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How to Be Successful: The Uncomfortable Truth
Last Updated January 26th, 2018

Making more is not about working more.

But it’s not really about working “smarter,” either.

What then?

It’s about doing the things other people won’t.

I always laugh whenever someone tells me they work “12 hours” a day. Or some other crazy number. Why? Because I know they’re NOT working 12 hours a day.

Let me explain what’s really happening.

One of my favorite copywriters, Eugene Schwartz, apparently only worked four 3 hours a day. And still, he could afford an art collection worth millions.

So how is it possible that someone like Schwartz can make millions in 3 hours… while others are working 12-hour days, just trying to get their business off the ground?

The difference lies in a little concept I call the “PITA Point:”

I’m not talking about bread… Unless, when I say “bread,” you hear “money.” So you can call it the money point, too 😉

Of course, success is not just about making money. But money is a good indicator. And who doesn’t want to make more?

Here’s what’s strange, though:

Some people struggle with making money, no matter how much work they put in. For others, it seems like they’re just born with the gift to “make it rain.”

But I disagree.

Where the Money is Made

Making more is not about working more.

But it’s not really about working “smarter,” either.

What then?

It’s about doing the things other people won’t.

Like… smuggling cocaine straight from Colombia with a propeller plane… I’m kidding, of course. That would be DUMB and illegal. Plus, I don’t know how to fly a plane.

Ok, all jokes aside. Here’s what I mean:

Most people are willing to put a LOT of time into something…


But that’s not where the money is…

The money is made when you push PAST that point:

Where the Money Is Made (by Derek Halpern)

Because the real work – where the money’s made – isn’t fun.

In fact, most of the time…

It’s a PAIN IN THE @%&!

And the point where things become a P-I-T-A, is usually where you’ll start making money.

I talked about this in my vlog:

I share the story of how I went from making nothing to making $25k/month from my first blog because I pushed past that point where others give up or quit.

(If you like the video, make sure you subscribe to my channel. I post new videos every day.)

I re-discovered this recently…

After I realized I got fat, I started working out again. In fact, I had a real Aha-moment when my trainer told me about the 400m sprint…

Why Making Money Is a 400 Meter Sprint

My trainer explained to me that the hardest race for runners is the 400-meter sprint.


Because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to sprint for the full 400m distance.

In fact, after 60m runners already reach their top speed. From there, it’s a constant slow-down.

And at 320m, their muscles pretty much shut down because running as fast as you can for more than 100m produces an insane amount of lactic acid, which creates an awful burning sensation.

But the runners who are able to push through that pain at the 320m mark, usually win the race.

So, the 400m race is difficult, because it requires both SPEED and a special kind of ENDURANCE. The key to success in a 400m sprint is pushing through when all your body wants to do is quit.

Now imagine you are a 400m runner. What if during every race, when you get to the 320m mark you just quit. Or start walking. How many races do you think you would win?

That’s right: ZERO.

And it’s the same with making money…

If you don’t push through the PITA point – the point where it stops being fun – you won’t see big rewards.

The good news is that in business, you don’t always have to WIN the race.

Most of the time, you just have to FINISH.

And you’ll reap the rewards.

Look… The money doesn’t lie. If you do what others aren’t willing to do, you’ll get the reward that others forgo.

But here’s what’s interesting:

The PITA Point – where it starts to “hurt” – is different for everybody…

What’ Your PITA Point?

Time for a quick reality check:

Does this look familiar?

Too many uncompleted projects

Yes, sometimes we just spread ourselves too thin. But be honest with yourself…

People like to brag about how much they work. The truth is, no one actually works that hard anymore.

I see it all the time.

People say they work and then you look at the deliverable and you’re like, “lol”

Really?” You don’t work nearly as hard as you think you’re working, and it’s time to change that.

I’m not going to tell you to hustle.

I’m not going to tell you to sleep 4 hours a night.

Instead, I’m going to tell you to push past your “Personal PITA Point.”

Otherwise what happens? You become the person that works 12-hour days, but nothing ever gets finished…

Because you’re stopping right where it gets difficult. Just like the 400m runner who quits the race 3/4th in.

So what’s your PITA Point?

It’s exactly the thing you DON’T WANT to do.

For example…

Picking up the phone and calling that client – not just doing “customer research” online.

Writing that blog post – not just “drafting” it.

Doing that webinar – not just “planning” to do it.

I know it’s tempting…

Often activities like “brainstorming” and “doing research” are cover-ups for not doing the real work. With the added benefit that no one can call you lazy because…


Look, I’m no stranger to this form of procrastination; I already told you that I work a lot. And I’m not always productive.

Aka I’m 99% useless. But that 1% when I’m not, I’m dangerous.

I know how easy it easy to fall into that trap.


Let’s all commit to doing the REAL WORK.

Let’s push past our personal PITA Point.

And let’s not stop until we’re done.

And then, we can all take a well-deserved break.

How about that?

Oh, One More Thing…

This is not a blog post about productivity hacks, but my favorite tip to get sh*t done is the Pomodoro technique:

Set a timer for 33 minutes and do the one thing you’ve been avoiding. Shut out all other distractions. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in half an hour when you truly focus.

Do it now.

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6 comments Leave a comment
Judy Cullins

Derek, Just when I thought I was hopelessly disorganized with projects half finished, I got your tips today.
Great reminder the Pomodoro plan. I repeat for all: Set a timer for 33 minutes and do the one thing you’ve been avoiding. Shut out all other distractions. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in half an hour when you truly focus. Do it now. THANKS ALOT!


Love it, Derek! The simple illustration showing that the money is made in (and after) the 20% “PITA” area… just after a bit after the fun ends.

Also, as a 400m and long jump/triple jump track athlete in high school, I can tell you your illustration is spot-on. 400m is the worst haha, specifically that last 100m.

Lizzy Love

I LOVE the pomodoro technique….I use the app and the browser extension and its been a god send! Thank you for this encouraging post!


I was talking about this last week with a friend. I was saying that I was not making money because I was working at the level where most work. Money is within what few want to do. The money is in the spot after the 320 meters. Thank you for clarifying this in this article.

Peter Nyiri - FunnelXpert

You have a great point there, Derek.
This is the reason why some sites have excellent rankings in Google and others don’t – they push through the PITA point to really do the research, to really test and to create those 7,000 word blog posts that actually contain everything that their readers need.
Others just don’t go that far, because it is too painful, and they will never rank.
But it’s also true in other areas like promotion. Yes, it’s painful to sit there and promote.
And automating it can cut out the human element and reduce results.
So the recipe I apply is – take one job, push it through all the way past the PITA point and complete it.
Then the next one.
And it should all be part of a strategy.
And you win.

Loz James

Thanks Derek

I needed this inspiration today – bad client day 🙂

I’ve been running my own business for 18 years now – and sometimes (Iike today) it feels like the only thing keeping the money coming in is one character trait: persistence.

This is a great quote from Calvin Coolidge the 30th US President:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Anyway – loving these Vlogs 🙂

Best wishes


Didn’t realise

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