You Need More Than This

Back in September of 2011 I sent you a bittersweet personal note. My mother had just decided to sell the family farm after my old man passed away in 2008 (he was a wild, wily character that you would have liked to meet).

Fast forward to this past weekend and mom (aka Bally the Dog’s favorite person in the entire world) just moved into a brand new ranch-style home.

She had it custom-built on a corner of the old homestead (she kept a little plot of land for herself in the sale).

Bally the Dog in the “backyard.”

Now if you’ve ever done renovations or moved into a new home, you know all too well about the delays that come with it.

Originally, my mom expected to move in last July. Then it was moved to October. And “finally,” December.

Well,” she sighed with exasperation, “at least we’ll be able to have the big family Christmas there.”

Of course, as soon as she sent out the invitation to all her brothers, nieces, and nephews, she found out that she wouldn’t be able to move in until January.

Now my mother has the patience of a saint. She had to in dealing with my father and teenage Craiggy, but this delay was pushing even her limits.

Unfortunately, she missed out on Christmas at the new house. Heck, we didn’t even have a Christmas tree this year at the old farmhouse.

(Instead, we just put a flashing dog collar on Bally and labeled him the Christmas tree. Although he’s gosh-awful hard to stick presents under.)

That brings us to this weekend. All of the trials and tribulations are now gone and forgotten. The stress, headaches, and inconveniences of delays and mismanaged expectations are no more.

Instead, we are basking in the glory of the new home.

It’s wonderful. Really, really fantastic – a sanctuary I look forward to visiting every month after another work road trip across the country or around the world.

And ol’ Bally the Dog? He’ll never want to leave. It was hard enough to drag him away from the old farmhouse and back to the confines of my Toronto apartment.

But now, with his three beds strategically spread out in various corners of the new home, I don’t think I’ll be able to trick him into the car…not even with some cookie treats.(Wait, those will work. They always do.)

Now you might be thinking…what in the HECK does this have to do with me and my health struggles, my career aspirations, or my Transformation Contest goals?

Well, nothing, on one hand, and everything, on the other.

You see, we all go through dark days and dips in our lives.

My mother, like your mother too, I’m sure, made enormous
sacrifices for many, many years.

She practically raised me and my sister single-handedly, on her just-above-the-poverty-line receptionist salary.

She graciously dealt with my father’s drinking and the embarrassment that his behavior and reputation no doubt caused her – when she’d attend social events alone, or worse, when he’d be there too.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my old man, and we all did. We loved the wise and caring father that he could be on good days, but he got beat by inner demons that were stronger than him, and it made life awful tough on her.

But she never gave up. She held fast to her faith and vision. Unlike her son, she never wrote down the rules of her life on paper, but they were – and are – engraved in her heart, and that has made all the difference.

Each morning, no matter how exasperated she was with my father, she got up, made sure her kids had everything we needed for school, went off to work, came home and made dinner, patched up my clothes, drove me to hockey practice, helped me and my sister with our multiplication tables, and made sure I brushed my teeth before bed.

She sacrificed. Sacrificed. And sacrificed.

And now all of her hard work is being rewarded, Now she has her well-earned little piece of paradise.

She deserves it.

Just like YOU deserve success in your Transformation.

And just like she did, you’ll sacrifice and sacrifice and when it seems like you just can’t go on, you’ll sacrifice some more.

There will be days when you wake up, roll out of bed, and think, “Oh no, not again. Not another day of banging my head against the wall all in the name of trying to make progress in life.”

But you’ll get out of bed, do your workout, stick to your diet, and then suddenly, one day, it will all change. For the better.



Listen, success comes in spurts, and while things might seem a little rough now, trust me, success will come.

So stay strong if you had a hard day, a tough week, or a frustrating month.

It WILL get better. That’s my promise to you. And I’ll be here as long as it takes for you to get there.

And if you are going through any dips right now, personal or professional, physical or financial, then just remember these little words of wisdom to get you through the day:

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

There’s a lesson to be learned in even the worst circumstances.

And the best thing we can do is take those lessons and set about on a new course of action that will get us closer to our goals and the success we deserve.

Because you see, as it did for my mother, having faith in your vision counts. Having rules in your head and your heart matters. The right attitude goes a long way. It will see you through to the goals that you have set.

For my mom, she always held strong to her faith that things would work out alright in the end. She never gave up hope.

Her overriding priority in life was to make sure that my sister and I were taken care of and supported as we worked towards our own versions of success.

And yes, my mom did get a little worried about me for a while when I was away at University, studying for some degree that she was afraid would turn out to be useless.

But her patience with and trust in me paid off.

Today she’s happily retired, busier and happier and more social than ever. And with the world’s BDFF, too (best doggy friend forever).

Things couldn’t be better for her today…but again, she had to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way.

Just as it will be for you.

And just as it has been for me, too.

You see, I’ve been failing my way to success for years.

And you can fail – and succeed, too – if you continue to try.

Or you can quit, and not taste failure or success at all.

I know you’ll make the right decision. After all, you’re an ETR reader.

As I like to say, your success is in your failure. And it’s best to be willing to “get punched in the face now in order to wear the Championship belt later.”

Hold strong to your vision. Stick with your never give up attitude. It will all pay off in the end. I know you’re with me.

Stay strong my friend. It will get better.

Success will be yours soon.

[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest. Though this round of the Transformation Contest has closed it’s not too late to access to all the helpful tools and advice that helped many people make a positive change in their lives. Get started on your major life transformations today.]
  • Sue

    Thank you for today’s newsletter Craig. I spent my life being a mom not only to my own son, but several therapeutic foster children. My chosen career was working with delinquent adolescents in a prison environment and then later in a drug rehab. It was all very challenging, yet rewarding at the same time when I knew I made a difference in a child’s life. That was until my only child died at the age of 21. My life came crashing down and I became very self destructive. Now, six years later I’m trying to pick up the pieces. I feel that finding your website was my karma for the good things I have done in life and it is helping me to make changes. I am only taking baby steps but at least I’m moving forward. Thank you for all you do and I am sure your Mother is very proud!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Stay strong Sue, you DID make a difference and you will continue to do so!

  • Javier

    Craig, You touch my heart. Thank you. i also want my mother enjoy her rewards. hopefully it is going to be soon. i will keep on pushing as you suggest.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thank you Javier.

  • Rebecca

    Beautiful, inspiring, full of hope. Thank you. And please give your mom a HUGE hug and tell her, she inspires me.

    • Rebecca

      Sorry! One more thing since I now can not stop thinking about your mom this morning! (no doubt because I am a mom with a son) Please share this with her “Does she realize the wealth of her payoff, not just in the home she now gets to enjoy but in what I’m sure she deems to be far greater value – you , Craig, her son? Does she realize that through all that adversity she didn’t just get by, she didn’t just accept mediocrity, she helped her son develop an amazing character full of drive, passion and a belief that he can do anything. She helped plant a seed, water it, and grow it to develop an amazing character within her son who is now responsible for positively influencing hundreds of thousands of lives. AND she did it in such a way that her son obviously respects and adores her. She is living a life of excellence. I can only hope that I can help my son do the same; develop strong character, achieve his dreams and then pay it forward for others.” (and i know you won’t let this get to your head Craig, but you’ve got to admit, you are pretty darn cool! haha)

  • Helen

    WOW What an inspiring story. I feel exactly the same. All the people in my family, and the group around them, died early, or are barely surviving. I may be still be in that situation, but I MADE UP MY MIND I was going to make my dreams come true. I have sacrificed everything in order to survive. so that I could create the art I wanted to create. AND I WILL NEVER GIVE UP UNTIL I DO IT. I feel that THIS IS MY YEAR…………AS I AM GOING TO MAKE IT MY YEAR!!! Thank you Craig for being so honest, you really inspire and motivate. I could not have come this far without your genuine support of all of us. THANK YOU. THIS WHOLE THING IS AN ANSWER to my prayers of manifesting……thank you ALL!! helen

  • nina

    thanks for sharing . You have done a good thing to me. I am 55 years old, with 9 kids and 9 grandkids …It’s all fantastic to be blessed with beautiful children, I am grateful to God. However I am , and have been trying to get out of my major obstacle to perfect happiness. I feel if i can do this, everything else will fall in place.—-yes EVERYTHInG. I am referring to cash. I have been bogged down with debts for the past 15 years. It doesn’t seem to get better no matter what. This has ead me to a trail of other problems .including my integrity ….I am in your ETR , my goal is to transform . I expect and anticipate ‘withdrawal symptoms’ , BUT i am going through this, whatever it takes . ,Be my coach. thanks