What does success really mean to you?
How badly you want it?
What if I told you, there is a way to achieve that?
Would you be interested to know how?
You are a very lucky person then, cause today, I got some super hot tips, that when I started implementing them, my business really took off!
So, let me ask you this one more time. What does success mean to you?
When I hear the word success, I always draw an imaginary sequence of scenes in my head. It goes like this.
I wake up in the morning and I hit the gym, after finishing my workout I return home and I eat a healthy breakfast. Then I log into my computer to check how all the income streams performed the day before.
Awesome news, I made a few hundred dollars while I was sleeping. It's not bad. After I arrange all of the tasks I have for the day, I am taking my
Ferrari car and I meet with other successful entrepreneurs for a lunch meeting.
We discuss some new business ideas, and then I return home for some afternoon tasks. I then enjoy my dinner and I can then relax while watching a movie or while reading a book.
It might sound a bit like a stereotype to you, but every person compiles a different picture inside its head.
Now, I must be completely honest with you. I am not at this stage (yet), but during the last year I have made a big progress on my wealth pillar and this is mainly due to some very specific reasons.
Through this whole year I learned some very valuable lessons. Please make sure you understand them well, and try to implement as much of it as possible. Here they are.
Lesson #1: Be obsessed with your business and 100% committed to it
This is actually a debate I very often have with my friends and colleagues.
Is it really necessary to love what you do? Do you really have to enjoy doing your business in order to be successful?
Well, to be absolutely honest with you, I am not sure if you need to “love” what you do, but I bet my whole career on what I will state here:
You absolutely have to be obsessed with your business in order to succeed.
Unless you become obsessed with your business, you will not be able to achieve great results. At best, these results will be mediocre and they will take a lot of time to be achieved.
Even if someone ignores what almost every successful man has said about that, I can personally guarantee you this one. Luckily for me I became obsessed with Kindle publishing right away, but I can tell you for sure that all my previous business ventures have failed for this exact reason.
Lesson #2: You need to know your business inside out
After you become obsessed and committed to your business, it will become easy for you to learn your business inside out. If this doesn’t happen, you will not be able to compete with everybody else.
You might have heard this many times, but this is really really crucial. Knowing your business very well will make your work way simpler (and profitable).
As a novice publisher I made a ton of mistakes. At first I didn’t know how to make a proper keyword research, what a nice e-book cover looks like, how to find good authors who will deliver quality content or even how to promote my books in order to stand out and sell.
And these are only the major parts of this business. Between the lines there is a ton more details to be found and learned.
Same thing applies to every business. Unless you know your business like a real pro, some other pro will “steal” your income.
You might spend hours and hours thinking you do all the right things, but in reality this might not be the case.
You may spend lots of hours trying to figure out why your sales don’t go up with no result.
Nobody wants that. Right?
Lesson #3: Most likely your friends and family won't support you
This actually came as a shock to me. As a wanna-be successful person, you might actually think that your whole close environment will be supportive to your endeavors. Right?
People from your surrounding environment won’t be as supportive as you might think, and there are some perfectly fine explanations for that.
Too much social conditioning
No matter what they say to you, bad social conditioning is the main reason people won’t be supportive about what you do.
Average people are completely washed out by social conditioning, which implies that having a 9-5 job is the safe way to go. Your friends and your family have been hearing that, for so many years, that this mantra have become a core part of their belief system.
Everything outside their comfort zone makes them feel in danger.
Before I could “prove” to my family that I am capable of living out of my Internet business, I had heard countless times this exact same thing:
“Having your own business is a big risk, go find a normal job like everybody else”
Poor guys can’t even think for a moment that the risk is where you don’t have control. And when you don’t you have control I ask?
Exactly, when you don’t own the business. Although it has happened to them many times over and over again, they fail to see that. If for any reason (legit or not) your boss wants to fire your ass, he’ll do it.
I’ll repeat that once more:
Risk = Lack of Control
As long as I have the control of my business (at least up to the maximum possible point), I personally feel safe.
Lesson #4: The only way to make more money is by serving more people
This is probably among the most major ones. You hear it very often: “customer always comes first.” But what does that really mean?
When I started to build my Kindle business, all I was thinking about was MONEY! I was trying to figure out all the ways I could make more of it. This is not to say I was trying to scam my readers or something, but I have to admit that my first priority was to make a profit and to help these people (my readers) in a meaningful way.
To be clear, I am not saying that going after profit is a bad thing. On the contrary. There is no reason to be in any business if you don’t make any profit out of it.
This profit will only come after you have served some people with your product or service.
The moment I saw my business take off was when I finally started to “hear” the needs of my customers. I started to ask for continuous feedback on my books. What they liked or disliked. I even gave them some alternatives for the upcoming stories to choose from.
No matter what the nature of your business is, I am sure you can do the same thing with your audience as well.
The major problem is that when you are not 100% transparent and oriented to your customer needs, your potential clients will sense that. Sooner or later they will find out that you are there for the money and not their satisfaction.
And that’s just unforgettable in business.
On the other hand, if you make your customer’s satisfaction your No. 1 priority, they will see that and they will reward you, with sales which consequently will bring the money.
If you really want to make money, stop thinking “how will I earn 1 million dollars” and start thinking “how can I provide value to people that is worth 1 million dollars”.
That is the key point in business. Provide value. Have an impact in people’s lives. And you shall be rewarded!
Lesson #5: Your willpower is limited, use it wisely
This is where the whole game is played actually. This part is purely a mindset issue. It’s a lot more difficult because you will have to tame your beta-quality instincts and emotions to work for you.
Teaching someone how to fish is relatively easy, making him believe that fishing is crucial in the first place, is the really hard part.
I have made this very same conversation countless times with some acquaintances. Proving to them, that taming their willpower is probably the single most important thing they can do, was always of paramount difficulty.
Knowing beforehand that you ain’t some average people though, I will take a shot with you!
Your willpower is limited!
That’s not really a secret. Moreover, despite the fact that we all understand it subconsciously, we fail to understand how or why that happens.
Imagine you’re having a car. In order for the car to accelerate and move it needs to have fuel. The more you step on the pedal, the faster the car goes, but the more gas it consumes.
Willpower is the exact same thing as gas, but for your motivation. As soon as it runs out, you don’t feel like doing anything else.
Your willpower tank is usually full in the morning, when you are rested, but during the day it depletes. The harder or longer the task the more willpower it consumes. And this is exactly the reason I am saying it’s limited.
At some point, sooner or later you are going to be tired. Not just physically but mentally as well. After your willpower pool is off, you cannot refill it, just like that. You will need to rest through sleep, meditation etc. in order to refill that tank again.
I will try to stretch this out as much as I can, because people don’t realize how crucial this is. All of your acts are fueled by your willpower. 99% of the times your action is a matter of your psychological status and not your physical status.
Very seldom your body won’t be able to follow your orders. Most of the times it’s your mind that “tells” your body to remain idle, because it ran out of willpower.
So in order for you to do anything, you will need to make sure that your willpower consumption is optimized so you have enough reserves of it throughout the day.
I know that’s easier said than done, but there is hope. I know many people who have optimized this procedure (including myself). It’s a quite difficult task to accomplish but not the hardest thing in the world either.
How you are going to achieve that?
- By avoiding any distraction, which is not aligned to your goal
- By establishing daily routines
Both difficult and complicated, but both equally important.
Lesson #6: Become productive by establishing daily routines
Willpower as a resource is finite. That means we cannot increase its capacity forever. I can confirm that by being healthier, living a good life without stress, sleep well etc. can increase the absolute amount of it, but not infinitely.
That is to explain that a guy sitting on a couch all day long, eating pizzas and drinking beers, has by default a smaller tank of willpower than a person, who works, reads, trains and eats healthy.
So after doing all the previous steps and maximize our pools of willpower, now we need to understand how to save as much as possible of this valuable resource in order to be super productive throughout our day.
The first major step in order to harness our willpower is to establish daily routines that will help us expend as low willpower as possible. The more you save, the more you have at your disposal for the more difficult tasks.
I have been through the process of establishing such routines and I can tell you, it wasn’t easy!
Once these routines are established though, you will feel so much stronger, energetic and powerful, that you won’t go back to your previous state.
Being productive and focused is not an easy thing, especially if you need to do it for prolonged periods of time. Having an end goal, is of tremendous help. If you know “why” you need to be more productive, like for example to get a promotion, to grow your business, etc., it will be way easier to have a constant motivation for pushing hard. If your motive is weak, you will eventually get tired and put it aside.
OK, this is the technical stuff, I know you like. What do I need to do?
- Prioritize maximum on three things
- Live on a timetable
- Create a comprehensive to-do list
- Sleep early and sleep well
Lesson #7: Nothing can beat your personal education
In one of my favorite wealth books of all time, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, Robert Kiyosaki mentions a scene that goes as follows:
Robert was introduced to some rich, successful guy and at some point he asked him: “what is the difference between me and you? How come you are rich and I am not?”
Then the older guy said to him: “The only reason why I am rich while you are not, is that I have the knowledge of how to make money.”
This phrase was engraved in my head since then, and if I had to boil it down to a central concept, that might be it.
“The only reason some people are rich, is because they possess the knowledge of money making.”
Sounds simple? Well, it might not be as simple as you think it is. Yet this is the key.
Why is this so important you might ask?
What is there to read and learn that is so important about my success?
Well, I’ll tell you what. Everything!
Apart from wealth, self-education is of vital importance even when it comes to health or relationship issues.
You cannot possibly expect from your school or your teachers to teach you what you are going to need in your life in order to succeed. If this was the case, our world would be full of millionaires, and poverty would have vanished a long ago.
I can narrow down, why formal education will never make you a rich person and why you should always try to educate yourself on your own or with the help of experts in your field.
Most probably there are a lot more reasons, but these are the real *wealth killers*.
Therefore formal education:
- Kills creativity and original thinking
- Produces a system of poorly fed rats
- Promotes competition
- Flattens dreams and ambitions
- Lacks training of everyday life skills
Although I would really like to analyze this further, it's impossible to do so in a single post, so stay to the end to learn how you can learn more details about it.
Lesson #8: Avoid distractions at all costs
Although I don’t have any unimportant issues in this book (why would I anyway), this is actually pretty big.
Distractions in our daily lives kill our productivity and therefore our success. The worst part is that these killers are so stealth, that you cannot really spot them and eliminate them.
Moreover, just to make things a bit worse, these distractions, step on our innate laziness as human beings, making the whole process of eliminating them a real tough job.
But like every difficulty I have mentioned up until now, eliminating distractions from your life is a totally doable procedure by the moment you make up your mind about it.
After I have started to use the tools which I will mention in a moment, in order to track my productivity score, I realized that a huge chunk of my daily time was spent in vain, due to these stupid distractions.
I spent more than 30 minutes a day in Facebook alone. I mean come on. That’s 15 hours a month!
I thought at that point that if I wanted to have any major success I should do something about it. I thought that if I spend these 15 hours a month in my Kindle Publishing business, I will see a huge spike in revenue.
And I was dead right. By the time I cut the crap, avoid every possible distraction and gave full focus on my business, it really took off.
If you follow the steps mentioned in lesson 5, lesson 6, and lesson 8, you will very soon see your productivity levels skyrocket.
If you don’t believe me, give it a go for only a month. If you don’t see any noticeable difference, then throw my advice in the recycle bin and log in back in Facebook.
Lesson #9: To reach success, firstly fix your environment
I left this lesson as a last one, because it’s probably one of the most important and difficult ones to accomplish. What I am going to write in this chapter might sound harsh to you, but believe me, it’s all 100% true.
When you will be reading this chapter, you might wonder what the heck has your environment has to do with your future success? And how my environment played a vital role in my first steps as an entrepreneur?
Please do move on. I am pretty sure you’ll get it.
No matter how cynical you may think these words are, they reflect reality like nothing else.
“We don’t have a money tree”
An old time classic.
Among my favorite phrases of all time.
Although I cannot complain about what my mother offered me as a child, I sure have heard this phrase a lot of times.
"We don't have a money tree."
A golden goose, a money printing machine, and all this *special equipment* someone needs to make some serious money.
The main inspiration about putting together this chapter, was a startup company summit that was once held in my city.
Apart from all the technical stuff (which are not that important) I have also seen a whole different world of successful people with well-worked mindsets.
The true catch, though, was not the summit or the mindsets, but a single phrase one of the keynote speakers (Nikos Bonatsos) said at the end of his speech. The guy is Greek, but he left Greece a few years ago in order to work as a venture capitalist for General Catalyst.
What he said was:
“It makes perfect sense not to see many successful entrepreneurs. How would it be possible for anyone to become successful when he hasn't seen how success looks like.”
It really hit me in the head. It was one of these a-h-a moments you have in your life and they alter your reality, possibly forever.
It made perfect sense to me as well. If you grow up among average people, you subconsciously set your success limit according to their level.
Nobody wants to destroy you on purpose, your mother and father love you very much (I assume), your friends want your best interest as well.
Then what the hell is going wrong?
It's very simple. They are people with average mindsets, average skillsets but most of all, average ambitions. Like you did, most of them have already grown up in such a similar, *un-inspiring* environment as well.
If averageness is all you live, averageness is all you seek.
My mother didn't have a money tree (I know for sure now), because she grew up, believing it's impossible to plant such a tree. Her father and mother, her schoolmates and her whole environment had never seen such a tree.
To be honest, I didn't believe it was possible to plant such a tree a couple years ago. It's pretty damn hard (or should I say - impossible) not only to imagine of something that you have never seen but also to believe in it as well.
I tried to make this post as short as possible but I couldn't possibly explain all this stuff with fewer words.
I know i have left a lot of things out, but in case you want to read more, here is the link to the book, explaining all the above lessons in every detail.