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10 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Never Enroll In College

Joel Brown

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The big debate in the entrepreneur community at the moment is whether or not college is needed for a successful business or career.

Journalist, Jason Smith, studies the reasons why entrepreneurs should never step foot into college, what are your opinions? Leave a comment and have your say.

 

The 10 Reasons Why College Is Not Meant For Entrepreneurs

 

1. You Will Be More In Debt

college debtThe dreaded D word, college pricing has been gradually getting out of control over the past decade. The same education that used to be higher quality and more valuable is now much more expensive whilst providing lesser value. Across the world, half the people that go to college do not get the skills necessary to succeed in life. They are basically spoon-fed an educational system of memorization that doesn’t test them and teach critical thinking.

 

2. Social value

college entrepreneur partyYou hear many people discuss the value of socialization among your peers as an essential benefit of college. So many people behave exactly the same way in college as they did in secondary education or high school. Sure, there’s always some maturity that takes place, but for the most part, even in the diverse environment, most people stick to people who share their same values and upbringing.

You can get the same social value by joining a club or an association to learn the essential values of teamwork without the college expenditure. You can also use social networking to reach out to people all over the world.

 

3. Restrictions on being more innovative

innovationDo you ever hear the likes of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg ever tout their college degrees as the secret formula to their success. Of course, not, that’s because they didn’t earn college degrees. They earned money instead, it comes in much more handy.

The best way to get a college degree is to get an honorary one after you make a fortune and a name for yourself, then an institution can honor you.

 

4. Still unemployed after college

College Degree with no jobIn most developed countries around the world, half the college graduates can’t even land jobs when they complete their degrees. The students who drop out after figuring out that they don’t fit well within the framework of the institution are not refunded any funds. They have wasted their money and time with nothing to show for it.

Skipping college and starting your own enterprise will be a valuable experience that will put you head and shoulders above your college peers.

 

 

5. The use of backwards and traditional methods

no more collegeCollege offers traditional teaching methods which are completely outdated. Technology moves at the speed of life and is very transformative. It disrupts the very concept of investing in your college education for a stable career. Around the world, some teenager in his garage may be working on new software or technology that can change the world. The average college professor is only teaching what he or she knows which is no longer applicable in a vastly changing world.

 

 

6. Less hands on experience

college experienceYou can gain expertise through launching your own enterprise. Doing something you are passionate about will be more likely to bring success.

As an entrepreneur, you set your own curriculum based on your passions and interest in life. You then develop a strategic plan to monetize your passion, you can learn the skills you require, follow the blueprint of many entrepreneurs who have succeeded without a college degree. An experienced mentor can steer you down the right path, most college professors haven’t experienced real success outside the classroom, that’s probably why they teach.

 

7. Rigid learning

follow the herdCollege is a very stiff and rigid atmosphere. Life is meant for freedom of expression. College standards and strict guidelines of specialization don’t allow for natural creativity. Entrepreneurs need freedom to create and forge their own path. Textbooks can only teach theory or structure of the way things are supposed to be.

However, entrepreneurs need to think differently, outside the box of conventional wisdom.

 

 

8. Less individualism

Funny College

College tries to paint you in a box to accommodate society. You are expected to simply follow along like millions of others without thinking for yourself. The structure of college prepares you for a life of simply following rules dictated by others. Human beings are supposed to be free people with their own ideas.

As an entrepreneur, you can strive to create your own rules, not government mandated teaching or outdated institutional learning methods.

 

 

9. Smaller accomplishments towards your future

small accomplishmentsAs an emerging entrepreneur, you need to gain a mindset of applying real-life principles to determine the results for yourself. Every little progress you make counts as a real accomplishment in the real world.

College only teaches you how to pass exams. As an entrepreneur, if you can create a product or service to market, that’s a real accomplishment that is worthy, most college graduates may never aspire to it.

 

 

10. Less risk-taking

taking a riskEntrepreneurs need to learn to push beyond their comfort zones. Risk is very important to success. You must be willing to take risk and live with your decisions. Sometimes you win, other times you may lose big, but you keep going.

College doesn’t teach the importance of risk, instead they promote security and a safe career. Entrepreneurs must take risks to determine their own path in the world. Entrepreneurs embrace the challenge of calculated risk in order to succeed.

 

Article By: Jason Smith | Addicted2Success.com

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Rs

    Jan 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Its a simple narrative to point to the gates and Zuckerbergs of the world who did not need a university education to make their mark. However I would argue and the data supports the fact that the majority of successful tech entrepreneurs graduated with multiple degrees from a rigourous engineering, science or computing program (google, ebay founders as an example).

  2. Jeanne Yocum

    Dec 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    It’s pretty clear that you haven’t set foot on any of the campuses of community colleges across the nation that are involved in entrepreneurship education. If you had, you would know that they are using experiential learning, including student business incubators, on-campus businesses run by students, business plan competitions and many other methods to help students learn the intricacies of being an entrepreneur – from opportunity identification, funding, team building, etc. Some even have what are essentially VC funds to help get businesses off the ground. All of this comes at a price that does not leave people in debt up to their eyeballs. I know this because I edit the journal of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). I can give you example after example after example of students who have benefitted greatly and are already well on their way to success thanks to the education and support they received from their community college.

  3. Passive Income Riches

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:22 am

    This is quite an interesting articles for a few reasons.
    The way I view it is that the overall level of education has increased globally.
    Graduating from a college or university in this era is like graduating from high school say 50-60 years ago. Getting a Masters or PHD now is like getting a college/university degree 50-60 years ago.

    I still think that there’s some value in education, but ultimately it’s how you make of that experience. Was it really a waste to go to college? Did you really learned and gained nothing out of it? Sometimes I think that it’s certain life experience that gives you the perspective of what you want or don’t want in life. It gives you a sense of realization. Perhaps you needed the journey to make some decisions to get to where you are today.
    So, should you go to college or university or not? That’s a question that you have to ask and answer yourself.

  4. Stephen

    Jul 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Very good and relevant. I hope your message reaches more people.

  5. Susan Eckley Ruch

    Jul 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    My Take: I do believe we need to go through our first 12 years of school. (K thru 12th grade)
    We do need to learn to read, write, math and socialization skills. I did go to college straight out of high school in 1978. I am 53 years old. So, I can say this. I got my BA degree and when I graduated after 4 years and now to think about it I paid for so many stupid classes that had nothing to do with what I wanted to be, do or have. I had an English degree, minors in Political Science and Law. Now, what do you with an English degree? I went to work for a restaurant chain (i.e. Burger King as a Manager) I was working for someone else making their dreams come true, not mine. After getting sick and tired of working for corporate America in 1999 I decided to start my own businesses. In school and in college they never taught us “Leverage”
    Over our lives we change our careers as many as 20 times because we are searching for what we really wanted to do. Even at 36 years old went back to college to increase my skills in business and accounting. I thought about this the other day. How much did I remember from college? Not much that had nothing to do with what I am doing now. I still found myself trading hours for dollars. We find ourselves going in a circle and end up in the same place we started. Also, when you own a business, the business owns you. In the past year someone showed me a different way to make $$ and realize my dreams. I believe we need to teach our kids a different way of making a life, not make a living. We need to teach them leverage. We all have all types of insurances (Life, car, house, rent, medical, pet) But there is no such thing as “Income Insurance” It took me a half a century to figure it out. I finally found something that pays me what I am worth and pays me for my hard work. College did not teach me this.
    Want to know more, Ask Me How!

    • Anya

      Jul 6, 2013 at 12:34 am

      I’m intrigued by your story, can you explain further please?

    • Passive Income Riches

      Jul 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Hi Susan. Totally get what you are saying. However, I also think that sometimes it’s those life experience that gives you the perspective of what you want or don’t want in life. It gives you a sense of realization. It helps you to realise what you want or don’t want to do. Perhaps that’s the journey that everyone has to go through in order to find a sense of purpose or meaning in life. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Michael Berry

    Jul 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Win or lose = growth = win

  7. Kevin Martin

    Jul 4, 2013 at 4:45 am

    The way I see it, if you want to take on a job title that society is already familiar with, then go to school. If you want to be an entrepreneur and forge your own path, then go out in the world and experiment because experimenting is how people usually attain unfathomable success.

  8. MANGALISO NKUNIKA

    Apr 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is right and wrong at the same time.do you go to college to train your insticts or your social life?

  9. jonathan

    Jan 30, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Some of the sentence structure in this article makes me think the author could have benefited from some college-level english instruction.

  10. Nope

    Jan 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    This is a completely bs article. The author assumes that Bill Gates and Co are some sort of norm. Let me assure you, they are far far far exceptions. People who drop out or do not go to college do not do well. Sure, some might end up more creative for it, and even do something awesome, but to assume this is normal is idiotic at best.

    Entrepreneurs need to be able to think creatively and harness their creativity into real world products. There are plenty of institutions that understand and foster this. Maybe the author went to a state school and learned a trade but to generalize college as such is ridiculous.

    A final point, companies like Vemma are not bringing in “entrepreneurs” as they try and promote. Selling somebody else’s product is not and never will be entrepreneurship. It is a sales job like every single other one, you are rewarded based on how much product you sell. Bringing people in to sell under you (while almost a pyramid scheme) is also not entrepreneurship. Just like a COO of a big company does not claim to run his own company when he hires a new employee or starts a new division. Reps for these LLM companies do not realize that nobody cares if they make a bunch of money, its the fact that they try and manipulate their friends and family into working for them that is annoying as hell.

    but ya dumb article.

  11. TJ

    Jan 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I completely agree with this post. Everything I’ve ever tried in college never worked for me because It was never meant for me. Feels good to be an entrepreneur

  12. Simon Ipinge

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Maybe in a Developed economy, one does not need education. But in a third world country..if you don’t get education or get to rub shoulders with fellow University students, who will soon be in positions of power then your chances are pretty much doomed before you even begin. In the third world you are not born speaking the language of English..you have to learn it, and of course business is done in that language.

  13. Ron

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I’m not a college graduate, I knew nothing about starting a business. My number one rule is, talk to other business people who have been there and done that. You can always tell the real successful from the ones who are not. Truly successful people will tell you everything you need to know and not fear the competition.

  14. Lucas Williamson

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

    As an entrepreneur currently running a small business while preparing the launch of a second brand/venture im the same wrestling market (scholastic) an going to school full time.. I completely agree with every point. But still i am still trying to juggle both running a start up and going to school. My parents, mother mostly has been biggest influence to continue with school. As for me i see benefit in both because I am working on my BSD in industrial design and im currently designing and preparing to launch these wrestling products into the market. Where s the line you ask? Well i would say once it hits the level of profitability that i can manage all those school loan bills. Then again I ask myself how much of school i can continue to put up with knowing what I have learned from getting to where im at.

  15. AG

    Dec 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t believe that all career paths need a piece of paper. For the people that said you need to go to school to figure it out. Well I will give another point of view. Almost every single person that I went to HS with that attended a 4 year college is now in a dead end job. With the exception of one lawyer, a couple teachers, and a few in the medical profession. Those of us that skipped the wasted time of a 4 year degree are self employed. Most of us in art & music. The others in construction. While a degree will in fact get you a job its not necessarily a good one.

    • Jeannette Williams

      Dec 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Maybe not, but there is nothing wrong with an educated society. A piece of paper won’t promise you a job, but it will give you a sense of pride about yourself and that’s priceless!!!!

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire?

In our constantly changing world, those who are getting ahead in the game are individuals who are learning to raise their standards both personally and professionally. The age of the Internet has certainly brought a new dawn for the average person dialing up that inner craving for more freedom and a higher quality of life.

The opportunities and technological advancements are here, but one thing seems to be lagging: Our ability to produce and maintain the money we actually need to enjoy all that is currently available.

Everywhere you turn there is a new, sleeker, more advanced version of your favorite gizmo. Whether it’s your dream phone, car, computer, or designer clothes, they keep getting better and who doesn’t enjoy having the best of the best?

However, how can we have the best of the best when increasing income continues to be a struggle? As traditional methods of working and doing business radically transform, certain confusion arises especially amongst entrepreneurs.

This is why a recent conversation with my friend and owner of Walletisland, Adrian Brown, challenged me to reassess how I am approaching some of the things we tend to consider unimportant in the entrepreneurial space. I realised there are simple everyday shifts that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs which could be the key to increasing success and income.

For the majority of aspiring and budding entrepreneurs, the backstory is pretty much the same. We all grew up in less than abundant conditions. Our approach is for the most part pretty old fashioned when it comes to personal grooming and our relationship with money. But if there’s one thing I have come to realize when it comes to producing extraordinary results, it is this: Success and attracting money is all about mindset and the attitude one carries.

“Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” – Peter Diamandis

This is a law based truth I am proving more and more as I interact, connect with and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. In my most recent mastermind with a like-minded individuals, we were able to uncover a few blind spots that continue to hinder many hard working entrepreneurs.

More specifically, we came to a consensus when it comes to attracting more wealth that most individuals hit these three blind spots which hopefully after today, you will no longer fall victim to.

  • Too many success seekers are neglecting their personal appearance and self-grooming. As entrepreneurs, we think only our skillsets should matter, but that’s never the case.
  • Most people are neglecting their everyday personal interaction with money. In other words, aside from the big general numbers they have to deal with in business, most men aren’t deliberately working on improving how they handle, carry and interact with money. Part of this might be old negative paradigms around money running the show.
  • Many business owners are struggling with unattractiveness and low confidence, which certainly hinders their ability to shine, stand out and magnetize success.

If any or all of these resonate, here’s what you can do about it today:

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

This doesn’t have to take up too much time. With a little more deliberate thought on the shoes you wear, the wallet you carry, the combination of your clothing, hair, body language and attitude you will not only raise your professional appearance but there is much research proving your earnings will increase too.  Keep it clean, simple, clutter free and corresponding to your business role.

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

Is there a psychological relationship between a someones’s wallet and their money? Absolutely. In fact when Adrian got into men’s fashion it was because he experienced firsthand “the money shift”. This happened when he stopped carrying around cheap, worn-out wallets and started carefully choosing the kind that made him feel most opulent.

I’m passionate about helping men strengthen their connection and interaction with money because I realize it’s not about fashion trends. A man’s wallet is something he interacts with daily. It should be a symbol of prosperity and help him de-clutter. It should also be a demonstration of his modern take on money because in our digital society, money is transforming and it’s in our best interest to catch up lest we suffer the consequences of holding on to limiting beliefs around money.”

I couldn’t agree more. Most of us will need to shed limiting beliefs, heal money wounds and learn to handle, carry and interact with money in ways that promote its presence. What money story is your wallet telling right now?

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

Those struggling with low self-confidence and feelings of unattractiveness need to make drastic changes. Why? According to research by Payscale, over the course of a lifetime, an “attractive person will end up making about 230,000 more than an unattractive person.”

That’s ridiculous especially since being attractive and confident isn’t just for the chosen few. Now that you are in business for yourself, you can’t afford to be bullied by invisible limiting beliefs that question how capable, attractive and confident you are.

If it naturally doesn’t come to you, there are various exercises you can do and small changes you can make in order to build yourself up and make up for any disadvantages you may have had in your upbringing.

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

As entrepreneurs, we are inclined to focus more on strategies and tactics which will help us close the sale sometimes at the expense of our personal health and grooming. Let us refrain from assuming appearances do not count just because we are no longer climbing the corporate ladder.

If the vision is to enjoy a more opulent and enriching lifestyle, take time to align every aspect of your life with this new self-made, inspiring, influential leader you are aspiring to be. All successful people go into the game prepared for that win.

What personal changes will you make to prepare you for more wealth?

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Improve Your Audience Engagement

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audience engagement

When you first thought of your business idea and created your business, you were probably thinking about how much people needed what you had to offer and all of the people you were going to be able to help. Even though none of that has changed, it can be really discouraging to continue to post on social media, do Facebook lives, and try to make any kind of a call to action when all there is are crickets when you do.

Instead of banging your head against the wall, and trying to figure out what is wrong with your idea, let me give you 5 ways to improve your audience engagement:

1. Increase the amount of content you are putting out

Sometimes, the main reason why you are not seeing the engagement you are looking for is because people are not seeing your posts. Each social media platform has its own algorithm.

Even if you posted once or even twice that day, some of those algorithms can still make it possible for your people NOT to see even one of your posts. Posting a few to several times a day will increase the number of people seeing your posts which should, in turn, increase your engagement.

2. Ask the right questions

Remember when I said that posting a few to several times a day will increase the number of people seeing your posts which should, in turn, increase your engagement? The reason it should but may not increase your engagement is because you are not asking enough of the right questions.

You can post content that you like or are interested in, but you have to remember YOU are not the one buying your products and services. You need to learn what your target audience wants to see and talk about. Learn what gets them engaged and what keeps them engaged by asking the right questions.

“We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” Bono

3. Switch it up a little

Have you ever had a routine that was so dry and bland it made you dread doing it? That is exactly what your audience feels like when you post the same kind of content all the time. Everyone doesn’t like meatloaf every day. No matter what you are selling, your audience craves interesting, informative, and encouraging content. If you can give this to them consistently, they will fall in love with you and keep on coming back for more.

4. Analyze your data

When you increase the content you put out, you will have a lot more data to analyze so you can understand the people who you are trying to reach. This will help you to understand which kind of content is consumed more by your audience, what platform has better engagement, and what your audience is trying to tell you they want and need.

“It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”- Tim Berners-Lee

5. Calls to action are key

The last thing you want to do is to give your audience some amazing content and not have a place for them to go to learn or get more. Inviting yourself somewhere can be very awkward, so why would you want your audience to do that? They may want to connect with you but they don’t know where to go and how to connect. Invite them in and make them feel wanted and welcomed. This will cut out the awkwardness and also the confusion of how they can better connect with you.

Increasing your engagement can be done easily if you are willing to follow these 5 ways to improve your audience engagement. Once you have done that, the engagement will come and the sales are bound to follow.

How are you staying connected to your audience? Make sure to comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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A Tim Ferriss Like Japan Trip Rebuilt Me – Here’s Why

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“Art imitates life so you must experience life to create art” – Unknown (possibly Tim Ferriss)

This quote is the reason why I recently took a holiday to Japan and why from now on I will travel more. All of us have a dream, a vision, a goal, a business which is another word for our own “art.”

Anything worth doing has an element of creativity attached to it which in essence is art. While on the way to Japan listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast, I heard this quote above. I realized that my life’s work had fizzled out somewhat because I needed to experience life more.

This whole blogging thing only works when I experience life – travel is the best way to do that. Second to that, I have been listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast for years, and he talks a lot about Japan and how the culture can really positively impact your life.

Hearing this advice second hand just wasn’t good enough for me. That’s why, in Timmy style, I booked an unplanned trip to Japan with only two days notice. It was what I called a Tim Ferriss like trip to Japan. I wanted to transcend my current circumstances and boy did I do that!

Things before Japan had become a bit stale. I wasn’t quite me and I needed rebuilding again. It was time to self-disrupt and grow more as a person. I’d stopped growing and that’s why I felt off. Japan changed all of that.

Here’s how this Japan trip rebuilt me:

 

We’re all the same: we’re all loved.

Sitting at the airport in Australia I saw everyone saying goodbye to their loved ones. I did the same and said goodbye to my family and girlfriend. I sat there for around ten minutes and realized that we’re all loved by someone.

We all have someone who would be sad or miss us if we didn’t return home. All of us want to come home safe and see our loved ones again. While tragedy can strike, these trips to places like Japan are a must – they’re part of our journey in life.

These journeys we take are how we find ourselves. Without travel, we become lost and can’t understand how we fit into this world.

Knowing I’m loved and knowing the importance of these journeys helped rebuild me.

 

Japan can show you what is wrong too.

So far I’ve made Japan sound like it’s all roses – it’s not. I saw people working ridiculous hours. I saw Japanese people who had become obsessed with meaningless westernized brands. I saw women who still appeared to be second class compared with men.

Japan didn’t show me perfection; it showed me reality and that means that there are always going to be things that need to change. Each of us can form part of that change.

 

Objectification of women has changed men in a bad way.

For some reason, Japan gave me immense clarity. I noticed that me (and all other men) have become hardwired to look at women’s bodies. Even the nicest most loyal men who treat women well have been affected. I noticed this unconscious behavior in myself while in Australia and began questioning it.

Do we need to look at women in such a physical way? Is it really necessary? Is this addiction taking up so much of our creative genius and potential?

The answer to all of these questions, after Japan, was that a problem exists and this addiction is not serving as well. I’m not proud of this fact and I for one plan on not only being aware of it but also changing it. This idea helped rebuild me.

 

The Samurai showed the benefits of discipline.

While being an Aussie tourist walking through the grounds of the Imperial Palace, I saw some of the emperors Samurai training. The facility was surrounded by fences but being a tall guy, I could still see over the fence.

I found these Samurai to be cool because they were laser-focused on what they were doing. The Samurai had purpose and precision accuracy. Their discipline taught them patience and you could see the courage in their actions. Everything was thought through and nothing was left to chance.

The Samurai helped me rebuild my life by reminding me of what discipline can do when we embrace it. A disorganized mind combined with actions that are all over the place results in a lot of nothingness. Start with being a master at one thing instead of trying to be mediocre at lots of things.

 

Concrete Jungle vs. Nature

Before Japan, I was obsessed with visiting places like San Fran and New York to see big concrete cities and skyscrapers. Now that I’ve been to Japan I’ve realized that I’m completely bored of that. Going to My Fuji and some of the mountains in Kyoto is far more impactful.

Concrete jungles are all the same once you’ve seen a few. They all have lots of box’s – some tall, some wide, some full of lights and some full of views. When you see enough of these, you no longer become impressed by them.

Nature is impossible to top though. No matter how many lakes, mountains, beaches or forests I visit, I never get sick of them. That’s because it’s in our human DNA to feel a connection with nature. Nature is a place we can relax and recharge the batteries.

Japan taught me that for the rest of my travel adventures I am going to focus on beautiful places that encompass nature instead of man-made structures and fake tourist attractions like theme parks. Knowing what nature means to me has helped me to rebuild myself.

 

See as many places as you can.

This trip to Japan made me see that I get bored after around five days in one country. I’ve discovered that it’s ideal to see as many places as you can. The more of this Earth you experience, the more your life changes.

 

Don’t forget attention to detail.

Japanese people, I learned, are obsessed with attention to detail. Everything from the signage at train stations to the way they present food has been thought of.

“It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being purposeful”

It’s the little things that the Japanese people do that make you fall in love with them by the end of your stay in their country.

 

Manners feel good.

I quickly saw that Japanese people are very kind and have amazing manners. They say thank you so many times. As you walk out of a restaurant, the whole team say thank you like a giant choir. Being grateful and acknowledging each other is at the heart of their culture.

You can’t help but smile when you witness this way of treating one another. Not every stranger you meet in a foreign country is trying to commit a terrorist attack.

All I can say is manners just feel good and it put’s you in a positive mood. Plus, you walk around with a big fat smile on your face and that feels refreshing.

 

Connection through transport.

Japanese culture feels very connected and that’s partly to do with their very efficient transport system. There’s a subway station on practically every corner that’s affordable. Trains run every few minutes, so there’s never any need to run to the subway station to catch a train.

The bullet trains allow you to skip between states or regions in a very short amount of time. No need to board a plane or go through the razzle-dazzle of airport bureaucracy gone mad (thanks to perceived terrorism and the news).

While sitting on the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, I saw families that were on their way to visit one another. They looked so relaxed and sat there enjoying the countryside of Japan as I did. It was a regular occurrence made possible by a fantastic transport system that is orderly and well thought out.

 

Technology is exhausting.

The negative side of technology is prominent in Japan. There are cities that are littered with giant LED screens, bright lights and technology on every corner. In these places, I felt unable to think clearly and the bright lights made me feel like I suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder.

There was technology within the toilet seat, on the plane, at restaurants and ugly vending machines selling fat causing sugar water on every corner.

On the flip side, what I loved about Japan was that talking loudly on a not so smart phone was prohibited in most places and there were locations where phones were non-existent. Japanese people seem to know how to balance life between being “ON” and being “OFF” when it comes to their phone.

“Instead of wasting your life away on your phone, Japan teaches you to become present and appreciate the here and now”

You notice things that you normally wouldn’t where I’m from in the Western World. With so much empty space, Japan is a great place to rebuild yourself. The rebuilding process needs thinking time away from phones.

 

Minimalism and being space conscious is beautiful.

The Japanese people are obsessed with being space conscious. They have double-decker car spaces, cube-shaped cars, cars made for people who must be three-foot tall, hotel rooms where you can barely open the door and space-saving retail shops like you’ve never seen.

 

Time is money in Japan.

My plane was on time to the second. Every train was on time. The tour guide at Mt Fuji was on time. The hotel cleaning was to the minute and so was the checkout. Time is money and it’s one resource we should take more seriously. Time gives you the opportunity to rebuild and grow.

 

Low energy states can be healed by travel.

More than a year since my last break, my energy levels in my career were at an all-time low. I had headaches every day and felt uninspired to a degree. It turns out all I needed was a holiday to rebuild.

Your body guides you.
Your heart guides you.
Your mind guides you.

This Japan trip taught me to take time to relax and recharge. Don’t ignore your body ever!

 

Climbing Japanese mountains is a metaphor for life.

I climbed this mountain in Kyoto. Halfway up I wanted to quit. I thought to myself “I’ve seen enough. Why go to the summit?”

That’s the problem right there. When we’re working on our goals, we give up too soon. We settle for okay instead of amazing. If this mountain were your life, would you give up when it got a bit hard? I’m telling you not to.

All the growth and everything you ever wanted comes from pushing that extra 2% to reach the top of the mountain. The feeling at the top is indescribable. Only those who are prepared to go the extra mile will know what it feels like to look down from the top.

Two more things to remember:

1. Once you reach the top, there’s always another mountain.

2. You must also help someone else climb the mountain to reach your full potential. Living is giving.

This mountain I climbed in Japan taught me so much about rebuilding my life (and yes I love mountain analogies).

 

There’s no place like a hot spring to contemplate life and rebuild your life.

While lying in a hot spring (Onsen) in Northern Tokyo, I sat there and thought I was going to be enjoying a relaxing time in a hot spring. What no one told me is that my entire life would replay before me. The onsen became a place to contemplate everything that had transpired thus far.

The hot water from the springs has a certain effect on your mind. I often find that my best thinking and ideas come from a shower and I’ve heard other people talk about this same experience.

“The hot spring sent my mind into deep thinking that I’ll never forget”

 

To enter a Japanese hot spring, you must be fully naked. You can’t bring clothes, material possessions, technology or a corporate mask. There’s nowhere to hide and no phone to look at. You sit there naked and bare your soul. It’s the one time where people can see you for exactly who you are.

Before contemplating my own life, I observed the men around me. Many of them seemed to be contemplating their life. Some looked tired and worn out from years of slaving away and doing hard labor.

Many of them looked like they were wasting away from years of working too hard and not remembering what truly matters. It was as if they had finally discovered what matters but that it was now too late. Then I saw the exact opposite – young men who had their whole lives ahead of them.

They too would sit there and weigh up their options. Should they follow their dream or fall for the Western myth that is collecting useless objects of little value? There were times where I wanted to answer this question for them.

I realized after a lot of thought that these young men had to come to that realization themselves. When you discover these truths of life yourself, everything changes and the principles stick.

I saw these young men by the end of my time in the hot spring for who they were and what they could become (their potential). I finally understood that they too could change the world in some impactful way if they chose too. We all have that choice and it’s ours to make.

“This stark comparison between the older men and the younger men was one of the most profound lessons of my Japan trip”

Both generations of men also looked up at the sky while doing this deep thinking. I found that quite bizarre and all of them did it.

What’s strange is that I also looked up at the sky without consciously being aware. Once I’d finished observing the men in the hot spring, I turned my thinking over to my own life. I had truth bomb after truth bomb as I sat there. I found myself running to the change room every 30 minutes to write stuff down.

What I had achieved so far and what I needed to do next became so clear. I sat in the hot spring proud of who I’ve become. For the first time in my life, I got to sit there and appreciate everything I’d put out into the world. I hadn’t stopped to see how far I’d come before this moment.

I was so focused on the present and trying to gain future success that I didn’t even know how proud I could be of myself. This fact has become the foundation of me going through the rebuilding phase yet again after five years since my last major self-renovation.

 

In summary….

Everyone reading this blog post has the opportunity to rebuild their life and consistently self-disrupt themselves. Going to places like Japan gives you the opportunity to experience life and see how far you’ve come. You can’t be ON 24/7 like those picture quotes tell you to be.

Once in a while, you need to be proud of who you are and think about who you can become.

Japan is a perfect place to do this and rebuild your life. Stay true to yourself and inspire others.

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

The Six Point Marketing Makeover That Will Score You An Endless Stream of Business

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Marketing

Every business has room to improve, but marketing is a habitually ignored facet. We spend so much time posting on social media and money on ad buys that we forget to evaluate the overall efficacy of our marketing efforts. Our efforts eventually become outdated, and we are left wondering why. With a little effort, you can transform your marketing to generate a consistent stream of ongoing business. It won’t break the bank, and it is doable – if you allow yourself to establish a game plan and stick to it.

Here are the six pieces of a true marketing makeover that will forever change the playing field for you:

1. Define Who You Are

If you polled your customers, who would they say you are? I’m not talking about what you do, but who you are. What do you stand for? What are your values? What are the (business) issues making you want to write a manifesto? While none of the answers completely define you, they all speak to some important aspect of your overall brand.

Customers need to know who you are. Thankfully, we’ve seen some great examples of this. Nordstrom is defined by how it handles returns. Zappos is renowned for its customer service. Toms (shoes) is the “One for One” company. Your product face may be public, but what about you? The better you define your brand and the people behind it, the more the right customers are attracted to it.

2. Explain What You Do

“We employ the highest levels of craftsmanship in our products,” or “your satisfaction is our highest value” – these are wasted space. If you want to establish a brand that attracts customers in like moths to a light, you need to run away from ambiguous, gratuitous statements and embrace specificity. “We teach people how to podcast using the latest low-cost technology,” or “we make shoes that will last ten times longer and are ten times more comfortable than any competitor in the space.” These are statements telling customers exactly what you do.

In communicating what you do, it’s important to reinforce the value system you claim to have (i.e., who you are). This gives your customers a framework to develop trust and see the authenticity of your brand. Explaining what you do, however, is about making it easy for customers to recognize why they need you. If you explain what you do well enough, your customers will often realize they have a problem they didn’t know they had – and you can fix it for them.

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

3. Identify Who You Help

You’ve probably heard that the “riches are in the niches,” and regardless of whether you agree with the statement, there’s a gold nugget hidden in it. A well-defined target market will help you structure custom-tailored messaging that will hit every time.

The most effective marketing efforts target identifiable characteristics of your customers that link a specific need with a specific solution. The characteristics may include gender, age, nationality, domicile, language, relationship status, or similar personal traits, but should also include past engagement behavior, third-party engagement behavior, and other market-driven information. You don’t help “people,” you help one person at a time.

4. Give First, Receive Later

It seems that everywhere you look, someone is trying to sell you something. What if instead of selling, you were giving? You can be a real estate agent who delivers free weekly reports on home sales in a region, or even a health coach who offers a free webinar on food choices and without selling anything specific during the presentation. Believe it or not, generosity is marketing.

When it comes to your marketing makeover, one of the easiest things you can do is give something to your customers. Maybe it’s a 10% discount or maybe it’s a free one-on-one session. Whatever it is, understand that when you approach your marketing with a mind to attract people, you should always begin by giving. There is also a very practical online reality to this component: The vast majority of people attempt to block ads served up to them. Giving, however, isn’t blocked; it’s embraced.

5. Have Something To Sell

This may shock the socks off a few of you, but many businesses forget to have something to sell. The marketing wheels are turning and consumers are being attracted, but once converted, they have nothing to purchase. This might seem so obvious you can’t think I’m serious, but I am. Time and time again, I’ve consulted for businesses that are devoid of meaningful products or services.

In the process of creating a new marketing paradigm, you can’t forget to connect the dots from a marketing effort to the product or service being marketed. If your marketing works, you’ll have hot customers ready to spend money. They need something to spend it on, so reverse-engineer the experience, identify the product or service, then ensure your campaign is appropriately linked to it.

“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell

6. Do it All Over

There’s no easier way to walk back towards irrelevancy than believing you can put your marketing on autopilot. To be sure, you can automate certain actions and triggers, but you can never automate the creativity that goes into designing a timely and meaningful connection with your customer. Once you walk through all the steps above, do it again six months later. You’ll be surprised at how things evolve.

Which one of these steps is most important to you in your career? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire? (more…)

Janette Getui is a mumpreneur and prosperity coach devoted to showing others how to produce more freedom and opulence in life. She is the co-founder of Bold Beautiful Blissful U and hosts transformational prosperity retreats and masterminds. Known to many as a powerful modern day mystic who has been able to prove through her own journey from the heart of poverty in an African slum to the abundant beach lifestyle that she gets to enjoy in Europe, that overcoming poverty consciousness, limiting beliefs and low self-worth is the fastest way to produce new beginnings and unfold a rich, blissful destiny. Her PH.D in overcoming harsh conditions and mind mastery make connecting with her worthwhile especially if spiritual and financial freedom matters to you. Get her free gift e-book that will enable you to unlock your version of heaven on earth.

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Rs

    Jan 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Its a simple narrative to point to the gates and Zuckerbergs of the world who did not need a university education to make their mark. However I would argue and the data supports the fact that the majority of successful tech entrepreneurs graduated with multiple degrees from a rigourous engineering, science or computing program (google, ebay founders as an example).

  2. Jeanne Yocum

    Dec 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    It’s pretty clear that you haven’t set foot on any of the campuses of community colleges across the nation that are involved in entrepreneurship education. If you had, you would know that they are using experiential learning, including student business incubators, on-campus businesses run by students, business plan competitions and many other methods to help students learn the intricacies of being an entrepreneur – from opportunity identification, funding, team building, etc. Some even have what are essentially VC funds to help get businesses off the ground. All of this comes at a price that does not leave people in debt up to their eyeballs. I know this because I edit the journal of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). I can give you example after example after example of students who have benefitted greatly and are already well on their way to success thanks to the education and support they received from their community college.

  3. Passive Income Riches

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:22 am

    This is quite an interesting articles for a few reasons.
    The way I view it is that the overall level of education has increased globally.
    Graduating from a college or university in this era is like graduating from high school say 50-60 years ago. Getting a Masters or PHD now is like getting a college/university degree 50-60 years ago.

    I still think that there’s some value in education, but ultimately it’s how you make of that experience. Was it really a waste to go to college? Did you really learned and gained nothing out of it? Sometimes I think that it’s certain life experience that gives you the perspective of what you want or don’t want in life. It gives you a sense of realization. Perhaps you needed the journey to make some decisions to get to where you are today.
    So, should you go to college or university or not? That’s a question that you have to ask and answer yourself.

  4. Stephen

    Jul 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Very good and relevant. I hope your message reaches more people.

  5. Susan Eckley Ruch

    Jul 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    My Take: I do believe we need to go through our first 12 years of school. (K thru 12th grade)
    We do need to learn to read, write, math and socialization skills. I did go to college straight out of high school in 1978. I am 53 years old. So, I can say this. I got my BA degree and when I graduated after 4 years and now to think about it I paid for so many stupid classes that had nothing to do with what I wanted to be, do or have. I had an English degree, minors in Political Science and Law. Now, what do you with an English degree? I went to work for a restaurant chain (i.e. Burger King as a Manager) I was working for someone else making their dreams come true, not mine. After getting sick and tired of working for corporate America in 1999 I decided to start my own businesses. In school and in college they never taught us “Leverage”
    Over our lives we change our careers as many as 20 times because we are searching for what we really wanted to do. Even at 36 years old went back to college to increase my skills in business and accounting. I thought about this the other day. How much did I remember from college? Not much that had nothing to do with what I am doing now. I still found myself trading hours for dollars. We find ourselves going in a circle and end up in the same place we started. Also, when you own a business, the business owns you. In the past year someone showed me a different way to make $$ and realize my dreams. I believe we need to teach our kids a different way of making a life, not make a living. We need to teach them leverage. We all have all types of insurances (Life, car, house, rent, medical, pet) But there is no such thing as “Income Insurance” It took me a half a century to figure it out. I finally found something that pays me what I am worth and pays me for my hard work. College did not teach me this.
    Want to know more, Ask Me How!

    • Anya

      Jul 6, 2013 at 12:34 am

      I’m intrigued by your story, can you explain further please?

    • Passive Income Riches

      Jul 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Hi Susan. Totally get what you are saying. However, I also think that sometimes it’s those life experience that gives you the perspective of what you want or don’t want in life. It gives you a sense of realization. It helps you to realise what you want or don’t want to do. Perhaps that’s the journey that everyone has to go through in order to find a sense of purpose or meaning in life. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Michael Berry

    Jul 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Win or lose = growth = win

  7. Kevin Martin

    Jul 4, 2013 at 4:45 am

    The way I see it, if you want to take on a job title that society is already familiar with, then go to school. If you want to be an entrepreneur and forge your own path, then go out in the world and experiment because experimenting is how people usually attain unfathomable success.

  8. MANGALISO NKUNIKA

    Apr 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is right and wrong at the same time.do you go to college to train your insticts or your social life?

  9. jonathan

    Jan 30, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Some of the sentence structure in this article makes me think the author could have benefited from some college-level english instruction.

  10. Nope

    Jan 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    This is a completely bs article. The author assumes that Bill Gates and Co are some sort of norm. Let me assure you, they are far far far exceptions. People who drop out or do not go to college do not do well. Sure, some might end up more creative for it, and even do something awesome, but to assume this is normal is idiotic at best.

    Entrepreneurs need to be able to think creatively and harness their creativity into real world products. There are plenty of institutions that understand and foster this. Maybe the author went to a state school and learned a trade but to generalize college as such is ridiculous.

    A final point, companies like Vemma are not bringing in “entrepreneurs” as they try and promote. Selling somebody else’s product is not and never will be entrepreneurship. It is a sales job like every single other one, you are rewarded based on how much product you sell. Bringing people in to sell under you (while almost a pyramid scheme) is also not entrepreneurship. Just like a COO of a big company does not claim to run his own company when he hires a new employee or starts a new division. Reps for these LLM companies do not realize that nobody cares if they make a bunch of money, its the fact that they try and manipulate their friends and family into working for them that is annoying as hell.

    but ya dumb article.

  11. TJ

    Jan 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I completely agree with this post. Everything I’ve ever tried in college never worked for me because It was never meant for me. Feels good to be an entrepreneur

  12. Simon Ipinge

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Maybe in a Developed economy, one does not need education. But in a third world country..if you don’t get education or get to rub shoulders with fellow University students, who will soon be in positions of power then your chances are pretty much doomed before you even begin. In the third world you are not born speaking the language of English..you have to learn it, and of course business is done in that language.

  13. Ron

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I’m not a college graduate, I knew nothing about starting a business. My number one rule is, talk to other business people who have been there and done that. You can always tell the real successful from the ones who are not. Truly successful people will tell you everything you need to know and not fear the competition.

  14. Lucas Williamson

    Dec 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

    As an entrepreneur currently running a small business while preparing the launch of a second brand/venture im the same wrestling market (scholastic) an going to school full time.. I completely agree with every point. But still i am still trying to juggle both running a start up and going to school. My parents, mother mostly has been biggest influence to continue with school. As for me i see benefit in both because I am working on my BSD in industrial design and im currently designing and preparing to launch these wrestling products into the market. Where s the line you ask? Well i would say once it hits the level of profitability that i can manage all those school loan bills. Then again I ask myself how much of school i can continue to put up with knowing what I have learned from getting to where im at.

  15. AG

    Dec 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t believe that all career paths need a piece of paper. For the people that said you need to go to school to figure it out. Well I will give another point of view. Almost every single person that I went to HS with that attended a 4 year college is now in a dead end job. With the exception of one lawyer, a couple teachers, and a few in the medical profession. Those of us that skipped the wasted time of a 4 year degree are self employed. Most of us in art & music. The others in construction. While a degree will in fact get you a job its not necessarily a good one.

    • Jeannette Williams

      Dec 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Maybe not, but there is nothing wrong with an educated society. A piece of paper won’t promise you a job, but it will give you a sense of pride about yourself and that’s priceless!!!!

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire?

In our constantly changing world, those who are getting ahead in the game are individuals who are learning to raise their standards both personally and professionally. The age of the Internet has certainly brought a new dawn for the average person dialing up that inner craving for more freedom and a higher quality of life.

The opportunities and technological advancements are here, but one thing seems to be lagging: Our ability to produce and maintain the money we actually need to enjoy all that is currently available.

Everywhere you turn there is a new, sleeker, more advanced version of your favorite gizmo. Whether it’s your dream phone, car, computer, or designer clothes, they keep getting better and who doesn’t enjoy having the best of the best?

However, how can we have the best of the best when increasing income continues to be a struggle? As traditional methods of working and doing business radically transform, certain confusion arises especially amongst entrepreneurs.

This is why a recent conversation with my friend and owner of Walletisland, Adrian Brown, challenged me to reassess how I am approaching some of the things we tend to consider unimportant in the entrepreneurial space. I realised there are simple everyday shifts that are often overlooked by entrepreneurs which could be the key to increasing success and income.

For the majority of aspiring and budding entrepreneurs, the backstory is pretty much the same. We all grew up in less than abundant conditions. Our approach is for the most part pretty old fashioned when it comes to personal grooming and our relationship with money. But if there’s one thing I have come to realize when it comes to producing extraordinary results, it is this: Success and attracting money is all about mindset and the attitude one carries.

“Your mindset matters. It affects everything – from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” – Peter Diamandis

This is a law based truth I am proving more and more as I interact, connect with and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. In my most recent mastermind with a like-minded individuals, we were able to uncover a few blind spots that continue to hinder many hard working entrepreneurs.

More specifically, we came to a consensus when it comes to attracting more wealth that most individuals hit these three blind spots which hopefully after today, you will no longer fall victim to.

  • Too many success seekers are neglecting their personal appearance and self-grooming. As entrepreneurs, we think only our skillsets should matter, but that’s never the case.
  • Most people are neglecting their everyday personal interaction with money. In other words, aside from the big general numbers they have to deal with in business, most men aren’t deliberately working on improving how they handle, carry and interact with money. Part of this might be old negative paradigms around money running the show.
  • Many business owners are struggling with unattractiveness and low confidence, which certainly hinders their ability to shine, stand out and magnetize success.

If any or all of these resonate, here’s what you can do about it today:

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

This doesn’t have to take up too much time. With a little more deliberate thought on the shoes you wear, the wallet you carry, the combination of your clothing, hair, body language and attitude you will not only raise your professional appearance but there is much research proving your earnings will increase too.  Keep it clean, simple, clutter free and corresponding to your business role.

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

Is there a psychological relationship between a someones’s wallet and their money? Absolutely. In fact when Adrian got into men’s fashion it was because he experienced firsthand “the money shift”. This happened when he stopped carrying around cheap, worn-out wallets and started carefully choosing the kind that made him feel most opulent.

I’m passionate about helping men strengthen their connection and interaction with money because I realize it’s not about fashion trends. A man’s wallet is something he interacts with daily. It should be a symbol of prosperity and help him de-clutter. It should also be a demonstration of his modern take on money because in our digital society, money is transforming and it’s in our best interest to catch up lest we suffer the consequences of holding on to limiting beliefs around money.”

I couldn’t agree more. Most of us will need to shed limiting beliefs, heal money wounds and learn to handle, carry and interact with money in ways that promote its presence. What money story is your wallet telling right now?

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

Those struggling with low self-confidence and feelings of unattractiveness need to make drastic changes. Why? According to research by Payscale, over the course of a lifetime, an “attractive person will end up making about 230,000 more than an unattractive person.”

That’s ridiculous especially since being attractive and confident isn’t just for the chosen few. Now that you are in business for yourself, you can’t afford to be bullied by invisible limiting beliefs that question how capable, attractive and confident you are.

If it naturally doesn’t come to you, there are various exercises you can do and small changes you can make in order to build yourself up and make up for any disadvantages you may have had in your upbringing.

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

As entrepreneurs, we are inclined to focus more on strategies and tactics which will help us close the sale sometimes at the expense of our personal health and grooming. Let us refrain from assuming appearances do not count just because we are no longer climbing the corporate ladder.

If the vision is to enjoy a more opulent and enriching lifestyle, take time to align every aspect of your life with this new self-made, inspiring, influential leader you are aspiring to be. All successful people go into the game prepared for that win.

What personal changes will you make to prepare you for more wealth?

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5 Ways to Improve Your Audience Engagement

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audience engagement

When you first thought of your business idea and created your business, you were probably thinking about how much people needed what you had to offer and all of the people you were going to be able to help. Even though none of that has changed, it can be really discouraging to continue to post on social media, do Facebook lives, and try to make any kind of a call to action when all there is are crickets when you do.

Instead of banging your head against the wall, and trying to figure out what is wrong with your idea, let me give you 5 ways to improve your audience engagement:

1. Increase the amount of content you are putting out

Sometimes, the main reason why you are not seeing the engagement you are looking for is because people are not seeing your posts. Each social media platform has its own algorithm.

Even if you posted once or even twice that day, some of those algorithms can still make it possible for your people NOT to see even one of your posts. Posting a few to several times a day will increase the number of people seeing your posts which should, in turn, increase your engagement.

2. Ask the right questions

Remember when I said that posting a few to several times a day will increase the number of people seeing your posts which should, in turn, increase your engagement? The reason it should but may not increase your engagement is because you are not asking enough of the right questions.

You can post content that you like or are interested in, but you have to remember YOU are not the one buying your products and services. You need to learn what your target audience wants to see and talk about. Learn what gets them engaged and what keeps them engaged by asking the right questions.

“We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” Bono

3. Switch it up a little

Have you ever had a routine that was so dry and bland it made you dread doing it? That is exactly what your audience feels like when you post the same kind of content all the time. Everyone doesn’t like meatloaf every day. No matter what you are selling, your audience craves interesting, informative, and encouraging content. If you can give this to them consistently, they will fall in love with you and keep on coming back for more.

4. Analyze your data

When you increase the content you put out, you will have a lot more data to analyze so you can understand the people who you are trying to reach. This will help you to understand which kind of content is consumed more by your audience, what platform has better engagement, and what your audience is trying to tell you they want and need.

“It’s difficult to imagine the power that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.”- Tim Berners-Lee

5. Calls to action are key

The last thing you want to do is to give your audience some amazing content and not have a place for them to go to learn or get more. Inviting yourself somewhere can be very awkward, so why would you want your audience to do that? They may want to connect with you but they don’t know where to go and how to connect. Invite them in and make them feel wanted and welcomed. This will cut out the awkwardness and also the confusion of how they can better connect with you.

Increasing your engagement can be done easily if you are willing to follow these 5 ways to improve your audience engagement. Once you have done that, the engagement will come and the sales are bound to follow.

How are you staying connected to your audience? Make sure to comment below and let us know!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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A Tim Ferriss Like Japan Trip Rebuilt Me – Here’s Why

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“Art imitates life so you must experience life to create art” – Unknown (possibly Tim Ferriss)

This quote is the reason why I recently took a holiday to Japan and why from now on I will travel more. All of us have a dream, a vision, a goal, a business which is another word for our own “art.”

Anything worth doing has an element of creativity attached to it which in essence is art. While on the way to Japan listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast, I heard this quote above. I realized that my life’s work had fizzled out somewhat because I needed to experience life more.

This whole blogging thing only works when I experience life – travel is the best way to do that. Second to that, I have been listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast for years, and he talks a lot about Japan and how the culture can really positively impact your life.

Hearing this advice second hand just wasn’t good enough for me. That’s why, in Timmy style, I booked an unplanned trip to Japan with only two days notice. It was what I called a Tim Ferriss like trip to Japan. I wanted to transcend my current circumstances and boy did I do that!

Things before Japan had become a bit stale. I wasn’t quite me and I needed rebuilding again. It was time to self-disrupt and grow more as a person. I’d stopped growing and that’s why I felt off. Japan changed all of that.

Here’s how this Japan trip rebuilt me:

 

We’re all the same: we’re all loved.

Sitting at the airport in Australia I saw everyone saying goodbye to their loved ones. I did the same and said goodbye to my family and girlfriend. I sat there for around ten minutes and realized that we’re all loved by someone.

We all have someone who would be sad or miss us if we didn’t return home. All of us want to come home safe and see our loved ones again. While tragedy can strike, these trips to places like Japan are a must – they’re part of our journey in life.

These journeys we take are how we find ourselves. Without travel, we become lost and can’t understand how we fit into this world.

Knowing I’m loved and knowing the importance of these journeys helped rebuild me.

 

Japan can show you what is wrong too.

So far I’ve made Japan sound like it’s all roses – it’s not. I saw people working ridiculous hours. I saw Japanese people who had become obsessed with meaningless westernized brands. I saw women who still appeared to be second class compared with men.

Japan didn’t show me perfection; it showed me reality and that means that there are always going to be things that need to change. Each of us can form part of that change.

 

Objectification of women has changed men in a bad way.

For some reason, Japan gave me immense clarity. I noticed that me (and all other men) have become hardwired to look at women’s bodies. Even the nicest most loyal men who treat women well have been affected. I noticed this unconscious behavior in myself while in Australia and began questioning it.

Do we need to look at women in such a physical way? Is it really necessary? Is this addiction taking up so much of our creative genius and potential?

The answer to all of these questions, after Japan, was that a problem exists and this addiction is not serving as well. I’m not proud of this fact and I for one plan on not only being aware of it but also changing it. This idea helped rebuild me.

 

The Samurai showed the benefits of discipline.

While being an Aussie tourist walking through the grounds of the Imperial Palace, I saw some of the emperors Samurai training. The facility was surrounded by fences but being a tall guy, I could still see over the fence.

I found these Samurai to be cool because they were laser-focused on what they were doing. The Samurai had purpose and precision accuracy. Their discipline taught them patience and you could see the courage in their actions. Everything was thought through and nothing was left to chance.

The Samurai helped me rebuild my life by reminding me of what discipline can do when we embrace it. A disorganized mind combined with actions that are all over the place results in a lot of nothingness. Start with being a master at one thing instead of trying to be mediocre at lots of things.

 

Concrete Jungle vs. Nature

Before Japan, I was obsessed with visiting places like San Fran and New York to see big concrete cities and skyscrapers. Now that I’ve been to Japan I’ve realized that I’m completely bored of that. Going to My Fuji and some of the mountains in Kyoto is far more impactful.

Concrete jungles are all the same once you’ve seen a few. They all have lots of box’s – some tall, some wide, some full of lights and some full of views. When you see enough of these, you no longer become impressed by them.

Nature is impossible to top though. No matter how many lakes, mountains, beaches or forests I visit, I never get sick of them. That’s because it’s in our human DNA to feel a connection with nature. Nature is a place we can relax and recharge the batteries.

Japan taught me that for the rest of my travel adventures I am going to focus on beautiful places that encompass nature instead of man-made structures and fake tourist attractions like theme parks. Knowing what nature means to me has helped me to rebuild myself.

 

See as many places as you can.

This trip to Japan made me see that I get bored after around five days in one country. I’ve discovered that it’s ideal to see as many places as you can. The more of this Earth you experience, the more your life changes.

 

Don’t forget attention to detail.

Japanese people, I learned, are obsessed with attention to detail. Everything from the signage at train stations to the way they present food has been thought of.

“It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being purposeful”

It’s the little things that the Japanese people do that make you fall in love with them by the end of your stay in their country.

 

Manners feel good.

I quickly saw that Japanese people are very kind and have amazing manners. They say thank you so many times. As you walk out of a restaurant, the whole team say thank you like a giant choir. Being grateful and acknowledging each other is at the heart of their culture.

You can’t help but smile when you witness this way of treating one another. Not every stranger you meet in a foreign country is trying to commit a terrorist attack.

All I can say is manners just feel good and it put’s you in a positive mood. Plus, you walk around with a big fat smile on your face and that feels refreshing.

 

Connection through transport.

Japanese culture feels very connected and that’s partly to do with their very efficient transport system. There’s a subway station on practically every corner that’s affordable. Trains run every few minutes, so there’s never any need to run to the subway station to catch a train.

The bullet trains allow you to skip between states or regions in a very short amount of time. No need to board a plane or go through the razzle-dazzle of airport bureaucracy gone mad (thanks to perceived terrorism and the news).

While sitting on the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, I saw families that were on their way to visit one another. They looked so relaxed and sat there enjoying the countryside of Japan as I did. It was a regular occurrence made possible by a fantastic transport system that is orderly and well thought out.

 

Technology is exhausting.

The negative side of technology is prominent in Japan. There are cities that are littered with giant LED screens, bright lights and technology on every corner. In these places, I felt unable to think clearly and the bright lights made me feel like I suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder.

There was technology within the toilet seat, on the plane, at restaurants and ugly vending machines selling fat causing sugar water on every corner.

On the flip side, what I loved about Japan was that talking loudly on a not so smart phone was prohibited in most places and there were locations where phones were non-existent. Japanese people seem to know how to balance life between being “ON” and being “OFF” when it comes to their phone.

“Instead of wasting your life away on your phone, Japan teaches you to become present and appreciate the here and now”

You notice things that you normally wouldn’t where I’m from in the Western World. With so much empty space, Japan is a great place to rebuild yourself. The rebuilding process needs thinking time away from phones.

 

Minimalism and being space conscious is beautiful.

The Japanese people are obsessed with being space conscious. They have double-decker car spaces, cube-shaped cars, cars made for people who must be three-foot tall, hotel rooms where you can barely open the door and space-saving retail shops like you’ve never seen.

 

Time is money in Japan.

My plane was on time to the second. Every train was on time. The tour guide at Mt Fuji was on time. The hotel cleaning was to the minute and so was the checkout. Time is money and it’s one resource we should take more seriously. Time gives you the opportunity to rebuild and grow.

 

Low energy states can be healed by travel.

More than a year since my last break, my energy levels in my career were at an all-time low. I had headaches every day and felt uninspired to a degree. It turns out all I needed was a holiday to rebuild.

Your body guides you.
Your heart guides you.
Your mind guides you.

This Japan trip taught me to take time to relax and recharge. Don’t ignore your body ever!

 

Climbing Japanese mountains is a metaphor for life.

I climbed this mountain in Kyoto. Halfway up I wanted to quit. I thought to myself “I’ve seen enough. Why go to the summit?”

That’s the problem right there. When we’re working on our goals, we give up too soon. We settle for okay instead of amazing. If this mountain were your life, would you give up when it got a bit hard? I’m telling you not to.

All the growth and everything you ever wanted comes from pushing that extra 2% to reach the top of the mountain. The feeling at the top is indescribable. Only those who are prepared to go the extra mile will know what it feels like to look down from the top.

Two more things to remember:

1. Once you reach the top, there’s always another mountain.

2. You must also help someone else climb the mountain to reach your full potential. Living is giving.

This mountain I climbed in Japan taught me so much about rebuilding my life (and yes I love mountain analogies).

 

There’s no place like a hot spring to contemplate life and rebuild your life.

While lying in a hot spring (Onsen) in Northern Tokyo, I sat there and thought I was going to be enjoying a relaxing time in a hot spring. What no one told me is that my entire life would replay before me. The onsen became a place to contemplate everything that had transpired thus far.

The hot water from the springs has a certain effect on your mind. I often find that my best thinking and ideas come from a shower and I’ve heard other people talk about this same experience.

“The hot spring sent my mind into deep thinking that I’ll never forget”

 

To enter a Japanese hot spring, you must be fully naked. You can’t bring clothes, material possessions, technology or a corporate mask. There’s nowhere to hide and no phone to look at. You sit there naked and bare your soul. It’s the one time where people can see you for exactly who you are.

Before contemplating my own life, I observed the men around me. Many of them seemed to be contemplating their life. Some looked tired and worn out from years of slaving away and doing hard labor.

Many of them looked like they were wasting away from years of working too hard and not remembering what truly matters. It was as if they had finally discovered what matters but that it was now too late. Then I saw the exact opposite – young men who had their whole lives ahead of them.

They too would sit there and weigh up their options. Should they follow their dream or fall for the Western myth that is collecting useless objects of little value? There were times where I wanted to answer this question for them.

I realized after a lot of thought that these young men had to come to that realization themselves. When you discover these truths of life yourself, everything changes and the principles stick.

I saw these young men by the end of my time in the hot spring for who they were and what they could become (their potential). I finally understood that they too could change the world in some impactful way if they chose too. We all have that choice and it’s ours to make.

“This stark comparison between the older men and the younger men was one of the most profound lessons of my Japan trip”

Both generations of men also looked up at the sky while doing this deep thinking. I found that quite bizarre and all of them did it.

What’s strange is that I also looked up at the sky without consciously being aware. Once I’d finished observing the men in the hot spring, I turned my thinking over to my own life. I had truth bomb after truth bomb as I sat there. I found myself running to the change room every 30 minutes to write stuff down.

What I had achieved so far and what I needed to do next became so clear. I sat in the hot spring proud of who I’ve become. For the first time in my life, I got to sit there and appreciate everything I’d put out into the world. I hadn’t stopped to see how far I’d come before this moment.

I was so focused on the present and trying to gain future success that I didn’t even know how proud I could be of myself. This fact has become the foundation of me going through the rebuilding phase yet again after five years since my last major self-renovation.

 

In summary….

Everyone reading this blog post has the opportunity to rebuild their life and consistently self-disrupt themselves. Going to places like Japan gives you the opportunity to experience life and see how far you’ve come. You can’t be ON 24/7 like those picture quotes tell you to be.

Once in a while, you need to be proud of who you are and think about who you can become.

Japan is a perfect place to do this and rebuild your life. Stay true to yourself and inspire others.

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

The Six Point Marketing Makeover That Will Score You An Endless Stream of Business

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Marketing

Every business has room to improve, but marketing is a habitually ignored facet. We spend so much time posting on social media and money on ad buys that we forget to evaluate the overall efficacy of our marketing efforts. Our efforts eventually become outdated, and we are left wondering why. With a little effort, you can transform your marketing to generate a consistent stream of ongoing business. It won’t break the bank, and it is doable – if you allow yourself to establish a game plan and stick to it.

Here are the six pieces of a true marketing makeover that will forever change the playing field for you:

1. Define Who You Are

If you polled your customers, who would they say you are? I’m not talking about what you do, but who you are. What do you stand for? What are your values? What are the (business) issues making you want to write a manifesto? While none of the answers completely define you, they all speak to some important aspect of your overall brand.

Customers need to know who you are. Thankfully, we’ve seen some great examples of this. Nordstrom is defined by how it handles returns. Zappos is renowned for its customer service. Toms (shoes) is the “One for One” company. Your product face may be public, but what about you? The better you define your brand and the people behind it, the more the right customers are attracted to it.

2. Explain What You Do

“We employ the highest levels of craftsmanship in our products,” or “your satisfaction is our highest value” – these are wasted space. If you want to establish a brand that attracts customers in like moths to a light, you need to run away from ambiguous, gratuitous statements and embrace specificity. “We teach people how to podcast using the latest low-cost technology,” or “we make shoes that will last ten times longer and are ten times more comfortable than any competitor in the space.” These are statements telling customers exactly what you do.

In communicating what you do, it’s important to reinforce the value system you claim to have (i.e., who you are). This gives your customers a framework to develop trust and see the authenticity of your brand. Explaining what you do, however, is about making it easy for customers to recognize why they need you. If you explain what you do well enough, your customers will often realize they have a problem they didn’t know they had – and you can fix it for them.

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

3. Identify Who You Help

You’ve probably heard that the “riches are in the niches,” and regardless of whether you agree with the statement, there’s a gold nugget hidden in it. A well-defined target market will help you structure custom-tailored messaging that will hit every time.

The most effective marketing efforts target identifiable characteristics of your customers that link a specific need with a specific solution. The characteristics may include gender, age, nationality, domicile, language, relationship status, or similar personal traits, but should also include past engagement behavior, third-party engagement behavior, and other market-driven information. You don’t help “people,” you help one person at a time.

4. Give First, Receive Later

It seems that everywhere you look, someone is trying to sell you something. What if instead of selling, you were giving? You can be a real estate agent who delivers free weekly reports on home sales in a region, or even a health coach who offers a free webinar on food choices and without selling anything specific during the presentation. Believe it or not, generosity is marketing.

When it comes to your marketing makeover, one of the easiest things you can do is give something to your customers. Maybe it’s a 10% discount or maybe it’s a free one-on-one session. Whatever it is, understand that when you approach your marketing with a mind to attract people, you should always begin by giving. There is also a very practical online reality to this component: The vast majority of people attempt to block ads served up to them. Giving, however, isn’t blocked; it’s embraced.

5. Have Something To Sell

This may shock the socks off a few of you, but many businesses forget to have something to sell. The marketing wheels are turning and consumers are being attracted, but once converted, they have nothing to purchase. This might seem so obvious you can’t think I’m serious, but I am. Time and time again, I’ve consulted for businesses that are devoid of meaningful products or services.

In the process of creating a new marketing paradigm, you can’t forget to connect the dots from a marketing effort to the product or service being marketed. If your marketing works, you’ll have hot customers ready to spend money. They need something to spend it on, so reverse-engineer the experience, identify the product or service, then ensure your campaign is appropriately linked to it.

“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell

6. Do it All Over

There’s no easier way to walk back towards irrelevancy than believing you can put your marketing on autopilot. To be sure, you can automate certain actions and triggers, but you can never automate the creativity that goes into designing a timely and meaningful connection with your customer. Once you walk through all the steps above, do it again six months later. You’ll be surprised at how things evolve.

Which one of these steps is most important to you in your career? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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