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5 Must-Read Books For The Budding Entrepreneur

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5 Must-Read Books For The Budding Entrepreneur

Anybody who has aspirations to become an entrepreneur will have to take several steps before they become successful. Some of this is practical knowledge.

For example, most entrepreneurs must know how to secure funding, know how to write a business plan, and they must understand the steps they must take in order to launch a business.

The latter might include obtaining licenses, obtaining an employer identification number, setting up an accounting system, purchasing insurance, or contracting the services of a payroll provider.

However, in addition to practical knowledge, there are soft skills that an entrepreneur must develop. One of the ways to develop these skills is to read books that either demonstrate what has worked for other successful entrepreneurs, or that tell the stories of what made successful entrepreneurs great.

Here are five books that you must read if you are in any way considering an entrepreneurial career path.

 

1. The Fire-Starter Sessions – Danielle LaPorte

If you are having The Fire-Starter Sessionsany doubts about your future as an entrepreneur, Danielle LaPorte is about to rip those doubts out of your hands and smash them into oblivion. LaPorte is an award winning author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur whose take on achieving our dreams is different than anybody else out there.

Laporte turns myths such as achieving life work balance, and the importance of competency on their ears. Readers praise Ms. LaPorte for her relatable, straight forward delivery and her candor. The Fire-Starter Sessions is a great selection for young entrepreneurs who may have a hard time relating to entrepreneurs from previous generations. Danielle Laporte has been featured in many publications, including The Huffington Post.

“Danielle’s passion leaps off the page, and reading a few chapters of this book will ignite you into action.” – Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

2. Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed – Michael Eisner

Working togetherIn this book, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Corporation explores successful business partnerships that have either lasted for many years or been significantly profitable. In part of the book, Eisner describes his partnership with Frank Wells at Disney. Other famous partnerships that are highlighted in Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed include the following:

Bill and Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation
Arthur Blanke and Bernie Marcus of The Home Depot
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (AKA The Too Hot Tamales of The Border Grill Restaurant Empire), multiple cook books, movies and television
Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment and multiple blockbuster movies

“Are the conclusions about working together groundbreaking? Not really; Eisner points to trust as the foundation, followed closely by a real sense of ethics.” – Jacobs, Barbara 2010 Booklist

3. Business Model Generations – Alexander Osterwalder

BMG-Book-CoverThis book is a go to resource for entrepreneurs of a new generation who are eager to pursue new methods of planning and developing future business ventures. It’s a great book for an entrepreneur who is facing the task of rejuvenating an older business with new ideas.Highly graphical in design and layout, Business Model Generations is perfect for the visual thinker. Even though its target audience is Generation X and younger, more seasoned entrepreneurial hopefuls shouldn’t count this book out. Any reader will find an excellent road map for reshaping their thinking on enterprise development and business modeling.

“An impressively comprehensive compendium of many of the most current ideas concerning the structure and development of businesses.” – Anglohigher.com

4. How To Win At The Sport of Business – Mark Cuban

How To Win At The Sport of Business - Mark CubanAlong with being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban is also a fixture on the well-known television show ‘Shark Tank’. On the show, Cuban is known for truly emulating a shark. He often lies in wait while the other Sharks argue among themselves and make their offers. Then, while the entrepreneur on the carpet weighs his or her options, Cuban comes in with an offer of his own, usually followed by a demand that the entrepreneur accept it immediately.

Given his track record, it’s no wonder that he is taken up on his offers quite frequently. In this book, Cuban details his struggles from powdered milk salesman to world renowned mogul. He also provides great unconventional advice to entrepreneurs who are just getting their starts.

“In short, [HOW TO WIN AT THE SPORT OF BUSINESS] exceeded…expectations. Short chapters…got right to the point and were not filled with ‘stuffing’.” – Huffington Post

5. All Marketers Are Liars – Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars - Seth GodinSeth Godin believes that successful marketing is all about telling a good story. If you don’t believe him, you’re fooling yourself. Everything about successful marketing is about creating a story and getting your audience to believe that story and to be passionate enough about that story to spread it. Now, the title of the book is a bit tongue in cheek.

The stories that marketers create can absolutely be based in fact, but the delivery of those facts as a story that buyers can relate to is what is most important. Think about it. Any marketing expert will tell you that a successful strategy is based around content and branding. In other words, creating and selling a story that influences the way customers think about your business and your products and services is key to interest and ultimately, sales.

“To illustrate his preferred approach to marketing, the author relates a grab bag of case studies, heavy on emotionally compelling pitches and seamless subliminal impressions. Readers will likely find the book’s practical advice as rudderless as its ethical principles.” – Reed Business Information

 

Have you read these books yet? What did you think?

Which books would you add to this list?

Julie Ellis is working as the writer for http://www.premieressay.net/, finds her inspiration in the educational assistance to gifted students. Master's degree in Journalism allows her to follow her vocation and help English-speaking students around the world. You can find her on Twitter - @premieressaynet.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Julie Ellis

    Jun 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

    James, thanks for notes.
    I have not read this books, but I’ll add “The E-myth Revisited” and “Make Your Idea Matter” to my summer reading list.
    I am pleased to hear tips about other books as well.

  2. aNCA Urdea

    May 21, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Great books indeed! I’d add Bernadette Jiwa’s Make Your Idea Matter – easy read & highly inspirational!

  3. ferdous

    May 20, 2015 at 9:02 am

    i think reading books is the first things that motivate me to be an entrepreneur. but if i haven’t had any experiences in real life it will be make me lose. i said it from my experience. thanks for your great suggestion.

  4. James Dunn

    May 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    No ‘The E-myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber? For me, it’s a MUST read. Too many people start out with great entrepreneurial ideas, and end up just creating a new J.O.B. for themselves.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    May 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Great post. As an inspiring entrepreneur, these are some books I will definitely have to look at. I love reading new information and others opinions and rise to success. This is most definitely helpful. Thanks.

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

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

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us. (more…)

I used to be homeless and now run a six figure business with my partner and travel the world. My journey to help those in need has taken me from non-profit director to supporting holistic entrepreneurs have a life of freedom. I run the Thriving Launch Podcast, which features the most influential leaders in the areas of love, spirituality, business, and success. It's my mission to help heart-centered entrepreneurs get their message heard. Learn more on at my website ThrivingLaunch.com (http://www.thrivinglaunch.com/)

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Julie Ellis

    Jun 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

    James, thanks for notes.
    I have not read this books, but I’ll add “The E-myth Revisited” and “Make Your Idea Matter” to my summer reading list.
    I am pleased to hear tips about other books as well.

  2. aNCA Urdea

    May 21, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Great books indeed! I’d add Bernadette Jiwa’s Make Your Idea Matter – easy read & highly inspirational!

  3. ferdous

    May 20, 2015 at 9:02 am

    i think reading books is the first things that motivate me to be an entrepreneur. but if i haven’t had any experiences in real life it will be make me lose. i said it from my experience. thanks for your great suggestion.

  4. James Dunn

    May 16, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    No ‘The E-myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber? For me, it’s a MUST read. Too many people start out with great entrepreneurial ideas, and end up just creating a new J.O.B. for themselves.

  5. Lawrence Berry

    May 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Great post. As an inspiring entrepreneur, these are some books I will definitely have to look at. I love reading new information and others opinions and rise to success. This is most definitely helpful. Thanks.

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Success Advice

The Ugly Truth About Success and Why You’re Not Achieving It

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As human beings, most of us have this tendency to overcomplicate things. Maybe you’ve had this experience of trying to find success, but for some reason, it keeps eluding you.  In our pursuit to win, hardly anyone tells us the ugly truth about why most of our dreams seem to evade us.

Today, I’m going to share with you why so many people are held back from fully realizing their dreams as well as how to overcome those obstacles.   

By creating a resolve to not make these three mistakes and falling prey to these common weaknesses – we can shift our success and assure that our goals are attained. Getting to the finish line isn’t as hard as you think – that is, if you don’t let yourself fall into these three traps.

1. You Don’t Follow A Plan Long Enough

In today’s society, we’re used to microwave results – we are accustomed to zapping our results. Push a button and voila your food is ready. Watch a movie and just like that in two hours the hero has experienced pain, sadness, and triumph. Sadly though, success doesn’t happen with a push of a button or in a two-hour window.

An example of where I fell prey to this ‘fast results mentality’ was when I wanted to create my ideal body. I hired trainers, tried systems, diets, and fads, yet none of it worked…or so I told myself. But the reality was this: I gave up too soon. It was never the plan, the diet, or the trainer. It wasn’t my lack of expertise or lack of potential. The only thing that stopped me was my inability to stick to a plan long enough.

In my conversations with Jack Canfield, Elliott Hulse, Robert Kiyosaki and numerous highly-successful individuals, I’ve learned they all made a plan and stuck to it for years. If you want to achieve greatness, you must make the plan and then work that plan every single day. Be consistent and be willing to let the results blossom with time.

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napolean Hill

2. We Don’t Hold Our Belief Long Enough

Einstein was once asked if he was a genius, to which he gave a simple response:  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I love his response.

To live out and embody is one that has taken me a long time to understand. You see, for a long time I’ve had this terrible habit, it’s a habit I don’t want to admit to anyone I ever had. For decades, I’ve been a quitter. Not just outwardly, but in faith, I’ve tended to quit.

If you’re struggling to achieve some great result, it’s likely you’ve also come across this stumbling block. Losing faith too soon can make us quit when in reality a few more steps could mean reaching Graceland.

After working hard at attaining my ideal body, I finally achieved it. The plan was simple when I stuck to it because I ate specific food and worked out. I repeated this process every day for several years. It wasn’t instantaneous or easy, but it was simple. The same goes for writing, creating wealth, and creating just about anything – create a plan and work that system day-after-day.

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. Big wins are a bunch of small actions taken on a regular basis. A home is built one nail, one board, one screw at a time. Create a plan and work that plan.

In the world of Hollywood and marketing, we often dress up success in a fancy costume, fancy perfume, and an elegant story. But at the end of the day, every dress is stitched the same with threads of hope, intense hours of sewing, and focused labor.

3. We Don’t Seek Roads That Have Been Paved For Us

One of my favorite coaches of all time is Anthony Robbins. One of my favorite quotes from him is this: “Success leaves traces.” In my desire to achieve greatness, I’ve made one fatal mistake time after time. That mistake was always seeking to get there on my own, in my own way, without the help of anyone.

If I had listened to Anthony, I would have looked for those traces and followed them to the finish line. For those of us who are strong, capable, and want to achieve greatness, the desire to ‘do it our way’ can be our greatest strength or hindrance.

In my case, it made my work a lot harder. When I first tried to sell high-end consulting, I thought I could just figure it out. I didn’t want to listen to anyone, hire anyone, or study. I had achieved so much in business I thought I could do it my way. In doing so, I delayed my success.

Once I admitted to myself and others that I didn’t know how to pave the road to success in this area I opened up new roads to success. I was introduced to people who had already paved a way and thus made my work much easier. Instead of whacking my way through the weeds and wild growth of my own ignorance, I was shown the highway to success, and instead of weed-whacking, it was like driving a Ferrari down I-90.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

If you’re having a tough time achieving some results, I want you to have a finely tuned mind and heart which will take perseverance, follow-through, and faith. Lastly, it’s going to help you immensely if you can find a pre-paved path. If you want the highway to success, it does exist, it just takes looking for pre-paved paths and then working the plan to get there.

How are you making sure you become successful in life? Please share your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Always Choose Love, Not Fear

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A few weeks ago, I met a woman that seriously changed my perspective. It was one of those chance encounters that I believe was meant to happen for a reason.

This woman had been involved in the same tragedy that I had been caught up in. As I shared my story, I quickly realized that hers was much more challenging. Her sister had lost her young baby to a man on drugs. Once she told me this, I was lost for words.

How does one even comprehend that situation? How do you not choose fear? How do you choose not to hate? These were the questions I pondered afterward.

Here’s why you should choose love:

 

1. Love conquers fear

As humans, the easiest decision we can make is to choose love. Love destroys our fear and helps us see a deeper meaning in everything that happens in life. Love is the ever-conquering force in our life that will happen if we let it.

When you’re surrounded by love, it’s impossible to be conquered by the crippling disease that is fear. Love restarts the heart like a defibrillator. Fear causes a heart attack that can kill you if you let it.

Always choose love over fear.

 

2. Everything happens for a reason

When this young girls sister lost her baby, she chose to believe that it was meant to happen for a reason. She chose to believe that the loss of life would mean something far greater than death itself. This opinion was the result of love being the only answer she could comprehend.

After the tragedy, her community got around her and showed her more love than she had ever known. The death of her nephew started her entire family on a different path.

“While they couldn’t control the circumstances of the young baby’s death, what they could control was love”

They allowed the love that everybody showed them to take them to an entirely different level. Some days were good and other days were a nightmare.

Through it all, they chose to believe in love. Love is nothing more than a belief. It can only enter your life when you believe it exists. You must be accepting and you have to give love at the same time. They are the rules of the love game.

 

3. Think love not hate

When this tragic event occurred, it would have been so easy to hate the man hooked on drugs who caused this young baby to die. This girl taught me that hate has no place in the healing process. As a matter of fact, hate has no place in our lives.

Feelings of hate can cause us to go into a downward spiral. This spiral involves us becoming very selfish and only focusing on our own needs. From this place, we can’t do the inner work required to come back from adversity. Train your brain to always assume love as the default reason for everything.

“Spending our precious energy and time on this planet hating others for things we can’t control, will block us from our dreams”

Hate will transport us to a land far far away that resembles hell. Hell is where your nightmares come true, your fears are born and the person you become is something you despise for eternity.

 

4. Love is the best feeling in the world

There are lots of types of love but no matter what; love is the best feeling in the world. When you choose love your life seems extraordinary. You feel like you are on cloud nine and nothing can stop you. Love helps you to connect with your fellow human beings on an entirely different level.

Your success in life compounds because love attracts everything you could ever want in your life. You can’t be pissed off at the world when love is your default choice.

Love is what brings us closer together. Love is what creates human life through the coming together of a man and women. Love is what lights us up and fuels our intuition. Seek out love and you’ll know what it feels like to be invincible. If the worst happens, and a young baby close to you is killed, you’ll have all the answers.

 

5. Choose love by giving love

The best gift you can give while you’re alive is love. It costs nothing, but it takes every part of you to give. If a tragedy like the one described above occurs, you have the opportunity to give love.

When you do so, and you go through a difficult time, love finds its way back into your life. Choosing love is the beginner level: giving love is the expert level.

There are so many ways to give love. You could:

– Hug someone
– Do something nice for someone
– Write something beautiful to someone
– Be there for someone who is going through a tough time
– Smile at someone who looks down

The list is endless. Love is endless. Your capacity to give love is endless. What comes into your life can also be endless when you choose love. Think about that for a minute.

 

6. Love can cause a deranged man or women to see the light

 

If you talked to a terrorist and told them that you loved them, what would happen? While I don’t know for sure, what I do know is that there is a possibility you could interrupt their pattern. Part of the reason they do what they do is that they haven’t felt love.

Because they lack love in their life, they have adopted a set of false beliefs in the hope that this will fill the void they feel, due to the lack of love they’ve experienced.

 

“Terrorists, criminals and people on drugs, all have one thing in common: they need to be shown what love is so they can conquer the fear that’s been controlling their life – the fear that’s driven them to madness and to harm people”

 

***Final thought***

It’s time to wake up and stand for love. It’s what we were born to do. It takes no effort when we try it. Love can save us from just about anything. Love is about understanding that we are all on the same mission and that ultimately we are all part of the same cause and the same existence.

When you understand the idea of love, your consciousness goes to another level. People may begin to think that you’ve transcended their reality and that you have loads of wisdom. What’s really happened is that you’ve discovered the most powerful force on Earth: LOVE.

RIP to the young mothers baby. Love will transcend everything and bring you happiness again. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive the mean that caused you so much pain. Show him the love that he’s been lacking so desperately.

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Success Advice

5 Unusual Productivity Tips From Famous Procrastinators

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Do you often procrastinate? Are you doing it now by reading this article? If yes – awesome, continue reading.

Most of us consider procrastination the biggest troublemaker and productivity killer. You see it as a vice, consequently, you try to overcome its effects, kill the procrastination beast and cheat with all the possible means.

But what if it’s not quite so? What if procrastination can virtually lead to productivity? Have you ever thought about this aspect? Many outstanding productive people, in fact, were chronic procrastinators. How did they manage to achieve success? What tips did successful people use to beat procrastination?

Here are five unusual tips from hard-core procrastinators that will help you boost your productivity level:

1. Victor Hugo: Lock away your clothes

The author of Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and many more tremendously famous novels was beating procrastination with the most extraordinary and radical means. One episode from his life is the most illustrative here.

Hugo started writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame quite close to the deadline – in the fall of 1830. While the deadline was in February 1831. His preparation was thorough, but he did not feel like writing. Thus, he did something that didn’t leave a choice – he got naked and locked away his clothes.

The aim of all that was to avoid temptations of going outside. Hugo had nothing to wear but a shawl. And for many months, this rag (as his wife claimed) was his daily uniform. Did it work? Absolutely. He finished the book weeks before the actual deadline.

2. Gerhard Richter: Create a crisis

Gerhard Richter, world known German artist and procrastinator, got millions with his paintings. For example, Abstrakis Bild was sold for $20,802,500 at Sotheby’s.  How did he manage to procrastinate and, at the same time, complete paintings of photos, abstracts, “blur” photo paintings, and many more works of art?

It’s striking that he actually wastes time on garden and not on his paintings. In one of the interviews, Richter described his daily routines:  “I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don’t paint until finally I can’t stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don’t want to talk about it, because I don’t want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself.

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.” Thus, his secret strategy to become more productive is a simple crisis.

“Chance determines our lives in important ways.” – Gerhard Richter

3. Bill Clinton: Take criticism seriously, not personally

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was described as a “chronic procrastinator” by Time magazine. Could you believe that a two-time Grammy winner may be addicted to postponing? Clinton had weeks or sometimes months to make comments on the drafts of his speeches, but, eventfully, it all ended with cut-and-paste in the end.

Even his Vice President Al Gore called Clinton “punctually challenged”. However, despite all the criticism, he managed to never give up. The key secret to productivity is the way you perceive criticism, according to Bill Clinton. If you take it too personally, you won’t be able to resist the feeling of deficiency that finally leads to the inferiority complex. Therefore, keep your cool when you are criticized. Then, you have more chances to stay productive.

4. Franz Kafka: Try to wake up the night productivity

The Czech writer worked as an insurance clerk and it was the time to existential thinking. The novelist though didn’t put his ideas into action. After Kafka had been promoted, he had more time and procrastination infected him for good.

His routine day after work, as he mentioned it on one of his letters, looked like this: “Lunch till 3:30 … sleep until 7:30 … ten minutes of exercises, naked at the open window … an hour’s walk … then dinner with my family.” There is nothing about writing though. When did he actually write? Beginning from approximately 11 p.m. and continuing up to 6 a.m. Not the perfect system, for sure, but that’s was the most productive time for Kafka. It appears that he spent most of the daytime napping.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5. Leonardo Da Vinci: Start several things at a time and make notes

An artist, mathematician, sculptor, writer, inventor, military engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci, is an outstanding figure in history. But despite the success he achieved, he was never focused on one thing at a time.

During his lifetime, he managed to complete only 20 paintings. The Virgin of the Rocks took him 13 years to put the final changes.  While his most illustrious work The Mona Lisa – as many as 16 years. The reason for that was his multi-tasking capacity. He was an incredibly broad-minded and all-round personality with so many genius plans. To improve a willpower, he had a rule book where he had more than 7,000 pages of notes.

His procrastination wasn’t already a secret for his benefactors. And some of them threatened him with bankruptcy in order to have his work done at last.

What if procrastination can be a way to extreme productivity and perfectionism? And still, you have structured procrastination as an option and a solution.

Would you use any of these tips to boost productivity flows? Comment below!
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

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

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