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1,000 Days After Overnight Success

1,000 Days After Overnight Success

More than two years ago, I wrote a free manifesto on becoming a professional writer in less than a year. It was called 279 Days to Overnight Success, and the purpose was to outline the roadmap I had followed in crafting a new career after moving back to the U.S. from overseas and finishing grad school.

Somewhere around 15% of the total AONC readership can be traced to the worldwide interest in this manifesto, so I thought I’d take a quick look back at the lessons from it.

But First, a Disclaimer

I almost never look at my old work. The reason is simple: once it’s old, I don’t like it. When looking back I inevitably find flaws, inconsistencies, poorly-phrased sentences and arguments, and things I wish I had left out or explained better. Nevertheless, I think that most of the advice and storyline in 279 Days holds true a couple years later, even if I might say things a bit differently now.

In the manifesto I made the argument that crafting a sustainable career oriented around creative work wasn’t that difficult. I also shared how I’d been able to earn just under $50,000 in year one of the project, without putting ads on my blog or relying on sponsorship.

As I said at the time, the thing about money is that it is always relative: for some people, $50,000 is a huge amount of money, and for others it’s very little. My point was that I knew I could live off $50,000, and if I could get paid that much to write and travel, I’d be thrilled.

Nearly three years later, the operation has scaled quite a bit, with multiple projects in the six-figure range. As it’s grown I’ve tried to keep the basic philosophy the same. I don’t want to hire employees or outsource my life. I also don’t make much of a separation between “life” and “work,” since I enjoy what I do and don’t have any desire to keep it at a distance.

Overnight Success: The Plan of Action

The plan in 279 Days was presented in six points, noted below with a few comments.

1# Create a Compelling Story and Be Remarkable. No matter who you are, you have a unique story to tell. Your story doesn’t need to be well-packaged or boxed down into a tiny niche, but it does need to be somewhat clear and interesting.

In my case the story initially revolved around my travel goals, and to some degree it still does. I’ve tried to broaden the mission, however, to focus more on non-conformity itself and how people with different interests can live their own unconventional lives. Ultimately, that is the more important mission, and I hope to get even more specific about it as we go along.

2# Clearly Answer the “Reason Why.” If you’re starting an online project, why should your readers (or customers, or followers, or whomever) care about what you are doing? In the case of online publishing, tens of thousands of blogs are started every day. Why does yours matter?

Answering this question is critical, and you don’t have to do it just once—you have to do it over and over.

3# Prioritize Writing and Marketing Over Everything Else. What I meant at the time was that if you want to craft a long-term project, you’ll need to devote consistent amounts of time to it. Instead of marketing, I would probably use the word connecting now, because that’s essentially what marketing is. But the point remains: treat your work with the respect it deserves. Carve out time to devote to it.

Everyone is busy, but we all make time for what’s important to us.

4# Be Bigger than You Really Are. Often, new writers worry that they don’t have much to offer, because they’re “just getting started.” But my point was that you might be getting started on WordPress, but you’ve had your own unique experiences and perspective to offer for a long time. No one is better or more qualified than you to share those things, so don’t be intimidated to jump right in.

5# Build Long-Lasting Relationships. On my first book tour I talked about how I wrote 10,000 short emails to the first 10,000 people who joined the AONC newsletter. I don’t have any delusions that every single person was impressed by a quick personal note, but over time 10,000 individual actions will have a positive effect. You can apply a similar strategy even if you have 10 readers instead of 10,000. (In fact, you can probably do a better job since you’ll have more time to devote to them.)

6# Carefully Introduce Products and Services.There are all kinds of good reasons to do creative work, but if you want to make a living from it, you have to provide opportunities for people to pay you in some fashion. It’s also better to think about this from the beginning, and to keep it as natural and organic as possible.

Last year a company offered a significant amount of money to sponsor this blog. If it was a “bad” company, it would have been an instant no. But in this case, it was a good company doing interesting things. Despite the generous offer, it was still an easy choice: “Thanks guys, I’m honored, but we’re keeping it sponsor-free.” I’m glad to have the store, and I wouldn’t want to operate AONC any other way.

***

Applications may vary, but if you want to get paid for creative work of any kind, I think these lessons will serve you well. The basic philosophy remains simple: Do work that you’re proud of. Care about people and help them. If you have a website, don’t clutter it with irrelevant ads. Instead, make things that people want and offer them for a fair price.

Looking back I can see mistakes and wrong turns, but I try to keep moving forward. I’m a better writer now than I was in 2009, and I hope to keep improving over the next three years and more.

It’s Not Enough to Say “Don’t Give Up”

A lot of advice about blogging leans toward the “Don’t give up!” mantra. Some of the time, it’s good advice. But if something isn’t working and you don’t enjoy it, there’s nothing wrong with moving on and trying something else. (Hat tip: old-school Seth.) I’ve experienced a lot of freedom by giving up things I was doing only out of obligation or guilt.

Similarly, it’s also not sufficient to say everything will be OK if you just keep going. The way you work something matters, not just how much time you devote to it. (Hat tip: Lefsetz.)

Nevertheless, once you’re on the right track… that’s when you don’t give up. That’s when you stick it out, building a tower every day by working on something that helps people.

Finally, A Note On Being “Too Late”

I often hear from people who feel like they are “too late” to start a new career or big project. Sometimes the concern relates to an advancement in technology (“I wish I had started this earlier”), and other times it’s more of a general feeling that they are just too late in life.

The thing is, that’s how I felt! In 2007 I looked around at successful blogs and wondered, is there any room for me? Fortunately, I’m glad I decided to start sharing my work, and fortunately, it’s improved over time.

This is probably the most important lesson: Forget about being too late. If you have something to share with the world, stop waiting. Your overnight success may be right around the corner.

Question: What is your creative work? Are you building your own overnight success?

Feel free to share your project with others in the comments. (Just be sure to keep links in the URL field, or your comment will be trapped in our active spam filter.)

###

*Speaking of making things that people want, our new Unconventional Guide to Publishing is getting rave reviews. Do you have your copy yet?

Image: David

52 Comments

  • Dan says:

    I agree 100% with your “too late” comment. I felt that way too! I think the opportunities for AONC style businesses in the next 5 years will be greater than they were in the last 5. Here’s one of my favorite success stories in publishing on the web in the last year.

    It’s a wonderful podcast by guys who didn’t pursue careers philosophy in order to get ‘real’ jobs. 10 years on, they circle back on their passion and share it with the world. It’s great stuff!

  • robyn says:

    it was this manifesto that helped me realize what my big mission was for my life – to knit for others, in large numbers, and share that with everyone i could.

    i knit 100 hats in a year, and never looked back.

    my current goal? to knit, and then give away (to friends, family, and strangers) 10,000 hats. i started officially counting january 1st, so i’ve got quite a ways to go, but i know i will accomplish this goal!

  • Lydia says:

    Again, you hit it out of the ball park…

    Since I’ve started reading your blog, I’ve slowly started to make changes in my life. For a year, I’d talk about signing up for a Personal Training Certification course… so I finally did it and signed up. I start next month. I’m tired of “talking” about it in terms of “could” or “perhaps.”

    My creative output is also very important to me, so I’ve started writing every day, painting as often as possible, reading and creating short fiction for my blog.

    I’m saving, taking the appropriate and necessary steps towards creating the life I want.

    One step at a time…

  • Conni says:

    Pretty crazy and amazing how far this has come!

    I’m working on my blog A Life of Blue and about to start my freelance business in public relations and social media next week with my first two clients – no more conventional jobs for me from here on, leaving my last one in a few days!

    In the long run I would like to just write and travel.

    I don’t really need overnight success, I think. I’m happy to learn and take my time. Hopefully though, one day, there will be a point when I’ll be ready properly take off…overnight! :)

  • Caanan says:

    Thanks for reinforcing this sound advice.

    We do freelance HR work in order to support our “No Vacation Required” lifestyle, so – in an effort to always stay at the top of our game – we’re always in creative mode. For us, it’s all about differentiating ourselves in the marketplace (heavy on #2 above!) and staying relevant.

    When talking to others who want to work virtually, we find that many want to simply duplicate something that’s already being done. Resist that urge!

  • John Mw/D says:

    I’m trying to build a personal finance/lifestyle design site for married people, because I believe there is room for the message that you don’t have to be single and fresh out of college to take control of your life and live it on your own terms.

    I have joined a well-known personal finance blog network to build connections and make sure I’m going in the right direction. In the last three weeks, I’ve made more progress than in the first 3 months.

    The best lesson I learned in 2011 is that this will take at least a year, probably more. If you learn that first, then you can truly decide if this is right for you.

  • Andrea says:

    279 Days to Overnight Success was a big inspiration to me before I started GlobalMom Raising my children as global citizens was something I felt strongly about, and I wanted to share what I was learning with others. But I did think (and still do sometimes) that it’s something only I’m interested in, or that I’m too late in the game, or… well, you know… all the things you think before you realize that you’re just being negative and need to refocus your attention :) I’ve also been forwarding all of your posts here on to a friend of mine who is just on the brink of taking control of her own life. Here’s hoping she’s as inspired as I have been!

  • Cheryl says:

    I can totally agree with the fact that you are never “too late”. Never too late to learn a new language, start a new career or follow your dreams.

    Five years ago my husband and I lived off of 50 USD a month, for the past couple of years, well, just about 200 USD. We may be regarded as stubborn for the fact that we don’t just go out and find work! Truth is, we live on an organic farm, grow much of what we eat and this much has been enough. As time changes, priorities change and a new business is being born – a culmination of our experiences about living a sustainable life and volunteer simplicity.

    Everyone does have a story to tell.

  • Sonia says:

    I found you blog about three years ago. It was one of the ones that I found and still follow when I decided that I needed a change. I read “why you should quit your job and travel around the world”. I’ll tell you it changed my life. About ten months a go a bit the bullet started a blog “internationalbutterfly” and decided to travel and check some things off my bucket list.

    I am 38 and had never touched a backpack before in my life! I never thought I could have done it.
    My point is that it’s never too late!
    Thanks for just being yourself and being such a postitive force in the world!

  • David says:

    I’m having a bit of a hard time now… but I know it’s going to be a blast…
    helping out young travelers.

    :-)

    Chris, thanks for the reminder.

  • Julia Jones says:

    My business parter and I came up with this idea about offering online running courses a year and a half ago and were able to implement our business within 6 months with a near zero investment – and while living in separate countries. I can’t even explain how it worked but it just felt like such a *strong* idea that nothing was stopping us. And didn’t. Chris, I come to your website often for inspiration to keep going – thanks!

  • 2 years ago we embarked on a travel adventure that we just recently started blogging about: we moved to Costa Rica with our then 1 1/2 yr old and a baby in the belly. Now we slowly travel and slowly blog about our adventures of living abroad, traveling with a 3 & 1 yr old in tow and living our life to the fullest enjoyment.

    It’s an amazing life and we hope to inspire other families to do the same. Travel brings families closer together by sharing interesting and sometimes frustrating experiences together.

    Adventure doesn’t end because you have children.

  • Clara says:

    This post came at just the right time, as I’ve been in one of those “too late” moods. Reading this, I was reminded of an acquaintance who had long wanted to be a doctor and, in her 40s, was considering going to medical school. She was having a hard time making a commitment, considering her age and the long course of study: “I’ll be 52 by the time I get my medical degree!, she told her husband. “Look at it this way, honey, he said. “You’ll be 52 anyway. Wouldn’t you rather be 52 and practicing medicine?” She got the message.

  • In regards to the “it’s too late” feeling, the thing is, there’s always an audience that wants to learn something from you because you’re unique. You’re different. It’s in your own style and voice. And it’s that perspective their after.

    Sure, there’s dozens of other sites that might match what you have to teach. But they can’t do it your way.

    I used to get overwhelmed over this too. But if you recognize that you’re style is enough, and get out of your own way, you’ll be better off for it.

  • Holly EM says:

    Hmmm, what if you have a compelling story, but you aren’t necessarily setting out to help people… I just started a personal blog about lifestyle design based on my experiences living in four countries and traveling to many, many more. I also have a young family, and we’re about to move country again. Living in foreign countries is A LOT different than just traveling to them…. And with the world economy the way it is now, not sure we can be so picky any more…. Anyway, it’s good to read your post. You have certainly achieved a lot.

    Holly EM

  • Kate says:

    A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about your work. Immediately after, I checked out your site and signed up for your newsletter. And I have to thank you for the gift of inspiration and motivation you provide for me as a fellow traveler, non-conformist and writer.

    I recently launched my site, TravelwithKate.com. It is a very personal site. Yet, at the same time, I hope it helps launch my career as an on-camera journalist and host of travel and culture-related programming. The site is a travel blog where I am posting written articles, about my travels and related topics, and original videos. I want to help people to experience the world without fear or prejudice. And I’d like to give them the tools to have authentic experiences that will change their lives.

    Your work and the community of like-minded people you have brought together enhance my sense of hope that I will indeed achieve my goals. So, Thank you.

  • Torrey says:

    “This is probably the most important lesson: Forget about being too late. If you have something to share with the world, stop waiting. Your overnight success may be right around the corner.”

    So many people find themselves paralyzed by psychological barriers “justifying” why they can’t start (i.e. too late). I’ve found this to be the main culprit behind not getting started or rationalizing why it won’t work. Others say it’s not knowing the latest secrets or tactics.

    Regarding my creative work, it’s been the same for me and my audience seems to agree. I think sharing my journey to be a better interviewer in such a public manner tends to help me gain confidence and allows my audience to see someone who wasn’t afraid to start because of a lack of interviewing skills/experience.

  • My blog/brand/mission was birthed at a time of great failure, hurt etc.

    What I realized in this difficult time what it was time to search within and get back to the things that I was passionate about…that passion was traveling, meeting new people, and seeing different ways of life.

    This really helped me out through this healing process and continues to do so today. In the few short months since, I am more happy then I’ve been in years, I love what I am doing, and whatever direction it takes me, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it!

  • The little steps bring you to the biggest places. All we require is big bag of confidence and the willingness to feel our way through.

    I share my writing and my poetry on my blog and I want to inspire daydreamers and artists to find their element. My breakthroughs have mostly come through dreamwork so my coaching style is centered around this. We are always dreaming so why not do it lucidly? Why not write out loud? As loud as you can?!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Benny says:

    Like many, reading your manifesto got me started on being an “overnight” success as well. I’ve only been blogging for a year, so I know I’m just getting started.

    It’s been great because I’ve been able to show that if regular guy like me can go on and create a successful iPhone app, you can do it too with whatever you want.

    I plan taking more action to keep inspiring others.

    It’s definitely never too late to start a blog. If I would have thought it was too late, I wouldn’t have created my iPhone app. I would still say it’s not too late to start getting into the huge app market.

  • Thanks for the pep talk and context, Chris. Can’t wait to meet you sometime.

  • Ryan says:

    I distinctly remember how I came across this piece: a co-worker was printing a number of copies of it and I just happened to be next in the queue on the printer. While I waited for her job to finish up and for mine to come out, I took a quick flip through one of the copies that was in the printer tray.

    I love writing and had been toying with the idea of writing a blog of my own, but was unsure of how to begin and what to write about. I was intrigued by 279 Days within a few of those already printed pages, so I headed online to see what it was all about. I’ve been a dedicated AONC reader ever since!

    Not only that, but reading 279 Days was truly the tipping point for me seriously exploring the idea of writing my own blog rather than just thinking about it all the time.

    I’ve been writing for about 15 months now, chronicling my pursuit of making my passion for collecting sports cards and memorabilia a hobby that is 100% financially self-sufficient.

    Thank you for making this document available to us, I look forward to reading even more of your great work!

  • I am trying to build the number one preschool brand in America. It is centered around teaching early learners to know and love gardening and nature. It has three parts: Bloomers! Backyard – products and activities parents can do with their kids; Bloomers! Schoolyard – a unique hands-on curriculum for preschools and elementary schools; and Bloomers! Island – an online virtual world with a Quest that reinforces the hands-on experiences.

    Launching Bloomers! after the age of fifty and as a breast cancer survivor has been an amazing journey for me. I can’t believe I get to do something I love so much. I work 14 – 16 hour days and it feels like I am having fun. Now I have to start making money!! Talk about “feeling you’re too late!” Sometimes I think – you are crazy doing this. But I just keep pushing forward because I enjoy it so much.

    I have been following you 6 points since I read your manifesto a year ago. Brilliant. Thank you,

  • Anna says:

    The feeling of being “too late” is just an attitude, and one I used to struggle with. When I was 8 years old we moved from a school where you started band in the fourth grade to one where you started band in the fifth grade. Since I wanted to be a musician, I was devastated — I was overwhelmed with the idea that this would put me behind all the other musicians who started a year earlier. I was too late! I might as well give up.

    It took me until I was 30 to realize just how insane that was for an 8-year-old child…and to be honest, it’s just as crazy at any age. There are very few professions where age really matters, and even those only matter if you want to play in the conformist space (Olympic ice skating and professional ballet come to mind). For almost anything you want to do, age is actually a great benefit.

  • Jarie Bolander says:

    This is great advice for my latest blog since it deals with leadership in a new way. Of course, leadership has been done to death but my hope is that this new approach will open up the concepts of leadership to everyone — not just MBA’s or CEO’s.

    I’ll make it a point to keep these points in mind.

  • Corie says:

    Complete agreement – especially about it being too late! I may never write as much, or as quickly, as other novelists, but bit by bit I’m shifting things, and working on what makes me happy. Two books out, and a third in revision. Not too bad for a late starter, and it makes me happy every day.

  • Patrenia says:

    Chris, I have read that manifesto many times and still do. I refer back to it for motivation to keep moving. Thank you so much for the inspiration because I look forward to your posts every Monday and Thursday! :-)

  • MelodyO says:

    I feel like I’m on the high diving board and you’re on the ground yelling up at me to just jump already. I have an empty blog all set up regarding the third stage of personal finance, a niche that’s presently under-served but has a lot of interest (as far as I can tell), and even though I have a lot to say about my personal journey, I just can’t pull the trigger.

    Why? Because I’m in the third stage of personal investment. LOL. We’re running a busy, successful company, and it seems insane to take time away from that so I can start a blog that may or may not fly. But it sure would be a lot more fun. SIGH.

  • Janet says:

    Thanks for such a terrific resource in 279 Days (which I only discovered a month ago) and for your consistently positive, straightforward advice.

    I find that the idea of being ‘too late’ is sometimes trumped by the daunting thought that everything’s been done before. When you come up with an original concept, it doesn’t take much of a Google search to realise that someone else has already done it, usually quite well! But your advice on successfully and continuously answering the question ‘why?’ is the solution; all it takes is a little tweak to your concept or target audience to give your idea a fresh and unique appeal.

  • Maria says:

    70% of people are not really satisfied with their exercise habits. The most common reason is that they feel they don’t have enough time or motivation for exercise.

    This is exactly the group of people I am focusing on. I help them see fitness opportunities they could not spot before. Everyone can exercise, even if they don’t have time, and even if they are currently not motivated to do so…

  • Tristan says:

    This manifesto inspired me to start sharing my writing via my blog, help other people learn foreign languages, and write my first book.

    In the last week, I’ve seen the first wave of positive feedback coming through – a few emails from people who have read the book, and are starting out or continuing with a vengeance on their language learning mission. It’s been a great project for me, and I hope to help lots of other people and keep going.

    Thanks for the inspiration and keep it up!

  • Brandy says:

    Thanks for writing this, Chris. I’m so inspired by the connection piece – 10,000 emails! “Amazing” is an overused word I try to stay away from – but it fits here! That’s seriously amazing.

    And you still respond to emails (And I know because you’ve responded to mine)! I think that is a huge part of your overnight success. Your friendliness is encouraging and gets me stoked to follow in your footsteps.

  • Vijay says:

    A very timely article chris.
    I have started my blog to inspire Bootstrappers (entrepreneurs) and this article inspires me to keep moving forward and to keep helping people.

    your words “Nevertheless, once you’re on the right track… that’s when you don’t give up. That’s when you stick it out, building a tower every day by working on something that helps people”.” are very inspiring.

  • Nick says:

    Good timing. 279 days gave me the impetus to launch my own blog. This post reminded me that I’m not following some of my own advice: when you know you’re doing it right, you’ve got to keep at it! Good advice for bloggers and practicing musicians! (My site, Accelerated Practice, focuses on the beliefs, skills, and attitudes required to become a professional-level classical musician.)

  • Renee says:

    I am starting out in mid-life as an artist, a painter. Being bigger than I am is mostly what I am working on now. I appreciate the work you do and the inspiration you give. Thanks!

  • Owen Marcus says:

    Thanks for the post. I comment on all my comments on all my platforms, but never thought about writing subscribers thank yous.

    One reason I started blogging several years ago was to get over not being able to write. With my Asperger’s and dyslexia school all the way through to graduate school was a challenge around writing. To my amazement for the first time I enjoy writing.

    Yes, when I look back I often flitch. But I keep going. In fact I finished one book recently and am working on two more. Am I a writer yet? Maybe.

    What I am is committed. I accepted that I may have to work harder, but I will achieve my goal. I feel blessed that I have something I care so much about – giving men what they need to be their own Remarkable Man.

  • Rebecca says:

    “In 2007 I looked around at successful blogs and wondered, is there any room for me?”

    That’s exactly how I feel! It seems that every day I find another blog that’s delivering a similar message to the one I want to send, or it’s got a massive following which makes me think people wouldn’t have time to read my blog too. I guess I just have to keep believing in myself and keep doing what I love to do. Hopefully success will follow.

    Also, I have to agree with Brandy who commented about the amazing 10000 emails you sent out to subscribers. I’m impressed, and I feel inspired to do something similar myself.

  • Laura says:

    One piece of advice that I stick to, Chris, is to always post the blog on schedule. No matter what, I post twice a week, like I said I would. I try to stick to my basic theme and think of a few people I know would be interested in my posts. I live in Germany and like to write about things German, in English.

    I’m going to be 50 this year and I’m revising my first novel, have the first draft of the second finished and the third and final book in the series is fermenting back there somewhere. They are historical novels, set in Germany during the Thirty Years War. An obscure theme, who knows if anyone would buy it, but the stories are hot and they won’t leave me alone.

    Ten years ago, I would never have allowed myself such freedom, that is, to write and enjoy my life!

  • Jade Craven says:

    I’ve been going on the wrong track for quite some time. I stepped back from blogging as soon as I saw that happening but still, there are a lot of people that looked at me like I was a success story. Especially after I write that bloggers to watch post.

    It has been so hard and I want to give up. Because the advice of ‘just keep going’ is BS. If it’s not working, somethings wrong, and you need to change. You then need to go through the whole cycle of testing and refining without knowing if you are going to get it right. It feels like my career is a startup and I’m going through the tough pivot stage.

    It’s cool – the best stuff comes from those that do the most experiments. But you’re advice about not giving up really hit me. Some people should. I should. I’m not, and that’s scary. However, I’m making the changes so I’ll learn heaps from the new experiences.

    ;) Sorry for the ramble. I’m in a thinking mode.

  • Sam says:

    I think this article brings a lot of perspective to aspiring writers. It can be easy to think “Why am I bothering, someone else can say it better!” but in reality no other person will say it how YOU say it. Everyone has their own message and if you have something to say, go for it!

  • IPBrian says:

    Great indirect advice there are the very beginning. Not looking back. I tend to have that problem with my photography. I am constantly confronted with reasons TO look back and to question all the flaws I see. I need to let them be.

  • Austin Wood says:

    Thanks for this great post, Chris, and for bringing my attention to the free manifesto. Just downloaded it and looking forward to reading it soon. I recently started my own blog in hopes of creating a location independent lifestyle. I have no doubt that your eBook contains lots of great advice that will prove helpful.

  • Gustav says:

    I want to prove that you can live a sustainable life as a nomad, where your work, relationships and hobbies are all location-independent.

    I am so passionate about it, and write about it with all I’ve got. But will it be enough? Or will it fade away like a dream you can’t hold on to when the light of dawn hits your eyes?

  • Tony Fuentes says:

    I enjoy and believe in what I do, plus I make it a point to always be getting better. I’m not to concerned with anything else other than doing what I love, growing and learning, and above all, helping people.

    If people jump on my bandwagon, so be it. I’ll be here whether they do or don’t.

    It’s a wonderful feeling.

    Btw, I write about the fine art of “quitting” beliefs that destroy our lives, our community, and ultimately the whole world.

    Check it out. It’s still a baby :)

  • Caitlin says:

    I stumbled upon 279 Days to Success about a year ago and started my blog in September. It’s about love, happiness and untangling the crossroads in our lives – or those life concepts that force us to make decisions about how we act and what we choose to believe. It makes me happy every day! :)

  • Wyman says:

    With all the other comments it may be too late to make mine but I will anyway. I enjoyed reading all your comments. For you new folks don’t miss reading the World Domination made easy manifesto also.

  • Prime says:

    I first read this manifesto in 2009 and while I was already making a good living writing (I’m a journalist), I was looking for a way to do my own thing. Reading this manifesto encouraged me to do what I always wanted – travel journ -and use the Internet to enhance my writing and connect to a new type of readers.

  • Graham says:

    I enjoyed reading 279 Days, but one of your earlier truths has influenced me the most: “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to”.

    This fits my habit of traveling out of season to places not high on the tourism industy’s must-see lists. As a result I’ve enjoyed travel experiences different to that of most people I know, and I wanted to share them. This gives me stories, and a reason why …

    My readings on this and other sites encouraged me to develop a website called Roaming Down Under, about “exploring roads less travelled in the cooler parts of Australia and New Zealand”. By documenting my travels, my aim is to encourage and help others to seek out beauty spots other than the high profile attractions which get all the space in the brochures.

    It’s a hobby rather than an income source, but has potential for writing products in the future. Success? Maybe. Overnight? Definetely not! But I’m enjoying the creative process, and in my mind that makes it successful.

  • luke says:

    boosted by your comment of Being “Too Late” i just posted some new work… and i`m considering starting to blog “for real” =]

    it`s in Brazilian portuguese but i hope someone here may find it usefull

  • I am working on finding creative ways to provide the legal assistance many young and online entrepreneurs need but at a really reasonable price. Its something I’m passionate about but the legal profession is very resistant to change. Sometimes I feel tired and think about giving up but I know I have to keep going.

    I am also working on bringing more attention to my manifesto for lawyers – The 21st Century Lawyer Manifesto. The face of lawyers can no longer be an old, grey haired, caucasian man charging by the minute. I hope this manifesto gaining traction will empower lawyers to stop trying to fit in and instead become innovators.

    I find your work very inspiring and am greatly looking forward to WDS. :)

  • Dan says:

    I’m working on the overnight success thing. I felt (and still do a bit) that there might be no room for me, or that I had arrived on the scene too late, but I guess everyone has those thoughts at first. More than that I just think ‘I wish I had started this years ago’. Better late than never eh?

  • Jon says:

    I sometimes suffer from the “I’m too late” mantra at times, even though I’m only 25 and feel like I’ve done quite a bit with my life. I’m happy to say I’m not stuck in some lifeless job that doesn’t reward me with anything. I’m big into design and programming in general, and want to build a business around that. Sometimes I think that there are a ton of great people who have done this already, how am I different? Then I think, well there are always people who are better in every field, but that doesn’t stop actors/singers/writers/artists/atheletes from continually being successful in their own right. I’ve never get my own slice of the pie if I’m not already moving. I have to adapt on the way there, but if I’m always looming in the horizon waiting to get in early I’ll never get there in time.

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