Today I’m going to show you how to create the most important document of your life. It will give you an edge over the average 95% of society and fast-track you towards pulling off your big dream.
I did it seven years ago completely by accident and less than one year later everything had changed for me.
I call it a Personal Manifesto.
Here’s how it works.
In 2008 my life was really uncertain, to say the least.
I was at the end of a long, losing battle with alcohol. I had burned bridges with a lot of my friends. I was depressingly sick of the monotony and corporate bullshit that came with working at advertising agencies and my musical aspirations had all fallen to pieces. (mainly due to my out-of-control lifestyle)
But for some reason, I had hope.
I was packing my things and moving from Oklahoma to California to pursue a new love interest and take a fresh shot at the music business on its home turf. I packed my things into the back of my car and drove for 24 hours straight without stopping.
In other words… I got the hell out of Dodge.
Shortly after I arrived in Cali, the relationship fell apart. I didn’t know anyone else in town so I spent a lot of time alone during those first few months, working on some SEO (search engine optimization) projects that I’d been running for a year or two.
At this point they were making a few grand a month, which was just enough to pay the bills.
But I knew there was something bigger out there.
I heard about a co-worker in Oklahoma that was making $30,000/month with a credit card review website. I talked with him about and I got to see what it was. It was real and ranked for every credit card related keyword in the English language.
He ended up selling it and making enough money to quit his job at the ad agency and retire from 9–5 for good.
I wasn’t jealous, I was set on fire.
I had proof that this online thing worked… all I had to do was figure it out.
SEO and article writing were the only methods I knew about at the time, so I dedicated myself to working on it as hard as humanly possible until I’d built it into a goldmine.
For some reason, out of nowhere, I had the idea to write out a plan for what I was going to do, before I started doing it. I’d never done this before and have no idea why I thought of it this time.
Normally I just launched into things like a raging bull. No planning, no thinking, just racing forward off the edge of a cliff. (That never worked very well.)
But this time I thought it might be a good idea to type out my plan into a document of some kind to make everything as official as possible. I needed this to work.
I opened up a Word document and started typing.
I wrote to myself. Something like this:
“My name is Malan Darras and I am going to dedicate my time and energy to building a money printing SEO business online. I will do this by working 8 hours a day, writing at least 3 new articles a day, six days a week all year long. I will publish them to my websites and get backlinks and…”
It went on and on.
I mapped out my dream for how much money I wanted to make the first month. Then how much money I wanted to make in next six months, the next year and the next five years. I even set a goal for how much money I wanted to be making 10 years in the future.
Then I wrote out everything I was going to do to get there and what I was willing to sacrifice to make it happen.
I wanted FREEDOM and to never have to work a job again. I wanted to avoid the rat race and average paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle completely. That was always my goal. And this seemed like the way to do it.
I promised myself that I would work my ass off. I would trade my social life and music aspirations if I had to, to get the work done and figure this internet marketing thing out and change my life.
It took about an hour. I typed it all out in one shot. I gave very little thought to the structure or if it was even possible. I just emptied my mind, dreamed big and planned out my next ten years online.
I saved the little document into a folder on my computer and forgot about it.
Little did I know I had just created my first Personal Manifesto…
[Click here to get a free Personal Manifesto Guide (with template) you can use to start today.]
I had no idea at the time – but writing out your goals is a pretty standard practice for most successful people. You see – No one ever taught me anything growing up, so I spent most of my life just ramming my head into walls hoping that at some point, a door would open up.
Apparently, that’s not how things work.
Rich parents tell their kids stuff. Like “hey son, choose what you want to do with your life and then write out all the steps to get there and do a little work every day”.
But I’d never heard about this before, I had to kind of make things up as I went. When I wrote my Personal Manifesto, I just had the idea and did it.
It wasn’t until years later that I read about how important writing down goals (and the steps needed to get to them) really was.
Here’s a really good example from one of my favorite books:
Think and Grow Rich
The first time I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, my head exploded.
This dude Napoleon spent a few years interviewing hundreds of the most rich and powerful men in America and wrote the book using all the lessons he learned and the commonalities that he saw running through all of their timelines.
He boiled it all down to a six step process, designed to help anyone make a sh#tload of money if they want to.
Here it is:
- First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.
- Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)
- Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
- Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
- Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
- Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY IN POSSESSION OF THE MONEY.
Now – you may be thinking that this all sounds like some kind of new-age, hocus-pocus bullshit that only a fool would believe, right? Well you’re 100% wrong and you need to quit thinking that way immediately.
This is real. And here’s a pretty sweet example of how it really works.
Shortly after reading Think and Grow Rich, Bruce Lee (yeah that Bruce Lee) put the process to use for himself.
In 1969 he wrote down the following goal on paper – years before he was famous in the United States.
My Definite Chief Aim
I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.
Bruce wrote his “Definite Chief Aim” using the exact format recommended by Think and Grow Rich. And it obviously worked pretty damn well.
My format was a little different, but it worked too. This is why I believe you can craft the Personal Manifest in whatever manner you want as long as you follow most of the steps. You just really need to specifically state your dream goal, the time it is going to take and what you’re going to do to get there.
When I wrote down my Personal Manifesto that day in 2008, I accidentally tapped into one of the most powerful success rituals known to mankind.
Writing down your goals.
[Want the free Personal Manifesto Guide? Click here to download it now.]
How to Write A Personal Manifesto
By now I hope you see what a weird, magical thing that writing down your goals can be. I did it, Bruce Lee did it and now, you can do it too.
But where do you start?
Well, you can take the ‘Think and Grow Rich’ model from above and do it that way (it worked for Bruce Lee) or you can follow my outline below (it worked for me).
Don’t get caught up in little details like “what app should I use to type it in” or “which font did you use?”. Just get started. The most important thing is that that it gets done.
How To Write Your Personal Manifesto
- Write out exactly what you want to do. Be very specific. Write out your overall plan, the exact amount of money you want to make, the girl you want to date, the band you want to start or whatever the dream is you want to accomplish. Dream big and don’t worry about if it’s possible or not.
- Write what you’re willing to do to get it. In my example, I wrote that I was willing to write articles eight hours a day, every day of the week until I had created enough content to start bringing in the money I wanted. That meant sacrificing my musical aspirations and social life at the time. Remember, nothing comes easy – so write down exactly what you’re willing to do – what you’re willing to sacrifice to get what you want.
- Write out all the steps it will take to get there. Every accomplishment is preceded by a journey. And every journey is made up of steps. Write out each step that will be required for you to go from where you are now, to where you want to be. Some say it helps to work backwards. Start by envisioning the goal is already accomplished. Then retrace everything you did to get there and how long each step took.
- Give each goal and step a timeline. I planned out for the next 10 years. But I also planned out timelines for each of the smaller goals along the way. I would write for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week for example, to create enough content to get my sites ranked in search engines and making money. I set a daily goal of three articles per day and a six month goal to be making X amount of dollars with Y number of sites using the articles that I wrote.
- Save the document. Save the document to a folder somewhere and don’t lose it. You only want to do this once.
- Get to work. Every day try to do something that will advance you toward your goal. My current system is to do One Thing per day. I use Trello as my to-do list. You can use a pen and paper, a to-do list app, Evernote or just a good old Word document (like I did).
Strangely enough – for me, the most important thing was just to type it all out. That’s all it took.
After typing up my Personal Manifesto back in 2008 I saved it to a folder and forgot about it. More than a year later I found it and read it.
It was only then that I realized I had accomplished everything I’d written down (times 10) without even realizing it.
It took less than one year to hit my ten year dream goal.
That’s how it happened for me.
It can work for you too.
The Personal Manifesto is the truth.
[Get the free Personal Manifesto Guide (with template) so you can do this too.]
We all say we want to do big things and make millions of dollars. But most of us never take the time to write down the thing we want and all of the steps it’s going to take to get there.
In 2008 I wrote out all of my goals, the timelines and the necessary steps into a Personal Manifesto. Less than a year later, all of them had come true and some of them were 10x bigger than I’d dreamed.
Take some time this week and type or write down the thing you want to do. Then write down all the steps you’ll need to get there. Then apply timelines to each step.
Then start stepping.
A year from now you might find yourself where I am today.
Sitting in a desk chair that costs more than your first five cars combined
Drinking a cup of hot, black coffee
Typing up your thoughts to help the next generation
Living the goddamn dream.
Hey man, nice article. the link to the guide is not working though. please have a look..
Malan Darras says
Hey Dan, should be good to go. – M
Jenny Cook says
Totally agree …. I’ve always set goals…and will continue to do so! Just need to teach and show my sons to do the same 😉 Thank you for sharing!
Liked this very inspirational article.
Ralph Danding says
Hi there, this is so awesome..
Malan Darras says
AXF Crowdfunding says
I have Think & Grow Rich on audiobook and listening to it over and over, like you it blew my mind when I first read it. I passed it to a friend who sent me this link. Started writing this reply and seen that I am logged in as my crowdfunding platform that has the goal of reaching its investment target as part of my statement, this is going to happen I truly know and then this platform will change the lives of many.
Thanks, Malan. I just wrote my first personal manifesto and I feel great about it. It’s like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m ready to start achieving goals, man. Time to get to work…
Hey Malan, I stumbled upon your blog from another link. I love the mix of personal development, IM and sharing thoughts. Perhaps my biggest takeaway from “Think and Grow Rich,” so many years ago was that, “thoughts are things.” You must mind your thoughts. Thoughts become ideas, ideas become actions, actions become habits, habits become personal character, and character determines destiny. Even the biggest skyscraper once started as a thought in the mind of the architect. Thanks for putting together such great material.
Yussef Gilkey says
Super Epic and I have been steadily eating away at this elephant (mobile) one bite at a time. Manifesto is done.
Good for you Yussef – I’m just starting on this and heading down the mobile route too – and YES! what an elephant it is! – Good luck
Malan Darras says
nice work Yussef – not make the magic happen
Yussef Gilkey says
Super Epic and I have steadily eating away at this elephant called “mobile” one bite at a time.
Petre Veluda says
“Typing up your thoughts to help the next generation” – very inspirational. This is the exact phrase all the rich, successful and powerful pp should take and apply.
Nice to see your own story of Napoleon’s book. I myself had this big turnover last year and a boost of hope after reading Think and grow rich. I said back than that I have to read this book each year and at that moment I read it 4 times in 4 months.
It really is game changer and your post hopefully will make pp go and read it, write goals down and set their mentality as it’s written in the book.
NOTE: set goals, write them down, repeat them every night and every morning, set a $10mil goal but don’t forget to start with $10 first and even if u pass your due date keep pushing and change your system. Don’t do the same thing and expect different results. At one point, things will work out but push your limits.
One of the best posts this year ;)!
Malan Darras says
“set a $10 Mil dollar goal but start with $10 first” – good one. You definitely can’t just set the goal and then expect it to come true. you set the goal, write it all out and then work your ass off.
Amazing! Didn’t know Bruce used the same process. I’m confused though, you wrote a personal manifesto and forgot about it for a year? how did you remember or enforce what you had written? Is forgeting about it want makes it work?
Malan Darras says
yes, in my case I wrote all out, saved it to a folder and didn’t find it until a year or so later. but i worked 8-14 hours a day every day on doing the things I’d written down in there. Does forgetting about it make it work? No. Writing it down and then doing the work makes it work.
Michael Brenner says
Awesome read, also using Trello and I am just reading the book “the one thing” by Gary Keller, have you read that? Also, are you coming to ASE in NY or to the STM Asia Meetup in December? Mike
Malan Darras says
I haven’t read that book. I wrote my article about One Thing a year ago and just came up with the idea on my own. Not sure on the conferences and meetups. we’ll see.
Daniel Nguyen says
Sick post bro. These posts are what keeps me pushing forward
Malan Darras says
good to hear man! see you on Periscope