Leaving Work Behind

22 Success Stories Reveal The Moment When They Knew They Were Capable Of More

Written by Tom Ewer on May 29, 2012. 53 Comments

22 Success Stories Reveal The Moment When They Knew They Were Capable Of More

Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.

~ Lydia M. Child

Success is subjective.

Upon consulting the Oxford English Dictionary, I found two distinct definitions:

  1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
  2. The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status

It seems to me that most people will refer to the second definition when asked what success means to them. I certainly used to. But more recently, I have come to understand that success can be something else entirely. Something that has no grounding in material wealth or social status.

In my opinion, the root of success is happiness. Nothing more, and nothing less. If in my old age I look back at a life of contentment and fulfillment, I will reflect upon a life well lived.

Achieving Success

If someone asked me what the biggest roadblock to success is, I would say “belief”. In my opinion, belief in one’s own abilities is the key to achieving more than you ever previously thought possible. As human beings we thrive on confidence and achievement – both of which are fuelled by belief.

Which leads me to the 22 people featured below, and what they have to say. Each of the 22 are, in my humble opinion, huge success stories. Some are extremely wealthy and have achieved a high social status in their respective fields, but all are shining examples of how to live a happy and fulfilling life. I consider each and every one of them to be huge successes – regardless of their material wealth.

Which is why I am so excited to present you with their answers to this question:

At which point in life did you start believing in your ability to achieve more than the norm, and why?

To be honest, I was stunned by the incredible variety of answers that I got back – many of which stopped me in my tracks and made me reevaluate my own outlook on life. I honestly believe that the same will happen to you.

So without further ado, I will hand it over to them…

Chris GuillebeauThe Art of Non-Comformity

Chris GuillebeauI’m not sure I ever thought much about the norm to begin with. I was a high-school dropout and juvenile delinquent. Then I found a way to make something positive with my life and I moved overseas to West Africa. Then I started traveling, and then I learned to craft a career as a writer.

The point of these things is not that I am special or anything. I think I have fairly average and ordinary abilities. But the key was in thinking differently about the world, questioning assumptions and motivations, and defining my goals based on what I actually wanted to do instead of what was easily achievable.

Those things probably helped more than anything else. It was also good that I stopped stealing cars, since I wasn’t very good at it.

Sean OgleLocation 180

Sean OgleI’m not sure I actually really believed in my ability to do more than the norm until after I’d quit my job and moved to Asia.

For awhile I thought it might just be an extended vacation from a desk job. Then slowly the work I was putting in began to pay off. Opportunities kept showing up simply because I put myself in a position to capitalize on them. Oftentimes you don’t realize just what’s possible until after you make the leap, and that’s why so many others never get there – they’re too afraid to take the first step.

Colin WrightExile Lifestyle

Colin WrightThere was a moment in college, when I was working toward two degrees and working five jobs. I had the idea to start up my first business. I really thought hard about it and realized that I wasn’t afraid.

“Why are you not afraid?” I said, internally. “This is pretty messed up, and can go completely wrong, and you’re quitting most of your jobs to start a business in an industry you know very little about.” Despite that, though, I went through with it, knowing that even if the worst happened, I would be able to bounce back from it.

That confidence stemmed from all the work I had done previously, and the buildup led to a version of myself who had seen some failure and who no longer took myself quite so seriously as to need to always be right. At that point, I wondered what exactly could stop me? What on earth could keep me from achieving what I wanted to achieve?

When I couldn’t come up with an answer, I know that I was ready to start taking on the world.

Corbett BarrCorbettBarr.com

Corbett BarrI’ve always believed I was capable of achieving more than the norm.

Most people actually think they’re above average (this is known as illusory superiority). Believing you’re capable and actually putting in the work to make above average things happen are two completely different things.

Without the effort, you’ll never be above average.

Scott Dinsmore – Live Your Legend

Scott DinsmoreEverything changed the moment I started hanging around people who were doing the things I thought were impossible. They created a new “normal” and got me operating on a totally different level.

The fastest way to do the things that you don’t think can be done is to spend time around the people already doing them. Simple as that. Brainwash the impossible. Nothing is more powerful than environment.

Alexis GrantThe Traveling Writer

Alexis Grant It took tasting success to realize that I could really make a living on my own terms. In fact, I never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur or even self-employed; I started doing this simply because it was the only way I could figure out how to create what I wanted to create without waiting for someone else’s approval.

I put my first eBook out into the world without knowing what to expect, and IT SOLD. That was my first taste of what I could accomplish – and it was on the side of my day job. I realized then that if I could put my entire self into what had until then been my “passion projects,” that I could really do something awesome.

Derek SiversSivers.org

Derek SiversWhen I was born.

I never had a turning point.  I’ve always just done my own thing.  Whether music, business, programming, whatever.

“The norm” was never on the menu, ever, from day one.

Chris DuckerVirtual Business Lifestyle

Chris DuckerIt was when I finally employed my 100th team member.

It had been a goal for a long, long time to be able to grow my business as quickly as possible, but it honestly took me a lot longer than I thought it would! Being able to support 100 families at the same time was just the icing on the cake. Now that I have 300+ people working for me I feel even more blessed than ever!

Building a successful business is awesome. But, providing mentorship and giving people the chance to better themselves is a whole different, highly enjoyable, ball game!

Joel RunyonImpossible Things

Joel RunyonThe honest answer is I didn’t know if I could when I started. When I started out, I wanted to change something but everything seemed literally impossible (hence the Blog of Impossible Things and Impossible HQ).

But once I started and finished one thing I thought was impossible, I kept wondering to myself, “If I thought that was impossible and I somehow managed to do it, what other things that I consider impossible are actually doable?” Over time, the circle of limitations kept expanding and pretty soon instead of telling myself that I couldn’t do something, I started asking myself “why not?”

Kristi Hines –  Kikolani

Kristi HinesI’ve always felt that I didn’t belong, especially in the corporate world. I’ve had plenty of different jobs, but they always felt exactly the opposite of what I should be doing with my life.

I was lucky to find my true passion through blogging when my first client contacted me out of the blue and offered me a freelance writing gig. It took a little while before I felt confident enough to leave the comfort zone of steady employment. One year later after that first inquiry, I developed my client base enough to turn a part time income boost into a full time career that I can do at home, on my own time.

With a flexible schedule on my own terms, I have the freedom to mix work and play in whenever I want which is really a dream come true!

Dan JohnsonRight Brain Rockstar

Dan JohnsonI think deep down I have always felt like I had the potential to achieve more – it was just acting on that potential that was the problem.

I always told myself that one day things would all fall into place and I would start living on my own terms. The problem is that things very rarely fall into place – you usually have to work hard to get them into place.

I think eventually it was a combination of dissatisfaction with my job and the realisation that I had achieved very little of real value in the last 10 years or so that finally gave me the motivation to take my life into my own hands towards the end of last year. I started reading a lot of lifestyle design type blogs, and came across The Unconventional Guide to Art & Money by Chris Guillebeau, which helped give me the confidence I needed to embark on a creative career path.

Life is too short to sit around daydreaming about what might happen one day. See what amazing things other people are doing, get inspired, and start living the dream today.

Farnoosh Brock – Prolific Living

Farnoosh BrockI was always blessed (or cursed) with the stubborn idea that my life was more than “this”. The “this” I am referring to was everything that happened to me up until the point that I decided to live on my own terms. This job. This education. This goal. This raise. This trip. This project.

I knew I was meant to do so much more, but the big problem staring me in the face was not the lack of belief but the lack of know-how. How on earth was I to escape or deny everything I’ve known to be a definition of success? And how can I achieve so much more than the norm?

The irony is that is the only way to achieve more than the norm is to go against the tide, to break the rules, to do things your way and follow your heart. It does not mean making foolish decisions; it means making bold and brave ones. And that started happening to me after serving 10 years in the corporate world, and many more in my education program before that.

But it happened and that’s all that matters. It happened because the inside voice, that intuition inside me, got to be so loud that I could no longer ignore it. When the day comes that it happens to you, I wish you enough courage to make the right decision.

Michelle Dale – Virtual Miss Friday

Michelle DaleThe warning signs were always there. There have been various times throughout my life where I have managed to overcome certain hurdles when I was told by many others that I would not. One of the earlier ones that springs to mind is leaving home and school at 16 to become independent without any qualifications. I was told I would be back home within 6 months – I wasn’t. It seems that the more of those hurdles you overcome, the more likely it is that you will start to believe that you are capable of achieving more than what is considered “the norm.”

So, I deliberately began putting myself into more unconventional situations, ones which would need a great deal of commitment, determination and a fair amount of courage to undertake…and the more I did them, the more ‘wins’ (Michelle vs Norm) I got, and the more confident I became in my ability to break away from what was considered as normal.

Everything finally clicked into place when I was 23 and sitting in the living room of my house, which I had just sold, having quit my ‘stable’ but painfully dull job just 3 months before. I had sold everything and bought a plane ticket to Egypt, not knowing what I was going to do when I got there, how I was ever going to earn any money, or even if I was ever coming back. It turned out, I discovered the Internet, created a business and made a whole new life for myself that other people tend to dream about. I never went back.

The fact remains, everyone has a fear of the unknown, but once you come to a point where you realize there’s nothing to lose that really truly matters, you can achieve amazing things.

Onibalusi Bamidele – Young Pre Pro

Onibalusi BamideleI’d like to think that I started believing in my ability to achieve more than the norm from a very young age, when I wanted to make money and build a great career without working for the government or anybody else. I was determined to make it work no matter what, so this was the beginning of me believing in my ability to achieve more than the average.

However, when I really started to believe in myself was just recently. Around a year or so ago, my confidence level soared to its highest when I realized that I could hardly move forward without confidence. Clients were sometimes playing games with me since I hardly ever challenged their decisions, but it got to a level when I could no longer take it. I started charging clients the highest possible (like $200 – $300 for an article when I usually charge around $70 – $100 before) and I started writing my articles and emails like an expert instead of an amateur.

The funny thing was, when I started making these changes (challenging clients that tried to cheat me, writing more authoritatively, etc.), instead of trying to avoid me, people actually started craving for more of me. Clients started paying me what I’m worth for my services, and I started getting feedback and testimonials from people that my tips were helping them.

Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income

Pat FlynnIt was when I realized there was something more than normal out there available to me – when I was laid off and was forced onto an abnormal path, which I’m very thankful for.

If only I knew how capable I was before getting laid off, I’d be that much more ahead. I think everyone just needs to try something “off the normal path” and experience it to see how far they can really take themselves.

Conni Biesalski – A Life of Blue

Conni BiesalskiI’m not sure about a first time, but how about every time I go for a dream of mine and make it happen. The last massive one was hopping on a plane with a one-way ticket in 2009 after finishing my Master’s degree. I had wanted to travel without a return date for ages and finally did it – for two years.

After a while, I realized that I have the ability to freestyle life, work and plans and thus design my own dream life far away from the land of average. I am not scared to take risks anymore or to leave everything behind. I can live and make money anywhere, which is what I do now.

You have to do something scary once or until you succeed, and then you have to do it again. That’s the only way to start believing in your own abilities. Achieving more than the norm means taking risks. Otherwise everyone would do it and then it wouldn’t be unconventional anymore. The best way to do that is to stop thinking and rationalizing. It’s only our own fears that keep us from doing amazing stuff.

Marcus Sheridan – The Sales Lion

Marcus SheridanWhen I was 20 years old, I really started to embrace learning in general. The concept of self improvement was incredibly appealing to me and so I read more and more stuff. As I did this, I also started having opportunities, from this early age, to speak to large groups of people. Within a short period of time, I realized speaking and communication were where I felt most at home. For whatever reason, when I’d get in front of a group of 50 or 100 people I felt relaxed, in my element,and at peace. It was then that I knew I was supposed to communicate for a living.

But around age 23 I got into business with two other partners and this took me away from being able to speak to groups of people for about 8 years. During this time though, I really learned about business, marketing, and sales. Eventually, around the age of 32, I put all my knowledge and strength together, and started my communication and writing platform– The Sales Lion. It took some time to get going, but as I continued to push and push and push the speaking opportunities came. I had a story to tell and I told it well. Audiences and businesses responded.

Today, at the age of 34, I speak around the country and get to do what I love. My speaking style is incredibly unique and interactive– but it’s me, through and through.

Even better, I know it’s just beginning.

Steve Scott – Steve Scott Site

Steve ScottSpending a year at a job you hate is the best way to start believing in an extraordinary life. For many years I wanted something more. But it took a boring, 9 to 5 job to give me that final push to start taking action.

What’s funny is that I think most people want to go beyond the norm. The difference is that they’re not willing to push past their comfort zone.

I had many fears when I left my job. There was a chance that things could have gone really wrong.  What got me through this time was stubbornness. I wanted a great life and was willing to do anything to achieve it.  This mindset definitely helped whenever a major obstacle popped up.

Jacob Sokol – Sensophy

Jacob SokolThe journey that we all need to take is inside, not outside. You wanna create an extraordinary life? Become an extraordinary person!

My sense of what was possible with my life shifted when I took time to travel alone though Europe for 5 weeks. Blah blah blah. Yada yada yada. We’ve all heard about someone taking a trip that changed their life in some way. But here’s why it changed mine:

I realized that I wasn’t my thoughts!

Up until then I identified “who I was” by “what I thought.” But being alone in a new environment for that amount of time allowed me to realize that my thoughts are just habits – habits of my mind! And if they’re habits, I can change them!

Whoa! If I could change my thoughts, I could change myself. And if I could change myself, I could change my life.

In my own personal way, I embodied what the father of the Positive Psychology movement, Marin Seligman, calls learned optimism!

Benny Hsu – Get Busy Living

Benny HsuStarting to believe in myself wasn’t an overnight success. It took some time after burying myself under a lot of self-doubt.

It started with an understanding that I am 100% responsible for everything that happens in my life. The situation I put myself in didn’t just happen by accident, but because of the small and big choices I had made. When I realized that I had put myself in that position, I knew that I could use that same power to get myself out of it. That was the first step.

I think it really hit me that I could achieve more than the norm was when I finished my first half marathon. I trained diligently for three months. I completed a goal that I thought wasn’t possible for me and I finished the race leaving everything I had on the course. I felt amazing. I was in the best shape of my life. I felt like this whole new world was ready for me to conquer. Soon after that I started my blog and development on my first iPhone app, which ended up earning me $32,000 in the first 30 days, seven months later.

Therese Schwenkler – The Unlost

Therese SchwenklerI think I knew deep down for a long, long time that I was capable of more than the norm, but it took quite awhile before I could live out that truth and truly believe in myself (and by the way, I am not making a full time living yet since quitting my corporate job – I’m still living off my savings, although I have things in the works).

I wish I could tell you exactly how and when that shifted, but I’m not sure I can. It seemed to happen slowly over time. I don’t think there’s a clear cut, one step to “believing in yourself”; rather, it’s a process.

There are, however, two things that I believe were imperative.

1. Taking Action

I always had a “feeling” that I could achieve more than the norm, but for years I was too scared or uncertain or lazy to take any action. This all began to change once I took one small step forward. After I began writing my blog and putting it out there to the world, my belief in myself and my abilities skyrocketed. It all happened very slowly and gradually – I didn’t begin with any great expectations or even with the intention of quitting my job or doing what I’m doing today, but the important thing is that I started.

Once I realized I could do one little thing, it became easier to do more… and more… and more, one small step at a time, until I found myself where I am today (and I continue to take steps now and have much farther to go! ;))

So my advice to anyone who wants to achieve more than the norm is this: just take one small step forward, and do it now! Nothing happens overnight, but your confidence and your ability will grow with time. Also, you don’t have to see the whole picture when you’re first starting out. Just start somewhere! You can change your course over time; nothing is set in stone.

2. Surrounding Myself with the Right People

There is absolutely no way I would have had the courage and the strength to continue taking steps forward without support and belief from others. The people you surround yourself matter, and they matter a lot. No one can do it alone. Start taking steps forward and then make a conscious effort to seek out, and to surround yourself with, people who believe in you as a person.

Laura Simms – Create As Folk

Laura SimmsI feel very lucky that my parents instilled a sense of independence in me.

“Don’t worry about what other people think, just do what you know is right,” is a message that was repeated many times in many ways. My parents have lived a fairly conventional life; my dad is a lawyer and my stay-at-home mom got more serious about art and design once she had an empty nest.

So for me, it’s not that I had this big moment of “I can do better than the norm.” It’s just been a underlying current of “I can do it my way.” It can reveal itself as stubbornness and definitely work against me. But I’ve always thought that I’d rather make my own mistakes than get someone else’s A+.

Thank You.

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to contribute to the incredible collection of stories above – I am forever in your debt. If you took value from this article, please take a moment to share it amongst your friends via the buttons to the left.

Now it is your turn – I want you to add your answer to my question in the comments section below:

At which point in life did you start believing in your ability to achieve more than the norm, and why?

If you don’t yet have the answer to that question, then tell us – what is holding you back?

As always, I look forward to engaging with you!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of openlibrary.org

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53 Responses to “22 Success Stories Reveal The Moment When They Knew They Were Capable Of More”

  1. Sarah
    May 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for this article which includes many of my own ‘heros’. It was a great read 😉

    As far as my own story goes I would say my defining moment was when I survived a stroke 2 weeks after giving birth to my second child then shortly after lost my job. Those events pushed me into a very dark time, and in order to pull myself out of it I engaged in my own positive and inspiring journey off the path, focussing on a brilliant thought that if I managed to survive all of that then there was nothing I couldn’t tackle… and priority number 1 for me now is making sure I have some fun along the way.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Hey Sarah,

      It sounds like you have been through a lot, and to come out the other side with a positive mental attitude is truly inspiring. And you’re quite right – human beings can be incredibly strong. Tough times can teach us a lot.



  2. Halina Zakowicz
    May 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I think I always believed in my ability to achieve more than I thought possible, but that point was certainly reinforced when I went off to grad school on my own and despite my mother’s vocal protests. Then, in 2010, I was fed a double-whammy: my father suddenly died of heart disease and my mother (at age 57) was diagnosed with a form of dementia. It made me realize how short time is and how we shouldn’t waste our days here.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Hey Halina,

      I can’t imagine how heartbreaking 2010 must have been for you, but you’re absolutely right – life is too short. Every day is valuable, in its own way.



  3. Chris @ NPI
    May 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Tom,
    great list of successful persons – some of them are totally “new” for me 🙂
    BTW – did you change your logo?
    BR, Chris

  4. Dan
    May 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Love the new design, Tom, and the new focus. Thanks for including me in this list, amongst some truly remarkable people!

  5. Conni Biesalski
    May 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    LOVE the re-design and the new focus!! And fantastic post, thanks again for including me! All the best and good luck!!

  6. Trav @ Extra Pack of Peanuts
    May 30, 2012 at 7:20 am


    Been following your blog for a couple of months and just want to say THANK YOU for this awesome post. Some of these guys have been people I’ve followed for awhile and others are now on my must-read list! It’s great to see others working hard and achieving things that the “normal world” may not think possible.

    I’m also a huge fan of the re-design and the new focus. Your post on your new focus really resonated with me, and its nice to see you put that to work.

    As far as answering your question, I’ve always believed that I could do it, just never really knew how. This often lead me to doubt myself, even though deep down I KNEW I could live an extraordinary life.

    The main tipping point for me came when I finally found a passion (finding ways to travel cheap) and realized that the how was just “to do it”. When I started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing with the design or back end stuff, but I loved doing it anyway (even if it was often frustrating and looked horrible).

    Now that it looks a little better, and I have a little bit more knowledge, I still love doing it. I realized that if I hadn’t taken those first steps, I never would have been able to take the next step, then the next, then the next. There will never be a time when you know everything, but if you don’t start, you won’t learn anything!

    Sitting around bored for hours a day in a Japanese work environment didn’t hurt either. Seeing people stay at work with until 8 and 9 pm with absolutely nothing to do but simply out of “duty” served as an amazing motivator for me to break free of what society expects and Leave Work Behind!

    • Tom Ewer
      May 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Hey Trav,

      You are more than welcome – thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

      It’s interesting what you say – knowing that you can, but not yet knowing how. I daresay that’s an issue for many, and the solution is exactly what you say – just to do

  7. Michelle Dale
    May 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Wow Tom, what an amazing post, it’s an honour to be included amongst so many people I admire. Great job, and love the new blog design!

  8. Dan Schumann
    May 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm


    Love your site and new look!

    Keep sharing these great stories – very inspirational.

    To answer your question quickly, it was when I graduated from college and got my BS degree. I was the first in my family to do so and did that when I was 20. I had many, many more great successes since but kept sabotaging every single one due to problems with addictions. It took me almost 30 years to conquer them. Finally breaking free from them has definitely been my biggest accomplishment thus far.

    Life is so much easier now!

    Keep up the great work Tom – I appreciate your blog!


    • Tom Ewer
      May 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Hey Dan,

      Life without addiction is easier no doubt – whether it be an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or simply an addiction to inaction.

      Thanks for sharing.


  9. Brandon Yeager
    May 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Way to reach out to folks! Great cast of folks also. I’ve read about 1/2 of them so far…interesting stories. I think conni is right on the money with the fear & overcoming fears part of the process. I tell lots of folks about real estate investing that is the Belief that you can find a great deal that is the most important thing. Most are just looking for the “silver bullet”, but the it usually seems to start in a persons mind.

    • Tom Ewer
      May 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Hey Brandon,

      A lot of people are looking for a quick fix – but if they existed in real estate, everyone would be rich. The fact is that the best deals are hard to find and take patience to dig up, and talent to see. The same kind of principle applies to success in any form – persistence and talent are the key.

      Thanks for sharing!


  10. Ruth Zive
    May 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Amazing Tom! Loved the quote right at the beginning – I had never heard that before. And of your two definitions, I IMMEDIATELY related to the first, NOT the second. I know I have the confidence. I’m working on having the patience and the endurance to make it happen. But I know I will.

    This was very inspiring! Thank you!

    • Tom Ewer
      May 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Hey Ruth,

      I spent quite a while looking for a quote that would match the message of the post, and I thought that did perfectly 🙂

      I think we’re in the same boat when it comes to mindset – an impatience to achieve your goals! But you do have to stop and smell the roses whenever possible.



  11. Benny
    May 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for including me Tom! I enjoyed reading what others had to say.

  12. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon
    May 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Awesome collection of insights Tom! Found quite a few new people I will be following from this list 🙂


  13. Tahlee
    May 31, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Oooooh, first time reader will now become long time reader. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, these stories are very inspiring.

  14. John Corcoran
    May 31, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Wow, this is an epic post. I already knew the story behind some of these folks, but what I love about this post is I don’t think anyone has heard of everyone on this list. It was fun reading over all their stories.

    This must have taken you forever to put together!

    • Tom Ewer
      June 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Hey John,

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      It did indeed take a long time to put together. Well worth it though I think. There are a lot of round-up posts like this, but I think this is more valuable than most in actually giving you pause for thought, and even forcing you to reassess your own actions and thought processes. I know many of the stories I read had an impact on me!



  15. Lisa Stoops
    June 1, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Great post! It’s always good to learn about others. Just came by your blog via your post on Pat Flynn’s blog. I love your angle here and read your other post about finding the ONE person…I can totally relate to you being your one person. Only the best can come from those who can relate with their target market in a very personal way! Cheers!

  16. Farnoosh
    June 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Some of the most researched blog posts come from you, Tom! Keep It UP! And THANK YOU so much for sharing my story here – so humbled!

  17. Belinda
    June 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Hi Tom,

    It is really of great inspiration reading all these post as I actually find myself on the point between believing and acting and I think reading about all the courage it took all these successful people to get to where they are today, I am even more ready than ever to overcome that inner fear and make that big step.

    Thanks for all these experience sharing.

    • Tom Ewer
      June 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

      Hey Belinda,

      Most of us have been in your position (apart from the guys and girls who were simply borne with innate confidence). It is reading stories such as this that will give you the belief that you need. Best of luck!



  18. scholastica amel
    June 7, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I am quitting my Job, gave the company one month notice. Never feel this better 🙂

    Now I have a new plans for my future and feel so excited.

    My journey is just begun.

    Swimming against the current is fun 🙂 🙂

  19. Tito Pandu Brahmanto
    June 10, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Two months ago, when I make decision to lose weight and to apply healthy lifestyle. Two months later (now) when I lose 17 kgs and read your post, I believe that I have ability to achieve more than other people said. I want to do that again for my business and other areas of my life.

    • Tom Ewer
      June 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      17kg in two months – wow! That’s incredible – well done! I believe that most of us are capable of more than what we think, as our imagination is more limited than the possibilities of the future.

  20. JCov
    June 11, 2012 at 2:59 am

    First of all, you’re the first person I have found through a Twitter follow, so thank you. I was pleased to see that you have Round-up of 22 people, as I did too when I launched my site! You can check it out here http://bit.ly/JUYHaF. I will follow your blog as I feel we just have way to much in common not too 🙂 Cheers to following your Dreams! xo

  21. Niall
    July 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    This is really great and inspirational, some of these people I was already aware of and others I was not, some of which I am now following on twitter and will visit their blogs.

    I have always felt that I was destined for something big, at least since the age of 16 or so… strangely though this feeling always prompted me to be a little lazy as I just ‘knew’ something would happen.

    Now 26 and nothing has happened, in a job I hate.

    This year I have made committments that are going to get me out of this state and even if they are not the ‘great’ thing I expect they are a step in the right direction, I am starting MBA study in september, have created my 1st niche market website and learning a tonne about SEO etc on the way and will be starting my own blog site pretty soon. ( the blog project is something that really excites me.

    I am interested to hear though how you managed to get all these people to collaborate with you??



    • Tom Ewer
      July 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Your attitude sounded very similar to mine not too long ago at all, and I am also 26!

      As for getting people to collaborate…sometimes just asking works 😉 But most often, I’ve bumped into them here and there, people get to know you over time, and are happy to help.

  22. Dolly Garland
    October 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you for this inspirational collection! What a confidence boost!

  23. Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics
    November 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Tom,

    The drive in my own conscious self to achieve more was born the day when I have worked in a job as a Systems Admin for almost a year and I wasn’t satisfied with the life I was living at the time. This was a job which I always dreamt of having and thought was going to be my road to happiness.

    The shift in my mindset and confidence came the day I received my first comment on the first guest post I have ever written that told me that I have helped the particular person in way way or another. This is when I realized that I can actually help far more people working independently than I would ever be able to grafting at a regular 9 – 5.

    When I saw I have the ability to touch another person through my writing was the day when I saw myself doing more than the norm.

    The day when I fully support myself financially working online; that will be the day that I knew I made the right decision. Until then I am doing everything I can to get there!

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