4 min read

Practical tools to build the life you want

Practical tools to build the life you want

Tools and mindset to keep going

I want to talk to you about something important today.
Sticking with problems until you overcome them.
After all to build the life you want, you'll have to solve quite a few frustrating problems, and it's not going to be easy.

In the world of building software products we call this iterations. Systematically trying again, and again and again until we crack the problem.

No successful person, company or product got it right the first attempt. None. There's no such thing as an overnight success.
Thereโ€™s an overnight success, years in the making.

Success is an iterative (at times frustrating) process of: Trial, reflection, repeat. Over and over and over again.

Nothing worth having is given to you without effort. Nothing!

You won't get it right the first time, that's expected.
In fact when you meet someone who thinks they'll nail the product on the first attempt, they seem crazy. (Not the good kind of crazy, the delusional kind).
So if it's pretty certain you won't make it the first few attempts, few questions come up:

  1. What's the reason you're expecting yourself to get it right the first time?
  2. How long will you stick with it?
  3. How you'll avoid banging your head against the wall like a mad man?

Let's apply this to building the life you want

There's no one thing you'll do and presto, you'll land in the life you want.

Drop the expectation you'll get it right fast

There's no switch I can flip to stop this unrealistic expectation of yourself.
What I can do is encourage you to be patient with yourself.

You're going to make mistakes. They're part of your learning process.
When things don't work remind yourself that this is only one attempt of many to come. You get more attempts.

It doesn't matter how many times you failed before. In fact past failures, are something to learn from and increase likelihood of future success.

This is a process, stick with it patiently.

How long will you stick with it?

The fuel we'll use to keep going is: Knowing that you're working towards the life you want.
Quite literally there isn't anything you want more.

The bad news is that it'll suck before it'll get better.
The good news is that it'll get better, you get better.
You'll have bad days, but you bounce back quicker.

For that to happen you must get the right fuel for you.
Everyone wants to be healthy, wealthy, pretty and popular. That isn't good fuel. That's generic bullshit.
You can't work with that.
You've got to be specific with what you want for yourself. You've got to have a clear vision of where you're headed (or where you're trying no to end up).
You can't have, what you can't imagine.

How do you avoid craziness?

Persistency and craziness are easily confused.
For people looking at you, but more importantly for you. So how do you make sure, you're not a crazy person bashing their head against a wall over and over again?
A good working definition of madness will be:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Let's use it to make sure you're not insane

  1. Focus on a single number.
  2. Write down your bet.
  3. Feedback
  4. Accountability
  5. Journaling

(I'll share my answers at the below).

Have a single number you're working to move

Track it over time. It doesn't have to be the amount of money in your bank account.
Start with smaller problems.

Write down your bet

I'm going to do X, I expect Y. It's going to be an improvement from my past attempts because Z.
I'm going to invest this amount of money and time into this attempt.
It's called a bet because no one knows for certain this will work.


Talk with other people, share with them the good, bad and ugly. Get their honest opinions on the quality of your work and efforts. On what they think is holding you back.


Tell someone what you're trying to do. Have them check-in with you how it's going. It's scary I know. It makes it real.

Written reflection - Journaling

Reflect on your days and actions, look at your behavior. If you're repeating yourself, your actions over and over, it'll come up in your journaling.

My answers

Single number

I'm focused on establishing my content creation habit. Goal: Post 2 tweets a day, and publish a newsletter every Monday.

My bet

By posting at least twice a day and sending a weekly newsletter, I expect at least 5 clients working with me within 3 months.It's going to be better from my past attempts because I've put in place a system to create content better, and faster. I'm willing to invest a $1,000 in the coming year and 5 hours a week into this attempt.


I constantly talk to people I value to hear their opinions and insight about my content. I also look at followers, impressions, likes, comment, retweets, but for now that's not my main focus.


I speak about this, I post about this, I post a weekly update.I look at my content calendar to make sure I met my goals.
My wife knows them, my friends know them.


I journal daily which has been great ROI on the 4-minutes it takes me.

You can see it's pretty easy for me at the end of the week to look at the progress I made, look at the actions I took.
Get called out if I'm not sticking to my word.
Think what I'm going to improve next week.


  • Building the life you want should be your fuel.
  • Make sure you get the right fuel for you. Are you chasing your dream or someone else's?
  • Be patient with yourself. Don't expect to get it right the first time (or the 5th).
  • Stick with it. This is a long distance run.
  • Make sure you're not crazy by using external systems.

Be systematic building the life you want!