Just listened to one of my favorite podcasts this morning — How I Built This. They hosted Manoj Bhargava, the man who invented the 5-Hour Energy Drink. Manoj is a self-made man who started his career driving a $300 dump truck hauling away construction garbage. Now he’s a billionaire dedicated to donate 99% of his estate to help the world.

There were a number of powerful statements that caught my ear. Here are a few:

“You have to be totally determined – I hate the word passionate. If you get hit, passion tends to fade. Determination – if you get hit 20 times, you get up again.” Everyone has a passion. Many people leave their jobs and start their own business based on that passion. Some do well, most don’t. Manoj is spot on — passion will only take you so far, determination will pick you up when you fall down. TAKEAWAY: Drive, determination, and tenacity will help you build you a successful business.

“It’s not rocket science. If you use common sense, you’re in great shape. If you use experts, you’re in so much trouble.” I find this quote so fitting to my profession, being a Business Performance Coach. So many times I’m asked by prospective clients, “Do you have a lot of experience in my industry?” I usually say, “No, I don’t. But it doesn’t matter.” Most businesspeople want ‘experts’ who know their industry and can give them the ‘secrets of their success’. Unfortunately, most of the time, these experts are people who tried their hand in that industry and failed, that’s why they’re not doing it anymore. As a coach who uses ‘common sense’, I am looking at your situation from the outside in, a completely different perspective from where you are. I keep it simple and focus on the basics — that’s usually where the problems hide. TAKEAWAY: “Experts are great for telling you what not to do. But what you should do? They haven’t a clue.”

“You’ve got to figure that out. How hard can it be? I’ll figure it out.” I love Manoj’s simple way of attacking a complex problem. He makes the complex, simple — the gargantuan, a series of small steps. Sit down, get a piece of paper and map out the steps you have to do and the people you have to see. It’s that simple. TAKEAWAY: Dive right in and attack. Don’t over-think it.

“If these guys can come up with this, I can do better.” Just because someone has done something, it doesn’t make them geniuses — they just did it first. I love his philosophy and drive — I can do it too. TAKEAWAY: You can do it better if you just try.

“Most people who have invented great things didn’t have a background in that area.” They didn’t follow the ‘rules’ of the experts. Again, they are thinking from outside of the bubble and not beholden to a series of arcane rules — in fact, they’re the rule-breakers. TAKEAWAY: Be a rule-breaker.

P.S. If you want work with a coach who uses common sense and sticks to the basics,  Let’s talk. I’ve work with people from all over the world who want to play a bigger game — call me to schedule a free session.