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4 Types of Head Trash that Cripple Your Ability to Make Money Today

  • Jarom AdairJarom Adair

“What the hell!?!” you yell at your computer.

It only takes a glance to see your bank account is in worse shape this month than it was last month.

You were supposed to be making really good money by now, not scratching to make a living. Not after all the work you’ve put in.

And yet every day is a struggle.

How do I make money today?

What if things never take off? What if you just don’t have what it takes? What if your family dismisses you and lumps you in with your crazy Uncle Bob? He still talks about making his millions in business even as he moonlights as a Wal-Mart greeter.

You do not want to be like Uncle Bob. “Please,” you pray fervently. “Don’t let me be him…”

And yet you’re certainly heading in that direction.

So what’s the problem?

Taking out the trash…

More often than not the problem is the junk you hold in your mind that cripples your ability to make money today.

If you’re not making the money you want, see if you’re dealing with any of the garbage below and then discover how to take that trash out of your head.

1) Perfect trash

“I’ve got a million dollar idea!” I practically giggle with glee to myself. “This is amazing! I’m going to be rich! I’ve got to plan out what I’ll say in my interview with Forbes when they publish my story…”

I’ve spent more time admiring my perfect ideas, living in my perfect world, and talking to throngs of perfect admirers about my perfect life than I care to admit.

We want things to be perfect.

In our heads, we can achieve perfection in our business and our lives. Every idea works perfectly and yields perfect results. We’ve got our beach house, our sports car, or our long vacations with our family at our beach house we drove to in our sports car. This perfect world of ours is stress-free and worry-free. We get what we want when we want it.

It’s so wonderful, in fact, that many of us spend a lot of time there. We can see it so clearly in our minds, that our brains don’t know the difference between our vivid imaginations and reality.

Ordinarily this imagination of ours is a liability because when we wake up and our daydreams are replaced by reality, our brains naturally experience a feeling of loss. We want to return to our perfect life in our heads instead of work on the imperfect one we’re living now.

But if you find yourself giving success speeches about achievements you have not yet earned, or living in that house you cannot yet afford, there is one way to use this to your advantage…

Use that amazing imagination of yours not to escape, but to solve the problems in front of you. You’ve got the power to create entire realities in your mind, so use it to see yourself making that important call or implementing that marketing strategy. Imagine yourself doing it, and then repeat.

If you’ve already envisioned yourself taking this important action many times, your brain won’t know the difference between that and reality. Doing it in real life will be a piece of cake. As far as your mind is concerned, you’re an old pro.

This is how you use the power of your brain to make more money today and create a reality for yourself that you will want to wake up to.

2) Comparison junk

“Why is this taking so long?” I ask nobody in particular, looking at my business and it’s marked lack of success. “I should be farther than this by now. Look at Danny Iny – he’s still in his 20’s and he’s a marketing god. What’s my @!#?@! problem?”

Comparing myself to others who are younger, richer, or more famous than I am is my favorite way to ruin my day. You can see me in action here (the video on that link will make you laugh… or possibly cry, depending on your business experience).

Have you been there?

We focus in on one aspect of our life we don’t like and make unfavorable comparisons.

Like a couple of toddlers arguing over the same toy in a room full of things to play with, suddenly we’ve forgotten all the good things we have around us by focusing on that one thing the other kid has. This often leads to being jealous of others, withholding gratitude and praise for the good things we find, and buying things we can’t afford to make up for it.

Likewise, we might compare ourselves to people who haven’t achieved what we have. This may lead to feelings or superiority, cause us to base our self worth on the opinions of others, or stop us from achieving all we could have achieved if we weren’t comparing ourselves to others.

Whether we’re comparing ourselves to the people on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or “Hoarders”, either way the results set us back. To truly excel, the only way to make comparisons is to leave others out of the equation and compete with ourselves. That means doing something every day that moves us beyond where we were the day before.

What are the most critically important items can you complete today that will move you ahead of where you were yesterday?

Each morning pick 1-3 key tasks that, if completed, you could call the day a success. Then focus on those important items first before you do anything else. Leave your daily to-do’s for after you’re done with the critical items.

Complete the most important things first each day, the rate at which you progress will skyrocket, and the money will quickly follow.

3) Emotional garbage

“I hate my job.” I’d say to myself, feeling like I was wasting my time each day working for somebody else. “I hate being poor. I hate not being there for my family. I hate not being able to do what I want to do.”

  • Some of us use hate to fuel our progress. We hate our jobs, our bosses, our parents, our situation in life…
  • Some of us use blame to discharge our pain. We blame the economy, other businesses, greedy wealthy people, lazy poor people, dumb politicians, stupid customers…
  • Some of us use fear to keep ourselves in safe territory. We fear making mistakes that others will see, rejection, difficulty, pain, failure…
  • We also often fear success, or more specifically the side effects of success, which can bring more mistakes, rejection, and difficulty into our lives…

Most often we use a combination of all these things. For a long time I thought focusing my negative emotions to burn a hole through my bosses head was a good way to drive myself to make more money.

But focusing on negative emotions has only one outcome–we spend so much time hating, blaming, or fearing things that we don’t have energy left over at the end of the day to work on changing our circumstances.

Emotions, especially negative ones, burn a lot of energy that we could otherwise put towards our success. What we need to understand is that these difficult times in our lives are some of the best times we’ll have. Speak to any successful person about their life history, and each one of them will tell you their most difficult times were where they learned and grew the most. They’re actually grateful for the difficult times that pushed them and stretched them. Those times were necessary to achieve what was yet to come.

In fact, that is the key to dampening negative emotions. Look at your difficulties with gratitude and be thankful for them as if you’ve already pushed through them. If you view obstacles as if you already overcame them and now you’re looking for the important lessons they hold, your fears and the inclination to blame or hate will disappear.

This turns negative times into positive energy to put towards making the money you’re looking for.

4) Procrastination rubbish

“It’s 5:30pm already?” I check the other clock in my office to get a second opinion. “The day is over and I have accomplished NOTHING!”

I have spent entire days being distracted with everything except the things I know I need to do. And if the rest of the week was a wash, I’ll take Friday completely off and say “Heck with it. I’ll start again next week!”

We each have our preferred ways to distract ourselves. We surf the internet, daydream for a while, watch stupid videos…anything but the things we know we need to be doing. And a lot of times our procrastination efforts are “good things”. We clean our work space, read something educational, eat something, or message an old friend.

We may also make excuses or rationalize not doing things, enter “analysis paralysis”, or feel we need to gather more information before we can act. Sometimes we sit around analyzing why we don’t take action: “Why is it that I don’t want to do this thing?” I’ll ponder to myself for 20 minutes while I continue to not do that thing.

Whatever it is we do to procrastinate, the result is the same–the more we put things off, the more inclined we are to put things off.

Here’s how to take this trash out of your head…

Have you ever wasted your time away, and then panicked at the end?

You suddenly start ripping through your to-do list at lightning speed and then you hate to quit because you’re on a roll? Ever done that?

That’s actually the key to beating procrastination.

The key to beating procrastination is “action”. Action begets more action, and suddenly we’re rocking and rolling. Make a to-do list of important items and start at the top. Start your work time with this simple action. It will set you up for an extremely effective day.

Likewise, every time that little voice in your head says “I’m wasting my time. I should be doing something productive right now”, that’s your cue to open your to do list and get working on the top item.

A little action snowballs into massive action. And we all know that if you want massive income, you need to take massive action.

The battle for your life begins in your head

You only have one thought in your head at a time, and that’s the thought that counts. Make sure it’s a good one.

Because every time you interrupt a negative thought process with something productive, you rewire your brain for success.

It’s completely up to you.

If you’ve got trash in your head, you’ll never fully win the struggle for success. Take out the trash, and victory is inevitable!

49 thoughts on 4 Types of Head Trash that Cripple Your Ability to Make Money Today


Well, Jarom hooked me before I got through the introduction and #1 Perfect Trash. He’s knows exactly how I think. I really like the idea that our brain doesn’t know the difference between our daydreams and our reality. So in practicing success in my head, I’ll project that in my everyday business dealings.
As a very successful yellow page sales rep having to reinvent herself by learning ‘critically important’ online marketing (#2Comparison Junk), you should see how many phrases I’ve just rewritten (#3 emotional garbage), I appreciate the mental reminders written here. Now, I shall use this as my daily inspirational guidance and (#4) procrastinate no more and take action for success today.

Jarom Adair

If it seems I know exactly how you think Lynn, then that means we both think the same way. 🙂

Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you got some actionable ideas from the post!

Jerry Dominguez

Here’s some guidance for helping you get rid of those negatives in your mind that are obstacles to your success…. the tips and guidance you receive are like gold. It’s great stuff. Re-read the article twice and practice the tips often.

For help “when you can’t do everything”!

My business has increased it’s profit and cash flow with Jarom’s personal guidance.

Jarom Adair

Is it still shameless promotion if someone else does it?

Jerry and I have been working together for years. Thank you Jerry! 🙂


As far as “perfect” goes, I believe someone at Apple said something to the effect “you have to ship crappy. If you wait until everything’s perfect, you’ll never ship anything,” Wouldn’t advise shipping crappy, because you may never get that customer. But, you’re right, you can’t wait for perfection. I’m a big procrastinator, and you’re right again when you say “action” is what’s needed Action begets more action. Thanks for information and pep talk. I’m going to take the trash out — Monday.

Jarom Adair

Thanks for the quote Les, and the insight. I’m glad the pep talk has inspired action–on Monday…


GudStuf–true in every area of life, professional and private. A clean summary of several ideas from philosophy and psychology and an inspiring motivational to start the day.

Jarom Adair

Thanks Rebecca–I spent a lot of time putting it together so I’m glad it worked for you!


Thanks for the authenticity of this post. Although what I’m about to say breaches all the blog comment rules I know, (because it’s blatant self-promotion) I HAVE to say it because it’s WHAT we do.

Here goes:

If anyone reading this has similar trash in their mind like the kind Jarom mentioned you NEED to replace these limiting thought patterns with Rational Optimism. Get the free course here because it WORKS. And becuase we love you and noone should have to battle inner negativity…it just holds ya back.

Have a beautiful day and thanks for letting me self-promote. It’s just too relevant not to.


Hey Cece, don’t worry, we don’t have a problem with a little hyper-relevant self-promotion. 😉

Jarom Adair

Checking it out now…


Oh.. I’m guilty of all 4.. 🙁 Definitely a good post! Thanks for this Jarom!

Jarom Adair

Me too Christina, which was why I was able to write this. Nothing like a laundry list of bad habits to make for a good article. 🙂


Hahah.. very true. 🙂

Now if I can just implement the necessary methods to overcome these 4 bad habits. LOL I’ll probably procrastinate on it for a little bit. 😉

Jarom Adair

Love the comments! I’ll be back later today to respond to each of you! Thanks!

Kimberly Houston

Thanks for a great post, Jarom.

You nailed it, especially this: “Have you ever wasted your time away, and then panicked at the end?
You suddenly start ripping through your to-do list at lightning speed and then you hate to quit because you’re on a roll?” That was me all this week! Spot on.

I know all of us — even those we perceive as uber-successful — struggle with some, if not all, of these kinds of head trash at some point in our online careers. When I read about my online mentors and hear that they too have comparison-itis, struggle to get work done, and feel fear around releasing products and so on, I realize I’m in good company. And that makes me do this: Feel the fear, the comparison-itis, and the other assorted head trash, and Do.It.Anyway. Just get into action and do what you gotta do. This has worked for me countless times, especially with procrastination — sometimes it’s as simple as sitting down and writing 3 lines of a blog post to get me headed in the right direction for the day.

I’m usually very good at recognizing the kind of “junk” you talk about here and redirecting my thoughts to a more positive place, but this week I’ve been indulging in the head garbage. Not good. So just yesterday I took myself over to YouTube and watched 3 or 4 videos of my very favorite mentor when it comes to using the power of thought to create what you want in your life — Louise Hay. I highly recommend her gentle, encouraging philosophy for getting rid of the head trash.

I started a practice a few years ago that helps me “take out the garbage” that might be useful to others — I have specific notebook for something I call “Successes This Week,” and every Sunday night I write down things I accomplished that week. These can be big things, but often they’re small — like “published a blog post,” or “sent out weekly newsletter,” or “responded to comments on Facebook,” or “billed two clients,” and so on. When I’m feeling less than productive, I look through that notebook — there’s something about seeing all the little successes piled up week after week after week that lights a fire under my butt and gets me into action. : )

Thanks again for a wonderful post, it’s great to know we’re all dealing with many of the same kinds of issues — that helps me power through the work.

Jarom Adair

I like what you said about looking back at your successes Kimberly (well, I liked everything you wrote, but that particularly). When I finish something on my to-do list, I “tab” it over instead of deleting it:

send email and invoice to Donna
call fred and see what his status is
send rent email to renters
take garbage out

That way I can see all the things I’ve finished. I agree–it’s very motivating to tab each thing over as I finish it and look back over the other tabbed items. Thanks for your thoughts!

Kimberly Houston

Thanks for your kind words, Jarom. I like your idea of “tabbing” things over after you complete them — sounds like a very handy motivater! (Is that even a word? Oh well, it is now.) : )
Take care,

Jarom Adair

If “tabbing” is a word, so is “motivater”. 🙂

Oops–my list of to-do items in my previous comment had the first two items tabbed, but when I submitted it the tabs went away. Use your imagination to see the first two items several spaces to the right…

Kimberly Houston

Aha, now it’s all making sense. ; )

Kimberly Houston

Thanks for that — hahahaha! : )

Jarom Adair

Okay, now I’m wasting time on YouTube. Back to work!


Hey Jason…
Just what I needed this morning…
START SOME GOOD is a platform for social entrepreneurs to launch their mission…
Sometimes the “mind trash” creeps in…
Thanks for the PEP RALLY…
All the best…

Jarom Adair

Awesome! Sounds like a worthy work you’ve got there. Go get ’em Julia!


not Jason…
bleary eyed…
just woke up…
Please forgive…

Jarom Adair

My name looks pretty close to a lot of normal names. So I respond to the name Jason. And Jerome, Jeremy, Jared, etc…

Nida Sea

Wow. I’m totally guilty of all of these, but primarily two, three, and four. Number two has to be the worst one for me. I’ve been able to cut down on the emotional junk and procrastination significantly over the last four years. But, I’m always comparing myself to others who are my age (or younger) and more successful than me. It makes me feel old and that my dreams are just that, dreams. Additionally, with my birthday less than a month away, I feel like the clock is ticking down with each year that passes by… and I’ve only increased my income by 1 percent from the prior year. Great post!

Jarom Adair

Comparing myself with others is my top junk too Nida. I don’t know if you saw the video I linked to in the article. It is all about comparisons, and some of us rip on ourselves mercilessly.

I bet you worked really hard for that 1% increase, didn’t you. I hope you’ve got some good optimism for the future to counteract the reality of the past year. This next year is going to ROCK! Right? 🙂


I think you’re getting cause and effect mixed up with the whole “action is the key to beating procrastination.” People procrastinate when they’re having trouble getting them to take action (truestory!) When they beat it, action naturally follows.

The problem is that you’re not actually giving people a strategy there, just what they should have at the end. We’ve all met the person who is constantly getting frustrated at themselves for not taking more action or being more disciplined. Telling them their problem is that they’re not taking enough action is just going to get them beating themselves up more (and then procrastinating next time even more because it felt so bad last time).

Might I suggest a more practical approach might be:

1. Eliminate distractions
2. Break the task down to just the next, manageable-feeling size step.
3. Do whatever reminds you, *viscerally* (in a way you can feel) *why* the end outcome is important, and how this one simple step still contribute to that.


Jarom Adair

I realize my key to taking action is “taking action”. While that works for me, it might not be so helpful for others. I appreciate your insights Piers, and I’m sure many people out there would better overcome procrastination using your approach.

T.L. Hickman

This is excellent. I do all of this. My website is young (only about 8 months old) and I keep feeling like it should have readers by now. It’s the same with my husband’s new graphic design business. We keep looking at other business and wondering what we’re doing wrong and what they are doing right, even though our work is good and the customers who use our business love our work. I keep asking myself “What does that blog have that mine lacks?” and “What does that graphic designer do that we don’t?” And it definitely gets depressing. It’s based in a fear of rejection, which is one of the things I often write about and still recognize in myself. Thank you for the email with this article. I’m going to send it to my husband. I think everyone can probably see themselves in what you wrote here. Thank you 🙂

Jarom Adair

I hear you T.L. I started out in web design, and the design industry is not an easy one. And on particularly bad days I’d go the opposite way… I’d say “look at those designers. They look like they’re doing well but I don’t see how they possibly could be. They’re probably broke like I am. We’re all going to lose our houses next month.” I’d walk around seeing gloom and failure everywhere. 🙁

But on a brighter note, I did a phone interview yesterday with Danny Iny (the guy who runs this site) and from his perspective you can have a site that’s 8 months old with no readers and still be on the right track. I’ll be sending that interview out by email soon and you may find that your blog is actually serving it’s purpose and you’re moving along just as you should be.

Kimberly Houston

Hey there TL,
I just wanted to pop in here and say don’t get discouraged! (I checked out your site by the way, and it’s lovely, truly.) 8 months isn’t very long. I say this knowing *exactly* how you feel, because even though I’ve been online in some form or fashion since 2007, the blog I set up for my business is, like yours, just 8 months old. I too sometimes feel a teensy bit blue when I check my Google Analytics stats and see the traffic numbers, but what I do is focus on what IS working — even if it’s something small — and do more of that. Which makes me feel better. ; )
Also, if you see that traffic is trending up a little each month, you know you’re doing something right. You have a very good foundation, and I’ll bet by implementing the advice/guidance Danny Iny here on Firepole Marketing (and guest bloggers like Jarom and others!) have to offer, you’ll get more readers. Good luck to you! : )

Sophie Lizard

I’m a real night owl – at times I’ve caught myself twiddling the day away on trivial stuff just so that I can sit outside after dark and zoom through all my work in peace. I promise to start with the important stuff in the morning and see how that works out!

Loved this post, I’m looking forward to finding out more about Solopreneur Marketing. 🙂

Jarom Adair

Haha! I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I’ve learned that lesson Sophie!

If you’ve visited my site I’ll be sending out an email early next week about how, after my wife and kids left town for a while, I totally fell for what you just said. “I get my best work done later in the day.” I told myself. “So I’ll just do fun stuff in the morning…”

…and there goes the rest of the day. 🙂

Barb Zeigler

In my experience it’s rare to find someone with both the insights Jarom wrote about above…and the web and marketing expertise I’ve learned from him over the years.

Jarom Adair

Thanks Barb!

And if anybody is looking to maximize the money they’re making in their business–Barb is the one to talk to…

Catherine Johns

LOVED your video, Jarom. That imp is very familiar …

Jarom Adair

It’s crazy what we say to ourselves, isn’t it? I hope you’ve been able to brush yours off your shoulder Catherine. Making that video actually did a lot to help me deal with mine.

D Hayes

Hi Jarom,
What a fantastic article with a top-notch title to boot! This applies to everyone’s daily life no matter what their day-to-day endeavors are. I particularly like the write-up concerning emotional garbage. I would say that we all go through a time in our lives that emotional garbage plays a part. My only advice to anyone that is in that mind-set is start changing it now. It is not “all about you”, and one will not find personal or business success and happiness till the emotional garbage is thrown out. It never matters how the “Jones” live, they might have fancy cars, great vacations, etc. but do you really know what goes on in their life? Throw out those thoughts and work on your own life. Life is short, wasting time thinking of what others have just sets a person back one more day on achieving their own goals. And actually if you like the “Jones” even though you might spend too much time talking about them behind their back, turn that time around and really get to know them. They just might give you the exact tip you need to propel yourself and your business or job forward.

Jarom Adair

You make several excellent points D. And it seems the people who find happiness in their success and adjust well to it are the ones who aren’t carrying around the emotional garbage in their heads, whereas there are a lot of miserable “successful” people out there who are. It’s hard to tell from the outside, but we really just need to stop looking at others and find happiness in who we are and what we’re doing right now.

Life is too short!

Ryan Biddulph

Every person needs to play these headgames for a bit before becoming a success. Then after becoming successful they still play the headgames. You never get beyond them…because you are human, and prone to doubt, fear, hate, jealousy and blame, along with a host of other negative emotions.

How do you get past these fears? Embrace ’em, and do it anyway. Feel the fear and move forward. Embrace the uncomfortable feelings and proceed. You kill fears by working through them.

Doesn’t make you immune to fear but it does help you familiarize yourself with embracing low energies and acting despite these fears.

I am having a low energy morning. Mind moving 10,000 miles a second. Not enough, not enough, not enough progress the ego bitches. But I see it, observe it, and move forward.

Thanks for sharing your keen insight into a powerful topic Jarom!


Jarom Adair

That’s interesting Ryan. Why, would you say, does every person need to play these head games to become a success? I’d never thought of them as a necessity, but now that you bring it up… well, maybe they are. Care to elaborate?

One thing’s for sure–you don’t progress if you hide from your fears. Face them head-on. I like what you’re saying Ryan!

Ivan Bayross

I loved the head line of the last paragraph in the post.

The battle for your life begins in your head

It caught me by the throat.

As a young man growing up I was taught – Take care of the worst scenario – the best takes care of itself.

Hence, I really did spend a great deal of my life – Looking / planning for the worst scenario – until I think I totally forgot the – Celebrate the best scenario.

Today at 60years of age I’ve realized how true your words are:
Every time you interrupt a negative thought process with something productive, you rewire your brain for success

Well they say – Man is a learning (re-learning?) animal. After reading this brilliant post, I’ve realized that its high time I stopped catering to at the – Worst possible scenario – and began – Celebrating the best possible scenario.

What do you know – I’m rewiring my brain for success, and – Its Working.

Thank you Jarom.

Jarom Adair

One of the most amazing abilities humans have (that you’ve exhibited here Ivan) is to be able to “think about what we’re thinking about”. I think you’ve made a great discovery Ivan.

That’s a great site you’ve got there at I’d say you’ve got a lot to celebrate about!

Ivan Bayross

Thank you Jarom. Always appreciate all that you do for me.

Ken Lind

Wow … All I can say is that you, Jarom, have a great way with words. I suspect that there are a vast number of ways to load our brain down with garbâge (as opposed to garbage) because we don’t think of it as trash. Our personal thoughts and thinking belong to us, therefore they must be OK. Wrong! Try considering everything from an external perspective. You might be surprised.

Mom told me that my thoughts were like a bank account. If I deposited bad thoughts (garbâge) it would grow interest. Good thoughts also grow interest. I always listen to Mom. I have added Jarom to my list of mentors. Think great stuff and then ACT ON IT! I did and it works.


Thanks for the kick in the a$$. Love this advice, especially this tidbit: “Complete the most important things first each day.”

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