In the last 6 and a half years I have been fortunate enough to network with some of the world’s most successful leaders in my industry, quit my day job, feature in films (Think & Grow Rich comes out Mid October, 2017) and travel half way around the world and this has all been made possible just by blogging about my passion “Personal Development“. I was even offered Millions of dollars to sell Addicted2Success 3 years into my journey but I turned the multiple offers down because I believed that I was just scratching the tip of the iceberg of what was to come with my brands growth and the positive impact we could have on this world.
There has been some ups and downs a long the way, some technical issues and doubts that I have faced, but I am lucky that I stuck it out because I have learned over time, what does and does not work when it comes to creating a successful blog.
So here are 10 things that I have learned along the way that I feel are super important for any blogger out there to know.
1. You Have to Have a Vision
6 and a half years ago I casted my 10 Year Vision for Success whilst sitting in a workshop with Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of WallStreet. I wrote out a 6 page Vision and started with the 10th year and reversed engineered it back to that very day of 14th April, 2011.
By the 6th year I was already living in my original 10 year Vision. This is the power of a Vision Game Plan. Your Vision disciplines you, it chooses your friends for you, it teaches you what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to. This plan has kept me on track over the last 6 and a half years and is the core reason why Addicted2Success has become the top Motivation & Inspiration Digital Media company online.
I remember working up in the desert of Western Australia catching snakes, lizards and kangaroos and many other wild Australian animals in the environmental team during some of the hottest days of summer in 130 degree fahrenheit heat. Although the money was good, the shifts were long as I was working 12 hour shifts, 28 days straight and was surrounded by negative people who did not believe in my dreams.
My vision pulled me through the tough times in the beginning and inspired me to work additional hours in my day to overtake my 9-5 income to a point where I had to tell my boss this 9-5 job was costing me too much to be here.
2. Don’t Try and be an Ace at Everything
You will burn yourself out and spread yourself way too thin. Eventually you will want to be covering every angle but to begin with pick one avenue and dominate that field.
Addicted2Success.com was my main focus to begin with. I could have started a podcast, written a book or Vlogged my way to the masses but I knew if I spread myself too thin in the beginning then it would take me 2 – 3x longer to hit my 10 year vision of 10 million views worldwide (which, by the way we are only 6 and a half years into the vision and we have hit 133 Million views so far. Im telling you a 10 Year Vision works!).
When I first started out, I chose Twitter to be the #1 social media platform to promote Addicted2Success.com. I made sure that it was a finally tuned channel, and the traffic from Twitter would then convert into Facebook traffic and mailing list subscribers. I then moved to Facebook and focused on that and so on and so on..
Twitter isn’t what it used to be but it sure did start as a great stepping stone that has lead us to a combined social media following of 2,500,650 followers across all channels to this day.
Find the hottest Social Media platform now and dominate the space so you can elevate from platform to platform like we did at Addicted2Success.
3. Don’t Alienate Yourself
Don’t forget that you are part of a community. The worldwide web is a community of people who are sharing information with one another. If someone has created a great article that you have been inspired by, why not refer to that article by linking to them. Other bloggers love this and in most cases (not all) will link back to you, visit your blog or tell others about you sometime in the future.
I used to think that if I linked out to others that this would take away from my blog. The truth is, people will look at other websites anyway. They will remember that you hooked them up with links to quality articles and bloggers and they are more likely to come back to you out of a loyalty for your quality at the end of the day.
I believe Abundance is a practice and to be honest, I didn’t crack through the lack mentality to reach the land of more abundance until I practiced sharing the success with others.
The Serial Entrepreneur & Best Selling Author “Yanik Silver“ once said to me:
“Why worry about breaking off too many pieces of the pie? When you can just bake more pies”.
So the lesson is, there is more than enough to go around, so share and care and you will be amazed by how many amazing opportunities come back and how many people will be willing to support you in your journey.
4. No More Billboard’n
One big standout mistake that I see a lot of bloggers make is covering their entire site in ads. Choosing to throw an annoying ad that is totally unrelated to the content you post right in your viewers face as soon as they enter the site, or even placing a video ad in the middle of a 200 word article is super douchey and people can tell that you are all about the money and that your priority is not about delivering valuable content to your audience.
You don’t want your site to look like a billboard. It devalues your website and is very distracting. If your viewers wanted to see an overload of ads they would just google a video of Times Square and stare at that.
5. You Can’t Do It All Alone
My good friend and business mentor “Tai Lopez” told me many years ago “You can’t do it all, if you wanna go big-time you need to find a partner that will compliment your weaknesses so you can focus on your strengths.”
Bill Gates had Paul Allen, Warren Buffett has Charlie Monger, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak. They all found a strong, skilled partner to take their business to the next level.
I have aligned with a few business partners who are incredible at what they do and this has only added to the business and vision, it has never taken from it. That’s why I love helping others to achieve success online too. I create guides and run mastermind groups to show others how I have been able to achieve this success online so they too can help and inspire others with their journey.
If you haven’t already, make sure you get your hands on my guide, The Formula (The Secret Ingredients of Online Success)
This is the guide that I wish I had 6 and a half years ago. If I had this knowledge back then I would be where I am today in 1 to 2 years.
6. Understand Your Audience
Do you know what niche’ you fall under? A lot of people are just throwing everything out there that they think will stick and they are not holding or attracting their viewer’s attention because their subject is a little too broad.
Work out what your niche is. If it is a website about “The Art Of Hackey Sacking” then stick to hackey sacks. Don’t expand it out to sports of all sorts because it loses its edge and becomes a website that is going to leave you in a cesspool of millions of others that are covering the same old topics.
One guy in the US pulls in $10,000 a month from his blog about fancy cactus designs. If he can make 10k from cactus lov’n, you can just about make it with any creative niche’ that comes to mind.
7. Don’t Copy Your Competition
In most cases in business it is a great idea to study your competition so that you can out compete them. In the world of blogging, don’t do it! The key is to have your own unique flair and to be found by YOUR like-minded peers through search engines.
So if you are just writing articles the way that you would, and you are not writing an article for the sake of competing with an other, then you will position yourself in a place where you have no competition.
Multi Millionaire blogger Pete Cashmore said something that really resonated with me, he said:
“We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”
Pete Cashmore hit the nail right on the head with that one. Just do you! and you will be rewarded for it over time.
8. Use Your Blog As Leverage
Once you get a good amount of traffic in place ie..10,000+ a month then you can really start leveraging off that. Reach out to those with a large follower base and exposure than you and ask them if they would like to be featured on your site. Once you feature them, send them a ReTweet link or an e-mail blast out letter of the article that you featured them in so that they can share it with their network.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, among many celebrities who have supported Addicted2Success over the years, seemed to appreciate whenever we would write articles about him and every time he would share our articles on his Twitter channel we would get a flood of 10,000+ viewers.
I have also been able to use Addicted2Success and its reach to build a successful podcast called The Addicted2Success Podcast which is one of the top Business podcasts right now featuring Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Gary Vaynerchuk, Gabby Bernstein, Jack Canfield, Simon Sinek, Grant Cardone and 100+ other incredible leaders.
Start being resourceful. Look for ways that you can platform and leverage yourself off other materials and connections you have in your reach.
9. Minimize Your Page Load Time
Google pays a lot of attention nowadays to page speeds when it comes to SEO. All you need to do is head over to Google’s Page Speed Test and run a test on your domain name and it will give you an idea of what changes are needed to speed up your website load time.
I run Addicted2Success through CloudFlare which not only secures my site from DDoS attacks but surprisingly speeds up my page load time by 20%. Cloudflare is free and easy to set up so you should check it out when you get a chance.
The more graphics, flash and plugins you have on your page, the slower your site is going to load. Sometimes you have to sacrifice big files for a faster load. So it is a good idea to go back through your site and see what is in your sidebar, what plugins are activated and what un necessary old content is taking too long to load.
10. Get In The Zone (a little feng shui blogging)
So this has got to be one of the most important parts of blogging, which I believe has played an important part in my success online.
So before you start your day with blogging make sure you have had something to eat, something to drink and you are comfortable in your environment. Make sure that you have a clear and concise idea of how much time you have to work online for the day. Remove any distractions around you and time block your social media explorations so that you aren’t wasting your time on Facebook, reading ridiculous stories about Justin Bieber and cats.
If you want to inspire the world with your content then you need to live buy the rule of “Create > Consume”. Don’t be ruled by the robots, unplug and create so your content can be consumed by everybody else.
Make sure you start your day right with a little stretching, exercise, hydration and gratitude or prayer. Something that awakens a little energy in you, because you will need it when it comes time to be creative and to shine online. It may sound a little cheesy but if it helps you to feel more professional by wearing a suit, a beanie, or even having a coffee at arm’s length, then do it!
You have to be in the zone to produce your best material.
As you can imagine we are just scratching the surface with what I have written above. So Here’s One of the Facebook LIVE Videos I shot out in Colombia where I answered online business questions that I think you will Love:
If you love this article please don’t forget to share it and if you’d love to learn step by step how I built a blog worth millions with millions of views and millions of followers make sure you get a copy of my guide – THE FORMULA (The Secret Ingredients of Online Success).
Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive
“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!
Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.
Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.
Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:
1. Wasting Time
Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.
Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.
“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks
2. Inaccurate Responses
An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.
Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.
3. Constant Back-and-Forth
Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.
Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.
You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.
A Better Approach to Emailing
For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.
Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.
Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:
1. Checking Them Less
I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.
2. Responding Quickly
People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.
“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk
3. The If-Then Technique
The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”
This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”
I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.
The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.
If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.
Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!
4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave
It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.
It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.
Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:
1. Where Are You?
No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.
The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
2. Where Do You Want to Go?
When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.
There’s this saying: When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.
Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.
So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?
3. Why Do You Want It?
Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.
You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.
So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins
4. How Are You Going to Get There?
And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.
For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”
To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.
In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.
Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.
Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.
Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work
A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.
The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.
A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.
Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.
Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:
1. By being unafraid to share her own story
Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.
When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”
Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.
“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson
2. Committing to a strong value system
VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.
With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.
Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.
Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.
3. Listening with action
As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.
Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.
Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.
“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:
“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.
I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.
From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.
What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!
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