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Success Advice

The 4 Major Things That Are Keeping You from Greatness

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holding you back from being great

As humans, we naturally have a high level of negative self talk going on that holds us a majority of us back from leaping into a future of success.

But what if that wasn’t the only thing holding us back?

What if there were a handful of other factors that are disabling us from moving closer to our goals?

We are all victims of these disempowering factors and we let them get us down at the best of times.

Today I will outline the 4 major things that are keeping you from greatness, so that you can be aware of them in order to remove them from your course towards success.

 

1. Lack of Vision…

A focused and purpose driven mentality is the defining difference between the successful and the mediocre. Every sane healthy person everywhere is born with the same amount of potential and ability. The only thing that will truly change someones outcome of success is their actions motivated by a focused vision.

If I asked you to walk into a room and find something as common and recognizable as a pencil I have little doubt the task could be completed within seconds. However, what if I asked you to accomplish the same task while closing your eyes. Unless you somehow developed a sixth sense of sonar this seemingly simple job would take several minutes, if not hours of stumbling around blindly and directionless, and it is still very likely that the pencil would remain unfound.

My point is this:

“We tend to get what we focus on, and what we don’t focus on, we don’t even come close to”.

The same principle is painstakingly true with our goals and dreams. We can talk about how we want to be rich, or how we dream of being successful and self-satisfied, however if we do not know what our dreams look like in specific detail, we will never reach our full potential.

It is imperative that you are consistently focusing on your goals, and visualizing what exactly your success should look like. It’s not enough to want to be wealthy, or to wish you were successful, you must set specific measurable goals that you can be constantly visualizing and achieving.

You cannot expect success if you don’t know what success looks like.

 

2. An Average Mentality…

To be average is to be nothing. The opposite of greatness is not failure, the opposite of greatness is mediocrity. To have an average mentality is to resign yourself to a life of unreached potential.

An average mindset is the most destructive type of mentality to have simply because it is fully accepted by our culture and no one will ever challenge you to expand your perspective and break out of that mediocre state ­of ­mind.

You are the only one who can challenge yourself to take on a bigger “think” and explore your full potential. The state of your vision or mentality will determine your level of activity and what you will be able to accomplish.

An average mentality produces an average lifestyle, but a focused goal­ setting mindset renders a self­ fulfilled life of accomplishing goals, and achieving massive success.

 

Think Big Picture Quote
 

3. Waiting till you feel like it…

Let’s get something perfectly clear when it comes to working towards accomplishing goals;

“You will never “always” feel like doing it”.

It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about the work you are doing, there will always be days where you do not feel like doing the labor. However it is crucial to know that if we only did things when we felt like doing them, our goals and aspirations would never become a reality.

The act of being productive can be extremely counterintuitive. It’s common to think that in order to start working toward achieving something you must feel motivated. In reality, the opposite is true.

The distinguished artist Pablo Picasso himself said:

“Inspiration exists, but it must find you working”.

We actually begin to feel motivated about doing something when we begin taking action and gaining some ground toward accomplishing a task. Once action is taken your mind develops a certain amount of commitment toward the goal and we start to feel passionate and motivated which spurs us on even further.

 

4. Listening to criticism…

As soon as you start taking massive action toward your goals and dreams you may receive criticism from the people around you, usually these people are your friends, and even your family.

Remember: it is expected and accepted to be average and ordinary, and as soon as you start taking massive action toward a dream you will stick out as odd, overly passionate, and maybe even obsessive, and the people around you may try to pull you back down to an average state.

Somewhere along the line, people will attack your ideas your dreams, and even you personally. Your reaction to their taunts and discouragement determines your level of success.

You can react to negative criticism in one of two different ways:

1. Retreat and succumb to the pressures of criticism, returning to an average state of being.

2. The less chosen option which is to react in a way that views criticism as proof that you are on the right track.

As crazy as it sounds the more you are criticized for your goals and your efforts toward achieving them, the more you increase your chances for success. It takes someone who is truly willing to move against the world’s way of thinking and what is accepted as normal to create something incredible of themselves.

 

Still not sold? Just look at what history has to say

Thomas Edison’s school professors used to tell him “he was too stupid to learn anything. He then went on to revolutionize the lifestyle of people everywhere, inventing world­ changing devices such as the phonograph, the lightbulb, and the movie camera.

During his early career, Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination, and had no good ideas”. He touched the lives of billions of children everywhere with his creativity and passion.

Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own tech company several times, and still he went on to develop and design some of the most influential technology products of the century.

Every great person was criticized before they were admired.

 

What has been holding you back from achieving your greatness? And what are you going to do about it from now on? I’d love to see your comments in the section below.

Aaron is a 19 year old passionate entrepreneur, consultant, avid speaker, and full-time student. Associated with several organizations geared toward professional development and youth empowerment, Aaron works to grow his own career and inspire others to achieve their full potential. Visit www.aaronhuie.com to learn more and contact Aaron directly.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Bertie

    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    For me, the biggest hurdle is to mantain the vision in the long term. I can begin a project with a very clearly defined picture of what I want it to be, but then there is the need to go through all the weary, tedious tasks needed to achieve the goal. And this is the most dangerous point. You begin to feel tired, bored and drained out of energy, and that clear initial vision begins to fade away, so you end up like lost in the forest. Are there any hints to deal with this state of mind?

    • Aaron Huie

      Sep 7, 2018 at 6:17 am

      Hey bertie, Aaron here. I wrote this article about three years ago. I know what you mean about the vision aspect. The point on doing things even when you don’t feel like it speaks to that issue, however sometimes I will intentionally leave a project for a while when I have become exhausted or overwhelmed or just damn bored. Give it some time and then come back to the project not by approaching the project itself but by revisiting some of the sources of inspiration that pushed you to start the project in the first place.

  2. ankit soni

    Apr 15, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Great

  3. bosede omisore

    Feb 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    what if you are faced with unseen circumstances . forces and all people can do is to pity you . you tried and tried and it seems nothing happened . you keep on stugling and struggling.
    even all the men of God you come in contact with told you that what you need is God special mercy and help. what can you do in such circumstances

  4. DP

    Jan 23, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Defining your vision is key. Without it, you have no direction. Good read!

  5. DP

    Jan 22, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Good read. Letting doubt creep in is a momentum killer. Any time you spend moping and feeling bad about your situation is time not spent focusing on your goal. Forcing yourself to be positive in the face of adversity eventually becomes second nature and your brain starts to subconsciously guide you towards achievement. It focuses your body to work towards your goal, without you even knowing it. Your entire demeanor starts to change and the results start to follow.

    -DP

  6. Robinson Nkumba

    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    iam learning that to achieve something extra ordinary , i have to think outside the common box and am determined. I will achieve greatness no matter what!

  7. Harry

    Jan 19, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I don’t know how it happened , but my mum and dad wanted to throw a lavish birthday party for me . Everything went okay during that time , until the family video was released and I awoke to a cold truth. I had kyphosis and after seeing myself on camera was pretty much disgusted with myself . People at school and college used to call me hunchback and I can’t tell you how much that smashed into pieces . I told my mum please don’t show this to anyone , but instead she shared it with the whole world . I was also as a child played with by a white woman , I’m actually asian , which I think determines my sexuality today . And then with a white teacher who used to place the books on my crotch just to feel me .
    I have only ever had 1 or 2 not long lasting relationships with women , and maybe 2 or 3 potential other partners but I never shared that with them . I became addicted to cannabis for a long time , say 20 years . I have had long periods where I stopped . Now I think I have overcome that addiction , as well as alcohol through myself . I am blessed in some other ways but do get angry sometimes when I think about the past , and sometimes view the world as a white mans playground . I wanted to be one of those Hollywood type actors when I was young . I told Steve at the end of the day we are all products of environment , circumstance , genes and society and even if you become Mr or misses action tomorrow and be successful that theory will always hold true . Im fortunate to have my own house and car through some family work and generosity from my parents .
    All I want to do now is become Mr muscle while I am trying to find the right goals for me , and I want a beautiful wife and also children in the future . The only thing I have to quit now is tobacco . We all need to make smarter choices , but can’t punish ourselves Everytime we get it wrong .

  8. prisca

    Jan 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I so much enjoyed this article. Thanks.

  9. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Thanx Emily.

  10. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    But if we have all the solutions and resources…then there is still a big enemy known as PROCRASTINATION. I think if we want to overcome it we need to think more about the positive outcomes of the impossible task( which is in our mind).

    • Emily Filloramo

      Jan 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Raghav,

      Procrastination is a protective mechanism that keeps us from taking the steps to achieving our greatness.

      This is a part of us that is afraid of success. It’s afraid of success because it is stuck in some memory from the past (from authority figures and the school) that has us believe that it is not safe to be in the spotlight of success. That’s why we procrastinate.

      In order to overcome procrastination, again, as I’ve said in the comments below, the flashlight must shine into the dark corners of our minds and release the burdens and limiting beliefs that were acquired from significant emotional events. This will erase the negative self-talk for good and stop procrastination all together.

      Hope this explanation helps. It’s not you that’s procrastinating, it’s your parts from the past. -Emily

  11. William

    Jan 11, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Great article, but Thomas Edison was a sadistic psychopath who loved torturing animals. I definitely do not admire him. He thought the crying and yelping sounds animals made was no different that a machine squeaking.

  12. Keith Rozairo

    Jan 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Right on Raghav! The more I read these posts and the comments, the more it steels me to achieve.
    Cheers

  13. Elizabeth Anderson

    Jan 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    I am blown away by your wisdom that I will probably create the points in this article as a poster on my wall or (and!) my computer wallpaper. I am overwhelming impressed by your ability and accomplishments at your age. (NOT an ageism statement: I’m just getting out of my way in my early 60s–imagine that) Thank you! I have hope for our future.

  14. Emily Filloramo

    Jan 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Great post Aaron! The ONE thing that so many people lack is the BELIEF in themselves that they can be extraordinary and achieve big.

    The fears are all rooted in the past – the parts of them that are stuck in old memories of shame, rejection and unworthiness. These old significant negative emotional events from childhood run 90% of our subconscious. We can dream big all we want but the “skeletons in the closet” put the brakes on our lives.

    How to fix it? Well… you have to shine the flashlight into the dark corners of your mind and invest in personal growth to unburden and release the negative energies at the source. For some, that means investing in a psychotherapist, for others, the high functioning, psychologically healthy, it means investing in a coach.

    The most powerful modality of healing and getting unstuck from the negative self-talk and inner conflict is the “Internal Family Systems” modality of healing and self-leadership. You will get unstuck for good and your self-esteem will soar permanently, really.

    I have a book coming out in April ’15 (New Chapter Press), that will talk about all of this.

    Book title is “Erase Negative Self-Talk Now! How to Unleash Your Best Self”

    • Richard L Wiseman

      Jan 9, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      You’re absolutely right and I’ll be buying your book. I know that I was programmed by my family life as a child to be negative about myself and I’ve struggled for nearly 50 years, been to therapy etcetera and I’ve made progress, but deep inside I can’t escape the power those everyday criticism and negative remarks have over me. I try to fight hard against making myself fail and yet I just can’t get rid of the negative fibres in the woven fabric of my ‘self’. So I’ll buy your book in April, for sure and I believe you are right.

  15. Venkatesha N

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    1. Fear of rejection
    2. Consists action
    3. Low self image
    4, being comfort zone

    Action
    Work hard
    Get the clear picture and put action to achieve the goals

  16. Mathias

    Jan 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Nice write-up! I think it’s important to start focusing more on these limiting factors, as that is the first step to overcoming them! It’s true that you need to clarify a strong vision and cultivate an extraordinary mentality in order to achieve greatness.

    I think a number 5 could be added though; The fear of responsibility. Being afraid of taking responsibility for your actions, behavior and life is what is keeping so many people from giving up the comfortable conformity of our mediocre society.

  17. madan

    Jan 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Lucky enough to have learnt about addicted2success.com.

  18. Rose Costas

    Jan 8, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Aaron for this encouragement. This is a new year and the perfect time to take a look at ones self and to make that decision to go out and make things happen. I too have lived in the mediocrity area of society for too long and have decided to take it to the next level and that is to be great for the rest of my life. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Arthur Morta

    Jan 8, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Its the dominant thoughts in between your ears that determine the destiny of your Life! Concentrating on the mundane that trip you up in the here and now will derail you from the success of the end goal

  20. RAGHAV KALRA

    Jan 8, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Holding me to achieve my success:
    1 Fear of failure
    2 constant worry about future
    3 fear that i will be noticed and fear of judging by others
    4 and i am not that physically strong, so fear of someone beating me.
    Steps taken by me:
    1 started doing the things which i used to fear like public speaking.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      Jan 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for sharing these with us Raghav 🙂

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Success Advice

How to Overcome Stage Fright in 5 Simple Steps

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Fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia (which literally means fear of the tongue) is the apprehension that one experiences when speaking in public. It’s reported that 1 in every 4 individuals reports some sort of anxiety when presenting ideas in front of an audience. Regardless of one’s personal or professional background, being able to communicate ideas confidently and eloquently is of utmost importance. So, how can you overcome stage fright?

Here are 5 simple steps to help you overcome the fear of speaking publicly or in a group:

1. Success Visualization

A great deal of the fear we experience stems from the negative self-talk that goes on in our minds. Thoughts such as “I don’t think I can do it; I’m going to forget my notes; what makes me think people want to listen to me?” The first step in trying to counter the negative self-talk is through what I call Success Visualization. It’s a well-known scientifically-proven fact that the best way to counter negative mental chatters is with positivity.

Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for at least 15 minutes, create a mental image of the speech being a complete success. See the audience cheering and learning. See the equipment working properly. See yourself sharing your ideas with confidence. After all, no one goes to a speech to see a speaker embarrass themselves. Visualize what you want (success), not what you dread.

2. Purposeful Practice

How many times have you heard this well-intentioned advice: “Practice makes perfect”? You might wonder, “I’ve practiced over and over again, why am I not improving?” We’ve been told to practice, but no one ever told us how. In his bestselling book Peak, Anders Ericsson introduces the concept of purposeful practice that he defines as a focused process toward a well-defined and specific goal.

What we’re all engaged in is called naive practice, which is repeating a particular task and expecting to get better. That kind of practice as it relates to public speaking is highly ineffective. There is a myriad of skills that need to be mastered in order to become an effective public speaker. As such, purposeful practice is the right way to go since it allows you to focus on one skill at a time with timely feedback on what is and what isn’t working. Always practice with a goal in mind!

3. Energy Reversal

Science claims that we experience the same physiological changes whether excited or stressed. Our adrenal glands release epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol which are the flight or fight chemicals. From a physiological perspective, being ready to fight, or afraid, ready to run away, are two sides of the same coin. Henceforth, we can channel that same energy resulting from stage fright to psyche ourselves up for the speech.

Positive affirmations such as “I am excited! I rock”, can help trick your subconscious mind into believing that you’re excited. Our subconscious mind is impersonal. It doesn’t discriminate or rationalize, it accepts as true and brings to us whatever we suggest. Positive powerful autosuggestions sink deep into our subconscious mind, and manifest themselves in the way you feel, think, and act. Never tell yourself not to be afraid! Well, I mean always tell yourself you are excited and ready to rock.

4. Action

No great results are to be obtained without consistent and persistent actions. Many of us attend speeches, workshops, and seminars expecting to get the desired outcomes right away. It doesn’t work that way, it never did, and it never will. The three previous steps mean nothing if you don’t have a structure that you can use to help reach your goal.

Knowledge alone won’t bring any result. Knowledge coupled with deliberate, systematic actions, will. What are you going to do? Are you going to join a local Toastmasters Club? How many times a week are you willing to practice? Do you have a support group? You reading this article is vibrant proof that you’ve had enough of stage fright. So, why not grab a pen and paper, and write your next action?

5. Know your purpose, audience, and materials

Three things must be absolutely clear in your mind before giving a speech: Your purpose, the audience, and your materials. First, on a blank sheet of paper, at the very top; make sure you have this question answered: Why am I doing this? Or in the form of a similar statement: By the end of my speech, the audience will have learned. Without a purpose to give you direction and bring value to your audience, you don’t have a speech.

Next, Who am I talking to? Before getting on stage, basic information about the audience’s age group, cultural background, and level of knowledge is essential. Those insights empower you to appropriately frame your message, so you can engage the audience and get your message across more effectively. Speaking isn’t about you, it’s all about the audience.

Finally, make sure you’ve mastered your materials. Specifically, the introduction, main ideas, and the conclusion. Part of why we are afraid results from doubts of not being fully prepared. Never get in front of an audience without having fully mastered your materials. Complete mastery of your materials will boost your self-confidence which will, in turn, reduce your public speaking apprehension.

I hope these techniques serve you well as they have me and the many others who’ve attended my workshops. Your willingness to try, fail, and improve is what makes magic happens. As you may have realized by now, all you have to do to transform your fear from a foe to a friend is to S-P-E-A-K despite your fears.

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Success Advice

3 Steps to Overcome Your Brain Biases and Become a Better Leader

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If I asked you what time it was, you would likely look at your watch or a clock and read the time out to me. And if I were to ask you where you were, you would likely tell me the exact place, city, or state. If I were to then ask you who you were, you would likely identify yourself by your name, demographics, and perhaps a work description. On the surface, answering these questions correctly would indicate that you were not delirious. But are these answers technically correct?

Biological research indicates that superficial orientation to time, place, or person is actually far from accurate. Rather, leaders might benefit from tending toward a non-dual awareness of the world, or at least offer themselves the opportunity to see the world this way. For time, place, and person, the biological realities differ from what we might initially think.

1. Don’t let the past dictate the future

We are not ever-present in the moment, nor should we be. In the human brain, the past, present, and future are all represented at the same time. Although we consciously organize our experiences using this segmentation of time, each of these networks can intrude upon the other. In fact, what you remember can influence what you can imagine for yourself in the future as well.

As a leader, ensure that you frequently examine your memory for positive reminders and biases, take advantage of your presence circuits by incorporating mindfulness practices into your day, and use your “possibility” circuits to imagine or simulate future scenarios. In fact, in the brain, imagination is a lot like reality.

Using all three components at all times will help you to become aware of biases and could also help you escape traps or an impasse. For instance, when a possible solution for product development is vague, thinking in terms of what you want and then reverse-engineering this process to make what you imagine could be helpful.

Walt Disney saw great success after building Disneyland in Anaheim, California, but outside interests began crowding his theme park. When he decided to build another park in Florida, Disney didn’t let the experience of California dissuade him. He expanded his vision to something greater — a city of tomorrow. He created fake companies to secretly purchase acres upon acres of land near where Interstate 4 intersected with the Florida turnpike so his company could develop the area around the theme park.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

2. Think beyond your reach

We are not where we think we are. The notion of “place” has become increasingly irrelevant in a globalized world. With the increasing interconnectedness of societies, cultures, and economies, leaders need to be careful not to think of themselves too locally. When leaders are global in their thinking, they are likely to elicit more widespread cooperation from international markets.

Ask yourself, “What communities beyond my local community do I want to impact?” and “What communities am I impacting?” When you take this approach, it can help your advertising strategies, for example, become more congruous with specific or global markets. Also, leaders who think globally will be more aware of competition from afar and opportunities for collaboration, too.

Jack Ma can be credited with being a global thinker for founding Alibaba, allowing Chinese consumers to access domestic and international markets that they could not previously access. By moving into e-commerce, online banking, and cloud computing, Alibaba has expanded into India and Southeast Asia. Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform has even enabled farmers in Rwanda to sell coffee in China. This is a perfect example of thinking beyond your reach.

3. Connect the body and mind

We are not what we think we are. We are made up of 50% human and 50% bacterial cells. And water comprises 60% of our body weight. So we are basically bags of water and bacteria — with a dash of human cells thrown in for good measure.

Also, though we might think of ourselves as being separate from other people and things, many people or things you encounter in your life are stored in your brain’s memory centers. Our brain tissue contains images, voices, and other attributes of people and things, too. We are not actually as separate as we think.

Take care of your bacteria, and they will take care of you. Having the right balance of bacteria is of paramount importance to effective functioning because the wrong balance can make you depressed or anxious. Taking a probiotic can help restore this balance. Understanding that you are part human, part bacteria can change the way you take care of your moods by essentially reminding you to take care of your gut.

Mindy Grossman, the CEO of WW International — formerly Weight Watchers — is a good example of someone who understands the mind-body connection. Grossman has led the company’s focus from strictly weight loss to wellness through healthy habits. Part of the transformation includes a partnership with meditation app Headspace to help members maintain a positive mindset.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When you engage in non-dual awareness by recognizing that your brain fuses and connects time, places, and people, your leadership capacities might also be enhanced. As Warren Bennis, founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, suggests, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” And your “self” is more intriguing and mysterious than you might first imagine.

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Success Advice

3 Ways to Optimize Your Life for Success

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Welcome to the 21st Century! The era of the Internet and computers, lack of focus and superficiality. I know it sounds scary, maybe a little more exaggerated, but it’s true. We live in a world of short posts and 3-minute videos. We barely engage in deep learning, deep thinking, and deep focus to produce iPhone-level products or services. So, the majority of us are actually a failure, thousands of miles away from achieving our life goals and business visions. How do we turn things around? We need to optimize our lives.

Here are 3 tried and tested tips that will help optimize your life for success:

1. Upgrade your sleep

When I started my freelance writing career—about seven years ago—I was passionate and excited at the beginning. I’d fill my To-Do list with 6-10 items, worked until 12 am, set my alarm to go off at 3 am, and had my running shoes close to my bed before I went to sleep. However, I barely accomplished anything. I usually became weak and bored before noon.

I noticed that I was putting a huge strain on myself. I was sleep deprived, which is the primary reason why I didn’t have the energy and the drive to accomplish my tasks. Many studies have shown that sleep-deprivation affects productivity.

As soon as I began increasing my sleeping time from 4 hours to 7 hours, my whole life changed. I started producing a lot and earning a lot more than before while also improving my health. With more sleep, I get the emotional energy and willpower I need to read, learn, and optimize my career.

“By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.” – Arianna Huffington

2. Read every day

I get it. You’re in the middle-class struggling to survive. You simply have enough to deal with. Reading? That’s not included on your to-do list. Well, if that’s you, then you’re not alone. The global literacy rates are at an all-time high at 84 percent, which means people don’t read as much anymore.

We already have enough on our plates. In fact, a study by the National Endowment for the Arts has found that the reading culture among American adults has drastically declined. That’s a big issue in our world.

Nothing can prevent you from reading, not even your plate that’s chock-full of other life’s priorities. If you want to produce more and impact the world around you, you’ve got to read more and learn more.

Take a look at the visionaries and business titans in our world. All of them are avid readers and avid learners. Bill Gates is a bibliophile and Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, reveres books. In fact, Knight customized his library to the extent that, before you enter into his library, you have to take off your shoes and bow.

So, what would you do next? Take Roald Dahl’s advice, captured in this beautiful line of the poem: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray / go throw your TV set away / and in its place, you can install / a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

3. Use Pomodoro to time yourself

You can’t go far in life if you can’t stay totally focused on a task. If you want to achieve your goals, you have got to stay laser-focused on a single task before jumping on to another. Why? Because goals are not achieved in one session, they’re achieved in a series of tasks, one after the other.

To install the focus habit in your system; therefore, you need to use a time-management kind of “system” that will keep you firm and attentive on a specific project. Pomodoro is that time-management tool that will help you stay focused.

It’s an excellent app that lets you set a timer for a particular task. You can set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes and stop working when it goes off. I use it all the time, and I can’t imagine my work life without it.

“I know when I stay focused, good things will undoubtedly happen.” – Marc Trestman

Optimizing your life for more power, passion, and productivity is not about working hard late at night or running multiple projects at a time. It’s about maintaining your health and recharging your energy (having a deep, quality sleep), updating your knowledge (by reading every day), and staying focused on a project—until you accomplished it (by using Pomodoro technique to boost your concentration).

Of course, developing these sets of habits is not easy. You’ll fail and get frustrated, but as the productivity guru Robin Sharma beautifully puts it, “all changes are hard at first, messy at the middle, and beautiful at the end.”

Which one of these three ways to optimize your life resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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Success Advice

If You Want Your Business to Grow, You Need to Increase Your Capacity in the Following 4 Areas

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Every entrepreneur must come face to face with the reality that there is only a limited amount of time, money, and people that you can use within your current position. The question is how do we increase or maximize the things that we find limiting?

As we walk through our hectic and often over packed ten, twelve, or fourteen hour work days, one of the questions that we should be asking is “What can I do to get more, to do more?” Instead, we just put our heads down and plow through the ever growing mountain of work. We are limited by capacity.

Webster’s dictionary defines capacity as “the maximum amount that something can contain.” As an entrepreneur, we have to be a little more creative than the average person and find ways to increase our capacity.

Below, we’ll identify the four areas where we need more capacity and ways to get more with less:

1. Time

Every human on this planet is granted twenty-four hours a day. That is it. Your capacity is a total of twenty-four hours. Within that amount of time you must manage several different demands. Our goal is to buy back our time, when we can, and operate at peak performance when we are accomplishing our daily task list.

First, without staying in performance shape, you will lose the ability to stay at optimal performance levels. Our bodies are truly a machine with an amazing capacity, but when it is abused by lack of sleep, improper nutrition, and lack of exercise, you are reducing the capacity at which you are able to work and function. The closer you are to peak performance, the more you are able to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.

Second is our mental condition. Here is what my experience has taught me. If I am mentally rested, I can think and make decisions faster because I can reason more quickly in addition to understanding the circumstances and information at an extremely fast pace. 

When your brain is healthy, it becomes easier to absorb and process information at a lightning fast rate. Taking the time to allow your brain to rest will give it the ability to function at peak performance.

Third is our ability to train and delegate. So often, entrepreneurs are control freaks. No one can do it as good, as fast, or with the same passion as they can. While that may be true in most cases, you are only one person with twenty-four hours in a day. 

You’ve got to delegate and accept people’s help. If you add one person that’s willing to give you eight hours of work a day, you have now bought back hours in your day to focus on activities that will generate more income and grow your business. Why wouldn’t you want to add more hours to your day by delegating out the appropriate task to qualified individuals?

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Money

Money tends to be a sensitive topic. We all have beliefs that were formed through our childhood on the concept of money. With many different views and beliefs on this topic, let’s just focus on the fact that money is a tool that will either help grow the company or a tool that limits a company’s growth.

It is always amazing that the faster a company grows, the greater the challenge of money becomes, and this could potentially cause the company to implode on its own success. How do we then increase the capacity and have more money available to keep the company healthy?

Here are a couple of things to watch out for: 

  • Keep an eye on your budget and get accurate figures. 
  • Look at your Accounts Receivables. If they get too long, they could cause significant cash flow issues. 
  • Find investment opportunities. There are many private investors that are often willing to invest in companies that have true growth with solid foundations. 
  • Look at additional profit generators, products, or services that fit within your current business model. 

Each of these are ways to increase the capacity that money contributes to the growth of your business.

3. Space and Supply

I will never forget exactly where I was standing when I had a manufacture call and tell me they were unable to supply anymore products. They had sold us everything they had, and they weren’t going to have anything available to sell for at least another six months. At that time, we were selling customer printed t-shirts and had tens of thousands of orders that we needed to fulfill within the next thirty days.

Space and Supply are tied closely together. Space is often associated with the production. Do you have a space large enough to meet the demands of the supply? If production can only create 1,000 products a day and buyers need 5,000 a day, there is a conflict. 

A business needs to understand that challenge, and there are only 3 solutions to this problem: The business figures out how to increase production within the current workable hours, adds more workable hours with the equipment and space, or adds more equipment and space to increase production.

Space and supplies are assets that can be used towards the business advantage. Here are a few questions to ask when making decisions based on space and supply. 

  • Evaluate your supply channel. Are they able to maintain a solid supply of your raw product materials to match your growth as a company? 
  • Are there back up supply manufactures that can create a safety net for your raw products? 
  • Evaluate the amount of space you have available along with the time the space is usable. Can you run a second or third shift with the current space and equipment?

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. People

Your employees are likely going to be the most important way to create more capacity. We talked briefly about delegating to qualified individuals to increase capacity around your own personal time. The next phase is to create more capacity by adding additional, trained people. 

You need to create leaders of leaders instead of you being the leader of followers. Don’t miss this because the greatest of all companies focuses on increasing their capacity by training leaders of leaders and not just a loyal following.

Entrepreneurs tend to be a lonely bunch of souls. Too often, we are misunderstood and looked at with slight amount of annoyance. Others just don’t always know how to take someone that is passionately thinking outside the box. 

People skills are a must in order to have more than just yourself work to achieve that dream. As an entrepreneur, develop the social skills to work with individuals that are different than yourself.  

Here is a 3 step plan to have great capacity with people as your allies:

  1. Start by learning how to delegate your own tasks to buy back your time. Identify the tasks that are easiest to delegate and document how you do them. This will give you a specific job description, set achievable goals, and create a daily action plan that is now something that is teachable. 
  2. Use this system and apply it to the other things you are currently doing. I would suggest building out an organization chart and dividing the different tasks you do within the company. Then create a plan that will allow you to hire the right person and move you onto the next area in the organization that you will systematize. 
  3. Finally, create the culture. Culture is like a child, it will grow whether or not you pay attention to it. So be intentional. Learn what it takes to build a culture that attracts the employees that want to be there and grow with the company. 

Each of these four areas has an incredible amount of potential to increase your capacity, and allow your business to grow. Don’t attempt to tackle everything at once. Identify just one area that you will commit to grow within the next three to six months. Take action and implement. 

What is your next step? Share with us below!

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