2006 changed my life.

It all started at 48 Wall St to the shock of making cold calls all day from sun up till sun down.  There were days I made over 300 cold calls.

No!  Not Interested!  Don’t waste my time.  How did you get my number?    Have you seen the movie Pursuit of Happyness?  That was me!

So much for the glamour of working on Wall Street.

Facing rejection nearly all day every day was the job I signed up for and finding clients to invest in the commodity markets with me was taking a toll on me mentally and physically.   I wasn’t sure how long I could continue this as my psyche was pretty badly bruised.

With my back against the wall and funds running low, I stumbled upon a journey that would change my life forever.

I got in the business of working on myself and improving my attitude every single day.

Finally someone said yes and I found my first client.  And then another, and then another.  And from then on, I experienced more professional success over the next two years than at any time in my life.  But it was the work I was doing outside of work that changed my business and my life.

Working on myself to become more comfortable in my skin, more positive about life, constant learning and improvement, becoming more conscious of the people I surround myself with and finding a way to look for the good in every situation is the best investment I’ve ever made.

It’s been 7+ years and I’ve still got quotes around the house, a personal development cd in my car, a gratitude journal I write in (almost) every night and I expose myself to as much quality content as possible both online (TED talks, webinars, blogs…etc) and offline (seminars, events, family time, volunteering…etc) as well as constantly seeking out quality people and surrounding myself with those who do the same.

Once you find an accountability partner or others on the journey, it gets easier as they will be sending you links, books, inviting you to seminars and get togethers.  The relationships built along the way have exceeded all my expectations.

The industry gets poo poo’d by some as “self-help.”  The irony is the “self-help” industry was started to help the below average half raise their performance, but it was the high-achievers who flocked to the “self-help” material.  Don’t believe me?  Who is the most successful person you know well?  Go ask them what they think about personal development and you will have your answer.

I was recently asked the question, “How do I get started in personal development?”  For me in 2006, it was reading a personal development book.  To this day I’ve read over 300 of them and I still continue to read books and blogs, and surround myself with people and environments that foster self-improvement.

With technology, it’s easier now that ever.  Join or start a Facebook page (this is the link to my FB page, please post something if you visit it) with other like minded people.  Skype once a week with someone you know is working on themselves and into personal development (I may soon be offering calls for anyone who might be interested – if you would be interested please leave a comment below).  Start a mastermind group – a gathering of like-minded people that meet on a regular and set schedule to discuss ideas and help one another achieve goals.  It can be as simple as grabbing coffee once a week or more structured, whatever works best for you.

One of the biggest things I will say is you have to be willing to commit to daily disciplines because personal development is not a wonder drug, it’s not a magic pill, IT’S A LOT OF WORK!   It will likely take weeks, months or maybe even a year depending on how deeply your negative habits are rooted.

Should you do it?  That’s entirely up to you.  After all, it is a lot of work.

But it’s fun and it will improve every facet of your life if you commit to it and push through the courage points and naysayers along the way.

Naysayers??

YES I guarantee some people will shoot down your ideas for personal growth (these are the turkeys in your life), but if you commit to it you WILL see positive results in your life and meet new wonderful people along the way.   If you’re into it, I am here to help you and support you every step of the way.  Subscribing to this blog is a simple easy way to improve your life.  But don’t take my word for it.

I have shoeboxes full of emails I’ve printed out and handwritten thank you notes from people who have started this journey and the underlying message from all of them is it has positively changed their lives.  And I did very little.  All I did was expose them to the ideas that have been shared with me.  I’ve held up a mirror for them to see in themselves what I already see in them.   The ability to live the life they’ve dreamed of and pursue their most important goals.  But this isn’t about making promises about what I can do for you, it’s about what you’re willing to do for yourself.

The first step is something you can do at no cost, in a matter of moments.  It’s really quite simple.

Decide you’re willing to go for it!  (<—-this is step one, step two is signing up to “join the VIP club” to this blog at no cost).

It took me nearly 6 months of daily affirmation and exposure to positive words both orally and written before the light went on and stayed on.  There were flickers of light and hope mixed with tons of doubt those first 6 months but I can assure you if you stick with it it works.  It’s easy, but the discipline to do it every day is the difficult part.

journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao-tzu

TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP TODAY!

If you would like details on furthering your personal development journey, stay tuned and be sure to put your email in the box in the upper right and “join the VIP club” of people committed to improving their lives!!

Take the time to work on yourself – develop your talents, increase your self-esteem, improve the lives of others and take at least a few moments of gratitude every single day.

Joe

PS.  As a bonus, here is my favorite scene and quote from Pursuit of Happyness

And for those of you who really need a pick me up right now, here are the 12 things you can do to be happier right now

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Take the time to work on yourself – develop your talents, increase your self-esteem, improve the lives of others and take at least a few moments of gratitude every single day.

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