Quiz Time

Thursday, 5:39pm
Reno, NV
Alex, I’ll take Entrepreneur Secrets for $500.” (Apologies to Jeopardy)


Are you a successful entrepreneur?

Are you struggling, but in the game?

Or… are you thinking about getting into the game?

Then the question I’m about to ask you may be of particular interest.

Here’s the quiz:

“What do you think is the single most powerful motivation driving entrepreneurs to outrageous success?”

In other words… what fuels the mind of the typical rich, famous, and happy, happy, happy entrepreneur during his rise to wealth and satisfaction?

I want to hear your guess in the comments section below.

Most folks guess wrong.

However, if you’ve been reading my slop for awhile, you may already have your finger on the right answer. Cuz I’ve talked about this very subject often.

It’s one of the most shocking discoveries I made, early in my career… and it catapulted me over every other freelancer in Los Angeles, and drove me deep into the heart of the roiling entrepreneurial world (where I met and bonded with dudes like Gary Halbert and Jay Abraham).

This is not a trick question.

But I’ll bet you get it wrong.

Here are few hints: It’s not the desire for more money.

Nor is it a lust for “freedom”, or even independence.

Look — I am on close, intimate terms with probably a hundred of the top marketers (both offline and online).

When we get together, we gossip like schoolgirls, take great delight in the art of creative insults… and (most important) share the often overlooked truths of success with each other.

I say “overlooked” not because we hold back from telling people the stark realities of how we earned our mojo.


These truths are overlooked because people refuse to believe they’re real.

It’s like a groupie once said of Mick Jagger: “Yeah, he was okay in the sack and all that… but he wasn’t Mick Jagger, if you know what I mean.”

Until you actually experience real success, the reality of it is not easily fathomed.


… here’s some honest insight, from me, on what power-drove the wealth and happiness of many of the most notoriously-successful entrepreneurs I know.

Leave either your answer…

… or your own experience, looking back on your rise to the Big Bucks…

… in the comments section.

C’mon, don’t be shy.

It’ll take you five freaking minutes.

And it’ll be fun, seeing what people believe to be the single biggest motivations driving people toward their goals.

There really aren’t any “wrong” answers…

… however, I will give you the real answer on Monday. (Meaning, the truth behind some of the most spectacular success stories of recent times.)

It may confirm what you’ve already suspected, or learned through personal experience.

Or, it may shock the hell out of you.

But if it does shock you… at least you’ll know the truth.

Leave your comment. Check back on Monday.

And enjoy your weekend…

Stay frosty,

John Carlton

P.S. Capitalist note: Though the guided at-home Simple Writing System mentoring course is closed and sold-out (sorry, not even folks on the waiting list could get in)…

… we ARE still offering the basic DVDs and workbook. Just without the hand-holding.


Sample comment from an entrepreneur who just opened her Simple Writing System: “I am flabbergasted with all of the information in the package.”

I know. We did it on purpose.

So this course would be the main “go to” resource for writing in your toolkit.

Why haven’t you gotten yours yet?

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"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • Cheryl says:

    It’s the doing.

    It’s the vision, the idea, the “I wonder if/how/when this will work” and gathering the parts and putting them into play.

    And much like a flower, or child, watching the new project develop and grow and take on a life full of unique personality of its very own as it is sent out into the world.

    It’s also a bit of defiance against the complacent river of status quo. Of wanting to be on the boat, rather than standing on the shore wishing you had arrived just a bit earlier to catch the boat.

    Besides, it is a real giggle when it happens.


    John Carlton replies:

    Excellent answer, Cheryl. Hits on essentials of the experience.

    But it’s wrong.

    Anyone else?


  • Alan says:

    I believe it is the challenge. Seeing if this or that will work. If the individual can do what others have done. And also the big game of doing it.

  • Sarah Albers says:

    I think one of the essential “fuels” for “renegade” anything is a basic lack of trust in “authority”. I think that most of the most successful entrepreneurs cannot stand anyone telling them that they have to do something in a certain way.

    Rogues and wildcats all.


  • John says:

    It’s a pure, unadulterated drive to win. With some OCD sprinkled in.

  • Its because you have literally no other option but to succeed.

    (The ol’ “Gun to your head” marketing concept you talk about.)

    For me, its more like “Nuce around the neck – hands tied behind the back – balancing with one foot on a wobbly pole barley keeping me from the futile fate of the gallows” marketing.

    Its why I quit the god-awful corporate bullshit of medical sales and took a 2/3 paycut to learn copywriting at a successful internet marketing company.

    Its why i found my niche.

    I was FAR too hungry to be a corporate-roboto and hate myself in the process…far too hungry to live for ME and not someone else…far too hungry (well, more like starving) to not go after my dreams before i was suckered into more of a life I despised.

    Life or death, no way out.

    I chose life. And that’s why I’m here.

    John Carlton replies:

    Great answer, Adam.

    But not the one I’m looking for…


  • Howdy John,

    I know this is gonna sound silly but my answer is a “goal.” In fact, I’d take it a step further and say not just any goal but one you’re really passionate about.

    You have to figure out what you really, really want (desire) and go after it with gusto.

    You gotta have something to strive for or else you just drift through life like a ship without a rudder.

    Damn, I’m starting to sound like one of those self-help personalities.

    Anyhow, thanks for letting me play along.

    I’m eager to hear your response on Monday!



  • Tom Malley says:

    It’s simple……..It’s The Game……..and the Pursuit Thereof!!!

  • Dave C says:


    John Carlton replies:

    Dave, you’re so wrong… you’re almost right.

    You’ll understand what I mean on Monday…


  • Greg J. says:

    Someone told them they couldn’t do it or it won’t work and it pissed them off.

  • Casey says:

    Beating their personal best.

    Everyday, going into the real world and trying to figure out what they can tweak to get their product/point/sale across.

    It’s a constant game to play – to learn the human code, crack it, and become wealthy.

    Just like the best athletes in their game, once is never enough. Lance had to beat the record, then piss all over it. Phelps had to crush the world again. And again. And again.

    “If you’re not changing, you’re stagnating.” Stagnation-land — the land where you’re not moving. Where you hit the plateau — that’s an awful place to be. You’re only one back step to where you were when you started. You have to keep climbing, every day doing it more effectively and with more heart in order to rise to the top.

  • Dan L. says:

    Hows this John?
    The un-shakeable desire to do What We Want To Do?
    Not whatever we want to do or even when ever we want to do it.

    But, being able to finally do “WHAT” WE Want To Do!

    Like for example: I finally have the ability to do What I want to do.
    Move my family
    Stay around and enjoy my kids.
    Be altruistic and do some service without worries.
    Lock myself away for a while, get out and be with friends for a while, all guilt free times of getting to do WHAT I WANT TO DO!
    Etc.. name your wants “here___”
    Any points?

    John Carlton replies:

    Nope. Close, though…

  • Greg says:

    For me, it is the desire to be remembered long after I’m gone from the world. To leave something behind that’s worth a damn.

  • Chris says:

    The same thing that keeps soldiers fighting together in combat: they don’t want to let people down.

  • Jay says:

    How come nobody mentioned proving old doubters/ex-girlfriend/skeptical parents/former bosses wrong? It’s not the most psychologically healthy of motivations but let’s face it, it’s there. I wouldn’t call it my biggest motivating factor, but it’s certainly there. Going hand-in-hand with that is the need of entrepreneurs to feel as though they are wiser, savvier, and more attuned to what life is all about than the common man.

  • Jay says:

    Just a quick addendum to my comment…

    There’s a quote, something like “Many a man was driven to great heights by the whip of an inferiority complex.”

    I’m not dismissing any of the great & valid answers everyone else gave, but it’d be naive to say those alone are the motivating factors. Can’t wait to see what it is, John!

  • John Walters says:

    Whatever is the ‘right’ answer, John, for me it must be FUN.

    If I don’t get any pleasure out of it it is not worth doing.

    Being in business for yourself is demanding and hard work but if you don’t enjoy it what is the point?

    I strongly suspect you find it fun too…

  • Darwin says:

    John I would have to say passion, passion is the driving force. Without passion it’s just a job, probably boring and tedious.

  • Carl says:

    For the pure joy, feel good and exileration of being in that place were you are performing your best. It’s when you are not aware of time. You are connected to your deepest self and are totally focused and in the zone.

    Short answer: “Simply To feel good”


  • Tammy says:

    Hey John,



    John Carlton replies:

    Few people believe this… but the guys I know (Kern, Filsaime, Walker, Pagan, Johnson, and dozens of others) at the top of the online food chain…

    … are stunningly free of nasty ego problems.

    There ARE those kinds of guys in the mix… but we laugh at them behind their backs.

    So, no, it ain’t ego.


  • Michael says:

    The drive to make sure customers, users, clients, etc get what they want. Find that need and fill it.

    That, and the execution.


    John Carlton replies:

    Good grief, Michael — that’s WAY down the line of motivations. A good entrepreneur DOES want to fulfill on promises and be that trusted go-to guy in his niche… but he can’t even begin to get there until he’s busted open the secrets of success.

    It’s not that “nice guys finish last”… but you don’t go into a project totally “other focused”. The first steps in any biz venture are the most dangerous, and you need to think survival initially…

    Nice try, though.


  • Rich says:

    Hi John,

    I’d say it was the pursuit of perceived status and recognition from other people.


  • James says:

    I have made no money and am really struggling financially so it can’t be money — ’cause I don’t have any. Haven’t yet “broken the code”.

    So my answer is: it’s the challenge … the rush — of the pursuit.

  • Michelle says:

    I think the darker side of human nature drives a lot of entrepreneurs. So, in two words…

    Fear. Insecurity.

  • Robert says:

    It’s very simple John….it’s fear…fear of failure, fear of looking like an ass IF you fail, fear of your friends (and relatives) negative comments about your pursuit…

    I think fear drives more of us than anyone can think of…


  • Rob Northrup says:

    Success is not having to work with crappy people on things we don’t want to do. It is about being immersed in interesting, challenging tasks with people we enjoy working with.

  • Hey John for me it’s really simple….
    It’s the need to be in control of my life and say screw you to anyone who tries to tell me what to do…
    To have unlimited choice about what I do, where I go and who I go there with…all without having to kiss some one else’s ass…or as permission.

    I don’t care if this is the answer you’re looking for… it’s what drives me…

    Good post,


  • Captain Jack says:

    Well – I’m going to take a shot John. NOT having a boss or someone higher in the “chain of command” in control of you is a big motivator for success in many entrepreneurs.

    It could be described as subordination or not being able to take orders from someone dumber then you are. I personally had a few bosses with the intelligence of a dead moth.

    Also it would appear many entrepreneurs are control freaks and rebels heart – so this is all related. I could go on but let me know if I’m even in the ballpark?

    Captain Jack

    John Carlton replies:

    Hi Jack. No, it’s a good answer… but not the one I’m looking for.

    Close, though. I specifically wrote it wasn’t independence, which this kinda falls under…

    Thanks for playing.


  • Simon says:

    Fear of failure.

  • Tom Ash says:

    It’s subjective of course, but, for me, it’s the chance to leave a legacy. In addition. One of my favorite sayings is “some people see things as they are and say why, I dream of things that never were and say why not?”. In this case, why not me?

  • Ian says:

    Hey John.

    My answer is :

    The diving force of success is to be envied.

    John Carlton replies:

    I haven’t got a bone in my body craving envy, Ian. Nor do my pals in the game (though some do have massive egos that love being envied, no doubt about that).

    No, unless being envied specificially suits your idiosyncatic needs, it’s not the answer for most.

    Nice try, though.


  • GV says:

    Talkin to myself again
    Wondering if this travelin is good
    Is there something better wed be doing if we could
    And oh the stories we could tell
    And if this all blows up and goes to hell
    I can still see us sittin on the bed in some motel
    Listenin to the stories we could tell

    Remember that guitar in a museum in tennessee
    And the nameplate on the glass brought back twenty melodies
    And the scratches on the face
    Told of all the times he fell
    Singin every story he could tell
    And oh the stories it could tell
    And I bet you it still rings like a bell
    And I wish we could sit back on the bed in some motel
    And listen to the stories we could tell

    So if youre on the road tracking down here every night
    And youre singin for a livin neath the brightly colored lights
    And if you ever wonder why you ride this carousel
    You did it for the stories you could tell
    And oh the stories we could tell
    And if this all blows up and goes to hell
    I can still see us sittin on the bed in some motel
    Listenin to the stories we could tell
    I can still see us sittin on the bed in some motel
    Listenin to the stories we could tell

    Written either by:
    Tom Petty
    Jim (Roger) McGuinn

    I heard this song for the first time 24 years ago. Ever since it’s been why I do it.

  • John says:

    Hi John,

    I’m gonna go with fear.

    John Carlton replies:

    Nope. Read the prior post, What Are You Afraid Of? Top entrepreneurs eat fear for breakfast…


  • Roy Furr says:

    I thought passion…

    Until that answer got a “you’re so wrong… you’re almost right.”

    So let’s flip that around.

    An intense dispassion for making others successful when you know you could do it for yourself instead?

    … I certainly know what it’s like to make someone else a bundle and not feel like I got an adequate piece of the pie.

    How ’bout it John?

    John Carlton replies:

    Good thinking, Roy.

    But wrong direction.

    God, this is fun torturing you guys…


  • Kyle says:


    John Carlton replies:

    I was wondering when you were chime in, Kyle…

    You’re so cynical, dude. The Monday answer will delight you and the others…


  • Frank DeMeglio says:

    The intense desire to prove someone wrong when they told you all the reasons you would fail.

  • Robert Woodring says:

    I think it is the creative process much like a sculptor does. You see an image of what the “thing” looks like and you make it real.
    What else could it be?

  • Michael says:

    Finding out what you are put on this planet for and having the guts to do it

  • Karen (replies) says:

    You always do this! It is Saturday morning, I have a million things to do and here I am thinking about entrepreneurial motivation!!

    In my family I am a relative minnow in the genetic pool of successful entrepreneurs and it seems to have been my lot in life to be surrounded by them no matter what country I am living in… so here is what I have observed:

    On the surface you guys appear to be a bunch of resilient passion junkies with all of the trappings of success – financial independence, autonomy, and more toys than God. You love the rush, insist on flexibility, like working towards your own goals and achieving personal objectives. You have a desire to do something ‘better’ or create something new, you work smart not hard and practice generosity…. NONE of which is why you do it.

    Yup, you are all addicts but here is the thing: it isn’t the action, the result or the rewards you become addicted to in this game, it is the deep sense of aliveness that you feel as you do it.

    John Carlton replies:

    Dammit, Karen. That’s a killer answer… but not the one I’ll be talking about.

    See, when you start out as a entrepreneur, you can’t really know what that “rush” you’re talking about feels like… so it’s not “real” yet. Once you get a taste for it, and say “Yeah, I love this gig”, then you know for sure you’re meant for the entrepreneur’s lifestyle.

    But to GET there, you need something deeper.

    I think you’ll enjoy the answer.


  • Adam says:

    It is the fight for ones own happiness.

    When you realize all of a sudden that you are doing what makes you happy.

    It is the “pursuit of happiness” yes, but I see it more as a fight instead of a pursuit. One fights for this and comes to a REAL value of oneself and others through that happiness.

    Words don’t do it justice but it is as simple as a realization that wow…I am truly happy! Nothing motivates more than that.

    Such a simple word…

  • KerbyS says:

    Dear John,

    Here’s a couple of quotes…

    “pigheaded discipline and determination” – Chet Holmes

    “You know that you are going to persevere until you win” – Gary Halbert

    For me it is coming from love not power with a huge helping of curiosity. I want to know what works, what doesn’t work and why.


  • Peter Bestel says:

    This has to be a ‘moving toward’ strategy rather than any negative stuff. Ultimately, yeah, the pursuit of happiness is the one, but I don’t think it’s specific enough.

    Here’s my shot:

    Is it, “What’s next” ?

    The constant desire to get juiced, to find the next product, strategy, new goal. It encompasses the passion and keeps you motivated once your goals are attained. It might be hard work at first, but once you’ve mastered it and if you keep doing it, you’ll always be a winner.



  • George says:

    Hey John,

    I reckon it’s one (or both) of the two greatest human drivers:

    Significance and Contribution.

    Look forward to the post on Monday!



  • Ken Calhoun says:

    I agree with George, “significance” and “contribution”, being of service to as many as possible, unfettered by Dilbert-like cubicle life is a big reason why. No more suits and ties (except for very rare seminar appearances), and no commute. Huge pluses.

    Being able to have my TIME to master on my own, and call my own shots and not have to do anything any boss ever tells me again, and no more stupid staff meetings and corporate politics. Huge.

    I think most of all it’s being able to be creative and get paid insane amounts of money, is a key driver. And fame, recognition, time with family. Wearing only gym shorts for the last 14+ years and not having to put up with other people’s bs is a big one, too, working from home and helping my customers.

    The biggest driver? It has to be living life on my own terms, calling my own shots, the challenge of the inner salesman meeting market needs, leveraging, being creative. Being able to express myself in ways that connect with others, without having to deal with them in person. And of course being able to devote a huge amount of time to research, reading, self-development.

    What drives others? It’s the need to contribute and not be hammered by the fetters of a company structure. To SPEAK. To make a difference. To teach, train, contribute, be of service.
    Without some pinhead boss second guessing you, or needing to be politically correct. Been there. Freedom as a millionaire entrepreneur is so much cooler.


  • DanLopez2012 says:

    Thought I’d give it another shot;

    “What do you think is the single most powerful motivation driving entrepreneurs to outrageous success?”

    In other words… what fuels the mind of the typical rich, famous, and happy, happy, happy entrepreneur during his rise to wealth and satisfaction?

    In a word [LifeStyle] AKA Accomplishment!

    Every entrepreneur’s Desire is based on raising themselves beyond they’re current state, to a level that they can envision and keep on evnisioning.

    The ability to achive and accomplish their goals every step of the way.

    That and never wanting to be broke or impoverished again. Ever.
    And seeing THAT to Fruition time and time again.
    Nothing drives us like the challenge of accomplishment.

    Nuff Said:

  • Duane Marcy says:


    Here’s my shot across the bow of your intellectual ship.
    The pursuit of success is driven in the desire to give back.
    One example is Bill Gates he didn’t leave all his money to his family he’s redistributing it to society helping them help themselves. I feel people want success for a number of selfish reasons but a big one is to be able to help others that are less fortunate.

    Did I sink your ship?

    John Carlton replies:

    Hi Duane. This kind of generosity ony occurs AFTER success is reached. You gotta get there, first.

    So no, this ain’t it either.


    Duane Marcy

  • I think it’s the desire to royally F%$# off like there is no tomorrow and to tell “The Man” to kiss my non conformist white ass!

    John Carlton replies:

    Jason, go wash your mouth out with soap right now.


  • Yoav says:

    Basically it’s because we are unable to get a decent job and stick to it.

    We have no tolerance for things that are “unimportant” or “stupid”, we have to work on stuff that moves the boat forward, otherwise we get bored and start fighting with everyone.

    This isn’t to say that we can’t focus. We can spend days working out the smallest of kinks in a product or a campaign, but it has to be an important kink.

    That’s why there are very rare occasions when entrepreneurs work together. Eventually one of them decides that the other is wrong and quits.

    In the real world this kind of behavior causes us to be labeled as misfits and that leads us to work for the only person that accepts us (ourselves).

    And as others here have said before, once we get a taste of success and understand that if we get good at the game we can play it forever, we get addicted and its game-over.

    Was that the answer you were looking for?

    John Carlton replies:

    Hey, Yoav.

    As you know, I’ve talked about this very element of the process many times.

    However, it’s a subset of the actual answer I’m giving Monday.

    Good insight, though.


  • Bryan Bliss says:

    I dont think there’s anything that fundamentally different in “their” motivation that is absent in “my ” motivation.

    I refuse to look at it as an “us and them” kinda question.

    I see myself as one within the crowd. I have my own style, my own individual sense of humor, values and goals.
    I suspect we are all pretty much alike in having a mix of emotions and priorities that centers around family, creativity, a deep interest in human nature and persuasion, generosity, boldness and a keen grasp of tactical strategy.
    Its the medium of the internet that has allowed us such grand heights of volumes in traffic, cashflow and notoriety.
    At least that potential is there.
    we all are one,
    we are the world.
    either that.
    or Im totally off base
    and its really just about a quest to
    bang 2 hot chicks at once.
    thanks and take care
    Bryan bliss

    John Carlton replies:

    You sure you got the right blog here, Bryan? I don’t recall anything in the question about hot chicks…


  • Mark Nolan says:

    I was talking with Dan Kennedy about this at a seminar some years ago and we joked about the idea that all of the successful people we knew seemed to be rebels.

    Entrepreneurs rebel against the machine and the routine. They rebel against having a job, rebel against conformity, rebel against the herd. Kind of like John Carlton the Marketing Rebel. Some people think we are lazy and ask, “When are you going to get a job?” …even though we earn more income than anyone they know earns from any job.

    Many successful entrepreneurs dropped out of college, failed at business, got fired from various jobs, went bankrupt, got divorced — and just had all kinds of troubles that don’t happen to the folks who follow the rules and follow the crowd.

    Name any successful person. Were they ever a rebel? Probably. Are they still a rebel? Probably. That’s okay, the founding fathers of the USA were all rebels, every one.

    Earl Nightingale said, “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice … it is conformity.” And there you have the reason for so many failures. Conformity — people acting like everyone else, without knowing why or where they are going.

    We learn to read by the time we’re seven. We learn to make a living by the time we’re 30. Often by that time we’re not only making a living, we’re supporting a family. And yet by the time we’re 65, we haven’t learned how to become financially independent in the richest land that has ever been known. Why? We conform!” (from: The Strangest Secret)

    Entrepreneurs don’t conform, they rebel. It causes all kinds of hell and heartbreak, but we just can’t help it. We’re rebellious.

    Anyway, that is one of the main entrepreneur personality quirks, in my rebellious opinion. Heh.


    Mark Nolan

  • Effrim says:

    Based on everything I’ve read, listened to, bought, etc it seems to be the desire to succeed. Not just “Hey, I want to do this for whatever reason” but, “This is it, this must happen, there is no other alternative. I am going to be X and Y is not an option, nothing else matters.” Failures are opportunities to remind them how much they want X and how much they’ll do to get X. Luck is self-made, opportunities are generated. Jack London once said “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Things don’t just come to you because you want them, but the burning, tunnel vision desire allows you to hone in on what you need in order to achieve the vision that you have for yourself. Arnold Schwarzenegger is quoted as saying he used to spend hours visualizing his muscles getting bigger and his body had no choice but to obey. He had that burning desire, that almost mad need to do or be something, and so far it has taken him to the Governor’s mansion.

    I didn’t read any of the other comments yet, so I am sure this will offend some people (and I’m sorry) but if you say you are as motivated as the successful people you are thinking of, but you don’t have their success, or at least haven’t started to see the culmination of your efforts you’re lying, not to John, but to yourself. It’s not luck, its not timing, its not coming from the right family or having the right name (I suppose those can help, but how many children of rich families succeed at something other than publicity, why would they have any desire?) but its believing nothing else but achieving your goal is possible. We all spend money, chasing the latest “You must have this…” but how many act on it? How many sit down and don’t get up again until they have a website, or a product, or a new sales page (or any sales page) or launch ready to go? 1%? 0.5 of 1%? I’m sure John knows (if he’s even still reading this!).

    Finally, I think along with the desire to succeed is the desire to be part of something, some community, to belong. Successful people don’t hang around together because they have to, but because it makes sense. You hang with those that share common interests, that have common goals. And they all share that same desire, to be the best, to be the most successful, to be at the top. Some people play the relaxed hippie very well but guaranteed, they know every single thing that is going on with their empire and they don’t let anything slip through the cracks. Mistakes get made, technology happens (STSE2 anyone?) but that’s life. The never ending drive to be successful can’t end, because it’s a goal at the end of the horizon. It’s the ultimate goal. You reach the milestones you have set on the road to success but the job is never finished.

  • Isaac says:

    First of all forgive my English, not my mother language.

    I’m with Greg (who wrote at the start of the comments).

    It’s the necessity of inmortality, of beating the crap of death and oblivion leaving a remarkably legacy and print in those who knew us and others beyond.

    When you face you’re not gonna be here forever there is no other option than to succeed, inspire and show people that it can be possible, you can beat mediocrity and you can be much more than everybody says, leaving a trace here that can be remembered by all you reach…

    So in the end you’re unconciously trying to become inmortal 😉

    Mmmmhhh, maybe I was a bit over the top because re-reading this it seems like an arm wrestling competition with death 😛

  • Effrim says:

    But why? You could jump off the Eiffel Tower and be famous or do something nasty to a well known person and be famous/immortal. But why do they do it? I am sure there are people out there making as much or more as Frank and Andy and Brad and whomever, possibly people that John has mentored that none of us has ever heard of, and they like it that way. So what is the answer to John’s question that they all, the famous and not-so-famous successful people, have in common?

  • peter murphy says:

    To find out what is possible for you. How high can you fly?

    We are playing with our sense of reality and turning ideas into something real by exercising creative power. We change the world to our vision of how it can be.

  • barnabas ng says:

    the desire to out do the previous results.

    Any entrepreneur would not only want to have a successful campaign but also to achieve a better result than the previous campaign.

  • Coronado Cookie says:

    Although I am on a quest for geographical and financial freedom, what really drives me is the desire for self-fulfillment.

  • Emeka says:

    Proving all the naysayers wrong. Everyone who ever snickered at my goals or doubted my dreams will eat their words when I succeed.

    Tell me I can’t do something and I’ll move Mt. Everest to get it done just to prove you wrong.

    I bet that’s the biggest motivator for the top money makers or any endeavor really.

  • netkickstart says:

    Fascination with human psychology. You know, the triggers, motivations, etc., etc.. Heck, it’s clearly interesting to all of us here trying to get to the heart of entrepreneurial drive (and what you feel it to be). 😉

  • Sharon B. says:

    Hi John—
    I would have to guess it’s guts. It takes a lot of balls to leave the security of a steady paycheck to go for what you really want in life, especially when you don’t know what the outcome will be.
    Or maybe it’s faith. Entrepreneurialism is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a certain measure of faith to keep on going when there’s no visible results, (like the immediate feedback of a weekly paycheck) especially when you have everybody and their brother telling you to give it up and get a real job.
    For myself, aside from the above, I am driven by the desire to create a life that contains the freedom to choose how I wish to live, rather than being dictated by outside circumstances. To get to that place, I am willing to work my ass off now, and God help anybody who gets in my way.
    I am looking forward to reading your answer! I suppose it’s too late to ask if I’m on the right track, yes? 🙂

  • Harlan says:

    Holy Cow. I’ve checked back to see if anyone got it and I’m amazed.

    I’m trying my hardest not to do my Arnold Horschack imitation and go, “Oh Mr. Kotter.”

    But I know what did it for me.

    Great response John to a question.

    Waiting to see you on Twitter.

    And guys, if you don’t have John’s stuff – I’ll tell you what John told me many years ago.

    “Stop screwing around.”

    I became an Insider and never looked back.

    Just do what the man says and you’ll never regret it.


    Got to do some yoga.

    John Carlton replies:

    A couple of guys nailed it, of course. I know you know it, because we’ve talked about it alot (and you even mentioned it in a recent email to your list).

    Don’t pull a hamstring…


  • […] to outrageous success This is the question that John Carlton is asking on his blog. John Carlton?s Big Damn Blog Blog Archive Quiz Time He goes on… "In other words? what fuels the mind of the typical rich, famous, and happy, […]

  • Melanie says:

    Good mind stretching discussions on your blog John. Thanks.

    My motivation is control. I’m the one who takes the path less travelled by. I’m the one who leads. The path I choose is the adventure and the greatest reward. Whether I find treasure along the way or not; I’m the Indiana Jones of my own life.


  • Kevin Rogers says:

    I remember being 13, looking at my mother through the mirror as she cut my hair, and saying…

    “You know what my biggest fear in life is, Ma?”

    “What’s that, Son?”

    “Being bored.”

    25 years later, that fear still drives me.

  • Jeffery Ellis says:


  • Lance says:

    Definite purpose, burning desire, drive, what ever you want to call it. I think Michael Jordan described it as a fire in his belly.

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