Justin Gesso - Rocket Fuel for a Better Life

Justin Gesso - Rocket Fuel for a Better Life
author of the day

After getting out of his comfort zone and quitting his six figure job, Justin Gesso managed to not only double what he used to earn, but also had more time for his family, life and side projects. In his book, Leave the Grind Behind, Gesso shares his secret to success in actionable steps to show readers how to stop being a cog, work with a plan and establish multiple sources of income. As our author of the day, Gesso talks about why he quit his job, how his book is different from other self-help books and how to discover whether you are a cog or a grinder.

Please give us a short introduction to Leave the Grind Behind

There is a lot more to life than grinding away day-after-day for someone else. The problem is, by the time many of us have the insight, connections, and ideas to breakout on our own, we have responsibilities. We have families, mortgages, and more.

Responsibilities wall us into remaining a cog and never building the legacy of our dreams.

I have come to believe this is the reason many of us have midlife crises! This realization gets you down, so you go buy a convertible… 

But I think there is a better option! 

Leave the Grind Behind tackles this head-on, giving you the tools to massively reduce risk and jump into a life characterized by big money, more control of your time, and working toward your goals and passions. 

The book is about looking at the practices successful companies utilize, and then applying those to your life.

What was your "aha-moment" that motivated you to make the leap from the corporate world to doing your own thing?

I grew up, like most, with the idea that I needed to go to school, get a nice secure job with benefits, and then work hard. By doing so, I'd steadily get promotions, raises, and a house with a white picket fence.

And this is exactly what happened...

I was in leadership positions and making a nice, secure 6-figure salary.

The problem was, once I got there, I realized that's not how I wanted to spend my life! If I continued on that path, I'd leave an ordinary, unremarkable legacy.

I started devouring every book I could on success. I began networking with people who were doing big, exciting things with their lives.

I thought I was doing well, but was shocked by how much better some people were living. Working on their dreams. Making multiples more money than I.

All of this built up explosive energy within me, which I used to lay out a plan to make the leap.

And after pulling the trigger, I continue to use that road map to grow and refine.

Needless to say, I'm in a much better position now. I am working on my projects (like this book), I'm making much more money, I've built numerous income streams, and I have more time for my family.

Why do you think it is important to work according to a plan instead of just following your impulses?

No question, you can't just quit your job and hope it goes to plan. You can't dabble either. If you haphazardly try side projects, you'll become discouraged and further entrench in the grind.

In the book, I break the process down into three sections:

  1. Cultivate your mindset. Much like a successful company has a highly-focused culture, you need a highly-focused mindset. You won't get far if your mind isn't in the right spot. This section explores building the right type of motivation, figuring out what really excites you, advertising success to yourself, identifying and setting your 3 top goals, and much more. This is the fuel and exploratory phase. Your mindset is your critical foundation, and many don't put enough emphasis on it.
  2. Build your network. I'm not the sort of person that naturally maintains a huge network of people, but I do understand the immense value of maintaining the right types of relationships with the right types of people. Being around people who have already achieved what you want gives you the ability to level-jump results, avoid pitfalls, and leverage others’ connections.
  3. Take action. Once you have the right mindset and a good network in place, you’ll need to convert your energy and resources into tangible action. If you're like I was, you're already working a regular job, so your time is scarce. I became ruthless with my time, and you'll also need to prioritize it so you can build an effective plan and feel confident when it comes time to pull the trigger.

This book puts best practices from individuals and top companies into a plan you can use to achieve what you want in your life.

How should we avoid the trap of falling into a grind?

First off, many people are okay being in the grind. The comfort and consistency is very valuable to a lot of people.

If you’re at a big company, look around. I bet you see people who have been in the same exact job for 5, 10, or even 15 years. They’ve stagnated, but they may be okay with it.

I wasn’t. It scared me!

Now look up the chain from you. If you continue to work hard and receive promotions, are you excited to be doing what your superiors are doing? Are they making that much more than you...I mean multiples more? Are they living balanced lives? Are they happy?

I wanted something much more than I could see around me. That was fuel to commit to figuring out how to do something better.

What about you? Do you want something better?

One of the easiest first steps is to surround yourself by people who are not in the grind. If you spend most of your day around coworkers and other Cogs, chances are you’ll remain a Cog. You are the average of the people you surround yourself with. As soon as I started expanding my network and reaching out to people who were doing big things in their lives, my perspective changed entirely.

My perspective of what was possible changed.

My perspective of the risks changed.

I learned I didn’t have to trade my soul, my time with my family, or risk my house. I realized I could be in charge of my life.

How is your book different from your run-of-the-mill self-help and get-rich books?

Self-help and get-rich-quick books typically fall into a couple of categories.

First, many books are lame. They offer empty promises and ways to success that don’t really require action. We’ve all come across these. Oftentimes, there’s a hint of truth in them, but that truth is buried under marketing hype and fluff. These can be fun reads but won’t really alter your perspective on life.

Second, there are books from people who had one major success. I’m talking people who hit a homerun on a single project, making a massive windfall of money. I love these books and read them all the time. They give me motivation and trigger me to set bigger goals. However, it’s often very hard to repeat what these authors are describing.

My book offers an effective path that will work more consistently for people. It’s about applying tried-and-true methods to your personal life. It’s about incrementally building yourself up and generating new forms of revenue. It’s very possible, through this, you’ll hit a massive success. But you’re not shooting for a home run. With this book, you’re hitting singles, working your way up to hitting doubles and triples.

I’m constantly applying these principles in my life. Before I left my job, when I left my job, and still today. I repeatedly use the principles in this book to push myself further, build more passive income, and gain time for my projects.

How much do attitudes and habits affect how much success one will have in life?

Habits are massive. Darren Hardy describes the value of habits beautifully in his book, “The Compound Effect.”

Simply put, in the same way compound interest works to deliver massive results in your financial life, daily habits work to deliver massive results in your personal life.

It is absolutely astounding how fast you will realize huge change by simply incorporating a few new daily habits that you stick to consistently.

For this reason, I end each chapter with a set of actions and habits. They don’t take much time, but their power is exceptional.

And you have to have an exceptionally positive attitude! I have habits and actions to cultivate this. If you want to do something extraordinary, you’re going to run into naysayers, rejection, and failure. But if you have the right attitude, you’ll push through and end up somewhere most people won’t go...somewhere exceptional.

Your book starts with a quiz. Why?

I'm a big proponent of measuring.

Most of us have heard you can't improve what you don't measure. Again, this is how successful companies run, and you should be doing the same in your life.

So in the book, I have this concept of Cogs vs Grinders. Fundamentally, Cogs are working for someone else's dream. Grinders are working on their own. Most of us are a Cog, but yearn to be a Grinder.

Going from Cog to Grinder is a journey. And this journey can be measured. Based on certain characteristics, you can become more and more of a Grinder as you take meaningful action. The quiz lets you know where you are today.

If you start taking action, you will begin improving and picking up more of the characteristics. I recommend you take the quiz quarterly to hold yourself accountable to the principles and see true change in your life.

Even if you don't have the book, you can take the quiz for free at http://grindbehindbook.com/quiz

How much success have you achieved in your own life by applying the principles in your book?

A lot! First and foremost, I successfully quit my job and haven't gone back--going on three years now.

But here's something a little more concrete. I've been able to:

> 2x my 6-figure corporate income within 1.5 years of leaving the grind

> 2x my net worth within 2 years of leaving the grind

> Build an $850,000 real estate portfolio

> Earn 60% of my income from passive and scalable sources

> Be ground level at several multi-million dollar startups

And you know what else? My health is better and I spend more time with my family! I feel younger and much more enthusiastic. I could go on and on.

Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

Marketing. I advocate this for all authors and anyone who wants to build their own brand. You have to know how to get the word out on your ideas and yourself. If you don't promote, no one will find out how great you are and what you have to offer.

I talk about this a lot in my book. If you want to go out on your own, you have to learn how to market.

Tell us a bit about your writing habits. How do you make time to write?

Writing a book has been something I wanted to do for such a long time. As a kid, I always enjoyed writing.

Since leaving my job and building up numerous streams of income, I’ve afforded myself the gift of time. I have time to work on projects for myself, like this one.

But that answer won’t help most people. I really had to become specific and disciplined about how I spent my time when I decided to quit my job. I needed to juggle family time, personal time, work time, and time for planning my exit. You simply need to become ruthless about how you spend your time.

I dive into this heavily in the book.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

Go out to my book's website. I have a lot of great info. It's https://justingesso.com/blog

This deal has ended but you can read more about the book here.