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4 Ways to Turn Negativity Into Support

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4 Ways to Turn Negativity Into Support

Are you finding it hard to get support for your crazy dreams from those around you? Welcome to the club of entrepreneurs dealing with that every day.

Before we figure out how to turn that negativity into support we must first learn why the disapproval exists.

We often hear entrepreneurs say, “It is just jealousy” or “They are just mad because I am taking chances they are scared to take”. While this may be true for a small amount of acquaintances, for the most part the issue is completely different.

Who are the people you tell your goals and dreams too? I would take a guess and say family and close friends and people you look up to. Well, your family, friends, and mentors are likely not jealous of you but are more concerned about you. People have their own busy lives to deal with and they are certainly not thinking about yours. They may see your ability to take chances they are scared to make but that is only a reason for them to want to see you succeed and celebrate it.

So then why does this negativity exist when we decide to start a business and go after our big goals? Through many years of being an entrepreneur, a couple different businesses, and making an effort to learn why people think the way they do, I have learned why the negativity exists and how to turn it into support.

Who do you think you are?

I mean really, who do you think you are? Do you expect the moment you decide to take a chance and start a business with no prior experience that everyone around you will drop everything to help you? Up until you decided you wanted to become the next Richard Branson or Mark Cuban your friends and family saw you as a student, employee or unemployed. When you tell them you’re starting a business they will initially want to protect you because they are concerned for your well-being.

Getting an education, working a job and moving up the ladder, has been ingrained into our society as the safest route. I would disagree with that because anytime you’re giving your future into someone else’s hands to decide whether they want to keep you or fire you, it is never a safe route. That is a topic for another article, but my point is that is where the negativity comes from. They just want what they think is best for you, so it is up to you to show them that being an entrepreneur is best for business.

Below are 4 tips I have learned and used effectively to turn negativity into support:

 

1. Stay consistent

Staying consistent is the most effective tip. If there is one tip that you decide to implement, definitely choose to stay on track and keep working towards your goals. As I mentioned above when you first start out, nobody see’s you as an entrepreneur because you weren’t one previously. Just like learning to ride a bike you need to learn how to be an entrepreneur and how to grow a business in the industry you have chosen.

People will start to respect your dreams when they see how much hard work and dedication you’re putting into it. If you start a business and quit in 1 month you cannot expect the people around you to take you serious. That is not to say you must choose a business and no matter what stick to it. Sometimes businesses do not work out for different reasons and you must move on to other opportunities. After interviewing 60+ millionaires, the majority of them have had several businesses before the one that made them millions. The point is they never gave up on being a successful entrepreneur and eventually found the business they knew was the one.

Once they found that business, they focused all their attention on becoming a master at it. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything so be prepared to put that much time in if you want to be the best. The people around will see you as a master way before your 10,000th hour due to perception.  After a year or two of consistent growth and skill development people will start to see you as a master and no one can put down a master of their craft. Stay committed and it will be noticed.

“When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.” – Arsene Wenger

2. Protect your dreams

Your goals and dreams should be protected like a map to a treasure chest. Stop letting everyone in on your deepest thoughts because most people won’t be able to understand them and you will not have enough time to explain. This was a mistake I made early on when people would ask me what I do. Quickly, I would find myself telling everyone my insane goals and people looking at me like I was immature and crazy.

A conversation focused around your dreams should be saved for the right time and right person. Find a mentor or close friend or family member that is a good listener and can provide valuable feedback. The more you protect your dreams, the more curious people will get and the more they will start to support you. It is a funny thing but it comes down to showing people your dreams instead of just talking about them.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

3. Support others

Whether you believe in karma or not, supporting others is a great way to gain support. You must learn what others around you are up to. That takes being interested and asking questions. Instead of waiting for someone to ask you what you’re up to, ask them what’s going on in their lives. This is your opportunity to be supportive and add as much value to their lives as you can.

As entrepreneurs we need to get laser focused on our businesses and it is easy to lose awareness of the people around us and want to always talk about what we’re up to. When you’re around people, change this mindset and start being more interested than interesting. The more you help people the more they will begin to support you and that help you gave will be reciprocated tenfold.

 

4. Be vulnerable *Expert Tip*

This tip is not for everyone but if used properly, it can create powerful relationships and will give you enough support and encouragement that will help propel your dedication.

Above I mentioned to protect your dreams and save this important conversation for a select few. When you find the people that you trust enough to talk about your biggest goals and dreams with, put everything on the table. Focus on WHY you want to achieve these goals.

I remember awhile back someone I knew quit his job to start a business. He told me how negative his wife was being about his decision. I told him to put himself in her shoes. She is likely concerned considering you have never owned a business, scared for her own wellbeing and unsure about the whole situation. I told him he needs to stop talking about his business because she is not going to understand but instead start talking about why you started the business. After she heard his reasoning it started a whole new conversation on a much deeper level. When we become vulnerable we allow people to come into our minds and they can begin to support our why’s because why’s are powerful.

I have done this with a few people and my relationships with them have become very important to me and my business. These people are my biggest supporters and have helped me through many tough times and celebrate with me through the good times. They have also become vulnerable with me and let me into their world and I make sure I return the support. This is also a great way to grow a relationship with someone you look up to and grow the relationship into a mentorship opportunity.

Another great tip to become more vulnerable that you can use with anyone is to just ask for help. When you ask someone to help, likely they will be honoured and proud that they are useful. You’re now allowing someone to come into your world and add value and when that happens naturally they will want you to succeed.

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle

I have learned these tips from experience, interviewing many successful entrepreneurs, and reading many books. A book that has influenced every tip I just gave is “Influence” by Robert Caldini. It is a must read for any entrepreneur.

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Eric Sciberras began his entrepreneurial journey selling items out of his school locker. His desire to grow as a businessman propelled him to start businesses in the event and nightclub, and fashion industries. His focus turned to online business when he realised its potential. He is currently founder and CEO of E Sixteen Media Inc where he helps multi-million dollar businesses and high profile entrepreneurs grow their brands online and creates his own digital products. You can check out his video content at ericsciberras.com.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Eric thanks for sharing your views. I think people really get caught up in labels. If you want to be an entrepreneur then just do it and forget whether people acknowledge you as one or not.

    I have also seen that most of the negativity people give you is a direct reflection of the things in their own life that are not working. I believe that you should never get too caught up in other peoples opinions.

  2. Brenda Rachel

    Jul 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I love your article Eric. I have just been on my “new” entrepreneurial journey since November 2014, as I embarked on many over the last 20 years which really tanked. I got discouraged and gave up. I am now passionate, alive and working two jobs, my day job and my “passion” job, which isn’t work at all. I totally agree with the need to be consistent, working diligently and having the commitment and dedication to keep moving forward, no matter what setbacks. I also know from firsthand experience that there are only a very few people a person living their “dream” can really trust to share their innermost thoughts and plans with. I wanted support to come from family initially and when that did not happen, I was initially disappointed and now as I am still forging ahead many months later, one of my family members is showing some interest. I have chosen to support others who are on their “dream journeys and, in turn, I am receiving so much inspiration to continue on with mine. I appreciate you sharing your expertise and knowledge. I will share this with my connections, which are about 7,000 in about 7 months! I know it will benefit others!

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you Brenda! Mentors or like minded people are great to share your visions with and may help in the area of support if your family has not yet given any. Wishing you much success.

  3. Jon Lee

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Hey Eric,

    This was a really great to the point post!

    I totally agree with the idea of guarding your dreams, not only might some people make fun of them but I think the more you talk about it the more you dilute your focus and intensity on it. I think it’s best to keep your dreams guarded until you’re pretty close to achieving them!.

    Thanks for posting I’m going to retweet this!

    Best,

    JL

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      I have found that protecting my dreams has definitely helped my focus. Telling people that do not understand can get pretty aggravating at times. Plus it’s fun to be a bit secretive until a big win.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    These are some great tips on turning negativity into support. I really like the first one you mentioned about being consistent, Consistency and constant action is one of the keys to getting what you want in life, and you absolutely right that when you first decide to become an entrepreneur, people will doubt. This is a road many people don’t travel down because they believe in getting a job and doing things like going to college and getting a job. When you are consistent, the growth will come. When people see your work and growth, they start to believe.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      I definitely agree Lawrence. Thank you for the comment.

  5. Ethan Bridges

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Oh my goodness, this post is talking to me.

    I love your Expert Tip. But I’d say it’d be a good move to be vulnerable from the start. Transparency can take you a long way. I agree though that vulnerability may be shown with a grain of salt. Interesting point you raised there.

    #1 is really true. I use it interchangeably with persistence. Like a quote says, it’s like driving through fog, you can only see up to where your headlights can reach.

    Eric, thank you.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for the comment Ethan. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
Image Credit: Alchetron

I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic. (more…)

Dominic Cruz is the CruzIN Social Media Marketer, ex-professional hip-hop dancer, a college graduate at SDSU, public speaker, and a published writer. He has a strong passion for social media and for what it has to offer to business owners like you. He was raised in the city of Boston, MA and born in New Orleans, LA. Every day there is something new in the world of social media and there are multiple ways of getting paid using social media. It's the platform that brings you maximum exposure and with more exposure is more opportunity to bring in GUARANTEED revenue. To learn more about his company, visit his site here.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Eric thanks for sharing your views. I think people really get caught up in labels. If you want to be an entrepreneur then just do it and forget whether people acknowledge you as one or not.

    I have also seen that most of the negativity people give you is a direct reflection of the things in their own life that are not working. I believe that you should never get too caught up in other peoples opinions.

  2. Brenda Rachel

    Jul 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I love your article Eric. I have just been on my “new” entrepreneurial journey since November 2014, as I embarked on many over the last 20 years which really tanked. I got discouraged and gave up. I am now passionate, alive and working two jobs, my day job and my “passion” job, which isn’t work at all. I totally agree with the need to be consistent, working diligently and having the commitment and dedication to keep moving forward, no matter what setbacks. I also know from firsthand experience that there are only a very few people a person living their “dream” can really trust to share their innermost thoughts and plans with. I wanted support to come from family initially and when that did not happen, I was initially disappointed and now as I am still forging ahead many months later, one of my family members is showing some interest. I have chosen to support others who are on their “dream journeys and, in turn, I am receiving so much inspiration to continue on with mine. I appreciate you sharing your expertise and knowledge. I will share this with my connections, which are about 7,000 in about 7 months! I know it will benefit others!

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you Brenda! Mentors or like minded people are great to share your visions with and may help in the area of support if your family has not yet given any. Wishing you much success.

  3. Jon Lee

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Hey Eric,

    This was a really great to the point post!

    I totally agree with the idea of guarding your dreams, not only might some people make fun of them but I think the more you talk about it the more you dilute your focus and intensity on it. I think it’s best to keep your dreams guarded until you’re pretty close to achieving them!.

    Thanks for posting I’m going to retweet this!

    Best,

    JL

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      I have found that protecting my dreams has definitely helped my focus. Telling people that do not understand can get pretty aggravating at times. Plus it’s fun to be a bit secretive until a big win.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    These are some great tips on turning negativity into support. I really like the first one you mentioned about being consistent, Consistency and constant action is one of the keys to getting what you want in life, and you absolutely right that when you first decide to become an entrepreneur, people will doubt. This is a road many people don’t travel down because they believe in getting a job and doing things like going to college and getting a job. When you are consistent, the growth will come. When people see your work and growth, they start to believe.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Aug 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      I definitely agree Lawrence. Thank you for the comment.

  5. Ethan Bridges

    Jul 24, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Oh my goodness, this post is talking to me.

    I love your Expert Tip. But I’d say it’d be a good move to be vulnerable from the start. Transparency can take you a long way. I agree though that vulnerability may be shown with a grain of salt. Interesting point you raised there.

    #1 is really true. I use it interchangeably with persistence. Like a quote says, it’s like driving through fog, you can only see up to where your headlights can reach.

    Eric, thank you.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for the comment Ethan. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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business networking
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Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
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I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Success Advice

Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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