The Ways Of Growth That Will Inspire Others

Dan Sullivan
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The following is an excerpt from the book Always Be The Buyer by Dan Sullivan.

Competition for status is often a strong element of a person’s life.

Competing to be more successful than everyone else—in areas including what we consume, what we can do, and who we know—is a crucial part of how so many people make their way in life.

The factors that determine status all tend to be things that we acquire outside of ourselves, so during the time of your life that you’re focused on competing for status, you’re not necessarily focusing on improving things inside of yourself.

Everybody’s selling—you’re not.

What if instead of competing like everyone else, you kept developing within yourself a value that’s uniquely yours?

Instead of selling yourself to other people, other people will be drawn to join you because they admire you. This is the next stage. Competing and selling got you to where you are, but the selling period of your life is now over.

In this stage, you stick to working on yourself, exploring and expanding your own uniqueness in such a way that other people find you admirable and aspire to achieve a personal uniqueness, as you’ve done.

From now on, you’re going to attract the increasingly transformative capabilities and resources of other individuals into your biggest and best endeavors, and your main activity is never going to be to sell.

A seller is someone who can get rejected. A buyer is the one who does the rejecting. A buyer knows exactly what and who they’re looking for. You want to be in a position where you’re the one choosing whether an opportunity or relationship fits. You want to be the one who sets the standards.

For more wisdom from Dan Sullivan on always being the buyer, download the full book.

Simply being more of who you are.

All of your best thinking, decision making, innovations, achievements, and results can now be entirely focused on expanding who you’ve already become.

This is what other people most want to learn from you. Everyone would rather figure out how to be increasingly who they really are than twist themselves out of shape trying to be someone else.

We all take inspiration from other people, but we still want to be ourselves. We can’t become the people that inspire us.

Revolving around your center.

You’re going to notice how different your life is from the vast majority of the outwardly talented and successful people you encounter.

Those people always feel anxious that what they most need is outside of themselves and their experiences, whereas you feel totally confident that your entire future is simply a matter of reinforcing who you already are at your center.

It’s a loop because part of our intelligence is how we think about our own personal experience, and part of it is the social proof of other people finding that what we discover about ourselves is also valuable in helping them discover things about themselves.

If you operate from the outside in, everyone else is in competition with you. But if you focus on who you really are, operating from the inside out, people will find value in you without your having to recreate who you are.

You’ll also find resonance with people who might be doing something entirely different than you are but who are operating in the same sort of way.

Everything’s changing—you’re not.

In a world where the loudest messages are about how everything is unpredictably changing, you’re going to have the daily experience that everything that’s important to you is becoming predictably more purposeful and powerful.

I can see a direct connection between myself at age seventy-five and myself at age six. My fascination and motivation are not very different. I’m the same person now, just with a lot more capability and experience.

The present you is always better than the previous you, and the future you is always better than the present you. Compare yourself to no one except who you used to be and who you want to be.

Other people might tell you that they find it useful to make outside comparisons, but in reality, the moment you go outside and start comparing yourself to how other people appear to you, the magic is broken.

Life accelerates—you’re slowing down.

Other people are always showing up in new ways—from the clothes they’re wearing to the restaurants where they eat. If you compare yourself to others and try to keep up with them, it will seem that life is speeding up and even bypassing you.

But you’re unique, and you can’t be unique and be like everyone else. You have to make a choice to do one or the other: either be yourself and work on expanding your uniqueness, or compare your knowledge of yourself on the inside to what someone else is projecting on the outside.

You’ll notice increasing complaints from those around you that “life is speeding up,” but this won’t be your experience at all. In fact, it will be just the opposite for you: everything about your personal life will seem to slow down.

This will multiply your attractiveness and value to talented, successful, and ambitious achievers who want to establish the same quality of living at the center of their own lives. You’ll no longer have to think about selling, but only about being more and more the kind of person that other people want to work with and collaborate with.