I had the pleasure of chatting with Mike Dillard, and he shared a very powerful message with me. He told me that his goal for 2017 is to help people take action — and actually get sh*t done.

“People are really addicted to learning yet struggle to take massive action toward their goals and dreams,” Mike says. “There’s a difference between the desire of wanting something like the lifestyle or money and actually going out and attaining it. Very few people are finishing up 2016 with something tangible they have built over the past year.”

And I see his point here: too many people are suffering from information overload and lack the initiative to take action!

Just execute small wins every single day. It’s simple.

I’m sure most of you have heard the saying, “Knowledge is Power”. Well… that’s not necessarily true. The way I see it, “Applied Knowledge is Power”. Knowledge, if not applied, is rendered worthless because it is never utilized. What’s the point of knowing so much if you can never use it to create something?

And this led to our first major entrepreneurial takeaway:

How much are you Creating versus Consuming ?

This is a question you can ask yourself each day.

Simply look at how much content you are consuming from others and how much content you are creating for others, whether it be in the form of blogs, articles, videos, status, posts, tweets, etc.

If you consistently create more than you consume, you’ll be alright.

Keep it simple.

Mike told me that back in his 20’s, the question he would ask himself was this: “What can I do every day to push my business forward?”

Acquire knowledge and sharpen the tools to increase a skill set.

Brilliant.

Even in his early days, Mike knew one of the most fundamental truths in life and business:

Learn, Grow, Repeat

Find ways to increase your skills.

Read a book. Watch a video. Listen to an audio. Have a conversation with someone you normally wouldn’t. Ask a question you normally would be fearful of asking.

In his 20s, the reason for his lack of results — and consequently his biggest weakness — was coming to the realization that he has to sell.

Mike is a massive introvert with an—INTP personality type for the Myers-Briggs buffs reading this article.

At the end of the day, he had to learn how to sell and went to work for a commission telecom business.

Cold calls and door-to-door.

That’s the good stuff right there.

Seriously, every entrepreneur I’ve met who has experienced door-to-door or cold-call sales at any point in their lives always ends up having a major advantage over the competition.

Mike worked for the telecom business for three months and overcame the fear of face-to-face selling.

His next fear was selling over the phone.

So, he got a job recruiting physicians for temporary work at a completely empty cubicle where he’d make 300 calls a day from a three-ring binder listing thousands of doctors’ offices.

According to Mike, three or four years of fear were dismantled in just two days at the job.

Mike’s next entrepreneurial message to you:

Face Your Fears and Learn to Sell

Once he had sharpened his sales background, Mike wanted to expand his reach and move from selling one-to-one to selling one-to-many.

With the rise of Internet marketing in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, he discovered copywriting and direct response marketing from Dan Kennedy.

He thought, “Here’s a way I can sell anything by writing a sales script.”

He spent the next 12 months reading everything he could and attending as many events as possible to continue sharpening his skill set.

After months of practice, he wrote a sales letter for his multi-level marketing business—and it worked.

Within a couple months, he had 300 people on his team.

His formula was all based on attraction marketing and direct response.

When you focus on attraction marketing, you don’t have to chase people—they will come to you.

If you want to learn the intricacies of attraction marketing, then find me on Facebook and send a message.

Mike created an ebook called Magnetic Sponsoring and sold it for $39 a piece. Within three months, he was selling 30 to 40 copies a day and netting anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 a month at age 27 from internet marketing.

Within 18 months, he went from waiting tables to making his first $1-million with peak revenue of $6.5-million at the height of his business—all because he learned sales and copywriting.

Over four years, he was able to build an email list of a couple hundred thousand people.

The moral of the story here and our next entrepreneurial takeaway:

Learn a Technical Skill

By the time Mike turned 30 in 2008, he had made $20-million in gross sales and had all the material things he’d ever wanted, although while only having $100k liquid even though his business was making revenue.

His was facing a problem.

The industry talks about making money, but no one was teaching what to do with the money that you do make.

So what did he do? 

He made the commitment to learn money.

He wanted to learn how to invest and become financially savvy.

There were no answers anywhere because of the market crash, so he decided to start a video diary blog where he would teach others about investments like gold, silver, apartment complexes, etc. and charge $97 a month.

In December 2010, he launched the blog and 8,600 people joined in the first seven days, netting $3.2-million in revenue the first week and finishing the year with $10-million in gross revenue.

According to Mike, his success was because of timing.

Perfect message and perfect product at the perfect time.

Mike’s podcast Self Made Man is another example of perfect messaging at the perfect time.

To date, his podcast has received millions of downloads from people all around the world who want to be inspired by Mike and his guests. I asked him what is the most important thing when starting a business or brand:

Lead with purpose. Get down and encapsulate your purpose or mission in life down to one sentence.

Mike’s goal: 

To empower people who want to change their lives with the knowledge and skills they need to do so.

I finished our chat by asking:

What are the three things people need to do in order to leave normal behind ?

His answers:

Have a willingness to master a skill set.

This allows you to execute on your ideas and leave a job. His skill set was copywriting and Google Adwords. That was high-leverage. Find a skill set to master based on your personality type.

Be dissatisfied. Have a hunger for growth.

Constantly crack through the glass ceiling on a personal development side.

Read books, go to events and dive in deep to  overcome your obstacles.

Mike left this lasting message:

My biggest fear for entrepreneurs, especially millennials in the younger generation, is that many entrepreneurs do not understand the depth required for mastery. Mastery requires dozens of books, dozens of events and hundreds of attempts. Do not underestimate the time required to grow a skill set because of the instant gratification environment all around you.

If you or anyone you know is becoming the best version of themselves and creating things that matter and you feel deserves a chance to be featured by me, please email rob@leavenormalbehind.com.

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Rob Fajardo

Rob is the Founder of Leave Normal Behind, a global movement that inspires others to become the best version of themselves and create things that matter. He is on the leadership team of Fownders, a social impact accelerator in Newark NJ that helps entrepreneurs go from Seed to Scale in a 12-week accelerator program. Rob helps purpose driven people build and scale their business or brand.

His Strengths Include:

Branding
Content Creation
Team Building
Growth Hacking
Networking