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7 Easy Ways To Start Moving Towards Your Dreams Today

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You have a picture of what you would like your life to be, and it excites you. The picture of your perfect dream life consumes your every waking moment, and it keeps you up at night wondering “what if?”—but it just seems too far off to ever become a reality.

We all want to live the life of our dreams, but so few of us are at that stage in our life right now. We don’t want to fully take the leap into pursuing our passions because we don’t want to lose the security of a steady paycheck, and we’re scared of the unknown. What frustrates us most is we just don’t know what steps we can take to pursue our dream life now, rather than later.

What if you could start living your dream life now, instead of waiting until a “better” time—would you take the opportunity then?

Here are seven ways to help you start moving towards your dreams today, instead of waiting until a “better” time around the corner:

1. Realize you’re just as talented and capable as others

We’re all humans, and we all have our strong points. Find your strengths and capitalize on them to avoid running into constant brick walls, and above all be persistent—that’s key! Your dream life is possible. Reminding yourself of your inner greatness every day you can feel more confident about pursuing your dreams even when it would be easier to stop.

 “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney 

2. Develop a mantra relevant to your own success

Muhammad Ali’s was “I am the greatest,” and did anyone question him? Every morning I wake up and tell myself “I’m a writer, and writers write,” because if I didn’t do it then who would? My mantra helps affirm my belief in myself, which allows me to step into my power and tackle my goals with a newfound energy every day. Each day you wake up, ask yourself where your strengths are, and how they make you great—and use your answers to fuel your path to success.

 

3. Personalize your life plan

In their book Living Forward, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy urge their readers to develop a life plan that symbolizes the life they want to live and the steps they need to take to get there. By developing a concrete life plan that’s unique to you and your goals, you’ll prevent yourself from reaching burn-out and losing sight of the end-game you have in mind throughout your day-to-day life. You can also review your plan on a weekly basis to remind yourself of the steps you need to take today towards your dreams, as this will help you visualize your own future success and keep you on track.

 

4. Embrace the power of baby steps

Don’t get consumed by doubt and lose sight of your plan by focusing on the larger scope of your dreams. Instead refine your path and always move forward in whatever ways you can every day, no matter what. Your dreams don’t have to become unwieldy and untouchable, no matter how big they are. Little steps can help you reach your goals even while working a full-time job, regardless of how small they may seem at the time.

 

5. Always show gratitude

Never forget the precious gift of life, and the possibilities that it presents to all of us every day of our lives. You always need to stay positive and remain thankful for yourself and others around you. This will help you keep a positive outlook when the going gets tough and it can prevent you from losing sight of your goal when you’d rather quit.

 

6. Meditate on your successes

Think about your version of your ideal self, and always think about how you can move your current self closer to your dream goals. What have you done that’s worked for you in the past, and what could you do better in the future? Reflecting on your life plan every day can help you keep a laser-focus on your dreams, especially when the going gets tough. This will remind you of the progress you’ve made towards your eventual dream life.

 

7. Embrace the power of your ideas

You always have the power to change the world around you, but first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along. Your dreams matter, and you can be your dream self if you only try and never, ever give up—because despite your failures, every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.

I know you have that one thing that keeps you up at night, deep inside of you. But before you can achieve it, you have to believe in the power of your dreams yourself and know that they’re not far-fetched, despite how far away they seem right now.

“I’m open for possibilities. I’m open for choices. I always welcome new ideas. I’m always eager to learn. I’m never going to close my mind from learning.” – Cesar Millan

You can’t allow the candle of your dreams to burn out, because if you do then you’re admitting they don’t matter.Even if they do burn out, it’s never too late to light them back up again—because despite what people may tell you, your dreams aren’t small or insignificant.

How will you start moving towards your dreams today? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

"Blake Powell helps writers step into their creative power and start living the life of their dreams. You can downloadThe Bulletproof Writer’s Handbook for free today to learn how to supercharge your writing and conquer the blank page once and for all."

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. transformice

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  2. maya breeze

    May 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    hi blake – i love the post … i also think if we will dare to dream (and to bring it) we will discover our way . i think we like to think we dare, but the word is a verb, and it has a few meanings :

    1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough:
    2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
    3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
    4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage

    what if we had the courage to actually dare ourselves …

    thoreau said:

    … if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
    and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
    he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    ours is to dream it and to bring it … how and when are not up to us. we must make of our own selves the desire of the dream, and then be enough (in ourselves) to dare to live it.

    thanks again – i love the idea that we are told by wayshowers that we can, and that we are able to be in life as we wish …
    maya

    • Blake Powell

      May 20, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Hey Maya, thanks so much for your comment. Sorry for the late reply.

      I think as you say, having the dream in place is important but daring to take action on that impulse is equally as important to that. A lot of what you say is similar to what Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, in that we must put a face to our desires and believe that we can do it before we can take action and later reap the benefits of that action. But dreaming is nothing without doing, so we can’t get tripped up by the daring part – we must “dare to do” and actually do, which is the critical point of turning our dreams into reality.

      Thank you so much for your insights, and the quote by Thoreau. I love seeing what readers come up with, and many times it adds to the post itself ten-fold – so thank you for that. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Blake

  3. Tim Denning

    May 4, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Blake I think that taking little steps is the most important point in your article. I practice this daily and it has really helped me. Thanks for sharing your advice.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Tim, little steps are huge! They make more of an impact than you’d think. Thanks for your reply 🙂

  4. Dennis

    May 2, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I’m one of those who really get started well but get frustrated shortly. Was asking myself why and the answer was ‘u are biting too big man.’ Thanx for all the advice. I owe so much to so many people who have made me who I am today, including u. I must make a positive impact in as many lives as I can.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hey Dennis, you’re welcome! Glad to help. Maybe the problem isn’t biting off too much but taking it all in too quickly.

      I like the Chinese proverb “be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Baby steps add up to more than we’d think over the long term of things, as long as you cut your big goals into small pieces you should be fine 🙂

  5. Ohita Afeisume

    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thanks Blake,
    For me, gratitude works marvelously. The more I am thankful to God for my life, family and friends, the more empowered I am to follow my goals and be creative.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Hey, no problem Ohita! Glad to help 🙂
      Gratitude is a huge one, and I don’t think it can be practiced enough. It is a huge part of happiness, which can fuel us to live out our dreams in many ways. Thanks for your comment.

  6. James Arq

    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Blake!

    Your writing is just awesome, straight to the point! You make me (just a tiny bit) jealous. 😉

    I especially liked this line on your last point “…every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.”

    I agree with it. We can very much enjoy life with the small things, and in fact, we should. Let us celebrate mini victories and daily conquers, after all, milestones are as equally important as goals. And most importantly, never stop moving forward, no matter how small the steps. In time, those small steps would reveal to be miles away from where we started.

    Awesome post!

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Hey James,

      Thanks so much for the comment, and I appreciate the feedback. I’m glad to hear that you find my advice practical, useful, and straight to the point. Means a lot to me to hear that from a reader.

      Life is a daily battle, and if we don’t stand up and face the drums every day then we lose a little bit of our passion, and ourselves in the process. We need to fight for our dreams, even if we work a 9-5, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day. Every little bit counts, and a snowball can turn into an avalanche over time (pardon the metaphor). I think we can all surprise with what we could do when we get down to it, rather than just wondering about it.

      Thanks James!

  7. Dan Western

    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Awesome article Blake! Thanks for sharing this.

    P.S. I love the quote at the end! It fits perfectly.

    Dan

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hey Dan, you’re very welcome man. Thanks for the comment and glad I could help. 🙂

  8. Mike McClement

    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Linked to #1 – never compare yourself to others. Sure, check out what they’re doing / how they’re succeeding. Learn if you can from that but don’t focus on their strengths, focus on your own.

    I try this approach and it seems to work although it does require self-discipline. Silencing the negative voice in your head encouraging you to doubt yourself is always challenging. It’s perfectly possible though if you keep in a positive frame of mind.

    Thanks Blake for a helpful article.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Hey Mike, thanks for the shout-out – really appreciate it. Definitely, comparing ourselves to others can only get us disheartened in the end. While it’s good to work up to where others are and see the value in their ideas, if we focus too much on their progress and their strengths (which highlight our own weaknesses) we lose sight of our own selves, our own strength, and our own potential – which can be poisonous for our own goals and motivation.

      It definitely requires telling that self-doubting voice “no”, as hard as it may be at times. But I don’t think we can ever turn it off completely or ignore it, only acknowledge it and work past it. It may always be there, but that doesn’t mean we have to adhere to it or fuel its fire.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. You’re very welcome, and I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  9. Jared

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I agree making baby steps is a way to move forward. I also have to stay patient because I want to move faster but at this time in my life it’s difficult. As long as I keep moving forward I know ill achieve my dreams. Thanks Blake.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Hey Jared,

      Patience, like Gary Vee says, is HUGE. Almost even more so than baby steps. Because while we can slowly persist towards our larger goals every day, if we don’t have patience and respect for the whole process then it’s too easy to lose hope and turn to doubting ourselves and stopping our forward progress (we might even forget what progress looks like, too, if we get too wrapped up in the process).

      As cliche as it is, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time, just like your dreams take time to achieve. But they are most certainly achievable.

      Thanks for engaging, and glad you found it helpful! 🙂

  10. Mark Tong

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Blake – love the article especially ‘ Embrace the power of your ideas ‘ – and blow yourself away:)

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Hey Mark,

      Yes, absolutely blow yourself away! You might just be surprised with what you can do and can achieve. I think we all can, but we need to light our fire first.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Quinn Eurich

    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Loved the post Blake. You always have such great and straight-forwards advice.

    I especially love this: “first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along.”

    It’s such a wonderful metaphor. The shoes are always there. They may be in a forgotten box in the back of a closet, or in a corner of the attic, or even lying in the shadows under the bed, but they are there.

    Sometimes you’ve tried them on and thought they were too big, but sooner or later you’ll grow into them, and when you do, it’s magic.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Quinn

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Quinn, thanks so much. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad the post helped you out. I loved your comment on the shoes, and think it’s pretty much perfect so I won’t add anything to it, but yes it’s so easy to put our dreams away and try and hide from them and ignore them when they’re just waiting for us to follow them. And I think the power of little steps towards bigger, more long-term goals are very underrated, as they’ve done wonders for me!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
Image Credit: Alchetron

I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Success Advice

Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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business networking
Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic. (more…)

Dominic Cruz is the CruzIN Social Media Marketer, ex-professional hip-hop dancer, a college graduate at SDSU, public speaker, and a published writer. He has a strong passion for social media and for what it has to offer to business owners like you. He was raised in the city of Boston, MA and born in New Orleans, LA. Every day there is something new in the world of social media and there are multiple ways of getting paid using social media. It's the platform that brings you maximum exposure and with more exposure is more opportunity to bring in GUARANTEED revenue. To learn more about his company, visit his site here.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. transformice

    Aug 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  2. maya breeze

    May 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    hi blake – i love the post … i also think if we will dare to dream (and to bring it) we will discover our way . i think we like to think we dare, but the word is a verb, and it has a few meanings :

    1. to have the necessary courage or boldness for something; be bold enough:
    2. to have the boldness to try; venture; hazard.
    3. to meet defiantly; face courageously.
    4. to challenge or provoke (a person) into a demonstration of courage

    what if we had the courage to actually dare ourselves …

    thoreau said:

    … if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
    and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
    he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

    ours is to dream it and to bring it … how and when are not up to us. we must make of our own selves the desire of the dream, and then be enough (in ourselves) to dare to live it.

    thanks again – i love the idea that we are told by wayshowers that we can, and that we are able to be in life as we wish …
    maya

    • Blake Powell

      May 20, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Hey Maya, thanks so much for your comment. Sorry for the late reply.

      I think as you say, having the dream in place is important but daring to take action on that impulse is equally as important to that. A lot of what you say is similar to what Napoleon Hill says in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, in that we must put a face to our desires and believe that we can do it before we can take action and later reap the benefits of that action. But dreaming is nothing without doing, so we can’t get tripped up by the daring part – we must “dare to do” and actually do, which is the critical point of turning our dreams into reality.

      Thank you so much for your insights, and the quote by Thoreau. I love seeing what readers come up with, and many times it adds to the post itself ten-fold – so thank you for that. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Blake

  3. Tim Denning

    May 4, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Blake I think that taking little steps is the most important point in your article. I practice this daily and it has really helped me. Thanks for sharing your advice.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Tim, little steps are huge! They make more of an impact than you’d think. Thanks for your reply 🙂

  4. Dennis

    May 2, 2016 at 4:22 am

    I’m one of those who really get started well but get frustrated shortly. Was asking myself why and the answer was ‘u are biting too big man.’ Thanx for all the advice. I owe so much to so many people who have made me who I am today, including u. I must make a positive impact in as many lives as I can.

    • Blake Powell

      May 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hey Dennis, you’re welcome! Glad to help. Maybe the problem isn’t biting off too much but taking it all in too quickly.

      I like the Chinese proverb “be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Baby steps add up to more than we’d think over the long term of things, as long as you cut your big goals into small pieces you should be fine 🙂

  5. Ohita Afeisume

    Apr 28, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thanks Blake,
    For me, gratitude works marvelously. The more I am thankful to God for my life, family and friends, the more empowered I am to follow my goals and be creative.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Hey, no problem Ohita! Glad to help 🙂
      Gratitude is a huge one, and I don’t think it can be practiced enough. It is a huge part of happiness, which can fuel us to live out our dreams in many ways. Thanks for your comment.

  6. James Arq

    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Wonderful post, Blake!

    Your writing is just awesome, straight to the point! You make me (just a tiny bit) jealous. 😉

    I especially liked this line on your last point “…every single step you take towards your dreams are small wins and they never stop counting towards your bigger dream goals.”

    I agree with it. We can very much enjoy life with the small things, and in fact, we should. Let us celebrate mini victories and daily conquers, after all, milestones are as equally important as goals. And most importantly, never stop moving forward, no matter how small the steps. In time, those small steps would reveal to be miles away from where we started.

    Awesome post!

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Hey James,

      Thanks so much for the comment, and I appreciate the feedback. I’m glad to hear that you find my advice practical, useful, and straight to the point. Means a lot to me to hear that from a reader.

      Life is a daily battle, and if we don’t stand up and face the drums every day then we lose a little bit of our passion, and ourselves in the process. We need to fight for our dreams, even if we work a 9-5, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day. Every little bit counts, and a snowball can turn into an avalanche over time (pardon the metaphor). I think we can all surprise with what we could do when we get down to it, rather than just wondering about it.

      Thanks James!

  7. Dan Western

    Apr 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Awesome article Blake! Thanks for sharing this.

    P.S. I love the quote at the end! It fits perfectly.

    Dan

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Hey Dan, you’re very welcome man. Thanks for the comment and glad I could help. 🙂

  8. Mike McClement

    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Linked to #1 – never compare yourself to others. Sure, check out what they’re doing / how they’re succeeding. Learn if you can from that but don’t focus on their strengths, focus on your own.

    I try this approach and it seems to work although it does require self-discipline. Silencing the negative voice in your head encouraging you to doubt yourself is always challenging. It’s perfectly possible though if you keep in a positive frame of mind.

    Thanks Blake for a helpful article.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:38 am

      Hey Mike, thanks for the shout-out – really appreciate it. Definitely, comparing ourselves to others can only get us disheartened in the end. While it’s good to work up to where others are and see the value in their ideas, if we focus too much on their progress and their strengths (which highlight our own weaknesses) we lose sight of our own selves, our own strength, and our own potential – which can be poisonous for our own goals and motivation.

      It definitely requires telling that self-doubting voice “no”, as hard as it may be at times. But I don’t think we can ever turn it off completely or ignore it, only acknowledge it and work past it. It may always be there, but that doesn’t mean we have to adhere to it or fuel its fire.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. You’re very welcome, and I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  9. Jared

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I agree making baby steps is a way to move forward. I also have to stay patient because I want to move faster but at this time in my life it’s difficult. As long as I keep moving forward I know ill achieve my dreams. Thanks Blake.

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Hey Jared,

      Patience, like Gary Vee says, is HUGE. Almost even more so than baby steps. Because while we can slowly persist towards our larger goals every day, if we don’t have patience and respect for the whole process then it’s too easy to lose hope and turn to doubting ourselves and stopping our forward progress (we might even forget what progress looks like, too, if we get too wrapped up in the process).

      As cliche as it is, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time, just like your dreams take time to achieve. But they are most certainly achievable.

      Thanks for engaging, and glad you found it helpful! 🙂

  10. Mark Tong

    Apr 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Blake – love the article especially ‘ Embrace the power of your ideas ‘ – and blow yourself away:)

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 26, 2016 at 12:40 am

      Hey Mark,

      Yes, absolutely blow yourself away! You might just be surprised with what you can do and can achieve. I think we all can, but we need to light our fire first.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Quinn Eurich

    Apr 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Loved the post Blake. You always have such great and straight-forwards advice.

    I especially love this: “first you have to step into the shoes that were made for you to wear all along.”

    It’s such a wonderful metaphor. The shoes are always there. They may be in a forgotten box in the back of a closet, or in a corner of the attic, or even lying in the shadows under the bed, but they are there.

    Sometimes you’ve tried them on and thought they were too big, but sooner or later you’ll grow into them, and when you do, it’s magic.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Quinn

    • Blake Powell

      Apr 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Quinn, thanks so much. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad the post helped you out. I loved your comment on the shoes, and think it’s pretty much perfect so I won’t add anything to it, but yes it’s so easy to put our dreams away and try and hide from them and ignore them when they’re just waiting for us to follow them. And I think the power of little steps towards bigger, more long-term goals are very underrated, as they’ve done wonders for me!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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business networking
Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
Image Credit: Alchetron

I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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perseverance
Image Credit: Unsplash

I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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dress for success
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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