When I wrote my first book I was almost embarrassed because the page count was barely over 100. And the same thing happened with my second book. But, the stories I’d written were over. I wasn’t going to write just to write and add nonsense content just to reach a page number goal.

So, when I set out to convert my blog into a book, I did set a goal of at least two hundred pages. Because this content was somewhat different than my previous books, I was able to continue writing without it seeming forced. I wasn’t only after a page number, I was also concerned about writing good material. I put my head down for a few months and went to work. When I came up to breathe, I had a 500-page book.

It sounds simple, but that’s because it is simple. It’s just not easy. Life and success are very simple concepts:

Find your focus + put in the work = experience success

That’s truly all there is. The reason it’s simple but not easy is because it’s not easy to wake up at a certain time every day. It’s not easy to bring yourself to do simple things that you don’t feel like doing. It’s not easy to experience failures meant to teach you and get up and keep going. Simple. But not easy.

I have an amazing and inspiring friend, Debbie, that is currently putting together a hell of a story with her life. Along with writing and advising at a college, I’m building a business in life insurance with a company that has taken what it means to be leaders to a whole new level. Selling life insurance is not something I had ever aspired to do. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But, being involved with the leaders and people I’m in business with, that is something I have aspired to do. And once I learned what life insurance was really about, meeting new people and helping them secure a financial future for their families, I was able to get behind that too.

In order to do this life insurance thing, you need a license. This is where Debbie comes in.

I failed the state exam for my license once and got it on the second time. Debbie and I connected at a conference and became instant friends. Her heart is huge and she has ambition to meet it. For the past several months, maybe close to a year, she struggled to pass her exam (I got permission from Debbie to tell this story by the way.)

She would call me after each attempt in tears but at the same time resolve that she would get it the next time. The next time would come, and she wouldn’t get it. People around her started to suggest she do something else, even a pastor mentioned she go a different route. But she never quit. She fought through tears, fought through her doubt and other’s doubt. She just would not stop.

Debbie called me last week with those same tears flowing from her eyes. It was her 16th try at the exam. She had passed.

If you don’t think a story like that is going to impact lives of people that are on the brink of quitting right before they succeed, you’re from a different planet. And, if you don’t think Debbie is going to love on people just a little more because she has a deeper appreciation for how she arrived to that place to be able to help people, again, you’re from Mars. Weirdo.

Fall in love with your vision + take an exam = experience success

Simple, but are you willing to fail 15 times before you succeed?

Oh, and it costs $50 every time you sit for the state exam.

I wrote a 500-page book the same way Debbie passed an exam. It was simple.

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