Last week I went viral on social media with an article about 16 Things Your Successful Friends Have Given Up. The purpose of this post is not to impress you, but to show you what I learned during last week’s process.
Many people asked me how I was able to write such an inspirational piece. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the best way for me to describe it is that it comes through me.
My entire life has become about nothing more than inspiring people to change their life, to feel happy with right now, to rise up above the negativity, to take back control, to be a beacon for others and to give everything they have until they take their last breath.
My life vision is becoming unstoppable and last week was the tipping point, and it’s only the beginning.
So here’s the 11 things I learned:
1. Cherish right now
I’ve had multiple near-death experiences in my life and last week was a reminder to enjoy right now. Instead of thinking about what I was going to do next, I decided to enjoy this rare moment. A moment in which I was inundated with messages every few minutes (and still am as I type this post).
For once, it was time to be happy with everything that I’ve become and the purpose that I created for my life. Nobody did this for me; I made it happen, and that’s a powerful thought.
All the pain and struggle of the last twelve months became worth it. There was finally meaning behind all of the challenges, and I realized why everything had occurred. Here are the two short thoughts those challenges taught me:
I HAD TO GROW
I HAD TO BECOME SOMEBODY
2. Be humble, not cocky
More than ever, last week taught me to be humble. I had people calling the switchboard at my work asking to talk with me. Every social media channel lit up, major media publications wanted to talk with me, my phone didn’t stop, and people shared very personal stories with me.
All of this would be enough to make anyone think they were super-human. I chose, through years of personal development, to be humble. I said thank you to every single person that reached out to me. I graciously said yes to some opportunities and no to others.
This is the way I believe you can become a superior man or woman. In short, drop the ego.
3. That four letter word has power
In an article targeted towards business folk, and shared the most on LinkedIn, the point that people spoke about the most was #13 which was about love – so unconventional. Who knew that business folk were not robots and had a human side (I’m being sarcastic).
Part of the reason the article went viral is that I brought to attention the power of love. I explained to people why we are really here. In case you missed it, we’re here for love.
4. Overnight success
Last week’s viral article was three years in the making. People thought I just came from nowhere and started writing last week. I didn’t.
I’ve battled through the last three years writing every chance I could get and coming up with new ways to inspire people. Don’t be fooled by the lie that success happens overnight. It takes blood, sweat and tears. You have to be prepared to be vulnerable.
In my case, I had to be prepared to share my deepest, darkest thoughts and then bring people full circle into how those experiences created positivity in the world.
5. Make the most of your gift
Each of us has been given a unique gift. Last week taught me that when we use our gift, amazing things can happen. When we come from a place of passion, it comes through us. You don’t have to think, the work just flows out of you.
Stop wasting time on things you hate and get into the zone of you. Link everything you have to your passion.
6. Simplicity matters
Steve Jobs was right when it came to his beliefs around simplicity. One of the reasons my blog post went viral is because it was simple. The advice was written in simple English and anyone could get at least one thing from it.
Being able to talk in a succinct way is a big advantage. No matter how complex your gift is to understand, do everything you can to break it down.
Ask yourself, “What is one thing I want people to learn?” Then, go out of your way to drum that idea into people’s heads. Say it lots of different ways, so it sinks in.
7. Don’t be afraid to be controversial
A small percentage of people were upset because I suggested that some friends might actually be our “loser friends.”
This is a harsh thing to say, but it’s also true. Viral articles generally happen when someone says something that we’re all thinking, but too scared to say. I’m not going to take that label back. If you have friends that are dragging you down, then they are losers and you should ditch them.
“Being on the fence or indecisive about what needs to be done is the fastest way to * not * be successful”
8. Negativity is guaranteed
A small percentage of the feedback I received was negative. Going viral will guarantee that a few trolls will track you down. Remember, they are being mean to you because:
– Their own life sucks and being negative makes them feel good
– They wish they could be successful like you
– They’re annoyed with the world
Thankfully, rational people will usually come to the party and question these trolls. My advice is to leave them alone with their negative thoughts and ignore them.
9. Reply to comments in real-time
One of the reasons my article went viral is because I responded to every comment and did so in real-time (where possible). This allowed people to engage with me and get my thoughts on different ideas.
Engaging in real-time is what starts a conversation. Social media is nothing more than a giant conversation and once you understand that you can go viral too.
10. Reach out to the major media outlets
My buddy Dravko had a viral article last year and he taught me that you need to reach out to the major media outlets and tell them what’s happening. As of this writing, I’ve only just emailed the one’s worth talking with such as The Observer and CNBC.
I’ve seen this strategy work well and it allows more people to get the benefit of your advice. Be prepared for total rejection though.
11. People want to be inspired
The lesson I learned more than anything is that people want to be inspired. We all want to watch someone rise from nothing and share advice or a story that can take us to the next level.
“At the heart of all media is inspiration”
We want to feel something that causes us to make the changes in our lives or business that we’ve been putting off. We want to rise up above all the mediocrity we’re exposed to and do something phenomenal. Learn how to inspire people and you can achieve any level of success you want.
Thank you, everyone, for all your support. Much respect ☺