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The Steps Before the First Step

If you try to tackle a big project and end up getting stuck somewhere along the way, it might mean that some steps are missing.

Imagine trying to complete a difficult, 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Even though it has a thousand pieces, finishing the puzzle requires to complete more than a thousand steps.

You need to spend time sorting, grouping, and looking for edge pieces. You also might have to undo some parts of your work as you go along—which adds more steps, since now you need to override previous tasks that you thought had been completed.

This is all logical enough, but a) it takes time, and b) if you haven’t ever done a large puzzle before, you might get frustrated. You might give up along the way, leaving your puzzle half-finished and sitting on the kitchen table for weeks. Finally, you push the pieces back into the box, swearing off puzzles until the next family holiday gathering or global pandemic.

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The Courage to Change Your Mind

Here's a helpful filter to know when to worry: does something sound too good to be true, or does it sound so bad that people give up and stop thinking for themselves?

Either way, when everyone around you agrees, it's worth asking some questions. Questions like: "What’s really going on here—and who is threatened by disagreement?"

Consider it an opportunity! When it comes to Coronavirus life, an astounding amount of groupthink is currently taking place. It’s as though everyone is taking the collective temperature (no pun intended...) before deciding what they believe and how they should act.

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New! A Reading Group Guide to The Money Tree

Link: --> Download the Money Tree Reading Group Guide

In addition to the Third Way group that I’m starting, a lot of people have asked for materials to facilitate conversations around The Money Tree.

I’m glad they did! We now have a free reading group guide that you can access for book clubs, friends and family, or just your own reflections. If you’re reading the book with a group (or if you’d like to!), this might help.

Spoiler warning: if you haven’t finished the book yet, you might want to hold off before looking at this document.

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If You Find Yourself Dreading Appointments You Made Long Ago, Start Asking “Would I Do This Tomorrow?”

You know the feeling you get when an appointment approaches on your calendar and you’re not looking forward to it? Maybe you’re even dreading it?

Ugh. I totally forgot about that, you think. But I guess I need to to do it, since I agreed long ago.

We've all been there. Some of us find ourselves there all the time. The good news is, there’s a trick to make that happen less and less.

It comes from understanding that when someone asks you to do something you don't really want to do, you’re more willing to agree if it takes place far into the future. You tend to think, “Oh, that’s a long time from now. I’m not thrilled about the idea, but sure, I can do that.”

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The Real Imposter Is the Part of You That Hesitates

Hesitation What holds people back from making a bold choice or following a dream?

When you ask, often they’ll point to the lack of knowledge. They simply aren’t sure what to do, so they wait for someone to give them a step-by-step plan.

Other times, they mention a lack of resources or some kind of access—perhaps they need money, or maybe they're holding out on a specific connection or certification.

After writing and sharing online for more than a decade, however, I’m pretty sure that these cases are the minority. Instead, the thing that stops more people than anything else is internal resistance.

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The New York Times Reviews The Money Tree (and actually says good things)

Link: New York Times on The Money Tree

When I heard that the New York Times was reviewing my new book, I was simultaneously excited and worried. I was excited because, well, it’s the New York Times! And despite several of my previous books selling well, they never really paid much attention to me.

But I was also worried because the Times is not always kind to authors. In fact, many of their book reviews consist largely of 600-word critiques on why a particular book is terrible. I’ve even known authors who have stopped writing for months or years because of a bad review.

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How to Write a Novel

First up, thank you so much for your support of THE MONEY TREE! Despite the numerous challenges of current events, the book is getting out to lots of people.

Now that it's out, a number of readers have asked me to explain more about a big change I made. Specifically, my new book is unlike any of my six others: it’s fiction. I created an imaginary world of characters, and did my best to bring them to life.

It started partly because I wanted to do something new. The more I thought about it, the more nervous I felt ... which of course is often a good sign. A sense of nervousness and even feeling a little afraid can be helpful in showing you what you need to do next.

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New YouTube Series: Watch Live Every Weekday at 9am PT

Daily YouTube Series: --> Subscribe Here

So I decided to start a YouTube channel, because a) why not, b) I need to adapt just as I encourage other people to do, and c) I’m not going to 40 cities at the moment.

Every weekday at 9am Pacific time, I’ll be teaching a short lesson and taking live questions.

The theme of the new show is: Finding Opportunity in an Uncertain Time. We’ll be looking at different, creative ways that people are making things work during a time of disruption / disorder / chaos, and talking through projects with anyone who’d like to share theirs with the group.

Here's an example from Day 2:

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Big News: The Money Tree Is Out Today!!

Buy Now: Amazon | BN | Audible | Apple Books | Indie Bookstores

Greetings, friends and readers!

A very quick note to say ... my new book The Money Tree is out today! 💰🌳

My new book is all about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard. I hope it will help people who are navigating difficult financial times, especially anyone with debt or those who are struggling during this time of chaos and turmoil.

The-Money-Tree-Book-cover-indoors

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The Second Best Thing You Can Do Right Now

Wondering what to do during this time of chaos? I have a proposal.

First, the best thing you can do is what you already know about: keep people safe by washing your hands, refraining from gatherings, etc.

But unless you’re on the front lines (THANK YOU to everyone who is), most of those actions are passive. When you’re sitting at home with clean hands, what can you do besides turn on Netflix?

This is my proposal: the best thing you can do is be safe, but the second best thing is to be productive.

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THE MONEY TREE Book Launch: Join Me From Your Couch on April 4th!

—> Virtual Book Launch: April 4th

Greetings, friends and readers!

I had hoped to visit 40 cities on an extensive tour for my new book, THE MONEY TREE. But then, well, you know what happened. No one is going anywhere for a while.

Naturally, I’ve been regrouping and making a new plan. This live event will be worldwide and virtual—you can join in from your couch!

That’s right, we’re going digital. My book tours have always been about bringing people together, and this event is no exception ... we’re just doing it from a distance.

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The Cost of Unnecessary Worrying

I hope you’re holding up okay in the new world order. Instead of talking to you about social distancing (I’m guessing you’ve heard about that already), today I’ll just give you a personal observation: Since I've started trying to worry only about things I can influence or change, I’ve been a lot less anxious.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t worrisome circumstances out there. It just means that, aside from what you’ve already heard about, there isn’t a lot you can do to change them.

Meanwhile, unnecessary worrying has a cost, without providing any benefit. Worrying about something you can’t control doesn’t make that thing any better.

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Opportunity Waits in the Time of Uncertainty

Wow, what happened to the world in the past week?

I’m writing to you from my sanitized desk in an underground bunker ... well, it’s not quite like that. But what a difference a few days makes.

All of a sudden, millions of people have found themselves working remotely or not working at all, unexpectedly arranging childcare because the schools have closed, and running over neighbors in the toilet paper aisle at Costco.

Well, guess what: I’m not going to say “life goes on” (even though it will) and I won’t claim this isn’t a big deal (it is). We should take COVID-19 seriously and do what we can to stay safe.

That said, there’s only so much you can control. Sure, you should wash your hands more often, but ultimately what happens next is out of those same hands.

If there's any good news, it's this: with uncertainty comes opportunity.

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Habits of Highly Effective Real People

Humans are not machines, and we don’t all want the same things. But we do want to do something purposeful, to use the time we have to the best of our ability—and we also long to discover our authentic selves.

If our lives consist of a series of choices, how do highly effective real people make them? Here’s a short list of characteristics for your consideration.

First and foremost, they know what’s important to them.

I’ve been saying for a while that the greatest productivity hack is to love what you do. It is much, much easier to be both productive and satisfied when you spend most of your time on something you find meaningful.

I often go back to this principle as a compass point. It really does no good at all to become efficient at the wrong things. On balance, it’s actually negative because the more efficient you become, the more likely it is that you’ll continue on the wrong path. Therefore, it’s better to fail quickly at the wrong things, so you can discover the right ones.

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