When stuck, ask “What’s really going on here?”

You’re stuck.

You feel paralyzed. You don’t know what to do next. And you don’t know why.

Has this ever happened to you?

Yeah, me too.

I was writing an article for Location Asia on how you can get cheaper flights than Kayak. I wrote about how you use Kayak merely as a baseline. Then reveal the process I use to book the cheapest flights for my clients. Everything was going well.

Until it wasn’t.

I used flying from Beijing to Manila as an example to illustrate my process. After working on it for about 2 hours… I saw that I couldn’t beat Kayak’s price, which defeats the whole point of the whole article.

So I went through my process over and over again, getting the same useless results. Okay, WTF am I supposed to do now?

I felt stuck.

Then as per usual, I defaulted to my guilty pleasure: For the next hour, I stopped writing… And I read a book.

Fortunately, after one hour I finally got my zombie self to stop self-sabotaging and wake up. Then I asked myself,

What’s really going on here?

Here’s what: The reality is, sometimes there’s no cheaper alternative route. Big airlines, the ones in Kayak… Sometimes, they do show the cheapest flights (especially if it’s from a big city to another)

I realized… Airline flight prices are out of my control.

Yes, I can visit every budget airline’s website.

Yes, I can get creative and try nearby airports.

And yes, I can try routing to hub cities.

In fact, that’s what I do for my clients. And that’s what I did in the example I was writing about. But you know, sometimes Kayak does show the best prices.

And there’s nothing I can do about that.

So I used a different example. And BOOM, I beat Kayak’s price by 47.83%. Problem solved!

Here’s the point.

Like flight prices, many things are not under your control.

If you have a process you worked hard at. You are confident it works. And you implement your process… Even when you get a different result than you expected (what we tend to define as failure), you did your best. Literally, it’s the best you can do with what you have. It’s not you. It’s it. So change it.

That’s how you get unstuck.

A lot of times when I feel stuck, it’s because I’m facing a dead end.

I sit down and cry. I bang my head against the wall. I try to bulldoze the brick wall down. But the reality is… It’s a f*ing dead end.

So why not take a different route?

Remember this: When you feel stuck, ask yourself, and THINK: What’s really going on here?

Wow, I’m trying to think of an example but can’t for the moment. If this resonates with you, I’d appreciate it if you share an example of a personal experience.

Was there ever a time when you felt stuck and you procrastinate and avoid the task and do all sorts of self-sabotaging behavior… Only to figure out that it’s not you, it’s the task?

What Will You Do With Someone Who is Ready, Willing, and Able to Commit?

Note: Do NOT read if your name is not James Chartrand. However, if you want to learn how to turn $1399 into piles of cash, check out this post.

“We experience our moments of purest joy at precisely those moments when we are causing it in others.” – Gary Bencivenga

That quote right there… Is why you live to change people’s lives.

It’s why you help thinkers finally turn ideas into pixels. It makes you feel inspired, energetic, and alive.

You love enabling them to make the internet a better place. Because of you, there is less ugly, time-wasting, and filler content. Instead, beautiful, sensible, and useful thoughts abound. You move it one website forward to becoming the place it is meant to be, one writer at a time.

You transform frustrated artists into profitable entrepreneurs.

They already have brains and character. But you found them and you took the time to coach them. It feels fulfilling and satisfying to you.

All the time, effort, and coffee you spent on Damn Fine Words? Are worth it.

Because you help people who have enough sense to convert your coaching into value and cash. And underdog success stories to boot.

You make all the difference in their lives.

This September 2013, you are doing it again.

And you are looking for one deserving person to win a full scholarship.

In other words, you are looking for…

A Damn Fine Student.

My name is Chiara and you know I am determined to get a mentor like you – a successful coach who loves to help smart people. Writer entrepreneurs who know how to take full advantage of your generosity.

This freelance writer needs your help to get her through the gap – hopefully faster and with less resistance than normal. But hey, she does not expect nor want a magic bullet.

All she wants?

Is someone to teach her how to apply her skills and her desire in a more productive and impactful way.

You’ll help her write better to achieve business success, as she:

  • Profitably puts her real-world energy, passion, and enthusiasm online
  • Leaves SEO “copywriting” (i.e. article rewriting) for high-paying blogging and real copywriting jobs

You’ll change her life by making her a better, faster, more confident writer, as she learns:

  • How to spend less than three days writing articles like this and spend more time doing client work
  • How to stop feeling like an imposter “faking” it ‘till she makes it
  • How to feel so sure of her writing skills she goes after high-paying clients she deserves
  • How to provide so much value, make clients ridiculously happy, and get raving referrals

You’ll know what it will mean to her to have obstacles swept away and to:

  • Stop feeling the stress, anxiety, and depression…
  • …That could only come from staring at a few ugly words onscreen for one whole week (it’s never a blank page)
  • Achieve even better than go from nothing to a 1300% rate increase
  • Make you prouder not only for taking steps forward…
  • But sprinting and leaping to join successful entrepreneurs like you, and
  • Get results that compel her to write you more awesome emails that make your day
  • Stop second-guessing herself once and for all, and
  • Know someone she highly respects thinks her writing skills are worth $1399

In sum, it’s very important for me to get in the Damn Fine Words writing course. To learn from someone who’s determined and qualified to help me become a more effective writer entrepreneur. To finally exude the confidence that I provide value worth paying good money for. And to finally turn this vicious cycle of writing anxiety and depression… into a virtuous cycle of stress-free productivity, value creation, and happiness.


Let’s face it – no matter how well you teach…

…or how good your course is

They mean nothing

…unless you find someone who’s ready, willing, and able to help herself

So you know she’s not going to be…

A Damn Uncouth Waste of Time

Quick story:

I lift weights. For the past twelve months, I could not increase my 80-pound bench press. But that did not stop me. I just kept on showing up. Kept trying. Tweaking. And testing.

Then one day, I met a professional powerlifter in the gym.

I tapped her on the back, told her I’m really strong, and demanded to train with her. She taught me:

  • How to tighten my back to engage my target muscles properly
  • How to leverage my legs to increase the weight, faster and easier than before
  • “How to build confidence in my skills so that lifting becomes a pleasure. Really.”

Sound familiar?

In two weeks, she increased my bench press from eighty to ninety five pounds. What I’ve been trying (and failing) to do for the last fifty two weeks!

This powerlifter? She knows her shit.

And she helped me bulldoze the plateau blocking my path to progress.

I still had to show up. I still had to work hard.

But she taught me how to direct my effort and persistence more efficiently and effectively.

So that there’s no more wheel-spinning. No more sanity-questioning. No more time-wasting…

And just like that I transformed from someone who lifts weights for fun… To an athlete training for her first national powerlifting competition.

All that to say: I understand how life-changing it can be for a good coach to carve time out of her life to mentor somebody.

I recognize its potential to someone who is committed to improving herself.

And what if that someone is me?

You can be sure as hell I don’t take that opportunity lightly.

Like you, I’m not one to pass up opportunity.

Like you, I am willing to apply effort to make magic happen.

And like you, I like strong coffee, the color blue, and ice-skating (okay, the last one’s just for ass-kissing)

…But unlike you, I don’t have two wonderful daughters and I have never tried Shiraz.

I’m willing to try though. (Shiraz, not daughters)

“I spent an entire year of my time and invested tens of thousands of dollars to plan, create, and build this course. I woke up every single morning to put in hours of writing, refining, brainstorming, editing, tearing my hair out, and begging for another cup of coffee.” -James Chartrand

You do NOT want to waste all that money, hair, and coffee on someone who’s going to waste all that hard work.

I won’t.

Heck, I figured out your three-sentence minis based on context. It helped me write this article.

What more your whole course?

You want someone who will not only listen to your advice… but do shit with it. Someone who can prove to you that she indeed does shit. Someone who shares your values.

Someone who is strong, relentless, and bold enough to say…

That’s me.

I am ready, willing, and able to commit to my self-improvement.

I choose myself.

But James…

I hope you’ll choose me too.

You can send that life-changing email to cokieng.chiara [at] gmail [dot] com.