The other day, a popular website sent me a message, asking if they could republish my content. Sure, I said. No problem.
Over the next few days, I saw a huge increase in my views, subscribers, and income. Over 500 new people signed up for my email list that afternoon. Many of these new readers bought several of my products immediately, earning me hundreds of dollars while I sat on the couch and watched TV.
This kind of stuff happens a lot. And I’m not saying this to brag — hell, I spent years sending desperate article pitches to every blog you’ve ever heard of, no one got back to me.
I just want to paint you a picture here:
If you can get people to notice you without saying a word — online or in-person — good things will happen.
If You Do Something Every Day, People Will Start to Notice
In the words of Zak Slayback:
“How many people do you know call themselves an “entrepreneur” but have never started a business?
How many people do you know call themselves a “writer” but write once a month?
How many people do you know call themselves a “fitness coach” but do not coach people in fitness?
How many people do you know who call themselves an “artist” but never create art?
Are you one of these people?”
If you do something every day, people will start to notice.
(If you do something well every day…a lot of people notice! But let’s learn to crawl before we walk.)
The truth is, most people aren’t that consistent. Most people start something, stick with it for a while, then miss a few days, then a few more, and next thing you know they’ve gone back to their old behaviors.
But if you’re consistent, people will start to notice.
Most people are terrible at consistent daily routines.
But daily engagement is the only way to become truly successful with a new skill.
For every day you keep going, hundreds of others quit.
The only reason — the only reason — I’m confident I’m going to be in the top 1% of writers in the world someday is because I know I’m going to write every day.
I’m going to read my books every day. I’m going to lift heavy weights, eat healthy food, and practice all the time.
The day I stop practicing daily is the day I start to lose.
In the words of Ramit Sethi:
“At the moment when we accept our weaknesses and stop deciding to grow, we’re the BEST we’re ever going to be. It’s all downhill from there.”
The Discomfort of Starting Something New is Temporary
As best-selling author Hal Elrod once wrote:
“95% of our society fail, time and time again, to start exercise routines, quit smoking, improve their diets, stick to a budget, or any other life habit that would improve their quality of life. Why? Most people don’t realize the seemingly unbearable first 10 days of a new habit is only temporary.”
Things get easier when you do them. If you can push through that wall in the first few weeks — people will start to notice you. Eventually, people will start coming to you.
That’s what happened to me. I spent years reaching out to blogs and podcasts and authors, practically begging them to work with me. No one ever responded. No one likes desperation, especially from an amateur like I was!
But once I started focusing on writing great, really great content…these people started coming to me. International magazines began contacting me, asking to republish my work. My first book publisher came to me and offered me a book deal. Blogs, podcasters, authors, conferences, all come to me without me saying a word.
Take it from me — the discomfort you feel at starting something new is temporary.
And once you push through the initial dip, you can achieve extraordinary things very fast.
Of course, it’s going to be tough. There’s a reason most people aren’t consistent.
But one of the most reliable strategies to combat frustration and despair is simple: imagining my future if I keep going.
If I can write all the time, I can eventually earn enough money so my wife and I can travel the world — one of our biggest desires. I get really specific with it, too — I imagine traveling to Tokyo in Japan, and specifically going to Tsukiji Fish Market and eating raw tuna belly, one of my favorite delicacies.
And I know I can have that if I just stay consistent.
Focus with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey wrote in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’ll pull you through the discomfort of starting something new.
Just Focus on Running as Fast as You Can in the Right Direction
When I was in college, I really wanted to be in a serious relationship. But I had been single for years, and I was frustrated.
I was tired of all the dumb flings that led nowhere and just left my heart broken even more. I didn’t know what to do.
And one of my mentors gave me some advice that changed everything:
“Just run as fast as you can,” he told me. “Be the best person you can be. Sooner or later, you’ll look around and see a few other people running just as fast as you. That’s who you’re going to connect with.”
Fine, I thought.
So I stopped focusing on the girls and people around me. I stopped trying to look good and just focused on actually being good — being more patient, self-confident, and proud of myself.
I worked on myself. I was running as fast as I could in that direction.
Then, I met a girl named Kimi. She was running as fast as me.
We just celebrated 5 years of marriage, and we’re expecting our first child in a couple of months.
People start to notice you if you’re on the same wavelength as them.
Most people try to force things — they try to get a promotion before they’re ready, get into relationships that really aren’t a good fit. If you force something, it almost never works out.
Instead, just focus on running as fast as you can in the right direction. The right people will come to you.
This is what Steve Martin was talking about when he said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” A lot of people try to get the rewards before they’ve earned it — they think they’re entitled to it, or think they’ve already put in enough time.
That’s what I did for years, trying to get important people to republish my content and mentor me and help me with my problems.
That never worked. But as soon as I started working on myself and running as fast as I could in the right direction, these people started coming to me.
Be so good, they can’t possibly ignore you.
If you want people to notice you without saying a word, just consistently do good work. Run as fast as you can in that direction.
Frankly (and this is the big secret): you don’t even have to do it well! Consistency beats talent, luck, good intentions, even quality. Just put in the time.
When I finally got serious with my writing, I wrote every day for a month or two. It wasn’t good! (Seriously, go look). But people started to notice. And the more I wrote, the better I got. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You can’t write 52 bad short stories in a row.”
The problem is when people hit the wall that always comes around week two or three. Just like the other students in my online course, just like gyms in the first weeks of January.
Everyone starts strong; few people finish strong.
But if you do something every day…people will start to notice. People will start coming to you.
Anthony Moore is an author, speaker, and top writer on Medium.com. You can find him at anthonymoore.co.