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How to Overcome Entrepreneur “Shiny Object Syndrome” In 4 Simple Steps

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Entrepreneur Ideas

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice tells the Queen, “One can’t believe impossible things” and the Queen confidently replies, “I daresay you haven’t had much practice. When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Without a doubt, the Queen must be an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are like idea machines. Churning out ideas like candy coming from the Willy Wonka factory. We are creators. Innovators. But there’s a problem that most entrepreneurs face somewhere down the line—having too many ideas.

At first, it seems like having a constant influx of great ideas isn’t a terrible thing, but when you have tons of new ideas flooding into your brain day after day, you can run into two problems:

1. You become stalled. You never take action on any of your ideas because you don’t know how to get started or even what to start.

2. You get easily side-tracked. You’re always chasing the white rabbit. You start project after project and you’re always onto the next thing before you’ve even completed the first.

The latter is what I like to call “Entrepreneur Shiny Object Syndrome”—always chasing that next “shiny” idea. Many of the entrepreneurs that I know (including myself) suffer from this “disorder”. If you’re one of these people, sometimes having only 6 impossible ideas would feel like a relief.

The issue with having Shiny Object Syndrome is that you run the risk of not using your time wisely and not being able to operate your business efficiently. Since your time and energy is money (especially if you’re a solopreneur who’s in charge of everything), your business’s bottom line will undoubtedly suffer if you can’t stay focused.

As a business owner, you need to get really good, really fast, at effectively filtering through your fishing net of ideas and only selecting the right ones to work on.

Below is a helpful 4-step process that you can use to get a handle on this “disorder” and continue to stay on track and focused every time a new idea arises…

 

Step 1: Create a running list of all your ideas

Write down every business/marketing/blogging/etc idea that you have throughout the day by keeping a running list in a journal or on your Smartphone. When something new pops into your head, jot it down and then immediately go back to whatever you were doing.

Keep in mind that just because this certain idea magically occurred to you in the moment does not mean that…

1. It is top priority
2. It needs your full attention
3. It needs to be implemented straight away

When you write everything down, you can come back and build on an idea later without worrying about forgetting it. Try scheduling 30 minutes a day for “idea time” to think through some of your recent ideas. This way, you won’t get distracted from your current tasks, but you’ll still give the necessary attention to your innovative thoughts.

 

Step 2: Pause before you start anything

This is a lesson that I find myself having to learn over and over again. When you have a new idea, take a pause. Don’t execute it right away. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small idea like “I should send a Twitter message to so-and-so” or a big idea like “I need to do a complete overhaul on my business website”—both ideas can wait.

Decide on a specific delay time between your idea conception and execution. For example, every time a “big idea” for my business occurs to me, I let it sit and think about it for 7 days before giving myself permission to consider implementing it. If in 1 week, I’m still excited about the idea and certain that it will help my business, I will make a plan to execute it. If not, then the idea falls onto the backburner and I don’t have to worry about it.

Find delay times that work best for you and do your best to stick with them.

 

Step 3: View your new ideas through the lens of your long-term goal(s)

After you’ve written all your ideas down and given them a little space, it’s time to figure out if a specific idea is worth implementing.

To do this, you have to look at your new ideas through the lens of your long-term goals. With every idea, ask yourself the question: “Does this idea take me closer to reaching my ultimate business goals?” If it does, go for it. If it doesn’t, let it sit on your idea list a little longer.

Some ideas might need to stay on your business’s backburner until you get more important things accomplished. In the meantime, if something does seem urgent (maybe you really really hate your website design), try outsourcing the task and continue to spend your time working towards your ultimate goals.

 

Step 4: Don’t make crucial business decisions every day

If you attempt to make important decisions about the long-term objectives of your business on a daily basis, you run the risk of falling off track every time you have a new killer idea (or something bad happens like a revenue dip or you receive negative feedback). Instead of making these important decisions on the fly, have a 6-month or yearly plan that spells out the direction that you want to take your business.

Think about it this way—say, for instance, you want to drive away from Los Angeles and be on the road for 2 days. Well, you have two options:

1. You could choose which way to turn each time you encountered a stop light, on-ramp or fork in the road
2. You could choose your destination to be New York City in advance which would influence every directional decision you make along the way

With the first option, you could end up anywhere in the country, or even back where you started. When you make business decisions based on the specific circumstances that you face each day—this is unlikely to lead you to your final (desired) destination. With the second option, you will arrive at your destination in 1 day and 16 hours and find yourself exactly where you want to be.

Writing out the overall plans and ultimate goals for your business will help you stay steadfast and focused in the long-term.

In the end, in order to overcome Entrepreneur Shiny Object Syndrome, you should always be filtering your ideas through these 4 steps to keep yourself and your business moving towards your ultimate goals and on target for success.

Laurel Staples runs a popular blog & podcast called Go Fire Yourself that gives you the insider secrets to successfully escape your day job, grow your own business and live life on your terms. Connect with Laurel and download her free ebook: Income Switch: How to Replace Your 9-to-5 Income by Building a Profitable (& Unstoppable) Online Platform by visiting her website: www.gofireyourself.com

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Wendie Kause

    Nov 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Great article, great steps that I will apply, starting right now. But do you know what I like most about it? Knowing that this syndrome is not mine alone. It’s as if there’s a little gremlin in my brain, clicking on all these ideas all the time. I thought perhaps I was alone with these little guys! It’s good to know there are others!

    Thanks much!

  2. Pat Royston

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Such good information. You pegged me!

  3. Michael Levanduski

    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Excellent post. This is a very big problem for anyone working online! These are great tips for everyone, especially those just starting out.

  4. Janine Gilmour (@JanineGilmour1)

    Jan 11, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I’m thinking “all that glitters isn’t gold” … and knowing I gravitate to my own shiny objects when I’m doing something difficult. Nice to know I’m in good company. Better still to working with a process that staves off starting 50 things and not finishing many. Thanks for the perspective on how to see my big goals over the finish line. Thanks!

  5. Curt

    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:47 am

    I am so glad you wrote this article, Laurel. My friends have described me as a serial entrepreneur…I thought they were just being nice. I seem to come up with a new idea with each breath I take. I own several successful small businesses. I am blessed with good employees to run each business. I have list upon list of additional projects that I am working on that are not related to my businesses: titles of nearly thirty books to be written, a producer has ask me to develop two of my ideas for TV programs, my multiple real estate projects that are in various states of completion and valued from $240K to $29M, and a list of twenty-two additional ideas that I would love to develop. To say the least, I am spread thin. The best thing I have done recently is to start working with a business coach that helped me to focus. I now write thoughts on my list and revisit the list every 30 days. Since starting this, I have not started one new project…and I have been able to finish, or make subtancial headway, on several of my pending high-priority projects. I don’t know if everyone will have the same success, but for me, I now prioritize, focus and accomplish. Without my business coach helping me to understand how I think/work, I would still feel like I had severe ADHD. I sincerely appreciate reading that others face these same hyperactive idea issues, and appreciate your efforts to assist us. Your writings are spot-on!

  6. Goodtogo

    Dec 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I’m cleared, thanks Laurel.

  7. Diana Schneidman

    Nov 29, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Laurel,

    I heartily endorse Step 1, maintaining a running list.

    I keep a list in Word every time I come across another idea for marketing my business. Sometimes I simply list a website to revisit; other times it’s a big concept.

    Once I have captured an idea, I free myself up to go on to the day’s work, comforted that the new, shiny idea won’t be lost.

    I rarely look at the list, but I know where to find all my ideas when I want them.

    -Diana

  8. Micah

    Nov 28, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Great article. I love the idea of a running list. I often have to remind myself to focus on what I need to focus on right then… And spend time researching all of my “great” ideas later.

  9. Laurel Staples

    Nov 28, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Ahmed Muse

    Nov 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Very useful tips here. Thanks!

  11. Margaux Dela Cruz (@Margaux_Dela)

    Nov 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

    These are practical suggestions to help entrepreneurs stay focused on the more important things. True, once ideas come running in, there’s no way to stop entrepreneurs. But another thing I learned to help me focused on the priorities is segmenting. It would help if entrepreneurs learn to visualize their business on a map. By adding data by category, they can analyze each category individually and identify which is the most important. Then, they can analyze the connections between each data set – another simple and practical way to ignite more ideas but this time, in a more systematic way.

    • Laurel Staples

      Nov 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Thanks for your awesome tip! That’s a really great way to stay focused on your objectives. I’ve known many entrepreneurs who do that it say it works wonders.

  12. Abe Stone

    Nov 25, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Excellent… It really helps to acknowledge the issues and then create an understanding of how to fix it… So many times we don’t want to admit that some of our ways of living are problems and they never go away.. I think coaching helps in this too.
    Having someone who can objectively help you question the ideas and ask new questions you may not be thinking of…

    • Laurel Staples

      Nov 28, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Great points Abe! I think in business, we get too close to our own situation and it’s hard to see things from an objective point of view. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jodi Barthold

    Nov 25, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Great article – I’m going to memorize these and use them.

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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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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Wendie Kause

    Nov 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Great article, great steps that I will apply, starting right now. But do you know what I like most about it? Knowing that this syndrome is not mine alone. It’s as if there’s a little gremlin in my brain, clicking on all these ideas all the time. I thought perhaps I was alone with these little guys! It’s good to know there are others!

    Thanks much!

  2. Pat Royston

    Jan 1, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Such good information. You pegged me!

  3. Michael Levanduski

    Feb 22, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Excellent post. This is a very big problem for anyone working online! These are great tips for everyone, especially those just starting out.

  4. Janine Gilmour (@JanineGilmour1)

    Jan 11, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I’m thinking “all that glitters isn’t gold” … and knowing I gravitate to my own shiny objects when I’m doing something difficult. Nice to know I’m in good company. Better still to working with a process that staves off starting 50 things and not finishing many. Thanks for the perspective on how to see my big goals over the finish line. Thanks!

  5. Curt

    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:47 am

    I am so glad you wrote this article, Laurel. My friends have described me as a serial entrepreneur…I thought they were just being nice. I seem to come up with a new idea with each breath I take. I own several successful small businesses. I am blessed with good employees to run each business. I have list upon list of additional projects that I am working on that are not related to my businesses: titles of nearly thirty books to be written, a producer has ask me to develop two of my ideas for TV programs, my multiple real estate projects that are in various states of completion and valued from $240K to $29M, and a list of twenty-two additional ideas that I would love to develop. To say the least, I am spread thin. The best thing I have done recently is to start working with a business coach that helped me to focus. I now write thoughts on my list and revisit the list every 30 days. Since starting this, I have not started one new project…and I have been able to finish, or make subtancial headway, on several of my pending high-priority projects. I don’t know if everyone will have the same success, but for me, I now prioritize, focus and accomplish. Without my business coach helping me to understand how I think/work, I would still feel like I had severe ADHD. I sincerely appreciate reading that others face these same hyperactive idea issues, and appreciate your efforts to assist us. Your writings are spot-on!

  6. Goodtogo

    Dec 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I’m cleared, thanks Laurel.

  7. Diana Schneidman

    Nov 29, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Laurel,

    I heartily endorse Step 1, maintaining a running list.

    I keep a list in Word every time I come across another idea for marketing my business. Sometimes I simply list a website to revisit; other times it’s a big concept.

    Once I have captured an idea, I free myself up to go on to the day’s work, comforted that the new, shiny idea won’t be lost.

    I rarely look at the list, but I know where to find all my ideas when I want them.

    -Diana

  8. Micah

    Nov 28, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Great article. I love the idea of a running list. I often have to remind myself to focus on what I need to focus on right then… And spend time researching all of my “great” ideas later.

  9. Laurel Staples

    Nov 28, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Ahmed Muse

    Nov 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Very useful tips here. Thanks!

  11. Margaux Dela Cruz (@Margaux_Dela)

    Nov 26, 2013 at 11:54 am

    These are practical suggestions to help entrepreneurs stay focused on the more important things. True, once ideas come running in, there’s no way to stop entrepreneurs. But another thing I learned to help me focused on the priorities is segmenting. It would help if entrepreneurs learn to visualize their business on a map. By adding data by category, they can analyze each category individually and identify which is the most important. Then, they can analyze the connections between each data set – another simple and practical way to ignite more ideas but this time, in a more systematic way.

    • Laurel Staples

      Nov 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Thanks for your awesome tip! That’s a really great way to stay focused on your objectives. I’ve known many entrepreneurs who do that it say it works wonders.

  12. Abe Stone

    Nov 25, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Excellent… It really helps to acknowledge the issues and then create an understanding of how to fix it… So many times we don’t want to admit that some of our ways of living are problems and they never go away.. I think coaching helps in this too.
    Having someone who can objectively help you question the ideas and ask new questions you may not be thinking of…

    • Laurel Staples

      Nov 28, 2013 at 2:23 am

      Great points Abe! I think in business, we get too close to our own situation and it’s hard to see things from an objective point of view. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jodi Barthold

    Nov 25, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Great article – I’m going to memorize these and use them.

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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.

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