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4 Things to Do When Life Gets in Front of Your Ambitions

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life gets in the way

Life happens. Usually at the most inopportune time. Years ago, a long-time client of mine came to me with some tough problems. In the past year, she had lost her job and was considering a new path in the healthcare space that would be more fulfilling to her personally.

At the same time, her husband asked for a divorce leaving her and their two children without much financial support. Then she discovered that her mother was terminally ill, and while her mother had help with doctor appointments and treatments, my client still wanted to be with her mother as much as possible, even if just for emotional support. That’s a lot for one person to handle.

Her biggest question, however, was about timing. How could she continue to look for the type of work she loved, even pursuing additional certifications to make her a qualified candidate, while still answering to the demands that have temporarily forced her off course?

We’ve all been there. Maybe not this bad, but we’ve all been challenged at the most inconvenient times to us.

Here are four tips that will help get you through the valley between those peaks.

1. Look at a bridge as an opportunity

There’s no shame in knowing that you’re going through a difficult period and that you have to do what needs to be done in order to survive. Sometimes it means selling your house and moving back in with your family, putting your children in a different school, or taking on jobs that you thought you would never return to. But these options put money in your pocket. And that’s the point. A bridge lets you go from one opportunity to the next without too much hardship.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

2. Set hard priorities

For my client, insurance, childcare and income were much more important to her in the short-term than finding that perfect job right away. Because she knew exactly what she needed in the short-term, she was able to take an entry-level administrative job at a large community hospital to satisfy those needs while always keeping her eye on the future.

3. Make a plan

When developing a career strategy with my clients, I always suggest a three-year or five-year plan, and then dive into the smaller three-month and six-month goals. It gives the client a nice vision of what could be, as well as realistic goals for how to get there.

It doesn’t need to be ambitious either. If you’re just starting out, sit down and take stock of where you were a year ago, where you are today and how much farther you need to go in the next three years to shape your five-year plan. Are you behind or ahead of where you thought you would be by now?

Then ask yourself why. For my client, staying at her job for a year meant she would qualify for some certifications and training that would help move her into her desired career. Even though it took her longer, this was something she was more than willing to do.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

4. Be forgiving often

This is about forgiving yourself, especially when you don’t want to get out of bed, don’t want to have that difficult conversation, don’t want to sign those papers or show up for what you know will be more bad news. Spend time outdoors and breath.

Spend time with your children or your pets (or both). Go for long walks in nature. Do anything that will help restore your balance. Find a trusted friend or professional that will listen to you, but most of all, don’t be hard on yourself. If you couldn’t handle it, you wouldn’t be going through it, and having that mindset actually puts you in a position of power.

For my client, eventually she met someone new, she spent quality time with her mother before her passing, and she is now a registered nurse. Being a leader is not what you do; it’s who you are. Sometimes who you are has to be very strong.

What did you do when life got tough? How did you recover from it? Leave your thoughts below!

Christina Holloway is a management and strategy consultant, speaker, and leadership coach. She brings 20+ years experience working with visionary clients who want to restart their careers and pursue new goals. As the founder of a small independent consulting company, she spent the last 15 years working with large multi-national businesses, and now leverages that experience to educate, inspire and empower female executives and emerging leaders to develop their skills in effective leadership. To learn more about Christina's work, click here.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wallace

    Jan 21, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    its so important I am in a corner but the article is giving me an option to make it out

  2. Claire Colvin

    Sep 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Tina this is a great article. This is what happened to me when I started a new job and then things with my mom got bad. I recently lost my job. You are right life happens and you move through. It’s a Great article.

  3. Jerene

    Sep 7, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Great article. I really needed to read this because I am currently going through a transition in my life and I am facing many obstacles. It’s important to take a step back and prioritize what’s most important to reach your goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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how to create the life of your dreams

Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

5 Skills You and Your Partner Need to Master to Become an Unstoppable Power Couple

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Power Couples: Those two words have to be the sexiest two words in the business world when placed together. What’s even sexier is when OTHERS label you and your significant other as a power couple.

I pride myself on being able to call my girlfriend and I a power couple. We are always on the same wavelength when it comes to goals, ambitions, and our vision. While we weren’t always such a strong couple, what it took to get to that point was a long journey of daily commitment and consistency.

In this article, I am going to share with you what has worked for our relationship over the past 6 years. While most of us feel we can run our business on our own, there are many that wish their significant other were just as involved and passionate about entrepreneurship as we are.

Stay focused on these five power couple truths and watch your relationship and businesses thrive:

1. Shared Vision & Goals

A couple should share a similar vision. Two people with a shared vision is so powerful because both people can always hold each other accountable for their goals in order to achieve that shared vision. If one person cannot buy into the other person’s vision, there won’t be the full support of the actions steps and the process it takes to achieve those goals. I personally love the fact that my girlfriend and I share a similar vision.

“The more people you help become successful the more successful you become.” – Steve Harvey

2. Effective Communication

Business or not, people need to be able to communicate effectively, which was extremely difficult to me when I first got into business. I mean, come on; up until I was 28 years old, I never even knew what “networking” was. However, over time within the business community I learned that communication in relationships is just as paramount as in business. Through solid and effective communication we have been able to understand each other’s struggles more, which has led us to daily masterminding sessions and a growth in our shared vision, mindset, and businesses.

3. Personal Development

Personal development is crucial in business and as a power couple. Being able to grow together professionally and intellectually is such an awarding feeling in my relationship. If you are both learning and growing together, imagine how strong your two minds are together. It’s a proven fact amongst entrepreneurs that focusing on personal growth builds confidence and a strong mindset. Multiply that strong mindset by two and you have one hell of a  power couple, ready to take over the world.

4. Quality Time

If you’re in an entrepreneurial relationship, chances are you have had challenges at times when it comes to quality time with your significant other. Hey, I understand. We all have a “Love for the Hustle,” and so does my significant other. She comes from an entrepreneur household and can hustle with the best of us. So the key to making sure we have our quality time is all based on time management. Remember folks, priorities first.

Although you may be supportive and you are okay with less quality time or cancelled dates, always stick to your values to each other and what’s most important to you both and your shared vision and goals. A power couple is only a power couple because of how strong and committed the two are to their relationship just as much as their business.

They know when to turn off the phone and make time for each other genuinely. Remember, with that also includes effective communication to get schedules aligned.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” – Tony Robbins

5. Endless Support & Encouragement

A true power couple cannot stress how much support and understanding there has to be in their relationship. When you’re on the grind and you hit those roadblocks, not too many people are in your corner. As for me though, when I hit those rough chapters in business, other than my mastermind group, I know there is always one person I can count on to always have my back and bring me back into high spirits and push me further than the day before.

Bottom line, a power couple is a couple that are truly confident in their relationship and in business. Two people in a relationship with a shared goal, vision, and mindset are more powerful than business partners. You both know more about each other than you would even care to know about your business partner and accept each other through all the flaws and mistakes.

There is an unspoken commitment that goes beyond business or friendships. In my experience, being with someone who has just as much hustle as me has been a blessing. There aren’t questions about what time I will be home or who I am meeting. We know we are committed to one another and also hustling for a shared vision or our future.

What are some relationship goals every power couple should have?  Comment below!

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Life

4 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Your Productivity Today

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We are always looking for how we can fit more into our days and weeks, eager to try the newest productivity tip that comes our way, just like the newest fad diet. The pomodoro technique? Check. Waking up at 4am like Apple CEO Tim Cook? Tried it. The ‘throw out your to-do list’ productivity tip? Tried that one, too.

And yet we’re still looking for the productivity hack, that magic pill promising to will us into action toward the goal of checking everything off our to-do list by the day’s end.

But, here’s the thing. Before you can even think about trying the latest tips and tricks on the productivity front, you have to change your thinking about productivity. In other words, you have to start thinking of managing your energy first – not time itself.

The forces that provide energy – namely, your body and your mind, need to be the starting points. It’s the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

The Links Between Energy and Productivity

The links between productivity, sleep, healthy food, exercise and mental health are well-documented and yet they are among the most overlooked productivity boosters out there.  The link between sleep and productivity is well-known, but it can be difficult to stop burning the midnight oil, even though it’s so counterintuitive.

One study found that insomniacs and those with insufficient sleep syndrome (those who fail to get enough sleep at night and are sleep deprived) had significantly worse productivity levels and overall performance compared to those who got more sleep.

And then there’s all of the studies linking certain foods and energy levels. According to the World Health Organization, healthy eating can increase your productivity levels by 20 percent. Although drive-thrus were designed to be efficient, they are backfiring when it comes to productivity.

And, of course, the dreaded topic of exercise. This study compared 200 employees on the days they exercised and the days they didn’t. The results were impressive. 72% reported improvements in time management, while 74% reported better workload management. The scores were also 41% higher on feeling motivated to work, 22% higher for finishing work on time and 21% higher in concentration.

There’s also mental energy that comes into play when it comes to productivity, with studies showing that people only have a limited amount of energy to spend during the day. Once that’s depleted, productivity decreases.

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Paul Dickey

How to Manage Your Energy Levels

When it comes to getting more sleep, eating healthier and getting more exercise in, you’re likely familiar with the old classics: avoid digital screens an hour or two before going to bed, swap out white carbs for brown carbs, nix the sugar and so on.

Keep in mind many of these elements are interconnected. So, carving out a little bit of time for exercise can help you sleep better at night.

But here is what some of the latest research on the topic has to say.

1. Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep once your head hits the pillow? A cognitive scientist has offered a new, drug-free sleep hack called cognitive shuffling that promises to make you fall asleep in mere seconds. The idea is that it lulls you into that foggy state that comes before actual sleep where things stop making sense.

This is how it works: Instead of counting sheep, choose a random word like ‘Productivity.’ Next, come up with new words based on each letter and imagine those words vividly.  By focusing on random words and images, it lulls the brain into that foggy state.

Are you getting enough sunlight exposure in the morning? Sunlight has been linked with better sleep. This helps regulate circadian rhythms. Try taking the dog out for a brisk walk around the block in the morning or drinking your morning cup of coffee on the patio.

2. Diet

The best diet for energy? According to a new study published by American Academy of Neurology, the answer lies in the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, cereal grains and olive oil and fewer animal products like dairy and fish.

The study, while using a population of older adults, found that they retained more brain volume over three years than those who did not follow the diet as closely. If you can swap out processed foods throughout your work week, your brain will thank you with more brain power throughout the day.

3. Exercise

When we want to get more accomplished in the day, it seems counterintuitive to try to fit in exercise. Nonetheless, new research on the topic is showing you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or at the gym in order to unleash the brain-boosting benefits of exercise.

The best kind of exercise for people that don’t have a lot of time? Short bouts of intense exercise. A new study has found that even one minute of exercise – one minute! – has similar health effects to longer endurance training.

If you’re resistant to exercise, a more gentle form of exercise like Hatha yoga has been found to improve brain function and energy levels. The same was true for mindfulness meditation. The study found that all you needed was 25 minutes.

Using your lunch break to do a little bit of mindfulness meditation can help see you through that classic afternoon slump and reach for the coffee pot.

“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” – Gene Tunney

4. Mental Health

When it comes to mental energy, it is important to prioritize mental health. A surprising way to boost energy is watching cat videos. One study has found that watching cat videos at your desk improves energy and boosts positive emotions.

The benefits of green space on mental health, including the ability to reduce stress, have been well documented. Whether you add a couple of plants to your desk at work or you walk over to the park on your lunch break, you will leave feeling calmer and ready to take on the rest of your day.

The Takeaway

Before you read the latest and greatest productivity hack, or before you question why you’re not accomplishing enough, ensure that you are managing your physical and mental energy first. This is the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

How are you managing your energy throughout the day? Let us know anything you do which you believe can be beneficial to all of us.

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10 Part Action Plan for Writing Your Very First Book

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There’s no doubt that writing a book is an excellent way to bolster your credibility and establish yourself as an authority. A book can also help you spread ideas and is a mechanism for people to connect with you. It’s a self-contained product that you can monetize, but it can also be a vehicle to sell your products and services. In many ways, your book can be your ticket to new income streams and opportunities. (more…)

Brock Shinen has been guiding entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and creators for more than 13 years as an attorney, trainer, and strategic advisor. His passion is to see people and businesses transform by implementing smart, adaptable thinking leading towards economic and personal success. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller, “Crush The Stops: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finishing Things.” You can also visit his website.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wallace

    Jan 21, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    its so important I am in a corner but the article is giving me an option to make it out

  2. Claire Colvin

    Sep 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Tina this is a great article. This is what happened to me when I started a new job and then things with my mom got bad. I recently lost my job. You are right life happens and you move through. It’s a Great article.

  3. Jerene

    Sep 7, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Great article. I really needed to read this because I am currently going through a transition in my life and I am facing many obstacles. It’s important to take a step back and prioritize what’s most important to reach your goals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

3 Steps to Increasing Your Confidence for Good

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As an ambitious person on the road to success, you know first hand how challenging it is to achieve your lofty goals. Let’s be honest, the road to success is littered with potholes and unexpected curves.

You need a consistent feeling of confidence if you want to make it to the finish line and rise victoriously. That’s why in this article, you’re going to learn the most simple and effective 3-step sequence to help you increase your confidence for good.

1. Learn One Thing

As an informed reader here, we’re skipping past the part where we harp on the importance of taking action for building confidence. You already took action by reading this article with the desire to get better. Perhaps, you made the sales call, pressed publish on your new post, did the interview, or pitched your idea.

But now it’s time to immediately learn one thing from the action you just took. The second after you take action, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I can learn from this, to ensure I get a better result next time?”

If you’ve read Gary Keller’s powerful book, The One Thing, you know success isn’t about trying to do a million things. It’s about doing one thing — exceptionally. Similarly, instead of trying to derive 86 lessons from that sales call you just finished, start learning simply the number one best thing you can.

Here in step one, you do so by asking yourself the aforementioned question. It works like magic. When you ask yourself a question, your brain outputs an answer. This only happens if you start this sequence immediately after you take action — regardless of the result.

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” – Gary Keller

2. Validate Yourself

In step two, take the time to validate yourself with positive self talk. Tell yourself, “Nice job. That took courage. Let’s keep going, baby. I’m going to do this. I’ve got this.” The key here is to speak to yourself positively and authentically. Speak to yourself the way a great mentor, coach, or friend would. Remember too, in this step, you are not pumping yourself up with empty affirmations or false hope.

You are validating yourself because you took action and you learned from that action. This deserves credit. By practicing the act of self validation here in step two, you train yourself to remain confident regardless of whether or not you achieved or came up short.

Validate yourself whether you land the client or fail to do so. Most don’t do this, it’s why they lack confidence. But you? You act, learn, then validate yourself, regardless of the external result. This trains you to feel good about yourself no matter what people say about you.

While most people crumble when they don’t get the results they desired, you feel confident even when you lose this battle. You know that the campaign is long, and, if you keep learning, you’ll get accomplish the goals you desire in the end.

3. Repeat the Action

Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it.” Carnegie said it best and it’s why step three is a simple call to action — to repeat the action you just took. By repeating the action as soon as possible, you don’t give yourself time to ruminate or overthink.

In step one, you learned one important, personalized nugget of wisdom that’ll help you perform better from now on. Then in step two, you validated yourself with positive self talk — reminding yourself that by continuing to take persistent action, success is inevitable.

Now? There’s nothing left to say. Without delay, it’s time to get back on the horse and take another crack at it! Your confidence continues to grow as you take more actions, learn more from those actions, and remind yourself that you’re a champ for taking all these actions!

“Don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Think big, aim high, act bold. And see just how big you can blow up your life.” – Gary Keller

Why This 3-Step Sequence Increases Your Confidence for Good

By repeating this sequence, you gain important knowledge, continuously remind yourself of your positive traits, and most importantly — you desensitize yourself to any fears you once had.

You’re going to fall in love with this process of taking action. Whether that action for you is making sales calls, pitching your startup to investors, interviewing for competitive positions, or publishing new content online, the more you act using these 3-steps, the more confident you’ll become.

A key side benefit of using this sequence is you quickly enter a massive, perpetual state of action. This all but guarantees you increased real world results. These improved results become the cherry on top to your core confidence.

When you lack confidence, how do you find the confidence you need again? Let us know by commenting below!

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Life

3 Ingredients to Create the Life of Your Dreams

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Let’s bake a cake! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: one cup of Courage, two tablespoons of Initiative, and three teaspoons of Will. You can put the money, education, and physical attractiveness back in the refrigerator. They can help improve the taste or quality, but they are not required to bake this cake. The cake is a metaphor for the life of your dreams. If you want to create massive achievement in your life, you will need to obtain courage, initiative, and will.

The main ingredients of courage, initiative, and will are fundamental to long term-achievement. You need the courage to start. The initiative is necessary to think outside the box. Will is required to continue when it gets tough.

Whether we are talking about achieving long-term happiness via a personal relationship or individual experiences, the ingredients mentioned above can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the life of your dreams. You aren’t born with courage, initiative, or will. In fact, you are born with fear, reluctance, and other mechanisms designed to keep you safe. However, with an intentional mindset guided by positive optimism, these characteristics can be grown and cultivated in a garden of possibilities for your life!  

How can you acquire courage, initiative, and will? Check out my 3 tips below:

1. Travel or better yet move out of the country

Yes, I will give you a moment to reread the line above. My first recommendation is for you to travel or ideally move out of the country! Travel and undeniably relocating outside of the country you were born in, requires courage. You must be brave to face the unknown, and there is no better way to do this other than to get out of your comfortable home environment and see the world. The experiences with traveling or moving will automatically build the courage within you to reach toward the achievements that you desire in life.  

“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”

2. Learn a new language

Ideally, with the recommendation from number one, you will choose a location where a language other than your native tongue is spoken. With language acquisition, the learner must develop a spirit of initiative to do something that is not required. You can live your entire life and only communicate in one language, or you can expand your horizon and do something different. To become fluent in a new language will not be easy; the life of your dreams is worth the fight. The process of learning a language will attract the necessary skill set that accompanies initiative and ties in within my final recommendation.

3. Fail as often as possible

In traveling and undeniably with learning a new language, you will make mistakes. If you are not failing in the process of adjusting to a different culture, which will occur in traveling and language acquisition, you are doing something wrong! You must fail to adapt and ideally this will happen as frequent as possible. This does not mean that you look to fail. It does mean that you understand failure as an opportunity to learn. Failure builds your ability to develop the power of will. Possessing will can enable you to learn from your mistakes, improve, and keep pushing toward the achievements that can create the life of your dreams.  

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way

If you put courage, initiative, and will into the oven responsible for making your dreams become a reality, you will be successful. It will not be easy. Occasionally you will become frustrated and want to open the door and see what’s taking so long for the cake or the life you desire. However, just stay the course and allow courage, initiative, and will to blend and bring into fruition the life of your dreams.

What other ingredients would you add?  Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

5 Skills You and Your Partner Need to Master to Become an Unstoppable Power Couple

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power couple

Power Couples: Those two words have to be the sexiest two words in the business world when placed together. What’s even sexier is when OTHERS label you and your significant other as a power couple.

I pride myself on being able to call my girlfriend and I a power couple. We are always on the same wavelength when it comes to goals, ambitions, and our vision. While we weren’t always such a strong couple, what it took to get to that point was a long journey of daily commitment and consistency.

In this article, I am going to share with you what has worked for our relationship over the past 6 years. While most of us feel we can run our business on our own, there are many that wish their significant other were just as involved and passionate about entrepreneurship as we are.

Stay focused on these five power couple truths and watch your relationship and businesses thrive:

1. Shared Vision & Goals

A couple should share a similar vision. Two people with a shared vision is so powerful because both people can always hold each other accountable for their goals in order to achieve that shared vision. If one person cannot buy into the other person’s vision, there won’t be the full support of the actions steps and the process it takes to achieve those goals. I personally love the fact that my girlfriend and I share a similar vision.

“The more people you help become successful the more successful you become.” – Steve Harvey

2. Effective Communication

Business or not, people need to be able to communicate effectively, which was extremely difficult to me when I first got into business. I mean, come on; up until I was 28 years old, I never even knew what “networking” was. However, over time within the business community I learned that communication in relationships is just as paramount as in business. Through solid and effective communication we have been able to understand each other’s struggles more, which has led us to daily masterminding sessions and a growth in our shared vision, mindset, and businesses.

3. Personal Development

Personal development is crucial in business and as a power couple. Being able to grow together professionally and intellectually is such an awarding feeling in my relationship. If you are both learning and growing together, imagine how strong your two minds are together. It’s a proven fact amongst entrepreneurs that focusing on personal growth builds confidence and a strong mindset. Multiply that strong mindset by two and you have one hell of a  power couple, ready to take over the world.

4. Quality Time

If you’re in an entrepreneurial relationship, chances are you have had challenges at times when it comes to quality time with your significant other. Hey, I understand. We all have a “Love for the Hustle,” and so does my significant other. She comes from an entrepreneur household and can hustle with the best of us. So the key to making sure we have our quality time is all based on time management. Remember folks, priorities first.

Although you may be supportive and you are okay with less quality time or cancelled dates, always stick to your values to each other and what’s most important to you both and your shared vision and goals. A power couple is only a power couple because of how strong and committed the two are to their relationship just as much as their business.

They know when to turn off the phone and make time for each other genuinely. Remember, with that also includes effective communication to get schedules aligned.

“The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” – Tony Robbins

5. Endless Support & Encouragement

A true power couple cannot stress how much support and understanding there has to be in their relationship. When you’re on the grind and you hit those roadblocks, not too many people are in your corner. As for me though, when I hit those rough chapters in business, other than my mastermind group, I know there is always one person I can count on to always have my back and bring me back into high spirits and push me further than the day before.

Bottom line, a power couple is a couple that are truly confident in their relationship and in business. Two people in a relationship with a shared goal, vision, and mindset are more powerful than business partners. You both know more about each other than you would even care to know about your business partner and accept each other through all the flaws and mistakes.

There is an unspoken commitment that goes beyond business or friendships. In my experience, being with someone who has just as much hustle as me has been a blessing. There aren’t questions about what time I will be home or who I am meeting. We know we are committed to one another and also hustling for a shared vision or our future.

What are some relationship goals every power couple should have?  Comment below!

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Life

4 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Your Productivity Today

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productivity

We are always looking for how we can fit more into our days and weeks, eager to try the newest productivity tip that comes our way, just like the newest fad diet. The pomodoro technique? Check. Waking up at 4am like Apple CEO Tim Cook? Tried it. The ‘throw out your to-do list’ productivity tip? Tried that one, too.

And yet we’re still looking for the productivity hack, that magic pill promising to will us into action toward the goal of checking everything off our to-do list by the day’s end.

But, here’s the thing. Before you can even think about trying the latest tips and tricks on the productivity front, you have to change your thinking about productivity. In other words, you have to start thinking of managing your energy first – not time itself.

The forces that provide energy – namely, your body and your mind, need to be the starting points. It’s the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

The Links Between Energy and Productivity

The links between productivity, sleep, healthy food, exercise and mental health are well-documented and yet they are among the most overlooked productivity boosters out there.  The link between sleep and productivity is well-known, but it can be difficult to stop burning the midnight oil, even though it’s so counterintuitive.

One study found that insomniacs and those with insufficient sleep syndrome (those who fail to get enough sleep at night and are sleep deprived) had significantly worse productivity levels and overall performance compared to those who got more sleep.

And then there’s all of the studies linking certain foods and energy levels. According to the World Health Organization, healthy eating can increase your productivity levels by 20 percent. Although drive-thrus were designed to be efficient, they are backfiring when it comes to productivity.

And, of course, the dreaded topic of exercise. This study compared 200 employees on the days they exercised and the days they didn’t. The results were impressive. 72% reported improvements in time management, while 74% reported better workload management. The scores were also 41% higher on feeling motivated to work, 22% higher for finishing work on time and 21% higher in concentration.

There’s also mental energy that comes into play when it comes to productivity, with studies showing that people only have a limited amount of energy to spend during the day. Once that’s depleted, productivity decreases.

“Manage your energy, not your time.” – Paul Dickey

How to Manage Your Energy Levels

When it comes to getting more sleep, eating healthier and getting more exercise in, you’re likely familiar with the old classics: avoid digital screens an hour or two before going to bed, swap out white carbs for brown carbs, nix the sugar and so on.

Keep in mind many of these elements are interconnected. So, carving out a little bit of time for exercise can help you sleep better at night.

But here is what some of the latest research on the topic has to say.

1. Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep once your head hits the pillow? A cognitive scientist has offered a new, drug-free sleep hack called cognitive shuffling that promises to make you fall asleep in mere seconds. The idea is that it lulls you into that foggy state that comes before actual sleep where things stop making sense.

This is how it works: Instead of counting sheep, choose a random word like ‘Productivity.’ Next, come up with new words based on each letter and imagine those words vividly.  By focusing on random words and images, it lulls the brain into that foggy state.

Are you getting enough sunlight exposure in the morning? Sunlight has been linked with better sleep. This helps regulate circadian rhythms. Try taking the dog out for a brisk walk around the block in the morning or drinking your morning cup of coffee on the patio.

2. Diet

The best diet for energy? According to a new study published by American Academy of Neurology, the answer lies in the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans, cereal grains and olive oil and fewer animal products like dairy and fish.

The study, while using a population of older adults, found that they retained more brain volume over three years than those who did not follow the diet as closely. If you can swap out processed foods throughout your work week, your brain will thank you with more brain power throughout the day.

3. Exercise

When we want to get more accomplished in the day, it seems counterintuitive to try to fit in exercise. Nonetheless, new research on the topic is showing you don’t need to spend hours on the treadmill or at the gym in order to unleash the brain-boosting benefits of exercise.

The best kind of exercise for people that don’t have a lot of time? Short bouts of intense exercise. A new study has found that even one minute of exercise – one minute! – has similar health effects to longer endurance training.

If you’re resistant to exercise, a more gentle form of exercise like Hatha yoga has been found to improve brain function and energy levels. The same was true for mindfulness meditation. The study found that all you needed was 25 minutes.

Using your lunch break to do a little bit of mindfulness meditation can help see you through that classic afternoon slump and reach for the coffee pot.

“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” – Gene Tunney

4. Mental Health

When it comes to mental energy, it is important to prioritize mental health. A surprising way to boost energy is watching cat videos. One study has found that watching cat videos at your desk improves energy and boosts positive emotions.

The benefits of green space on mental health, including the ability to reduce stress, have been well documented. Whether you add a couple of plants to your desk at work or you walk over to the park on your lunch break, you will leave feeling calmer and ready to take on the rest of your day.

The Takeaway

Before you read the latest and greatest productivity hack, or before you question why you’re not accomplishing enough, ensure that you are managing your physical and mental energy first. This is the number one most overlooked productivity tip out there.

How are you managing your energy throughout the day? Let us know anything you do which you believe can be beneficial to all of us.

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