Tim Grover: Relentless Book Summary





In Tim’s book he outlines 13 things that people who are extremely successful in their careers do. He describes their mindset and work ethic and how those two areas make them unstoppable.  Below I will outline what the differences are between the good, the great, and the unstoppable, or as the author would call it, Relentless people.  After describing this I will then give you the 13 ways Relentless people think and act.  These are the actions that make them relentless.

A cooler is careful, waits to be told what to do, watches to see what everyone else is doing, and then follows the leader. They are mediators, not decision makers, unless they are forced to make a decision. They handle a certain amount of pressure when things are going well, but when things get too intense, they kick the problem over to someone else. They can make plays, but they are not responsible for the outcome. They are setup people.

A closer can handle a lot of pressure and get the job done. Put in the right situation and tell them what to do and they will do it. They seek attention and credit, and they are aware of what everyone else is doing and what others think of them. They love the rewards and perks associated with their fame and would choose financial security over winning or success. The closer is the ultimate competitor, the guy/gal that you can always count on to finish out the game or make the deal when necessary. The closer does what they are supposed to do, gets the credit, and goes home a happy hero.

A Cleaner: Means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you’re good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great, it means you fight until you’re unstoppable.

  • Coolers wont offer to take on a role they’re not comfortable with.
  • Closers will take the role if you ask them and they’ll do it well, if they have enough time to prepare for and study the situation.
  • Cleaners don’t wait to be asked, they just do it.
  • Coolers worry about the competition and how they measure up.
  • Closers study the competition and plan their attack based on the opponent.
  • Cleaners make the competition study them, they don’t care who they are facing, they know they can handle anyone.
  • Cleaners have amazing careers.
  • Closers have an amazing season.
  • Coolers can have an amazing game.
  • Coolers avoid taking the winning shot.
  • Closers take the shot if they know they have a good chance at hitting it.
  • Cleaners just trust their gut and shoot; they don’t have to think about it.
  • Coolers let others decide when they’re successful; they do the job and wait to see if you approve.
  • Closers feel successful when they get the job done.
  • Cleaners never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there is always more to do.
  • Coolers don’t want to carry the team, but they’re the first to slap you on the back when you do a good job.
  • Closers want the credit for getting the job done and love being congratulated for what they did.
  • Cleaners rarely congratulate you for doing your job, they just expect you to do it.
  • Coolers think they want the spotlight, but when they get it, they usually handle it badly.
  • Closers stand in front because they need to show who’s in charge.
  • Cleaners don’t have to show who’s in charge, everyone already knows.
  • Coolers will eat whatever you feed them.
  • Closers will order what they want and be satisfied with a great meal.
  • It doesn’t matter what cleaners eat, they’ll still be hungry again in an hour.
  • The closer can win the game if given the opportunity, but the cleaner creates the opportunity.
  • A cooler gets everyone cranked up and emotional before the game.
  • A cleaner never gets cranked up or emotional, they stay cool and calm and saves it for the game.
  • A cooler tries to fight his dark side and loses
  • A closer acknowledges their dark side, but isn’t able to control it.
  • A cleaner harnesses their dark side into raw, controlled power.
  • A cooler is never in a situation where they have to be clutch.
  • A closer is clutch in high-pressure situations.
  • A cleaner is always clutch.
  • A cooler waits for you to tell them the plan.
  • A closer works on the plan, studies it, memorizes it, and knows exactly what they are to do.
  • A cleaner doesn’t want a specific plan, they want all options available all of the time.
  • A cooler does a good job and waits for a pat on the back.
  • A closer does a good job and pats themselves on the back.
  • A cleaner just a does a good job, that’s their job.
  • A cooler wonders what’s going to happen.
  • A closer watches things happen.
  • A cleaner make things happen.
  • A cooler make you wish you paid them less.
  • A closer asks how much and then decides how hard they’ll work.
  • A cleaner doesn’t think about money, they just do the work and knows you’ll be grateful for the privilege of paying them.
  • A cooler keeps their opinion to their self.
  • A closer will say what they think, but only behind your back.
  • A cleaner will tell you straight to your face what they think, whether you like it or not.
  • A cooler is liked.
  • A closer is respected.
  • A cleaner is feared, and then respected for doing exactly what everyone feared they would do.
  • Coolers are afraid of the truth because they can’t deal with it.
  • Closers dig for the truth and get upset when it’s not in their favor.
  • Cleaners know when you’re lying and wait for the truth to show itself, they know whatever it is, they’ll handle it.
  • When a cooler speaks you have doubts.
  • When a closer speaks, you listen.
  • When a cleaner speaks, you believe.
  • A cooler accepts what they can’t do and gives up.
  • A closer recognizes what they can’t do but keeps working at it.
  • A cleaner knows what they can do and stays with it until they decide to do something else.
  • The cooler admits defeat.
  • The closer works harder.
  • The cleaner strategizes for a different outcome.
  • A cooler is the first to arrive at the celebration and the last to leave.
  • A closer will make an appearance, then go out with his own crew.
  • A cleaner just wants to get back to work.

Cleaners do the following thirteen things to ensure they are relentless.

You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.

  • You can’t excel at anything until you first train your mind. You can’t commit to excellence until your mind is ready to take you there.
  • Teach the mind, train the body.
  • Physical dominance will make you great. Mental dominance is what makes you unstoppable.
  • Do the work. Do something you don’t want to do.
  • Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • There is no off switch you are always on.

You get into a zone, you shut out everything else and control the uncontrollable.

  • When you’re in the zone, you don’t think you just act.
  • When you are in the zone, nothing around you exists. It is just you and you have laser focus on the target and the goal.
  • In the zone you know you must execute or fail, and failing is not an option.
  • You are detached from anything outside of what is going on right now.
  • Thinking is opposite of the zone, when you are in the zone you are acting and only acting on the task at hand.
  • Emotions make you weak. There are no emotions in the zone.
  • You are all instincts in the zone.

You know exactly who you are.

  • We were all born bad and taught to be good. Or in other words, born relentless, and taught to relent.
  • We are all born with natural instincts to survive. A baby knows if it cries it will get fed.
  • Can you remember a time when you weren’t being taught compliance and limitations. You weren’t scrutinizing what you were about to say. You weren’t worried what others thought? At some point you stopped doing what came naturally and started doing what you were told, or as I mentioned in the previous chapter, thinking too much.
  • Don’t take something simple and make it hard.
  • Everything you need is already inside you. You are completely wired with instincts and reflexes specifically designed so you can survive and succeed. You don’t have to think about them, they are always working.
  • The greats never stop learning.
  • Real learning is absorbing everything you can and then trusting yourself to use what you know instantaneously.
  • Stop waiting to be taught something you already know. How many millions of diet books and exercise books are there? We all know what’s in them. We just don’t do it. You know what it takes to lose weight.
  • Oprah Winfrey said: “Every right decision I made, I went with my gut. Almost every wrong decision I made, I listened to someone else.”
  • There is zero chance you will ever get anywhere if you allow yourself to become paralyzed by soft excuses and countless reasons why you’ll never get where you want to be.

You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.

  • Jekyll and Hyde: Jekyll quietly lives by the rules. Hyde acts on impulse and instinct; he exists only in Jekyll’s zone. Hyde does whatever he wants and doesn’t care about consequences or whom he has to destroy in the process.
  • Jekyll lives in the light and Hyde lives in the dark.
  • It’s like Superman shedding mild mannered Clark Kent’s suit and glasses, the Incredible Hulk going green, Batman putting on the cape. Performing instinctively at the most extraordinary level. NO FEAR. NO Limitation. Just action and results.
  • Deep inside us all, there’s an undeniable force driving your actions. The part that refuses to be ordinary.
  • The dark side, you need it. Because if you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s the essential link to getting into the Zone and achieving what you want.
  • The dark side: No challenge is too great, too intimidating, too dangerous, because you have zero fear of failing.
  • The satisfaction doesn’t come from the risk, it comes from mastering it.
  • You don’t get to the best at anything without blistering confidence and an impenetrable shell. You get there by taking huge risks that others wont take, because you rely on your instincts to know which risks to take at all.
  • The dark side doesn’t have to be sick or evil or criminal, you can be a good person and still have this one part of you that remains untamed.
  • Spiderman, Batman, and Superman, lived dark lives, but fought for good.
  • Staying safe means being limited, and you can’t be limited if you’re going to be relentless.
  • Control your dark side, don’t let it control you.

You’re not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.

  • There is no clutch gene. Nope, it is called Preparation meeting opportunity.
  • True competitors always feel the pressure to attack and conquer, and thrive on it.
  • Relentless people feel pressure every moment and to them everything is always on the line.
  • Being relentless means constantly working for that result, not just when drama is on the line. Clutch is about last-minute. Relentless is about every minute.
  • Michael Jordan’s legendary trash talking wasn’t meant for the other guy; it was meant for him to heighten the pressure he put on himself, because once he told others how bad he was going to beat them, he had to deliver on that promise.
  • Stress keeps you sharp, it challenges you in ways you never imagined and forces you to solves issues and a manage situations that send weaker people for cover. Your level of success is determined by how well you embrace and manage stress.
  • Everyone wants to cut back on stress, because stress kills. Stress is what brings you to life. Let it motivate you, make you work harder. Use it, don’t run from it. When it makes you uncomfortable, so what? The payoff is worth it. Work through the discomfort, you’ll survive.
  • You have to be able to recognize the difference between stress that can bring great results, and stress you create that causes chaos. Showing up unprepared causes chaos.
  • When you deal with stress all of the time, it becomes second nature. It’s still not easy or effortless, but you handle things without panicking because you have experience in accepting the rigors of complex challenges.

When everyone else is hitting the “In case of Emergency” button, they’re all looking for you.

  • Confidence means recognizing something isn’t working and having the flexibility and knowledge to make adjustments; cockiness is the inability to admit when something isn’t working, and repeating the same mistakes over and over because you stubbornly can’t admit you’re wrong.
  • You don’t wing it or make it up as you go. You are so prepared with so many options, that you’re truly ready for anything.
  • Some people know without a doubt they’ll be okay no matter what happens. Others choke as soon as things go wrong.
  • The trademark of a dangerous competitor. They don’t know what’s coming, but they are prepared for whatever you show them, they’re ready. No fear of failure.
  • Building your reflexes so you know when your back is against the wall, you’ve got the right move.
  • How quickly can you make an adjustment if you take the wrong step? Can you recognize the mistake and snap it back? You have to be willing to fail if you’re going to trust yourself to act from the gut, and then adapt as you go. That’s the confidence or swagger that allows you to take risks and know that whatever happens, you’ll figure it out.
  • Being relentless means having the courage to say, “I’m going for this, and if I’m wrong, I’ll make a change and I’ll still be fine.” You can’t control or anticipate every obstacle. You can only control your response.
  • If you want to be the best, you never have the luxury of shrugging off a bad performance. You face it, fix it, and prepare to win the next time.
  • Two things you can’t allow anyone to take from you: Your reputation and your balls. That means accepting the responsibility for everything you do and say.
  • Maturity, experience, and practice…the more educated you become, the more you heighten your ability to adapt to situations because experience gives you a better understanding of nuances, the tiny details that no one else thinks are important.
  • The most successful people are those with the instincts to respond quickly to anything, without having to go back to the drawing board.





You don’t compete with anyone, you find your opponent’s weakness and attack.

  • Get on my level or get the hell out-of-the-way.
  • When you’re the person at the top, it’s on you to pull everyone else up there with you, or everything you’ve built comes crashing down.
  • A lot of gifted people will lower their skills to close the gap between themselves and those around them, so others can feel more confident, involved, and relatively, competitive. Not relentless people.
  • Michael Jordan went the other way, and came right out and said it. The rest of the team was his supporting cast. He was relentless. And didn’t apologize for it.
  • Everyone is given some ability at birth. Not everyone finds out what that ability is. Sometimes you find it own your own, or it has to be shown to you. Our challenge is life is to use the abilities we have, and to compensate for the abilities we don’t have.
  • Successful people compensate for what they don’t have; unsuccessful people makes excuses, blame everyone else, and never get past those deficiencies. A true leader can see past those deficiencies, identify the abilities, and get the most out of that individual.
  • The only way you can light other people on fire is to be lit yourself, from the inside.
  • A professional doesn’t let other people down just because of personal issues. If you need to show up, you show up.
  • That’s how you get others to come up to your level: show them where it is, and set the example that allows them to get there.

You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.

  • Every minute, every hour, every day that you sit around trying to figure out what to do, someone else is already doing it.
  • Make a choice, or a choice will be made for you.
  • Most people don’t want to make decisions. They make suggestions and wait to see what everyone else thinks.
  • Decide and then act.
  • Are you taking advice from people who know what they’re talking about, or those who don’t know anything?
  • Good things come to those who wait. NOPE! Good things come to those who work.
  • You can’t rely on others to jump up and make your dreams happen. They have their own dreams, they’re not worrying about yours.
  • People get paid a fortune for being an expert at one thing.
  • Figure out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else.
  • Interesting how the guy with the most talent and success spends more time working than anyone else.

You don’t have to love the work, but you’re addicted to the results.

  • When you reduce your competition to whining that “you got lucky” you know you’re doing something right.
  • There are no shortcuts, and there is no luck.
  • There are facts and opportunities and realities, and how you respond determine whether you succeed or fail.
  • It doesn’t matter what you have been handed, it’s what you do after you receive it that affords you the privilege of saying, “I did this on my own.”
  • Only when you are truly relentless can you understand the determination to keep pursuing a target that never stops moving.
  • No question those who are more gifted get to the top faster. So what? Is that an excuse for not reaching as high? You must earn it everyday, prove it, and sacrifice to stay at the top.
  • You can’t claim you ran a marathon if you started at the 17th mile.
  • Most people are looking for an elevator instead of taking the stairs. People quit workouts and diets because they are too hard.
  • What are you willing to sacrifice?
  • Hardwork is not a skill, anyone can do it.
  • Anyone can start something but few can finish it.
  • Part of the commitment to hard work is knowing what you will have to give up to pursue the mission.
  • There is no offseason when you are serious about being a winner.

You’d rather be feared than liked.

  • Fear and respect: let them know you were there by your actions, not your words or emotions.
  • The loudest guy in the room is the one with the most to prove.
  • When people start announcing what they are going to do and how they are going to do it, you can be sure they are only trying to convince themselves.
  • Intimidate your opponent by not saying a word.
  • You earn respect by having excellence in everything you do.
  • When you’re at the top, you show others how to act, you don’t come down to their level.
  • When you’re completely focused on one thing, your craft, it’s hard to pay attention to other people.
  • Being feared doesn’t mean being a jerk. It is being respected by what you do and how you do it.
  • Be known for the excellence of your work.
  • When people say they like you. Chances are they like average. Be memorable.

You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down.

  • Being relentless means you trust yourself the most. You don’t sit in the passenger seat of a car, because you know there are a lot of bad drivers and you want to be in control.
  • The truth is simple. It requires no explanation, analysis, rationale, or excuse; it’s just a simple statement that leaves no doubt.
  • Explanations are another way of saying, “I wasn’t sure, but then I went through this whole, long, thought process until I came to a decision, and now I’m pretty sure.
  • Don’t explain, don’t make excuses. Truth takes one sentence.
  • Surround yourself with those who want to see you succeed.

You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.

  • When you are relentless, you are done when you say you are done, not when someone else tells you are.
  • I don’t understand the concept of failure.
  • Failure is what happens when you decide you have failed. Until then, you’re still always looking for ways to get where you want to be.
  • You go, and you go, always looking for the unexpected option that keeps the situation in your control.
  • When someone else says you have failed, what they really mean is “if that were me, I would feel like a failure.” Well that guys not you.
  • When everyone else says you have failed. You show up like a professional, remap your course, and get back to work. That’s the progression of good-great-unstoppable. No one starts at unstoppable.
  • I’ll try, is an open invitation to failure, just another way to say, “If I fail, it’s not my fault, I tried.”
  • Do or don’t do. There is no try.
  • If you aim at excellence you have to be willing to sacrifice. That is the price of success.
  • It’s not weak to recognize when its time to shift directions.
  • It’s weak to refuse to consider other options and fail at everything because you wouldn’t adapt.
  • To me success isn’t about money. Success is about doing things that no one else can do.
  • You can be good at playing it safe. You can’t be relentless unless you’re willing to take chances. Safe makes you good, chance make you great.

You don’t celebrate your achievements because you always want more.

  • There’s always more work to do. And more to prove. Always more to prove.
  • It’s that momentary feeling of “Enough” followed by a deep, hot urge of “More.”
  • That’s the relentless pursuit of excellence, always believing in your ability, demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever ask of you.
  • The drive to close the gap between near perfect and perfect is the difference between great and unstoppable. You never shake the uneasy feeling that you can’t ever be satisfied with your results; you always believe that you could have done better, and you stop at nothing to prove it.
  • To me, never being satisfied means being prepared for any situation, ready to adapt seamlessly without panic or fluster.
  • The greatest battles you will ever fight are with your self, and you must always be your toughest opponent.







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