If You Are Struggling, Give It Up

I know how you feel. It wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting exactly where you are, so I get it if you’re feeling frustrated. Making your first hundred sales in your side business or getting your annual income up to $100,000 per year can be a struggle. But let me assure you, it will happen if you keep hustling.

Over ten years ago, I was very fortunate to enter college at the start of the Internet age. It was nothing but serendipity. And not a day goes by that I don’t wake up, look around at the hard luck stories in the world, and think, “There but for the Grace of God go I.” That is why I am so grateful, because I could just as easily have been born into hardship.

This is not to say I didn’t have my share of frustrations starting out. I was fired from my first real job after college, after being “promoted to my level of incompetence”, as Peter Drucker would have said. Having to start from scratch again, I briefly flirted with the idea of wallowing in frustration and a woe-is-me mindset. But as you’ll learn today, from both my virtual mentor, James Altucher, and myself, that is a losing approach to life. You are much better off using James’ Give-It –Up strategy, thinking big, and of course, never quitting what is important to you.

Back in those dark days, within hours of being fired I had sent out over two dozen emails to my network, updating them on the situation and letting them know that I was looking to add value any way that I could. In hindsight, I should have gone one step better and started giving away my best ideas.

This approach sounds strange, I understand. But here’s how to put that mindset to use in two strategies you can use to overcome any struggles you might be experiencing:

Strategy #1 – Lose The Scarcity Mindset and Start Thinking BIG

There is so much great opportunity in the world. In fact, we’ve never had it so good. If you are scarcity minded, or if you don’t believe there is a way for you to make a lot of money and add value to the world, then simply read the exchange below between James Altucher and AJ Jacobs, a multiple-time New York Times best selling author.

Altucher is a best-selling author himself, and has a huge online readership because he is willing to be brutally honest about his divorce, how he dealt with episodes of deep, dark depression, and how he once lost millions of dollars of his own money and his clients. I loved this excerpt from one of his early podcast so much that I had to share it with you. It shows you what you can do to help others even when you are down and out. (I have bolded and italicized the important parts),

AJ Jacobs:
I don’t necessarily write every day, but I try to generate ideas every day, and my inspiration for this is a great writer named James Altucher, who talks about the importance of your brain as a muscle and just keeping it really strong and flexible. I try to allot 15 minutes a day to coming up with new ideas, even if I never use those ideas, but it’s just the very act of generating ideas keeps my brain supple.

James Altucher:
Yeah, I agree with that. I find that just doing that allows you – if you’re thrown into a difficult situation, you can immediately come up with ideas to get yourself out of that situation, for instance, because your idea muscle is a machine at that point.

AJ Jacobs:
Yeah, I mean, you once told me, which I loved, you know, if you have a flat tire on the side of the road and you’ve been doing these brainstorming every day, then you’re gonna have a lot more solutions on how to fix that tire.

So I love that, and one of my favorite anecdotes you ever told me was that you had, at one point in your career, you were sort of at a low point and you sent out a letter to 40 different people offering ten free ideas to them, and that is a lot of work, but it actually paid off for you because you got – most people ignored what you said, but at least two people, who then became very important in your career, responded.

And I love that, just going out and offering free ideas to people.

James Altucher:
Yeah, I will tell you that one act, and it had to be 10 good ideas delivered to each person, so it was a while developing that idea muscle, but that one act generated, literally, millions of dollars for me. It worked out very well, so I definitely encourage people to do that.


Altucher’s advice is brilliant, and inspiring, and most importantly, replicable!

Your job – especially if you are struggling – is to stop being Eeyore the Donkey and switch into Tigger mode! Bring the energy and give it up. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out there and deliver more value to the world any way you can.

Developing big ideas is easier than you think, and it all starts with having a deep level of understanding about your prospect’s emotional wants and needs.

Opportunity also depends on the level of specificity in your big idea. Success is not rewarded to generalists. It is the reward for the specialist and expert. To get big, specific ideas that solve people’s problems, you should start by modeling what is working in your marketplace. Then create something of value for ALL of your potential affiliates and business partners and all of those folks that you see as fellow LEADERS in your industry (just like you)…and reach out and help them.

Which brings us to our next strategy:

Strategy #2 – Get a Mentor

While you might feel intimidated or frustrated now, I know that you are tough as nails. You have gone through so much worse to get to this point now, that contacting a few mentors for help is just a tiny, tiny challenge and you will conquer it.

When I hired my first coach, Tom V., back in 2006, I was going through the apex of my anxiety attacks. Prior to each coaching call I worried that the anxiety would get so bad I’d have to hang up on Tom. It was embarrassing, but also a driving force that led me to take action – on both my coach’s advice and on fixing the habits in my life that led to my anxiety.

Yes, there is fear that you must overcome. And yes, you must open yourself to constructive criticism and you’ll have to change your ways. But there is nothing more helpful in building a better career or business than to have a wise mentor guiding you along the way.

You now really have all that you need to overcome the frustrations in your business life. You have the knowledge, and you know the strategies. First, you must add value, and second, you must get a mentor. Take that first step and contact someone. Get your product out to the marketplace. Think big. Take action.

There might be dips, dark days, and yes, a few disappointments. But you will achieve more of your goals each week if you keep TAKING ACTION.

I believe in each and every one of you, and there’s no doubt of your potential. We just need to get you the confidence, dial in your big idea, and then implement the advice you get from your wise old mentors. That’s the ticket to getting results. That is the pathway to success.

Let me know how this goes!

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on track for these goals each and every day. Click here to follow the exact 5-minute system you can use to improve your life.]