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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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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leadership
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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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Entrepreneurs

4 Ways to Overcome Entrepreneurial Anxiety

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It’s natural to feel nervous about your business when you’ve poured everything into it, including time, money, and other resources. Your nerves, however, can escalate into crippling anxiety if not managed effectively. (more…)

Sania Khiljee is a serial entrepreneur and social media expert that has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Huffington Post, and more. Sania is the co-owner of a private school Kids R Kids in Katy, TX and is the founder of a subscription box called Bumble Brain Box, which she sold in 2017. She also owns Losers to Legends, which is a social media agency and training company. Losers to Legends started as a motivational movement on social media and has grown to over 1.4 million followers. Her blog saniakhiljee.com also covers topics such as motivation, entrepreneurship, and social media.

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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

Are You Really a Leader? 3 Questions That Will Help You Find the Answer

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Being a leader is a lot of responsibility. People look to you to make decisions, direct them, provide support, and get results. A true leader is an amazing presence: a humble yet confident person who inspires those around them.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think they’re leaders, but really aren’t. In fact, according to talent scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, 80% of people believe they are better-than-average leaders, which is objectively impossible. I see people claiming to be leaders all the time, but they’re all talk and no substance.

What is Leadership?

A lot of the people I talk to seem to think that you become a leader just by having a job managing people. That’s simply not true. Leadership is a balancing act that would make a master juggler impressed.

True leadership involves making sure that there is a happy balance between employees’ needs and the company’s needs. If only the employees’ needs are prioritized, the company won’t be profitable. Likewise, if only the company’s needs are considered, employees will leave.

True leaders have the self-awareness and strategic skills to understand this delicate balance and understand their role in creating those key compromises.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard

Can You Be a True Leader?

Although there are a number of different leadership styles and theories out there, leadership boils down to a few essentials. Leaders need the emotional intelligence to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations while being able to inspire others to take action. There’s a big difference between saying you’re a leader and acting like one.

If you want to increase your self-awareness and find out if you’re a leader others can rely on, start by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do you want to be a leader?

It may seem unfair, but in my experience, the people who make the best leaders don’t necessarily want to be. You only want what you don’t have, and same rings true here. If you want to be a leader then you probably aren’t focusing on the right aspects of leadership.

True leaders are natural trail-blazers, but they don’t set out to lead anyone. People just happen to take note of their talents and confidence and look to the person for advice and guidance.

2. Do you have an original vision, or are you just power-hungry?

Why do you want to be a leader? Is it so you have the final say, or do you have actual goals you want to accomplish with a team? True leaders don’t feel threatened by others—they’re too busy getting stuff done. Leaders typically don’t need to test or confirm their power.

If you think good leaders give directions and just want others to listen, you’ve got it wrong. The best leaders often don’t need to speak a whole lot—they listen and observe, they think deeply, and when they do speak, it’s meaningful.

A true leader acts and others follow those actions because they trust and respect the leader. It isn’t about a power battle or an ego trip. Leaders have a true vision.  

3. Are you willing to do the dirty work?

You don’t get to be a leader if all you do is sit around, give orders, and let other people do the dirty work. Real leaders are humble, and no work is “beneath” them.

They want to know what’s going on at the ground level, and they want to help their people when they’re struggling. If you’re not willing to talk to a customer or back your employee up in a bad situation, you don’t get to call yourself a leader.

“Leadership is a choice, not a position.” – Stephen Covey

Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

How did you do? Maybe you’re not cut out to be a leader. Maybe you are. Maybe you need to work on a few things first.

Real talk: being a good leader isn’t easy. However, becoming a true leader benefits everyone around you and can be extremely fulfilling. If you’re more determined than ever to become the best, most self-aware leader you can be, that’s great news: we need more leaders out there.

What are the characteristics of a great leader in your opinion? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Capitalize on the 80% of Business That You Are Missing Out on Right Now With This Method

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Most of us are aware of Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 20% of the input gives us 80% of the output. The top 20% of your salespeople account for 80% of your business. The top 20% skills you have, account for 80% of your success. The top 20% of our customers will give us 80% of business. When we use this principle it allows us to narrow in and focus on the most important clients who are in our target market.

You’ll find that most people tell you to focus on your top 20%. Here’s the big question: What do you do with the other 80% of people who you do not work with?

Most of us let this 80% of potential business fall to the wayside because they are not our target market and we have no system set up to still do some form of business with them. However, this is not the case for Tim Johnson.

Just last year, he generated $11 million dollars from REFERRALS! He is the master of building a referral based business. By sending clients that he cannot work with to his friends and referral partners, he is able to receive commission for the introduction and new business.

Imagine having the potential to make money from EVERY business conversation! Tim speaks to about 3,000 people per year, and if he cannot help them personally, he knows someone in his Global Renegade network who can.

The thing is, we can all do this if we are intentional about it. As Tim puts it, “We need to date our referral partners. We put so much time and effort into people that do nothing for our business, yet we do not build strong relationships and invest time into our referral partners.”

Tim is a speaker, author, real estate developer, and business coach who is well known around the world. He starts each business conversation by saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during this conversation I realize that I am not the right fit for you, I introduce you to someone in my network who is?”

Each time he is met with a resounding YES! Who would say no to this offer? This strong referral network has built Tim a net worth of over $4 million dollars. Tim uses a framework called SOLD and if you use this framework you can build a strong referral network as well.

Below, is the exact SOLD framework Tim uses:

Strategy

According to Tim, everything is mathematical. He approaches each conversation looking to learn and serve. When you approach conversations in this way, you focus on relationship building instead of feeling like you have an agenda to do business.

Ask great questions here and give the person you’re speaking with an opportunity to share their situation and what they are going through. Tim always asks, “What do you need and how can I serve you?” This is a powerful question that most people neglect and it’s the reason they are not experiencing as much sales success as Tim.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule. Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Objections = Opportunities

As the old wise quote states, “We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.” This means we need to speak less and listen more.

Too often, people pitch and become salesy instead of being human and having a conversation where they are listening to the person they are sitting with. When you are listening, you give yourself the opportunity to learn their problems, obstacles, and needs in order to identify new opportunities.

Leverage referral partners

As you are gathering information you will identify if you are able to provide the solution that your prospect needs. If you cannot, it is time to leverage your referral partners and make the introduction.

By starting out the conversation saying, “Is it okay with you that if at anytime during our conversation I realize that I am not the right fit that I introduce you to someone who is?” you have already pre-framed yourself appropriately to leverage your referral network if you cannot provide a solution that is needed.

Your prospect will be very appreciative for your honesty and will trust your judgement. You get a lot of brownie points when you have the integrity to say that you are not the right fit, but let me introduce you to someone who is.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Duplicate

Rinse and repeat this process. Having conversations in this way will enable you to work with the top 20% of people you speak with, and still provide value to the other 80%. In this way, every conversation opens up the opportunity for new business.

SOLD is business growth through asking great questions, active listening, and leveraging referral partners. Start to capitalize on the 80% of business that you are missing out on by referring these people to other service providers in your network.

If you think about providing value in service of others first, then you can leverage the SOLD framework for increased revenue in your business by simply being a connector and receiving commissions of 10%-25%.

Do you have referral partners in your business? Would love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

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Success Advice

A 5 Step Morning Routine That Leads to Explosive Growth and Success

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Have you ever noticed that how your day starts can dictate how the rest of your day goes? If you start your day on a positive and productive note, you feel a sense of excitement, pride, and accomplishment. And then those feelings power you through the rest of your day. You knock things off your to do list and find yourself in a great mood. Yet, when you wake up later than you were planning on, it can throw your entire day off. So make a decision to take control of your mornings and come up with a routine that will set you up for success.

When trying to construct a morning routine that fits your life, one thing to take into consideration is how important the night before is. Most people with winning morning routines, also take nighttime rituals into consideration. Before going to bed each night, plan your next day out in a journal, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Nothing is worse than going into a day without a plan, and that’s a great way to lose control of the day.

Here’s a list of some of the most important things you can start each morning with to get off to a good start:

Step 1: Hydration: The elixir of life

One of the most important things you can do each morning is start your day off by drinking at least one glass of water. After 6-8 hours without any water, it’s essential to hydrate your body when you wake up and get it ready for the day. Your body is composed of mostly water and a lot of times, the importance of water is overlooked. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and headaches, so starting the day with water can help prevent dehydration. Because of that, staying hydrated means more energy and a lot of times, clearer thinking. There are a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated.

“Your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Check your thoughts, attitude and heart.”

Step 2: Priming: The key to self transformation

Anthony (Tony) Robbins, one of the biggest motivational speakers, always talks about the importance of starting your day with priming. His priming exercise combines two important elements; gratitude and visualization. The priming exercise is about 15 minutes and the purpose is to get you into a good mental and physical state before you start your day. First, Tony asks you to think about 3 things that you are grateful for, and to step into those memories like you are there.

Next, he asks you to think of three things that you want to accomplish (short or long term). The purpose of these exercises is simple; start your day with gratitude and visualizing yourself accomplishing what you want to accomplish, whether it’s a short term goal or a long term goal.

If you don’t want to do that exact exercise, you can also do a combination of meditation and visualization. There are a lot of guided audios that you can use to help you get the most out of meditation and visualization.

Step 3: Exercise/Movement – Jumpstart your brain and your body

Exercise has massive benefits, both physical and mental. Starting your day with even 30 minutes of movement can give you increased energy and endorphins. It’s also a great way to start your day on a positive note. Think of how amazing you feel after you finish a good workout.

Step 4: Journaling – Create your future and write your goals into existence

Everyone has their own way of journaling; you need to find what works best for you. Some things you can do while journaling are making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for, writing your goals down (daily or long term goals), or setting your intention for the day. Journaling can make you more productive as well as remind you what your goals/ targets are so that you stay focused on what you need to get done.

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” – Todd Stocker

Step 5: Attack the day- conquer your biggest task that you have to do first thing

A lot of people tend to procrastinate on their most important task of the day. They’ll find any excuse to push it off. “Later” becomes “tomorrow.” And then somehow, the end of the week rolls around and the task still isn’t complete. However, if you prioritize your most important task and get it accomplished first thing in the morning, it gives you a sense of discipline and accomplishment.

Starting your morning with a routine can help transform your day. It can help you build new habits but even if you start with 2 or 3 of these, you will begin to see a big difference in how your days go. If you already have a morning routine but you are missing some of these steps, test them out and see what kind of an impact they have on your days.

What is your morning routine like? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Here’s Why Goals Are for Losers

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If you enter the word “goals” into your browser, more than 1.6 BILLION search results pop up. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of goal setting advice as a stepping-stone on your path to success. Yet, there’s a contrarian willing to risk criticism, challenge the status quo, and debunk goals at face value.

In his book “How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big,” Scott Adams is an author, cartoonist and Periscope streamer, who sees goals differently than most everyone else. Adams observes that if you study people who succeed, you’ll see most of them follow systems, not goals.

Goals vs. Systems

Adams defines goals as “reach it and be done objectives.” Whereas systems, is what you do on a regular basis with an expectation that you’ll build on and improve your chances of success.

In Adams book, he says he didn’t have a goal to write it by a specific date. He had a “process” that included blogging daily (for practice) believing this consistency would lead him down a path to where he wanted to be.

Other examples:

  • dieting to lose 10 lbs. is a goal. Learning to eat right, and doing so on a regular basis, is a system.
  • making a million dollars is a goal. Being a serial entrepreneur, is system.
  • running a marathon in under 3 hours is a goal. Exercising daily, is a system (forming a habit).

Could goals create tunnel vision? The problem with goals, says Adams, is that they’re laser-focused and could block awareness of other opportunities around you. If you have your head down pursuing a goal, you may miss better opportunities that could potentially advance you, perhaps even faster.

In contrast, says Adams, systems are flexible, leaving you wide open for new and better ways of doing things. “A system, performed daily, is moving you from a place with low odds to a place with better odds.”

Adams concedes, goals aren’t completely off the table. Goals are useful in “simple” situations that are “narrow, simplistic and have predictable pursuits.” They’re ok for short tasks with a clear purpose.

Two examples of different goals would be an “ok goal,” which would be entering a contest, while a “great goal” is to win. “It’s simple, it’s near term, it’s manageable.” Nonetheless, for success, goals are terrible for long-term endeavors like personal health and career success goals.

So are goals for losers? Adams says goals are psychological. If you haven’t reached your goal, you could be in a perpetual state of frustration and disappointment, possibly feeling like a failure.

Goals proceed with blinders on, expecting certain results at the end of weeks, months or years. Then once you’ve achieved that goal, what are you prepared for? Whereas systems are skill-based that add up, and can serve you on future projects.

“Never settle for average.” – Steve Jobs

Talent Stacking for Success

Talent stacking is the process of increasing your personal value by “layering together several mediocre skills” until you have something unique.

Although Adams says most of his undertakings can be considered failures from the standpoint of goals, they’re actually successes from the standpoint of systems. Gaining transferable skills has allowed him to achieve success in the long run.

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Adams shares how he stacked his talents of “mediocre artist, an ok writer, somewhat humorous, and some business knowledge” to create the wildly successful comic strip Dilbert (seen online in 2,000 newspapers, 65 countries in 25 languages) and substantial economic value.

Previously we outlined the four principles of success. Here, we add talent stacking, allowing you to capitalize on the array of opportunities that come your way. Adams recommends choosing to acquire ‘talents’ that build assets you can apply to future projects.

The assets you build will lead you down the path of eventual success over time. In today’s fast-paced world, Adams feels we’d all benefit from adding t­he following skills to your main talent:

  • public speaking
  • persuasion (to understand psychology)
  • some business sense
  • some technology sense

Adams recommends to not worry about the end result. Focus on daily execution and over time, there will be a payday.

Passion will follow

Ask a billionaire what’s the most important element to success and he’ll likely say “passion.” Adams disagrees. He says someone’s passion may not be realistic. In addition, he feels you can develop passion with success.

Adams’ observation is that people who have a good business plan probably do well. As things start working, and you start making money, suddenly passion appears!

The crossroads of luck

Adams believes the flexibility of systems increases your odds of luck finding you. By adding to your talent stack, more opportunities cross your path, with success following close behind.

There are many kids today with better programming skills than Bill Gates had. Yet, Gates was born in a time in history where he had access to computers when other people didn’t, and that luck has made him billions and billions of dollars. Adams says go where the luck is, tune yourself into the vibration of luck and increase the chances you’ll get it.

“Success is luck multiplied by the skills you obtain” – Scott Adams

So there you have it, systems are better if you have a complicated situation and a long time frame. Goals are fine if you have a simple situation and a short time frame.

The thread that ties this highly recommended book together is that if you develop good systems and follow them daily, then your efforts eventually overlap with luck.

What do you think about goals now? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments area below.

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