45 years ago I tried and failed to make it on the PGA Tour. Do you remember me? Even if you’re old enough, of course you don’t. My MOM didn’t know.

After that, I tried to be a stuntman in Hollywood. I quickly learned a valuable lesson: There are old stunt men and women, and there are bold stunt men and women. There are no old, bold stunt men and women.

After that, I took the more traditional route of getting into sales and marketing. Surprise! I was very good at those, especially marketing.

People started asking me to share my secrets for success. Since that time, I’ve given over 1600 speeches and consulted around the world. I’ve also written 8 books, including 2 best-sellers.

Here are 10 random business lessons I’ve learned.

1. You are only productive when you are moving in the direction of a big goal. Do not confuse busyness with effectiveness. Think IMPACT.

2. Marketing success isn’t magic. One of the big secrets of marketing is test, test, test.

Read Dan Kennedy’s book, “The Ultimate Marketing Plan.”

3. Get in the office at 6:00 am. Every day. You’ll be 2 hours ahead of your competition. In one year you’ll be 500 hours ahead.

I did that for almost 30 years before I started throttling back. By that time, they weren’t going to catch me.

4. When you’re working, work fast. Decide what you’re working on and get it done quickly.

Brian Tracy gave me this great advice. (One of the huge benefits of being an author and professional speaker is getting to know really, really smart people.)

5. Be generous.

Zig Ziglar* taught me, “If you help enough other people get what they want, they’ll help you get what you want.”

*Another really, really smart person I got to know.

6. Be the AUTHORITY in your field.

Write a book. Give speeches. Do a podcast. Post on Twitter and LinkedIn like @thejustinwelsh, @matt_gray_, @amandanat, @dickiebush, @elonmusk, and so many others I’ve recently discovered.

Oh, wait, scratch that last one.

7. Be the Kevin Bacon* in your field.

After I wrote my first book, “How to Get the Most Out of Trade Shows,” I made connections throughout the industry. When people wanted to meet someone, I became the connector.

(BTW, please do NOT buy that book now. It was first published in 1990 and has only had one update. It’s WAY out-of-date.)

*If you don’t know the Kevin Bacon game, google it.

8. Copywriting is the #1 superpower of marketing.

Follow @AndrewWriteCopy, @harrydry, and @GrammarHippy. Then also study Dan Kennedy, Robert Bly, and Gary Halbert.

Great copywriters get rich.

9. Follow and hang out with people who don’t think like you and have different experience.

When I was a teen, W. Edwards Deming taught me that creativity doesn’t come from inside your circle. It comes from studying people and experiences OUTSIDE your circle.

10. Stop trying to get out of the box. That’s stupid, because then where are you?

Build your own box. Create the rules of competition everybody else has to follow.

That’s a wrap! If you enjoyed this, please comment below and share with your friends.