1. Opportunity to learn for free
Before the age of the internet, the next best place you could learn (if you made the time) about anything, from business to large scale farming, was the library. And if you didn’t have access to a library, then the next best thing would have been to sit down with a professional who wouldn’t mind sharing his or her experience with you.
It was mind-blowing for me to realize that for the first time in history, we (people of today) have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest professionals this world has ever known. Because a lot of their journals, work and lessons are readily available for you to consume.
I would not have been a game developer, graphics design person or software developer if it weren’t for Google and YouTube. I was terrible at keeping up with programming in school. Fortunately, I found instructors online that knew exactly what challenges I faced in getting started.
Many of us learn stuff everyday and don’t take a moment to even realize it. Because of the internet, many of us are better cooks, better marketers, better guitar players, better artists, better parents, better students, better comedians, better speakers, better writers, better politicians (*cough* *cough*) and generally better human beings.
Whatever your dream profession maybe, there’s a ton of information available for you online that can GREATLY help you get started moving towards it…. FOR FREE.
2. Better chances to succeed
Traditionally as a company, you needed to have a significant amount of money to tell people about the products or services you offer. Reach was determined by marketing budget. As an individual or freelancer you had to hope that the people you knew would introduce you to people you wanted to work with… to grow you business.
That still exists today. But something else has emerged with the rise of the internet. Social media. For the first time, you and I have a chance to get noticed by a LARGER audience without having to spend much. Reach is now determined by value and just how relevant you seem to the people you are trying to influence.
Not only that, but now you can have a website. Which is a perfectly good substitute (sometimes even better) for a store front.
Look at what sites like LinkedIn have done for individuals and companies looking to advance professionally. Dribbble, DeviantArt, SoundCloud, Pinterest… etc.
Or mediums of communication that can give you a voice to prove that you are authentic like blogs, podcasts and video streaming.
I’m just scratching the surface here. But with the rise of the internet, the opportunity to become a success story has greatly improved for those who have already embraced modern technology.
3. Opinion overload
Every one has a voice now. You do not have to be the president of a country to have influence over a large number of people. There a video game players who have more followers on social media than your country has people.
As you can imagine, this is both good and bad. And I want to focus on it’s impact on you as a consumer not content creator.
With so many people telling you how to live your life in different ways, which way is right for you? If you are pursuing success, for example, who’s opinion matters to you most? If you are trying to grow spiritually, who’s opinion matters to you most? What about relationship advice? Want to start a business? Looking for something that will make your rich in only 2 days?
We now have the responsibility of making sure that we filter the content that we are constantly being bombarded with that isn’t necessarily aimed at improving our lives… based on what we believe.
Let me give you a simple example.
I dealt with an immense amount of negativity and skepticism when I initially began pursuing my dream to make video games. Many people (online and offline) just didn’t understand how someone could possibly make a sustainable living making/selling video games.
Imagine how horrible it felt when people with massive numbers of followers on social media would speak on topics like “Why video games are a waste of time”. And that was despite the fact that video games have been on the rise ever since the 1980s.
I had enough, so I unsubscribed to all the negativity that had no factual evidence behind it. I decided, instead, to follow the positivity and TRUTH surrounding the industry. I dived deeper into the industry. Met and interacted with people not commonly known to those outside the industry.
I realized a truth that I have always applied in such situations when I am unsure of what to do next. “Never take the advice of someone you are not willing to trade places with”. Darren Hardy taught me that.
Thankfully, I learned about how generating income in this industry works. I had ideas, but it wasn’t until I dove head-first, that I actually understood the exact process of how game creators pocket money from their games. And though I’m not yet where I know I should be, I’m glad I’m on the path.
It’s not like I DESERVE to be an instant success. I’m humble and more importantly, I have the right kind of guidance from the community I am now a part of.
This kind of thing plays out a variety of ways for different people in different industries… But take care when it comes to following people’s opinions on subjects that related to what it is you do or are after.
I suggest taking the time to figure out what exactly you want in life and then go looking for people to connect with who share similar views.
You do not want to be the kind of person following the crowd just because it’s trending and everybody is doing it. Follow something or someone because what you believe in is aligned with the principles/cause/message or whatever it is they represent.
Hopefully what you believe in is something that doesn’t violate the rights of others :).
4. Diminishing patience
People have lost patience with almost everything in life. Getting rich, losing weight, getting food, getting married, getting divorced, becoming boss…. everything.
And companies have made a fortune over people’s lack of patience.
Need to eat now but feeling too tired to cook? Here’s a 5 minute burger and fries meal.
Need to lose weight fast without having to lift a muscle? Here’s a pill.
Need money to buy that dream car you always wanted but don’t want to wait 1 year working? Here’s a loaded gun, a ski mask and a blueprint of the bank we are hitting tomorrow at 9. Be there or be square :).
And because a lot of these quick and usually cheap fixes do not work, trust is eroded. I mean, what happens when you don’t lose weight after consuming 400 pills and you way passed the awesome 30-day-money-back-guarantee?
When someone else shows up hawking the same stuff (even if it’s legit), you immediately back away.
If someone told you that you could become a millionaire in only 1 month by following some suspicious formula and you believed them. Then if you try it out and fail, do you know what that might do to you? Well, if you try out get-rich-easily-and-quickly schemes like this a few more times and fail, you might develop a mindset that says pursuing success is a waste of time.
NOT pursuing get-rich-quick schemes is a waste of time BUT pursuing success as a whole is a waste of time.
You lose respect for the traditional way of succeeding that many have proven to work. You lose respect for your own dreams and goals. You prioritize other people’s “stuff” (usually people who don’t believe in get-rich-quick schemes).
You forget that Rome was never built in a day. You lose respect for how hard and long-work has been the foundation of many great nations, businesses and people.
“It takes 13 hours to build a Toyota and six months to build a Rolls-Royce.” ~ Somone on the internet.
I like and respect Toyota. But if were asked to choose between a Rolls-Royce Phantom and any Toyota model…
Success is a lifestyle. It’s not the result of following some tactic that radically changes your life whether it’s over night or over 5 years. Success is how YOU change your own life.
When you become NOTICED as being successful, it’s because once upon a time in your past, you DECIDED to join the path towards success.
5. Hope for a better tomorrow
Despite how chaotic everything around us seems to be. I actually believe we live in the best time of our lives. With the knowledge readily available and affordable we stand a better chance to becoming anything we want compared to those that were there long before us (think Globally).
No longer is success accessible to the intelligent, those of royalty or “chosen” few…. it’s accessible to the “ready to pursue” many.
Look at how far we have come in the past 2 decades… imagine how far we will be in the next 2. I’m especially hopeful in the medical field.
Me, you and everyone around you has the information and technology necessary to really change people’s lives for the better.
Once in a while, when we turn off the TV and the marketing messages asking us to buy… we can take some time to think about what we can create.
I can’t sit still and watch my day fly by these days. There’s just so much I’m curious to try and so much more work I need to put into my personal projects.
As long as you are reading this, you have everything you need to take your life from where it is… to where you need it to be.