About half a year ago, I made the step of paying $1000 for an hour of somebody’s time. I handed out that large amount just so I could pick his brain.
His name was Ryan Holiday, and in that hour Ryan taught me how to be a better writer.
And it wasn’t just about writing per se. It was about standing out in your pursuit of your dreams.
It may sound crazy, to pay a thousand dollars for just an hour of somebody’s time, but it’s well worth it.
Sometimes, you just have to take the leap to make big strides in yourself.
1) You cannot play safe, so be afraid
I learnt that before I publish a new article on my blog, I absolutely have to feel afraid, anxious and uncomfortable.
This is not a cheesy idea where as if only artistic people can relate to on some spiritual level.
Look at it this way: If you’re not afraid, anxious or the least bit uncomfortable, that means you’re playing it safe.
And if you’re safe, then you’re like the rest of the world.
You cannot stand out if you’re like the rest of the world, that is why you need to be afraid in the art you create.
So don’t play safe. Be very afraid and get uncomfortable. Your passion, art and message are dying to come out.
2) Ask yourself, “Is this something only I can make?”
Ryan told me this,
“Before you publish an article, ask yourself, ‘Is this something only YOU can show to the world?“
It sounds obvious enough, but I think it’s something most of us miss out on.
We keep thinking we need to follow the rules and emulate our idols or those we look up to. As such, we forget that we have something special to say in the first place.
From time to time, we should give ourselves the benefit of the doubt that we’re actually right, that our unique voice or message is something part of the world wants to hear.
You may not follow suit with the world, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. So trust your gut. That’s how you relay your message.
3) Sometimes you need to feel the pinch
Did I feel like I was crazy for spending a thousand bucks just for an hour of somebody’s time? I sure did.
But that’s okay.
I knew I had to make that step. Anything less would mean that I’d take it for granted.
So sacrifice. Feel the pinch.
Most people in the world want freebies and discount to the point that they don’t recognize the value of the great things they have.
You’ve way more than you think. If you really want something, then go all out for it.
4) If it works so well, why would they teach?
I think way too many of us are caught up in the rules of business and marketing. We think we need to follow the same path other marketers and entrepreneurs always try to teach.
And it’s very easy to get trapped by them because they’re seemingly successful.
But remember this: They managed to create their own path.
They’re trying to make you follow the same path, but there’d never be enough space for you to tag along.
There’d be a time when you eventually have to follow your own instincts, break the rules and feel entirely uncomfortable all the way.
So just do it. Create your own experience and learn from them. Your experience will never lie to you, whereas what others teach you may be questionable.
5) “Good content is giving a piece of your own humanity, back to humanity.”
That is the exact quote I was told.
Great content isn’t just about following a set of rules or learning from a bunch of teachers.
You need to harness your own energy and tell the world what you’re about; what your unique message really is. And no amount of mentors, coaches or courses can give you that. You can only learn so much from what others have to teach you.
Look deep within. Again, break some rules. If you’ve spotted something wrong in life and have something to say, say it.
The right people would appreciate you for that and those will eventually become your loyal fans.
6) The work is the goal
As a writer, I always thought that my eventual success would mean being “discovered” or experiencing some ultimate break.
But that is not the case. Why? Because that is like hoping to score the lottery and thinking that all your problems will be solved then.
You’ve to do the work every day. You’ve to put in the effort for all the little things all the time. You’ve to persevere even though there is not end in sight.
And with every small step you take, you’ll get closer to your goal. With every small thing you do, you’ll have created something big at the end.
Your just rewards will come eventually. You’ll know it when you feel it.
So don’t ever give up. Keep working hard and put in the daily work.