You might have had your own experience of paying hundreds, or possibly even, thousands of dollars for a course that promised the world yet delivered very little.
Yet, despite the downside, I still love self-help for its optimism, idealism and redemptive promise.
More than that, though, it has some incredibly powerful ideas and practises.
Self-help books turned my life around.
I’d spent 22 years on this planet before I heard a single voice, either in person or through any other medium, telling me I could have the life I wanted (a poor reflection on the societies we live in). Then, I stumbled upon The Power of your Subconscious Mind and started learn about the mind-body connection.
This, in turn, introduced me to other writers, speakers, bloggers and more. Over the course of nearly two decades, I’ve experimented with multiple practises and principles, applied what works and discarded what doesn’t.
Now, in this blog post, I’ll present you with my findings. My hope is that you can apply what I’ve learned to your own life and share in the benefits I’ve experienced.
The premise of this practise is simple. You live in the now when you are completely absorbed in what you are doing in the present moment. There’s no thinking about what you did yesterday or regretting a decision you made 10 years ago. Likewise, there’s no thinking about what you’re going to eat this evening, worrying about a meeting you have next week or whether you’ll get ill at some point in the future.
I often ask clients with anxiety, ‘where are you now?’ I then get them to describe their surroundings and what they’re doing at this precise moment.
Do you understand what this does?
It brings you out of your head and into the world. When you live in the now you engage with your environment. You come alive and are responsive (as opposed to being anxious about the future or depressed about the past).
Although not always possible (and I’m not for a moment suggesting you ignore important parts of the human experience like grieving), this is the best way to live.
Your performance at sports, presenting, coaching and being present for other people will go through the roof. Furthermore, you’ll begin to enjoy life, appreciate the beauty and nature around you and possibly even feel more connected to the universe.
Whether you express this by keeping a gratitude journal, repeating 10 things you are grateful for when you wake up or any other practise you find beneficial, being grateful for what you have is the best way to maintain a positive outlook.
At any given moment, your life is full of negatives and positives. Even the person who lives the life of their dreams could probably find 10 things they’re not happy about.
But what do they, and you, choose to focus on?
This is what’s really important. What you believe is a 5/10 life can easily turn into a 7/10 one when you pay attention to what you have (rather than focusing on what you lack).
Of course, being grateful for what you have doesn’t mean you ignore the negatives, refuse to learn from your mistakes or give up on trying to improve and make your life better.
Instead, it’s about your overall attitude. You become someone who acknowledges the good things they have in their life (and everybody has something, no matter what) and uses these as a springboard to create something even better.
One of the greatest delusions you need to wake up from (if, indeed, you are experiencing it in the first place) is that positive results directly correlate to the amount of effort you make.
The relationship between results and effort is not 50/50 (fifty percent in, fifty percent out). Instead, it’s more like 80/20 (this can be eighty percent effort in, twenty percent result out or, if you get it right, twenty percent effort in, eighty percent results out).
19th century Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, was the first to observe and codify this phenomenon. It can be seen in all areas of life.
The 80/20 principle is most valuable when it comes to eliminating waste.
Let’s say you spend 20 hours a week working on your new business. 20% of this time is spent promoting yourself on social media. However, social media only generates 5% of the traffic to your website.
What should you do?
The 80/20 principle would suggest you cut back on social media usage and redirect your time towards the few, key clients, customers, topics and platforms that are generating most of your revenue or positive results. Focus more of your attention here and watch your business grow.
Over the years, I’ve got into the habit of;
What does this do?
Primarily, recording everything gives you a goal to aim for and the motivation to get there. Furthermore, it keeps you focused on the small steps needed to achieve your big goals.
Often, when you have a big dream, you can get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task in front of you. By recording everything you do, you chunk down, and make yourself aware of a set of standards which, if achieved, will push you in the direction of being successful.
Critics will tell you that the law of attraction isn’t actually a law and that its claims are unscientific and unsubstantiated. However, have these same critics dedicated nearly two decades of their life to measuring the correlation between their mood/energy and their environment (both physical body and external circumstances)?
I have and here’s what I’ve learned.
There is a mind body connection. Changing your state and raising your energy can have a profound impact on your sports performance, sleep, socialising, creativity and dating.
Can it bring you untold riches and amazing opportunities though?
This is harder to gauge. From analysing my own life, I would say that raising my vibration and deliberately working on making myself feel good has played a role (although possibly not directly caused), the many breakthroughs I’ve experiences (getting a publishing deal for one of my books, finding love, building a following for this website).
What about you?
To experience the benefits of the law of attraction, start developing a greater awareness of how you’re feeling on a day by day, hour by hour, basis.
How would you score your energy?
If it’s at a 5/10, what could you do to move it up to a 6? Keep progressing in this manner and you’ll be amazed at how your life changes.
This is the promise of every major religion. If you let go of your worries about how you’ll survive, or achieve a goal, and, instead, have faith that God will always take care of you, then amazing things will happen in your life.
This statement may put you off if you’re not religious. However, fear not, as the principle can be detached from the dogma.
At its core, letting go is about the power of belief. If you believe in yourself, and believe that your life will work out the way you want, then there’s no need to worry, be fearful of anything or try to control outcomes.
This shift, and corresponding release of negativity, will have an amazing impact on your life. Instead of trying to force your life in one direction, you’ll be open to the plethora of ways it’s possible to succeed.
NLP made this concept popular. To master it, you need to look for the industry leaders in your field and replicate what they’re doing.
The idea is that, if they can succeed using a certain method, then you can experience similar results by adopting their strategy.
This is a huge time saver. Instead of wasting years in a trial-and-error process, you borrow from something, or someone, that’s been known to produce results.
You can also apply modelling to your mindset.
Ask yourself this question. How does the person you want to emulate think?
Let’s say you’re an insomniac and you want to sleep well. It therefore follows that you must think like the person who sleeps well.
Such a person doesn’t worry about getting enough sleep or panic if they’ve got something important to do the next day. Furthermore, they’re not super anxious in the evening, worrying about the time and concerned they might miss their ‘sleep window.’ In fact, they probably don’t think about sleep at all!
Learning to think like the person you want to become can remove all the inner blocks that are preventing you from living the life you want.
I hope you enjoyed my list. If you feel I’ve missed any powerful self-help principles and practises then please feel free to mention them in the comment section below.
(feature image taken from Angie flickr account)
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Positivity is great. You need to remain optimistic and upbeat to achieve your goals.
But, how far does this extend?
Are you supposed to ignore the fact your entrepreneurial, artistic or coaching journey can, sometimes, feel impossible and pretend everything is ok?
It would be naive to think you’ll ride a wave of inspiration to the life of your dreams.
Instead, what awaits, are years (possibly even a decade), of hard work, failures, setbacks and lessons learned.
To say it can be a struggle is an understatement. Pursuing your entrepreneurial, artistic or coaching dream could be the hardest thing you ever do.
And yet, it will also be the most rewarding and inspiring thing you ever do.
So, you must continue. You must follow your bliss and see your vision through till the end. However, while doing so, you should understand some of the harsh truths awaiting you (see below) so you can plan for their impact, strengthen your character and increase the speed you, and your business, grow.
I planned to release my latest book, The Personal Freedom Manifesto, in October of 2020. This was a postponed release date. Earlier in the year, I’d promised a summertime release.
Therefore, October was an immovable deadline. Nothing could delay this release.
So, what ended up happening?
The Personal Freedom Manifesto was released on the 1st March 2021!!!
How was this possible?
It’s easier if I show you.
My original concept for the book cover and title bombed. I went for attention grabbing but my audience didn’t ‘get’ what I was trying to achieve (Do you? Leave comment below). As a result, I had to do a rethink, and rebrand, in an attempt to discover something that would appeal.
Almost 6 months later, after countless revisions from the cover designers and a delay in the book formatting, The Genius of Joe Barnes became The Personal Freedom Manifesto, and got its release.
Major projects ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS take you longer than you think.
That website you’re getting designed, which you imagine will take you 2 months, will take you 4. That new product you’re planning to create, which you imagine will be ready to launch in the new year, most likely won’t hit the market until the end of Summer. As Bill Gates once said,
“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.”
So, what can be done?
Solution: Whatever project you’re about to start, begin with this knowledge in mind. Add at least 50% to your proposed deadlines. So, if you think something will take you 6 months to complete, tell your clients and customers it will be 9 (and this really is a minimum). This should help manage their expectations and prevent you from getting down on yourself about your perceived lack of progress.
Here’s the catch 22 situation you might be experiencing.
There’s a good chance you’re an introvert (or have introvert tendencies). After all, introverts are the ones more likely to think deeply, question the world around them and want to go in a different direction. However, to be successful in moving in this new direction, you’ll need to be the face of a new business or creative idea.
It’s very unlikely your work will get noticed by itself. On an almost daily basis, you’ll have to push yourself, or your work, out and into the public’s consciousness.
For a lot of people, this can be very uncomfortable. You’ll feel exposed, any criticism or trolling you receive will hurt and, at times, you’ll want to give up.
Solution: There is no real solution for this harsh truth. However, there is good news.
With time, being the driving force behind your work gets a lot easier. In fact, you may even start to enjoy it. After all, no one believes in your product, or project, as much as you, so who better to sell it? The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more comfortable you’ll become.
This is perhaps the harshest truth of all. The investment you make might be time, money or your heart and soul, but the outcome will be the same. Whatever you had your hopes and dreams set on, will NOT come to pass and you’ll be left picking up the pieces.
Rudyard Kipling writes about this in his classic poem, IF,
“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken,
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
And watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn out tools;”
Experiencing this kind of failure is heart-breaking. Back in 2012, I released my first book, Screw The System. I’d spent four and half years writing it (albeit part-time), put everything I had into its completion and expected it to do well.
My dream was that it would become a best seller and I’d be able to live off the royalties. The reality was that it took over a year to sell its first 100 copies. I was crushed.
Solution: Fortunately, since 2003, I’d been recording every significant positive result I’d experienced in a journal. Just because my book flopped, didn’t mean I stopped.
Ok, so I didn’t sell 100,000 copies, but I sold 100. That was something. I didn’t have 1000 five-star reviews but I had 10. Again, this was a positive.
By focusing on the positives in this way, rather than dwelling on the negatives, it lessened the impact of the failure and helped me learn the lessons needed to ensure my next book would be more successful.
This one is sad. You’ll be excited about the new business you plan to launch, or the new book you want to write, and, in your enthusiasm, you’ll share your idea with your boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent or a close friend, and they’ll look at you as if you’re crazy.
Unfortunately, they can’t see what you see. Instead of excitement, a chance for success and doing something meaningful, all they see is risk and financial ruin.
Solution: Try not to take it personally. Over the years, I’ve learned that loved ones eventually come around and do support you (even if they never understand why you do what you do). Therefore, don’t waste time trying to convince them.
Instead, forge ahead. Go for what you want and you’ll be amazed at how your success can communicate in a way your words never could.
In many ways, the path of an entrepreneur, coach or artist is harder than getting a regular job. The tendency to doubt yourself is greater because you haven’t got a crowd to support you.
Unfortunately, this can make you think society is right and you are wrong. As a result, when times get tough (and they will), you may start to think you’re crazy for ever attempting to follow your dreams.
Solution: Avoid thinking in terms of society being right and you being wrong (and vice versa). Instead, still your mind and listen to your heart. What’s it telling you? If love or inspiration is guiding what you’re doing then you must continue.
Begin your entrepreneurial, coaching or artistic journey and it’s likely you’re leaving behind a regular income. Of course, you can always work part-time or support yourself with a side hustle but, at least in the short-term, you may struggle to maintain the lifestyle you once had.
This causes a lot of people to panic. Next to our loved ones, we’ve been conditioned to value money above any other commodity. As a result, the temptation to give up on your dreams, or allow fear to cloud your decision making, is strong.
Solution: Understand that the ramifications of living on less, at least in the developed world, are mainly psychological. You are not going to lose your home and be unable to eat. Instead, you just won’t be able to afford some of the things you used to do and buy.
This isn’t so bad when you train your mind to focus on what you’ve gained. Remembering that you get to work on an inspiring project every day and create a future where you could, potentially, be financially free, should make up for any short-term sacrifices.
You’re on your own. That’s the way it is. You may hope that a marketing expert is going to come into your life and teach you how to promote your work, or that you can partner with someone to avoid giving presentations, but it’s probably not going to happen.
It’s more than likely you’ll have to rely on yourself for everything. This can be tough, time consuming (as you have to learn new skills), and lonely.
Solution: Commit to the process. Build resilience and embrace your challenges, believing you can overcome all of them.
If you do, an amazing thing happens. People do lend a hand.
Partnerships are, possibly, the most important factor to the success of your business or endeavour, but they only occur after you’ve demonstrated your value.
(image used courtesy of Bernard Goldbach flickr stream)
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I’ve been keeping a journal since September 2002. I don’t write in it every day and its pages lack the titillation and gossip associated with some diaries. However, over the years, it’s been a vital companion as I’ve transformed myself from lonely, directionless, psychosomatic illness suffering young man to confident, driven and dream achieving adult.
My journal is handwritten and spread across multiple notebooks. I’m not a huge fan of technology and, since I started in 2002, before the proliferation of laptops or terms like ‘digital nomad’ ever existed, it just seemed like the easiest thing to do.
As a result, a few years ago, I found myself with a mountain of notebooks – about 18 in total – and a slight concern about what would happen if they were damaged or lost. To pre-empt this problem, I decided to transcribe every one of them into Word.
Recently, I reached Thursday 25th October 2007. Why is this date significant?
Fortunately, he gave it his seal of approval and offered to mentor me through the writing process. However, it was still early days and I had many doubts about the validity of what I intended to do.
My main concern was my sanity. Was I crazy for pursuing a dream to become a best-selling author? Furthermore, what right did I have to think I could write something that good or become that influential?
After all, I was a nobody. I hadn’t been blessed with exceptional writing talent and I had no audience or following to speak of.
Instead, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to say I was delusional. With my degree in Politics, and having two parents who were lawyers, my focus should have been on forging a professional career. Instead, at the age of 27, I had the audacity to believe I could dispense life advice and write a self-help book.
At this point, it’s probably best I hand you over to my younger self. Read the following entry and I’ll then address some of the questions and fears that every dream chaser will face.
Thursday 25th October 2007
I’m feeling a little frustrated with my life at the moment. The inability to move my life forwards is raising some doubts in my mind. I’m starting to wonder if I’m on the right path or whether, in fact, I’m crazy.
Usually, I’d respond to these thoughts by thinking that I should ditch everything I’m doing – coaching, hypnotherapy, book – and live a conventional life. However, now, I can feel my attitude changing.
I realise that this is a battle within me and running away to a conventional life won’t change a thing. I’ve got to overcome these demons inside me and I’ll be faced with these wherever I go.
I’ve come a long way with my book but am I being unrealistic? My goal for the book is for it to become a bestseller and make me a millionaire. What are the chances of that happening?
My curse, or blessing, is that I have an overwhelming desire for something greater than the ordinary. I know I won’t be satisfied with anything less. However, greatness isn’t easy to achieve and I’m putting my whole life on the line in its pursuit. Relationships with women, and money, have been indirectly sacrificed as a result of what I’m doing and who I’ve become.
What’s your dream? If it’s anything outside the remit of what society considers normal, or appropriate for someone of your background or education, then you’ll have, undoubtedly, experienced the same uncertainties that I went through. How will you handle them?
First, you must understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel this way. The way you choose to live your life, and the goals you’re chasing, are different to over 95% of the people around you.
It’s hard being on the wrong side of this statistic. You may feel arrogant for assuming you are right and the majority are wrong. Furthermore, you may question your judgement. Despite your instincts telling you one thing, it can be hard to stay true your dreams when the people around you are telling you another.
This dichotomy can create doubt about the validity of your dream. You might think nobody will accept what you’ve created or have to say. If this doubt intensifies, you might catch yourself echoing society’s thinking as you challenge yourself with recriminations like, “Who am I to think I know better than others? There’s nothing special about me.”
Thinking this way can be a death sentence to your dream. I’ve already mentioned that I began writing my book in 2007.
When do you think it was published?
5 years later!
When did I first have the idea of writing it?
5 years earlier!
Do you get the point?
Self-doubt is a bitch and will destroy your dream. Or, if it doesn’t destroy it, it will cause such a delay that you miss out on many years of living it.
For these reasons, the first thing you must do if you ever question your sanity is to give yourself some breathing space. Remember, it’s understandable to feel a little daunted by having a dream that, in its infancy, other people may not believe in or understand. However, you must never allow this uncertainty to turn into doubt.
Know that you are right for wanting to pursue a path that brings inspiration and love into your life and has the potential to do the same for others. This is how humanity, the planet, and perhaps even, the universe, moves forwards. Inspired individuals, and groups, bring light into the world and, by doing so, cast out the shadows of fear, hatred and confusion.
Martin Luther King immediately springs to mind as an example of a man who went through this process. At first, he must have thought his dream for racial harmony in 1950s and 1960s America was crazy. However, by staying true to his path, he illuminated the minds of millions and helped foster love and understanding throughout an entire nation.
Following your dreams is, perhaps, the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Undoubtedly, you’ll face many moments like the one recorded in my diary above (I still do).
When experiencing them, there’ll be a strong temptation to think about returning to the world you used to know. My knee jerk reaction to facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, or failing to advance, used to be thinking about quitting tennis coaching, hypnotherapy and writing, and retraining to be a lawyer or a teacher.
At the time, it seemed like the easy way out. However, who’s to say turning your back on your dream and following society’s path will actually be easier or provide the reprieve you’re seeking?
Actor and comedian Jim Carrey makes this very point when giving a speech to the graduates at the University of Mumbai at their commencement address in 2014. When mentioning his father, who also had dreams of becoming a comedian yet chose to work as an accountant, he had this to say (click on video below).
Are you ready to take that chance?
If you do, just remember that the battle you must fight, and the journey you must travel, are within. To a degree, the external world doesn’t matter and neither do your dreams (after all, they can sometimes change and be refined).
What does, though, is that voice within you that wants to experience, and express, all forms of love. This must be heeded and, if it’s telling you to take a course of action, even if it’s one society deems crazy, then you must follow. It’s the only path to inner peace I know.
(image taken from Anthony Starks’s photostream on Flickr)
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Let me take you back to 1999. I’m in my first year at University, many miles from home and I don’t know a soul.
I want to make friends. Furthermore, I’m hopeful I might meet my first serious girlfriend. However, something inside me is changing.
I’m starting to grow resentful of my peer group and questioning the university experience.
The last question sticks in my mind. It bothers me and, as a result, I make a terrible decision.
Fuck’em, I thought to myself. If you’re not going to make an effort with me then I won’t make an effort with you.
As I said, bad move. Soon, I was spending more and more time by myself. Conversations were limited to a “hi,” nod or grunt. I’d attend my lectures, go to the gym, watch tv in the common room, occasionally go the cinema (by myself) and that was how I spent my time at University. It wasn’t that I never spoke to anyone. However, in the entire 3 years I was at university, I could count on two hands the number of meaningful conversations I had with other people, much less a laugh or a good time.
Looking back, I can see the extremely negative impact this had on my state of mind. However, later in life, I also discovered a hidden blessing in my isolation.
This experience, and many more after I’d left university, gave me an insight into loneliness. I know how negatively it can affect your mind. However, I also know there is both a way out, and a way to reduce the sadness of being alone.
It’s this knowledge that I now want to share with you. I want you to know there’s hope and, even if it feels like not a single soul cares, happiness is possible.
Before we explore the potential for change, I must issue a warning. Spending too much time alone, no matter how much you enjoy your own company, is not healthy.
Sure, everybody needs time in solitude and moments of reflection. However, when they start to become your life, rather than a respite, you could be heading for danger.
The damage loneliness causes will catch you unawares. My own experience caused me to retreat deeper into my own world.
Without realising it, I became a prisoner to my thoughts. All I could focus on was a series of psychosomatic ailments that I believed were real. I couldn’t sleep, regularly experienced IBS, chronic shoulder pain and had a bloodshot left eye. Thoughts about not getting enough sleep, how bloated I felt, acute awareness of any twinges in my shoulder and phantom sensations in my eye, dominated my consciousness.
As a result, I wasn’t living. Instead, I existed in my head. I may have walked around and attended lectures but my mind was detached from the reality around me.
How did I get myself in this state?
Essentially, I had nobody to calibrate my thoughts and experiences. Nobody was there to say, “Snap out of it, Joe. You’re young, healthy and there are so many ways you could be enjoying your life.” Instead, because I spent so much time on my own, the focus on my ‘problems’ intensified and, as a result, they became more real.
This is the problem with extended periods of isolation. Without realising it, your focus becomes too heavily directed towards yourself. As a result, it becomes easy to overthink, doubt and allow yourself to get bothered by the trivial.
As harmful as these consequences can be, they say nothing of the negative impact loneliness can have on your attempts to socialise. Social skills are real. Spend a lot of time around other people and you know what to say, can avoid awkward moments and feel connected. Spend a lot of time on your own, and social interactions can be punctuated with awkward silences, miscommunication and an inability to relax when in the company of others.
Just what you don’t want!
You need to meet new people to break free from your loneliness. However, you feel totally unprepared when the opportunity to make new friends occurs.
It’s a catch 22 situation. Fortunately, there is hope.
Spending a lot of time on your own isn’t all bad. There are benefits to your isolation.
First, you can focus your mind in a way that just isn’t possible when surrounded with too many distractions.
If there’s something you want to achieve, or a goal you’re working towards, continued and intense focus upon this objective is required. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve achieved a mini breakthrough in my life after periods of clear focus. These almost always occurred after either feeling low due to spending too much time on my own, or failing at something that was important to me.
Somehow the low mood cleared my mind and prevented racing thoughts. As a result, I was able to focus intensely on what I wanted to achieve (because of the seriousness of my situation, I didn’t want to listen to podcasts, music or be distracted by ongoing debates in my mind). It was as if I’d lost all appetite for mental ‘junk’, and was so keen to improve my situation that disciplining my thoughts was no longer a hassle.
The renowned 19th century inventor Nikola Tesla seemed to agree. He clearly valued time alone, and the opportunity to focus his thoughts, when his said, “Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
The second upside to loneliness is that enables you to focus on what matters.
As much as you may want to feel integrated with a group, or experience loving relationships with other people, there is a downside to too much human contact. Not only does it impact the ability to focus your mind, you could find yourself living a life which isn’t your own.
You get swayed by current fashions and trends, you stop listening to your inner voice and, as a result, can end up directionless.
This won’t happen when you experience prolonged periods of loneliness and isolation. You’ve got time to focus on what matters to you. There are no pointless social obligations, friendships of convenience and other people’s expectations, competing for your time. Instead, you can plan your schedule around what you want to do.
Of course, you don’t want to spend your entire life in isolation. However, if, for whatever reason, you find yourself spending a lot of time on your own, you can use it to improve your financial situation, knowledge and physical health to such a degree that, when you do emerge from your social hibernation, you are a far stronger person.
Ironically, this kind of self-reliance makes you more attractive to other people. Suddenly, you’re mysterious and interesting rather than simply being a loner. Your experiences and knowledge mean you have something to offer in one to one and group conversations.
Despite the benefits of being alone, you are probably, still, looking for a way out. This is understandable. Life is so much richer in the company of people you love and find interesting. Therefore, you want to know how to raise your energy so that when you meet people, you’re able to be positive and engaging. Here’s the method I used (and still do).
Whenever I feel lonely, I remember the words of Yoda. In the second Star Wars film, Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back, he tells Luke Skywalker,
“For my ally is The Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you. Here, between you, me. The tree. The rock. Everywhere.”
You feel lonely because you feel trapped; imprisoned by four walls or a society that doesn’t care or that you don’t understand. However, you are not trapped.
As Yoda says, you are a ‘luminous being.’ It isn’t reality (the material) that’s trapping you, it’s your energy. Therefore, every time you feel alone or isolated, focus on feeling good.
Amazing changes will happen when you do this with consistency. You’ll be surprised at how you can transform from lonely, to inspired, in little more than 30 minutes. A situation that once seemed inescapable and never ending, now becomes an opportunity. Nothing can stop you.
I hope this blog post has given you something to think about. No matter how lonely and isolated you feel, and no matter how many years you’ve felt this way, you are presented with a very simple and clear choice.
Either succumb to your situation and allow it to overwhelm you or, master the art of raising your energy and watch your life change. In the words of Andy Dufresne, in Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
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Back in 1903, James Allen’s book As A Man Thinketh was released. The title is an abbreviation of a bible verse from the book of proverbs. In its entirety, it reads, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”
To our modern world, this is a curious promise. 21st century life is about the material. We value what we can see, touch and, most of all, possess. This is real. The laws of nature, which we believe we’ve discovered, govern how our universe works. As a result, we live with the belief we have almost everything figured out.
Compared to these discoveries, what is a thought? The materialist would probably dismiss it as irrelevant mental chatter or understand it as a reaction to the events of the day. However, what if the relationship was reversed? Is it possible that the thoughts in your mind determine the circumstances and events of your life?
It’s a dangerous idea. After all, if you follow this line of thinking then you become responsible for everything that occurs. If you spend too much money and slip into debt then you only have yourself to blame. Likewise, if, after years of stress, poor diet and lack of exercise, you experience a heart attack or develop a terminal disease, then you must accept responsibility.
Although both of these examples appear to have a physical cause – too much spending and poor lifestyle choices – there is a deeper trigger point. The debt might occur after persistent thoughts of impressing people with your gadgets, cars or clothes. Likewise, the illness might occur as a result of focusing on money to the exclusion of your health.
How do you feel about this diagnosis? Are you angry or upset? Do you dislike the idea of being responsible for your misfortunes?
While total responsibility can be a bitter pill to swallow, there is a silver lining to this way of thinking. Surely, if you create your reality through thought then, within your ability, is not just the potential to harm your life, but the possibility of setting yourself free. Persistent thoughts of success will lead to their material and spiritual realisation. Likewise, persistent thoughts of health and harmony will lead to an optimally functioning body.
Society never promotes this idea. We’re taught that the individual is powerless. Not only are we subject to the laws of nature, but we are also governed by the rules of society. As a result, life is very much out of our control. Illness, breakdown of relationships, accidents and our successes and failures have little to do with what we did. Instead, we are granted the comfort of excuses. It was our genes, our personality, our mental disorder or bad luck.
Which option do you prefer? Are you willing to shoulder responsibility in return for the opportunity to create the life you want? Or, would you rather allow external factors to govern the direction of your life while you remain blameless?
After reading this chapter, my hope is that you will choose the former. In doing so, there is an important point to remember.
The Bible states that, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” On first reading, this may appear to be an oxymoron. After all, we don’t think with our hearts. However, on deeper inspection, the Bible hasn’t made a mistake.
Thinking with your head is something that, according to a 2005 National Science Foundation study, occurs 12,000 to 60,000 times a day. Most of these thoughts are repetitive (95%) and have little to no (direct) impact on your life. We can all attest to the fact that merely thinking once about a million dollars or a brand-new Ferrari doesn’t result in their manifestation. However, thinking with your heart is something entirely different and is far rarer.
Thinking with your heart occurs when your thought generates an emotional reaction. This might happen when you’re thinking about an upcoming presentation and a wave of anxiety hits you. Alternatively, you might be thinking about achieving your goal and it generates a feeling of joy. This is thinking with your heart and it shapes your reality.
Understanding the distinction between these two types of thinking reveals what it means to be a positive thinker. The common misconception is that positive thinking involves imagining yourself doing well. For example, throughout your day, you might deliberately visualise yourself meeting your future husband or wife or reaching your sales target.
The reverse applies with negative thinking. Throughout your day, you might repeatedly, although this time unintentionally, see yourself failing. However, what happens if these thoughts, whether positive or negative, fail to trigger an emotional response?
Not a lot. The thought, lacking emotion, won’t penetrate your subconscious and form a belief. Instead, it will be dismissed.
Therefore, to be a true positive thinker, you must be a positive feeler. You must be skilled with your thoughts and aware of your emotions. Don’t get frustrated running hundreds of so-called positive thoughts through your mind wondering why nothing is changing. You’d do far better to relax, choose one specific goal, or outcome that you know would make you happy, and, from time to time, focus on this.
After a while, you’ll build up a connection with this goal or outcome and will train your subconscious to respond with a positive feeling. (In NLP this technique is called anchoring, although is typically performed by touching some part of your body or through a routine). When this occurs, changes happen. You’re able to raise your energy and this will have a dramatic impact on your work, creativity, relationships, sports and anything else that is important to you.
Remember, though, this discipline takes time. Your first step is to adopt traditional positive thinking. Imagine yourself doing well even if, at first, you feel no emotional reaction. Work on releasing the negatives as well. If you catch yourself dwelling on an unpleasant memory, or fear of an event in the future, remind yourself to let go.
With time, you’ll figure out your triggers and be able to generate a positive emotional response. When this happens, you’ll discover that your mind operates in a similar manner to a computer. It has to obey your instructions. Positive thoughts, backed by emotions, will bring you answers and encounters that will advance you in the direction of your dreams.
Perhaps your dreams are on an epic scale. Like Elon Musk, you have visions so great you imagine colonising Mars. Or, like Michael Jackson, you believe you can fly (He was once quoted saying, “We can fly, you know. We just don’t know how to think the right thoughts and levitate ourselves off the ground.”)
Crazy, right? These kinds of people are unhinged and don’t live in ‘the real world.’ However, look at what they accomplish.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX created the first privately developed rocket to carry a commercial satellite into orbit. Michael Jackson, despite being told by everyone around him that it was impossible, created the greatest selling album of all time. So, are they crazy for having outrageous dreams or is this kind of thinking a prerequisite for achieving goals that seem out of the ordinary?
We’re always being told about our limits. According to society, so much is impossible. For example, for a long time, it was deemed physically impossible for a human to run a mile in under 4 minutes. However, since Roger Bannister broke that limit in 1955, over 500 people, in America alone, have matched this feat.
In Arnold’s Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, Total Recall, he mentions that,
In weight lifting, for many years there was a 500-pound barrier in the clean and jerk . . .But as soon as the great Russian weightlifter Vasily Alekseyev set a new world record of 501 in 1970, three other guys lifted more than 500 pounds within a year.
Another limit gets broken. How much proof does humanity need before it opens its collective mind to the idea that there are no limits (or, that’s it’s not useful to think of them)?
Perhaps you are apprehensive of removing the limits on your thinking for fear of what other people might say. To prevent this shutdown, we’re going to make a deeper analysis of Michael Jackson’s comment about people flying.
Of course, to date, no one has been recorded achieving this feat. And, perhaps, no one ever will. However, cast your thoughts back to the mind-set of a human living 600 years ago, ponder the possibility of machine powered flight from this perspective, and you’ll see that you’re presented with a similar situation.
Back then, if someone had said that humanity will crisscross the skies in giant flying machines within 600 years, it would have been considered utterly impossible. However, fast forward to today, and this is our reality.
Do you get the point? For the so-called impossible to occur, it takes people with a mind-set like Michael Jackson and Elon Musk. Such a person, living 600 years ago, would have been interested, rather than dismissive, about the possibility of machine powered flight. As a result of this curiosity, research would have been undertaken, prototypes built and, as the centuries passed, and other illuminated minds continued their work, actual flight would finally occur.
A similar situation might occur with thought-powered flight. Or, it might not. Whatever the case, it serves no purpose to dismiss ideas on the grounds that they challenge the paradigms of our day. For, as we have seen with the examples of Jackson and Musk, thinking outside society’s limitations is beneficial for both the individual and for humanity.
To achieve your dream, you will also have to let your imagination soar. Allow yourself to contemplate the so called impossible, go to possibilities in your mind that have never been conceived before and, by doing so, unlock your full potential.
Never say that it can’t be done. What’s the point? If it can’t, then you’re no worse off than before and, if it can, you could be the one breaking new ground while everyone stares in amazement.
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(by Andy Beck)
How many times have you heard that saying? And how strongly do you resonate with it? Not everyone does. And nor did I, for a long time.
Until a few years ago, I knew intellectually what “you only live once” meant. But I didn’t feel it. This was probably due to my very “normal” upbringing and early adulthood. Preschool, primary school, grammar school, university (where I studied languages), and then a series of 40-hour office jobs that took me through the rest of my 20s.
Sounds familiar, right? Yeah, keep reading.
Around the time I hit 30, I started to question where the hell my life was going. As competent as I’d always been in the office, I didn’t wholeheartedly care about the work I was doing. Friday afternoons were always welcome, and Monday mornings were a bitch. In my teens, I’d always dreamt of being a musician, and I’d dabbled in creative writing. Now, although I was nearing 30, those dreams were still there.
A few months later, back in late 2016, I went into work one morning and learned that my then-employer wanted to put me back into my old department. I appreciated their trust in me, but I really didn’t want to do that. It involved doing work (and talking to clients) that didn’t sit so well with me, and had—in the past—even kept me awake at night.
Worried, I considered my options. I couldn’t stay in my then-department, as my transition there had only been temporary. I didn’t want to return to my old role, of course. But I couldn’t really quit altogether either, not without some kind of plan. I had rent to pay, groceries to buy, utilities to afford, blah blah blah. I tried asking my employer for a 30-hour contract (instead of 40), but was told quite flatly that I didn’t stand a chance.
The days that followed involved some soul-searching, but I decided—finally—that I was done with the 40-hour corporate work week. For the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted. What I wanted, for now at least, was a job with reduced hours that would cover my bills, but give me the time I wanted to build up a side career in music and writing – kind of like strategy B, “The Strategist’s Path”, from Joe’s book Do The Work You Love. What I certainly didn’t want was to retire in my 60s and regret not having lived the life I could have.
And so, in December 2016, I took the leap and quit my job.
Now let me ask you something—has life ever struck you as humdrum? Emotionless? Devoid of meaning? Well try quitting your job. That’s not humdrum. That’s real, baby. 100% real.
Of course, not everyone liked my decision. When I told my parents and close family what I’d done, they were horrified. One of them told me I was “making the biggest mistake of my life”. That’s not an easy situation to be in, when those who you love criticise you harshly.
It took me two months to find a new, 30-hour job. But I got it. And I began to use my new-found free time to craft the life I wanted. A life of Irish/Scottish folk music, and later, of writing a novel on the subject.
Some three years on, I’ve put a CD out, made some money from guitar tuition and gigging, and released my debut novel Folk Springs Eternal, which is gradually selling copies and garnering reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Fair question. What have I learned from abandoning the beaten path and taking the road less travelled? Well, I won’t lie to you, dear reader—I’m still in the 30-hour job I mentioned above, because I’m not earning enough money yet (underline the word “yet”) to do music and writing 100% of the time. Nevertheless, I’ve grown so much over the past four years. Here are the most key things I’ve learned.
That little voice in my head that used to nag, saying things like “this is a pipe dream, Andy” or “stop lying to yourself”, is a damn sight quieter these days. Three-and-a-half years of finding myself, getting to know my weaknesses, and getting better at eliminating them, has helped with that. It’s true that developing mental fortitude is not a five-minute job. But don’t fret; it’s all part of the journey along the rocky road to success.
2. Asking for help.
Never, and I mean NEVER, be afraid to ask people for assistance. I was afraid to do so, for several years, and it held me back. Don’t make the same mistake I did; the worst that people can do is say no (or ask for too much money). Other than that, start getting people on your side who don’t laugh at your ideas, but believe in you and see the value in what you do. Think of ways that these people might help you with your own ventures. You will benefit from their skills, and learn from their feedback.
This is a big one. Hang out with people who believe in you, not with people who don’t. There are some inspiring and enthusiastic individuals out there; if you’re a bit clueless as to where to find them, Joe’s Success Club (of which I am also a member) is a decent place to start. Once you find some people who resonate with you, ask them to be your accountability partner. This is basically where you each set goals, and check in with each other once a week to see how you’re progressing. In other words, you hold them accountable to their goals, and they you. The likelihood of you achieving a goal is 65% higher if you’ve promised it to someone, because you won’t want to let them down. Book an appointment to check in with that person, and the statistic goes up to a staggering 95% .
My own journey towards Doing The Work I Love might not have been smooth so far, but it’s been truly exciting. It feels good when a contact calls you out of the blue, wants some music written, and pays you for it. It feels good to get emails here and there asking for paid translations (another little side venture of mine). And selling 50 copies of my first novel since it came out in September? That feels particularly nice. The results and the social proof will start to come for you, as well.
My story is relatable for anyone who’s just getting started, because like you, I’m not all the way there yet. On the figurative expedition to conquer the figurative Everest, I’m still climbing at around 2,000m (it’s 8,848m to the top). But as Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante once said, “you don’t lose anything for any other reason than if you just give up on yourself.” And giving up is not what I intend to do. Come Hell or high water, I am going to get to the top, motherfucker.
So now…what about you? What step will you take next en route to your own peak? I want you to tell us in the comments. When I die, at least I can say I’ve done something that truly matters to me. If you want to be able to say that about yourself, then remember this: no-one knows what happens next.
In that sense, you really do only live once.
Andy Beck is a devoted husband, musician, multilinguist, and author of Folk Springs Eternal. More information on Andy, and his book, can be found at his website here
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Although the Coronavirus outbreak and, to a lesser degree, The Black Lives Matter protests, have dominated the news this year, the main story has gone ignored. The health of our planet is spiralling out of control. Temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, methane stores are starting to be released, oceans are becoming acidified and forests are being chopped down at an alarming rate. If these actions continue unchecked, the consequences could be catastrophic for both our, and future, generations.
Since I was a young boy, I’ve always had a horrified fascination with man’s impact on the planet. I remember being deeply concerned as a 9-year-old, watching Newsround, and learning about the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I’d feel drawn to a book like Mike Berners Lee’s There is No Planet B.
Having recently finished it, I now want to draw out some of the main themes and statistics. Hopefully these will inform you of the major issues facing the planet and encourage you to read the book in its entirety.
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Are you pissed off with life? Do you feel disillusioned with the world?
If so, you are not alone.
Why are people feeling this way and what can be done?
In my attempt to answer this question, I must draw on two sources. The first reveals how our system is set up and the second explains how we, as humans, are wired.
In a popular YouTube video I created in 2018 (How the World Works and Who Rules It), I postulated that there are 3 types of people living on planet earth (categorised by the amount of wealth they possess).
At the top, we have The Kings, representing 0.7% of the world’s population. These people are fortunate enough, either through hard and ingenious work, family inheritance, manipulation or having the right connections, to be in a position where they can do what they want with their lives. The world is their oyster.
Next, we have The Facilitators, representing 29% of the world’s population. The people that fall into this category are the glue that sticks the system together. In general, they live comfortable but dull lives. They work for, and buy The King’s products, making their masters super rich while, in the process, enjoying a small portion of the spoils.
Finally, at the bottom, we have The Poor. They represent 70% of the world’s population and, in general, are ignored. Individually, they haven’t got much money so they can’t contribute to The Kings wealth. However, collectively, they provide a useful resource for the Kings factories, prisons and a host of menial roles.
What does this analysis mean?
If you take one thing from this brief breakdown of how our world is structured, let it be this – the overwhelming majority of people on this planet are living and working so that The Kings can do whatever they want.
The system isn’t set up for you! In fact, it’s set up to exploit you. No wonder you feel so angry, used and out of place. You were never meant to win or be happy. Unless you are part of the 1% (or, more accurately, 0.7%), you are an expendable asset, here to serve the elite’s agenda.
Evolutionary psychology is the theory that evolution plays a significant role in the way our brains are currently wired. For tens of thousands of years (99% of human existence), our environment was wild. We lived off the land, hunted, gathered and later farmed. As a result, we evolved to deal with an environment where food was scarce, threats were ever present and acceptance within the group, or tribe, was everything.
Within a relatively short space of time, though, huge changes occurred. The Agricultural Revolution brought us one step removed from the way we’d adapted to survive, but the Industrial Revolution and, now, the Information Age, has brought us light years from our ancestral origins.
In some ways, this is a problem. Evolution moves at a far slower pace than human innovation and, as a result, we find ourselves living in a world out of sync with how we’ve evolved to adapt.
Evolutionary psychology calls this an evolutionary mismatch and examples of this phenomenon are everywhere.
We crave fatty, and sweet, foods because we evolved to live in a world where food, and energy, supplies were scarce (a disaster for our health now that we live in a world – at least in the developed world – where there is an overabundance of food). We adapted to live in tribal communities (a clan could extend to 100 to 150 people) and, as a result, feel isolated and alienated by the smaller and smaller family, and individual, units where we now reside. Finally, for millennia, we inhabited the African savannah, with its open spaces and abundance of nature. As a result, we feel depressed by living in polluted and overpopulated cities, hemmed in to our office spaces (or, increasingly, our homes), rarely getting the time to venture outside.
Evolutionary psychology highlights a serious problem. We struggle to function in our present-day environment because our bodies and brains evolved for something else.
I hope the picture’s getting clearer. This crazy world is making us insane. It’s alien environment, and practices, coupled with the fact it’s set up to benefit only a very tiny percentage of the population, make it difficult to find happiness, peace and balance in the 21st century.
What can you do?
Step 1: Reconnect with the natural world
Ideally, find a place to live which is surrounded by nature. Perhaps this is in, or close, to the woods, perhaps this is by the sea or maybe it’s on a farm.
If this isn’t practical, enjoy the natural world as much as possible. Go for trips or walks at the weekend, visit a park during your lunchbreak. Grow food in your back garden or an allotment. Do whatever you can to reacquaint yourself with the sights, sounds and smells of our natural environment.
Taking this step will make you feel better. Staring at a sunset, watching the sun glisten on the sea, scaling a hill and looking over a tree coated valley, will reconnect you with the magic of life. You’ll remember that, you too, have an untamed side and begin feeling more alive.
Step 2: Find a tribe
We live in increasingly smaller units. A husband or wife, with two children is upheld as the ideal. However, is this good for our closest relationships and is there an alternative?
The rise in domestic violence, and increase in divorce enquiries, during the recent lockdown has shown the error of our modern family dream. We haven’t evolved to be in the pocket of just one person, day in, day out. We need to be around more people – friends, people who are committed to working on a similar vision, siblings, parents (perhaps even other lovers?).
Such communal living eases the pressure on our most important relationships, prevents the isolation of living alone and fulfils our basic human need for connectivity.
While this might not be possible during a lockdown, think of other ways you can get connected to your tribe. Online groups (try Success Club), hang outs or just connecting with other people in the world who are on a similar mission to you, can make a powerful difference.
Step 3: Take regular exercise
There’s a reason our brains come with a body, two arms and two legs. We were created to move. It’s unhealthy to stay seated at a desk, or work from home, for 8 hours a day and then spend the rest of the evening either travelling or sat in front of a television screen or laptop.
Whether this means the gym, playing a sport, yoga or dancing, find something physical you like doing and do it on a regular basis.
Ideally six days out of seven. However, if a busy schedule prevents this kind of frequency, then an absolute minimum of an hour, three times a week, will suffice.
Sounds like too much commitment?
Well then make the time! Other pursuits will have to be sacrificed. Work (yes, I said work – I’ll cancel clients to make sure I get my exercise in), family time, tv viewing, socialising should, in some cases, be rescheduled to make sure you exercise.
Besides the obvious health benefits (both physical and mental), it makes you feel alive. Your energy will rise, your mind will clear and you’ll reconnect with your wild nature.
Step 4: Do what you love
Forget money. As much as possible, work because you enjoy doing it.
Get lost in an adventure, or project, that means something to you. You’ll learn how to make money along the way. What’s more important is that you spend every day of your life feeling stimulated. This maximises your talents, helps you come up with great ideas and, invariably, brings products and services into the world that are useful to others.
Hell, money didn’t even exist (at least not in the way we now know it) in the environment we evolved to live in. We did things (beyond meeting our survival needs), because we were inspired to do so.
There is a drive inside of you that is non-monetary. Follow it.
We can never go back to our ancestral origins. However, we can learn from them and create a hybrid style of living that honours what it is we need to feel alive and happy.
Reject the system. Refuse to play a game that only benefits 0.7% of humanity.
The more you harmonise your life with the suggestions listed above, the more you give other people permission to do the same. When that happens, real change occurs. Perhaps your children won’t have to experience the alienating environment that you were forced to endure.
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My dream to become a prominent personal development author, and speaker, had its inception back in 2002. Although I took little action at the time, my mind started pondering the practicalities of reaching this destination.
The problem, as I saw it, was that it would take at least a year to write a book. Then, after that, I had no idea how long it would take to get a publishing deal and start receiving royalties. What would I do for money in the meantime (at the time, I was a post graduate living with my parents and, although I wasn’t in any financial difficulty, I didn’t have more than a couple of thousand pounds to my name)?
My savings weren’t going to support a potential 3-year journey (it turned out to be much much longer). Therefore, I had to have another plan. There had to be some way I could make money in a relatively enjoyable way that would also leave enough time for me to write.
As I write this blog post, in 2020, in turns out that there are a multitude of solutions. I’ve experimented with many of them and I’m going to reveal, what I feel, are the best 3.
Before I do so, let me first explain a few of the nuances. One of these methods works best if you are a UK resident (although still applies to Australia, some European countries and US states). Furthermore, I will be using UK based wages and so, the figures, if you live outside of the island, may not be exact. However, the principles and methodology should still be the same, and, therefore, you can adapt the advice to your particular location.
You can use these methods in the same manner that I did (as a way to support yourself while you pursue a greater dream). Or, they can be combined with each other to provide an enjoyable and, potentially wealthy, lifestyle.
What you shouldn’t do, though, is think that any of them are a quick and easy method to making money. Without exception, they all require effort, a willingness to master the fundamentals of each opportunity and a commitment to stick the course until you are successful.
In fact, throughout my 18 years of being self-employed, I’ve never encountered a legit get rich quick, or get rich without putting in the work, scheme. They just don’t exist.
Back in 2004, I joined a UK based network marketing company called Utility Warehouse. Our M.O. was to sell utilities (gas, electricity, broadband, mobile) at discounted rates and acquire customers from the mainstream providers. Also, as with other network marketing businesses, a large part of the work involved building a team, operating underneath me, who I would train to find their own clients and, as a result, earn a commission off their activities.
I paid £200 to join, received a training day from the company and support from the person who signed me up.
Ultimately, my foray into the world of network marketing didn’t last long. I was with Utility Warehouse for two years. However, despite my brief tenure, I could see that the model worked.
The services they provided were good, it was run by a competent CEO and their share price on the London stock exchange has over 10x since their inception. I feel confident that, if I’d made Utility Warehouse my main focus and sole form of income, I could have, within 5 years, been earning £5000 a month (this was the estimated length of time and monetary figure they were touting to prospective distributors). Subsequently, I have met people who are making a full time living from this particular company.
Of course, the network marketing model expands well beyond the company I worked for. You might also be interested in;
Arbonne – cosmetics and nutrition
Amway – health, beauty and homecare products (if you’re interested in this particular company, then contact Marcus Suitor. I can vouch for him being a great guy. He also helps organise my Success Club meet up group)
Forever Living – Aloe Vera based drinks and bee derived cosmetics
doTerra – essential oils (contact Margaret Holvec – similar to Marcus but she doesn’t have a connection with Success Club)
The beauty of network marketing, if accomplished successfully, is that the bigger you grow, the less work you have to do (this is because it’s possible to build a small army of distributors working underneath you, from whom you earn a monthly commission on all the products they sell and the people they sign up). After 5 years, you might only have to put in 10 hours work a week, yet the cheques will keep rolling in.
At this point, you could enjoy your copious free time, or go all in with your main dream, knowing you are financially stable thanks to your business.
In 2003, I began working as a tennis coach. By 2005, I had added hypnotherapist to my freelancing roles.
The selection criteria for these professions followed a 3-part process,
If you follow these criteria, you could find yourself in an enviable position. As a freelancer, you get to control your hours and charge more than you would if you were performing the same skill as an employee of a company. However, this type of work is not without its downside.
Client acquisition could be your biggest hurdle. Just because you have the skills, and the qualification, doesn’t mean clients will flock to you. It took me a year and a half before I was making a liveable wage from my tennis coaching and I’ve never reached the point where seeing hypnotherapy clients alone could sustain me.
Despite this drawback, though, freelancing still provides an excellent opportunity to make a liveable income. After working in your industry as an employee, you might already have the skills and qualifications needed to make the switch to freelancing. If not, you could consider any one of these options.
Website, or mobile, developer – approximately 1 years’ worth of training and earning around £3000 a month
Photographer – length of time to qualify varies greatly, but an average seems to be around 2 to 3 years, with the potential to make between £20,000 and £30,000 a year
Personal Trainer – you can qualify in under a half a year and charge £30, and more, per hour
Plumber – approximately 2 years of training with the potential to earn around £25,000 per year (or more)
Uber Driver – a matter of months to receive your license and then you could be earning around £500 per week
This option works best for those residing in the UK (although also works for Australia, some European countries and US states). I started matched betting at the end of 2018 after attending one of Ben Father’s excellent masterclasses (see below for more info).
The concept is relatively simple although, if you want to take it to the level whereby it provides a full-time income, you must be prepared to invest time to master its nuances.
Get started by signing up to online bookmakers like Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill (sign up to all of them). Receive free bets for doing so and then use online software (which you can find out about in Ben’s training) to find the sporting events, and odds, that will enable you to use the free bet in a way that guarantees a profit.
For example, the online software informs you that Arsenal beating Tottenham 2-1 in the Premier League is a matched bet. You then bet for this outcome to occur (using your free bet) at a bookmakers like William Hill. Then, you head over to a betting exchange like Smarkets, and bet against Arsenal beating Tottenham 2-1. Because you are using a free bet, and because of the genius of the online software, you will win money regardless of the outcome.
You can trawl through every conceivable online bookmaker using their free sign up bets in this manner. Then, after you’ve exhausted this initial phase, the bookmakers will, in conjunction with various major sporting events (for example, when Wimbledon is on), offer you more free bets. Repeat the process and rake in the money.
Sports betting isn’t the only avenue for taking advantage of matched betting. Once you’ve mastered it, make your way over to the online casinos and use the free bets that are offered.
I experimented with Matched Betting for 4 months. In that space of time, I made a profit from exhausting all the free sign up bets.
At this point, I stopped. The demands of being a writer, speaker, tennis coach and hypnotherapist were just too great for me to continue with matched betting. However, my brief experience taught me that it worked.
£500 a month was the figure I kept hearing at both the masterclass training seminar and from other matched betters in the community. This was relatively easy to make and required approximately an hour of your time each day.
If you want to take it further, it appeared there were people making thousands of pounds per month from mastering matched betting, teaching others how to do it and being an affiliate. A full-time income is possible and, most importantly, it can be achieved without working full time hours.
SPECIAL OFFER: TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MATCHED BETTING, ATTEND BEN FATHER’S FREE ONLINE TRAINING THIS MONDAY THE 13TH JULY AT 8PM UK. SIGN UP HERE
IF YOU’RE READING THIS BLOG POST AFTER THE 13TH OF JULY, CONTACT ME AT JOE@ESCAPETHESYSTEMNOW.COM, PUT ‘MATCHED BETTING’ IN THE SUBJECT BAR, AND I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET YOU ACCESS TO A REPLAY.
I hope you’ve found these 3 options useful. It is possible to make money in an enjoyable way that doesn’t eat into all your free time.
If you enjoyed this blog post, or know a friend who might benefit from reading it, then please share with them or on your social media. Also, if you want to learn more on this subject, then check out my new book, Do The Work you Love. It expands on the ideas listed here, helps you identify your passion and gives you the roadmap to making a living doing it. To learn more, click here.
(image taken from Pictures of Money photostream flickr.com)
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I was teaching a tennis student last weekend and she said to me, “I’ve got to find some way to be famous.”
Ain’t that the truth. Fame, above money and power, is where the real juice is at because fame, unlike money and power, carries with it the implication of excitement and fun. You can be rich and powerful, yet still have a boring life. However, if you’re famous, even if it’s only in your own little universe, you have freedom and fun.
A person can be famous in so many different ways. Youtubers like The Hodge Twins are famous. An author like Conn Iggulden is famous. A financial mogul like Warren Buffett is famous. Even a reality TV star, considered the lowest level of trashy fame, is still famous. Their lives are enjoyable and without the drudgery of having to do things they don’t want to do.
Even an ex-bodybuilder like Flex Wheeler, who’s been through so much pain, is famous, and can fall back on his fame to turn his life around. Keir Starmer is famous (for those of you outside the UK, he’s a politician and leader of the UK’S Labour Party). Even though his profession is completely different from the aforementioned individuals, the fame ensures it’s fun. Therefore, aim for fame in something you are good at and that you enjoy, and you’ll never live a dull day in your life.
I think most people, if they were honest, would admit to themselves that they want to be famous. However, if required to give a public response, they would say that they don’t because they’ve been conditioned by the system to play small.
Society worships fame. Look at the people who flock to celebrities, desperate for a photo or a scribble on a piece of paper; somehow believing that the illusory magic of the famous person will rub off on them. Or, more likely, that said photo or autograph will enhance their status.
Fame, if you’re a man, certainly improves your mating options. Physically beautiful women (although not necessarily inwardly beautiful – which is more important for any long term relationship) flock to famous men. However, what lies above fame?
The ultimate aim of the person who craves fame is the destruction of this status. In a world ruled by love, there would be no need for fame. We wouldn’t be trying to escape the system because the system wouldn’t exist. We’d realise that no one man or woman is better than another and that connection is so much more important than adulation.
In this world, every day would be fun and filled with love because we wouldn’t be running around, working our asses off, so the 1% can live like kings. However, while we live in this money driven world, fame is an understandable desire.
Fame represents escape, freedom and the realisation of your potential. There are few things worse than having to spend your life compromising your desires to the point where you are controlled by societies expectations.
So, seek fame, break free from the system but realise that, ultimately, love is what you should aim for. Use your fame to break the wheel and set up a world where status, hierarchy, and even money, are a thing of the past.
(Image taken from Mitchell Goudie photostream flickr.com)
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