How to Become a Magnet for Others


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The rich people in my Rich Habits study all seemed to have one thing in common – they donated significant amounts of their time to helping other like-minded individuals.

This was more than a habit. It was more like an addiction. The self-made millionaires in my study seemed to be unable to control their impulses when they came into contact with other individuals who shared many of their success traits.

This is an important insight because it gives you the upper hand. If you are pursuing something big, some dream, some purpose or some passion, you’ll need influencers who can help you. They can help you by becoming part of your team or by simply opening doors for you.

How you do that is by infecting others with your dream, purpose of passion. You infect others by sharing with them your dream, purpose of passion. Then nature does the rest. This draws to you, like a magnet, other like-minded individuals.


Passion is Seductive


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We are drawn to those with passion like bugs to a light. People love passion because it’s hard-wired into our DNA.

The Passion neuro-chemiclas (chemicals released by the brain) oxytocin, testosterone and neurotrophins are released when we come into contact with someone who inspires or motivates us. These chemicals, by the way, happen to be the same chemicals that are released when we fall in love, so, in a sense, those who are passionate about their dreams or goals, make others fall in love with them.

Find your passion and you’ll find people who are drawn to you and want to help you succeed. They will want to become a part of your team in some way. Never hide your passion. Let it out. Let is shine. It will, like a magnet, pull others into your circle who become infected by your passion. Passion is very seductive.


Those Who Try the Hardest Are the Luckiest


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I met Richard Branson a number of years ago at an event the two of us were speaking at. He is one of the most sought after entrepreneurs on the speaking circuit. He’s brash, yet, somehow, comes off humble. He also has Hollywood good looks and a personality that endears him to millions around the world. And he’s got stories.

In one of those stories, he shares the lucky break he got on the first music album produced by Virgin Records. After Virgin completed the album, they spent months trying to get the influencers in the music industry to listen to give it a listen. William Friedkin, an executive at Atlantic Records, was one of those influencers. Branson had reached out to Friedkin relentlessly in an attempt to get him to listen to the album. The lucky break came when Friedkin happened to give the album a listen while a film director for the movie the Exorcist was in Friedkin’s office. The film director had been on the hunt for a new soundtrack for his movie. He liked what he heard in Friedkin’s office and the rest, as they say is history.

According to Branson, those who play it safe, don’t get lucky. You have to be relentless in order for luck to visit you. In my study on the daily habits of the rich, I saw this success principle repeat itself over and over again in the lives of those ordinary people in my study who were able to transform themselves into self-made millionaires. They were damn lucky. Or, more accurately, they simply never stopped trying to succeed and their persistence eventually created good luck.

Those who relentlessly pursue success, eventually get lucky. Good luck visits the persistent. This is why it is imperative to never give up on your dream.  

Learn to Dance Outside Your Comfort Zone


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On January 1st I officially became the President of The Ashley Lauren Foundation, or ALF for short.  I started volunteering for ALF may years ago after discovering from my Rich Habits research that successful people devote significant amounts of their time and money to charitable organizations within their community.

ALF’s mission is to help families who have a child with cancer, survive financially and emotionally. During the first few months after diagnosis, parents are in a fog. They only care about one thing – the survival of their child. As a result, they often ignore “unimportant” things such as paying their bills. ALF steps in to make sure their mortgage gets paid, car payments are made the the utilities don’t turn off the electricity. It’s a noble mission.

Every year, we put on a big fundraiser called the Butterfly Ball. With each Ball we try to do something different. This year it’s a  two minute dance contest between four people. The twist is that each dancer must be a novice.

At one of our committee meetings, the members asked me to be one of the dancers. I was immediately gripped with fear, as I did not know how to dance, and I would have to do just that in front of 600 people. But they persisted and I caved.

At my first dance practice, it took me two hours to master just 30 seconds of the two minute dance routine. My routine is Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice, which, as you can see here, is embarrassingly bad.

When I got home, I sat on the couch wondering how on earth I was going to pull this off. And then I thought back to 2008. That’s when I decided to write my first book, Rich Habits. I had never written a book before and in the early going I was bad. I felt totally outside my comfort zone. But every day I wrote and re-wrote Rich Habits and, nineteen months later, Rich Habits was released to the world. It went on to become an international bestseller.

My point in all this is that fear stops most of us from doing anything that is outside our comfort zone. But, as I learned from my Rich Habits research, if you want to succeed in life you need to overcome that fear.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable needs to become a habit. You can only grow as an individual by challenging yourself. You challenge yourself every time you do something you never did before. When you step outside your comfort zone and survive, it’s empowering. It’s a huge confidence booster.

Those who never achieve much in life are never able to overcome their fear of the uncomfortable. They simply refuse to take a risk to try and master something new. Conversely, as my Rich Habits research shows, self-made millionaires make a habit of stepping outside their comfort zone. They train themselves to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Dancing will not make you successful. But the habit of stepping outside your comfort zone will. When you get comfortable with being uncomfortable, when it becomes a habit, that habit will filter into everything you do, even dancing for the first time in front of 600 people. So, take action in the face of fear. Get out there and dance, even if you don’t know how. Don’t let fear stop you from becoming the amazing person life intended.



Chose One Thing and Beat it into Submission


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“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill

Success demands obsession. In order to succeed, you must become fanatically obsessed with one thing for a long period of time. It requires a laser-like focus on one thing at a time which means you must ignore anything that distracts you from your obsession. This is one of the many reasons why successful people rely on a team to help them succeed. Those teammates deal with the distractions.

In my research, I saw this fundamental law of success at work. Every self-made millionaire was obsessed with one thing at a time. Pursuing a dream, starting a new business, mastering a new skill or some project or initiative which became their obsession. This obsession could last months or even years.

As Winston Churchill so aptly put it in the above quote, if you are pursuing something important you must see it through to the end and not let anything distract you during your journey. Distractions are everywhere. They derail you on your journey towards success. They seduce you in taking your eye off the ball and make success impossible. Successful people become successful because they take one thing and beat it into submission. They obsess over it until they master it.


You Are a Swan


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In Hans Christian Anderersen’s classic The Ugly Duckling, a swan is born into a family of ducks. He is perceived by the other ducks on the farm as an ugly duckling. They tease and belittle the ugly duckling relentlessly. Wherever he goes on the farm, the ugly duckling encounters other animals who shun him for the same reason. Because he is made to feel like he does not fit in, he runs away from the farm. While sitting alongside another pond, he encounters a group of elegant white birds. The ugly duckling sees how beautiful they are and aspires to one day be as beautiful as them.

After a long, cold and lonely winter, the isolated ugly duckling, now fully grown, decides to swim out to the group of elegant white birds, hoping they will not shun him. To his great surprise they allow him to swim along with them, welcoming him into their flock.

One morning, while swimming along with his new friends he happens to catch a glimpse of his reflection in the water and realizes that he wasn’t a duck after all – he has grown to be the most beautiful swan in the pond.

Many are born Ugly Ducklings. When you surround yourself with others who make you feel bad about yourself, you will remain an ugly duckling. 

You can allow the circumstances you were born into control your life. Or, you can devote your life to changing your life circumstances. You can seek out others who make you feel good about yourself. I’ve seen it in the stories of the hundreds of ugly ducklings in my study who went on to become self-made millionaires. These individuals, many of whom were born into poverty, found other swans who made them feel good about themselves and helped them see their inner swan.

Do not accept your circumstances in life. Take control of your life. Seek to be exceptional. Never stop growing, learning and improving. Surround yourself with other success-minded people, other swans. Inside each one of us is a beautiful swan waiting to burst forth.

Warrior Territory


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We all experience it. It happens when you’re studying, working, exercising or engaged in some activity that is sapping you of your energy. You’re tired and feel like stopping.

We all hit a wall at some point when we are engaged in activities that help move us forward in life. We know deep down that pushing on is the right thing to do, but, too often, we give in to the temptation of stopping.

Last week I was working on a new book. I was starting hour number two. My energy levels must have dropped and I leaned back in my chair contemplating an end to what had been a painful hour of writing. Then I said to myself, as I often do when I feel like stopping, “Warrior Territory”.  I kept writing for another hour.

On another day, I set a goal of running 80 minutes. At fifty minutes I felt tired and wanted to quit. Once again I found myself saying, “Warrior Territory”.  I ran for 82 minutes that day.

If you are pursuing some dream or some goals that require a consistent daily investment of your time, you will come face to face with this desire to stop. Most will give in to this temptation. But there are those who will push on beyond the pain. They are warriors and they are the individuals who succeed in life and go on to become self-made millionaires.

If you want to realize your dreams and achieve your goals in life you must become a warrior. You become a warrior when you push yourself beyond the pain. This is “Warrior Territory”.

Warrior’s succeed where others fail. They do not quit when they feel like quitting. They do not stop when they feel like stopping. Warriors push themselves every day into “Warrior Territory”. That’s where greatness resides.




You Matter


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I receive dozens of emails every day. I read and respond to each one. I love my followers. I adore them. When I put my head on my pillow at night, I fantasize about one them changing the world in some way.

For the past 18 months I’ve been trading emails with one of my followers from India. My friend from India is trying to become a Chartered Accountant. She does not have an easy life. Recently, she and one of my other followers, had sent me an email pertaining to a recent Tip of the Morning To Ya post. They both noticed something about the post that was not quite right and sent me separate emails with their feedback. I immediately realized they were both right. So, I edited my post.

I received a subsequent email from my friend from India thanking me for hearing her. She was very happy that I valued her feedback. In her email she actually expressed some disbelief that her opinions mattered to me. And It got me thinking. There are many people out there who do not think they matter.

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Galileo, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Mark Zuckerberg and many of the self-made millionaires in my study were individual human beings who, in some way, changed the world in which we live.

Each one of us has the capacity to change the world. Each one of us can make it a better place. Each one of us matters. We just need to believe that we matter.



Self-Determination vs. Predetermination


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I’m going to get a little philosophical here. Bear with me. There’s an important point I’m trying to make.

There are two opposing schools of thought that divide mankind.

School of Thought #1: Self-Determination Drives Life Circumstances

School of Thought #2: Predetermination Drives Life Circumstances

Those who subscribe to School of Thought #1 believe we are in control of our life circumstances. There is no one out there, no higher power, watching over us, guiding us. Those in this school believe success, wealth, failure and poverty are manufactured. We turn left or right, decide A or B, or do X or Y as a matter of free will, instinct or internal guidance. In other words, the circumstances of our lives are dictated by our own decisions, our own behaviors and the choices that we make. We, in effect, create our own destiny.

Those who subscribe to School of Thought #2 believe we are not in control of our life circumstances. Some higher power is watching over us, determining the circumstances of our lives. Those in this school believe success, wealth, failure and poverty are outside our control. We turn left or right, decide A or B, or do X or Y because some force of nature acts upon us, directing us in every aspect of our lives. In other words, the circumstances of our lives are not determined by us, but by external factors we cannot possibly control. We, in effect, are powerless over the course of our lives.

When you subscribe to School of Thought #1 you embrace the concept that you are in control of your destiny; that you have power over the course of your life. As a result, you develop a mindset of self-reliance. Through hard work and personal initiative you seek to create the life you desire. You pursue lifelong self-education, take calculated risks, seek feedback from others and carefully weigh every decision you make. You search for mentors to help you forge good habits that put you on the right path.

When you subscribe to School of Thought #2 you embrace the concept that your destiny is predetermined; that you are powerless over the course of your life. As a result, you feel you are not in control of your life. You are a mere victim of the luck of the draw. Because you feel you are not in control of your life, you do very little to affect the circumstances of your life. You float along in life like a leaf on a fall day, carried by the wind.

Which are you? Something to think about.


How Big Will Your Folder Be?


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Every year I start a new file. I use one of those Pendaflex-type big brown folders. Inside, I put all sorts of things of importance as they occur during the year. Some are pictures of me with important people I meet during my speaking engagements. Some are vacation pictures. Some are articles that I write that make their way into national magazines, newspapers, etc.

I also put inside my big brown folder my Journal Binder. During the year I write in that Journal Binder. I write down everything I am experiencing during the year – my deepest thoughts. Most of the time it’s very depressing, page after page filled with the obstacles, problems, and the doubts, fears and anxieties I’m feeling at the moment. But sometimes it’s very uplifting, on those rare days when things go right, and all of my doubts, fears and anxieties are replaced by expressions of unbridled optimism.

Every January 1st, I then summarize that Journal Binder and put the summary as the lead page in the binder. Then I close it and put it away, inside my big brown folder, which makes its way into a file cabinet I keep in my basement. I’ve been doing this since 2000.

I noticed this year, when I was putting my big brown folder away in the file cabinet in my basement, that my 2016 big brown folder was larger than my 2015 big brown folder. I then noticed that 2014 was larger than 2013 and that 2013 was larger than 2012. Each year, since I started following my dream of becoming a successful author and speaker, my big brown folder has been getting bigger. I thought about that for some time.

As I was staring at my big brown folders, it dawned on me that they were a reflection of the progression of my success each year. The more success, the bigger the folder.

Then I thought about 2017. I wondered what that big brown folder would look like. Will it be bigger or smaller than 2016? If it turns out to be bigger, that’s a good thing. It means I’m growing. It means I’m accomplishing more than the year before. It means I’m succeeding.

We all need something by which we measure our success. That something becomes a muse that motivates and inspires us to push ourselves forward and carry on in the face of all of the obstacles, fears and doubts that every dreamer pursuing their dream faces.

If you’re pursuing a dream, you need that something, that muse, that big brown folder. Find your big brown folder and then ask yourself every year “how big will next year’s folder be?” It will help give you that extra edge you need. It will keep you from quitting on your dreams.