I was recently asked this question and it got me thinking.
First, less is more. People think they need to adopt all of the success habits they see that high achievers use. The truth is that what works well for Tony Robbins might not work the same for you. The key is to know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. You want to put habits in place that maximize your strengths and at the same time improve on your weakness.
For example, if one of your strengths is that once you start on something, you are very good at finishing, but a weakness for you is you procrastinate and have trouble starting in the first place; you will want to put a habit in place that allows you to maximize and overcome both. A good idea for this would be to force yourself each day to tackle your biggest challenge first before you can go to anything else. This will force you to overcome your procrastination and allow you to focus on getting your most important item completed.
Before implementing any habit you should make sure that you can leverage the habit to help you in multiple ways. That being said, over the years and through working with some of the top entrepreneurs in the world including several billionaires; I have noticed a few habits that are consistent across the most successful that can help anyone. These can be used for any area of your life.
Leave Nothing to Chance
Leaving nothing to chance is all about planning and strategizing for success. The most successful plan their day, week, month, and set goals for the year. They want control of their success in every form from their business to their wealth, health, and so on. You can do this too. Plan each day. Know exactly what you have to do to reach your goals and work that in daily, weekly, and monthly. This habit will make a huge difference in your life as it gives you purpose and causes you to be deliberate in going about your life and success. Here is a link to a great resource from a friend of mine and performance guru, Craig Ballantyne, to help you in this area. The Perfect Day Formula
Choosing Your State of Mind
Another habit that the most successful practice is control over their state of mind and emotions. Simply put, they choose their attitude and approach to their life each day. They don’t let themselves be controlled by emotional reactions or outside influences. They control the state of their mind and this power helps them to achieve more and think more clearly. How do they do this? There a lot of ways. It can be different for each person and this is where knowing yourself is important. What are you prone to have negative reactions to? What makes you “fly off the handle?” What types of situations derail you? Once you know what these are, you can start to recognize your reactions and stop them, redirect your focus to what you can control, and move forward. I have a few habits that I have found that work well for me. They may benefit you as well. Here is a short video and some resources on them.
Walk into any highly successful person’s office or home and I will bet you there is a personal library somewhere. High achievers are voracious self-developers. They know that they don’t know everything and that in order to grow, they will need to learn and challenge their assumptions. They are always on the lookout for new ideas and how they can use them to reach their goals faster. They truly understand that knowledge is power and use this fact to gain an edge in their pursuits. It is incredible what you can learn and the worlds that will open up to you by getting in the habit of reading just one book a month. In fact, after a few years, it’s amazing where you will be. Below is a picture of one of my bookshelves. I have multiple others like it. It is so nice to be able to pull a book off the shelf and read about a specific topic or when an idea hits, grab one that has expertise on the subject. I honestly don’t know how I managed to read all these over the years, but I am truly grateful for having done so and would not have accomplished half of what I have without this habit!
As noted at the beginning, the habits that will work best for you will be personal to you and allow you to maximize your strengths and turn your weaknesses into strengths. Take time to self-reflect and decide what these are for you. Best in your success!
One of our subscribers sent me this infographic and it was too good not to make a blog post, so with their permission, I am reposting it here. Enjoy!
There are a million articles and books on success that serve up concepts, platitudes, and quotes. This wisdom is nice and is needed. More importantly, the wisdom needs actioned on to be of any consequence. Just reading a quote or concept does not put you on a better path to success. It may make you feel good for a minute, but that is about it.
Outside of platitudes, mantras, and quotes; there are some brutal truths about what it takes to truly succeed that cannot be ignored and everyone should know. Here are 10 of them.
1.) The world doesn't give a shit about you, your idea, or how great you think you are or can be.
The world simply doesn't care. It is up to you to make something of yourself and grab your version of success. The sooner you realize this, the better. You cannot just cling to "hope." Hope by itself is not a strategy. But hope backed by committed action and unwavering, relentless pursuit of a dream can move mountains. Show the world how big of a mountain you can move.
2.) You will not truly succeed (defined as being among the best in your chosen field of expertise) without a deep passion and obsession that causes you to commit fully and sacrifice even the smallest comforts to reach it.
If greatness and high levels of success were easy, everyone would accomplish them. The truth is that most people go through their lives with their brakes on. You know the type. The people that talk about all the amazing things they could be doing and should be doing. They dream and dream and dream, but stay stuck in the same dead end job or position they have always be in. They never even give it a shot. And one day they wake up and realize what they missed and they can't get it back. Don't do this to yourself. Seek out and find the one thing you have a deep, unending passion and obsession for - the mission from which there is no turning back and then go. See it through to every end. And realize that the mission/vision you start out with will change many times along the way, embrace that, roll with it...and see #3 below.
3.) An idea means nothing, execution means everything.
Just because you have an idea or dream, even with great passion, doesn't mean it will be remotely successful unless you execute and act on it. Ideas and dreams happen every second, but unfortunately most of them never come true. That is because people don't act on them. Execution should be your focus, even more than the dream. Always be hustling and putting effort into exactly what you know is needed to make things happen. Plan for it and plan again, again, and again. Write down every step and action needed and then follow them maniacally. And see #4...
4.) You will need to become extremely good at the little things and develop a good attention to detail.
A big part of success in your execution comes down to the little things. Successful people don't do one thing exceptionally better than others, they do a lot of little things just a bit better. The win in the margins. You will need to commit to doing this as well. That means doing to the things you don't want to do like documenting your processes and creating SOP's (standard operating procedures) for how you operate so that others can follow them. It means being structured with your time and deliberate about what you do every hour of the day. It means making sure you are spending time on tasks that are the highest value priorities and either removing or delegating the rest. It means thinking at higher levels and learning from people that have been and done what you want to do.
5.) You will need to seek out new friends and level up along the way.
As you grow in your success path, you will need to seek out new friends and mentors and spend time with those that can challenge you and help you reach new levels. This will require you to spend less time with those that don't do these things or worse, attempt to hold you back. Sometimes it will mean the end of a friendship or partnership.
6.) The only real motivation comes from within.
Reading a meme, watching an inspirational video, or hearing a speech will motivate someone for about two seconds if they aren't motivated themselves. True motivation comes from within and you will need to get a good understanding of what that is for you, because you will need it. The road to success is not always sunshine and lollipops and you will have to be willing to do what no one else is willing to do. During these times is when your grit and determination will need to manifest itself and you will need to ignite your internal motivation engine to make that happen. Look inside yourself and know what motivates you.
7.) You can't have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic.
Here's a shocker. Whatever you are after in your pursuit of success, it will take very hard and very smart work. You must have both. I know people who work very, very hard, but never reach new levels of success because their mind is stuck in a way of thinking. You must be constantly thinking about and challenging your assumptions and perceived limitations. You must work smart with your mind in addition to the hard physical work you will do.
8.) You will want to quit many times.
There will be so many times you want to quit and this will be your biggest challenge because it is so easy to do. Quitting is instant gratification. One decision and your done - all your problems washed away. Or are they? Quitting is tough. It is tough mentally, physically, and stays with you over time. Quitting what you truly believe is your mission will stay with you for the rest of your life and hurts the soul. Failing is different. Failing can happen, even with every effort, option, and action exhausted. You can get back up and try again after failing. Quitting is the end. My advice if you truly have found your mission - never, ever, every quit or give up. It is often right after breaking through a time where you want to quit where great things happen.
9.) You will have times where you are out of balance with your family and loved ones and must be willing to admit to it and work to come back in balance.
Relationships are work. Whether with your spouse or significant other, business partner, etc., you will have challenges and must be willing to work hard to get through them. You will be closer after having done so. Being obsessed and doing whatever it takes to reach your goal will put you out of balance at times. In fact, it will most likely be when you are on a hot streak and everything is going well because it is fueling you and you are putting in more time seeing the success in front of you. Be conscious, especially if you are married with a family, of the toll this can have on them. They know you are not doing it on purpose and that you love them, but you will need to do a balance check once in a while. I learned this over time and am fortunate to have an amazing wife that supports all that I do. In fact, a secret I learned is to work in short bursts ( a few weeks or month of highly intense, concentrated work) and then follow them up with some scheduled downtime to bring things back in balance. It makes a big difference.
10: Success is built on consistency
No matter how good your idea is or how good you are...or even how hard you are able to work, if you are not consistent, you will not be able to attain and sustain success. That is why structure and routine is so important to succeeding. You must be willing to commit to consistent action toward your desired success and not skip the little things or "take the day off." You can schedule these things in your routine, but should not "just wing it." It is like an exercise routine. Once you start to slack off or skip a day here or there, it begins to fall apart. Remember, how you do anything is how you do everything.
It is easy to think that people succeed because they have something you don't or are lucky. But in reality, they have embraced the brutal truth of what it takes to succeed, make the sacrifices, do the the things that others aren't willing to do, and never quit or stop. You can do this to. Get going.
What is the most important mindset for an entrepreneur? This is probably one of the most important questions an entrepreneur can ask. I truly believe that your mind is the secret to success in anything in your life - business, health, wealth, relationships - everything is impacted by your mind. And I have seen the amazing results and destruction that the mind can bring to countless entrepreneurs. Let me explain.
I can rattle off a bunch of "mindsets" and outlooks to develop, but let’s get a little deeper and start with an important question, “Where do our thoughts come from?” Most have never stopped to really think about where the thoughts they have originate and why they have them in the first place.
The fact is that our thoughts come from the conditioning we have gotten ever since we were born. Think about it - everyone is born with a clean slate mentally. We all start blank and with the same opportunity to create the success and life we want. No one said when you were born, “Beautiful baby, too bad they’ll never make more than $30,000/year.”
We are taught and conditioned how to think and act in all areas of our lives. The sources of this conditioning are varied: Family, Friends, School, Media, Culture, Religion, etc. All of this impacts you from the moment you are born going forward. And don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of amazing stuff we get from it, but there are things that we do retain that hold us back.
Another thing most people don’t realize is that we have two minds, our conscious, and subconscious. The conscious mind is the one you are aware of and use when you “think to do things.” But how much do you think to drive a car or throw a ball, or even react with a response when asked a question or talking with someone. For the most part you don’t - you just do it. That is your subconscious mind and it is the part of the mind that runs you without you even knowing. It is the part of your mind that has saved all this conditioning throughout your life and goes to it to respond to the circumstances that happen to you in your life.
This subconscious reactionary conditioning is what gets us into trouble and derails our success. If you have ever doubted yourself or “felt” like you cannot make it or do something, that is from conditioning in your mind. And the subconscious mind has automatic responses ready for every type of situation you can think of from how you see money to opportunities to your self-worth and view of yourself.
Let’s use money as an example, was there anything growing up you heard about money from influences around you? Maybe you heard things like “money doesn’t grow on trees” or some other sayings. Do you say them today? Why? If you stop and think, do you actually believe them? Money does grow on trees. You can write an E-book on a topic and be selling it on over 50 different channels creating new income for yourself in about a week - all without spending a dime and just a few hours of concentrated work.
One thing I have always taught people is that “awareness is the catalyst to change.” For all the credit we give it, the subconscious is actually quite dumb. It is the rudimentary, animal part of our brain. It is very basic in how it functions. It simply is programmed to react to each scenario a specific way.
So guess what? If you were able to be conditioned a certain way in the first place, you can certainly re-condition it another way. The way you want it to be for yourself.
As a young entrepreneur, this is the biggest secret you must become aware to. The fact that you can totally recondition your mind to the way you want to think and act.
Well, it starts with being aware and hopefully I explained it well enough above that you are now aware…and a little bit excited. If you look at every successful person or model of success that you have; they have either figured this secret out or naturally just do it. I was not a natural. It took me a lot of hard work on myself and putting some habits in place that I still do today to keep my subconscious in check. You can do it to.
Here are the 3 habits I suggest people start with to change their conditioning:
Like anything, gaining control over you mind is work and you will work on it the rest of your life, but once you are aware, gain control of your attitude, develop your inner coach, and control your emotions, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish and where you can go. You will operate from a world of true choice. Choosing for yourself who you are and want to be. It is the ultimate in personal power. Here’s to your success!
If you are looking for some free resources to help you with this, go to the following link below:
Harnessing the Power of Your Mind
How can I start a business with no money? This question has been asked a million ways and times. The truth is many businesses, some very famous, started with and as nothing. Consider this: Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, HP, Harley-Davidson, and even Yankee Candle Company started out of garages with no money. In fact, I love Yankee’s story. At 16, Michael Kittredge, the founder, made scented candles in his garage out of melted crayons as a gift for his mother. His neighbors took notice and asked if they could buy some of his candles, so he started mass producing them!
And that was in 1969. Today, it is so much easier to start a business or startup with no capital. But, it does depend on your startup. For example, if you want to create the next Tesla, you are probably going to need some capital. But, let’s put that aside for a moment. There are some very important ingredients you need that cost nothing to get your startup off the ground. These must be present to succeed with any startup…and eventually attract money.
First, you must be focused and obsessed with your idea and vision. You must eat, sleep, and breathe it. If you don’t have this level of passion, then don’t start - find what you are so passionate and obsessed with that it consumes you (in a healthy way). A good way to test this is if you would have the same passion and put the same time into it whether you were getting paid or not.
Next, you must take action and execute on your idea. It is always 5% idea and 95% execution in anything, especially startups. There may be some things you need money for, but there is a lot you don’t when starting out. Execute on everything possible that is in your control.
You will also need to learn to pivot. You may have a grandiose idea for your business and what it should be, but remember, even the most successful businesses started as something other than they are now. Amazon started very simply as an online bookstore. It is important to narrow your focus to what you can do at this time with the resources you have.
Whatever your startup is, you can start on it and you can do a lot for it. You will have to innovate and think differently. Let me give you an example of creating a million dollar business with no money.
We once had an excellent idea for a product line, but we did not have the expertise or resources to build a major piece of technology we needed to make it work. That did not stop us. We went out and pitched our idea to the companies that would use it. After 15 pitches, we got one to sign on and started the agreement process. While that was going on, we took the fact that we had a written agreement and went to several companies that had the technology we needed. We showed them the agreement, explained our plans on how we would market and make the solution a success and asked them to become our partner. One of them signed on, We agreed to a revenue share (not ownership) since all we had to do was plug their technology into our solutions (that we originally built with no money, just sweat equity). It was a win-win for everyone. If we failed, the technology partner was not harmed, since they didn’t really have to do anything, but let us use their technology. The initial customer got in on the ground floor of a new solution, at ground floor prices - and if it didn’t work, they didn’t pay. There were a lot of late nights and questioning on if we would make it, but we were obsessed with making it work and through ingenuity, will, and shear hustle, we did. This solution does over a million a year in revenues today and continues to grow. We did it with no funding, but just a great idea, execution…and innovation. Find a way or make a way.
Whether you already have your idea and vision or are looking for it still, it will always be true that “necessity is the mother of invention.” If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. In today’s age, it is easy to start an information business with no money such as a blog, podcast, Youtube show, etc. You could sell your services (ie special knowledge). Or you could just be obsessed with a niche on Instagram and get 100K+ in followers and start to get influencer marketing dollars. Remember, as I said, how you start out will not determine what your business becomes in the future, but you need to start. You can parlay a blog, podcast, Youtube channel into a million different things. Here is a good article from Entrepreneur mag that can give you some ideas if you are still looking. No Money to Start a Business? No Problem. Try These 5 Options.
Lastly, if you are still in need of funding, remember that people invest in you in a startup. You are the company and it’s future, so if you are not totally buttoned up and all in, it will show easily. Here are the top 3 places to start for funding:
There are literally millions of books out there with great insights and messages for any entrepreneur. In fact, that is why one of the key success principles of high performing entrepreneurs is that they are voracious lifetime learners and are dedicated to their personal growth. There is always something new to learn.
Recently, I was asked if I could recommend the top 5 books for a young entrepreneur. I laughed because it's a trick question and totally subjective. What I think are the best books for a young entrepreneur will be totally different than what someone,say Marc Cuban, thinks are good, etc. So who is right? Neither. I think the most important lesson I can give a young entrepreneur is to embrace a personal growth routine and commit to lifelong learning. My best advice? Go to the book store or library and start reading titles, you'll find you gravitate to certain ones. Start there and then branch out. Never stop learning.
Ok, back to the question at hand. Inevitably, as mentioned above, I will leave some great work of entrepreneurial genius off the list below that you think should be on there. Oh well. What I wanted to do with the list below is give you books that you may not have heard of and that are not as mainstream, but are better than the ones that are. Hopefully, the list below will give you some unexpected inspiration and secret(s) to success that you did not expect, especially if you are a young entrepreneur.
1. ) The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad put Robert Kiyosaki on the map, but I think this book is even more important for young entrepreneurs. It gives you a clear idea of the types of businesses out there and helps you to figure out which type you want to have.
One of the most important things a young entrepreneur can do is be crystal clear on what they want to accomplish and do with their business. This book will help greatly with that.
2.) Your One Word by Evan Carmichael
What I love about this book is that it does one thing better than any book I have ever read. It makes you get very serious and question to your core what you stand for and what your purpose is. If you had to boil yourself and your mission down to just one word, what would it be? It's not easy, but Evan makes it a lot easier and gives you the secrets and process to do it and then take action on it.
3.) How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
This is an older book and the book that Dale Carnegie called "the most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship I have ever read." (and you should know by now that you need to read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" so I am not listing it). Selling and knowing how to sell is vital to business success and this book gives you some of the most common sense and easy to use advice on how to become a professional sales person. It is also a fun read as it is told through a series of engaging stories of failure and success.
4. ) Zero to One by Peter Thiel
I like this book not only because it is from one of the top entrepreneurs out there today, but because it really makes you think and look at things in a different way. It challenges your assumptions and what you believe. It makes you question what you are doing and what the future looks like. It also helps you to plan for it and take advantage. It is great to read when you are starting out on a new venture.
5.) An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
What does being an astronaut and having to go up into space, survive, and come back have to do with entrepreneurship? Everything! This book may not have been written as a guide for entrepreneurs, but every principle Chris Hadfield, one of the most decorated astronauts in history, gives directly relates to the entrepreneurial journey. From being prepared for anything, to having to engineer solutions and solve unexpected problems, to staying alive, this book has become one of my favorite books to teach entrepreneurship with.
As I mentioned above, there are a number of amazing books out there for you to study and learn from the rest of your life. Get started. Commit to your personal growth. And a shameless plug...if you get a chance along the way, check out my book, The Ten Year Career. It was written to help anyone get on the past to success, wealth, and fulfillment faster in their lives.