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Cut the shit.

So many of you could be uber successful, happy and fulfilled if you stopped waiting for the savior on the glowing white steed to come save you and say, “yes, you’re special! Now go!”

I hear it every day, and I went through it all myself:

I can’t be a coach because I’m not an expert.

I won’t get that job because everyone else has degrees and I don’t.

I can’t travel the world because it’s expensive.

I can’t be successful and be a great husband/wife and have a healthy family life.

All of these beliefs have the same origin: you’re waiting for the white knight.

You’re waiting to be chosen.

Stop Waiting For Prince Charming & Your Savior (He’s an Uggo, Anyways)

Prince Charming Gif

ALL of these have the same underlying feeling – we’re waiting for someone to come along and give us a pep talk.

You are good enough.

You can do it!

Kick ass!

And those thing are great, if you have them. But if you don’t, then what?

YOU need to choose YOURSELF.

I’ve witnessed these incredible transformations – you see a person who is on the fence, or who is highly doubting herself and the second you tell her that 100% of her excuses are legitimate bullshit, she opens up.

She takes action.

The fear goes away just 1% – enough to allow her to see success.

She finally commits, takes off, and then flies.

What changed? Almost nothing! I gave her permission – I said, “these are all bullshit, so get creating and get started.” And it’s amazing what actually happens when you give someone permission to act – they act.

So many people are sitting around telling themselves some bullshit story about why they aren’t doing well, and I went through the entire goddamn list myself.

I’m an introvert, I suck at making friends.

I’m a first time business person, I don’t have any skills.

I’ve never done this before and I don’t know any other people < in this field >.

How in the hell do I even do this, anyway?

At the end of the day though, I didn’t possess some magical confidence, the only thing I possessed was an utter hatred of my daily life, imagining the cubicle existence of the average person who dies before having done anything they want in life.

Fuck that.

How I Chose Myself (And Figured It Out)

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When I started Milk The Pigeon, I started it because I didn’t see a single person that was living out their dream. In other words, a conscious life they had created mentally, that they then created in the physical world.

I didn’t know one.

So I figured, “Fuck it, I’ll be the first then.”

Even though I later realized that there are lots of people like this (thanks internet), for whatever reason I was frustrated and pissed off enough that I told myself I would do it and figure it out.

The very first article I ever wrote was “The Generation of Dreamers is Dead.

I wrote how I was beyond frustrated that I couldn’t find ANYONE that was committed – as long as it took – to create that dream life.

I didn’t have a SINGLE friend who was willing to be poor for a decade, start and quit 7, 8, 9, 10 jobs (yes, did that), and suffer to the point of depression because he or she had so much commitment to the dream.

Not one.

Needless to say, it’s been a long (and often lonely) few years, but there’s something else here: I chose myself.

How to Become “Expert Enough” 

Master The Day Book

People have introduced me as an “expert” because my book is an Amazon bestseller, and has really good reviews.

One thing that comes up a lot here is that people wait until it’s the right time, until someone says “yeah, you’re good enough!” or until they’re an expert to begin.

It’s almost that perfectionism, the feeling that a lot of guys in their 20s have that, “I can’t get married or settle down until I’m already successful.”

Clearly it makes no sense.

But if you wanted to theoretically acquire the skills required to be skilled enough to be paid for your skills, here’s how.

Don’t forget, the line between expert and non-expert is blurry.

Does it require a PhD? An M.D.? 10 years experience? Or just the ability to get people results? For example, I wrote my book which became an Amazon bestseller, but a lot more importantly, has great reviews because it’s helped people.

I’ve never once called myself an expert, but lots of people do once they see my book and the reviews its gotten.

So who’s right?

Even though I took a lot longer (e.g. I’ve been lifting weights in the gym 4-5x a week for 10 years now – since I went into college at 18), you could actually acquire the skillset required to be proficient enough to sell your services in 6 months or less.

The 6 Month “Expert” – Getting Paid For Actually Helping People

Is Alexander Heyne picture James Franco?

Does putting extremely pretentious modeling pictures of myself like this on my “about” page make me an expert?

What does an expert know that you don’t?

Well, most experts I’ve met know a lot more than the average person, but that’s really not that impressive since the average person knows jack shit and watches endless TV rather than taking time to read / grow / improve.

Here’s how I view an “expert” on writing, for example:

  1. They’ve read other experts on writing
  2. They know the basic principles of writing
  3. They’ve written

So what are these major categories?

They’ve read about the subject (consuming).

They know the basic principles (the skeleton skillset).

They’ve written (concrete skills).

And seeing how many “social media experts” I’ve seen come up over the last three years, who are so laughably bad, the bar is set pretty low.

But here’s what you can legitimately become a freelancer with:

Month One – Modeling

Web design

Here’s the first step: read the other ‘experts’ on your craft.

  1. Go to amazon.com
  2. Type in “web design” for example or “how to write” or “programming” or “video editing”
  3. Order the top 10 books that are highest rated
  4. Read them (approx. 7 hours per 200 page technical book = 70 hours of reading)

Month Two – The One Page Summary

Put together one page summaries on the key principles in the books.

Structure them like this.

The Big Idea is:

The core, tactical principles are:

1.

2.

3.

Three habits I can start doing today:

1.

2.

3.

Month Three – Synthesize

Synthesize the basic principles.

Okay, so you’ve read ten of the top books. Now what are the similarities in the principles?

If you’re a fitness coach, you might have realized, okay, diet is 80% of the work.

And X Y and Z are the main principles I need to help my clients with in order to get them results.

And you can use weight training for both men and women to tone them up, then intermittent fasting as an advanced concept.

If it’s writing, you might learn about storytelling, sentence structure, beginning stories in media res, etc.

If it’s programming, you might have learned what the heck programming really is, and how it works.

Month Four – Six: Deliberate Practice & Skill Acquisition (One Hour a Day Philosophy)

At this point, theory virtually doesn’t matter, because if someone is paying you, they just want results.

So in month four, the key thing is to get three free clients.

If you’re a programmer, just try creating something (you’re own web page).

Set aside 1 hour a day.

If it’s writing, just start writing articles and pitching them to The Huffington Post or other websites that are smaller that you’re currently afraid of.

If you’re a designer, offer to design a friend’s website for free. Get the actual skillset, break shit, and then figure out why you broke it.

If you’re working on coaching, coach a few friends for free! Do hourlong coaching sessions, get their feedback, see if it helped, etc.

You’ll quickly realize if you’re good, what needs improving, what you may like or not like, etc.

Month Five – Get A (or More) Free Clients

The next step is to actually get more clients, free ones (or if you feel comfortable, paid ones).

First, go through friends, then just go to local events using meetup.com, post your services on craigslist, or start setting up a website.

But by this point, you already have a skillset that’s valuable and you’re good enough.

Month Six – Make It Happen

It’s time to start charging. I’ll keep it simple, because even though this is another huge mental hurdle for new people (please don’t charge $10/hour), it’s best learned in the trenches.

Two things:

1. Charge monthly (because you can’t feed yourself on hourly jobs)

2. Charge more than you feel comfortable with

If you feel like $50 a month makes you comfortable, charge $100 a month.

Stop Waiting – All The Greats “Figured” It Out

Kung

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

- Leonardo da Vinci

It’s a little secret that most successful people just “figured it out.”

Entrepreneurship (like life) is sometimes like running face-first into a wall, smashing your head, and then trying to figure out how it got there, and how to get over it or around it.

You just look around, test, and figure it out. There often isn’t a roadmap.

Guys, do you think I had a damn clue about how to build a business?

How to write a book?

How to have a remote job, or how to write, or how to give talks, or how to travel on a shoe string budget?

You can figure all this shit out.

And as long as you have that mindset, you will be successful – because anything can be learned. Literally almost anything. And you have the most unfair advantage of all – the internet. Consider that no one in human history has had the internet like you do now.

You can google something and half a second later have a dozen tutorials on how to learn a skill.

Do you realize how unfair of an advantage that is over anyone else that has ever existed in history?

Look, you can come up with a story all day long, or you can get your ass to work, but you can’t do both.

Choose yourself, stop waiting for prince charming (or your mom, or a mentor, or me) to tell you you’re good enough, and figure it out.

You can do it.

We all start somewhere – so just start.

-Alex

Thoughts on this? Share them below.

Images: “Dreams” used with permission from freedigitalphotos.net,

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Map

Last week I shared an epic article on the core strategies that helped me turn 2015 into my most fulfilled, happy and successful year ever.

Five years ago when I created Milk the Pigeon, I had no idea that this would be the direction it would go in.

Today, I want to help tackle something that I know has  been holding you back:

How the hell do you go full-steam ahead if you don’t know what your passion or dream job is?

Here are a few strategies that have helped me dramatically – things I would’ve KILLED to know five years ago.

Follow them, and you can seriously leapfrog the competition and get ahead.

Strategy #1 – Stack The Bricks

Stacking the Bricks

Literally, three years ago, if I told you I’d be where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed you.

And you know what’s funny? I’m not even crushing it yet or doing that well.

I can’t wait to see where I’m going to be in three years, now that I’ve realized this stacking the bricks concept.

There’s a fantastic talk by Amy Hoy called “Stacking the Bricks,” where she talks about a lesser-known success principle, which is….

You just have to keep stacking bricks before you hit it big.

But if you don’t stack brick #1, you’ll never get to see what results from brick #35.

Here’s the problem:

Most of us don’t act, because we can’t see the next step, but the paradox is that you have to keep stepping in the darkness BEFORE you get to see the next step.

She talks about knowing Gary Vaynerchuk while he was pouring wine at some startup event, thinking he basically was some clown that had ADD.

Five years later, Gary is a household name and absolutely dominating in his business.

Here’s the thing:

In my own business, when I launched it, I didn’t have a goddamn clue how I was going to help people, build an audience, and run an actual business. I had an idea, but ideas always change when the rubber meets the road.

It started with a cheap course.

Then a more expensive one.

Then a coaching program.

Then a continuity program.

Then a book.

Then speaking, and other gigs.

And here’s the catch: IF I NEVER LAUNCHED THE FIRST THING, I NEVER WOULD’VE WRITTEN A BOOK.

And right now, the book has been the most impactful, fulfilling project I ever worked on.

You have to stack the first brick, before you find your way to the last.

Lesson: If you find yourself paralyzed and not taking action whether it’s finding a job, or changing careers, take the damn step, because you have no idea where hustle can lead you (even if you can’t see the entire staircase right now).

That brings me to lesson #2.

Strategy #2 – Ladder Hopping

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Cartagena, Colombia

2015 was the best year of my life – easily. And a lot of really horrible shit happened.

Ever since I started Milk the Pigeon in 2011 (I think? Has it really been 5 years?), I had ONE, somewhat long-term goal:

Build a life that I could actually fucking enjoy day to day, and do that through self employment, which would give me freedom.

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When I started Milk the Pigeon, I didn’t have a goddamn clue how to live this amazing life I dreamed of.

I didn’t have a single role model that was self employed in an online business, traveling, doing whatever they were most passionate about, living the dream, and working daily towards the thing they loved.

It actually didn’t need to be self employment or an online business, but I didn’t know ONE person.

So I figured I would just figure it out myself. Later on, I found that there are lots of people doing this, most of whom appear to be entrepreneurs because they have the freedom and flexibility to do whatever they want.

Today, I want to highlight what really happened in the last year and the most important habit that I think allowed this stuff to happen.

Am I a millionaire? Hell no, not yet.

Am I some guru? Nope, don’t want to do.

Am I 100% living my dream? Not yet.

But this is the first time since I started Milk the Pigeon that I am happy almost every day – working on what I want – excited about my future and my vision and the road ahead. And I can share with you the exact habits I took to get there.

First – how it went. Second – how to make it a reality for yourself. Third – a very unique opportunity I’m offering in 3 weeks.

What Went Awesome (And Horrible) in 2015

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Belize

Most of my 20s sucked shit.

I’m totally comfortable admitting that to myself now at age 28 – it really sucked. I found myself working these goddamn awful jobs, that didn’t pay me much, that didn’t mean much, and didn’t have opportunities to even grow or learn much.

When you aren’t learning new skills…

… And you aren’t getting paid much.

… And you don’t like what you do.

… I call this “shit city.”

It’s literally, in every sense of the word (or phrase), a waste of your life. But sometimes that’s a price you have to pay temporarily.

Problem is, when you find yourself getting stuck like this, it’s easy to fall into a depression and lose the steam that’ll push you out of it. So here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me all those years ago, when I could’ve progressed so much more in my life.

#1 Learn Hard New Shit

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Growth.

This first principle is so shockingly simple, but rewarding, that I’m surprised I didn’t realize it sooner.

Just pick a new aspect of your life to grow in – so maybe you’re doing the soul crushing (or simply shitty) ten hour workday somewhere else just to barely pay your bills.

That’s fine.

What are you doing after that though? [click to continue…]

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Business man cliff

It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground. The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $10,000,000 than it is $1,000,000. It is easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

- Tim Ferriss

Everyone glorifies success, but no one ever tells you about the downside that can crush you.

We see it everywhere, and I’m one of the worst offenders – feverishly pursue something you care about and “get successful”  no matter what it takes.

It all seems like unicorns and rainbows – once you get “there” life is easy. With influence, you have opportunities. With money, you have choice. With time, you can do whatever the hell you want.

The truth is that most people glorify only the good parts of success because they aren’t successful yet – and thus don’t realize the dark nature.

Here’s what they didn’t tell you.

Why Everyone Hates You When You’re At The Top

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