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Success Advice

10 Powerful Habits of The Ultra Successful

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“Successful people are simply those with successful habits” – Brian Tracy

We often run through life, envious of all the people who “made it”. Not being able to recognize exactly why they are where they are in life. We’re confused as to what trickery or black magic these people have applied in their life that has enabled them to rise to the top of their industry. Unfortunately we’re never able to distill this “special ingredient” or “secret” that has kept us in doubts for so long. Eventually it can even drive us to the brink of insanity But I’d say we’re searching for the wrong things.. How so?

  • What’s the one thing that made him so much money?
  • What’s the one thing that allowed him to have so many friends?
  • What’s the single source of his great health?

We’re primarily focused on certain events whilst almost every (if not all) successful aspects we recognize in a person is the sum of different processes. These processes are basically different habits that have been built up over time which have compounded in the results they’re experiencing in their life. I call this habit-stacking Habit-what? ——————————————————————————–

 

What Is Habit Stacking?

Habit stacking is the process of incrementally (meaning gradually) implementing new, empowering habits in your day-to-day life. These daily, high-leverage tasks will “stack up” over time which will in turn improve what I call your “success-level” For illustrative purposes, here’s fancy infographic I made; Untitled Report (1)   The quantity and quality of every success habit performed, will define the altitude of your success-level. I’ve seen this pattern recurring in many different successful people I’ve observed the past years. People like Warren Buffet, Anthony Robbins, Elon Musk, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Owen Cook and many more. The people who obviously “have their stuff together” The stacking of these habits creates an immense amount of control over their life and therefore yields the compounding results they have acquired.

By analyzing and defining their different habits, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the 10 most potent habits to implement in your life.

 

Ten Essential Success Habits

(Speed) Learningold-books-436498_1280

I’ve seen this habit recurring time and time again. The wealthiest people of the world are avid learners. In an interview , Warren Buffet and Bill Gates were asked if they could have one superpower in the world, what would it be? They both argued that being the worlds fastest reader would be HUGE Why is it so effective?

Reading allows us to skip (partially) the process of trial and error by simulating the future in our mind, based on the knowledge we’ve acquired from other peoples’ mistakes. Why make your own when you can learn so much from others?

It allows us to “stand on the shoulders of giants” by acquiring information that enables us to avoid many failures.

How to start? Start by reading 15 pages every day (non-fiction)

 

Visualization

Often in life we harbor dis-empowering thoughts in our head;

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not good with women
  • I don’t deserve to be rich
  • I’m not able to lose any weight

These are all perfect examples of limiting beliefs that become self-fulfilling prophecies and basically rob ourselves of everything we want out of life. People are not limited to these perceptions and are actually able to change these for the better (however, not many realize they can do this) How you perceive yourself and your surroundings literally sets the boundaries of your individual accomplishment. It basically defines what you can and cannot do. This is a social theorem defined by W.I Thomas and D.S. Thomas;

“People react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions. Therefore, their behavior is determined in part by their perception and the meaning they ascribe to the situations they are in, rather than by the situations themselves. Once people convince themselves that a situation really has a certain meaning, regardless of whether it actually does, they will take very real actions in consequence.”

So what should I do? Improve your self-image and your image of the world and likewise will your accomplishments grow to greater heights. The way I do this is by writing down how I want to perceive myself and visualize in detail how I will act in certain situations. Repetition is key! Eventually it will become real. This might sound like the black magic I referred to earlier, but it goes much deeper than that. You could argue that this is yet another pseudo-scientific trick to justify positive thinking but I personally believe (from several experiences and observations) that this “trick” works.

How to start? Read books like “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen (FREE DOWNLOAD)

 

Exercise & Dietstrawberries-272812_1280

Our body is probably the single most important investment we can make in our life. And the only one we’re 100% convinced off that we’re always going to need it. Yet I see so many people gulping down fast-food, copious amounts of alcohol and neglecting any form of exercise. Everything you operate needs maintenance from time to time. You can compare your body to driving a car. If you don’t take care of your car, guess what’s going to happen? Buy a new one? Nope, game over buddy!

How to start? Make sure you get the recommended physical activity every day (if you can do more, do so!). Do this first thing in the morning and just get it over with. The consequences are far more detrimental.

 

Goal Setting (In Writing)

Writing down your goals has been proven time and time again that they can make a huge impact on your life altogether! A study about goal setting at Harvard University in the book “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack discovered the following truth about goal-setting and performance;

“Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all. Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.”

The truth is simply this; without goals you don’t have any direction in life and nothing really tangible to work towards. Result? You get nowhere. Pretty obvious stuff, right?

How to start? Set some goals! Here’s how I do it.

 

Planning & Prioritizationhook-76785_1280

Do the most important things first. This is such a simple concept talked about by many high-achievers. I’ve read about this in “The One Thing” by Gary Keller, “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill What they all basically say is that you should find your one, most important focus for every single day (aligned with the goals you’ve set out for yourself) and consequently annihilate that goal in the morning until it is finished – everything else is a distraction. Simple, yet not easy.

How to start? Find your one, most important task for the day and execute accordingly. Also set a time limit on these goals, so you don’t get stuck in saying things like; “I’m done at x hour” or “my work gets done when it’s done.” Limitations create urgency. Urgency gets things done.

 

Money Management

Another big pillar in success is shifting from the consumer mentality into the investor mentality. See your little dollars as seeds. By spending your hard-earned money in a smart way you’ll be able to grow your investments into bigger pay-offs over time

  • Don’t buy ridiculously overpriced smartphones
  • Don’t amass great amounts of debt
  • Don’t live above your means

Basic stuff like that makes a huge difference over time.

How to start? Read some great books on financial beliefs and money management like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” By Robert T. Kiyosaki, “The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ Demarco and “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham.

 

Waking Up Early

clock-20013_1280 Our time on earth is limited. With our average life expectancy of 78.6 years (as of 2014) we spent 25 years of that sleeping! Tai Lopez (who became a self-made millionaire in his 20’s) says that we only have 50 000 valuable hours to really dedicate to doing our greatest work. The rest of the time is spend in disability, sickness, sleeping, old age, young age and so-forth.

Imagine that I give you a check of $50 000 in the beginning of your life, how scarcely would you spend those dollars?

How to start? Start waking-up an hour earlier everyday! That’s 365 hours extra a year which equals more than two weeks! What are you waiting for? Tick-tock.

 

Build On Strength

We’re all born with our unique sets of strengths and talents yet we rarely develop those to our natural capacities. We fall into the trap of believing the “you can be anything you want” fairy-tale that has been fed to us by our surroundings. The truth (IMO) is this: We can only perform optimally from strength. Talent and investment serve as amplifiers for your achievement level. TALENT X INVESTMENT = STRENGTH Investment can be self-generated whilst raw talent is incredibly difficult to add.

While it may be possible, with a considerable amount of work, to add talent where little exists, our research suggests that this may not be the best use of your time – Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

My take on strengths is the following; Build your life on what you’re good at, but improve your weaknesses to the degree that they don’t hold you back.

How to start? A great way to get started and gain some priceless self-knowledge is by taking the personality test at 16Personalities.com. I found the results disturbingly accurate yet amazingly insightful.

 

Networking & Social Skillsteam-386673_1280

Many successful people are not where they are solely because of their many skills and talents (which they have) but because they made themselves known to others. Ever heard the statement; It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know? In terms of success this certainly rings true. Mostly it’s not you that rises trough the ranks by your own effort. People rise to success by others lifting them up.

Additionally, by surrounding yourself with these “high-achievers” your own performance level will be increased. This is because the people we see regularly set the standard for what is appropriate and therefore we’ll adjust to that environment.

How to start? Read some books on basic social skills like “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and get some great resources on networking! One website I’d definitely recommend is SmartBusinessRevolution.com by John Concoran (he has a GREAT free ebook).

 

Character

And last but certainly not least important: Character! By setting for ourselves a certain standard for acceptable behavior, we’re able to connect with other people on a genuine level. Things like; being honest, keeping secrets, having integrity, not cheating, not stealing and so-forth. People automatically want to connect with the ones who don’t have hidden agendas and are pure of heart. Immorality breaks relationships.

How to start? Write down for yourself a certain set of rules (a code of conduct) you will live by that will lead to a successful life (whatever that means to you). Be sure to include the essentials like integrity, honesty, responsibility and so-forth. Read these values when you get out of bed and live accordingly.

 

Essence

I know this can be a lot to take in and therefore I highly recommend building up each habit until it has become a natural part of your day-to-day routine. (don’t take on more than one at a time – two at max) New research shows that the formation of a new habit can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days (66 on average). So consistency is key here. Start with small steps and slowly build them up. Notice also that almost all the habits I’ve mentioned above are short-term sacrifices that will result in long-term benefits.

By overcoming forms of instant gratification like cheating, watching tv, splurging money, binge-eating and whatnot we set ourselves up for a great future. Delayed gratification is your ticket to success! (Which doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy life – within reason 😉) Anyway, that’s all I have to say on success habits for today. I hope I’ve been able to spike your curiosity to try out a new habit (or improve the quality/quantity of an old one) So, that leaves me with just one more question;

 

What other “success-habits” do you know?

————————————————

Thanks for taking the time to read my post! I really appreciate it.

If you’re having anymore thoughts or questions about this topic, feel free to share them with me in the comment section below!

Take care, Simon

I’m Simon! Fitness-fanatic and self-development addict. I’m on a quest for happiness and fulfillment in my life to become everything I’ve set out to be, and so are you! I write about Creating Yourself on BasicGrowth.com

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79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Stealth for Men

    Jan 31, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Visualization is a very important one I use.

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Success Advice

10 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Bring Out the Successful YouTuber in You

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YouTube is a social media platform that has turned many a normal person into a celebrity. With over 1.9 billion logged-in users visiting YouTube every month, it is a hugely popular platform that is being actively used by people who are leveraging its reach and popularity for reputation building, increasing visibility, creating and driving brand reach and last but not the least, earning money.

We keep hearing success stories of YouTube influencers who were nobodies when they started out and today run some of the most popular channels on YouTube and are considered reputed influencers in their niche.

There is absolutely no doubt that if done right, a presence on YouTube can be a massive boost for your brand (if you are a business) and ensure visibility of stratospheric proportions (if you are an individual).

But, at the end of it all, most people want to get onboard YouTube for the money. If your channel is popular enough, it can be a regular source of income for you. So, how do you become a successful YouTuber and establish a popular YouTube channel?

Here are ten great tips to help you on your way:

1. Identify your YouTube Goals

What do you want to achieve out of YouTube? Straight off the block, this is the question you must answer. YouTube can help build your brand, both business and personal, if that’s your goal. It will help improve your reputation and differentiate yourself from the competition. It could also become a revenue generation medium for you.

There are many reasons you might want to start a YouTube channel, and you need to zero in on the right one. Identifying your core goal or set of goals will help you plan your YouTube journey effectively.

2. Identify the Right Niche for Your Channel

Making videos is a resource-intensive activity. It also needs a rare degree of passion to make videos because you are going to put a truckload of effort into it. So, make sure to zero in on the right niche for your channel, meaning the kind of video content you are going to post. If you are an individual, the content must align with your interest, preferences, skill sets and knowledge.

If you are a business, it must align with your business’s services or domain. Think very carefully whether you will be able to keep making videos about a specific topic, subject or domain regularly. This will help you choose the right ‘content type’ for your channel.

3. Trust Yourself

There are some YouTubers who give up because they think they are not cut out to be successful YouTubers. There is absolutely no doubt, you will be wracked by self-doubt when you start, especially if your videos aren’t finding enough traction. The key here is to have confidence in your ability and pursuing your end goal indefatigably.

Don’t give up because of setbacks; some of the top YouTubers started off slowly and built their audience steadily. When it comes to YouTube, it is important to understand that success won’t come easily or quickly.

4. Be Prepared for Criticism

As a YouTuber, you have the ability to showcase your knowledge and skillsets to the world, but this also sets you up for criticism. There are people who are going to like your videos and there are those who won’t and will go a step further and criticize it through the comments section.

And very often, this criticism isn’t constructive and its only aim is to make fun of you and your video. Can you handle this criticism? You must if you want to be a successful YouTuber. Try developing a thick skin and don’t allow even the most virulent criticism to affect you.

5. Respond to Comments

Make it a habit to respond to comments, irrespective of whether these appreciate or criticize your video. Your response tells your viewer that you care and are prepared to listen to their views. This helps you build a relationship with your viewers who can then turn into channel subscribers. Don’t think YouTube videos are one-way traffic wherein you make a video, a viewer sees it and forgets about it. A video is a means of driving interaction and engagement.

6. Follow other YouTubers

You might have some great content ideas for your channel, but you must also keep track of what other YouTubers are doing. There is always a chance that you will get some inspiration from their videos as to how to make a video more interesting, get the lowdown on audience engagement tactics and find technical aspects as well including camera work, audio etc.

7. Attend Meetups

There are plenty of YouTube meetups, conventions and conferences happening all over the world; it is imperative that you attend YouTube events happening in your region. This way you will be able to meet fellow YouTubers in the region, and who knows, you might also meet YouTubers, you follow and want to emulate. If you get the opportunity to discuss notes or get tips, do so. This will help refine your channel content

8. Keep Measuring Your Performance

Start measuring your YouTube performance from the word go. You need to keep track of various performance metrics to know how well you have done. A metric like ‘views’ is super important but so is ‘watch time’. ouTube judges the performance of your channel on various metrics and uses these to rank your videos in search results. There are plenty of tools that can help you track and measure YouTube performance based on various parameters.

9. Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly

Don’t set impossible standards for yourself. You are going to make mistakes and learn from them. No video is perfect and don’t think you can start making amazingly successful videos from day one. So, judge yourself, but don’t go overboard. Don’t compare your work with people who have many years of YouTube experience behind them; this would be counterproductive and play havoc with your confidence levels.

10. Keep at It

If you want to bring out the successful YouTuber in you, you must keep at it. Plan a video publishing schedule and stick to it, irrespective of whether your videos are doing well or not. Remember, once you set cadence, you will get better at your videos, and this will drive more engagement.

A successful YouTuber is no different from a successful person. You need to work hard, learn from mistakes, and more importantly learn from others. And you must make use of all this learning to create better and more more engaging videos.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

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

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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