The epitome of greatness is Alexander the Great — the world’s most legendary conqueror — who was never defeated in battle and who almost united the known world. (Hence, the fitting title.) As great as he was, he did not become who is by himself. He had help along the way.
First, he was personally mentored by Aristotle, one of the greatest Greek philosophers who ever lived. Second, he inherited the kingdom of Macedon (and its army) from his father, Philip II.
Great men never succeed alone. They learn from other great men. They build upon the great things others have done.
There is going to be a second coming of Alexander the Great — in the form of Alex Ding. Although I did not inherit a kingdom, I do have many mentors. One of them is Victor Pride, of Bold and Determined.
He seemingly came out of nowhere and became the leading authority on winning. But wise men know that although victory may be sudden, the foundations for victory were solidified long ago, one hard day at a time. Many see the confetti and victory dances, few see the sweat on the brow at 5 AM in the morning.
Through Victor’s tutelage, I have learned the 5 (and a half) timeless strategies for laying the foundations of victory and for winning the game of life.
If you wanna make a boatload of money …
If you wanna excel in business …
If you wanna become a rockstar …
If you wanna lead people …
If you wanna pave the way to your own freedom …
This is what you gotta do:
1. Fly or Die
Before I left my last real job I couldn’t find the motivation to stop working on my side project. When I was at my “real” job I was spending all my time selfishly working on my side gig and I would continue working on it all through the night when I was at home. I still can’t find the motivation to stop working independently. Thinking back on the punching a time clock, getting permission to be sick, and dealing with morons daily is enough motivation for me to keep working and making money independently. Looking at the ridiculous lifestyle I have now, compared to 6 or 7 years ago is just mind-boggling. I’m completely free now and I would rather die than go back to being a wage slave.
- Victor Pride
Have you ever felt so passionately about freedom that you would rather die than to be shackled? That you would rather eat what you kill than to beg for a bite on someone else’s plate?
If you answered no, then stop reading now. Without the thirst for freedom, you will not have the strength to break apart from the status quo. You won’t have the strength to keep going on, especially when obstacles stand in your path. It is way too easy to get swept up with the crowd — to go with the flow — than to break away and pave your own way.
It is easy to put on shackles, in exchange for food and shelter. Did you know that people who lived in prison for too long cannot live on their own? They would rather remain in chains than to fly free. If they get released, they would commit a crime just to go back. They have been institutionalized.
Institutionalized prisoners are crazy. But institutionalized students are even crazier.
Millions of people have paid for the “privilege” of shackling themselves. They have taken out six-figure loans for a worthless piece of paper … for a small chance of getting picked as someone’s slave.
Great men look at this with disgust. Victor looked at this with disgust. That is why he is so passionate about freedom from being a wage slave.
2. Play to Your Strengths
You don’t see Kobe Bryant trying to out-think brainiacs, by creating the next theory in physics. You don’t see Stephen Hawking on the mat, taking on the half-ton sumo champion. You don’t see Steven Spielberg competing with jacked, young men for a gold medal on the pommel horse.
Because they all know better than to compete based on their weaknesses. Rather, they compete based on their strengths. Kobe on the basketball court. Hawking in his mind. Spielberg on the movie set.
Victor is good at writing. He always has been ever since he was young. So it makes a lot more sense for him to write winning articles than to do anything else.
In the same way, you gotta take advantage of your strengths. Do you wanna create a popular site as well? If you’re not a good writer, don’t force yourself to write articles.
Maybe you’re better at speaking. Then create podcasts.
Maybe you’re better at showing through the lens of your camera. Then create photos.
Maybe you’re better at performing. Then create videos.
As you will soon find out, the better you are at something, the more you will enjoy it. The more you enjoy it, the longer you will endure through the pains. The more you will endure through the pains, the better you become at something.
It is a self-sustaining cycle.
3. Dedicate to Your Craft
I just wrote. I knew that the people who wanted to find it would google whatever they needed to find it.
- Victor Pride
It took 2 – 3 months before Victor received a single comment. Yet, he kept on writing. It took more than 1 year before he made money from his words. Yet, he kept on writing.
Month after month, he keeps on producing new articles. He keeps on building his site. If he was any ol’ bozo, he would have quit. 99% of the people would have quit.
But Victor is no bozo; he’s a winner. A winner knows that it takes time to build something valuable. The only way you can keep going on, even when there are no external rewards, is to love what you do so much, you can dedicate your life to it.
If you look at any top dog in their field — Kobe, Hawking, Spielberg — they dedicate their life to their craft. If you have any hope of competing among the best, you too must do the same.
4. Seek Excellence
The only way I have ever gotten readers is by writing winning content that inspires.
Yes, writing when inspiration hits has been my modus operandi for the past 3 years. That has changed though, now I’m planned out for the 4-6 weeks in advance. I can’t write 3 articles per day, it took me two weeks to write this article. I spend minimum 8 hours on an article.
- Victor Pride
For Victor, it is not enough to sit in front of a computer and pound out articles. Each post must have a WOW! factor. If there is no WOW!, he does not click on the publish button.
Did you know that he has 200 written articles still unpublished? Since each article takes at least 8 hours to write, he has 1,600 hours’ worth of work sitting there. Even though he spent so much time on them, he will not ship. They are not good enough to ship. That is his price for excellence.
Your work is your reputation. If you hastily ship shoddy work, you will damage your reputation in the long-run. That is why you must never settle. You must be excellent. You must produce excellence.
There is way too many below-average and sub-standard work. According to Sturgeon’s Law, ninety percent of everything is crap. Strive to be in the elite 10%, lest you get swept away in the crap of mediocrity.
4.5. Forget About Short-Cuts
I have never allowed outside advertising, sponsored posts or sponsored links on Bold and Determined and the only products that appear on the site are products that I like and approve personally. I have never advertised Bold and Determined and I have never used any SEO voodoo trickery to get better rankings on google.
That’s correct, it was all organic. I never marketed the site, ever. Never did guest posts.
- Victor Pride
Once you embrace excellence, you must reject short-cuts. Excellence and short-cuts are mutually exclusive.
That is why Victor does not engage in black hattery or search engine manipulation. He doesn’t have to. He lets his work speak for itself.
Short-cuts give you fast results. But the results are short-lived. If Victor built Bold and Determined on the backbones of SEO, once Google or whatever search engine changes its algorithm, all his work goes tumbling down the drain.
But excellence endures forever. His writings inspired yesterday. They inspire today. And they will inspire tomorrow.
Remember … It’s not about getting rich quick. It’s about staying rich. It’s not about becoming free quick. It’s about staying free. Short-cuts can get you results quick. But only excellence can get you staying power.
The secret to getting whatever you want — money, girls, power, fame, whatever — is to have a good reputation and to build trust. Reputation and trust are a function of excellence and time.
Time after time, produce excellence. And whatever you want will fall onto your lap.
5. Never Quit
I’m not the smartest or most capable man in the world, I’m not even the 2nd smartest or most capable man in the world. The only thing I have going for me is that when I am fired up I will never quit. I’ll go the edge of the earth for something I believe in. I will go broke for something I believe in. I will risk anything and everything for something I believe in.
- Victor Pride
You don’t have to be the smartest, the most talented, or the best looking. All you have to be is the most persistent.
If you can keep on working, even when no one is looking at you …
If you can keep on striving, even when no one is rewarding you …
If you can keep on practicing, even when no one is thinking of you …
You have what it takes to win at the game of life. Because soon enough, people look at you. They will reward you. They will think of you.
Average men will quit when their journey gets too tough. Great men will expect obstacles and push through. Become a great man.
If you can only remember one strategy, remember this one.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
- Calvin Coolidge
Now that you know how to achieve whatever you want, are you willing to do the hard work? Of laying the foundations of victory? Or will you get swept away in the river of mediocrity and become part of the 90% — the crap?