You know what's interesting? Back in the tail end of 2011, all I wanted to do wasget my ex back.
But I don't even know why because she was so verbally abusive. She called me stupid. She called me a loser. She even called me a complete f-up. That was on so many different occasions too.
Back then I tried to do things right. I tried to take a straight path to success. But because I was such a total f-up in her eyes, I thought I'd try taking shortcuts.
And do you know where those shortcuts got me?
Worse off than where I started.
I'm pretty sure I failed at around 7 things in a row -- in just a matter of months. Things got so bad that I gave up.
I wasn't just stuck in life, I completely gave up.
I was done. Finished. I didn't want to do life anymore. There was no longer a raison d'etre, or reason to live.
So I sent her a letter saying goodbye and planned out how I could never see the light of day again.
While thinking out my options, weighing out the probabilities and getting stuck in my own head of whether I should jump in front of subway, a train, or all these other things that had a low probability of success and a high probability of injuring myself permanently, I figured out exactly what I was going to do.
But that day, she called me, met with me and stopped me. Coincidentally, it was by being as verbally abusive as she always was, by telling me how stupid I am.
Regardless, I gave life a second chance.
Take time to reflect.
For an entire year, I reflected back upon my entire life. I processed all the information, all the mistakes I made and went looking for the root causes to the problems. I rediscovered my childhood and found what had originally inspired me. Thanks to the help of Brian Clark's newsletter atCopyblogger and my friend Neil Patel from high school, I practiced putting my thoughts into words.
Then the next year, after a few more tiny failures, I thought it was time to give my dreams a second shot. I continued to read James Altucher's content and saw he failed -- and won, a lot harder than I did.
Take action by trying something new.
James' words kept telling me to take action. So I did. I started documenting out the events of my life and what I learned through my journey at a few failed startups. Next thing you know, I had 2 million views on my content in 6 months. A book, a few bylines, 20,000 followers and 10 million views in a year and a half.
3 years in, I have a striving business. I've been:
And on top of that, I'm earning more money than I ever had in my entire life -- and all this continues to grow with a multiplier effect.
It's kind of weird, how in such a short period of time, I went from being a guy that no one wanted anything to do with who was ready to toss in the towel, to completely reshaping my entire life.
And all this was possible because I had accidentally stumbled across the art of building a personal brand. Something that I have taught and will continue to teach others how to do in their lives.
Don't do it for the wrong reasons.
Sometimes I forget where I come from, but I do my best to try to remember and recollect what got me to where I am today. From the people who impacted my life, to the people who believed in me, even the simple habits that reshaped who I am.
But here's the thing. I don't care about the money. I don't care about the power. Nor do I care about the fame. I mean I'll take it because I know how to use it.
Stay true to who you are.
In actuality though, I'm still the exact same person I was a few years ago. All I truly care about is the people whom I love -- and the people who love me. Like my close friends who stuck with me throughout the years, my real and virtual mentors, my business partners, my strategic partners, my coworkers, my clients, the people who read what I write, the people who send me kind notes, the generous people who appreciate what I do enough to interview me, the editors at Inc. Magazine (who trust and believe in me and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to write with them for over the last year) and both my family and the select few special people in my life whom I consider to be a part of my family.
I do my best to stay grounded. To stay humble and just be another person who lives in the world. To be confident in my own skin. To remember that I am capable of stumbling across success.
But just like you, I'm just another human. Another human with flaws, fears and problems, who can't be at my very best every single day. Who continues to feel the ongoing fears of life and just like Ginny Baker in the TV showPitch, at times wants to give up.
Keep trying and taking action.
Yet, I continue to try. Because what more can any of us do in life than to just try?
Trying to take that first step and giving something a shot is really what separates the players on the field to the spectators who watch the show from the comfort of their own home.
So if there's anything you're going to do today, I'd suggest doing what I did.
Give something new a try.
Who knows. You may be surprised by the results -- much like I have been. And maybe your entire life will reshape itself, like mine has.
Or maybe things won't work, but that's okay too. Either keep at it and get better or give something else a try. And speaking from personal experience, I can share with you that your dreams are within reach, you just have to do the habits to get you there.
Every so often, I still pinch myself every so often, because it's hard to believe that all of this is real.