Behavior Before Success

Pete Weishaupt
2 min readJun 3, 2020


In a discussion with Tom Bilyeu, Trevor Moawad relayed a story his father told him about one of the most successful magazine entrepreneurs in the world. The man was failing out of high school and struggled growing up. He was raised by a single mom in the Midwest. He promised his mother he’d take the SAT test. He didn’t expect to get a good score.

His score came back. He got a 1480 out of 1600 on the SAT. His mother, knowing her kid, asks, “Did you cheat?” He swore to her he didn’t cheat. In his senior year he realizes he’s smart and decides to attend classes. He stops hanging out with his old crowd. The teachers and kids seemed to notice. They started treating him differently.

He graduates, attends community college, goes on to Wichita State, and eventually to an Ivy League. He goes on to become a successful magazine entrepreneur.

You think, he’s smart. He just needed the standardized test to unlock his potential. No. This isn’t the story. What comes next is the important part.

12 years later the man gets a letter in the mail from Princeton, New Jersey. He doesn’t think anything about it. The next day his wife asks him if he’s going to open the letter.

He opens it. It turns out the SAT board periodically reviews their test taking procedures and policies. He was one of 13 people sent the wrong SAT score. His actual score was 740.

People say his whole life changed when he got the 1480. What really happened is his behavior changed. He started acting like a person with a 1480 and started doing what someone with a score like that does.

Trevor says language is powerful, but your behavior is way ahead of your success. The lesson is, in addition to language, how you feel about the past shouldn’t determine who you are in the future. The keys are language and behavior. You can view the entire conversation here.

“Attention is the new gold.” ~ J.P. O’Shaughnessy

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