JK Allen Talks About Achieving Goals, Busting Fear and Building Community

This is an interview of JK Allen from the Hustler’s Notebook. JK is a phenomenal blogger who writes about experience-based, value-rich content in the domain of personal development, for business and life.

For those who may not know you, tell us about why you started blogging. 

I started blogging as a means of serving others. For me, blogging is an outlet to share some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout life, in an effort to impact others in a positive way.

In your writings you come across as full of confidence, what’s your advice for someone to build up their confidence? 

I think a lot has to do with personality. Some people are reserved and display their confidence in different ways. The reason I’m confident in my writing is because I mostly write about things that I’ve experienced. Writing from that layer gives me total confidence in what I’m saying because I’ve lived and breathed whatever the message is.

The most solid advice I can offer to others on being confident in your writing is to try to incorporate your experience and personal perspective into everything.

Many people have many fears holding them back. One main one is fear of failure. What advice would you have to break that fear? 

I will admit that I haven’t failed a whole lot as of late. Not because I’ve always come out victorious, but because my attitude have changed on how I view failure. I believe anytime we can find a lesson from our [so-called] losses, we truly end up winning. Anytime we can put ourselves in a better position for the next attempt, then we’ve won, not failed. Failure to me is coming up short then giving up.

My advice is to see failure in a different light…to view failure as a stepping stone and not a pit.

Achieving goals is like putting a puzzle together. There are a bunch of pieces that need to fit into place with precision…just because you attempt to put a corner piece in the middle doesn’t mean you’ve failed – it means you need to adjust it’s position. You’ll attempt many pieces throughout your journey of putting a puzzle together, quickly to learn that the piece didn’t fit at the first, second or third attempt, but eventually you’ll find it’s place, bringing you closer to completing the puzzle (achieving the goal).

With this way of thinking you are a winner, even in defeat.

To reach our goals, we think it’s important to just follow the list of steps to reach the goals. However, I’ve learned we have determine the type of person we want to become. To become a hustler, what type of traits would that person need to have? 

That person would have to have a Pit Bull like tenacity in conquering the delta that lies between setting a goal and achieving the goal. The delta is the space between that requires action. Most people are pretty good at setting goals. Everyone is great when they can achieve the goal…but the hard part is the action in between.


That’s the Great Divide between those that hustle, and those that sit around and wait for luck. Hustler’s manufacture their own luck by hard and intelligent work. In my experience, luck is simply a product of my actions.

Recently I wrote a letter to myself 5 years into the future. What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

In 5 years I’ll be 35 years old. My kids, who are now 2, 6 and 7 will be 7, 11, and 12 (wow, weird to think about that). But during this time, I will remind myself of why I worked so hard to become a millionaire; not just for the sake of my own family, but to share my wealth with the less fortunate. I would remind myself of how important it is to continue putting others high on my list, and helping out in anyway that I can. I would remind myself to teach other how to change their lives, as I changed my own.

Your posts always get so many great comments. How did you build up such a community at the Hustler’s Notebook?

I’ve taken the long path for growth, one I believe that has lasting effects. I love interacting with people – so I spend a lot of timing doing so. I love reading other blogs so I take my time, read and leave a meaningful comment. And, I never force content on my blog. I never hit publish under the pressure of having to post because it’s been [x] number of days or what not.

For me, blogging is not a numbers game…sure, we want our audience to be as big as possible – but more so, I want the impact of my message to be as powerful as possible. I think the combination of these things is what has helped me grow a great community.

Plus, it helps that I only post once per week, which naturally allows more time for comments to build up. This isn’t my mission, because I’m not after a certain number of comments…but the length of time does contribute to my posts ability to get so many comments.

You comment on so many blogs, write an amazing post per week, network on Twitter, and respond to all your comments. In addition you have a full time job, a wife and three kids.

How do you juggle everything and give proper attention in each area of your life?

Because I hustle!

On a serious note, I think we all have it within us to make ample time for whatever we want to make time for. I live very closely within my life priorities and doing so provides a pretty clear idea of what I need to focus my time on. Not that I always live to it…but it’s always in my vision.

I’m awake for 19-20 per day. So that helps give me a little extra time to juggle so many things at once.

In your experience, what are some of the best reasons to blog? 

To serve others. To learn. To connect with others. To make a difference. To be challenged.

When you’re not being an blogger, businessman and family man, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I take off the blogging hat. I take off the business hat…but I never take off the family hat. So everything I do just about involves the element of family. I’m pretty laid back and reserved – I enjoy sports, working out, reading, video games (back when I had more time) and doing random things with the family.

Thank you to JK for an awesome interview! Be sure to visit JK at the Hustler’s Notebook. He is a blogger to get to know. You can also follow him on Twitter @JKthehustler.

If you have any questions, or comment I’m sure JK would love to answer them or hear from you. 

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  • Great interview, and very interesting question about how you see yourself in 5 years time.

    JK I like your take on failure, and very much agree with it. I am truly an entrepreneur and failure is not discouraging, it’s a learning experience. Besides, the idea was probably great and all, but for me, the next idea is just as exciting and I believe in it just as much, which makes it easier to move on.

    Great day – Jannick

    • Hi Jannick,

      Failure is a touch subject. Highly spoken about and highly experienced by man. I think the way we view it, truly, is what gives it power. If we see it as a defeat – then we’ll be defeated. If we see it as a lesson, then we’ll learn from it.

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. It’s an honor to be here at Benny’s blog!

  • I enjoyed the interview as well J.K. and Benny, you did a wonderful job with those questions.

    The one that hit me the most as well is the failure question. I “use” to look at myself as a failure but I have soon come to understand that it is exactly like J.K. described. It’s not failure, you just haven’t quite gotten there yet. Like the example of the puzzle pieces. Don’t get discouraged because if you continue it will eventually fall into place.

    Also I think the people who quit still have the employee mentality and are so use to wanting to see results quickly and within a certain time frame where entrepreneurs keep going until the task is accomplished. They don’t care how long it takes because they know they will get the job done.

    Thanks for sharing your views J.K. and it’s easy to see why you are so successful. Thanks again for doing this for Benny, really enjoyed it.


    • Hi there Adrienne,

      If I had a change of mindset (for the worse) I too would see myself as a failure because of the failing that I’ve done over the years. But instead – I see them as situations that eventually lead to better situations. Seeing them this way helps me take a [so-called] failure in stride and keep rolling with the punches. Eventually I will get it right!

      Thanks for the great comment Adrienne. Enjoy the rest of your day!

  • What a great interview, JK and Benny. Very inspirational to a fellow blogger and I really appreciate you both for taking the time to share this.

    I love the idea of writing a letter to yourself 5 years from the future – that’s a great way to force the right priorities into the forefront.

    • Hey Andrew – that letter is a great idea. Benny did it last month in a blog post and I loved it. He asked me to do the same and the exercise was testing and self-motivating. It’s almost like saying this is what I believe I will do and imprinting it in my mind.

      Glad you enjoyed. Take care my friend!

  • Great interview and good point about not pushing yourself to write a post if it isn’t really there. I did that once and wanted to delete it a few hours later. I thought it was horrible and I knew exactly why – because I thought I HAD to post something. Since then, I write when inspired, which luckily happens often.
    I really enjoyed your advice – lots of it applies to me 🙂

    • Hi Julia – when I’m doing something from my heart…I just don’t feel right rushing it. It doesn’t feel natural when the product is completed under constraints. I like to take my time and just let it flow, when it’s ready!

      There have been times when I almost clicked published then realized that it wasn’t the right thing to do because the post was written completely from my mind, and not from my heart.

      Thanks for the kind comment Julia!

  • YES!!! Love reading from you on Hustler’s Notebook… and LOVED hearing from you here.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge JK… ALWAYS!

    Surfs up,

    • Hey Sal – thanks for all the support man. Kowabunga duuude! Sorry, my son was watching TMNT 1 (old school)!


  • Hi Gynis! Thanks for looking out for me. I’ve been living under this sleep patter since I was a kid. So it’s pretty deeply embedded. Even if I tried to sleep longer…I can’t. I consider myself to be pretty healthy; eating right and working out daily…so hopefully that counteracts the early onset of aging that my lack of sleep might bring.

    Some say that 6.5 hours isn’t enough. Maybe it comes down to whatever works best for you. Who knows. But I do appreciate the concern and advice.

    Best t4o you Glynis!

  • > write about things that I’ve experienced. Writing from that layer gives me total confidence
    Well put and so true.

    I think this really points out that there are many ways to draw confidence, and the key is always to start from the inside out 😉

    • Hello J.D.,

      Yes, it certainly works for me. I don’t have to try and make up stuff…I just basically let it flow!

      Take care!

  • Jk, it’s wonderful to see you here at Benny’s place! And a fascinating interview to boot!

    I was reading the answer to each question, and thinking “Yeah, this is definitely Jk talking here”. You’ve got your own style which stands out, and which is now recognisable from amongst the crowd. Good job!

    By the way, are you a millionaire right now, or is it something you plan on achieving in the future? 🙂

    • That’s in 5 years Stu…not a millionaire yet! But if you have a mill that I can let hold on too – to make me a millionaire now, then let me get you my bank account info asap. I’ll pay yo back in five years! LOL

      Glad to hear that my style/brand is coming across consistently. I guess since I’m just being me that there’s no real trick to it.

      Thanks for the support buddy. Have a great day!

      • Lol, I wasn’t too sure, thought you were keeping something secret 😉

        • Trust me…you’d know because I share! 😉

          • That’s true, I may have received a nice sum of money in my PayPal account 😉

  • I still can’t comprehend how this man doesn’t sleep. It’s not fair. I want to have zombie powers too!;)

    • I’ve been like this since I’ve been a little kid. It’s not that I have a disorder…it’s just that I can’t go to bed really early or sleep in late. So, being that’s the case, I make it work for me!

    • Marlee, it isn’t fair. I wish I could get by on so little sleep. I’d get so much more done! I need at least 7 hours or else I’m not as productive!

  • Interesting interview, loved the answers and the insights of positive thinking. These seeds will take hold and before we know it we’ll be what we thought out to be.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hey Vitaly – Glad you enjoyed. I’ll take your words as gold. I wish the same for sure.

      Take care!

  • Hey Jk!
    I’m glad that you’re also one of those people who doesn’t really like a set scheduled time to create a post. When a post is forced, it comes out wrong and the quality isn’t there. Quality is vastly important.

    And I like your take on failure. Lessons from failure is really a success.

    Great interview!

    • Hey Matt!

      Yeah man, I have to allow a post to come to me…I can’t force it out. Actually I can, but when I do I feel that it’s too weak to publish…so ends up being a waste of time anyway!

      Thanks for the kind words man!

  • Nice interview, Benny! It’s my first time learning about JK Allen, I believe. What a hard worker!

    I loved the idea of writing a letter 5 years into the future. It’s a great way to set goals. Also loved the idea of putting family first regardless of the other hats we wear. That’s makes a difference in the long-run…5, 10, 40 years from now.

    Thanks to you both; to JK for sharing and to Benny for the interview.

    • Hey Allyson!

      Thanks for reading the interview. JK is a great guy and writes amazing stuff at his blog. You should definitely start reading his blog. I do like the idea of writing that letter. You should try it! Write it to your past self 5 years ago and to your future self in 5 years. Save that letter somewhere and if you remember look at it in 5 years and see if you achieved your dreams. That’d be cool to see.

      Thanks for commenting Allyson!

      • Any time, Benny. Thanks for the cool tips. I’ll have to give them a try!

    • Hi there Allyson,

      That 5 year letter is a great eye opener. It really makes you focus on where you want to be and highlights if you’re actually in route to truly get there.

      I suggest that everyone give that a shot.

      Nice to meet you!

  • JK,

    Sorry i’m late to the party here. I’ve been hustling. I was spending so much time communicating and socializing i wasn’t getting my hustle on.

    I really like this in depth look at the man behind the blog. I know exactly why you have built a strong community and strong following. It’s because you really do care. To me that means the world.

    Thanks for sharing.

    on my to do list. contact your mum. i havn’t forgot. I can’t wait to chat to her and find out the nitty griddy.


    • Hi Annie!

      I forgot that I had given my mom’s email. Oh well, I can’t retract it now!

      Seriously, it’s all good. I’m curious what’s to come of it all.

      Thanks for the kind words. I hope you and your family are well.

  • This interview proves that success is a state of mind, because many of us are so quick to quit when things don’t go as planned. We see successful people on tv and magazines, and think we can replicate what they’ve done, and we’d be successful by the end of the week. Dedication, focus, and hard work will get us to where we need to be.

    Good job Benny and JK!

    • Many people want instant results. They don’t want to do the hard work. To get those results we want, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take awhile. Those who keep working will be rewarded. Thanks for reading!