The one thing that will change forever everything you think you know about success

This is my story. Every time I share it, it seems to land nicely with people who hear it.

It resonates with most.

It’s the entire story of how I had to face head-on an uncomfortable, mind-boggling, and action-depriving truth, when I stayed too much time inside my head, learning and preparing, and less in the real world ─ actually doing stuff.

It is also the reason why I’m this obsessed with all three: taking action, learning by doing and building online businesses.

Let me give you the context first.

I’ve been a corporate executive for more than 20 years; it’s been a fast-moving career in a fast-moving environment, where I always wanted to be at the very edge of the thrust ─ that meant learning and growing myself on the way.

Being always ready for what was to come next, is a principle I learned from my dad from a very young age and has stuck with me, since.

It applies to both my professional and personal worlds.

So, throughout this entire career, I’ve never stopped researching, training myself and experimenting with ways to: develop my skills, mobilize people to implement actions with results, develop peoples’ capabilities and grow myself and the businesses I was trusted with, through different avenues: marketing, sales, bricks-and-mortar and digital pathways.

I’ve worked on more than 200 product launches, for 23 different brands, in 5 different markets, with actions that involved more than 15.000 people, in 4 different groups of companies.

What I realize now with the clarity that distance allows is that, I’d think I was really efficient in getting things done and moving to action right away.

Which reveals that, for me, taking action meant to keep learning everything about what needed to be done on a specific matter.

Not acting upon it.

But learning on it.

I’ve been doing this so much, that throughout the years it gradually became an automatism.

New stimuli-learning-creating new neuropathways-then new stimuli.



Which all worked fine, up to a point.

Until it didn’t.

So, if you’re still with me, let me share with you how I came to realize this:

Unless we get out in the real world and try things out, nothing we think we’re learning will bring any results in the long run.

More than 10 years ago when, business-wise, things started to happen mostly “online”, I wanted to be the first to know (and share with others too), how “digital” works, what needed to be done and what would change in the immediate future.

I silently, I gave it my all.

By now you probably understand that for me, that meant studying and learning, anything I possibly could, on online marketing, online businesses, digital products, the future of work and new ways of learning, without initially having defined any specific expected outcome.

I just wanted to keep learning, as I always did.

I attended conferences, enrolled in seminars, read books and articles, as well as research reports, and studied some of the most prominent thought leaders on these topics, along with successful online entrepreneurs.

I subscribed to their email lists, read their blog posts, attended their speeches, watched their TED(x) talks, listened to their podcasts and followed their achievements.

I went through more than 25 MOOCs and paid online courses.

I downloaded all “performance apps” and “project management software”, I could find, and even deep dived into the free and paid material from some of the most effective psychologists, sociologists, and high-performance experts.

I collected so much material, books, knowledge, ideas, and links that I could write an almost science-backed book on online businesses, project management, online courses and or the psychology of online users.

I would share ideas, list tips and quote experts in any relevant discussion and I even started talking people into the inevitable one-way path of becoming more digital and working remotely ─ peers, friends, acquaintances, bosses, customers, providers.

I even organized what I called the “digital world-tour” to deploy an entire corporate program with teams from 82 countries. All online. With an unprecedented success.

But then, one day, I decided to start preparing the launch of my own online business, as a side project, in 2016.

I dug into to all the material I had collected, surged ideas out of my mind and went through the immense repository of ideas and “hacks” I had.

I was all motivated and all pumped up, but I realized that to get going I was missing a key component:

I was missing a coherent system to tie everything together with specific steps to follow when starting, and guidance on how to move to the next stage.

Without “the glue”, I found it almost impossible to start implementing anything of what I thought I knew.

I looked everywhere but found nothing, as specific as I needed it to be.

There were “start-up experts” and “tips and tricks” everywhere.

There were contents on “101 ways to kickstart your online business” (which only scratched the surface), and even 10-week paid courses and 6-month mastermind groups that mostly focused on mindsets ─ or worse, on Facebook Ads & more hacks.

Why I have a strong opinion about all this?

Because I’ve bought all of them. And I went through all these contents, myself.

There were even business coaches and online gurus who promised to inspire me and keep me mentally motivated, while I hustled my way to entrepreneurship.

However, for me, it wasn’t a lack of motivation or inspiration.

Nor was it the time to focus on jargon-stuffed tips like SEO, PSA, FB ads, backlinks, lead scoring, A/B testing, and other ninja email marketing tactics. Aaaaargggg!

You’re not ready for this when you start building something from scratch.

All you need at this stage is to get the fundamentals straight.

Plus, I didn’t have all the time in the world ─ it was supposed to be a gig on the side, at first.

I already had a full-time job. A pretty demanding one too.

I felt like I was left out there, high and dry!

It appeared I would have to figure it all out on my own; but I had to work systematically, deliberately and fast.

[Buzzwords are traps when starting up (i.e., SEO, SEM, PSA, PPC): 92%]

I lacked a reliable, trustworthy and applicable step-by-step system to get me out of the starting blocks.

I realized that nothing I had been collecting, was sufficient to lead to a specific action that would get me started.

And then, one day, just about when I was desperate to find a way to get unstuck, this happens.

It was less than 2 years ago, while I was traveling, in France. It was winter, in a town of northern France called Lille, where I had my first ever long, honest and insightful discussion over skype with my dad, who was in Greece recovering from an almost lethal street accident ─ an incident that brought us closer, than we’ve ever been.

We shared our views on lifelong learning, the intrinsic motivation to get better at stuff we are afraid we’ll feel like imposters if we don’t and the vastly accepted wisdom that “sharpening your ax” is the way to always be ready for what’s next.

He then stops, leans towards the camera, looks me deep in the eye (or so it felt) and attempts to whisper, with his deep and wise voice:

“Cleo, it’s NOT what you don’t have; it’s what you’re NOT doing!”

The words came out slowly in a rhythmic intensity and smacked me in the face. Each word alternating on each cheek, as they were coming out, one-by-one, of what seemed, not his mouth, but the abyss where a higher self, had been hiding, the entire time.

This single piece of advice right there, at that specific moment, in that chill coffee shop in Northern France near the Belgium border, forever changed the way I think about learning, preparing and doing.

So, I had to act ─ this time totally different.

I started working right away, my way to launch my online business and kept track of everything I identified as essential, so that I could share it all later on, with others.

I became obsessed with the idea that one day I would design my own full-blown-beginner’s-guide with everything that would get me and others through all the “basics of starting an online business.”

I went back to my action plans and my knowledge on the online business world, but this time with a new lens.

The work I did led me to successfully launch my start-up, in 2018, and pull others into the adventure of getting started, by decoding, systematizing and designing the most efficient moves one needs to take to launch and grow an online business ─ while working on their full-time job, at full speed.

But it took some skill-building, mind shift and deep work to get there.

What I’ve done with what I’ve been learning and monitoring during this period.

So, after digging inside myself, becoming conscious of my “flaw” and working my ass off, I have learned to channel learning for me and others and to apply it to things that we want to get done.

Now, I have been running my new business, for 12 months and I keep consciously seeking for all common patterns that separate do-ers from all others.

I systematically used my observation to spark action, with my current customers, enriched my content, I updated it, I polished it, I tweaked it, and I make it available to anyone who cares to turn their business into a product that sells online.

And I have decided to give it all to you. For free.

Here you go.

It’s yours now.

Now, parts of what you’ll find in the material I lay out, may be taught by some gurus in their online courses.

But there is absolutely no one who gives this kind of manuals for free, explained to the detail, and applicable with extra tools, links, frameworks, and worksheets to help you implement right away.

No one does that. Which is why I wanted to be the first to do it.

So, that’s that.

This is my most popular material. I trust you’ll make the best use of it:

Here is your access to four pieces of my most popular material.

How to read any material I share:

First, just scroll the titles, the bold phrases and the beginnings of the paragraphs and then stop and focus on what matters to you.

Then scroll on.

You can always come back to a particular point later.

I always find useful insights the second time around as well.

What you’re getting access to, is already more than enough to get you going, for quite a while and if you actually do the work, it WILL make you succeed in your online launch.

Start action now.

Think about everything else tomorrow.

Question: What are the biggest issues that you’re looking to resolve in your business, right now?

Drop a comment here.

For more stuff on how to take massive action on your business, join me on MediumLinkedInInstagram, FacebookTwitter, and let’s work out “The Best Way Forward”, together.