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How to Get Ahead While Everyone Else Takes A Holiday Break

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How to Get Ahead While Everyone Else Takes A Holiday Break

There’s a disturbance in the Force. The weather is getting colder. Winter is setting in. The holiday season is soon upon us.

I’ve found that there are primarily two types of people that emerge when the holiday haze hits. Which one are you?

Type #1 is the 99%. They are “The Sheep.”

By December 1st, The Sheep are already “mentally checked” out. They might be here physically, but their minds are roasting chestnuts over an open fire. Dude…it’s December,” they’ll tell you.

The Sheep have plenty of big goals that they’re hoping to accomplish in 2016. (I mean, who doesn’t?) But right now, all that stuff is on the back burner. For them, December means it’s time for champagne at work. Time for gorging on an ungodly amount of pastries, moving up a pants size and snuggling on the couch with “bae” to watch that awesome claymation Rudolph movie. And I get it.

Going on mental cruise control around the holidays doesn’t sound like such a bad idea for most people. I think we can all relate. But inevitably, a sinking feeling begins to develop. Right in your core. It starts very subtly, when you look back at 2015 goals and realize, “Damn…I didn’t really accomplish what I set out to do this year.” “It’s ok,” you tell yourself. “New Year, New Me. Right? I’ll get a fresh start in January.”

So you set new resolutions to get even MORE done in 2016. It feels good to envision yourself following through. Maybe you even write some things down. Deep down inside, though, you know nothing has really changed.

You don’t really have a plan for getting from where you are to where you want to be — and in your heart-of-hearts, as much as it hurts you to admit it, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised if December 2016 left you feeling just as unsatisfied as this year.

So you kinda just bury your expectations in food and embrace the holiday slump. It’s a nice six-ish weeks of self-induced, “I’ll deal with it after New Years” bliss. But on a core level, it’s an agonizing cycle of self-defeat. That’s how 99% of the population spends their holiday season. That’s what happens to sheep. If that’s happened to you, or is happening to you, I’m not criticizing you. I’ve been there too. But there’s another way.

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” – Henry Ford

Type #2 is the 1%. “The Hustlers”

On the outside, Hustlers seem like anomalies whose massive success can’t be explained with logic. They’re like “glitches” in the system. Remember that scene in the Matrix, when Neo walks through the crowd of sober worker bees all dressed in black and spots an elegant blonde in a red cocktail dress? The effect is jarring. These hustlers stand out like a sore thumb.

These are the people who set out to accomplish MASSIVE goals every single year — and not only CRUSH those goals,but surpass them. I know you’ve seen them.

Maybe you’re reading Forbes and catch a glimpse of some young, brilliant entrepreneur in his twenties who’s making billions with an app he developed in his dorm room. Or perhaps it’s the newest junior executive at your job, who despite being with the company for less time than you, has already put herself on track to become a partner (Meanwhile, your boss just rejected your request for a raise. Ouch.)

These seemingly extraordinary people pop up on social media too. How many times have you had to look at friends-of-friends taking selfies from Fiji as you agonize over which formula to use in an Excel spreadsheet? It just doesn’t seem fair. “Who ARE these people…and what are they doing that I’m not?”

It’s easy to look at outstanding people doing incredible work and think of them as outliers. They must be freaks of nature. Not “one of us.” Unusually gifted, uncharacteristically lucky. Probably have rich parents. Born with better facial structure. Ugh. The unfairness would be depressing if it wasn’t so intriguing. HOW ARE THEY DOING IT?    

At the end of the day, you can come up with all sorts of reasons why the “chosen few” should see massive success while you sit on the sidelines, fighting for the scraps with the rest of the population. You can even choose to hate them because of their success. OR you could simply decide to become one of them. But to do that, you’re going to have to STEP UP YOUR GAME.

I’d like to invite you to undertake The 13-Month Year.

“If it is important to you you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.” – Ryan Blair

What is The 13-Month Year?

The 13-Month Year is how true Hustlers get ahead. More than anything, someone living a 13-Month Year says: “Screw the norm. I don’t care that everyone else is taking the holidays off. I’m about to turn the rocket boosters ON.”

While your friends and colleagues are winding down, getting fat and singing carols, you’re grinding through the holidays. You’re starting your year early and you get an entire “bonus” month in 2016 to figure things out without wasting time. You’re working out all the kinks in your plans so that come January 1st, while everyone else is sobering up and crawling back to the office, you’re already well into the groove. THAT’S how winners kill the game.

This isn’t another played out New Year’s Resolution that you’ll sweep under the rug in a few weeks, quietly embarrassed. This is a proven strategy for success.

If you want to get in better shape, maybe you’ll use that extra month to start your workout routine and diet plan early. You’d be appalled how empty the gym is in December. Only Hustlers are gettin’ it in. Perfect. If you want to start a business, maybe that extra month is used to begin testing your ideas early and identify where to focus your efforts so that you already have momentum and clarity going into 2016.

Now here’s the catch: THIS STUFF IS IT NOT EASY. I’m just going to put that out on front street right now. I’m not here to sell you dreams. I’m not a guru. I’m just Daniel. I’m not a millionaire (yet). I’m not perfect. I’m not all-knowing. But I HAVE figured some stuff out that can help you. And the more I hang out with people who are MUCH more successful than me, the more I realize that success is not an accident. It’s not luck.

A big part of getting ahead is the ability to focus while other people are distracted. So I want to help you get focused. Not in January. Right now.

Are you going to start the 13 month year this year? Let me know your plans in the comment section below!

Daniel DiPiazza is the Founder of Rich20Something, where he writes about starting a business you care about, living a happier life, and occasionally, bacon. If you liked this article, be sure to join the Tribe by signing up for his free newsletter.

Success Advice

10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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