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How To *Not* Be A Spineless Leader

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Until recently, I thought I wasn’t a leader. Then a few months ago it all changed.

Consistently I started to get told that I was inspiring people. I was seeing the changes that people were making as a result of the blog posts I putting up on social media. I felt good. I felt like I had a purpose that made a difference.

Then I took the opposite approach: I decided to think about how to not fall into the trap of becoming a spineless leader. I’ve met many of them. They’re like walking zombies except they stand up straight and look like they have a normal spine. They don’t.

Here’s how to *not* be a spineless leader:

 

1. Don’t be a “Yes Man or Yes Woman”

Saying yes because you think others will appreciate you for it is spineless. Real leaders say what they think regardless of whether it’s the popular thing to say. Say what you think. Give honest feedback in a respectful way. It’s possible to do without your ego getting in the way.

 

2. Do the dirty work

Quick story for you all. I met a very senior leader that refused to ever talk to a customer. Their response to the question “Can you talk to a customer?” was, “I just do strategy,”

That’s the best description I can give of a spineless leader. Real leaders want to be in the trenches to understand what their people are going through. Real leaders know the front line better than anyone. It’s this knowledge that helps them steer the team in the right direction and make it out alive.

“Real leaders know that you have to do the dirty work before you can ever become a leader”

Once you get the illustrious title, it’s then your job to never be too precious of doing the dirty work again. At the drop of a hat, you should be prepared to do whatever it takes to help the team reach its goals.

You still get to outsource, but what you don’t get to do is sit in an ivory tower, alone with your strategy documents and hold your head up high. That task is reserved for spineless leaders.

 

3. Avoid trying to be a people pleaser

At least a third of the people you meet are going to think you are an asshole. Deal with it. We all have different tastes and likes. Sometimes all it takes is someone to disagree with the color of your pants for them to think bad things about you.

Getting people to like you, for who you are, flaws and all, is far more important. Real people are insanely rare and they stand out in a good way.

“Kissing ass, on the other hand, is a dirty little habit that spineless leaders use to fill in the void of authenticity that is missing in their life”

Being a people pleaser will only get you so far. Then, all of a sudden, your career progress will halt and you’ll have no idea why. The reason is because you’re acting like a suck and everyone knows it.

 

4. Have direction, combined with determination

Having no idea where you’re heading is spineless. The people that follow you can’t be led by you unless they know where you’re heading. For all they know, you’re leading them off a cliff without even realizing it.

What makes us follow a leader is when we feel that they are determined to achieve an outcome at whatever it costs. The “never die” attitude is persuasive and motivating for anyone listening. None of us want to invest time in a leader who’s lost and could give up at any moment.

 

5. Have courage in spite of all the risks

It’s easy to say to know based on some unforeseen risk. The reality is everything we ever do has risk. It’s not about avoiding risk; it’s about understanding and managing it. That takes real courage to do because you could lose your position as “The Leader.”

That title you’ve worked so hard for could be taken away from you at a moments notice because of a risk you took.

At the other end of the spectrum is to take no risks. This means that nothing ever changes. The outcome of all of this risk avoidance is the following:

– No innovation
– Lack of motivation
– A lowering of team morale
– The risk that you get beaten by the opposition

Spineless leaders are asleep at the wheel because their risk avoidance leads to a lack of progress. We’re either growing or we’re dying. It takes calculated risks to grow.

 

6. Allow others to shine brighter

A spineless leader doesn’t like when someone takes the spotlight away from themselves. A real leader loves when their team does amazing things and likes to celebrate with them. These same leaders like to build others up so eventually they can create more leaders just like them.

“The goal is to breed more authentic leaders, not to be the only leader, therefore becoming a dictator of sorts”

 

7. Intentionally be a leader

Spineless leaders got their role by accident because someone asked them to try it and the title sounded good, got them more money, made them feel good or was the easy option at the time. We’ve all met someone who fell into leadership and has no passion for it.

Real leaders are intentional and have worked their entire life to serve others and make progress towards their cause. The difference between the two is the same as the difference between the person that came sixth in the Olympics at high jump and the person that won gold the last three times for the same event.

Dabbling and being unintentional, when it comes to leadership, is for amateurs. You either want to be a leader or you don’t. If you want to be a leader, then you better show up ready to do what it takes.

Otherwise, leadership will knock you flat on your face and make you a complaining victim who’s angry at the world. I don’t want that for you and neither do you.

 

8. Make a decision

To not make a decision is the biggest problem. Spineless leaders procrastinate on decisions in the hope that the decision is forgotten about or sidelined. Real leaders make a decision in a timely manner and back themselves regardless of the outcome.

 

9. Be focused on your team

The whole meaning of a leader is to be focused on the people they lead. We’ve all met spineless leaders who have the title only to exploit it and use it for vanity metrics. You have to give to your people for them to deliver you the tangible progress towards your mission that you’re seeking from them.

To do that you need to be likable. To be likable, you need to be prepared to give all of yourself and be prepared to get nothing in return. Real leaders have no guarantee of success. Real leaders still take the position because it’s the channel they use to give their experience, knowledge and selflessness to the world.

Leadership is for people who stand for a cause beyond their own. Leadership is for people who believe that they can make the world a better place which in turn gives something back of value to all of us.

You probably think this may not sound like a whole lot of fun. It may appear that way but it’s freaking amazing when you give all of yourself and get to make a difference. It’s the best thing you can ever receive. You’ll only understand this lesson when you become a real leader.

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 millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. json formatter

    Aug 8, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Thank you for these advice!

  2. Emily

    Aug 8, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Great advice! Don’t be a YES man!

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
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I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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Image Credit: Unsplash

I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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business networking
Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic. (more…)

Dominic Cruz is the CruzIN Social Media Marketer, ex-professional hip-hop dancer, a college graduate at SDSU, public speaker, and a published writer. He has a strong passion for social media and for what it has to offer to business owners like you. He was raised in the city of Boston, MA and born in New Orleans, LA. Every day there is something new in the world of social media and there are multiple ways of getting paid using social media. It's the platform that brings you maximum exposure and with more exposure is more opportunity to bring in GUARANTEED revenue. To learn more about his company, visit his site here.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. json formatter

    Aug 8, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Thank you for these advice!

  2. Emily

    Aug 8, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Great advice! Don’t be a YES man!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

Published

on

business networking
Image Credit: Unsplash

Let’s be real, you can all go out and try to find a sale at the next business networking event, but unless you’re a millionaire such as Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuk, what’s the real purpose of going to a business networking event? Business networking events are meant to meet like-minded individuals just like you to build a relationship whether it’s business, friendship, or (call me crazy) even romantic.

So many newbies in the entrepreneur world and seasoned entrepreneurs forget the main purpose of networking events. They just pitch, pitch, and pitch even more without building value. Think of it this way, would you pitch to a romantic interest to sell him or her on you or would you build value to show why you are a great fit for a partnership?

You Have to Be Thirsty

You’ve got to be thirsty and put yourself out there by building value. Now I’m not saying be thirsty for someone, but be thirsty enough to where you start pouring your values onto them. Ask yourself, “why should people want to work with you, let alone get to know you even more?”

As you are letting people know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you see yourself in 10 years, they can slowly begin to see value within you.

What makes it even better is that when you ask the same questions back to them, more value is being built, and they will begin to like you. Think of it this way, although some of us are more thirsty for a romantic interest on the entrepreneur journey, you have to act as if you are just as thirsty for success.

It all starts with building value and getting hydrated. As you are putting yourself out there more, be in the mindset to build value because the end goal should be for people to want to work with you.

You Need to Stay Consistent

You must stay consistent with networking because you’re not always going to find the person that’s going to bring value to your business at some events. If you had met someone of a romantic interest, would you stay consistent in building value with them along with showing them reasons to want to be your partner?

I’d bet that you would stay consistent in building value with them. Networking is just like that! Staying consistent in networking means being committed to the value you can bring someone  for months, if not years. You have to keep putting yourself out if you really want the opportunity.

You don’t know what you don’t know so if you want it, you have to keep putting yourself out there. Like the movie, “Field Of Dreams” says, “ if you build it, they will come.” They will come to you but, if you’re not consistent, you will lose opportunities that you’ve been seeking for a long time.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson

Finding The Right Match

You got thirsty, you stayed consistent, and you found the right match. Finding the right match can lead you to a business coach or a sale for your business. However, the right match can be any group of people helping you on your journey. This is where you must begin delivering more value and create opportunities for success in your business(es).

However, don’t create opportunities just for you, but also help your right match get opportunities as well. You got to put in greatness so you can get the same results back. The power of leverage is real!

When you get the right match, pick their brain and let them pick your brain. It’s not rocket science, but this is the best way to gain success from networking. They go hand in hand and it all starts with how thirsty you are, how consistent you are willing to be, and getting the best match for your business.

Network Like You’re Dating

Remember, it’s just like dating, keep it simple and don’t make it complicated. Don’t get into your feelings because this is just business and you are there to network. Network and find the right match because if you don’t, someone else will. Be thirsty in building value as you would be thirsty for a romantic interest.

“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.” – Lewis Howes

You can’t treat it like a one-time thing and act as if it didn’t serve you because, at the end of the day, it did. If you find someone or something, stay consistent in showing up because after all 80% of success is showing up. Last but not least, get the right match to help grow your business just like someone of a romantic interest helps you grow as a person.

Which one of these pieces of advice resonated most with you? Let us know in the comments below!

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The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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Anthony Maglica
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I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience. Nine times out of 10 (if not more) the answer is going to be no.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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