It CAN Be Done: Let Nobody Else Tell You Otherwise - Think Deep

It CAN Be Done: Let Nobody Else Tell You Otherwise

I get emails time to time from other bloggers who have been blogging for some time, asking for advice on how they can make money from their blog and while I’m happy to give advice on that, what I also noticed was that there was a greater need as well, a need to give these bloggers encouragement and motivation just because it seemed that their dreams of making money with blogging were shattered.

Truth be told, making substantial money from blogging is a very long and arduous journey and very few will be able to make enough for a living.

It’s something that millions of people hope to do, but find themselves at odds end after time passes by, so after much debate with myself on whether or not to share my own personal story on how I came to blog (I’m a pretty private person by nature) and the financial success I’ve experienced from it, I decided in the end to write it.

And I write this not to brag or to boast.  I mention it for the sake of any other writer who wishes to express their creative ideas burning within their souls, who also face the same battle of learning how to make money from their craft – and not just only to bloggers or writers or artists in general, but to anybody pursuing whatever dream they are currently going for, who very well might be in their darkest hour, who don’t think they can press on any longer, who want to give it all up on the spot and quit – I write the following to encourage and simply remind them that it CAN be done; and to let nobody else tell you otherwise.


For those of you who don’t know me, I quit my consulting job a little over a year ago and decided to write on self improvement full time.

I loved to do it. I loved reading, writing, analyzing, coming up with new ideas, making the subject of self improvement easy to understand and more importantly, I liked taking things to the next level and sharing what I learned and applied to help me achieve all my goals with other people.

I also liked coming up with new ideas and information based on what I read and “molding” and structuring that information so that it would be clear and motivating enough to deeply affect the mind of the reader and push him/her to apply the information, in short, to inspire others to undertake the journey of investing in themselves in order to make their dreams come true.

But first, a little background information.

My family was never well off financially.  Growing up, I always remembered things to be really tight.

There were times when we didn’t have enough money to eat, but we hid it well from friends and relatives in order to save face.

There were times when we couldn’t pay the electricity bills so my brothers and I were forced to study by candlelight for our high school exams.

There was always that stretch of time before the next paycheck came when we would go hungry and there would be absolutely nothing to drink and eat except tap water and potatoes.

The feeling of acid eating away at the walls of your stomach because you could not put anything in it coupled with your body screaming for food for several days in a row while it’s trying so desperately hard to grow is not something I would ever want to experience again.

NO child should EVER have to experience that.


There were endless nights when I couldn’t sleep out of sheer hunger, so I learned to drink several glasses of tap water in an effort to fool my stomach into thinking it was full just so I could get a couple hours of sleep.

There were endless days when I was so hungry that I couldn’t concentrate in school, envying my friends and classmates, wishing with all my heart and soul that I could trade lives with them just for ONE day to see how life would be like in their shoes.

When I was about 8 years old, alone in the apartment, without even a penny in my possession, I remember it got so bad that there wasn’t anything to eat over the weekend except some potatoes with spuds growing out of them.  Food was minimal during the week.  I lied on the floor, crying my eyes out, my tears soaking through the carpet and shouted out loud the words – “I’m so hungry!”, hoping that by some miracle, God would hear my cries of hunger and  provide me with food to nourish my weak body like he did with manna for the Israelites.  When nothing manifested, I cried even harder onto the carpet.

Several minutes later, I heard a knock on my door.  I obviously didn’t want to answer it, but the person kept on knocking and wouldn’t go away.  I opened the door just a crack to see who it was.

It was my friend John.

He lived one floor beneath me.

He invited me to his apartment for no apparent reason.  I didn’t really have anything else going for me, but I didn’t want him to see that I was crying, so after some failed attempts to dissuade him in order to buy some time while I wiped the tears off my face, I accepted his out of the blue invitation and followed him.

It was strange because I was pretty sure he knew something was wrong with me, and he would usually ask what was wrong, but he didn’t this time.  No words were spoken between us as we climbed down the stairs to his apartment.  I followed him one floor down to his apartment and when I went inside, a delicious aroma in the air pierced my stomach like a sharp spear.

It was the smell of curry.

There on the dinner table, was a steaming plate of curry on white rice, with chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and peas embedded in it.

I couldn’t believe it.

John’s mother gestured to me to sit down and to eat.  She poured a can of grape soda into a yellow plastic cup and placed it beside the plate.

I couldn’t help myself.  I started wolfing down the curry as if I were in a speed eating competition.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  The plate emptied quickly and she was quick to refill it and I wolfed it down once more despite the burning sensation of hot food in my mouth.

Words cannot describe how great that curry and grape soda tasted that day and words cannot express the enormous gratitude I had for John and his mother at that moment in time. 

Did God answer my prayers?  Or did John and his mom simply hear my cries of hunger through their ceiling of the apartment as I was crying on the floor above them?  Looking back, I think it was a little bit of both.

And to this day, this experience is the sole reason why I absolutely LOVE curry so much.  I absolutely love it.  I can’t get enough of it.  I associate curry with hope in the darkest of hours; of human kindness and goodness.  People always ask why I love curry so much, but I never tell them the story behind it as it’s a bit personal for me.  This is the first time that anyone has ever heard of this story outside of myself, John, and his mother.

So why all the financial hardship?  Why all the hunger?  Why all the pains?

My father was pursuing his dream of writing and researching so the only sole provider for a family of six was my mother and while she did her best, it wasn’t enough.  I hated the fact that she came home late at 2 AM in the morning because I always feared she would fall asleep at the wheel while driving home because of being exhausted from working.

I used to severely dislike my father for his lack of family responsibility and was bitter about his underachievement and often clashed with him for that because he was the man of the house and it was his responsibility to provide for the family, but now I know what he was going through; he was pursuing his own dream – he was doing what he loved to do.

In order to escape the reality of the world I was living in, I immersed myself in books.

I went to the library and checked out hordes of books to escape and it’s through that need to escape where I developed a passion for reading.  After consuming everything of interest at the library, I turned to the first self improvement book I ever read which was Think and Grow Rich.  The thesis of the book really hit home with me because it stated that everything you needed to accomplish anything you wanted was already inside of you.  To quote the author:  “Throughout this philosophy will be found the suggestion that thought backed by desire has a tendency to transmute itself into its physical equivalent.” I clung desperately to that fact because it was all I had during that time.

And I remember the day that my life changed as if it were yesterday. 

I was 9 years old.  It was a Saturday afternoon.  There was nothing to eat so I lay in bed, trying to conserve my energy.  My thoughts began to drift to what my classmates and friends would be doing.  No doubt they were eating great food, going to the movies, and having a great time over the weekend.

Tears began streaming down my face as I started to weep at the injustice.

Was I not human too?  Did I not bleed red blood like everyone else?  Why was it that they got to live a quality life while I was stuck here on my bed on a Saturday afternoon having had no food for days with absolutely nothing to eat, with my family having no money to even pay for electricity, conserving my energy just to live another day?

It was one of the lowest points in my life, but the events that followed would change my life forever.  Something inside of me, somewhere deep inside, in a place I never knew existed, I found raw strength.  It was strength fueled partly by anger, but mostly with resolve and hope.

I made a vow to myself on that Saturday afternoon when I was 9 years of age sitting on that bed that I would NEVER  live in such conditions again.  When I married and had kids, they would NEVER have to go through similar ordeals.  My family would NOT have to suffer.  I would go to college, get that good job and live comfortably.

It was not my intention to become filthy rich. It was just to have enough for the essentials and to save for a rainy day.

I felt responsible for taking care of my current family and my future one.

I still remember how white my fingers were as I stared at my tightly clench fist that day.

Like any Korean child being brought up in the U.S, I believed my ticket out of poverty was getting into a great university and landing a great job upon graduation.

I was in middle school then so I let that motivation fuel me to study hard and get good grades and after a couple years, high school came around the corner.

I wasn’t really a bright student in high school.  Don’t get me wrong, I studied hard but for some reason, I couldn’t wrap the material around on my head if my life depended on it.  It didn’t help that my high school was ranked extremely high in terms of academics in the state either

I didn’t have the best grades or the best scores in high school, yet I set my sights on getting into the one university that received the greatest number of applications in the nation at that time and still down to this very day.

That fact alone was enough to deter me, but I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was my drive, my desire to get in, to prove to myself, that I could do it, that I had what it took, because something inside me told me that this would be my measuring stick for the rest of my life – would I lay it all on the line and go for it or would I quit in the middle of it?

This would be my big opportunity, my big ticket to break out of poverty and if I didn’t go for it, I knew I would learn a very important lesson about myself.

That I didn’t have what it took.

The fact that I was too weak mentally, that I couldn’t handle it, I knew it would haunt my every move in the future so that was enough for me to drive forward.

And there were times.

There were times when I thought I was crazy.

Who was I to stand a chance of getting into the one university that received the greatest number of applications in the United States?

There were times when I wanted to take my notebook and test prep books and throw them all out the window and give up out of frustration from all the low scores I got on the practice exams.

I hated myself for being so weak minded.

I wasn’t the brightest cookie in the cookie jar.  I struggled to get Bs and classmates ridiculed and doubted me for even thinking of applying.  Teachers went so far as to openly ridicule me in class for pursuing it, but I didn’t pay any attention to them and instead, buckled down and did the work.

I studied, borrowed test prep books from the library, stayed up late at night to study on the weekdays and weekends, and got my grades and tests scores up to average

The next part I had to tackle after the grades and tests was writing the personal essay and teachers often recommend that you get somebody to edit it, and here was a critical decision I had to make.

I knew I had written a great essay, but I feared that if I were to have somebody else proofread it and suggest editing it, (which I knew they would do as my writing never followed the “conventional rules”), that my “voice” would get lost, and the message I was ultimately trying to convey to persuade the admissions officers to let me in would become less potent.

I took a gamble and sent my essay in without having a second pair of eyes to look it over.

Keep in mind, my grades were average.
My test scores were average.
I didn’t have that many extracurricular activities.

And I was applying to the one university that received the greatest number of applications in the United States.

I waited.

And I waited.

And waited for what seemed like an eternity.

I still remember the day I found out I had gotten in.  I turned the key in my apartment mailbox and there inside was a nice big white envelope with the address from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Up until that point, I had never achieved anything worthwhile in my life so this was a big turning point for me.


Because I knew I had what it took now.

I had told myself that if I did achieve this monumental goal – that it would prove to me that I had what it took to achieve all my other future goals.

I needed this benchmark.
I needed this foundation.
I needed this victory to build off of.

When that acceptance letter was in my hand, I knew for a fact from then on that my life would change for the better.

I told a few of my friends about my acceptance letter and word subsequently spread at school.  When I stepped inside the classroom of the teacher who had ridiculed me openly before, the whole class gave me a standing ovation, that same teacher included.

To this day, I’m confident beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was the writing of my essay that got me into the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). 

This would later foreshadow my current profession.


Life was better during college.

I managed to get a job and used it to pay for some of my tuition and expenses.  Hunger wasn’t a problem anymore as I had some money to spend now on food.

Life was good.  I loved the college learning environment and everything about it.   It was so different from high school and the professors and students there were some of the brightest people I had ever met.

With the new flux of income, I was intent on transforming my wimpy 100 pound body into a force of nature so I devoured a year’s worth of information on bodybuilding, bought a weight set, and pummeled my body to pack on 70 pounds of muscle.

Weight lifting was one of the best decisions in my life.  It gave me renewed energy, self confidence, and more importantly, it gave me drive to accomplish more in my life and it didn’t hurt when it came to the ladies as well. ;)

I cannot say enough about good things about weightlifting. 

It’s one of those few activities that can literally transform a man mentally, physically, even spiritually.

Something magical happens when you begin to see yourself doing more than you ever thought possible.  Something happens when the body and face you see in the mirror begin to change in front of your very eyes.  Something happens to your mind as it begins to see that the limits of it can be pushed.

And pushed.

And pushed.

And you soon begin to realize that they were meant to be pushed.

With the newfound surge of energy and confidence weightlifting gave me, I managed to start two businesses with the time I had between classes and work which turned out to be profitable and taught me valuable lessons that I still remember to this day and applied to make money from this site.  And the great part is that one of those businesses is still providing me income down to this very day.

After graduating from UCLA at the age of 20 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, I worked as a systems analyst in a small company.  After working there for some time, I got an offer to work as a project manager for a small company and then shortly after, I got wooed by a fortune 500 company to do some consulting work.

Life was good at first, but soon my happiness started to fade.


I was following “the way”.

What was the way?

Study good in high school -> go to a good college -> get a good 9-5 corporate job -> buy a nice car -> move up the corporate ladder -> get married-> buy a house in the suburbs-> raise 2.5 kids -> retire with 401k.

I remember thinking “Was this all there was?”
Was this what I was working so hard for all these years?
To be going on a path that was laid by those around me?

I was going through the process that was expected of me and I was not happy.

Then something happened in life that I won’t get into (as it’s too personal), but it forced me to take a step back and look at my life 40 years down the road.

I didn’t like what I saw.

I was making pretty good money at the time.  The funny thing was when I started getting all the money from working full time, I had no desire to buy the things I wanted when I was younger. I think it was because having the means to do so was enough for me, knowing that I could buy it if I wanted to.  It was enough for me to conquer it mentally.

It was at that moment in time that I understood the futility of conforming to what everyone said or expected you should do.

For those of you who are Ayn Rand fans, I felt as if I was Peter Keating in The Fountainhead, for the majority of my life, bending myself to the wills of those around me, with no center, no foundation of my own.

I was following the way and got praised and complimented for it, but deep down inside I knew this was not for me and I knew for a fact that there were many other people out there who felt the same way.

I felt empty.  As if someone had taken their hand and reached down deep within me and ripped the very essence away from my soul.

I had to take a stand so after working there for some time in order to save a substantial amount of money, I quit.

Was I scared of quitting?

I’m not going to lie.  I was scared.  But I alleviated that fear by working there for some time in order to save money to keep me afloat after I quit.

The moment I turned in my resignation and walked out of the building, I felt free.  I felt free as a bird flying across the sky on a bright sunny summer day.

But I did not know how I was going to make money to survive.  All I knew was that I was not pursuing my passion. I was not pursuing my dream.

I then decided to do what I loved doing best.


More specifically, to write about my passion for self improvement, which has helped me achieve all the goals I set for myself down to this very day.

I wanted to share my knowledge through my writing with the world, but I didn’t know how.

Enter blogs.

I’ve heard of them before, but I never really looked into it.  As I learned more about it, I knew this would be the perfect vehicle to carry my writing for me.

I loved to write.  It was the one activity where I would be totally immersed in, oblivious to the world around me and in sheer ecstasy while doing.  It was so natural for me that the words flowed out of my mind onto the keyboard like a river.

Looking back in my life, I can see that writing was always my calling. 

Ever since the second grade, teachers have praised my writing for some odd reason and now I’m beginning to understand why.  I had always looked forward to writing assignments in school.  Even my English professor at UCLA liked my style of writing and actually encouraged me to continue writing that way.  (I had trouble in that class as I was writing academic papers which I didn’t like, but that’s a whole other story.)

I felt as if a part of me was in everything I wrote.

With the newfound knowledge of blogs in hand, I wanted to set up a site with my own blog.  I knew basic html, but I didn’t know php.

Slowly, but surely though, I read all the information and started to learn it and put things into motion.

I got my site set up near the end of July 2006 and uploaded my first article.

My very first article, How To Find What You Love to Do, had over 15,000 visitors from all over the world during the first two days and I got hundreds of emails from people thanking me profusely for writing it.  That was such a sweet victory for me as I was working on that one particular article for months, carefully sculpting it to perfection.

And what I liked about that particular piece was that it was different from all the other articles on the subject.

I liked being different, different in the sense that it was of finer high grade quality but more importantly, it was structured, analytical, and showed step by step applicable information instead of leaving the reader hanging with absolutely nothing but a good feeling.

Most of the information out there is on either end of the spectrum.

Either it’s cliché advice you hear everywhere or it’s advice that’s too idealistic to work in the real world.

I wanted my writing to be applicable in the real world, to be very easily understood, to provoke people into action, to apply what they’ve read, to find the answers on their own, to encourage them, and to take charge of their own lives.

That was the spark that started it all. 

I wanted to add more value to people’s lives.  I wanted them to learn from the mistakes I made and from the information I read from hundreds, if not thousands of books during the course of a decade that have helped me to achieve all my goals.

Money wasn’t my primary motive.  It was to help people through my writing by making things that we constantly hear easy to understand because I think along with writing, one of the things I consider myself very skilled at, is taking complex information and structuring it and “translating” it into everyday language to get people to really and truly understand the material in order for them to effectively apply it.

While reading hundreds of self improvement books over the course of a decade, I noticed a disturbing trend.

There were tons of books that just gave out sound advice but never took the time to elaborate and say why.

For example, I didn’t like how people always said focus on a goal. Why focus? I wanted to explain that concept more clearly. That led me to write my unstoppable power of focus article.

I was also sick and tired of hearing advice such as “just believe”.  I wanted to know how do you believe?  Nobody wrote anything on that so that’s what drove me to write that article.

I was so sick of people saying follow your passion without giving specific advice on how to find it in the first place. That’s what led me to write my very first article.

The way I saw it, I wanted to write the information that people WANTED, but were NEVER GIVEN.

And I saw that it was my duty was to discover that information and give it to the masses.

I didn’t want to regurgitate information.  Anybody can write about self improvement with advice such as “Just Do It” or “5 Ways to Think Positive” or “Never Give Up”.  I hated that kind of information because it was so general, cliché, vague, and was heard over a million times.

I wanted to know more of why and more importantly how.

I wanted to delve deeper in the subject of self improvement and goal achievement.

I wanted to be different.

I wanted to take the subject of self improvement and goal achievement to the NEXT level. 

Months passed.  I kept on writing and was making decent money from Google Adsense and from other Internet businesses I had set up.  Traffic was increasing as my readers promoted my blog via word of mouth after reading my articles.  I was also surviving by paying the bills with the money I had saved during my years in school and from working (growing up poor can teach you great saving habits.)

I had the foresight to see that I didn’t want to depend on Adsense as the main income source so I wanted to write a book as my primary source of income.  The question was what to write about?

The first version of making money from blogging came in the form of Google Adsense.  Write a blog and throw some Adsense code on there and get a ton of traffic and you’ll make money.

That’s the old way of making money with blogs.

I wanted to find a new way of making money and I figured I would offer a product on my site and I think that’s what bloggers should do to complement their site.

They should leverage their blog to offer a product or service conducive to their skills/talents that complement their blog.

To me, this was the new way of making money from blogs. 

And once this reaches scale, it becomes more efficient.

I took some time to think about it.

I wanted this book to be something different, something unique, something that would take the self improvement industry to the next level – a magnum opus if you will, that would set a new standard.

What was my first book?  My first book was The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich.

I knew for a fact that millions of people read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and I always wondered if other people were able to discern what the secret was that Napoleon Hill mentioned in the introduction of his book.  It puzzled me that nobody really went to go find out what the secret was so I took it upon myself to find the answer.

For those of you unfamiliar with Think and Grow Rich, it was a bestselling book written by Napoleon Hill who spent over 20 years interviewing over 500 successful men and women, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, and many others in an effort to discover exactly how they were able to achieve their respective goals.

What he found was that they all utilized the exact same method to achieve their goals, but he did not directly state what it was.  Rather, it would be a secret that he would allude to in his book so he left several clues in his book to help the reader find out what this secret was.

One of the things that I loved to do was read massive amounts of information in a subject of interest and to make new connections and discoveries that other people don’t necessarily see (a trait of an INTP/ENTP).  It’s just how my brain operates so this project was right up my alley and I knew I had the talents, skills, and passion to successfully execute it.

When I discovered the hidden secret, it hit me like a lightning bolt and that’s EXACTLY how Napoleon Hill said it would be discovered. 

I had just found the natural process of goal achievement.

And this is such a simple, yet profound discovery because we were all led to believe that it is always something outside of us that we need.

The truth is, you already have everything within you that you need.

You have a natural success mechanism already built within you and the key is to understand exactly what that is and how you can use it. 

Why was I so sure that I had discovered this natural success mechanism?

I looked back at all the goals I set for myself and saw that I’ve applied the Hidden Secret to achieve them.  I’ve also read hundreds of successful autobiographies, and saw that they’ve all applied the Hidden Secret to achieve their respective goals as well, without even knowing it, because it’s the natural process of goal achievement.

I went on to write the book where I explained my analysis and logic using the clues Napoleon Hill gave and from the examples cited in his book.  It got fantastic reviews from readers and it was from selling this book on my blog that I was able to generate substantial revenue from it.

This is a picture of the check I got in the mail yesterday.

And this doesn’t even include the income made from Google Adsense last month in February as well.

I also do some consulting work for individuals, CEOs, small business owners, and have recently been asked to give some speeches which should bring in even more income as well.

And did I mention that I was able to generate this kind of income without spending a penny on advertising for my book?

That’s right.


No money spent on a PR campaign.
No money spent on a book tour.
No money spent on Google Adwords.

Absolutely ZERO money spent on advertising my book.

And for the inevitable critics out there who might point out that I only made money by writing a book about how to get rich, here’s what I have to say to them.

1.  The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich is NOT a book about getting rich (although you could use it to get rich).  It’s a book showing you what the natural process of goal achievement is within you that Napoleon Hill mentioned in his book.

Once you realize what it is, you’ll discover that you used it to achieve your past goals in life without even knowing it.

2.  I challenge you to write a book that offers a big enough paradigm shift AND can garner the high praise that it got from readers that made it a worldwide word of mouth phenomenon AND sell as many copies as I did without spending a SINGLE PENNY on advertising.

The old joke about getting rich by selling a book on how to get rich is flawed because even if you were to write a book about how to get rich, how would you market it? 

Where would you find people to show the book to?

How would you convince people to buy it?

Would it be good enough for people to spread via word of mouth?

Or would it be like those other get rich books that tell you to build assets, save 10% per paycheck, invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, start your own business, etc?

The reason my book was able to sell so well was that it became a worldwide word of mouth phenomenon.

eBay sellers were telling all their customers to buy my book.
People were evangelizing it to all their friends.
Bloggers who read it promoted it to their readers.
Business owners were telling all their business partners to pick it up and read it.

How did I know they were doing that?

They all personally emailed me to tell me so.

The truth is, anybody can write.

Few people can write well.

Fewer people can write material that changes people’s lives.

Even fewer people can sell that kind of material.

Even fewer people can sell that kind of material without spending a PENNY on advertising.

That’s why the majority of writers/artists are so poor.  They spend all their time writing and don’t know how to market or sell.

Writers write books.

Entrepreneurs sell books.

Look at Jack Canfield and his Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.  The material inside the book wasn’t even any of his own material. It was just a compilation of stories.

What made it such a big success was his tenacity in marketing and selling the book to publishers.

He was rejected by 40 publishers and racked up HUGE credit card debt in the process but was finally able to sell the book to publishers.  The series has sold well over one million copies worldwide.

Not many people can sell books.

Selling books is one of THE toughest businesses to crack into.  It’s like trying to break into the acting world.  VERY few people can do it.

Going back to the issue of making money by blogging – writing and putting up some Google Adsense on your blog and hoping people will click the ads is the old way of making money from blogging.

And if you think about it carefully, if you’re making a lot of money with Google Adsense on your blog, it’s a sign that the advertising is more appealing than your writing.

Your writing cannot capture the readers attention so they click away.  And sure, you can supplement that revenue with selling advertising space, but that’s not much either.

The new way to make money from your blog is to offer products/services that are of higher quality that complement the content of your blog

And it’s not just about adding another source of income.

It’s about going to the next level for your readers.

If you’ve done a good job of providing value for free to your readers, then take your knowledge and skills to the next level and provide your readers with even more value, value that they will gladly pay for

Take the time and energy to build a remarkable product once and set systems in place to sell it to as many people as possible in order to enrich and add value to their lives.

I know what the next question is going to be and that’s – How?

How’d you do it Brian?

I applied the Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich.  That’s how I did it.

The process in which Bill Gates made his fortune, the process in which an obese man loses weight, the process in which an Olympic athlete goes through to win the gold medal, the process that they use to accomplish their respective goals are all the same because they all utilize the natural success mechanism found in all human beings.

Even though their end goals are different, the process they engage in to achieve their respective goals are all the same.

Think about it.  I know it doesn’t look like that on the surface because the end goals are so different, but mark my words, the process they use is the same.

Those who understand what the Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich know this as fact.  I can’t explain it all here because it will take the entire book to do so.

My desire was not rooted in the fact that I wanted to make a lot of money.  It was rooted in the fact that I wanted to save as many people as I could from the “self improvement rat race”.

What you’ll find about this book that makes it different from all the other self improvement books out there is that it KILLS ALL addiction to self improvement, so you don’t feel like a rat spinning its wheels, devouring book after book after book and tape after tape after tape and seminar after seminar after seminar, looking for that one thing you know and feel is missing – that key that unlocks it all and puts it all together.

Most people are so addicted to self improvement books, always thinking that the next book or CD or seminar has the answer they were looking for and what’s more, they rely on them to pump them up in order to take action on their goals like a drug.

But after they go through a substantial amount of information, they begin to realize everybody’s saying the same things, only in different words.

If you look at all the books out there, a lot of authors just beat around the bush and give the same old cliché advice.  It’s all fluff.  Nobody wants to provide the “meat” but that’s exactly what my book does. It goes straight to the source to reveal your natural success mechanism so you don’t have to rely on books and tapes all the time to pump you up to take action.  You’ll be able to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to help you naturally achieve your goal.

Haven’t you ever noticed that the people who are successful in one discipline, whether it be business, martial arts, or sports can apply what made them successful in that one area to an entirely different area and succeed in that as well?

It’s because the process they’re using is all the same, despite the different areas they apply it to in their lives.

You can apply what made one person successful in one area of life to another simply because they all make use of the same natural success mechanism.

Each one of us has a natural success mechanism built within ourselves. 

The key is to understand what that process is and how we can initiate it within ourselves.  That’s exactly what The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich is all about.


Going back, I’ll be honest.  I didn’t know exactly how I was going to make money in the beginning. I only knew that if I loved what I was doing, I would make the money and I think that’s where a lot of people get hung up on.  They know what they want to do, but they don’t see the how.

The how can only be shown to you when you undertake the journey. 

We don’t have the foresight to see but when we take that first step, we set into motion a chain of events that appear to show us that how part.

Just start and everything will come together.  I can’t tell you how, but it will.

It’s been about a year and a half since I started blogging and it’s been about a year since I released my book and there was so much I had to do in that time.  Think of the idea of the book, write it, edit it, publish it, write the copy, etc.

I also had to find knowledge on everything from marketing and sales and I didn’t really study that until the beginning of 2007.

Do what you love and the money will follow, IN TIME.

They always forget to leave that part about time out don’t they?

It’s important to know that it WILL take time and if it IS taking time, KNOW you are on the right track because IT SHOULD.

In making this choice of blogging and writing for a living, I can tell you that I disappointed many people in my life.

You’ll find that everyone always wants to define your life and everything is fine as long as you stay “you” in their eyes, but when you start to break out of that image they have of you, EVERYONE will try and stop you, some out of genuine concern, and some out of jealousy.

The sad reality is that a lot of people in your life will put on the façade that they want you to succeed, but they secretly want you to fail.  They want you to fail to justify their own cowardice for not going for it. 

Everyone will tell you to be “normal”, to be like them.  Most people stay the same their whole lives and don’t change.  They’re too afraid to.  Everyone is counting on you to fail so they can prove to themselves they were right for not going for it because they would have failed too.

Most people are going to think you can’t do it.

But don’t be discouraged.  Forge ahead and prove them wrong.

I knew writing was something I was destined to do (I don’t believe in destiny, I just use it to convey the feeling I had).

I’m a firm believer that each one of us has something great to offer the world if we only take the time to sit down and listen to ourselves.

I believe there is something great inside each and every one of us.

I believe we’ve been led to believe that what’s outside of us is greater but we forget the simple fact that everything outside of us came from within, so that power within must be greater than everything without.

The funny thing was that I did not plan to go from blog to book.  I didn’t think I could write a book because I was giving my best stuff out on my blog.

And that’s what’s so great.  Empty your best stuff on your blog and then you’re forced to go to the next level with your book.  Why buy the book if it’s on the same level as your blog?

You’ve got to over deliver.

What I also want to tell you is that there WILL be times when you will doubt yourself, when life will bring you down on your knees and load what seems like 100 elephants on your back.   There is no happy go lucky journey.  It’s up to you to press on despite the obstacles.

One of the most important things I must emphasize during the journey is patience and control of your finances. They go hand in hand.  You don’t need cable TV, the latest video game console, the latest car, laptop and cell phone, etc.

Delay the gratification.

So many people in our society fall into the trap of consumerism because it’s SO EASY to do it.

Advertisers are preying on people’s insecurities, telling them this car, this cologne, this jacket will be all they need and then they find that it’s not, so they try to fill the void with more and more, all the meanwhile racking up more and more credit card debt, limiting their freedom to do the things they really want in the process.

People have been following the materialism path set by society, but they feel that something is wrong after going down it – something that they can’t really articulate.  They have it all according to society – the house, the beautiful wife, kids, white picket fence, new car, money for retirement, they have everything they “should” have to be happy, but they feel as if there’s something missing, something that wasn’t filled and they’re slowly beginning to realize they’ve been misled.

Our society is too obsessed with the idea that “more material goods is better” and as a result, we have lost proper perspective.

It has conditioned us to constantly look outside ourselves to determine our own self worth and as a result, people measure each other by what they have on the outside, not by who they are on the inside.

Growing up in a poor family, it would’ve been really easy for me to splurge when I started making money working full time, but I realized that it was all for nothing.

So what if you get the new phone or car?  You’re going to be bored with it a week later, plus be enslaved in debt.

For those of you who wish to quit your job and work for yourself, you should do so, but SAVE.

Do not be a slave to your job.  Make it a slave for you.

More importantly, be patient. It will take longer than you think.

I know this isn’t what people really want to hear because it’s not quick, fast, and sexy, but it’s the truth.

Consistent motivation and inspiration is necessary.  That’s why I came up with sending M.I.T’s to my newsletter subscribers and judging from the hundreds of emails I’ve gotten from people around the world telling me how it’s helped them, I have no doubt it will help you too.

There will be times where you’re down and you feel like it’s not going to work out, but those are the times that make you stronger.

Anybody who tells you that they haven’t faced low times during the pursuit of their dreams is an outright liar.

We all have those low times, yet nobody wants to hear about them.

Everybody wants the end result but let me tell you, those low times are there for a reason and you must overcome them.

People are used to “classifying” other people.  You are this and that.  But when you pursue your dreams you are climbing out of the “box” that people label you as, and that makes them very uncomfortable.  They will try to push you back in so resist.

Climb out of the box.
Defy classification other than your own.

Let nobody discourage you from pursuing your dream.  Some people will tell you that you need “this” and “that”, but realize that it is YOU who will get “this” and “that”.


It’s up to you to do it.  Nobody can do it for you.  You have to do it yourself.

So take a stand.
Make the choice.
Make the decision.

Question the norm. Go against the flow.  Live on the edge between complacency and risk. Push yourself.  Society attacks dreamers.

We have been conditioned to not think for ourselves.  It is the greatest tragedy of mankind to not fully utilize the magnificent creation that lies between our ears.  Rather, we give it away to mindless entertainment.  We need alone time to THINK.

Turn off the computer, the TV, the radio, tell your friends you will not go out tonight, and just sit down and think of the life you really want to live.  Stop getting caught up in all the hype.

You don’t need the fancy car.
You don’t need the cool clothes.
You don’t need anything outside of yourself to validate yourself.

Work from within first, then without.

Don’t try to be like 99% of the population who work it backwards by trying to impress other people with expensive material goods, while all the meanwhile going deeper and deeper in debt.

Work quietly on yourself and everything you want will manifest in time on the outside.  Impatience is the slayer of bringing your dreams into reality.

Make mistakes.

If you’re not making them, it’s a sign you’re not taking enough action.  I could’ve waited when things were perfect, but they never were going to be and each day I waited and took no action, my fear and doubt grew larger.

Action is the cure.  Take it.

I cannot say enough about focusing on ONE idea.  I had so many ideas I wanted to pursue but I stuck to writing on the subject of self improvement and goal achievement and it has paid off very well for me.

Pursue your passion. Do what you love and the money will follow, IN TIME.

Don’t try to run before you can walk. Think baby steps. Keep in mind your end goal, but set small goals and accomplish those small goals to fuel your growth.

Make reading a priority.  I could not have done what I have accomplished without reading.  Everything you need to learn is out there. You just have to go read it.  If you don’t use your gift of reading, you’re no better off than a person who is illiterate.

You can do it.  Goal achievement is a natural process in humans.  Think back to all the goals you’ve achieved.  The process you used to achieve them were all the same.  You just never realized it.

The guy who loses a ton of weight, the person who writes the bestseller, the method in which Michael Dell started his company, they are all the same.

Not everybody wants to lose weight.  Not everyone wants to write a book.  Not everyone wants to start their own business, but the process they all go through to achieve their respective desired goals is EXACTLY the same.

That’s the beauty of the individual.

We are all different and we all desire to do different things and this simple fact adds richness and variety to the cornucopia of life.

Today is the best day.  Do all you can today.  It may seem like for a stretch of time that nothing is getting done but one day, all those things you’ve done before will add up in a hurry.  The seeds you planted will grow and you will start reaping what you’ve sowed.

Establish your own personal “Rocky” baseline.

If you’ve ever watched Rocky I there’s this scene where Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone), a regular blue collar worker, is in bed with his wife, thinking about his upcoming match with Apollo Creed, the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion (Rocky had been given a shot for promotional purposes).  Rocky was really thinking twice about his match with Creed, about how he didn’t think he could win at all.

The dialogue here between himself and his wife is so powerful that I cannot do it justice simply by paraphrasing it so I’m going to type it verbatim.

“I can’t do it.”  (Rocky)

“What?” (Adrian –  Rocky’s wife)

“I can’t beat him.”



“I’ve been out there walking around, thinking, I mean who am I kidding, I ain’t even in the guy’s league.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“You worked so hard.”

“Yeah, it don’t matter cuz I was nobody before.”

“Don’t say that.”

“Aw c’mon Adrian.  It’s true.  I was nobody.  But that don’t matter either you know?  Cuz I was thinking, it really don’t matter if I lose this fight.  It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head either.  Cuz all I want to do is go the distance.  Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see and that bell rings and I’m still standing, I’m going to know for the first time in my life you see, that I weren’t  just another bum from the neighborhood.” 

And of course he did go the distance with Creed.  All 15 rounds.

And even though it was just a fictional movie, Sylvester Stallone based it on a match he saw with an underdog fighter going the distance with the great Muhammad Ali and even knocking him down once in the process. He was so inspired by the match that he went home and wrote the entire script of Rocky in a matter of hours.

I think each one of us needs our own Rocky moment that serves as a benchmark, as a foundation, as a personal test and if we succeed in passing that test, we know we can draw upon that victory when times are tough.

And times will get tough.

Sylvester Stallone wanted to be cast as Rocky in his script and refused huge sums of money that would allow otherwise – money that he desperately needed to survive.  It got to the point that he had to sell his dog, his best friend at the time just to buy food to eat.  But he persevered and the producers caved and with the money he made from the movie, Stallone bought his dog back.

It all really begins in the mind.  Your mind is the greatest weapon you have.  Far more powerful than all the nuclear weapons in the world combined for out of the mind, the nuclear weapon was derived.

Your mind can grow fear and doubt like no other.  It can also slay fear and doubt like no other.  Choose the latter.

Learn how to use your mind or it will use you.  There are no instruction manuals, but the articles on this site and the newsletter and the book can shed much greater insight on it.

When you start off on your dreams, nobody’s going to think you can do it and that’s fine.  It’s human nature.

Go ahead and prove them wrong.

There will ALWAYS be critics.

Every successful actor/actress always carries around that clipping of that scathing review that was done on them in the past which gave them the fuel to keep on pushing forward to where they are today.

Stop wasting your youth thinking that life only gets worse as you grow older.

Invest your time now so that you can enjoy life as you get older.

The majority of people don’t have the guts to lay it all on the line and pursue what they want to do so when they see someone go for it all when they haven’t, they WILL pull out all the stops to prevent you from proving them wrong.

Resist their attempts to stop you and push on.

Man creates heaven or hell in his own mind.  It really is all in your mind.  Life is all but a battle in the mind because in the mind, your reality is created.

Start with yourself.  Develop yourself to the best of your ability. Manage your time wisely. Develop discipline.  Develop self control.  Delay gratification.

Mastery of life starts with mastery of self.

Everything you need to accomplish anything you want is already inside of you.

Pursue that dream today.  Get started today.  Make the phone call.  Draft the business plan.  Head to the gym.

Instead of going out all the time with friends and staying the same person, devote some time to self improvement.  Be the best you can be.  You know that saying “just be yourself”? You know why it doesn’t work?  It’s because you’re not being your “best self”.  Be your best self by undergoing your own program of self improvement.

Nobody can force you to do it.  You must choose to do it.

Train yourself. Nobody can do it for you.

We can give you all the information but when it’s all said and done, YOU must take the journey and I promise you from the bottom of my heart, to the deepest part of my soul, to my innermost core, that it will be one that you will NEVER, EVER regret,

Go for your dreams.  Dreams are indeed the spice of life.  Let nobody tell you it can’t be done.  Do not let the cancer of negative thinking overtake your mind.  Your mind is the most precious asset you have.  Guard it with your life.

Most people base their decisions on how other people will think of them if they go through with it because the worry too much about what others think of them.

Don’t be like that.  Don’t live your life in chains.

You’ve got to lay it all on the line.  Up to a certain point, you can work on your dream but there’s a time when you have to take that leap of faith.  You have to burn the bridges. Go full bore.  100%.  Have the courage.

The older you get, the more society will start to pressure you to conform to its’ vision, and for those who succumb to that pressure, they too will pressure you to conform to society’s vision as well.

Somewhere along your journey, there will be a moment in time when you will hit ROCK BOTTOM.

It will feel as if life landed the hardest right hand to your face and you crumpled to the floor, devoid of any energy, tears in your eyes, wanting to wallow in self pity and curse the world for your misfortune.

This will prove to be the ultimate test for you.

Will you give up?

Or will you press on?

Should you choose to press on, you’ll realize that things will never get worse than they did at that moment in time.

And that you passed the test.

You passed it with flying colors.

Man does not succeed alone.  There are a ton of people I must thank. My family, those who emailed me with kind remarks, WordPress developers and plug in creators, readers of my blog, my newsletter subscribers, those who stuck by me ever since my first article and told countless people about my site, I could never have done it without each and every one of you so I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I really mean that.  I truly do.  You know who you are.

Without each and every one of you, I would be nothing.

Now forget about blogging.
Forget about writing.
Forget about books.

What do YOU want to do?

Start your own business?
Lose the weight?
Paint the portraits?

It’s all yours for the taking.

Not everybody wants to blog.
Not everyone wants to write.
Not everybody wants to paint.

That’s the beauty of the individual.  We all want different things.

Find out what it is that YOU want to do and GO FOR IT.

And if you don’t know exactly what that is, don’t worry.

Let it come naturally.

In the meantime, just be the best person you can be.  Do whatever nourishes your soul.

Be the best husband/wife, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, student/teacher, boss/worker you can be.

You will eventually find it and when you do, GO FOR IT.

Live the life YOU want, not the ones that others have laid before you.

Do not be swayed by other’s opinions.

To live the life you design and choose for yourself is one of the greatest things you can do to honor your power of choice.  Take a stand.  Make a choice. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Some people after reading all this might think that they should start blogging too, BUT I urge you to stop and reflect.

Blogging isn’t for everyone.

What most readers who don’t realize about writing or blogging is the time and effort it takes to consistently  think of an article topic, write it, edit it, etc.

The whole process takes hours and bloggers do it absolutely for free, for love of the subject, for love of serving others.  My respect and admiration goes out to the true bloggers out there, adding value to the lives of others, serving them with their own sweat, blood, and tears.

The reason why blogging worked for me was because it was incorporating my natural strengths, talents and passions.

Perhaps your strengths, talents, and passions lie elsewhere.

My advice is not to immediately jump on the blogging bandwagon as it might be tempting to after reading this, but to find something that conforms to your individual personality.

Most people conform to the wishes of those around them and in that sense, they never truly live.

Listen to your own voice. Follow your own calling. Dare to break free of society’s cookie cutter expectations of you.

Every one of us has that inkling within them of what they feel they were truly born to do.

Even if you have no idea of what that is, there exists such work for you.  Sit still.  Listen to it.  Pursue it.  It is something especially tailor made for YOU and YOU alone that nobody else but you can do BUT YOU.

But people may complain about all the problems they have going on in their lives right now.

Don’t think FOR A SECOND that you alone have problems.



Even the people who look like they don’t have any.

Especially the people that look like they don’t have any.

The most important thing to remember is:

What are you going to DO about it?

Society thrives on conformity and discourages individuality.

Society is structured so that we are constantly caught in between our dream and our day and I think E.E. Cummings said it best with this quote:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E.E. Cummings

Most people know what they could’ve done with their lives – the books they could’ve wrote, the songs they could’ve sung, the art they could’ve created, the lives they could’ve changed, but society has unknowingly tied their hands in favor of keeping every one in line with the system, denying them their chance to express their gifts to the world.

When we were young, we knew we could do anything but we just didn’t know it on a conscious level.

We just knew deep down inside.  

However, as we got older, restrictions were put on us.  We were given negative feedback.

Layers of fear and doubt of our own abilities started to wrap around us, stifling the natural process of goal achievement that we intuitively knew was within us until we forgot that it was ever there in the first place.

As a result, we can see that the human spirit has become weak in today’s society.

Nobody wants to work hard now.  Everyone wants it easy.

Press a button, pop a pill, instant microwave dinners.

We have lost the strength that defines the human spirit.

Every person who has felt that inkling within them that they can do SO much more with their lives IS RIGHT.

Listen to that feeling.  Let it out. You do have a natural power to achieve anything you truly desire.

Don’t settle for anything less.

I have spent the better part of my life figuratively taking my fist and punching through those layers to get back to the natural source of goal achievement, the source that I firmly believe is in each and every one of us, but can only be accessed by oneself.

I considered it my duty to do so, to shine the light and show everybody that the power they have been so desperately seeking has been within them this entire time and to tell them exactly what it is and how they can utilize it to achieve the goals they truly desire.

All I or anyone can do for that matter is point to you and say you have it within you as well. You know you do.  You know you do.

When you can conquer yourself, you can conquer anything.

Now it’s you who must take your fist and plow through to reach down deep inside and harness the power that you knew was within you this entire time.

Cut off the chains you have imposed on yourself.  Let others define you no more.  Live your life knowing you can accomplish the dreams you desire.

When you’re on the journey, it will seem as if all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.

When you see where all the pieces start to fit, PUT THEM THERE. 

Once you achieve your dreams, you’ll realize a strange calmness overcomes you and it is in that precise moment, that you truly get a full glimpse of the power that you knew was always within you this entire time.

Looking back, I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone in the world.  The poverty, the hunger, the bad times, it all helped me to become the man I am today and I am extremely grateful for it.

I’m glad I went through all those hardships and I think that’s something that’s needed, particularly with the kids growing up in today’s generation.

I think we need hardships in our lives because only then do we have access to that raw strength, that strength that ultimately defines the human spirit.

I also think every one of us who wants to make significant change in our lives needs that breaking point.  That point in their lives where we just can’t take it anymore.

This breaking point will come in different times and in different forms for a lot of people like the guy who is so fed up with all the office politics at his job and quits in order to start his own business or the guy who sees his reflection of a pathetic, empty, shell of a man in the eyes of woman he loves, with that love not being reciprocated and vows to become a better man because of it.

I distinctly remember in school, loving to encourage my friends and classmates to go for their dreams.  There was this innate drive in me to do so, especially when others would try to put them down for it.  Perhaps it was because I needed to believe in them, so I could believe in me.  I needed to believe that others could do achieve their dreams so that I could do it, so that I could escape the lifestyle in which I grew up.

I want to share with you a quote from a fellow writer whose books you probably read in high school that mirrored my thoughts when I started this adventure.

“I had this passion – this dedication to be something – to do something with my writing.  I’m very proud to flip back to my blue and white annual, when I graduated from L.A High School in summer 1938, when I was seventeen years old.  They asked me how I was going to predict my future.  And underneath my picture, I had them put “Headed for Literary Distinction” How in the hell did I know that?  How in the hell did I know that – because I was nowhere.  I was nowhere at all.  And the last night at school I went up on top of the school – it was sunset, and I was playing a part in a play – and I cried.  Because I knew it was going to be years before anything happened to me.  But I had to make it happen.  I had to make it happen.  I had to believe in my passion.  So that’s the way it finally turned out.”

Whose quote was this?

It was Ray Bradbury’s.

And I think every one of us struggles with these kinds of questions behind closed doors:

How can I know if I can do it?
What if it doesn’t work out?
Do I really have what it takes?

We battle fears, worries, doubts, insecurities with ourselves on a daily basis and go out to the world wearing a mask on our face, pretending everything is all right, wondering if everyone else is thinking the same thing which they very well are – only that they’re wearing a mask too so it’s hard for you to tell.

When you start succeeding, you’re going to encounter some negativity.  Don’t be put off by it.  It’s human nature.  People will project their envy into hate.  Pay no attention to them.  It’s natural for others to begin to despise you because they see in you what they know they could’ve done too.  But on the flip side, others will be positively inspired by you as well.

When you first tell people what you really want to do, they’ll say you’re crazy.
When you actually accomplish it, they’ll say you’re lucky.
When you start making money with it, they’ll say you’re greedy.

Whatever you do to advance will undoubtedly be met by hostility by some of those around you.

Don’t be limited by their negativity and ignorance.


Through this experience, I have come to find one of the best uses for Brian Kim.

I feel as if I have been given the gift to write, to clearly communicate ideas in a better way, to take ideas to the next level, to fill in the gaps between everyday cliché advice and idealistic advice to produce real world applicable information that people all over the world  can apply in real life, to clear the confusion of self improvement, to free people from the self improvement rat race by going back to nature and getting to the root of things, to think of new ideas, to take society to a whole new level of thinking, to show the world how they can access their natural success mechanism and throw off the shackles imposed by society and their fears and doubts, and live the lives they truly want, not the ones that others have been laid before them.

I love to read about self improvement, to analyze it, to make connections between things that have never been made before, to create brand new ideas that will help people live up to their full potential and to explain it to people with extreme clarity so they too, can benefit from these new ideas, in short, to help society by offering new perspectives in order to take people to a higher level of understanding of their own potential.

Imagine if we all found the best use for ourselves – the books we would write, the movies we would produce, the art we would create, the lives that would change.

It is the story of the human race to triumph, to learn, to grow, to inspire one another to reach our full potential and once again come to the realization that the true power we are seeking was always in each and every last one of us.

And now I understand exactly why I was so attracted to inspirational stories and movies, where the protagonist, against all odds from within and without, defies it all and unites his vision with reality, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, the essence of the human spirit, that we can do it and that it was my mission to figure out exactly how how to unlock the natural success mechanism and in turn, show millions around the world how they can unlock theirs.

And it is worth the journey.  The ups and downs.  I would not trade anything for it in the entire world. Knowing that you’re great at something, loving to do it everyday, and having those skills, talents, and abilities contribute to helping millions of people from all over the world – that is something money cannot buy and I would still do it even if I were not paid a single penny like I did when I first started.

Nature has endowed man with a natural process of achievement and if a man undertakes the pursuit of his dreams using this process, nature will undoubtedly crown him with success.

The world you dream of late at night, the world you vividly see in your mind, the life you truly desire to have, it can be won.

Let nobody else tell you otherwise.

Invest in yourself and make it happen.

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