For the rest of this month (and possibly into March), right here in this very spot, you’re going to be treated to an eye-popping tutorial on how to quickly and easily crank up your personal (and professional) performance.
Call it an experiment in mass transformation. Call it a sort of blog-correspondence course. It’s going to be a dialogue between you and me. An it’s likely going to double or even triple your performance and productivity.
Over the next 30 or so days I want to take you, my blog readers, through an exploration of the obstacles that are really limiting your performance (and success!). And I’m willing to bet, you’re not even aware of them.
Because they’re all unconscious pitfalls that trip up and sidetrack every effort you make.
It can be hard for new entrepreneurs to put together realistic goals for their businesses. In this episode, Rich Schefren will unveil an easier way to make a plan and achieve your goals for your business.
Recently I was at Startup 2012…
Startup 2012 is NYC’s premier business plan competition and entrepreneurship conference. It covers all the crucial topics in entrepreneurship, and one winner goes home with $75,000 worth of cash, goods, and services at day’s end.
I was there with Jay Abraham, he’s been working with some of the biggest start-ups in the world.
My interest, other than hanging out with my good buddy and mentor, was that I’ve been studying this space for a little over a year now.
I’ve been watching the top venture capitalists, reading dozens of books about tech start ups, and analyzing the marketing behind rapidly successful start-ups.
What I found will change Internet marketing forever
In today’s message I’ll share with you a single shift that can have you making more and working less. How? By shifting your positioning. In other words, how you are seen by your market place. At brunch this past weekend with Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson, Dan said this: “It’s better to be paid for who you are, rather than what you do.” In other words…
Positioning Trumps The Product!
And if you truly “get it,” you realize how profound this really is.
You see, odds are that right now your positioning was not established strategically. In this video I’ll give your two questions that’ll set you on the right path to determining your ideal positioning (the one that gets prospects eager to spend their money with you) and make it crystal clear what you’ll need to do to achieve it.
So, what are you waiting for? Watch the video, answer the questions, and radically improve your…
To higher profits
Because of what I read yesterday, I finally committed to do something many mentors have been telling me to do for some time now.
Our very own Rich Schefren does it and has been preaching its benefits to me for at least 2 years. Michael Masterson of Agora recommends it and has also been a long-time fan. Even my wife has been egging me on to get started.
What am I talking about?
Daily writing in a journal.
Many high-performance entrepreneurs swear by the increased clarity they receive from daily thinking and writing within a personal journal.
Thoughts about business, AHA moments, weekly reflection, brainstorming, success reviews, and anything else that’s on your mind are all great topics or categories you can journal about.
But, if you’re at all like me, sitting down to a blank page that’s awaiting your deepest thoughts and desires can often be a bit daunting. So much so for me that I’ve chronically delayed getting started. Until yesterday, that is.
I was sitting outside by the pool at the hotel I’m staying at here in Orlando enjoying a nice robusto. I was flipping through 55-pages of personal notes Rich Schefren shared with me from his read of a very deep, very profound, and very thought-provoking book about success and psychology.
Page after page I continued to notice an enormous number of questions being posed by the author. His purpose: to help readers get deeper and deeper clarity on who they are, what they want, and where they want to go with their lives.
And that’s when it struck me…
I could just use the questions posed by this author as the jumping-off point for my journal entries. I could simply tackle one question each day… and this way… I would never have to worry about sitting down to a blank page. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do as soon as I return from my trip.
If you’d like to give it a try along with me, below are some of the first questions I’m going to tackle:
* How do I define personal success?
* How would I describe a life well-lived?
* What is my vision for my life?
* What were the most successful moments in my life?
* What were the biggest failures I’ve experienced? (Describe the lessons I learned)
* What do I really value about my life?
* If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I attempt to do?
* Who is the real me?
* What am I most grateful for?
* What am I really talented at?
* What relationships in my life do I value the most?
* How much success do I believe is possible for me?
* What are the most unhelpful, limiting beliefs holding me back?
* How do I measure success?
* How can I make today a success?
* Who do I want to be?
* What is it that makes me happy?
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Since the Thanksgiving holiday is upon us here in the States, I have a simple 3-step exercise for you that will add an exciting new dimension to your life, boost your overall health and well-being, and… flat out… make you feel good.
Recently, the University of California published a summary of results from a series of highly focused, cutting-edge studies on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its consequences.
Below are just some of their findings:
* In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
* A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.
* A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.
* Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.
* In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.
* Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).
It’s clear – from studies and personal anecdotal evidence – that spending time each day reflecting on the aspects of your life your grateful for is both healthy and rewarding.
So, with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, here’s a little 3-step exercise for you.
I call it the Entrepreneurial Gratitude Intervention:
Step #1: Spend 20 minutes thinking about and writing down all of the things in your life you’re grateful for.
Step #2: Spend 10 minutes meditating on one of the things on your Gratitude List. Think about why you’re grateful for it. How thankful you are for having it in your life. Think about what it truly means to you.
Step #3: Each day going forward, spend 10-minutes meditating on another item on your Gratitude List. As you realize you have new areas, items, or aspects of your life to be thankful for, add them to your Gratitude List and the daily meditation rotation.
As I said, engaging in this little “intervention” will add an exciting new dimension to your life, boost your overall health and well-being, and make you feel good.
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Day-to-day management of freelancers and/or employees is not always a walk in the park. But, with a simple shift in your attitude, you can ensure you get and keep everyone on your team “right”.
Years ago, while working as a manager, director, and eventually vice president at a company that owned eight premium 40,000 sq. ft. health clubs, I learned a lesson about managing staff I’ll never forget.
It’s not only allowed me to better manage, control and lead a staff of employees; this same lesson has helped me maintain the sanity within many of my personal relationships.
It’s a principle based on eliminating the overwhelming cause of most ineffective management styles.
Sadly, most managers operate from a position of fear. Often, managers are afraid to say certain things to their staff for fear their staff will get angry and/or possibly resign. So, managers often bite their tongue, holding back what they would ideally like to say to an employee, and instead have a watered-down discussion or reprimand.
The result is a staff that’s never fully corrected, managed, or lead. And, a manager never fully satisfied with the performance of their team.
Instead, you need to adopt the attitude of…
Be Willing To Lose Them To Get Them Right!
In simple terms, that just means you need to be willing to have the tough, uncomfortable conversations with staff and freelancers if you ever hope to get your relationship with them, and their performance, where it needs to be.
You can’t operate as a manager from a position of fear. You can’t be afraid that if you say certain things to your team they’re going to get pissed and/or quit on you. Instead, you have to be willing to lose them if you ever hope to get them right.
In other words, you always… ALWAYS… must say whatever it is that needs to be said to staff as a manager and leader. You must adopt the mindset that the tough conversations are the exact ones that are going to have the greatest positive impact on your staff performance and ultimately your company.
Think of it like this…
When you’re brutally honest and forthright with your staff one of two positive things will happen:
1. You’ll get your staff operating at the level your company deserves of them.
2. They’ll resign because they’re not willing to live up to your company needs.
Either way, you’re better off.
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Prior to about the age of 23 I despised reading. Back then I was more interested in playing a little Sega Genesis or simply goofing off with my buddies.
It wasn’t until I was bit by the business and marketing bug that reading became one of my most treasured joys.
Today, I love books. I love buying them. Flipping through them. Reading them. Highlighting them. And, putting them to work in my life.
Having invested in an average of about 2 books a week for the past 14 years, I can honestly say… the acquisition of actionable knowledge via reading has… no-doubt… altered the course of my life.
There are about 15 or so books that I credit for having the greatest impact on my thinking and actions.
Today, I want to share 10 of those books with you. In a future blog post I’ll share the rest.
For now, scan the list below to see what books, if any, you haven’t read. Then, go get ‘em. More important – go get ‘em, read ‘em, then put what you learn into action.
Psychology Of Winning by Denis Waitley
This book was one of the first “self-help” books I was really exposed to. I was given the 6 CD version of this book by my, then, employer. It radically changed my thinking about success and failure. More than anything, it taught me how winners think, and that with some practice, I could train my mind to think the same way. I credit a lot of my mindset today to this book.
Goals by Brian Tracy
This quite possibly could be my favorite personal development book of all time. Because I’m a huge believer in goal setting, I fell in love with the depths this book goes into as it explains and lays-out the goal setting process. At the end of almost every year, I go through this book to refresh my memory of the goal setting process and help me prepare for another coming year.
Triggers by Joe Sugarman
As someone who spent almost 12 years in fitness-related sales, I really enjoyed the way Sugarman breaks down 30 different sales principles in this book, and shows how they’re used effectively in business every day. This is one of those books you’ll refer back to periodically. And, every time you do… you’ll be reminded of a gem.
Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy
When I first started learning about direct response marketing and long-form copy, this book was a goldmine. It really gave me a great foundational understanding of the format and structure of a good sales letter. Even to this day, I still reach for my original copy of this book and flip through it for random ideas and reminders.
The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
When I started to get serious about writing great sales letters I decided to grab a copy of this classic. And, boy am I glad I did. It contains some incredible examples of quality salesmanship in print. It was this book that really opened my eyes to many of the principles we still use today when writing sales letters and crafting email promotions. I guess that’s why this book is recommended by almost every legend of marketing and advertising.
How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab
What makes this book such a gem is how Schwab breaks down, in detail, the process every marketer needs to follow to get the attention of the marketplace. He actually reviews 100 great headlines and explains why they’re so effective. This was the book that really showed me the mandatory elements of a response-generating marketing or advertising piece.
Testing Advertising Methods by John Caples
In combination with the previous two books I mentioned, I feel this book really took my understanding of effective copy to a whole new level. This is one of those books that you’ll want to keep close when you’re writing any kind of copy. Caples’ does a superb job of handing readers actionable lists you’ll refer to over and over. I still do.
The 26-Hour Day by Vince Panella
A couple of years prior to going full-time online, I got hooked on the idea of time management and productivity. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the topic. More importantly, I started putting into action the things I was learning. And, very quickly I realized… the better I controlled my actions and time, the more I got done. I was so impacted by this book, I requested an interview with the author. And I got it. It provides some great advice about managing your time. (Honorable mention here: Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. The main concept of this book also changed my view of tasks and prioritization. It’s definitely worth a quick read.)
Influence by Robert Cialdini
This book is the mother of all persuasion books. Almost everything you need to know about persuasion and the way the human mind can be “controlled” you’ll find within this book. Not a day goes by that something I learned from this book isn’t used in our marketing efforts. I think almost every top marketer would agree.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
From a pure marketing perspective, there’s probably no other book that’s had more of an impact on me than Breakthrough Advertising. The way Schwartz breaks down and explains the process of creating winning marketing and advertising is just outstanding. This book shares what no other book does – the appropriate communication style and approach for each stage of marketplace maturity. This little book is truly been worth it’s weight in gold for me!
That’s all for now. In a future post I’ll share the rest of my list of books that I credit for having the greatest impact on my thinking and actions.
What about YOU?
What books have had the greatest impact on you, your thinking, your actions, your business, your marketing?
Share it below. Leave a comment.
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by Todd Brown
If you’re at all like most internet marketers, you have a desire to increase your productivity and… plain and simple… just get more done.
As somebody who used to struggle on and off with being consistently productive, here are 10 recommendations (in no particular order) you can use to be a HECK of a lot more productive in 2009.
1. Use self-imposed discipline.
In other words, put yourself in a position where you have to get XYZ done. For example, instead of waiting until you have the Power Point presentation done to schedule the webinar… schedule it today and announce to your list, so you then MUST get the presentation done.
2. Every project, task, milestone you work on should have a deadline.
Periodically throughout your workday, ask yourself… “does what I’m working on have a deadline”. If not, put one on it. If it’s not worthy of a deadline, dump it.
3. Only check your email 2x a day… and never before getting at least one hour of focused work done.
I try never to check my email before noon and then not again until 4PM.
4. Have the least amount of unscheduled time each day.
In other words, try to schedule every hour of your work day. This has been one of the most effective productivity tools for me personally.
5. Have productivity goals, along with your financial and business goals.
In other words, have goals for focused time and completion of tasks.
6. Have rewards at incremental stages of your goal achievement.
Far, far off goals tend NOT to motivate us. Close goals, that we can see, tend be a lot more motivational.
7. Pre-schedule repetitive tasks into your calendar in advance.
If there are certain things you do every week, they should get a permanent place in your calendar and they should be treated just like an important appointment.
8. Monitor the time it takes you to go from idea to implementation; and try to speed up the process.
9. Try to estimate the amount of time every task will take, then put it in your schedule with a start and stop time.
This will force to work faster and more efficiently. Think… the day before vacation.
10. Regularly consider the consequences of not doing something or of procrastination.
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