At the age of 11 Li Cunxin was plucked from his remote village in China to be groomed for the Beijing Dance Academy. As the 7th son in a family with minimal education and no worldly exposure, Li had no aspirations to study ballet. But after enduring grueling 16-hour days of practice and training, he viewed a videotape of Baryshnikov performing and was transformed. Although ballet had never been on his radar, once he was exposed to a transcendent vision, everything changed for him–at least in the cinematic version of his life entitled Mao’s Last Dancer.

From that moment on he did everything he could to fly like Mikhail. This included weighing down his legs with heavy sandbags attached and leaping up a flight of stairs 2-3 at a time with his hands tied behind his back. That heroic effort of forcing himself to endure tremendous pain and strain was the image that stayed with me after seeing the film last weekend. Once the sandbags were removed, thrusting his entire body into the air would feel effortless, but he had to practice day after day to get those muscles strengthened.

When I read biographies of famous people whom I admire, I get to see what they have gone through in order to achieve greatness in their lives. The sandbags for me are believing enough in myself and my message to put it out multiple times. I know I’m not alone in feeling reticent about overexposure and spamming. But the successful people I see are constantly putting themselves in the public eye in order to be seen and heard. I tell my clients all the time, one postcard mailing is not enough.

I believe that the new edition of my book Soul Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur will help seasoned and aspiring business owners alike. I encourage you to read a copy, buy one for a friend if you’re a fan and spread the word as to how it’s been beneficial to you.

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