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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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

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

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

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

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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referral marketing
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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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