Book Summary: Bold

As Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler explain in their book Bold, this is the first moment in history that you have access to whatever you need to take on any task.

You have access to the technology, intellect, and cash to actually alter the world if you are enthusiastic and determined.

However, as they would likely tell you, finances, enthusiasm, and devotion are insufficient.

You must have the proper mentality.

In fact, you'll need eight of them. And who better to learn these eight attitudes from than Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Jeff Bezos, four of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

These business leaders are self-made billionaires who began with nothing more than an idea and a desire to make a difference in the world. You can accomplish it, too, if you have the correct mentality.

Bonus Mindset: To become a billionaire, focus on helping a billion people.

Bonuses are usually given at the ending, but this one is so vital that we've placed it upfront.

This one comes from Peter himself, who says that if we want to make a mark in the universe, we should consider starting a company that will affect the lives of a billion people.

This eliminates small-mindedness from the equation, which is a need for becoming a billionaire.

How many billionaires think small? Zero.

1. Understanding the balance of risk-taking and risk mitigation

Richard Branson has a reputation for being a rogue in the corporate world.

Most people would assume he takes on a lot of risk from the outside. After all, who enters into the airline industry - a business where nearly everyone loses a lot of money - if they have no idea what they're doing?

That would be Sir Richard Branson.

But what most people don't realize about him is that one of the mantras he holds close to his heart is "protect the downside."

When he first started his airline, Branson acquired one plane and then secured the right to return it in twelve months if things didn't go as planned.

So, although they're making big bets and starting firms that might alter the world, they're also working hard to remove any risk that could "sink their battleship."

2. Rapid iteration and ceaseless experimentation

By combining a relentless emphasis on the customer experience with quick iteration and experimentation with that experience, Jeff Bezos has developed one of the most successful business brands of all time.

In a letter to shareholders in 2014, Bezos stated,

"Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It's not optional. . . . We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right. When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size (most experiments can start small). When we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success."

A/B testing their online experience, enabling customers to check out as guests instead of registering an account, was one notable experiment that ended in success for Amazon.

This one trial alone increased the company's revenue by $300 million per year.

Even the world's most successful entrepreneurs are always seeking ways to enhance their company to have a greater impact.

3. You need to have passion and purpose.

A man with fake wings full of dream and purpose.

Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, spoke at Singularity University's inaugural conference. Diamandis co-founded with futurist Ray Kurzweil to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to use exponential technologies to confront humanity's big issues.

He spoke this in front of 150 people at the conference:

"I have a very simple metric I use: Are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999 percent of people is no. I think we need to be training people on how to change the world."

Suppose you're striving to accomplish something that you believe has the potential to transform the world. In that case, it's difficult not to have the passion and motivation required to see it through.

4. You need to think for the long term.

Bezos gave an interview session at one of their annual gatherings, in which he outlined his long-term contrarian approach.

""What's going to change in the next ten years?" And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I rarely get the question: "What's not going to change in the next ten years?" And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two—because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time."

This is a fantastic insight because it helps you to develop a firm that meets today's market demands while still giving you the time and capacity to innovate in the future.

For example, Bezos claims that he understands that his consumers demand low costs and will remain true in ten years. And that they will expect their shipments to arrive sooner.

As a result, Amazon devotes all of its innovation resources to achieving those goals.

Amazon's effort to create delivery drones that can deliver your purchase in less than 30 minutes is a fantastic example.

That's a lot of thought.

5. Always be thinking about the customer.

A customer service is calling her customer.

Richard Branson, like Jeff Bezos, is dedicated to giving his clients an unforgettable experience.

According to the book, if Branson believes that a certain service will benefit his consumers, he will try it out.

Virgin Atlantic, for example, was the first airline to provide free seat-back TVs to every passenger, a cocktail bar, and a glass-bottomed jet, as well as stand-up comedians on select flights.

Creating a customer-centric experience, according to Branson, is all about paying attention to the smallest details.

Customers will go out of their way to be loyal to your business if you do this, he says. Branson has developed and invested in over 500 enterprises that leverage the Virgin brand because of this (if not the sole reason).

6. Using probabilistic thinking

Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City are four of Elon Musk's firms with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion. When a superhero is modeled after you, you know you've made it (Iron Man).

When entrepreneurs consider a choice, they usually consider their chances of success. If they are excellent entrepreneurs, they will strive to mitigate the risks.

Musk adds crucial detail to this line of thought: the significance of the goal. He declares:

"Even if the probability for success is fairly low if the objective is really important, it's still worth doing. Conversely, if the objective is less important, then the probability needs to be much greater. How I decide which projects to take on depends on probability multiplied by the importance of the objective."

This philosophy is shown by SpaceX and Tesla. He believed they both had less than a 50% chance of success when he launched them (in fact, they were both on the verge of bankruptcy at the same moment).

Still, he felt they were enterprises that needed to be founded. So, despite the danger, he went ahead and created them.

7. Being rationally optimistic

Larry Page wants more people to think about altering the world. Still, he also engages in "rational optimism," as the authors describe it.

It implies you must be realistic about the realities while remaining optimistic about accomplishing the seemingly unattainable.

Page offers an example of when they performed better than human translators in simultaneous translation between languages. They sought guidance from machine-learning specialists, who scoffed at them and claimed it was impossible.

But they persisted, knowing that the technology we have today had advanced to the point where it would be conceivable - albeit extremely difficult - to complete the task.

Google currently translates between 64 languages and does it better than the average human translator in several circumstances. And they offer that service to the entire globe for free.

8. Rely on first principles

He is rely on the first list.

Thinking in first principles is one of the skills that all successful entrepreneurs possess.

Elon Musk had a talk with Kevin Rose. He described how first principles operate when thinking about producing batteries—something Tesla and Solar City both rely on.

They considered the ingredients used to make batteries, including carbon, nickel, aluminum, polymers, and a steel container.

They discovered that bypassing the battery makers and purchasing the materials on a metals market could reduce the cost of the batteries to levels much below what anybody expected.

So, whatever problem you're working on, challenge all of the assumptions you've made and go through the solution from beginning to conclusion.

There are insights that practically no one else would notice - save perhaps Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

So there you have it: eight distinct ways to think based on the mindsets of four of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

Now is the time to clear your head and get to work.

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