How Patrick Grove Made Billions Using A Journal


And took 5 companies public in 17 years

In a local cafe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sat Patrick Grove, the Australian entrepreneur who took five companies public between 1999 and 2016.

Unlike other entrepreneurs, he wasn’t on his laptop ‘hustling.’ He was thinking. On paper.

Yes, he was journalling.

Okay, I know there’s nothing fascinating about it. Hold on.

On the piece of paper, was a number — 100,000,000.

$100 million, that is.

Patrick was trying to figure out how he can make $100M in business in one year.

Vishen Lakhiani, who saw it first hand and talked about it, said he thought Patrick was kinda crazy. And who wouldn’t think so?

$100M in one year?

But, the beauty of the story is, that Patrick did it. He bought a car selling website, raised funds, and then merged with other car websites to give birth to a new brand called iCar. He then, took it public in one year at a valuation of $100M on the Australian exchange.

He didn’t stop there. He launched Malaysia’s biggest media company. Then, he launched iProperty, Malaysia’s biggest property listing company, and sold it for A$751M to Rupert Murdock.

His next goal was a billion dollars. He aimed to do this with iFlix, which is Netflix for audiences in Southeast Asia who love to watch local shows and not Breaking Bad, Suits, and other American productions.

Here’s what you can learn from him.

Devil Is in the Details

The main reason Patrick loves doing this exercise is it increases the likelihood of achieving his goal.

When you write down your goals, you activate both sides of your brain — the imaginative right hemisphere and the logic-based left hemisphere.

After studying 267 people from various fields, Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, found that those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.

Instead of thinking, day-dreaming, and ruminating about it, the go-getters write it down and figure out how to get there.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a journal, a word document, or a poster on your wall. What’s important is it keeps the goal at the back of your mind.

It’s not Law of Attraction — put a picture of the car on your wall and you’ll have it. No.

It’s common sense. If you want to remind yourself of a goal and ensure that you work towards it, then you put it where you can see it. You put it such that you don’t forget about it. Once you start seeing it every day, it becomes normal.

It is no longer a hairy audacious goal that cannot be achieved. Instead, it’s a goal that you need to figure out the next steps for. In other words, it seems doable.

It further goes deep in your subconscious mind. When you’re sleeping or doing a mindless activity like taking the dog for a walk, your mind starts working on the problem without you knowing it.

And so write it down. No matter how big or small. Get it out of your mind. Get it into the real world, into reality. If you don’t bring the goal itself to reality, how can you believe that the outcome will manifest itself?

Flush the Negatives

When you’re caught up in your monkey mind, you cannot see things with clarity. Because the mind always tends to the negative.

When you think about losing weight, the mind will always gravitate to the negative thoughts,

  • “Why am I not healthy?”

  • “Why can’t I bench press?”

  • “Why can’t I develop healthy eating habits?”

But when you think on paper, you start to notice your own stupidity. After a few sentences, you’ll catch your complaining mind and say,

“You know what? Complaining about it is doing me no good. Let’s see how I can improve.”

That is the punchline. The same thing happened with Patrick.

When he started journalling, he listed out all the negative things in his life — more like a “Dear Diary” write-up. Everything starts with why as I mentioned above.

Once he got that out of his system, then he started thinking about how he can achieve his goals.

  • “How can I be more healthy?”

  • “How can I increase my bench press?”

  • “How can I develop healthy eating habits?”

That’s when the answers show up.

It applies to every area of your life. Think about finances. People think, “Why can’t I afford that car? It’s unfair.” If only they thought “How can I afford this car?” their life would be much better.

To get better solutions, ask better questions.

Shock the System

When you’ve been too comfortable with life, you need to take drastic measures to kick yourself in the butt.

That’s what Patrick was doing. He didn’t think that getting to $100M was possible. But for him, it was a fun exercise which started with “How” and not a guilt-trip that started with “Why”

As he kept on with it, he soon had a plausible plan within three or four sessions to bring his vision into fruition.

Schedule It

As I said, Patrick was at it again. His next goal was to create $10 Bn in two years.

He admits that he hasn’t figured it out yet. But he’s got the discipline to keep at it. He’s got the discipline to keep it on his calendar.

In this case, he scheduled it when he’d be on a plane for an hour.

It’s a simple yet life-changing idea. If you don’t schedule your priorities, you don’t have any.

Final Thought

The practice is crazy I admit. Think about sitting right now and making a plan to 100x your income in the next year.

But that’s the fun part.

If you’re not crazy enough, if you keep doing the things that other entrepreneurs are doing, you’ll achieve the same results.

Achieving a different result requires you to do things differently.

So get on with the practice. Take out a notebook and wrestle with your mind. Don’t worry about the perfect journalling practice — it doesn’t exist.

What matters is you take action. And there’s no other time to start than now.

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Written on August 28, 2020