How Grant Cardone Built a $750 Million Empire

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Grant Cardone is a top international sales expert, real estate mogul, and entrepreneur with $100M+ annual revenues from all five of his companies. An overview of Grant Cardone’s success so far:

  • $800M real estate tycoon
  • Customers include Fortune 500 companies
  • Forbes #1 “25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017”
  • New York Times bestselling author
  • 20 million user logins at Grant Cardone online sales training university
  • Raised $200M for charities
  • Grant Cardone Net Worth: $300 Million
  • Top social media influencer

Grant Cardone is the founder and CEO of Cardone Enterprises. His primary venture is Cardone Training Technologies that helps companies grow sales by customizing their sales processes to be more effective. He also owns and operates Cardone University, Cardone Acquisitions, Cardone Capital and Grant Cardone TV Network.

Navigate this post

  1. Grant Cardone – Early Life
  2. Grant Cardone Businesses
  3. The Secret to Grant Cardone’s Success
  4. Grant Cardone on Mentorship
  5. Grant Cardone’s Tips for Sales
  6. Top Grant Cardone Quotes
  7. Recommended Grant Cardone Books

Grant Cardone – Early Life

At 25, you were in rehab for drug addiction and without a job. By 30, you had already made your first million dollars. How did the transition happen?

In essence, that story is of a lost kid. I was 25 when I left the treatment facility “supposedly” with the disease and unable to have any kind of real life. The rehab is supposed to help people handle the addiction. Their sole goal is to get you off the drug for 28 days. Yet they have little to no success.

While treating the symptoms, treatment centers easily overlook the root cause. The problem wasn’t the drug for me. The problem was what got people like me to these drugs in the first place. And that was never addressed while I was in rehab.

But I kept strong and left with a feeling of gratefulness, with the thought of going just 24 hours without a drug. I have not used a drug, any kind of drug, since then.

That was the only way I was going to have success — by not using a drug. I left there and figured out what my problems were. My primary problem was that I was bored. I didn’t have any direction or purpose. Neither did I have a job nor a game.

I was 10 when my dad died and it left me with a big void. He was really successful and I looked up to him every day.

In everyone’s life, you have someone you’re looking up to or looking down to or looking sideways at. – Grant Cardone.

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I didn’t have the guy to look up to anymore. I had to look around and all I had was a bunch of people who were equal to me or less than me. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. They just didn’t know as much or they were less optimistic.

That’s what I was surrounded by. I think most of the world is surrounded by people like that. People who aren’t educated, have bad information, are miseducated, negative, or given up. If you’re surrounded by people, like I was,  who have given up on money, success, being known, or making their dreams come true, then something bad is going to happen.

I ended up going towards drugs though it was just a detour.

Long story short, I got out of the treatment center, decided to not use drugs anymore, and I looked at one thing that I could focus on. Anytime that I had focused on one thing in my life, I did not get into trouble. I didn’t have that between the age of 10 and 25. Or maybe I did and I just didn’t take it.

So I channeled all my energy into something constructive with a promise to not be destructive. I didn’t get excited about it nor did I make a commitment to it. I got a sales job and decided I was throwing myself into it. By the way, I hated sales.

What motivated you to keep at the sales job despite not having a penchant for it?

Well, I hated sales but also hated my life. I especially hated being broke, having dead-end jobs, and not being able to pay the rent. I also wanted to be sure that I didn’t use drugs again. I had to channel all that into something. I used work — the crummy sales job that nobody liked. I decided I was going to get good at that job.

Coming to think of it, even if I had been a janitor, I would have become the best that there was because I would have thrown myself into it. In fact, had I been in the taxi business, I probably would have ended up creating Uber because I would have seen the problem. Same would have been the case for any other job.

When you decide to master something, you start with the things that are broken in it. – Grant Cardone.

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And that is what happened to me in sales.

I found all these things in sales that were broken for me, for other people, and particularly for the customer. I spent the next five years changing that. I started my first business when I was 29, which is what I’m known for today.

I changed the way people sell things. This was all pre-internet, pre-buying services, pre-reviews — before there was any kind of evaluation of people sales processes. I was the first guy saying, “It’s too long,” “You can’t remember it,” “The customer hates it,” “It doesn’t work.”

And over the last 30 years, we’ve really changed the process of how people sell things. Be it over the phone, internet, or even click funnel.

Everything that you would typically see on the internet right now, I was talking about them 30 years ago.

Grant Cardone Businesses

Tell us about the subsequent businesses. How did that happen?

My first business was the attention-getting business. That was how I actually funded my second business.

It was a consulting company in the automobile industry. I basically went up to this multi-billion dollar automotive industry and said, “Look, the way you do business is antiquated.”

I began consulting manufacturers and car dealers in the USA and Canada on how they could change their processes to be more consumer-friendly, fast, profitable, and effective with both customers and dealers. I still have that company today. I started that business with just 50 grand. It’s 30 years old now and it has most likely made 10 million dollars every year since then.

I had an idea of changing the auto industry. And I think everybody could learn from this too. I went up to the auto industry and had them paying me to learn about this idea. They were essentially investors without being investors.

In exchange for getting their time to listen to my pitch about the consulting business, I sold them a product or service. I was educating them about new ways to do things. A small percentage of that room would then request for more of my services.

I would do a free session for 30 minutes and people would want to pay to see the entire two-day deal. After a point, over 200 people paid to see me speak. I traveled all over the country and was doing 250 speaking gigs a year. We were selling them the consulting business then.

Those were the first two businesses and they still work today. I’m just personally not focused on automotive now. Today, the business has expanded dramatically — from furniture companies to financial institutions.

I’ve worked with almost all fortune 200 companies, either by being paid to speak to them or directly work with them. I have also worked with a lot of network marketing companies in building their teams and helping them grow.

The third business was of writing books and programs.

So far, we’ve written 7 books along with 13 best-selling online business programs. It’s produced hundreds of millions of dollars with online education — thousands of times more than what the books generated.

The fourth business was our online education platform, Cardone University and Cardone on demand.  

I spent 17 years going to the school of which 5 I spent in college getting an accounting degree. I think our education is system is broken — it doesn’t give us all the necessary teachings, takes too long and is expensive.

With 1.3 trillion dollars worth of consumer debt on college loans in America, people don’t even finish college. On an average, I think 50% of the people in college today take 6 years to finish instead of 4. It’s expensive, cumbersome, and very slow.

So we created online platforms for sales organizations and entrepreneurs. And they get easy access to sales education on phone, tablet, as well as the computer. It’s become a huge business for me and we expect to make it global. 

Next came the Grant Cardone real estate business, Cardone Capital, which is really the mother of all our businesses.

I have bought and sold almost over a billion dollars worth of Grant Cardone real estate till now.

We own and control 800 million dollars worth of Grant Cardone real estate currently.

We also have a studio business now — our sixth company. We’re starting a 10X media production business following the success of my latest bestseller, The 10X Rule. The book is based on the idea that you should figure out what you want to do, and multiply the effort and time you think it will take by 10.

When I finished writing it, I thought it was all right. Now, Grant Cardone 10X Rule has become a popular brand in itself. So much so that it’s on planes and hats. That’s how much people love the idea of expansion.

I’ll probably be in seven or eight business by the time you get this published.

The Secret to Grant Cardone’s Success

Grant Cardone Net Worth Success
An Overview of Grant Cardone’s success

You’re a self-made millionaire. What has been the catalyst for your success? What would you recommend to those looking to make it big?

I’m a risk-averse person. I dislike taking risks. So I make sure I don’t lose money. Also, I don’t go to work to work. I go to work because I want to be paid. That being said, I don’t get paid for 80% of the things I do. But I come to work to improve my financial situation, not just to get my job done.

“The closer you can get to cash flow, the better off you are.” – Grant Cardone

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This is what I’ve known ever since I’ve been reading books about money. I’ve always wanted money because whoever had the money had the control. My daddy had the money. He made it, controlled it, used it, invested it, and knew everything about it.

When he died, my momma didn’t know anything about money and the place went into chaos. We were living in the constant fear of not having enough money to get through the day.

‘Get some money and don’t lose it’.

I learned this at a very early stage. And Warren Buffett talks about this. So I take my money and I use it first on myself, and I’ve done this my whole life.

I also invest heavily in Grant Cardone. I make investments that I know I can’t lose. What’s an investment I can’t lose? People like to think all investments have some risk. That’s not true. Take care of yourself and invest in yourself.

There are some investments that have zero risks and can guarantee return on your investment every time. Investments in myself have always paid off.

The third reason for my success is that I invest in things that are going to work.

It goes back to cash flow. When I have an idea, I don’t sell it. I cashflow the idea. Cash flow is the holy grail of finance. Most entrepreneurs and businesses don’t make it because they just don’t have cash. They can’t sell their products fast enough at margins high enough. It’s not that the company is not making money, it’s that there’s almost never anything left.

Every day, I get a financial statement of all my businesses at Cardone Enterprises. I know exactly where every penny is, and I know when things are going great and when they are not. For instance, if I want to spend some money on an advertisement, I don’t have a meeting on budgets. I know I have enough money to run the advert. I just don’t stop.

Speed is the currency that you want to maximize on today. Most people just go too slow. They think too long and they never take any action. – Grant Cardone

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The third thing that I’ve done well is invest in things that quickly generate positive cash flows. Even though it means that I’m probably going to miss some of the big hits.

Grant Cardone Daymond John 10X Growth Con Speakers
Grant Cardone with ‘Shark Tank’ star Daymond John at 10X Growth Con

I don’t make investments in stocks or in bonds. I invest in myself and things that generate cash flow. Now I know this sounds completely contrary. But I believe the entire world has been freaking lied to about these investments. They are pieces of paper. You took paper that was worth nothing and bought more paper that was worth nothing — it’s like gambling in a casino.

The fourth thing that I have done is investing in hard assets. I started with no money, no loans, and no connections. It’s all about the cash flow for me.

Today, one-third of my money and our income come over the internet. 100% of the money that we raised at Cardone capital, $100 million in 14 months, came over the Internet.

I raised more money last year via crowdsourcing over the internet, and I’m probably in the top 20 people on raises made with crowdfunding using social media. I’m not telling you that to brag. I’m telling you it’s possible for anybody.

Grant Cardone YouTube 200,000 Subscribers
Plaque for Grant Cardone YouTube on reaching 200,000 Subscribers

Going by the stereotype around my age, I shouldn’t even know anything about the Internet because it didn’t come around until I was 45 years old. Kids these days don’t know anything different. My 8-year-old has more followers on her Instagram account than I had in the first year of mine.

You see, the game is changing and we have got to change with the game. Don’t be like your grandparents or that old man scoffing about the millennials. I’ve always been willing to change and get ahead of the cycle regardless of my age or whether it applied or not. I’m interested and curious.

Another vital reason for my success has been from helping people. If somebody asked me about the one thing that I’ve done in my career that has really paid off, it would be helping people.  

80% of what I do at my company is done for free.

I do five shows every week that provide people with free help. Of course, I’m hoping some of them become customers and they do something with me in the future. But most importantly, I want people to win because of me.

And I’ve always done that ever since I got out of that treatment center. I’ve always wanted to help people.

Grant Cardone wife Elena Cardone
Grant Cardone and Elena Cardone (wife) with their kids

Grant Cardone on Mentorship

Let’s talk about mentors. Did you have one? What do you think about the role of mentorship for success?

For me, a mentor would be somebody who has written more than two books. I have never asked somebody to mentor me or spend time with me. Since I was 25, any time that I attended a conference, an event, or read a book, good or bad, I learned something from each of them.

I learned more from bad mentors than the good ones. – Grant Cardone

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There are plenty of mentors all over the place and they won’t even charge you for the bad advice. They’ll give it to you for free. What I do is I find people that I can study. I don’t need to have breakfast with them.

If they have the time to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me, then they don’t have anything going on to mentor me.

Once I got to spend every day of 3 months with this guy who had sold his company for four billion dollars. Now that was different. I got to study the guy and add value to his life too. We’re exchanging at that point.

When people say they want somebody to be their mentor, I don’t think it’s right. What they should do is find somebody who’s written a few books and read every one of them. If I was looking for a mentor, I’d read all their books, study every webinar they have done, and go to their events.

I look for people who have libraries of content written. Those people may even be dead. My point is, like Muhammad Ali said, a man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. And has nothing to contribute let alone to mentor.

What’s your idea of success? How do you measure it?

I define success as the attainment of my full potential. – Grant Cardone

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It’s not really about the money or planes or cars or celebrity status. If you study really successful and rich people, you tend to wonder why that person is still doing what they’re doing.

That’s because they are reaching for something that is not attainable right that moment. That’s what I’m interested in too. I want to know what I can do more and how many people I can help. That’s how I measure success.

I would also say that success has a lot to do with how many real friends you have. Not just a few. I want millions and millions and millions of friends in every part of the world.

People should feel good about me a hundred years after I die and talk about how I have helped them or changed their life for the better, directly or indirectly.

If I just ended up rich and didn’t have any impact on people’s lives, I would feel like a man that is poor, not rich.

You’ve been in the business for three decades now. What motivates you to keep going at the same pace as you did when you were younger?

My self-improvement, potential, and ability to help fuel the drive for me. I want to make a difference on the planet. I’m not satisfied with my bank account or my plane. It’s just stuff.

Sure, it has its benefits. I drive a fancy car, got a big plane, take pictures when I speak to thousands of people and I show it off. I’ve always been a show-off person and want to have fun with my life. If I want to record my life, I don’t need to wait for somebody to make a movie of me. I can make the movie myself. I get to be the producer, the director, the editor, the ad guy, I get to do everything.

I also want people to laugh when they are working. Most people get to work and feel beat because they don’t like their jobs — even if they are successful. If you get to hang out with me, I have fun. I go from being serious to having fun within seconds, no matter the situation. I think people are too serious because they don’t spend time on themselves, or take care of themselves.

How do you start your day?

I try to work out every day first thing in the morning. And then I make a commitment to own the day. I don’t complain. I don’t quit.

There are people spending their whole day complaining about everything — from the weather to the traffic. I think those people are lucky to even have a car to be in traffic. They should be grateful.

But you can’t be grateful if you’re complaining, gossiping, or criticizing. I come to work every day and try to be the most positive person in my space. Most of the time, I’m not even successful at it.

Once I’m at work, I just go crazy over it. I deal with whatever is on my plate and commit to it, and even try to over-deliver on it.

Grant Cardone’s Tips for Sales

In your opinion, what do you think is the most misguided practice in sales?

There are so many that I could spend days talking about this. Right now, I’ll focus on the issue with the price of a product. People tend to bring up the price way after pitching the product. I think that’s incorrect.

For instance, if I’m looking at buying a plane and I don’t know how much it goes for the entire time, then there’s no way to sell me. Because I’m wondering what the price is the whole time. People should know what the price is before they start getting into the details of whatever the product or service is.

Leaving price for the end of the deal is an old, dumb tale.

More deals are blown over the mystery of how much it costs than probably any other thing. – Grant Cardone.

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As a result, most salespeople never get to close deals. They never even find out if they have a qualified buyer.

What are the different kinds of buyers that you’ve come across?

Grant Cardone Different Types of Buyers
Different Types of Buyers

There are five types of buyers. You should always know what type of buyer you’re dealing with when following up. And I’m not talking about the personality type.

The Need Buyer –  They have an immediate problem to solve. I believe this is the biggest reason why people even buy anything. People buy things to solve a problem.

The Bargain Hunter – They always look for deals and it has to be special, a bargain, and cheap.

The Impulse Buyer – To you, they might appear to be impulsive and to another person, they might appear very difficult, uninterested, or hard to get.  They could see something and want it right away.

The Wanderer – They are just killing time by wandering around and seeing what’s there.

The Habitual or Seasonal Buyer – They are bound by sales cycles and have to have things at a certain time. Maybe they need a car every two years or a house every 5-7 years.

In your experience, what do you think has changed or remained constant in the sales space?

People will always value a positive attitude, over-service, follow up, and personal attention. Not just when they are buying something but well after they have established a customer-sales relationship with you. The more technology evolves, the more personal contact people want. These things aren’t going to change.

Grant Cardone Values

Anywhere you disrupt speed, there will continue to be disruption. – Grant Cardone

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The only thing that has evolved over the years is time. People don’t spend time doing the same things that they used to. Every disruption in the market focuses on time. People don’t have time to go to the store anymore, so they have things delivered.

Same goes for standing in line at the theatre — everybody has their own theatres in their smartphone or at home. These are things I keep in mind while investing in Grant Cardone real estate too.

Top Grant Cardone Quotes

Grant Cardone has been a great inspiration for companies, small businesses, and entrepreneurs across the world—single-handedly building a million dollar real estate empire to being touted as one of the world’s most influential sales trainer and marketer.

Here, we share the Top Grant Cardone quotes to keep you motivated all day long.

“No one is really served until you close the deal.” – Grant Cardone

“80% of success is showing up.” – Grant Cardone

“Complaining won’t get you a seat.” – Grant Cardone

“Raise your profile & brand by developing yourself as an authority.” – Grant Cardone

“Getting rich is mostly a game of offense, not defense.” – Grant Cardone

“Thinking big takes the same amount of effort as thinking small.” – Grant Cardone

“Great Salespeople build value.” – Grant Cardone

“Stop dreaming about life being easy. Go out and earn it.” – Grant Cardone

“Successful entrepreneurs are givers and not takers of positive energy.” – Grant Cardone

“Think about it: What’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you just totally go for it?” – Grant Cardone

 

“Working to earn more money isn’t greedy, it’s your duty.” – Grant Cardone

Recommended Grant Cardone Books

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

The 10X Rule unveils the principle of “Massive Action,” allowing you to blast through business cliches and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline.

Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life

The ability to sell is as crucial to your success as food, water, and oxygen are to your life.  If you’re serious about selling, Sell Or Be Sold is the Sales Bible! It will help you dominate your field.

Be Obsessed or Be Average

Whether you’re a salesperson, small business owner, or 9-to-5 working stiff, your path to happiness runs through your obsessions. It’s a simple choice: Be Obsessed or Be Average.

If You’re Not First, You’re Last

Not everyone can get the sale, win the game, or lead the marketplace. Grant Cardone’s book, If You’re Not First, You’re Last, claims its history as an NY Times Best-Seller and serves as the playbook for boosting sales, increasing margins, and creating new opportunities no matter the economy.


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