Prove Yourself

Prove Yourself

Dear Jeff,

Nobody cares.

They just don't give a damn about what you're doing.

But here's a secret: They're right not to.

I know, I know. You have moments of fear and frustration. You're putting in all this work — creating thought-provoking articles that tie into a larger picture.

Doesn't matter. Nobody cares.

So are you wasting your time? Is this yet another uphill battle that will end in disappointment?


Because what they need is exactly what you need.


Look, you can't get disheartened when nobody leaves a comment ten minutes after you post a new article. You can't get frustrated when the whole world doesn't immediately perk up and say, "Wow, man, that was amazing!" You can't let your enthusiasm sag when you haven't even given them enough to sink their teeth into yet.

You've written 11,000 words across 5 articles on a website nobody knows about, that nobody's linking to... that nobody has any way of knowing is relevant to their life.

Google hasn't even found you yet, and Google finds everybody!

Give it time.

You know the plan. You know the vision. You know "what it looks like when it's done".


Trust it.

Trust yourself.

Trust your reader — that they'll find you when the time is right. That they'll see the value of what you're doing. That they'll act upon it and "live accordingly" exactly as your lead demonstrates.

They just need to see it first. They need a reason to care. They need to see a demonstration of value before they'll embrace something new.

And just because you tell them it's valuable does not make it valuable to them.

You need to prove yourself.

And you're doing that. Right now. With these articles.

Just like you planned.


The irony, of course, is that by the time everyone finds you — after Phenomenal has reached the tipping point, and people discover this website retrospectively — you'll already have dozens of articles online here (maybe hundreds). It will look easy to the reader of the future. The words will already be written. They'll be able to take a full day or two or five... and read everything as if it was all magically pouring out of you.

They won't see the blood, sweat, stress and tears you're giving up today.

They won't see that, despite your unshakable confidence in your project (which they will fully appreciate because they'll already know the end result), it still takes work to get it written. They won't see the struggle you have to go through every day — the discipline — to put the words on the page. Because they won't be watching it unfold in realtime.

They'll only see the result. Just as you only see the result of successful people today. You didn't watch their daily effort, either.

Plus, they'll have the book.

And you know from looking at the access logs that most people who visit the site in these early weeks aren't looking at the pre-order page. They don't know anything about the book. It's impossible even for them to understand what the book is.

(But, c'mon. You know that even if they read the description, they can't possibly understand what you're creating until they read the book itself anyway!)


So relax.

You're doing a great job.

You're writing every day, and gradually chipping away at something that will eventually exist. You're creating something — bringing it into being. You're adding something of extraordinary value to the world — by gradually, day-by-day, pushing forward.

That's the way it works. That's the way anything of value comes into existence.

I know you want instant gratification. You want to write a handful of articles and click "Publish" and watch the whole internet instantly buzz with excitement. You want links re-tweeted on Twitter, thrust to the top Digg's homepage, spread virally through Facebook, voted up on Reddit, and celebrated across all the media.

That'll come.

Right now, that's not the thing to focus on. Right now, you're building the foundation.


And in case you've forgotten, let's go over the plan again:

STEP 1: You build The Phenomenal Experience website by publishing about 3 articles each week. By August 1st, you should have 12 or 15 articles online, so that when you kick off the pre-order phase of the book, people will know they can trust you to deliver something of value.

STEP 2: You continue expanding The Phenomenal Experience website by publishing about 3 articles per week, so that by the time the book is launched, you'll have between 65 and 100 articles online to support the publicity push.

STEP 3: Throughout all this, you continue writing the book. The outline is solid — four major sections: The Insight, The Implications, The Need, and The Opportunity — and the early chapters are getting written. You're on target to have at least a solid draft finished by the end of August.

STEP 4: If the book is ready, you go to the printer in September, so you can launch in November. If it needs more time, you work on it some more, and send it to the printer in November, so you can launch in February. There's no rush here. The book needs to be what it's destined to be: phenomenal. So you just keep writing articles for the Experience in the meantime.

STEP 5: When the book goes to the printer, you put your live presentation together. You create the talks, and begin organizing a speaking tour. In the presentation, you start revealing the insights of the book. When the audience discovers precisely how and why "you are phenomenal" and what the implications and opportunities are that come out of that, the word will spread.

STEP 6: As the word spreads, the website will find its audience. The book will attract its interest. You'll start to promote the book, everywhere you go. The promotional tour will begin alongside the speaking tour.

STEP 7: When the book is released, everything will finally make sense to the readers of this blog. Those that have been following along from the beginning will instantly be energized — they'll have watched a global phenomenon from its very inception (something you don't get the opportunity to do very often). Those that only find the blog after discovering the book will feel the same thing — only in retrospect — so they'll pore through this website looking for clues, to live the experience vicariously. Either way, the blog's value will shine when the book is released. You know that.

STEP 8: The book itself opens up new opportunities. People who fully grasp Phenomenal will respond passionately to the book. You'll find exciting new adventures to explore, and fun ways promote the ideas of the book. You might even sell the movie and TV series that inspired the book in the first place. Either way, an array of projects and opportunities will open up.

STEP 9: As you continue to share the Phenomenal insight, and explore and create the new opportunities, you will start to see your creation have an extraordinary and positive impact on the world. The fruits of today's efforts ripen tomorrow. And that's when we start rounding up the elements we need to do the work that will push us to the next level.

You know there's nothing to worry about.

In fact, you know this path is the right one. And you know that the end result will live up to the title you've selected for this whole thing. You know it. You've planned it. And since you've brought other plans to fruition in the past, you know you'll bring this one to fruition, too.


You've even put together a great website that will become extraordinary in time. You've got more articles planned than you have time to write them all:

  • Always Reach Beyond What You Think You Can Grasp
  • Empower the World
  • You Are Phenomenal
  • The Single Best Day of Your Entire Life
  • Hyperdestiny
  • Twitter is the Borg >
  • Your Life — 100 Years from Today
  • Instant Gratification
  • 15% to Life
  • The Caveman with a Cell Phone
  • Swimming on the Water Planet
  • What is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
  • Looking Into the Eyes of the Singularity
  • Failure is a Figment of Your Imagination
  • The Infinite Growth of Value
  • I Look Ridiculous When I Dance
  • The End of the Phenomenal Experience
  • Finding the Courage Amidst the Fear
  • The Human Organism in 2,000 Words or Less
  • The Extraordinary Power of Certainty

...and every day, you come up with a handful of new article ideas that take it even further than all this. And it doesn't matter if the order changes, or the subjects combine, or the titles shift around, because you have an unlimited source of material inside you.

You can attract interest with your plans to add video. When you start asking people to share their "phenomenal experience", the community will grow. When you take it all out on the road, you'll be able to light up people's lives.

It's all there.

And, frankly, it doesn't matter that no one else can see it yet.


In fact, that's actually the whole point of Contribution.

You're contributing something only you can see. They can't see it until you've shown it to them. They can't embrace it until you've done the hard work of putting it into a presentable form.

Even if they want to... they can't see what's in your head. Just like you can't hear a song that's in a musician's head until after they've written and recorded it.

You have to do the work first.

You have to prove yourself.

You've got to

draw the painting,
play the music,
dance the move,
build the house,
dig the treasure,
shape the steel,
cook the dish,
climb the mountain,
run the mile,
write the script,
lift the weight
do the thing

before you get to be disappointed that nobody cared.

And once you do the thing, those who can see what you've done... will care.


You are finally using your voice. You are creating something phenomenal, and designing a phenomenal experience. You are in the process of proving yourself, just by doing the work.

So focus.

And when you start to doubt or wonder or get that itchy sensation, sharpen the focus.

There is an end result here. And it's not the book. And until you've achieved that end result, there's still work to do.

Keep on writing. You're doing a great job.

And you're getting lots of knowing smiles
from readers in the future.

Your fan,

Next up, Article #7
Twitter is the Borg

Phenomenal: The Self-fulfilling Prophecy
is a dynamic new nonfiction book from author Jeff Bollow. You can pre-order your signed, Limited Edition first printing copy with our zero risk buyback guarantee right now. Visit the Pre-Order page for full details.


Karena Thomas (not verified) 10 July 2009 - 4:02 am

Hey Jeff,
How’s it going?!
I saw this link posted on Facebook. I’m really jazzed about what you’re doing here! Good on you… I thought this article was very personal, and can see this whole undertaking must take a lot of courage. It’s very inspiring.

I wanted to add to what you just finished saying above in this article… about “doing the work”. I hope you don’t mind me sharing. I am beginning to discover that what I am “being” while I am “doing the work”, is more important than the physical action itself. Like if I show up to a rehearsal being stressed an dissatisfied, it is a much different experience than when I show up being cheerful and accepting. I am doing the same thing ” rehearsing” but my experience is totally different. And so is the outcome. Now most people might say ” Well i can’t help it if I feel stressed and pissed off.” But the fact of the matter is YES YOU CAN HELP IT! You are choosing every second the way you want to feel in regards to the things around you!! The problem is, most people can’t accept the responsibility this holds for them. But this is what needs to be embraced in order for REAL change to occur on this planet.
( In case you couldn’t tell, I feel very passionate about this subject ;) )
Anyway, chuck us a line if you have a spare minute, it might be fun to banter this stuff about!
Congratulations again on this undertaking!


Jeff Bollow 10 July 2009 - 4:09 am

Welcome to the Experience, Karena. If you have the time, definitely read the articles in chronological order; they’re designed to gradually form an “experience”. And thanks for the comment. I agree completely — that’s why optimism is so vital.

Shannon (not verified) 10 July 2009 - 6:50 am

2009/07/09 at 3:50 pm

Wow, fantastic. This is a great point of view. How often are we proving ourselves with a bunch of chatter too. Whether the chatter is in our minds about how this person just can’t see my vision and then we get disheartened and focus inward on our own value. If we continue to “do” then the stalling that occurs when someone seems to disagree with what you are doing, for whatever reasons they have, you can keep to the task and your commitment if you keep going! Because you can’t prove it with only a fraction of the picture. With only a very small part of the picture, it can be interpreted and pieced together as our minds do (like you mentioned before prediciting the ending of a movie) the excitement the veiwer had in an original piece is deflated. But to keep going to prove in the end you will see my true vision and you can choose to go on this journey with me, but I will be doing with or without you, because in the end I will prove it!
Doing it, with proving it in mind is a great paradigm and helps you understand that other people are not in your head, they see different to your vision right now as they can’t see your destination as clearly as you can. Also adding to this mix the skill of optimism as you mentioned above and what Karena was saying on the approach to something you do, oh so empowering.

Alyssa Alexandria (not verified) 14 July 2009 - 4:55 am

Well done… :) )

RebeccLange (not verified) 14 July 2009 - 8:03 am

LOL very clever Jeff. And yes we are finding you, found you through twitter (& just followed). have read all articles now come in through your latest “the borg” though then worked from 1st to this one. Loved the borg by the way, wrote something about making choices a while ago but you nailed it with the analagy.

Want to share something I wrote on the power of why:

What is inconcievable becomes conceivable, what is unimaginable becomes imaginable, what you know shouldn’t be becomes so. When you look at life as a series of little moments that added up together become one, then you will know those little moments are amazing. When you know what you are here for everything else will just slip into place and that is the power of why. The why you do anything. The why you love your children, the why you do what you do, and the why of you life. Because when you sit in the moment of why and are comfotable with it you will know that your life is worthwhile & hope will fill your heart. And when hope fills your heart it will also fill the heart of others. Hope and all that it represents is an amazing gift because sitting alongside it is love. Love for yourself others and everthing.

You know your why, so rRock on Jeff!! and I look forward to following your journey.