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10 Success Tips From My $100M Friend Turned Homeless Man

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Sports Car and Private Jet

In 2010, I met a man who was worth in 2007, $100M from starting his own business. What I didn’t know in 2010 was that the man, who would later become my friend, was actually bankrupt and homeless.

The story is quite an odd one so I will do my best to briefly tell it for you. In 2007, my friend received a legal notice to his business address. The legal notice was for something minor, and so he sent it on to his lawyer for review.

Over the next few months, his lawyer worked through the matter, and it was nearly resolved. What happened next was quite unexpected; his lawyer was shot dead in the middle of the street while trying to help a woman that was being attacked by a man.

The lawyers bravery, unfortunately, saw him shot in the head at point-blank range, although he didn’t die for nothing and will always be remembered.

What followed next was a series of bizarre events. This minor legal matter was forgotten about by my friend, and he had thought that his lawyer had resolved it. When he found out it was unresolved, he learned that the solution to the matter died with his lawyer.

Luxury MansionThings quickly turned bad, and within a short space of time, he was met at his famous mansion by the sheriff who went and repossessed all the belongings he had including the house. One strange thing though was that my friend got to keep all of his luxury clothes as these were considered essential items (these clothes became paramount later on).

The first night he was made homeless and had nowhere to sleep, a miracle occurred; his second daughter was born. With nowhere else to stay, the hospital became his accommodation for a short while until he was kicked out onto the street.

For the next few years, he and his two daughters under five years of age lived out of his beaten up car in a rough neighbourhood. He went from eating at five-star restaurants to eating food out of a can. The most frustrating part of all for him was that he had no idea what had caused his fortune to be lost, and the only person that knew was now dead.

My friend could have been one of the greats. He used to have the power to change the world with his incredible skill of coming up with an idea and then making money from it. Over the years, he has become a phenomenal mentor and someone who has taught me many lessons through the adversity he has faced, and the pain he continues to suffer to this day.

We often think that the art of success comes from what we learn off highly successful people, but I have found that some of the best lessons can also be learned by the ones that don’t end up succeeding too.

I am conscious that by knowing this man, I have begun to have a different view of success. My worldview has not only been shaped by the sensationalism we all see on social media, but by real people, and actual reality.

Below are the ten lessons this former $100M friend, turned homeless man taught me.

 

1. First impressions matter (it’s also easy to be deceived)

When I first met this man he was wearing a worn out pair of cargo pants and an unbuttoned chequered shirt. He came to the company I was involved with to interview for a sales job. Everyone in the office thought he looked like a loser and couldn’t sell to save his life (including me).

For some unknown reason, the sales manager liked him, and he was hired on the spot. What he taught me next I didn’t see coming. For the next four weeks, he called prospective clients and put them in his Salesforce opportunity list with some huge revenue numbers next to each one.

He was the joke of the office, and everyone thought he was dreaming. Generally, when a new sales person started, they would make their first sale within twenty-four hours. If you didn’t, you were usually fired.

To top it off, he had lots of cigarette breaks, hid in the corner without talking to the other sales people, and drank loads of instant Nescafe coffee (one every hour). By week four he had still not made a sale.

One Friday afternoon, the sales manager and I decided that it was time to fire him. I went down the stairs and into the sales office to find him, and strangely enough, he had gone home early. So, we agreed to fire him on the following Monday.

On Monday morning, I came into the office and looked at the sales whiteboard to see that he had made his first sale, and the dollar value was large. The sales manager and I thought we better give him a bit longer to see if it was a fluke.

What proceeded to happen from here was something I will never forget; he just began to put up sales every day. It was like a waterfall, and no one could stop him. Within a few months, he outsold the entire sales team on his own.

Like anyone achieving this level of success, myself and the other guys began to become intrigued by this man. As we got to know him better, we learned that he was better at building rapport than anyone we had ever met.

None of his sales conversations spoke of the product and usually just involved him talking about the customers hobbies, promising to come to their next barbecue, and then taking an order for some product in the last two minutes of the call.

So the success tip from all of this is that the way you dress matters and it could cause you not to get a chance, but at the same time, don’t judge a book by its cover. The strangest, quietest people can also be the most successful people you will ever meet.

 

2. Any skill can be learned if repeated enough times

As I delved a bit deeper into this man, I found out that before working with us he actually worked for a charity. Straight after he became homeless, he lost all belief that he could be successful again and found the quickest job he could.

The money he earnt at this job didn’t really help his homeless situation. His job every day was to be tied to a phone, working in a call centre, and calling people one after another to ask for a donation to the charity.

He rapidly learned how to get people’s attention and then quickly get money from them – it was all about trust. At this job, he became the highest grossing salesperson too and worked like a dog with only one or two very short breaks.

While he was good at sales in his startup career, the charity job took him to the next level and taught him many lessons, including the importance of confidence. As he was able to rebuild his confidence again by becoming the number one salesperson, he quickly decided it was time to move on from this job, and that’s when I met him.

 

3. Even a homeless man can get a loan for a Mercedes

This next success tip again took me by surprise. I used to tell my ex-millionaire friend about all these people I would meet that had very nice luxury cars. He told me anyone could get one even a homeless man.

I didn’t believe him until one day, he calls me up and says, “I just bought a new Mercedes Benz four-wheel drive.” At this time in his life, he was again unemployed and looking for the next job. I didn’t believe him and told him to come and show me.

Mercedes Benz ML63 AMGSure enough, he arrives at my house with the Mercedes-Benz. He explains to me that lots of people appear rich and that even a homeless man like him can have the same effect. He told me that getting a car lease is not that hard, but paying it back is a whole other story that takes discipline. What was interesting is that he had every intention of paying the loan back because he was optimistic he would earn the money he needed to, to fulfil his debt.

He told me that sometimes you have to take a risk even when you don’t know the outcome and to just have faith that you will find a way. In fact, he was adamant that having the loan was more likely to motivate him to get out of his current situation.

The success tip here is that you should never be fooled by possessions or someone’s perceived image. I personally have met many people who appear rich and are actually dead broke. It’s often their addiction to luxury cars that can keep them broke too.

Try to buy things that you can afford and focus on building a business or acquiring income-generating assets, and not material things that will never make you happy. At the same time, don’t forget to give a percentage of all the money you earn to create good in the world and help others.

 

4. Dishonest people will fall on their own sword (they don’t need your help)

Before all of my self-development training, I used to believe that it was my job to highlight dishonest people. What my ex-millionaire friend taught me was that dishonest people will bring themselves down and by bad mouthing them; I am only bringing myself down with them.

This lesson that he taught me has been proven time and time again. The best example is his brother who he introduced me to one night. After meeting his brother, he told me that I shouldn’t spend time with him because he was dishonest.

Initially, I didn’t get the message and stayed in touch with his brother until I learned the hard way.

“I quickly realised that having a toxic person in your network is a very bad idea”

Many people would ask me my opinion of his brother and rather than say bad things about him I learned to distance myself from him instead.

To make things worse, his brother would drop my name in conversations and pretend that we did business together. I would often get phone calls from people I knew saying that my friends brother had mentioned me, and they would ask me about him, I would just tell them that he was someone I didn’t know well (which is true) and that I am not currently doing any business deals with him.

Pretty quickly, my friend’s brother fell on his own sword, and people realised who he truly was. While I sometimes wished I never were introduced to him, I learnt a valuable lesson about dishonest people at the same time, which I will never forget.

 

5. The cost of missed opportunity

Following on from the previous point, my ex-millionaire friend taught me about how your own personal brand and your level of honesty can cause you to miss opportunities. He explained to me that when you screw someone over, the ripple effect and opportunities you will miss can never be measured.

The scary part about this success tip from my friend is that you will never know what those opportunities were, so, therefore, you will never know the true effect that being dishonest will cost you.

Every day that goes by, opportunities will be presented to people that are in the dishonest person’s network, and they will be turned down behind their back. They will never be able to have visibility of these opportunities or the chance to defend themselves. When you meet a dishonest person, they will often spend their entire life wondering why they are not happy or why they are unsuccessful.

On top of this, they will blame their circumstances on luck or timing. The hardest part of this concept is that it’s not something many of us learn, and the act of being dishonest separates us from realising the consequences of our action.

The only true way to avoid this problem happening to you is not to be dishonest – period. Personally, this is one of my favourite success tips from my friend and it’s become a true law of my universe that I swear by.

 

6. Your family is all you have

When my ex-millionaire friend had all of his material possessions taken away, he taught me a groundbreaking success tip. He taught me that above all else, your family is what truly matters. Even when my friend had nothing, he still had his family by his side that supported him and helped make him smile.

This idea is so simple, yet it’s truly inspirational when you think about it properly. In the early days of having money myself, people used to tell me how lucky I was and how my life was set. I would always respond to them with the same answer; “as quick as you can make money you can lose it. Always stay humble and remember what matters.”

 

7. Money is made through your passion not get rich quick schemes

For the last five or so years, my friend has still struggled with poverty and homelessness. The reason I believe this is the case is because he broke a universal law; he spent the last few years on get rich quick schemes.

My friend has tried to do things he doesn’t care about to make money and then he has quickly given up on each business venture.

Unless you tie passion to the act of making money, you will never be able to sustain the habits that are required to follow through on your business.

Tim Denning Money Quote
 

The good news is, in recent times he has gone back to what he’s passionate about and what made him rich in the first place. Since doing this, he finally looks like he may be able to get back on his feet and provide the essentials for his family again.

It’s been such a long road for him but sometimes, as much as you want to, you need to let those around you make their own decisions and learn the basic success principles themselves. Eventually, when they come to understand the same principles that we are all learning on Addicted2Success, they finally start achieving their goals.

 

8. Real friends give you the best advice when you’re down

A few years back I went through my own struggles as we all do, and my ex-millionaire friend taught me a lot. Due to his ability to sell to almost anyone, I thought that he could save me from my problems. I made the mistake of initially thinking that somebody else could do the growing for me.

My friend observed what I was going through, gave me some advice, but left me to take the action. He knew that if enough time went by I would be forced to act, and he used this to my own advantage. Sure enough, I took his advice and completely changed my life around.

This taught me that real friends give you the best advice when you need it, but they force you to get the lesson yourself because they know that’s the only way you’ll learn. Real friends give you direction and ideas, not forced opinions.

 

9. Smoking will cripple your health (and your energy)

Over the time, I have known my ex-millionaire friend he has smoked cigarettes heavily. Now we all have known for some time that this is not good, but through my friend’s eyes, I have seen something more worrying.

For the last few years, he has had some serious medical issues that have had the potential to take his life away, but that appear to be unrelated to his smoking. With each new illness, the link to his smoking has been ignored.

Part of the reason he hasn’t been able to get back to his former glory is that he just doesn’t have the energy to do so. Creating value for others in the form of money takes a lot of energy and hard work, and if you deprive your body of the one thing it needs (oxygen), then success can quickly become an impossible task.

 

10. Be humble and gracious

The final success tip my ex-millionaire friend taught me is always to be humble and gracious. Even with all of the pain he has experienced, he still does his best to come back to his family every day with just enough money to feed his daughters, and he will happily starve himself for his loved ones.

He never complains about what happened to him, and he always stays optimistic that he will be back on top one day. Back on top may seem like having his money again, but somehow, I think back on top for him will be seeing his children grow up and knowing that he taught them good values.

 

***Final thought***

So as you can see, my ex-millionaire friend taught me a lot of what I know. Still to this day, he has no income and barely keeps a roof over his head. While I still keep the faith that he will one day prove to the world his sheer brilliance, I also know that it’s a possibility that I am the only one that will ever know.

Many people walk by him in the street and have no idea of his gift. He comes across as a hard man, but deep down he is very kind. Deep down he has the principles of success buried inside of him, and I can only hope that he will reveal them to the world one day.

Don’t ever let money define you and never give up on your dream. Whether that’s building a nine-figure startup like my ex-millionaire friend, or doing something as simple as writing a book, remember what you have learned in this article, keep your head up, and stay humble no matter what.

Do you know someone who has fallen from their former glory? What did they teach you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Evan

    Mar 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Tim,

    Awesome article as usual! I also believe it’s really important to look for the best ways to create value, which in my experience is next to impossible if you’re not obsessed with the topic!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 18, 2016 at 3:47 am

      Thanks Evan for reading and I always appreciate the kind feedback you give. As you can see I am very obsessed with the topic of success…lol.

  2. Gaurav

    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Great article to learn from someone else’s experience.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Gaurav thanks for taking the time to read it. Real life lessons I find are the best ones. Especially when you can learn from them without having to go through the negative experience yourself.

  3. De_major

    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I can keep on reading this article for months…….it’s lovely. In fact i will recommend it to friends and family. Its ……fantastic

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Wow, thanks for the kind words De major!

  4. Tushar

    Mar 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hi,
    Tim great article.. and i enjoyed reading and remembering my beliefs. Thanks.
    Twitter @tusharg19

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 1:48 am

      No probs Tushar and thanks for reading.

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Success Advice

5 B.S. Facts About High Performers Everyone Thinks Is True

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High performers are often seen in the world as people who set their mind on something and make it happen regardless of what it takes to get it accomplished. Much of the time that may be true. However, the way high performers are seen in the world is often in direct conflict with the way they behave when people aren’t watching. Even though they are seen as amazing experts and masters to others, they often see themselves as in need of improvement and can feel dissatisfied with the results they have achieved.

Despite how they appear, they are not much different than you or me with one exception. High performers are totally committed to what it is that they are doing. They function within the uncertainty of daily life just as you do but they conquer their limitations differently. Whether the odds are stacked with them or against them, a high performer will be totally committed to reaching their goals.

You may even be a high performer yourself and don’t realize it because some of your habits would not be considered high level ones. It is common for individuals to compare their accomplishments to others based on what we observe as their results.

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela

In fact, you may have lowered your personal bar of excellence because you thought you didn’t measure up to those that always seem to land at the top no matter what. I think you’d be surprised to learn that many very successful high performers don’t function the way you think they do.

Here are 5 B.S. facts about high performers that everyone thinks is true:

B.S. Fact #1 – Perfection is the way they play their game

You would think that in order to appear perfect you would probably need to do everything perfectly. It’s so not true! High performers actually pursue excellence as a goal and not perfection. It allows them to get more done with a higher level of consistency and sets them up for success rather than failure.

B.S. Fact #2 – Organization is their secret weapon

Just take a look at the desk of a genius. You probably wouldn’t be able to see the surface beneath the stacks of books, papers and whatever else may be on top of it. High performers typically have a formula as to where they put things and why. To the observer, it’s usually just a big mess with no identifiable system. However, I assure you, a high performer will still know where everything is regardless of the chaos that surrounds their personal space and schedule.

B.S. Fact #3 – They’ve all walked Ivy League hallways

Though it is true that many well educated people reach great success, statistically, some of the most influential success stories are about people who lacked resources and education. High performers will always seek out whatever or whoever is available so that they can learn what they need to and create their vision despite whatever odds happen to be stacked against them.

B.S. Fact #4 – They don’t have squirrel brain

Focus. It seems like this would be the number one rule to follow on the road to results.  However, there are many high performers who get distracted by people and ideas that totally derail them from what they were doing. Often times, it is not their focus but their agenda that keeps them on track. They know what they need to do even if it doesn’t always get accomplished in the way they thought they would get it done. However, it always gets done.

“High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true.” – Robert H. Schuller

B.S. Fact #5 – They see themselves as the king of the jungle

Confidence seems to pour out of those who always seem to succeed. When, in reality, so many high performers struggle with it. Questioning whether or not they’re doing the right things or whether what they’re doing is good enough can be a constant personal dialogue. Fear of being negatively judged is the biggest reason why most people don’t take chances or take action on their big dreams but high performers move forward anyway. Their insecurity doesn’t stop them from what they want.

So, why should it matter to you what is fact or fiction about high performers? The answer; because you will compare yourself to others at times and it would be a tragedy if you stopped yourself from achieving big goals due to a belief that you’re not as good as someone else.

High performers achieve results. They know what they want, they plan it and they achieve it. Just because you have a few habits that won’t get applauded if people actually knew about them doesn’t mean that you can’t be one of the experts or podium finishers too.

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Success Advice

Do You Want to Become a Leader? Read This First

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How do you become an adult in a society that doesn’t ask for sacrifice? How do you become a man in a world that doesn’t require courage? The test of leadership isn’t done on the couch, discussing things with internet trolls and commentators. Leadership, like philosophy, is action-based and can’t be separated from that into a purely theoretical field.

To become a leader, it isn’t enough to read about it, you need to live through it. That leads us to the first point.

1. Experience trumps theory

Theory and practice are the same in theory, but they are not the same in practice. For you to become a leader, you need to put yourself in situations which demand leadership. If you are at home trying really hard to think about situations where leadership is required and can’t find a place where that can happen, you are not thinking about the problems in your life and community.

Leadership is about going through uncertainty while showing people a better way. So any area of life where there is uncertainty is an area where there is a possibility for leadership to emerge.

You don’t have to lead a company of 10,000 employees to experience leadership, you can do it in a local community of 5 people or as I did in a leadership organization with 200 people. But leadership doesn’t start with leading other people, it starts with leading yourself.

“Leadership is practice not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S. Geneen

2. To lead others, you must learn to lead yourself

Telling other people what they need to do is “easy.” Showing the way yourself is a hundred times harder. Because what you do speaks so loud that people can’t hear what you’re saying. In other words, leadership is about having personal integrity and practicing what you preach. You would never follow the advice of a fat personal trainer, a broke accountant, or a real estate agent who doesn’t even own a dog house.

You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all. But the thing is that this is easier said than done. I remember when we had a crisis in our team back in 2013. Every single person from the team quit, leaving the president and me alone to fight the battle. My integrity of not quitting didn’t let me walk away and we kept pushing together.

That’s what leadership is about – you need to walk the talk. Because to lead yourself and to lead others, you need to make decisions which follow up your integrity. That leads us to the third point.

3. Leadership is about making the right, painful decisions

If you choose easy decisions, your life will be hard. If you choose hard decisions, your life will be easy. And there are numerous decisions which leaders did in the past which have been hard at the moment. But when you’re a leader, you don’t make decisions on a scale of easy-hard, you make them on a scale of right-wrong.

Firing the VP of sales is always hard. But doing it because he violated the principles of the company makes it right. It’s a trade-off 90% of people are not willing to make and I see it day in, day out. As soon as a decision becomes hard, people start doubting their values, morals, and integrity. They let the fear of uncertainty cloud their judgments and they make an easy call.

They let the VP stay because it’s the easy thing to do and with that, they seal their fate. Leadership is painful and it always was. I remember when I had to let 20 people go or fire two of my VPs. Was it hard? Of course it was. But it was the right thing to do. This doesn’t make the decision any easier, but it makes it bearable.

You know where you need to lead people and even though there is massive uncertainty, you need to be certain that you will figure out any problem that comes in front of you. Which brings us to the last point.

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy

4. You need to have unyielding faith that you will prevail in the end

You don’t need to know every step of the way, but you need to know how you will react to problems. You need to be sure, absolutely, that you will deal, manage, and handle every single problem that comes your way and that your team and people who you lead are unstoppable on their way to achieving the vision.

This is unquestionable. You have no idea what will attack you, but you are certain that you will handle it. This is how you lead people through everything in life. This is how Shackleton led his expedition for 2 years on the Antarctic and how every single one of his people survived the hardships that attacked them.

Because people turn to the leader in face of trouble and that’s when you show your true face. Do you show your weak side, flounder, and run? Or do you stand strong like a supporting rock on which people can lean on?

When you deal with fire, you will learn how to defeat it without having your people get burned. You will sacrifice yourself and gain scars which don’t serve as a sign of victimhood but as a proof of courage. Are you gonna be courageous or are you gonna run away? There is only one way to find out.

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Success Advice

This Is Why Most People Give Up On Their Dreams — I Plead With You Not To Become One Of Them.

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We all have a dream even if we haven’t realized it yet. It could be something as simple as raising a family, or it might be more extreme like winning an Olympic gold medal.

No matter the dream, most people give up on their dream.

I’m pleading with you not to be one of those people. You can achieve your dream when you understand why people give up in the first place.

Here’s why most people give up on their dreams:


They failed once before.

Many people try something once and when they fail, they give up. That’s because nobody tells you that achieving your dream doesn’t happen the first time around.

You have to try and try again until you reach your goal.
The problem is it’s easy to try once, fail, and then say “I already tried and I didn’t win.”

We give in so easily because the upside is a life of excuses.

We give in because we can live through the heroes of our favorite Netflix show.

We give in because in some ways there is a reward. Giving up gives you permission to sit on the couch, eat junk food, be angry at the world on social media and sleep in your nice warm bed

The problem is that this life sucks. You’ll get tired of it. One day you’ll want to chase your dream again, but you might be old, frail and full of regrets.

I’m pleading with you not to choose this option.


They got told no.

You don’t need permission — remember that. You are going to get told no hundreds of times in your life. With every dream you have, there’s going to be some fat, lazy slob that’s going to be standing in your way.”

Push through these people — flubber and all. Don’t let someone else’s laziness or issues with your dream stop you.

Ignore the no and get right back to it. Ask them again. Ask someone else.

Ideally, don’t ask them at all. I never asked to be a blogger I just did it. Certain publications turned me down and I kept writing.

Not everyone understands your gifts or potential and that’s fine. The main point here is that you understand.

I’m pleading with you to not give up because of a no. Make the no your motivation instead.


They don’t see failure for what it is.

Failure is nothing more than the inevitable education that any person who achieves their dream goes through.

Failure is so important that I personally like to pay money for it. I wish there was a shop or course I could do that would guarantee me failure instead of success. I want you to want the failure because that’s where all the answers are.

Once you know what doesn’t work, you’ll have a path forward. Change the word failure into education.

I’m pleading with you to fall in love with failure and not to give up on your dream.


Boredom strikes like thunder.

Everyone gets bored. I watched a documentary where Usain Bolt was training for the Olympics and even he admitted that he got bored after he won a few gold medals.

Boredom is normal, but it’s why a lot of people give up on their dreams.

It’s in the moments of boredom that you give your mind a chance to rest. Doing nothing and being lazy for a few hours can often bring a spark of creativity. No one is motivated 100% of the time — not even me.

It’s up to you to add some variety into your day, so you don’t get stuck in boredom forever.

Boredom can also be a good sign as well. It can be a sign that you need to change your approach or do things in a new way.

I’m pleading with you not to be afraid of boredom. Use boredom to your advantage.


They stop believing in themselves.

Your dreams are not easy (obviously). The rejection, failure and setbacks you’ll achieve can bring you down. What messes people’s dreams up is they stop believing in themselves.

Everything starts to fall over when you don’t believe in yourselfYou have to believe you can do it before anyone else will buy into that idea. The challenge is that you’re going to need help to achieve your dreams. You can’t do it alone.

You’ll never get that help unless you can get people to believe what you believe.

I’m pleading with you to believe in yourself no matter what. You have this dream for a reason and you can do it.


They are stuck on one strategy.

Many people live their entire life based on one strategy or one arbitrage. They refuse to change and so eventually the environment around them changes which affects their ability to reach their dream.

If you’re set in your ways and won’t change your approach, you’ll probably fail. We all imagine how our dream should look yet sometimes the reality is different.

You have to be open to change. In my experience, my original dream looked much different and I’m glad it’s changed. Changes to your dream are for the better.

I’m pleading with you to be open-minded.


They are surrounded by an army of morons.

If everyone around you is telling you you’re an idiot and they don’t respect your dream for what it is, this will have a negative impact on you whether you like it or not.

Run away from the dream killers who are making up for their own broken dreams and surround yourself with people who support you

The best people are the ones that support you but don’t always agree with you. Even better are the ones that support you and challenge your thinking. 
I’m pleading with you to reassess the people around you.


They want security.

No dream comes with an insurance policy or a set path. People are afraid to take risks and want reassurances when they pursue their dream.

There are none. Dreams are made off the back of taking calculated and clever risks most of the time. If you want someone to guarantee your dream, then it ain’t going to happen.

It’s the unpredictability that makes dreams addictive, delicious and worth the effort. Not knowing is what our mind craves — we just don’t know it. If we knew how our dream turned out, we wouldn’t be as excited.

I’m pleading with you to take a risk or two.


They refuse to be disciplined.

Nothing worth achieving can be done without discipline. There’s work involved and that has to be scheduled and executed upon.

I’ve written every single week since 2014. That takes bloody discipline.

My discipline reflects my results in the blogging world. The same applies to your own dream.

Block out chunks of your calendar and get to work. If you’re not doing at least one small thing towards your dream every day, then you’re heading in the wrong direction.

I’m pleading you to put in regular work towards your dream.


The greener grass syndrome.

Another reason we give up is not because we’re lazy necessarily but because we failed and there is a better option. That’s what our mind tells us.

I didn’t fail; I just found something better,” you say to yourself.

Well, that’s the sad truth.

“Changing your idea of success consistently is not the answer. At some point, you need to decide to chase one dream and quit the ADHD dream chasing the average person chases. You’re better than that”

Worrying about what everybody else is doing and then chasing their dreams is ridiculous.

I’m pleading with you not to fall for this lie. The grass is not greener it just requires more work than you anticipated.


Final thought.

Please, please, please don’t give up on your dream. You’re closer than you think. You just need to stand back and think about a few of the points I’ve mentioned.

Broken dreams have birthed so many broken people.

It doesn’t have to be that way. See your dream for what it is: Something special that you can achieve if you put your mind to it, focus and be excited by the possibilities.

Don’t give up on your dream.

<<<>>>

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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The Number One Question All Leaders Should Be Asking

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Questions are the greatest way to express curiosity, and to actually get to know somebody. As an educator, a father, neurolinguistic programmer, and media specialist, I know how powerful communication can be.

Communications power is the ability to get to know someone. To build rapport and to work out if we are in the same tribe, speaking the same language. We only understand 7% of verbal communication. 38% is our voice and tone. 55% is body language. So when we message or email someone, we are barely communicating. If we are not careful face to face communication can be just as ineffective.

In our work and everyday life we will often be called upon to conduct an interview. This might be in a formal way, such as a manager with a potential new employee, or informally as a parent meeting a son or daughter’s new partner. Sometimes this might be free style, to see where the conversation takes us, and other times we might use our organisations set list of questions.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Ineffective communication and questioning

The problem is, the questions are often boring, ineffective, or not relevant. Or they have been asked so many times before, the interviewee reels off a pre-prepared answer, which blurs in the mind of the interviewer with every other candidate she/he has spoken to that day.

Questions like: What is your greatest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? Or perhaps the worst of all, “tell me about yourself?” Why is that last one so toxic? Well what do you think they will answer?

Not only will they be reciting a familiar response, but it will also be a mix of what they think you want to hear, and their own made up story of themselves. It is natural to do this, as it is our own perception of ourselves, and mind-reading of what others think of us. Left to our own devices we can be influenced by ego, humility, self-limiting beliefs, and imposter syndrome.

Effective communication and questioning

If we want to really uncover more about the person we are speaking to, we should try this: “Tell me about the world?”Why is that so powerful? Well, to quote the Marvel film Dr Strange, “you’re a man looking at the world, through a keyhole.”

How we view the world is a reflection of ourselves. It may include what we perceive as opportunities and threats, perhaps biases and our overall outlook on life. Is the person we are speaking to open-minded, have an insight on where the world is heading, are they success-minded optimists, or negative and ignorant, with a tendency to blame others?

Are they literal, “it’s a planet orbiting the sun”, or romantic, “it’s a wonderful place full of inspirational people with the capacity to create amazing things, but too often negativity and hate clouds our potential.” Did they focus on the country they live in? A particular subject? Their own family?

“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – Nat Turner

It is a much more interesting question, and one that few people are asked. They may request clarity, because it is so open and you may be guiding them in to uncharted waters. Every person will answer in a different way, and it will usually provide a much deeper insight as to who they really are.

Not only is this great for interviews, but it can also be a way to break out of small talk. When two people meet it can be visualized as a Venn diagram. Sure, we will probably have some overlap whether that is sports, where we work, parents, gaming, or religion. And the tendency will be to stick to those topics.

But isn’t the real fun in the areas we don’t overlap on? The problem is we often don’t know what questions to ask about it, because we don’t know what you don’t know. This question is a great way of exploring new territory. So, tell me about the world?

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35 Quotes to Inspire You to Live a Life of Contribution

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Contribution is defined as something that you contribute or do to help produce or achieve something together with other people or to help make something successful. May these quotes inspire you to make a positive contribution to the world so that you may help advance humanity to a greater level. (more…)

Asad Meah is the CEO & Founder of AwakenTheGreatnessWithin. He is a dreamchaser who has gained a wealth of knowledge in entrepreneurship and personal development over the past five years through self-education. His mission is to inspire millions of people to become entrepreneurs by awakening their minds to their greatness that resides within them. Check out his book on Amazon that will help you Awaken so that you may live your dreams!

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Evan

    Mar 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Tim,

    Awesome article as usual! I also believe it’s really important to look for the best ways to create value, which in my experience is next to impossible if you’re not obsessed with the topic!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 18, 2016 at 3:47 am

      Thanks Evan for reading and I always appreciate the kind feedback you give. As you can see I am very obsessed with the topic of success…lol.

  2. Gaurav

    Mar 10, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Great article to learn from someone else’s experience.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Gaurav thanks for taking the time to read it. Real life lessons I find are the best ones. Especially when you can learn from them without having to go through the negative experience yourself.

  3. De_major

    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I can keep on reading this article for months…….it’s lovely. In fact i will recommend it to friends and family. Its ……fantastic

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Wow, thanks for the kind words De major!

  4. Tushar

    Mar 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hi,
    Tim great article.. and i enjoyed reading and remembering my beliefs. Thanks.
    Twitter @tusharg19

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 6, 2016 at 1:48 am

      No probs Tushar and thanks for reading.

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Success Advice

5 B.S. Facts About High Performers Everyone Thinks Is True

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High performers are often seen in the world as people who set their mind on something and make it happen regardless of what it takes to get it accomplished. Much of the time that may be true. However, the way high performers are seen in the world is often in direct conflict with the way they behave when people aren’t watching. Even though they are seen as amazing experts and masters to others, they often see themselves as in need of improvement and can feel dissatisfied with the results they have achieved.

Despite how they appear, they are not much different than you or me with one exception. High performers are totally committed to what it is that they are doing. They function within the uncertainty of daily life just as you do but they conquer their limitations differently. Whether the odds are stacked with them or against them, a high performer will be totally committed to reaching their goals.

You may even be a high performer yourself and don’t realize it because some of your habits would not be considered high level ones. It is common for individuals to compare their accomplishments to others based on what we observe as their results.

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela

In fact, you may have lowered your personal bar of excellence because you thought you didn’t measure up to those that always seem to land at the top no matter what. I think you’d be surprised to learn that many very successful high performers don’t function the way you think they do.

Here are 5 B.S. facts about high performers that everyone thinks is true:

B.S. Fact #1 – Perfection is the way they play their game

You would think that in order to appear perfect you would probably need to do everything perfectly. It’s so not true! High performers actually pursue excellence as a goal and not perfection. It allows them to get more done with a higher level of consistency and sets them up for success rather than failure.

B.S. Fact #2 – Organization is their secret weapon

Just take a look at the desk of a genius. You probably wouldn’t be able to see the surface beneath the stacks of books, papers and whatever else may be on top of it. High performers typically have a formula as to where they put things and why. To the observer, it’s usually just a big mess with no identifiable system. However, I assure you, a high performer will still know where everything is regardless of the chaos that surrounds their personal space and schedule.

B.S. Fact #3 – They’ve all walked Ivy League hallways

Though it is true that many well educated people reach great success, statistically, some of the most influential success stories are about people who lacked resources and education. High performers will always seek out whatever or whoever is available so that they can learn what they need to and create their vision despite whatever odds happen to be stacked against them.

B.S. Fact #4 – They don’t have squirrel brain

Focus. It seems like this would be the number one rule to follow on the road to results.  However, there are many high performers who get distracted by people and ideas that totally derail them from what they were doing. Often times, it is not their focus but their agenda that keeps them on track. They know what they need to do even if it doesn’t always get accomplished in the way they thought they would get it done. However, it always gets done.

“High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true.” – Robert H. Schuller

B.S. Fact #5 – They see themselves as the king of the jungle

Confidence seems to pour out of those who always seem to succeed. When, in reality, so many high performers struggle with it. Questioning whether or not they’re doing the right things or whether what they’re doing is good enough can be a constant personal dialogue. Fear of being negatively judged is the biggest reason why most people don’t take chances or take action on their big dreams but high performers move forward anyway. Their insecurity doesn’t stop them from what they want.

So, why should it matter to you what is fact or fiction about high performers? The answer; because you will compare yourself to others at times and it would be a tragedy if you stopped yourself from achieving big goals due to a belief that you’re not as good as someone else.

High performers achieve results. They know what they want, they plan it and they achieve it. Just because you have a few habits that won’t get applauded if people actually knew about them doesn’t mean that you can’t be one of the experts or podium finishers too.

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Success Advice

Do You Want to Become a Leader? Read This First

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How do you become an adult in a society that doesn’t ask for sacrifice? How do you become a man in a world that doesn’t require courage? The test of leadership isn’t done on the couch, discussing things with internet trolls and commentators. Leadership, like philosophy, is action-based and can’t be separated from that into a purely theoretical field.

To become a leader, it isn’t enough to read about it, you need to live through it. That leads us to the first point.

1. Experience trumps theory

Theory and practice are the same in theory, but they are not the same in practice. For you to become a leader, you need to put yourself in situations which demand leadership. If you are at home trying really hard to think about situations where leadership is required and can’t find a place where that can happen, you are not thinking about the problems in your life and community.

Leadership is about going through uncertainty while showing people a better way. So any area of life where there is uncertainty is an area where there is a possibility for leadership to emerge.

You don’t have to lead a company of 10,000 employees to experience leadership, you can do it in a local community of 5 people or as I did in a leadership organization with 200 people. But leadership doesn’t start with leading other people, it starts with leading yourself.

“Leadership is practice not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.” – Harold S. Geneen

2. To lead others, you must learn to lead yourself

Telling other people what they need to do is “easy.” Showing the way yourself is a hundred times harder. Because what you do speaks so loud that people can’t hear what you’re saying. In other words, leadership is about having personal integrity and practicing what you preach. You would never follow the advice of a fat personal trainer, a broke accountant, or a real estate agent who doesn’t even own a dog house.

You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all. But the thing is that this is easier said than done. I remember when we had a crisis in our team back in 2013. Every single person from the team quit, leaving the president and me alone to fight the battle. My integrity of not quitting didn’t let me walk away and we kept pushing together.

That’s what leadership is about – you need to walk the talk. Because to lead yourself and to lead others, you need to make decisions which follow up your integrity. That leads us to the third point.

3. Leadership is about making the right, painful decisions

If you choose easy decisions, your life will be hard. If you choose hard decisions, your life will be easy. And there are numerous decisions which leaders did in the past which have been hard at the moment. But when you’re a leader, you don’t make decisions on a scale of easy-hard, you make them on a scale of right-wrong.

Firing the VP of sales is always hard. But doing it because he violated the principles of the company makes it right. It’s a trade-off 90% of people are not willing to make and I see it day in, day out. As soon as a decision becomes hard, people start doubting their values, morals, and integrity. They let the fear of uncertainty cloud their judgments and they make an easy call.

They let the VP stay because it’s the easy thing to do and with that, they seal their fate. Leadership is painful and it always was. I remember when I had to let 20 people go or fire two of my VPs. Was it hard? Of course it was. But it was the right thing to do. This doesn’t make the decision any easier, but it makes it bearable.

You know where you need to lead people and even though there is massive uncertainty, you need to be certain that you will figure out any problem that comes in front of you. Which brings us to the last point.

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.” – Brian Tracy

4. You need to have unyielding faith that you will prevail in the end

You don’t need to know every step of the way, but you need to know how you will react to problems. You need to be sure, absolutely, that you will deal, manage, and handle every single problem that comes your way and that your team and people who you lead are unstoppable on their way to achieving the vision.

This is unquestionable. You have no idea what will attack you, but you are certain that you will handle it. This is how you lead people through everything in life. This is how Shackleton led his expedition for 2 years on the Antarctic and how every single one of his people survived the hardships that attacked them.

Because people turn to the leader in face of trouble and that’s when you show your true face. Do you show your weak side, flounder, and run? Or do you stand strong like a supporting rock on which people can lean on?

When you deal with fire, you will learn how to defeat it without having your people get burned. You will sacrifice yourself and gain scars which don’t serve as a sign of victimhood but as a proof of courage. Are you gonna be courageous or are you gonna run away? There is only one way to find out.

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This Is Why Most People Give Up On Their Dreams — I Plead With You Not To Become One Of Them.

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We all have a dream even if we haven’t realized it yet. It could be something as simple as raising a family, or it might be more extreme like winning an Olympic gold medal.

No matter the dream, most people give up on their dream.

I’m pleading with you not to be one of those people. You can achieve your dream when you understand why people give up in the first place.

Here’s why most people give up on their dreams:


They failed once before.

Many people try something once and when they fail, they give up. That’s because nobody tells you that achieving your dream doesn’t happen the first time around.

You have to try and try again until you reach your goal.
The problem is it’s easy to try once, fail, and then say “I already tried and I didn’t win.”

We give in so easily because the upside is a life of excuses.

We give in because we can live through the heroes of our favorite Netflix show.

We give in because in some ways there is a reward. Giving up gives you permission to sit on the couch, eat junk food, be angry at the world on social media and sleep in your nice warm bed

The problem is that this life sucks. You’ll get tired of it. One day you’ll want to chase your dream again, but you might be old, frail and full of regrets.

I’m pleading with you not to choose this option.


They got told no.

You don’t need permission — remember that. You are going to get told no hundreds of times in your life. With every dream you have, there’s going to be some fat, lazy slob that’s going to be standing in your way.”

Push through these people — flubber and all. Don’t let someone else’s laziness or issues with your dream stop you.

Ignore the no and get right back to it. Ask them again. Ask someone else.

Ideally, don’t ask them at all. I never asked to be a blogger I just did it. Certain publications turned me down and I kept writing.

Not everyone understands your gifts or potential and that’s fine. The main point here is that you understand.

I’m pleading with you to not give up because of a no. Make the no your motivation instead.


They don’t see failure for what it is.

Failure is nothing more than the inevitable education that any person who achieves their dream goes through.

Failure is so important that I personally like to pay money for it. I wish there was a shop or course I could do that would guarantee me failure instead of success. I want you to want the failure because that’s where all the answers are.

Once you know what doesn’t work, you’ll have a path forward. Change the word failure into education.

I’m pleading with you to fall in love with failure and not to give up on your dream.


Boredom strikes like thunder.

Everyone gets bored. I watched a documentary where Usain Bolt was training for the Olympics and even he admitted that he got bored after he won a few gold medals.

Boredom is normal, but it’s why a lot of people give up on their dreams.

It’s in the moments of boredom that you give your mind a chance to rest. Doing nothing and being lazy for a few hours can often bring a spark of creativity. No one is motivated 100% of the time — not even me.

It’s up to you to add some variety into your day, so you don’t get stuck in boredom forever.

Boredom can also be a good sign as well. It can be a sign that you need to change your approach or do things in a new way.

I’m pleading with you not to be afraid of boredom. Use boredom to your advantage.


They stop believing in themselves.

Your dreams are not easy (obviously). The rejection, failure and setbacks you’ll achieve can bring you down. What messes people’s dreams up is they stop believing in themselves.

Everything starts to fall over when you don’t believe in yourselfYou have to believe you can do it before anyone else will buy into that idea. The challenge is that you’re going to need help to achieve your dreams. You can’t do it alone.

You’ll never get that help unless you can get people to believe what you believe.

I’m pleading with you to believe in yourself no matter what. You have this dream for a reason and you can do it.


They are stuck on one strategy.

Many people live their entire life based on one strategy or one arbitrage. They refuse to change and so eventually the environment around them changes which affects their ability to reach their dream.

If you’re set in your ways and won’t change your approach, you’ll probably fail. We all imagine how our dream should look yet sometimes the reality is different.

You have to be open to change. In my experience, my original dream looked much different and I’m glad it’s changed. Changes to your dream are for the better.

I’m pleading with you to be open-minded.


They are surrounded by an army of morons.

If everyone around you is telling you you’re an idiot and they don’t respect your dream for what it is, this will have a negative impact on you whether you like it or not.

Run away from the dream killers who are making up for their own broken dreams and surround yourself with people who support you

The best people are the ones that support you but don’t always agree with you. Even better are the ones that support you and challenge your thinking. 
I’m pleading with you to reassess the people around you.


They want security.

No dream comes with an insurance policy or a set path. People are afraid to take risks and want reassurances when they pursue their dream.

There are none. Dreams are made off the back of taking calculated and clever risks most of the time. If you want someone to guarantee your dream, then it ain’t going to happen.

It’s the unpredictability that makes dreams addictive, delicious and worth the effort. Not knowing is what our mind craves — we just don’t know it. If we knew how our dream turned out, we wouldn’t be as excited.

I’m pleading with you to take a risk or two.


They refuse to be disciplined.

Nothing worth achieving can be done without discipline. There’s work involved and that has to be scheduled and executed upon.

I’ve written every single week since 2014. That takes bloody discipline.

My discipline reflects my results in the blogging world. The same applies to your own dream.

Block out chunks of your calendar and get to work. If you’re not doing at least one small thing towards your dream every day, then you’re heading in the wrong direction.

I’m pleading you to put in regular work towards your dream.


The greener grass syndrome.

Another reason we give up is not because we’re lazy necessarily but because we failed and there is a better option. That’s what our mind tells us.

I didn’t fail; I just found something better,” you say to yourself.

Well, that’s the sad truth.

“Changing your idea of success consistently is not the answer. At some point, you need to decide to chase one dream and quit the ADHD dream chasing the average person chases. You’re better than that”

Worrying about what everybody else is doing and then chasing their dreams is ridiculous.

I’m pleading with you not to fall for this lie. The grass is not greener it just requires more work than you anticipated.


Final thought.

Please, please, please don’t give up on your dream. You’re closer than you think. You just need to stand back and think about a few of the points I’ve mentioned.

Broken dreams have birthed so many broken people.

It doesn’t have to be that way. See your dream for what it is: Something special that you can achieve if you put your mind to it, focus and be excited by the possibilities.

Don’t give up on your dream.

<<<>>>

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 Number One Question All Leaders Should Be Asking

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Questions are the greatest way to express curiosity, and to actually get to know somebody. As an educator, a father, neurolinguistic programmer, and media specialist, I know how powerful communication can be.

Communications power is the ability to get to know someone. To build rapport and to work out if we are in the same tribe, speaking the same language. We only understand 7% of verbal communication. 38% is our voice and tone. 55% is body language. So when we message or email someone, we are barely communicating. If we are not careful face to face communication can be just as ineffective.

In our work and everyday life we will often be called upon to conduct an interview. This might be in a formal way, such as a manager with a potential new employee, or informally as a parent meeting a son or daughter’s new partner. Sometimes this might be free style, to see where the conversation takes us, and other times we might use our organisations set list of questions.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Ineffective communication and questioning

The problem is, the questions are often boring, ineffective, or not relevant. Or they have been asked so many times before, the interviewee reels off a pre-prepared answer, which blurs in the mind of the interviewer with every other candidate she/he has spoken to that day.

Questions like: What is your greatest weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? Or perhaps the worst of all, “tell me about yourself?” Why is that last one so toxic? Well what do you think they will answer?

Not only will they be reciting a familiar response, but it will also be a mix of what they think you want to hear, and their own made up story of themselves. It is natural to do this, as it is our own perception of ourselves, and mind-reading of what others think of us. Left to our own devices we can be influenced by ego, humility, self-limiting beliefs, and imposter syndrome.

Effective communication and questioning

If we want to really uncover more about the person we are speaking to, we should try this: “Tell me about the world?”Why is that so powerful? Well, to quote the Marvel film Dr Strange, “you’re a man looking at the world, through a keyhole.”

How we view the world is a reflection of ourselves. It may include what we perceive as opportunities and threats, perhaps biases and our overall outlook on life. Is the person we are speaking to open-minded, have an insight on where the world is heading, are they success-minded optimists, or negative and ignorant, with a tendency to blame others?

Are they literal, “it’s a planet orbiting the sun”, or romantic, “it’s a wonderful place full of inspirational people with the capacity to create amazing things, but too often negativity and hate clouds our potential.” Did they focus on the country they live in? A particular subject? Their own family?

“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – Nat Turner

It is a much more interesting question, and one that few people are asked. They may request clarity, because it is so open and you may be guiding them in to uncharted waters. Every person will answer in a different way, and it will usually provide a much deeper insight as to who they really are.

Not only is this great for interviews, but it can also be a way to break out of small talk. When two people meet it can be visualized as a Venn diagram. Sure, we will probably have some overlap whether that is sports, where we work, parents, gaming, or religion. And the tendency will be to stick to those topics.

But isn’t the real fun in the areas we don’t overlap on? The problem is we often don’t know what questions to ask about it, because we don’t know what you don’t know. This question is a great way of exploring new territory. So, tell me about the world?

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