10X is Easier than 2X – Lessons from Dan Sullivan and MrBeast

Credit: Adapted from Fidias, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever felt stuck in your songwriting journey, wondering how to make significant progress and achieve remarkable 10X results? If so, I have a game-changing insight to share with you. I’m reading the new Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy book, “10X Is Easier Than 2X,” and it’s shifted my mindset significantly.

But first, here’s a quick background on Dan Sullivan. Dan’s been an entrepreneur coach for 40 years, and fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work with him and his Strategic Coach program, which has been epic.

Why is this important? You may not realize this, but news flash of the day: each of you is an entrepreneur. You are what Dan would call, in the “results” economy – not the hourly economy. Which means if you spend 100 hours writing a song that no one cares about – your compensation is $0. On the other hand, you can also literally do million-dollar-an-hour work for making amazing songs that the world LOVES. Think about that. $1 million / hour. That’s for real.

Just like entrepreneurs, you only get paid…equal to the value you bring to the world.

The takeaway of the book is simple: It’s easier to go 10X and get a 10X result, rather than just setting your sights on 2X and getting a 2X result.

10x Is Easier Than 2x book

Get the book here: https://amzn.to/46kFujY.

Maximizing Outputs: Modifying Inputs for 10X Results

I know what you’re thinking: “How could that even be possible? Wait, are you suggesting that if I currently earn $100,000 per year, it’s actually easier to make the leap to $1 million per year rather than $200,000 per year?”

Yes! That’s correct.

By aiming for $1 million per year, you’re operating with a 10X mindset, venturing into an uncommon territory where exponential growth becomes feasible.

But when it comes to achieving a 10X result, working 10X harder isn’t the answer. It’s not even possible. You have to take an approach completely different to receive those 10X results. That’s right. Going 10X is all about changing and modifying the inputs to get 10X outputs.

inputs - outputs

Unlocking 10X Potential in Songwriting

As I’m reading this book, I’m applying its insights to the context of songwriting. So, let’s reiterate this concept and make this our new mantra. Ready? Repeat after me: 10X goals are easier than 2X goals.

Here’s another crucial aspect also to be aware of. 10X goals are less competitive. In other words, everyone’s swinging for the 2X goals. There are very few competing for those huge moonshots. To put it in another way – 10X goals provide a unique opportunity to stand out from the crowd and face fewer competitors.

How does this work with songwriting?

Today, there were probably 1,000 “really pretty great” professional hit songwriter songs written between Los Angeles, New York, Stockholm, London, etc. It’s likely that these songs are all in the same “DNA gene pool” of what I would call a B+ songs, all vying for the same gene pool of artists.

Sure, getting a placement on one of these artists could pay your rent for a few months these days.

But it’s likely that hardly any of these were a career-defining song. Most writers look to write a “placeable” song and get a cut and move on to the next session tomorrow.

Rinse and repeat. Blah blah blah.

This is not going to get you 10X.

10X goals require you to focus on VERY FEW THINGS rather than many, which improves your ability to focus on what counts.

10X goals also require you to shoot for the targets that very few others are reaching for – including refinding and rewriting and doubling and tripling down on those songs where you are what I call “on top of the gold.”

In translation: There’s only a certain type of song or a certain type of relationship or a certain type of __________ (fill in the blank here) of what you should be doing that can generate that 10X result.

Going 10X means you also have to drop the 80% of what you do that provides just “OK” results and what everyone else is doing. And this can be extremely difficult because that 80% is part of your identity.

2x vs 10x Competition

10% = 100X

Enter another mindshift for you, as a songwriter. Let’s talk about something I came up with, which I call “10% = 100X.” So, what does “10% = 100X” mean?

Coincidentally, there’s also an amazing part of Dan’s aforementioned book that brought a smile to my face, emphasizing the concept of “10% = 100X.” This brings validity to the idea that making your song 10% better than your competition could literally give you a 100X result.

In other words: A song initially only destined for 10 million streams could ultimately transform into a billion-streaming hit – if it’s only just 10% better.

The 10% = 100X Song

Unveiling the Power of “10% = 100X” With MrBeast

Turns out, I’m not the only advocate of “10% = 100X.” Check out this eye-opening exchange between an interviewer and YouTube sensation MrBeast as featured in Dan Sullivan’s book “10X Is Easier Than 2X“:

Interviewer: What kind of advice did you give to other YouTubers to make such an exponential change?

MrBeast: As weird as it sounds, it’s much easier getting 5 million views on one video than 100,000 views on 50 individual videos. You could upload one great video per year and get more views than if you uploaded 100 mediocre videos. It’s very exponential. If you get people to click your video 10% more, and watch your video 10% longer than mine, you don’t get 10% more views. You get like 400% the views. You have to think exponentially. A 10% better video gets at least 400% the views, not 10% more views. Once you understand that, you funnel your energy better and really hyper-obsess over these videos that are the potential winners. Triple the amount of time you’re putting into that video, ’cause you’re not going to get triple the views, you’re going to 10X the views.

So, MrBeast literally just summed up the “10% = 100X” formula. In his model, 10% = 10X. However, with songwriting and the nature of playlisting, synchronizations, radio – in the music world, this really is more of a domino effect. It’s exponential. In my opinion, it’s 100X exponential.

That’s right. Just that one playlist you got on because your song was 10% better, or the one TikToker who loved your music 10% more, could literally be the spark that creates the exponential move of your music. For real.

It's insane

Embracing 10X Growth: Shedding the 2X Mindset

Now, to achieve 10X results, it requires a transformation. It requires you to fully commit to the 20% that resonates with you the most and then – eliminating anything, everything, and anyone that can’t or won’t go 10X with you.

From a songwriting perspective, this likely means dropping the 80% of songs you write that are “good” and “really good” and getting “OK” cuts and hyper-focusing on the 20% of your excellence.

For example, one writer delivered a new song to me and after unpacking the 10X concept, I said: “This is a ‘really good’ song. But it’s a 1.5X type of song. This song is battling it out for 500 other songs just like it – for the same recording artist. What’s the 10X song that you need to write – where it’s only your song that could be in consideration?”

And if this is just a 1.5X type of song – can we drop that type of songwriting intention completely? That’s right! Shoot for the stars and not for just the “3rd floor!”

Here’s another mindset shift. This also applies to writer relationships. Who can and who can’t go 10X with you?

For example, if you’re having problems getting rewrites or simply attention and time with your cowriters to put a mere 10% into improving a possible hit, then they’re probably not going to be on the 10X journey with you. In fact…let’s be real. They aren’t. They may be the 80% you need to leave behind.

In my opinion, the next crisis facing songwriters and artists is the broadening sea of mediocrity and “really good” songs paired with the exponential amount of releases.

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In fact, the music releases are still going to keep climbing, it’s going to be exponential. But the attention that’s available to those “really good” songs is going to be less and less! That’s right – because quite simply, we’re dealing with the same amount of listeners and trying to grab their attention with an exponential number of songs!

And guess what. While this is perhaps daunting…it’s a HUGE opportunity!

Quite simply, this is because there are going to be fewer and fewer artists and songwriters that a) know how to write this type of 10X song, b) are willing to refine, double down, and triple down when they’re “on top of the gold,” and c) know that such a thing is even possible!

In other words – most professional songwriters (and a lot of artists) are happy to write a song in one day – move on to the next and “let’s see what we can get.”

Very few (and this is the Max Martin mindset) are willing to spend an entire month perfecting just one song, chipping away at it relentlessly, exploiting 1% upgrades, making something .03% better etc…all culminating in a smash and / or a work of art!

This is the world you want to live in if you are going 10X! And this is the only way (in my opinion) you’re really going to get there.

On the other hand, you can work 200% harder and continue to live in a world of 1X, 1.5X, and maybe on a good day, 2X. You can surely double your songwriting royalties this way by working twice as hard – or maybe getting lucky 1-2 times a year. And hey, that’s not bad. But you’re not going to be able to 10X with these methods.

In order to go 10X – we need to shed what Dan Sullivan calls your 2X identity.

Your 10x Identity

Shedding Your 2X Identity

Shedding your 2X identity can be challenging, because as people we tend to avoid loss, overvalue what we currently own, and desire to be seen as consistent. Letting go of the 80% (the type of work currently getting you “OK” and “decent” results) can be unbearably difficult, because 2X and the accompanying activities and work lies within our comfort zone. However, true 10X growth demands shedding these tendencies and embracing a new perspective.

The truth is, most of what you’re currently doing is probably distracting you from achieving 10X results. In this way, it becomes crucial to evaluate your activities with a discerning eye and eliminate any hindrances.

To quote Leonardo DiCaprio: “Every next level of your life will require a different you.” This sentiment aligns with Joe Dispenza’s theory in “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.” Growth and progress necessitate a transformation of self as you ascend to new heights.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Conclusion: Embracing 10X Growth for Transformative Results

To summarize:

  • The pursuit of 2X growth is exhausting and soul-defeating, draining your energy and stifling your creativity. (Tell me if that doesn’t hit home to you?)
  • On the other hand, aiming for 10X growth unlocks your true level of brilliance, igniting momentum and excitement and electrifying your journey. It requires you to reframe the norm and reap the rewards of exponential growth.

There’s much more to explore individually, but let’s contemplate the questions of the day that you may want to ask yourself:

  • “What things can I do differently to achieve a 10X possibility?”
  • “What’s the 80% that I must drop – be it songs, relationships, routine, lifestyle, or method – that’s only creating 1X or 2X results at best?”

If you decide to read the book (which I highly recommend), just switch out the word “entrepreneur” with the word “songwriter,” since each and every one of you is an entrepreneur in my view: https://amzn.to/3qmd0Wv.

Unlock Insider Secrets of Songwriter and Artist Success.

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Enjoy the transformation.

Let’s get the 10X… And here’s the really exciting thing.

I already know 100% you can do it.


Because you’ve already 10X’d before. A brand new writer I’m working with, who now has $100,000 of royalties a year – several years ago was just earning $10,000 of royalties. That’s 10X!

And I 1000% believe that she has the potential to earn $1,000,000 of royalties a year.

10X’ing to $1M a year is entirely possible – the proof is already there, because she’s already 10X’d before.

Here’s to your 10X ; ).


About the Author

The Author of “How Do I Get A Record Deal? Sign Yourself!”

My career in music publishing extends over 25 years, including BMG Music (bought by Universal) and EMI Music Publishing (bought by Sony), as well as the 1st U.S. employee of Kobalt Music Publishing, where he helped build the roster over 10 years as Executive VP of Creative.

Benjamin is currently heading up his own publishing company, Brill Building, as well as label and music filter, We Are: The Guard. Benjamin’s signings range from Ryan Tedder, Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, Grimes, Savan Kotecha, OneRepublic, SOPHIE, Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, Tiesto, Kid Cudi, TOKiMONSTA, TR/ST, Cut Copy, Big Freedia, Lindy Robbins, Peaches and yes, even Steel Panther. His specialty in the music business is early artist, writer and writer/producer development.

post author Benjamin Groff
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