Don’s introduction: It’s my first time ever in years of blogging hosting a blogger on my site. When I made the decision to introduce you to a weekly blogger I immediately thought of my friend Ryan Biddulph. As a business owner and blogger who’s goal it is to help business owners achieve success online regardless of the business you’re in, you are in for a treat with Ryan’s article.
He will share with us how he overcame some extremely,maybe even crippling, challenges to create a blog that makes him money so that he can enjoy a lifestyle of island hopping.
Be sure to connect with him at his website or check out his new book at Blogging from Paradise
With that said… it’s time to turn it over to Ryan.
“Boy Ryan, you’re so darn happy all the time.”
I’ve heard that one thousands of times since I became a blogger 5 years ago.
Hey, I am happy most of the time. I blog from paradise. I also own the blog Blogging from Paradise. I’m an author, blogger, freelance writer and internet lifestyle junkie with a new book that’s taking off pretty quickly.
I’m living in Savusavu, Fiji now. I’ve spent months in places like Bali, Costa Rica and Thailand over the past 40 months of traveling the world.
I mean, I SHOULD be happy, right?
How about if I told you that many years ago I was depressed and suicidal? That may cause you to think twice, before you think that I am always happy, or that I’m “lucky” to be living in paradise.
Kelli, my fiancée, and I get a big kick out of the “lucky” comment. Some use the word as a formality, like, wow, you’re lucky/aka blessed but a fair number of folks feel that Lady Luck picked me up in New Jersey 4 years ago – when I was $50,000 in debt, had 4 pennies in my pocket, and was so angry that I literally wanted to pound prospering people into a bloody pulp – and dropped me in Savusavu, Fiji.
Don graciously asked me to submit a guest post explaining challenges I’ve overcome to Blog from Paradise. I’m so grateful, honored and humbled by his request because he’s an uber successful business owner and blogger who’s overcome all types of obstacles to prosper.
I am beyond blessed. I’m living my dreams and have a platform to take you with me. If you want to blog from Bali, or Fiji, or if you want to blog from the paradise that is your hometown, because that’s where you most want to be, I can help you do that too. But reaching this space required me to get through some hairy situations.
And now…..as Paul Harvey would say….here is the rest of the story.
Depression and Other Mental Issues
My self esteem was so low many years ago that I didn’t go on a date until I was 26. I was terrified of rejection. Then after I broke up with this individual I went into a deep, dark depression. I contemplated suicide. I was medicated. I would spend hours in bed each day and night, hopeless. Keep in mind that this is years before I became an entrepreneur, but if I didn’t deal with my crap back then, no way in hell I’d be here writing these words from Fiji, today.
Both sides of my family have a history of mental illness. One of my aunts committed suicide. My down moments felt like deep, dark pits, which I would never escape. I felt that I was following in the footsteps of a few of my relatives.
I pulled myself out of this dark episode some 13 years ago. Then, 5 years back, after renewing my faith in self, moving on to a new life overseas, believing in a Higher Power, accepting my divine heritage, and yes, doing loads of uncomfortable, *traveling* and *business owner* things, I simply revealed all of the poisonous, toxic beliefs that needed to be faced, embraced and released before I could leave my depression behind.
I uprooted my mental demons with a combination of meditation, prayer, and wonderful tools like EFT tapping.
The change has been nothing short of miraculous. I’m smiling and jolly 95 to 99 percent of the time – ask Kelli, she’ll back me up on this – because I did the hellishly uncomfortable things that one needs to do to purify their mind and body from the inside out.
No recreational drugs here, or liquor, or anything from outside of me, healed me, or dulled my pain. Just The Universe, the wisdom of experienced folks who’ve helped me to love myself, and my persistent mental science changed my life for the better.
I recall the nasty, angry man threatening me with a law suit. I felt worried, anxious, and then….I laughed. What does he want to do? Take my last $100?
I laughed, and laughed. What else could I do? I was $50,000 in debt, being sued by creditors, and my business prospects were sucky at the time because my mindset sucked.
I declared bankruptcy. At one point I had 4 pennies in my wallet. I would walk 3 -hours between trips to and from the library, in NJ, in sometimes –10 degree temperatures, because I sold my car to eat. I lost 30 pounds because I was living off of heat peanuts that cost 25 cents.
Doesn’t sound too lucky to you, does it?
I moved into Kelli’s mom’s house. Eventually, we bumped up our savings a bit before the trip. We ran into some tough spots early during our travels too, but that’s for another guest post.
Long and the short of it, I learned, again, that working on your mindset is the key to overcoming obstacles. I also learned that creating really helpful, thorough content, and connecting with leaders is the way to prospering.
After a few years of working intelligently I began to prosper more greatly. Kelli and I saw a ton of online success, for sure, then when I released Blogging from Paradise things REALLY took off.
No Business Knowledge
I was taught to believe that entrepreneurs were “wheelers and dealers”, or less than honest folks, before I started my online business. I had no idea how to network, or how to create value, or how to create a product.
I was clueless; a broke, laid off security guard who had only worked a few simple corporate jobs before my pier guard days. These were jobs where folks told you what to do, so you did it, and was rewarded with a paycheck every Thursday.
It took me years to uproot and replace entrepreneurial limiting beliefs, along with a ton of other beliefs about business, like:
- Rich business people are lucky
- Successful entrepreneurs are born talented or skilled
- You have the entrepreneur thing in your blood or you don’t
Figuring out why I wanted to be free, and that I wanted to help you be free, gave me tremendous clarity, helped me develop my entrepreneurial chops and inspired me to move into business-building actions.
Of course, good old personal development, from 30 to 60 to 120 minutes on some days, helped me uproot many of these insidious core beliefs I carried regarding running a successful business.
No Tech Knowledge
What’s a blog? It was bad enough I had zero entrepreneurial bones in my body, and now I had to learn about blogging, and internet marketing, and SEO.
Overwhelm set in. But then I thought through this idea: if time will pass, I may as well spend that time learning skills that will free me, instead of honoring my fears and excuses.
I’m a fired security officer who learned how to become an island hopping pro blogger. Do you know of anybody else on earth who took this path? From security guard to Savusavu, Fiji? I had to learn a completely new tech skill set to make this quantum leap, one moment at a time.
I went to school to learn these skills. School was my blog, my businesses, my mentor’s blog posts, and my online experience.
I acquired technical knowledge by studying how to run a blog, and then I put my knowledge into action, so now the blogging bit is second nature to me.
Get clear on why you’re running an online business. Tie the reason into some form of freedom, and purify your intent by bringing other folks along for the ride.
I am free to travel where I want, whenever I want. My office is wherever there’s Wifi. My tools consist of a laptop, tablet and gobs of imagination and creativity.
I am free, and I want to take you with me. That’s my why.
I teach folks how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. That’s my clear duty on this earth.
Holding this intent accelerated my success like you wouldn’t believe.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being free is worth a few moment’s worth of anxiety, or anger, or embarrassment.
I’ve been embarrassed and humiliated for minutes to hours, collectively, over the past 5 years of my entrepreneurial career, and going back 12 years, when I had to conquer my dark mental demons, I went through hell and back for more than a few days.
Guess what? Being happy most of the time, and learning how to see the good in all moments, and living in Fiji for 4 months, in a home with a million dollar view, and traveling the world for 40 months straight, and inspiring others to do the same, was oh so worth it.
Embrace a few moments of sadness and anxiety, or of humiliation, and anger, and possibly a few months or years of some highs, and lows, and you’ll live your dream.
Don, thanks so much for sharing this opportunity with me.
Want to connect with Ryan and learn his tips, ideas or how he can work with you? Visit his website at Blogging from Paradise.
If you have a comment or want to ask Ryan a question please leave a comment below. Remember, when it’s morning on the east coast of the US it’s evening in Fuji. Ryan will get back to your comment.
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