“You cannot out-give the Universe,” my mentor Yanik Silver said to me over and over again in 2008 after I joined his Mastermind Group. What a silly notion, I thought. Or was it? Back then I didn’t understand what he meant. I was young, naïve, and inexperienced.

With a little business success under my belt, I thought I knew everything. But I was also a skeptical, scarcity-minded young man. It would take years of me spending time with incredibly generous people before Yanik’s advice clicked.

When it finally did, I noticed that the wealthiest, most successful people I knew (both at work and at home with family) were also the most generous and giving. My business partners, Matt Smith, Bedros Keuilian, and Joel Marion, along with my mentors like Yanik and Porter Stansberry, are generous beyond belief. So are authors and tech titans, Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.

In his book, Give and Take, author Adam Grant argues that “success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.” He makes the case that it is no longer effective, or acceptable, to simply be a taker, where one wins at the expense of others. Instead, Grant argues that givers, people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return, have the greatest odds of achieving extraordinary results.

“According to conventional wisdom,” Grant writes, “highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity. If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent, and luck… But there’s a fourth ingredient, one that’s critical but often neglected: success depends heavily on how we approach our interactions with other people. Every time we interact with another person at work, we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?”

Bob Burg, a friend and contributor to, wrote a book in 2007 calledThe Go-Giver. I’ve sent hundreds of copies to colleagues and coaching clients over the years because Burg’s message resonated deeply with my personal experience. Here are a few examples of the generous Go-Givers in my life that influenced me…

Example #1 – Joel Marion

Joel is one of my best friends and one of the world’s best copywriters. I first met Joel in 2009, when he was a high-school teacher. He joined my phone-coaching program for people that wanted to build an online information marketing business. After just our fourth call, he went on to achieve the biggest product launch in the fitness industry to date at that time, earning $300,000 in three days.

It was also the first time he ever sold anything online! Today, Joel is the co-owner of the BioTrust nutritional supplement company. They are the fastest growing supplement business in the world thanks to Joel’s ability to write effective video sales letters and email marketing campaigns. He is relentless, and generous. In fact, if it weren’t for the person in the next example, I’d say he was easily the most generous person I’ve met. Each year Joel takes his business partners and family on amazing trips.

Joel is famous for the parties he throws for his business partners. Whether it’s hosting 100 of his top affiliates in his backyard for the Super Bowl, or taking his top-20 affiliates to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, Joel spares no expense in showing them a good time.

He’s a natural host and loves helping people. That’s apparent in his business, too, as BioTrust is one of the biggest corporate partners of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Joel doesn’t give with any ulterior motive. He just wants to see people happy and to see them succeed. As a result, he’s built an email list of over 2 million people.

When I visit Joel at his home near Tampa, we often drive past the Raymond James football stadium, and we always do the math about how many times he could fill the 80,000 person football stadium with people from his list. That’s the power of being a Giver.

Example #2 – Porter Stansberry

If there’s anyone that could give Joel a run for his money in terms of being a generous host, it’s Porter. He’s hosted partiers all over the world. We’ve experienced his giving at the Super Bowl (the actual game, not just watching on TV), at Oktoberfest in Germany, and at an amazing villa in Tuscany, Italy.

Porter is also extremely generous in his business, Stansberry & Associates. In fact, he has a rule at Stansberry that he often shares with his readers. His goal is “to give you the information I would want if our roles were reversed.” It’s simple, but powerful, and a model that I follow at Early To Rise and with Turbulence Training.

Example #3 – Matt Smith

Matt is my business partner at Early To Rise. It was thanks to him that we had the opportunity to acquire ETR from our mentor, Mark Ford. Matt operates on the principle of adding value in every interaction that he has with others. In fact, he won’t move ahead with projects where value is destroyed. One example sticks out in my mind.

From 2012 to 2015, Matt was the CEO of Porter’s business, Stansberry & Associates. That business is much larger than ETR, and we had an employee that I knew could make much more money working for Porter than he could for me. One day I asked Matt, “Why don’t you give ___ that big job opportunity at Stansberry?”

Matt’s reply was that while yes, the employee could make more at Stansberry, that moving him from ETR would destroy value in my business. I would never have looked at the situation that way. The taker in me, as Adam Grant would label it, was looking for a way to get the most value for the employee, but I was neglecting how it would affect the other people at ETR. Thanks to Matt’s wisdom and patience, he eventually found an even better opportunity for the employee, one that added value to every party involved.

Fortunately, through spending time with these three individuals and watching them display example after example of generosity, their influence rubbed off on me. While I still have a long way to go to reach their level of both success and giving, I’m getting better every day, and it shows in the success of Early To Rise.

At, we are constantly giving free content (in our daily essays and the additional articles, videos, and audios we post to our site). We give at our annual Toys for Tots charity drive. We give coaching and mentoring to friends that spend days or weeks in our office seeing how a successful business works.

In addition to Adam Grant, I agree with Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels, who believes “that in today’s connected world, where relationships and reputations are more visible, givers can accelerate their pace.”

Today, more and more companies no longer operate from the top down. Employees, or better “team members,” are all invited — and expected — to contribute ideas and to have significant input on major projects, from the idea stage through to execution.

“As we organize more people into teams, givers have more opportunities to demonstrate their value,” Grant writes. That’s why, if you are a leader in an organization, you should be making everyone around you better. This is something I stumbled across years ago, and my giving to others has led to me achieving some of my biggest goals and dreams.

You’ll see this at work in the story of how I came to acquire Early To Rise (revealed in Chapter 20, The Law of Action Attraction, in my book, The Perfect Day Formula). “Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them,” Grant says. People root for givers and offer their support to givers. And when everyone wants to see you succeed, it removes many obstacles in your way. But givers in the workplace are a “rare breed,” Grant says. “If you’re a giver at work, you simply strive to be generous in sharing your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections with other people who can benefit from them… but being a giver doesn’t require extraordinary acts of sacrifice. It just involves a focus on acting in the interests of others, such as giving help, providing mentoring, sharing credit, or making connections for others.”

If you want to make the world a better place, if you want to make your life better, and if you want to make all of those people around you better, then read this book and take its message about giving to heart. Thanks to giving, today I lack for nothing. And I now realize that Yanik was right, you cannot out-give the Universe, no matter how hard you try. My advice to you is to give everything away you know — it will come back to you many fold.

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How People with High IQs Think (Practical Examples)

You don’t have to be the Einstein of our generation to be successful. But in some companies and institutions, IQ has a tendency to correlate to qualities they value, hence the kind of people they seek and want to work with. IQ tests directly measure your ability to correctly identify patterns and logic problems under a time limit.

Those skills have a significant correlation to other skills that we value in a 21st century, post-industrial economy. It correlates with the ability learn complex concepts, learn to think critically, learn to identify opportunities etc.

IQ is probably overrated today. We place way to much value on IQ, and take it as being far more meaningful than it is.

These are two practical examples (from Calvin and Raffaele) of how people with high 1Qs think (from a social, intellectual, and practical point of view). How they perceive everyday interactions and situations. They originally shared these experiences on reddit.

1. Calvin Chopra, An inquisitive autodidact

I tested about 4 months back; my IQ was 150. My Myers Briggs Test Type (MBTI) is INTJ and I am 17 years old.

Socially: It is pretty screwed up. I can’t get along with kids in my school or other people around me. Also, it is an INTJ characteristic that people perceive me as arrogant; in fact I am very humble. I tend to be the silent one. I don’t talk much and sometimes I am shy.

I don’t talk to people in my age group, but instead have friends who are older than me. I also don’t believe in small talk; I don’t want people calling me unless it is extremely important and I think a real conversation is better any day.

However, When I am with like-minded people or in a place where I can discuss  ideas, I am good socially and I consider myself to be an ambivert contrary to the MBTI test. I am swift then. Also, I am good at reading people’s expressions and know what they are thinking about, but sometimes I don’t even know that they are listening to me.

I despise smartphones, any and every form of communication. I don’t use my smartphone quite a lot and I might switch to a feature phone. Also, I permanently deleted my facebook account after joining Quora. I don’t keep up with my old buddies.

Intellectually: At an early age, I discovered that I was passionate about robotics and computers. Also I am a voracious reader. I read, think and talk about subjects ranging from Neuroscience to metaphysics.

I am good at school now. I love to be intellectually engaged. I have a hard time doing dull work, but I motivate myself and do work well. As for music, I find solace in classical works of Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and the likes.

The dark side of this intellectual prowess is that I sometimes have to deal with analysis paralysis and I tend to over-plan things. I think and worry a lot, sometimes. Other times I get lost in my imagination; when I am inactive I tend to do thought experiments and try to analyze or build things in my mind.

Creativity: My mind has an inclination towards abstraction; I would study the fundamental nature of something, make assumptions and inferences and would try to build an abstract model. I would then try to use that model. That is why I love robotics.

I love to work on abstract stuff; I would do stuff with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning and then use these domains to develop robots. Abstraction and Application, I work on these constantly.

Practicality: I was a strong idealist earlier; now I believe that practicality and idealism should go hand in hand. With my idealistic mind, I made many mistakes. I learnt from those mistakes and take my decisions wisely now.

I analyze the situations I am in, anticipate outcomes and know what will be beneficial for me. I do not have the Dunning Kruger effect, I know what I am good at, I know what I am bad at and I know that I don’t know much.

Procrastination: If I don’t have a plan, I will procrastinate, a lot. I need to make a plan a night before. That is the only way I can be productive. I don’t really need to be motivated to do something; having a purpose is enough. The next best thing would be a plan.

Although I don’t follow a plan rigidly but I keep working on things till bed time. I constantly make day logs and edit my plan, and I have a good work ethic. I am a non-conformist and brutally rational. I do not care about what others think about me, but I do not harm them either. If my apathy harms them, then I am in a dilemma.

[Note: Whatever I am or whatever I think, I do not attribute it to my IQ. Whatever I have achieved is by devoting time and effort in order to enhance my skills.

I believe regardless whether your IQ is 100 or 140, you can achieve solely by practicing and improving your skills; a priori intelligence is just because of genes and environment. You can be anything you want.

Also, People cannot be compared; there might be millions of people intelligent than you, millions dumber than you. If you want to get ahead embrace who you are. Be unique, do something only you can and discover your real potential.]

2. Raffaele Tranquillini, 16-year old student, programmer

Sorry for my English, my native language is Italian and actually I am 16 year old, so still learning. Even if I am not 160 or more, I have taken a few reliable IQ tests in the past and obtained scores between 145 and 150 in all. I’ll try to give a detailed answer to this question.

Notice: additional factors may influence this answer. I am an INTP on MBTI personality scale and I’m left handed (I’m not sure, but this may influence)

Childhood: in short, I was a strange child. At the kindergarden I used to look always behind the computers to see how cables were connected; I learnt reading and writing when I was three, and my kindergarten nannies remember me that I was extremely lively (too lively, sincerely), very good at puzzles that were designed for elder children, and that I used to talk always about things like gizmos, mechanical systems, possible projects using windmills and things like that.

In addition, I was not extroverted and not very friendly to my mates and teachers (that I now love for accepting me for how strange I was even when, often, I was completely crazy). At the primary school, the situation was different.

I got bullied very very often both from schoolmates and teachers, that, in a school of the peripheral area of a city, hated me because I was smarter than other children.

They used to put the blame on me for everything that happened in my class, they lied to my parents about things that, for they, I did (they were serious things, so my parents didn’t believe me) because they were just envious, exactly like my classmates.

Now I don’t like children and I hate everything related to the period of primary school, because it remembers me all that bullying of teachers and classmates.

The only positive aspects is that this experience taught me not only to respect everyone and avoid bullying, but to be always as generous and correct as possible with other people in order to avoid they made the same bad experiences.

Social skills: they were quite poor, but in the time with my very analytic behaviour I learned how the “society algorithm” works, and I am in some things even more able than normal people, because I don’t do anything in a spontaneous way in social occasions, and instead I know how to simulate well an emotion or another. However, there are still many points where this “algorithm” I learned doesn’t work, and that translates in social difficulties.

Everyday life: the main difference is that I see patterns everywhere. Patterns and algorithms. In addition, I am usually really fast in thinking logically, and when I speak I usually try in my head in 1/10 of second 4-5 different sentences and choose the best one (something not the best for that situation, though).

Then often I figure out many different solutions in a very short time to a problem, including the solution that I think will be the wrong one but the one that the others will choose, and I can’t explain the right one.

Often people tell me that my solution is wrong and I am stubborn, but I know it is correct, and after hours they will notice I was right. In addition, I always talk very very fast to keep up with my thoughts.

Other aspects of social life: I often feel alone among the people. I am between them, but I feel separated by a wall that isolates me on a place that is just physically near the people around me. They don’t understand me. They misunderstand me (in a bad way).

I feel as I had some sort of veil that doesn’t let me interact with them. And nobody believes me if I try to explain that. (This is one of the the many symptoms of Asperger’s I have… But I’m almost sure it’s also the IQ)

Interests: my mind is very good in some directions and very wrak in others. For instance, I am not good at maths (high school maths is IMO boring and I don’t want to study it) except for the very small part of it involving logical thinking.

I am very good at writing, but my main, obsessive hobby is programming. I love it, and I am programmer since I was 8. I love it because it’s good to use my logic. I’ve always been very bad at sport. Especially, I have never had coordination. I love quiet places, and I need to walk alone in quiet places for some kilometers every day to relax.

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