Success in Disguise

success in disguise, it lies in small things

Before we truly want something, we need to define it, to understand its nature and thus figure out how to reach it.
The same applies to success.

We want to make big steps. To set a huge goal, achieve it and move on to the next one. To be ahead of others. To succeed by reaching the top of a career, winning the big money, having a big family…

We forget, however, that success starts small. It is real when it happens slowly. When we can enjoy it and experience it now, without aiming at the next thing on our list of desires.

For a success to be real, we should do a few things first:

  • let go of goals and plans;
  • let go of competition;
  • go slowly;
  • don’t always crave for more or ‘the most’ of everything;
  • learn how to reward ourselves;
  • enjoy the process;
  • connect with ourselves more instead of losing our identity under the pressure of a successful life;
  • let go of perfection.

Success is already here.

I’ve noticed that most people define success as something in the obscure future. And even if they achieve it, it still doesn’t feel like succeeding and they keep seeking what will make them happier, contented, successful.

But it never comes.

It never comes, because it’s already here.

Everywhere around us. Success lies deep into every good deed of ours, every positive person and thought we let into our life, into every inner realization, peaceful moment and simple act.

As I’ve said many times, it’s all a matter of perspective. We just need to open our eyes for the truth, beauty, inspiration, love and perfection around us.

That explains why people who have less are happier than those owning more. Why a zen monk is more contented than a teenager who has everything he wants. Why a poor writer is loved more by his humble wife than a rich businessman. Why a person with one book in his library has more knowledge than the one who doesn’t know who he is. And so on.

Happiness is an inner state. And so is success. We shouldn’t seek them outside, but cherish them inside of us, share them with others and feel blessed every day.

Thrive in a new way.

Many agree that we are born to thrive, to achieve more, to have goals. To reach new heights and to want to touch the sky. To become the best in everything.

I don’t.

Well, I did think so until a year or two ago, but not anymore. Because I didn’t find any contentment in all that chasing, all these goals most of which were never reached, all the disappointments, hardships. That kind of lifestyle just isn’t for me.

I still think we should get better, let’s just make it in small steps – let’s aim to get 1% better every day. And let’s make the process purposeful – if we find one or more good reasons to make any changes, we’ll be more motivated and it will be all worth it. So if you want to achieve something, do it for yourself, or to help others, to make the world a better place. Not to prove someone wrong, not to earn money, respect or fame.

Thrive more inwardly rather than outwardly. Do it by letting go of things that blur your clear vision of the world, by showing compassion and love, by forgiving yourself, understanding your desires and ignoring your fake needs. And stop trying to succeed by having more belongings, earning more money only so that you can buy more stuff, making others envy you, or too have a more luxurious life.

Only the inner improvements in your life can satisfy you. Becoming emotionally free, making peace with yourself, to love and be loved, to be inspired and create. This is what can bring harmony, contentedness and happiness in your life.

Things are perfect.

Stop looking for the perfect life! You got it already!

You’ll never have the best day in your life, until you realize it’s today. Until you see all the beauty, opportunities and magic the present gives you.

You’ll never look perfectly, until you realize you’re perfect just the way you are now.

You will never create the best work of your life, until you see the perfection in what’s in your hands right now.

What I’m trying to say is that things are perfect just the way they are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve them. It just means that tomorrow they will be different. But still perfect.

Finding the success in disguise.

As I mentioned, it’s already here. It lies in:

  • all the things you’ve achieved so far;
  • hard work;
  • your experience;
  • the things you have;
  • the people who love you;
  • those you’ve inspired or made smile;
  • the things you’ve created;
  • your good deeds;
  • your positive attitude;
  • the hardships you’ve been through;
  • your belief;
  • your strengths;
  • your failures;
  • taking chances;
  • when you give something a try;
  • when you realize important things;
  • overcoming your fears;
  • not listening to your ego and egoistic desires;
  • every time you’ve won a little inner battle with yourself;
  • every time you made a compromise;
  • being grateful;
  • going out of your comfort zone;
    and so on.

My point is that you have more than 100 small successes each day. And if you notice every one of them, appreciate it and recognize it, you will no longer feel the need to prove yourself or to desperately seek fast success and happiness.

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”
Booker T. Washington

Image by Sherman Geronimo-Tan @Flickr

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income