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10 Fearless Questions Every Successful Person Asks Themselves

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qualities of a successful man

You know what success means to you, you’ve set your goals for the year, and you’re committed to making them happen.

Congratulations.

Or maybe you haven’t done any of the above, but you still want to make 2015 your most successful year to date.

Whatever situation you are in, I’ve got ten tough questions you must ask yourself regularly over the next 12 months.

Let’s get started before one of us loses our nerve:

 

1. Am I Harnessing the Power of Small Daily Wins?

It’s difficult to accomplish a major personal or professional goal through a short bout of intense productivity. For example, if you want to write a book this year it’s unlikely that you’ll write this goal in a single week or even in a single month.

Instead, concentrate on progressing your goal a little every day. This way you’ll be able to make steady but determined progress without burning out.

If you want to write a book, for example, commit to writing three hundred words every day. Three hundred words a day for 365 days is over 100,000 words, which is longer than most books.

 

2. What’s On The Other Side of This Coin?

Achieving a big personal or professional goal is a satisfying feeling.

Last year, I wrote a book that I’d been planning for a long time. Self-publishing this book on Amazon was a pleasurable moment. Then, several weeks later I discovered I’d uploaded a version of the book that didn’t include the correct chapter headings.

Although I was able to fix this error, the idea that I’d released a sub-standard version of my book, which people bought, hurt me. Now, I realise the pleasure of publishing is connected to the pain of learning from a mistake like this.

 

3. Am I Outside of My Comfort Zone?

I may be in the minority here, but I love January. The New Year is a time for looking forwards, not backwards.

If you follow familiar routines and habits and pursue last year’s experiences, you will have an easier life but you’ll also get the same results. That’s fine if you’re happy with your progress, but most successful people want to push themselves beyond past accomplishments.

Successful writers constantly force themselves to get outside of their comfort zone by writing in new genres, by setting more demanding deadlines and by reaching out to larger audiences. Stephen King, for example, wrote for several years under the pen name Richard Bachman.

 

Death of fear picture quote

 

4. Have I Meditated Today?

Like you, I’m obsessed with the habits of successful people. Almost every master I’ve read about or studied practises meditation in one form or another. The benefits of meditation are many.

Some high-profile individuals who practice meditation in one form or another include the self-help guru Tony Robbins, blogger Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and even Ellen DeGeneres.

If you’re struggling to bake meditation into an already busy day, concentrate on building a habit of meditating for just three minutes. If you can’t spare three minutes, you probably need to ask bigger questions about how you spend your time.

 

5. Have I Marked My Accomplishments?

Successful people take time to mark their key accomplishments. Several blogs I’m a member of occasionally send an email to their list when they’ve hit a milestone. These emails make me (and the other readers) feel like part of their community.

If you want to become a writer, for example, you could mark the first time you publish an article. If you want to set up an online business, you could mark the launch of your website. If you want to become an early riser, you could mark the first time you get up at your desired time five days in a row.

You don’t have to mark your accomplishments publicly, but it is helpful to quietly acknowledge these moments with a friend or family member and thank those who helped you.

 

6. Have I Forgiven My Failures?

Welcome to the other side of the coin.

There’s as much to learn from failure as there is from success, but it’s dangerously easy to get up hung up on the past. And sometimes there’s a perverse satisfaction in playing a tape of old memories where people wronged you, got in your way, and stopped you from achieving your goals.

If you’re struggling to break free from negative past experiences, try keeping a journal and documenting your anger, your resentments and your failures. Then, when you’re finished writing your journal, leave these negative experiences there where they belong, and move forwards with your day.

 

7. Is it Time for a Re-invention?

Author John Le Carre says,

“I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.”

I was a failed journalist, I was let go from a dream job, I worked in the wrong career for years. These experiences brought moments of chaos into my life, but they also gave me a chance to start a new phase of my life, whether by choice or necessity.

Ronald Regan was an actor before he became president. Gandhi was a lawyer in South Africa before he became India’s political and spiritual leader. And the rest of us who are working today, will have to change careers at least five times in our lifetimes.

If you’re just experienced the loss of a job or the failure of a business idea, take stock of the lessons you gain from these experiences. Yes these moments are confusing, but they are also an opportunity for tremendous personal growth.

 

Thomas Edison Success Quote

 

8. Is This Task Written Down (in a list)?

I love lists. This blog post is a list. One of the most popular blog posts on Addicted2Success is a list. And if you want to become more productive and achieve your goals this year, you must use the power of lists.

David Allen is a huge proponent of getting ideas out of your head and onto a list. He writes, “It’s critical that your full psychic attention be available for the work at hand.”

When the tasks you’ve got to complete aren’t rattling around in your head, you will be free to write, to create, to work on your business and to create the kind of life you’ve always imagined.

 

9. How is My Grasp?

There’s saying in zen, that you should “hold things lightly.

The world is in a constant state of change, and we have far less control over our environment and what happens to us than any of us like to admit.

Don’t become too attached to an idea of yourself, to a project that you’re determined to finish, to a habit or to a way of doing things.

When you hold things lightly, you are better prepared to adapt and re-adjust when your business needs a redirection, when a habit has become unhelpful or when something there’s a crisis in your personal life.

 

10. Am I Prepared?

Abraham Lincoln said,

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Now there was a man he knew the value of preparation.

We can’t all be as successful as Lincoln but we can learn from him.

Each Sunday, I conduct weekly review. I plan the blog posts I’m going to write in advance, I review the ideas I have for new articles and I update my To Do lists. This weekly review gives me clarity and purpose when I sit down to write during the rest of the week.

Take time today to plan ahead for the following week. Ask what resources you need for your current projects, what projects you’re neglecting, and if there’s anything you’re overlooking.

Do this and you will save the pain and frustration of working on the wrong things at the wrong time.

 

Be Brave

Each one of these ten questions has the potential to open up a hundred other questions about how your spend your time and where you’re going. Questions are troublesome like that.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry.

What I want to get across to you is the importance of taking a moment out of every day, every week and every month, and reviewing what you’re doing, where you’re going and why.

I want you to look success in the eye this year, I want you to hold its gaze, and I want you to get what your really want.

Are you brave enough?

 

Leave a comment below and let me know how you go with these questions.

 

Bryan Collins is on a mission to teach people how to become writers and finish what they started with A Handbook for the Productive Writer. Get your exclusive free samples and start your journey towards success on Become a Writer Today

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Ebenezer Eglu

    Jun 17, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks a lot for this information, I’ve received new knowledge.

  2. Hester Horwitz

    May 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Fantastic article with a lot of encouragement, everything important here, I agree with meditation and I liked the story of Abraham Lincoln!

  3. Pete Halliday

    Mar 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Great post! I especially liked number 6. The Chinese meaning of crisis is danger and opportunity. Focus less on danger and more on opportunity and you will soar!

  4. Nikolai Westall

    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Hi!

    Thank you very much for your post.

    The piece about Lincoln is incredible.
    Reminds me of the preparation professional athletes do in advance to every competion.
    Since time is limited and it´s down to quality and use of that time, that statement absolutely nails it.

    You also gave me a new Idea for our morning meeting.

    Thank you and good night!

  5. Peter

    Feb 11, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Hey Bryan,
    Great to see another inspiring post from you! I like your reference to meditation. It’s one of the key things that keep me energized throughout the day, especially on the hectic ones.
    Peter

  6. Gabriel Do Carmo

    Feb 5, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Love it !! Great post, love all the points. Well written, thanks alot for sharing! Greatly appreciate it

  7. Krithika Rangarajan

    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Hey Bryan

    After shunning meditative practices for 33 years, I have just started listening to Guided Meditations on my phone! LOL

    The irresistible combination of a soothing voice and mellifluous vocals does put me to sleep 😉

    Thank you for a fabulous list #HUGS

    Kitto

  8. Anthony Metivier

    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Great post.

    I’ve always liked the axe-sharpening quote, especially since we as writers get to sharpen our axes simply by writing. And in a weird twist, we’re not only sharpening the axe by writing, but also producing new axes that can be sharpened by editing. And the sharper your main axe is, the sharper you can make all the others.

    Meditation is a mega must too. In fact, thanks for the reminder!

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Nice to see you here Anthony. I love a good metaphor, particularly a sharp one!

  9. Clare

    Feb 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Hi thank you
    my for the message on twitter, I’ve just taken the plunge and started up my own business so your suggestions are really helpful and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s ideas rattle around in their head so many at once along with the voices in my head can be tiring lol I’m looking forward to exploring your advice

    Thank you

    Clarge

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Hi Clarge,
      I hope your new venture goes well. Best of luck with it.

  10. Bryan Collins

    Feb 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Adilia,
    It’s good to hear you enjoyed the post. Meditation is a useful practice for everyone.

  11. Thomas Greenhalgh

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    i’m also a big fan of lists and making them more in-depth this year is my goal. Your list of suggestions is great. Thank you for sharing.

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Thomas,
      Lists are:
      1. simple
      2. effective
      3. practical

      Glad you enjoyed the post

  12. Steve

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Great article!

  13. Adila

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    I particular liked hold things lightly and totally agree that meditation is good for us. Also liked the idea of writing negative experiences or failures in a journal and move along. Thanks for the post.

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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positivity
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

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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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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leadership
Image Credit: Unsplash

Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

Published

on

positivity
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur! (more…)

Cory Young is the founder of BCC Interactive, a Philadelphia digital marketing agency with expertise in expanding businesses through search engine marketing. Cory has 10+ years experience crafting successful customized digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Ebenezer Eglu

    Jun 17, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks a lot for this information, I’ve received new knowledge.

  2. Hester Horwitz

    May 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Fantastic article with a lot of encouragement, everything important here, I agree with meditation and I liked the story of Abraham Lincoln!

  3. Pete Halliday

    Mar 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Great post! I especially liked number 6. The Chinese meaning of crisis is danger and opportunity. Focus less on danger and more on opportunity and you will soar!

  4. Nikolai Westall

    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Hi!

    Thank you very much for your post.

    The piece about Lincoln is incredible.
    Reminds me of the preparation professional athletes do in advance to every competion.
    Since time is limited and it´s down to quality and use of that time, that statement absolutely nails it.

    You also gave me a new Idea for our morning meeting.

    Thank you and good night!

  5. Peter

    Feb 11, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Hey Bryan,
    Great to see another inspiring post from you! I like your reference to meditation. It’s one of the key things that keep me energized throughout the day, especially on the hectic ones.
    Peter

  6. Gabriel Do Carmo

    Feb 5, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Love it !! Great post, love all the points. Well written, thanks alot for sharing! Greatly appreciate it

  7. Krithika Rangarajan

    Feb 4, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Hey Bryan

    After shunning meditative practices for 33 years, I have just started listening to Guided Meditations on my phone! LOL

    The irresistible combination of a soothing voice and mellifluous vocals does put me to sleep 😉

    Thank you for a fabulous list #HUGS

    Kitto

  8. Anthony Metivier

    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Great post.

    I’ve always liked the axe-sharpening quote, especially since we as writers get to sharpen our axes simply by writing. And in a weird twist, we’re not only sharpening the axe by writing, but also producing new axes that can be sharpened by editing. And the sharper your main axe is, the sharper you can make all the others.

    Meditation is a mega must too. In fact, thanks for the reminder!

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 3, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Nice to see you here Anthony. I love a good metaphor, particularly a sharp one!

  9. Clare

    Feb 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Hi thank you
    my for the message on twitter, I’ve just taken the plunge and started up my own business so your suggestions are really helpful and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s ideas rattle around in their head so many at once along with the voices in my head can be tiring lol I’m looking forward to exploring your advice

    Thank you

    Clarge

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 3, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Hi Clarge,
      I hope your new venture goes well. Best of luck with it.

  10. Bryan Collins

    Feb 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Adilia,
    It’s good to hear you enjoyed the post. Meditation is a useful practice for everyone.

  11. Thomas Greenhalgh

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    i’m also a big fan of lists and making them more in-depth this year is my goal. Your list of suggestions is great. Thank you for sharing.

    • Bryan Collins

      Feb 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Thomas,
      Lists are:
      1. simple
      2. effective
      3. practical

      Glad you enjoyed the post

  12. Steve

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Great article!

  13. Adila

    Jan 31, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    I particular liked hold things lightly and totally agree that meditation is good for us. Also liked the idea of writing negative experiences or failures in a journal and move along. Thanks for the post.

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Success Advice

Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

It’s The 50 Things You Do Beforehand That Lead To Your Ultimate Success.

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Oh great, another tricky, dicky headline from that knob jock blogger Tim.”

That’s what you’re thinking, I know.

Well, I love sharing the truth and a lot of the time it doesn’t look pretty. There’s a vision we all have to do something incredible even if we don’t admit that publicly. Incredible, by the way, could just mean raising a family of beautiful children.

The thing is that not having the answers to what that end goal looks like is the best part. Let me explain.

Right now what you see is my blogging career. Before today there were 50 other things that look totally unrelated on the surface.

Here’s how I got to now:

  • Started out swimming as a child then quit
  • Played the flute and then quit
  • Joined a choir, then my voice broke, then I quit
  • Began playing drums then quit
  • Became a DJ then quit
  • Started producing other peoples music then quit
  • Became a successful entrepreneur then quit
  • Trained to be a fitness freak and then quit
  • Became a finance professional then quit
  • Mastered the world of tech and then partially quit
  • Wrote 400+ articles for a blog called Addicted2Success and didn’t quit
  • Published more than 500+ articles on Medium and didn’t quit
  • Published content on LinkedIn every day for a year and didn’t quit

Here’s my point: those last three dot points are what you see now but what you can’t see is everything that came before I started blogging.


Everything you do plays a part in the end result.

While singing in a choir might seem totally unrelated to blogging it’s not. Just like djing and swimming are not unrelated either.

Swimming taught me to overcome my fear of deep water.

Being in a choir taught me what it was like to be on stage in front of people.

Djing taught me artistry and creativity.

The 50 things I did prior that you didn’t see allowed me to do what you see me doing now in the form of blogging.

No matter what you start and stop in life, it will play a part in the 1–2 things that you end up being successful at and hopefully become known for.

Don’t discredit anything that transpires in your life. Every day is contributing something valuable to your future success even if it doesn’t look like it”


Not having the answers is what makes it fun.

If I could tell you right now how you’d get to your ultimate success, it would take away all the fun.

Never in a million years did I expect to become a blogger but here we are.

Getting here has been a load of fun and I still have no idea where this will all lead. Maybe, like Tim Ferriss, blogging could lead me to podcasting. I’ll never know if blogging is my ultimate version of success and that’s the best part.

All of us (including me) are just taking steps forward and learning as we go.

Quit trying to have all the answers because it’s not going to make any difference in the long run.

You can’t predict success all you can do is work your way towards it and earn it for yourself.


Don’t underestimate the ‘art of doing’

I’m obsessed with the doing because it’s the only thing I can control.

I’m reminded daily about the ‘art of doing’ by people who reach out and want to also be known for blogging.

Many of these wannabe bloggers write something but never publish it because it’s not perfect.

Then they finally get the courage to hit publish and the world doesn’t stop and notice their Harry Potter, chart-topping piece of writing. It’s an anti-climax for them which makes them spiral further down the black hole of disappointment.

What these wannabe bloggers underestimate (without sounding too cocky) is that if they repeated the habit of publishing something every day for a year that’d be able to see where blogging could lead.

Hitting publish once is not enough and the first time you do it, it will probably suck.

The only trick for the record that I’ve ever used to accelerate my success in blogging is hitting publish as often as I can and being disconnected from the result. JonWestenberg taught me this.

Even if you fail at something like blogging it will lead you to the next thing and the next thing and so on. Eventually, you’ll find what it is that lights you up and helps you to achieve your own version of success.

Nobody (including me) can predict what that one thing will be. My advice is the opposite of many people out there. Change around your hobbies/passions as much as you like.

Learn something from one field and then move on. While you experiment and switch paths, you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. I hope you can see that to be true through the story I’ve just shared.

<<<>>>

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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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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