Grant Cardone’s 9 Lessons to Build Your Empire and Leave a Lasting Legacy

Unless you’ve been living under an entrepreneurial rock, you’ve probably heard of Grant Cardone.

From his best-selling books to his top ranked podcast to his millions of followers across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, the man is everywhere.

And it’s not hard to see why.

He is a true rags-to-riches American Dream story.

At 25 years old, Grant was in line for unemployment, addicted to drugs, and on a fast track to an overdose or a life behind bars.

But he turned himself around and went on to build a real estate portfolio worth nearly $600 million, is happily married with two (hilarious) daughters, one of the most prolific entrepreneurs on the planet, and considered by many to be the “King of Sales.”

It’s Grant’s belief that anyone – no matter where they are today or what they’ve been through – can achieve massive success, make millions, and live the American dream.

And here are his top nine lessons to help you do it.

1.  Work is a Privilege

One of Grant’s most profound and counter-intuitive success lessons is that work should be seen as a privilege, not as an obligation.

You don’t have to work. You get to work.

Whether you’re stuck in the throes of a ‘too-good-to-leave’ corporate job with the golden handcuffs closed tightly around your wrists or creating a business that lights you on fire and excites you everyday, you must remember that work is a privilege.

Today, right now, you have the opportunity to do something with your life. To create. To share. To impact lives. To offer value. To leave a lasting legacy and do what you were put on this earth to do.

Take the advice of Uncle G. and shift your mindset from “How little can I work” to “How much can I accomplish today?”

When you truly internalize this belief, everything in your life will change. You will no longer feel as if work is a chore to be completed. Instead, you will realize that your work is privilege in which you get to take part.

2. You Don’t Have to Like What You Do to Love What You Do

If you scroll through Instagram, you’ll see dozens upon dozens of “motivational” pages sharing the age-old aphorism, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

The only problem is there isn’t a single shred of truth to this sentence.

No matter how much you love your work, it is still work. You will still have to do things you don’t want to do.

In many cases, your entire job description might be a laundry list of things you don’t want to do.

Grant, despite what you might imagine, has claimed many times that he “hates selling.” The king of sales himself does not enjoy picking up a phone and cold calling, or giving presentations, or meeting with investors face-to-face.

But he does it anyways. And he does it better than almost anyone else in the world.

He loves building businesses, creating value, and impacting millions of people around the world. But he hates many of the tasks and activities required to bring his vision to life.

In your own business, it’s important to realize that you won’t always like the things you have to do.

You might not like writing sales copy, calling prospects, building landing pages, or sharing content on social media. But you can learn to fall in love with the things you dislike because they feed your greater mission and purpose.

No matter how much you love what you do, you will always have to work. To do things you dislike. To bite the bullet and grind through hours upon hours of tasks that you don’t enjoy.

But like Craig has said thousands and thousands of times…

Success is simple, once you accept how hard it is.

3. 10X Everything

One of Grant’s foundational lessons (and the topic of his best-selling book The 10X Rule) is, to achieve massive success, you must set massive goals.

He believes, as I do, that most people are playing small.

They’re holding back, hiding from their greatness, and allowing mediocrity to permeate every area of their lives.

Not because they aren’t capable of greater things. But because they have mentally allowed themselves to settle for small goals.

And this is especially true of high-performers.

We’ve been told our whole lives to “Be grateful for what you have” and “Be more realistic.” But great things were never achieved by realistic people.

If you want to leave your own dent in the universe and do great things, then 10X everything in your life.

When your 10X your thinking and goals, you will 10X the level of commitment and performance you are willing to bring to the table.

And even if you don’t hit your new target, you will achieve far greater levels of success than you would by playing small.

If you set the goal to earn $100,000, you might only earn $75,000.

But if you set the goal to earn $1,000,000 and level up your thinking to that million dollar level, you stand to earn $750,000.

If you set the goal to quit your corporate job and start your own business in 12 months, you will only put forth the amount of effort you believe is required to make the shift in 12 months.

By 10X’ing that goal and deciding to quit your job in 2 months, you will be forced to get creative. To think outside the box. To put forth radical and uncommon levels of energy and effort to hit your new goal.

And if you fail? You’ll still be handing in your two-weeks notice far sooner than you would with a smaller goal.

By levelling up your goals, you will level up the way you think about, plan for, and work towards those goals. And when this happens you can only become more successful.

In the famous words of America’s first self-made millionaire and true Operator, Benjamin Franklin, “It is better to aim for the stars and hit a stump than aim for a stump and miss.”

4. Play the Part of the Extrovert (Even If You Aren’t One)  

Although you might not guess this from his gregarious and outgoing on-camera personality, Grant actually self-identifies as an introvert.

He doesn’t like talking to strangers or enjoy long conversations with individuals outside of his inner circle.

As he put it, “If you met me at a party I wouldn’t have much to say. If you sat next to me on a long flight I may not say a word to you the entire trip. I’m an introvert—and I play the part of an extrovert.”

And that is the key to succeeding in life, relationships, and business.

Regardless of your default state or whatever label lies you’ve adopted, you can and must play the part you need to play to succeed.

Extroversion is contagious. It’s inspiring. Motivating. And infinitely more effective at persuading people to take action and do business with you.

And, most of all, it is a choice.

To cultivate your own extroversion, Grant recommends that you adopt a few specific habits into your daily routine.

Firstly, say “Hello” to everyone you pass. Whether they reciprocate or not is irrelevant. The goal of this exercise is simply to build your extroversion muscle and condition yourself to be more outgoing.

Secondly, you must get passionate. Passionate people want to share their gifts and ideas with the world. No matter how introverted they might be, they feel compelled to share what they believe with the world. The more passionate you are about your mission and calling, the more easily extroversion will be.

And finally, you must stay busy. When you are constantly in motion, you don’t have the time to be uncomfortable or doubt yourself. Instead, you’ll always be moving, always be talking to someone, and always be offering something to the world.

Learn to tap into your extroverted side and the world will open up to you.

As Grant says, “Money follows attention.”

And attention follows extroversion.

5. Do the Millionaire Math

One of Grant’s favorite sayings is that “Math is a universal language.”

No matter where you are in the world, two plus two will always equal four.

And no matter who you are or what goals you’ve set for yourself, the millionaire math is exactly the same.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by the concept of earning your first (or next) 7-figures. But once you break down the math, your journey to one million will become much simpler.

Look at your existing offers and determine exactly how many products, programs, and coaching packages you need to sell to hit the target of $1,000,000.

If you have a $1,000 course you need to sell 1000 courses to make your first million. This means you need to sell roughly 83 courses a month or 3 courses a day.

Once you realize how simple your target really is, you can make strategic moves to hit it faster.

Doing the millionaire math will help you determine exactly how much you need to spend on advertising, what kinds of offers you need to create, and how many clients you need to enroll in order to hit your target.

If you don’t do the math, you won’t know what is required to hit your target. And as they say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

Once you identify exactly what you need to do and understand the process in its most basic steps, your journey to 7-figures will become much easier.

6. Track Everything That is Important to You

Peter Drucker, the famous management and business guru once said, “What gets measured gets managed”.

By tracking your progress, you will have a clear picture to help you determine what’s working and what isn’t.

And this applies to every area of your life.

From your workouts to your spending habits to your income to your advertising costs to the amount of quality time you spend with your spouse, track everything that is important to you.

When you have definitive data and concrete metrics showing you the exact correlation between your actions and results, everything becomes easier.

If you notice that you and your spouse fight less and have more sex when you have a weekly date night, you’ll realize how important that habit is.

If you track your workouts and body composition and notice that you aren’t making the progress you want, you can adjust your program to help you achieve your desired results faster.

When you track your income and spending you can see exactly how much progress you’re making and how specific actions correlate to that progress.

While it might seem tedious at first, the habit of tracking important actions and outcomes is one of the most important habits to help you hit your first 7-figures and live your Perfect Life.

Remember… What gets measured gets managed.

So when something in your life isn’t working, measure it daily so that you can manage it effectively.

7. Boss Up

No, I don’t mean that you should be more ‘bossy’ or that you need to work for yourself.

Rather that you must act like the boss in every single interaction in which you find yourself.

Quit complaining, blaming, and making excuses about why you aren’t where you want to be and BOSS UP!

Take responsibility for your life, actions, and results and refuse to allow second-class behavior from yourself.

Be the boss in every area of your life.

Step up to the plate and take charge. Go the extra mile. Do more than is required. And always, always, always, keep your promises to yourself.

When you don’t feel like going to the gym and putting in that workout to which you committed… Boss up.

When you’re tired and feel tempted to shrug off an important deadline or project… Boss up.

When nothing seems to be going your way and it feels like the world is out to get you… Boss up and remember that you are in charge of your life and results.

If you want to be the boss, you must first act like the boss.

So boss up today and thank yourself tomorrow.

8. Feed the Beast

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever taken away from Grant Cardone’s books, podcasts, and presentations is the importance of obsessively pursuing and focusing on your goals.

The man is obsessed with his goals.

Tony Robbins famously said that, “Where focus goes, energy flows.”

When you give all of your focus and attention to your goals by reviewing them, writing them down, thinking about them, and visualizing them daily, you will naturally start to put more time and energy towards achieving them.

When you eat, breathe, and sleep your biggest goals, you will “brainwash” yourself into doing whatever is required to achieve them.

You will no longer think about all of the obstacles you must overcome because you are focused on your target.

You will no longer feel discouraged by the long hours and late nights you’ll have to work. Instead, you will feel motivated and inspired because you get to do what it takes to achieve your goals.

Ignore the people who tell you that obsession is “bad” or “unhealthy.” Only you can decide what you want out of life and what you’re willing to do to get it.

So be obsessed with achieving massive results.  

Or settle for average ones.

9. It’s Never Been Easier

In all of human history, it has never been easier to make millions, live the dream, and create a lasting legacy.

Since 2019, more than 1,700 people became millionaires every single day. Self-made billionaires are minted in their 20’s. And there is more wealth and abundance available to the average person than ever before.

There is more money in the world and more ways to make yourself known and share your message than there’s ever been in the history of our species.

You can make hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing more than an iPhone and Instagram account. With a laptop and internet connection, you can build a multi-million dollar business from anywhere in the world. If you have a marketable skill set or expertise in something, you can monetize that skillset and create unprecedented wealth… while finishing your entire workday before 1 p.m.

You can create the income, business, and life you desire.

It doesn’t matter where you start, what you’ve been through or what mistakes you’ve made in the past.

Grant is living proof that commitment, persistence, and a big vision are all that is necessary for success.


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Austin Gillis

After dropping out of college at 18, Austin set out to travel the world and turn his passion for sharing big ideas through writing into a full time income. Today, he's succeeded at his goal and is the Editor for Early to Rise, Director of Content for Knowledge for Men, and a highly sought after freelance writer whose ghost-written work has been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, among other major outlets. When he isn't exploring new cities, writing game-changing content, or devouring his latest stack of books, you'll find him kicked back in a hammock on the beaches of Mexico with his girlfriend and two-year old Pomeranian, Zelda