The best advice I ever got in business came from a man who built a $300 million dollar empire. I was shocked and stunned when he hammered me with this dose of objective reality. I was also broke. This is a message you won’t hear much about in the positive thinking, personal development community. That’s too bad, because it’s pure gold. This is mental toughness and critical thinking at its best. It’s a tough message to hear, and it may make all the difference in how high you rise. It literally changed my life. Listen to this post, and as always, I’ll look forward to your comments. Steve Siebold (6 minutes)

Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

16 thoughts on “$300 Million Dollar Advice”

  1. It is a question of balance – you looked like you might bounce off the big blue ball a couple of times BUT with your last post I know your center-of-gravety OP is also on top of things! Or in the middle of things. Or under things. Unified and in the flow of things. OK enuf.

    “IMO the ability to generate mental focus comes before critical thinking, which comes before mental toughness. In that sense mental focus is a part of the equation. ” — J

    That’t what I was getting at BUT your analysis is a good one. You make the distinctions very clear and simple to understand.



  2. Mike,

    Thanks for asking; here’s my take. I don’t believe that the mental focus needed for critical thinking is the same as the, ‘point of individual mental focus’ (created by your “OP” operating platform) which intersects/interacts with physical reality.

    IMO critical thinking is the process of evaluating opportunities, propositions, events or premises and drawing conclusions about them on the basis of well-supported information. During the process a few questions need to be asked like:

    1. What am I asking myself to believe or accept? What’s the premise?
    2. What information is available to support the assertion(s)? Is the info (and/or the source) reliable and valid?
    3. Are there other ways of interpreting the information?
    4. Would additional information help to evaluate those other ways?
    5. What conclusions are most reasonable based on the information and the alternative explanations?

    IMO the ability to generate mental focus comes before critical thinking, which comes before mental toughness. In that sense mental focus is a part of the equation.

    But I believe we all operate from a self constructed platform of beliefs and values that, much of the time, are running “behind the scenes”. These have their own resonance or vibration or gravitational pull if you will. I believe you can use critical thinking in your business or your relationships etc. but still find unwanted circumstances, people and events showing up in “your world”.

    When that happens, the mental focus created from your “OP” (operating platform) has trumped all thinking. To put it another way at the risk of sounding too airy-fairy:

    The essence of that which is like unto itself is drawn.

    Every time. No exceptions.

    Be Well,


    PS/ It’s always a question of balance. Thanks for looking 😉

  3. Jaroslav – isn’t one aspect of critical thinking paying attention to what you focus on to see it at play and what your focus causes to happen?


  4. Critical thinking is effective, but paying attention to what you’re focusing that thinking on is better.

    If it’s true that we are responsible for the creation of our own reality; if it’s true that the world happens from you and not to you; if it’s impossible to create success while resonating with failure, then what you created was a perfect match to whatever you were focusing on at the time.

    Did you need to grow-up? I don’t know. I’ll take your word for it. But I do know that whether your thinking was positive, critical or immature, your results were a perfect match to, and were created by, your habitual mental focus.

    Be Well,


  5. Steve – you write a lot about delusions and delusionary thinking. How does one know when he or she is engaged in critical thinking and NOT deluding him or herself?

    Any clues? Outcome based objectivity? Process objectivity? Other?



  6. Absolutely outstanding, Steve. As usual, your message is spot on and your timing is perfect. Critical thinking is essential, particularly today and going forward. Thanks,

    Christine Devine

  7. Steve,

    Like my Grandfather used to say “anything that doesn’t kill you………….. usually leaves a pretty bad mark. Life leaves scars; nobody comes through unscathed. It really boils down to how we decide to interpret these events; we can be debilitated by them or we can celebrate the learning. If your 300 million dollar man had sent you on your way with a “milk toast moment” we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The real power in this exchange is that both of you showed up with respect and integrity. In my book, it doesn’t get much better than that.


  8. Steve,
    Excellent topic. I had a very similar discussion with my mentor 15 months ago. He told me to, essentially, suck it up and get off the mat. Stop whining about it being tough; YOU need to be tough in order to see it through.

    My mentor echoed your advice here, and I appreciate you bringing this out in a powerful post.

    Keep up the great work, Steve.

  9. Thank you for this post, Steve! It is dead on and something for all of us to remember. Positive yes, but also realistic to the world around us. Thanks again!

  10. No empathy, no sympathy, just: ” Grow up. Get mature.” Poor Steve’s ego! Poor Steve.

    That’s a great story, Steve. Your friend gave you a dose of tough love.

    You are absolutely right – positive, affirmative thinking isn’t enough. You need to become a critical thinker in every aspect of the phrase.
    People are an enigma. Solutions and answers are mostly concrete and clear. They are mostly immediate and direct and all around us. They are neither nor complex nor mysterious. BUT people are the enigma. People miss what’s right in front of them.

    Your friend shook up your world and your self concept. He caused you to think about yourself critically. Just like your FAT book, you cause people to think about themselves and some don’t like it al all. They get mad at you. They miss what’s right of them and in their own best interests.

    AND thanks for passing on your $300 million dollar advice for free, Steve.

    I appreciate what you do very very very much. It keeps me awake 24/7!


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