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A Tim Ferriss Like Japan Trip Rebuilt Me – Here’s Why

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“Art imitates life so you must experience life to create art” – Unknown (possibly Tim Ferriss)

This quote is the reason why I recently took a holiday to Japan and why from now on I will travel more. All of us have a dream, a vision, a goal, a business which is another word for our own “art.”

Anything worth doing has an element of creativity attached to it which in essence is art. While on the way to Japan listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast, I heard this quote above. I realized that my life’s work had fizzled out somewhat because I needed to experience life more.

This whole blogging thing only works when I experience life – travel is the best way to do that. Second to that, I have been listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast for years, and he talks a lot about Japan and how the culture can really positively impact your life.

Hearing this advice second hand just wasn’t good enough for me. That’s why, in Timmy style, I booked an unplanned trip to Japan with only two days notice. It was what I called a Tim Ferriss like trip to Japan. I wanted to transcend my current circumstances and boy did I do that!

Things before Japan had become a bit stale. I wasn’t quite me and I needed rebuilding again. It was time to self-disrupt and grow more as a person. I’d stopped growing and that’s why I felt off. Japan changed all of that.

Here’s how this Japan trip rebuilt me:

 

We’re all the same: we’re all loved.

Sitting at the airport in Australia I saw everyone saying goodbye to their loved ones. I did the same and said goodbye to my family and girlfriend. I sat there for around ten minutes and realized that we’re all loved by someone.

We all have someone who would be sad or miss us if we didn’t return home. All of us want to come home safe and see our loved ones again. While tragedy can strike, these trips to places like Japan are a must – they’re part of our journey in life.

These journeys we take are how we find ourselves. Without travel, we become lost and can’t understand how we fit into this world.

Knowing I’m loved and knowing the importance of these journeys helped rebuild me.

 

Japan can show you what is wrong too.

So far I’ve made Japan sound like it’s all roses – it’s not. I saw people working ridiculous hours. I saw Japanese people who had become obsessed with meaningless westernized brands. I saw women who still appeared to be second class compared with men.

Japan didn’t show me perfection; it showed me reality and that means that there are always going to be things that need to change. Each of us can form part of that change.

 

Objectification of women has changed men in a bad way.

For some reason, Japan gave me immense clarity. I noticed that me (and all other men) have become hardwired to look at women’s bodies. Even the nicest most loyal men who treat women well have been affected. I noticed this unconscious behavior in myself while in Australia and began questioning it.

Do we need to look at women in such a physical way? Is it really necessary? Is this addiction taking up so much of our creative genius and potential?

The answer to all of these questions, after Japan, was that a problem exists and this addiction is not serving as well. I’m not proud of this fact and I for one plan on not only being aware of it but also changing it. This idea helped rebuild me.

 

The Samurai showed the benefits of discipline.

While being an Aussie tourist walking through the grounds of the Imperial Palace, I saw some of the emperors Samurai training. The facility was surrounded by fences but being a tall guy, I could still see over the fence.

I found these Samurai to be cool because they were laser-focused on what they were doing. The Samurai had purpose and precision accuracy. Their discipline taught them patience and you could see the courage in their actions. Everything was thought through and nothing was left to chance.

The Samurai helped me rebuild my life by reminding me of what discipline can do when we embrace it. A disorganized mind combined with actions that are all over the place results in a lot of nothingness. Start with being a master at one thing instead of trying to be mediocre at lots of things.

 

Concrete Jungle vs. Nature

Before Japan, I was obsessed with visiting places like San Fran and New York to see big concrete cities and skyscrapers. Now that I’ve been to Japan I’ve realized that I’m completely bored of that. Going to My Fuji and some of the mountains in Kyoto is far more impactful.

Concrete jungles are all the same once you’ve seen a few. They all have lots of box’s – some tall, some wide, some full of lights and some full of views. When you see enough of these, you no longer become impressed by them.

Nature is impossible to top though. No matter how many lakes, mountains, beaches or forests I visit, I never get sick of them. That’s because it’s in our human DNA to feel a connection with nature. Nature is a place we can relax and recharge the batteries.

Japan taught me that for the rest of my travel adventures I am going to focus on beautiful places that encompass nature instead of man-made structures and fake tourist attractions like theme parks. Knowing what nature means to me has helped me to rebuild myself.

 

See as many places as you can.

This trip to Japan made me see that I get bored after around five days in one country. I’ve discovered that it’s ideal to see as many places as you can. The more of this Earth you experience, the more your life changes.

 

Don’t forget attention to detail.

Japanese people, I learned, are obsessed with attention to detail. Everything from the signage at train stations to the way they present food has been thought of.

“It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being purposeful”

It’s the little things that the Japanese people do that make you fall in love with them by the end of your stay in their country.

 

Manners feel good.

I quickly saw that Japanese people are very kind and have amazing manners. They say thank you so many times. As you walk out of a restaurant, the whole team say thank you like a giant choir. Being grateful and acknowledging each other is at the heart of their culture.

You can’t help but smile when you witness this way of treating one another. Not every stranger you meet in a foreign country is trying to commit a terrorist attack.

All I can say is manners just feel good and it put’s you in a positive mood. Plus, you walk around with a big fat smile on your face and that feels refreshing.

 

Connection through transport.

Japanese culture feels very connected and that’s partly to do with their very efficient transport system. There’s a subway station on practically every corner that’s affordable. Trains run every few minutes, so there’s never any need to run to the subway station to catch a train.

The bullet trains allow you to skip between states or regions in a very short amount of time. No need to board a plane or go through the razzle-dazzle of airport bureaucracy gone mad (thanks to perceived terrorism and the news).

While sitting on the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto, I saw families that were on their way to visit one another. They looked so relaxed and sat there enjoying the countryside of Japan as I did. It was a regular occurrence made possible by a fantastic transport system that is orderly and well thought out.

 

Technology is exhausting.

The negative side of technology is prominent in Japan. There are cities that are littered with giant LED screens, bright lights and technology on every corner. In these places, I felt unable to think clearly and the bright lights made me feel like I suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder.

There was technology within the toilet seat, on the plane, at restaurants and ugly vending machines selling fat causing sugar water on every corner.

On the flip side, what I loved about Japan was that talking loudly on a not so smart phone was prohibited in most places and there were locations where phones were non-existent. Japanese people seem to know how to balance life between being “ON” and being “OFF” when it comes to their phone.

“Instead of wasting your life away on your phone, Japan teaches you to become present and appreciate the here and now”

You notice things that you normally wouldn’t where I’m from in the Western World. With so much empty space, Japan is a great place to rebuild yourself. The rebuilding process needs thinking time away from phones.

 

Minimalism and being space conscious is beautiful.

The Japanese people are obsessed with being space conscious. They have double-decker car spaces, cube-shaped cars, cars made for people who must be three-foot tall, hotel rooms where you can barely open the door and space-saving retail shops like you’ve never seen.

 

Time is money in Japan.

My plane was on time to the second. Every train was on time. The tour guide at Mt Fuji was on time. The hotel cleaning was to the minute and so was the checkout. Time is money and it’s one resource we should take more seriously. Time gives you the opportunity to rebuild and grow.

 

Low energy states can be healed by travel.

More than a year since my last break, my energy levels in my career were at an all-time low. I had headaches every day and felt uninspired to a degree. It turns out all I needed was a holiday to rebuild.

Your body guides you.
Your heart guides you.
Your mind guides you.

This Japan trip taught me to take time to relax and recharge. Don’t ignore your body ever!

 

Climbing Japanese mountains is a metaphor for life.

I climbed this mountain in Kyoto. Halfway up I wanted to quit. I thought to myself “I’ve seen enough. Why go to the summit?”

That’s the problem right there. When we’re working on our goals, we give up too soon. We settle for okay instead of amazing. If this mountain were your life, would you give up when it got a bit hard? I’m telling you not to.

All the growth and everything you ever wanted comes from pushing that extra 2% to reach the top of the mountain. The feeling at the top is indescribable. Only those who are prepared to go the extra mile will know what it feels like to look down from the top.

Two more things to remember:

1. Once you reach the top, there’s always another mountain.

2. You must also help someone else climb the mountain to reach your full potential. Living is giving.

This mountain I climbed in Japan taught me so much about rebuilding my life (and yes I love mountain analogies).

 

There’s no place like a hot spring to contemplate life and rebuild your life.

While lying in a hot spring (Onsen) in Northern Tokyo, I sat there and thought I was going to be enjoying a relaxing time in a hot spring. What no one told me is that my entire life would replay before me. The onsen became a place to contemplate everything that had transpired thus far.

The hot water from the springs has a certain effect on your mind. I often find that my best thinking and ideas come from a shower and I’ve heard other people talk about this same experience.

“The hot spring sent my mind into deep thinking that I’ll never forget”

 

To enter a Japanese hot spring, you must be fully naked. You can’t bring clothes, material possessions, technology or a corporate mask. There’s nowhere to hide and no phone to look at. You sit there naked and bare your soul. It’s the one time where people can see you for exactly who you are.

Before contemplating my own life, I observed the men around me. Many of them seemed to be contemplating their life. Some looked tired and worn out from years of slaving away and doing hard labor.

Many of them looked like they were wasting away from years of working too hard and not remembering what truly matters. It was as if they had finally discovered what matters but that it was now too late. Then I saw the exact opposite – young men who had their whole lives ahead of them.

They too would sit there and weigh up their options. Should they follow their dream or fall for the Western myth that is collecting useless objects of little value? There were times where I wanted to answer this question for them.

I realized after a lot of thought that these young men had to come to that realization themselves. When you discover these truths of life yourself, everything changes and the principles stick.

I saw these young men by the end of my time in the hot spring for who they were and what they could become (their potential). I finally understood that they too could change the world in some impactful way if they chose too. We all have that choice and it’s ours to make.

“This stark comparison between the older men and the younger men was one of the most profound lessons of my Japan trip”

Both generations of men also looked up at the sky while doing this deep thinking. I found that quite bizarre and all of them did it.

What’s strange is that I also looked up at the sky without consciously being aware. Once I’d finished observing the men in the hot spring, I turned my thinking over to my own life. I had truth bomb after truth bomb as I sat there. I found myself running to the change room every 30 minutes to write stuff down.

What I had achieved so far and what I needed to do next became so clear. I sat in the hot spring proud of who I’ve become. For the first time in my life, I got to sit there and appreciate everything I’d put out into the world. I hadn’t stopped to see how far I’d come before this moment.

I was so focused on the present and trying to gain future success that I didn’t even know how proud I could be of myself. This fact has become the foundation of me going through the rebuilding phase yet again after five years since my last major self-renovation.

 

In summary….

Everyone reading this blog post has the opportunity to rebuild their life and consistently self-disrupt themselves. Going to places like Japan gives you the opportunity to experience life and see how far you’ve come. You can’t be ON 24/7 like those picture quotes tell you to be.

Once in a while, you need to be proud of who you are and think about who you can become.

Japan is a perfect place to do this and rebuild your life. Stay true to yourself and inspire others.

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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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Success Advice

5 Ways a Young Salesperson Can Excel in Their Role

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young professional
Image Credit: Unsplash

Sales is a great first job to get out of college for the lessons it teaches. A new salesperson quickly experiences rejection, learns they are not as good as they thought they were, and gets a real understanding that their path is not going to be an easy one.  The market chews them up and spits them out, and there is very little they can do about it.

I can say this because I recently completed two years of sales experience and learned these lessons the hard way. To find a semblance of success, I had to set my ego aside and modify my expectations.

This introduction to sales taught me five lessons that helped me overcome roadblocks, penetrate gatekeepers, and settle into the workforce:

1. Education Doesn’t Equal Performance

Like most recent graduates I felt prepared to conquer the world right out of college and was confident I could understand anything I set my mind to.  Fresh off the high of achieving my academic goals, I realized within days that there was a small problem – the skillset did not translate.

As great of a job formal education does to expand your mind and teach you new thought patterns, it is very theoretical. When it comes to practically applying that knowledge, young professionals often find themselves underprepared.  This disconnect is a result of the way their performance is measured – A student is evaluated based on a test, which is predictable and objective.

A salesperson is evaluated on their sales numbers, which has a lot of built in unpredictability.  On top of that, the execution of a sales call is much more difficult to objectively quantify. Due to this, when a young professional first finds themself in a sales environment, they are vulnerable to their inexperience in that setting and their performance suffers.

A technique that helps me be more confident in this new arena is role-playing.  Simulating an unpredictable environment has been a great exercise for me because it has provided me with experience in this new setting.

2. Know How to Be Old-Fashioned

A fundamental part of sales is meeting your customer at their level.  Young salespeople often come across targets who prefer traditional business practices and struggle with selling to them.  Choosing to match a customers’ old-fashioned demeanor helps relate with them because it aligns with how they are accustomed to doing business.

A few things that worked for me. First, whenever possible, I choose to write things down with pen and paper.  This action resonates with customers who are slower to adopt technology. On top of that, following up with hard copies may better meet your customer’s expectations and fit into their decision making workflow.  

Along with taking written notes, I also make a point to overdress for the occasion, arrive early, be clean-shaven, and use titles when addressing people. Taking steps to be old-fashioned is conducive to doing business with tenured customers because it works against the prejudices the customer might have about millennials.

“A smart salesperson listens to emotions not facts.”

3. Understand Emerging Technology

Today’s young professionals grew up in the exciting age of the digital revolution. This means that young salespeople are expected to be early adopters of new workplace technologies and have a high technological competency.  While it is true that young professionals may have a better intuition for the technology, it still takes a good deal of additional work to be informed.

I quickly realized not only that I should pay special attention to the latest workplace tech, but that I needed to proactively learn it to meet expectations. As expected I became the default resource whenever there was a technical issue or question, and in an operating room setting, it was a particularly important role to hold.

I used this responsibility to my advantage by taking it as an opportunity to be valuable. I spent additional time learning the nuances of the technology so that I was confident in my execution when people turned to me for answers. As a young salesperson it is important to understand others’ expectations of your technological competency because any opportunity to add value is a sales opportunity.

4. Constant Judgment

Young salespeople are very affected by this – there is an association between youth and immaturity in the workplace, and colleagues pay close attention to the behavior of their younger counterparts.  I concede that this connection between maturity and years might be fair, and as a result young professionals are given a different threshold for how much their behavior will be tolerated.

I understand that there is a fine line between personal and professional settings after hours, but it is best practice for young professionals to be conservative to avoid negative judgment in casual settings. When I am around coworkers I always try to stay “turned on,” meaning that I take precautions to act appropriately. I limit my drinks, defer contentious conversational topics, and avoid workplace controversy and gossip. It is part of our reality that young professionals need to come to terms with.

However, judgment exists differently in a professional setting. Instead of being evaluated on the appropriateness of your behavior, young professionals are judged on their competency and ability to contribute. The most effective way to be viewed as a positive contributor is by displaying confidence, both in the quality of your work and in the way you carry yourself.  

“Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell

5. Own Your Youth

A young salesperson should definitely use their age to their advantage. Young professionals offer a unique perspective, skill-set, and way of operating that is invaluable to any business.  Leaning into those qualities is the best thing a young salesperson can do because it offers a truly unique value proposition.

If employing this, it is first critical for a young salesperson to address their age and be transparent about their experience level before being exposed of it. This approach disarms customers by handling their first objection without them having to ask it, and conveys respect through humility. I have found customers are much more receptive to hearing my message after ground-rules have been set and this deference has been established.  

Also, something young professionals should leverage is their colleagues’ interest in their exciting young lifestyles. What works particularly well is using major life events to build rapport and relate to customers. Talking about buying a house, getting married, or having a child begins a conversation that becomes an opportunity to advance the relationship.

What techniques have you incorporated in your sales routine that have helped you get your message heard?

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Success Advice

The One Mindset Change That Helped Me Read 47 Books in a Year With Ease

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

There is an elusive truth about life that we tend to miss in today’s world. Everything is moving so fast that we don’t have time to stand still and truly absorb the information we receive. We skim through articles like we skim through relationships, always searching for a better one in a sharper form. That is the way the majority of the world operates today. We must be people who take control over their lives and implement their dreams no matter who or what stands in front of them.

To do that, we must be willing to learn, change, and adapt our models of reality and here is one that ultimately changed the way I see life as a whole. The one mindset shift I made that changed my entire life is that life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and here is what that means.

How to read 47 books in one year with ease

I used to live in a fast-paced world as you did and I was going haywire. My health was deteriorating fast and my mental state wasn’t far behind. What was even worse is that my results weren’t getting any better. Here I was, working 20 hours a day, mentally stressed out and having physical manifestations of stress and yet, my results were horrible. I knew I needed to change something and it needed to happen fast.

That is when I discovered the compound effect and it completely blew my mind. It basically means that you take small actions every single day and they give interest over time. And those interests compound over time if you keep doing small actions. I thought this was the solution to all my problems but I had to test it out. So I tried reading 20 pages of a book every single day, hoping I would manage to prove to myself that this works for me.

Reading only 20 pages a day compounded into 47 books just one year later and I managed to prove to myself that life really is a marathon, not a sprint. But all of this sounds easy when I tell it like this- I want to show you the work that went into reading these 20 pages a day.

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

How it really looks like

Imagine getting back from work tired from all the daily chores and tasks. You grab some food, sit down on your couch and want to eat while watching TV. However, then you remember, “Oh damn, I forgot to read 20 pages of a book today.”

So you eat fast, hop from the couch to grab your book and start reading. 30 minutes later, done!

And that is day 1/365 done. You need to do this for 364 more days (at least). I am telling you this because I want to emphasize that even though this is easy and simple to do, most of you don’t do it. The reason we don’t do it isn’t because it’s hard or complicated, the reason we don’t do it is that we haven’t taken the time to stop in our tracks and absorb this information.

When you read that it took someone 10 years to become an overnight success, we nod our head with understandment. However, do we really know how much 10 years is? If you go back 10 years ago, there was no Instagram or Snapchat. Have you really taken the time to think about what this information means? I know I didn’t for a long, long time and that is why my life was on stand-by.

Only when I took the time to stop and think about the information I just read was I able to absorb what it means in its entirety. And I want you to do the same thing right now with the one shown above. I will repeat it here: By reading 20 pages a day, you can read 47 books in a year. Let it fall in, absorb it fully. Understand and internalize it. Feel it like it’s happening right now, like you’re holding a book in your hands and being sucked into the story. Now, you are ready for the next step.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke

Every journey starts the same way – with a single step

Now that you’ve absorbed this mentality of life being a marathon and not a sprint, now it’s time to prove it (to you). You should take upon reading 20 pages of a book every single day and do it for one year. After a couple of months, you will start noticing a change happening in the way you hold yourself and you will be more knowledgeable.

It’s time to take the thing you already know and make it a reality for you. We are the people who make their dreams come true no matter what stands in front of them. Always remember, the first obstacle toward your dream life is always you. It’s time to move it.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How To Make People Feel Your Emotion So They Will Hire You For Anything.

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Do you want to know how to get hired to do almost anything? You have to make people feel your emotion.

You can have experiences, connections, money, and a family that supports you. Yet without your emotion, you can’t move people to cut off all the other options and back you!

The way to win and be hired for almost anything is to put massive amounts of emotion into it. You want your audience to feel your emotion and not judge you based on society’s standards of a resume.

Emotion defeats all other criteria when it comes to hiring. The thing is, you’ll never be told that. No one is ever going to tell you that. That’s because the human spirit tells us to choose based on emotion.

Choose emotion and you will be chosen.

Here’s how to make people feel your emotion so they’ll hire you for almost anything:


Prepare a paragraph beforehand.

Last week, I had the chance to be hired for something extraordinary. Over-preparing never seems to work well, because then everything becomes scripted which only makes you more nervous.

Instead, I prepared a paragraph (call it a speech if you will) to say to the people I’d be meeting. Before writing this paragraph, I watched a video of a man that has had every health challenge you could imagine.

The video made me very emotional and I immediately used that raw emotion to write

Having a few lines to use during a pitch will help you bring out that emotion. You’ll have a trigger point to use, that will become the basis for making people feel your emotion too.

I’ll share my paragraph with you at the end of this post.


Tie back the opportunity to an emotional moment in your life.

In my pitch to get hired for my dream career, I talked about my near miss with cancer, several bad breakups and leaving behind a business I co-founded.

While in front of them, I mentioned these important moments in my life to make the audience I was pitching to feel the emotion of what I’d gone through in my past.

“I wanted them to feel the emotion of my journey and use it as inspiration for their own. Even if I didn’t win the gig, at least I would have made a difference and that’s how you get remembered”

To me, it is the very act of remembrance that can be used to your advantage when there’s another opportunity in the future. If it holds true, then you will be first on their list.


Lead with inspiration.

In these situations, I try to imagine giving a speech to a room full of people that are terminally ill and don’t have long to live.

How would I want them to leave this world?

What difference could I make on their last day?

Out of all the tools you can use to make people feel your emotion, the best one from my experience is inspiration. There’s so much negativity in the world. The quandary in that is that a lot of the time, all any of us want is to be inspired.

“Even if it’s just for a moment, that brief encounter with inspiration seems to make us think differently — and more importantly, act differently”

Choose inspiration. All of us want to be inspired, whether we admit it or not.


Don’t hold back.

Forget about how you might come across and give it your everything.

Show every ounce of yourself and appeal to their human spirit through emotion. Be vulnerable, bold and present the biggest vision you can.

Everyone else you’re up against will probably do the opposite.

People can’t feel your emotion unless you put your heart and soul into it. You have to try hard at this. It’s not easy to disrupt people’s thought patterns and make them feel something.

The moment the audience feels you’re holding back or not telling them everything, it puts up a barrier between you and them. You can’t see this barrier, but it exists.

Remember, you have nothing to lose. You can give it all you’ve got and try to get them to feel your emotion, or you can hold back and risk being ordinary and getting less than desirable results.

The people that inspire and make us feel their emotion don’t hold back.


Pretend it’s your last shot. Act as if it’s your legacy.

I always communicate to people that may want to hire me like it’s my last shot. I think of everything in my life and career as a legacy. You should too.

When you enter a room and have to sell yourself, pretending it’s your last shot changes the way you communicate.

Connecting your thoughts, emotion and words to your legacy gives you an unfair advantage.

“Legacy reminds your mind about death and that’s the best ‘in the moment’ motivation you’ll ever need”

You’ll say things you never thought you’d say in front of other people. You’ll show how badly you want the opportunity that’s being presented. You’ll come across driven, motivated and inspired.

Acting as if it’s your legacy makes you feel like you’re becoming someone you’d hope to be in the future.

Think about the end of your life and then work backwards to the moment you’re faced with right now where you have to convince people to hire you.

This counter-intuitive process helps put you in a state of flow where you transcend all your limitations, beliefs and everything that everyone has ever told you that you can’t do.

In other words, linking to your legacy gives you confidence and belief in yourself.

Using all of the points I just mentioned, here’s a real-life example of a paragraph I prepared for an interview last week:

You want me not for endless meetings.

You want me not to bitch about other departments within the business.

You want me because I’m going to do something great. You can see it in my eyes right now.

I can change how people think.

I can inspire millions of people and I’ve demonstrated that already.

I can lead.

And, I can build relationships better than anyone you’ve ever met.

Most of all, I’m never going to give up. You can’t knock me down or defeat me. There will be obstacles. Some may give up — but not me.

If I can survive a near miss with cancer, multiple bad breakups, and leave a multi-million-dollar business behind, then I can do this role.

Regardless of whether you hire me for this opportunity, you will remember me. I believe I can come to this business and make a massive impact. The bottom line is this:

If I can change the world through this company and social media, then here I am.

That — ladies and gentlemen — is how you make people feel your emotion and get hired to do anything. Go out there and try it for yourself.

<<<>>>

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

3 Destructive Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

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You want to wake up at 5 a.m., do the work that matters, and realize your vision. You want to be the heavyweight champion of your craft, dominate your industry, and achieve massive success.

You want to achieve all of that, but there’s a problem. Anytime you come up with an idea, a nagging voice deep inside your psyche whispers through the corridors of your mind that you’re not capable.

So you put off your idea, cower in fear, or maybe blame others for your plight. The thing is, you need to check in with yourself. Deep inside, you have some destructive habits that are holding you back from pursuing your goals and achieving success.

Let’s explore them and give you some tips to counter them head-on.

1. Self-doubt

One of the worst things you can do is develop the habit of self-doubt, the tendency to distrust everything about yourself. It’s not that you hate yourself or your capabilities, it’s just that you question yourself, your judgments, and your actions. Whenever you plan to give that speech or launch that business or initiate that tough conversation, something deep inside you whispers, “You can’t do it.”

And you listen to that inner voice and bury your ideas in self-doubt. Your self-doubt is your biggest enemy. If you don’t counter that habit with all your might, it will hold you back from reaching the mountaintop, achieving your potential, and succeeding in your life, in your business and in your career.

The way to break through this chain of self-doubt is simple. Anytime you hear that voice weighing you down, tell it, “No, I can do it. I can make it happen.” Don’t ignore the voice, because it will talk to you again. Just have a ready-made response, and take the necessary action to prove it wrong.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

2. Blaming others for your failures

Another ugly habit many of us have is we often blame others for our own failures. In my first startup, I was determined to succeed. I woke up every morning and worked for about fifteen hours a day, writing, emailing prospects, promoting my services on social media, optimizing my products. But after about a year, I still didn’t have enough customers and I quit.

However, I put all the blame on my competitors. “There are simply too many people doing the same thing I do,” I concluded. “That’s why I failed.” Is that the true reason for my failure? No. I failed because I was not targeting the right customers, my product was inferior, or my marketing did not appeal to my prospective clients.

The best way to change this habit is to be very critical of ourselves. I know, it is not that simple. We can easily be critical of others, but not of ourselves. Still, we have to try to build the habit if we want to succeed.

You have to question your decisions, scrutinize your actions, and change course. If what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing the right thing. You have to try something else and stop blaming others for your failure.

3. Multi-tasking

What’s wrong with multi-tasking? Think about this, you’re eating lunch while checking your social media feed, and your laptop is on your lap open to a client’s project. Suddenly, a prospect emails you. You read the message, reply to them, and then get back to your other tasks.

You’re multitasking, doing many things at a time. However, you’re not investing your undivided attention in any particular area. That’s what’s wrong with multi-tasking. Your productivity level decreases by 40 percent when you focus on more than one thing at the same time. Your IQ also decreases by ten points when you multi-task, according to Peter Bregman of Harvard Business Review. The multitasking process actually consumes much of your time, and it’s stressful.

You need to cut that unproductive, destructive habit out. How? By working in the wee hours of the morning before your social media feeds begin to buzz, your friends start calling you, and your kids wake up. Next, silence your notifications as you work. That way, you can focus on your work without the distractions.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

Finally, set a deadline for yourself and stick to it—so you’ll have the discipline to concentrate on the project and the resistance to divert your attention away from other things. It worked for me, and it will work for you, too. The idea is to do whatever it takes to stop or minimize multitasking so you can pour your heart and soul into one project, and execute it flawlessly.

To become the heavyweight champion of your industry, start replacing your bad habits with good ones. Beat your self-doubt with self-confidence. Stop blaming others and start taking responsibilities. Stop multitasking and start focusing on one task. Then, watch as your success blossoms.

What habits are holding you back? Comment below!

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5 Ways a Young Salesperson Can Excel in Their Role

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Sales is a great first job to get out of college for the lessons it teaches. A new salesperson quickly experiences rejection, learns they are not as good as they thought they were, and gets a real understanding that their path is not going to be an easy one.  The market chews them up and spits them out, and there is very little they can do about it. (more…)

Brian Ford is a former Division 1 college soccer player and standout scholar-athlete at UC Davis.  Having studied neurobiology and psychology, Brian completed 2 years in medical device sales where he provided consultative support for spine surgeons in the operating room.  More interested in applying his scientific background in a business setting, Brian will soon begin working for an exciting Silicon Valley biotech startup as the Director of Marketing and Sales while earning his MBA from Santa Clara University.  Brian is the host and founder of the Top-Rated Amazon Alexa Flash Briefing “Self Improvement Daily”, and continues to manage a local community service organization he created in college.  Brian is motivated to have a large social impact with everything he does, and the best way to follow his progress is on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

5 Ways a Young Salesperson Can Excel in Their Role

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young professional
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Sales is a great first job to get out of college for the lessons it teaches. A new salesperson quickly experiences rejection, learns they are not as good as they thought they were, and gets a real understanding that their path is not going to be an easy one.  The market chews them up and spits them out, and there is very little they can do about it.

I can say this because I recently completed two years of sales experience and learned these lessons the hard way. To find a semblance of success, I had to set my ego aside and modify my expectations.

This introduction to sales taught me five lessons that helped me overcome roadblocks, penetrate gatekeepers, and settle into the workforce:

1. Education Doesn’t Equal Performance

Like most recent graduates I felt prepared to conquer the world right out of college and was confident I could understand anything I set my mind to.  Fresh off the high of achieving my academic goals, I realized within days that there was a small problem – the skillset did not translate.

As great of a job formal education does to expand your mind and teach you new thought patterns, it is very theoretical. When it comes to practically applying that knowledge, young professionals often find themselves underprepared.  This disconnect is a result of the way their performance is measured – A student is evaluated based on a test, which is predictable and objective.

A salesperson is evaluated on their sales numbers, which has a lot of built in unpredictability.  On top of that, the execution of a sales call is much more difficult to objectively quantify. Due to this, when a young professional first finds themself in a sales environment, they are vulnerable to their inexperience in that setting and their performance suffers.

A technique that helps me be more confident in this new arena is role-playing.  Simulating an unpredictable environment has been a great exercise for me because it has provided me with experience in this new setting.

2. Know How to Be Old-Fashioned

A fundamental part of sales is meeting your customer at their level.  Young salespeople often come across targets who prefer traditional business practices and struggle with selling to them.  Choosing to match a customers’ old-fashioned demeanor helps relate with them because it aligns with how they are accustomed to doing business.

A few things that worked for me. First, whenever possible, I choose to write things down with pen and paper.  This action resonates with customers who are slower to adopt technology. On top of that, following up with hard copies may better meet your customer’s expectations and fit into their decision making workflow.  

Along with taking written notes, I also make a point to overdress for the occasion, arrive early, be clean-shaven, and use titles when addressing people. Taking steps to be old-fashioned is conducive to doing business with tenured customers because it works against the prejudices the customer might have about millennials.

“A smart salesperson listens to emotions not facts.”

3. Understand Emerging Technology

Today’s young professionals grew up in the exciting age of the digital revolution. This means that young salespeople are expected to be early adopters of new workplace technologies and have a high technological competency.  While it is true that young professionals may have a better intuition for the technology, it still takes a good deal of additional work to be informed.

I quickly realized not only that I should pay special attention to the latest workplace tech, but that I needed to proactively learn it to meet expectations. As expected I became the default resource whenever there was a technical issue or question, and in an operating room setting, it was a particularly important role to hold.

I used this responsibility to my advantage by taking it as an opportunity to be valuable. I spent additional time learning the nuances of the technology so that I was confident in my execution when people turned to me for answers. As a young salesperson it is important to understand others’ expectations of your technological competency because any opportunity to add value is a sales opportunity.

4. Constant Judgment

Young salespeople are very affected by this – there is an association between youth and immaturity in the workplace, and colleagues pay close attention to the behavior of their younger counterparts.  I concede that this connection between maturity and years might be fair, and as a result young professionals are given a different threshold for how much their behavior will be tolerated.

I understand that there is a fine line between personal and professional settings after hours, but it is best practice for young professionals to be conservative to avoid negative judgment in casual settings. When I am around coworkers I always try to stay “turned on,” meaning that I take precautions to act appropriately. I limit my drinks, defer contentious conversational topics, and avoid workplace controversy and gossip. It is part of our reality that young professionals need to come to terms with.

However, judgment exists differently in a professional setting. Instead of being evaluated on the appropriateness of your behavior, young professionals are judged on their competency and ability to contribute. The most effective way to be viewed as a positive contributor is by displaying confidence, both in the quality of your work and in the way you carry yourself.  

“Most people think “selling” is the same as “talking”. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” – Roy Bartell

5. Own Your Youth

A young salesperson should definitely use their age to their advantage. Young professionals offer a unique perspective, skill-set, and way of operating that is invaluable to any business.  Leaning into those qualities is the best thing a young salesperson can do because it offers a truly unique value proposition.

If employing this, it is first critical for a young salesperson to address their age and be transparent about their experience level before being exposed of it. This approach disarms customers by handling their first objection without them having to ask it, and conveys respect through humility. I have found customers are much more receptive to hearing my message after ground-rules have been set and this deference has been established.  

Also, something young professionals should leverage is their colleagues’ interest in their exciting young lifestyles. What works particularly well is using major life events to build rapport and relate to customers. Talking about buying a house, getting married, or having a child begins a conversation that becomes an opportunity to advance the relationship.

What techniques have you incorporated in your sales routine that have helped you get your message heard?

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The One Mindset Change That Helped Me Read 47 Books in a Year With Ease

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There is an elusive truth about life that we tend to miss in today’s world. Everything is moving so fast that we don’t have time to stand still and truly absorb the information we receive. We skim through articles like we skim through relationships, always searching for a better one in a sharper form. That is the way the majority of the world operates today. We must be people who take control over their lives and implement their dreams no matter who or what stands in front of them.

To do that, we must be willing to learn, change, and adapt our models of reality and here is one that ultimately changed the way I see life as a whole. The one mindset shift I made that changed my entire life is that life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and here is what that means.

How to read 47 books in one year with ease

I used to live in a fast-paced world as you did and I was going haywire. My health was deteriorating fast and my mental state wasn’t far behind. What was even worse is that my results weren’t getting any better. Here I was, working 20 hours a day, mentally stressed out and having physical manifestations of stress and yet, my results were horrible. I knew I needed to change something and it needed to happen fast.

That is when I discovered the compound effect and it completely blew my mind. It basically means that you take small actions every single day and they give interest over time. And those interests compound over time if you keep doing small actions. I thought this was the solution to all my problems but I had to test it out. So I tried reading 20 pages of a book every single day, hoping I would manage to prove to myself that this works for me.

Reading only 20 pages a day compounded into 47 books just one year later and I managed to prove to myself that life really is a marathon, not a sprint. But all of this sounds easy when I tell it like this- I want to show you the work that went into reading these 20 pages a day.

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

How it really looks like

Imagine getting back from work tired from all the daily chores and tasks. You grab some food, sit down on your couch and want to eat while watching TV. However, then you remember, “Oh damn, I forgot to read 20 pages of a book today.”

So you eat fast, hop from the couch to grab your book and start reading. 30 minutes later, done!

And that is day 1/365 done. You need to do this for 364 more days (at least). I am telling you this because I want to emphasize that even though this is easy and simple to do, most of you don’t do it. The reason we don’t do it isn’t because it’s hard or complicated, the reason we don’t do it is that we haven’t taken the time to stop in our tracks and absorb this information.

When you read that it took someone 10 years to become an overnight success, we nod our head with understandment. However, do we really know how much 10 years is? If you go back 10 years ago, there was no Instagram or Snapchat. Have you really taken the time to think about what this information means? I know I didn’t for a long, long time and that is why my life was on stand-by.

Only when I took the time to stop and think about the information I just read was I able to absorb what it means in its entirety. And I want you to do the same thing right now with the one shown above. I will repeat it here: By reading 20 pages a day, you can read 47 books in a year. Let it fall in, absorb it fully. Understand and internalize it. Feel it like it’s happening right now, like you’re holding a book in your hands and being sucked into the story. Now, you are ready for the next step.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” – Edmund Burke

Every journey starts the same way – with a single step

Now that you’ve absorbed this mentality of life being a marathon and not a sprint, now it’s time to prove it (to you). You should take upon reading 20 pages of a book every single day and do it for one year. After a couple of months, you will start noticing a change happening in the way you hold yourself and you will be more knowledgeable.

It’s time to take the thing you already know and make it a reality for you. We are the people who make their dreams come true no matter what stands in front of them. Always remember, the first obstacle toward your dream life is always you. It’s time to move it.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year and why? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How To Make People Feel Your Emotion So They Will Hire You For Anything.

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Do you want to know how to get hired to do almost anything? You have to make people feel your emotion.

You can have experiences, connections, money, and a family that supports you. Yet without your emotion, you can’t move people to cut off all the other options and back you!

The way to win and be hired for almost anything is to put massive amounts of emotion into it. You want your audience to feel your emotion and not judge you based on society’s standards of a resume.

Emotion defeats all other criteria when it comes to hiring. The thing is, you’ll never be told that. No one is ever going to tell you that. That’s because the human spirit tells us to choose based on emotion.

Choose emotion and you will be chosen.

Here’s how to make people feel your emotion so they’ll hire you for almost anything:


Prepare a paragraph beforehand.

Last week, I had the chance to be hired for something extraordinary. Over-preparing never seems to work well, because then everything becomes scripted which only makes you more nervous.

Instead, I prepared a paragraph (call it a speech if you will) to say to the people I’d be meeting. Before writing this paragraph, I watched a video of a man that has had every health challenge you could imagine.

The video made me very emotional and I immediately used that raw emotion to write

Having a few lines to use during a pitch will help you bring out that emotion. You’ll have a trigger point to use, that will become the basis for making people feel your emotion too.

I’ll share my paragraph with you at the end of this post.


Tie back the opportunity to an emotional moment in your life.

In my pitch to get hired for my dream career, I talked about my near miss with cancer, several bad breakups and leaving behind a business I co-founded.

While in front of them, I mentioned these important moments in my life to make the audience I was pitching to feel the emotion of what I’d gone through in my past.

“I wanted them to feel the emotion of my journey and use it as inspiration for their own. Even if I didn’t win the gig, at least I would have made a difference and that’s how you get remembered”

To me, it is the very act of remembrance that can be used to your advantage when there’s another opportunity in the future. If it holds true, then you will be first on their list.


Lead with inspiration.

In these situations, I try to imagine giving a speech to a room full of people that are terminally ill and don’t have long to live.

How would I want them to leave this world?

What difference could I make on their last day?

Out of all the tools you can use to make people feel your emotion, the best one from my experience is inspiration. There’s so much negativity in the world. The quandary in that is that a lot of the time, all any of us want is to be inspired.

“Even if it’s just for a moment, that brief encounter with inspiration seems to make us think differently — and more importantly, act differently”

Choose inspiration. All of us want to be inspired, whether we admit it or not.


Don’t hold back.

Forget about how you might come across and give it your everything.

Show every ounce of yourself and appeal to their human spirit through emotion. Be vulnerable, bold and present the biggest vision you can.

Everyone else you’re up against will probably do the opposite.

People can’t feel your emotion unless you put your heart and soul into it. You have to try hard at this. It’s not easy to disrupt people’s thought patterns and make them feel something.

The moment the audience feels you’re holding back or not telling them everything, it puts up a barrier between you and them. You can’t see this barrier, but it exists.

Remember, you have nothing to lose. You can give it all you’ve got and try to get them to feel your emotion, or you can hold back and risk being ordinary and getting less than desirable results.

The people that inspire and make us feel their emotion don’t hold back.


Pretend it’s your last shot. Act as if it’s your legacy.

I always communicate to people that may want to hire me like it’s my last shot. I think of everything in my life and career as a legacy. You should too.

When you enter a room and have to sell yourself, pretending it’s your last shot changes the way you communicate.

Connecting your thoughts, emotion and words to your legacy gives you an unfair advantage.

“Legacy reminds your mind about death and that’s the best ‘in the moment’ motivation you’ll ever need”

You’ll say things you never thought you’d say in front of other people. You’ll show how badly you want the opportunity that’s being presented. You’ll come across driven, motivated and inspired.

Acting as if it’s your legacy makes you feel like you’re becoming someone you’d hope to be in the future.

Think about the end of your life and then work backwards to the moment you’re faced with right now where you have to convince people to hire you.

This counter-intuitive process helps put you in a state of flow where you transcend all your limitations, beliefs and everything that everyone has ever told you that you can’t do.

In other words, linking to your legacy gives you confidence and belief in yourself.

Using all of the points I just mentioned, here’s a real-life example of a paragraph I prepared for an interview last week:

You want me not for endless meetings.

You want me not to bitch about other departments within the business.

You want me because I’m going to do something great. You can see it in my eyes right now.

I can change how people think.

I can inspire millions of people and I’ve demonstrated that already.

I can lead.

And, I can build relationships better than anyone you’ve ever met.

Most of all, I’m never going to give up. You can’t knock me down or defeat me. There will be obstacles. Some may give up — but not me.

If I can survive a near miss with cancer, multiple bad breakups, and leave a multi-million-dollar business behind, then I can do this role.

Regardless of whether you hire me for this opportunity, you will remember me. I believe I can come to this business and make a massive impact. The bottom line is this:

If I can change the world through this company and social media, then here I am.

That — ladies and gentlemen — is how you make people feel your emotion and get hired to do anything. Go out there and try it for yourself.

<<<>>>

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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3 Destructive Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

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You want to wake up at 5 a.m., do the work that matters, and realize your vision. You want to be the heavyweight champion of your craft, dominate your industry, and achieve massive success.

You want to achieve all of that, but there’s a problem. Anytime you come up with an idea, a nagging voice deep inside your psyche whispers through the corridors of your mind that you’re not capable.

So you put off your idea, cower in fear, or maybe blame others for your plight. The thing is, you need to check in with yourself. Deep inside, you have some destructive habits that are holding you back from pursuing your goals and achieving success.

Let’s explore them and give you some tips to counter them head-on.

1. Self-doubt

One of the worst things you can do is develop the habit of self-doubt, the tendency to distrust everything about yourself. It’s not that you hate yourself or your capabilities, it’s just that you question yourself, your judgments, and your actions. Whenever you plan to give that speech or launch that business or initiate that tough conversation, something deep inside you whispers, “You can’t do it.”

And you listen to that inner voice and bury your ideas in self-doubt. Your self-doubt is your biggest enemy. If you don’t counter that habit with all your might, it will hold you back from reaching the mountaintop, achieving your potential, and succeeding in your life, in your business and in your career.

The way to break through this chain of self-doubt is simple. Anytime you hear that voice weighing you down, tell it, “No, I can do it. I can make it happen.” Don’t ignore the voice, because it will talk to you again. Just have a ready-made response, and take the necessary action to prove it wrong.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

2. Blaming others for your failures

Another ugly habit many of us have is we often blame others for our own failures. In my first startup, I was determined to succeed. I woke up every morning and worked for about fifteen hours a day, writing, emailing prospects, promoting my services on social media, optimizing my products. But after about a year, I still didn’t have enough customers and I quit.

However, I put all the blame on my competitors. “There are simply too many people doing the same thing I do,” I concluded. “That’s why I failed.” Is that the true reason for my failure? No. I failed because I was not targeting the right customers, my product was inferior, or my marketing did not appeal to my prospective clients.

The best way to change this habit is to be very critical of ourselves. I know, it is not that simple. We can easily be critical of others, but not of ourselves. Still, we have to try to build the habit if we want to succeed.

You have to question your decisions, scrutinize your actions, and change course. If what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing the right thing. You have to try something else and stop blaming others for your failure.

3. Multi-tasking

What’s wrong with multi-tasking? Think about this, you’re eating lunch while checking your social media feed, and your laptop is on your lap open to a client’s project. Suddenly, a prospect emails you. You read the message, reply to them, and then get back to your other tasks.

You’re multitasking, doing many things at a time. However, you’re not investing your undivided attention in any particular area. That’s what’s wrong with multi-tasking. Your productivity level decreases by 40 percent when you focus on more than one thing at the same time. Your IQ also decreases by ten points when you multi-task, according to Peter Bregman of Harvard Business Review. The multitasking process actually consumes much of your time, and it’s stressful.

You need to cut that unproductive, destructive habit out. How? By working in the wee hours of the morning before your social media feeds begin to buzz, your friends start calling you, and your kids wake up. Next, silence your notifications as you work. That way, you can focus on your work without the distractions.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

Finally, set a deadline for yourself and stick to it—so you’ll have the discipline to concentrate on the project and the resistance to divert your attention away from other things. It worked for me, and it will work for you, too. The idea is to do whatever it takes to stop or minimize multitasking so you can pour your heart and soul into one project, and execute it flawlessly.

To become the heavyweight champion of your industry, start replacing your bad habits with good ones. Beat your self-doubt with self-confidence. Stop blaming others and start taking responsibilities. Stop multitasking and start focusing on one task. Then, watch as your success blossoms.

What habits are holding you back? Comment below!

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