Who Not How Summary: Dr. Hardy and Dan Sullivan’s Formula

Who Not How Summary: Dr. Hardy and Dan Sullivan’s Formula

Who Not How” is a game-changer for anyone looking to achieve bigger goals and explosive growth by shifting their mindset.

If you’re like most people, the first thing you do when trying to do something is ask yourself, “How do I do this?”

This held me back for years from starting my YouTube channel as I was asking questions such as, “How do I make thumbnails, edit or post videos, etc.?”

The book suggests this is the wrong question if you want success.

Unfortunately, we’ve been taught to ask this “How” question.

Think about it.

From a young age, we’re taught in school to do everything ourselves.

Sadly, we’re sometimes told that getting help from others is “cheating” and something we shouldn’t do.

But what if you asked a much better question?

Instead of asking, “How can I do this?” you learn to ask, “Who can help me do this?” This essential paradigm shift can transform your approach to problem-solving and personal growth.

The right question to ask isn’t about the steps you need to take but about the right people who can help.

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The Philosophy of ‘Who Not How’

The philosophy of ‘Who Not How’ is a new idea introduced by the co-founder of Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy (organizational psychologist). It shifts your focus from figuring out how to do something to finding the right person to help you get it done.

Instead of learning new skills or processes, you identify experts with the knowledge and abilities needed. This allows you to achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.

Key Points:

Key Strategy Description
Delegate to Experts Instead of figuring out how to do everything yourself, find someone who already knows how to do it.
Collaborative Network Building a network of skilled individuals helps you leverage their strengths while focusing on your passions and purpose.
Efficiency This approach saves time and reduces the stress of learning and doing everything on your own.

By adopting this mindset, you achieve better results and enrich your work experience by collaborating with those who bring unique strengths to the table.

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Shifting from “How” to “Who”

Understanding the Mindset Shift

Adopting the “Who Not How” mindset involves changing the way you think about challenges and tasks.

Instead of asking how you can accomplish something, you ask who can help you achieve it. This shift frees you from the constraints of your own limited skills and time.

By focusing on the right people, you can unlock personal freedom and achieve more with less effort.

Dan Sullivan and Dr. Hardy highlight the importance of connecting with experts and delegating tasks, thereby maximizing your productivity and results.

The Impact on Personal Growth

Embracing this new mindset can lead to significant personal growth.

By seeking help from others, you allow yourself to focus on your own unique strengths and passions. This focus can lead to what Sullivan refers to as a limitless transformation, where your potential is no longer capped by your own limitations.

You gain freedom of time and freedom of money by leveraging the capabilities of others.

This approach encourages continuous learning and development, as you are constantly exposed to new ideas and methods from your collaborators.

The Power of the Right Questions

Asking the right questions is crucial to implementing the “Who Not How” approach effectively.

When faced with a challenge, instead of asking “How can I solve this?”, you should ask “Who can help me with this?”.

This simple but powerful shift in perspective helps you identify the resources and people who can provide the best solutions.

It requires you to recognize the value of teamwork and acknowledge that you don’t have to do everything yourself.

By doing so, you open doors to innovative solutions and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Who Not How is broken down into 4 parts:

  1. Freedom of time
  2. Freedom of money
  3. Freedom of relationship
  4. Freedom of purpose

Part 1: Freedom of Time

The book’s authors share a great story about a 16-year-old named Richie Norton.

Richie wanted a job, but his dad had a different idea. He knew Richie wanted money and saw an opportunity to teach him a valuable lesson.

Richie’s dad gave him and his brother some “seed” money and told them to buy all the irregular-shaped watermelons from local farms that couldn’t be sold.

They then called everyone they knew, offering these watermelons at a much lower price than grocery stores. They sold them quickly, especially since it was the 4th of July holiday. Within a few hours, they had sold all the watermelons and made more money than they would have in a full-time summer job.

When Richie initially thought about making money, he asked, “How can I make enough money to last me all summer?”

By asking “How?”, he was prepared to give up his entire summer.

“How” costs a lot of time.

Richie’s dad, an entrepreneur, thought differently about time and money.

When Richie spoke to his dad, he became Richie’s “Who” by showing him a more effective way to make money with less effort.

Richie didn’t have to spend months working and losing his freedom.

  • “How” is linear and slow.
  • “Who” is non-linear, instantaneous, and exponential.

Freedom of time is flexible and infinite. It’s not just about having time to do what you want; it’s also about spending your time on high-quality activities.

The bottom line: “How” decreases your Freedom of Time.

Part 2: Freedom of Money

When you start valuing your time more seriously, the second freedom, Freedom of Money, follows naturally.

“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

Money avoids people who don’t value their time.

Those who improve their time management value it and use it more effectively; thus, they experience more freedom.

When you add Who’s to handle your How’s, your time is better spent on activities that make the biggest impact.

This section of the book emphasizes freeing up your mind to focus on high-value activities.

In turn, this increases your earning potential.

Do you want a free mind or a caged one?

Once I made a decision, I never thought about it again.” – Michael Jordan (greatest basketball player of all time)

To increase your freedom, you need to make investments and commit to working better and smarter, not just harder.

Many new Passive Investors Circle members (our investment group) work longer hours, thinking this will lead to financial independence instead of working smarter and letting their money work for them.

Remember, you can’t have money freedom until you achieve time freedom.

Avoid the “cost” mindset

Understand the opportunity cost of How. By doing everything yourself, you miss out on significant growth that comes from investing in Whos and focusing your time on higher impact activities.

Too many people think in terms of cost rather than investment. I used to be like that.

For example, paying someone $1,500 to build a website saves you dozens or hundreds of hours, allowing you to focus on more valuable and profitable tasks.

Once you start this, it becomes a game-changer in your life.

If you’re cost-minded, you’re transactional and short-term focused.

You’ll see Whos as a cost, which prevents you from creating brilliant collaborations.

Whos, when chosen to fit your vision, are never a cost they’re an INVESTMENT.

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Part 3: Freedom of Relationship

Freedom of Relationship means accessing the Whos you need to achieve your goals and forming higher-quality relationships.

As you gain more Time and Money Freedom, you’ll have greater access to Whos that not only help you achieve big goals but also bring more meaning and purpose to your life.

When meeting new people, instead of thinking, “What’s in it for me?” ask, “What’s in it for THEM?”

Thinking only of yourself hinders your ability to connect with people. A selfish, “taker” mindset makes it impossible to create transformational relationships.

On the other hand, if you encounter people who think this way, avoid them.

They’re takers, NOT givers.

The authors recommend not contacting someone unless you have something meaningful to offer.

Focus on providing value FIRST.

The world will be kind to you if you are useful and generous. You’ll have all the opportunities you need because you’ll have Freedom of Relationship.

Never stop providing value to your Whos, especially those who have been in your life the longest.

Part 4: Freedom of Purpose

Freedom of Purpose is the sense of vision and meaning you have for your life. Your sense of purpose grows as you see deeper meaning and value in what you do.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” – Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”

The deeper and more powerful your sense of purpose, the more meaningful your life will be. It also makes you more committed to doing whatever is needed to live out that purpose.

When you involve Whos in your projects, they become more significant and impactful. This exemplifies using the Freedom of Purpose through Who Not How.

By adding Whos (the right people) to your work, with greater skills and perspectives where you lack, your initial vision will expand. Your goals will become far better than anything you could achieve alone, leading to extraordinary results.

“Too much self-centered attitude brings isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.” – Dalai Lama

When you focus on “How,” you quickly become isolated in your goals. This comes from the mistaken belief that you are 100% responsible for getting the job done. This might lead to a strong work ethic, but ultimately, it’s not smart.

There is no reward for doing lots of tasks and working yourself to death in a mediocre way.

RESULTS are what count.

Focusing on “How”:

  • Makes you rigid and non-collaborative in your thinking
  • Stresses you out and stunts personal growth
  • Leads to isolation in your goals and ultimately slows your progress

Case Studies: Business and Sports

When applied in business, the principles of Who Not How can lead to significant achievements.

For instance, Richard A. Viguerie, a pioneer of political direct mail, leveraged others’ expertise to build a successful business rather than trying to master all aspects himself.

In sports, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are prime examples.

Phil Jackson, known for his unique coaching style, focused on utilizing the individual strengths of each player instead of pushing them to do everything. This strategy resulted in the Bulls’ legendary success during the 1990s.

JJ Virgin, a fitness and nutrition expert, also benefitted from this approach.

She collaborated with experts in different fields to build her brand and deliver high-quality health advice, turning her into a renowned name in the wellness industry.

Impact on Professional and Personal Lives

The principles of Who Not How extend beyond business and sports, influencing both professional and personal realms.

By surrounding yourself with skilled individuals, you can enhance your professional life without getting bogged down by tasks outside your strengths.

In personal life, this approach can lead to better work-life balance.

Entrepreneurs like Richard A. Viguerie and JJ Virgin use this mindset to maintain successful careers while still having time for their personal lives.

Delegating tasks can reduce stress and increase satisfaction, allowing you to focus on what you do best.


What are the key concepts presented in ‘Who Not How’?

The key concepts include leveraging the strengths of others to accomplish goals, focusing on collaboration, and finding the right people to help.

The book emphasizes that achieving success is about building teams and relationships rather than trying to do everything alone.

What are some notable quotes from ‘Who Not How’?

Some popular quotes from the book include, “A painting is never finished—it simply stops in interesting places” and “Results, not effort, is the name of the game. You are rewarded in life by the results you produce, not the effort and time you put in.”

These quotes capture the essence of focusing on outcomes and collaboration.

Can you explain the ‘Who Not How’ principle?

The ‘Who Not How’ principle encourages you to think about who can help you achieve your goals instead of how you will achieve them.

It’s about delegating tasks to those who excel in them, freeing you to focus on what you do best. This approach leads to more significant success and efficiency.

What discussion questions are suggested for a book club covering ‘Who Not How’?

Book clubs discussing “Who Not How” might explore questions like:

  • How has focusing on the ‘who’ rather than the ‘how’ impacted your personal or professional life?
  • Can you share an example where identifying the right person helped you solve a problem?
  • What challenges do you face in delegating tasks, and how can you overcome them?