175: How to Crush Your Fears of Writing with Madison Reeves

From Trailer Park to Tesla

“I always want to be able to continue to push and realize my full potential. I think that every single one of us was put on this earth to be able to do something bigger than themselves and help other people.” – Madison Reeves

One day, Madison Reeves looked around her rundown mobile home and asked herself, “Is it going to be like this forever?”

By age 19, she had already accomplished every milestone expected of her in the tiny town where she lived. She had gotten married, and had worked — and gotten fired from — several jobs, leaving her to face this uncomfortable question.

And at that moment, her mindset shifted, changing her life as she knew it.

She left her hometown and set her sights on becoming a successful real estate agent — which she did — and wrote a book, “Project Badass,” that she discusses on this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead.”

On Finding Your Passion — And Standing Your Ground

At age 17, newlywed Madison was in the process of buying her first house when she realized she was fascinated by it, honing in on real estate as a potential career. As soon as she turned 18, she earned her real estate license and got to work.

While some agents might sell a single house in their first year, she sold five in just six months, she told me during our interview, but she wasn’t happy with the money she was making on her team. She was barely treading water.

So, she stood up for herself and changed teams, allowing her to move forward with a growth mindset in that new environment — breaking free from small mindset expectations that defined her youth. She was able to walk away from low-paying jobs and start her entrepreneurial journey.

With her transformation and success came losing some friends and family who didn’t agree with the values she now held and the person she had become. But now that she had stepped into abundant life, she found herself surrounded by others who shared the same growth mindset.

If you want to attract like-minded people, put that energy out into the world first — and cut out people who don’t agree with your values. This was a difficult transition for Madison, but she realized it was a step she needed to take in order to move forward.

The Crab Bucket Theory

In her journey, Madison developed what she calls the “crab bucket theory.” It goes like this:

If you put one crab in a bucket, it can easily climb out. But if you add more crabs to the bucket, they pull each other back down. Psychologically, this is how we — like the crabs — can hold each other back from success, sometimes without even knowing it.

For us, the bucket is our comfort zone — comprising the environment we’re in and the people we’re with — and since we feel comfortable here, or at least familiar with our lives, we don’t realize they could be limiting us. Like the crabs, though, once we become aware of our situation, we are capable of getting out of it and creating the life we are called to live.

First Steps Toward Success

Most of us want to have wealth, abundance, and success in all areas of our lives. But, sometimes, we feel inadequate, or don’t know where to start.

Madison explained that the first step toward your own transformation is realizing that you are stuck in the crab bucket — and that is what is holding you back. It feels comfortable and safe, but it is keeping you stuck. Growing up in a poor family, she recognized that there was no initiative or desire to better themselves or reach for a better life, and she learned how to be independent at a young age.

She shared her childhood stories not to evoke pity, but to show our listeners that if she can come from next to nothing and grow into a success story by age 19, they can do it, too. And once she started achieving her goals, despite others not believing in her, she asked herself, “Why can’t I push myself further and further?”

So, she did.

Building Your Dreams

Madison’s aspirations to keep achieving big goals still terrifies her, she told me. Even though her life is now leaps and bounds beyond what she had even a year ago, it’s still not enough, she said, and she continues to push forward, even though it’s scary.

This forward momentum is always to achieve, what Madison describes as, “an extraordinary life.” When she sets a goal, she envisions both it and the bigger picture. Sit down and think about what you would like your life to look like in 10 years, then reverse engineer it to determine what needs to happen in order to achieve that ideal life. Break those down into one-year and five-year increments, which makes the goal seem more manageable.

“Success is simple,” she said, “not easy.”

Finding a Mission Bigger Than Yourself

Some days, life can feel impossible. It can be easy to just give up and not want to fight for anything. For Madison, she turns to her “why,” a mission that’s bigger than herself in order to forge ahead. By working for something bigger than a paycheck, she can remind herself that she’s not just in it for herself — that there are others counting on her. 

For us at Authors Who Lead, we have a motto: “People over Paper.” We’re nurturing people, not the pages of the books we publish. Our mission is to impact 1 million people through our authors, not a certain number of books sold.

We know our work is bigger than us, which helps us show up.

Why Training Your Subconscious is Important

Your subconscious mind receives information all around you as facts — and so, if you train your subconscious mind to the life you want to live, rather than the one you currently have, you can continue to grow, Madison said.

“So just like an affirmation, if I tell myself that I am going to be wealthy, my subconscious mind is going to receive that as a fact and act upon it,” she explained.

Whether you are just starting to work toward abundance and success, or have been trying for a while, there are always bumps in the road. Madison’s advice is to have tools at the ready for those days when doubt seeps in. For her, those tools are mentors, webinars, training, and following people on social media who are living the life she wants.

But just as important as having those tools is being crystal clear on your big “why,” so that your subconscious mind can help you move forward, even if you don’t have those tools ready to go.

Madison’s Writing Journey

​​Madison had always been a lifelong reader and imagined she would write a book someday — but she wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. When she heard me on a podcast talking about my own book-writing journey, she reached out and joined one of our coaching groups.

Through the process, we got curious about her upbringing and the success she achieved at an early age, and her book began to take shape, born out of those months of transformation. She hopes to inspire her readers to push through their own obstacles and challenges, until they reach the extraordinary life they desire.

“You just have to push them aside and not stop for anything,” she said of the difficulties we all face. 

One of the writing challenges that Madison overcame was that her own book, and the subsequent rewrites, made her emotional — which drained her, as she is not normally an emotional person. She pushed through, writing late into the night, and found the process to be transformative, she said.

Advice for Aspiring Authors

Madison urges every author to find someone to keep them accountable during their writing journey. It would’ve been too easy to just give up while writing until 3 a.m., only to get up for her day job four hours later — or when the book forced her to face emotions she hadn’t felt in a long time.

By setting goals and being accountable, she persevered and attributes finishing her book to her coaching group here at Authors Who Lead. Being a successful author is about committing to what you really want and not settling for anything less.

As you write your book, keep in mind my greatest takeaways from this conversation with Madison:

  1. Get out of your comfort zone so that you can allow your life to be transformed from average to extraordinary.
  2. Remember that, sometimes, you have to let go of other people who hold you back from success.
  3. Choosing to be successful, wealthy, ambitious, or believing you can succeed is all built around the mindset that you create.

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you ever afraid you’ll never finish writing the book that’s in your heart? How do you fight that voice in your head? Share in the comments below!

That’s all for this week. Get out of your comfort zone and write your book!

Episode Resources:

Pre-order “Project Badass”: https://www.projectbadassbook.com

Instagram: @themadisonreeves and @projectbadassbook

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/themadisonreeves

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