Easy Button Syndrome

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

There is a very simple reason that most people don’t find any success…it is because they don’t want to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. For many the words “hard work” are what they are striving hard to avoid as they spend their days chasing easy cash and getting “something for nothing.” If you spend any time in the “make money online” community you will see countless adverts for one short-lived program after another which all promise massive financial rewards for little financial investment.

These programs exist because they fill the need of the lazy and the work-shy who all want something for nothing and they are short-lived because they simply don’t work. You are better off buying a weekly lottery ticket if this is your mentality but most of us want a little more certainty in our lives than the odds of becoming a lottery millionaire.

If you are relying on luck to find success then you are wasting your time because luck has nothing to do with success. Instead you want to make the most of the opportunities which come your way and which you grab with both hands and work on until you get the success you desire. Will you have to work hard to turn opportunity into success? You can bet your life you will and that is why opportunity is often dressed in overalls and looks suspiciously like work.

But the hard work will pay off because work brings rewards and as you are the boss you can choose the work you want to do. As long as it is something you enjoy in an area you feel passionate about then the hard work will be pleasurable and you will actually seek out more and more of it.

So dig deep into your inner resourceful self and come up with a plan of action both to seize opportunity when it comes your way and to actively seek it out if it is not in your neighborhood. Nobody wants to give you something for nothing and nobody will value you unless you first find a way to add value to their lives.

Live Your Passion

“People are like sticks of dynamite. The power is on the inside, but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit.” – Mac Anderson

Nobody can live your life for you and neither should you let anyone attempt to do so. Sometimes we follow career paths we have little or no interest in just to please our demanding parents but this just leads to unhappiness and a deep sense of disappointment. Your life is your own and you owe it to yourself to pursue your dreams and to live your passion. Some people might see that as selfish but it is nothing of the sort. When you are true to yourself you can let your passion shine through in everything that you do and this will inspire others to follow their passions too. Live the life somebody else wants you to live and you will inspire nobody.

In order to unleash this dynamite-like power from within you have to allow yourself to follow your passion and your burning desire in life. Live this passion to the full and once the fuse is lit then there is no holding you back. It does not matter whether you have a mainstream passion or have one that is obscure or off the wall. If it gets you excited than you can be sure it will get others excited too and because there are others like you then there is money to be made and you are ideally placed to make money from it.

Think of all the times you have seen someone who clearly loves their job – the sort of person who looks forward to Monday mornings and always seems to have a spring in their step and enthusiasm in their voice. Well that person could be you. There is no law to say you must settle for a job that you hate, which keeps you with just enough money to pay the bills and robs you of so much of your time, yet many of us settle for such a job as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Don’t let that be you and don’t sit around waiting for someone else to come along and light your internal fuse because that rarely ever happens. Find your inner spark, light your own fuse and see how your passion propels you forward…and carries others along in your wake.

Success Doesn’t Come Easily

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz

There is a very good reason why most people never come anywhere close to getting the success they think they deserve from life…they simply don’t want it enough. Nearly everyone wants success but few are actually willing to put in the hard effort required to get it. You have to crave success, you have to battle hard to get it and you have to overcome every obstacle and road-block which comes between you and the success you desire.

I don’t know what great achievement it is that you desire but I do know that you will have to battle against great obstacles to get it. Some of the obstacles will be small and easily conquered while others may seem utterly insurmountable…at least at first. Everyone who has achieved something big in their lives has battled adversity…absolutely everyone and you are no different.

The easy option is to throw in the towel when the going gets tough and let self pity take over as you seek to blame others for your lack of progress. You may look towards someone who has achieved what you want to do and blame them for your woes. How many times have you heard this pitiful cry of the underachiever: “Well it is alright for you because you are good with numbers/were born with a silver spoon in your mouth /have the right contacts etc…I don’t have any of the resources you have…I didn’t stand a chance…I was doomed to failure from the very start.”

Nonsense. Utter nonsense. You doom yourself to failure by not wanting success badly enough to blast the obstacles out of your path as you march on-wards towards your goal with steely determination. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are the only person in the world who has had to battle adversity – believe that and you doom yourself.

Keep your eye on the prize and embrace the obstacles which block your path. Embrace them in the sure and certain knowledge that your success lies on the other side. You just have to navigate a path to the other side. Ask anyone who has gone before you and they will tell you of the hardships they have had to face down. Now make a determined effort to face down your own hardships and never again blame anyone else for your lack of success.

Time Is Our Greatest Resource

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Althsuler

Some great things about working for yourself are no time clock to punch, no boss to answer to and you get to do whatever you want with your time. The problem is knowing how to balance that time efficiently in a working from home environment where family members and even pets can constantly demand your attention. Remember that we started our own businesses because we wanted to do whatever we want, whenever we want. The key is setting up boundaries so others know when they are allowed to interact with you. Here are some tips:

Decide on your business hours.
Define your working hours. Post a sign on your office door when it’s ok for family members to come in and when it’s not and, except for genuine emergencies, stick to it so that everyone in the house gets on a schedule with you. Just because you are at home in front of your computer doesn’t mean you are free to fix everyone’s problems. Your clients, partners, employees and vendors also need clearly defined times when they can and cannot conduct business with you. This is your business and NO ONE cares how much of YOUR time they take up if there is a benefit in it for them. You work at home for YOU not for others.

Take breaks.
Remember back in school when you had 20 minutes for recess? Now I’m telling you to do the same thing – take regular 10-20 minute breaks away from your computer. Get up and stretch, go for a walk around the block. Do anything you want that doesn’t involve work or computers.

Define your home office space.
It will help you compartmentalize between work time and personal time. Designate the space around your computer as “work space.” If you are lucky enough to have a spare room to devote to office space, keep the door closed. Keep a barrier between work and home. If you have just the corner of a room, make sure to keep only business related stuff there. When work time is over then spend time with your family away from the computer.

Work is important but don’t let it take over your entire life. Make the changes now so you can enjoy the time you have without a state of constant chaos.

Don’t Wait For The Perfect Moment

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Maybe it goes without saying but whenever you decide to do something you always have to start somewhere. The problem is that many of us either never get started or begin working on important stuff far too late because we have been holding back while waiting for the perfect moment. We keep waiting for the perfect moment even when, deep down, we know there is no such thing as a perfect moment to do anything.

Very often we are just making excuses not to act rather than waiting for the ideal time to act. We may tell ourselves something like: “I will start the project when I have raised a little more money, done a little more research, talked it over with my friends, set up my website etc.” Or we may take the more negative approach and say something like: “Yes of course I want to get started on this project but now just isn’t the right time to do so.” Either way the job never gets done and yet another golden opportunity has passed us by.
Perfect does not exist. There are no perfect circumstances and there is no ideal world but there is where you are now and what you have got right now. That is where you must start your journey; from where you are and with what you have at your disposal. By all means have huge ambitions but start small and let what you are working on evolve naturally over time. Maybe you see yourself at the head of your own multi-national corporation. It could certainly happen but if it does then that is something you would build up to over a considerable number of years. It would almost certainly start out with you putting plans in action to offer your goods or services to one customer.

Comparing yourself unfavorably to others will also not help get the job done. “Well it is alright for Tom because he has a rich uncle, university degree, family to support him while I have only got…” We can all make excuses for not doing things but they don’t change a single thing about your personal circumstances. Look, you are where you are so that is your starting point. It will throw up its own set of unique challenges along the way but you are resourceful enough to deal with life’s challenges, so deal with them.

Banish the Energy Vampires

“The pessimist complains about the wind…the optimist waits for it to change; the realist adjusts his sails.” – Lucio Seneca

I guess we all know people who could be described as pessimists and while we all have it within ourselves to be a bit down from time to time some people just seem to actually enjoy being depressed. These are the people who seem to be their own personal little storm clouds of doom and despair and seek to suck the very life-force out of all those around them. I bet you either know people like this in your life right now or have had known such people in the past.

The problem with people who complain about the wind (and everything else under the sun too) is that their pessimism can be contagious. If you are not careful they will bring you down with them and crush your spirit in the process. Given that we can never rid the world of negative people, the trick is to try and take control of how others interact with us.

When you find yourself in the company of someone who is being negative about everything, remember that you don’t have to follow them into a cycle of negativity. You can tell them that you don’t share their views but you don’t have to argue with them. There may come a time when the best solution is simply to remove yourself from the influence of negative people in your life. Instead start surrounding yourself with people who are smart, focused and goal-orientated so that you can be inspired by their positive emotions as you seek to improve your life every day.

Remember that your interactions with people should help you and not hurt you. Don’t wait for people to change – the chances are that they will not change – but adjust your sails and seek out the waters where others who share your goals and ambitions can be found. You are in control of your own life and that means you are in control of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Are you going to choose the negative energy vampires who want to suck the life-force out of you and leave you feeling drained and exhausted? Or are you going to choose the positive go-getters whose very actions and enthusiasm for life inspire you to even better things and challenge you on a daily basis? I know which group of people I want to have around me.

How High Can You Climb?

“Good, Better, Best! Never let it rest, ’til your good is better, and your better, is best!” – St. Jerome

It can sometimes seem that life is an endless series of repetitive tasks that we have to accomplish. We have things our bosses need us to do every day, demands made by our family, favors requested by friends and so it goes. Very often our desire is for the task at hand just to go away. At times like this the temptation is for us to settle for the merely adequate or even the rather mediocre as we declare: “That will have to do” and consider the project finished.

There is a problem with accepting second-best or even third-rate standards in that what might start as a one off soon becomes more common and then even routine. If we are not careful our entire lives can be only mediocre or decidedly average as we condition ourselves to accept standards way below those we are capable of achieving.

Now I am not saying that we should all become perfectionists – far from it. Waiting until something is perfect is often an excuse for never getting anything done at all. Instead we should always aim to produce good work in our lives. “Good” should be our minimum acceptable standard of completion for any project, be it for our work or our social lives.

But we should not be prepared to stop at good. The next logical step is to make our good work better and then strive to make it the best it can possibly be. This fits in nicely with the idea of making slow and steady progress in our business, family and social lives. We should always be looking at new ways of doing something just that little bit better than we did it before.

We can apply this philosophy to every area of our lives and everything that we do. When good is the minimum standard and there is a burning desire to be even better than you were yesterday than the only way is up and you can keep going on-wards and upwards for the rest of your life. You could tell yourself something like this:

“I am a good parent. I am going to be a better parent. I want to be the best parent I can possibly be to my children.” Note that this mantra could apply to almost any aspect of your life.

Do You Have the Courage to Act?

“Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Dr. Maxwell Maltz

It is fascinating to see how some people can take what they are given in life and go on to become ultra successful while others with the same opportunities never seem to achieve very much at all. And then there are stories of people who overcome great adversity to accomplish great things while those with every resource available to them just squander every chance they get.

I think it is fair to say that most people dream of being successful in their lives and it is true that “success” can mean vastly different things to different people. For some it can mean amassing lots of wealth and material possessions, for others it can mean living a flamboyant lifestyle, while for others it can mean achieving academic greatness, fame or the cult of celebrity.

But the only important consideration here today is what does success mean to you? How do you measure success in your life? Are you as successful as you would like to be? And, if not, what are you going to do about it? One thing is certain and it is that it is never too late to change your life around from the life you have now to the one you want to have tomorrow. Even if you have spent years walking down the wrong path there is no reason why you can’t turn around and get on the path you want to be on.

Sometimes all that you need to turn your life around is the courage to act on your ideas. Maybe now is the time to re-examine those yearnings you have always had but have never got around do doing anything about. Often there is an element of risk in following your ideas but rarely in life do we find reward without risk. The calculated risk means that from the outset you accept that things may go wrong in your plans and that you come up with strategies to deal with the unexpected. We can also be too easily prepared to allow others to make our decisions for us. We put too much store in our friends and family who tell us things like: “Oh that is such a stupid idea…you could never do that?”

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

“A jug fills drop by drop” – Buddha

There always seems to be an urgent need to get things done and in modern life it seems that the quicker one project is done the better. Then we rush headlong into the next project, get that done as quickly as we possibly can and so on.

This seems to be especially true in the online world – that fast-paced community where information is always just a few mouse clicks away and if the information we want cannot be found in seconds then we move on to the next page without a moment’s thought. It never ceases to amaze me that in the “make money online” niche nearly everyone is looking for the latest new “opportunity” where they can become rich overnight with little or no effort required on their part.

As a result there are countless thousands of sites catering for this demand with a new money making opportunity coming online almost every day. The sad thing is that this industry has a fantastically high failure rate with most people who seek to make money online never managing to make anything at all. But is it really any wonder when so many millions of people are seeking instant riches or are expecting money to magically appear in their bank accounts while they do nothing in return?

And yet despite all this there are people who are quietly making money online and making very decent livings for themselves in the process. They are not chasing instant success but they are involved with promoting products or services which all have one thing in common…they all add value to the lives of those who buy and use them.

The other thing the successful online marketers have in common is that they discover that the quickest way to make money online is by slowing right down. They start small and grow slowly. These smart marketers ignore all the promotions which claim to make them a millionaire in six months and instead seek to add one customer to their list each day or to make one new sale each day or to make one improvement to their website or their products. This way they fill their jugs one drop at a time.

The people who want to fill their jug overnight find it is impossible to do so but they won’t take the time to allow it to fill up one drop at a time. Instead they spend money on this program and that program until all their money is gone and they are left with nothing but a collection of empty jugs.

Invest In People

“No man becomes rich unless he enriches others” – Andrew Carnegie

You cannot withdraw on a relationship you have never made a deposit in. Start investing in people because they have value. Many times when you make investments in relationships without expecting anything in return they want to give you a higher return in value. You end up getting more than you give in the first place.

Good investors have to give before they receive and most of the time they end up receiving more than they invested. Their overall portfolio has a greater gain than what they have given, even when some of their investments have yet to or never will pay off.

It may seem strange to think of relationships with others in terms of an investment but that is exactly what it is. You are investing your time, your knowledge and your life-experiences in others and in the process you hope to enrich the life of that person along the way. But there is more to it than that because that person also has knowledge and life-experiences to share. By investing your time in that person, you too will be enriched by the interaction.

Building relationships in this manner takes time and effort but the rewards are worth it because these are the very building blocks of solid and life-long friendships. And in a world where the superficial and the meaningless are increasingly taking hold it is important to have solid relationships with people worth investing in.

Now as much as you may want to enrich others you will find that there are many people in life who don’t want to put the time and effort into building a relationship with you, and try as hard as you might, you are most unlikely to succeed in reaching out to these people.

Instead try and find someone who shares your life goals, your ideals or who has a similar set of morals as you do. So many people go into a relationship with the attitude of “what can this person do for me?” but this is the wrong attitude. Seek to enrich others and do so willingly and enthusiastically without the expectation of compensation or reward for yourself. By adding value to the lives of others you will be adding value to your own life in equal or greater measure.