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What Every Wannabe Entrepreneur And Influencer Forgets – It’s Not About You

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This is a message that you must listen to if you ever want to be a successful entrepreneur or influencer. It’s the only real secret that you need to strictly abide by at all times. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!

If you fail to understand this one concept, then I promise you that you will never be anyone of influence or make any real money in business. So many people forget this one idea even though, in my humble opinion, it’s dead obvious and communicated frequently.

Have you ever been to an event and you meet someone for the first time who just talks about them self? Does it make you want to run in the opposite direction? Of course it does, and that’s why this lesson I am going to drill into your head today is so important.

Every influencer I have met through Addicted2Success, and every successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur I have met through my day job, have all understood this concept, and they swear by it. You will fail no matter what if you don’t take the time to practice what I am going to talk about.

These seven rules below are how you make sure that what you do is about those you serve and not you:

Rule 1 – Building a personal brand is BS

The catch phrase that has existed since social media was invented and that is told to everyone is build your personal brand. Building a personal brand is total BS!

By building a personal brand, you are tell everyone online that what you do is all about you. Building a personal brand usually means posting content that always talks about yourself or has some stupid selfie of you doing something that doesn’t add any value to anyone’s life.

The way you build a personal brand is by not building your brand. Sounds confusing doesn’t it? It supposed to be because the only time you will build any brand is when you add value to people – end of story.

People that talk about themselves constantly on social media make me vomit, and I know you probably have the same feeling so don’t be like these fools! Find something you care about and share it with the world to help others. If you do this enough then maybe, just maybe, you might build a brand.

Rule 2 – Don’t have a big head

As you add values to other people’s lives, make sure you don’t do so with a big head or communicate in a way that makes you sound like you are better than everyone else. You’re not and neither am I. We are all global citizens of this world searching for our purpose so we can be fulfilled – that’s why we exist.

Sure, tell people when you have success in your life, talk about the things you do and what you’re good at, just don’t do it in a way that comes across as cocky. As an entrepreneur, you will never create a game-changing business by yourself; you must attract others to your mission.

No one will join your mission if you have a big fat head full of hot air and a disgusting sense of arrogance about you. What will build a monster business for you is the ability to inspire people in a way that makes them want to join your vision. This one tip can allow you to start the next UBER!

Rule 3 – Influence takes time

I meet lots of people at various events that I attend who try something for three months and then say no one is listening. We live in a busy world with loads of distractions and statistically it now takes someone sixteen interactions with a product before they respond.

Influence on social media or as an entrepreneur takes time. By time, I mean at least one year, and for the successful entrepreneurs I know, typically five years. So sit back, relax, take a chill pill, and make sure whatever it is you are doing is something you love otherwise you will never be able to have the patience it takes to succeed.

Rule 4 – Don’t establish a community only to help yourself

Someone said to me the other day, “Tim I’ve had this community for a while, and it’s not making me any money.” My response was “that’s because the community is not there to make you money it’s there to get something from you.”

What I meant when I said this is that you only get what you want when you give your community what they want. If you create a community just for the selfish purpose of making money, then you will be forgotten about quicker than last weeks mainstream TV news.

Rule 5 – A community is not there to flog stuff too

Directly related to my previous point, a community doesn’t exist just to be bombarded and flogged useless products that don’t serve them or that they never asked for. Instead, find stuff that has worked for you, and ask your community what problems they are having and how you can help.

“When every message you say to a group of people is proudly brought to you by some ridiculous product it get’s really painful really quickly”

If you are going to offer products and services, then give plenty of value first, and present what you can offer in a non-spammy way and don’t over do it bud!

Rule 6 – Be 100% transparent and share everything you know

Not only is what you do not about you but if you are going to lead a group of people as an influencer or an entrepreneur then make sure you are 100% transparent. If you want to supercharge your results even quicker then share everything you know.

A great example is Nathan Chan who is the creator of Foundr magazine. I saw him speak a few weeks ago, and the guy shared everything. He went into his financial affairs, shared legal issues he had, and even told us his social media strategy for a product he hasn’t even launched.

He had instant credibility in a room full of people who mostly didn’t know him, and it was damn infectious to see a guy just go all out and not hold anything back. The traits that Nathan displayed are the true essence of not being all about yourself.

Rule 7 – Don’t use someone else’s community and then screw them

Last rule of not being all about yourself is don’t help someone build their community and then screw them over and steal what you helped them create. When you help build someone else’s community you are doing so as a privilege.

You are doing so not because it’s all about you but because you believe in what the community stands for. What you get in return (although it’s not about you) is credibility that you didn’t have before, free education, and access to network with people.

By stealing something from someone else’s community, you are making things all about you and people will never transfer over to your own community if they know you stole something to get there – the truth about dishonest people travels faster than a shooting star.

Did any of these rules resonate with you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Toño

    May 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    While I agree with this topic and the main idea, I want to share my thoughts regarding personal brand. I actually see nothing wrong when provided content is about author’s persona, I can see lots of youtube channels filled with videos like how I spend my day, what I eat/wear, where to buy this or that etc, and those channels gots million of views and subscribers. The same goes with facebook or instagram accounts, where yes, you can mostly see the pathetic selfies, yet people loves them so much they can spend hours of their lives there. Social media now more popular than tv series, and many people treat new video like some new episode of their favourite show. However, there’s one little thing I would like to mention – before you goes all over yourslef, you have to do something for others first.

    I actually would really enjoy to see some kind of vlog about your daily life, your travel site or just something you may want to share, but this is because I feel connection to the ideas you share with us, and attachment to everything you do. I trust you and most likely will listen/watch any of your content, knowing the value you will add to my life.

    But you need to build that base before you go into something personal, I agree.

    Just a quick definition of what I learned from this article:

    Rule # 3 Simply magical and very important to understand. I’ve seen a picture of two men, mining to the gold. One stopped just inches away and turned back, the other one kept going patiently because he believed, loved and enjoyed what he was doing, and, as a result, huge reward at the end. Patience is a virtue and with all of the abundance of resources we have today it surely will take some time for others to notice you.

    Rule #6 Strong people don’t get other’s down.. They lift them Up. A simple message taken from your paragraph. And yes, I am a big fan of Foundr mag instagram. They provide valuable stuff there every single day, it’s amazing.

    Thank you for quality material once again, my friend, and I have finally found the time to express myself here 🙂 Much love and appreciation, stay well and healthy!

    • Tim Denning

      May 23, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Toño thanks for your clarification around personal brand. The article mostly talks about personal brand being BS because it’s generally not done in the manner you described. If someone is giving heaps of value first and then they occasionally promote their own personal brand then that’s okay. The majority of personal brand approaches involves a rather selfish angle which i don’t this is valuable and it usually doesn’t work.

      Your comments about vlog’s has actually got me thinking…lol. I do post a few videos under the Addicted2Success Youtube channel including some interviews so check them out.

      Glad you love Foundr mag too it’s a great resource and their picture quotes are some of the best I have seen. Speak soon Toño.

  2. Cary Hokama

    May 23, 2016 at 4:45 am

    This article was so timely and perfect, Tim. Thank you. What’s crazy is that I happened to sign up for Nathan Chan’s social media strategy product, haha. This article immediately cemented his credibility level.

    • Tim Denning

      May 23, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Cary that’s awesome that you signed up for Nathan Chan’s Foundr course and then randomly read my article with his name mentioned in it. Glad you liked the article and thanks for reading.

  3. Todd Young

    May 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Spot on business brief Tim!

    • Tim Denning

      May 21, 2016 at 1:57 am

      Thanks Todd and glad you connected with the post.

  4. Jeff Damulira

    May 18, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Brilliant point of view 🙂

  5. Andre Steynberg

    May 18, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Very insightful article – resonates perfectly with my personal thoughts!

    • Tim Denning

      May 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Thanks Andre it seems to be what a lot of people are thinking right now including me!

  6. Rob Malone

    May 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Tim, Great article. I really like your point about personal branding is BS. I had never thought about that before but after reading your view I felt like you were dead on.

    Also Rule #6 about transparency is huge and also very difficult for people. You have to get past feeling vulnerable. Jack Stack wrote and awesome book about 20 years ago called The Great Game Of Business and he demonstrated the power of complete transparency in building a business.

    Great article and great rules. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      May 19, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Cheers Rob. Personal branding is BS and I am glad you see the light. Having studied many successful businesses I agree with you that transparency is like the secret ingredient. I will make sure I suss out Jack’s book and thanks for the recommendation.

  7. deepa hajong

    May 18, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Awesome article

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Entrepreneurs

5 of the Best Proven Growth Hacking Strategies for Your Business

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Tough competition can make growing a new brand seem near impossible, despite the hundreds of new companies that are created every day. Creative solutions offer the answer, allowing you to move in a positive direction with your brand start-up at an affordable investment. To achieve this, speed is the key. Growing your user base fast will allow profits to come in fast, too. This is what growth hacking is all about.  (more…)

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5 Soft Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

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soft skills for entrepreneurs
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There are countless components that go into building a successful company, but soft skills act as the fundamental building blocks of a functioning business. Hard skills are considered to be job-specific, whereas soft skills are interpersonal skills, like listening and communication. 

Nearly 93% of employers said that soft skills are an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions. With the right blend of hard and soft skills, an entrepreneur is capable of great things.

Here are five soft skills that can help entrepreneurs scale their growth and lead successful ventures:

1. Confidence

A successful company starts from individual confidence. In order to motivate and inspire others, an entrepreneur must find reassurance in themselves. Other businesses and consumers will believe in your company if you consistently believe in yourself. 

Being confident also means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable— taking risks will expand your business and place you above competitors. As an entrepreneur, and leader, it’s crucial that you not only possess confidence, but exhibit it throughout every step of your business ventures.

2.Self-Awareness

It is vital that an entrepreneur have a clear insight into their personality, especially their strengths, weaknesses, thoughts,and emotions. 

When an entrepreneur is self-aware, it can lead them to beneficial partnerships and agreements. Without good self-awareness, leaders become easily persuaded and spineless. Self-awareness also includes control. Becoming overly emotional, for example, can lead to detrimental impulsive decision making. 

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

3. Collaboration

From the day we begin talking, the ability to work well with others is pivotal to any project. As an entrepreneur, it is important to recognize and understand your own responsibilities. To do this, you must identify your business culture and have tools on hand to manage mutually dependent relationships. 

Active listening inspires collaboration within teams and creates learning opportunities. Without open collaboration or sharing and discussing information, the success of your business is  limited.

4. Time Management

Time is the greatest equalizer. No matter who you are or what you do, we all have the exact same amount of time in the day. Successful management of that time separates the great entrepreneurs from the bad ones. 

Entrepreneurs have many responsibilities; they are often jumping between tasks, hopping on calls, and attending events. They also tend to make every decision within the business.

It is crucial for business owners to find an organization system that works for their company and their goals. Creating a long term road map of company ambitions is an excellent way to distinguish high versus low priority initiatives. Entrepreneurs should create prioritization systems that employees can follow each month, ensuring business targets are met.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Tony Robbins

5. Resilience

Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, unexpected hurdles and setbacks are inevitable. The process of starting a business will not be perfect. What matters most is how you progress when the outlook seems bleak. Your ability to stay tough and weather the storm speaks volumes to your leadership— and will lead to a huge payout at the end of the day. 

Maintaining entrepreneurial resilience throughout rocky times will empower your employees while simultaneously building your credibility. Resilience will also inform potential clients and customers that you are willing to fight through thick and thin.

Soft skills are the backbone of every successful entrepreneur. While hard skills like financing and marketing are crucial to conducting business, soft skills provide the essential groundwork. Developing these soft skills will come with time, mindfulness, and an eagerness to grow. Take the initiative to prioritize these skills in yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can then cultivate those same qualities in your business.

Do you think soft skills tend to be more important than hard skills in today’s business world? Share your thoughts with us below!

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The 7 Successful Habits of Entrepreneurs

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A while ago, I wrote an article on the 51 mistakes that can sabotage your business. However, that was one piece of the puzzle. You have to run your business well to be a successful entrepreneur, but, what’s more important is that you run yourself so well that your business follows suit. In order to do that, you need some good habits that can seriously boost your chances of success.

Here are the 7 must have habits that most successful entrepreneurs have:

1. Mindfully Meditate Everyday for At least 10 Minutes

Tim Ferris, who has interviewed thousands of world-class performers and entrepreneurs, says that the most common practice of all world-class performers is mindfulness meditation. There are different types of meditation, and each serves its own function.

However, mindfulness meditation is meant for controlling your mind so as to be able to focus more intensely on the task at hand. Higher focus equals higher productivity and becoming more effective at whatever you do.

Working in a distracted state leads to substandard work and also takes up more time. If you want to be able to get in the zone like most top-notch entrepreneurs, you need to mindfully meditate.

Now, there are some caveats you need to be aware of before you begin:

  1. Like medicine, mindfulness meditation has a minimum effective dose and that minimum is 10 continuous days for at least 10 minutes each day.
  2. Practice guided meditation before you try meditating on your own.

2. Read a Lot

Warren Buffett was once asked what the secret behind his wealth was. He pointed to a stack of books and said the secret was to read 500 pages like that everyday. Mark Cuban is also a voracious reader and spends almost 3 hours everyday reading in spite of being busy with his businesses. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg also read a book every week.

Now, I am not telling you to read so much everyday but at least make an effort to finish 2 books every month. This is a very common habit among the top-notch entrepreneurs and as Warren says, “knowledge builds up like compound interest.”

Also try not to read on any digital medium except that of Kindle. In spite of it being convenient to read on your phone or tab or laptop, these devices tend to distract us with their notifications and push us to other procrastinating habits.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

3. Keep the Phone Away, aka take a Digital Detox EVERYDAY

With multi-national companies all vying for our attention, we need to learn to use our phones less everyday. While it can be extremely tempting to open your phone while you are waiting in line or are taking an Uber ride, you should resist and embrace the boredom. This has two effects:

  1. It teaches you to sit through boring and monotonous tasks for longer periods of time and not get pulled away at the tiniest amount of distraction.
  2. It builds up your will-power and your discipline.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs try to do this and even successfully do this but they don’t build it into a habit. They do it once a week or once a month and think it will have a beneficial effect on their lives. Sadly, just like eating your vegetables once a week is a very stupid idea if you want to live a healthy life, taking a digital detox occasionally is useless.

4. Dump Coffee for Tea

Most Americans are heavy coffee consumers and can’t live their lives without coffee. But wait …The main ingredient behind coffee is caffeine which is a natural stimulant. If you take a stimulant regularly, your body adapts to the stimulant and you fail to get the benefits of coffee such as greater energy and focus which other non-regular drinkers get.

On the contrary, tea’s natural stimulant relaxes your body and enables you to put in more hours of work without the “crash” effect that coffee drinkers face. If you are up to the suggestion of making tea a part of your daily habits, I suggest you try out green tea which has 15% more caffeine than a cup of coffee. It also possesses l-theanine, which helps the consumer put in a greater state of focused awareness into his/her work.

But if you are a newbie tea drinker and can’t stand the taste of coffee (I don’t know how that’s possible though☹), try out flavored tea.

5. Sleep Around 8 Hours Daily

I think the most damaging piece of advice out there is sleep less and do more work. If you do that, all that’s going to happen is that you are going to wake up the next day feeling drowsy. The net result is that your productivity will suffer.

Also, the notion of early to bed and early to rise is not true as your biological clock may be differently tuned than that of others and your biological prime time may be late at night. However, don’t be too late to sleep as that hinders the DNA repair and as a side-effect your mental fatigue remains.

If you can’t get to sleep early, try to not use your phone or watch the TV or any sort of screen whatsoever, as the blue light can slow down your natural sleep cycle.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” – John Steinbeck

6. Take Cold Showers

You know what troubles most entrepreneurs? They’re good at planning yet it’s the execution part where almost all of them fall flat. It’s because the execution of ideas throws the harsh realities of the business world onto the face of the entrepreneurs, and they are forced to reconsider if they can actually ever succeed.

It is here that the winners get separated from the losers. And guess what separates them? Willpower. I have the best tactic to help you build it and it’s so simple too! Take cold showers early in the morning or late at night, when it is already chilled outside. If you live in a place that is hot, then this tactic may not have the intended effect on you.

However, try taking cold-showers in the winter. You will see that your brain makes all sorts of excuses so as to not go under the chilling water and if you succeed in pushing your brain to do the work, you will have succeeded. You are then, the master of your mind and not the other way around.

7. Plan and Review Daily

If you want to live a truly productive life and get things done instead of having a mounting pile of to-dos, you need to plan ahead. You need to divide your daily schedule into blocks of time and dedicate tasks to each block.

Parkinson’s Law states that the work we need to do stretches into the time we give ourselves to finish it. Therefore, if you need to get work done and don’t give yourself any time-limit or deadline, you will find your work stretching for enormous amounts of time and eating into the time reserved for other tasks.

However, when you first start planning, you will find most of your plans are utterly useless as most tasks will stretch far beyond the time you have allotted for them. This is where the second part comes along – which is to review the plans and reschedule them.

However, there is a particular style of reviewing and this is how you can go about it. First, you need to make a plan of what you intend to complete in a week and what you intend to complete in a day. Then, before going to bed every night, open your calendar and make a note regarding what you failed to complete today and how you will accommodate them into your weekly goals. This should be done before going to bed daily.

Now, it’s your turn. Share this post and spread the word. What’s the most important habit according to you? Do you have any such habits that you use? Let me know in the comments!

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Build Your Business One Brick at a Time

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A good friend and business associate once approached us asking for business advice. “I have $25,000,” he said. “How do I turn that into $50,000? Actually—wait, how do I turn one million into two million in one year?”

We looked at each other, and then we looked back at him and said “You don’t take a million and turn it into two million. It’s not that easy. There are no shortcuts in life, and there are no shortcuts in business.” We recommended he do things the old-fashioned way.

He understood—and we understood—that, of course, some people do double their money in the blink of an eye. It’s not impossible, but it’s incredibly risky. And it’s also not what we are about. We’re not promoting the Bernie Madoff model of Ponzi and phony, get-rich-quick deals; we all know how well that worked out in the end. Businesses have to have a real economic model that is built one brick at a time.

Start, Build, Sell

Growing your business is an incremental process: you start, you build, and you sell. You build more, you sell more. If you have a viable product or service that customers want, they’ll come back to you again and again. They’ll also tell their friends. 

Positive word of mouth is as important as the product itself, because it helps you continue to grow. As Albert Einstein once said (and Warren Buffet often quotes), “compounding interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”

Buffet, known as the smartest investor of the past century, invests in management teams and products he believes in through his company Berkshire Hathaway. He is also said to only invest in products that he likes and uses, and that fall in his circle of competence. Therefore, as a big holder of both their stocks, you can assume he loves Coke and McDonald’s. He also eats and drinks both regularly. Keep his investment interests in mind as you build your business.

“The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

The Value of Viability and Balance

What kind of product or service you decide to build is important, too. You have to be insanely fortunate to have success selling an entirely unique product. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try, but always remember it is easier to sell a product that is easily understood. When you’re just starting out, and even if you’re not, it’s much easier to sell something people completely understand rather than an avant-garde product.

Whatever you want to try in business, whether you have a brand-new type of shop or a nail salon in a strip mall down the street from another nail salon in another strip mall, the essence is the same: work harder, work smarter, and constantly improve.

One challenge you may find at this stage of your entrepreneurial journey is the difficult task of finding balance between preparing and over preparing. As you build and sell, focus on the details, but don’t let them overshadow your big picture.

Spilling the Oil

In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes of a boy who wants to learn about happiness. The boy’s father sent him to the wisest man in the world: the sage. The boy traveled for forty days to reach the wise man, finally finding him in a bustling palace. When the boy asked for the secret to happiness, the sage responded by suggesting the boy take a walk through his palace and come back in two hours.

The sage had one additional request: he handed the boy a teaspoon with two drops of oil and instructed him not to let the oil spill as he walked the grounds. He toured the palace, his eyes never leaving the spoon. When he returned, the sage asked the boy if he had enjoyed the Persian tapestries and the intricate gardens, but the boy replied he hadn’t seen them; his eyes were focused on the spoon. Although he had spilled no oil, he had also seen none of the glories of the palace.

The sage refilled the spoon with two drops of oil, instructing the boy to savor the details of the palace. When the boy returned, he realized he’s spilled the oil, but he was able to describe in detail the colors, tastes, smells of the palace that were beyond his wildest imagination. The sage responded, “The secret of happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

The same is true in business; keep an eye on both the details and the big picture—neither of which you can do if you’re cutting corners or letting the fear of making mistakes stop you from moving forward. Fail often and fail quick. Learn from your mistakes. And, if you are smart, learn from other people’s mistakes, too.

What was your favorite tip from this article? Share your thoughts with us below!

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