I don't believe that events in life happen randomly. I believe that you meet the people you meet, you end up in places you end up, you work at the job you work for a reason. Each event, each person, each job is a stone in the staircase of your life. They are all leading somewhere. Where? That I'm not sure. But what I am sure of is that everything happens for a reason.
I made the decision to attend Charlotte University instead of Wilmington. Had I left for Wilmington I may never have met Evelina. I started my blog as a way to vent. My blog actually led me to my job at Gatehouse; a job that I desperately needed after I closed my business. Multiple sclerosis seemed like it was the worst thing that could have happened to me. But once I accepted my reality I found a brand new perspective and appreciation for life that I had never known before.
Did all of these things happen completely randomly? Is my life the result of happenstance? I don't believe so. If you don't believe in a higher power, then I understand that this might be lost on you. But for me life has a way of always working out.
I believe strongly in visualization. I learned this fact of the universe when I played golf professionally and worked on my pre-shot routine. In golf my sports psychologist worked with me on seeing the shot in my mind before I hit the shot in real-time. I would imagine the height of the shot, the spin, where the ball would land and where the ball would come to rest. And when I was locked-in the ball would often times fly close to the exact path I had visualized in my mind.
If you can see something in your mind, you can hold that something in your hand. In my current role I visualize myself being the top marketing executive. I see myself in meetings with huge companies. I make myself feel the nervousness, excitement and anxiety of big meetings before they happen. I imagine myself experiencing all the perks of being the top dog. I see myself with all of the things that come with being numero uno. I see the office I want to have. I see myself giving presentations to massive corporations. I visualize every aspect of the position I eventually want to attain. In my world I already possess all these things; they just haven’t manifested themselves yet!
If you can see something in your mind, you can hold that something in your hand. There are some people who do not believe in this principle and that is a shame. Every successful person I know practices this principle daily. Top-level athletes. Hollywood actors. Rock stars and musicians. Writers and authors. They all saw themselves being ultra-successful long before they obtained said success.
If you aren’t practicing this principle, then I highly suggest you read a little and educate yourself. It will change your life.
About once per week I’ll get an email asking me how I maintain such a positive attitude. And I get enough of these emails to make me believe people view me as being a positive person, although, I don’t view myself as a positive person. The truth is I haven’t always been so positive.
In 2007 I began working for Dick’s Sporting Goods as a PGA Professional. My job was to manage the golf shop staff, keep the shop stocked with the appropriate types of merchandise, inventory and maintain customer service levels. For anyone who has worked retail, this short story should register with you.
I worked that job and dealt with customers throughout the store; there were good days and there were really bad days. And as the years moved forward the really bad days began to outnumber the good days 10 to 1. Customers in retail are vicious. They complain constantly. They drop trash on the floors. They spill things and use merchandise to cover up the spill. They leave used condoms in the fitting rooms. They make messes in the bathrooms that you could never imagine (especially the women’s room!). They scream, yell and blame the staff for ruining their child’s Christmas.
The list goes on and on.
Dealing with the public turned me into a person who didn’t want to be around people outside of work. So I began to resent other humans. I began to hate being around other people. I saw the worst in humanity and expected people to be awful. I became a negative person.
Then came 2013 and my retail career ended. Unfortunately, my negative attitude did not. It would take me another year or more to eventually purge myself of those negative tendencies and find “Danny’ again. It was such hard work. Every day I had to focus on finding the good in people and expecting good things to happen. I had to go through a complete revolution of my mind to exorcise the negative demons.
It was a long fight, but it was worth it. I no longer maintain that nasty, negative attitude and I am happy now that people email me asking how I stay so positive. It’s a great reminder to me that people can change if they want to change.
I recall a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few years ago. He was upset because he was struggling financially. He had a decent job, but life's circumstances had turned against him it seemed. He had gone through a divorce that drained his savings. He had had a series of car problems that drained every extra cent he had from his last paycheck. He didn't have enough money remaining to eat and still had 10 days until his next paycheck. Needless to say this friend was down on his luck and was asking to borrow money; which I gave him. The interesting thing is that I had known this guy for a few years and I knew his problem wasn't the divorce or car problems. His problem was that he lived with a broken mind.
This guy's thinking was flawed so here's what I suggested to him–"you need money and you have money sitting right in your house. Let's go through your house and collect up all the things you don't touch and have a yard sale. I'll bet you have close to $500 sitting around." This was on a Tuesday and on Wednesday he ran a free ad on Craigslist advertising his Saturday yard sale. The end result? He made $400.
I started a vintage furniture company with almost zero cash. I went to an estate sale and bought $30 worth of old furniture which I flipped for $175 in one day. I then took and reinvested that $175 and turned it into $400 and I was off and running.
Here's my point: you don't need money! You need a revolution of your mind. Do you remember my question about giving your all? This is what I was talking about. What are you willing to do to change your current circumstances? My friend had never considered having a yard sale, yet he made $400 in 4 days from things he had lying around his house. I created $400 in profit in 2 weeks from a simple $100 investment.
If you have a mind dead set on changing, then you will find a way to change. If you have a mind set on lamenting your circumstances, then you will continue to complain and nothing will change. I can already see the comments, "I see what you are trying to say, but everyone's circumstances are different. Some people don't have anything." And this is true, there are going to be uber-extreme situations where someone in this world doesn't have anything. But I'm not talking about them, I'm speaking directly to YOU!
Here is a simple formula to make more money right now…
$100 – cable
$250 yard sale
=$690 extra money
And I know this works because I did it. I spent 2 nights per week at auctions buying things that had value and then selling them on Ebay or Craigslist. I took everything in our home that we never touched and held yard sales. I attended weekend estate sales and found items I could flip for cash. Basically I hustled my tail off to make $20 bucks here and there and turned that into a few thousand dollars per month. It was a lot of work. It resulted in me working nights and weekends. It took time. But I did it and I created an income flow. The difference was that I had a mind set on finding any way to generate extra money so I did everything I could to scrape together extra dollars to get ahead.
Imagine if you exhausted every avenue to make a few extra dollars and combined that with eliminating wasted expenses!! Everyone wastes a couple hundred dollars per month on cable, cigarettes, eating out, gym memberships, car payments, Starbucks, driving too much, etc.
The question is-which mind do you have? One set on getting ahead and finding a way or one set on accepting getting dirt kicked in your face by life and sitting around complaining? The simple truth is you have extra time and if you have extra time you can use that extra time to make extra money.
(*******even those who have nothing can find a way. Read this story about a man who traded a paperclip for a house!!)
A few years back I made some drastic changes. In 2013 I decided enough-was-enough and I went through a revolution of my mind and habits. Here are a few of the things that I stopped doing which made me a happier person:
I believe having goals and having dreams are two separate things. Dreams can be goals, but not all goals are dreams. For instance, a dream can be to one day live at the ocean and this can also be a goal. But a goal could also be to earn a six figure income, but that doesn’t necessarily mean six figures is a dream. It is easy, however, to see how the six figure income could be a vital part of eventually fulfilling the dream of living at the ocean.
I don’t encounter many adults whose dreams are still alive, who are also actively working and living toward those dreams. I’m not sure why. Maybe people have dreams they just don’t talk about them? Maybe they once had dreams, but somewhere along the line they stopped aiming their life at those dreams.
Do you have active dreams to which your life is solely focused?
Conflict is never easy. And the fact that no person is perfect means we all will deal with conflict at some point in our lives. When conflict is brought to our doorstep by another it can be easier to deal with than when we are the cause of the conflict. It bothers me incredibly when I know I have caused someone I love pain or disappointment, but it is part of life and we must accept responsibility, apologize and move forward; attempting to do our best to not repeat the offense.
Some people enjoy conflict, but I do not. I don’t like anything about it. I don’t like to argue. I find drama to be deplorable. I do not thrive on conflict.
When I first started blogging I had no clue what I was doing or what blogging was all about. What I did know was that I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to spread my net far and wide and have thousands of people read my page. I set my goals based on follower numbers, primarily setting my aim on the types of numbers that a few other big blogs had-Harsh Reality, Don Charisma and The Public Blogger.
These blogs had tens of thousands of followers and I wanted to be in their league. I remember telling a few guys I know about my vision and they said I shouldn’t expect much because most blogs fail and very few ever get more than a few hundred followers. I actually had other bloggers tell me the same thing. They never said I was crazy to think big, but I could tell from their tone that they thought I was a newbie speaking like a newbie. Basically they were saying, “Good luck, but it’s probably not going to happen.”
What’s my point? I am exactly where I had hoped I would be at this point. Don’t allow what others say to deter you from your vision. Don’t let other people’s negativity limit you. Don’t allow yourself to live in the box others build for you.
Visionaries are deemed to be crazy by “normal” people. Don’t settle.
I am a hard worker. By this I mean that I develop a plan, analyze my progress, challenge myself daily and put the time in; basically I show up every day to succeed. I know not everyone does this because I watch people’s actions.
Living in the world of sales and marketing affords me the opportunity to watch a lot of business people and compare and contrast. Living in the world of sales also allows me to watch other sales people and compare and contrast what I do against what they do. I have learned that if you aren’t doing it, then one of your competitors is doing it; so get busy!
I see a lot of mediocre habits. I watch people go through the motions every day. I hear people talk as if they want to be the best, but then watch their actions say otherwise.
I’m not so sure people these days want to work hard. I’m not sure people in our age understand what working diligently means. I am convinced that people have tricked themselves into believing they are doing their best when in fact they are operating at 60%.
The vast majority are coasting; flying under the radar. They live in a world below the top 10%, but above the bottom dwelling 10%. Flying under the radar isn’t a compliment. It means you put effort into not being noticed; going undetected. Those living in the world of the 80% do so because they are comfortable there. The expectations are lower when you live in the middle.
The funny thing is those who live in the top 10% never think about it because they are too busy working. And most times those who think they are a top producer are not and make excuses. Those who say “I’m an asset to the company” or “they couldn’t run this place without me” are the ones who have tricked themselves into believing they are a top producer when in fact they are not.
They are living in the realm of “good enough”. I’m not sure what “good enough” is, but it isn’t okay with me.
The real question is where do you stand? Have you tricked yourself into believing you are functioning optimally when in fact you are coasting at about 60% efficiency?