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Success Advice

Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: Which One Do You Have?



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I recently finished Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” which motivated me to deeply ponder her thesis on the Growth Mindset versus the Fixed Mindset, and how we, as individuals, employ them in life every day. Mindset (or attitude, as I prefer to call it) is critical because in order to be successful, one must be self-aware of the mindset to which they subscribe.

For example, are you challenging yourself? Are you giving up in the face of adversity or potential failure? Are you putting in deliberate, conscious effort? Are you afraid to take on challenges because of the fear of making a mistake?

According to Dweck, these are the questions one must ask. If you want to be truly successful and achieve mastery, new psychological evidence suggests that hard work, effort, perseverance, and grit are the keys to get you there.

A similar case study was exposed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.” Gladwell’s assertion is that 10,000 hours of hard work, struggle, and deliberate practice are needed before one is considered an expert and holds mastery over their field. These notions resonated with me, because I’m sure everyone remembers their father’s, grandfather’s, or a mentor’s advice when they were young and thought they knew it all: “Look son, there are no get-rich-quick schemes in life, if there were, we’d all be rich” or “The road to success is built upon blood, sweat, and tears” (i.e., sweat equity); you get the gist.

I am a true believer that talent, ability, and intellect can only get you so far. One must also possess a strong desire and insatiable hunger to learn and develop by taking challenges head-on and cultivating and advancing skills.

Moreover, new research has challenged conventions in that the brain does in fact continue to develop into your early thirties. Advanced neuroscience indicates that the brain is malleable, and you can influence neurons that can change with experience, either positive or negatively. 

When constant positive neural growth takes place, you change your baseline thinking and re-wire thought patterns, which in turn will change your overall behavior in small increments. If you think about it using common sense, it clicks. The brain, like any other body part needs to be challenged, stretched, and used to become strong. If you don’t go to the gym and exert force on your muscles and challenge your body, you will become decrepit. So it goes with your noggin.

Growth Mindset

As I mentioned previously, think of the Growth Mindset as an attitude, a way of life. One who employs the Growth Mindset, believes that life requires continuous learning and that failure is a critical and necessary component of that learning and self-development. It is the deep belief that no single individual is born with innate talent and ability. Rather, mastery, talent, and ability, is developed over time through perseverance, grit, and hard work.

There is great debate as to whether or not Larry Bird is the best basketball player of all time. People constantly mention his talent and ability and grace. What people don’t talk about though, is, as a poor kid growing up in French Lick, Indiana, before school and after school, how Larry would methodically practice his jump-shot every day for hours on end. In the rain, in the sleet, in the hot sun in the early morning hours and well into the evening – it didn’t matter. That drive combined with his competitive nature and willingness to take challenges head-on (i.e., Magic Johnson) is what made Larry Bird arguably the best player in the NBA.

Dweck states that a Growth Mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure, “Not as evidence of unintelligence, but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Traits of the Growth Mindset

Intellect can be developed over time and leads to a desire to learn and grow which results in:

  • Embracing challenges head-on
  • Perseverance (i.e., not giving up) in the face of setbacks, defeat, or failure
  • Seeing effort and hard work as a path to mastery
  • Using criticism and negative feedback as a form of learning and self-development
  • Finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others

Fixed Mindset

A Fixed Mindset, is an attitude that assumes character, creativity, intellect, and ability are static, and endowed to us upon birth (i.e., he’s a natural, a born genius, etc.). What is often overlooked with those who employ the Fixed Mindset, is that if you look at history, there are many examples of people who came from backgrounds of deep poverty and working class, but through resilience, determination, and hard work, made positive impacts on the world.

Take Thomas Edison for example, after thousands of tireless nights and failures, he created the modern light bulb. Through those failures, he learned and grew as a result. He employed the Growth Mindset. 

A Fixed Mindset view would have given up with their justification being that scientific traits weren’t carved in stone at birth. Remember, a Fixed Mindset, can negatively affect all aspects of your life ranging from education, career, and personal relationships.

Traits of the Fixed Mindset

Intelligence is static and leads to a desire to look smart which results in:

  • Prefer to avoid challenges
  • Giving up easily to obstacles or challenges
  • Seeing effort as fruitless or a waste of energy
  • Ignoring useful negative feedback or criticism, and taking it personally (i.e., ego)
  • Feeling threatened by the success of others
  • Not learning from or acknowledging their mistakes because of arrogance or ego

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Employ a Growth Mindset

Relatives, friends, and colleagues young and old, I implore you to read Mindset, you will not be disappointed. Even if you are retired from the “working” world, there is so much to be gained that can be applied to other aspects of your life. 

You can take a skills inventory and challenge yourself daily to employ a Growth Mindset. Ask yourself whether you are shying away from challenges out of fear. Remember, challenge and failure are necessary to learning, self-development, and growing as an individual.

I’ll leave you with this quote: 

“In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort (Fixed Mindset). In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented (Growth Mindset).” – Carol Dweck

Keep on challenging and believing in yourself and you will achieve greatly.

What’s one new thing you’re learning this year that you didn’t know last year? Share your stories with us below!

Brendan M. Coyne loves to read, write, and practice self-development and bettering himself. His goal is to share what he learns with others, in the hope that through that learning, they will achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. You can connect with Brendan through his website or on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers



how to choose the best affiliate programs for your blog

Picking the right affiliate programs for your blog is really important. It can make a big difference in how much money you can make and how much your readers get out of your blog. With so many choices out there, deciding which ones to go with can be tricky. 

This guide is here to make it easier for you. It will give you clear steps and helpful tips to choose affiliate programs that fit well with what your blog is about, what your readers like, and what you stand for. 

For more articles on this theme, please head over to this blog

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Before you start picking affiliate programs, it’s important to really understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works. 

Basically, affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog, and then you get paid a little bit every time someone buys something or does something because you recommended it. 

It’s great for both the person selling the product and the blogger, because the seller gets more sales with low risk, and the blogger can make money from their blog.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

1. Assess Your Niche and Audience

The key to doing well in affiliate marketing starts with really knowing what your blog is about and who reads it. Consider the following:

  • Your blog’s content: What topics do you cover? Ensure the products or services you promote are relevant.
  • Your audience’s interests and needs: What solutions are they seeking? Choose affiliate programs that offer products or services that solve their problems or enhance their lives.

2. Research Potential Affiliate Programs

Once you know what your blog is about and what your readers want, start looking for affiliate programs. Choose ones that are well-known for good products, great customer service, and helpful support for affiliates. Resources to find these programs include:

  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and ClickBank.
  • Direct searches for “[Your Niche] affiliate programs” in search engines.
  • Recommendations from other bloggers in your niche.

3. Evaluate the Commission Structure

The commission structure is a critical factor to consider. Look for programs that offer competitive rates that make your efforts worthwhile. Consider:

  • The percentage of commission per sale.
  • Whether the program offers a flat rate per action (e.g., per sign-up).
  • The cookie duration, which affects how long after a click you can earn commissions on sales.

4. Consider the Program’s Reputation and Sureness

Join affiliate programs with a solid reputation for quality and sureness. This not only ensures that you’re promoting good products but also that you’ll be paid on time. You can:

  • Read reviews from other affiliates.
  • Check the program’s history and background.
  • Look for any complaints or issues reported online.

5. Analyze the Support and Resources Offered

A good affiliate program gives you things like ads to use, training on their products, and helpful managers. Having access to these resources can really help you do a better job at promoting their products.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before signing up, thoroughly review the program’s terms and conditions. Pay close attention to:

  • Payment thresholds and methods.
  • Any restrictions on how you can promote their products.
  • The program’s policy on affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

7. Test the Product or Service

If possible, test the product or service before promoting it. This firsthand experience allows you to offer genuine charge and build trust with your audience.

8. Look for Recurring Commission Opportunities

Some affiliate programs pay you again and again for subscriptions or services that charge fees regularly. These can provide a more stable income compared to one-time sales commissions.

Implementing Your Choice

After choosing the best affiliate programs, the next step is to smoothly include your affiliate marketing in your content plan. This includes:

  • Creating valuable content that naturally incorporates affiliate links.
  • Disclosing your affiliate affairs transparently to maintain trust with your audience.
  • Tracking your results to understand what works best for your audience and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Picking the best affiliate programs for your blog involves careful planning, research, and making sure they match what your audience likes and needs. 

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers. 

The real key to doing well with affiliate marketing isn’t just about the products you talk about, but also how much your audience trusts and values your advice. 

With enough time, patience, and hard work, your blog can grow into a successful space that earns a good amount of affiliate money and helps your readers choose the right products.

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Crafting a landing page that converts is both an art and a science



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An Easy to Follow 8 Step Strategy for Creative Problem Solving

A complete process of creative problem-solving encompasses finding problems, developing creative solutions, and implementing your solutions



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