The Side of Success You’re Most Likely Ignoring

I spend a lot of time with creative people—both online and in person—and one of the commonalities I find is this: struggle.
Creative people, for the most part, have a belief that being successful as an artist and creator is a struggle. That it has to be hard.
And that’s why, for so many creatives, it is. It’s a struggle and it’s hard.
No one is paying attention. No one is interested. No one is buying.
Those are the complaints I hear creative people speaking on a regular basis. But here’s the problem… and it’s two-fold.
First, so what? You either want it or you don’t. You’re either in it for the long-haul or you’re not. If you’re not, or if you have a backup plan, you might as well call it quits now. And if you are, then shut up and do the work.
Being creative is awesome and it’s the thing that drives us, but it’s not enough. You can’t just be creative. You also have to learn the business side of being a creative.
At least if you intend on making a living out of it.
If you don’t want to make a living out of it, that’s fine too. No one says you have to be a professional creative. But you wouldn’t be reading this post right now if you just wanted a side project.
You’re reading it because you want to make a living from your creative gifts. Because you need to. There’s this nagging pull inside you that says this is the only thing you can ever really do with your life.
Sure, you may try to do other things to keep yourself a float, but you always come back to the creative stuff. That’s the stuff that drives you. It’s the stuff that makes you get out of bed in the morning.
And making it your full-time thing is a dream you’ve had, pretty much forever.
So you grind and you struggle and you do the work. Sometimes. Other times you get caught up in your current reality that says it’s not working. Nothing is happening. You just keep getting rejected or hitting dead-ends.
And so you don’t bother to do the work. You stop being consistent and you stop caring. No one else does, so why the hell should you?
But then you look around you and see all these other creative people making it happen. Many of them you’d consider to be a lot less talented than you are. And it drives you insane!! Because you just keep thinking… that should be me.
I should be the one with the deal. I’m the one who should be featured in front of the masses. I’m the one who should be quitting my job to go full-time with my creative life.
Yet it’s happening for others, but not for me.
Then you start to tell yourself the same ‘old stories… they must be lucky. They must have rich parents who paid their way. Life is working against me. Maybe I’m just kidding myself. I must be doing something wrong. I must not deserve it. I must not have worked hard enough yet or struggled for long enough yet.
And it goes on like this for years.
When you start to build up some consistency and are starting to see little hints of success, you suddenly sabotage it by continuing to look around and declare that it’s not working and then you stop being consistent and doing the work… because no one is paying attention, no one is buying anything, and it’s not working anyhow.
It’s tough, this being a creative, thing.
But what if there was a better way? What if there was a way to guarantee your success?
This brings me to the second part of the two-fold problem with creatives: there’s a side of creating success that you don’t know about (or maybe you do know about it, but you’re not paying it any attention).
The metaphysical side.
And not knowing about—or paying attention to—this side of creating success is the reason why you’re not seeing the results you want yet or why things feel like such a fucking struggle.

The metaphysical side is the stuff you can’t always see, but that are in play 24/7/365: your mindset. Your beliefs. Your habits. Your consistency. Your commitment to doing the things that matter, every single day, no excuses (even when you don’t feel like it and even when you think it’s not working). Your willingness to do battle with creative Resistance and doubt and fear and self-sabotage, and finding a way to push through and keep going anyhow.

The truth is, THIS is the stuff that matters the MOST when it comes to creating success. Yes, you have to do the physical actions part. Without that nothing works.
And yeah, you could choose to do the creative thing only paying attention to the physical reality that you see around you to give you direction and tell you what to do next.
But you’d be choosing struggle. You’d be choosing difficulty. You’d be choosing lack and limitation.
And there will always be a better way. A better way that is totally in your control and that you can design and create EXACTLY how you want it to be.
You’ll still work your ass off. There’s no way around that.
But it won’t feel hard. And it won’t be a struggle. Everything will just happen with ease and flow, like it’s naturally supposed to.
The truth is creative humans fuck it up for themselves, because we get in our own way so damn much. And then we’re too damn stubborn to throw in the towel on struggle and choose the easier path, because we’ve been programmed to believe that the creative path is struggle.
So even though the easy path looks so good and sounds so good, we can’t bring ourselves to choose it, because we’ve convinced ourselves doing that would mean we didn’t really earn it.
Creatives are a stubborn bunch.
I used to think and feel the exact same way. Used to procrastinate and tell myself that’s just how it is. Used to be inconsistent with my writing and my marketing and I’d just blame it on my job at the time or make excuses about life getting in the way.
And I even accepted all of the bullshit stories and told myself that it was OK.
Until I finally woke up one day and decided, you know what, I don’t want to struggle anymore. I don’t want to hold myself back anymore. I don’t want to have the same shitty, mediocre existence that so many other creatives have because they’re continuing to tell themselves bullshit stories about “what’s true for them” and refusing to choose the easy path.
I committed myself to the easy path. To a life where I get to be me and write and create what i want to, all day, every day, AND get paid for it.
Committing to the easy path and choosing to give up struggle didn’t come with a silver platter. It came with a massive responsibility.
To show up every day. Even when I don’t feel like it. To work on my mindset. DAILY. To create daily habits that support my success. To be consistent. To put first things first. To be disciplined enough to do what matters, every single day, even if that means sacrificing other things. And to no longer accept excuses from myself.
It’s a lot of work to be successful. But it doesn’t have to be hard.
So you can continue to tell yourself that it’s a struggle and that you just have to keep on manipulating things in your physical reality to try and make something work (UGH!! It’s SO HARD!!!)
Or you can choose to tend to the metaphysical side of creating success, and deal with your inner bullshit—the patterns and the BS stories you’re still telling yourself about who you are or how the world works—and figure out what actually matters and actually moves the needle in your creative work and commit to doing that stuff first things first, every single day, before you do anything else.

Commitment, consistency, doing what matters, putting first things first, creating habits around the most important stuff, and daily mindset work… that’s what it takes to be a successful creative on the easy path.

Are you in?

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What do you need to be putting first things first every day? Share in the comments. 

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Write Your Reality: A Guide to Creating Anything You Want

I’ve always been big on journaling. I kept a journal most of my life, especially during my teen years. But lately my journaling has gone from something I do once in a while to something I do on the daily, most days twice a day.

As a writer you already know how powerful the written word can be. We use our words to change people’s lives, get them thinking and understanding things in new ways, and to entertain them and conjure up memories, emotions and connection.

So why not use our words to powerfully create our own realities?

This was a question posed to me by my mentor a few months ago, and I took it to heart and started writing my intentions every single day in my journal. I even did a video recently sharing all about my journaling practice.

But like anything else, journaling and doing mindset work shifts and grows as you do. So what I was doing when I made that video and what I’m doing today are slightly different. Essentially I’m still doing the exact same thing—writing the intentions I have for my writing life and my life in general.

Except now I’m breaking it down into three sections that help me to be even more specific and to see faster progress.

Now when I write my reality I write it in this order:

  1. Big-picture vision/goals—I write out my intentions for my big-picture: the kind of homes I want to own, the car I want to drive, the writing dreams I want to achieve, the impact I want to make on the writing world. For example, I write things like, I own a bungalow by the beach in Southern California, I drive a 2-door blue Jeep Wrangler, I am a New York Times Bestselling Author, I am the go-to alignment, kick-ass motivation and success mindset coach for emerging authors and authorpreneurs.
  2. Thirty-Day Goals—these are the goals that I have for the next 30 days. This will be much more specific than the big-picture goals and will include things like what I want to achieve in the next 30 days, any projects I want to work on and/or finish, anything I want to buy, etc. So, for example, I’ll write things like, June 2016 is my biggest book sales month of the year so far. I sell 1,000+ books in June 2016. My new eBook, The Pro Writer Mindset, is written and finished and it’s freaking awesome and when I launch the book on June 14 it hits #1 in its category on Amazon.
  3. What I believe (or want to believe, if I don’t already)—this is where I’ll write out the “rules” I want to live my life by. They’re not rules like typical rules, but more what I want to make true for me and the things I want to believe into truth. So, for example, I’ll write things like, Selling books is easy. I am abundant and unlimited. The Universe has my back.

Doing a break down like this each time makes it easier for me to stay focused on the big-picture, while also using the power of intention to create my day-to-day life (which is why I now do the 30-day goals along with the big-picture stuff).

As I’ve started doing my journaling like this, I’ve had incredible things start to happen.

So far for the month of May I’ve sold 523 books (and there’s still all of today left)!!!  And while I did just put a new book out there that has been a huge hit (Align Your Writing Habits to Success), I know a lot of this has come directly from the intention-setting I’m committed to doing every day, because it’s helping cement the mindset I need in order to think like and act like the author who sells that many books each month.

I’m using the power of my thoughts and intentions to create a reality where I sell hundreds of books every month (and more). I’m creating a reality where I make a great living from my books and my writing. Because that’s the reality I want to live in.

Writing your reality is a simple, but extremely powerful exercise that I highly recommend you get into practice with. And you don’t have to do it as a journaling exercise. You can do it however works best for you. Some people like to meditate or pray, others like to visualize or do affirmations.

Doesn’t matter which vehicle you choose, so long as you’re doing some kind of intention-setting on a daily basis.

You create your reality. You are in control. And the sooner you see that, the sooner you can take advantage of the tools available to you to help you take control: your beliefs, your thoughts and your actions.

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