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6 Ways To Harness Your Curiosity For Success

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6 Ways To Harness Your Curiosity For Success

What’s the one common thing that all great leaders in the world have? Curiosity.

The hunger, the desire, the passion to always be learning. Make no mistake about it, all successful entrepreneurs are passionately curious. In fact many of those entrepreneurs would say being curious is more important than simply being intelligent. Whereas intelligent people have the talent of being able to process and remember information better, they suffer a handicap when it comes to applying that information.

Studies have found that curious people don’t just want to understand how a problem came about, they want to know why it exists in the first place. They’re problem-solvers, taking every bit of information given to them and finding a solution, even if it means thinking outside the box.

Curiosity is the desire to learn more, to experience more, and to feel more. The passionately curious hate routine and are always looking for new experiences. Which goes to explain why, throughout history, world-changing individuals have always been curious people.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein.

But don’t fret if the above doesn’t sound like you. Unlike intelligence, curiosity can be nurtured and developed.

Here are six ways to develop your curiosity and kickstart your entrepreneurial journey:

1. Always ask questions

The key to developing curiosity is to be always asking questions.

Some people might be afraid of looking ignorant, but you have to remember that being curious and being ignorant are two completely different things. The ignorant believe they have the right answer, even when it’s wrong.

Accept the fact that you don’t know everything. After all, the whole point of being curious is to fill the gaps in your knowledge.

 

2Never be satisfied with the answers

The right questions are almost never open-and-shut cases. If you’re asking questions where the answer ends in either “yes” or “no,” then you’re asking the wrong questions.

You need to be asking questions that begin with “how,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.” Not just to other people but to yourself as well. Always challenge yourself and be introspective.

Be satisfied with more than just scratching the surface, don’t be afraid to dig deep. Who knows what you’ll learn. Even when things seem to be going well, curiosity means always reevaluating solutions you’ve found in the past.

 

3. Be distracted

Don’t be afraid to let your mind wander when it needs to.

Your brain needs a diverse diet if you want to keep motivated and passionate about your work. Going at 100 percent, all the time, is a surefire way to just end up burned out and unfulfilled. So let yourself be distracted every now and then.

If this sounds dangerously close to procrastination then don’t fret, set a structured approach where you set aside an hour and do nothing but poke around on whatever it is you want to explore. The rule of thumb is: If you’re learning something new then it’s not procrastination.

 

4. Read constantly

You need to always be reading if you want to nurture your curiosity.

It’s no secret that the majority of successful people in the world have extensive personal libraries. Books provide an exclusive gateway to a whole world of knowledge that you may have never even considered!

Challenge yourself by reading books in genres that you may not normally be interested in. Challenge the way you think by opening yourself up to someone else’s world and ideas.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

5. Learn a new skill

If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, or how to dance, or just about any new skill, then you definitely should. Feed that part of you that craves new experience.

Multiple studies have proven time and time again that learning a new skill, regardless of what it is, will positively affect your brain. Learning a new skill, especially one that requires any sort of physical movement, improves your cognitive ability, your ability to learn, your memory and a whole host of other benefits, depending on the skill.

Plus you’ll never know when that new skill you’re learning could come in handy for yourself or your business.

 

6. Don’t be afraid to fail

A key part of what sets curious people apart from others is that they’re less likely to fear failure.

It might feel uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t ever be afraid to try something new because you’re afraid that you might fail. If you’re determined to stay on the path you’re currently on, then never try anything new. But if you want to be different and find true success then you simply must leave your comfort zone.

Curious people look forward to failure because in failure you learn something new. That knowledge you learn through failure could very well be the thing that keeps you going and drives you to ultimate success.

How will you start developing your curiosity? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Jonathan Chan is the Content Crafter at Foundr Magazine, a magazine for young entrepreneurs. He can often be found writing and reading anything and everything to do with entrepreneurship and the startup world. That or spending too much time pretending to be the next MMA star. Check out more of his writing over at the Foundr Blog.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Niraj Yadav

    Jan 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I liked the numbers 5 and 6.
    We must not be afraid of failure any time in our life.
    “Success is the journey of one failure to another”.
    Learning new skills will fill us with self-confidence.

  2. Chris

    Jan 4, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Nice article. I like the idea of putting an hour aside to research something you’re interested in, move away from the structure and just poke around in some information. As you say it’s not procrastination if you learn something.

    • Jonathan

      Jan 6, 2016 at 2:44 am

      Glad to see you enjoyed the article Chris, it really is important to take some time to just feed your mind, besides you’ll never know when that obscure piece of trivia you learnt can come in handy!

  3. Name:Ankit

    Jan 4, 2016 at 4:00 am

    This is an awesome article about curiosity. 🙂

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Jan 4, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Great article about curiosity and the passion of it behind the successful. I can relate to the article in a lot if ways as I am always seeking new experiences and always asking questions. There is whole world to explore and learn about out there, and I could never understand how someone could be complacent with their life. I am always on a quest. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jonathan

      Jan 6, 2016 at 2:46 am

      If you’re always learning then you’re always finding new ways to win, just a fact of life. Great to see such an awesome attitude from the A2S community!

  5. Stephen Osoko

    Jan 4, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Great post!
    I can tell that you took a lot of time with this.
    I personally have adopted no. 6
    Keep going.

    • Jonathan

      Jan 6, 2016 at 2:47 am

      Thanks for noticing Stephen, it really was a fun article to write. Always happy to provide value to fellow entrepreneurs out there.

  6. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Jan 3, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Failure stop a lot of people from doing anything at all.
    some people fear not getting the results they want and others fear what others will think and say if they fail.

    If you can get over the fear of failure you can accomplish great things .

    Great post .

    • Jonathan

      Jan 6, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Fear is just one of those things that can really consume you if you let it, glad you enjoyed it the article 🙂

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Success Advice

If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas

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Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?

As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.

Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.

Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:

1. Time

Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.

First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.

Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace. 

When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.

Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day. 

You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Money

Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.

It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?

Here are a couple of things to watch out for: 

  • Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures. 
  • Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues. 
  • Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations. 
  • Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model. 

Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.

3. Space and Supply

I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.

Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict. 

A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.

Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply. 

  • Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company? 
  • Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products? 
  • Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. People

Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people. 

You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.

Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box. 

People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.  

Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:

  1. Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable. 
  2. Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize. 
  3. Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company. 

Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement. 

What is your next step? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The Importance of Failure: Why We Should Fail Forward

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What Is failing forward? Will Smith said it best in a viral Instagram video that engaged the world. “You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”

Failing forward is about using leverage on your mistakes and making a realistic assessment of the risks involved. It’s your ability to live with the downside, control your emotions and experiment with new approaches. When we fail forward, we need to look at the reason why we fail and understand that it’s all part of the process of achievement.

Here are 4 Reasons Why We Fail:

1. We Are Too Distracted

Distractions are everywhere. They can take us off course and could make it impossible to keep our mind on our goal or purpose. It’s important to be selective, strategic and supportive in our distractions. We all control certain aspects of our day, so be selective and prioritise tasks that are in line with your goals.

We should be strategic by understanding when we work best. Personally, I write more efficiently in the early mornings and late evenings. So that’s what I stick to. Try different things and see when you are least distracted. You’ll then be able to be supportive and generous with your time. Being supportive of others costs us little and drives our own success whilst boosting our health and happiness.

2. Lack of Self Belief

Lack of self belief runs differently from person to person. Our experiences, childhood history, genes, culture and life circumstances play a part in our self confidence. The truth is, we can’t alter the experiences that our past has given us. What we can do though, is change our thoughts to gain more belief in ourselves. Ways to increase our self-belief is to find out more about ourselves. We can do this by taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally. Giving ourselves a healthy support system and understanding our emotions are just a couple of ways to practice self-belief.

3. Fear of Failure

Failure often induces fear. When we fear failure, we allow ourselves to stop doing the things that can help us achieve our goals, help us move forward and open up possibilities we never thought were possible. We should have faith in ourselves and start to shift our inner dialogue from ‘not good enough’ to ‘more than enough’. If our inner critic takes the lead on self talk, then it’s more than likely we aren’t feeling good enough. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive people and positive thoughts.

4. Procrastination

Procrastination is a common reason for failure. It’s delaying or putting off a task or action to attend to at a later time. Procrastination is essentially giving in, to feel good. We prefer avoiding negative emotions and stressful tasks, which are the very things we procrastinate about. The first step to overcoming procrastination is recognising we do it.

We then need to understand why we do it and use appropriate strategies to prevent it from happening. We may not know that we are procrastinating and this can be damaging to reaching our full potential. With a solid understanding, we can get to the core of our reasons and make positive changes to fail forward.

Now that you know why we fail, here are the 3 ways you can fail forward:

1. Take Risks

When risks are taken, we generally overestimate the chances of something going wrong. What we focus on tends to magnify in our imagination and in return, causes us to misjudge an outcome of a situation. The reality is, the likelihood is often a far better return than we imagine it out to be. To take risks, we should not be afraid of failure.

2. Understanding Failure Should Be Your Motivation

It may sound comical but, be happy when you fail. We’ve been taught to believe that when we fail it’s because of bad attempts, bad judgment and bad luck at improving our lives. For example, we link failure with the colour red (to stop) and success with the colour green (to keep going). In reality, we are stronger and more courageous when we fail. It’s a sign of improvement, so we should recognise that failure is growth and if we’re not making mistakes, we are not really trying. Use failure as motivation and keep going.

3. Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to recover from failure. Your chances of success is also dependent on your persistence and your willingness to persevere. You have two options when you fail: Become self-defeated or become resilient and encouraged. Perseverance requires a goal, a passion and patience. It’s important to set your own pace when persevering and not comparing your failures to others. In doing this, when we fail forward, we are more in tune with ourselves and more controlled with new approaches.

“Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” – John C. Maxwell

Think of it this way. When we’re at the gym pushing ourselves in the weight room, the trainer would yell “One more rep!”. Our trainer wants us to succeed, but also wants us to fail. They want us to be uncomfortable to the point where our muscles fatigue. Why? Because of muscle adaptation. That’s where our muscle growth comes from. It’s the ability to learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This concept doesn’t just apply physically within our muscles, it applies mentally and in our minds. In understanding this perspective, we can fail forward with more awareness and are in a better position to achieve success.

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Success Advice

The Most Overlooked Element of Success (Spoiler Alert – It’s Not Mindset Nor Strategy)

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It’s always important to have someone show you “the ropes” in the beginning stages in your business. When I started my own business venture two years ago, I hired numerous coaches and mentors across MULTIPLE disciplines to work on getting my business off the ground. Every coach with a different strategy and mindset technique to share, leaving me feeling like there’s no end to chasing for the “next best thing.”

Someone is always trying to give you their “Magic Pill”

You know the moment when you are desperate to start making money (and stop your savings from bleeding)? You click on a link that leads you to a sales page, that tells you the coach has “the best kept secret” or “the exact 7-step formula to start your business” – those of you who’ve been there know what I’m talking about.

You see, I had a weakness for that kind of copywriting. My heart would scream “Take my money and share your secret already!” Through pushing my own boundaries, implementing different strategies, and months after months of falling left, right and sideways – I realised strategy and mindset alone is not enough to get your career or business off the ground. You need the right conditions.

You can’t copy and paste success or failure. You need to have the right environment in order to gain traction and take things to the next level. I’m not referring to external conditions – because  the best conditions that cannot be “ctrl+copy+pasted” from someone else’s success formula are allowing yourself to fail so many times that you become thick-skinned, so you no longer feel self conscious.

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”– John C. Maxwell

Imagine you’re trying to grow a beautiful garden of flowers. You’ve got all the items: landscaping tools, the instructions, the commitment and all the love and attention you can give to your garden. But wait a minute – you need the right conditions to be met. That’s when you need to look into temperature, amount of water, sunlight, pH of the soil, and pest control to make sure your flowers can flourish and blossom.

The same goes with your career and business. You need to have the right conditions in place, and create the perfect environment for yourself and your work to thrive. That’s why we need to take things one step further to close the gap that acts as a bridge from where you are to where you need to be.

We need to open up the dialogue to talk about how we can get more support as entrepreneurs, because it’s not written in the “Rulebook of Success.” We need to talk about the areas we may have overlooked that are just as important as Mindset & Strategy.

It’s Time To Fill In The Gaps

I’m telling you, just the realisation itself blew my mind. Because having a thriving business is no longer just about following someone else’s “7-Step Formula” or a “blueprint” and hope that it works for you. It always makes me chuckle when people use that word, no one’s business is identical in my personal opinion. Neither is it about journaling your butt off.

In more practical terms, building your business upon the right conditions is about these following things, and so much more. It’s about not needing validation from other people but yourself. It’s about finding the right support community. It’s about going through the process of deep, inner work. It’s about fitting your life and business and fun and family into your schedule.

It’s about confronting all of your fears and having difficult conversations that you’ve put aside. It’s about cultivating experience and building thick skin from your failures (so, you can not fail even if you used someone else’s fool-proof method). Building a successful business is shedding your old identity and building a new one – all the while finding new people along the way that support your vision.

“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

Shower Love Onto Every Part of Your Business

Your success is built upon all the other things that happen in between and along the journey for every self-made person that no one told you about. Every element of non-business related strategy is a piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why I’m calling the intentional business owners and entrepreneurs forward – to focus your energy on plowing through every inch of your soil and give attention to things that are also “behind the scenes” – so that you can build a thriving empire upon a rich, fertilized foundation.

What part of this article resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

An NLP Coaching Trick That Revolutionized My Life and Can Do the Same for You

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Success is driven by a variety of different things, such as your environment and different opportunities that come up in life. However, the vast majority of where success comes from is your mindset. 

While your mindset plays a huge role, there was something I learned through NLP, known as Neuro-linguistic programming, that completely revolutionized my ability to create success in my life. 

Success And Achieving It Is All About Your Core Programming

Because success is dependent on your mindset, it is naturally dependent on your programming. Like many others who have started practicing personal development, you have likely developed a level of mindful awareness as to your mindset.

That level of mindfulness helps you understand what is going on an internal level, shaping your life, and bringing you the results you are experiencing. Now at this point, it is only fair to say that even when you are going strong on your path to success, unpleasant things can still happen. A key part of achieving success for myself hinged around learning to walk away and let go, which enabled me to free myself from various negative factors.

Having a high level of mindfulness means you can discern surface level chatter from your mindset. Each thought provides insight from deeper levels of your mind, which when pieced together through meditation, can really open amazing veins to mine success from. Changing those layers of thoughts and beliefs about yourself, life, business, and the world around you offers great value as a result. Going to the depths is where real magic comes though.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

Values Where Core Inspiration and Motivation for Action and Your Ability to Succeed Come From

At the core of your mindset, are your values. Your values are then wrapped in outer layers of personal beliefs and experiences. While most people are aware of surface thoughts and some gain awareness of core beliefs, very few ever understand their actual values. Yet with values being the foundation of everything in your life and thus your ability to achieve success, they are the most critical to understand and know.

Values are incredibly simple things too, because they are generally comprised of single word descriptions. They are usually intangible, apart from one or two exceptions. Often when people do find out what their values are, there is suddenly a huge wave of understanding as to why they have been getting the results they have in life. I know I was shocked when I first went through an exercise to discover my values for relationships, work, money, and personal development. I suddenly had a list that defined everything that had been going on and why.

When things like love are way down on a list, certain challenges become very understandable. Likewise, seeing money at number five in my values for work shocked me and made me realize why things had been so challenging.

Just getting this insight gave me a massive wake up call. Understanding what your values are brings an opportunity for more than just understanding, it brings a chance to take action in a way which can revolutionize your life. Through gaining this deep insight into how I was creating the circumstances of my life, I was then able to take action, adapt, and change my core values so I could get the real results I wanted.

Clearing a Path to Success Thanks to Some Key NLP Coaching Techniques

Clearing my way to success did involve a degree of releasing various layers of negative emotion, which I did through Time Line Therapy and some NLP coaching techniques. Time Line Therapy enables the release of a lifetime of negative emotion in around one hour, making it powerful when done right. Having used Time Line Therapy to cleanse out, I found myself in a wonderful place of empowered clarity.

From there, I was able to completely reconstruct my values system by empowering myself with the values of the person I knew I needed to be to enjoy the success I had visualized. As time progressed I found that there were more opportunities coming my way, or maybe I just noticed them better. Either way, things had definitely shifted up a gear.

“The mind moves in the direction of our currently dominating thought.” – Earl Nightingale

This NLP coaching technique has massively transformed my life, and my ability to achieve success with my goals and dreams. It’s beautifully simple, yet hugely powerful.

Have you ever practiced NLP techniques? Share your thoughts and beliefs about it below!

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