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10 Life Changing Lessons That Helping Homeless People Taught Me

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In the organisation I work at, I am asked to spend two days a year volunteering to help the community. I will be honest and say that most people I work with just choose something easy or use it as an excuse to do a team-building day. This year I decided to be bold and do the exact opposite.

I was scrolling through the list of approved activities and most of them just seemed like they weren’t really helping anyone. I then came across one that caught my eye, which was “helping the homeless.” Right now I am focused on getting out of my comfort zone and growing in any way that I can.

This activity seemed like the perfect way to do that, so I signed up. When the day came around, I rolled up to the homeless shelter and was not sure what to expect. I have never been homeless myself, nor have I ever seen what it’s like to have nowhere to live.

While I think I have some of the answers to their problems, I am conscious that everyone has the right to make their own choices, and it’s not up to me to judge them or think that I am somehow superior to them.

Below are ten reasons why helping the homeless allowed me to learn so many life changing lessons:

 

1. It’s all in the beliefs and mindset

The number one lesson I learnt at the homeless shelter was that the one thing every person there was lacking was the belief systems they needed to be successful. When I asked some of the people there why they were homeless, they told me a whole range of excuses and believed that even having a meal was a major challenge.

If each of them were to spend a small amount of time each day changing their mindset, then I am positive they could turn their life around. What I learnt though was that it’s easy for me to do that because I want to, but it’s not so easy for them.

Many of the people I met were happy with their current circumstances or had accepted where they were at so there was no need for them to make any changes. It all starts with a will to change and then the strategy can come later.

 

2. Giving back feels amazing (trust me)

A selfish lesson I learnt that applies to my own life, which I knew but not to this extent, was that giving back to the community and helping other people feels amazing. My natural behaviour came through my work on the day, and I was nicknamed “The Salesman.”

Even when I am not in a business environment, my true personality shines through, which kind of surprised me. In case you’re wondering, I was nicknamed the salesman because apparently I was overselling the meal options that were available on the day – I can’t help it, it’s my job!

The whole time I was there I had a big smile on my face while I handed out meals, explained how delicious the food was going to be and topped up people’s cups with coffee. I felt privileged to be able to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return.

 

3. Change your story

One gentleman I met told me how he used to run the train system here in Melbourne before he was made redundant. For the last ten years, he has been homeless. The man was warm, kind, humorous and very charismatic.

Unfortunately, he had lost his identity and had a recurring story in his mind that he couldn’t have that type of responsibility again. He then asked me if he could have a job working for me. I told him how hard he would have to work and at the end of the conversation, he chose to ignore my offer, which was genuine – I don’t think he was ready for change, and it’s not up to me to force him.

Homeless Train Controller

Image Credit – Alexandra Jordankova

What it came down to was that he hadn’t got over the failure of losing his previous job, and he didn’t have the will to change his situation. The story he told himself was now so strong in his mind that it had become his identity.

I got the feeling that he though being homeless was cool in some weird way because it shocked people and got him the attention that he once had when he was the master of the train system.

Sometimes you have to realise that you can’t help everybody even if you want to because not everyone wants to be helped. None the less, if your story is an empowering one, then you will become a leader and attract more followers than you could possibly imagine. Change your story!

 

4. The environment can bring you down

The people at the homeless shelter mostly came there each day, not so much for the food, but to meet other people in the same situation. This creates a downward spiral for many of them because when they are trying to improve their situation, they are surrounded by people telling them to do the exact opposite.

This is why all successful people know that who you spend time with, and your daily environment, is the difference in you achieving your goals or living on the streets. If you’re someone who is going through a tough time, or you are not sure why you are miserable, then change your environment.

If you spend time with someone who is inspirational for long enough, then the effect will rub off on you. Just like the homeless people experience, the same goes in the opposite direction too. Imagine if we could get a homeless person away from their environment for a few days – do you think it would help them to change their situation?

 

5. Sugar is used to numb the pain

The thing that scared me at the homeless shelter, which I was not prepared for, was just the sheer volume of sugar that each person consumed. When I asked the chef what the number one item was on the food list each week he told me it was sugar.

Homeles People And Too Much Sugar - Success.jpgI am not joking when I say that some of the people were filling half their coffee cup with sugar. I began to see that sugar for homeless people was a drug-free way of numbing the pain, and it was relatively low cost for them to have access to.

Health and sugar intake are directly linked to people’s socioeconomic status. Most millionaires I have met know that eating healthy is essential to their success, whereas the lower classes in society don’t have the same beliefs.

Be careful of your sugar intake, as it will suck all of your positive energy!

 

6. One kind act can transform someone’s day

While I was serving breakfast, I noticed a lady that came in crying, and she was very upset. Rather than go over and talk to her (she was in no state) I decided to not judge her and just bring her food. The moment I put a plate of food down and asked her if she wanted coffee, her day was transformed.

Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that can change people. One act that shows you care can change the way you are perceived and have a positive impact on other people. It even made me feel good because she stopped crying and enjoyed her food.

 

7. Clothing and hygiene are essential

The appearance of a homeless person is most noticeable by their clothing. Even if they were to go for a job interview tomorrow, they would probably not be successful because they don’t appear in a good state due to the way they dress.

At the shelter, there is a shower section where homeless people can clean themselves up. As I was coming out of the bathroom, I noticed a man who had just had a shower and was having a shave. He had brand new runners on, but the rest of his clothes were quite old.

By looking at his face, you could tell that he felt better about himself and was going to be able to attack the day with some confidence. This all comes from the way he was dressed and the fact he was clean after his shower. Compared to everyone else, he was the closest person to reaching success that I met.

This lesson applies to everyone. Make sure you try and dress well at all times, brush your teeth, have a shower once a day, keep your facial hair under control and take pride in your appearance. If you don’t, you could be turning away relationships before people even have a chance to get to know you.

 

8. Reading can be the difference

Image Credit: Big Stock

I noticed in the crowd of homeless people that the ones that appeared to be the least affected by their situation were the ones who were reading books. Many people donate books to the shelter so the homeless people can pick one up and read it.

Some of them used their tough situation to pick up a book and try and learn something that might help them think differently and get beyond where they are in their life. This lesson can apply to us all and I strongly encourage you to read a book or blog post to get some skills and grow your knowledge.

 

9. All skills are transferable

Even though I have never run a homeless shelter, the skills I have learnt in business are 100% transferrable. Within a few hours I was following the system, assessing stock levels, using my organising skills (keep everything simple) and going to the food bank warehouse to negotiate some more food supplies.

My personality and ability to sell can work in any environment no matter what, and so can yours. It doesn’t matter how little experience you have at something, if you understand the basics of success then you can apply it in any field.

 

10. The way to solve problems is not through money

Upon entering the homeless shelter, I thought that the ay to solve everybody’s problems there was to go down to the local supermarket and buy everyone’s food (I was naively contemplating doing this). What I learnt by the end of the day is that money is not the issue.

The people that suffer from homelessness suffer from mostly psychological issues that have come from the way they live their life and the values they stand for. Even if I gave each of them ten thousand dollars, they would probably be back to the same scenario in a few weeks.

If we invest money in changing the way homeless people think, and counselling them, then they will have the beliefs they need to create their own success, rather than rely on society. This is because money is just an exchange of value, and you have to have a positive mindset in order to give more than is expected to other people, which in turn creates value (aka money).

You have to have hope - Homeless Story - Addicted2Success
So there you have it, if you haven’t already, go out and spend a day at a homeless shelter and see what lessons you can learn that could help you grow as a person and in your business.

To stay in touch with me, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. If you have experienced any of these lessons before I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

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Marketing-Facebook-Advertising-Bot-Rebate

For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

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Success Advice

7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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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.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

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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Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

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Marketing-Facebook-Advertising-Bot-Rebate

For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

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.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

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For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

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7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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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.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

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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