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The Thing About Risks and Why We Love Our Heroes That Take Them

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In light of Kobe Bryant’s death on January 26, 2020 from a helicopter tragedy, I am compelled to write about the risk profile that many of our heroes and industry titans must face and master on the path to success. The question I’m pondering is this: Do all successful people, by nature, become numb to risk-taking? Is a risk-taking tendency almost a prerequisite of success, regardless of industry? Are all successful people inherently delusional, as a prerequisite to pushing the boundaries required to excel in their lines of work?

Actor Will Smith said as much in a YouTube interview:“There’s a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have. You have to believe that something different than what has happened for the last 50 million years of history, you have to believe that something different can happen.”

In Bryant’s case, CNN reported minutes before the crash occurred, the pilot of the doomed helicopter had requested special permission to continue flying despite foggy weather conditions. The last thing heard from the pilot to air traffic control was that he was trying to avoid a cloud layer. It didn’t work.

Why had the pilot requested special visual flight rules clearance—which would allow a pilot to fly during poorer weather conditions than those allowed for normal visual flight rules? We don’t know what happened for sure on that flight, but it’s safe to say that risks were taken with the weather conditions—risks that may not have been taken under different circumstances, or with different passengers on board.

The truth is we will never know and the world is left mourning the loss of nine souls which left us too soon.

The Voice Inside

The journey to success is lonely. Those who have made it have learned to listen to their own inner voice rather than the voices on the sidelines telling them to quit or their goals are too lofty. This is a blessing and a curse, especially when it’s the inner voice that got you to the mountaintop.

It’s easy to think of other successful risk-takers whose stories ended prematurely. A recent example was pro racecar driver Jessi Combs, who was dubbed “the fastest woman on four wheels.” At age 39, Combs died trying to best her own record speed of 398 miles per hour, which she had recorded in 2013. She crashed in Oregon’s Alvord Desert.

Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was known to push the envelope. He had been pushing the envelope his whole life. He tried to do the same thing with his cancer treatment and it didn’t work out. Live Science published a piece that explored, Did Alternative Medicine Kill Steve Jobs

The article notes, Jobs delayed the recommended medical treatment for pancreatic cancer for nine months. He attempted to treat his condition through alternative medicine and eating a special diet. It required surgically removing the tumor.

Not all risk-taking results in the uber-successful losing their life, but other things may be lost by “going all in.” Jim Carrey described “losing himself” while method acting as Andy Kaufman for the film “Man on the Moon.” An article by Josh Rottenberg for the Los Angeles Times described Carrey “plunging himself so deeply into the role that he was never the same again.”

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” – T.S. Eliot

Ripping the Envelope Open

Other successful risk-takers (who are still alive connected to their own identities, and continuing to reap big rewards from their risk-taking) are founder of Virgin Airlines Richard Branson, whose risk-taking exploits Alison Coleman writing for Forbes called “the stuff of legend.” “…as I’ve always said, no one ever reached for the stars from the comfort of their couch!” Branson said in Coleman’s Forbes interview.

A few more examples:

  • Dropbox’s Drew Houston—who was told by Steve Jobs that Apple’s iCloud service would take over the Dropbox market—took a big risk in not selling to Apple. Now Houston’s company is worth $12 billion.
  • Oracle’s Larry Ellison—Oracle wasn’t always the most popular database company in the world. Ellison had to take many risks to propel the once struggling tech firm to domination, once even mortgaging his house to keep the business going via a credit line.
  • Uber’s Travis Kalanick—Uber’s co-founder, who also co-founded the now bankrupt file sharing company Scour Exchange, was accused of copyright infringement. Kalanick didn’t let failure stop him, and overrode funding challenges and many competitors in the ridesharing app space to ultimately become the behemoth.
  • Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann—Silbermann already had an enviable job at Google when he left to form Pinterest. It wasn’t an instant hit, with only 3,000 accounts. Silbermann stuck with it, running the site out of a small apartment for a while. Eventually, the app was launched on iOS and the rest is history. The company is now valued at $12.7 billion.

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

You don’t have to be famous to be a risk-taker to fit this profile. I know that even in my own business, I have practiced “the success delusion.” There have been many times when I have had to convince myself that things are better than they really are in an effort to keep moving forward.

One of the reasons we love our heroes is because they step into the unknown and gamble. We, as mere mortals, marvel at it. I know that it isn’t that these champions are free from fear but that they are not paralyzed by it. Every person on that helicopter on Jan. 26 was a hero and a risk taker. May we celebrate their lives and may their legacy inspire every one of us.

What do you think—are all successful people inherently a little delusional?

My name is Paul Argueta. I have been featured on the Inc 5000 list twice. I own a real estate brokerage and employ over 100 independent contractors as real estate agents. I am a huge sports nut and decided that I would find a way to combine sports with real estate. These days I assist Pro Athletes during their relocation process and even E-Sports gamers. I am happily married with 5 children. Balancing the pursuit of success while being a present husband and father is a challenge and my passion. You can reach me at https://www.facebook.com/talktopaulargueta.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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