Society has become obsessed with watching others.
From gawking at someone’s daily life on reality television to idolising star athletes to following flashy entrepreneurs on social media, we have developed an unappeasable appetite for watching others do something – for watching others become something.
Now, although watching those around us is not all bad, we need to ask ourselves, “What am I doing to become someone special?”
This doesn’t mean you need to set your goals on becoming the next star athlete, business celebrity or billionaire. It’s simpler than that. Instead, how about aspiring to become a special person? How about shifting your perspective and ambition away from the lime light and toward something more fulfilling – like becoming a world-class human being?
Because becoming a world-class human being is unique for all of us, there’s no exact definition of what it is. However, after studying, interviewing and being mentored by dozens of people I personally consider world-class human beings, I’ve identified a number of unwritten laws they all abide by, and if you want to become a world-class human being, you need to follow these seven rules.
1Always do the right thing
World-class human beings value integrity.
They find no need to lie or exaggerate. When you tell the truth, you’ll never have to remember what you said. Most people lie when they are insecure or afraid and then they have to consciously make sure everything else they say supports their lie. It’s a vicious circle.
To avoid cornering yourself into these integrity killing situations, remember that it’s not about who’s right, it’s about what’s right. Sometimes, it’s okay to take the short end of the stick in the moment and admit when you are wrong. Remember, being open, honest and transparent always comes full circle and you will be glad you did in the long run.
2Live by your standards, principle and values
World-class human beings do not let their standards waiver based on environment.
So, always stick to your guns, even if it’s going to be uncomfortable in the short-term. The easier path is to change or to put on a front so you can avoid potential confrontation. However, in the long run, people will respect you for staying true to your values – even if they don’t match theirs.
Remember, most people make decisions based on their emotions, feelings or fears. World-class human beings base everything off their values and principles.
3Value your word above all else
World-class human beings understand the importance of following through on what they say they are going to do.
By simply doing what you say you’re going to do, you’re already ahead of most people in society who don’t value their word. Obviously, nobody is perfect and you won’t follow through all the time… but world-class human beings take 100 percent responsibility and ownership if they don’t. No excuses.
By becoming someone people can rely on you, become trusted, respected and liked. You’ll also achieve more of your goals because you no longer accept excuses or easy-escapes.
4Don’t judge – accept and appreciate
Your affect on others is one of the most valuable (but under-appreciated) currencies available.
How you treat other people is a huge part of becoming a world-class human being. So, even if you disagree with someone’s decisions, do not judge them. Instead, accept that they’re entitled to their believes and find something you can appreciate about them.
If you can start making positive judgements about people, you’ll also feel more confident and positive about yourself. World-class human beings can negate their own egos and push away anxieties.
Try to judge less and observe more. People are never as simple as we view them. Learn to embrace their differences and unique perspectives.
5Improve life for others
Make it a habit to leave people in a better state – happier, healthier, stronger and wealthier – than you found them. This is a major part of being an exceptional person. By building people up and making them feel exceptional you’re making the world a better place.
Do this for one person today and it’ll have a ripple effect through society. You’ll make one person feel better, they’ll pass their good vibes on to another and like a stone thrown into water, the goodness will spread.
6Be emotionally mature
Either you control your emotions or your emotions control you.
Those operating at world-class levels almost always stay in control of their emotions. They don’t get too high or too low, but instead keep a positive, even keel at all times.
Honestly, I don’t believe there is anything that will make a bigger difference in your attitude, energy, consistency, and bank account than this one strategy. I strongly challenge you to start basing your decisions off your principles and standards rather than your current emotions.
I was lucky enough to learn the importance of emotional IQ at an early age, and I’ve realized most decisions based off pure emotion are usually the wrong ones. All great achievers use logic and intelligence in every decision they make.
Do the same, and I assure you that you’ll see your influence, income and results skyrocket.
World-class human beings don’t try to be someone or something they are not.
Unfortunately, authenticity is becoming less common these days. The good part is that when you see real authenticity now, it shines like a beacon in the night. So always be your unique self instead of trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
You are great enough to be a world-class human being without pretending to be someone else, so accept your unique qualities and share them with the world.
So there you have the seven rules of world-class human beings.
Now, I challenge you to openly assess your life. Which of these rules are you breaking? Which are you following? Ask yourself honestly, then take one action today that’ll help you become a world-class person and performer.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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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