101. Take the pain. Pay the price.
No pain, no gain. It’s true. So decide if you want to endure the pain that is required to get there. If you want to become good at seducing women you will have to go through a lot of awkward moments trying and failing, being turned down, maybe you will get some nasty reactions here and there. How much do you want it? Can you take the pain? I can’t become an Olympic swimmer. Not only are there genetic limitations I just don’t feel like enduring the pain of swimming hours and hours each day. Not that I don’t like swimming. It’s just that I don’t want to pay that price. Whatever success you want there is going to be a price to pay. DECIDE you want to pay that price or just quit before you start. Save yourself some time and some pain that will not pay off because it will not be enough pain.
102. Cut out distractions and MAXIMIZE your effort
You think you don’t let yourself be distracted? Of course you do. There are tons of shit that manage to capture your attention. Things that have absolutely nothing to do with what you are trying to accomplish. Examine everything you do during a day VERY thoroughly and do what it takes to cut out all distractions. Train yourself to ditch anything and everything that does not serve you and your goal. You’re obviously going to have a much better chance at becoming succesful at something if it’s something you can’t stop thinking about and don’t need to be pushed to do. If it’s something you simply cannot stop doing from morning till night then that’s the thing for you.
103. Don’t react to every barking dog along the way. You don’t have to fight every time you are provoked to fight
People attack you (under the guise of critcism)? Just ignore them. Do not react. Delete their email, their text, ignore their words, ditch them. There is such a thing as useful criticism, but it is rare. Because someone who gives you useful criticism knows that he or she is talking about AND wants to see you succeed. A rare combination indeed. Don’t get drawn into discussions and debates where often people just want to masturbate their ego. Stay away from that shit. Not everyone you meet has to like you or agree with you or be impressed by you. It all doesn’t matter. All that matters is your idea of success and your goal.
104. Don’t let compliments get to you either
If you are the sole judge of your actions and the sole guide on your soul’s mate then cricticism shouldn’t get to you, but neither shouldn compliments…
A truly balanced person thanks the person who compliments him, but doesn’t need the compliment to feel good.
105. Say NO
You can get offers, good and bad. Very good, a little good, sort of good, bad and very bad. Decide what to say yes to and have no qualms about saying no. There are things you do and there are things you don’t do. Simple. Define yourself and stick to it. There are things of value you offer and there are things you don’t offer. If you say yes to everything people ask of you, even if they pay you, you just end up going off in directions that are not for you and will distract you from your real goals. Also say no to some things you would normally say yes to. You gotta be selective.
106. Execution trumps preparation
There is no such a thing as a perfectionist. There is fear of failure. There is masking preparation as being productive and so on. You are not a perfectionist, you are just scared shitless. DOING beats planning and preparing and studying and asking for advice. DO and you will learn. Take steps forward. It didn’t work? Fine, you are now a lot closer to getting it right and you have gained knowledge and skills you could not have gained any other way.
107. Advertize. SELL
People need to know what you are offering. You can be the world’s best piano player, but if nobody knows this then forget about concerts, forget about playing in a band, forget about making money. Make sure people know what you are offering. Learn how to let people know what you do and what you offer. Learn how to SELL. When you want to be succesful at something you will need other people to see that you are good at something. That you have value. Value they like and need and are more than willing to pay you for. Here is a thought to start with: people do not buy products or services, ultimately they buy emotions. So you better succeed at connecting a cool emotion to whatever you are selling. Sometimes the emotional connection is so powerful that one of the shittiest product ever becomes a world wide success (Coca Cola).
108. Have an effective routine and stick to it religiously
You have only 100 concentration points every day. Every decision you make spends some concentration points. The more little decisions you automate the more concentration points you have left for more important decisions and for your creativity. Plus, you can train your body, your system to expect something. If you run every Monday at 20.00 for two years your body wil already be outside running while your mind is still inside groaning: really, running, now? Yes, now goes your system and you run. The first few times you do something new it takes will power. If you don’t have a great routine you will be wasting a lot of willpower points and will easily fall victim to postponing stuff and to procrastination. Plus, if you want to be succesful at something you will have to do it a lot, with great intensity and very regularly.
109. Be excited. Find your Dharma. Your ikigai. Your what you may call it. LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
Love what you do. Be passionate about it. Do you think there would be a new post every day on this website if I wasn’t passionate about writing??? Forming words on paper is still akin to a religious experience to me. So of course am going to write! Do you think Bob Dylan could NOT play songs? Do you think young Bill Gates could NOT programme? Do you think Michelangelo could opt NOT to paint? Of course not. They were obsessed and they loved it. Find the thing you can’t stop doing. Many people tell me they love writing as well. When I ask them what they write they tell me they never get around to do it. I’m sorry, these people do not love writing. They love the idea of themselves as people who love writing, but they don’t love writing, because otherwise nothing could ever stop them from writing.
110. Offer exceptional value
There are billions of people on this earth. Your dream may be rare, but chances are it’s from rare. Somebody is offering your service or your product too. So you better be damn good at what you are offering. You better put the client central to your business and you better make sure the client is satisfied and raving about your service or product.
111. If you are good at something don’t do it for free AND ask a high enough price
Customers who value your services will be willing to pay a fair price. They will not give you trouble, they will not beg for discounts or demand more. Work with customers who have made up their mind and are willing to pay. In my experience the WORST clients are those that get a discount. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I do not give anymore discounts, as I do not want to have unreliable and disloyal clients. The surest sign that you have a client with whom you can build a mutually beneficial relationship is this: YOU understand that your service costs money and THEY understand that your service needs to be paid for.
112. Persevere. Be in it for the long haul
It may take months. It may take years. If it takes longer than five years of very consistent and a lot of work and trying new approaches and you are still not getting anywhere you THEN you consider quitting. But before that: WORK YOUR ASS OFF. Consistently.
113. Help who helps you
Along the way you will need help. When people give you that help be grateful and RECIPROCATE.
Dress for success
114. Am not saying you should become a dandy or a fashion icon, but your appearance does matter. If you don’t feel motivated to take care of yourself why would anyone believe you can take care of anything else?? Depending on the business you are in clothes may matter a little more or a little less, but personal hygiene and clothes that are at the very least CLEAN do matter.
115. The first impression is the last impression and there are proven ways to make that impression as positive as possible
There is almost no comeback from a bad first impression. I don’t want to make you super nervous about starting to work with new people, but yes, the first impression is so crucial. You can’t control this process 100 percent and sometimes people just don’t like you, often for reasons that have nothing to do with you. There are things you can control though:
You can be genuinely interested in the other person.
You can smile.
You can make eye contact.
You express concern for the needs of the other person.
You can ask questions that show you are trying to understand who they are, what they stand for and what they need.
You can impress by trying not to impress. I mean, don’t list all your qualifications, talk too much, or overemphasize why working with you will be so great. Let all that show through your actions, not your words.
Remember their name and use it, but don’t overdo that either.
Give compliments, but be a little critical as well. Like offer a point of constructive criticism per about 5 compliments. Too many compliments and people experience you as a suck-up they shouldn’t take seriously and too much criticism will just make them defensive.
Be excited to meet them. Just don’t overdo. Everything in moderation.
Be true to yourself. If you are not the kind of person that cracks jokes or is loud or is extravert, by all means don’t start pretending you are like that just because you think that’s what people like. People like authentic people who are curious about other people, warm, but not needy.
116. Only marry into a family that supports you. And try not to get married otherwise. Who you choose to marry is a very big predictor of how your life is going to go
A bad divorce can ruin everything. A bad marriage can undercut all your efforts and sap all your energies. It’s almost certainly impossible to keep your business and your marital life separated. You can find this most regrettable, but in the end couples become economic units. You better find a long term partner where your goals are compatible. If you are mainly seeking passionate sex from a partner you’d better stay single and on the prowl.
117. Be demanding. Two strikes, maaaaybe three, and they should be out.
A friend or a business partner can drop the ball once. They can slip up. They can unintentionally hurt you, but if it keeps happening that person has to be cut loose. Don’t be too tolerant in this. You can’t have partners that are simply not as committed as you are. If you want historical examples of people who were too loyal to incompetent subordinates and partners let me know. I’ll send you some good ones of world history altering proportions.
118. Build leverage. You can do a lot, but you can do so much more with the right help
Self-evident. I am a one man blog and I choose to operate that way, but yes, of course, if there were five writers behind this blog their could be five new articles a day, not just one. Probably the quality of the pictures, the editing, the lay-out, the design, everything would improve. But so far I haven’t found the right people to work with. That’s also true: it’s better to work alone than to work with incompent co-workers…
Some businesses and artistic pursuits cannot be done alone. You will be forced to find capable co-workers.
Need a website? Ok, sure, one way to go about that is to go and learn coding and to write a website completely from scratch. But why would you do that? Unless that is going to be your core business (building websites) this is a super counterproductive and time wasting step. Just hire an expert to build the website for you. This is just one easy example, but there are of course millions of examples possible. You do not need to do everything yourself. Pay for help. And don’t always go for the cheapest option. Pay a fair price and get it right the first time.
119. Use productivity hacks
When people feel inspired to do something, why people feel like working one day and not the next day, why people can focus now and not yesterday, why you are killing it one moment and can’t get anything done even with a gun pointed to your head in the next moment is still a bit of a mystery. However, there are things we know about productivity.
120. Your endurance limits are an illusion. You can take a hell of a lot more
You can do more. You can do A LOT more. Whenever you think you really can’t anymore you haven’t even burned 50 percent of your energy.
If you wish to be succesful at something WORK HARDER. A lot harder.
But don’t confuse being buys with… getting actual work done.
If you think you are working really hard and there are underwhelming results you may be working on the wrong thing, you may have the wrong approach or you think you are working hard, but you aren’t.
Keep track of your – real – accomplishments and keep adapting your approach until your accomplishments grow.
And… some things just take a lot of time and effort…
Sometimes there simply aren’t any shortcuts to success and looking for them is just a waste of time.
Do the work.