Here’s my #1 rule for Internet success… and this is one I obsess over. This is the one that gives you a license to print money. Follow this rule, and keep following this rule… and you’re going to have success.
I’d love to hear what you think (and what your next questions are), so scroll down and leave a comment below…
So last November I got a chance to sit down with Paulo Coelho for dinner. I’ve written about Paulo before… and the impact that his book “The Alchemist” made on my life.
(If you’re not familiar with Paulo, he’s sold 150 million books, he has 7 million Twitter followers and 10 million Facebook followers, and “The Alchemist” is the fifth most read book of all time, ever, in the entire world.)
With Paulo Coelho
It was an amazing dinner – there were five others there in addition to Paul and myself – bestselling authors Brendon Burchard, Chris and Janet Attwood, David Bach, and Paulo’s agent extraordinaire Monica.
As you could imagine, with that cast of characters, the conversation was extraordinary – and it leapt from topic to topic. Writing, publishing, books, war, spirituality… and that was just the first 10 minutes.
We were in Geneva, Switzerland, at one of Paulo’s favorite restaurants. After a leisurely dinner, we decided to walk to a nearby bar to have a drink.
And, for me, this next part was simply amazing – the path we walked to get to the bar was literally on the Road To Santiago – the ancient and holy path that is the subject of Paulo’s book “The Pilgrimage”. I had no idea, but it turns out, a portion of that road is in Geneva. Who knew?
It was there, as I walked on the Road To Santiago with Paulo, that I got to tell him the story of the impact that “The Alchemist” had on my life… and consequently, the lives of thousands of others. The whole thing seemed magical (or at least mystical)…
So what was Paulo like? He was charming, engaged, curious… and most of all he was passionate. You might think that an author who has sold 150 million books might sit back and rest on his laurels. Not Paulo… he is all about his next book. He is all about engaging with his millions of fans. He is all about making an impact.
What a group to have dinner with! Brendon Burchard, Janet Attwood, Paulo Coelho, David Bach, myself, Paulo's agent Monica (Chris Attwood is not pictured.)
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people that are making a huge positive impact on the world. And I’ve gotten to meet a number of my heroes. And the thing I see over and over is a passion for their work. A passion for honing their craft. A passion for their business. And a passion for their impact.
Each of them have had a true Heroe’s Journey, where they heard the call to adventure… and they struggled with that call. Some of them refused the call, some of them couldn’t answer the call. Some of them tried to answer and failed… the first time. Or the first twenty times.
But you know what happens next. Each of them faced many challenges along the way, and each of them eventually persevered. And that’s the path we all face if we’re going to lead our biggest and best lives.
It never comes easy… even for the people that make it look easy. But there is no dress rehearsal. We only get one shot at this world. Make it count.
One more thing, and this came directly out of that dinner with Paulo in Geneva – Brendon Burchard lucked out and snagged the worldwide exclusive video interview with Paulo Coelho for his new book, “Manuscript Found in Accra.” The video interview is only available for a limited time, and you can see it at this link:
Tonight I’m going to dinner with someone who has made a big impact on my life. One of my heros, if you will. It took me two flights and most of a day to travel to California for this meeting.
We’ve never met before – and since I’m an introvert, I’ll naturally be a little nervous. But I’m really excited… in fact I couldn’t really sleep last night.
The thing is, I don’t think anyone ever gets sick of hearing about the impact they’ve made on someone else’s life (at least I never get sick of hearing that!)
And that’s why I flew half-way across the country – to tell my hero about the impact he made on my life. To say thanks… thanks for showing up in your life, thanks for doing the work, thanks for putting yourself out there, thanks for playing big, thanks for staying inspired, thanks for playing hurt, thanks for fighting your doubts and fears, thanks for battling resistance in your life every day.
We live in a world where the word “hero” almost sounds quaint. It seems like it comes from a different time. And everywhere we look, we see “fallen” heroes. Every time we open a newspaper or turn on the TV, there’s another scandal about another “hero” who has fallen from grace…
But I don’t think the idea of heroes is old-fashioned. And as far as those “falIen heroes”, well that’s another discussion… but I think we need to forget about the idea of “perfect” heroes. I don’t think you’ll ever find one of those perfect heroes… but I still see heroes everywhere I look. I seem to be surrounded by them.
I don’t care if they’re starting a business, writing a screenplay, raising a child as a stay-at-home parent, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, creating a meditation practice, or taking care of an aging parent… I see people doing heroic stuff all the time.
So how do you become a true hero? Well, I’ve got a recipe for you. There are two things you have to do. One of them alone isn’t enough – you have to do both of them. The good news is that they’re both very simple to do. And, unfortunately, the bad news is that they’re also very difficult.
First, you have to do the work. There ain’t no way around this… you have to show up and do the work. Whatever “your” work is… however, you’re going to make your impact… you gotta do the work. And then you have to keep doing it. You keep showing up day after day, and year after year… and you keep getting better. That means you have to turn off the TV, close down Facebook, forget your email, stop checking ESPN.com, shut down YouTube… and you have to do the work.
It’s never easy, and there are no short cuts. If you see someone who makes it look easy, it’s because they were doing a lot of hard work before you were watching them.
And then the second thing you have to do is even harder… you have to keep growing. You have to keep stepping up into a bigger vision of yourself. You have to keep stepping into a bigger future. You have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone. This is the deal – all of us are full of doubts and fears… we all have a little voice in the back of our head that wants us to retreat into our “safe zone”. That is the voice that holds us back. That is the voice that stops us from being great.
Make no mistake, that voice will be there with you… everyone’s got that voice. And it’s up to you to decide whether you will let it rob you of your power. Whether it will rob you of your greatness. You need to ignore that voice. All growth happens at the edge of your comfort zone.You can’t have your biggest life if you stay in that comfort zone. You can’t be a hero if you stay in that comfort zone.
And that’s your recipe for your Hero’s Journey. You need to show up. You need to do the work. And you need to keep playing a bigger game. And you need to keep doing it. If you do that day after day, year after year… then I’ll tell you how to find a hero…
Go look in the mirror and you’ll see a hero looking back at you.
So this is the blog post where I tell you exactly how to get rich. Now I know with a title like “How to Get Rich”, I’m gonna lose a lot of people right away… but don’t make that mistake of clicking away. Keep reading, this is legit.
Actually, I suppose there are lots of ways to get rich… but I’m going to share with you what I think is the most surefire way to get rich – it’s the path that worked for me. The amazing thing is that, as you’ll see, it’s so darn simple.
Now the reality is that most people won’t get rich… I suppose that’s just the way the world works. I’m not sure why (though I have some theories.) But if you’re going to have a fighting chance, then this is the formula to put to work.
And I will also tell you that this formula is not 100% guaranteed… because I’m sure there are people that have worked this formula and NOT gotten rich. Nevertheless, in my years of careful observation, this is the formula that has worked over and over for the most people.
OK, enough preamble… let’s get to it. There are only four steps in this formula:
STEP 1. Decide what it means for you to be rich. For some people it’s an income of $100,000. For some it’s a million dollars in the bank. For some it’s $30 million in net worth… and for some it’s a whole lot more than that.
IMPORTANT: for some people (including me) it’s not really a financial measurement – it’s something else. Maybe it’s a state of mind, or it’s a set of relationships (with family, friends, community, etc.). Or it’s being able to ski a double-black-diamond run successfully. Or it could be something else.
But the bottom line is that you are going to shoot at a big target (and being “rich” is a big target), then you need to know what target you’re shooting at. You have to be able to see that target.
NOTE: here’s a little splash of reality – you will never be finished with Step 1. You will always be refining what it means to be rich. Please don’t shoot the messenger… that’s just reality, and it’s as it should be.
STEP 2: Study people who are rich, and do what they do. And of course, you want to be studying people who are rich by your definition of “rich”.
I know that sounds really simple… and, conceptually, it IS really simple. But the actual doing of it is a lot harder. And the reality is that most people are NOT rich or successful… so you don’t want to be doing what those people are doing. Most people are doing stuff that does NOT bring success. Don’t do that stuff.
You want to find the people who ARE having success (as you define success), and then do what they do. The best is if you can find several people to study, and try to identify the commonalities in what they’re doing. Study what they think and do, and study what they study, and study who they learn from.
Inevitably, you will find that some of the habits of rich and successful people are outside of the normal patterns that most people follow. That’s because most people are NOT successful.
NOTE: there are lots of resources that make the “discovery” part of this step easier than you would think. There’s lots of books about this type of stuff – including autobiographies and biographies.
STEP 3: Observe and record your progress… and then adjust.
You need to be self-aware… you will be installing new behaviours and habits. As you do so, it’s best if you keep some type of journal or record of your thoughts/actions. Look at what’s working for you, and what’s not working. Track your progress towards your definition of “rich”. Don’t expect overnight success (it won’t happen), but do celebrate your victories as they come.
Pay especially close attention to how your mindset evolves… because that’s the true secret to success. You will never be rich until you have a mindset that is rich and abundant.
STEP 4: Stop and have gratitude for your progress. Then go back and start over with Step 1… this is not a one-time formula. Almost everyone I know who is rich and successful (and I have the good fortune to spend a lot of time around those types of folks) is continually going through this process.
So there you have it… that’s a super-compressed version of the “secret formula” on how to get rich.
Now I know it sounds impossibly simple. And I know some people will think I’m being tongue-in-cheek with this post. But I’m not – this is absolutely the most surefire path to success that I know. Success leaves clues… so study what successful people do, find the common underlying strategies, and then DO THOSE THINGS.
Now to help you along the way, I’ve got a couple of resources for you… first is one of my Facebook pages with a free video series of my “Master Planning Process”… this is the yearly planning process I use to create my vision for my life each year. This is the process that I use in creating my vision for a rich life. Here’s the link:
So that’s how I plan out my year. Next up is the process I use to plan my DAYS… it’s a process I learned from Brendon Burchard. He taught it to me in a small mastermind meeting we were in, and I’ve found it to be super-powerful. Brendon calls it his “One Page Productivity Planner”… and he just published a free video training where he teaches how to use this process:
So I just got back from a big adventure… I just spent 10 days rowing my raft down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
(And yes, it was my raft… this was a “private” trip with no guides.)
Rowing my raft down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon
Those of you who have been down the Grand Canyon know that it’s a trip of a lifetime… and I’ve been lucky enough to do it six times now.
You see, rafting and kayaking whitewater rivers is a passion of mine – and I’ve paddled and rowed down all kinds of wildnerness rivers from Arizona to Alaska. But the Grand Canyon is the mother of all river trips in the U.S… and everything down there is on a bigger scale. The canyon is bigger, the trip is longer, and the rapids are bigger.
It’s a wilderness trip… once you pull away from the put-in at Lee’s Ferry you are on your own. There’s no chance to re-supply, and you have to carry EVERYTHING that you need.
And, of course, while you’re down there you’re completely disconnected – there’s no Internet, cell phones, or electricity… which is a FANTASTIC to recharge while you’re away from your business. I can guarantee that you won’t be checking email.
The trip is 225 miles long (my trips have varied from 10 days to 21 days), and there are hundreds of rapids down there. Many of them are big and burly… and things can get pretty exciting.
It’s nice that the rapids gradually get bigger as you go down the river… so you can work your way up to the big ones. If had to deal with Granite or Crystal rapid on the first day… well, that would be terrifying.
So as you go down the river, you gradually gain confidence… and if you’re having good runs down the rapids, you might even get a bit of a swagger. And you start feeling like maybe you’ve earned your stripes.
But lurking down the river at Mile 179 is a problem of a whole different sort… and it’s called Lava Falls.
Lava Falls is the most famous (or infamous) rapid in Grand Canyon. You usually hit it on Day 14 or so of your trip… and by then you think you’ve seen everything. You’ve heard all the stories about Lava, but you’re wondering if it can really live up to all the hype. And then you round a turn in the river… and you hear Lava – a huge, deep, menacing roar. And the sobering thought goes through your head – “we’re still a half-mile away from the rapid”. Hmmm.
Lava Falls from a quarter mile above the rapid
You pull your boat to the shore a couple hundred yards above the rapid so you can scout it… and you climb up to the top of a bluff and take your first look at Lava Falls… and it’s instantly very clear that after 179 miles that this is a whole different ballgame.
In all my trips through Lava, I’ve always had clean runs… but I always have the same thought when I first look at it… “do I really have to run this rapid?”
There’s no such thing as a free pass through Lava. You’re always going to be flirting with disaster and hitting some big stuff that could flip you (or knock you out of the boat). And the swims in Lava range from “ugly” right up to “completely horrendous”.
And on this trip, Lava was looking particularly unfriendly. At first glance there was an obvious channel down the left side… but I knew from past experience that a run that is obvious from the side of the river would be not so obvious at all once I was back down on the river, floating into the rapid.
And the real danger was that my run on the left side would take me right past the edge of the “Ledge Hole”… which was the one single place on the whole 225 miles of river that you didn’t want to be…
Scouting Lava Falls from the left side... do I look nervous?
Think of the Ledge Hole as a 12-foot wave in the ocean, then think about that wave breaking on top of you… and then think of it holding you in place and continuing to break on top of you… with you stuck under the crashing whitewater. That’s what the Ledge Hole is like.
I didn’t want to be anywhere near the Ledge Hole, but I was going to be rowing my boat right past the very lip of it. That was a VERY unnerving thought. But when you’re above Lava Falls, there’s only one thing to do after you scout it… go back to your raft, tighten everything down, cinch down your lifejacket extra tight… and then go run the rapid.
As you drift down to the rapid, you can’t actually see it. You see a horizon line where the river just seems to drop away – and in fact, it does drop away. The entire river falls 37 feet over the span of a couple hundred yards.
(At one time it was rated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest stretch of navigable water in the world. That was an exaggeration, but still…)
As I approached the rapid, everything began to accelerate. I was scanning the river, trying to pick out where that left-side channel was… and where the Ledge Hole lurked. I was the second boat in our group… and I watched the boat ahead of me drop into the rapid – it completely disappeared over the edge of the horizon line, and I couldn’t tell what happened to it.
Then as the current continued to quicken and pull me towards the lip of the rapid – I was maybe 50 feet above the rapid and I finally got a glimpse over the edge…. and right then I knew I was OK… I knew I was on the correct line. The Ledge Hole wouldn’t get me this time!
After that it was all a blur – 20 seconds of crashing waves, icy water crashing over the boat, and big hits… at one point I saw the bow of my boat pointing towards the sky… but then we landed safely in the tail waves at the end of the rapid.
The boat behind me wasn’t quite as fortunate… the boatman was thown out of the boat – but he was pulled back in quickly and unharmed… and soon we were all celebrating below the rapid.
We were safely below Lava Falls. After many days with stories of Lava carnage lurking in our thoughts… we had passed the test. We pulled over at “Tequila Beach” just a little downstream… all five boats and 16 people – and we were feeling VERY alive at that moment.
High fives were exchanged. Beers were cracked. We were alive below Lava. And that’s when I made the classic Grand Canyon toast…
“You’re always above Lava Falls”
That truly is one of my favorite quotes… because even as I celebrated getting through Lava safely, I was looking forward to my next trip through the Grand Canyon, and my next test at Lava Falls.
But, of course, the metaphor goes much deeper.
Your biggest challenge is ahead of you… at least it is if you’re living life the way I try to live my life.
I’ll admit it right here… I’m addicted to growth in my life. In my capabilities, in my accomplishments, in my relationships. In fact, if I don’t see the opportunity for growth in any given situation, then I have a very hard time staying interested.
A big smile of relief to be below Lava Falls (and a celebratory beer)
It took me a while to figure this out, but I’m always looking for my next “Lava Falls”… in every area of my life. And I’ve noticed that most of the entrepreneurs and other “creatives” that I know are very similar.
Want to make sure you stay engaged in your business? That you stay interested, that you stay sharp? Just make sure that your biggest challenges lie ahead of you. Always have a future bigger than your past. Always be looking for your next challenge, for your next Lava Falls.
P.S. One of the toughest things about doing a private trip in Grand Canyon (vs. a commercial trip with guides) is getting the permit from the National Park Service. It can literally take YEARS to get a permit for a private trip. That’s why my six trips are pretty amazing – it’s unusual to get invited on that many trips.
I’m always interested in trips with great folks… so if you happen to have an upcoming permit and you’re looking for an experience boatman, then drop me a line.
P.P.S. Want to see a particularly terrifying encounter with the Ledge Hole in Lava? The video below was NOT from my trip, but it’s pretty crazy… and shows the power of the Lava Falls.