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5 Ways For Entrepreneurs to Keep The Creative Juices Flowing

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5 Ways For Entrepreneurs to Keep The Creative Juices Flowing

No matter what business you are in, chances are the competition is fierce. You probably have a website, you have your marketing, you may even blog, but you need to do everything you can to stand out.

Running your own business requires both the right and left brain. It requires doing everything you can to be original in a world where your competition is busy saying and producing the same things. When it comes to standing out, creativity is a must. But you know something? Creativity doesn’t come from banging your head against the wall. It often doesn’t come by staring at a blank computer screen.

It often comes in the moments when we are – Gasp – living our lives. It creeps up on us when we are away from the computer. Those ideas pop up at all times. There is an eerie truth to the cliché that ideas come while you are in the shower. So the best thing you can do is carry a notebook and jot them down whenever they might pop into your mind (feel free to dry off first, if needed).

We were born with creativity. We were born with the urge to draw, paint, write and create. Somewhere along the line as adults, it becomes a struggle to hang on to.

Here are 5 steps entrepreneurs can take to boost their creativity:

 

1. Get some kind of physical activity

I know, I know, operating your business takes time. It takes all of your energy and focus. You are a busy person, who doesn’t have any time for yourself. Or you just hate exercise. Maybe you broke your alarm clock throwing it against the wall. Insert reason. Insert excuse.

I’m not saying you have to run a marathon or bench press 300 pounds. Just start simple. Go for a half-hour walk. Do some pushups or situps before you take your morning shower. Do something. Exercise will jolt your normal routine. You may begin to think of things differently. Exercise will help your creativity. Who knows, you might even become healthier.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

2. Read outside your industry

When you invest all of your energy into building your business it is easy to live life with a singular focus. You spend your waking hours thinking of nothing but how to improve your business. Here’s something easier said than done – you need to break that urge. Sure, read the most important industry books, blogs or research, but read other stuff too.

What else do you absolutely love reading? For me it’s personal essays and biographies. Maybe even a novel sprinkled in here and there. The thing is, reading outside your industry will give you ideas. When you come across an applicable idea, write about it, implement it, do whatever you need to do. This is how you can breathe a little creativity and originality into a world of clones.

 

3. Go out for lunch

Again, I know you are busy. We all are, but if you are a solo entrepreneur, it becomes very easy to live in an isolated world where every day is the same. Even if you run a larger business, it is still possible for your focus to become singularly constrained. It’s time to mix things up and talk with some new people.

Do you have friends or colleagues who do something interesting for a living? Now is not the time to be shy. Call them, grab lunch, grab coffee, pick their brain. If no one in particular comes to mind, network. Truly think about it. You can find someone. Most people are comfortable talking about themselves. So go ahead and ask questions about who they are, and what they do.

 

4. Do what your significant other says 

This is another piece of advice that can go against every grain of our being. If you find yourself extremely frustrated with a lack of progress on any given project, it is probably time to step away from the computer. Go run that errand. Take out the garbage.

Empty the dishwasher. Most of these things do not take the time that we think they do. Most of us are not “above” doing these things, like we think we are. So go, step away, let your brain reboot. You may get that idea while you are gone.

 “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

5. Create something

What are your interests outside of your work? Play guitar, paint, build something, take photos. Whatever your interest may be, don’t neglect it. Even if it’s just a half hour of your day, it will break up your routine and leave you feeling accomplished and refreshed.

 

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Magnus Agency

    Jul 9, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Great article. Thank you.

  2. Salim

    Nov 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Your advice is excellent and I am implementing it immediately! A lot of it I already know but I definitely need the reminder… Thanks

  3. Chris Targett

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Physical activity has to be my favourite.

    I love the idea of reading outside of your industry, I’ve had some good ideas come from doing something with little relevance to my field.

  4. Heitem Ak

    Aug 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Nice one Matt,

    Physical activities are so underrated!

    Heitem Ak

  5. Rita

    Aug 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for such a helpful article. I especially like the advice of just “create something.”

  6. Dotchamou Zakari

    Aug 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you for your post. I think that in this noisy world where many things call our attention, one of the hardest things to do is to still listen to our inner voice that can help us to innovate and move us far from the ordinary. Those who want to stay for a long time in the road of entrepreneurships know that they must continue to innovate, that is why your article is very useful for any person who want to be creative.

  7. Travel the Life

    Aug 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Totally agree about all the things; and we consider one of the most important is to “create something”.

Leave a Reply

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

Motivation

There’s Nothing Better Than A Deadline (Literally Nothing!)

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Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.

Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.

I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.


Without a deadline you’re useless.

Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.

Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.

Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.

In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).

If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.

When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.

Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.


I make up deadlines.

A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.

Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.

It’s bloody hard work.

To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.

I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.

This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.

If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.

Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).


The illusion of free time.

The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.

The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.

When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”

Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.


It’s all in the mind.

The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.

Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”

We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.

Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.

Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.


Deadlines are beautiful.

Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.

The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.

Simplicity is beauty in disguise.

“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”

I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.

I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.


Deadlines work.

You can win at life.

All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.

Give deadlines a shot!

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Why You Should Use These 3 Types of Internal Motivation to Achieve Everything You’ve Ever Wanted

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It’s no secret that the more motivation you have for your goals, the faster you’ll reach them in addition to achieving substantially more success in the long term. However, the problem is the majority of people have a really hard time waking up early, working harder than everyone else, and reaching their goals much faster.

Understand, these aren’t special skills only the select few are born with. Anyone can get into a routine of getting up at 5am if they really want to. Anyone can go from an average worker to a high performer in a relatively short period of time. The problem is the majority of people don’t have that level of desire to do these difficult things.

The problem of “desire” leads us into the issue of external motivation. External motivation is you working for just money to get a car you’ve dreamed of or any kind of materialistic item you’ve set your heart on.

To clarify, I’m not saying materialism is bad. What I’m saying is it’s not wise to put external motivators as your main source of motivation for this very simple reason, it’s not a good long term source of motivation.

Once you have that car, house or financial income you wanted, then what’s next? Often times it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness because the satisfaction of getting your new car or house only lasts for a very short period of time. Then once you’ve achieved it, it becomes harder and harder to push for something new because there’s little to no inner drive to get up and achieve more.

Internal motivation changes this dynamic because the internal reward of mastery or purpose isn’t tangible. Instead it’s never ending and when something is never ending you just want to keep working more and more.

Below are the 3 different types of internal motivation you can start using today:

1. The Desire to Win

This comes from the legendary Tim Grover in his book Relentless where he talks about the unrelenting and never ending drive of his clients to win such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. All these guys wanted to do was win. The millions of dollars they earned were simply a bi product of their constant desire to win.

To work this hard and for this many hours requires much greater motivation than simply money. On top of which, almost every single billionaire including Donald Trump, has said they’re not motivated by the money. Money is just a way of keeping score. It’s not the actual motivator.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Purpose

This one is arguably the most important. Almost every single successful entrepreneur has some kind of bigger purpose motivating them. Take Elon Musk and Steve Jobs for example.

The main difference between these two isn’t just their work ethic but the individual purpose each one of them has to work hard. You could argue these two entrepreneurs have had the biggest impact on the world we live in.

When you find a bigger purpose for your work you’ll surprise yourself at how much you start to enjoy what you’re doing. You may get external things as a result of your success but they’re not the driving force of why you wake up early everyday and get to work.

3. Mastery

The reason mastery of a specific craft or multiple skills is so important is because once again, it’s never ending. There isn’t a point in your journey where you can completely master something because there’s always another level to reach. This is one of the reasons video games are so popular because there’s always a higher level to get to. You don’t want to stop playing until you’ve reached that next level.

With all of the internal motivators especially mastery, it becomes difficult for other people around you to understand why you work so hard. Everyone around you is after the next pay check to buy a house or buy a new watch which they can show off to their friends.

Nonetheless, being motivated this way typically means the person has no real love for what they do because if they did love what they do, the real satisfaction would come from some internal driver like winning, getting better at their craft or working on towards their purpose every single day.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan

It’s very easy to see a very wealthy person and see all the cars, glamour and big houses and think, they’re materialistic. But in almost every single case, these external things were simply a bi product of their success. They weren’t the motivator to be successful in the first place.

Once you change not only your level of desire but also the kind of desire, you completely change the game of success for yourself because now you’re in a position where you actually want to work hard.

You don’t have to feel like working hard or getting up early is a chore and I guarantee once you start to find powerful internal motivators, you’ll be surprised how much and how hard you want to work towards achieving your goals.

How do you motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

5 Bulletproof Ways Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

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We all dream of a perfect, self-motivated team that is constantly putting their best foot forward and embracing each challenge they are given. In reality, as much as you’d like to encourage and motivate even more active contribution from your team members, it is often easier said than done.

Using external motivators, such as promotions or raises, is rarely a permanent solution for motivating your employees to do the very best for the company. Motivation simply cannot be forced on anyone but has to come from within, which is why it’s extremely important to understand the unique sources of employee motivation. There are, however, some solid ways for leaders to self-motivate and encourage active participation in a team.

Here are five bulletproof ways to help your employees find motivation and stay motivated:

1. Communicate purpose

Communicating purpose is the first step towards enhancing motivation and engagement within a team. Like Simon Sinek advises in his best-selling book, if you want your team to act with purpose, you should start with why. If your team isn’t aware of why they are doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re less likely to find their work meaningful and less likely to care.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to have a motivational speech. In my opinion, motivational rants are like throwing boiled spaghetti on the wall – it’s not going to stick for long. Instead, to create a fulfilling and motivating work-environment, engage and encourage your team members to participate in clarifying your vision. Be open about where you’re heading and what’s your driving force.

Leaders who aim for providing direction and clarity, are the ones who are really able to take their businesses to the next level as well as to help their team members to pursue both their professional and personal hopes and dreams.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

2. Set clear goals

One of the most common de-motivating factors in a workplace is lack of focus. If you find your team constantly busy, but don’t quite know with what, it might be a sign of confusion due to unclear goals. Also, if your team is constantly underperforming, you might want to revisit your goals.

Without specific and transparent goals, your team may have a difficult time to know what to prioritize. This easily results in uncertainty, decreased motivation and a constant debate of whether they’re working enough or not.

Clear goals can help your team avoid unnecessary stress and make smarter decisions. To retrieve motivation, start by revisiting your goals to make sure they are ambitious enough to be meaningful. However, don’t make the mistake of stretching your workers too much outside of their comfort zone but aim for finding a good balance between these two.

A solid starting point is to define your “common grand goal” towards which you work as a team. When you have defined that, it’s much easier to start planning your journey there by setting smaller individual goals.

3. Encourage ownership

Sometimes, employees may feel they don’t have enough power to make decisions. This might be a sign of too strict processes or the fact that you’re micromanaging your employees.

To encourage your team to take ownership, set clear expectations and standards but give them enough freedom to come up with their own ideas. Enhance trust by asking for feedback to show that you really value their opinion.

Also, make sure your team members are aware of how their contribution links to the big picture. When your team feels that what they’re doing is important and they’re contributing to something with real value, they’re more likely to take ownership and be proud of their work.

4. Hold your team accountable

Accountability is one of the most overlooked aspects by leaders who want to create an effective and motivated team environment. In general, people are motivated by positive feedback and exceeding expectations. According to a study, nearly 78% of employees are highly engaged when they experience strong recognition, which is why positive feedback is encouraged.

However, there should also be consequences when things don’t go as planned. Accountability becomes sustainable with constant reinforcement, which is why continuity is the key. Holding your team accountable shows that you care and helps your team to maintain quality.

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” – Bob Proctor

5. Support self-development and provide opportunities for growth

One of the best ways to motivate your team is to encourage each individual to become better by finding ways to support their professional growth and encouraging personal leadership. In practice, this can mean for example training sessions, book clubs, mentoring or other tactics that support personal leadership.

Take a few self-development tactics as a part of your goal-setting process by aligning individual KPIs with your company goals. To get the best possible outcome, this should be done systematically.  

Another way to provide opportunities for growth while linking this with work is to launch a Growth Model, where you first define different areas of improvement. Start by evaluating where your team stands at the moment in each of the areas and plan the following steps according to your findings.

Choose one focus area at a time as well as clear action points and a timeline to improve that specific area. Make it tangible by keeping track of the progress – this helps motivating your employees as they can instantly see their level of improvement. If you want to take motivating your team to the next level, find out what their personal and career-related goals are and try to think of ways you can help them to pursue these goals.

How do you keep your team motivated? Comment below!

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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful? (more…)

I am Dan Storey from UK .I have worked in and around the world of Motivational seminars for many years, starting as a volunteer and affiliate before heading up one of the UK’s biggest personal development seminar companies. I have been training NLP to business and sales people for over 10 years and the author of next level persuasion. I am currently Working towards MSC in Behavioural Psychology and constantly trying to figure out why we do what we do.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Magnus Agency

    Jul 9, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Great article. Thank you.

  2. Salim

    Nov 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Your advice is excellent and I am implementing it immediately! A lot of it I already know but I definitely need the reminder… Thanks

  3. Chris Targett

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Physical activity has to be my favourite.

    I love the idea of reading outside of your industry, I’ve had some good ideas come from doing something with little relevance to my field.

  4. Heitem Ak

    Aug 3, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Nice one Matt,

    Physical activities are so underrated!

    Heitem Ak

  5. Rita

    Aug 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for such a helpful article. I especially like the advice of just “create something.”

  6. Dotchamou Zakari

    Aug 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you for your post. I think that in this noisy world where many things call our attention, one of the hardest things to do is to still listen to our inner voice that can help us to innovate and move us far from the ordinary. Those who want to stay for a long time in the road of entrepreneurships know that they must continue to innovate, that is why your article is very useful for any person who want to be creative.

  7. Travel the Life

    Aug 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Totally agree about all the things; and we consider one of the most important is to “create something”.

Leave a Reply

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

Motivation

There’s Nothing Better Than A Deadline (Literally Nothing!)

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Anyone who has worked in the business of sales or has been around it would have been beaten over the head with the power of deadlines.

Or if you’ve read a blog post on productivity or goal-setting, you would have seen deadlines as well.

I’ve fallen in love with deadlines and it’s how I stay productive.


Without a deadline you’re useless.

Let me give you an example. If I have a deadline, I produce twice as many blog posts.

Right now I’m seven days away from going to Europe which means everything I’m currently doing has to be finished quick smart.

Last week I had a day where I had nothing booked, no meetings and no phone calls. I put aside the whole day to write. Instead, what ended up happening was I sat there and watched YouTube, binged on Facebook and read a few articles.

In other words, I pissed the entire day up the wall and had nothing to show for it (nice one Timbo).

If you think about people on the brink of retirement, they suffer from the same problem. They think that when they retire, they can finally travel or learn the piano or spend time with their kids.

When these fun-loving folk finally reach retirement, they don’t do half of what they said they would. They waited their entire life to do the things they love and they don’t do it.

Saving up tasks to complete in the future is a complete waste of time. You need a deadline otherwise you’ll never get to your goals/tasks/dreams.


I make up deadlines.

A little hack I use is to make up deadlines.

Every Saturday is my writing day. It’s when I bust my chops to deliver you as many helpful articles I can, for free, with the most beautiful imagery I can find on the internet, that will inspire you and make you take action.

It’s bloody hard work.

To achieve this enormous weekly task that sucks up all my energy, I put a deadline at the end of the day.

I promise my girlfriend dinner at 6 pm every Saturday which means I have to be done by 5 pm. Failure to meet this deadline involves a slow and torturous death by my girlfriend who will never let me hear the end of being late to a romantic dinner date.

This deadline not only gives me a hard stop to be done writing by, but it also gives me something to look forward to. It makes all the pain and sweat of writing worth it. It’s how I celebrate.

If you struggle with deadlines, then try making up your own one.

Purposely place an event in your calendar right after the goal you want to achieve. Make it something you can’t get out of without experiencing a lot of pain (or in my case ‘death by girlfriend’).


The illusion of free time.

The best habit you can cultivate is to focus on ‘the doing’ no matter what day, time or month of the year we’re in.

The moment you need to set aside time is the moment nothing will happenand you’ll find your long lost friend called procrastination.

When you don’t feel like it is the best time to work on your goals”

Whenever we have free time, we think we have all day when we don’t. Digital distractions can rob you of an entire day faster than I can drink a Matcha Latte.

Next time you hear yourself saying “I’ll do it during this block of free time” be suspicious of yourself. See through your own BS.


It’s all in the mind.

The battle of achieving your goals takes place in the mind mostly.

Deadlines are just a way to sort of trick your brain into working with you rather than against you”

We’re wired to be fat, lazy bastards who should be scared of the big, bad world we live in.

Using reframe techniques like deadlines helps our mind think clearly and focus on what we want.

Our million-year-old brain is not there to make us win and so using deadlines is how we can program it to help us win big.


Deadlines are beautiful.

Until you’ve played around with deadlines, you won’t see the beauty in them like I do.

The reason I love deadlines is because they are such a simple hack.

Simplicity is beauty in disguise.

“We’re often led to believe that whatever we dream of in life is incredibly difficult and our chance of success is almost zero. When you discover 2–3 little life hacks like deadlines, you start to see the impossible becoming possible”

I never thought I’d have the time, creativity, stories or knowledge to ever be a blogger. It always sounded really hard.

I then used deadlines, habits, and energy from a clean diet to blog my way to my goals. It’s a beautiful thing when you can see how the world really works through tools like deadlines.


Deadlines work.

You can win at life.

All you need to do is pick a goal and whack a nice deadline activity at the end of it that gives you leverage against yourself to defeat procrastination.

Give deadlines a shot!

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If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Why You Should Use These 3 Types of Internal Motivation to Achieve Everything You’ve Ever Wanted

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It’s no secret that the more motivation you have for your goals, the faster you’ll reach them in addition to achieving substantially more success in the long term. However, the problem is the majority of people have a really hard time waking up early, working harder than everyone else, and reaching their goals much faster.

Understand, these aren’t special skills only the select few are born with. Anyone can get into a routine of getting up at 5am if they really want to. Anyone can go from an average worker to a high performer in a relatively short period of time. The problem is the majority of people don’t have that level of desire to do these difficult things.

The problem of “desire” leads us into the issue of external motivation. External motivation is you working for just money to get a car you’ve dreamed of or any kind of materialistic item you’ve set your heart on.

To clarify, I’m not saying materialism is bad. What I’m saying is it’s not wise to put external motivators as your main source of motivation for this very simple reason, it’s not a good long term source of motivation.

Once you have that car, house or financial income you wanted, then what’s next? Often times it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness because the satisfaction of getting your new car or house only lasts for a very short period of time. Then once you’ve achieved it, it becomes harder and harder to push for something new because there’s little to no inner drive to get up and achieve more.

Internal motivation changes this dynamic because the internal reward of mastery or purpose isn’t tangible. Instead it’s never ending and when something is never ending you just want to keep working more and more.

Below are the 3 different types of internal motivation you can start using today:

1. The Desire to Win

This comes from the legendary Tim Grover in his book Relentless where he talks about the unrelenting and never ending drive of his clients to win such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. All these guys wanted to do was win. The millions of dollars they earned were simply a bi product of their constant desire to win.

To work this hard and for this many hours requires much greater motivation than simply money. On top of which, almost every single billionaire including Donald Trump, has said they’re not motivated by the money. Money is just a way of keeping score. It’s not the actual motivator.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill

2. Purpose

This one is arguably the most important. Almost every single successful entrepreneur has some kind of bigger purpose motivating them. Take Elon Musk and Steve Jobs for example.

The main difference between these two isn’t just their work ethic but the individual purpose each one of them has to work hard. You could argue these two entrepreneurs have had the biggest impact on the world we live in.

When you find a bigger purpose for your work you’ll surprise yourself at how much you start to enjoy what you’re doing. You may get external things as a result of your success but they’re not the driving force of why you wake up early everyday and get to work.

3. Mastery

The reason mastery of a specific craft or multiple skills is so important is because once again, it’s never ending. There isn’t a point in your journey where you can completely master something because there’s always another level to reach. This is one of the reasons video games are so popular because there’s always a higher level to get to. You don’t want to stop playing until you’ve reached that next level.

With all of the internal motivators especially mastery, it becomes difficult for other people around you to understand why you work so hard. Everyone around you is after the next pay check to buy a house or buy a new watch which they can show off to their friends.

Nonetheless, being motivated this way typically means the person has no real love for what they do because if they did love what they do, the real satisfaction would come from some internal driver like winning, getting better at their craft or working on towards their purpose every single day.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan

It’s very easy to see a very wealthy person and see all the cars, glamour and big houses and think, they’re materialistic. But in almost every single case, these external things were simply a bi product of their success. They weren’t the motivator to be successful in the first place.

Once you change not only your level of desire but also the kind of desire, you completely change the game of success for yourself because now you’re in a position where you actually want to work hard.

You don’t have to feel like working hard or getting up early is a chore and I guarantee once you start to find powerful internal motivators, you’ll be surprised how much and how hard you want to work towards achieving your goals.

How do you motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

5 Bulletproof Ways Leaders Can Motivate Their Teams

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We all dream of a perfect, self-motivated team that is constantly putting their best foot forward and embracing each challenge they are given. In reality, as much as you’d like to encourage and motivate even more active contribution from your team members, it is often easier said than done.

Using external motivators, such as promotions or raises, is rarely a permanent solution for motivating your employees to do the very best for the company. Motivation simply cannot be forced on anyone but has to come from within, which is why it’s extremely important to understand the unique sources of employee motivation. There are, however, some solid ways for leaders to self-motivate and encourage active participation in a team.

Here are five bulletproof ways to help your employees find motivation and stay motivated:

1. Communicate purpose

Communicating purpose is the first step towards enhancing motivation and engagement within a team. Like Simon Sinek advises in his best-selling book, if you want your team to act with purpose, you should start with why. If your team isn’t aware of why they are doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re less likely to find their work meaningful and less likely to care.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to have a motivational speech. In my opinion, motivational rants are like throwing boiled spaghetti on the wall – it’s not going to stick for long. Instead, to create a fulfilling and motivating work-environment, engage and encourage your team members to participate in clarifying your vision. Be open about where you’re heading and what’s your driving force.

Leaders who aim for providing direction and clarity, are the ones who are really able to take their businesses to the next level as well as to help their team members to pursue both their professional and personal hopes and dreams.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Reverend Theodore Hesburgh

2. Set clear goals

One of the most common de-motivating factors in a workplace is lack of focus. If you find your team constantly busy, but don’t quite know with what, it might be a sign of confusion due to unclear goals. Also, if your team is constantly underperforming, you might want to revisit your goals.

Without specific and transparent goals, your team may have a difficult time to know what to prioritize. This easily results in uncertainty, decreased motivation and a constant debate of whether they’re working enough or not.

Clear goals can help your team avoid unnecessary stress and make smarter decisions. To retrieve motivation, start by revisiting your goals to make sure they are ambitious enough to be meaningful. However, don’t make the mistake of stretching your workers too much outside of their comfort zone but aim for finding a good balance between these two.

A solid starting point is to define your “common grand goal” towards which you work as a team. When you have defined that, it’s much easier to start planning your journey there by setting smaller individual goals.

3. Encourage ownership

Sometimes, employees may feel they don’t have enough power to make decisions. This might be a sign of too strict processes or the fact that you’re micromanaging your employees.

To encourage your team to take ownership, set clear expectations and standards but give them enough freedom to come up with their own ideas. Enhance trust by asking for feedback to show that you really value their opinion.

Also, make sure your team members are aware of how their contribution links to the big picture. When your team feels that what they’re doing is important and they’re contributing to something with real value, they’re more likely to take ownership and be proud of their work.

4. Hold your team accountable

Accountability is one of the most overlooked aspects by leaders who want to create an effective and motivated team environment. In general, people are motivated by positive feedback and exceeding expectations. According to a study, nearly 78% of employees are highly engaged when they experience strong recognition, which is why positive feedback is encouraged.

However, there should also be consequences when things don’t go as planned. Accountability becomes sustainable with constant reinforcement, which is why continuity is the key. Holding your team accountable shows that you care and helps your team to maintain quality.

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” – Bob Proctor

5. Support self-development and provide opportunities for growth

One of the best ways to motivate your team is to encourage each individual to become better by finding ways to support their professional growth and encouraging personal leadership. In practice, this can mean for example training sessions, book clubs, mentoring or other tactics that support personal leadership.

Take a few self-development tactics as a part of your goal-setting process by aligning individual KPIs with your company goals. To get the best possible outcome, this should be done systematically.  

Another way to provide opportunities for growth while linking this with work is to launch a Growth Model, where you first define different areas of improvement. Start by evaluating where your team stands at the moment in each of the areas and plan the following steps according to your findings.

Choose one focus area at a time as well as clear action points and a timeline to improve that specific area. Make it tangible by keeping track of the progress – this helps motivating your employees as they can instantly see their level of improvement. If you want to take motivating your team to the next level, find out what their personal and career-related goals are and try to think of ways you can help them to pursue these goals.

How do you keep your team motivated? Comment below!

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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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