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13 Keys To Success You Can Learn From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Lessons
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Rarely are there books that can truly transform your life. Just like Think And Grow Rich and The Alchemist, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Book is phenomenal. It has some of the best keys to success you will ever read, and it’s very hard to put down once you start reading it.

Robin Sharma is the author, and so it’s no wonder why he uses fictional characters to shift your current way of thinking. I could really relate to being that person a few years ago who has got the job everyone would dream of, but who has still not found true fulfilment and happiness.

It’s books like this that have put me on my current path, and that will help you to reconsider what is important to you. This book has very simple concepts, but the power is in its simplicity.

Below are 13 keys to success that you will learn from the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari:

 

1. Trade money in for meaning

The online world is highlighting right now the shift that is happening. People are starting to look at their time more closely and making changes to their income based on doing something that has more meaning.

Companies that have a meaning or a social cause to them are beating the traditional corporations. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is all about two lawyers who some would say have it all, and how one of the lawyers traded in all he had to become fulfilled, happy and healthy again.

To create his own meaning, Julian Mantle from the book travels to the Himalayas to become enlightened through a group of monks. He then comes back to the western world and shares all of his wisdom with his former colleague John.

This act is the true definition of giving meaning to your life and shows the power of meaning versus money. Are you going to start to add more meaning to your own life?

 

2. Empty your cup so you can fill it with new ideas

Think about all the people you work with. Are they open to new ideas and do they want to try something new? The answer is probably no, and the reason for this is that their hypothetical cup is constantly full. The only way to be able to open your mind, take on new thoughts, and change your current position in life is to empty your cup (your mind).

The book teaches us that we can only change when we make space for change in our lives. This means that you have to be prepared to potentially re-learn everything you have been told and question everything that someone tells you from now on.

Failure to empty your cup will cause you to stand still and not grow. When the mind doesn’t grow it starts to take on more and more negative thoughts and create predictable outcomes.

 

3. You must open your own heart before you can touch other people’s hearts

Julian Mantle in the book teaches us that we can only help others, love others and inspire others if we work on ourselves first. When we reach a place where we feel centred and alive, we are able to find inspiration within.

As we work on ourselves our natural progression is to help others, and we do so often without consciously knowing – it’s what we were designed as humans to do.

 

4. Understand how powerful simplicity can be

As the book goes a bit deeper, a simple fable is revealed to the character of John. Initially, he thinks that the fable is too incomplex and dismisses it entirely. As he becomes more enlightened, he realises that the power is in simplicity.

Look at our world; the best marketing is simple, the best advice is simple, the best phone is simple – simple is the best form of anything. It’s easy for us to want to over complicate things to make ourselves feel smart, but what this book teaches us is that complexity is the enemy we should be trying to avoid.

Complexity is what puts us in an education system that gives us zero emotional intelligence and doesn’t help us to understand the operating manuals of our minds. Complexity is what makes us forget that vitality and energy come from what we put in our mouths and that simplistic eating from natural sources is the best kind.

 

5. Worry will drain your mind of its power

Modern day life contains so much worry. Our minds are exhausted by all the things we are told we must have to be happy and all the things we are told we must do by a certain deadline. What if we decided that happiness was more important than worry? What if we trained our brains to be happy with where we are right now and not to worry about what anyone else thinks?

The book clearly shows us that worry causes havoc for our inner world and that all our success is buried deep within our inner world. The only way we can remove the gravel stones of worry and unveil our success is to cultivate a tidy garden of thoughts.

Poor information is what pivots our mind from everything that is good, into worry. Worry benefits others but never really helps you. Deep down we know that worry is not good for us, but we often lack the discipline in our daily habits to stand tall and not let worry take over!

 

6. Tragedy can spark something great inside of you

One of the most powerful lessons in the book is the realisation that the real world doesn’t exist. Everything within our world is created in our mind. External circumstances like the weather can’t be controlled. What we can control is what our mind’s attitude is towards these events.

The major theme in this book is about how important our mind is in whether or not we become successful. Even the definition of success is subjective and completely created by our own mind.

When an event like tragedy occurs, which we have no control over, the book teaches us that we have an amazing opportunity. This opportunity is the realisation that while this event may seem like a tragedy to you; to an entirely different person it may seem like a celebration or a new beginning.

All great success stories almost always have some form of tragedy or pain, which becomes the seed for something much greater.

Tim Denning Success Quote
 

7. Translate negative thoughts into positive ones to banish worry forever

A skill that the book suggests is worth developing is where you learn over time to not judge events as either positive or negative but to just experience them and soak in the learning. The lessons that come from these learnings are what fuels your growth.

The book goes as far to say that you can’t afford even one negative thought. I personally have never thought of my thoughts that way, but with this new perspective, I feel like the book has made me see the world in a whole new way.

Your mind has two gears; imagination and memory. Focusing on memory will ensure you live in the past while spending time imagining will see you have a more positive outlook on what your world could be like in the future.

Imagination allows you to design the life you want, instead of being given the life you don’t want that is shaped by external forces.

 

8. Start to dream that you are more than the sum of your current circumstances

Where you are right now is not where you will be in the future if you follow the keys to success outlined in this book. The only way to change your current circumstances is to begin by dreaming that you can be more than you currently are.

Dreaming is not enough, though. Your dreams need to be followed by consistent action, but even action alone is also not enough. The book teaches you that the action you take must be done in a way where you act as if failure is impossible.

You must act as if you have unlimited power and only your mind is stopping you from getting where you want to go. You already know what you need to do; you just need to break through the fears that are blocking the path in front of you. Expect greatness from yourself and that’s what you’ll get in return.

 

9. Those who rise early have a purpose and those that don’t do not

We all know people who sleep in or her struggle to wake up. We may even be these people. Sleeping too much is caused by not having anything purposeful or fulfilling in your life to do. When you have a purpose that occupies every moment of your thoughts and causes you not to want to sleep, then you know you’re on the cusp of something big.

If you’re not there yet then that’s okay, just don’t stop until you start living that way of life. When you finally arrive, you will be glad you had the discipline to keep searching for your purpose.

Between what I learnt from this book, and a video from Eric Thomas that I watched, I have now decided to wake up at 3 am each morning to fulfil my purpose to inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship. The drive was always there it’s just been ignited further through books such as this.

 

10. To be noble is to be superior to your former self

In the world of personal development, so much of the advice out there traditionally says beat your competition at all costs. This book highlights that it’s not about beating your competitors or measuring yourself against others; it’s about beating yourself.

“The aim is to be superior only to your former self. Spend time each day trying to outwork and outgrow yourself not those around you”

Forget about what other people think of your life’s purpose or what others think about where you’re currently at, and focus on improving yourself daily.

The only thing that tells you you’re on the right course is you. The only person that decides if you are successful is you. The book outlines that the more time you spend worrying about someone else’s goal, the less time you have to focus on your own.

 

11. Writing goals down subconsciously triggers your mind to focus on goal orientated thoughts

The art of goal setting doesn’t make sense to everyone and for good reason. In the book, Julian shows John that we constantly have thousands of thoughts floating around our brain. He explains that when we write our goals down and then constantly look at them, we subconsciously tell our brain to red flag any thought that comes into our mind, which relates to one of our goals.

Goals allow your mind to place an importance indicator on every thought you have, from important to least important. This message is so very simple yet amazingly powerful when you reflect on it. Goals are really just focusing your thoughts on the things you want and discarding everything else – groundbreaking!

 

12. The more courage you have, the greater your fulfilment will be

In the book, Julian shows John that to have self-control and overcome failure you need to have courage. Courage is a sense of certainty about every action you take and the belief that everything you do is ultimately going to work for the best, one way or another.

Courage allows you to take action when other people trying to achieve a similar goal would give up. The act of courage gives you hope even when hope may not seem obvious in certain situations.

 

13. Your thinking is what makes something painful

We can all identify with experiences that we have gone through that have felt painful. What Julian teaches in the book though is that your thinking about something is what makes it feel a certain way.

The loss of a loved one may seem in the moment like the ultimate pain. This same loss could be perceived as a celebration if that loved one was in agony from their illness. Both scenarios are right, and it’s your thinking that decides which one you choose to experience.

“You will become luckier every day if your mind is prepared and conditioned to think of the world as filled with opportunities, and to think of pain as part of all journeys of success” – Tim Denning

Others around you will start to see you as lucky, whereas you and I (and those who have read this book) will know that it’s the way you have conditioned your mind that has made you appear by magic to be lucky. Fill your world with an abundance of positive emotions and that’s how you will feel daily.

What lesson did The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari teach you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Ruchit Shah

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Robin Sharma writes a beautiful book that truly appeals to the soul. It says about living Life to the fullest. As we grow up, we tend to get busy in our work & daily chores. Today’s fast paced world has led us to forget some of the most important things in our lives, such as being grateful for this wonderful life or spending some quality moments with our parents or kids. The Monk who sold his Ferrari reminds us to live a life rich in health, wealth & spiritual being. It speaks in an effective yet non-preachy manner to lift us from mediocrity and show us a path towards living a fulfilling life.

    The writing is really Inspiring and its a book for everyone who would like to live a simple, Happy and purposeful life.

  2. amgy

    Jun 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Dear Tim
    The Review of Robin Sharma book by you is highly applaudable. I am trying to pour simplicity in my life when I realised its actual benefits.
    From that day when I finished “The Monk who sold his Ferrari “book, I am continuously in practice to get bliss by the simple rule of life .
    thanks once again .

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 6, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Amgy, thanks for reading and best of luck with your quest for simplicity.

  3. Toño

    May 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Tim, you listed three books I have read during my time, and all of them had some particular impact on my life. But there’s something special about Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And you were spot on about it’s very hard to put that book down once you started reading it. Exactly. I’ve finished it for a few days I think and only because I was reading during my early mornings and had to attend my job. Without it I would have done it in a day. It was so addictive!

    Taking down the lessons I can certainly relate to every single one of them. Are people I work with opened to new ideas? Most likely not indeed. I had been talking about that book with so many of them, and not a single one had listened. I even offered one girl my copy of book and we were about to meet after my swiming pool session but she never came. And you know, it’s just funny how easily you can turn a great opportunity to learn and educate yourself. For free and with pleasure. I offered her a free one-on-one talk so to just help and understand things better, to help her bring positivity and change the attitude. And again, she never came.

    I am recharging my mind now and constantly trying to empty my cup. Even though with so huge amount of knowledge I recieve every day it is very tricky. Sometimes I feel like give up everything and re-connect with nature, to go live somewhere in the wilderness. One of my wild dreams 😉

    I also believe that tragedy will guide to a better live like never before. I agree with your explanation here completely, Tim. Ain’t that just the way? And I feel like I am on the edge of some sort of tragedy myself. Like the inner one. My body gives messages every day yet I’m still like a blind person cannot see them properly. But I can feel something is about to change very soon.

    I also love and adore you spoke about Eric Thomas, as I am watching one guy on youtube regularly who also speals about ET very high. And he also wake up at 3-3:30 am every day because of him. I feel like it was all about synchronicity again, and that we have some things in common 🙂 I started to wake up at 5 am after Tony Robbins first book and then I saw Robin Sharma’s video where he talked about waking up early. I abandoned that habbit due my work schedule because otherwise I will have very limited sleep time which is not healthy so now I wake at 5.20 am three days a week when I go to the gym at the morning. But now, seeing you do the same thing (3 am wake up) I want to try it as well. You are my inspiration there, Tim.

    And this. This is simply awesome saying I gotta quote and remember: ‘Courage is a sense of certainty about every action you take and the belief that everything you do is ultimately going to work for the best, one way or another.’

    One of the main message of this book was simplicity, and one of the greatess minds of this worl, Albert Einstein has said: ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

    It was amazing read, my friend, and I agree with Evan Teague, it was a knockout. You are on a different level, my man. For a few days I have been thinking about this article. Much love and appreciation for your knowledge.

    Now I actually want to re-read this book again.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 5:28 am

      Toño we have similar tastes my friend. I love your dedication to squeezing out every ounce of greatness from everything I write and talk about. If you believe you are on the cusp of tragedy then that can only be a good thing. It means your life is going to change for the better. Based on what you have told me, you are changing into someone that has the power to do great things.

      Remember that not everyone will share your vision or think that this book is powerful. Ignorance is bliss and everyone deserves whatever they want to believe. Simple books like this is where you learn to be successful and happy at the same time. Before I started waking up at 3am my previous bedtime was 5:20 – that’s freaky!!!!

      • Toño

        May 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

        I value time and effort wise people invest in their work, I am a big sucker for knowledge and things that can help me to grow and be a better person, so I try to absorb every bits and pieces that greatness 😉 Not every time though. But I loved to learn right from my childhood.

        I know that not everyone will share my ideas and view but sometimes it’s just too frustrating to see how reasonably smart people refuse to get better and educate themselves. I’m getting better at it however and it can actually be a good sign I am going up. I appreciate your support, Tim, very much. For the last couple of weeks you helped me a lot and been a massive boost for me to keep on going. Funny thing, recently I realized people I’ve never met in person, or just far far away, helps me more than those who around every time. Amazing, isn’t it?

        I would also like to know, what time you go to bed now as you wake up at 3am? And how much actual time healthy sleep requiers? Do you find it hard wake up so early every day and do you feel the change from waking at 5.20 am ?

  4. Vishnu

    May 14, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Good stuff Tim. You’ve done a great review of the book and pulled out the key lessons. I love the simplicity concept. The best things in life are simple. We make it much more complex than necessary. There is power, wisdom and greatness in simplicity. Over the years I’ve tried to simplify all areas of my life.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 5:22 am

      Vishnu thank you for your message. Simplicity is the key to life and business. Since I started reading Joshua Becker I discovered that the way to declutter your mind is simplify your life and most importantly, simplify your possessions.

  5. Evan Teague

    May 12, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Tim,

    Another knockout.

    What spoke to me specifically would be #3, 5 and 12.

    3 – I used to have a lot of anger in my heart which I had to release in order to reach my full potential and open my heart up to help others. By focusing on other people and their needs, we’re more centered and purposeful anyways.

    5- Worrying will kill us too because we’re using potent visualization AND imagination in the wrong direction. No matter if we think & talk about something we DON’T want, we’re still creating it. Think the opposite from what you don’t want, and create only what you want.

    12 – I had to learn this by moving across the world by myself and networking with the right people. At the moment, it just looked like a huge tunnel with a question mark at the end. After all, it’s bloomed to a full-fledged E-commerce business of my own, a personal development and mindset website to share with others, and freedom to travel and live anywhere.

    Fantastic work.

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      May 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you Evan. Moving across to the other side of the world when you don’t know anyone is a gutsy move and I applaud you for having the courage to take action on your vision. Speak soon mate.

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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successful men

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

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

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

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

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

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

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Success Advice

5 Ways to Improve Your Audience Engagement

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audience engagement

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

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

1. Increase the amount of content you are putting out

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

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

2. Ask the right questions

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

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

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

3. Switch it up a little

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

4. Analyze your data

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

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

5. Calls to action are key

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how this Japan trip rebuilt me:

 

We’re all the same: we’re all loved.

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

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

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

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

 

Japan can show you what is wrong too.

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

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

 

Objectification of women has changed men in a bad way.

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

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

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

 

The Samurai showed the benefits of discipline.

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

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

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

 

Concrete Jungle vs. Nature

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

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

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

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

 

See as many places as you can.

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

 

Don’t forget attention to detail.

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

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

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

 

Manners feel good.

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

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

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

 

Connection through transport.

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

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

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

 

Technology is exhausting.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Minimalism and being space conscious is beautiful.

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

 

Time is money in Japan.

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

 

Low energy states can be healed by travel.

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

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

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

 

Climbing Japanese mountains is a metaphor for life.

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

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

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

Two more things to remember:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In summary….

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

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

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

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

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

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Marketing

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

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

1. Define Who You Are

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

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

2. Explain What You Do

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

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

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

3. Identify Who You Help

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

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

4. Give First, Receive Later

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

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

5. Have Something To Sell

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

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

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

6. Do it All Over

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The Best Way to Create a Six-figure Startup From Scratch

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how to create a six figure startup
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Many solo entrepreneurs make good six-figure income living selling products and services online. If you’re a technical person, it’s even better, as you can create a highly-scalable cloud-based business. For non-technical founders, there are still many ways to make a six-figure or, even, seven-figure annual revenue. (more…)

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, business columnist and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is a digital strategist for Oberlo and blogs at JenniferXue.com. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and other international publications.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Ruchit Shah

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Robin Sharma writes a beautiful book that truly appeals to the soul. It says about living Life to the fullest. As we grow up, we tend to get busy in our work & daily chores. Today’s fast paced world has led us to forget some of the most important things in our lives, such as being grateful for this wonderful life or spending some quality moments with our parents or kids. The Monk who sold his Ferrari reminds us to live a life rich in health, wealth & spiritual being. It speaks in an effective yet non-preachy manner to lift us from mediocrity and show us a path towards living a fulfilling life.

    The writing is really Inspiring and its a book for everyone who would like to live a simple, Happy and purposeful life.

  2. amgy

    Jun 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Dear Tim
    The Review of Robin Sharma book by you is highly applaudable. I am trying to pour simplicity in my life when I realised its actual benefits.
    From that day when I finished “The Monk who sold his Ferrari “book, I am continuously in practice to get bliss by the simple rule of life .
    thanks once again .

    • Tim Denning

      Jun 6, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Amgy, thanks for reading and best of luck with your quest for simplicity.

  3. Toño

    May 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Tim, you listed three books I have read during my time, and all of them had some particular impact on my life. But there’s something special about Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And you were spot on about it’s very hard to put that book down once you started reading it. Exactly. I’ve finished it for a few days I think and only because I was reading during my early mornings and had to attend my job. Without it I would have done it in a day. It was so addictive!

    Taking down the lessons I can certainly relate to every single one of them. Are people I work with opened to new ideas? Most likely not indeed. I had been talking about that book with so many of them, and not a single one had listened. I even offered one girl my copy of book and we were about to meet after my swiming pool session but she never came. And you know, it’s just funny how easily you can turn a great opportunity to learn and educate yourself. For free and with pleasure. I offered her a free one-on-one talk so to just help and understand things better, to help her bring positivity and change the attitude. And again, she never came.

    I am recharging my mind now and constantly trying to empty my cup. Even though with so huge amount of knowledge I recieve every day it is very tricky. Sometimes I feel like give up everything and re-connect with nature, to go live somewhere in the wilderness. One of my wild dreams 😉

    I also believe that tragedy will guide to a better live like never before. I agree with your explanation here completely, Tim. Ain’t that just the way? And I feel like I am on the edge of some sort of tragedy myself. Like the inner one. My body gives messages every day yet I’m still like a blind person cannot see them properly. But I can feel something is about to change very soon.

    I also love and adore you spoke about Eric Thomas, as I am watching one guy on youtube regularly who also speals about ET very high. And he also wake up at 3-3:30 am every day because of him. I feel like it was all about synchronicity again, and that we have some things in common 🙂 I started to wake up at 5 am after Tony Robbins first book and then I saw Robin Sharma’s video where he talked about waking up early. I abandoned that habbit due my work schedule because otherwise I will have very limited sleep time which is not healthy so now I wake at 5.20 am three days a week when I go to the gym at the morning. But now, seeing you do the same thing (3 am wake up) I want to try it as well. You are my inspiration there, Tim.

    And this. This is simply awesome saying I gotta quote and remember: ‘Courage is a sense of certainty about every action you take and the belief that everything you do is ultimately going to work for the best, one way or another.’

    One of the main message of this book was simplicity, and one of the greatess minds of this worl, Albert Einstein has said: ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

    It was amazing read, my friend, and I agree with Evan Teague, it was a knockout. You are on a different level, my man. For a few days I have been thinking about this article. Much love and appreciation for your knowledge.

    Now I actually want to re-read this book again.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 5:28 am

      Toño we have similar tastes my friend. I love your dedication to squeezing out every ounce of greatness from everything I write and talk about. If you believe you are on the cusp of tragedy then that can only be a good thing. It means your life is going to change for the better. Based on what you have told me, you are changing into someone that has the power to do great things.

      Remember that not everyone will share your vision or think that this book is powerful. Ignorance is bliss and everyone deserves whatever they want to believe. Simple books like this is where you learn to be successful and happy at the same time. Before I started waking up at 3am my previous bedtime was 5:20 – that’s freaky!!!!

      • Toño

        May 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

        I value time and effort wise people invest in their work, I am a big sucker for knowledge and things that can help me to grow and be a better person, so I try to absorb every bits and pieces that greatness 😉 Not every time though. But I loved to learn right from my childhood.

        I know that not everyone will share my ideas and view but sometimes it’s just too frustrating to see how reasonably smart people refuse to get better and educate themselves. I’m getting better at it however and it can actually be a good sign I am going up. I appreciate your support, Tim, very much. For the last couple of weeks you helped me a lot and been a massive boost for me to keep on going. Funny thing, recently I realized people I’ve never met in person, or just far far away, helps me more than those who around every time. Amazing, isn’t it?

        I would also like to know, what time you go to bed now as you wake up at 3am? And how much actual time healthy sleep requiers? Do you find it hard wake up so early every day and do you feel the change from waking at 5.20 am ?

  4. Vishnu

    May 14, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Good stuff Tim. You’ve done a great review of the book and pulled out the key lessons. I love the simplicity concept. The best things in life are simple. We make it much more complex than necessary. There is power, wisdom and greatness in simplicity. Over the years I’ve tried to simplify all areas of my life.

    • Tim Denning

      May 15, 2016 at 5:22 am

      Vishnu thank you for your message. Simplicity is the key to life and business. Since I started reading Joshua Becker I discovered that the way to declutter your mind is simplify your life and most importantly, simplify your possessions.

  5. Evan Teague

    May 12, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Tim,

    Another knockout.

    What spoke to me specifically would be #3, 5 and 12.

    3 – I used to have a lot of anger in my heart which I had to release in order to reach my full potential and open my heart up to help others. By focusing on other people and their needs, we’re more centered and purposeful anyways.

    5- Worrying will kill us too because we’re using potent visualization AND imagination in the wrong direction. No matter if we think & talk about something we DON’T want, we’re still creating it. Think the opposite from what you don’t want, and create only what you want.

    12 – I had to learn this by moving across the world by myself and networking with the right people. At the moment, it just looked like a huge tunnel with a question mark at the end. After all, it’s bloomed to a full-fledged E-commerce business of my own, a personal development and mindset website to share with others, and freedom to travel and live anywhere.

    Fantastic work.

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      May 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you Evan. Moving across to the other side of the world when you don’t know anyone is a gutsy move and I applaud you for having the courage to take action on your vision. Speak soon mate.

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Success Advice

3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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successful men

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Polish your self-image and outer appearance

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

2. Prep yourself for a “money shift”

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

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

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

3. Work on your self-confidence and attractiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Ways to Improve Your Audience Engagement

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

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

1. Increase the amount of content you are putting out

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

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

2. Ask the right questions

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

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

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

3. Switch it up a little

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

4. Analyze your data

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

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

5. Calls to action are key

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s how this Japan trip rebuilt me:

 

We’re all the same: we’re all loved.

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

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

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

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

 

Japan can show you what is wrong too.

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

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

 

Objectification of women has changed men in a bad way.

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

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

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

 

The Samurai showed the benefits of discipline.

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

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

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

 

Concrete Jungle vs. Nature

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

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

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

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

 

See as many places as you can.

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

 

Don’t forget attention to detail.

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

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

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

 

Manners feel good.

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

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

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

 

Connection through transport.

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

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

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

 

Technology is exhausting.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Minimalism and being space conscious is beautiful.

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

 

Time is money in Japan.

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

 

Low energy states can be healed by travel.

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

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

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

 

Climbing Japanese mountains is a metaphor for life.

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

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

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

Two more things to remember:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In summary….

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

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

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

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

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

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Marketing

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

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

1. Define Who You Are

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

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

2. Explain What You Do

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

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

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

3. Identify Who You Help

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

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

4. Give First, Receive Later

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

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

5. Have Something To Sell

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

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

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

6. Do it All Over

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

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

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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