Jim Rohn: The Business Philosopher

Jim Rohn (1930-2009), entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker, has been one of the most influential figures in personal development and it has been recognized by many as the "business philosopher". His speeches and seminars have been listened to by more than 300 million people from all over the world. Author of more than 30 books, his work has made a massive impact on other current experts like Anthony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen, Brian Tracy or Jack Canfield, among others. His most popular book is "7 strategies for wealth and happiness".

Jim Rohn (1930-2009)

Now, like we always do, let's start with some Rohn's quotes collected throughout his entire life followed by a quick explanation by us:

1. Do not ask for fewer problems, develop more skills, problems never disappear.

Every worthy achievement is full of difficulties along the way. There are bureaucratic barriers, injustices, lack of resources, conflicts... all in all, there are problems. When the first problems start to appear, many people often take a step back. Only a few of them dare to continue advancing forwards and focus on how to overcome the obstacles. Dodging problems is comfortable but it disables our capacity to grow and progress. If you want to achieve big goals, you have to learn how to manage problems. Progressing means overcoming and facing problems one by one. You have to look at them as challenges, as an opportunity to enlarge your comfort zone. There's an old English phrase that says: "Life doesn't get easier, you just get stronger".

2. Success is no other thing than the daily application of discipline.

The achievement of goals works according to the following scheme:

success = habits
habits = repetition
repetition = discipline

It's not enough to be motivated, that's what makes us start but you have to develop and create new habits, which are the means to achieve objectives. Successful people are people who applied the habits of success. And habits are acquired by repetition, by practicing over and over again the same task. Therefore, it's essential to possess a virtue called 'discipline', which is nothing else than doing what you have to do without excuses. What has to be done, very frequently, is the most uncomfortable thing to do. This is the reason why many people don't get results. Jim Rohn himself claimed: "People are too lazy to be rich".

3. We can have more than we need because we can become more than what we are today.

There's no better investment than the one made in yourself. Your personal development is your fate. Each book you read, every conference or lecture you attend, each course you do, each contact you know, everything adds up and makes you progress. Jim Rohn always had it clear: "Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Pursuing and learning is where miracles have their beginnings." What you get is always a consequence of what you have become.

4. If you don't like what is happening to you right now, change it. You are a person and not a tree.

We already know that the worst phrase that can be listened to in life has 5 words: "That's the way I am." That means installing yourself in the easy alternative of the victim determinism that excludes us from responsibilities and initiatives. That's like pinning the blame on the circumstances. Jim Rohn removes the doubts: "For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to be better. You have to accept your responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind but you can change yourself. That's something that depends on you."

5. Time is worth more than money. You can always get more money but you can never get more time.

Every passing hour doesn't come back. Time is defined, and it runs out. The worst thing is wasting a day and thinking that there's no problem. Yes, it happens, and a lot. You decide how you spend your time. You decide if you invest it in one thing or another. You decide if you watch T.V or read a book. The important thing is that you always decide. Successful people are people who scrupulously care about their time. It is clear enough that time is the most valuable variable in life, thus wasting time is the worst of wastes.

6. The worst thing you can do is to not try it, be aware of who you are and don't go out there to achieve it, spending years in the silence that hurts, asking yourself if that thing you wanted would have become a reality.

In other words: if you don't strive for your dreams, you end up striving against your reality. In life, we should always suffer at least one of these two things: either the pain of discipline (of pursuing what we want) or the pain of regret (for not daring to do it.) And, as Jim Rohn says: "The pain of discipline weighs pounds but the pain of regret weighs tons." There's nothing sadder than to want something and not strive for achieving it. Why losing before fighting?

7. Successful people have large libraries; the rest, large televisions.

Reading is not a possibility but a necessity if you want to progress in life. Reading is a way of speeding out the achievement of your goals. A lot of successful people have had the generosity to write a book on their legacy. Take advantage of that. When Jack Canfield visited for the first time his mentor, businessman W. Clement Stone, the first question he asked him was:

          -How many hours do you watch TV a day?
 Canfield answered the question:
          -Two hours.
And Stone concluded:
          -Reduce it to 1 hour, and dedicate the other hour to read.

If we analyze the results we can see that reading 1 hour a day is equal to 365 hours of reading a year, right? Taking into account that the average time you spend at work every week is 40 hours, if we divide 365 by 40, we get around 9 weeks of reading and, considering that a month is 4 weeks, it would be like 2 consecutive months going to work only to read. Being conservatives, reading a minimum of 2 books a week, make 18 books a year. That makes a huge difference in the long-term.

8. Self-responsibility is the first requirement for leadership.

That's one of the characteristics that better define successful people. They take full responsibility for their lives. When circumstances are not the most adequate, they don't look for scapegoats, but instead, they limit themselves to find out solutions. If the laws are not the most favorable, they look for a way to face them; If their country's economy is doing very bad, they look for a way to emigrate; if a door closes, they knock on another. They don't fall in useless wailings and they don't waste one minute in thinking what would it be, but instead, they act in a determined direction with their heads held high and without losing ever their goals.

9. Get away from the 97% of the people. Do not use their vocabulary, do not use their excuses, and join the remaining 3%.

If you want to do good, learn from the best. And the best are those who get results. And they get results because they do things that other people don't know or, simply, they are not determined to do it. Our life is the result of the average of the 5 people with whom we communicate the most. Therefore, it's essential to be in adequate environments, so be very careful with whom you socialize. If you want to make money, move around circles of people with money; if you want to start a business, move closer to successful entrepreneurs; if you want to improve your teaching skills, join others who have fantastic pedagogic abilities; if you want to be a good speaker, watch carefully what the most laureated speakers are doing. Jim Rohn said: "Success is not something magical or mysterious, it is simply the consequence of applying continuously some basic principles." Identify the most talented people, find out the principles they apply, and then, have the discipline to practice them until being able to master them.

10. Whoever offers a service to lots of people put themselves on the line of greatness: great wealth, great returns, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great enjoyment.

Get obsessed with how to provide value and how to do it excellently. You will contribute to the community, you will feel fulfilled and you will make profits. Jim Rohn expressed it like this: "See every day as an opportunity to invest in life. An opportunity to share your experience with others. Every day is an opportunity to work miracles in other's lives." 

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