The following is an exclusive excerpt from Rock & Roll Legend and Master of Brand Identity Gene Simmon’s newest book Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business, which is available now for purchase. In Me, Inc., Simmons shares a lifetime of field-tested and hard-won business advice that will provide readers with the tools needed to build a solid business strategy, harness the countless tools available in the digital age, network like hell, and be the architect for the business entity that is you. Inspired by The Art of War, the book dispenses Simmons’ in-depth insights via thirteen specific principles for success based on his own experience, triumphs, and instructional failures in business—from finding the confidence within yourself that’s necessary to get started, to surrounding yourself with the right people to partner with and learn from, to knowing when to pull the plug and when to double-down. These thirteen principles are a skeleton key into a world of success, freedom, peace of mind and, most importantly, financial success.
So I’m going to be your drill sergeant. Let’s take a look at the military model for a moment.
Let’s say you’re eighteen or older and you volunteer to join the military. In boot camp, you will meet your drill sergeant. The person who will put you through hell. The person who will make you do twenty-six-mile hikes. The person who will wake you up at 5 a.m. and make sure that you have no time off.
You are not going to like your drill sergeant. But he’s also the person who will make sure that you are ready for battle, and the lessons you learn from him may end up saving your life on the battlefield.
So the guy you hate the most is actually your best friend. Because you need a taskmaster. Because without him, you won’t force yourself to do it. He has to force you to be all that you can be.
You’re going to learn responsibility, learn the nature of working with others in a group, and when you’re done, you’ll be in the best shape of your life. All the things you will need to function in the real world.
As a child, you may have gotten a weekly allowance, or “spending money,” but in the real, adult world, you don’t get an allowance. You don’t get money for doing nothing. In life, if you don’t work, you don’t make money.
Get used to it.
DON’T TAKE VACATIONS.
There’s no reason for you to take a vacation if you’re a young person. You can define what young means for yourself. Start at eighteen years of age and go until your thirties.
I have never taken a vacation. I consider work a privilege, not a birthright or means to an end. You actually don’t have a God-given right to have a job or to work. If you can earn a dollar, then thank America and its people for giving you the opportunity to work for it.
There are many countries in the world where you would have no opportunity, regardless of your work ethic.
In America, where there is all the opportunity you could ever imagine, there are no excuses for goofing off.
This goes for everyone.
Let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones. You have a job. And you have your entrepreneurial aspirations. Keep your day job. Pay your bills. Spend the rest of your free time working on your career. Your dream job. Your passionate entrepreneurial venture.
Let’s take a look at your spare time, outside of the job that currently pays your bills.
Out of each working week, you get two days off. Multiply that by 52 weeks, and you’ve got 104 days per year in which you’re not working to build your career. Take another two weeks off for vacation, that’s another 14 days of doing nothing. You also take off holidays, religious and otherwise.
To me, all of that spells “loser.”
You can and should use all of the time you have to further yourself. To educate yourself. To dream big. And do big.
Don’t quit your day job, and do work on your time off.
Do something every day to advance your career.
Ladies, you’ll still have evenings free to put on your little black dress and go to the clubs. Guys, you can still go out to a ball game, but don’t waste the entire day doing nothing. But even these things can be business—networking is business. Bouncing your ideas off of people is business. Gathering contacts is business.
If you’re at home on a day off, don’t just spend the day in front of your TV like a lump of clay.
Work. Plan. Network.
Get rid of the friends who want you to spend your whole day doing nothing with them. They’re not your friends. They’re your enemies. Your friends should be cheerleaders for your entrepreneurial interests. Your friends should not suck up all of your valuable time. Like vampires, those friends will leave you lifeless.
The harder you work, the luckier you get.
Work overtime—for yourself.
Entrepreneurs set their own hours and work all year around. Even after they’ve achieved their goals and even after they’re filthy rich.
From the book ME, INC: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business by Gene Simmons Copyright (c) 2014 by Gene Simmons. Dey Street, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
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