The Mentally Tortured Dog Sled Champion


I recently interviewed one of the top sled dog racing champions in the world on a glacier near Skagway, Alaska. Like a lot of people who are champions in their field but struggling financially, this guy is much closer to massive success then he realizes. He’s been listening to middle-class thinkers for years telling him to grow up and get a real job, and it’s been torturing him. My advice was different. Listen to this post and see if you agree with what I told him. I’d love to hear YOUR opinion on this key aspect of world-class success and happiness. (4:21 )


  1. Steve says:


    Congrats on breaking out of a career that drained you. As you know, many people spend their entire careers dreading each day. It takes guts to break out and do what you love.

    Way to go, Walter. And thanks for your comment.

    Steve Siebold

  2. Steve says:


    Thanks for your comments. I agree with your philosophy 100%.

    I’m glad you like the Making of a Million Dollar Mind album. It’s hard to feel down or unmotivated after listening to all of those world class beliefs!

    Thanks for being a part of our mental toughness community!

    All the best,
    Steve Siebold, CSP

  3. What a great post. I spent ten years chained to a job that drained my soul little by little, day by day. I now channel my passion into a career that I love and really feel blessed to be paid to do. What a difference it makes to wake up in the morning looking forward to the office instead of dreading it. Not only am I happier, I now go to sleep at night feeling like I made a difference. I hope every one taps into their passion.

  4. Will says:

    Hi Steve,
    I absolutely love what I do and that playing in bands and music. I’m a drummer and I tell you what I’m starting getting paid for my efforts now and it great. In the past when I wasn’t getting paid for it, I still absolutely loved it.
    When somebody isn’t totally passionate about their work, they have a slim to no chance on being happy and fulfilled. You can earn all the money in the world and if some people don’t like what they do, that just a disaster waiting to happen.

    Another thing, I couple of days ago I was feeling I bit down in the dumps. I was stressed out, anxious, negative and overwhelmed. I bought your cd pack “The making of a million dollar mind” and I tell you what that cd pack changed everything. It’s an absolute ripper of a product. I’ve had it for two days now and I’ve been playing it in the background as am at work. Guess what I’m not stressed out, anxious, negative and overwhelmed. I finally found a product that I was missing. Wow, much difference a couple GREAT CDs can do for your life. I feel free. I love your product and I wanted to thank you for making such a GREAT product.
    Keep doing what you’re doing.
    Thanks Will.

  5. Francesca Lee says:

    this is the excerpt of the commencement speech by this guy who invented Apple Computer..the Ipod..the Itune…STEVE JOB! Without him, we won’t have Iphone..

    Steve says:

    “….My second story is about love and loss.

    I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

    I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

    I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

    During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

    I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith….”

    I don’t think this is rocket science. We have to LOVE what we do if we want to have world class result.

    If you only like what you do, you will only get upperclass or middle class result. You won’t make history. You won’t do something big.


  6. Mace Horoff says:


    A great post! Competency is essential in many fields and it can earn you lots of money. But you’re right — the big home run, the one thing that creates world-class “living” is passion!

    Mace Horoff

  7. Getting paid to do what you absolutely love is when you choose to live at 100% passion. It’s when work ceases being “a job” or “hard work.” It’s when work feels like play. There is no such thing as taking time off because you would miss it too much if you did go away from it. It’s truly an immersion part and the reward is an inner joy that is reflected on a person’s face with a constant glow, smile, sparkle in their eyes. Are there challenges along the way even when a person gets paid to do what they love? Absolutely! The difference is that it’s easier to use a positive attitude in dealing with obstacles, distractions, challenges and difficulties. Do you know why? Because even if the money is not there YET, you still love the actual “work.” Inside you could do it for free 24/7 – 365 days a year, and that is when you know it’s worth sacrificing. The cost is greater than the dissatisfaction!

    I have been blessed to be in a career I love (training and development) for the past 12 years. I’ve never felt it was work ever! To some associates, I may be labeled as a “workaholic” or “too intense,” but to me, my mind gets excited to teach, learn and give others the “AHA! I get it” learning moment or just connect with people collaborating on information.

    Before my training and now “mastering the art of the speaking world,” I loved competitive figure skating. I lived at a different energy than most of my peers because of this passion for my sport. In fact, the only people who understood me were other people who felt exactly like I did (and along my path I did not meet many of them, as most people in my former sport were “persuaded” to skate unlike myself). I begged my parents to keep me in skating. They sacrificed much for me too! To wake up every morning at 4 a.m. and practice for 2 hours before school and go back after school for 2 hours and then do homework. Do this 7 days a week only means it was a real passion pouring from my heart!

    My advice to the Dog Sled Champion: There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but few things in life that will catch your heart. Pursue those!

    The way to make money is to get really creative with your expertise (in this case dog sledding)!
    You can do it! I believe in you! Believe in yourself…

    – Michelle M. Strbich

  8. Steve says:


    I want to thank you for standing up for other side of the wealth=success equation. You’ve obviously given this some serious thought, and you make a number of valid points

    I agree with you that success coaches spend a lot of time talking about wealth. I’m one of them. The reason is 90% of our audiences are struggling financially at some level, (even in the Fortune 500) and they ask us more questions about how to make money than anything else—by far. Since many success coaches are self-made millioniares, so it’s an easy topic for us to cover. That being said, I think the premise of your comment is dead on. I tell audiences all the time that if you’re not happy without money you’re not going to be happy with it. The University of Pennsylvania did a study a few years ago and found that once a person in America earns $32,000 per year, making more money has very little impact on their happiness. I would agree. I think the confusion begins for most people when they imagine that being rich is going to solve all of their problems, which of course, it doesn’t.

    In response to the Dog Sledder, I never suggested he wasn’t successful. He was struggling with a boatload of bills and asked me how he could make more money, and thats how we got started down that path. I agree with you on this. If he loves what he’s doing, he’s achieved a level of success most people only dream of. The problem is his definition of success was to have more money. So in his mind, he’s not successful. His words, not mine.

    I’m glad you’re happy with your choice. Your rise from what you described as poverty is an American success story. The bottom line is you sound happy, and I don’t know if it gets any better than that.

    My beliefs around success are more like your brothers, but I’m not saying it’s a better philosophy. I think you nailed it when you said you have to focus on money if you want money. I focused on money so I wouldn’t ever have to worry about it again, and I could be free to spend my time and mental energy thinking about more important things. In the process I learned how money works and consciously decided to build a serious net worth. Not to buy more stuff, but just because I could. I’m going to give it all away to charity anyway, eventually. All it means to me these days is absolute freedom to live my way, on my terms. The more I earn, the bigger my warchest grows that protects my personal freedom and the freedom of the people I love. Does it me happier? Yes, because of my love of personal freedom.

    So while I think your premise is solid as a rock, I would challenge you to consider becoming wealthy. Not to build a mansion like your brothers, (unless you want one) but to give you more options in life. But only if you want them. Your life, your decision. My only point is you can have both, and its not rocket science becoming a millioniare in America. There’s so much opportunity it’s ridiculous. The streets are practically lined with gold! It’s not an either/or situation like most people think. You can have your cake and eat it, too, if you want it bad enough.

    Thank you again for your very thoughtful comment. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to take a stand! Thats what Mental Toughness is all about. Critical thinking. I know I’m going to think more about what you said, and I appreciate that.

    I hope you’ll continue to be a part of this community. We need your strong voice!

    Steve Siebold, CSP

  9. ARMANDO T. says:


  10. LynetteLaFontaine says:

    Iam going to take a different angle on this. I am sick and tired of hearing people equate success with a high level of financial income. I have been successful for a long time. I do not have great financial wealth. My brother is a self made millionaire.
    The difference between us is what each of us finds personally important. His goals growing up was to be a millionaire, drive a caddy and live in Bocca Ratan, Floridia.
    None of those things appeal to me. I wanted to learn about everything, I wanted to experience a lot of things. I wanted to do work that touched people at a personal level, California called me.

    We both did what we set out to do. I am 56 and still studying. Probably too much. I live in CA, and I am a nurse and during my off time I provide mentoring and coaching to others. I have worked in numerous professions loving the one I was with at the time.

    It took me a while to figure out why I never became rich. I am actually very comfortable. I have exactly what I need no more no less. I do not want my brother’s mansion, as impressive as it is. I view cars as transportation nothing more. I pride myself on being able to fix my own car though I have not needed to for many years. Yet I know if I had to I could take care of myself in that respect. My brother prides himself on never touching a wrench to an engine. He is dependent on his purse for an emergency or repair. And he has the purse to cover it.

    It is sour grapes on my part? Not at all. I am rich. I have everything I need or want. By anyone else’s standards I am just middle class.

    What I learned is you have to want the mansion, the caddy, the millions to get it. Some folks do and if they want it enough they get it.

    I wanted to take care of myself. Yet not be burdened with things that I really do not care about. Consequently I live on a lot less than my millionaire brother.

    I grew up not allowed to do certain things because I “did not know how to do it correctly.” So not I do all sorts of things that my mother would never have allowed.
    When I was a child I learned that things are more delicious when you are waiting for it than when you actually get it. I learned that often things are not that great once you get them. So I savor delayed gratification and often when I have taken enough time to thinks about something and evaluate it I realize I do not want it after all.

    My brother and I grew up in different worlds (he is 12 years older) we both were poor but our take on our poverty was very different.

    He was determined to reach his goals. It is determination that got him there. I was determined too.

    His childhood pain was being poor and put down by those he preceived as rich. My pain was being put down as incapable all the while I was taking in knowledge that made me capable.

    It bothers me when you see all this success this, and success that, and the proponents focus on financial wealth. Please, give me one valid reason why you must have the means to own expensive cars and homes to say you are successful? Yet that is what we are fed.

    Many speakers and coaches and success oriented companies seem to use this as the ultimate yardstick for achievement of success.

    Why oh why can you not acknowledge the dog sledder is successful. Why does he have to believe that he is not successful without the mansion? Sounds to me like he is not going without, he has exactly what he needs and wants. Why is that not equal to what my brother or someone like him has.

    The sledder is only responding to what he as been told is success not what he wants not what makes him joyful.

    It is so screwed up to think he is not successful. It sounds like he IS making money. Ok it is modest. and so?? Does he have exactly what he needs and wants? probably yes, or close to it. Is it what someone else says he should have or want? No. Is he happy? Yes. That is success

  11. Steve says:

    Rich and Kris,

    Thanks for your comments. I think we’re on the same page as this one. It will be interesting to see what the others think.

    Steve Siebold, CSP

  12. Kris Kramer says:

    I am 100% convinced that it all starts with a passion for what you do. The passion drives you through the hard work necessary to be truely successful because the work doesn’t seem nearly as hard if your love what you do. And, if it doesn’t come from the heart, if you’re not passionate about it, then even if you make a lot of money doing it, are you really a success?? The joy comes in the pursuit and the doing. If we don’t enjoy what we do, then how can we take any real satisfaction out of what we’ve accomplished?


  13. Rich Drake says:

    Hi Steve:

    I absolutely agree – you can never achieve world class results if you don’t love what you. Even if you have tremendous discipline, your best effort won’t get you there. You may make good money doing something other than what you love, but world class results manifest emotionally and spiritually as well. To get that, you must love what you do.