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14 Lessons We Can All Learn From “The Wolf of Wall Street”

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wolf of wallstreet movie jordan belfort

Both the book and the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” contain many crazy, entertaining, and decadent stories. But beneath all the debauchery there are a number of key lessons for you to learn from the success of Jordan Belfort and Stratton Oakmont.

Read on for some great insight into this motivated business man that will show you how Jordan Belfort was able to build a super pumped organization before it all came tumbling down.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wolf of Wallstreet

 

 

1. Execute on Ideas

Stratton Oakmont’s initial success was based on two premises:

• That Belfort had come up with a way of teaching young, uneducated people how to sound like professional stock brokers over the phone.

• That rich people love to gamble – especially when the gamble seems like a legitimate business opportunity.
While there had been other people on Wall Street who’d had the same idea, Jordan Belfort was the first person to execute on this idea.

 

2. Simplify

The reason Belfort was able to transform young, uneducated people into charismatic stock brokers was because he was able to impart his knowledge by giving simple instructions in a way that even the most stupid employees could easily understand.

“And as word of this little secret began to spread throughout Long Island—that there was this wild office, in Lake Success, where all you had to do was show up, follow orders, swear your undying loyalty to the owner, and he would make you rich—young kids started showing up at the boardroom unannounced.” – Jordan Belfort

 

3. Put Together a Loyal Team

Guys like Kenny Greene and Danny Porush weren’t the smartest guys around. But, they were long-term friends who were fiercely loyal to Jordan Belfort.

What does this mean?

That it might be a good idea to work with old friends who knew, and liked you, before you got rich and successful. By doing this you will reduce the risk of:

• Becoming betrayed or backstabbed by two-faced people.

• Making stupid decisions because you’re surrounded by yes-men who don’t give you accurate feedback.

 

4. Diversify Competence

Why were Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush a good team?

Because they were very different:

• Belfort had sleeping problems. Porush could fall asleep everywhere – even during bumpy plane rides.

• Belfort was a highly strategic leader who specialized in delegation. Porush was a good enforcer –brutal enough to eat a gold fish to put employees in their place.

• Belfort was analytical and had a long-term orientation. Porush was emotional and short-sighted.

They were both good at different things – but together they were a great combination.

 

 

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wolf of wallstreet jordan belfort

 

5. Dress for Success

From day one, employees were instilled with the mantra that they had to act as if – starting by dressing well and looking the part. The purpose of this was to improve their self-esteem and charisma.

Jordan Belfort even hired a guy to create tailor-made suits for the up-and-coming employees of Stratton Oakmont.

 

6. Gather Intelligence on Rivals and Enemies

Belfort gathered intelligence by:

• Bugging the SEC people who were investigating Stratton Oakmont.

• Befriending FBI agent Jim Barsini and getting information about the ongoing investigation on Stratton Oakmont.

 

7. Guard Your Secrets

Jordan Belfort carefully guarded his secrets by:

• Drafting legal documents to create plausible deniability for shady deals.

• Having the office of Stratton Oakmont and the houses of the top employees swept for bugs regularly.

• Never speaking over the phone about past business deals.

• Using pay phones and other covert forms of communication to ensure that no one listened in on what was being said.

Note: While your business probably differs from Belfort’s by being legal, it’s still a good idea to gather intelligence. For example, you might meet an employee of a rival firm for drinks to learn about the internal gossip going on over there.

 

8. Study History and Learn From Past Mistakes

Said by Belfort to a Swiss “master forger” while discussing banking laws:

“I’m a student of history, Roland, and I’m a firm believer that he who doesn’t study the mistakes of the past is doomed to repeat them”. – Jordan Belfort

You should follow Belfort’s example by:

• Studying past events in your profession to see what it was that made other people succeed or fail.

• Studying the great men who came before you.

 

 

| Create an Enticing Company Culture |

jordan belfort business

 

9. Establish a Concrete Reputation

There was never any doubt to the employees, nor the public, that anyone could make a ton of money by working for Stratton Oakmont. To confirm this, the only thing you had to do was take a look at the young, racially diverse, sometimes acne-ridden, well-dressed young men that spread havoc on Long-Island.

“The very idea of Stratton is that it doesn’t matter what family you were born into, or what schools you went to, or whether or not you were voted most likely to succeed in your high-school yearbook. The idea of Stratton is that when you come here and step into the boardroom for the first time, you start your life anew. The very moment you walk through the door and pledge your loyalty to the firm, you become part of the family, and you become a Strattonite.” – Jordan Belfort

 

10. Create a Set of Core Values that is Easy to Grasp

The core value of Stratton Oakmont was to seize the day. What this really meant to the employees was to:

• Make as much money as possible.

• Compete with colleges who could spend more money and live a crazier and more luxurious lifestyle.

–And what are some common core values of contemporary companies?

• Sustainability.

• Environmental friendliness.

• Integrity.

Which core values do you think are easier to communicate to the employees and make them live by?

 

11. Lead by Example and Set the Standard

No one over at Stratton Oakmont spent more money on buying luxury items, drugs, prostitutes, or partying than Jordan Belfort. He represented the epitome of the lifestyle that the employees sought to achieve.

“It’s important to keep these guys chasing the dream. And it’s even more important to keep them broke.” I gestured over to the plate glass. “Look at them; as much money as they make, every last one of them is broke! They spend every dime they have, trying to keep up with my lifestyle. But they can’t, because they don’t make enough”. – Jordan Belfort

 

12. Create Expectations

At Stratton Oakmont employees were expected to work their asses off and make a lot of money. Anything else was frowned upon.

“A rookie stockbroker was expected to make $250,000 his first year. Anything less and he was suspect. By year two you were making $500,000 or you were considered weak and worthless. And by year three you’d better be making a million or more or you were a complete f#%$ing laughingstock.” – Jordan Belfort

 

13. Provide Incentives for Hard Work

Not only were the employees of Stratton Oakmont paid far above the going rate for stock brokers – but a select few of the hardest working employees were also eligible to branch out on their own and start brokerage firms under Belfort’s guidance.

“It was what every Strattonite dreamed of and something I touched upon in all my meetings—that if you continued to work hard and stay loyal, one day I’d tap you on the shoulder and set you up in business. And then you would get truly rich.” – Jordan Belfort

 

14. Keep People Dependent on You

To ensure that employees were not only motivated to work, but literally had to stay at the firm and continue making lots money, Belfort encouraged employees to live beyond their means.

“I want you to deal with all your problems by becoming rich! I want you to attack your problems head-on! I want you to go out and start spending money right now. I want you to leverage yourself. I want you to back yourself into a corner. Give yourself no choice but to succeed. Let the consequences of failure become so dire and so unthinkable that you’ll have no choice but to do whatever it takes to succeed.” – Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort Picture Quote

 

————

Question:

Are there more lessons to be learned from the Wolf of Wall Street? If you have any of your own, please leave them in the comments section below.

Ludvig Sunström runs Start Gaining Momentum where he writes about practical self-development and gives no-nonsense tips for becoming more efficient and stepping up in life. He is also the author of Breaking out of Homeostasis , a book about claiming more control over your life by overcoming the brain's innate mechanism for staying the same. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

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75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Afiq azizi

    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Sell this pen!

  2. Tim Denning

    Jun 8, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Such a good article! The Wolf Of Wall Street is one of my favorite movies of all time.

  3. Julian

    Nov 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    What’s up everybody? I like it that everyone here is sharing all kinds
    of knowledge. It’s nice to read these articles. I do a quick visit to this website every day.

  4. jerome

    Aug 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I think you miss the point of the movie. The reality is that in his most desperate moment Jordan was able to see an opportunity where none existed and built an empire based on him. It shows that one is able to do anything if you have a plan and you execute on it

  5. David

    Jun 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    What I learned..? To “wh**k off twice a day ! At least !”

    Just kidding. What I learned is to drive people emotionally.

  6. Sean J Kennedy

    Apr 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    With joy in our hearts we are perfect…anything else is a ruse at best and tyranny at worst.

  7. Emily Filloramo

    Mar 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Rob and Tony,

    I have a blog post that is almost ready to send to Joel on

    “10 Reasons Why You Are Not Happier Despite Your Successes”.

    There are points in this post that few people have ever talked about. You might be enlightened.

  8. Tony Wood

    Mar 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Rob – Do you really believe that life is all about how much you make, with no regard to the damage or financial loss you cause to others along the way?
    Well, if that’s your philosophy then you go for it.
    But make sure you’re prepared to pay top dollar for the team of lawyers you’ll need to pay to feed off you.
    You ask how much I make – well, I’ve run an accounting practice for the last 25 years, recently sold it to a long-term employee who paid me less than I could have got on the open market, and I’m now retired very comfortably, secure in the knowledge that none of my clients, many of whom I’ve had for most of that 27 years, will ever sue me, as I’ve always dealt with them honestly, ethically and professionally.
    Just part of my get rich slow scheme.

  9. Rob

    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Brilliant, fast money and even faster women what more can you ask for. Let me ask you how much do you make?

  10. Tony Wood

    Mar 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Success – Cash, houses, cars, boats
    Bullshit.
    Success is the progressive realisation af a set of worthwhile goals which are meaningful to the individual.
    Almost all of these 14 pointers are manipulative, superficial or just bad.
    “Gather information on your enemies” – if you act ethically you don’t get enemies.
    Finally, why would I take advice from a convicted fraudster who’s a drug addict with two failed marriages, and goodness only knows the damage he’s caused his children.

    • John

      Apr 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      He is richer and smarter than you…

    • a_bateman

      Feb 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I once heard, don’t remember where from, that if you don’t have enemies you aren’t making enough waves.

  11. J Harris

    Mar 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    It’s easy to be ‘financially successful’ when you lie to people to get what you want.

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Success Advice

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful: How to Promote Yourself and Your Ideas

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Most of us don’t want to look like a braggart, which is good. However, sometimes it makes us stay in the shadow without showing our positive sides. We remain silent about our achievements. The thing is, sometimes politeness can play a bad joke on you. This great feature of your character can become one of those things that prevent you from succeeding.

If you don’t show your positive side in meetings and interviews, there will always be somebody else to do it. When such people get a promotion, your politeness doesn’t seem so useful.

Self-confidence turns out to be a very important quality because confident people who are not afraid to speak of their achievements are usually seen as more competent. However, modesty is still considered a virtue in most cultures. The reason is obvious: Most blowhards just don’t understand how annoying their bragging can be.

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful

The definition of a braggart is a very talkative person who turns any conversation into an opportunity to talk about his or her personal achievements and goals, constantly glorifying himself or herself. A blowhard is, in general, the same sort of person: too loud, talkative, and boastful.

There’s nothing bad about enjoying your success, in fact, what is the point of success if we cannot be proud of ourselves? The thing is, everyone must understand where to stop.

For example, when you talk to your friends at dinner there’s nothing wrong with sharing your experiences so others can celebrate your success with you. Don’t turn each conversation into a monologue and don’t forget that other people also have interesting stories to tell.

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Promote Yourself

Excessive modesty makes a bad impression. People who talk themselves down all the time shouldn’t be surprised if others also don’t find them likable. Some people are so afraid of being a blowhard that they get anxious about describing their good sides. As a result, they miss many opportunities.

If you’re afraid of talking about your own achievements, it means that you don’t believe that your work is valuable. Such an approach is unlikely to create an attractive image.

You need to understand that your work has little to do with your personality. Braggarts love themselves more than anything, and their point is to convince others that they are the best.

Only talk about what you actually did, and what is important about your achievements. This is not bragging. All you need to do is show others that you can contribute to your team or organization.

If you want to succeed in the world of business, you need to gain the attention and respect of your colleagues. The very fact that you’re afraid of being annoying means that you’re likely not that sort of person who will turn self-promotion into bragging. It’s time to face the other side of the coin and push yourself through your fears towards success.

Now that you’re ready to get out of your shell, let us help you with a few tips below:

1. Talk about your work and challenges

If you don’t want to sound arrogant, don’t say “It was so easy.” Great accomplishments don’t come easily, and everybody knows it. Tell others how hard you needed to work to achieve these great results. Everybody respects those who work hard and put a lot of effort into their work.

2. Don’t downplay other people’s achievements

Even if you’ve made more sales than anyone else, it’s not a reason to emphasize it. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, instead, compare yourself to your own past. Remember how you started and compare it to what you have now — this is a good sort of comparison that also motivates others.

3. Be thankful

Listen to any Oscar winner’s speeches, and you’ll notice that all these people don’t consider this success as their own. Don’t forget to mention how your team helped and supported you. Thank your company for the opportunity to become who you are.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Stick to the facts

It’s easy to say “I’m a brilliant leader,” but the only message you deliver this way is that you love yourself. Let others judge you based on facts. Describe how your team managed to double sales after you took it over.

5. Avoid humble-bragging

Some people try to disguise their bragging as a complaint. The truth is, this method doesn’t work. If you say “I’m so embarrassed I scratched my Bugatti Veyron,” this remark will only show how insincere you are.

It’s important to get comfortable with yourself and your success. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements, just make sure you deliver the right message. Show others that you can make a valuable contribution, and you’ll promote yourself without being arrogant.

How do you make other people feel important and valued when they are talking? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

4 Unusual Ways to Identify Your Strengths When You’ve Tried Everything Else

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Did you ever find it difficult to identify your strengths in life? Many people identify their strengths and weaknesses during the early stages of their lives however, successful leaders can argue that this may need to be the other way around. In other words, we tend to forget about our strengths and how we can effectively use them; and instead, we desperately try to further improve our weaknesses.

We sometimes tend to focus on the negative things we see around us and in turn, miss out on all the positive energy that other people and nature produce for to us enjoy. This is to be expected – not all days are the same and we are human after all. In some cases though, it may simply be because we are not sure of what our best skill set is.

Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself getting stressed out because you can’t seem to understand the things you are performing the best at – instead, you may be noticing your weaknesses. If you are tired of searching for your best strengths as an individual, note that there are ways you can easily find your strengths and weaknesses, without really putting out too much effort.

Below you will see the 4 ways that can help you identify your strengths when you can’t think of anything else to do:

1. Complete A Personality Test

A personality test will help you figure out up to five main personality traits, in addition to other skills you may possess, considering that you aren’t already aware of them. Even though this may not be the perfect solution in knowing what you’re great at, it will help you come closer to the different aspects of your personality.

Knowing what your personality is made up of is an essential element for figuring out the suitable career path you may want to take, the right people to hang out with, and the right objectives you should be following.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

2. Take An Aptitude Test

An aptitude test is essentially created to determine a person’s ability in a specific skill or field of knowledge. It will help you understand what skills you excel at by asking a series of questions and based on the answers you provide, it will evaluate which skills you are more fitted to outshine. Make sure to have a proper go at the test as it can positively help you decide which career path is more suitable for you.

3. Receive Feedback From Friends, Family And Colleagues

Receiving feedback from friends, family and colleagues is a great way to quickly and easily tap into the different strengths and skills you may have displayed around them in the past. This activity may include a series of questions around you passion, hobbies and previously shown successes.

First, start the conversation by telling them your passion and hobbies, or in other words, the task you can enthusiastically work on for many hours. Ask your friend to outline three to five of your strengths that are somehow related to what you just mentioned; this may include direct strengths but also transferable skills.

Following this, take a minute to device a fictional scenario where you can apply those skills getting you closer to your career goals. Let them know of your thoughts and how you can further employ these in the given setting.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

4. Use Numerology

This may be a bit of a controversial suggestion as you might not believe in the overall concept; and that’s absolutely fine. Nevertheless, it would be great to be aware of such an option in case you ever want to give it a try.

Numerology essentially refers to the mystical relationship between a number and specific events in someone’s life. You can check it out to understand more about yourself and maybe find new ways on how you can further grow as an individual.

Take Away Message

Finding new ways to improve our strengths and skills may indeed seem difficult sometimes, however, approaching this from multiple perspectives can prove to deliver great benefits to both our personal and career development.

Focus on always improving yourself in any way possible – that may be by employing traditional methods or even quickly applying a few or all of the above tips. The important thing is to make sure that you continuously use what works best for you and you will soon see the results of your efforts for yourself. You will come to realise that your strengths have greatly increased in both quantity and quality over time.

Which one of these ways will help you in identifying your best strength? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

Published

on

project management
Image Credit: Unsplash

According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else. (more…)

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

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75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Afiq azizi

    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Sell this pen!

  2. Tim Denning

    Jun 8, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Such a good article! The Wolf Of Wall Street is one of my favorite movies of all time.

  3. Julian

    Nov 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    What’s up everybody? I like it that everyone here is sharing all kinds
    of knowledge. It’s nice to read these articles. I do a quick visit to this website every day.

  4. jerome

    Aug 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I think you miss the point of the movie. The reality is that in his most desperate moment Jordan was able to see an opportunity where none existed and built an empire based on him. It shows that one is able to do anything if you have a plan and you execute on it

  5. David

    Jun 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    What I learned..? To “wh**k off twice a day ! At least !”

    Just kidding. What I learned is to drive people emotionally.

  6. Sean J Kennedy

    Apr 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    With joy in our hearts we are perfect…anything else is a ruse at best and tyranny at worst.

  7. Emily Filloramo

    Mar 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Rob and Tony,

    I have a blog post that is almost ready to send to Joel on

    “10 Reasons Why You Are Not Happier Despite Your Successes”.

    There are points in this post that few people have ever talked about. You might be enlightened.

  8. Tony Wood

    Mar 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Rob – Do you really believe that life is all about how much you make, with no regard to the damage or financial loss you cause to others along the way?
    Well, if that’s your philosophy then you go for it.
    But make sure you’re prepared to pay top dollar for the team of lawyers you’ll need to pay to feed off you.
    You ask how much I make – well, I’ve run an accounting practice for the last 25 years, recently sold it to a long-term employee who paid me less than I could have got on the open market, and I’m now retired very comfortably, secure in the knowledge that none of my clients, many of whom I’ve had for most of that 27 years, will ever sue me, as I’ve always dealt with them honestly, ethically and professionally.
    Just part of my get rich slow scheme.

  9. Rob

    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Brilliant, fast money and even faster women what more can you ask for. Let me ask you how much do you make?

  10. Tony Wood

    Mar 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Success – Cash, houses, cars, boats
    Bullshit.
    Success is the progressive realisation af a set of worthwhile goals which are meaningful to the individual.
    Almost all of these 14 pointers are manipulative, superficial or just bad.
    “Gather information on your enemies” – if you act ethically you don’t get enemies.
    Finally, why would I take advice from a convicted fraudster who’s a drug addict with two failed marriages, and goodness only knows the damage he’s caused his children.

    • John

      Apr 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      He is richer and smarter than you…

    • a_bateman

      Feb 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I once heard, don’t remember where from, that if you don’t have enemies you aren’t making enough waves.

  11. J Harris

    Mar 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    It’s easy to be ‘financially successful’ when you lie to people to get what you want.

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Success Advice

How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else.

Now think about it, how many times have you thought “that’s a good idea” and been inspired to do something without actually pulling the trigger to take one single, simple step towards doing something? This is one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of people from achieving their fullest potential.

Here are 6 steps to help you jump-start your next project and take action right away:

1. Identify which ideas are actually good

Not all ideas are created equal, and not all ideas are worth pursuing. In fact, some ideas and goals should be actively avoided. Warren Buffett tells a story about having someone write out their top 25 career goals on a piece of paper. After looking at the list, he asks the individual to circle the top 5 goals on their list. After that, he tells the person that the 20 remaining goals should be “avoided at all costs” until the first 5 goals are met.

It is a mistake to think that you can split your energy in multiple directions and succeed at anything. Instead, focus on the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you, and actively avoid anything that takes you away from pursuing those goals or ideas.

2. Tell yourself you will do something with this new idea

Once you’ve decided that something is important enough to pursue, make a point of telling yourself you will do something to further explore the idea. This doesn’t mean making a commitment to quit your day job to pursue a vague idea for a startup. Nor does it mean dropping everything to travel the world for 6 months. Rather, it means that you commit to looking into something to get a better idea of what’s involved before taking the leap on a project.

“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell

3. Choose a deadline or create a window of time to get something shipped

Outline a specific window of time to accomplish something, and then write out that plan in a calendar. The most important thing is to make sure the deadline is reasonable and that you are realistic. If you make a goal to double your income and launch a new business in the next 12 months, you may find yourself becoming disheartened when things aren’t working out after 3 weeks. I typically choose to work on tasks and projects in 1-3 month sprints, at which point I check in and reevaluate my progress.

4. Outline a specific plan of action on how to do it based on the timeline you have created

I use a variety of tools to help plan out my tasks and remind myself what I’m supposed to be working on, but at the end of the day, the best tool I use to schedule activities is a simple Excel spreadsheet to track tasks on a day by day basis. Check out the book “12 Week Year” for some ideas on how to choose specific action items and tasks which will help you move the needle on your work.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

5. Make a commitment to accomplish something specific based on the timeline and plan

Now that you have spent the time to research your idea, develop a timeline for the idea and structured a plan with specific tasks to accomplish this idea. You must make a commitment to yourself to carry out the tasks on your list and to strive to complete everything on time.

This task is incredibly important because it requires that you tap into a deeper level of motivation that goes beyond acceptance by the group or fear of failure. Instead, you need to reach deep down and make a commitment based on a deep need to accomplish the task that goes beyond recognition.

6. Set a specific time to review and be accountable for your plan and progress with someone else

We all know that even the most powerful source of internal motivation may not be enough to keep you going when times get tough. This is why you should make a habit of meeting up with a friend, mentor or colleague to review your progress on a certain project and to get ideas on how best to proceed. Make this meeting at a time that you both agree on well in advance, be clear on the feedback you want, and then don’t miss your deadlines!

At the end of the day, taking action is perhaps the biggest deciding factor that will directly contribute to your success and your ability to achieve your goals. If you don’t act, you’re dead in the water. So make a commitment to yourself today to give this a shot.

Think this system would work for you? Let us know!

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Success Advice

5 Easy Ways to Apply the Law of Attraction in Your Business

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Are you a great fan of The Secret? Then you must absolutely be a great believer in the underlying principle of the Law of Attraction. We can attract all that we desire right into our lives. You may be familiar with applying these principles in your personal life, to your health, wealth and relationships. Have you ever wondered about applying this to your business as well? Can business success be a consequence of applying the law of attraction? We say Yes!

Here are 5 easy ways to apply the Law of Attraction to your business:

1. Imagine how you want your day to go down to the last detail

This is the most critical step. You know what is lined up for the day, now it is up to you to imagine with great detail and enormous positivity how you want to see each element playing out. Say, you have 3 meetings lined up for today. The first one is a morning meeting to negotiate the pricing terms of a contract. It is not enough if you have only visualized the how’s and what’s of the contract. Think and plan to excruciating levels of detailing.

Imagine yourself, what you are wearing, how you will arrive at the meeting, the time when you will be going, how your body language will be during the discussion. Preempt their moves and visualize your responses well ahead. Then imagine how you will commute to the next meeting and carry forward your victorious attitude from this one.

“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiralling up.” – Jack Canfield

2. Visualize clinching the deal

Once you have planned down to the last detail, visualize your victory. Try to imagine beforehand the moments just before finalizing the deal. How do you imagine it? What are your words going to be? What is the spirit of your counterpart’s response then? Imagine the actual deal signing. Think of this like a wedding rehearsal and plan accordingly.

3. Conjure the ideal client

It is not enough to just visualize the business transactions and negotiations, you have to conjure the client you want as well. All clients are not the same. There is no one who is a perfect client. You have to convert all clients into the ideal client. Think of each client listing their positives and ending with what you would like to change about them. For example, say to yourself that I love this client for their clear briefs and great team spirit, however, it would be much better if only they would pay on time.

Now visualize them paying you on time. What is happening that is making them pay on time? Perhaps you have visualized sending invoices earlier or sending a friendly reminder their way by way of a personal chat or a quick call. Visualizing the ideal client and then your own set of actions that can help convert every client into the ideal client is the way of applying the law of attraction principle to client relationships.

4. Dream up the perfect team

Great business ideas, amazing discussions and the ideal client still do not make for great success. The dream team is what creates success. We all know this. Just like perfect clients, there are no perfect employees, however, the good news is that you can shape your team into the ideal team.

Say you have a great team with skills in Strategy, Distributor relationships, Retail merchandising but lacking in Marketing skills. Visualize as having a great team with all skills except an acquirable skill of Marketing. Visualize every smaller team being equipped with Marketing skills.

How do you see this happening? Are you going to be employing a marketing skill set equipped person in each team? Are you going to train team members who have the aptitude for it to perform marketing tasks as well? It could also be a mix of both approaches. Whatever it is, you need to visualize it to the last detail, even to the degree of what kind of training you would be providing to them.  

“Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do or don’t do it.” – Mark Cuban

5. Count your highs at the end of the day

This is the only part where future oriented visualization has no place. You have to go over the entire business day and religiously note down all the positives. Sometimes the positives may not be tangible acquisitions such as a contract or a payment or project completion. There would be intangible acquisitions such as the realization of what was needed to improve your team, or the first steps taken towards visualizing your negotiation.

It doesn’t matter, you have to count the positives that today has brought. Celebrate the key notes of the day with your team and verbalize why you are celebrating. This brings the entire team to apply the law of attraction in their own business days as well.

Successful entrepreneurs apply these skills with great mastery. Follow these easy ways and apply the Law of Attraction to your business as well. Your success is certain and imminent. Are you ready for it?

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Success Advice

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful: How to Promote Yourself and Your Ideas

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Most of us don’t want to look like a braggart, which is good. However, sometimes it makes us stay in the shadow without showing our positive sides. We remain silent about our achievements. The thing is, sometimes politeness can play a bad joke on you. This great feature of your character can become one of those things that prevent you from succeeding.

If you don’t show your positive side in meetings and interviews, there will always be somebody else to do it. When such people get a promotion, your politeness doesn’t seem so useful.

Self-confidence turns out to be a very important quality because confident people who are not afraid to speak of their achievements are usually seen as more competent. However, modesty is still considered a virtue in most cultures. The reason is obvious: Most blowhards just don’t understand how annoying their bragging can be.

Braggart, Blowhard, and Annoyingly Successful

The definition of a braggart is a very talkative person who turns any conversation into an opportunity to talk about his or her personal achievements and goals, constantly glorifying himself or herself. A blowhard is, in general, the same sort of person: too loud, talkative, and boastful.

There’s nothing bad about enjoying your success, in fact, what is the point of success if we cannot be proud of ourselves? The thing is, everyone must understand where to stop.

For example, when you talk to your friends at dinner there’s nothing wrong with sharing your experiences so others can celebrate your success with you. Don’t turn each conversation into a monologue and don’t forget that other people also have interesting stories to tell.

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Promote Yourself

Excessive modesty makes a bad impression. People who talk themselves down all the time shouldn’t be surprised if others also don’t find them likable. Some people are so afraid of being a blowhard that they get anxious about describing their good sides. As a result, they miss many opportunities.

If you’re afraid of talking about your own achievements, it means that you don’t believe that your work is valuable. Such an approach is unlikely to create an attractive image.

You need to understand that your work has little to do with your personality. Braggarts love themselves more than anything, and their point is to convince others that they are the best.

Only talk about what you actually did, and what is important about your achievements. This is not bragging. All you need to do is show others that you can contribute to your team or organization.

If you want to succeed in the world of business, you need to gain the attention and respect of your colleagues. The very fact that you’re afraid of being annoying means that you’re likely not that sort of person who will turn self-promotion into bragging. It’s time to face the other side of the coin and push yourself through your fears towards success.

Now that you’re ready to get out of your shell, let us help you with a few tips below:

1. Talk about your work and challenges

If you don’t want to sound arrogant, don’t say “It was so easy.” Great accomplishments don’t come easily, and everybody knows it. Tell others how hard you needed to work to achieve these great results. Everybody respects those who work hard and put a lot of effort into their work.

2. Don’t downplay other people’s achievements

Even if you’ve made more sales than anyone else, it’s not a reason to emphasize it. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, instead, compare yourself to your own past. Remember how you started and compare it to what you have now — this is a good sort of comparison that also motivates others.

3. Be thankful

Listen to any Oscar winner’s speeches, and you’ll notice that all these people don’t consider this success as their own. Don’t forget to mention how your team helped and supported you. Thank your company for the opportunity to become who you are.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Stick to the facts

It’s easy to say “I’m a brilliant leader,” but the only message you deliver this way is that you love yourself. Let others judge you based on facts. Describe how your team managed to double sales after you took it over.

5. Avoid humble-bragging

Some people try to disguise their bragging as a complaint. The truth is, this method doesn’t work. If you say “I’m so embarrassed I scratched my Bugatti Veyron,” this remark will only show how insincere you are.

It’s important to get comfortable with yourself and your success. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements, just make sure you deliver the right message. Show others that you can make a valuable contribution, and you’ll promote yourself without being arrogant.

How do you make other people feel important and valued when they are talking? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

4 Unusual Ways to Identify Your Strengths When You’ve Tried Everything Else

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Did you ever find it difficult to identify your strengths in life? Many people identify their strengths and weaknesses during the early stages of their lives however, successful leaders can argue that this may need to be the other way around. In other words, we tend to forget about our strengths and how we can effectively use them; and instead, we desperately try to further improve our weaknesses.

We sometimes tend to focus on the negative things we see around us and in turn, miss out on all the positive energy that other people and nature produce for to us enjoy. This is to be expected – not all days are the same and we are human after all. In some cases though, it may simply be because we are not sure of what our best skill set is.

Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself getting stressed out because you can’t seem to understand the things you are performing the best at – instead, you may be noticing your weaknesses. If you are tired of searching for your best strengths as an individual, note that there are ways you can easily find your strengths and weaknesses, without really putting out too much effort.

Below you will see the 4 ways that can help you identify your strengths when you can’t think of anything else to do:

1. Complete A Personality Test

A personality test will help you figure out up to five main personality traits, in addition to other skills you may possess, considering that you aren’t already aware of them. Even though this may not be the perfect solution in knowing what you’re great at, it will help you come closer to the different aspects of your personality.

Knowing what your personality is made up of is an essential element for figuring out the suitable career path you may want to take, the right people to hang out with, and the right objectives you should be following.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

2. Take An Aptitude Test

An aptitude test is essentially created to determine a person’s ability in a specific skill or field of knowledge. It will help you understand what skills you excel at by asking a series of questions and based on the answers you provide, it will evaluate which skills you are more fitted to outshine. Make sure to have a proper go at the test as it can positively help you decide which career path is more suitable for you.

3. Receive Feedback From Friends, Family And Colleagues

Receiving feedback from friends, family and colleagues is a great way to quickly and easily tap into the different strengths and skills you may have displayed around them in the past. This activity may include a series of questions around you passion, hobbies and previously shown successes.

First, start the conversation by telling them your passion and hobbies, or in other words, the task you can enthusiastically work on for many hours. Ask your friend to outline three to five of your strengths that are somehow related to what you just mentioned; this may include direct strengths but also transferable skills.

Following this, take a minute to device a fictional scenario where you can apply those skills getting you closer to your career goals. Let them know of your thoughts and how you can further employ these in the given setting.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

4. Use Numerology

This may be a bit of a controversial suggestion as you might not believe in the overall concept; and that’s absolutely fine. Nevertheless, it would be great to be aware of such an option in case you ever want to give it a try.

Numerology essentially refers to the mystical relationship between a number and specific events in someone’s life. You can check it out to understand more about yourself and maybe find new ways on how you can further grow as an individual.

Take Away Message

Finding new ways to improve our strengths and skills may indeed seem difficult sometimes, however, approaching this from multiple perspectives can prove to deliver great benefits to both our personal and career development.

Focus on always improving yourself in any way possible – that may be by employing traditional methods or even quickly applying a few or all of the above tips. The important thing is to make sure that you continuously use what works best for you and you will soon see the results of your efforts for yourself. You will come to realise that your strengths have greatly increased in both quantity and quality over time.

Which one of these ways will help you in identifying your best strength? Let us know in the comments below!

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