What I Learned About Life & Success by Becoming a Best-Selling Author
This week something incredible happened. On Tuesday morning I was just another author with a book selling well on Amazon. But by Tuesday evening, I was an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author.
Over the past few years I've been searching for the thing that would make me successful. I read books, watched TED talks and started projects in the hope that they would provide me the magic bullet.
What I've learned through this process of trial and error is that there is no magic bullet. There is no super pill that will transform me into what I'd hoped to become.
The crazy part about success is that it doesn't really exist. At least, not in the way we'd like it to.
Success isn't a place. You can't go there and it's not somewhere you can arrive. (Tweet that!)
When my book hit #1 Best Seller status on Amazon I thought my life would change forever. I assumed, that in that moment, I would feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
But it wasn't like that.
Don't get me wrong, seeing my book in the top spot was awesome! I knew I'd achieved something no one could take away from me.
But, as soon as the excitement of the moment was over, I began to feel the same old voice of doubt talking to me. It told me,
Is your book really that good?
Is this just a fluke in the system?
See, that's what the voice of doubt does. Doubt doesn't speak in absolutes – those would be too easy to ignore. Doubt speaks in a way that makes us question what we know to be true.
Even in my moment of triumph I was questioning if I deserved it.
However, the sonofabitch that is doubt is not what I wanted to share with you. When you've seen success in your life you probably heard doubt's voice and remember his words.
What I want to share is what I learned from the process leading up to #1, as well as what I wish I'd known earlier.
The size of your network
If I had the ability to go back in time, I'd tell myself to connect with more people. And not just more people. I'd tell myself to really cultivate a relationship with the people I meet.
I could not have become a best-selling author without my network. People like Donald Kelly, Johnny Lee Phillips, Randy Wilburn, James Kinson, Justin Carper and my best seller coach Jimmy Burgess, made my achievement possible.
I had almost thirty people commit to buying and sharing about the book. Then, those thirty people told even more people I don't know.
Though my network may be smaller than the networks of other people, my achievement is a testament to what we can achieve if we come together with a plan and act with a purpose.
My experience shows us that not just the size but the quality of our connections matter as well. It reiterates my point that nothing great has ever been achieved by a single person acting alone.
The quality of your connections
I joined an entrepreneur group on Facebook yesterday and every post was spam. Every single one. Just because you have a thousand friends or a million followers doesn't mean they're quality connections.
When I was interviewed on the Chris Cerrone Show I shared my Twitter strategy. In short, I said I don't follow most people back. I don't even accept all friend requests on Facebook.
While my social strategy might reduce my reach, I know the quality of my connections is extremely high.
Over the past few years I've built relationships with people all across the world. Through openness, honesty, and a desire to get to know people, I've built a quality network who trusts me and was willing to help me out.
You can build quality connections by doing the same things – by being open and honest, but, more importantly, by being real.
The most humbling thing about the quality of my relationships is that when I asked my friends to support me, they did and then they asked their friends. The second-level connections in our lives are incredibly important.
Whatever you're trying to accomplish in your life and in your business, you won't be able to achieve it if you haven't surrounded yourself with quality people. Grow the size of your network and invest in the people you meet.
Don't expect success to be an event or a place. Success is a process, not a destination. (Tweet that!)
While I'm honored and excited to be an Amazon #1 best-selling author, I know my journey is just beginning. I'm incredibly proud to have you taking it with me!