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18 Lessons We Can All Learn From The TV Show “Entourage”

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Entourage Business Lessons

Entourage, an HBO TV series that ran from 2004-2011, is an American show that focuses on the up-and-coming life of a movie star in Hollywood. Entourage gained popularity for featuring a new celebrity in each episode and for providing a detailed insight on the day-to-day lives of actors, their managers, and agents.

Among the main characters in the show are Ari, Vince, Turtle, Drama, and E. In each series, the characters face new challenges, are granted new opportunities, and have their friendships tested.  Based on the characters decisions and actions, viewers are able to take away many business lessons that they can apply to their daily lives while on the journey of reaching success.

After watching every episode numerous times, I have gained the following 18 business lessons that I feel we can all apply at some point in our lives.

 

1. The company you keep will make or break you in the end

Indirectly; this is what the show is all about. It’s called “Entourage” and is centered around one star and his closest group of friends. Although some work harder than others, they all have the same goal and never let Vince (the star) get off track. They split daily responsibilities, and ensure Vince’s confidence and image remains high.

In season 3, childhood friend Dom was released from prison in New York and immediately tracked down the boys in an attempt to join their Entourage. Although he tried his hardest to fit in, ultimately, he didn’t have the same goals and affected Vince’s career with negative light. It didn’t take long until they split.

 

2. Think big

Although Turtle didn’t show his entrepreneurial side until later in the show, he always thought big. Whether it was a party, or a new house for the boys – Turtle always looked at the big picture. This later translated into his business mindset. When he had a venture, he didn’t want to be a local company, he wanted to be worldwide. In countless scenes he would call celebrities for financial help and aid in getting the product in markets he had no connections to. He even used Vince’s likeness to negotiate his way into deals.

We all start somewhere with one goal in mind: grow! Never put limitations on your success, if you can dream it, you can achieve it.

 

3. Hire the right people

Vince was ‘rolling in the cash’ and had enough money to hire a variety of professionals. However, he hired the best of the best because he didn’t waste his money on employees he didn’t need. His 4 basics were an agent, an accountant, a publicist, and a manager. He had his friend Turtle do the driving, and Drama do the cooking.

The lesson here is to spend your money to control costs. All successful people watch their expenditures down to each dollar.

 

4. Don’t let materialistic pleasures get to your head

Early in the series, Vinny really wanted to pursue a movie against his agent’s recommendations. Ari was pushing a movie that was backed by a studio and a heavy pay cheque. Vince had enough and headed for the door; just before exiting he said

“I came from nothing, and as much as I love all the toys, I really don’t need them.”

The statement really portrays the difference between materialistic people and goal oriented. Vince knew what he wanted and he wasn’t going to get sidetracked by some extra cash.

 

5. Get back up after defeat

The success of Aquaman took Vince straight to the top of Hollywood. Feeling good, he pursued ‘Medellin’ which bombed at the film festival and didn’t even make it to theatres. His career hit an ultimate low. No directors wanted to work with him and no studios were interested in hiring him. The rejection was new for Vince, but he fought back. He battled his way onto his feet by taking second lead roles, something no star actors like to do due to their egos. Small sacrifices not only got him back on his feet, but had him standing tall once again ready to reach new heights.

In business, you will fall. In fact, you may fall several times. But it’s how you respond to the fall that will define you. If you can look adversity in the eye and get back up, you and your business will strive through any problems you encounter along the journey to success.

 

6. Remember your roots

Successful people typically hide, or never speak about where they came from. They’re too caught up with their current image that they think their past will define them.

Vince operates oppositely. He knows exactly where he came from, and he’s proud of it. He went from having little to having a lot, but still remains humble. Success is defined by how far you get from your starting point.

When you reach the top, appreciate your success by looking at the distance you traveled to get there. It will boost your confidence and give you a reason to reward yourself.

Entrourage Final Season

 

7. Dress well

If anyone dressed well on the show, it was Ari. Although it may be uncomfortable at times, it really does make a difference. Think about it, would you want to go into business with someone who thinks sharp but dresses like a teenager? When you look good, you feel good. People take you more seriously and it boosts your confidence.

Someone who adopted this change was Turtle. Early on he would wear clothes 3 sizes too big and due to that no one would really look at him, or take him seriously. However, when he later started to get his life together, he lost all his excess weight and began to dress presentable. By the very last episode, he too reached success.

 

8. Remind your family you love them

Ari, the super agent, is always on the go. From early on in the series it’s clear his wife doesn’t appreciate it. By the end of the 8 series, she’s had enough and is prepared to leave him – but it’s what Ari did throughout the series that sticks out. Literally every scene of Ari and his family included Ari telling one, or all of them, how much he loves them. It’s clear he didn’t get to spend as much time with them as he would like, but he always expressed his love.

Often when we’re working around the clock to build our dream, we neglect our loved ones. We get so caught up in reaching success, we fail with our relationships.

It’s important to put sweat, blood, and tears into your goals, but take time out for your loved ones. They’ll be happier with you and aid you with motivation.

 

9. Don’t stop the hustle – diversify

When Vince’s career picked up, he stepped outside of acting to diversify the Vincent Chase brand. He sang at birthday parties, became the face for an international energy drink, and even tried his luck in fashion. Most of these moves were for the money, but that’s what business is all about. Why make money from one industry, when you can create multiple incomes? At the end of the day, if one fails, you will always have the other(s).

This is common among both celebrities and athletes. They’re able to use their star power to sponsor companies and products, which usually leads into other neat ventures.

Always offer the public different products – give them choice and selection. When you only cater to one target market, there’s only so far you can get.

 

10. Fight until the end

Johnny Drama’s acting career was barely existent. Throughout all of the series, he received little to no interest from any directors, and even had a hard time finding an agent. However, there’s no doubt that Drama gave it 100% for each audition and fought for his life in every season. Ultimately, he got his own show and received other multiple deals.

In reality, most of us will have a career like Drama’s before we reach ‘Vince status’. We will have to fight until the end, even if it means getting knocked down over and over.

Determination is key; with it, there’s nothing that can knock you down and keep you down. If you want it bad enough, you will succeed.

 

11. Go with your instinct

It’s hard not to question your past judgments or actions, especially during adversity. A lot of characters in the show hung their heads after some sort of misfortune, but not Eric. E always went with his gut feeling. Now this isn’t to say your gut feeling is always right, but it’s important not to ignore it despite what others advise you to do. If it’s wrong (which it will be, here and there) don’t hang your head.

What separates leaders from followers is the ability to make decisions and move forward on them.

 

12. Have confidence in yourself

Although it didn’t always seem like it, Vincent Chase was always a confident character. He was confident in what he wore and everything he did. He would hear comments from time to time pressuring him to change the way he did things, but he believed in himself and stayed confident no matter what stage of life he was in.

In business, if you’re not willing to fight for yourself, don’t think anyone else will. Confidence is everything when you’re leading a team, or presenting your ideas. Believe in yourself, your dreams, and only then others will.

entourage lessons of success

 

13. It’s never too late

If you think it’s too late to get your life or business together – you’re wrong. Turtle and Drama are prime examples. For Drama, friends or acquaintances often told him to give up on his career due to his age – it would bother him, but he never stopped moving forward. Turtle on the other hand didn’t care about a career until he was at least 30. He found that everyone, including his girlfriend, would treat him like a baby. A lot of this was due to him getting things for free and not working for them. He could have continued to live like a prince, but he wanted respect and he set out to earn it. In the midst of a new venture later in the show, he declined Vince’s offer to take care of him even though he really needed financial help.

He didn’t care how long it took him to do what he needed; he was just focused on reaching his goals and adding accomplishments to his name. At the end of the day, there’s nothing that feels more rewarding.

 

14. Don’t hang out with the wrong crowd

At one point, Vince got caught up with the wrong crowd. He began dating a porn star and hanging out with Scott, someone who cared more about having fun than anything else. This led to Vince’s drug addiction, which eventually led to Eminem knocking him out and sending him straight into rehab.

It’s nice to go out and have a wild night with your party friends once every blue moon, but the second you go from seeing them a couple times a year to a couple times a day, you’re going to be in trouble.

Going back to lesson 1, you should surround yourself those that will push you to succeed. It might be slow, but they will eventually sink your ship.

 

15. RUN don’t walk

Time is money. In every season of the show, Ari was on the run. He understood what seconds and minutes added up to and if you weren’t using his time effectively, he would ask you to leave, or simply hang up on you. In other scenes, you’ve probably noticed he literally ran to get to where he needed to be. Ari made sure his days were as productive as possible and never left an opportunity hanging.

A lot of people assume that since they addressed 5/10 things in the day, everything would be fine. Truth is, successful people don’t eat or go home until they hit 10/10. If you don’t seize your opportunities, somebody else will. Vince was once quoted advising E:

“why hold off on something until tomorrow that you can accomplish today?”

 

16. Suck it up

Lloyd was continuously abused and overworked by Ari, but as he once said “I know it will be worth it in the end.” Lloyd knew it would be a lot of work for him to become a full-time agent, but never once did he back down from his responsibilities. He was verbally abused day in and day out but he remained professional and his work was second to none. During one episode when he took a leave from work for personal issues, Ari literally couldn’t function. Someone as hardworking as Lloyd can never be replaced, so they never are.

 

17. Reward your supporters

Every time Vince succeeded, he would share the wealth with his entourage, equally. By doing so, all of them felt apart of the success and were happier for Vince. When E got a big paycheck, he took the boys out shopping and let them buy anything they wanted. Now some may argue this is “buying support” but it’s not. All of the guys supported each other from small things like an audition, to landing big movie roles and killing it at the box office. They did it because they wanted each other to succeed; the materialistic things were just a bonus, a sweet bonus.

Choose your relationships wisely.

 

18. Have fun!

Outside all of the business meetings and negotiations, everyone was having fun. This had a lot to do with them following their passion. None of them were forcing themselves into industries or jobs that didn’t appeal to them, and due to that they had fun even when they were working.

Whether it’s lunch by the pool, or merging with a $100 million dollar company, smile and be happy knowing you’re doing what you love.

entourage lessons for success

 

Feature Image By HBO

Additional Images Originally Appeared on FilmAffinity

Sean Bassi is a blogger from Vancouver, BC. He owns and operates a news & events website (www.604Now.com) with the fastest growing blog in the province'.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Koko

    Apr 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    It’s great to know that someone sees more than parties, booze and drugs in Entourage 🙂 It’s about the life of Mark Wahlberg, made by his real life complications and he is a producer too! Just to mention that, the other this are perfect.

    • Sean Bassi

      Apr 12, 2014 at 3:20 am

      Thanks Koko! It was great to see Wahlberg turn his reality into such a successful show. Looking forward to the movie!

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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negative thoughts
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Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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Success Advice

5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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Success Advice

You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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starting a business at a young age
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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired. (more…)

With the desire to go "digital nomad" and help businesses with their social media, Chelsea Tobin founded her boutique social media agency, Queen of Swords Media, in 2018. She attended Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing major) and a Bachelor of Communication Studies (PR major). She enjoys speaking and writing about her journey so far in the world of business, self-development and mindfulness as a young millennial woman navigating her way through life, and of course social media. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Koko

    Apr 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    It’s great to know that someone sees more than parties, booze and drugs in Entourage 🙂 It’s about the life of Mark Wahlberg, made by his real life complications and he is a producer too! Just to mention that, the other this are perfect.

    • Sean Bassi

      Apr 12, 2014 at 3:20 am

      Thanks Koko! It was great to see Wahlberg turn his reality into such a successful show. Looking forward to the movie!

Leave a Reply

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Success Advice

Stop Denying Your Negative Thoughts and Start Embracing Them

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negative thoughts
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, many of the talking heads and pundits in the personal development and success science industry have talked about the immediate replacement of negative thoughts with positive thoughts. The logic behind that particular behavioral strategy seems to make sense on the surface. Think about it, when a negative thought rears its ugly head, we should immediately dive into the repository of positive thoughts that we have available to us so that we could immediately begin to dwell on it.

Even further, some gurus of the genre suggest removing any chance of having a negative thought by the constant repetition of affirmations. Again, tried-and-true motivational technology that is very workable and still useful. I would suggest, however, that you view the above behaviors as tactics more than strategies.

I will further suggest to you that you do not abhor your negative thoughts but rather embrace them, examine them, and place them under a spotlight. My reasoning behind this goes back over 100 years into psychology with stimulus/response, that is, the cause and effect of certain behaviors. Many individuals look at a negative thought as a causative driver. The negative thought exists as a cause, and our behavior toward that cause will determine the effect.

So, following this logic, if an individual has a negative thought which makes them feel sad, and that sadness causes them to binge drink, by removing the negative thought you’ll have removed the motivation for binge drinking. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly? The suggestion here is to turn off the negative thought so that it will turn off the consumption of alcohol.

Of course, this makes sense if we view the negative thought as a primal force in behavior. So, what if we started to think of the negative thought more as the result of something else? It means that the “something else” must change first. What if we took a different approach? What if we looked at a negative thought as an effect of some larger causal factor?

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

By reversing the cause-and-effect motion of negative thinking (saying that the negative thought is an effect), we now can ask a deeper, more penetrative question: Why are we thinking that negative thought? What is the underlying cause of that specific train of thinking? By reversing the cause-and-effect relationship of negative thinking, it allows the negative thinker to assume the role of diagnostician!

Below is a three-step process you can use to examine your negative thoughts, the role of it in your life, and how you can get rid of them:

1. Simply acknowledge the negative thought

Recognize the fact that there’s a negative thought in your mind instead of trying to go through a process of emotionally overlaying positive thoughts on top of it. Can you see how this exacerbates the issue? You have a negative thought, you immediately recognize that it must be changed, and you frantically scurry through the museum of your mind to find a positive thought to replace it.

In the meantime, while you are trying to find that positive thought, you’re feeling anxious, nervous, and guilty! When you finally find a positive thought to replace that negative thought, the normal process is to squash it. But you can’t! It’s like trying to get rid of weeds by covering them with rocks.

They will always find another way around the rock. It is the same with negative thoughts. Consequently, try acknowledging the negative thought.

2. Affirm the negative thought

It is a part of you. Instead of denying its existence, accept that it is there in front of you and that you are now willing to deal with it. If any of you reading this are dog lovers, you will know that the best way to get a dog next to you is by attempting to push it away from you. Every time you push the dog away it gets closer. This is the same with negative thinking because the harder you push the closer it gets.

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan

3. Acquit the thought

Give it permission to leave you. Thank it for its past importance in your life and allow it to be on its way! At this point feel free to replace the negative thought with a positive thought. What will begin to happen when you place the negative thought under the spotlight is that you will see how insignificantly small it actually is.

This is a process I’ve been using for quite some time, and it works! Oh sure, I still use affirmations on a daily basis; as a matter fact I have them right here in front of me. I find that affirmations are a tremendous way to stay positive because it doesn’t allow any room for bad things to grow. But since the average person thinks 60,000 to 65,000 thoughts per day, let’s face it, a few negative thoughts have to squeak in there!

The best advice that I can give is to not freak out over a negative thought. Acknowledge it, affirm it, and acquit it! This is magic. Watch what happens!

How do you handle negative thoughts? Let us know your tips below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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One Thing I Can Teach You About Life That Will Help You Forever.

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I used to be a very anxious person.

I was embarrassed by what I couldn’t do and every day was a struggle. From the moment I would wake up to the moment I’d go to bed, everything felt impossibly overwhelming. It’s a battle I’ve dealt with most of my life.

This daily struggle with mental illness taught me that the satisfaction didn’t lie in beating it; the satisfaction was in helping other people beat mental illness through my success in fighting it.


Recently, I was at work. It was a pretty standard day — nothing too exciting. I then had a catch up with one of the leaders I worked with.

She said something that got my attention: “One of our colleagues is battling a mental illness.”

I really wanted to help. My eyes lit up. There was no need to uncover my plan with anyone else. I knew that staying discrete was fundamental.

I approached the person in question and asked for a few minutes of their time.

I didn’t ask them to admit their mental illness struggle; I just shared my story.

I talked about the anxiety stopping me from having a normal life, eating the right foods, going on dates with girls, having the career I wanted and traveling the world.

I wasn’t sure if any of it was sinking in or even helping. I felt compelled to go on. One thing I knew was that he was paying attention. I could see it in his eyes.

I then went on to talk about how I beat mental illness. Strategies such as:

  • Creating fear lists
  • Seeking professional help
  • Working on myself
  • Books I read
  • Events I attended

Out of nowhere, he started opening up about his own struggle. I was shocked.
It wasn’t pretty. He had an extreme case of mental illness that I certainly couldn’t diagnose or give professional advice on.

All I could do was show him through my own story that there was hope

I offered him access to all the resources I had. I told him that he had my full support and I’d be happy to help in any way I could. He then said:

“What was your psychologist’s name?”

I told him I’d look it up and send it to him. I didn’t have the answer in front of me, but I was determined when I got home to find it.

At the end of the catch-up, he smiled. I don’t think he’d smiled like that in a very long time.

That smile gave me so much satisfaction. It made my own struggle with mental illness worth it. All those sleepless nights, times spent vomiting into the toilet and dark days where I didn’t want to go on made sense.


“It took more than seven years for me to understand that my own battle with mental illness actually had a benefit”

That benefit was the satisfaction in seeing someone beat their mental illness because I was able to defeat mine.

It’s probably the greatest satisfaction of my entire life.

That’s one thing I can teach you about life that will help you forever.

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5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

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Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2019:

1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

“Productivity is never an accident it’s the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Create the right habits to achieve your goals, work on adopting easy tips and techniques so you can manage your time and yourself better to get things done.

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You Need to Grow Your Memory in Order to Grow Your Life

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We all have access to the most powerful computer ever created in the universe…our brain. Unfortunately, few of us have ever been taught how to use our minds efficiently, and even fewer have learned how to develop a fabulous memory. Thankfully, like any skill, memorising can be learned and using the correct strategies, your memory can be improved in only days.

One of the best coaches on memory is Dominic O’Brien the eight-time world memory champion. Self-taught after watching Creighton Carvello memorise a pack of cards on the BBC’s Record Breakers programme. Dominic, through his work on memory, has given us many tools and techniques for improving memory.

Below are 5 rules that will help you develop a better memory:

1. The Rule of Five

Probably seen as one of the most significant contributions to the body of knowledge on memory is O’Brien’s Rule of Five. This rule details how to remember things using a strategy of regular staged repetition.

These stages are as follows:

  • First Review:Immediately
  • Second Review:Twenty-four hours later
  • Third Review:One week later
  • Fourth Review:One month later
  • Fifth Review:Three months later

Utilising stage repetition at these intervals ingrains the memory for the long term.

2. The Dominic System

The Dominic System is a system for remembering numbers. The system is a Person Action system where the association between two sets of paired numbers is the person with the action of the next person.

1139 would become Andre Agassi doing a roundhouse kick which is the action of Chuck Norris. This system combined with the journey method allows for long random numbers to be easily recalled without error. The fantastic thing about this system is that you get to customise for yourself with memorable people and unique actions which when combined really make it easy for you to recall numbers. The table below associates each number to a letter.

Number     0     1    2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
Letter     O     A     B     C     D    E     S     G     H     N

Creating a simple document with pairs of numbers in one column, the letter pairs in the next and an action column will help you learn this system quickly.

“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.” – Andre Agassi

3. The Link Method

This method relies on two essential elements of memory, association and exaggeration. Utilising these two elements, it is possible to link together unrelated objects to allow you to remember them.

Trying to remember a list of five separate words such as: balloon, papaya, gold, football and hat, might go something like this. You imagine seeing a giant balloon and inside the balloon you can see a small papaya, in bursting the balloon the papaya falls out and as it hits the floor a gold football bounces into a large sombrero.

4. The Journey Method

Using location has been a fundamental part of mnemonics almost since time began. Before humans, writing elders would pass knowledge to others using stories of journeys, with each piece of knowledge being associated with a location on the journey.

O’Brien’s system utilises journeys that you would undertake on a daily basis, like your commute to work or train stations on well-known line. Items are then associated and exaggerated along the journey, so for instance if you were trying to remember a list of ten random things you would associate each piece along with a unique ten stop journey and utilise exaggeration to make the items more memorable.

“You are well equipped with an incredible potential for absorbing knowledge…Anything’s possible.” – Dominic O’Brien

5. The Story Method

To remember groups of information, create a story that links them together. Remembering the planets of the solar system and their position relative to the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Imagine that Mercury was hitting the nineties as Venus tossed the tennis ball into the air, striking the ball it soared over the net striking the earth and bouncing high into the air, knocking the mars bar out of Jupiter’s hand, and so on.

Developing a good memory will assist markedly in all of your personal development goals as well as assisting greatly in your daily life. The methods above are tried and tested by one of the leading memory champions. Whether you want to become the next World Memory Champion or just improve your recall, the techniques outlined above will assist greatly.

Combining the various elements will create an exponential improvement in your memory that you will find hard to believe, and you will be kicking yourself for not applying them sooner. The best part about using these methods is that they are fun, so enjoy using them.

Which one of these memorizing methods sounds most interesting to you? Share with us below!

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