No matter what level you reach in your life, you can find yourself stalling, getting complacent, or resting. The trouble with this is that these are the times where you can lose the most while you think everything is fine.
And this happens at any level of success from billionaire to beginner. The key is to ask "Do you truly choose to be "done," and decide that you you've reached your highest heights?" Most would say "No" to that question, no matter what level they are. What fun is stopping when you are successful?
Nobody consciously gets complacent or allows themselves to stall when they are pursuing their dreams, but what can happen is that this sinister trap happens over time. Sure, things are great, business is good, your are starting new ventures or working toward new goals, but there is this little thing in the back of your mind. There is this feeling that something is off. It can be driven by things from work, personal life, anything, but you know its there...eating at you.
Recently, I confronted this in my own life. I have been fortunate to be successful, have great businesses, a great team of people around me, and an amazing family, but something was just off. I was feeling like I was losing my edge....like I was going through the motions. I could not put my finger on what it actually was until I had an experience in which I realized I was sabotaging myself in a very small way.
During this experience, I realized a couple things. First, I was not living up to who I truly am and my capabilities. Second, out of all the good decisions I make, it is the one or two bad ones that really make an impact. Lastly, I was the only one that really saw this. It was internal to me.
So, what was the problem? I had lost sight of having the right rules to guide me in my life and success. A long time ago, I had set some rules that I would live my life by and they served me very well. I internalized them and could recite them all from memory. But over the last few years, I recalled them less and less. Sure, 90% of the time I followed them. I had conditioned myself to with much practice.
But, it was the 10% of the time I did not follow them that was sabotaging me and was giving me that feeling of being off. It took me a while to realize this, but today I am recommitting to them and I want to share them with you. I want...no, I need, and am asking for your help as an audience in holding me accountable for these. Here they are...
My 10 Rules for Living a Great Life
So there you go. Simple, but not easy to follow all the time. I am recommitting myself to them and I ask all those that know me to hold me accountable to them. And if I can help you in a similar way, please let me know either by email or by leaving a comment below.
Here's to taking things to the next level!
Recently, I traveled to Beijing on business and after a long week of great meetings and success with my business partners, I decided to take a trip to Beijing's famous Silk Market. I thought it would be great to get a few gifts for family and test my negotiating skills. I wasn't disappointed! The Silk Market is a six floor building of every type of vendor you can imagine, selling just about anything you'd ever want.
Here are a few lessons I was reminded of as I made my way through the six floors of unbridled bargaining and negotiating.
Make Sure You are Prepared With the Right Resources
No matter what in any negotiation, you must make sure you are prepared and have all the details to be successful. That means making sure you know all of the angles of a deal, or having the resources that do by your side to help you. I walked into the Silk Market at a disadvantage right from the start. I had never been there before. I didn't know what the going rates were for "good deals" on the different items that I was looking for. And I certainly, didn't do any preparation.
But, I did have one advantage. I brought the right resources. A friend of mine, a long time resident of Beijing came with me. They knew this place inside and out and knew what "good deals" looked like. I was fortunate to be able to bounce thoughts off them and ask them simply if the prices I were negotiating were good or not. If there weren't, they'd give me a little shake of the head telling me to negotiate further. If they were, they'd tell me the deal was good.
Having the right resource by my side allowed me to pay at least 30% less than the initial negotiations (which we were pretty deep cuts already).
Be Willing to Walk Away
This is something I learned a long time ago. If you are not getting what you want, don't get emotionally invested...just walk away. You'll eventually find the deal you're after. And, of course, it's really good if you can get the other side emotionally invested.
How do you know they are emotionally invested? You walk away. And if they start further negotiating or trying to pull you back in, you know you are in the power position.
This worked on several occasions through my trek through the market, but the one that sticks out most was when I went to find some cool souvenir shirts for my 4 year old daughter. I knew ahead of time what I was willing to pay for a shirt (around $5 US) and was willing to walk away. When I first went into the little store, I was immediately thrown into negotiations with the vendor. First, they tried to give me a deal for 3 shirts that was ridiculous - basically $20 per shirt! I could have gotten better deals at the airport. So, after telling him that was outrageous and saying "thanks, but no thanks;" I started to leave the store. What did he do? Everything he could to pull me back in. He started dealing. First, he cut things to $40 in total. Same thing from me, nice dice. Next he cut it to $30 as I started to walk away. Third time was a charm, we settled on 2 shirts for about $15 US.
Because I was not emotionally invested and willing to walk away 3 times, I was able to get 75% of the starting price. And you know what, the guy still made a good margin! That is why he ultimately did it. If he truly wasn't going to make money, he would have walked too. We both won and that's all you can ask for.
Negotiate and Then Negotiate Again
As you just read in the above example, it took multiple rounds of negotiation to get where we settled on a deal. In my experience, negotiations rarely settle on the first pass...and if they do, one side is getting the best of the other. It takes several rounds of back and forth to get it right.
That does not mean you have to be a hard ass or a jerk, but it does mean you must come in prepared, know the deal you want, be willing to walk away, and have the stamina to go through multiple rounds like a boxer to get the best deal.
This mentality definitely proved useful at the Silk Market because they WILL wear you down if you let them!
The Best Deals are the Ones in Which You'd Take Both Sides of the Table
A mentor once told me that the best deals are the ones that you would not just take your side of the table, but if you switched sides, you'd be willing to take the deal you gave them. A true win-win. This is never easy to get to, but that's the point. To get a true win-win, both side have to give up some things. That is how it should be.
I know that I probably didn't get the best possible deals I could have gotten at the market, but I got some pretty good ones; and for the most part, would have switched sides and taken the deal I gave. I stayed within my budget, got everything I wanted to get (and a little more) and the vendors did too. Everybody won and that's all you can ask for.
Negotiating is such a crucial tool for success. Take the time to practice it in your life and look for ways to get your win-win's. You and your bank account will be so glad you did!
Today is the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. As we pay respect and remember this somber day, we cannot help but also look to the inspiration that exists in the amazing stories of heroism and resolve that happened on that terrible day in New York.
We remember and honor all of those who lost their lives, all of the first-responders that gave everything they had to save and help people during the 9/11 tragedy and afterword, and all of those that have served since to prevent another 9/11 from happening again.
We wanted to share some amazing stories with you from 9/11 that will help you remember what it felt like that day, inspire you in your life, and give you hope that anything is possible.
The below article is from Business Insider and shares 7 incredible stories of heroism and bravery from 9/11.
Business Insider: 7 Incredible Stories of Heroism from 9/11
This week's post is actually a post we saw online by Preston Ely. If you don't know who Preston is, Google him or check out his site at www.prestonely.com. He’s been acknowledged by Fast Company magazine as one of “The 100 Most Influential People Online.” He’s the founder of RealEstateMogul.com and its parent company, Real Freedom Inc, which has been recognized as one of Inc. magazine’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.”
He put a post out on Facebook this week that was too good not to share in it's entirety with you. Here it is below!
If Kim Kardashian Can Do it...YOU CAN DO IT
By Preston Ely
"The will to do springs from the knowledge that we CAN do." - James Allen
What is the number one thing you most wish you could do or achieve in life? Today I'm here to tell you ... you can do it. No question. I know without a doubt that whatever it is you're MOST wanting to do in life that you. can. DO IT.
Wanna know how I know? The following 7 reasons:
1. The Spice Girls Did It
I want you to go listen to the song Wannabe ("I'll Tell You What I Want What I Really Really Want") for as long as you can stand it. So like 17 seconds probably. Now realize that this song was (still is) the best selling single by a female band in the history of the WORLD.
You can do it.
2. Kim Kardashian Did It
Did what? Exactly.
If Kim Kardashian walked right past your face you wouldn't recognize her. She's like five feet tall, 3/4 of her body weight is her butt, and below is a picture of her prior to her daily four hour makeup session. She's just a regular person except with less obvious talent and probably lower IQ than you.
You can do it.
3. The Snuggie Did It
The Snuggie, perhaps the most ridiculous invention of all time, has sold 20 million units grossing over 400 million dollars. The best part? They stole the idea from The Slanket which was invented ten years prior. So ... someone saw a dumb idea, stole it, renamed it something better, and now they're rich.
You can do it.
4. That One Dumb Rich Guy You Personally Know Did It
Everyone has one - that one friend who is so freakin stupid and so filthy rich it makes you want to seriously question God's sanity and apparent lack of justice. Your friend may not be smart, but he's doin' it.
You can do it.
5. Barrack Hussein Obama Did It
Growing up through college and beyond, Obama's friends described him as a regular, unspectacular and introverted guy. "Definitely not the United State's first black president that's for sure," said one close acquaintance.
So he got some charisma, learned how to read a teleprompter, was chosen by the Illuminati, and now he's president of the world's most powerful country. Incredible.
His college records are sealed and unavailable to the public. Think about that. I mean would YOU lock up straight A's if you were him? Or would you publish them for the world to see? They're not straight A's we must presume. What must we logically assume? We can assume that ...
You can do it.
6. Albert Einstein Did It
Einstein didn't start talking until he was four years old. It's called Einstein Syndrome. He divorced his wife, and married his cousin. He refused to wear socks. He declined a surgery which could have saved him because "extending life artificially is tasteless."
The best part? Much like the Snuggie, he stole his ideas from other physicists. E=MC2? Published by Olinto De Pretto two years prior to Einstein. The theory of relativity? The only thing unique to Einstein about the paper was the title. Every scientist friend I know says Einstein was nowhere near as smart as people think. He was simply a good marketer.
I'm not saying you should steal people's ideas and call them your own, but ...
You can do it.
7. I did it.
I was arrested for trying to steal a football kicking tee from Target when I was in junior high. In case you're curious I tried to steal it by putting it down my pants. Have you ever seen a football tee? I'm not talking about a t shirt. I'm talking about the 4 pronged plastic thingy you prop the ball on to kick it.
I started smoking and skipping school in 7th grade.
Alcohol and drugs in 10th grade.
I don't think I graduated high school (I know I never got a physical diploma for sure).
I never even considered going to college.
I was a drug-addicted, sociopathic party-boy for approximately ten years of my young adult life.
I filed bankruptcy, was foreclosed on, and had my cars repo'd when I was 24 years old.
I was a repeat relational disaster until my wife saved me five years ago against her better judgement.
But guess what.
I DID IT.
I'm married to a beautiful woman who's not my cousin to the best of my knowledge, have a wonderful daughter, own businesses, sold businesses, contribute to society as opposed to wreaking havoc on it, write stuff people read for some weird reason, live in a mansion and not prison as previously predicted by many and have stuff most people will only see on their vision boards.
All the glory to God. He saved me when I couldn't.
He told me to give you a message today. And that message is:
YOU CAN DO IT.
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