CATEGORY: SFM & DEA
The core value of the Six Figure Mentors (SFM) is this – we want to bring online marketing success within reach of anyone who has the courage to step out of the status quo (your financial security in the hands of an employer) and the drive to create life on their own terms. All you’ll need is a working computer, a decent Internet connection and the commitment to achieving your goals.
With our Digital Experts Academy (DEA) we’re here to give you the tools, training, resources and community support to help you succeed in the online arena. In the end, why serve a business until retirement when you can learn to create a business that serves you!
This category of articles is dedicated to SFM and its world-renown academy DEA.
Start your digital journey with us and live the Life you most desire!
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Inspired by John Jackson, SFM Digital Experts Academy.
I‘ve been busy lately to identifying excuses, which I had been doing in the past – recent and distant.
I noticed that it all starts with a little tiny voice in my head, which repeatedly chants, “You can’t do that” or “You are not wise enough to …” or “I can do it tomorrow“.
Seriously, that bugs me since it works against my strive to achieve my purpose – to be of support to others and help them discover their inner gift. Because if I want to give to others, I first need to create it in myself, right?
So, why can’t I be in integrity with my purpose? Then I realize that the little voice is actually my own mind, sabotaging my productive creativity by doing crazy things to me…
Our mind is a fantastic creation. It is an amazingly beautiful thing. But I also started realizing – one way or another – that some things are not so good. And one of the primary ones, I discovered, is that …
The mind is a powerful excuse-making machine
It hit me that the mind, all too frequently, tries to convince us not to take actions that we know are good enough for us to get what we deserve to be. And that prevents many positive changes to take place in our life.
We all do it. I am myself, a master in that field. So I am not gonna sit here and display innocence.
However, I have learned to watch for those excuses very carefully, in order to make some positive changes in my life. Those changes are mostly in the range of healthy diet, more sleep, more movement, meditation, frequent reading, expressing gratitude, writing, better focusing, appreciation of things I have, and I know …
Starting today, I am going to recognize some things, namely: There are no short cuts, there are no quick fixes. There is no blaming others, and there is no “I am gonna do it tomorrow.”
We often have excuses, and we lean on them because it is easier like that – to not change, not take action, not move a muscle, not exercise our thinking stuff, and so on. So what can we do to defeat them?
I believe the only way to do that is to …
… unveil the truth about those excuses
There are areas in my life, where I had succeeded in making positive changes when I was put in situations that manufacture excuses to cover up failures.
I still remember the day I could not find my son at the schoolyard. I could come up with well-fabricated excuses for why I could not find him and sought to blame others, the traffic, the circumstances, or the bad weather in the Netherlands. In fact, until I knew better, I failed countless times, giving up to my excuses. In my young mind, I could only find profound apologies and no alternatives for action.
So, I began wondering why the mind messes with us and makes these irrational excuses.
How about bringing some awareness of what happens with us when we think of an excuse? Because only with awareness, there is progress in understanding. Then, with better understanding comes the Knowing. Then the Doing. Then we see the Mastering. Then, we experience Perfection.
Thus, let’s get this straight: get frank with our minds and find – to a level of great depth – what does our mind actually want?
Our mind wants comfort!
Our mind is afraid of pressure. It is scared of change. Scared of failing. The mind is absorbed in its own comfort zone. And any time we try to stretch that zone too far, for too long, towards new horizons, the mind tries desperately to get back to ground zero. And it does it at any cost – nobel or tricksy – including sacrificing our long-term health, happiness, success, fulfillment, good habits, relationships, kindness, love … whatever we try to work hard for.
So, I have decided: I will expose some excuses. And with that, I plant some seeds on how to respond to those excuses, so we have a higher level of understanding about each pretext our mind throws at us.
Let us start with a common one:
“I can’t do this.”
“… I can’t do it! I simply can’t …“
Most people stop there and attempt no further course of action. This statement is too strong to overcome and counter. Seems too difficult at first.
The solution: simply, believe in yourself that you can take yet another small step towards your goal. Other people can do it. You are not less capable of going one extra step. You’ve done it so many times in your life, right?
The truth is: the only person who can tell you YOU can’t do it, is you. So if you hear those words at the back of your mind, tune them out. Remember, your doubts and your faith have something in common – they both ask you to believe in something you cannot see. You simply have to decide which one you want to believe in.
Laziness is attractive. Dedication and hard work always lead to fulfillment and satisfaction in the long run. If you want to do something, you find a way; if not – you find an excuse.
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How about this one?
“They can do it, but that does not apply to me !”
“They are way better than me, they have more skills.
Because, you know, with my circumstances, yeah, I can’t do it…“
Here is the reality: just because someone else can, does not mean that you can’t. You just look for reasons why they can do it, and you can’t.
- “He is a successful entrepreneur, he has no kids, no obligation. I have no time, I have family and responsibilities …” or maybe
- “She is way fitter – she can run that marathon, I can’t“, or
- “They have a supportive spouse, and I don’t” or
- “They are so young and strong …“.
It is so simple to find an excuse and obliterate the motivation that holds your inner center. But, say, look at those people who had considerable obstacles in their lives and still made it. We all know of those people!
I am sure you can recall moments of your life when you have overcome adversities and have risen above the ashes to see another day of future and progress. Who hasn’t experienced that at least once?
There are stories about people with disabilities and illnesses who have reinvented themselves and achieved great things – no matter the costs and the conditions. Then, I came to believe that whatever obstacles one has in their lives, at that very moment, the obstacles can be overcome.
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Here is another one:
“I am stuck …”
“… and looking at my life, I just don’t have the time to make these changes. It takes me forever to …”
Hey, have you ever met a successful, fulfilled individual who has not taken control over their life? Or who has made excuses for their unsatisfying life? Ever seen anybody like that? No!
As a matter of fact, we write our destiny with the choices we make every single day. We become what we repeatedly do; hence, it is more important to know where we are going and WHY instead of going there quicky.
In fact, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things are! And prioritizing those accordingly. Most of us spend most of our time on urgent and unimportant things.
So, I propose: Think first about what is urgent and what is important. Make a list. Think about that. Meditate on it. Then, once you make this list, look at it, and make commitments to do the important things first. Because it is plain simple: the important things are the ones that will make you move forward.
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How about that one:
“Oh man, it will be too hard, simply because I can’t get by without …”
(You can fill the three dots above).
Each of us can put something in place of the three dots. “I need my wine, I need my sweets, I need money, I need my break, I need my TV shows, I need my fancy wardrobe, …” And the list goes as long as the river Nile …
I am not discounting these things, but those are often luxuries that we convince ourselves we can’t live without. So we can justify not to make changes in our lives – not making time for ourselves, not exercising, not eating healthy, not saving, not spending time with family, not simplifying our lives, or building a profitable business.
I am not immune here – I made all those excuses my self, as well. But I began to understand that they all came to be lies. I know now that I don’t really need all of those things in my life. When I tell myself that I need them is only getting in the way of creating positive changes for my well-being.
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Here is the next one:
“Isn’t life supposed to be easier and joyful?”
Sure. I agree. Life should be enjoyable and fun. But here is a mini problem when we repeatedly convince us: “The life should *always* be easy. It should *always* be enjoyable.”. Those phrases are here to justify all kinds of lazy behavior. I could just sit on the couch, pop up those chips, and binge-watch all the series of “Narcos” on Netflix – because, “man, life should always be easy, right?“.
Well, think about that: you can still do without that junk food and still enjoy life. You can do some physical exercises and still like it. I am not saying you need to give up completely TV watching, but do not make it at the center of your existence. You could give some comfort away and not lose a thing. In fact, the path of least resistance is often the path of least reward. Think about it.
We all need to do hard things. Einstein has said it:
“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…”,
… and he is right. There is no shortcut to the places worth going. You gotta run if you wanna be a runner. You gotta write if you wanna be a writer. You need to master that business skill if you want to be a business person. There is no substitute for doing the work. It won’t be easy, but its gonna be worth it.
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I’ve heard a good number of people who love to lean on that one:
“I just deserve a break.”
It is true: we all deserve a fair treat – a day off here and a day off there. I am not saying you should not give yourself a reward for the hard work you’ve done. But if one makes that rationalization as a primary rule for living, he will always be on a break.
How about considering “sticking to my plans” as being a reward on itself. I see reaching my goals as a gift I give myself. If I need to do that walk and do the work, according to my plan, I better do it if I want to see a change. Because if I don’t change, nothing else changes.
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My favourite …
“I can do that later !”
Indeed, you can. You can always do it later. The irony in this is that your later-self will feel precisely the same way. Hence, let’s ponder on that statement for a second: Why should your later-self be more disciplined than your present-self? There is no reason!
In fact, allowing yourself to postpone things, permits the habit of procrastination to flourish. More so, it is even less likely that your later-self will be more disciplined – because that later-self, already has the “positive” experience to excuse itself.
Thus, let us stop making excuses about why we can’t get things done. Shall we focus on the reasons why we must make it happen? Stop talking about what we could– or going to do. Simply do it now. Let actions speak for the results.
I’ve learned the harsh way: the most significant things in life don’t happen by chance. They happen by choice. And we can’t find what is possible until we risk finding it out. In the long run, there is only one thing that can make your dream and goals completely impossible to achieve – that is the lack of action today.
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Here is another poisonous one:
“I can’t be better. I already failed so much”
Little news flash here: you are only human. Everybody has failed, some more, some worse. If you break down, that is fine. Just don’t stay down! Rest, recharge, and pick yourself up, so you can go to where you’d rather be. Mistakes make us wiser. Failures, they help us grow. Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep living.
In the words of Winston Churchill,
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Persistence is the mother of all productive efforts. Failures – whether small or grand – they happen to all of us. Nobody is protected.
Those who succeed are those who don’t quit. Because once you learn how to quit, that on its own becomes a habit. Better learn how to stop quitting and keep going.
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I saved this one as last, to make again the point about time:
“It is just too late for me now … “
“I missed my opportunities. It is late for me to …”
Change is costly. Growing to that change is optional. You can remain stuck or learn to grow. Where you end up depends solely on your daily attitude and your response to adversities. And that relates closely to one’s purpose in life – what you do in your daily routine, defines your reaction to the circumstances. Because, if your purpose is to help your kids grow or clean the ocean from plastic waste, there is no “late” moment to do that, regardless of the elements. It is never late to change your attitude towards something you can’t change – like “age” and “time”. Just decide to make the best of it – no excuses, no regrets.
Frankly, nothing is too late, until …. your heart stops beating. So, while it is still beating – and if you can hear that – congratulations: you are ALIVE. Which means it is not too late for you. Things can change if you want them to change. At any age.
Make choices, not excuses. Right now, you can choose to make something new happen. Your future is now. Grab it with both hands. Keep moving forward, keep moving on.
And when you come to a roadblock and you are faced with a choice to sit down and pull your hairs OR do something, please choose the latter.
Think, blink, crawl, step, climb, walk, read a paragraph, move a finger, listen to a podcast, help your kid with grammar, express gratitude, write a letter – do whatever – but move your life forward. No excuses.
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So today, stop making excuses for what you cannot do.
Start telling yourself what you can do.
And do it.
Simply do it.
“To be, or not to be” is the opening phrase uttered by Prince Hamlet of Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet. It is when the prince questions the reason for living, lamenting the pain and injustice of life. What Hamlet is talking about is not his own individual being but rather the state of ‘being’ itself. A lot has been made of Hamlet’s apparent references to suicide in his monologue, and there is no denying that it was on his mind. What he is doing, however, is reflecting on the ending of life generally, speculating on what there is when one ceases to be or when one stops growing.
Today, this phrase is one of the most famous quotations in the world literature.
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Yet, for me, that phrase is a way to challenge the status quo and question what it really means for a human being to develop and improve. This quote became my quest for discovering the real meaning of personal success and growth. Because, in Nature, when living things stop growing, they are dying.
Recently, I changed the above phrase into “To SFM, or not to SFM“, to reflect upon my journey of personal development and the investment I am ready to make for it.
P.S. If you wonder what SFM is, so did I – a few months back. This is when I decided to be a digital entrepreneur and started learning the skills to become one. Of course, deciding and being are two very different things. Let me explain …
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The secret of Living is Giving
How often we meet people who want more of Life – more possessions, more abundance, better health, higher wisdom, extra riches?
The question I would ask is: “What are we willing to give in order to get what we want?“.
If we’re going to be a significant part of this Life, we need to bring significance to it. We need to give first!
We can improve the Life around us, only when every one of us gets better in what they do and who they are. The work, hence, for a better Life needs to start within each individual, within every one of us. Because to be able to give, one must first find that gift inside. Therefore, it all begins by developing our inner gift – that unique combination of our body, mind, and spirit.
To change the external reality of a person, first, change that person’s internal reality
We all live in realities, which we create for ourselves, regardless of whether we are aware of that or not.
For example, my health, my outlook, my work, my possessions, my earthly physical achievements, and my hobbies are all examples of my external reality. They are the things that surround me and are a direct result of what I am or have become. These are the consequences of my actions, which, in return, are results of my desires, believes, knowledge, value system, and will. Or of my internal reality.
Hence, if I want to change my external results, I need to look first inwards – work on my personal and mental development, create values, services, and benefits. This would allow me to improve not only the things but also positively influence the people who are a part of my external reality.
To SFM, or Not to SFM?
My worth as a consultant has always been the value I bring to the clients and companies I work with. Becoming a digital entrepreneur demanded from me to expand my knowledge and learn new skills related to product awareness, marketing, and inspiration.
A few months back, I thought that acquiring new skills is all I needed – simply follow a learning trajectory, build your business system, market a product and, voila – the income will start pouring down from the skies. I was focusing on my external reality.
Little did I realized, at the start, that creating any type of business means primarily creating value for somebody or a solution to someone’s need. (If you take a more in-depth look at all the businesses that you know of today, they exist with one sole purpose: to solve a problem of some sort.)
This is how I discovered the Business Academy of the Six Figure Mentors (SFM) – an education authority on the matters of entrepreneurship and digital business. The Academy offers the system, the mentorship, and the environment to support individuals – like you and me – exploring their true potential (!). Interesting enough, the first education modules are about self-discovery and finding one’s purpose.
If I was about to learn how to create a business, I needed first to understand how to generate value. For others!
Creating a product, a service, or a concept that provides value demands hard work and creativity. It requires knowing my potential customers better than they know themselves, so to inspire (not to convince!) them that my product would solve their problem. People will trust my product only when they trust my own beliefs in the same product – whatever it is: advice about health, an innovation of preventing world hunger, a new superfood, a learning system, or a mental development strategy. People will believe in the product, only when I believe in it and passionately share its merits.
So the product I offer is a direct reflection of my own belief system. If I want my product to be of value, then I need to create that value first in my self. I needed to focus on my internal reality, first.
Regardless if it is via SFM or not, the inner work we need to do is a MUST for every one of us.
So, the question is not really “To SFM, or not to SFM“, but instead if “I am willing to invest in myself or not“, to discover my real purpose and the value I can bring to others. The answer to this question can be a personal one for every individual.
For me, whether I use SFM, a book, or an education, is less relevant. What matters is the fact that it all depends on me and my determination to grow. I would be the one doing the work and walking the path. SFM is an enabler, helping me to discover my true abilities, providing fast-track of learning, opening a universe of opportunities. It works as a catalyst, but I am the flame that needs to burn to produce the light.
Success is defined with merely two letters: DO
I found that success is not an endpoint or a goal – it is the journey to get there. That is a journey of self-discovery, self-education, and self-enablement. In the end, it is the process that matters, and the person I would become by following that process.
Day by day, bit by bit, I need to learn. I must acquire knowledge, which I apply in practice, where I can see the real fruits of the hard-learned lessons. Success is, thus, defined with merely two letters: DO.
Here is my share for you:
We are coming into a brand new decade where the way we create our lifestyle and success will massively change.
Working on yourself is probably the best investment you can make in your entire life. Because only by developing yourself, you can lead, influence, inspire and support the people dearest to you, your social contacts, your community, and the entire World.
If you begin with a flaming desire to refine your life, add a good portion of faith, and set a draft plan of action, you are already on the quest to discover your better “self”. Since a desire, faith, and a plan are the key ingredients of a positive reality-shift.
An old saying teaches that “All roads lead to Rome”. One can reach the ultimate goal using the highways through the valleys or riding the scenic road crossing the mountains. It is the journey that matters. Your personal circumstances, will, and wit shall guide you to take the best pathway of your conquest.
Remember: every day of investing in yourself is one significant step forward. You get rewarded for your patience, discipline, and meticulousness. Through failures and adversities, you gain experience. Every day you see small signs of progress because things are getting into their places. You are productive and fruitful. You have improved a whole magnificent 1% of your being during that single day.
Only because you’ve never stopped DOING.
And this is when you start BECOMING …
London. Monday morning. 8:30 AM.
The morning after a weekend-long ELITE Influencer Workshop, presented by the Digital Experts Academy of SFM.
Eventful & transformative!
The topic: “Marketing Mastery in the modern digital world.”
Before my working week starts, I want to share a moment of reflection. It doesn’t feel like a typical day now, as I am still in the mental space of receiving – there was a lot of wisdom, knowledge, and energy to consume and give back.
It was a beautiful environment for all participants to co-create and mastermind – a space surrounded by so much passion and enthusiasm. In the heart of the workshop was the community of learners and mentors – determined to give and receive the gifts every one of us had to offer: personality, authenticity, dedication, motivation, BELIEF!
Some people were seeing each other for the very first time, while others were being friends for years – exceptional was to witness the communications and the friendships that sparkled in the corridors.
When I traveled home today, I took with me 4 invaluable lessons i encountered during this workshop. Believe me, every one of them was delivered to me in a moment of epiphany.
Now, I need to process – within my personal rational mind – all the realizations and valuable learnings.
Here are the 4 little wisdoms, which I carried back home …
1. It Is About the Value, Not the Sale
Since the dawn of time, the Business has been done for one reason, and one reason only … to solve someone else’s problems. In our vibrant digital era, people go to the internet in pursuit of solutions to their problems. Usually, what they first see is a marketing ad claiming to have the answer they seek …
Most of us perceive Digital Marketing like a form of manipulation, which revolves around the cruel idea of “setting the bait for a sell“. And most of us have the right to expect that, given the amount of scam and threats the internet generously offers.
However, now is the right moment to understand that a self-respecting Marketing shifts the focus from “a unidirectional product-centric trade” towards a “value-driven dialog with the Customer”.
That is a complete change of perspective and attitude!
The ELITE workshop taught me that the “hard sell approach” is old fashioned and far ineffective, as it treats the Customer as a potential feelingless cash-cow. In contrast, the trend now is about the benefits, which the Business offers to its Customers.
Today, if you want to be a successfull Marketer, you must understand the Customer more than the Customer can himself.
That last ability demands the Business to nurture far different marketing skills like awareness, listening, understanding, compassion, consideration, and care.
This way, the attitude ” I need to sell YOU (the Customer) my product … “, transforms gracefully into “What value can I add to improve your daily life?“.
Similarly, the relentless ” I must upsell my services to you… “, reforms into the caring “How can I show up best for YOU in the process of choosing YOUR best solution.”
2. It Is About the Process, Not the Results
Often marketing is measured with hard numbers and statistics, represented mostly with a monetary value: the higher the results, the better the chance to find your entrepreneurship in the Gartner’s quadrants of fame.
What many forget is that the exceptional results are only but a by-product of a well-forged process, which sets the scene for true success. The process is where the hard work happens. That is The Factory of all creations where the Business is molded from raw material resources to innovative solutions.
A modern Marketer is focused on crafting the process, the steps that lead to progress.
Each step is then a life-lesson – a new creation of some sort – bringing closer the value to those that benefit most: the Customers.
The latter are the ones who determine (and judge) the actual results.
3. Everyone Can Do It
Marketing is not anymore, a privilege only for big companies and product-selling corporations. Marketing mastery is not witchcraft, available only for those who know the “secrets” because there are no real secrets.
Here is the revelation: Everyone can do it!
Every one of us – You and me – can be a Marketer!
We only need to be given a chance to learn the matter, try it out, and see the results of our work. If one wishes to be a marketer, the real secret is to be focused and take constant actions.
With proper mentorship and tooling, everyone can learn how to provide value for others – be it products, services, and donations. So, everyone can be a Marketer if putting the efforts to learn.
You may wonder, “How can I even start when I have no product or service to offer? “. The simple answer is: you can always promote the products of others, and when you master the skills, you get rewarded for your effort. That is the essence of the famous “affiliate marketing” business model. Hence, if one focuses on the process of learning the art of relating Customers’ needs to solutions, you can call yourself a Marketer 🙂
A burning question I had was, “But what if I don’t have the skills …? “. You see, that actually brings another aspect of the fundamental question “Can I learn something I have never learned before?”. Well, just look at how far each one of us has reached from the early infant years until today – all through learning and making baby steps. It has all started with the desire and the belief to do it. Remember how we’ve learned to walk, to cycle, to drive a car, to write, to sing, to feel, to love? Any part of our human growth is related to learning, as there is no knowledge without a prelude of education. Then the above question is really not about “whether I can learn?” but more about “how I can learn?”. And the workshop was all about answering this point …
Just as a side note, in my opinion, a more profound question is, “Would I do it and become a Digital Marketer? ”
Well, that is a personal choice: it is related to how much we see ourselves as creators of value for others. Because every time we sincerely share our beliefs with others, give feedback about an idea, or express an honest opinion on a topic, we influence other individuals. When we are passionate enough about our beliefs, these people also believe in the same beliefs. We have motivated them. We have affected their beings. That is Marketing in its pure form. That is influence!
So, if you’ve done any of the above, you ARE already a Marketer of some sort.
In the digital world, using the internet, when you market value to others, they will be more than willing to reward you for your genuine efforts.
4. It all Starts from Within
(… that is my favorite lesson from the workshop …)
I realized that if I want to become an independent Marketer or an entrepreneur, my products, services, and results are simply my external accomplishments. They have visual material expression. But those achievements would not be valuable to others if I have not created equivalent internal accomplishments within myself by investing first in my personal growth, education, and vision.
My success will bring fruits only when I nurture upfront that sheer value within me. Only then, my business front ground will be adequate with my inner background.
The most crucial factor in learning a new skill is the environment in which you learn it. So, I figured that if i can surround myself with the right education, mentoring, live events, and workshops, I should do so, and will not regret how it shapes me as an individual.
You see, i am a firm believer that everyone can learn how to create congruence, results, and discipline to be a Creator of innovations and solutions. Each of us can learn, can experiment in a Marketing Lab, and can discover the gift to influence others. Then we can appear with integrity to our Customers and can request a fair reward for our efforts.