference is literally the name of a book on negotiating by Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator.
If you know or expect that you’ll have to compromise in a situation, ask for more than you want or think you can get. Your ask should be great but within the realm of possibility; you don’t want the opposing party to get offended and kill the negotiation.
It’s much easier to lower a price than to raise one. Ask for more.
“If you can’t win, change the rules.”
Long before becoming a New York Time’s best-selling author, Tim Ferriss won a gold medal at the Chinese Kickboxing National Championships. He was not a trained kickboxer. People who trained for a decade have not been able to accomplish this feat. So how’d he do it?
Simple. He changed the rules.
Technically, he looked for loopholes in the established rules, and found 2.
The first: Weigh-ins were the day before the competition. This allowed Ferriss to utilize dehydration techniques to lose 28 pounds in 18 hours and weigh in at 165 pounds. He then rehydrated back up to 193 pounds. So his opponents were fighting a man three weight classes above themselves.
The second: If one combatant fell off the elevated platform 3 times in a single round, his opponent won by default. Ferriss decided to us this technicality as his sole strategy. He pushed his way to a gold medal, winning every match by TKO.
Rules are meant to be bent—or broken. Understanding this is often a key to victory.
“If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.”
Elon Musk is perhaps the perfect epitome of this quote. The rule broken? Stick to what you know.
Musk has never been afraid to break this (and other) conventional rules. After selling his first internet company for millions of dollars, he dived headfirst into shaking up the banking industry with a mobile solution. This company eventually merged with PayPal, which was later acquired by eBay for 1.5 billion dollars.
Did Elon stop there? Of course not. For him it’s about affecting positive change, not commas in his bank account. He’s now disrupting the automobile industry with Tesla Motors and is pioneering private space travel with SpaceX.
Musk knew relatively nothing about these industries prior entering them. Yet he’s been able to successfully disrupt all 3.
Some rules can—must—be ignored if you want to put a dent in the Universe.
“Don’t walk when you can run.”
Speed kills—the competition, that is. That’s why one of Peter Thiel’s favorite questions to ask people is, “If you have a ten-year plan to accomplish something, ask yourself, ‘Can accomplish this in six months?’ and think of how to make it happen.”
Amazon has grown into the behemoth it is today by moving faster than its bigger, entrenched competitors.
Bottomline: If you can sprint, sprint.
“When in doubt, think.”
Being bold is great, but it’s important to remember to be prudent. Massive action requires strategic planning. And those who live to fight another day stay in the game and can keep swinging for the fences.
Since virtually all of life requires working on incomplete information—and an accompanying element of doubt—it’s important to be thinking at all times.
How can we reconcile this with the need for speed and action? I think successful CEO and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk offers the perfect analogy. He says the reason he wins is because he fixes the airplane, his business, while it’s still flying. While his competitors stop to analyze and debate possible solutions on the ground, Gary is still flying, maintaining his momentum, and fixing problems as he passes his grounded adversaries by.
No business or person is a finished product. Change is the only constant in life. As a result, it’s imperative to think about what we do to be intentional in our actions.
On the other hand, we can’t allow overthinking to prevent us from starting, to kill our momentum, or to slow us down.
Life is about balance. Marry perpetual thinking with constant action and you’ll win.
You only get one life. Boldly pursue the things that give your life meaning and make you happy.