10X Rule Definition

What Is the 10X Rule?

The 10X Rule encourages individuals to set goals that are 10 times more than they think possible and make 10 times the effort to achieve those goals. The name originated from the book of the same title by Grant Cardone.

What Does the 10X Rule Say?

10x rule bookThe 10x Rule says, “You must set targets that are 10 times what you think you want and then do 10 times what you think it will take to accomplish those targets.”

The 10X Rule states that the goal is never the problem, but the way of thinking and degree of effort is. By rejecting mediocrity and adopting a philosophy of “shooting for the stars,” this mindset can help in any undertaking.

The rule consists of two parts: audacious goals and outstanding effort, and both must go together. It is pointless to set objectives 10 times greater than one believes to be achievable without carrying out the same level of effort.

In real estate, an investor may use this philosophy to identify the right property for investment. Suppose they need a certain piece of real estate to generate revenue that is 10 times more than they originally intended. In that case, the 10X Rule would compel them not to settle with a lesser property because of, say, limited capital[1]. Instead, a better approach is to figure out where to find resources to purchase the property.

10X rule

That said, disregarding the 10X Rule does not mean the endeavor is doomed to fail. Anyone can still enjoy some level of success by just being as good as the competition. However, embracing this philosophy can be the key to developing a huge, even unfair, advantage—such as Amazon. With its CEO Jeff Bezos’s “get big fast” motto, it has evolved from a disruptive online bookstore[2] into the world’s first e-conglomerate[3].

Why Is the 10X Rule Anti-Mediocre?

In general, people set goals based on what they believe to be realistic over a specified period of time. The problem is that individuals are usually bad at rating themselves, and they do not know the full extent of what they could accomplish unless they actively go beyond their comfort zones.

Oftentimes, people do not excel in one or multiple areas of their lives because they operate with the following degrees of action:

  • Doing nothing. People who do nothing make zero effort to learn something new and expand their horizons[4].
  • Retreating. People who retreat decide on doing something but do not follow through. They lack the enthusiasm to achieve it, perhaps to avoid any negative experience from taking action.
  • Taking normal levels of action. People who take normal amounts of effort on something do so to feel as ordinary as other people. They have no desire to be significantly better than others and wind up living average lives.


Setting the bar low for oneself can send a psychological signal to not put tremendous effort into self-improvement and to be satisfied with average results.

The 10X Rule says that being average is a failing formula. Being comfortable with average objectives fails sooner or later because it is a self-imposed ceiling on one’s capabilities[5]. Believing such a limitation is true hampers growth and potential.

In other words, without the 10X Rule, one is doomed to lose out to stronger competitors in the end.

Does the 10X Rule Work?

Grant Cardone is living proof that the 10X Rule works. But who is he, anyway?

Who Is Grant Cardone?

Grant Cardone is a prolific commercial real estate investor with dozens of apartment communities.

This self-made real estate mogul beat drug addiction[6] and turned his life around. However, it took him years to get out of the hole he was in by relentlessly pursuing greatness, facing setbacks, and learning lessons along the way.

He bought his first property, a single-family home, at 29. He quickly learned that it was the wrong investment after his sole tenant left, drying up his cash flow in the process. Five years later, he invested in his first multi-family complex, and the rest is history.

Cardone now owns several multi-million-dollar companies, maintains a sales training platform with a user base of 50 million, has written numerous bestselling and award-winning books, and travels the world as a motivational speaker[7]. His net worth is approximately $300 million[8].

What to Learn From His Story

Of course, using Cardone (or any tycoon with a dramatic backstory, for that matter) as an example to prove that the 10x Rule “really works” is an example of survivorship bias[9].

After all, amassing considerable wealth takes superhuman-like capabilities. In fact, research shows that certain personality traits (the so-called “CEO gene”) are behind the charisma, creativity, and drive of successful entrepreneurs[10]. Unfortunately, the very same traits also make CEOs more vulnerable to severe issues like depression[11].

If personality is a major factor in one’s entrepreneurial success, then can the 10X Rule work for everyone?

As yet, there is no evidence that this philosophy benefits someone who lacks the CEO gene. However, while some individuals may be biologically disposed to lead and attract followers, it does not mean that regular people cannot achieve extreme success with this method. Whatever the case, the 10X Rule is a viable guiding principle to realize one’s full potential.


  • Conceived by Grant Cardone, the 10X Rule is a philosophy that says one must set audacious goals (10 times what you think are capable of) and exert outstanding effort (10 times what you think to achieve those goals) to attain extreme success.
  • The 10X Rule is vital because most people tend to set the bar too low for themselves because they underestimate their capacity to achieve greatness. As such, the 10X Rule rejects mediocrity.
  • The 10X Rule’s effects may vary, especially when compared against people with the “CEO gene.” However, it is still a useful guide to realize one’s true potential.


  1. Larson, M. (2021.) Pros and Cons of Investing in Commercial Real Estate. Nolo. Retrieved from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pros-cons-investing-commercial-real-estate.html
  2. Paresh, D., Easter, M. (2017.) Remember when Amazon only sold books? Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-history-20170618-htmlstory.html
  3. Saporito, B. (2016.) How Jeff Bezos Created a $280 Billion Empire. Maxim. Retrieved from https://www.maxim.com/maxim-man/jeff-bezos-billionaire-fortune-2016-5/
  4. Edberg, H. (2020.) 6 Reasons Why People Don’t Change, and What to Do About That. The Positivity Blog. Retrieved from https://www.positivityblog.com/6-reasons-why-people-dont-change/
  5. Mpoyi, K. (2021.) 10 Reasons Why Some People Will Never Succeed. Lifehack. Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-reasons-why-some-people-will-never-suceed.html
  6. Padro, F. (2021.) From Addiction to Self-Made Success. Grant Cardone Shares His Story. Narconon. Retrieved from https://www.narcononojai.org/blog/from-addiction-to-self-made-success-grant-cardone-shares-his-story.html
  7. The Strive. (2021.) The Grant Cardone Success Story. Retrieved from https://thestrive.co/grant-cardone-success-story/
  8. Capitalism.com. (2021.) Grant Cardone’s Net Worth and Legendary Life. Retrieved from https://www.capitalism.com/grant-cardone-net-worth/
  9. Miller, B. (2020.) How ‘survivorship bias’ can cause you to make mistakes. BBC. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200827-how-survivorship-bias-can-cause-you-to-make-mistakes
  10. Freeman, M.D., M, Johnson, Ph.D., S., Staudenmaier, P., & Zisser, M. (2015.) Are Entrepreneurs “Touched with Fire”? Dr. Freeman. Retrieved from https://www.michaelafreemanmd.com/Research_files/Are%20Entrepreneurs%20Touched%20with%20Fire%20(pre-pub%20n)%204-17-15.pdf
  11. HuffPost. (2017.) Is Mental Illness Among CEOs a Trait or an Outcome? Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-mental-illness-among-ceos-a-trait-or-an-outcome_b_5a39465de4b0578d1beb7360

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