1 Big Idea to Think About

  • The systems that you have designed in your life will determine if you are able to make a 10X jump and reach your highest point of contribution. 

2 Ways You Can Apply This

  • Write down your motivation for why you do the things you do.
  • List one thing you could systemize in your life that will help you achieve one of your goals effortlessly. 

3 Questions to Ask

  • What goals do I most want to achieve?
  • Why do I want to achieve them?
  • How can I design a system or systems to help me achieve these goals?

Key Moments From the Show 

  • Making the quantum leap (6:16)
  • How you can accelerate your evolution (13:16)
  • How your life reveals itself over time (18:38)
  • Finding the right people to help you make the quantum leap (22:16)
  • The undisciplined pursuit of opportunity vs. the disciplined pursuit of entrepreneurship (30:16)
  • The crucial first step: Learning about yourself (31:44)
  • How systems design your life (35:51)
  • Designing an operating system for your life (39:59)
  • Fixing the misaligned systems in your life (43:54)

Links and Resources You’ll Love from the Episode

Connect with Rob Dyrdek

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Greg McKeown:

Welcome. I’m your host, Greg McKeown. And I am the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Effortless and Essentialism. And I’m here with you on this journey to learn how to live at our highest point of contribution.

Is It possible to be a highly successful entrepreneur and to live a rewarding personal life?

Could You achieve at a far higher level, even a 10 X level, in terms of quality and quantity of results, but without burning out?

For context, I was just talking about this with Dr. Benjamin Hardy about the idea of people who make these kinds of 10 X transitions. The idea that 10 X is, in fact, easier than 2X thinking because we have to actually change the way we work the way we think, rather than just to try to do more of what already doing, as we were talking about that I mentioned to him, Rob Dyrdek. And as soon as I did, he said, yes, this sounds like a 10 X person. This is the kind of person I’d like to interview. And that put in my mind that I ought to reach out to Rob Dyrdek and have him back on this podcast, which I did. And that’s who we’re going to be talking with today. Robert Stanley Dyrdek is many things. He’s an entrepreneur, an actor-producer, a reality TV personality, a former professional skateboarder. He’s possibly best known for his reality shows Rob and Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and Ridiculousness.

But none of that does it justice. Every time I talk to Rob Dyrdek, I feel like I’m seeing a powerful version of what Essentialism plus Effortless can do for a person. And that’s not to say that you or I need to be like Rob Dyrdek in the particular ways he’s applied it, but it helps me to have a sense of what is possible. In this part one conversation, I ask Rob specifically about the 10 X business transitions that he’s gone through and what he’s learned through the process, and how he’s been able to do that. Not just once, as it turns out, but multiple times. By the end of this episode, you will be able to lead better, whether you are the CEO or the CEO of your own life. Let’s begin. 

Remember to teach the ideas in this podcast to someone else within 24 to 48 hours of listening. 

I wonder if you could just start us out at the beginning and say, okay, how did you make the first 10 X shift the second? And then the third, how does that sound?

Rob Dyrdek:

You know, I like to refer to the 10 X shift as like the quantum leap, right? Yes. Like where, how do you end up on another level in a strategic but rapid pace? Right? And, and I think that’s kind of what happened to me. Like, yes, I pursued professional skateboarding, but then boom, once you became a professional skateboarder, now you’re making money. You don’t need to get a job. You don’t go to school anymore. You don’t, you’re not going to go to college. You’re now traveling the world. It’s like, boom, you just automatically jumped to this entirely new level. And then in those early stages, then got a signature shoe, right? Like, who would’ve thought the relationship that I had with my clothing sponsor would’ve led to a signature shoe that boom, now I’m making, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars a year from 50, 60 thousand a year.

Boom, you go to this, this other level, and then I’m starting different businesses and learning businesses, but I’m not creating a jump from it. I have. I eventually created the next big jump when I write a skit for that skate shoe video because I was concerned that my performance wasn’t going to be strong enough. So I created something funny, and that turned into a television show. Now, boom. Now you really quantum leap because now you have this entirely deeper level of notoriety. And, of course, since I was a natural-born entrepreneur, I was starting companies and doing brand deals through this entire process. But it was only when I went through, you know, scaling sort of my entertainment side and professional skateboarding side intertwined. And when I got to that private equity group, that was like, oh, we’re going to do a big deal for everything that you do. Then they showed me that I don’t really have a big business or understand business. That I’m actually just a really driven guy. That’s like spending as much as he is making and doing it on these big projects. That forced me to then educate myself. And then, of course, I built and sold a company for $190 million that then immediately takes me to this entirely different trajectory. Right? And that’s almost the cycle of all of those together. That led it. Right.

Greg McKeown:

Bring me back to that conversation you had. The investors come along. They see all these different separate brands you’ve created, all these different projects. They believe in you. They’re ready to write you a life-changing sum. You know, here’s the check. This will change everything. And as they studied the businesses, they came back to you, if I remember right, you correct me where I’m wrong. They said, look, the problem is, it’s just you like you. That’s it. That there isn’t really a separate standalone residual businesses that operate and are investible. And so what they offered to you, which you rejected, was, look, we’ll just invest in you, but we get 50% of anything you go on and create. Something like that. Tell me more about that moment.

Rob Dyrdek:

Yeah. And, again, it’s thinking about it from an emotional standpoint. I fancied myself as like the professional athlete, entertainer, business guy, like a super special one of one individual. Of course, these guys recognize that are going to help turn me into the billionaire I believe I’m, I’m meant to become. And so when they’re ready to, and, and it was a cake and eat it to deal, Hey, we’re going to give you money to take that you can have for yourself. Then we’re going to invest in the companies. Then we’re going to help you grow and build this massive enterprise and turn this branded house of brands into a billion-dollar business. Only when they got into it. It, it really was like, yes, I owned a lot of brands, but the IP and the brands that I owned was, were much smaller.

And then the core of the income was tied to my endorsement deals, my television deals, all these things that led back to Rob Dyrdek as an individual. So the asset value was light. But then the problem was then I was spending as much as I was earning post-tax to keep this whole thing evolving and growing and building. And so now you’re looking at a single individual, and that becomes a high risk because now it’s television it’s is, is signature product contract. It’s like all of it ends up being a lot more risky. And that initial offer was valuing me at a hundred million, giving me 50 million for half of everything that I did for life. I got 30, 20 million went into the company. And I would’ve taken that in a heartbeat. That was it. Here we go. Of course, own half of me like, like, you know, it’s better to own half of a billion than all of a million, right?

However, you wanted to look at it. But when they came back, the offer was to loan me 7 million, put me on a $ 500,000-a-year salary. And then I had to pay them back at like a 12% interest rate. And then they still own the rights to give me more money at a valuation that they saw that they could determine at a later date and then own half of me for life. 

So essentially, like a deal with the devil. And, and again, it was a wake-up call, and a, a deeper understanding of you have so much to learn, and it created this, this extraordinary evolution that began and, and kept going and going and going. And a few years later, keep in mind from even at the original deal of give me the hundred million, and I take the 30 and the 20, the final price tag when those guys came back and just purchased my league, and my production company was 190 million. Right? 

So it’s the ultimate where you bet on yourself. You have so much to learn. You go through a rapid evolutionary state, fully focused, and you grow into the business person you thought you were. And then, as fate would have it, those, the same people that drove you to that are the same ones that basically gave you life-changing money for the only two things that you kept originally, that was way bigger than any deal, the original deal you would’ve done with them, where they would’ve owned you for half you for life. You know?

Greg McKeown:

So that idea of this sort of accelerated evolution, I’m curious about that. Like, what did you do? I know, because we talked about it previously, that there was, there was a woman that came along that you worked with, I don’t remember her name, but she just understood the rhythm of experience. That was where you’d got that language if I recall correctly. And she just helped you to really actually understand business, not level one, let’s call it linear business where you’re working, and you’re getting results, but how to actually create businesses that operate independently of you. And even then, to create a business that creates businesses, right? That’s a completely different way of thinking about results. It’s a, you know, I write in Effortless about linear results versus residual results. It seems like you learned how to create residual results. Talk to me about, well, how you went about learning or the person that came along to help mentor you through the process. Talk me through that.

Rob Dyrdek:

Yeah. And, and look, I think what I really had to discover initially is, okay, what are you doing and why? Right. Like, who are you? What do you want? Why do you want money? Why do you create businesses? Like what, what is any of this for in the first place? And then I think when…

Greg McKeown:

And what was it for you?

Rob Dyrdek:

Yeah, I think for me, like, ultimately, it was a sustainable way of life, right? That there was a certain way of living that, that, you know, allowed me to live in a more peaceful, a more fun, you know, dare I say, effortless existence by having money. Right? And so this is the ability to have, you know, staff and support and be able to travel first class, be able to stay, do the nicest things, like have the nicest house, have all the nicest things. I realized like this is the standard that I’ve created for myself and define that deeply. And, at the same time, it was like, I also wanted to know how and where I spent my time, right? What was the most balanced and best aspect that allowed me to thrive? And that’s kind of the initial framework that I began to build from.

And it’s that idea that we all want freedom from success. Right? And, again, that’s the whole thing about having success is, oh, you get to do what you want to do. But the problem is, as you know, is success can actually trap you, and you can be bound by your success. And it becomes way less freedom to have independently and entrepreneurially built your freedom that ultimately builds a cage around you, rather than that true freedom.

And that’s OK for some people because some people owning a business and controlling their time and still being very dedicated to their business is where they find the most energy of the most fulfillment. I realized early on through that personal assessment is I loved creating companies. I love going through the process of developing them, bringing them to market, but I don’t like running them day to day.

And that was like the big breakthrough moment for me that then gave me clarity on when I hired consultants and the different people to help me develop my system for building businesses that we built them, knowing that I would never want to operate them. That I would want to be in the creation stage, help strategize for ’em, and then we invest in them and then be the advisor then that informed how I built all the companies. Okay. Well, you got to make sure that you have a great leader that you can depend on. Right. And then that’s where I developed the whole idea of the do or dire leadership and the type of person. And I began to build my system based off of how much interaction that I wanted short term and long term and where I wanted to put my own energy, you know?

Greg McKeown:

Well, and that’s such a precise criteria for designing these businesses is, even knowing that it’s an option to even have that thought. I want to be able to build businesses that are completely independent of me so that I can remain in my sphere of highest contribution. So I can continue to be a creative and an entrepreneurial creator rather than a manager, rather than even a CEO in the traditional sense. Like, I want to outsource that. So it’s a very extreme empowerment model growing out of this clarity that you had about where do I want to play. Where’s my best position to be playing? And where do I not want to be? So you brought that into the design, as you got these mentors. Did they introduce you to that idea? Or were, was this you expressing what you’d learned? And they then just helped you to figure out how to do it.

Rob Dyrdek:

Now that I’ve been really putting process to, to all levels of creation and everything that I’m doing from life design to business design, to, you know, like my children’s lives. You know what I mean? The greatest thing that happens is as you’re working and ideating on building something, it reveals itself to you over time. You think you have an idea in the beginning, what it is, but the more you work on it and search for clarity, you begin to understand what it is you’re actually creating. And it gets more clear as you go. So I would say in the beginning, the struggle was, are you a branded house? Are you Rob Dyrdek brands, or are you a house of brands? Are you a venture firm that makes and invests in brands? Or are you the brand, right?

And then, because the problem was I was, my big asset was Street League Skateboarding. I built it, I operated it, I ran it. I was the face of it. Right? But it took up all this time and energy. And like when I looked at like that, it’s like, well, I don’t want that to be my thing. Like this is taking too. Like I can’t like, but it now everybody I’m completely connected to it. Right? It’s like then my production company and my television show, okay, well you have this company, but it solely relies on, on you at this point. So it was really messy for me to understand, and I had to pull things apart and get that clarity and then begin to apply it. Right? And that was through the process of bringing on these mentors and these consultants to help me develop the plan and let it reveal to me over time.

Now I apply that same process to how I build my life on a continual basis, and how I build companies on a continual basis. Every time I do something new and set a goal, I know that it’s just a fundamental framework that the first milestone is, is tactical and the most important to be believable in order to achieve the next four or five milestones. But I know that they are going to change and evolve as I learn more and grow into this goal rather than definitively understanding how this goal is going to go. But I do always believe that the end KPI result never really changes, right? Like it, it may fluctuate a little bit, but you have to know where the target is in the pathway to the target will shift depending on the process of you evolving and growing towards it. 

Greg McKeown:

How did you go about selecting just the advisors themselves? What was your process for that?

Rob Dyrdek:

It was one of the really interesting things about it. And I think we spoke about it before, but in, in my process, everybody that worked for me at the time was just like, there’s not somebody that can help you figure out all of this stuff. It’s not a thing. There’s not a business. There’s not a consultancy that helps a business guy figure out how to build businesses or how to build a personal brand, you know? And so I just couldn’t believe that. And so I set off on my own to just searching and Google searching keywords and all these different things. 

Greg McKeown:

What did, did you search for

Rob Dyrdek:

Business building processes and, you know, like business model creation for businesses like business process creation consultants. I was just like throwing like words at what I thought, you know, cause I knew in my mind I wanted to create a, a more consistent way of, of creating businesses. Right? But I didn’t fully understand what that was, but there were two people.

Greg McKeown:

Well, I want to hear those. Those two people, what I think is interesting is that there was nobody inside your business who was really thinking at that meta-level. And I think that’s a familiar problem for many CEOs. So small, medium, or even large corporations where they just go, I am just surviving. And everyone around me, even those people who are assigned to help me, are really also just surviving, waiting for the next assignment, trying to cope with all of the busyness. But if you want to break through to, you know, as you were saying, quantum leap, you’ve got to find people who can help you work on your business on your life, not just continue to help you deal with your current life. And so that was interesting that there just wasn’t anyone. So you have to do all these Google searches, and through that process, you find there’s a couple of people go tell me about them.

Rob Dyrdek:

But, let me say to that. You’re asking regular hard-working, experienced, dedicated employees to be something they’re not. They are not visionaries. You are the visionary, right? And the reality of it is when your whole business gets stuck, it is your responsibility to take the action above and beyond in order to push everything to the next level or push it out of being stuck as the leader of a company. 

I think a lot of people, you know, even to this day, man, I force, I force things forward and force change in portfolio companies and my core company when I see that, that it’s moving in a direction or stagnating or the current existing team that’s been in place, can’t realize the vision through a handful of discussions of talking about it because it’ll be so clear to me.

Everyone will repeat it back to me, super clear, and then we’ll go in and then come back with something not even in the ballpark, you know what I mean? Or a strategy that’s no, and, and I can’t, that’s not a product of bad hiring. These are really, really smart people that are in the right position. And it’s a product of like sometimes these really big moves or like harder to see ideas, you need to do the work to find the right people, the consultant, the right agency, whatever it may be to help shift it to that next level. And I continue to do that to this day. That’s not you know, I, don’t all aspects of sort of my continual evolution and how my business functions, man, I would say probably once or twice a year, I’ve got to go deep and, and find a solution to get to the next level that we have been stuck at up to that point. Right. But

Greg McKeown:

On that point, there’s an idea that comes to me pretty frequently in business, which is nobody’s coming to save you. And, sometimes, that’s just awful because those moments when you want to be saved are lonely moments. You know, that that suddenly you go, there is this challenge. There is this gap, one way or another, between what you see and what you would like to achieve. And maybe nobody’s asking you even to make that shift, but you know, you need to, you know, it has to happen to make a greater contribution, and nobody’s coming to save you. You have to be the one to at least take the next set of initiatives. In this case, for you, it was the Google searches. You’re looking for these people. You don’t even know exactly what to search for to find them, but you know, you can’t just look in your inner circle to be able to pull these people out. They’re already operating at the same level. They’re operating at one X at two X. So they, by definition, they can’t be the right people. And, and you do through this process of searching. You find some people.

Rob Dyrdek:

Both of which ended up changing my life. Right? And so now when I looked at, at, at both, I, I boiled it down to two consulting groups, right? And one was a much more dynamic and holistic approach to business as a whole, which, you know, completely and fully understood exactly my vision and how, and talked me through how he would go about the process of helping me discover it and ultimately building it. And then the other wrote a book called Start At The End, right? And a business book of, you know, decide what you want out of a business before you ever start the business. And that, that experience of reading that book at that time, I, although I did not end up hiring that group because they were a, a lot more, what I’d consider like singularly dimension dimensional as like build a business plan.

Here’s like your business plan, you take to investors like a much more business plan-focused type of consultancy. The book shifted everything in me. Where this idea of under like, make your target, especially in building a company super duper clear, like not like, oh, I’m going to build biodegradable sugar packs because it’s going to save the world. No, like I want to create a certain amount of money and a certain amount of time and make this impact like over this time, like you, it’s, all of it matters together. And then that sort of way of thinking then with this consultant who then now took me on this journey of, you know, really going deep and discovering like what business was, what I wanted to do in the business. And then, not only how everything I had to learn about business and how a business operates completely, because inside that, then I began to see all my blind spots.

Then it was like, man, here’s everything that you actually don’t know about business. You don’t understand the operational side or finance side at all. Right? And at the end of that, then now I finally had this combination of like, wow, you start at the end and designed the outcome that you want in a business. And now you look at a business not as, like a business and brand, you look at a business as its brand, it’s product, it’s media, its sales, it’s marketing, it’s operation, it’s finance, all bound together by leadership. And that is the beginning of the core engine of how every business is built and built to thrive. Then, you begin to look at the core economics of the business and does it have the ability to reach a clear customer and grow into the scale to reach the number that you’ve decided or the business you want to from the end. It all takes this incredibly confusing and kind of, I don’t know, crapshoot approach to entrepreneurialism that most people do that I did my whole life where you just start company after company, because you could because an opportunity presents itself might as well go for, I’m going to do this all at work.

This one didn’t work like it eliminated that and now brought simplicity on the far side of complexity to what it actually means to create something foundation the right way, to have a better chance at success. And now that changed everything. That means now every company I start has a real shock to be incredibly successful. And I have much more clarity on how to guide and advise it from an advisor standpoint because I’m not operating it because I already designed early on that I didn’t want to go deep into the dirt of the business and be in a position to be more of an advisor.

Greg McKeown:

Yeah. I’m trying to get the language for the contrast between those two approaches, and it’s something like the first is the undisciplined pursuit of opportunity.

Rob Dyrdek:


Greg McKeown:

Right? Where just the very fact that it’s an opportunity is almost sufficient reason for walking down that path. And so, because there’s this massive explosion of opportunities that you’re experiencing, you are going to end up with way too many things going, and if they’re successful enough, then they’ll produce more opportunities and items. So that’s one version, the undisciplined pursuit of opportunity. 

And I’m trying to get the right phrase for the other. It’s a disciplined pursuit of entrepreneurship, a disciplined pursuit of residual business. It’s something like that. It’s sort of bringing together Essentialism and Effortless into an entrepreneurial model so that you are not a slave to the opportunities. You are something like a master of the results. It’s more like that. And that’s what I think you’re describing. 

Having learned both from the book Start at the End but also from this other consultant that helped guide you. A question about that. What was the process that this consultant brought you on? What, did they start by asking you a series of questions? If so, what were those questions?

Rob Dyrdek:

Yeah, I mean, look, it was, you know, an extraordinary process because it really first really started with a deep personal dive. You know what I mean? It was like really beginning to understand myself. I’m you know, I, it was the first time I took a Myers-Brigg personality test, and then the test that he recommended I take is called insights and insights is this extraordinary test that basically, man, it’s so detailed about who you are and how you work and how you are to work with. And it finally gave me a 30,000-foot view of why I instinctually did not want to be an operator. Right? Like, and why I wanted to go from one thing to the next and why I had found the most energy in creating, and it really gave me insight into why and how I ended up creating so many different things.

Right? And, and so that’s where the process started was purely personal self-discovery. And then that, that informed what level of involvement I wanted to be in it. And it was like, it really made it clear. I didn’t want to be a house of brands, and I didn’t want to be a branded house. I wanted to be a branded house of brands. Yeah. You know, like I didn’t want to be in a book of either of them. I can do both. I want, but I need to just create the guidelines. So when it’s me doing it myself, there’s a certain profile for it. And a certain still amount of energy and time I’m willing to dedicate it to, and then everything else I can promote, but it lives on its own without me. Right. Like, that’s really what I kind of discovered in there.

And then look, we went through every single aspect of a business, every aspect of it, and listed out every single thing that needed to be considered when you built a company beginning to end all the way to acquisition. And that’s really an exercise that he had never done before. And, and that really, really began to give me the clarity. You could almost consider that more at less, less pure tactical tools to take away, even though they created those for me and more, this, this almost like, you know, I paid a few hundred thousand dollars, and it took a year to get to go through this process. And it was basically like going through a rapid business school. But instead, you’re learning every detail about the beginning of creating a business all the way to selling it. So you now have the general knowledge to begin to build your foundation to all the things that you must learn and get better at to master curating entrepreneurs’ ideas and bringing them to market, you know?

Greg McKeown:

Yeah. I think it’s so interesting. Just coming back for a second to this idea of that, the first thing you are doing is actually learning about you. And it sounds to me that that life had moved so quickly and, and had been so successful that you perhaps weren’t, as self-aware, as you could have been, you’re just so busy being you and doing it and seeing effects and, and reacting to that opportunity. And, and when this, you start working with this consultant, you go, oh, right. I’m this kind of person, and therefore I’m going to be really hard to work within these ways. And I’m really always going to hate doing this stuff over here. Like, I’m just never going to be great at that. So let’s, let’s not pretend that that’s not what it is. Let’s build a thorough system to take advantage of the strengths and make those weaknesses irrelevant because I’ve built not just a complimentary team but a complimentary business-making machine. 

Rob Dyrdek:

Think about this, though. If, if that’s at the core, then simultaneously, I designed my life right around it and integrated it into one because I wasn’t looking at it as, like, this is what I want to do with this business and career. I was looking at this business as, how is this business going to fit into my life design? Right. That’s really what, like, was revealed to me in that process. Because when you start making decisions about, you know, what gives you energy and what you love doing and how you like working, interacting in a business, and how much do you want to work? You’re actually designing your life. At the same time, because you don’t want to be an operator, meaning you don’t want to get caught in working 18-hour days to run this business for the rest of the time. You want the flexibility to continue on and do your entertainment stuff, but then you, then you discover and go deeper on, okay, well, why are you creating this money?

Like, why do you want to make money? Oh, well, I need to, I want to, you know, maintain this certain lifestyle. And I have this identity that I’ve created, that I, that I want to be sustainable. Well, okay. You want to create an engine that can generate wealth, but you also want to path to sustainability, and you want to do it in a balanced way. So you designed the way you created your business, that creates businesses around your time. Then you created a financial strategy where you would invest in passive income from real estate to balance out your venture high risk and your highly taxed, ordinary income as a piece of talent. And then you built a plan to grow all of them together.

And that’s the difference. You know what I mean?

Greg McKeown:

I love this and, and it’s, we shouldn’t assume it. In the previous conversation that you and I had on the podcast, we went in-depth about that system. But for people that haven’t heard it or even people that didn’t have forgotten about it, this is really important. What you just said, that it, in fact, I just sort of drew this, these two concentric circles that, that the business system we’re talking about is, is clearly the second layer that the first layer was life system. What do you really want? What kind of lifestyle are you trying to produce? What relationships do you want? What is the way you want to spend your time? How do you want that to be? And if you don’t get clear about that, you can’t produce it. But beyond that, if you don’t create a system that produces it when you are not thinking consciously about it, then you’re going to end up, especially if you are successful, with a life that comes secondary, with health that is secondary, that relationships that are strained, time that is not your own out of control.

And this is, I think, I do think it’s sort of the genius of, of how, what you’ve constructed when you sent me the Rhythm of Existence document, like almost a 50-page document with so much precision about how do I spend my time and exactly when and how do all the people that I’m now developing into my business, all this, the extended team, what is their role to make sure that life works and that I don’t end up as so many people do, creating a system that actually makes it harder and harder to live the life I actually want. And so I love that you’re distinguishing that. Give us, if you can, a kind of, let’s say, just a, even a reader’s digest version of what that Rhythm of Existence document is. So that people that aren’t familiar with it can understand that,

Rob Dyrdek:

You know, really, it’s essentially an operating system for my life.

Greg McKeown:

An operating system for your life. 

I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I want to underscore it before we get further. 

When I ask people, I just, I just taught the group in Brazil, 1200 leaders in Brazil, followed by 150 leaders in Australia back to back two days. And I asked both groups, these are senior leaders. And I said, who here today spent 10 minutes making a list of what matters to you and put it in priority order before you hit your day? Who did that? Between all of those people, I would say that less than ten people who had done it. That’s shocking to me. I sense it’s not because I know that’s what happens, but I’m trying to draw a contrast between that. Not ten people made a simple list, and you are saying, well, what my Rhythm of Existence document is, is an operating system for my life. That’s beyond the to-do list. That’s beyond, you know, planning processes. It is an operating system for my life. Tell me, tell us more.

Rob Dyrdek:

And think about it. It’s like you are using this system to design and automate as much as you can so that you can drive it to optimization because you only have a certain amount of time and energy that you can exchange through everything in your life. And the problem is you need to design it in a balanced way that you’re exchanging energy across all aspects that so of your life. So you create harmony, right? Where everybody’s, why is a harmonious high-quality existence? We just want to feel balanced and happy, and fulfilled. Every day, we wake up living with intention, doing things that bring us energy that are leading towards our bigger purpose, whatever that may be. And so, for me, my operating system almost becomes the framework for it, turning all of the things that I need to be harmonious in life into quantifiable numbers and systems that are repeatable, that turn into habits that turn into intuitiveness, that turn into just a natural way of living, right?

And then, as you get to that level of optimization, now it’s a nuanced game. Now you’re going deeper and deeper and adding more and more tools and, and getting more and more insight, adding more and more systems and solutions that are allowing you to create a higher and higher output with, with lower and lower effort. I will shoot 252 episodes of television, 52 podcasts. I have five core companies that I play a deep advisory role in, sold a company for $190 million and, did the biggest deal of my television career, manage all of my personal assets in my family office. And I’m doing all of that with about 22% of my time. This year, the most success, the most money, and the most I have achieved in my life will be done working with the least amount of time that I have worked in the last, the last three years since I’ve been tracking every single moment. And that’s where you get where your system now has gotten to an op optimization level, and everything is automated and optimized and, and your whole, you float through life because your, your balance and your existence now is harmonious. And, above all, it’s effortless. It’s effortless. You’re not  continually trying because everything is just flowing until it’s disrupted, and you’ve got to be adaptive, but it’s much smoother at this level.

Greg McKeown:

Yes. Everything you’re saying. Yes. And what you’re describing is the experience of a system that’s in sync with you and the results you’re trying to create that, that painful, stressful frenetic, frantic, exhausted, overwhelmed, that existence is where you are fighting with the system of your life, that the system is actually materially misaligned with you. And, of course, we’ve all had the experience. You go to the store, and you, you’ve got, you know, you get the cart, and the wheels are out of alignment, and everything’s hard. And it is just so painful to make even an inch of progress. But I think that’s what many people’s lives are, and people listening to this can test it simply by saying, are you receiving in your life repeated results that you don’t want? You know, if you, if you are repeatedly getting results that are, are contrary to what you, your values to your, to what you’re trying to experience in life, then your system’s wrong.

The results you’re getting are perfectly aligned with your current system. And so if those are at odds, what you want with what you’re getting, change the system. It’s not just enough to change your willpower, no way. Then you just get linear results for just a little while. It’s this residual system. And to hear you articulate it, Rob, is, to me, so liberating because I believe that’s why I wrote Effortless, that everything changes. The second you shift from linear result, one to one ratio, I’ve got to show up and make this thing happen versus residual results. You put the effort in, but you put it into creating the system that then supports you. And you want that to work. As you just said, I love it. 22% of your time. You want it to work like that so that you can deal with the next disruption.

Of course, there’ll be a disruption, but you have the buffer to be able to handle that and the space to be able to even consider what that next 10X play will be. And you can’t even consider it, never mind, execute on that. If your system is so misaligned and it’s just stressful to, you know, to do anything, to find your keys is hard to be able to, you know, to even work out what you’re supposed to be doing today is hard. And every day, you’re trying to design what your schedule should be from scratch. When you live like that, you cannot get ahead in the way that you are describing. Your thoughts.

Rob Dyrdek:

Here’s a bigger, even bigger concept to that. You can’t change one part of the system without changing it all. You know, it is just the reality of, like, your life is a series of interconnected systems, right? And it is your work, your career, your money, your health, your mental health, your relationships, and your leisure time. All of these things like need harmony for you to feel balanced in your system to be working together, right? So if you don’t design your time, first and foremost, to begin to develop that harmony. And then when you have that time, how much effort is in there? You either got to create another system inside that, or you got to hire somebody to do it, to continue to keep harmony. You’ve got to now hire a financial advisor or create a goal. Okay? If I get to this money and save this amount of money, like, boy, that’s going to be perfect for me.

Now, if you get there, now you have financial harmony. Now, if something hits you, it’s, it’s not the camel that breaks the back. If something happens on your, your, your chase of the 10 X dream, but you already have money saved, and you have a financial strategy, you’re super healthy because you dedicated the time and gamified working out and meditating and all these things, and you’re eating right. And now you got all that. And then you, you dedicated the right time and your time design with your family and your wife. So there’s never any push and pull about you working too much. And now you have clear goals inside why you’re even doing the current work that you’re doing because it’s going to lead to your financial needs. That’ll ultimately lead to balancing your time. And the only way that you can ultimately maximize that is to continue to stay on top of your health and your energy.

And the only way your health and energy is strong is if your relationship with your wife is strong. And the only way that that is, if she can, has insight to the progress that you’re growing. It all is connected. And then you get to design that system any way you want. And then here’s where it becomes a super system where it’s all pointed in the same direction. Right? Like it is all working together, heading into a goal. And why I texted you when you texted me the other day, ”How you doing?” 

I said, I’m perpetually evolving into my limitless potential, right? And sort of where I am at this state because I have like grown and expanded into life in this beautifully harmonious, balanced way, mastering time, energy, and clarity on a continual basis that I now keep pushing further and can see further into what my potential can be. And I’m systematically growing towards it and evolving towards it on a daily basis. That is when the system is at the highest level of optimization. And now you are living in a perpetual state of evolution as a way of life.

Greg McKeown:

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