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Success Advice

10 Things Every Serious Entrepreneur Knows That You Don’t

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Aspiring Entrepreneurs are popping up everywhere in hopes of following in the footsteps of the cashed up risk takers and uber successful they look up to. The problem is that they are just starting out and are about to waste a lot of time going in the wrong direction to success.

So I have decided to share some insight and advice for entrepreneurs that I was fortunate enough to receive whilst meeting and interviewing some of the worlds top performing entrepreneurs.

 

1. You Don’t Always Need To Be First

A lot of entrepreneurs think that they need to be first to market, when this is really far from the truth. Being first isn’t always best, just because you are the first doesn’t mean that you are necessarily the best, sure it means that you had the courage to navigate your way through the unknown but if you look at companies like Google and Facebook, they entered late in the game.

First there was Friendster, then there was Myspace then Mark Zuckerberg swooped in and created Facebook which is now dominating in most categories as the leading social media platform.

Mark Zuckerberg saw that privacy was very important and found countless flaws in the MySpace design of offering and was able to release a much friendlier and more powerful social media platform that would eventually knock MySpace out of the ring of relevance.

This is a powerful lesson to remember, that if you are the first in your market you should always strive to improve on your product, offering and design.

 

2. Being Self Employed Sucks

Another big mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make is that they stay in the self employed bracket for way too long.

If you have ever read Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Cashflow Quadrant”, you would understand that there are four parts to the quadrant in creating true wealth.

Here are the 4 sections:

1. Employed

2. Self Employed

3. Business Owner

4. Investor

A lot of entrepreneurs leave their day jobs so they are no longer “employed”, they then become, what you call “self employed”. The problem is that when you are “self-employed” a majority of the time you are only generating “active income” which means you still need to work the 9-5 hours, or more to make a consistent income.

The key to entrepreneurial success is to create a stream of “passive income” or “residual income”.

That is why your focus as an entrepreneur should be to move to the next level of “business owner” or “investor” as soon as possible.

 

3. There Are No Hacks or Shortcuts

Real entrepreneurs know that success in life is conceived through relentlessly pursuing your goals and dreams, no matter the cost.

If you are constantly chasing shortcuts and hacks your success will be temporary. When the algorithm or the playing field changes you will be caught looking for another hack or another shortcut hoping that it’s just around the corner when in most cases it won’t be.

Instead focus on personally growing and becoming a better version of yourself each and every day so that no matter what the playing field is or what life throws at you, you are experienced enough to handle every challenge and every hurdle that comes your way.

 

4. You Can’t Crack Under Pressure

You may have a plethora of skills, amazing ideas, and solid finances but if you can’t handle the pressure then the entrepreneur arena will be “no fun for you!”.

You have to thrive on the pressure, you need to use it to fuel your energy and your motivation to win.

Serious entrepreneurs love to solve problems, successful people love the challenge, they know that it will make them faster, bigger, better and stronger in the long run.

 

5. There Is Power In Story Telling

The difference between an entrepreneur that achieves $100 million in sales of a product or service to one that receives $10 million in sales of a product or service is usually determined by how effectively he or she is at marketing and sharing their message to the public.

Most people purchase based off emotion of how the message made them feel and how compelled they were to buying into what you were saying.

Don’t forget that at the end of the day sales is just a transfer of emotion.

So get your story down pat and fill it with catchy and descriptive words that will spark a compelling vision and appetite in anyone that hears your story or message.

 

I am an entrepreneur picture quote

 

6. You Need to Set 10X Goals

Entrepreneurs know that if they really want to hit those big audacious goals they have to aim for the moon. You are not worthy of that goal unless you are able to prove that you can grow into the man that you need to be to hit it. So focus on growing each and every day towards that goal in everything you do.

Sales King and multi-millionaire “Grant Cardone” has proven over and over again that setting 10X goals is a sure-fire way of achieving massive success. Grant teaches fortune 500 CEO’s and some of the most affluent entrepreneurs out there how to set their 10X goals and hit them.

There is a reason why Grant Cardone is worth over $100 million. Grant writes down his 10X goals every morning, every night and whenever he is disappointed.  This is what a serious entrepreneur is willing to do to become truly successful.

 

7. Time is No Longer The Most Important Commodity

Serious entrepreneurs know that there is no point in trying to beat the clock. Sure there are time management tips that you can live by, and productivity hacks you can add to your arsenal but in the long run time is always going to catch up.

The one thing that we do have more of a control over is how we spend our days and how we expel our energy.

Time is no longer the most important commodity… energy is.

Serious entrepreneurs know that health is just as important as finances, and exercising is the key to longer lasting energy. This is why health and exercise is one of the top success habits implemented by some of the world’s most wealthiest people.

 

8. You Can’t Do It All

As my multi-millionaire business mentor “Tai Lopez” says “You can’t do it all, if you wanna go big-time you need to find a partner that will compliment your weaknesses so you can focus on your strengths.”

Bill Gates had Paul Allen, Warren Buffett has Charlie Monger, Steve Jobs had Steve Wosniak. They all found a strong, skilled partner to take their business to the next level.

 

9. You Need a Little Inspiration Mixed with Desperation

Many entrepreneurs start their business with a strong passion for the idea behind it and get so involved with how much they love it and forget that they actually have to work.

The idea may be amazing and exciting but if you spend your time focusing too much on the fact that it feels cool or the logo looks pretty rad then your time to shine in the marketplace is slowly slipping away.

Inspiration is great but there must be some sense of urgency. Some sense of desperation in taking action now, not later, and taking it all the way as if your life depends on it should be your only option.

You don’t need to be so desperate that it reads all over your face, but you do need to know that time is of the essence and you must move with haste.

 

10. Business Plans Are Old School

Seasoned entrepreneurs know that 50 page business plans are an outdated way of devising your future business moves. The landscape is constantly changing and the ones that are crushing it out there have become pros at adapting to the constant shifts.

Create a business map. A rough idea of what you foresee over the next 18 months. This should fit on 2 or 3 pages at most.

Work out your 1 or 2 line mission statement, your budget and do some market research so you aren’t going in blind. That is all that is needed. If you are looking for Investors then you will need something more solid in place but for now you just want to focus on getting your startup off the ground and in your brand in front of eyeballs.

Don’t focus too much on the old school hype of a bible style business plan.

 

What other things do you believe serious entrepreneurs know that most people don’t? Share them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear your advice.

 

Feature Image Originally appeared on: HBO- Jerry Weintraub – His Way

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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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. EC

    Nov 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Great article and advice. Will share for sure

  2. Cynthia

    Oct 20, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    This is a really great article. The tips are real and actually interesting! I never thought about the quadrant before. Great idea. This is my second go around on a small biz. I sold my first company in 2010 – took a 5 year rest and now I am back in the saddle. I love the word “hustle” when it comes to getting things going. If I could pick one word that I resonate with, that is the one. Good luck to everyone who decides to pursue something new and exciting.

  3. Dr.Yogesh Babar

    May 28, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Thanks Joel, for the nice article…. You always inspired me….

  4. Carla Ramos of Sofregít

    Mar 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thank You! A Wealth of Information in a Quick Read! I am inspired! Know that you have made this entrepreneur validated for steps already being taken & wise to tackle the ones I did not know!!!

  5. Karl Hadwen

    Mar 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    8) You Can’t Do It All – although for some people it’s incredibly hard to find a mentor. I, myself, would find it hard to find a mentor just because I live in the middle of nowhere, and I know a lot of people are in the same situation.

    • Enyver

      Sep 13, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      I agree with you. its really hard to find a mentor, People can be so catty. But I’ll continue searching.

  6. amit

    Mar 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

    loved it

  7. Matthew Parker

    Jan 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you Joel, that was excellent insight you shared on success and I appreciate it. I would say that to achieve much success own your own or even with the help of a few solid individuals is awesome. Consider this however, if you can go a great distance with the talents and abilities of people alone, how much further can you go when you go with God? Divine guidance and providence is the true path to success. If you think you have achieved success without God, You have not begin to succeed at all! Search God out and give way to His ideas and words and then you will embark on the true journey to success. Success is when man meets with God and the two become one. Then all of heaven will become your partnership and its resources will be the framework from which you allow earth to meet is true destiny. High sales and huge clientele are but a byproduct of connecting to one’s true identity and purpose. My advice to all who desire true success is shift from the front seat to the back and let God lead you. Why? Because His infinite wisdom is supreme and the total sum of what we think we know can not compare. Truly the time has come where a generation will arise whose lives will be covered by the glory of God and not the facades of men. The same will uncover the greatest level of success to ever be attained and none will overcome them except they become joined. May our eyes always see the Bigger picture.

  8. Jeff Whitaker

    Dec 29, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Great tips to consider especially as we approach the fresh start of a new year.

  9. Bogac Erel

    Nov 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Joel, as an old startup employee, and a second time entrepreneur, I’ll re-read a few times and share this post. Thanks for the good advices!

  10. Nilesh Parakh

    Nov 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

    This is excellent article joel

  11. Junriz A.

    Nov 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks Joel. Entrepreneurs are always open to learn and absorb experiences.

  12. Greg Matinian

    Nov 13, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Thank you Joel, these are very practical advices… I have been an entrepreneur for almost 8 years; always learning and practicing the art and I can say that your advice is very true. Recently I made my own list of 15 traits an entrepreneur needs.

    If only I can add 2 things to this list that would be EXCELLENCE and VEWING CRISIS AS OPPORTUNITIES.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:22 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them Greg! Great points also! Thanks for sharing them.

  13. Immanuel

    Nov 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    God bless you Joel for not being selfish.

  14. Flavia

    Nov 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thank you Joel, this is really eye opener to me and i will apply these skills

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. EC

    Nov 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Great article and advice. Will share for sure

  2. Cynthia

    Oct 20, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    This is a really great article. The tips are real and actually interesting! I never thought about the quadrant before. Great idea. This is my second go around on a small biz. I sold my first company in 2010 – took a 5 year rest and now I am back in the saddle. I love the word “hustle” when it comes to getting things going. If I could pick one word that I resonate with, that is the one. Good luck to everyone who decides to pursue something new and exciting.

  3. Dr.Yogesh Babar

    May 28, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Thanks Joel, for the nice article…. You always inspired me….

  4. Carla Ramos of Sofregít

    Mar 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thank You! A Wealth of Information in a Quick Read! I am inspired! Know that you have made this entrepreneur validated for steps already being taken & wise to tackle the ones I did not know!!!

  5. Karl Hadwen

    Mar 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    8) You Can’t Do It All – although for some people it’s incredibly hard to find a mentor. I, myself, would find it hard to find a mentor just because I live in the middle of nowhere, and I know a lot of people are in the same situation.

    • Enyver

      Sep 13, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      I agree with you. its really hard to find a mentor, People can be so catty. But I’ll continue searching.

  6. amit

    Mar 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

    loved it

  7. Matthew Parker

    Jan 23, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you Joel, that was excellent insight you shared on success and I appreciate it. I would say that to achieve much success own your own or even with the help of a few solid individuals is awesome. Consider this however, if you can go a great distance with the talents and abilities of people alone, how much further can you go when you go with God? Divine guidance and providence is the true path to success. If you think you have achieved success without God, You have not begin to succeed at all! Search God out and give way to His ideas and words and then you will embark on the true journey to success. Success is when man meets with God and the two become one. Then all of heaven will become your partnership and its resources will be the framework from which you allow earth to meet is true destiny. High sales and huge clientele are but a byproduct of connecting to one’s true identity and purpose. My advice to all who desire true success is shift from the front seat to the back and let God lead you. Why? Because His infinite wisdom is supreme and the total sum of what we think we know can not compare. Truly the time has come where a generation will arise whose lives will be covered by the glory of God and not the facades of men. The same will uncover the greatest level of success to ever be attained and none will overcome them except they become joined. May our eyes always see the Bigger picture.

  8. Jeff Whitaker

    Dec 29, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Great tips to consider especially as we approach the fresh start of a new year.

  9. Bogac Erel

    Nov 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Joel, as an old startup employee, and a second time entrepreneur, I’ll re-read a few times and share this post. Thanks for the good advices!

  10. Nilesh Parakh

    Nov 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

    This is excellent article joel

  11. Junriz A.

    Nov 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks Joel. Entrepreneurs are always open to learn and absorb experiences.

  12. Greg Matinian

    Nov 13, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Thank you Joel, these are very practical advices… I have been an entrepreneur for almost 8 years; always learning and practicing the art and I can say that your advice is very true. Recently I made my own list of 15 traits an entrepreneur needs.

    If only I can add 2 things to this list that would be EXCELLENCE and VEWING CRISIS AS OPPORTUNITIES.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      Nov 14, 2014 at 1:22 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them Greg! Great points also! Thanks for sharing them.

  13. Immanuel

    Nov 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    God bless you Joel for not being selfish.

  14. Flavia

    Nov 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Thank you Joel, this is really eye opener to me and i will apply these skills

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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