What Are You Willing to Sacrifice to Make Your Vision a Reality?

“Sometimes in order to get everything you want, you have to give up everything you’ve got.”

That’s how JT DeBolt opened his MOBE Daily PowerUp call this morning at 11 EDT.

It was a provocative and timely question for me. I thought I’d given up quite a lot — including selling a boat I loved in order to invest in MOBE.
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Including putting just about all the financial resources I have into my business.

Some people no doubt thought I was nuts — to give up what financial security I had for something for which there was no guarantee. To give up a lovely boat and the opportunity to sail her this past summer seemed foolish to them, I am sure.

But having made those sacrifices, income from MOBE isn’t happening nearly as quickly as I expected, and that’s the problem right now. I was planning to be generating $5,000 a month by now, and I’m not even close. So I don’t have enough money to live on monthly. Clearly, further sacrifice is necessary if this is going to work.

Unless someone has another idea, to make MOBE happen and generate that kind of monthly income — to kick-start it — I am going to have to invest probably another $2,000-$5,000 in advertising and lead generation.

I don’t have that kind of money. So what do I do to make MOBE work? I have two choices.

MOBE can generate the income I want without this injection of money — but it will take much longer: I’ve heard anywhere from two to three years. The question here is, if I can’t come up with the money, can I sacrifice my lifestyle and reduce my living expenses so I can live at or below the poverty level while building MOBE more slowly?

Or, I can find the money.

Notice quitting is not an option — though some people have recommended I stop dreaming and go back to work.

I will not quit, Period.

So, what do I do?

At the moment, some combination of reducing expenses and finding the money is the way to go.

The first thing I’ve done is to get a part-time job as a Lyft driver in Boston. I can generate probably up to $2,500 a month doing that if I work 30-40 hours a week. I’m already earning $500 a week working less than 20 hours. Believe me, this is a sacrifice of time and energy. But it’s necessary of I want to make my vision a reality.

The second thing I am doing it is reduce my monthly expenses as much as possible. I will be moving from my 3-bedroom harbor-side home that’s costing $1,300 a month into an apartment.

Wareham harbor sunset from the beach in front of my house
Wareham harbor sunset from the beach in front of my house

I don’t know where yet, but I have decided not to pay more than $650 a month — thus cutting rent in half. I am sacrificing space and comfort and view and access to the sea. For me, that’s huge. Lifestyle: I won’t be able to have guests, or a dog probably.

Another monthly expense I can reduce by half is storage fees. I’m currently paying $90 a month to store dozens of boxes of books, as well as furniture I no longer need or don’t have room for at home. If I sell, donate, or five away most of those books and other stuff, I could cut the storage fee in half. Maybe eliminate it altogether if I’m really brutal about the books and stuff.

This feels like a huge sacrifice to me. Those books are friends. Some I’ve had since I first got married in 1967. I am going to have to be very selective in what I keep. Right now, I’m looking at a set of the Yale Shakespeare, which I bought in Germany and built a special bookcase for. It would break my heart to part with those books, so I will keep them. And lest you think I never look at them, think again. This summer I re-read A Midsummer’s Night Dream in preparation for seeing the play performed outdoors in a beautiful park by the sea. But most of the others…they will go to the library’s annual book sale.

So how much am I willing to give up to make my dreams come true? JT and his wife, Mia, gave up just about everything so he could publish his first book, which he’d been told would be a best seller and the basis for greatly expanding his coaching business. In his call this morning, he tells the story: When he told Mia how much it would cost to get a book published (a book he had not yet even written), and said he didn’t see how it would be possible financially, Mia did something that just blew him away. She went away and came back to him with a box. In the box was all her jewelry, including her engagement ring and wedding ring, everything she she had of any value, and all of which she cherished. She said to him: “I am willing to put all this in so you can get your book published on one condition: I have to know that you are all in. I have to know you are fully committed to making it happen.”

The two of them were fully committed to their vision, their dream — and gave up everything for it because they believed in it and believed in themselves.

Am I that committed? Why?

Why? Ah, that is the question. Hamlet had it right. And it’s also where I began this blog months ago — asking that question.

To make these sacrifices less painful, I had to go back and ask myself, why? Why am I will to give up nearly everything I’ve got and give up the style of life I have now? For my new business?

To be. Or not to be… My vision. My why.
My vision is to be a wonderful father and grandfather and a good brother. My vision is to be a giver, a problem-solver for 100s of other entrepreneurs. My vision is to be a philanthropist. My vision is to be a person who makes a difference on more than a personal level: I want to be able to give enough money to charities that are making a difference in the lives of tens of thousands — no millions — of other residents of this planet, whether it be the Ocean Conservancy and Sierra Club or the International Rescue Committee. My vision is to be an example of a wealthy person who lives comfortably and uses his resources for the good of others and not for his own selfish need to accumulate.

To BE all that, I must DO many things, and at the moment one of those things is to sacrifice, so that in time I will HAVE the resources that will make all that possible. Looking at the sacrifices I am making in that manner seems to reframe them not as sacrifices at all, but as investments in myself and my dream, and as such, easy to bear.

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Five Ways to Sabotage Success

I heard a wonderful TED Talk the other day by a young Brazilian woman named Bel Pesce.

Bel Pesce
Bel Pesce

In six minutes she managed to spell out five beliefs that will quickly sabotage our success at almost anything we try — and their opposites, which if done, will result in achieving our goals and dreams, and more importantly, enjoying life along the way…

Her five sabotaging beliefs are:
1. Believe in overnight success.
She may have gotten into MIT as the result of spending a few hours filling out an application, but it took 17 years of hard work to get to that point. Get used to it. Overnight success is a myth. It takes hard work and perhaps years of growth and experience.

2. Believe someone else has the answers for you.
Your dreams and goals are your dreams and goals, no one else’s. Ignore what they say your goal and dreams should be. Look within. That’s where you’ll find them — and the path to them that is yours alone.

3. Believe that when growth is guaranteed, you should settle down and rest.
Keep going, and you’ll be astonished at what more you can accomplish. Don’t settle for less, or for enough. Work a little harder and see what happens.

4. Believe the fault is someone else’s.
Each of us is totally responsible for our successes and failures. We can’t blame a bad market, or a lousy upbringing, disabilities, bad luck, or, indeed, circumstances “beyond our control.” We will surely fail if we do. If we fail, it’s our fault. And if we succeed, it’s our success, our doing, and no one else’s — though others can certainly help and support and encourage us.

5. Believe only the goals matter.
Reaching a goal or attaining a dream is one moment in time. The only way to achieve a dream or a goal is to enjoy the journey every moment along the way. What matters is today. So lean into it, or as Deborah Elfers and friends would say: Have a one-buttock day! It’s not about winning the race. It’s about having a hell of a good time and leaning forward up the windward leg, and back down to the finish. A remarkable thing happens when you do lean into whatever you are doing. Instead of you leaning and pushing, the activity itself starts to pull you in — and then it becomes almost effortless. BTFI! That last insight isn’t mine, or Bel’s. It comes from Benjamin Zander — Deborah Elfers’ amazing teacher.

Here’s a link to her talk: http://www.ted.com/speakers/bel_pesce

Her website: www.belpesce.com

Mindset Is Everything!

Switching from being an employee and working toward someone else’s goals to being our own bosses as entrepreneurs and working toward our own goals can be difficult — if you think so.

It does take almost a shift in consciousness. At the very least we almost have to reinvent ourselves, taking a long hard look at how we’ve defined ourselves in the past, what our attitudes and expectations have been, especially around money.
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Being an employee puts us at the whim of our employers. We are dependent on their success for our success — on their salary limits, their failures, their goals, their changes in direction. In a very real sense, being an employee is like being a victim. We are not in charge of our working lives when we work for someone else!

As an entrepreneur, all that changes. Suddenly, we’re in charge of our present and future. It’s totally up to us whether we succeed or fail. I’ve discovered that’s a huge change for me, and I’ve heard it is for almost everyone who wants to go into business for themselves.

So, I’ve come up with three simple rules that will help make the shift from the mindset of an employee to that of an entrepreneur, and from a mindset of mediocrity to one of wealth:

The Three Rules for an Entrepreneurial Mindset:

1. Take 100% responsibility for your own success in business and in life.
2. Understand that success is an inside job.
3. Work on your mindset for at least 30 minutes every day.

Take 100% responsibility for your own success in business and in life.
As for #1, suddenly there’s no one else to blame if I don’t reach my goals! It’s totally up to you and me to be and do whatever is necessary to succeed. There are no longer any excuses, and boy can I come up with lots of those if I’m not careful! It’s so easy to think, “Well, if only I had more money, this would work much better.” That’s blaming a circumstance for not succeeding. It’s an excuse! So what to do? Go out and find the money! Don’t wait for a bag of it to suddenly drop out of the sky. Don’t hope for an inheritance coming through. Do whatever you have to do to get the money you need — or figure out a way to succeed without the money!

But always believe you can do it, that you will succeed, money or no money, no matter what.

Understand that Success is an INSIDE job.
That means no one else is going to succeed for us. It’s totally up to each of us. We can have the best coaches in the world, and we can have the mechanics — the steps — down cold. But it is we that must perform if we’re going to reach our goals. The thing is, that success is already inside us, waiting for us to act. Know that! It’s true! We have to go within. We have to find within ourselves the strength, the desire, the motivation, the energy to make things happen.

Work on your mindset for at least 30 minutes a day
And all that has to to with mindset, which is the reason for rule #3. Working on developing the mindset of a successful, wealthy entrepreneur takes daily work. Even the most successful business people — the top earners in MOBE, for instance — some of whom are my coaches — constantly work on improving their mindset. Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s leading motivational coaches, regularly coaches people like Richard Branson. Why? Because successful people know there’s always room for improvement. And believe it or not, even the top earners sometimes have doubts and fears — the same ones we do. They are human, after all. So anyone who wants to be successful should be daily working on improving his or her mindset.

Ok. So how do you go about working on your mindset? I’ll tell you how I do it. Some will seem obvious, and others may seem not to have anything to do with improving one’s mindset, but they all work together.

Exercise
I’ll admit right off the bat that I need to get more exercise than I do. I walk every day for about 15-20 minutes, and have goals to increase that and add different kinds of exercise. In the summer, I sail and race boats. You’d be surprised at how much energy that takes, especially like last night when it was blowing hard! But any sport is good — tennis, golf, running, going to the gym, lifting weights. The idea is to get the energy flowing in your body and the blood circulating to the brain.

Nutrition
The science of nutrition in the last 20 years has grown rapidly, and eating the right foods can directly affect one’s mental abilities. I try to eat as much organic fruits and vegetables as possible, even if it costs more. Better mental clarity is the result, and I’m always working to improve what I eat. As a matter of fact, one of my goals is to earn enough money so that I can outsource my cooking and food shopping. Two reasons for doing that: cooking and grocery shopping take time that I could use to be earning more money! Why do a task that I can outsource for $15-$20 an hour while I’m working on by business earning $100 an hour or more? It doesn’t make financial sense for me to be cooking. Besides, I’m not very good at it, and I don’t like doing it! The second reason should be obvious: I’ll eat better! No more cereal for lunch standing up at the kitchen counter!

Meditation
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There are those who are convinced that more than anything else we can do, meditation vastly improves our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. I agree with them. I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes, and it continues to change my life. I have less stress. I’m much happier. I worry much less. I have more energy. I sleep better. I think more clearly. I’m more optimistic.
Why Meditate?
I use Transcendental Meditation and regularly participate in the free clinics, workshops, and group meditations the TM organization offers. It’s easy and simple to learn, and you can’t do it wrong! In meditation, I go deep within the silence and find peace and serenity like you wouldn’t believe.

But other forms of meditation are just as good. And it doesn’t have to be a sitting meditation either. For example, long distance runners often meditate as they go. Really, anything that makes you breathe deeply and regularly can be a form of meditation. So for those of you who think you can’t quiet your mind so you can meditate, yes you can! You just have to find the meditation technique that lets you do that — and there are dozens to choose from.

Read Books on Mindset Improvement
Just look in the self-help section of any large bookstore and you’ll find lots to choose from. I am a big fan of T Harv Eker, who wrote Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, which I’ve read three times and no doubt will read again. In a previous blog, I also recommended Napoleon Hill’s classic,Think and Grow Rich.

T Harv Eker, an expert on  developing a wealthy mindset, is part of my Mastermind Circle.  Attend one of his "Millionaire Mind" weekend conferences.  I did.  Fantastic!
T Harv Eker, an expert on developing a wealthy mindset, is part of my Mastermind Circle. Attend one of his “Millionaire Mind” weekend conferences. I did. Fantastic!

Others I read are Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, all of Stephen Covey’s work, and especially The 8th Habit. I’ll even read more technical books like Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief — a fascinating book and surprisingly easy to read.

Attend mastermind conferences,workshops, seminars, and webinars designed to improve Mindset
As you know, last May I attended one of MOBE’s Mastermind conferences in Punta Cana, Republica Dominica. It was nothing short of a life-changing experience and did more to improve my own mindset around wealth and money than anything I’ve ever done. It was six days I will never, ever forget. Three of the days were workshops and lectures on how to improve the amount of traffic (leads) I send into MOBE’s sales funnel, taught by MOBE’s top coaches in lead generation as well as outside experts.

Matt Lloyd, President and Founder of MOBE, with Jon Lee, one of the company's top earners -- and me!
Matt Lloyd, President and Founder of MOBE, with Jon Lee, one of the company’s top earners — and me!

The other three days consisted of lectures and workshops on all aspects of building an online marketing business — again taught by MOBE’s top earners and outside professionals. Three of the outside speakers I have since hired as coaches for my business, thus making them part of my own Mastermind Circle. The six days were informative and inspirational, to say the least.

I hired one other as well — John Chow, who is not only MOBE’s top earning partner, but is also one of the world’s experts on blogging! He actually set up this blog for me and continues to give wonderful coaching and advice. We even made two short videos together, both of which will appear in this blog soon. My next step with him is to learn how to “monetize” this blog — how to earn money from my writing. I’m looking forward to that with excitement, let me tell you! In July, John earned over $100,000 from his blog. That’s $100,000 in one month! And it wasn’t a one-time deal. He does that every month. I am not making this up. I had no idea such a thing was even remotely possible! If I hadn’t been at that conference, I never would have known…

One of the other people I hired was Paul O’Mahony, an Irishman who gave a lecture on — Mindset! He talked of how to turn from a mindset of mediocrity to one of abundance and wealth… Right now, I’m in the middle of a year-long course he teaches for just a few people on the Internet about Mindset — and so much more: Goal-setting, time management, connecting one’s values to one’s goals. He is worth every penny I’m spending for his coaching and advice.

Paul O'Mahony gave a presentation on his work as a Mindset Coach.  As a result, I hired him to help me with mine.  He's brill!
Paul O’Mahony gave a presentation on his work as a Mindset Coach. As a result, I hired him to help me with mine. He’s brill!

The other thing about attending events like this is that you surround yourself with the winners, the top earners, the most successful people in the business. They are all readily accessible and very willing to listen, talk, give advice, make suggestions, and even form partnerships if you have good ideas and similar goals that can help their businesses. And they will offer to coach you and help you build your business — for a fee of course.
John Chow -- MOBE's top earner, expert in blogging, and my blogging coach -- with MeiDee Lim, relatively new to MOBE, but she's already made enough sales to qualify for a new car of her choice -- fully paid for by MOBE.  I see her in a bright red Mercedes SL350 convertible!
John Chow — MOBE’s top earner, expert in blogging, and my blogging coach — with MeiDee Lim, relatively new to MOBE, but she’s already made enough sales to qualify for a new car of her choice — fully paid for by MOBE. I see her in a bright red Mercedes SL350 convertible!

Now, all that success and prosperity is bound to rub off on you. It certainly has for me, and continues to. My mindset is vastly improved because of those six days. Like I said, a life-changing experience… As my mother was fond of telling me when I was young, “Peter,if you want to be successful, hang out with successful people.” I’m living proof she was right.

One other thing about events like this: Take someone with you. Don’t go alone if you don’t have to. Take a spouse, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a sibling, or just someone who you know will be supportive. Even take someone who might have some doubts about what you’re doing. Let them see for themselves what the possibilities are. I took my friend Kath Johnson (of Longevity Coaching fame!).

Kath and I at MOBE's Titanium Mastermind Conference in Punta Cana, Republica Dominica
Kath and I at MOBE’s Titanium Mastermind Conference in Punta Cana, Republica Dominica

Her ideas, support, encouragement, and company helped this introvert reach out to others, and I gained so much from the six days because of her. I am so grateful for her company, and will definitely ask her to accompany me to my next Mastermind Conference, which is, I just found out, in Fiji!

Kath, if you’re reading this, wanna go?!

So I highly recommend taking someone with you to events like these. And you never know, you might turn him or or into a client or partner! The experience inspired Kath to re-start her coaching business, but this time all online, and she’s already set up a blog (John Chow helped her!) and a FaceBook fan page for it.

Attending similar events is critical. MOBE holds several all around the world every year. I’ll post a schedule and find a link to make it easy for you to sign up!

Collect Inspiring Quotes
This is fun! I have 100s I’ve collected from the Internet (Facebook is a gold mine for them!). I look through them almost every day, and they’re uplifting, funny, sobering, inspiring. I use the all the time in my MOBE business (where do you think the ones in this blog came from?!) Here are some of my favorites:

This reminds me to laugh off the naysayers in my life!
This reminds me to laugh off the naysayers in my life!

This reminds me never, never, never give up!  You don't know how close you are to a diamond mine!
This reminds me never, never, never give up! You don’t know how close you are to a diamond mine!

Meditate, Breathe

This reminds me how valuable are the moments I have with myself.
This reminds me how valuable are the moments I have with myself.

No pain?  Then no gain!  Obstacles disappear when you see them rather as challenges and opportunities to learn and grow.
No pain? Then no gain! Obstacles disappear when you see them rather as challenges and opportunities to learn and grow.

Well, I could go on and on here, and talk about the benefits of things like visualization to improving one’s mindset. But I’m over 2,000 words here so I better stop.

Hope this post is of some help in improving your mindset!
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Consistency Wins!

Rich & Tracey win the 2015 Herreshoff 12 National Championship!
Rich & Tracey win the 2015 Herreshoff 12 National Championship!

Rich and Tracey –two friends of mine — recently won a national sailing championship — and never won a race! How did they do that?

Consistency. That’s how!

The championship consisted of a series of five races, and in none of those races did they place first. They placed 2nd in three of the races, and 3rd in the other two. But no 1st place!

The boat that got 2nd place overall actually won one race — but his other races weren’t so good. He got two 4th places, a 3rd place, and a 9th! It was the 9th place finish that did him in.

Herreshoff 12s running for the finish!
Herreshoff 12s running for the finish!

By consistently place in the top three places, Rich and Terry walked away with the silver.

So what’s the lesson? For me, the lesson is you don’t always have to be first. You can still win simply by being consistent. It’s the same in business. The winners are consistent — maybe not a top finisher all the time, but consistently close. So I make sure, for instance, that I am regular in my blogging: I post something nearly every day. (It’s a good thing I love to write!) And as far as my solo ads are concerned, I consistently send out two batches every month — one on the first and one on the 15th. And now I’m learning how to broadcast done-for-you emails on a daily basis, which will boost my business considerably.

The Importance of Gratitude

“Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.” — Marelisa Fábrega

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Those who know me will tell you that I do not like being late. I think it’s rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful — especially if you’re part of a team that may be waiting for you. It’s also a sign, I think, that you don’t think your presence and participation is all that important. It’s a sign of poor self-esteem.

So I once took a part-time job as a census-taker to make some extra money, and I had to be at work every morning in downtown New Bedford (MA) for a team meeting during which territories for the morning would be assigned to each of the six people on the team. I was late one Monday morning, mostly because I left home late, but also because traffic was terrible. That was bad enough. I felt terrible.

But then it happened again! Just three days later, and I found myself sitting at the longest red light in the world — yelling at the light, berating myself for being incredibly irresponsible, and scared I’d lose the job! Just fuming…

But while I was sitting there working myself into a frenzy — at that longest red light in the world — I remembered something I’d heard a few nights earlier on a tape about improving self-worth. The woman said, “Gratitude is the antidote to poor self-esteem. It’s important, especially, to be grateful for everything happening in your life. Be grateful for the tiniest things — the things you always take for granted.”

So? What, you want me to be grateful for this damn red light???? Are you nuts? Well, yes and no. So I tried it: “I give thanks for this red light.” Why? OMG, it’s making me late to work. I’m supposed to be grateful for that? Arrrgh! But then I thought, what’s to be grateful for here? There has to be something…anything!

And there was. What if the light weren’t here, I thought. There’d be massive traffic jams and maybe even accidents where someone — me! — might get seriously hurt. Or die! Ok. That’s a start. I’m glad it’s here.

What else? Well, I’m grateful that the city installed it. And I’m grateful to the guys who put it up, and who maintain it. I’m grateful for the electricity that runs it, and for whoever invented the red, yellow, and green light bulbs that seem never to go out. I’m grateful for the power company that makes the electricity, and everyone who works there.

The light turned green, before I’d finished my list of things about the light to be grateful for. It must not have been the longest red light in the world after all! I was off and running — and made it to work on time, thankfully. More importantly, my anger and fear were gone, my self-esteem was intact, and I was feeling pretty good as I walked into the office. It turned out to be a good day after all.

What’s the point? It’s simply that when things go wrong in our businesses, instead of getting angry or afraid, be thankful. Really. I mean it. For one thing, you will always find a reason to be grateful for the situation. There’s a lesson in it somewhere, maybe an important one. For another, what will getting upset accomplish? Very little I would guess. At least that’s my experience.

For example, when I get stuck on a project and don’t know what to do next, I have three choices. One is to get upset, angry, scared. Another is to work at it until I figure it out. Lastly, I can ask for help from my Mastermind group (you have one of your own, don’t you?). I’ll call or email one of my coaches who’s an expert at whatever the problem is, but only after I’ve tried everything I know how to solve it myself. (I am very grateful to have people on my team I can always rely on for help.) And voila! The problem is gone — as long as I choose not to get upset and start berating myself!

Gratitude Sunrise
Gratitude Sunrise

Last thought: Feeling grateful for what we have right now also seems to attract more good things into our lives. I don’t know why that happens, but it does. So I have learned a few of things I can do every day to make sure I stay in a mindset of gratitude.

The first is to say “thank you” at the beginning of each day — for the life I’ve been given, for the day ahead, for the opportunities and challenges that are a part of everyday life.

During the day, I try to remember to say thank you often, whenever there is an opportunity.

At the end of the day, in my Daily Log, I list as many things as I can that I am grateful for that day. Last night, for instance, I gave thanks for my Email Solo Ad Coach, Raena Lynn, who was so helpful earlier in the day during our weekly coaching call.

Gratitude makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself, and it really does seem that the more I am grateful for today, the more things happen in my life for which I am thankful. And I’ll bet if you ask any successful person, they will say the same thing.

Be grateful simply for the sake of being grateful. Being grateful feels a lot better than raging at a red light!

Your WHY and Your Goals

Before you set any goals for yourself, you must know why you’re going into business for yourself.  WHY do you want to become an entrepreneur, an internet marketing businessperson?

It has to be for a very good reason. Saying, “Well, I want to be rich,” isn’t enough. WHY do you want to be rich? What are you going to do with the money you dream of earning? Are you here simply to earn a few extra thousand dollars to supplement your day job? Great! But why? Are you here because you want to quit your 9 to 5 rat race job and earn more money. That’s fine. Why? Are you looking to build a nest egg for your retirement? Good goal. But again, why? Or are you a stay-at-home mom or dad and want to work at home? Wonderful!  But why?

You have to drill down further into each and all of your reasons.

My WHY: The Valiant 42 "Tenacity"bound for Bermuda from New England
My WHY: The Valiant 42 “Tenacity” bound for Bermuda from New England

For example, one of my WHYs is to build a nest egg for my retirement.  But why?  First because I haven’t saved enough to have a comfortable retirement that will allow me to do some of the things I’ve always wanted to do — like buy a boat and sail around the world.  You know by now that sailing is a huge passion for me.  I’ve had a burning desire to voyage around the world since my 11th birthday when my mother gave me a biography of Joshua Slocum, who sailed his 38-foot cutter “Spray” around the world alone.   He was the first human being to do that.  His story grabbed me!  From that moment, I’ve wanted to do the same — though perhaps not alone.

This WHY of mine will be a 42-foot cutter, much like the one you see to the left.  I have several pictures of her and some of her sister ships on my vision board beside my desk (I’m looking at them right now!).

The next questions are:  How much money will it take to purchase such a boat, and how much passive income will be necessary to fund such a voyage?   Passive income?  Yes…because I don’t want to have to be working when I’m half way across the Pacific!  That’s a topic for a future blog.   But you do you see why you must pin down your reasons for becoming an entrepreneur?  Only then can you begin to set specific financial goals.

So what’s your big WHY?  What grabs you?  Say you’re that stay-at-home-parent I mentioned.  Why do you want to stay at home?  Perhaps it’s because you believe your children need the full attention of their parent or parents in their first years of life, and you don’t want them in daycare with strangers.  That’s a wonderful WHY.  So spell it out.  What will staying at home allow you to do with and for your children?   What kind of a life do you want to give your children?

Only then can you begin to think about your goals.  Only then can you ask, “Okay, how much monthly income will I want to have in order to stay at home and provide that kind of life — and those things — for my children?”

I have a goals coach.  His name is Paul O’Mahony, and he lives in Ireland, and he’s friggin’ brill. (That’s Irish for very smart!).  One of the first things he recommended I do, once I’ve set my financial goals, is to make a list of WHY I’m in business.   Not just  5 or 10 reasons why, but 100!  I recommend you do the same.   They’ll come slowly at first, but I think you’ll be surprised once you get going.  You’re going to uncover lots of WHYs.

Then he said, make a second list.  This one is a list of what will happen if you don’t meet the goals you’re thinking about.  Also 100.  That’s a little harder, but it sure turned out to be a great motivator!  Try it.  You’ll see.

More in a future blog…

5 Steps to Becoming an Expert

People buy from the voice of authority, and you can position yourself as an expert even before you’ve seen any results from your online marketing business.  That’s what a blog is for — to build a reputation as someone who knows what he or she is talking about. Someone who provides valuable information that others can use to build their own businesses. 

That's my blogging coach John Chow with the paper in his hand.  He's the top earner in our company, MOBE, and he did it through his blog.  He's my definition of an expert.
That’s my blogging coach John Chow with the paper in his hand. He’s the top earner in our company, MOBE, and he did it through his blog. He’s my definition of a voice of authority — an expert.

It isn’t difficult to do.  I’ve heard it said more than once that if you know just a little bit about a topic, you know more about it than 95% of your your audience! 

The five steps I’m going to outline here:

Do not require mega-results — or any.

Can be done part-time.

Can build a large following with good income — probably more than you can even imagine right now.  It won’t happen overnight, but little by little, with consistency and persistence on your part it can be done — because lots of people are doing it with their blogs.

Do not require the depth of knowledge we usually attribute to so-called “experts.”

Caveat:  The reality is that 81% of bloggers barely make any money.  The reason?  They don’t follow these five easy steps. But plain old ordinary people like you and me — by following the steps outlined here — can make a very good living from their blogs.   Here’s how:

Step 1:  Have a Vision

This is by far the most important step.  In fact,if you don’t have vision, don’t bother to do any of the others.  They won’t work. 

So what is Vision?    You must ask and answer these questions first:

1. Who do I want to become?

2. How do I want to be known?

Here are my answers:

1. Who do I want to become?  In this particular case, I want to become an authority on ways to make money online. I want to be someone of significance, someone who provides great value and makes a difference in the lives of many others. 

2. How do I want to be known?  I want to be a trusted source of valuable information for others.  I want to be an expert others rely on for guidance, coaching, advice, support, and knowledge.  I want to be known as a generous, caring person. 

How will you answer those questions?  Write them down.  Begin to flesh out your vision.    

Your Vision is Not Your Goals.

We’re not talking about goals here.  Goals are different than Vision.  In a future post, I’ll talk about the importance of setting specific goals with specific deadlines, such as: “By October 31, 2015 I will be earning a monthly income of $20,000 each and every month from then on.”   That’s a goal, but it isn’t a vision. 

For now, stop focusing on how much money you want to bring in, and instead focus on who you want to become.     

Be. Do. Have.

Notice what I’m doing here.  I’m asking you to focus on not what you want to HAVE, but on who you want to BE.  That’s because most people go about this backwards.  They say, I want to HAVE money (or good health or a nice relationship, or whatever) so that I can DO the things I’ve always wanted to do, and then I will BE happy, rich, healthy, etc.   


No. No. No. No!  It doesn’t work that way!  Turn it around:

BE happy first.  BE grateful for what you’ve got now. BE trustworthy,  generous, loving, kind now.  BE an authority — an expert — now. 

Then take action.  DO the things you can do now to make your vision  real now:  DO begin your new business now, no matter how unprepared you think you are.  Act like an authority.  Act (and think) like the person you want to become.

And guess what?  Then — and only then — can you HAVE the things you want.    

That’s the way it works.  It’s the law.  It NEVER works the other way.  Remember:  Be.  Do. Have.  Never the other way around.   

Phrases that will prevent you creating a vision for yourself

It’s strange, but  many people, probably most, argue in favor of their non-success, argue for their failure. If you catch yourself saying any of the following, you know your mind is not yet in the right place:

I don’t know what to do.

Easy for him to say….

If only I had… (more money, time, a better husband or wife…better health, etc.)

It isn’t working.

I don’t have enough money.

I’m too old.

I don’t know enough.

I resent wealthy people.   

Ha!   What sort of a vision do you think these poor, sad people have?  Not a good one, that’s for sure.   

You're Never Too Old...

One by one, let’s look at them:

“I don’t know what to do.”   True entrepreneurs never say this. They either figure it out, or they ask someone to teach them, or they hire him or her to do it for them. 

“It’s easy for him to say.” When you say this, you’re saying he possesses something you don’t, and that’s just plain BS.   You can succeed, no matter what your past experience has been.  I know highly successful people at the very top of their industries who were born dirt poor, who were abused, who had terrible parents (or none at all), who never finished high school — never mind college, who aren’t terribly intelligent, who have serious medical conditions, and who are recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.  If they can do it, I guarantee you and I can too.  If you catch yourself saying this,  you’re playing it way too small. 

“If only I had…”   Oh so, you’re helpless to your fate?  More BS!  If only you had gone to college?  (You still can if you think it’s important). If only you had saved enough money over the years? (So?  Start now! More about that in a future post.)  If only you had a more supportive wife or husband?  (Why do you put your fate in the hands of someone who seems not to care about you?   Huh?) If only you had…not drank so much over the years…. made so many mistakes in your life… Yada yada yada.  It is all BS. 

“It isn’t working.”   It sure won’t if you quit now, or before you even  begin.  The trouble with people in our western culture is we’ve been infected by what I call the “Polaroid Syndrome.”  It all started with a camera in about 1949 — a camera that produced a picture in one minute.  That was the beginning of our downfall.  Then came fast food — the 19 cent hamburger. And TV… delivers moving pictures of events as they happen via satellite right into our living rooms.  Then instant cameras.  And now we’ve got digital cameras, and an Internet that delivers information from anywhere in the world instantly to our smart phones!  We expect things to happen right now!  Instantly!  Not even overnight, but NOW!    Well guess what?  In business — even an online internet marketing business —  it doesn’t happen that way.  Don’t get me wrong here, though.  Done right, you can begin making some money within a month or so, usually small amounts first, but it can build fairly quickly if you put in the time, effort, and yes money.   I can promise you this, though:  Quitting is failure!  And speaking failure, there are only two ways to fail at any business: You don’t begin, or you quit once begun. 

“I don’t have the money.”  Think about your power company.  It doesn’t  have electricity.  It makes it. It’s the same with money.  NEVER say you don’t have the money.  Make it or find it. And replace that evil thought with:  “I WILL have the money. I am so grateful now that money is on the way.  I am so grateful that my life is getting better and better.  I am so grateful that I am finally beginning to create the Vision I have for the rest of my life.”

“I resent wealthy people.”   If you dislike or are jealous of those who have money, guess what?  You’ll never be one of them. Your ego won’t allow you to become that which you despise.  Instead, begin to admire them for what they do with their money.  Most wealthy people — despite what you hear in the news these days — are extremely generous with their wealth, whether they worked for it or inherited it.  We wouldn’t have things like symphony orchestras, art museums, free hospitals for children who’ve suffered burns, free concerts, cathedrals and synagogues and mosques, and libraries.  We wouldn’t have many of the things that make our lives livable and enjoyable, those things that civilize us and make us better people.  Resent the wealthy?  I am every day extremely grateful for the  contributions they make to our culture and way of life.  In time, I will be wealthy and make significant contributions to charities and causes I support. 

If someone were to ask you why you’re not wealthy, how would you answer them?  Would you make excuses, blame someone else?  Or would you take responsibility for your present financial state?  Only if you do the latter will it change for the better.    

A final note about this Vision thing…Think about athletes who made it to the top. Every single one of them saw it happen before getting there.  Their vision of what they could become pulled them, kept them going when they wanted to quit, when it seemed too hard.  Those athletes are not quitters because they have a vision of who they will become and what they will accomplish.   So visualize your life the way you want it to be.  Get excited about it.  The more you focus on it with genuine enthusiasm, the faster it will happen.  That’s a law too.  (More about the Law of Attraction and its uses and misuses in a future post).

I said Vision is the most important of all the five steps, which is why I’ve spent considerable time with it.  Let’s now go on to Step 2. 

Step 2.  Immerse Yourself

If you’re going to be in business for yourself, you’re going to have to immerse yourself in it.  This means finding coaches and teachers, creating your own Mastermind group of successful people who can advise you, going to events where the top earners in your industry can be found, and networking with people you want to emulate.     I have several coaches for various aspects of my online business from whom I’m always learning.  One coaches me on blogging.  Another on using email as a means of building lists and driving traffic.  Another does social media.   I also have a mindset coach who is helping me develop a more wealth-oriented mindset. I pay these people for their knowledge and expertise.  I also recently attended a six-day event put on by MOBE, the company in which I am a partner.  It was three days of intensive training and three days of networking and listening to experts in various aspects of online marketing.  The people  I met there were astounding!  I had no idea of the opportunities available to me, and the potential for earning not just a  good living, but achieving financial independence in my retirement.  I had no idea that I could help 100s of others bail themselves out of difficult financial situations and  accomplish their dreams they thought were out of reach.  I had no idea I could make enough money I could then pass on to charities. 

I continue to immerse myself, so that I can teach you how to achieve your financial independence and help others do the same —  so together we can bring great value to as many people as possible. 

I strongly recommend you immerse yourself too.  You do not have to do this alone.  In fact, you cannot do it alone. It is with the help of your Mastermind circle of encouraging friends, coaches, and mentors that you will succeed and reach your goals.     

Step 3.  Create Content with Authority

Can you guess the fastest way to become an authority?  Go get an MBA?  Nope.  Takes too long, and you won’t learn much that has value in this business.   First become a six-figure earner?  No again.  It might help, but it won’t make you an authority quickly. 

The fastest way to become an authority is to BE one — by teaching.  That’s it.  And you can start doing that tonight. Really.  Take what you’re learning here that has value — and pass it on in your own blog!    Invest in your education.  Learn, and pass it on. I love that saying.  Pass it on.  It gets contagious.  Others will do the same, and you’re off and running! 

You may remember the news item of someone at the drive-up window at a Burger King.  She paid for her own lunch — and paid for the lunch of the people in the car behind her.  Remember what happened?  The guy in the car behind her did the same….and the people in the car behind him did likewise.  That went on for 54 cars!!!  It’s part of the “pay it forward” phenomenon which the New York Times said in an October 2013 article, seems to be sweeping the country. Anonymous generosity. 

Passing it on @ McDonald's
Passing it on @ McDonald’s

The point is, when people get something of value, they usually want to pass it on.  Do the same with your blog, and you’ll be surprised at what the people who read your blog do with what you’ve given them. 

In my humble opinion blogging is the absolute best way to pass it on.  One of my blogging coaches said in a webinar last night that he gets leads and sales from blog posts he wrote four years ago!  Over time, it just gets easier and easier, which means you have to work less.  And isn’t that the whole point:  freedom to do what you want when you want?   

Step 4.  Build and Serve Your Circle

My mother, may she rest in peace, often said to me, “Peter, if you want to be successful, hang out with successful people.”   This is great advice.  We want to go where we are celebrated and appreciated for who we are and what we’re doing, and other successful people do that readily.  Build an audience around you of successful, supportive, encouraging people.  Provide value for them.  Return their gifts to you in kind.

Above all, avoid those in your life who are the naysayers. You will never be able to explain why you want to be an entrepreneur to someone who doesn’t want to be one, or to someone who doesn’t think it’s possible for you. 

Several months ago, I was complaining to a close friend about a woman I’d been dating for some time.  She  seemed to come up with every reason why I couldn’t make this entrepreneur thing work.  She was convinced I’d fail!  She couldn’t see my vision, or thought the vision wasn’t important.  She just didn’t get it. 

His response was immediate:  Dump her!

As you move forward

Whew!  I am so glad he said that!   I did, in the kindest way possible, and I no longer have those messages coming in from her that were creating doubt and hesitancy in my own mind.  I now have only  encouraging words from the rest of my circle.    I can’t afford to have negative people in my life, and neither can you.  So weed out the naysayers and build a circle of supportive and encouraging people  — your own Mastermind group. 

An aside:  Sometimes it’s going to be the people closest to you who are negative, people you can’t remove from your life.  I have a couple of those in my family.  The way I’ve handled it is simply not to talk to them about what I’m doing and let the results speak for themselves.  My guess is they’ll come around once they become aware that I’m making a ton more money than they are. 

Step 5.   Monetize

Monetize means  to turn your blog into a money-making machine. People value the things they pay for, and my clients who pay the most actually thank me for charging sometimes high rates because they get great value from what I give them.  So you have to provide them with things that are valuable to them — advice, services, or products.  And the more they value them, the more they’ll pay. 

So you’re blog should provide exceptional value.  You cannot make money without providing value on a consistent basis.   

My three blogging coaches have found ways to make money from their blogs.  One of them, John Chow, is the top earner in my company.  He’s been blogging now for only four years with MOBE, starting from scratch with no income.  Today, he’s a millionaire and then some.  In May of this year, he earned $80,000 from his blog.  In June, it was over $100,000.   He has proven to me that it can be done, and that’s exactly why I pay him to be my coach.    (I am surrounding myself with highly successful people like John.  He is part of my Mastermind circle.)

The term “mastermind” is not mine.  Napoleon Hill coined the term in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, which  if you have not read, I strongly urge you to do so.   You may purchase the book on amazon.com, by clicking here.     

So those are the Five Steps to becoming an expert, an authority.  

If you would like to learn more about how you can build a successful online marketing business, please leave a comment with your email or phone, and I’ll be in touch with you right away.   

Next post:  Uncovering your WHY…the next  important step before you begin any business…and defining your goals….

Charting Your Course to Financial Freedom

Over water bungalows with steps into amazing green lagoon
A Belizean water bungalow with steps leading into an amazing blue lagoon

Does this scene seem far out of reach for you?  It did for me until quite recently, even though for years  I’ve wanted to vacation in Belize. I’d managed to get into my 60s without saving almost anything for retirement —  which suddenly was looming.  Talk about being worried!  OMG!  Near panic, especially when I realized continuing to work at being a counselor was not going to cut it.  I’d never have enough to support the things I wanted to do after leaving the 9 to 5 world — like vacationing in that water bungalow you see over there.

Something had to change, that’s for sure.  Somehow, I had to earn much more money in a relatively short period of time.

And that’s what this blog is about.  How I found a way to make more money than I ever dreamed of having.  How I discovered it was not just possible, but could be a near certainty if I put my mind to it.   How I’m charting my own course to financial freedom so that I can do the things I’ve always dreamed about.

So come along with me on this voyage to prosperity, and I’ll show you what I’m doing to make sure I reach my safe harbor of financial freedom.  I’ll show you how, so that you can do the same for yourself. I’ll help you.  We’ll make this wild, exciting fun, scary voyage together. 

To be continued…