Big success

10 Big Changes That Helped Us Find Big Success


Success sometimes doesn't mean what we think it means.

Every time you achieve something you set out to achieve, you're a success.  If you tell yourself you're going to go jogging for an hour and you do it, then you have succeeded.

Too often we associate success with money and careers.  You can be successful at anything.  Parenting, painting, cooking, dieting.  It doesn't really matter what it is as long as it is what you want.

When we started this adventure we wanted to do 2 things successfully.

1) Create the opportunity for our family to travel the world together as a lifestyle.

2) Create a blog that worked and could potentially open doors and create opportunity in the future.

Well, I'm happy to say we have succeeded.  Are our successes big successes?  Sure, why not?  All successes are big.  I'm not going to compare or downplay what we have done, and you shouldn't either.  If we all took pride in our small, daily success stories, then the world would be a better place!  So go ahead, and embrace your success.

I wanted to put together a list of some of the bigger changes we've made that have impacted our success.  I don't think it matters if you want to travel the world like us.  The formulas for success are always the same.  This stuff can work for anybody, on any level, for any goal.

Anyway, I hope this helps those of you who are looking for your own success.  Stick with it, it will come.


1) Learning To Make Decisions

No matter what it is you want to do, you have to decide to do it.  I know think sounds rather obvious, but it's not.  Making a decision can be tough, and that's why so often many of us give up.  Once you get excited to do something - start doing it.  Don't wait for doubt to come in or the phone to ring.  Do. Do. Do.  Your idea is a good idea, it just needs a bit of help.

Grab your idea.  Set a goal.  Work towards the goal.  And don't stop 'til you reach the goal.

Check Out: One Big Year and 4 Things For A Perfect World


2) Paying Off Our Debt

No way we could travel the world while carrying debt.  At one point I thought we could, but I was way wrong.  All debt does is hold you back.  It is the constant dark cloud hovering over all of us.  First thing you should do before making any big change is pay off your debt.  For us, it has made a huge difference in our lives and how we plan on traveling.

Check Out: Debt Free For Life


3) Learning To Work

In the past I failed at things because I didn't know how to work.  That's not to say I was lazy, but I just didn't know how to get things done.  I talked a lot.  I second guessed a lot.  I had lots of ideas, but very few results.  Once I learned how to work, things took a big a turn for the better. I highly recommend Getting Things Done and Zen To Done. Both have really helped me learn how to work and accomplish the things in life I wanted.

Check Out: A Year Of Travel Planning . . . And A Whole New Lifestyle and Lessons Learned As A Digital Nomad


4) Saving And Simplifying

These two go hand in hand!  The more you simplify your lifestyle, the more you will save, and the less complicated your life will be.  At this point, we can't cut back much more than we have until we start traveling.  We are living modern, simple lives - and we are saving a lot.  Our debt is gone, our expenses are minimized, and we just don't buy stuff.  At this point it is pretty easy, but this wasn't always the case.  For most of us, we are trained to buy things.  We think we need much more than we really do.  We think we like things we don't really like.  At one point I loved TV, or at least I thought I did, but now I don't have any use for it.  We move on and forward.

Simple is always best, no matter what your plans are.  And the good news is you don't have to wait.  You can start getting simple today.  Right now!

Check Out:  20 Ways To Save $20,000 this Year  and The Barefoot Philosophy


5) Getting Connected

I think most of us have yet to realize the power of social media.  Social media is changing the world, and it can change your world.  There are 2 things that make a good blog:  Content and Connections, and I think the same applies for businesses and careers across the board.  If you produce something good, and you know people who can help you share it, then you're all set.

I was pretty much a hermit until I started this blog.  I didn't see the point in social media or connections, but I was wrong again.  Getting connected is important.  You can learn a lot.  You can teach a lot.  And you just might be able to make your life a whole lot easier by having a few more helpful friends.

Check Out:  Having The World At Your Fingertips


6) Changing Our Idea Of Security

Security is a weird and wacky thing.

Is security a house?  Insurance?  Retirement?  A job?

Is it happiness?  Education?  Fulfillment?  Freedom?

Throughout this process I started to learn that security for me had much more to do with my skills and abilities than my job and savings.  If I was to feel secure, I had to find a way to count on myself instead of everyone else and their systems.  A tilt towards self-reliance I guess.  I realized I don't want to depend on systems.  I want to use and help systems, but I don't want to count on them.  I want to count on me.  My knowledge, abilities, creativity, work ethic, connections - these things add up to my security.

Check Out:  Where's You Security?


7) Ignoring The Doubt

I don't care what form it comes in, doubt is pointless.  What good can come of doubt?

Maybe we doubt we can succeed.  Maybe someone else doubts our ideas or our abilities.  Whatever the form, doubt is debilitating and it will keep you from doing a great many things.

Don't doubt.  Even when you think it is justified and makes sense.  Even when everyone thinks you're nuts - don't doubt.  Doubters do nothing.

Check Out: The Uncertainty Book


8 ) Making Family Priority #1

The easiest and most obvious thing on the list is also the hardest - at least for me.  I don't really have a problem finding time for my family, but I do struggle to keep my mind from wandering when I am in those family moments.  This is something I have to work on, and something I hope travel will help me learn to do better.  I guess for now, knowing this is an issue for me is a step in the right direction, but by no means a finished product.

Any Great Family Escape should be about getting closer to our families and making the most of our lives.  Don't forget that.

Check Out:  The Need To Travel and Getting Outside The Box:  One Family's Journey To Full-Time Travel


9) Getting Educated

Maybe more than anything else on this list, my education over the past year has helped me realize that traveling the world and starting a new life is not so crazy!  Self-education is underrated.  We rely to heavily on systems and others to give us our knowledge.  Really, we can just teach ourselves.  Read blogs.  Read books.  Watch documentaries.  Fiddle with the new software.  People often ask how to do this or that.  How exactly do you start a blog?  How do minimize?  How do you travel for a living?  Easy, you just start doing it.  Doing is education.  Doing is the trick!

Check Out:  It Might Not Be As Hard As You Think


10) Quitting Was No Longer An Option

You want to know the not-so-magic secret of success?  Ok, here is is:  Don't quit!  That is it, and that is all.

You can do pretty much anything you want, as long as you stick with it.  When you fall, get back up and keep going.  It sounds cliche, but cliches are often cliche for a reason.

Everyone fails.  Michael Jordan missed more shots in his career than he made.  The Beatles performed 1,000 gigs before anyone knew who they were.  Success of any sort takes time and will.  Odds are, if you think your idea is really good, then it probably is. But no one will ever know it unless you keep it alive.

Check Out:  How Will Power Works and The War Of Art



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'10 Big Changes That Helped Us Find Big Success' have 17 comments

  1. April 11, 2012 @ 4:28 am Felicity Allegri

    Brilliant post! Couldn't agree more, especially point six "changing our idea of security". security and happiness for us comes with education, Fulfillment and most of all Freedom! This is something we have believed in for a long time. But those doubts do creep in now and again and they are often fueled not by your own doubts but by other people doubting your decisions and way of life!


    • April 11, 2012 @ 11:49 am Justin Mussler

      It's often other people that get us doubting. I try not to read or watch things that are going to piss me off anymore. That helps!

      Thanks for the supportive comment!


  2. April 11, 2012 @ 9:32 am Lee

    This has to be one of the most concise, inspired and information packed posts I've read on any blog in a while. You really should just turn it into a lovely little e-book for people to reference. It's as good as any LP guidebook for travel, but geared to what so many people truly have a hard time dealing with - getting the details worked out and/or the guts to do it. You make it seem so "everyman can do it". Excellent!
    Lee recently posted..Some Habits Shouldn’t Be Broken


    • April 11, 2012 @ 11:48 am Justin Mussler

      Thanks Lee! I try not to cut corners! :)

      I think most people can do "it". If all that is holding a person back is will and mental games, then surely it can be done.

      The e-book is a great idea. Someday. I'll write it from a beach somewhere.


  3. April 11, 2012 @ 1:24 pm Clark Vandeventer

    Forgetting the doubt! YES! I have seen this in my life so many times but there is one that sticks out about all the others. I was on the verge of making a very major decision and I kept saying to myself, "what if I fail" or "what if it doesn't work out" and other versions of that doubting question. Finally I found my answer. SO WHAT! So what if I fail. So what if it doesn't work out!
    Clark Vandeventer recently posted..Pity, Envy, and why anyone can travel


    • April 12, 2012 @ 5:02 am Justin Mussler

      I know. I was actually looking for your post on failure. Send it my way and I will put it in.

      So what used to sound so bad for me, but now I'm fine with it. Mostly because I know I am doing things with effort and thought.


  4. April 11, 2012 @ 5:30 pm Andy

    #8 is the one of the hardest ones to work through, but I'm sure if the other changes are made, then this one becomes much easier.

    No quitting, being secure with yourself, push through the doubt - All great ideas and they make a huge impact on what you can do.
    Andy recently posted..A Few Tips For Organizing Your Gear


    • April 12, 2012 @ 5:04 am Justin Mussler

      8 is tough! I really think travel will help teach me how to work through it. Thanks Andy!


  5. April 11, 2012 @ 8:36 pm Nancie

    Great post! My favorite is #6. For a long time my house was my security. When I left Canada I rented my house, 2 years later I sold it. What a relief. That security was definitely weighing me down. I had out grown it.
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — April 12, 2012 — A Springtime Tour on the ROK–Part 1


    • April 12, 2012 @ 5:22 am Justin Mussler

      Nice Nancie! Once you take the first few steps, it all gets a bit clearer. The stuff we have can so easily weigh us down!


  6. April 12, 2012 @ 7:53 am Goody

    You're so wise Justin!The tips suggested are very useful, My favourite one is #7 Ignoring the doubt as I'm always in doubt about everything and get a lot of time taking a decision. Should follow your advice! Thanks!
    Goody recently posted..Tourist Trap in Barcelona


    • April 12, 2012 @ 12:47 pm Justin Mussler

      Well thanks, but let's not go crazy! I stumble like everyone else - trust me! All it is Goody is learning from your mistakes and trying to do things better. What good will doubting get you? Doubting will get you to sit down on the couch and give yourself time to forget the idea. Don't do it.

      Goody - Read War of Art, even if your not a "artist".


  7. April 12, 2012 @ 5:08 pm Steve Whitty

    I have enjoyed reading this post. I has inspired me. There has twitching in my feet and now after reading this feel more certain about travelling. I just want to say thank you.


    • April 25, 2012 @ 5:09 am Justin Mussler

      You got it Steve. You should feel certain. You'll be fine. It's those who don't worry about it that will often struggle. The fact you felt uncertain means you are responsible, and that will carry you through. Let me know when you get going!


  8. April 12, 2012 @ 10:49 pm Cristina @thetravolution

    I really loved reading this. You're right - what most people realize is that we are human beings - we're Teachable! You don't need to go to school or have initials in your title. You CAN teach yourself. Not only is it free but it's the most rewarding thing when you can take ownership of your own new found knowledge!
    Cristina @thetravolution recently posted..3 Women, 1 Unconventional Journey


    • April 25, 2012 @ 5:11 am Justin Mussler

      Thanks Christina! Most can learn whatever they want. It just takes some doing and focus - and before you know it - you know it! Love the site name: The Travolution!


  9. September 26, 2013 @ 2:06 am Todd Pettee

    Hey Justin,

    I absolutely love your site, and all that your family is doing. Your posts have given me a lot of inspiration to do something similar with my own family. And I want to thank you for that!

    This is an impressive list of accomplishments, and it aligns almost perfectly with the things we believe and want to accomplish as a family.

    Number 7 is a big one for me. When I was young and single, I wasn't really affected by doubt. Now that I'm married and have 4 kids, I tend to hesitate, or even freeze, instead of just accepting the risk and taking action.

    But lately, as I see my children starting to grow, I realize that I don't have much more time with them, and I need to make better use of every moment we have together. And in order to do that, I have to take more risks. If I fail, then I still have the support of my family, and we can learn and grow together.

    Thanks again for sharing this kind of stuff. I think more people need to read it and take heed.

    Can't wait for your next post!

    Todd Pettee recently posted..We Just Bought Our First House (On Wheels)


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