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10 Effective Strategies To Fight Procrastination

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Procrastination Stop It Now Not Later

Procrastination might seem harmless enough; but when you start to tally up all the time you have wasted in the past week, month, or year, it becomes significantly more disconcerting.

As somebody who struggled for years with procrastination (to the point where it had disastrous consequences on my education and professional life) I understand the pain that can be caused by failing to achieve the things you desire in life.

If you are tired of wasting precious moments of your life to procrastination, then pay close attention. In this article you are going to discover ten effective strategies to help you fight procrastination and get your groove back.

I’ve tested these techniques myself (and helped implement them in the lives of others) and strongly believe that they will work for you.

 

10 Ways To Stop Procrastinating

 

1. Set Yourself a Goal to Achieve

One of the most effective ways to fight back against procrastination is to have a goal to work towards in your life. Whether it is something as simple as completing your next essay, through to running a marathon for the first time, a goal will help you focus your energies and provide impetus to get up and get things done.

Just remember that it pays to set a realistic goal. So if you’ve never so much as picked up a microphone before, don’t expect to be a virtuoso singer by the end of the month. Setting unrealistic goals only places you in a position of likely disappointment, which is not going to encourage you to take action.

 

2. Discover Your Biggest Distractions

All of us are liable to be distracted by certain things. Whether it is social media, texting, or good old fashioned chinwagging with colleagues, there is bound to be something that has a tendency to keep you distracted from your work.

You need to identify your biggest distractions and time-wasters, and then try to eliminate or block them when you need to get work done.

For digital distractions, such as social media, the solution is surprisingly easy; there is a plethora of tools online that you can use to temporarily block websites for a set duration of time.

I’m a big fan of the StayFocusd extension for Google Chrome, which makes blocking websites like Facebook and Twitter an absolute breeze.

If you find yourself being distracted by coworkers, friends in the library, or family members around the house, then invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones for when you need to be working. These serve two purposes; firstly, you will be able to block out distracting noises. Secondly, you will put up a “defensive barrier”that discourages those around you from interrupting your work flow.

I’ve always found that the simple act of wearing a pair of headphones while working in an office prevents colleagues from interrupting me, except under truly important circumstances.

 

3. Keep Track of Where You are Wasting Time

In the realm of personal finance it is very much au fait to keep track of the money you spend on a daily basis. From that Starbucks coffee on the way to work, through to a takeaway lunch; the small amounts of money you spend all add up over time to create a big figure that you could have saved.

Unfortunately, this activity has not proven very popular when it comes to seeing where you spend the time in a day. In order to get a good perspective on just how much time you might be wasting due to procrastination, you need to make a concerted effort to record where you are spending your time.

I suggest carrying around a notebook and pen for the next few days, and then write down the time you spend doing everything. Keep track of seemingly insignificant events as well, such as the time spent showering, or cooking dinner, or doing laundry.

The whole point here is to build up an accurate picture so you can.

a)    See how much time you are wasting in an average day

b)    Work out exactly how you are wasting that time

This will be a truly eye-opening experience, which help put procrastination in context and inspire you to take action. You can then use the information you gather to help you identify particular activities that waste a lot of your time.

 

 

4. Use Productivity Apps

In the age of the smartphone there is an almost endless supply of quality apps and programs that you can carry with you wherever you go, which will help you to beat procrastination and manage your time more effectively.

I’m a big fan of using “to-do list”apps that allow you to create a list of tasks you wish to complete in a day, and then check off as you complete them. There are so many excellent choices for both iPhone and Android, although I personally use an app called Todoist.

Having a list of tasks you want to complete is a great way to structure your day and focus your effort – and using a productivity app brings a whole new world of convenience to your fingertips.

 

5. Identify Crucial Work & Attack it First

Although I’m a big fan of trying to get everything complete, I also believe that prioritisation of work is extremely important – and is something that can really help you to become more motivated and fight back against procrastination.

You need to identify the most crucial/important work on your schedule, and then do that first. There’s no point in wasting your time, energy, and drive on doing insignificant tasks first (although it is always tempting to do so if those tasks are easier to complete).

Make sure you tackle any mission-critical work first, so that you can dedicate the maximum amount of energy possible to it. If you do less important work first, then by the time you have completed that you will probably feel too drained to effectively tackle the important tasks.

 

Stop Procastinating Quote

 

6. Look for (Ethical) Shortcuts

There is a popular (and sadly misattributed) quote by Bill Gates that describes how he prefers to hire lazy people, as they tend to find the swiftest solutions to a problem.

Although it would be crazy to describe laziness and procrastination as a positive, you can leverage off these traits in order to look for shortcuts when doing work or performing any given task.

For example, I used to work in a marketing agency where I had to create monthly reports in Excel, in order to show clients where their budget was being spent. The process I was taught for this involved a number of redundant steps, as well as actions that I had a hunch could be better automated in Excel.

I did a quick bit of research and discovered some Excel functions I could use to practically automate the entire reporting process. Although I was taking an unsanctioned shortcut, the output was exactly the same and I was able to complete three reports in the time it usually took to do one!

However, if you are going to go down the shortcut route, then you need to ensure that whatever you do does not have a negative impact on the quality of your work.

If taking a shortcut means notably worse results (or, in even more serious circumstances, that someone could suffer harm or loss because of your actions) then it’s best to do the work properly – even if that takes a whole lot more time.

 

7. Visualize Success and Motivation

The power of visualization is real, and it can bring amazing benefits to your life. If you’re struggling with procrastination or lack of motivation, then I want you to give visualization a try.

What you need to do is focus your mind on what feeling motivated and taking action would be like. To do this it helps to visualize yourself doing a particular task or activity (e.g. going for a run).

Bear in mind that visualization is more complex than giving a passing thought to something you want to do. It requires true dedication and focus to achieve results from visualization. You need to imagine the sights you will see, sounds you will hear, and emotions you will feel, when you achieve what you wish to complete.

 

8. Improve Lifestyle Factors

In order to stop procrastination, find motivation, and become more energetic, you need to also look at lifestyle factors. I’m talking about things like diet, exercise, and sleep.

In my experience, people who have poor diets, exercise infrequently, and get insufficient sleep, are all more prone to procrastination. The reasons for this are numerable; what matters is the change you can make!

You don’t need to totally overhaul your life and go all super-healthy on everyone. However, by making some modest lifestyle changes you can really improve your chances of becoming more energetic and motivated – which, in turn, will help you to beat procrastination.

In order of importance, I would recommend that you focus on:

  1. Getting regular exercise to elevate your mood and enhance mental focus
  2. Ensuring you get sufficient sleep, so that you have the energy you need to be active
  3. Improving your diet (reduce the amount of processed/junk foods you eat, and increase the amount of vegetables, fruit, and “brain foods”, such as oily fish in your diet).

 

9. Break Tasks Down Into Smaller Parts

Another excellent strategy for making work easier (and more appealing to do) is to break tasks down into smaller parts.

For example, that essay you need to write by Monday morning might seem like a massive mountain now …but if you break it down into its constituent parts – research, intro, argument, conclusion, proofing etc – it suddenly becomes a series of small hills!

Almost everything you could ever hope to do in life can be broken down into smaller parts, which you can then tackle head-on. Small tasks are easier to complete, require less time, and are less daunting to attempt.

 

10. Force Yourself to Take Action

My father used to tell me that even when you’re down, lacking energy, and feeling unmotivated, one of the best steps you can take is to literally force yourself (against your own will) to take action. This is a rather strange concept to grapple with, but basically you need to pick something you need to do, and then accomplish it …even if you aren’t feeling so much as slightly motivated to do so.

Here’s an anecdote to help explain my point: I had a friend who was desperate to get in shape, but he could never quite bring himself to get to the gym; his reason being that he didn’t feel motivated at the time to do so. I told him one evening that he needed to force himself to go to the gym, and that as soon as he hopped on the treadmill he would feel much better for it.

Lo and behold, this simple act of encouragement helped, and he managed to cajole himself into taking action. Since that first baby step he has become a true gym junkie, and is deservedly reaping the rewards.

Forcing yourself to take those baby steps will have a similar effect in your life. Get over the feeling of not wanting to do something, and just do it. After all, the best solution for procrastination is to get something done.

 

pablo picasso picture quote

 

Conclusion

Procrastination isnt an incurable disease that has to linger over all of your life. It is something that can be overcome with the right mental attitude and resources.

Start dedicating yourself to beating procrastination, set a goal to be motivated, and watch the results materialise when you start to take action.

James Frankton is a blogger and lifestyle coach at www.whyamilazy.com - visit his site for more time management and motivation advice. 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Mwela Victor

    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Thank you for teaching these stratagees.

  2. Michael

    Jul 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Hey,
    if you want to understand the reason why people do what they do, I highly recommend you “Awaken the Giant Within” from Tony Robbins. In the first chapters he describes the model of pain and pleasure and what drives people to do things. Absolute great book!

  3. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hi James,

    I’ve just started using “#3. Keep Track of Where You are Wasting Time”

    I was shocked at how long basic tasks were taking me to do! NOT any more

    Thanks, Naomi

  4. Tom

    Jun 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Love the quote graphic on procrastination being compared to a credit card … excellent analogy!

  5. Koko

    Jun 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    In my personal opinion, procrastination is the first obstacle that blocks success. Instant execution should be a habit, rather than solvable argument.

  6. Ben Granville Kyle

    Jun 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    First you need to understand WHY you are procrastinating. Without that these tips probably won’t work. Break tasks into smaller parts. It seems logical, and my rational brain understands that. You would do it if you could, but you still don’t do it. Because you are convinced that you will screw it up, and be judged as a person based on your performance, or maybe you are afraid you will do a good job, and people will expect more of you, until you eventually mess up.

    THOSE are the issues you need to address

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jun 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Totally agree with you Ben.

      I had a client where we found the reason why she procrastinated was because she didn’t believe she deserved success because at 2-years-old she took on the belief that she was unlovable when her baby brother was born. (Between the ages of 0-7, our brains absorb every negative experience literally.)

      She missed deadlines, she showed up late for appointments and she got people angry as a result of her procrastination. These negative results reinforced the original faulty belief that “I’m not lovable and not worthy” that was hidden in her subconscious.

      When she re-parented and showered love to this 2 year old part that was frozen in time, that’s when her procrastination diminished. As a result, she no longer missed deadlines, she no longer showed up late for appointments. Her relationships improved and she became more successful. All because we turned a negative core belief into a positive one.

    • James Frankton

      Jun 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your input. I would certainly agree with you that understanding why you are procrastinating is something that is important to understand as well. That is a huge topic in itself (and something I hope to cover in a future piece).

      In my experience, the reasons for procrastination tend to break down to:

      1) Fear of failure – I think you’ve mentioned this (“because you are convinced that you will screw it up”)
      2) Excessive perfectionism
      3) A genuine lack of energy
      4) No goal or target to work towards

      Knowing which of these root causes speaks to you (or whatever else you feel is causing you to procrastinate) is definitely going to help you get more out of strategy you deploy to beat procrastination.

      Regards,

      James Frankton (the author)

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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procrastination

Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

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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Success Advice

6 Marketing Superpowers You Can Learn From Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist in residence at New York’s Hayden Planetarium is an unlikely role model for marketing excellence. Clearly, he knows how to get your attention. Even on the most complex or boring subjects, as evidenced by over 7.3 million twitter followers, sold out events, and multiple books that have been on the NY Times Bestseller list.

Here are 6 Marketing Tips You Can Learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

1. Understand your audience

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about sales, accounting or planets, what matters is that you understand your audience and what they care about. Think about it, if you make your topic relatable to them and what is important to them, you will succeed.

Create specific examples of what you are speaking about by relating it to what matters to your audience. If you are speaking to accountants about social media, make an analogy to their industry to make it more relatable.

Tell them social media was designed for accountants as it features lots of measurable data…likes, follower counts, reports, metrics, gross and net, so that you are speaking their language and it will sound familiar enough to keep their attention.  

Neil’s new book demonstrates his understanding of people and what makes them tick as evidenced by its title – “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”. It’s really a statement on society today – we now want the key information in the shortest version possible.

2. Be passionate about your work, down to the smallest particle

People are attracted to those who are clearly passionate about their work. By sharing your excitement for your subject matter, you engage and inspire people, and they lean in to find out more. Excitement is contagious. Be passionate about your work and your topic, even when speaking about small details.

A graphic designer who can wax poetic about the loop of an ‘S’ in a specific font, comparing it to the Coney Island Cyclone will capture the attention of their audience, even if they can’t tell Comic Sans from Times New Roman.

“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?” – Richard Branson

3. Express a sense of wonder about even the most minuscule and boring things

Along with being passionate about your subject matter, express a sense of wonder about any and every aspect of your work. Share your continued gratitude that you get to work in your incredible field, and get to share your knowledge with amazing people [the audience]. Being humble and appreciative is endearing.

As a digital marketer, I am still in awe that by having your email address, I can type a message on my computer and hit send knowing that it will land in your inbox within seconds, no matter where around the globe you are located, even without understanding how it works.

4. Use humor in everything

You may not may not remember much from marketing materials or a presentation, but I bet you will be able to recall a good joke or anecdote.

Humor is a great equalizer. It can break down barriers, get your attention, and turn even the most mundane subjects into more fun, interesting ones. Humor can also be memorable, so infuse your marketing with it where possible.

Insurance is a pretty dry subject; one that it is hard to get excited about. Both Geico and  Farmers Insurance recognize this and have created series of humorous ads to both entertain us, as well as display the need for, and range of their services. Take Farmer’s Swing Set Standoff, featuring a moose attacking swings, then crashing through their client’s windshield, all of which turns out to be covered by their insurance plan.

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes

5. Break complex topics down into easily understood nuggets

I don’t know about you, but I can understand most topics if they are broken down into smaller chunks. With shorter attention spans, you can easily absorb smaller bits of information. It also helps with more complex or new topics, to chunk them down into multiple smaller components as well as comparing them to popular concepts or products, so they can be more easily understood. This helps you scan the information quickly, and process it better.

The technology sector is great at doing this. For example:  Getaround, The Airbnb for Cars, is a lot more elegant, instantly understood concept than describing a car rental market place where people rent you their car by the day, hour or week through a smartphone app.

6. Talk or write in clear and appealing sound bites

Want to get your message heard and shared with more people? Communicate in clear, short, and compelling sentences and phrases; this is beneficial in several ways. As mentioned, if you are like most people, you have a short attention span, so concise sentences are easily scanned when reading, or heard when spoken by a presenter.

The added benefit to this method is that you are creating tweet-worthy statements, that will most likely get shared, helping to increase your marketing reach and visibility.

“Houston we have a problem” and  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” are great examples of concise and effective communication. Both soundbites convey information, context and place.  They are also very quotable, and tweetable.  So much is said, in so few [yet memorable] words.

Follow these six simple lessons, and you too, can be seen as having marketing superpowers.

How do you sell yourself? Let us know by commenting below!
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Life

I Want To Be Happy – Only With You

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I only want to be happy with you.

I want you to find love and not be single for the rest of your life because you’ve told me how much you want to settle down and have a family one-day. I know how much you enjoy the company of an intelligent partner who knows how to have a proper conversation. I want to be that partner.

I want you to have time to talk before breakfast and enjoy a healthy meal with me, so you have loads of energy to live your day with passion. I want you to have time to tell me about your workday and what inspired you. I want to hear about how you’ve empowered others to chase their dreams.

I want you to tell me about how you went for drinks after work and had way too many red wines. To tell me the smallest detail about your day knowing that I will still be fascinated because of how much I care about you.

I want to smile when I get a message from you knowing that you inserted the maximum amount of emoji’s and that I will do my best to compete and add in more with my own reply. I’ll try my best to add in even more crazy emoji’s so that you have to think very carefully about what I am trying to say and what each emoji means. Our emoji game can be like a never-ending puzzle that we spend the rest of our lives trying to solve.

I want us to travel all around the world and experience new cultures together. I want us to go to places that scare the hell out of us and defy the ridiculous terrorism warnings that stop people going to beautiful cities like Paris.

“I don’t want us to live in fear; I want us to live with passion”

As part of that travel dream, I want to whisk you away when you least expect it and take you somewhere that will help you remember me forever, even after I’m gone. I want you to have one special place where you can remember me for a single moment and know that I will always be with you. I want that place to make us both smile when we think of it. I want to make these crazy dreams with you.

I want you to feel like you can do whatever you want and there is nothing holding you back. I want you to feel as free as a bird flying over the sea without a care in the world. I want you to know that I will always move obstacles out of your way so you can feel that sense of freedom.

I want to stay home from work when you have the flu and make you yummy soup, even if it means I get sick with you, and we both have to stay home. I want to take you to the doctor’s office when you’re unwell and conquer any medical issue with you. I want us always to believe in hope if the worst happens.

I want to be there for you no matter what.

When our parents are eventually gone one day, I want us both to never forget them. To never forget the dreams they had for our lives and the difference they made. While they may not have got everything always right, they did their best. We’ve both had struggles with a difficult sibling, but that’s not their fault. For their sake, we will do our best to have a relationship with our siblings even if it’s hard. The result of that struggle is the one thing that would make both of our parents proud and we owe them that at the very least.

I may be still single right now, but one day I will find you and we will live happily ever after. That’s a promise to you and to my future self.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Mwela Victor

    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Thank you for teaching these stratagees.

  2. Michael

    Jul 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Hey,
    if you want to understand the reason why people do what they do, I highly recommend you “Awaken the Giant Within” from Tony Robbins. In the first chapters he describes the model of pain and pleasure and what drives people to do things. Absolute great book!

  3. Naomi@business start ups

    Jun 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hi James,

    I’ve just started using “#3. Keep Track of Where You are Wasting Time”

    I was shocked at how long basic tasks were taking me to do! NOT any more

    Thanks, Naomi

  4. Tom

    Jun 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Love the quote graphic on procrastination being compared to a credit card … excellent analogy!

  5. Koko

    Jun 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    In my personal opinion, procrastination is the first obstacle that blocks success. Instant execution should be a habit, rather than solvable argument.

  6. Ben Granville Kyle

    Jun 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    First you need to understand WHY you are procrastinating. Without that these tips probably won’t work. Break tasks into smaller parts. It seems logical, and my rational brain understands that. You would do it if you could, but you still don’t do it. Because you are convinced that you will screw it up, and be judged as a person based on your performance, or maybe you are afraid you will do a good job, and people will expect more of you, until you eventually mess up.

    THOSE are the issues you need to address

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jun 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Totally agree with you Ben.

      I had a client where we found the reason why she procrastinated was because she didn’t believe she deserved success because at 2-years-old she took on the belief that she was unlovable when her baby brother was born. (Between the ages of 0-7, our brains absorb every negative experience literally.)

      She missed deadlines, she showed up late for appointments and she got people angry as a result of her procrastination. These negative results reinforced the original faulty belief that “I’m not lovable and not worthy” that was hidden in her subconscious.

      When she re-parented and showered love to this 2 year old part that was frozen in time, that’s when her procrastination diminished. As a result, she no longer missed deadlines, she no longer showed up late for appointments. Her relationships improved and she became more successful. All because we turned a negative core belief into a positive one.

    • James Frankton

      Jun 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your input. I would certainly agree with you that understanding why you are procrastinating is something that is important to understand as well. That is a huge topic in itself (and something I hope to cover in a future piece).

      In my experience, the reasons for procrastination tend to break down to:

      1) Fear of failure – I think you’ve mentioned this (“because you are convinced that you will screw it up”)
      2) Excessive perfectionism
      3) A genuine lack of energy
      4) No goal or target to work towards

      Knowing which of these root causes speaks to you (or whatever else you feel is causing you to procrastinate) is definitely going to help you get more out of strategy you deploy to beat procrastination.

      Regards,

      James Frankton (the author)

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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procrastination

Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

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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Success Advice

6 Marketing Superpowers You Can Learn From Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist in residence at New York’s Hayden Planetarium is an unlikely role model for marketing excellence. Clearly, he knows how to get your attention. Even on the most complex or boring subjects, as evidenced by over 7.3 million twitter followers, sold out events, and multiple books that have been on the NY Times Bestseller list.

Here are 6 Marketing Tips You Can Learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

1. Understand your audience

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about sales, accounting or planets, what matters is that you understand your audience and what they care about. Think about it, if you make your topic relatable to them and what is important to them, you will succeed.

Create specific examples of what you are speaking about by relating it to what matters to your audience. If you are speaking to accountants about social media, make an analogy to their industry to make it more relatable.

Tell them social media was designed for accountants as it features lots of measurable data…likes, follower counts, reports, metrics, gross and net, so that you are speaking their language and it will sound familiar enough to keep their attention.  

Neil’s new book demonstrates his understanding of people and what makes them tick as evidenced by its title – “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”. It’s really a statement on society today – we now want the key information in the shortest version possible.

2. Be passionate about your work, down to the smallest particle

People are attracted to those who are clearly passionate about their work. By sharing your excitement for your subject matter, you engage and inspire people, and they lean in to find out more. Excitement is contagious. Be passionate about your work and your topic, even when speaking about small details.

A graphic designer who can wax poetic about the loop of an ‘S’ in a specific font, comparing it to the Coney Island Cyclone will capture the attention of their audience, even if they can’t tell Comic Sans from Times New Roman.

“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?” – Richard Branson

3. Express a sense of wonder about even the most minuscule and boring things

Along with being passionate about your subject matter, express a sense of wonder about any and every aspect of your work. Share your continued gratitude that you get to work in your incredible field, and get to share your knowledge with amazing people [the audience]. Being humble and appreciative is endearing.

As a digital marketer, I am still in awe that by having your email address, I can type a message on my computer and hit send knowing that it will land in your inbox within seconds, no matter where around the globe you are located, even without understanding how it works.

4. Use humor in everything

You may not may not remember much from marketing materials or a presentation, but I bet you will be able to recall a good joke or anecdote.

Humor is a great equalizer. It can break down barriers, get your attention, and turn even the most mundane subjects into more fun, interesting ones. Humor can also be memorable, so infuse your marketing with it where possible.

Insurance is a pretty dry subject; one that it is hard to get excited about. Both Geico and  Farmers Insurance recognize this and have created series of humorous ads to both entertain us, as well as display the need for, and range of their services. Take Farmer’s Swing Set Standoff, featuring a moose attacking swings, then crashing through their client’s windshield, all of which turns out to be covered by their insurance plan.

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes

5. Break complex topics down into easily understood nuggets

I don’t know about you, but I can understand most topics if they are broken down into smaller chunks. With shorter attention spans, you can easily absorb smaller bits of information. It also helps with more complex or new topics, to chunk them down into multiple smaller components as well as comparing them to popular concepts or products, so they can be more easily understood. This helps you scan the information quickly, and process it better.

The technology sector is great at doing this. For example:  Getaround, The Airbnb for Cars, is a lot more elegant, instantly understood concept than describing a car rental market place where people rent you their car by the day, hour or week through a smartphone app.

6. Talk or write in clear and appealing sound bites

Want to get your message heard and shared with more people? Communicate in clear, short, and compelling sentences and phrases; this is beneficial in several ways. As mentioned, if you are like most people, you have a short attention span, so concise sentences are easily scanned when reading, or heard when spoken by a presenter.

The added benefit to this method is that you are creating tweet-worthy statements, that will most likely get shared, helping to increase your marketing reach and visibility.

“Houston we have a problem” and  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” are great examples of concise and effective communication. Both soundbites convey information, context and place.  They are also very quotable, and tweetable.  So much is said, in so few [yet memorable] words.

Follow these six simple lessons, and you too, can be seen as having marketing superpowers.

How do you sell yourself? Let us know by commenting below!
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