At the start of 2017 I thought I'd finally "figured it out"... but by the time summer came, I slipped into depression.
It's strange, because I built a stable, sustainable and scalable seven-figure business ($300,000 per month).
Yet I hated it. I dreaded waking up each morning, spending most of my day self-sabotaging my business, health and relationships. I wasn't happy, and it took meblowing-up my two successful businesses to escape this hell.
It began by investing in myself, and discovering what I truly wanted from life.
I've learned a lot since then, and am today making more money than ever before, working less than I ever have (from 80 to 20-hour weeks), and can honestly say I'm happier than ever.
I'd like to share 10 critical pieces I've discovered along the way, that have not only helped me build three seven-figure business from scratch (in under a year), but lead a healthier, happier and more successful life. Let's dive in ...
1. Stop taking advice from people who have accomplished less than you
Ideally you should take advice from no more than three people.
The truth is, most people waste far too much time consuming content and advice. You don't need a lot, you just need what you need. Find two to three people further along the road than you who will inspire you to become better every single day. Any more than this becomes a distraction.
2. Find a mentor two steps ahead of you
Everyone needs a mentor. It doesn't matter how big you get, you will always need a mentor to keep you on the right path. But, as with the above point, less is more.
You only need one mentor, so long as that person is at least two steps ahead of you. This means if you're at six figures, find a mentor who's pulling in seven figures consistently (and has done so for some time).
3. Forget about normal
Forget about what everyone else has done to become successful, because chances are it may not work for you. You are unique, and the situations, obstacles and opportunities you face are, too.
Discover your unfair advantage, and then use this to create your own version of "normal."
4. Practice 80/20 production vs. consumption
You need to produce a lot more than you consume.
For every hour you spend consuming (reading, watching, listening) you should spend at least four hours producing. This means: fewer courses, fewer masterminds, fewer books, fewer trainings and fewer webinars.
5. Leverage "you" as soon as possible.
Your time and energy matters, and you only have so much of it. This means that as soon as you can, you should hire one of these two people:
1. Someone to help you with your operations/finance/delivery
2. Someone to help you with your marketing/sales
Most entrepreneurs aren't good at both. Leverage your unfair advantage, and hire someone else to take care of the rest.
6. Schedule every minute of your day (even your downtime)
You should become obsessed about productivity, but not only about how much work you produce.
Productivity is as much about how you spend your time away from work, as with your work. You should strive to spend your time wisely at all times, because once you waste a minute, it's gone forever. Treasure the time you have and make the most of it. Those who do live long and happy lives.
7. Forget about your purpose
It's not that having a purpose or vision is a problem. However, that vision of yours is often way in the future and you're nowhere near achieving it right now. It can scare you and keep you stranded where you are.
So, forget about your purpose, and instead focus on what you need to do over the next 30 and 90 days. Build momentum and keep it going, and trust your purpose and vision is out there. It's about the journey, remember -- not the destination.
8. Develop and grow by 1 percent each day
Everything develops in 1 percent increments. Your health, body, relationship, knowledge ... you build it all little-by-little. The time this takes differs, of course, but everything develops 1 percent at a time.
So, at the beginning of each day, take 10 seconds to think about what you want to accomplish today: What will you develop by 1 percent today?
9. Double down on what works and don't be afraid to fail
You cannot fear failure, and you cannot let it hold you back from experimenting and trying something new.
Try everything at least two to three times. Just because it may not work the first time doesn't mean it can't work at all. You need to iterate and innovate, and accept that not all of your ideas will work the way you want them to. But, persistence does pays off, so long as you're willing to experiment your way to success.
10. Spend four hours each day on these four key investments
There are four investments that turned my life around during the summer of 2017:
- Knowledge: Learning
- Health: Working Out
- Audience: Networking and building my tribe
- Character: Reflection, mediation and knowing myself
Success (in business and life) rarely comes down to marketing, sales and operations. They play a part, sure, but you build the real foundations by focusing on your health, knowledge, audience and character.
Not long ago, I found myself almost $1 million in debt. Just last year I slipped into depression, and had no idea how to escape. But, I did by focusing on these four investments, and I've uncovered these other nine critical pieces along the way.
No matter where you right now on your journey, you get to choose what happens next. It's never too early or too late, so take charge of your business (and life) today before it takes charge of you.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors