Several years ago, I met a man in Houston, Texas who made it his life’s passion to study success (in all aspects – personal, professional, spiritual, etc., including this idea of reverse thinking).
His name is John.
He shared that as a result of his discoveries, he generated between $50,000-$100,000 every single day in new wealth. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. You could say that his research has paid off…
Do the math. That’s a lot of money.
He also happens to own 8 homes all around the world, one of them in Trump Towers.
(I can practically hear my left-leaning friends cringe at the mention of Trump. Don’t worry, it’s not about politics AT ALL.)
John said that one morning (quite a few years ago), he jumped in the elevator to head down to the main level. Before he knew it, Donald Trump got in the elevator with his entourage of business professionals, all surrounding him and taking orders.
This is when Trump was still a businessman, not a politician.
He wanted to develop a piece of property along the riverside in New York City.
Most people would start a project like this by saying things like:
“Okay, first we need to meet with the architects to draw up a schematic of what we want to do. Then we need to go to the planning board and pull permits. We need to get permission to dig test pits. Then we need to get bids from all the subcontractors…”
But surprisingly, that’s not the approach Trump took.
Rather than making a list of everything that he needed to get done to accomplish the project, the first thing he did was make a list of everything that would STOP him from accomplishing his project.
In fact, Trump ordered his entourage to make a list of every reason that would prevent him from developing the land – then, once that list was on paper, to create a strategy and contingency plan around solving each roadblock.
In other words, Trump figured:
By removing any obstacles stopping you from being successful – your chances of success will skyrocket.
…A fascinating and unconventional approach!
Curious if other business tycoons approached projects this way, John flew out to one of his other homes, one shared by centi-millionaires and billionaires. It’s on a cruise ship… And each “homeowner” has a condo on this boat that travels the world.
During breakfast one morning, John shared his story about Trump.
Lo and behold, the others agreed it was this approach of “reverse thinking” that has been instrumental to their long-term success.
…But John wasn’t the first one to share this philosophy with me.
Ever hear of the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad?
It’s a story about two different dads and their approach to life and success. It’s a fictional story, and the “rich dad” is supposedly modeled after two people: Marshall Thurber and Keith Cunningham.
Both people I know well.
One evening, my wife and I were having dinner with Keith, and he told us that one of the most powerful questions he ever asks himself is:
It wasn’t until I met with John and he told me about his reverse thinking story with Donald Trump that I actually “got it.”
Instead of thinking:
“What do I need to do in order to reach my goals?”
This is a different approach that challenges you to think:
“What are all the reasons that will stop me from reaching my goals – and what’s my strategy for eliminating them?”
In Part 2, we’ll dig deeper into the questions you must ask yourself to spur this kind of thinking at the outset of any project. See you then!