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Becoming Bulletproof: How to Transform Your Lowest Moments Into Your Greatest Opportunities

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I was devastated. I had spent six weeks promoting one of my company’s first ever events, and needed to sell at least twelve tickets to break even. Despite pouring my heart, soul and every spare minute I had into marketing the event, with a week to go, I had only sold six tickets. I was having major doubts whether my business was going to be viable going forward.

Then, with two days to go, the ticket sales started to roll in; 7, 8, 9, 12, and on the day before, I reached 17. I was profitable! Things were looking up. I could hardly contain my excitement as I signed people in to the event that morning. After registering, attendees grabbed a cup of coffee and took their seats in the classroom. We were due to start at 10am. 

As 10am drew nearer, I became concerned that there was no sign of the course leader. I tried calling a few times – no answer. Sent a text – no reply. The clock hit 10. Then 10.05. Then 10.15. He never showed.

I walked into the room, explained what had happened, and proceeded to refund every single penny in revenue I had spent six weeks working to generate. Later, the course leader called me and told me he’d made a ‘scheduling error’. To date, this was my biggest setback in business, and in this post, I’ll share three ideas that helped me get through it.

1. Experience is Raw Material

Years before, I had read Victor Frankl’s: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist who was imprisoned in Nazi Concentration Camps during World War Two. One of his key insights was that it is our responsibility to determine what experiences mean to us. Having read Frankl’s work, I realised it was now my choice to decide what the setback meant to me.

On one hand, I could take it as a sign that maybe I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship and I should just give up the dream, be realistic and get a ‘real job’. On the other, I could use it as fuel. I could see it as an opportunity to develop resilience in overcoming adversity. If I could come back from this, then I’d become the kind of person that is able to land on his feet; no matter what life throws at him.

Both interpretations were potentially true. But I realised that the actions I took from then on in, would determine which future would materialise.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl

2. The Circle of Influence

Steven Covey was an American educator and author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. One of his core ideas is that there are two areas where you can spend your time and energy: The circle of influence and the circle of concern.

The circle of influence contains everything that is directly within your control. E.g. Your health, relationships, the amount of effort you put in, etc. The circle of concern contains things you have no direct control over. E.g. The weather, other peoples’ opinions, nuclear war, etc.

Proactive people spend most of their time in the circle of influence. Reactive people spend their time in the circle of concern. 

When the setback happened, I realised I had a choice about what to focus on. On one hand, I could spend it in the circle of concern; thinking about how I’d been screwed over, blaming the course leader, and worrying that my business was going to fail. 

On the other, I could spend it in the circle of influence. I could focus on what I now had control over; refunding attendees, scheduling a new date, getting a new venue, and arranging more courses. I opted for the latter. We re-ran the course two weeks later and made a profit overall.

3. Extreme Ownership

Extreme ownership is an idea from Jocko Willink. It involves taking as much responsibility as possible for the negative things that happen in your life. If something goes wrong, you ask: ‘In what way did I contribute to the negative outcome that occurred?’

You then take ownership of it, identify where you screwed up, and do your best to ensure history doesn’t repeat. As human beings, we have a natural tendency to only want to see the good in ourselves. We really want to see ourselves in a positive light.

If something challenges this, we feel threatened, insecure, and look to put the blame elsewhere. In my case, my brain went into blame-overdrive. But I knew if I was going to make sure it didn’t happen again, I needed to figure out what part I had played in the outcome, and take action to prevent it happening again in the future. 

“A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

When I reflected, I realised my communication had let me down. If I had effectively communicated with the course leader leading up to the event, the situation would never have happened as it did. Since, I’ve now developed a system where I email clear information about the date, timing and location to speakers six days before my events.

Extreme ownership allowed me to learn from my mistake and put systems in place to ensure it never happens again. As a result, I have a better, and less risky business. Had I simply blamed the course leader, then I’d be vulnerable to the same mistake in the future. Worse still, all the pain I went through would have been for nothing.

​No matter what you do, life is going to throw problems at you. It’s an inevitable part of the human experience. The goal then, shouldn’t be a life free of problems and adversity. But rather, it should be to become the kind of person who can overcome them. As John Kabat-Zinn said: ‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’

Realising that it’s your choice what meaning you give to any situation, spending your time in the circle of influence, and taking extreme ownership, are three powerful ways to do this.

Niall McKeever is a writer and Founder of The Weekend University - which aims to make the best minds and ideas in psychology more accessible to the general public. To do this, they organise monthly conferences, which host talks from world-leading psychologists, authors and university professors. You can get early access to their latest talks here.

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How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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