We weren’t designed this way

As our world changes and evolves it always brings both good and bad effects.

There has never been a better time than today to be a creative person. Technology has made it possible for us to create music, movies, movements and money-making ideas in ways that simply weren't open to the majority of us before. And we can reach a global audience for our creations without needing permission from anyone else.

But there are some side effects to this personal empowerment. It has enabled people to live their lives separately from others and it has prospered the myth that we don't need others to succeed and thrive.


George Monbiot wrote very powerfully about this in the Guardian newspaper this week saying,

"Yes, factories have closed, people travel by car instead of buses, use YouTube rather than the cinema. But these shifts alone fail to explain the speed of our social collapse. These structural changes have been accompanied by a life-denying ideology, which enforces and celebrates our social isolation. The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – is the religion of our time.

We have destroyed the essence of humanity: our connectedness"



This is a critical point to understand if you want to make a big change in your life or work. The commonly held belief (much encouraged by some self-improvement gurus) is that if we can just magic up previously unavailable quantities of confidence, motivation and self-discipline, then we will be able to quit our job, start a business, or finish writing that book.

The only problem with this is that it's bullshit.


Trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps rarely produces good results. And that's not surprising because it's not the way we were designed. As George Monbiot explains,

"We were social creatures from the start, mammalian bees, who depended entirely on each other. The hominins of east Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others."

We evolved to be social, community-based animals. So stop giving yourself a hard time for failing to make as much progress as you would like when you're struggling to find the motivation, time and energy on your own.

You need a community wrapped around you that wants you to succeed. Then everything changes.


That's why I love my programme, The Screw Work Let's Play 30 Day Challenge so much. It's 250 people around the world supporting each other in finding an idea and making it happen in 30 days, guided by me and the Screw Work team every step of the way. It's impossible not to be swept up by the excitement and energy of this unique experience.

This November the Challenge rides again, possibly for the last time.

If you're not on the Screw Work Let's Play email list, enter your name and email below to hear more about the Challenge:

First Name * Email *

 

What I learned from Elon Musk

Elon MuskI have a new entrepreneurial crush.

A few weeks ago I started researching Elon Musk and was amazed at what I learned.

Although the 41 year old entrepreneur is well know in the US many people in Europe have still not heard of him.

And this is despite the fact that he is the model for the Tony Stark character in the Iron Man films!

So who is Elon Musk?

Here is a guy who played a key role at the start of Paypal but when he left with $67 million instead of simply living the high life he decided to do something he really cared about - to help get the human race to Mars.

SpaceXSo he founded SpaceX with his own money and set out about revolutionising space travel.

His aim initially is to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel. He has created a prototype of a rocket that instead of disposing of large components such as fuel tanks after one flight, will be fully reusable and will land vertically back on its base (it's worth searching YouTube to see it!)

SpaceX has already been awarded a $1.6 billion NASA contract and is flying supplies to the International Space Station, replacing the Space Shuttle.

His long term aim is to get a human to Mars within twenty years. Elon has said he'd like to go live there himself one day – "I would like to die on Mars... Just not on impact."

Tesla

TeslaAside from Space X, he is also chief product architect of Tesla Motors, the company transforming the motor industry with its electric cars.

The new Tesla model D announced last week is an all-electric car that will match the 3.2 second 0 to 60 mph time of the McLaren F1. As Elon puts it, “This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck.” And yet it can still drive 275 miles on one charge.

The car will automatically avoid danger and almost drive itself. When you want to go for a drive, you'll be able to summon the car to pick you up autonomously (as long as you're on private property where it doesn't contravene any laws).

What is Elon like as a person?

When I first read of these remarkable achievements I found it hard to believe that one person could play a key role in so many important ventures. For a moment I felt jealous. I actually assumed I wouldn't like him.

But I went and found some videos of him speaking and instead of finding him to be some cocky, arrogant guy, I found an introverted man who is awkward on camera and cautious in speaking.

And that just made me like him more!

Then I watched him explain how he chose his projects. The interviewer asked him "Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla - how did you choose these very different projects?" and his answer blew me away.

"When I was in college I thought which areas would most affect the future of humanity and the 3 areas were the internet, sustainable energy and space exploration" – and so that's where he aimed his work.

Who thinks like that? I mean seriously!

Not many of us choose our career by where we can have the most impact on the human race. And I'm guessing you didn't get much careers advice during your life to date that was aimed at that level.

But maybe we can all learn something from Elon here.

We can't all have his intelligence (or even his work ethic) but we can dare to dream a little bigger. To think not just about our immediate concerns of income but also the impact we want to have.

And before you start thinking you can never act on the same scale as Elon, remember that he started small just like everybody else.

From small acorns...

Elon didn't start out with enormous ventures. Inspired by the success of Netscape, he dropped out of Stanford in 1995 with a vague idea to start an internet company. He had $2000 in the bank, a car, and a computer.

His brother and a friend joined him and they rented a small office with a leaky roof for $400 a month. And because he couldn't afford an apartment as well as the office he lived in the dank office.

Together they created Zip2, a simple little idea to take the contents of a business directory CDROM and combine them with some mapping software made by another company. The result was the web's first yellow pages. Zip2's customers were newspapers who wanted to put maps and directions on their websites. Some years later they sold the company to Compaq and Elon's share was the seed for his future ventures.


So I can't help feel inspired by Elon Musk. His focus is on doing what he considers most important for humanity and he still creates incredible success for himself along the way. On top of this he has the ability to start where he can, follow through to produce results, and build on them to do something bigger.

What inspiration do you take from Elon? Or do you have another favourite entrepreneur or visionary as your inspiration? What could you do, even if it's small, that you care enough about to follow through on?

Leave a comment and let me know...

The rise of the rulebreaker

Seth Godin Your TurnLast night I discovered that one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, is releasing a new book.

Despite being the author of 12 bestselling books translated into 30 languages, Seth has decided not to write a normal book again: It's not released through a mainstream publisher and it doesn't even look like a conventional book.

Having noticed that few people have the patience for a lengthy book on one topic, Seth has created his new book to look more like a magazine. It's shorter, has less text and a lot more photos and graphics.


Personally, I love the idea! I'm tired of books with one simple idea drawn out over 500 pages because that's what a 'serious book' is supposed to look like.

And instead of trying to make it a New York Times bestseller, he is focussing on selling multiple copies of the book to each buyer who can then sell it or give it to their friends and colleagues in a new kind of "horizontal distribution". Plus he's raising the funds to publish it in advance using a crowd-funding platform.

Aside from my excitement for Seth's new book (which I immediately ordered 3 copies of), I realised something even more important from seeing Seth break all the rules of books and publishing:

This is the era for rule-breaking



Just this week, Thom Yorke of Radiohead released his new solo album as a paid BitTorrent download distributed peer-to-peer for just $6 with more of the money going to the artist.

Also this week, bike shop owner Paul Budnitz announced his new social network Ello as 'the anti-facebook' and hit 31,000 requests an hour from people wishing to join.


It's new technology that is enabling us to smash all the rules in so many areas of life and work. The old rules and restrictions are breaking down – for what we can do for a living and how we can get paid for it, for how we can connect with others and share our passions and expertise, how we build an audience, how we find others to collaborate remotely to help us, and even where we can live while we make a living.

Today we can all be a rule-breaker. All we need is the bravery to go against the norm.

What rule do you want to break?

Is there an industry or field you'd like to change? Or do you want to revolutionise the way something is currently done? What would you like to make happen that would have been hard or impossible not so long ago?

Leave a comment and let me know...

 

 

Still hunting for your passion? Read this…

Liz Gilbert, author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love spoke at Oprah's "The Life You Want Weekend" recently and said something rather controversial about finding your passion:

"I'm going to say something really weird and it's going to surprise you... I'm going to speak out for a second against passion."

"You spend a lot of your life having people tell you to follow your passion. It's nice advice, it's heart-warming advice, it's great advice -- if you happen to have one that is very clear and obvious"

But what if you're like me (and the majority of the human race) and don't have a single clear passion, then what do you do? The idea that you must find your passion before starting anything keeps you in a holding pattern forever.

And as Gilbert went on to say it can even make you miserable:

"Sometimes it feels cruel and all it does is make you feel even worse and more left out, because you're like, 'I would if I knew what it was!'"

"If you're in that position right now... forget about passion."

Instead, she suggests something more practical:

"Follow your curiosity"

"Passion is rare; passion is a one-night-stand. Passion is hot, it burns. Every day, you can't access that."



So what do you think of Gilbert's advice?

Do you already have a clear passion? And if so, have you acted on it?

If not here's something that might help.

What are your micro-passions?

If you simply note where your curiosity and enjoyment lies at the moment and follow it, I have found you will come across your micro-passions - small areas of life that fascinate or excite you right now.

As I mentioned, I don't have one big passion. But I do have plenty of micro-passions.


Here are just a few of my micro-passions:

  • The future of work and value creation in the 21st century
  • Non-fiction writing that teaches new ways to see the world and get what you want
  • Innovative user-interface design in software and hardware
  • Productivity apps and software
  • Endocrinology
  • The science of happiness
  • Psychological differences between the genders
  • The cultural differences revealed in language
  • The rules of punctuation and grammar in English
  • The best coffee in London
  • High protein breakfasts
  • Building good looking websites quickly
  • Automation software
  • Standup comedy
  • Interviews with famous authors, comedians, musicians, entrepreneurs and creative people
  • The future of publishing
  • High end audio-visual technology
  • Modern architecture and skyscrapers and bars/restaurants with a dramatic view of a city



How's that for variety? And this is just a small selection. What's great for me is that I can use a huge number of my micro-passions in a single business (because I designed it that way)

So what are your micro-passions?

Share your top 3 in the comments. I'd love to know...

 

How is your follow-through?

300 people recently told me their biggest obstacles to starting something they love and making money out of it...

And one of the top problems that came up again and again and again was "Follow-through" - the ability to stick to one idea and follow it through to the point it's working and making real money.

So here's what I've got to say about the challenge of following through...

 

What's your pattern?

So what gets in the way of your follow-through? Leave a comment and let me know...


PS. If you've had enough of trying to make something happen on your own (and not getting very far), there are still a few places left on The Screw Work Academy - my 6 month programme to make a 6-figure income doing what you love. Learn more about The Screw Work Academy here

“You’ll never amount to much”

"You'll never amount to much" - ever heard that message in your life?

You might have heard a version of it from a school teacher or careers counsellor who suggested you lower your expectations.

You may even have picked up a hint of it from your friends or family - don't expect too much, don't get your hopes up, better to be "realistic".

Well, screw that!

Watch this video clip with me talking about this damaging message,
how I proved them wrong in my own life, and how you can too.

 

So what's your dream?

What do you dream of? What could you be capable of if you had expert guidance, a plan to follow, and all the support you could ever need?

Leave a comment and let me know!

What was your pivotal moment?

This week I ran a live online training with over 300 people all over the world and we talked about the perils of The Job which can drive you crazy:

  • the bad boss
  • the nightmare colleague
  • the miserable office
  • the tedious commute and worse...

You might put up with it all for many years until...

 

That Pivotal Moment

The moment that forces you to wake up and
decide something has to change - and fast.



Sometimes it's the work day from hell, sometimes it's something much worse - like losing a friend much too young.

What was yours?

Watch this video clip to discover my pivotal moment
and those of other Screw Work followers

 

What was your pivotal moment?

Leave me a comment and let me know...

How Chris Wild turned a simple idea into the worldwide hit blog, Retronaut

Yesterday I gave you my answer to the first of the 5 biggest questions given to me by the SWLP tribe on how to find an idea you love, get it started and scale it up into a full-blown 6-figure income.

Today I want to talk about the 2nd big question -

"How can I find an original idea?"

And while I'm at it, there is a closely related question that came up a lot that I want to address too:

"How do I choose when I have a lot of ideas?"


So how can you find an idea that will really take off?

To answer that question, I met up with Chris Wild who had coaching with me a few years ago.

Chris had a LOT of ideas, and some of them were pretty out there to be honest. But it seemed obvious to me that one really stood out.

Chris took that simple idea and turned it into Retronaut - one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Retronaut now gets 50,000 hits a day, and has been named "Best of the web" by the Daily Mail.

As a result of his blog, The Times even named Chris, "One of the 50 most important people to follow on twitter".

 

See how Chris did it

Watch this short interview where I ask Chris about choosing his idea, the impossible dream that fuelled it, and the moment he knew he had a smash hit on this hands....

 

Get my answers to the rest of the top 5 questions about making serious money doing what you love

In order to do justice to all the great questions I've received, I'm going to run a very special one-off live training tomorrow night (Wednesday). It takes place online so you can join from wherever you are in the world.

 

I'm going to go through the top 5 obstacles to getting paid to do something you love including some juicy stuff like - how to make money out any idea, how to know what to charge, how to spread the word and get people engaged (without any cheesy sales stuff), and how to follow through and get results even if you have no self-discipline (like me!)

And if you have a different question, just join me and ask me live on the line.

 

Register to join me on Wednesday - just click the button below.

 Register now

The #1 block to making serious money from something you love…

I asked for your questions on how to find an idea you love, get it started and scale it up into a full-blown 6-figure income - and the responses I've received have already been absolutely fascinating to read.

And interestingly, the same 5 questions or stumbling blocks came up again and again, with a slightly different slant for each person.


So I'm going to answer all 5 questions for you.

I'll answer the first right now, the 2nd tomorrow and the rest of a free live online training with me on Wednesday night (more on that in a moment).

So here is the first of the big 5 stumbling blocks:

FEAR!

 

Yes that old chestnut.

Fear comes in many shapes and sizes but one of the most common fears people shared with me in the survey was the fear of losing the salary of your current job and, well, basically going broke...

 

Stephanie asked, "How do I overcome the fear of taking full responsibility for my career and income?"
Jess asked, "How can I overcome my fear of losing house and home?"
Andrew asked, "How to leave job security for entrepreneurial insecurity?"
Liz asked, "How can I ensure financial security?"
Mark asked, "How can I find the confidence to 'screw work and play' when I have wife, kids, mortgage and debt commitments?"

 

So here's my answer: Don't worry about how you're going to quit your job right now. Put that to one side for the moment. Of course that might well be the ultimate aim (and it's something that happens often with participants in my Screw Work Academy). But it's too much pressure when you're just getting started on something.

In fact don't even think about starting a business at the moment.

All you need to do is start a project you love on the side.  Then apply one of my 11 easy monetisation methods (I'll share these in the Wednesday live training).


And let's talk about security.  Once you have something that's making proper money, you are actually MORE secure than being in a job.  When you create your own income, you have 10s, 100s, or 1000s of people giving you money (depending on the nature of your work).

When you're in a job, there's only one person paying your entire salary - your boss.  Which one is more secure?

When you run your own thing, it would be very unlikely for 1000 people to fire you at the same time.  And apart from being more secure, guess who has more power, choice and freedom - the person whose entire salary depends on the whims of a single boss or the person receiving money from many different sources?

Take it step by step

The process I teach is to start a project you love without quitting your job, apply your favourite one of my 11 easy monetisation methods, follow my 6-step process to spread the word and scale your income and then at some point when you are making enough, that is the time to consider leaving your job.

And if you don't want to quit your job, don't!  You can keep it as a sideline and use the extra income for any purpose you like - invest it back into what you love doing, pay off your debt or mortgage, or take that special holiday or travel trip you've always wanted to do.

The choice is yours - if you want to take it all the way to a 6-figure income (and beyond) you can when you learn the right steps.

 

Join me on Wednesday night

In order to do justice to all the great questions I've received, I'm going to run a very special one-off live training on Wednesday night.  It takes place online so you can join from wherever you are in the world.

I'm going to go through the top 5 obstacles to getting paid to do something you love including some juicy stuff like - how to find an original idea, how to know it's going to work, how to know what to change, how to spread the word, and how to follow through and get results even if you have no self-discipline (like me!)

Register to join me on Wednesday - just click the button below.

Register now

John

 

PS.  Watch out for my answer to the 2nd top obstacle tomorrow - featuring a video interview with someone I first coached a few years ago who has ended up creating a run-away blog that makes him a full-time living and gets 50,000 hits a day.

The challenge of creating something personal: Noel Langley on his #1 Jazz album

Noel Langley

You may not have heard the name of top trumpet player Noel Langley before but you can bet you've heard him play.

That's because he's played with everyone from Lou Reed, Massive Attack, and Radiohead to Tom Jones, Robbie Williams, and Adele.

And yet despite his glittering career he had never released an album of his own - until now.

Beset by procrastination and the all-too-typical fears everyone has of putting something more personal out into the world, he came for some coaching with me and took the 30 Day Challenge.

It was in those 30 days that the album that became Edentide started to take shape.

And on its release last week, Edentide went straight to the top as
#1 Jazz album on the whole of iTunes.


To celebrate this fantastic achievement, I grabbed Noel in a rare moment of free time and asked him what got in the way of making the album, how he cracked it, and the trick he learned from me that made it possible to get his album made despite a very busy schedule.

Listen to the interview right here:



Listen to a free taster of Edentide

You can listen to Edentide on Noel's website at NoelLangley.co.uk. You can also find download links for Amazon and iTunes or order a signed copy from Noel himself.

Listen to Edentide and buy a copy on NoelLangley.co.uk