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The 10 Worst Habits Holding You Back From Success

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bad habits holding you back from success

The path of success is often littered by our own trash, obstacles that we place ourselves. Habits, by definition are behaviors that are so ingrained that we no longer become conscious of them; actions that turn into autopilot. The power of habit is severely under-recognized as driving force toward success. When the incredible Brian Tracy was asked about the key to success, he replied, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”

While there are many people that possess many successful habits, these habits are being undermined by toxic habits- it is taking one step forward but then two steps back. Breaking the bad habit could be the game-changer that you are desperately needing.

 

 

Here are 10 of the worst habits that are holding you back from success:

 

1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment

How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.

 

2. The approval of others

While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.

 

3. The need to always be perfect

Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.

 

4. Giving too much respect

Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.

How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.

 

5. Germophobia

It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.

Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.

 

6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you

Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.

 

7. Rushing the last look

You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.

 

8. Not being vulnerable

It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.

Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.

 

9. Too stubborn to let go

While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.

 

10. The contentment plateau

There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.

Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.

 

On a final note, Samuel Johnson gives a great warning on the crucial need to break detrimental habits – “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” If you are suffering from any of these 10 toxic habits, then you need to nip it in the bud today.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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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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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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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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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Mary Nguyen

    May 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the article Thai.

  2. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Glad to hear you are encouraged! Keep up the great work!

  3. Thai Nguyen

    Mar 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    You are very welcome Marc! Wishing you all the best in your personal growth my friend.

  4. Gliceria

    Mar 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your great ideas .So true that any action is better than no action ! In my case I will start my work now because I’m already delayed in my time table.I have to double time and rush things effect of bad habit but Im learning thru your positive ideas and motivations

  5. Marc Erick

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Thai. I really got alot from this article and the comments. I just joined addicted 2 success.

    • # I'm addicted to success!

      Nov 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      #I’m addicted to success!!

  6. Adamshone@yahoo.co.uk

    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I appreciate taking work outside of your realm but how do I deal with peers who constantly don’t pull their weight and a manager who watches it happen? It seems good works only reward is more work whilst others cruise along with very little

    • thai1984

      Mar 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Good point Adam. I have found who cruise along with very little and managers who watch it happen ride a very short wave. Successful works flows out of a successful person. When you look at the greatest men in women throughout history- their work ethic is not only unrivalled but indiscriminate, they do what is in front of them and then if they see something that needs to be done- they do it, no racing around trying to find someone else, just get the job done.

      Those who do little, and managers who expect little, will only ever achieve little.

      • Adam shone

        Mar 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks for the reply. I think, when I have a chance to, that it has actually been a great learning tool as I have now vowed to never let it happen with my team. I want to be a role model but also personally challenge myself day in and day out. This desire helps me sleep at night knowing I have done the best job I could have

  7. Naomi@business start ups

    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Thai,

    My biggest demon is #3. The need to always be perfect.

    I’ve always been a natural perfectionist and like when you said these habits turn on auto pilot and are too weak to be felt until to strong to be broken.

    When it comes to my work there is always something I can add, change or tweak. I now practice daily and I’m aware when I slipping into ‘impossibly perfect’ mode. It’s an ongoing process.

    I also really like #6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you. Life is a learning journey, you just never know who will be teaching you that something new today!

    Naomi

    • Jeremy

      Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Very right, Naomi. Sometimes, it’s not even just about what these ‘lesser’ people can teach you. It’s also about the life lessons you can learn from teaching/helping these people, that you would otherwise not get from someone ‘higher’ than you. Life is beautiful that way, huh?

      #3 is one my demons too by the way, heh. In the end when I’m finally ready, it NEVER became perfect anyway.

  8. Frank @WallStCollege

    Feb 27, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I think #1 is really important. There is never a “perfect” timing, you take the time and make it perfect!!

  9. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hi Jared, yeah social media is definitely a double edge sword- it can be so useful and yet so distracting. Great addition to the list!

  10. Thai Nguyen

    Feb 26, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Keep pressing forward Collena! Glad you were able to receive some motivation. Wishing you all the best!

  11. Alison

    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:20 am

    So true, thank you!

    • Thai Nguyen

      Feb 28, 2014 at 6:39 am

      You’re very welcome Alison. All the best!

  12. Jared Damman (@JaredDamman)

    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of #4 and I’ve been making great strides in dealing with #3.But, I want to say “too much time on social media” could be a bad habit these days as well.

  13. Collena Maybee

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I just wanted to say I love this! Where I live, a sad desert in southern California, I constantly need to remind myself of these. So Thank You for giving me some great motivation.

  14. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Great article Jeremy! I must tweet the Chinese proverb 🙂 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

    • Jeremy

      Feb 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      I think you meant Thai Nguyen?

      • Thai N

        Feb 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Haha! As long as it was helpful, I’m not fussed about who gets the credit!

      • Nikola Gjakovski

        Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 am

        I got confused with the first comment since I rushed to go out 😀 Yes I meant Thai good job and sorry for throwing your credit in Jeremy’s hands 🙂

  15. Jeremy

    Feb 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I like #5. Lots of people are always telling themselves “why should I do this? It’s not part of my job scope.”

    I always respect people who get shit throw at them and still do the things outside their responsibility to the best of their ability.

    But then also, sometimes we must question the kind of environment they are in as well. Not saying that justifies anything.

    • Thai N

      Feb 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You are right Jeremy, respect always goes to the person stepping outside their responsibility. “The person that gets ahead is the one that does more than necessary. And keeps doing it.” Not sure who said that but very true.

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Success Advice

Business Networking Is Just Like Dating, Treat It That Way

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business networking
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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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Success Advice

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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Success Advice

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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