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A "savage" mindset in business life

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StefanoMacagnino

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Hi all,
I've always appreciated Kobe Bryant,and particularly his mindset:that savage determination in every match. Also Michael Jordan's mindset was very similar,with a competitive determination described as "psychopathic". These are a little bit extreme examples but the concept is :is it possible to develop a similar "ferocious" mindset in the entrepreneurial life ? And how is it possible ?
 

Kevin88660

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Hi all,
I've always appreciated Kobe Bryant,and particularly his mindset:that savage determination in every match. Also Michael Jordan's mindset was very similar,with a competitive determination described as "psychopathic". These are a little bit extreme examples but the concept is :is it possible to develop a similar "ferocious" mindset in the entrepreneurial life ? And how is it possible ?
Not uncommon in entrepreneurship.

I heard that many silicon valley entrepreneurs operate on 3-4 hours of sleep meanwhile taking modafinils and who knows what else.
 
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robertwills

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Hi all,
I've always appreciated Kobe Bryant,and particularly his mindset:that savage determination in every match. Also Michael Jordan's mindset was very similar,with a competitive determination described as "psychopathic". These are a little bit extreme examples but the concept is :is it possible to develop a similar "ferocious" mindset in the entrepreneurial life ? And how is it possible ?
Kobe was "into" basketball very deeply. He liked even the smell of a basketball. So if you're into your business you have a much greater likelihood of succeeding. I would even say you would definitely succeed. I don't think you need to be ferocious or anything like that; just be really into what your doing.
 

Johnny boy

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You don't 'wish' to be that way. It isn't sold in a seminar, a retreat, or a book.

Some people just have ice in their veins and don't give a single f*ck about anything else other than their goal. And some people don't.

What's nice is that you don't have to 'qualify' for it. Nobody else can give it to you or withhold it from you. It's the easiest thing in the world to have because it's in your own mind and you give it to yourself.

It's purely between you and the man in the mirror. I'd say the vast majority of men have no idea what it is and never will. They're just too domesticated.

I said nobody can give it or take it away from you, but a good way to cultivate ferociousness, masculinity and obsessive competitive focus is to stay far away from the typical communities that try to beat it out of people. Places like schools and universities, low level corporate environments, almost any 9-5 job. You see the people that go through those places and come out the other side become self-hating, watered-down pansies.
 

SteveO

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Hi all,
I've always appreciated Kobe Bryant,and particularly his mindset:that savage determination in every match. Also Michael Jordan's mindset was very similar,with a competitive determination described as "psychopathic". These are a little bit extreme examples but the concept is :is it possible to develop a similar "ferocious" mindset in the entrepreneurial life ? And how is it possible ?
I do believe that I am the same way. Been told that many times. Business, sports, my yard to a lesser extent...

People seem to think that I am a pleasant or nice guy until we have issues.

Many years ago I worked at a very large company. I had only been there a couple months. One of my co-workers and I had a conversation about competition. She was implying that I made everyone look bad with the speed and lack of rework on my jobs. I told her that competition is a way of life and she needed to get used to it.

Now I was relatively new and was working in a production department. All the assemblies had time standards that were tracked with each work order.

I was consistently way below the times. Even cutting many in half. They had processes in place that had to be followed. I sent change orders in frequently to change the assembly process on setup, methods, tools used, and even on parts that may give us issues.

This caught the attention of the production manager. He came to talk to me in the production area. It turned into an argument when I suggested that they give us more leeway to do our jobs. The conversation started pleasant enough but turned rapidly when I did not agree with his strict adherence.

My stint in this department was short lived as I began a rapid ascent up the ranks.

I transferred into another department laying out printed circuit boards. It was a complicated job. There was a software program that had many checks in place to minimize errors. The worst case scenario was when we would order boards and there were errors on them rendering them unusable. Sometimes we could manually fix the boards so the R&D engineers could use them while we fixed the problem and ordered new boards.

I told the boss that I could fix that. He laughed because I was so new. The other 7 people in the group had each been there for years. He gave me a chance to do this but it was stepping on the toes of the programmer that worked this department. I did not really have much for programming skills at the time. But, I tore into this system and reworked a lot of it. There were lots of tools available in the system but they were not all being used. I had to rearrange and reassign sections to do what I wanted.

It worked great and I got a lot of attention for this. Some positive and some negative. A lot of praise from our customers and management.

They moved me into the programmer's position even though I didn't really know how to program. They figured I could learn the job.

I feel like these examples tie in to your post. Not sure if this is teachable or not.
 
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You don't 'wish' to be that way. It isn't sold in a seminar, a retreat, or a book.

Some people just have ice in their veins and don't give a single f*ck about anything else other than their goal. And some people don't.

What's nice is that you don't have to 'qualify' for it. Nobody else can give it to you or withhold it from you. It's the easiest thing in the world to have because it's in your own mind and you give it to yourself.

It's purely between you and the man in the mirror. I'd say the vast majority of men have no idea what it is and never will. They're just too domesticated.

I said nobody can give it or take it away from you, but a good way to cultivate ferociousness, masculinity and obsessive competitive focus is to stay far away from the typical communities that try to beat it out of people. Places like schools and universities, low level corporate environments, almost any 9-5 job. You see the people that go through those places and come out the other side become self-hating, watered-down pansies.
Your way of expressing this always gives me a laugh. :rofl: I agree, but I've started reading this style of post with the "honey badger don't give a ____" voice.

The 'system' produces mice. Or at the very least, it is designed to reinforce mouse-ness and create obedient tax slaves at the low-mid productivity level, as well as hyper-consuming debt slaves. It's a pretty insidious combo, because it makes people rack up decades of debt that they can only pay off slowly at their low earning levels.

At the same time, a lot of people seem naturally inclined to just go with this idea. They're basically inert, having zero natural productivity, and a tendency to consume. They want things, but they don't want to make anything. If you turn on a television, they'll be entertained for a while, until it's time to grab another bag of chips and briefly become jealous and angry over some show about millionaires. They'll forget about that jealousy soon enough though, because their attention span has atrophied due to never working on a project for more than a few minutes.

I think a lot of people are missing a cultural ethic that is harder to get the older and more habituated you get. The idea that producing something, actually making things happen, is what makes life good. Most people are focused on what they can get, preferably for free. Successful people are more focused on what they can accomplish.
 

StefanoMacagnino

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I agree with you in some things: today's society lacks a certain cultural ethics, which is increasingly atrophied by the many institutions such as schools, universities, jobs that support "THE SCRIPT".
Clearly these are two "extreme" examples, with an extreme competitiveness that sometimes resulted in bullying, and I do not think it is useful to apply in entrepreneurship (for example, an entrepreneur would never give a punch to one of his employees just because he was wrong to do his job), but what interests me is just this absurd desire to pursue their goals.
Surely there are people who are born with these characteristics, but remember that 50% is the result of genetics, and the remaining 50% can be modeled.
 

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I've built a now $6M a year business, from scratch over last 15 years.
Grown every year.
I don't work in the day to day. Been to the office 2-3 times in the last year.
Not rich (yet), but, I'm happy with where I am. Business keeps growing.

Why do I say that?

I have absolutely none of that killer instinct stuff.
Nor do I care to.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, I'm soft and I have lots of emotions.
I've cried at work (I'm a dude)
My job is to take care of the customer and make them very happy to buy from us.

The rest takes care of itself.

--
I visited 51 countries in the last 2 years and met the love of my life on a train.
The best things have happened to me by being open, honest and vulnerable. Emotional.
Not closed and focused on some dollar objective.

I'm in this for the journey, not some arbitrary destination.

Take care of your customers and your people, they will take care of you.
The *last* think I would ever want to be in business, is ruthless, callous or have ice water in my veins.

Sounds soulless, and relatively pointless.
 

Ronak

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I've built a now $6M a year business, from scratch over last 15 years.
Grown every year.
I don't work in the day to day. Been to the office 2-3 times in the last year.
Not rich (yet), but, I'm happy with where I am. Business keeps growing.

Why do I say that?

I have absolutely none of that killer instinct stuff.
Nor do I care to.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, I'm soft and I have lots of emotions.
I've cried at work (I'm a dude)
My job is to take care of the customer and make them very happy to buy from us.

The rest takes care of itself.

--
I visited 51 countries in the last 2 years and met the love of my life on a train.
The best things have happened to me by being open, honest and vulnerable. Emotional.
Not closed and focused on some dollar objective.

I'm in this for the journey, not some arbitrary destination.

Take care of your customers and your people, they will take care of you.
The *last* think I would ever want to be in business, is ruthless, callous or have ice water in my veins.

Sounds soulless, and relatively pointless.

Just shows that's there are many "types" that can be successful, there is no single personality. Common thread: bring value to the marketplace.

I would say though, the biggest enemy is ourselves. Everyone needs to overcome that inner critic at some point; to leave their comfort zone, and that, I believe, requires inner strength. Call it killer instinct, or whatever you like, but it is the hardest enemy of them all, because it's disguised as you. As for external "enemies", those are always around. You can still be a nice guy and have the desire to win.
 

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I'm the nice type. Probably too nice at times. I give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. Being nice and helpful is compatible with business success. Being unnecessarily rude or confrontational is actually more of a hindrance than being "too" nice, up to a limit.

Pleasantness is also compatible with "killer instinct," or whatever we want to call it, in the metaphorical sense. I am ruthless in the pursuit of goals, but it's not friends and neighbors taking the damage. Many incompatible inner selves, many unworthy products and services, and many inferior futures, are mercilessly sacrificed. Possibly one or two enemies too, but they're jerks who deserve it.

How else can you get anywhere? You can't just give into laziness and never get around to building a business. Or shy away from risk because it's easier to watch "millionaire house buying divas season 30" on TV. Or accept garbage because you don't want to tell someone their work is sloppy (or hire them again to make more slop). Or shelter thieves and layabouts.

So externally, I'm polite, kind, helpful, gentlemanly, focused on whatever I think is important right now (typically a business/product/service/invention I'm developing). Internally, and when evaluating what my businesses are doing, I routinely make tough decisions.

That said, I know from experience there are situations where we absolutely need "ice in our veins," or maybe hellfire, but at any rate, you can't just be nice all the time. I've had to fire embezzlers, challenge regulators, assert rights that you would think are assumed, and put up enough of a fight, or the threat of one, to make bad people leave me alone. And I've seen people who thought those things were too hard, or that the forces pitted against them were too powerful, and they folded up and went out of business.

So you don't have to broadcast your grit, necessarily. But when when someone or something comes along that threatens your business (or you personally, your family, etc), it has to be there. If it's not, the result can't be good.
 

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Hi all,
I've always appreciated Kobe Bryant,and particularly his mindset:that savage determination in every match. Also Michael Jordan's mindset was very similar,with a competitive determination described as "psychopathic". These are a little bit extreme examples but the concept is :is it possible to develop a similar "ferocious" mindset in the entrepreneurial life ? And how is it possible ?

Is it possible to develop psychopathic mindset or ferociousness? Two are different.

For example, many successful business leaders were/are sociopaths. It doesn’t hurt to feel no emotion and just take. Like a psycho Lol.

But it sounds like you are talking about single minded dogged ferociusly competitive mindset. Am I right? I am imagining David Goggins with his savage attitude to getting shit done.

Yes, you can develop that. Read a book: “Can’t Hurt Me” by said David Goggins - his story is proof that we are capable of developing and achieving a lot more than we can imagine in our heads. And it’s a great f*cking book!

I am a hyper competitive person, always have been, and I am fine with pain, suffering to achieve my goals in education, business, endurance races etc. But here is the irony, it’s when I relaxed a little (usually from burnout) I somehow accomplished more! Made more money, did better in races etc. Sometimes I wonder if having a “savage” mindset in business is all it’s cracked out to be. Or if being more mindful can lead to even better results. Alas, how many times does a zebra change her stripes?
 

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Is it possible to develop psychopathic mindset or ferociousness? Two are different.

For example, many successful business leaders were/are sociopaths. It doesn’t hurt to feel no emotion and just take. Like a psycho Lol.

But it sounds like you are talking about single minded dogged ferociusly competitive mindset. Am I right? I am imagining David Goggins with his savage attitude to getting shit done.

Yes, you can develop that. Read a book: “Can’t Hurt Me” by said David Goggins - his story is proof that we are capable of developing and achieving a lot more than we can imagine in our heads. And it’s a great f*cking book!

I am a hyper competitive person, always have been, and I am fine with pain, suffering to achieve my goals in education, business, endurance races etc. But here is the irony, it’s when I relaxed a little (usually from burnout) I somehow accomplished more! Made more money, did better in races etc. Sometimes I wonder if having a “savage” mindset in business is all it’s cracked out to be. Or if being more mindful can lead to even better results. Alas, how many times does a zebra change her stripes?
A very interesting topic since you mentioned burnout is how Goggins managed to avoid it. It sounds like he’s had times in his life where he pushed himself to the max day after day for months on end… how did he not burn out? How did he keep up the drive?
 

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A very interesting topic since you mentioned burnout is how Goggins managed to avoid it. It sounds like he’s had times in his life where he pushed himself to the max day after day for months on end… how did he not burn out? How did he keep up the drive?
He did burn himself out quite a few times...in his book, he mentioned ending marathons while pissing blood. And towards the end of the book, he was closed to collapsing out of the blue. Thankfully, he remembered some stretching advice from an old SEAL trainer, Joe Hippensteel...which helped him recover better to this day.

When they talked about it later, Joe said:
“What was happening to you is an extreme case of what happens to 90 percent of the population,”

“Your muscles were so locked up that your blood wasn’t circulating very well. They were like a frozen steak. You can’t inject blood into a frozen steak, and that’s why you were shutting down.”

So I guess the mind can work wonders, but gotta care for the body too.
 

Antifragile

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A very interesting topic since you mentioned burnout is how Goggins managed to avoid it. It sounds like he’s had times in his life where he pushed himself to the max day after day for months on end… how did he not burn out? How did he keep up the drive?
Like @ZF Lee said, Goggins did “burn out”, with just a shut down of his body. He almost died a few times.

But my point was that even having a hard goal and driving towards it may not be optimal. I’m not talking about lazy a$$ on a couch “I’m thinking successful I’m about to win a lotto” law of attraction bullshit. I’m talking about real entrepreneurs, real results and optimal strategy. It may not be optimal to keep driving on redline of your engine all the time.

for example, I tied up a property and discovered that I can’t develop the site. Called the planner, learned a lot about what city wants, talked to consultants and learned about soils, detention pond requirements. Bottom line - lots of problems to solve. Hard driving would have been to go hard after solving these. I didn’t have the time and with family and growing business I had to pause for a week and come back to this site. After having “slept on it” for a week most would drop it. But something at the back of my mind was nagging me. So I waited another two weeks … and my broker brought me a buyer to flip the site, someone who wanted to use it as-is and my problems don’t apply to him. He paid me $600k to get my contract. Easiest money I ever made and for maybe 8 hours of work.

Again, not talking about lazy a$$ do nothing. Just saying there is another side to being 100% savage all the time and that other side is harder to explain, yet it works.

To the OP - even if you can develop that type of attitude, savage, do you want it? Is it the best for you? Best for your goals and to achieve your results?
 

Black_Dragon43

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He did burn himself out quite a few times...in his book, he mentioned ending marathons while pissing blood. And towards the end of the book, he was closed to collapsing out of the blue. Thankfully, he remembered some stretching advice from an old SEAL trainer, Joe Hippensteel...which helped him recover better to this day.
Yeah, I remember! Physically, yes, he did, however, mentally he seems to have never burned himself out.

Here’s a bit about mental/emotional burnout: How to Watch for Signs of Burnout in Your Life

It’s the condition when you feel exhausted (ie, you can’t push anymore), doubt yourself, and HATE what you’re doing.

Burnout of the kind I’m talking about isn’t physical. Physically you can keep going, but mentally you can’t. If you push yourself too hard for a long period of time, most people will experience it. It happened to me, especially with frustrating long-term tasks.

Generally when we talk about burnout it’s about the mental kind, since physically, unless we’re Goggins, we almost never push ourselves to our real limits.
 

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