After reading Josh Waitzkin’s book The Art of Learning, I started to think about one quote in his book that there is often something intrinsically linked with the ‘opposite’ side of things. For example, you do not miss someone until they leave for a trip or pass away. You do not realize how important something like your charger is until your phone is out of a charge and you desperately need to charge your phone for that great photo op or to call a ride home.
And I thought about how I could use this quote and apply it to some of the things that I want to learn.
I learned all about resiliency in Neil Pasricha’s book You are awesome. How do you bounce back from failures and missteps? How do you keep your head up when things all around you are down?
How will I build resiliency this year? I will persist even when things look bleak. There is a great activity that I did once from Mark Divine. Think of a body weight exercise that you do, say pushups or situps. Think about how many you can do at once or during a typical workout. Now, take that number (say you can do 20 pushups), and do ten times that amount in one workout. If you can do 20 pushups, aim to do 200 pushups. Do it no matter how long it takes.
When I first tried this exercise, I am ashamed to admit that I quit about halfway through. HALFWAY through! It taught me a lot of things though. One, that my body is far more capable of doing things than I think it can. Two, your mind will scream, absolutely yell at you to quit and if you give into your mind, you will quit. Can you do ten times the pushups you typically do? Absolutely you can!
How to be successful
The more and more I read about different entrepreneurial success stories and hear from business leaders, success is about trying out different things, experimenting, often failing, learning from the mistakes, and then trying again.
I used to think of success as planning out everything perfectly, executing and then hitting the mark right away (say finding, developing and selling a product). That’s not how things work a lot of the time though. You start with something that you believe in (a product, service, etc.). You try to sell it. Based on initial feedback, you tweak it. Maybe you tweak your selling methods. Maybe you tweak your copy. Maybe you adjust who you sell it to. Is something working? Do more of it. Is something not working? Do less of that. Why is it so tough though? Why aren’t more entrepreneurs successful? I think it’s because nobody wants to go through the bad to get to the good.
I’ve written over 200+ blog posts and have been writing approximately twice a week for two years now. Let’s be honest, sometimes, I repeat topics. Sometimes I draw inspiration from books. Other times, I see interesting articles that I steal and put my own spin on it. But I write!
I do recognize though that my writing isn’t perfect, but that’s okay! Some time soon, I will look into taking a writing class or working with an editor to improve my writing. I will write as long as the muse continues to inspire me.
This year, I’m slowly introducing more writing into my life. I used to journal on occasion. Nowadays, I journal almost every work day. I still blog twice a week. And I continue to work on writing books in the background (with what spare time I have). This past year, I’ve even worked with an editor and friends to get feedback on my writing. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to improve your writing without writing.
I’m excited that the book that I have been working on for a couple years now will be self-published shortly. I have a few minor things to do on it and then I will have it out on Amazon. It’s always exciting to be finishing a project, but the one thing that I have never been really good at is marketing the books. My previous five self-published books on Amazon have been selling, though with zero marketing, and so the one thing that I’m going to do in the mean time with my five other books is to experiment with ads to see if that makes a difference at all with sales. I’ll try Facebook ads and one of my friends suggested that I start a pinterest account so that will be something interesting to do to see if it has any impact on sales.
Selling has always been a weak skill of mine. When I self-published my other books and was telling friends, they wanted to buy it and I felt really weird about asking them for money. But I recently read Dean Graziosi’s The Underdog Advantage and when he worked as a car salesman, he took the stance that if he did not sell a car to the customer, someone else would and that car may not be as good (a lemon for instance). If you believe in your product or service, and you know your product or service will benefit the customer and that it is better than your competitors, wouldn’t you rather have the customer buy from you than from your competitor?
Tell me about what you’re trying to learn this year? What skills are you developing or improving? What are you going to do to make yourself 1% better every day?