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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Jumping to the Next Opportunity

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what should i consider before taking a new opportunity

If you want to achieve your dreams, sometimes you have to turn down opportunities. There may be a time when you are offered an opportunity, like a job or promotion.

The successful and powerful person making the offer talks about how this will be your big break, and how this can help you become what you want to be. This can be very exciting; money, prestige, or security dropped into your lap.

But stop to think for a moment before you take the opportunity. Does this opportunity really help to advance you toward your goals? The successful person who made the offer seems to think so. But they also have a need to fill, and their idea about what your goals are might be influenced by their need.

How can you tell if the opportunity presented is one that you should take, or one that you should pass up?

Here are five ideas for you to consider before jumping on the opportunity:

1. Is the opportunity the right fit for you?

Is this opportunity the right fit for you? When you think about what you want out of life, does this opportunity really let you contribute the best of yourself?

Humans are logical creatures, and we are great at rationalizing. When you look at the opportunity, your brain will rationalize and try to make it fit you. Really listen for the nagging voice in the back of your mind. Listen to your heart. Is this something that you really want? Or are you being swayed by the arguments of the presenter?

Look at other people who are doing the role that you are being offered. Is that the sort of person that you want to be? If so, this opportunity may be a perfect fit for you. If not, you are better off waiting and working toward what you really want.

“Find something that you love doing. If you make a lot of money, that’s a bonus. And if you don’t, you still won’t hate going to work.” – Jeff Foxworthy

2. Are you afraid of what might happen?

How big of a role does fear play in your decision? Are you considering this opportunity only because of the fear of what might happen if you pass it up?

Fear of the unknown is a common fear. Often the known route will seem safer or more secure simply because it is known. But it might be that the unknown route will be easier. Or, it might be more difficult, but the rewards for taking that journey may be much greater.

Don’t take the opportunity merely because you fear the unknown.

 

3. Are you only jumping on the opportunity because it’s easier?

Some opportunities seem to make good sense because they are just easier. If you are struggling to build your business, and somebody offers you the chance to make money doing something else it can be tempting to take the offer.

When you are starting your own business you have to do everything – marketing, manufacturing, sales, accounting, even janitorial duties. It could be so easy to just take the money to work for somebody else. You need to carefully examine what is being offered. Be suspicious if it is too easy.

Will it help you move toward your real goals, perhaps by offering you some training that you need? Or will it cause you to stagnate and make no forward progress because you will be doing the same thing over and over with no real challenges?

 

4. Is someone making vague promises to make you more interested?

Examine the opportunity closely. Are vague promises being made that excite you and encourage you to take that opportunity? Many people have been led into a decision based on excitement for something that never came to be.

Look at the realities of the opportunity. Are they strong enough that the opportunity is valuable on its own right? Or are the vaguely promised extras what are leading you to want to take the opportunity?

If you can’t get the promises in writing, it may be best to turn this opportunity down.

 

5. Are you stuck in your own fantasies?

Look at your goals and dreams. Do they fall into the category of fantasies?

If your dream is to become famous, that is an example of a fantasy. It is something that you can take great pleasure in dreaming about, but it is not something that you can guarantee by your actions.

Examples of goals or dreams that are not fantasies are play guitar or start a business. Both of these things you can control. A wonderful side effect of pursuing these goals could be that you would become famous or strike it rich.

If your dreams are actually fantasies, and you are given an opportunity to take action doing something that you love, you should take the opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by just because you are busy daydreaming.

“As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.” – Barbara Sher

Don’t let yourself be derailed from your route to success by openings that don’t do you any good. Find the courage and strength of character to do what is best, even if it might be difficult or frightening. In the long run you will be glad that you did.

What opportunities are you facing right now? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nico

    Jun 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    This questions and answers gave me a good indication on making business decisions.Thanks

    • Susan de Jong

      Jun 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I’m glad that you could put the information to use. Good luck.

  2. Chupacabra

    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    This question is by far my go-to question for just about everything but in a challenging moment with kids it almost always grounds me and centers me to make a more rational decision. Ask yourself what your family needs most right now.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:19 am

      That is a good point. What your family needs can often drive a decision.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Susan the questions you raised are so relevant for me right now. Your 4th point is the one that keeps tripping me up. Some people can often oversell you on an opportunity and it can be difficult at times without calling them a liar to understand just how real the opportunity is.

    I am pursuing many opportunities right now and I appreciate your article. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Hi Tim,
      Yes, I’ve been there before. It’s easy to get pulled in by dreams.

  4. Naman Kumar

    May 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi
    Great post!
    These questions will really help a man think if surely want to move to the next opportunity or not.
    Thanks!

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Hi Nauman,
      I’m glad these questions can help.

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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confidence

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 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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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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The Best Way to Accelerate Your Success According to James Altucher

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James Altucher

I recently interviewed author and serial entrepreneur James Altucher and asked him a simple question:  What is the best way to accelerate success in any endeavor? To which James gave me a golden nugget. Or maybe 3 golden nuggets. He gave me what he calls the plus (+), equals (=), and minus (-) process and it blew me away. So simple yet so profound. (more…)

My name is Mani Vaya and I am the founder of 2000 Books where we publish summaries of business and self-help books for entrepreneurs. We also have a podcast where we interview today’s top business & self-help authors. We also have a youtube channel where we publish book summaries in video format. Before starting 2000 Books, I spent 13 years in High-tech industry rising from the ranks of a software engineer to managing Billion $+ cellphone project launches at a Fortune 500 company. Please find my company online at www.2000books.com . You can also find me on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/c/2000books.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Nico

    Jun 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    This questions and answers gave me a good indication on making business decisions.Thanks

    • Susan de Jong

      Jun 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      I’m glad that you could put the information to use. Good luck.

  2. Chupacabra

    Jun 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    This question is by far my go-to question for just about everything but in a challenging moment with kids it almost always grounds me and centers me to make a more rational decision. Ask yourself what your family needs most right now.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:19 am

      That is a good point. What your family needs can often drive a decision.

  3. Tim Denning

    May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Susan the questions you raised are so relevant for me right now. Your 4th point is the one that keeps tripping me up. Some people can often oversell you on an opportunity and it can be difficult at times without calling them a liar to understand just how real the opportunity is.

    I am pursuing many opportunities right now and I appreciate your article. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Hi Tim,
      Yes, I’ve been there before. It’s easy to get pulled in by dreams.

  4. Naman Kumar

    May 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi
    Great post!
    These questions will really help a man think if surely want to move to the next opportunity or not.
    Thanks!

    • Susan

      Jun 3, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Hi Nauman,
      I’m glad these questions can help.

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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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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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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