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14 Tips Joel Brown Taught Me For Contacting And Interviewing Influential People

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Before I became an author on Addicted2Success, I didn’t really know much about contacting influential people. Joel Brown taught me the art, and now I am teaching you. Most of what Joel told me made sense, but I just wasn’t consciously aware of it. Having done hundreds of interviews now, Joel has mastered the art of contacting people that are normally quite hard to reach, and he is at a world-class level.

Below are the fourteen tips Joel Brown gave me on how to contact influential people.

 

1. First contact is crucial

Always try a warm introduction first

– Before attempting to contact any person of influence, it’s always best to see if you know anyone in common first. When someone is in common with the influential person you are trying to contact, you can ask for an introduction. What this does is almost guarantee you a response and provides leverage. When someone who you know asks for a favor, you feel obligated to at least hear them out even if you can’t meet their request because of the connection you have. Reaching out cold doesn’t work because there is no leverage or obligation for the influential person to respond to you.

The best way to find out if you know anybody in common is to have a look on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already learned yet from previous articles, LinkedIn is the key to almost any form of networking or connecting. Once you identify someone in common, reach out (ideally via phone or worse case, email) to that person and ask for an intro. Try and offer something in return if you can and always give them an out in case they’re not comfortable.

Don’t forget to ask them how well they know the person. I had a situation recently where the person introing me hadn’t spoken to the person of influence in a while, and it was awkward. Given how famous the person, was though, I was willing to take the risk.

If the mutual connection says yes, then get them to send an intro email and CC you.

Ring their personal assistant

If you can’t get a warm introduction because you don’t know anyone in common, try and find the number of their office so you can talk to their personal assistant. Always be respectful and acknowledge the influential person’s time and then do your spiel about why they should get the influential person to be interviewed by you.

If all else fails, write to them in this format

Typing On A Apple Air LaptopOnce you have tried the above methods, if you haven’t been successful, try and write to them via LinkedIn or email. Like with previous methods, make sure you mention anyone that you know in common.

The subject line should is very important and should outline the opportunity and grab their attention. Something along the lines of “Exposure for your new book Sales Mastery in front of an audience of 5000.”
In this short sentence, you have explained how you can help them and what your reach is which is the most important thing. It’s a good idea to mention their name or product title in the subject so that it doesn’t come across as a generic message.

In the body of the message, you should keep it to three short paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you explain who you are, and your audience reach. In the next paragraph, you mention a few names of people that you have interviewed before to help build credibility. It’s also a good idea to give them a link to a recent interview that you feel best represents your work.

In the final paragraph, you mention your ask and state the time commitment. You will find that if you start out asking for 20-30 minutes, you will get a lot more responses. You can always ask for more time later, but a small amount of time (like twenty minutes) is almost rude to decline someone who wants to promote your brand. Out of the entire paragraph, the thing you should spend most of your time articulating is what’s in it for them.

Be clever and write something like “I saw you have a new book coming out in a few weeks, and I would love to line up our interview in line with that so we can promote the book and help get you more readers.” The key is to tie the interview into something they are doing that’s important to them. They may not necessarily be selling something; it could be simply helping them to get exposure for a charity they work with. You then finish the paragraph with “let me know if this is possible and I look forward to your response.”

In your email signature, you must clearly list your full name, email address, direct phone number and ideally a link to your website or Linkedin page to give some further credibility. Write the message a few times and get a friend or partner to look over it for you to make sure it reads well.

Tell them why you do what you do and what inspires you

Throughout all your communication with a person of influence, it’s important to articulate why you do what you do and what inspires you. If a person of influence believes that you just want to talk to them because they are famous or so you can promote yourself, they probably won’t be that interested.

 

2. Your first reply needs to have the detail

In your first reply you can be a lot more detailed with your response. Often at this stage, your request may have been forwarded to a PR person or marketing firm so you have to communicate with that in mind. Highlight again the benefits in more detail and send more of your previous work.

The purpose of this second message is to secure a topic for the interview. I will usually put forward three topic ideas and then ask if they like any of mine or whether they had one they were keen to do. Ultimately, it’s important that you make the final decision on the topic. Tell them that the wording of the headline might change later but the topic won’t.

You then want to end this second message with a request for a date and time to do the interview. Make sure you find out where they will be on the date in case the local time is different to yours. There are lots of websites that will convert the time for you to your local time.

Tell them the means in which you will do the interview (phone, Skype, Facetime etc) and request for their contact information. The moment you get their contact details make sure you save them in your phone so that you are pre-prepared for the interview and not looking around at the last minute to find their details. Some of the people you contact might be a bit more old school and expect a face to face interview, so consider doing this if they are local to you.

 

3. Your second reply is the interview confirmation

Now that you have your final reply from the person with a topic and time, send them back a third and final message thanking them for doing the interview and make sure you reconfirm the time. It’s a good idea to send them a calendar invite as well so they don’t forget about your interview. A day or two before the interview, you can choose to send them another message to reconfirm the time. I generally don’t do this but if they are really famous, it’s a good idea.

It’s good to consider telling them what they need to do on the day of the interview. I tell them that I must call them so that the conversation is recorded and that they need to be in a quiet area with a strong Internet connection. While talking about Internet, mention that it’s always best to be hardwired rather than use wireless, to get the best possible quality audio.

4. Send them the questions in advance

You will still need to send one final message to them with the questions that you want to ask. This is quite important because it helps give them some background on what you will be talking about. I find that when you send the questions before hand you get much better responses. The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

The other reason you need to do this is that depending on how famous they are the questions may need to be checked with a marketing or PR team beforehand.

5. Use the right tools

To conduct interviews Joel taught me to use these tools:

– Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype or Facetime
– A lightweight laptop so you can do interviews on the fly
– A Blue Snowball Microphone
– A pair of comfortable headphones so you can hear the other person
– A quality internet connection with a major provider

One tip that I will give you after doing lots of these interviews now is that Facetime quality is a lot better than Skype, and it’s much less likely to drop out. Always try and use Facetime if you can.

 

6. Be prepared on the day

Make sure on the day of the interview you are prepared. Have your laptop battery charged, do a sound check, make sure you have their contact details and know exactly which quiet spot you are going to be doing the call from. It’s also critical to be on time to the interview so be ready to hit record five minutes beforehand.

Have a bottle of water with you in case you get something in your throat, you don’t want coughing to end the interview – this happened to me once before.

7. Research beforehand

It almost goes without saying that you need to research the person before the interview. What you want to find out is the basis of their story so that the person does not have to tell you the basics, which they will expect you to know already.

I like to listen to other interviews that they have done so that I can try to cover things that haven’t been mentioned before. There is nothing worse than an interview that covers exactly the same ground as previous interviews.

 

8. Ask great questions

I usually have three paragraphs of questions. The first lot of questions is about them and the massive success they have achieved in their field, the second is the questions for the topic, the next lot are questions around the particular thing they want to plug and then finally, I ask them their favourite book and their favourite quote.

Joel taught me to have one final killer question that is the best question you will ask. His is “if you were to deliver your last 30-second speech to the world, what would that last 30 seconds sound like?” Try to narrow your questions down to a few gems rather than lots of short questions that are not interesting. Keep them as open as possible so the person you’re interviewing has a chance to direct their response in their way.

David Letterman Interviewing Conan O'Brien
 

 

9. Think on the fly

Joel taught me that the best interviews are the one’s that occur on the fly. There is nothing worse than a pre-rehearsed interview. Even though I have the questions ready beforehand I always change them on the day and think of a few on the fly. You will also find that sometimes more than one of your questions gets answered in a response, so nothing ever goes to plan. It’s this spontaneity that makes the interview interesting.

10. Keep the interview on time

As the interview is occurring make sure you keep an eye on the time. If you find that you’re halfway through and haven’t even got onto to the topic questions, politely get things back on track. Assume that if the person has told you that you only have 45 minutes that you must stick to this.

If you get some bonus time at the end, that’s great but often they will have another meeting straight after so be conscious of the time otherwise you will have no good content at the end.

inspiration
 

11. Try and get one light bulb moment

During every interview I aim to get one light bulb moment. Some that I have had so far are – when the person I was interviewing didn’t know their age, when I learnt that you had to be truly dedicated to social media for it to work and respond in real time, to when Andrew Morello taught me that sales is even more human than I thought it was. When you have found the light bulb moment in the interview, it’s best to highlight this later when you write your article and perhaps put it as your first, most important point.

“The key to good interviews is to try to think of yourself as a gold miner looking for golden nuggets that you can bring back to your audience”

The interview should be a reflection of what you have learned. I often like to ask things that I know the audience will be interested in or even just information that people haven’t had presented in a logical way before.

 

12. Request the interviewee to post on social media

Get Influential People To Post Your Interview On Social MediaAt the conclusion of your interview you should ask the interviewee to share the final result on all of their social media platforms. One piece of advice I will give you is make sure that you double check they actually post it as sometimes they can forget. The other thing I have found is that sometimes they only post it on one social media platform or the one that doesn’t haven’t a very large following.

It’s important to insist when you’re setting up the interview that you get them to agree to post on their company page, not just their personal page.

 

13. Ask for original photos

To top off an excellent interview you need to have great visuals to complement the article. At the end of the interview ask the person how you would go about getting photos of them that haven’t been used before. If you want to be really bold, ask them if it’s possible to get a photo of yourself with them (if they live locally to you) to use with the article. A photo with you in it makes the content just that little bit more original and shareable.

I usually ask for a few photos of the interviewee, a photo of their office and one more photo of a proud moment in their life. The last thing I do after asking them for photos is to end the interview with, “is there anything you want to ask me?” Sometimes they will be dying to ask a few questions about you so make sure you let them do that if they choose and then say thank you and let them move on.

 

14. Send them a first draft

I don’t do this for every interview but if they are someone that is well known and have a very high profile brand, you are really best to send them a draft copy of the interview before you release anything. It’s very easy to get a few things wrong about their life, and you want to give them a chance to remove anything they don’t like. Surprisingly, I would be lucky to get more than three changes on the times that I have had to send a first draft.

 

***Final note – what I get out of it

I wanted to share with you the best part about interviewing other people. What I have found is that you get to learn things that you would never of known. By the end of the interview, you find that you have a bond and a permanent connection with the person.

The interview also helps you to believe that things that you thought were impossible are actually possible. Unconsciously you start to pick up new ideas and new beliefs, and it begins to change you as a person. You start to find the roadmap to success, and you now have references to back up your new beliefs.

If you would like to read the result of some of my interviews visit my Facebook Page and please Retweet this article.

 

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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Esther

    Jul 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you Tim for paying it forward what you learned from Joel. There are some principles in it that we can all use, even if we do not want to conduct interviews. My key takeaway is that let the outreach be about them, what they could benefit from the interaction.

    What I see is that people often are held back by limiting beliefs from reaching out to influencers. They often do not see themselves as valuable and do not think they can offer something.

    What is your take on that? How can someone find out what to offer to an influencer?

    Thank you,

    Esther

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Esther always happy to pay it forward and I’m sure you will do the same. Everyone has something offer. Think to yourself all of the things that people tell you you’re good at and whether any of them might be relevant to the influencer. As well as that, think to yourself about the community around you and people that you might know in common or that could be valuable to the influencer. If all else fails, just reach out, nine times out of ten the influencer is dying to give their advice and happy to help others. You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone. Hope that helps.

      • Esther

        Jul 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Tim,

        Thank you so much for your answer. It makes absolute sense. You write
        “You just need to believe that you have something valuable to offer everyone.” This doesn’t happen automatically for everyone. It depends greatly on the narrative we tell us about ourselves. I help people to change that narrative so that they can finally take action. Like implement the action steps you gave us with your article.

        Keep up the good work!

        Esther

  2. Tim Denning

    Jul 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Lawrence. I agree that the sharing of value between two people is the best way to secure an interview with someone influential.

  3. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    These are truly some great tips that can help someone who is podcasting, doing a youtube show, or just recording an interview with an influential person. The key things that you mentioned that stood out to me was to first find some leverage between you and the person you want to interview. This sounds very logical and like a very good idea because cold-calling rarely works with anyone. You have to have some leverage and trust built up and using someone you both know who can introduce you is a great tactic, but can be hard if you dont have a common individual in mind. Also, providing value for both you and the interviewee is the key to this whole thing. Great post will be coming back to read often.

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Success Advice

10 Secrets to Success From Clickfunnels Top Affiliate Spencer Mecham

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Spencer Mecham
Image Credit: Spencer Mecham

Are you looking to be an affiliate? You have to acquaint yourself with a couple of tips which guarantee great success. Affiliate marketing you will not get paid until some kinds of actions are taken by the readers.

Identified and explained hereunder are ten secrets for successful affiliate marketing which are proven to guarantee higher values to your readers and the likely maximization of success:

1. Aim at meeting the needs of your target market

Your reader is by far your best asset. When appropriately satisfied, the chances of them taking the necessary courses of actions are raised. For this to happen, you have to understand them inside and out. Do so by inquiring about their pain points, their tastes and preferences, and their expectations of your blog.

Yogita Aggarwal avers that promoting the wrong product is a sure path to failure. To mitigate this, you have to conduct thorough market research.

2. Maintain a fair degree of trustworthiness

Readers are generally smart, and they can easily spot an affiliate link when they come across one. You should not attempt to promote an irrelevant product or bombard them with too many adverts. They will just lose interest, leave and possibly never come back.

You should hence aim at building a pool of repeat visitors. They are the ones who are more likely to drive traffic to your site, place orders and refer others to your site. You can only build good relationships by marketing quality content.

As you do this, be sure to prioritize value addition by sharing only those products which you are confident of being relevant, valuable and sincerely helpful to your readers. Make it a point of disclosing any links or relationships you have with your vendors. This will go a long way in solidifying the trust.

3. Be passionate about what you are doing

It is essential to be passionate about what you are doing or attempting to do. It is almost impossible to succeed in what you do if you don’t truly love it. Avoid marketing only for the sake of money. It is only then that you will be able to generate new ideas and marketing perspectives which are crucial for the success in the field.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Approach the issue one step at a time

Do you desire to manage $5,000 in your first month? Hold on! You will first and foremost have to achieve $1 then $10 and eventually someday to $5,000+. This requires time. You will have to comprehend the psychology and behaviors of your client base first and foremost. After doing that, you will be able to build on that information for higher profit margins.

5. Be helpful

To maximize the possibility of eliciting positive responses from your readers, you have to go further than just letting them know of the existence of your products. Take some time to provide in-depth reviews of the products on sale. Highlight their features and offer brief explanations of just how beneficial they could be to the user.

Preferably, share a personal testimonial or case study in the affiliate link in your review. These build trust and verification which in turn enhance the experience of the visitors considerably. Higher sales will naturally follow after that.

6. Be an ambassador

Instead of promoting the products as a marketer, you are strongly advised to develop them as though they were your own. To do this:

  • Review the products by laying particular emphasis on why you think they are better than their competitors.
  • Produce tutorials showcasing their use or services.
  • Put in place a landing page to enlighten your referrals rather than merely pointing them to your site.
  • Recommend one product alongside why you prefer it. This will help undecided buyers make rational decisions.
  • Enforce some bonuses for the high-value affiliates and joint ventures deals

The steps above will let your affiliates make their decisions from a more informed position. On the same note, they will enable you to gain added influence and authority for your own, not to mention deepening relationships between your provider and you.

“Trust is built with consistency.” – Lincoln Chafee

7. Uphold great transparency in your affiliate relationships

It is necessary that you uphold a significant degree of transparency in your affiliate relationships. Your readers will definitely appreciate your honesty and will gladly contribute to your earnings. They will often track any dishonesty readily. This will definitely scare them away from your site and drive them to the websites of your competitors.

To further stand out of the crowd, you might want to offer a bonus for any action taken from your site. This is extremely useful when in a field that is saturated with many other players.

8. Choose the various affiliate products keenly

Take some time to go through the list of various products that are available. In particular, match them with the expectations, tastes, and preferences of your target market. As you promote them, alter the ads every now and then, attempt different graphics and texts to find the most effective ones.

You will have to spend some time before arriving at the best formula possible. While at it, you will also realize the need to rotate or alter ads from time to time to captivate the attention of the audience well.

Generally speaking, digital ads are better options. They have higher conversion rates and generate higher commission rates. For maximum profits, consider promoting products that are highly priced and those that renew each month.

9. Work on a strong reputation within your niche

Affiliate marketing is generally more sophisticated and highly profitable. Rather than building one-page campaigns, focus on putting in place a sales funnel, assets, and other things which have a higher value. Identify the best niche and stick to it. These steps will not only earn the trust of your visitors but also develop stronger relationships with your advertisers.

10. Generate and post high-quality content

Your content marketing strategy should be your highest priority. The content serves as the foundation and the lifeblood upon which your site is hinged. Readers will only be interested in your site if it contains helpful and valuable content.

This being the case, you should aim at excellent furnishing contents and effective monetizing strategies which are proved to work out well. You will lose readers if you make the slightest attempt to compromise your content. That, of course, will lead to the forfeiture of the opportunity to make any money from your adverts like referral-based and cost-per-click.

All said and done, the quality of your content is the single most contributing factor of the credibility of your blog, website, or business. Hence it is in your best interest to invest heavily in it if you ever hope to make any meaningful success!

Which one of the above 10 secrets to success from Spencer Mecham resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

Success Isn’t Rocket Science, but There Is a Simple Equation

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success equation
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People all around the world are looking for the secret to success. There are countless answers out there: personal connections, wealth, good luck, positive mindset, hard work, determination, passion, and on and on.

Some of those things might be true for some people, but I don’t think success comes from just any one variable. I also don’t think there is a single tangible answer that can be replicated by the masses. It seems that the more we look for one, the more questions we tend to find.

What is the secret to success? Is it enough to be passionate and hardworking? Is it enough to have a positive mindset? What steps can we take to become more successful?

Well, if you have been pondering questions like these, look no further. I believe success comes from, not one variable, but a combination of variables, an equation if you will. I’m not talking about anything too complicated or complex, like rocket science. This is an equation so simple it practically solves itself:

(Intrinsic Motivation + Action) x Momentum = Success

“I’m not a math whiz! What does this mean?” Don’t worry, as my high school algebra teacher could attest, this isn’t real math, but I can assure you that it works very well. Allow me to explain each variable.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is your internal, innate reason for wanting to do something and it’s the vital first part of the formula for success. Without it, everything we try to do will most likely fail, but what is intrinsic motivation?

Let me ask you a question: what do you like to do in your free time? Do you volunteer because it feeds your soul to help others? Maybe you love doing puzzles because you love the feeling you get when you solve a problem? Do you go hiking because you love to connect with nature?

If no one were paying you, would you still volunteer, solve puzzles, or go hiking? Of course you would! You receive intrinsic rewards when you do those things, and therefore you have a strong, internal motivation to keep doing them.

Another way to look at this is to know your “why.” Your “why” is your deep-rooted reason for doing something. Simon Sinek talks about this a lot, and Tony Robbins says, “If you have a strong enough ‘why,’ you can do anything.” It’s a great concept, but there is another side to this coin.

Having a weak “why,” or no “why” at all, means that you have no intrinsic motivation to speak of. You’re practically a rocket ship with no rocket fuel. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a rocket get too far without fuel.

To achieve success in any endeavor, you must start with your intrinsic motivation – you must start with why. Why do you want to achieve success in your life?

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them, just find a new way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey

Action

Now that you know what motivates you and you have a strong “why,” you have to take action towards your dreams. Action is the second part of the formula for success because, without action, we wouldn’t get anywhere in life. We might have fuel in our tanks, but we still have to hit the launch button.

I see a lot of people who spend time learning, planning, learning some more, trying desperately to perfect their strategy before they start. But the reality is, you are going to discover the most valuable lessons along the way.

It is impossible to plan for every situation, so trying to do so only delays your success. Author Karen Lamb says, “A Year from Now You May Wish You Had Started Today” and that’s true. “Someday” is a common code for “never.”

Sure, jumping in without having everything figured out will cause you to run into the occasional obstacle or setback, but again, you can’t plan for every obstacle. If you have a strong enough “why,” you’ll overcome obstacles and press on.

So, whether you’re ready or not, you need to take action towards your goals to achieve success. The only way to achieve success is to start taking action and build momentum. What one thing can you do today to take action towards your goals?

Momentum

In my opinion, momentum is the most critical aspect in the formula for success and here’s why: Starting isn’t worth much if you keep quitting. Remember that rocket ship analogy from before? If not having a “why” is like not having any fuel, then starting and stopping is like using up all of your fuel only to land again immediately.

Building momentum, however, is like breaking free of the atmosphere and reaching space. Once there, the zero gravity keeps the rocket afloat, and the pilot only uses relatively small amounts of fuel to propel and steer the rocket through space.

I read an article from The Huffington Post and it said, “In 1967, Apollo mission to the moon, the Saturn V rocket’s needed over 500,000 gallons of fuel just to break free of the Earth’s atmosphere. The final stage of the trip only required 86,059 gallons of fuel. That means it took nearly 5.8 times as much effort to launch as it did to keep the momentum.”

So, the next time you think about quitting, remember how much energy and effort it took to get started in the beginning. Do you want to go through that again? Do you really want to waste that much energy when you could keep going?

Don’t quit! Instead, keep taking action towards your goals, day after day, month after month, and year after year. Doing this will help you create radical momentum in your life and in your goals.

“Momentum solves 80% of your problems.” – John C. Maxwell

So there you have it, the formula for success. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do – land on the moon, lose weight, start a business, run a marathon, save a million dollars – you have to know why you want to achieve success. You have to have fuel in the tank.

Once you know what’s propelling you forward, you have to take action every day and never quit. This will allow you to build an unstoppable momentum that will carry you to the success you seek.

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Success takes time. There are no shortcuts. There are no quick fixes. There are no overnight successes. To be successful, you have to intrinsic motivation for the long haul, and no matter what, you cannot quit taking action.

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Success Advice

The Power of Personal Reviews: How It Can Skyrocket Your Success in Life

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personal review
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Do you want to elevate your personal success? If so, do you know what the number one thing that’s keeping you away from that success? You could be doing everything right in terms of setting goals and going after them, and still not make progress if you’re not doing this.

The secret is personal reviews. As goal-getters, we’re conditioned to take action and work hard to make our goals happen. But if you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your actions, then the outcome may be no better than if you were running around in circles. In order to not be stuck in the same place, you have to be continuously adjusting your strategy.

The key is knowing exactly what to do differently in order to achieve your goals and accelerate your success. This is where personal reviews come in, because they answer the most important questions such as: What parts should you keep on doing? What parts should you do differently? What exactly happened last time that prevented you from reaching your goals? How can you get to your goals even faster the next time?. The victory path often isn’t linear, and reflecting on it will improve the process, which is the most important part for speeding up success.

According to Harvard Business Review, people were shown to be more productive and less burnout after thinking about and planning their day than those who didn’t. Studies cited in the same Harvard Business Review have also shown that employees in call centers who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting on the lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. If you work in an even more complex role, imagine the benefits you would gain from consistent reflections. Ready to take on your own review?

Here are the three parts of a personal review and how each part will help you achieve personal and professional success:

1. Get Clear On Where You Are to Make Better Decisions

It’s hard to get to your destination if you don’t know where you are right now. Luckily, personal reviews are similar to a GPS, where it can accurately pinpoint your place in life. By getting clear on your current situation, there are three main benefits that’ll contribute to your success.

One, it reaffirms your goals. As I often find working with clients doing their own personal sprints to success projects, goals can be easily forgotten without regular check-ins. Each personal review helps bring these goals to top of mind, and align all your actions so that each one will move the needle.

Two, it keeps you on track. Once you are clear on your goals, it’ll become much more obvious whether you are on your way to hit your target or if you have strayed off the path. This will help you focus more clearly, and save time from unnecessary distractions and course-corrections.

Three, it builds momentum. By regularly reviewing how things are going, you can celebrate the wins, and improve on areas that didn’t go well. After all, success comes from consistent action and making progress towards your goals.

“What you can measure, you can improve.”  – Peter Drucker

2. Discover the Roadblocks That Are Holding You Back

Now that you have a solid understanding of where you are at, it’s time to get down to the why. Why are you where you are currently, and how can you go even faster? The second part of personal reviews is where you’ll discover the golden nuggets of insights that you can use as your secret weapon.

Maybe you realized that you usually only get one or two important things done each day. Why is that? Is it because there are too many distractions? Or is it because your energy levels are low? And is there a filter you can set up to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not?

These are all incredible insights into the decision-making process and the factors that contribute to your success. If you stumbled, think about what parts you wouldn’t do again next time. If you achieved your goals, think about which parts you can repeat to succeed again. And as you collect more data points, the easier it’ll be to pinpoint how to 10x your productivity and results. And the more frequent you do reviews, the faster you’ll be able to progress. For example, if you conduct weekly reviews, you’ll be able to move four times as fast as someone who does monthly ones. Now, you can work smarter, instead of harder.

3. Fast Track Your Success Through Feedback Planning

Once you have the clear understanding of exactly where you are and what you need to do differently, you can use this feedback to make powerful changes to your plan. This is the last part of personal reviews – setting and prioritizing goals to accomplish by the next review.

These new goals will not be something that you’ve haphazardly put together, but rather it will be a combination of your insights and your vision of success. These reviews can be massively effective productivity tools and accountability structures that you can use to review the past and set in place the steps to take for the future.

For high potential professionals who do not conduct weekly reviews, one of the top reasons is that they either don’t understand the process, or can’t see the benefits. Now that you know how it works and the huge impact it can have, I invite you to take charge of your life, and face your goals and fears head-on.

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy.” – Brian Tracy

After all, in order to stay a high performer and relevant, you must grow. And whether you want to become more focused, motivated or productive, personal reviews will carve out the path for you to get there and skyrocket your success.

How do you envision yourself accelerating through personal reviews? Leave a comment below!

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Success Advice

5 Surprising Ways Your Posture Impacts Your Success

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how your posture affects your success
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What makes some people successful while others flop, even with the same education, background, and job position? There is no one size fits all formula, but one thing that always stands out is a person’s posture and body language. The way in which you sit, stand, and even walk, tells people so much about you, and you don’t have to utter a word.

I’m a big movie buff, so if I reference a few scenes, you will understand why. Your posture not only tells people about you, but it can make you feel more powerful and confident in your own abilities. Wouldn’t you like to know what your posture is saying to others and how you can change it?

Here are 5 ways your posture impacts your success:

1. Posture is a Nonverbal Sign of Who You Are

Remember in Titanic, when Jack is waiting to have dinner with Rose. When he’s leaning against the staircase, what does his posture say to you? Gangster? Thief? Then Jack sees the distinguished (banker?) walk by. He’s impressed with his posture and manner of walking, which he tries to emulate.

This is a perfect example of the image you are projecting to others. What do you want your image to say to others? When you are in a business setting, you should always be aware of your posture, so you don’t end up leaning on the staircase like Jack.

2. Good Posture Empowers You

Your posture and other body language makes you feel more powerful and boosts confidence.  A study from Ohio State University found that those who sat up straight had more confidence in their own abilities and believed more strongly in positive statements they had written about themselves.

“A strong confident person can rule the room with knowledge, personal style, attitude and great posture.” – Cindy Ann Peterson

3. Your Posture is Vital to Your Health

Anyone who has spent time sitting in front of a computer screen will tell you that it can wreak havoc on your neck, back and shoulders. It’s true that our bodies were not designed to sit for the majority of the day, but when you add poor posture to the mix, you are asking for some serious pain.

You can only imagine what people will think if you take time off work because of back pain or neck pain. Of course, the alternative is to spend your time rubbing your neck, which won’t do much for your image or authority presence. Avoid these issues by practicing good posture!

4. Good Posture Helps You Perform Better

When your body is out of balance, that is to say, when you are hunched over that keyboard or your head is pushed forward when you are standing or walking, you can’t perform to your true potential. This is especially true if you end up with neck or back aches later on in your day because you are slouching. When you feel good, you look good, and you can perform like a champion!

5. Your Posture Affects How People See You

This should be fairly obvious to everyone. Have you ever seen a CEO slumped over their computer? Think of the movie Shawshank Redemption, when escaped prisoner Andy Dufresne sits in front of the bank executive to cash out his account. His posture screams confidence and authority in that scene. Imagine if he had been a quiet mouse, staring at his feet, with slumped over posture. Your posture can make a huge difference in how you are perceived.

“I listen better with earplugs in, so I can see what your body is really saying.” – Jarod Kintz

The Good Posture Problem

Whenever I counsel new employees, I always stress good posture and how important it is to every area of their lives. I see them sit up straight, pull back their shoulders, and sit back in their chair, only to find them slouched over their keyboard or phone a few minutes later.

Let’s face it, keeping good posture after years of neglect can seem like a lot of work and you’re right, it is. However, it only seems that way because we are unaccustomed to how it feels. We are also creatures of habit and slouching at your desk is probably a bad habit you learned many years ago. Habits were meant to be broken, friends, and it’s not as hard as you might think.

Tips for Practicing Good Posture

If you want to come across as Meryl Streep does in every scene where she is walking in The Devil Wears Prada (minus the arrogant attitude, of course), you should think about your posture every day.

You can try setting an alarm on a daily basis to check your posture at work or at home. Try to be mindful of the way you’re sitting, standing and sleeping, and avoid any unnatural positions. Ask friends and family to remind you to stop slouching, too!

Also, check your workstation and make sure nothing is triggering bad posture there. Is your computer screen at eye level? Is your chair comfortable? Make sure your office equipment isn’t negatively affecting your posture.

Finally, some people have great success with a yoga or Tai Chi class, which focus on building strength and flexibility in your postural muscles. If you’re interested, you might sign up to maximize your posture. Otherwise, you can also try a home morning posture routine with different stretches.

In the end, you have the power to change your posture! As your mother might say: sit up straight!

How do you practice having proper posture throughout your day? Share your thoughts below!

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