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Success Advice

7 Ways Joe Cross Started A Global Movement And So Can You



One of the things that motivates me is speaking with people like Joe Cross, who I recently interviewed. He is most known for making the documentary series Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which has now been seen on CNN, Netflix, Channel 9 Australia, and on UK Television BY MORE THAN 20 MILLION PEOPLE!

The global movement that Joe has created now see’s his website ( getting over 600K of unique views per month, 700K of Facebook followers, 150K of Twitter followers and 50K of Instagram followers. This interview taught me so much about success, and Joe is a real down to earth, genuine guy but also an amazing serial entrepreneur at the same time who has had some hits and some misses.

Before he got into the juicing, in 2008 he sold his very successful company BrokerOne, which was the largest futures brokerage firm in Australia at the time. Not only has Joe built his own businesses but he has also helped other entrepreneurs in the fashion industry like Kit Willow and Thakoon Panichgul (made famous my Michelle Obama) with creating success and wealth.

The highlight of Joe’s career has been creating a global movement through his documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead,” and I am now going to share with you the seven ways that Joe started his global movement and how you can do the same.

1. You must portray yourself in the right way

To build a global movement, you must be true, honest and transparent to your audience. You can’t think about your movement as a crowd you have to think about them as individuals.

When Joe makes a movie or writes a book, he thinks about the person sitting in their living room in Indiana watching his documentary or the person in London sitting in a park reading his blog.

“Crowds are dumb, but people are really smart”

People are pretty good at telling when something is not real, and we have all seen the backlash that can happen if you are not genuine.

To be able to attract people to your audience, you need to be consistent with your messaging and admit when you are wrong. This comes back to the age-old philosophy of learning from your mistakes and not letting them happen again.

2. Tell great compelling stories

Joe believes that the world is quite binary. You’re either awake or asleep, dead or alive, male or female, healthy or unhealthy, broken or not broken. Only you know if you are broken and some people drift in and out of being broken, some people are never broken while others are just broken all the time.

When it comes to story telling Joe has the same binary view that you can either tell a story or you can’t. You either have the gift, or you don’t. Running fast is a good example; some people can run fast while others like Joe are slow and no matter how hard he trains, he will never be fast.

The same goes for telling a story, if you’re good at it you have to work on it, and you have to be aware. When you’re telling your story to an audience, you have to be fully conscious and aware.

You need to be able to pick up every bit of sensory information from the audience as to whether you’re telling your story too fast or too slow, whether it’s funny enough or not and whether you are waffling too much. These things all come naturally to a good storyteller and if you’re not one of these then keep your stories short. Don’t try and be long winded because it won’t work, and you will turn people off.

“Know if you’re a square peg and go into a square hole, don’t be a square peg trying to go into a round hole”

3. Work out the best medium for your movement

Joe doesn’t believe that there is necessarily a best medium to build a global movement; he says it’s more about what your message or story is as to which medium will work best. For Joe, he found that documentaries were the best way to show the journey he had been on, and he honestly believes that documentary making chose him.

Joe describes the medium of documentaries as documenting reality, which was exactly what he was doing with his story. At the time Joe was making his documentary, the amount of people that knew him and the subject of juicing was not enough to do a television series, so a one-off documentary made the most sense.

One challenge of making a documentary is that you need the money although Joe says that it’s better not to have too much money. The more money you have to make the documentary, the more mistakes you make. Sometimes having no idea what you’re doing (Joe had no experience) can be both a benefit and a hindrance.

The lack of experience was a benefit for Joe because the subject of juicing hadn’t really been done before. On the other hand, the lack of experience could have been seen as a hindrance. One mistake that Joe admits to making was editing the first documentary very early on before the filming was complete.

This led to an increase in costs because the editing team / postproduction team began editing things and then the direction of the documentary would change, and the parts they edited were no longer needed. The other mistake he made was hiring too many people for each part of the film.

On his later films, Joe learned to finish all the filming first before trying to edit anything. The lack of experience on the first documentary was also very helpful because Joe trusted his gut instinct and decided to go and follow one of the character’s stories for a large part of the film.

When he made this decision, the filming had already been completed and so they had to come together again to start filming. The monetary costs of that decision were quite high, but Joe’s lack of experience paid off because the audience loved the outcome.

In the first few years of the documentary process, there was no income, the income only started in 2011 when the movie launched officially and revenue started coming in from Netflix. The risk of choosing documentary making to build your global movement is that once it’s ready to pitch, Netflix (the monopoly player in the space) could say no to showing your film.

Even if they say yes, there is a chance that people don’t watch it which could result in you not being able to recoup the production costs. Still, if the story or message is good, documentary making is a great risk to take, especially as the cost of filming equipment has fallen since Joe’s movie was made.

4. Monetise to keep building the movement

Knowing why you want to build a global movement is really important. In Joe’s case, he didn’t start his website for money but what he eventually realized is that to keep it going he needs to generate money from it.

There is nothing wrong with trying to monetise your global movement as long as you are open and transparent about the way in which you go about it. Monetising an audience is relatively new to the average entrepreneur or startup but for the old giants in radio and television, it’s been around for years.

If you have some advertising on your site, people don’t pay for that, so it allows them to get some value for free as well as providing you an income at the same time. Most things are free on Joe’s website; it is only when someone wants a juicer then they might click a link on the site that takes you to Amazon and then Joe gets an affiliate fee.

When people know they are getting something like a book, an app, a personal consultation or a coaching session, they are usually happy to pay for that. It’s all about your value proposition and being very clear about what you’re offering.

You want the audience to say to themselves “I’m getting a lot for free on this site like inspiration and education, if I want to go to the next level then I need to pay for that.”

This concept is not something that is difficult for people to understand.

5. Leverage social and listen to Joe’s tips

To get on Netflix you have to have made good content in the first place, there’s no real magic secret to that. Once you go viral on Netflix, and you are going into millions of people’s homes, it’s not difficult to see your social media following explode.

There are Instagramers that have millions of followers because they’re good looking and wear tight pants, but you can’t measure that audience to one that is a business and generates income like Joe’s. The reason for this is because the followers of those Instagramers are often very young and don’t spend any money.

Try not to get too caught up in the numbers of followers too much but focus on the transaction level of each member. Focus on whether you are offering services and products that your audience are finding beneficial and willing to pay for. If they are beneficial, then they will tell their family and friends and you will have a sustainable business.

To use social media effectively you need to be focused, true to the story you want to tell, transparent, and not take sides in an argument or get too political. Another one of Joe’s tips is to stay clear of alienating people and be as inclusive as you can with everyone.

There are times when Joe could post an incredible photo of himself doing something amazing in the world that very few people could ever get to do, but he’s reluctant to post photos like that. The reason behind this is because there is no benefit of showing a photo of yourself in a private jet somewhere.

If you think of each audience member individually and picture them sitting on their couch at home looking at your photo, ask yourself, would they be able to get inspired or learn something from your photo? Some people use social media to say to people “look at the great life I have.”

Instead, use social media to show inspiration and if you see a beautiful beach somewhere then post that because that’s nature, and that’s motivating. Be careful about being too material. There are times when it’s appropriate but most of the time you should shy away from it if you’re trying to build a global movement.

“Most people would love to have their life be as good as their Instagram page – be real”

If you’re following someone on Instagram that makes you feel less of a person or insecure then unfollow them. Keep building your movement and don’t bring those types of people into your world, as they will distract you from your vision.

I asked Joe why he has so many raving fans and ambassadors, and he said to me “it’s simple Tim, they have drunk the cool aid (juice) literally.”

“When people make huge changes to their life, and they’re not Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead anymore, and they’re not broken and have their life back, they become your ambassadors automatically without you having to do anything.“

Joe doesn’t take any credit for people’s transformations and sees them as having made the changes themselves – he is just the catalyst and inspiration. While building your global movement, have a think about how you can have a similar reaction and change people’s lives in some way.

If you get this right, then you will have the same power that Joe’s movement has had and the raving fans will be attracted to your audience.

6. Partner with someone who’s part of the story

Partnerships don’t work when either party is benefiting a lot more than the other. In the case of partnering with a juicer company like Breville, Joe chose them because they were part of his story and were used in the movie, so it kept the story real.

He also liked them because he’s Australian, and they are an Australian company. To sum up, the partnership simply aligns with Joe’s beliefs and message – simple.

“Partnerships work when both sides have a good deal”

Getting the attention of a potential partner is quite straightforward these days. If there is a partner that aligns with your movement and you want to get them on board, do what Joe did, start to post photos of their product or service on your social media.

For Joe, the process of doing this led to Breville asking him to come and show a pre-screen of his documentary to their staff, and then when they were able to see an increase in sales for a few months after the movie was released, the partnership became an obvious next step.

“The key is to be able to prove to the partner a little bit of benefit or traction first, before making any formal proposal”

Woolworths were also involved with Joe’s movement, and they sold his Reboot Your Life juice in their produce section of all their supermarkets. Joe took a different approach with them and made contact with a board member of the company, who then introduced him to the Head Of Produce at Woolworths.

The obvious link for Woolworths with what Joe was doing was that he was encouraging people to change their life through juicing, which resulted in an increase of produce sales. (Note that Reboot Your Life juices are no longer available.)

7. Expand your movement through public speaking

A great way to build your global movement is to do some public speaking. Public speaking can have a major impact on delivering your message, but it’s also the thing that people fear most. Try and implement the below points that Joe recommends and you should be fine.

– Remember that people have come to see you speak and they have given up time in their life. They could be doing other things so because of this; they will usually be respectful of you from the start.

– It’s very easy to become nervous or insecure if you’re talking about a topic that you don’t know much about or are not passionate about. When you know your subject well, you can speak from a position of authority. People are not coming to hear about something you don’t know about; they are coming to hear about how to change their life for the better and get more out of life.

– To start out, it’s best to talk with no microphone because this can sometimes be off putting if it’s your first time speaking public. When you speak in front of larger crowds, and you get a reverberation back from needing to use a microphone, you just have to mentally try and get over that, and it can take time. When you’re talking to a few thousand people you will still get nervous and that’s okay, most people are the same.

– Speaking without notes can pose a challenge if you lose your train of thought. One tip that Joe learned when this happens is to be honest with the crowd and tell them you have lost your train of thought. Say something like “I have actually forgotten the next thing I was going to say,” this will give you time to recover rather than trying to think in silence in front of an audience.

– Before the stepping out onto the stage try taking deeps breaths, drinking heaps of water (stay near a toilet), having a peak at the audience through the curtain, and thinking to yourself that it’s all good, this will help keep your nerves under control.

***Final Thought From Joe***

Perception is a big thing and leading a movement is about steadying the nerves and competence. There are four things that Steve Job’s says you need to be successful, and Joe says they are the same four things you need to build a global movement:

  1. You need to be able to take risks and put your money where your mouth is
  2. You have to be really passionate about what you’re doing
  3. You have to be able to make huge sacrifices
  4. You need a lot of luck (you can’t control this one)
Joe is currently filming his brand new documentary “Little Humans” which will be available next year, but in the meantime, check out his website to find out more about his story and how you can change your life.
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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive



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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave



how to be happy and successful
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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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Success Advice

The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work



Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed



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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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