Take a step back and think about a time you had a job or a job you have right now. Have you ever thought about what having that job has taught you? I went through this exercise recently, and I want to share with you my findings.
I have always had some part of my life dedicated to a pursuit of entrepreneurship, and that will never change, but having a job taught me lessons that I thought, based on what I had read, would never be valuable in any way.
In the short time I have had a job, these are the 15 lessons having a career has taught me about success:
1. You’re always an entrepreneur even if you don’t realise it
Starting work, I always believed that my entrepreneurship skills would be forgotten about. Then, as time went on I realised that no matter whether you have your own business, or you work in a business in any role, you’re an entrepreneur.
Why is this? Because when you work a job you are in charge of some small part of a business. This small part of the business is required to make money and function with a team of people. This is the same thing you have to do as an entrepreneur.
It’s so dumb yet so simple; you’re an entrepreneur whether you like it or not so get used to it, understand it, and embrace it! Once you accept you’re an entrepreneur, and you treat your job like an entrepreneur would, you start to have more success than you could ever expect.
2. Making money is dead easy
Whether you have a job or a business it doesn’t matter; making money is easy. In a job, you either wow customers, or you wow stakeholders, or you wow somebody somewhere. When you spend the majority of your day wowing people with your unique business skills, this become infectious.
This simple work trait makes everyone want to hire you and pay you more and more money. Why? Because the more people you wow, the more money the business makes. The more money the business makes, the more the business wants to pay you as a percentage of that money you created.
All areas of a business make money no matter what not just a sales division. Don’t focus on making the money, focus on wowing everyone you work with through finding your unique way to create value.
Create more value than anyone else with your unique ability and you will become more successful than you could ever hope. That’s how easy it can be to make money, and I have certainly witnessed this myself.
3. Stay away from office politics
A universal lesson of any job or business environment is stay away from office politics. When people are hating on someone or just hating in general, then get the hell away. Leave the office through an emergency exit if you have to, just evacuate out of there no matter what.
Office politics is meaningless, and it will suck your time and your ability to wow people away. Wowing people takes time, and you don’t have time to get lost with the negative bystanders that claim to have all the answers, yet have never achieved any of their own success.
Spend time learning about what you can improve on rather than finding the faults of the people you work with or the company. Nothing in a business will be perfect, and that’s what is so great about it.
“It’s easy to be critical of others, but it’s super hard to be critical of yourself” – Tim Denning
4. The positive one’s become leaders
I’ve seen many people in companies rise through the ranks, and there is one thing they all have in common; their incredibly positive people. No matter how tough the business environment gets they just keep finding ways to add value.
Think about it, if you were part of a team that had a leader that was going to tell you that your business would fail, would you want to work for them? Of course not. Positive thoughts and positive actions are what allow everyday people to rise up and become leaders in business.
If you struggle with behaving this way, then start hanging around more of these leaders. Take them to lunch, join their team, or do something for them without being asked.
5. Your network equals your net worth
Every good job, in every awesome company that I have ever seen, is filled through the influence of a network. No one will hire you without checking up on you and seeing who you know. The better the quality of people in your network are, the more likely you are someone worth employing.
The best job always gets filled not through job advertisements, but through people’s network. I have been hired for one low paying job through an advertisement, and every other opportunity for work has come from someone in my network.
Life becomes so much easier when opportunities find you rather than depending on job ad’s to find your life’s work. As your network gets stronger, so does your net worth (both emotionally and financially).
6. Be contactable and reliable
Having a job has taught me that you need to be contactable and reliable to be successful. Let me explain though what I mean. Being contactable means that your contact details have to be in a place where they can be easily found.
For me, my LinkedIn and Twitter both have my email address so that there is a way to talk with me directly. It seems obvious but when people want to engage an offer you opportunities they have to be able to get to you.
There is one pitfall of this advice, though; you will get lots of emails and phone calls. That’s okay though because you can decide what you respond too. I don’t answer 50% of phone calls and 80% of my emails are never read except for the email address and the subject line.
Once you take up an opportunity in the world of work the hard yards begin. What I’ve learned is that you just have to be reliable. You have to be the guy that people can count on. This becomes possible when you prioritise and only focus on work related tasks that add value and are linked to your passion.
By being focused and being reliable, even without the skills for the job, you become highly sort after, and ultimately, very successful. This success becomes noticeable when you get to dictate the terms of your work.
7. Bring your hobby to work with you
Until recently, I didn’t quite understand that you could bring your hobby into your work environment. The way I did this was to spend time during work at a location that is in the same room as a team of social media analysts.
I don’t work in social media as part of my daily work, but I now sit next to them once a fortnight and work with them. By doing this, I can have the best of both worlds and become even more passionate about my work. This passion then creates success in my life, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
At the same time, I have also begun teaching my work colleagues how to start blogging about their work and sharing ideas with the world. It’s not part of my role, but I have included it because it helps to create value. This value then wows customers and internal stakeholders and so everybody wins.
When everybody wins, then you win. So, in your workplace, how can you bring your hobbies to work?
8. Say hello to people
In big organisations, there are lots of people. It’s so easy to be around people you don’t know. From now on, when you’re in a situation like this I want you to say hello and ask at least one question. You will be amazed by the people you meet.
An excellent example of this is a guy I know who was working in technology and met a recruiter on a train ride. After saying hello and striking up a conversation, this lead to him becoming the CTO of a very large and successful organisation. All of that came from saying hello!
9. Become everyone’s mentor
Start thinking of yourself as everyone’s mentor. Whenever anyone asks you anything respond from a place of wisdom and see yourself as their mentor. Answer their questions in such a way that a mentor with years of experience would. Be vulnerable in your response and share a personal story.
Answer in a way that a mentor would by caring about the other person and genuinely wanting to help them (even if you can’t). What having a job has taught me is that successful people in business act like mentors and it’s not hard for you to do the same.
10. Share all of your knowledge
The corporate world can be full of mysteries. The secret to your success is to share all of your knowledge about the hidden tips that your colleagues don’t know. Tell people how you achieved a goal or how you made so many sales.
The knowledge you have can be obtained from other people or the Internet so just share what you know and don’t look back. There is nothing in business that I am not willing to share. I believe, from what I’ve seen, this is what can make you successful.
11. Nice guys finish first
Cranky, rude, hard asses in business don’t get anywhere. Yes, they may seem successful because they don’t take anything from anyone, but at the same time, they don’t give anything valuable to anyone either.
One thing I have noticed in business is that the nice guys always finish first. In the short term it may seem like they lose, but in the long-term, they outperform and overachieve more than anyone else. Everyone wants to deal with nice, friendly, caring people. No one wants to deal with a knob!
12. Be assertive
Business involves lots of negotiation no matter what your role is. If you don’t have a level of assertiveness (which comes from being on purpose) people will walk all over you like a doormat.
Assertiveness in business comes from a sense of urgency that there is something you must achieve. This attitude creates assertiveness because you become unwavering in your mission, and you have the skills to create value.
When you know you have significant value within your part of a business, and it’s time to negotiate, you have to be assertive without being rude, around what your terms are and how much you perceive this value to be worth.
“Success at work is largely dependant on what you’re willing to settle for” – Tim Denning
13. Create a WOW for a small group of customers
All of my success at work has come from some form of focus. Rather than trying to spread yourself across a thin layer of customers, to be successful, you must find a small group of them and then wow them no matter what.
Understand what these customers’ expectations are and then deliver more than they bargained for. If you do this, you will quickly create a small group of raving fans. These customers then become your testimonials and your referral source.
For non-sales jobs, this small group of customers become your advocates, and they create the good feeling that makes you want to come to work. You can also allow their opinions of you to get yourself a higher position in the business as a leader.
14. The chopping block comes around for all
The nature of any business big or small is that the chopping block will come around at some point. This happens because all companies need change and no one’s position is guaranteed. Through my time in business, I have seen many redundancies and people get fired.
It’s inventible in business, and nothing lasts forever. If this happens to you or someone you know, then it’s nothing but a positive. It means a new beginning and a chance to rebuild and meet new people. Always be humble at work and understand that your role could end tomorrow. Successful people understand, plan, and embrace this fact.
15. Working hard is dumb
The source of so many LinkedIn picture quotes is the idea that working hard is smart. I disagree. Through my journey in business, I have realised that working hard is the dumbest thing you can do! The best advice I have been given is to be productive, so you don’t have to work yourself into the ground.
This doesn’t mean you should be lazy; it just means you should be good at work that creates value so that you can block out everything else that takes up your time and forces you to work a ridiculous amount of hours.
What has having a job taught you? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
The 6 Step Process for Delivering Critical Feedback in a Constructive Way
We have all been in the position where we knew we needed to have a difficult conversation at work that involved delivering constructive feedback. Maybe a major deadline was missed, there was a clear decline in performance, or someone blatantly dropped the ball. Most of us avoid delivering the feedback, and the conversation can get pushed back again and again, wasting valuable time and money.
Delivering constructive feedback is challenging, and uncomfortable for most people, even highly trained leaders. Yet, delivering and accepting feedback is one of the most important keys for success. So why do we avoid these conversations? Because we never learned how to have them.
Open, honest, direct communication is not a skill we are taught in school. There is no “How to Have Tough Conversations” 101. As a clinical psychologist that specializes in couples work, I see just how important communication is in maintaining thriving relationships. I understand that good communication is the foundation of every successful relationship; both intimate relationships and your work relationships.
Below is a 6-step guide to providing constructive feedback:
Step 1: Clarity on the Goal of the Conversation
The first step is to get clear on the goal of the feedback conversation. Are you planning to see a change in performance, simply communicate how you felt, or receive an apology? Get clear on what you are hoping to get out of the conversation. Be honest with yourself about what you need, what is most helpful to the relationship, and what is most helpful to the organization. Getting clear on the goal also ensures you are speaking with the right person.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk
Step 2: Invitation
Set up a time to talk. Feedback conversations are not meant to be had in the hallway. It is important that both parties can set aside adequate time and have the space needed for dialogue. Additionally, there must be respect for both parties’ need for time to process information. For example, if you are delivering feedback, and the receiver needs time to process the feedback before responding, setting up a subsequent meeting will be most helpful.
Step 3: Ownership
Own the role you played in creating the situation. When you model ownership of blind spots, failures, or missteps, you set the stage for the receiver to do the same. For example, you may acknowledge that you were not aware of how to support your employee and not aware of the problem until x situation occurred. Equally important as owning your role, is owning your emotions. Own your emotions using “I” statements. For example, “I felt disappointed when I realized your sales performance had substantially declined”.
Step 4: Open, Honest, Direct Feedback
Feedback that dances around the problem does not do anyone any good. It only increases anxiety on behalf of the receiver, and potentially causes the feedback to get totally lost. The conversation needs to be open, honest, and direct. For example: “I felt concerned when you did not attend the last two strategy calls this month…It brought up questions for me about your commitment to the company.”
Step 5: Listen, Validate and Accept
When providing feedback, it is important both parties maintain an open mind, and respond in a way that communicates validation and acceptance. As soon as an individual gets defensive, feedback cannot be taken in, and the value of the conversation dramatically decreases. When providing feedback it is important to listen, validate, and accept your receiver’s viewpoint. Notice, I did not say agree. This looks something like saying: “I can see why X led you to commit Y , I understand you were under a great deal of stress/dealing with a personal situation/frustrated.”
Step 6: A Clear Plan for Moving Forward
In providing feedback, the magic is that now things can change! If feedback is never given, relationships end, things will stay the same, businesses will die, and money will be lost. If you have gotten to this step, that means you did the hard work, and now you get to put change into action. A clear plan includes an acknowledgement from both parties regarding what they will do differently to prevent the situation from occurring again, and how they will stay accountable in making the change happen.
The good news about delivering feedback is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most surefire ways to open yourself up to massive growth.
As a giver of feedback, it is your job to model openness and a desire for growth, so that the receiver may take in the feedback and make the necessary changes. Exceling at feedback delivery will help you set you apart from others and enable you to achieve extraordinary relationships, in both your personal and work lives.
Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show
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!
5 Essential Skills to Drive Success in Every Niche
There are many people who don’t have the courage to launch a business in a niche as they think they don’t have the right skills and experience to obtain success. While there are specific skills which determine the success in every niche, there are also some general skills which ensure success in any business you would try.
Below are 5 essential skills you need to drive success in every aspect of your life:
When you launch a new business, you need to be prepared for difficult moments such as fighting the competition and winning your target audience. Moreover, if you follow some successful entrepreneurs, you should keep in mind that they also faced difficulties and continue to experience them. So, how does a successful entrepreneur get over all the difficulties?
The essential skill you need to possess is called ambition. Set small and clear milestones in your development plan and use your ambition to go over each difficulty and finalize what you had in your mind. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is going to be. Visualize your target and put in all the efforts to achieve it. Staying organized and scheduling each step to get things done are some of the techniques you can use to achieve success.
2. Listen to those around you
While listening to your instincts is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, this is not enough. As your business develops, you will have an entire team to manage and lead to success. Therefore, you cannot be a successful leader and have success in every niche unless you learn how to listen to the people around you.
You should listen to your employees and discover what they are expecting from you. This is the way to follow if you want to keep your team motivated and help them give the best of themselves.
On the other hand, you will need to listen to your customers to improve your products and services and provide excellent customer support. By listening carefully to the voice of your customers, you will be able to stand out of the competition and ensure their loyalty towards your brand.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
When you decided to become an entrepreneur and build your own business, it means you are a courageous person. Courage will help you harness the power of creativity. Don’t be afraid to take risks if you feel a specific action will bring more success to your business.
Apart from doing intensive research on your ideas and developing the exact steps you are going to follow, you will need the courage to implement them. Not all the ideas will turn out to be successful.
Regardless, you will have something to learn from each success or mistake and this will help you move your business even further. When you have the courage to follow a path which is not very familiar to you, this is going to be the moment when you will widen your horizons and exceed your limits to achieve success.
4. Creativity and imagination
If you already implemented your idea and you see that it works, you most probably think that you don’t need to change anything to achieve more success. You need to keep in mind that customers’ preferences change and your competition is waiting for your mistakes to “steal” your clients.
Therefore, you need to use your creativity and imagination to improve your products and services to meet your customers’ expectations. What is more, creativity can also mean that you are open to talk to new people and use their experience to improve something in your business.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
5. Continuous learning
If you want to drive success in every niche you will need to show a willingness to learn. You need to stay updated with what happens in your niche and what your customers expect from you.
Education is not only something for school. It is a lifelong process, and you should be open to seek knowledge and improve your skills with every opportunity. An efficient trick is to stay close to people who are already successful in your industry, ask their opinions on various subjects and learn from their experience.
The above five essential skills will help you build a successful business in every niche. A true leader is ambitious, knows to listen to the people around him, and is always open to learning from others.
No matter the size of your business, you will need to be creative and use your imagination to improve your products and services. These skills will help any leader develop new skills, stand out of the crowd, and strengthen his position on the market.
What skill do you think is most important to be successful in life? Let us know below!
5 Key Investment Principles from Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett is a mentor for a lot of traders. Why shouldn’t he be? After all, his investing principles have earned him the title of the world’s greatest investor. His way of working is a little contradictory to many others in the arena of online trading. He doesn’t invest the way it’s depicted in the popular media. He is the kind of investor who likes buying and holding.
Buffett has taught us that once you buy a stock, hold it no matter what. Forget that there is a recession in the economy or it is at its boom. Whether it’s good times or bad, you’re supposed to hold onto the stock.
Buffett doesn’t just buy stocks for the sake of holding them. He buys them for a specific reason. When those reasons no longer exist, he sells the stocks. He not only looks for good prices but sound management and a competitive advantage. He shared his opinion that companies such as IBM, Sears, and GM are great but they cannot stay competitive for long. Therefore, these companies shouldn’t be a part of your portfolio.
Why not learn from the pro himself and invest the right way? Here are 5 key principles to begin with:
1. Invest In What You Know
Before investing in a stock, it is very important to understand what a company does and how it makes its money. Ever wondered why Buffett has always avoided investing in tech stocks? It’s because he does not completely understand their business model. He sticks to what he knows.
This also explains why he prefers investing in Berkshire’s stocks. It represents a diverse mix of stocks such as utilities, banking, and insurance and consumer products. All of these are businesses that Buffett understands very well. No wonder he has invested a significant amount of money here.
“Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.” – Warren Buffett
2. Before Buying a Stock, List the Criteria
It makes sense to buy stocks on the basis of criteria, right? After all, you’re ensuring that you don’t end up investing in something unfavorable. You could be searching for stocks in a certain industry with a set price to earnings ratio.
Buffett never makes the price of the stock the sole criteria of his buying decision. Sometimes, great companies end up taking a price dip because of the market situation. However, holding onto these stocks could still turn out to be favorable.
3. Be Aggressive During Tough Times
Generally, it’s not recommended to time the market. But if you’re a long-term investor, you’ll be fine no matter when you buy. This means that even during the tough economic times, you shouldn’t settle down. Keep on looking for opportunities. This is what Warren Buffett does because he knows that things will eventually turn around.
Buffett is known for capitalizing on opportunities during and after the great recession. Bank of America investment is one of the best examples of this. In his latest annual letter, Buffett said that “dark clouds will fill the sky almost after every decade. But it certainly will rain gold.” So don’t despair, keep on investing.
4. Don’t Worry About the Day to Day Market Movements
Along with other tips, Buffett also said that you must only buy a stock if you are comfortable holding on to it in case the stock market shuts down for a decade. Since you are holding onto the stocks for 10 or more years, there is no point in losing sleep over the minor swings.
Ignore the headlines about the trade wars, the government shutdown, and other chaotic news. Instead, you focus on learning the potential growth of your company over the course of time. The fact is, stock prices keep on changing, but it’s not significant if the company’s business still has a bright future.
“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” – Warren Buffett
5. Buy Buffett’s Stocks
Buffett keeps everything simple when it comes to investing. If you don’t want to do the guesswork and research to figure out which stocks to buy, simply invest in the stocks Buffett already owns. But, make sure you understand the business. Buffett discloses his holdings publically each quarter. He has capital in companies such as Wells Fargo, Apple, and Bank of America. To keep things simple, you can buy the shares of Berkshire Hathaway itself.
Warren Buffett hasn’t been successful all by himself. He has a team of investors who help him do legal work and give him investment tips. He’s also a part of an advisor network because he understands that an investor needs all the help he can get. It’s amazing that a billionaire like him still listens to others.
Now that you know how to invest like Buffett, it’s time you prepare your investment strategy. These principles are not hard and fast criteria, they are simply a discipline strategy all investors should stick to. Along with these, you can use math, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, and even stock charts to make a decision. You may not end up a billionaire, but you will avoid losses and make more profits than your fellows.
Which one of the 5 key investment principles from above resonated with you most? Let us know below!
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