Why Are Words Important? The Power of Words

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Image of girl in bed reading Harry Potter, with the caption "The Hidden Power Of Words & How You Can Use Them To Win The Game Of Life"

We all know words are important, but it’s easy to forget why. 

In this post, we’re going to unveil the hidden power of words. Using insights from ancient history, wisdom gleaned from some of the world’s greatest minds, and just a touch of alchemist magic, I’ll show you:

  • How undeniably important words are
  • What words are capable of
  • How you can use them to win the game we call life

Here’s the big picture. In many ways, words create reality. 

Your reality. My reality. Everyone’s.

Words cause life, words cause death. 

Words – spoken and internal – create your destiny. Whoa. Deep…

But wait, what exactly does that mean?

Before we take the deep dive into how words bend the very fabric of reality and shape each person’s destiny, let’s grab a quick bite of truth from some of the world’s greatest minds.

Words Invoke Emotion & Compel to Action

“Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.” 

—Sigmund Freud

Words Are Important Because They’re How We Think

“By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life.”

—Jean Baptiste Girard

Words Are Important Because They Pass On Wisdom From Age to Age

“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.”

—Edward Thorndike

Words Are Important Because They’re How We Do Good (or Evil)

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

—Luke 6:45

Wise Words Are Priceless

“The teachings of elegant sayings should be collected when one can. For the supreme gift of words of wisdom, any price will be paid.”

—Siddha Nagarjuna

Words Are Vessels & Creators Of That Which They Contain

“Words are the most powerful thing in the universe… Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind.”

—Charles Capps

Unspoken Words Can Be Just as Impactful As Spoken Words

“As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.”

—Benjamin Franklin

Words Show Us the Contents Of Our Subconscious

“All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.”

—Kahlil Gibran (from “Sand and Foam”)

Words Can Be Sustenance & Also Poison

“Be careful of the words you say,

Keep them short and sweet.

You never know, from day to day,

Which ones you’ll have to eat.”

—Anonymous

Words Can Inspire Change & Help Make A Person Whole

“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience.”

—Ingrid Bengis

Words – For Example, A Good Question – Can Be Worth Millions, While Costing Little

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.”

—George Herbert

Your Wyrd = Your Fate: Word Wisdom From The Ancients

We get our English “word” from the Norse “wyrd.” Wyrd meant personal destiny or fate.

Ok. So where’s the connection here? Well, turns out the Norse believed, much like their ancestors and virtually every ancient civilization, that the words in a person’s mind and the words they spoke determined that person’s destiny. 

Which makes good sense if you think about it. Whether you believe words are simply idea-vessels and sound waves or that they’re reality-bending metaphysical mana magnets doesn’t matter. The concept rings true whether you’re a die-hard rationalist, the special kind of spiritual zealot or somewhere in between.

The Wyrd belief system is the lifeblood of this ancient Chinese proverb:

Watch your thoughts because they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny. – Lao Tzu

And speaking of Proverbs, how about this one:

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

And there you have it. 

Words are important because they shape your destiny and help shape other’s destinies.

Words are important because the moment they roll off your tongue they carry life, or death. Or both is probably most accurate, like the proverb says; giving life to something and death to its opposite simultaneously. (Example: Say you’re angry with someone and speak bitterly about them. In that case, you’re giving life to your bitterness, and death to your inner peace.)

Words are important because they’re vessels of thoughts, ideas, emotions and more.

For those who think the power of words goes deeper than sound waves and the transmission of ideas, this next section is for you.

Words Are Magic? The Invisible Power of Words

Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power. – Sigmund Freud

I don’t believe in magic by most people’s definition. But most will agree (I think) that words have an invisible power that can’t be measured or explained by science.

There’s nothing physical about the ideas we send out from our minds using the vessels of words, using invisible vibrations emanating from our vocal cords and shaped by our tongues and lips.

So it’s difficult to show much about the power of words scientifically, although some have tried. 

There’s something beyond science that we can’t explain. It falls into the category of the unexplained, the mysterious, abstract unknowable. 

It feels like magic. And maybe it is. But maybe it only feels like magic because of the current limitations of science. 

Maybe someday the miracles, unexplainable events and even the metaphysical power of words will be clearly observed and defined by science. But until then, all we can do is watch the effect words have on our lives, like watching the wind blow through the branches, and make our best educated guess.

To describe the invisible power of words, we have to rely on metaphors and symbolic language. 

Let’s dive right into it. Words have power. That much is clear to all. But words are magic? That’s a tough pill to swallow. But bear with me for a moment and let’s see if we can’t try on a new belief system – see how it fits.

Words Are Invisible Vessels That Carry Ideas, Emotions, Beliefs

Let’s travel back in time to the earliest age in human history – dating back to before 3000 BC. History tells us that in the Indo-European tradition, words were magical in nature, and powerful – to be chosen wisely. Word magic was dangerous. For example, spelling “wolf” in the Proto Indo-European daughter languages, the consonants are arranged in the root in an awkward, strange way.

Come to find this is because the speakers were concerned that if they spoke the name of the wolf, the animal would magically appear. This is the foundation of the concept of “curse words,” the idea that using specific words can conjure forms of evil or danger, including the possibility of cursing people or yourself.

If you ask me, words are the most inexhaustible source of magic that each of us possess. Words can cause irreparable damage, and just as easily fix what was damaged. (I think JK Rowling said something like that in Harry Potter).

Consider writers for a moment, or political leaders or comedians – anyone who wields the power of the spoken or written word. They’re as close as it gets to true magicians. Armed with nothing but their words, they fling their spells across the expanse of the earth in a matter of seconds (thanks internet), spells that change the way people think, feel, and act.

We pay them billions every year to project invisible ideas from their mouths, through the air and into our minds. Ideas that live inside words traveling on the backs of the sound waves.

It’s crazy.

As writers, speakers, and storytellers, this is undoubtedly the greatest asset we hold. Think about it. We can heavily impact people – thousands, millions, gajillions – with a simple string of well-placed words.

Well chosen words don’t just convince, cajole, spark imagination and inspire action – they incite revolutions, overthrow governments, feed millions of starving people, save millions of orphaned children – and that’s just the start of it.

Think of the power of a word. Just one word, all on its lonesome. One magical word can change a person’s entire belief system

How a Single Word “Magically” Altered People’s Beliefs

1974 – the experiment was to show 2 groups of people the same video. They instructed people to do their best to remember what they saw in a video of a car crash.

A few were asked whether they saw the broken headlight, while others were questioned whether they saw a broken headlight. In the first group,  people were 3x more likely to have witnessed it when compared to the second group.

Interestingly enough, there was no broken headlight in the video.

Just one word, a handful of letters, managed to conjure out of nothing, a false memory! They believed they saw something that did not exist. If that’s not some kind of magic, I don’t know what is.

How To Use the Power of Your Your Words to Win at Life

If your words can shape your destiny, then it’s time to put them to work, to build the future you want.

1. Use the Words in Your Mind to Level up – Self-Talk, Affirmations, Etc it Works.

Don’t knock it until you try it. Trust me on this one – self talk, affirmations – they work. In a big way. Here’s one way to do it. Use positive affirmations as much as possible, rarely negative.

Example: Instead of “I can and will hit $100k by the end of the year because I refuse to be lazy and undisciplined…”, say something like, “I can and will hit $100k by the end of the year because I love to work and build my business with uncommon diligence and discipline…”

Attach your “I can/I will” statements to emotions as much as you can, and follow through with a visualization of yourself achieving what you’re want, or getting what you’re trying to get.

To properly use emotions, do your best to tap into each of your emotions – they are all powerful and the full spectrum can be used in a healthy way. Remember the happiest moments of your life along with the most embarrassing moments, or the saddest. And use them with your affirmation. Example (what should probably be a rare focus on the negative side of emotion):

“I can and will hit $100k by the end of the year because I remember how embarrassing it was to eat lunch with an old friend who was 2x more successful than I was – it showed, and we both knew it… It felt humiliating, made me feel sad, like I was the slow kid in class, wasn’t good enough… I remember that moment and how it felt, and I will never feel that way ever again, because I will work harder, work more, work more efficiently and more effectively than my competitors.”

I usually like following up the negative emotions with the positive outcome to balance things out. But different things work for different people – YMMV as they say, your mileage may vary.

To harness the power of words for your benefit, start with the ones you’re using – both in your thoughts and spoken.

Make every word in your mind serve you and your highest cause, let’s say. Once you do that internally, the spoken words should follow suit. (Like the proverb says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”)

When it comes to building self-belief, courage, confidence etc – it’s crucial to engage in positive self-talk, which is an incredibly effective tactic that truly makes a difference. Renowned athletes across the globe leverage positive self-talk to achieve their greatest goals. But you don’t need to be a professional athlete to leverage this strategy. Every person can use it, and should in my opinion.

It’s very common to engage in negative conversations about yourself, and you don’t really notice it or how often you do it. What’s uncommon is to diligently observe the thoughts in your mind, block out the negative, and replace them with all the words that will build you up.

Try to use the next 24 hours to consciously monitor your thoughts and the words (and pictures) you use to talk about yourself. What’s your internal dialogue? Are you actually speaking these things out loud, or is it all internal? What conscious thoughts are you observing, and what “illness” of the subconscious do those symptoms reveal?

Roughly half the battle is identifying the problem. Once you identify the problem, fill your mind with the polar opposite. If you’re displaying symptoms of social anxiety, read books and watch videos on how to overcome it. Practice those tactics you learn in your mind and in real life scenarios hen you can. Use your self talk like a professional athlete to flip the script. If you do this diligently and often enough (taking small, manageable steps in the beginning), your social anxiety will melt away, slowly but surely.

2. Shut Your Inner Critic Up.

Each person is doing their best based on the consciousness they can work with, which includes you. Always remain kind and be empathetic to yourself, just like you are compassionate with others. 

Monitor how often your inner critic comes out. When you do this, you can also initiate the process of stopping this habit. (A habit by the way, that tears you down and keeps you from some of the very best things in life, like peace, confidence, and fulfillment.) 

Sometimes, your inner critic speaks truth that you should pay attention to. And the truth sometimes hurts. But sometimes, it can rage out of control and act in a destructive manner.

Remember, you have a fragile inner child, and in these cases, you should treat your mind like you would a child.

If you (in the form of the unhealthy inner critic) speak harshly to yourself, ask these questions:

  • Would I talk to my child or someone else’s child in this way?
  • Would I ever say the same things to my best friend? My mom? My dad?
  • Is it possible to fix the situation affecting me in this way? 
  • Am I proactively taking the steps I need to take to feel better? (By the way, doing things for others is usually the best way to go about feeling happy, but oftentimes, fixing yourself is just as necessary.)
  • What was the outcome of speaking negatively to myself? Was it good? Bad?

Monitor your mind – how you talk to yourself. Sometimes you’ll find that your inner critic is loud, in charge and destructive. When this happens, focus on shutting it up.

Instead of staying silent as it tears you down, take control of the thoughts and speak the opposite. The Truth will set you free – don’t be afraid to deliver the truth, even if it is initially negative in nature. But deliver the whole truth in a way that flips the script.

Example: If your mind is saying you’re fat and disgusting, cut it off before it hits full stride – interrupt that thought and deliver the whole truth: First, shut your mouth. Second – Sure, I have a little extra chub on me, but guess what? I can watch what I eat and that extra fat will melt away over a few weeks. You know what – I’ll do exactly that. Then guess what? I’ll be fit, healthy, attractive. And by the way, I already am. But I’ll be more fit, and more attractive. I can do that, and I will. Suck it inner critic.

With negative self-talk, your self-esteem is affected along with your perspective on life, energy levels, relationships, and health.

3. Specifically – Put an End to Self-Deprecation.

If you want to take words extra seriously (I definitely do), never joke about your body, accomplishments, or other aspects of your life, in a way that tears yourself down. Words are very powerful, so use them wisely. 

4. Refrain From Gossiping.

This is pretty much the same as the point above, but for others. Your words can hurt others, and that can turn and bite you when you least expect it.

5. Cut Unproductive Words From The Conversation – Gratitude’s The Attitude

Saying “that meal was terrible” may be true, but what good does it produce? What if you say something like “eh, I’ve had better, but you know what – it was much better than nothing. In a world in which nearly 700 million people go hungry, guess what. I’ll take that meal and be happy about it. ”

That way, you communicate what you want to, but flip what could’ve been pessimism into gratitude. Gratitude is infinitely more productive than pessimism.

Using your words to be grateful each day (I try to every morning and right before I go to bed) makes a massive difference in levels of happiness. I know this from personal experience, and reading about other peoples’ experiences.

6. Leverage Your Words’ Positive Power.

Another tactic to try out – don’t just say the concert was “pretty good” if you really enjoyed it. Boost the positive (and psychologically beneficial) “energy” with words like “love, amazing, awesome, or fantastic.”

Life’s too short to NOT boost that dopamine, serotonin and other happy chemicals whenever you get the chance. While it feels better to leverage words like this, it also helps create a stronger state of mind. 

7. Eliminate Negative People Along With Your Inner Critic.

In case your life is filled with pessimistic, negative people, it is time to get better friends or decrease the time you spend with them. Negative words demonstrate adverse effects and can encompass everything around them. Try to avoid them as much as you can. 

8. Enjoy the Magic of Positive, Uplifting Words.

In your house, place affirmations on sticky notes, which use positive words to describe you, your family, as well as your professional life. Don clothes with positive wordings, as wearing positive phrases throughout the day will attract positivity. By doing all this, you are utilizing the power of repetition optimally to your advantage. You can alter your world, and the easiest way to do this is by altering the energy that is permitted into your life.

9. Put Your Words To Work – Transmute Words Into Gold

Life is filled with transferring one form of energy into another. Money is a form of energy. Making money is no different from, say, making muscles or physical health. You have to “transmute” the energy stored in your body (which was transmuted from the eggs and bacon you ate this morning), into hitting those weights, or running that 5k.

In that process, you’re basically spending physical energy (potential and then kinetic energy) on new muscles, cardiovascular strength, mental endurance, etc. And you do the same with money.

Like an alchemist of old, you can “transmute” your words into gold. Now, we’re obviously not talking about magical spells or the elixir of life or the philosopher’s stone. Not literally anyway. No, we’re talking about spending mental energy to create words, which can then be exchanged for money.

It’s the Alchemist magic of Transmutation. In this case, transmuting words into gold – here’s a few examples:

  • Write fiction and sell it. 
  • Write nonfiction and sell it. 
  • Use words that compel the search engine bots, charm the algorithm, and simultaneously speak to the hearts of humans, AKA SEO and content marketing.
  • Use words to create text ads that convert traffic into revenue, AKA PPC.

10. Write out Those Goals!

Your goals written out, are your goals on metaphysical steroids. 

Use Your Words to Earn 10x More (Strategy Based on Harvard Study)

Your goals written out, are your goals on metaphysical steroids. Here’s one you may have heard of, and maybe a lot – but even if that’s the case, it’s still a brilliant reminder:

Harvard did a 10-year experiment with their students. They asked a class of MBA students: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

These were the initial results of the survey:

  • 84% had no goals whatsoever
  • 3% had goals and plans written down
  • 13% had goals, but they were unwritten

10 years later, they followed up with each student, and this was the outcome:

  • The 3% of the students who wrote their goals had a higher net worth than the other 97% combined
  • The 13% with goals (unwritten) earned 2x as much as the 84% with no goals.
  • The 3% with written goals/plans for their future earned 10x the rest of the class – put together.

So here’s my question. Why not you? There’s no reason you can’t apply the same secret power of words and out-earn everyone by 10x, by writing down your goals.

And as my digital mentor Jim Rohn says, write them out and read them every day in the morning (I think he might say in the evening too, but I just do the morning and it’s been working great – one step at a time!).

11. Take Responsibility for Your Words

Understand that your words are extremely powerful in a positive and negative way. Whatever is expressed verbally can impact and alter the lives of your loved ones. You can choose to use words that positively affect others. Remember that words cannot be erased after they are said. 

12. Aim With Your Words

In the Al Anbar province of Iraq, one of my favorite young Marines committed the cardinal sin of aiming his weapon incorrectly. He was accidentally aiming toward another platoon of Marines on the other side of the range. And his weapon? A fully automatic grenade launcher – the Mk-19. That beautiful black, belt-fed, blowback-operated, air-cooled, crew-served, fully-automatic weapon eagerly fired the second he casually leaned back onto the trigger.

A single grenade can shred through and kill a group of people with horrifying ease. In this case, the 5-meter kill radius had, thankfully, no one in it.

But you can see the problem with poor aim. And it’s a perfect example why it’s so important to keep your aim true at all times.

To achieve your goals, aim at them. Not just every month. Every day. Every hour. Every moment. Because each of those moments is a brick in the foundation of your destiny. And those moments are decided by your words – internal and spoken – which produce your actions.

The word “Sin” means “to miss the mark.” Aiming properly with your words – internal and external – is everything. This is why speaking the truth and only the truth is a key to success. And why “live your truth” is a great life motto, cliché or not.

13. Leverage Your Words to Leverage Your Environment

They say the lion is the king of the jungle. It’s not. It’s the king of the savanna, sure. But throw it into the middle of a watering hole teeming with crocodiles and you’ll see a different animal – a cautious and probably terrified cat that knows it just nosedived into the bottom of the food chain.

Or give it a hang glider and chuck it off a cliff to soar amongst the eagles. How long do you think it’ll rule the sky?

This is my point. Environment dictates kingship. For the Lion, he can only be king in his own domain, the savanna (and wherever else lions reign supreme). But the good news is this. For humans? Well, we have the ability to choose our environment, and with relative ease.

That means, we all have the ability to create Blue Oceans. In the air, there are no apex predators higher on the food chain than hawks and eagles. They have a Blue Ocean. In the world of the human, we can select an environment that fits our skills, or we can create a new one entirely.

This is done by using your thoughts and your words to formulate a strategy, and take action on it.

14. A Final Word: Use Your Words to Complete Your Hero’s Journey

Competence hierarchies exist whether we like it or not, and the higher you are in those hierarchies (there are many), the more likely you are to be confident, secure, and fulfilled.

Take action – create a hierarchy you can be at the top of, or join one you know you can climb to the top of. It’ll help you improve your leadership (and we are all leaders in some way shape or form). It’ll boost your belief system; your confidence, assertiveness, inner strength and peace.

But for the most important things in life that you want to grow in – whether it’s your career, skills, passions etc – make sure you plant yourself at the bottom of those hierarchies too, so you can grow. Because if you find yourself sitting on top all the time, as a big fish in a little pond, you’ll never get the chance to look up, move forward and improve. The top of the hierarchy can become a place of stagnation, a plateau.

Create your own Hero’s Journey with your words. Take a journey outside – beyond the grasp of society, far from any tribe or authority. Seek out your greatest foe – like King Arthur’s knights in search of the holy grail, enter that part of the forest which looks darkest to you.

In other words, aim at the best thing you can imagine – the highest state of being/state of mind – for yourself, and for others. Face the most intimidating goal you can bring yourself to face, because behind that dragon is the gold.

When you win and lay claim to that gold, return to your village to share with those who are in need. And don’t forget to teach them the truth – you won with the power of your words in action.

7 Daily Writing Habits From Great Writers

Some of the greatest writers only wrote standing.*

Some, like Truman Capote and Mark Twain, wrote laying down in bed.

Capote told an interviewer, “I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy,” and Twain’s report is only slightly different:

“Just try it in bed sometime,” he told the New York Times in 1902. “I sit up with a pipe in my mouth and a board on my knees, and I scribble away. Thinking is easy work, and there isn’t much labor in moving your fingers sufficiently to get the words down.”

I’m always looking for a working habit that makes me motivated, organized, accountable, faster, more prolific — you get the picture.

My favorite method of discovering new writing habits is to read biographies of great writers.

Here’s a few of my favorite writing habits, I hope they help you!

Writing Habits From the Greats

First, keep this in mind.

Some writers like to write a number of words or pages every day, while others feel lucky to squeak out a few phrases.

Some people write for hours while others organize their thoughts meticulously on index cards before they even touch the keyboard.

There’s no “perfect fit” when it comes to writing habits, so test and adopt the one that works best for you (and let me know in the comments!).

1. Truman Capote. The author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood  claimed to be a “totally horizontal author.” He would write to the bed or lie down on a sofa, with a cigarette and a coffee. For the first few hours, the tea led to the coffee then the sherry to martini. He wrote his first and second drafts in pencil. Then still in bed, he took them back to the typewriter sitting in balance on his knees.

2. Philip Roth. One of the greatest living American writers, Roth writes standing and thinks walking. He claimed to walk a half mile for each page written. That’s around 8 or 9 football fields per page.

3. Vladimir Nabokov. The author of Lolita and Ada or ardor: Family history wrote standing, and he wrote everything on cards. That allowed him to write non-sequential scenes, and above all to reorganize his plans as he wished. His novel Ada or the ardor took more than 2000 cards.

4. Stephen King. In his book Writing: Memoirs of a job, Stephen King says he writes 10 pages a day, every day, even on public holidays. This mountain of daily writing has led to incredible results: King is one of the most prolific writers of our time.

5. Ernest Hemingway. On the humbler side of the coin, Hemingway wrote 500 words a day. He worked early in the morning to avoid the heat and write in peace and quiet. Here’s an interesting fact: Some people attribute the quote “write drunk, edit sober” to Hemingway. While he was an alcoholic, Hemingway said he never wrote intoxicated.

6. James Joyce. In the pantheon of the great writers of the last century, Joyce occupies an important place. And while the most prolific writers set a limit of words or pages, Joyce boasted of taking his time with every sentence.

A famous anecdote also runs on this subject. One day, Joyce crosses one of his friends in the street. He asks if he has had a good day of writing. And Joyce said yes very joyfully. That day he had written three sentences!

7. Joyce Carol Oates. This extremely prolific writer’s work can be read in her bibliography and she’s won many awards including the National Book Award.

She writes by hand, and prefers to write in the morning before breakfast. Joyce Carol Oates teaches writing, and on course days she says writing a good hour before leaving for her first teaching hour. On other days, when the writing goes well, she can work for hours without interruption and doesn’t eat breakfast until 2 or 3 pm.

So there you have it.

Those are some unique writing habits that have worked well for some of the greatest authors in the world.

The important thing is to find and adopt the writing habits that suit you best.

If you feel your motivation decline, try switching it up with a new habit from the list above!

Hope you have a great day, I’ll see you in the next one (:

-Josh

 

*(Kierkegaard, Charles DickensWinston Churchill, Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, Hemingway).

Bonus writing habit: Dan Brown, author of The Davinci Code, writes after hanging upside down for awhile. He calls it inversion therapy (and apparently, he’s not the only one).

Find Your Writing Voice by Mimicking the Masters

Everyone writes with a style related to their personality. It’s their unique sound, their voice.

Finding your writer’s voice is easier than you might think.

First, read the works of great writers to find a personality similar to yours.

Identifying which family of writers you can relate with is a great way to find your voice.

Every book grows from another book, and genius is when a new mind absorbs, transforms, and finally restores in an entirely original form, the inspiration of another.

Consider Mark Twain, who never stopped inspiring authors as great as Ernest Hemingway (and many others of course).

Carpenters, painters, sculptors, dancers and other artists, they all start by imitating the craftsmen they admire. So do the same!

Every author has a teacher or two (or several), people they look up to because they admire their unique style of writing.

It is by mimicking your favorite authors that you teach yourself to write.

Choosing Your Writing Teachers

Sometimes I meet people who aspire to write for a living but read very little.

That’s too bad because nothing will ever replace the experience that you acquire by reading, because it’s by reading that you get the opportunity to observe the craft of the master, and take their techniques and make them your own.

Imitate your favorite authors. 

I didn’t say plagiarize.

No, the strategy I advise is much easier:

  1. Use them as an ideal example of how to write well.
  2. Imitate them to understand them.
  3. Detach yourself from their writing and create your own style.

If you already know your writing teachers, choose from their works and continue in the same tone and with the same style. Visit https://copyleaks.com/education/plagiarism-checker-for-students to have a clear idea of whether or not your work is up to scratch.

To make sure your style is similar to that of your favorite author, ask a friend to read your text and the teacher’s, to try to tell them apart.

If your friend can’t tell the difference between the two, you’ve just taken a monumental step in your path of writing greatness.

Me personally, I like George Orwell, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, and many others…

These were my valuable, dearly loved writing teachers, and some of them still are.

Who are yours? Have you ever tried to imitate them?

To your keyboards!

I’ll see you in the next one (:

-Josh

Steve Jobs’ Success: 3 Personal Stories & Business Advice From Steve Jobs

This video took awhile to make, but I think it’s well worth it — this advice could have saved me from years of business failure, and I hope it’ll do exactly that for you.

I don’t think I know anybody who doesn’t want to know the secrets to Steve Jobs’ success.

I rarely – scratch that – I NEVER advise to be like everybody else, but this may be the only exception, because IF I had listened to this speech and taken his stories and entrepreneurial advice to heart, I would’ve been successful MANY years sooner.

In fact, my first 3 years as an entrepreneur were a big, stinky fail of a mess because of lack of this advice.

Anyway, enjoy the Steve Jobs’ stories and advice!

-Josh (Write Right Rite)

3 Massive Mistakes Digital Entrepreneurs Make That Keep Them Out of 6-Figure+ Territory

There’s 3 massive failures almost every digital entrepreneur makes, 3 deficiencies that never fail to cut them short of the 6 figure mark.

I make $100-$150 per hour, BUT — and believe me, this is a big butI do not make 6 figures per year.

Weird right?

I mean, just do the math:

$100 times 40 hours per week is $4,000.

Multiply that by 4 and you get $16,000 a month.

Multiply that by 12 and you get $192,000 a year.

But I don’t make that much.

This letter to you is about my failures, and perhaps the biggest failure I’m STILL trying to correct – the reason I make $100 to $300 per article, but fall miserably short of 6 figures.

Pain is a harsh but effective teacher, and while I’ve gone through some very real pain learning these 3 things, my goal is keep you from burning through time, energy and crushed hopes by telling you what these mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Let’s back up a bit, way back actually, to my first failure as an entrepreneur.

Failure #1: Nightcrawlers

I had my first business failure was when I was 6, maybe 7.

We lived in a gray, crumbling old duplex on a busy road — the roof leaked and the heater barely squeaked out enough heat keep us from freezing in the winter.

But that decrepit little cottage had one huge redeeming factor — it was just a short walk from my favorite fishing hole.

If there was any one label I would’ve willingly put on myself, it was that of a fisherman.

At night, the biggest worms ( we called them nightcrawlers) would come out of the ground, and if you were fast enough, you could pounce and snatch them from their holes before they zipped back into the bowels of the earth.

After weeks of practice, for hours each night, I got good enough to fill a bucket with worms in a single night.

As much as I fished, there was no way I could use even a fraction my supply, so I got the brilliant idea that I’d sell the surplus on the side of the road. Like a lemonade-stand….

…but with worms.

Car after car rumbled by without a second glance.

By the third day of standing for hours with my sign, I was miserable. My legs were tired, nose was burnt, and worst of all, I felt like a failure. Unnoticed, unwanted, inadequate.

But then something amazing happened. A friend of the family stopped by to buy some worms.

I was thrilled.

I gave him the bucket of worms I’d hunted all night for, and pocketed my profit, grinning from ear to ear.

As he drove away, I uncrumpled my first glorious payload.

It was a dollar. One. Measly. Dollar.

I didn’t know what bartering was at the time, let alone have the stones to play hard ball with a grownup, but I knew enough to feel ripped off. And with that, my bait shop dream disintegrated into cold reality.

Failure #2: Primal Trade and Barter

I had a few other escapades bartering baseball cards and marbles with the kids in my neighborhood, again getting ripped off by the older kids who knew what the cards were actually worth.

I always left feeling shamed and confused, wondering if I’d done the right thing.

By the time I started junior high, I thought I had learned a thing or two, and decided to give entrepreneur-ism another try.

Failure #3: Submarine Savant

This time, I sold sub sandwiches, and while I barely turned a profit, it felt good. I was no longer that doe-eyed, naive little kid. I was a shark tank entrepreneur; a sales savant, a savvy merchant.

But this time, it wasn’t my poor bartering that killed my dream. I got lazy. It wasn’t fun and I got bored of it, and after a month or two, I stopped altogether..

That turned out to be my trademark for years to come. I’d get a brilliant idea — one of those ideas that would clearly make me millions — then, after a few months of passion-fueled work, my motivation would dry up, leaving me questioning myself, wondering why I hadn’t made my millions yet, or even thousands or hundreds…

Failure #4, 5, 6, and 7

Later, I started an army surplus sort of e-store. It failed. I tried selling airsoft products. That lasted a few weeks. My hookah e-store actually got a few solid sales, but not enough to keep my interest. It also failed miserably. I tried dropshipping, affiliate marketing, Amazon stores, Ebay — you name it.

I wrote on a blog for about 6 months without seeing a drop of profit, but then it hit me.

I knew I wasn’t dumb, and I wasn’t lazy. I woke up at 4 every morning and put in more effort than anyone I knew. I wasn’t unlucky or some kind of bad karma magnet.

Whenever I failed, I made excuses to avoid the pain of being a failure.

The timing wasn’t right, the market was saturated, I didn’t have money to throw at my marketing like everybody else had.

Maybe there was a grain of truth there, but I was missing the greatest insights that would utterly change my life.

I don’t know when it happened, but something clicked. LOUD.

I realized that I hadn’t found my passion, and even more important, I had failed to be consistent.

Most people give up right when they’re on the verge of success, and I was one of those people.

I didn’t know how close I’d been to the tipping point, but I figured I’d better push hard and non-stop next time. Go big or go die — there could be no in between.

So I did some soul-searching (whatever that means), and landed on a career I knew I could pursue forever, just for the sheer love of it, even if I failed at it for the rest of my life.

Failure #8: My Pride and Joy

That craft was writing.

I didn’t know why or how people would pay for my writing even if it was good, but I set out with a new vision — to write professionally or die trying.

I was a starving artist and proud of it. Rice, beans and ramen noodles were my only friends, and I gypsy’d my way through the countries with the lowest cost of living, places where I could survive off of my sad content mill wages.

My fledgling scribbles met cutting criticism, clients who refused to pay, and more than a few sneering rejections.

But for all the pain and legitimate hurt I felt from those rejections (I know it’s lame, but hey, truth is truth), something inside me changed.

I was creating a career I loved and was proud of; I was finally being true to myself and that made me feel alive.

For the first time in my life I didn’t care about getting stinking filthy rich and impressing my family and friends with my prestigious success.

I simply knew what I was meant to do; what was written in the genetical story of my DNA.

And that’s when I started making money — GOOD money.

I’m not telling you this to show you how I went from rags to riches, as much as I love those stories.

I’m telling you this story to highlight the 3 major mistakes I made that initially kept me broke and literally a starving artist, and 1 monumental mistake that kept me from breaking the 6 figure mark.

Mistake #1: Lack of Passion… and Stuff…

Lack of passion, motivation, belief, momentum. I know those are 4 different things, but there’s so much overlap. Self-belief is your primary fuel that fuels passion, motivation and momentum, which are forms of fuel that drive your actions.

Mistake #2: Craftsmanship

Lack of pitbull tenacity in honing your craft.

My craft is writing.

I’ve spent years with a hyper-focus on writing a lot and writing well; constantly improving my craft. I want every article, blog post, sales letter or whatever it is that I’m writing to be a masterpiece.

And people are willing to pay good money for masterpieces.

My motto used to be “money follows quality,” and while I still say that and believe it, that’s only part of the truth.

THIS is the final piece to the puzzle — the mistake I’ve made for about 7 years — and the reason I don’t make 6 figures a year despite making $100 to $150 per hour.

Mistake #3: Self Promotion

Lack of self promotion. Call it sales, personal branding, marketing whatever you call it, this single mistake has vicious consequences.

You’ve probably heard how Van Gogh only sold a single painting in his lifetime, for 400 francs, the modern equivalent of $1,800 .

One of his paintings (Sunflowers if I remember right) sold for $39.9 million, but he died in poverty, a no-name, despite his masterful skill and dedication to his craft.

If you can’t get your work and ability in front of people, it doesn’t matter how much self-belief you have, or how much passion and time you put into your craft. Without marketing or sales, you won’t make a dime.

And THAT my friends, is my greatest failure to date — one I’m glad I caught onto early in my life, so I can correct it, and one I hope you’ll correct too, now that you know it.

Once I figure it out completely, I’ll let you know and show you exactly how I overcame that single most toxic mistake any digital entrepreneur can make.

Hopefully sooner than later (:

My final message for you is this unbridled truth:

The path to success is rife with failure and pain, and those are two of your greatest teachers.

If you let them be.

Recently I heard someone say that “failure is not an option,” that you don’t have to fail if you just do things right to begin with.

That’s a lie.

No one in history has EVER done that, not even the most brilliant minds the world as seen.

So I want to leave you with 2 quick mini-stories on that note.

Some Motivating Success Stories You Might Want to Digest

I’m sure you’ve heard these stories, but they’re worth repeating.

Let’s start on the writing side of things, since it’s arguably the best career a digital nomad can pursue (I know, I’m biased.)

JK Rowling was a single mother on welfare who wrote in cafes to stay warm and write as her baby slept.

She pushed through the pain of severe poverty and 12 publisher rejections until she hit her tipping point, and went on to make millions off of her passion.

Oprah Winfrey, love her or hate her, is another shining example of pushing through failure.

She was abandoned by her parents to live with her grandmother, who was so poor she had to dress the child in potato sacks. Needless to say, going to bed hungry was just a part of her life at the time.

On top of that, she was molested by two family members when she was only 13. She ran away in hopes of a better life.

Her newborn baby died when she was 14.

Despite one of history’s roughest starts, she kept beating her head into her metaphorical brick wall until it shattered.

Forbes now estimates her worth at roughly $2.7 billion.

Alright, I know I said I’s give you 2 success stories, but let’s count this one as a bonus.

Have you heard the story about the trader who started with a match and traded his way up to a palace?

Well that pretty much happened in real life.

Ingvar Kamprad was born in a small village in Sweden called Pjätteryd.

He was a humble door to door salesman, selling — you guessed it — matches, riding from house to house on his bicycle.

After some success, he started buying them in bulk to get the bulk-rate discount, and his profits grew.

It wasn’t long before he’d saved enough to buy and sell fish. Then Christmas decoration, and then seeds, and then low-cost, high-return ballpoint pens and pencils.

Finally, he pooled all of his resources and began selling furniture.

The furniture and home decor powerhouse IKEA was founded by Ingvar in 1943 at his uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. IKEA is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd. His IKEA chain is now worth well over $6 billion.

All from a box of matches.

Remember, the journey to 6-figure success as a digital entrepreneur is only possible by maintaining your motivation, passion, and self-belief, and channeling that drive into mastering your craft, and promoting your craft.

Find your passion and never stop improving and promoting yourself.