A reading club with a view to the future

043 Dan Sullivan, Benjamin Hardy: The Gap and the Gain

The key to success in business is to shift your focus from “closing the gap” between your current state and your desired state, to “achieving the gain” by creating new value and opportunities.

Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy: The Gap and the Gain


 The authors argue that traditional business thinking emphasizes closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be, but this approach often leads to a focus on problems and limitations rather than opportunities and possibilities. Instead, they propose a new framework called “the gain” which emphasizes strategic innovation and creating new value. This book offers practical advice on how to shift your mindset to achieve the gain and build a more successful business.


Title: The Gap and the Gain: Building Business through Strategic Innovation

Author: Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, et al.

Year of publication: 2021

Publisher: Strategic Coach Inc.

Length in hours: 5 hours and 58 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The gap is a limiting mindset: Focusing on closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be can be a limiting mindset that leads to frustration, stress, and a focus on problems rather than possibilities.
  2. The gain is a growth mindset: Shifting your focus to the gain – creating new value, opportunities, and possibilities – can lead to a growth mindset that is more conducive to success and innovation.
  3. The gap is finite, the gain is infinite: The gap is finite – once you close it, there is nothing left to achieve. The gain, on the other hand, is infinite – there is always more value to create and opportunities to pursue.
  4. The gap is reactive, the gain is proactive: Focusing on the gap often leads to a reactive mindset, where you are constantly responding to problems and challenges. The gain, on the other hand, is proactive – it involves creating new opportunities and pursuing new value.
  5. The gain requires strategic innovation: To achieve the gain, you must engage in strategic innovation – identifying new opportunities, creating new value, and pursuing new possibilities.
Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy: The Gap and the Gain

5 funny quotes

  1. "The beauty of finding the right Whos is that it makes you feel like you're wearing an expertly-tailored suit instead of one that's two sizes too small."
  2. "When you find the right Who, it's like unlocking a secret level in a video game. Suddenly, everything becomes easier."
  3. "Don't be a 'do it yourselfer' – the only person you're impressing is yourself."
  4. "Remember: you're not a superhero. You're not supposed to do everything alone. Even Batman has Robin."
  5. "If you're not a plumber, don't try to fix the pipes yourself. The same goes for your business. Find the right Who to fix the problem."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "You will never get more out of your life, your business, or your organization than you are willing to put into it."
  2. "The right mindset and the right skills are both necessary to succeed, but the right mindset is the foundation upon which skills can be built."
  3. "It is not the external circumstances that determine our success or failure, but rather the internal attitudes and actions that we take in response to those circumstances."
  4. "You cannot control the world around you, but you can control your own mind and actions."
  5. "Success is not a destination, but a journey that requires continuous learning and growth."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing short-term and long-term goals: How do you balance the need for immediate results with the importance of investing in long-term growth and development?
  2. Overcoming self-doubt: How do you build the confidence and self-belief necessary to take risks and pursue your goals?
  3. Finding the right balance of specialization and diversification: How do you balance the need to specialize in a particular area with the importance of being well-rounded and adaptable to changing circumstances?
  4. Balancing work and personal life: How do you prioritize and balance the demands of work and personal life, without sacrificing one for the other?
  5. Maintaining motivation and focus: How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even in the face of setbacks and obstacles?

5 examples

  1. Jack Welch: Jack Welch is known for his leadership of General Electric, during which time he implemented a number of strategies to improve the company's performance and profitability.
  2. Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs is known for his role in founding and leading Apple, where he was instrumental in the development of a number of innovative products and technologies.
  3. Serena Williams: Serena Williams is known for her dominance in the sport of tennis, having won numerous Grand Slam titles and Olympic medals throughout her career.
  4. Richard Branson: Richard Branson is known for his entrepreneurship and leadership of the Virgin Group, which includes a wide range of businesses in industries such as travel, media, and telecommunications.
  5. Angela Duckworth: Angela Duckworth is known for her research on grit and perseverance, and how these qualities can contribute to success in various areas of life.

Referenced books

  1. "The ABCs of an Ideal Client" by Dan Sullivan
  2. "The Laws of Lifetime Growth" by Dan Sullivan
  3. "Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork" by Dan Sullivan
  4. "Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success" by  Benjamin Hardy
  5. "Slipstream Time Hacking: How to Cheat Time, Live More, and Enhance Happiness" by Benjamin Hardy

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"Don't be a 'do it yourselfer' – the only person you're impressing is yourself."

Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy: The Gap and the Gain
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