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Success Advice

7 Common Excuses That Are All In Your Head

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Excuses We Make For Failure

What would you say if I told you that you’re a great actor? Honestly, it’s true.

In fact, you’re so good that you’ll probably be among the nominees at next year’s Oscar’s.

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s my reasoning…

The best actors are able to fully immerse themselves into their role. They live and breathe their part – adopting the many traits and mannerisms contained within. Some of whom take this so seriously they stay in character, even when the cameras aren’t rolling.

This is you.

You’ve put so much effort into believing the lies you’ve been telling yourself, that you’re now struggling to differentiate between your true self and this imposter that’s infesting your mind.

This character is a deadbeat and a coward. Your performance is legendary, but you were born to play a different role. You were born to play someone courageous; a character who took believed in their own potential for success.

Hey, if Matthew McConaughey can turn his career around – who’s to say you can’t do the same thing?

Trust yourself to make the right decisions. Focus on who you want to be. Accept the good and the bad with equal measure. Follow your instincts and cut out all of the excuses which simply don’t exist, such as;

 

1. I can’t earn a decent income because I have no qualifications

Throughout life we are told that education is the bedrock of success. From an early age we are raised with the belief that we must follow the well-trodden path and that any deviation will result in failure.

So it stands to reason that many of you reading this will believe that an absence of a diploma or a degree will render you at a disadvantage. Yes, it’s possible – in certain situations. But where one door remains locked, several will swing open.

A lack of qualifications will only prevent someone from deciding if you’re worthy. Do you need another person to grant you permission to earn the income you desire?

Many of this planet’s most successful people dropped out of college. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Ted Turner seem to be doing alright – because they chose their own path.

So can you.

 

2. I’m too old to be doing this

Unless you’re trying to embark on an athletic career at the age of 45 this is one excuse that you should never catch yourself using. Age is an arbitrary number which we use way to often as a means to handicap our ambition and creativity.

Brendan Gleeson decided at the age of 34 that being a maths teacher wasn’t the life he envisioned for himself, so what did he do? He quit his job to become actor. Brendan began attending auditions and landed small roles in various TV movies but it wasn’t until Mel Gibson cast him in Braveheart that he would have his major breakthrough. Now he has several Golden Globe nominations and is one of the world’s most respected actors.

Blues musician, Seasick Steve had to wait 57 years before finally achieving chart success with his 2008 album ‘I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left’. After spending the majority of his life as a struggling session musician and several years spent living as a hobo, he had to watch countless other artists live the dream before getting his shot at the big time.

If you’re worried that time is running out and success hasn’t found you yet – I have a bit of advice; Go and find it yourself.

 

3. I’m worried that everyone will laugh at me

People will always notice that which is different. It’s hardwired into our DNA. We seek out anything that is slightly out of the norm. Do you remember how your new hairstyle was ridiculed at school for no other reason than it was different than the day before?

We carry this fear into our adult lives. Whether it’s something major like a change in career, taking up a new hobby or something as trivial as a trip to the Barber’s – we become so dependent on the approval of our peers that we’re almost paralysed into mediocrity.

You should never feel ashamed for being the person you want to be. You should never walk away from achieving a goal because you’re worried about what other people may think. If something feels right. If your instincts are dragging you towards a future that you deserve then seriously, what the hell has it got to do with anyone else?

If other people choose to laugh because you’re daring to do something different, don’t worry. They are only laughing at themselves.

excuses quote

 

4. My life is hectic right now – I’m too busy

What makes you so special?

If we’re all given the same hours each day, what separates those who make use of their time from those who allow it slip by? That’s right – you’re lazy. I bet you waste several hours a week watching mindless television that could be better spent mastering your craft. I bet that you regularly sleep in late and waste your days off because you lack the discipline required to start your day the right way. I’m also willing to bet that your life is so disorganised that you have no idea how much free time you genuinely have to play around with.

Margaret Thatcher used to free up more time by only allowing herself 4 hours sleep each night.

Award winning author Geoff Thompson wrote his first book whilst sitting on the toilet at the job he hated.

Arnold Schwarzenegger would regularly sneak out of his military camp just so he could find the time to train.

Successful people will always find a way of overcoming their obstacles by stealing time where possible. The truth is that you don’t need more time, it’s already there. You just need to stop dithering and actually make use of it before it eventually runs out.

 

5. I’m waiting for the right time

Help me out here. What’s the right time – next week? Next year? 6.47 pm?

You’re hesitating. Maybe through fear, a lack of confidence or just laziness – you’re definitely hesitating, and it’s about time you did something about it.

You see, there is no tomorrow. The present is the only time that actually exists. Every moment in the past and every possible moment in the future will take place in the present. We are terrible at planning ahead. There are parts of our brain that are stimulated when we think about ourselves, and there are parts of our brain that light up when we think of others.

The interesting part is that when we think of our future selves, the part of our brain that gets used is that for other people. The person that wakes up tomorrow morning isn’t going to be the same person who made that promise today. Why would you trust a stranger with your life?

I admit, not all tasks can be carried out today, but at the very least you should be doing something; putting the wheels in motion and taking that first step.

The only time is now. Make it count.

 

6. I can’t do it, it’s too difficult

What’s too difficult?

Running a marathon is 26.2 miles of screaming lungs and burning quads. Those who finish can barely walk afterwards – and it’s even been known to claim a few lives in the process. But let me ask you this. Can you put on a pair of trainers and run around the block? Every endurance race begins with an easy training session.

Earning that big promotion requires you to successfully hit those sales targets. In a pressure cooker environment, only the most consistent performers will be considered. But let me ask you this. Are you able to treat your next customer with 100% focus and attention? Targets are achieved 1 sale at a time.

Every goal can be broken down into smaller chunks. Don’t try and take on the world today – leave that for another time. But also ask yourself this; if it’s not difficult, is it worth doing?

Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.

 

7. There is an ‘us’ and ‘them’

If you have ever quit something, or worse, resisted from even trying because you believe that you somehow lack the natural ‘talent’ to succeed then please slap yourself in the face.

Seriously, I’ll wait here…

How did that feel? Did it hurt? Man up.

There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. For the majority of skills, disciplines and career choices, there is no such thing as talent. The only difference between those who reach the top and those who sit around moaning about their lack of success is the ability to get off their ass.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things simply because they put themselves in a situation where the only possible outcome is one of excellence. You cannot pursue a full time dream whilst putting in part time hours. If you want something then you have to live and breathe it. Let it consume your thoughts. Embrace your craft and merge as one.

If you allow yourself to succeed then it’s inevitable.

No more excuses motivation

 

Final thoughts

Stop creating excuses where there are none. With enough effort you can probably come up with a multitude of reasons why you shouldn’t do something, but guess what? You already have one brilliant reason why you should go ahead and pursue your goal – and that’s because you want to.

Isn’t that enough?

Jamie is a guitar teacher, writer and blogger from Bournemouth, England. After choosing to quit the typical 9-5 existence, he created Psycholocrazy to document his thoughts and struggles as he forges his own path in life. Jamie is a firm believer in following your own instincts so go ahead and grab his my free 33 page ebook and find out how to quit your job and live life on your own terms too. You can also find Jamie on facebook and Google+.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Nicole Conner

    Dec 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I sure needed this butt kicking this morning! Mask wearing is easy, taking it off, looking at myself – The real me – is the girl that needed the slap! (ouch!)

    Continue to be awesome….thank you!

  2. Joseph Dabon

    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    But aren’t all excuses in the head?

  3. Anna

    Dec 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It’s so easy to be an inspirational speaker/write even YOU can do it. Do you have a family? Do you have kids to take care of, a wife to come home to? No? Oh, well then, you can do ANYTHING! The world is your oyster because you have no obligations to anyone other than yourself! How easy life must be then. Want to quit your job? No problem! Want to move the Hawaii and become a surfer? No problem! You’re just a naive kid spitting out same ol’ free spirit rhetoric that everyone else with no ties preaches on the internet. Bill Gates quit college, SO CAN YOU! Worst crock of horse $#^% I ever heard. Most people are NOT Bill Gates nor are they Zuckerberg. They are AVERAGE. And average people with AVERAGE ambition level NEED to stay in college so that Bill Gates can hire them. I hate it when people talk like you do because it means absolutely NOTHING to the average Joe. Which is pretty much everyone.

  4. Marcin

    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Half the listed college drop outs dropped out of Harvard. A Harvard dropout is better off than a community college graduate. There are more holes in your points than in swiss cheese

    In short, as the internet say: Your argument is invalid

  5. declan

    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Brilliant 🙂
    May get it laminated??

  6. christian

    Apr 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    yes just do it , tks a lot to help the others to be more brave, i like a lot ur last sentence if u really want it u ll found a way if not u ll found an excuse !! i use to tell something like this often
    in chinese , be brave exactly go on put the gas is ” jayou” then to all ” jayou !! “

  7. Jerly Dolomatan

    Apr 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hello Jaime…thank you for this article..I agree in what are stated in article…because in myself..a lot of time I’ve wasted..like doing somethings which is less important…i am a student taking a degree which i don’t like..and that is why, I never give my very best..hope you can help me how to in this situation…

  8. Corey Roncoroni

    Apr 11, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Great article. We really are just a result of the stories we tell ourselves in our head.

  9. talya2312

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Great advice.

  10. Everyday Power

    Apr 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I absolutely loved this! It always important to have the language to combat the thoughts that hold us back! Great work!

  11. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    The rationalizing thoughts people tell themselves to justify their behavior is always bizarre and extremely interesting.

    If you’re in doubt and think you’re trying to convince yourself with excuses – look in the mirror and say it out aloud. Chances are you can’t.

    Problem solved, you’re full of excuses!

    Naomi

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hey, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. You’re right, of course!

  12. Nik E Nokr

    Apr 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Very inspiring read! Cant wait to share with a select few I have in mind! 🙂

  13. Matt

    Apr 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this, it was really good. Very inspiring to get off your butt and do it.

  14. Kash

    Apr 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Very true Jamie.Well written and motivating!

  15. Solomon

    Apr 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Jamie, this article came at the right time. I needed that kick in the back-side, I agree with everything you said, we make far too many excuses and frankly laziness is also a big factor in my case. I`ve got to make some serious changes, Thanks for this informative, kick-ass article. P.S i`m also a fellow Englishman (London) 🙂

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Solomon. I had few more excuses that didn’t make the final article. It’s crazy how many we create to appease our ego.

  16. Billy Elliott

    Apr 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Just thought I would take a moment to say it’s great to see positive quality advice online these days…
    I found it encouraging as well as informative.
    Cheers~

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Hey, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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leadership
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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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referral marketing
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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Nicole Conner

    Dec 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I sure needed this butt kicking this morning! Mask wearing is easy, taking it off, looking at myself – The real me – is the girl that needed the slap! (ouch!)

    Continue to be awesome….thank you!

  2. Joseph Dabon

    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    But aren’t all excuses in the head?

  3. Anna

    Dec 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It’s so easy to be an inspirational speaker/write even YOU can do it. Do you have a family? Do you have kids to take care of, a wife to come home to? No? Oh, well then, you can do ANYTHING! The world is your oyster because you have no obligations to anyone other than yourself! How easy life must be then. Want to quit your job? No problem! Want to move the Hawaii and become a surfer? No problem! You’re just a naive kid spitting out same ol’ free spirit rhetoric that everyone else with no ties preaches on the internet. Bill Gates quit college, SO CAN YOU! Worst crock of horse $#^% I ever heard. Most people are NOT Bill Gates nor are they Zuckerberg. They are AVERAGE. And average people with AVERAGE ambition level NEED to stay in college so that Bill Gates can hire them. I hate it when people talk like you do because it means absolutely NOTHING to the average Joe. Which is pretty much everyone.

  4. Marcin

    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Half the listed college drop outs dropped out of Harvard. A Harvard dropout is better off than a community college graduate. There are more holes in your points than in swiss cheese

    In short, as the internet say: Your argument is invalid

  5. declan

    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Brilliant 🙂
    May get it laminated??

  6. christian

    Apr 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    yes just do it , tks a lot to help the others to be more brave, i like a lot ur last sentence if u really want it u ll found a way if not u ll found an excuse !! i use to tell something like this often
    in chinese , be brave exactly go on put the gas is ” jayou” then to all ” jayou !! “

  7. Jerly Dolomatan

    Apr 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hello Jaime…thank you for this article..I agree in what are stated in article…because in myself..a lot of time I’ve wasted..like doing somethings which is less important…i am a student taking a degree which i don’t like..and that is why, I never give my very best..hope you can help me how to in this situation…

  8. Corey Roncoroni

    Apr 11, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Great article. We really are just a result of the stories we tell ourselves in our head.

  9. talya2312

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Great advice.

  10. Everyday Power

    Apr 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I absolutely loved this! It always important to have the language to combat the thoughts that hold us back! Great work!

  11. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    The rationalizing thoughts people tell themselves to justify their behavior is always bizarre and extremely interesting.

    If you’re in doubt and think you’re trying to convince yourself with excuses – look in the mirror and say it out aloud. Chances are you can’t.

    Problem solved, you’re full of excuses!

    Naomi

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hey, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. You’re right, of course!

  12. Nik E Nokr

    Apr 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Very inspiring read! Cant wait to share with a select few I have in mind! 🙂

  13. Matt

    Apr 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this, it was really good. Very inspiring to get off your butt and do it.

  14. Kash

    Apr 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Very true Jamie.Well written and motivating!

  15. Solomon

    Apr 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Jamie, this article came at the right time. I needed that kick in the back-side, I agree with everything you said, we make far too many excuses and frankly laziness is also a big factor in my case. I`ve got to make some serious changes, Thanks for this informative, kick-ass article. P.S i`m also a fellow Englishman (London) 🙂

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Solomon. I had few more excuses that didn’t make the final article. It’s crazy how many we create to appease our ego.

  16. Billy Elliott

    Apr 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Just thought I would take a moment to say it’s great to see positive quality advice online these days…
    I found it encouraging as well as informative.
    Cheers~

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Hey, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

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Success Advice

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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