“Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.”
-The first search result on Google
I always loved the idea of Thanksgiving, but since we don’t celebrate it in Europe, I never really celebrated or experienced it.
That sucks mainly because I would LOVE to have some of that turkey, potatoes and cranberry sauce. That just sounds awesome.
It also sucks because I feel like I’m missing out on the “thanks giving”, which I do believe is an important part of my life. I always like thanking people who have supported me and helped me get to where I am today.
Since I hate missing out on things, I thought I’d say “screw it”, cheat a little bit, and host my very own Virtual Thanksgiving in the form of this blog post – where I’ll share the people I’m super grateful for this year.
Let’ dive in!
#1 – My kick ass clients, students and readers
Since I’ve transitioned back to running my own business almost a year ago, I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible top performers that are incredibly good at what they do – and helping them start and grow their businesses has been just so much fun and so gratifying.
I love working with people who are already shaping the world to become a better place (from aerospace start up CEOs to celebrity make up artists to world class songwriters pursuing Grammy awards), as well as people who are going to shape the world in the near future through the amazing work they’re doing today.
Breakfast with my students in Chicago
I want to take this moment to thank all the clients that I’ve worked with this year (I won’t share all of their names because I want to respect their privacy), as well as the silent (and less silent) happy readers of this blog who continue to make their lives and businesses better.
One of the things I’m really blown away by is just how many people successfully wrote one or more Ultimate Guides with my help in the past. It’s a LONG list:
- Nick wrote his Ultimate Guides about monetizing Facebook live, Facebook video ads and strategic email marketing for fitness & yoga businesses
- Diana wrote her Ultimate Guides about starting a profitable online community and keeping an online community engaged
- Frank wrote his Ultimate Guides about finding a virtual assistant and productivity for online entrepreneurs
- Peter wrote his Ultimate Guides about summer style, fall style, creating a minimalist wardrobe, buying a leather jacket and style for beginners
- Jon wrote his Ultimate Guides about doing a handstand and doing your first backflip
- Allon wrote his Ultimate Guide about high performance (and has another one on mental toughness coming out soon)
- Chris wrote his Ultimate Guide about a perfect morning routine
- Jerome wrote his Ultimate Guide about stopping binge eating at night (and is working on another one on intermittent fasting)
- Camille wrote her Ultimate Guide about getting a date without going online
- Iris wrote her Ultimate Guide about creating a business casual wardrobe (for women)
- Matej wrote his Ultimate Guide about finding more time and energy to start a side business (and is working on the second one about deep, focused work)
- Audrey wrote her Ultimate Guide about meal prep
- Jonathan wrote his Ultimate Guide about setting up your website yourself (and is working on his second guide about setting up an autoresponder sequence)
- Jim wrote his Ultimate Guide about RxJava for Android developers
- Maria wrote her Ultimate Guide about stopping binge eating for good
- Charles wrote his Ultimate Guide about writing 1,000 words a day
- Jesse wrote his Ultimate Guide about switching careers to big data
- Tree wrote her Ultimate Guide about surviving emotions for empaths and highly sensitive women
- Katsumoto wrote his Ultimate Guide about lens design
- Ryan wrote his Ultimate Guide about getting a TED talk this year
- Rusty wrote his Ultimate Guide to best animation schools
- Eanna wrote his Ultimate Guide about indie photo book publishing
- Martin wrote his Ultimate Guide to losing your first 10 pounds (in Slovak language)
Plus, there are tens of other guides in the work from my students and readers (and many that I probably didn’t hear about yet).
Just seeing this makes me so happy. Ultimate Guides aren’t easy to write. Most of them are 10-25,000 words long, and take 50-60 hours or more to create. The fact that so many people are spending so much of their (already limited) time to create such amazing content for their readers makes me so happy, because I know we’re really contributing to the world together by sharing great information in a world of internet noise and crappy content.
I also love that we have Ultimate Guides out in the world from so many different industries… From fitness to programming to animation and indie photobook publishing. It’s not just guides about online marketing.
If you’ve ever written an Ultimate Guide with my help… THANK YOU. It means a lot to me. And if you haven’t let me know about it yet, do let me know (email me or leave a comment below). If you want to learn how to write one, click here to get my free Ultimate Guide to Writing Ultimate Guides.
And even if you haven’t written an Ultimate Guide or aren’t planning on writing one, I want to thank you for being a loyal reader of mine – if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
It’s true that I love nerding out on Ultimate Guides (because they work), but I also love writing about other aspects of online business and being a business coach for top performers – because I love sharing my advice with people who will become the future online influencers and change lives of millions of people.
So thank you for being here – whether you’re my student, 1on1 client, or a reader. I appreciate you.
#2 – My mentors
There are 4 major mentors whose advice has really shaped my business this year (in no particular order).
I’ve met Selena through Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch program a few years ago, and she’s since become a good friend and mentor of mine. I’ve learned a ton from Selena, but there are a few things that really stand out to me.
Nobody puts the care that she’s putting into everyone who she works with (from clients to business partners) like Selena does. She treats every person as if they were her lifelong friend, and really puts her relationships first. Watching Selena run her business has helped me put a lot more care into how I run my own business, and it’s definitely shown in the relationships I was able to build with my students as well.
Selena has taught me a ton about how to to get more media attention for my business, and I really do consider her the #1 expert on publicity in the online business world. Her program Impacting Millions is hands down one of the best online trainings available, and it’s incredible to see how many success stories she’s able to produce from the students that join it. She’s also helped me connect with some major influencers in the industry through her events (like her business anniversary party), which I really appreciate.
Hanging out with Selena at her business anniversary party in NYC
The one thing that few people see if they don’t know Selena well is her drive to continue improving every aspect of her business. Even though she’s created Impacting Millions a few years ago, she’s still regularly working on improving it and making it an even better program. I admire that determination to continue to improve her program until she really can’t make it any better, and because of her approach I’ve adapted a similar mentality in my Ultimate Guide System as well.
Selena has made a huge impact on my business this year, and I’m so grateful to have her as one of my close friends.
Talking to Ramit at his Forefront event in Chicago
Ok, you knew this one was coming. Ramit has had a huge influence on my business over the past few years, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have created my own online business. I’ve also worked with his company to develop his Accelerator program between 2015 and 2016, which has helped me experience through my own eyes what building a multi-million dollar business looks like.
The most impactful thing I’ve learned from Ramit this year came from his Forefront event (see my lessons from Forefront here).
Going into Forefront, I wasn’t exactly sure what I should focus on in my business next, and I decided to have a quick conversation with Ramit about it. We had a conversation about changing my writers voice (since I knew that my voice became very similar to his over time as I followed him), and he helped me understand how to develop my own writers voice and run my own business in a way that I want to, and not necessarily the way he would want to.
That lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, and I’ve definitely started running my business in a different way now. I’m no longer worried about what one of my mentors might think when I write something or create a product, and instead focus on the things I want to write about and create, as well as the things that my audience wants me to create.
This has been extremely liberating, and made running my own business a lot more fun. As Ramit likes to say, “I’m the CEO of my own business”, and I was able to go from knowing that to living that.
Hanging out with Derek at Selena Soo’s party in NYC
If I had to name one person that has helped me improve my business skills this year, it’s definitely Derek.
Derek’s online courses (I wrote about his Sales Page That Converts on my blog) have been hands down some of the most deep and detailed courses on the internet, and include a wealth of phenomenal information. Since I’m very self-driven, it’s not a problem for me to go through tens of hours of videos and hundreds of pages of worksheets on my own.
His Sales Page That Converts has taught me how to write better sales pages, his Blog That Converts has opened my eyes in terms of long-term strategy for building a blog audience and writing viral content, and his Yes Engines is helping me learn how to create better sales funnels for my online programs. Every single course I’ve taken from Derek to date has been exceptional. I’ve also used his Zippy Courses platform to host all of my online programs, which has been of huge help.
Since I loved Derek’s courses so much, I recently joined his high-end mastermind, where I got to experience how he runs his online business and learned how to work on some of my biggest weaknesses that will help me take my business to the next level.
I don’t think Derek necessarily gets the credit for being a brilliant business mind (as he’s often known for his hilarious YouTube videos), but from taking his courses I know that for the super self-driven people, he’s a great guy to turn to for business advice.
The other thing that people might not know about Derek is that he has a huge heart – he really deeply cares about people. Whenever I reached out to him for help, he was there for me, and I really deeply appreciate that.
While I’ve learned from Ramit, Selena and Derek over the past few years, this year I’ve found a new mentor that has made a huge difference in how I approach my business and life.
Hanging out with Allon and his wife Naomi in Israel
His name is Allon Khakshouri. Allon is one of the best tennis managers in the world (he’s managed three of the world’s #1 tennis players, including Novak Djokovic), and he is an incredible high-performance expert. As Allon got the idea to teach high performance to business owners, I immediately raised my hand and told him I wanted to work with him.
I knew that I wanted to become the best in the world at what I do, and I turned to Allon because I knew he could help me do that. At that point I didn’t know just how life changing working with Allon would be. I can say that he’s been hands down the most influential person in my life this year, and helped me become a better business owner, athlete and a person.
Allon has taught me how to perform on a higher level and show up as the best version of myself – both on a day to day basis when I work on my business, and on huge days like my powerlifting competition.
He taught me how to get more work done, focus on the right things in my business, constantly learn and improve my skill sets, develop confidence, grit and mental toughness, recover better, improve my relationships with my family and even how I handle my finances.
One of the highlights of my year was visiting Allon in Israel for a few days where we went to see a friendly basketball match between Slovenia and Israel, where I got to explore Israel and it’s beaches, and where we had some incredible conversations about business and life.
I know that Allon is teaching the skills that will help me become the best in my industry, and I know he’ll be one of the major online influencers in the high-performance world in the very near future.
#3 – My best friends
Hanging with Marc and Diana at Forefront in Chicago
Marc and Diana were my teammates while I was working at Ramit Sethi’s Accelerator program, and since that we still chat on a daily basis. I really consider them two of my closest friends, and I turn to them for all the day to day ups and downs, as well as reach out to them for help when I get stuck.
The thing I love the most about Marc and Diana is that they’re two of the hardest working people I know, and they’re both working on their own amazing projects behind the scenes that will be HUGE for them next year – and it’s just so awesome to be a part of their journey.
Of course I love them for selfish reasons as well. Building an online business on your own is hard, and having friends to support you day in and day out through the good and the bad times just makes it a ton easier (and more fun).
Marc and Diana, if you’re reading this, I really appreciate having you in my life – and stay awesome in the future as well!
#4 – My powerlifting trainers
The moment when I was the most proud of myself this year was winning two gold medals at my first powerlifting competition.
This was a crazy experience where I pushed through injuries, losing 30lbs over a few months, tens of hours of workouts each week, and hundreds of hours of mental training. It was one of the hardest and most gratifying moments of my life.
I know this wouldn’t have happened without all 3 of my trainers that support me day in day out. They help me get better at lifting, improve my mentality, push myself beyond my limits, and keep going when things get tough. They’re also there for me all the time when I need their help, which I appreciate.
Having them in my life is not only helping me become a better athlete, it’s also helping me apply what I learn in lifting to other areas of my life, and make me more mentally tough when I work on my business. They often don’t get the credit for the behind the scenes work they do, but they’re a huge part of my life.
#5 – My family
My girlfriend Aida is the person who needs to put up with my shit day in and day out (like going to basketball matches):
She’s also always there for me when I need her and helps me out when things get really tough. She’s also a kick ass photographer and takes care of most of the photos and design for my website, e-books and courses. Most importantly, she’s the one person that never takes my BS and reads right through it, which helps me be a better person.
And, she makes sure I don’t just work 24/7 and actually spend time on things that matter to me beyond just business.
I’ve also gotten a lot closer with my family this year (hugely thanks to Allon’s advice):
Fun fact: my family name translates to “Christmas” so we like to dress up as Santa Clauses for Christmas
It was so awesome to have my whole family be there for me when I won my powerlifting competition, and it’s great to have them in my life where they support me when I need their support, even if they don’t necessarily understand what this online business thing or powerlifting thing is all about :).
Bottom line is – I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for all of these awesome people – from friends, family members, to mentors, readers and everyone else who’s reading this.
Today, I really just want to say thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate you.
What about you? Who are you grateful for today?
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