5 Ways to Kick Ass in Your Life: What I Learned from Michael Ellsberg

A lot can be learned from Michael all over the internet, but his book “The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late” is his primary manifesto.  You can find him at http://www.ellsberg.com/ and you can find his writings in the NYT, Forbes, WSJ and on Amazon.

First off, wow talk about clicking into something that I have been thinking about for years. His attitudes on higher education, and the fact that we are making a $50k – $200k investment up front without any idea how we are going to eventually use that education to pay back that money, are very similar to mine.

His book made a real impact on me in relating to how much strain debt puts on people because I get how much Michael feels betrayed by society. Managing that debt and the fears around it are going to be a critical part of my coaching practice.

Full disclosure. Michael Ellsberg is my friend, which is how I got exposed to his work. I’ve known Michael for years, meeting him in 2007, but I had fallen out of touch with him since he moved to NYC and have lately just followed his career on the internet.  I paid full price for his book and only told him that I read it when I told him about this blog post (Hi Michael!).

These 5 steps are what I took from his book.

Step 1 of Kicking Ass: Find your Purpose

Purpose. It’s a word that gets thrown around all the time, but what does it mean? I finally figured it out when I found mine, “to be a stand for our happiness.” It led me directly to launching my coaching practice. It is the thing you do effortlessly and brings you an incredible amount of joy.

Michael argues that we are way too risk adverse and too conformist and to take a risk doing something big. Purpose is BIG and most people shy away from it for this reason. This is what I’m doing, to take a risk at something big, and I appreciate that Michael is helping people figure this out. It also made me realize that I was taking this part too lightly because I had already found my purpose. It’s incredibly important to find your purpose and think big and I am grateful to Michael for reminding me.

Michael believes, as do I, that everyone has as purpose and can manifest it in the world in a way that makes them fulfilled spiritually and worldly. He has some very helpful tips which I won’t spoil because people still have to be able to buy his book when I’m done with this post.

Step 2 of Kicking Ass: Get Inspiring Mentors

Mentors are incredible because they lead the way for you. When you’re on purpose, you often have no idea what you’re doing because your exploring unknown territory within yourself. Of course, I know what I’m doing when it comes to offering coaching but in terms of pushing my edges, getting out of my comfort zone, it’s amazing to have people showing you the way. Once you have found them, find a way to contribute to them that’s very valuable. Michael does this by offering his copywriting experience among other things. This practiced inspired this blog post because I realized that Michael are already on the path that I want to go on and it’s important for me to contribute to him. I hope he reads this post and get something out of it and I look forward to being more inspired by him in the future and contributing more to him in the future.

Step 3 of Kicking Ass: Know how to Sell & Get the Word Out About Your Purpose

Next up, getting the word out. You have found your gifts, found the people to light the way; it’s time to do it. However, there is a significant roadblock here. “Selling is dirty!” you say. “I hate being sold!” you say. Get over it. If you can’t fully enroll people in what you’re up too, nobody will care. Michael turned me onto “SPIN Selling”, which is how I have been talking to people about what I do and it’s nice to see other people believe in it as well. I’m not trying to sell, I’m trying to authentically understand my clients needs and if I have value to provide. If it’s a match, I provide it in a way that’s beneficial to us both.

The final nail in this “Selling is dirty” coffin should be this: By not getting your message out there, you are denying the world your gifts. If you can’t find the people who your gifts would help, and you can’t work with them to figure out that your gifts would benefit you both, then fix it.

I also appreciate how Michael provides a tremendous amount of value in this chapter by telling you exactly who he has learned from in these fields and enabling you to learn from them as well. I have about 20 new RSS feeds now and I am literally drowning in more information. When it comes to delivering extra value, this chapter fucking delivers, especially from a book I only paid $15 for. Thank you Michael!

Step 4 of Kicking Ass: Have a Unique Personal Brand

OK, now you’re on purpose, you have mentors, and you can get your word out and help people. The way to true rock stardom is your brand. A lot of people focus on their “career” by focusing on choosing the right companies to work for. This works incredibly well up to a point, but think about the rockstars in your industry. You know them by name, right? Focus on getting yourself out there, as you, and no boss can take away the power that you get from that. Whether you work for yourself or for large companies, being well known is the key to an amazing career.

I have to thank Michael a lot for this chapter. Specifically, you are reading this post on brianmdriscoll.com and not getyourmoneyshithandled.com because of this chapter. After reading this chapter I immediately signed up for @brianmdriscoll on twitter & this blog. It echoed many other great thinkers about “personal brand” and pushed me over the edge into action.

Step 5 of Kicking Ass: Focus on Contribution, Not Entitlement

Michael calls this the “Entrepreneurial Mind Set.” I struggled with this because I desperately wanted to be in the “Entrepreneurial” mind set with my current job but I realized I was in the employee mindset. I was playing small, trying to protect the work that I was doing & only doing what was requested instead of looking for more work and trying to make my current work obsolete. I looked at the people who had been promoted in my company and saw that they did exactly what Michael was outlining. It was an important wakeup call and I need to be continually reminded of those things. Even running my own business, I need to focus on these things as they are habits I have acquired from my full time job.

However, his “focus on contribution” part was particularly intriguing because it’s actually a significant point and he could have spent a whole chapter on it instead of just a little bit here and there. This is where I get the energy to live my day, in contribution. This is why I give my gifts, because it is effortless for me and provides significant energy back to me.

I’ve been having a lot of discussion with my girlfriend about “excitement” and “joy” and other related words. What brings joy into the world? What makes you excited to wake up in the morning? For me, and for everyone I know who has discovered it, its contribution.

I have a lot to thank Michael for and I am deeply indebted to him for his work on this book. Thank you!

Again, I appreciate you being on this journey with me and I hope that this post has inspired you to take new action in your life. I’d love to hear about it at Brian@BrianMDriscoll.com or as a comment on this post!

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