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Success Advice

Goal Setting is Paramount to Your Success

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Goal Setting is Paramount to Your Success

Living a life without a goal is living a life without a meaning. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Most people don’t even have a life goal. Don’t get me wrong; I was like that not so long ago.

Of course, I wanted to succeed in life. All I did was dream about a big house by the water in a southern city while sipping on a little sangria and swinging on a nice little hammock!

However, I didn’t have any plans or goals to fulfill my dreams. I thought that life owed me something, and that my dream would fall on me, like the snow from the cold city I lived in would.

“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” – C. H. Parkhurst

How having a goal would make me succeed.

It is your GPS: Goal, Plan, Success!

Let’s say you are going on vacation and you are in your car, ready for a long road destination. You are driving from New York, in the month of December and you would love to reach a destination. Having no destination, refers to as having no goal; you are just going to drive around not really knowing which direction to take and not really knowing where you will end up. Sounds like you are not starting your vacation the right way!

You keep driving and get caught into traffic, construction detours and all the endless confusing roads. So, as you have been driving for a while, you start getting tired of turning around without reaching any promising destination.

Finally! This is a great start; you are tired of your situation and would love to take charge of it.  Thus, you ask yourself a crucial question; where would I like to spend my vacation? Hmm… Let’s see… I’d love to go spend some time in a nice Southern City!

Those palm trees, the sun shining all day, all the beautiful well-tanned people and all the charm of a southern city. But wait; there are indeed multiple sunny cities. Should I go to Miami? Los Angeles?

So here, at least, you have found yourself a goal, which is reaching south. However you need to make it more precise and choose a final destination unless you could split yourself in half and send each part in the two desired cities.

 

You need a SMART Goal!

S: Specific; Make it specific, LA or Miami? Let’s say you have chosen Miami.

M: Measurable; How many hours do you need to drive before reaching Miami?

A: Action; You need to get behind the steering wheel and start driving!

R: Realistic; Dream big, but you don’t need to drive 20 hours nonstop without taking a break.

T: Timeline; Look at how many hours it will take you to drive there.

 

If you have never been there before, driving towards the South in the hope of one day reaching Miami is just a wish, not a goal. So now that you understood this, you either put the destination on your GPS or plan the road through your own map.

“A goal without a plan is a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Zen of goal setting!

As you have now completed your road trip plan, get in the right path and start driving towards your goal, Miami. You planned the road trip, the timeline as well as the little road exit breaks!

As you are now on the highway, you notice that there is a lot of traffic. You think about your planned timeline and tell yourself that it will be hard to respect it. After a few hours caught in traffic, the road finally starts clearing out and you get going again!

Just when you thought your destination was around the corner, you have to face another obstacle, a major accident blocking the road you were headed to. As you are facing obstacles one after the other, you start losing faith on your plan and start thinking about maybe settling for a less desired and easier destination. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be?

 

When the plan doesn’t work…

Change the plan, but never the goal!

This is absolutely crucial. Whatever your goal is, you will face challenges. It is through these challenges that you will grow and become stronger as a person. If you change your desired destination in this case, you will always settle for less in life and never live your dreams.

Taking this crucial approach into consideration, you decide to change your road plan and find the closest detour available. As you do, you get back on track and head towards Miami again!

After driving numerous hours again, you face another complication. One of your tires lets you down in the middle of the highway. As you already faced multiple obstacles, this situation doesn’t even surprise you. However, you never changed a tire in your life and doing so would be getting out of your comfort zone.

You have learned to embrace your fears. Therefore, you get out of your car, take your safety wheel out and start analyzing your wheels in order to understand their scheme. As you are doing so, someone witnessed your situation and pulled aside on the highway in order to assist you!

My friends, the harder you work, the luckier you get! What if you stayed in your car wishing for something to get you out of that situation? That person assisting you could have thought that maybe you were just having a phone call and therefore, pulled a side. Who knows? Again, with the help of the generous individual, the situation is fixed and you get back on track!

You feel proud of yourself for not letting those challenges put you down and start believing that from now on, nothing will stop you from reaching that beautiful city of Miami and that you will always find a solution no matter what. You will begin to embrace challenges as you are used to getting through them. Thus, you will become a no matter what person!

Jim Rohn
 

So now, what is your goal? Think, Plan, take action and most importantly PERSIST! Start having the habit of moving towards your goals.

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

Heitem is a successful business owner and passionate about Personal Development. He is now sharing his passion through his own blog WealthyMorons.com ! You want to learn about the One thing ALL highly successful people do? Download his Free eBook and become part of his Growing Pre-Launch Community!

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Fleur

    Jun 19, 2016 at 4:40 am

    i have never written any goals down 🙁 I have tried and my pen just won’t write! So I AM going to do them and see how i go from now on!

  2. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Heitem I have never been good at setting goals but your article has inspired me to change my approach. I always set them but I think I need to make sure I am applying the S.M.A.R.T principles on every single one.

  3. Successful Tribe

    Aug 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Great article.
    Always right plan,right direction,right people,right idea,realistic goals and dreams and persistence lead to massive success in life.

  4. Timo Fischer

    Jul 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I always keep a list where I write all of my Goals down and I read it everyday helps me to stay motivated and I don’t lose the direction! Good Article as always.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Timo!

      Smart thing to do!

      Heitem AK

  5. Sammy

    Jul 16, 2015 at 5:55 am

    I liked your analogy for “the harder you work the luckier you get”, sitting in the car vs changing the tire and how the latter is more likely to get you help, great stuff.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you Sammy!

      I often hear the statement, but rarely an example portraying it!

  6. Cobi Gabay

    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Excellent work. Thank you for writing this article..

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      I appreciate your comment Cobi!

  7. Stella Chiu

    Jul 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Hi, Heitem

    Three letters for success:GPS which are goal, plan, and success. Without plan, we can’t move forward because just like car without direction. Like you point out that, goal must be “Smart” so that strong clarity is there.

    The way to deal with challenge is fall down, up, go and repeat.

    The article is so good that I’ve tweeted it yesterday.

    Thanks for sharing. – Stella

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Well said Stella!

      As a Japanese proverb says: “Fall seven times and stand up eight”

      Thanks for the kind words and for spreading the love!

  8. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 14, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Having the right plan is always the right thing to do. You can have a dream, but without a plan to make that dream come true, it will never become achievable. I like what you said that you should never change the goal, but if a certain plan is not working, you should change the not the goal. There is always a way to make something achievable. Great post!

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Exactly Lawrence!

      There will be tough moments, it is inevitable.

      As I said in the post, if you change your goals because of these tough times, you will always settle for less in life!
      If you get through them, nothing will stop you from living your dreams!

      Thanks for your comment Lawrence!

      Heitem Ak

  9. Esther

    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Hi Heitem,

    “Change your plan but never your goal.” I love that.
    You found an interesting analogy to the entrepreneurial journey. A trip with all its highs and lows.

    I like to compare the entrepreneurial journey to the Hero’s Journey. Entrepreneurship is so much more than having the strategies and applying the tactics. It is an inner game of dealing with all our limiting beliefs and facing our biggest fears.

    Is there any experience you can share in this regard? Maybe in a new post?

    Thanks,

    Esther

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      You are so right Esther, and I love your theory of the Hero’s journey! 🙂

      Being an Entrepreneur, I can relate to that!
      The only limits we have are those we place on ourselves.

      In a way, fear is based on the theory of importance, or to an exaggerated value we grant to something.

      As a general rule, the expectation of a certain result implies the importance of that result, which implies the fear of not being able to generate that result. If people’s opinion really matters to you, you will feel the fear of interactions, and you will prevent yourself from being in social gatherings.

      I will definitely write a post about it.

      Thank you for the idea and for your kind words Esther!

      Best,

      Heitem Ak

      • Camilla Hallstrom

        Jul 16, 2015 at 10:38 am

        Awesome take on goal setting. So true that an entrepreneur’s journey is much, much more than just “implementing”. You need to get to the stage where you’re implementing and to get there, you need goal setting and as you say, facing psychological hurdles, such as fears.

  10. Augustine

    Jul 13, 2015 at 7:30 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH Mr. Heitem,it really shows how you also value our lives and i see you are determined on that,God bless you for such a wonderful full of wisdom article.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Augustine.

      Inspiring you is my main goal!

      Heitem Ak

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person: (more…)

Alex Moore is a psychology blogger and keen observer of human nature. Through his work, he tries to appeal to people of all types and help them realize that they can all change for the better.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Fleur

    Jun 19, 2016 at 4:40 am

    i have never written any goals down 🙁 I have tried and my pen just won’t write! So I AM going to do them and see how i go from now on!

  2. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Heitem I have never been good at setting goals but your article has inspired me to change my approach. I always set them but I think I need to make sure I am applying the S.M.A.R.T principles on every single one.

  3. Successful Tribe

    Aug 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Great article.
    Always right plan,right direction,right people,right idea,realistic goals and dreams and persistence lead to massive success in life.

  4. Timo Fischer

    Jul 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I always keep a list where I write all of my Goals down and I read it everyday helps me to stay motivated and I don’t lose the direction! Good Article as always.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Timo!

      Smart thing to do!

      Heitem AK

  5. Sammy

    Jul 16, 2015 at 5:55 am

    I liked your analogy for “the harder you work the luckier you get”, sitting in the car vs changing the tire and how the latter is more likely to get you help, great stuff.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you Sammy!

      I often hear the statement, but rarely an example portraying it!

  6. Cobi Gabay

    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Excellent work. Thank you for writing this article..

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      I appreciate your comment Cobi!

  7. Stella Chiu

    Jul 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Hi, Heitem

    Three letters for success:GPS which are goal, plan, and success. Without plan, we can’t move forward because just like car without direction. Like you point out that, goal must be “Smart” so that strong clarity is there.

    The way to deal with challenge is fall down, up, go and repeat.

    The article is so good that I’ve tweeted it yesterday.

    Thanks for sharing. – Stella

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Well said Stella!

      As a Japanese proverb says: “Fall seven times and stand up eight”

      Thanks for the kind words and for spreading the love!

  8. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 14, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Having the right plan is always the right thing to do. You can have a dream, but without a plan to make that dream come true, it will never become achievable. I like what you said that you should never change the goal, but if a certain plan is not working, you should change the not the goal. There is always a way to make something achievable. Great post!

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Exactly Lawrence!

      There will be tough moments, it is inevitable.

      As I said in the post, if you change your goals because of these tough times, you will always settle for less in life!
      If you get through them, nothing will stop you from living your dreams!

      Thanks for your comment Lawrence!

      Heitem Ak

  9. Esther

    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Hi Heitem,

    “Change your plan but never your goal.” I love that.
    You found an interesting analogy to the entrepreneurial journey. A trip with all its highs and lows.

    I like to compare the entrepreneurial journey to the Hero’s Journey. Entrepreneurship is so much more than having the strategies and applying the tactics. It is an inner game of dealing with all our limiting beliefs and facing our biggest fears.

    Is there any experience you can share in this regard? Maybe in a new post?

    Thanks,

    Esther

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      You are so right Esther, and I love your theory of the Hero’s journey! 🙂

      Being an Entrepreneur, I can relate to that!
      The only limits we have are those we place on ourselves.

      In a way, fear is based on the theory of importance, or to an exaggerated value we grant to something.

      As a general rule, the expectation of a certain result implies the importance of that result, which implies the fear of not being able to generate that result. If people’s opinion really matters to you, you will feel the fear of interactions, and you will prevent yourself from being in social gatherings.

      I will definitely write a post about it.

      Thank you for the idea and for your kind words Esther!

      Best,

      Heitem Ak

      • Camilla Hallstrom

        Jul 16, 2015 at 10:38 am

        Awesome take on goal setting. So true that an entrepreneur’s journey is much, much more than just “implementing”. You need to get to the stage where you’re implementing and to get there, you need goal setting and as you say, facing psychological hurdles, such as fears.

  10. Augustine

    Jul 13, 2015 at 7:30 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH Mr. Heitem,it really shows how you also value our lives and i see you are determined on that,God bless you for such a wonderful full of wisdom article.

    • Heitem Ak

      Jul 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Augustine.

      Inspiring you is my main goal!

      Heitem Ak

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Success Advice

How to Use the “Small Victories” Method to Avoid Burning Out

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Have you had a goal you begin to work toward only to run out of steam? Do you know what you need to do to get to where you want to be, but the necessary work feels overwhelming? “Small Victories” is the method to eliminate procrastination, dramatically increase productivity, and to make every part of the process not just bearable, but fun.

The journey from novice to rockstar is filled with a thousand small victories. Each victory increases your skill, your confidence, your positive expectation, and is ultimately the only way to really do something truly great.

Imagine you have a band in which everything was fun- fun to practice, fun to get together and create. The first victory was writing your first song. Afterwards, some friends come to watch you practice, and they cheer you on giving you another boost. Then you play your first show, do your first band photoshoot, and create a band website. After all this hard work, you record your first song as a band, have your first major show, your first tour, and develop the best thing so far which are your first true fans.

Each victory gives you the energy to get to the next victory

If you told the kid, it was going to take ten years of work to get to the end goal, without celebrating the small important victories in between, it would be illogical for any human to hunker down and work 10 years to get there. So how is this relevant? When starting a business or following your dream, incentivizing yourself with small victories will make you far more likely to make you continue on to your end goal. Without it, your willpower only lasts so long.

The small victories are the positive fuel to make it to the next milestone. You create small victories by finding a way to interact with people as a way to have an impact even if it’s small. For example, when people try to start businesses, often they try to get everything together before selling their first product. It could be months or years of work before they are at the level of their competition.

I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here. Charles Bukowski

Say you’re creating a bakery, it could be a year before anyone tried your first baked good if you go the traditional brick and mortar route without any small victories. This comes with great financial cost and energy. You also lose out on the opportunity to improve your craft, your products, your image and your connections with others who can take your business to greater heights.

However, if you go with the method of small victories instead, you would start by creating a cult following amongst friends and family with your decadent treats. Next, you would bake them at home and sell them at local events, farmers markets, and maybe even at local businesses. This can give you the opportunity to create a strong local and social media following well before the opening of your first actual store.

Work and effort without small victories lead to burnout

We need to build rewards along the way into our endeavors, because this provides encouragement to keep going. Each moment is a separate gift, an experience where something was fulfilled, where something was accomplished, no matter how small, and being a recluse until the grand unveiling will have so many missed opportunities along the way.

Small victories are also an opportunity to develop your skills, get feedback – positive or constructive – and considerably increase opportunities. Small victories increase your credibility by showing a track record and the trajectory you’re on by increasing your ability to attract investors and partners.

“Success is rarely the result of one swell swoop, but more often the culmination of many, many small victories.” – Joseph M. Marshall III

The idea of celebrating small victories can be applied to any subject. In weight loss, for instance, seeing pounds melt away will give you the positive mindset to continue and even improve the choices you make to enhance your physique. Sharing your success with others will bring in the element of positive encouragement. It can also motivate others to come with you on the journey. Your small victories can inspire others to start their own journey.

What small victory did you achieve today which will bring you a step closer to your goals? Let us know below!

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Success Advice

Setting Up Your Mindset to Win: How to Achieve Success in Your Life and Career

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How did Usain Bolt become so successful? He seems superhuman, doesn’t he? Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Bocuse… all these people have something special in them. They became the stars in their niche. Have you ever wondered why? No, they do not have any superhuman capacity. They are simple people, just like you and I. They, too, had flaws. Their mindset, however, is what set them apart. If you want to win in your career and in life, generally, you need the mindset of a winner. You have to think like a true champion, so you’ll overcome your flaws and emphasize your strengths.

So how do you set the mindset to win? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. When You Can’t Achieve a Goal, Get Help

Have you heard of Paul Bocuse? He was one of the most famous chefs of his time, and he was named as the chef of the century. This is a good example of the point we’re about to make. Even the best are not almighty, they have to learn from someone. Paul Bocuse learned from another famous chef. He constantly worked to improve his skills and he learned along the way.

The lesson is: you cannot do everything on your own. This is the first thing you have to do: learn and find the right person to learn from. Are there any books by the champions of your chosen niche? Get them and read them. Can you get a mentor? Of course, you can! Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Your alumni network is a great source of mentorship opportunities, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and say that you want to learn from someone.   

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

2. Work on Your Resilience

Here’s the most important life lesson you’ll ever learn: things don’t always go as expected. When you strive towards a particular goal, the chances of failure are real. When Usain Bolt started training, he wasn’t the fastest man on Earth. He worked towards that goal and he was resilient enough to go through all the obstacles he faced. We couldn’t possibly assume that such success came easily for him.

The journey towards a successful life is not a straight line, it’s a bumpy road full of difficulties and setbacks. The average person would give up along the way, but a champion would stay resilient. It’s the mindset that makes a true difference. The good news is that the more obstacles you overcome, the more resilient you become.

3. Focus

What do you want in your career and in your life? This is not something that can go with the flow. You cannot simply live your life one random day after another and expect great things to come your way. You have to focus on particular goals and work your way up there.

Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, has a nice tip for everyone who wants to become successful: “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”

Simple and straight to the point, right? So set your goals! Find that major goal you want to achieve and break it up into smaller achievements. Then, start accomplishing things on a daily basis. You need to devote your life to achieving that goal.

4. Be Bold

Steve Jobs wasn’t focused on getting an average job, achieving average results and living an average life. He had big dreams and bold goals. All successful people have something in common at the starting point, a bold dream. Being afraid to dream big is a huge mistake. Set your imagination free! What’s the biggest thing you’d like to achieve? If you believe in yourself and you start working towards that goal one day after another, you’ll unlock your true potential. You’ll realize that not many things are impossible. You can achieve much more than you believe you’re capable of.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

5. If You Fall, Get Back Up

Have you ever wondered why Richard Branson became so successful? The answer is simple: never gave up, no matter what hardships he faced. His first company didn’t make money. The test flight of Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed because of a flock of birds. Virgin Cola, his soda company, failed miserably. He almost got himself killed during his trip around the world. Richard Branson has done many things, but do you know what he never did? Give up. No matter how serious the failure was, he always found the strength to get back up on his feet and carry on with life. That’s the mindset of a champion!

Never allow yourself to get disappointed from failure. Do not fall back into average just because your big dream doesn’t seem to be working. Failure is not a big deal. It’s just part of the journey, and everyone has to face it. If you carry on, you’ll find success along the way.

So you want to be a champion? You better start working towards that goal without wasting any time. The first step is changing your mindset. Hopefully, the tips above inspired you to do that.

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand.

Michael J. Gabrielli, founder of WeRunAds, has spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars studying billionaires and their habits. Michael has also studied over 2000 different billionaires and from this experience he’s found three principles they all had in common.

Here are the 3 principles the billionaires all had in common:

1. Be in a rapid growth industry at the right time

Timing is so important. Billionaires know when the time is right to enter a market. Most billionaires do not enter first or second into a market because of the inherent risks involved. Many billionaires let the pioneers pave the way and then leverage the knowledge gained to innovate and optimize in order to create something that works.

The key is to find an industry that is soon to take off. Stepping in at the right time is important. Let’s take a real life example that is known all too well– the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. When he entered the scene, the idea of a social network was moderately known, but it was still not quite predicted to be the monster it is today.

Others like Friendster, Myspace, etc. had made some headway into this fledgeling industry and then Facebook entered leveraging the knowledge and expertise gained from the early pioneers. Zuckerberg saw the huge potential of social networking, took what was done previously and made it better.

He is presently worth over $66 Billion and the company has surpassed the 2 billion users mark with 1.4 billion using the platform daily. Not surprisingly, many billionaires were not the first to pioneer the industry they would later find success in. They came in at the right moment, learned from the mistakes and triumphs of their predecessors, and made a lasting final product.

Here’s a practical 3 question exercise you can do to judge if you have the right timing with your current venture:

  1. Look at your industry and say—is this brand new?
  2. Am I trying to invent something that doesn’t exist?
  3. Am I too late to the party?

2. Position yourself better

In addition to finding the right industry and getting in at the right time, billionaires position themselves in the best way. They provide the solution to the need and they think outside the box to do it. Optimal positioning is a commonality amongst billionaires. For example, during the California Gold Rush, people rushed to mine for the gold itself blinded by the promise of large profits.

However, it turned out that Sam Brannan had the better idea for how to position himself for success. He knew the chances of finding gold were risky, so instead he committed to a sure thing. He manufactured the tools that were needed by all the miners to mine gold. As each new miner migrated West, they were happily met by Brannan and his company who were ready and waiting to sell these new hopefuls the shovels and tools they’d need to strike it rich.

Digging for gold seemed to be the most profitable route, however, greater returns were yielded in the supplying of materials required to mine for gold! A good company that also illustrates this concept is Microsoft. They did not seek to create their own computer, but the software that computers would run on. Most people mistakenly think they have to “go for the gold” to attain wealth, but it’s evident in history that selling the necessary tools to the gold miners can be far more profitable.

The two questions you need to ask yourself to see how you could position yourself correctly are, “What industries will need the supplies that I could provide? And, “Am I following the trend instead of innovating?

“Big shots are only little shots that keep shooting. I can see your sun rise out of obscurity. Keep shooting” – Ikechukwu Joseph

3. Take calculated risks

Most people choose the safe bet that is secure, however, this is not common among billionaires. Billionaires take big calculated risks in order to propel themselves to higher levels of influence and success. The most important thing to note here is that while to others the risks seem big—to billionaires, they are calculated.Risk and Calculated Risk are not the same. Calculated risk is measured and well-thought-out. Risk is impulsive and immeasurable. Understanding the difference between the two is a commonality among billionaires. The world’s most prominent figures have at some point in their lives disagreed with the ordinary and took a shot at the unknown. Proper calculation and clever thinking certainly accompanied the bold moves they made in their careers.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is a great example of this. He had grown up in poverty and made his way out to earn a comfortable wage as an executive at a company that manufactured coffeemakers.

“Risk more than others think safe.” – Howard Schultz

He risked it all when he discovered a small coffee shop named “Starbucks” in Seattle that prompted him to quit his job and step out to create a company that was inspired by the Italian coffee culture and personal relationship people could have with their coffee.

Of the 242 people he spoke to, 217 said no to investing with him. Despite the discouragement, lack of agreement, and investment, Schultz kept pushing on. Fast forward to present time, and Starbucks’ is a massive success. Strong intuition and unshakeable belief is common among high achievers. Many successful billionaires risked their safe jobs, personal assets, and even their reputation to take calculated risks that they knew would pay off huge in the end.

The questions you need to ask yourself now are, “where can I take a calculated risk? Am I holding back when I should be going forward? What tangible steps can I take today to move forward?”

These 3 success principles are staple elements that are common among many billionaires. Now, there are more principles that you must discover and implement in order to become a billionaire. Work diligently and do all that can be done each day. Be inquisitive and study those that you wish to emulate.

Which one of these principles do you need to work on more this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

One Question You Must Answer to Ensure Personal Success

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I don’t believe in quick fixes, in get-rich-quick schemes, or any other system that guarantees instant success with only a modicum of effort. But, I do believe it’s possible to condense great strings of logical thought and intellectual algorithms into basics. I like to keep things simple! Many of my clients love the fact that I don’t overly complete things, and frankly, so do I! I like to ask simple questions whose answers can be had quickly but require some focus in obtaining the outcome.

Here’s the question I always ask: What is standing between your current reality (where you are now) and your ultimate vision (where you want to be)? Are the impediments psychological, physical, emotional or some other reason?

Until you answer what is causing the difference between your AS IS and your SHOULD BE, you will be stuck spinning your wheels in the mud and the muck of the former. This is an important question that requires a level of mental self-examination. And the answer to this question may require a lifetime of introspection. It is an important question to answer because if you know where you want to go that provides direction but examining why you are not there yet can provide momentum. (In other words, by answering the question it may get you there faster!)

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

It’s just like following a road map. A map is useless unless you know two things, where you are, and where you want to go. What might be stopping you (or at least slowing you down) from the ultimate destination of your passion and life’s fulfilment?

I’ve asked many people about this over the years and have heard these four reasons that keep people from moving forward.

1. Lack of vision

How do you plan to get there, if you don’t know where “there” is? The most difficult undertaking in the world is to sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper and chart out your life. I know, I have many blank sheets of paper to prove it. However, I also found out that it only takes one sheet, with a few well-crafted lines of thought to give you the direction you need. But you need to start!

2. Lack of goals

So, you know where you want to go, you just don’t know how to get there. The second hardest thing in the world is to have a sheet of paper with your ultimate destination on top, and the rest blank as you ask yourself, now what or how do I get to my vision? The process of functional decomposition means breaking down the larger process into steps that are both actionable and motivational. In other words, the steps are small enough to do and you remain motivated because they are so small.

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

3. You don’t believe you can get there

You want to, but there is a script running through your head telling you to go home, make some chicken soup and don’t leave the house until these foolish notions of greatness are gone. Think about it, your parents never did what you are trying to do, no one in your family has ever done it, you are far too old (or too young) to do that, you don’t have the right education…your rationalizing can go on for a lifetime! Here is my suggestion when it comes to running those self-deprecating scripts: STOP IT!

4. You are lazy

You won’t admit this to yourself, but perhaps you are just plain lazy. I’ve seen it so many times; individuals majoring in minors. Performing high fun, low payoff activities instead of the low fun, high payoff activities. (And, by the way, who ever said that a high payoff activity can’t be fun? There’s that darn script again.) As a species we are inclined to take the path of least resistance, but that path may not lead us to our vision, but you must admit, we are having a great time NOT moving toward our vision! Laziness is not “doing nothing.” It’s doing the wrong thing because that’s what you want to do, and, very often, we know it’s the wrong thing to do!

There you have the four possible things that might be holding you back from the realization of your vision. Are any of them hitting home? Answer this question before you move on:

What is standing between my current reality and my ultimate vision of success?

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