Why Modeling Successful People Doesn’t Always Work (& What To Do Instead)

Posted on: December 17th, 2018

Welcome to a new episode of the Lifestyle Breakthroughs podcast! You can listen to the episode on Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts, or you can read the episode below. Enjoy!

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FULL Script – 

Welcome to episode 4: why modeling successful people doesn’t always work. A lot of gurus out there tell you to model successful people and if you model them and you do the same things as the successful people does, you should get the same results right?

This is true in some sense, but it doesn’t always work. First of all, let me explain what modeling is. I’m not talking about fashion shows or walking on the runway. Modeling is basically copying the behavior of other people and doing the same things and then according to NLP you get the same results.

Let’s say that you see someone who is a multimillionaire and you want to become a multimillionaire as well. You decide to model this person. You are going to look for things that you can copy in your life, like the actions, the thoughts and beliefs that this person has and then you’ll get the same results, right? And you will be a millionaire as well. 

Can you already see the issue with this? 

That’s right, how can you know the thoughts and beliefs and actions of this successful millionaire person to copy? So you might tell me, Bart, that’s easy. I can interview this person, or take one of their books and courses and they tell me exactly what to do. 

Well, good luck interviewing that millionaire. Even if you did managed to get them for an interview, they’re not going to tell you everything or be able to tell everything they thought and did. Even if you bought a book or course by them on how to get rich, maybe they actually got rich selling that course, and they don’t tell you that! A lot of internet marketers work this way. They showcase their rich lifestyle, which people like to have. And they tell you, just buy my 2000$ course and I teach you how. But they actually got rich selling lots of these $2000 courses on how to get rich. It’s a scam, and I speak from personal experience. I have bought plenty of these courses and they basically teach the same fluff strategies that don’t work. 

So why doesn’t modeling (always) work?

First of all, to become successful in any area of your life, like your health, in business, in a relationship, with money, etc, you need the right mindset. Often  successful people had a really big enough why, they had hunger for success. They had their backs against the wall and didn’t mind to do anything to make it happen. The biggest portion of any success is your mindset. If you just do strategies and fail, and you don’t have this hunger for success, you will simply give up. 

Secondly, what worked for this person today, will not necessarily work tomorrow. And let me give you two examples from my own life. When I was 17 and moved to Australia I saw that there was a big housing crisis. Many people wanted to live in Sydney for a while and needed affordable housing. I saw an opportunity to rent a big house, put a couple of beds in each room and fill this need. And while I did this I lived for free and made some cash. When I left the country many years later, my good friend took over the house. But because of the economy, the rent and utility costs increased a lot and now these cost are almost double as it was when I was there. At the same time competition increased, everyone wants to make money now, with Airbnb and house sharing. So if I would come back today I wouldn’t be able to earn money with the way I did it. 

But then I could say: I’m going to create a course to teach people how to sublease their home To make hundreds of dollars profit a week. That’s just unethical, because I know it doesn’t work anymore. But that’s what some gurus do. 

Another personal example is ebooks. When the Amazon kindle was released I saw an opportunity to outsource ebooks and sell them on amazon. Since there were no ebooks yet, I made thousands of dollars a month. But now everyone is doing it, so my income dropped to just a few bucks a month, even tough I wrote many more books and spend a lot on marketing. 

But hey, I can create a course on how to make thousands of dollars a month in passive income with writing ebooks! I believe this is very unethical and that’s why I never created this course, because I know people won’t get that result. I also know I could have be much richer today if I made that course. I rather teach things that work rathe than a bunch of crap just to get peoples money.

So know that if you model successful people, they could have done the right thing at the right time. But if it’s the wrong time now, you can do the right thing, but don’t get that result that they enjoyed. 

Thirdly, there are so many other factors. Perhaps this person is good looking and speaks well and draws a lot of customers with their charms. But if you don’t have that, you won’t get the same results, even if you say the same things that they did. Or how about Location, connections, knowledge, experience, beauty, age, etc. etc. I hope you get the point that copying what other people do won’t necessarily give you the same results. 

So instead of modeling other people to become successful, what CAN you do?

First of all, be crystal clear on what you truly want. Make sure that this goal is truly inspiring to you and that it’s not just a goal because some guru is showing you their garage with 15 Lamborghinis and you feel envious of getting this too. If this goal is inspiring to you, great! But for me I know I can only drive one car at a time and I don’t need all these maintenance costs and stress in my life, for which I need to sell lots of get rich quick courses to finance. That’s not inspiring to me. 

You don’t need to look for other people to find out what you truly want. Your life is already showing you what’s important to you. Perhaps you want to travel the world and you already travel a bit. Or you want to raise a beautiful family, and you already plan this. Or you want a magnificent relationship, so you go on dates already to find out who is compatible. This is called inspiration, it comes from inside of you. Motivation comes from outside of you and never last. 

What is it that you truly, truly want and that inspires you?

Secondly, start with developing the right mindset. How do you do this? Instead of asking, how can I do this, focus on why do I want this. If you want to be a millionaire, why do you want to be one? Keep thinking about this why, and you can even start to write this down. This way you create inspiration and hunger from within. You create a cause for success, a big enough reason to start pursuing your goal. 

And slowly but surely you will change your life around this goal. You start to think differently. You hang out with other people. You read different stuff. You take different actions. You fail and try something else. You build your network, etc. etc. And within time your goal is reality. 

Thirdly, find a mentor that you can learn from instead who inspires you and don’t just model any random person with the same result. Don’t look for gurus that just motivate you, look for teachers and people that inspire you and already have these results. And try it out! Look them up on YouTube and follow some of the strategies they teach. Try it out, if you get results and they inspire you, perhaps buy their course or connect with them. But don’t just buy a $2000 course by someone you don’t know and who you can’t personally connect with and ask questions when you need help. Often these are scams. The best teachers out there want you to be successful and they provide support instead of just taking your money and ignore you. 

To summarize:

  1. What is it that you truly want and that inspires you?
  2. Start getting into the right mindset by having plenty of reasons for you to achieve that goal. Take your time to do this and keep writing answers to your “why do I want this” question. 
  3. Find a mentor or person who inspires you and look them up. Try some of their free stuff, see if it works and if you get results, if it doesn’t, find another teacher and another strategy. Until you found the right thing to do at the right time that is suitable for you. 

Love & wisdom,


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