Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

Latest Articles:  Stopping the Black Swan Can You Become a New Person?

Kevin Hogan on Succeeding by Firing Enough Rockets Success happens in part because people continually attempt new approaches and new ideas. Every person potentially has lots of ideas and approaches to ideas in their arsenal and can easily learn how to get more of them up into the air.

I like to think of these as “rockets.”

Rockets in the Arsenal of Success

What specifically is a rocket?

A rocket is a project. It’s a project that you can do that, done fairly well with some momentum and planning, will break orbit and do something great for your life and those around you.

When I first started “writing books”, I wrote two books that never got published and I wisely decided not to put them on my own small publishing company’s list of books to put in print. They just weren’t going to be well accepted if they made it into the public.



Outright failures?

You bet.

Could they have done well had they gotten in print?

No. Books don’t do anything but sit in stock until you sell them. Once you’ve written a book, all you’ve done is built the shell of the rocket. You haven’t built the propulsion system or done the crucial planning to get Curiosity to Mars. And as the author, you have to market and sell your book. You have to build the propulsion system, then create a guidance system to get the big thing to the Red Planet.

In other words, I created 1/3 of a rocket…a rocket shell really…twice. Or looking at it another way. Two rockets, none fired.

Then I figured it out.

I wrote three books almost contemporaneously.

I wrote The Psychology of Persuasion, Life by Design and The Gift.

I loved all three books. I had a shell, a propulsion system and a planned strategy for each of the books.

Three rockets all fired.

Immediately The Gift, which is a wonderful little book, fell down. It failed in the financial sense. A couple thousand copies were sold, I took it out of print and later would give the book away to visitors at as a gift. Over a quarter million copies were given away. The rocket fired, but it didn’t break orbit.

Life by Design was next. It was a wonderful, big book. But it was the same story. The rocket fired but, it didn’t break orbit.

The Psychology of Persuasion? Most people know that story better than I do. 247 publishers said “no.” It took almost 5 YEARS to get into print. Finally Pelican Publishing picked it up and made it available to the public. I built the best propulsion system I possibly could.

The book was accepted very slowly. It took almost two years to sell 10,000 copies. Then momentum began. That means work that I wasn’t doing was helping to sell the book. Word of mouth kicked in, and the book went worldwide.

Three rockets. All launched. Two fell back to earth, one broke orbit and made it to Mars like Curiosity did last week. (However, never plan a spaceship landing during the Olympics, because almost no one will see it happen. That was a great free marketing lesson for all people in business.)

Five rockets. One was truly successful.

You fire off rockets in life if you want to succeed. Otherwise, you are stuck in the Hamster Wheel.

What do you do next after your rocket breaks orbit? What do you do when one rocket reaches it’s destination and fulfills the mission for which it was created?

You build and fire off more rockets.

Some fail. Some succeed. Obviously, you want all of your rockets to break orbit and get to their destination to fulfill their mission. But nothing in life works like that.

Even after succeeding with The Psychology of Persuasion, I had much better rockets that failed. It happens to everyone. The fact is, however, that more rockets made it to their destinations than did not. Once you “get good” at building and firing off rockets, more accomplish their purpose. Experience is always required.

And you never quit firing off rockets.

Is the clock ticking?

You hate your hamster wheel that you go to every day, but have been putting off leaving because you are afraid you won’t make as much money somewhere else. Or perhaps simply fearful of leaving what is very familiar, maybe even “comfortable”, and coupling that with the concerns of what is new and unfamiliar.

Kevin Hogan on Success, Achievement and Wealth Factors When you are suffering every day and do nothing to improve your situation for no good reason other than fear of change…. then, it is time to get ready to fire a rocket.

Caution: Follow Through Is Key to Success

I want to make sure you understand that beginning a project or THE project, or business, TODAY, is REALLY important. THIS IS the difference between success and failure.

It’s very difficult to “start it” tomorrow when you realized the necessity today and then you just clicked the “pause” button.

As you know, the same thing happens all the time with the pause button. It stays there for 3-10 minutes and then the TV show on the channel kicks in over the DVD…or it just goes off.

The DVD goes off.

No more movie.

The TV comes back on. You turn the DVD player back on in a bit and with most DVD players, this is when it starts over at the beginning…not picking up where you left off.

Interestingly, superior DVD players pick up right where you left off because they have been programmed to pick up where they leave off.

(Are you one of those DVD players?)

You know the answer far better than I do. How about the people you coach?

A Little Each Day Leads to….Failure?

Actions can be rendered impotent by starting a project or small business and then not finishing the process of carrying it out to it’s completion.

More importantly, actions can be rendered impotent by setting out to do something and then doing “a little each day.”

The problem with this old notion is that most people are only used to doing a little each day and in order to build anything into success whether your kids wanting to become ice skaters or gymnasts, you wanting to learn Karate or Kung Fu, wanting to start a small business, wanting to write the book….all require the same basic actions and reference points.

So what matters TODAY…not like, I’ll do that tomorrow…like…TODAY?

You must begin.

You must continue, today, beyond some point of comfort.

This means that when you “get tired,” or friends call or the door bell rings, you continue on what you were doing. The crucial piece here is that you are teaching your nonconscious brain that YOU are running your own brain now, and are no longer in reactive mode.

Reactive mode is where something in the environment happens and you take your attention from what you are doing to what is random.

Certainly there are good things about external awareness beyond your current task. But most people are still compelled to pick up the phone, answer the door, or do just about anything instead of something they are working on that is new and then a little uncomfortable.

The Fine Art of Training An Unconscious Mind.

You Can Train Your Brain

Training your nonconscious brain to “wait” for YOUR decisions is very important. As soon as you create the new habit, the nonconscious mind will indeed take over for you and it won’t “look back.”

Success, Achievement and Wealth Factors One of my greatest frustrations in life is watching people FINALLY moving out of their comfort zone, FINALLY beginning the journey to ANYTHING other than their current misery, and then they STOP.

They literally stop in traffic, look at the cars coming and they look at the undercarriage of the cars as they get run over because they didn’t assess the results of their initial action and then follow through with the next logical ACTION.

Someone writes a book. They get it into print and then they do nothing to sell it. Thus, wasting hundreds of precious life hours to create a leverage instrument only to tell the world that their life-time is not important.

Instead, they might start ANOTHER DIFFERENT project and the result will be the same.

Example: “How ya’ doin’ Kev?”

“Listen Kev, I’m tired. I think I’ll take a break.”


This is where most disasters begin.

“Tired” and “Break” need to stop going hand in hand.

Obviously, you need breaks in the course of the day. But you need to schedule those breaks into your day at the beginning of the day…for the life-day that you are in charge of.

What to Teach Your Brain?

You must teach your nonconscious brain that it is getting new programming…TODAY.

What’s cool is that the nonconscious part of your brain will become your ally in just a few weeks, sometimes less, doing all the “thinking” for you again with all of your new programming.

But it won’t have any reason to pull the plug on old programming if you do “a little each day” or go back to the stimulus response of “tired”/”break.”

Sustained Momentum Leads to Success

Once your nonconscious mind is retrained, you’ll start to develop a bit of momentum.

Momentum is crucial.

Momentum is truly the beginning of success. It’s the first sprout of the seeds you plant.

Example: I write a book. THAT process includes tons of actions every day for months, all of which lead to absolutely nothing when you are finished writing the book. (Really!)

When you are done writing the book, even having it edited, you have now accomplished… nothing.

You haven’t built momentum.

…so just how DO you build momentum?

You haven’t even cracked the door of momentum!

You now have to sell the book to a publisher or publish it yourself.

And now….

…you still have accomplished nothing.

Even if the publisher paid you an advance (not the case on the vast majority of books in print), you still have accomplished….nothing.

You have done nothing to build momentum.

Most people think that their work is now done at this point. And that’s why only about 1/2 of all books ever sell out of their first print run of even a small number of books like 5000.

Nothing has happened…

The ILLUSION of “happened,” is there but it is indeed an illusion.

Only when you take the dozens of daily actions that it takes to get your book into other people’s hands have you begun to build momentum.

No momentum, no achievement.

Everything you do from writing the first chapter of the book to getting it to the publisher has absolutely no value, and, to the publisher, it has negative value because they paid to print the books!

You’ve done THOUSANDS of actions to come to the point of ZERO.

Those actions lay the foundation for potential success, but they are only the foundation, and success is only possible, contingent on NOW BEGINNING.

This is where 97% of people quit.

The book arrives at the door. I open it up, “looks cool.”

We are now at zero.

Now comes the part where you determine whether your child (book) will be successful or not.

You are now at a Decision Point.

You’ve spent a year writing, rewriting, editing, researching, developing and so forth…and yet TODAY you begin.

This is the same for the gymnast who trains for a decade to get to the point where there can possibly be a reward for having worked her whole young life.

So the author starts doing radio shows and TV shows and seminars and teleseminars and podcasts and pretty soon the book picks up a little momentum.

The snowball at the top of the mountain slowly begins to dawdle down the slope, it begins to get a little bigger…little by little…slowly and then all of a sudden it’s huge and moving on it’s own.

You’ve NOW reached…

Turn the page for the Tipping Point.

You’ve reached…the Tipping Point.

Momentum is now in control. It (the book, the project, the gymnast) has a life of it’s own.

This is the point that everyone dreams about in life and yet never does the things necessary to get the snowball to the top of the mountain in the first place.

Tipping Yourself to Success

The Tipping Point happens, and the world is different now.

They start calling you instead of you calling them.

You are now in demand.

You have what they want now instead of them having what you want.

The world is very different from here on out.

This is what happens when, under the correct circumstances and rules, you fire off your arsenal of rockets for success.


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