Richie Norton

Start stuff

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Want to give your all to a worthy cause, business or project?

Here’s the secret: Say no to stuff.

It’s painful. It’s confusing. It’s ugly. But it’s the right thing.

As Drucker says, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.

Written by on January 17, 2014 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:

Goal Setting




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ARE CRITICS STEALING YOUR LUNCH?: Critics and What to Do About Them


Critics steal our thunder

Are critics stealing your lunch? Picture source: NORTH NEWS .

Had a great chat with a friend today who described how she is paralyzed by the fear of critics. I understand how she feels and I think many of us share this same fear. Sad to think how much creativity and life are lost on fear of what someone might say. I often have an inner battle with myself when my work is criticized. Sometimes it’s healthy. Sometimes it’s not.

Here’s what I have to say about critics:

The best advice is to ignore them.

My fear in ignoring critics, however, is that I can’t use the feedback for improvement–if I’m not listening, how can I improve? This thinking is flawed. The definition of a critic is “a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something.” A critic isn’t out to help me, he’s out to hear himself talk. Scary.

The second best advice (if you can’t ignore the critics) is to realize two things:

  1. They don’t get it. They don’t have the background and experience and understanding to get it.
  2. They are not your market. It’s ok. It’s better to be noticed (and criticized) than to be obscure.

I like what the rappers Kris Kross once said, “when ya diss it just let’s me know I’m on your mind and it’s alright.”

It’s not the critic who counts.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Read this post by Seth Godin.

Here’s the link. Here’s an excerpt: “No one has ever built a statue to a critic, it’s true. On the other hand, it’s only the people with statues that get pooped on by birds flying by.”




Written by on October 14, 2013 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:


Goal Setting


2 Comments post a comment
  1. liz petersen Oct 16th 6:22 pm

    I must say Richie, for every one negative comment you may receive, a dozen more in the positive can be found. Insecurities stem from giving people control over how we feel or react. Take back that power and continue to use it to better yourself and those around you. Your words have an Awesome power, keep on writing them so others can learn to take back control.

  2. Kaleb Oct 17th 6:21 am

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” -Albert Einstein

How to Start a Revolution of Heart: RAD, akin & 7 Fast Tips

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart.” ― DOROTHY DAY 

Update on Résumés Are Dead

I never planned on writing Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It (RAD). The book was born of necessity—as a way to answer questions, in short form, about money and meaning. Unexpectedly, and all thanks to you, the book hit #1 for Business and Investing, #1 for Careers, #1 for Job Hunting and broke the Top 100 of all free Kindle books on Amazon. This work turned out to be a powerful manifesto, both for myself and for others who were eager to start playing to their strengths and working toward their dreams.

The book’s success has been highly gratifying. However, I have been infinitely more excited by the hundreds of stories of how the RAD principles have been embraced and employed in the lives of readers from all over the world.  Nothing has thrilled me more than hearing how readers are succeeding as they lean into their crazy ideas and actually start something, now. A perfect example of the type of story I am describing is found in Ben Howells.

I recently received a message from Ben, which said in part, “you have changed my life…and I mean that.” When someone writes something of that nature, you tend to take notice.

Ben’s story, in his own words, follows the video below.

(Watch Ben Howells’ akin video.)

“The first time I came across the term ‘Social Entrepreneur’ was when I read Résumés Are Dead. I guess all I can say is I felt as though I finally had a word for what I wanted to be. I saw a documentary about children in Bolivia working in mines and using their small wages to buy the school uniforms they had to have to be able to attend school. I took a piece of paper and just wrote T-SHIRTS!! (I still have that piece of paper.) I thought somebody should do something about that so why not me? I wanted to start a company that could provide school uniforms for children by raising funds through t-shirt sales. I had met with Richie in a business meeting in which he said something that really stuck with me. ‘When starting a business the most important thing is to prove it as quick as you can.'”

(Pen to paper: where it all started.)

 “I found a school in Northern Peru of 60 kids that needed help and I remember just thinking if I can prove that this works and provide uniforms to them as quickly as possible then I know I can really grow this. So I literally made and sold just enough shirts to raise the money and within a month of starting things I took a backpack and a camera and jumped on a plane to Peru. The project went even better than I had hoped for.”

“Coming back to Hawaii and being able to show people photos and videos of how this projects words rather than just trying to explain a concept was far more effective – within a couple of weeks I had found people wanting to donate and invest in the company. Shortly after I entered a business contest and was more able to ‘prove’ that this business worked on a small scale and with the right resources would work on a larger scale and we actually went on to win that competition.”

“The team that came second in the competition was a team from the Congo teaching entrepreneurial skills back home. I just thought they would probably benefit from the extra prize money more than we would, so I asked the judge if he would switch checks. I honestly had no idea he would then announce that, but I learnt a strong lesson that day. I can say it was meant genuinely but it also turned into a huge marketing tool for us as word traveled fast.”

“Since then we have been able to deliver uniforms in Ghana, Samoa, Tuvalu and Cambodia in addition to Peru. We have more deliveries planned for Thailand and Indonesia in February and the Hawaiian Immersion schools this December.”

“Things have really started to take off. I suppose I did it in a really strange, backwards way. We only just officially launched as a business this week – I really wanted to get a number of projects done first before we tried to really grow the business so we have really limited the sales and growth to just enough per project. Now we have the tools and proof we need to fully market what we do and hopefully to be able to put a lot more children in school on a much larger scale.”

Get One or Prove It

That’s my advice. If you want to make dreams happen, start small. Get a small success under your belt or start proving that your idea is viable by employing relevant research and/or mini-tests. You don’t have to start from an “all or nothing” frame of mind. Start mini-projects, like Ben did, that have the potential to turn into larger ones. Remember, small success leads to big success.

Here’s a video (I’ve shared before) that discusses this principle in greater depth.

(Watch the Get One or Prove It video.)

7 Fast Tips to Start Your Own Project

1. Write it down.

Even if you think you couldn’t possibly forget your brilliant idea, write it down anyway.  This isn’t about memory-jogging. It’s about putting action to ideas—even the smallest act can create the greatest change.

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum. The most important rules that I ever adopted to help me in achieving my goals were those I learned from a very successful man who taught me to first write down the goal, and then to never leave the site of setting a goal without firs taking some form of positive action toward its attainment.”  —ANTHONY ROBBINS 

2. Believe you can.

Sounds simple enough, but disbelief is Enemy #1 and must be destroyed.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

3. Tell someone.

Vocalizing your dream holds you accountable.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ―ERNEST HEMINGWAY

4. Think big.

Think bigger than big. MASSIVE. No fear.

“Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” ―TONY HSIEH, Co-founder, Zappos

5. Start small.

Very small. Tiny. Start with something you know you can do that will lead you along the path toward your ultimate dreams.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ―LAO TZU 

6. Keep going.

Never stop. Keep doing the tiny things, and you won’t be able to help but build toward big momentum.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”. ―WINSTON CHURCHILL

7. Spread your success. Help others succeed.

People want you to succeed. Believe that. Share your wins. Receive and offer support. Build credibility. Simultaneously, do all you can to influence others for good and to help them succeed.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” ―NAPOLEON HILL  

Bonus Tip: Be grateful. Be humble.

Even when you’re down and out, express gratitude for all that is good, and learn from all that is bad.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” ―BRIAN TRACY

Special Note

Many creatives that I’ve worked with are far too quick to get down on themselves. Their art inspires them but that inspiration is fleeting. Bursts of confidence and passion are commonly (and quickly) followed by bouts of doubt or discouragement. To you who fall victim to this tendency, I say: Don’t tie your happiness to the success of the project, rather tie your happiness to the journey toward it! Just keep moving, no matter what. You’ll get there. Truly, you will.

Happy project-starting!!!

– Richie

Written by on October 13, 2012 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:

Case Study




7 Comments post a comment
  1. Truly, You Will | Jearbear Oct 16th 12:13 pm

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  2. Cecile McVittie Oct 25th 9:28 am

    I’m liking what I read, but tried to access the e-book/audio book link and only get a blank html page. I’d like to get the book :)


  3. Jenn Nov 06th 12:13 am

    LOVE this – well said

  4. Bale Tuisavura Nov 06th 12:38 am

    I love what I read, not the first time for me to be schooled in what u r sharing but while reading your blog I definetly clear now what I need to do..this is very doable…..thanks my frem

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