Unfinished Business and Strange Advice

Over the past several years, I’ve come to a strange conclusion.

I believe that everyone would be better off if they stood up in front of a crowd and admitted their biggest mistakes, flaws, and embarrassments.

Then, with that out of the way, they could get on with being completely comfortable with themselves and confident around others. No more hiding, worry, or stressing about what other people thought.

After all, things couldn’t get any worse (read: more embarrassing) than standing up and revealing your weaknesses, and so they’d quickly realize that the “worst” never turns out as bad as they fear.

If you’ve followed me on Instagram, you’ve heard me turn the word “FEAR” into an acronym:


The fact is, we allow fear to control us thoughts and behaviors… Often irrationally. So, if you just “do the thing” that’s scaring you – you’ll overcome it, and simply move on.

Where on earth did I get such a strange idea?

We have to blame Dan Kennedy for this one.

Several years ago I read his autobiography, “Unfinished Business.” The book was hard to find, and few people have read it, but it might be the most important Kennedy book you could read.

That’s right, more important than “No BS Direct Marketing,” “No BS Wealth Attraction,” and even “No BS Time Management.”

Heck, even more important than his book, “Ruthless Management of People and Profits” (and that’s perhaps his best).

Why is Unfinished Business so important?

Reading that book made me realize that it doesn’t matter how many mistakes someone makes, all that matters is that they are out there taking action and adding value.

Kennedy lays out all of his dirty laundry in that book, from his divorce to his battle with alcohol, to his bankruptcy, stuttering problem, and financial hardships of his early years.

As I read the book, I realized that Kennedy didn’t care what other people thought about him.

And even if he did care, he wasn’t going to let their opinions stop him from taking action, moving ahead, adding value, and speaking to the people that mattered.

When I was done the book, I started to test the waters following Kennedy’s lead.

I ignored the critics and wrote for those who mattered… People like you. I’m reminded of a time when one of my mentors told me, “Craig, right now there’s someone on their knees PRAYING about their life. They are crying themselves to sleep because they are miserable with their life. You have a solution that can help them. Who are you to keep your solution away from them? Why would you be so selfish as to not share that message with the world?”

At the time, I was promoting Turbulence Training, so I began writing…

I started writing articles for my fitness list about my failures, my mistakes, my father’s passing, about his flaws, and the lessons I learned from them.

I put it all out there.

Since then, I took over Early to Rise and started writing for entrepreneurs, systems that I’ve used and how people could begin taking back their own time.

I’ve written about my weaknesses, my mom’s worries about me, my anxiety issues, my business mistakes, the search for the love of my life Michelle, fatherhood, and much more.

Doing this has shown my readers that I’m human, still learning, and not anywhere near perfect…

…and it has only served to improve the relationship with my readers.

I’d like to think it has shown them that I care.

I’d like readers to know that I’m in the battle with them every day… That we’re all here trying to get better – by taking action, adding value, and never giving up, no matter how ugly it gets.

We all have our crosses to bear.

We all have our battles to fight.

And throughout all of this, we all have an opportunity to inspire our readers by showing them how we are fighting through them.

Because that’s what it’s all about.

It’s not about the critics. It’s about those who count.

If you’re reading this, you’re one of those who count. You have a message to share with the world. Why keep that inside of you?

At Early to Rise, one of the things that we work with our coaching clients on is finding our clients’ “zone of genius.” What is it that they’re best at? What is the message that only they can share?

I want to encourage you to find your zone of genius. Find your voice, and don’t be afraid to share your message. It’s OK to be human and admit that you’re not perfect. Every one of us has flaws and has done things we’re not proud of… But that shouldn’t stop you from sharing your message.

It’s about showing other people that they can succeed, no matter how rough things are.

Don’t be afraid of sharing your struggles. People will be impressed by your candor and will offer their support. You’ll also offer hope to those who may be struggling mightily. Think about that person crying themselves to sleep at night… Wouldn’t you want to give that person hope?

By sharing your struggles, you will connect stronger with those that matter.

Here’s proof.

I’d like to introduce you to a Little Boy from East LA who ignored his critics… Who went after what mattered to him and who attracted tens of thousands of people into his world who wanted to help him – all because they saw the good that he was doing.

Watch this with your morning coffee…it gets really good after 2 minutes:

The big message from that little boy is that when you do good stuff, people will see you and want to support you.

They will rally behind you.

So get your message out there.

Lay it on the line.

Never give up.

Stay strong.

Get stronger,
Craig Ballantyne

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe