3 Ways to Have a Positive Attitude Amid Failure

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This article is an excerpt from Matt Mayberry’s new book WINNING PLAYS published by Center Street/Hachette.

Many, many people talk about attitude and especially the “attitude of gratitude.” It has become such a normal topic of discussion that few people probably really think about it. I’m not sure how many people actually work on their attitude daily. But trust me, it can make all the difference when it comes to reprogramming your life so you can reap the rewards and gifts of failure. It’s important to have an attitude of gratitude and be grateful for everything in your life. Even — perhaps, especially — the failures.

How can some people defeat the odds and achieve success? How can some turn major failures into incredible gifts that not only bless themselves but the entire world? Simple. It’s the attitude they choose.

Selecting the right attitude.

When our attitude is right, we can achieve maximum results. The right attitude can help us soar to greater heights than ever before and create extraordinary lives and businesses. Likewise, the right attitude can bring out the best in others. That’s why I mentioned that we need to interact with people who have positive attitudes because they will help us achieve our best.

You’re probably saying, “This sounds great and all, but how am I ever supposed to have such a positive attitude when everything seems to be going wrong in my life?” I get it. I really do. It’s still something I battle with in my own life. Here are three simple ways to help you keep a positive attitude regardless of negative situations or events that present themselves throughout your journey.

1. Make a conscious effort.

Make a deliberate effort to work on your attitude. I always heard about the importance of a great attitude and every football coach I ever had brought it up, but I never really saw the value of it until I hit rock bottom. I struggled so much to keep a positive and encouraging attitude amidst the failure and hard times, but that all changed when I finally made a conscious effort to improve my attitude despite what was going on in my life. Nothing will change if you don’t change. Don’t let circumstances or misfortunes dictate your attitude. Decide today to build up your attitude and attract the right kind of people into your life from here on out.

2. Create an affirmation card.

Writing an attitude affirmation card can be a total game changer for you when you’re rewiring and reprogramming your thinking. You can create an attitude shift for the better. I have always reaped tremendous benefits of “speaking things into existence” by repeating affirmations over and over, and the same goes for when I needed a change in my own attitude.

When I wanted a Division I college scholarship, I wrote and recited every day, “I will receive a Division I scholarship,” and I eventually started to believe it. Simply take out an index card and describe the exact type of attitude you want to possess. You can write something like, “I (your name) am an honest, loving, and hardworking individual. I have a positive attitude, and I build up others and let my words radiate encouragement and success. No matter what happens in life, my attitude will never be sour and negative.” This is just an example to help get you started, but you get the idea. We need to rewire and reprogram our thinking and declare the exact type of attitude we want. If we don’t, it will be extremely hard to change our attitude when we experience a failure or a setback.

3. See goodness.

Most poor attitudes stem from your perception of something, so start to look for the good in everyone and everything you come in contact with. If you look for the positive, your attitude will reflect that. An amazing transformation takes place when you see the good in everyone and everything, even failure.

Don’t let a poor attitude be the reason why you stay in a mediocre state forever and why you never fulfill your potential.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Ways to Catapult Your Business Success

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Something that has always deeply fascinated me is learning about the journey that has helped in the development of a majorly successful company get to where they are now. I absolutely love hearing about all of the strategies and tactics that have drastically helped in their growth as an organization, but also all of the obstacles that they had to overcome along the way.

The one thing that I have learned over the years having the great fortune of sitting down with executives from major organizations as well as successful startup founders is that there is a learning opportunity within their success for all of us to benefit from regardless of what industry one is in.

Recently, I had the great opportunity to sit down with the founders and Managing Directors Dick King and Mark Timmerman, along with Vice President David Modiano of City Capital Advisors (“City Capital”) based in Chicago, IL.  City Capital is a uniquely positioned investment bank whose sole mission is to provide senior level expert advice and execution services to leading middle market companies and their owners.

In its relatively short 10 year history since Dick and Mark left 20 year careers at William Blair & Company, City Capital has successfully completed over 50 transactions aggregating over $4.0 billion in value. They advise owners and management of private and publicly held middle market companies, typically valued between $25 million and $500 million with merger and acquisition advisory, capital formation for executing leveraged buyouts and ownership recapitalizations, as well as executing corporate financial restructurings.

City Capital’s biggest and most notable merger assignment to date concluded just two weeks ago when they advised Indiana’s family-owned Jayco Corporation in a successful merger with publicly-traded Thor Industries Inc. for $576 million.

When sitting down with Dick, Mark, and David, we discussed how City Capital went from a small two-man show to becoming a leading deal broker and investment banking firm in the middle market space. Here are three things that City Capital credits to their success as well as help you to implement into your own business.

1. Find your niche market and grow there.

Whatever industry you are in, it’s absolutely vital that you find your niche market and then develop a laser like focus to direct all of your time and energy in servicing that space. When Dick and Mark started City Capital, they admit that they didn’t have a concise business plan, but the one thing that they did know was their niche market of middle-market companies and how they were going to bring extreme value there. You may be tempted to explore different, more potentially lucrative markets such as larger companies in City Capital’s case, but don’t give in. The leading companies that are dominating their markets make it a major priority to find their niche and then operate solely within the confines of that space.

2. Relationships matter most.

Co-founder and Managing Director, Dick King said, “We knew from the beginning that the one way we were going to differentiate ourselves was to build thriving business referral relationships. Everything in our business revolves around people and relationships, and that is one key area that we take very serious.” I personally talk a lot about the importance of relationships, and when analyzing and digging beneath the surface to see what truly makes City Capital stand out from the rest of the competition, it’s clear to see the strength of their professional relationships is at the top of the list.

One of the best things that you can do right now whether you are a startup or an established company is to place an enormous value on your relationships and always striving to give more than you take. This type of mentality will always serve your future success more than you can ever begin to imagine.

3. Create a culture where everyone feels important.

Culture is and will forever always be a critical component in determining the health and success of any organization. The best organizations all the way from Fortune 500 companies down to small family-owned businesses with five employees create a culture where everyone feels important and wants to do everything possible to carry out the organization’s overall mission. When discussing culture, Mark Timmerman said, “We wanted to create a culture where not only everyone feels important, but is also part of a tangible contributing factor to the future of our success.” One of the ways that City Capital has created this culture is to not appoint a CEO. Even though Dick King and Mark Timmerman founded City Capital, they pride themselves in having developed a culture where other senior team members don’t view them as bosses.

As a leader, it’s your job to instill and demand a culture that makes everyone feel accountable mainly to themselves and of course to their customers. By creating a collaborative atmosphere and attracting highly-productive and talented senior investment bankers, it’s truly amazing what can happen. City Capital is another example of just how important culture truly is, regardless of how big an organization is.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

5 Things the World’s Greatest Achievers All Have in Common

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Something that has always fascinated me is what separates the world’s greatest achievers from everyone else in the world. What do they know that we don’t?

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author and host of the wildly successful podcast, The School of Greatness. Lewis has one of the most successful leadership and success podcasts in the world; some of his recent guests include Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Russell Simmons, Daymond John, Alanis Morissette, and Tim Ferriss. What’s interesting about The School of Greatness is that it’s less about where the popular and ultra-achiever guests are right now in their lives, but more about the process, attitude, and journey that led them to their greatness.

Here are five things that the world’s greatest achievers all have in common.

1. They all have some practice of daily gratitude.

Howes says, “Gratitude matters most. It’s one of the core themes shared by all of the guests who come on the show. These are some of the most successful people in the planet. They can be, do, and have anything they want, and every single one of them is quick to talk about gratitude.” It’s hard to be angry, resentful, upset and grateful at the same time.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? I have talked a lot about keeping a gratitude journal and writing down 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for each and every morning. Another great practice to unleash the tremendous benefits of gratitude is to try a Walk of Gratitude in the morning. It can be just 10 minutes around the neighborhood before the kids get up, or it can be a walk with your dog. This helps set the tone for a fantastic and happy day ahead.

2. They set a high bar.

The guests who have appeared on The School of GreatnessShow are there because at some point in their lives they decided to set the bar high and dream big. It’s all the more challenging to become the best version of yourself, make an impact in the world, and become all that you can be in the business world if you don’t do the same.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Take your most important goal right now and expand it. If your goal is to make $300,000 next year, increase that number to $400,000 or $500,000. Whatever that goal may be for yourself, set the bar even higher. Don’t worry about how is it going to manifest or all of the obstacles that you may run into along the way. Get into the habit of expanding your thinking and the goals that you set for yourself. Even if you do fall short, you will more than likely have done better than what your original target was.

3. They work ridiculously hard for long periods of time.

Greatness takes time and persistence. As Lewis says, “most people want instant gratification and the rewards right away, but in reality, all of the seemingly overnight successes that you hear about takes 10-plus years.”

Working ridiculously hard for long periods of time isn’t nice to think about. Most people want instant success without putting in their due diligence. But line up leaders in any industry — from business to the arts — and I am certain you will hear each and every one of them talk about how insane their work ethic has been over the years even when they didn’t see much in return for their efforts right away.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Take that most important goal that we just discussed about earlier and schedule an extra 30 minutes to an hour of working on making that goal become a reality each day. Be persistent about working longer, smarter, and harder than everyone else. You will be amazed at what evolves when you regularly add an extra 30 minutes to an hour of working on your most important goal.

4. They know they need to care of themselves.

Nothing will get done if your mind and body aren’t performing. Don’t wait until you have a health scare or lose a loved one to force you to take complete charge of your health. Taking care of yourself needs to be a regular commitment.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Don’t wait for next month or next week to take action on making your health a priority. Hire a personal trainer, gather friends together who share this same goal and work out together, start a new fitness program, work on improving your diet, or sign up for an upcoming marathon. Keep great people around you and make sure you’re not isolating yourself.Whatever it is, take the initial step toward improving your health, which is always the hardest. Schedule it into your daily activities every single day.

5. They know the value of giving back.

Whether it’s loving what they do, loving other people, or loving the climb to the top, successful people approach each day with a “love and service” mentality. They understand that whatever they put out into the world will come back to them in some way. The greatest business leaders, salespeople, and athletes try to serve life. Look at the great life of the late Muhammad Ali. He served not only the millions of people who watched him in the boxing ring,but used his celebrity to support humanitarian causes.

How can you incorporate this into your own life? Rather than looking at it what can you receive in return, start examining the different ways that you can give to life. Donate your free time to charities. Offer to help a neighbor or friend in need. Go the extra mile to listen to someone in need. Do not expect anything in return for your service. Love the process, love others, and embrace the challenges that you will experience along the way.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

3 Things That Will Always Rob You of Reaching Your Full Potential

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Working to get better every day of our lives and striving to reach our full potential should be a major life goal for us all. Whether it’s complacency, the fear of failure, bad habits and plenty other factors that come into play as to why most never fulfill that major goal — that doesn’t have to be the story for you.

You can increase your chances of making sure that’s never going to happen to you by being intentional in your approach and understanding what’s holding most people back in the first place.

Here are three things that will always rob you of reaching your potential.

1. Having a limited vision.

A very sad but hard truth is that one of the main reasons that robs so many of reaching their full potential is the limited vision that they have for their lives. They let their failures, heartbreaks and misfortunes throughout the course of their lives dictate what’s in store for them and cloud their vision as to what’s really possible.

Any great organization, individual or even team that went on to achieve an incredible accomplishment all started with expanding their vision and being able to see it all take place in their minds before it happened in reality.

Expanding your vision consists of constantly going to work on your mind. Read uplifting and inspirational books to help rewire your current level of thinking. Set big and challenging goals that excite you — and then look at them every single day. Adopt positive self-talk as a daily habit and start to picture yourself as a healthy, accomplished and positive person. Visualize yourself winning and accomplishing whatever major goal or dream that is deep within your heart.

2. Associating with negative and toxic people.

We end up becoming who we hang out with the most. Over time, we begin to adopt their habits, talk like they talk, dream like they dream and embark on the life journey that they embark on as well.

I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of the most talented athletes in the world throw their career down the drain all because of who they associated with on a regular basis. I have seen hundreds of entrepreneurs who had a great idea and even begin to take action moving that idea forward, but ended up falling flat on their face all because of who they let hang around them.

I have seen incredibly talented teams that were expected to dominate the market in business or win a championship in athletics, but the few negative and toxic team members ruined it all for everyone. The bottom line is that who you choose to have around you absolutely matters — and has a large determining factor as to what the final outcome is.

3. A lack of fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times.

Things will never be perfect for any of us. We will fail, lose focus from time to time, get discouraged, lose self-confidence and maybe even think that where we currently are is all there is.

Every great achievement to ever take place in history was all because of someone who possessed a ridiculous fight and resolve to persevere through the challenging times to end up getting to their final destination that labeled them a champion. You are going to get knocked down throughout the course of your journey.

That’s just a non-negotiable. However, the one thing that you determine is what happens after you get knocked down. You have the decision to either stay on the ground and accept defeat — or get back up and fight every waking moment to get to where you want to go.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

There Is a Big Difference Between Setting Goals and Achieving Goals

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Learning the incredible power of goals has forever changed my life. At 16 years old, I was a full-blown drug addict that was completely throwing his entire life away by living a life with no meaning and surrounding myself with others who degraded my potential and ability to become the best version of myself. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I came to realization that I was either going to end up dead or in prison by my 18th birthday, or I’d have to go to commit to rehab and get very serious about setting goals for my life.

My parents and all of my athletic coaches throughout the years continuously harped on me about the extreme importance of goal setting, however, I never completely bought in. We all hear about goal setting and how vitally important it is that we create a vision for our lives, but why is it that very few people actually follow through with setting goals for their lives? I think there are a lot of varying answers to this, but I think the biggest reason is because most people don’t know how to properly set attainable goals for themselves to begin with.

There is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving. Saying you want to earn a certain amount of money, lose some weight or start your own business without setting a clear and actionable plan as to how that’s going to happen is simply just a hope and a wish. And even then, once you are extremely clear about what it is you want, you must come up with an action plan as to how you are going to enter into the highly coveted space of goal achievement — and then commit to taking massive and relentless daily action.

Shifting from goal setting to goal achievement requires you to do three things exceptionally well. Here are three things that you can start to incorporate into your every day life that has helped me achieve every massive goal that I have ever set for myself, including landing a Division One college football scholarship, playing in the NFL, getting a major book publishing deal and running a successful business.

1. Get extremely clear about what it is you want.

The first part of the process is to get extremely clear about what exactly it is that you want. Saying you want to lose weight or make more money next year isn’t being extremely clear. It’s a start and certainly better than not wanting anything at all, but it’s still just a wish.

How much weight do you want to lose? How will it make you feel when you achieve your goal? Why do you want to lose the weight? What is your deadline to achieve this goal? These are just some examples to help get you started on the process of getting extremely clear about your goal.

Take your most important goal right now — whether it’s to lose weight, make more money, or land the promotion at work — and spend some time focusing all of your attention towards getting very clear about the answers to the questions I just proposed. To give you an example, when I was 16 years old and felt all hope was lost, it wasn’t until I got extremely clear about getting a college scholarship for football that my daily actions and behaviors started to change.

I had to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s for myself. When you set a meaningful goal and then get extremely clear about those questions, an incredible transition can begin to take place.

 

2. Create your game plan for success.

This part of the process can drastically increase your chances of achieving your most audacious goals. After you get extremely clear about your goal, create a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that goal.

Looking back at my list when I set a goal to get a Division One college scholarship, I had over 40 things that I needed to do in order to put myself in a position for success. Everything from reaching out to a certain number of coaches every single day, running a specific  40-yard dash time, eating certain healthy foods that would help increase my performance and attending the right summer camps at universities that would put me in front of the right people.

My list was extensive, but failing to list all of the things that you have to do in order to achieve a goal greatly minimizes your chances of actually entering into goal achievement. Take the time right now to make a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that major goal of yours. Even if there are 100 things that you write down, write them down.

3. Take consistent and persistent massive action.

All three things are greatly important, but this step is the ultimate differentiator and transition between goal setting and goal achievement. Unfortunately, too many people spend their precious time looking for the secret formula out there that will help them achieve their deepest desires and biggest dreams that will take minimal effort on their behalf.

But there isn’t such a thing, and anyone that tells you otherwise is selling you a false hope and a wish. I have never in my life met an incredibly successful man or woman, whether in athletics or in business, that didn’t consistently and persistently take massive action on a daily basis.

After you have your action list created, move two to three things from your list over to your daily to-do list. Most people spend their days creating to do lists that consist of tedious tasks that hold very little value in helping them advance their lot in life.

Every single day — day in and day out — take massive action doing something that will help you in the achievement of your biggest goal. You will get knocked down, experience all kinds of hardships, but when you consistently and persistently move forward, you will be amazed at what begins to transpire in your life.

Following what I shared with you above isn’t going to guarantee that you will achieve your biggest goal. However, it will guarantee that over time you become a new person that wakes up every day with a new passion and desire to face the day ahead.

Goals changed my life in more ways than one, and I know that it can do the same for you when you begin to adopt these three ideas. Just remember, there is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Things I learned in the NFL About Being Successful in Business

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Making it to the top of any profession requires an insane amount of hard work, perseverance, belief, preparation, and precise execution. Being a former professional athlete in the NFL required everything I thought it was going to take and more. And yet my football career didn’t last all that long; in 2010, I was injured in my first game as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears and, during the months-long recovery, decided that my true calling was in helping people find their true calling.

Now, having established a career as a business-performance strategist and motivational speaker, it’s amazing how much of what I learned in football applies to business. I wish more athletes, particularly those nearing the end of their careers, were able to see that what helped get them to the top as an athlete can also play to their advantage in business.

Here are three things I learned in the NFL about being successful in business.

1. You must win from the neck up before you win anywhere else.

I tell people all the time: the only way I was ever able to at least give myself a chance to play in the NFL was to work on developing my mind. The best athletes in the world will tell you just how important it is to have vision and focus. The same goes for business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, executive, or employee, for you to win, you must first win in your mind.

Motivational books can help interrupt the negative inner dialogue that often shrinks your vision; some of my favorites are As A Man Thinketh by James Allen and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I also find it helpful to read the autobiographies of people who have achieved a great amount of success in the world. It’s important to engage in conversations that build you up instead of tear you down. It’s important to go to work on your mind every day of your life. And when you do, you will begin to experience a whole new level of happiness and success that will prime you for a bigger future than you ever imagined.

2. Preparation breeds champions.

Every single football coach I’ve had since the age of 6 has rightly preached the importance of preparation.Preparation breeds champions. The football teams with the best cultures and Super Bowl records prepare like no one else. That same trait carries over to the most accomplished leaders.

In my short time with the Chicago Bears, I saw the value of preparation in probable Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, who consistently put in the time and effort to perfect his craft. Look at Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and other business legends; they prepared and worked to master their craft. Make it a priority to make sure that your preparation is second to none.

3. You can’t become great by yourself.

In order to be great in athletics or in business, it’s imperative you build a world-class team around you and seek out the best talent to carry out your vision.You may be able to reach a certain level of achievement by yourself, but it’s impossible to be great alone.

When I first started writing and speaking, the first thing that I did was assemble a world-class team of mentors and friends to provide me with the knowledge and skills to help me along the way. Take a long and hard look at the team that you have around you. Are they supporting your vision and helping you to grow and get better? If not, start now. It means everything.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

‘The Rhythm of Life’ Is One Book That Will Get You Into the Groove of Thriving

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A sad truth that becomes an everyday norm for millions of people is to go through life without any passion or purpose. They let their age become an excuse as to why they can’t embark on a new dream, they completely neglect their health and they have no sense of direction of what they truly want from life. They stay busy and may even achieve a little bit of success from time to time, but ultimately, they are incredibly unfulfilled.

One of the more powerful books that I have read which clearly and articulately explains why so many suffer from a disengaged and unfulfilled life is The Rhythm of Life by bestselling author Matthew Kelly. This book is full of timeless truths that if followed carefully and then acted upon can drastically change the quality of your life.

In the book, Matthew asks an extremely powerful question that you should take some time to think about and answer yourself. That question is, “Are you satisfied being in the habit of surviving, or are you ready to get into the habit of thriving?” Whether in life or in business, every single one of us is either doing what we need to do in order to just survive, or we are going above and beyond while working to become the best version of ourselves so we can thrive. Sadly, a huge majority of the population settles for right where they currently are in life and has no real desire to change their current situation.

Matthew states that one of the main reasons why so many people go down this road and end up living unfulfilled lives with no passion whatsoever is because they neglect their secondary needs. In the book, Kelly explains that we all have primary needs, the things that are necessary to sustain our existence. We have physical needs, emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs.

If we don’t have food to eat and water to drink, we will eventually die. Our emotional needs may not be life threatening if we neglect them like food and water, but emotional starvation is not any less important. Kelly says that, “Our emotional needs are in many ways subtler but certainly no less important if we are to thrive.”

From an intellectual standpoint, he says, “We need a diet of the mind just as much as we need a diet of the body. The ideas we feed our mind today tend to form our lives tomorrow.” For an example, are the books you are reading helping you to grow and become the best you can possibly become?

On spiritually, Kelly states, “Our spiritual needs have a tendency to change as the seasons of our lives change. Each of us has a unique spiritual journey. In different stages of the journey, we have different needs. And yet, there are some needs that are unchanging and necessary in all seasons of our lives — silence, solitude and simplicity.” He goes on to say, “The way we seek to experience these habits of the soul may change, but all the same, they remain essential to our spiritual diet if we are to find lasting joy in this changing world.”

I came across this book during a very dark time in my life. I just reached an injury settlement with the Chicago Bears, and I was very uncertain about what was in store for me at the time. After reading the book, I was very eager to put into practice all that I had learned and started to really pay attention to my needs and give them the attention that they needed in order for me to truly thrive.

Every morning when we wake up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to that little voice in our head that is telling us to eat that double cheeseburger for lunch, or are we going to eat a lunch that completely nourishes us and helps us to become the healthiest version of ourselves? Eating that double cheeseburger is a want. You may want to do that, but it’s not a need. When you start to feed your wants more than your needs, a lack of passion and fulfillment will start to build up over time.

I started to eat foods that nourished my entire body and provided me with sustained energy for the day ahead. Emotionally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and put in the extra work and care that is needed to create thriving relationships. In return, this fulfilled me in enormous ways. Intellectually, I read books that inspired me and constantly looked to fill my mind with ideas to help me be the best I can possibly become. Spiritually, solitude started to become my best friend, and I paid more attention to what my soul yearned for on a daily basis.

I highly suggest you read this book. It can change your life just as it has mine.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Habits the Highly Successful Have Mastered

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Whether it’s a famous CEO, professional athlete, superstar entrepreneur or anyone who is thriving at the highest level of their profession, chances are they didn’t just wake up one day and be in that position that they are in. There is no doubt about it that there are some who are ridiculously gifted at what it is they do and were destined since day one to make it to the top, but even then when you dig a little deeper, you will come to the realization that their habits is what ultimately drove and determined their success.

There may not be anything more important to ensure future success than to adopt world-class habits and master them daily.

 

Here are four habits that the highly successful have mastered.

1. They use failure and adversity as a springboard to greater success.

No matter how big or small it may be, we have the choice whether or not failure and adversity is going to serve as a roadblock for lack of achievement or springboard to greater success.

The highly successful use their failures and adversities throughout the course of their life to help them grow and reach new heights of success. If you can adopt this often-challenging but greatly rewarding habit into your life, you are putting yourself in a fantastic position to win and become the best version of yourself.

2. They are obsessed about energy management.

We hear all the time about time management and how important it is, but I strongly believe that energy management is more important than time management. You can manage your time well, but that does absolutely no good if you direct all of your energy towards low-rewarding and tedious tasks. The highly successful are fanatics about time management, but they also are even more obsessed with where they direct their energy every minute of every day.

Something that I am always looking at is ROE (return on energy), and that’s how I eventually decide what gets my attention on a daily basis. Time management is important, and I think you should constantly look for ways to better manage your time, but don’t forget about the importance of energy management. Stop wasting valuable energy on low-rewarding tasks that don’t inch you closer to the achievement of a major goal of yours or living out your purpose.

3. They never stop learning.

The highly successful are lifelong learners. I have never met someone at the top of their game and doing magnificent things in the world who weren’t lifelong learners and always searching for ways to develop the skill set and expand their knowledge. A sad reality is that most people stop learning the second they finish their formal education. Don’t be like most people. Commit to becoming a lifelong learner, and join the ranks of a very small percentage of people that get to reap the tremendous benefits of doing so.

4. They have an incredible vision for their life.

Having a great vision and seeing yourself beyond your current circumstances is a habit, because it is something that you must do every single day. The older we get in life, the more we experience failure and adversity. One day you can be extremely happy and then the next day you can be completely miserable. Having an incredible vision for your life must be an everyday habit that you not only incorporate into your daily life, but also work to carry out that vision every minute of every day.

The highly successful visualize themselves succeeding and achieving their loftiest goals and dreams in life way before they actually do so. Having an incredible vision for your life is only half the battle, believing that you fully can make it come true and then working daily to bring that vision to life is what brings everything full circle. Start to create an incredible vision for your life if you haven’t done so already, and then develop your self-belief while working diligently to bring that vision to reality.

Becoming the best you and reaching your full potential all comes down to your daily habits. Incorporating the above four habits into your life can be a complete game changer for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

Finish Delayed Projects, Get Out of Your Comfort Zone — and Drastically Shift the Momentum in Your Life

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One of the more popular questions that I get asked on a daily basis is how to create change and shift the momentum in your life. Whether you feel stuck at your current position at work, not seeing the results that you had originally hoped for or simply just not satisfied with how your life is taking shape, it doesn’t have to stay that way like how a lot of people think it does.

All of us from time to time will more than likely feel stuck at some point. The sad reality is that when most people feel stuck, they aren’t intentional about creating change and shifting the momentum in their life and unfortunately continue on to live in quiet desperation as Henry David Thoreau once said how most people live.

We as human beings have the incredible opportunity to change if we don’t like how something is turning out in our lives. We can change our careers, characteristics about ourselves, learn new skills, get out of toxic relationships and embark on a new journey if the one that we are currently on isn’t deeply fulfilling to us.

Once you know that you don’t have to continue down a path that you don’t want to, it all comes down taking action and creating the change yourself. A major pitfall where most fall victim to is that, deep down inside, they want to change, but they end up waiting for someone else to come along or for a specific circumstance to make the change for them. Waiting for change to come along and happen is a surefire way to continue to get the same results that you have been getting.

Here are two ways to help you create radical change and shift the momentum in your life.

1. Pick three things daily that you have been procrastinating on, and make it a priority to finish them.

In order to create change in our lives, we not only need to see why things have been stagnant and what the root of the problem is, but we need to start taking massive action and get moving. When I feel stuck and sense that I am not moving forward in the direction of achieving my biggest goal at the moment, I take out a sheet of paper and make a master list of all the things that I have been putting off.

Some of the things on my master list can be important work projects, household chores, daily tasks, phone calls and emails. Some are small and some are big tasks. Some hold more weight than others, but I focus on just writing everything down. Whether you end up having five or 20 things on your list, the most important thing to do during this exercise is to then pick three things daily — and complete them.

When I first tried this exercise, I was blown away at how quickly I was able to not only change my state of mind and happiness because I was finally finishing things that I have been putting off for so long, but how the momentum in my life all of a sudden shifted. Every day for one week straight, I picked three things that I have been procrastinating on made sure I carried through on finishing them by the end of each day. Give this exercise a try if you are looking to spark change in your life and get the momentum back in your favor.

2. Pick one thing that scares you and forces you to get out of your comfort zone — and then do it.

I don’t know a lot of things that help create a radical change and shift the momentum in your life more than forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone each and every day. Part of the problem as to why we feel stuck and not fulfilled is because most of the time, we have become complacent and stopped searching for ways to get out of our comfort zone. When we force ourselves to leave our comfort zone, we not only grow and become a little bit stronger throughout the process, but we begin to plant the seeds of change day by day.

Major changes for the better don’t happen overnight. Just like anything worthwhile in life, nothing ever comes easy. The same goes for drastically changing your life, circumstances and overall success. Picking one thing that scares you and then following through on doing that one thing every day builds small victories which over time will bring the change and momentum that you are looking for.

I can tell you right now that nothing has benefited my life more than making it a daily habit for the past seven years to do one thing on a daily basis that at first scares me. It has helped me to grow into become a better version of myself, develop an inner strength that is required to achieve massive goals and increased my self-confidence levels through the roof. If you want to change and get the momentum back on your side, step out of comfort daily.

There are a lot of ways to create change and shift the momentum in our lives, but the above two exercises have worked wonders for me whenever I felt stuck or lost momentum. I hope they help you to do the same.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Planning a Road Trip? If So, Use It as a Guide to Business and Life.

20150729195849-road-map-travel-tripImage credit: Shutterstock

May is the time when many people think about planning their vacations, and oftentimes, that vacation involves a “road trip.” No matter if you’re an entrepreneur or staff member in a company, road trips and vacations are nice getaways and can help recharge your batteries. Generally, we all need time and space to recharge our batteries.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about life and business and how all of it is like a road trip. A road trip in business-terms is a continual vacation and not just a once- or twice-a-year event. Because when people are on vacation, they have to constantly make decisions about what clothes and essentials to pack, the route they’re going to take, the vehicle they’re going to use and if they’re going to fly or drive.

 

They need a map to guide them, places they will stop and eat, or shop, places they will visit, expectations from the trip and people they will interact with. This is what you do on a road trip. But this is also what you do throughout life whether it’s in your personal, business or academic world. And all of these incorporate some trait of leadership that’s within you. You are the entrepreneur of your world.

Within these leadership and entrepreneurship attributes, there are four traits that contribute to whether you’re a good leader or a bad leader. Those are: positive attitude, honesty, listening to your inner voice and trust. I’ll explain further how each one affects your road trip and leadership style.

Think about this: What skills or talents can you as a business leader or team member bring to the table?

We’re all on journeys. Personal and business. We’re all on road trips in life. Just like it’s important to get fellow travelers’ opinions and ideas about the road trip, it’s important to do this if you’re having a meeting or planning an event at work. This encourages teamwork and it helps the co-workers feel valued.

1. Positive attitude

An important part of planning your road trip is your attitude. As you plan your road trip, what are your expectations? Are they positive or negative? If you go into a situation feeling negative, you immediately impact everything that you will experience as a way to validate your preconceived notion.

For example, if a fellow traveler says, “I don’t want to go to Orlando, Florida in the springtime. It will rain every day.” And then, you proceed to go to Florida, and it does rain every day, your travel companion says, “See? I told you it would rain!”

If you are negative about your journey, you will constantly be on the lookout for things that reinforce that negativity. For that “See, I told you so” moment. Unfortunately, along the way, because you’re looking for the negative, you may have missed some wonderful opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment.

Attitude is everything and is just as impactful on your road trip as it is in the workplace. It’s important to have a positive attitude instead of negative, but sometimes, you can take that negative attitude and put a spin on it, making it a positive.

In the workplace, you might find gratification and satisfaction in pointing out the errors others make. Many people who are trying to make themselves feel more important will do this. By pointing out negatives in others, it makes them feel superior. Now you might think of this as a very negative trait, and it can be. But, if you thrive on that negative feeling, you can turn it into a positive by explaining to others ahead of time that you have this tendency.

Point it out as a “positive” to demonstrate that the overall goal is a perfect product, and by catching these items you are only doing your job.  Explain that it isn’t personal when you point out the negatives in a decision or a product — that you are only thinking of the company and bottom line. When you do this, you put yourself in a leadership role whether you are the boss or not. And you are turning your “negative” into a “positive.”

Planning a road trip can bring out the worst and best of people — just like your work environment can. If you continually emphasize the negative with your fellow travelers without putting a spin on it and pointing out the positives, then, people won’t want to travel with you ever again, and in the workplace, they won’t want to work with you.

2. Listening to the inner voice

Part of maintaining a positive attitude while planning your road trip or conducting your “trip” at work, means trusting yourself to make good decisions. We all have an inner voice that is driven from our knowledge of our “self.” The better you know your tendencies and thought processes, the more likely you will be able to acknowledge your true self. This is your true voice — and this voice never lies to you. We don’t always listen to this inner voice, however, but it’s important to tune into that voice.

Use your inner voice to assist your leadership role in the workplace. It is important not to confuse this inner voice with irrational feelings. When we get overly emotional, angry or frustrated, we tend to act before we thoroughly think through the situation. By taking a moment to think about your options, your true “inner” voice will guide you with ideas for the best course of action based upon what you are most comfortable with or most qualified to do.

3. Honesty

No matter what your leadership style is, there’s one quality that should be taken for granted — but it’s not. Not everyone has this quality, and this can cause many problems on your “road trip at work” and your journey in business and life. And that’s honesty.

In the workplace, you need to be able to identify who will give you an honest answer.  Are you listening to the real experts? Too often, internal expertise is overlooked in favor or external guidance.

To be an effective leader, you must trust yourself and your abilities. Being your true self in the workplace provides an avenue for you to offer genuine qualities that others can respect and admire. Attributes like a positive attitude, honesty and listening to your inner voice.

All of our experiences are part of who we are and our leadership abilities surface when needed. It’s how we exist and how we survive, and in difficult times, it might be the one thing that sets you apart from others.

4. Trust

On a road trip, there are times when you are not in control, and the way you handle these situations can define who you are as a leader. If you’re a passenger in a car, on an airplane or on a cruise, you do not have control of the vehicle. You have to know how to let go of control.

Those who feel uncomfortable and have a tough time letting go may find themselves with a team of individuals in the workplace that view them as a micromanager or one who does not provide trust in others.

Trust is the root of not wanting to let go. We can all find things to occupy ourselves, but refusal to let go can demonstrate your ability to trust only what you can do. When people hand in their work or turn in a project, do you review it for errors? If so, you may be displaying a lack of trust. If you trusted that person, you would have confidence that it was thoroughly checked before handing the work in.

Leaders and entrepreneurs must be willing to let go if they desire to have a true trusting relationship with their staff members. Leaders recognize what each person needs to do their job successfully and ensures that the environment around them supports their talents and abilities.

What type of road trip are you planning this summer? Is it designed to enrich your life or learn something? Are you going somewhere to help others, to volunteer your services or learn a new skill?  Are you ready?

Likewise, as an entrepreneur or leader in business, are you ready?

No matter what kind of road trip you’re on — in life and in business — our road trips bring us “back to us” and help us establish an ongoing process of self-recognition, self-definition and self-awareness.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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