As of this writing, I’m 22. In the last 12 months I’ve generated a million dollars in commissions in one of the most competitive industries on the planet, where my average competitor is at least double my age with 10 times the tenure in the business.
I have a master’s degree from a prestigious university, which I received when I was 20 after fast-tracking four years of school.
I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, completed 13 triathlons and have an extremely happy, stimulating life.
Things are very good – but the future wasn’t always so bright.
When I finished graduate school, I moved to launch a new office for my family’s commercial real-estate business. The first couple of months were brutal, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the success we’d have (if any) would be astronomically more difficult than I could ever have imagined.
Despite being an overachiever all my life, I found myself wondering how to truly excel in the real world when it all finally mattered.
After re-inventing the wheel for myself time and time again I’ve come to realise that the secret to millennial success in the business world is a combination of grit and creative thinking. Here are the seven mental shifts I implemented to turbo-charge my growth.
1. Age is just a number
Embrace your youth whole-heartedly. If you spin your age as an asset, which can be done in a variety of ways, it can be an extremely powerful differentiator. The moment you begin to give yourself an excuse for not being successful is the moment of almost certain failure.
If you believe you can really make it then you will make it. Besides, there is nothing people want to see more than a hard-working, intelligent and dedicated young professional who succeeds. Create a snowball of momentum that makes people want to be a part of your life.
2. Re-invest in yourself
The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously.
You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.
I also believe that it is critically important to spoil yourself to a healthy extreme in order to reward your hard work and avoid burnout. Consider splurging on memorable experiences and luxuries that will enhance your lifestyle.
I get a weekly massage like clockwork, and it is one of the best productivity hacks I employ.
3. Avoid decision fatigue
Attention is a finite daily resource and can be a bottleneck on productivity. No matter the mental stamina developed over time, there is always going to be a threshold where you break down and your remaining efforts for the day become suboptimal.
Conserve your mental power by making easily reversible decisions as quickly as possible and aggressively planning recurring actions so you can execute simple tasks on autopilot. I know what I am wearing to work and eating for breakfast each day next week. Do you?
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4. Build a resilient mind
The biggest differentiator between mediocrity and meteoric success is the ability to work productively for hours at a time. These long stretches are when important work is almost exclusively completed.
Focus is paramount and, without intentionally developing mental stamina, you won’t be able to effectively compete with those who have systematically built up their endurance over decades in the business world.
Fast track your skills by being mindful of distractions and recognising when you begin to wander out of focus. Perform a thorough analysis of your daily activities each night and aggressively seek opportunities for improvement.
5. Think big. Be big
The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now.
I read mine the second I wake up every single morning. Now ask yourself, what would have to happen to accomplish your 10-year goals in just one year?
The inherent power in maintaining consistency with your acknowledged goals can work both positively and negatively, and is cause for concern if you anchor yourself to a slower timeline of achievement. Be mindful and diligent in charting an optimal path that pushes you to your limit.
6. Be methodical
Plan your work and then work your plan. Perhaps my biggest breakthrough was large-scale automation of my marketing systems. I created a process that allowed me to quintuple my marketing output while increasing my conversion rate considerably.
The simplest way to put your own content plan in motion is to create a multi-step campaign that touches a prospect through a variety of different mediums every week for at least a month.
Follow a logical order and craft your content in a persistent way, while never becoming annoying.
Not in a sales role? You can take a similar approach to any analytical, creative or administrative position by developing rigid organisational systems that help improve your efficiency when faced with repetitive tasks.
7. Believe in yourself
If not you, then who? Someone has to make it, and nothing is stopping you from being the person who accomplishes your wildest dreams. Nearly every person who has ever failed has had an excuse. Successful people have stories of the challenges that they overcame with creative solutions.
The moment you confidently feel that there is nothing you can’t learn or develop to solve the most complex of problems is the moment of guaranteed greatness.
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If you still aren’t sure how to begin, start with a promise to work towards the achievement of consistent excellence each moment of every day. This is the basic building block and mentality with which I am building my career.
Keep it simple and remember that success is not an entitlement. If you really want to excel, you have to get out there and earn it every day for the rest of your life.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30
Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.
Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.
So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.
From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.
Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.
5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success
You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.
I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?
Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.
I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.
It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.
You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.
It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.
3. Ambition and big dreams
Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?
I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.
4. Learn from mistakes
Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?
Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”
5. Focus on niches
This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.
You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.
Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life
There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see it every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.
Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfilment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?
For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.
Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives. If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.
Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.
Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.
Which area do you tend to focus on more: What you have or what’s missing from your life?
I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.
Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional wellbeing and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to feel deeply grateful for your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfilment can be found.
Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?
If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.
When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:
Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.
Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.
When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?
If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?
Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?
Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.
I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85% to 90% of those assembled raise their hands.
How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side-effect.
But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like ‘life is not worth living,’ that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.
Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.
When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit to what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.
So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.
Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.
If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.
Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.
Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.
Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behaviour on those they respect, enjoy and love.
The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.
Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by. It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad, or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.
Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.
It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.
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