Make it Count.

photo(3)Imagine if you just did it, took the leap, kept going, made it work. Can you imagine how it would feel to reach that goal? What’s stopping you, really?

What’s holding you back?

That thing you have been talking about, that idea that comes out each time you have got halfway through your second pint, the dream the guys at work are sick of you going on about. The concept you keep asking your accountant advice on. Imagine if you just did it. Imagine if it worked. It is possible, I promise.

I get a lot of emails everyday from some cool people. Most of the time they are asking me if I can give them any advice, asking me “What is the best product to import from China” or even inviting me for dinner. Ok no one has ever invited me to dinner.

This post isn’t really anything to do with importing from China, it’s just about the mindset I feel you need to succeed in this or any other business. There is a whole bunch of information online and various pay per view websites which offer you the various keys to success. Really there are so many that pretty soon you’re going to need another keychain.

I want to share with you some things that have worked for me. Nothing mind blowing here and the tips might not work for everyone but I know that they do work for me so maybe something here may be useful? In all cases I’m on a flight for 3 hours so I have time to burn.

I have been lucky to meet some great and influential people in my life who have shaped me as a person both in my personal life and business life. Sometimes all it takes is the smallest piece of advice to really change your perspective. Some of you may not have met these people yet but you will in time, likely where you least expect them to appear, my advice to you is put yourself out there, get in the mix, look to build relationships with people who can help you succeed.

People call this a power group or a success network, I mean you can call it what you like but essentially be around positive like minded individuals whom you can help reach their potential and in turn they will help you. That’s a pretty key point, are the people around you helping you or hindering you? Sounds cut throat I guess but then you came here looking for honest advice right. My mother always told me if you lay down with dogs you will catch fleas, who wants damn fleas?

I honestly believe that this whole thing, this burning desire to succeed comes down to just one basic principle. But the problem is that it‘s so basic that it does not satisfy most people when you give them it as probably the best advice they will ever receive. Perhaps it‘s a psychological thing, we are always told that if it‘s too good to be true it probably is – how negative does that sound?

Maybe people don’t hold much value in free advice, I suppose if you pay someone a thousand pounds for an e booklet or a DVD box set your going to try convince yourself pretty hard (and the other half when he or she reads the credit card statement) that it‘s the best advice you ever heard and is worth it‘s weight in gold. Maybe you will listen to this advice more if you send me the money? Feel free.

Those of you who are hardened veterans of reading business advice will know you need a positive mentality and self belief, it‘s a mindset you need to get into. We all get into that mindset in our own way and what works for me might not work for you so walk with me a bit on this.

So….imagine you want to learn French, I don’t know why you would but lets just say you have some time on your hands after floating your first company. You enroll into some private French school and spend the next 24 months studying the language with diligence, reading every text book supplied by your tutor and attending every class without fail. You do this because you believe that doing so will allow you to speak French. You keep yourself motivated and positive by thinking of the cute French girl you have met on MatchdotCom and dreaming of the day soon you will visit her and swoop her off her feet. You believe and you are positive. Sure enough that hazy summer evening arrives one late September and you land at Charles De Gaulle airport finally to meet your sweet Olivia when it happens, you open your mouth and French comes out. Now this isn’t surprising. You now know you can speak French, you studied hard and when your mouth asks your brain to send it some serenading French tones it obliges only too well.

This is a stupid way of explaining it but this is how my brain works, I ask my brain “can I do this” it replies “of course, just get with it” and so I do it until it’s done.

You have already done this countless times in your life. When you learnt to drive, when you learnt to swim, when you started salsa dancing, when you worked out how to put your own foot in your mouth. You wanted to do something, like really wanted to, so you started it and kept doing it until one day it just happened. So what’s changed, why now are you searching for an answer that you already know? There is not one person reading this who has not achieved something amazing which required hard work and determination. You know the formula, now scale it up.

I promise you and I would bet everything I have time and time again on this advice;

Start doing something and don’t stop until you have done it.

Has that hit home or still it sounds too simple? I’ll try jazz it up a little – “Thine secret to prosperity lies in ones commitment to commence and persevere until all rewards are reaped”. You have heard this before, time and time again, but last time you heard it you didn’t listen to it or you would not have goggled “how to make money” and ended up here.

You can read all the business how to books you want but I guarantee each time you close that back page and put it into the “Stocking fillers for relatives” box you will have wound up with the same message. Start doing it, don’t give up, believe in yourself, be positive.

The problem is that life can be a bitch, curve balls are hard to hit and what seems like simple advice can soon end up buried under a load of other crap in your head until eventually you forgot it. Then you find yourself back in WHSmiths wasting money, desperately looking for a new book from the latest entrepreneur that the media have latched onto. You really need to try hard not to keep slipping into that cycle. Put things in place to keep you on the right path.

The black magic secret ninja circle power group I mentioned earlier is a good idea to help you with this. Like when racing a bike if you’re tucked in behind the leading pack inside the draft then they will pull you on with them. If you’re in the gym training with Big Mick who has shoulders like boulders he’s going to help you push your game too. Just remember that when Mick needs help doing an excel spreadsheet to keep an eye on his kebab shops books you give him a hand there – that’s what being in a positive circle is about. Pushing each other forward.

You’re going to need some constant reminders around you, I don’t recommend a tattoo saying seize the day written down the inside of your forearm in Latin, Greek or Arabic. Think of a word that sums all the “believe, think positive, do it till it’s done” mentality and use it. Maybe the word “can” marker penned on your mirror is enough? Or maybe you need a toy Lamborghini on your desk? A motivational phrase written on the top of your monitor? For me it’s “Make it count”. When I used to race bikes I had a phrase I used to say to myself at the start of a race and often scream to my team mates while trackside. “Make it count”. Back then I guess it meant to make this race run count, make your race time good and don’t crash. I still say this to myself now, I guess it‘s important to make each action of each day count towards my long term goals.

This kind of mentality has helped me through many problems in my life, I simply would not be here without it. Not many of you will know that I almost lost the use of my arm a few years ago, it’s the reason I had to give up racing bikes. I had a very bad crash, was stranded on a mountainside for 4 hours and ended up completely shattering my entire left arm taking the nerves and ligaments with it.

I had to have the bones from the elbow joint down replaced with Titanium, ligaments transplanted from my upper arm and was told I would never be able to use my arm again. A scary truth that came home hard after they removed the cast following my third operation and my arm was just completely dead. Looks pretty bad right?

daniel cassidy arm

I told myself repeatedly over the course of a 6 month intensive physiotherapy program that I can do anything, I can make this arm work again. I could not move or feel my arm at all for maybe 2 months but I just kept my head down and I got there, because I just kept going. In Reality people face much worse things than losing the use of an arm but i am sure its this mentality that drags them through to the other side.

If I decided to give up because the physio hurt too much being strapped to a machine that forced my arm to move for an hour a day (without a doubt the worst pain of my life) or the fear of another operation making it even worse made me sick I would not be able to use my arm now, and that would suck. Trust me, I know that keeping going works.

daniel cassidy physioWhatever it is, it needs to be something that every time you glance up it reminds your brain in a no bull shit way that you need to stop being a pussy and keep going. You have the map, you know where you want to go now keep walking till you get there. If it gets dark buy a torch, if it gets cold put a jacket on but whatever you do keep walking, you will arrive where you want to.

You have no excuse for not knowing this advice, each one of us has a Nike justdoit t shirt stuffed in the gym bag. How many times have you seen an advert and read that can’t is a four letter word only to think “yes it is a four letter word what exactly are you getting at?”

Who is your favorite athlete? Read how they got there. You will start seeing a pattern. “It was hard, I missed my family, I had a dream, I kept working hard, now Oakley send me free stuff and my Lamborghini has my name embroided in the headrests”

Ok I like to joke around, I live in China and it‘s slowly making me lose my mind, but what I’m telling you is deadly serious advice and Is how I live my life. I hope that just some of you who read this can take what I’m trying to say onboard and really make a positive difference in your life, I’d love you to.

You have to really want this, the advice is easy to give but hard to follow. I’m sure your inner can think up all manner of excuses as to why it’s not that simple. It is very lonely in an office at 3am while your mates are out having a laugh, it‘s hard spending money on a new piece of machinery when you would much rather be buying an Audi R8, it‘s hard getting out of bed when you know all your going to face is an onslaught of stress and problems. I bet though it‘s also hard working a night shift at Asda 6 days a week, hard taking crap from a boss who doesn’t understand what it means to be human, hard working an executive job with no room for compassion, hard driving a wagon the length of the country and back when you would rather be at home playing with your son.

You have to pick your battles I guess, ask yourself what’s really stopping you picking yours?

I’m telling you, if you think you can do it just start doing it, do it like it’s the only thing in the world that matters to you, just keep going, never give up and to you might surprise yourself. I did.

Do you have any motivational advice or stories you would like to share? It would be great to from you in the comments below.

16 thoughts on “Make it Count.

  1. I came here to learn about China, but I love your writing style :) Even sent some quotes to friends. Also: good advice! It reminds me of what I learned from the book “Outliers” from Malcolm Gladwell. He made the populare statement that everyone that ever got really good ad something practiced for at least 10.000 hours. But what a big lesson was from me, and it all started with this book and now your article also, is that people that think intelligence is fluid, that it needs a lot of hard work and practice, improve. People who think you are born with it don’t. People who think they are ‘talented’ quickly become the same. People who think they worked harder than others quickly become better. You cannot get better at something unless you actually do it, a lot.

    In western cultures we tend to think more in ‘talent’. In eastern cultures like China people tend to think more in ‘hard work – dedication’. That is one think I like about eastern culture, and try to apply to my own life. To sum it all up in a highly intellectual quote:

    “you better work” – Brittney Spears

    Thanx for the nice stories!
    Jurriaan

    • Thanks Jurriaan i appreciate you saying so.

      Which quotes did you like? haha.

      You are right, in asia working hard is really important to more people than i think it is in the west. People here really to try to get on with things i think. Not just in China, i have family in Malaysia and they all work extremely hard and understand the importance of dedication, graft and commitment.

      Hope you can stop by again for the next blog.

      Thanks

      Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @youngmoneychina

  2. Stumbled upon your site while searching for products that can be imported from China and Whoa! Just the right kind of inspiration i was looking out for did i get over here. I’am from India and just starting out in my career in creating my own business. Right from the start i am clear that i want to do something of my own. Now the problem with starting out is exactly the one which you pointed out.. ie. Finding the right product and the right supplier from China with whom i can strike my first successful deal. I know, Its not an easy task, But I would love to get in touch with you and get your guidance in shortlisting the products and find a way out regarding this. I would be ever grateful for this.
    Awaiting a response.

    Thanks and regards,
    Rohit Raju

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment and I am glad i could inspire you a little.

      Your right there is a real demand here for a way to securely buy from China, i am trying to create something for people like you and though were still testing our “sea legs” with it it might be worth you checking out.

      The site is http://www.fetchchina.com

      Thanks

  3. Great post Dan, really inspirational! I have franchised a company this year and have found it really difficult to go after work after many a unsuccessful attempt. So i sat down yesterday, watched a few motivational videos on youtube and went at it for a few hours. Paid off and now have two meetings for next week! So yeah you’re right, it is about your state of mind.

    Also, the make it count phrase is brilliant. One of my all time favourite videos is by Casey Neistat who made a video called make it count for Nike funnily enough. Search Casey Neistat and make it count on youtube and it will come up, its got something crazy like 10 million views. Its awesome.

    Hope all is well and hope to work with you in the near future. I am also planning on a trip to China next Easter, visit the Canton fair.

    Best wishes
    Tj

    • Thanks for the comment TJ.

      Sorry to hear your in a rough patch but we all have them, you just got to keep your fists up and come out fighting.

      The last year for me opening my new factory has been really hard, i felt like walking away many times but i just kept saying to myself “What would i do then”. I guess the simple phrase really helped me out. If your in a tough situation and you can quit and move onto something better then go ahead and quit, if you dont have any other options then you just have to keep going.

      Keep going TJ, you might be almost there and you just dont know it. Good luck.

      Daniel

  4. I have been living in the UK for 5 years. I married and we are expecting our baby to be born next february. :) I have a full time permanent job and we are running 2 online webshop/ebay shop businesses. The story started 5 years ago though…
    We came into the UK because we thought there are good opportunities to make something exciting. When we arrived here 5 years ago I didn’t really speak the english language , fortunately my wife did and it seemed to be good enough to begin our challenges in this country. We have climbed the ladder of succes..day by day, month by month, year by year.. I was working as a kitchenporter then waiter then I picked up enough English to get a job in my profession. We have always had goals and that is a key thing. If you know what you want to achieve and you set a target date of it beleive me you will get there sooner than you think. After 4 years of hardwork we decided to open an online webshop then 2 month later another one. We started it from scratch. After half a year trading we successfully qualified for the ebay top rated seller badge providing a 100% positive feedback rate and a gold powerseller level.
    But this kind of life isn’t about resting.. I get up in the morning then I print the postage labels of previous day orders, emai and answer customers questions, dispatch items, deal with bookkeeper, deal with suppliers, deal with couriers mistakes, etc..etc..then I go to work from 2pm till 11pm then I go to the storage , wrap all the parcels and i guess i get home at 1am ish..the next day starts again exactly the same ..
    Now we have learnt a lot about the business life in the UK and we try to improve our businesses. I thought a good forward step would be contacting Daniel and see what we could fetch from China and carry on working hard to get to a certain level we would be happy with..
    What I want to say is that I totally agree with Daniel as ” just keep going, never give up and to you might surprise yourself. I did. ”

    Norb

    • Hi Norb,

      Great comment and amazing story of success. Just goes to show what you can do with such a simple mindset.

      I have a lot of customers like you who have come to the UK and managed to get a foothold in the ebay market. Its impressive to see.

      If you need any help from me feel free to get in touch.

      Thanks

      Daniel

      • I created an account through fetchina.com yesterday looking for a couple of hot products. We have never worked together and I have been following your blog from the beginning which impressed me a lot so I hope we can find the way how we can import these goods from China from you.
        I filled the enquiry form and it says you “received the order” but I don’t know what next step would be. :)
        Shall I just wait for the response through my fetchina account?

        Thanks,
        Norbert

        • Hi,

          Thanks for submitting an order with us.

          With the time of Canton fair on us were pretty busy but will get to your order in the next day or so.

          Any problems just give our office a call, we all speak english.

          Thanks

  5. Hi there, excellent post, thank you.

    I guess I’ve been on the verge of getting out of the 9-5 office boredom routine and breaking out on my own for years now but never quite making the leap. I’ve probably tried every lazy approach imaginable, waiting for that flash of inspiration, motivation, energy burst or whatever the heck I’m hanging about for. But I guess the real problem is that I’m just too damn comfortable. I’m paid well, have a lovely family, good friends and a nice home. Now all that is a phenominally powerful barrier to changing the status quo. But then there’s the small problem, that little issuette: the mind-numbing and depressing 40-odd ours of ‘work’ that sits right in the middle of my most productive hours and which funds the remaining brilliant life I do have. Lucky to have a job, sure. And there’s no excuse for whining, I know. Lifes too short, I know that too.

    Anyway – I’m finally doing something to make the ‘transition’ rather than leap – and I saw your post at just about the time I had resolved to do so. Nice timing.

    Cheers

    • Sounds good Paul.

      While it is very difficult for a guy in your position to take the leap i guess its never easy regardless of the circumstances.

      Your right in your approach to a transition though. No sense in making huge risks when you don’t need to. Take your time, be calculated and most importantly be persistent. I’m sure it will fall into place for you.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on.

      Thanks

      Daniel

  6. Thanks for this great post, helps me switching to the next gear :)

    I agree that having a dream and follow it every day is very important, if things go bad I usually think “alright, I’ll work hard and the situation will be great once I get through this”, it keeps me going.

    Me and my friend have started a small service company in Sweden and one e-retail business, both is still small but it gets around and now other people manages it for us while we study Chinese in Guilin because our dream right now is to start something in China. We are still young but try to not be to afraid of failures.

    A motivational reminder is indeed really good to have, for me this blog does the job very good, thanks for it!

    Regards,
    Leo

    • Thanks Leo, i hope you get where you want to be.

      Good luck with your Chinese studies – maybe i will see you here one day.

      Daniel

  7. Its Friday Lunchtime and I just went up the high St and got myself a bag of chips and come back to see there was a new post (or shall I say the post that was but then disappeared the other day !) so thats a great lunch time for me, a bag of chips and a YMC post, brilliant !

    Very good post Dan, im sure you could write one of those books no problem and make a bit extra !

    I read this post and like many others that will too thought, yep thats me, yep i do that, yep i need to get my butt in gear ! I do it probably everytime i read a YMC post to be honest but this one even more so especially with my current work situation (New boss is a A hole) so thanks again for the kick up the butt Dan, much appreciated !

    Will be in contact soon !

    • Thanks Paul,

      Yeah i tried to upload it last week with a video of my crash but it would not work, i battled with it for a few hours in my spare time but have given up.

      Its a fact that a lot of us just are not where we want to be in life, i was there a few years ago staring at the neck end of a crap situation and it took a lot to make the change and still takes a lot to keep moving towards my goal but once you just commit and start then the rest is the easier part.

      Sorry to hear about the new boss, maybe the 9-5 life sucked it out of him – don’t let it happen to you.

      Good luck.

Any comments or questions? I'd love to hear them.