It’s so easy to see someone who’s super successful, and dismiss what they’ve accomplished. Often, people will think “Oh, of course he’s so successful … he’s so-and-so.” But they never really stop to consider all the work it took for that person to get to the top.
That’s why I’m so excited about today’s guest – Mark Ling. He’s a VERY successful online entrepreneur. In fact, he’s got 100 successful offers online! I don’t know anybody that comes close to that.
And while most people will think all this comes “naturally” to Mark, they’d be mistaken. Mark was anything BUT a natural. He literally built himself into the person he is today, one thought at a time! Listen in and discover what it really takes to scale successful offers … and build an unstoppable mindset.
In today’s episode:
- How Mark got 100 successful offers online (it’s not as hard as you think) …
- Why you’re never just looking for a one-time win …
- The fastest way to get started with online business (8 out of 10 successful online marketers started this way)…
- The secret of the “three doors” and how it can keep you on track for massive success …
- The #1 thing keeping people stuck and behind in life …
- A simple 5-minute daily ritual that will radically shift your limiting beliefs …
- How to develop a bullet-proof mindset …
- Why you should never accept every thought that’s in your head …
- And much more ..
- Opportunity Gift:
James Mel: Hey, everybody, welcome to the Get Ahead podcast. I’m James Mel. On this podcast, what I do is I find successful entrepreneurs, and I dig deep to uncover the strategies, the mindsets, the techniques, and other things they’ve done to get ahead in their life and their business so you can do the same.
I know if you’re here, you’re a high achiever. I know you want to get ahead. That’s a topic I’ve been obsessed with my entire life, and that’s what I want to help you do, is uncover the different strategies and the techniques you need to be able to do that to get ahead in your own life. So, make sure to grab a pen, a paper, or something to take notes with because as we uncover these gold nuggets, you’re going to want to write them down.
Now, before we jump into today’s episode, I have something really special to give you as a free gift. Like any successful person, I’ve got a mentor, and I’ve had one for over 10 years. It turns out that he’s also my business partner. His name’s Eben Pagan, and he’s written a book on opportunity. Now, if you want to get ahead in your life and your business, it’s super important that you not only know how to spot opportunity, but you know how to take advantage of it. That’s what this entire book is about, and I’d like to give you a free copy. Not only that, I’d like to ship it to you absolutely free. So, you get a free copy and you get it shipped to you absolutely free. The way you can get this is go to www.jamesmel.com/opportunity, and it’s all on me. Go there now, grab your copy. You’ll be glad you did.
All right, without further ado, let’s jump into today’s episode.
Welcome to another episode of the Get Ahead podcast. Today I’m joined by a friend I met a year ago in New Zealand, a very successful online entrepreneur. What’s really interesting about my guest today, Mark Ling, is that he’s got close to, if not over, 100 successful offers online. He’ll be talking a little bit about that, and especially a very systematic, detail-oriented thinker. You don’t get 100 offers online randomly, so, excited to learn how you’ve been able to do that, Mark. Also, a very successful affiliate online. Excited to have you here, Mark. Welcome.
Mark Ling: Thank you. I really appreciate being here, and I hope that I can give a lot of value to you guys.
James Mel: Definitely. So how do you get 100 successful offers online? I mean, most people are lucky to get one successful… how do you get a-
Mark Ling: It’s not a race to get 100 offers, right? And a 100 offers doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re 100 completely different offers. I’ve been going for 20 years on the internet now, so, if you work that out, that’s only… what’s that? Five offers a year, I guess, although some of them have probably been shelved from years ago, but then again some offers have been around a long time.
Now, when I say they’re not all completely different, we’ve got a language learning website at Rocket Languages. Once we developed a how to speak Spanish product, we used the same processes and made a how to speak French and German and Italian and Chinese, like Mandarin, and all sorts of products, and then level two, and then level three.
So, when I say 100 products, it’s like, well, yes, but some of them follow the same system. Like, if you can make, say, recipe books and get sales going of your first recipe book, then, yeah, it takes a lot of work making your second recipe book, but from a marketing point of view and a sales point of view, you’re able to follow very similar processes.
So, I think in any business, whether you run a coffee shop, whether you run a gym, whether you are real estate and you’re buying lots of houses, you want to systematize what you’re doing so that you can replicate it and so that you can have more of what you are doing.
You either want to grow what you’re doing into bigger, right? So, let’s say the equivalent of that would be to have a product that makes more sales. Or you want to have more range of that kind of product. If it’s selling well, why would you only have one of them? You’re not going to just own a dog training product and a product on how to speak Spanish and a product on how to do wedding speeches, and one of each. You can be in all three of those niches because I’m in all three of those niches, but the secret is you go deeper within the niche once you’re in it.
James Mel: Right-
Mark Ling: Serve that market well.
James Mel: Yeah. And how did you crack the code on the very first offer? What was that like?
Mark Ling: Well, honestly, at the start, way back at the start, I only did affiliate marketing, where I was earning commissions on promoting other people’s products. That’s still half of what I bring in. So, I set up a website, thanks to… I didn’t discover the method, I didn’t know affiliate marketing at the time. I had tried envelope stuffing and all sorts of things that didn’t work, a horse racing scheme, lost a lot of money. I was working part-time at Pizza Hut, and I was at university, and one of my friends at university was making US$50 a month, which doesn’t sound like much, but at that time, with the US dollar strong 20 years ago, it was NZ$125, and all he’d done was three hours’ work one afternoon and had not gone back to touch his website again. He was just trying to figure out how to get his site online.
So, I thought, “Man, that’s amazing. I have to work like 12 hours to make that much money.” So, he said, “Go for it. You could have a go at doing this as well.” We both did. It was a celebrity site, so, that was actually a very replicatable model because I started off with a… One celebrity I put up, her… Who was it? It was… I think I started off with Reese Witherspoon or Melissa Joan Hart, or something like that. I had biography, filmography… Back then it was the wild west. You could just grab all their pictures off other people’s sites and just put them up on your site. So there was a picture gallery of their media appearances and links to other sites because back then everyone wasn’t linking to everyone. It was actually kind of handy to have links that linked off to all of the, say, Reese Witherspoon websites or something. That’s all it was, and then there was a banner ad at the top that said, “Want a girlfriend like Reese Witherspoon? Click here,” and then people would go off to this online dating site. If they paid for a $1 trial, I would get something like US$40 commission.
James Mel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mark Ling: Right? So, once that got going, and I learned how to drive traffic to it, because back then there wasn’t that many websites, we ended up getting lots of visitors just by releasing the site as a whole. Then later I didn’t realize that all this crosslinking that I was doing, because I’d keep asking sites to link to us, I didn’t realize that was going to push us up this new site called Google really high.
So, as a result, though, it took us… It would take two hours to put up five pages about a celebrity. Imagine if each celebrity is making you, say, $100 a week or something. It’s little wonder that by the end of the year I had 100 celebrities on there and was making… it wasn’t $10,000 a week, but it was NZ$10,000 a week by then. It was US$4,500 at the time. It was incredible.
So, again, that was another example of replicating something, finding something that works and then repeating it, and repeating it, and repeating it, over and over again.
Recently, we had a product come out in the health niche on a particular sub-niche market to do with hormones. I won’t go into too much detail just now, but it was a sub-niche that hadn’t been well served from the affiliates’ perspective, and I went ahead and… I co-own it with the product owner who made it, and I said to her, because she was wanting to add more to the range, which we have done, but I said, “Look, you’ve got to make more that are relatively similar, but a little bit different to that offer, because people buy more and more of the same thing. If you’re covering something generically on hormones, now, what about one on Hashimoto’s, which is a specific type of hormone problem. Why not something on the thyroid? Why not something on…”
People are more likely to keep buying more of the same stuff, and your processes will be the same. If you already have processes in place that work, no matter what business you have, you need to replicate those more because everything in life, success in life, is built on systems. If you’re an athlete, and you’re finding that you’re winning more matches, let’s say at golf, because of this half-hour routine you do every day, then you do that routine every day. You don’t stop doing it. Maybe, maybe even double it up in the evening and see what happens, you know?
It might sound simple, but so many people don’t do these things. They don’t spot what’s working for them and then replicate it. They look for another shiny object.
James Mel: Totally, and it seems like that’s one of the ways you’ve been able to get ahead is simply finding something that works and then getting out of your own way and duplicating it over and over and over again.
Mark Ling: Yeah. I’m not looking for a one-time win. Every one-time win I’m thinking, “Great! Now we can replicate it across all the products!” Or we can create new products that replicate that. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’re going to be constantly treading water trying to just make six figures a year. You’re not going to make seven figures if you’re not replicating something.
Even if you’ve only got one offer, you may find that you need to replicate your advertising strategy. It’s working well on Facebook, can I expand the same strategy within Facebook in a different way? Different types of ads now? Or, can I expand now what works there and take it over to Google Ads? Can I take it over to Snapchat Ads? Can I take it elsewhere? Some way or another there’s always a way to replicate, whether you’re replicating your method of getting leads, whether you’re replicating your method of creating offers that convert, or whether you’re replicating your method of getting the customer itself to buy more products from you. There’s always an area in that little equation there that can boost what you’re doing.
Largely, in a nutshell, keep making systems for yourself and replicate them and tweak them.
James Mel: Yeah. If you think back to when you first got started, if somebody is just getting started, maybe they’re online, maybe they’re not, but what would you say is the fastest way to spot those opportunities that might work and then take advantage of it?
Mark Ling: Right. That makes sense. For me, the fastest way personally, and I might be a bit biased in that sense because I do it, is just learning how to earn commissions from somebody else’s product.
The reason I say that is the aspects of the equation of making money in any business are you need leads, visitors, right? I don’t care if you’re owning a coffee shop or owning a website, you need visitors, leads. Then you need to convert those visitors into paying customers. Then you need to have a good way of making sure you’re maximizing the amount that’s being made on each sale. Then, lifetime value of the customer. You want them to keep coming back and making more sales, right?
So, if a vendor has taken care of everything except driving the traffic, they’ve got the conversions, they’ve dialed up their upsells and so forth, they may even have a continuity program so you earn recurring commissions. They’ve got that part dialed in. It’s like buying a franchise business and using that as your first business. Like a restaurant owner, usually they’ll do better if they buy a franchise of another restaurant, and then they might go ahead and sell that franchise later and start up their own one. But at least they knew how a profitable business worked, right? Same as in instant marketing.
Eight out of every 10 successful online marketers that I meet, in digital products anyway, they started as an affiliate. Later they might have made their own products, but they saw already they only had to learn how to drive the traffic. So, you learn how to run Facebook ads. You learn how to set up a page that might promote the product that you’re promoting, right? You learn how to get all that stuff sorted. You don’t have to make the product. You don’t have to do customer support. You don’t have to keep testing and measuring, and finding out how do I get this to convert to sales, and keep it compliant, and all of these other things, and so on and so forth. You don’t have to deal with that. You don’t have to deal with worrying about getting a credit card processing facility set up or anything. All that’s done. You just worry about one thing, and you can get good at that.
Considering there are affiliates that are doing up to $100,000 a day at the top affiliate that I know, you could even never own your own product if you felt like it. Although, most people that I know eventually want to make their own because suddenly they get ideas from promoting other people’s stuff and go, “Man, I’m making a lot of money, and I wish that there was a product out there that did X. I will see if there’s a market for it.” They’ll run a few surveys, and they’re like, “Yeah, there’s a massive market for this. I want to make it,” and then they’ll go ahead and they’re ready for the next stage where they make it and other affiliates can promote them.
James Mel: Yeah, I love that, Mark, because a lot of times what I’ve seen, people who want to get online, they get overwhelmed by all the different things to do and that you can do, setting up pages, payment processors, marketing, copy, products. And how you just broke it down there, take all that away. Just focus on one skill, learning how to get traffic, and maybe putting up a page, you can get results. And then duplicate that over and over again using your system, and do it with multiple affiliate offers, or go create your own product.
Mark Ling: Yeah, that’s it. That’s not saying you can’t start with your own product. Like I said, out of all digital marketers, people earning commissions and stuff, I said eight out of ten that I know, that I meet, and I know hundreds that do well, eight out of ten start as an affiliate. That’s still two out of 10 that start with their own product. You might be in the two out of 10. I don’t know. I don’t know you, but you, the person listening to this or watching this, might be one of those two out of 10. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just find a good system. Find somebody who has done what you want to do, and work that system.
Realize that no matter what business model you go for, whether you want to start in real estate, the stock market, affiliate marketing, whether you think that someone’s got this amazing scheme for selling products on Amazon, or whatever, they all usually involve just one or two unexpected obstacles along the way. That doesn’t mean they’re not insurmountable, but it’s usually a roadblock that was unexpected, and most people give up for no apparent reason.
It’s kind of like… I usually use a three door analogy. Imagine there’s a door here. I take the person, and I show them. “There’s $1 million over here. It’s yours, but you’ve got to figure out how to get it. Here, I’ll put you in this room, give you some food, whatever, go to it.” Eventually, they might find, “Oh, I’ve got a pencil in my pocket. I’ll keep scratching away at the wall” or do whatever, and they’ll do everything they can to break down the door that’s in here that’s locked. Eventually, they’ll break it down. That’s the equivalent of starting a new, say, business venture. They’ll break it down, but then what I didn’t tell them, and I didn’t mean to, I just didn’t realize it, was that there was another door on the other side.
James Mel: Right.
Mark Ling: “I thought that $1 million was on the other side!” That’s when you lose half the people. They give up, not realizing that you break that door down, and “Ah, crap. There’s another door. Does this go on forever? This door looks harder. It looks worse.” It’s actually easier. The door is actually unlocked. Great. Bam! There’s the $1 million. You’re there, okay?
But that’s why you lose a whole bunch of people along the way. A lot of people, they lose belief that money is being made, that the money is actually there, or they don’t know how many more of these doors are there. They suddenly think, “Oh, that guy’s approach over there, that’s only got one door. That looks easier. I’m going to that one.” They don’t realize that they were halfway there or three-quarters of the way there. They give up too easy.
You’ve got to have thick skin. You’ve got to be able to say to yourself, “I like challenges. Every challenge that comes my way is great because it stops other people joining in, and it means that I’m going to learn some lessons here. I’m resilient anyway, and I’m going to push past those and I’m going to succeed anyway because the money is there. I just have this thing I need to get past,” whatever that may be.
I just know that no matter how good you can make training for somebody, even if you bring them into your office and you show them step by step everything you’re doing, there’s always some roadblock that you don’t realize that that person is going to have. It just takes little bit of persistence.
James Mel: Yeah, I totally agree. Speaking about obstacles, is there one that comes to mind when you were just getting started, or maybe at the beginning, or even recently, a big obstacle or mistake you made that you had to overcome in order to get to where you are today?
Mark Ling: Yeah, I find that there are always different types of obstacles at different times. For me, one of the ones that I’ve made, and it’s been a big mistake from my point of view, but, then again, it’s not the end of the world, is that I went into a couple of new markets where… I just had to invest a lot of money, like several hundred thousand, in the high hundreds of thousands, into creating a couple of really high-quality documentary series that are about to get released. They might even be released by the time people are seeing this. It wasn’t the investment, although the investment went well over time for me, it was the fact that it went about 18 to 24 months overtime. So you’re talking about two-and-a-half to three years on a project that I thought would take nine months.
James Mel: Right.
Mark Ling: That tied up a lot of my team, which meant that a disproportionate high number of my team are doing product development, as opposed to marketing. So that did have an impact on the niche side of my business and some of my niche product areas.
But on the other side of it is these products have very, very high potential for the long term. They’re very high quality, and I’ll probably look back in two years and say, “Well, now I’m way ahead of where I ever was before, and these two programs are critical,” but for me, my learning lesson from that is you always, always make sure you maintain a high proportion of your business investment and time and staffing on actually marketing.
You can do that as, say, an affiliate because you don’t have to make the product. If you become a product developer it’s really easy to just fall in love with the product and making the product as good as you can make it. You’re excited because you know how much the customers are going to love it and all of this, but it’s not bringing in money until it’s out there selling. So, if you’ve got something that’s selling, then you still need to put 80% of the resources into the marketing because otherwise you do end up with that situation where your profits are not growing. They’re shrinking and shrinking all the way back to break even before you get your new thing out there, if that thing takes longer than you expect, especially.
The short answer to that is that a big lesson there is make sure that, let’s say, over 50% at least, if not 80%, of your time and of your energy or your team’s energy still needs to be on marketing.
James Mel: Right. Getting new customers, getting fresh new flow of traffic.
Mark Ling: Yeah, or on increasing the lifetime value of the customer. You’ve already got the customers, but they’ll buy more stuff from you, or on… It’s all about leads or on the conversion rates. You may already have customers, but you can boost those conversion rates higher. Don’t forget to keep doing that. Keep split testing different versions of your sales page or something like that. It’s just that attention.
That’s the difference between marketing, you’re working on that equation, whereas product development, you’re sitting outside of that equation until the product is built. So, until it’s built it’s not bringing stuff in. That’s all.
James Mel: Right. Now, when it comes to what keeps people behind in life, what would you say, from what you’ve seen, what keeps people behind in life and unable to get really the results that they want?
Mark Ling: It’s a lack of focus. Here I’ve got another program of ours that I co-own with Dr. Steve G. Jones, the Dream Life Mastery system. I won’t go into it into huge detail, one of the keys, though, is that you should know, in any 60-day period, one, what your dream life goal is for five years from now. Really take time to think about it because if you don’t, then how are you ever going to end up there if you aren’t even willing to spend half an hour thinking about it once every 60 days? Know what your milestones are for the next 60 days, and just have one of them that’s a priority because you may not achieve all of them, but you should be able to get through at least one of them.
Every day spend five minutes a day having a routine, a morning ritual of some kind. If you don’t have a repeated process to making sure that you do get ahead in life, then how are you going to make sure that you do get ahead? It can happen by accident or haphazardly. Yes, you can do it without doing this stuff, but certainly help keep you on track.
Every day if I’m writing down things like… I’m rewriting out what my main goal is for the month, one sentence, I’m still writing that out once a day every day. I’m writing out a few of my other side goals for that period. I’m writing out what I’m grateful for. I’m writing out what I accomplished yesterday, what one thing I’d want to get done today. I will jot down some other things I’d like to get done, but this one thing because everyone can do one thing a day, okay? One thing. I’ll jot down what I’ve got planned to do for exercise. Just little things. So you have your little thing, and you fill that out each day. That keeps people well and truly on track.
I don’t see people getting ahead in life that don’t have a goal of some kind that they keep at the forefront of their mind.
James Mel: So important. You’re a big fan of that single focus. So, basically having that goal, writing it down, reviewing it daily, and then having that single focus until you achieve it.
Mark Ling: Yeah, and embedding a mindset that’s going to get you there. You’ve got to notice if you’ve got a limiting belief going on that isn’t serving you in a positive way. If you can spot any of those, you’ve got to be able to observe it and go, “Huh. Why do I keep telling myself that everyone else is going to be able to succeed with this, but I’m the kind of person who can’t?” You suddenly notice that about yourself. You’re like, “Huh. I’m going to jot that down, and I’m going to write the opposite version of that belief.”
Then you might go, “I’m the kind of person who finds it easy to make money. I love my life as it is right now. I love the journey, and I’m up for all challenges.” You might write something like that, a couple of sentences, and then write that out every day in your little journal every day for 60 days, mediate on it, or speak it out loud. Some people like to just say it out loud for five whole minutes every day. They’ll just read that whole line. “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better, and better. Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better, and better.” They’ll just say that. I did that when I was 16. Five minutes a day, every day. I did that for 90 days in a row. Believe me, it helped.
James Mel: Yeah.
Mark Ling: Sometimes you do have to be aware of little mental roadblocks that you’ve just got to just suddenly look out for them.
James Mel: Yeah.
Mark Ling: You’re feeling a little low. “Why am I feeling low? What thought am I actually having here? What would someone more successful be thinking instead?” Write that down and don’t forget it. That’s what your journal is for. Add it, make sure you’ve got it in there now for the next 60 days.
That’s why I say a morning routine can be as little as five minutes. Five minutes to make sure that you’re living your dream life, that you keep some good habits going. I think it’s pretty important because we are just the sum of our habits. We are what we do on a daily basis. We’re not what we do when we had some spur of the moment idea 10 years ago and we worked on it for two days. You are the sum of what’s going on on your inside world and what habits you keep.
James Mel: Speaking of those two things, Mark, what would you say are the top two habits you’ve got every day that you’ve been doing consistently that you feel have really helped you get ahead?
Mark Ling: Delegating. Absolutely delegating. And focusing on… I guess… Oh, it’s tricky one. Being adaptable, I guess, for me has been quite helpful. I don’t know if that’s going to help other people, but for me it’s been quite helpful. It’s a tricky one.
When I say adaptable, I mean like stuff changes in any industry, in sport, in everything. It’s an attitude of “I embrace change. Change is inevitable. I may as well enjoy it, and I may as well love the journey.” I think that’s a really important habit that I’ve got that helps is that loving the journey and realizing that life isn’t about the destinations.
If life was about the destinations, imagine we’d be going to the movies, and we’d be watching the last five minutes. What’s the point in the first 95 minutes of the movie if it’s the destination, right? No. We enjoy a movie for the whole… It’s the journey we enjoy. The destination is just this little payoff that’s a bit of a high, but it’s not the movie, right? Same with your life. Your life is mostly journeys, even if they’re struggle journeys, even if they’re difficult. That’s what makes those little moments sweet. But those sweet moments, enjoy them. Enjoy them to the fullest, but life is about the middle. So I guess that’s one big habit of mine is just constantly telling myself I love the journey, I love the life I’m on right now.
And, like I say with delegation, there’s only one of you. When I was earning my first $150 a week, my friend Charlie said I’m nuts, but I ended up hiring a staff member. I did not have the money. I had to still work at Pizza Hut and everything, but I didn’t like writing articles. So I hired someone, $10 an hour, 10 hours a week. He wrote articles for me, and that meant things got done faster. I delegate what I procrastinate over. If I know I’m a procrastinator at something, I’ll find a way, pay someone else to do it. I think that’s important at some stage.
For some of you, delegation might not be to someone else. It might be automation through software. Just invest in that piece of software that does it all automatically for you. Or it may be that you’re delegating to yourself in the future. So, you are setting an alarm on your phone or in your calendar, and that’s when it’s happening. So, you can get it out of your head so it’s not just constantly like an open window on your computer in your mind. You can just drop it because it’s going to fire up on your phone 10 days from now, and then you’re going to get that thing done.
James Mel: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. One of the things that really stood out for me is just how optimistic you are. The self-talk you have inside your head, Mark, I can tell it’s extremely positive. It’s probably nine positive thoughts for every one negative one.
Mark Ling: Yeah, and I wasn’t born that way-
James Mel: Interesting. No?
Mark Ling: … at all. I was in a terrible situation in that my mom had schizophrenia. My parents split up when I was six. My mom had schizophrenia. I had no social skills, no ability to learn social skills, because when you’ve got a mom who thinks that people are chasing her and is worried about all sorts of stuff… I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie A Beautiful Mind, but there was writing all over the walls of the house everywhere. She’d just write scrolls of paper and just stick it up, and… It’s not her fault. I love my mom. It’s not a matter of blaming her, but I wasn’t born with what I have. I actually had to self-make myself, unfortunately. But then that’s why I know so much about the power of the mind and am good at coaching other people to upgrade their mindsets as well because I’ve had to do it. I had to. I had to learn all of this stuff.
When I was 16, a friend of my father’s gave me a program all about mind power. Then I went ahead and I went to the library and got these books on self-hypnosis. I wrote my own self-hypnosis scripts, and I ended up recording them into a tape recorder and listening to them. I would write down… I figured out every fundamental that was holding me back, and I wrote the opposite. I started just getting really creative with thoughts I’d like to have. I’d start to read books by very successful people and started to notice processes that they have and ways that they see the world. I would write that down and say, “I want that in my head.”
James Mel: Right.
Mark Ling: So, sometimes it’s a strategic thought. It’s not always a thought that is just a positive thought that replaces a negative. Sometimes there’s no negative, it’s just a strategy thought, depending on what it is. But constantly, for me, over time especially, it only took a one-year period to have massive change in my life from when I was 16 to 17. It’s absolutely massive the way people reacted to me, popularity in school, with friends, with girls, with everything in life. Everything changed. I went from this monotone guy that just couldn’t talk to people and couldn’t look people in the eye, kind of was like this, to being me. It wasn’t that I had changed as a person, it was that I unleashed the person I really wanted to be, as opposed to just not knowing how to do that, I guess.
So, personal power. Don’t accept every thought that’s in your mind and say that’s yours. Do you know that 90% of your thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and that 95% of your thoughts are automatic. They are subconscious. They’re not even at a conscious level. And of the 5% of your thoughts that are conscious, like I say, of the 5% that are conscious, 90% of those are repetitive. Like, you got sparked by a subconscious thought, and now you’re going through and you’re thinking consciously about this thing. You might be having somebody living rent-free in your mind that’s causing you all these emotions and stuff like that. Play that tape once, play that tape twice, then don’t play that tape anymore because, why? You’ve already seen that tape. You know where it ends. You don’t like it.
James Mel: Yeah, wow.
Mark Ling: Run a new tape. Choose your own thoughts. That’s why this is good. If you can spend five minutes a day choosing the thoughts that you want to have, doesn’t have to be all day, that’s getting too much, but just five minutes actually makes a mammoth difference in your life. Just five minutes of the day, even if the only thing you can do each day is say, “Every day, in every way, I get better, better, and better,” and you say that out loud for five minutes a day, that’s it. You’re choosing a thought for five minutes a day. That will cause you to get better every day. You do that every day for 90 days, you are set. You’re going to keep doing all the other things that you need to be doing.
It’s seen as sort of “woo-woo” by some people because some people are just born naturally with a lot of skills and stuff, and they think this stuff can’t be learned, it’s unnatural. They think that they are set and they were born with their current way of seeing the world, that they were born with their current knowledge and that you can’t learn how to make money. You can learn how to play a sport or a foreign language or play an instrument, but making money, that’s luck. You’ve either got it or you don’t. That’s not true.
James Mel: It’s interesting to see how you basically reprogrammed your mind from a very early age. I’m curious, Mark, what are some of the key mindsets that stand out for you now, the ones that really stuck with you that you-
Mark Ling: Back then, I can tell you some of the ones that I first wrote down that I had to instill, if you want. One of them was “Every day, in every way, I get better, better, and better.” That was one of the first. But also, I think it was the first one I wrote down, was “I’m supremely self-confident, and I love taking risks” because I was the opposite, and I didn’t want to be that person. I wanted to be this person. I was like, “I would love to have that belief system. Really would love to have that belief system!” So I said it out loud every day for five minutes a day. Every day, out loud, in my car where no one could hear me. Might see my lips moving, but that’s about it.
Honestly, it didn’t have the impact within the 90 days that I thought it would, but 90 days after that, that’s when it all started happening without me even realizing it. It was like I’d planted a seed and that seed had just germinated. Other people were saying, “Man, you’re completely different to how you were last year. What happened?” And I’m thinking, “I haven’t done anything recently,” but I am thinking back to earlier and realizing, “Wait a minute, it’s just taken that little bit of time to beat it in into the subconscious after I’d let it go for a bit.”
But I had been working on other things. There was lot of statements I wanted to have, but I just picked usually two. The first time I started with four, but 20 minutes was getting too much, so I went back to two. So, usually I had two different affirmation statements I was saying over and over. Then I had my self-hypnosis track that went for about 15 minutes that I would listen to as well that had a lot more statements. But obviously, with an affirmation, you’re just burning in one statement, as opposed to you can have quite a lot of conversation around a central topic area.
So, both are very good in different ways. I was just not that good at closing my eyes and meditating, so that’s why I knew it needed to be a guided meditation. I wish I knew guys like Steve G. Jones and people that are really good at this stuff, properly putting in subaudible technology and stuff to make you meditate better. I wish I knew that back then, but it worked anyway.
For a lot of people it’s only a few limiting beliefs, success blockers as we call them in personal development, just a few of those that are holding them back from… The life of their dreams is just outside their comfort zone. They don’t realize how close they are or how many of the skills that they already have.
James Mel: Interesting, yeah. Wow, it’s fascinating talking to you because so much of, I think, you getting ahead was built in this foundational investments you made in studying other people and reprogramming your mind. Then once you fully believed that, then you were able to go out there and just be a totally different person, and things started to really take off for you, it seems.
Mark Ling: Yeah, and I’ve found you don’t even have to believe it.
James Mel: Wow.
Mark Ling: It’s interesting. I could say an affirmation every day for 90 days, let’s say, five minutes day, and I could not believe it the whole time. Afterwards, I will think it didn’t work, and then 90 days later I’m getting all the results. The results are making me start to believe that thing that I’d said earlier because you start to believe it more when you see the results in your life. So, isn’t it interesting? You don’t 100% have to believe it consciously because your subconscious is getting imprinted.
It’s not all about what you believe consciously. Consciously you might believe a whole lot of things and not realize that your subconscious believes differently. Well, it can happen the other way around, too. Your subconscious could now be more positive, and you could be consciously still negative, thinking that you’re negative. But if your subconscious is fixed up and has that seed planted, and it’s growing, you’re going to be a way anyway.
I found out that it doesn’t matter. Believe it or not, it doesn’t actually matter. You don’t have to force yourself to believe anything. The results seem to come regardless.
James Mel: Last question here. If somebody was behind in their life right now, in life, in business, in whatever it is they’re trying to achieve, relationships, what advice would you give them to start getting ahead?
Mark Ling: Well, I always say you are not behind. You are never behind. There’s no such thing as “what should have been.” “Should have” doesn’t exist. You’ve got to accept what is, love the journey that you’re on. Even if you are in the middle of your own hero’s journey novel, and you’re in the middle of it, and you’re in the thick of the most stressful part of your hero’s journey story, you’ve still got to learn to find a way to enjoy and be up for the challenge and have grit. Then, chase damn hard for what could be.
So, you’ve got accept what is, love your journey, regardless of what it is, and chase damn hard for what could be, all right? And get a system of some kind. Whether it’s buying someone’s course and following it, making your own system, have something that is a system you can follow so you can start tracking your progress towards success in some area.
Accept what is, love the journey, chase damn hard for what could be. That’s my answer to that question.
James Mel: Yeah, I love it. Then when you find something that works, just duplicate it over and over and over again.
Mark Ling: Yeah, absolutely. Yep, rinse and repeat, replicate.
James Mel: That’s excellent. Mark, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom, insights, and strategic thinking.
Mark Ling: Oh, you’re welcome. Anytime, anytime. Happy to be here.
James Mel: Thanks, again.
Well, I hope you loved this week’s episode. If you did, tell your friends. That would be a huge favor for me, and it can help build this community, and we call all get ahead.
Something I’d like to do is give you a special gift. It turns out that one of the ways to get ahead is to be able to find, spot, and then take advantage of opportunity. We all know this, and it turns out that my business partner and mentor, Eben Pagan, has written a book on this very topic. I’d like to give you that book and ship it to you absolutely free.
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Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for joining here. Thank you so much for investing in yourself to get ahead. By you getting ahead, it’s going to inspire other people, and then we’re all going to get ahead. So, have an amazing week, and I look forward to talking to you on the next episode.