This article explains why some people are 100x more productive and make 100x more money than you!
You will learn what Leverage is, how to identify Key Leverage Points, and how different leaders, employees, self-employed and business owners can apply Leverage to get more done in less time and dramatically increase their income!
You will discover how to use Leverage
to overcome resistance to change.
Work hard, go to school, get a degree, find a job, save money for retirement, and enjoy your golden years. Many of us are trained, programmed, and conditioned to live this way.
The focus of this advice is on security and hard work. We are told to live below our means and to delay gratification until retirement. But what if we retire without enough resources, medical bills drain our savings, or god forbid we die before we retire? Who wants to work themselves to death?
Most of us focus on “earning a living” rather than living a life of joy, contribution, and leveraging our passion into a money-making machine that delivers extraordinary value for others and ourselves.
This shift in focus is not about laziness but working hard at the right things. The question is; what are the right things to work hard at?
The answer to that question will transform your life.
Work hard at the things you love that will give you the optimum return for the minimum risk, time, and effort. Add the concept of leverage, and you have a formula that can be applied to all areas of your life, including business, career, income, health, longevity, study, productivity, effectiveness, and relationships.
Using leverage, we can apply a small amount of effort to produce a disproportionately large result. You could say this physics principle enables you to work less while at the same time achieving more!
I grew up on a dairy farm where we learned the value of hard work as a way of life. We took for granted the tools used to make work tolerable, and yet most of these tools use the principle of leverage to make work easier and to get more done in less time.
Modern technology has transformed how we work, leading to amazing improvements in our quality of life. Using a farming example, imagine the logistics of working with 200 horses. That would be a handful compared to a single tractor that has the power of 200 horses driven by one person. That’s the leverage power of technology, which is available to all of us.
It is easy to understand leverage used by physical tools, but how about leveraging income, expertise, time, relationships, personal resources, and financial assets?
The Key to Making Change Easy!
How many people do you know who have wanted to lose weight, change careers, or make more money and yet have failed to realize their goal?
We all have areas of life that we would like to change or improve in some way, yet we end up putting up with them longer than we should. This can be because we don’t know any better or have tried in the past, failed, and given up. The perceived amount of effort is greater than the reward.
Making changes and going for goals require energy; if you are not motivated, you won’t have the energy to apply the effort required to succeed. But what if you are doing it all wrong and applying your efforts to the wrong areas? When you apply leverage to the right area, what was difficult becomes easy. The hard part then becomes figuring out where to apply the leverage!
This Changes Everything!
All complex systems have areas that could be improved through the targeted application of leverage. Your life is a complex system of inputs and outputs that can be seen as a whole with interacting parts. Shifting your view to seeing your life as a system enables you to see opportunities to make small adjustments in the short term that produce dramatic results in the long term. Don’t you wish our medical system worked this way? Sadly, our health care system breaks down a complex system and treats the individual parts rather than treating the whole person.
These areas of adjustment are known as “Key Leverage Points.”
Leverage Points are areas within a business, economy, life, living body, etc., where a small change in one area can produce massive changes in the entire system.
Take, for example, a person suffering from depression. Typically they are treated with drugs to address a chemical imbalance, but what if the cause of their depression was a lack of meaningful purpose, a loss of connection, feeling isolated, and having nothing to do? Perhaps a change of environment, new friends, and community engagement would heal them faster than drugs alone!
I don’t know about you, but working hard at a meaningless job for minimum pay would be very depressing for me! On the other hand, working hard at leading a bunch of bozos is very depressing, too, no matter how much money you make!
How To Identify Your Key Leverage Points
Have you ever been so focused on a problem that you could not see the forest for the trees? In other words, your fixation on the small picture in front of you prevented you from seeing the big picture and how all the parts, when viewed as a whole, are interrelated.
The industrialized education system has been set up to produce employees who specialize in a particular field or job. This specialization allows us to see only what we are used to and ignore other, seemingly non-related areas. We see the fine details of fragments and yet struggle to see whole pictures. This is why so many people cannot tap their creativity, connect with their passion, and see opportunities.
Identifying Key Leverage Points requires you to look at everything as a system of interrelated parts that affect each other. Starting with the ideal scene and working backward to the present condition and asking a simple question:
“What one thing can I do differently that would produce the greatest return for the minimum risk, time, and effort?”
Once you have identified the various leverage points, you can then begin to look for the one point that is pivotal to the entire system. The easiest way to understand this concept is to consider a stone arch. The most important stone in the arch is known as the keystone. This stone anchors both sides of the arch; the entire arch would fall down if removed. Key leverage Points are exactly the same; they are located at key intersections where the impact is magnified.
For a business leader, one element in the business may be limiting growth. Resolve or change this one area, and growth explodes. For a team leader, there may be one person who is creating chaos and blocking group synergy. Contain or remove them, and the entire team reaches synergy immediately. For an individual, they may have a psychological limit on how much money they feel worthy to receive. No matter how hard they work, how creatively they work, or how much regular leverage they employ, they always seem to find a way to sabotage themselves. Resolve their ability to receive money, and their income explodes.
Perhaps you are one of the millions who struggle with loneliness and a lack of fulfillment. No matter how many religions you join, meditation retreats you participate in, or relationships you start and end, you just don’t seem to be able to find happiness. By identifying your Key Leverage Point, you may find that you are disconnected emotionally due to a tough childhood experience. You can heal emotionally by healing one long-held area of pain and resentment, feel connected, and find happiness and fulfillment. It can be that simple.
Every entrepreneur learns eventually that their business is a reflection of them. For entrepreneurs, the Key Leverage Point can often be found in their personal limitations. Most new businesses fail within a short time after their founding. Is this because the idea was no good, the team sucked, the market wasn’t as expected, or the leader was fixated on a point of view that led to specialized extinction? Often, new entrepreneurs are unwilling to see the big picture and leverage key functions with more experienced or qualified people. Perhaps they are untrusting, and by resolving the lack of trust, a Key Leverage Point is applied, and the company grows exponentially.
Once you have successfully identified and applied leverage to the first key area, your next task is to identify your ensuing Key Leverage Point. This process continues as a way of life, continuous and never-ending improvement.
Exchanging Time for Security
If you focus on making money and being safe and secure, you sell your time for money. This means you spend most of your days doing work for others you may or may not like in exchange for security.
If security drives your choices, consider that you might feel insecure and unconsciously worry about survival. Many people think that more money will have them feel more secure, but it doesn’t work that way! Often times the more money you have, the more insecure you feel because you have more to lose. The world is full of insecure, neurotic, and paranoid billionaires.
What if you got your sense of security from self-confidence, then spent your time doing what you love to do? This would require investing time and energy in developing your confidence. How will you increase your confidence if you are too afraid of failure or making mistakes that you don’t even take small risks? Learning requires risk. Low risk leads to low rewards, versus taking more risks leads to higher rewards. Learning from your mistakes leads to greater levels of self-confidence.
Then you can focus your efforts on what you love, what makes your heart sing, and then leverage that love and passion into adding as much value to others as possible.
Work Fewer Hours and Make More Money!
Changing your thinking from working harder for a living to using leverage requires a fundamental shift in beliefs. The focus shifts from working for money to doing more with less and less. It means being comfortable with working fewer hours and making more money, applying less effort, and getting more results. This means detaching from having to “earn it.” Many of us attach our self-worth to what we do, what we earn, and what we don’t.
In my experience, attaching your self-worth to your values is better. Choose the right action, develop yourself as a better and better human being, take more leadership and associate your sense of worth with that. These cannot be lost if you focus on developing intangible assets in qualities, virtues, and capabilities. They don’t fluctuate in value based on the economy. If you fail at an endeavor, your value doesn’t go down in sync with your failure. On the contrary, you learn more, successfully discover what works and doesn’t, and your value increases!
Learning from your positive and negative experiences is a way to leverage the “sunk cost” of acquiring the experience to apply it to benefit you in the future.
Why Some People Are 100x More Productive and
Make 100x More Money Than You!
It has to do with what they choose to do with their time and how much leverage they apply to their efforts.
The standard formula most people use for income is:
INCOME = Hourly Rate x Hours
Using the work hard, the time-for-money mindset will increase your income by working longer hours or increasing your hourly rate. Sure, you can increase your rate from $25 to $250 or even $1,000, and based on a 40-hour week, you would go from $1,000 to $10,000 or even $40,000. For most people, this is a huge increase and more than enough to stop looking further. Yes, you could also work more hours, but the extra hours you can work are limited, and if you stopped working, the income would stop! What if you had an accident, a family emergency, or got sick? You would be trapped into working harder and harder for the money! Sounds like golden handcuffs, doesn’t it?
Add leverage to the mix, and the formula looks like this:
INCOME = Hourly Rate x Hours x Leverage
Consider how the majority of people invest their working time. We all have the same 24 hours a day. However, not everyone values their time in the same way. This difference comes down to an individual’s perceived value of time and how many people are being served.
Let’s say your hourly rate is $25, and you serve one person. Based on the above formula, your leverage is = $25, which is 1x. If you served ten people, your leverage would be = $250, which is 10x. If you served ten thousand people, your leverage would be = $250,000, which is 10,000x!
If you increased the value of your time from $25 to $250 and then served ten thousand people, your leverage would be = $2,500,000, which is 100,000x!
By increasing your value of time and the number of people, you serve, you multiply your leverage exponentially. Most people who sell their time for money do not understand this simple formula.
How do you increase the value of your time and your leverage? Here are a few tips:
- Detach from the time in exchange for money mindset and exchange it for a way of thinking that focuses on the exchange of value.
- Increase the value of your time by working less on the things you don’t like, investing more in doing the things you love, and educating yourself to gain skills and capability that multiply your hourly value.
- Commit yourself to serving the greatest good of the greatest number of people.
Most people are so focused on their problems, on what isn’t working, that they don’t take the time to understand their life, career, or business from what they want and the fastest, easiest way to get it. Identifying that single point of leverage now becomes your mission!
If you are ready to have a different kind of life, then it is urgent
that you infuse your life with aliveness, desire, and passion…
Ignite Your PASSION!
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Leadership Advocate and Co-Founder of the Goldzone Group. I help leaders to master the new rules of leadership for the new economy. Over the past 30 years, I have visited more than 500 cities in 54 countries to explore, learn from, and help many of the world’s leading companies, leaders, and luminaries in science, technology, health, finance, and entrepreneurship.