First of all, excuse the vague and somewhat mysterious title. There are several topics on which I disagree with Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” but I have to admit, he knows how to market. And oddly enough, I’ve seen that his click-baity book and video titles actually work. So for the sake of getting you to click on what I (biased as it may be) feel will be valuable to you, I’m taking a (title) page from Kiyosaki’s metaphorical book on marketing.
Why start on this tangent about click-baity blog post titles? Because three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to use a title like this. In fact, I wasn’t able to use a title like this. I ran a blog called Profitable Matters on what I felt was a high-integrity moral code. No click-bait titles, no ads, no aggressive marketing tactics – only providing value to my readers. Or so I told myself. And you know what happened? I made no money from the blog and my monthly visitors didn’t increase nearly as much as other blogs that started around the same time. Eventually, I got demotivated, burnt out, and shut the site down.
Granted, you might be thinking, “It’s hard making money from a blog even when you are doing all those things,” and I agree. However, I came to realize that it wasn’t integrity that stopped me from doing some of those things – it was my pride and fear of what people would think if I did do those things. Wouldn’t my friends and family think I was a sellout if I used a title that didn’t explain exactly what my post was about? And don’t even get me started on what random strangers might think if I put an ad or two up!
This fear of what other people might think of me has been a struggle for as long as I can remember. I won’t get into why that is in this post, but this fear has led to doubt and depressive episodes that have made it difficult to do anything successfully to obtain more financial freedom. I even questioned having children out of fear that they might end up just as depressed and scared of life as I had been. But that’s enough darkness for one article – let’s get into what has helped me more than anything to live a happier and more successful life! Although it may not be new, I promise it’s something you need to go back to if you’ve stopped actively working on it.
The Formula for Success is More Than “Just Doing It”
Being successful with your goals – whether that’s financial, physical, or in relationships – involves much more than just getting out there and “doing it”. I love listening to Gary Vee’s motivational rants as much as the next person, but I think they often miss a key aspect of what average people like us go through. So we try just going out and “doing the thing”, only to fail and feel as though we don’t have the discipline or the extroversion or the energy to accomplish anything great. There’s some sort of invisible mental barrier that blocks us from reaching our full potential. But I believe I’ve found the key to getting past this mental blocker.
After a particularly difficult time in high school, I found a book called “Learned Optimism,” by Martin Seligman. This book helped me understand why I was feeling hopeless and taught me how to consciously reframe the way I was thinking about my problems. It made me question people’s intent, which at the time I assumed was evil and out-to-get-me.
I had heard of being positive, but it honestly seemed like a bunch of money-making fluff made up by people who didn’t know what real depression felt like. But this book showed me how to apply positive thinking in a way that actually improved my life! Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you’re open enough to accept life’s lessons 🙂 I also want to make it clear that this isn’t something you can “learn” and then move on to the better things in life. It’s something you have to practice every day, and start over when you slip into negative thinking – but it does get easier.
More recently, I was looking for new opportunities in the job market and had several interviews lined up. Oh, and also a newborn child less than a month old. That’s when I stumbled across an old book (written in 1963) called, “The Million Dollar Secret Hidden in Your Mind,” by Anthony Norvell (talk about a click-baity title!). This has become my favorite book of all time and I’ve listened to it over 6 times (on my 7th now!). I’ve listened to it so many times because that’s how many times I need to be reminded of its message.
I think that average people like you and I have a base level of optimism and positivity. And unless we are constantly working on elevating our thinking, it will slowly move back towards that base. That’s why you can listen to a motivational speech, feel ready to start a business or start saving, and find yourself in the exact same spot six months from now. And that’s why certain people like Gary Vee don’t talk about this – they have a natural belief in themselves that makes them oblivious to the fact that a lack of this belief is the biggest blocker of all.
Here’s The Secret
Let’s put this secret into words. The first step is realizing that you have the power in your mind to be great. To start a business. To get a better job. To make millions. Your perception controls everything. For example, let’s say there are two people who give gifts to a friend. In both situations, the friend takes the gift and doesn’t say a word, just walks away. The first person thinks that the friend is the rudest person alive, is ungrateful, and ruminates about this for the rest of the day. The second person tells him/her self that the friend has never done anything like this before, they were probably just having a bad day, and that either way, giving the gift was a good thing. Who is now more able to go home that night and work on a side business or go through their finances? The person emotionally struggling, or the person who told a more positive and rational story about what happened? This power is inside of you.
Second, your mind is magnetic. According to “The Million Dollar Secret Hidden in Your Mind,” there is some crazy power in your mind and in the universe that draws things towards it. “I think, therefore I am” – if you think it, you become it. So when you make any negative or self-degrading statement like “They’re much smarter than me” or “I’m too introverted to do anything great,” it will become true. So what’s the solution? Tell yourself that you’re healthy, confident, smart, etc. They may sound like affirmations, but they’re much more when you believe in the magnetic powers of your mind that will eventually give you the thoughts, ideas, and motivation to make them true. Do your best to only think positively. Instead of ruminating on a potential argument at work, visualize yourself getting along with that person and getting congratulated for doing a great job. It’s the same amount of mental energy, but one will give you more energy and power while the other drains you.
The next variable in this formula to mental success is failure. Look forward to failing. I tried dropshipping products from China to people in the US and I was certain that people would immediately ask for returns, call me names for selling them cheap products, and maybe even sue me. Positive thinking made me able to try dropshipping in the first place, but I was still pretty nervous. But after selling a wallet to a customer and receiving no complaints or lawsuits, I realized that to that one customer, I was providing value. I since stopped the dropshipping because I didn’t like the high shipping times from China, but some of my fear of selling went away. Failing has also made me more confident in starting a business and makes it easier the next time. Positivity gives you the confidence to do what needs to be done in spite of the fear, and then failure helps the fear go away completely.
Finally and most importantly – you have to stay consistent in your pursuit of positive thinking. It is the key to everything. If you commute to work, play an audiobook on the way there that may snap you out of negative thinking (I recommend any of the books above). Make it a point to think of positive scenarios for the day each morning for 10 minutes. It will feel like a struggle if you’re prone to negativity, but your belief in yourself will grow as you do it. I promise that you are capable of financial greatness. So:
Financial Greatness = Forced Positivity (words, thoughts, visualizations) + Failure + Consistency
What has helped you finally be able to just “do the thing”? Comment below!