3 Ways to Remain Calm and Execute When Starting a Business

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Although it can certainly bring extraordinary excitement and fulfillment, there is nothing easy about starting a business. Launching a new business or even a new division within an existing business can be chaotic. There will be plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns, and wins and losses. Building a successful business has very much to do with how you respond when you get knocked down.

Below are three critical steps that can help you remain calm and execute your vision fully when the going gets tough.

1. Surround yourself with those who are already doing what you want to do.

When I first started writing and speaking, I knew absolutely nothing about how to go about turning it into an actual business. The first thing that I did was email and reach out to those who were already doing it, asking them how I might be able to help with whatever their most important project was. Some would respond and some wouldn’t, but every single day I put in the effort. I offered value in whatever way I could in the beginning, and over time, that transpired into a solid mentoring relationship. When you really care about what it is you do and eager to learn more, you would be surprised at how many highly successful people want to help.

2. Be obsessed with your vision.

Creating a blueprint of possibilities is the new “business plan.” No great entrepreneur has succeeded without developing an obsessive mentality surrounding the value of their product or overall vision of what they wanted to do. Coupling a steadfast dedication to your vision and value with an attitude of adaptability helps business owners and entrepreneurs to gain unbelievable momentum. And Big Mo as I like to call it—momentum—equals success.

3. Learn to love failure.

Failure yields opportunity. Entrepreneurs fail because when obstacles hit, they surrender to the negativity and attach their identity to this feeling of frustration. That’s not productive. All great entrepreneurs accept roadblocks as incredible opportunities to pinpoint areas of growth and get better. By learning to detach from the negativity and dig into the reasons these obstacles have arisen, entrepreneurs can narrow in on the aspects of their business that require extra attention or adaptability. Behind every failure and setback is a fundamental key to your business growth.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

What You Need to Do Next Time You Stumble

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As entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders, we repeatedly find ourselves faced with failure and adversity; it comes with the territory. Unfortunately, too many of us fail to recognize its rewards. We go through it instead of grow through it.

In her bestselling book Mindset, psychologist Carol Dweck breaks down what separates the high achievers from everyone else. One of the main differentiators is in how they view failure. Successful types are able to look at stumbling blocks and learn from it. Others — or to use her language, those with a “fixed mindset” — fail to look for ways to grow and ultimately hate to be challenged.

As a leader, you’ve (quite admirably) increased your chances of failing miserably. Sometimes you’ll see it coming; sometimes you won’t. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.”

That’s why consistently training yourself to deal with failure is important. It’s called creating a growth plan and there is no right or wrong way to do it. My growth plan consists of looking at my goals each and every day to remind me of what I am working towards, reading uplifting books first thing in the morning, listening to audiobooks in the car or on flights and having a group of similarly ambitious people who share the same hunger to make a difference and achieve big goals.

Also remember to ask yourself this simple question: “How can I grow through this setback?” It’s not an easy thing to do, especially after having been knocked down, but it’s the first and most important step to carving a path to the future. Before letting your mind race and drawing conclusions about what’s going to happen next, take the time to ask it.

Your future self will thank you.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

We Are All Salespeople. Use These 3 Techniques to Become a Better One.

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You may not have the title of a salesperson, but it’s imperative that you polish up on your skills and become a better communicator to win in business and in life. Whether you run your own company or currently employed by one, there is a good chance that at some point throughout the day you are spending time doing sales related work. All of us, regardless of job title or influence, do some type of sales on almost a daily basis.

Parents spend a significant time trying to sell their children on to make their bed, do the chores and study for the upcoming test. A startup entrepreneur spends a significant time trying to sell their idea and newly founded organization to investors and other key players that can help them to advance the process of growth.

A CEO or leader of a big organization is constantly spending a significant time trying to sell the company’s vision to employees. An employee who works for a company is spending a significant amount of time trying to sell their skill set so they can land a promotion and move up the corporate ladder.

Sales is the oxygen to your business growth and success. Without it, there will eventually be no business. It’s impossible to grow anything without sales.

 

Here are three ways to become a more polished salesperson.

1. Always lead with questions.

Some of the best communicators that I have ever come across would always lead with questions. I have written a lot about the importance of questions, and it also certainly applies to becoming a better communicator and salesperson as well.

In your next sales meeting or interaction with someone, try to lead the conversation with great questions. Do your research and come prepared with great questions ready to be asked.

When you ask good questions, you are doing two things that will help you in the long run. Number one, you display a sense of humility that will always serve you in a positive way. Number two, you will start to receive key answers that you would normally not have been able to find out. There is nothing more powerful on both sides when great questions are asked. Lead with questions during every interaction from here on out.

2. Change your perception about sales. 

I can’t tell you how many people I have encountered that had nothing good to say about sales. They couldn’t understand why anyone would want to do such a thing, or that being in sales meant that you couldn’t find a job anywhere else.

To succeed in sales, you must first change your perception about sales. Instead of looking at it as a negative, start viewing it in a totally different light. Sales is all about serving and helping others get to where they want to go. In sales, you only succeed when you help others succeed.

It’s quite difficult to succeed in sales and successfully sell your product or service if you keep telling yourself how much you hate sales and never try to change your negative perception of what sales really stands for.

 

3. Be obsessed about being a master at solving problems.

This one can be a total game-changer. Become obsessed about solving problems and providing real value in the marketplace that makes you different and unique from everyone else. The most successful salespeople don’t look at it as a sale, they look at it as an opportunity to solve a problem. They are completely obsessed about becoming a master at solving problems.

Look for ways to double the value you are bringing forth into the marketplace and to your prospects, and then direct all of your time and energy towards solving real problems. When you start to solve problems and become known by being a problem solver before someone labels you a salesperson, your business and life will transform.

Becoming a more polished salesperson and working on your communication skills will help you a whole lot more than just succeeding in business. Even though you may not have the title of a salesperson, we are all in sales to an extent.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Ways Documenting the Journey Has Become More Popular Than Celebrating the Outcome

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LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is popularly quoted as saying that an entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.

While this is a bit of an exaggerative description, it accurately captures the common experience that all entrepreneurs share — their journeys as they build something from nothing.

Not all entrepreneurs can relate to high-profile exits, initial public offerings and the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Being an entrepreneur is an extremely personal experience that permeates all aspects of life. The ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures are all parts of this experience and are what bond entrepreneurs together.

Whether you are an entrepreneur who has taken multiple companies to successful and profitable exits or a first-time founder grinding away through late nights, you all share this journey in common.

And while media tends to highlight the huge successes and massive failures, I often wonder why they miss out on covering the thousands of entrepreneurs who are hustling and living out their journey on a day-to-day basis.

Interestingly enough, within the past month, I came across two online publications that were recently featured on Entrepreneur.com for theirInstagram Accounts — HDFMAGAZINE and PRSUIT

While the lineup of all seven accounts is quite impressive, these two brands clearly had an interesting angle.

HDFMAGAZINE (Hustle & Deal Flow), founded by Matt Gottesman, documents the journeys of entrepreneurs (which they call “creators”) from around the world as they’re building their company. In essence, they feature the “hustle” and not the end results of success that many media outlets tend to do.

PRSUIT, founded by Case Kenny, has created an impressive content platform providing “perspective that inspires”. That is, they feature over 400 writers from around the world who are writing about their journeys to success.

I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the both of them, and in doing so I recognized four key trends about the entrepreneurial journey as inspired by two guys who are personally documenting it.

1. Entrepreneurship is all about the work you put in.

Ask any entrepreneur about his or her journey, and work ethic will surely come up fast. It doesn’t matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, consistently and effectively putting in the necessary work is something that all creators and founders can relate to.

Late-night hours, early-morning meetings and weekends are part of this hustle — and is something that unites entrepreneurs.

PRSUIT founder Case Kenny says that “entrepreneurs we interact with pay no attention to the hours they are working. They simply put in the work necessary to progress their visions. When you are chasing your passion, the hours mean nothing  — because you are truly enjoying your journey and know that your time will ultimately pay off.”

2. The journey is something that unites all of us entrepreneurs.

Because we can’t all relate to regular nine-to-five jobs, societal norms or working in environments that suppress our creativity, entrepreneurs do not want to feel alone. We’d rather gravitate towards each other in order to feel our version of “normal,” which is quite the opposite to the general public.

What ends up happening is pure collaboration. We not only support each other, but we share our resources, promote our ventures and introduce our networks.

In essence, we’re not concerned with the end result but the road ahead of us, and we do so by helping each other grow through it.

“Taking a leap of faith takes courage,” says Matt Gottesman. “You don’t know the outcome, and most people are not willing to take that leap. What creeps in are all those negative inputs from others who are not willing to do what you are. So, the next best thing is to associate yourself with people who are — and they will grow you just as you grow them.”

3. The lessons are in the details.

You will never know how to successfully manage a company unless you experience and embrace the finer details of running it. And you can’t do that without fully immersing yourself in the details.

Ask any entrepreneur how they have learned the skills and know-how they now possess, and they will tell you that they learned from doing. Trial and error. Success and failure. That is how you learn.

You learn the skills necessary from the ground level, not just from reading books and studying the craft. Entrepreneurs know this and embrace the experience.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Kenny says. “Entrepreneurs check their egos at the door and acknowledge that they don’t know everything. What they do know, however, is that if they try and dive in headfirst, they will find out. Entrepreneurs need to be fearless in their pursuit of experiences that will progress their visions. The only way to know what you don’t know is to try.”

4. The journey is what makes you great.

When media looks at the successes of most entrepreneurs, they’re looking at the end product. The fact is, what made that end product or outcome was a culmination of sleepless nights, daily sacrifices, countless adjustments and numerous character-building obstacles.

A successful person, whether it be an athlete, entrepreneur, actor or business person, is created during all the finer details from the lessons mentioned above. That is why you see the person standing before you. The journey was through the training in order to become great.

Where do we go from here?

With the rise of social media and Internet platforms that allow us to document our endeavors in real time, it would be most appropriate to say we’re heading into a newer storytelling generation of creativity and entrepreneurship.

I, too, find comfort in outlining the day-to-day details in my Instagram and SnapChat accounts (@matt-mayberry). I want people to see the actual work as it’s happening and not think of me as only an end result. It’s about demonstrating the work — and not glorifying my successes.

I believe the more you can document the hustle, the more you can impact others who are watching. That’s how I see serving my purpose.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Dare Great in Order to Be Great

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I gave a keynote a few weeks ago at an Entrepreneurship conference, and when I opened up for Q&A, I received a question that had me thinking long and hard. The question was, “How do you become an entrepreneur if you hate to take risks?”

My answer was short and simple. I said, “I’m sorry ma’am but it’s not possible.” I didn’t want to sound rude or negative. I had just finished motivating and inspiring a crowd of 600 people on how absolutely nothing is impossible, yet just answered a question saying the exact opposite.

There was just no other way to put it. Not only do you need to take risks as an entrepreneur, but you must absolutely get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to be great.

How many people do you know personally who have missed opportunities because they were too scared to move past their comfort zone and away from their safety net? I bet you can come up with a few without even thinking long and hard about it. Heck, you may even start to look at your own life and realize how many incredible opportunities were left to die, simply because you never acted and decided to take a risk.

Please understand me on this. I am not telling you to be irresponsible or to run blindly into the abyss of extreme risk without thinking it through and weighing the pros and cons. What I am telling you however, is that after you have done all of that — just get going! Not only do most people not take risks, but they over think and talk themselves out of it when they’re on the verge of moving forward.

A quote that I have lived by when it comes to taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone is this one by Abraham Maslow, “You will either step forward into growth or step back into safety.” I absolutely love those words and find it to be a question that we should ask ourselves every single day of our lives.

We are either moving forward and growing or stepping backwards to what we are comfortable with. The only possible way that we can become all that we are destined to be in life and in business is to get uncomfortable and take risks. In everything that we do, the decision is up to us. Are we going to play it safe, or take risks to go after what it is we want?

Not only are great entrepreneurs risk-takers, but any man or woman who has left their place in history and done anything of significance during their time here on earth is. You simply can’t be great by staying in your comfort zone just because it feels good. Staying in your comfort zone and not living a courageous and daring life may feel good at the moment, but over time it will turn into regret and a life filled with “What if’s.”

I encourage you to take a long and close look at how courageously you have been living. Where do you stand? We all could benefit from making the decision to step away from our comfort zone more often. It turns out that the popular saying, “Better to be safe than sorry,” isn’t always applicable. Instead, let the words “Dare great in order to be great” guide your life from here on out.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Amazing Evolution and Power of Inside Sales

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Entrepreneurs, especially at those early-stage startups considering the best way to sell their products and services, should strive to know the power of inside sales, and how much the process has changed over the years due to the advent of virtual tools and technologies.

The role of virtually-based inside sales professionals has evolved into the fastest growing and most widely embraced selling channel across the globe. Outpacing traditional field sales by 300 percent in terms of job growth, many progressive organizations are either shifting resources from the field or just growing these inside positions altogether.

Here are three trends companies of all sizes need to truly consider when determining their best go-to-market sales strategy.

1. Sales has become digital.

Today’s buyers require immediately accessible information and sales interactions on their own terms. They want the option of a comprehensive and valuable sales engagement without the need for face-to-face interaction.

Research by CEB indicates 60 percent of the buying cycle has been completed digitally by decision-makers before they reach out to a sales rep. It also indicates that more and more complex, big-ticket sales are completed through a virtual sales exchange. The days of the face-to-face “dog and pony show” are long gone.

“The digital revolution is changing the way buying decisions are made and commerce is transacted,” said Bruno Di Leo, senior vice president of sales and distribution at IBM. “What individuals are experiencing as consumers is changing what they expect from IBM as an enterprise client. They want us to know them and understand their preferences, and get value from our expertise in new ways and on their own terms. … In other words, digital is central — not secondary.”

Simply put, most decision-makers these days prefer engaging virtually when making purchasing decisions. Whether it’s research on the web, a demonstration through screen sharing and/or video or the use of social media, busy buyers want information quickly and easily, in the comfort of their offices or via smartphones as they commute.

2. Digital has become the primary sales channel.

The digital and virtual way of doing business has arrived and is here to stay. In fact, traditional field salespeople have adopted some of the same strategies and tactics that inside salespeople have been using for years. This is because buyers demand it.

Extensive research in 2013 and again in 2014 by the AA-ISP (a global association dedicated to the advancement of inside sales) has shown that 95 percent of companies above $20 million in annual revenue have adopted the expertise of inside sales as a critical sales channel. Further, AA-ISP research indicates a significant shift from inside sales simply supporting field reps to carrying a discrete quota and responsibility over a set of accounts.

From 2010 to 2014, companies moving inside sales from a teamed support role into a “discrete” quota-carrying model rose from 32 percent to more than 50 percent. Research by ZS Associates and Reality Works in the fall of 2014 indicated that 40 percent of large companies (greater than $1 billion in annual revenue) in the technology space are specifically shifting headcount from the field to inside sales.

Finally, U.S. Dept of Labor statistics, combined with research by InsideSales.com, indicates that 750,000 net new inside sales jobs will be added from 2013 to 2020 — nearly three times the job creation rate compared to that of traditional field sales. Simply stated, virtual sales is alive and thriving. Face-to-face is on the decline. Inside sales has arrived as a true profession. In addition to having a global association (AA-ISP) dedicated to advancing their profession, both inside sales reps and leaders have their own virtual sales accreditation called the CISP (Certified Inside Sales Professional) and AISM (Accredited Inside Sales Manager).

3. Technology will continue to feed inside sales.

Those who earn a living selling virtually know only too well how technology has improved their sales results. Software-as-a-service companies have been launched in recent years to cater specifically to this digital sales revolution. These cloud-based service providers and their software applications help put an already efficient virtual process on “selling steroids.”

The potential for inside sales to produce revenue continues to grow, due in part to the advent of these tools and technologies. The 2014 study by ZS Associates and Reality Works indicates that the mean inside sales quota responsibility is $2.1 million for large enterprise companies and more than $1 million for small and medium businesses.

Easy-to-use software applications are helping reps in a variety of areas such as data analytics, sales acceleration, screen-to-screen selling and pre-call research. To keep these two-screen, wireless-headset on, always-in-their-cube reps motivated, gamification is deployed as a way to keep money- and status-motivated players on the hunt and engaged. Many inside sales organizations place large-screen TVs around their offices to highlight sales leader boards.

With all these great technologies comes a new set of skill requirements and a new way of selling. Traditional sales training, although valuable in many ways, is also changing. Many training firms are providing once unavailable deep tactical training on the how-to’s around the new set of virtual selling standards, such as enhanced pre-call research, email, social media, remote presentations and more.

The digital sales revolution will continue to adapt to meet the requirements of today’s virtually connected decision-makers. Entrepreneurs and business owners in all industries need to consider the best way to harness its power.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Bring Out Your Inner Genius and Exercise That Creative Muscle

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Chances are, if I asked a room of 10 people if they were creative or not, I would bet that more than half of them would say no. There is a huge myth that only a select few people are creative and have the potential to tap into their creative genius each day. I used to be one of those people.

I would convince myself over and over again that I am not creative at all, and that I just have to deal with it. I used to think about all of the books, articles and speeches that I wanted to create but then eventually talked myself out of it, because I would hit a wall and just tell myself that creativity isn’t a strong suit of mine.

You might not be thinking about what books, articles or speeches to create, but there has probably been a point in time where you have talked yourself out of pursuing something, because you convinced yourself that you lack a certain level of creativity that it takes to get the job done. The great fact of the matter is that everyone is creative and has the potential within them to tap into their inner creative genius.

I have people almost everyday tell me that they wish they were more creative. That used to be me. I would read great books and read profound articles and just think to myself — “How I wish I was as creative as the author who wrote that great book.” It wasn’t until a mentor of mine explained to me that I have all of the creativity that I need to create whatever it is I want. I just needed to develop it.

As a former athlete, those words ended up really striking a chord with me, because it dawned on me that just as an athlete needs to work on his sport and practice everyday to get better, I quickly came to the understanding that the exact same thing needs to happen in order to develop my creativity muscle. It’s true that a small percentage of men and women have developed their creative potential — while a great majority has not. It’s also true that those who haven’t don’t lack creativity or the potential to tap into their creative genius. It’s just that they haven’t developed and worked their creative muscles enough.

You don’t need to be a writer, artist  or musician to develop and strive to tap into your creative side. Life in general, and you becoming the very best version of yourself requires creativity. Stepping away from the norm and creating the life of your dreams requires creativity. Being a great leader requires creativity. Great marketing and business development requires creativity. While in pursuit of a major goal or dream, logic may tell you one thing and eventually lead you to a dead-end road, while the best of the best get creative, and ultimately create a path if there appears to be none in sight.

That’s part of the difference between those who make it and those who fall short. They understand the importance of developing the creativity muscle each and everyday, even if for just 10 minutes or so. When I stopped listening and abiding by what the creativity myth was telling me — that only a select few people have the potential to tap into their creative genius — my life took on a whole new meaning.

Start today to develop your creativity. Make it a daily habit to write in a journal, get on a writing schedule to simply just write what comes to mind or wherever your imagination takes you or use any other methods that may work best for you in the pursuit of developing your creative potential.

I know firsthand that developing your creativity and working at it each and everyday can do extremely wonderful things for your life, business and future. Don’t follow the enormous amount of people who leave their creativity potential dormant and locked away while blindly following whatever the masses of people do.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is the Greatest

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Entrepreneurship is great for many reasons. Personally, it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Not only do I get to operate my own business and make an impact in so many different organizations, but I also get the opportunity to hear other entrepreneurs share their journeys and experiences.

Some of the biggest difference-makers to ever live were entrepreneurs. They were creators and self-starters who found a desperate need in the world and came up with a solution to ultimately make the world a better place. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurship is the greatest:

1. There is no ceiling as to what you can do.

There is absolutely no ceiling as to what you can do when you choose to be an entrepreneur. The only person in charge of you is yourself, and that includes your level of achievement and the difference that you make in your industry.

In a company and corporate setting, everyone has job descriptions and has to report to someone. When you make the daring adventure to go out for yourself, you don’t report to anyone but the person looking back in the mirror. In a company and corporate setting, creativity sometimes can be locked down, which can be very frustrating.

Entrepreneurship and changing the world requires extreme creativity at all times. There is nothing in the way as to what ideas you can get working on and how you go about your everyday business. You get to experience the wonderful feeling of being free and most important, yourself.

2. You can make a greater impact.

You can make a difference wherever you are with however much or little you think you have, regardless if you are an entrepreneur or not. As an entrepreneur though, your ability to change the world and create a movement to make the world a better place is extraordinary. A trait of all majorly successful entrepreneurs is creating something that was once missing in the world.

This isn’t to say that everyone who walks down the path of entrepreneurship is going to become the next Albert Einstein or Mark Cuban, but an example of what could happen is your small business has the potential to fill a major void in your local community.

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to make a difference in others or in the world, but entrepreneurship does give you the opportunity to make a greater impact if you find what’s missing and create something to fill that void.

3. Dreaming is at the focal point.

The focal point of entrepreneurship is dreaming. Without dreams and hopes for the future there is nothing. I have witnessed thousands of men and women who gave up due to the hustle of bustle of life and will unfortunately die without those dreams and hopes realized.

As kids we all have dreams and things we want to do when we get older, but somewhere down the line when we reach adulthood, we start to lose sight of our kid-like ability to dream. Entrepreneurship rekindles that soft spot in your heart and gives you that same feeling as when you were a kid.

If you’re not innovating, dreaming and constantly looking to expand who you are and what you’re doing, it will be difficult to win in the long game in the world of entrepreneurship. Instead of carrying out someone else’s dream, the entrepreneur builds a team around them to carry out his or her vision.

There is nothing easy about entrepreneurship. There will be plenty of challenges along one’s journey, and those challenges never get any easier even as you become more successful.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

The Importance of ‘Showing Up’ Every Single Day

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Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because my favorite sport is back in action: football. But this isn’t my favorite time of the year just because of all the incredible college and NFL games that will have millions of people glued to their TV sets, but because of all the potential football upsets.

We see a lot of these at the college level. At some point during the college football season, a highly ranked team will go down at the hands of an underdog team. That win will be the talk of the whole country, and everyone will be in shock as the highlights are replayed over and over on ESPN and other networks for the subsequent week.

These upsets during football season should remind us of the simple truth that applies to building businesses, organizations and whole cultures and ultimately becoming more as people: the importance of simply showing up every single day.

The reason why upsets happen in sports as well as business, the reason people fail to become their best version of themselves, is because people forget to “show up” every day. You will always have the number-one or the second-ranked team in the country being beaten by a smaller-division team because that top team forgot to show up that particular day.

Its members will have let their record, their past achievements and the praise heaped on them by the media get in the way of their executing and treating that specific game as if they were 0-0.

The same thing needs to happen when we build businesses, embark on massive goals or improve an area in our personal lives. Showing up every day and treating each new day, project and task as if your life depended on it is a surefire way to make sure you get better at what you do and move in the right direction to where you want and need to be.

Here are two ways to help you make sure you show up every single day.

1. Create a contract with yourself.

This piece of advice really works. I can attest that it has made a great difference in my own life by motivating me to show up and improve upon what I did the day before.

Have some fun with this: Craft a couple of paragraphs stating that you will show up and give everything you have. How you word it is up to you, but just the act alone of crafting a contract with yourself will have an incredible psychological effect. After you craft this contract, you should laminate it and put it somewhere where you’ll see it multiple times a day.

The real work will come at the end of each day, when you have to be 100 percent honest with yourself by looking at your contract to see if you’ve lived up to the words that you wrote down.

I have talked and written about this advice, but a book that I highly recommend for greater detail about creating a contract with yourself is the The One Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life, by Rick Pitino, head basketball coach at the University of Louisville (and cowriter Eric Crawford). It’s a phenomenal book that chronicles how Pitino started using a one-day contract for himself and his team before they won their national championship.

2. Pick one key area that you are going to get better at every single day.

When I was a former linebacker, in both college and the NFL, we would always pick one key area to focus on for that specific day. After a couple of months, I noticed what a great impact this was making on me in becoming a better player overall. I then adopted this same practice into my personal life. Every day, I would focus on one key area and put on my list whatever was that day’s focal point.

The results were phenomenal. So much so that I still maintain this habit even now that I am away from football. For example, if you’re in sales, maybe you are working on getting better with cold calls one day, and then the next day you are working on improving your communication or prospecting skills. Whatever you do for work, find one key area to get better at every day.

It’s amazing what can happen a year from now if you pick one thing to work on and get better at each and every day. Over time, you will notice a drastic difference, not only in the results you begin to see, but how you approach each new day.

The reason why this practice works is because it’s not overwhelming yourself with 1,000 different areas you need to work on, combined with your already hectic schedule.

Showing up every single day of your life is critical when it comes to the success of your business, organization and individual success. Just when you think you’ve made it or don’t have to work as hard, someone, somewhere is already gaining an advantage over you and working to surpass you.

Champions show up every day, whether that occurs on the field, on the court or in the boardroom. Showing up may help you be one of them.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Fool Yourself: Your Best Work Is Still to Come

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It’d be tragic to think that your life’s best work is behind you.

The people that think their best work has already been completed and that nothing greater lies ahead for them stop dreaming, creating and ultimately thriving. A permanent barrier is cast over their lives that will forever limit them from reaching their full potential.

Trust me, I know how hard it can be to actually come to the realization that there is something greater in store for you when you are struggling to even keep your head above water and simply survive.

Whether your business is failing and you are beginning to lose all self-confidence or something occured in your personal life that is carrying over and negatively effecting you in every other area of your life, you have to remind yourself that your life’s best work is still in front of you.

There are also those who have already achieved a great deal of success but feel that their run is coming to an end. Maybe they successfully ran a business for a decade but things are really starting to take a hit and they instantly start to think their best days are long gone. This way of thinking then paralyzes their everyday work. They shut off their ability to tap into their creative sides, they lose sight of why they started their businesses in the first place and ultimately just coast along blindly not knowing where they are headed.

One of the major causes for someone to think that their best is behind them is the excuse, “I am too old.” It’s unbelievable how many men and women just completely stop dreaming and working towards building something bigger just because of their age. Age is just a number and the only limit that number has over your life and potential is the limit that you set in your mind.

Winston Churchill was 65 years old when he became Britain’s prime minister.

Nelson Mandela was 71 years old when he was released from prison. Four years later he was elected president of South Africa.

Frank Lloyd Wright was 91 years old when he completed his work on the Guggenheim Museum.

Henry Ford was 50 years old when he started his first manufacturing assembly line.

Don’t let a number dictate that your best work and life is in the past. Whether you are 20 or 70 years old, the rest of your life is ahead of you, not in back of you. We can’t change one bit of the past, but what we can do is create the future and build something extraordinary. Don’t let what has happened in your past, whether it’s pain, misery or even at one point massive success dictate what’s in store for the future or what you are capable of.

Understanding this simple concept that the rest of your life is in front of you will have you stretching, growing and expanding to new heights of success and happiness as time goes on. Knowing that your life’s best work is still to come is such an amazing feeling. Your future is bigger than your past.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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