I actually procrastinate a lot when I want to share the lessons learned after reading the book by Gene Simmons. And it’s not because I’m lazy or anything, but it’s because I learned A LOT from reading his book!
In fact, I’ve written at least 12 key lessons that I learned after finish reading his book (As you can see below)
1. Strong work ethics
2. Live below his means
3. Create a brand (be someone that people love)
4. Model successful people
5. Always have a business partner
6. Just do. Figure things out later.
7. Move to a big city.
8. Don’t marry until you are successful.
9. Know how to sell yourself
10. Life is a competition.
11. Be flexible, blend in.
12. Learn to speak English
So instead of sharing all 12 lessons above, I’m gonna just stick with the single biggest lesson learned from his book titled: “Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business”
So here’s my biggest lesson yet:
Having a strong work ethic.
And the reason why that lesson resonates with me the most is because I have low work ethics and easily procrastinate when things get tough or when a certain project overwhelms me.
Being someone who understood human psychology, I know where how that behaviour take root in my life and become a part of me.
It has to do with how I was brought up as a kid by my parents. You see, I was brought up pretty comfortably in a typical middle-income household. Even though both my parents came from a tough and poor upbringing, they vowed to never let their children experience the same hardship.
As a result, I didn’t understand the meaning of hard work. All I do for most of my childhood was play and explore my creative side. I spend a lot of time daydreaming, chilling, watching cartoons, and every time a tough situation came up in my life, I tend to avoid it completely.
So growing up, I wasn’t really a high achiever and I don’t understand why some of my classmate studies really hard to be at the top of the class.
But now I understand why.
And that revelation came to me when I was reading the book by Gene Simmons.
You see, Gene Simmons today is a highly successful entrepreneur with multiple business ventures, with his greatest achievement being a legendary rock star under the band called KISS.
But what I didn’t know is that he was brought up in Israel, a tough place with little opportunity for success. His father walked out on him when he was 7 years old, and it was up to his mother to make a living. They are incredibly poor and there are even bullet holes in their one-bedroom apartment as a result of various Israeli-Arab conflicts over the years.
And they didn’t have a car or even a proper toilet. Food was scarce. So their family really struggle just to put food on the table. But it’s that hardship that ultimately builds his tough character, and his strong work ethic which resulted in him being able to achieve massive success in his life.
Even in a country that’s undergoing reform with little opportunity for success, he, along with his friends was able to start a little side business selling cactus fruits (picked from the wild) and earning a grand total of 2 dollars after a hard days’ work.
That was more than enough to support him and his mom at the time and make her proud. That’s when he knew that (in his own word): “Work was good. Work resulted in money. Work and money resulted in food. Work and money resulted in happiness”
So with that belief instilled inside of him, there’s no wonder why he doesn’t mind working so hard because he knew that hard work equals money and happiness.
And when I relate to some of my classmates who performs really well in school, I finally understood why they behave that way.
They had no choice but to succeed.
One thing I know is that these classmates who perform at the top of the class have a very tough upbringing as well. Most of their parents are farmers and they had to study hard while helping their parents to sell the harvest during the weekend. There’s no other way except to study hard and get a good career that ensures them a good life.
My parent also told me the same story when they are growing up. In fact, my dad was the best student in his class and he was the first in his school to pass the incredible tough Form 5 exam at that time which landed him a position as a teacher which ultimately change his life for the better.
The same is true from my mom as well. Both my parents always told me the story of how they also have to walk to school for 2 hours, crossing streams, and they can’t even afford a proper shoe. They don’t even have electricity back then, only candlelight and gasoline light to study at night, and that too was scarce. They even got scolded for using the candles to study at night. So they too had no choice but to excel in their class and succeed no matter what – which they did.
So back to me. I was born and raised where I don’t even need to work at all, and everything is available to me. I never had to worry about money or anything until the moment I graduated from university. And that’s when my life really turned to shit really quickly.
I was lazy as hell and whenever I’m faced with a situation that requires me to work hard, I would try to avoid that altogether. The worst thing is that I expect things to be given stuff without ever doing any work. And those belief doesn’t serve me well at all.
So you can imagine how my life would turn out when I got my first few jobs.
I was fired. One after the other and the other.
That’s because I don’t believe in working hard.
But after being fired 4 times, I got into massive depression.
Which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.
I was able to deeply evaluate my own belief and action, and eventually realized the root cause of my terrible belief (which is caused by my comfortable upbringing) and I was able to decide there and then, to let go of that bad belief and welcome a new belief where I would work my ass off in order to achieve success in life, and be even better than what my parents have achieved.
But to prevent me from falling back to my old belief, I attached a different meaning to being comfortable or having a weak work ethic. Below and some of the internal dialogue that I had at that time which I still remember today:
- If I don’t work as hard, I would get fired, be broke and no girl wants me. (true story)
- If I don’t work as hard, I would be a disappointment to my family, community and my people.
- If I don’t work as hard, I can’t afford a good life while my other friends are able to.
- If I don’t work as hard, I would be broke and depressed and will probably wish I wasn’t born into this world.
And here’s the thing I can expect by having a strong work ethic.
- I can earn more money, get promoted, and have the money to invest in a relationship or in business opportunities to increase my income even further.
- I can invest in social gathering and make friends with successful people.
- I can do more creative DIY projects (which is my biggest passion aside from fishing)
- I can have a good life – House, car, fashion, you name it.
- I can invest in gyms and better food and nutrition, so I get to live a healthy life.
- And many more…
Now, why would I list down my reason in a positive and negative way?
Well, that’s because as a human being, we are hardwired in our DNA to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
And logically, we all know that nothing can be achieved by being lazy. But if we work hard enough, all of life’s pleasure is available to us, and it’s just a matter of time.
By the way, I’m curious about your story and perspective on this topic of having a strong work ethic.
Do share your thoughts and ideas in the comment below. If you can, share one or two reasons why you must succeed no matter what. I’m sure it will inspire others who are reading this blog to have a breakthrough.
Also, I would like to thank YOU for reading and adding your voice to this conversation.
To happiness and success,