I recently had the honor of going on London Real, and here is just some of what we talked about…
Brian Rose: Grant, what do you usually think about “British European”—is it a different mentality than the Americans?
Grant: I think conservative, polite, manners, proper…all the things that I’m basically NOT—that’s not to say that I don’t have manners but the social norms like fitting into something is something my whole life I’ve struggled with.
England is like manners on steroids, being proper on steroids, right?
Like you have to be a gentleman. But I’m just an open book when it comes to my feelings and telling people what I think.
My dad died when I was 10, so when you don’t have a father, it changes things.
My dad was an enforcer, my mom on the other hand…I remember after my dad died, my mom whipped me—she brought out the belt and it was a joke—I was like, “this is hilarious, I’ll never be whipped again.”
So, I was without direction.
And then I had my mom just scared and trying to figure things out.
School didn’t help because I was bored.
I was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A little, small town.
Brian: What is that like for people that had never been to Louisiana that don’t know what it’s like down there? How would you explain it to a Prince Harry?
Grant: It’s hot. It’s humid.
I grew up low, middle-class. I mean, we had a roof and we had air conditioning, we had a heater and we had a car and we had bicycles. But we had fear.
There was tremendous fear in the environment—economic fear.
Everything was conservation. It really has built who I am today.
My dad died in the month of February and my mom sold the house by March. So, at 10 years old, I’m learning a house is a liability.
- 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
- 64% of Americans that have businesses break even or lose money.
- Most people don’t have any money, and they’re fearful of money constantly.
- They overspend.
- They don’t know how to produce money.
My mom had her hands full, she didn’t talk about money being a problem, but we could see that she was scared…clipping coupons etc., you know that type of thing.
At 10 years old, I wanted to be a man. When I saw that whoever had the money decided where we went, I wanted MONEY because it appeared to me that whoever had the money had control of the environment.
Whoever had the money seemed to control where we went, how long we went for, and what we did.
So, I’m picking up everything from my older brother, my twin brother, my mom, and things on T.V., like John Kennedy gets killed.
That’s what starts forming the early character of the individual.
My dad wanted to be rich. He never said that to me. But later I would find out my dad wanted to be a wealthy man and he didn’t get there.
He fulfilled his personal obligation as a man to take care of his family and his wife and his kids, but he didn’t get the freedom part, which he really wanted.
Brian Rose: Talk to me about the teenage Grant.
Grant: Doing drugs is what I’m doing. At 15 or 16 years old…I smoked weed for the first time.
We were in Louisiana—we’re shooting guns…anything that moves, we shoot it.
I had a rifle at 12 years old, we were wild man.
We’re having mud wars in the lake with the neighbors and smashing eggplants on their cars.
The worst problem in society is boredom.
When people are bored, they become problematic.
So, I’m bored so I smoke some weed at 16.
I knew it was terrible, I didn’t know why I was doing this. I knew I was going to regret doing it.
But you know, my brother was doing it…the peer pressure was very powerful.
So, I smoked weed.
Next day I smoked it again. Next thing, you know, I’m like full into drugs… and nobody starts using drugs thinking “I’m going to be a drug addict.”
But within probably two years, I was doing drugs every day.
Not just weed, other stuff, anything. I’m smoking, I’m popping pills. Any drug.
Brian Rose: What’s your drug of choice?
Grant: I did any drug or alcohol, basically anything that would change my attitude or fill up the boredom.
Not just boredom, but maybe the NEGATIVITY and FEAR and UNCERTAINTY in my life.
In rehab, they said that I have a disease. I don’t believe that some people have a disease.
There are “diseases” now for everything they have no test for. So, I don’t think it’s a disease or I was somehow picked to be a drug addict or I have some DNA to be an entrepreneur.
Me and Gary Vee had this conversation—he thinks entrepreneurs have some DNA.
I said, “That’s just the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. That means some people can’t be entrepreneurs, which is not true.”
If you do drugs enough it won’t matter what your DNA is…you do anything enough—go into a casino enough times and play enough times, you’ll become addicted.
If you play a game enough times, enough levels at candy crush and you’ll want to get to the next level. So, and that’s what happened with drugs for me.
The drugs are one thing, but it begins to degrade the individual and chips away at your self-esteem little by little by little…and then by chunks and then by big, big, blocks.
By the time I’m 20, I was as close to zero as a person can get.
I thought I was rock bottom. But there were a lot of rock bottoms.
Brian Rose: If you met that Grant then what would he be like?
Grant: No eye contact. I weigh 170 pounds today and I weighed 130 pounds then.
At 20, my older brother dies, so I’m thinking, “man, life is short here.”
There’s some good that comes out of that because the time is NOW.
The time to live is now, so be in a hurry.
Brian Rose: What else would you say about young Grant?
Grant: My life was—and still is—about punching. I’m a puncher. I punch a lot and I punch hard, but mostly I punch persistently, kind of like life did to me.
I’ve learned to punch back.
I like banging my head against the wall until the wall breaks.
Brian Rose: Losing your dad and brother so early, do you think teenage Grant used drugs mainly to escape the pain?
Grant: I don’t think it was pain driven. I did not have to go down that path to find who I am. The guy I am today was always there.
That guy is the obsessed guy, the guy that can throw himself ALL into something.
But rehab wants to get rid of that guy…they want to keep you in fear.
They think THAT guy is the problem. That guy’s not the problem. The drugs were the problem. The lack of self-esteem was the problem. The boredom was the problem.
Think about this: Who does it benefit to label me? Drug companies.
Typically, bored people don’t become drug addicts.
They become consumers of garbage.
They waste time…they consume excuses.
After rehab, I just threw my addiction to work because I needed something to throw into, right? So, I told myself I have to stay busy.
Time is my enemy.
Time is my problem.
My mentor says you’ve just replaced one addiction for another one. I’m like, of course I have. “Dude, I gotta replace this free time with something. I was using drugs 10 hours a day. I bet I have to replace it with some energy. Right?”
Your mentor can help you and limit you. Who’s your mentor? Everybody’s got one.
By the way, most people have too many.
Mentors can be a problem as much as a lift.
So, I threw myself into my work. I got 168 hours in a week. I want to use them all.
An idea that I would work four hours, that’s just not realistic for me—sorry, Tim Ferris.
Like I would not read the book if you told me, “Hey man, I got this opportunity for you to work part-time.”
I have zero interest in working 4 hours a week.
I want to be GREAT at what I’m doing.
I know without reading any book that I have to dedicate TIME, energy, and effort to succeed big at anything in life.
Success is about being frequent.
It’s interesting when you commit to something, little gifts just start automatically showing up.
It’s a phenomenal thing…and it’s happened my whole career.
When I fully commit, somebody will bring me something. And there’s resistance along the way and problems along the way, but if you get through those things, if you SUPER COMMIT, then keep your eyes open because gifts and opportunities will come.
Brian Rose: 5 years…that’s what it took you from getting out of rehab to making your first million. Did you get all your self-esteem back? I know that takes time from personal experience.
Grant: No, I didn’t get all my self-esteem back.
Money in many situations can increase the sensitivity to the lack of self.
I was so busy working by the time I was 30, 31 years old I was like, “Wow, I’ve got $1 million.”
You don’t make $1 million, you accumulate.
There’s a line in Wall Street where Bud Fox says, “I never knew how poor I was until I started making a little bit of money.”
I remember I made one year 650K and I was telling a guy this, and the guy looked at me and said, “how do you live on that?”
With 650K are you bragging or complaining?
That really hit home to me and made me reconsider how well I was doing.
Brian Rose: What changed things for you, was there a big turning point?
Back then, the first thing I said about Facebook was “stupid”.
Every time I’ve ever said something was dumb or stupid meant I didn’t understand it. That’s “stupid” is usually code for “I don’t understand it”.
Then a light goes off in my mind, it says pay attention to that thing…and then when I got a Facebook page, I didn’t delegate it to somebody else. I went and built mine, learned how to use it, found out what was there, played in that space for a little while…and then I heard about Twitter.
But the point I want to make is that these are gifts.
2008 was, for me, a game-changer. That was the ultimate gift in my life.
Best thing ever happened to me was the recession in 2008.
I almost had everything taken away.
I was a millionaire many times over before 2008, but as the recession unfolded in 2008 and into 2009 I got down to my last six or eight million and I was like, “damn.”
It was around that time that I wrote the 10X Rule because I was looking for a solution for my own problems.
The 10X Rule not only changed my businesses, but it also changed my life.
If you don’t believe me, look at how far I’ve come in the last 10 years.
Ten years ago, almost nobody had ever heard of me.
Today, love me or hate me, you know me.
Brian Rose: What does 10X mean in its essence?
Grant: It’s a multiplier.
Do more and then do more.
Multiply literally multiple times what you’re doing.
Success and money are not about adding, but multiplying.
And living the 10X life is about NOT setting, it’s about having it ALL.
When you start scaling out 10X, the think changes…the mechanism, the transportation, the people you need, the advertising, the budget—EVERYTHING shifts so big that it causes you to think differently.
10X rewires your brain and throws out all your old assumptions.