Everything I’ve Learned from Darren Hardy

By Garrett Mickley •  Updated: 01/12/22 •  12 min read

On this page, I am keeping track of everything I’ve learned from Darren Hardy.

Darren Hardy Book Notes

Darren Hardy Course Notes

What Makes Life Worthwhile

  1. Learn
  2. Try
  3. Stay
  4. Care

How to be Authentic

  1. Owning your shiitake.
  2. Being a professional.
  3. Stop the whining, moaning, and groaning.
  4. Stop taking on other people’s monkeys.
  5. Stop tolerating BS.
  6. Speak frankly.
  7. Speak deeply.
  8. Think for yourself.
  9. Stop giving a rip about what others think.

DON’T fake it till you make it. Be real. Be transparent. Be authentic. Be yourself.

You get and continue receiving what you tolerate in life.

– Darren Hardy

10 X-Factors of the Super-Successful

  1. Relentless drive.
  2. Supersize your thinking.
  3. Massive leverage.
  4. Focus. Control your attention.
  5. Unrelenting resiliency in the face of failure.
  6. Constant pursuit of better
  7. Steadfast Consistency
  8. “Power tribe.” Seek out high achieving peers.
  9. Consummate learners.
  10. Unshakable resolve.

3 Advantages for Success

  1. Access to counsel.
  2. Connections.
  3. Strategies.

Punching Crisis in the Mouth

Everyone is pessimistic about where the economy and geopolitics are headed Q4 2022 and beyond.

Probably recession in 2023, at the very least stagflation.

“Black Swan” events happen and the future is unknowable for all of us.

This is not new — history has always been this way.

It is okay not to know. Not knowing is normal.

Volatility is normal. It’s inevitable.

Be amused by what you read. Not alarmed.

“Your destiny is determined not by the winds of change, or the currents of turmoil but only by the set of your sail.” – Jim Rohn or Darren Hardy

It’s better to anticipate and prepare than to react.

6 Checkpoints:

1. Eyes – Be vigilant on what you give your attention to.

Humanity hasn’t changed.

Inside all of us there is light and dark.

All that has changed is that the loud fringe minority of darkness are getting more attention and have used technology to:

  1. find each other
  2. coordinate and organize
  3. distribute their darkness en masse to the majority

Even though we are mostly light, all of that does affect and change us. Even if we see things we know we don’t agree with. Our attitudes, perspectives, behaviors, emotions, etc. will turn darker.

We are attracted to negative effects as a survival mechanism that is no longer necessary.

Be very vigilant about everything you give your attention to and the input that you allow.

The media (news and social) isn’t “evil,” because they focus on negative news. They’re just optimizing for attention and money.

What to do?

“Reset your sail.” — Turn your eyes away.

Set your eyes firmly on the horizon – towards your desired destination, values, mission, goals, and dreams. HOLD STEADY.

Stop looking at anything meant to monetize your attention.

2. Head – Feed the positive, hopeful, creative, and inspired side of your nature proper nutrition.

Watch Darren Daily…daily.

Little improvements over time accumulate and compound to produce massive results.

The key is consistency.

Build it into your routine. Same time, location, etc.

3. Heart – Fortify your most important relationships and key associations.

We are an interdependent social species. We need each other — especially our tribe.

You can’t only look for them in the midst of the storm. Nurture the relationship, always.

Elevated Relationships:

It takes work, effort, intention, investment, joining groups, and signing up for stuff where these people will be.

It takes all the above to keep those relationships going.

If this sounds like too much work, you aren’t cut out to become wealthy, influential, and/or consequential.

The return on effort (and investment) is many thousands over.

Without the right relationships, by your own work, you will be left out to sea with no rudder and no sail.

4. Muscles – The single best thing you can do to immediately reduce stress, anxiety, and fear is to go work out.

The more stressful, the harder you work out.

Set an MVP – minimum viable pounding.

Do what you already know how to do.

3 best ways to stay healthy:

  1. Work out hard
  2. Eat clean
  3. Sleep deep

5. Wallet – Trim the fat.

Now is the time.

Spending always meets (or exceeds) the level of capacity.

Expenditures rise to meet income.

Do regular decluttering of financials. Get rid of the excess.

Be lean and mean as possible.

Cut expenses as deeply as you can.

Stack your cash.

Opportunities are coming and you will want cash in hand.

6. Spine – Double down on your personal growth and development.

Invest money to get your unique advantage.

This is when the wealthy become wealthy; access to the right knowledge, proven strategies, and vital skills pay off the most.

What to do when the punch is coming for your face

Lean into the punch. Don’t try to avoid the punch.

Leaning back leaves you off balance and defenseless.

Then send your counter punch.

Everyone else is leaning back. Now’s the time to push forward.

Key Systems to Scale Hyper-Growth

“Freedom requires structure. Structure is what makes freedom possible. Structure liberates creativity.”

Everything needs to be simple, clear, and certain.

Rule of thumb: You want to systemize the predictable (routine), so that you can humanize the exceptional.

5 areas to audit:


Email communication has best practices.

Project Management

Cut everything down to the most essential, high value, vital tasks and priorities.

Documents and Data Storage

Simplify everything. Only focus on the most important data points.


Same as above.

Customer Touchpoints

Make all customer-facing documents (invoices, etc.) and marketing materials as simple, clear, and certain as possible.

The best days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, in that order (I have meetings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

Problem Solving with 1:3:1

1: What’s the problem?
3: What are at least 3 viable, well-researched and thought-through solutions?
1: What is your most recommended solution (between the three) and why?

Example video here.

Skill Building

Darren’s 1-1-3-5-1-30-30-5 Plan

5 Steps for Studying

  1. Study – while reading think about current applications
  2. Extract – only look for 3 big ideas
  3. Act – implement 1 idea right now (one per month)
  4. Measure – measure your improvement
  5. Review – assess and adjust, repeat process

8 Tips for Better Learning

  1. Become comfortable with the struggle of learning. The brain has to make new neural pathways. Things get easier as you learn and use what you learn.
  2. Become curious. Ask questions. Don’t presume anything.
  3. Have a goal for your learning. When you know what you’re working towards, your Reticular Activating System will find, show you, and store the info that is important.
  4. Learn in focused sessions. Studies show 30-90 minutes is best. Too little or too much and you won’t retain the info. If you must go more than 90 minutes, take 5-10 minute breaks.
  5. Use spaced repetition. This prevents neural pathways from decaying.
  6. Go deep vs. wide. Our brains can only handle so much. Avoid learning outside of the scope of what you want to accomplish.
  7. Reflect, revisit, and review to improve. Like spaced repetition. This keeps your neural pathways strong.
  8. Teach someone else. Teaching someone else will improve and cement your understanding of something. Start a blog!

Ninja Negotiation Tactics

Getting anyone to do anything comes down to identifying why they would want to.

Figure out what they want. What is “winning” for them? Give them that.

3 Strategies:

  1. Ask.
    • Simple, obvious questions.
      • “What is the most important thing to you in this exchange?”
      • “What do you plan to do with this company after you acquire it?”
      • “What is the money that you gain from this transaction going to go towards after you sell this?”
    • Ask questions that refocus them on their bigger why; their primary motive.
    • This prevents them from getting lost in trivial ego battles.
    • Keep asking, “Tell me more about that, why is that important?”
  2. Lay in their bed.
    • Lay in their bed and stare at their ceiling with them.
    • Get into their head AND heart.
      • What are they thinking about?
      • What are they worried about?
      • Who are they worried about?
      • What are they hopeful about?
    • Put yourself in their position.
      • Why are they here?
      • Why do they want to make this exchange?
      • What do they want to gain?
      • What are they trying to do?
      • Who are they trying to impress?
      • What are their current challenges?
      • What pressure may they be under?
      • What risks are they taking?
      • What ripple effects might a yes mean for them?
    • Use these questions to figure out how you are equipped to help them.
  3. Do your homework
    • Gather pertinent information prior to your encounter.
      • What’s happening in their industry?
      • What options do they have outside of this exchange?
      • What needs and pressures do they have/are under?
      • What are their competitors doing to advance themselves by comparison?
      • What are the low average and high market average for what it is that you have?
      • Who is going to be involved in this decision?
      • What will influence their wants, needs, desires, etc?

Negotiation, sales, and influence of any kind are just an exchange of value.

You can get anything you want if you can figure out how to get the other person what they want.

6 Tips to Successful Negotiations

  1. Patience.
    • Impatience costs. Pick two: Fast, Quality, Cheap.
    • Focus on the other side’s time pressures.
  2. Keep emotional distance.
    • Don’t let yourself get to where you have to have it.
    • If you depend too much on a positive outcome of the negotiation, you lose your ability to protect your boundaries.
    • Always be willing to walk away; some deals just don’t work.
    • Never take a person’s behavior during a negotiation personally.
  3. Set the right stage.
    • 3 Factors:
      1. Where – Formal settings create a feeling of hostility; informal settings create a feeling of warmth and agreement.
      2. When – Determine the best timing for the negotiation, during the week, during the day. Hold it when all parties can be relaxed and not emotional.
      3. Who – Make sure you are negotiating with the person who has the authority to decide.
  4. Go big. Ask for the moon; get the sky.
    • Figure out what the heart of the deal is for you. Could be:
      • Price
      • Term of the non-compete cause
      • Retaining certain copyrights
      • Terms of the royalty payment
      • License agreement
      • Stock selling blackout period
    • There are aspects of the deal that could be much more valuable than the purchase price in the long run.
    • Figure out those aspects of the deal and surround it with “moonshot” points.
    • Bogies – moonshot points you suggest are important but aren’t the heart of the deal to you.
    • You can concede these points to get what you really want.
  5. Keep trading value.
    • Don’t concede anything without receiving something.
      • It’s only fair, and
      • It will stop them from continuing to ask.
  6. Learn to have fun and enjoy it.
    • Attitude is everything.
    • Don’t approach it as a fight.
      • The other party will pick that up and they will clam, armor, or lawyer up.
    • Don’t underestimate the importance of likeability.
    • Be positive, polite, encouraging, hopeful, and willing to walk away if their win can’t match yours. But walk away as friends.

How to Get a Promotion

Comes down to two things:

1. Help the people you work for make more money.

We get paid for value, not time.

To get paid more money, become more valuable, and deliver more value.

Hitting your goals does not earn a promotion.

You have to go above and beyond your job description.

Deliver increased value in advance.

There is never a lack of promotion potential (opportunity). There is only a lack of value being proactively contributed.

You don’t wait for a promotion; you make your own.

Earn more value by bringing more value.

6 ways to provide more value:

  1. Sell more (to existing clients)
  2. Find more clients
  3. Identify more opportunity
  4. Save money
  5. Recruit talent
  6. Mentor and help others

2. Make life easier.

Be a problem solver.

Lighten the cognitive load of your leaders.

If you have a question, do research first and come up w/ three possible solutions to present.

If you know it’s going to solve the problem — just go do it!

Speak up!

Don’t wait to be called on.


Have guts!

Volunteer for tough jobs.

Be reliable.

Take extreme ownership.

Your leader shouldn’t need to follow up.

If there’s a problem (it’s going to be late, etc), let your leadership know as soon as you know so that they’re not left wondering.

Deliver excellence.

Set a reputation that your leadership knows you will do a good job without even questioning.

“Sign your name to your work” and you will stand out.

Have an ambitious, positive minded, can-do attitude.

Be positive and focus on “how do we get there?” instead of “this is what will prevent us”.

“Be an engine, not an anchor.”

Disconnected Day

Pick one day during the work week and disconnect completely for a full 24 hours (I chose Thursdays).


Spend the day on Deep Work.


This is only for creative producers, not front-line customer service roles.

Garrett Mickley

I've been working in digital marketing for a decade and a half, and I'm ready for a career change. This blog is my journal.

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