It’s not easy. The road to a goal-oriented successful personal and business life is tough with many twists and turns. These eight success secrets that changed the lives of some of the world’s best motivational speakers are the tools you need to dramatically raise the likelihood of attaining your goals and turning your dreams into reality.
Success Secret 1: Take 100%responsibility for your life
In a society where people blame everything from their parents to the government for their failure to get ahead in life,successful men and women refuse to buy into the mentality that says: “I could succeed if only it weren’t for…”.
They realise that when you say someone or something outside yourself is preventing you from succeeding, you’re giving away your power to that someone or something. You’re saying: “You have more control over my life than I do!”
Successful people don’t buy into this victim thinking. Rather, their personal credo is: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”
Consider Les Brown. Abandoned by his parents at birth and labelled “educably mentally retarded” by his schoolteachers, he had every reason to give up on himself and his dreams. But when a high school teacher told him that “someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”, Brown realised in that moment that his future lay inhis own hands.
He went on to become a state legislator and author, and today earns $20 000 (about R140 000) per hour as one of America’s top motivational speakers.
What Brown understood was that there are certain things in life you can’t control, such as nature, the past and other people. But there are things you absolutely can control, such as your thoughts and your actions. Taking 100% responsibility for your life is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.
Success Secret 2: Live your life “on purpose”
What separates superstars from others more than anything else is that they live their lives “on purpose”. That is, they are doing what they believe they were put here to do. These speakers will tell you that the time they feel most alive is when they are on stage, connecting with an audience.
Says Wayne Dyer: “Having a sense of purpose in your life is the most important element of becoming a fully functioning person!”
The difference between living your life on purpose and not living it on purpose is like night and day. The latter consists of simply getting through the week with the least amount of problems while expending just enough effort to get by.
But when you live your life on purpose,your main concern is doing the job right. You love what you do, and it shows.Your conviction is as evident as it is persuasive. And you will find that people want to do business with you because they sense your commitment to giving your all.
How do you live your life on purpose? By finding a cause you believe in and creating a business around it. For example,Mike Ferry, who was once a top US salesperson selling audiotape programmes, believed realtors needed help developing sales skills.
So he started The Mike Ferry Organisation, a seminar and training company for the real estate industry. Today, he earns more than$10 million (about R70 million) a year from seminar and product sales. Like Ferry, once you get your life’s purpose and focus on providing value for others, the money will take care of itself.
Success Secret 3: Be willing to pay the price for your dreams
Wanting a big house, a luxury car or a million rand in the bank is all very nice, but the problem is, practically everyone wants these things. The question is: Are you willing to pay the price to get them?
This is one of the major differences between the successful and the unsuccessful. Successful men and women find out what it’s going to cost to make their dreams come true; then they find a way to make it happen. Most important, they don’t complain about the work it takes to achieve their dreams.
Les Brown has a callous on his left ear.Why? “When I decided to get into speaking, I had no credentials, no reputation,no credibility and no experience. So I had to call a lot of people,” Brown explains. “I called over 100 people a day, day in and day out, to ask for an opportunity to speak to their group.”
You can get practically anything you want in life if you are willing to pay the price.
Success Secret 4: Stay focused
Every day, we are bombarded with hundreds of tasks, messages and people all competing for our time. This is why the ability to focus on your goal is so critical to achieving it. Focusing requires giving up some things in the present because you know the time invested will pay off big-time down the road.
When Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen compiled their first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, they were turned down by 30 publishers. But instead of giving up, they stayed focused on their goal.
“We did three to four radio or newspaper or magazine interviews a day, five days a week, for a whole year,” Field recalls. In every interview, they talked about why the country needed this book now more than ever.
Eventually, a small publisher called Health Communications Inc. decided to take a chance and publish the book. It not only became a number one bestseller, but also hatched an entire series of Chicken Soup books that have sold more than 10 million copies!
That’s the power that staying focused on your goal can give you.
Spend as much of your day as you can focusing on achieving your goals and dreams. Every day, ask yourself: “Is what I’m doing right now bringing me closer to my goal?” If it’s not, do something that will. Focusing is like any habit; the more you do it the easier it gets.
Success Secret 5: Become an expert in your field
One striking factor about all 15motivational speakers I interviewed is how seriously they take their profession. Their drive to be the best at what they do is phenomenal. They’ll do almost anything if they think it will help improve their speaking skills.
For example, Patricia Fripp, who speaks to Fortune 500 executives on how to become more successful, took a comedy workshop and hired a private speech coach because she wanted to improve her speaking ability.
Fripp did this after she had already been named “One of the Ten Most Electrifying Speakers in North America” by Meetings & Conventions magazine. To Fripp, being one of the best simply wasn’t good enough; she wanted to be the best she could be.
If someone followed you around at your business all day with a video camera to make a how-to tape for people who want to do what you do, would it be a tape you’d be proud of or embarrassed about?If the latter, make the decision today to work towards being the best in your field.
How? By studying the experts. The quickest way to become successful is to find out what the best are doing, then do what they do.
Success Secret 6: Write a plan for achieving your goals
Taking the time to write out an action plan, or a map, for how you’re going to achieve your goals is one of the best ways to get there faster.
Brian Tracy, one of America’s most successful business sales trainers and speakers, points out: “Goals that are not in writing are not goals at all. They are merely wishes or fantasies.”
Most people try to reach their goals without taking the time to write out an action plan. This is like trying to drive from Johannesburg to Pofadder without a map. Forget the fact that your odds of reaching your destination are extremely slim.
The frustration and wasted time, energy and money will probably cause you to give up long before you get halfway. With a map in hand, however, you’ll not only enjoy the trip much more, but you’re also virtually assured of arriving at your destination in the shortest time possible.
Success Secret 7: Never give up
It may sound simple, even obvious, but when you’re truly committed to achieving your goal, giving up isn’t even an option.You must be willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
In the mid-1970s, Wayne Dyer quit his job as a professor at Wayne State University to promote his new book, Your Erroneous Zones. However, no major talk show would book the then unknown Dyer. Did he give up?
Not on your life. He loaded his car from floor to roof with hundreds of copies of his book, and then spent a year on the road travelling from small town to small town and appearing on any radio or TV talk show that would have him.
Once on the air, Dyer would give out the number of the local bookstore and say that his book was available there. After the interview, he’d quickly drive over to that bookstore, where the manager would say: “Oh, you’re Wayne Dyer?
We’ve been getting lots of calls for your book!”Dyer would reply: “Well, I have a case in the car; would you like some?” The response: “Oh, yes! And would you sign some while you’re here?”
By the end of the year, The Tonight Show was calling him. And by the end of the 1970s, Your Erroneous Zones had become the number one bestselling non-fiction book of the entire decade. This is what the power of perseverance can do for you.
Success Secret 8: Don’t delay
In his book Live Your Dreams (Avon Books),Les Brown recalls talking on the phone one day with a friend named Marion. The very next day, Marion’s husband called to tell Brown she had died. A few days later, Brown was helping the husband clean out Marion’s office when he came across some notes for a play she had been working on.
Unfortunately, the play would never be published. Marion was the only one who knew how it was supposed to end, and now she was gone.
The lesson here is that Marion didn’t know how much time she had left to accomplish her dreams, and neither do you or I. We must remember that we don’t have forever. The clock is ticking, there are no time-outs, and sooner or later your number is going to be called.
Top achievers know this, but rather than seeing it as something negative or depressing, they use it to spur themselves on to go after what they want as energetically and as passionately as possible.
Build Solid Back-Room Basics For Business Success
What do South African entrepreneurs really know about what goes on behind the scenes building of businesses?
South Africa has a vibrant start-up culture with great ideas starting out with a bang, but closing down with a whimper because entrepreneurs picture the glory at the destination, but not the nitty gritty of the journey to get there.
Be smart about scale
When I started out, I literally did everything myself. I negotiated and signed leases, I arranged the furnishing for our apartments and managed the interior décor process. When guests started using our apartments, I signed them in at reception, and then carried their bags.
At that stage, there was no money in my business to pay for attorneys, interior designers and decorators and there certainly wasn’t enough money for porters.
However, when we got to 70 apartments, it didn’t make sense for me to be a porter any longer, so I hired someone to do that job, explaining clearly what I expected of him. Before I did that, though, I spent time designing incentives for him so that he would be more affordable for me, and so that he could earn as much money as possible.
Related: Training Is A Two-Way Trick
Know your talents – and your limitations
There are certain things I’m really good at, but I know without a doubt that sales isn’t one of them – and without sales, you don’t have a business. I couldn’t afford a top-flight salesperson, but I knew that I could attract the right talent with the right business model. I set some high targets for Pamela Niemand, but offered her one third of the business if she met them. We both won: she earned a share in a successful, trend-setting business, and my trend-setting business became successful!
Use your skills – but know when to hand over
My background in corporate finance meant that I had all the accounting skills I needed when we first started out, but I knew that the time would come when I would need someone focused on that side of the business full time. Doing it all myself first meant that I could brief my first full-time accountant clearly and with a deep understanding of what would be required – and that I could help that person find and fix any challenges based on my experience.
In summary, my simple advice to anyone starting out would be to bootstrap your business yourself without investors or staff for as long as you can, but don’t over-extend yourself. Know when to delegate tasks away so that you can focus on what you’re really good at – but don’t do it before you have a solid understanding of what’s required. Know what you’ll never be able to do, and bring in that resource from the beginning – but do it based on performance-based incentives, so that your fledgling business doesn’t lose out if your early hires don’t perform.
The Myth About The Relationship Between Entrepreneurs And Taking Risks
This is the true relationship between entrepreneurs and the apparent illusion of risk.
“I can’t be an entrepreneur or start a business. I don’t have the appetite for risk.” This line is spoken regularly to brave few that leave the perceived safety of a job, take the plunge and venture into the unknown world of being an entrepreneur. However, there is a gross misunderstanding in the appetite for risk that entrepreneurs are believed to have innately inside of them.
The little-known truth is that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t like taking risks and according to Luca Rigotti and Mathew Ryan in their paper that explores a model for quantifying risk and its translation into enterprising action, the results were very interesting.
Risk is explained by these theorists as taking action where the outcomes are unpredictable as well the factors leading to that outcome are unknown. One of the theorists in this area, Saraswati, who coined the term “tolerance for ambiguity” has a more accurate description of what the outside world deems taking a risk.
In simple terms, entrepreneurs don’t go head-first into the shark infested water because they like the idea of danger and potentially being eaten alive; or the thrill of being able to say that they survived whilst others perished in a pool of maimed flesh. They carefully calculate that the sharks have been fed recently, some of the sharks are ragged tooth sharks that whilst looking like they are set to devour a human being, are actually incapable of opening their jaws wide enough to bite. For those sharks that still have space or who smell blood and can’t resist the urge to kill, the entrepreneur has a cage set up that he can retreat into quickly and a knife with which to protect himself.
Tolerance for ambiguity is the careful evaluation of what is known at the moment where a decision must be made and an open-mindedness for what is not known. This, coupled with the agility to change course when new information is presented, has earned the label of high risk appetite. The appetite is not for the risk, but it is the ability to move down a path, when all the information is not known.
I likened it to a person moving around in the dark holding a candle. The candle casts a light that illuminates a limited parameter around the person holding the candle. What is beyond the light that the candle casts, is unknown and potentially a risk. But as the person moves forward, the light reveals what was unknown and in the shadows. As the light reveals new information and new challenges added to what they have already learnt, the person can make better informed decisions. The tolerance is in not knowing what lies in the shadows yet to be illuminated by the candle and then the confidence in his or her own ability to act on what new information is discovered.
None of this behaviour is risky or irresponsible. There is careful consideration for what is known and a tolerance for what is unknown. And once there is more information available, a calculated next step is taken and more information is assimilated into what is now known. This is the true relationship between entrepreneurs and the apparent illusion of risk.
7 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs To Adopt Today
Want to know what skills can help you build confidence and your business? Here are seven…
For some people, becoming an entrepreneur is as easy as stepping off a bus. They have a big idea, they bring it to life, they hire employees and the next thing they are in a building smothered in branding and living the business dream. For others, the idea and the passion are there but they are unsure as to how they can make these into a sustainable reality. Entrepreneurial spirit isn’t like instant coffee – you don’t add ideas and suddenly get all the skills you need to thrive.
Want to know what skills can help you build confidence and your business? Here are seven…
1. Believable vision
Make sure that your vision is believable and achievable. It has to live in the realms of possibility, not as a blue-sky idea that looks good on paper but wouldn’t work in reality. You need to be able to live this vision so make it realistic and achievable. This will not only keep you on track, but your employees as well.
2. Be inclusive
You need to ensure that every person who works with you feels as if they are part of your vision and understand it. They need to relate to where the business is going and how it plans to get there. Many leaders don’t understand why employees are not engaged with their business and it’s because many of them don’t actually understand what the business does.
3. Communication is critical
If you don’t have fantastic communication skills, then now is the time to hone them. When it comes to building employee morale, commitment and engagement, nothing works as effectively as constant communication. The same applies to client relationships. You need to repeat the vision and ethos of the company at every opportunity and you need to be part of the team that does this communication.
4. Be visible and transparent
You are communicating, now you need to make that communication genuine by being both open and clear. People respond incredibly well to transparency. They feel as if they are part of something that recognises their value and contribution and it fosters a more inclusive company culture. Often toxic cultures come about thanks to a lack of communication and visibility. People know when things are being kept secret and react negatively to it, regardless of whether they’re an employee, a customer or a manager.
5. Be practical
You aren’t going to build an empire in a fortnight so focus on a realistic and practical business strategy that has clear benchmarks and even clearer goals. Communicate these with the company and keep everybody on the same page. Practical and achievable means long-term success.
6. Build opportunities
As people become immersed in your company and part of its growth they will also need opportunities to grow. You need to tie their careers to the business and create opportunities for them.
7. Be human
It takes people to build a culture, a company and a future. It’s essential that you are human in your interactions and your treatment of others. The impact that a down to earth and authentic attitude can have on a company is extraordinary.
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