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How To Knock Out Your 3 Worst Time Management Issues

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Time Management Problems

Do you face this daily struggle?

The one where 24 hours to cross out everything on your to-do list is way too little?

It is a tremendous energy drain. But it’s not your fault. You just want to please everybody.

Could you be trying to do too much?

You feel embattled, like an eternal fighter. You never thought you’d face such formidable issues (or enemies!) that make your life so difficult.

Your jabs, uppercuts, and kicks are losing strength, and these enemies are strong.

But you can defeat them. Trust me.

Let’s reveal how you can end your fight against your three worst time management issues. Just recognize them and execute your strategies against them.

 

Issue #1: You Sabotage Your Own Schedule

How many times have you missed an appointment with your doctor, lawyer or accountant? I bet your answer is close to zero.

Generally, you respect other people’s precious time. So, why do you put yourself at the bottom of the list when your precious time is in question?

You sabotage your own schedule in the following ways:
  • You snooze five times through your alarm before getting up in the morning.
  • On social media, you check your friends’ pictures instead of doing something that will help you reach your daily goals.

How highly do you regard yourself? High achievers have self-integrity.

Make a daily effort to also consider the tasks that are concerning you. That doesn’t mean you should ignore other people’s requests. Just put your one thing first and take care of the rest afterwards.

Do not go forward with anything else until that personal stuff is complete. Don’t turn yourself down!

 

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Issue #2: You Treat Your Body Like A Punching Bag Or A Dustbin

During your time management struggles, do you treat your body like a temple or like a dump?

If you want to get things done, you can’t ignore your body. When you don’t eat healthily or regularly, it doesn’t have fuel to perform.

When you sleep four hours or ignore your body’s symptoms, you are shutting down your required energy level to accomplish your daily tasks. Be honest with yourself and evaluate if you are treating your body with love and respect.

Take a piece of paper and write an honest assessment of the following:
  • What you eat and how frequently you eat
  • The number of hours you sleep
  • Your physical concerns (pain, injuries) that you have not taken care of yet

Then, write a plan to fix the problems you listed. And most importantly, respect your plan!

 

Issue #3: You Give People Unrestricted Access to Yourself

Nowadays, a constant and insane pressure is on us to always be accessible. You are afraid that you might miss something if you don’t answer the phone now. You are scared that your client will get mad at you for not replying to his email within two hours. But by giving people unrestricted access to you, they take control of your time.

Remember those days when we didn’t have text messaging, the Internet, or voice mail? People would wait and try again later back then.

Each time you answer a call, an email, etc., you stop your work, you break the flow of your creativity and you kill your focus. Make people follow your rules.

Pat Hiban, a serial and successful entrepreneur, asks his employees to pay him $75 every time they want access to him when he’s not available. Lee Milteer, a mindset coach, is hardly reachable. All her calls and emails go through her assistant first to evaluate the urgency of each request.

The more accessible you are, the less people will value your time. Period.

drucker

 

Forget cell phones were ever invented, and shut down all distractions. It’s Time To Knock Out Your Time Management Issues!

Life is short, but that doesn’t mean you should treat your body like crap and be eternally accessible in the pursuit of success, productivity or time management.

Relax! Take some time to think and reevaluate your priorities and your schedule. Be honest with yourself, dare to change your bad habits and get rid of those three issues.

Sure, those changes might take some time. And you will face resistance. But keep fighting it, and you will hear the bell ring. You will win the fight!

So tell me, what will you do about your time management enemies in the next couple of days?

 

Fabienne Raphaël is the co-founder of Marketing To Crush Your Competitors. She is a Business Coach, Marketing Strategist, and Podcast Host. She helps small business owners get more clients and use podcasting as a marketing weapon. Download your FREE eBook on How To Use Podcasting As A Marketing Weapon.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Stefanie

    Mar 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Fabienne! What an interesting topic.
    I learned so far that it’s better to check mails only certain times a day in order to work on projects but also in order to show that you’re not always available and that you don’t reply immediately. I loved the idea about charging when not being available – that definitively makes others think very well about contacting you or not. However, what about a freelancer who started recently? e.g. working in a co-working office with other freelancers who love to chat and don’t appreciate time? On the one hand, it should be clear to all that time is precious and that they would benefit a lot, too, when focusing more. On the other hand, strictly restricting the hours of communicating might be too harsh, especially when you started recently and want to make contacts and build relationships.
    I was thinking about communicating time frames being available and being busy, and when somebody wants to interrupt politely say that this is not a good point of time.
    What do you think? I’d love to hear your ideas.
    Cheers
    Stefanie

    • Fabienne Raphael

      Mar 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Stefanie,

      Thanks for bringing up the situation where several of you are in the same office…

      What I would suggest first is to take some time to speak with the others about your availability time, or even about the subject of productivity. You might be surprised and find out that a lot of your co-workers struggle with it and need some help…

      What I would also recommend is to have your ear plugs with instrumental music, so your background noise won’t be your co-worker’s phone calls or conversations. Take time though to choose a type of music which you are comfortable working with and that makes you be productive.

      To your success!

      Fabienne

      • stefanie

        Mar 5, 2015 at 8:20 am

        Thank you, Fabienne!
        The first point certainly requires a step out of the comfort zone because I think that’s a point few persons talk about, especially when they’re new to an office or co-working space. However, this is a point making a difference between a person with an active attitude and a reactive attitude.

        Cheers
        Stefanie

  2. Mark

    Feb 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Hi Fabienne

    great advice, but sometimes you’ve just got to take that 1am webinar and then get up at 5.45am for that job!
    The most successful guy I’ve ever met told his freelance teams that they could contact him on specific days of the week only and at weekends turned his phone off.
    You’ve now shamed me into changing my lunch habits – usually a bowl of instant noodle in front of the laptop!

    • Fabienne Raphael

      Feb 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I agree with you when you say that sometimes, you have to take that 1am webinar and get up at 5:45am.
      The thing is that I just recommend that it does not become your norm…

      Let me know what you decide to eat instead of your instant noodles 🙂

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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

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

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

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

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

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

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Think love not hate

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

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

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

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

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

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

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

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

 

5. Choose love by giving love

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

***Final thought***

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

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

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

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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

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

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

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

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

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

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

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

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

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

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

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

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

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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

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

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

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

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

 

I didn’t stop

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

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

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

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

 

I stopped giving a damn

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

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

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

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

 

I believed

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

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

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

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

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

 

The tipping point happened

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

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

 

That big day finally came

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nothing changed

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

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

 

What you didn’t see with my success

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

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

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

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

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5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Commit to Lifelong Learning

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Education is commonly equated to an experience for children and young adults, but the reality is that lifelong learning can benefit you in many ways. The world is constantly changing, and this means that you must be open to absorbing and actively seeking new information to stay up-to-date. This, of course, expands far beyond education in your area of professional expertise. (more…)

Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Stefanie

    Mar 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Fabienne! What an interesting topic.
    I learned so far that it’s better to check mails only certain times a day in order to work on projects but also in order to show that you’re not always available and that you don’t reply immediately. I loved the idea about charging when not being available – that definitively makes others think very well about contacting you or not. However, what about a freelancer who started recently? e.g. working in a co-working office with other freelancers who love to chat and don’t appreciate time? On the one hand, it should be clear to all that time is precious and that they would benefit a lot, too, when focusing more. On the other hand, strictly restricting the hours of communicating might be too harsh, especially when you started recently and want to make contacts and build relationships.
    I was thinking about communicating time frames being available and being busy, and when somebody wants to interrupt politely say that this is not a good point of time.
    What do you think? I’d love to hear your ideas.
    Cheers
    Stefanie

    • Fabienne Raphael

      Mar 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Stefanie,

      Thanks for bringing up the situation where several of you are in the same office…

      What I would suggest first is to take some time to speak with the others about your availability time, or even about the subject of productivity. You might be surprised and find out that a lot of your co-workers struggle with it and need some help…

      What I would also recommend is to have your ear plugs with instrumental music, so your background noise won’t be your co-worker’s phone calls or conversations. Take time though to choose a type of music which you are comfortable working with and that makes you be productive.

      To your success!

      Fabienne

      • stefanie

        Mar 5, 2015 at 8:20 am

        Thank you, Fabienne!
        The first point certainly requires a step out of the comfort zone because I think that’s a point few persons talk about, especially when they’re new to an office or co-working space. However, this is a point making a difference between a person with an active attitude and a reactive attitude.

        Cheers
        Stefanie

  2. Mark

    Feb 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Hi Fabienne

    great advice, but sometimes you’ve just got to take that 1am webinar and then get up at 5.45am for that job!
    The most successful guy I’ve ever met told his freelance teams that they could contact him on specific days of the week only and at weekends turned his phone off.
    You’ve now shamed me into changing my lunch habits – usually a bowl of instant noodle in front of the laptop!

    • Fabienne Raphael

      Feb 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I agree with you when you say that sometimes, you have to take that 1am webinar and get up at 5:45am.
      The thing is that I just recommend that it does not become your norm…

      Let me know what you decide to eat instead of your instant noodles 🙂

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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

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

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

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

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

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

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Think love not hate

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

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

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

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

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

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

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

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

 

5. Choose love by giving love

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

***Final thought***

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

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

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

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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

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

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

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

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

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

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

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

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

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

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

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

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

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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

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

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

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

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

 

I didn’t stop

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

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

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

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

 

I stopped giving a damn

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

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

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

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

 

I believed

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

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

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

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

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

 

The tipping point happened

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

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

 

That big day finally came

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nothing changed

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

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

 

What you didn’t see with my success

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

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

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

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

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