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Contributors To Success 2016 Pt 3: Mindset

by | Jan 22, 2017 | 1 comment

If there’s one thing I believe in regards to achieving your goals, whatever they may be, it’s that your mindset will ultimately make or break you. In my experience, a positive mindset does more than just keep you happy (which it does and which is great!), but it seems to have a way of drawing people and opportunities to you.

This is the third (and final) article deconstructing what I think are the biggest reasons I was able to achieve so many of my goals in the past year, including some big life goals like starting my own location independent business. The previous two articles focused on content consumption and some of the useful habits I developed. In this post I’m going to go over some mindsets that I think are – if not completely essential, then exceedingly useful for achieving anything you’re shooting for. In my experience, your mindset is probably the biggest factor determining your success or failure, so it’s important to take care in shaping it.

1. Averaging up

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

It’s become almost cliche at this point, and yet this oft quoted line by Jim Rohn is entirely, unequivocally true, and there’s no avoiding it. It’s true whether you believe it or not, whether you focus on it or not, and the concept can do powerful things for your life if you embrace it.

One of the first things I did last year was sign up for a membership-based online community full of people who either were already location independent, or were striving to get there as I was. This really set the tone for the year and surrounded me with a diverse group of people who I talked with almost every day about how they were building or running their businesses in a way to accommodate a nomadic lifestyle.

In addition to this community, facebook groups, and other entrepreneurial communities, many of the podcast hosts I listened to regularly became some of the people I spent the most time with (in a sense).

Without these positive and inspirational influences on my thoughts and direction, there is zero way that I would be traveling and working for myself at this point. Deny the effect on your life of the people around you if you like, but do so at your own peril. If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’re in the right room and are getting ready to go places. Averaging up is one of the most impactful mindsets you can keep in the back of your mind and apply to the circles you move through.


2. Inevitability of success mindset

I heard this phrase on one of the podcasts I listened to regularly (I can’t remember which one) and it struck a chord with me instantly.

I always believed that I was going to figure my path out eventually, more so once I started learning about different internet business strategies. This mindset is essential if you want to get through the tough times, and it’s not enough to think it, you have to really believe it with the core of your being. For me, that belief was kicked into high gear when I got my first client for my podcast production service. Even though it would be months before I could quit my day job and leave to travel, at that point I already knew I was there.

Once I had that first client, I knew that I was onto something and that it might not happen as fast as I would like, but there was no possible way in hell that this wasn’t going to work.

And in fact, it did take longer than I had thought. I got my first client almost immediately after I started looking for these type of clients and then it was at least a month before I got my next, and another month before I got my next. Then four months in I got a new client Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and two new clients on Friday in a flash. The patience and hard work had started to pay off.

Ultimately it took six months to make it self-sustaining, but I had known that it would happen eventually ever since day one.   


3. A willingness to look for opportunities outside of your stated goals and plans

At the start of 2016, I had a goal to become self-employed by the end of the year. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but that was my goal.

I was actually focussing on my photography blog and business at the time. I envisioned that as the means to achieving my goal of self-employment. If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, both from myself and others in similar situations, it’s that your first plan almost never works out, and that better, easier opportunities often present themselves if you’re on the lookout for them.

While I’m still building my photography business, my podcast consultation and production service Ascetic Productions pays my bills. The funny thing is that I hadn’t even thought about the podcast industry as an option until March of 2016. It was actually an offhand comment by a friend of mine about podcast post-production that clicked something in my brain. A week later I had my first client, and six months later I was self-employed. Funny how that works.

The key here is being open and expectant of new opportunities that might arise. That said, you need to be able to judge which opportunities are worth sticking with and just require some hard work and dedication applied to them. Jumping from opportunity to opportunity but never actually committing to one isn’t going to do you any good here. Nothing is going to fall into your lap fully formed, and any opportunity is going to take hard work. But maintaining an open mindset can expose you to paths that might be easier or a better fit for you at the moment, than what you were currently banging your head against the wall working on.


4. Daily Affirmations

When it comes to actively shaping your mindset, repeating (or writing) daily affirmations is probably the best technique I’ve found, at least for myself.

I’d heard a lot about affirmations and always thought it was a bit new age-y, a bit woo-woo for me. It was Tim Ferriss’ interview with Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert however that my mind was changed forever about them. Scott shares a story of how he skeptically began writing daily affirmations at one point in his life, and how much to his surprise, time and time again they seemed to work, ultimately leading to his success as a cartoonist.

Now I don’t believe that there’s anything mystical going on with the repeating or writing of affirmations. The universe is not going to answer them and hand you whatever you’re asking for. I do think however that by repeating them to yourself regularly, that you condition your mind to think in a certain way, and your subconscious seems to have a way of noticing little opportunities that you may have missed before.

For a while, one of my affirmations that I wrote down was,

“I will be self-employed by the end of June 2016”

I wrote it down 15 times per day, every day and posted it on my wall. The next day I would take that sheet down and put up the freshly written one. [Spoilers] I wasn’t self-employed by the end of June… BUT I had tripled the number of clients I had and had gone part-time at my day job to spend more time on my business.

Who’s to say; that might have played out the same way regardless, but I know for a fact that I never worked so hard or dedicated so much energy to finding new leads as I did that month. And it paid off. I wanted to prove that affirmation that stared me in the face every day right.

Even if you’re a skeptic, like I was, like Scott Adams was, give it a try. Come up with an affirmation and write it down 15 times on paper every day for a month. See what it does for you. It doesn’t cost you anything and has the potential to change your life or at the very least shape your mindset in a positive way (which will then change your life).

It doesn’t have to be an achievement based affirmation either. I guarantee you that if you write down “The world is a beautiful place” 15 times a day for a month, you’re going to be picking up on all the beauty that surrounds us in a way that you never have before.


Wrap Up

So that about does it for the biggest mindsets, habits, and content that I feel helped me make 2016 the most productive year of my life. Last year really set me on a new course, one that I’d been aspiring towards for as long as I can remember.

The great thing about all of these practices I’ve shared is that they can be applied to help you achieve pretty much anything. So no excuses, make 2017 awesome! Here’s a list of everything I’m planning on doing in 2017.


I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on mindset. I know it seems like one of those things that a lot of people believe is ingrained in you, either you have a positive mindset or you don’t, which I think is garbage. If you’ve had any experience or practices, daily or otherwise, that help you shape your mindset I would love to hear about them in the comments!

To say thanks to everyone who’s been following along, either for a while, or is new here, I’m going to be giving away one book a week for the next month, and depending on the response, may keep it going indefinitely!

To enter, all you need to do is follow this link to the contest entry and follow the prompts.

If your name gets drawn as the winner you’ll have your choice at any of the books I listed in my list of favourite books.

Thanks so much for following along so far, and good luck in the contest!

Jeremy Enns

Jeremy Enns

Storyteller In Chief at Ascetic Productions
I'm Jeremy, a storyteller at heart, currently using sound waves, light beams and good old fashioned ink and paper to tell stories with heart and substance. I run a podcast consultation, management and editing company called Ascetic Productions and am currently traveling the world and doing my best to learn and grow from every misstep (of which there are many).
Jeremy Enns

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