It’s Time to Step it Up a Notch (Warning: This Might Be Painful to Hear)

It’s Time to Step it Up a Notch (Warning: This Might Be Painful to Hear)

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

That Yoda was a wise little green dude if you ask me.

I’m going to offer a little tough love today. If you’re not up for an online ass-kicking, then I suggest you skip this one.

Some of you probably won’t want to hear this, but it needs to be said. Your future depends on it.

If you’re reading this blog, I assume you have some dream you’re pursuing. Life isn’t exactly the way you want, and you have a dream of changing that. There’s a project or business or life change you have in mind that will make everything better.

And you probably wonder, on a regular basis, will I succeed? Can I really make my dream happen?

Here comes the part that might be painful to hear.

You already know deep down the answer to that question. Whether you will succeed or not isn’t up to anyone else or any external factors.

Whether or not you succeed depends entirely on your commitment.

Think about the thing you’re pursuing. Are you 110% dedicated to it? Do you think about it day and night? Are you willing to sacrifice enormously to make it happen? Is your goal clear and tangible in your mind?

If you answered no to the questions above, I have some bad news. You’re not going to succeed.

Sorry to say it, but someone should. If your “dream” is more of a wish than an all-consuming, I’m-going-to-do-this-no-matter-what desire, it’s not going to work out. Wishes are easily forgotten.

Maybe that’s OK with you. Maybe your dream is really just a hobby, or maybe it’s something to think about to pass the time or entertain yourself with. There’s value in that too. Dreams “keep hope alive” as they say.

But if you want more, if you really want to change your life, change the world or do something extraordinary, here’s where you have to separate yourself from the wishful thinkers.

First off, don’t kid yourself. Tear your dream apart and strip it to the naked truth. What’s left? Is this thing you’re thinking about something you really want, or was it just fun to fantasize about?

You have to be certain here. You have to want this thing as deeply as you’ve ever wanted anything.

Are you there? If so, welcome to a new chapter in your life.

It’s Time to Step it Up a Notch

If you’re with me, congratulations. You’ve moved past if you’ll reach your dream and on to when and how.

Now it’s time to step it up a notch. Or ten notches.

If you’re absolutely, completely and fully committed to making your dream happen, you need to do these things next. These things will keep you from slipping from burning desire back to wishful thinking:

  1. Let yourself become consumed. Don’t feel bad about thinking about your dream every hour of every day. It takes that kind of focus to make big things happen. Just realize you might sacrifice other aspects of your life temporarily. You can balance this by taking time off once in a while, but after the vacation go back to being consumed.
  2. Make a real plan. It’s up to you to figure out how to make your dream real. Wanting it badly enough won’t magically change anything. You have to transfer your dream from thought to reality. A real, tangible plan is the only way to make that happen.
  3. Destroy your exits. Let go of “plan B.” Stop thinking about what you’ll do if things don’t work out. There is no plan B. You’re going to do whatever it takes, and just to make sure, kill your other options so you have no choice.
  4. Immerse yourself in the right influences. Normal people don’t like dreamers around. Dreamers disrupt the normal flow of things and make people feel uncomfortable. Some of these people will try to cut you down, discourage you and make you fall in line. Don’t listen to those people, and don’t spend time with them if they can’t support you.
  5. Find people who will support you. Find people who are trying to do something as spectacular as you are. Immerse yourself in those influences. Spend time every day talking with people who share your commitment to change. This is absolutely essential to making your dream happen.

This is what it will take to make your dream happen. It all starts with a burning desire and commitment. Then it’s time to step it up a notch.

If you feel like these suggestions are irresponsible or dangerous, that’s fine. But save your breath. You’re not a dreamer yet. The rest of us would rather hear from those who are.

Thanks everyone for the massive support you showed me last week with the launch of 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures. It was amazing and humbling. If you’re curious about the results of the launch, check out my post on how to release your own manifesto at Think Traffic.

If any of this post sounds familiar, it’s probably because I’m reading Think and Grow Rich for the first time. Definitely check out this classic on success principles from Napoleon Hill. You can read it for free because it’s part of the public domain now. Thanks Karol for recommending it.

photo by Lif…

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  • Sylvie

    Corbett, once again, I am admiring what your wrote . It’s The sort of validation, from one who already succeed, that I am one the way.
    I have no doubt I will succeed… Soon… And you know why ? because as Jonathan Mead (illuminated mind) said : I am making this inevitable. I have created this inevitabilty mindset that will make me succeed. No plan B … One day, I ‘ll make it … thankd for that good inspiring article, as usual !

    • Corbett

      Cheers Sylvie. Best of luck.

  • TrafficColeman

    Dreams are only dreams to the procrastinators, and people like me see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow..and nothing will stop me from reaching the top.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • Shannon

    “Think and Grow Rich” was one of the most life-changing books for me. You really start to understand that there are no limits after reading that book. It’s been a while, so thanks for the reminder, Corbett. I like the “no holding back” attitude :)

    • Corbett

      Hey Shannon, I’m definitely enjoying the book. It’s amazing when you read something as old and popular as T&GR and realize how much of the world has been influenced by it. Lots of things people write about today seem to have started in that book.

      • Shannon

        Definitely. Even the whole “Secret” phenomenon by Rhonda Byrne came out way after this was written and is theoretically, the same thing. Who knows who was writing about it even before NH was…

        • Rasheed Hooda

          The Secret was inspired by Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles who published it in 1910 shortly before he passed away. It is amazingly simple, “no fluff” book of about 25,000 words. More of Manifesto than a book.

          It is also available for free online in many places. I got mine at http://www.scienceofgettingrich.NET


  • Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist

    Commitment leads to success, I agree with that. If you’re commited, you just keep on going, even if you fail in the first couple of tries. So eventually, you’re gonna make it, even though you might have to accept a couple of changes to your original plan and expectations.

    I always doubt a bit the notion of ignoring “normal people”, though. If you are commited and if you know who you are and what you’re up to, they don’t possess power over you. I mean, of course a powerful peer group is super important, but I also enjoy being in touch with “non-dreamers”, even though they don’t “support me” directly. They mostly think I’m a crazy guy, but that’s okay. Because there are things in their lives that can inspire me anyway, that can teach me lessons, even if it’s just the one of seeing where I don’t want to be. Does that make any sense?

    • Corbett

      Yes, Fabian. Absolutely. I wasn’t implying you should cut all ties to people who aren’t on a similar path, just with those people who actively cut you down or try to rein you in. You know, the negative voices. Neutral voices are totally cool.

  • Eric LaForest

    Freakin’ straight to the point and impactful!

    I feel guilty being consumed by my passion so much with a newborn at home, but’s it definitely takes balance to know that my hard work now, only brightens our future.

    Great post Corbett

    • Corbett

      That’s a tough one, Eric. Not sure how I’d handle running a business with a newborn around. Good luck finding the right balance for you.

  • Michel J. Gagnon

    I tend to agree with Fabian on the issue of “non-dreamers”, although you have to make sure you keep them at arm’s length. (that sounds a bit condescending, doesn’t it? Apologies, not my intention.)

    What I find tricky is the “make your plan” part. We can so easily get caught in over planning, or just planning the wrong way. I do. I tend to get stuck with a to-do-list mentality sometimes. I really need to step back and look at the big picture. In then end, I feel that the “burning desire and commitment” always help us find a way to get what we need.

    • Corbett

      Excellent point, Michel. I’ve seen so many people plan themselves to death without ever starting anything. I think planning is hugely important, but I’d rather see no plan than no action.

  • Sandi Amorim

    Love #1 – Let yourself become consumed. That’s not something you hear very often, let alone encouraged to take on! How many times do we need to go after something in a half-assed way before we learn this lesson?

    Thanks for the ass-kicking; it was just what I needed!

    • Corbett

      Right, Sandi. I used to think you could get what you want while trying to keep everything “in balance.” Now I think periods of intense consumption are essential.

  • Diggy

    Hey Corbett,
    Yeah you are spot on with this.

    I have my sights set on making a full-time income from my blog and own products just like you did. I know I’m not giving it my full 100% but I’m giving it a good 80% plus. Maybe it is time to step it up and go full-out.

    I know deep down I will succeed, I only don’t know how long it will take me before I get to where I want to be. But I don’t care, I will not give up and I’ll get there :)

    I’m very dedicated to this goal, and just like you did when you built up your business, I’m willing to take a year and go live in thailand or mexico, or even move back in with my mom for a year and just work on my projects 12 hours a day until I make it. I’ll decide just before the new years when I’m going to do this.

    Cheers for the inspiration!

    • Corbett

      Great attitude Diggy, I know you’ll get there. You’ve accomplished so much already. Keep at it!

  • Tony Ruiz

    Yea buddy! Solid insights. I use to have a mastermind group in college just for Think & Grow Rich and I’m ready to assemble a virtual mastermind with people of similar interest of my own. Do you know of any people in mind that would be interested? oh and if you have an opening in yours I would love to join in. I know spaces are limited. Just want to make sure that its a committed group.

    • Corbett

      Hey Tony, kudos for setting up a new mastermind. That’s one of the top things I recommend entrepreneurs do. I’ll start keeping a list of people looking for partners. I keep the groups I’m in strictly to four people. There’s a dynamic you get from four people that works for me.

      I’ll let you know if I hear from other people who are looking for a group.

  • Micki McNie

    I love the tough love! Developing your own cheerleading squad is one of the first things I encourage my clients to do, even if it’s a virtual one. I love that Twitter allows us to find encouragement, inspiration, and useful info from people we may never meet — Thanks! I’ve just added you to my online support team. Anyone who says it is okay for me to eat, sleep and breathe my dream deserves a follow… and maybe some baked goods.

    • Corbett

      I’ll be looking for those baked goods Micki ;)

  • Shunit (Shushu)

    I love you (pls don’t take it personally :-) This post is out of it’s world! So on point and in the absolute perfect timing!!!
    The best part?I’m absolutely, completely and fully committed to making my dream happen, I’m 110% dedicated to it. I think about it day and night. I’m willing to sacrifice (and have) enormously to make it happen and my goal is clear and tangible in my mind. I have number 1, 3, and 4 in place, BUT not number 2, NOT GOOD! What to do and WTF???

  • Brett

    Think and Grow rich changed my life. Awesome book, and I’m so glad it inspired you too!

    One of my favorite quotes to get me working is this: “Right now, someone else is training. When you meet, he will win.” (Of course, you can substitute “training” for “working on making their dream happen” or whatever it is that you want to do – and win- at)

    Sounds like you’ve been watching this Will Smith video as well: Will’s Wisdom

  • Will

    Similar words to Gary Vaynerchuk’s. Is what you’re going to do something that you could do 14 hours a day? Could you quite easily stay up till 2am talking about it for the next 2 years without getting bored?

    Then you’re definitely in a position where you’re going to crush the competition (even if that competition is a large company). If you’re THAT passionate about it then people are going to move out of your way.

  • Andrew

    #3 is so crucial that I’d put it at #1. Burn the bridges to safety or the temptation to run across them (or be pulled forcefully by others) will be palpable and mess with your head.

  • Johnny Vagabond

    Spot on and just the tough love pep talk I needed right now. Thanks, man!

  • Jophiel

    Dear Corbett,

    This is a simple, excellent post – thank you for putting it out here. I agree with other comments, #3 is crucial, and something most lifestyle experts don’t mention, probably because it might put people off their clientele.

    Re: commitment, there’s a difference between cutting “normal people” out of your life and not allowing yourself to get dragged down by the “real world”. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron strong” (Emerson).

    FYI, I got the leave of absence and am heading out January 1st. Can’t wait!


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  • Annie

    I love the book “Think and Grow Rich!” Have you ever read “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles? I love those as well as the books by Florence Scovel Shinn. You can find her, Wallace and some other greats here:
    Love to meet a comrade in the pursuit of success!

    Take care,

  • Jackie Lee

    Great post, perfect timing. I’ve been going through this exact thing myself. Number 3 is a doozy, and you have to be brave and bold to even realize sometimes you’re holding on to a plan B. Sometimes it shows up as “multiple streams of income” ~ but when the layers are pulled back it’s just a big fat plan B keeping you from committing 100% and diving in all the way. I cut loose my Plan B, and things are taking off.

    It also seems as soon as I did that, bigger plans came to me, and it was so much easier to implement them because I didn’t have to keep up all the work for plan B.

    Thanks again.

  • Chris

    Well said Corbett. It’s good to have a little tough love. So many blogs like this promise the world and say how it easy it is to be successful once you decide to pursue your dreams. Not you. Good Man. Execution is everything, and it takes Himalayan Focus.

    Thanks for the inspiration AND ass-kicking. I’m bookmarking your site now and recommending it to a few friends.

  • Matthew Needham

    Great post Corbett. This is a very timely reminder for me as I know I need to step things up a gear. Thanks, Matthew

  • Dan

    You know if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m not going to make it happen. But I do have the tools and the desire to make it happen, I need to stop procrastinating and refocus. I know it’s possible, somehow with my halfarsed effort I’ve got at high as 75% of where I want to be, I’ve been lazy and let it slip back to 30-40%.

    The alternative without coming across something else that will spark a fire in me is a life I’m not willing to settle for.

    Thanks Corbett.

    • Corbett

      Cheers Dan, nice to hear from you. It’s been a while. Good luck reigniting things!

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  • Ingrid

    Having the mindset is what I have learnt to change. I have taken the not an option attitude whereas failing is not an option, I have no choice. Focus and staying on track is what Ineed to work on and I am learnig these every step of the way.

    Thanks Corbetts for you straightforward views.

  • NZ Tours

    At the end of the day you have to go for it! Go for your dreams! That’s what I did leaving Brazil over a decade ago and starting a new business in New Zealand.

  • Jonathan Manor

    Thanks Corbett! Really needed this. I found that a lot of people in my life are trying to cut me down, even some bloggers. However, there’s so many people that support me on my quest to make a living off writing, blogging yest, but not just blogging, writing as in everything.

    I placed this in my evernote because I feel like it’ll be my self proclamation that I’ll have to come back to almost everyday. Thanks again. By the way, I’m pretty I already said this, Think Traffic is amazing!

    • Corbett

      Fantastic, Jonathan! Glad you enjoyed this one. Don’t listen to the naysayers. I’ll always be here to give you encouragement when you need it. Cheers!

  • Nick

    I’m going to like this blog.

    My wife and I have ground it out for two years, never losing sight of what the goal is. Her business now has 10 staff and could support us both, my real-estate will be able to support us both within 18 months. 18 months. It’s hard but the alternative is 40 years in a cubicle and that’s no alternative.

    • Corbett

      Wow, that’s impressive. Congrats on the progress Nick. Best of luck with the next 18 months!

      • Nick

        I hope we make it. I read through your blog and you have great content. Look forward to your future posts

  • http://www.Gotpassport.Org GotPassport

    “If you feel like these suggestions are irresponsible or dangerous, that’s fine. But save your breath. You’re not a dreamer yet. The rest of us would rather hear from those who are.”

    Corbett, these were the best lines. Reminds me of the quote — something along the lines of “those who think it cannot be done, should stay out of the way of people who are already doing it!” Love it.

    We relate completely. We sold 90% of our “STUFF” and relocated to Chiang Mai, Thailand after 30 yrs in the US. Life is great. Carpe Diem!

    • Corbett

      Congrats on the move! Sounds like a great change. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Alex Thio

    Just the kick in the rear I needed this weekend. Thank you, Corbett.

    “A real, tangible plan is the only way to make that happen.”

    Working on this RIGHT NOW.

    • Corbett

      Awesome, Alex. Glad you enjoyed it. Good luck!

  • Santiago Rial

    Awesome cable to earth, my man. You have a beautiful way of putting down to words things that sometimes we run through in the back or our minds, or make us feel sad for no apparent reason. You’re good at pointing it down and show it to the world in a way that seems to be appealing for everyone, including those who don’t want to see their situations objectively.

    Cheers, and keep up the awesomeness.


    • Corbett

      Thanks, Santiago. I appreciate the kind words.

  • Fabrice

    Still a great post Corbett!

    from France

  • Ash

    I like the no bullshit you!

    This was refreshing.

  • MD

    Hey Corbett,

    I found you through the SPI podcast. Just wanted to say hey and thanks for the tough love. I’m guilty of handing out ass-kickings at the gym, so I definitely need one when it comes to my online business.

    I promise to leave a more thought-provoking comment next time lol!

    • Corbett

      Cool, glad this was useful. Ass-kickings at the gym should be transferable to business ass-kickings, so you should be fine ;)

  • Laura White-Ritchie

    Perfect timing for me to find these words! We’re moving 3500 miles away in 11 months. To do this the way we want to, we’re working to transition all of our income to online income. It’s easy to loose sight of that in the day to day. But, there is no plan B. We are going to live the life we’ve imagined…and that will happen sometime between now and 11 months from now. It’s definitely time to kick it in gear! ~ Thank you so much!

  • Olga

    Wow, I love to see this… pleases grandmother me, smile all over….
    although you have to have dreams to have them come true….they certainly dont come true by sitting on your butt or “trying” soooo hard !
    The little green man Yoda hung on my wall for years. When clients/customers started: well, I am trying so hard..I just pointed to the picture….you do or you do not. A lot of related material can be found at Mind Valley, I am rather impressed with Vishen Lakhiani and his team…try it…you might like it

  • Jay

    I really enjoyed this post. I like the idea of being consumed by your ideas, so that they are the only thing you think about. It means that all the other little worries in life will come second to that larger goal. I think writing stuff down makes you feel more accountable if you don’t get it done, especially if you spread it via social media. Just like you said, writing something down makes it tangible. Makes it obtainable.

    Excellent post!

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  • Anna Selner

    Very nice post. I know how one can struggle working freelance but, when it is your dream and if it suits your personality, it can be an incredible experience. Thanks to share your knowledge and your tips!

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  • Francois TR

    Thank’s Corbett, this is good advise.

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