What Arnold Schwarzenegger Taught Me About Success

HAVING PERHAPS PULLED OFF THE greatest ‘coup’ in Australian real estate events, Glenn Twiddle reflects on the things he learned from the Hollywood superstar turned politician at this year’s QREAS conference.

When I decided to invite Arnold Schwarzenegger to Australia, I really didn’t think it was ever going to happen. But one of Arnold’s rules is ‘Have a vision’, so I put that principle to work. Lo and behold, the signature of the most famous person in the world came through.

What many people don’t know is that Arnold was a millionaire property investor before he made his first movie. This is the reason why you don’t see Arnold playing bit roles, and he only played the leading man. He turned down all the lesser roles, because they weren’t part of his ‘vision.’
So here are Arnold’s rules for success which have helped him become the world’s best in three separate fields: bodybuilding legend, Hollywood superstar and US state Governor.

As a farm boy in Austria who couldn’t even speak English, Arnold had a vision to be the biggest movie star in America. Undeterred, he then set about following his other rules to make that happen.

Arnold suggests that it isn’t any harder to think big than think average. Whether in bodybuilding or Hollywood, Arnold didn’t just want to succeed; he wanted to be the world’s best.

Even in politics, Arnold didn’t run for local council or even mayor; he went for, and attained, the highest office for which he was eligible. Only native-born Americans can be President, otherwise we would be calling him President Schwarzenegger.

No one ever succeeded by doing what everyone else does. You have to break some rules; not the law, but the industry norms, to reach the pinnacle of success.
If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get what the norm is when it comes to your results. And with the average earnings in our industry so low, the last thing we want to do is the same thing as everyone else. So while still acting within the law, and always working in the best interest of your clients, break some rules.

Following rule 2, breaking some rules will inevitably leave you open to naysayers. We Aussies, it seems, are quite famous for collectively knocking down anyone striving to reach too high, so any degree of success is going to attract criticism. Some people just wake up wanting to complain, so let’s make their day and give them something to complain about – or let’s just ignore them, as Arnold says.

Eric Thomas, touring Australia later this year, says, ‘What does the moon do when a dog barks up at it? It just keeps on shining, baby!’

Don’t be afraid to fail, and put all your eggs in one basket. Arnold said, “If you have a plan B, on some level you are already a naysayer of your own because you’ve accepted that the plan might not work. And by the way, if you fail, really how far can you fall? The floor’s right there, it isn’t that far.”

So set your vision, plan and prepare intelligently, then don’t be afraid to go for it.

There’s no substitute for hard work. “It’s all about the reps,” as Arnold put it. Whether it’s bodybuilding and doing reps in the gym, or countless acting classes, accent removal classes (for which Arnold thinks he deserves a refund) or business classes, he crams more into every day than most people would think possible.
And if you’re sleeping too much – more than six hours – Arnold’s advice to you is ‘Sleep faster!’

The salary for state Governor was several hundred thousand dollars, which Arnold donated back. He spent seven years of his life giving back, and still to this day he claims it is the most fulfilling job he has ever had. “You will never be more fulfilled than when you do something for someone else”, he says.

These are the rules that took Arnold to the heights of success in three separate and disparate industries.

As Arnold finished speaking, leaving us ready to take on the changing market ahead of us with gusto, he gave us a few motivational quotes that resounded throughout the auditorium.

“Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women” – Conan the Barbarian.

“Get to the Choppa” – Predator.

And (of course) “I’ll be back!”

No doubt I’m not alone in saying he’d be welcomed back to join us any time.

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Glenn Twiddle

Glenn Twiddle is a real estate coach, trainer and Chief Executive Office at Total Success Summit. For more information visit