Sometimes it seems like everyone’s got advice for us, on traffic or otherwise.
So how do we decide who to learn from?
Should we learn from those who’ve done it, or those who teach?
Read on and we’ll find out.
NOTE: Normally my post would be precision-brilliant, loaded with hand-made art and images, tweetables, and beautiful typography.
There’s a very good reason why this post is simpler, and more bare-bones than usual, and it’ll be revealed further down.
That said, it’s one of the juiciest, most dramatic things I’ve ever shared.
Hi. My name’s Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca of RyzeOnline.com.
And I call myself a “success coach.”
And for the last 6 months, I’ve been coaching clients, uplifting them in powerful ways…
…all while living on the streets, homeless.
Pretty ridiculous, right?
Well, it gets even sillier, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Because this raises the question…
“Should anyone take my advice?”
Have you ever felt that way?
I asked myself that question sometimes, even though I’m born to do what I do.
Most entrepreneurs, most leaders, most people who’re building something have felt like they’re not good enough to advise people.
Or that they don’t know enough to be called an ‘expert’.
Or that they’re a fraud at one point or another.
A common tip I hear in marketing circles is “declare yourself an expert“, and following that “if you’ve read a few books on a certain subject, you’re more knowledgeable than most people, and you can help them.”
Well, I’ve lived and breathed success, wisdom, life skills, and media since I was a child.
We’re talking 30,000+ hours – I’ve read more than ‘a few books’.
But better than that, I’ve helped to unlock huge happiness, success, and potential in many people, and I’ve got radiantly glowing testimonials to prove it.
Because I do what I love.
I’m not ‘declaring myself an expert’.
I’m using natural gifts I’ve had since I was little.
When I was a child I’d use epic levels of insight, wisdom, and understanding to get my parents to see why they should let me set my own bedtime, swear if I wanted, and get a job on my terms, not theirs.
Insight & understanding is my thing.
And I love what I do so much that I’ve kept it up through eviction, sleeping on people’s floors, and damp park grass – and I’ve even coached ‘privileged’ rich kids who’d bumped into my homeless ass on the steps of their condo’s lobby.
Why do people listen to me?
Because you can’t argue with people’s natural gifts and passions — and those are the things that make an incredibly strong foundation of any business, project, or blog.
Your natural gifts, passions, and interests are attractive to people. They bring traffic.
Even when life lays you low, they hold power, and I’ll show you an even more extreme example shortly.
For now, we’re a little clearer on why anyone would take my advice… but what about when you’re bombarded with opinions –
Who’s advice do you take?
It’s confusing sometimes.
The internet is filled with experts.
Family and friends always want you to listen to them (often times just so you’d play small and not push their comfort zones with ballsy moves.)
I remember when I was starting my first business — my friends and family all wanted to tell me what to do.
“You’ve gotta sell online”, “you’ve gotta pound the pavement”, etc. etc. etc.
Some advice I took, some I didn’t, but in the end, you start to realize you’re taking advice on how to break out of the mold and sustain a business from people who’ve never broken out of the mold or sustained a business.
So here’s where you get the Jay-Z line:
“And as for the critics, tell me I don’t get it
Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it”
- Jay-Z, Already Home
It often doesn’t help to take advice from someone who’s never “done it.”
And since I’m not physically an obvious example of “billionaire-dom” yet, since I’m homeless even as I write this, maybe people shouldn’t listen to me, right?
‘Cause I’ve never done it? I’m just like the advice-givers who talk the talk, never really helping, right?
I might look like them, but I don’t live life like them.
I’ve done something far better.
I’ve been happy, comfortable, at peace, and basically had fun with my life In Every Horrible Situation You Can Imagine.
This kind of ‘realness’ and serenity is something even billionaires can’t buy.
And it’s rare; not everyone can teach it to you.
And speaking of teaching, that brings us to our original question: How do you decide who to listen to and learn from?
Do you get taught by someone who’s “succeeded” in your eyes? Or in society’s eyes?
Do you get taught by someone who loves to advise you and teach, but who’s never really “been there”?
I have a story for you that I think may help.
The story of the 3 teachers
Once upon a time, there was a wanna-be entrepreneur named Joe.
And Joe had invested all his time and money trying to learn how to be one.
First he tried learned from Mr. Morris, a teacher at school… who was good at teaching, but had never really ‘made his fortune’, and instead he just taught the curriculum — he’d never done it, and it was clear that what he was teaching had little personal impact — so Joe eventually stopped listening.
Then he tried learning from Perry, a ‘self-made millionaire’, but Joe quickly found that he had no idea how to teach what he’d learned. He kinda sucked at it, in fact. All they could do is say “I did this” and “I did that” and “I made 1,000,000 off a list of 4,000 people, and you can too.”
It was so frustrating.
He was tired of spending years with these people… trying and struggling to learn from the Mr. Morris’s, who were pretty patient at explaining things, but with no ‘realness’ in it.
He was done trying to learn from the Perry’s of the world, who because they’d bumbled their way through life experience and handled the ups and downs, felt they were qualified to teach others — even though *teaching* wasn’t their strength at all.
And then, when all seemed dark… Joe had a chance to meet a third teacher: Donald.
At the time, Donald’s business was on the rocks; things did not look good.
He did NOT appear to be someone who could teach anyone how to run a successful business.
But Donald had created businesses before and showed that no matter what life threw at him, he had what it took.
Donald also had a natural gift for teaching.
- Can a singer sing, no matter what the circumstances?
- Can an engineer invent, no matter how bad life gets?
- Isn’t it true that people have natural, powerful gifts that can make a huge impact in others’ lives, and that those natural talents require no “proof” or “societal approval”?
That was Donald in a nutshell.
He had the magic.
Whether people recognized the amazing things he could teach and the way he made learning fun and easy immediately or not — all the ingredients were there.
A singer doesn’t have to be a super-star on stage to move you with their voice.
A teacher doesn’t have to have a huge empire to help you ryze.
So even though it looked like a scary gamble for Joe to invest in yet another teacher, especially one who didn’t seem to have the credentials or results Joe was looking for — at least currently — and risk getting burned again…
…Joe hired him.
Do you know why?
Because Joe needed a teacher, period.
Because the way to sort out who to listen to isn’t by “how things look” or by “someone who’s an expert”…
…the way to know is to tune into your feelings.
It’s to look for the singer who never stops singing, the engineer who never stops engineering, and the passionate teacher who can’t help but teach, period.
The way to know who to listen to is to check for the natural passion and the gifted blessings that a person can never turn off, possessed by someone from birth to death.
So for me, I know I’m 100% like Donald.
I’m in the worst situation I’ve ever been in
I’m writing this post while I’m homeless, and I’ve been running my business like this for almost 6 months (though I’ve done it before).
I almost feel like quitting.
I’ve had just enough clients to keep me on life-support, stringing me along.
It’s not my #1 idea of fun.
But even though life has taken almost everything from me, every day I wake up and help and reach more people.
And just like a musician has his instrument, I have my own tools.
Even without shelter, I still help people through my beautiful Dre Beats laptop – it’s my prized possession and my life’s work.
Or rather… it was.
Remember in the beginning when I said it gets ‘sillier?’
Well it does…
Because suddenly, after 6 months, my laptop was stolen.
It looks like I’m a laptop-less blogger, homeless, success-coach.
And it’s okay.
I’m rebuilding… again.
Now I’m at an internet cafe, with no HTML, an uncomfortable keyboard, no home, no computer, no food, and no sleep…
I’m still helping people to Ryze up.
For me, healing emotional scars, clearing mental clutter, and giving uplifting insights is like breathing.
For me, unlocking people’s potential, in any area of life, in spite of any excuses, is natural.
I never turn it off, and no matter what life has thrown at me, I do what I love, reaching people the best way I know how.
A teacher who’s ‘real’, experienced in life, and who’s fantastic at teaching, is who you want to listen to.
Those kinds of people — throughout all life’s ups-and-downs are worthy of traffic — and they’re the kind of person you want to listen to.
And if you have your own business or blog, this is the kind of real, true, natural talent I recommend you base it on.
And I’m one of them – and I need help
Because right now I could really use a boost in exposure, traffic, and clients.
And I’ve had quite a bit already and I deeply appreciate it all.
For example, Ana’s hosting this article and putting me in front you, fine people.
Two bloggers started separate Ryze fund-raisers on my behalf.
Some clients who were hesitating to purchase, pulled the trigger.
People are tweeting, facebook-sharing, google+’ing and spreading the word.
My copywriter turned up the juice overhauling the copy on page after page at RyzeOnline.com aiming to stir people to action.
Now… I’ve poured my heart and soul into everything I do.
I never stop helping and impacting the world the best ways I know how.
I feel pretty beaten down by life and I’m not ashamed or afraid to ask for help — I could really use a hand.
So here’s your chance to contribute
I understand if you don’t really know me (though I have guest posted on TGC before), but if you feel inspired to share my story, connect with me further, donate, or get in on The 30-Day Comeback Fundraiser, it may literally save my life.
Click here to read the more details of my story and get your offer of The 30-Day Comeback (with exclusive Ryze content).
100% of the proceeds will go to me, to get me back on my feet and keep me touching hearts.
I deliver fresh views on taboos, unlock potential, and help you ryze up — and I appreciate your attention.
Thanks so much for reading, I love you all.
Note from Ana:
Jason is amazing.
His story is eye-opening.
The book is worthy.
The price is way too low.
The link is here <== get your own copy.
(I am reading mine…)
Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca
Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca (@ryzeonline) is a positive badass, delivering fresh views on taboos to help game-changing entrepreneurs ryze past plateaus. He’s been featured on LauraRoeder.com, FirepoleMarketing.com, and TrafficGenerationCafe.com. Follow him @ryzeonline.
Image source: amazing work by Tommy Ingberg