Going 10X Is Easier (And More Fun) Than Going 2X

Here’s how logic works in my brain:

I’m sending Wednesday’s email at 3:37AM on Thursday, but technically it’s still Wednesday for ME, and so I’ll just send Friday’s email a few hours later that night to balance everything out. That works, right?

I’m going with it!

Anyway, I finished the latest book breakdown available at The Stairway to Wisdom, and it’s 10X Is Easier Than 2X, by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy, a great business/leadership book about how to make exponential leaps in progress.

There’s a short preview of the breakdown here in this email, and then if you’re interested in reading the whole thing, you can read the rest at The Stairway to Wisdom (my library of expert book breakdowns) completely for free.

I also just published my latest YouTube video, where I review every book I read in June. The one I’m holding in the thumbnail here is a SOLID contender for my favorite book of 2024 too.

I’ve got more videos lined up this week too, like “Summarizing 100 Great Self-Help Books in 1 Sentence Each,” a video breakdown of Be Useful, by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a few more.

Subscribe to get notified when those come out!

But now let’s see why…

This Book is For:

*Business owners and entrepreneurs looking to scale their operations - and themselves - to levels unimagined by any of their 2X competitors.

*Ambitious leaders and professionals of all persuasions who are always on the lookout for that edge, that game plan for getting to where they want to go, and in the fastest and smartest way possible.

*Anyone who is unsatisfied with their current trajectory in life, and who wants not only to jumpstart their progress and get moving, but also to see just how far they can go and where it's possible for them to end up.

*Unique, creative thinkers who are willing to discard the "good enough" life they have now in favor of the brilliant life it's possible for them to live.


“Going 10x means you’re living based on the most intrinsic and exciting future you can imagine. That 10x future becomes your filter for everything you do, and most of your current life can’t make it through that 10x filter.”

-Dr. Benjamin Hardy, 10X Is Easier Than 2X

Total transformations are never linear, and they are rarely obvious.

It requires something completely different than what came before, a radical change in behavior and thinking, and if you're not consciously aiming for these types of 10X transformations, you'll never experience them.

The best books, however, can be catalysts for these types of shifts, and that was exactly my experience with Dr. Benjamin Hardy's book. It represented not an addition to my life and my business results, but a multiplication of my efforts and rewards.

My life and my business have never been the same.

10X Is Easer Than 2X is not a difficult book to read or understand, and once you see what Hardy's writing about, you can't unsee it.

The goal of the book is to inspire entrepreneurial leaders to aim for "breakthrough" goals, not merely "incremental" goals (2X) - which will never lead to radical transformation.

One of the major themes of the book is that, in aiming for these kinds of 10X transformations, you'll have to let go of about 80 percent of what you're doing now.

What got you here won't get you there, and as you keep ascending higher and higher in developing your own Unique Ability (more on that later), you'll have to keep zoning in on the 20% that will get you to that next level.

In fact, as you progress, the people on your team will be able to take on your former 80%, especially if it represents their 20%. Then, they'll develop their own Unique Abilities, and they'll be able to offload their 80% in a virtuous cycle of continuous, never-ending improvement.

If all this sounds a little bit abstract, we'll get into specifics later. These are just the broad strokes.

But this kind of big-picture thinking is likely to start a spin-cycle inside your brain as you start to get a handle on all the possibilities this idea opens up for you to expand your four most important freedoms:

*Time Freedom

*Financial Freedom

*Relationship Freedom

*Purpose Freedom

The above framework comes from Dr. Hardy's coauthor, Dan Sullivan, the world's leading coach for highly successful entrepreneurs and the originator of this 10X idea. They've teamed up on several book projects before, and I've written breakdowns on those books here, here, and here.

But it's those four fundamental freedoms that you'll need to keep expanding if you want to keep making progress.

The projects and purposes you devote yourself to, the people you choose to surround yourself with while you do, the money it'll take to make them real, and the time it'll take to bring it all together.

This all must seem like a lot more work, but it's actually less. It's easier than going 2X, and that's because we're talking about a total reimagining of business as usual, not something that's "a little bit better" than what came before.

In this breakdown, we'll be covering several Key Ideas that are going to bring all of this together, but right away, this idea will likely seem strangely familiar. Because you've done this before...

Key Ideas:

#1: You’ve Gone 10X Before

“By seeing 10X more clearly in your own past, you’ll also be able to more clearly see it in your future. You’ve gone 10x many times.

Anytime you’ve committed to something you wanted and transformed through that commitment, you went 10x. You made a fundamental and qualitative upgrade that permanently expanded your freedoms and agency.

When you went from crawling to walking, you went 10x. You committed and transformed yourself. You can look back and see that at one point, you weren’t able to do something and then you made the transformation.

When you learned how to speak, you went 10x. When you learned how to read, you went 10x. When you learned how to make friends, you went 10x. Anytime you committed to something beyond what you’d done and transformed through that commitment, you went 10x.

Learning to drive a car (or fly a plane) is a 10x jump. Becoming an entrepreneur is a 10x jump. Anytime you go 10x, you no longer operate as the same person you did prior to the 10x. You’ve altered your identity, mental models, and way of being. You’ve expanded your Unique Ability.”

Reference experiences are one of the most powerful tools in your transformation toolbox. By "reference experiences" I mean specific times that you can look back on and remember that you've got what it takes.

These are actual events in your life that you can look back on and remind yourself that you've been here before.

You've done this once, you can do it again. So it's not that you have to learn how to go 10X; you have to re-learn how to go 10X.

One specific thing I've noticed about some of the most successful people in the world is that they all, virtually without exception, possess an almost delusional self-belief in their own ability to figure it out; to win; to go 10X.

#2: Almost Everything is Noise

“Almost everything is noise. Almost everything you’re now doing is a distraction from 10X.”

The entire modern world is an attention trap, designed to strip you of your personal power and remove your attention from the actualization of your highest potential to the latest scandal or psy-op du jour.

You're also doing this to yourself by continuing to engage in low-leverage activities that will only keep you stuck at 2X levels. Most of what you're doing is holding you back, obscuring the pathway toward your 10X transformation.

So what you have to do is rigorously analyze everything that you're working on and doing on a day-by-day level, and measuring it against those activities that will bring you to 10X.

If something doesn't measure up, cut it. Ruthlessly eliminate it. Discard it without mercy, and refocus your extremely limited attention on those things - and only those things - that carry within them the seeds of a 10X transformation.

You won't be able to see what those things are so long as you're mechanically going about your accustomed routine. You need to take a step back. No, a step up and look at it from a more holistic perspective. From the perspective of someone who has already gone 10X and is now illuminating the path for those behind them.

#3: It's Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile

“In all aspects of life, the competition is highest for average goals. Not only is the competition highest, but the excitement is lowest and the pathway forward is dramatically more complex and confusing with small and linear goals.

With unrealistic, impossible, or ‘10x’-level goals, the competition is lowest, the excitement is highest, and the pathway forward becomes simple and nonlinear. You stop following the crowd. You shift toward quality rather than quantity and stop competing with anyone.”

There are several important things at work here. First, the obvious. Most people are trying to "make six figures," or "get a six-pack," etc. Everyone wants to buy a Porsche or a Lambo, move into a big house, or whatever else. Nothing against luxury cars whatsoever - I drive one myself - but as a goal, it's pretty damn boring. Unimaginative at best, harmful to the soul at worst.

The same dynamic is at work in our careers. There are plenty of people trying to become doctors and lawyers, but how many people do you know who are gunning for the presidency of the American Medical Association? Who's actually trying to make it onto the Supreme Court?

Better yet, how many people do you know who are actually concerned with taking their physical and intellectual potential to the absolute upper limit of human possibility? It's that a lot more exciting than trying to get some little promotion at work so you can buy a slightly more expensive house?

The former are 10X goals, and not only are they much more intrinsically rewarding and exciting, but you also turn your back on competition once you set those kinds of goals in the first place.

Who are you even competing against if your goal is to read 10,000 books (my personal goal), or ensure humanity's future as a Type II civilization? I'd take the bus for the rest of my natural life if I had to, if it meant that I could throw my entire being into achieving those kinds of goals.

Book Notes:

“The road to hell is paved with the pursuit of volume. Volume leads to marginal products, marginal customers, and greatly increased managerial complexity.

Hard work leads to low returns. Insight and doing what we want leads to high returns.

Strive for excellence in few things, rather than good performance in many.

It is not shortage of time that should worry us, but the tendency for the majority of time to be spent in low-quality ways.

The 80/20 principle says that if we doubled our time on the top 20 percent of activities, we could work a two-day week and achieve 60 percent more than now.”

-Richard Koch

“The only way to make your present better is to make your future bigger.”

-Dan Sullivan

“It’s easier to find one person to pay you $1 million than to find ten people who will pay $100,000. It’s exponentially easier to find one person to pay you $1 million than to find 100 people to pay you $10,000.” 

“Eliminate everything that can’t or won’t go 10X with you.”

“No matter where you’re currently at in your 10x process, you’re making gains. You’re making more gains than you actually realize. Regularly referencing your gains enables you to see and feel that progress.

Taking ownership of your experiences also enables you to transform your experiences into more gains. By learning more from every experience you have, you’ll stop repeating needless errors. You’ll never plateau as a person.”

Action Steps:

#1: Get Clear on Your 10X Transformation

You can't hit a target you can't see, so take some time and get really clear and specific on what your 10X transformation might look like - just in a general sense. You definitely don't need to have everything figured out on Day One, and very few people do.

But what's important here is not limiting yourself to 10X goals that are "acceptable" or "understandable" to other. You don't have to justify your 10X jumps to anyone, for whatever reason. You can just want things. You don't always need to explain yourself.

#2: Form the Outline of Your Unique Ability

Your Unique Ability doesn't have to shake up the world but it should shake up YOUR world. It should stretch you, scare you, and stop you from settling for what you have now.

Eventually, you'll want to get more specific about what you're optimizing for, and what seeking mastery will look like for you.

As you progress down this path, you'll be constantly raising the bar on what's possible, and indeed on what's acceptable to you. Your standards will improve.

You'll demand more from yourself, which is why it's also important to remember not to measure yourself against your ideals, but rather against how far you've come.

#3: Empower Others to Innovate on THEIR Unique Ability

The people around you exist in a field of potential as well, and often what you'll find is that your 80% falls under their 20%! Meaning, there are people out there who love to do many of the things that you hate to do.

Not only that, but they are better at those things, enjoy them more, and those things may even comprise part of their Unique Ability.

Viewed in this light, it becomes imperative that you stop doing what's distracting you from 10X, and start helping the people around you identify their 10X jumps. You'll have to actually, you know, speak to your team about what this might look like. 10X conversations have to happen before 10X transformations.

"The path to success is to take massive, determined action."

-Tony Robbins

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OK, that’s it for now…

More excellent book recommendations coming your way soon!

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With that said, I hope you enjoyed this edition of The Reading Life, and enjoy the rest of your week!

Until next time…happy reading!

All the best,

Matt Karamazov

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