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13 Purchases Under $500 That Will Significantly Elevate Your Success

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Often the things that have the biggest impact on your success are small and inexpensive. While I don’t promote consumerism or excessive spending, there are cool little tools that will help elevate your success and hack your life.

I’ve learned about many of these tools through books and podcasts, and now I want to share with you the best one’s for you to try, to see if they’ll give you similar results. This post is fun, and I loved writing it. It’s such a good feeling to share ideas that can have a major effect on other people’s lives.

Here we go. Below are thirteen purchases under $500 that will significantly elevate your success:

1. Think And Grow Rich book ($5.70)

The book that many entrepreneurs say has changed their life and led them to carve their own road of success is Think And Grow Rich. It’s a cult classic and even though it was written a long time ago, the lessons are still relevant as well as timeless.

If you only get one item on this list, then I insist you buy this book and have it next to your bed. Let it remind you of what you are capable of and what you must practice daily. I have read it more than ten times, and I encourage you to do the same.

2. Kindle E-reader ($119.99)

Successful people all read and the more you learn to improve yourself, the quicker you will reach your goals. As someone who has struggled reading traditional paperback books because of my eyesight, the Kindle has changed my life.

The model I recommend is the Paperwhite, and it can be taken anywhere with you especially if you travel. Almost any book can be read on it, and it’s one of life’s simple pleasures. Avoid using tablets with the Kindle App if you can because you will find you will become distracted with social media, email, notifications, etc.

3. Bellicon indoor mini trampoline ($399.00)

We all have days when we are off and are lacking energy or suffering from a headache. The Bellicon is the only piece of fitness gear you need. It’s not only heaps of fun to bounce on a trampoline in the comfort of your own home, but it also gets your lymphatic system going.

NASA has done several studies on trampolines / rebounders, and even the famous Tony Robbins uses one of these before he goes on stage. Movement is life and bouncing on a trampoline can be done while watching a Youtube video, listening to a podcast, or even talking to an overseas friend on Skype.

Your success will transform when you start to exercise more. At fifteen minutes a day, bouncing on a trampoline can fit into anyone’s busy schedule.

4. Meditation App ($4.99 per month)

I think we have hammered the point home here on Addicted2Success about meditation many times before, but in case you didn’t get the memo, it’s crucial to your success to start meditating. I looked at my own circle of entrepreneurs that I know, and I figured out that more than 80% of them meditate.

There are really only two apps to use when meditating and they are: Calm and Headspace. I personally use Calm, but both are great. An app is the best way to go because it helps keep you on track, it gamify’s your progress, plays calming nature sounds, and has stunning visuals.

I recently hit 33 days straight of meditating twice a day with the Calm app and the silly green badges do seem to make me feel good, and like I have progressed in life….lol. Crank up your success and start meditating like a real entrepreneur!

5. Fearless Motivation album ($16.99)

I discovered Fearless Motivations music through Spotify originally, and it’s exactly what you need to listen to before a big event, meeting, or session at the gym. Essentially, the album’s they have put out consist of motivational music with pumped up speeches been spoken over the top.

Fearless Motivation has quite a few albums so I would recommend starting with the one titled “Today Is The Day.” Don’t worry if people see you in your car driving, performing power poses and talking loudly to yourself, this is exactly what the albums are designed to do.

6. A snake plant ($16.99)

Whether you are into gardening or not (I’m definitely not) having an indoor Snake Plant in your bedroom will help improve the air quality.

Green houseplants are also great to look at after staring at a computer screen because the color green helps refresh and relax your eyes. This is why many cars have a green dashboard light.

There are lots of indoor plants available although many shopping centers and office buildings have chosen the Snake Plant because it gives off more oxygen than other options, and removes some very nasty chemicals in the air.

Apparently, indoor plants can also help improve your mood and therefore reduce depression. For less than $20 you really can’t go wrong with a Snake Plant.

7. Rode smartphone mic ($79.00)

In the age of podcasts and recording content, a simple tool that you must have is a quality microphone. The one I use it the Rod Smart Lav because it can plug into an iPhone and it comes with its own recording app.

This mic will allow you to record interviews with people, and it can also be synced up to any video that you might shoot at the same time. I’ve also used it at live events too, and it’s worked well. This device is an excellent way to come across as a pro in your field of expertise.

8. Video camera ($279.00)

We’ve all heard that content is king, and right now, social media is all about video. With platforms like Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live, and Snapchat, it’s important to be able to share video content that is decent quality and can educate the world on what you have to give.

As you get better at filming video’s, you will elevate your success and potentially become a thought leader in your field. The video camera I recommend is the Canon HF 606 although there are plenty that will do the job. What you want is something that records in HD, and ideally, is compact.

9. Lava lamp ($17.99)

No, it’s not a throwback to the 1960’s. The lava lamp will help elevate your success by creating the right kind of mood. Your best work is done when you are in a powerful state. Every major recording studio has a lava lamp for a reason, and it’s because it helps us be creative. Entrepreneurship is closely linked to creativity so it will help bring out more of the best in you.

I’ve had one next to my writing desk for over five years now, and it really gives me the good vibes I need to come up with memorable ideas to change the world. So get groovy baby and try out a lava lamp to help elevate your success!

10. A domestic flight ($199 – $500)

Working hard on your dream of trying to be successful in your field can take all of your brainpower and energy. We need to reset once in a while to refuel and gain a different perspective on our current challenges. A domestic flight of around one hour away from where you live is a great way to take a break and see new things.

For me, the domestic flight I take is to Sydney, which is not far away and helps me to hang out at different places, and see people I haven’t seen for a while. Whenever I come back from a short trip, I always feel refreshed and full of new ideas.

11. Sleep mask ($25.90)

The way you sleep will impact your success more than you realise. In order to get a good nights sleep the experts recommend having your bedroom as dark as possible. For many years I slept with the blinds up and wondered why I never slept well.

It was only when I heard a few interviews of Arianna Huffington explaining some of the fundamentals of sleep that I changed things up. The cheapest and easiest way to better your sleep is to buy a sleep mask. You can also use this same sleep mask when you are flying on a plane and need to get some sleep. I’ve used one for about six months, and it’s been a big help.

There are lots of different types available, and almost any of them will work. The one I use is a “Sleep Master Sleep Mask” which is the same one that Tim Ferriss talks about on his blog. Try it out and see what it feels like to sleep better and have more energy.

“Money never sleeps but you must if you want to be successful”

12. Web hosting for a blog ($4.99 per month)

Whatever your vision is, you have to create a web presence for your message. Even if you are an individual with no business or a brand new blogger, everyone should have a simple, free WordPress site. I’ve had one for little over a year, and it costs me $4.99 per month for hosting.

It’s a way for people to contact you and see all of your social media channels in the one spot. It makes you stand out from the crowd, and it gives you an online presence that represents what you value and your beliefs. Spend another $10 and get yourself your own domain name at the same time.

I promise this tiny, monthly investment will be worth every dollar.

13. Running Shoes ($79.99)

It’s easy to get stuck at our desk all day working away on our vision to change the world and never move around. This is why society has become obese, and this is why we can feel tired halfway through the day.

The final investment you should make is on some lightweight running shoes that you can walk, and hopefully, run around in. I like the Nike Free runners although there are so many good ones to choose from that are made by other brands.

When you’re traveling overseas and taking in the sites, a good pair of runners becomes even more essential. Make it a habit that when you’re working long hours on a project, that you go outside every two hours in your runners and at least walk around the block. This will help reset your mind and balance out your energy levels.

What’s your favorite purchase under $500 that has elevated your success in recent times? I am dying to know! Tell me your answer 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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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Chris

    Aug 1, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Thanks for this, given me some ideas to add to my amazon shopping list. I’ve toyed with a few meditation apps, but I’m not going to try Calm.

    I’m also going to invest in a lava lamp, had one when I was younger but will be getting one now to put me in the right mood and ramp up my creativity.

    I’d have to add:

    $100- Computer chair with support- I spend a lot of time at the computer, and I have to have a computer chair with the correct support, this keeps me focused, it’s mind blowing how your posture can determine your mindset.

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Chris thanks for your comment. You just made me have a mini revelation. The times I feel the best are when I am in good posture. Thanks for this reminder.

  2. kylie

    Jul 31, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I have just picked up my first copy of think and grow rich. looking forward to reading the book 10 times 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Enjoy reading it Kylie it’s a fantastic book!

  3. Stefanie

    Jul 29, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Hi Tim, great idea! “TODAY IS THE DAY” is on my playlist, too, and I love it. Cool idea with the mini trampoline. I will also try out the plant in the bedroom.

    I add
    – my travel yoga mat ($30?): to keep my body and mind strong and flexible
    – investing in a virtual assistant (< $80/month): to keep away routine tasks which are necessary but are work IN the business instead of ON the business
    – a powerful blender ($400): to prepare delicious green smoothies, which make me feel powerful, energetic and focused
    – sound system ($200?): to enjoy Spotify concentration playlists, which make me more creative

    • Tim Denning

      Aug 4, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks for adding to the list Stefanie. The blender is definitely another must have as well. I also love Spotify too, especially when I don’t want to program the music myself.

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Success Advice

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

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how to create a successful youtube channel
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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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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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