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How To Be Successful in the New Year

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[Note: Since many have suggested it is one of my better articles, I've republished this at the beginning of the year the last few years. It's the closest thing I have a to a tradition here. If the Today Show can put on 800 segments about losing weight at the start of the year, I might as well cover everything else. So, with many people looking to have their best year ever, here's my best attempt at constructing a plan of attack.

Some of the ideas are probably in desperate need of updating. I like to think that I've learned something over the last 7 years. Perhaps for next year I'll incorporate more ideas from my more recent blog Be Better Now which has a stronger focus on success and self-improvement in general.]

How To Be Successful In The New Year

How To Be Successful In The New Year

Preparation and Planning

  • Make a List of Short, Medium, and Long Term Goals - Each night before I go to sleep, I try to write down 5-10 things that I want to accomplish the next day. I make sure that at least 3-4 are things that I can complete that day and purge from my to-do list. I also make sure to add a couple of small parts of medium or long-term projects. Here's an example. I'm looking to write an eBook. One day my goal was to create an outline of the book - 9-12 chapters and 3-5 things that I wanted to cover in each chapter. The next day one of my goals was to write at least one of those 3-5 things in one chapter. In 1-2 months, I'll have my eBook written.
  • Catalog Your Progress - I started this blog to keep me accountable. I can't go out and buy a Ferrari on credit and then write about it here. I guess I won't go out and buy a Ferrari on credit then. See? Simple.

Fix Your Finances

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Learn These Skills

  • Sales / Marketing - Even if you don't think you have a product to sell, you do... yourself. I've learned that sales and marketing are not easy skills to learn. You can't shout "look at me!" or people will think you are obnoxious. You have to find people who might be genuinely interested in what you have to offer. I always find it best to be open and honest with what I have to sell. If the product is of value, you price it accordingly, and have the right buyer, it should sell itself. I've found that if you have to "sell" too hard, it's probably going to be a sale you regret making.
  • Public Speaking - I might be one of the most shy people on Earth. Talking to someone one-on-one often ties my stomach in knots. Imagine how I must feel about public speaking. I remember it was a required class in high school. I started off horrible, but by the end, I had earned an A. It's really a case where practice means everything. I suggest an organization such as Toastmasters.
  • Writing - Even if you are crafting a short e-mail, try to use proper grammar. You'd be surprised how many e-mails I receive where people make 6 mistakes in 6 sentences. Poor writing skills on the first impression impacts my view of the person's intelligence and/or professionalism. Perhaps it shouldn't be that way, but it is. A person who can write great commands my respect and my trust.
  • Networking - Get out there and meet new people in your areas of interest. When you know a lot of people, opportunities multiply. To go back to my eBook example above, I found someone who already has a successful eBook. He's in the process of getting it translated into an audio book now. He could definitely be a great resource for me to learn from. He's newer to blogging and doesn't have the number of readers that I have. I can probably give him a few tips and help him out. Now if I knew 100 people like this guy, I'd have a solution to almost every question I'd ever have at my fingertips.
  • Read More and Faster - I have always been a very slow reader. I simply don't scan text very well. Perhaps I'm afraid I'll miss a critical word or something silly like that. This is one area that I'm going to work on in the new year. Much of my time is spent reading, you'd think I'd at least be good at it.

Take Action

  • Help Someone with Something Everyday - This may sound like some kind of "Pay It Forward" hype. In some ways it is. I estimate that I've given guidance to around 50 or 100 bloggers who are just getting going that were looking for advice. Some of them became successful bloggers and some stopped blogging. The successful ones have returned the favor 100 times over or more. They link to my articles, they comment on my site, and fill me in with opportunities that I would have otherwise missed. This isn't limited to blogging. If you mentor someone, you'll be seen as a natural leader. I've always seen a strong correlation between leadership and success.
  • Make Mistakes - When I just got out of college, I took a job with a top ten Internet company. It was a very high profile job as I managed the search engine myself. It was about 20% of this 2 billion dollar company's traffic. The thought that I'd make a mistake scared me to death. I spent each day walking on eggshells until the day that I made a mistake. A strange thing happened. No one got upset with me, and we were able to recover pretty quickly. From that experience, I learned to always have a back-up plan. This allowed me to take some risks, experiment more, and eventually produce ideas that made the company millions. Just as importantly, I realized that I should tolerate other people's mistakes.
  • Surround Yourself with Like-Minded Individuals - There are studies that show an individual's income will be somewhere around the average of your closest five friends. That formula works for me and my closest friends - or it did until I decided to build my career from websites. There are also studies that show your weight will reflect those who you hang around with. It makes sense if you think about it. If your circle of friends likes to bounce business ideas off each other while playing a game of pickup basketball, you'll probably put yourself closer to the path of prosperity than if you tell fart jokes while eating Bon-Bons.
  • Exercise - Whenever I work out, I am all pumped up with endorphins for hours. It feels like nothing can stop me - as if I could tackle a bear. Instead of tackling a bear, I focus that energy on my list of goals and churn through it like never before.
  • Start a Website or Blog - It's easy to talk the talk, but what matters is if you can walk the walk. A website or blog not only makes you accountable for the goals that you set, but can also help you network and gather useful information. For more inspiration read how personal finance blogging helped me.

Be More Productive

  • Don't Get Wrapped Up in Television - I love television. However, I try to watch shows that you don't have to follow too closely. This way I can work while it's on. You won't see me watching a lot of Law and Order because it requires too much of my focus. However, having the Red Sox on the background doesn't distract me from accomplishing what I'm trying to.
  • Commute with Books on Tape (or Podcasts) - Most of the people I know have a 30-60 minute commute to work each day. You can listen to some morning talk show or a shock-jock DJ or you can learn some of the skills that I mention above. I'm not saying that you should throw away all entertainment, but if you are looking to increase your productivity, utilizing this downtime is a great start.
  • Declutter and Organize Your Home and Work Area - I used to waste a lot of time looking for stuff. The problem? I had stuff everywhere. I couldn't find the stuff that I needed from the old stuff that was piled around it. It's amazed me the number of things that I had around the home that I didn't use. Finally I simply said "Stuff It!" and got rid of most of the stuff that I didn't use and put other special stuff in a closet that I'll probably ignore for another years. Just like in What About Bob, "baby steps..." I tell myself.

Think Your Way To Success

  • Think Positively - I'm not going to get Stuart Smalley, Motivational Speaker on you, but making the conscious decision to focus on being financially successful is extremely helpful. Bringing finances to front of my mind, instead of the back has made a huge difference in my finances.
  • Don't Hate Money - Lose the thinking that money is the root of all evil. Start thinking about it as a key to freedom to do whatever interests you. Think of it as a way to help friends, family, and charities important to you. Think about how you could use money to make the world a better place.
  • Appreciate What You Have - Schedule a day to just appreciate yourself. Appreciate the things that you do have. The fact that you are reading this likely means that you are much better off than others in the world.
  • Be In A Good Mood - One of my favorite lines from Say Anything is when Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack) says to his sister, "Why can't you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?"

The Most Important Key to Success...

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87 Responses to “How To Be Successful in the New Year”

  1. Miranda says:

    Great tips! What I like about these is that they also provide a basis for success in terms of your LIFE, not just in terms of money.

  2. Studenomics says:

    Two things that really stuck out for me in this article are 1. networking and 2. public speaking. Being a College student near completion of my studies I am really working hard on improving my networking activities and skills. I realized a couple of months ago that I needed to get more involved with stuff around school to help build my resume.

    In regards to public speaking this is also something I am working on it, especially considering the amount of presentations I do in a typical semester. When I started school I was horrible at public speaking, but I have slowly improved. To be honest I don’t even know why my public speaking skills are so lackluster. Outside of the classroom I have no problems speaking confidentally to large groups. Hopefully I can complete my studies with excellent networking and public speaking skills.

  3. kosmo says:

    These are great. I don’t usually listen to productivity audiobooks, but fiction. In my case, the audiobooks usually blow away the entertainment options available on the radio at 6 AM.

    http://www.librivox.org is a great place to go for classics on audio. They have recorded books that are in the public domain (MP3 format). The readers are pretty decent, considering that they are unpaid volunteers.

    Although nobody would ever imagine that I use marketing skills in my job, quite often I do.

    A couple of good examples:
    – Problem calls
    I support a large system for my company – we have many thousands of internal users. I have supported the system for nearly a dozen years and am the “buck stops here” guy for calls. When the other support levels haven’t been able to solve the problem, it gets kicked to me and it is expected that I will wrestle the problem to the ground.

    Many times, the problem has been routed to many incorrect areas before even making it to my team. Sometimes, it’s obvious from reading the logs that the person deserves an apology from someone (for the length of time it has taken to resolve the issue, as well as the pain and suffering of the attempted resolution). I’m not the person who owes them an apology, but they get one from me, anyway.

    – I know you’re wrong, but …
    Many times, I get involved in discussions and I know for an absolute fact that the other person is wrong. However, stating this to them is typically not productive. My typical method goes something like this:

    “Maybe I’m not understanding something correctly. My understanding of this process is [blah blah blah]. What am I missing?”

    This usually make the person realize their mistake (or allows them to point out that I am indeed misunderstanding the issue), without the negative impact of have someone beat them over the head with it. I usually have to work with these people in the future, so it’s good to keep a positive relationship.

    Help someone every day
    This is a great tip. There are very few successful people that haven’t been helped by someone else along the way. Five minutes of your time helping a co-worker might save them an hour of banging their head against the wall. As a bonus, you get perceived as a team player.

    Thinking positively
    Hey, Stuart Smalley is on the brink of become a US Senator …

  4. “Commute with Books on Tape”

    I’ve done that a lot and it’s been wonderful. I used to have a nightmare commute, but was able to listen to dozens of books as I drove.

    @kosmo, thanks for the librivox link! I use Audible now, which has a good price, but free is great and I love the classics.

    Also, one of the things you mention is the need to market oneself. I’m amazed at how many people can’t do it.

  5. Terri says:

    “Don’t Get Wrapped up in Televion” – Its so obvious… but so needed to be said! I didn’t realize how wrapped up into TV I could get. I am ususally good about not even turning on the TV, for example, when I first get home so that I can get done whatever it is I intended to do once I returned from work everyday. Once I’m done, I can turn on the TV and veg guilt-free the rest of the night. But, apparently, if I turn on the TV before its time and say “I just want a little backgound noise” or “Let me just catch this show and then I’ll stop and continue my work,” I just get pulled in. Finally, I will decide, “ok, I’ll just continue watching TV now and do X later.” Its so EASY to get sucked in…. and half the time I’m not even watching anything… I’m just surfing the channels.

    When I get home to a quiet house… its like a blank slate where anything can be created. Once the TV goes on…all creativity is sucked out of the room!! LOL.

  6. Ruki says:

    I have just read this…good tips…i am just about to graduate and thus really want to be successful in everything I do. Defining SUCCESS, however has led me to search the various ways I want to become succesful and there are many. It is key, before one goes in search for success, to know what success means for them and at what point success has been achieved :)

  7. Kev says:

    Thank you for dedicating a few moments of your life to the concept of helping others. It’s not that these pieces of advice are not known to me. It’s the timing, the chance, and ultimately our mutual desires of self-improvement and success that are putting things into play.

  8. This is a great list of very timeless principles which help us achieve the goals we want. Simple as they are, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of them when we get caught up with intricacies of everyday living. An additional principle I adopt for success is to keep changing my strategies, which I wrote about in one of my blog articles at http://celestinechua.com/blog/2009/08/not-getting-what-you-want-time-to-change-your-actions/. If I haven’t been getting results I want with my actions thus far, it’s a huge red alert to start changing my actions. To quote Einstein, “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  9. Eddie Lin says:


    I’ve been following most of your tips without even realizing it. Thanks for confirming what I’ve already been doing all this time.

    By the way, I have a book that will be published this month and have been on radio and tv. I’ve been published in many major magazines and newspapers.

    Thank you for inspiring people.

    Best wishes,

  10. Eric says:

    HEllo honestly its my first time but to me i believe that success is fulfilling ones’ dreams and being a model to others

  11. karen says:


    This is a decent site and I take my hat off to you. You mention that grammar and spelling are very important yet I am sorry to say, that your own grammar and spelling are slightly on the poor side. Might be an idea to double check what you have written. Just a thought.

    Best wishes,

    • Lazy Man says:

      Touche Karen. I don’t have an editor. Because I’m too familiar with with what I meant to say, I miss significant errors in my proofreading my own stuff. Also, there’s a reason why this website is named Lazy Man and Money and not Working Man and Money.

  12. Preston says:

    i appreciate your writing to some extent, however… when it comes to a life of work and play, as a successful individual whatever you line of work, do you have to sacrifice one for the other?
    how does one be a great leader in both aspects of his/her life?

  13. courtney says:

    ive been reading a lot of tips on success lately, but yours have definately been the most inspiring and helpful. thanks =)

  14. justintime says:

    I have yet to find someone who truly loves their job.
    99.9% of the time they simply love money and are wiling to do what it takes but the process is whole another thing.
    I think you have to choose the type of life you want to live and work for that rather than work for the job…job is just a job. A modern tomb or a spot that someone else can not or does not want to fill instead of you.

    “how does one be a great leader in both aspects of his/her life?”
    – you get lucky on the way or 1 is served to you from the start.

    Plenty of people have worked hard all their lives and died poor without anyone around to thank them for it.

  15. David @ MBA briefs says:

    Thanks for the excellent list of success tips. I appreciate your candor on public speaking and can sympathize – I’ve had to do public speaking in some way shape or form on a regular basis for the last 15 years and I still get butterflies. And that whole thing about imagining your audience in their underwear usually doesn’t work ;-)

    I agree with you about grammar and writing skills. Do the reader a favor and scan what you’re going to send for errors, and brush up on your grammar skills. I think it’s kind of disrespectful to send someone a poorly written email.

    Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to Lazy Man has in store for 2010.

  16. No Debt Guy says:

    Great article! Do what you love especially hits home with me. Right now it is no financially possible, but I am working towards it.

  17. Roger says:

    Very nice list. Do What You Love is always a suggestion, and Help Somebody with something sounds like an excellent plan. Good set of resolutions.

  18. adam says:

    Thanks for the advice, I stumbled acrossed randomly and it was exactly what I needed to hear, thank you.

  19. I want to be debt free! says:

    I have been at my current job for almost ten years. It is a very good job, but is very boring to me as I feel I have learned all that I can from this company. I would love to change job’s but there are no opportunities due to the poor economy in my area and I am stuck with a huge mortgage and cc debt that make it impossible to move. I would like to put together a personal development plan and set some long term goals and short term goals to get out of this situation. Do you have any advice that might help? Also, any thoughts on how to go back to college when you have so much debt that you can’t afford to pay the bills without working two jobs?

  20. Alice says:

    “A person who can write great commands my respect and my trust.”?
    I think you mean ‘a person who can write well…’. How ironic. ;)

  21. Charlie says:

    This article really inspired me to become successful. I know I’m just a 17 year old kid with a big dream, but i know one day I’m going to get some where. Anyways thanks for the advice I really appreciate it.

  22. I watch little TV. If I do watch I watch things like: discovery channel, animal planet, history channel…something that teaches and I can learn. Otherwise, TV is a total time waster and negative… especially if you watch the news.

  23. Michael s says:

    This really helped me. I’m 24 and I was stuck on what steps I should be taking to get where I want to be in life. This was an amazing article. Everything that I needed to hear. Thank you.

  24. gustavo says:

    helping others never bothers in fact
    It comes back to you double. I like your article its very helpful.Thanks for the advice.

  25. Denis says:

    Just found your site through google reasearching how to be successful.
    THank you for your tips, they do ring a bell in me and I can visualize them very well. I myself am just starting out on the road of life, being in College.
    Keep up the Great Work!

    -A Friend

  26. Moshood says:

    Becoming successful doesn’t seem as easy as waking up one day and finding out you are a success; it requires HARD WORK! – A lot trials and errors, that’s what makes you successful. Nice article you’ve got there. Want more tips on HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL? – read this article http://gettingyourfreedom.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-become-successful-5-tips-to-be.html

  27. I can definitely second the “start a blog”. There is nothing like announcing to hundreds of readers that you’re going to do something. to get you to do it. I find much much harder to disappoint others than myself.

  28. Swapnil says:

    it’s very nice tips to make ourself turn on possitive way, If any human will follow this either he is normal n abnormal or Clever n looser he/she will be definately success in life.

    So start think possitive on rightnow & left the past.

    GOOD LUCK !!!!!!

  29. Moataz Ghaly says:

    I think that you are right but i think everyone of us should ask himself What does he\she want to be? and start from here

    thanks for you article
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

  30. Samson says:

    This is amazing stuff LM…..i am real impressed with the tips….its like u hav already sprouted the POSITIVITY in me….
    well i am kind of a slow reader….and it bothers me…i really take time to comprehend what is written…offlate i hav been trying 2 read more…but it still consumes a lot of time….what do i do???

  31. Erica says:

    Timeless tips. I especially like the goal setting and thinking positively. With so much negativity going on it’s so important to be remain positive and to set realistic goals both financially and in your personal life.

  32. Humiliated says:

    I love this article LM! Thank You! Someone told me a great Buddhist saying the other day. “Want what you have and don’t want what you don’t have”. I think that taking time out to appreciate yourself and what you have already accomplished is so important. It also allows us to move organically towards other achievements, rather than forcing it!

  33. You’ve done a great job helping me in my journey as a blogger. I’m making an attempt to pay it forward. I have one friend fully under my wing and am starting to work with some others, as they have time to get started. If you spend as much time with all of your proteges as you have with me, then it’s a full time job for you.

    Being in a good mood is very underrated :)

  34. Lazy Man says:


    And all this time I thought that I was crediting Sheryl Crow from Soak up the Sun… “It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got.”


    You need more help that most ;-). (Note to others: I’m joking because I know Kosmo outside of blogging and we can make this kind of fun.)

    Thanks though, Kosmo, it means a lot.

  35. Humiliated says:

    That works too Lazy ;)! Look at you actually HEARING the lyrics to a song! There are sooo many layers to you!

  36. Mike says:

    Be careful about telling people to “do what they love”. So often, too many other people “love” to do the same thing as you. There are so many of them that employers have the luxury of choosing from hundreds, if not thousands of applicants. Add to that the people who are willing to work at a place for free just for the experience.

    Not being able to do things you need to just because you don’t like to do them is a character flaw. In life, we all need to do things we don’t want to do. It’s called responsibility.

    • Lazy Man says:

      That’s a good point Michael. While I recognize it, I still think few people are considered really successful doing something that they hate.

  37. JD_Shep says:

    Stumbled across one blog entry from a Yahoo article’s link and I keep bouncing around to other great entries.

  38. Nina says:

    Great article. I especially love “pay it forward”. Helping someone else always comes back to you multiplied

  39. clarence says:

    I myself think that these are perfect guidelines to getting goals accomplished. The main focus of these steps are to eliminate them accordingly. If you stumble somewhere down the line on your journey to success keep in mind that you still have the blueprint to your project. I have a big problem about being in a good mood because of all the negative energy that is in my environment. I need to travel or relocate so that i can meet new people and experience some new things. I always try to make a difference everyday of life to try and make my life better than it currently is. There is always stress and depression fogging my vision of greatness but with me dedication,determination and self-discipline is key! One of my favorite sayings, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do everything.” The article said “appreciate what you have” and with that being said then so shall it be!

  40. There are many a times we could not decide how to proceed further in life.Our Goals become difficult and situation does not allow us to perform better in life. We go down and helpless.
    One can become more successful by having patience and faith in himself. We have believe our skills and capabilities.To become successful in life you have decide few things.
    1. What actually you are looking for?
    2. Whats your goal in life?
    3. Why is it success so important to you?
    4. Are you really keen to have success in life?

    One should have strong burning desire to achieve success in life and keep working on it patiently.

  41. Personally i think it is all about your state of mind, if you focus all your energy into something and accept that you may have to make certain sacrifices to accomplish your dreams then i think anything is possible. Just remember you will always have people that doubt your abilities, just stay positive and focused and dreams can become reality.

  42. Personally i think it is all about your state of mind, if you focus all your energy into something and accept that you may have to make certain sacrifices to accomplish your dreams then i think anything is possible. Just remember you will always have people that doubt your abilities, just stay positive and focused and dreams can become reality.

  43. lorna says:

    ill try that

  44. SHEENA says:

    Thank you for the tips! I really feel more motivated now and full of energy.

    I especially like the part about the affects of who you spend time with. I’ve found my motivation for what I do slip some what over the past year. Due to living with someone un-motivated. Do you have any subtle ways to get another person motivated?

  45. I just wrote a blog post about a great guy I used to work with and three things I feel were the keys to his success. Please check it out at http://www.jasongriffin.net/blog/2011/2/13/how-to-be-more-successful-three-quick-tips-for-increasing-su.html

  46. Matthew says:

    I want to thank and applaud your contribution of your knowledge and insights. I am 16 years old and I am a sophmore in high school and I am depressed because of my home life. This affects my school life so sometimes I loose track or sight of my goals in life. I have the goals that everyone has like: good future,good career (doing what you want to do), just the overall goals and aspirations everybody wants and haves. Then I also want to change the world for the better like where everyone can get along, peace, the end of poverty. I just have this feeling where I want to do good. From what I said earlier “where my home life is not so good” it affects my personal goals and where I want to change the world. So I thank you for your tips,advice, and your time. I thought it was all good.

    from an inspired person Matt

    p.s I would appreciate if you could write back and email me. thanks

  47. Dipen says:

    Well, I am pretty satisfied with your ideas and tips. Wish I could follow all of them.

  48. Gita says:

    Great post! I think these tips, you shared in this article, are the most important if we want to succeed in life.

  49. dale says:

    A look at what the Bible says about money

    “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom” (Proverbs 23:4, King James Version).

    When it comes to Christian financial planning, many people want to know the Biblical basis for earning and spending money. And, like many things in life, the Bible has provided some insight into how to use money. Prayerfully consider the following passages, and how they might affect you in terms of creating your finances in accordance with Christian principles. The idea is to think about how the Bible directs you in life, and for this, you need to read what the Bible says about money, and then pray for guidance in how to implement its teachings into your life.

    A look at the Bible and what it says about money

    “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up” (1 Samuel 2:7). Remember that the Lord can help you. Even if you are poor to the things of the world, you may still be rich in spirit. After all, it is important to remember that ultimately the Lord will provide you with what you need, even if it a lesson in how to be content with poverty (see Phil. 4:11-13, King James Version).

    But many of us are blessed with prosperity. No matter how much or how little, it is important to use our money wisely, and keep Christian principles in mind. This is especially important when we have more than others. The Bible points out that part of the blessing of having money is to use it to help others and further the Kingdom of God: “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother” (Deut 15:7, King James Version).

    “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42). Just remember not to take advantage by charging outrageous interest (see Ezekiel 22:12 for condemnation of usury).

    The idea, of course, is not that money itself is evil. Money is inanimate and it is a means to an end. And having money doesn’t make you evil, either. The problem is when we live for money, and strive to have more for the sake of vanity, social status or to accumulate material things. I leave you with this parting observation from Job 31: 24-25, 28 regarding how if we are not careful, love of money can replace our love of God: “If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high” (King James Version).

  50. Lisa says:

    Sorry but had to chuckle at the comment under “Sales & Marketing”: The sentence–“I’ve found that if you have to sell to hard”…then there is the section on Writing correctly…. it is actually “if you have to sell TOO hard”. Not being picky…but you were the one who mentioned writing correctly. :-)

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’m just checking your reading skills Lisa ;-). Glad I could give you a laugh.

      The point was more towards people who make numerous grammatical errors in small amount of words to the point where it greatly impacts the ability to understand the point. I realize this may have surfaced as a grammatical error, but it reflects my auditory way of thinking. I often have typos with to, two, and too and bear and bare even though know the difference. I hope that this was a case where people could get the point of the article.

  51. sburns says:

    I don’t mean to be rude by in the paragraph above writing, in which you stress the importance of grammar, you wrote ‘were’ rather than ‘where’

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks sburns, I appreciate. Occasional typos happen everywhere and they really weren’t what I was referring to. Nonetheless, I appreciate the chance to fix it.

  52. peter says:

    networking,helping some one with something everyday, using money for productive things like helping family friends and charities have really moved me but as well having a dream and staing focused helps you to achieve what money can bring.have loved this article

  53. randall says:

    Author: you read Jeffrey Gitomer’s Red Book of Selling , eh? So many of your points coincide: sales, public speaking, toastmasters, writing, networking, like-minded individuals, less-tv, books on tape, very clean work area. If you haven’t read it, you may consider doing so because your ideas are similar!

  54. hulika says:

    This is exactly what I needed as it is my 26th birthday and I dont feel accomplished. Great article and I’m very inspired by it. I study graphic design at a relatively small college in ny and I have always been afraid of failure, therefore, I never even tried.

    Thanks a lot, this might just change my life!

  55. Aisha says:

    I went through & took notes off this so I could share with people in my situation. Which goes to the “surround yourself with like-minded individuals”, my friends are going through what I’m going through & if they get what I got off of this, then we will remain friends. I love this article & I will be taking these steps to become succesful. I’m 21, so look forward to hearing from me by the time I’m 22(which is in November) :) Thank you!

  56. This article states the absolute truth to become successful. In my opnion “public speaking” is the biggest fear in people, but taking action is the biggest problem. I know soo many people who have come up with good ideas, but fail to cash in on the opportunity because they failed to take action. And most of the people who actually do take action often fail because they don’t have the “mind set” to keep pushing foward and not give up.

  57. Hasan says:

    Great tips …
    I totally agree that the most important goal of life is to pusrue what we are interested in. Hence, the best way to be successfull is to chase our dream with no hesitation.

  58. Selwin Langton says:

    People always tell me that I am always so positive and always smiling and talking to people, they say I could sell ice to an escimo. I am an electrician now and find that I am not doing what I really want to do. I read a quote a while ago saying,”do what you love and money will find you”, but how does one go from a dead end job thats paying the bills to doing what you love. I’m still looking for the answer. I love to motivate people and find I can talk to just about anybody anytime, I really love sales aswell but how does one go from were you are to were you want to be?

    • Lazy Man says:

      Selwin Langton,

      I don’t think there’s an one-size-fits-all answer to that question. I transitions from a software engineer to more of a writer by creating this blog. I wouldn’t suggest that just everyone start a blog though. I got fairly lucky and networked with the right people through a seemingly random, unplanned set of events. The thing about this blog is that I still use quite a bit of my software engineering skills for my advantage.

      I’ll just throw a random idea out there for you to chew on. It might be a horrible idea because I don’t know, your skill set, or where you live. However, would you find it a more satisfying career creating entertain solutions for people? What I mean by that is that I’ve realized there’s a need to just make it easy for people to get the TV shows, movies, and music when and where they want. Perhaps you could be half salesman, half electrician, and help people set up a great customized system for them in their homes. I’m not sure if that gives you the connection of talking to more people, but it would seem like you could do this in spare time until you build up enough customer referrals to do it full time.

      Another school of thought is that sometimes you just need to do something else for a bit for a particular job to not seem so dead-end anymore. I feel that way about writing sometimes, so I take a few days off fiddle with optimizing my blog. The optimization really doesn’t do too much that would be notable to the end user, but it does recharge my batteries to write again.

  59. Rowhie says:

    great and motivating article, hope to follow each and every mentioned tips …..

  60. Harsh Modi says:

    Hey LM,
    Nice post and tips which are very much practical and feasible in daily life. I daily spend around 1 hr. commuting to my college and have recently started the habit of reading newspapers while travelling to and fro from college and man it works when it comes to saving time.
    Thanking you.

  61. creativemind says:

    Question?????? I always heard the saying “it take money to make money “….how do you make money to have money work for you? Can’t get ahead I’m too lazy…. can’t help!

  62. Fanny says:

    Love these tips! Thanks for the inspiration.

  63. robyn says:

    what a great column! thank you for reprinting it. i’d like to recommend my friend’s book, it has useful tips on the writing process. i started using his technique and it DOES speed the process. http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Books-Fame-Fortune-ebook/dp/B005D1KZSI

  64. YAHIA says:

    First of all , i would like to thank you for your great steps and advices and experiance you just shared .

    your rally inspired me and as all the obouve peoples said your great man ,

    Wish you all the best and its really nice to read this .

    Best regards,

  65. Jane says:

    I am impressed and inspired! It’s along and no easy way to learn all this things. Lazy Man, your article is brilliant! If you are as lazy in real life as all you wrote about then I would love to be as lazy as you ;)

  66. Jenny Ong says:

    This is serious good stuff.
    I am now starting to add new stuff in my iPhone note and starting to execute the plan everyday. Always starting the day positive strong and non stop learning is one sure way to grow.

    Exercising is really good too.
    I am starting to jog once every 2 days and motivating people to do it too.

    Life is just simply great!!
    Thank god!!

  67. aaron says:

    Good article, love the tips….but the “decide to be in a good mood” is easier said than done.

  68. Dylan Ford says:

    Hey I’m Dylan Ford. What if i live in small town,Alabama and no one is doing anything. I have this sneaking suspicion that i would do better without the people i know here, they dont do anything for me, have no fresh ideas, are nothing what i imagine to be. My hairstylist Rhonda, who has worked in advertising with Chico, and still travels the country doing this and that tells me there’s something special about me. And i get told that a lot. She says there are very creative people here doing cool things, but i dont feel it. The people here are nurses and factory workers…. to put it seemingly, oh yeah and insurance sellsmen… I’m a person that comes up with big ideas, wants to make big things, I want to get paid for my ideas…

    • Lazy Man says:

      Perhaps you can take advantage of the Internet. I can run this website from a small town in Alabama, provided that the town has Internet connection.

      Another idea is to try to move to another place if you think geography is holding you back. I know that such ideas aren’t always practical for everyone, but they work for some.

  69. kenneth kelvin says:

    To be honest am new with this but I think I find this Impressing…hope I find more to read.

  70. John G. says:

    Really great read, I can feel the positive energy through your writing. It hits on alot of points I make to my children regarding how important achieving an education is to obtaining a job you love to do. Thanks for giving back.

  71. Asanga says:

    Its a good article to read and get things to your life..

  72. Mel E says:

    Hi Lazy Man,

    That’s a great article for any time of the year…We all need reminding to raise our game.

    I particularly liked the tip about public speaking. I have a friend who was that scared of public speaking that he could literally throw up thinking about it!

    He went to Toastmasters to try and get good at public speaking, he did ok, he now earns a living traveling the world giving speeches to hundreds of people at a time, oh and he’s rich, stinking rich!!!

    Never underestimate the power of Toastmasters!

  73. Bill Nast says:

    Nice article, Lazy Man. I’ve found another critical part of being successful is just drowning out friends who tend to be naysayers about projects you undertake. Love him or hate him, Robert Kiyosaki touched on this a bit in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

    I bought a house as an investment, and could not believe the amount of negative comments from friends. A year later, it has appreciated quite a bit, I’ve raised rents, and it’s producing cash flow. Not bad!

  74. Amy says:

    Wow! Great post. My husband and I are working our way out of debt and have made some tremendous progress. I really appreciate your candor on what is working and what has been helpful for you! I’ll be following you and Tweeting away! Thanks!

  75. Kathy says:

    Thank you for mentioning grammar. I can’t tell you how much I cringe when I read or hear something and bad grammar is being used. It’s “my friend and I”, people, NOT “me and my friend.” You wouldn’t say “me went to the store” so why would you say “me and my friend…” Also when speaking, pronounce words correctly such as library instead of liberry. Or say that you saw something, not seen something. Grammar isn’t that difficult. It should be used properly. If a person doesn’t use proper grammar, I immediately become suspicious of his/her true knowledge of a subject.

  76. Anna says:

    I really like this piece! What I really like is that it made me realize I already do 90% of the suggestions without even knowing it. I can definitely relate to the TO DO list, I have one on my phone AND on paper. I can also relate to always being in a great mood, because so many more possibilities can grow from a great mood than a negative one.
    I will take away reading more and faster – that is something I struggle with simply because I use the “I have no time” excuse. Public speaking is also a fear of mine. Definitely something to work on!
    Thanks for this great post!

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