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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

5 Non-Negotiable Things Millionaires Do Every Day

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No matter how busy you are, if you’re an entrepreneur, there are some things you should aim to do every single day. With that in mind, there are some habits that millionaires do on a daily basis that you can adopt in your days.

Below are 5 non-negotiables to include in your daily routine every single day:

1. Reviewing Your Goals

Every morning successful people review their goals to keep focused on what they are waking up for; so they can align their tasks for the day with their goals. Viewing your goals means that you have to write them down first so you’re clear on what you want to achieve.

Looking at them only once a week or once a month isn’t good enough because you will lose focus easily since there are many distractions in this day and age. Writing down your goals for the day and viewing them regularly is a good habit to form. When you’re going to set your schedule for the day and have your goals in front of you always ask yourself, “Will this task get me closer to my goals?” If not, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

“Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.” – Les Brown

2. Completing Your MIT First Thing

MIT stands for Most Important Task. This is the task that has the greatest impact on your bottom line and propels you dramatically closer to your goals. This can change throughout your life as your goals change or you and your business go through different stages of maturity.

There’s an important thing to note here, doing your MIT first thing after you wake up and after your morning routine is essential, as you never know what distractions could come up throughout the day. It also keeps you productive since after completing it you will feel fulfilled knowing that you have completed the most important task of the day.

In fact, in most cases, completing your MIT of the day in the morning means that you could do whatever you want for the rest of the day if you choose to do so.

3. Learning

Learning isn’t optional if you want to keep growing throughout your life. Surely, you wouldn’t want to stay in the same spot where you are right now for the next 10 years would you?

Learning is not about just reading books. In fact, many millionaires consume their knowledge through audiobooks on fast speed so they can consume more in less time and during a commute. It’s no wonder audiobooks have become more popular in recent years.

Nonetheless, this isn’t about audiobooks or physical books. It’s about not letting your hate for reading that most people have stop you from learning and growing. You can be creative about the way you consume your knowledge. Ideally you want to spend at least 60 minutes per day learning and growing your mind so you can enhance your skills and creativity to do different things.

4. Physical Wellbeing

If you want to be a high performance individual then you must take care of your body. The last thing we want is for your body to fail you when you most need it. Be careful about what you put into your body and make sure you are active throughout the day to keep your energy up.

One of the ways I’ve found to be helpful to keep your energy up throughout the day is to jump around, do some jumping jacks or some pushups whenever you are feeling a bit low on that energy.

Exercising 2 or 3 times a week is good, yet that’s not what we are talking about here. What I’m talking about here is just being active everyday, whether it’s a rest day or not. You can go out for a walk or do something light each day.

“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

5. Viewing Your Finances

Yes, everyday have a look at your bank account. If it depresses you to look at then perhaps that’s something we need to work on, don’t you think? Not looking at them isn’t the solution, it’s just trying to pretend the problem is not there. The point of looking at your finances is similar to when you look at your goals, except with one slight difference.

When you look at your finances it’s not only to keep you focused on growing them, but also to keep track of how you’re doing financially and whether they’re getting better or worse over time.

You can act successful and pretend your business is doing fine but your finances never lie. By looking at your finances you’re giving yourself a reality check and you’ll be able to know if what you’re doing is working or not.

Remember to focus on your daily goals, complete your most important tasks, learn every day, take care of your wellbeing ,and review your finances to ensure you’re progressing every single day.

Which one of these 5 non-negotiable routines resonated with you the most and why? Let us know your thoughts below!

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10 Secrets to Success From Clickfunnels Top Affiliate Spencer Mecham

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Spencer Mecham
Image Credit: Spencer Mecham

Are you looking to be an affiliate? You have to acquaint yourself with a couple of tips which guarantee great success. Affiliate marketing you will not get paid until some kinds of actions are taken by the readers.

Identified and explained hereunder are ten secrets for successful affiliate marketing which are proven to guarantee higher values to your readers and the likely maximization of success:

1. Aim at meeting the needs of your target market

Your reader is by far your best asset. When appropriately satisfied, the chances of them taking the necessary courses of actions are raised. For this to happen, you have to understand them inside and out. Do so by inquiring about their pain points, their tastes and preferences, and their expectations of your blog.

Yogita Aggarwal avers that promoting the wrong product is a sure path to failure. To mitigate this, you have to conduct thorough market research.

2. Maintain a fair degree of trustworthiness

Readers are generally smart, and they can easily spot an affiliate link when they come across one. You should not attempt to promote an irrelevant product or bombard them with too many adverts. They will just lose interest, leave and possibly never come back.

You should hence aim at building a pool of repeat visitors. They are the ones who are more likely to drive traffic to your site, place orders and refer others to your site. You can only build good relationships by marketing quality content.

As you do this, be sure to prioritize value addition by sharing only those products which you are confident of being relevant, valuable and sincerely helpful to your readers. Make it a point of disclosing any links or relationships you have with your vendors. This will go a long way in solidifying the trust.

3. Be passionate about what you are doing

It is essential to be passionate about what you are doing or attempting to do. It is almost impossible to succeed in what you do if you don’t truly love it. Avoid marketing only for the sake of money. It is only then that you will be able to generate new ideas and marketing perspectives which are crucial for the success in the field.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

4. Approach the issue one step at a time

Do you desire to manage $5,000 in your first month? Hold on! You will first and foremost have to achieve $1 then $10 and eventually someday to $5,000+. This requires time. You will have to comprehend the psychology and behaviors of your client base first and foremost. After doing that, you will be able to build on that information for higher profit margins.

5. Be helpful

To maximize the possibility of eliciting positive responses from your readers, you have to go further than just letting them know of the existence of your products. Take some time to provide in-depth reviews of the products on sale. Highlight their features and offer brief explanations of just how beneficial they could be to the user.

Preferably, share a personal testimonial or case study in the affiliate link in your review. These build trust and verification which in turn enhance the experience of the visitors considerably. Higher sales will naturally follow after that.

6. Be an ambassador

Instead of promoting the products as a marketer, you are strongly advised to develop them as though they were your own. To do this:

  • Review the products by laying particular emphasis on why you think they are better than their competitors.
  • Produce tutorials showcasing their use or services.
  • Put in place a landing page to enlighten your referrals rather than merely pointing them to your site.
  • Recommend one product alongside why you prefer it. This will help undecided buyers make rational decisions.
  • Enforce some bonuses for the high-value affiliates and joint ventures deals

The steps above will let your affiliates make their decisions from a more informed position. On the same note, they will enable you to gain added influence and authority for your own, not to mention deepening relationships between your provider and you.

“Trust is built with consistency.” – Lincoln Chafee

7. Uphold great transparency in your affiliate relationships

It is necessary that you uphold a significant degree of transparency in your affiliate relationships. Your readers will definitely appreciate your honesty and will gladly contribute to your earnings. They will often track any dishonesty readily. This will definitely scare them away from your site and drive them to the websites of your competitors.

To further stand out of the crowd, you might want to offer a bonus for any action taken from your site. This is extremely useful when in a field that is saturated with many other players.

8. Choose the various affiliate products keenly

Take some time to go through the list of various products that are available. In particular, match them with the expectations, tastes, and preferences of your target market. As you promote them, alter the ads every now and then, attempt different graphics and texts to find the most effective ones.

You will have to spend some time before arriving at the best formula possible. While at it, you will also realize the need to rotate or alter ads from time to time to captivate the attention of the audience well.

Generally speaking, digital ads are better options. They have higher conversion rates and generate higher commission rates. For maximum profits, consider promoting products that are highly priced and those that renew each month.

9. Work on a strong reputation within your niche

Affiliate marketing is generally more sophisticated and highly profitable. Rather than building one-page campaigns, focus on putting in place a sales funnel, assets, and other things which have a higher value. Identify the best niche and stick to it. These steps will not only earn the trust of your visitors but also develop stronger relationships with your advertisers.

10. Generate and post high-quality content

Your content marketing strategy should be your highest priority. The content serves as the foundation and the lifeblood upon which your site is hinged. Readers will only be interested in your site if it contains helpful and valuable content.

This being the case, you should aim at excellent furnishing contents and effective monetizing strategies which are proved to work out well. You will lose readers if you make the slightest attempt to compromise your content. That, of course, will lead to the forfeiture of the opportunity to make any money from your adverts like referral-based and cost-per-click.

All said and done, the quality of your content is the single most contributing factor of the credibility of your blog, website, or business. Hence it is in your best interest to invest heavily in it if you ever hope to make any meaningful success!

Which one of the above 10 secrets to success from Spencer Mecham resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Success Isn’t Rocket Science, but There Is a Simple Equation

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People all around the world are looking for the secret to success. There are countless answers out there: personal connections, wealth, good luck, positive mindset, hard work, determination, passion, and on and on.

Some of those things might be true for some people, but I don’t think success comes from just any one variable. I also don’t think there is a single tangible answer that can be replicated by the masses. It seems that the more we look for one, the more questions we tend to find.

What is the secret to success? Is it enough to be passionate and hardworking? Is it enough to have a positive mindset? What steps can we take to become more successful?

Well, if you have been pondering questions like these, look no further. I believe success comes from, not one variable, but a combination of variables, an equation if you will. I’m not talking about anything too complicated or complex, like rocket science. This is an equation so simple it practically solves itself:

(Intrinsic Motivation + Action) x Momentum = Success

“I’m not a math whiz! What does this mean?” Don’t worry, as my high school algebra teacher could attest, this isn’t real math, but I can assure you that it works very well. Allow me to explain each variable.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is your internal, innate reason for wanting to do something and it’s the vital first part of the formula for success. Without it, everything we try to do will most likely fail, but what is intrinsic motivation?

Let me ask you a question: what do you like to do in your free time? Do you volunteer because it feeds your soul to help others? Maybe you love doing puzzles because you love the feeling you get when you solve a problem? Do you go hiking because you love to connect with nature?

If no one were paying you, would you still volunteer, solve puzzles, or go hiking? Of course you would! You receive intrinsic rewards when you do those things, and therefore you have a strong, internal motivation to keep doing them.

Another way to look at this is to know your “why.” Your “why” is your deep-rooted reason for doing something. Simon Sinek talks about this a lot, and Tony Robbins says, “If you have a strong enough ‘why,’ you can do anything.” It’s a great concept, but there is another side to this coin.

Having a weak “why,” or no “why” at all, means that you have no intrinsic motivation to speak of. You’re practically a rocket ship with no rocket fuel. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a rocket get too far without fuel.

To achieve success in any endeavor, you must start with your intrinsic motivation – you must start with why. Why do you want to achieve success in your life?

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them, just find a new way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey

Action

Now that you know what motivates you and you have a strong “why,” you have to take action towards your dreams. Action is the second part of the formula for success because, without action, we wouldn’t get anywhere in life. We might have fuel in our tanks, but we still have to hit the launch button.

I see a lot of people who spend time learning, planning, learning some more, trying desperately to perfect their strategy before they start. But the reality is, you are going to discover the most valuable lessons along the way.

It is impossible to plan for every situation, so trying to do so only delays your success. Author Karen Lamb says, “A Year from Now You May Wish You Had Started Today” and that’s true. “Someday” is a common code for “never.”

Sure, jumping in without having everything figured out will cause you to run into the occasional obstacle or setback, but again, you can’t plan for every obstacle. If you have a strong enough “why,” you’ll overcome obstacles and press on.

So, whether you’re ready or not, you need to take action towards your goals to achieve success. The only way to achieve success is to start taking action and build momentum. What one thing can you do today to take action towards your goals?

Momentum

In my opinion, momentum is the most critical aspect in the formula for success and here’s why: Starting isn’t worth much if you keep quitting. Remember that rocket ship analogy from before? If not having a “why” is like not having any fuel, then starting and stopping is like using up all of your fuel only to land again immediately.

Building momentum, however, is like breaking free of the atmosphere and reaching space. Once there, the zero gravity keeps the rocket afloat, and the pilot only uses relatively small amounts of fuel to propel and steer the rocket through space.

I read an article from The Huffington Post and it said, “In 1967, Apollo mission to the moon, the Saturn V rocket’s needed over 500,000 gallons of fuel just to break free of the Earth’s atmosphere. The final stage of the trip only required 86,059 gallons of fuel. That means it took nearly 5.8 times as much effort to launch as it did to keep the momentum.”

So, the next time you think about quitting, remember how much energy and effort it took to get started in the beginning. Do you want to go through that again? Do you really want to waste that much energy when you could keep going?

Don’t quit! Instead, keep taking action towards your goals, day after day, month after month, and year after year. Doing this will help you create radical momentum in your life and in your goals.

“Momentum solves 80% of your problems.” – John C. Maxwell

So there you have it, the formula for success. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do – land on the moon, lose weight, start a business, run a marathon, save a million dollars – you have to know why you want to achieve success. You have to have fuel in the tank.

Once you know what’s propelling you forward, you have to take action every day and never quit. This will allow you to build an unstoppable momentum that will carry you to the success you seek.

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Success takes time. There are no shortcuts. There are no quick fixes. There are no overnight successes. To be successful, you have to intrinsic motivation for the long haul, and no matter what, you cannot quit taking action.

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The Power of Personal Reviews: How It Can Skyrocket Your Success in Life

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Do you want to elevate your personal success? If so, do you know what the number one thing that’s keeping you away from that success? You could be doing everything right in terms of setting goals and going after them, and still not make progress if you’re not doing this.

The secret is personal reviews. As goal-getters, we’re conditioned to take action and work hard to make our goals happen. But if you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your actions, then the outcome may be no better than if you were running around in circles. In order to not be stuck in the same place, you have to be continuously adjusting your strategy.

The key is knowing exactly what to do differently in order to achieve your goals and accelerate your success. This is where personal reviews come in, because they answer the most important questions such as: What parts should you keep on doing? What parts should you do differently? What exactly happened last time that prevented you from reaching your goals? How can you get to your goals even faster the next time?. The victory path often isn’t linear, and reflecting on it will improve the process, which is the most important part for speeding up success.

According to Harvard Business Review, people were shown to be more productive and less burnout after thinking about and planning their day than those who didn’t. Studies cited in the same Harvard Business Review have also shown that employees in call centers who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting on the lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. If you work in an even more complex role, imagine the benefits you would gain from consistent reflections. Ready to take on your own review?

Here are the three parts of a personal review and how each part will help you achieve personal and professional success:

1. Get Clear On Where You Are to Make Better Decisions

It’s hard to get to your destination if you don’t know where you are right now. Luckily, personal reviews are similar to a GPS, where it can accurately pinpoint your place in life. By getting clear on your current situation, there are three main benefits that’ll contribute to your success.

One, it reaffirms your goals. As I often find working with clients doing their own personal sprints to success projects, goals can be easily forgotten without regular check-ins. Each personal review helps bring these goals to top of mind, and align all your actions so that each one will move the needle.

Two, it keeps you on track. Once you are clear on your goals, it’ll become much more obvious whether you are on your way to hit your target or if you have strayed off the path. This will help you focus more clearly, and save time from unnecessary distractions and course-corrections.

Three, it builds momentum. By regularly reviewing how things are going, you can celebrate the wins, and improve on areas that didn’t go well. After all, success comes from consistent action and making progress towards your goals.

“What you can measure, you can improve.”  – Peter Drucker

2. Discover the Roadblocks That Are Holding You Back

Now that you have a solid understanding of where you are at, it’s time to get down to the why. Why are you where you are currently, and how can you go even faster? The second part of personal reviews is where you’ll discover the golden nuggets of insights that you can use as your secret weapon.

Maybe you realized that you usually only get one or two important things done each day. Why is that? Is it because there are too many distractions? Or is it because your energy levels are low? And is there a filter you can set up to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not?

These are all incredible insights into the decision-making process and the factors that contribute to your success. If you stumbled, think about what parts you wouldn’t do again next time. If you achieved your goals, think about which parts you can repeat to succeed again. And as you collect more data points, the easier it’ll be to pinpoint how to 10x your productivity and results. And the more frequent you do reviews, the faster you’ll be able to progress. For example, if you conduct weekly reviews, you’ll be able to move four times as fast as someone who does monthly ones. Now, you can work smarter, instead of harder.

3. Fast Track Your Success Through Feedback Planning

Once you have the clear understanding of exactly where you are and what you need to do differently, you can use this feedback to make powerful changes to your plan. This is the last part of personal reviews – setting and prioritizing goals to accomplish by the next review.

These new goals will not be something that you’ve haphazardly put together, but rather it will be a combination of your insights and your vision of success. These reviews can be massively effective productivity tools and accountability structures that you can use to review the past and set in place the steps to take for the future.

For high potential professionals who do not conduct weekly reviews, one of the top reasons is that they either don’t understand the process, or can’t see the benefits. Now that you know how it works and the huge impact it can have, I invite you to take charge of your life, and face your goals and fears head-on.

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy.” – Brian Tracy

After all, in order to stay a high performer and relevant, you must grow. And whether you want to become more focused, motivated or productive, personal reviews will carve out the path for you to get there and skyrocket your success.

How do you envision yourself accelerating through personal reviews? Leave a comment below!

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