If You’re Not First, You’re Last

"Your Success is not limited by the economy; it’s only limited by the people you know and the amount of interest you can generate in your products and services."

- If You’re Not First You’re Last, page 75

Grant Cardone is a well-known business speaker and sales guru. At the time of this writing he has written four business books, developed sales training programs for individuals, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies and made appearances on multiple television networks. Much of Grant’s material can be found on his YouTube channel.

In his book, If You’re Not First, You’re Last, Grant shares with his readers the specific thought processes and actions necessary to move from where you are right now to the front of your field, regardless of the product or service you sell. Grant draws on his experiences of getting through three recessions, emerging stronger, more capable, and more profitable after each one.

This book shows you how to take everything you already have and direct it into profit through methods Grant has used himself and found to be successful. Each chapter builds on the next, encouraging the reader to follow this step-by-step approach of thinking and acting to help the reader achieve their goals.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Advance and Conquer

"Every resource you have goes to advance and conquer while others contract and retreat"
- If You’re Not First, You’re Last, page 3

Right from the beginning Grant makes it clear that there are four responses (and attitudes) made by people when the economy or things take a turn for the worst in their lives. I love the fourth response, advance and conquer, because it illustrates the mindset and actions that people who dominate their field make on a consistent basis. The advance and conquer approach is about being the absolute best at what you do regardless of the external situation. It is about going out into the marketplace and doing massive amounts of activity above and beyond what is considered normal while your competition is still deciding how they will respond. For example: planning your day so effectively that you’re able to double or triple your calls and create a strategy that enables you to follow up each one with an email to get at least two touch points with each client per day. One extreme way to look at the advance and conquer mindset is to ask yourself “how would I think, move, act and speak differently if I had 24 hours left to live unless I closed a sale by the end of the day?” There would probably be a much greater sense of urgency than if you thought you had 20 years left to live.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Own your mind and what you believe

"Change your thought process. Drop the arrogance, your old beliefs, and any limitations on what you are willing to do, and get going on producing your economy."
- If You’re Not First, You’re Last, page 151

Having the right thought process is critical for success. In sales, business and life we are governed by a certain set of rules that guide how we think and act. More often than not these are negative and are rules that enforce what we should not do more than what we should. For example: Am I calling this client too much? Am I justified in asking for a referral? What will the client think if I don’t negotiate on price? Thoughts like these paralyze you from taking action and being successful. Grant suggests that most of what we worry about tends not to happen, so why waste time worrying about it when that time can be spent using your mind on everything you can do to change the situation? If you are going to advance and conquer you have to eliminate all the worry, doubt and fear of negative consequences that could happen if you act. This is not to say you should pretend that everything is okay when you do have reason to worry, but readers are encouraged to build their positive thinking muscles so they are better equipped to handle challenges.

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Perform at your highest level always

"Make it clear to the world every day that you have things to do and people to see."
- If You’re Not First, You’re Last, page 155

In order to get the most out of the The Big Idea and Gem #1, it is necessary to be deliberate about the actions that you will take each day and focus your thoughts into doing everything you can to complete them. I have found that the most successful times in my life, when I got the most done and felt best about myself were when I actively took control of my mind by scheduling the most important actions that needed to be done that day and doing everything I could to complete them rather than leaving my day to chance. Grant suggests that people don’t do things like sleep, watch TV, take long lunches or gossip, worry about problems or what others think because they are lazy, but rather because they lack a commitment to a power schedule. When you have other places you have to be and don’t have time for these things, then you just don’t do them. A good way to start is by asking yourself these questions:

a) What time will you go to bed at night and what time you will get up?

b) What wasteful actions am I currently involved in?

c) How do I spend my weekends?

d) How am I spending my time after work?

e) Are these activities adding to my confidence and the way I feel about myself or are they holding me back?

In addition, Grant has a 10X planner based on his book The 10x Rule. I have purchased my own copy and have found that I have more focus than I have had in the past year through scheduling my day using Grant’s template. You can find the planner here and a video on how to use it.

If You’re Not First, You’re Last is great for readers who want to learn from someone who practices what they preach. If you are used to searching for answers to a problem on the internet and end up finding tons of solutions from just about any sales professional but are overwhelmed because you don’t know who to listen to, then this book will put you at ease. You won’t have to question whether the information here works because it comes from someone with tried and tested advice. This a great book for a sales professional or entrepreneur of any level of experience to study and apply the strategies within. The combination of mental thought processes and specific step-by-step instructions make this book perfect for anyone that wants a workable formula to get out of a rut and up into the upper echelon of their field.

What is the one action you could take right now that if you performed it consistently, every day for the next 6 months, would completely transform your life and career in the direction of your dreams?

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Marc Gaudett

ABOUT Marc Gaudett

Marc was born and raised in Scarborough, ON. He completed a Physical Education and Health degree with a minor in Psychology from The University of Toronto...
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