I'm going to ask you something that might seem contradictory to everything you’ve ever learned. Everything you have ever been taught is that to succeed you need to give 110% effort. Get to work early, leave late; do the jobs that no one else wants to do; be the leader when everyone else is following. Lead by example.I want you to stop doing all of that. Stop showing up to work earlier than everyone else. Show up on time and leave on time.Don’t do the jobs no one else wants to do. Do the job you were hired to do.Don’t lead when everyone else is following. Let someone else lead this time.Stop saying yes to every work assignment that comes to you. Learn to say no. Better yet, learn to avoid situations where people ask you to do more work.Stop offering new suggestions to improve a process.Stop coming through the front door. Come through the back door and be as invisible as possible.

I asked this question to 10,000 people on my "Summer of Quitting" email list.

Everyone on earth disappears, except you. You are all alone. It's like the movie "I Am Legend," but no zombies. Everything else is still in place. Cars still on the roads and buildings still in tact and everything is peaceful. What's the first thing that you do? How does your life and career change? What are your goals for the first 30 days and the first year?

All I have to say is WOW. The responses were amazing.The responses ranged from, "Break into a sperm clinic and figure out a way to impregnate myself to repopulate the world," to "Take a shit in the women's bathroom since I was never able to do that before."This was my email back to them.

I had 500 dollars in my bank account.It was hovering at that amount for a long time no matter what I did. I bought fewer things and saved more money. I stopped going out on weekends. Somehow, someway, I always ended up with just 500 dollars in my account.I was living paycheck to paycheck.One day I attended a large conference. The keynote speaker said:"Be bold. You have to take risks to advance. Be your own brand. You have to stand out."

There are many ways to advance your career, but it is rarely a straight path. You can advance your career by staying with one company and methodically climbing up the ladder, although this method is on the downswing.You can advance your career by leaving companies every 3 to 5 years. Or you can quit your job and start your own company, which often leads to new career opportunities, even if the company fails.In reviewing my career, I’ve realized that there are certain types of people that have consistently helped me advance to the next level. I’ve been able to use them as sounding boards and ask questions that I normally wouldn't ask, and they’d provide honest feedback. This was extremely important. These are the ten people you need to have relationships with in order to accelerate your career:

I was sitting in the aisle seat on a plane en route to California for a client project.The person next to me had to go to the bathroom quite a bit. So this meant that every time he had to go, I had to get out of my seat. It was annoying. The 4th time this happened I gave him this blatantly obvious and rude 'are you kidding me?' look.Right before the flight landed, I opened instructions on how to get the client office. He immediately recognized what I opened and said to me, "Robbie?" I was shocked. I said, "Yes! How do you know my name?" Then he told me something I'll never forget."I'm your manager, pleasure to meet you."