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Success Advice

4 Ways to Make A Great First Impression On Anyone



ways to make a great first impression

You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

No one will remember you, or pay you much attention if your first impression is so unmemorable. But there are many different ways to make sure you make a powerful, memorable first impression, and we’re going to look at four of the most effective methods.






Making A Great Impression


1. Design your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is how you describe what you do for a living in a short amount of time, usually about thirty seconds. It’s called an elevator pitch because 30 seconds is the amount of time you will normally have to wait for an elevator. During that time it’s important that you can sum up what you do and how you do it. This is also useful in social situations when meeting people for the first time.

If you network with other business people, then along with your business card this is the most important way of getting your message across.

When starting a new business your main marketing tool is….YOU!  By meeting people and speaking to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. When I first started working for myself, I had never heard of an elevator pitch or a 30 second story.

If someone asked me what I did I would undermine the importance of my business and be quite vague. This was because I was afraid of what other people would think and also because I hadn’t developed enough confidence in myself.

You don’t have to be starting or own your own business to benefit from having an elevator pitch. Write a thirty second script that you would say to someone when you meet them for the first time. Learning this off by heart can help you make a really good first impression. It’s very important that you deliver it with confidence as you won’t be saying it again to that particular person.

Since I developed my elevator pitch I have stopped sabotaging myself through introductions where I appeared nervous and lacking self-belief. Knowing my elevator speech well allows me to introduce myself with confidence and clarity and describe concisely what I do. You have to look as if you believe in yourself, and sound as if you believe in yourself, to enable others to believe in you too! You need to make it easy for them to connect with you.


2. Speak for Yourself

Sometimes you will be introduced to someone and the person who is making the introduction will do all the talking. If you are anxious or nervous then it is much easier to just stand there, smile and say Hi. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. Speak for yourself.

After you have been introduced, make an effort to engage with that person with a question, for example, ‘do you come to these functions regularly?’ or give them some information about yourself. Try to ask open questions, beginning with ‘how do you….’ or ‘what do you feel about….’ When you really can’t think of anything to say, find something in common, or if you  know a little about them, then use it to your advantage, for example ’Jim tells me you were born in Hawaii, what was growing up there like?’

Remember, most people love to talk about themselves!


3. Treat Everyone Like The Gatekeeper To Your Destiny

Joel Osteen, the American preacher and speaker, says that you should treat everyone like the gatekeeper to your destiny. What he means by this is that everyone you meet has the potential to change your life immeasurably and help you get to where you want to be. This is why it is vitally important to treat everyone the same and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, as you never know who will change your life for the better.

I recently met an old family friend whom I had not seen in many years. He did not recognise me and in the past I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and not said hello. These days, I am a lot more confident than I used to be, so I introduced myself and then used my elevator pitch to tell him what I am doing now.

I would have been happy with just the process of introducing myself and using my elevator pitch but the outcome of that chance meeting has been amazing and has provided me with huge opportunities. That is what I’ve found from introducing yourself well and using your elevator pitch. People will think of ways in which they can help you.

Try it out for yourself, and you will see more and more people will want to help you. Enthusiasm is infectious and people want to be a part of your success. You will also realise that there may be ways in which you can help other people and you might even be the gatekeeper to their destiny!


4. Body Language and Attitude

These are common sense tips that you probably already know but are easy to forget about and not to put into practice. Body posture is very important when you meet someone. The human brain will pick up many signals subconsciously from a meeting in a split second to help it form an opinion of you. You want to make sure you are giving off as many positive signals as possible.

Standing up straight is the most basic but the most important. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back you are giving the signal that you are confident in yourself. You also need to speak clearly and purposefully.

Your introduction and elevator pitch will have no impact if you mumble and look at the person’s shoes or over their shoulder. Always look people in the eyes. If you find this difficult then look at people’s eyebrows as they will think you are looking into their eyes. Make sure you smile throughout your meeting. Happiness and enthusiasm are infectious and attractive.

If you are anxious or nervous then meeting people may be difficult for you. It will help you immensely to control your breathing. Take slow deep breaths, this will help you to remain calm and be confident. Say to yourself “I’m calm and relaxed; I want to share who I am and what I do with others”.

If you believe in yourself and seem confident, enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the other person, then you will make a great first impression. Some people may not like you for reasons that are beyond your control, perhaps you remind them of someone or they are just simply having a bad day. If you have negative responses, don’t let this affect you. You are only in control of your own actions and thoughts. The outcomes of your meetings are out of your control so focus on the process!

The majority of the first meetings will be great and you will begin to attract new people into your life who want to help you and be friends with you.

If you have business cards then it’s best to carry them around with you everywhere you go as you never know who you could meet. Having a case is important to keep them in good condition. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.

If you find introducing yourself difficult or you want to improve your first impression then a great way to do it is to practice. Go to a place where you can introduce yourself to someone. A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

If you haven’t got an event coming up soon, practice by introducing yourself to the person serving you in the supermarket, in the bookstore, your neighbour, etc. You will learn something from every interaction especially the ones that are less than perfect.

I hope these tips will enable you to be your authentic, positive, confident self when meeting people and make memorable impressions at every opportunity.


No more second chances Picture Quote



  1. chuks

    May 19, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I have learnt much from this article. I’ll start looking straight into people’s eyes while making my first impression.

  2. Anne

    Feb 26, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Can someone please give me a sample of an ELEVATOR PITCH? I cannot quite make up my mind on how I can create mine.
    Thanks! 🙂

  3. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I must say, I was thrilled by this article. Really useful and I especially like no.3.

  4. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Very in depth post. Well done. Confidence goes along way indeed.

  5. Ankit

    Feb 4, 2014 at 6:30 am

    It is very informative post. This can increase your self-confidence.

  6. jorgemixramos

    Feb 3, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Well elaborated article!! those tips were just too interesting for me and anyone.

    I’m curious about if it’s better to just bring my elevator pitch to the conversation or just wait for the person i’m talking with to ask about myself?

  7. Dimitrios Dirchalidis

    Feb 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Thank you!

  8. Ve Dixon

    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Awesome tips.

  9. Nikola Gjakovski

    Jan 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Pretty teachable article. It’s good to know that someone want’s to help you by writing these type of articles.

    Keep up!

  10. pawan

    Jan 31, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for elvating us…thank you very much.

  11. Naomi@quitmyjob

    Jan 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Rhydian,

    I can really relate to lacking self-belief and self-sabotaging. It’s an on going process and some days are better than others.

    I love the ‘elevator’ speech idea, great advice. Great article.

    Thanks, Naomi

    • rhydianfairfax

      Feb 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Hey Naomi, I think keeping a diary really helps as you can read through it on the not so good days and remind yourself of times when you were feeling good!

  12. Jazzel Yousef

    Jan 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Its a great article! I would also like to add one thing. Hygiene and the way you dress will also play a huge role in creating a first impression

    • rhydianfairfax

      Jan 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      I agree Jazzel, being smart and clean is very important!

  13. Jayson

    Jan 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Great post. Thank you. Although Elevator pitch generally refers to the amount of time one has to pitch an idea from the first floor to the CEO’s floor which is usually the top. Get him to want to know more in 15-30 sec.

  14. Asocode

    Jan 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Thans so much for the article

  15. LudvigSunström

    Jan 30, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Great post and some very applicable tips.

    • rhydianfairfax

      Jan 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Hey Ludvig, thanks.

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Success Advice

The 6 Step Process for Delivering Critical Feedback in a Constructive Way



how to deliver constructive feedback
Image Credit: Unsplash

We have all been in the position where we knew we needed to have a difficult conversation at work that involved delivering constructive feedback. Maybe a major deadline was missed, there was a clear decline in performance, or someone blatantly dropped the ball. Most of us avoid delivering the feedback, and the conversation can get pushed back again and again, wasting valuable time and money.

Delivering constructive feedback is challenging, and uncomfortable for most people, even highly trained leaders. Yet, delivering and accepting feedback is one of the most important keys for success. So why do we avoid these conversations? Because we never learned how to have them.

Open, honest, direct communication is not a skill we are taught in school. There is no “How to Have Tough Conversations” 101. As a clinical psychologist that specializes in couples work, I see just how important communication is in maintaining thriving relationships. I understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful relationship; both intimate relationships and your work relationships.

Below is a 6-step guide to providing constructive feedback:

Step 1: Clarity on the Goal of the Conversation  

The first step is to get clear on the goal of the feedback conversation. Are you planning to see a change in performance, simply communicate how you felt, or receive an apology? Get clear on what you are hoping to get out of the conversation. Be honest with yourself about what you need, what is most helpful to the relationship, and what is most helpful to the organization. Getting clear on the goal also ensures you are speaking with the right person.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

Step 2: Invitation

Set up a time to talk. Feedback conversations are not meant to be had in the hallway. It is important that both parties can set aside adequate time and have the space needed for dialogue. Additionally, there must be respect for both parties’ need for time to process information. For example, if you are delivering feedback, and the receiver needs time to process the feedback before responding, setting up a subsequent meeting will be most helpful.

Step 3: Ownership

Own the role you played in creating the situation. When you model ownership of blind spots, failures, or missteps, you set the stage for the receiver to do the same. For example, you may acknowledge that you were not aware of how to support your employee and not aware of the problem until x situation occurred. Equally important as owning your role, is owning your emotions. Own your emotions using “I” statements. For example, “I felt disappointed when I realized your sales performance had substantially declined”.

Step 4: Open, Honest, Direct Feedback

Feedback that dances around the problem does not do anyone any good. It only increases anxiety on behalf of the receiver, and potentially causes the feedback to get totally lost. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and direct. For example: “I felt concerned when you did not attend the last two strategy calls this month…It brought up questions for me about your commitment to the company.”

Step 5: Listen, Validate and Accept

When providing feedback, it is important both parties maintain an open mind, and respond in a way that communicates validation and acceptance. As soon as an individual gets defensive, feedback cannot be taken in, and the value of the conversation dramatically decreases. When providing feedback it is important to listen, validate, and accept your receiver’s viewpoint. Notice, I did not say agree. This looks something like saying: “I can see why X led you to commit Y , I understand you were under a great deal of stress/dealing with a personal situation/frustrated.”

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Step 6: A Clear Plan for Moving Forward

In providing feedback, the magic is that now things can change! If feedback is never given, relationships end, things will stay the same, businesses will die, and money will be lost. If you have gotten to this step, that means you did the hard work, and now you get to put change into action. A clear plan includes an acknowledgement from both parties regarding what they will do differently to prevent the situation from occurring again, and how they will stay accountable in making the change happen.

The good news about delivering feedback is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most surefire ways to open yourself up to massive growth.

As a giver of feedback, it is your job to model openness and a desire for growth, so that the receiver may take in the feedback and make the necessary changes. Exceling at feedback delivery will help you set you apart from others and enable you to achieve extraordinary relationships, in both your personal and work lives.

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show



why you should have a podcast
Image Credit: Unsplash

Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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Success Advice

5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche



skill building
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There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.

Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:

1. Ambition

When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?

The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.

2. Listen to those around you

While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.

You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.

On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Courage

When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.

Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.

Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.

4. Creativity and imagination

If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.

Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

5. Continuous learning

If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.

Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.

The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.

No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.

What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

5 Key Investment Principles from Warren Buffett



Warren buffett investment tips
Image Credit: Forbes

Warren Buffett is a mentor for a lot of traders. Why shouldn’t he be? After all, his investing principles have earned him the title of the world’s greatest investor. His way of working is a little contradictory to many others in the arena of online trading. He doesn’t invest the way it’s depicted in the popular media. He is the kind of investor who likes buying and holding.

Buffett has taught us that once you buy a stock, hold it no matter what. Forget that there is a recession in the economy or it is at its boom. Whether it’s good times or bad, you’re supposed to hold onto the stock.

Buffett doesn’t just buy stocks for the sake of holding them. He buys them for a specific reason. When those reasons no longer exist, he sells the stocks. He not only looks for good prices but sound management and a competitive advantage. He shared his opinion that companies such as IBM, Sears, and GM are great but they cannot stay competitive for long. Therefore, these companies shouldn’t be a part of your portfolio.

Why not learn from the pro himself and invest the right way? Here are 5 key principles to begin with:

1. Invest In What You Know

Before investing in a stock, it is very important to understand what a company does and how it makes its money. Ever wondered why Buffett has always avoided investing in tech stocks? It’s because he does not completely understand their business model. He sticks to what he knows.

This also explains why he prefers investing in Berkshire’s stocks. It represents a diverse mix of stocks such as utilities, banking, and insurance and consumer products. All of these are businesses that Buffett understands very well. No wonder he has invested a significant amount of money here.

“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.”  – Warren Buffett

2. Before Buying a Stock, List the Criteria

It makes sense to buy stocks on the basis of criteria, right? After all, you’re ensuring that you don’t end up investing in something unfavorable. You could be searching for stocks in a certain industry with a set price to earnings ratio.

Buffett never makes the price of the stock the sole criteria of his buying decision. Sometimes, great companies end up taking a price dip because of the market situation. However, holding onto these stocks could still turn out to be favorable.

3. Be Aggressive During Tough Times

Generally, it’s not recommended to time the market. But if you’re a long-term investor, you’ll be fine no matter when you buy. This means that even during the tough economic times, you shouldn’t settle down. Keep on looking for opportunities. This is what Warren Buffett does because he knows that things will eventually turn around.

Buffett is known for capitalizing on opportunities during and after the great recession. Bank of America investment is one of the best examples of this. In his latest annual letter, Buffett said that “dark clouds will fill the sky almost after every decade. But it certainly will rain gold.” So don’t despair, keep on investing.

4. Don’t Worry About the Day to Day Market Movements

Along with other tips, Buffett also said that you must only buy a stock if you are comfortable holding on to it in case the stock market shuts down for a decade. Since you are holding onto the stocks for 10 or more years, there is no point in losing sleep over the minor swings.

Ignore the headlines about the trade wars, the government shutdown, and other chaotic news. Instead, you focus on learning the potential growth of your company over the course of time. The fact is, stock prices keep on changing, but it’s not significant if the company’s business still has a bright future.

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” – Warren Buffett

5. Buy Buffett’s Stocks

Buffett keeps everything simple when it comes to investing. If you don’t want to do the guesswork and research to figure out which stocks to buy, simply invest in the stocks Buffett already owns. But, make sure you understand the business. Buffett discloses his holdings publically each quarter. He has capital in companies such as Wells Fargo, Apple, and Bank of America. To keep things simple, you can buy the shares of Berkshire Hathaway itself.

Warren Buffett hasn’t been successful all by himself. He has a team of investors who help him do legal work and give him investment tips. He’s also a part of an advisor network because he understands that an investor needs all the help he can get. It’s amazing that a billionaire like him still listens to others.

Now that you know how to invest like Buffett, it’s time you prepare your investment strategy. These principles are not hard and fast criteria, they are simply a discipline strategy all investors should stick to. Along with these, you can use math, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and even stock charts to make a decision. You may not end up a billionaire, but you will avoid losses and make more profits than your fellows.

Which one of the 5 key investment principles from above resonated with you most? Let us know below!

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