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Success Advice

Why You Should Avoid The Easy Life AT ALL COSTS

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There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. – Theodore Roosevelt

Never in history has the easy life led to a great life. Not in one case has something great come without tribulation, struggle, or failure. Instead of fearing struggle, strain, and tribulation, you should embrace it; nay, seek it at every opportunity, and incorporate it into your life daily. It’s in struggle that you experience growth. It’s in conquering obstacles that you experience life.

 

 

A Case Against the Easy Life

Ease isn’t living, it’s dying. It’s forgoing life and awaiting death. Ease brings a halt to your growth and evolution as a human being.

Every year I do an exercise where I write out my perfect day. The other day I looked back at what my ‘perfect day’ was 5 years ago. It was almost the exact opposite of what my vision of success is today.

Back then I wanted ease. I wanted no alarm clock, little work, and a life of luxury. What I’ve come to understand is that in creating the ability to have that life of luxury, I’ll have to go through my fair share of failures and struggles.

Those failures and struggles are where I’ll develop into a man, a success, and a better human being. Why, then, would I want to forgo that growth? Why, even if I’m able, would I reach my idea of success, and then simply stop my evolution by lulling in to a life of ease?

Today, I know I wouldn’t. Just because success is attained doesn’t mean our growth as people, entrepreneurs, or leaders, comes to a halt. Look at Teddy Roosevelt. He never stopped achieving, accomplishing, and growing as an individual until the day he died. The same with Steve Jobs, Napoleon Bonaparte, Andrew Carnegie, and any other person in history who accomplished anything of great value.

steve-jobs-working-at-home-office 

 

Ease is Not Only Useless, It’s Evil

There’s a commonly held world view that your life is your own and you have the right to do what you want with it. I disagree with one aspect of this argument, and that is with regards to laziness.

Just like ease has created nothing of great value in the way of great people on this planet, the fundamental understand that your time on this earth is limited and dwindling has led to great accomplishment, and names worth remembering.

It’s a universal truth that the day you’re born is the day you start dying. Those who accomplish greatness understand this, and they don’t let a day go to waste.

It’s also a universal truth – especially in this free, democratic, capitalistic society – that many have died so you and I can live the freedom you so casually take for granted. They’ve sacrificed their lives in battle. They’ve laid down their lives in protest. They’ve given their lives to innovation and helping others.

Those who came before you, and died before you, have done so in vain if you give your life to laziness, and that’s when laziness is no longer a right, but an evil.

Ease’s ugly cousin is laziness. To be a lazy person is a slap in the face of anyone who’s sacrificed anything to give you the life you currently enjoy – to give you the option of being lazy. Be it your mother, father, grandparents, or that soldier who died in the Second World War whom you’ll never meet, but owe so much.

Bill-Gates-Young-In-Office

 

How to Truly Live: Embrace the Struggle

The goal for all of us here at Addicted2Success, is to create a successful life. I’m sure we can all agree that a successful life, in part, is one truly lived. That is, a life filled with accomplishment, adventure, highs and lows, struggle, defeat, and victory. A life is filled with action, not ease.

Look back to the man who gave us that famous quote at the beginning of this article, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a man who embraced the strenuous life. He saw the value in hardship, and the evil of a life of ease. As such, he accomplished more in his 60 years than dozens have in their 100.

To create a life of accomplishment, and one of success, YOU have to embrace hard work. Hard work creates grit. It gives us a sense of pride, purpose, and accomplishment; without which, we can never truly feel as though we’re giving our best to this dying flame we call life, or our true value to the rest of those we’re connected to on this planet.

Instead of looking forward to a future of ease, embrace your present hardships, and look to add more strain to your life. This is how you grow. This is how you evolve. This is how you live.

 

Chad Howse is the creator of Be Legendary, a company dedicated to helping guys experience greatness in Fitness, Work, & Life. Chad has been featured in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, and Shape magazines, and is a contributor to the Art of Manliness, and Addicted2Success.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I agree & disagree. Only the individual knows when they deserve a break and when they should work harder, anyone outside looking in doesn’t know what they have been through, only they do!

  2. Andrew Joe

    May 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    This is awesome! I mean the example of Steve Jobs for this topic and the pointers are amazing for success. I really like it. Much motivated!

  3. Anna Karanina

    Jan 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Someone obviously never read The Hobbit.

  4. Mike Kelso

    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:42 am

    It would seem that work life balance is at olds with this philosophy? If you want to be great, go for it, just don’t be surprised when your wife/husband/children etc. tire of your single-minded selfishness. Keep some perspective.

  5. Rhonda Geddes

    May 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I was made redundant at the age of 56, now 58 & am finding it impossible to find work, apart from baby sitting or telemarketing. I come from the ‘Corporate Development world’ in Melbourne, Australia. I’m finding my age is my main problem! I have taken on board all msg’s, would love feedback! Here, once we turn about 45 yrs, doesn’t matter about ‘the piece of paper, ie. diplomas etc, in my case, the looks etc are heading south! Loved reading all your participants! Would love some advice! Apologies if sp errors… Have no reading glasses, however I could not resist. You all so positive & amazing people.

  6. Australian Motivational Speaker

    May 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I have friends who were inheriting a lot. Their parents still made them work and earn respect, they are much better people for it.

  7. Russ Mason

    Apr 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The butterfly struggles to make its way out of its chrysalis and it is during this struggle that the fluid which enables the butterfly to fly is pushed from its body into its wings. Learn to embrace and grow from your struggles, your hardships, and even the times when it seems like you failed. Your struggles are preparing you and strengthening you for your future successes. The greater the struggle now, the higher you will soar later. Dream big and get ready to fly high!

  8. Barbara Bellar

    Apr 29, 2013 at 4:19 am

    My Pure and simple philosophies!
    1. Discipline yields excellence
    2. Everything we do is in preparation for something else.
    3. Perseverance is the secret to success.
    4. Eliminate shame, blame and fear from your life

  9. Israel Marcel

    Apr 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I definitely going to embrace my present hardships. By doing so will give me a positive mind to think, because only a positive state of mind can lead one to achieve great success. I am glad I found you guys!

  10. Tlotliso

    Apr 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @kyle try do ur thing, he might see wht u r doing nd it wil soon cm 2 his mind 2 start changing.

  11. Tommy Vercetti

    Apr 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    actually,the whole point of living is to enjoy it.

    but not on other people’s money, not on other peep people’s time.

    so yeah, laze around all you want, but be responsible for your own misery.

  12. Gabriel

    Apr 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Amazing article. Keep doing your thing Joel! I want this website to be alive and running 20 years from now when I have children so they can benefit from all this wealth of knowledge as well

  13. Kola

    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    i think its one thing to embrace strain and quite another to seek it out. i understand the former but dont see a reason for the latter. yes, ambition is good but (in my view) life is also meant to be enjoyed.
    great post nonetheless : )

    • Alex Ab'Dul

      Apr 27, 2013 at 8:58 am

      @Kola I think what Chad meant by “seek the strain”, is similar to what a fitness trainer means by “you have to find the burn”. As in, not only do you have to dig into your current situation and fully commit to growing even through the pain. You also should find challenges when life isn’t challenging you. Some people have been lifting the same weight for awhile and no longer feel challenged. So for them “finding the burn” means adding more weight to their bar, or strategically finding opportunities that will challenge them to learn and grow. Another example is how someone works out to lose weight, but will continue that habit after the weight is gone because they’ve established a lifestyle that will maintain a fit body. Let’s keep our minds fit as well. #NoStrainNoGain #RaiseTheBar 🙂

  14. Jason Lee

    Apr 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

    wow. great article..@kyle i think what you should do is sit with him and talk to him about how things work.. nowadays guys in their early 20’s dont really care much about whats happening around them but then a time comes when they do, but its to late by then… i used to be like that, but i was fortunate to have my older brother with me to guide me… 🙂

  15. smam

    Apr 21, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Great article great work and great reminder that life is a hardship’s process .Keep on inspiring US addicted2success So that we can inspire ourself and others around us

  16. Denise

    Apr 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    What a brilliant, well written article that I truly appreciate! Thank you for encouraging us to continue to persevere in the face of challenges.

  17. Kyle McKinney

    Apr 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    That is incredible and truly inspiring Joan.

    With that being said, maybe you guys can help me out a little. I’m living with a roommate that I have tried to inspire through my own actions and sending inspirational videos but to no avail. Constantly late to work meetings? That’s him. Sleeping till 2pm? That’s him. Complaining when things don’t go his way? That’s him. Honestly, it’s a daily internal battle that I have in how to get the message across to him and ignite change because he has so so much potential.

    What’s your thoughts? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Chad Howse

      Apr 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Hey Kyle, I’ve had a similar situation in the past. Sometimes you can’t get through to them. You just have to focus on your own stuff and hope they see how you’re evolving and they’re not. I ended up being pretty blunt with the guy simply because I was tired of his complaining. Be lazy, do your thing, but complaining is where I draw the line. It’s useless. Address the complaining, be blunt, but be supportive, and then get on your hustle and do your thing.

      Don’t let his inactivity cloud your day in any way.

      • Gabriel

        Apr 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        What Chad said is very true. I agree. You can’t change somebody without their consent, meaning they have to want to change as well.
        Just do your thing and don’t let his bad energy dwindle your success

    • Zach McNurlen

      Nov 22, 2013 at 1:29 am

      If you can’t change the people AROUND you, change the PEOPLE around you.

  18. joantgl

    Apr 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I grew up watching my father being lazy – doing only a half days work for full pay. I decided really early on that I would work hard for everything I wanted in life and have done and it feels good.
    So watching a person be lazy when I was growing up made me determined to work hard and ultimately have a much better life than he had. It has made me appreciate what I have worked hard for. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Joel

      Joel

      Apr 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      That is awesome Joan, Thank you for sharing that with us. Most would decide to be lazy like their parent, but in your case you saw what potential is really in you and that you don’t have to follow in his footsteps. Good on you Joan!

    • Chad Howse

      Apr 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      That’s incredible Joan. Like Joel said, most would have followed in their father’s footsteps. It’s great to see you break that trend. Now you’ll serve as inspiration to others.

      • George A. Demps

        May 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        There is surely no shortcut for success. Success comes after lots of struggles and hard-work. Thumbs up to those who are willing to put in efforts

  19. China Newz

    Apr 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Great post. Think there is a saying that “All that is great is hard.”

  20. James Strock

    Apr 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Terrific reminder of Theodore Roosevelt’s wise counsel and ‘lived words.’ Ease is not an option. The world makes a place for those who serve others effectively.

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Success Advice

The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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Success Advice

3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience as I experience rejection dozens of times per week.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Success Advice

Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

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Success Advice

How Creativity Leads to a More Successful Life

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Human beings are curious, inquisitive and creative. We have a deep desire to make meaning of our world and each other by creating. Each culture brings new ideas and meaning to gain a sense of belonging and purpose. Success comes from understanding your contribution to the world and the spark of this contribution comes from a creative place. Understanding the power that comes from creativity can help to elevate you in many ways.

Mary Lou Cook said, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.” Having fun is part of the human experiment that not only provides a sense of purpose, but builds our humanity and scales our ability to succeed. Too many of us don’t allow ourselves a creative outlet or space because we don’t see the value in it if it doesn’t lead to a specific outcome.

Creativity is ever more important in today’s connection economy, because it is the outcome. As the world continues to race toward innovation, faster, cheaper, and quicker, are what distinguishes us from the crowd in terms of individual creative contribution. The more we share and create, the more we find out how valuable this concept is. Creativity cannot be outsourced, it must be cultivated, challenged, and inspired by human curiosity.

Below are 4 ways in which creativity leads to a more successful life:

1. Creativity Creates Deeper Connection to Work

Creativity is the act of experimenting and learning about what works and what may not. When we see creativity as a part of our work and not something left to a small artistic elite then we can create a deeper connection to the work we are meant to do in the world. If we see work as a part of our bigger purpose then our success will increase when we spend time being creative.

The more your creative footprint can be seen, understood, and felt, the more impact you will have. If you see an opportunity to think outside of the box in a particular situation because you see the world differently than your peers, then you have the edge to provide value that no one else can. And, guess what? Each one of us sees the world differently as part of our own uniqueness.

You already possess that special edge even if you were unsure of it before now. If you constantly avoid sharing your creative thoughts you are resisting your inner talents and hiding from the possibilities that lie within the power of your creativity.

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker

2. Incorporate More Creativity into Your Life

One of the ways you can grow in your ability to bring creativity in your life is to spend time having a “What if” mentality. Spending quality time wondering, dreaming and not stressed about the consequences of being wrong can be freeing.

If what we created wasn’t judged or had no real consequence beyond an act of wonder, we might dream up new solutions to old problems. Elon Musk allowed this “What if” mentality wondering what if he created a company that would make commercial space flight possible? His company is built not around what is, but what might be.

By bringing this sense of wonder and playfulness into our work, life and contribution, we can let go of some of the self-imposed limits we have placed on our own success. If we treat our work and life a bit more like play, we will see a growth in our ability to perform and contribute even more to the already exciting and wonderful world we live in.

3. Opportunity for New Thinking

Sometimes when we are working on a project, either in a team or solo, we might find that we are hitting a wall with a project or in finding a solution to a problem. Instead of looking for the answer, sometimes we need to allow our creative brain to play and search for answers that might be hidden.

By hidden, I mean not yet created. Take some time to remove yourself from the work at hand and just wonder. Consider ways that might seem impossible to do but might spark new ideas. New learning can come from adding two crazy ideas together or taking an old idea and making a wild new way of thinking about it.

For example, posing a question and just wondering about a solution might spark a solution that was not seen. How might we improve the passenger boarding process at the airport so that we can foresee new ideas that were not there before.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

4. Create New Learning Pathways and Increase Brain Activity

When we are creative, we start to open our minds to new thinking. We begin to see new thinking and opportunities that we didn’t notice before. We also silence our amygdala or our lizard brain that is often in fight or flight mode to protect us.

When we are in a state of creative flow we silence the need to protect ourselves and find more peace and openness to new ideas and success. Try drawing on paper using colors, images and textures to visually create and noodle over ideas.

By using colors and a variety of mixed media aside from computers, smartphones and other electronics, you will invite a playful, often semi-dormant, part of your subconscious mind to work in upping your creativity game. The subtle connections and associations that occur in our brains when we use visualization can lead us to embark on new discoveries and success.

How has using your own creativity helped you succeed? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Entrepreneurs

The 21st Century Entrepreneur’s Guide to Attracting Ready to Buy Customers

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Unlike some decades ago, the number one challenge entrepreneurs face is not figuring out a perfect name for their startup or getting overwhelmed at the point of bringing the startup to life. Rather, the major challenge of startup founders nowadays is attracting their first (or next) sets of qualified, always-willing-to-buy customers. (more…)

Noman Aqil is a Marketing Manager at Kayako, the effortless customer service software that helps teams be more productive and build customer loyalty. Noman is based in UAE and loves football, traveling and reading books.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I agree & disagree. Only the individual knows when they deserve a break and when they should work harder, anyone outside looking in doesn’t know what they have been through, only they do!

  2. Andrew Joe

    May 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    This is awesome! I mean the example of Steve Jobs for this topic and the pointers are amazing for success. I really like it. Much motivated!

  3. Anna Karanina

    Jan 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Someone obviously never read The Hobbit.

  4. Mike Kelso

    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:42 am

    It would seem that work life balance is at olds with this philosophy? If you want to be great, go for it, just don’t be surprised when your wife/husband/children etc. tire of your single-minded selfishness. Keep some perspective.

  5. Rhonda Geddes

    May 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I was made redundant at the age of 56, now 58 & am finding it impossible to find work, apart from baby sitting or telemarketing. I come from the ‘Corporate Development world’ in Melbourne, Australia. I’m finding my age is my main problem! I have taken on board all msg’s, would love feedback! Here, once we turn about 45 yrs, doesn’t matter about ‘the piece of paper, ie. diplomas etc, in my case, the looks etc are heading south! Loved reading all your participants! Would love some advice! Apologies if sp errors… Have no reading glasses, however I could not resist. You all so positive & amazing people.

  6. Australian Motivational Speaker

    May 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I have friends who were inheriting a lot. Their parents still made them work and earn respect, they are much better people for it.

  7. Russ Mason

    Apr 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The butterfly struggles to make its way out of its chrysalis and it is during this struggle that the fluid which enables the butterfly to fly is pushed from its body into its wings. Learn to embrace and grow from your struggles, your hardships, and even the times when it seems like you failed. Your struggles are preparing you and strengthening you for your future successes. The greater the struggle now, the higher you will soar later. Dream big and get ready to fly high!

  8. Barbara Bellar

    Apr 29, 2013 at 4:19 am

    My Pure and simple philosophies!
    1. Discipline yields excellence
    2. Everything we do is in preparation for something else.
    3. Perseverance is the secret to success.
    4. Eliminate shame, blame and fear from your life

  9. Israel Marcel

    Apr 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I definitely going to embrace my present hardships. By doing so will give me a positive mind to think, because only a positive state of mind can lead one to achieve great success. I am glad I found you guys!

  10. Tlotliso

    Apr 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @kyle try do ur thing, he might see wht u r doing nd it wil soon cm 2 his mind 2 start changing.

  11. Tommy Vercetti

    Apr 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    actually,the whole point of living is to enjoy it.

    but not on other people’s money, not on other peep people’s time.

    so yeah, laze around all you want, but be responsible for your own misery.

  12. Gabriel

    Apr 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Amazing article. Keep doing your thing Joel! I want this website to be alive and running 20 years from now when I have children so they can benefit from all this wealth of knowledge as well

  13. Kola

    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    i think its one thing to embrace strain and quite another to seek it out. i understand the former but dont see a reason for the latter. yes, ambition is good but (in my view) life is also meant to be enjoyed.
    great post nonetheless : )

    • Alex Ab'Dul

      Apr 27, 2013 at 8:58 am

      @Kola I think what Chad meant by “seek the strain”, is similar to what a fitness trainer means by “you have to find the burn”. As in, not only do you have to dig into your current situation and fully commit to growing even through the pain. You also should find challenges when life isn’t challenging you. Some people have been lifting the same weight for awhile and no longer feel challenged. So for them “finding the burn” means adding more weight to their bar, or strategically finding opportunities that will challenge them to learn and grow. Another example is how someone works out to lose weight, but will continue that habit after the weight is gone because they’ve established a lifestyle that will maintain a fit body. Let’s keep our minds fit as well. #NoStrainNoGain #RaiseTheBar 🙂

  14. Jason Lee

    Apr 22, 2013 at 11:05 am

    wow. great article..@kyle i think what you should do is sit with him and talk to him about how things work.. nowadays guys in their early 20’s dont really care much about whats happening around them but then a time comes when they do, but its to late by then… i used to be like that, but i was fortunate to have my older brother with me to guide me… 🙂

  15. smam

    Apr 21, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Great article great work and great reminder that life is a hardship’s process .Keep on inspiring US addicted2success So that we can inspire ourself and others around us

  16. Denise

    Apr 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    What a brilliant, well written article that I truly appreciate! Thank you for encouraging us to continue to persevere in the face of challenges.

  17. Kyle McKinney

    Apr 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    That is incredible and truly inspiring Joan.

    With that being said, maybe you guys can help me out a little. I’m living with a roommate that I have tried to inspire through my own actions and sending inspirational videos but to no avail. Constantly late to work meetings? That’s him. Sleeping till 2pm? That’s him. Complaining when things don’t go his way? That’s him. Honestly, it’s a daily internal battle that I have in how to get the message across to him and ignite change because he has so so much potential.

    What’s your thoughts? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Chad Howse

      Apr 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Hey Kyle, I’ve had a similar situation in the past. Sometimes you can’t get through to them. You just have to focus on your own stuff and hope they see how you’re evolving and they’re not. I ended up being pretty blunt with the guy simply because I was tired of his complaining. Be lazy, do your thing, but complaining is where I draw the line. It’s useless. Address the complaining, be blunt, but be supportive, and then get on your hustle and do your thing.

      Don’t let his inactivity cloud your day in any way.

      • Gabriel

        Apr 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        What Chad said is very true. I agree. You can’t change somebody without their consent, meaning they have to want to change as well.
        Just do your thing and don’t let his bad energy dwindle your success

    • Zach McNurlen

      Nov 22, 2013 at 1:29 am

      If you can’t change the people AROUND you, change the PEOPLE around you.

  18. joantgl

    Apr 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I grew up watching my father being lazy – doing only a half days work for full pay. I decided really early on that I would work hard for everything I wanted in life and have done and it feels good.
    So watching a person be lazy when I was growing up made me determined to work hard and ultimately have a much better life than he had. It has made me appreciate what I have worked hard for. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Joel

      Joel

      Apr 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      That is awesome Joan, Thank you for sharing that with us. Most would decide to be lazy like their parent, but in your case you saw what potential is really in you and that you don’t have to follow in his footsteps. Good on you Joan!

    • Chad Howse

      Apr 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      That’s incredible Joan. Like Joel said, most would have followed in their father’s footsteps. It’s great to see you break that trend. Now you’ll serve as inspiration to others.

      • George A. Demps

        May 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        There is surely no shortcut for success. Success comes after lots of struggles and hard-work. Thumbs up to those who are willing to put in efforts

  19. China Newz

    Apr 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Great post. Think there is a saying that “All that is great is hard.”

  20. James Strock

    Apr 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Terrific reminder of Theodore Roosevelt’s wise counsel and ‘lived words.’ Ease is not an option. The world makes a place for those who serve others effectively.

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Success Advice

The 4 D’s to Guaranteed Success From Maglite Founder Anthony Maglica

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I caught an inspiring story online recently about an incredible gentleman with a unstoppable work ethic. His name is Anthony (Tony) Maglica and he’s the inventor of the famous Maglite, i.e. a flashlight that revolutionized the industry. With it’s variable-focus beam light, varying sizes to fit the job and an array of accessories, the Maglite has been at the top of the heap for a long time. And widely preferred by law enforcement. Talk about servicing a large, niche market!

Tony, an 87-year-old entrepreneur, came from humble Croatian beginnings to build a thriving, worldwide business in America. He insists his success is due to using only quality American labor and resources in a time when most people outsource to improve their bottom lines. But that’s not the story. The story is Tony’s mantra. Tony Maglica lives by the 4 D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and  Discipline.

So let’s dissect that and see how much of Tony’s 4 D’s principle you live by in your life and business:

1. Desire

What are your talents, interests, capabilities? The dictionary says desire is: “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”. Are you in a career or business that you enjoy? Do you take your ideas to fruition or teeter off distracted by your next venture or a shiny object? Perhaps you’ve gone to school, learned a profession, only to figure along the way it’s not really what you want.

Without a strong desire to do something, you may have created for yourself just a “job”. So whether you have a strong desire in a particular field or knowing the money makes it all worthwhile, what gets you pumped and jumping out of bed in the morning? In other words, what’s your “why”?

“If you have a burning ambition and desire, absolutely anything can be achieved.” – Jahangir Khan

2. Determination

Tony’s staff says when he has an idea for a product to enhance his line, he stops at nothing to create it. Even if he has to create the machinery to create that extra component, he’s all in. Determination is what drives him. At 87, most think of retirement. Not Tony. He lives for this business he built from scratch.

The dictionary says determination is “firmness of purpose; resoluteness”. So what are you resolved in doing? Are you resolved to be successful? Are you resolved to do whatever needs to be done? To have a standard of excellence?

Are you determined to win? To get training; to stop at nothing; to course correct when needed? Have you thought of a mission statement? What kind of “company” culture would you like to build? Even solo-preneurs benefit from mission statements and company cultures just as much as a Fortune 500 corp.

3. Dedication

How committed are you to your success? And how does that commitment show up? The dictionary says dedication is: “the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”. If you’re on a deadline but it’s a beautiful day to surf, which would you choose? Honestly, the answer could be both. Figure out the time that the surf is best and do whatever you have to do to work around that to meet your deadline. With deadlines, i.e., commitments, taking priority, of course.

Dedication often goes hand-in-hand with passion. It’s easy to be committed to something when you’re passionate about it. In contrast, if you’re heart’s not in it, you may not be happy. Master marketer Seth Godin, committed to write a blog post each day. And he’s done so, religiously, for something like the past couple of decades. He also says he never commits to a project unless he’s determined to complete it. He’s very cautious of where he puts his time and effort. His motto: “Ship or it doesn’t count”.

“I have not idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” – Ayrton Senna

4. Discipline

Tony Maglica starts each day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t stop until his body tells him to. Similarly,  “Rambo” star Sly Stallone, says he wakes up at 4:00 a.m., readies himself for his daily morning regimen of writing (from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) before jumping into other endeavors. He says he approaches writing with the same discipline as working out.

Even Shark Tank’s Daymond John, boasts he starts his day at around 6:00 a.m., gets in some form of exercise, and keeps his calendar booked with meetings and shows until evening.

Tony Maglica, inventor, entrepreneur, employer and success role-model maintains: “If you have that (the 4 D’s), you have everything you want to succeed. Doesn’t matter if you use it in your job, your home, your family. Anything you want to achieve. Use this recipe for anything in life and you will make it. Guaranteed!”

  • So I wonder: what’s your success regimen look like?
  • What time do you hop out of bed? (And in what condition?)
  • What are your convictions? Are your actions true to your dreams?

Success isn’t created in a vacuum, it comes from motion. Forward-motion gets us closer to our goals. Stagnation causes atrophy – in our body, and in our business. So whatever you’re going through, whatever level of “stuck” you may be at at any given moment, take a deep breath, maybe a walk to clear the cobwebs in the brain and recall Tony’s Four D’s: Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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3 Life Lessons in Perseverance to Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

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I have two careers as an actor and a marketer with each having its own unique challenges. However, the number of parallels I continue to find in my chosen professions never ceases to amaze me. Of these lessons, perhaps one of the most valuable is that of persistence, and the mental resilience I’ve had to learn. You can’t be an actor without resilience as I experience rejection dozens of times per week.

Acting is a lesson in endurance, not a sprint. When you think about it though, doesn’t that apply to any career? It’s not easy to “Keep on keeping on.” No matter what path life has led you down, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of bumps. Sometimes, those bumps turn into potholes that the universe seems to refuse to fix.

As an actor, rejection is par for the course. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to persevere in spite of it. When life gets especially challenging, and you are dealing with change, disappointment or missteps, make use of these life lessons and continue pressing on towards your goal.

Below are 3 lessons in perseverance which will help you achieve your wildest dreams:

1. Know when it’s time to recalibrate

Goals are an important and necessary tool to reach our full potential. They keep us focused to help make small decisions on a daily basis such as if I should get up for that 8 a.m. run along with bigger decisions such as if I should take a new job offer. While setting goals is essential, don’t let them overpower you.

Tunnel vision in reaching your goals adds unnecessary pressure. This causes us to make mistakes we wouldn’t have made otherwise. Get too obsessed with a goal and you’ll forget the big picture, such as why you chose this course to begin with. Take a lesson from one of my favorite casting directors, Dave Newman of McSweeney Newman Casting.

Forget trying to “make it big” as an actor. It is normal to wait years before booking work with a decent paycheck. If you’re in the room with Dave, it’s hard not to let the pressure take over your performance.

In the words of Dave, as soon as those words from A Chorus Line enter your head, “God, I hope I get it!” it’s time to adjust your mindset. Dave advises taking a step back, refocusing, and doing anything that isn’t acting. Sometimes the best way to reach a goal is by shifting your gaze just for a moment. Take the pressure off and recalibrate your thoughts. You’ll come back recharged with a fresh perspective to pursue your objectives.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

2. Appreciate the journey

Perseverance requires a heaping dose of appreciation. This means acknowledging all the wins in your life, both big and small. Even if you haven’t yet met your goal, remember that you are moving towards it and that alone is an achievement.

As Linda Gillum, Casting Director at Chicago theatre Remy Bumppo explains, “With everything you do, you’re planting seeds.” It takes time for the seeds of success to grow. As an actor, my seeds take a lot of sunshine, water, and gratitude for the little things. A win can be as simple as improving my technique or getting an audition; I can’t base my happiness on booked jobs.

Persistence becomes much easier when you notice your achievements despite those potholes surrounding you. Celebrate the small wins; they’re what milestones are built on. Even if your manager or co-workers don’t recognize your work, give yourself that pat on the back.

To stay motivated, make a mental highlight reel of your achievements. Afterwards, be ready to hit the play button whenever you need a quick pick-me-up.

3. Embrace mistakes or at least be okay with them

No matter how much you hate mistakes, they’ll keep happening. Some people seem to move on from mistakes quickly, letting them roll off their backs. For others, that’s not the case (If you’re fighting to be perfect or gain confidence I’m talking to you!). The fear to avoid mistakes can be crippling.

This is also true in acting, where you work and wait years for a five-minute audition that could change everything. However, my best work won’t come unless I live in the moment and trust my instincts. And you know what that means, things can go wrong in an instant. But guess what? I still have to dive in, and I mean all in. If I don’t risk it all, my audition will suck, and I’ll lose before I even walk through the door.

We all recognize that positives, including life lessons, come from mistakes. However, that doesn’t stop the nosedive mistakes caused on emotions and confidence. Sometimes, we do everything in our power to avoid that feeling.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

Remember that there’s truth in the statement, “The biggest mistake is not making mistakes.” One way to get over your fear of failure is to make your focus on continuous improvement, not perfection. Teaching yourself to be okay with mistakes takes time but is necessary to maintain resilience.

You can allow yourself a learning curve, but it is essential to work on letting go of missteps. It takes practice to let go of the could have or would have statements. The good news is practice and persistence go hand-in-hand.

Take stock of what makes you happy in life, and turn to those things when mistakes happen. Little by little, as you learn to turn your attention elsewhere when missteps occur, you’ll train your brain to move on. This is how mistakes lose their power over you and enable you to pursue your goal with confidence.

Persistence is a state of mind. In the end, it means being kind to yourself. Know when to give yourself a break and pat on the back as you recharge your batteries. Then, you’ll find yourself able to maneuver whatever twists and turns life throws your way.

How do you remain determined in reaching your goals when it seems like the day won’t come? Let us know your advice and tips for your fellow entrepreneurs below!

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Dress for Success: 4 Small Fashion Choices That Make All the Difference

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When it comes to succeeding in business, making a good impression is just as much about your inner qualities as it is about your outer presentation. The fact of the matter is that your clothing and color choices, affect others’ perception of you. Believe it or not, you can achieve fashion-inspired success without splurging on a pair of Louboutins or shelling out $1000 for a designer suit. Just a few striking accessories can often complete the picture.

It may sound ridiculous that small accessories can affect the vibe you give off. It’s true, and certain accessories can even send certain messages. A recent study conducted by the University of Hertfordshire found that well-dressed male figures (whose faces were not shown) were perceived to be more confident, trustworthy, and well-to-do. Even minor adjustments to their clothing, such as adding on an accessory or more closely tailoring the suit, impacted these impressions.

However, our clothes not only impact the way others perceive us, but the way we perceive ourselves. A study conducted by the Scientific American, found that those who “suit up” performed better in cognitive tests. It suggests that being well-dressed releases more testosterone, which in turn increases confidence.

This allows well-dressed professionals to negotiate better deals, and in the long run, potentially make more money. So, maybe you’ve got the clothes, but what are the finishing touches you can put on your outfit to send an even stronger message? See below!

1. Wear a watch

A beautiful watch makes all the difference – and this goes for men and women. Even a simple button-down and jeans, or plain-colored dress, can be exponentially stylized by a standout watch. Charismatic individuals tend to talk more with their hands, too, as this captivates their listeners. Wearing a flashy wrist accessory like a watch will make your points even more engrossing. Furthermore, wearing a watch sends a subconscious message: you’re always on time. Individuals who wear a watch can always keep track of time and therefore, will never be late to a meeting.

“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

2. Tie it off with a tie pin

The one criticism of men’s business fashion is that it lacks variety. Let’s face it, while women have an infinite number of patterns, dress lengths, colors, and sleeve styles to choose from, men are pretty much locked into one outfit: the suit. You can buy one in suede, another in navy blue, throw in a paisley tie, but it’s simply not enough.

Adding on a tie pin will make a significant difference. Not only does it add a little shimmer to an otherwise dull suit, but it adds personality too. The kind of tie pin you choose says a lot about you. Maybe you’re a simple guy who just likes sterling silver, or you may choose to tout your school pride by wearing the colors of your alma mater (which, by the way, can also make a great conversation starter).

You can also create custom tie pins that feature the name of your company, or perhaps a saying that you’re fond of. The options are limitless.

3. A quality briefcase

It doesn’t even matter if you have nothing to carry around, the key is to never show up empty-handed. A quality leather briefcase is an important asset for men and women. Backpacks and most handbags don’t signify professionalism. A briefcase, on the other hand, symbolizes professionalism and importance. After all, what else would you carry in a briefcase except for a load of important documents and files, right?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if all you have in your briefcase is a Kit-Kat Bar. All that matters is that it’s by your side and contains the essentials – a beautiful silver pen (perhaps with your name engraved), a notepad or iPad, and business cards that can be pulled out in a flash without having to rummage through your pockets.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

4. Nice sunglasses

It’s a sunny day and you’ve got a working lunch across town. Rather than squinting your way from Point A to Point B, top off your look with a pair of stylish sunglasses. Not only do these send a more casual vibe when tucked in your pocket, but the right sunglasses can give you a sleek aesthetic (think 007, but with business lunches). Wayfarers a la Audrey Hepburn and aviators a la Tom Cruise are the go-to choices for business professional sunglasses. You can’t go wrong with either of these styles.

The bottom line is that you choose how you wish to be viewed. The lesson here is much akin to the old adage: “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” And if you have the job you want, don’t send your fashion choices to the sidelines. Not only can clothes/accessories indicate our knowledge and experience, but also our authority.

How has a nice outfit helped you in your professional career? Comment below!

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How Creativity Leads to a More Successful Life

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Human beings are curious, inquisitive and creative. We have a deep desire to make meaning of our world and each other by creating. Each culture brings new ideas and meaning to gain a sense of belonging and purpose. Success comes from understanding your contribution to the world and the spark of this contribution comes from a creative place. Understanding the power that comes from creativity can help to elevate you in many ways.

Mary Lou Cook said, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.” Having fun is part of the human experiment that not only provides a sense of purpose, but builds our humanity and scales our ability to succeed. Too many of us don’t allow ourselves a creative outlet or space because we don’t see the value in it if it doesn’t lead to a specific outcome.

Creativity is ever more important in today’s connection economy, because it is the outcome. As the world continues to race toward innovation, faster, cheaper, and quicker, are what distinguishes us from the crowd in terms of individual creative contribution. The more we share and create, the more we find out how valuable this concept is. Creativity cannot be outsourced, it must be cultivated, challenged, and inspired by human curiosity.

Below are 4 ways in which creativity leads to a more successful life:

1. Creativity Creates Deeper Connection to Work

Creativity is the act of experimenting and learning about what works and what may not. When we see creativity as a part of our work and not something left to a small artistic elite then we can create a deeper connection to the work we are meant to do in the world. If we see work as a part of our bigger purpose then our success will increase when we spend time being creative.

The more your creative footprint can be seen, understood, and felt, the more impact you will have. If you see an opportunity to think outside of the box in a particular situation because you see the world differently than your peers, then you have the edge to provide value that no one else can. And, guess what? Each one of us sees the world differently as part of our own uniqueness.

You already possess that special edge even if you were unsure of it before now. If you constantly avoid sharing your creative thoughts you are resisting your inner talents and hiding from the possibilities that lie within the power of your creativity.

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker

2. Incorporate More Creativity into Your Life

One of the ways you can grow in your ability to bring creativity in your life is to spend time having a “What if” mentality. Spending quality time wondering, dreaming and not stressed about the consequences of being wrong can be freeing.

If what we created wasn’t judged or had no real consequence beyond an act of wonder, we might dream up new solutions to old problems. Elon Musk allowed this “What if” mentality wondering what if he created a company that would make commercial space flight possible? His company is built not around what is, but what might be.

By bringing this sense of wonder and playfulness into our work, life and contribution, we can let go of some of the self-imposed limits we have placed on our own success. If we treat our work and life a bit more like play, we will see a growth in our ability to perform and contribute even more to the already exciting and wonderful world we live in.

3. Opportunity for New Thinking

Sometimes when we are working on a project, either in a team or solo, we might find that we are hitting a wall with a project or in finding a solution to a problem. Instead of looking for the answer, sometimes we need to allow our creative brain to play and search for answers that might be hidden.

By hidden, I mean not yet created. Take some time to remove yourself from the work at hand and just wonder. Consider ways that might seem impossible to do but might spark new ideas. New learning can come from adding two crazy ideas together or taking an old idea and making a wild new way of thinking about it.

For example, posing a question and just wondering about a solution might spark a solution that was not seen. How might we improve the passenger boarding process at the airport so that we can foresee new ideas that were not there before.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

4. Create New Learning Pathways and Increase Brain Activity

When we are creative, we start to open our minds to new thinking. We begin to see new thinking and opportunities that we didn’t notice before. We also silence our amygdala or our lizard brain that is often in fight or flight mode to protect us.

When we are in a state of creative flow we silence the need to protect ourselves and find more peace and openness to new ideas and success. Try drawing on paper using colors, images and textures to visually create and noodle over ideas.

By using colors and a variety of mixed media aside from computers, smartphones and other electronics, you will invite a playful, often semi-dormant, part of your subconscious mind to work in upping your creativity game. The subtle connections and associations that occur in our brains when we use visualization can lead us to embark on new discoveries and success.

How has using your own creativity helped you succeed? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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