Episode 195 – Why 10x is Easier than 2x. 3 Takeaways From My Conversation with Dr. Benjamin Hardy

Ever feel like sometimes it’s easier to focus on making little improvements in our lives and businesses because that’s all we have the mental capacity to do? But before long, those little things go by the wayside because we’re out of time, exhausted, or can’t figure out how we could possibly do more to meet our goals. I want to share a book recommendation that might even be counterintuitive to what you’ve been doing. If you want to grow your business easier, stick with me because 10x might actually be easier than 2x. 

After being in business 25 years, I have tried many different ways to get more done. Whether it’s growing my business faster, finding a way to get there easier, or working less for the same amount of money. You may not know this about me, but I love to sleep. Because I knew that about myself, I knew I couldn’t just trade in my sleep hours to work more hours. I turned to the opposite, which is shoving as much as humanly possible into my days. I love feeling productive and doing a lot of things. That’s what’s fun for me, and I think that might be something unique to all of us who are creatives, that we love variety. I love to jump from one project to another even though the first one isn’t done because the second one might be more fun, or I might just need a distraction from all the things, and then we wonder why we have a feeling of overwhelm and frustration.

I’m hoping this is for you because this book really changed how I look at things, and I am hoping you love it, too. I am a huge fan of the author of “10x Is Easier Than 2x”. His name is Dr. Benjamin Hardy. He’s written some of my favorite business books, so when I saw that he’d written a new one called “10x Is Easier Than 2x”, I immediately pre-ordered 200 of them for my Peak Performance coaching students, and it was a huge hit with all of them.

What was really cool is before the books even printed, Erin, my business partner, and I had the pleasure of meeting Ben at my mentor’s event in Mexico. Erin noticed him sitting alone at an outdoor table when we were getting seated outside for dinner. We invited him to sit with us and he came over and just hung out with us. I really think that was the highlight of my trip because we just hung out and talked about different books, heard some cool stories about his journeys, and his family. We got to have a special program with him.

It was pretty neat because entrepreneurs are definitely learners. We want to learn, read, and talk to people about what we learned and apply it. I love that his books are very applicable. You can take action steps out of them and apply them to your life and get results, which is the most fun. 

I’m really excited today to share some of my biggest takeaways of how this concept can build your life and your business without staying up all night to fit more in. I want you to think about this, do you see how you’re where you are because of who you are? In business, you can draw a growth curve based on quantitatively how your business has grown. You did X, and then the next year you did X, and your line either goes up or down. And then the next year, it either goes up and down again. And I’ve actually done that for 25 years in business. And when I was looking at it the other day, I only have had two years that I was down, which is pretty cool.

I haven’t had an unprofitable year, but I’m just competitive and I like to have growth. There are some things in our lives that are not quantifiable, but we know we’re happier and healthier when we have more friends or whatever those things are. If you just feel better, you have more energy. You’ve maybe 10x’ed things in your life, but when we look at that growth curve, it’s not 10x-ing. It’s not going straight up, instead it’s little incremental changes. But what if it were easier to make the big changes then the little bitty ones? And if you think about all the decisions you’ve made to get where you are, that’s how you got where you are.

What happens if you want to increase your goals by more than just a little bit? How do you get to that next place? And I really love the saying that “what got you here isn’t going to get you there”. And I think that’s why as entrepreneurs, we’re such avid readers because we’re trying to learn what it is that person before us did that made the biggest jumps.

What Ben explained is how if you want to 2x your results, which is an incremental change that’s smaller than 10x-ing your results, you’ll look at what you’ve done in the past and ask how can I make a little bit of a better decision? How can I do a little more than I did last year? But what he says is, if you want to 10x your results, you make decisions from the future version of you. The person who’s already gotten those results that you want. If you’ve never been a runner and you want to run a marathon in a year, what does that healthy marathon runner do in this next year to make sure that that marathon runner can show up? 

You’ve got to look at the “future you” and make your decisions from there. The person who’s already gotten those results.I’ve been running a profitable photography business for 25 years. Do you think if I came into your life and your photography business and put your shoes on in the morning with your life just how it is, the number of kids you have, your spouse, your finances, your debt, your city, whatever it is, do you think that I could hit some goals? If you’ve made very little money with your photography business, I could make 10 times that, I bet you, in a year. Why?

Because I’ve done it, and I’ve built a certain skill set so I could easily make the decisions I need to make so that you could have everything running like a well-oiled machine like my photography business. The key is if you want to 10x your business, you have to do it by making decisions from your future self, not your past self. You’ve got to figure out who that future person is and what life looks like and then let that become your filter. 

Start having a relationship with your future self. The one who’s out of debt, healthy, craves healthy food, living an amazing life, traveling, being with your kids or grandkids, or maybe having them, or going out dating or rekindling your marriage, maybe having extra time for self-care. How is that version of you going to make decisions that are different from the past you? Making decisions from a different person is going to get different results. 

Dr. Hardy said, when you’re looking at 2x versus 10x, what most people do when they want to slightly increase their goal, they focus on maximizing that 80% of the things they’re doing and getting rid of 20%. That sounds logical. However, if you want to 10x, you’re going to want to keep the very best 20% most important things and master those. Which means getting rid of the 80%. This is how you master things, and this is how the results come. He said, “10x better precedes 10x bigger.” 

You can’t master everything, but I want to challenge you to stop being depressed, that things are hard and that you haven’t picked up the steam that you want. Pick the most important 20% of the things you do that move the dial and go. Now, apply that philosophy to your photography business. What if you did get rid of endless hours of editing with barely the hope of someone ordering those images after you give all the digital files. Or editing knowing that you are making $150 by giving away all of the digital files so you’re stuck at a ceiling of how much you can make. It’s time for you to double down on two things, more clients and higher average. That is the top 20%.

If you use that as a filter of how can I 10x, that is the very best way to leverage your time, more clients at a higher average. If you don’t know how to do it, I would use every penny you can to invest in learning how, because time is going fast. If you have a desire to 10x your life, your business, whatever it is, make a list of everything you’re doing, and then start putting it into two categories, the top 20% of most important things, and then the bottom 80%. Dr. Hardy said to keep people in your life who will defend us against the 80%, because you’re going to find reasons to justify things that you don’t really want to do. Who in your life is pushing you for your greatness and to be great? This is the biggest reason why I think business mentorship programs are so important. It’s why I always have a mentor, and why you really should consider having a mentor too. That’s the job of our coach and our fellow community members when we join. It’s to help defend us against the 80%, keep us moving to the 20%, toward our goals.

So my action step for you, my friend, is to make a list of all those things seriously, and look at which ones are serving you and which ones aren’t. This one action can make your life better, and it can take you from little baby growth with a lot of overwhelm and a lot more work to way more free time in your life and things coming so much easier. You can make it easier or you can make it hard.

The third thing is Dr. Hardy said, “Lessons are repeated until they are learned.” I really want you to hear that now at the beginning of the year. I would love you to take and ask yourself, what lessons did I learn last year that I don’t want to learn again? For example, if your business isn’t where you want to be, trying to grind it out on your own or listening to people in your life who aren’t running profitable photography businesses might be lessons that you didn’t quite learn in the past. How many years have you been taking advice from someone who shouldn’t be giving you advice? How often have you been copying other photographers and doing things like brutally painful mini sessions? They don’t work. Learn the lesson.

Instead of repeating these actions, ask yourself, what are the actions you can take so you don’t have to end your year with the same disappointments because you didn’t learn the lessons that you were meant to learn from last year. Get the lesson and then move on. I’ve had to learn a lot of hard lessons that were painful, but I’m a better person because of them, and I make different decisions because of them.

I hope today has inspired you. If you want two 10x instead of 2x, make your goals using your future self as a filter, get rid of the 80% unwanted and focus on the 20% wanted, and learn the lessons the first time. There’s no such thing as failing. Your future self will thank you for the decisions you make today.

Download the Episode Transcript Here

Working photographer, coach, mama, and wife. Whether you’re looking to take your photography business full-time or simply make good money on a very part-time basis so you can contribute to your family financially and be your best self, we’ve got something for you.

I’m Sarah Petty

Hey, there!