Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shhhhh, the secret's out ...

I want to let you in on a little insider information. This is one of those things that’s tough to go public about. There are so many ways in which to succeed in this world. I’m not here to tell you about all of those things. I want to let you know about a couple of things that will make a huge difference for you, because it did for me.

The first thing is not new for me. I’ve lived my life this way for the most part, I hope.

Put others first. Pretty simple, huh? No, I mean really do it. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the “me” world. Start doing things to help others without expecting anything in return. As soon as you do that, everything changes. It might not be right away, but it will change. 

It’s particularly tough in the Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn world.

You have to fight to get your word out, to promote yourself. You’re fighting against thousands or millions of others that are doing the same thing. The fight ends when you let go. Help other people. Answer their questions without looking for a “sale.” 

Take it a step further. The next time you’re at a party or some large networking event, notice which people have the biggest crowds around them. Is it the guy with the best stories? The loudest, most talkative person? No, it’s the guy listening. It’s in your human nature to want to talk. Talk about your book, your kids, your product. Don’t be that person. 

Try to go the entire night without talking about yourself. Engage others and listen to what they have to say. You will feel better and have more friends and connections by the end of the event. Go ahead and try it.

The second thing I wanted to share is the tough one. It’s one of those things that is a little embarrassing— admitting that I actually did this and believed in it. I know, if you already do this, you’re a big believer and it’s not a big deal. I guarantee that most people don’t. 

Last March, right before I was published my debut novel, The Card—I created a manifestation board. You know, one of those collage type of things that have a bunch of pictures of what you want to accomplish or acquire. You’ve probably heard about them in books or movies like The Secret.

Well, I did it. I cut out a bunch of pictures and words that related to life and my new writing career. I’ve included a picture of it as proof.

Here’s some of the key points that I included. Some things are going to sound silly to a lot of you, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

Let’s start small. I cut out pictures of things like an iPhone and Kindle. Less than a year ago I did not have those things. Check … Check, like I said, some of these things you’re going to say, “No big deal,” but for me they were. I didn’t have them. 

I was a neophyte with social media, so I included symbols that related to that. Today, while not an expert, I’ve created a nice following. 

I included things that spoke about what I wanted to be like—helping others and giving back. I know that a piece of paper is not going to change me, but looking at this daily reminder keeps it in the forefront of my mind. 

I included the first page of the first chapter of the edited manuscript, red marks and all. I was bold enough to plaster “bestseller” all over the page. Why not? Isn’t that what we want. This month we hit #1 as a Kindle Bestseller.

This board has been sitting in my writing room, has traveled 5,000 miles in the car across the country and now sits on my bookshelf in my new place. It’s become so familiar. I’ve gotten over being embarrassed by it. I don’t care if anyone see’s it. It’s now a part of me. Matter of fact, I think it’s time for a new one! New goals, new dreams.

Has everything happened that I included on the board? Not yet, I’m still waiting to be optioned for a movie and of course, the video game—but, there is no time limit in the universe. 

So give it a try. Let me know how it works for you. Get silly, dream big.


  1. As always Jim, nice job pal! I have never seen you not succeed in something you want to accomplish! Keep us posted!

  2. Thanks Tony, as always, you're my best fan. Of course, no offense to any of my other fans, they're my best fans too!

  3. You've got things together, Jim. I think a lot of people go through life and never get the right perspective. Thanks so much for sharing. Great post!

  4. Morgan, that's so nice of you to say. Don't know if I really have things together, but I'm having tons of fun on the way!

  5. I love this! How can we touch the sky if we never reach for it, right?