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You Can Do That? Great. Go Ahead.

You Can Do That? Great. Go Ahead.

When I shared the story of a man who tightroped across Niagara Falls, someone said, “That’s easy! He had a safety harness.”

Every day I hear from someone who thinks my quest to visit every country in the world is invalid because of some technical reason.

When I talk about people who leave their jobs to make their own way through self-employment, I hear about the advantages these people have and how it must be so simple for them.

It reminds me of an old musician’s joke, told and retold in various forms.

Question: “How many guitar players does it take to change a light bulb?”

Answer: One to do it, and a dozen others to say “I could do that.”

Two things about countering this way of thinking:

Embrace the WOW. When someone does something interesting, appreciate it for what it is. Stop judging or discounting their achievements. The world is full of people doing fun and incredible things. Keep your eyes wide and your mind open.

Focus on your own achievements. Set your own goals and spend your energy on something you build, create, or pursue. Can you walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls? Great. Go ahead and do it.

***

When I became an optimist after years of seeing the glass half-empty, it was mostly a practical choice. I just realized I was tired (literally) of putting my energy toward negative thoughts. It was draining and decapacitating. I vowed to put my energy toward positive thoughts, and ignore anything else as much as possible.

Here’s how this two-part play works in practice.

Dear Reader,

WOW. What you’re doing over there is amazing.

It’s so good that I need to get back to my own work.

Thanks for being around.

So… what are you working on?

Feel free to share.

###

Image: Roo

83 Comments

  • Caanan says:

    Living the exact life we want to be living, we’re continually surprised by the number of people who will say things like “Well, it’s easy for you because…” or “I could never do that because…”

    Over the last several years of living our dream life, we’ve learned that you learn A LOT about people when you share your dream with them. Are they instantly supportive or a nay-sayer?

  • Erin Wilson says:

    I’m teaching photography to kids on the margins in northern Iraq, and I’m having a freaking fabulous time!

  • Noel Coleman says:

    I’d write an amazing comment, but I’m too busy kicking butt in my world…

    :)

  • I am working on creating merchandise to complement my new book which I am launching at the end of July. I often get people say that they could write a book, it’s easy. Which is true, writing a book isn’t difficult, but it takes a lot of time and effort, and if you’re an Indie Author like I am, once you’ve finished, you then have to edit, proofread, format etc, and then get it out into the world. I would like to see all my critics give it a try :)

  • robyn says:

    still plugging away at my 10,000 hats goal! my count for the year is at 122 – amazing!

  • Rob Wilson says:

    Working on getting out to the National Parks full-time. Taking a circuitous route via home-support for an aging parent, but we’ll get there this coming spring (2013.) Currently selected for 6 weeks Artist-in-Residence program at Great Smoky Mountains NP in Sept/Oct 2012 as part of building credibility for photography & writing, which we aim to use to support our new lifestyle. Working on making every step a forward step.

    Thanks, Chris, for all that you do to inspire and motivate and challenge. Without folks like you and a couple of close friends’ encouragement I never would have applied for that Artist in Residency program.

  • Gayle says:

    This is going to sound weird but I am going to say it anyway. I am working on getting my daughter into a residential drug rehab program after finding out last week she had been smoking heroin for three months (at college.) And, of course the college binge drinking before that – the drinking she thought was so normal and “everyone does it.” Sweet girl but clueless and naive. She has been in a medical detox hospital for 3 days and needs to leave tomorrow because of insurance – that is as much as they will pay. So, I am looking for a 30 – 60 day rehabilitation program. Advice to anyone reading this with children – make sure you have drug and alcohol rehabilitation on their health insurance because it is really a nightmare to figure this out without it. Anyway, the point is, I am just moving forward and surrounding myself with people who know the recovery business as well as her dad so we can figure this out and get her the help she needs for the least amount of money. Positive side of this is once you immerse yourself in a project, no matter how awful it is, you learn a lot and I hope in the future I can guide others in finagling this system. And, I hope the best for my girl!

  • Steven says:

    I was one of those people who said it wasn’t a big deal. Not because he used a safety harness (it’d be stupid not to) but because there are people out there doing things like this everyday, with little or no fanfare and absolutely no media hype. This event was little more than a publicity stunt. Is it cool that he did it? Yes. Is it as big of a deal as it was made out to be? I don’t think so. If he’d have walked anywhere else, no one would have cared. It was the location more than the action. If you want to see people doing the same thing for THE LOVE of it, check out slacklining. Bunches of no-name people are out there walking lines that bounce, sway and without a balancing pole. It’s something I’m learning how to do, and while I’ll never walk across Niagara Falls, or be on TV for doing it, I love it. And that’s all that matters. Could I do what that guy did? I think I could…one day. I hope to set up a highline of my own soon enough…but again, it won’t be on TV and no one will care. That’s the reason I “objected” to the tightrope walker. Not because of what he was doing (it’s cool) but because of the hype surrounding it. Do it for love, not popularity.

  • Jenny says:

    End of the Year grades for 200 students.
    Continuing to learn a different grading system.
    Preparing for July’s adventure; looking forward to the ‘off the grid’ time, electronically speaking.
    Reading and Learning about Investing.
    Combat against clutter, and zombie furniture.
    Realizing I no longer bat an eyelash about getting on motorcycles multiple times a day and how awesome that is.

  • I’m in my 70th year riding my bicycle through the Americas, currently in Columbia. Here is a quote I came across:

    “Your age is not the number of
    candles on your birthday cake.
    Or the grey hairs you find while
    looking in the mirror. It’s the
    voice inside you that tells you
    to try something new.”

  • Rose says:

    So true. The negativity is draining, to say the least.

    I’m working on a project that, for me, is meaningful and also quite personal. It’s a new blog and a couple of accompanying projects that I hope to launch along with it – but I keep finding myself frozen in the fear of other people’s judgement or negative reactions toward it. I know people are going to judge – it’s just going to happen. I must find a way to not take it so personally and just keep moving forward, but haven’t quite learned how. So frustrating!

  • It’s so easy to think you’re failing at a particular pursuit because SO MANY others constantly degrade or devalue your efforts. But I’ve found if you keep going, keep plugging at it, and keep crossing the tightrope, somebody somewhere will not only say WOW, but remind you that you’re accomplishing an especially dynamic feat:

    In a UK music examination when I was a young teen, I was upset at playing 3 wrong notes in a particularly difficult piece. The very kind examiner mentioned that I had played those three notes with passion and consistent with the mood of the piece – which required a lot of skill and focus. He then reminded me not to forget the 3,000 notes I had played correctly.

  • Natalie says:

    I just finished “The $100 Start-Up” and was very encouraged to take a chance on something I’d been wanting to do ever since I can remember; focus on my writing. I had always looked for reasons not to do it and made excuses for myself, judging other people because they had done what I had not. Today I am focusing on MY project, not other people’s choices. Even just throwing my hat in the ring feels like an accomplishment. Thank you for pointing out the obvious to me when I couldn’t see it, and I applaud your work and vision.

  • Kristine says:

    Great post! About six years ago I decided to put my energy toward positive thoughts and life has been better than I could have imagined. Prior to that, I spent many years worrying about my weight and my looks, wasting precious time on things that held me back. It has been incredibly liberating to free my mind and shift my thoughts towards exciting and productive things. I stubbornly care about peace in the Middle East and have spent countless hours on a thesis that I think will make a meaningful contribution on the topic. It’s 320 pages and counting and it keeps me up at night and gets me up in the morning. After I defend it, I’ll be working to get it published.

  • Jamie says:

    Wow! That was an awesome post! Thank you for sharing such encouraging thouhts. I appreciate & really value when my choice of associates, including what i choose to read or listen to adds something so positive to my life! It’s exciting that there are so many good things available for ME! I am at an exciting & could-be-scary time in my life again. I am working on growth and changes in my career & personal life, and on creating a new powerful dynamic for my children’s education! Rock on and love!!

  • I love this post. It describes what I need to practice more often. When I became an encourager toward others instead of being envious of their every accomplishment, my life improved drastically. So, I’m impressed by the guy walking over the falls. However, I still whine way too often about how hard it is to sit down and write, how hard it is to be focused, how time flies and I don’t have enough of it … arggghhh! I’ve started my post about Negative Nancy, what our son-in-law lovingly calls our daughter when she whines (a habit she got from both her dad and me – no way I’m taking all the blame for that). Lol. Thanks for a great reminder to stop whining and start winning.

  • Summer says:

    I am learning how to write stuff that people actually want to read, and I have started running. These two things are bringing my life to the place I’ve wanted it to be forever. I really dont care what people think about my achievements, but I do want them to enjoy my stories.

  • Staci Blunt says:

    I am an eternal optimist by nature and proud to be one! I am currently working on how I can make my travel agency business grow and become the place to come to when seeking a life-changing, mind-blowing, bucket-list travel experience! I am also working on becoming a travel writer, and also enjoying some fabulous Portland, OR weather!

  • Chris Powers says:

    Right now I’m:
    Taking a Salsa class.
    Training from 0 to Marathon in 6 months.
    Spending time on the beach.
    Paleo dieting.
    Writing.
    Spending time with family and friends.
    Looking for a competative engineering job in the chemical industry.

  • I love that you said ‘When I became an optimist’. So many people don’t realize that ‘attitude’ is a conscious decision that we have to make everyday. Thanks for sharing this great reminder to not worry about putting the other guy down in order to negate your own shortcomings. Rather, go out there and get busy on your own dreams!

  • Chelsea Bell Eady says:

    I am working on starting up an annual touring art show launching in March 2013 over international women’s day, featuring the works of female artists from Canada and the US, and eventually including art from around the world.

    I am so excited!

  • Matt MacLaughlin says:

    I’m working on breaking into the world of Voiceover Acting — Haven’t quite figured out how to accomplish that yet and in reading your $100 Start-up I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to sell my product (my voice) in the same light as say old stamps or coffee.
    Make you a deal — if you don’t already have an audio version of your new book, let me record the first chapter for you — if you like what you hear then I’ll do the rest of it for free. All you’d have to do is recommend me to your friends whenever the opportunity presented itself.
    My son introduced me to your stuff and it’s caused me to do a lot of thinking. I’m leaving a job I’ve been in for many years — never really liked it but it paid well — but after large doses of Guillebeau, Godin, McGuinness and others I figured it was time to break out.
    Keep up the good work — you give the young folks a direction to grab hold of and us more senior folks a last chance to either do something or merely sit back and review all of those “I wish I had..” moments.

    Matt

  • Ramona Roush says:

    I’m working for myself for the last year and a half creating oil paintings. I love that I’m able to set my own hours and that I’m able to choose the work I create. Lots of people tell me that I can do that because I too have some advantage, but I was able to do it because I created a financial safety net that would let me get started. It was not given to me. I had to make choices and still do so I can do one of the things I feel excited about. Dare I say, others can too.

  • Amber says:

    How clueless is the “he had a safety harness” person? If they knew anything about that guy’s story, they wouldn’t be saying that. The hoops he had to jump through to be allowed to even try to do the tight-rope walk. He was forced to wear a harness, he definitely didn’t want to. The training he did in extreme winds, how he’s been tightrope walking since he was 2. I sure as hell wouldn’t have the guts to tightrope walk even with a harness, especially across Niagara Falls.

  • brenda says:

    i was reading “Poke the Box” over the weekend and i decided to try my hand at composing a new song i was working on in Logic Pro (i usually work with other producers). it sounded pretty good so i sent it to my friend Jan and she said she knew a guy that was looking for music about the subject matter. i’m waiting to hear back.

    the beauty is, this is why i went to music production school…one of my dreams was to compose music for films that were making a difference in the world.

  • Right now I am preparing to backpack slowly from North Dakota to Brazil spending little money. In August I’ll depart to attend Burning Man and keep going from there. I’m going to create a web comic based on my adventures for others to enjoy! Thanks for the opportunity to share! Looking forward to seeing you at WDS!

  • Juan Pablo says:

    Right now I’m just a short days ride (111km) away from Thunder Bay, ON. Loaded down with gear, traveling solo (for the most part) I’m amazed at how tough this journey can be.

    When a fellow cyclist first told me that the fastest recorded time across Canada on a bicycle was 15 days, I thought, “Well yeah…15 days is easy if you’ve got support, a hotel/motel, food, water and you’re not weighed down like I am…”

    Going the distance is tough enough period. 15 days, 15 months…it doesn’t matter, it’s still tough. It’s also one helluva ride!

  • Jim Krenz says:

    Taking over the world, one story at a time.

  • I am a painter trying to make a living out of, well… painting. Seems simple, doesn’t it?

  • So simple yet so difficult for so many people. It is amazing to move through the world and hear how many folks are inherently negative or doubting. I remember at the Seattle book tour stop a lady asked you a question about what she should do about the potential for someone taking her product and duplicating it. You said something to the effect that more or something good is a net gain for everyone. That is so true and I wonder why others don’t get it. For the rare time that being overly optimistic gets me in trouble, there are a hundred times when it leads to a grand adventure. Thanks for the words Chris!

  • Karen says:

    Perfect timing Chris.
    I received this comment from my sister in law this morning/
    “I am glad Karen has got some consultancy work in the short term, and I hope she can get a job in the longer term.” Yep, from someone who’s been working for the same company at the same place for 30 years..

    Me, I’m being paid very well to fly around Europe to meetings that I will enjoy, returninghome to write up the reports at my desk overlooking my pool in SW France…

    I’d send your newsletter to her if I thought it would do any good!

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Robin says:

    I’m working on re-doing the interior and landscape of our family property that is over 40 years old. People tell me I can’t do it, but I realize they are really thinking about how they can’t do it. I’m doing it one brick at a time and it will be great in the end. I’m learning to set my course and not give a moment to second guessing myself.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Amy Gaffigan says:

    I’ve just recently moved to California to take up a new educational opportunity. On the plus side, I have family that I’m living with, so food and rent are no worry. The downside is that they’re the only ones I know in the whole city.

    I’m hoping that within the next week I can get a job, and then within the next month I can get on that educational opportunity that I came for. It won’t be easy, but I know that I have help from my family and online friends.

  • Karin Pinter says:

    Thanks again for such inspiration, especially on a Monday morning!
    One of my pet peeves is when people say “but” – so many great people negating their own desires without even realizing it…
    So, how I’m actively changing my world right now:
    I am incorporating more writing (and illustrations) on a daily basis for my website and my main project @NikiOwl so I can publish his first book this year, and building my ‘tribe’.
    I’ve rekindled my passion for my creativity, so that the marketing I do for clients now overflows into marketing myself, my projects, and others’ projects that mean something to me.
    My birthday theme this year is Belief, and I’m asking all my guests to check any stress, anxiety, complaints at the door (and we’ll have squirt guns to water them down if they make any negative remarks!). I’m also asking them to write down the things they believe in about life, love & friendship, so we can read them out loud and actively support one another’s best intentions.

  • Was recently at a conference in San Diego with a bunch of web freelancers. One of the speakers was talking about something similar referring to websites/apps. He said he was getting tons of response about “T-Shirts? I could have done that” Or “I could have done that” and his response? “Well you didn’t, I did.” lol I thought that was awesome.

  • Dalia Kinsey says:

    Incredibly well said. I just finished a degree in Nutrition. Now I’m focused on ACE certification and food blogging. It has taken me a minute, but I think I finally see how to write about my passion for food without promoting disordered eating or body hatred.

  • Michael Bertrand says:

    Become a male midwife and write a NY best seller about my male-midwifery adventures…!!!

  • ines says:

    promoting the Yasuní Initiative in Germany as an innovative way to promote development and environment

    instead of emitting tons of CO2 for having coffee and jogging in all countries of the world

    be part of creating a new world

  • John says:

    “When I became an optimist after years of seeing the glass half-full” <– I thought seeing the glass as half full meant you were already an optimist? It's the half empty guys that aren't. :)

    Right now I'm rediscovering black & white film, and creating a series of headshots for a project I'm working on. Nothing fancy, but something personal to me.

    Personal work keeps me going, it lets me explore my creativity and experiment, advance my abilities, and at the same time put limitations on myself (that paying clients wouldn't) in order to push me to improve at what I do.

  • Chris says:

    @John,

    You’re right – I updated that. :)

  • Zach says:

    I still struggle with this. I like doing comedy and a lot of that is sarcasm which is saturated with negativity. It’s tough sometimes to separate funny story from life interactions. It’s a conscious effort I take every day and I’m getting better.

    Currently, I am working on The True Generalist, working to help people turn dreams into goals through Finance, Writing and Travel. Looking at the success and effort others have put into similar projects is exhausting in almost discouraging. I fight each day to keep up the effort and move forward with it. I WANT to help others and I WANT it to work. I just need to want it bad enough! Launch in August!

  • Terrence Campbell says:

    I’m not working on anything at the moment because I’ve been swamped in a depressive funk. That is, until I read your “Go ahead do it” piece. I’m gonna go for it. I’m actually going to take your advice. When I first heard about the guy tightroping across Niagara Falls, I just shook my head. Not that I thought it was easy; I just didn’t see the point. I saw a photo of him midway across. I was amazed despite my “oh brother” attitude. I don’t know how your essay changed my mind/heart/attitude. Maybe there was some alchemy on my side, too: I was ready to hear it. I will proceed per your suggestion: I will henceforth cheer every fantastic human accomplishment and I will drop the sneering. Thanks for the nudge. I needed that!

  • Since bootstrapping a neighborhood micro-grocery/cafe/beer-garden three years ago with my husband, I’ve learned how valuable it is to be your own cheerleader and surround yourself with similarly positive, ambitious people. Disregard those who want to offer a million reasons “why not”, or worse, minimize your achievements to make themselves feel better. We consciously minimize exposure to negative people. Mindset matters.

  • Kevin Turner says:

    I was one of the doubters for a LOOONG time. And, I would doubt myself. I have been blown away by how critical it is to change your mindset. I have decided to not teach anymore and pursue my real passion of helping myself and others get in the best shape of their lives. I appreciate your constant urging to make your own way and live life on your terms. It’s reassuring to see lots of people doing the same thing!

  • Jon says:

    Suffering is like a strong addiction, and most people practice using the word to blame and curse instead of a tool for communication. When you suffer, it is difficult to imagine other people doing well. Jealosy, anger, etc is just fear with different color masks.

    I am putting the finishing touches on trading robot and indicator that is designed for maximum profitability in the forex / financial trading robots. I will have a free version of the indicator available shortly.

  • Craig Morton says:

    HI Chris. I admit that my first reaction was also critical when I found out he had a harness. However, I came to change it very quickly because I thought to myself “Why would he have to risk his life for me to not think that that he did was unimpressive?”
    It’s like that idea (Steven Covey I think?) that talks about “the shortage of praise” and how there isn’t one. We can still praise others as well as ourselves. It’s not an either or situation.
    Thanks for this post

  • Heather says:

    Wonderful POV Chris! I’m busy writing a guide book for folks who rent canal boats in France. I’m in my second year of living the dream in my boat in Bourgogne and want to share the beauty and tranquility of this mode of travel with others.

  • Antrese says:

    I am painting my way across Argentina to learn about Argentina from the people who know it best. I am painting portraits of Argentina’s cultural leaders, the innovators who dedicate their lives to creating positive change: Scientists, Engineers, Dancers, Actors, Athletes, Musicians, Teachers, Environmentalists, other Artists, etc…. I’ll travel to every province painting the landscapes that shape their ideas- the cities, jungles, deserts, vineyards all the way down to the glaciers. I’m so happy and excited to do this!

  • Shazia says:

    I’m putting together a video of my first year of motherhood for my cousin as a high school graduation gift since I can’t be there for his graduation party. it’s creative & fun!

  • Dave-Mike says:

    Studying the language of Inspiration. I just finished “The Chronology of Healing.” WILL get my first book “Inspire x 1″ on the shelves by December. Signing with SESEC soon for my music copyrights, WILL get it to film/T.V. sooner than the book. WILL produce 4 albums a year from where ever I want to go….RIGHT NOW!!! :)

  • Amanda Halm says:

    I am slowly moving towards travel writing and creative writing full-time. I spent a year living in Quebec and then moved back to Seattle and am sporadically employed, blogging and writing almost daily.
    I just sold another travel article and am updating a travel guide to Quebec. I know people who think they should have my life, my jobs. But they’re afraid to break out from the 9-5 pack. They want to be writers without writing. I love this knock-knock joke because that’s exactly what I feel like.
    Also, I think they forced the tightrope walker to wear the harness, which makes me like him even more.

  • Cary says:

    Amen, brother. And apparently Mr. Wallenda only wore the harness because those who are liability-minded made him or wouldn’t grant permission. Loved your piece. Today I’m planning a SPACIOUS adult spelling bee, because kids shouldn’t have all the nerdy fun.

  • …working on making videos about awesome people and businesses changing the world through yoga & conscious business :) thanks for the sweet & short read Chris. Cheers -George

  • Susan Bellfield says:

    When people respond in this manner I’ve found they often feel that the success of others somehow diminishes them or their own opportunities for achievement. A gentle reminder that the universe holds space for each of us to be wildly successful, and that in celebrating others accomplishments we are creating room in our lives to cultivate our own successes, is usually enough to open their hearts to new possibilities

  • Tamera says:

    I just got back from three months of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Completed 542 miles and had to stop due to illness. Next plan – find some work, buy an RV and start living the fulltime RV life. I’ll have to support myself along the way, but hell, I’ve been doing that all along anyhow. The world is too beautiful to spend my time sitting at home.

  • April says:

    I started learning my first musical instrument 18months ago (Piano) and am currently in the beginning stages of writing my first song. Its a work in progress……Small I know, but a massive step forwards with something I am passionate about.

  • I have just arrived at my new destination, Panama. After visiting a few countries in South America since last September, I wanted to check out Central America. Looking forward to meeting more people and maybe keep share their stories:)

  • Cliona says:

    Wow! To every comment before this one. People never cease to amaze me.

    I’m going to be a student midwife in September! It’s taken me three years to get this far but I’m so excited and happy that it’s finally all coming together. After I qualify I hope to work in developing countries (specifically, Cambodia, Haiti and DRC) before coming back to Ireland and either opening a stand-alone birth centre, (because right now, there are none, it’s pretty much hospital or nothing), or to be a freelance midwife.

    Right now I’m mostly just happy to have this opportunity to study and learn and *be* all about midwifery for the next few years at least.

  • I am working on my movie project now. I have to take a long travel away from my state just for me to focus on this movie script. I hope to raise a good amount of money on kick starter in order to make this project a success.

    Sheyi

  • JCov says:

    I am working on helping others Discover their Dreams and Walk in their Destiny. You definitely run into a lot of nay-sayers who make excuses and talk only in what is impossible. Why do they do that!? It makes realize even more there is an epidemic of disbelief and skepticism. It kills dreams everyday and that is a detrimental to the world who is missing out on people’s important passions. I appreciate this post so much as sometimes one can get weary in the fight for Unconventional Living, turning Dreams into Reality and Walking in your Destiny. Thank you! (that’s why you made the list of 16, wink)

  • Jen says:

    It really is cool to see what everyone here is working on! I’ve started a new blog focusing on those who work from home offices – lessons learned, productivity tips, pros and cons of telecommuting, etc. I’m hoping that things I’ve learned can be useful to others, and that I’ll be able to learn from other home officers as well. The long-term goal is to create enough material for a book and be able to provide coaching or seminars on the subject. Best wishes to all who dare to dream and do.

  • Nish says:

    I am developing content for my my first ever website. Its not as easy as I thought it might be. But I am putting my head down and doing non-stop work. I have a deadline set for end of July. So far, I think saving every cent and working 15hours a day is the only way to make it happen. Thanks Chris for $100 startup, it gave me the push I needed to get started.

    Nish

  • Erik says:

    I am 24 and just registered my mobile gaming app business. Assembled a great team and am stoked to begin production of my first iPad app. Cheers everyone

  • I’m working on creating a book on leadership. I’m putting words to paper and will soon have something that I can release to those that would like it.

    Then I will be looking towards improving my speaking skills and doing speaking engagements, workshops, etc.

  • Farah says:

    Last month I took the step of working part time at my old job so I could have more time for painting. I sold two paintings for a good price and am getting more orders / enquiries for the style that I do. Its so empowering! Its great to know people love and respect what you love to do and that you are in control of naming your price. I aim to join a a group show soon, and who once I have a solid foundation, paint full time. Its something I can do anytime, anywhere.

    I plan to travel, surf and paint. I slowly see it coming together!!!

    “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
    ― Paulo Coelho

  • Izzy says:

    The chasm betwen success and mediocrity is filled with action not words. I still remember back in college hanging out with some freinds. They were criticizign the current student body president all of them kept saying “I could do that blah blah blah!” I still remember being so bothered by that conversation. I just watched my friends and thought “but that is the difference. Yes, you can do it but you aren’t.”

    Needless to say, I haven’t been in contact with those friends in a long time.

    It really does come down to action when it is all said and done. Yes, I can go on a run today… But my body doesn’t respond based on the fact that I “can” do it. It only responds if I take action.

  • Louise says:

    I used to feel somewhat miffed or annoyed when someone did something incredible. They couldn’t be having fun when I wasn’t! LOL! But then realized I could be incredible too. So now it’s sort of a mission for me.

    But looking back, I’ve always been creative, entrepreneurial, industrious, even while being a single mom and then while raising 3 children. I came to realize I have lots to work with.

    So I freelance write and am bringing my talents online. I blog about it in hopes to inspire others to create a life doing what they love, especially in what is for many challenging economic times.

  • Good luck to everyone with all of their “go aheads”. I just updated my website to add the links to my two new ebooks (available on Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords), and have “opened” a book design subdivision of my business. These were a long time in the making – and the scary part is just beginning, which is letting the world know. But I know I have what it takes. It is far better to just go ahead and do it, whatever “it” is, instead of dreaming of what it would be like to do it. The story of a life is told with action, not thoughts.

  • Nadine says:

    Thanks for the post. I have just finished a 1140km solo triathlon across three countries and write my second book. I am working on market myself and simply choose the next thing I am excited about that I can combine with looking after myself financially.

    Going to chat to Dave in Oz in a second who is good at that – team work is better than solo. He is also going to visit your Summit !

  • Khaled says:

    I am putting the finishing touches on a book I’d wanted to write for a long time. I finally jumped in after reading $100 Startup. Now is the scary part: promoting it. But thanks to some amazing friends, that’s turning out to be something I can grasp. Still more work than I imagined, but I’m discovering I have the capacity for doing it, when I didn’t think I did before.

  • Gary Friesz says:

    As I begin the process of leaving my employment over the next several months, it has become apparent that working for someone else makes negatives so much more pronounced. Why? Because no one is happy trying to satisfy the insatiable desires of Corporate America. No matter how much you contribute, its never enough. The more you produce the more is expected. However, when I work on my website and/or my blog, the negatives disappear. Its like leaving a smoke filled noisy room and going outside for a walk in the cool clean fresh air!

  • Christine says:

    I recently quit my corporate job. Yay! It took me years to gather the courage. Now I’m starting a new vegan business…something I have been wanting to do for years. It’s fun!

  • Adel says:

    Whoever says that they can walk the Niagra Falls is simply someone who fails to embrace other people’s achievements.

    The point is that the guy made it without falling. Yes he has the security harness, but did he use it?

    yes, being self-employed could be easy once your business becomes successfuly, but is it easy to take the first step, emrace the risks and put all the hard work in the beginning? I am reading your $100 startup, and you make it sound easy, but the commitment and the decision are not easy to make. That’s not even mentioning coming up with a creative product/service and exceeding the existing competition….

  • Olivia says:

    Hi Chris, I think it is human nature for people to react to your accomplishments with resentment or bitterness. At the end of the day I think it is easier for them to NOT acknowledge what you have done or are planning to do because they wish they could be doing the same. However, most people can’t push past all the barriers and psychological resistance to actually make themselves happy. You are one of the few that has. Keep on doing what you do!

  • Sergio D. says:

    Reading the inspiring comments on this blog and the $100 Startup has provided the kick I needed to pursue my dream. I have been a personal firearms trainer for 5 years part-time. But I have finally started producing a true online curriculum– and offering premium assistance helping people get concealed carry permits. My passion is helping law-abiding citizens arm and defend themselves. There’s nothing quite like the joy of sharing my love of firearms. Within a year, I expect to quit my day job so that I devote myself to helping people enjoy gun ownership full-time. I never would have believed it was possible if I had not accidentally found this blog!

  • Ray Grant says:

    Delivered my third sold forged item today, and it still feels great, especially when the buyer is thrilled so much she shows it to everyone and posts pictures on Facebook.

    So far transition from graphic designer at an IT company into a blacksmith is progressing just as I planned it to. :)

  • Susan says:

    I’m one of those people who finds cover letters, pitches, subject headings and resume writing thrilling. It’s like creative storytelling. I love the hunt of finding new work and I like sizing up a situation and pulling out just the right words and nuances to make it all flow.

    It took me a very long time to catch on that I’m good at this and other people aren’t. I don’t know why I didn’t catch on when friends call to ask me how to respond to something or if I’ll help with their cover letters. So I’m going into business for myself. I’m working with restless creatives with 2 to 8 years of experience who want more from their careers and need help packaging and marketing their experience. I’m already a working freelance writer, so it seems like a natural fit and so far I’m loving it.

  • Stephen Angell says:

    I’m learning French. Have been doing so for about 9 months – and it’s really going well.

    Thanks for asking :-)

  • Ronnie says:

    I recently bought Chris’ book “The $100 startup:….” and I must admit the book has injected some positive thoughts in me. I became a very negative person in recent years because of all the corruption and governments power in the world and I needed this type of book and blogs so I can focus on what is beneficial for me. I hope I can continue this positive outlook.

  • Jennifer says:

    I think of things everyday that people tell me can not be done. I believe these people would have told the Wright brothers to stick to building bicycles. I need to follow you second bit of advice more. I am great at being a cheerleader for other’s accomplishments. Now I need to accomplish my own feats. Thanks for the great reminder.

  • nobody says:

    I’ve been reading your blog mostly from the day I’ve became a freelancer. Whenever I feel sad or bored with my life, I read here and it feels awesome. Thanks!

  • Jen M. says:

    That is so funny. There’s this phenomenon that artists will often come across when doing shows. Some smarty-pants (I prefer the term, “smarmy-pants,” myself) will come up and look at a piece of jewelry or some other item I’ve made and say, “Oh, I could/my daughter could/etc. do THAT!”

    My reaction, though the comment is offensive, is to smile and say, “Great! Have fun with that!” This attitude really makes it SO much easier to get through what is often a very trying day. (I only do about 4 shows a year for that very reason–lots of work, not great ROI, but you get seen.)

    Cheers!

  • Mat Trevors says:

    I’m happily chugging along with my writing, traveling, fly fishing & all-around semi-retired country gentleman lifestyle! Belize in a couple weeks and Florida for November & December!

    ‘grats to everyone for putting their dreams into action!

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