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14 Ways To Build The #1 Meetup In Your City

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Running a Meetup event can be hard work and building an audience can be even harder. To make life easy I decided to interview Dom and Karina McKenna who have the number one Meetup in Melbourne called “The Entrepreneur Club.”

There are currently more than 6000 members, and the Meetup has become very well known in Australia. Dom is also the co-author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller “Defining Moments Of Courage,” which has an introduction written by Jack Canfield.

Together, Dom and Karina are what I consider to be a power couple, and they originally met on the Gold Coast in their early 20’s after both making the decision to live a sober life. Before they met, they were both struggling from drinking too much alcohol and were sick and tired of being sick and tired and not being able to break out of that lifestyle.

They applied the principles of the slight edge, which teaches how your habits run your life. They realized they were either getting better, or they were getting worse, so they decided it was time to take the fork in the road and embark on a journey of personal development.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation which I rebuilt my life” – JK Rowling

The two of them are one of the most amazing couples you will meet, and they have overcome alcoholism to go on inspire others through their events and youth programs. They believe that sometimes you have to do things that don’t serve you, but that serve others. This is the whole reason Dom and Karina do what they do.

As they began to rebuild their lives and learn to grow again, their business and their Meetup event also grew with them. The Entrepreneur Club now attracts the likes of Scott Harris – who delivers Tony Robbins programs – to Paul Sidoroski, who made it onto the BRW Rich List with his company Sidcor.

Dom and Karina were drawn to running a Meetup around entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs play life at a higher level, are open to new ideas and have a creative mind.

Below are Dom and Karina’s fourteen ways to build a number one meetup in your own city. 

 

1. Don’t make your Meetup too niche

Before doing anything, pick a category for your Meetup that resonates with you. When you’re coming up with the name for your Meetup don’t make it to niche for example “Yarraville Sunday Morning Bike Club.” Ask yourself, how many Yarraville residents are going to be around on Sunday that also happen to ride bikes.

There might be a few, but the audience will be too small. Keep the name of your event broad and like ‘The Entrepreneurs Club,” which is very broad. A name like that will capture anybody who has any sort of entrepreneur desire or is already an entrepreneur.

There might be a few, but the audience will be too small. Keep the name of your event broad and like ‘The Entrepreneurs Club,” which is very broad. A name like that will capture anybody who has any sort of entrepreneur desire or is already an entrepreneur.

“Treat your Meetup like a business. The Meetup is about your audience not about you”

 

2. Let the audience build

Dom and Karina have seen people that have Meetups where they only had 80 or 90 members and out of that, only ten showed up. The organisers of these Meetups are shocked, and Dom says to them, “you need to let the numbers build and this takes time.” In the case of The Entrepreneur Club, they had 400 members in 2011, then on March 2013 they had 1300 members and now they have over 6000 members.

Like anything you will learn in success, you have to just start doing something and the same goes for Meetups – just start. Karina said that when they only had a small number of people coming she often wasn’t sure what the point was, but both of them learned to have patience and keep persisting.

The audience at Ruslan Kogan interview with Dom McKenna

The audience at Ruslan Kogan interview with Dom McKenna

3. Stay consistent

Once you do your first one, you just have to keep doing it and see it for what it could be not what it is right now. When people RSVP to a Meetup, only 30-40% will actually show up. Your Meetup should go for around two hours, so it’s not too long, and you should always give people the option to leave after they sign in so they don’t feel locked in.

To stay consistent, you need to be looking at either monthly or fortnightly events.

 

4. Think about a combination of free and paid

Using Garry Vaynerchuks philosophy of Jab Jab Jab right hook, don’t charge too early into running Meetups and provide value first before taking a right hook and asking someone to pay. Try having your event free most of the time and just having the odd one where you charge $10-25.

Once you have done this, you will gauge what people are willing to pay and what affect it will have on audience numbers.

From here you can decide how to proceed. I find that most Meetups these days are free. If you decide to start charging at some point, it’s a good idea to find ways to add more value to the audience like paying a speaker or two to get some bigger names now and then.

 

5. Structure your marketing

Once you list an event on Meetup, it will push out the details to the members of your group. As you start listing events after that, it will do reminders at specific times to help maximise your attendance. Two weeks after you list the event it’s a great idea to do a scheduled message to your group to do a bio on the upcoming speaker at the next event.

For each Meetup, you should be sending out a total of around three to four messages to your members. Most organisers don’t do this, and that’s part of the reason they don’t get the same numbers as Dom and Karina.

To supercharge this further, create a Facebook Page and get an at home photographer to take some photos. Photos will help to create that social proof that your event exists and people come to it. After your event upload the photos to your Meetup and social media platforms.

 

6. Keep an eye out for feedback

The Meetup platform has a rating system, which Dom and Karina take very seriously. The better the quality of speakers, the more likely you will get higher ratings. Before people go to a Meetup, they tend to check out your ratings to see what other people say.

One thing that Karina does is making sure she is interacting at the event and getting the feedback as it happens. This allows her to make changes in real time and address any concerns so that it doesn’t get to the point of someone feeling like they have to give negative feedback to be heard.

Karina says that when she and Dom are calm, people don’t tend to stress out as much if anything does go wrong.

 

7. Secure a venue at no cost

Try to have a venue that you usually use and a few backups just in case. Most venues have a minimum spend in order to have them booked for a Meetup so you need to remind people that are attending, if they could politely purchase a drink or some food, it helps to keep the event going.

“Being a lean startup is cool but being a lean tight-arse is not” – Dom McKenna

If you run your event well, you should almost always meet the venues minimum spend but there are times when you may have to pay the gap out of your own pocket so be prepared for that. The easiest way to get a venue at a low minimum spend is to pick a time of the week when the venue is open but has a very low number of people like a Wednesday night after work.

 

8. Attract draw card speakers

Dom and Karina will often run into prospective speakers at other events. Their philosophy is people recommend people, which can sometimes be considered to be the old school way of networking nowadays. Once you have had a speaker make sure you ask them for referrals to other speakers.

It goes without saying that you need to let a prospective speaker know the value of them giving up their time to come along. Tell them that they will get to have their brand exposed to your database and interact with prospective fans of their business.

Dom McKenna Interviewing Ruslan Kogan

Dom McKenna Interviewing Ruslan Kogan

As well as the branding benefits make sure you play on the fact that speaking at your event will allow them to give back and inspire other people to follow a similar journey to them. Everybody loves to come along to something and speak about what they do – we all have egos even if we don’t like to admit it.If your Meetup is going to be run in a big city, then try to attract speakers from the area who have great stories.

When running a free Meetup event, the general expectation is that you wouldn’t pay for the flights and accommodation of the speaker. If you get a no because of this, the other avenue you could take if the speaker travels a lot is to line up the time that they speak with something else in their calendar that’s at a local location.

Expect that the more high profile the speaker is, the longer it will take to get a hold of them and lock them down for the Meetup.

 

9. Plan well in advance

Once the venue is booked, it’s then time to go to the speaker and confirm if they can attend on the date you have the venue booked. Having the Meetup listed as soon as possible is one of the most important things you need to do. A lot of Meetup organisers fail because they don’t give their audience enough lead-time between events.

Listing a Meetup today that is going to be next week, will guarantee you of failure because you can’t build numbers this way.The minimum lead-time you should aim for is 4-6 weeks before an event and ideally, for a big event, 6-8 weeks.

This allows people to log on, have a look, forward the invite and tell their friends – people refer people, and it takes time. On the night of the event, you should have a registration sheet that you can hand out so you can capture people’s information. A major part of the intellectual property of any business or event is the database.

 

10. Have killer sound

You must check with the venue what audiovisual equipment they have and whether they can have things like two microphones plugged in or a powerpoint presentation. Be prepared that a microphone might die and always have a backup if you can, or at least a spare pair of batteries for the wireless ones. Most venues should have a sound person so make sure you engage them beforehand and at least do a sound check.

The purpose of the soundcheck is to get the volume right and have their sound person equalise the room to remove any harsh frequencies that could create feedback through the mic. If you’re going to have music playing during the networking part, make sure that it’s not overwhelming, and people can hear their conversations. The choice of music should cater to people’s taste at the Meetup and not be too offensive.

 

11. Partner with sponsors

The idea of having sponsors can be valuable for your Meetup but one mistake organisers make is they don’t realise that you have to have a certain size audience before sponsors are interested. With 150 members, you probably won’t get support but once you have over a thousand you very well might have some interest.

When you are plugging sponsors in return for their sponsorship dollars, Dom says try not to plug them in every single message that you send to your members. You should have your sponsors logos on your site and maybe a tasteful banner at the event. Once a month it’s a good idea to do a mail out on behalf of a single sponsor to mention or promote what they do.

Monthly mentions of your sponsor will ensure that you don’t overdo it but that you are also providing value in return for their money.

 

12. Know when to provide food and drink

If you’re running a Meetup that is 90 minutes or less, then you are not really expected to provide food or drink but sometimes that can be affected by the culture of the country that you are in. If you are running a longer event, then it’s a good idea to consider having some food and drink but the catering will most likely need to be paid for by a sponsor.

Typically you don’t charge patrons at your event for food and drink. You need to remember that if your audience are coming straight from work they probably haven’t eaten so providing a small amount of catering will help keep people at your Meetup.

Catering also helps people network because even if they are drinking soda water, the drink allows them to feel comfortable and can be a great excuse to leave a boring conversation and get another drink if required. Having said all of that, the content and the people should be the focus of your Meetup, not the catering.

 

13. Create a networking environment

Your Meetup needs to be structured in such a way that it allows networking. Karina says the best practice that they follow is to have networking at the start, a speaker in the middle for forty-five minutes and then networking at the end. You should build in fifteen minutes at the end of the speaker talking, for the audience to ask questions.

Once this is over it’s ideal if the speaker sticks around to network, which will help the shy people, ask their burning questions and make the patrons hang around longer. This is not always possible though because some speakers – especially high profile one’s – must leave straight after.

The Meetup shouldn’t be a Friday night at the pub where people only talk with their friends. As the organiser, go around and talk to people because that’s what people want, and they are there to network. It’s for this reason that Dom and Karina have two hours for networking and a speaker for only forty-five minutes.

If you see anyone in the corner not talking to anyone, try and get them involved in a conversation. Networking at a Meetup is not about trying to throw up on people with your business pitch, it’s about meeting people.

“The business relationship is built after the relationship so just slow down to speed up” – Karina McKenna

 

14. Collaborate with other Meetups

If your event fits within a particular niche try and collaborate with some other Meetups that are in the same market. Don’t see competitor Meetups as your enemy but rather as your friend. The easiest way to do this is to help promote their events to your members and vice versa.

This is an easy way to grow your reach quickly just make sure that their beliefs and values of the other Meetup align with your event that will serve the greater community.

If there is more than one synergy with another Meetup then try having them come to your event and interview someone, and then you do the same for them. If you lose the scarcity mindset, your competitors in the Meetup space can help you succeed even further

 

***Final thought***

Dom – Don’t underestimate the power of personal development within yourself and the potential that you have. People get so caught up in the small stuff. You need to keep a long-term view of where your life is heading.

Stay true to your values and continue to focus on your goals, serving other people and working on key relationships, and then your life gets better and better. That all starts with you and continuing to put the right input into your mind, which will result in you having a better life

Favourite Book: Jeff Olson – The Slight Edge

 

Karina McKenna Talking At The Inside Out Event

Karina McKenna Talking At The Inside Out Event

Karina – Be kind to yourself and be kind to others because your environment and your situation are really just a reflection of who you are and the person you are becoming. Just remember one thing, if you sit there and think about it the whole time nothing will happen. The only time anything will happen is if you start taking action.

Favourite Book: Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends And Influence People

 

Visit The Entrepreneur Club if you would like to know more about Dom and Karina’s Meetup.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ayesha Hilton

    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Hi Tim!

    Great interview. I’m a member of The Entrepreneur Club meetup, though I
    have yet to make it to an event. I live outside of Melbourne and it’s hard for me to get to an event on a school night as a mother of young children. But I do love being part of Dom and Karina’s community. They get a lot of amazing guests and are a real inspiration to other entrepreneurs.

    Cheers
    Ayesha

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for reading Ayesha and glad you like their event. Maybe if their meetup is too far away you could create your own?

  2. Jon Lee

    Jul 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Tim,

    This was a great interview!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’ve been a big fan of using meet ups to network and grow my business through speaking for a few years now, and I’d just like to add that in addition to collaborating with other meet ups, it’s a good idea to speak at other groups and invite the leaders of other groups to speak at yours.

    I’m gonna share this with my twitter followers.

    Best,

    JL

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

      Glad you liked the article Jon Lee and thanks for sharing.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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Success Advice

4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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personal success
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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ayesha Hilton

    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Hi Tim!

    Great interview. I’m a member of The Entrepreneur Club meetup, though I
    have yet to make it to an event. I live outside of Melbourne and it’s hard for me to get to an event on a school night as a mother of young children. But I do love being part of Dom and Karina’s community. They get a lot of amazing guests and are a real inspiration to other entrepreneurs.

    Cheers
    Ayesha

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Thanks for reading Ayesha and glad you like their event. Maybe if their meetup is too far away you could create your own?

  2. Jon Lee

    Jul 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Tim,

    This was a great interview!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I’ve been a big fan of using meet ups to network and grow my business through speaking for a few years now, and I’d just like to add that in addition to collaborating with other meet ups, it’s a good idea to speak at other groups and invite the leaders of other groups to speak at yours.

    I’m gonna share this with my twitter followers.

    Best,

    JL

    • Tim Denning

      Jul 4, 2015 at 2:19 am

      Glad you liked the article Jon Lee and thanks for sharing.

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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personal success
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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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4 Character Traits Blocking Success From Entering Your Life

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Some days you wake up full of energy and ready to face the day. The challenges you gave yourself the day before seems almost too easy. However, there are also other days where you find yourself without the desire and energy to move forward. Operating from this mindset, you lose productive time, counted first in minutes, then hours. Sometimes your loss of productivity can be measured in days, weeks and months of missed opportunities.   

Since you will not wake up every day bursting with excitement, you must find a way to summon the energy necessary to pound out another story for a publication, work on your social media content plan and write new copy for your website.

To understand why you are unable to take the actions required for success, you must first identify what blocks you. You can’t overcome challenges you aren’t aware of, and this is the juncture separating those who succeed from those who don’t.

Here are the four main character defects that block success:

1. Apathy

Apathy is exhibited as a lack of concern. It shows up when you are tired or stretched too thin. Many entrepreneurs work one or more jobs while attempting to launch a business, whether online or brick and mortar. When progress can’t be seen, it is easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Procrastination

Procrastination can occur when you get up ready to give all you’ve got to your endeavor, but first you check out an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you have coffee. After eight hours of binge-watching, your productive mindset is gone which leaves you demoralized. This in turn brings you back to apathy, triggers fear and causes more procrastinating.

3. Fear

Fear is a corrosive emotion everyone struggles with, and if you are not careful, it will absolutely stop you in your tracks. Fear will say you cannot obtain your dreams. The most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders grapple with anxiety, worry and apprehension, yet you rarely see them paralyzed by their fearfulness. Like them, you can’t defeat your fear unless you identify it. With an insightful mentor, you can easily determine what you are afraid of. Once it is recognized, you’ll find the strength to walk through it.   

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens

4. Overwhelm

Overwhelm occurs when you commit to more than you are capable of doing. Balance and giving the appropriate amount of time to all aspects of life is a tremendous challenge. Have you found yourself overwhelmed when a friend asks a favor of you while you are trying to meet a deadline at work and maintain focus on your entrepreneurial side project? Do you worry how you’ll ever find the time to get it all done? Often when this occurs, we may mentally shut down and accomplish nothing.

To counter the deficits listed above, you must identify, then develop the opposite, positive traits necessary for success. It’s important to understand the “why” of each attribute because only then can you fully tap into the power they offer to help you accomplish your goals.

Here are the four traits to counter the above traits with:

1. Purpose

Purpose gives voice to why you are alive. It tells you and others what you are working toward and why. Living out your purpose is the single greatest weapon against apathy. Knowing your purpose gives you a standard with which you can measure your progress. It motivates you to think, act and ultimately, to succeed.

2. Action

Action is the opposite of procrastination. When your effort is focused on achieving an objective, action propels you forward. Breaking a large project down into small, manageable steps, you’ll gain the needed traction to successfully reach your goal!

3. Courage

Courage is built by first facing, then walking through your fears. Courage gives you strength to do what you think is impossible. Developing a relationship with a mentor, someone willing to tell you the truth about what they see, is crucial to success in this area. With help, you can first identify, then make the adjustments necessary to identify and release the fear blocking you.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

4. Focus

Focus is the final attribute. What you give your attention to is the single most important factor influencing your success. You become what you focus on. When you focus on your purpose, take the necessary actions and develop the courage to bust through, you win!

This is not an all-inclusive list, it’s simply a starting point. As you tackle and overcome your grosser defects, the subtler ones will begin to surface. Slowly, with help from your trusted mentor, you will work and grow through these challenges.  

As you become stronger, you’ll be able to withstand additional demands. You meet them head-on with the new skill set you’ll develop as you let your old ones go. You will be more effective, positive and energetic along with ready to take any action necessary. You are a winner!

Which one of the character traits above do you need to focus on most in order to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Important Decisions to Make to Have a Successful Career

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Would you rather paint your bedroom blue or beige? What is your usual coffee go-to order: a mocha or a macchiato? Should you take the bus or the train to work today? Decisions are everywhere. They are the ones behind our choices and the ones behind all consequences that we face for those choices.

Life is riddled with decisions at every intersection, and some say that those who are the best decision-makers can actually make the most of their time on this planet. Sure, inspirational and spiritual speakers have a lot to say when it comes to the matters of fate, luck or destiny, but only the successful know that a man is truly capable of shaping their own as per their choices.

From choosing on whom to delegate that difficult task to knowing when to bring up a tricky topic during a meeting with shareholders, decisions have the potential to shape your careers as well. If you have been wondering about the ways that you can improve your career, you can consider bringing in some smart decisions in your life right now.

What are the decisions that can help you have a successful career? Since decisions play such a huge role in shaping our lives and careers, you may wish to pick up a few that help you scale higher in your career as well.

Here are 6 of the most important decisions to bring into your life today so that you can take your career to newer heights:

1. Put your goals on paper

Sure, it’s great to have goals for your career, but simply letting them wander about in your mind is not going to help you achieve them, you know. That is why you need to have a list of goals that you have set for yourself – on paper.

Maintain a journal (virtual or offline, whichever works for you) that enlists your career objectives and goals according to short-term and long-term ones. For example, you can put upskilling in short-term goals and moving to a higher managerial position by the end of three years as a long-term goal.

Establish parity in the short-term and long-term goals so that you can synthesise them when the time comes. Jotting down the objectives will help you have a clear idea of where you stand and the way that you should go to bring about the positive changes in your career.

2. Bring in a daily dose of positivity

Let’s face it, all of us have encountered setbacks in our professional lives. The most important lesson to take from those setbacks is to never become pessimistic about what you can achieve. Positivity has helped many to soar the skies when it comes to their careers, and with a conscious decision to eliminate all sorts of negative thoughts from your mind can help you in doing the same too.

You will find a bunch of success stories that all start and end with how important it is to persevere in the face of adversities and letting your positive aura shine through in dark times. One of the smartest things that you can thus do for your career is to decide to chuck all negativity (as well as toxic acquaintances) that make you doubt your abilities and pull you down.

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney

3. Hone your writing skills

No matter which industry you belong to, an impressive writing style in this fast-paced age of digital communication truly has the power to take you places when it comes to becoming more successful in your career.

The blessing that is the web has brought on a range of online tools and resources that you can put to good use for improving your writing skills. If you need to review your official documents and emails, then try online tools to edit and proofread your documents efficiently. You can also use online tools and tutorials to pick up tricks that help you sharpen your writing and make it devoid of common mistakes we all prone to making.

4. Upskill yourself proactively

Whether it is learning to code or taking up creative writing classes, you should decide to upskill proactively throughout your career. Upskilling has benefited more than one, and when the time comes for a job switch to move on to better prospects, you can always leverage the additional skills picked up earlier. As we move towards a faster and more digitised work sphere, it is best to attune oneself to the latest trends and in-demand skills of your industry and beyond to make sure that you are prepared when it is time to take the plunge.

5. Reflect on each day

When you are at work, the days seem to go by in a dizzying blur, leaving you breathless from the sheer pressure of work and tasks that you have to manage throughout the day. Deciding to spare time for yourself despite your busy schedule ensures both personal and professional growth, as leading psychologists opine.

Treat each day as a lesson, and you will end up with a long list of things that you learnt from each of them as they went by. An excellent way to do this is to keep a journal, but if you do not feel up to writing at the end of the busy day, you can always unwind while listening to your favourite music and reflect on the day that was.

6. Pick up a healthy lifestyle

Lastly, it is important to decide to be healthy and fit for only by that will you be at your productive peak to help you achieve all that you want to in your professional sphere. Devote some time to exercise every day and have a healthy diet.

You are sure to find many benefits of having a healthy lifestyle when you rise and shine to go to work with renewed vigour every day that helps you create innovative designs or brainstorm for killer marketing tactics. You never know which hidden potential of yours gets unlocked by facing work with a positive and beaming attitude every day, so why not take a leap of faith?

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Staying ahead of the competition, working overtime, managing piles of emails and getting stuck in the daily conundrums of work may sometimes leave you wondering as to where it is that you are headed when it comes to your career. Cruise through your career like a pro as these six decisions present a world of benefits for your personal and professional growth.

What decisions have you made that have helped you grow professionally? Comment below!

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4 of the World’s Greatest Thinkers Share Their Secrets to Living the Good Life

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It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and open-mindedness to lead a good life of excellent health, wealth, love and happiness. As a personal trainer, and a human being, part of my life revolves around understanding how the human mind works and how to help myself, and the people around me, make decisions that put their lives on the right track.

We only live once thus we have to make the best out of our journey. One of the greatest ways to learn how to live is by learning from those who have lead the good life themselves.

Here are four of the greatest thinkers secrets to live a good life:

1. Jordan Peterson: Treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping

Ever heard of the term, ‘Treat yourself like you treat your best friend?” As corny as it sounds, this tip holds water. You need to be kind to yourself, and you must be compassionate. In fact, studies suggest that self-compassion is more critical to your well being than self-esteem.

If this is true, why is it hard for many people to make friends with themselves? The answer, according to Jordan Peterson, lies in the fact that you`ve been around your imperfect self for so long that all you can see is a flawed human being.

A person, still according to Peterson, will deride his whole existence just because, in his eyes, he’s the ugly, ashamed, frightened, worthless, inadequate, insignificant, resentful, defensive descendant of Adam. Peterson suggests you will gain inner peace when you see yourself through the eyes of a loving coach trying to lead their imperfect mentee to the best possible results.

2. Leonardo da Vinci: Understand how your mind works

Michael J. Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every day, believes Dimostrazione – the Italian translation of demonstration – is one of Da Vinci`s seven principles to his unmatched intelligence. The Italian sculpture, inventor, musician, geologist, and mathematician had a special knack for examining how things work, including his mind, and he made sure to document his musings on paper so he could understand himself better. Before he died, Da Vinci left one of his trustees a 10,000-paper journal full of notes, questions, designs and even jokes and fables.

To reap the benefits of dimonstrazione, you need to regularly detach yourself from the digital world for a few minutes of ruminating and journaling. Question your thoughts, beliefs, and why you/people do things in specific ways. Doing this will spark your creativity and help you solve deeply-rooted problems much easier.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

3. Richard Dawkins: Avoid the trial/error trap

Some may think making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn how to do something. According to Richard Dawkins, making so many mistakes is a waste of time and can sometimes be fatal. In his opinion, most of what you learn should come from “simulation.” He believes one should study the best and worst types of people, emulate their good and avoid their bad.

Most of the time, all you need is to follow someone else`s wheel instead of trying to invent your own – at least until you`re strong enough to lead your way. Additional tip: Get coaching or a mentor who`s 20 years older than you. A good one will save you lots of time, effort and money.

4. Carl Sagan: The universe is not required to be in harmony with ambition

Be flexible and formless, then adapt to the universe instead of trying to bend it to your will – which may not happen. To Carl Sagan, a man should understand that life won’t always give him what he wants, but he must use what life gives him for his better good. If life throws you a  tomato, make a soup of it. Many successful people spent decent parts of their lives drifting between careers only to realize later that they wouldn’t have made it without those career wanderings.

You must also understand that the purpose of a goal isn’t to hit the target but to evolve into the type of person who can achieve his goals. You won’t always win if you swing for the fences with every shot, but your track record will be far better than someone who plays it safe not because of your extraordinary genes but because the type of goal you chose for yourself forced you to step out of your shell and grow.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” – Carl Sagan

Take great care of your mind. Read good books, understand your cognitive biases and take courses in lateral thinking and problem solving. Your mind is your most important asset and it’s a great shame if you fail to use it well.

What is your secret to living the good life? Let us know your secrets in the comments below!

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