Yet, one of our most popular essays thus far is about what not to do.
That essay was called ‘Do you fail the uber test?‘ In short, I can make a confident prediction of how successful you will be based on how much you talk to Uber drivers.
The reason for writing that article is to show that signs of success manifest in everyday life. Most success literature talks about what the successful do in the big moments: selling companies, contentious meetings, solo practice for hours.
I’ve studied success for many years, become quite successful myself, and have had the opportunity to meet billionaires and CEOs. The mega-successful aren’t just different in the big moments, but they’re different during everyday life.
One example is the Uber test: every mega-successful person happily talks with their Uber driver. Another example is the phone test.
Failing the phone test
I was on a rather long flight earlier this week. Even worse, we were a bit delayed after boarding. As a result, we were sitting on the plane at the gate for an extra 30 minutes.
It was at this point a woman behind me failed the phone test in an obvious way.
Due to it being a long flight, the first class cabin was rather large. There were 16 of us in first, including myself and the woman who failed the test.
You see, she used the 30-minute delay to call a friend from work to talk about how well she had done in a meeting earlier that day. Even better, her least favorite colleague hadn’t executed that well, and she was very excited he may get fired.
How do I know all of this? Because she failed the phone test.
The phone test is simple
The phone test is a simple question. That question is:
Do you speak loudly enough on the phone that others in the room can hear your conversation?
Sounds simple, right? I’d also bet this isn’t what you were expecting the phone test to be.
But here’s the simple punchline: I have yet to meet a single mega-successful person who fails the phone test. I’ve seen hundreds of non-successful people fail it.
In other words, the phone test is indicative of success. Here’s why.
Speaking loudly on the phone means you live to impress others rather than have a passion for what you do
Let’s return to the story I shared about my flight earlier this week. Everyone from first class heard every single word from this conversation. Therefore, it was pretty easy to tell she had a pretty clear objective for the phone call.
Remember, her message on the phone call was simple: “I did a great job in my meeting earlier today.”
There’s one additional part of the story I didn’t tell you earlier: she was flying to visit the friend she was currently on the phone with. She was going to see the friend in just a few hours. Again, all of first class knew this based on the volume of the conversation.
If her goal was to tell her friend how great she had done in the meeting, she could have waited to tell her friend later that night.
Now, one could logically disagree at this point. Perhaps she was excited to tell her friend about how great the meeting was and couldn’t wait?
Remember, she called her friend after the delay was announced. That means she wasn’t planning on calling the friend. If the plane wasn’t delayed, we would have just taken off and no phone call would have been made.
Her objective for the call was simple: she was talking loudly on the phone to show off
Her pretty clear objective was to show off. She wanted everyone else in first class to know how great she was at her job, especially compared to her work colleague that she didn’t like.
“Thank god I’m actually good at my job. I can’t wait for (NAME REDACTED) to get fired so I don’t have to see his stupid ugly face around the office”
But show off to us? I’ve flown literally thousands of times. Only once have run into someone I sat next to on a plane. (Funny story-that person was actually a billionaire. Apparently, they fly commercial too!)
In other words, she was never going to see any of us again. Why show off?
She lives to impress others; instead, we all should live for our passion
The only conclusion I can draw is that she cares about impressing others. It’s the same things for the 100’s of other people I’ve seen fail the phone test.
That’s why the phone test is powerful. It shows who want to appear successful and who wants to be successful.
Appearing successful means flying in first class and talking loudly about how great you are. It’ll probably be followed with an Instagram selfie as well! Appearing successful could also be buying fancy clothes on credit or buying a car that you can’t afford.
The only reason one would want to appear successful is so to impress others. It’s focusing on what other’s think about you, not what you think about you.
Success doesn’t care what other people think; success means working for what you love
Being successful means grinding. It means having a passion you love so much you’re willing to give up sleep for it. It means working late at night after everyone else has gone home. You don’t give a shit if people hear your phone conversations.
In fact, I’ve been around CEOs and billionaires who have all repeatedly passed the phone test. The commonality here: they all speak so quietly on the phone that others in the room don’t even realize they’re on the phone.
Most important, being successful means not giving a fuck what others think of you. What matters is what you think about you.
You’re okay with seeming weird for skipping the party to work. You don’t care that you’re eating crap food because all your money goes to the business. You’re passionate about what you do and you’re on the path to success
That’s why the phone test is so powerful. Just by hearing someone on the phone, you can tell if they want to appear successful or if they want to be successful.