You know, to be great, I think you have to fight. I very much think that my success is a product of some level of skill, but I do think I win because I outwork people. I really do believe that. I believe that 100%. And let me remind you, I don’t care if you work 18 hours a day. I don’t care if you want to hustle or if you want to buy the Jets. My advice is tried and true; find your happiness to win. I need you to do what makes you feel good. I need you to reverse engineer your own wants and needs.
I’m sharing this story because I’m not sure that if my dad didn’t set that example, that I’d even have the ability to think one could work this hard. The fact that I’ve been working 15 hours a day every day for the last 20 years is easy for me. It’s the only gear I do. I was poor. I sucked shit at school. It was the only gear I have.
You know, I think that you need to recognize that your biggest advantage when you’re just starting out is that you’re hungrier than your competitor. That if you’re not applying your one advantage, which is your work ethic and the hours that you have to put into your business, well, then you’re going to come up short. I sit up here with enormous assumptions around all of you that you’re just too soft to beat me. I obviously don’t think that’s an issue because of most of you don’t want it. But it’s clear that I think you’ve had it better, and that alone doesn’t allow you to beat me.
Somebody will come with a counter point of view and be like, “Gary, that’s cool, but I don’t have to work that hard, because I’m working smarter.” Yeah, me too, asshole. I work hard and smart. Now what? Look, there’s 12-hour, 10-hour, 8-hour, 15-hour work days. You can finish a lot of things in those 18, 12, 9 hours, or you can finish medium amounts of things, or lightweight things. People focus on too many small details.
Way too many people in this room are going to spend the next 30, 40 years of their lives trying to check the boxes of the things that they’re not as good at, and because of that, you’re going to waste a lot of time. I highly recommend for all you hustlers, that you go all in on your strengths. Find the thing you are good at, and you love and you want to improve on. I know that a lot of you tell me, “Gary, I do work hard,” and you do. You work for 16 hours. But there are so many of you deploying your energy toward something that you aren’t good at or don’t truly love.
Because listen, there are a lot of things I can’t learn either. I wish I was the quarterback for the New York Jets, but the problem is, it’s never going to happen. No matter how hard I work, or how hard I train, it’s just not in my DNA. I had to accept that and find another way to win.
I was a very poor student because the subject matter bored me. If I was forced to become exceptional at understanding the great artists of the 20th century, I would be in big trouble. I would tell people to bet on their strengths. You need to find what you are good at and don’t give a fuck about what you suck at. You need to put yourself in a position to win with your strengths, because that is absolutely the straightest road to success. Greatness comes from adversity, and looking the challenge in the eye, and having the intestinal fortitude to step up and go after it.
Now tell me, is it in you?