My Blog
2Jul/190

Do You Need to Be a Marketing Expert to Succeed?

Do You Need to Be a Marketing Expert to Succeed_Are you spinning your wheels in earning an online income because you are overwhelmed by too much information and too much to learn?

That's not surprising because there are so many things to manage and learn. You need to be responsible for so much!

You keep trying to reinvent the wheel and come up with systems that let you attract new prospects, connect with them to build a relationship, and then sell products to them without being too pushy. It is a combination of science and art, and you don't feel experienced enough at either.

Luckily, there is a system that you can just send your traffic to ... and they take care of the rest. To help the beginning or struggling online marketer profit from the methods that actually work, without becoming a marketing expert first.

Click to get Early Access before the system launches to the public soon.

2Jul/190

Are Your Emails Being Ignored?

Write Emails That Compel ActionEmail is still the best way to connect with prospects and turn them into buyers ... if you know how to write compelling emails.

Today, you can get free access to a two-part workshop that will show you how to do exactly that.

These are workshops that others paid to get access to. You get them for free.

Your ability to write emails will determine how many signups you get and how much money you make online. This is a skill you need to sharpen!

Click to get free access to these two valuable workshops.

27Jun/190

33 Things I Would Have Paid Money to Know Before I Started in Online Marketing

If you’re just starting out in Internet Marketing, beware: There are lessons you’ll need to learn one way or the other. The easier way is to find an old marketer like me and pick my brain. The hard way is the method I’ve used many times in my years as a marketer – making the mistake and THEN learning the lesson. But it’s been worth it. Here 33 things I wish I’d known when I started in online marketing.

KNOWLEDGE

1. Your most valuable asset is your customer list. Not your prospect list, your customer list – people who have spent at least a dollar with you. Do everything you can to grow this list, because once someone trusts you enough to hand you a dollar, they’ll hand you $50. And once they hand you $50, they’ll hand you $500, but only if you treat them right.

2. Your second most valuable asset is your affiliates and JV partners. I’m talking about the affiliates who promote your products time and again, the ones that stick by you because A) They believe in you B) They believe in your products C) You treat them like the royalty they are. Your affiliates can make you more money in one day than most people earn in a year. Find them, nurture them, be amazing to them and take care of them.

3. Your third most valuable asset is really your most valuable, but until you’ve been in this business for awhile I’m afraid you won’t believe it, so I placed it here at number 3. But think about this – if you don’t treat your customers right and your affiliates right, what happens? You get a bad reputation. And once you have that, you might has well hang it up and go get a job at Walmart. Your reputation is EVERYTHING online. Protect it the way you would protect your own child, because you only get one chance to do it right. This goes for your brand as well.

4. Other valuable assets in no particular order are: Your prospect list, your outsourcers and your products. Focus on moving people off of your prospect list and onto your buyers list, even if it’s only a $1 purchase. Treat your best outsourcers well – you don’t want to have to find and train new ones every 6 weeks. And products, well…

5. Your products speak for you. Make them awesome and be sure they deliver on every promise you make. And do create products – lots of them. The more the merrier, so long as each one is filling a real customer want. It’s much easier to break into the 6 figure realm when you’re creating your own products. My most prosperous years are the ones where I’m creating the most solutions and products.

6. Keep things simple. I see aspiring marketers trying to over-complicate things all the time. Find a want, create the product, sell it to those who want it. Simple. As Steve Jobs said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” When you reduce the clutter and noise, you can do less and get more from it.

7. Focus. Pick a niche and focus on that niche. Let nothing distract you, including all the other niches. Make a list of things to do. Do each one. This sounds so simple, yet people try to go in several different directions at once and of course wind up going absolutely nowhere. This is one I got right from the start – I chose the IM niche and never looked back, and I’ve never regretted it.

8. Use systems. With a finely tuned system you can do anything. When they build a car, do they reinvent the engine each time? No. When you start an IM business, you don’t have to reinvent the mechanics of how to run it, either. Get a system and you’ll be free to focus on making money while the system runs your business.

9. Do 15 minutes of concentrated, positive thinking every morning. Do affirmations in the mirror, read something inspiring, look over and read aloud your goals, etc. Whatever it is that lights your fire, do it first thing in the morning and it will fuel you for the rest of the day.

10. Send out ships. Thinking positive is the first step, but it’s not enough. You’ve got to climb those stairs, not just look up at them and hope you somehow get to the top. So each day, send out ships. Make contact with someone in your niche. Build alliances. Email a dozen prospective affiliates. Skype with your best prospects. Whatever it is that brings in the business and makes you money, do it daily.

11. Use deadlines. Work inevitably expands to fill the time allowed, so only allow enough time to get it done. Then cut that time in half. You’ll be astonished at how fast you can work and what you can achieve.

12. Screw perfection. Really. You’ve got to take that attitude or you’ll be working six months on a product trying to get it perfect. When you finally do launch it, the window has passed and the desires of the community have moved on.

13. Build a real business. A blog is not a business, nor is a list. Those are components of a business. Decide what business you’re in and then treat it as seriously as any brick and mortar business.

14. You are the CEO of your business. Act like it. Outsource as much as possible so you don’t get bogged down. You can’t captain a ship while you’re swabbing decks. Focus on the big picture and outsource the details.

15. When you receive payment for a product, that’s when your work begins. Remember, it’s easier to keep a customer than to get one, but if you don’t continually take care of your customers, you’ll lose them.

16. Stand for something. No successful business has ever been all things to all people.

17. Pre-sell your products. This way you know for a fact if there’s a market for it, PLUS you have a huge incentive to get that product out the door FAST. And if there’s no interest in the product, you’ve just saved yourself the work of creating what would have been a loser anyway.

18. Make connections. Every day make one new connection and then maintain that connection forever. Yes, forever. Or until you retire. You can never have too many connections, too many friends in the business, too many customers, too many affiliates and JV partners, etc.

19. Be an idea magnet. What’s an idea? Often it’s a combination of two old things into something new. Look for ideas everywhere and write them down. WRITE THEM DOWN. Writing them ensures you don’t forget them, it frees your mind to think of more ideas, and it trains your mind to be ever watchful for the next big idea.

20. You can’t email your list too often. There’s a belief that if you send out an email everyday to your list, you’ll burn the list. And this is true if all you’re sending is ads. But if you’re also sending tidbits of good information or even just something to brighten their day, they will welcome your messages. In fact, emailing every day ensures you stay in their memory. Email once a week and they’ll forget who you are.

21. Grow your confidence. This will happen naturally as you experience success in your business, but you need to be confident from Day 1 that you can do the business in the first place.

22. Use to-do lists. Write down goals big and small. Write down what needs to be done this month, this week and today. Prioritize your list. Then do it.

23. Get an accountability partner. Tell each other or email each other each morning with your to-do list. Then tell each other in the evening what you accomplished.

24. Join a mastermind group. If you can’t find one, start one.

25. Outsource the bulk of your content and product creation. Then focus 80% or more of your time on marketing and building your business. This boils down to ‘Working ON your business rather than IN your business.’

26. Ask for the sale. That’s right, ASK for the sale. I once went to a car dealer and the guy helping me was brand new. I found the car I wanted, but he couldn’t gather up the courage to ask for the sale. Finally another salesperson came over and asked if I was ready to buy. “Yes!” I said. The young sales person looked astonished, but when he had to split his commission with the sales person who asked for the sale, I could see the new guy had learned his lesson.

27. Always have an upsell. If you’re selling a $7 product, offer a $27 on the backend. If your product is $97, offer a $997 on the backend. If you don’t, you’re robbing your customers who want more and you’re robbing yourself.

28. Continuity rules. Always look for ways to introduce continuity into your business, from the $7 a month membership to the $5,000 a month coaching program.

29. Passive income is the result of hard work, not passively sitting on your butt. How many rich couch potatoes do you know?

30. Hire a business coach. You’ll get a fresh perspective you sorely need, as well as good advice and someone to push you to new levels. For every dollar you spend on quality business coaching, you can expect to make $10 or more in just the first year, as long as you ACT on the good advice.

31. Invest your profits, don’t spend them. Buy real estate, good stocks or anything of lasting value. Don’t squander your money on ridiculous cars and nights out – there could come a day when you’ll deeply regret it.

32. Think of your mother. Would you be embarrassed to show her your marketing methods? If not, you might want to rethink your strategy. Another thing: Would she tell you that despite how busy you are, you should still eat right, exercise and take a little time off each day? Then be smart and do it. Mom does know best.

33. Have fun. If you’re miserable, you’re not doing it right. Yes there are going to be challenges, but half the fun is overcoming those challenges and persevering. If you hate what you’re doing, you’ve already failed. Do something else. I learned this in my previous profession prior to the Internet, but it holds true no matter what your business.

There you have it – 33 things I wish I’d known when I started. Some of these would have been handy five years into my IM career as well. I hope it helps.

One word of advice – when you do learn a lesson, either the hard way or the easy way – make a note of it. It’s best not to repeat the same mistakes any more than you have to.

19Feb/190

10 Ways to Improve Your Personality

If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature. Bruce Barton

Contrary to what you may think, you can improve your personality!

We now know that not only can we improve the personality, but we can also develop it in ways we previously did not understand, or believe possible!

Until quite recently it was believed that personality is permanent. In 1890 William James, the famous Harvard psychologist, wrote in his influential work The Principles of Psychology, that personality was "set in plaster" by early adulthood.

This view prevailed for over a century; however, the idea that personality is more fluid has gained ground over time. We are now at the point where we realize that we have influence and control over which traits and characteristics we want to develop or refine.

What is Personality?

The personality is the typical pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaviors that make a person unique.

When we say that someone has a "good personality" we mean that they are likeable, interesting and pleasant to be with.

Everyone wants to be attractive to others. To that end, having a good personality is vital - probably even more so than good looks.

In fact, approximately 85 percent of your success and happiness will be a result of how well you interact with others. Ultimately, it is your personality that determines whether people are attracted to, or shy away from you.

While we can only enhance our looks to a certain extent, we have the ability to improve our personality as much as we want. We can develop or integrate into our personalities any trait we deem fitting and agreeable.

Here are 10 great ways to improve your personality:

1.Be a better listener. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was considered one of the most charming women in the world because she cultivated the skill of being an exceptional listener. She was known for the way she would look a person in the eyes, hang on their every word, and make them feel important. There is nothing more appealing than having someone listen to you intently making you feel like you're the only person in the world.

2.Read more and expand your interests. The more you read and cultivate new interests, the more interesting you are to others. When you meet new people it gives you the opportunity to share what you know and to exchange your views with them.

3.Be a good conversationalist. This relates to how much you read and know. good conversationOnce you have much to contribute, learn how to talk about it with others. No one can read about or know everything, so it's refreshing to learn from others those things we don't have the time to about read ourselves. If you happen to be shy, join a group like Toastmasters that encourages you to talk about what you know.

4.Have an Opinion. There is nothing more tiresome than trying to talk to someone who has no opinion on anything. A conversation has nowhere to go if you have nothing to expound on. If, however, you have an uncommon point of view or differing opinion, you are more interesting and stimulating to be with socially (unless you're a know-it-all, of course). A unique outlook expands everyone's perspective.

5.Meet New People. Make the effort to meet new people especially those unlike you. It not only exposes you to different cultures and alternative ways of doing things, it broadens your horizons.

6.Be yourself. The next most tiresome thing after having no opinions is trying to be something you're not. Molding yourself in order to fit in, or be accepted, usually backfires. Since each of us is unique, expressing that uniqueness is what makes us interesting. Attempting to be a carbon copy of someone else not only falls flat, but reveals a lack of authenticity.

7.Have a positive outlook and attitude. Who wants to be around people who are negative, complain a lot, or have nothing good to say? In fact, most of us run when we see them coming. Instead, be the kind of upbeat person who lights up a room with your energy when you enter it. Do it by looking for the best in people and things. Smile warmly, spread good cheer, and enliven others with your presence.

8.Be fun and see the humorous side of life. Everyone enjoys thehumorcompany of someone who makes them laugh, or smile, so look for the humorous, quirky side in a situation - there always is one. Comic relief is a much welcome and needed diversion at times. When you can add fun and lightheartedness to an otherwise dull or gloomy setting, others will naturally be attracted to you, not to mention grateful.

9.Be supportive of others. Being supportive is probably the most endearing quality you can integrate into your personality. Just as you yourself welcome it, be the support for others when they need it. We all love a cheerleader in our corner; someone who is encouraging believes in us and helps pick us up when we're down.

10.Have Integrity and treat people with respect. Being honest and true to your word will bring you the admiration, respect and gratitude of others. Nothing improves a person's personality more than integrity and respect - respect for others, as well as respect for yourself.

We humans have the power and ability to shape our personalities however we wish. When we develop ourselves to be all that we can be, we contribute to our own, as well as the happiness of others.

On a related note, having a pleasant, engaging personality is significantly related to Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ). Those of us possessing high EI invariably have great personalities.

27Jan/190

Unleashing Your Personal Development Potential

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You eventually reach a point in your life when you're ready for change and a whole bunch of information that'll help you unleash your personal development potential. Until then,something can stare at you right under your nose but you don't see it.

For instance,when you look at a painting,you can't really appreciate it when it's just an inch away form your face. But if you look at it from a little further back,you'll have a clearer vision of the whole artwork.

Most people tend to only think of seeking advice for self help and personal growth when everything gets worse. Foe example,take the following scenario:

Try placing your finger in a pot of scalding hot water. What happens? You take it out pretty quick. Why? Because you can't tolerate sudden change in your environment,the water's hot temperature.

But try placing your finger in luck warm water and then turn the gas stove one. Wait until the water reaches a certain temperature,then you'll start thinking "Ooh…it's a bit warm in there." Then you'll finally remove your finger.

Generally speaking,people usually behave more like the second example above. We learn our lessons when we experience actual pain. Today,Shannon thinks Clark hates her. The next day,Chris walks up to her and tells her he hates her. Shannon stays the same and doesn't mind what her friend say. On the third day,she learns that Kimberly and Nathan also can't stand her. Shannon doesn't realize at once the importance and the need for self improvement until the entire community hates her.

We finally see the warning sings and signals when things get rough and tough. When do we realize that we need to go on a diet? When our jeans and shirts don't fit us anymore.

When do we stop eating or reduce the amounts of sweets we eat? When all of our teeth start to rot and visits to the dentist become more frequent.

When do we realize that we need to stop smoking? When our lungs have gone bad and our voice starts croaking.

When do we pray and ask for help? When we realize that we're just might die tomorrow.

Most of us only learn about unleashing our personal development potential when the whole world is crashing down around us. Our situations prove uneasy to change,but those situations become more painful when we continue refusing to change them.

Change will happen,like it or not. At one point or another,you're going to experience different turning points in your life. And you're going to eventually unleash your potential for personal development--not because the world says so,not because your friends nag you,but because you realize it's for your own good.

Happy people don't just accept change,they embrace it. Now,you don't have to feel tremendous heat before realizing the need for self improvement. Unleashing your potential means freeing yourself from the cage of thought that "it's just the way I am." Such a poor excuse for people only feeds fear and resistance to change.

Most of us program our minds like computers. For instance,Jessica repeatedly tells everyone that she's afraid to be around groups of people. She hears her mom,her dad,her sister, her teacher say the same thing about her to other people. And over the years,that's what Jessica comes to believe. She believe it truly is her story.

And what happens? Every time a great crowd gathers at her house,in school, and in the community,she tends to step back,shy away and lock herself up in a room. Jessica doesn't just believe her story,she actually lives it.

Personal development may not be everybody's cup of tea. But if you look at things from a different points of view,you might have greater chances of enjoying the whole process instead of sitting back and counting the days until you're fully improved.(and those days will never come anyway).

Three sessions a week at the gym results in a healthier life. Going out with friends and peers helps you take a step back from work and unwind. And just when you're enjoying the whole process of unleashing your personal development potential,you realize you're beginning to take things easier and become happier.

26Jan/190

New Advice About The Art Of Personal Development

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Personal development as an experience can be energizing and make you feel like you're in control more. To start the hard work towards your goals, find some advice to keep energized. Put the following tips to use so you can begin your journey.

Try to maximize your work time and get more work done. One simple solution is to go on more breaks while you work. If you designate a time to relax, then you will be more willing to buckle down and focus during work periods.

Leadership is the cornerstone of personal development. There are many different definitions as to what a leader is, but the most common attribute of a leader is an influence. Think about your own leadership experiences. What events shaped your life and personality? What changes did those events bring forth in you? What skills would you contribute to a group? By examining these questions, you will be aware of how you can fit into a team setting.

To keep from increasing the amount of debt you owe, start putting money into an emergency fund. It is not good to pile up credit card bills when an unexpected emergency pops up. This makes you even less capable of dealing with an emergency in the future. If you save a couple of dollars each week, before long you will have an emergency fund. Emergency funds help in the short-term and the long-term, as you begin to bring your total debt down.

Unless you are self-sufficient, you cannot expect to be able to care for another person. It doesn't matter if you are succeeding or failing in your path. You should always find time to rest your body so that you can renew yourself.

Arrange a meeting to speak with a counselor or clergy member. These professionals are equipped to discuss very deep, emotional issues and often have many years of experience. You will find that they are eager to hear what you have to say and assess your situation in such a way that will further your personal growth. Expressing your problems to a professional is a great way to make yourself feel better and healthier.

You need to figure out the things that are the most important and pay more attention to that throughout life. Many peoples' focus tends to wander to negative things and worries. Check in with yourself and focus on the things that are positive. The result will be much greater inner calm and peace.

Don't waste too much money on comfort items. As part of your personal development, clean up your financial matters. Eliminate unnecessary expenses.

You can boost your personal development by being selfless. Having the capability to help others, and personal sacrifice, are major landmarks to building your inner character. Caring for the ill and feeding the hungry can help you become a more empathetic, loving person.

Personal development goals that improve your health will improve many other areas of your life. It's a well-known fact that a healthy body is a happy body. Your mind is less cloudy, and you can even gain more free time and cut down on expenses because you won't need to visit the doctor as frequently. Make a healthy lifestyle one of your high-priority personal development goals.

Decide what it is that you want to do with your life and do it. Daydreaming about an ideal life is not going to take you anywhere. Start working on your goals and do your best to make them come to fruition.

When you do not calmly handle situations, and overreact, you put your body under needless stress. Find ways to deal with high-stress situations rationally. Even if it's a mistake, you can always live through it or fix it. Be thankful for what you have and not for what you've lost.

Don't ignore your body's signals when you are prioritizing your personal development goals. Listen to your body's cues. If it tells you that it needs food, water or rest, LISTEN. Make sure to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to provide you with a sufficient amount of energy. If you choose to ignore it, however, it may choose to ignore you at some point.

If you are looking to grow as a person, write down a set of goals. Write down everything you aspire to be or to change about yourself. Think about as many things as you can to gain confidence. Picture everyday situations that allow you to work toward that goal. By visualizing your goals, as well as your efforts to realize them, you create a clear path to success.

An important part of personal development is bettering your health. A healthy lifestyle includes working out and watching what kind of food you eat, and you must be able to acquire the characteristic of being able to remain motivated to do it. Make sure you try your best to improve yourself in all areas in life, when you do this improving your health becomes easier.

When you are working on your personal development, you should realize you deserve to be the best you can be. You have no one to disappoint but yourself. Ultimately, you can be confident that you worked as hard as possible to achieve your goals.

Stay humble. Everyone is a part of the world's puzzle. No one knows everything, and everyone has more to learn from others. Keep this in mind and remember to stay open to new possibilities. Keeping an open mind will allow you to learn from other people.

If you are looking to achieve success in your life, start by studying those who have already attained great success. Then, intertwine some of their habits into your own success plan. Pick out the most essential success habits from each person you research, then practice these habits until they embed themselves into your daily routine. It takes about 3 weeks to solidify any type of habit, so push through that first month.

It doesn't matter how many of the above methods you utilize. Using just a few of these can assist you on a better path of personal development. Although this can be hard work, you'll be able to work with peace of mind by knowing you now have excellent advice that can assist you.

25Jan/190

Stop wishing. Start doing

Do you have a dream that you’ve buried deep down inside because you think it’s just not possible to attain? Maybe life has gotten in the way and you believe “Oh well, it’s just not meant to be.” You might think that and yet the dream stays there inside of you, lingering and resurfacing once in a while. There is a reason that the dream is there. It’s like a seed that was planted and just needs to be watered to come to life and grow. And that seed is meant to be brought into this world by YOU via action, not just by thinking about it.

You say “By me? Why me? Why would little old me be capable of accomplishing something so wonderful?” Or perhaps you think Who am I to do this?” To that, the answer is Who are you not to bring that dream to life, make your time count and be as happy as you can?

You have something unique and very precious to contribute to this world and the longer you keep that dream inside just to yourself, the longer you are keeping others from benefiting from it. It probably feels much more comfortable contemplating the dream in your mind then taking action but great things never came from comfort zones as they say.

You’ve got to go out there and get things moving. Start by taking one tiny action that brings that dream closer to coming to life. That small action will give you the confidence to then take a bigger action and so on and so forth.

Don’t try to figure out the full plan on how you will get there. Your dream is kind of like crossing a river by stepping on one rock at a time. At first glance, from one side of the river, you might not be able to spot every single rock that will lead you to the other side but once you start crossing over by stepping on one stone, you will see another and then another.

Stop just wishing and thinking and take that first step on that first rock in the river. You will be amazed at how supported you will feel on your journey and how that next unknown step becomes clear just when you are ready to take it.

25Jan/190

How to Achieve Your Lifelong Dreams

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Don’t let your goals and resolutions fall by the wayside. Chances are that to achieve your dreams and live a life you love, those goals and resolutions are crucial. Goal setting and goal achievement are easier if you follow these six steps for effective and successful goal setting and resolution accomplishment.

Deeply Desire the Goal or Resolution

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.” 

Napoleon Hill

So, your first step in goal setting and achieving your dreams is that you’ve got to really, really want to achieve the goal.

Visualize Yourself Achieving the Goal

Lee Iacocca said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” What will your achievement feel like? How will your life unfold differently as a result? If the goal is a thing, some gurus of goal setting recommend that you keep a picture of the item where you see and are reminded of it every day. If you can’t picture yourself achieving the goal, chances are you won’t.

Make a Plan for a Path to Follow to Accomplish the Goal

Create action steps to follow. Identify a critical path. The critical path defines the key accomplishments along the way, the most important steps that must happen for the goal to become a reality.

Stephen Covey said, “All things are created twice. There are a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation of all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind.”

Commit to the Goal by Writing It Down

Lee Iacocca said, “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” Many consultants and coaches agree completely. Write down the plan, the action steps, and the critical path. Somehow, writing down the goal, the plan, and a timeline sets events in motion that may not have happened otherwise. It is as if you are making a deeper commitment to goal accomplishment. You can’t fool yourself later. The written objective really was the goal. People have pulled written goals out of their desk drawers years after writing them down only to discover that they have achieved them. Written goals are powerful.

Check Your Progress Frequently

Whatever you use, a day planner, an online calendar or notetaking system, a smartphone, or a handwritten list, make sure that you check your progress frequently. People have been known to start their day by looking at their goals and then, scheduling time or action steps to move closer to the end they have in mind If you’re not making progress or feel stymied, don’t let your optimism keep you from accomplishing your goals.

No matter how positively you are thinking, you need to assess your lack of progress. Adopt a pessimist’s viewpoint; something will and probably is, going to go wrong. Take a look at all of the factors that are keeping you from accomplishing your goal and develop a plan to overcome them. Add these plan steps to your calendar system as part of your goal achievement plan.
Adjust Your Plan if Progress Slows

Make sure that you are making progress. If you are not making progress, hire a coach, tap into the support of loved ones, analyze why the goal is not being met. Don’t allow the goal to just fade away. Figure out what you need to do to accomplish it. Check the prior five steps starting with an assessment of how deeply you actually want to achieve the goal.

25Jan/190

Overnight Success Is A Myth — Here Is Why?

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Most people have a strong desire to be successful. Many times, however, we do not know exactly what success means or how to pursue it. This introduces much of the confusion and frustration we experience in life. This is why, as a business mentor, a major part of my job is to help people figure out who they are, what they want and how to achieve it. This assists them in shaping a clear notion of success and facilitates their pursuit thereof.

After mentoring hundreds of business executives and entrepreneurs, I have realized that one of the most common obstacles to becoming successful is the unconscious wish for overnight success and having it all. Such wishes make people impatient, shortcut-minded and capricious, all of which have devastating effects on performance and judgment. Debunking these myths is key.

About Overnight Success

In essence, overnight success does not exist. At the very least, it is statistically so rare that people would have a better chance at “succeeding” by playing the lottery. In this regard, I share the following two lessons with my mentees:

1. What most people call overnight success is actually the market suddenly realizing the value of a great product or service that had been kept in obscurity for too long while its creators refused to give up.

2. There is a difference between overnight success and early success. People tend to mistake the success of young entrepreneurs for sudden success. If you are an adult with a spouse, children, a mortgage and a heavy Excel workbook to make sense of it all, you may find counterintuitive, and maybe even unfair, that someone else can become a millionaire at age 19, 21 or 25. However, there is usually a story of hard work, creativity, genius and good opportunities behind such stories. People like Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook FB -3.7%, or Justin Bieber, pop music icon, did not become successful overnight. They dedicated years to learning and perfecting their craft, during which they experienced disappointment, reinvention and, finally, success. Yes, they did not endure the decades of trial and error most of us have; yet that does not mean their success was void of effort, disappointment, struggle and the like.

In conclusion, the idea of overnight success is, by all means, a misconception. Planning one’s life around it is plain senseless.

About Having It All

Also, having it all is a very misleading ambition. In this regard, I share the following two lessons with my mentees:

1. It is economically and psychologically impossible to have it all—meaning, it is impossible to have all of the good and none of the bad. For instance, if you had literally all the wealth in the world, you would have to be at war with everyone else to protect it, which would make your success quite a short-lived and heavy burden. Similarly, if you had literally all the happiness in the world and none of the sorrow, you would be unable to relate empathetically to everyone else, which would make your company unbearable and, therefore, make you sad.

2. Based on the foregoing, those who claim to have it all are lying. They are just conceitedly hiding the fact that they do not.

Life is about making choices. When you choose one option, you are also saying no to many others. You can have what you want, but you cannot want it all and have it all. Or, as Peter Senge said, “You can have your cake and eat it too, but not at the same time.” If you really, really have it all, it means that you have had both victory and defeat; celebration and disappointment; abundance and lack; love and heartbreak, and so on—and you have learned to appreciate it all and learn from it. But that is a completely different notion from the popular “I want to have it all.”

25Jan/190

What is Personal Development?

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“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung

Yesterday I was at a birthday party of one of my best friends, who just turned 30. One of the guests asked me what I currently do, so I told him I’m building something in Personal Development …

… which earned me a blank stare from him! As the seconds ran by I could literally see him articulating the question: “What is Personal Development?”

So I was trying to find common ground by telling him Personal Development is a bit like Self-Help, but more proactive from my perspective. Just like Self-Improvement, which he had an understanding for. The fact that he obviously was lacking some real personal development of his own, got me into elaborating on the topic more and more, earning more and more interest from him…

A Definition of Personal Development

Personal Development is the conscious pursuit of personal growth by expanding self-awareness and knowledge and improving personal skills. 

Those skills include my mind, my body, my spirit as well as my level of success in all areas of life, however, I may define that. The ultimate goal of Personal Development for me is to be a self-realized human being. That means living consciously at my full potential and reaching real happiness in my life.

By progression, I mean that there are essential steps to take when starting out with Personal Development. I believe that in the process of personal growth there are specific milestones to reach and that without tackling these, personal growth is not really possible or at least not completely.

Maybe you are still not convinced that Personal Development is for you and you may still ask “Why?” The reason is simple:

Life is just better when we have done work on ourselves. 

And that includes our mental, physical, emotional, social and financial life. I think it’s fair to say:

Personal Development makes you happy.

You can’t really argue with that goal…

How to Start Personal Development

So how can you get started on your own journey of personal growth? Or if you have already started to consciously follow personal development, how can you get to the next level? During my now over 10 years working on that topic, I identified several of those milestones mentioned above.

There is the basic motivation to improve yourself. It’s either coming from inspiration and you are looking to get better than you already are, or it comes out of desperation: something unpleasant challenges you to grow. For instance, what brought you here today?

One of the first things you need is something I would sum up as acceptance. Acceptance means to see your life / your situation as it really is and accept that. Stop rationalizing things you are truly unhappy about and tell yourself the truth. That may also mean you have to look at areas of your life where it really can be painful to accept the status quo. If you connect to the truth you have laid the most important basis to really grow. You have to know where you stand. From there you can move forward. Without that, it’s just not working. Period.

I think the most essential things in Personal Development deal with how you look at the world and how you see yourself in the world, which then determines how you act in the world. Are you a victim or a winner? Do you see yourself as self-confident or not? Are you in control or not? Are you successful? Are you happy or not, and in what parts of your life.

Making the Unconscious Conscious

Much of it is about making the unconscious conscious. That’s what this blog is really all about (and then to do the work). It’s always the first part to become conscious of how we really work on the inside. Only then we can get control over it. For instance, the idea from above of telling yourself the truth, acceptance, is just the same: to make the unconscious reality, that we may have ignored before, conscious. Just that we can make progress now, while before it wasn’t even on our radar – in was just unconscious.

In psychology this is called the four stages of competence:

Quote from Wikipedia:

  1. Unconscious incompetence
    The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognise their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.
  2. Conscious incompetence
    Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
  3. Conscious competence
    The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
  4. Unconscious competence
    The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.

Makes sense. And in Personal Development we are talking about this process for our whole personality. During this process, we make unconscious beliefs that limit us conscious. We take responsibility for ourselves and stop pointing to others for results that we are responsible for. This moves us back to power again since we are the one in the driving seat. We are response-able, which enables us to dream again, set a life-vision and set some exciting new goals for our life.

We learn to get more energy and how to use it intelligently. We get more self-awareness and improve our mental focus. We develop a personal development plan that will guide us to where we really want to go.