Category : Writing


The Secret to My Writing That Reaches Millions of People Is Music I Stumble Upon

Tim Denning Blogging Advice

Photo by Higor Hanschen on Unsplash

Music is massively underrated when it comes to writing.

The music you listen to, to get in the zone and enter flow states, changes your writing. A movie soundtrack vs. a hard rock song produces drastically different results.

In the future, people will pay a subscription to get access to a creative person’s music playlist. I’m giving away my playlist in my upcoming writing course, after curating it for the last six years.

If your writing is boring, change it with music.

The Danny Forrest Effect

(Everybody is adding the “effect” after a person’s name — shoot me.)

Danny — aka the forest of wisdom — sent me his music playlist for sh*ts and giggles. My mind was closed when he did. I thought I’d mastered the background music needed to be creative. I was wrong.

As a tall, skinny dude with a gentle taste in house music, Danny sent me hardcore death metal. Specifically, he sent me a track by Mors Principium called “Pure.”

I took the song for a test drive and put it on infinite repeat like a psycho.

The writing that followed was radically different. The song is fast. My mind races when I hear it. The writing that flows off my stick fingers is loaded with energy made better by death metal. My innocence was robbed; my soul turned black; my mind started having shock brainwaves.

Then it hit me:

What if the music you listened to while writing was a hidden differentiator that could take you to another dimension?

This is what Danny Boys’ song did for me. There was no time to doubt myself or question whether people would tear me down in the comments. I whacked the song on and let it take me places. I went up and back from love. I took a detour into a parallel universe. I entered the Matrix and popped back out again. Your mind on fast music is nuts.

But fast music is not everything. Slow music brings your brain back to reality, softly. I ended my writing session that day with a gentle movie soundtrack from the movie “American Beauty.” The words rhyme differently with that song. They gently flow off your tongue and onto the computer screen; the words are infinitely more empathetic with this song.

An Experiment To Make You a Creative Warrior

Have you ever sat back and noticed what different styles of music do to your creative time? It’s an experiment worth trying.

Depending on what you write, different styles of music can impact your writing in different ways.

Do this:

  • Write to movie soundtracks
  • Write to death metal
  • Write to rock
  • Write to classical music
  • Write to electronic music
  • Write to the trance-like influence of Binaural Beats

Tally the results. What music was good for heartfelt essays? What music was good for data-driven, non-fiction blog posts? What music was good for writing self-improvement?

The music you listen to changes your focus. Music changes your emotions too. If you think you’ve become a parrot that repeats the same stuff over and over, then let different types of music interrupt your thought patterns and change how you write.

Music is a writing tool you can use to move people with your words.

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Writing Advice Boiled down into One-Sentence Harsh Truths

One-sentence Writing Advice

Photo by Daria Volkova on Unsplash

Writing advice is too complicated.

You need a degree to decode common writing concepts properly — like “prose” and “SEO.” Screw that.

I have racked up more than 100M views on my writing over the last six years. I didn’t study beautiful English essays or date Hemmingway’s mother.

If I was giving writing advice to my twenty-something writer self — that was young, dumb, and full of rum — here’s what I’d tell myself.

  1. Quit trying to be remarkable. Don’t try to be radically different or invent a brand new style. All writers are saying basically the same thing with 1% unique information. Your story and experience is the differentiator.
  2. Complaining about people copying or imitating your work is B.S. If you write on the internet then this is going to happen. See it as a compliment not an insult.
  3. Stop romanticizing over releasing your story into the world. Maybe the headline isn’t perfect. Maybe there is a spelling error you missed. Whatever story you think is brilliant will probably flop. If you could predict viral content then you’d be Tim Ferriss’ writing assistant already.
  4. Hit publish and move on, quickly.
  5. Most stories will go nowhere. That’s why the process of writing trumps any one story you write and think is remarkable and life-changing. It’s not.
  6. The audience is bat shit crazy. Love em for it. They will like weird stuff and highlight sentences you nearly deleted in your original draft.
  7. The level of vulnerability you use determines how many readers you help.
  8. Being useful is a massively underestimated way to write.
  9. Take a break from writing or you could end up single. Your partner needs you to be there for them.
  10. Publications have the right to reject your work. Let them.
  11. Change up your style often. Writing the same listicle garbage over and over, full of stoic quotes you don’t understand, won’t get you anywhere. Switch between fiction, non-fiction, essays, short pieces, long pieces and as many different styles as you can.
  12. Formatting is the hidden key for inspiration. The way you format helps you write. If your stories all sound the same then format like an out of control Kardashian fan who spotted Kim with Kanye.
  13. Your writing from one year ago will be embarrassing.
  14. Your writing from five years ago will make you vomit (as it should).
  15. TL;DR. Strip away the excess. Readers haven’t got time to read your complicated metaphors and see you bask in your own ego.
  16. Writing is a workout.
  17. Disconnect from the result. Write because you want to write — not because a fantasy influencer told you too.
  18. Fame is a terrible nightmare — just ask Tim Ferriss or James Altucher. Do you really want to be a famous writer who can no longer go to the supermarket without losing an eye to a selfie pole?
  19. Without flow you’re a tortoise. Consistent writing requires flow to stay on the right path and finish your story.
  20. A writing process separates amateur writers from pros. Copy another writer’s process and then make it your own until it morphs into something unique.
  21. Break grammar rules whenever you feel like it.
  22. Let mistakes creep into your work. Mistakes show your beautiful human side that makes you relatable.
  23. Write stories that make readers say “I felt like that before, too.”
  24. Hit publish. Do it again. Repeat for five years and change your #life.
  25. Your writing future is not guaranteed. You could die tomorrow, so why not write today?
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This Month Has Produced Millions More Readers for My Writing than I’ve Ever Seen

Tim Denning Writing Advice

Photo by Andre Tan on Unsplash

My writing has reached millions more people this month than any other month in the last six years.

This is not a humblebrag. It’s a moment to study and learn from.

What has changed this month with my writing? Let’s analyze so you can use the learnings to help your work outperform, too.

A dramatic shift in soundtracks

The soundtrack you write to affects your mood. Your mood affects your writing — big time.

This month I started writing to different music as an experiment away from the typical movie soundtracks.

A song like “Prodigy — Breathe” produced this insane writing style. It was hypnotic. Full of energy. Unstoppable, even.

Action you can take: Change the music you create to. Watch the difference.

10X personality

A lot of the writing I read online puts me to sleep.

I realized that writing puts me to sleep when there is no personality. Dry facts about meditation and walking are so boring. But a slow walk with Madonna or a meditation session with a crane hitting your house is interesting.

This month I have really let my personality be unleashed. I’ve stopped thinking about what might upset people and said what, to me, is helpful.

All of us have oodles of personality underneath our fragile egos. Let go of how people perceive you, and be yourself. You won’t get fired by being yourself unless you become a troll and tear other people’s dreams to the ground.

Action you can take: practicecreating content for social media that is unfiltered. Drop the F-bomb if you must and don’t feel guilty.

3X more flow

Yeah, yeah, yeah….you’ve heard it before. But flow states can change your life. This month I have experimented and life-hacked the heck out of flow states. I reached a record the other day of 8 hours in a flow state.

These flow states have seen me go from 10 blog posts a week to 14–15. The number of social media posts I can create has doubled too.

Here’s the trick to flow: wireless headphones that don’t leave your head.

Yep, I discovered this hack by accident. I started going to the bathroom, making lunch, and reading books with the same music repeating over and over. The non-stop music put me in a trance. Before, I would take the headphones off several times a day.

When you take your headphones off, you break your flow state.

Action you can take: buy some noise-canceling headphones and leave them on for an entire day. Aim to beat how much time you can spend in flow being creative.

An enhanced work ethic

This month I have worked my face off. I have really gone all-in rather than danced on the sidelines of excuses, blaming and fragile complaints.

I have put in a lot more work and not been tempted by pathetic distractions like another movie on Netflix that tells me nothing about life.

A simple creative hack is this: work more hours than you did last month. You can simply outwork your prior results if you choose. It’s so stupidly easy to do.

Action you can take: estimate how many hours you worked last month. Beat your record this month (without working yourself into the ground).

Contemplate this question:

What if what you did changed the world?

This question has changed the reason for me to be creative. When you attach yourself to a big idea like changing the world, you do what you do, differently. I keep thinking maybe I’m helping a person through one of the most difficult times in history. I have attached this idea to every writing day.

“Today I’m writing so someone doesn’t lose their job, or to help a stranger start a business.” This self-talk stops me from worrying about my precious goals and fantasies of sitting on a beach drinking water out of a coconut.

Action you can take: steal my question to be creative or create your own. Choose a question to ask yourself consistently that is bigger than you.

Get visual

My writing has become a lot more visual. I have added a lot more imagery to how I write. When I describe failure I use descriptions you can visualize. If your dream burned to the ground like the twin towers on 911, could you visualize that? Does it feel different?

Action you can take: describe the advice you can offer with relatable images.

Shake more hands

This month I have made it a daily habit to connect with a new writer. I have reached out to big writers like James Altucher, and writers many of you have never heard of.

These writers have supported my work and helped it reach larger audiences without me having them to beg them to do anything. These writers have also helped me get out of my creative bubble. They’ve said things like “that article you wrote made no sense.”

Fellow creators show you your flaws.

Action you can take: meet one new creator each day. Don’t ask them for anything, just talk.

Read to learn

I have read more blog posts this month than any other month (check my profile to see). A consistent learner eventually increases their results, subtly.

Reading other writers has been a lot of fun too. Maybe all you need to do is read more so you can learn more. Reading is an underrated life hack that any creative can use to be inspired more often and stumble across new ideas.

Action you can take: set one-hour aside each day to read short blog posts.

Treat strangers better

This one is hard to admit. Some months I have accidentally treated people badly. I have replied to a message with a smartass response or been accidentally unkind.

No one likes a smartass.

This month has been all about treating everybody well. If a troll messages me, I thank them and try to build them up, rather than tell them they are wrong. If my social media account gets taken away (one of them did) I ask nicely for the issue to be resolved. If a company that has my money (like a travel agent) goes bankrupt and I need to call them, I put myself in their shoes and talk nicely. Everybody has the capacity to be nice.

The crazy part is when you treat everybody — not just a few people — better, they treat you better back. Why is this important? You need other people to be creative and 10X your results. As a writer I rely on publications, editors, readers, business owners and freelancers to make my vision a reality.

Action you can take: stop yourself next time you feel like you’re going to lose control and be rude to someone. Choose to say nothing.

This article isn’t a brag fest for Timmy’s ego. Hopefully you have learned a few ways you can create more and level-up your results. If all you do is put more effort into your work this month than you did last month, you’ll see a tangible difference in your results.

Don’t be afraid to unleash your personality, treat people better, double down on your creative habits, contemplate questions bigger than you, and meet more people who can help you progress your goals.

Phenomenal results help you dissect your process, so you can go further in your life than you ever imagined.

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How Do Some Writers Gain Traction Really Fast? You Think of Writing like This

Writing is a workout Tim Denning

Photo by Martin Katler on Unsplash

Some days I’d rather sip lattes than write.

The motivation to write is not always there. So how do some writers like Sean Kernan gain so much traction so fast? They think about writing in a different way. Writing is a workout for their mind.

Each writing activity is a different exercise targeting a different muscle group.

  • Writing trains your biceps
  • Editing trains your back
  • Choosing cover images trains your shoulders
  • Choosing headlines works your abs
  • Pitching publications trains your legs

The number of stories you write is the “reps.”

You do each of these writing activities over and over to build each muscle. If you only train one muscle then you’ll be weak in another area of your writing.

You have to train each muscle, ideally on different days, so you don’t burnout trying to train your whole body.

Word count is your heart rate.

As you write more your word count increases, thus your ability to use your editing muscle to edit down your work later must get stronger so you’re not making people read a 90-minute story that rants about a flower box you saw.

You keep the heart rate of your work beating by keeping your word count up.

The number of times you write is your gym membership.

Do you let your gym membership lapse? Hell no. You keep building your muscle by showing up to the gym and paying your membership on time.

This means you want to make writing a habit that is scheduled in your diary and has a deadline at the end of your session.

Spontaneous writing belongs in books about fantasy lands.

Do your workout every week.
2 times per week is optimal.
Daily = huge writing muscles.

The level of vulnerability you use is the weight you lift in pounds.

At the gym you lift weight and try to beat how much you lifted yesterday. With writing the aim is to increase your level of vulnerability. Vulnerability feels like lifting enormous weights. You feel fearful when you hit publish.

If you’re not afraid to hit publish then up the weights. See if you can lift heavier weights and let your ego stop being a handicap.

Your brain will be exhausted at the end of your workout.

After a good workout you’re exhausted. You’ve let all the emotion, pain, wisdom and energy out of your mind, and placed it on the page for readers to read. The next thing you do is rest.

Your writing muscles won’t grow without rest.

Rest looks like taking your mind off writing.

Reading books is the recovery protein shake you take to help your muscles grow while you rest for the next workout. Writing short posts on social media are the boost amino acids give you when you come back to the gym.

You have to workout a lot because quality is subjective.

This is a great debate amongst writers. I believe that one-off workouts, every now and then, is for chumps. You won’t get anywhere.

You’ll go and chase a book deal. You’ll look for the one-time success of your first book becoming a New York Times Bestseller. You’ll expect a viral blog post, or a major publication like Forbes to pay you for the workouts you do, after the first three sets.

The truth is nobody knows what your best writing is. You can’t predict viral or popular. I have been able to predict the success of fellow writers like Sean Kernan based on their workouts.

If a writer is going to the gym, working out a lot, doing the reps, changing exercises, targeting different muscle groups and not trying to be Arnie Schwarzenegger with their ego, they’ll crush it… quickly.

After the workout comes the battle arena.

*Queues Gladiator Movie Soundtrack*

What comes after the workout is the battle arena where you hit publish and get your pretty little face beaten up.

The battle arena is where you will face the harsh critics, the people who cheer for you, the other writers who might envy you, the high school bullies who still want to kick your ass, and the bad bosses who think they can control what you write.

You can’t stay in the comfort of the gym in draft mode. Publishing is where shit gets real. It’s where your personality, thoughts, ideas and view of the world are tested. The key to the battle arena is to disconnect from the result.

Sometimes you will win in triumph glory as a writer. Other times you’ll enter the battle arena and an online troll will swing an ax at your face and leave you bloody and beaten. You get back up. You hit publish again.

You will face your own demons in the battle arena

Your negative thoughts about your writing are your demons.

Your thoughts that tell you to shut up or make you feel like you’re not good enough to have a voice.

Your own demons often can’t be beaten with brute force or your writing muscles. You beat your demons by working on yourself, not your muscles.

This is the part of your writing fitness where you believe in yourself and what you have to say, where you conquer those negative thoughts and win the fight. It’s a simple idea: everything is going to be okay.

You will write something stupid or drop a dumbbell on your foot in front of the good-looking person who is reading your writing. Take it from a skinny guy who enters the gym and causes eyes to roll with thoughts of “damn you need a workout bro.”

Mistakes are a given. Winning is an endurance test. How many years can you write and not give up? That’s the real test, and you can pass it and feel the power of victory as a writer by helping strangers with their problems or changing how they think about something.

Writing can change your life when you compare it to working out in the gym. You build muscle by working out. You become a writer who gains traction really fast by writing a lot and putting in the work.

Write like you’re going to the gym to workout. Do the reps with a smile.

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I Pitched James Altucher via Email - He Rejected Me

Tim Denning Self Improvement

Photo by Mikey Harris on Unsplash

I got out of my chair and yelled “I’m going to pitch James Altucher!”

Spur of the moment inspiration can teach you a lot. You have probably been inspired by a writer or podcaster or vlogger before and dreamt of emailing them to perhaps make a new friend or change your life.

That’s what happened to me last week. I listened to a podcast with James Altucher (Top 10 iTunes Podcaster) and blogger Jon Morrow. I have had a secret desire to help James on this platform.

His stories break all the rules: caps in the headline, odd formatting, the occasional clickbait title, confusing images, etc.

I thought I might be able to help. Maybe James would let me offer some free advice or allow me to manage his account. I was living in a fantasy land.

I sent James an email early morning. I made sure that I got straight to the point and didn’t waste his time. I told him my credentials, lowered my ego and offered to help with no hidden agenda. I even told him that there was no obligation to reply.

James rejected me. How?

The way all influential people do: by not responding.

I sent the same message to him via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Every influential person has one platform they actually use and respond on. The others are managed by their team.

Even with my omnichannel approach, James still ignored me. I respect James for doing that.

James ignored me for many reasons. Let’s explore a few:

  • Too busy — Influential people are busy. They often see email and direct messages as a full-time job they don’t want. So they ignore almost all messages. They have a virtual assistant that skims their inbox looking for 1–2 nuggets of gold. The rest goes into archive without guilt.
  • Lousy pitch — There’s a good chance my pitch was lousy — despite me reaching some influential people like Derek Sivers via email over the years. A pitch you think is good could be tone-deaf. Unless you know someone who spends time with the influential person you’re pitching, you probably have no idea what they’re up against. Your pitch could be the last thing they need.
  • Doesn’t like advice from people he doesn’t know — I am a stranger to James. We have zero mutual friends. He has never read my work. So my offer to help is a long shot. Influential leaders get help from people they know or that are recommended to them. If Richard Branson recommended me to James then perhaps he would go “holy shit,” followed by hell yes.
  • Covid brain — The overwhelm is real.Being locked in your home and going to the shops with a mask can take its toll. A lack of human touch can make you feel disconnected. As a result, you develop what I call covid brain. It’s where you become numb. Your priorities change. A response to a situation is often your last thought. Non-reaction becomes your driving force.
  • The offer doesn’t match his goals — I have never seen James’s goal list. Perhaps this platform I’m pitching him is the last thing he cares about. Perhaps he is one month away from closing his account. If your pitch doesn’t match a person’s goal then they probably won’t respond.
  • He can find better people — I pitched myself as an expert. The reality is James can find people way smarter than me to help him with social media. He’s probably friends with Zucks, Bezos, Dorsey. So what the heck can I tell him that he can’t already acquire from people that own the tech platforms? Not much.

Do This Next Time You Pitch

A silent rejection to your pitch is a blessing. The key is not to let a failed pitch to a person like James Altucher get you down.

Expect rejection.

If you expect to be rejected then the outcome won’t matter to you.

The moment you attach expectations to a pitch, you’re screwed. I’ve said this many times before: an influential person, when you see how they act behind the scenes, will probably disappoint you. There are a few like Gary Vee that buck this trend, though.

Pitch for the joy, not the reply.

Pitching should be fun. To pitch an influential person is to believe in the impossible, the unlikely, the esoteric.

To send a pitch is to believe in yourself.

Learning to pitch is fun. It requires you to put yourself on the line and to be vulnerable. This discomfort from pitching pays off in the long run.

Expect rejection as the likely result.

Assume rejection. Then you won’t get romantic about the outcome and blame the world for the overwhelming blow to your fragile ego. Most pitches you send will be ignored because you can’t read people’s minds.

Follow up.

The secret to any pitch is not the first message you send.

The first messaged has a high chance of being ignored. Influential people like James Altucher appreciate the hustle. What is hustle when it comes to pitching? Following up on your message with empathy. Assume they are busy and send them a gentle reminder in 1–2 weeks.

This strategy has worked for me many times. I follow up at least four times across many channels. I reword the subject lines too, to see if I can get better cut-through.

Think of an email subject line like a book title or a headline. You have to grab their attention straight away.

Pitch someone different.

If James rejects your pitch then move on to the next person. The art of the pitch is to move on to the next person. You can always revisit an old pitch in a year’s time.

What I didn’t mention yet was that I pitched James a year ago. That pitch failed, too, so I let the storm pass. Don’t let one failed pitch stop you.

Keep pitching. Improve your pitch. Seek feedback on your pitch. Find the next person to pitch who might say yes.

Final Thought

The pitch I sent James Altucher received no response, and in a way, I’m glad. The lessons of rejection are far more important than the outcome.

A pitch is not about you and your selfish agenda for success. Someone might be going through hell right now and your pitch could land right in the middle of a disastrous period in their life. For example, your pitch for a podcast interview during the middle of an influential person’s divorce is meaningless.

Pitch often and don’t expect a response.

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Lessons from Millionaire Blogger Jon Morrow After 8 Years of Writing

Jon Morrow Millionaire Blogging

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

There are some damn inspiring people in the world whose last name is not “Musk.” Jon Morrow is one of them.

I discovered him a few years ago. He’s a bright spark for those experiencing darkness. He’s not just a writer; he’s an inspiration. He’s the sort of guy that can make you wake up and change your life.

The most impressive part about Jon’s story is not the $5.3M he made from his website “Smart Blogger” or the other three blogs he has taken to over $1M in revenue per year — it’s the simple lessons you can learn from him.

Kick a horrific disease in the butt.

Jon Morrow has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It means he lives in an electric wheelchair. He’s not supposed to live a long time either. His doctor told his mother when he was a boy that one day he’d catch an infection that would attack his lungs and give him pneumonia, causing him to die.

The doctor was right. Jon got pneumonia 16 times and didn’t die.

Jon lives his life in an electric wheelchair. He kicked the disease in the butt because he didn’t let it win. See, Jon can’t type on a keyboard like you and I can. Jon has to talk into a microphone and have his words turned into text. And that’s why Jon won. He screwed up his disease’s goals by finding another way to write. The score stands:

Disease: 0
Jon Morrow: 17 wins (and counting)

A handicap in life only holds you back if you let it.

You only get defeated by adversity when you decide to.

Online courses can make you a lot of money.

Jon makes over $1M per year from his blog “Smart Blogger” through online courses. Many people misunderstand the opportunity to earn a living from education.

Universities have been disrupted thanks to a global health crisis. A lot of the billions of dollars universities charge will be eaten up by people like you and me who can teach a skill online using a platform like Teachable.

Most of the writers I know make at least 50% of their living from teaching skills using online courses, than they do from actual writing. It’s the secret sauce behind Benjamin Hardy’s million-dollar writing empire too.

Don’t underestimate online courses as a way to earn a living online, even if money isn’t your goal.

People buy your attitude.

Jon’s attitude is infectious. As research for this story I attended Jon’s Webinars, signed up to his many email newsletters and took one of his courses. You know what was impressive: his attitude.

The way he looks at life as being slightly skewed in his favor is amazing. People like me buy his attitude not his products. Jon says “guys like me should be wasting away in a nursing home.” Not Jon. He wants to change people’s lives through writing.

Your attitude is the catalyst for your eventual results.

Let a car accident force you to leave your job if you’re unhappy.

In 2006 Jon got hit by a car going 85 miles an hour. The accident caused his legs to be broken in 14 places. He didn’t die (again).

The accident left Jon in hospital for three months. He had a lot of time to think. The realization he came to was “he didn’t like where things were going.” So Jon did the unthinkable and quit his job.

Get medical bill motivation.

The decision to quit his job was considered insane by Jon’s friends because his medical expenses alone in the US were $127,000 USD per year.

He needed his job primarily for healthcare. It made him feel like a corporate puppet. Insanely, he left it all behind and backed himself. He knew he would find a way because he had medical bill motivation in his life.

Jon crunched the numbers and realized he’d have to make a drastic shift in his life. This led him to quit living in the US and move to Mexico.

His goal was to find a way to earn money without having to worry about healthcare. The decision was to start a blog, which seemed wild to some people considering he could only move his face and nothing else.

Don’t tinker. Commit.

Many people try to do what Jon has done. Where they fall short is they tinker rather than commit. Jon was committed to blogging.

He started working on his blogging business at 8 AM in the morning and kept going to 11 PM each night. All he says he did was read, write and connect with other bloggers. No tv, chatting to friends or chasing girls down the street.

You can do a lot when you go all-in.

Fail at three blogs.

Jon’s first three blogs failed. They were a place for him to practice getting good. He was okay with the failed blogs because they taught him the skills that led him to become a millionaire blogger.

Your first blog should suck. Your first 100 articles will be terrible. Keep going beyond the initial failure.

Learn sales.

Jon is a secret salesman and I don’t think he knows it. As I listened to his webinars it was apparent that he knows how to sell.

He doesn’t flog you nonsense, though. He finds your problem and gives you the solution. The key is he gives you a lot of the solution upfront. In fact I’m willing to bet if you straight up asked him the solution to a blogging problem he’d probably tell you for free without needing your credit card.

Sales is just persuasion.

You need to persuade people to believe in you… to get anywhere in life.

“You can do this.”

People need to hear those four words right now. Jon says it a lot in his blog posts, podcasts and webinars. He explains what he believes in, in simple terms, and then tells you, you can too. We all need a little encouragement. Those four magic words help you believe in what is possible for your life.

Everybody else is busy telling you what you can’t do.

I believe you can. If you want to inspire people or earn a living online or write your dreams into reality, then go for it. There’s no one to stop you, only yourself.

Talk about your lifestyle.

Jon’s content is addictive because he shares the lifestyle his way of thinking brings. He talks a lot about how he doesn’t stress and can even afford to buy his father a car.

You don’t need to humblebrag. You can talk about how you live which can help others decide how they want to live. Lifestyle design is powerful in the online world. Design how you want to live your life, or a bad boss waiting for their next victim will do it for you.

Fuse your story into everything.

Your life story is unique. It holds immense potential that you can unleash when you tap into it.

Tell your story. You may not have gone to the moon and that’s the best part. People love common stories they can relate to. Jon sprinkles his story of defying the odds into everything he does. You can too.

Don’t be afraid to make money.

Making money online does not make you a sell-out.

You can sell your skills online and earn a living. It’s okay. Plenty of people are doing it. Why not you?

Jon is fine with charging money for his writing and his time. Master your own skills and do the same if you want.

A simple call-to-action is powerful.

Jon’s websites, email marketing, and landing pages all have one call to action: “Teach Me.” He shares his story and then tells you he can teach you. It’s subtle; it’s not too salesy.

Being a teacher is a noble cause. Anyone can be a teacher.

I don’t agree with everything Jon Morrow says.

Like any good teacher, not everything Jon says is on the money. Some of what he says is not so helpful. He promotes content marketing which can force people to write for the wrong reason.

You can get so hung up on writing for money and promoting companies that you lose track of what you’re doing. If all you do is promote companies you’ll probably get bored and quit fast.

Jon also loves personal branding. I do not. Personal branding forces people into a world of selfishness. They fall in love with their last name. Gary Vee said it best: “I really miss when people understood that people who consume their content are a community, not a group of people that are there to serve their ambitions.”

Final Thought

Find an unconventional online mentor like Jon Morrow. Find someone who is sharing a different narrative to the one that says get a job, buy a luxury car, have 2.1 kids and get into a huge amount of debt with a home that won’t make you happy.

You can learn from an online mentor and then become the teacher when you’re ready.

If you want to write online then don’t let anybody stop you. If a skinny dude from Australia with a bad education can do it, and if Jon Morrow can do it from a wheelchair, then so can you.

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