A Simple Way To STOP Messing Up Your Life & Business

  • Stop needless struggling…
  • Solve persistent problems…
  • Triumph over adversity…
  • Boost your performance…
  • Fast-forward your success…
  • Make Your Life A Masterpiece…
  • And MORE!

Today we’re switching gears (temporarily)…

You see, yesterday something happened to me…

More important: telling you about it can…

Radically Improve Your Life

Here’s the story…

I’ve been struggling with a single issue in my business for eons…

Now – don’t go jumping to conclusions… it’s nothing serious… in fact in the grand scheme of things it’s quite insignificant.

But it’s lingered longer than it should.

Kind of like an annoying jingle you can’t get out of your head.

Nonetheless yesterday I finally got…

Fed Up!

So… I took action.

I called one of my mentors and asked if we could meet.  I felt he’d know how to solve it once and for all.

Anyhow, my day ended yesterday at 4pm. But he couldn’t meet till 7:30pm.

With time to kill I went to the cigar bar and decided to do a root-cause analysis on this persistently persnickety problem.

OK, before we go any further – I’d like you to…

Imagine This..

You’re in your house.  You’ve got your car keys in your hand. The lights go out… power failure.

You can’t see a thing.  You stumble around in your living room, and… you drop your keys.

You look around for a moment and you realize you’re never going to find them in the dark.

But you look outside and you notice the streetlights are on.

So, in your mind, a light bulb goes off.  You think…

“Hmmm… I’m not going to sit around here in the dark and grope around, looking for my keys when there’s a light on outside.  I’m going to go out there… under the streetlight… and I’m going to look for my keys.”

Now don’t laugh… this makes a lot more sense than you might realize …

OK, so you’re out there… you’re groping around… and you’re looking for your keys.

And you’re looking and looking and your neighbor comes along and asks, “What happened?”

You say “Well…um… I dropped my keys.”

He replies “Oh, I’ll help you look for them.”

Now the two of you are down on your knees… looking for your keys… and looking…

Finally, he says to you “Um… where did you drop your keys?”

You say “Well, um, I dropped them in the house.”

Perplexed… He says “You mean to tell me that you dropped your keys in the house and your looking for them out here in the street… that doesn’t make any sense!”

You respond “Well, it doesn’t make any sense to grope around in the dark, when there’s light out here.”

Ridiculous? Yes.

Are you guilty of thinking this way? Probably… and…

More Often Than You Realize

Think about it:  Isn’t that exactly what we do when we have a problem, a difficulty, a struggle?

When we (finally) decide to fix it, we tend to look outside for the solution.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s value in getting outside opinions, solutions, and strategies.  Heck, I try to provide that to you every time I write a blog post.

But shouldn’t we first look inside?   Inside our business… Inside ourselves… Inside our minds?

Hold that thought.  Now let’s go back to me at the cigar bar.  Remember… I’m doing a root-cause analysis to kill time before my mentor arrives.

Can you guess what happens next?

If you guessed – in the 3½ hours I had on my hands… I figured out I was the cause of the problem… and there was a simple solution to it after all…

You’re Right!

So, what’s all this have to do with you?

And how does all this deliver on the bullets this post started with?

Well, I made this graphic to sum it all up for you…

Business Problems-1

Today – pick a problem…it could be personal or professional… any type will do.  But this time, instead of seeking a solution outside (books, blogs, friends, mentors, etc…) spend an hour or two thinking things through.

How could you be the cause of it?

What would you do if your life depended on solving it today and you couldn’t ask anyone for advice?

More often than not – you’ll find your answer.

When my mentor finally arrived – I told him the problem… I told him what I had figured out – the cause and the solution… And he said “I couldn’t agree with you more.”

And we spent the rest of the night swapping stories.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for today.

See you tomorrow.


To higher profits and beyond,


29 thoughts on “A Simple Way To STOP Messing Up Your Life & Business”

  1. Rich,

    I think this is a very simple, direct way to solve a problem. Yet profound. I find when i am able to simply identify what the problem REALLY is…its not that scary & makes all the difference. But i’ve never really explored the WHY. I am just getting familar with your reports and advice…i’m def interested in learning how to do a root cause analysis.

    Also, i took out of this is: “self reliance” I know ME best, the good and the bad.

    however, I do like to load up my brain with outside stuff…and then let the subconcious spit the answer out.

    sort a like on “seinfeld” What’s your little man say…everybody has a little man…you need to listen to your little man” …unfortunately mines an idiot. 🙂

    • funny james (the seinfeld reference that is)… i think it’s so easy to be seduced into believing that there is some SECRET out there… when the solution can only be found inside… i think that has to do with hoping there’s an easier way out.

    • we’ve all had experiences that parallel that jack – great example.

      i think it’s not just a matter of slowing down though… it’s about realizing you thought your way into your current challenges… and many times the only way out is to think your way out and then act on what you discover.

  2. Hi Rich,

    I agree.

    And I find that in my case, when I look inside, which I do either by journal writing or talking to myself in the car or while walking, that it’s usually a combination of:

    1. Fear
    2. Lack of Self Worth
    3. Wanting to be perfect before taking action
    4. Wanting someone’s approval or support so I don’t have
    to give it to myself

    that is stopping me.

    Which is easy to cover up by buying another book or information product

    or in my case because I’m a writer, endless editing rather than sending something out there.

    Somehow, this series of posts has helped me to really see this clearer. So thanks again.

    As somebody, somewhere, once said…

    “It’s an inside job”

    Keep writing, it’s helping lots of us


  3. I agree mate, ALL problems are solved within.
    We just don’t believe we have the answers.
    Einstein didn’t ask a body what he thought about relativity.

    Nikola Tesla did not ask his teachers how to build turbines and send electricity though microwaves.

    While mentors do have their place in life, they are there to stimulate thought not to give you answers.

    The word EDUCATION comes from the latin Educare which means to “Bring Out”

      • Amen to that mate.
        Shortcuts is what so call gurus capitalize on.

        No offense to you because you are one of the few that really over delivers, I don’t really consider you a Guru, you’re more like an MBA training on steroids to me.

        But anyhu my point is that many people try to instill the notion that you don’t have the answers because for a modest fee (and sometimes not so modest) they can give you the answers or in the light of this blog post “the key”

        And sometimes that is true, but not ALL the time.
        Certainly not once a week, which is the pitching rate to many online newsletters, nor the amazing amount of Social Media experts who btw have less than 10,000 followers, and no Youtube channel…

        It goes beyond that really, our entire social structure is made this way, you need politicians to tell you what’s you should know or not know, Psychiatrists to tell you what’s real or not, Religion to tell you what’s holy or not and the “lust list” goes on and on…

        I myself like the Buddha’s take, where the real answers are inside.

        BTW interesting you were looking for the Keys, one can’t help but wonder the keys to what am I looking for?

        Thanks for replying Rich

  4. I like it, Rich. I’m familar with the “key” story, it’s a great analogy.

    “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it” .. Henry Ford.

    There’s a fine line, isn’t there, between knowing when to “inquire within” or whether to look for external help.

    – An external perspective might provide the best answer,
    – but at least equally often, you already have all the facts & knowledge (as per your example above); but you let conditioned actions & thoughts drive the bus, instead of taking the wheel yourself.

    A very simple technique I sometimes use, when I give up on looking for my keys under the lamp-post, is; mentally look for guidance from a really significant person whom you deeply respect or admire. What would (name the person) do about (problem x).

    It doesnt need to be somebody you know. For example – which of three candidates would Churchill choose as your new operations manager; what exactly would Richard Branson think of the idea to sell new rags to window cleaners.

    Use it with any question, internally “asking” someone whose qualities and values you respect & want to model.

    The power of the technique is that YOU already know what the answer is; you know the facts, and you substantially know what the given person would do with the question. By “asking” them, you’re removing a lot of your own conditioned thoughts from the equation.

    If you don’t like the answer that emerges, its probably that the “habitual you” doesnt like or want to act upon the answer. But the Churchill or the Richard Branson (or Mandela, or whoever) within you – knows the answer, unswervingly.

    Which then give you a choice, to think & act like them, or to think & act like your old self… but at least you’ve now moved the lamp-post to where the keys are.

    (Am I making sense to anyone except myself LOL )

    I’m outta here – be good – Sean

    • You’re making a lot of sense. What you are doing is taking your decision making out of the limited self.

      You can’t find the solution to the problem because you are the problem.

      It’s a really good little mind trick. Now if you really want to go crazy, ponder the ramifications proposed by quantum physics or Jungian psychology about the practice of this “technique” then it gets interesting. Certainly a topic for a Churchill size cigar =)

      Good post mate

  5. Thanks Rich. Very timely… I have always found that asking the right questions brings me the right answers.

    Now I’m off to look within on my organization issues.

  6. I totally agree. Sometimes we forget that we don’t have to look to far for the answer because it’s closer than we think. People should really trust in themselves more. It could be a little scary sometimes to just depend on yourself, especially when you’re about to make a big decision, but we must always remember that these challenges are necessary in order for us to reach our full potential.

    P.S. I read this article http://budurl.com/762z about banishing fear from your life, and I can totally relate to it, being a scaredy cat and all. It really helps me to know that I’m not alone in this struggle for self-confidence!

  7. definitely agree with you.

    Actually just over the past few weeks, I’ve reduced my reading/learning (except this blog ofcourse) and turned my focus to journalling everyday (or often)

    Evaluate progress myself…actually apply what I learn and think things through.

    Thanks man.

  8. you really made me rethink how to find solutions to my problems. i am very guilty of looking outside for solutions.i actually do know that we are most times the cause of our problems but have never thought of getting solutions with this approach…really something to think about and start practicing .thanks for the jolt.

  9. Hi Rich,

    Not sure if I was supposed to laugh out loud whilst I was reading the key story, but I did.

    You described the scenario so well, my problems should be afraid, very afraid, because you may just have given me the solution to eradicating them quickly.

    Thanks Sally 🙂

  10. Greetings Rich and Todd;

    This is the second reading of this parable it’s much
    clearer this time around. I’ve never been afraid of the dark,
    but where I’m from the rats are as big as racoons and the
    roaches wear mountian climbing boots. So sufice it to say,
    my subconcious constraint is fear of the unforseen lurking in
    the darkness .

    Well, found my keys, thanks Rich, Jay, Todd and Brian
    for turning on the light, still quite a ways to go before I get to
    where I want to be. Will do some old school copywriter mining.
    And check for any constraints that may still be lurking, now that
    I know where to look. The Stratigic Profit light has and will
    continue to be the guiding light on this quest. Talk at you soon.

    =>Stay Frosty !

  11. Hi Rich,

    Agree. Internal thinking is hard, hard work and by far the best.

    It always amuses me when corporations hire external consultants to *fix* problems and they go in and “interview” internal staff.

    They then present the views of internal staff (the same views internal staff tell management about) but management do nothing about.


    They think the answers need to come from an external source.

    Keeps consultants busy though 🙂

    Always like your *thought* prevoking stuff.


  12. Rich – great analogy to remind us what’s important and where to find answers.

    It resonates with this quote, “We went in search of the enemy and found out it was us.” Ignoring our true selves and not listening to what I call our ‘inner fluency’ is the first step for disaster.

    I believe in serendipity – finding things not sought after. And, as you say, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is with me. Thanks for a nice reminder!


  13. Hey Rich

    this is really helpfull i guess people always look elswhere for help, I guess allot of people just dont believe in them selves and always look to others to lead the way.
    Back at the ranch we all have power full computer sitting on our shoulders called our brain. If you ask your self good quality questions your brain will come up with the answers.

    thanks for the advice.


  14. Yes, as they say:

    ‘The Better the Roots,
    the Bigger the Fruits’

    (atleast something like that)

    I do think that the little ebook
    I wrote also has a little ‘Rooty’ Component
    in it.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,

  15. I m constantly unsure when faced wih 2 or more choices,
    a decision to make or whatever.

    I will spend more time by myself trying to figure it out
    and will let you know if it works.

    I have a prob with uncertainty, which i meed to overcome
    as an entrepreneur.

  16. Hey Rich,

    Alex Jeffreys sent me over to your Blog and after reading this post I can see why! It’s always the little bits of information that make the most difference isn’t it!

    Taking time out to self reflect is always an important part of education and a lot of people are way to quick to jump to the next quick fix rather than trying to solve the problem themselves.

    Thanks again Rich,

    Here’s to our continued success!

  17. Rich

    I can say photo you used was worth more than ever! I appreciate your wisdom.. I can say we often look for outsiders to tell us who we are and dictate our actions. when what we experience is inside!


  18. There is a lot of truth and yes, a Zen simplicity to what Rich says. I personally think that people in general don’t look at themselves or anywhere near themselves because they need to be right. I know that sounds crazy – but I think that because of social programming, we still need to be right so much that we would rather go to someone else for a quick fix or look elsewhere to find answers rather then find them our selves. We don’t want to even look at our selves and fail and deal with the consequences. It’s easier to go bankrupt and blame it on the economy, our employees etc. then to say, “I am failing because of me. Rich really busted his ass looking why he was failing at his Internet business – but he didn’t go else where – he forced himself to look at himself. Most of us could only hope we could be that responsible. Its not knowledge – we all know the datum – learn from the successful people, learn what they did and follow it. Trump, Gates, JP Morgan (OK forget that last one) but we never do – instead we go on the Internet and but the latest and greatest niche . .

    Because then we can blame someone or something else. We can blame that niche, or our employees or the economy . . .I know it sound stupid – but is it?

    It’s simple really, failure = being wrong. Being right is survival. Hell, even when we know we are wrong – we will argue with people because we need to be right – The more right someone is – the more they are surviving. Being wrong – really wrong = death. Unfortunately there is a part of our minds that get in our way – it makes us weak, not responsible. And not being responsible – or the “wanting” to take that responsibility, destroys us. It’s fear really, – and fear is not knowing.

    Without being too philosophical, I think that we are also creatures of basic leisure, we also tend to do the easy thing – and it is far easier to work 80 hours a week and stress out and not make any money – then “search where you lost your keys” – finding the answers in your own self – “WHEW” – “That is just too simple, right? – I mean, we have to justify why we need to go outside,” or in this case, “why I need to struggle” – we even justify why we go to crappy job every day – “To pay the bills.” (That is your reason for life?) Because (here is where we are “being right”) – “it’s a bad economy,” “there is too much competition,” “it takes a lot of money to get this going.” Excuse, excuse, excuse. These are our justifications, ways we make our selves right, excuses. These are us looking for our keys..

    It seems only enlightened people, people like Rich, people who emotionally are at least strongly interested in life, or people who are enthusiastic about life also never need to be right – no excuses (the reason for excuses = to make one self right) they just find answers, they look around and acquire data to figure it all out. After all – the answers are never difficult, only ourselves.

    There is really being right and surviving well and our computation for being right – you can tell a robber why its not right to steal – that it isn’t pro-survival. But in the robbers mind, his justification, his excuse, his answers, because he isn’t at the point to of being responsible and not blaming everyone else (when is the last time you ever heard of a criminal really admit guilt when not forced to?) – he is trying to find his “keys” else where.

    Anyway – I suck at writing so I hope this doesn’t come off as some old mans’ philosophic lesson – I always hated that . .

    By the way Rich – your most important choices weren’t just your Business and who you were going to marry, your most important choice we when you have to figure out why your Internet business wasn’t working – because you decided to stick with it and man up, we can now benefit from your knowledge, thanks.

  19. This is great! It really shows me where to expand my blog. I think that sometime in the future I might try to write a book to go along with my blog, but we will see.Good post with useful tips and ideas.


Leave a Comment