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Steven Pressfield On Doing The Work & Overcoming The Struggles Of A Professional Writer

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About Today’s Guest, Steven Pressfield:

Steven Pressfield17 years. That is how long it took Steven Pressfield to cash his first check as a result of his writing. Fast forward. Steven is now an international best-selling author of amazing books such as Gates Of Fire, The War Of Art and The Legend Of Bagger Vance. I was lucky enough to track down Steven today to talk about the journey and how he overcame resistance.

Now Steven is launching a new book, Do The Work, through Seth Godin’s The Domino Project. It is a book about overcoming resistance and doing the work (and it is GREAT). Ishita from The Domino Project asked me for a couple of thoughts of my own on overcoming resistance (you can find them at the beginning of the episode). To summarize, I believe there are two kinds of resistance:

  1. Worthless Resistance: This is when you don’t want to fight the resistance because you aren’t passionate about the work or the outcome. How do I deal with it? I quit. I do something worthwhile and worth fighting for.
  2. Worthwhile Resistance: This is when you are nervous, scared or worried while working on something you DO feel passionate about. How do I deal with it? I do the work every day. Why? Because fighting is worth it.

Enjoy this conversation with Steven.

Connect With Steven (and tell him you saw him on RISE!):

On His Website
On Twitter

This Episode Of The Rise To The Top Is Exclusively Sponsored By HubSpot:

HubSpotToday’s Rise to the Top episode is sponsored by HubSpot, whose newest eBook, “The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 2011”, provides insights and details on how to market on Facebook (which is super important) by using the Open Graph, contests, Places, Deals, Connect and more. Get your free copy today of the Facebook Marketing Update at

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  1. What if he had quit writing after 16 years? Would somebody else have done HIS work? Not likely. Every time I think of him, or re-read The War of Art I think of it and urge myself and others, keep doing the work.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Exactly. His perseverance is not only an amazing example, but a gift to the world.

  2. Jason Gracia says:


    Once again, loved the interview. I’m liking more and more that you not only snag incredible guests but also ask the questions everyone is thinking.

    (I also love the fact that I’m learning as much about how to run a tight solopreneurship from you as I do interesting stories from your guests.)

    Looking forward to the next interview…

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Jason – Fantastic to hear!

  3. Anonymous says:


    Can’t wait to listen to the interview – even though I’ve not had chance to yet, I just wanted to thank you for posting it. I love the War of Art, and just finishing my third run through Do the Work. Loving that too.

    Cool stuff.


    1. Anonymous says:

      Hey David

      Now I’ve watched it. Great interview. First time here – will definitely be back! Top work.


      1. David Siteman Garland says:

        Awesome, Paul. Fantastic to hear that!

  4. Finished reading the manifesto, “Do the Work,” and immediately decided to stop trying to get publishers to publish my first Novel. It’s going public today, with all its imperfections – and who knows, I might lead a revolution in the book publishing industry if young people follow my example!

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Congrats, Ashton. Great to see it. Go get ’em.

  5. Karen Worden says:

    Love the new direction of the show! Forever telling others about “Rise.”

    Wish there was a magic formula to cure 9-5 depression. Really it is action toward something new during the weekends or after work. Being creative is the easy part. It’s the ability to continue despite being physically tired/discouraged that makes or breaks our decision to give up or continue. Interesting that one of his first employers received a book deal and was able to leave the corporate world. Can see why this first example presented to him made writing so enticing. Glad Steven kept going.

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

Unlock the Offer!