Connect with us

Success Advice

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

Published

on

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

Advertisement
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

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!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

law of attraction
Image Credit: Unsplash

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?

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

arrogant
Image Credit: Love Panky

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!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

how to identify your strengths
Image Credit: Unsplash

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!

Continue Reading

Trending

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.

Advertisement
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

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!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

law of attraction
Image Credit: Unsplash

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?

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

arrogant
Image Credit: Love Panky

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!

Continue Reading

Success Advice

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

Published

on

how to identify your strengths
Image Credit: Unsplash

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!

Continue Reading

Trending