Are You More Successful Once You Stopped Following the Herd?

Are you more successful once you stopped following the herd?I found this question on Quora.

The first moment after you’ve stopped following the herd (i.e., “once”), you are in a very bad spot. You are in a wasteland. The herd has just gone through the area, and everything is trampled and eaten. You are behind the herd, and predators are lurking, waiting for lonely and weak individuals at the herd’s outskirts. It’s scary and dangerous.

But after that first moment, when you begin to follow your own path—no longer behind the herd, but in front of it or in an entirely new direction—life becomes so much better. The whole pasture is just for you. You seldom meet predators, because they’re mostly busy watching the herd.

You’ve taken a risk, and it’s more than paid off.

My Experience

I followed the traditional path. I finished a university degree and got a day job in a big company (500+ employees). I changed jobs a few times. I was earning twice the average salary in my IT job.

Despite this, money was tight: we had three kids, were starting from scratch, and couldn’t count on help from our poor parents. We were living from paycheck to paycheck.

Despite this, it was a moderately good life. . .

. . . Except that I felt miserable. I was just getting by, not thriving. I had nothing to look forward to; our future looked bleak. No chances for promotion, no chances for improving our lifestyle, constant uncertainty. Once, in 2009, I was even laid off. It wasn’t a nice experience.

In 2012, I decided to stop following the herd. I kept my day job, but I started something new and totally crazy. For the first couple of months, I didn’t even know what I was doing; I was only sure I don’t want to stay behind the herd.

Then my path crystalized: I would be a writer.

The first 15 months was a wild ride. I rebuilt my daily routine. I quit watching TV, playing computer games, and reading fiction, and I instead dedicated time to my personal development and writing. I worked 10–16 hours a day, 6 days a week. It was exhausting, but I enjoyed the process.

Sixteen months after realizing I wanted to be a writer, I published my fifth book, and it became a bestseller. I earned half of my yearly salary in one month from book royalties.

Since then, I’ve become more successful than ever: my income has doubled. I’ve made more friends. I’ve overcome my shyness. I’ve lost weight and beat hundreds of personal fitness records. I’ve published 16 books and sold over 53,000 copies. I’ve liberated my wife from her day job and downsized my day job to 10 hours a week.

And I feel more alive than ever.

“Can you be successful by following the herd?”

This question horrifies me. The ambiguous answers people give to it horrify me even more. Take a look at a few definitions to understand my terror:

Herd: a large group of animals that are kept together as livestock, such as for food.
Livestock: farm animals regarded as an asset.
Success: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

So, sure, you can be successful in the herd . . . if your definition of “success” is “getting slaughtered.”
Are you more successful once you stopped following the herd?
But if getting slaughtered is not your life’s purpose, GET OUT A.S.A.P.!
No matter the risk.
Yes, it’s a metaphor. Nobody is going to literally slaughter you if you stick to society’s norms. Not literally—but definitely metaphorically. Because following the herd slaughters your soul.

Want proof? Have a look at the herd’s well-being. Here are some numbers from the USA, one of the most successful (if not THE most successful) countries in the world:

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, while having a median income of $59,039.

Over 66% of Americans are overweight or obese.

United States adults watch an average of 4–5 hours of television per day.

About 77% of Americans won’t have adequate savings to retire at age 67.

Four out of five Americans have less than a year’s income saved for retirement.


This is the state of the herd. This is your destiny if you follow it. If being obese, wasting 25% of your waking hours in front of a TV set, and leeching off the government when you retire is your definition of success, follow the herd.

Otherwise, you’d better find your own path.

As for me, having scouted both paths…  I can promise you that NOT following the herd is 1,000 times better.

The 7 Podcasts I Listen to Regularly

podcasts I'm listening to regularly There is a plethora of podcasts out there, but there are only 7 podcasts that I subscribe to on my iPhone. I’ll tell you why those specific shows are part of my personal space and I’ll finish with 6 podcast episodes that were mind-blowing for me.


I consider listening the best way to connect with people you look up to and want to be like them- in other words, to change your personal philosophy.

I don’t listen to audio materials very much nowadays. Listening is a great way to keep your mind occupied whenever you do something manual (like doing the dishes) or you do nothing at all (like waiting on a train).

But I value prayer much more than listening and whenever I can hide inside my mind I’d rather pray than listen.


However, I still made a room for listening to podcasts in my daily schedule. A part of my morning ritual is stretching for about 15 minutes and during that time I can listen to about 25 minutes of a podcast episode (I use 1.5 acceleration to consume more audio content in a given time).

I listen to personal development and business stuff. I love the shows that mingle both of those things together.

Let’s dive into the list:

1. The Business on Purpose

This is a show whose host I know personally. Scott Beebe is my mentor and he is a member of my mastermind, IronSharpensIron. I met him in Nashville twice.

His podcast is done in a short snippets, usually 4-7 minutes at a time. It’s recorded in the trenches, usually when Scott goes back with a coaching meeting with a business owner.

While there is a lot about building a business in his show, there is also quite a lot personal development advice. Scott is a firm believer that business is not “just a business” but incorporates you as a whole person.

2. Brian Buffini Show

I discovered Brian less than a year ago. And I immediately fell in love with him. He is the most Jim Rohn-like person I ever (virtually) met. No wonder. Jim was his mentor. Early in his career Brian attended Jim Rohn’s seminars. Later, Jim was a speaker on events Brian organized.

I love that Brian is sharing so much good stuff of Jim, stuff that is not talked about very often. For example, I feel like I and Brian Buffini are the only two guys on the planet discussing personal philosophy. When I listened to his episode about changing one’s mindset I was like: Wow, this guy totally stole my “Trickle Down Mindset” book 😀
It was because we both learned from Jim and we teach what he taught.

I love everything about this show. It’s a weekly podcast in a diversified format. There are plenty of interviews, but also some keynotes from live events or solo shows by Brian where he dives deeply into one topic.

I’m addicted to the Brian Buffini Show and every Wednesday morning I consume the latest episode.

3. EntreLeadership

This show is an amazing mix of business, leadership and personal development with the more of the latter. Ken Coleman, the host, is a master interviewer. I loved many episodes of EntreLeadership, especially with nonfiction authors talking about concept from their books.

The episodes are usually concise, half an hour long or shorter, an exact fit to my stretching routine.

There were so many episodes that it was easy for me to pick from their archives only the things which applied well to my situation.

4. 12-minute Convos

The host of this show is Engel Jones, my only friend from the Caribbean. He is super-amazing guy fascinated by variety and underlying universalism of human beings. He holds the Guinness world record for the most people interviewed in 3-month time!

On his podcast he interviews people from all over the world in the same fashion, with the same questions.

I listen to it because Engel is my friend, because his voice and Caribbean accent immediately soothes my ears and mind, and because the variety of his guests are mind-blowing.
He already interviewed over 2,000 folks on his show! Binge-listening through 12-minute convos archives is not an easy feat!

5. Book Marketing Mentors

The host of this show is Susan Friedman. This is a podcast for authors, mostly self-published and it’s about all things marketing.

I had followed a few high-quality self-publishing podcasts in the past – Rocking Self-publishing and Authority Self-Publishing by Steve Scott… but they ended their shows!

I value Susan for her non-standard approach. Yes, there is a lot of basic advice for beginners, and it’s nothing new for me, but she also interviews people who are outside of the self- or even publishing world altogether and bring their tactics to the table.

If you are an author, you will find something good for you in Book Marketing Mentors podcast’s archive.

I also had the pleasure of being interviewed by Susan and had the opportunity to meet her on a video call. She is as great in person as on her show.

6. Business that Lasts

This is another podcast I had the privilege of being interviewed on. However, I subscribed to it not because I listen to my interview over and over again.

I love Jay’s concept of the business – the one that doesn’t wear you out, stress you out, and make you ready to quit. This is the formula for entrepreneurship success – creating something that lasts while living your life at the same time.

Jay is doing a terrific job of bringing amazing guests on his show (don’t judge it by my appearance; I was lucky to get there). His guests usually have businesses that lasts for decades and more often than not they are millionaires.

There is also quite a lot of personal development in his show. Jay is interested in the holistic approach to building a business and it shines through his questions for his guests.

7. Smart Passive Income

This is the first podcast I ever listened to. In fact, thanks to following Pat Flynn I discovered what podcasting is.

The fact that I still listen to this show speaks volumes about the quality of the show and the host.

Pat Flynn is an amazing dude who was laid off his position in an architecture company in 2008 and started an online business. After initial success, he started teaching others how to build and run a successful online business.

His episodes are an excellent mishmash of personal lessons, great interviews, success stories and business lessons.

SPI is one of the very few podcasts that publish their whole transcripts to every single episode. I love this. I learn by reading, not listening. I can find the specific information in a written document 100 faster than by trying to go over an audio file searching for this 15-second point which captured my interest. And when I find something in the transcription, I can copy and use it. I quoted Pat Flynn in my books in my books using his podcasts’ transcriptions.

The three of the six podcasts episodes that hit me really hard were produced at Smart Passive Income.

The most impactful podcast episodes I’ve ever listened to

Sometimes, very rarely, the episode I listen to blows my mind. It struck straight into my heart. It’s not the host, it’s not the guest, and it’s not the show. Usually, it’s just one or two sentences that hit hard and a light bulb comes off. The below six episodes did that for me:

1. What’s the best approach to goal setting.

Internet Business Mastery was a company behind Pat Flynn’s online success. The two hosts of the podcast with the same name recorded hundreds of episodes. Plenty of them are darn good. I listened mostly to those that touched personal development and they have plenty of them.

I am no longer a subscriber of this podcast since it became a solo show, but I can easily recommend the first 300 episodes or so.

Anyway, this particular episode was about goal setting. Jeremy Frandsen shared one of his recent goals- to be able to take his family to a no “no” trip to a Disneyland. What’s no “no?” He agreed to everything his daughters asked him. Buy this or that thing? Take this or that [karuzela, widowicho]? Yes, no problem.

I listened to this episode while commuting back from work. I waited for a train on the platform.

Hearing how Jeremy describing his trip I suddenly burst into tears. I would love to do this for my family too. I yearned for that. We had gone through awful financial struggles at the beginning of my marriage and we lived very modestly ever since I joined the workforce.

The kind of experience Jeremy described was like an impossible dream for me.

2. How happiness fuels your success.

Have I said Ken Coleman is an awesome interviewer? You bet! This podcast episode was one of a very few which I listened to several times with a pen in my hand and noting down snippets of it.

In this episode, Shawn Achor explains the scientific basis of happiness research. I listened to this episode in autumn 2015. Back then, I already had been practicing gratitude for three years.

And I had no idea how powerful it was!

Listening to this episode was eye-opening. I finally could connect so many missing dots in my own journey. I understood why I was able to change my life so quickly, how my mindset changed and how I improved practically every single area of my life. It was all thanks to gratitude.

I shared discoveries from this episode in several Quora answers and articles and they always resonated very well with my readers. Two of my six top Quora answers are about gratitude, including the #1 answer.

I had been sending people over to this podcast episode so often that finally I saved it in my reference file.

3. Change your thoughts, change your life.

The tagline on my blog says “Change Yourself, Change Your Life, Change the World.” So, this particular podcast episode was right down my alley before I even started to listen to it.

And it is about shaping one’s personal philosophy. This is so neglected in today “self”-help world.

I listened to the episode and I swelled with pride. Here was a goy’ (I love this Irish accent!) who own 47 companies and hires thousands of people. His company provides coaching to tens of thousands of small business owners.

And his teaching was like directly taken from my book “Trickle Down Mindset.”

Brian’s advice is right on the spot. Unlike pitiful gurus who teach to “just believe in yourself” or “just think that…” Brian says exactly what to do, in tangible steps. No magic, just common sense and you can enhance your mindset for good.

4. Changing the world.

This is an awesome episode in itself, telling the story of Adam Braun and his initiative, Pencil of Promise, which funds schools around the globe.

I was excited to listen to it because it says in the title “how to change the world” and I’m personally interested in this subject.

I wasn’t disappointed. At the end Pat asks his guest:

What is the mindset we need to have in order to affect the most people in the world?

And Adam provides the precise answer.

5. The Miracle Equation.

Pat from time to time does some fanboy interviews with guys and gals to whom he looks up to. This is one of them.

However, Pat doesn’t stutter in awe when he has his heroes on the podcast. He asks intelligent and insightful questions.

In this episode he dissected the newest book of Hal Elrod, “The Miracle Equation.”

Again, I was deeply encouraged by what I was hearing. Hal’s conclusions, and he is far more successful than me, were exactly in line with my own findings.

I wrote this piece at the very beginning of my transformation, barely a year into it. I wrote it more from my studies than experience. Yet, my post was a mirror copy of Hal’s equation.

Of course, I like the most Pat’s line from the episode:

“It is extraordinary to be consistent.”

It’s nice to be called extraordinary by one of my personal heroes.

6. Why people hate us online?

This is an amazing episode for everybody who is going to do anything online. Writers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, youtubers – they all need to memorize this episode by heart.

I started to put my stuff out there in 2013. This was fresh after Pat Flynn overcame his struggle with a hater. I took Pat’s advice and applied it diligently. I got my (un)fair share of negative reviews and hate. It bothered me very, very little, despite the fact I was at the beginning of my journey- full of self-doubts and insecurities like all beginners.

Thanks, Pat Flynn.


However, I got the most from this particular episode in regard to my personal life.

“Hurt people hurt people.” – this phrase stuck with me. I will never receive personal attacks in the same way.

Thanks again, Pat Flynn.

Off you go to listen to those awesome podcasts! Please, share with me the particular episodes that have blown your mind in the comment section.



Instant Gratification: A Success Poisoned

instant gratificationThe kind of success we constantly see in media can poison our minds. Golden medals at the Olympics, massive IPOs, scaling a business from five figures to seven figures in a year, wonderful weddings, decisive military victories or losing 100 pounds in five months. All those stories have common themes: they are shiny and fast.

They all fit the dictionary definition of success:

The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Continue reading

Develop a Fitness Mindset and Become Unstoppable!

This is the first ever guest post on Expand Beyond Yourself! Enjoy this very comprehensive post of Anita from Fit Solutions for Life!

Fitness Mindset

How many times have you started a fitness program in order to lose weight and get in shape, only to abandon your efforts in a few weeks or after only a few days?

How many times have you lost weight on a quick weight loss diet, only to find that once you started eating normally you put the weight (and probably a few extra pounds) back on?

Although there are many reasons this may have happened, the major component missing from your efforts is the development of a “fitness mindset”.

A fitness mindset will keep you moving forward and making progress in your efforts to lose weight and get in shape, even when you make mistakes or encounter obstacles.


In order to develop a fitness mindset one of the first things you have to understand is that whatever physical shape you are in today, it is the result of thousands of habitual actions performed throughout your life. Continue reading

Money Mindset: Can Just $60 Transform It?

Money mindset changed by $60
On Wednesday the 10th of September, my wife’s salary was transferred to our bank account. In the first 9 months of 2015, we earned more than in the whole 2014. To be accurate 6.6% more.

I attribute it all to the 60 dollars I saved in September 2012.

I bet you are a bit disoriented by that statement. I am still a bit stunned by how just 60 dollars could multiply into thousands of dollars.
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There Is Nothing Wrong with the World

Nothing wrong with the world
A few weeks ago, I read an outstanding book: How to Find Peace. Peace is definitely something I’m still looking for. If you are curious, I wrote a review about it in another post. In short, the author claims that all turmoil comes from inside of us. In order to take advantage of this philosophy, you need to accept everything that happens in your life.


Not so easy, is it?

Well, it dawned on me this very morning: it’s easy. You need just a bit (in my case, a couple of years) of training in changing what’s wrong with your perspective.
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Your Mindset and The Art of Persistence

The Art of Persistence
All of those “tools” I mentioned here and here are fine and can do the miracles with your consistency, but they won’t help much if your personal philosophy is wrong. What is personal philosophy?

“A system a person forms for conduct of life.”

You live, so it’s an axiom that you have some system for conduct of life. Your personal philosophy determines absolutely every output in your life. It directs all your actions. Part of it is your overall attitude towards consistency. It undoubtly affects your ability to stick with a long-term task or habit.

If your personal philosophy is messy, you need to adjust it before you attempt any consistent activity. If consistency is not something worthy in your worldview, then all such attempts are doomed for failure. The best techniques and tricks are not going to help you if your self-talk sabotages your consistency.

Continue reading