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Success Advice

4 Ways to Invest in Your Personal Growth Strategy to Make an Impact on Your Income

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Has the traditional model of education left you bored, unmotivated, or made you view learning as a chore? If so, perhaps this perception has continued into adulthood and is now holding you back from being the person you feel you were meant to be. If so, you are looking at learning the wrong way.

Successful people know that personal growth will increase their impact and income. However, many people still hold on to the negative association with learning from their school days and don’t strive to grow.

Here are 4 ways to invest in your own personal growth strategy to help you earn more this year:

1. Are You “Making” Money or “Earning” Money?

First, we have to focus on your mindset. This will help you maximize your growth strategy. Are you looking to “make” more money or “earn” more money? It’s a subtle difference but one that will help you tremendously.

People who want to make more money might think of ways of getting money from other people and forget about helping others succeed first. This is a “me first” mentality which customers and clients can see right through. This thought process usually doesn’t build trust and seems to stunt success in the long term.

However, people who want to earn more money think of ways to add value to others first. By adding value to other people you will become more valuable and then you will see your income grow.

2. View Learning as an Investment

Successful people are ones who are continually improving all areas of their lives. Just like a healthy plant innately knows it has to grow or else get choked out by other weeds and plants, entrepreneurs know that to become better and earn more money, they have to grow or else the competition will surpass them. Growth is vital in all areas of life including health, family, relationships, spirituality and wealth.

In order to earn more money, you must first change your mindset to that of a lifelong learner.  Start by learning something small each day. These little changes add up to big results and become a snowball effect. You won’t know the future impact it will have until you get started. Plant the seed now and watch it grow.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Here are a few of my favorite ways to learn are:

  1. Read a book for 30 minutes a day – Find an expert who has written a book on the topic you want to master. By investing in reading for 30 minutes a day, you will find you can read a book faster than you thought possible.
  2. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks – Want to learn in the car, while exercising or cleaning the house? Podcasts and audiobooks are great ways to take success principles and apply them to your life while on the go.
  3. Take an online course – eLearning courses are some of the most effective ways to learn. You can learn what works and what doesn’t work from an expert and shortcut your success all from the comfort of your computer, tablet or smartphone. Take advantage of mobile learning, time-shifted learning, video-based training and “gamification”.
  4. Attend conferences and seminars – Not only will you learn strategies and tactics from the speakers, but you’ll also network with like-minded people in your industry.
  5. Watch tutorial videos – You can learn any skill by searching YouTube and Google. Simply type in what you want to learn or a question about your topic and you will be able to learn from other people who have found success.

3. Get Paid for Learning More

Now that you view your learning as an investment strategy and have recommendations on how to learn, it’s time to know the two best ways that your learning will impact your income. By doing one or both of these strategies you will increase the value you provide to your customers or clients and earn more money. 

The first strategy is to improve your existing skill set. This will make you more knowledgeable, more efficient and know what mistakes to avoid. These are highly valuable in the workforce which enables you to charge more for services you are already providing.

The second strategy is to learn new skills so you add more services to your arsenal. This will help you create additional sources of revenue. With either of these two strategies, you can promote your increased knowledge by getting new certifications, achieving a high score on an assessment or completing an online course.

That way your customers or clients see that you are smarter, more efficient and can serve them better. Imagine how much more you can earn if you improve your existing skills and add new ones?

4. Leverage Learning for Maximum Earning

When building your personal growth strategy, it is very important to determine what to learn in order to be most effective. Do not settle for learning something that will bring a small amount of financial success.

Find things that your customers and clients will pay the most for and either learn how to do it yourself or bring someone on your team that can do it faster and cheaper. In the book, The 12 Week Year, the authors Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington share how to break your year into 12 week sprints. This helps you create focus and clarity on what matters most. It will give you a plan to move forward.

Do you want to be a technician or would creating a system and managing the process bring in more revenue? While you may think you need to improve upon tactics, perhaps you really need to improve your strategic thinking or management skills. In Michael Gerber’s book, The E-myth Revisited, he breaks down how to create an effective company by getting out of the technical work. Usually, technicians do not get paid very well and are easily replaced.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

What is the maximum potential for your personal growth? Most people do not know because they do not take the time to invest in their own personal growth strategy.  Imagine yourself walking on a lifelong journey. You will drastically change the direction you go with a simple change each day in the direction you want to go rather than wandering aimlessly.

You can make small changes by improving your existing skills and learning new ones since you have the power to control your own path. As a case in point, make learning a lifelong process and see how your income dramatically grows because of it.

Which one of these 4 will help you learn more and earn more this year? Let us know below!

Jeff Long is the founder and CEO of True Focus Media and a business growth consultant since 2003. True Focus Media specializes in digital marketing strategies to increase sales, obtain more leads, market products, and services, all while decreasing time and expenses. Jeff enjoys traveling and has been to all 50 States and 13 countries (and counting) for work and pleasure.  Get the free report on “7 successful marketing strategies to get more leads, sell more products and decrease time and expenses.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ido Barnoam

    Apr 29, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Great post!

    I’m an avid fan of learning and improving.
    For a while, I was trying to figure out how to best plan reading into the day.

    I’ve tried several things including speed reading but I found that what best works for me is to read for 30 minutes in the morning a book which requires a high mental involvement. To add to that I also read for 30 minutes at night before I go to best another book which is more of fiction (usually biographies)

    • Jeff Long

      Jun 20, 2018 at 2:34 am

      I’m glad you liked it Ido. I think it’s important to find the methods that work for each one of us. I’m an auditory and visual learner so much of my learning is through those. I’ve also found certain times of the day that works best.

      Keep up working, learning and growing!

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Success Advice

If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas

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Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?

As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.

Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.

Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:

1. Time

Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.

First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.

Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace. 

When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.

Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day. 

You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Money

Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.

It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?

Here are a couple of things to watch out for: 

  • Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures. 
  • Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues. 
  • Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations. 
  • Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model. 

Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.

3. Space and Supply

I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.

Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict. 

A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.

Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply. 

  • Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company? 
  • Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products? 
  • Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. People

Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people. 

You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.

Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box. 

People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.  

Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:

  1. Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable. 
  2. Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize. 
  3. Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company. 

Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement. 

What is your next step? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The Importance of Failure: Why We Should Fail Forward

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What Is failing forward? Will Smith said it best in a viral Instagram video that engaged the world. “You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”

Failing forward is about using leverage on your mistakes and making a realistic assessment of the risks involved. It’s your ability to live with the downside, control your emotions and experiment with new approaches. When we fail forward, we need to look at the reason why we fail and understand that it’s all part of the process of achievement.

Here are 4 Reasons Why We Fail:

1. We Are Too Distracted

Distractions are everywhere. They can take us off course and could make it impossible to keep our mind on our goal or purpose. It’s important to be selective, strategic and supportive in our distractions. We all control certain aspects of our day, so be selective and prioritise tasks that are in line with your goals.

We should be strategic by understanding when we work best. Personally, I write more efficiently in the early mornings and late evenings. So that’s what I stick to. Try different things and see when you are least distracted. You’ll then be able to be supportive and generous with your time. Being supportive of others costs us little and drives our own success whilst boosting our health and happiness.

2. Lack of Self Belief

Lack of self belief runs differently from person to person. Our experiences, childhood history, genes, culture and life circumstances play a part in our self confidence. The truth is, we can’t alter the experiences that our past has given us. What we can do though, is change our thoughts to gain more belief in ourselves. Ways to increase our self-belief is to find out more about ourselves. We can do this by taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Giving ourselves a healthy support system and understanding our emotions are just a couple of ways to practice self-belief.

3. Fear of Failure

Failure often induces fear. When we fear failure, we allow ourselves to stop doing the things that can help us achieve our goals, help us move forward and open up possibilities we never thought were possible. We should have faith in ourselves and start to shift our inner dialogue from ‘not good enough’ to ‘more than enough’. If our inner critic takes the lead on self talk, then it’s more than likely we aren’t feeling good enough. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive people and positive thoughts.

4. Procrastination

Procrastination is a common reason for failure. It’s delaying or putting off a task or action to attend to at a later time. Procrastination is essentially giving in, to feel good. We prefer avoiding negative emotions and stressful tasks, which are the very things we procrastinate about. The first step to overcoming procrastination is recognising we do it.

We then need to understand why we do it and use appropriate strategies to prevent it from happening. We may not know that we are procrastinating and this can be damaging to reaching our full potential. With a solid understanding, we can get to the core of our reasons and make positive changes to fail forward.

Now that you know why we fail, here are the 3 ways you can fail forward:

1. Take Risks

When risks are taken, we generally overestimate the chances of something going wrong. What we focus on tends to magnify in our imagination and in return, causes us to misjudge an outcome of a situation. The reality is, the likelihood is often a far better return than we imagine it out to be. To take risks, we should not be afraid of failure.

2. Understanding Failure Should Be Your Motivation

It may sound comical but, be happy when you fail. We’ve been taught to believe that when we fail it’s because of bad attempts, bad judgment and bad luck at improving our lives. For example, we link failure with the colour red (to stop) and success with the colour green (to keep going). In reality, we are stronger and more courageous when we fail. It’s a sign of improvement, so we should recognise that failure is growth and if we’re not making mistakes, we are not really trying. Use failure as motivation and keep going.

3. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to recover from failure. Your chances of success is also dependent on your persistence and your willingness to persevere. You have two options when you fail: Become self-defeated or become resilient and encouraged. Perseverance requires a goal, a passion and patience. It’s important to set your own pace when persevering and not comparing your failures to others. In doing this, when we fail forward, we are more in tune with ourselves and more controlled with new approaches.

“Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” – John C. Maxwell

Think of it this way. When we’re at the gym pushing ourselves in the weight room, the trainer would yell “One more rep!”. Our trainer wants us to succeed, but also wants us to fail. They want us to be uncomfortable to the point where our muscles fatigue. Why? Because of muscle adaptation. That’s where our muscle growth comes from. It’s the ability to learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This concept doesn’t just apply physically within our muscles, it applies mentally and in our minds. In understanding this perspective, we can fail forward with more awareness and are in a better position to achieve success.

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Success Advice

The Most Overlooked Element of Success (Spoiler Alert – It’s Not Mindset Nor Strategy)

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It’s always important to have someone show you “the ropes” in the beginning stages in your business. When I started my own business venture two years ago, I hired numerous coaches and mentors across MULTIPLE disciplines to work on getting my business off the ground. Every coach with a different strategy and mindset technique to share, leaving me feeling like there’s no end to chasing for the “next best thing.”

Someone is always trying to give you their “Magic Pill”

You know the moment when you are desperate to start making money (and stop your savings from bleeding)? You click on a link that leads you to a sales page, that tells you the coach has “the best kept secret” or “the exact 7-step formula to start your business” – those of you who’ve been there know what I’m talking about.

You see, I had a weakness for that kind of copywriting. My heart would scream “Take my money and share your secret already!” Through pushing my own boundaries, implementing different strategies, and months after months of falling left, right and sideways – I realised strategy and mindset alone is not enough to get your career or business off the ground. You need the right conditions.

You can’t copy and paste success or failure. You need to have the right environment in order to gain traction and take things to the next level. I’m not referring to external conditions – because  the best conditions that cannot be “ctrl+copy+pasted” from someone else’s success formula are allowing yourself to fail so many times that you become thick-skinned, so you no longer feel self conscious.

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”– John C. Maxwell

Imagine you’re trying to grow a beautiful garden of flowers. You’ve got all the items: landscaping tools, the instructions, the commitment and all the love and attention you can give to your garden. But wait a minute – you need the right conditions to be met. That’s when you need to look into temperature, amount of water, sunlight, pH of the soil, and pest control to make sure your flowers can flourish and blossom.

The same goes with your career and business. You need to have the right conditions in place, and create the perfect environment for yourself and your work to thrive. That’s why we need to take things one step further to close the gap that acts as a bridge from where you are to where you need to be.

We need to open up the dialogue to talk about how we can get more support as entrepreneurs, because it’s not written in the “Rulebook of Success.” We need to talk about the areas we may have overlooked that are just as important as Mindset & Strategy.

It’s Time To Fill In The Gaps

I’m telling you, just the realisation itself blew my mind. Because having a thriving business is no longer just about following someone else’s “7-Step Formula” or a “blueprint” and hope that it works for you. It always makes me chuckle when people use that word, no one’s business is identical in my personal opinion. Neither is it about journaling your butt off.

In more practical terms, building your business upon the right conditions is about these following things, and so much more. It’s about not needing validation from other people but yourself. It’s about finding the right support community. It’s about going through the process of deep, inner work. It’s about fitting your life and business and fun and family into your schedule.

It’s about confronting all of your fears and having difficult conversations that you’ve put aside. It’s about cultivating experience and building thick skin from your failures (so, you can not fail even if you used someone else’s fool-proof method). Building a successful business is shedding your old identity and building a new one – all the while finding new people along the way that support your vision.

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

Shower Love Onto Every Part of Your Business

Your success is built upon all the other things that happen in between and along the journey for every self-made person that no one told you about. Every element of non-business related strategy is a piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why I’m calling the intentional business owners and entrepreneurs forward – to focus your energy on plowing through every inch of your soil and give attention to things that are also “behind the scenes” – so that you can build a thriving empire upon a rich, fertilized foundation.

What part of this article resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

An NLP Coaching Trick That Revolutionized My Life and Can Do the Same for You

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Success is driven by a variety of different things, such as your environment and different opportunities that come up in life. However, the vast majority of where success comes from is your mindset. 

While your mindset plays a huge role, there was something I learned through NLP, known as Neuro-linguistic programming, that completely revolutionized my ability to create success in my life. 

Success And Achieving It Is All About Your Core Programming

Because success is dependent on your mindset, it is naturally dependent on your programming. Like many others who have started practicing personal development, you have likely developed a level of mindful awareness as to your mindset.

That level of mindfulness helps you understand what is going on an internal level, shaping your life, and bringing you the results you are experiencing. Now at this point, it is only fair to say that even when you are going strong on your path to success, unpleasant things can still happen. A key part of achieving success for myself hinged around learning to walk away and let go, which enabled me to free myself from various negative factors.

Having a high level of mindfulness means you can discern surface level chatter from your mindset. Each thought provides insight from deeper levels of your mind, which when pieced together through meditation, can really open amazing veins to mine success from. Changing those layers of thoughts and beliefs about yourself, life, business, and the world around you offers great value as a result. Going to the depths is where real magic comes though.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

Values Where Core Inspiration and Motivation for Action and Your Ability to Succeed Come From

At the core of your mindset, are your values. Your values are then wrapped in outer layers of personal beliefs and experiences. While most people are aware of surface thoughts and some gain awareness of core beliefs, very few ever understand their actual values. Yet with values being the foundation of everything in your life and thus your ability to achieve success, they are the most critical to understand and know.

Values are incredibly simple things too, because they are generally comprised of single word descriptions. They are usually intangible, apart from one or two exceptions. Often when people do find out what their values are, there is suddenly a huge wave of understanding as to why they have been getting the results they have in life. I know I was shocked when I first went through an exercise to discover my values for relationships, work, money, and personal development. I suddenly had a list that defined everything that had been going on and why.

When things like love are way down on a list, certain challenges become very understandable. Likewise, seeing money at number five in my values for work shocked me and made me realize why things had been so challenging.

Just getting this insight gave me a massive wake up call. Understanding what your values are brings an opportunity for more than just understanding, it brings a chance to take action in a way which can revolutionize your life. Through gaining this deep insight into how I was creating the circumstances of my life, I was then able to take action, adapt, and change my core values so I could get the real results I wanted.

Clearing a Path to Success Thanks to Some Key NLP Coaching Techniques

Clearing my way to success did involve a degree of releasing various layers of negative emotion, which I did through Time Line Therapy and some NLP coaching techniques. Time Line Therapy enables the release of a lifetime of negative emotion in around one hour, making it powerful when done right. Having used Time Line Therapy to cleanse out, I found myself in a wonderful place of empowered clarity.

From there, I was able to completely reconstruct my values system by empowering myself with the values of the person I knew I needed to be to enjoy the success I had visualized. As time progressed I found that there were more opportunities coming my way, or maybe I just noticed them better. Either way, things had definitely shifted up a gear.

“The mind moves in the direction of our currently dominating thought.” – Earl Nightingale

This NLP coaching technique has massively transformed my life, and my ability to achieve success with my goals and dreams. It’s beautifully simple, yet hugely powerful.

Have you ever practiced NLP techniques? Share your thoughts and beliefs about it below!

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