Is it just me or does it seem like the quiet ones that you least expected to succeed in high school are the ones now living the lives we all dreamt of heading into adulthood?
I mean, I guess I heard the idea of people "peaking" early — I just didn't have any true understanding of what that meant when I was younger.
Listen, I'm not trying to prop myself or anyone up in writing this — it's just something that's been on my mind.
I wasn't a part of the "popular" kids growing up. I had my friends and we were always kind of just doing our thing. Then — into adulthood, I moved away from home, "peeked" at what others from my graduating high school class were up to, kept my head down, and got to work.
Now, I'm making a very healthy living doing what I love to do and helping build a community of other badasses achieve the same for themselves.
It got me thinking about all the other weird kids I grew up with and how I notice a lot of them are doing really rad things in life. Of course, I'm able to see some of my own confirmation bias here — it isn't a perfect generalization, however I do think there is a trend.
I don't think I'm anything special.
Of course, I know that me being me is special — just like you being you is special.
What I mean is I don't have any special skills, knowledge or education that allowed me to accomplish what I have and I know there are millions of other people who fall into that camp as well.
In this piece, I'm going to go over the plan and share the strategy I have followed over the years that have helped me build, scale, and grow my online business so you can too.
It starts with routine.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
―John C. Maxwell
I know, I know…
You've heard this a million times already.
However — I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. All great things that come to an individual in life come to them as a result of routine. Shit, all the bad things that come are a result of routine as well — just bad routine.
A study conducted by the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine notes the connection between routine and success,
"Observational research indicates that individuals in good health engage in highly routine health behaviors. For example, those successful at maintaining weight loss often eat the same foods, engage in consistent exercise, and do not skip meals."
Now of course this is alluding to success in terms of physical health. Can we draw reasonable assumptions to other areas of life such as wealth formation, business growth, and content production?
I believe so.
As it pertains to my own experience, I made the routine of writing two 750–1,000-word articles 5 times a week for 1.5 to 2 years (damn that's a lot of numbers in one sentence).
What came as a result of it?
Well, in another article I went over some rudimentary and assumptive arithmetic over how many words I have written over the past several years:
852 articles X 1,250 words/article (approximation) = 1,065,000 words
Now the word count might not reconcile for you at first glance. This is because for the past two years, my article word count has gone up to about 2,000–3,000 words.
Anyway — Give or take I'm still around three-quarters of a million to one million words.
That didn't just happen overnight — that happened as a result of routine and a plan.
- Multiple freelance jobs accounting for tens of thousands in income
- Sustainable 4 and 5 figure monthly income
- Creation and sale of digital products for 30–50% increase in earnings
- Networking with some of the brightest and hardest working minds in the online content space
I'm an idiot.
I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.
I've read too many psychology books to know that one is highly influenced by the conduct and attitude of his or her speech. Of course I don't see myself as an actual "idiot."
What I really mean by "I'm an idiot" is I'm willing to try.
When I started writing online, I wrote about things that had no relevance. With the help of my routine, I started uncovering "blind spots" or things that I didn't see before. I started to see it was more important to write about things that interested people already (a niche). So I started writing about self-improvement, personal growth, and habits.
I've been rejected by publishers more times than I can count (maybe I am an idiot if I can't count that high).
Through it all — I wasn't going to give up, and neither should you.
I followed my "idiot-proof plan" and kept going.
I learned and learned and learned some more.
Next comes the plan.
“Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.”
— Napoleon Hill
One of my top 5 favorite and most influential books is "Think & Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.
The first time I came across the book was in college and honestly, I balked at the title. I thought,
"The audacity! I don't even know who this Napoleon clown is but he can't be serious to name this book the way he has."
Little did I know that Hill had been dead for 40 or so years by that point and the book was over 80 years old.
Finally in my late twenties, I took a chance and read the book. While Hill outlines many different tenants that should be followed in pursuit of success, one of the most impactful ideas in the book lies in the idea of having a plan. In the book Hill states,
"Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”
What is he essentially saying?
Well, the way I interpret it as having a definite target to take aim at. Furthermore, don't waste time taking shots at that target, the act of practicing the shot will get you better and closer to your target.
When I was getting started, I always just thought to myself if I "showed up" (with a routine) that I would be able to achieve the success that I desired.
However — if that were the entire formula, how would I know when I reached "success"?
The key is to know whether I reached the destination or not.
Now, I set goals and follow a defined plan in order to get there:
- I have monthly earnings goals and plans to get there
- I have weekly article production goals and plans to get there
- I have daily task goals and plans to complete them
You can compound your plans onto your routine and then you'll start to see yourself go further down the road of success in this industry.
In the end come the rewards.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
― Benjamin Franklin
Have there been times when I create a goal and a plan in order to reach it and then don't achieve what I set out for?
It happens more often than I want to admit.
Maybe I'm an idiot because I keep trying — even having failed to meet my goals at times
It makes me think, however, what if I never even made plans and followed them through in order to try?
Would I be one of those people who peaked early?
Shit, it's possible I've already peaked or I'm peaking right now — but I'm too dumb to realize that.
I'm just going to keep pushing forward with a plan.
I spent my twenties moving to different cities, taking jobs where one can be looked down upon (restaurant serving). I took flack from my family and friends that I wasn't taking the "right path" and I was losing valuable time not putting in my time with an established company.
Now, with starting my thirties, things are taking shape.
- I work for myself.
- I do the work I love.
- I keep growing and learning in this field.
- I am fully responsible for my earnings.
And I am doing it my way because I had a plan and followed it through.
Did I doubt myself along the way?
You bet your ass I did.
But I didn't stop following the plan I set out with — I was too much of an idiot to stop trying.
You could be a genius — but if you don't have a plan — what else do you have?
When will you know you've arrived at the top of the mountain you're currently climbing?
When will you know you can look down across the proverbial valley and search for a different and more challenging mountain to climb?
If you have a plan you'll know.
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