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The 17 Greatest Lessons I Learned In 2018 That Will Change Your Perspective.

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It’s that time of year again. It’s time for me to share what I learned this year — not for my benefit but for yours. You’re going to see a little bit of yourself in each lesson I share.

Every lesson will have actionable advice that will get you on the way to being the person you’ve always dreamt of being in 2019. It’s been a tough year for me where I’ve tried to push the boundaries even further and what has come with that is even bigger failures.

You’re about to see why I didn’t give up in 2018 and how this year will go on to define the rest of my life — and yours.

Here are the greatest lessons I learned in 2018:


We all have leadership inside of us.

The greatest lesson I learned in 2018 was about leadership.

I realized that I wasn’t looking to work in Digital Marketing. I realized I was looking for something and that something was leadership. I’ve worked in so many industries with so many types of products in my career and that never motivated me. This year I learned that motivating others by being a role model was the biggest piece of the jigsaw puzzle that I was missing.

Every one of us can be a leader and for some of us, this is the thing we’ve been ignoring without knowing why.

Maybe you don’t want to build influence online; maybe you want to be a leader instead.


Never let bullies ruin your passion.

My social media following exploded in 2018.

Who gives a crap about numbers of followers, though. What I learned is that as the audience for what I do got bigger, I became a target not just for trolls, but for groups of trolls whose sole purpose is to get together and take down people who have a loud voice online, by spamming their posts with comments of hate to scare others away from engaging with what you do.

It nearly made me give up blogging and I embarrassed to say that — although it’s true. A bully here and a bully there is nothing unusual. In 2018 I had hundreds target me in the space of a few weeks.

I defeated them by ignoring, blocking and deleting their hatred. They ended up moving onto bully other people because I was no longer ‘fun’ in their eyes.

The hardest part about dealing with the bullies was finding a way to forgive them.

Hating bullies is level one.

Defeating bullies is level two.

Forgiving bullies is the level that all of us should aspire to reach.


Massive change takes longer than you think.

Career change was my focus this year. I told everyone it would happen in a couple of months because you know, I have a few followers on Linkedin so this should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong. It took from January of 2018 until October 2018 to finally begin my new career. It involved 50+ interviews and more rejections than I faced in 2017 when I took on the dating world and got told I was ridiculous, ugly, annoying or ‘nothing special.’

The point is this: whatever massive change you seek in 2019, understand that it will take longer than you think.

Don’t make the mistake I did of bragging what your new life will look like before it’s even close to happening.

Calm down.

Take a chill pill.

Enjoy the journey.

And have unwavering patience.


Momentum takes years to build and months to witness.

I’ve been building a side-hustle for a few years. You’ve heard me say that many times before and I know you’re sick of it.

Whether you give a crap about my side-hustle or not, what I learned in 2018 is that for years it will look like nothing is happening. Then, out of nowhere — assuming you’ve put in the work — you will gain a lot of momentum quickly.

This year I made more money from my side-hustle than I could have ever expected. It didn’t happen by accident or by wishing or some wiz bang goal list: it happened because I’d focused fours years of my life on it and had earned the right to deliver value to a small group of people who were happy to pay for my time.

Momentum will happen when you’ve earned the right and found a way to create value for one person (not millions of people).


Opportunity comes from the place you least expect it.

I had a coffee with this guy. He was nice. It went nowhere.
I spoke with another gentleman who ran a call center. That chat too felt like a waste of time. Then, I met an old colleague and had another chat that seemed to go nowhere.

That chat then led to a phone conversation with someone in recruitment. Nothing special happened during that conversation either. On the next call, they gave me an offer — it was laughable.

Three more phone calls happened and before I knew it, I found myself saying yes to an opportunity that I couldn’t find advertised anywhere else.

Quit focusing on what you’re getting from every conversation. You’ll never know where your next opportunity is coming from, so be a nice human being to everyone you meet.

Watch the magic happen from there.


Meditation is *not* bullshit.

I tried in 2017 to meditate and in 2018 I almost gave it up.

Meditation is a slippery art to master and it makes no sense when you read about it. What you think is failure in meditation is in fact success.

The practice feels like it’s going nowhere until it takes you to this mystical place deep within your sub-conscious where you’d never expect to end up.

Searching through your sub-conscious helps reveal treasures that were previously hidden — treasures like patience and stress relief. Taking a step back from the three-dimensional world we all live in to see what lies in the darkness and what our thoughts are really saying about us is a practice everyone should start in 2019.

If you’re not meditating, then you’re not living.


The market is the market.

The end of 2018 has been a challenge for the financial markets. Property has been effected, Cryptocurrency didn’t reach $1M a coin and the stock market took a huge hit.

The market is the market and you’ll never predict any of this. Don’t let the markets suck up all your spare time and stop you from doing stuff you love. Diversify, invest in yourself and stay away from high-risk investments.

Your earning capacity has more to do with the person you are than the market. The market is the market young Gecko.


Value time over money and you’ll make more money(weird, huh?)

This year has been all about valuing my time better.

Less coffee catch ups; less random Skype calls; less doing work I hate. Instead, I’ve focused on time instead of focusing on money.

This philosophy led me to doing a four day work week (not a 4 hour workweek for the Tim Ferriss fans that are reading).

Doing four days a week has allowed me to use the fifth day to work on side projects and find out what my career might look like in a few years. Maybe you don’t need to quit your job in 2019.

Maybe you could value time and do a four-day workweek so you can explore the depths of your hobbies and see if there’s any treasure buried inside one of them that you’ve never had time to search for.

20% less income can lead to more income than you’d ever expect if you give this experiment a go. That’s what it did for me.


Transformation brings unexpected surprises.

I thought I wanted to work in digital marketing, but I actually wanted to be a leader.

The transformation I went through this year took me down many paths that all felt like they led nowhere. I began my career in digital marketing and realized it was leadership I always wanted to do.

Transformation doesn’t always bring the result you expect and that’s the whole reason you should embrace the idea of transforming.

Through change, we discover what we care about and what is completely useless.

Transform in 2019.


Who you become next year is based on the previous year’s results.

I’ve laid the foundation in 2018 for the following year. Next year is going to be exciting.

What I’ve learned at the end of every year when I write this same article — where I summarise the year — is that what you do the year before lays the foundation.

If you want to see a different future, then you need to start making changes in 2019. Just getting on with starting something is the most important step.

Quit goal setting, thinking, dreaming, envisioning and take one small action. Then another. And so on.

Every year you are building on the previous years results. Start now.

<<<>>>

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Juliet

    Jan 15, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Nice piece Tim as always enjoyed it. You are very right, I have learnt a lot myself. I just launched my website this year some weeks back after several years of procrastinating and the comments and appraisal am receiving still amazes me. One can never know what is capable of until you start doing.

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Success Advice

6 Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Investor

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how to choose the right investor
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Angel investment is one of the preferred options for starting up your business. Angel investors are successful businessmen, investing their own funds into a potentially rewarding business opportunity. As an entrepreneur, it is crucial for you to choose an investor that can fulfil your specific business needs.

The right investors can add value to your startup, far beyond the capital they bring to your business. You need to be careful in selecting the investors because seed investing is an early stage investment requiring particular skills and experience.

Here are the six important things to consider when screening and choosing the right angel investor for your company:

1. Experience

You should choose investors who have the experience of building, running, or helping startups in the past. They should have a proven record of investing in startups that have been successful in their endeavors. More than their money, their experience is vital, which makes them an invaluable advisor.

Your angel investors should have experience in the same business domain and in-depth knowledge of your industry. If they have achieved success in other domains or industries, they may give opinions on how to grow your business that aren’t applicable in your field. With the requisite experience, they can guide your business through the difficult start-up phase.

2. Trust

Your angel investor should be trustworthy who can keep your company’s confidential information safe without creating problems for you by using that information against you. It is important to choose an investor who gives you not only monetary assistance but also the right guidance and knowledge. A good angel investor is the one who invests in your team along with your business.

3. Risk Taking

The success of your business venture cannot be guaranteed as there are many potential risks that can lead to its failure despite a brilliant idea. It is vital to find an angel investor who is willing to take calculated risks on a rational basis rather than emotional considerations. They shouldn’t be overconfident and they should think differently from the crowd and be willing to learn from mistakes to keep your company going in the right direction.

4. Support

Angel investors who have been a successful entrepreneur can be very helpful to your business. They have it all to guide and support you to develop a successful business and overcome the challenges that your company can face in the initial stage.

Good business angels are very supportive, helping you in problematic situations. They act as a mentor for you to help you achieve your goals by constantly coaching you and supporting you at every step. They provide time and empathy during your tough times.

These investors have an idea about the highs and lows a new business has to go through before it succeeds. They can give you emotional motivation and help you with their expertise and involvement, ensuring success. They will encourage and challenge you at every step of the way and offer you advice when needed to make you grow as an entrepreneur.

5. Expectations

Before you choose an angel investor for your business, you have to ensure that they have realistic expectations about the timeline of the growth of your company and when you achieve your goals. They should even have realistic expectations about how profitable your company will be in the long-term.

Too high expectations can put pressure on your business and make you take risks that can get you off track and not be good for building long-term value of your business. You should select investors who demonstrate flexibility and have reasonable expectations around reporting, communication, and goal-setting.

6. Patience

Angel investors should be patient enough to understand that it takes time to earn profit. They should have the quality of thinking long term and visualizing the bigger picture of your company’s future. Your business angels should be calm and relaxed, and not be the ones who panic and fear to take challenges. It is crucial for them to understand that startups go through highs and lows, and there’s high competition. A good angel investor will remain calm and accept the fact that all new businesses have to struggle in the initial years before they become stable.

When assessing angel investors, you will have to ask them questions about their prior investments, what their expectations are and how much involvement they will take in your business, among other things. You will have to find investors that have the same domain expertise and portfolio companies related to yours.

By considering the above-mentioned points, you will be able to evaluate whether you and the angel investors are aligned and if it is feasible to have a partnership with them in the long-term. Take the help of your network to find the right investors with requisite skills, experience, and funding capacity to get your business global. So, use your due diligence and get the best angel investors on-board!

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Success Advice

3 Reasons Why Getting Clear Is Important for Your Business

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Everyone goes through times in their lives where blue skies and sunshine are a rarity. Too many clouds and storms, whether they involve business or personal issues, become the everyday occurrence and keep people from achieving whatever they want to do.

There have been many times on this business journey of my own where fogginess and haze have sent me to the mat. Trying to kick out at a 2-count when being pinned with all of this stuff seems unbearable.

In taking a holistic view (meaning looking at the entire picture) of where I am, what has changed? Clarity. Getting very clear on what I want to do and where I want to focus my creative direction. Yes, I’m a writer, content writer, copywriter, ghostwriter and creative. That’s one element of my own life. Another one involves being a voice for the voiceless in the craniofacial community around the world.

But this is not to simply focus on what I am doing now. This is about clarity, about getting laser-focused on what you want to do. If you have a coach or mentor in your life, then I’ll bet you have heard them say on one or multiple occasions that you have to “get clear” on what you want to offer.

Here are three core reasons clarity is an important factor for your business:

1. You Stand Out From The Crowd

You cannot go anywhere on social media and not see people putting out content. Some may be good; others are meh. It does not matter, though, if it is good or not. What matters is about conversion. Does the content turn into sales? Does it attract and speak to people’s problems?

Not everyone can be a jack-of-all-trades. You become a master-of-none pretty quick. Theories abound about niching down and finding that sweet spot where you can deliver your mastery to those in need. Think of the millions of niches out there: cannabis, fitness, spirituality, relationships, finances, food, and on it goes.

Every one of these niches need people who can come in and put clarity around their products and services. If these businesses are not clear on what they do and solve to those seeking solutions, then they are not going to have clients and eventually will have to shut the doors.

Learning to stand out from the crowd is going to make you a powerful voice in whatever niche or field you are looking to dominate in all the time.

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” – Steve Maraboli

2. You Attract A Lot of Clients

If you wanted to apply one of those ancient universal laws to your business – for instance, like the very popular Law of Attraction – then you would understand what attracts people to you. Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest inventors, once said that if people understood energy and vibration alone and how that works then they’d understand a lot of how things actually work in the world.

Clarity brings out a new energy from your words and actions. You come from a place of total and unbelievable awareness where you look around one day and go, “Dang, look at all of the people who want my services.”

Trust me. This is one of those lessons that I have to come back to over and over again. People might know who I am and what I do from this or that space. Yet is it really crystal clear enough to a targeted section of people? Um, it’s still a work in progress.

In order, though, to actually move forward in business and have the level of success that I desire, then clarity must come into play. Clarity attracts clients. They solidly know what you do and what you offer. There’s no wishy-washy stuff taking place. Understand this core reason to achieve clarity and watch what happens to your very own business and brand.

3. You Begin To Believe In Yourself

There’s this ongoing idea around “imposter syndrome” that folks on the interweb love to discuss. Showing up online like you are a real go-getter and hotshot, but offline that’s not the same person…that’s a problem.

“Imposter syndrome,” to me, starts happening when a person stretches out of his or her comfort zone and it feels miserable. Instead of getting up at 11 a.m. after working a night shift job, you get up at 8 a.m. to get a head-start on tasks and obligations around what you do. Thoughts like “this will never work out” or “I’m never going to succeed and get out of debt” start swirling around your mind like a bunch of chattering monkeys.

Clarity, though, allows you the benefit of starting to truly believe in yourself. In his famous book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Norman Vincent Peale writes in the first chapter’s first line “Believe in yourself.” That’s it. Then the book goes on to describe different ways of building up your positive mindset through prayer, faith, action, and other real-life examples. Peale’s work may not appeal to you directly, but the mere thought of believing in yourself and your dreams is appealing.

“Clarity comes from action not thought.” – Marie Forleo

Find yourself getting clear on what you want and where you want to go and begin to truly believe in yourself and your abilities. There are lots of people who definitely need your services and work around the world. There might even be people right in your own town who do, too.

When tackling the issue of clarity for your business, take these three factors into account. Think about them seriously. Take stock around where this can be an effective place for you to succeed every single day.

Look for the sunshine and blue skies in your business. They are there. All you have to do is some sightseeing and all of it will pop out very clearly.

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Success Advice

How YOU Can Create a Powerful 10 Year Life Vision

Ashley Hann

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Where do you desire to be 10 years from now? Joel Brown, founder of the well-known website and podcast Addicted2Success, breaks down exactly how to gain clarity in your life and create a powerful 10-year life vision. The vision process that Joel teaches has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of people who use it.

You can listen to the full podcast interview here with Joel Brown or head over to my website AshleyHann.com for more inspirational podcast episodes.

Joel Brown is the real deal. He travels the world coaching thousands and thousands of people to stand in their vision so they can turn their dreams into a reality. He has been featured in the Think and Grow Rich movie, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, Success Magazine and more. He has sat down with well-known thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jay Shetty, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, John Assaraf and the list goes on.

This is a MUST LISTEN episode all about gaining clarity, creating harmony in your life and creating a powerful 10-year vision so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted.

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

Joel breaks it down for you step by step. In this episode, we go over:

  • The 3 key questions you must ask yourself in order to live a fulfilled life and master your 10-year vision
  • How to define success for yourself and discover what you really want
  • The 8 areas of life to include in your 10-year vision
  • The top, prevalent patterns successful people share and why you should adopt them too
  • The 3 main limiting beliefs and bullsh*t stories that hold people back from achieving their dreams and goals
  • Why dropping perfectionism is so important and what to do instead
  • …and so much more!

If you’re more of a visual person then you can watch my video interview with Joel Brown here:

This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Joel Brown is the 10-year vision expert and teaches his vision process all over the globe to thousands and thousands of people. You’ll want to make sure to grab a pen and paper so you can take notes and action on the strategies he shares with you.

You can connect with Joel Brown @iamjoelbrown on Instagram and Twitter.  Make sure you also check out his popular motivation account @addicted2success on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

You can listen to the full episode on SoundCloud,Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

OR you can watch it on my YouTube Channel:

RESOURCES:

His event: www.elevatetribe.net

The #1 motivation website he built from scratch: www.addicted2success.com

His Circle of Influence online mastermind: www.iamjoelbrown.com/applynow

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Success Advice

5 Ways You Can Utilize Information Properly and Think More Efficiently

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The mind is a complex system of facets, of which some have yet to be discovered. Still, in spite of all this, there has been enough information to help us gain a rudimentary understanding of it. Thinking is what we all do, although what differs is the efficiency and levels at which we do it.

A lot of things influence the way you think, and most of these factors vary from person to person. However, there are some foundations and basic laws that can help you move from just filtering information and utilizing it to think efficiently.

Below are a few ways you can utilize information properly and think more efficiently:

1. Be quiet and listen

We’re constantly bombarded with information, and the nature of this information determines how we respond. Are you the type of person who doesn’t handle bad or even good news well? If so, learn to take a step back, evaluate things, and look for the way forward. It’s something that stock market traders do all the time, and it works like a charm with practice.

2. Never neglect what your emotions tell you

While a lot of people might not know this, it is true that the conscious thoughts we have only represent a small fraction of the events going on in our heads. At any given point in time, you have the unconscious aspect taking in massive amounts of information, most of which we don’t even know are being processed.

Your brain makes conclusions, good or bad, and starts to generate feelings that rule our emotions in the long-run. So, whenever you have a subtle feeling that points you to a certain course of action or thought, don’t ignore it. At the end of the day, that feeling gets its way somehow, and it’s better you come face-to-face with it and understand its nudges better.

“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” – Bohdi Sanders

3. Never think while under pressure

Pressure can be good, but a lot of the time, it tends to yield counter-productive results. Regardless of what you’re doing, there are times when you feel pressure. What this pressure does is force you to rely less on the part of your unconsciousness that functions like a trained autopilot system (from all of the training and experiences that you’ve had in the past). Essentially, it forces you to overthink things.

You begin to analyze every aspect of what you’re doing, and you end up using parts of your brain that have no business with the specific activity. So, whenever you take the time out to develop a certain skill, make sure you learn to have faith in your instincts as well.

4. Never focus on one viewpoint

Bluffing is something that professional poker players do almost every time. It’s become an art. However, instead of just bluffing on a whim (which also works at times, by the way), most of them employ a simple trick while playing; they think about how the opposing players would act if they weren’t actually bluffing.

In most cases, the brain tends to search the world for filters in order to confirm the beliefs that it holds. However, the problem with this is that it tends to limit you. At the end of the day, you could be dealing with facts that are just not wrong.

“What’s true of the poker game is true of life. Most people are suckers and don’t realise it.” – Michael Faust

5. What do you love doing?

According to studies, a lot of people tend to have moments of insight and solutions to problems when they’re not even aware of the fact that the problem is being analyzed by the brain. These are usually moments when you take a stroll, listen to your favorite track, brew your favorite coffee, take showers, and read blogs; when you feel relaxed and comfortable.

This is because insightful thoughts are usually generated by an influx of neural activities that occur in the right hemisphere of the brain. The best time to plug into the mind is when you’re stress-free, so make sure that you engage in activities that relax you more often.

How do you go about maneuvering around and making decisions in a world constantly bombarding you with information? Let us know your thoughts and advice below!

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