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5 Powerful Life Lessons From the Book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

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Tim Ferriss

We love reading success stories. People like Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan inspire us to shoot for the stars. We may even insert ourselves into their story and ask ‘what if I could do that?’ But when the last chapter is read, we’re often left with a warm fuzzy feeling, but no actionable steps to take towards our own success.

There’s a disconnect because we can’t necessarily replicate Jobs’ environment or skill sets. But, if we know the practical life lessons that successful people live by, we can test these out. We can take what works and build our own blueprint for success and happiness.

In Tim Ferris’ new book Tools of Titans, he skillfully deconstructs world-class performers to extract the tactics, tools, and routines we can use.

Here are my five favorite life lessons from the book that are deceivingly simple, but powerfully effective:

1. Go First

Gabrielle Reece is a world-renowned athlete, model, New York Times bestselling author, and fitness leader. She has a practice that is simple but powerful. She always goes first. If she’s at the supermarket checkout, she’s the first to say hello. When she comes across someone and makes eye contact, she smiles first.

This practice teaches us to take initiative and connect with people. We don’t need to wait for a cue from others before we act. Put yourself out there. Start conversations with strangers. Take a genuine interest in other people’s lives. You never know where the next conversation will lead you.

2. The Obstacle Is the Way

Ryan Holiday is a writer and media strategist. The Obstacle is the Way is the title of his third book. It’s also a powerful life lesson that we should repeat when facing challenges. The idea is that every obstacle presents an opportunity to get better, stronger, and tougher. It reminds us that we should be seeking out the things that scare and challenge us. This is the space in which growth occurs.

Think about your biggest achievements in life. Whether it was starting a business, completing a university degree, or running a marathon. You probably had your fair share of stress and obstacles to overcome. But you came out the other side a better person. Build a habit of getting outside of your comfort zone regularly. Realise that you’ll face tough situations, but they are the experiences that pave the way to success.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Marcus Aurelius

3. Show Up Consistently

Christopher Sommer is the former US national team gymnastics coach. He talks about making a single important decision to stay on course when working towards a goal.

We often overlook the simple things that create success, like deciding to show up consistently. When we start out building a business or learning a skill, it’s easy to get deterred in the initial stages. But if we focus on a single important decision—showing up consistently—the goal doesn’t seem so big.

So, when you start working toward a goal, don’t worry about performance. Initially, you have a single focus: show up and do the work every time.

“The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home. A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise.” – Christopher Sommer 

4. Don’t Follow the Herd

Robert Rodriguez is a writer, producer, director, and composer. He talks about the importance of going against the grain. If everybody’s going left, you go right. Don’t follow the herd. You’re bound to stumble and fall, but you’ll find new ideas and success when you blaze your own trail. There’s also less competition when you don’t pursue the crowded channels.

Rethink the ‘safe routes’ that the herd follow. Do you really want to work a 9-5 corporate job for the rest of your life? Or are you willing to follow your passion and build your own business? Are you going to eat fast food regularly and end up as a statistic? Or will you go the other way and look after your body?

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” – Alan Ashley-Pitt

5. The Secrets of Life Are Hidden Behind the Word Cliché

Shay Carl went from manual labourer to having a YouTube channel with around 2.3 billion views. He explains how the secrets of life are hidden behind the clichés we often overlook.

Shay lost over 100 lb and cites the example of ‘eat more vegetables’. Something he’d been told millions of times but ignored. We hear things all the time like ‘actions speak louder than words’, ‘exercise regularly’, ‘get more sleep’, ‘be consistent’, and so on. These clichés hold powerful truths, but we don’t always put them into practice. At the end of the day, it’s the simple things in life that work.

Shay’s advice is to perk up and pay attention anytime you hear something that you think is a cliché. Go a step further and take one cliché and test it out for two weeks to see if your life improves.

So, there are the five powerful life lessons you can start using right away. Don’t let this be another post you read in passing. Make a choice to test one of these out for a few weeks. Decision creates action. Action creates results.

What is the most important step you need to take to reach success? Let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Success Advice

7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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