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50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First

Joel Brown

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Michael Jordan


Not everyone who’s on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others.

Next time you’re feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these fifty famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.

 

Successful People Who Failed At First

 

Business Gurus

These businessmen and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren’t always smooth.

  1. Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
  2. R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
  3. F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.
  4. Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
  5. Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.
  6. Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
  7. Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
  8. Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Scientists and Thinkers

These people are often regarded as some of the greatest minds of our century, but they often had to face great obstacles, the ridicule of their peers and the animosity of society.

  1. Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
  2. Charles Darwin: In his early years, Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin himself wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Perhaps they judged too soon, as Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.
  3. Robert Goddard: Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets, but during his lifetime his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.
  4. Isaac Newton: Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.
  5. Socrates: Despite leaving no written records behind, Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. Because of his new ideas, in his own time he was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates didn’t let this stop him and kept right on, teaching up until he was forced to poison himself.
  6. Robert Sternberg: This big name in psychology received a C in his first college introductory psychology class with his teacher telling him that, “there was already a famous Sternberg in psychology and it was obvious there would not be another.” Sternberg showed him, however, graduating from Stanford with exceptional distinction in psychology, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa and eventually becoming the President of the American Psychological Association.

Inventors

These inventors changed the face of the modern world, but not without a few failed prototypes along the way.

  1. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
  2. Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Public Figures

From politicians to talk show hosts, these figures had a few failures before they came out on top.

  1. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
  4. Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
  5. Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

Hollywood Types

These faces ought to be familiar from the big screen, but these actors, actresses and directors saw their fair share of rejection and failure before they made it big.

  1. Jerry Seinfeld: Just about everybody knows who Seinfeld is, but the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause, and the rest is history.
  2. Fred Astaire: In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
  3. Sidney Poitier: After his first audition, Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business.
  4. Jeanne Moreau: As a young actress just starting out, this French actress was told by a casting director that she was simply not pretty enough to make it in films. He couldn’t have been more wrong as Moreau when on to star in nearly 100 films and win numerous awards for her performances.
  5. Charlie Chaplin: It’s hard to imagine film without the iconic Charlie Chaplin, but his act was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.
  6. Lucille Ball: During her career, Ball had thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn’t feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She, of course, proved them all wrong.
  7. Harrison Ford: In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
  8. Marilyn Monroe: While Monroe’s star burned out early, she did have a period of great success in her life. Despite a rough upbringing and being told by modeling agents that she should instead consider being a secretary, Monroe became a pin-up, model and actress that still strikes a chord with people today.
  9. Oliver Stone: This Oscar-winning filmmaker began his first novel while at Yale, a project that eventually caused him to fail out of school. This would turn out to be a poor decision as the the text was rejected by publishers and was not published until 1998, at which time it was not well-received. After dropping out of school, Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English, later enlisting in the army and fighting in the war, a battle that earning two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often center around war.

Writers and Artists

We’ve all heard about starving artists and struggling writers, but these stories show that sometimes all that work really does pay off with success in the long run.

  1. Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.
  2. Emily Dickinson: Recluse and poet Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. Yet in her lifetime she was all but ignored, having fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
  3. Theodor Seuss Giesel: Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
  4. Charles Schultz: Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip has had enduring fame, yet this cartoonist had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even after high school, Schultz didn’t have it easy, applying and being rejected for a position working with Walt Disney.
  5. Steven Spielberg: While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
  6. Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
  7. Zane Grey: Incredibly popular in the early 20th century, this adventure book writer began his career as a dentist, something he quickly began to hate. So, he began to write, only to see rejection after rejection for his works, being told eventually that he had no business being a writer and should given up. It took him years, but at 40, Zane finally got his first work published, leaving him with almost 90 books to his name and selling over 50 million copies worldwide.
  8. J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.
  9. Monet: Today Monet’s work sells for millions of dollars and hangs in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Yet during his own time, it was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon. Monet kept at his impressionist style, which caught on and in many ways was a starting point for some major changes to art that ushered in the modern era.
  10. Jack London: This well-known American author wasn’t always such a success. While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.
  11. Louisa May Alcott: Most people are familiar with Alcott’s most famous work, Little Women. Yet Alcott faced a bit of a battle to get her work out there and was was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family to make ends meet. It was her letters back home during her experience as a nurse in the Civil War that gave her the first big break she needed.

Musicians

While their music is some of the best selling, best loved and most popular around the world today, these musicians show that it takes a whole lot of determination to achieve success.

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart began composing at the age of five, writing over 600 pieces of music that today are lauded as some of the best ever created. Yet during his lifetime, Mozart didn’t have such an easy time, and was often restless, leading to his dismissal from a position as a court musician in Salzberg. He struggled to keep the support of the aristocracy and died with little to his name.
  2. Elvis Presley: As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
  3. Igor Stravinsky: In 1913 when Stravinsky debuted his now famous Rite of Spring, audiences rioted, running the composer out of town. Yet it was this very work that changed the way composers in the 19th century thought about music and cemented his place in musical history.
  4. The Beatles: Few people can deny the lasting power of this super group, still popular with listeners around the world today. Yet when they were just starting out, a recording company told them no. The were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” two things the rest of the world couldn’t have disagreed with more.
  5. Ludwig van Beethoven: In his formative years, young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. Despite his love of composing, his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin or in composing. Beethoven kept plugging along, however, and composed some of the best-loved symphonies of all time–five of them while he was completely deaf.

Athletes

While some athletes rocket to fame, others endure a path fraught with a little more adversity, like those listed here.

  1. Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  2. Stan Smith: This tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.
  3. Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
  4. Tom Landry: As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

How A 45 Year Old Co-worker Inspired Me To Date Again

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Wow, it sucks to go through another breakup, especially as it’s been less than a year since the last one! I thought I would never date again until a 45-year-old co-worker said this to me:

“If at 45 I can go on Tinder being massively overweight, and not the best to look at, and have lots of guys wanting to date me, then so can you.”

This co-worker had been single for over a decade. She smoked heavily and swore never to date again. That was until her slightly quirky family decided to create a dating profile for her on Tinder.

She met many men on Tinder. There was:

– Tony Soprano with his gambling addiction
– There was chef with his quirkiness
– There was “Tradie” with his 30-year-old model body and six pack
– There was “bikie” who attempted a forced kiss in the middle of a dark car park

All of this got me thinking: “If a 45-year-old who claims that they are not much to look at can have success in dating, then why can’t a young buck like me sort this stuff out?”

Seeing my co-worker’s success inspired me. I vowed to set myself a goal to get this area of my life sorted out. The only problem is I become like an assassin when there’s a goal I want to achieve.

I became obsessed with this whole dating game.

I had no idea what a dating app was.

I had never sent texts to girls that I had never met in person before.

I was terrified of the potential rejection.

What did I do? I just did it anyway and you can do the same.

The myth is that dating isn’t challenging for all of us. It is. We are all afraid to date after a major breakup because we fear that we might someday die lonely.

 

For the next 5 months, I became obsessed with this dating goal.

I figured if I were going to reach this goal of finding someone through online dating, I would have to put in the work to shorten the time it takes. Many of my friends have been single for more than 5 years and I decided that was not going to happen to me.

I signed up for dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony and Happn.
I went on coffee dates before work.
I went on coffee dates during lunchtime.
I went on coffee dates after work.

 

And then I made sure I was in the zone.

No matter the day or time I was doing something to push my dating game further.

I bought new clothes.
I bought new shoes.
I bought new aftershave.

Not to impress the girls, but to make sure I was feeling good before each date. I wanted to put in the maximum effort I could so that if I failed, I knew that I had given it everything I could.

 

The start was full of fear.

The first date was horrible. It was a friend of a friend that had been crowdsourced via Facebook for me. I wasn’t ready and she was not really my type. She was into pole dancing and collecting these crystals that apparently heal you or something like that. It was sooooo not me.

I rolled up to the date one hour early to ensure I didn’t miss getting car parking. I waited around until 8 pm for her. She messaged at 8 pm and said she was leaving home now and would be late. I thought to myself, “Clearly this whole dating thing is going to be hard, especially given I am obsessed with productivity and don’t like having my time wasted.”

“Instead of being pissed off, I committed not to tell myself negative stories. I became committed to not getting upset easily like most people do in life”

She finally arrived and I felt quite sick for some bizarre reason. I ordered the drinks and then she paid without me getting a chance to stop her because she felt bad for being late. This was already a mini failure as letting the girl pay on the first date is usually seen as a very bad idea.

At the end of the date, I stupidly asked for a second date and she said yes. I never ended up getting the second date and thank god for that. It did hurt my ego a little.

 

I then went on more than 50 dates with 50 different women.

This might seem like freaking madness but I believe that to be successful at any goal you need to get really good at your chosen task. On the first date, I sucked big time at dating. After a few dates though, I became really good at it. I figured out quickly what I wanted which I had never done before.

The fear started to dissipate and before long I was completely comfortable. I’d check the apps throughout the day to get fresh leads, meet them, narrow down the list, and then attempt to close them by asking for a second date.

My process was a lot like managing a sales pipeline through a piece of software like Salesforce. It was methodical, intentional, unwavering and organized chaos.

 

You can date anyone if you believe you can. You can do anything.

The reason I had failed relationships in the past was that I never thought carefully about what I wanted. I somehow thought I wasn’t good enough. Because of this belief, I limited the parameters of my dating apps only to include girls who were no more than two years younger.

I secretly wanted a younger girlfriend but never thought they would go for me. I thought I was too old and that they wouldn’t be able to relate to me. I didn’t swipe right on the good-looking profile pictures because I thought they would never go for an average looking guy like me.

Somewhere along the way when I wasn’t succeeding at my goal, I revaluated what I was doing. I realized I was selling myself short.

I started swiping on stunners.
I opened the age range right up.

To my own disbelief, I was stunned.

Amazing looking models wanted to go on dates with me. Girls that were near geniuses wanted to go on dates with me. Girls who were a lot younger than me were throwing themselves at me. It turns out that I was limiting my chances, not the real world.

The lesson here is to be careful what you filter out. You may be filtering out exactly what you want.

 

My friends thought I was mad.

They told me it could take 5 years. They told me I may never find someone and I needed to potentially accept this concept. I told myself this was BS. I knew that if I kept trying and didn’t let all of the fear and failure defeat me, I’d be triumphant. I visualized the day I would get my goal.

“Being obsessed with a goal looks like madness to the average Joe; the truth is that it’s how you get stuff done and get what you want in life”

 

Watching Netflix and saying The universe will make it happen doesn’t work.

There’s a lot of this “Law Of Attraction,” praise a statue mumbo jumbo that’s floating around nowadays. People say that it will happen when it’s meant to happen. This mindset will destroy your goal and any chance of being successful at dating.

“Your goal will happen when you put in the work and make it happen”

The dating gods are not going to ride in on a rainbow unicorn and give you some drop-dead gorgeous person who’s got a perfectly tanned body, and an amazing ass, with an incredible personality.

Get to work and stop allowing wet dreams to ruin your life.

Sitting on the couch numbing your brain with Netflix doesn’t work either.

 

Don’t let desperation overcome you.

One of the girls I met decided to go for someone else. I was shortlisted and lost. She then messaged me to tell me that after a couple of days, her new man forced her head down to the bed and wouldn’t let her leave the room.

She asked me what she should do. Naturally, I told her to leave this horrible man as violence is never acceptable. This girl came across as desperate with every interaction I had with her. She also showed me that she would make other bad decisions and then blame the world.

All of this was due to desperation. Don’t let your need of finding someone allow you to make dumb decisions. You’ll regret it later.

 

Never be anyone’s Plan B.

This same girl then came back to me later after she dumped this violent man and tried to go on another date with me. I’ve learned over the years that it’s never a good idea to be someone’s Plan B. If you weren’t good enough from the start, then you never will be. I told this girl no and moved on.

 

What I didn’t do!

Use the apps as a way to randomly sleep with as many girls as possible. In the short term this will stroke your ego; in the long term, you’ll feel like garbage. Dating is not designed to boost your ego and is far better when you concentrate on your long-term happiness.

I also didn’t attempt to date multiple girls at the same time. This doesn’t work and you’ll get found out. Lying destroys all of your hopes and dreams except you never find out that it’s the true cause. Lying gets disguised in other people’s opinions about why you failed.

You will fail if you lie or become a whore.

 

The problem with online dating.

You start to believe there’s always someone better. You never settle for any prospect that comes your way. The slightest thing that annoys you about the other person can make you think you should keep looking through more profiles.

One girl told me that everything about me was good but she couldn’t deal with the fact I’m vegetarian. Being this trivial is stupid.

Every person you want to date has flaws including you.
You’ll learn to love their flaws in the long-term.
Having a shopping list of wants is great way to be disappointed and remain single.

 

How to avoid all the pitfalls of online dating and failing at any goal.

Be relentless.
Keep trying.
Believe in yourself.
Don’t settle for second best.
Don’t look for perfect – it doesn’t exist.
Be a really nice person and treat others nicely.
Don’t try and sleep with them too quickly – you’ll trick yourself into falling for them afterward.

 

So here’s what happened….

I got what I wanted. I found an intelligent, beautiful, elegant little gem. She’s funny, interesting, clever, successful and has good values.

It took some time and lot’s of dates but I got there. People look at me still like I got lucky although I don’t believe in luck. I gave it everything I could and it was an emotional rollercoaster. I showed the best of me and tried to be the best human being I could.

I practiced being kind, compassionate and humble. With forced intent and continued practice, I got my goal. You can do the same.

Before I go, I want to point out that I don’t tell this very personal story I’d rather not share to make myself look good, so don’t bother leaving comments to this effect. I tell you this very personal story to inspire you to greatness and learn from my foolish mistakes.

Don’t let this negative dating world beat you down. Fight back!

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

The Mentors That Dominate My Social Media Newsfeed And Why

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Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I saw the same three online mentors appear over and over again. It’s amazing what your social media can teach you about yourself. The pattern of who you become is determined by your external inputs.

To change your life, you need new inputs. Your social media is unconsciously defining you and it needs a cleanup.

Delete the Kardashians.
Delete all the negative news.
Remove fake people.
Remove toxic friends.

Once you have all of that beautiful space to play with, fill some of it up with some new mentors.

Here are the ones that dominate my social newsfeeds and teach me everything I know. I have never met any of them and only see them through social media.

 

Tony Robbins

From a guy that was physically abused by his mother to one of the most successful leaders on the planet, Tony has a personality that’s bigger than life. He takes really complex psychology concepts, rebadges them, and dumbs them down so average people like me can understand them.

Tony was the catalyst for me changing my life back in 2011 and I owe all of my success to him. He was the one person that made me see clearly the selfish, entitled, brat I’d become. If you don’t read another word of this article, make sure you look him up. I want you to have the same experience.

 

Gary Vaynerchuk

He started out as an online influencer with a very loud voice and more F-bombs than you and I would probably want to hear in a single video. As you get to know him better, you realize he’s nothing more than someone who wants to inspire people.

Below his seemingly thug like New York personality, he’s actually a very kind and innocent man that means well. He started out with a social media agency and preaching about the power of social media, and now he’s become a lot like Tony Robbins.

Gary spends a lot of time talking about why he’s not perfect and you’re not either. He preaches a few key ideas:

– Ideas are nothing and execution is everything
– Social media works when it’s not all about your ego
– Hard work pays off
– The best work is something you’re passionate about
– Disruption will happen whether you like it or not
– Everyone can be successful
– It doesn’t matter where you come from

There’s a lot of you that spend too much time planning and romanticising (borrowed that word off Gary) instead of getting to work. Many of you are seeking perfection or admiration rather than the truth. The truth is that adding value is the crux of business.

“The truth is that life is about more than zeroes on your Internet Banking screen”

 

Richard Branson

This guy’s been around for decades and I use him mainly for thoughts on work-life balance and business culture. Richard believes that instead of trying to be the best at everything, you need to find the right people and let them do the work. Having not met him, I actually think he probably doesn’t know that much (I mean that with a lot of respect by the way).

Richard focuses on the ideas and then he rallies together people to do the execution. He’ll teach you a lot about taking calculated risks as opposed to gambling, and he’s obsessed with disrupting the way things have always been done.

This way of thinking is fundamental to your social media newsfeed reinvention.

 

Manu Goswami (Swish)

I met this dude via Skype. His claim to fame was becoming a 19-Year-Old award-winning entrepreneur. He has businesses with people you and I could only dream of collaborating with. Beyond all of that, he was headhunted to go and work for Gary Vaynerchuk.

The kid has swag on top of swag multiplied by five. His main channel is LinkedIn and for such a young chappy he’s taught me a lot. Swish hasn’t just curated a tremendous social media newsfeed; he’s used social media to reach out to his mentors and become their friends.

He spent hours tagging his mentors and heroes on social media. He sent them messages. When he couldn’t get to his mentors like Gary Vaynerchuk, he made friends with their inner circles instead. Swish has taught me that age means nothing. I also love the way he tells stories.

Stories are a great way to achieve your goals and influence people. Suss this kid out.

 

Steve Jobs

I’m so simple and minimalistic that it’s crazy stupid. This wasn’t always the case though. Thanks to Steve Jobs and his creation that is Apple, he taught me how to strip back all of the layers. He’s taught me that a phone only needs one button.

Even though he’s passed now, his legacy lives on and there are still some incredible videos of him being released.

“Steve will teach you how to be succinct and how to be obsessed with your customer if you’re in business. By no means was he a perfect man or someone that treated everyone fairly”

Like any mentor, take the lessons of simplicity and minimalism from him and ignore other parts of his personality which may be less beneficial to your success.

 

Tim Ferriss

We share the same first name so it’s sort of a given that I’d be attracted to his work. I never really understood the Four Hour Work Week but what got me obsessed with Tim’s work was his podcast. The way he can extract wisdom from his guests and make them share things they’ve never shared is mind-blowing.

Tim will expose you to subjects like fasting and experimenting with various substances that you’d never find yourself normally being interested in. Through Tim’s work, I’ve learned that even with all of his success, at forty years of age, he’s still looking for the answers to life’s biggest questions.

We often think that people with Tim’s success have it all. Tim has taught me that’s not the case at all and his vulnerability, and honesty has become something I’ve replicated in my own life.

Your social media newsfeed needs the Ferris Wheel that is Timbo.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

5 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

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motivational speech

What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too.

Have you been feeling that inner drive to seek a higher purpose for a long time? If so, you need to take action. First, you need a trigger that will get you to that action. Try to think of an influential person. Let’s take an example: Jim Morrison. He was one of the most charismatic individuals of his time.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” That’s only one of the many pieces of wisdom he gave to humanity. These are not only words. They shrink deep inside you. They make you think. They make you act.

Jim Morrison said that during an interview. Back then, motivational speeches were not a big thing. Now, great individuals are trying to make a difference through that specific method. Are you ready to start exploring the best motivational speeches that will make you act?

Here’s a list of 5 of the best motivational speeches of all time:

1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

This is one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches you’ll ever listen to. Although Jobs presented it way before TED talks became popular, you’ll notice it has a similar flow to an inspiring TED talk. It is relatively short, it has a theme, and it proves a point through a story.

Through this speech, Jobs tells us how we can find triumph through struggle. Jobs gave this speech one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and he was fine at that point. That’s the most important part of this speech: understanding our time here is limited. What are we going to do with it? That’s what matters.

2. Al Pacino’s Inch by Inch

Have you seen the movie Any Given Sunday? It’s a great one. The moment when Al Pacino gives one of the greatest speeches seen on the big screen is priceless. It’s not just a speech about football. It’s about winning. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about becoming stronger. It’s about life in general!

“… In either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one-half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.” That’s only a part of this great speech. Funny enough, it starts with “I don’t know what to say, really.”

3. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech

This one will make you laugh at first. J.K Rowling has a rare talent to make the listeners laugh and think at the same time. At one point, the writer gets serious and gives out the main point of this speech: sharing things she wishes she had known at her own graduation, and the important lessons she has learned between that day and the day of the speech.

There’s one aspect of this speech that makes it different from most others on our list: the talk about poverty. The writer tells the truth about it. There’s no romanticizing of poverty. As she says, only fools do that. This situation entails fear, stress, and depression… “it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” However, what she feared most for herself when she was young wasn’t poverty. It was a failure.

Essentially, this is a speech about the benefits of failure. Yes, there is such thing as a benefit from failure. J.K. Rowling is a living proof for that.

4. Bill Gates’ Harvard Commencement Address 2007

“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’” That’s one of the funniest parts of this speech. Gates didn’t graduate. He is Harvard’s most successful dropout. He makes a big point, though: the fact that he dropped out doesn’t make academic life less of an important experience. Gates used to sit in on classes he hadn’t even signed up for.

As he says in his speech, one of his most precious memories of Harvard is being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. Education is important, and it is a privilege. However, getting to know the wider world is also important, even though it’s shocking for the most part.

5. Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

You would expect a funny speech from one of the funniest men on Earth, wouldn’t you? Well, here is a surprise: Jim Carrey is deep. This speech is enlightening, to say the least. The main message is to choose love over fear.

And yes, the speech is funny. It’s Jim Carrey, after all. However, it’s also very, very serious. “I am here to plant a seed that will inspire you to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear sense of wholeness.”

Even if you take the safe route through, life, you might fail. If you follow your dreams, you might fail, too. But, you might achieve them – and that’s what makes the difference. In the speech, Jim shares an example: his father. He could have been a great comedian, but he made a safe choice: accounting. When Kim was 12 years old, his father lost that job that was supposed to be safe. That was the point when the actor learned the most important lesson in life: “… You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If you’re in the middle of a crossroad and you’re wondering what road to choose, listen to this speech. It inspires you to choose the right thing. It inspires you to choose love over fear.

How do you pick yourself up from bad moments in the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Success Advice

Starting A Business On Instagram? Here Are 7 Things You Need to Do

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Instagram business

Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms today with over 700 million monthly active users, a more engaged audience, and less competition than any other social networking giants such as Twitter or Facebook. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to market their products to a more interested and targeted audience without spending a ton of money on paid advertising. (more…)

Kaley Hart is a San Diego based digital strategist and writes for Jumper Media social media marketing column. She loves working with small businesses, and telling their stories through social media. Kaley is very talented, but her most impressive quality is the ability to identify any dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. Go Bruins! You can connect with her on Twitter @kaleyhearts

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

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It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

How A 45 Year Old Co-worker Inspired Me To Date Again

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Wow, it sucks to go through another breakup, especially as it’s been less than a year since the last one! I thought I would never date again until a 45-year-old co-worker said this to me:

“If at 45 I can go on Tinder being massively overweight, and not the best to look at, and have lots of guys wanting to date me, then so can you.”

This co-worker had been single for over a decade. She smoked heavily and swore never to date again. That was until her slightly quirky family decided to create a dating profile for her on Tinder.

She met many men on Tinder. There was:

– Tony Soprano with his gambling addiction
– There was chef with his quirkiness
– There was “Tradie” with his 30-year-old model body and six pack
– There was “bikie” who attempted a forced kiss in the middle of a dark car park

All of this got me thinking: “If a 45-year-old who claims that they are not much to look at can have success in dating, then why can’t a young buck like me sort this stuff out?”

Seeing my co-worker’s success inspired me. I vowed to set myself a goal to get this area of my life sorted out. The only problem is I become like an assassin when there’s a goal I want to achieve.

I became obsessed with this whole dating game.

I had no idea what a dating app was.

I had never sent texts to girls that I had never met in person before.

I was terrified of the potential rejection.

What did I do? I just did it anyway and you can do the same.

The myth is that dating isn’t challenging for all of us. It is. We are all afraid to date after a major breakup because we fear that we might someday die lonely.

 

For the next 5 months, I became obsessed with this dating goal.

I figured if I were going to reach this goal of finding someone through online dating, I would have to put in the work to shorten the time it takes. Many of my friends have been single for more than 5 years and I decided that was not going to happen to me.

I signed up for dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, eHarmony and Happn.
I went on coffee dates before work.
I went on coffee dates during lunchtime.
I went on coffee dates after work.

 

And then I made sure I was in the zone.

No matter the day or time I was doing something to push my dating game further.

I bought new clothes.
I bought new shoes.
I bought new aftershave.

Not to impress the girls, but to make sure I was feeling good before each date. I wanted to put in the maximum effort I could so that if I failed, I knew that I had given it everything I could.

 

The start was full of fear.

The first date was horrible. It was a friend of a friend that had been crowdsourced via Facebook for me. I wasn’t ready and she was not really my type. She was into pole dancing and collecting these crystals that apparently heal you or something like that. It was sooooo not me.

I rolled up to the date one hour early to ensure I didn’t miss getting car parking. I waited around until 8 pm for her. She messaged at 8 pm and said she was leaving home now and would be late. I thought to myself, “Clearly this whole dating thing is going to be hard, especially given I am obsessed with productivity and don’t like having my time wasted.”

“Instead of being pissed off, I committed not to tell myself negative stories. I became committed to not getting upset easily like most people do in life”

She finally arrived and I felt quite sick for some bizarre reason. I ordered the drinks and then she paid without me getting a chance to stop her because she felt bad for being late. This was already a mini failure as letting the girl pay on the first date is usually seen as a very bad idea.

At the end of the date, I stupidly asked for a second date and she said yes. I never ended up getting the second date and thank god for that. It did hurt my ego a little.

 

I then went on more than 50 dates with 50 different women.

This might seem like freaking madness but I believe that to be successful at any goal you need to get really good at your chosen task. On the first date, I sucked big time at dating. After a few dates though, I became really good at it. I figured out quickly what I wanted which I had never done before.

The fear started to dissipate and before long I was completely comfortable. I’d check the apps throughout the day to get fresh leads, meet them, narrow down the list, and then attempt to close them by asking for a second date.

My process was a lot like managing a sales pipeline through a piece of software like Salesforce. It was methodical, intentional, unwavering and organized chaos.

 

You can date anyone if you believe you can. You can do anything.

The reason I had failed relationships in the past was that I never thought carefully about what I wanted. I somehow thought I wasn’t good enough. Because of this belief, I limited the parameters of my dating apps only to include girls who were no more than two years younger.

I secretly wanted a younger girlfriend but never thought they would go for me. I thought I was too old and that they wouldn’t be able to relate to me. I didn’t swipe right on the good-looking profile pictures because I thought they would never go for an average looking guy like me.

Somewhere along the way when I wasn’t succeeding at my goal, I revaluated what I was doing. I realized I was selling myself short.

I started swiping on stunners.
I opened the age range right up.

To my own disbelief, I was stunned.

Amazing looking models wanted to go on dates with me. Girls that were near geniuses wanted to go on dates with me. Girls who were a lot younger than me were throwing themselves at me. It turns out that I was limiting my chances, not the real world.

The lesson here is to be careful what you filter out. You may be filtering out exactly what you want.

 

My friends thought I was mad.

They told me it could take 5 years. They told me I may never find someone and I needed to potentially accept this concept. I told myself this was BS. I knew that if I kept trying and didn’t let all of the fear and failure defeat me, I’d be triumphant. I visualized the day I would get my goal.

“Being obsessed with a goal looks like madness to the average Joe; the truth is that it’s how you get stuff done and get what you want in life”

 

Watching Netflix and saying The universe will make it happen doesn’t work.

There’s a lot of this “Law Of Attraction,” praise a statue mumbo jumbo that’s floating around nowadays. People say that it will happen when it’s meant to happen. This mindset will destroy your goal and any chance of being successful at dating.

“Your goal will happen when you put in the work and make it happen”

The dating gods are not going to ride in on a rainbow unicorn and give you some drop-dead gorgeous person who’s got a perfectly tanned body, and an amazing ass, with an incredible personality.

Get to work and stop allowing wet dreams to ruin your life.

Sitting on the couch numbing your brain with Netflix doesn’t work either.

 

Don’t let desperation overcome you.

One of the girls I met decided to go for someone else. I was shortlisted and lost. She then messaged me to tell me that after a couple of days, her new man forced her head down to the bed and wouldn’t let her leave the room.

She asked me what she should do. Naturally, I told her to leave this horrible man as violence is never acceptable. This girl came across as desperate with every interaction I had with her. She also showed me that she would make other bad decisions and then blame the world.

All of this was due to desperation. Don’t let your need of finding someone allow you to make dumb decisions. You’ll regret it later.

 

Never be anyone’s Plan B.

This same girl then came back to me later after she dumped this violent man and tried to go on another date with me. I’ve learned over the years that it’s never a good idea to be someone’s Plan B. If you weren’t good enough from the start, then you never will be. I told this girl no and moved on.

 

What I didn’t do!

Use the apps as a way to randomly sleep with as many girls as possible. In the short term this will stroke your ego; in the long term, you’ll feel like garbage. Dating is not designed to boost your ego and is far better when you concentrate on your long-term happiness.

I also didn’t attempt to date multiple girls at the same time. This doesn’t work and you’ll get found out. Lying destroys all of your hopes and dreams except you never find out that it’s the true cause. Lying gets disguised in other people’s opinions about why you failed.

You will fail if you lie or become a whore.

 

The problem with online dating.

You start to believe there’s always someone better. You never settle for any prospect that comes your way. The slightest thing that annoys you about the other person can make you think you should keep looking through more profiles.

One girl told me that everything about me was good but she couldn’t deal with the fact I’m vegetarian. Being this trivial is stupid.

Every person you want to date has flaws including you.
You’ll learn to love their flaws in the long-term.
Having a shopping list of wants is great way to be disappointed and remain single.

 

How to avoid all the pitfalls of online dating and failing at any goal.

Be relentless.
Keep trying.
Believe in yourself.
Don’t settle for second best.
Don’t look for perfect – it doesn’t exist.
Be a really nice person and treat others nicely.
Don’t try and sleep with them too quickly – you’ll trick yourself into falling for them afterward.

 

So here’s what happened….

I got what I wanted. I found an intelligent, beautiful, elegant little gem. She’s funny, interesting, clever, successful and has good values.

It took some time and lot’s of dates but I got there. People look at me still like I got lucky although I don’t believe in luck. I gave it everything I could and it was an emotional rollercoaster. I showed the best of me and tried to be the best human being I could.

I practiced being kind, compassionate and humble. With forced intent and continued practice, I got my goal. You can do the same.

Before I go, I want to point out that I don’t tell this very personal story I’d rather not share to make myself look good, so don’t bother leaving comments to this effect. I tell you this very personal story to inspire you to greatness and learn from my foolish mistakes.

Don’t let this negative dating world beat you down. Fight back!

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

The Mentors That Dominate My Social Media Newsfeed And Why

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Scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I saw the same three online mentors appear over and over again. It’s amazing what your social media can teach you about yourself. The pattern of who you become is determined by your external inputs.

To change your life, you need new inputs. Your social media is unconsciously defining you and it needs a cleanup.

Delete the Kardashians.
Delete all the negative news.
Remove fake people.
Remove toxic friends.

Once you have all of that beautiful space to play with, fill some of it up with some new mentors.

Here are the ones that dominate my social newsfeeds and teach me everything I know. I have never met any of them and only see them through social media.

 

Tony Robbins

From a guy that was physically abused by his mother to one of the most successful leaders on the planet, Tony has a personality that’s bigger than life. He takes really complex psychology concepts, rebadges them, and dumbs them down so average people like me can understand them.

Tony was the catalyst for me changing my life back in 2011 and I owe all of my success to him. He was the one person that made me see clearly the selfish, entitled, brat I’d become. If you don’t read another word of this article, make sure you look him up. I want you to have the same experience.

 

Gary Vaynerchuk

He started out as an online influencer with a very loud voice and more F-bombs than you and I would probably want to hear in a single video. As you get to know him better, you realize he’s nothing more than someone who wants to inspire people.

Below his seemingly thug like New York personality, he’s actually a very kind and innocent man that means well. He started out with a social media agency and preaching about the power of social media, and now he’s become a lot like Tony Robbins.

Gary spends a lot of time talking about why he’s not perfect and you’re not either. He preaches a few key ideas:

– Ideas are nothing and execution is everything
– Social media works when it’s not all about your ego
– Hard work pays off
– The best work is something you’re passionate about
– Disruption will happen whether you like it or not
– Everyone can be successful
– It doesn’t matter where you come from

There’s a lot of you that spend too much time planning and romanticising (borrowed that word off Gary) instead of getting to work. Many of you are seeking perfection or admiration rather than the truth. The truth is that adding value is the crux of business.

“The truth is that life is about more than zeroes on your Internet Banking screen”

 

Richard Branson

This guy’s been around for decades and I use him mainly for thoughts on work-life balance and business culture. Richard believes that instead of trying to be the best at everything, you need to find the right people and let them do the work. Having not met him, I actually think he probably doesn’t know that much (I mean that with a lot of respect by the way).

Richard focuses on the ideas and then he rallies together people to do the execution. He’ll teach you a lot about taking calculated risks as opposed to gambling, and he’s obsessed with disrupting the way things have always been done.

This way of thinking is fundamental to your social media newsfeed reinvention.

 

Manu Goswami (Swish)

I met this dude via Skype. His claim to fame was becoming a 19-Year-Old award-winning entrepreneur. He has businesses with people you and I could only dream of collaborating with. Beyond all of that, he was headhunted to go and work for Gary Vaynerchuk.

The kid has swag on top of swag multiplied by five. His main channel is LinkedIn and for such a young chappy he’s taught me a lot. Swish hasn’t just curated a tremendous social media newsfeed; he’s used social media to reach out to his mentors and become their friends.

He spent hours tagging his mentors and heroes on social media. He sent them messages. When he couldn’t get to his mentors like Gary Vaynerchuk, he made friends with their inner circles instead. Swish has taught me that age means nothing. I also love the way he tells stories.

Stories are a great way to achieve your goals and influence people. Suss this kid out.

 

Steve Jobs

I’m so simple and minimalistic that it’s crazy stupid. This wasn’t always the case though. Thanks to Steve Jobs and his creation that is Apple, he taught me how to strip back all of the layers. He’s taught me that a phone only needs one button.

Even though he’s passed now, his legacy lives on and there are still some incredible videos of him being released.

“Steve will teach you how to be succinct and how to be obsessed with your customer if you’re in business. By no means was he a perfect man or someone that treated everyone fairly”

Like any mentor, take the lessons of simplicity and minimalism from him and ignore other parts of his personality which may be less beneficial to your success.

 

Tim Ferriss

We share the same first name so it’s sort of a given that I’d be attracted to his work. I never really understood the Four Hour Work Week but what got me obsessed with Tim’s work was his podcast. The way he can extract wisdom from his guests and make them share things they’ve never shared is mind-blowing.

Tim will expose you to subjects like fasting and experimenting with various substances that you’d never find yourself normally being interested in. Through Tim’s work, I’ve learned that even with all of his success, at forty years of age, he’s still looking for the answers to life’s biggest questions.

We often think that people with Tim’s success have it all. Tim has taught me that’s not the case at all and his vulnerability, and honesty has become something I’ve replicated in my own life.

Your social media newsfeed needs the Ferris Wheel that is Timbo.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

5 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

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motivational speech

What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too.

Have you been feeling that inner drive to seek a higher purpose for a long time? If so, you need to take action. First, you need a trigger that will get you to that action. Try to think of an influential person. Let’s take an example: Jim Morrison. He was one of the most charismatic individuals of his time.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” That’s only one of the many pieces of wisdom he gave to humanity. These are not only words. They shrink deep inside you. They make you think. They make you act.

Jim Morrison said that during an interview. Back then, motivational speeches were not a big thing. Now, great individuals are trying to make a difference through that specific method. Are you ready to start exploring the best motivational speeches that will make you act?

Here’s a list of 5 of the best motivational speeches of all time:

1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

This is one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches you’ll ever listen to. Although Jobs presented it way before TED talks became popular, you’ll notice it has a similar flow to an inspiring TED talk. It is relatively short, it has a theme, and it proves a point through a story.

Through this speech, Jobs tells us how we can find triumph through struggle. Jobs gave this speech one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and he was fine at that point. That’s the most important part of this speech: understanding our time here is limited. What are we going to do with it? That’s what matters.

2. Al Pacino’s Inch by Inch

Have you seen the movie Any Given Sunday? It’s a great one. The moment when Al Pacino gives one of the greatest speeches seen on the big screen is priceless. It’s not just a speech about football. It’s about winning. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about becoming stronger. It’s about life in general!

“… In either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one-half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.” That’s only a part of this great speech. Funny enough, it starts with “I don’t know what to say, really.”

3. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech

This one will make you laugh at first. J.K Rowling has a rare talent to make the listeners laugh and think at the same time. At one point, the writer gets serious and gives out the main point of this speech: sharing things she wishes she had known at her own graduation, and the important lessons she has learned between that day and the day of the speech.

There’s one aspect of this speech that makes it different from most others on our list: the talk about poverty. The writer tells the truth about it. There’s no romanticizing of poverty. As she says, only fools do that. This situation entails fear, stress, and depression… “it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” However, what she feared most for herself when she was young wasn’t poverty. It was a failure.

Essentially, this is a speech about the benefits of failure. Yes, there is such thing as a benefit from failure. J.K. Rowling is a living proof for that.

4. Bill Gates’ Harvard Commencement Address 2007

“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’” That’s one of the funniest parts of this speech. Gates didn’t graduate. He is Harvard’s most successful dropout. He makes a big point, though: the fact that he dropped out doesn’t make academic life less of an important experience. Gates used to sit in on classes he hadn’t even signed up for.

As he says in his speech, one of his most precious memories of Harvard is being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. Education is important, and it is a privilege. However, getting to know the wider world is also important, even though it’s shocking for the most part.

5. Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

You would expect a funny speech from one of the funniest men on Earth, wouldn’t you? Well, here is a surprise: Jim Carrey is deep. This speech is enlightening, to say the least. The main message is to choose love over fear.

And yes, the speech is funny. It’s Jim Carrey, after all. However, it’s also very, very serious. “I am here to plant a seed that will inspire you to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear sense of wholeness.”

Even if you take the safe route through, life, you might fail. If you follow your dreams, you might fail, too. But, you might achieve them – and that’s what makes the difference. In the speech, Jim shares an example: his father. He could have been a great comedian, but he made a safe choice: accounting. When Kim was 12 years old, his father lost that job that was supposed to be safe. That was the point when the actor learned the most important lesson in life: “… You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If you’re in the middle of a crossroad and you’re wondering what road to choose, listen to this speech. It inspires you to choose the right thing. It inspires you to choose love over fear.

How do you pick yourself up from bad moments in the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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