2 years ago, I developed a rare health condition.
Ever since, the daily pain and discomfort is so intense I often go entire nights without sleeping.
But it’s not all bad. Through duress I’ve learned something vital:
We are not using our time properly.
You see, pain has eviscerated my tolerance for anything less than great.
If I’m going to work when all I want to do is lie in bed, it needs to be the right work…
Work that tangibly improves my business, that provides high value to others, that means something.
Now, when I consider taking on a project I ask myself one question:
Hell yes or hell no?
This one question, when asked honestly, changes everything. It cuts out the fat so you can focus on building what matters.
Though sickness pushed me to ask this question, I’d still ask it if I became perfectly healthy tomorrow.
This shift in mindset is perfect for anyone who wants more from their business and life.
Why I Ditched My Writing Protégé
A graduating senior from my old college contacted me recently. She wanted advice on becoming a freelance writer.
At first, I was excited to mentor her. But with this new shift in thinking, I’ve reconsidered.
According to her, she’s dreamed about being a freelance writer for years. In other words, she hasn’t taken action.
When I desired to become a freelancer, I started instantly (though I was still in college). I made less than minimum wage for the first 2 months, but I kept going, undeterred.
Fast forward 6 months later and I had multiple clients whom I charged $100–200 an hour.
Keeping this in mind, the idea of tutoring someone that likely doesn’t have the same passion isn’t a “hell yes.”
Spend time with her away from my other projects when I’m in pain?
I use this example because — before the pain and resulting mindset shift — this project would be a no-brainer for me.
Now I realize my time is too precious.
It also points to a caveat people have regarding this shift…
When you say “no,” you may feel like a jerk, but you need to overcome this fake tendency. There’s nothing wrong with taking control over your time.
As this example shows, asking this question often requires going against your own intuition. It’s natural to say “yes” to a myriad of projects that seem promising.
Now I realize it’s better to say “no” unless it’s really valuable.
There are good things and there are better things.
And there is always limited time and energy.
How to Say “Hell Yes” Properly
First off, understand this question only works when you’re free. You must have a business without a superior or a glass ceiling.
Also, beginners should say “yes” as much as possible. They need many experiences to learn the ropes and discover what’s valuable.
Those caveats aside, everyone else should ask this question as much as possible.
To use the question properly, think broadly.
Of course, you’re not going to always say “hell yes” to hard work. But if you say “hell yes” to the overarching goal related to the work, you’re on the right track.
For instance, there often comes a point during my writing process when I’d rather stab myself in the eyes than continue. But do I want to finish? “Hell yes!” Difficulty aside, I know it’s worthwhile while working and I feel great when I’m done.
Conversely, there are other articles I know are pointless while I’m writing them. I feel empty after I’m done. It was a “yes” but not a “hell yes.”
“Hell yes” certainly doesn’t mean easy. Notably, you often receive powerful resistance with your most important work
Saying “hell yes” is often saying yes to pain.
But it’s the good kind of pain — the kind that is necessary for massive success. Examples include:
Giving customers the best support in your industry. Spending months finding the perfect model and photographer for your clothing brand. Writing 3,000+ words, researched articles for your blog
All these things are hard — painful even. But they are most definitely a resounding “hell yes.”
Speaking of pain, there are times when you have to say “yes” to move towards a “hell yes.”
For example, sometimes I’ll take a lucrative freelance project to provide funding (or free time) for a “hell yes” business project.
I mention this because things aren’t always cut and dry. Like every technique, there are some rough edges and limitations.
But the overriding principle always applies. Pay it respect, and you’ll reap the benefits.
One last thing to keep in mind — asking this question is a long-game.
Short term, you may make less money as you say “no” to lower hanging fruit, but long-term it will push you dramatically forward.
Think about it like this — asking the question forces you to be a pro.
It forces you to ruthlessly tackle what matters and ditch what isn’t worthy of your focus.
Use it to demand greatness every single day.
The Most Important Question
Asking this questions about the day to day projects regarding your business is important.
But, a broader use is even more question. Ask yourself:
Is my business a hell yes?
If it’s not, go back to the drawing board for a new or revamped vision.
It may be a painful realization, but through the pain you will grow by leaps and bounds. You will start moving forward rather than spinning your wheels on something that won’t work.
Everyone I know whose had radical success (both offline and online) are passionate to the core about their vision. They say “hell yes” about their business like its raising their own child.
So, this isn’t empty motivational rhetoric — it is vital to your entrepreneurial success.
Do it and be honest with your response.
Joining Kolakube as a Writer
One of the projects I said “hell yes” to is writing for Kolakube and the MD blog.
I’ve loved these products for over 7 years, and I’m truly thankful to be a part of Alex’s vision.
Since I’ll be writing regularly, I thought I’d give you a brief bragging bio. You will hear more about my individual successes in the coming content:
Built myself up to $50+ an hour by age 19 with no degree (dropped out of college to pursue my business).
Sold multiple websites for tens of thousands of dollars.
Generated tens of thousands in affiliate income
Build up multiple lists of thousands (one almost reached 20k).
Gotten millions of visits. Over 100K on Youtube.
Wrote 2 books (full size, not eBooks) and countless 50–100 page eBooks
Ghostwriter for countless businesses and (fairly big) entrepreneurs
I am going to share everything I’ve learned in my years of working full time on my business.
Plus, Alex is writing content as well.
So stay tuned.