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10 Life Changing Lessons That Helping Homeless People Taught Me

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In the organisation I work at, I am asked to spend two days a year volunteering to help the community. I will be honest and say that most people I work with just choose something easy or use it as an excuse to do a team-building day. This year I decided to be bold and do the exact opposite.

I was scrolling through the list of approved activities and most of them just seemed like they weren’t really helping anyone. I then came across one that caught my eye, which was “helping the homeless.” Right now I am focused on getting out of my comfort zone and growing in any way that I can.

This activity seemed like the perfect way to do that, so I signed up. When the day came around, I rolled up to the homeless shelter and was not sure what to expect. I have never been homeless myself, nor have I ever seen what it’s like to have nowhere to live.

While I think I have some of the answers to their problems, I am conscious that everyone has the right to make their own choices, and it’s not up to me to judge them or think that I am somehow superior to them.

Below are ten reasons why helping the homeless allowed me to learn so many life changing lessons:

 

1. It’s all in the beliefs and mindset

The number one lesson I learnt at the homeless shelter was that the one thing every person there was lacking was the belief systems they needed to be successful. When I asked some of the people there why they were homeless, they told me a whole range of excuses and believed that even having a meal was a major challenge.

If each of them were to spend a small amount of time each day changing their mindset, then I am positive they could turn their life around. What I learnt though was that it’s easy for me to do that because I want to, but it’s not so easy for them.

Many of the people I met were happy with their current circumstances or had accepted where they were at so there was no need for them to make any changes. It all starts with a will to change and then the strategy can come later.

 

2. Giving back feels amazing (trust me)

A selfish lesson I learnt that applies to my own life, which I knew but not to this extent, was that giving back to the community and helping other people feels amazing. My natural behaviour came through my work on the day, and I was nicknamed “The Salesman.”

Even when I am not in a business environment, my true personality shines through, which kind of surprised me. In case you’re wondering, I was nicknamed the salesman because apparently I was overselling the meal options that were available on the day – I can’t help it, it’s my job!

The whole time I was there I had a big smile on my face while I handed out meals, explained how delicious the food was going to be and topped up people’s cups with coffee. I felt privileged to be able to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return.

 

3. Change your story

One gentleman I met told me how he used to run the train system here in Melbourne before he was made redundant. For the last ten years, he has been homeless. The man was warm, kind, humorous and very charismatic.

Unfortunately, he had lost his identity and had a recurring story in his mind that he couldn’t have that type of responsibility again. He then asked me if he could have a job working for me. I told him how hard he would have to work and at the end of the conversation, he chose to ignore my offer, which was genuine – I don’t think he was ready for change, and it’s not up to me to force him.

Homeless Train Controller

Image Credit – Alexandra Jordankova

What it came down to was that he hadn’t got over the failure of losing his previous job, and he didn’t have the will to change his situation. The story he told himself was now so strong in his mind that it had become his identity.

I got the feeling that he though being homeless was cool in some weird way because it shocked people and got him the attention that he once had when he was the master of the train system.

Sometimes you have to realise that you can’t help everybody even if you want to because not everyone wants to be helped. None the less, if your story is an empowering one, then you will become a leader and attract more followers than you could possibly imagine. Change your story!

 

4. The environment can bring you down

The people at the homeless shelter mostly came there each day, not so much for the food, but to meet other people in the same situation. This creates a downward spiral for many of them because when they are trying to improve their situation, they are surrounded by people telling them to do the exact opposite.

This is why all successful people know that who you spend time with, and your daily environment, is the difference in you achieving your goals or living on the streets. If you’re someone who is going through a tough time, or you are not sure why you are miserable, then change your environment.

If you spend time with someone who is inspirational for long enough, then the effect will rub off on you. Just like the homeless people experience, the same goes in the opposite direction too. Imagine if we could get a homeless person away from their environment for a few days – do you think it would help them to change their situation?

 

5. Sugar is used to numb the pain

The thing that scared me at the homeless shelter, which I was not prepared for, was just the sheer volume of sugar that each person consumed. When I asked the chef what the number one item was on the food list each week he told me it was sugar.

Homeles People And Too Much Sugar - Success.jpgI am not joking when I say that some of the people were filling half their coffee cup with sugar. I began to see that sugar for homeless people was a drug-free way of numbing the pain, and it was relatively low cost for them to have access to.

Health and sugar intake are directly linked to people’s socioeconomic status. Most millionaires I have met know that eating healthy is essential to their success, whereas the lower classes in society don’t have the same beliefs.

Be careful of your sugar intake, as it will suck all of your positive energy!

 

6. One kind act can transform someone’s day

While I was serving breakfast, I noticed a lady that came in crying, and she was very upset. Rather than go over and talk to her (she was in no state) I decided to not judge her and just bring her food. The moment I put a plate of food down and asked her if she wanted coffee, her day was transformed.

Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you do that can change people. One act that shows you care can change the way you are perceived and have a positive impact on other people. It even made me feel good because she stopped crying and enjoyed her food.

 

7. Clothing and hygiene are essential

The appearance of a homeless person is most noticeable by their clothing. Even if they were to go for a job interview tomorrow, they would probably not be successful because they don’t appear in a good state due to the way they dress.

At the shelter, there is a shower section where homeless people can clean themselves up. As I was coming out of the bathroom, I noticed a man who had just had a shower and was having a shave. He had brand new runners on, but the rest of his clothes were quite old.

By looking at his face, you could tell that he felt better about himself and was going to be able to attack the day with some confidence. This all comes from the way he was dressed and the fact he was clean after his shower. Compared to everyone else, he was the closest person to reaching success that I met.

This lesson applies to everyone. Make sure you try and dress well at all times, brush your teeth, have a shower once a day, keep your facial hair under control and take pride in your appearance. If you don’t, you could be turning away relationships before people even have a chance to get to know you.

 

8. Reading can be the difference

Image Credit: Big Stock

I noticed in the crowd of homeless people that the ones that appeared to be the least affected by their situation were the ones who were reading books. Many people donate books to the shelter so the homeless people can pick one up and read it.

Some of them used their tough situation to pick up a book and try and learn something that might help them think differently and get beyond where they are in their life. This lesson can apply to us all and I strongly encourage you to read a book or blog post to get some skills and grow your knowledge.

 

9. All skills are transferable

Even though I have never run a homeless shelter, the skills I have learnt in business are 100% transferrable. Within a few hours I was following the system, assessing stock levels, using my organising skills (keep everything simple) and going to the food bank warehouse to negotiate some more food supplies.

My personality and ability to sell can work in any environment no matter what, and so can yours. It doesn’t matter how little experience you have at something, if you understand the basics of success then you can apply it in any field.

 

10. The way to solve problems is not through money

Upon entering the homeless shelter, I thought that the ay to solve everybody’s problems there was to go down to the local supermarket and buy everyone’s food (I was naively contemplating doing this). What I learnt by the end of the day is that money is not the issue.

The people that suffer from homelessness suffer from mostly psychological issues that have come from the way they live their life and the values they stand for. Even if I gave each of them ten thousand dollars, they would probably be back to the same scenario in a few weeks.

If we invest money in changing the way homeless people think, and counselling them, then they will have the beliefs they need to create their own success, rather than rely on society. This is because money is just an exchange of value, and you have to have a positive mindset in order to give more than is expected to other people, which in turn creates value (aka money).

You have to have hope - Homeless Story - Addicted2Success
So there you have it, if you haven’t already, go out and spend a day at a homeless shelter and see what lessons you can learn that could help you grow as a person and in your business.

To stay in touch with me, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter. If you have experienced any of these lessons before I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

13 Ways I Totally Changed My Life Story And So Can You.

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In 2011 my entire life story changed. I went from having nothing and having a disgusting, toxic mindset, to changing my life story and inspiring millions online.

I don’t tell you that to brag; I tell you because if I can do it, so can you.

The reason I changed my life story is because of a website called Addicted2Success. It all started with one new opportunity that I decided not to waste.

I concluded – after hours of personal development – that if Tony Robbins, Martin Luther King and Tim Ferriss can come from the darkest of places, to change history, then so can I.

Here are the 13 super simple, easy to implement tips that can change your life story:

 

1. Look who you are surrounded by.

The people that you spend time with transfer their beliefs and mindset to you without you even realizing it. Make a list of all the people you spend time with and then put a red line through any who are toxic and bring you down.

Do a second pass through and delete anyone else that is not serving you or always complains. By the end, you should be left with the people to keep. That list will be short and that’s the whole point. You need to make room for new connections and new friends.

This exercise is harsh and so is life. Doing the difficult stuff is how you change your life story.

 

2. Become a podcast junkie.

Stop being pissed off at traffic or long waits at medical appointments. This forced spare time is a gift. The challenge is most of you don’t use it. You sit there and look at your phone rather than doing something that will alter the course of your life.

Your life story will only change when you get some new inputs and a few fresh ideas. Podcasts are the quickest way to get these free sources of inspiration. During 2011 when I went through a change in my life story, I started by doing short walks around my local neighborhood and listening to audio tapes from Tony Robbins.

His opinions and thoughts were different to everything that people around me were saying. He planted new seeds in my mind that eventually turned into massive success several years later.

“School taught me how to follow the rules; podcasts taught me how to break the rules and forget everything I thought I knew”

Podcasts disrupted my thought patterns and that’s exactly what you need too.

 

3. Start creating something online.

Building an online presence in what I loved was the start of something new. When I began sharing my message with the world, it helped me refine my thoughts and ideas. I also got to engage with lots of other people who shared their wisdom with me for free because I had given them free content.

Before I changed my life story, I was scared to create something online because I was worried I’d be judged or not good enough.

“As soon as I dropped this superman complex and started creating something online, I became comfortable in my own skin and with who I was”

The story of your life is best told online. Pick a channel (any channel, just pick one!) and then stick to it. Post on their as much as you can. Don’t hold back, be vulnerable and tell stories. This will alter the course of your life.

 

4. Turn your media habits upside down.

Take your TV and put it in the closet. Replace your daily habits of watching the news with audiobooks or podcasts. Take those endless TV shows that make you stupid and read a book instead. Most of the traditional media is negative because that’s what sells.

“Media is a business to get your attention and make money from you. Disconnect from that Ponzi Scheme and consume media that educates and transforms your life story”

Watch a documentary on Warren Buffett, listen to Oprah’s online show that interviews extraordinary people crushing their field, and see what Tim Ferriss is experimenting with on Facebook.

Just stop consuming endless amounts of information that doesn’t serve you. Focus is key and media will distract it if you don’t make the right decision.

 

5. Sell your car and buy a juicer.

That’s what Tony Robbins said in a book I read and he’s right. My life story changed when I started to have more energy. Giving my body a metaphorical injection of nutrients every morning stopped me from getting sick, and made me feel like I had just consumed 15 espressos.

 

If you need to sell your car to buy the juicer, then great. The extra energy you get from juicing will double your productivity which will give you extra income. Within a year you’ll probably have enough extra income to buy two cars. Energy is king.

 

6. Bounce your way to a new story.

For me to help you create this new life story you’re going to need even more energy. Bouncing on a trampoline gets the blood flowing and your passions started.

You feel good after bouncing (I won’t go through the science of why as Google can tell you that) and it will give you another block of time to listen to podcasts. Bounce baby bounce!

 

7. Become ruthless with negative talk.

The bloke behind you want’s to chew the fat about how bad his day was? No thanks.

Lunch lady wants to tell you how she lost money in cryptocurrency? Sorry, she’s not qualified and you got enough to think about already.

These meaningless, negative conversations are screwing with your mind. Negative people love to complain yet they forget how lucky they are to have even been born.

If someone starts a conversation with you and it’s not serving you, politely excuse yourself and make something up if you have to. Just escape like you’re stuck in Alcatraz.

“Walking away from negative conversations will teach you discipline and demonstrate to yourself that you’re in control”

 

8. You’ll never know the answer.

Racking your brain over any obstacle that’s put in your way will chew up time that you could be using to create something phenomenal. No matter how much you plan, you’ll never predict correctly the outcome of every challenge.

So if I don’t know, and if the universe can’t tell you, and your mentors can’t tell you, then don’t worry. Worrying is not going to get you anywhere. Stop getting lost in the desert with no water and take a drink from the fountain of faith. Faith that says:

“I am good enough.”
“I will find the answer.”
“I can be amazing.”

These are the answers you should seek. Believe in yourself.

 

9. See the world.

With your own two eyes. Not on social media or through your mates Instagram account. This whole “Work Till You Die Hoax” is stopping you from changing your story.

“Warren Buffett spends time every single day doing deep thinking and that’s one of the reasons he’s a billionaire”

Deep thinking happens naturally when you’re traveling. You begin to compare your surroundings at home, with the paradise you’re visiting (Notice I said paradise? That’s because the world is beautiful when you get off the couch and see it).

 

My 2011 change in circumstances all started when I got out of Melbourne and saw places I had always dreamed of. The subtle art of getting on planes and carrying suitcases through customs became a quarterly experience.

The first trip to Sydney showed me that I could fly 60 minutes and not get trapped in a storm and die in a horrible plane crash. The fear of flying subsided and the love of travel began a new page in my life story. Seeing new countries gives you inspiration and that’s exactly what you need if you’re stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast.

 

10. Quit your current job.

This one’s not straight out of one of those self-help blog posts that says we can all be rich if we quit our 9-5. That’s BS advice. There’s a good chance though that you hate your current income-producing activity known as a job.

I was at this same point in 2011 and it bugged the crap out of me. So if you really are serious about changing your life story then let’s get serious for a minute and make a decision to quit your job. The cool thing about quitting your job is that you’ll be forced to find another one (unless you don’t like eating). Urgency will motivate you to do something else.

You’ve got to where you are now based on your previous decisions and so we can’t create any change without making some new decisions. The biggest benefits will come from the hardest decisions. The more tough decisions you make in a short space of time, the greater the change in your life story.

We all get bored in our career and quitting your job is how you escape this nightmare.

 

11. Use the Internet to reach out.

The cliché of “We’re all connected” has been beaten into our head like a boxer that’s taken one too many punches to the temple. We know we can talk to anyone yet we still mingle with the same people. It’s similar to when you go to a seminar with a friend and the speaker asks you to find a partner and you pick the same person you came with.

My life changed when I backed myself and began using tools like LinkedIn to reach out to interesting people that I could create mutual value with. Out of the ten requests you send, probably half of them will be declined or ignored. The rest will probably lead to conversations.

These new conversations will demonstrate to you that anyone can be reached. Therefore, you can access the blueprint for almost any successful person’s life. Then you can copy part of those blueprints and paste bits of them on the pages of your life story.

I’ll say it again: You need new inputs and to mix with different people who won’t accept your lame excuses.

The cold reach out that transformed my life story was thanks to a man named Joel Brown. He’s why I am here today typing these words to you.

 

12. Experiment with giving.

In the early stages, I gave back through writing blog posts like this one. As my formula for life became more evolved, I started volunteering at homeless shelters. This year I’m taking it a step further and trying to impact the lives of 300 disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence.

Even if you impact only one person, that one person could become the next Mother Teresa. I’ve been like a scientist in a lab for the last five years testing the act of giving. I’ve bought cars and tech that made me happy for a short while, and then I’ve experimented with giving my money and knowledge to people who have nothing.

The second experiment has given me the most growth and fulfillment. The material things literally did nothing to change my life story. Try the act of giving. Watch it transform the story of your life!

 

13. Give up the perfection game.

Wanting people to follow the rules of how you play the game of life is sabotaging your success. No one is ever going to act the way you want them to so quit expecting this false idea to come true. Accept the fact that humans make mistakes and piss each other off.

Get used to quickly moving on from disappointments that are created by your circle of colleagues and family, and get back to reality. What’s that reality? Creating something that will be remembered long after you’re gone.

Create a blog, business, a family, a charitable cause, speech, a funny stand-up routine.

The story of your life won’t be perfect either so leave your expectations at the door and get to work showing us all what you got. You’re capable of achieving so much more than you have done to date. I want to see you double your results by getting focused and cutting out all the noise.

Life can be full of disappointment or packed with joy and happiness. The story is yours to write so get the pen out and make a decision which one will be true for you.

Go all out. Be you. Change the world.

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

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself?

Here are seven steps you need to follow to create real lasting relationships with influential people who will help you increase your net-influence:

Step 1: Know Yourself

Before you can build a relationship, you need to know who you are and the message you want to put out in the world. The worst thing you can do is to start trying to building relationships without any understanding of how that relationship is in line with your interests, goals and objectives.

Step 2: Know them

In order to connect and build a relationship with anyone, you need to understand who they are. This means going beyond the most common information people know about them and digging deeper into their posts, their conversations, their interviews and identifying what they’re really about.

What are some of their un-commonly known interests? What are some topics they consistently talk about that are important to them? What are some of the challenges they’re facing? The more you know about them, the better you can connect and add value to their lives.

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

Step 3: Show Up

Influencers are often omni-present, meaning that they’re seen and heard on several different channels and venues at the same time. So the more you can show up and add value, the more likely you are to be on their radar. Do some research on the type of content their posting on different social networks, find out which conferences they’re speaking at, listen to interviews and podcasts where they’re being featured on and just show up to support them in whatever they’re doing. Don’t worry, you won’t be considered a stalker if you do this. You’ll be seen as an advocate for their brand and message.

Step 4: Add “Remarkable” Value

Something you hear when discussing building relationships with influencers is the need to “add value”. But an important point that is often missed is that the value you put needs to be “remarkable”. Sometimes it can be as simple as posting engaging comments or questions on one of their social media posts, or as intricate as sending them a care package with something you heard they needed. If you’ve done your homework from Step 2 and know who they are and what makes them tick, then adding value shouldn’t be too difficult.

Step 5: Be human

There is something to be said about people who can act “human” on social media. It’s as if people lose their humanity and become these self-serving, egotistical, monsters who are “too cool for school” putting up a façade of the image they want to give instead of who they actually are. Real relationships come from being authentic, bringing your guard down, letting people in and showing both strengths and weaknesses.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Step 6: Be consistent

Building real relationships takes time. That’s why it’s important not to get discouraged and to remember that influencers have many people asking for their attention. So if building a relationship with them is important to you then you will need to be consistent and put in the time.

Step 7: Find opportunities to collaborate

Once you’ve had a few meaningful interactions with the influencer you’re trying to build a relationship with, now is the time to reach out with a collaboration offer. Remember this is not about you, it’s about them. So you need to focus your offer on helping them. This is your opportunity to take Step 4 to the next level and become someone remarkable in their lives.  

Follow these steps and you’ll start building real relationships with people who will help you increase your “net influence”.

Which step do you think is the most important? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Simple Things We Can All Do to Ensure We Become a Success Story

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success story

There’s something about reading other people’s success stories that warms my heart. It makes me reflect on my life while inspiring me to believe in the possibility of my own dreams, and pursue them with gusto. Some stories make me cry because of the tales of adversity that inspired them. Others, however, amaze me because of some the ingenious and unconventional inspirations behind them. Whatever their nature, most success stories appear to share some common denominators.

The success stories I love the most are those of people I know personally and have witnessed transpire right before my eyes, because they are more relatable and reinforce my belief that success is truly possible for anyone. It isn’t necessarily influenced by our connections or backgrounds and can be achieved at any stage in one’s life – success doesn’t discriminate.

As much as we enjoy hearing other people’s success stories and celebrating those of our loved ones; there comes a point in our lives when we all aspire for the same – when we want to inspire others through our own success stories.

The following are things we can all do to ensure that we become a success story someday:

1. Adopt a mindset of success by letting go of your limiting beliefs

Belief is integral in developing a successful mindset and making anything happen. In order for us to adopt a mindset of success, we must first believe that success is possible for us and that we have what it takes to accomplish whatever it is we desire. We have to let go of any limiting beliefs we possess that make us feel unworthy of or incapable of achieving our goals or dreams. Self-imposed limitations or what others have made us believe about ourselves will tear us apart.

Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great would be wise in telling you they were able to do so because they believed they could. If we want to become a success story, we have to first see and speak of ourselves as capable of and believe that we have the power within ourselves to do anything we set our minds to.

2. Be passionate about what you do

If you want to experience success in your pursuits and someday inspire others through your own success story; you have to be passionate about what you do. Our passions are things we are naturally good at, connect with, enjoy doing and from which we derive fulfillment and purpose. Although we can experience success in different arenas of life, the endeavors which give our life meaning are those that we have a deep connection with and feel passionate about.

Some of the best success stories are often those about people who chose to pursue their passions not because money was their main motivation, but rather because they love what they do and wanted to make a difference in the world by sharing their gifts with others. Often times, people who pursue things they naturally love to do are able to attract both money and success, because it is easier to fully immerse oneself and flourish in things one enjoys.

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs

3. Have a strong ‘Why’

If you read most success stories, you will discover they were inspired by a strong and solid reason. Knowing why you want to accomplish something, what accomplishing it will mean to you, and what kind of impact it will have on your life or that of others’ will play a great role in determining your success or failure. Our desires inspire us, motivate us to take action and keep us from giving up when we want to throw in the towel.

If you want to become a success story, you need to determine your motive for doing whatever you want to do and determine whether it is valid and strong enough. If this is not done, you may not have enough fuel for the long haul and sustain your commitment to your endeavors.

4. Embrace consistency – Be prepared to show up every day

Overnight success is nonexistent. If we want to become success stories, we will have to consistently cultivate our goals and dreams by putting in the time and effort needed to make them reality. Anything worth achieving and sustaining in life requires both constant and consistent effort and attention.

According to Aristotle, consistency is the key to success, and excellence isn’t an act but rather a habit; we are what we repeatedly do. Success is the sum of all the small efforts we consistently repeat day in and day out that are vital to maintaining it. Consistency allows us to form habits, measure our progress, develop routines and creates accountability that ensures follow through on our goals and dreams. Anyone who has ever experienced success in their pursuits was able to do so because they were willing to show up every day and consistently do the things that needed to be done to ensure the manifestation of their desired outcome.

5. Develop a resilient spirit

The journey towards success is wrought with challenges, obstacles, and is often much bumpier than it is smooth – those that win the race are those that manage to find their way to the finish line. Most success stories contain elements of overcoming adversities and setbacks; some of our most valued dreams will require our blood, sweat and tears to accomplish.

If you wish to share your success story someday, you have to be prepared to develop thick-skin and learn how to appropriately deal with and overcome defeat. You have to learn how to rise up after each stumble and live to fight another day until you achieve victory.

“I think there are things that we can all do to build resilience in ourselves, but also to build resilience in each other.” – Sheryl Sandberg

As you can see based on the above, success isn’t elusive or even exclusive – it is possible for every one of us as long as we are willing to do our part in ensuring the fruition of our desires. Determine why you want what you want, believe that its manifestation is possible for you, consistently take action towards your goals and dreams, be passionate about your endeavors and maintain a resilient spirit when you encounter challenges and obstacles. Trust in the process and in no time, you too will be your own success story.

What are you doing today to ensure success in the future? Let us know your story below!

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Success Advice

The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Sonjamoss

    Nov 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I was inspired by this article. I once was a victim of homelessness. I resided in the shelter system for years. With that being said, most of the social worker’s and counselors that I was assigned to gave no inspiration to the people nor did they lead people to intervention or help. You see, I worked.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Your story is inspiring Sonjamoss and congrats on getting through it. It’s now time for you to be that inspiration for other homeless people that these counselors you met lacked. All the best and I wish you all the success.

  2. denny

    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for taking time to document your experience. You have shared some important lessons that remind me how vigilant to be with my own habits and behaviors.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Anytime Denny and thanks for reading!

  3. Tanveer Malik

    Sep 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you Tim for sharing 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      No worries Tanveer thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Theodore Nwangene

    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Great post Tim,
    I’ve never been homeless myself but i can imagine how it feels like not to have anywhere you can call your home. It can really be a very boring and painful situation.

    However, i agree with all you said. Most times, it all begins with our mindset. We usually build obstacles for ourselves through what we think and believe.

    Its obvious that those people already have the belief that there is nothing they can do for themselves and if they can change that mindset for even once, there will be a tremendous difference in their life.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your comment Theo. Most of us have some sort of obstacle in our mind or limiting belief that stops us reaching our potential. The good news is that we can shift our mindset at anytime and change our neural pathways through small steps. These steps could be as simple as watching certain videos, reading books, going on sites like Addicted2Success and talking with the right people. These small habits can begin to shift the way you think as long as you are open to change and challenging everything you have ever believed. Glad you enjoyed the article Theo!

  5. Iggy

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Hi Tim

    I have a 5 am group of friends. We wake up every day at 5 am to wake on our selves. We lack consistency as a group and some of these fundamentals provide answers to why this is the case.

    Please Google News24 Ex Beggar gives up second chance. A fascinating tale that is mind boggling and got me really thinking.

    Your article Tim, settled me and sort of understand the why in both cases. Keep writing and sharing.

    Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Iggy, I just read the news story that you told me to read. More and more I am reading stories like this of people who have so little yet they keep on giving without expecting anything in return. As you start to evolve as a person you begin to be able to see the positive in everything (or for some, the negative). Inspiring stories like this are everywhere, but the problem is that as a society, we are addicted to bad news. Thankfully, all of us on Addicted2Success are trying to change this and to encourage people to shift their mindset and do some personal development. The benefits are endless and i can see that you have already done a lot of development yourself. Thanks for your support and sharing this amazing story, I can;t thank you enough.

  6. Tayo Giwa

    Sep 9, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great observation coupled with deep insight. I struggled for years to understand the foundation of people making such choices in life to be “Homeless”. I got to a point I decided to move to a very unfavorable vicinity just to understand and socialize with such individuals without them seeing any bias with my interaction. I must say it was a complacent journey at the end. After spending a great amount of time with one addict and hopeless young fellow, I was able to get her back on track utilizing different life changing techniques designed not to pin point errors but to showcase what life could be like in both good and bad while giving her the option to make a choice with no pressure. I can’t explain the satisfaction and level of accomplishment I felt after seeing this young lady working as a cook and following her dreams in life especially when she busted into tears one day and told me ” I can’t talk about my life history without mentioning your name and impact” I was inclined to drop tears and held her tight while we both shared tears of joy. Thank you for sharing your experience I hope to collaborate with someone like you some day to share ideas and experiences on how to help few that are willing to change their lives. I strongly believe 70% of homeless people will accept and harness change by providing them with the right answers to their questions with no pressure or differential treatment.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 9:58 am

      I really admire you Tayo for conducting this experiment and being able to influence someone else’s life for the better. Your story really inspired me and I got chills down my spine as I read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. Much Respect.

  7. Catherine M. J. Mary Evans

    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Tim,

    I’m proud of you and your kindness to help, I’m sure you didn’t mean everyone there had a medical issue. Although I read somewhere that 40% of office workers seek help so it could be kind of high there, too. 😉

    You are right about the economic viewpoint, money in the US represents something. So hands on help (as guided by those experienced) could be a mutually beneficial positive encounter!

    Congratulations on stepping out of the comfort zone! Are you bringing a coworker next time?

    Catherine

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:27 am

      Catherine, you are spot on, not everyone had a medical issue although the majority were sick from trying to numb the pain with smoking, alcohol and sugar treats. I will definitely be bringing a co-worker next time and have already encouraged others to do the same thing. Thanks for reading and keep doing what your doing.

  8. colin

    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Hi very very much inspiring article. I love reading it. That’s precisely the type message we want to convey to other entrepreneurs to always have a positive mindset and to reprogram your mind for success… Awesome article. Thank you

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Colin. These lessons are not just for entrepreneurs, they are for everyone who wants to reach their potential and do more than just make themselves feel good. Good vibes are infectious and helping others is how every entrepreneur succeeds. Money comes and goes, but true fulfillment in your life is permanent. Thanks for reading mate.

  9. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Very inspiring article! I love uplifting people and I can tell you that when you give your time to someone else and feel like you are making some type of difference in the world, no matter how small that difference is, you feel a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. I have been working with a nonprofit organization taking in abandoned and abused children, and I have been with a program to help mentor one of them. It is an awesome feeling. I agree with all the lessons you have given here. Also, reiterating here that dressing well and grooming makes you feel better about yourself, help me to see just how much that is true. I loved this article and your good spirit.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:21 am

      Lawrence every time I read your comments you inspire me with your wisdom. I am not surprised that you are out there helping others and mentoring people. Keep doing what your doing and thanks for your ongoing support as always.

  10. Esther Mellar

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tim,

    It sounds you had really nice life experience and received so much by giving. It is also fantastic that you can help others on this blog by sharing your experiences.
    For me the biggest difficulty is to accept that not everybody wants to be helped, just as you write.
    It is a powerful way living life when you can learn from everybody and every life situation.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tim Denning

      Sep 10, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thanks Esther for your kind words. The fact that not everyone wants to be helped is one of the hardest things to come to grips with.

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Success Advice

The Absolute No No’s Of Social Media: Break These And Everybody Tunes Out.

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Everyone talks about what to do on social media. No one talks about the things that don’t work. What not to do is where the recipe for success on social media lies.

I’ve spent the last 12 months getting more engagement on social media than ever so that I can spread more good in the world.

Here is my absolute list of no no’s for social media:

 

Too much self-promotion.

“Here’s a selfie with the Alibaba founder.”

“Here’s me at blah blah blah exhibition.”

“Here’s me taking a break after working so hard.”

This nonsense doesn’t work. It’s all about you and it comes across as self-promotion. I still want you to share photos of inspirational people you met. I still want you to talk about taking a break and the places you’ve visited. I still want you to share events you attend.

There’s a subtle difference though – share the lessons and value these experiences gave you rather than sharing your ego’s proximity to them.

“Make your social media posts about how you can help and add value rather than putting your name on everything and trying to sound important”

 

Tagging people without permission.

Ever seen one of those posts where there are twenty names at the bottom that are tagged?

Ever wondered why you’re tagged in someone’s post who you’ve never met?

This careless tagging occurs because the originator wants to reach more people. They think by tagging strangers with lots of followers, they’ll reach more people and get more attention for their ego.

“Tagging without permission is rude and doesn’t work”

I want you to tag people and reach more people. I want you to do it with respect. How?

Reach out and tell the person you’re going to tag them first and why the post is relevant to their audience. Don’t be lazy and tag them because they’ll do nothing and most likely unfollow you. Also, don’t overdo it. Aim to tag three people or so instead of twenty. Less is more.

 

Linking out.

If I only teach you one thing it’s this: Don’t link out.

In plain English, this means that you should avoid posting a link that takes people off the social media platform they are viewing your post on. For example, if you’re on Facebook, don’t put a link in your post that takes me to YouTube.

Always post natively.

In plain English again, post your content directly on the platform. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload the video to Facebook directly.

 

Scheduling doesn’t work as well. It’s all about live.

We’ve all used software like Buffer to schedule posts and make people think that we are content machines that write something new every 2.5 hours and then upload it at peak times of the day.

The algorithm that runs a lot of these social media platforms and decides who see’s your content has figured out the game. Live, original content that is unplanned will always get priority. Try doing things on the fly. Upload your content in real time. Better yet, create your content in real time.

 

Polished is getting old.

Joel Brown taught me this lesson. One day, he was getting ready to shoot a video in the park. He was going to get a haircut beforehand, so he looked good for the camera. Laziness took over and he decided to shoot the video on his iPhone, with messy bed hair.

This video got lots of engagement because he shot it in a moment of passion and it was unpolished.

We’ve all seen the polished YouTube videos with perfectly positioned product placement, special lighting and high definition cameras. All of this pre-preparation kills the idea and the creativity that is attached to it.

Try being raw.
Try being authentic.
Try keeping it simple.
Try to avoid the temptation of becoming a gear/technology junkie.

 

Be original (thoughts on resharing).

I get people I work with all the time saying “How do you get so many people to engage with your posts?” I then click their social media profiles and look at their own posts. Every one of them is a reshare of someone else’s content.

At least 70% of the posts you put up should be original. Just resharing someone else’s stuff is boring. Create original pieces. When you reshare, put some detail around why you liked the content and how it helped you. Make your resharing personal.

You can’t just regurgitate other people’s content and then expect to get noticed.

 

Don’t post the same piece on every social platform.

Every social platform has a different voice and different functionality. Creating one piece of content and then sharing it on every social platform doesn’t work.

For starters, focus your attention on one or two platforms. Go deep on a few social channels rather than going wide and posting on many.

 

The time of day.

Consider the time of day when you post but don’t be obsessed with it. Good content will get people sharing it regardless of when it’s posted. Great is great and the time of the day won’t change that.

With that said, early shares of your posts is important for gaining traction and getting the social platforms algorithm to let you be seen by more people. Consider avoiding times like Sunday nights when people are having family dinners and not on social media.

 

What you’re forgetting is what not to do.

So to wrap all this up, it’s what you don’t do on social media that will elevate your success to the next level. Breaking this list of no no’s will see the social media platforms you’re posting to limit your audience. Play by these rules, and you’ll have more engagement than you can poke a stick at it.

Use this engagement to do good in the world.

 

PS.

I don’t shoot videos of me driving in a Lamborghini or taking selfies with Oprah. I’m just a humble guy from Australia who’s living the dream, working hard and trying to inspire all of you to do big things, and use social media to elevate your message.

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

13 Ways I Totally Changed My Life Story And So Can You.

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In 2011 my entire life story changed. I went from having nothing and having a disgusting, toxic mindset, to changing my life story and inspiring millions online.

I don’t tell you that to brag; I tell you because if I can do it, so can you.

The reason I changed my life story is because of a website called Addicted2Success. It all started with one new opportunity that I decided not to waste.

I concluded – after hours of personal development – that if Tony Robbins, Martin Luther King and Tim Ferriss can come from the darkest of places, to change history, then so can I.

Here are the 13 super simple, easy to implement tips that can change your life story:

 

1. Look who you are surrounded by.

The people that you spend time with transfer their beliefs and mindset to you without you even realizing it. Make a list of all the people you spend time with and then put a red line through any who are toxic and bring you down.

Do a second pass through and delete anyone else that is not serving you or always complains. By the end, you should be left with the people to keep. That list will be short and that’s the whole point. You need to make room for new connections and new friends.

This exercise is harsh and so is life. Doing the difficult stuff is how you change your life story.

 

2. Become a podcast junkie.

Stop being pissed off at traffic or long waits at medical appointments. This forced spare time is a gift. The challenge is most of you don’t use it. You sit there and look at your phone rather than doing something that will alter the course of your life.

Your life story will only change when you get some new inputs and a few fresh ideas. Podcasts are the quickest way to get these free sources of inspiration. During 2011 when I went through a change in my life story, I started by doing short walks around my local neighborhood and listening to audio tapes from Tony Robbins.

His opinions and thoughts were different to everything that people around me were saying. He planted new seeds in my mind that eventually turned into massive success several years later.

“School taught me how to follow the rules; podcasts taught me how to break the rules and forget everything I thought I knew”

Podcasts disrupted my thought patterns and that’s exactly what you need too.

 

3. Start creating something online.

Building an online presence in what I loved was the start of something new. When I began sharing my message with the world, it helped me refine my thoughts and ideas. I also got to engage with lots of other people who shared their wisdom with me for free because I had given them free content.

Before I changed my life story, I was scared to create something online because I was worried I’d be judged or not good enough.

“As soon as I dropped this superman complex and started creating something online, I became comfortable in my own skin and with who I was”

The story of your life is best told online. Pick a channel (any channel, just pick one!) and then stick to it. Post on their as much as you can. Don’t hold back, be vulnerable and tell stories. This will alter the course of your life.

 

4. Turn your media habits upside down.

Take your TV and put it in the closet. Replace your daily habits of watching the news with audiobooks or podcasts. Take those endless TV shows that make you stupid and read a book instead. Most of the traditional media is negative because that’s what sells.

“Media is a business to get your attention and make money from you. Disconnect from that Ponzi Scheme and consume media that educates and transforms your life story”

Watch a documentary on Warren Buffett, listen to Oprah’s online show that interviews extraordinary people crushing their field, and see what Tim Ferriss is experimenting with on Facebook.

Just stop consuming endless amounts of information that doesn’t serve you. Focus is key and media will distract it if you don’t make the right decision.

 

5. Sell your car and buy a juicer.

That’s what Tony Robbins said in a book I read and he’s right. My life story changed when I started to have more energy. Giving my body a metaphorical injection of nutrients every morning stopped me from getting sick, and made me feel like I had just consumed 15 espressos.

 

If you need to sell your car to buy the juicer, then great. The extra energy you get from juicing will double your productivity which will give you extra income. Within a year you’ll probably have enough extra income to buy two cars. Energy is king.

 

6. Bounce your way to a new story.

For me to help you create this new life story you’re going to need even more energy. Bouncing on a trampoline gets the blood flowing and your passions started.

You feel good after bouncing (I won’t go through the science of why as Google can tell you that) and it will give you another block of time to listen to podcasts. Bounce baby bounce!

 

7. Become ruthless with negative talk.

The bloke behind you want’s to chew the fat about how bad his day was? No thanks.

Lunch lady wants to tell you how she lost money in cryptocurrency? Sorry, she’s not qualified and you got enough to think about already.

These meaningless, negative conversations are screwing with your mind. Negative people love to complain yet they forget how lucky they are to have even been born.

If someone starts a conversation with you and it’s not serving you, politely excuse yourself and make something up if you have to. Just escape like you’re stuck in Alcatraz.

“Walking away from negative conversations will teach you discipline and demonstrate to yourself that you’re in control”

 

8. You’ll never know the answer.

Racking your brain over any obstacle that’s put in your way will chew up time that you could be using to create something phenomenal. No matter how much you plan, you’ll never predict correctly the outcome of every challenge.

So if I don’t know, and if the universe can’t tell you, and your mentors can’t tell you, then don’t worry. Worrying is not going to get you anywhere. Stop getting lost in the desert with no water and take a drink from the fountain of faith. Faith that says:

“I am good enough.”
“I will find the answer.”
“I can be amazing.”

These are the answers you should seek. Believe in yourself.

 

9. See the world.

With your own two eyes. Not on social media or through your mates Instagram account. This whole “Work Till You Die Hoax” is stopping you from changing your story.

“Warren Buffett spends time every single day doing deep thinking and that’s one of the reasons he’s a billionaire”

Deep thinking happens naturally when you’re traveling. You begin to compare your surroundings at home, with the paradise you’re visiting (Notice I said paradise? That’s because the world is beautiful when you get off the couch and see it).

 

My 2011 change in circumstances all started when I got out of Melbourne and saw places I had always dreamed of. The subtle art of getting on planes and carrying suitcases through customs became a quarterly experience.

The first trip to Sydney showed me that I could fly 60 minutes and not get trapped in a storm and die in a horrible plane crash. The fear of flying subsided and the love of travel began a new page in my life story. Seeing new countries gives you inspiration and that’s exactly what you need if you’re stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast.

 

10. Quit your current job.

This one’s not straight out of one of those self-help blog posts that says we can all be rich if we quit our 9-5. That’s BS advice. There’s a good chance though that you hate your current income-producing activity known as a job.

I was at this same point in 2011 and it bugged the crap out of me. So if you really are serious about changing your life story then let’s get serious for a minute and make a decision to quit your job. The cool thing about quitting your job is that you’ll be forced to find another one (unless you don’t like eating). Urgency will motivate you to do something else.

You’ve got to where you are now based on your previous decisions and so we can’t create any change without making some new decisions. The biggest benefits will come from the hardest decisions. The more tough decisions you make in a short space of time, the greater the change in your life story.

We all get bored in our career and quitting your job is how you escape this nightmare.

 

11. Use the Internet to reach out.

The cliché of “We’re all connected” has been beaten into our head like a boxer that’s taken one too many punches to the temple. We know we can talk to anyone yet we still mingle with the same people. It’s similar to when you go to a seminar with a friend and the speaker asks you to find a partner and you pick the same person you came with.

My life changed when I backed myself and began using tools like LinkedIn to reach out to interesting people that I could create mutual value with. Out of the ten requests you send, probably half of them will be declined or ignored. The rest will probably lead to conversations.

These new conversations will demonstrate to you that anyone can be reached. Therefore, you can access the blueprint for almost any successful person’s life. Then you can copy part of those blueprints and paste bits of them on the pages of your life story.

I’ll say it again: You need new inputs and to mix with different people who won’t accept your lame excuses.

The cold reach out that transformed my life story was thanks to a man named Joel Brown. He’s why I am here today typing these words to you.

 

12. Experiment with giving.

In the early stages, I gave back through writing blog posts like this one. As my formula for life became more evolved, I started volunteering at homeless shelters. This year I’m taking it a step further and trying to impact the lives of 300 disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence.

Even if you impact only one person, that one person could become the next Mother Teresa. I’ve been like a scientist in a lab for the last five years testing the act of giving. I’ve bought cars and tech that made me happy for a short while, and then I’ve experimented with giving my money and knowledge to people who have nothing.

The second experiment has given me the most growth and fulfillment. The material things literally did nothing to change my life story. Try the act of giving. Watch it transform the story of your life!

 

13. Give up the perfection game.

Wanting people to follow the rules of how you play the game of life is sabotaging your success. No one is ever going to act the way you want them to so quit expecting this false idea to come true. Accept the fact that humans make mistakes and piss each other off.

Get used to quickly moving on from disappointments that are created by your circle of colleagues and family, and get back to reality. What’s that reality? Creating something that will be remembered long after you’re gone.

Create a blog, business, a family, a charitable cause, speech, a funny stand-up routine.

The story of your life won’t be perfect either so leave your expectations at the door and get to work showing us all what you got. You’re capable of achieving so much more than you have done to date. I want to see you double your results by getting focused and cutting out all the noise.

Life can be full of disappointment or packed with joy and happiness. The story is yours to write so get the pen out and make a decision which one will be true for you.

Go all out. Be you. Change the world.

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

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself?

Here are seven steps you need to follow to create real lasting relationships with influential people who will help you increase your net-influence:

Step 1: Know Yourself

Before you can build a relationship, you need to know who you are and the message you want to put out in the world. The worst thing you can do is to start trying to building relationships without any understanding of how that relationship is in line with your interests, goals and objectives.

Step 2: Know them

In order to connect and build a relationship with anyone, you need to understand who they are. This means going beyond the most common information people know about them and digging deeper into their posts, their conversations, their interviews and identifying what they’re really about.

What are some of their un-commonly known interests? What are some topics they consistently talk about that are important to them? What are some of the challenges they’re facing? The more you know about them, the better you can connect and add value to their lives.

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

Step 3: Show Up

Influencers are often omni-present, meaning that they’re seen and heard on several different channels and venues at the same time. So the more you can show up and add value, the more likely you are to be on their radar. Do some research on the type of content their posting on different social networks, find out which conferences they’re speaking at, listen to interviews and podcasts where they’re being featured on and just show up to support them in whatever they’re doing. Don’t worry, you won’t be considered a stalker if you do this. You’ll be seen as an advocate for their brand and message.

Step 4: Add “Remarkable” Value

Something you hear when discussing building relationships with influencers is the need to “add value”. But an important point that is often missed is that the value you put needs to be “remarkable”. Sometimes it can be as simple as posting engaging comments or questions on one of their social media posts, or as intricate as sending them a care package with something you heard they needed. If you’ve done your homework from Step 2 and know who they are and what makes them tick, then adding value shouldn’t be too difficult.

Step 5: Be human

There is something to be said about people who can act “human” on social media. It’s as if people lose their humanity and become these self-serving, egotistical, monsters who are “too cool for school” putting up a façade of the image they want to give instead of who they actually are. Real relationships come from being authentic, bringing your guard down, letting people in and showing both strengths and weaknesses.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Step 6: Be consistent

Building real relationships takes time. That’s why it’s important not to get discouraged and to remember that influencers have many people asking for their attention. So if building a relationship with them is important to you then you will need to be consistent and put in the time.

Step 7: Find opportunities to collaborate

Once you’ve had a few meaningful interactions with the influencer you’re trying to build a relationship with, now is the time to reach out with a collaboration offer. Remember this is not about you, it’s about them. So you need to focus your offer on helping them. This is your opportunity to take Step 4 to the next level and become someone remarkable in their lives.  

Follow these steps and you’ll start building real relationships with people who will help you increase your “net influence”.

Which step do you think is the most important? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Simple Things We Can All Do to Ensure We Become a Success Story

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There’s something about reading other people’s success stories that warms my heart. It makes me reflect on my life while inspiring me to believe in the possibility of my own dreams, and pursue them with gusto. Some stories make me cry because of the tales of adversity that inspired them. Others, however, amaze me because of some the ingenious and unconventional inspirations behind them. Whatever their nature, most success stories appear to share some common denominators.

The success stories I love the most are those of people I know personally and have witnessed transpire right before my eyes, because they are more relatable and reinforce my belief that success is truly possible for anyone. It isn’t necessarily influenced by our connections or backgrounds and can be achieved at any stage in one’s life – success doesn’t discriminate.

As much as we enjoy hearing other people’s success stories and celebrating those of our loved ones; there comes a point in our lives when we all aspire for the same – when we want to inspire others through our own success stories.

The following are things we can all do to ensure that we become a success story someday:

1. Adopt a mindset of success by letting go of your limiting beliefs

Belief is integral in developing a successful mindset and making anything happen. In order for us to adopt a mindset of success, we must first believe that success is possible for us and that we have what it takes to accomplish whatever it is we desire. We have to let go of any limiting beliefs we possess that make us feel unworthy of or incapable of achieving our goals or dreams. Self-imposed limitations or what others have made us believe about ourselves will tear us apart.

Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great would be wise in telling you they were able to do so because they believed they could. If we want to become a success story, we have to first see and speak of ourselves as capable of and believe that we have the power within ourselves to do anything we set our minds to.

2. Be passionate about what you do

If you want to experience success in your pursuits and someday inspire others through your own success story; you have to be passionate about what you do. Our passions are things we are naturally good at, connect with, enjoy doing and from which we derive fulfillment and purpose. Although we can experience success in different arenas of life, the endeavors which give our life meaning are those that we have a deep connection with and feel passionate about.

Some of the best success stories are often those about people who chose to pursue their passions not because money was their main motivation, but rather because they love what they do and wanted to make a difference in the world by sharing their gifts with others. Often times, people who pursue things they naturally love to do are able to attract both money and success, because it is easier to fully immerse oneself and flourish in things one enjoys.

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs

3. Have a strong ‘Why’

If you read most success stories, you will discover they were inspired by a strong and solid reason. Knowing why you want to accomplish something, what accomplishing it will mean to you, and what kind of impact it will have on your life or that of others’ will play a great role in determining your success or failure. Our desires inspire us, motivate us to take action and keep us from giving up when we want to throw in the towel.

If you want to become a success story, you need to determine your motive for doing whatever you want to do and determine whether it is valid and strong enough. If this is not done, you may not have enough fuel for the long haul and sustain your commitment to your endeavors.

4. Embrace consistency – Be prepared to show up every day

Overnight success is nonexistent. If we want to become success stories, we will have to consistently cultivate our goals and dreams by putting in the time and effort needed to make them reality. Anything worth achieving and sustaining in life requires both constant and consistent effort and attention.

According to Aristotle, consistency is the key to success, and excellence isn’t an act but rather a habit; we are what we repeatedly do. Success is the sum of all the small efforts we consistently repeat day in and day out that are vital to maintaining it. Consistency allows us to form habits, measure our progress, develop routines and creates accountability that ensures follow through on our goals and dreams. Anyone who has ever experienced success in their pursuits was able to do so because they were willing to show up every day and consistently do the things that needed to be done to ensure the manifestation of their desired outcome.

5. Develop a resilient spirit

The journey towards success is wrought with challenges, obstacles, and is often much bumpier than it is smooth – those that win the race are those that manage to find their way to the finish line. Most success stories contain elements of overcoming adversities and setbacks; some of our most valued dreams will require our blood, sweat and tears to accomplish.

If you wish to share your success story someday, you have to be prepared to develop thick-skin and learn how to appropriately deal with and overcome defeat. You have to learn how to rise up after each stumble and live to fight another day until you achieve victory.

“I think there are things that we can all do to build resilience in ourselves, but also to build resilience in each other.” – Sheryl Sandberg

As you can see based on the above, success isn’t elusive or even exclusive – it is possible for every one of us as long as we are willing to do our part in ensuring the fruition of our desires. Determine why you want what you want, believe that its manifestation is possible for you, consistently take action towards your goals and dreams, be passionate about your endeavors and maintain a resilient spirit when you encounter challenges and obstacles. Trust in the process and in no time, you too will be your own success story.

What are you doing today to ensure success in the future? Let us know your story below!

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