Everyone Starts at Zero: 5 Ways to Jumpstart From the Bottom…


Everyone starts at the bottom. Everyone. There is a cliché that says, when you are at your lowest, the only way to go is up. Whether you want to better your financial standing, have a healthier lifestyle or improve your relationships, anything is possible, even if you have hit rock bottom.

There is a misconception that successful individuals were born with unique gifts and talents that place them on a higher pedestal than the rest of us. The truth is that everybody starts at zero. No one was born into success. Even those born into wealth can choose destructive or constructive paths. As Mario Puzo, The Godfather, says, “Great men are not born great, they grow great.”

Related: What’s the Worst Thing That Ever Happened to You (and How Did You Learn From It)?

So how do you grow great? Though it may be daunting to start from scratch, here are five ways to jumpstart your life when you hit rock bottom.

1. Identify exactly what you want.

Though restarting from the bottom is scary, change your focus from what you lack to what you want to attract. Focusing on lack only creates more lack. Rather, identify exactly what you want in life. You can jumpstart your life with a new purpose, but you must narrow it down to one or two key goals that are so compelling that they literally pull you forward to accomplish them.

2. Change your mindset about success.

Most people equate success with making money. But money is a by-product, not the definition, of success. Author and success coach Earl Nightingale advises us:

Success is not the result of making money; making money is the result of success — and success is in direct proportion to our service. Most people have this law backward. They believe that you’re successful if you earn a lot of money. The truth is that you can only earn money after you’re successful. 

In other words, rather than focus on what you lack, to jumpstart your life from the bottom, focus on what you already possess and the service you can be to others. 

Related: 11 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal What They Learned From Their First Jobs

3. Rewire your input.

If your life is filled with negative influences who tell you that you can’t rather than encouraging voices that foster growth, it is time to rethink where you spend your time and resources. One of the biggest challenges for those starting from rock bottom is their inability to remove harmful influencers from their lives.

The input we receive on a daily basis ultimately guides our character and legacy in life. If you want to improve your circumstances, take control of what you feed your mind daily.

Do you surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to grow? Do you spend your time reading great books and listening to inspiring podcasts? If not, rewire your input to jumpstart your journey to the top.

4. Being at the bottom is the best place to start.

When you’re at rock bottom, you have a clean slate to work with. All things are possible. You literally can build your life from the ground up. “Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life,” admits J.K. Rowling, who went on to build her unparalleled Harry Potter empire.

Realize that starting at the bottom is a blessing in disguise, you can choose how you want your life to be, and turn it around to pursue your passions. Instead of fathoming how you will get back up from rock bottom, look at how far you can go when you get back up.

5. Take your eyes off yourself.

Right before we hit our rock bottom, we are usually drowning in self-pity. The beautiful thing about actually hitting rock bottom is that you realize very quickly how futile self-pity and blaming others can be. You may, for the first time in your life, take responsibility for your circumstances and realize that there are others who have it so much worse than you.

Related: Drug Deals Gone Bad and the South Side of Chicago: How One Entrepreneur Rebounded From Rock Bottom

A life-changing way to jumpstart your life on fire from the bottom is to take your eyes off yourself and realize the potential you have to help others. Hitting rock bottom helps you build compassion for others because you can now empathize with their situation. When you extend a hand out to someone in need, you realize how fortunate you are and how being at the bottom is a beautiful start to an incredibly fulfilling life.

So, what have you got to lose? Hitting the reset button on your life once you hit your rock bottom gives you the chance to start over, to make new life choices. If, like me, you have been at rock bottom but have risen back up, I’d love to hear your story!

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