13 Things I Wish I Learned Ep 636



In this insightful discussion, the speaker, Alex Hormozi, shares valuable lessons from his post-college journey in entrepreneurship and personal growth. He emphasizes the importance of humility, learning from failures, and the power of listening over speaking. Alex reflects on the significance of doing fewer things exceptionally well, the impact of negotiating with integrity, and the profound influence of compounding goodwill. He also touches on the transformative effect of revisiting great books multiple times and the necessity of focusing on long-term respect over short-term gains. Alex concludes by highlighting the cyclical nature of success and the cost of ignorance, advocating for investing in clear truths to accelerate personal and professional development.

Summary Notes

Key Theme: The Difference Between Good and Great Work

  • The effort to transition from good work to great work is significantly higher.
  • One should be selective in choosing tasks that are truly worth doing well.

The ocean between good work and great work is vast. It's five times, ten times the work to go from something good to something great.

This quote emphasizes the considerable difference in effort required to elevate work from good to great quality.

Key Theme: Building a Business and Documenting the Journey

  • Speaker A aspires to build a billion-dollar business with acquisition.com.
  • There's a desire to document the journey in a way that Bezos, Musk, and Buffett did not, for the benefit of others.

I'm trying to build a billion dollar thing with acquisition.com. I always wish Bezos, musk, and Buffett had documented their journey, so I'm doing it for the rest of us.

The speaker expresses their ambition and the intention to provide a documented path for success that other prominent entrepreneurs haven't offered.

Key Theme: The Importance of Listening and Learning

  • Assuming oneself to be less knowledgeable than others aids in learning and decision-making.
  • Speaker A learned from experience that talking too much prevents learning.
  • Listening more can lead to better positioning and understanding in interactions.

The first is that you make better decisions, and you learn more by assuming that you're dumber than everyone else.

This quote suggests that humility and the assumption of having less knowledge can lead to improved decision-making and learning opportunities.

Key Theme: Self-Reflection and Earning Self-Respect

  • Early behaviors can damage one's reputation.
  • Genuine personal change is necessary to earn respect from oneself and others.
  • Speaker A's conversation with their father sparked a realization about changing personal behavior.

The hardest respect to earn is one's own.

This quote highlights the challenge and importance of gaining self-respect through personal growth and integrity.

Key Theme: Controlling Narrative in Business

  • It's important to equip customers with simple language to describe your business.
  • Speaker A learned to simplify the mission statement of acquisition.com for better communication.
  • The speaker shifted from trying to sound smart to making prospects feel smart.

If you want to control what people think, control what they say.

This quote encapsulates the idea that by shaping the language people use to describe a business, you can influence their perception of it.

Key Theme: Reading for Depth Over Breadth

  • Quality over quantity applies to reading books for knowledge.
  • Speaker A prefers to read fewer books with more depth rather than many mediocre ones.
  • Older books are often perceived as having been written with purer intentions.

You get more out of reading one book that's great, five times than out of reading five mediocre books.

This quote suggests that deep understanding and repeated reading of a great book is more beneficial than reading multiple average books.

Intent Behind Book Writing

  • Books intended to convey knowledge to the next generation are often more effective for teaching.
  • The author emphasizes the importance of the author's intent, preferring books designed to educate rather than persuade.

"to convey knowledge to the next generation, those tend to be better books, in my experience, because the intent is to actually teach, not to persuade."

This quote explains that books with the primary purpose of imparting knowledge are typically more valuable for learning purposes than those aiming to convince the reader of a particular viewpoint.

Mastery Through Repetition

  • Reading a book multiple times is necessary to fully grasp and retain its content.
  • The speaker has a practice of re-reading books multiple times until they can teach the material to others.
  • Creating presentations on books is a method used by the speaker to develop frameworks for remembering the content.

"I will read a book two times, three times, four times, five times, until I can teach the book when I feel like it is worth learning."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's belief in the importance of thorough understanding, to the point where they can teach the content, indicating a deep level of engagement with the material.

Behavioral Change as a Measure of Learning

  • If reading a book does not result in a change in behavior, the speaker considers the time spent reading it as wasted.
  • The speaker focuses on extracting value from books to the extent that it influences their behavior.
  • Consolidation of knowledge from good books is key to the speaker's learning process.

"if your behavior doesn't change as a result of reading a book, then it means you've learned nothing, which means it was a waste of time."

This quote suggests that the true measure of learning from reading is the ability to translate insights into actionable changes in one's behavior.

The Value of Classic Books

  • Timeless classics are preferred over well-marketed but low-quality books.
  • The speaker values books that have stood the test of time and were written with the intent to pass down knowledge.
  • The speaker believes that a few key books, if fully applied, can lead to success.

"you can just read the few that are times classics written by the author to convey a message to the next generation."

This quote highlights the speaker's preference for classic literature over contemporary books that may not have the same depth or quality.

Champions' Lack of Distractions

  • Champions do not necessarily possess something others do not; rather, they may lack certain distractions.
  • Allocating time effectively and eliminating non-essential activities are traits observed in champions.
  • The speaker has learned the value of focus and the willingness to say no to distractions.

"most champions do not have something that you do not. They lack something that you have."

This quote suggests that champions' success is partly due to their ability to eliminate distractions and focus on their goals, implying that discipline and sacrifice are critical to high achievement.

Goodwill Compounds Faster Than Money

  • Goodwill, defined by positive sentiment and influence, can grow exponentially through sharing and interactions.
  • The speaker realized the potential of converting goodwill into money at a later date.
  • Focusing on building an audience and goodwill is seen as a more effective strategy than immediate monetary gain.

"goodwill compounds faster than money."

This quote captures the speaker's epiphany that investing in relationships and positive sentiment (goodwill) can yield greater long-term benefits than direct financial pursuits.

Mortality and the Irrelevance of Others' Opinions

  • The inevitability of death and the subsequent fading of one's memory highlights the insignificance of others' opinions.
  • The speaker suggests that advice should only be considered if it comes from those with a vested interest in one's success and relevant context.
  • Personal beliefs and experiences should guide one's actions, not the projections of others.

"you're going to die. And two weeks after you die, most people will have forgotten about you."

This quote reflects on mortality to argue that the opinions of others should not heavily influence one's life choices, given the transient nature of life and memory.

Extraordinary Accomplishments from Ordinary Actions

  • Extraordinary accomplishments are the result of performing ordinary tasks consistently over a long period.
  • The speaker regrets not understanding the value of patience and commitment earlier in life.
  • Dedication to a vision or action, rather than the action itself, is what leads to remarkable achievements.

"extraordinary accomplishments come from doing ordinary things for extraordinary periods of time."

This quote conveys the speaker's belief that consistency and long-term commitment to simple actions can lead to significant achievements.

Doing Things Well

  • If a task is worth doing, it should be done with care and to the best of one's ability.
  • The speaker reflects on past tendencies to rush tasks instead of focusing on quality.
  • Evaluating whether a task is truly worth doing is an essential step before committing the time to do it well.

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well."

This quote underscores the principle that quality and thoughtful consideration should precede the execution of any task deemed worthy of effort.

Energy and Prioritization

  • Energy levels are higher when younger and decrease with age.
  • Prioritizing tasks that align with making money or achieving goals is crucial.
  • Focusing on fewer, different activities can lead to more success.
  • Investing time in quality work, like spending a year writing a book, can have long-term benefits.

Fun fact, when you're younger, you have more energy than when you're older. So whatever your energy is now, it's literally the highest it's ever going to be from this point going forward.

This quote emphasizes the natural decline of energy levels as one ages, highlighting the importance of using one's current energy wisely.

And now if I write a book, I'll take a year on writing the book. Because if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.

The speaker stresses the value of dedicating appropriate time to important tasks to ensure high-quality outcomes.

The Value of Word of Mouth

  • The podcast grows through word of mouth, without ads or sponsorships.
  • Listeners are encouraged to share the podcast, continuing the cycle of recommendation.

The only way this grows is through word of mouth.

This quote underscores the importance of personal recommendations in expanding the podcast's audience.

Negotiation and Values

  • Everything is negotiable, including prices, terms, and relationships.
  • Negotiation is not a zero-sum game but can benefit both parties.
  • It's crucial to maintain one's values during negotiations.
  • Long-term relationships are more valuable than short-term gains.

Be willing to negotiate everything except for your values.

This quote highlights the principle of negotiating terms and conditions while steadfastly adhering to one's core values.


  • Humility is misunderstood; it's about valuing others, not devaluing oneself.
  • Gaining status comes from contributing to the group more than taking from it.
  • Serving others and giving respect can elevate one's own status.

Humility is not decreasing your regard for self, but increasing your regard for others.

This quote, attributed to Clayton Christensen, redefines humility as a focus on others' needs rather than diminishing oneself.

Happiness and Expectations

  • A happy person has many desires, while a sad person focuses on the singular wish to not be sad.
  • Shifting perspectives on past grievances can lead to peace and happiness.
  • Understanding that others' actions are often motivated by a desire to feel better can alleviate personal anger.

The happy man has a thousand wishes the sad man has one.

This quote reflects on the broader aspirations of a content individual versus the singular focus of someone who is unhappy, suggesting that happiness allows for a richer array of goals and desires.

Overcoming Mental Barriers

  • The speaker struggled with internal judgment labeling activities as good or bad, which consumed their attention and energy.
  • They adopted the mantra "fuck happiness" to stop comparing their current state to a desired future state, which allowed them to accept where they were and focus on action.
  • Progress led to a sense of pride and the realization that external opinions were less important than their own.

"And because of that, all of my focus was on feeling better. And so I couldn't actually have any energy left over to do stuff because all I was focused on was feeling better."

This quote emphasizes how the speaker's preoccupation with internal judgment prevented them from taking action due to the lack of energy left after trying to feel better.

"But in choosing not to admit the deficiency between my current state and the future state of what I desired to be, I was able to accept where I was."

The speaker's mantra helped them to accept their current situation, which dissolved the mental block of not feeling "good enough," freeing them to take action.

Entrepreneurial Cycle

  • The speaker views entrepreneurship as cyclical, not linear, involving seasons of learning and growth.
  • They believe that either the business grows or the entrepreneur grows through lessons learned from the business.
  • The cycle of failure, learning, success, and complacency is inevitable, but recognizing it can help speed up the return to learning and success.
  • The speaker refrains from labeling experiences as good or bad, seeing failure as a precursor to learning and success.

"Failure leads to learning. Learning leads to success. Success leads to complacency. Complacency leads to failure."

This quote outlines the speaker's perspective on the entrepreneurial cycle and the importance of continuous learning and avoiding complacency.

"The goal is if you can identify that, how quickly can you get back to learning success?"

The speaker suggests that the key to sustained success is to quickly move back to learning after experiencing complacency to maintain momentum.

Value of Clear Perception in Entrepreneurship

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of shedding false truths to see the world more clearly for business success.
  • They argue that a clear understanding of reality allows entrepreneurs to hit their targets more effectively.
  • The concept of "ignorance tax" and "ignorance debt" is introduced, referring to the cost of not understanding how to achieve success.
  • The speaker is willing to invest money to gain clarity and learn from those who are further ahead in the business game.

"So much of the path of entrepreneurship, in my opinion, is shedding these false truths so that you can see the world more clearly."

The speaker believes that the journey of entrepreneurship involves unlearning misconceptions to gain a more accurate perception of reality.

"How much is not making a million dollars a year costing you?"

The quote from a speaker at a seminar illustrates the concept of ignorance tax, highlighting the opportunity cost of not having the knowledge to earn more.

Investing in Knowledge and Growth

  • The speaker values paying for access to knowledge and insights from more experienced individuals.
  • They acknowledge the importance of learning from others, regardless of their methods, and are open to adjusting their beliefs based on new information.
  • The speaker prioritizes speeding up the learning process by investing money rather than time, bringing their future closer to the present.

"I will pay any amount of money to speed that process up to see the world more clearly in a way that is true."

This quote reflects the speaker's commitment to investing in their personal and professional growth to achieve a clearer understanding of reality.

"I'd rather pay in money and drag my future closer to the present, because then I get to get to that future and drag another future to the present and shortcut it."

The speaker prefers to invest financially to accelerate their learning and progress, rather than spending more time to eventually reach the same conclusions.

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