Saturday, November 23, 2013

How to Become a Real-Life Success Story

Steve Tobak

Success doesn't happen on a screen or in a cubicle. You need to get out into the real world.

Most people spend their working lives stuck behind a desk in a dead-end job or lost forever in some middle management abyss. It's frustrating to live and sad to watch, but it is the reality of working life.

The good news is that there is a way out.

Strangely enough, it's more or less within your control. No kidding. If you really want to be somebody in this world, you have a much better chance of fulfilling that destiny than if you spend all your time sitting around whining and complaining, like most people do.

In my experience, motivation plays a bigger role in achievement and success than anything else. If you're driven and willing to put yourself out there, the rest will follow. You'll be exposed to opportunities, experience new things, develop knowledge and skills, gain confidence and wisdom, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Makes sense, doesn't it? And the best thing about it is it's not a theory. This is how the real world works. This is how today's employees become tomorrow's leaders. And since you're obviously motivated--after all, you're still reading--here are some important tips to help you on your way to becoming a real-life success story.

Don't be a zombie. The origin of the word bureaucrat is from the French "bureau," meaning desk or office. Modern definition: cubicle zombie. Rigid. Routine. Status quo. Comfort zone. It's all bad. If you want to go places, you can't play it safe. You've got to challenge yourself. Take risks. Get out and about. Meet people--real people in real time.

This is supposed to be the entrepreneurial generation. Funny thing is, if you spend all your time with your eyes glued to a display, that's no different from being stuck behind a desk in a cubicle. If you spend your life online, you're no entrepreneur. Just a new generation of bureaucrat.

Take charge. Really. Leadership is all the rage these days. Everyone's a CEO of a one-person company. That's nonsense. You're not a leader until people follow you. I mean real people in a real business. Twitter and LinkedIn followers don't count. Besides, a title doesn't make you a leader. Leaders are people who others follow, period.

So, what does it take to get people to follow you? Think about it. You've got to get out in front. Take the initiative. Come up with an idea, a direction, a goal. Then lead the charge to achieve it. Stick your neck out, make things happen, get things done, deliver real measurable results, and hold yourself accountable.

If you do that, the powers that be will give you responsibility. And others will follow.

Face your fear. Be courageous. You know that little voice in your head that goes on and on about all the things that could go wrong? What if nobody likes your idea? What if nobody follows you? What if you fail? What if, what if, what if? You know what that is? That little voice is your fear talking. And it's normal.

I know, you probably think that courageous people are supposed to be fearless. That's a crock. Everyone feels fear. Most people let it stop them. Courageous people don't. They don't let fear stop them from charging forward. From doing what they know they need to do, what they should do, in spite of their fear. That's courage.

Anyone who tells you to ignore that voice doesn't get it. That voice is part of you. It has just as much right to be in your head as your confidence does. Embrace it and understand it for what it is. Then let your motivation--your drive to make something of yourself, to achieve great things--take over.

Afterwards, think back on it. The world didn't come to an end, did it? Everything turned out fine, didn't it? You'll remember that the next time. That's called confidence. Having the courage to face your fear, take advantage of opportunities, experience new things, take charge, and take risks--all that builds confidence.

Now you're well on your way to becoming a real-life success story. Have a great trip. And don't forget to write.

Read more recent articles by Steve Tobak:
Stop Being a Control Freak. Why You Need to Embrace the Chaos
5 Bosses That Should Be Fired Now
How Much Risk Can You Take?
9 Great Reasons to Start a Company

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

17 Things Rich People Do Differently


“It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.” ~Margaret Thatcher
Do you dream of amassing great wealth one day?

Of freeing yourself from money-related stress?

Me too!

But here’s the thing: millions of people around the world dream of making lots of money… but very few achieve it.

Why is that?

Is it because of a lack of intelligence? No.

Is it because of bad luck? No.

Is it because of their mindset? Yes.

Last week, I read  T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth, in which he highlights 17 things rich people do differently.

Today, I want to share them with you so you can become aware of the things you’re currently lacking. That way, you can start developing the mindset that will lead you to exceptional wealth.

 1. Rich People Think “I Create my Life”

You’re in control of your life: things don’t happen by chance, they happen by choice. Taking full responsibility for your life is step one towards creating the life you dream of.

And when things don’t work out? Don’t blame or  criticise others, and don’t justify yourself. Just learn from it, keep on pushin’ ahead, and do better next time.

2. Rich People Play the Money Game to Win

If your aim is to “be comfortable financially”, you’re unlikely to ever be rich.

You have to aim to be rich to become rich.

3. Rich People Are Committed to Being Rich

If you wish to be rich, or you’d like to be rich… That’s not enough. You have to *commit* to being rich.

The moment it’s absolutely clear in your mind that you’ll create exceptional wealth, the universe will conspire to help you.

4. Rich People Think Big

How do you want to live your life? Do you want to play in the little leagues, in the minors or in the major leagues? It’s your choice.

I wholeheartedly believe that we can accomplish anything we can envision. But if you think small… You’ll accomplish small.

Think big my friend. It’s more fun, and it opens you up to a world of infinite possibilities.

If you want to get better at this, I encourage you to read The Magic of Thinking Big

5. Rich People Focus on Opportunities

Most things that happen to us can be seen as either opportunity or as an obstacle. It depends on what we focus on.

Rich people choose to see everything as a blessing, as a stepping stone for something greater.

What’s your outlook on things? Do you focus on finding opportunities or do you only see the risks & obstacles?

6. Rich People Admire Other Rich & Successful People

When you see a rich person, do you get jealous? Is there a point of resentment when you say “Check out that guy’s house/car?”

If you associate these negative feelings to wealth, you’re not likely to amass it yourself.

You have to associate positive feelings to wealth if you want to create it in your life.

These people were the architect of their wealth, and that’s worthy of our respect. Plus… when’s the last time jealousy got you anywhere?

7. Rich People Associate with Positive, Successful People

Modelling is one of the primary ways we learn. If you associate with positive & successful people, not only can you learn from them, but you’ll also start to think… “if they can do it, why can’t I?”

8. Rich People Are Willing to Promote Themselves & Their Value

Many of us have been conditioned to think that promoting ourselves is boastful and to be avoided.

But the reality is that most rich people are excellent promoters. They know how to promote themselves, their ideas and their products with enthusiasm.

9. Rich People Are Bigger Than Their Problems

Everyone has problems. Things won’t always your way, no matter who you are. But it’s how you react to your problems that defines you.

When you face a problem, do you run away and give up? Or do you put your head down and find a solution?

The answer to these questions will go a long way towards determining the kind of life you’ll live.

10. Rich People Are Excellent Receivers

To earn large sums of money for your work & products, you must feel worthy of receiving large sums of money.

Here’s a great practice for improving your receiving skills: when someone offers you compliment, simply say accept and thanks. Don’t look for something to compliment the other person with.

11. Rich People Choose to Get Paid Based on Results

If you want to become rich, choose to work in a pay-for-performance environment: either in your own business or in a commission-based or bonus-based job.

If you’re confident in your ability, this arrangement will motivate you more and it will earn you a lot more money.

12. Rich People Think “Both” not “Either/Or”
Rich people understand that with creativity, it’s almost always possible to have the best both worlds.

This requires a particular mindset of cooperation and outside-the-box thinking, but it allows you to have our cake and eat it too.

Next time you’re faced with a tough choice… Be creative and try to find a way to have both.

13. Rich People Focus on Their Net Worth

Generally, when we think of wealth we think in terms of how much a person makes a in year . But wealth is much more than that. It’s one’s income, savings, investments, and cost of living.

It’s by optimizing these 4 elements that you can create extraordinary wealth.

14. Rich People Manage Their Money Well

This is fairly self-explanatory: to become rich you need to be serious about money management. Using your spare money optimally, avoiding credit card interest and only spending on useful things is a great place to start.

15. Rich People Have Their Money Work Hard For Them

Once you’ve got money saved up, INVEST it. There’s no reason to leave money sitting in your bank account. Passive income is an incredibly powerful wealth-creating vehicle and the sooner you get started, the better.

16. Rich People Act in Spite of Fear

This is certainly one of the most important items and a recurring theme on this blog. If you want to create your greatest life, you’ve GOT to tame the beast of fear.

Fear will never completely go away, but it’s the ability to “feel the fear & do it anyways” that separates those who create their dream life and those who simply  dream about it.

17. Rich People Constantly Learn & Grow

Knowledge + Action = Power. The more you know & apply in your chosen field, the more money you’ll earn.

That’s why I’ve embarked on an epic reading challenge this year, and why you should use all the tools at your disposal to learn something every day: blogs, books, courses, audiolearning and insightful conversation with people who know more than you.

But learning is not enough- make sure you apply these findings, experiment with them, and tweak as you go. That’s where the real power lies.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

5 Ways To Assure Success

5 Ways To Assure Success

I’m sure that you already realize how important the relationship is between setting goals and achieving success.  Many of our readers have told me that they set lots of goals. They like to set big goals, little goals, short-term and long-term goals.

Is that true of you also? Are you a goal oriented person? If so, then you likely have a pretty good understanding of the basics of goal setting.  You’ve probably learned to write down what you want to achieve, and the reasons why.  You also know about motivation, obstacles and challenges, time lines, a plan of action, visualization and persistence.

So, with all this knowledge at your disposal, let me ask you this…

How many of your goals do you actually achieve?

If the percentage is not as high as you’d like it to be, don’t feel like you’re all alone.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’m doing everything right and I still can’t accomplish my goals.”  Have you ever felt that way?

So, what’s the problem?  First of all, let me say that all the steps you’ve learned actually do work.  Unfortunately, there are other necessary factors involved in being successful at goal setting. And it’s not so much that these important factors have been left out, but for some reason it seems like their value is not clearly communicated most of the time.

5 important elements of successful goal setting

1) Mindset. Your mindset and self-image need to change with regard to, and in conjunction with, your goals. If somewhere deep inside yourself you don’t feel confident about your ability to succeed, that core belief will sabotage your efforts.

To accomplish big goals you need to be able to truly identify with what it will be like to really be there. When you absolutely know deep down that it will happen, then your identity becomes tied up with that vision, and you are on the way.

2) Perspective. You need to develop the ability to mentally shrink down the size of your challenges in your mind. Your internal view of how big or small the challenge is will have a direct influence on your confidence. Your brain can make any task look big and impossible, or it can make it seem totally doable.  It’s the same task but a completely different feeling. When your confidence is high, even a difficult challenge will seem fun and exhilarating.

3) Your view of obstacles. When setbacks and problems come up you need to view them not as walls or roadblocks, but as part of the growth process. You will meet unexpected challenges along the way, how you view them will determine whether you keep moving forward or abandon your goal. Make up your mind beforehand to allow yourself to embrace the opportunity to solve any unforeseen problem. I promise you, your untapped abilities will surprise you when the time comes.

4) Desire. Develop a burning passion for the results you are about to create. Fall in love with both the benefits and the process. Become intimately acquainted with the feelings of accomplishment and the satisfaction of reaching your goal. Knowing the benefits of reaching a goal is not enough. Get your emotions involved so you will stay motivated and focused.

5) Commitment. Make an unbreakable commitment to see it through clear to the finish line – no matter what. That might be a huge commitment so it’s important to ask yourself beforehand, “Do I really want it enough to make that kind of commitment?” You need to be sure before you start. If you bail out part way through, it will have a negative effect on your self-confidence and make things harder next time. If you see it through to success, your self-confidence will soar and it will be much easier the next time around.

Rest assured, no one is born with the ability to achieve success utilizing and executing an effective goal setting strategy. And for some unexplainable reason they don’t teach these things in school. But anyone can learn these skills and use them to achieve success in every area of life. It’s just a matter of understanding the process.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 Ways To Live A Happier Life By NOT Being Normal

by Maurice Lindsay

Living a happier life often seems to be related to attaining as many things — money, accolades, titles — as you possibly can, in order to gain status and acceptance in society — according to most (youths and young adults) people.
Which explains why most people aren’t happy.
True happiness comes from within. When you start searching outside of yourself for happiness, you will always be dependent upon whatever that outside source is to make you happy. And when that source is not available or unattainable, you end up sad and depressed.
But this is the route that everyone seems to be taking these days in search for a happier life (especially our youth). No one wants to stand out, be different, and try something else. Everyone wants to be normal, not realizing that normal doesn’t equal happy. Therefore, we have the blind leading the blind down a path of unhappiness and destruction.
Hopefully, this is not you. But if it is — below I have outlined 10 ways to live a happier life by not being normal. Enjoy!

1. Stop trying to fit in with Everybody.

Normal = Do what everybody else is doing. Get hundreds of tattoos, smoke weed, party every weekend, have sex with multiple partners, and follow the standard rather than following your heart.
You will never influence the world or do anything great in it by trying to be just like it. When you neutralize your uniqueness for others, you never end up reaching your highest potential, because your success comes from being you.

2. Embrace your Insecurities.

Normal = Try to hide them by covering them up with arrogance, drugs, promiscuity, crowds of friends, or by taking on a fake persona, and slip further and further away from your true identity.
The things that you’re the most insecure about is what’s blocking you from living your best life. So instead of letting your insecurities hold you back, let them propel you forward, by accepting how God made you and embracing your uniqueness.

3. Live Within Your Means.

Normal = Spend it as fast as you get it, don’t save a dime, ball till you fall, blow your tax money at the mall, buy everything new, give nothing back to the church, make spontaneous financial decisions and end up in debt for life.
Instead of continuously buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t even like… how about saving, investing, and buying used rather then brand new, to make sure your future is better than your now.

4. Get Your Mind Right.

Normal = Listen to shoot-em up, bang-bang music all day, watch degrading & drama-infested reality TV every chance you get, hang around with negative minded people day in and day out, and end up with a toxic mind that produces exactly what it sees and hears.
In order to achieve anything in life, your mind has to be programed to succeed. You can’t feed your mind negativity all day long and expect to produce any positive results from that. Your mindset and your thoughts have to be in alignment with your goals. (Proverbs 23:7) “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”

5. Don’t Accept a Mediocre Life.

Normal = Be content in your current circumstances and follow the unfulfilled path that everyone else around you is on, rather than unleashing the burning desire you that you have deep down in your heart to accomplish something greater than what you see before you.
The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding that you are not going to stay where you are. When you decide to be different and tap into the gifts that God gave you, a whole new world of doors will open up for you.

6. Lose the “Me-Me, what’s in it for me?” Attitude.

Normal = Take, take, take, but never give anything back. Everything is always all about you and anytime something doesn’t seem beneficial to you, you are not interested.
No one achieves great success without helping others do the same. You reap what you sow, so if you don’t give back as well as you receive, then you will most definitely lose what you have. A selfish person will always want, but a selfless person will always have.

7. Expose yourself to New Environments.

Normal = Stay in your own little world, have no optimism, hate on other people’s dreams, persuade others to have no goals like you, proud to have never left the neighborhood, never down to try new things or see new places, and lives a boring, unfulfilled, mediocre, boxed-up life.
One of the most powerful things that can ever happen in your life is for you to be exposed to something greater than your environment because you think the way you think on the basis of what you’ve been exposed to. Life begins at the end of your comfort zones. Very few blessings come to those who don’t believe in change.

8. Stop Fronting about Who You Are.

Normal = Always posting pictures on Facebook of you living this dream life when you’re really broke, constantly lying about who you are and what you do to save face, and spending all your money on things that don’t matter so you can keep up with your so called friends… and then be sad at having to continue living this lie that you created because you’re too afraid to just be yourself.
When you put false images of yourself out their to the public, you will always find yourself trapped in circumstances where you’re expected to deliver what’s not even in you — leaving you exposed, humiliated, and embarrassed. There are plenty of obstacles in your path, don’t allow yourself to become one of them. It is better to be hated for who you are then to be loved for who you are not.

9. Let go of your Attachments to Things.

Normal = Spend the majority of your life chasing money, cars, clothes, and a whole bunch of other disposable things in search of fulfillment and ever lasting happiness that always turns out to be temporary.
You can have all the worldly possessions you want, but don’t stake your happiness on them. Anything outside of yourself can be lost, so if you base your happiness on attaining external things, you will always be on the prowl for happiness. Don’t let your search for a happy ending get in the way of living a happy life.

10. Develop a Personal Relationship with God.

Normal = You think you can do it all by yourself, you got it all under control, you don’t need God, you even question if there is a God, but as soon as something tragic takes place, He is always the first name you call on.
Without God, you are nothing, but with God you are everything. If you truly desire to live a happier life, it’s vitally important that you develop a personal relationship with God. No matter how you go about getting to know him — going to church, reading the bible, listening to gospel, watching sermons on youtube, talking with other believers — just make sure you get to know him. For He is the joy for all your sorrows, the one you can always call on, and the unconditional love you’ve always searched for. No God, no peace. Know God, know peace!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Do you have Big Dreams? Follow the Twenty somethings of the world!!!

No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own ... New York Times
“It made me feel demoralized and humiliated,” he says. “I wondered if this was really what post-collegiate life was supposed to be like. Did I do something wrong? The answers weren’t apparent to me.”

Still in debt, Mr. Gerber considered his career options. His mother kept encouraging him to get a “real” job, the kind that comes with an office and a boss. But, using the last $700 in his bank account, he decided to start another company instead.

With the new company, called Sizzle It, Mr. Gerber vowed to find a niche, reduce overhead and generally be more frugal. The company, which specializes in short promotional videos, was profitable the first year, he says.

Mr. Gerber, now 27, isn’t a millionaire, but he’s paid off his loans and doesn’t have to live with his parents (he rents an apartment in Hoboken, N.J.). And he thinks his experience can help other young people who face a daunting unemployment rate.

In October, Mr. Gerber started the Young Entrepreneur Council “to create a shift from a résumé-driven society to one where people create their own jobs,” he says. “The jobs are going to come from the entrepreneurial level.”

The council consists of 80-plus business owners across the country, ages 17 to 33. Members include Scott Becker, 23, co-founder of Invite Media, an advertising technology firm recently acquired by a Google unit; Lauren Berger, 26, founder of the Intern Queen, a site that connects college students with internships; Aaron Patzer, the 30-year-old who sold to Intuit for $170 million; and Josh Weinstein, 24, who started, a social networking site that is backed by a PayPal founder.

The council, which has applied for nonprofit status, serves as a help desk and mentoring hotline for individual entrepreneurs. People can also submit questions on subjects like marketing, publicity and technology, and each month a group of council members will answer 30 to 40 of them in business publications like The Wall Street Journal and American Express Open Forum, and on dozens of small business Web sites.

Council members assert that young people can start businesses even if they have little or no money or experience. But whether those start-ups last is another matter. Roughly half of all new businesses fail within the first five years, according to federal data. And the entrepreneurial life is notoriously filled with risks, stresses and sacrifices.

But then again, unemployment is 9.8 percent; Mr. Gerber’s in-box is flooded with e-mails from young people who have sent out hundreds of résumés for corporate jobs and come up empty. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 24.4 percent of 2010 graduates who applied for a job had one waiting for them after graduation (up from 19.7 percent in 2009). What do some people have to lose?

THE lesson may be that entrepreneurship can be a viable career path, not a renegade choice — especially since the promise of “Go to college, get good grades and then get a job,” isn’t working the way it once did. The new reality has forced a whole generation to redefine what a stable job is.
“I’ve seen all these people go to Wall Street, and those were supposed to be the good jobs. Now they are out of work,” says Windsor Hanger, 22, who turned down a marketing position at Bloomingdale’s to work on, an online magazine. “It’s not a pure dichotomy anymore that entrepreneurship is risky and other jobs are safe, so why not do what I love?”

Mr. Gerber argues that the tools to become an entrepreneur are more accessible than they’ve ever been. Thanks to the Internet, there are fewer upfront costs. A business owner can build a Web site, host conference calls, create slide presentations online through a browser, and host live meetings and Web seminars — all on a shoestring.

Can’t afford a Madison Avenue address? Try borrowing one instead. That is what Mr. Gerber did, for $300 a year, from, which forwards mail from a recognizable address. He says it saved him $100,000 in rent and gave Sizzle It the credibility it needed to start attracting clients that now include Procter & Gamble and the Gap. He does most of his actual work at home and in coffee shops and shared work spaces.

“If this were the 1980s, I’d need a corner office,” says Shama Kabani, 25, a Y.E.C. member and founder of Marketing Zen, a digital marketing firm in Dallas, with yearly revenue in the seven figures. “All you need today is a laptop, patience and willingness,” she says. Ms. Kabani hired all of her 24 employees virtually; 15 are in the Philippines. “I’ve never met any of them,” she says.
Open-source software can reduce or eliminate the need for consultants and tech support. When Annie Wang, 21, co-founder of, wanted the articles on the site to rotate in a slide show, she didn’t hire a Web designer. She found a free online resource and spent a day teaching herself how to create the slide show.

Being a young entrepreneur means coming up with creative ways to fill your knowledge gaps, says Eric Bahn, 29, a council member and founder of, an M.B.A. applicant community that generates close to seven figures in revenue. Mr. Bahn, who does not have a technical background, found a free resource on the Web and taught himself HTML to build his site.

Most of the business owners who belong to the council did not need much physical space to start their companies. For the person who wants to start a restaurant, a bakery, an exercise studio — or any other business that requires renting or owning property — the barriers and expenses are still high. Mr. Gerber warns that anyone starting a brick-and-mortar business still faces the same cost barriers they always have — including high rent. He advises young people to start a business that does not require expensive space.

BUT start-ups do need some financing. So Mr. Gerber is also starting the Gen Y Fund, from which young entrepreneurs can seek funding. Council members will have the option of investing in the fund starting next year.

Could it be that the council and separate fund are mainly a way for Mr. Gerber to identify new investing opportunities? He emphatically says no, adding that helping young people succeed as entrepreneurs through the council is his passion.

As far as the fund is concerned, “We are looking to spearhead a major shift in how resources are allocated to our generation, because no one from above is going to do it,” he says.

The goal of the fund is not to find the next Facebook or sexy Web start-up, Mr. Gerber says; instead, it will look for practicable and marketable business ideas. In fact, a favorite phrase of his is “boring is better.” He’ll be looking for businesses that are incubated outside of Silicon Valley.

The council and fund do add visibility to Mr. Gerber’s entrepreneurial empire. In addition to running Sizzle It, Mr. Gerber writes a widely syndicated column for young entrepreneurs, and he recently published a book called “Never Get a ‘Real’ Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business, and Not Go Broke.” He also runs Gerber Enterprises, his personal investing fund, and is an investor in a restaurant group.

Mr. Gerber has never taken a business or economics class; he says he took a lot of people out to lunch to learn about the nuts and bolts of the business world. “I didn’t go to my third-tier upper-management boss,” he says. “I e-mailed people in my circle and figured who knew what I needed to know.”

Lack of experience can actually be an asset to young business owners. When Ms. Kabani first started
Marketing Zen, she tried to hide her age through a combination of wardrobe choices and trying to sound “older.” “I thought I was fooling all these people, but then one of my clients told me he hired me because I was 23. He wanted someone who spoke digital as a first language, not a second. It was a mind-blowing moment for me.”

Ms. Hanger, co-founder of along with Ms. Wang and Stephanie Kaplan, 22, says being young helps attract advertisers like New Balance and Juicy Couture to the site. “They like that I am my readership. I was in college six months ago,” she says. The site recently started turning a profit.

MANY of the council members aren’t bankrolled by their parents. Only a third of them received outside funding to start their businesses. In fact, Mr. Gerber’s message to young entrepreneurs is “No one will give you money” and “Start on a shoestring budget,” something many of them did.
For many of these entrepreneurs, success didn’t happen overnight. Mr. Bahn started in 2005 as a blog that developed a following over the course of a few years. It was three years before he quit his day job in a general management program at Intuit to work on the site full time.

Even if these 20-somethings pulled it off, the reality is a vast majority of entrepreneurs, of any age, don’t succeed. “The first business is probably going to fail,” says Arel Moodie, 27, a Y.E.C. member and co-owner of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, which educates college students on starting a business. Mr. Moodie’s first two businesses — a calendar company and a protein drink company — flopped and put him $30,000 in debt. (He has paid it off.)

Ben Brinckerhoff, 28, who is not a member of the council, started, an online tool to test computer software in 2008. The company folded last spring.

Mr. Brinckerhoff was formerly a software developer at Microsoft. “There are very real cons to starting a company. It can hurt your ego, and financially it’s a big hit. If I had stayed at my old job at Microsoft, I would have been better off financially,” he says.

The silver lining, however, was that Mr. Brinckerhoff got inquiries from 10 companies about working for them after they read on the Web or heard through word of mouth that his company had failed.
“Employers like the entrepreneurial skill set,” he says. “They want to hire people who are risk-takers and can make quick decisions.” He is now working as a freelance Web and technology consultant in Boulder, Colo., and hopes to start another company.

When deciding whether to start a business, “You have to really want to do it,” says Maia Josebachvili, 27, a council member and founder of Urban Escapes, which organizes outdoor trips. She quit her job as a derivatives trader on Wall Street to start her company, which grew to 45 employees and was recently acquired by LivingSocial, a consumer site.

“It takes a lot of discipline. I didn’t eat out for the first six months, and I lived on my friend’s couch,” Ms. Josebachvili says. “Unless you are independently wealthy, it’s a lifestyle adjustment.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013


By Jon Gordon

1. When you face a setback, think of it as a defining moment that will lead to a future accomplishment.

2. When you encounter adversity, remember, the best don’t just face adversity; they embrace it, knowing it’s not a dead end but a detour to something greater and better.

3. When you face negative people, know that the key to life is to stay positive in the face of negativity, not in the absence of it. After all, everyone will have to overcome negativity to define themselves and create their success.

4. When you face the naysayer’s, remember the people who believed in you and spoke positive words to you.

5. When you face critics, remember to tune them out and focus only on being the best you can be.

6. When you wake up in the morning, take a morning walk of gratitude and prayer. It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

7. When you fear, trust. Let your faith be greater than your doubt.

8. When you fail, find the lesson in it, and then recall a time when you have succeeded.

9. When you head into battle, visualize success.

10. When you are thinking about the past or worrying about the future, instead focus your energy on the present moment. The now is where your power is the greatest.

11. When you want to complain, instead identify a solution.

12. When your own self-doubt crowds your mind, weed it and replace it with positive thoughts and positive self-talk.

13. When you feel distracted, focus on your breathing, observe your surroundings, clear your mind, and get into The Zone. The Zone is not a random event. It can be created.

14. When you feel all is impossible, know that with God all things are possible.

15. When you feel alone, think of all the people who have helped you along the way and who love and support you now.

16. When you feel lost, pray for guidance.

17. When you are tired and drained, remember to never, never, never give up. Finish Strong in everything you do.

18. When you feel like you can’t do it, know that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength.

19. When you feel like your situation is beyond your control, pray and surrender. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

20. When you’re in a high-pressure situation and the game is on the line, and everyone is watching you, remember to smile, have fun, and enjoy it. Life is short; you only live once. You have nothing to lose. Seize the moment

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

37 Ways to Improve Your Life Right Now!

By Jonathan

Have you ever wondered: What can I do to improve my life right now? Sometimes a few small changes can have a profound effect on the way we experience life. With that in mind, I invite you to consider the following:

1. Make the choice to be happy. The biggest part of being happy is to simply make up your mind to be a happy person. It’s not about circumstances, it’s about choice.

2. Count your blessings every day. We all have blessings in our lives. Take the time each and every day to appreciate yours, and your view of life will be one of gratitude.

3. Let go of negative thoughts. Don’t poison yourself by dwelling on negative thoughts. Your life reflects your dominate thought patterns, make yours positive.

4. Let go of negative people. Like it or not, your attitude is susceptible to the dominate attitude of those around you. If they are negative, let them go and don’t look back.

5. Be considerate of others. Showing consideration is a way of honoring others. Most people will respond in kind. When you honor others, you honor yourself.

6. Get regular exercise. We all need to move and breath. Too much sitting robs you of the sense of being alive. Buy out time for exercise and you will feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.

7. Keep learning new things. Learning is what keeps us excited about life. Your mind has an almost infinite ability to take in knowledge. Feed your head.

8. Smile at everyone. A smile can light up a single heart, or a whole room. It’s a wonderful free gift you can give to anyone who looks your way. Contribute to the bank of happiness, smile.

9. Be polite. Manners create an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill. Rudeness reveals a complete lack of character. It’s right to be polite and crude to be rude.

10. Practice listening. If we are really listening we will always hear more than words. Try to hear the meaning behind the words without presuming you already know.

11. Build others up. Life can be pretty hard at times and a little encouragement from you can help others feel more confident and capable. Help them out when you can.

12. Find reasons to laugh. With the right attitude we can find humor almost everywhere. Laughter is powerful medicine, so laugh often.

13. Be completely honest. Honesty comes from within. It takes humility and courage to be totally honest with ourselves and others. It’s also incredibly liberating.

14. Be tactful. Being honest does not mean being brutal, even with yourself. Don’t needlessly offend others in the name of honesty, use tact and diplomacy.

15. Look for way to practice giving. There are hundreds of ways to give, and ample opportunities for giving. Not only can something as simple as a smile or kind word can change somebody else’s whole day, but their response can change yours.

16. Be creative. This would be a good place to add your own tip for improving your life right now. Go ahead, be creative!

17. Watch for cause and effect. What you do and say has a huge impact on your life. It is in your best interest to become aware of the connection. Notice the effect of your words and actions so you can make any needed adjustments.

18. View your mistakes as learning experiences. In new activities, it’s rare that we get it right the first time. Evaluating our results and adjusting our approach is how we learn. The better we get at this process the quicker we will produce our intended result.

19. Challenge yourself with large and small goals. Goals give us something to focus on. They also provide a sense of purpose and direction. But remember, you can’t achieve a goal you haven’t set. So, set goals in every area of life.

20. Stop comparing yourself to others.You are not them, so there is no basis for comparison. Strive to be the best possible version of yourself, and learn to celebrate your individuality.

21. Stop judging others. We rarely have as much insight into another persons life as we think we do. If they do something you don’t approve of, judge the act, not the person.

22. Eliminate time wasters from your life. We all want more time, and yet we all waste time on meaningless pursuits. Get rid of them and you will have the time you wished for.

23. Don’t turn everything into a big deal. If you turn little issues into big issues it will rob you of your joy. Give yourself and everyone else a break, learn to let it go.

24. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself, it’s liberating. When we take ourselves too seriously life becomes a struggle. Again, let it go.

25. Avoid self-imposed limits. Strike all limiting words from your vocabulary, and limiting thoughts from your mind. You can do almost anything you set your mind to, so don’t allow self-imposed limits to hold you back.

26. Don’t try to control other people. Your example may influence others, but you cannot control them. They have the same freedom of choice that you have. Respect that.

27. Actively show appreciation. When someone does something nice for you, show them some appreciation. Acts of kindness, large and small, deserve recognition.

28. Use applied focus sessions to get more done. Applied Focus Sessions – a simple strategy that can increase productivity and free time. Give it a try, it works.

29. Take breaks to clear your mind. You will accomplish more, be more focused, and experience less stress if you give your brain periodic “clearing” breaks throughout the day.

30. Don’t waste energy in pointless debates. Everyone has an opinion, so what? Debating opinions is a colossal waste of time and energy, and it’s pointless. It’s not always important to make your point. Let it go.

31. Be optimistic. Optimism is a wonderful mindset. It focuses your energy on possibility. Your whole world looks brighter through the window of optimism.

32. Set aside time for yourself. It’s great to be productive, but we are not machines. To function at optimal levels you must be well grounded. Make sure you make enough time in your life for you and your loved ones.

33. Believe in yourself. You really are capable of amazing things. The only thing that can get between you and your dreams is self-doubt. Don’t let that happen! Believe in yourself, and surround yourself with others who believe in you.

34. Be yourself and forget about impressing others. No matter what you do, some people will like you and some won’t. Why not just be yourself so that those who do like you, like you for who you really are. Really, being yourself is impressive enough.

35. Accept responsibility for your life. This is the opposite of blaming others for your situation. When you accept responsibility, you assume complete control of your life and close the door on excuses. It’s a powerful state.

36. Strive to create value. The more value you create the more valuable you become to the world around you. Many people are only concerned about creating value for themselves, this is a selfish reality. Contribute the abundance around you and you will experience real abundance in return.

37. Be aware of your spiritual need. Whether you are willing to acknowledge it or not, we all have a spiritual need. Taking steps to fill that need will add a vital dimension to your life.

Friday, March 29, 2013

16 Simple Rules for Living a Successful Life


Is your day-to-day life full of stress and chaos?

Are you scrambling to find a peaceful moment in the day when you can put your feet up and relax? Are you rushed, stressed out and ready to call it quits.

Why is that so? Who is responsible for it? Why have we made it so difficult?

The solution is simple: simplify your life. It’s the implementation part that is hard, but here are my top tips to help with that:

#1 Believe in yourself , but be aware of your limitations

The first step to accomplishing all your goals and making your dreams come true starts with this simple realisation that you are human: you are not perfect and you can’t do everything alone.

Always keep things realistic. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you find it hard to move; trust yourself to deliver what you need to, but also be prepared to cut yourself some slack.
 •Own up when you make a mistake
 •Set goals, and enjoy the journey

#2 De-clutter & simplify

You have a thousand different things screaming for attention: you have to tidy up the kids’ room again; you have to do the dishes and laundry; and the never-ending household chores are waiting. You have to organize your calendar and make room for more appointments; make time to socialise; help the kids with homework; and make a gazillion school runs. Don’t even get started on what needs to be done at the office.

Let’s get one thing straight—you cannot accomplish anything unless you get yourself some of the clarity that comes from creating space in your life, in your relationships and your environment. You need to reduce, cut back, simplify—Only then will you stop the feeling of being overwhelmed and rushed.
 •Give anything you haven’t used for the past 3 years to charity
 •Get organized
 •Enjoy the concept of enjoying without owing, and appreciating without acquiring

#3 Use everything in moderation

This is something I live by, be it work, socializing, family commitments, overeating, shopping, or watching too much TV—it helps with every single thing. Embrace the philosophy of “having enough”: there’s no need to go to extremes, so exercise common sense and learn to curb any obsessive behaviour.
 •Spend less money than you make
 •Watch your diet
 •Watch less TV

#4 Keep things in perspective

I admit there will be times when nothing will go your way, and you will find yourself fighting battles, fixing problems and minimizing damage all day long. We all have those days, and it is too easy to get caught up in the drama. Get a handle on things: this, too, shall pass.

Your child will get better soon, the noisy neighbourhood parties will end, your backstabbing colleague will get transferred (we can hope, can’t we?), and there will be actual days where you tick off all the items on your to-do list.
 •Don’t sweat the small stuff
 •Have an open mind

#5 Treat others how they want to be treated

You might end up getting in trouble if you try treating others how you want to be treated, instead of how they would like you to treat them. For instance, if you are not a phone person, you might not call your friend because you assume that they feel the same way you do, which may not be the case.

Try to be sensitive to the needs of others, and occasionally going out of your way to do something for them.
 •Try not to judge
 •Be generous; try to do something nice for somebody on a regular basis

#6 Family first

My priority is my family, and I left work to start my own freelancing career for  the flexible hours it gives. That doesn’t mean that my work is not important—it just means that I have to operate in a way that works for me and my family.

How important is it to you that you spend time with your family? Are you making sure that your work doesn’t prevent you from doing just that? What sort of arrangements have you made to make it happen? You don’t have to stop living your life for your family members, but you’ll feel far less guilt if you prioritise and make time for them.

#7 Pay attention to the moment

Stop thinking about what happened in the past, or worry about what might happen in the future. Live in the moment and learn to savour each one.

#8 Have a positive mindset
You are what you think all day long. If you have nothing but negative thoughts racing through your ahead, then that’s what you are going to get, so try shifting to a more positive outlook on life. You will be surprised to see that whatever you wished for will start to manifest itself around you.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

#9 Educate yourself

The most interesting people are the ones who take an interest in life and never let go of the “beginner’s mind”. They discover learning opportunities and continue to grow, both personally and professionally.

Be a life-long learner. You don’t have to get old to become wise.
 •Read good books
 •Try to learn something new every day
 •Take courses in subjects you enjoy

#10 Be passionate about something

There are some people who are so bursting with energy and vitality that others feel compelled to listen to them, and feel drawn to them. Passionate home cooks, budding interior designers, gourmet chocolate lovers, antique collectors—just try asking them a question about their interest and they will talk your ears off.

You want to be that person: someone who’s full of love for something significant. Have one meaningful hobby that encourages you to follow your passion, and you’ll begin each day looking forward to something special.

#11 Always be reflective

Do you ever think about yourself in moments of solitude? What makes you, you? What makes you tick? What bores you to death? What sort of things do you dream of? What can’t you get over? What regrets do you have of your past? Take some time to think about those things and you’ll understand yourself more clearly and deeply. You’d be surprised at the life-changing impact such reflection can bring.
 •Consider doing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or another personality assessment to develop true understanding of your self

#12 Surround yourself with supportive people

3 things can change your life: friends, books & your thoughts. Choose them wisely.
 •Avoid naysayers and party-poopers

#13 Banish the word “perfection

Listen to what you tell your children: always do your best and forget about the rest.
 •You are expert enough
 •Strive for excellence, not for perfection

#14 Fix it, or deal with it, but stop whining about it

Nobody likes a person who complains all the time. If you look around you, you’ll see many people who have been dealt a bad hand, but are making the best of things.
 •Don’t blame others for your problems
 •Don’t make excuses
 •Don’t be overly sensitive
 •Don’t be a drama queen

#15 Remember things that you are grateful for

Try this exercise: whenever you are feeling low, make a list of all the things that make you happy, joyous, and grateful. A beautiful family, adoring kids, kind friends, health, happy home, a job that pays the bills, surprise dinner prepared by a loving spouse, a blog, favourite books and keepsakes, unexpected twenty dollar bill in your jeans pocket. Everything counts.

After you’ve done this, consider what has happened to the feelings of doom and gloom: it is impossible not to be cheered up after remembering all the fantastic things you have in your life. Be grateful, and always make room for more happiness.

#16 You can have it all, just not at the same time

There is no greater truth than this: you cannot have everything at the same time. You have only 24 hours in a day and need to take care of your relationships, work and spirit. One any given day, the focus will shift: some days your children have to go to after-school care because you have an important meeting, while other times work has to take a back seat because of a sick child with a high fever. Sometimes you just need to chill with your girlfriends because it has been ages since you last took a break.

You don’t have to do everything all at once, and life doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple living is mindful living.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Greatest Secret of Success

By Christopher Perruna

The greatest secret of success is: there is no secret!

Sorry to disappoint after that lead-in title but it’s the truth.

With that said, a positive mental attitude is the one simple trait that could be considered a secret that is shared among the world’s most successful people. After that, success is disguised as something called hard work.

“Anything in life worth having is worth working for!” – Andrew Carnegie

The problem with most people is that they are well on their way to success when an obstacle decides to block their path. Most people will attempt to jump this hurdle or blast through the challenging brick wall but when rejected, they decide to turn around, give up and walk away because the task is just too challenging.

Most people don’t have the burning desire and persistence to realize their dreams because they feel it’s easier to just be average and carry on like 98-99% of the rest of the world.

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit.

That’s exactly what the majority of men do”. – Napoleon Hill

I recently posted the above quote to a friend on facebook and asked him: “So what will you do?” He was faced with some unfortunate failure in life and was feeling down but it appears that he’s getting up and will treat the failure as a temporary defeat. That’s admirable because everyone fails in life, a countless number of times, but it’s the people that continue to move forward with a definiteness of purpose that will achieve their dreams.
The following poem illustrates that no more effort is required to aim high in life than is required to accept misery and poverty. It takes less work to succeed than to fail so do what you are afraid to do:

My Wage by Jessie B. Rittenhouse:

I bargained with life for a penny
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store
For life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.

A definite purpose backed by a burning desire is the first step towards achieving success. However, a definite PLAN, carried out in CONTINUOUS ACTION is required in order to get your dreams going. Thoughts and ideas are great but if they are NOT acted upon, they die inside your mind. Action is required to realize your dreams and NO one becomes successful without action (a lot of new age self-help guru’s and books focus on thoughts and desires but action is the key).

Close your mind to all negative and discouraging influences, especially negative family and friends. Lastly, your dreams will be accelerated by forming an alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through with your plan and purpose. Napoleon Hill called this The Master Mind which he defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.

I said that a positive mental attitude could be considered a possible secret to success, well, action would be the other because decisions without action are worthless!

I am architect, now working as a Owner’s Representative, writing a successful blog about the stock market, tweeting to thousands of followers, getting published in multiple books, have been interviewed on the radio and speaking at Expos in front of large audiences.

Who would have ever thought? What’s next? Book writer, real estate developer, web entrepreneur, educator, motivational speaker…?Who knows but I can tell you one thing, if I think it, I’ll do it because I dream every day and I do what I am afraid to do and my life is consistently more successful.

“Some dream and never do. Others do and never dream. But then there are those very few who dream, and do what they dream”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself

by Henrik Edberg

Feeling less than motivated all too often? I do. Well, perhaps not too often. But sometimes I just feel really lazy and unmotivated.
Want some practical solutions to that universal motivation-problem? Here are 25 of them. Try a handful.
Let me know which ones work well for you.
I’m sure you’ll find at least one or two that do just that among these suggestions.
1. Make a deal with yourself. Good for overcoming procrastination and getting things done. You can make the deal small or large. You simple tell yourself something like: When I’m done with this chapter/these reports I can take a walk in the park and enjoy an ice-cream.
2. Act like it. If you don’t feel motivated or enthusiastic then act like it. The strange thing is that within a few minutes you actually start to feel motivated or enthusiastic for real.
3. Ask uplifting questions in the morning. Here’s what you do; every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions this way:
What am I ______ about in my life right now?
What about it makes me _______?

How does it make me feel?
Put in your own value in the blank space. For instance, a couple of my questions are:
What am I happy about in my life right now?
What am I excited about in my life right now?
It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.
4. Move the goalposts. Set a large and specific goal. This will motivate you much more than small goals. A big goal has a big effect and can create a lot of motivation.
5. Do something small and create a flow. Just clean your desk. Or pay your bills. Or wash the dishes. You just need to get started. When you have finished that small task you’ll feel more alert and ready to go do the next thing. You just to get started to get motivated. So if you really don’t feel like doing anything, start with something small and work your way out up.
6. Do the toughest task first. This will ease a lot of your day-to-day worries and boost your self-confidence for the rest of the day. Read more about doing the hardest task bright and early right here.
7. Start slow. Instead of jumping into something at full speed start slow. When you do that your mind will not visualize the task as something hard that you have to do fast, fast, fast. If your mind sees such things guess what often happens? Yep, you don’t get started. Actually getting started, even if it’s at a slow pace, is a whole lot better than not getting started at all.
8. Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.
Reviewing your results is important so you see where you have gone wrong in the past to avoid similar missteps further on. But it’s also important because it’s a great motivator to see how much you have improved and how far you have come. Often you can be pleasantly surprised when you do such a review.
9. Remember your successes. And let them flow through your mind instead of your failures. Write down your successes. Consider using a journal of some kind since it’s easy to forget your successes.
10. Act like your heroes. Read about them, watch them, listen to them. Discover what they did that was special and what made them tick. But remember that they are people just like us. So let them inspire you instead of looking up at them admiringly.
11. Remember to have fun. Or create fun in a task. Then you’ll stay motivated to do and finish it.
12. Get out of your comfort zone. Face your challenges to get a real boost of motivation. If you are holding yourself back have a look at 5 Life-Changing Keys to Overcoming Your Fear and the methods in this article. They can help you get started and take that first scary step outside your comfort zone.
13. Don’t fear failure. Instead redefine it as feedback and as a natural part of a successful life. As Michael Jordan said:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Also, try to find the valuable lesson(s) in each of your failures. Ask yourself: What can I learn from this?
14. Do some research on what you are about to do. Then your expectations will be more grounded in reality and you can also get good hints on what difficulties that you might run into along the way. Managing your expectations can lower the often almost explosive initial enthusiasm. But it can also lessen the lack of motivation that usually follows when most of that enthusiasm has dissipated.
When you know what has happened to others in similar situations – what path they have walked – you can adapt and try their solutions (and personal variations of those) and your own. This makes the worries and challenges easier to handle. Both emotionally – since you know at least some of the things that will happen and that others have lived through it before – and practically.
15. Figure out why you´re doing something. If you don’t know or don’t have good enough reason to do something then it will be hard to get it done. Do things that you have really strong reasons to do. If you want to do something then figure out a good reason to do it. If you can’t find one consider dropping it and doing something that you have a good reason to do instead.
16. Write down your goals and reasons for working towards them. Tape them on your wall, computer or bathroom mirror. Then you’ll be reminded throughout the day and it becomes easier to stay on track and stay focused.
17. Take The Positivity Challenge! Learn to think more positively most of the time. Learn to let to go of negative threads of thought before they have a chance to take hold of you. You might not be able to be positive all the time no matter what happens. But I think most of us can improve on our positive thinking and the results it can lead us to. Perhaps more than you realize right now.
18. Cut down on TV. Do you watch it too much? Watch less of what they are doing in TV-land and do more of what you want to do in life.
19. Break it down. Break down your task or project into small steps. And just start with focusing on that first small step. When you are done move on to the next and just focus on that one. The small successes will keep your motivation up and keeping your focus away from the big picture stops you from becoming overwhelmed and discouraged. It’s amazing how much you can get done if you follow this simple method.
20. Reprogram your information intake. Program out negative and cynical thoughts from the media and society. Reduce your information intake. Then program in positive news and entertainment, more of your own thoughts and useful information such as personal growth tapes and books. Be selective and keep it positive.
21. Make use of your creativity. Take out a piece of paper. Write at the top of the page what area in your life you would like to have more ideas about. Perhaps you want ideas to earn more money or become a healthier person. Then brainstorm until you have written down 20 ideas on that topic. Then try for 10 more. Not all ideas will be good. But some will. And as you make use of your creativity you not only discover useful ideas. You also discover just how creative you can be if you try and how motivating and great that feels. Have a look at 8 Ways to Spark Your Creativity for more ideas on this topic.

23. Listen while you’re on the move. Build your own small library of motivational/personal development tapes. Listen to them while you are driving, riding the bus or your bike, while you are out running or walking. Take a peek at my recommended personal development products if you are looking for a good place to start.
24. Think outside your box. Don’t imagine the future from the box of what you have now. Just because your mind is in box of previous experiences doesn’t mean that´s the limits of the world. Your possibilities are much larger. Create the future from the now and from nothing rather than your past to experience bigger changes with fewer limitations than you would if you created it from what you can see from your box.
25. Make each day count. We don’t have all the time in the world. So focus on today and do the things you really want to do.