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Self Development

7 Ways To Be Utterly Unforgettable In Business And Life

In a noisy world it’s even more important people remember you and your business.

Jacqueline Whitmore

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If you think that your product, service or stellar reputation is going to stick in your client’s or customer’s mind forever, you may want to think again.

Being forgettable can be toxic when it comes to success, says cognitive scientist Carmen Simon, author of Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions.

“[People] will likely forget up to 90 percent of what you communicate, and that means your brand, your message, your call to action, everything you want your listeners to act on, will be disregarded,” she says.

“To be on people’s minds, you must become part of their reflexes, habits and/or goals they consider valuable.”

So how do you break through and leave a lasting impression? Instead of being known for something business-wise, strive to be more purposeful about the things you do and say.

Related: Why your Brand’s First Impressions Count

Here are several ways you can stand out among your competition, and stay top of mind.

1. Truly connect

A salesperson is programmed to sell their product by focusing on benefits and features. Create a twist on this doctrine and sell yourself with a true person-to-person connection.

Begin by asking questions. Learn more about your client’s problems, concerns and needs before you ever mention your product or service.

Think like a doctor; first you have to find out what ails your client before you can prescribe a solution. Don’t try to use a one-size-fits-all approach. Customising builds memorable relationships.

2. Tell stories

Many a prospect’s eyes have glazed over during a presentation chock full of charts, facts and numbers. While the bottom line numbers are important, stories are the most basic tool for connecting us to one another.

People attend, remember and are transformed by stories. Offer true-life examples of how your product or service helped others, like case studies or testimonials. Or use your personal experiences to enhance your human-to-human bond.

Even in the world of business, stories have a unique power to move people’s hearts, minds, feet and wallets in the storyteller’s intended direction.

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3. Tell the truth

Your credibility is based on your ability to be honest in all situations. Always tell the truth, even if it costs you the sale. Your client will appreciate your candor and remember your honesty.

As a result, he or she is more likely to recommend you to another potential client or use your services in the future. The truth may occasionally hurt, but dishonesty is always destructive.

Related: First Impressions Account for 75% of Sales

4. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

A sure way to be forgotten quickly is to be known as a yes-man (or woman). Besides, it frustrates others when you agree with them all the time, especially if critical decisions are involved.

If you see a problem, speak up. If you know a proposed solution won’t work, say “no” and offer your opinion as to why. It’s better to be distinguished as a trusted advisor rather than someone with a milk-toast personality.

5. Surprise someone

Do something out of the ordinary that your client or customer would never expect. For example, instead of sending a text or an email, send a handwritten thank-you note, a gesture that is becoming more and more rare. Or stand out from the crowd by dressing differently than everyone else.

Dress up and choose flattering colours and patterns. Wear a fashionable pair of shoes, socks, scarf or bowtie; anything that adds a bit of refinement, elegance and a splash of style to what might otherwise be a nondescript outfit.

6. Always do your best

In today’s competitive business arena, just about anyone can match or beat prices and everyone promises great service. But one of the best ways to be remembered is to perform at levels that consistently go above and beyond normal expectations, often coming in under budget or ahead of deadlines.

Try to look for ways to constantly improve your client or customers’ experience and be ready to interact in the highest professional manner.

Related: The Power Of The Reality Distortion Field

7. Be helpful

Zig Ziglar once said “The way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.” Be a mentor, make introductions, and recommend others.

Go out of your way to share information and help others succeed, without being asked, and they will remember you and be grateful for years to come.

It’s called karma – if you want people to share with you, share with them. What you give away will come back to you tenfold.

In summary, it’s the small touches that will set you apart and make it practically impossible to be derailed by your competitors.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette coach and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She is also the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

Self Development

6 Mental Barriers You Must Tear Down To Succeed

The world has few obstacles as formidable as the ones in our own mind.

Timothy Sykes

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Mental Barriers

Have you hit a slump in your career? If you are finding it difficult to get ahead, it could be because you’re inadvertently holding yourself back in ways you don’t even realize.

Many of us have unhealthy habits and behaviors that stunt our career growth. By becoming aware of them, it’s possible to begin facing these obstacles head-on so that you can remove potential roadblocks to your future success. Here are 6 surprising things that are holding you back:

1. You don’t know the basics

What if you were to build a house on top of a weak foundation? It might be fine for a while, but one day, it would inevitably cause problems and affect your quality of life. Similarly in your career, if you don’t take the time to form a strong foundation of knowledge in your field, it may keep you from advancing and growing later on. Therefore, it’s vital to learn (and sometimes to re-learn) the basics.

There’s no shame in hitting the books and learning the basics or re-learning them, even well into your career. You know how when you re-watch a movie or re-read a book you pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around? It’s very much the same in career education. So whether you’re a baker or an investor or a manager, make sure to develop a strong foundational knowledge of your field of work. It will serve you in many ways as your career advances.

Related: Purposeful Work: The Six Barriers To Fulfilment In The Workplace

2. Vague goals

Setting clear and specific goals is one of the major building blocks of career success. On the flip side, without specific goals, you’re more likely to suffer from lack of motivation and aimlessness in your career.

Want proof? Consider the work of Dr. Edwin Locke, who released a still-relevant article in 1968 entitled “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives.” In this research-based article, he determined that employees were most highly motivated by clear objectives and specific feedback.

Working toward extremely specific goals provided a major source of motivation to actually reach the desired end result, which improved performance. Moreover, specific and difficult goals led to better task performance than vague or easy goals.

3. Caring too much what others think

According to Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Are you too much of a people pleaser? If so, this tendency could be holding you back from finding the success you deserve.

No matter what you do, you’ll never please everybody. Yes, you should always make your best efforts in any endeavour, and you should always try to be respectful of the opinions of others. However, don’t let other people’s opinions affect your every move. If you do, you’ll constantly operate from a place of fear and will never achieve great things.

4. You’re trying to figure out everything without a mentor

 Bill Gates, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey. What do these people have in common? They’re all crazy successful…and they all had mentors.

Many people suffer from the belief that to become successful, they have to do the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest alone. However, this mindset is likely stunting their career and slowing down success. Truthfully, seeking out the guidance of a mentor is both a brave and smart career move. A mentor who is further along in their career than you can help advise you, point you in the right direction and help you avoid common pitfalls. There is so much to gain from having a mentor; why hold yourself back by trying to do everything alone?

5. Poor time management

Without a doubt, pursuing a new career or business endeavor takes time. Many people claim that it’s impossible to work toward their dreams because there’s just no time. But is this really true?

The fact is, nobody’s ever going to gift wrap extra time and give it to you like a present. It’s your responsibility to make time. It might involve changing some of your habits like bingeing on Netflix or getting lost on Facebook for hours on end. Or, it might mean that you wake up early in the morning like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who gets up at 3:45 so he can answer emails and take some time for himself before the responsibilities of the day descend. There are always ways to make time for what matters if you’re truly driven to succeed.

Related: Is Your Business Prepared For The Worst? How You Can Stress-Test Your Business

6. You stopped learning

Lifelong learning is a trait of the most successful people. Don’t you want to be one of them? If you think you know everything, then there’s no possible way for you to continue moving forward in your career or even your life.

As Malcolm X famously said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” When you approach the world as if you can learn from every experience and every person, you’ll reap many benefits. You’ll be able to keep improving, you’ll be able to remain mentally nimble, and since you won’t be a know-it-all, people will probably like you a lot better. Never stop learning if you want to keep growing.

Are any of these things secretly holding you back?

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Self Development

(Infographic) How 9 Creative Minds Got Their Ideas

From doing headstands to drinking 50 cups of coffee a day, check out the quirky things that these nine creatives have done.

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Coming up with new, creative ideas can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to find a way to get inspired. After all, it’s our own unique rituals that can bring mental clarity and creativity. That could be a quirky habit or routine such as doing headstands or wearing lots of hats.

Igor Stravinksy did headstands, which he believed helped to rest his head and clear his brain. Author Dr. Seuss felt that wearing lots of crazy hats helped inspire his creativity and overcome writer’s block. However, those aren’t even the strangest routines that some of the world’s most brilliant minds have utilised. Steve Jobs bathed his feet in toilet water to reduce stress levels while Honore de Balzac drank up to 50 cups of coffee a day.

Check out Business Backers infographic below to learn the weird ways that nine creative minds got their ideas.

1533319920_unusual-inspiration-infographic

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Self Development

15 Traits Of Unstoppable People

Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful.

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Unstoppable people are like warriors. They are always ready to take on the world. They are guided by a light from within, full of boundless energy and unwavering in their goals. They have learned to activate their natural talents and develop the skills necessary to achieve whatever they aim for.

How do they do this? Where do they find the stamina and strength to keep going? Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful. Here are 15 traits that will help you go from being a solid achiever to being a truly unstoppable person.

Do you have any yet?

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