If you don’t already know the name, just google Judge Graham. You’ll quickly realize he’s a near-sensation for his particular niche: scaling and exiting a business.
He has a top-ranked business podcast, he’s an author of several books, and most importantly, he was a stellar guest on the Cannonball Mindset.
He joined me and delivered 4 powerful business lessons on entrepreneurship. Oh, and guess what? You won’t hear about these in college.
‘I Saw a Black 500 Benz When I was 5 … & I Wanted It’
Very little about Judge Graham is conventional. Even his start in business.
He was sitting in the back of his mom’s beat-up Oldsmobile when he was 5 years old. He looked out the window and watched a brand new 500 Mercedes Benz roll by.
He wanted that Mercedes.
His mom told him how expensive the car was, and something clicked: He knew he needed money to afford what he wanted.
He wasted little time.
His mom was an art teacher, and she had dozens of those fancy art pencils. S, Judge started reselling them at school for about $1 each. Soon, he upgraded to candy, then beepers and watches.
The rest is history.
Life Is About More Than Money. (But You’ll Need $ to Get There)
“I want to recondition people to know that money is a good thing.” — Judge Graham
Judge says that anyone who believes money is the root of all evil hasn’t experienced money.
Money allows you to do what you want — it’s a good thing. The difference is in how you use it. When people encounter a wealthy immoral person, they try to blame money as if it were the issue, but the issue is the individual. Simply put: If you were a jerk before you had money, then you’ll be a jerk after you had money.
Lesson 1: The 4 Skills College Won’t Teach You About Business
Here’s where Judge and I strike a friendship:
He doesn’t believe formal education teaches you the real skills you will need in business. Skills like:
- Maintaining winning mindset
- How to build a proposal
- Overcoming stage fright (important for business meetings)
But what does college teach you?
Lesson 2: Discipline Is Everything
Here’s where Judge really started speaking my language:
“Your idea is nothing until you have a plan, and the plan is nothing until you take priority action.” Whether it’s in relationships, business, or the gym, “results happen in the work.”
“Results happen in the work.” — Judge Graham
Everyone wants to jump from idea to idea, watch someone else’s success, and then talk about it.
Few people are willing to endure the disciplined work behind the success, the unseen hours of toil, or the seemingly unbearable failures it took to get there.
Everyone wants to jump from idea to win. Few are willing to do the work.
Lesson 3: It’s a Sprintathon
I like to run. So this one really spoke to me:
Judge said to think back to when someone told you, “slow down; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Guess what? They lied.
Business is a marathon.
And a sprint.
A true healthy balance is important — family, relationships, church, … whatever you have in your life that is valuable to you should be kept. But overall, when it comes to entrepreneurship, Judge says don’t take a break. That’s when you realize how tired you are, or your motivation starts to waver.
Don’t slow down. Don’t stop. When you slow down you begin to stall. He said to think about Gary Vee: He’s simply too busy to know he’s tired. (If you like Gary Vee — who doesn’t? — we had him on the show a couple months ago on this episode.)
Lesson 4: Don’t Be a General Practitioner. Be a Brain Surgeon
Judge put up a simple question:
Why do brain surgeons make exorbitantly more money than general practitioners? The answer is simple:
Building a niche is scary. Especially when you are first starting your business. You want to say “yes” to revenue wherever you can find it.
But eventually, if you want to become the leader in your category, you have to pick a category. As Judge put it: “Quit competing, and start dominating.”
To dominate, you’ll need a niche.
What Legacy Do You Want to Leave Behind on This Earth?
“I want to be an amazing father, husband, and mentor.”
See? It’s not all about money.
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