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Top 10 Keys For Success by Eric Thomas

Here is an article about Eric Thomas’s thoughts on his top 10 keys to success.

He is one of the first motivational speakers I ran across when educating myself on changing my mindset when it came to being an entrepreneur.

When I created this article I also wanted to keep the written word in his style of speaking to be more authentic, so keep that in mind and excuse the grammar and spelling.

But first, let’s hear from the man himself in a great video I found that expresses some of his success secret nuggets in his own words of wisdom.

Eric Thomas Success and Motivation Video

My Intro To The Top 10 Keys To Success by Eric Thomas

He’s an American motivational speaker, author, and pastor.

His speeches have been largely viewed and are popular on YouTube.

Lebron James has credited him as part of his inspiration for winning the 2012 MBA Championship.

He’s Eric Thomas (ET), and here are his top ten rules for success.

Eric Thomas’s Top 10 Keys For Success

You can’t hang something in front of my face. I don’t want that.

Many of you are taking anything’ cause you don’t know what you want.

If I can do one thing for you when you leave this room, I want nothin’ from you but for you to leave this room and know what you want. What do you want in your matrimony?

#1 Decide What You Want In Life

What do you want with your son and your daughter?

What is it you people want in your health? What do you want financially?

How much funds do you want to make a year? What do you want to drive? How do you want to live? Stop simply wakin’ up like an accident.

What do you want?

And then once you find out what you won’t spend the rest of your natural life waking up and going’ after it. The reason why I speak with so much passion … E.T ., why do you speak with so much authority?’

Cause I’m talkin’ about my life. Not something that I read.

I ate out of trash cans. I had no business eatin’ out of the trash bin. I lived in abandoned buildings. I had no business livin’ in deserted houses.

But, E.T ., your daddy wasn’t in your life, your mom was a teenage mom. You grew up, come along E ., look at your circ, that’s not an excuse.

There is no excuse for not livin’ up to your fullest potential.

No, condone. Run-on my gift. I realize that all of us are born with an endowment, but you’ve got to sharpen it.

You know, you’re not going to become large and we talk about the school of greatness.

We talk about greatness is upon you and I realized that my endowment wasn’t goin’ to create itself. My endowment wasn’t goin’ to foster itself. My endowment wasn’t goin’ to perfect itself.

That was somethin’ I had to do, and so … Man before you know it we did a video that moved viral. I think it’s got over 50 million makes now and we turn our ardor into our profit.

Love it, boy, love it!

Yeah, we turn our passion into profit. Do you know what’s so funny?

We want people to stimulate guarantees to us but we not willin’ to attain guarantees to our-self.

Now (mumbles) like you, a person gave you a guarantee, 30 days assure. In 30 periods, if you don’t induce what the hell is “ve told you”, you were going to induce, in 30 days you got an attitude, you want your money back. But you never demanded your fund back from yourself.

#2 Take Ownership

You’ve never looked at yourself in the reflect and thought you said you let you down. Until you get to that point, you let yourself down.

You never, you’re not brave enough. You want to set it on somebody else. The reason why I’m not successful is due in part to my boss.

Don’t let excuses be your barrier, life is hard, so what, own it.

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “I’m not gettin’ up on time.” I’m not goin’ to work on time. “I’m not putting’ in 120% when I’m at work.” I let me down .”

And when you get to the point where you can say you let you down, listen to me , no contempt, I don’t care about Glen, that’s not why I do what I do. And I love Glen.

I don’t come here and do what I do so Glen can assert me, so he can give me a pat on my back. I care more about me than I care what Glen thinks about me.

I have standards. I have values. I don’t care how much you pay me, if I speak at an elementary school for $300 dollars, I chose to do that for $300 dollars.

If I chose to speak at a prison for free, I chose to do that. And I will not go in there and devote those prisoners less than what person pays me $100,000. Why? Because I value myself enough to give 120% or don’t do it.

That’s the problem with some of you.

You always want to blame other people. You want to hold other people to the burn but you not holding yourself to the burn.

You just said you givin’ 50%. You owe you an explanation. You owe you an explanation. You need to look at yourself in the mirror and say why are you merely making 50%, what’s wrong with you? You need to put yourself on penalty.

You need to tell you, no more Tv, no more snacks, no more desserts, no more, no, we workin’ out now. No more alcohol, not right now. No, I can’t handle it right now. You need to tell you that you owe you something.

You keep going to the mall with the receipt, this isn’t what you all said it was. Glen, you didn’t do what you said you was going to do. Well, you didn’t do what you were supposed to do so how am I going to do what I’m supposed to do for you?

You walk out of this room, you owe yourself.

I didn’t get here makin’ excuses. So what my father wasn’t in “peoples lives”, the truth is he ain’t never come into “peoples lives”. So what, I’m a wait for the rest of my life for my human to come? He ain’t comin ‘.

#3 Believe In Yourself

I live in America. I’m an African-American male

They don’t treat us the same. There’s somethin’ called racism. I ain’t going to cry about it.

There’s probably going to be racism till the day I succumb but I’m not going to cry about it. I’m still going to be a millionaire. I’m still going to be one of the top motivational speakers in the world.

No, I didn’t grow up on that side of the cities, no my momma don’t have no network, no I don’t know a whole lot of people, no I’m not at a country club, no I don’t play golf and I don’t plan on playing any time soon.

But I’m still going to be successful. I’m still going to get to “where they’re”. Why?’

Cause I owe it to myself and can’t nobody stop me but me. And you need to get rid of them excuses and you need to stop pointing thumbs at people. And you need to start pointing thumbs at yourself. What did you not do?

A guy asked a question about two months ago, he said,” E.T ., if there’s one mistake you built,” what’s that one mistake you induced ?” I said,” I’m going to be honest with you.

My values are not in alignment with my dreams

I said I want to tell you a narrative. I got a good friend of mine, a good friend of mine.

He came to me, said, Eric, my marriage is not where my matrimony should still be. I need to make some adjustments.

I see you and your wife, I see how much time you spend with your spouse, how many hours you spend with young children, and I want that. You buy your spouse roses regularly, you always taking her out to eat. I’m watchin’ you, you spoil her.” E.T ., what’s being I do?

#4 Get Good With God

And so I told him what to do and guess what he started doing, God?

He started doing the exact same thing I started doing. And he said, Eric, it’s not workin’. I’m doing exactly what you’re doin’ but it’s not workin ‘.

He said, “Why isn’t it workin?” I said, “You know why it’s not workin’?”

Because your values and your daydreams, you say you want a better marriage, but I told you, you need to iron your wife’s clothes.

Do you know what he told me? After a while he said, I’m going to be honest with you Eric.

I know, you told me to iron, you told me to clean, you told me to cook.

But where I come from, he said, “I’m going to be honest Eric.”

#5 Suck Up Your Pride

When I do that, I feel like a punk

And I said,” That’s why you havin’ a hard time doin’ it.”

Because your value system says a man is not supposed” to iron, a man is not supposed to cook, a man is not supposed to do now rinse bowls. That’s what your value system says, so you’re doing one thing but you’re going against your own value system.

The reason why I’m havin’ such an easy time washin’ clothes and cookin’ and ironing, you know why?

Because nothing is as important to me as my wedding and I’d rather be happy, I would rather be happy, than to say I ain’t no punk.

Make me a punk, I want to be a punk.

A happy punk

For real, no, a friend of mine, he came to my house and I didn’t have a mop, and so I was on the ground, and I was moppin’ the flooring with a towel.

And he said, “E.T ., the hip-hop evangelist, you on the ground and you moppin’?”

I said, “Yeah.” He says, “Your wife got you whipped.” I say, “You didn’t know?” You simply observed it out?”

Been doing a terrible task. I’m sorry, I am whipped.

And after 23 times you should be, and if you’re not, it’s a problem.

#6 Fix What You Value In Life

So listen to me, those of you that said I want to be a millionaire, I want to be the best at this company, right?

But your value system says you believe in sleep more than you believe in grinding.

Your value system says you are a consumer and not a producer.

And you’re spending more money than you’re making. Why?

Because you’re “consumers interests” but you’re reading all the books and you’re saying everything the books are saying, but those books are not in alignment with your values.


If you’re going to go to the next level, your values are going to have to change. I think what people get confused is, you are familiar with, they’re grinding with a aim.

And I’m not saying you shouldn’t have objectives.

But you should be grinding for grinding’s sake.

You should grind because that’s what you do.

You’re passionate about what you do, so you’re wakin’ up every day with the concept of I have 24 hours and they’re mine.

#8 Get and Stay Hungry About Your Passion

These 24 hours belong to me and whatever I do in these 24 hours will determine where I’ll be tomorrow and the next day, and I think that’s what people need to focus on. Like get off of this, I want to build six figures, I want to drive this vehicle, I want to live in this house.

I think what people should be focusing on is, I have 24 hours. Like Oprah only has 24, Bill Gates only has 24, like Warren Buffett only has 24 hours and in that 24 hour period, I can either break my life or stimulate “peoples lives”.

I’m not sayin’ you shouldn’t have objectives.

I just think that goals for people are too high on the priority list. I think what should be on the priority list is goin’ to bed, so you can wake up the next day and you can grind it out. I’m just a dude that believes you reap what you sew.

So if you’re grinding on Monday, grinding on Tuesday, grinding on Wednesday, if you’re grinding six, seven days a week for a span of five or six years, something’s got to come out of that.

The REAL Hump Day Meaning

But if you’re only grinding, you are familiar with, on Monday you fired up, Wednesday you’re back, you’re sleepin’ in, Thursday you got, the hump of the world is up, like I’ve heard people say, Hump day.

Every period is hump period. Wednesday is hump period. Now Monday is hump period, Tuesday is hump period, every day is hump day. I’m thinking if we were able to invest more period on what’s my goal, meaning what do I need to accomplish in this day to live this lifestyle and you go after it, then I reckon more people will be successful.

#9 Educate Yourself More Everyday

I just ran across a quotation the other day that says, education is the great equalizer.

And I was like, oh, so no matter where you are, if you feel like you started at the bottom, if you feel like you started at the top, but you want to preserve the top because just because you’re at the top doesn’t mean you’re going to be at the top forever.

I mean, you look at great football players, great football teams. You’re not going to automatically win because of your epithet. You have to keep performing year after year. So if you’re at the bottom and you’re like, boy, I’m at the bottom Eric, and I want to live life like everybody else.

I want to fly first class. I want to see the world. I don’t want any limitations. Okay, so I’m using the word read but what I’m saying is education, being enlightened, being informed. I had to realize for myself, being a high school dropout.

You can’t use that excuse forever.

Where I was born and where I was created, you can’t use that eternally.

So to me, you liberate yourself Malcolm, you talked about Malcolm. Malcolm liberated himself, and most people don’t know, Malcolm was not born wearing glass. Malcolm had 20/20 vision but it was in prison that Malcolm learned to take read serious and he read with a dim light at night.

That’s how he eventually lost his sight. But he lost his vision but he gained his vision. He lost his vision but he gained his vision at that point. So I would say to young people who are watching us, that it’s not optional. The more “you’re reading”, the more liberated you are and the more you are educated.

To me, the more you can experience life like the person or persons you’re probably looking at and sayin ‘, I wish I could live like such person or persons.

Know Your Why

Yeah. What’s your why?

Hey, if I don’t give you all nothin’ else, you better start that what’s your why. You know why I do what I do and I do it so passionately?’

Cause my grandfather was a high school dropout, my father was a high school dropout, I was a high school dropout and we about to break the cycle.

I do what I do so my son won’t have to go through what I went through.

When I was at the football game, my little dude went with me. I ensure other children with they… I said that’ll never happen to me. I do what I do because my daughter says she goin’ to Harvard. It ain’t even about you all. I’m about to come here and flame you all. Why?’

Cause I’m tryin’ to get you all in NFL. I ain’t about to miss such opportunities. This is the first NFL team I’ve ever done in my life and I’m about to lick it. I’m about to give everything I’ve got and I will know if I don’t get another gig, it won’t have to do with the fact that I didn’t set everything on the field. What’s your why? Why do you wake up in the morning? Why do you put on those jerseys? Why do you go out and practice?


I have a ritual where even my closest pal, I have bounds. So only because it’s my company, it doesn’t mean I can take calls all day.

I have bounds so you can’t call me at a certain time. Why? I’m working. So I’m on the phone all day and I’m saying this to entrepreneurs because of one of the gaps, and we’ll talk about this later in the present, but you got to find a gap and one of the gaps for entrepreneurs is that they feel like since they own their day, they can spend it as they want.

You cannot invest it like you want to. So if you were working for IBM or you were working for Ford, whoever you were workin’ for, you couldn’t be on the phone all day at a major firm talkin’ on the phone.

So why do you allow yourself to talk on the phone when you’re a business? Now if that is yours, you should probably, you should make sure there are no phone calls goin’ on. That is your business.

One of my rites is when I get started, there are no interruptions.

You can take that, right? It doesn’t mean you have to stay up the entire day but it does mean you have to get to the spot before everybody else. Let me tell you all, I’m not from New Zealand guys.

Come on, listen to me very closely. I’m not from New Zealand. Let me say it this way so I can help you. I know about what team? I’ve never seen All Blacks play a day in “people’s lives”. I’ve never been to the stadium.

Where’s the stadium? Help me out, where’s the stadium? Okay, I’m going, determine what I did? I’ve never been to the stadium.

You’re like, Eric, the stadium, that’s that behavior, Eric, that’s not the stadium. The stadium is this route. I’ve never been there in a period in my life. And if you watched some of my videos, I have All Blacks in my videos. Why?’ Cause they’re what?

#10 Focus On Winning Don’t Worry About What It Takes To Win

They’re wins. And when you’re a win, you don’t even is necessary to stay in your own small town. When you’re a win, winning spreads so everybody, I’ve got videos where I’m like,” You all, I don’t really know ” how to show my passion .”

Somebody said get the All Blacks. Ahhhhh, ahhaaaa. I’m like yep, that’s who I need, All Blacks. (dramatic music) Yep, yep, I require the All Blacks. I necessity the, why,’ cause they say what I’m sayin ‘. They just said it in rugby. I’m like whoo, that’s a violent sport.

Their passion is all over there, why?’ Cause wins win. I can’t explain it to you but you better stop makin’ excuses and finding ways to win.

Because once you start to win, you go from 1,500 to 3,000 or 5,000 to 7,000, you remember Steve?

From seven to ten. Nothing changed, we still in the basement. We don’t have a construction. We still use the garage for all of our products. We don’t have business cards. We don’t have a five-year program. We don’t have a three-time plan. How do you do it then?

We wake up and grind. Winners win. I focus more on winnin’ than I focus on arrangement. I focus on winnin’ and when you become a win, they start seein’ you with winners…


One of the best motivational speakers that I had the pleasure of running into in his early hustling days on YouTube.

To check out live motivational speeches with ET I would highly recommend checking his YouTube channel out here.

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