You Are 23 & Want to be Successful, so Do These Things

Cole Schafer Blog
Hanging around. Hanging around. Kid’s got alligator blood. Can’t get rid of him.
— Teddy KGB

I am 23, not successful and still have a lot to learn before I will ever reach success. But, I can share with you a few things I am doing in hopes to one day be successful. I can’t promise that it will work for you, but thus far it has worked to bring me very modest amounts of success.

I wanted this post to be relatively concise, providing actionable steps you could implement today. So, let’s jump right in.

1. Stop Scrolling

The average person spends 2 hours of their day scrolling through their social feeds. Over the course of the year, this adds up to 730 hours or 30 days. You are spending an entire month out of every year scrolling, mindlessly, through social media. If you spent these 730 hours selling lemonade from a lemonade stand for $5 an hour you would be spending your time more productively because at least you would have $3,650 to show for it. I have a lot of opinions on social media, you can read more here

2. Work on Your Craft Every Day

I don’t care if you are a wood whittler, a painter or a coder, success is only achieved through deliberate, consistent practice. Find a 1-2 hour window each day that you can spend perfecting your craft. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is, you will not become better unless you submerge yourself in deeply focused, purposeful practice.

3. Be Patient

You are going to work your ass off at something you love every single day of your life and chances are nothing is going to happen for 3-5 years. You need to understand this, you need to accept this and you need to keep being patient. If you can’t wait until you are 28 years old to reap the rewards of your hard work, you aren’t doing something you are passionate about.

4. Stop Waiting for Your Big Break

I have been alive for 23-years and I know of only one person that has ever gotten a big break. 99.99% of the time people don’t get ‘big breaks’. I have interviewed some crazy successful people who make a lot of money and make a lot of difference in the world, and none of them have ever had a ‘big break’. They became successful through everything I described in points 2 & 3 -- deliberate practice and patience. You will not fall in the .01% that gets lucky, so get out and make your own luck.

5. Force Yourself to Suck at Your Passion

If you were to have watched me go through basketball drills in my driveway while I was growing up, it would have been painful. I would dribble two basketballs, and would just pound them against the concrete until one of them went flying off my foot or off the opposing ball. Sometimes one would take a weird pop off the concrete and strike me in my fingertips, ripping the flesh between my finger nails. The pooling blood would then decorate the basketball as I continued on -- harder, harder and harder. Each time dribbling harder and faster than the time before. When I would get done with my drills, my hands would be as black as the asphalt and my shoulders, wrists and fingers would throb.

When I practiced, I practiced so hard that I sucked -- always forcing myself to perform 10% faster than a speed I was comfortable at.

That is how I got good at basketball, I forced myself to suck. It is the same way I plan to get good at writing, too.

6. Create The Life You Want, Stop Following Someone Else’s

I have always been a sucker for a damn good Instagram account. As a creative, I have a habit of falling in love with pretty pictures. There have been times where I have found myself spending too much time admiring other people’s lives on social media, wasting valuable time I could be spending on my own. Social media is responsible for creating a lot of dreams and killing just as many.

Every second you spend thinking about what someone else has is taking away from the time and energy you could spend creating something for yourself.

7. Stop Caring What Other People Think

A couple weeks back I had a creative director that I had contacted email me back a shitty condescending note that said, “I would stop writing about topics like depression and anxiety. Cool. It drives 20-something traffic, but it isn’t going to land professional brands, they won’t have much faith in you.” I used to allow notes like this to obliterate my confidence, but now I take a deep breath and then politely destroy the individual who thinks they can take on a writer in an email exchange -- politely, of course.

When you believe in your mission and are passionate about the change you want to see happen in the world, you stop caring about what other people think about you. My writing is vulnerable because I want to be that conversation for the person who is struggling, the person who is struggling in relationships, struggling with their anxiety and struggling to see their potential.

I am fighting for something much bigger than one person’s opinion.

You should be too.

By Cole Schafer

The Power of Saying No.

Cole Schafer Blog

Lately, I have been making an effort to say No. 

Growing up, I was always a people pleaser. I liked making people happy. I liked making people proud of me. I liked making people’s lives easier.

So, anytime someone would ask a favor of me, I would respond with a Yes before they could even finish the question.

Little did I know the negative impact this was having on me. At the time, I didn’t realize how draining saying Yes to everything was. While I was making a ton of people happy, I was making myself miserable.

So, I did something very simple, I started saying No.

And it changed my life.

Here are 3 reasons why I think you should start saying No, too. I hope you find this practice as freeing and empowering as I did.

3 Reasons You Should Say No

1. You Will Become Less Flaky

In college, I was widely considered ‘flaky’ amongst my friends. When one of my friends would ask me to do something on a Friday night, I would say, “For sure, I will hit you up.”

Then another one of my friends would ask me to grab a bite to eat that same night, and I would respond, “Yeah! That sounds great, I will let you know.”

Then my girlfriend would ask me to watch movies and spend the night fighting about pointless shit with her and I would say, “Okay, yeah. I should be able to do that!”

Before I knew it, I would have plans on the same night with three fucking people, two of which I would have to disappoint.

If you are reading this and are under the age of 30, you are flaky. You fucking suck at making plans and you need to make a serious effort to fix it.

How do you fix it? You start saying No. If you think there is at least a 25% chance you won’t be able to follow through with something, say No.

Today, while my friends can say I am always busy, they can never say I am flaky because I choose to say No.

2. Saying No Opens Up Your Opportunities

Many people have the misconception that saying No actually eliminates their opportunities, this is false. When you say no to something you don’t really want to do, you are freeing your time up to say Yes to something you actually want to do.

Let’s just say you feel obligated to sit on your neighborhood's board of directors -- The Willow Creek Cul-de-sac Committee of Goodfellows. Once a month the committee meets and discusses disconcerting issues tarnishing the good name of The Willow Creek Cul-de-sac.

"Bob Rogers has had his massive bass boat parked in his driveway for the past three days and it's offensive."

"While the widowed Iris Patterson is elderly, she needs to be doing a better job of maintaining her landscape -- her hedges are creeping over onto the Brinklebach's front lawn."

"Dear God, there was an anonymous complaint last week that The Crawfords were heard fucking in their Jacuzzi at 2 a.m. -- this is simply not The Willow Way!"

So, this position on The Willow Creek Cul-de-sac Committee that you don't want to be a part of, discussing topics you couldn't give a shit less about, takes up 5 hours a week of your time.

Plot Twist -- your best friend from college asks you to volunteer to teach jazz flute lessons at his church. You fucking love playing jazz flute like an Indiana University sorority girl loves white affluent fraternity boys in chubbies and basketball jerseys.

But guess what? You have to say no to teaching the Jazz Flute lessons. Why? Because you said yes to sitting on that stupid fucking committee.

3. Saying No Gives You More of The Most Important Non-Renewable Resource -- Time

Whoever said time is money was a moron. Time is not money. Time is so much more valuable than money that it’s incomparable.

I can always figure out a way to make another $100, that’s not difficult. I will never be able to figure out a way to add more time to my life.

When I am sitting on my deathbed, staring at my hot ass wife and her beautiful boobs, I can’t imagine I will be thinking to myself, “If only I had made more money during my time on Earth...”

No, I will be praying that God gives me just a little more time to spend with my wife and my kids and my kid’s kids.

Okay, so that just got really fucking deep, but this is something all of us need to seriously consider. How are you spending your time? If you died tomorrow, would you be happy with how you spent the last 24-48 hours of your life?

If the answer is No then you need to be spending more time saying No.

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be spending my time playing basketball with my dad, watching a Netflix series with my mom, drinking coffee and listening to vinyl with my girlfriend than spending my time doing something I feel obligated to say Yes to.

You will never get the time you spend back, never. So spend it wisely. Be selfish with it. Spend it on exactly the shit you want to spend it on.

In the words of your 6th grade D.A.R.E. Officer, that definitely smoked some good weed in his day, JUST SAY NO!

How to Say No

Saying No is very easy, I have been practicing it for a few months now and it is hugely empowering.

Here is the rule I follow when saying No -- If it is not a “Hell Yes” than it is a No.

Period.

In other words, if the opportunity doesn’t make me giddy just thinking about it, I say No to it.

People may think this is selfish, but it truly isn’t. When you say Yes to things you don’t want to do, you end up doing them half-assed -- not only wasting your time but wasting someone else’s time too.

Just because you don't give a shit about The Willow Creek Cul-de-sac Committee, doesn't mean that head chairman Bernard Wimpleburgh wouldn't lay his life on the line for the organization.

That to me is selfish -- half-assing something someone else is very passionate about.

I will finish with an example. The other day, a business got in contact with me about hiring me to do some writing. They offered to pay me $50 an article after I had explained my rate was $150.

The Yes man in me felt obligated to say Yes!

It’s money. They are a small brand and just starting out. It would be a nice thing to do.

The No man in me chimed in and emailed them back…

“Dear So-and-so, While I am so appreciative of you considering me for this writing opportunity, I will have to decline. Our rates, unfortunately, do not align. I wish you and your organization the very best of luck as you continue to build your exceptional brand.”

It was short, sweet and to the point.

I said No because it wasn't a "Hell Yes!"

You should start saying No, too.

By Cole Schafer

How to Become Smarter: 10 Websites That Will Grow Your Brain Without Costing You a Single Penny

How to Become Smarter

Creating the life you want begins with the desire to become smarter. While lots of people desire vast amounts of success, few desire the one thing that will allow them to achieve it -- smarts.

I want to hammer it into people's heads that education is a mindset, not an institution. Some of the smartest most successful people I know never went to college.

I talked with an entrepreneur a couple weeks back that never completed his degree. Today, he makes $250,000+ a year.

The only sure path to success is through education.

I know what you are thinking, I sure as fuck can’t afford to go back to school. The good news is you don’t have to. In fact, with the average cost of a college education today being at a whopping $18,110, I would argue that it would be a bad investment to go back to school.

You can become smarter with these things and these things only:

1. A pen & paper

2. A working laptop & solid Wi-Fi connection

3. A desire to become smarter

I have taken some time to piece together 10 websites that I guarantee will make you smarter. Oh, and they won't cost you a single penny...

How to Become Smarter: 10 Websites That Will Grow Your Brain Without Costing You a Single Penny

 

1. Learn Graphic Design, Photography and Music Production with Creative Live

Creative Live is a website for creatives created by creatives, teaching courses on subjects ranging from photography, entrepreneurship, graphic design and music production. Have you always dreamed of being a web designer? Check out the live course taking place January 29th-30th, Social media and Web Graphics Made Easy. If you watch this course live you will be taking a $49 course for free. Kind of cool.

 

2. Become Well-Versed in Entrepreneurship with Shopify’s Blog

Shopify is an eCommerce software that allows businesses to easily build websites and sell products online. Due to the fact that all of their customers are entrepreneurs and small business owners, they run a killer blog that covers every topic imaginable in regards to business. If you didn’t receive a business education in school or did and are interested in expanding your knowledge in this area, Shopify's blog is the place for you.

 

3. Learn to Speak Another Language with Duolingo

Duolingo is currently offering 21 language courses for free. You think you need a college education to be certified in speaking another language? I guarantee if you walk into a job interview asking your interviewer dozens of questions in Spanish, they will hire you -- with or without a degree.

 

4. Take College Level Courses at Khan Academy

Khan Academy was created with the mission to allow anyone access to an education. They cover courses ranging from computer programming to trigonometry. If you feel like you missed out on a subject back in school, this is a great site for you. Granted, I don’t know why anyone would want to learn about Calculus or Trigonometry -- people are crazy.

 

5. Learn How to Code on Code Academy

If you can teach yourself how to code and code well, there is a chance you can make some serious money. Every website you visit and app you use requires coding, which means there are a lot of jobs out there for people who can code. Code Academy teaches anyone how to code for free. They have had success stories of people learning how to code in their 50’s and completely changing their careers.

 

6. Live a Better Life with TED

Chances are if you haven’t watched Ted Talks, you have at least heard about them. The best way to become smarter is to learn from smart people -- TED allows you to do exactly this. Ted sports the simple slogan, Ideas Worth Sharing. They bring experts on the show to talk about their trades. I recommend this site to anyone looking for inspiration or interested in expanding their knowledge about life.

 

7. Learn Every Morning with High Brow

High Brow is one of my favorite sites on this list. It allows you to become smarter with 5-minute lessons delivered to your inbox every morning. It’s easy and effective. Simply visit the site and choose a subject that you want to learn more about. Then plug in your email and receive 5-minutes worth of reading material a day on the subject of your interest.

 

8. Become a Better Boyfriend/Girlfriend with Mark Manson

Mark Manson takes a no bull-shit approach to life, relationships and anxiety. I have always admired his “tell it how it is” style of writing. I find myself on his blog once a month, reading up on ways I can improve as a friend, boyfriend and person. It sounds odd, but some people may be really smart yet really fucking stupid when it comes to relationships. Mark Manson helps you be less stupid.

 

9. How to Become Harvard Smart with EdX

MIT and Harvard decided to collaborate on a brilliant little project called EdX -- a site that provides free online courses from some of the top universities in the world. Since EdX’s creation, schools like Berkeley hopped on board to propel the site’s value even further. This site is definitely worth checking out, they have free courses on just about any college course you can think of.

 

10. Listen and Learn with The Tim Ferriss Show

Okay, so if you aren’t listening to podcasts you need to be. I love working out to music as much as the next person but replace some of that time with a good podcast. Between driving, doing chores and working out you have 2-3 hours a day you could spend learning. The Tim Ferriss Show is ran by one of the greatest thought leaders of our generation, Tim Ferriss. He interviews people like Jamie Foxx and Arnold Schwarzenegger, picking apart the methods and strategies they used to become successful.

In Closing.

If you have made it to the end of this blog, you should realize by now that you can receive a damn good education for free. If someone were to tell you success could be achieved free of charge, would you sign on the dotted line?

Well, this is someone telling you. 

By Cole Schafer

4 Life Lessons I Have Learned as a Freelance Writer

Cole Schafer Blog

When I quit my job as a digital marketing strategist to become a freelance writer, I remember staring at the glowing screen of my laptop thinking... what the fuck did I just get myself into? 

When I quit I had next to nothing in savings, not a single client and zero experience writing professionally. Seriously, I had never been paid a cent for anything I had ever written. 

All I had was a dream, a cup of coffee and my MacBook air. Oh, and two wildly supportive parents that have always told me I could do anything -- happily allowing me to move in post-graduation. This helped too. 

I have officially made a living as a freelance writer for 4 months now. I am far from being what I would consider "great" in the freelance-sphere, but I am getting there... slowly but surely. 

I wanted to share with you today a few life lessons freelancing has taught me over the past 4 months, some of which I hope you can apply to your own life. 

4 Life Lessons I have Learned as a Freelance Writer

1. Own Your Fuck Ups

Lesson #1: You are human and you will fuck up. You should be fucking up. It means you are busting ass and putting yourself in positions where there are high stakes -- meaning you can either win big or lose big. There is nothing wrong with failure, I would even argue it is good to fail. Just own it when you fail. Own your fuck up.

A while back I received a phone call from a startup I was doing copywriting for. They informed me that they weren't pleased with my work and would be heading in a different direction. 

My first response was to get defensive. Copywriting and writing for that matter are two things I am very passionate about. I was ready to fight back. But I didn’t. I held my tongue.

I took a deep breath and said a few closing words. I thanked him for the opportunity and got off the phone, letting him hang up first.

I reflected on my work and decided that I was better than the work I had done. I emailed my ex-client, shortly after the phone call. I informed him that I would not be taking compensation for the past two weeks of work. This was painful, I gave up $900 in income. But it felt like the right thing to do, so I did it. I held myself accountable -- I owned my fuck up.  

2. For Every $1 You Spend, Put $1 in Savings

Lesson #2: You can tell a lot about a person by giving them $2. The individual who lives too much spends the $2. The individual that lives too little, saves the $2. The individual that lives just right, spends $1 and saves $1. You should always strive to be the individual that lives just right.

When I was first starting out as a freelancer, I had roughly $750 in savings -- most of which I spent on purchasing a Macbook Air for my writing business. I was 5 months out of college, broke and living at home with my parents.

I quickly made a rule for myself, for every $1 I spent, I was going to put $1 in savings. There were times I didn't get to do the things I wanted to do, but it was this practice that got me through the dry spells of freelancing. 

This is one of the more important lessons freelancing has taught me. 

3. Education on a Budget

Lesson #3: If you want to grow, I have only one piece of advice -- read damn good books and drink coffee with people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world.

When I was starting out in freelancing, I was providing a service I didn't go to college for -- writing and copywriting. With a college education being $40k, I sure as fuck wasn't going back to school. So, I realized I would have to learn on a budget, from people and books.

This last year I started reading 3-4 books a month and writing stories about people who amaze me. My mind now moves faster, my creativity runs deeper and my heart has grown bigger. 

Mankind was born to move one another, to change one another and to love one another. I think at times, we forget this. We think we are on our journey alone, in constant competition. 

Becoming better is a collective effort. 

4. There Is Only One Sure Path to Success 

Lesson #4: The path to achieving success is very simple -- it is a relentless dedication to your craft, day in and day out.

There are a lot of dumb ass lifestyle coaches and entrepreneurs online that claim to hold some secret path to easy success -- this is bullshit. 

If you want something and I mean really want something, you have to be willing to lay it all out on the line. You have to be willing to bleed for it. You have to be willing to let your dream slowly kill you.
In the past 8 months, I have written 60 blog posts on my personal blog, which totals in at about 75,000 words. 

I have written countless pieces of content for startup clients, Entrepreneur Magazine and Medium, which total in at 100,000 words. 

In addition to this, I have probably written another 50,000 words that never reached the public because I thought they were shit. 

I have written roughly 28,000 words per month for the last 8 months. This adds up to enough words to fill over 4, 200-page books.

 I'm going to double this in 2017. 

There have been days where my dream of becoming a writer has sucked me dry of every word left in my entire being. 

But guess what? My dream wanted more, so I figured out a way to write more.  

By Cole Schafer

27 Epic New Year's Resolutions for 2017

Cole Schafer Blog

I wanted to kick off the New Year with a list of Epic new Year's resolutions. I was going to launch this on New Year's Day, but no one wants to read with a hangover. Plus, Monday is when people change the world.

Before we dive in, I wanted to offer some thoughts on setting New Year's Resolutions.

Be Specific.

If you want to lose weight, your New Year's Resolutions shouldn't be "I want to lose 25 lbs." It should be "I will lose 25 lbs by giving up soda and fried foods for 365 days, as well as run 5 miles a week."

The majority of people don't stick to their New Year's Resolutions because they are too vague. I want to lose weight. I want to stop drinking. I want to be nicer to my wife.

Okay, but how? Be specific.

 

27 Epic New Year's Resolutions

1. Have a cup of coffee with someone new once a week —write down one lesson you learned from that person. At the end of the year, you will have learned 52 lessons from 52 people.

 

2. Place $5 in a jar every day for a year— by 2017 you will have saved $1,825.

 

3. Text the people you love every Monday. Set a reminder on your phone to send them a quote, a piece of motivation or a simple "I Love You". This will take you 10-15 minutes tops and will make your day as much as theirs.

 

4. Challenge yourself to turn $10 into $100 by the end of the year.  If you successfully accomplish this, you just figured out how to 10x your money. Can you do this on a grander scale? Can you do this with $1,000? $10,000?

 

5. Buy a Ukulele. Learn to play said Ukulele. Why? For the first time in your life, you can say you know how to play an instrument.

 

6. Learn French. There is a website called Duolingo that teaches you how to speak another language, and it’s completely free.

 

7. Drink 64 oz of water a day. Besides simply keeping you alive, water has amazing benefits on the body —combats fatigue, reduces high blood pressure & cholesterol and eliminates premature aging. If you find it difficult to measure your water intake, simply fill up a half-gallon of milk with water —this measures out to be 8 cups or 64 oz.

 

8. Finally, make the move to quit cable.

 

9. Brainstorm ways you can eliminate $250 in monthly expenses — eating out, hefty bar tabs, daily coffee runs, etc. At the end of the year, you will have saved $3,000… Book a flight to Europe.

 

10. Meditate for 10 minutes every single day, monitor your changes in mood from week to week. Here is a great app that offers guided meditation. It’s my go to.

 

11. Overcome Conversational Narcissism. Conversational Narcissism is when people seek to focus attention mainly on themselves in conversation. We can all think of people we hate talking to because the conversation is always about them. But honestly, I think everyone is guilty of doing this in some capacity. Make an effort to be genuinely interested in other people's lives, their interests, and their passions. Ask questions versus giving answers.

 

12. Parents, Buy Your Kid a Book -- 14% of the United States population can’t read this blog post— that is approximately 32 million American adults. 775 million people across the world can’t read, while another 152 million children who aren’t attending school are set to follow in their footsteps. In the past year, 80% of American families did not purchase a book, not one. So, please... for the love of God, buy your kid a book. Instill a hunger to learn within them. I think encouraging your family to read more is a fantastic New Year's Resolution.

 

13. Is it time to delete your Tinder? I am in a relationship, so I haven't been swiping in a while. But, a part of me questions how healthy Tinder is. I don't know, there will be a blog post coming soon, I am sure.

 

14. Stop drinking soda, give it up for 365 days.

 

15. Remember your friends birthdays -- I am awful at remembering birthdays, seriously awful. I am sorry... Rob, Brian and John.

 

16. Hold a spider. 30% of the population suffers from Arachnophobia. I am being a little facetious here, but if you have a legitimate fear of something, overcome it in 2017 -- public speaking, heights, darkness, etc.

 

17. Talk shit about people less.

 

18. Learn to speed read. The majority of people are capable of reading between 200-4oo words a minute. Speed readers claim to have the secret to reading up to 1,700 words a minute.

 

19. Learn a martial art --Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, etc. I think it would be badass to be a black belt, plus you will be able to protect yourself.

 

20. Have better posture. Make an effort to stand up straighter. Consider investing in an adjustable standing desk.

 

21. Climb a mountain.

 

22. Start a side-hustle.

 

23. Quit pornography. This is an article all young men should read with an open mind.

 

24. Start your year off clean by partaking in Dry January -- not consuming alcohol for one full month.

 

25. Are you the type of person that has been late to just about everything your whole life? Business meetings, dinners, appointments, etc. Start being early this year.

 

26. Stop hating your ex. I wrote this a little while back and it seemed to resonate well with readers. I get vulnerable and discuss my experience overcoming a bad breakup. This year make it a goal to heal.

 

27. Go solo -- once a month go out for a day by yourself. Go grab coffee, adventure, shop for vintage goods, listen to music, etc. In order to be happy with other people, you need to be happy by yourself. Commit some time to being solo.

By Cole Schafer

Grilled Cheese & Peanut Butter: 5 Mini Ways You Can Apply Minimalism to Your Life

Cole Schafer Blog

I was laying in my bed last night watching a Netflix documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things.

It was about two very average men doing extraordinary things. They were traveling the United States teaching people how to live a more meaningful life, through Minimalism. 

Minimalism is the practice of living with less and in turn living a fuller life. 

I must admit, the Minimalists featured on the show were a little peculiar -- living in homes that appeared completely vacant; save for a bed with no frame, a lamp and a chair. 

There were no paintings on the walls. Only a dozen articles of clothing were in their closets. Any sort of home decor was nowhere to be found. The most of any one thing was white space. A substantial amount of white barren walls that made everything feel empty.

During the first 10 minutes of the documentary, I was scratching my head. I felt sorry for these individuals, imagining how bored they had to be with next to no possessions. 

During the last 10 minutes of the documentary, I was cleaning out my closet of all the unnecessary shit I hadn't worn in over a year. 

Wait... is Cole about to go full minimalist? Fuck no. I love paintings and pretty pictures. I love comfy blankets and artfully hand-crafted furniture. I love collecting all the books the universe will allow me to buy.

BUT, this peculiar duo, these salt of the Earth men known as The Minimalists got me thinking... Could I live with less? Am I placing too much happiness in material goods? 

I started to ponder if all the possessions I had accumulated over the years made me feel fuller or emptier. I looked to areas in my life where I could apply minimalism on a smaller scale. What I found is what I am sharing with you today.  

5 Mini Ways to Apply Minimalism to Your Life

1. Delete One of Your Social Media Accounts

I am currently active on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Medium and LinkedIn. The thought of deleting just one of my social media accounts gives me horrible anxiety. I think a part of this can be attributed to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). 

If I delete my Twitter will I be missing out on all the cool shit happening in the Twittersphere? Delete Snapchat? But, what if my little pup Luckers does that cute thing? You know... where she rolls over on her back and looks like a Himalayan Mountain Alpaca calf? Who is going to document that? No, I can't do it... I simply can't deprive the world of happiness because of this fucked up Minimalist way of thinking! Go to hell!

Okay, so let's say you physically can't delete your social media accounts. Then limit checking your social media to three times daily -- 9 a.m. + 1 p.m. + 7 p.m.

If you can't physically do this for at least a week, then it is time to see a therapist, that is not a joke.

Practice minimalism digitally, by minimizing the time you spend in your digital life.  

2. Practice Minimalism in Intimacy

We tend to over complicate our intimate relationships. I see this most often in college relationships. A couple attempt to fill a void between the two of them with drama, fighting, sex and alcohol. 

Samantha and Chuck are clearly not compatible with one another. If they were a sandwich they would be a Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter. Have you ever had a Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich? Of course you haven't. It is nonexistent for the sole fact that it doesn't work and probably tastes like shit. 

Anyways, Sam and Chuck attempt to forget about their Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich compatibility by fighting, a lot. They fight about how Chuck downloaded Tinder again. They fight about how Sam gave out her number to a guy at the bar the other night. They Fight about how Chuck always wants to have sex. They fight about how Sam never wants to have sex. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Until one day, they wake up and realize ... Fuck, maybe we are a Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich? 

The take away from all this banter? Your intimate relationships should feel minimal, they should feel simple and they should be easy. 

I think testing minimalism in relationships is as simple as grabbing coffee with your significant other. You should be able to grab coffee with your girlfriend on a Saturday morning and not want to be anywhere else in the world. 

If you can't do this, just grab coffee alone. Life is simpler that way.

3. Buy a Used Car Versus a New Car

The average price of a new car is $31,252. It immediately drops to $27,814 as soon as you drive it off the lot -- losing 11% of its value. 

Lesson -- buy used cars until you've made it. By making it I mean, you can afford to buy 3 cars if you want to, but you are practicing minimalism by just buying 1.

Don't be the recent grad that makes $35,000 a year and buys a brand new $30,000 car. Yes, you can afford the monthly car payment, but seriously? 

Minimalism can be practiced in the big purchases throughout your lifetime, like vehicles and houses. You will find there is a lot to be loved in a $10,000 used car that has a little character. 

Don't believe me? Check out this list of Coolest Classic Cars Under $10,000.  

Pick up your girlfriend or boyfriend in a 1962 Volvo Amazon and see if they don't give you road dome.

4. Force Yourself to Live Paycheck to Paycheck

How much money do you make a week in after-tax income? Write it down. Multiply that number by .25. Write it down. Look at it. Start taking that number out of every paycheck and place it in savings. 

Force yourself to live with 25% less, then 30% less, then 50% less.

No this isn't personal finance advice, that shit is stupid. This is teaching you how to live with less so that you can see all the wonder in the smaller things in life -- all the things that money can't buy. 

5. Stop Going to The Bars Every Fucking Weekend

I am talking to you, Cole. 

So, I am going to the bars tonight, because we are nearing in on Christmas and all my friends are in town. This means there are drinks to be drank, laughs to be laughed, good times to be had and high-kicks to be executed. 

But this is the last time for a while, dammit. The last time! After this, no more. 

In all seriousness, look at the pleasures in your life that you do frequently -- drink, smoke, eat, etc. Slow down on those things. There is a misconception that minimalism only applies to tangible goods, this is incorrect. 

Minimalism can be applied to any sort of consumption. If you consume anything good for too long, it begins to lose what makes it good in the first place. 

Play your favorite song on repeat for a day. Do you still like it? I didn't think so. 

 If You Don't Love It, Simply Don't Partake

After watching Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, I am still going to consume more than I should. 

I am going to keep spending too much money on coffee each month. I will never think twice about dropping $40 on sushi for dinner with my girlfriend, because I love sushi and she loves sushi. And honestly, the world is just a better happier place when people are eating and loving sushi. 

Anyways, what I am trying to say is this post wasn't mean to deter you from spending money on and buying the things you love. It was created to help you think twice about buying the stuff you like or just kind of like.

Ask yourself -- Is this purchase, this relationship or this experience going to bring me fulfillment? If not, just don't partake. It is that simple. 

By Cole Schafer

Cole Schafer Blog

Why I Use The Word Fuck: A 20-Somethings Guide to Taking The Road Less Traveled By

Cole Schafer Blog

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

Preface

The currently trending blog topic reads something along the lines of, "20 Things 20-Somethings Should Be Doing to Be Successful in Their 20's".

I have been guilty of writing these posts as a blogger and I have been guilty of clicking on these posts as a reader, time & time again.

Today I wanted to take a different approach to this topic, by sharing with you 8 thoughts that are a little controversial and unorthodox. Some of these thoughts will be relatively mainstream, like building a social media following. But others may make you cringe, like why I use the word fuck. Regardless, I hope you find it interesting, entertaining and hopefully... insightful.

 I present to you -- "Why I say Fuck: A 20-Somethings Guide to Taking The Road Less Traveled By".

 

20-Somethings Guide to Taking The Road Less Traveled By

1. Craft a Strong Brand

You are a living, breathing brand. The only difference between you & Nike, Starbucks and Patagonia is that you are one individual rather than an organization made up of thousands of people. Regardless, you are still a brand and just like any organizational brand, you can be really strong or really weak.

We are all aware of individuals that have strong personal brands. If you need a reference, go to Facebook & look up Susan Hyatt.

Achieving a strong personal brand isn’t rocket science, it just takes self-awareness. If you ever have 5-10 minutes, grab a piece of paper & answer the following questions:

  1. How did I get to where I am today? (Your Story)

  2. What is my fight? Why am I fighting that fight? (Your Purpose)

  3. How am I going to win the fight I am fighting? (Your Passion & Your Strategy)

  4. What are the 3 words I want people to use when describing me? (How You Want to Be Perceived)

Once you have answered the following questions, consolidate it down into 4-5 sentences -- this paragraph will be your brand. 

Here is mine as an example.

(1) At a young age I had to overcome a considerable amount of adversity that caused me to have severe anxiety, confidence issues and low self-worth. (2) This is why I fight to help others eliminate their anxieties, build their confidence and rediscover their self-worth. (3) I am fighting this fight through my deep passion for writing. While I can’t be everywhere at once, my writing can -- it can be an intimate conversation, a safe haven and a friend when someone needs it most. (4) I want my friends, my family and the people who read my writing to describe me as being compassionate, intelligent & creative.

Once you have written down your brand, fold it up and stick it in your wallet -- then live every damn day dedicated to that piece of paper.

 

2. Build a Large Social Media Presence

Cole Schafer Blog

I walked up to Taylor Caniff’s Hollywood mansion this past summer & my jaw dropped, it looked like something I would have seen on MTV Cribs as a kid. In his driveway there was a burnt orange Range Rover with matte black rims, a lifted pearl white 2016 Chevy Silverado equipped with jet-skis and a lime green Aston Martin that looked like it could outrun a Stealth Bomber.

If you don’t know who Taylor Caniff is, Google him -- controversial internet sensation that has made fortunes from his massive social media following. Do I aspire to be like him? Absolutely not. Do I have some respect for him? Absolutely.

Anyways, here is my point. I don’t care who you are or what you do -- hairdresser, financial advisor, writer, athlete or student. You should be dedicating some time building a following on at least one form of social media.

Eventually you will find yourself in a position where you have a product, a book, a small business or an idea that you want to share. By creating a following, you are giving your passion the best chance at catching fire.

Please understand there are right ways and wrong ways to build a following on social media. Individuals with 12,000 Instagram followers that receive an average of 60 likes a picture are building their social media presence incorrectly -- this is called buying followers. 

Building a strong & genuine social media following is simple -- do the things you love and take a little extra time to document those things. What you will find is that slowly but surely your following will grow with people who are genuinely interested in the things you are interested in.

100 followers who share your exact interests are better than 10,000 followers that couldn't care less about you or what you're passionate about.

 

3. Fly With Your Flock

When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the way Canadian Geese flew in a ‘V’ formation. The purpose of their flying pattern was to cut back on wind resistance, allowing them to cover great distances when migrating South.

For a long time, I thought the alpha bird stayed at the front of the 'V' formation for the entire flight. But one day when I looked closer, I noticed that every so often, a bird at the rear of the V would race ahead to the front of the flock and take the position of the previous leader. This action would give the previous leader a chance to rest near the back where the wind resistance was weakest.

If every goose were for himself or herself, they would never be strong enough to weather the full migration -- so they work together.

I realized long ago that I would never be able to reach my goals without a team. I also knew that I would never be fully fulfilled if I wasn’t working to help others reach their goals.

I am a huge advocate for creating a flock, a support group, a mastermind, etc. 

Find people in your life that aspire to be successful, that care about your well-being and that are supportive.

Build your flock and fly with these people. You will find that the journey to the top of the mountain with a team is easier, more fulfilling and ridiculously fun.

 

4. Why I Use The Word Fuck

Cole Schafer Blog

I have had this conversation on a handful of occasions.  

Carl: “Hey Cole, do you think you should stop using the word ‘fuck’ in your blogs?” 

Cole: “Well Carl, I can’t say that I have. Do you think a few people find the word ‘fuck’ offensive?”

Carl: “Yeah Cole, I do.”

Cole: "I appreciate the concern and I will give it some serious thought."

The  general consensus -- I should probably stop using the word fuck.

Here is the deal. When I started my blog, I started it with the understanding that if I tried to appeal to everyone, I would fail -- plain and simple.

In a world where the next big thing is only the next big thing until tomorrow, the only sure way to fail is to play it safe. 

Do a few people visit my blog posts, read the word ‘fuck’, scoff and slam their laptop screens? Yes.

Are there a few shotgun wielding, testosterone heavy masculine males that think to themselves, “What is this shit? This dude needs to get a damn diary"? Probably so.

But that’s okay because these people aren’t the readers I am targeting. I am targeting readers that are a little edgy, who won't wince at the word fuck and who aren't afraid to talk feelings and emotions.

I am targeting readers who may or may not be a little broken, but have the hope and self-awareness to build themselves back up again. I am targeting readers who have all this crazy potential, but have never been told they should follow their dreams.

You see, the stuff I am writing about is life. Not the fairy tale bullshit we like to think life is. No, real life, a place that is raw and painful at times. A place that will knock you on your ass. A place where fuck is a word in the English dictionary and whether you like it or not, someone, some day is going to scream it in your face. 

We were raised and educated in such a way that we were expected to make straight A’s, and that life was a multiple choice test, and that it was important to be liked by everyone.

Think about it, who did we respect the most in elementary, middle school & high school? The popular kids. We couldn’t have given a shit less about the book worms and the chemistry nerds. We called the girl with the oversized glasses that knew all the answers in math class a teacher's pet.

& now we are scratching our heads as book worms, chemistry nerds & teacher’s pets are changing the world.

I want to make something very clear -- popularity and being well-liked by everyone does not equate to success. There should be people who are jealous of you for chasing your dreams, who think your opinions are bullshit and who think you use the word ‘fuck’ too often.

If there aren’t these people, you are way too quiet and you are playing life way too safe -- go make a ruckus. If you aren't pissing a few people off, you are doing something wrong.  

 

5. You Can Be Confident & Compassionate

Cole Schafer Blog

There is a huge misconception that an individual can’t be both confident & compassionate -- this is false.

What I love about running my Lucid Dreamer’s series is that I get to see patterns in highly successful individuals. A recurring pattern I have seen in every single person I have interviewed is this combination of confidence & compassion.

Brandon Scott, Erin Morrison, Tristian Gregory, Alisha Sims, Austin Current & Taylor Mathis walk into every room like they own the place. When I met with every single one of these people they radiated an intense amount of confidence -- looking me in the eyes, smiling brightly and holding their heads high.

Every single one of these people were also highly compassionate. So much of their success was fueled by a greater good for other people. Their missions were much greater than money & self-image, their missions were about helping make other people’s lives better.

Brandon works to connect, collaborate and contribute with people to help them become the best versions of themselves. Erin uses her boutique as a way to connect deeply with women, also making it a habit to give on a weekly basis. Tristian works with women to build better lives for themselves, he is a huge source of inspiration to so many people. Alisha photographs women to help build confidence and overcome insecurities. Austin recognizes that building client’s bodies directly impacts their minds and spirits. Taylor looks for ways to make other people’s days just a little bit better.

I challenge young twenty-somethings with this -- Be confident, be powerful and own every room you walk into. But remember that confidence doesn’t have to equate to selfishness, arrogance & entitlement. The most confident people are the most compassionate people, because they recognize their life and their mission is so much bigger than themselves.

Be confident. Be compassionate.

 

6. Stop Networking & Start Giving

In business, I get so tired of hearing the word Networking. It has become a term that self-serving individuals use to cover up their selfish intentions -- stop scheduling meetings, luncheons and coffee chats with the intention of gaining.

Start approaching your business & personal relationships with the intention of giving; and remove any idea of gaining from your head. This will allow you to build strong relationships with wonderful people, because they will see you are genuinely interested in their well-being.

This takes ultra self-awareness, but you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are a fountain or a drain for the people in your life. Are you giving or are you taking? Is it about you or is it about them?

Every single day you need to do something, anything to make someone’s life just a little bit better.

I am going to brag on my father for a minute, but I have always admired him for how big his heart is and how much he gives. Dozens of times we have been in Starbuck’s drive-thru lines and he has requested to pay the bill of the car behind us. I have watched him leave big tips for waiters and waitresses just because he had a feeling they needed it. So much of what he gives is never seen or heard about, he just does it because he is a giver.

Givers gain. No, this doesn’t mean I scratch your back you scratch mine. It means that when you make an effort to give and give often, your heart will feel fuller than you could ever imagine.

 

7. Control Your Pleasures, Don’t Let Them Control You

Cole Schafer Blog

I am pretty liberal when it comes to partaking in pleasurable experiences. I think it is natural, healthy for the soul and it feels good -- so, do it.

With that said, I think it is important to control your vices & your pleasures, and not allow them to control you.

Eating is good, until you live to eat. Drinking is a blast, until you feel as though you can’t have a good time without it. Reading is amazing for your mind & spirit, but don’t read so much that you forget to see the world outside black & white pages. Throw on a stellar Netflix series & grab a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios? I would camp out all fucking week for a couple tickets to that show. But too much Netflix too often would be counterproductive.

The bottom line is that I don’t care what it is you do, too much of any one thing can be detrimental.

Enjoy your pleasure, but don’t live for it. Live a life full of pleasurable experiences, enjoyed in moderation.

 

8. Use The 80/20 Rule Every Single Day

The 80/20 Rule, also commonly known as Pareto's Principle, is an observation that most things in life are not distributed evenly. The basic concept of The 80/20 Rule is that 20% of the input creates 80% of the result.

The 80/20 Rule is most commonly used in business when improving inefficiencies & maximizing positive outcomes.

For example; when businesses began realizing that 20% of their customers were responsible for 80% of their annual revenue, they started focusing marketing efforts directly on capturing return customers. Hence, all of the annoying email subscription requests you receive on a daily basis.

What is fascinating about the 80/20 rule is that it can be applied to you when looking for ways to maximize your effectiveness. If you take a moment and reflect on the various cause & effect relationships in your life, you will see The 80/20 Rule time & time again.

20% of the problems your girlfriend is complaining about is causing 80% of the fights in your relationship. 20% of your study habits are causing 80% of your positive test results. 20% of the negative people in your life are causing 80% of your unhappiness. 20% of your unhealthy habits are causing 80% of your weight gain.

The list goes on...

My challenge to you is to find the 20% of people in your life that make you the most happy, & spend more time with them. Reflect on the 2-3 things in your relationship that are pissing your girlfriend off, and fix them. Pin Point the 20% of spending habits that are causing your bank account to dwindle and stop doing them.

80/20 Rule proves that you can make massive changes to your life, by changing just a few actions.

By Cole Schafer

 

 

Gap Years, Ferris Wheels & Sacrifices: 10 Thoughts on Battling Your 20s

cole schafer blog

How would I describe my early twenties? A dark pit of ambiguity, a stranded sailboat battling winds blowing from every direction, a series of disappointments, a cluster-fuck and finally… the most exciting time I have ever had.

Four months ago, my life changed quickly. I graduated college, got a job at a digital marketing agency, left my job at the digital marketing agency and found myself single battling heartbreak... all within the time frame of one month.

If I am being 100% transparent, I was pretty fucked up for a couple months. I felt like my life was spiraling out of control, right before my eyes.

I didn't realize it at the time, but my situation was not out of the ordinary. In fact, it was something almost every post-grad experienced as they transitioned from college to real life. 

The primary reason I chose to write this post is because I have seen too many beautiful, brilliant 20-somethings confused, anxiety ridden and discouraged about their futures. While I don’t have all the answers, I would like to share my story, along with a few tips I have used to keep my head above water in this crazy tsunami we call our twenties.

You may be approaching the end of your senior year and in a state of panic trying to figure out what your next step is post-graduation. Maybe you are 23 and find yourself miserable at your first job. Maybe you just got out of a serious relationship with someone you thought you were going to build a future with.

Regardless, I am sorry, and remember everything is going to be alright — stay calm and read on my friend

10 Thoughts on Battling in Your 20's

1. Establish a Kick-Ass Morning Routine

A primary reason our early 20’s are so stressful is the massive amounts of ambiguity that seem to encapsulate our every move. I recommend battling these feelings of ambiguity by establishing a morning routine.

I wake up every morning and start my day with a hot-cold shower, followed by a breakfast of three eggs and three pieces of bacon. I then meditate for 10 minutes, before drinking my first cup of coffee and repping out my morning pages -- for a writer this is just getting your thoughts down on paper as a warm-up for the day’s project.

Morning routines allow us to add a sense of control to our day and our lives. While relationships, jobs, interviews, college and life may be up in the air, at least we have complete control over our morning.

Quick Tip: Always make your bed in the morning. No matter how bad or crazy your day is, you can always control how your bed looks. Getting into a fresh, nicely made bed at the end of a chaotic day, does wonders for alleviating stress.

2. Your 20’s Are Not a Race & Certainly Not a Competition

Chances are, one of your friends is absolutely killing it right now in their first job. That is fantastic, and if you are a good friend you should be happy for them. With that said, you should never feel the need to compare your current situation to theirs. Life is not a race against anyone. There is no set place you need to be at any specific age.

Here is a list of highly successful people that were worse off than you in their twenties:

  1. John Paul Dejoria -- Founder of Paul Mitchell (worth $900 million). Was homeless twice in his 20’s with a 2 year old child
  2. Mark Cuban -- Owner of the Mavericks & serial entrepreneur/ investor (worth $2.3 billion). Lived in a three-bedroom apartment with five other dudes in his late 20's.
  3. Oprah Winfrey -- You know what she does (worth $3.9 billion). Was fired from her news anchor position at 23 years old.
  4. J.K. Rowling -- Author of Harry Potter (worth $1 billion). Didn’t publish her first book till her late twenties, was a poor divorced single mother at the time.

No matter what your current situation is, it has absolutely no influence on the rest of your life. So, stop beating the shit out of yourself for not being a superstar in your 20’s. If you ever feel behind, just revert back to this list -- you have big things ahead of you. 

3. Take a Gap-Year & Make Mistakes

I am a proud American, but I strongly disagree with how our culture goes about educating & raising its youth. Literally, from age 5 to 22 we spend 9 months out of the year within the confines of a classroom. I find this to be detrimental in a number of ways, but primarily because it inhibits an individual from ever taking serious time to discover their identity.

I believe that everyone between the ages of 18 - 22 should take a gap year, or at the very least a gap month.

During this time you should work some type of manual labor or service job to fund this period of self-exploration. When you are not working you should be following your passions and reading voraciously on topics that are of specific interest to you. In other words, if you are interested in the arts you should not be reading on the correct way to solve a fucking calculus problem. On the weekends, spend your time traveling, exploring, adventuring, making bad decisions, learning from said bad decisions, etc.  

By the end of this gap year/month, I can promise that you will have a deeper more intuitive understanding of your individuality; having developed the self-awareness to answer the most important question you will ever face -- What will make me happy?

4. Follow Your Passions

A couple years ago, I was having a cup of coffee with a close friend of mine and we were on the topic of individual interests. He was a devote follower of men’s fashion, especially interested in men’s raw denim jeans. Ten minutes went by as I listened to his crash course on raw denim. I was blown away at what a deep understanding he had for the craftsmanship that went into making them. His eyes lit up with passion as he talked about denim, it was unbelievable.

Finally, I stopped him, “What’s your major?”

He paused, “Huh? Uhm, information systems.”

I responded, “Why?”

He was a little taken aback, “Well, I think I can pretty easily get a job in that..”

I just looked at him slightly confused, “I think you should get a job in the fashion industry, working with denim.”

The conversation sputtered out after that.

Weeks later, we ran into each and he mentioned to me, “Hey man. I know this sounds odd, but no one has ever told me that you could get a job doing something that you loved… like that was never really something I realized.”

He decided to change his major to marketing, because it would better help him market the denim he one day would be creating.

We read this story and scratch our heads, maybe even scoff lightly at the naivety of someone not realizing they can make money doing something they love -- but I see so many people everyday with the same mindset as my friend.

When you are a 20-something, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be chasing your dreams, or at least working a job that you enjoy and are passionate about.

5. Commit a Percentage of Your Paycheck to Savings

I am no guru when it comes to personal finance advice, but I wanted to share a simple rule I have followed post graduation. 

I take 50% of everything I make and place it in a savings account. The other 50% of my money goes towards gas, insurance, my phone bill and having a shit ton of fun. I have two wonderful parents that have allowed me to move back in with them during my first year post-graduation, and this has allowed me to save a little more. 

I recommend everyone to place a portion of their income in savings. Most financial advisors recommend 20% of after-tax income. If you can save more than that, great. If not, 20% of every pay check accumulates into some pretty lofty sums quickly, if done religiously.

It is important to understand that your savings account places you in a position of power over your life. 

You don't like your job? Quit, and find one you do like. You really want to start that online knitting business you've been dreaming of since the age of 16? Do it. Are you ready to relocate to a different city? Start packing.

None of this is possible without building up a savings.

I don't believe that happiness can be found in money. I do however, believe that having a substantial amount in savings allows us to have greater control over our lives. 

6. Play Hard & Live Hard

This last Friday, I was seated at the top of a ferris wheel, across from one of my best friends. I felt like I was floating in the sky as the cool autumn breeze touched my face. One hundred feet below me, a dazzling storm of chaos raged on. Pulsating purple lights and loud bass illuminated and shook the ground. It looked as though thunder and lightening were emerging from the Earth.

Austen Henson, one of my favorite people in the world, started screaming at the top of his lungs like a 9 year old kid that just downed a liter of Mountain Dew -- he was euphoric. I felt it too -- all the beauty in the world compacted into a single moment. 

In the words of Charlie in Perks of Being a Wallflower, "I felt infinite."

This is one of the most important points I will make throughout this post. Find moments in your life that take your breath away and experience them often. We are at a stage in our lives where we are so obsessed with the idea of building our futures, that we forget to live. 

Be ambitious, but have fun doing it -- you're in your 20's, live like it. 

7. Choose Your Sacrifices

I have said it before and I will say it again -- you can't have it all.

In your 20's you have to make choices, and you have to accept the fact that you can't have the best of both worlds. The sooner you realize this, the better off you will be. 

When I was graduating college, I had a very unrealistic idea of how the world worked. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to live in a big city, I wanted to have a ton of flexibility and I wanted to travel. 

While sure, all of these things looked amazing when I closed my eyes, I never took serious time to think about what I would have to sacrifice to achieve them.

After life served me a few reality checks, I had some inner dialogue...

If I want flexibility with my job, I may have to give up the stability that comes along with a salaried position. If I want to live in a big city where cost of living is more expensive, I may have to mitigate said costs by traveling less and saving more. If I want to be an entrepreneur, I have to be okay with eating ramen noodles for a couple years as I get my business off the ground. 

After I looked at the shit I would have to sacrifice to get where I wanted, my plans changed quite a bit. Suddenly, I was able to differentiate between what I thought I wanted and what I actually wanted.

I am a huge advocate of dream-chasing. But I also believe it is important to dream in a realistic way. You are at a time in your life where the world is your oyster and you can choose to do whatever you want, but everything comes with a sacrifice. 

Depending on what you want to accomplish, you have to be okay with sacrificing money, comfort, luxury, love and flexibility. Why do you think more people don't chase their dreams? It's one of the hardest things an individual will ever do, people don't like sacrifice.

8. What Is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me... Don't Hurt Me... No More. 

Intimate relationships & love in your 20's are a pretty fucked up mess, especially for dreamers. I have yet to figure this one out, but I can offer a few thoughts on the subject. 

If you are an ambitious individual, there is a good chance that you are a lover too. I have found that passionate people tend to be passionate lovers, and this makes life terribly complicated. 

I am not here to paint an unrealistic picture of the world we live in, I am here to offer you a reality. There is a chance that one day, you will have to choose between two passions -- the person you love & the dream you love. 

I am 22, so I am going to recommend you always choose the dream. Though, a small part of me thinks 34 year old Cole may think differently.

The thing is, dreamers change the world, but lovers do too. I don't know, I will write a follow-up on this subject in 12 years. 

9. You Can Still Have a Blast Living at Home with Your Parents

After I wrote down my sacrifices, something became very clear -- I would be moving back in with my parents for a year.

No, this isn't what a post-grad envisions his life will look like upon graduation. I pictured myself working at some cool agency in a happening city with a studio style apartment. 

There was one problem though, I didn't want to work for someone else. I wanted to be my own boss, which meant financial stability was out the fucking window for a little while. 

So, in with my parents I moved.

It has ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made. It's given me the financial flexibility to concentrate 100% of my efforts on building my dream, and it has allowed me the opportunity to spend one more year with two incredible people. 

My parents are two of my best friends and having more time to make memories with them before going out on my own has been a blessing in itself.

If you find yourself in a position where you have to head home, embrace it. This year will be something I look back on and cherish deeply. 

10. Decide How You Want to Measure Success

If you choose to measure success in money, you will forever be left feeling unsuccessful. The funny thing about money is that you can always have more of it and there is always someone out there that will have more of it than you.

I measure my success in my relationships, my writing, my experiences and my peace of mind. On a daily basis, I try to create something that money can’t buy; whether that be a moment with another individual, an experience or piece of writing that I am really proud of.

Laughing until your cheeks hurt with your best friends in an alleyway over a 6-pack, is something money can’t buy. Scratch that, it may cost $10. Taking a moment to breath in the freshness of autumn, while holding a radiant burnt orange leaf in your hand is something money can’t buy. The feeling you get when holding that special person is something money can't buy

When we start measuring the success in our lives in these tiny intimate, wondrous moments is when we truly become successful.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with your future, just remember there is a lot of beauty in your present. 

Slow down & breath in Autumn. Seriously, do it right now. 

Where I am Today

After shit hit the fan six months ago, I took two months off and decided to do some traveling. I had never taken time to reflect on what I wanted versus what was expected of me.

I remember I was writing in a small coffee shop in Los Angeles, California and it hit me... I want to drink coffee and write for the rest of my life. 

I returned to Evansville with a new purpose, to make a living writing. I currently run this business & lifestyle blog and work as a copywriter and freelance marketer for several start-ups in the Indianapolis area.

I travel when I get the chance. I am living at home with two of my favorite people in the world, my parents , as I save up and build my copywriting business. I probably drink too much on the weekends, but laugh much much more. I am surrounded by amazing friends & people. 

But to be completely honest with you, I don't know where I am going to be in the next 6 months. I would like to think I have it figured out, but if I don't, that'll be 100% okay. 

I just want you to know that no matter what life has thrown at you, no matter how crazy your life seems, or how blurry your future... everything is going to be alright. 

Cole Schafer

 

 

My Little Brother is Going to Set The World on Fire

Cole Schafer

There was once a warrior king that set sail across the world to conquer a great kingdom. The warrior king and his soldiers were vastly outnumbered by the enemy, nearly 3 to 1.

Once his fleet had arrived upon the enemy's shore, he gave orders to burn the ships. The warrior king’s soldiers stared with complete devastation at the ships, as they bursted and cracked, churning into a horrible inferno.

The warrior king addressed his soldiers before going into battle, “Look upon the ships that brought you to these shores, and know that they will not be taking you home. We either win this battle and live on as victors, or we die… but there is no losing, no retreating.”

We live in a world full of options, escape routes and safety nets. We live in a world where commitment, laser-focus and the mentality of "going all in" is extraordinarily difficult to come by. 

The number one cause of failure that I see in young people is the implementation of a back-up plan. We attempt to climb these massive mountains with a parachute fastened to our backs, and we wonder why the fuck we never make it to the top.

We say we want to become writers, poets, entrepreneurs, musicians and creators; yet we set out to conquer our dreams knowing that if we fail... we will be fine. 

3 Months ago I watched my youngest brother Trey burn his ships at shore with his career in music. Together he and I drove 30 hours across the United States, where we moved him into West Hollywood.

He was 18. He was the valedictorian of his high school class. He was a good enough athlete that he probably could have played college sports. He received scholarships to every university he applied to. 

But college? Hell no, I am not going to college, I am going to be a famous musician. 

If Trey falls, he will hit the ground like a meteor -- but he is not going to, because he burnt his ships at shore. Failure to him is not an option.

That kid is going to set the world on fire. 

Today, I make this challenge to you and I make this challenge to myself. 

If we want something. If we want something so bad that it burns, that its energy heats up our bones and lights our souls on fire... we must burn our ships at shore. 

Do you want to move up in your organization? Stop looking on LinkedIn for opportunities elsewhere. Do you want to build a serious, real relationship? Delete your Tinders, stop texting the ex and retire the DM's. Do you want to start that business you have always dreamed of? Stop searching for excuses not to. 

I want to see you fly. I want to see you make a ruckus. I want to see your brillance leave its deserving mark on this world. 

But I need you to burn your ships, I need you to burn them now. 

It's time for you to set the world on fire. 

By Cole Schafer

Do you Desire Success? Start Bleeding.

Cole Schafer Blog

Why is it that we think success comes without sacrifice? Without pain? Without heartache? Without vulnerability? Without blood?

There are times I find myself under the assumption that success will be delivered directly to my lap in a neatly wrapped package, stamped with a “You’re Awesome” sticker as it floats down from the heavens elegantly on a golden parachute. Dave Matthews playing in the background to set the scene, followed by applause and bursting champaign.

It’s bullshit, really. I know I am not the only one guilty of fantasizing about my individual success. Imagining what it looks like, what it feels like, what it tastes like. Whether you want to admit it or not, at some point you have imagined what your life will look like when you have finally made it.

Or at least you should have, it is a huge step in achieving success -- the process of visualizing. Though often times we get in the habit of visualizing success, while ignoring the reality of the suffering we are bound to experience ten fold along the way.

So, when the adversity ghost creeps out of the woodwork and slaps us clean across the face, we sit staring like idiots with our mouths agape… like we just saw a ghost. Well, we did. After all, we never took the time to see it coming. We never prepared, we never thought about what the journey to success actually looks like.

I hate to place blame, but I believe this to be as much our parents, coaches and teachers faults as ours. You got dead last in your little league tournament? No worries! Everyone gets a fucking trophy and a big pat on the back! Pile in the back of mom’s minivan let’s go get pizza!

I can promise you that if you were to walk into just about any 14 year old kids room who has been active in little league sports, you will find a dozen or so trophies labeled “Participation”.

I believe this practice, this “everyone’s a winner” mentality that has been programmed in us has been hugely detrimental to our generation in terms of our perception of what success truly is, what failure feels like and the adversity we will encounter along the way. The good news is that this mentality can be reversed.

Ernest Hemingway said it best…

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
— Ernest Hemingway

His words are obviously directed at writers, but they are hugely applicable to any field. Read them like this, “There is nothing to success, all you do is sit down with your passion in hand and bleed.”

If you desire a lot of money, you better be okay with being poor. If you’ve found the girl of your dreams, you better be okay with becoming vulnerable. If you want to change people’s lives, you better be open to getting hurt along the way.

Dream of becoming a painter? Paint until your hands go numb, and then paint some more. Dream of playing college sports? Run until you throw up, and then run some more. Dream of becoming a doctor? Study until you eyes go blurry, and then study some more.

Dream of becoming a writer? Sit down at that typewriter, and bleed your damn heart out. God put that thing in your chest for a reason, now make it beat for something.

Go bleed.

By Cole Schafer

Why Intelligence is Sexy

Cole Schafer Blog

I find my 22 year old self laughing boisterously at the image of 18 year old me. Astounded by the idea that there was ever a point in my life where I held a woman’s curves in higher esteem than the big beautiful brain between her ears. 

Who am I kidding. I am also laughing at 18, 19 and 20 year old me — for it was just recently that I noticed this subtle change in draw towards a woman’s intelligence rather than solely her looks. 

If I find myself in a bar, coffee shop or wherever it may be awestruck at the level at which a woman can think; she might as well have just flashed me clear across the table and bought me a Gin & Tonic or a venti vanilla iced coffee with room for cream… because I simply don’t think there is anything sexier.

I remember back in 2013, Ashton Kutcher was giving an acceptance speech for a Teen Choice Awards he received for the movie “Jobs”. In his speech he said something that I believe perfectly sums up the point I am trying to get across in this post.

“The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you, to make you feel like less. So don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful and be generous.”

In a world where a booming Porn Industry brings in 97 Billion dollars annually, a heavily edited selfie garners 300+ likes, and the Kardashians are more well-known than Mahatma Gandhi — it is clear that ‘looks’ matter, a lot in fact. 

This worries me, for a number of reasons. This universal practice of putting a greater level of emphasis on a person’s appearance rather than their heart, mind and spirit I believe could eventually be detrimental to America’s future. 

The fact of the matter is that looks can’t change the world, but intelligence can. That a man or woman shouldn’t have to feel pressured to change their appearance to fit some type of fucked up cultural expectation — but instead should be encouraged to build that thing between their ears that we all ironically forget about. 

Intelligence launched us to the moon, it is what ended slavery, and it is what created the internet. Intelligence is the reason why we don’t croak every time we catch a common cold, it is why when someone receives a traumatic head injury they aren’t ‘rushed’ to the hospital in a horse and buggy. 

Intelligence is what will eventually end terrorism, it is what will cure HIV & Cancer, and it is what will allow someone to walk again after paralysis. Intelligence is what will continue to change the world and the lives of the people who live in it, every single day. 

Looks, well they provide a good reflection in the mirror I suppose. 

The bottom line is that you are beautiful and more powerful than you realize. Yes you, I am speaking to you. Until you discover this, you will never ever amount to your full potential.

This discovery can not be found in the pictures that you take nor the reflection you see in the mirror. This discovery is found in your brain. 

Pick up a fucking book and go change the world, discover the power your intelligence has to offer. 

By Cole Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Ways to Excel at Lifelong Learning

How to Become a Successful Lifelong Learner

cole schafer business blog

A Brief Introduction to Lifelong Learning 

I am extremely adamant about the concept of ‘Lifelong Learning’. This idea that an individual’s education does not end after graduation, but continues throughout the course of their life. The most brilliant people I know in business and in life have continued to be hungry to ‘learn’ in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60's and so on-- constantly working to understand fresh concepts, retain useful information and create new connections in their environments.

Lifelong Learning isn’t about going back to school to receive a master’s degree, in fact it doesn’t have to cost you anywhere close to thousands of dollars. Due to the advanced age we live in today, learning can happen anywhere at anytime.

The business world is constantly changing, in order to be successful we have to continue to stay ahead of a curve-- taking advantage of any opportunity we have to learn something new.

12 Ways to Excel at Lifelong Learning

  1. Podcasts-- I am sure you have heard about them, but I seriously can’t begin to express the depth of their importance and their effects on Lifelong Learning. Podcasts allow you to learn anything you want, anytime you want and wherever you want. I would say that I personally listen to 10 hours of podcasts on a weekly basis; whether it be in the car or while I am working out at the gym. There are podcasts on practically anything you can imagine; relationships, business, religion, stand-up comedy, music theory. You name it, there is a podcast for it. The best part about podcasts? They are free.

  2. Audio Books (Audible)-- Reading is one of the tried and true ways of gaining more knowledge, but not everyone has the time nor the patience to sit down and read a book. In a sense, it is a little bit inconvenient. You can’t read a book while you drive, while you eat or during your workout. Fortunately, Amazon has come up with a solution… Audible; which allows you to listen to any book of your choosing. Here is a 30-day free trial of audible, start your path to Lifelong Learning now!

  3. Blogging-- I am a little bit biased when it comes to blogging, but I believe it is one of the best tools out there for personal growth and lifelong learning. Blogging has allowed me to explore new concepts, it has forced me to research topics I am not privy to, and it has given me the opportunity to become a better communicator. I highly recommend anyone interested in writing to give it a try.

  4. Mastermind Groups-- There is a famous saying; The only difference between you now and you in 5 years is the people you meet and the books you read. In other words, be certain your are surrounding yourself with other Lifelong Learners; individuals interested in adding more wrinkles to that big beautiful brain between your ears.

  5. Books-- If you have the time, there is nothing more enjoyable than sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and a damn good book. If you are in business, I recommend biographies and of course business related texts. But with this, I think it is really important to incorporate fiction into your repertoire. Fiction improves creative ability and they are enjoyable to read, everyone loves a good story. Here is a book I recommend all business men and women read.

  6. Magazine’s-- There is a difference between Entrepreneur and Forbes Magazine verses say, Star magazine. As entertaining as reading about celebrities may be, I don’t foresee a whole lot of learning being done there. With that said, I think the right kind of magazine can be instrumental in someone’s learning, especially if they are looking to stay up to date in a particular industry. Both Entrepreneur and Forbes magazine put out great consistent work, I think they are totally worth exploring.

  7. Netflix-- If you are looking for some pretty kick-ass business documentaries, Netflix is the place to go. After a long 8 hour work day, sometimes the last thing anyone wants to do is pick up a book and read. This doesn’t mean you can’t be productive during relaxation-- kick back, grab a snack and learn something new with a few of Netflix's fantastic documentaries.

  8. ListVerse-- This site is a little less business related, but I still think it can be useful. While it certainly falls more in the realm of entertaining rather than education, spending an hour on Listverse will most definitely result in a head filled with random trivia facts. If you are interested in learning something random and new, Listverse may be the right place.

  9. Medium-- I love Medium; it is basically the social media for writers, readers and thinkers. Tired of seeing the annoying memes and cat videos? Looking for some in depth knowledge written by the world’s top business thought-leaders? Medium. Medium. Medium. Here writers and bloggers share their thoughts on Business, Lifestyle, Tech, Fashion and so much more. An excellent place to learn for a lifetime.

  10. Udemy-- Have you ever heard of the sharing economy? Well Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit are all part of it. Udemy, is no exception. The sharing economy is basically an industry where people are making millions of dollars sharing their homes, cars and knowledge. Udemy, falls under the later, consisting of an online marketplace for virtual instructors that will teach you about almost any subject.

  11. Duolingo-- I think one of my greatest regrets will be that I have never taken the time to learn a second language. I think that language learning is an essential piece of lifelong learning. In the past, this has been impossible due to lack of time combined with shitty language courses. Duolingo has changed this-- their goal is to teach anyone any language for free. Sounds too good to be true? Take a look.

  12. Ted Talks-- What I love about Ted talks is that it finds the top thought leaders in the world to give a concise twenty minute talk over life-changing subjects. YouTube and Netflix have loads and loads of these talks; if you are bored one night, but want to be productive… definitely check them out. You won't regret it.

Lifelong Learning is a simple concept that has an instrumental impact on your business and life's success-- I hope the tips I have shared will assist you in your lifelong journey of learning. 

My best.

By Cole Schafer

Learning to Suffer Through The Sacrifices

A Lesson on Success in Life & Business

cole schafer business blog

I want to get one thing straight, you can't have it all. If you think otherwise, you aren't just fooling yourself, but you are doing yourself a massive disservice. 

If you want to be a successful employee with a steady paycheck, you have to be willing to sacrifice some flexibility. 

If you want to be a big-time entrepreneur with the chance to one day have a fat bank account, chances are you will be sacrificing a lot of time early on in life making that dream come true.

If you want to travel the world and see places you could have never dreamed of, you have to be willing to have less, spend less and live very modestly. 

The problem is that so many people want it all. We want the high paying job that has a steady income stream and job security, combined with the flexibility to do as we please.

We want the super hot supportive girlfriend or boyfriend, but aren't necessarily willing to put in the time and energy to keep them happy.

We want great physiques, but we also want to eat our evening bowl of chocolate ice cream, and get an extra hour of sleep in the morning rather than run a couple miles.

I think as business men and women we need to stop thinking in terms of "I want..." and start thinking in terms of "I am willing to sacrifice... to get what I want."

Why? Because everyone wants something. Everyone wants the Lambo, a six digit salary, the chance to travel the world, the happy marriage, etc-- but few are willing to make the sacrifices that allow them to have those things.

I have found that my list of 'I wants' gets a hell of a lot shorter when I start adding in the corresponding 'I am willing to sacrifice...'

Sure... I may want to be a movie star, in fact it sounds really damn cool. But am I willing to quit my job and move out to L.A., hire an acting coach and go through hours upon hours of auditions? Am I willing to live off Ramen noodles and wait tables, as I hold out for my big chance to appear on the big screen?

Uh... no. 

On the other hand, I would love to become one of the worlds top business & lifestyle bloggers. Am I willing to to stay up until 2 a.m. when I have to be up for work at 6:30 a.m. crafting the perfect post about content marketing? Am I willing to spend hundreds of dollars for the chance to go to a blogging expo? Am I willing to throw my heart on the page, taking the risk of being judged for my work, allowing myself to become vulnerable to my readers? Am I willing to sacrifice a weekend night of partying, to work on my craft and study other great bloggers?

Absolutely. 

You see, success is not about determining what it is we want. It is about determining what we are willing to sacrifice to get what we want.

I think so much in life is about suffering through the sacrifices that we make, to one day get where we never dreamed we'd be. 

What is it you are willing to sacrifice?

By Cole Schafer

 

 

 

 

The 21 Greatest Muhammad Ali Quotes

3 Minute Read

I grew up watching Muhammad Ali's highlights on YouTube and reading the dozens of stories about his legendary feats. Looking back, I realize that I wasn't trying to mirror his fighting ability, after all I was a basketball player. No, I was trying to emulate Ali's passion, his tenacity, his confidence and charisma-- he was the ideal role model for a timid insecure kid who was still learning how to hold his head up high.

The legend of Muhammad Ali was instrumental in my athletic success, and will continue to be as I develop my confidence in business and in life. To show my admiration I put together a list of The 21 Greatest Muhammad Ali Quotes. 

After reading through these it reminded me just how brilliant this man was who change so much more than just the sport of boxing.

Muhammad Ali truly was 'The Greatest'.

 

  1. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

  2. The Man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

  3. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

  4. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

  5. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

  6. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

  7. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

  8. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

  9. “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

  10. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’”

  11. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once the belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

  12. “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses- behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

  13. “Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

  14. “If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

  15. “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

  16. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

  17. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

  18. “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

  19. “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-- a desire, a dream, a vision.”

  20. “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.”

  21. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

 

By Cole Schafer

Are You Running Hard Enough?

5 Minute Read

I want to make something very clear. Growth, whether it is in business or in life, happens when you are placing yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable.

Too often we have this misconception that people simply get lucky. That success simply comes down to the luck of the draw, the family you were born into, being in the right place at the right time, the university you went to, etc. That, in my humble opinion, is Grade A Bullshit.

Success in life and in business comes down to one factor, discomfort. How uncomfortable are you willing to be to get what it is you desire.  Anything good in this world, anything worth having, comes with a price. The price? Discomfort.

I personally have found that my greatest business and personal growth takes place right when I feel like I could throw-up.

When I was in high school, my basketball coach was a stickler for cardio. I am not kidding, there were times during preseason conditioning where I thought my coach was secretively an ex-military commander.

When I was a freshman he told every player trying out that if they wanted to make the team, they would have to break a six-minute mile. Here I am as a freshman in high school who had worked his ass off all summer on ball handling, shooting and footwork… and now my head coach was telling me I have to figure out a way to break a 6 minute mile? I thought I was trying out for basketball, not the cross-country team.

We walk out to the track after the first day of “open gym”, he pulls out his stopwatch and we are off to the races. I cross the finish line, winded… ‘7:30’.

I was pissed off and disheartened. I was thinking to myself, how the hell am I going to run a minute and thirty seconds faster over the course of two weeks?

I remember my dad picked me up after practice and he could see how upset I was that I didn’t make the time (I have been blessed with a father that has always been there to pick me up at my lowest points. That, I will admit, I did get lucky on).

We went straight to Walmart that night to pick up a stopwatch. We then marked off exactly one mile around the neighborhood.

The next morning I was up at 5:30 a.m., stopwatch in hand. I took off around the neighborhood, crossed the mile mark slightly winded… ‘7:40’.

You can only imagine the discouragement I felt, running ten seconds slower than I had the day before. I continued to half ass this run in the morning for the next few days landing right around the 7:30 mark.

I explained my frustrations to my father later that evening, telling him I just simply couldn’t do it, and how the request from my coach was  unfair.

His response was pretty simple, “Well son, it sounds like you aren’t running hard enough.”

The next morning when I woke up, I changed my mindset from ‘I just want to get through this’ to ‘I am going to run this so hard that I have to puke’. I crossed the mile mark in my neighborhood, and threw up my energy bar. I looked at my stopwatch… ‘6:50’.

I continued this routine every morning for the next two weeks. Rising and running so hard I felt like I had to throw-up.

Two weeks later after practice, we were back on the line and off to the races. It was a chilly fall morning and I was running like a madman. My eyes began to water as the cold air whipped against my face. My nose was running faster than my legs as it tried desperately to warm up. I remember I could feel blisters filling up with liquid on the pads of my toes as my feet smacked against the track.

I cruised around the bend with the finish line in sight, feeling as though I couldn’t go any faster. It was at the moment my heart told me to sprint, and so I sprinted. As my pace grew at the anticipation of the finish line, I felt a cold fist clench in the pit of my stomach… the so familiar feeling of my insides on the brink of finding their way out.

It was at this moment that I crossed the finish line, hearing the click of my coaches’ thumb against the stopwatch… ‘5:40’.

This concept sounds intense, but it is something I adamantly believe is vital in reaching our full potential. If you haven’t put yourself in a position physically, mentally or emotionally in the past 6 months where you feel like throwing up… Are you pushing yourself hard enough? Are you too comfortable? Are you placing yourself in the best positions to be successful?

Success is defined differently for everyone. For some it is losing that extra 10-15 lbs, for others it is becoming wealthy. Some people would define success by working up the courage to ask their crush out to coffee, while others aspire to change the world.

While success is different for everyone, and there are different types of success… there is one reoccurring factor. People who are successful are willing to put themselves in positions where they are uncomfortable. In other words they become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Eating a bag of carrots instead of a bowl of ice cream sucks. Risking your life’s savings to successfully start a business sucks. Putting yourself in a position where you could get turned down by the girl of your dreams sucks. Seriously, non of these feelings are exactly what we would define as being ‘comfortable’, but success comes to those who are okay with being uncomfortable.

If you aren’t finding success in a certain area of your life… take a step back and reflect. The problem may be that you are simply not running hard enough. 

By Cole Schafer