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Success Advice

Why Entrepreneurship Isn’t Just for Young People

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Entrepreneurship and Business At Any Age - Age Is Just A Number

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” These are the words of the legendary American author and humorist “Mark Twain“. Age really is nothing but a number and this has been proven time and time again.

Read on as Author & Seasoned Entrepreneur Kevin D. Johnson breaks it down on why Entrepreneurship Isn’t Just For Old People.

 

Entrepreneurship Can Start At Any Age

“I’m too old to start a business,” said my forty-four-year-old friend when I encouraged her to become an entrepreneur. I shook my head as she rambled on about how she has too many responsibilities and how she’s not as creative as she used to be. Her excuses were ridiculous, but all too common for people her age.

As the media focus on young CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, it is easy to assume that most companies these days are started by teenagers and people in their twenties. Consequently, many older people buy into this media hype and think that starting a company is for young people, accepting that their chances of success are limited by their age. This assumption and the media hype couldn’t be further from the truth.

First, the media hype is heavily focused on the technology sector, which tends to glorify young superstars. When it comes to what is most appealing to the media, the new social media company always overshadows the new bakery on Main Street. However, most new businesses in the United States aren’t tech-related and sexy. They will be primarily sole proprietorships and small businesses with fewer than five employees. Most of their owners will be old enough to a tech guru’s mother or father.

Second, older people are starting more businesses than people in their teens and twenties. According to a Kauffman Foundation study, Americans between the ages of thirty-five and forty-four represented the largest increase in entrepreneurial activity from 2008 to 2009. Americans between ages fifty-five and sixty-four constituted the second-largest jump. The reasons range from middle-aged adults wanting to supplement their income to retired individuals wanting to continue working. Regardless of the reasons, older Americans are catching the entrepreneurial bug, which is good news for everyone. Unfortunately, we don’t hear enough about these exciting data.

Interestingly, research shows that older people are more likely to be successful when they start businesses. Older entrepreneurs have the experience needed to better navigate the rough waters of entrepreneurship. During years of work, they have developed a treasure chest of skills that makes them highly valuable. For instance, if they go into business in the same industry in which they worked for many years, their understanding of the business is a tremendous competitive advantage.

In other good news, University of Chicago economist David Galenson contends that “experimental innovators” require time to reach their peak. His research, which is largely credited with cracking the code of the creative mind, concludes that experimental innovators do their best work in life at an older age. They accomplish their genius through trial and error. Examples of these innovators are Steve Jobs, Mark Twain, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Older people may give a bunch of reasons for saying they are too old to start a business, but they are just excuses, many of which are defended with misinformation. Now we have plenty of data and reasons to support why being in your later years is an asset, not a liability, when starting a business. If you are in your early thirties, forties, or older, it is not too late to start a business. Don’t let your age deter you from pursuing your dream. Ultimately, a solid business idea paired with flawless execution, not a fresh face, is what leads to success in business.

 

CS Lewis Life Inspirational Picture Quote

 

Article originally appeared here: The Entrepreneur Mind 

Make sure you get your hands on Kevin D. Johnson’s Book: The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs

This book is a must have for any aspiring entrepreneur.

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Kim Skaggs

    Jun 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Ha! I have all of you beat and set out to prove an old bird is a smart bird with experience in reserve! I am only 80 years young, starting my 8th business and excited as a June bug in summer. Yes, I have some experience in accounting and am on my way to becoming an enrolled agent. Look out you may need my services—hope not–but you never know.
    Kim
    I

  2. Emily

    Jun 3, 2014 at 2:56 am

    For a few years there, online media was opinionated, written and shared by the 20-something generation, right around the time of the 2008 financial crisis when entrepreneurship became a necessary option — just because it wasn’t heralded before doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. I’ve been serving entrepreneurs for almost two decades and the average age of our client tends to lean towards 40. It’s good to celebrate the young generations and their passion to innovate, but they certainly didn’t invent entrepreneurship!

  3. TJ

    Dec 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Very well said. And that goes for almost all things in life. It’s never too late to start

  4. PV PIXELS

    Jul 19, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Cheers for this great post Joel. I know commenting late on the post, but the thing that matters is that I really liked your article. It’s widely seen that people hesitate to put up their ideas in front of others and lead a business only because of their age. I would definitely ask such fellows to have a look on this page.
    Again, thanks for all the
    motivation.

  5. Kathy Brookins

    Jul 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I am a 50 year old woman and for the first time am now starting my business. It’s amazing how the years have given me patience and desire to learn which I did not have in my younger years. I will continue to stay motivated, look at all the options and hopefully make the decisions that will cause me to succeed in this. I see so many young entrepenuers full of fire and this can be intimidating but I have found that my experience through the years have made me an expert in my arena and no one can touch that. So, like Joan said in an earlier reply to your post, “If you are the type to enjoy self-employment, age shouldn’t stop you (but plan carefully–you have less time to recover from financial disaster!). If you are not the type to enjoy being self-employed, then age doesn’t matter, it won’t work for you when you’re young either.”

    • Joan

      Jul 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Kathy, you are on my same timeline! Go bold! I’m 10 years down the road and my only regret was that I was not as bold or decisive as I could have been. Remember, the best decision is the right decision, the next best decision is the wrong decision, and the worst decision is no decision! The best part about starting when older is you have the experience to make better decisions (and the worst thing is that the wrong decisions you’ve made in your life tend to make you hesitant).

    • cat

      Mar 7, 2014 at 4:17 am

      Thank you for posting of your perspective. I am 47 and looking to start over at something new. Not sure what yet and don’t want to rush into the wrong thing, but I feel a sense of urgency at times that I do my best to tame. Options suddenly seem to be more plentiful now than when they were when I was in my 20’s going to college. Planning is the thing that makes me slightly nervous as I can relate to what you said about not having a whole lot of time to recover and yet time is time. We will do the best we can and learn much going forward no matter what happens. I hope by now your plans are shaping up nicely. Good luck!

  6. Jay

    Jul 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    It’s never too late, period. What some of you are forgetting that are shouting to start young is all the experience you bring to the table once you’ve been around the block. You also (likely) have more access to capital that you’d otherwise need to borrow when in your teens or 20s — and if things go wrong, you’re starting your life/career off in the red. Still think it’s less risky? And (hopefully) your network is much deeper and wider, for support, when you start off in your 30s, 40, 50, etc.

    To that point, while we have our share of clients that are fresh out of undergrad, one of our clients is 70 and has the promising product of the lot — in our opinion and within the investor community.

  7. Calrissian Taikun Whitaker

    Jul 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Age has nothing to do with entrepreneurship or the success of a business start-up. Only ones amplified ambition to succeed.

  8. shobelyndayrit

    Jul 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I believe that starting young is best time to become an entrepreneur for there are few risks involve.When you are young, you have no family that can be pulled deep in the waters with you. You can also learn from your mistakes withipout worries.What I should have done though that my children will learn when Is learn a lot.Learn about what I love to do and pursue that.Then open a business.

  9. Joan

    Jul 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I started my business at 50 after being laid off from my corporate job of 20+ years. I had always wanted to be self-employed but had believed all the horror stories. Ten years later, even though I won’t say it’s been easy, I still think it’s the best move I ever made and wish I had done it sooner. But the business experience I gained as an employee was extremely valuable in my new venture, so that is an advantage of being an older business owner. If you are the type to enjoy self-employment, age shouldn’t stop you (but plan carefully–you have less time to recover from financial disaster!). If you are not the type to enjoy being self-employed, then age doesn’t matter, it won’t work for you when you’re young either.

  10. Stacey Louve

    Jul 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I beg to differ, I think that you are most creative when you are younger, you can achieve at any age but entrepreneurship is a young kids game. Just an opinion. Good luck to the older people though.

    • Jay

      Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I’m still trying to figure out if you were kidding.

      • Sylva

        Jul 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Are you like 12? Good luck to older people? I would think the older the entrepreneur, the more experience under his/her belt, bigger network, more money, ability to make smarter decisions. I say good luck to the young, inexperienced guy who doesn’t have a clue.

  11. Steven

    Jul 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Yes age is definitely nothing but a number, I know many accomplished entrepreneurs that have made the leap of faith at an older age. Most of them though do say that they wish they did it earlier. Great post, thanks to Kevin D Johnson and the Addicted2Success team.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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Motivation

7 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles. (more…)

I am Eliana Jags, Co-Founder & Author at beinginsightful.com. I'm passionate about writing motivational and inspirational articles. Before I became a full-time blogger, I was a Software Engineer but left the job to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer and thus I've committed myself completely to my passion of writing. You can connect with me on my Facebook page here.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Kim Skaggs

    Jun 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Ha! I have all of you beat and set out to prove an old bird is a smart bird with experience in reserve! I am only 80 years young, starting my 8th business and excited as a June bug in summer. Yes, I have some experience in accounting and am on my way to becoming an enrolled agent. Look out you may need my services—hope not–but you never know.
    Kim
    I

  2. Emily

    Jun 3, 2014 at 2:56 am

    For a few years there, online media was opinionated, written and shared by the 20-something generation, right around the time of the 2008 financial crisis when entrepreneurship became a necessary option — just because it wasn’t heralded before doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. I’ve been serving entrepreneurs for almost two decades and the average age of our client tends to lean towards 40. It’s good to celebrate the young generations and their passion to innovate, but they certainly didn’t invent entrepreneurship!

  3. TJ

    Dec 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Very well said. And that goes for almost all things in life. It’s never too late to start

  4. PV PIXELS

    Jul 19, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Cheers for this great post Joel. I know commenting late on the post, but the thing that matters is that I really liked your article. It’s widely seen that people hesitate to put up their ideas in front of others and lead a business only because of their age. I would definitely ask such fellows to have a look on this page.
    Again, thanks for all the
    motivation.

  5. Kathy Brookins

    Jul 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I am a 50 year old woman and for the first time am now starting my business. It’s amazing how the years have given me patience and desire to learn which I did not have in my younger years. I will continue to stay motivated, look at all the options and hopefully make the decisions that will cause me to succeed in this. I see so many young entrepenuers full of fire and this can be intimidating but I have found that my experience through the years have made me an expert in my arena and no one can touch that. So, like Joan said in an earlier reply to your post, “If you are the type to enjoy self-employment, age shouldn’t stop you (but plan carefully–you have less time to recover from financial disaster!). If you are not the type to enjoy being self-employed, then age doesn’t matter, it won’t work for you when you’re young either.”

    • Joan

      Jul 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Kathy, you are on my same timeline! Go bold! I’m 10 years down the road and my only regret was that I was not as bold or decisive as I could have been. Remember, the best decision is the right decision, the next best decision is the wrong decision, and the worst decision is no decision! The best part about starting when older is you have the experience to make better decisions (and the worst thing is that the wrong decisions you’ve made in your life tend to make you hesitant).

    • cat

      Mar 7, 2014 at 4:17 am

      Thank you for posting of your perspective. I am 47 and looking to start over at something new. Not sure what yet and don’t want to rush into the wrong thing, but I feel a sense of urgency at times that I do my best to tame. Options suddenly seem to be more plentiful now than when they were when I was in my 20’s going to college. Planning is the thing that makes me slightly nervous as I can relate to what you said about not having a whole lot of time to recover and yet time is time. We will do the best we can and learn much going forward no matter what happens. I hope by now your plans are shaping up nicely. Good luck!

  6. Jay

    Jul 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    It’s never too late, period. What some of you are forgetting that are shouting to start young is all the experience you bring to the table once you’ve been around the block. You also (likely) have more access to capital that you’d otherwise need to borrow when in your teens or 20s — and if things go wrong, you’re starting your life/career off in the red. Still think it’s less risky? And (hopefully) your network is much deeper and wider, for support, when you start off in your 30s, 40, 50, etc.

    To that point, while we have our share of clients that are fresh out of undergrad, one of our clients is 70 and has the promising product of the lot — in our opinion and within the investor community.

  7. Calrissian Taikun Whitaker

    Jul 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Age has nothing to do with entrepreneurship or the success of a business start-up. Only ones amplified ambition to succeed.

  8. shobelyndayrit

    Jul 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I believe that starting young is best time to become an entrepreneur for there are few risks involve.When you are young, you have no family that can be pulled deep in the waters with you. You can also learn from your mistakes withipout worries.What I should have done though that my children will learn when Is learn a lot.Learn about what I love to do and pursue that.Then open a business.

  9. Joan

    Jul 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I started my business at 50 after being laid off from my corporate job of 20+ years. I had always wanted to be self-employed but had believed all the horror stories. Ten years later, even though I won’t say it’s been easy, I still think it’s the best move I ever made and wish I had done it sooner. But the business experience I gained as an employee was extremely valuable in my new venture, so that is an advantage of being an older business owner. If you are the type to enjoy self-employment, age shouldn’t stop you (but plan carefully–you have less time to recover from financial disaster!). If you are not the type to enjoy being self-employed, then age doesn’t matter, it won’t work for you when you’re young either.

  10. Stacey Louve

    Jul 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I beg to differ, I think that you are most creative when you are younger, you can achieve at any age but entrepreneurship is a young kids game. Just an opinion. Good luck to the older people though.

    • Jay

      Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I’m still trying to figure out if you were kidding.

      • Sylva

        Jul 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

        Are you like 12? Good luck to older people? I would think the older the entrepreneur, the more experience under his/her belt, bigger network, more money, ability to make smarter decisions. I say good luck to the young, inexperienced guy who doesn’t have a clue.

  11. Steven

    Jul 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Yes age is definitely nothing but a number, I know many accomplished entrepreneurs that have made the leap of faith at an older age. Most of them though do say that they wish they did it earlier. Great post, thanks to Kevin D Johnson and the Addicted2Success team.

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Success Advice

The Three P’s You Need to Master to Become a Better Leader

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Leadership
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I have been a fan and a student of Steve Jobs, Ray Kroc and Jack Welsh for many years. It is very valuable to find similar traits in these great leaders and aggregate them, basically come up with some common denominators of their leadership success. By doing so, we can then begin to reflect their great skills into our own leadership profile. My goal here is to give you some very quick and applicable tools to modify your behavior for greater leadership skills.

Here are the 3 P’s for you to develop greater leadership skills based upon my findings:

1. Passion

If there is one thing that I found in most leaders, it is passion. They love what they do, they love talking about what they do and they love getting others involved in what they do. Passion has different ways of emoting. Some people move very quickly on stage with arms flaying, voice pitching from a diminuendo to a crescendo with 100 giant television screens behind them.

Remember Steve Jobs when the iPhone was being introduced? I’ve seen other people standing behind the podium speaking from written notes but the emotional intensity in the room grew thick and reaching the level of static discharge. I’ve seen everything in between. There is an old saying that we have a leadership theory and that is, “if you think you’re leading and you turn around and no one is following, you’re just taking a walk!” It is passion that prevents that from happening.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

You may be asking yourself how you can develop more passion in your life and in your leadership repertoire. The answer to that is fairly simple but the application can be somewhat deceptive in its apparent simplicity. If you wait to feel passionate before you act passionate, you’re allowing outside circumstance to control your emotions. However, if you begin to act passionate even if, by chance you don’t feel it, you will begin to. Thus, it is better for us to act our way into a new set of feelings than it is for us to feel our way into a new set of actions.

2. Planning

All leaders are planners; it’s a requirement of the job. By virtue of leading it means that you must be planning for the future. Planning can in fact be learned and is not that difficult of a process. If you want to become a better planner study chess. Notice I did not say play chess, although that will be the natural outcome of your studying. Study chess and notice how the minds of the great masters develop a strategy and implant tactics around that strategy. Chess is an amazing process to develop planning skills.

Another thing you can do is think about how you planned your last vacation, or even a weekend getaway. Think about the steps you took, the research you did based on those steps and their outcomes. Both the study of chess and personal planning will assist you in developing planning for your leadership skills.

3. Persistence

Leaders never give up! If there is something they want, they find a way around, over, or through the obstacle. Too many people never develop their full leadership birthright because of the mental script running through their minds saying, “It’s too tough for me. I Should just go home and get a good nights sleep.” Leaders know that the only possibility of failure is in giving up. If you fall down 10 times but get up on the 11th, you have not failed 10 times – you have succeeded. Period!

You may be wondering how to develop that no nonsense, I will not be denied attitude of persistence. The real question is not how do I develop persistence, but how do I develop the courage to go after what I want? Persistence is a by-product of courage! When there is something that should be yours, developing the impassioned desire to obtain that through raw courage will develop sheer persistence.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

Maybe I should’ve included a 4th P with this article. That of POWER! The best thing I can say about power is that if you want a more powerful leadership dynamic, develop a repertoire that contains passion, planning and persistence. The three of them combined will be a powerful leadership punch that should lead you to getting what you want and assisting others in believing that they should follow you because there is great value in you leading them.

How do you define a leader? Comment below!

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Success Advice

The Secret Power of Storytelling That You Need to Know

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What does the power of storytelling mean to you? Do you visualize your mom or dad telling you a bedtime story, or do you think about an enjoyable summer read? Every single conversation that we have with an individual or group is us sharing a story about the past, present and future. If we have a product or service that we offer to others, we tell a story about it when we do a pitch or a presentation.

The reason why we tell stories is because we know the power of stories. We know how being able to tell a captivating story can affect and change the lives of the people for better or worse. Hitler used stories about the Jews in the 1930’s which caused Germany to rally the youth and the German people to go to war, and in England, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, used the power of stories to rally the British in a movement of never surrendering to the Germans.

Not everyone knows how to tell stories

Our abilities to tell captivating stories is one of the greatest assets we possess. However the problem is that not everyone has the skills to be a good storyteller, and the ability to be a good storyteller is critical in our success whether it’s in our personal or business life.

The power of storytelling goes way beyond just our everyday conversations, it goes far beyond simply giving facts and data. Stories emotionalize information. They bring life and depth to otherwise bland material, and they allow people to connect with the message in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Tony Robbins, the world famous motivational speaker and strategist interviewed Peter Guber, the Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment whose films has earned more than $3 billion and over 50 Academy Awards nomination. Guber stated “emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.  Where were you on 9/11? Chances are that you can remember exactly where you were when you learned about the tragic events that transpired that day. But if you had to think where you were the day before that – that memory is probably hazier. Because information attached to pain or pleasure creates an emotional connection that resonates within you.”

He goes on to also say “Keeping in mind that a story is not a monologue, but a dialogue, helps you to give your audience proprietorship. They become emotional owners of the story you are telling. Then they become advtes –oca of your product, your service, your business, your brand.”

The power of storytelling can transform lives when useful and relevant information is combined with emotions. The next time you speak to another person regardless of the situation, remember you are being a storyteller, because you are in the process of transferring information to that person or group.

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” –Tahir Shah

Our most powerful tool

Our ability to communicate effectively is the most powerful tool we have, and when we strategically use our communication skills to transfer bland information into masterful stories we also have the power to transform lives.

If done correctly, our stories will have a massive effect on our listening audience. It will inspire and influence them. It will move them to act. So never underestimate the power of storytelling. Make it relevant–connect emotionally, create a dialogue, and you will see why the power of storytelling is the most powerful tool you have.

Don’t just take my word on for it, Look at some of the greatest leaders throughout history

You will see that they all had the ability to tell stories and bring people together through their words. The greatest motivational speakers in the world use the power of storytelling to emotionalize their audience, because there is no quicker or more effective way to get your audience engaged.

Les Brown who has been one of my mentors and one of the greatest motivational speakers that has ever lived, uses stories masterfully. He shares stories about his upbringing in Miami, and how he and his twin brother were adopted at birth and he is somehow able to transition those stories into whatever relevant topic needs to be heard by his audience, but he first draws them in with his stories.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Tony Robbins, the list is endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to tell stories masterfully. Some of the greatest philosophers have told us that there is a blueprint for success, and obviously storytelling is part of that blue print.

There is no greater power that we possess than the ability to transform regular words into captivating stories that can take your audience on whatever journey you want to take them on.

Being a great storyteller is like being a puppet master, because when you can draw people in to your stories you will have your audience on a string taking them on any emotional roller coaster. The secret power of storytelling is to be treated with respect, because with great power comes great responsibility, and this power should only be used for good.

Do you enjoy storytelling? If so, do you have any techniques or advice to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

5 Signs You’re on the Right Path to Success

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success
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Every successful person had his own moment(s) of doubt. The road to success is full of obstacles and sweet hardships that will frequently make you stop and ask, ‘Am I on the right track?’ Even legends and billionaires had moments like that. Just imagine how 62 year old Colonel Sanders felt when he was rejected time and time again trying to franchise his famous chicken recipe.

It felt harsh and I bet he stopped, at least for a moment, to question his entire existence, not just the success of his business idea. But I also bet that there were probably some signs that told Sanders —and any other successful person— ‘You`re going to make it, just hang in there.”

Here are the 5 signs that will tell you whether you`re going to be successful or not:

1. You’re good at the consistency game

I don`t like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I believe that a restless hare would smash them both, but there`s a reason why that slow tortoise crossed the finish line; It`s called consistency.

Success eventually favors the most consistent, and if you`re not disciplined with the things that make you successful, then your chances to succeed are slimmer than Marlon Brando`s chances of winning the lottery (Marlon Brando is dead, and one of every 175 million tickets wins the lotto).  

Systems and routines (i.e., consistency), predict success, so take a look at your habits. Are they positive? Do you practice them regularly? If the answer to both questions is “Yes,” then sooner or later you`re going to be successful.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” – Colin R. Davis

2. You stopped having a toxic relationship with money

Success is no longer a zero-sum game to you; opportunities are everywhere, and there`s room for everybody to make money, including you. When you check the news, the success of other people no longer makes you envious. A celebrity buying a new mansion or a $150 million contract for a LeBron or Federer-like athlete, doesn`t bother you but instead makes you believe there`s plenty of money out there for ambitious, hard-working people like you. When you switch from worrying about not having enough money to having faith that you will make the money you want, then you know you`re on the way to success.

3. You know the right people

Another sign is having a big social network. I read it somewhere that business owners prefer to hire those they know over those who are skilled. Sounds skewed, I know, but it helps a lot if you combine your technical skills with excellent people skills. To want success is more like wishing to enter a nightclub on a busy Friday night. If you know the bouncers or have enough skills to befriend them, you won`t stay long in the line. The same thing happens in business, the more people you know, the easier it will be to find the right job, get proper funding and save time waiting in the line.

Social skills will help you more than you can ever imagine. There`s a guy I used to work with, he`s not that good looking, but he`s the slickest I`ve ever seen. When that guy hit rock bottom, he dropped out of school, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai, became a real estate agent and made his first million before reaching 30. I`ve also read about Michael Bloomberg who used to come to work at six in the morning to distribute coffee and tea to CEOs who come to work early when others are sleeping. For $.99 each, Bloomberg befriended at least a dozen bigwigs who later helped him launch a billion dollar business after he quit Wall Street.

4. You know what makes you tick

The successful people are better than most people at understanding themselves and overcoming —to a greater extent—the five foundations of poverty: sleep, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination. They have worked on themselves so deeply and have made so many mistakes that they now know their soft spots as well as what motivates them.

Do you know what makes you sad, angry or excited? Do you know when you`re more likely to cheat on a diet or skip a workout? What are your strengths? Can you motivate yourself at will? And how? Having answers to most or, preferably, all of these questions will help you tap into your full potential and sets you on the path to massive success.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

5. You have faith

Faith in the yet to be seen, is a huge sign of success. When you think about the future, there should be a positive energy around you that says “I`m gonna make it.” You may not know exactly when you`re going to succeed, but you`re sure it’s a matter of time. This faith, or certainty, comes from having a solid plan – It`s when you know your goal, how you`ll achieve it, and how you`re going to react if things go south and deciding to believe in the unknown

If you think about it, hard work doesn`t always come as the first cause of success. It`s the faith that you`ll achieve the goal that makes you work hard, and thus, achieve the goal. I was reading a book on Michael Jordan by Roland Lazenby —who also wrote Kobe Bryant`s biography— and it stopped me that part of Jordan`s extraordinary success goes to expectations.

He expected every single ball he shot to go in. Jordan used that mindset over and over and didn`t stop when one of his shots was missed. He merely understood that even though nobody wins all the time, believing you`ll win every single time makes you win most of the time, which is enough to get a career like his. The most prominent success sign is the certainty. To believe, and act, as if you`re going to succeed, and then let that belief lead manifest into actions.

What are some things you do to say on track? Comment below!

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Success Advice

Instead of Always Trying to Be Right, Do This Instead

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stop trying to be right
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

A colleague of mine was obnoxious, over eager, and completely out of line. Yet, all of this was overshadowed by the fact he was just plain wrong. If he were to go through with it, it would derail the company by at least 6 months. Yet, arguing with him when he was in this state was of no use. While hitting him over the head with the laptop seemed appealing for a second, it was probably not a great long-term strategy for the business or my laptop.

Galileo once said, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged matters and negotiations.

When you are right, you become attached to that idea. It’s so clear, how can they not see it? Yet, your meticulously clear logic might as well be written in braille as your focus intensifies on proving yourself right, instead of reaching an agreement.

Below are 3 ways you can step out of your emotions and help someone find the right answer when money and time are on the line:

1. Separate the Person From the Issue

Imagine if a four-year-old child was adamant about something. You wouldn’t try to reason logically for hours in such a case. When trying to speak through a person’s emotions, often you might have better luck with the four year old.

In order to break this barrier you must stop seeing them as the problem and see the issue at hand. Instead of seeing the other person as stupid or obnoxious, try viewing them as simply lost or misguided. The job now becomes not to prove them wrong, but to guide them to the truth. Adopting this mindset changes your entire approach as you get out of your own emotions and take control of the situation.

“Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.” – Stephen Covey

2. Show Them A Mirror

Somewhere in between trying to hammer a point, both sides usually forget to listen. No matter the situation, you must make sure that person is never you. Instead, shift the focus from “me vs you” and make it completely about the other person. Really listen and validate their emotions, creating enough trust and safety to begin a real exchange. Make sure they feel heard and slow the conversation down. When you slow the process down, you also calm down.

Remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. About 93% of communication is nonverbal, thus maintaining your body language immediately provides an edge. A playful (not childlike or mocking) voice puts someone in a positive frame of mind, where they are more likely to collaborate and problem solve.

Always remember to repeat back the most important three words from their sentence and make them elaborate on whatever they said. The more a person is allowed to speak, the more they feel heard. The more they feel heard, the more open they are to receive new information.

3. Lead With Empathy, Not Sympathy

Taking the time to make sure the other side feels heard and understood does not mean you bend to their will. It does not mean you give up, agree, feel sorry for, or even compromise. Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s perspective and the vocalization of that recognition. This is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

When you can label a person’s emotions in an argument, you seize the chance to discover what is behind those feelings. As you begin to drill down, you gain leverage. This should be done very gracefully. Instead of saying, I think you’re angry and being stubborn, trying saying, It seems like you are feeling frustrated because you really care about this and wish it was moving along quicker.

“Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.” – Roy T. Bennett

Using labels, you mold their feelings into words, moving information from the emotional part of the brain to the rational. Whatever behavior a person may be presenting, there is always an underlying feeling triggering it. Your job is to make the person aware of that feeling. The faster you do this, the faster you eliminate the risk of a complete breakdown in communication.

After their emotions are labeled, asking how or why calibrated questions allow them to solve their problems for you. In order to do this effectively you don’t need to study every type of calibrated question there is, but rather adopt a specific mindset. You are not their opponent, but a guide, leading the lost to the truth. Your truth.

In my case, the presenting behavior of my colleague was an obnoxious know-it-all attitude. However, the underlying emotion was fear of falling behind. Once I was able to stop asking the question, “Why is he doing this to me?” and focus on looking deeper, the conversation took a turn. The conversation was no longer about my ideas versus his, but about him and his fear.

Instead of arguing with me, he spent the rest of the time, essentially, arguing with himself. After helping him dissect his fear in the rational part of the brain, he realized that many of the worst case scenarios were highly improbable and acting hasty might exacerbate things. Most importantly, at the end of the conversation, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”

He believed that the decision was entirely his. He never acknowledged the fact that I was right and announced to everyone the sudden spark of genius that hit him. Yet, at the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is more important to you; being right or doing whatever it takes to win.  

How do you handle conflict? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below!

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