“…if you are restricted in your range by poverty, if you cannot buy books and newspapers, for instance, you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences; you are compelled to deal with the material which yields the most sugar and the most starch. It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.”
– Henry David Thoreau
I am happy to announce that Courage 2 Create is now generating a stream of revenue through the selling of my eBooks.
(If you haven’t had a chance, you can purchase them here.)
Now if you would have told me several years ago that this would be the case I would have told you that you were crazy. But believe it or not, that is now the case, and I have taken some time recently to reflect on how I was able to reach this point.
As always, whenever I overcome any obstacle, I like to come back to you, dear reader, and teach you how to overcome that obstacle yourself. (Because what are we here for anyway, other than to be each other’s student-teachers, so to speak?)
On Not Having Any Resources
I hear it time and time and again:
“I don’t have the resources, Ollin!”
“No one supports me!”
“No one reads what I write!”
“No one gives my passion their time and energy.”
“Ollin, if nobody is investing in me, and I have to have a day job, or I have to take care of my family, or I have to deal with this struggle in my life that is sucking all my time and energy, then how can I even begin to pursue my dreams?”
If this sounds familiar to you then know that you are not alone in these thoughts. This is the story of all of us. This is where we all begin: looking for someone else to invest in us.
We think this is how it works, because we seem to see those who are successful at pursuing their dreams as magically having the right people appear out of the blue to help them and invest in their projects.
Meanwhile, us, the poor ones, have nobody who is paying attention. No one is looking to invest in our projects, in fact, no one is even looking to support us in a general sense. It’s like our dreams are invisible to others and it breaks our heart.
“Why, oh why,” we cry to life. “Would you give me this dream and not give me the resources to pursue this dream?”
And so, instead of actively doing something about our lack of resources, we wait around for someone else to do something about it. We figure if no one is investing in us, we must not be “good enough,” or maybe “it isn’t the right time yet.” Or maybe our dream is totally off by a million marks, and there is something else we should be doing instead—maybe something our parents had recommended?
I remember, that, a few years back I was exactly in your boat: very few people believed in my dream of being a writer, and even fewer people really cared about my blogging. Many thought I was making a huge mistake by giving up my acting career. Many thought my blogging pursuit was “interesting” and “cool” but it was clear to me that they did not think it was “interesting”-enough to actually read what I wrote on my blog.
Later on, when the blog became popular, many of those who doubted me, or never read my blog, finally did read the blog and they were awakened to its great purpose and they told me afterwards that I had made the right decision after all.
But four years ago, when the blog was still in its infancy stage, it was with great difficultly that I searched around, wherever I could, for some kind of external support for my dream.
For a long time, I kept trudging along, waiting to be “discovered” and for someone else to invest in my dream. But I had to learn very quickly that no one else was going to invest in me unless I was willing to invest in myself first. I learned that life wasn’t supposed to be easy, and believing it was supposed to be easy was just a sign of my immaturity, a child-like view of things. I had to become a “grown up” and realize that I was the one who was going to have to create the resources I was lacking in order to make my dream a reality.
The first step, I knew, was to go looking for my readers and my fans all across the world. I realized that I had to stop expecting them to come and find me.
So, when I first began this blog, I worked 24/7 searching WordPress.com for any blog on writing I could find; and I would spend all of my time and energy reading and commenting all those strangers’ blogs. In those blog comments I offered the kind of advice I now share on this blog on a weekly basis. These strangers, finding great use in the comments I would leave on their blogs, would come back to my blog, subscribe, and keep reading what I wrote.
In this way, brick by friggin’ brick, I built this now ginormous blog from the ground up. Others may have had “overnight success” but I have to tell you, for me, building this blog was not easy. It took a lot of time and energy. I spent all of my resources on building this very platform.
Yes, my resources. You see: I did have a type of currency that life had given me to make my dream come true, and that was my time and energy.
Why You Should Invest In Yourself First
Believe it or not, as soon as I invested in my dream, others finally did come, seemingly out of the blue, to invest in my dream, too. I was given awards and accolades, I was given job opportunities, I was given a chance to form relationships with some of the most prominent and influential bloggers in the world.
What is more: when it came to further professionalizing my platform and selling eBooks on this very platform, all the right people appeared to aid me at the exact right time.
But, as you see, if I had not believed in myself first, if I did not display confidence in myself first, if I had not first invested all my time an energy in my own creation first, no one else would have any interest in it.
You, too, have a reservoir of time and energy that has been gifted to you in order to invest in your dreams. The problem is, most of you are waiting for others to use their reservoirs of time and energy to invest in your dreams first–meanwhile you will not invest a single drop of your own time and energy in the pursuit of your dream.
Because you are not willing to invest in yourself first, your pitch to your “potential investors” is weak because you have nothing to show for yourself but high-minded ideas with an exorbitant price tag attached to them—meanwhile, you have no idea that your potential investors are rolling their eyes behind your back, looking at you preposterously, and thinking to themselves:
“If this guy is not confident enough to invest in himself first, and show us at least one thing that he has done to accomplish his dream on his own, what makes him think we’d be confident enough to invest in him?”
You do not want your potential “investors” to think this way. No, instead, you want them to see how hard you have been working—how much you have stretched yourself to the limit to bring about change in your own life–so that they can see where they can step in and fill in the gaps you clearly cannot fill on your own.
You really have to display to them that YOU are the greatest and most influential stakeholder in the “business” that is your dream.
If you do that, then your potential “investors” will be greatly impressed by your efforts and, with wide-eye amazement, will give you their time and energy, because they will see your investment in yourself as evidence of the true value you are putting on your dream.
As you can imagine, such an investment of time and energy in your dream is one of the most powerful acts one could ever encounter in this world.
much love invested,
Today’s Courage Exercise
Invest in yourself today. (Stop waiting for others to invest in you.)
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