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Success Advice

20 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Elon Musk Unstoppable Entrepreneurs

These amazingly talented male and female entrepreneurs share their most valuable advice for achieving success. There seems to be a pattern of looking past your failures and pursuing your goals with relentless persistence to reach success.

Read on for some invaluable advice on how you can be successful in your business and in life.

 

Words Of Advice By Successful Entrepreneurs

 

Sara Blakely (Founder Of Spanx)

Sara Blakely Spanx

“When I was growing up, my dad would encourage my brother and I to fail. We would be sitting at the dinner table and he would ask, ‘So what did you guys fail at this week?’ If we didn’t have something to contribute, he would be disappointed. When I did fail at something, he’d high-five me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that he was completely reframing my definition of failure at a young age. To me, failure means not trying; failure isn’t the outcome. If I have to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I didn’t try that because I was scared,’ that is failure.” – Sara Blakely –  Founder of Spanx

 

 

 

Gurbaksh Chahal (Author & Serial Entrepreneur)

Gurbaksh Chahal

“People tend to think that in order to start a new business they have to come up with something new and dazzling, but that’s a myth – and it’s often propagated by venture capitalists. Find something you love and do it better than everyone else.” – Gurbaksh ChahalSerial Entrepreneur, Net Worth $200 Million

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn)

Jeff-Weiner LinkedIn

“As a child, I can’t recall a day that went by without my dad telling me I could do anything I set my mind to. He said it so often, I stopped hearing it. Along with lines like “eat your vegetables, I just assumed it was one of those bromides that parents repeated endlessly to their kids.
It wasn’t until decades later that I fully appreciated the importance of those words and the impact they had on me.” – Jeff Weiner – CEO of LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Rose (Founder of Digg, Pownce & Milk)

Kevin Rose“Go build it. If you really believe in something, you should just build it. If you love it, it won’t feel like work. It’s okay to drop out of college if you have an awesome idea.” – Kevin Rose – Founder of Digg, Pownce & Milk

 

 

 

 

Caterina Fake (Founder of Flickr & Hunch)

Caterina Fake Flickr“Entrepreneurs need to start building today. The Internet has amazing powers of distribution. You can test your ideas. You can see if it works, if it doesn’t work, whether it’s fun, and whether you’re sufficiently motivated. People who go into entrepreneurship to get rich aren’t going to be happy. It’s the building of things that makes you happy. You have to enjoy the process whether you succeed or fail.” – Caterina Fake – Founder of Flickr & Hunch

 

 

 

Evan Williams (Founder of Blogger & Twitter)

Evan Williams Twitter“Surround yourself with great people, try hard things, say no to distractions and remember to care for yourself. Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationships is.” – Evan Williams – Founder of Blogger & Twitter

 

 

 

Richard Branson (CEO of Virgin)

Richard Branson Virgin CEO“My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me. I have fun running ALL the Virgin businesses — so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.” – Richard BransonCEO of Virgin

 

 

 

Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman Of Google)

eric schmidt google“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.” – Eric Schmidt – Executive Chairman Of Google

 

 

 

Elon Musk (Founder Of PayPal, Tesla Motors & SpaceX)

Elon Musk SpaceX“I always knew that there was a chance of failure in all my endeavors. But I felt that they were important enough that I had to try, even if I thought the probability of success was less than 50%. Try to get together a group of people to do something useful. This may seem like an obvious thing, but often people will organize into a company that doesn’t produce anything useful.” – Elon Musk – Founder Of PayPal, Tesla Motors & SpaceX

 

 

Guy Kawasaki (Venture Capitalist & Best Selling Author)

Guy Kawasaki“There is only hard work and luck, which are really two sides of the same coin. The search for a secret sauce is a futile waste of time. Create something, sell it, make it better, sell it some more and then create something that obsoletes what you used to make.” – Guy Kawasaki – Venture Capitalist & Best Selling Author

 

 

 

Mark Cuban (Shark Tank Investor & Owner of the Dallas Mavericks)

MARK CUBAN“One thing we can all control is effort. Put in the time to become an expert in whatever you’re doing. It will give you an advantage because most people don’t do this. The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” And, “then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” – Mark Cuban – Billionaire Investor & Owner of the Dallas Mavericks

 

 

 

 

Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)

Sheryl Sandberg“I don’t believe we have a professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real self for the rest of the time. That kind of division probably never worked, but in today’s world … it makes even less sense. I’ve cried at work … I talk about my hopes and fears and ask people about theirs. I try to be myself–honest about my strengths and weaknesses.” – Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook

 

 

 

Chad Hurley (Co-Founder Of YouTube)

Chad Hurley YouTube“As you start building the product, don’t assume that you know all the answers. Surround yourself with great people. You need people you can trust to do their job and sometimes the product or idea can die if someone is too controlling. Be prepared to adapt. Also, being lean and mean helps you build something more efficient. You may have initial thoughts or ideas on how something will work but you need to observe how you and the community are using it. Don’t be afraid to change direction mid course.” – Chad Hurley – Co-Founder Of YouTube

 

 

J.K. Rowling (Author of the Harry Potter Series)

J.K. Rowling“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling – Author of the Harry Potter series

 

 

Matt Barrie (CEO of Freelancer.com)

Matt Barrie Freelancer“Too many capable people limit their options because they think they don’t have enough experience or feel that they need to work their way up the corporate ladder by visiting every single rung on the way up. Too many people tell me that their dream is to leave their boring cog in the machine day job and start their own business, but they couldn’t possibly think of doing that because they’ve never had experience running one – well that’s a bit chicken and egg! Carpe diem! The time is now! Time and tide waits for no man. No one is going to hand you your future on a plate.” – Matt Barrie – CEO of Freelancer.com

 

 

 

Jordan Belfort (Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker)

Jordan Belfort“In business you should always offer value first and then get the money afterwards. The mistake I made was that I focused so much on the creation of money without going out there and giving value first. Monetizing value is easy; it’s a matter of building that value first.” – Jordan Belfort – Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker

 

 

 

 Daymond John (Founder of FUBU Clothing and Shark Tank Investor)

Daymond John FUBU“Try to make all the mistakes with your own money and on a small level so that when you are responsible for a partner’s money or assets you’ve learned and you don’t make bigger mistakes. Try to go as far as you can without anybody else’s help first.” – Daymond John – Founder of FUBU Clothing and Shark Tank Investor

 

 

 

 

 

Arianna Huffington (Founder Of The Huffington Post)

Arianna Huffington Post“My mother told me failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone to success. You’re going to fail, probably many times. But that’s okay — in fact, it’s essential. Very often, the difference between success and failure is simply perseverance. If we become so dependent on things always being a success, then we’re in a very vulnerable position — because we’re not in control of how the world is going to receive something.” – Arianna Huffington – Founder Of The Huffington Post

 

 

 

Ben Huh (CEO & Founder of Cheezburger)

Ben Huh Cheezburger“You need to put the fear of risk aside. Startups need leaders who are willing to persevere through the hard times. Failure is an option, and a real risk. Failure and risk are something entrepreneurs should understand well, and learn to manage. Don’t have a fear of talking about your failures. Don’t hide your mistakes.” – Ben Huh – CEO & Founder of Cheezburger

 

 

 

James Caan (BBC’s “Dragons Den” Investor)

James Caan“Never stop asking yourself whether you can do things better. Keep testing every aspect of your business to the nth degree, and challenge every one of your assumptions. The tougher you are on yourself now, the tougher your business will be out there in the real world.” – James Caan – BBC’s “Dragons Den” Investor

 

 

 

 

Feature Image by Scott Council

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Eric

    Aug 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing

  2. Ann

    Jan 24, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Words of wisdom. Love it.

  3. Vijay Bahadur

    Nov 29, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Great….

  4. Sekhar

    Nov 26, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Thanks Joel. Very Inspiring words from amazing people.

  5. Aljoscha Laschgari

    Nov 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Amazing list. Thank you!

  6. zSeek

    Nov 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Good post Joel! Most people have to overcome their fear of starting something only to get hit with failure on the first few attempts most of the time. Then after persistently pursuing their goal they will most likely see some sort of success. It’s always fun to hear about “overnight success” stories where the true story reveals dozens of failed attempts and years of persistence!

  7. Eyenike Roseline

    Dec 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Saying yes to new things that can propel one is vital for entrepreneurs. Failure is a learning curve and pedestal to success. Thanks for sharing this article.

  8. Beckar

    Sep 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    your article is fantastic, it has really inspired me, but I would suggest that in your next article, you do a brief explaination of what the inventions, findings are; for example; we may understand that James Caan is the inventor of BBC’s Dragon Den but we may not understand what BBC’s Dragon Den realy is. Once again thank you for the exceptional article, I will work hard to feature in your next edition

  9. Ivo Dimitrov

    Aug 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Really great article. Can I ask for your permission to translate the article in Bulgarian language and publish it on my blog. Of course, with reference to your site.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Aug 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Ivo, Yes that is no problems at all.

  10. Peninah Wakube

    May 15, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Great article that’s full of inspirations. Persistence is the one weapon I must arm myself with and I will succeed.

  11. John @ Teens Make Money Online

    Mar 24, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Amazing article, I love all the advice that was shared. You cant be discouraged when something doesn’t work out for you, you need to keep pushing forward. Thanks for the article.

  12. Don (@breatheoptimism)

    Mar 24, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Mark Cuban’s advice is spot on: you can fail 99 times, you only need to be right once. I try to keep in mind baseball: if you can get on base 3 times out of 10, you’re an all-star.

  13. Gabriel

    Mar 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Great article. Loved every single advice, keep up the great work!

    Thanks for uploading this

  14. Nicolas Daudin

    Mar 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Great list!!! Inspiring one!
    The key to success is confirmed: persistence!

    • Joel

      Joel

      Mar 20, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Yes Persistence is most definitely the key, when something becomes challenging you will see the weak drop like flies. You have to hang in there and work your damn face off!

  15. Chad Waters

    Mar 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Great Blog

    Everyone needs to take chance to create failure to win in the information age! If your not failing, your not winning!

    • dejiu

      May 8, 2013 at 7:03 am

      You are right! Failing forward is the secret to success!

  16. Sonia Alex

    Mar 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    WOW. There each comment is wonderful to help build good go ahead. Mainly help new entrepreneurs and specially female.

  17. Melissa

    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    What great words of wisdom. Too many people think that those who are successful are just “lucky.” The fact is, they are persistent. Instead of giving up when they fail, they learn from it and keep moving.

  18. Shelley

    Mar 11, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Great article and great words of advice from successful entrepreneurs. Thanks!

  19. Bob

    Mar 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Great article. Unbelievable as this may sound, almost all their advice is in a book written like 40 years ago, ” Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He talks about attitude, going for it now, aligning yourself with the right people, etc. If you have never read it, read it now. If you cannot locate a copy, contact me and I will send you a pdf.

    • Margaret

      Mar 11, 2013 at 12:28 am

      Amazing read! Something that I will look forward reading every single day to motivate me to push harder. Thanks JOEL!

    • Emma Rachel Gray

      Apr 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Bob, I’ll take you up on that pdf.

  20. Dario Izaks

    Mar 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Wow it’s very inspiring to read the motivations these people gave,thank you for a great article

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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storytelling
Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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success
Image Credit: Unsplash

Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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stop trying to be right
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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5 Viktor Frankl Quotes to Reshape Your Perspective Today

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Viktor Frankl quotes
Image Credit: Intellectual Takeout

Highly regarded as one of Viktor Frankl’s greatest works, “A Man’s Search For Meaning” highlights Dr. Frankl’s perseverance and survival through the Auschwitz concentration camp. His insights, both harrowing and enchanting, can be readily applied as a sort of spiritual compass for the modern-day man or woman. (more…)

Dan Whalen is a franchise operator with College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving, personal development writer, and NLP master practitioner. He has a background in business management and team leadership spanning nearly a decade, and has a deeply-rooted passion for helping people experience fulfilling lives. You can find him on Twitter at @DanielJWhalen.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Eric

    Aug 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing

  2. Ann

    Jan 24, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Words of wisdom. Love it.

  3. Vijay Bahadur

    Nov 29, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Great….

  4. Sekhar

    Nov 26, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Thanks Joel. Very Inspiring words from amazing people.

  5. Aljoscha Laschgari

    Nov 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Amazing list. Thank you!

  6. zSeek

    Nov 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Good post Joel! Most people have to overcome their fear of starting something only to get hit with failure on the first few attempts most of the time. Then after persistently pursuing their goal they will most likely see some sort of success. It’s always fun to hear about “overnight success” stories where the true story reveals dozens of failed attempts and years of persistence!

  7. Eyenike Roseline

    Dec 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Saying yes to new things that can propel one is vital for entrepreneurs. Failure is a learning curve and pedestal to success. Thanks for sharing this article.

  8. Beckar

    Sep 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    your article is fantastic, it has really inspired me, but I would suggest that in your next article, you do a brief explaination of what the inventions, findings are; for example; we may understand that James Caan is the inventor of BBC’s Dragon Den but we may not understand what BBC’s Dragon Den realy is. Once again thank you for the exceptional article, I will work hard to feature in your next edition

  9. Ivo Dimitrov

    Aug 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Really great article. Can I ask for your permission to translate the article in Bulgarian language and publish it on my blog. Of course, with reference to your site.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Aug 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Ivo, Yes that is no problems at all.

  10. Peninah Wakube

    May 15, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Great article that’s full of inspirations. Persistence is the one weapon I must arm myself with and I will succeed.

  11. John @ Teens Make Money Online

    Mar 24, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Amazing article, I love all the advice that was shared. You cant be discouraged when something doesn’t work out for you, you need to keep pushing forward. Thanks for the article.

  12. Don (@breatheoptimism)

    Mar 24, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Mark Cuban’s advice is spot on: you can fail 99 times, you only need to be right once. I try to keep in mind baseball: if you can get on base 3 times out of 10, you’re an all-star.

  13. Gabriel

    Mar 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Great article. Loved every single advice, keep up the great work!

    Thanks for uploading this

  14. Nicolas Daudin

    Mar 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Great list!!! Inspiring one!
    The key to success is confirmed: persistence!

    • Joel

      Joel

      Mar 20, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Yes Persistence is most definitely the key, when something becomes challenging you will see the weak drop like flies. You have to hang in there and work your damn face off!

  15. Chad Waters

    Mar 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Great Blog

    Everyone needs to take chance to create failure to win in the information age! If your not failing, your not winning!

    • dejiu

      May 8, 2013 at 7:03 am

      You are right! Failing forward is the secret to success!

  16. Sonia Alex

    Mar 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    WOW. There each comment is wonderful to help build good go ahead. Mainly help new entrepreneurs and specially female.

  17. Melissa

    Mar 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    What great words of wisdom. Too many people think that those who are successful are just “lucky.” The fact is, they are persistent. Instead of giving up when they fail, they learn from it and keep moving.

  18. Shelley

    Mar 11, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Great article and great words of advice from successful entrepreneurs. Thanks!

  19. Bob

    Mar 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Great article. Unbelievable as this may sound, almost all their advice is in a book written like 40 years ago, ” Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He talks about attitude, going for it now, aligning yourself with the right people, etc. If you have never read it, read it now. If you cannot locate a copy, contact me and I will send you a pdf.

    • Margaret

      Mar 11, 2013 at 12:28 am

      Amazing read! Something that I will look forward reading every single day to motivate me to push harder. Thanks JOEL!

    • Emma Rachel Gray

      Apr 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Bob, I’ll take you up on that pdf.

  20. Dario Izaks

    Mar 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Wow it’s very inspiring to read the motivations these people gave,thank you for a great article

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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Image Credit: Fortune

What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What You Can Learn From My Ultimate “I Am Screwed” Moment.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Gold Chain

When I was 16 years old, I had the ultimate “I am screwed moment.”

Everything from this point on happened in slow motion. What I’m about to describe probably happened in the space of thirty minutes but it felt like five hours.

I was walking down the street with my buddy one night, eating a paddle pop ice cream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of about twenty teenagers running towards us, dressed in black.

I instantly knew that something was up and as they got closer, we both realized we were screwed and there was nowhere to run to.

Seconds later the gang of teenagers came straight towards us as fast as they could.

“I got lucky and copped a baseball bat to the head. My friend wasn’t so lucky. He was repeatedly stabbed by several different people and there was blood everywhere.”

As I saw what happened to my friend, I knew I’d be next. I was hit so many times with the baseball bat that I was numb from the pain. Everything started to go white.

Then I heard a faint voice. The voice was calling my name out.

I listened to what the young man was saying and realized he was saying that his little brother knew me. All of a sudden, he put out his hand, lifted me off the ground and told me to run in the other direction, or I’d end up like my friend.

I somehow managed to get on my feet and run, but I was not giving up on my friend. I ran around the back of the shopping center that we were standing outside of and entered the building. I ran to the first security guard I saw and told them I needed help.

In my search to get help, miraculously, my friend had made it into the shopping center and he was being treated by a number of bystanders for his massive knife wounds.

I went over and spoke to him. He was okay and things looked better than I expected. I had about sixty seconds of calmness. Then I looked to my left.

Through the glass doors, I could see the same gang of teenagers running into the shopping center. Everyone including the two security guards ran in opposite directions.

My friend with his multiple knife wounds also ran and there were bandages everywhere as he made a run for it (I’m not even sure how he was able to move).

This time I was the unlucky one. I ran into the part of the shopping center that was closed for the night and three of the youths followed me. I’d never been so afraid because I saw what they did to my friend.

I ended up in the shopping centers food court and I hid in the darkness. I tried to control my breathing, but it was hard to silence the fear inside of me. I still remember the white Nike pants I was wearing and the bright red Sean John jumper I had on (I later discarded them because of the memory they left).

Again, through some kind of miracle, the three boys did not see me. They ran off in another direction and I stayed under the table.

The pain of my wounds started to set in. I knew deep down I was safe and so the fight or flight response was turned off. All of a sudden, moving and walking felt very painful.

I could feel broken bits of teeth in my mouth.


The aftermath.

After some time had passed, I manage to reconnect with my friend. By that time there was an ambulance on the scene and he managed to get his knife wounds treated. He got lucky and no vital organs were affected.

The next day I went to school and people could see I had gone through one hell of an ordeal. One of my friends in the year level below, came and found me and explained to me that it was his older brother and friends that attacked me.

They had mistakenly thought that we had come from a party, because of the direction we came from, where he was beaten up. He told me that because they had recognized me, to some degree, I was spared.

The story doesn’t end here though (I wish it did). Even after the brutal event, one of the attackers was still upset with me. I didn’t know why and it made no sense. I had multiple times where he and his friends were waiting for me in certain places and I was told they would harm me.

Through a mutual friend, I was able to resolve the conflict and I found out that a few of them were close friends with a few of my friends. In the coming years, I got to know my attackers.

“They were not the horrible violent people I encountered on that night. They slowly changed their ways and one of them has gone on to do extraordinary kind acts all over the world.”


A revelation from this “I am screwed” moment.

After this horrible event had occurred, I tried to make sense of it. I was not a violent person in any way but in a way, I had created this path for myself.

During my teenage years, I let rap music and violence dominate my life. I thought they were both cool.

The revelation from all of this was that I knew I had to change my life. I knew that the path I was on had led me to this moment and only I could change things. The next time an attack like this happened, I may not be as lucky.

I gave up rap music, I changed my group of friends, I started a business with my brother, I quit smoking and I disengaged from anything that was violent. Looking back, an “I am screwed” moment can be extremely valuable. It’s during these difficult times that we learn about who we are and what we can do to change our lives.

I would never have become obsessed with legacy, giving back and personal development if I hadn’t had this life or death experience.

I’m now fully aware of my mortality and I’m never going to take another day for granted.

Everything can change in a split second for better or for worse. What you do in that moment is up to you.

Nothing happens randomly (even this attack). Everything happens for a reason and when you ensure you get the lesson from it, you can go on to do extraordinary things.

I’m typing these words and reaching millions of people with them, partly because of this “I am screwed” moment.


If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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