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How I Work Smarter: The Practical And Really Dumbed Down Strategies.

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Working Smarter. Productivity Hacks

I’m somewhat of a productivity freak. I like having time.

Time allows me to work smarter, and so I protect it like a rare and beautiful diamond. If you want to steal my time, you better be prepared for one hell of a battle. I’d happily give up money before I would ever give up time.

Here’s how I work smart and how you can do the same:

 

I take the stairs.

While everybody is lining up for the lift or going 1 meter every ten minutes on the escalator, I take the stairs. It keeps me fit and I get where I want to go faster. Nothing in life worth achieving is easy so get used to taking the stairs and doing some physical work.

 

I keep it simple (decision fatigue).

Water instead of wine/soft drink/coffee etc.
One big goal at any point in time instead of a to-do list of goals that lead nowhere.
One email address instead of multiple inboxes.
One computer and one phone instead of a Fitbit, laptop, phone, tablet and Apple Watch.

“Vanilla options are easy and low fuss. Decisions fatigue you”

 

I have lunch before midday.

Lunch can be done in 15 minutes. The trick is to buy or make your lunch before the rush. Standing in lines and getting frustrated is unnecessary. Get some time in your day back by doing lunch earlier. I recommend 11:45. With the extra time you gain back, try adding in 10 minutes of meditation.

 

Leave the car at home.

When I go to the city, I leave the car at home. By the time I get into the car, battle against the seven seas that is traffic and then get parking, I could have already been there by train or equivalent. This transit time also becomes my portable learning time. I use this time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks instead of having to think about driving.

 

One day a week in isolation.

Being alone with your thoughts and complete silence, once a week, makes you mega productive. A few moments of quietness are far more valuable than hours of busyness and noise. In complete isolation, you have no choice but to focus and complete your goals.

 

I use tiredness to do housework.

People hate tiredness. I love it. Tiredness tells me to stop working on my goals and do the things we all have to do like housework. I don’t need any energy or inspiration to do housework so why waste my high energy states on it?

Having said that, I aim to eliminate tiredness. This is a work in progress and requires exercise combined with an excellent diet. Until then, housework I love you!

 

Notifications are turned off except for SMS

That word “notifications” feels like grand larceny. Companies used to steal my time through notifications and now I’ve declared war on them. When you’re powering through a task, the last thing you want is an interruption in the form of a notification.

That small amount of time you spend getting distracted takes you out of the zone and away from the focused state you’re in. Go to settings and turn off notifications – especially Facebook.

 

I don’t play computer games.

As a kid, I loved computer games. That’s why I know to stay away from them as an adult because they are designed to get me to fight someone else’s mission. There’s no such thing as a quick game. Games are designed to keep you engaged and continually challenge you.

 

I get up before everybody else.

Yes, sir! I get up when it’s dark so I can do the big stuff first. Before the rest of the world can wake up and distract me, I’m getting my game on in the early hours of the morning. I really think you should wake up early. If you ignored everything else I said and just woke up early, I’d be proud.

 

I tell myself no before saying yes.

Yes has become a first world disease. You can’t work smart if you say yes to every offer that comes your way. That’s why I tell myself no first, and then try to convince myself of yes. If I can’t convince myself, I say no. Auto responding with yes answers will make you busy.

 

Busy is not smart.

If you think you are busy, and you verbally say so regularly, you’re not working smart. Busy is dumb. Busy will cripple your time and make your mindset go into meltdown. Humans can only focus on a small number of things so stop being busy!

Tell people the truth. Say no more. Guard your time. Avoid the trap of busy.

 

I chunk down big tasks.

If I have to give a big speech then in the same week, I move away any other big goals that might distract me. Too many big goals all in a small space of time can become overwhelming quickly. Stick to one or two big goals at a time and you’ll achieve a lot more. Less is more.

 

I own less stuff.

That way I don’t need to worry about maintaining things, securing things, thinking about objects, spending money on things I can’t afford. Sell, sell, sell yourself out of living the dumb life.

“Stuff does not equal progress; personal growth does and money can’t buy that”

 

I invest in dumb stuff.

With almost no knowledge, anyone can invest in index funds and not have to worry about the burden of trying to predict the next biggest thing. In reality, this strategy will probably beat all of the people who waste their lives away trying to be fortune tellers.

All I do is buy low-cost index funds of major economies like the USA. I invest the same amount each time so I’m not affected by the rise and fall of the stock market. Thank you, Tony Robbins and Warren Buffet for this strategy.

I don’t have video streaming.

Time looking at a screen is better spent reading a book. Fictional TV shows are not teaching me about life. Reading biographies, books about life lessons and the latest research in human psychology does that for me. One up on mediocrity and cancel your subscription.

 

Simplify your subscriptions.

Here’s the thing: Subscriptions equal time.

Companies have moved their business models to subscriptions because it helps keep you engaged and addicted to what they have to sell because you’re paying a recurring fee for it. Delete as many subscriptions as you can. I have one for my meditation app, one for the gym and one for my writing software.

 

Delete apps from your reading device.

Okay, so I do use Kindle which means that there is a temptation to look at apps. Delete apps from your reading device so you can actually read.

 

I take summer holidays when everyone returns to the office.

In Australia, everyone goes away in December and January. I take my holidays when they return to work. This means:

– More time in the office when it’s less busy
– Cheaper flights and accommodation during low peak times
– More chances to step up to leader roles while others are away

Everything is just less busy when you holiday off-peak.

 

I avoid junk food during major goal weeks.

This week I have a public speaking competition. I need all the practice I can get which requires energy. That’s why, in big goal weeks like the one I’m in right now, I cut out junk food. Energy equals time. Do a cheat day to celebrate at the end if you must.

 

I split my resources like this.

– Travel
– Necessities like food, clothes and rent
– Money for family and my girlfriend
– Unplanned indulgences (cheat day)

A balanced life requires resources (money). Splitting your money across these four areas allows you to work smart. You only have to work dumb when you waste your resources and therefore have to work ten times harder than you need to. When in doubt, less is more.

 

Stimulants are neglected.

Coffee only makes us get the jitters and be nervous. I find when I’m on coffee I become more fearful. My relaxed state disappears.

 

I do regular breaks.

We’re not machines. I do regular breaks of trampoline, walking, and eating fresh food in-between hours of writing on the weekend.

 

I outsource stuff I’m bad at.

If I do things I’m horrible at, I do them badly. This stops me from working smart and can cause negativity. That’s why I outsource stuff I’m bad at wherever possible.

 

I get enough sleep.

7 hours works for me. You have to sleep otherwise you’ll get tired which will cause negativity and a poor quality of work. This “sleep when you’re dead” tend is a fallacy.

 

I value you my time.

I’ve placed a very high dollar value on my time. Because I consciously value it, I’m always reconciling how much time I have. By valuing your time, you become aware of it. You can’t focus on something you are not aware of.

 

I do phone first, instead of coffee catch-ups.

LinkedIn sends me multiple requests a day for coffee catch ups. Most of them don’t state any valid reason for the catch-up. Now if you just say no to them all you could be missing out on the gift of socializing, learning new things and meeting people you can do business with.

The hack I use is this: Always do the first conversation via phone. That way you can tell if there is value or a need for a coffee catch up.

Second hack: do a video call instead of an audio-only call. Video lets you see the other person and connect better. It’s more personal and you’ll quickly figure out if you need that coffee after all. I personally don’t drink coffee, so these sort of catch ups take me out of rapport with the other person from the start.

 

Happy partner, happy life.

I spend less time arguing because I do stuff that my partner wants to do even if I don’t. She does the same. This way everybody wins and I don’t need to waste time arguing and lighting a fire under my mindset that causes me to want to evacuate to the world of temptation (coffee, Netflix, games, useless crap).

 

I cheat on my phone regularly.

That’s right! I sleep around with any activity that doesn’t involve looking at my phone.

“The small glass window of my phone feels like such a tiny part of what the world has to offer. I choose to look out of the window of life instead and see limitless possibility”

 

I do exercise to boost my mindset.

Being smart is only possible when you have a positive mindset served on the side. Exercise has helped me relieve stress and get back to feeling good again. Do it.

 

I don’t allow people to steal my time.

People will gladly rob you of your time and waste it. They do this primarily because they have their own selfish goals, or they’re bored with life and wasting your time makes them feel better. Prosecute these time thieves’ by telling them your expectations and referencing your calendar if you have to.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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Success Advice

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself?

Here are seven steps you need to follow to create real lasting relationships with influential people who will help you increase your net-influence:

Step 1: Know Yourself

Before you can build a relationship, you need to know who you are and the message you want to put out in the world. The worst thing you can do is to start trying to building relationships without any understanding of how that relationship is in line with your interests, goals and objectives.

Step 2: Know them

In order to connect and build a relationship with anyone, you need to understand who they are. This means going beyond the most common information people know about them and digging deeper into their posts, their conversations, their interviews and identifying what they’re really about.

What are some of their un-commonly known interests? What are some topics they consistently talk about that are important to them? What are some of the challenges they’re facing? The more you know about them, the better you can connect and add value to their lives.

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

Step 3: Show Up

Influencers are often omni-present, meaning that they’re seen and heard on several different channels and venues at the same time. So the more you can show up and add value, the more likely you are to be on their radar. Do some research on the type of content their posting on different social networks, find out which conferences they’re speaking at, listen to interviews and podcasts where they’re being featured on and just show up to support them in whatever they’re doing. Don’t worry, you won’t be considered a stalker if you do this. You’ll be seen as an advocate for their brand and message.

Step 4: Add “Remarkable” Value

Something you hear when discussing building relationships with influencers is the need to “add value”. But an important point that is often missed is that the value you put needs to be “remarkable”. Sometimes it can be as simple as posting engaging comments or questions on one of their social media posts, or as intricate as sending them a care package with something you heard they needed. If you’ve done your homework from Step 2 and know who they are and what makes them tick, then adding value shouldn’t be too difficult.

Step 5: Be human

There is something to be said about people who can act “human” on social media. It’s as if people lose their humanity and become these self-serving, egotistical, monsters who are “too cool for school” putting up a façade of the image they want to give instead of who they actually are. Real relationships come from being authentic, bringing your guard down, letting people in and showing both strengths and weaknesses.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Step 6: Be consistent

Building real relationships takes time. That’s why it’s important not to get discouraged and to remember that influencers have many people asking for their attention. So if building a relationship with them is important to you then you will need to be consistent and put in the time.

Step 7: Find opportunities to collaborate

Once you’ve had a few meaningful interactions with the influencer you’re trying to build a relationship with, now is the time to reach out with a collaboration offer. Remember this is not about you, it’s about them. So you need to focus your offer on helping them. This is your opportunity to take Step 4 to the next level and become someone remarkable in their lives.  

Follow these steps and you’ll start building real relationships with people who will help you increase your “net influence”.

Which step do you think is the most important? Let us know in the comments.

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Success Advice

5 Simple Things We Can All Do to Ensure We Become a Success Story

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success story

There’s something about reading other people’s success stories that warms my heart. It makes me reflect on my life while inspiring me to believe in the possibility of my own dreams, and pursue them with gusto. Some stories make me cry because of the tales of adversity that inspired them. Others, however, amaze me because of some the ingenious and unconventional inspirations behind them. Whatever their nature, most success stories appear to share some common denominators.

The success stories I love the most are those of people I know personally and have witnessed transpire right before my eyes, because they are more relatable and reinforce my belief that success is truly possible for anyone. It isn’t necessarily influenced by our connections or backgrounds and can be achieved at any stage in one’s life – success doesn’t discriminate.

As much as we enjoy hearing other people’s success stories and celebrating those of our loved ones; there comes a point in our lives when we all aspire for the same – when we want to inspire others through our own success stories.

The following are things we can all do to ensure that we become a success story someday:

1. Adopt a mindset of success by letting go of your limiting beliefs

Belief is integral in developing a successful mindset and making anything happen. In order for us to adopt a mindset of success, we must first believe that success is possible for us and that we have what it takes to accomplish whatever it is we desire. We have to let go of any limiting beliefs we possess that make us feel unworthy of or incapable of achieving our goals or dreams. Self-imposed limitations or what others have made us believe about ourselves will tear us apart.

Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great would be wise in telling you they were able to do so because they believed they could. If we want to become a success story, we have to first see and speak of ourselves as capable of and believe that we have the power within ourselves to do anything we set our minds to.

2. Be passionate about what you do

If you want to experience success in your pursuits and someday inspire others through your own success story; you have to be passionate about what you do. Our passions are things we are naturally good at, connect with, enjoy doing and from which we derive fulfillment and purpose. Although we can experience success in different arenas of life, the endeavors which give our life meaning are those that we have a deep connection with and feel passionate about.

Some of the best success stories are often those about people who chose to pursue their passions not because money was their main motivation, but rather because they love what they do and wanted to make a difference in the world by sharing their gifts with others. Often times, people who pursue things they naturally love to do are able to attract both money and success, because it is easier to fully immerse oneself and flourish in things one enjoys.

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs

3. Have a strong ‘Why’

If you read most success stories, you will discover they were inspired by a strong and solid reason. Knowing why you want to accomplish something, what accomplishing it will mean to you, and what kind of impact it will have on your life or that of others’ will play a great role in determining your success or failure. Our desires inspire us, motivate us to take action and keep us from giving up when we want to throw in the towel.

If you want to become a success story, you need to determine your motive for doing whatever you want to do and determine whether it is valid and strong enough. If this is not done, you may not have enough fuel for the long haul and sustain your commitment to your endeavors.

4. Embrace consistency – Be prepared to show up every day

Overnight success is nonexistent. If we want to become success stories, we will have to consistently cultivate our goals and dreams by putting in the time and effort needed to make them reality. Anything worth achieving and sustaining in life requires both constant and consistent effort and attention.

According to Aristotle, consistency is the key to success, and excellence isn’t an act but rather a habit; we are what we repeatedly do. Success is the sum of all the small efforts we consistently repeat day in and day out that are vital to maintaining it. Consistency allows us to form habits, measure our progress, develop routines and creates accountability that ensures follow through on our goals and dreams. Anyone who has ever experienced success in their pursuits was able to do so because they were willing to show up every day and consistently do the things that needed to be done to ensure the manifestation of their desired outcome.

5. Develop a resilient spirit

The journey towards success is wrought with challenges, obstacles, and is often much bumpier than it is smooth – those that win the race are those that manage to find their way to the finish line. Most success stories contain elements of overcoming adversities and setbacks; some of our most valued dreams will require our blood, sweat and tears to accomplish.

If you wish to share your success story someday, you have to be prepared to develop thick-skin and learn how to appropriately deal with and overcome defeat. You have to learn how to rise up after each stumble and live to fight another day until you achieve victory.

“I think there are things that we can all do to build resilience in ourselves, but also to build resilience in each other.” – Sheryl Sandberg

As you can see based on the above, success isn’t elusive or even exclusive – it is possible for every one of us as long as we are willing to do our part in ensuring the fruition of our desires. Determine why you want what you want, believe that its manifestation is possible for you, consistently take action towards your goals and dreams, be passionate about your endeavors and maintain a resilient spirit when you encounter challenges and obstacles. Trust in the process and in no time, you too will be your own success story.

What are you doing today to ensure success in the future? Let us know your story below!

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Success Advice

Tony Robbins Top 10 MUST Read Books to Expand Your Mind

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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tony robbins must read books

Tony Robbins is arguably one of the top Speakers and Life Strategists of this decade and has worked with some of the world’s top leaders and high level entrepreneurs to optimize their life and business performance. Tony spends a lot of time in between his sold out events and Fortune 500 meetings reading the best content he can get his hands on to feed his mind with the most profound knowledge and strategies so he can become a person of value.

Tony Robbins often says that reading a book is like compiling decades into days. Why not extract the lessons and experiences of others and dump them into your mind from the great reads that are available out there for you.

Here are 10 books that Tony Robbins recommends! Watch the video below:


Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss


Four-time #1 best-selling author Tim Ferriss tracks down more than 100 eclectic experts to help him, and you, navigate life. Through short, action-packed profiles, he shares their secrets for success, happiness, meaning, and more. No matter the challenge or opportunity, something in these pages can help.

 

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.

At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

 

Principles by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

 

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life.

 

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Simon Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

 

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Widely considered the greatest self-help book of all-time, As a Man Thinketh reveals how our thoughts determine our character, circumstances, health, appearance, and achievements. The choice is ours: either master our thoughts to create the life we want, or remain mired in frustration and failure.

 

The TB12 Method by Tom Brady: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance

After using his methods for over a decade, Brady believes that the TB12 approach has made him—and can make any athlete, male or female, in any sport and at any level—achieve their own peak performance. With instructions, drills, photos, in-depth case studies that Brady himself has used, as well as personal anecdotes and experiences from on and off the field, The TB12 Method is the only book an athlete will ever need, a playbook from Brady himself that will change the game.

 

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition

A trusted advisor to America’s top corporations and recognized as one of today’s preeminent marketing experts, Jay Abraham has created a program of proven strategies to help you realize undreamed-of success!

This book focuses on helping you spot the hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped resources around you, and gives you, and gives you fresh eyes with which to see and capitalize on them. You’ll also learn how to adapt and apply these tools to your unique circumstances to maximize your income, influence, power, and success.

 

Emerson: Essays and Lectures

Tony Robbins says he was hugely inspired by Emerson’s essays on the subject when he was beginning his career as a coach. Tony said “Self-reliance is a theme all human beings, especially those living in the Western world, have to fully understand if they’re going to do well in a world that’s changing constantly”.

 

Linchpin by Seth Godin: Are You Indispensable?

Few authors have had the kind of lasting impact and global reach that Seth Godin has had. In a series of now-classic books that have been translated into 36 languages and reached millions of readers around the world, he has taught generations of readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. In Linchpin, he turns his attention to the individual, and explains how anyone can make a significant impact within their organization.

 

Here is the podcast interview I did with Tony Robbins. Tony absolutely rocked it and I’m sure you will enjoy this audio.

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Success Advice

How to Cause Positive Change in Your Life and Business

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Whether change is good or bad, it can be scary, and that’s ok. The thing we need to be able to do is conquer that fear and keeping moving to make positive changes in our lives. To reach massive success, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. So let’s start each day off right, do good for others, feel good about ourselves, and do our best in what we do.

Do good for others

I firmly believe that everyone should donate what they can to help others in the world. That doesn’t always have to be money, it can be time, clothing, a meal, or even a warm blanket. You will never know how something as small as that can change someone’s life. Whether you believe in karma, luck, or fate, there is an undeniable theme in the world of what goes around comes around.

Have you ever made fun of someone, then instantly tripped, or broke something? How about giving money to someone who needed it, then found more later on? Have you ever just volunteered, and felt good about yourself for being involved? Doing good for your friends, family, or community has so many rewards in itself, it is hard to deny its positive impact in your life.

Now I’m not saying get out there and help people because you’ll get stuff. There is a good chance you won’t actually receive any tangible items just from helping others. However, doing good in your neighborhood, community, or even on a larger scale can help drastically improve self image, the way others look at you, and can even help you meet like-minded people.

Being passionate about helping others isn’t always something everyone is born with but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something you are passionate about and use it to help others.

Staying positive can be hard but it’s what’s required

It can be hard to feel good about your choices, what is going on in your life, or even just yourself daily. Nonetheless, keeping yourself positive can open a world you never thought possible. When you feel low and down, it is incredibly hard to believe you can get anything done, especially the big stuff that your business needs to thrive.

“Dwell on the beauty in life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius

How are you going to do great things if you only see the bad in life? Once you start to see all the beauty that the world offers, it will be much easier to dream big, and hope for more. Even if you think that the world is a beautiful place, it can be a struggle thinking that you are good enough. Making sure you are in a good headspace, and are happy with yourself is important to your mental and physical health.

Starting the morning with movement, meditation, affirmations, whatever makes you feel good, can help you believe in yourself a little more each day. Additionally, surrounding yourself with people and things that make you feel good is a great place to start. Don’t let people in your life who cause you to much stress or keep you thinking about all the negative things in your life. Likewise, don’t be that person to others, help lift others up, and it will be easier for others to help lift you up.

Stay educated and keep learning

There is no secret that you need to be good at what you do if you want customers, but how do we get better? Now, this is a heavily guarded secret that i’m going to share with you today. YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AT WHAT YOU DO, AND YOU NEVER WILL BE. Ok maybe not really a secret, but it got your attention right?

So you aren’t the best, and you make mistakes, so what? You can always be better, and you can better yourself through education. You may say, “but Stephen I don’t want to go back to school.” Well luckily I don’t remember saying you should. There are endless resources for you to learn about your field, and the fields surrounding yours. Look for podcasts, lectures, forums, and meetups to be around people who will help you grow.  

Seriously, the possibilities for learning are endless. Each time you listen to someone else’s opinion, you have the chance of hearing a point of view you’ve never heard before, or learning a new technique or new way of approaching something.

Remembering that you can never be to good at what you do is important, even if you are a master at it, you can still learn. If you are at the point in your career where you can’t find any resources to learn, then start teaching. When you teach what you know, it helps create a different understanding of the knowledge. A lot of times, people will ask questions you never thought of or weren’t relevant when you were learning. To be good at what you do, you have to know everything you can about it.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

If each day we strive for better in every aspect of our lives, we will ultimately find ourselves constantly moving towards massive success. It may be hard each day to continue, and although some days we will do better, it is important to stick to it and always remember tomorrow is a new day.

How are you making sure you are moving your life in the direction you desire? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself? (more…)

I’m Sina Fak. I believe the greatest businesses in the world are creating something more than just a product or service. My mission is to understand the motivations behind human decision and work with people and organizations who are out to make the world a better place.  You can learn more about me on my website and connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

7 Steps to Building Real Relationships With Influencers

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building relationships with influencers

They say your net worth is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. This is also true for your level of influence, where your “net influence” is equivalent to the five closest people in your network. So how do you build a network of influential people and start becoming an influencer yourself?

Here are seven steps you need to follow to create real lasting relationships with influential people who will help you increase your net-influence:

Step 1: Know Yourself

Before you can build a relationship, you need to know who you are and the message you want to put out in the world. The worst thing you can do is to start trying to building relationships without any understanding of how that relationship is in line with your interests, goals and objectives.

Step 2: Know them

In order to connect and build a relationship with anyone, you need to understand who they are. This means going beyond the most common information people know about them and digging deeper into their posts, their conversations, their interviews and identifying what they’re really about.

What are some of their un-commonly known interests? What are some topics they consistently talk about that are important to them? What are some of the challenges they’re facing? The more you know about them, the better you can connect and add value to their lives.

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

Step 3: Show Up

Influencers are often omni-present, meaning that they’re seen and heard on several different channels and venues at the same time. So the more you can show up and add value, the more likely you are to be on their radar. Do some research on the type of content their posting on different social networks, find out which conferences they’re speaking at, listen to interviews and podcasts where they’re being featured on and just show up to support them in whatever they’re doing. Don’t worry, you won’t be considered a stalker if you do this. You’ll be seen as an advocate for their brand and message.

Step 4: Add “Remarkable” Value

Something you hear when discussing building relationships with influencers is the need to “add value”. But an important point that is often missed is that the value you put needs to be “remarkable”. Sometimes it can be as simple as posting engaging comments or questions on one of their social media posts, or as intricate as sending them a care package with something you heard they needed. If you’ve done your homework from Step 2 and know who they are and what makes them tick, then adding value shouldn’t be too difficult.

Step 5: Be human

There is something to be said about people who can act “human” on social media. It’s as if people lose their humanity and become these self-serving, egotistical, monsters who are “too cool for school” putting up a façade of the image they want to give instead of who they actually are. Real relationships come from being authentic, bringing your guard down, letting people in and showing both strengths and weaknesses.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Step 6: Be consistent

Building real relationships takes time. That’s why it’s important not to get discouraged and to remember that influencers have many people asking for their attention. So if building a relationship with them is important to you then you will need to be consistent and put in the time.

Step 7: Find opportunities to collaborate

Once you’ve had a few meaningful interactions with the influencer you’re trying to build a relationship with, now is the time to reach out with a collaboration offer. Remember this is not about you, it’s about them. So you need to focus your offer on helping them. This is your opportunity to take Step 4 to the next level and become someone remarkable in their lives.  

Follow these steps and you’ll start building real relationships with people who will help you increase your “net influence”.

Which step do you think is the most important? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Simple Things We Can All Do to Ensure We Become a Success Story

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There’s something about reading other people’s success stories that warms my heart. It makes me reflect on my life while inspiring me to believe in the possibility of my own dreams, and pursue them with gusto. Some stories make me cry because of the tales of adversity that inspired them. Others, however, amaze me because of some the ingenious and unconventional inspirations behind them. Whatever their nature, most success stories appear to share some common denominators.

The success stories I love the most are those of people I know personally and have witnessed transpire right before my eyes, because they are more relatable and reinforce my belief that success is truly possible for anyone. It isn’t necessarily influenced by our connections or backgrounds and can be achieved at any stage in one’s life – success doesn’t discriminate.

As much as we enjoy hearing other people’s success stories and celebrating those of our loved ones; there comes a point in our lives when we all aspire for the same – when we want to inspire others through our own success stories.

The following are things we can all do to ensure that we become a success story someday:

1. Adopt a mindset of success by letting go of your limiting beliefs

Belief is integral in developing a successful mindset and making anything happen. In order for us to adopt a mindset of success, we must first believe that success is possible for us and that we have what it takes to accomplish whatever it is we desire. We have to let go of any limiting beliefs we possess that make us feel unworthy of or incapable of achieving our goals or dreams. Self-imposed limitations or what others have made us believe about ourselves will tear us apart.

Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great would be wise in telling you they were able to do so because they believed they could. If we want to become a success story, we have to first see and speak of ourselves as capable of and believe that we have the power within ourselves to do anything we set our minds to.

2. Be passionate about what you do

If you want to experience success in your pursuits and someday inspire others through your own success story; you have to be passionate about what you do. Our passions are things we are naturally good at, connect with, enjoy doing and from which we derive fulfillment and purpose. Although we can experience success in different arenas of life, the endeavors which give our life meaning are those that we have a deep connection with and feel passionate about.

Some of the best success stories are often those about people who chose to pursue their passions not because money was their main motivation, but rather because they love what they do and wanted to make a difference in the world by sharing their gifts with others. Often times, people who pursue things they naturally love to do are able to attract both money and success, because it is easier to fully immerse oneself and flourish in things one enjoys.

“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” – Steve Jobs

3. Have a strong ‘Why’

If you read most success stories, you will discover they were inspired by a strong and solid reason. Knowing why you want to accomplish something, what accomplishing it will mean to you, and what kind of impact it will have on your life or that of others’ will play a great role in determining your success or failure. Our desires inspire us, motivate us to take action and keep us from giving up when we want to throw in the towel.

If you want to become a success story, you need to determine your motive for doing whatever you want to do and determine whether it is valid and strong enough. If this is not done, you may not have enough fuel for the long haul and sustain your commitment to your endeavors.

4. Embrace consistency – Be prepared to show up every day

Overnight success is nonexistent. If we want to become success stories, we will have to consistently cultivate our goals and dreams by putting in the time and effort needed to make them reality. Anything worth achieving and sustaining in life requires both constant and consistent effort and attention.

According to Aristotle, consistency is the key to success, and excellence isn’t an act but rather a habit; we are what we repeatedly do. Success is the sum of all the small efforts we consistently repeat day in and day out that are vital to maintaining it. Consistency allows us to form habits, measure our progress, develop routines and creates accountability that ensures follow through on our goals and dreams. Anyone who has ever experienced success in their pursuits was able to do so because they were willing to show up every day and consistently do the things that needed to be done to ensure the manifestation of their desired outcome.

5. Develop a resilient spirit

The journey towards success is wrought with challenges, obstacles, and is often much bumpier than it is smooth – those that win the race are those that manage to find their way to the finish line. Most success stories contain elements of overcoming adversities and setbacks; some of our most valued dreams will require our blood, sweat and tears to accomplish.

If you wish to share your success story someday, you have to be prepared to develop thick-skin and learn how to appropriately deal with and overcome defeat. You have to learn how to rise up after each stumble and live to fight another day until you achieve victory.

“I think there are things that we can all do to build resilience in ourselves, but also to build resilience in each other.” – Sheryl Sandberg

As you can see based on the above, success isn’t elusive or even exclusive – it is possible for every one of us as long as we are willing to do our part in ensuring the fruition of our desires. Determine why you want what you want, believe that its manifestation is possible for you, consistently take action towards your goals and dreams, be passionate about your endeavors and maintain a resilient spirit when you encounter challenges and obstacles. Trust in the process and in no time, you too will be your own success story.

What are you doing today to ensure success in the future? Let us know your story below!

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Tony Robbins Top 10 MUST Read Books to Expand Your Mind

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Tony Robbins is arguably one of the top Speakers and Life Strategists of this decade and has worked with some of the world’s top leaders and high level entrepreneurs to optimize their life and business performance. Tony spends a lot of time in between his sold out events and Fortune 500 meetings reading the best content he can get his hands on to feed his mind with the most profound knowledge and strategies so he can become a person of value.

Tony Robbins often says that reading a book is like compiling decades into days. Why not extract the lessons and experiences of others and dump them into your mind from the great reads that are available out there for you.

Here are 10 books that Tony Robbins recommends! Watch the video below:


Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss


Four-time #1 best-selling author Tim Ferriss tracks down more than 100 eclectic experts to help him, and you, navigate life. Through short, action-packed profiles, he shares their secrets for success, happiness, meaning, and more. No matter the challenge or opportunity, something in these pages can help.

 

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.

At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

 

Principles by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

 

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life.

 

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Simon Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

 

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Widely considered the greatest self-help book of all-time, As a Man Thinketh reveals how our thoughts determine our character, circumstances, health, appearance, and achievements. The choice is ours: either master our thoughts to create the life we want, or remain mired in frustration and failure.

 

The TB12 Method by Tom Brady: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance

After using his methods for over a decade, Brady believes that the TB12 approach has made him—and can make any athlete, male or female, in any sport and at any level—achieve their own peak performance. With instructions, drills, photos, in-depth case studies that Brady himself has used, as well as personal anecdotes and experiences from on and off the field, The TB12 Method is the only book an athlete will ever need, a playbook from Brady himself that will change the game.

 

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition

A trusted advisor to America’s top corporations and recognized as one of today’s preeminent marketing experts, Jay Abraham has created a program of proven strategies to help you realize undreamed-of success!

This book focuses on helping you spot the hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped resources around you, and gives you, and gives you fresh eyes with which to see and capitalize on them. You’ll also learn how to adapt and apply these tools to your unique circumstances to maximize your income, influence, power, and success.

 

Emerson: Essays and Lectures

Tony Robbins says he was hugely inspired by Emerson’s essays on the subject when he was beginning his career as a coach. Tony said “Self-reliance is a theme all human beings, especially those living in the Western world, have to fully understand if they’re going to do well in a world that’s changing constantly”.

 

Linchpin by Seth Godin: Are You Indispensable?

Few authors have had the kind of lasting impact and global reach that Seth Godin has had. In a series of now-classic books that have been translated into 36 languages and reached millions of readers around the world, he has taught generations of readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. In Linchpin, he turns his attention to the individual, and explains how anyone can make a significant impact within their organization.

 

Here is the podcast interview I did with Tony Robbins. Tony absolutely rocked it and I’m sure you will enjoy this audio.

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How to Cause Positive Change in Your Life and Business

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Whether change is good or bad, it can be scary, and that’s ok. The thing we need to be able to do is conquer that fear and keeping moving to make positive changes in our lives. To reach massive success, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. So let’s start each day off right, do good for others, feel good about ourselves, and do our best in what we do.

Do good for others

I firmly believe that everyone should donate what they can to help others in the world. That doesn’t always have to be money, it can be time, clothing, a meal, or even a warm blanket. You will never know how something as small as that can change someone’s life. Whether you believe in karma, luck, or fate, there is an undeniable theme in the world of what goes around comes around.

Have you ever made fun of someone, then instantly tripped, or broke something? How about giving money to someone who needed it, then found more later on? Have you ever just volunteered, and felt good about yourself for being involved? Doing good for your friends, family, or community has so many rewards in itself, it is hard to deny its positive impact in your life.

Now I’m not saying get out there and help people because you’ll get stuff. There is a good chance you won’t actually receive any tangible items just from helping others. However, doing good in your neighborhood, community, or even on a larger scale can help drastically improve self image, the way others look at you, and can even help you meet like-minded people.

Being passionate about helping others isn’t always something everyone is born with but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something you are passionate about and use it to help others.

Staying positive can be hard but it’s what’s required

It can be hard to feel good about your choices, what is going on in your life, or even just yourself daily. Nonetheless, keeping yourself positive can open a world you never thought possible. When you feel low and down, it is incredibly hard to believe you can get anything done, especially the big stuff that your business needs to thrive.

“Dwell on the beauty in life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius

How are you going to do great things if you only see the bad in life? Once you start to see all the beauty that the world offers, it will be much easier to dream big, and hope for more. Even if you think that the world is a beautiful place, it can be a struggle thinking that you are good enough. Making sure you are in a good headspace, and are happy with yourself is important to your mental and physical health.

Starting the morning with movement, meditation, affirmations, whatever makes you feel good, can help you believe in yourself a little more each day. Additionally, surrounding yourself with people and things that make you feel good is a great place to start. Don’t let people in your life who cause you to much stress or keep you thinking about all the negative things in your life. Likewise, don’t be that person to others, help lift others up, and it will be easier for others to help lift you up.

Stay educated and keep learning

There is no secret that you need to be good at what you do if you want customers, but how do we get better? Now, this is a heavily guarded secret that i’m going to share with you today. YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AT WHAT YOU DO, AND YOU NEVER WILL BE. Ok maybe not really a secret, but it got your attention right?

So you aren’t the best, and you make mistakes, so what? You can always be better, and you can better yourself through education. You may say, “but Stephen I don’t want to go back to school.” Well luckily I don’t remember saying you should. There are endless resources for you to learn about your field, and the fields surrounding yours. Look for podcasts, lectures, forums, and meetups to be around people who will help you grow.  

Seriously, the possibilities for learning are endless. Each time you listen to someone else’s opinion, you have the chance of hearing a point of view you’ve never heard before, or learning a new technique or new way of approaching something.

Remembering that you can never be to good at what you do is important, even if you are a master at it, you can still learn. If you are at the point in your career where you can’t find any resources to learn, then start teaching. When you teach what you know, it helps create a different understanding of the knowledge. A lot of times, people will ask questions you never thought of or weren’t relevant when you were learning. To be good at what you do, you have to know everything you can about it.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

If each day we strive for better in every aspect of our lives, we will ultimately find ourselves constantly moving towards massive success. It may be hard each day to continue, and although some days we will do better, it is important to stick to it and always remember tomorrow is a new day.

How are you making sure you are moving your life in the direction you desire? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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