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I was in the hospital (and 5 lessons about life and business from 2014)
Last Updated December 26th, 2014

I was in the hospital. And I was surrounded.

To my left, the nurse wrapped a tourniquet around my arm, and stuck me with an IV. The anesthesiologist peppered me with questions, another nurse covered my body in little electrodes to monitor my heart, and another nurse drew little “Xs” on my feet to monitor my pulse.


A doctor was about to enter my heart and burn something out of it with microwaves.

What happened? And why am I sharing this?

Let’s start at the beginning…

I’m Derek Halpern, and I’m the founder of the software and education company Social Triggers. We help people get ahead in business and life through a free weekly web tv show, podcasts, online courses, and software. And to date, we’ve reached more than 2.5 million people around the world

The month was September, and to say things were going well would be an understatement. My life – and company – was amazing.

I had just passed my full year revenue from the year before. I had just launched my first software product into private beta. And I was smack in the middle of launching the new training course about selling (It’s called Yes Engines, and after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars and 1000+ man-hours creating it, it was about time).

But things were about to take a turn for the worse.

Halfway through my new product launch, I had an appointment with a cardiologist, and I got bad news. Really bad news. I had a heart condition. A condition that’s widely known as a “sudden arrhythmia death syndrome” (or SADS for short).

My first reaction was to ask “What did I do wrong?” And I remember the cardiologist almost smiling and saying, “It’s nothing you did. You were born with it.”

I never felt so dejected. I’m 29. Wasn’t I supposed to be invincible? Yet, the more I read about what I had, the more I felt like I was going to clutch my chest and die.

As the SADS foundation says, “Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy, people.”


When you have one of these conditions, the electrical system of your heart does not work properly and your heart beats with abnormal rhythms.

And I had an abnormal rhythm.

I read that 1 in 200 people with my condition die. And I was scared. Would you get on a plane of 200 people knowing 1 of you were going to die in flight? I think not.

I asked the doctor, “What can I do about it?”

“You should live a heart-healthy life. And there’s a procedure you can get done that could potentially cure the problem.”

I quipped, “A procedure? What are the risks?”

“Well, this is relatively routine, but there are some very small risks. You have a very small risk of ending up with a pacemaker. You also have the risk of having a stroke, blood clots, and…”

My mind wandered. Just a week ago I thought I was a young healthy man who’s achieving all of his life’s dreams, and today I have a heart condition that might kill me.

I called my primary care doctor. I always liked him because he was the type of guy who prescribes both holistic medicine and traditional medicine when warranted. I told him the news, and he fired back “Don’t do anything yet. Get a second opinion. And send me over your medical records.”

Was this a glimmer of hope?

Not so fast.

I scheduled a second opinion, sent my doctor the records, and 2 hours later I got called back. “Never mind. Cancel the second opinion. Your EKG is clear, and if you were my son, I’d tell you to get the procedure too.”

“I have stuff to do! I’m in the middle of a product launch! Why me?! I can’t call this launch off! I have a business to run! I have money to make! I have customers to make happy! People will be disappointed!”

And then I began thinking, if I died today, how would people remember me? Did I really make a lasting impact on people and change their lives for the better through my articles, videos, courses, and software?

I knew the answer was yes, but I also knew that in 10 years, no one would remember any of it. And that’s why I sat down to write this.

In a few short days, I will get the procedure where they snake a catheter through a vein in my groin, enter my heart, and proceed to use microwaves to burn out the pathways that create my abnormal heart rhythm.

On the very small chance it goes wrong, I began scribbling down lessons about life and business into a one of my notebooks. There’s a lot of them, and it’s enough to fill a book.

But today, I’d like to share 5 of them. I’d also like to share an update about what happened after the medical procedure.

Lesson #1: On Bad News

In the 1930s, when the Nazis occupied Paris, the luxury leather goods store Hermès remained open with a sign in the window that read, “Nothing for sale.” They lacked the motivation to sell to Nazis, but they also lacked the necessary materials to create and package their products1.

But where some saw bad news, Hermès saw an opportunity.

As one journalist wrote, “Paper, cardboard, and other sorts of packaging were scarce as well; the only color available was vibrant orange. Hermès used it for boxes and bags. Almost overnight, it became the house’s signature color2.

They could have thrown in the towel, and waited for materials. Or they could make a necessary adjustment to their strategy and take advantage of the surplus of orange cardboard.

I could imagine the CEO saying, “We’ve only got orange? Screw it! That’s our color now. Start shipping more products!.” Okay, maybe he didn’t say it exactly like that. He was French.

Interwoven in this silly story about the origin of the Hermès orange box, is an important lesson about life and business.

And this is it:

The main characteristic between those who succeed and those who fail is the willingness to turn bad news into good opportunities.

This isn’t some platitude that people say to make you feel better about bad things. You know, things like “it’s good luck when a bird poops on you.” I was sitting in Madison Square park eating Shake Shack when that happened, and let me tell you: there was nothing lucky about it.

This is the truth. Bad news can become your biggest and best opportunity for growth and success. I saw it over the last few months, but I’ve also researched hundreds of entrepreneurs and one of the defining characteristics that separates those who succeed and those who fail is the willingness to turn bad news into big opportunities.

As an example, if you’ve been a reader of Social Triggers, you may have noticed that things barely skipped a beat.

The new product launch for “Yes Engines” was a huge success. We followed it up with a launch of my other training course “Blog that Converts,” and I even opened “Zippy Courses” (our software product) to the public.

Even though I had seen multiple doctors, underwent several tests, and battled with the thought that I may die, I channeled my energy into my work.

Was I upset? Yes. Was I scared? Absolutely.

When life hits you with bad news, make necessary adjustments, and hit back.

Lesson #2: The Power of Your Name

The seventieth-century Dutch artist Jan Vermeer is widely known for his depictions of middle class life. And his paintings fetch a fortune.

Back in 2004, one of his paintings sold for $30 million at auction 3. That’s the power of Jan Vermeer’s name when it’s attached to a painting.

But what I find most interesting about art has nothing to do with any individual painter or art sale. Instead, it has everything to do with the power of a name.

In the art world, the quality of the work is seemingly inconsequential when compared to the name attached to the work. And nothing illustrates this better than Vermeer’s newly discovered painting “Christ at Emmaeus.”

Here’s the story…

Back in 1937, when art historian Abraham Bredium saw the painting, he exclaimed, “We have here a — I am inclined to say — the masterpiece of Johannes Vermeer of Delft… In no other picture by the great Master of Delft do we find such sentiment, such a profound understanding of the Bible story — a sentiment so nobly human expressed through the medium of the highest art.” And the painting went on to sell for about $3.4 million in 2014 dollars 4.

But there was a problem.

About a decade later, shortly after the Second World War, an art dealer named Han Van Meegeren was arrested. His charge? He got caught selling a Vermeer painting – a Dutch national art treasure – to the enemy. This was a serious criminal offense and could lead to a lengthy prison sentence.

What could he do? He decided to fess up. As written in the Encyclepedia of Hoaxes, “In order to save himself from serving a long sentence for collaboration with the Nazis, he pleaded guilty to the lesser crime of forgery. At first his claim to have forged not only Emmaeus and The Adultress, but also four other “authentic” Vermeers, was met with disbelief. A scientific commission was set up, however, and van Meegeren himself proposed that he paint a new Vermeer while in jail awaiting trial. The resulting painting, The Young Christ Teaching in the Temple, was clearly by the same hand as all the other fakes.”

And there we have it. The masterpiece, “Christ at Emmaeus,” was a fake. And in the master forger Han Van Meegeren’s words, “Yesterday, this picture was worth millions of guilders and experts and art lovers would come from all over the world and pay money to see it. Today, it’s worth nothing, and nobody would cross the street to see it for free. But the picture has not changed. What has? 5

I’ll tell you what changed. The name of the person who painted it.

As you go through life, doors will open – and close – on the strength of your name. The stronger it is, the easier it is to earn job promotions, start businesses, raise capital, and more.

Even when I look at my business, I see the power of name and brand. When people buy one of my courses or software products, we often send a quick “New Client Survey,” where we ask people several questions including, “What made you invest in this course?”

Of course, when we review this, we see the typical things like: “it solves a problem I have,” but the number one reason why people buy is: “It’s because I trust Derek and his work.”

Seriously. For one of my entry-level products, “Start Your Blog Right,” the new client survey has been filled out about 1,000 times. When we analyze the reasons why people bought, the #1 reason why is something similar to “I love Derek’s content” or “Derek has provided a ton of value. So I know this will be worth it too.”

That’s why, no matter what you’re doing, you need to actively build your name and brand.

Lesson 3: The Importance of Saying No

Back in mid 2013, I started to get overwhelmed. In addition to running Social Triggers, a weekly web tv show, a podcast, and more, I was also traveling around the world speaking at conferences.

That’s when I made a tough decision, and said, “In 2014, I will not speak at any conferences.” And I quit speaking.

I remember some friends and colleagues looking at me like I was nuts. “But, what if…” tended to be their line of questioning.

I also felt crazy. I LOVED speaking. Nothing lit a fire under me like getting on stage, giving a great presentation, and having people tell me they loved it.

But I knew I had to quit. There’s only so much time in the day, and I knew I had to free up some of this time if I wanted to take my business to the next level.

And that’s exactly what I did.

In 2014, I quit speaking. I also turned Social Triggers – with the help of my team – from a 1 product company into a 4 product company. If I was traveling every week to speak at conferences, I would have NEVER been able to do that.

And that’s the importance of saying no to things you love to focus on things you must.

It’s not easy, it’s uncomfortable, but deep down, we often know what we must stop doing so that we can start doing something else. And we have to do it.

That’s why, in 2015, assuming things go well with my procedure, I’m going to continue on my “saying no” yearly tradition. And this coming year, I’m going to enact what I call a “no new connection diet.”

What is that? I’m saying no to meeting new people unless there’s a specific reason that applies to my current goals (not my future goals). Why would I do this? That’s because I feel as if I have plenty of friends who I don’t speak to enough, and I’d like to make time to speak with them. Instead of continuing to go far and wide, my goal is to focus on quality.

Lesson 4: Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later

When people get started on new projects, they tend to strive for perfection. “This is our new thing,” they tell themselves, “and it has to be perfect.”

I understand too. If you’re starting something new, whether it’s a job or a business, you want to put your best foot forward to ensure your chance of success.

Now do you know what’s funny?

The same thing happens to experienced people too. They tell themselves, “I have a reputation to protect, and this new thing has to be perfect!”

But what’s really going on here?

This is the embodiment of the fear of failure – and it happens to all of us. Including me.

As an example, I wanted to run an autowebinar for SocialTriggers for years. If you’re unfamiliar with autowebinars, it’s a webinar that runs automatically each day of the week.

But I kept getting in my own way. I told myself, “I can’t run it unless I have this other technology in place. I can’t run it unless I have a perfect design. I can’t run it unless…”
And over the course of about 10 months, I spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to perfect the autowebinar process… before I even released the autowebinar.

This made no sense. Especially since I had a friend who ran a very “duct tape and nails” approach to their autowebinar. They started small, and built it up; over time, and it was hugely successful.

But I wanted MY webinar to be perfect. And what happened was this: the project never got finished, and I wasted 10 full months.


That’s why get it done now, perfect it later is so important. I used to have this mentality when I first got started, but as things grew, I made things supremely more complicated, and things took much longer to get into the world.

This is a huge problem, especially when your strategies and visions might change in 3 or 6 months. And that’s what happened with me. I thought the autowebinar was important a year ago, but now, I realize it’s not that important at all. And I should be focusing on other things.

Lesson 5: You Are In Charge Of What People Remember (Or Forget) About You

Back in 2005, when I started my first business, no one knew who I was and I had no connections. This meant doors got slammed in my face before I even got the chance to say, “Hey, I’m De—“.

And I hated it.

Fast forward to today, and it still happens. I found myself at dinner, and I was surrounded by a lot of startup entrepreneurs. You know, the silicon valley types that talk about VC investments, raising money, and etc. When I was asked to introduce myself, I said what I did: “I’m the founder of Social Triggers, a software and education company, that reaches about a half a million people each month, and we help business owners grow their businesses.”

And nobody cared.

In some circles reaching that many people would surprise and impress people. In this circle, nobody cared.

That’s why I tweaked how I introduce myself to people like that. Instead of saying what I said, I say something like, “Hey, I’m Derek Halpern, I’m the founder of Social Triggers, and I also make a handful of strategic angel investments each year that can range from $10,000 to $100,000.”

And EVERYBODY cared.


Because they all ran startups and they were looking for investors.

Now here’s what I want you to notice:

Not at any point am I being manipulative. I’m simply leading with the one thing I think the people who I’m talking to will care about the most. And I’m ONLY sharing that one thing.

This is important.

If you say something like, “Hey, I’m Derek. I run social triggers, and we reached 500,000 entrepreneurs each month. And we help them grow their business with online education and software products. The products are ZippyCourses, Yes Engines, Blog that Converts, Start your Blog Right, and we have ore courses coming soon. We also do paid speaking engagements, and…”

Did I lose you?


When you tell people EVERYTHING you do they tend to remember NOTHING. That’s why, you need to lead with the one thing you think they’ll care about—and commit to it.

You are in charge of what people remember (or forget) about you, and the best way to ensure you’re remembered for the right reasons is by sharing the one thing you think they’ll care about most.

Now What Happened With The Medical Procedure?

As I said, I was surrounded. And I was about to get rolled in to the operating room.

I had made a long list of lessons about business and life that I wanted to share with the world. There were about a lot of them, and I gave strict orders to my family to make sure all them got published in the event something went wrong.

I looked around the operating room and felt myself getting nervous. So I decided to lighten the situation by trying to say something funny: “Hey, let me just apologize in advance if I wet myself while I’m knocked out. Not sure which of you is responsible to clean it up, but my thoughts are with you.”

I suppose my nervousness was clear because the anesthesiologist mentioned it and put a mask on me with light sedation to make me feel better.

And everything went black.

Four hours later I woke up in the recovery room. And after making sure my tongue still worked…


…a nurse told me the procedure was a huge success.

They supposedly cured my abnormal heart rhythm, and I no longer have a heart condition.


Yes, there are more life and business lessons I plan on sharing, but I’m only sharing 5 right now. I’ll share more at some further point in time.

For now, I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope you have a great 2015. I know I will. I’m alive.

If you found this helpful, I’d greatly appreciate you sharing this.

And if you’re new here, and you want more just like this, I suggest you sign up for the newsletter.

You see, even though things look great from afar, you never know what’s happening behind the scenes of even the most successful people.

We all experience personal hardships, and it’s up to us to make the best of them. I’m lucky that what I had wasn’t worse, and I’m thankful for it.

But know this: the next time you stumble upon a roadblock in your life, I can promise you there’s someone else who had something much worse happen to them and they got through it. And I know you can too.

Here’s to 2015.

P.S. Yesterday was my 30th birthday. And here’s what I want you to do. I’d love for you to leave a comment sharing which of these lessons you plan on taking advantage of in 2015.

Now go!

The Sources:
1 Thomas, Dana (2007-08-16). Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster (p. 183). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
2Thomas, Dana (2007-08-16). Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster (p. 183). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
4 http://denisdutton.com/van_meegeren.htm
5 Salisbury, Laney; Sujo, Aly (2009-07-09). Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art (pp. 236-239). Penguin Group US.

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301 comments Leave a comment
Sarah Gotheridge

It’s amazing how life moves, here you are killing it in 2015 and we’ve seen some great names depart from Scott over at LiveYourLegent.com and Cindy from SocialMediaExaminer.com.

Glad that I’ve come across you.

Michael Burgman

Hi Derek

Thank you for sharing your life with others. I am learning much from your blog posts and
I appreciate the way you share usable action steps we can take to move forward.

Thank you for sharing your humanity as well. Knowing someone’s story can not only give hope to say “I Can Do That Too” but to also say “I will Survive Too”. Being truthful about your struggles makes me believe you are truthful about other things you share. I am glad you came through your surgery well!


I read this before, but it inspires me more the second time around. Glad you made it to a healthier life!



“The main characteristic between those who succeed and those who fail is the willingness to turn bad news into good opportunities.” This has made a great impact on me, aside of course from the condition you faced. I’m glad that the turnout of events were very successful. You must now be extra careful to your health while enjoying your second life.

Tim Hewitt

Wow, what a post. So happy to hear it was a success!


Hey Derek. Just glad to know you are well. I know it must have been a frightening experience.

As for your advice, now I know to keep it simple and relevant to the listener what exactly I do and why they should care. Thanks for that.


Great post Derek, I have a heart condition as well which I was born with! You’ve affected my life and I’ll remember you! 🙂

Dr. 'Malik Haruna King

Wow! Great lessons…I am glad I read this!


Barefoot Business Mentor

Really great read and very honest post. Interesting how a lot of us can empathise with you and your journey.

I had a heart condition when i was a child and all good now – the gift?

It makes me more grateful for my good health and the fact that I can run my own businesses and create joy for myself, my family an dients.



Happy to hear your operation was successful. You make this world a better place, and being only one year younger than you, you’re a huge inspiration in my career. Thank you for sharing the highs and lows, and for this amazing post.


Alonso from Seattle

Imran Soudagar

Get it done now, perfect it later. This one advice is awesome I always feel the need to be perfect in everything I do and at times I dont complete a lot of tasks coz the end result is not perfect.


You are in charge! ….. Yes that’s the lesson I will take from this … And strange because I searched out how come you were referring to hospital…. And you saying you are cutting off because you have enough friends… I wanted to get to know you! Yay! For medical success!

Kim McNeil

Nicely done Sir.

The lesson that I’m taking away with is “Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later,” What a refreshing change in attitude.

Keep it up, you have a good heart. Pun intended.

Manpreet Kaur

Hey Derek, Great to see that the medical procedure worked… who else would have read my comments then? 😛
Anyways, I really believe in the ‘saying no’ concept but the problem arises when you have to deal with the guilt of saying no to someone you really wanted to say yes to but couldn’t because of your work commitments.
If you ask who I am… I can’t really tell what I do for a living or what I want to do with my life because I am not sure what it is. I am just trying to figure it out and when some of friends come up to me and ask me to work with them on their great business idea… I just cannot force myself to say yes even though I have full intentions on trying out the new thing. I simply have to say no for I need to figure out my LIFE. But then… there is so much of guilt, emotional pressure – how to tackle that?

Vicki Aubin, The Rockin' Career Coach

Happy Belated Birthday, Derek…and congrats on your surgery success! LOVED this article; thanks for sharing all that you did.

One of the things that really resonated with me was your quote, “The main characteristic between those who succeed and those who fail is the willingness to turn bad news into good opportunities.” In fact, I’m gonna quote you and tweet the heck out of it if you don’t mind! 🙂

Second, I really loved your point of (I’m paraphrasing)…’getting it done first and perfecting it later’; as a fellow entrepreneur, I know how easy it is to fall into the ‘perfectionist’ mode, which if taken to an extreme, can sabotage everything you’re committed to achieving. I’ve attempted to start applying this principle more (especially to my recent youtube career tv series)…and I’m seeing that just by doing to more and more, my comfort and confidence is beginning to soar.

Thanks again, and have a kick-ass year! 😉

Michael Lopez

Hi Derek! I’m glad you came through it alive and successfully.

I specially loved Lesson #1: On Bad News and Lesson 4: Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later. Thanks for nourishing my mind.

You’re always giving people inspiration and free stuff. Now that you are going through kind of a healing process, and life-changing path, I’d like to send you one gift to you. If I could send it to your PO Box, that’ll be great.

Best regards, keep alive and well!


A few minutes ago I think to myself “hmmm…I haven’t seen anything by Derek in a while…let me check his Facebook.”

Then I come across this post. Glad to hear you’re still kicking.

This makes my two kidney stones I’ve passed in 2015 seem not as bad. Actually no – they hurt like a mother $#%$$.




Derek, love your posts. I’ve been living most of these but the one I’m going to put extra effort into is #5 — being in charge of what people remember about me. Thanks and so glad to hear your procedure went well.

Brad Blackman

I have an irregular heartbeat pa rum pum pum pum…

(My dad had that same procedure years ago. He still has tachycardia episodes due to the extra “pacemaker” he was born with, but it’s not as scary as it used to be.)

Glad you’re doing well! Happy 30th birthday.

Tonya Leigh

Derek, you had me at Hermès. Merci for a great article!

It sounds like you and I had the same procedure. My heart’s been ticking normally for 15 years now, even through heart break!

So glad it went well for you.



#4 Get it done now – perfect it later

There’s been something subconscious keeping me from writing posts on a new blog I’m working on. I write outside of my blog all the time but for some reason I sometimes catch myself looking for excuses to not blog. I think it may be that for the first few blog posts, I labored all day trying to make it perfect. My subconscious now steers me away from that stress-inducing activity. But now I will make a point to just get the raw ideas typed out and refine it later, just like I do for other personal writings.


James Cook

Hey Derek – glad you’re okay! Thanks for sharing.

I finally made time for this post as I’m writing out 12 habits for this year and I definitely need to make it #4 as I’m a perfectionist by nature.

BUT – that leads me to a question I know you can answer. I heard that a well-known product-launch coach allegedly said “your first product will be sh*t. Just get it out there.” What bothered me is that I believe that the content/lesson/material/physical product should be valuable. Do you agree? Quality vs perfection – two different things, right?


Hi Derek, I was very sorry to hear of your sudden heart condition and very glad to hear you have overcome it successfully. Your lessons are our lessons. Life is short, so we should fill it with quality time, quality relationships, turn a bad thing into a good one..! As always, you are right on the button. If there is anything I can suggest as a sometime yoga teacher, I can recommend gentle yoga, such as the Krishnamacharya version, to aid your recovery. It focuses on the breathing and on developing greater strength in increments tailored to your needs. ‘Heartmath’ is also something that may interest you. The latest science shows that the heart gives out its own frequency, and that it works best when we attune to this rhythm. Wishing you every success in 2015..!

Sarah Cairncross

Derek, such great lessons/reminders/knocks over the head. Thank you. 3 and 4 are especially important for me right now and I’ve shared your post and stuck it on a tab that will stay open so I can look at it every day for the next week at least!

Aysia Wright

Thank you for sharing -definitely words of wisdom and I look forward to receiving your updates as we work to grow (business and personally) in 2015. So glad your procedure went well!

I can benefit from each lesson here. Thanks.

Happy New Year!


#5. My intro is something that I still struggle with, deer-in-headlights style. I’ve started adjusting my intros depending on what setting I’m in but never thought to tailor it based on what will be the most valuable to the person I’m speaking with.

Stacy Cox

Lesson #5 is the one I’ll be focusing on, but I liked them all. Your blog title really sparked my curiosity! And the content lived up to it. Best of health to you. 🙂

Karin Olson


Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us. I am so grateful that all went well with the procedure, recovery and the lessons you learned – it gives us each the opportunity to go out there and do the work that you inspire us to do!

There are a lot of take-aways here. Thanks for each of them. The one that spoke to me was how, when faced with the possibility that life might not continue as long as you wanted, you chose to memorialize that which was important to you so that others could still learn even if you weren’t here. With all the tremendous work you have done and lives you have touched, there was still more inside to come out.

May we all have more to say and the wisdom to keep doing what os necessary to get it out there.

Thanks for all you do.

Natalie Sisson

What a great gift to be happy and healthy on your birthday with a new lease of life and a new found respect for why life needs to be lived to the full every day.

I’m all about saying no more this year to make way for the few projects I’m 100% committed to focusing on.

Here’s to an amazing 2015 Derek and everyone.


So happy you are feeling better! I was diagnosed with MS 7 years ago and still work in an office and run my own online business. I especially liked your take on saying “no”, Lesson 3. Honestly, I’ve had to change like you and saying “no” is actually refreshing. I wish you good health and continued success in 2015! Having a health scare puts things in perspective but keeping positive and moving through it makes us stronger.

Gabriel Ortiz

Great Post.

After being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in April of 2013, and fighting and relapsing since then – I keep my head up, support my family and strive to start and succeed in business. No matter what – keep going!

Karen McCormick

Hey Derek-
I get a lot of training blogs, videos, etc but there are only a few that I always read. Yours is one of the best, hands down. Every one of your points has something that I can put to use. Glad your procedure went well.

Caryn Gillen

Happy Birthday! My goal for 2015 is to say yes to trying on the ideas that I’ve been carrying around with me for years so that I can learn enough to say no or really get them out there.

Happy new year and personal new year to you – and congrats on the procedure and having a primary care doc who will tell it to you like you are his kid!

Gail Sibley

Derek, loved all the lessons! You asked which I’m going to put to good use in 2015. All I hope! But the one that resonated most was Perfect It Later!! I know trying to make things perfect has held me back in the past. I’m getting better at it but your post just reinforced what I need to do.

Thanks also for sharing what you have been going through medically and so relieved that the operation was a huge success!! Great way to celebrate the beginning of your 30s!! You young thing you. Happy Birthday!!!



Your courage and wisdom has been a true inspiration. I think in the end no matter how many products you put out there, your personal example will be the one thing that makes the biggest impact on the world. I thank you.



Glad you are ok. Looking forward to a great year ahead for you! Wish you best of health

Velin Naydenov

Hey man! Really inspirational story, thank you for sharing it. Hope everything is fine with you after the hospital. Wish you all the best in 2015!

Nicole Notario-Risk

Glad you’re on the mend Derek! Thanks for being so open with your story and your advice. Here’s to a healthy and kick ass 2015!


Glad this story had a happy ending! Here’s to an amazing 2015 for you Derek. Thanks for sharing your story and your lessons – as always, awesome stuff! Love your work and am glad you’ll be sticking around to bring us so much more.


Fantastic post, Derek!

I wish you a swift recovery and a bountiful 2015!



I read EVERY word of the post and, as always, looking forward to more from you. (Yes I’m demanding when it comes to consuming great content!)

I’m glad you’re getting better now.

Wish you all the best in 2015.

Susanna Perkins

I’m going to say “no” more often. A LOT more often!

Jen Miller

Loved your post, Derek and I’d I will be embracing lessons 2 & 3 in 2015. Thank you so much for sharing your insights AND your products – I’ve found value in everything you’ve done that I’ve read or purchased. Keep up the great work and continue to be well!


Thanks Derek. Great article. I constantly struggle with “Get it done now and perfect it later” and need to be reminded often. BTW: Way to get that surgery done! Wishing you a strong and swift recovery.

Laura Lynn

Wow what a scare Derek! I’m SO glad you are OK. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and what you learned. I loved all 5 of your lessons, but Lesson 5 was new to me – and awesome advice!

Stay healthy!!!!
Laura Lynn


I don’t remember the last time I was this captivated, moved and inspired by a blog post! Definately taking advantage of all 5 lessons in the new year and can’t wait until you share more. 🙂

All the best, Joana

Peg Hubbard


Your five things were so smart, and right on! I’ve known my entire life that what counts most is that when people hear my name, they know they can trust me and whatever it is I’m saying. As I’ve ventured into the on-line world of marketing lately, I’m astounded at the people who make claims that aren’t even potentially possible, much less true! And I ALWAYS unsubscribe them…. I have to admit, I’m being brutal this coming year with your “no new connection diet,” and even going through all the emails I receive today and unsubscribing from those who really don’t meet my needs for the year to come. I read your email, then your blog, with the intent of cutting you off my list — but you won me over! And so, I’ll continue to follow you, because you speak the truth and offer value! But my time is valuable, and I cannot continue getting hundreds of emails each week for products I don’t need, webinars I won’t attend, and newsletters that don’t help me to grow in my own passion and purpose.

So I look forward to more of your lessons about life, and getting to know you better as I finish my own books, and spread my own vision of the world through my words…. Thank you! — And congrats on being heart healthy!


You really proved some incredible information and you also make me laugh with your funny wit. Hey, I am not schmoozing – simply stating how I feel!

Trish Jones

You made it to 30! You BIG HEARTED Fella! Happy Belated Birthday.

All I can say right now is, “Thank God for your life.” I’ve no doubt you’ll live it well and you’ll live it long.

Kristen @ MIX | wellness solutions for a balanced life

Amazing story – thank you for sharing and so glad you are on the road to recovery and more ass-kicking in 2015! You are a rock star, Derek – thanks for doing all that you do! 🙂


Definitely theme of the 2015 will be NO, or as I prefer to say: FOCUS. I have so many ideas. I have to say No to almost all of them. Otherwise my RAM memory is overloaded and I’m stuck in many projects, that I’m starting but never finishing. That was in my case in 2012, 2013 and 2014. I achieved many great things during last 3 years, but I could do more, because… Less is more.

Happy focusing on one important thing next year!

Jayna Shah

I will be using all the lessons, especially
Lesson 5: You Are In Charge Of What People Remember (Or Forget) About You

Thanks for a great post… truly inspiring.

Uduak Oduok, Esq.

Thank you for this. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Get well soon and keep shinning.


Geoff Burton

Hey Derek, i’ve been reading your stuff and listening to your podcasts since you got started. You do excellent work and you’re a great guy. I’m very glad you got through this.


Great lessons, thanks a lot Derek; lesson 4 resonates the most with me…
Happy birthday; I have a feeling that 2015 will be your best ever year in your personal and professional life!

Gillian Eadie

Get well soon, Derek! You’ve been an inspiration to a senior helping other seniors keep their memory skills alert & alive. You’ve taught me so much and I’m working on what our Memory Tuners think of us, too! Kia Kaha!

Tema Frank

Happy birthday, and congratulations on the success of the surgery and of your year!

The life lesson I’m struggling with (and hoping to use this year) is Lesson 4: Get it done now. Perfect it later. I’ve spent more than two years working on a book (PeopleShock: Why People Matter More Than Ever In The Social Era & What That Means For Your Business) and if I don’t stop researching and do more writing and get it out soon, I’ll have missed the moment. It’s already not nearly as uncommon an idea as it was in 2012!

Kristy Lopez

In 2015 I’m going to perfect the art of saying no. I tend to take too much on because I say yes to just about everything. Setting my limits will certainly help me to open up time for other things that will contribute to my goals right now. Happy birthday, happy new year, and happy life!


Beautiful story, great lessons… lesson 4 and 5 resonate the most with me, thank you for sharing. Have a great 2015 Derek!

Candice L Davis

So glad you’re doing well!

I’m def going after “The Power of Your Name” in 2015. I’ve been that introverted, shy, even fearful person who rarely appears on video or in pics–even on my own site/blog. No more. I’ve just shot a 3-video launch for my 1st product, and my face, name, and new branding strategies will be a big part of my business in 2015.


My boyfriend had the same operation in September. I’m commenting from our stateroom while we cruise to Barbados. He has never had so much energy! I hope you have a great outcome, too. I will look for opportunities in adversity as I have a few very tough hurdles early in the year. Love your stuff!

Maria Keckler

Happy Birthday, Derek. Thank you for taking the time to share these tremendous words of wisdom. All of them resonate–but the one that stands out is that we are responsible for what others remember. It’s true. We build bridges to the hearts and minds of our audiences when we listen and focus on their needs, not ours.

May you be tremendously blessed in 2015.


This is a powerful post, Derek. Your lessons are really helpful as Ive struggled to build my coaching practice. I really like your last two lessons: get it done now and being in charge of what people remember. I’ve distilled them into always be delivering value. I’ve been worrying about making things pretty and neglecting the fact that what I have to offer is valuable first. Then I’ve sllowed others to tell me what’s my value, I determine that. Love it and thanks.

Shawn Dady

Aw Derek, so glad you’re okay. One of the first comments was correct, this world would be a lesser place without you.

You are loved and appreciated.
Shawn Dady


Derek – I am so glad to hear your procedure was a huge success!!!! Thanks for sharing your story and for constantly making your wisdom available to us. I will definitely remember you in ten years but I’m glad to hear you’re likely to be around to share more. 😉


Hi Derek. I have never commented but wanted to say thanks for sharing this very powerful. I also want to follow your request and say that for me number 4 is tops! I have been spinning my wheels for 3 years trying to get things
Right or perfect. Done is better the perfect 2015 motto. Polish later. And saying is big for a wife and mom with a business and going back to school. Craziness. But thanks again and glad your better.

Stacey Oliver-Knappe

Happy New Year, Derek!
I am so glad the doctor found your problem, and it was corrected. Sadly, a friend of mine’s brother unexpectedly passed away from this same defect when he was 30. It devastated all of us for a long time. It’s fantastic your heart could be repaired. We need you!
Numbers 1 and 4 speak to me, especially 4. I wait too long for perfection before taking action. I’m getting better and still learning at 43, but this blog was a good reminder to go before I think I should go. BAM! Let’s do this!
Wishing you good health and continued success this year and the many years more to come!

Barbara Kaplan

So glad that your procedure went well. You are too young to have to be concerned about a heart condition! (Happy 30th!)

Can you send me the name of your holistically minded primary? Thank you.


Glad to hear you are doing well, Derek!
Wishing you all the best in 2015…


Derek – So glad to hear all went well! Great lessons and my focus will be on saying No! It is the one that scares me the most so I know I need it because buddy I am overwhelmed!

Jeffery Lam

Hi Derek,

Thats great to hear from you again! I was just thinking how come I didnt receive your emails for quite sometime, now I knew what happened!

I am glad that all ended up with happy ending…just cant wait to hear and read more of your great stuffs in 2015.

Sray strong, stay healthy, and all will foes well in 2015..

Take care!

Jeffery Lam


Hey Derek… Firstly I am so glad you are ok – you have done amazing things pre-30 and that is not a condition anyone wants to have lingering so I am glad it was a success. Secondly thanks for the life and business tips in this post. I too was speaking a lot “live” last year and it burned me out despite loving it. After speaking at an awesome conference in Tampa, on the long haul back to Australia I decided to pull right back too, and apart from SMMW in March I am not booking anything in at present, instead focusing inward on my business, blog, program and continuing to leverage my hours/revenue. It’s funny you mentioned the “non new connection diet” as I think it is such a wise approach. I hate saying no to “can we have coffee” etc (for the right people – some make it VERY easy to say no when they approach it the wrong way) but I have used Marie Forleo’s awesome video about how to say “no” and it has been fabulous….ie if I don’t have time for friends and family I don’t have time for new connections. I can’t imagine how many requests you get every day! I finally put a VA on to handle emails for the same reason and it has been a-MAY-zing. So thanks for these tips – they all reinforce my goals moving forward into 2015 (I just wish you didn’t have a heart procedure story to go with it, but then again it has it’s positives… it makes people sit up and listen!


I’m glad that the procedure went so well! I’m just starting out to do magic shows. Point number 2 sounded like me this past year. I had some medical issues myself, and it would impact my ability to perform well. Especially as I was starting out, the last thing I wanted to do was to put on a substandard show and have my name associated with a poor product. It was a tough decision financially, but I actually chose to take some time off until I could perform well. I have some time to go, but am now well enough that I have started working on the show again and will be performing soon.

I look forward to seeing what you have for us in 2015!



So glad everything went well! I love everything you write. Thank you for the time and dedication you put into helping others.

Satya Gillen

Delighted to hear your procedure went well. Inspired that you turned it around into something so positive and motivational that helps others. One thing I’ve taken (among many) is the vital importance of developing good communication and story-telling skills – because it can stop people in their tracks and help them re-evaluate and make changes for the better in their lives. Thank you! Happy birthday, and here’s to your continued health, happiness, and fulfilment. Satya.



SO happy that you are well and your heart is now fixed 🙂
May 2015 and every one after that was healthy and happy for you and the people you love.
Keep us your great work -love it and Thank You for all you do!

You have one of the best podcasts too

Nathan Williams

This was an amazing read Derek and I am very happy to hear that everything went well for you. I am one of those entrepreneurs who you have reached and I thank you for all you do. Lesson #4 is what I will focus on in 2015, get it done and perfect it later. All the best to you during the holidays!



Wow. Thanks for opening up and sharing your story, and all of your wisdom. Very powerful & helpful. Really excited for 2015. I’m focusing on a version of what you’ve described in #3 and working to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me and my work. I think this helps with the concept of average daily speed, and getting more done with small wins every day than huge leaps every now and then. Thank you again.

Rachel Blackburn


Who would have known the impact you’d have on my life when I met you many months ago. This blog both made me tear up and also ignited a fire in my heart. You’re inspirational and real at the same time. I’m so glad to see you’ve not only recovered but now running head first into life- again.
I’m glad I met you before 2015 and your new “no new connections!” oath!
I will be adopting the “get it done now, perfect later”.


Lu Wee

Derek, your content has helped me build many new things in 2014. Blogs That Convert is a gem!

Here’s to another year of action, Derek! This story and all your 2014 insights was wonderful to read.



I’m glad you are okay and that it all went well. What a bunch of awesome lessons!

Easily the one I’ll practice in 2015 is #4. I have been freaking out about the launch of my new website for awhile now, and I keep getting anxiety about making it perfect. But you’re right, and regardless of whether or not I’m anxious, I’m launching on January 5.

Happy birthday!

Rex Williams

He lives!

Great story Derek. The most personal ones are the most interesting.

These are all great lessons, I’ll remember 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Glad you made it.

Don Mahaffey Weaver II

Glad your still with us! And thanks again for the lessons. Damn. I feel guilty for not paying. lol? I will get you back one day Derek! Large too! You are so inspirational! Alot of what you said this time around is in fact happening to me/us now too!


Don Mahaffey Weaver II


Oh wow – amazing story (I only noticed once I got to the end that I was holding my breath hoping it had a happy ending) and amazing lessons. I will be taking away something from all of them but #2 is probably the biggest one for me at the moment.

Glad to hear you’re OK Derek and Happy Birthday!

Jackie Capers Brown

Thankful that everything went well during your surgery. Happy Belated Birthday. Your best is yet to be. The lesson that resonated deeply within me was #5 You Are In Charge of What People Remember (or Forget) about You. While reading your insights on this lesson, I recalled many occasions when I shared way too much at various functions. As I prepare for my scheduled presentations in 2015, I will keep in mind that I need to lead with the one thing that the audience cares the most about. Very helpful. Thank you. Happy New Year!


So happy the procedure went well, Derek. Thanks for sharing something personal like this. I think we feel like we all know you a bit better. Stay healthy and here’s to your health in the coming year(s). We all look forward to your amazing blog posts.


Wow, what a fantastic post and a great start to the New Year! They’re all good but my favourite which I will definitely implement this year is Lesson 4: Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later. Great advice, thanks 🙂

Had a similar year myself, a couple of medical scares. Certainly focuses the mind, doesn’t it? And you’ve motivated me to create a post on my own blog for the new year.

Great to hear the op was a success, and wishing you all the very best for 2015, Derek! I am indebted…



I’m always surprised if my name carries any cred.
#4 & #5
Get it done now, perfect it later. So need to implement this one.
Improve my communication: listen to learn what other people care about the most.

Fernando Garrido

Really inspiring Derek, I’m glad you are ok cause you give a lot to society…worldwide.


So happy to hear that your procedure went well, Derek! I know how debilitating a sudden health scare can feel – so thrilled you’re ok. Wishing you you a great and healthy 2015 and 30th year!

Camilo Oliveira

Hi Derek,
wow, what an experience. Nice to hear you managed to pass through it very well.

Thanks for the lessons too. I will strive for shipping things even if they were not perfect. There’s a lot of projects I can launch and see what happens, and maybe get a hit in one of them. I feel good doing side projects, and hope to do more next year.

Take care!


Glad to hear it all worked out brother. Take care!

Lizzy Love

I am so happy the procedure was successful for you, as a “terminal” cancer survivor myself I know too well the fears and satisfactions that go with overcoming these things!!! In 2015 I plan to work on #5 controlling what people remember about me, thank you for all the tips and Happy Belated Birthday! All the best to you for the year ahead!

Carma Spence

Glad you’re cured, Derek. Love your stuff. Would have missed it and probably would have remembered you 10 years down the road, too. Happy New Year!


Hi Derek, For me two lessons really, #5 & secondly how you managed to stay focused, carried on working and was able to produce & meet your business goals. That takes some doing & hats off to you man! I’ll use this for my inspiration especially at those times when I’m struggling, when things are not going so well & I start to feel sorry for my self & “suck my thumb”!

Keep going!


I’m glad your bad news turned into a happy end, and I wish you a happy and successful 2015!
I don’t know you, but you are a part of my life. Your legacy is already real (even though you have many more big plans).


I have been trying to embrace “Get it done now. Perfect it later.” I can’t build the business that I want without having an actual service to sell, so I’m launching my very first program January 2nd, no matter what! Glad your surgery went well, and Happy Birthday! 🙂


Derek thanks for great content you keep churning out. And really glad you didn’t die!!

Greg Hickman

1. Glad you’re healthy, that’s amazing! 2. epic post my man. 3. The biggest thing that resonated with me is saying no. I spoke at 17 events last year and for the most part it was a waste of time. This year I cut back drastically by saying no and now have plenty of time to actually grow the business vs traveling all the time.

Wilfried Lehmkuhler

Hi Derek,
Huge fan, I’m lad you doing better. I totally agree with some of your lessens learned. It is always good to reflect and change what needs to be changed. I know very well what you’re talking about… I had open Heart Surgery on November 21 and recovering right now…reflecting is part of it too. Cheers and all the best to you…health and screaming success in 2015. A friend, Wilfried


So, Derek, you really made me think. Especially since I actually know 2 out of 200 people who did not make it till the end of the flight. Thanks for sharing your story and your lessons. I’m really happy everything went well for you and that you came out of this even stronger.

Tom Southern

Glad to hear you’re better Derek. And thanks for talking about SADS. Everyone should get checked out, especially in their 20s and 30s. It’s no fun when your best friend keels over suddenly and dies on you for no apparent reason.

Glad you’re still going strong Derek.


Glad your tongue is still working! Thanks for sharing.


Wooo Hoooo! You Made it!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is stoked about that.

Happy birthday. You amazon wish list is empty otherwise I’d send you some more books.

Thanks for the suggestions: #s one, four and five all hit home for me.

Stay healthy.


Geniece Brown

Hi Derek,

I’m glad to hear the surgery was a success. I love reading your blog and learning from your videos! In 2015, I plan to focus on getting more done now (perfect comes later) and taking ownership of what people remember about me. I look forward to reading your next post. Thanks and have a Happy New Year!!


Mazel tov Derek on your birthday and successful procedure!


Thank you for this intensely personal post. I can tell you were burning to share this information with us. That’s one of the things that I love about your work – you pour yourself into it. I have been gifted with many opportunities to practice #1. I am going to focus 2015 on #2 and #3. Since I am just starting out, it often feels as though I have to say YES to everything. However, as you have so deftly shown, we are better off building our reputation (name) for doing one thing and doing it well. Thus, I see #2 and #3 as intertwined, and will keep that at top of mind as I move forward.
I am glad the procedure worked well, and that you can hit the ground running in 2015! All the best for a smashing year.

Sarah Andrews

Cheers to good health! So glad we’ll have you around for a long time…

This reminds me of how effective sharing your personal story can be; I’m already a fan of your work, but I feel so much more connected to and supportive of you after reading this. Thank you!

I’ll be keeping all 5 points in mind as I begin 2015 with a new life and business in New York!

Carol Bremner

Thank you for taking the time to write that heart-felt post. I really enjoyed all of the tips, especially number one. Sometimes what we would never wish for becomes what helps us to become the person we were meant to be.

Glad to hear your surgery was successful.


Lead with what you think they need and don’t muddy the water with everything else. Excellent advice.


Thanks for sharing a great post Derek! Happy Birthday too!

I plan on following the NO part of your post, along with not trying to be perfect all the time. Launch then perfect if needed.

By the way, I was an early adopter of Zippy Courses and love it! Have 3 more courses that I will be launching in the first quarter of 2015. I appreciate your work and willingness to share.


Derek, glad to hear that you’re doing better now! Best wishes on your 30th– may this year be even more awesome than the last.

I loved this post, and loved the emphasis on leaving a legacy and making your work count. I’ll be putting lesson #5 into action this year. I’m ident guilty of making that too-long introduction, or putting emphasis on the wrong thing. I would really like to change that. You’re right– you really ARE in charge of what people remember or forget about you!

Elizabeth Heck

Still teaching us in your time of need! You’re simply amazing!!! Thanks for sharing.


Derek –

Been a longtime fan, super scary stuff! Glad you are OK and all good now, appreciate you sharing your story and lessons… being 29 myself I can only imagine how I’d share those same feelings as you did if I had that same news.

The 1 thing I am going to continue to work at is not waiting till perfection before releasing and then perfect it in time.


Dave Vogt

Actually a little teared up reading the many heartfelt and sincere posts to this candid article full of great lessons and as always your personal touch Derek.
I am so happy that your out of the woods and sticking around. The world wouldn’t be the same without you and I believe your just getting warmed up.
Thank you for just being you…brilliant, snarky, and funny. I loved the part about spending quality time with friends too! Those that have you as a good friend are lucky people. Keep on keeping on!

John Garvens

Hi Derek,

First of all, congratulations on the surgery! I am glad to hear that it went well.

Secondly, happy birthday! I am on the verge of 30 myself and cannot wait to see what my 30s will bring.

Finally, I think that this is one of the best articles that you’ve written in a long time. The lesson that most applies to me at the moment is “Get it done now. Perfect it later.” As a perfectionist, I find myself tweaking and tweaking until I tweak myself into the ground disheartened.

“It’ll never be perfect, so why bother?” I ask myself. This happens most with my blog. I can never “figure out” what to write. I cannot find the perfect theme for my blog. I have trouble focusing the content.

I wrestle with the idea of writing a freeform personal blog where I write whatever I want and writing a highly focused blog that positions me as a specialist in a particular area. My brain is all over the place much like James Altucher.

As a result, I haven’t written anything new since September, and it bothers me. I need to get out of my own way and write. Like Sean Connery’s character said in Finding Forrester, “The key to writing is to write, not to think.”

Thanks for everything you do, Derek. You inspire people from so many walks of life and provide hugely valuable content for bloggers and business owners. I wish you continued success in 2015 and the rest of your life.

Now, let’s go out and kill our 30s!

Viola Joyner

Loved this blog post . . . and so enjoyed the photo of you in the recovery room and your joke about “Hey, let me just apologize in advance . . .” The lessons for me to embrace in 2015 are Lessons 4 and Lesson 5.

Always enjoy your posts, they are so real and down to earth.

So glad that you are cured, what a relief! Have a great recovery and have a Wonderful New Year!

Cheryl Pickett

First, glad to hear things went well and I wish you the blessings of continued health and good things with your business in 2015. Your comment about no new connections resonates a bit with me. I’ll admit to spending a fair amount of time on FB, and while it does let me stay in touch with family and friends who are not nearby (and who I really want to stay connected with), it feels overwhelming at times. I also feel like doing more with less this year. We’ll see how it goes.

Joy Harvey

Derek, thanks for the warning in the email of a long read. I sat down with my coffee and devoured your post. I think perfection is the constant battle I face. I’m learning to say “good enough” and move forward. Learning that in time perfection comes with much less stress. Thank you for reminding me of this and I will carry this thought into 2015 as I continue to dream into my work.
May you have a healthy and blessed 2015.
Sincerely, Joy

Astrid von Weittenhiller

Thanks for being so open and honest.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Thanks for the very value insights.

And all the best for you!

Brian Bennis

Great to hear the good doctors have done you proud. Wishing you a healthy and successful New Year.

Kris Baker

Happy Birthday! Glad to hear your procedure was a success and thank you for the 5 tips. I am going to work on #4. I have a goal that I want to get started on, but perfection stops me. Thank you for your encouragement and advice. Have a great New Year!!


Having been through a health scare myself two years ago I know how having a problem with your body tests the strength of your mind as much, if not more so, than the strength of your body. It’s no mean feat to stay on track through what you’ve been through. It will have given you new strength and depth to apply to everything you do in future.

I think the the thing about choosing what people remember /forget about you is the biggest for me – it’s about marketing yourself. If you had one radio jingle to make people interested in you, what would you distill into it? I’ll bear that in mind as I tackle new ventured in 2015.

Tim Lawrence

I’m glad you’re ok Derek! Happy Birthday! Honestly, all 5 were vital for my business; however 1 and 2 is what I can really focus on for 2015. I get bad news more than good and have to learn to take it in stride and fight through it. A victory is usually just one step past defeat!

Pam Costa

Blessings for a Happy 2015. I am so glad they found and fixed your heart condition so early.

The Power of Your Name is something I discovered very early on, years ago when we only had the telephone to connect with others. Thank you for sharing it.

#5 though is meaningful for me though, I am always struggling with introducing myself as I serve two very different audiences.

“…to ensure you’re remembered for the right reasons is by sharing the one thing you think they’ll care about most …”

Thank You Derek!


Derek, thanks for the nudge on releasing a less-than-perfect product. After the results came back from a beta test, I fell into the perfection trap and scrapped what I had to make it better. Wish I had just made a few minor changes and released version 2.0…now I’m mired in a complete redo, and the product has gone cold. Thanks to your kick, though, I’m going to get this baby back out there on the market even if it’s less than perfect. 🙂

Wishing you all the best in 2015!

Ty Johnson-Anderson


Its funny how perspective works right? In Oct I found myself in the emergency room with seizures. Fast forward to Dec, I have seizures daily, woke up one day and forgot how to walk, and now have a walker. They still are unsure about whats wrong. I went from briefing generals to not working and unable to figure out how to walk up the stairs.

I have all the same thoughts. The biggest hurdle I have is accepting the new definition of who I am. Maybe that fits #1. The ability to adapt.

I wish you the best…and glad you’re ok.

    Pippa Crawley

    Dear Ty,
    what a horrible shock that must be. Accepting the new definition of self is something I know I would struggle with – I’m very attached to my appearance and my abilities and I’m used-to being able to accomplish things. Having that taken away without permission must be agonising.

    I know we’re supposed to respond with a peppy attitude to these kind of things but I can only imagine being super-shitty and feeling deeply sorry for myself.

    I liked the distinction Derek made between fake optimism and actual resourcefulness; the fake peppy-ness aggravates me but the real creativity required to take a bad situation and craft something else from it is true greatness.

    So sorry you’ve been handed a shitty hand. (no platitudes to end on)



Glad to hear you are feeling better! Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Life is a storm, my friend. One minute you will be basking in the sunlight, the next smashed on the rocks. What makes you a man, is what you do when that storm comes. You must shout as you did before, ‘DO YOUR WORST! For I shall DO MINE!'” – Count of Monte Cristo

Sounds like you did your worst. 🙂

Michelle Campione

Holy moley Derek! SO glad the procedure was a success! Grateful for your bravery in sharing your story and, as always, the amazingly well-researched insights. Happy Birthday and best wishes for a Healthy New Year!!

Rivqa Kohan

Thanks Derek and late Happy Birthday.
Fantastic information you’ve shared.
I was hospitalized last month and so much of what your sharing is right on.
As a result I’ve began the process of many changes.
What you’ve shared is definitely going to help me as I fine tune the changes.
I’ve made it a point to plan for 2015 to not add but fine tune what I am doing and let some things go.
I’m also realizing I need to spend more time with all these folks I connected with on social media.
Perfection…you hit that on the head! I’ve spent too much time perfecting and getting nothing done.

These are lessons to learn well and not forget.
Thank you so much,


Best of luck with ongoing health. I intend to use 1,4,5,


Hey Derek!

Great to get to the end if the story and know that it eNedd well. You are a very smart guy, today saw your soft side too. People who are real will always attract good friends.

I really plan to act on lesson number 5. Remember who I am talking to to understand what they would like to know about me.

Love your energy! Keep going!


Thanks for the great article. I always strive for perfection and things never worked out for me. Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later is a great lesson you taught me today and i will remember this for the rest of my life.
Thanks again. 🙂

Antonia Zorluer

Hey Derek,

I was quite sure that your story will have a happy ending, because happiness is about the lessons we learn not about what happens to us, and as I see you have learned quite a few already! I am also so glad nothing happened to you because I am still going to buy one of your products as soon as I can afford it so I didn’t want to have that opportunity taken away ::)

Man, with your content, personal touch and business, you truly made me care about you! I had a little argument with my mum who wanted to watch the news and I said I am reading something about someone I actually care about 🙂

The lessons you share a awesome but the ones that resonated with me the most were the ones related to your name and telling the people what REALLY matters for them. It is just so important to focus on just BEING something to get the chance to achieve your dreams!


Brad Mason

Dude, happy birthday. Congratulations also on still being alive! Its awesome, right? I’m really happy for you, so glad to hear you’re okay. May the Lord bless you with a 90th birthday one day 🙂


I have enjoyed so much reading and learning from You. I am pleased everything is ok for you..My grand mother kept saying : ogni mal non viene per nuocere.. Badness is not for bad but sometimes might be an opportunity

A big hug from Paris


I’m glad that the procedure was a success. Happy 30th and may you live a long, healthy and happy life. You have provided much knowledge to the rest of us but you still have ways to go, so keep up the great work.


Fiona Craig

Derek you have been a gift to me both personally and professionally. Take your time Buddy. The world can wait but not lose you.

Fredrik Gustavsson

Thank you for sharing and for letting us know that you care about yourself and not only your audience. I think all of us who have been running a business that started out small thought that there was no such thing as saying NO to a client or interesting project. It’s much better to make the whole thing more exclusive by doing less but with a higher level of energy. The big benefit is that you then work less and customers pay more.

Looking forward to many more interesting blog posts and a big thank you again for sharing!


Hi Derek, this reminds me so much of a wonderful post by Brain Clark on Copyblogger some time ago http://www.copyblogger.com/the-secret-of-life/. Its funny how life reminds of what is imporant, but we can only learn from it if we are listening. Glad you were listening, and I am glad you are OK. May you and your family have a wonderful New Year, I am sure 2015 will another great one for you!

– Stephen


Firstly glad to see you are ok Derek and second what a brilliant way to teach through a powerful personal story and interweave with stories we can relate to and learn from

Thanks for being with us during 2014 and long may it continue



Great post as usual Derek! Thanks for sharing your personal story and glad the operation went okay because I’ve really learnt a lot from you and look forward to doing so in the future!

Small typo – you said “seventieth-century” artist when I think you meant “seventeenth-century” 🙂


Wow, this is great. I’m at the last chapter of John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth, and the lessons you have presented here are great examples of some of those Laws. The one that stood out to me was the sacrifice of your speaking engagements to improve something that’s more important to you, and that would make a bigger impact. That is the Law of Trade-Offs! 🙂

I can relate very well to the “perfectionist” attitude too. Wanting to always start everything off “perfect”. More often than not, it’s actually because of the fear of failure, and that really inhibits growth.

Thanks for writing this Derek. I’m not into business (yet perhaps), but I’ve always been very interested in entrepreneurship, seeing that many are also very invested in personal growth. Which is something that I’m very interested in. I learn a lot just by reading your articles.

Glad the operation was a “huge success” for you. Merry Christmas. 🙂 And indeed, I trust Derek and his work!


Hi Derek,
I was wondering, have not heard from him since a while, I enjoy watching your videos drinking my coffee, and love your advices.
Probably not a coincidence this heart condition…?!? Maybe a little break needed, from all this hard work? And maybe an heart opening to see life from a different perpective…
All the best for your recovery, <3

Pippa Crawley

Thanks for making the distinction between ‘turning lemons into lemonade’ and ‘pretending they’re oranges’. I can’t stand the latter, it’s a form of weak denial. Thus, I send my heartfelt sympathy to you for the horrible fright you got – that’s a true lemon and must have been an awful experience. But, you have my respect for being able, so quickly, to recover emotionally. You’re a true maker of lemonade – a vital life skill. Lots of love to you for a wonderful 2015. Happy birthday too. x


Great post great story an lessons. Thank you Derek! Have a great and healthy 2015!!

Spencer Goldade

Glad you’re okay, Derek! I had no idea while watching your videos earlier this year that you were even feeling stressed- you definitely translated the energy into something more productive and presented yourself well.

There are some great lessons here. In particular, there’s one that I’m noticing a lot of people in my circles reiterating to me over and over, and that is: “Get it done now. Perfect it later.” There are so many of us that just don’t start because we’re afraid of failing. We have to teach ourselves to iterate, both when working on our projects and when working on ourselves. Almost any problem could seem enormous if we make-believe we have to solve it all at once and instantaneously.


Wow, so glad you lived to tell the tale;). Thank you so much for another wonderful post!


This year I shall focus on the power of my name. How? I don’t really know. I’m still trying to figure out my purpose in this life.

Selena Soo

Wow! What a great piece. And more importantly, I’m relieved to hear that you are ok!

I loved the point you made about the power of a name. I also like the connection diet you are on. I’ll be implementing that lesson (the power of saying no) more in 2015.

Naveen Kulkarni

Your post left me teary eyed, and salutes to your courage and bravery for putting together this post. Great to hear that your procedure was success.

God bless you and have a rocking 2015.

– Just another die-hard fan of social trigger

Teddy Cummings

glad the operation was a success, wish you a speedy recovery..

and take it ez dude 🙂


Hi Derek,
Thank you for sharing. Lived to tell the tale and gripping it was. I like your style, it is nice to meet real people. Wishing you all the very best for the New year and countless ones beyond.

Janiele Lewis

Hey Derek,

Awesome and actionable post, as always. Lesson #4 definitely resonated with me. I’ve perfected some projects into a coma…a no bueno! So I have some reviving and publishing to do…thanks.

Amy Bowser-Rollins

Derek – I am glad you decided to share this very personal experience with us. Sometimes it takes something serious like this to make us stop and re-evaluate what is important and what is not so much. Your points are well taken.

You have more to share and more impact to make! Take care. ~Amy

Gerard Gonzales

Happy Heart Working Well and Happy Birthday.
For 2015, I will Get it Done Now. Perfect it Later.


Hi Derek, congratulations on your successful surgery. Thank you for sharing your story. I think the point that most stood out for me was #5. That, and you never know what is going on behind the scenes in people’s lives. Best wishes for 2015!


So great that all went well, Derek. Very happy to hear that. Thanks for this post. In 2015, I will “get it done & perfect it later.” That is an important tip to implement!


Wow, great post! The point about the “power of our names” is so true!

Glad you are healthy now!


Beatrix Willius

All the best for your health. Don’t let doctors scare you too much. Head over to http://chriskresser.com and learn how to take care of your health.

Daniel Decker

So glad you are okay Derek. While I wouldn’t have wished it on you, I’m thankful that you used it in the way that you did and shared it with us along with these insights (and those to come).

Here’s to a 2015 being awesome!


Thanks for sharing Derek! And thanks for everything you do! You’ve made my life and business better and I’m glad you’re still around 🙂

Vatsala Shukla

Belated birthday greetings, Derek.

An angel is looking out for you – to learn and practice important life actions as you enter a milestone birthday year means many more milestone birthdays to come.

May 2015 be Your Year!

Rick Mulready

Thanks for sharing this man, glad to hear you’re well now. Great lessons leading into a big 2015.


So glad things worked out and you’re fine–congratulations! Thanks for the perspective and tips. I think I’d like to apply all of them. 😉

Denise Cox

Wow. First, glad to hear you are ok. Second, thanks for the lessons. Been a fan for a long time. Happy Birthday!

James McAllister

Hey Derek,

Wow! I’m so glad to hear you’re doing alright and the treatment was a success. I can’t say I’ve ever been in a similar situation but I could imagine that what you went through was incredibly scary.

I agree that the people who can make something good out of a bad situation often turn out to be the ones who are successful at achieving their goals. The fact that you went through what you did and still managed to bring some positives out of it is astounding and is one of the reasons I know so many people look up to you.

Away from that – there were a lot of points in this post that really resonated me, and personal experience has proven to me that everything you mentioned is true (even if I didn’t initially realize it at the time.) Lesson 5 especially brings back some old memories…

I started blogging for business purposes my first year of high school. To me, it was a pretty big deal because I knew that I had an interesting ride ahead of me.

Anyway, my friends and classmates all got to the stage where they begun getting jobs, and naturally, they asked what I did or planned on doing. I told them that I “made money online through blogging.” Nobody really understood what that meant, and in most cases people were intrigued but never really cared enough to keep talking about it.

A couple years later I launched my blogging / marketing blog and began introducing myself as the guy who “taught people how to make money online with only a computer and an internet connection.” Suddenly, there was a lot more interest. There was something for them to benefit from – the idea that THEY could make money caused them to pursue the idea further.

Before long the word about me spread and I was getting approached by people I had never even talked to before, all wanting to start their own blogs. Great! I enjoyed helping them out – a one hour meeting and I got them on their way. Now, most of these students gave up shortly after starting, but not before I collected $100 in affiliate commissions from their web host!

This taught me that unless they’re your friends, most people don’t care about what you do, but how they can benefit from it.

Anyway, when I read your email this morning I was really worried – glad to hear you’re doing alright.

Great post as always, Derek!

– James

Anna Goldstein

Glad you are feeling better! Many blessings and healthy wishes!

Lou Bortone

So glad to hear you’re okay, Derek! Best wishes for a happy and HEALTHY 2015! -Lou

Susan Teton

Aloha Derek,
I am a seasoned veteran of the working world, witnessing the rise of the Internet when you were just a youngster. I follow you because I really like you. Marie Forleo introduced you to me. No matter what you “do” we will all remember you because your significance lies not in what you do, but who you are. You are a very likeable man, which means we
trust you. You are so pleasant to learn from. I am very grateful that your body has been fixed and you will live on to help us through our lives and businesses. Rock on! Susan Teton

Joshua Lipovetsky

Thank you so much, Derek. As for the lesson, I am currently taking a break from Facebook, and I really want to focus on building and strengthening my in-person friendships and connections. Looks like that will be quite an integral part of my 2015.

Be well, man.

Kamila Gornia | for passion-driven entrepreneurs

Wow Derek, I already respect you a lot but this post just made me respect you even more… Thank you for sharing this piece of your life with us and I’m glad to hear everything went well with the procedure. I can’t even imagine how it must have felt like to go through all of it but I absolutely could not tell anything was different during that time nor during your live event. You’re a champ! Keep rocking!

Have a happy new year! Looking forward to more from you in 2015.

Cathy Parlitsis

Wow, Derek!

I’m so glad everything went well! I’ve always enjoyed your content and find great application for it.

Wishing you good health in 2015!


Jason Levoy

but the bigger question is…did you wet yourself?

in 2015, i’m going to get it started, perfect or not.

Larry O'Sullivan

Derek, I took to heart Lesson 4. I turn 70 in 5 hours so you can see my challenge ~ so much to do in a short time. Fear not. I aim to live forever; so far so good. I’m with you for the long run.


These lessons are all useful, but I think “get it done now, perfect it later” is the most important one for me to take away. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and it’s a daily practice to prevent perfectionism from keeping me completely paralyzed. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you’re cured!


Glad everything worked out well <3


Hi Derek

I’m not one of your customers, but I would like to thank you for this post.

It’s a relief to see other people with the same concerns as me : What will I leave for others ? How can I be more productive without impacting my life ?

I think that around 30 is time to realize that even though business matters, there are more important things in life.

I don’t like useless comments, and as a non-american (no offense there, but I clearly see a difference) I like to stay squiet, and comment very little. So please take this comment as a mark of respect 😉

I wish you a wonderful 2015



Great story. Great lessons but most importantly:
WOW. Footnotes! I’ve never seen footnotes on a blog before. Awesome!!!! You’re a class act, Derek.

Rosalind Fruchtman

Wishing you the best Derek. I shared it in about 5 places on Facebook.

#4 WILL BE THE ONE I WILL concentrate on:
Lesson 4: Get It Done Now. Perfect It Later

This has stopped me on one project for years and it’s a HUGE thorn in my side and heart NOT to at the least TRY to do it … no matter what reason I gave myself! It’s painful NOT to try!

Sharon Jackson

I echo everything that has been said about you here and will refrain from asking if you peed yourself. Happy New Year, Derek!


Geeat post, I was scared for you in the beginning but I’m glad that everything worked out and you’re ok. Wishing you a wonderful 2015.

Amy Lippmann

I’m so glad you’re procedure went well. Thank you for sharing this story with us and for the valuable lessons. I’m specifically taking #3 and #5 to heart. Happy birthday!



First, I’m glad you are ok. A while back I stopped reading because my life got hectic and I went in another direction.

Second, I’m glad I stopped in because that photo is epic and the advice is even more epic.

Thank you and glad you are ok. xo


So happy to hear that your condition was diagnosed and the procedure was a success! My baby brother (age 44) had a massive heart attack this year -without warning – so kudos to you for doing what needed to be done. Thanks for a provocative insights…#3 and #4 jumped right off the screen and bit me on the nose! I’ll do what needs to be done there…

Wishing you a speedy recovery and a joyous 2015! We’ve got this! Vroom…


Derek, great post. Glad things went well. I’m really going to take your lessons to heart. I don’t get to read every newsletter I subscribe, too but so glad I read this one. Take care, all the best for the new year 🙂


Hey Derek,
Glad everything went well. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, crisis is opportunity.
Be well ,happy and prosperous in 2015…


Sometimes life happens while we’re making plans and it comes so very unexpectedly and grabs us by the butt for a wake-up call…you were so very lucky…and so are we…your caustic sense of humor lives on as do your bon mots and Social Trigger Wisdom…truly a win/win all around…Enjoy Life, Be Well and Remember…only you can take care of yourself…Here’s to Only Great Things in 2015…


Hi,today is the first post that I have ever read. I have as going through deleting posts and subscriptions when I thought maybe should read yours. Very poignant.

Start now – perfect later!

Chris Yeh


Ramit sent me the link to this post. So glad it had a happy ending. Though how ballsy would it be to push this post posthumously? Happy holidays!


Glad you’re OK Derek. Nothing like learning you just dodged a bullet, right? Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, and the lessons you learned. If anyone feels inspired by Derek’s story you could donate to the SADS Foundation, dedicated to finding cures for fatal arrhythmias (that often affect children and young adults),and educating the public about them, at http://www.sads.org/donate

Yul Meade Butler

Praying for your good health. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.


Thanks for sharing this Derek, a very merry Christmas to you!


Derek, your distinctive style and soulfulness in your work is one of the reasons i love getting your emails alongside your invaluable content and great products of course, and i am very glad you re well and out on the other side of this health scare. 🙂

As someone who writes blogs on self development, does video tips and interviews as well as creates spanky e-courses on self development, id say the tip i need to focus on in 2015 is definately “write now, perfect later” as its taken my 1st course 2 years to write and launch. Sure i moved home 6 times in that time, had a baby and moved town 🙂 but hey im a focus woman and i know the delay was to do pretty much with what you re describing above..being a perfectionist and silly insecurity delays..

this year im changing this around AND leaving my part time job to focus on my business. So i guess its 2 points, as i had to say no to other things.

Thanks mate!
and Happy birthday 🙂


Hey Derek,

Dude what an article. Cant believe you had all of this going on. Wishing you a healthy recovery and only the best in 2015. Amazing article and my thoughts are with you.

Natalie Guzman


Congratulations on a healthy recovery!

#4 Get it done now, perfect it later will lead me in 2015.

The quest for perfection, for me, usually leads to crippling procrastination.

So I’ll take a leap, rather a step, and start something without the perfect outcome immediately given.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

John Lee Dumas

Powerful read from start to finish…thanks Derek. Relieved your tongue (and heart) work perfectly 🙂


Hey I just had this exact same condition and procedure myself three weeks ago Derek. Like you have been building my online business whilst coping with this condition having 3500 irregular heartbeats per day and 650 ventricular tachycardia episodes on top of that. Thought I was going to die. So we’re like peas in a pod. Good news is that we’re both okay and ready to share the best of what we have with the world. Thanks for the post as I felt a little like a kindred spirit reading this. To good health.

Jacqui Olliver

Hi Derek, glad to know you are feeling better 🙂 Just wanted to share – I was audited by the NZ Advertising Standards Authority (NZ consumer watchdog) last July for using the term “recommended by leading medical specialists”. I provided a glowing letter of recommendation by a leading medical specialist who solved his problem after a session with me – and this has proved invaluable for my brand when expanding my doctor referral network.


Wow! Loved this, Derek. I know you’ll do great! I’m sure the docs did absolutely the best thing and fixed you right up 🙂

I’m going to really remember and live by your #5. Do it now, perfect it later. I am so guilty of the problem behind this and I appreciate your advice.

The other 4 were excellent, too. Happy new year. I know 2015 will be the best for you so far.


Thanks for sharing! I’m sure getting the procedure was a difficult decision. I was a young healthy man (49, but to me that’s young!) and I had the option to get my hip repaired, also with some risks I wasn’t sure about taking. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

Ahmad Imran

Hey Derek, nice to know that the procedure went well and you are back to normal. When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade, drink it and enjoy it.

Great to see you back and an excellent article to share with us. I am your silent admirer and a new blogger on the scene who regularly checks your posts. A lot to learn. from you and the success of social triggers. Take care for now.


To your good health Derek! And every success in 2015. Reading your post was challenging, inspiring and full of future focus. Thank you! Sandra

Sue Bates

OH, I’m so glad you are ok! I read every word, you had me in tears:) What a wonderful lesson to learn at such a young age, it will sever you VERY well!!


Glad you had success! Thanks for helping us even when you’re going through your own stuff. I will use lesson 5 and use a different intro for different people…I forgot I can do that!

Ann & the Dog

Oh, Derek! Even when you’re down, you’re an inspiration! My husband has been having some “interesting heart experiences” this year. There’s nothing like reality to shake us up! Here’s to many more years of the inspirational influence you share with us. Take care of yourself.

Alison Wood

Great post and I am so glad you are ok. All the points you made are important but ‘get it done’ really struck a chord with me.

Hope you are now feeling better and had a restful holiday break.


I am so glad you are fine. I really miss your posts and I was about to send you an email to ask what’s going on. You should be proud of yourself because you are sent to be a light to many people. You guide them and let them know what to do. This is really a great mission!

I hope you will live longer with great health and achieve all your dreams in this short life. I myself will never forget you because you motivate me, help me, make me laugh, and entertain me. When I look back at those who create my path I find you among them.

Again I am really realllly glad that you are ok now. Your pic made me laugh in tears.

Thank you Derek for making my 2014 and we are together in 2015. Life is beautiful so let’s live it fully!

Stay healthy 🙂


Derek, I’m glad to know you’re doing better. I’m going to have to pull the “I don’t usually comment on your blog even though I read your newsletters” card because I went through a similar “serious genetic condition” diagnosis… It’s pretty scary stuff and you’re absolutely right, it’s all about making margaritas with the limes life throws at you.

Also, I need to do away with my perfectionitis…

Best wishes and happy birthday!


All the best to you, Derek! My husband had this procedure a few years back. He came out of the process better than ever. Fascinating the work they do in cardiology! Hope you are feeling better now and thanks for the excellent post, as always. Happy New Year!


Thanks for sharing Derek, you are amazing and have accomplished so much, thanks for including us in your journey. So happy you are cured 🙂 Happy Birthday too xoxo

Melissa G Wilson

Thank you so much. This made my Christmas–besides the kids coming home and the cool gifts. But, really, I loved #3, but, most of all, I love that you are healthy and going to be around for another great year.

Frankly, I did not know about your new products. I actually get confused on sites like yours where I am not sure what you are selling as it seems you keep giving everything away.

What I would love to see, right out in front, are the levels of product-service offerings you have. I know I’m different, but I find many experts like you, Derek, take their blog reader through a series of permission marketing steps whiich means that people like me get confused. I’m the reader who already trusts you and would want to buy more from you but doesn’t want to go through the whole “sales video or series of videos.” Just tell me what you are selling and the price.

Maybe next year someone who really has the wisdom (like you do) will have a special site or squeeze page or something that makes it easier and faster to obtain the best of your wisdom. Then you may find out that you have a whole new group of buyers. Meanwhile, here’s to your best year ever! Melissa


Hey, Derek. Great post and glad you made it through surgery! I was planning to make 2015 the year I eliminate many things out of my life to make way for the stuff I really want to create. So that’s my way of saying no. Thanks, and happy birthday!

Borja Obeso

Damn that was a good post!

I got so inspired that I sat down to write something epic myself.

I’m glad you are ok dude. All the best to you coming into next year.



    This is a great post, I’m glad you still alive to keep this site going strong with great, informative and motivating content, I will keep on coming back to get updates on more of your content. Thanks!


Derek, thank you and God bless! Wishing you a very very long, high-quality, rich and healthy life my friend! Thanks for all you do to help us reach our goals and believe in our dreams. What a gift you are! Love ya, Bra!

George Levy

Glad to hear you made it Derek… and Happy Bday.


Best post yet Derek! All the best. Have a happy new year!


Thks for sharing Derek.

Some german philosopher forged a saying which is one of my lifelines :

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Become the strongest in 2015, Derek…

Alistair Cochrane

I like lesson 4. Sometimes I even spend too long on a simple blog comment.

This one isn’t perfect but will need to be good enough for now 🙂

Great to read your heart is fixed Derek )

Evren avseren

Hope you have a healthy long life.


Possibly the most unflattering pose they’ve ever caught you in, Derek, but such a welcome sight–you alive. 🙂
A friend recently experienced a devastating set of set-backs, including several rounds with the flu, and posted a darling give-away, entitled “Life Handed Me Lemons, So I’m Giving Away Chocolate”.
Of course, her stats soared a bit. And the give-away has only begun.
Her recent new motto is: Life is like Tetris. You have to try fitting weirdo pieces together and learn to work with it when they don’t fit.
Last year, my year’s motto was “Less”. Like you, a bit, there.
This year, it is organize, and I hear you calling me to give up things I love for the things I must do, and I don’t like it very much. Oh, no.
But you are probably right.
We’ll see, this time, next year.
Thanks for the truth.


Excellent info!! Number 4 and 5 really struck a cord with me!! I’m definitely giving them more thought!

Sorry to hear of your heart condition and glad to hear its now resolved. All the best in 2015 and keep up the fantastic work!!


I love your unique way to present your knowledge, Derek! And I always learn from you… we just never know what could happen next. That’s why it’s so important to enjoy every moment and live life with a meaningful purpose, so we never have to say: I wish I had said this or done that… NO regrets!
On and upward to a fantastic 2015! 🙂

Mary Jaksch | A-List Blogging

That was a close call, Derek… phew!

So glad you’ll live to see more productive and happy years. You have so much to offer…

Sean Malarkey

Dang dude – glad to hear your all good now but jesus…. how scary….

Just curious – why did you go to the cardiologist to begin with?

Happy belated!


Jennie Reid

I went through surgery in July and had a similar experience. Now, with your help Derek, my blog jenniereid.com.au is starting to take off. Life is too short to be doing stuff you don’t enjoy. I love to write, and now I write all the time!

All the best for 2015 and a long and healthy life, I really do know what you have been through.

Phyllis Khare

wow Derek. powerful stuff.

Wendy Lynne

Thank you for sharing and so glad you operation was a complete success!!! On to greatness for you!


Thanks Derek, 5 very true and useful lessons, brilliantly wrapped in your personal hospital experience.
Have a great year David


So happy you are alive and well Derek. You’re one of my heroes for sure!

Gabe Johansson

The feels are real here. Happy belated birthday, Derek! Glad to hear things went well!

As for the lessons, I need to ship now and quit waiting. I’m building an audience with zero backend, which I still enjoy doing, but I’m still running a hobby blog and not a business website. That needs to change.

Thank you,


So glad all went well! Continued health.
For 2015, hopefully not #1 but definitely #4 and #5. Starting right now!
Thanks for all your engaging information.

Michael Yardney

Thanks for this inspiring post Derek.
It’s good to get an occasional slap across the back of the head and have everything out back into perspective.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015.

Nicole Cormier

I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well!! You can’t go just yet – the world still needs you 🙂


I’m going to start telling people what they’d like to hear from me. Great advice! Thank you!


First, I’m so glad to hear you’re okay and the procedure was a success. Secondly – I needed to hear the ‘Learning to say no’ lesson because this year, in 2014 it’s exactly what I had to do and I was afraid everything was going to be a disaster and yet… well, just as you said, suddenly I had more time to do the things I really needed to do. So as a thank you, here is an important lesson that I learned too… Always take time to be good to yourself.

Debra Murphy

Derek, glad to hear your procedure was a success.

To answer your question, both 3 (saying no) and 4 (get it done, perfect it later) are things I need to work on.

To a very happy and healthy New Year to you!

Mary Tynes

Derek, Glad to hear you are recovering. My experience has been that the best way to land in the percentage of people who *recover* from major trauma is to build a compelling life ahead of time. You’ve certainly done that. Hope you are 100% soon.

Michelle Poccia

Derek, First, so great to hear that your heart procedure was successful! 2015 will probably be filled with much more meaning.
Thanks for sharing your current story and the many life lessons.
If I have to pick one…I’ll go with the “just say no” point.
Closing anything down always leads to opening up time and energy for other ventures.
I don’t want to get too deep here…but suffice it to say that I am going to continue following you and “your story”. I think 2015 is going to be a major year for you!
May 2015 drench you with all the things that make your life a great one!

Maggie Mata

Derek, thank you for posting this. I’m glad you’re better, never stop taking care of yourself… WE need you to continue teaching us. You’re a smart young man beyond your years. Continued blessing to you Derek Halpern.

P.S. I take every opportunity to speak about you when I discuss the success of my card-making business. Yes, ALL your courses even apply to those of us involved in Direct Sales.


I am very happy that the surgery was a success! Now, please tell us you’re getting some much needed rest before jumping into 2015.


Good luck . Thanks for sharing your lessons, will adopt Lesson 5 for intorductions and also in my selling profession.

Nancy Scott

Hi Derek,
Whew…you had me worried there for awhile. Glad you are okay. My daughter had a similar procedure years ago and scared us big time. All is good for both of you. Hooray x’s 2!!

Okay…It’s a toss up for me. Like both #4 and #5. My colleague and I have a mantra…Perfection is the enemy of done! Nasty trap I have to be constantly vigilent about. #5…now that’s a bell ringer. Yes, I truly want to be remembered…and will focus on that in coming year.

Thanks for your blog. You are a wonderful writer. Enjoy your messages.

Nancy Scott
Dreams in Vivid Action (DiVA)

Molly Marie

Great post Derek. Very happy to hear they were able to help you! You’ve done great things, and you will continue to do more.


I said no to a LOT in 2014 because 2013 was spent traveling all over the damn place. This year will continue to say “no” to people who are asking for my time but not a friend or paying client.
I LOVED Lesson 5… perfect, I will work on my introduction.
Great one and glad you’re ok!

John Millen

Derek, Congrats on a successful surgery. That kind of emotional fear can be a gift when you come out the other side. Keep hold of that new perspective and cherish every moment. All the best to you for a great 2015!

Jason O'Mara

Great story and excellent advice, Derek! I’m so glad that the operation was a success. Congrats!!


Hey Derek,

Thanks for being so transparent and sharing this personal challenge you had with the Social Triggers community. I had been wondering why you haven’t published as regularly as (I think) you do of recent. And today’s lessons are raw gold.

Get well soon. I love to see you sound and on top of your game.

Diana van Eyk

Hi, Derek!

Happy Birthday, and I’m so glad to hear that your procedure was a success!

I plan on using all five of your tips. I’m in the process of getting my first novel published, and am soaking in advice right now.

Take good care, and wishing you a speedy recovery!



Beth @ bethleahnutrition.com

SO glad your surgery went well. I wish you health & happiness in 2015. You’ve definitely been an inspiration for me as I’ve grown my blog the last few months. Excited to see your future posts and products 🙂

Dieg8o Lucero

Glad you’re ok Derek!

Your passionate presentation of marketing wisdom is second to none.

Andrew Phillips

Great to hear you’re ok! 2014 ended up even better than you originally planned!


Wishing you all the best for 2015 and good to hear the surgery went well. You’ve really helped me with setting up my blog and I want to thank you for that. Also thanks for this inspirational blog.

Jennifer @ Double the Fun Parties

So glad to hear your procedure went well! Thank you for sharing this story; I feel like I could have written parts of it … unexpected surgery, business setback that I need to re-cast as an opportunity, letting perfectionism delay a launch. I’ll re-read this for my kick in the pants. Stay well!!

Jason Cabler (@DrCabler)

I know what it’s like to be laying on that table. I’ve had 3 heart attacks in the last 2 years, and had a total of 7 stents placed. No family history, just high cholesterol, even though I’ve always kept myself in excellent physical shape.

Anyway, it will definitely mess with your outlook if you let it. Those experiences have only strengthened my resolve to teach people about personal finance and how to get out of debt. For me, it’s a calling, and eventually I will make significant money from it with help from people like you!

Keep up the good work Derek! Glad your procedure was a success!


Hey Derek,
So glad your heart procedure was a success!
*This* was what I needed to hear today: “…that’s the importance of saying no to things you love to focus on things you must.

It’s not easy, it’s uncomfortable, but deep down, we often know what we must stop doing so that we can start doing something else. And we have to do it.”

Not really excited about what I need to be doing in 2015 to move my business forward, but I know it’s what must be done. So I’m biting the bullet. Hopefully I’ll learn to love it, in time.

I hope your 2015 is a celebration every single day. Thanks for doing what you do, Derek. So glad you’ll be with us for a while.

Nathan Abraham

Derek – you’ve got great courage. To face this so squarely, to open your heart (and fears) to everyone. Who wouldn’t be terrified of giving up control to possibly end up…well….your Didn’t. I admire your openness, clarity to all of us and your Spirit. I think, reading what you wrote here – that you have the kind of strength to live a long, healthy and continuously productive – meaningful life.
God Bless You….and best wishes for all that you seek.
Nathan Abraham

Kevin Rogers

What a great adventure, Derek.

Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been where you were (metal heart valve to show for it) and made a similar list.

Nothing wakes you up like the prospect of not waking up.

I know you’ll only be kicking more ass from here.

Can’t wait to see what you do, bro.

Julia Gruber

Great lessons, thank you for sharing! I especially liked the personal tone of this post. I am wishing you all the best for 2015 and look forward to reading about some more of the lessons.

Melodie Licht

Well Derek, that was a fantastic read! First off, I’m very happy for you, that you were here to share your story with us. Secondly, you drove a point home with Lessons #4 & #5!

By adding an emotional perspective to both lessons, you ensnared me in your true life story and it managed to hit me a different way this time. Who cares about perfect if you aren’t here to finish it?

Welcome to 2015 and your new perspective!

Mary Planding

Congratulations Derek on deciding/doing the surgery! The world would have become a much less happy place without you in it. Love your post and am grateful for your courage in sharing such intimate details. Now that you’re cured — you’ve got nothing standing in your way for an amazing 2015. Blessings to you!

Steve VanHove

Wow what a story! So glad you’re OK! Thanks for sharing – let’s all look forward to a great 2015!


Hey Derek,

Thanks for sharing. I love these kinds of lessons/review posts.

Here’s my question: How do I build a name that’s as powerful as Vermeer?


Glad you’re doing better Derek. Have a great holiday buddy.

Sarah Jordan

Wow! So glad you are okay. Thanks for the powerful life lessons, Derek. I wondered why I hadn’t seen many newsletters from you lately. This explains it!

    Derek Halpern

    All is back to normal!

Jason Gracia

Very happy to hear that you’re out of danger, Derek. You have a unique mind and message, one that has much work left to do.

    Derek Halpern

    That’s what i’m saying dude. WAY TOO MUCH left to do.

David Ramos

This was incredible! I’ve been following you for about a year now and this article is a testament as to why. Your writing is personal, informative, educational, and inspiring. I love the way you tell stories and I always leave learning something new.
I think Lesson 5 is what I am going to try and apply the most this new year. I’m in the beginning stages too where no one really knows me or cares much. But I can change that with the right strategy, the right words and the right attitude.
Really looking forward to what you’re up to in 2015! Keep up the great work.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks David. I do want to get into more storytelling too. It’s something that’s a lot more fun for me.

Mia Moran

Thanks Derek! Great post! I recently shattered my right wrist and had to get surgery! Not at all like a heart… but it was three weeks ago and changed everything… I create recipes and photograph them and physically can’t now; I was also about to do a big launch; and I have 3 small kids. It is funny though, I used it as an opportunity to tweak my biz and ask for help, and it has changed everything! I am so excited for 2015 and my new found clarity! And am now inspired to write what I have learned! Thanks so much, and so happy it all worked out!!!

    Derek Halpern

    Perfect! I’m excited to hear how everything turns out.

Kelly Ward

Thank you for sharing this with us. I always appreciate your honesty and straight-forward approach. Your business advice and tips are spot-on as usual. So – thank you for that! But most importantly, I’m happy your procedure was a success. I wish you continued health, happiness and success in 2015!

    Derek Halpern

    You and me both. Happy that the procedure worked, and happy that I also learned something from the experience.


Not sure why a 29 y/o goes to a cardiologist (maybe missed that) but so glad it was discovered and addressed! Best to you DH & Happy 2015.

    Derek Halpern

    I got lucky.

Joe Garma (@joegarma)

Wonderful how you weaved all the stories and lessons into the description of your medical issue.

Much luck w/ health and wealth in 2015 to you and all of us.


    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Joe.

Laura Fuentes

Here is to a speedy recovery and an even better 2015 Derek! As always, fantastic lessons shared. Looking forward to more.

    Derek Halpern

    Yes, thank you!

Tanya McGill Freeman

I absolutely LOVE this article, Derek…and for SO many reasons. Of course, my favorite part is that your procedure was a total success – congratulations. The world truly needs many more years of you in it teaching those of us who thirst for high-level knowledge about psychology & marketing. I hope your birthday yesterday was spectacular and wish you & your family a very meaningful 2015. May it be a better year than you could have ever imagined! Here’s to you & all you do, Derek! XO

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you Tanya. Here’s to 2015 😉


Happy to hear you’re doing great! Terrific post! Wishing you lots of good health and happiness in 2015! Looking forward to reading the rest of your life and business lessons!

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you karen. Same to you!

Owen Marcus

Great that you not only came out of this well… you are stronger than ever. Thanks for contributing to all of us. You deserve the best.

    Derek Halpern

    I’m just glad it’s over. Maintaining focus and this over the last few months was a struggle.


I’ve been following your blog and company for about six months now and the subject line of this email got me so worried. I’m glad to hear you are better. My thoughts are with you.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks Sydney. I appreciate it.


Thank you for sharing Derek. I’m so happy things went well for you!

Here’s to a great 2015!!!

    Derek Halpern

    Same to you!


Sure glad it was “easy” to fix!

    Derek Halpern

    Here’s to hoping it stays fixed 😉


Man, you had my heart breaking for you while I was reading this. So glad you’re doing better. Wishing you an awesome 2015.

    Derek Halpern

    Luckily this was a sad story with a happy ending.

Matt Handal


You have made an impact on my life. So, I’m thankful you are still alive and kicking! A world without you is a lesser world. I truly believe that. Keep being awesome!!

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you!


Wishing you the best in 2015 my friend.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks dude. Same to you!

      Tiarza Moon

      Are you absolutely sure, you don’t need anymore friends. 😉 I see me in you. Great guy. I’m glad you’re better.

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