The Most Underrated Skill For Success & Why You Should Stop Chasing Money | Ryan Smith on School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

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Key Takeaways

  • Maintaining your integrity, values, relationships, and compassion while building a successful business will always be more fulfilling than prioritizing financial goals
    • “If you take your family and ‘true north star‘ out of the equation, you can get lost pretty easily in this world” – Ryan Smith
    • ‘Your’ definition of greatness is yours, don’t let anyone dictate your life’s self-fulfillment
    • Have a preconceived idea of your financial happiness point – don’ let greed overcome the values you had when you set out on your mission
    • Always remember the goals you wished to achieve even after you achieve them
  • Contrary to popular opinion, Ryan speaks from experience that running a business with your family can be very beneficial
    • Pain threshold and dedication to the mission is sometimes an ability only a committed family member can provide
    • “Don’t use the people to help you get money, use the money to help people” – Ryan Smith
      • Sharing the experience with your family can be extremely impactful
  • Be the fastest learner in the room because the world is too ambiguous. Once you call yourself an expert, you’ve given up on learning.
  • Try to give back to charity or things you care about even before you can afford to
    • ‘I’ll donate when I can afford to’ – you may never get there. We are creatures of habit, Ryan developed the skill of giving back early on.
    • “Sacrifice to where it hurts a little” – Ryan Smith

Intro

  • Ryan Smith (@RyanQualtrics) is the founder of a leading analytics company, Qualtrics. Ryan is also the owner of the Utah Jazz NBA team and was included in Fortune’s “40 under 40” in 2016. Ryan and Lewis discuss maintaining personal compassion and integrity as you build out a successful business.
  • Lewis Howes (@LewisHowes)

Ryan Smith – Priorities

  • “If you take your family and ‘true north star‘ out of the equation, you can get lost pretty easily in this world” – Ryan Smith
    • Everyone can find a ground base in something
    • Wants to grow with his family, not separately
    • “What I do is different than what I am” – Ryan Smith
  • If you look at work/life balance in the short term, it will be tilted. Long-term balance helps you stay grounded.
  • Ryan doesn’t ever want to retire – maybe at 80
    • Known to have too much urgency, so he doesn’t want to set an end date
    • “The power to get groups of people together to go do big impactful things is addicting” – Ryan Smith
  • Lesson from wife: If you simply are who you are, the world will eventually accept you
  • Greatest Personal Value: Be the fastest learner in the room because the world is too ambiguous. Once you call yourself an expert, you’ve given up on learning.
  • Don’t be focused on legacy – just try your hardest and make a difference
    • Everything Ryan does philanthropically has to do with getting rid of a bad experience
  • ‘Your’ definition of greatness is yours, don’t let anyone dictate your life’s self-fulfillment

Money Mindset

  • How do you avoid prioritizing money when starting a business?
    • Every business wants to be mission-based at its core – mission supersedes capital
    • Have a preconceived idea of your financial happiness point
    • Ryan actually didn’t feel financial joy when he sold Qualtircs for $8 Billion, it was more about sharing the moment with the team (and family in Ryan’s case) you built the company with along the way
      • “Don’t use the people to help you get money, use the money to help people” – Ryan Smith
    • Always remember the goals you wished to achieve even after you achieve them

Scaling & Family Business

  • Lewis asks – what was the hardest level to scale upwards?
    • $0 – $1 million | $1 million – $10 million | $10 million – $100 million | $100 million – $1 billion
    • How far you can go with your original founders is relevant to how successful you are in scaling upward
      • By the time the band in the college basement makes it big, the members are usually different
      • Both processes can work, but some people are more successful at certain scaling steps than throughout the entire process
    • People say don’t work with family but Ryan argues that the pain threshold and dedication to the mission is sometimes an ability only a committed family member can provide
      • Ryan started Qualtrics with his brother and father in their family basement
      • 3 rules to working with family:
        • Members need to know their roles
        • Understanding that nothing is bigger than the family relationship – the upside of achieving success with your family by your side is entirely worth it
        • Radical honesty and transparency

Life Story & Charity

  • Taught English in Seoul, South Korea when he was 17 years old. Really struggled and hit rock bottom but met some amazing people that helped him through.
    • These people set moral examples for Ryan
    • Realized that responsible fun is more fun
  • Decided to then go on a religious mission trip to Mexico City at 19
    • Came back a different person. Was a high school dropout and worked his way into university at BYU.
  • Lessons from the years 17-19 abroad:
    • Ryan hopes his kids get this type of challenge; he still pulls experience from those years till today
    • True focus on a single thing, makes you think differently about that thing
    • Process is not a straight line, you have to operate in ambiguity
  • Started giving money back to the mission program even in the beginning when he wasn’t making much
    • ‘I’ll donate when I can afford to’ – You may never get there. We are creatures of habit, Ryan wanted to develop the skill of giving back early on.
    • Not about the amount of money, it’s more about the ratio of charitable donations. Didn’t allow his wealth to dictate why he was giving back in the first place.
    • “Sacrifice to where it hurts a little”Ryan Smith

Utah Jazz

  • Ryan has always been a fan of the Jazz and grew up watching games with his grandfather
  • Doing it with his friends, Dwayne Wade and Ryan Sweeney, makes the experience and mission so much sweeter
    • Youngest ownership group in the NBA
  • You never know quite what you need to win a championship until your close, you always feel like you need a little bit more
School of Greatness : , , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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