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Addressing the Elaphant - Ep. 220

Hi, welcome to my blog! If I haven't introduced myself to you in person or online, my name is AJ McMullen, and I am a sci-fi, fantasy author, biker, and podcaster. I am the co-host of a weekly podcast called 'The Dirty Trunk Podcast' where the elephant is always welcomed and uncomfortable conversations about growth and personal development is the name of the game.

Though this website is dedicated to my author platform, I hope I can spread a word of growth and positivity to anyone who may be interested in reading it. We have worked hard to acquire principles of gaining success and understand it is our purpose to spread knowledge.

This post will be used as a weekly recap, as well as my personal feelings toward the topic. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy!

Recently, at my job, one of my colleagues got a promotion. I found through the geapevine and said congratulations as soon as I could. He was excited about the opportunity and I wanted to be happy for him but there were too many questions in the back of my mind that I knew he had forgotten to ask himself.

I'm going to use this term in the past tense because the ink has dried and this man once had a gift. I once heard someone once compare him to the likes of NF mixed with the late, great XX-Tentacion. His music was fire, his delivery was phenomenal, and best of all, his name and his message had meaning. He did everything right, except for continuing his mission to success.

We all know that everyone's definition of success is different. You may say, maybe his definition was that promotion. I say, I find it difficult to believe a man who's been making music since a child just let it go willingly. I want to cause a scene for a moment and say that humans don't necessarily just give up like that without a fight.

I find this topic especially hard considering how long it took me to get serious about my writing. After 10 years of wasting my life for Corporate America, I finally decide to grow a back bone in 2019, finally finisheda manuscript, and published in 2020. For clarity, I wrote the first words pertaining to the Aether Universe in 2010.

I had to realize that I was not the main target for my work. I've had people tell me how a character from my book helped them or inspired them. One person who even gained the courage to come out to their parents because of Queen Karylina. A person who decided they could never give up because of Milo, A person who made it their mission to preach the word of change like T.K. But the thing that affects me the most is that those people may not be able to affect the world if they never came in contact with an Aether story.

Imagine creating something that's floating around in the atmosphere somewhere. Somebody picks it up and decides it has changed their life and that inspiration causes that person to become something huge, maybe the president, or a doctor whose save hundreds of lives in his career. A lawyer who helps people who are wrongfully convicted of crimes they didn't commit. All because of that little thing you do that you don't take serious.

If you struggle to find success in your gift, I emplore you to truly figure out why you do what you do. Then I want you to imagine how it could not make you rich, but how to make your customer rich. Imagine them becoming whole again, happier, invigorated, all because of something you put out into the world. That's the true victory, not money.

I had to learn the hard way that money is not the driving force that'll push you to greatness, it's love. The love of your fellow humans, wanting to see them grow and inspiring the world is more rewarding than a few dollars. Don't sell your dreams to Corporate America. There will be so many people being let down outside of just yourself.

Interested in more Dirty Trunk Podcast content? Find us on all Podcast streaming platforms and on YouTube at

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