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Being Smart Won't Make You a Top Producer Intelligence doesn't mean you take action, but taking action means you are successful.

By Grant Cardone Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


I don't need smart people around me. The banks failed and they are filled with smart people. Who I need are people that take action. How can you be a person that takes action? You don't need a Ph.D. from MIT. You don't need to have a lot of money. You don't even need to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

What you need is the following:

Action takers wake up early.

People think I must work 24/7 but I'm not up all night -- I go to bed early. I do this so I can wake up early. I control the time when I go to sleep at night at about 9 or 10 o'clock. I know I won't be producing something late at night, most people after 10pm are getting in trouble or taking in a bunch of garbage off the TV. People that have problems in life typically stay up too late and they watch garbage on TV. Waking up early gives me a head start on each day. I can get my mind and body right before attacking the day.

Show me the first person awake in your neighborhood and I'll show you the most productive person in your neighborhood. I want to see that sun pop. I start getting more done than my competition. Action takers want to be the first one up in their city saying, "Baby, let's rock and roll." When everybody else is having their first cup of coffee, I've worked out, written my goals, dressed… I got a head start! Be ethical, but don't play fair. How do you do that? Get up first and get a head start.

Related: 3 Bad Sleep Habits You Need to Break

Action takers plan obsessively.

At first some of you might think that planning is just another way to procrastinate—and it can be. I built my first company without a business plan. Many people plan too much and don't take action. When I talk about planning I'm talking about writing down your goals and dreams. Get a daily battle plan so that you know what you need to do, the wood you've got to chop, the calls you've got to make, the appointments you've got to have.

You need that daily battle plan. Without it you will lack direction. I am going into battle every day. I am rolling out there. I am watered up, readied up, I got my little snack, I got my 15-minute time slots scheduled, and I am going into battle. Go into battle every day knowing you are going into a plan of action – to execute. Let everybody else just show up or just work or just do his or her job and just do "enough". Remind yourself why you are doing what you're doing. I use my 10X Planner to ensure structure, productivity, and purpose.

Related: Why Smart People Make Bad Entrepreneurs

Action takers take care of themselves.

Take control of your body. If you don't you will never have control over your day, your clients, or your money. People who take action go to the gym, they don't just talk about wanting to go to the gym. Everybody wants to look good but nobody wants to take the action. A proven way to make a great investment of your time and increase your confidence and energy is to exercise -- even a little bit -- at the start or end of each day.

Look, you don't need to join a gym or even leave your house. Quit looking at workouts as just exercise and a body thing and start looking at them as a way to activate your body into action and fuel your creativity.

Just do the following:
• 10 Jumping Jacks
• 10 Squats
• 10 Push-Ups

People who take care of themselves are already taking action. Show me a guy that is muscular and fit and I'll show you a guy that is an action-taker. I tell people all the time, why work out in the gym only once a week just to get sore and never see a change? It has to be consistent. Top producers take care of their body, stay hydrated, and fuel up with healthy food. I don't see any of my top sales guys eating Twinkies at lunch and then closing 3 or 4 deals in the afternoon. Take care of yourself.

People who take normal levels of action are probably the most prevalent in our society today. This level of action creates the middle class and is actually the most dangerous—because it's considered acceptable. People in this group spend their lives taking enough action to appear average and create normal lives, marriages, and careers; however, they never do quite enough to create real success.

Related: 6 Unlikely Characteristics Common Among Billionaires

If you are sick of mediocrity, get on Cardone University today. Are you an action-taker, or are you just smart? They can teach you smart at Harvard, Yale, and MIT, but only Cardone U will teach you how to be an action-taker and give you the tools you need to become a top producer.

I'll take my top sales guys over any Ph.D.

Grant Cardone

International Sales Expert

Grant Cardone is an international sales expert, New York Times best-selling author, and radio show host of The Cardone Zone. He has founded three companies: Cardone Enterprises, Cardone Real Estate Holdings, and the Cardone Group. He has shared his sales and business expertise as a motivational speaker and author of five books: Sell to Survive; The Closers Survival Guide; If You're Not First, You're Last; The 10X Rule; and Sell or Be Sold.

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