The Secret To Real Success

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Friday, 1:04pm
San Diego, CA
“First, learn your craft.  It won’t stop you from being a genius later.”

Howdy.

Quick little note today, to take you through the weekend (while I’m down here in Baja La-La Land speaking at the star-studded “Paid For Life” seminar).

If you — like me in my mis-spent youth, and like the vast majority of folks out there who “can’t get started” — feel a sense of satisfaction over your ability to Think Deep on Big Thoughts…

… you’d be doing yourself a favor by murdering that satisfaction right now.

The best quote I’ve ever seen on this was by biz legend Peter Drucker:

“Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual.  They fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement.  They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.”

In other words…

… you will never get shit done — no matter how smart you are (or think you are) — until you get MOVING on your ideas.

I, too, was a lost and wandering soul… until I discovered (by accident) the concept of goal-setting and — just as important — the trick to actually putting your goal-achievement plans into action.

That trick?

Get off your butt.

Figure out what you need to know or possess to move to each new step in the plan, and then go acquire it.  Mentoring, information, tools, funding, partners, whatever you need.

Many a fabulous dream has been crushed by the realization that the world will NOT beat a path to your door if you invent a better mousetrap.

Nope.  In this universe, you must breathe life into your dreams, and get the word out.

That requires elbow grease, and the unpleasant reality of needing to work at it.

I grew up with dozens and dozens of smarter-than-me dudes with razor-sharp minds…

… and all but a few of them are slowly curdling in dead-end jobs that never came close to fulfilling the dreams they dreamed.

This is not a crime.  Unless you feel it is.

In which case, you have no one else but yourself to blame.

In this country, in this global economy, in this wired world…

… there is very little standing in the way of achieving almost anything you plan for and set out accomplishing.

That doesn’t mean it’s “easy” to follow your plans.

It’s not.  It takes discipline — which is still a dirty word to most folks.

And it takes a lifetime of paying attention and staying focused and digging in when things don’t go your way.

It is a daunting recipe for most people to even consider.

However, here’s the big secret no one’s hiding from you: Once you engage with life at this level…

… you’ll never go back.

Most of the wealthy entrepreneurs I know and hang out with are lazy.  Or, rather, they’re “selectively” lazy.

When they get after a goal, they are as passionately engaged as a bulldog going after a squirrel.  They enjoy it, they revel in the process, and they gain strength, energy and wisdom (especially self-knowledge) as they progress.

Setting goals, going after them… and achieving them… is more addictive than heroin.

And the side effects are life-changing.  And even disorienting at first.

Your friends will, for the most part, not enjoy your departure from the world of sloth and deep-thinking-without-action.  You may have to leave some of them behind.

You may encounter crushing loneliness… until you discover other like-minded pilgrims on the less-traveled paths of goal-attainment.  (This is why entrepreneurs continue to haunt seminars long after they’ve mastered their business — a huge part of the fun in this journey is in the people you encounter along the way.)

(A finer group of nut-jobs and wacky characters you will not find anywhere else.)

So, just consider “brilliance” as successful entrepreneurs do.

It’s simply not enough.

One decent idea, taken to completion, beats the crap out of a thousand brilliant insights never acted on.

Something to think about, no?

Stay frosty,

John

P.S. If you’re ready to start moving, and you know one of the gaps in your tool kit is being confident about your ability to communicate through writing… you know, for your websites, email, video scripts, ads and everything required for a decent marketing campaign…

… then check out www.simplewritingsystem.com.

I’m not gonna push on this.

When you’re ready, you’ll get over there.

I’m just saying… the tools are waiting for you to decide to get off your duff and get in the game.

Enjoy your weekend.

56 Responses to The Secret To Real Success

  1. “Your friends will, for the most part, not enjoy your departure from the world of sloth and deep-thinking-without-action. You may have to leave some of them behind. You may encounter crushing loneliness… until you discover other like-minded pilgrims on the less-traveled paths of goal-attainment.”

    Much truth in that…once I got startet doing marketing campaigns that actually bring in money, I lost quite a bunch of friends, even some of my closest.

    I never used to brag about money, nor do I really like people who do, just through communicating my way of life – working less, earning more, being positive about the things you do instead of chasing one weird business opportunity after another. After a while some friends of mine started treating me colder, talked about less time and more to do on their jobs.

    After a while, I really started to think I had become some kind of obnoxious business guy from a George Carlin rant.

    Now – I concentrate on the friends in my life that helped me in the bad times and tell the rest to get a copy of psycho cybernetics.

    Nevertheless, looking back it’s really weird that success at first gave me more anxiety and loneliness, than I experienced before in my life.

    Guess, that’s a part of the game, too.

    Dunno why I’m even writing this stuff, but maybe some of you see some value in it.

    Enjoy your night (jup, it’s night over here),
    Henry

    • Not wasting your time Henry.
      My wife and I have been on the self discovery journey for close to 30 years. It’s amazing how lots of folk just don’t get it and disappear from your life.

      What’s really funny for me is my brother inlaw at age 60 has finally discovered goal setting and sorting out his mind and emotional problems and acts as if he’s the first person to know it… a truly superior being.
      I suppose that will change when he gets to know more.
      Peter

      PS It’s morning here

  2. You bastard, John.

    How can I sleep after that pep talk?

    All week I’ve been going to bed at 7am, with the exception of this morning… I decided I needed to sleep a little earlier as I was waking up earlier…

    … So I got to bed at 6am.

    Here I am now, feeling tired and thinking I need an early night…

    … And then you show up.

    Damn you, damn you.

    Looks like another all nighter.

      • Yeh?

        Well, maybe so but, having been a part of John’s radio rant about a year and learning a heck of a lot from him, I consider the guy my teacher.

        And my parents taught me to respect my teachers.

        I may be in my fourties now but my teachers will always remain my teachers.

        So go suck an, Kermit, you muppet.

        • That’s no way to speak to someone who taught you a new word, have some respect for your teachers!

          Especially from someone in their forties (that’s what you meant, right?)

  3. I saw that picture of a brain at the top of your blog and I thought you going to be sharing some scientific breakthrough having to do with the nuero chemistry of the brain. (I like that stuff, before my direct marketing entrepreneurial bug struck I majored in Neuro-Pharmacology.) I remember the found days of loading rats up on cocaine and then a few days later cutting their heads and I though this would give me the change relive those old days in the lab, ohh well. Twas a good pep talk anways.

    To the top,

    Daegan

  4. John, your post could not have come at a better time for me… I’m thrashing through my first solo ebook sales chain. I know all the theory cold. Got it down pat. But that engineering phd of mine don’t do squat for practice. In practice, there’s a lot of moving parts. Like a friggin’ cuckoo clock.

    But I like. It’s proof I’m an idiot. I don’t have to wonder any more. I mean, the factual content is *bulletproof.* But everything else… all sucks. The website design sucks, the sales page design sucks, the ebook design sucks, the sales copy sucks.

    I take that back. It doesn’t all suck. The offer is good. The price is right. And the guarantee makes it risk-free.

    It’s all good. The other day my ex-wife called me “driven.” Back when we were hitched, she hated that… now, not so much. Heh.

    @henry, @peter, I’m 48, and the most painful thing of all is my mother still hounds me with “You should get a real job.” It gets tiring.

    Was this TMI?

  5. Again, spooned right out of my life in this moment. Been through the SWS and loved every second of it, through the peaks and the valleys, and these days life is being very responsive to my requests. What more time to focus and create your business… here is some “9-5 job” hours and and pay cut. I have gotten so many ideas from you and your team John, and now I have no excuse to put more of them into action. Thanks again John for a perfect timing check-in.
    Andreea

  6. Equally addictive… is the euphoric high… an IDEA JUNKIE gets when they dream up another million dollar idea without taking action.

    John, you’re 100% correct, as usual. Figure it out, get what you need and take massive action.

    Robert Collier sums it up in his pithy quote.
    “Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin.”

    Speaking of taking action — I did it and so should you — and getting a quick fix for you and/or your biz. This rehabilitated IDEAL JUNKIE suggests you enroll in John’s Simple Writing System… today! It was the best… one on one… training I’ve ever received.

    • Then why can’t you write in a way that makes any sense Garth?

      I know I am playing devils advocate here, but really, what are you going to do when JC retires? Find someone else to suck up to?

      • When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

        Thank God you arrived when you did, Tom Stannard. You obviously know your shit. I was just flushing you out. Now that you surfaced, please enlighten me. I know I’m not worthy, but your counsel is what I seek. I want to write just like you.

        This is great fun.

        I write… you critique… I suck up. I write… you learn to punctuate… is it devil or devils or drum roll please, devil’s?

        • Good reply.

          Funny how some people feel only THEY know the BIG words, when they don’t even know there’s a difference between American English and International English… you know… like forties and fourties.

        • Rezbi,
          Good for you, you found someone else to suck up to .

          Garth,
          Well done, that made much more sense, apart from all the ‘……’ Or is that what you mean by punctuation?

          Either way, glad you are having fun.

          Don’t let it worry you.

  7. Great Stuff John,

    I recently wrote 2 similar posts to this on my blog and they get a lot of attention and even a few brave souls willing to speak up and say something aobut the topic.

    They were kind of pointed, but the facts are you have to get off your lazy ass and work like you’ve never worked before and you may not make one read cent your first shot.

    The lessons learned are huge and you know exactly what not to do next time. As far as friends go…

    They do vanish in a big hurry when you finally decide to scratch and claw yourself away from the heard.

    I’d guess once you get away and get get your own successes on your own without those types of people attached to you doing everything in their power to undermine your success life will be a bit less lonely and you might even get to take a weekend off here and there.

    Dave

  8. Hey John, so right my friend I think that many times we get stuck in that what do I do next mode and then with out an answer, we do nothing only to buy more and more stuff, and we wonder wy our biz is not successful. I know this because I am guilty of it. Any thoughts? thanks

  9. Two quotes came to mind.
    “Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” Napoleon Hill
    (Think & Grow Rich is public domain and free for the taking).
    “Movement gets more shit done in this world than all the pondering in history.” (Write that down and stick it on your wall.) John Carlton
    (Which is a little more pithy?)
    I recently posted a comment on another “teacher’s” (that is what I consider Mr. Carlton), website in response to someone’s complaint that his offering was “too expensive” and did not follow the “code” of helping others by pricing them out.
    I was offered the course for free. Amazing stuff can happen in this wild, weird world of Gore’s interweb thingy!
    Plug On. I “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book pg. 164)

      • More to the point, who the crap are you?

        It’s funny how the jealous muppets always come on these sites anonymously.

        I mean, let’s face it, there’s a whole bunch of John Stannards around.

        Although I doubt they’re all all cowardly arse holes… oh… I guess you’d say ‘ass’.

        But, then, you’d know what an ass is – you see one ever time you look in a mirror.

        Or is that an arse… or both?

        • Rezbi,

          Were you born an idiot or have you had lessons?

          First, you get my name wrong (John?), then criticize me for posting ‘anonymously’.

          Like ‘Rezbi’ is your full legal name!

          Then you mess up your penultimate sentence (better look that last big word up before attempting a reply).

        • Rezbi,

          Oh, Hang on, I’ve just seen your latest post, where you attempt to suck up to yet another poster, Earnst, before making a fool of yourself. Again.

          That confirms it, you are an idiot.

          To quote:

          “Everyone has a right to their view, and at least you weren’t insulting.’

          So, calling everyone on here a sap, referring to Dr. Phil as a fat bastard and demeaning his probably fictional ex-wife is high praise is it?

          I won’t even start on the part where you declare that thinking is beyond you, I had reached that conclusion a long time ago.

        • Tom and Rezbi.
          What are you guys, still in junior high school?
          We’ve been notably free of trolls on this blog, and I’m grateful for that. Rezbi, you’ve been a welcome follower for a long time, both in the coaching sites and here. Tom, using your full name is a good thing as a newcomer.
          And controversy is a wonderful exercise. I love a cat-fight as much as the next guy.
          But both of you have lost credibility by resorting to name-calling.
          I read a lot of blogs and articles online that allow comments. If the rage and anonymous threats and personal insults are a real indicator of where we’re at as a country, we’re in deep shit.
          I tend to think the relative protection of posting online — even when using your real name — unleashes a slightly-to-heavily darker side of some folks.
          My rule: If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it in a comment.
          Rezbi, you’re allowing yourself to be baited. Tom, you’re being a bully.
          And neither of you are accomplishing these feats with any wit or wisdom.
          Take a deep breath, guys.
          This site has been generating some real value through good comments and stories and insight from readers.
          You will all notice that most of the posters have ignored the dust-up here. Still, I’d like to keep the multi-year record of not deleting non-spam posts on this blog alive… and so I have inserted myself with a directive.
          Stick to the point at hand.
          All right?
          All right.

      • Tommy Boy! to be totally off topic, it would be MR. Al Gore, the one that told Bill Clinton last week that he would gladly have gone over and picked up those two girls that worked for him from N. Korea. EXCEPT the carbon foot print required was unacceptable to him. THAT Uncle Al.

  10. Hi John–this is so true.

    I spoke with a wannabe marketer the other day who spent more time whining about how “those guys” make money on the Internet, than considering what he needs to do to actually take strategic ACTION in his lackluster business.

    He doesn’t want to invest in any courses–doesn’t want to invest in his marketing–doesn’t want to go to seminars to learn or network–in fact doesn’t want to listen to the truth.

    Yet the most urgent need he has is to quit doing the same non-productive thing he’s been doing for the past year and start doing something that actually works.

    But he only wants to do what he “likes” to do. As if somehow the rest of the pieces of an actionable marketing plan will suddenly appear out of thin air. He simply isn’t willing to pay any of the price of admission you so aptly describe in your post.

    And he certainly isn’t alone–too many dreamers (and even complainers), not enough “do-ers”.

    Then there are the people like us, who could passionately talk marketing strategy all night long–and can’t sleep unless we DO the next great thing in our business.

    The crazy thing is, we actually think it’s fun!

    Actually, some people should either consider what they do a full-time hobby, or get a 9-5 job with predictable pay raises. The consuming zeal for entrepreneurship simply doesn’t dwell in everybody–and I don’t think that adrenaline pumping enthusiasm can be taught.

    And speaking of the “people you encounter along the way”–I’ll see you at the private shindig tomorrow night–along with the rest of our similarly achievement-addicted friends!

  11. wow, John you’ve put into words what I’ve been trying to “think deep” about for years…:) Luckily, I’ve been following you and some of your selectively lazy buddies – and it’s changed my life.

    So, thanks!
    Jim

  12. Brilliant writing work that I can understand John.
    We have Simple Writing Systems in our house hold its a must have, for us anyway. I am 62 and still have to adjust my goals and have to keep reminding myself.
    Catcha
    bruce…..

  13. I’ve recently started both a morning routine and setting goals for myself, but neither has come as easy as I would have liked. The first few weeks are fairly pedestrian, as I was pumped about doing both, but that soon fades. I think those that reach that point and still stick to it are the ones that will go on to success. Whether I will or not is yet to be seen.

    “Nothing in the 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.”
    Calvin Coolidge

  14. John, you really struck a cord. What you say is so true and you put so well. I’ve been down this path and am still making strides to push pass every limit that seems to step in my way. Little pieces like this really do the entrepreneur good.

    … Words To Live By “In this universe, you must breathe life into your dreams, and get the word out.” Unless your a trust fund baby or don’t need to put any cash in your pocket,you need to take these words to heart.

    Stop wishing for your dreams to come true…
    … Make your dreams come true.

    Thanks for the words John. It was a great start for my day.

  15. Thanks John,
    I’ve taken some of the first action steps already. It’s funny…when I finally felt comfortable enough with my plans of action and knowlege level, all of a sudden the necessary tools seem to appear in my in-box. Magically all for FREE! It is true, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”

  16. “Your friends will, for the most part, not enjoy your departure from the world of sloth and deep-thinking-without-action. You may have to leave some of them behind.

    You may encounter crushing loneliness…”

    John, many thanks for such great article, another kick-ass inspiration from The Master.

    I spent months thinking what mistakes I make that some old good friends suddenly disappear and even my brother, my best friend ever, stopped calling me and doesn’t answer to my e-mails :(
    I used to think that when they ask I should share with them what I do…

    I remember Gary saying “So just because I’ve gotten older doesn’t mean I’ve gotten smarter.”…bloody hell…

  17. Great post John, your content is always on point. I agree with this mindset for success, I wrote a similar post couple days ago outlining the strategies to my success, and a big one is setting your mindset for it, then taking action and never turning back, you will pass up people along the way, learn how to take criticism and do it for you, rinse and repeat.

    Terrance Charles
    http://thesimplecodemanuscript.com

  18. O gosh…what am I hearing? You are all saps buying into the “Lets just all get along” tripe.

    You must have been told that you had to play fair and be a good sport when you were a kid.

    In today’s cut throat world you must be ruthless. Be merciless in your quest for riches and fame or you risk obscurity. Give the competition a good nut kicking, then stand on your dung pile and crow.

    Napoleon who? Hill. You people worship him like a god. He wrote a book about being successful. So what. The fat bastard Dr. Phil wrote a diet book. He’s got more lard on his ass than my Ex-wife.

    You must grab success by the neck and wrestle it into your play pen where you make the rules. When your competitor is crying about how unfair you are, you know you’re on the success turnpike.

    Get tough and get in the game or go sit on the bench with the pantywaists. And shut up.

    Good night from Opryland. Drive safely on your way home.

    • Like your reply.

      Everyone has a right to their view, and at least you weren’t insulting.

      I’ve never read Think and grow rich even though I had it.

      To be honest, the title put me off.

      I’ve always believed in working, so thinking was out of the question for me.

  19. John,

    In reply to your comments to post number 11,
    I would like to apologize for allowing myself to participate in such childish mud slinging, thereby abusing this blog. I was wrong and I am old enough and ugly enough to admit it.

    Tom Stannard

    • Hi Tom.
      You’re welcome here in the comments section anytime. I realize you’ve got sizzling brain power between your ears, and I think you can bring some good stuff to the conversations.
      Thanks for stepping up. I hope to hear from you in future posts.

  20. Hey John,

    I guess I should have been using smiley faces.

    Thing is, if you notice, I ignored the last two posts Tom made as I realised it was going too far.

    And, no, I wasn’t angry when I was making those comments, I was smiling and laughing as I was actually baiting him.

    Tom, my apologies but I just like a good scrap, and that’s how I saw it – a playful scrap.

    • Okay, we’re all friends again?
      Good.
      I hate smiley faces, but I gotta admit they serve a purpose sometimes.
      Just go easy on ‘em, Rez…
      And don’t misinterpret what I said: I LOVE controversy and even argument.
      Let’s just slaughter each other with wit and dignity. Ruthlessly, of course, but with decorum.
      Thanks.

      • Gotta admit I hadn’t realise the way it was going till Tom wrote two posts in a row…

        You just know someone’s angry when they do that.

        So I decided to leave it alone.

        I won’t be keeping this as part of my ‘swipe’ file.

  21. John, I like what you wrote, made a lot of sense! I like some of the answers on the blog also like the one that wrote about no free lunches. She hit the nail on the head. I don’t believe everyone is trying to get a freebie there are also those who really don’t have the money and are doing the best that they can learning the hard way by trying to put two and two together and figure out how are they going to catch on to this stuff. And of course they are the ones who want everything given to them on a silver platter who do not want to work for anything. They feel the world owes them. Nothing is free! About thieves who steals ones work i believe they are lazy and if they can’t sit and think about what they want to get across to those who are buying their so called work that they have copied from someone else and do not acknowledge who really wrote the piece, well i would be embarressed to express what i think about them. It isn’t pretty. To be able to become an entrepreneur knowing how to set things up and have a following that buys their work is a priviledge that should Make one proud of what they can do and make a great living at it. When i get to be able to know how to do this and have a following (clients) I pray and hope i do not do this to someone else. If i like what is written and it fits in what i am writing about i would be proud enough to say who wrote it and why and why i like it and be grateful enough to be able to do this. in the meantime, i want to stay away from the company of those who infrienge on another persons work.

  22. The professional conducts business in the REAL world.
    Amateurs relinquish to the couches of their cosy egos.
    I used to be a big snuggler.
    Not any more.
    There’s joy and freedom in TURNING PRO.
    Success or not, comes down to either doing the work, or not.
    No other pep talk needed. No mantras or personal development gobbledgook spin, needed.
    Just get on and do the work.

  23. Hi Mr Carlton and everyone.

    WOW!!!
    What a great post Yeah I know its a year behind.
    but…
    I have been going through them to catch up.
    This is a totally new experience for me writing well learning to write, as I posted about yesterday in the InsidersClub forum.
    I can not begin to even explain my excitement at discovering this new craft that I’m about to learn.
    but as I said in my forum post I feel like I’m riding a wild mustang across the white space and hanging of for dear life.

    For me its feels like I have discovered a new Magical Kingdom all about words and how they fit together creating the most potent spell that causes someone to take a desired action.
    A completely new world.

    Anyway that being said I’m just starting out and looking for help to stay on the mustang and eventually go in a certain direction with it. with out falling of every 2 seconds.
    Much to learn yes! bruises Yes! broken Bones Probably! Dirt in mouth Yes! all these things to look forward to.
    worth it? Damn Right it will be.

    John Sorry but you hooked me completely so no going back now for me I’m ruined to anything else.

    I’m am going to learn this great fun skill what ever I have to do.
    The Above post that you wrote really resonated with me.
    Taking the right action beats thinking about it every time, all the time.
    Thank you for your inspiration.
    Kind Regards
    Ian UK A New Mustang Word Rider
    P.S
    “Word Rider” got to be a first with that thought.
    Maybe LOL

  24. Hi Mr Carlton and everyone.

    WOW!!!
    What a great post Yeah I know its a year behind.
    but…
    I have been going through them to catch up.
    This is a totally new experience for me writing well learning to write, as I posted about yesterday in the InsidersClub forum.
    I can not begin to even explain my excitement at discovering this new craft that I’m about to learn.
    but as I said in my forum post I feel like I’m riding a wild mustang across the white space and hanging of for dear life.

    For me its feels like I have discovered a new Magical Kingdom all about words and how they fit together creating the most potent spell that causes someone to take a desired action.
    A completely new world.

    Anyway that being said I’m just starting out and looking for help to stay on the mustang and eventually go in a certain direction with it. with out falling of every 2 seconds.
    Much to learn yes! bruises Yes! broken Bones Probably! Dirt in mouth Yes! all these things to look forward to.
    worth it? Damn Right it will be.

    John Sorry but you hooked me completely so no going back now for me I’m ruined to anything else.

    I’m am going to learn this great fun skill what ever I have to do.
    The Above post that you wrote really resonated with me.
    Taking the right action beats thinking about it every time, all the time.
    Thank you for your inspiration.
    Kind Regards
    Ian UK A New Mustang Word Rider
    P.S
    “Word Rider” got to be a first with that thought.
    Maybe LOL

  25. Hi Mr Carlton and everyone else.

    Though I said above that I am going to learn this craft I have realised that my actual writing skill is appalling however that fact isn’t The End but my beginning point.
    I went to the library and found a basic book on grammar and punctuation and promptly failed the first questions there in.
    I always thought that grammar was a word we used to call my grandmother “Gram ma” anyway I do have a plan Its not an ignorant wish or dream I know what steps I need to do to begin to even write basic English skills so I’m taking them first.
    I sure wish I had listened to my hot female tutor at school rather than trying to look down her top all day oh well.
    Hormones owe me a huge debt.

    Ian UK New Mustang Word Rider

  26. Hi Mr Carlton and everyone else.

    Though I said above that I am going to learn this craft I have realised that my actual writing skill is appalling however that fact isn’t The End but my beginning point.
    I went to the library and found a basic book on grammar and punctuation and promptly failed the first questions there in.
    I always thought that grammar was a word we used to call my grandmother “Gram ma” anyway I do have a plan Its not an ignorant wish or dream I know what steps I need to do to begin to even write basic English skills so I’m taking them first.
    I sure wish I had listened to my hot female tutor at school rather than trying to look down her top all day oh well.
    Hormones owe me a huge debt.

    Ian UK New Mustang Word Rider

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