Mel Robbins: Get Real

UPDATED: October 10, 2011
PUBLISHED: October 10, 2011

Every week I receive hundreds of emails. Most of the messages are from advice-seekers, groups requesting me to speak at events and individuals in need of coaching. In my experience, these emails are generally pretty great, and I appreciate the time people take to send them.

But I recently received an email that stopped me in my tracks and slammed me to the ground. It wasn’t nasty or even threatening. It was from a genuine fan. A man named Gill. He called me out on something I didn’t do, and boy, did I deserve it.

Here’s the back story: After launching my first book Stop Saying You're Fine: Discover a More Powerful You, expanding my radio show and taping the first season of Monster In-Laws for A&E, I hit the wall. I had reached what I thought were my human limits. I stopped blogging and tweeting all the time. I slowed down, kicked back and put everything on hiatus for a couple months, including the launch of my new daily newsletter, “Robbins Rundown,” which had been much hyped on my website.

Here’s the problem: I never communicated this self-imposed hiatus to anyone. I never even bothered to change the text on my site. I completely forgot that the book I had just published promised something very different: Internet contributions, daily blogging and a host of updates from my wild success. Then I got an email from Gill:

“I hope you are well today. It will be interesting to see if your ‘Robbins Rundown’ will indeed be a daily occurrence, as in your book you indicated that you would have daily or frequent blog entries, and there has not been one posted in months. I sincerely inquired about this discrepancy previously as it touches on credibility issues, and there has not been a response. Stay well, and have a good day.”

It was a harsh reminder that my words were not taken lightly, and my actions (or lack thereof) were noted. And it cut to the core of me… because it was the truth.

Gill was right. And Gill was doing me a favor. In my zeal to do it all, I had over-promised and under-delivered. I am a one-woman show; there’s only so much I can do on my own.

You have big plans, dreams and goals, but when it comes down to success, it’s about the actions you take, not the ideas in your head. I beat the drum of taking small, consistent daily actions. I speak endlessly about building stamina. Yet my dreams hamstrung me because I didn’t think critically about how I could actually execute. In neglecting that action, I set myself up to fail.

If there’s something that you’ve been thinking about, or put on the back burner, or a ball you’ve dropped so many times you’ve got whiplash just thinking about it, don’t worry. You are capable; you just haven’t planned out the details of the execution. And, like me, you’ve been trying to do it all by yourself when, in fact, you need help.

I wrote back to Gill and thanked him for the reality check I needed. When I sat down and planned the execution for real, what I needed was obvious. I needed help. I needed a writer to manage the project and drive the daily execution, so I found one. My weekday newsletter “Robbins Rundown” launched this fall, and it is amazing.

And I have Gill to thank for it.


Mel Robbins is a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, best-selling author, CNN commentator, creator of the “5 Second Rule” and the busiest female motivational speaker in the world. To find out more, visit her website: To follow her on Twitter: