Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the Himalayas for the past half-century, you’re likely familiar with the legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger. From dominating the bodybuilding world to becoming a Hollywood leading man and eventually serving as California’s 38th governor, Arnold’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. Like all of us, he’s flawed, but his ability to conquer three distinct fields of endeavor is unparalleled. And guess what? He’s not done yet. Arnold is now channeling his energy into helping others succeed, sharing his wisdom in his book “Be Useful.”

Let’s talk about Tool #3: “Work Your A** Off” – a concept that personally resonates with me. I was never the brightest crayon in the box, graduating at the top of the bottom 1/3 of my high school class. However, I always had a penchant for hard work, and a different kind of intelligence that didn’t necessarily thrive in a traditional school setting.

During my early university days, I was a lost soul majoring in liberal arts – a safe haven for those of us still figuring things out. A failed attempt at Physics made me realize I needed a change. Summer jobs consisted of manual labor – digging ditches, putting up structural steel. I even tried joining the Peace Corps but was told I lacked skills – a painful wake-up call. I knew how to work hard, but life demanded more than just a strong work ethic; it demanded a skill.

One fateful afternoon, I stumbled upon students “surveying” and discovered civil engineering. The idea of building things outdoors captivated me. I persevered, barely graduating with a civil engineering degree. The engineering world was full of brilliant minds, but I dubbed myself an “uncivil” engineer, relying on hard work and a peculiar ability to visualize a future that eluded many.

My civil engineering degree equipped me with skills, but to succeed, I needed to put those skills into action. Over two decades in the corporate world, adding tools to my kit, I eventually took the leap into entrepreneurship. A failing business became my challenge, surviving a decade before experiencing five years of exponential growth and culminating in a successful exit. Enter MAC6, and my journey is still unfolding.

How did I, without what some might call raw brainpower, succeed? I worked my a** off and leaned on a healthy dose of common sense. Visualization, a skill Arnold highlights in his book, played a crucial role too.

In essence, not all of us are blessed with innate intelligence. Some are, and that’s fantastic. What’s truly remarkable, however, is that hard work can outshine raw intelligence. So, whether you’re genetically predisposed to brilliance or not, heed the advice from Arnold and myself – work your a** off, and success in any reasonable goal is within reach.

Scott McIntosh – loving life, and still working my a** off