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

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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.

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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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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

10 Simple Yet Effective Ways to Bring Out the Successful YouTuber in You

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YouTube is a social media platform that has turned many a normal person into a celebrity. With over 1.9 billion logged-in users visiting YouTube every month, it is a hugely popular platform that is being actively used by people who are leveraging its reach and popularity for reputation building, increasing visibility, creating and driving brand reach and last but not the least, earning money.

We keep hearing success stories of YouTube influencers who were nobodies when they started out and today run some of the most popular channels on YouTube and are considered reputed influencers in their niche.

There is absolutely no doubt that if done right, a presence on YouTube can be a massive boost for your brand (if you are a business) and ensure visibility of stratospheric proportions (if you are an individual).

But, at the end of it all, most people want to get onboard YouTube for the money. If your channel is popular enough, it can be a regular source of income for you. So, how do you become a successful YouTuber and establish a popular YouTube channel?

Here are ten great tips to help you on your way:

1. Identify your YouTube Goals

What do you want to achieve out of YouTube? Straight off the block, this is the question you must answer. YouTube can help build your brand, both business and personal, if that’s your goal. It will help improve your reputation and differentiate yourself from the competition. It could also become a revenue generation medium for you.

There are many reasons you might want to start a YouTube channel, and you need to zero in on the right one. Identifying your core goal or set of goals will help you plan your YouTube journey effectively.

2. Identify the Right Niche for Your Channel

Making videos is a resource-intensive activity. It also needs a rare degree of passion to make videos because you are going to put a truckload of effort into it. So, make sure to zero in on the right niche for your channel, meaning the kind of video content you are going to post. If you are an individual, the content must align with your interest, preferences, skill sets and knowledge.

If you are a business, it must align with your business’s services or domain. Think very carefully whether you will be able to keep making videos about a specific topic, subject or domain regularly. This will help you choose the right ‘content type’ for your channel.

3. Trust Yourself

There are some YouTubers who give up because they think they are not cut out to be successful YouTubers. There is absolutely no doubt, you will be wracked by self-doubt when you start, especially if your videos aren’t finding enough traction. The key here is to have confidence in your ability and pursuing your end goal indefatigably.

Don’t give up because of setbacks; some of the top YouTubers started off slowly and built their audience steadily. When it comes to YouTube, it is important to understand that success won’t come easily or quickly.

4. Be Prepared for Criticism

As a YouTuber, you have the ability to showcase your knowledge and skillsets to the world, but this also sets you up for criticism. There are people who are going to like your videos and there are those who won’t and will go a step further and criticize it through the comments section.

And very often, this criticism isn’t constructive and its only aim is to make fun of you and your video. Can you handle this criticism? You must if you want to be a successful YouTuber. Try developing a thick skin and don’t allow even the most virulent criticism to affect you.

5. Respond to Comments

Make it a habit to respond to comments, irrespective of whether these appreciate or criticize your video. Your response tells your viewer that you care and are prepared to listen to their views. This helps you build a relationship with your viewers who can then turn into channel subscribers. Don’t think YouTube videos are one-way traffic wherein you make a video, a viewer sees it and forgets about it. A video is a means of driving interaction and engagement.

6. Follow other YouTubers

You might have some great content ideas for your channel, but you must also keep track of what other YouTubers are doing. There is always a chance that you will get some inspiration from their videos as to how to make a video more interesting, get the lowdown on audience engagement tactics and find technical aspects as well including camera work, audio etc.

7. Attend Meetups

There are plenty of YouTube meetups, conventions and conferences happening all over the world; it is imperative that you attend YouTube events happening in your region. This way you will be able to meet fellow YouTubers in the region, and who knows, you might also meet YouTubers, you follow and want to emulate. If you get the opportunity to discuss notes or get tips, do so. This will help refine your channel content

8. Keep Measuring Your Performance

Start measuring your YouTube performance from the word go. You need to keep track of various performance metrics to know how well you have done. A metric like ‘views’ is super important but so is ‘watch time’. ouTube judges the performance of your channel on various metrics and uses these to rank your videos in search results. There are plenty of tools that can help you track and measure YouTube performance based on various parameters.

9. Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly

Don’t set impossible standards for yourself. You are going to make mistakes and learn from them. No video is perfect and don’t think you can start making amazingly successful videos from day one. So, judge yourself, but don’t go overboard. Don’t compare your work with people who have many years of YouTube experience behind them; this would be counterproductive and play havoc with your confidence levels.

10. Keep at It

If you want to bring out the successful YouTuber in you, you must keep at it. Plan a video publishing schedule and stick to it, irrespective of whether your videos are doing well or not. Remember, once you set cadence, you will get better at your videos, and this will drive more engagement.

A successful YouTuber is no different from a successful person. You need to work hard, learn from mistakes, and more importantly learn from others. And you must make use of all this learning to create better and more more engaging videos.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

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

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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