Category Archives for "Life Lessons"

The Unspoken Truth About Success & Why You Aren’t Successful Yet

the real truth about success

The Truth About Success is that Success isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be wildly successful. If you aren’t successful yet, this could explain why…

Austin, Texas
3:04pm

Most people are afraid to fail in life. Most people are afraid to be fearless, and to take risks. Most people are too afraid to push themselves to be the person they’ve always wanted to be, and it’s usually because they don’t want to leave their comfort zones.

That is why they fail.

It’s also the reason that a large percentage of people alive today are living lives that they aren’t happy with. The truth is that… success isn’t easy.

Some people might tell you that it is. Especially if you’ve ever come across those make money online videos on YouTube. You know the ones i’m talking about. You’ve probably been watching videos or listening to music and then you have to click “Skip ad” so you don’t hear the same BS over and over again.

The truth is that success takes a LOT of hard work. But, when the majority of people hear that something is going to be difficult… they shut down and decide against it. I mean, seriously. Who wants to work hard when you could just binge watch Netflix all weekend?

Exactly.

And while we’re at it, let me tell you this. You won’t ever succeed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa… that seems a little harsh, doesn’t it?

What about a happy medium?

Okay… let’s address this “happy medium”. You WILL be successful, but it won’t be easy. Is that better?

It’s starting to feel a little bit better in my gut seeing that written out. I’ve had success in both instances… Massive failures, and incredible success. Want to know why I’ve had both? I work my ass off.

If you know me personally, you know I love what I do. I enjoy diving deep into niches, learning about customer demographics and finding the best ways to create value for the consumer in the niche… and then helping map out how to go about creating systems that can be duplicated for your team members to follow.

But the thing is, I work… all the time. Sure, I can take off a ton of time and go on epic adventures for days at a time, or weeks… without any real change in my lifestyle. But it’s because during the times when you don’t hear from me, or see me, I’m deeply involved in building and working on my systems.

So the whole idea of “Success isn’t easy” is just that… it’s an idea.

and since we all have different ideas and different viewpoints on what is considered to be “easy”, it’s impossible to tell you that success is easy. For me, spending 60-100 hours a week working on a project that I care about is easy. For other people, hearing “60-100 hours a week” is like the worst nightmare ever.

I mean, jobs only make you work 40 hours a week and people get all upset over that.

The thing is, when you’re doing something you hate for 40 hours a week… it flat out sucks. It seems like every minute drags on and somehow this crazy Universe we live in has seemed to stop time… and the seconds drag on for minutes, and the minutes drag on for hours.

It’s mind-numbingly boring. It’s tedious work. It’s stuff you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. It’s…. work.

On the other hand, when it’s something you give a shit about… it’s awesome.

the truth about success

The Truth About Success…

My girlfriend witnesses this first hand whenever I get an idea and immediately move towards implementing it. She says my eyes light up and its like a fire ignites within me.

and then I’ll work on the idea for hours on end, without even realizing that it had been a few hours since I took a break. Which means I must force myself to stop and take a break. Not that I want to, but because I know that my body functions better when I do.

This type of action seems to come in waves, and it isn’t always there. Sometimes it hits hard and i’ll have a week of terrific content creation, and other times I’ll not feel like doing a damn thing. It’s just like the ocean… the tides change and I’m just trying to surf them when the conditions are good.

The Truth About Success and Why It’s So Elusive…

Personally I think it has to do with what a person’s individual definition of success is. According to dictionary.com

[suh k-ses
noun
1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors:

The play was an instant success.

4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.:

She was a great success on the talk show.
5. Obsolete. outcome.

Related: Success Isn’t About Who You ARE…

Look at those different meanings and then think about what success looks like to you. Is it achieving a certain financial goal? Is it getting a trophy? Is it recognition from your boss for a job well done? What about just finishing a project?

Think for a second… what does your version of success look like?

Get out a piece of paper and a pen and write out what success means to you.

My definition of success, for myself, is to be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want, wherever I want.

Yes, I know that can be taken in a few different ways. But my idea of success is for me to have an open schedule to go do whatever it is that I want, whenever I want to do it. Let’s say there’s a super cool event that a friend of mine tells me about… I want to be able to drop everything and go do it, if I choose to do so. This very thing happened when I first learned about the Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

My girlfriend and I met some new friends while we were traveling and they told us about this festival that was something that everyone should do… and we looked it up, it looked like an absolute blast… so we made the plan to attend that year (We actually went back this past year as well, it was that much fun)

That right there to me is success.

Is it possible to make success easier?

Well, I could tell you that yes… success is going to be easier for you than it is for others… but that would be a lie.

Because success depends on your personal viewpoint of it, it’s impossible for me to guarantee anything to you in this life. Until you know what success looks like to you, you’ll never achieve it.

Right now, if you have a computer or a phone and you have clean water, electricity and a house, you’re an incredible success to people who live in third-world countries who don’t have these things. But, because you’ve probably had this your whole life, you discount it for what it is.

You might even be earning over $100,000 a year right now, yet you still might not consider yourself a success because so-and-so makes $500,000 a year.

Until you figure out what success means to you, you’ll never achieve it. Truth be told, once you do achieve “success” according to your old definition, you’ll still probably feel like a failure because your goals will continue to grow as you do.

Fun, right? Oh the joy of Entrepreneurship. If you want to see a few of the ways that I’ve figured out how to start creating a beginner income from the internet, you can get my Beginner’s Guide to Internet Entrepreneurship guidebook and tutorial videos here.

 

Every Problem Has a Hidden Opportunity So Powerful It…

Austin, Texas 1:11pm
Saturday, 11/11/2017

The other day I actually started writing out this blog post after re-watching the video I shot a few years back in Costa Rica. The video was on my blog over at Masterminding on the beach in Costa Rica. That video was recored after a really intense mastermind session we had. One that actually had a significant impact on my life and a few others who were lucky enough to attend.

One quote that really stood out when I was re-listening to this was…

“Each problem has a hidden opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem.  The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.”

–Joseph Sugarman

This quote is so damn true. It often seems like the times where I’ve experienced my biggest successes have come after terrible failures. My business took off when I quit my jobs, moved to a foreign country and took a major chance. The problem was that I had no income anymore… the opportunity was that I learned how to create a business because of it.

It’s pretty incredible when you really stop and think about it. Everyday people you can hear people talk about problems that they have. There are thousands of problems everywhere, and many of these problems are BEGGING for these problems to be solved. That’s an opportunity right there.

What kind of problems are you experiencing?

Think for a second what kind of problems you’re currently experiencing… maybe it’s snowing where you live now. How much does it suck that the windshield freezes and your car is cold when you get in it? For me, that was a terrible part of my day. For me, I just moved south to get away from the cold. However, there was the opportunity to get one of those remote starters for your car. Problem solved.

What about problems related to your fitness? Fitbit created something incredible when they figured out setting the goal of 10,000 steps a day for people. It’s simple enough that it’s an easy goal to aim for… and you can track all of the steps through their little device.

The problem was that people forgot to be active in the traditional world we live in now… and the solution is to try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. The solution was provided by them and now they have a massive business. Fitbit was valued at $8 BILLION in 2015.

How do you identify these problems?

Great question. Identifying problems comes down to simply paying attention to things that are happening around you. The next thing is to get creative about the solutions to these problems. It’s not going to be easy, but damn is it going to be fun.

The next time that you’re in a conversation and you notice that someone is complaining about something, pay attention. Ask a few questions about why they are so upset about the issue. If you ask then 3-5 times “why” you’ll get to the root of the problem. There is always a way to provide a solution to problems, but you need to be creative to solve the problem.

Paying attention means you’ll need to listen more than you speak as well. But, you know that already and should be listening more than you speak already.

Now it’s up to you…

I could try and tell you that I can help you with solving all your problems, but the truth is that it’s up to you. Every single day you’re going to experience problems in your life. It’s important to recognize these problems and to identify solutions to the problems.

You’ll start doing it for yourself, and then eventually you’ll end up solving other people’s problems as well… which could lead you into creating a business doing something that you’re totally kick ass at.

If you want to learn more about building a business where you’re paid for your expertise, you should get a copy of the Expert Secrets book. It’s free at this link, you’ll just have to cover shipping and handling. Click below to get your copy.

The $15,000 Mistake That Could Have Been Avoided

12:18 pm
Austin, Texas

Did you know that I have failed more times than I can count?

My first “real business” was with a direct sales company back in college. I spent a few thousand dollars buying the product (a home cleaning product) because I thought it was an entire no-brainer for people to buy it.

Turns out, I had no idea how to sell the product. I was just getting started with my business and hadn’t spent years studying and learning about marketing, sales and how to run an actual business yet.

It was pretty devastating realizing I was a failure. I mean, I got good grades in high school, I played sports and I was on the honor roll. Everything seemed like it would just go along perfectly.

Turns out that my potential customers for that original business didn’t care about me. I walked around door-to-door in my neighborhood in Binghamton, NY trying to sell the cleaning solution. Sometimes it worked, other times I got the door slammed in my face.

I don’t talk about this much, in fact, I don’t even think my parents knew about that particular time in my life.

You see, when I walked up to these peoples houses… none of them gave a shit about my high school or college grades. No one cared that I was in college and just starting my business. No one cared that I had a dream to be rich and have my own island.

Not one person cares until you do something for them.

It’s a harsh reality. We don’t live in a world full of sunshine and unicorn rainbows with people just giving you money because they liked how you said “hello”. People are busy. People have their own problems to worry about.

It was a rough time period for me. 

I considered myself a failure.

Man… I feel weird writing that.

Don’t worry though, the story gets better… but at times it also gets worse.

like the time I spent over $15,000 trying to build a business in a niche that I knew absolutely NOTHING about.

$15,000 on something you don’t understand? WTF?

Crazy, right? I mean… what kind of an idiot thinks he can build a business in an industry where he knows nothing about the niche?

THIS GUY!

How did it happen?

Well. I didn’t have a clear image in mind of what I needed to do. I knew I needed a “team”, but I had no idea what that meant. I mean, with entrepreneurship, we’re often doing this all on our own.

It sometimes looks like this…

Photo from the Internet Business Manifesto by Rich Schefren.

That looks terrifying, doesn’t it? If you’re the one doing all of that work, it IS terrifying.

The truth is that…way too often that’s exactly what happens when we’re building up businesses. We try to bootstrap everything because money is tight and we think we can’t afford to hire people to handle other tasks for us.

I made the opposite mistake with this particular business. I hired people before I had the system in place because I had built the same type of business in a different industry. So, naturally I felt like a genius and that nothing could go wrong.

I know, I know… what a silly mistake.

The truth is, I was all jacked up and excited after going to a mastermind that I just kinda jumped in headfirst before taking the time to build up the systems first. When you surround yourself with others who are at levels way above your current level, you sometimes forget to drop back down to where you’re currently at and reflect from that position before making decisions.

I am 100% for surrounding yourself with people who are doing bigger things than you currently do and especially for masterminds and hiring mentors. It significantly cuts down on your learning curve and as you know, you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with

In that image that you saw above with “You” in the middle and all the tasks around it, you see all of the different day-to-day things that happen in a business. That report is from I believe 2012 so it’s a little out of date for the current reality, but the concept is the same.

Little Things Make Big Differences

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you know that you have little things that have to operate each and every day to make your business work. Everything from writing blog posts like I am doing right now, to emailing your list, to posting all over your social media properties. Every single thing comes down to a system you create and follow.

Each and every single thing in your business should have a process map.

Ideally, a step-by-step checklist that you can use so that when you get ready to grow your business, you can hire someone and have them come in, follow your process and produce a similar result each time.

Here’s just a brief look into one of the systems I have, this doesn’t show the video tutorials and emails/chats about the system… but you get the idea.

You see in my trello board that it starts off with the mindmap, showing what the structure for the template should look like. It then includes 3 attached images to show the process and at the bottom, there is the checklist to follow along.

This is the type of systems you want to have for every step of your business. Here’s just another example of process mapping, this is a proces for my team members who are uploaded blog posts to a particular site I own.

Every time I have a new blogger come onboard, I have a series of video tutorials and checklists to follow to make sure that everything goes to plan…every time.

When I first started, I had no templates for anything.

I was just doing everything myself, not recording anything or writing out the reasons WHY I did something. I originally didn’t know any better. As a beginner, we’re expected to do it all. So, that’s what I did. I did everything in my business. I built the websites, I wrote the copy for the articles, I researched the niche, I set up emails, I, I, I…. it was miserable.

This stuff is an absolute pain in the ass to create, its extremely time-consuming and isn’t the glamorous side of entrepreneurship that is often marketed by people selling courses on being an entrepreneur.

But, taking the time to do this makes a major difference in your business and an even bigger impact on your life.

Think about this for just a second… McDonald’s was founded on May 15, 1940. Right now it’s the year 2017 and the McDonald’s system has been operating pretty much the same way for all that time.

It’s so easy that high-school kids with no other job experience can do it. That right there… that is how simple you want your processes to be. If your business isn’t at that point yet, you have some work to do. But don’t worry. I’ve got some recommendations to help you out.

What happened to that business where you lost $15k?

I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t ask, I’ll let you know.

Over the last few years, as my processes have improved, I applied some of them to that particular business… you know, to harden the blow a little bit of losing that much money. Since then, the business has been earning money every single month with minimal work from myself.

I realized I wasn’t meant to write about the niche, email people about the niche or even post pictures to the fans I acquired in the niche. My job was simply to identify opportunities and have my team handle the content and distribution.

The only reason that happened was because I spent the time to build the systems and partner up with people who are better than me with the work.

What To Do About It

The first recommendation is to get the book Work The System by Sam Carpenter.

The second recommendation is to actually read the book and apply what is taught in the book. Yes, it’s going to suck. No, it won’t be glamorous like the entrepreneur hashtag on Instagram.

It’s going to be work. Boring, tedious work. But, this is work that you only have to do one time. After you have written out the process and created the tutorials, someone else can handle the work so that you can focus on your strengths. The hours you spend creating these tutorials will save you days, weeks and even months of your time in the future…

and time is the only resource we can’t get back.

How To Change Your State In The Blink Of An Eye

We can all admit that some days are better than others. Some days we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe a little hungover or just feeling “off”…

Most of the time we just accept that this is the way today is going to be. BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, you can drastically change your state in minutes with this simple trick.

In this video you’ll learn about the “Chris is Awesome” folder and how you can create the same thing in your life to have a little “mindset hack” to immediately change your mood.

After watching this video, you’ll create your own “Chris is Awesome” folder for yourself and start filling it with awesome stuff you’ve done over the past few years.

You can put pictures of cool things you’ve done, messages that people have sent you thanking you for things, you can even put pictures of things you’ve always wanted in the folder. It’s up to you!

The goal of the folder is to make it nearly impossible for you to continue having a bad day after you’ve gone through it.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating your “Chris is Awesome” folder today!

 

Feeling Stuck? Try this…

January 4, 2017
Location: sitting on my couch watching Better Caul Saul on NetFlix in my villa in Bali, Indonesia
Time: 7:51 pm

So it’s the 4th day of the New Year and all over Facebook you are seeing people posting about their “New Year, New Me” and all kinds of Resolutions…

be-do-have-activity-chris-hughes

be-do-have-activity-chris-hughes

This is pretty normal if you pay any attention to trends over the years. People get all jacked up and excited about the New Year and have all these crazy cool plans to be the best version of themselves for the New Year.

Hell, I wrote about it in 2011 lol… (You can check it out here –> New Year Activity To Find Your Core Identity, it will open in a new tab)

But, what happens after the drunken stupor from New Years Eve is over? It tends to be back to reality, right…

yeah, I know. The tequila was flowing and those dreams you want to happen just happened to spit out un-filtered. Gotta love the filter eliminator…

Okay so now it’s time for reality to kick in…

It’s time to get real.

Time to actually figure out what your dream life honestly looks like, and plan some action steps to building that life you have always dreamt about, but never wanted to tell anyone about.

STOP

Stop what you’re watching on tv, listening to on the radio, tweeting about, or whatever the current distraction is in your life.

and grab a piece of paper and a pencil.

…but Chris, I don’t want to.

Shutup past you. Just do it.

It’s a new year. It’s time for that new you that you’ve always dreamed about…and sometimes it takes some tough love to bring that guy/girl out.

Okay, so now that you have that pen and paper… you’re done!!! You win!

Your dream life is now a reality. You are now a millionaire who lives in the house you’ve always wanted and has the life that you’ve only ever dreamed about.

haha, yeah right.

We know its not that easy.

BUTT…

when you read that, did you think of anything? Maybe about the type of house you are living in now, the type of car you drive, the type of relationship you have, maybe the type of person you became?

There’s a good chance you didn’t. . .

but there’s also a chance you did.

For those of you who immediately thought of something, write this stuff down RIGHT AWAY.

For those of you who didn’t, don’t worry…most people don’t actually know what they want in life.

Only dogs really know what they want… these are 3 puppies that my girlfriend Sam and I were foster parents for for 3 weeks here in Bali…

15542363_10211238741265077_7962906139158740733_n15542363_10211238741265077_7962906139158740733_n

I mean, all they wanted was food, water, shelter and a whole lotta lovin.. (Dukes front-left, Ernie’s in the back, and Gruber on the right)’

Simple, right?

  • Food – check
  • Water – check
  • Shelter – check
  • Lovin – check (I mean, look at how cute they are)

Now us humans on the other hand… we’re a little more complicated… and that SUCKS.

Or does it?

Well, honestly. I think it’s awesome because we have the ability to create the exact life we want.

The problem is that no one ever thinks about what it is that they want. They simply go with the flow, just doing what they’re told, day in and day out.

But what if life didn’t have to be this way?

What if you could live your dream life?

Oh man, Chris. You’re a weirdo.

haha I know, it’s great.

Ok. Here’s where the fun begins.

On the paper you grabbed earlier, you’re going to write out “BE, DO, HAVE” in big lettering and leave some spaces underneath. Ideally you will have 3 separate pieces of paper, one for each of those words.

Weird uncomfortable moment time…

Under the “BE” category.

Who do you want to be?

When you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and staring yourself in the eyes… or looking at your sexy body… who do you want to be when you look yourself in the mirror?

This can be a very uncomfortable thing. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here’s a starter for you..

  • do you want to be happy?
  • how about healthy?
  • how about wealthy?
  • if so, write these down!

The beauty of this activity is that no one need to see this. For all I care you could put “the ability to drink tequila without losing all my clothes”. Seriously, it’s up to you. It’s your life.

You can honestly put anything. I really need to hammer this home, because this is your life. Want to be an author? Fuck it! Write it down!

Want to be fluent in another language? Write it down!

Go crazy with this! It’s your life! You could even write “The greatest pizza grenade launching champion of Eastern Europe” if that’s a real thing, I want to try it.

…okay, next step!

DO

What do you want to do?

Want to become the “greatest pizza grenade launching champion of Eastern Europe”? Guess what, that’s something you can do! Well, it might not be. I’m still not sure, I just hope you’re getting the general idea here.

These are the things you want to do with your life.

Always wanted to see The Empire State Building? Write it down.

Always wanted to dive with sharks? Write it down.

(I highly recommend diving with sharks, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, here’s the video of it Stuart’s Cove Shark Dive in Nassau, Bahamas )

This is the stuff you’ve always wanted to do. Scared someone might see the list? Do it while they’re asleep. Seriously. Write out everything you’ve ever wanted to do. It’s important, so you have something to plan out!

 

HAVE

Now this is one of the things that once people see what it is they thought that they would like to have, they’re usually like “oh shit man, I’m crazy”…

and that’s awesome.

It’s good to be a little bit crazy.

But writing it all out allows you to calculate the exact costs of having every single thing on your “have” list.

If you don’t write it out, you’ll never create a plan to have it….and then when you’re all old and dying you’ll think to yourself “damnit, Chris was right… I should have done the activity he told me to”

So, what do you want to have?

Want a Ferrari? Write it down!

Who gives a shit what other people think about what you want. It’s your life remember. You get to choose what it is you want to have.

Want to own your own winery? Write it down!

Hell, when you own your own winery send me a bottle or invite me to visit it and we can sip on some wine while discussing how awesome life is.

Another thing is that most people don’t know what they want to have. One piece of advice is to think about all the stuff you’ve always dreamed about having and looking at it online to see if its still something you would be interested in. Maybe as a kid you wanted to have your own jetski…

It’s your life, so honestly I don’t know what you want. Only YOU can choose it…

that sentence reminds me of those Smokey The Bear commercials that were on TV when I was a kid… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.

As a kid I used to always think “yeah, and I can start them too!”… but that’s not important.

What do you want?

Write it down!!!!

 

 

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