In this episode, the book review is “10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less” written by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. This book offers tips and strategies for entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by doing less, with the proposition that working harder and longer can help you achieve more by focusing on the unique strengths you have and focusing on the best ways to amplify your impact.
Why is it more important to focus on strengths instead of trying to improve weaknesses? How does celebrating your accomplishments, big or small, and taking the time to reflect on how far you’ve come help to increase your growth? Who is this book really for, and why should you read it? We answer these questions and more in this episode, so be sure to tune in!
Karthik Chidambaram: Hello everyone. Welcome to DCKAP's Driven podcast. We
are kick-starting a new series today. Readers are Leaders.
Reading is an integral part of DCKAP's culture, and we learn a lot by
reading. And I have immensely benefited by reading and there have been a lot
of great learnings. I would even say it changed my life.
So, this motivated us to start a new series, on the Driven by DCKAP podcast,
Readers are Leaders. And in this series, we're going to do this regularly,
and we're going to be discussing about the different books we have read and
what are our learnings from those books.
And I have with me, Catherine from DCKAP, who's an avid reader, she runs the
Driven by DCKAP podcast. Sometimes I get scared about Catherine, because she
reads a lot and you have to keep up with her. You need to read more.
So, Catherine, thank you so much for joining me as well. And we are excited
to be doing the Readers are Leaders on Driven by DCKAP podcast.
Catherine Sulskis: Thanks, Karthik.
You know, it's really been an honor to produce the Driven podcast with you.
And the main theme that we're always looking to capture is how to be driven,
in our careers, our businesses and in our lives. And that's often
accomplished by learning from people, especially those who have achieved
success in some form and having mentors to look up to.
But it's also in large part by learning from what we read. So, I'm really
glad to be talking with you about some of the most impactful books that
you've read. And books certainly are a passion of mine.
I've always looked to reading as a practice of introspection and a way to
open my mind up to new ideas. But you know, for me, sometimes choosing a
book to be read can be a really difficult thing to do, especially when you
have so many on your ‘need to read’ list, which I'm sure everyone has a
So, for that reason, I wanted to start by asking, what do you typically look
for when choosing a book to read? Is there anything that first stands out to
you and do you prefer to choose them yourself or go by recommendations?
Karthik Chidambaram: So, I usually go by recommendations. I think that's the
easiest thing to do. For instance, you listen to a podcast or you watch a
video and people talk about the books they have read and if it catches my
interest, I just write it down and, hey, let me just order it. And I just
get the book and I start reading. So that's how I choose my books.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah, that seems a simple enough way to do it, to keep it
And what initially drew you to this particular book? The ‘10X is Easier Than
2X’ by Dan Sullivan.
Karthik Chidambaram: Yeah, I mean, I really enjoyed reading this book. 10X
is Easier Than 2X by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. It's a great book.
So I attended a session with Michael Hyatt, who runs Full Focus, and he
recommended it during the session, he recommended ‘10x is Easier Than 2x’.
And the word 10x did catch my attention, because all of us want to grow 10x.
And I thought it was really, really interesting and said ‘okay, let me just
go and buy the book’. And that's how I ended up with ‘10x is Easier Than
Catherine Sulskis: So, how big of an impact do you think this strategy is of
getting rid of the 80 percent of mundane work, focusing on the top 20% which
has the highest impact, being sort of the main strategy that comes out of
How big of an impact do you think this has in the current business
Karthik Chidambaram: Definitely. If you look at business, you have heard a
lot of people say this, 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of
your customers. So, focus on the top 20 percent of your customers to
generate 80 percent of the revenue. And that's mostly true and you apply the
same strategy with your work or your daily life as well.
You're right. This is something Dan talks about in this book a lot. Hey,
whatever you're doing, just look at the list of things you're doing, and 80
percent of it, take it and throw it away. And then start focusing on that
top 20 percent and just do more of that.
So, that's what Dan talks about in the book. And again, you know, you can't
just throw it away sometimes. So, essentially, what Dan is talking about is
delegating. You hire people to do that. So, you hire people to do the 80
percent of the mundane work. And you just focus on the top 20 percent and
that's going to get you great results.
Yeah, so it definitely has had a big impact on me. Again, you know, I've
heard about this in the past as well, and I try to implement it. But again,
sometimes you have to learn things again and again, or if you read it again
and again, and if you have more people say it, it really gets into your
head. So, yeah, so this was kind of a validation for that.
So I thought, okay, you know, let me just start focusing on the top 20
percent and get rid of the 80 percent, and you kind of rediscover yourself
in the process.
Catherine Sulskis: And, you know, you're definitely what we call a hustler,
right? You've attributed that a lot in your building of the business, you
know, always talking about how it's been bootstrapped and having that hustle
mentality and in growing the business.
So, I'm curious, what did you previously think about the hustle and grind
mentality prior to reading the book? And what do you think of that mentality
now, after having read the book?
Karthik Chidambaram: That's a great question. Again, I like hustling and it
is very interesting because what is hustling, right? So you try something,
you don't get it, you don't give up, you try other things again.
And, you know, you keep at it until you really get to where you want to go.
So, essentially, that's hustling. I like doing that because, you know, the
more you fail, the more you learn. And failure is really to help you to
hustle more. So essentially, if you fail, you're more motivated to do better
and more than hustling.
I would say, you know, sometimes when you're hustling, you know, it looks
like you're very busy, but then, you know, there is a difference between a
good busy and a bad busy. What are you busy with? And is that busyness in
the top 20%? Or is it in the 80%? And if it's the 80%, you don't really have
to focus on that. You can focus on the top 20%.
Again, it's a constant battle. You know, all of us have this all the time.
We look at our days and see, you know, what could have we done better? Is it
really, really productive? So, yeah, I try to be ‘good’ busy, not really
‘bad’ busy, but it doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes it is just
consumed on something else, and yeah.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah, I think that's definitely a common struggle that a
lot of people go through, no matter what level they're on.
As the book talks a lot about transformational leaders and entrepreneurs,
who do you say is the primary audience and reader for this book? Where do
you think it would have the most impact?
Karthik Chidambaram: Oh, great question, Cathy. I would say everybody is the
primary audience for the book because not just companies, even we as
individuals want to grow 10 X. Because if we don't grow 10 X, it's not that
motivating. And that's something Dan talks about in his book as well, where
the company needs to grow 10 X. And if you don't grow 10 X, it's hard to
retain people. Which is very true, and even for our own personal growth, we
need to be growing 10 X.
So, for instance, one thing Dan talks about in the book is what are the 2 or
3 important things you're going to do a day? Or what are your 2 or 3 biggest
And this applies to all of us, not just executives or entrepreneurs or
people running businesses. It just applies to you and me. It applies to each
and every one of us. So where, you know, what are my two biggest wins for
today? Just write it down. So you end on a good note.
And you talk about this a lot in our conversations. Sometimes I feel like,
hey, you know, we could have done better, but then you say, hey, let's not
focus on the gap again. You know, the gap needs to be filled, but let's also
focus on the gain. This is something you have told me. And that's something
which is talked about in the book as well, where, hey, let's not just focus
too much on the gap, focus on the gain that will give you motivation because
success does motivate you. Or writing a journal, that is something which
also helps, you know, keeping yourself organized.
I think there is great stuff for each and every one of us in the book. I
wouldn't say it's just for entrepreneurs, though it says “entrepreneurs” on
the book. I think all of us can learn, right? I mean, everybody working, or
even if you're not working, if you're working on something else.
How can you grow 10x, you know, just focus on two or three things. You can't
do everything. Another thing he talks about in the book is, before you go to
bed, 30 minutes or 45 minutes or an hour before you go to bed, don't use
your cell phone or don't check the Internet. So you can have a good sleep.
So all of us need that.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah, easy to get distracted in this day and age. So,
yeah, I mean, it certainly sounds like a lot of the lessons that come from
this book are certainly applicable in the larger sense. So that's good to
I'm curious as well how helpful it was for you to hear about some very
specific examples of people who have used a similar strategy in their
workflow productivity, such as the YouTuber Mr. Beast, who obviously is
very, very well known and has great success. And I believe another one was
the real estate agent, Linda McKissick.
Does this help in making more of a personal impact in providing the reader
with that real world applicability?
Karthik Chidambaram: Oh, definitely. I mean, everybody watches Mr. Beast.
And one thing I got to know reading the book is that Mr. Beast's name is
Jimmy Donaldson. Maybe a lot of people already know that. But yeah, that was
news for me because I didn't know. I always knew him as, I knew Mr. Beast as
Mr. Beast, but he started as Jimmy Donaldson, and then Mr. Beast.
You know, one thing he talks about in the book is a focus on quality, not on
quantity. I've also been doing some personal YouTube videos, and I can
relate to it a little bit because you don't have to do too many videos. You
just focus on high quality videos. You focus on high quality content. So,
that is a learning which applies to all of us. You don't really have to
focus on too many things, you know, just focus on quality. That is going to
get you better results.
And, with respect to the real estate agent you talked about, Linda, that was
a good read as well from the book because essentially she was also stuck.
But then the way she navigated is by getting help. So, you have to get help.
You can't just do everything yourself where you get an executive assistant
to help you out with things so you don't have to do everything.
So, yeah, these are lessons we can learn. One thing I firmly believe in, is
it's not just about reading. We say ‘readers are leaders’, but if you apply
what you read into your work, I think that's going to have a big impact.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah, I agree. I think we can't forget to take the
lessons and put it into practical use, from reading something especially so
And yeah, it's good to know that, as you said, you really can't depend just
on yourself to get everything done. I think that's another thing that even
myself is guilty of having that mindset, you know, that ‘I have to do this
and I have to get things done’, but having the team and having support is
equally as important to success. So, that's a good lesson to take away.
Karthik Chidambaram: Yeah, you can, I mean, in terms of help, you can always
get assistance, not just from your team, but you can also get outside help.
You can hire a contractor and ask them to help you out with things, you
know, that's another way to navigate it. And I've been experimenting with
that as well, or we have been experimenting with that. Yeah.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah. Great point. Great point. So, yeah, in terms of the
book itself, I'm curious if you have a favorite passage or even a quote from
the book that you want to share. Something that stood out to you as being
the most impactful perhaps to you for your career and your goals in
Karthik Chidambaram: Great question, Cathy.
I mean, there were quite a few. One thing I did really love is the great
actor Leonardo DiCaprio. He says, “Every next level of your life will
require a different you.” If you think about it, every next level of your
life will require a different view, different you. So you have to reinvent
yourself all the time.
So, 10 years ago, or even, and this is something Dan talks about in the book
as well. So, you have to revisit that top 20 percent often. You can't just
be doing the top 20 percent forever. And then after a certain point, you
revisit that and you reinvent yourself. So I thought that was really, really
And another quote which did catch my attention a lot was James Clear, James
Clear, the author of Atomic Habits. He wrote that the difference between
good and great is often the extra round of revision. If you think about it,
you write a blog and then you read it, you could say, ‘Hey, you know what, I
could be doing a little better’. So it's just a little extra round of
revision. I thought, you know, this was really, really fascinating for me.
And another good learning from the book as well as he talks about
categorizing your days, you know, you have free days in a year, focus days
and buffer days. So you start your meetings one after the other. You don't
have to do a meeting on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Let's say meeting Mondays. You do all your meetings on Mondays. So that way
you're done with that. And Tuesdays, you can actually prepare and that's the
buffer day where you prepare for your performance.
And then he asks you to take free time, you know, vacation. You just go out.
Don't think about anything else. You just sign off and then you regenerate
yourself and come back.
Catherine Sulskis: Great insight for sure. I love that quote that you pulled
from Leonardo DiCaprio to be a different ‘you’. It really says a lot, in a
lot of different ways. So, that's an amazing one.
And what would you say is your biggest takeaway, both personally and
professionally, from the advice that you gained from the book? How do you
plan on putting it into practice at work and even outside of work?
Karthik Chidambaram: I would say keep things simple and subtract. So I'm
looking at the list of things I'm doing. And what can I get rid of? What do
I really not need to do? How can I do less?
And the key to growing 10x as a company or as a person is not by doing more.
It's by doing less. And that's something I'm looking at in terms of, hey,
you know, what can I be doing and how can I reduce my work? How can I keep
things simple? So I can focus on things. Which I really like and I love
doing that top 20%.
So I would say that's my biggest takeaway and doing less keeping things
simple. Steve jobs is a great example of keeping his product simple or
keeping the whole work style simple. And that's something which is quoted in
the book as well. So, yeah, these are some learnings, which I'm trying to
put into practice. I always want to make sure.
Catherine Sulskis: Yeah, and I can attest that you're also helping to try to
spread that practice in the company as well, which is, you know, something
that's great in addition. For you to be able to take these learnings into
practice, but then also to share that with the team and help us to also put
things like that into practice as well. So, that's great.
Karthik Chidambaram: Yeah, and one thing I do want to add is, yeah, I mean,
you asked, right, ‘who reads the book and who should read the book?’ It's
for everybody. And one interesting thing we did, which I thought was
fascinating, is we asked our team to read the book as well. And just this
morning, about ten of us got together and we started discussing the book.
Hey, what are our learnings? How can we make our work a little different and
what can we take from the book? And it's just not about reading. It's about
putting it into practice, as you rightly said, having that 10 X mentality.
So it was a great session. I really enjoyed chatting with the team on this.
And that was a lot of learning and everybody needs to be on the same page.
You need to connect the dots and work together.
Catherine Sulskis: Absolutely. Yeah.
Well, thanks, Karthik. I think all your insights are really helpful to those
who might even be looking at this book and wondering how it can help them,
and an influence for them to go and pick it up and give it a read.
Karthik Chidambaram: Well, thank you, Cathy.
Thanks for doing this. And we're really excited that we have started this
new series within Driven by DCKAP. Readers are Leaders.
We definitely encourage you to read books. It makes you better. It's made my
Life better, and I've gained a lot, though. I would like to read more. I'm
not an avid reader. I would like to read more, but then, yeah, I do pick up
And yeah, so if you have not checked it out, check out 10 X is easier than 2
X, Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy.
And thanks again, everyone, for joining. And I hope you found this
conversation helpful. Readers are Leaders. Thank you.
Catherine Sulskis: Thanks, Karthik. Looking forward to the next book.
Karthik Chidambaram: Thank you.
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