The YES Effect podcast

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TYE 155: Focus On The Next Step, Not The Whole Mountain (How I Wrote A Song)

Mar 14, 2023
Shelli Varela, TED-Talk, female-firefighter, inspiring-women, inspiring-ringtone

To make a big dream happen, you have to break it into small, individual steps and focus on the next first step. This way, you can make even the wildest, even most absurd, idea a success. This episode is a story about how my 13 year-old step son and I co-created a song with the help of a celebrity music producer, without ever meeting him, and with almost zero musical abilities myself. 

I just really wanted to make a song with Ry, and focused on the next first step. 

Listen to the end to hear the song itself and a super inspiring Q&A with Ry at the end.

Whatever your big, even absurd, dream is, you don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to achieve it. You just need to know three things: that it’s a “yes,” what the next first step is, and who to ask for help.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to break success down into small steps
  • How I was able to co-write a song without any musical ability
  • How I sourced my network for help
  • How I ended up working with a celebrity music producer, who has worked with Cher, Tina Turner, Pink, Gwen Stefani, Joe Cocker & Disney
  • How to get more people to say “yes” to your requests
  • Why passion and persistence lead to success
  • How to listen to your body 



“You don’t need to know all the steps. You just need to know: is this a yes, am I excited, and what is the next first thing?”


Links mentioned in this episode:

TYE 151: How To Overcome The Fear of Asking Questions (A Personal Story)

TYE 128: P!nk bassist Eva Gardner on rock stardom and overcoming rejection

TYE 005: A Rock Star's Guide to Overcoming Fear with Mark Schulman


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