Good Communication Skills Will Help You Find Long-Term Success

Learning how to effectively communicate with others while choosing the right words can literally make or break your growth in the marketplace.

If you are a business owner, having the ability to communicate and point out small successes to your employees is a vital key for long-term success. If you are an employee, knowing how to become a more skilled communicator will increase your value to the company and marketplace.

Let’s take a look at three ways why mastering the skill of communication can improve your business and increase your success rate.

1. Expand your reach in the marketplace

You can know everything there is to know about your business, services, mission statement and vision, but if you can’t express it with the right words out in the marketplace, chances are your growth will be very minimal.

Think of all the great business leaders in the world. I can almost guarantee that they are poised and excellent communicators. If they have an idea or plan, they know exactly how to effectively communicate that idea or plan to the world.

Expand your reach in the marketplace by mastering the skill of communication.

2. Leading and educating employees

Over the years, I have come across and realized that the best educators not only have exceptional communication skills, but they make sure their employees walk away with new skills and abilities.

Think of it this way: You can have the most crafted and thought-out job description, but if you can’t verbally express to your employees what your vision, goals and plan of attack is, your growth rate will be hindered.

3. The ability to motivate

One of the most valuable aspects of mastering the skill of communication is having the ability to inspire your employees. The best business owners out there know the importance of finding the time to inspire their employees and help them see past the roadblocks and setbacks that may be present in their lives.

The hustle and bustle of everyday life confronts everyone on different levels, such as when an employee is going through a divorce and may need some words of encouragement. The list goes on, but the bottom line is mastering the skill of communication vastly increases your ability to motivate employees.

When employees are motivated and inspired by your simple, heartfelt words, they are willing to go the extra mile and work even harder. Just like parents encourage and give words of empowerment to their children, the same applies to business leaders.

Improving the skill

Now that we have listed three ways as to why mastering the skill of communication is so important in determining business success, what are some ways you can improve your communication skills?

The first step is to take out a sheet of paper and list what you feel are your strengths, along with where you need to improve. Do you feel you can effectively go out in the marketplace and talk all day and night about your services, but your ability to motivate employees is lacking? Whatever it is, write it down. You can then start to develop a plan of action to increase your communication skills. Here are three ways to get started:

  • Enrolling in a speaking class is a powerful way to improve communication skills. There are many classes throughout the country to help aid in communicating effectively.
  • Putting a dictionary in the bathroom is another way to slowly but surely increase your vocabulary, which always will help with boosting your skills.
  • Hiring a speech coach is another route you can look into. Working one on one with an expert can quickly speed up the process.

Do you know of any good practices to improve communication skills? Let us know in the comments section below.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

That Little Thing That Makes All the Difference

There are many factors that determine success throughout life, however, I strongly believe that having the right attitude towards life, yourself and others is one of the greatest factors of all.

“Obviously, there is something more than facilities and competence that makes for accomplishment,” says Erwin Schell, one of America’s most respected authorities on leadership. “I have come to believe that this linkage factor, this catalyst if you will, can be defined in a single word: attitude. When our attitude is right, our abilities reach a maximum of effectiveness and good results inevitably follow.”

The right attitude can take you to the top of your profession. The right attitude can create extraordinary businesses. The right attitude can build an everlasting legacy. The right attitude can bring out the best in others. The right attitude can spark hope in those who are in need.

Some of the biggest achievements in history were made by men and women who understood the importance of attitude. A good portion of the population will look at these accomplishments and think, “Wow, how in the world did they do that?” We tend to believe these men and women have been blessed with a special gift over the rest of us, that there is no way we could ever do something that remarkable.

It’s that type of mental attitude that will leave you searching and wishing for more in life, never creating and leaving a legacy of your own.

You have ultimate control over your attitude. You aren’t any different from the next person. You have the ability to live your dream and create whatever it is you desire. It all comes down to your attitude.

Why is it that some can earn an extraordinary amount of money with very little education? Why can some defeat such odds and go on to be some of the world’s greatest achievers? Simple. The attitude they chose.

You have two options: Choose a positive and resilient attitude despite any hardship you encounter along the way, or to allow life’s minor mishaps negatively shape your attitude. What you choose will greatly determine the quality of your life.

When you choose a positive attitude, no goal or dream is out of reach. If it has been done before, then you darn well know you can do the same. Someone with a negative attitude loves to play the blame game. The economy limits their financial goals. Circumstances limit their vision for what they can accomplish.

As an ambitious entrepreneur, tough times will come head on with you at some point or another, if they haven’t already. To thrive and create everlasting success when most businesses struggle, it’s imperative that you have a great attitude. Take advantage of your power and the ability to choose whatever attitude it is you desire.

But just know that such a little thing makes such a major difference!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Create a Binding Agreement With Yourself, Just for Today, and Defeat Complacency

Imagine how much you would be able to get done if you had an agreement with yourself that you had to produce to the best of your ability and give maximum effort — just for today. If you didn’t accomplish the core basis of what was in the agreement, that particular day counts as a big loss. No one likes to lose.

You see, so many people put off living their absolute best life and putting forth their best effort because there is always the thought of, “I always have tomorrow.” That mental attitude is a recipe for mediocrity.

Think about this for a second. Why is it that a professional athlete will get the big multi-million dollar contract and then lack urgency, focus and production compared to when he didn’t have the big payday? On the other side of the spectrum, why is it that a Wall Street broker approaches each and every day like it’s their last?

The reasoning is simple. When an athlete receives a big payday, more times than not, that money is guaranteed. That creates a sense of security. A Wall Street broker is only as good as their last trade. There is no guaranteed 10-year stay with a particular company. You have to produce every single day and maybe, just maybe, you might have a future with the same company. However, that’s only if you produce day in and day out.

A wonderful book I just finished reading is the One Day Contract by the University of Louisville’s well decorated basketball coach Rick Pitino. In the book, he describes a one-day contract he created for himself and his team before the start of their championship season last year. I thought the idea was terrific.

The whole purpose of the one-day contract is to add value to your life every minute of every day. Even though I don’t call it the one-day contract, I have been incorporating something similar into my own life for the past five years with the same concept in mind.

The benefit has been substantial. The binding agreement I have with myself is geared towards helping me to think about maximizing my potential and life just for today. When you truly begin to focus all of your energy, effort and focus into making this very day a masterpiece, the results will completely blow you away.

I see it all the time. I walk into a corporation and see employees slacking off, chatting with their colleagues, and surfing the Internet without a care in the world. There is no urgency. They have their salaries. They have health insurance. There is a sense of security for them that creates an atmosphere of complacency.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t just happen in corporations. This happens in the government, school boards, professional sport teams and every job market you can think of. A very small percentage of people are approaching each new day with a mindset of “all or nothing.”

The binding agreement with yourself not only creates a fierce sense of urgency to spend your valuable time working on high-valued tasks, but takes motivation levels to a completely different level. Here is an example of a binding agreement with myself:

(Today’s date)

I, Matt Mayberry, abide by the terms of this contract. I vouch to give my very best towards everything I put my hands on. I will uplift and encourage everyone I encounter. My time will be spent wisely while directing all of my focus and energy on my most important tasks. Everything that is placed on my “things to do” for today will be done passionately and quickly. I will learn something new and grow somehow, someway. Just for today, I will be great.

Have some fun with yours. Mix things up and explore different methods. There is no right or wrong way of doing this. The only thing that matters is that you create something powerful for yourself that will prompt you to live like today is your last day here on earth.

Create a sense of urgency to get moving on creating the life of your dreams!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The 4 Habits You Need to Be Successful

4 Habits to be successful

The most successful people in this world maintain and master good habits. They realize what they do on a daily basis and where they direct their energy deeply matters when it comes to reaching their goals.

The habits you have picked up over the past couple of years is a reflection of where you are right this moment.

The sad news is that most people don’t have very good habits. The great news is if you are unhappy where you are at in your life you can gradually change the trajectory by altering what you do daily. To achieve high levels of success, you must start to develop the habits of the highly successful.

Below you will find four habits that will help you maximize the results you have been producing and live the life of your dreams.

1. Focus your energy. Learning how to direct your energy towards your most rewarding tasks is crucial for achieving high levels of success. One of the biggest mistakes that many people make is directing their energy towards low-valued tasks. Take a look at everything you have going on right now in your life.  Pay close attention and ask yourself what the high-valued tasks are — the ones that have the potential to bring the most reward to you and your business.

2.  Ability to prioritize. Think of what is your most important goal right this moment. If you had to pick one goal that would make everything else in your life tick, this is it. High achievers never lose sight of what their major goal is. Every day, do something that will inch you closer to the achievement of your main goal.

3. Can project and complete tasks. Being able to start something and follow through until it’s completed is a key to long-term success. Picture yourself completely finishing your projects and tasks. Take note of how you feel visualizing yourself getting the job done. The more you can picture yourself following through and completing important tasks, the more determined you will be to actually do so.

4. Having a PMA. To be successful, you need to have a positive mental attitude, or PMA. If you do nothing about negative thoughts, chances are you will be settling for average. Instead, you need to continually feed your mind with positive thoughts.

A great percentage of successful people have all experienced some sort of setback or failure. They could have just stopped their journey right there and called it quits. Instead, they had a positive mental attitude about themselves and their abilities, which gave them the power needed to continue along and reach their goals. Creating this sort of attitude could be one of your most important habits that you end up incorporating on a daily basis.

No matter where you are in life, there is always more to reach for.  When you constantly strive to become a better person, refine your skill set and invest in your future daily, you become more as an individual. When you become more as an individual, your value increases.  The more your value increases, the more successful you will become — and it all starts with your habits.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Ways to Overcome Fear Immediately

Overcome Fear

If there is one thing that holds millions of people back each day from growing as an individual, achieving high levels of success and becoming the best version of themselves, fear is definitely at the top of the list.

High achievers, regardless of occupation, understand that taking risks and massive action is a vital part in getting from where you are to where you want to go. And that goes for in life — and in business. But often these risks are met with fear, which can cause people to question their ambitions and prevent them from taking action.

One thing I want you to understand is that fear is absolutely normal. Even the best experience fear from time to time. The key is to not let fear hold you back and prevent you from taking action and go after what you want in life.

Here are three ways to overcome fear immediately.

1. Rewire your brain. Rewiring your brain is one of the surest ways to overcome your fears and develop the courage that is needed to get to where you want to go. Develop mantras and affirmations that build you up and increase your self-confidence. Read uplifting books to help interrupt the negative inner dialogue that goes on in your mind. Beginning as a child, we are told negative things that we can’t do, be or have. If you don’t take the initiative to rewire your brain, life will do it for you.

2. Have a well thought out plan. We begin to worry and over analyze situations when we don’t have detailed and well thought out plans for our life. Set extremely clear goals with a detailed plan on how to achieve those goals. After you have a well detailed plan, take action.Taking action towards meaningful goals helps to relieve stress and gives you a huge sense of enjoyment. Fear creeps in and paralyzes us when we don’t take the time to plan our lives.

3. Do one thing every day that scares you. Living in our comfort zone is not the best way to live. Not doing the things that frighten you will increase the likelihood that your fears will become bigger – and taking over your life. It can even be something small that you choose to do, but do something daily that scares you. Step out of your comfort zone and work on becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. When you form the habit of doing something daily that scares you, your courage grows little by little. Soon enough, the barriers that once were holding you back vanish and your potential maximizes tremendously.

Making the bold decision to not let fear hold you back anymore is one of the best decisions you can make to ensure future success. It’s not something that happens overnight, but taking intentional action and running towards your fears daily will give you a promising result in the long run.

Everything that you want in life is past your comfort zone. Don’t let fear be the reason you lived a half-lived life.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Genius Of Mentorship

The Genius Of Mentorship

When you look at the survival rate of new businesses, you’ll see that entrepreneurs need all the help they can get. When I was an NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, I thought my career was fully established. Little did I realize it was just a stepping stone to my true career.

After an injury that resulted in being sidelined and no longer able to play for the pros, I discovered my truest passion. Writing and speaking. However, when I uncovered what my true passion was, I had no idea how to pursue that career. That’s when I discovered I needed a mentor.

When I began to work on my personal growth, my mentor explained to me that I needed to become a different person than who I was if I wanted my business to be a thriving business. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what he meant but I agreed and followed his lead. As time went on, I noticed almost everything that we talked about or worked on really had nothing to do with my actual business. Instead, it was all focused on who I was as a person, my characteristics, how I thought and what my daily habits were.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, I’m sure you have read or maybe even experienced firsthand the tremendous benefits from having a mentor. There is so much value that comes from learning from a master who has been there and done that.

I strongly believe that having a solid, experienced and willing mentor will do more for you personally and professionally than any book, online course, or any other type of learning material available. Without the help of my mentors, I may have never been able to build my public speaking business and writing career. Here are a few thoughts on finding a great mentor or friend to help you:

-The sky’s the limit! Think big from the start. If you don’t visualize yourself as being successful, then you won’t attract the great people who will want to help you.

-Be realistic. Recognize that there are things you don’t know. Remember, experience is built from your mentor facing the same or similar situations before. That’s something that no entrepreneur can have too much of on their team.

-Trust your instincts. This is your passion, your business. Listen to advice but be careful to filter it. You are in charge of your life and your decisions, so stay true to them.

-Use caution and choose your mentors carefully. Many people who “talk a big talk” may have few real experiences and will be more of a danger to you. Remember, the goal of this mentoring relationship is to make your habits and values better as you become more like the people you spend time with. It’s O.K. to have a friend as a mentor if you respect their principles. And it’s O.K. to choose someone you’ve never met.

-Timing is everything. The more proof you have that you are on to a winning idea, the easier it will be to attract a new mentor.
Don’t expect your mentor(s) to have all the answers; however, a great mentor can help you find the answers for yourself or refer you to someone who can help.

-Be appreciative. Reward them well and be prepared to offer them equity or similar that will incentivize them to help you over the long-term to build your company and its value. (This, of course, depends on the type of mentor they are and the type of business you’re building).

-If this fits your business model, then seek out entrepreneur groups, business angel and seed capital networks. These are all good places to look for great advisers and mentors.

-Choose different mentors for different areas of your business. Someone who shared your vision for your business might not have the best advice about budgeting or back-office issues. So, choose different mentors for different needs.

Take Action: Application is king. If all you do is meet with your mentor or study about him in books, you’re not going to get much from this relationship. Once you have selected your mentor(s) you have to take action. Apply what you have learned!

Your mentor cannot do things for you. You have to do them yourself! This is the most important step with any mentor in your life: applying what you learn. At this point, you have come to the realization of just how important it is to grow personally, you have a world-class mentor to make sure you become the person you need to be in order to reach the top in your field, and now it’s time to apply everything that you learned.

If you find your business not growing or reaping the rewards you were maybe once hoping for, chances are that it has absolutely nothing to do with your actual business but everything to do with you individually. We can have mentors for literally every area of our life, but having one to help you grow personally will be one of the best decisions you ever made in your professional career. The fact is, if you grow personally, it will cross over into your professional life so you can maximize your company’s growth, as well.

Pay it forward. Remember this: Pay it forward. Mentoring is a cycle. Keep this cycle going and return the favor of all the wisdom you have received from your mentor by becoming a mentor yourself. The more you give, the more that will be returned to you. It’s a universal law of life.

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

You Have Good Ideas–Don’t Let Them Disappear

good ideas

Good ideas come and go every second, but what doesn’t happen very often is the capturing of those thoughts. You can have the brightest and sharpest ideas that could take your life and business to a whole new level, but they mean absolutely nothing if they’re pushed aside and forgotten.

It doesn’t matter what our education levels are or where we come from, we all have great and wonderful ideas. The only problem is that most people let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way and interrupt their ability to capture their golden ideas.

Now, you might not come up with the world’s next greatest invention (or maybe you will). But everything we use in our day-to-day lives was once just an idea. Not every idea will be worth a billion dollars, but perhaps one or two of them can change the trajectory of your business and life for the better.

We all have 24 hours in a day, no more or no less than the next person. Think about how many times where an idea or thought comes to mind but you do nothing about it. There really is no value for us if we don’t take the initiative. The other reason why it is so imperative that we capture our ideas is because coincidence or not, some of our best ideas don’t come to us in the office.

Here are three steps to take every day:

Have a system. The best way I have found to capture ideas on a regular basis is to take a systematic approach to it. We all prefer different ways of doing things. Some of us prefer electronic devices while some of us stick to the trusted pen-and-paper route.

Either way, pick what works for you and stick with it. I prefer to log all of my ideas and thoughts into evernote and then at the end of the day analyze each idea. After I dig a little deeper, I transfer the ideas that I may want to act on immediately or in the near future into my moleskin journal.

Pick the good ones. Just because you start capturing your thoughts and ideas doesn’t mean everything that comes to mind is going to be something that you will act on. Finding time alone where you can analyze what you logged for the day helps tremendously. This is where you can determine whether a specific idea is worthy of your time. Throw out what’s useless.

Make it a habit. Just like with any new habit that we try to adopt into our everyday lives, it takes time. I truly believe that if you make a determined effort on a regular basis to capture your ideas, it will greatly benefit your personal and professional life.

Of all the great men and women I have had the fortune to work with, they all knew the importance of keeping track of their thoughts and ideas. Stick with it.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

What Truly Matters Most

Relationships

Building great, sustainable, and meaningful relationships is arguably one of the most important things we can do during our time here on earth.

All too often, we see men and women who think it’s perfectly fine to neglect their relationships just to move on up in the corporate ladder or to increase their personal net worth.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re in corporate America, then yes, you absolutely should be striving to get better and advance from where you are to somewhere higher up within the company. And who doesn’t like to make more money and see their personal net worth increase every single year?

However, not at the expense of neglecting what’s most important, relationships. What a lot of people forget to understand is that creating exceptional relationships will actually help advance your career, not hurt it. Creating exceptional relationships can actually help to increase your personal net worth, not diminish it.

These wonderful words from Max Lucado sum it all up perfectly…..

“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”

Relationships matter most.

Five Ways to Change the Odds

5 ways to change the odds

I love America. Where else can someone come from absolutely nothing and go on to create an extraordinary life?

When the odds are stacked against you, it’s so easy to become the statistic everyone expects from you. How does one escape their bleak fate and go on to achieve noteworthy success? How do men and women with very little resources, horrific backgrounds and less-than-promising circumstances end up making history and reaching world-class levels in their line of work?

They each committed to changing their odds. Here are five ways you can, too.

1. Relentless work ethic. 

Countless men and women have overcome obstacles to create everlasting masterpieces. Their key to success is a relentless work ethic. Be willing to outwork the others. Arrive earlier, stay later, do more than is expected of you. Strive to be the best in your field. Take pride in yourself and your work.

2. Unbreakable self-belief.

Life can be tough. Don’t wear the labels people will try to give you. Albert Einstein was once labeled “mentally handicapped” for not speaking until the age of four. His name is now synonymous with “genius.” Shed the limitations and develop expectations for yourself. Begin by seeing yourself as a valuable member of society. Become that. Believe with obstinate conviction that your future is bigger than where you are and where you were.

3. Keep knocking. 

Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, took 1,000 attempts to make a light bulb that worked. Where would we be if Edison had given up after the 900th time? When asked, Edison said, “I have not failed 999 times, I have simply found 999 ways how not to create the light bulb.” Keep knocking, keep persisting, no matter how long it takes you.

4. Seek positive role models.

Study great men and women who have already reached their pinnacle of success. The vast majority overcame substantial odds.

Your role model can simply be a person of character you want to strive to become. Whether it be the discipline of your mother, work ethic of your father, or a marriage like your grandparents, seek these individuals out. Ask lots of questions and take notes. Try making a list of five people who can be a positive role model in your life and find a way to get in touch with them. You just might be surprised at the response you receive.

5. Create opportunity.

Changing the odds begins by taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and creating opportunities when there seemingly isn’t one.

One of the core reasons why many miss golden opportunities is because they are thinking in terms of instant gratification. They aren’t willing to lay the groundwork for opportunities to bloom down the road. Laying a firm foundation will allow opportunity to sprout in the future.

Understand that opportunities aren’t always going to come your way. People who wait for the door of opportunity to swing wide open so they can waltz through will likely be waiting a lifetime. Sometimes you have to walk right up to that locked door, size it up and begin breaking it down.

The odds will run your life unless you decide that you are the captain of your ship. What you do when confronted with challenge, the attitude you choose, will dictate your outcome. Focus on your destiny with all into your passion and you will end up at the right destination.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The One and Only Secret for Achieving Massive Success

Turn on the TV or flip through your favorite magazine and chances are you will come across some ad or article that promises massive success in your life or business if you just buy this particular product or do this one particular thing. It’s all a lie.

There is no secret to achieving massive success. As human beings, it’s not out of the ordinary at some point to look for a shortcut or seek ways to maximize results without maximizing the effort. This type of thinking is carried by the majority of the population.

The fact of the matter is that there are absolutely no shortcuts to accumulate massive amounts of success or to live out your dreams. And there certainly are no secrets that you don’t know about.

The one and only secret to success is taking persistent, massive action. Every high achiever knows this truth. The reason why so many neglect this very important aspect is because actual work has to be done. There is nothing sexy about it. It may not always be the “fun” thing to do, but it always will be the right thing to do when you are in pursuit of greatness, looking to maximize business success, or achieve a specific goal. Taking persistent, massive action requires you to get out of your comfort zone and move even when you may not feel like it.

Create your own opportunities.

Over the years, I have learned one thing is for certain. Those who are willing to take relentless, persistent, and massive action begin to create their own opportunities. Instead of waiting for the perfect time, they go out and create the perfect time. As an entrepreneur and business owner, especially in the beginning stages, you must be willing to do the dirty work.

Increase is the name of the game. 

Make it a game with yourself. If you made 20 phone calls yesterday, make 60 today. If you are visiting with prospects 10 times a month, do more. The name of the game is increase! Increase action, increase persistence, increase relentlessness and increase results.

Find ways to fire yourself up. 

There will be times where taking massive action is the last thing you will feel like doing. That’s why it’s an absolute must to find ways to fire yourself up. Hang your most important goal somewhere where you will see it daily. Talk yourself through. Whatever you have to do, constantly search for ways to fire yourself up and keep yourself in the game. Let the competition fall off and become complacent, but not you. Determine what that “something” is and make it a part of your daily routine.

Massive success doesn’t just happen overnight. But if you are willing to wake up each morning and declare that you are going to compete with the person you were yesterday and constantly take massive action, you will be well on your way.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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