How To Make Today Your Turning Point

turning point

A lot has happened recently.

I graduated from USC in May, went backpacking across Europe in June, bought my first car in July, moved into my first post-grad apartment at the end of July, and started working full-time at the beginning of August.

Also, the same day that I moved into my apartment, my guest post for College Info Geek went live, became a top post in the social skills subreddit over night, and got picked up by Lifehacker.com about a week later.

It feels amazing to see my hard work finally start to pay off and I’m finally starting to feel like this blog has the potential to become something greater than a small little side project.

For the last two years (July was Collegetopia’s two year anniversary!), this blog has had a fairly slow growth, with a couple spikes here and there.

Recently, however, it’s been growing a lot faster. Like, a lot faster.

My newsletter list growth over the last year.
My newsletter list growth over the last year. I’m about to hit 1,000 subscribers!!!

The other day, I wrote in my journal, “I think this could be a turning point.”

I wrote that the day after meeting up with Thomas Frank (founder of College Info Geek) at VidCon. I wasn’t even attending VidCon, but I found out that he was and that VidCon was in Anaheim, which is about 20 minutes from my parent’s house (which is where I was staying at the time). So, I sent him a message asking if he wanted to meet up, and he invited me to come out to dinner with him and a bunch of cool people who make great things on YouTube.

I felt a little out of place because I don’t even make Youtube videos (except for my Eurotrip video), but I’m very glad that I decided to go. This was the first time I met real people building real, interesting things online that they’re passionate about. The variety of things people were building was incredible to me, and very inspiring.

I met people like Antonio Centeno, who runs one of the biggest online style guides and custom clothing stores for men; Caleb Wojcik, who was one of the original founders of Fizzle and currently runs DIY Video Guy; and Matt Giovanisci, who describes himself as “an entertaining entrepreneur, website wizard, podcast producer, music maker, video veteran, and alliteration addict.” I only had a chance to speak with him briefly, but he is definitely one of the most entertaining, and hilarious, people I’ve ever met.

So yeah, with all the momentum I’ve been having recently, and after spending a night hanging out with Thomas and all these cool people, I was feeling pretty pumped and optimistic about the future.

The problem is, I’ve felt like this before…

When my article about the 3 second rule exploded on StumbleUpon in January 2014, it got 100,000 views in the first week. I felt like a rock star because up until that point I had basically been writing to myself.

turning point
Partially convinced that the only reason why the article did so well is because of the header image I used…

But then, instead of taking advantage of the massive influx of traffic, I sat on my butt and did nothing. I don’t think I even had an email list set up at that point. Eventually I set one up, but by then it was too late—I had already missed the wave.

I probably missed out on hundreds of potential subscribers, and I likely could’ve been where I’m at today a long time ago.

But, what’s happened happened. There’s no point in wasting time thinking about missed opportunities, because as Richard Branson says,

…opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

And indeed, another one has come. And this time, I’m not going to miss it.

Why I’m telling you all this…

Well, it’s a long way of me saying two things:

  1. It’s never too late to make a change in your life.
  2. You don’t have to wait for a lucky break, or the “right moment,” to make that change.

Every moment—every second, every minute, every hour, every day—has the potential to be a turning point.

And it doesn’t have to be a big, life-changing turning point. It could be as simple as turning your day around when you’re having a bad day. And it can apply to literally any aspect of your life.

But, it’s up to you to make it.

The real turning point for me didn’t happen when I met up with Thomas at Vidcon, or even when my article got picked up by Lifehacker (though both of these things were extremely motivating). The real turning point happened last October, when I wrote this article: The Real Reason Why You Haven’t Done The Things You Want To Do.

It was at this point that I finally started taking this blog seriously. Up until then, it was just a little side project that I worked on whenever I had time—which meant almost never.

But in the last year, I’ve forced myself to make time for this blog.

In the last 11 months, I’ve written 21 posts, a 35-page ebook, a 7,700+ word guest post, and been on two podcast interviews (this one and this one). I’ve received, and replied to, hundreds of emails from my subscribers, and I even had the opportunity to meet up with one of my readers from Germany this summer.

turning point
At the “Three Country Border” in Aachen, Germany with Erika, one of my subscribers.

I’ve invested a lot of time into this blog, because I genuinely enjoy working on it. That doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to force myself to sit down and write, but I’m always happy that I did after.

That’s why I work on it every single day for at least one hour, even after coming home from a 9+ hour work day.

And that’s why last week I told you that I was going to commit to a consistent posting schedule—because I want to hold myself accountable and keep the momentum going.

So, from now on, you can expect a new article from me on the blog every other week on Sunday nights, starting today.

I’ve decided to go with every other week and to stick to my specialty (quality, in-depth articles with lots of actionable tips) because I value quality over quantity. And based on the feedback I received (thanks to those who commented!), it seems that you do too.

Not only does this two week time frame give me more time to create really great content, but it also gives you more time to put my advice into practice. And really, that’s the most important thing here.

If you’re reading my articles but not actually applying the things I write about and testing them out for yourself, well, you’re wasting your time.

If you don’t want the time you spent reading this to go to waste, do this…

  1. Pick a specific goal you hope to achieve in the next 6 months. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it has to be something that can be measured and tracked.
  2. Make a public commitment to do something to achieve that goal. Tell a friend, post it on Facebook, or leave a comment below. Remember, it must be measurable.
  3. Block off chunks of time (should be a minimum of 30 minutes) on your calendar every day (or at least 5 days a week) for the next month to do the thing you publicly committed to. Call it your “one thing,” and focus on doing that one thing every day for the next month, no matter what. If you can, do it in the morning. Make this your mantra: “Until my one thing is done, everything else is a distraction.” (I stole this quote is from Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing.)

    turning point
    My “one thing” is scheduled on my calendar from 7:30 – 8:30 pm every night.
  4. At the end of the month, evaluate your progress and let me know how it went. You can email me at [email protected]. If it went well, keep doing it! If it didn’t go so well, try something else.
  5. Rinse and repeat.

As I said before—every day has the potential to be a turning point.

Why not make it today?

If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard, but if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.” – T. Harv Eker

About Stefano

Stefano Ganddini

Hey there! I'm the creator of Collegetopia and the guy who writes all these articles. I'm here to help you live BIG, do EPIC shit, & be HAPPY. Click here to read more.

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  • My commitment is to have a new startup company launched by October 1st in an area where startups just aren’t common. It involves tech but it’s not tech per se.

    The website above doesn’t even work yet. It’s just a reserved domain.

    Looking for a lot of things, but in this case just someone to hold me accountable to actually do it.

    John

  • Aida Ganddini

    What a great article, it is full of actionable ways to set a goal, make a commitment and reach the target. The encouraging part of it is that you don’t’ have to have a huge goal but a small goal will also be the turning point in one’s life. Congratulations. You’re well on your way to achieve lots of success, while you are enlarging your network with very exciting people. Forge ahead! Very exciting!

    • Thank you! And yes, you’re right. I think it’s better to start small and then work your way up as you build momentum.

  • s
  • Hey Stefano!

    What I took away from this article is to take past experiences and failures seriously to do better in the future. Constantly evaluating progress, purpose, and enjoyment is what makes ventures successful.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to more quality posts!

    Ken

  • Hey Stefano,

    Great post. For some reason we tend to wait for some kind of event, whether its the start of next week, month, year, or something else to begin something new. The reality is that we can take action anytime, 24/7. “Better late than never, but never late is better”

    Here are a couple goals I have:

    1) I’m just about to finish the rough draft of my book on study skills and time management techniques for college students. Over the next two months I’m going to focus on publishing and spreading the word about my book.

    2) I’ve bought two domains, but haven’t yet fully set up the sites. My goal is to have both of them set up by the end of September.

    3) I’m aiming to have at least 4 writing samples by the end of the month that I can showcase in my portfolio.

    By the way, congrats on the growth! Looking forward to seeing what you produce.

    Cheers!

    -Darryl

  • Thanks, Darryl! Congrats on your progress on your book, would love to see it when it’s done.

    Those are all great goals, my only question is, what’s the “one thing” that you are going to do every day to achieve those goals?

    • I’m currently following a program with the book launch, so there’s daily tasks I have for that. Most of the work on my end will be editing and writing at first, then setting up the sites.

      So my one thing everyday to support both of these goals will be to write at least 500 words everyday, and to set aside at least half an hour everyday to manage and set up the sites.

      I’ll keep you updated on the book!

  • Ashish

    Nice article…Well written and possible too, hopefully will be able to achieve my goals..The problem is i get distracted easily and lack of motivation, hopefully this article will help me a lot

    • Motivation is only half of the equation. The other half is about putting it on your calendar and sticking to it once it’s on there, regardless of whether you feel motivated or not. Persistence beats motivation every time.