Who is Mark Manson and What Makes Me Print Out and Reread His Articles

mark manson

In an interview Mark Manson says that “Pretty much everything we think and know about ourselves or the world is likely wrong and that that’s actually a pretty liberating and healthy thing to accept.”

And if you want me to describe his way of thinking with one sentence, that’s it.

But it’s worth digging deeper into his approach to life, his career and writing, to see that he’s not just another self-help guru.

So who is Mark Manson and what does he do?

He’s a former dating coach, a writer, world traveler, entrepreneur and personal development consultant.

He helps people change their lives, and has prevented suicides, saved marriages and encouraged startups.

In an interview for Forbes he says that he got in the self-help business by accident and never really planned becoming this kind of business.

He’s also published books on the subject, his articles appear on some of the biggest sites, has worked with individuals from more than 30 different countries, and lives unconventionally doing what he loves.
He travels the world, meets people, is open to new experiences and keeps learning and shaping his view of life.

Nomadic lifestyle

Here’s what he shares:

“This is everything I own: A MacBook Pro, an iPad, an unlocked iPhone, seven shirts, two pairs of jeans, two jackets, one coat, one sweater, two pairs of shoes, a suitcase, a backpack, some gym shorts, bathroom stuff, socks and underwear. That’s it. Everything I own can be easily packed into a small suitcase and moved within 30 minutes. There is nothing that I want that I don’t already own. And this is despite owning a six-figure internet business.”

He’s also all about psychology. And that, together with his unique experience, interesting way of thinking, and unusual approach to life, makes a killer combination for a writer.

Life-changing articles

I read a lot, visit many blogs, and find out many other passionate unconventional people like Mark. But to this day, he’s the only blogger whose stuff I’ve printed out.

That’s because his writing is eye-opening. To me, his words are jaw-dropping. He makes me doubt what reality really looks like and want to dig deeper into the meaning of all areas of life.

Some posts raise hope, others make us feel desperate and out of control. But each thought and idea he presents to us is brilliant in its simplicity and truthfulness.

He unveils many of the lies we tell ourselves and the illusions we live in.

He writes about life, culture, relationships, self-worth, personal development and common problems of today’s lifestyle.

What makes him stand out, though, is that he’s not afraid to come up with titles like Fuck Yes or No and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.
And that says it all. But still, each article is a guide on how to live more freely, make wiser choices and keep moving forward. Plus a lot of psychology and philosophy to play with your mind, make you think and give you examples.

In many of the posts he shares reasons why we’re still single, why love isn’t something worth sacrificing ourselves for.
And he debunks the myths of being confident and happy.

He’s got a lot to say about death, the importance of negative experiences in our life and why we even need more of them, and other stuff we feel uncomfortable to even think about.

Here are the articles I keep coming back to:

Why some dreams should not be pursued

No, you can’t have it all

Find what you love and let it kill you

Your next big life-changing breakthrough is already happening

The ‘do something’ principle

The zen dilemma

Compatibility and chemistry in relationships

How I quit smoking for good

Shut up and be grateful

How to quit your day job and travel the world

Wise words

And here are some memorable quotes:

1. It’s all just a game that we’re playing, the game is called life. And I don’t mean in the business, climb-the-ladder analogy, but in the fact that ultimately everything that we are and do is just a cosmic interplay between seemingly separate manifestations of consciousness. Most people never realize it’s a game. As a result, they are slaves to the ebbs and flows of what’s played.

But there are people who slowly realize that it’s just a game. Some of these people find out by refusing to play. Some find out by simply stopping and paying attention. Some find out by almost being removed from the game. Some realize it by watching others being removed before their eyes. But in the end, for whatever reason, they realize it’s just a game. And because it’s just a game, they have no reason to be worried or afraid, ever, because it’s just a game. And whoever wins or loses doesn’t matter because it’s just going to start all over again.

2. Before you are able to be good at something and do something important, you must first suck at something and have no clue what you’re doing. That’s pretty obvious. And in order to suck at something and have no clue what you’re doing, you must embarrass yourself in some shape or form, often repeatedly. And most people try to avoid embarrassing themselves, namely because it sucks.

Great things are, by their very nature, unique and unconventional. Therefore, to achieve them, we must go against the herd mentality. And to do that is scary.

Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you need to be doing it.

3. The less you care about others, the less you care about yourself. I know this may go against every perception you’ve ever had of a self-serving asshole. But people treat people the way they treat themselves. It may not be apparent on the outside, but people who are cruel to the people around them are cruel to themselves.

4. Someone recently emailed me and asked me what I would do if I woke up tomorrow with no money and no friends.

I don’t have a particular answer to that question. I don’t know what I’d do to get money that first day. I know it would be hard and lonely.

But I also know that I would eventually be fine. I would cry and complain and fret and struggle. But I would eventually be fine. Because on a long enough timeline, everything in our lives is eventually lost. Happiness is not preventing those losses. It’s learning to adapt to them.

It’s not the people and objects that fulfill the needs in my life that make me happy. I make me happy. And if those objects were all taken away, while I would mourn their loss, I would find new people and new objects, new activities and new passions, and build a new identity for myself, and live on.

5. Remember that quitting is mostly a mind game. It’s only as big of a deal or as difficult as you make it. The physical effects and withdrawal symptoms aren’t any worse than those of a common cold. The struggle is mental. And if you decide that the struggle is monumental, then it will feel monumental. Conversely, if you decide it’s just a temporary roadblock in your life that you must take a few weeks to overcome, then it will be.

6. So the better question isn’t when you’re going to die. It’s what are you choosing as your vehicle to get there? If everything you do each day brings you closer to death in it’s own unique and subtle way, then what are you choosing to let kill you?

7. And what Bukowski understood more than most was that doing what you love is not always loving what you do. There’s an inherent sacrifice to it. Just like choosing a spouse, it’s not choosing someone who makes you happy all the time, it’s choosing somebody who you want to be with even when they’re pissing you off.

8. Just like few of us experience love at first sight, few will experience passion and meaning at first experience. Like a relationship, we must build it from scratch, piece-by-piece, until after years of brick and sweat, it can stand on its own.

9. “Don’t compare yourself to others.” It’s up there with, “Just be yourself,” and “Act confident,” in terms of how useless it is.
Comparison and the drive for status are innate parts of our nature and that’s unlikely to change any time soon.
But what we can change is the basis of those comparisons.

***
His views may not be what you’re looking for on the Internet. And I respect that.

But I believe that he opens our eyes for the stuff that’s in front of us one way or another, but which we prefer to remain blind for.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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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 TheWaystoWealth.com

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 GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com 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