Success 101: What it Really Takes to Succeed 187

what it takes to succeed in life

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
 Arnold H. Glasow

There are thousands of books, blogs, video tutorials, guides, podcasts and other sources of information on how to reach success.

Most of them offer a secret, easy steps, a unique technique or unconventional ideas to achieve it. And people keep spending money on that because they hope things really are that easy.

The truth is that things are simple. The steps you need to take to become successful are simple, but the whole journey is not easy.

It’s hard, takes time and sacrifices. And the more we deny it, the further we get from our goals.

Reading about entrepreneurs, young businessmen who’ve made a lot of money, people who started from nothing and made it to the top and so on, is totally worthwhile. Following their steps and not making their mistakes can really help a lot. But the biggest benefit is that it makes us realize that they were once average people who had nothing but the desire to change and the willingness to do what it takes to succeed.

So let’s leave all hope that the ideal lifestyle we want to lead will be easy, that there is a magic button for that and we’ll see the person we want to become in the mirror in a week or so.

Let’s face the real facts that have been proven for so many centuries and start working on our goals now so that we can soon see the progress which will be the motivation we’ll then need to keep going.

Here I’ve listed the most important things you’ll need to do, qualities you’ll need to develop and the way of thinking you should have in order to live your legend and get everything you want.

They go together. You may need to work on some of them more than others, but eventually you’ll need all of these traits.

What You Need to Succeed in Life

1. Purpose.

It all starts with a purpose. It is the momentum that will make you begin, that will help you make the first step and will give you direction in life.

Your purpose is your sacred desire, the thing you want to have/be/experience/etc. the most and for which you’re willing to make sacrifices.

Without your purpose you’ll be going nowhere and thus won’t know what step to take next. It’s like walking in the dark. All you need to know is the final destination and the next step. And both of these become clear by defining your purpose and staying focused on it every single day.

So make sure you know exactly what you want in your life, have defined your deepest desires and clarified your intentions.

2. Vision.

[tweetthis]See yourself successful before you really are. [/tweetthis]

This is a step not everyone is ready to take because of all the self-limiting beliefs we have and the mediocrity we live in.

But once you start visualizing success, you will make your mind believe it’s actually possible.

Also you’ll set in motion one of the most powerful laws in the universe – the law of attraction. It’s proven that we’re human magnets and whatever we think of, we become.

Constantly visualizing the result we want, expecting it to happen in the best way possible and focusing on that thought is what will make the universe bring us people, things, events and situations with the same energy level.     Everything in the world is in vibration and the power of visualization can help  you get anything that has the same vibration.

Of course you shouldn’t count on that. The biggest mistake will be to just sit    there and expect success to knock on the door. Instead, take actions every day that take you closer to your final destination but keep in mind that the universe is not against you (as most people think).

3. Belief.

Not only should you believe that what you want is possible and you can become the best version of yourself, but you should be absolutely sure about it.

It’s another universal law that whatever you believe in, becomes your reality. Soon you’ll start to see things that are consistent with your beliefs and nothing else will matter. Then you’ll start taking actions based on those beliefs and that’s when the real magic happens.

4. Action.

[tweetthis]Nothing will ever happen unless you do something about it. The most important thing is to begin. [/tweetthis]

Make the first small step towards achieving your goal.

It may be anything (writing the title of your book, buying a gym membership, telling your friend about what you’re up to, selling your car to invest the money in your idea, etc.) but it has to be done right away.

An object in motion stays in motion. So start small, start now and everything else will come in place.

5. Hard work.

That is what holds most people back. They just think it’s such an obvious step and don’t pay enough attention to it. It’s also the thing they’re not happy doing and want to avoid.

I’m sorry to tell you that but without this step nothing will ever happen. There may be some exceptions you know about – people who got it all without sweating too much – but you can’t rely on that.

6. Repetition.

Many give up on that step too. It’s actually harder than the previous one because it means doing the hard work over and over again.

Most people underestimate the power of repetition because they just don’t fancy it. But if you think about it, we live a life of repetitive actions – our habits. And if we don’t take control of them and choose the right ones, then they will control us.

So whatever you do, don’t stop and keep pushing. Soon satisfaction will come.

7. Sacrifices.

Another inevitable step if you want to succeed.

If you read the biography of any successful person you admire, or just the About page of a top blogger, you’ll see what they’ve been through to get there. And it will most probably consist of many sacrifices.

It may be free time, money, social life, fun, holidays and so on. But the point is that you’ll have to invest something in order to get something back.

8. Initiative.

And last but not least is a very interesting quality not everyone possesses, but as anything else, it can be learnt.

Here is how Napoleon Hill describes it:

“Initiative is that very rare quality which impels a person to do what ought to be done without being told to do it.

Golden opportunities are lurking at ever corner, waiting for the person with initiative to come along and discover them.

Before a person can rise very high in any field of endeavor, he must become a person of vision who can think in big terms, who can create definite plans and then carry these plans into actions, all of which makes it imperative that the quality of initiative be developed.”

These are the most important things you need to know. Now that you see how possible it all is and that it’s absolutely free and you can start immediately, everything is in your hands.

Which of these do you need to work more on to succeed? And where on your journey to success are you at this point? Share your answers in the comments below.

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How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer 24

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer

Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.

Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.

Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts

I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.

To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.

For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.

I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.

However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.

Doubts are scary.

In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.

Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.

For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.

English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.

But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.

Stage 2: Getting The First Clients

This is How I Became a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer

I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.

I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.

That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.

It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.

The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.

I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:

What can I do today to land my first client?

After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.

I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.

I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.

Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.

It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.

It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.

But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.

So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.

Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand

5 Tips to Negotiate a Higher Salary in an Interview

The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.

Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.

There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.

If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.

I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.

Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:

First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.

You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.

Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.

Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business

Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.

First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.

However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.

When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.

Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.

Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There

amsterdam - the dream location

When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.

The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.

I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.

Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.

That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.

Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.

Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle

I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.

I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.

Stage 7:  Mastering Working Remotely and From Home

Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.

One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.

It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.

Here are some things that can help:

My Best Productivity Principles

How to Stay Productive While Living The Laptop Lifestyle

Stage 8: Growing The Freelance Writing Business

My focus is on increasing my income now. I got to over $3500. These come from sponsored posts here on Let’s Reach Success and freelance writing for clients.

I’m working on other things too such as increasing book sales and building systems to earn passive income from affiliate marketing. But these don’t come naturally to me so it takes time.

So that’s how I became a location independent freelance writer and how you can do the same.

Here are the exact steps I took to become a location independent freelance writer: