I'm not smart.
I've just done many stupid things that didn't work out...
Plant them before you need them.
Don't build an audience when you need it.
Build it before you need it.
Market your product before you have it.
And not when you have it.
Look for a new job before you need it.
And not when you need it.
Don't start writing when you have a book idea.
Start writing before you even know what you're going to write about.
Things take time.
A lot of time.
Things take time to go from a seed into a beautiful flower.
Or a strong enough tree.
Don't plant your seeds when you need them.
Plant them before you need them...
1 out of 1000 people will end up buying your product.
1 out of 1000 fans will become your true fans.
1 out of 1000 people who download your free book will end up finishing that book.
1 out of 1000 views will turn into a subscriber.
A couple of years ago it was probably 1 out of 100.
But things have changed.
It got a lot more crowded.
Pretty much everywhere.
1000 true fans doesn't sound like a lot.
But what no one usually talks about is that when you're starting from scratch, from nothing, then you probably need a million people to know about you to get those 1000 true fans.
And that's a whole different story.
Just a whole different story...
Every time I see these posts about analyzing successful people's habits, about what makes millionaires millionaires I just can't help but wonder why the authors of these posts aren't millionaires themselves.
Or as successful as the people they write about.
After all, they introduce us to the habits we need.
The steps we need to take.
The map we need to follow.
So if they decoded other people's successes how come they aren't as successful themselves?
Why aren't they millionaires?
After all, if all it takes to become successful, to become rich or what not are just a few habits, then everybody should be able to become rich, successful or what not, right?
But that's just not the case.
It's never the case.
Becoming successful, rich or what not is sloppy.
But I don't really know.
Because I'm not successful or a millionaire.
And looking back you can always find millions of reasons as to why someone was successful.
As to why they made it work.
At the end of the day it's such a complex thing that can't possibly be broken down into anything.
That why to me all of this stuff is pretty much useless.
It won't help nobody.
Except maybe the author.
After all, no one who ever was successful wrote a book about how exactly they got successful.
About their habits.
Because they probably know that it's been such a sloppy and messy process that it can't possibly ever be replicated by anyone following any of their advice.
Probably also because it wouldn't be such a sexy story.
It would probably be a very depressing story.
A story that would probably not get a lot of clicks.
A story that would probably sound like way too much work for most of us.
And too much uncertainty.
So we just keep reading this kind of stuff.
Why are people who write about millionaire habits not millionaires?
At least in the short term.
Simply because whenever you do something new, something you've never done before then you're going to encounter roadblocks.
A lot of roadblocks...
No matter what.
No matter how much research you do.
No matter how much you think you know.
There will always be dozens of things popping up you didn't think of before.
Things you didn't even know existed.
And what usually happens when you realize that it's going to take you ten days instead of just two days is that you're going to get upset.
Or maybe even depressed.
Or what not.
Maybe you're even thinking about giving up.
That it was maybe too much.
That you can't handle it anymore.
And then your moral goes down.
And with it your creativity.
And pretty much everything else.
And when I say you, I'm basically talking about myself.
And that's the problem with most people.
They listen to all of these gurus out there who talk about getting out of your comfort zone, about doing new things and all of this stuff.
But they never really talk about how hard it is to do new things.
To get out of your comfort zone.
No one ever talks about the roadblocks.
And it's just hard to do new things, to get out of your comfort zone and at the same time get over all of these roadblocks when you have a gazillon other more important things to do.
Like feeding a family.
Or paying the mortgage.
Or what not.
Most people are not ready for the roadblocks.
Simply because no one told them about the road blocks.
And even if people do, experiencing them yourself is a whole different story.
So peopple just give up when they encounter too many roadblocks.
When they feel like they can't handle all of the roadblocks anymore.
The things they feel like they didn't sign up or.
When the truth is that you signed up for a bunch of things you didn't even know about.
That's what doing new things, what getting out of your comfort zone is all about.
That's what makes it so hard.
So most people give up at the first, second or maybe even third roadblock.
And they will never finish anything.
And when you never finish anything, then you'll never learn anything.
And instead of becoming more creative you just become more and more upset with yourself.
So what can you do?
I don't know.
But here's what I do...
I expect the best and prepare for the worst...
It's almost always them.
But as they're the ones who decide, it doesn't make any sense to complain about them.
It's a waste of your time.
And instead it makes sense to figure out what they really want.
Instead of forcing them to want what you have to offer.
This never works.
So instead of forcing people to buy, read, listen or watch what you want them to, try to figure out what they want to buy, read, listen to or watch.
At the end of the day the market decides.
No matter what.
And if you blame the market for not wanting your stuff, well then maybe you should think about giving the market what it really wants.
What it really needs.
I know it's tough.
It's tough to figure out what the market really wants and when.
Especially because in most cases the market doesn't even know what it wants.
And that's what makes it so tricky.
On the other hand it's so much easier to just offer the market what you want the market to want.
And then just hope that you're right.
But hope is never a good strategy.
Just like complaining never is.
So how do you figure out what the market really wants?
What it really needs?
I don't know.
But I think that realizing that you don't know, that no one really knows is the first step...
This is the only way to learn anything new.
No one is going to pay you to learn something new.
Something you're not really, really good at.
You're only going to get paid for things you already know.
Things you're really, really good at.
That's why people pay you in the first place.
Because you know what you're doing.
But that also means that if you insist on getting paid for each and everything you do, you'll never learn anything new.
Sure, you shouldn't work for free when it comes to the thing you're already really good at.
The thing you use to make a living and already have a proven track record.
So the only way to learn anything new is to do it for free.
To get rid of the mindset that everything you do, you need to get paid for.
If you think like that you'll stop learning the moment you leave school.
Or what not.
So here's the thing...
You'll never end up writing that book if you wait for a publisher to find out about you.
Write a blog instead.
Self publish stuff online.
The same applies to music, art and pretty much everything else out there.
You'll also never end up starting a company if you wait for that investor to show up and invest in your idea.
Bootstrap that business instead and work for free.
If you keep waiting for people to take the risk, if you keep outsourcing the risk to other people, then you'll never learn anything new.
Then you'll keep doing what you've always done.
And you'll stop learning.
So instead, take the risk yourself, do stuff for free, learn new skills and invest in yourself.
Will it pay off?
Maybe it will.
Maybe it won't.
It worked for me.
I write for a living.
We live in a time where pretty much everybody who has a phone and Internet access can do great things.
Whatever great things look like to you.
But the only way to get there is to do the uncomfortable.
The things most people are afraid of doing.
And it doesn't really matter anymore where you're from.
Or where you live.
Or what you've done in the past.
Or how much money you have.
It doesn't matter whether you live in Africa, Asia, Europe or what not.
If you're willing to do the uncomfortable, the things that everybody else is afraid of doing, then you can rise to the top.
Then you can have an impact.
In your community.
In your city.
In your country.
It's never been easier.
Everybody can make it work.
No matter your background.
It's still very hard though.
And you've gotta be willing to put in the work.
A lot of work.
More work than anybody else.
When you set out to do the uncomfortable longer than anybody else then you can make it work.
But there's no guarantee.
For anything in life.
Most people want to do the comfortable things.
The safe stuff.
But that will only get you to a place where there are millions of other people competing for that one single chair to sit on.
No matter where you're from or where you live, you can always rise to the top of your community.
How do I know?
I don't know.
I'm just a regular guy from Germany writing every single day...
Or a great entrepreneur.
Or a great what not.
Most people think they can learn about leadership by reading books.
Or by studying existing leadership styles or models.
But what do you do when an employee sits in front of you crying?
When someone feels offended by what you just said even though you have no clue what the hell just happened.
When you're about to run out of cash and don't know what to do next.
They don't tell you what to do when this kind of stuff happens.
And this kind of stuff happens.
All the time.
Maybe they tell you what to do.
But this kind of stuff usually doesn't work in fight or flight mode.
So here's the thing...
Leadership is about people.
And we're all different.
With different backgrounds.
And different experiences.
And different ways of thinking.
There's no one size fits all model for leadership.
Each and every person has to be treated differently.
And that's hat makes it so hard.
At the end of the day it's about empathy and understanding people.
And you don't learn that by reading books.
Or learning everything about leadership models.
The people you're trying to lead all have different backgrounds.
And different ways of thinking.
And it's about seeing and feeling the differences.
And there's no blueprint for that.
Or a step-by-step process.
There's just doing.
And making mistakes.
And learning as you go.
And putting yourself in other people's shoes.
And it all starts with you.
Leadership is about leading yourself first.
If you don't know how to lead yourself, then you'll never be able to lead anyone else..
But why should you even listen to me?
You probably shouldn't.
I'm just trying to lead myself here...
Probably the hardest thing in life is to figure out what your end goal is.
What the legacy is that you want to leave behind.
What you want to be remembered for.
And because it's such a hard question, we tend to postpone it until the very last second.
But it's just very, very hard to start working on your legacy when you only have a few seconds left.
Just very, very hard.
Sure, some people might say that this stuff isn't important.
That it doesn't matter.
And it probably doesn't.
Until it does...
So whatever you do, think about the things you want to leave behind.
The things you want to be remembered for.
And by the way.
A family is also a legacy...
And once you've answered that question for yourself, once you know what's the legacy you want to leave behind, then try to base every single decision you make on that end goal.
Base every decision on whether or not it'll bring you closer to that end goal.
Whatever it might be.
It sounds simple.
But it's not.
Because it requires a lot of sacrifice.
And a lot of pain.
And a lot of saying “no” to the things you'd like to say “yes” to.
It's not going to be easy that's for sure.
Will it be worth it?
I don't know.
There's no guarantee for anything in life.
But when it's all over you'll at least be able to tell yourself that you've tried everything you possibly could.
That you gave it all you got.
At the end of the day we ain't got nothing to lose.
We're all going to die anyway.
Some people sooner.
Some people later.
There's no escaping this...
And if you don't know what your end goal or your legacy might look like, if you don't know what will get you closer to your end goal, then try as many different things as you possibly can.
To figure out what works and what doesn't.
To figure out what gets you closer to your end goal and what doesn't.
Focus on your end goal but be flexible on how to get there.
Have some sort of theme.
Like helping people for example.
And then figure out how you can get there by trying as many different things as possible.
And then focus on the things that work and have the biggest impact.
Live life backwards.
That's how you ultimately move forward.