If you’re really pumped up on success, you probably call the company you’re building (or planning to build) “Your Empire.” But do you really know what it takes to build an empire? Do you know how to dominate your world and climb to the top rank of entrepreneurship?
If there ever was a man who knew, it was Julius Caesar. The Julius Caesar: the man who built ancient Rome into the seat of the great Roman Empire practically single-handedly. And although times have changed quite a bit since Julius Caesar was around, there are still five important lessons on building your brand to imperial status and achieving true success that every modern entrepreneur should learn from the man who built Rome.
1. Don’t simply claim your value. Prove it.
When Caesar was a young man (and still a nobody), he was captured by pirates. Twice. When his second captors said they would ask 25 talents as ransom, Caesar laughed in their face. That was the price his first captors had asked and it was time to up the ante. As crazy as it sounds, Caesar convinced the pirates to ask for 50 talents for his release! Which today would be equivalent to the price of 3,550 pounds of silver. Not a small sum by any means.
But Caesar proved he was worth his salt. After mobilizing all his connections to contribute money for his ransom, Caesar built a small fleet and attacked the pirates, taking back every single penny his friends had paid to the pirates. Not only that, he also killed the pirates, and did the whole of Rome a favor by eliminated a real danger from the seas. If you think about it, that’s a steal for just 50 (refunded) talents!
Hopefully, you won’t have to kill any pirates to prove your entrepreneurial worth. But the question of value comes up just as often today as it did in the ancient world. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that their value depends on how much clients are willing to pay them for their products or services.
But the truth is that you’re responsible for showing the world where your real value stands. And the trick to that? Is having the confidence to over-deliver on your promises. Don’t just claim you’re worth 50 talents (or 50 million dollars). And don’t just throw a price on your website hoping, praying, and wishing, people will take the bait and believe you. Go out there and kill it.
Show everybody that those 50 talents they’re paying for you? They’re really a steal for someone of your talent and skills.
2. Don’t wait for permission. Get it done.
When Caesar was still studying law—and keeping out of politics—Mithridates of Pontus attacked the Roman frontier in Asia Minor. This frontier was quite a way from Rome, but young Julius Caesar understood the impending threat.
Instead of turning a blind eye and pretending that it wasn’t his problem, he raised a private army and marched to the defense of the attacked towns. By the time the official Roman army got to the scene, the enemy had practically been defeated and Caesar was hailed as a war hero in Rome.
Now, you may not have to fight any real wars, but if you’re ambitious entrepreneur with a dream to conquer the world, you will inevitably come up against some tough situations. And the same two choices that faced Caesar still face you: You can either shrug it off and say it’s not your job, or you can stop waiting for permission and go do it now.
Success doesn’t come from permission. Success comes when you take action and show the world what you’re capable of.
3. Manage your time (and everybody else’s)
Back in Caesar’s time, the yearly calendar was all out of whack. With only 355 days in the year, the months kept falling out of pace with the seasons and no one knew what festival they were supposed to be celebrating. (Imagine having New Year’s fall on Halloween. Total chaos.)
Everybody in Rome complained about the calendar, but no one really did anything to fix it. No one but Caesar, that is. Seeing that the Egyptians had a solar calendar that worked much better than the Roman lunar calendar, Caesar changed the entire time system in Rome, creating the Julian calendar of 365 days (plus a leap day every fourth February) that we still use all over the world today. Radical, no?
Time is the most precious thing we have in life, and what we do with our time defines who we ultimately become in life. Don’t let time slip out of your hands without taking full advantage of it. You may not be able to manage everybody’s schedules (and you probably don’t want to, anyway), but you can manage your time for maximum efficiency. Instead of complaining about how busy you are, develop a time management system that works for you.
Chunk out your day, eliminate distractions, stay on track with your to-do list and you’re good to conquer the world.
4. No way across? Build a bridge. And make it sturdy.
While conquering Gaul (modern-day France), Caesar had to deal with some Germanic tribes across the river Rhine that were harassing his army. The problem? Caesar didn’t have boats to cross the river. The solution? Build a bridge. And not just any ol’, made-to-last-two-days bridge. Caesar built two bridges (in two different years of the war) that not only proved strategically successful, but that are still considered masterpieces of military engineering today.
You may not have to cross the Rhine any day soon, but if you’re doing innovative work, sooner or later you’ll have to push the envelope to places it has never been before. And in those moments you have to remember that exceptional success requires exceptional steps.
No solution in sight? Take it as your opportunity to shine and build something new. Existing solution doesn’t match up to your standards? Build something better. Forge a new path. And not just for yourself, but for everyone who’ll come after you, too.
5. Blog about your experiences and what you’ve learned.
Would you believe me if I told you that Caesar used to blog? Not on the internet of course. But Caesar used to keep a traditional “log” of all his expeditions, written with a feather pen on papyrus. (Weren’t those the days!) While fighting the Gallic and the Civil Wars, Caesar wrote about his army, his strategy, his tactics, his decisions, his successes and setbacks, and generally everything he faced every day.
And he didn’t just write in a “dear diary” format. He wrote some of the best prose any Roman author ever did and published his work in Rome so people could follow his expeditions and stay informed on his progress.
And if Caesar could write while fighting wars on the frontiers, then you have no reason not to be blogging about your entrepreneurial trials and successes from the comfort of your couch. Regular contact and communication with a supportive audience is important for success, especially in today’s ultra-connected online world. You can’t just stay hidden from the world behind your screen until you find success. You’ll never find it.
You have to get out there and put your story out into the world now, as it happens. Because if you don’t share, no one will care. So don’t sit around debating whether a blog is a good idea, get out there and start writing about your adventures and see how true success will come find you along the way.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re fighting pirates or your inner demons, whether you’re managing the world’s calendar or managing your daily schedule, or whether you’re blogging from the campfire or from the coffee shop around the corner.
The essential steps for finding true success remain the same, even if their form has changed. So take a cue (or five) from Caesar’s playbook and go out there to conquer the world today!
20 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Motivated (Infographic)
Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)
How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals
If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals. (more…)
8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About These 4 Motivation-Boosting Techniques?
If you’d like to learn how to increase your motivation so you can get more done during the day, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
How many times have you heard the questions: “What drives you” or “What excites you?” These questions may come from well-meaning people but they make one problematic assumption – Our motivation depends on something external. As a result, instead of actively building structures that motivate, we find ourselves aimlessly looking for some outside factors that will motivate us. Instead of asking: “What motivates me?” We should be asking, what am I doing to remain motivated? The answer to this question lies in the doing, not motivation itself. (more…)
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