In 2004, I spent my days driving long hours in a water delivery truck and lugging bottled water in stifling desert heat into convenience stores, for which the company paid me about $30,000 a year.
I had no idea what to do with my life.
I was just going through the motions of life, stuck in the rut of paying bills with no end in sight and wondering how to escape that rut. I wanted to do something important, something that really mattered, something that harnessed and developed my full potential to make a difference in the world.
But I couldn’t figure out what that was or where to start.
Can you relate?
Today, just over ten years later, I’m a bestselling author, high-demand and highly-paid freelance writer, teacher, mentor, speaker, and entrepreneur earning a substantial six-figure income.
I’ve published two books. I work from home doing what I love to do. I set my own schedule. I have no boss. I ask no one for time off or for a raise.
I know who I am and have absolute clarity on my purpose.
If you were to ask me how I would spend my time if I had $100 million in the bank, I would answer, “Exactly what I do every day now.”
I’m not bragging, mind you. I’m pinching myself and wondering if I’m dreaming.
I’m mining my path to find valuable nuggets that you can use on yours.
How did I go from being stuck in a dead-end, hard-labor, low-paying job to living the life of my dreams within ten years?
More importantly, how can you do the same?
Here’s what I did:
- I discovered my gift for writing.
- I figured out how to get paid for that gift.
- I cultivated and developed that gift consistently.
- I stayed in the trenches for ten years.
In short, I found something I was good at and that I loved doing and, as Steven Pressfield puts it, I turned pro at it.
Paying the price to develop one gift has opened up every other door for me.
Because I turned pro on writing:
- I became an expert on WordPress, blogging, email marketing, direct response copywriting, landing pages, online lead generation, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and all forms of internet marketing — all because I was simply trying to figure out how to drive traffic to my own site and to build an audience. I use these skills now to create online courses.
- All of that eventually turned into a marketing consulting company and a website design company, in which I made over a hundred thousand dollars.
- I’ve written published two books of my own and ghostwritten, co-authored, or substantially edited sixteen others.
- I created Life Manifestos.
- I started my Inspiration Weekly newsletter, which widens my audience and spreads my influence.
Everything I’ve accomplished in the past ten years has been a direct result of my writing.
If you want to get unstuck and achieve monumental, life-shifting breakthroughs, you need to find the ONE thing that, if you do it consistently for the next ten years, will completely transform your life.
Note carefully the four essential components of this breakthrough plan:
- Find something you love doing.
- Find a way to apply it that creates value for others, for which they are willing to pay you.
- Go pro on that one thing. (Read Steven Pressfield’s book, Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work, to learn what that means.)
- Stay in the trenches for ten years or longer.
You may have to develop your gift on the side, part-time.
Remember Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words:
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Read Longfellow’s poem, “A Psalm of Life.” Pay particular attention to the last line.
Get it? THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS.
Just because something comes naturally to you doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay a price to develop it.
Major breakthroughs never happen overnight. They are the result of consistent effort over long periods of time.
You have a gift. The world needs your gift in professional form.
What could your life look like ten years from now?