Have You Got It?

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 16th, 2010 5 Comments

Let’s talk about some personal traits of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

Paul Newman is an inspiration. It’s my hope to age as he did. He was on Leno, while in L.A. for the Long Beach Grand Prix. At age 80, driving professionally in races. At age 78 or 79 , he did the 1,000 mile Baha endurance race in souped up dune buggy. Man, would I like to be able to function like that at 80.

On Leno’s show, the two raced little go-karts around a Grand Prix-ish course backstage. Newman was out there walking the course, checking out the cars, working on winning before the show. When the green flag moved, he zoomed past Jay to take the lead and never let up, trouncing Jay by a commanding distance.

In his book, talking about his food business, he says that, somewhat to his surprise, he really enjoys kicking competitors’ butts.

This is a guy for whom competing and winning is very important. At 80. With not one damned thing he needs to prove to anybody.

Any hugely successful entrepreneur who claims not to be so competitive is, I imagine, a liar. The downside is that it’s almost impossible for us to enjoy doing much of anything just for the doing of it.

In one of my two speeches at one of the SuperConference, I didn’t sell anything. And as much as I’d like to speak without the pressure of such accurate measurement of effectiveness, I ultimately feel it’s pointless, like playing a game without keeping score.

If you don’t have competitive bloodlust in you, if you don’t wake up eager to compete and win today and tomorrow and the next day, I don’t think you’re a true entrepreneur, and I’m certain you are not getting optimum value out of your own capabilities and out of your business. One of the secrets of my extreme personal, day to day productivity is turning just about everything into a game where I win or lose, often competing only against the clock, only foes being vanquished my own worst behaviors.

As I am writing this , I have amassed a large mountain of assorted tasks; writing four of these e-mails , answering two weeks of “B” Faxes and letters; writing checks; etc. I want to clear the pile by 4:00 PM. If I do, I win. If I don’t, I lose. I really do not like losing. People who too easily accept losing are losers. People who hang out with losers become losers. Trump made that point in ‘the Apprentice’.

He actually demonstrated it by moving a guy who’d been winning to a different group of habitual losers. Right before our eyes that guy became a pathetic loser too. Whatever your game is, you ought to get up extremely motivated to play it to win. Or find a new game.

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    Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

    5 Responses

    1. […] Yesterday, I discussed the key ingredient that all successful entrepreneurs have in common. Now let ’s talk about jealousy and envy and how you can instantly beat it instead of being […]

    2. Peter says:


      I’ve read more then half of your books and again, this is great advice that will never be taught in a college. I’m definitely going to use this “win/lose” attitude to start an LLC under my parents corporation after I graduate college next year. You’re truly an inspiration for me but I’ll admit….lots of your pragmatic advice is extremely hard to habitually build up and do but not definitely not impossible. I love it.

      Happy Holidays Dan!

      Your fan,

      Peter (from Hayward, CA)

    3. Scott says:

      As much as I’d like a golf course to give me a few bucks and have me teach and speak for free all year… I’d much rather plunge my bare naked fist through my competitors rib cage, rip out their still beating heart, throw it in the deep fryer and have it for breakfast.

    4. Jim Campbell says:

      Now that’s what I classify as a “Wake Up Call”…

      Thanks Dan

    5. Jeffrey says:

      Awesome message.

      The most right on is: People who hang out with losers become losers.

      Whatever your game is, you ought to get up extremely motivated to play it to win. Or find a new game.

      The higher side of this is playing to be the best for the highest reason or purpose out there! (To serve and be the best!)


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