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7 Fatal Habits Slowing Your Entrepreneurial Success

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7 Fatal Habits Slowing Your Entrepreneurial Success

You work hard. You buy the courses, read the books, go to the seminars, but your business is still growing small or maybe even non-existent.

You just KNOW that the secret to your success is in there somewhere. If you could just copy their talent, or their skills or even some daily habit you know you will see your productivity increase and your results skyrocket. But is that really the case?

So many times when we see successful people we wonder what can we do to copy them, or what are we not doing that we could be to follow in their footsteps and see those same results. But the reality is that it is not necessarily about learning a new skill or talent, or even adding something new at all. Sometimes the biggest gains we get are from stopping or altering your current habits.

 

Fatal Habit #1: Letting others control your morning

If you are having trouble getting a lot of things done, first look at your morning routine. You probably wake up groggy almost every morning, hit the snooze button once or twice before dragging yourself out of bed, and what is the first thing you are likely to do? Probably check your phone.

That’s the problem. Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts. Why not make yourself the first priority in the morning? What could you do instead that puts your goals and your life as the main priority?

Here are a few options:

  • Read a book, just a chapter, heck just a few pages would be better for you than checking email. It will give you some new ideas just to start your day. It might trigger a new idea for a blog post, or someone you should be reaching out to. Either way, your business improves right from the start of the day. Your mind actually has all day to work on developing solutions for whatever ideas you got from your early morning reading.
  • Meditate, either on your own or with one of many awesome guided meditations out there (I personally love guided meditations because I struggle to sit there myself…my mind tends to wander).
  • Listen to an audio book (same benefits as reading a book without even needing to open your eyes).
  • Listen to a podcast. This might take a little bit longer than the other options, but again it will teach you some interesting things that can foster creativity and inspire new ideas for your business.

All of these are fine. They will wake up your mind and get you ready to attack your day far better than the useless junk that is probably in your inbox or on your newsfeed. In fact, try turning email off on your phone and see how much better your morning is.

The best part of this change in your morning routine is that it takes up less than 10 minutes of your morning. If you say you don’t have 10 minutes in the morning, try getting up 10 minutes earlier to get this done. The result will be huge for you.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing that you can do first thing in the morning, is to work on your biggest, most pressing challenge for at least 25 minutes before you ever think about looking at your phone or checking your email. I would recommend giving yourself a full hour. By working on your biggest challenge first thing in morning you will ensure that you are putting in enough time to eventually blow past it and move on to other tasks to continue growing your business.

 

Fatal Habit #2: Losing focus from your current project

This is one of the more common habits we face as entrepreneurs today, as there are just so many distractions: television, social media, netflix etc. And then there’s all the things going on in your social life, the text messages from your significant other, kids running around the house. Sometimes it is just hard to stay focused and it gets us knocked off track, costing us valuable work time trying to restart after each interruption.

Additionally, sometimes even when our phones aren’t going crazy and the kids are not running around the house, we still are not as productive as we could be because we are not entirely sure what we should be doing. We have all seen tons of people who recommend creating huge “to-do” lists with like 8-10 tasks on them, but this is not ideal.

Why? Because it is incredibly difficult to get 8-10 things done each day, especially if the business is not your only focus. Instead of motivating you, it ends up demoralizing you because everyday you feel incomplete because you are never completing your entire list. Try creating a list of just the three most important tasks for you to get done that day. This gives you an achievable number of tasks each day. You actually look forward to getting them all done because then you can enjoy some time with your family, your friends or a hobby guilt free.

But here’s the trick to really make sure you get things done. So many times we will write down that we need to get this done, but will stop completely when we hit any kind of resistance. So how do we ensure that we know exactly what to do to complete our three daily tasks? The night before, write them down before you go to bed.

By writing down the necessary steps to complete each task you will be able to plan out the exact steps you will be taking to complete each task. This helps you from getting stuck or being unsure what your next move is. When you complete all the steps for each task, you are done, go enjoy yourself for a bit, write your three tasks for tomorrow and do it all over again the next day.

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

Fatal Habit #3: Doing non-income producing activities first

Far too often we get bogged down in unimportant tasks that do not grow our business. But because we are doing something we think we are being busy and/or productive. The reality is that we are actually neither. The reality is that all tasks are not created equally and you need to know how to prioritize which tasks to do first, and which tasks can be put off until later, outsourced or scrapped entirely.

There are 4 different types of Business Activities:

1. Income Producing Activities

These are the activities that will immediately provide you with sales. This can include webinars, writing sales pages, writing email launches or creating sales videos (for a service based business this would be actually performing the service). The simple rule for this group is if it won’t make you money it doesn’t belong here, this will be your top priority tasks.

2. Asset Creation

These are the tasks that will create useful pieces of your income producing processes. This includes creating products, making website pages (for sales or products), building out new sales funnels and guest posting. These activities are generally related to either product creation or list building.

3. Active Asset Nurturing

Once you have an asset created this is when you are providing additional work/value to the asset. Tasks in this category include creating new bonus modules for courses or sending out a value adding email to your list (notice how I did not just say send out an email, a sales pitch email…whether your product or an affiliate product does NOT qualify here, that actually is higher up). Basically, these tasks are providing additional value to assets that are already up and running.

4. Everything Else

This is everything else. The basic rule here is that if it’s not one of the first three tasks you either delay it, delegate it (outsource it) or discard it. There’s nothing here that is an immediate priority and you should avoid spending as much time on these tasks as possible. Doing $10/hr work will not get you moving toward your goals.

Set up a spreadsheet with the 4 types of tasks, list all the tasks you do or need to do and put them in each category. List all the tasks that you do, whether daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly. For the category 4s, figure out what you will delay until you have free time, what you will outsource and what you will just delete from your list of tasks.

 

Fatal Flaw #4: Poor personal health habits

Many times we expect that we have to “grind” our way to success. Unfortunately that means we end up thinking we need to just work on business and ignore everything else: fun, family, friends, but the most important thing that we cannot ignore is our personal health.

Sir Richard Branson has said the number one “secret” to improved productivity is to work out. Because our body is the single most important investment in your life. Working out increases your energy, your sleep and your focus, all things that you need to do your best work. The good news is that you can work out fairly easily, because you don’t need to be the next Mr. Olympia to receive the benefits of regular exercise.

For me, I like to do some kind of quick workout right after getting out of bed to get the blood flowing, and also because getting in a light workout before eating a meal allows your body to burn more fat as it will pull from your reserves since you haven’t recently fed it anything for it to burn.

This can be a simple program consisting of stretching, pushups and body squats (or whatever types of bodyweight exercises you like to do). You can do a full workout later in the day, or after work if still at a 9 to 5 job. If you are a morning person feel free to go nuts and do your full workout first thing in the morning. Additionally you have to fuel your body properly in order to get peak performance. If you eat better your body will react better: better focus, more energy, happier.

Again, much like workout plans there are tons of options for nutrition plans online. I personally like the Tim Ferris Slow Carb Diet. It is simple, easy to follow and starts giving you immediate results (I lost 5 pounds the first week I did it, that made it easier to get past the adjustment period and keep going). This allows you to be healthy and still enjoy your cheat day (FREE TIP: Don’t drink away your calories…save that for your cheat days).

 

Fatal Flaw #5: Not taking action

It is great if you have the best morning routine, you eat the best foods, drink enough water and even find time to workout. But what about your business? It’s great that you have the entire Dan Kennedy library of products (Dan Kennedy ROCKS, by the way), but your business will not grow unless you take ACTION. The only way you will make money is by taking action.

All those “think about the money and it will come” mantras are simply woo woo crap. It takes real work to build a business that makes money versus one that is just an expensive hobby. Why expensive? Think of all those courses that we buy, hoping that each one provides that ONE secret that explodes our business. So we just keep consuming course, after course after course, and yet the results never seem to come.

A good course is not designed to be consumed in full. It is designed for you to go through a module, and then take action on what you’ve learned, and then go to the next module. Rinse, wash and repeat.

A good rule of thumb is that for every one hour of training you should take 3 hours worth of action. Now some will take longer and some will be shorter, but that should be the goal (especially since you should end up having some ongoing tasks that you will have to keep doing over and over again, such as writing emails, making sales funnels or writing guest posts).

“Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin

Fatal Flaw #6: Allowing negative influences into your life

Honestly, I was tempted to make this #1, because one of the biggest flaws that we make is keeping negative influences in our life, this can include television, radio or even other people. To be successful we need to RUTHLESSLY keep those negative influences away from us. They can be poison to our mood, our minds, and our productivity.

Both television and radio have too many things you cannot control. Things like commercials or news stories that will not help you. Food commercials that give you unhealthy food cravings, medicine commercials about different diseases and side effects…it is all just really sad and depressing. And they both hurt you physically, mentally and emotionally.

But I’m also not going to tell you that you have to cut it out entirely (although that is obviously ideal), as I’d be a hypocrite because I love Shark Tank, The Profit, and Major League Baseball. As for the radio, that one is much easier to replace. You can listen to an audio book from a source like Audible or your local library, or use an app to listen to one of your favorite podcasts. By turning your car into a classroom you can get literally days worth of extra learning in during the down time of driving.

But use it as a welcome break from your hard work rather than something that you do out of habit. Treat it like a small reward for a good couple days of work rather than an everyday event.

The worst negative influences of all, can be our friends and family. While you cannot let them try to destroy your dreams (and they will if you let them). So you really have two options: Avoid spending time with them as much as possible (understanding that they are your family and friends so you will likely see some of them a bit even if they don’t support your business goals) or try to turn them into an ally by asking them for advice, put them in your shoes and then asking what they would do if they were you.

And finally there are those people who are just so negative that you may just need to cut them out of your life entirely. I had former teammates who I haven’t spoken with in years now because of how unsupportive they were about my entrepreneurial ventures.

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey 

Fatal Flaw #7: Not measuring your progress & results

Baseball great Yogi Berra once said “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” This is true with our businesses as well. We can do all this work to try and get results, but how do we know what is working and what isn’t? One word; metrics.

But not just any metrics, pick metrics that are based on your goals. For example, if you want to get to 1000 subscribers on your email list, you will likely care about metrics such as total subscribers each month, and your conversion rates from your opt-in page or other lead capture devices. If your goals are mostly based on income then our metrics will be based more along sales and expenses.

But the key is to give yourself specific numbers to shoot for: 1000 subscribers, 25% conversion rate, $100k in sales etc. Then give yourself specific time frames to measure (I personally like monthly, quarterly and yearly goals). This gives you a few short term goals to make changes on, as well as the full year goals that give you a full picture of your business.

 

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

BJ Pivonka is the founder of Athletic Entrepreneurs (bjpivonka.com), where he helps former college and professional athletes successfully transition from their playing career into their own profitable entrepreneurial venture. At his website you can get hisFREE 5-day email course to get your first profitable idea and start earning money even if you do not have an idea yet.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Matt Lancaster

    Jan 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back.
    Really Really nice article.
    Thanks

  2. MD Farhad Hussain

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Great Article. I was suffering with #6. Even though I know what to do, this article clarifies all things again.

  3. Geraldo Angel

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    That was amazing! Sometimes one of those habits happened to me but with the time I get better and better

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Geraldo,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      And yes, as long as you know about the habits, you can work on fixing them and continuously getting better.

  4. Mohinish Nirwal

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Great article. I had my tongue in teeth on 4th one… From past few years I am not able to do physical exercises the way I used to do in college and later… I’ll stick to it.
    Thanks BJ Pivonka.
    Mohinish Nirwal

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Mohinish!

      You don’t even need to go crazy and do some instanity type stuff, James Altucher just goes for walks everyday. I know guys who do sprints.

      And then there are sites about doing five minute workouts to do some high quality exercisein a short time.

      You have tons of options, just find something that works for you and keep doing it.

  5. Sija Mafu

    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Geez! I see a lot of my own flaws in this article. I’ll do what I need to in order to adhere to them. Thanks for sharing,

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Sija,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s a matter of just taking small steps to keep getting better in each area. Once you keep that up you’ll starting disproportionate results.

  6. Ernie

    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Very wise advice my friend! Even correcting just one or two of these flaws is enough to build some solid momentum. Great article.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thanks Ernie!

      glad you enjoyed the article.

      And I agree, you don’t need to fix all 7 right away. Fix one or 2 at a time and you’ll start seeing huge results.

  7. Janette

    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Oh wow! #1 is definitely talking to me! ” Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts” that’s exactly what I do…but not from tomorrow morning that’s for sure!

    Thank you! Mwah x

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:29 am

      That is what I’m talking about Janette!!

      Great start.

  8. Adrian

    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Yes, negativity is one of the worst thing ever if you want to start good life.

    I started making money online because my goal was that $$$ per day and I reached it in 12 months.

  9. Arnold Chitwa

    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think i want to use this article as a daily guide, to make improvements on areas that i have been underachieving, its reaching out to me in practical and Big ways, i have to give a shot to every piece of advice i have received here.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Arnold. Glad you found this useful.

      Come back here and let us know how it went.

      or just shoot me an email with the results: bj@bjpivonka.com

  10. Muqadas

    Jul 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Woho, What an article. Agreed on each of it’s point.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Muqadas,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Each point is CRUCIAL.

      Let me know what kinds of results you get.

  11. Matimba Ngwenya

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This article hit me hard. Fatal Flaw #5 speaks to me most. I know what to do, and how to do it. My follow through however is not consistent, and I have not been prioritizing my action. Thanks for the wake up call Pivonka

  12. ssenyonjo wilberforce

    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

    wow!!!!!,its a good information en it has given me courage.

  13. Stefanie

    Jul 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Great article! I totally agree, that habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back. Your article reminded me it’s important to continuously check my own habits. Thank you!

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Stefanie, glad you enjoyed it.

      I picked out these specific habits for a reason. They can not only set the tone for you day, but determine your energy level for the rest of the day when you should be doing income producing activities.

      Thanks for your support!

  14. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:56 am

    This is some great information and I completely agree with everyone of them. I think your morning routine is what will determine if you make it in business or not. The morning is the foundation for your day, so you should really take care of yourself and your mindset. I have read about alot of successful people and they all do something in the morning that get them started for the day, such as meditating, exercising, or just eating a great breakfast. Take care of yourself and your mind. Great post.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Lawrence, YES. That is exactly the case. The morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day and also determines what kind of energy you have left for the rest of the day. That’s why I made it #1 on the list.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. Heitem Ak

    Jul 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Nice one Pivonka!

    I completely agree on the metrics.

    Specific goals keeps you on track through hard times!

    Just like jogging, if you run without metrics, you are likely to stop running as soon as you start getting tired!

    Keep them up,

    Heitem Ak

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Heitem, absolutely. You need to know what direction you are headed so you know whether to change course or not.

      Otherwise you’ll just wander around aimlessly doing things that won’t get the results you want and never actually get there.

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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

6 Marketing Superpowers You Can Learn From Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist in residence at New York’s Hayden Planetarium is an unlikely role model for marketing excellence. Clearly, he knows how to get your attention. Even on the most complex or boring subjects, as evidenced by over 7.3 million twitter followers, sold out events, and multiple books that have been on the NY Times Bestseller list.

Here are 6 Marketing Tips You Can Learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

1. Understand your audience

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about sales, accounting or planets, what matters is that you understand your audience and what they care about. Think about it, if you make your topic relatable to them and what is important to them, you will succeed.

Create specific examples of what you are speaking about by relating it to what matters to your audience. If you are speaking to accountants about social media, make an analogy to their industry to make it more relatable.

Tell them social media was designed for accountants as it features lots of measurable data…likes, follower counts, reports, metrics, gross and net, so that you are speaking their language and it will sound familiar enough to keep their attention.  

Neil’s new book demonstrates his understanding of people and what makes them tick as evidenced by its title – “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”. It’s really a statement on society today – we now want the key information in the shortest version possible.

2. Be passionate about your work, down to the smallest particle

People are attracted to those who are clearly passionate about their work. By sharing your excitement for your subject matter, you engage and inspire people, and they lean in to find out more. Excitement is contagious. Be passionate about your work and your topic, even when speaking about small details.

A graphic designer who can wax poetic about the loop of an ‘S’ in a specific font, comparing it to the Coney Island Cyclone will capture the attention of their audience, even if they can’t tell Comic Sans from Times New Roman.

“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?” – Richard Branson

3. Express a sense of wonder about even the most minuscule and boring things

Along with being passionate about your subject matter, express a sense of wonder about any and every aspect of your work. Share your continued gratitude that you get to work in your incredible field, and get to share your knowledge with amazing people [the audience]. Being humble and appreciative is endearing.

As a digital marketer, I am still in awe that by having your email address, I can type a message on my computer and hit send knowing that it will land in your inbox within seconds, no matter where around the globe you are located, even without understanding how it works.

4. Use humor in everything

You may not may not remember much from marketing materials or a presentation, but I bet you will be able to recall a good joke or anecdote.

Humor is a great equalizer. It can break down barriers, get your attention, and turn even the most mundane subjects into more fun, interesting ones. Humor can also be memorable, so infuse your marketing with it where possible.

Insurance is a pretty dry subject; one that it is hard to get excited about. Both Geico and  Farmers Insurance recognize this and have created series of humorous ads to both entertain us, as well as display the need for, and range of their services. Take Farmer’s Swing Set Standoff, featuring a moose attacking swings, then crashing through their client’s windshield, all of which turns out to be covered by their insurance plan.

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes

5. Break complex topics down into easily understood nuggets

I don’t know about you, but I can understand most topics if they are broken down into smaller chunks. With shorter attention spans, you can easily absorb smaller bits of information. It also helps with more complex or new topics, to chunk them down into multiple smaller components as well as comparing them to popular concepts or products, so they can be more easily understood. This helps you scan the information quickly, and process it better.

The technology sector is great at doing this. For example:  Getaround, The Airbnb for Cars, is a lot more elegant, instantly understood concept than describing a car rental market place where people rent you their car by the day, hour or week through a smartphone app.

6. Talk or write in clear and appealing sound bites

Want to get your message heard and shared with more people? Communicate in clear, short, and compelling sentences and phrases; this is beneficial in several ways. As mentioned, if you are like most people, you have a short attention span, so concise sentences are easily scanned when reading, or heard when spoken by a presenter.

The added benefit to this method is that you are creating tweet-worthy statements, that will most likely get shared, helping to increase your marketing reach and visibility.

“Houston we have a problem” and  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” are great examples of concise and effective communication. Both soundbites convey information, context and place.  They are also very quotable, and tweetable.  So much is said, in so few [yet memorable] words.

Follow these six simple lessons, and you too, can be seen as having marketing superpowers.

How do you sell yourself? Let us know by commenting below!
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5 Influential Ways to Turn Failure Into Success

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failure

There’s hardly a person in history that hasn’t seen failure in life. People fail in life and it hurts. It can cut them deep, leaving you with no one but your sorrows to wipe your wounds off. Usually, when we fail at something we can’t seem to see through the pain to find out why it happened.

However, failure is evolutionary – it helps us to grow, mature, and reach a deeper understanding of life as to what we want and why we want it. It is basically the real secret towards success.

Quite frankly, if you were to succeed in every endeavor, you’d become arrogant and a narcissist. Failure helps you to become a better person, expanding your mind while deepening our hearts. As much as it can hurt at times, without failure, it would be difficult to appreciate our successes.

If you have faced failure recently, it is okay. You need to believe in yourself and in the fact that failure isn’t the end of it all, it might be the right beginning. Of course, there are several ways to turn each failure into a success.

Here are 5 ways to turn your failure into success:

1. List the reasons you failed

Everyone has dreams and ambitions they want to see fulfilled when they’re striving for success. So when you fail, you need to see those reasons again. Have a look at them and think, “Do I still want this dream to be a reality”’, and if the answer is yes, do not give up. If you don’t have a strong enough reason why you need to succeed, failure will be likened to an atomic bomb, leveling your hopes and your dreams in its wake. However, when you have a strong reason, nothing will stand in your way.

2. Acknowledge your mistakes

A responsible individual will always own up to their mistakes, as it is important to acknowledge where you faltered. If you don’t own them, you can’t possibly redeem them in order to achieve success.

There’s no reason to hide the fact that you failed. Puffing your chest out and blaming others or your circumstances is a sad little charade that doesn’t last long. You don’t really have to apologize for the choices you’ve made, but you do need to recognize them as they are to avoid such choices in the future. We are product of the past but we don’t have to let our mistakes define us.

“Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” – Dale Turner

3. Learn from your mistakes

When a person fails and tries to get over it, he may tend to ignore all the things he did that led to the failure. After reviewing your failure, acknowledge your mistakes and only then can you learn from them. As they say, “The only way to fail at failing is to learn nothing from the experience.”

This is good practice, as long as you don’t blame yourself pointlessly.  Don’t dismiss your failed experiments but learn from them. Write down and remember everything you know you could have done better because it will motivate you to improve the next time.

4. Consistency is key

Consistent action creates consistent results. You can try as hard as you want but strength doesn’t come from what you can do; rather doing the things you once thought you never could.

Whenever you let yourself fall down, you have to learn to dust yourself off, get up, and move forward. Repeat this process until you’re at the point where you wanted to see yourself. Consistency is highly undervalued yet what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile. Always remember to “Try, try until you succeed.”

“Consistency for me is everything.” – Alexei Navalny

5. Don’t lose your confidence

Failure can shake anybody’s confidence. That’s completely human. But remember, confidence is your biggest asset in your daily routine which can lead you to improved mental well-being as well. Remind yourself that you have the strength to rely on and weaknesses to improve. Everybody falls down from time to time as long as they’re human. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick yourself up and run a marathon. Regaining your confidence after facing a devastating failure can be the strongest thing a person can do. If you can do that, you can do anything.

Sometimes failure keeps you stuck in your old ways and you need support to help get past your bad habits. For that matter, you need to find someone you can rely on for support. It could be a friend or a mentor or anyone who has experienced what you’re going through presently so they can point you in the right direction. Failure is the only way you can grow and evolve, because ultimately, failure is an opportunity to do better.

How do you get yourself back up after a failure? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The Power Of Heart: This Is Why Emotion Is So Incredible

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Screw what people say about emotion. Emotion is everything. Emotion is what has allowed me to keep gaining a massive online audience.

Here’s an example: Last Friday, I posted a photo on LinkedIn of two surgeons who had just finished a 32-hour surgery. The photo had a lot of emotion and I backed it up with an emotional question for people to ponder.

Humans can’t resist this type of content. What’s even funnier is that business humans especially can’t resist this content. It’s these business humans that need and crave emotion more than anyone on the planet.

Spending hours at your job or startup can suck the life out of you. Emotion brings all of that life back again. For the next three hours, this post went crazy. Emotion was pouring out of people and I too was feeling the same emotion. I responded to every single comment in real-time.

It had been a tough week for me full of disappointment. This opportunity to deliver emotion and have it come right back at me was impossible to pass up. Lately, I have become an emotion junkie chasing the next piece of content that is going to inspire me and help me stay focused.

Here’s why emotion is so incredible:

 

1. Emotion unites us

Linkedin proved this to me last Friday. People united around these two surgeons I posted because they are heroes. They gave everything they had to save another humans life. They did it without thinking about anything else.

Emotion united everyone that read my post because deep down we all want to be heroes. Heroes bring out the emotion in all of us and we all want that feeling. We don’t need to be ashamed of this wish; we need to go out there and make it come true.

Emotion is what creates a human life and it’s what can destroy a human life as well. Emotion is what made you start your business or take a job and it’s what can end it as well. As humans, we are united by emotion because it’s part of our DNA.

Even the grumpiest son of a gun can become an entirely new person when they come into contact with raw emotion – that’s part of my dream. I hope that one day one of these grumpy, worn out souls can read one of my posts and change the way they think.

If that happened just once, then I’d die a happy man. Emotion drives me to do what I do and emotion is what unites all of you reading. Let emotion bring us together rather than allowing hatred to win.

Don’t let war fuel your thoughts, let love take control and drive you towards emotion.

That one thought right there has the power to change every problem this world is facing. It’s one simple, dumb, sentence and yet it’s game changing. I used to think changing the world was so incredibly hard.

Now I know that I can achieve that goal by sitting behind my laptop and making people feel emotion. I want that dream for you too.

 

2. Hiding from emotion is never going to work

To display raw emotion is tough. I’ve done it for long enough and it’s hard work. As much as you try and avoid it, sometimes you think to yourself, “What are people going to think? Are they going to feel I’m a total screw up?”

The answer to this question is that it’s far worse to hide from emotion than it is to embrace it, and unleash for all to see.

“Those lifeless souls you see whipping their employees and saying the word “revenue” every five minutes are the ones hiding from emotion”

On the outside, they look like hardasses, but inside they are destroying their souls. One day all of that hidden emotion is going to bring them down like the twin towers. You can’t hide from emotion. You can’t hide your real feelings about the world or the people you share it with.

So if you can’t hide from it, why don’t you embrace emotion? That’s the whole point of this article. I’ve done it and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like I bought a Toyota Corolla (emotion) which turned out to be a Ferrari when I took delivery of it.

 

3. Emotion will always dominate social media

I’ve studied every top post on Facebook and LinkedIn for the last four years. There’s a pattern and it’s emotion. The top posts are always loaded with emotion. They pull at your heartstrings and they’re real. These stories are popular because emotion brings us in.

The fact is that emotion is the real story. We don’t want to hear about a story; we want to feel emotion. In a world where we’ve become numb, emotion acts as a mindfulness trigger. Emotion brings us out of our messed up past and back to reality.

Think about the social media posts you’ve loved the most over the last 12 months. I guarantee it’s the ones that are full of emotion. Don’t deny it, embrace the emotion. Forget what your friends think.

 

4. Emotion takes you to the next level

The way to up your game is to add emotion. Whatever you’re doing right now, you need to add more emotion. I was blogging for a long time about dry subjects like business. I repeated the same advice you can read on any startup blog.

I added boring stock photos of men in suits and wrote what people wanted to hear from a so-called business guru such as myself. Then I started swearing and showing the world who I was.

“I added emotion into the meat pie I called blogging. Then, that pie started to taste bloody delicious. Everyone wanted to take a bite”

The only thing I did to get to the next level was add ten times more emotion. I layered every blog post with a whole raft of emotions. Some blog posts I dumbed right down and focused on one emotion.

Emotion is not about me, though, and my stupid looking spiky haircut. Emotion is about getting to the heart of what you do. It’s sharing the emotion of what you do rather than the raw strategies and advice. When you connect with people using emotion, they start to listen.

This one magic trick allows you to go to the next level and create more of the following: money, influence, followers, outcomes * insert success metric. *

This list of things won’t help you win at life though. If they’re the reason you’re playing the game, then you’ll lose big time. These things will help fuel the burning desire you have inside of you. The challenge is they will only become real when you throw emotion to that same fire inside of you.

 

5. Emotion shows who you really are

For years we all hide behind a mask. We do what society, our parents or Instagram tells us we should do. We go and get that university degree, buy that house, marry that person or get that dumb luxury car we don’t need.

When you’ve done all that, you end up right where you started. You don’t get to pass go and you don’t collect $200 like society tells you that you will. It’s only when you throw that goddamn mask over the bridge like Jim Carey does in his iconic movie that shit get’s real.

The mask comes off when you start showing raw emotion. People always thought they knew me and then when I started showing emotion, people realized they didn’t know me at all. It even scared some people to the point where they stopped talking to me or thought I joined a hippie cult.

Well, the good news is I didn’t join a hippie cult folks: I just learned how to show people who I really am. Emotion is what allowed me to do that. I showed emotions such as love, happiness, disappointment, frustration, sadness and excitement. Sometimes I even showed all of these emotions at once.

That picture of those two surgeons is who I really am. I like to celebrate people that are changing the world and making a difference. I want people to feel something so that I can feel something too.

Think about you for a minute. Who are you really? How do you want to inspire people and what’s your vehicle? Once you work this out and start showing emotion, everything will change for you. This change will occur because emotion will make you more human.

Being truly human is relatable, sexy as hell and infectious. That’s who I believe you really are.

 

6. You need to be vulnerable to show emotion

It takes guts to be emotional. What I’ve talked about today ladies and gentlemen sounds like a bunch of advice for pussies if you are some hard hitting, success junkie that does one hundred push ups before sunrise.

Obviously, this advice can look like that if you’re not someone that understands the rules of the universe yet. But the real point is that yes emotion looks weak from the outside in some ways. It’s not though. What’s hard to grasp is that you can’t display raw emotion until you embrace vulnerability.

You have to put yourself out there and wear your heart on the front of your blazer. Emotion looks strange to people because to display it 100% of the time is very uncommon. It’s more common to hide what you’re thinking and say what you think society wants to hear.

I encourage you to rebel and fight against that idea. Be vulnerable and show people who you are using emotion. Use emotion as a tool to improve the lives of others, thus having the same effect on your own beautiful life. Become a patriot. Show emotion whenever you can.

 

***My advice to you***

Go out there and create some emotion. Stir people up. Change their thought patterns.

Wear your heart somewhere that everyone can see it. Chase your dream. Be bold, vulnerable and courageous all at the same time. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not phenomenal.

Tell stories with emotion. Tell stories about your deepest darkest fears. Wear a big fat smile on your face. Be cool, loving, outrageous and fantastic all at the same time.

Life’s short too short to live any other way.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

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I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Matt Lancaster

    Jan 21, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back.
    Really Really nice article.
    Thanks

  2. MD Farhad Hussain

    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Great Article. I was suffering with #6. Even though I know what to do, this article clarifies all things again.

  3. Geraldo Angel

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    That was amazing! Sometimes one of those habits happened to me but with the time I get better and better

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Geraldo,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      And yes, as long as you know about the habits, you can work on fixing them and continuously getting better.

  4. Mohinish Nirwal

    Jul 11, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Great article. I had my tongue in teeth on 4th one… From past few years I am not able to do physical exercises the way I used to do in college and later… I’ll stick to it.
    Thanks BJ Pivonka.
    Mohinish Nirwal

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks Mohinish!

      You don’t even need to go crazy and do some instanity type stuff, James Altucher just goes for walks everyday. I know guys who do sprints.

      And then there are sites about doing five minute workouts to do some high quality exercisein a short time.

      You have tons of options, just find something that works for you and keep doing it.

  5. Sija Mafu

    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Geez! I see a lot of my own flaws in this article. I’ll do what I need to in order to adhere to them. Thanks for sharing,

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Sija,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s a matter of just taking small steps to keep getting better in each area. Once you keep that up you’ll starting disproportionate results.

  6. Ernie

    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Very wise advice my friend! Even correcting just one or two of these flaws is enough to build some solid momentum. Great article.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thanks Ernie!

      glad you enjoyed the article.

      And I agree, you don’t need to fix all 7 right away. Fix one or 2 at a time and you’ll start seeing huge results.

  7. Janette

    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Oh wow! #1 is definitely talking to me! ” Right away you are putting other people’s agendas ahead of your own. Their texts, their emails, their Facebook posts” that’s exactly what I do…but not from tomorrow morning that’s for sure!

    Thank you! Mwah x

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 10, 2015 at 2:29 am

      That is what I’m talking about Janette!!

      Great start.

  8. Adrian

    Jul 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Yes, negativity is one of the worst thing ever if you want to start good life.

    I started making money online because my goal was that $$$ per day and I reached it in 12 months.

  9. Arnold Chitwa

    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I think i want to use this article as a daily guide, to make improvements on areas that i have been underachieving, its reaching out to me in practical and Big ways, i have to give a shot to every piece of advice i have received here.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Arnold. Glad you found this useful.

      Come back here and let us know how it went.

      or just shoot me an email with the results: bj@bjpivonka.com

  10. Muqadas

    Jul 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Woho, What an article. Agreed on each of it’s point.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Muqadas,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Each point is CRUCIAL.

      Let me know what kinds of results you get.

  11. Matimba Ngwenya

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This article hit me hard. Fatal Flaw #5 speaks to me most. I know what to do, and how to do it. My follow through however is not consistent, and I have not been prioritizing my action. Thanks for the wake up call Pivonka

  12. ssenyonjo wilberforce

    Jul 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

    wow!!!!!,its a good information en it has given me courage.

  13. Stefanie

    Jul 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Great article! I totally agree, that habits can be very powerful – or destroying, holding you back. Your article reminded me it’s important to continuously check my own habits. Thank you!

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Stefanie, glad you enjoyed it.

      I picked out these specific habits for a reason. They can not only set the tone for you day, but determine your energy level for the rest of the day when you should be doing income producing activities.

      Thanks for your support!

  14. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:56 am

    This is some great information and I completely agree with everyone of them. I think your morning routine is what will determine if you make it in business or not. The morning is the foundation for your day, so you should really take care of yourself and your mindset. I have read about alot of successful people and they all do something in the morning that get them started for the day, such as meditating, exercising, or just eating a great breakfast. Take care of yourself and your mind. Great post.

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Lawrence, YES. That is exactly the case. The morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day and also determines what kind of energy you have left for the rest of the day. That’s why I made it #1 on the list.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. Heitem Ak

    Jul 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Nice one Pivonka!

    I completely agree on the metrics.

    Specific goals keeps you on track through hard times!

    Just like jogging, if you run without metrics, you are likely to stop running as soon as you start getting tired!

    Keep them up,

    Heitem Ak

    • BJ Pivonka

      Jul 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Heitem, absolutely. You need to know what direction you are headed so you know whether to change course or not.

      Otherwise you’ll just wander around aimlessly doing things that won’t get the results you want and never actually get there.

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Success Advice

The Lie That Is My Overnight Success

Published

on

I started writing unprofessionally three years ago. Some would say my whole career is unprofessional and I’d agree. Imperfection is damn sexy though.

I began writing only because my mentor Joel Brown said I should and I stupidly said yes without knowing why. Now, of course, I’m crystal clear about why I write: it’s to inspire. I remember uploading articles to Addicted2Success.com and seeing no one like them. I remember thinking I was a failure.

In the early days, I was writing articles about entrepreneurs I had interviewed and I wasn’t that passionate about it. Every article felt like really hard work and it required an incredible amount of willpower. Everyone at the time was doing entrepreneur interviews and there was nothing special.

Then one day, I wrote an article for the fun of it that had nothing to do with anything. It was essentially a brain fart that I concocted after dinner, late one night. It took less than one hour to write and it was written with passion. The words came out of me without even trying.

Since that day, the words have continued to pour out of me in the same way. I get into a state of flow and then it happens. Words appear, people get inspired and we all have one big party that has been named “life.” From the day I wrote that article, thousands of people shared it and they still do today.

 

I didn’t stop

After my big moment on the internet going viral, everything stopped. The tumbleweed that drifted through the desert with an eerie silence continued. Everything calmed down and people stopped caring again.

I didn’t stop though because I found my writing therapeutical.

“My blog posts became like my own personal journey and it was a way for me to escape from the Alcatraz that was my head. This prison that lived inside my head kept telling me that no one cared and I’d never be successful.”

I decided to keep finding ways to break out of Alcatraz and check in to the Ritz Hotel that was me becoming a conscious, passionate, crazy online leader.

 

I stopped giving a damn

Over the next eighteen months, I kept writing every moment I got. No one paid attention but I did. I started paying attention to the shift that was happening inside of me. The leader that had always been stuck inside of me started to unleash.

The things that used to hold me back disappeared. I didn’t give two hoots about what anyone thought and I only cared about inspiring those who wanted to be inspired. I worked my butt off and started waking up at 4 am to post new blog articles. People couldn’t understand how I had the time to write working a full-time job.

The part they didn’t get was that because the words flowed out of me so easily, it didn’t take that long at all to write something of value. People watched me posting articles and thought I was crazy. They thought what I was doing was career suicide in the big bad world of corporate politics.

I never liked politics anyway, so I stuck my middle finger up at the way things were traditionally done. I decided to be a rebel writer and live my dream. I continued to make no money and people kept on questioning what I was doing.

 

I believed

A few people believed, but most didn’t. What stuck out like tomato sauce on a freshly dry cleaned white shirt was that I believed and that’s all that mattered. I saw something that no one else could see: my real potential versus my current success.

I had the motivation to continue on when no one cared because I believed I could change the world. I saw myself as someone who had the potential to serve millions of people online. I kept telling myself never to give up and I also spread the same message throughout everything I wrote.

“I thought my writing was going to save everybody else, but what it really did is save myself”

My writing saved me from living a life without meaning and it helped me discover who I really was. I saw the pattern between every goal I’d ever had: to inspire and evoke emotion from strangers.

This clarity fuelled me and I became relentless. I reached out to every blogger, leader and person that had done cool stuff that inspired me. Originally I thought they’d all ignore me: none of them did. See when you have energy and passion oozing out of you, people can’t say no. An unwavering belief in what you’re doing is all that matters.

 

The tipping point happened

I began to see a change when each day I started to get a message from a reader/fan. It started as one message per day, then two, then three. Now I get more messages of support every day than I have time to read. Success often doesn’t become a reality in a single moment.

Success is something that is hard to measure in the early days until one giant moment happens that everyone sees. The part no one sees is the many smaller moments that happened beforehand. The small successes that may not have looked like a textbook example of “success.”

 

That big day finally came

So the big day happened when an article I wrote went viral. This was the third time it had happened, although this time the success became permanent. All those years, when I thought no one was reading, people were. What had occurred was that they were too scared to show they were reading because my success was still largely unproven.

It was only after the big success moment that people felt it was okay to come out of the metaphorical closet and say they were inspired by what I was doing. All those nights spent locked away in my office being anti-social was worth it. All those cups of green tea, takeaway meals, indoor plants, and weird emails to myself with possible headlines for articles had meant something.

More publications reached out to me and pretty soon I wasn’t just writing for Addicted2Success; I was writing for the biggest sites on the entire internet. The ones where the editors get pitched one hundred times a day by people who want to do nothing more than self-promote and build a BS “personal brand.”

Before I knew it, I was getting offered book deals, business opportunities, podcast interviews and public speaking gigs. I took some but ignored most. I remembered what was important and the fact that unwavering focus had got me to where I was.

I knew I was ready for some opportunities and not for others like public speaking. The journey had begun, but I was far from the summit of the mountain of my dreams.

 

Nothing changed

Strangely, though, it was all one ginormous anti-climax moment. Nothing had changed. Even today nothing has changed. I still want to inspire people and I still like sharing stories. I still want to live with passion and I still want to create a meaning for my life that outlives me.

What has changed is that people have seen my success as something that’s happened recently – what total BS that is. It’s taken my entire existence to discover the meaning of my life, find a medium to share it on and go after it with relentless optimism.

 

What you didn’t see with my success

You didn’t see the person that existed before all of this. You didn’t see the selfish, rude, arrogant, brat who lived for material possessions and felt like he was entitled to success because he grew up in Australia, the land of the free. I can say those horrible things because I’m talking about myself. Thankfully that’s the opposite of who I am now.

You didn’t see the transformation that occurred after that one big rock bottom moment. When everything made no sense and I had to look inside of myself to crawl out of that black hole that had become my existence. You didn’t see me step out of the darkness and into the light.

All you saw was me in the light and assumed I had always been there shining away brightly, and living the good life that is passion and purpose. How wrong that lie is. How wrong the whole concept of overnight success is.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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6 Marketing Superpowers You Can Learn From Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist in residence at New York’s Hayden Planetarium is an unlikely role model for marketing excellence. Clearly, he knows how to get your attention. Even on the most complex or boring subjects, as evidenced by over 7.3 million twitter followers, sold out events, and multiple books that have been on the NY Times Bestseller list.

Here are 6 Marketing Tips You Can Learn from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

1. Understand your audience

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about sales, accounting or planets, what matters is that you understand your audience and what they care about. Think about it, if you make your topic relatable to them and what is important to them, you will succeed.

Create specific examples of what you are speaking about by relating it to what matters to your audience. If you are speaking to accountants about social media, make an analogy to their industry to make it more relatable.

Tell them social media was designed for accountants as it features lots of measurable data…likes, follower counts, reports, metrics, gross and net, so that you are speaking their language and it will sound familiar enough to keep their attention.  

Neil’s new book demonstrates his understanding of people and what makes them tick as evidenced by its title – “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”. It’s really a statement on society today – we now want the key information in the shortest version possible.

2. Be passionate about your work, down to the smallest particle

People are attracted to those who are clearly passionate about their work. By sharing your excitement for your subject matter, you engage and inspire people, and they lean in to find out more. Excitement is contagious. Be passionate about your work and your topic, even when speaking about small details.

A graphic designer who can wax poetic about the loop of an ‘S’ in a specific font, comparing it to the Coney Island Cyclone will capture the attention of their audience, even if they can’t tell Comic Sans from Times New Roman.

“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be?” – Richard Branson

3. Express a sense of wonder about even the most minuscule and boring things

Along with being passionate about your subject matter, express a sense of wonder about any and every aspect of your work. Share your continued gratitude that you get to work in your incredible field, and get to share your knowledge with amazing people [the audience]. Being humble and appreciative is endearing.

As a digital marketer, I am still in awe that by having your email address, I can type a message on my computer and hit send knowing that it will land in your inbox within seconds, no matter where around the globe you are located, even without understanding how it works.

4. Use humor in everything

You may not may not remember much from marketing materials or a presentation, but I bet you will be able to recall a good joke or anecdote.

Humor is a great equalizer. It can break down barriers, get your attention, and turn even the most mundane subjects into more fun, interesting ones. Humor can also be memorable, so infuse your marketing with it where possible.

Insurance is a pretty dry subject; one that it is hard to get excited about. Both Geico and  Farmers Insurance recognize this and have created series of humorous ads to both entertain us, as well as display the need for, and range of their services. Take Farmer’s Swing Set Standoff, featuring a moose attacking swings, then crashing through their client’s windshield, all of which turns out to be covered by their insurance plan.

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes

5. Break complex topics down into easily understood nuggets

I don’t know about you, but I can understand most topics if they are broken down into smaller chunks. With shorter attention spans, you can easily absorb smaller bits of information. It also helps with more complex or new topics, to chunk them down into multiple smaller components as well as comparing them to popular concepts or products, so they can be more easily understood. This helps you scan the information quickly, and process it better.

The technology sector is great at doing this. For example:  Getaround, The Airbnb for Cars, is a lot more elegant, instantly understood concept than describing a car rental market place where people rent you their car by the day, hour or week through a smartphone app.

6. Talk or write in clear and appealing sound bites

Want to get your message heard and shared with more people? Communicate in clear, short, and compelling sentences and phrases; this is beneficial in several ways. As mentioned, if you are like most people, you have a short attention span, so concise sentences are easily scanned when reading, or heard when spoken by a presenter.

The added benefit to this method is that you are creating tweet-worthy statements, that will most likely get shared, helping to increase your marketing reach and visibility.

“Houston we have a problem” and  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” are great examples of concise and effective communication. Both soundbites convey information, context and place.  They are also very quotable, and tweetable.  So much is said, in so few [yet memorable] words.

Follow these six simple lessons, and you too, can be seen as having marketing superpowers.

How do you sell yourself? Let us know by commenting below!
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5 Influential Ways to Turn Failure Into Success

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failure

There’s hardly a person in history that hasn’t seen failure in life. People fail in life and it hurts. It can cut them deep, leaving you with no one but your sorrows to wipe your wounds off. Usually, when we fail at something we can’t seem to see through the pain to find out why it happened.

However, failure is evolutionary – it helps us to grow, mature, and reach a deeper understanding of life as to what we want and why we want it. It is basically the real secret towards success.

Quite frankly, if you were to succeed in every endeavor, you’d become arrogant and a narcissist. Failure helps you to become a better person, expanding your mind while deepening our hearts. As much as it can hurt at times, without failure, it would be difficult to appreciate our successes.

If you have faced failure recently, it is okay. You need to believe in yourself and in the fact that failure isn’t the end of it all, it might be the right beginning. Of course, there are several ways to turn each failure into a success.

Here are 5 ways to turn your failure into success:

1. List the reasons you failed

Everyone has dreams and ambitions they want to see fulfilled when they’re striving for success. So when you fail, you need to see those reasons again. Have a look at them and think, “Do I still want this dream to be a reality”’, and if the answer is yes, do not give up. If you don’t have a strong enough reason why you need to succeed, failure will be likened to an atomic bomb, leveling your hopes and your dreams in its wake. However, when you have a strong reason, nothing will stand in your way.

2. Acknowledge your mistakes

A responsible individual will always own up to their mistakes, as it is important to acknowledge where you faltered. If you don’t own them, you can’t possibly redeem them in order to achieve success.

There’s no reason to hide the fact that you failed. Puffing your chest out and blaming others or your circumstances is a sad little charade that doesn’t last long. You don’t really have to apologize for the choices you’ve made, but you do need to recognize them as they are to avoid such choices in the future. We are product of the past but we don’t have to let our mistakes define us.

“Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” – Dale Turner

3. Learn from your mistakes

When a person fails and tries to get over it, he may tend to ignore all the things he did that led to the failure. After reviewing your failure, acknowledge your mistakes and only then can you learn from them. As they say, “The only way to fail at failing is to learn nothing from the experience.”

This is good practice, as long as you don’t blame yourself pointlessly.  Don’t dismiss your failed experiments but learn from them. Write down and remember everything you know you could have done better because it will motivate you to improve the next time.

4. Consistency is key

Consistent action creates consistent results. You can try as hard as you want but strength doesn’t come from what you can do; rather doing the things you once thought you never could.

Whenever you let yourself fall down, you have to learn to dust yourself off, get up, and move forward. Repeat this process until you’re at the point where you wanted to see yourself. Consistency is highly undervalued yet what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile. Always remember to “Try, try until you succeed.”

“Consistency for me is everything.” – Alexei Navalny

5. Don’t lose your confidence

Failure can shake anybody’s confidence. That’s completely human. But remember, confidence is your biggest asset in your daily routine which can lead you to improved mental well-being as well. Remind yourself that you have the strength to rely on and weaknesses to improve. Everybody falls down from time to time as long as they’re human. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick yourself up and run a marathon. Regaining your confidence after facing a devastating failure can be the strongest thing a person can do. If you can do that, you can do anything.

Sometimes failure keeps you stuck in your old ways and you need support to help get past your bad habits. For that matter, you need to find someone you can rely on for support. It could be a friend or a mentor or anyone who has experienced what you’re going through presently so they can point you in the right direction. Failure is the only way you can grow and evolve, because ultimately, failure is an opportunity to do better.

How do you get yourself back up after a failure? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The Power Of Heart: This Is Why Emotion Is So Incredible

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Screw what people say about emotion. Emotion is everything. Emotion is what has allowed me to keep gaining a massive online audience.

Here’s an example: Last Friday, I posted a photo on LinkedIn of two surgeons who had just finished a 32-hour surgery. The photo had a lot of emotion and I backed it up with an emotional question for people to ponder.

Humans can’t resist this type of content. What’s even funnier is that business humans especially can’t resist this content. It’s these business humans that need and crave emotion more than anyone on the planet.

Spending hours at your job or startup can suck the life out of you. Emotion brings all of that life back again. For the next three hours, this post went crazy. Emotion was pouring out of people and I too was feeling the same emotion. I responded to every single comment in real-time.

It had been a tough week for me full of disappointment. This opportunity to deliver emotion and have it come right back at me was impossible to pass up. Lately, I have become an emotion junkie chasing the next piece of content that is going to inspire me and help me stay focused.

Here’s why emotion is so incredible:

 

1. Emotion unites us

Linkedin proved this to me last Friday. People united around these two surgeons I posted because they are heroes. They gave everything they had to save another humans life. They did it without thinking about anything else.

Emotion united everyone that read my post because deep down we all want to be heroes. Heroes bring out the emotion in all of us and we all want that feeling. We don’t need to be ashamed of this wish; we need to go out there and make it come true.

Emotion is what creates a human life and it’s what can destroy a human life as well. Emotion is what made you start your business or take a job and it’s what can end it as well. As humans, we are united by emotion because it’s part of our DNA.

Even the grumpiest son of a gun can become an entirely new person when they come into contact with raw emotion – that’s part of my dream. I hope that one day one of these grumpy, worn out souls can read one of my posts and change the way they think.

If that happened just once, then I’d die a happy man. Emotion drives me to do what I do and emotion is what unites all of you reading. Let emotion bring us together rather than allowing hatred to win.

Don’t let war fuel your thoughts, let love take control and drive you towards emotion.

That one thought right there has the power to change every problem this world is facing. It’s one simple, dumb, sentence and yet it’s game changing. I used to think changing the world was so incredibly hard.

Now I know that I can achieve that goal by sitting behind my laptop and making people feel emotion. I want that dream for you too.

 

2. Hiding from emotion is never going to work

To display raw emotion is tough. I’ve done it for long enough and it’s hard work. As much as you try and avoid it, sometimes you think to yourself, “What are people going to think? Are they going to feel I’m a total screw up?”

The answer to this question is that it’s far worse to hide from emotion than it is to embrace it, and unleash for all to see.

“Those lifeless souls you see whipping their employees and saying the word “revenue” every five minutes are the ones hiding from emotion”

On the outside, they look like hardasses, but inside they are destroying their souls. One day all of that hidden emotion is going to bring them down like the twin towers. You can’t hide from emotion. You can’t hide your real feelings about the world or the people you share it with.

So if you can’t hide from it, why don’t you embrace emotion? That’s the whole point of this article. I’ve done it and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like I bought a Toyota Corolla (emotion) which turned out to be a Ferrari when I took delivery of it.

 

3. Emotion will always dominate social media

I’ve studied every top post on Facebook and LinkedIn for the last four years. There’s a pattern and it’s emotion. The top posts are always loaded with emotion. They pull at your heartstrings and they’re real. These stories are popular because emotion brings us in.

The fact is that emotion is the real story. We don’t want to hear about a story; we want to feel emotion. In a world where we’ve become numb, emotion acts as a mindfulness trigger. Emotion brings us out of our messed up past and back to reality.

Think about the social media posts you’ve loved the most over the last 12 months. I guarantee it’s the ones that are full of emotion. Don’t deny it, embrace the emotion. Forget what your friends think.

 

4. Emotion takes you to the next level

The way to up your game is to add emotion. Whatever you’re doing right now, you need to add more emotion. I was blogging for a long time about dry subjects like business. I repeated the same advice you can read on any startup blog.

I added boring stock photos of men in suits and wrote what people wanted to hear from a so-called business guru such as myself. Then I started swearing and showing the world who I was.

“I added emotion into the meat pie I called blogging. Then, that pie started to taste bloody delicious. Everyone wanted to take a bite”

The only thing I did to get to the next level was add ten times more emotion. I layered every blog post with a whole raft of emotions. Some blog posts I dumbed right down and focused on one emotion.

Emotion is not about me, though, and my stupid looking spiky haircut. Emotion is about getting to the heart of what you do. It’s sharing the emotion of what you do rather than the raw strategies and advice. When you connect with people using emotion, they start to listen.

This one magic trick allows you to go to the next level and create more of the following: money, influence, followers, outcomes * insert success metric. *

This list of things won’t help you win at life though. If they’re the reason you’re playing the game, then you’ll lose big time. These things will help fuel the burning desire you have inside of you. The challenge is they will only become real when you throw emotion to that same fire inside of you.

 

5. Emotion shows who you really are

For years we all hide behind a mask. We do what society, our parents or Instagram tells us we should do. We go and get that university degree, buy that house, marry that person or get that dumb luxury car we don’t need.

When you’ve done all that, you end up right where you started. You don’t get to pass go and you don’t collect $200 like society tells you that you will. It’s only when you throw that goddamn mask over the bridge like Jim Carey does in his iconic movie that shit get’s real.

The mask comes off when you start showing raw emotion. People always thought they knew me and then when I started showing emotion, people realized they didn’t know me at all. It even scared some people to the point where they stopped talking to me or thought I joined a hippie cult.

Well, the good news is I didn’t join a hippie cult folks: I just learned how to show people who I really am. Emotion is what allowed me to do that. I showed emotions such as love, happiness, disappointment, frustration, sadness and excitement. Sometimes I even showed all of these emotions at once.

That picture of those two surgeons is who I really am. I like to celebrate people that are changing the world and making a difference. I want people to feel something so that I can feel something too.

Think about you for a minute. Who are you really? How do you want to inspire people and what’s your vehicle? Once you work this out and start showing emotion, everything will change for you. This change will occur because emotion will make you more human.

Being truly human is relatable, sexy as hell and infectious. That’s who I believe you really are.

 

6. You need to be vulnerable to show emotion

It takes guts to be emotional. What I’ve talked about today ladies and gentlemen sounds like a bunch of advice for pussies if you are some hard hitting, success junkie that does one hundred push ups before sunrise.

Obviously, this advice can look like that if you’re not someone that understands the rules of the universe yet. But the real point is that yes emotion looks weak from the outside in some ways. It’s not though. What’s hard to grasp is that you can’t display raw emotion until you embrace vulnerability.

You have to put yourself out there and wear your heart on the front of your blazer. Emotion looks strange to people because to display it 100% of the time is very uncommon. It’s more common to hide what you’re thinking and say what you think society wants to hear.

I encourage you to rebel and fight against that idea. Be vulnerable and show people who you are using emotion. Use emotion as a tool to improve the lives of others, thus having the same effect on your own beautiful life. Become a patriot. Show emotion whenever you can.

 

***My advice to you***

Go out there and create some emotion. Stir people up. Change their thought patterns.

Wear your heart somewhere that everyone can see it. Chase your dream. Be bold, vulnerable and courageous all at the same time. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not phenomenal.

Tell stories with emotion. Tell stories about your deepest darkest fears. Wear a big fat smile on your face. Be cool, loving, outrageous and fantastic all at the same time.

Life’s short too short to live any other way.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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