Deal of the Month: Get 50% Off A Dent in the Universe

I have a deal for you this month: for a limited time, you can get 50% off A Dent in the Universe! To get it, please use the coupon code sep2017 on checkout. The code will expire on September 28.

A Dent in the Universe is an e-book I wrote that contains 36 proven business lessons from Steve Jobs. As you know, Jobs is a legend in the business world who transformed multiple industries. Apple honored his legacy last week by opening the Steve Jobs Theater and launching iPhone X.

If you are thinking about starting a business or already building one, this book can help you do it the right way. It’s a time-saver because then you won’t need to learn things the hard way.

The package contains the book in three formats: PDF, epub, and mobi. For one price, you will get all three of them.

Click here for more information

Click here to get the book

Note: You don’t need a Paypal account to check out. You can just use a debit or credit card.

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6 Essential Success Tips from Ray Kroc

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A while back, I read Grinding It Out. It tells the fascinating story of how Ray Kroc built McDonald’s.

One interesting thing is that he only started building McDonald’s when he was already 52! You might think that at that age someone’s ‘golden age’ has passed; they wouldn’t build something new, let alone something big. But the story of Ray Kroc proves otherwise. It proves that it’s never too late to build something big in your life.

I learned some success tips from his story. Here they are:

1. Believe That the Best Is Still Ahead of You

How could he make such a big commitment at the time when most people already think about retirement? How did the possibility even enter his mind?

A key factor was the mindset he had. He believed that the best was still ahead of him. He was eager for something more. He didn’t just stay in his comfort zone.

This mindset, if you have it, can make a big difference in your life. Believe that the best is still ahead of you. Believe that there is more to come.

2. Always Be on the Lookout for Opportunities

When you believe that the best is still ahead of you, you will be on the lookout for opportunities. You will open your eyes for them.

Kroc already had a good business selling multimixers at that time, but he didn’t stop there. He kept looking for the right opportunity. Eventually, he heard good things about a restaurant named McDonald’s that intrigued him.

Being on the lookout for opportunities helps you recognize an opportunity when it comes. Otherwise, you might miss an opportunity even when it’s right in front of you.

3. Act Fast When an Opportunity Comes

Now, what should you do when an opportunity comes? You should act… fast.

That’s what Ray Kroc did. When he heard good things about that far away restaurant, he decided to fly there to see it himself. And when he saw the great potential the restaurant had, he didn’t delay. He negotiated with the McDonald’s brothers to open his own restaurants.

There is a window of opportunity. If you are too slow, the window will close.

4. Think Big

The McDonald’s brothers could have built the chain themselves. But the problem was their way of thinking: they were thinking too small! They were already satisfied with their one restaurant and the comfortable life they had. They had no desire for something more.

Kroc, on the other hand, already imagined hundreds of restaurants across the country even before he came to the negotiating table. He was thinking big. He had a vision. And that makes a big difference.

5. Focus

When Kroc decided to take the opportunity, he focused on it. He devoted his time, energy, and money there. In fact, he didn’t even take a salary in the first years to help the business get off the ground.

He didn’t allow himself to get sidetracked either. He had a vision of how  McDonald’s would be, and he rejected short-term opportunities that didn’t help him reach the vision.

6. Build a Strong Team

One key to success that Kroc had was his team. He had a strong team. He found the right people and put them in the right place. He found people who built upon each other’s strengths and complemented his own weaknesses.

Many of these people stayed with him for years as McDonald’s became a worldwide brand. With their help, he could build the company fast.

***

I learned a lot of lessons from Kroc’s story. What about you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. I have a deal coming soon. Stay tuned.

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8 Reasons a Fear of Success, Not Failure, Is Holding You Back

It is often assumed that someone who is risk averse and who resists their desire to achieve something does so because they are afraid of failing. In actual fact, there is a second fear that holds people back from striving toward their goals: the fear of success.

It may seem counterintuitive to be afraid of something that so many people spend their entire lives chasing, but success can bring challenges of its own and these can discourage some who may otherwise have the ability to attain it.

They effectively sabotage any chances they may have of fulfilling their potential so as to avoid having to deal with the consequences of their accomplishments.

But what, I hear you cry, could possibly deter people from getting ahead in life? Why would they ever be content with underachieving? Here are 8 possible reasons you might fear success in life:

1. You’re Afraid of the Unknown

Right now your life is predictable. You are in an established rhythm that you can follow without any great thought. Your job doesn’t stretch you, your finances are relatively secure, your free time is taken up by the same old routine each week, and your relationships are stable.

To succeed, you would have to rip up this script and replace it with all sorts of unknown quantities: new people, new places, new lifestyle, new activities. Upon realizing your goal, things might change yet again as your new, successful self faces fresh choices and obstacles.

The unknown is scary, so rather than give it a chance to permeate through your life, you simply put the blinkers on and pretend everything’s fine.

2. You’re Afraid of the Demands Success Might Make of You

One of the biggest unknowns is the potential new demands that success might force upon you. Your successful self might suddenly find that they have little to no leisure time left because you have to spend more of your day working, training, learning, or reacting to situations you now find yourself in.

Or your achievements might mean you have to deal with invasions of privacy (more on that in a minute), requests for help or money, and pressure to maintain the highs you have reached.

You think these things will weigh you down, so rather than let that happen, you limit your progress.

3. You’re Afraid of the Responsibility Success Might Bring

You’ve done well… very well, and now you’re accountable for so much more than you ever were before. Maybe you’ve got employees to think about, even shareholders to please, or other commitments that you can’t get out of. Did you win a scholarship to a prestigious university, get selected for a sports team you tried out for, or make your family proud in some other way?

That’s a lot to have to think about each time you make a decision. What if it’s the wrong one? What if you let people down? What if everything comes crashing down around you?

Rather than face up to the burden of this responsibility, you decide to stay put where you are.

4. You’re Afraid of the Attention Success Could Attract

Whether it’s chatter among your peers, local media coverage, or international stardom, being successful may sometimes shine a spotlight upon you. Strangers might try to talk to you, your face might find its way into magazines, and your personal choices might be poured over and scrutinized by anyone with a Twitter account.

And it’s not all going to be positive. Success has a habit of making you a target for attacks; envy can be a cruel emotion that drives people to say and do unpleasant things, and most of the time you won’t be around to defend yourself.

You don’t want to be the center of attention. Not one bit. So instead of pursuing the things that you are passionate about, you hold back and avoid the limelight.

5. You’re Afraid of Losing Your Identity

You know who you are right now. Well… mostly. You are well acquainted with your thoughts, feelings, and desires. You are comfortable in your own skin and others are comfortable with it too.

Success means change and you’re afraid that this includes your identity. You worry that you might start behaving differently – you might let success get to your head, you might take things (and people) for granted, you might lose touch with your roots. You may even alienate your loved ones (as we’ll discuss below).

The thought of becoming a different person scares the living daylights out of you, so you just maintain the status quo and pass up opportunities that come your way.

6. You’re Afraid Success Won’t Bring You Happiness

We all want to be happy in our lives. Perhaps you are right now, or relatively so. In your mind, success should bring even greater joy into your life… but what if it doesn’t? What if, after striving so hard to achieve great things, you are no happier than you are now? Or worse, you are less happy.

Is it worth taking the risk if you aren’t rewarded with greater enjoyment in your life? Are the hours and weeks and years of dedication going to pay off in the end?

Rather than ask the question, you stay silent and put your dreams on the perpetual back burner to avoid the chance of being disappointed.

7. You’re Afraid of Losing Those You Care About

That identity of yours we spoke about earlier; it’s not just relevant to you. Your friends, family, colleagues, and casual acquaintances all respond to you based upon that identity. If that changes – perhaps not in your eyes, but in theirs – will they act differently around you? What will happen to your relationships if you attain a level of success?

Might you suddenly become unrelatable or unapproachable in their eyes? Will conversations feel forced? Will the feeling of comfort you currently enjoy with them be replaced by one of awkwardness?

Not worth the risk, right?

8. You’re Afraid You Might Get Carried Away with Success

Perhaps none of the things above scare you. Perhaps the thing you fear most is that upon achieving success, it’s won’t be enough for you; that you’ll become obsessed with ever greater achievements and ever more challenging goals. You’re afraid that success will take over your life and become the be all and end all of your existence.

Sure, it happens. The emotional high of succeeding at something gets followed by the low of wondering what comes next. Will you be happy with what you have done so far, or will you have to constantly look for the next challenge, the next big thing?

Heck, if that’s what success is going to do to you, you don’t want it. You’ll just sit on your hands and keep that potential of yours hidden.

***

Here’s the thing about these eight components to your fear of success: they’re only one side of the story. Yes, they are part of the vast range of possibilities, but not all of them will come true. In fact, the opposite could also be true in many cases.

You may find yourself with more leisure time, you may enjoy the responsibility, you may embrace the attention, you may find your true self, you may experience so much more happiness, and you may strengthen your relationships or forge new ones.

When you fear success, you only focus on the cons and not the pros. Every “what if” question ends in a negative. You’re blinded to the wonderful things that may come about if you pursue a dream or goal.

It doesn’t matter if yours is a goal involving your career, health, finances, a sporting activity, a lifestyle you wish to lead, or something else entirely, if all you ever do is consider the negative consequences of succeeding, you will remain forever afraid to take a leap of faith.

So instead of being afraid of what success may lead to, be excited by it. Consider the good and great things that could be waiting for you if you but dive in head first to turning your dreams into reality.

– About the Writer –

Steve Waller is the founder of personal development blog A Conscious Rethink. There you can find advice designed to help you overcome the challenges standing in the way of a better, more content life. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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3 Deadly Myths You Must Know About Stress

Let’s talk about stress, baby…!

Have you looked around lately? Almost everybody is stressed! Everybody has too much to do and not enough time. Burnout rates are higher than ever before. Even though we live in the greatest luxury… we keep stressing ourselves. Think about it: stress sucks all the fun out of life.

Take a moment to imagine what a life without stress could be like.

When the clouds disappear, a beautiful blue sky remains. Similarly, when stressful thoughts and emotions disappear… all that remains is peace of mind.

A clear head. Happiness. Joy.

Do you think that living without stress is a utopia? Keep reading and open your mind. The information that follows may just be the single most important thing you read this week.

The problem is that most people are playing the game of life by the wrong rules. Imagine what happens when you play a game of football by the wrong rules. No matter how hard you try, you can never win. You always end up frustrated, exhausted, demoralized, empty…

We’ve all learned what stress is. Now, what if I tell you that most of what we know about stress is simply… NOT TRUE.

Myth #1: A bit of stress makes you perform better

The right level of challenge makes you perform better. But stress makes you perform worse. This is how neuroscientist Amy Arnsten puts it: “Neural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly vulnerable to even mild stress. When they shut down, primal impulses go unchecked and mental paralysis sets in.”

This means that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to cause harm than good.

Think about a recent argument you may have had. It starts out with something silly, like your partner leaving socks on the floor or leaving the cap off the toothpaste. You felt annoyed, angry, frustrated… it felt like nothing else in the world exists. When you’re stressed, you experience negative emotions and you cannot think clearly. You cannot zoom out and calmly evaluate your options. All you can do is fight to get your point across.

How about creativity? One good idea can save you months of work. Unfortunately, creativity requires the lower alpha and theta brain wave frequency, whereas stressful events increase beta brain wave activity.

Myth #2: Stress can come from many different sources

“Stress can come from many different sources,” is the common wisdom we live by. But really, can it?

Isn’t stress simply your response to whatever is going on around you? And if so, can’t you choose your response?

If you believe that other things cause you to feel stressed, you put your well-being in the hands of external factors. Which is… quite stressful.

Instead, you must realize that stress comes from the meaning which you attach to a certain event. Don’t blame anything or anybody, but instead ask: “what can I do to change the situation?” or “what can I do to change what this means to me?”

Myth #3: Stress is a normal part of life that we should accept

Stress is an evolutionary survival mechanism for all living beings. When a cat is surprised by another cat, it jumps up and sprints away. Big stress for a few seconds, then back to instant relaxation.

Humans, however, are very social beings. And the human brain possesses the unique ability to plan ahead. A painful by-product of this ability is frequent stress. Even when there’s nothing to be stressed about, we worry about what could be happening.

In today’s service economy, work has become intangible, subjective. Saying “no” is a poor survival strategy, so our bodies prefer to say “yes” to whatever our environment demands. Our bodies activate the stress mechanism so we can temporarily function on 110%. Urgent deadline or ad hoc work coming up? Sure, the brain thinks, here’s a shot of adrenaline and cortisol, and now run!

Even though many humans in the Western world seem to be addicted to cortisol, it’s not something we must accept as a fact of life. We can CHOOSE to live stress-free, as long as we take ownership over our lives and we live by the right habits.

Conclusion: staying stress-free should be our number one priority – every day

Because when you’re stress-free, you can think clearly. Your brain becomes creative again. When you’re stress-free, you’re healthier, more likable.

That’s clear… stress is our number 1 enemy.

But, information is useless if you don’t take action.

So now that you have read and understood this information, only one question remains… what will you DO with it?

We will probably never succeed to be 100% stress-free, but every additional stress-free moment makes our lives more fun, more productive, more fulfilling and more rewarding.

Sounds like something worth fighting for, right?

– About the Writer –

Alexander Keehnen lives in the Netherlands and created the revolutionary online course “How to Work Stress-Free”. Being extremely pragmatic, he teaches people what they must know which schools don’t: how to be successful with no stress.

Alexander shares extremely valuable FREE tips on how to work stress-free. Subscribe on http://ift.tt/2f6v67C

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How to Get Out of a Bad Mood

You know the feeling well. Come on, don’t deny it.

The mounting frustration, the sense that nothing works as it should, everything is irritating and time-consuming. You have no patience, you feel knotted up inside and there’s a slowly enveloping cloud of blackness developing over your head like your own little personal black storm.

Yes, you’re in a bad mood and there’s nothing you can do about it. The day’s ruined and your life’s just a bit crap and why oh why does nobody understand the terrible burdens you, and only you are suffering?!

You rattle on in a cantankerous fury, muttering on under your breath and bemoaning your lot in life.

We all get into a bad mood from time to time and it can be, at best, just inconvenient and annoying. However, at worst it can ruin your day, put a strain on your relationships and, in the longer term, affect your self-esteem and well-being.

When we are in a mood it’s hard to see a way out, difficult to see the wood for the trees and it can become all enveloping and a self-perpetuating cycle of irritation and fury.

Here are nine tips on how to get out of a bad mood:

1. Admit It and Get It Out of Your Head

The first stage is to admit to yourself, and to others, that you are actually in a bad mood. How often has someone gently pointed out to you (possibly out of annoying concern!) that you seem to be in a bad mood only for you to bark back, through a clenched smile and gritted teeth “No, I’m fine!”?

Our default stance often seems to be one of self-martyrdom and we try to just get on and ignore our mood hoping it will go away and no one will notice. It takes quite a lot of willpower to be objective about yourself in this sort of situation. It’s hard to bypass this default pathway and to literally say to yourself “Right, you’re in a really bad mood. Let’s get this sorted out now!” However, if you can do this you are at least half way to quickly getting your mood back on track.

Another strategy that will help at this point but will scream against every fiber of your natural instinct is to reply to your concerned friend “Yes, I’m in a really bad mood. In fact, I’m really annoying myself never mind you – I’m sorry!” I can pretty much guarantee that, if you pull that one off you will gain control of your mood pretty quickly!

If the opportunity doesn’t occur, you can also try just bringing it up in conversation. The point is that admitting firstly to yourself and then externalising the fact that you are in a mood gets it out of the pressure cooker of your head. It works like a safety valve. Letting off steam is good and is the primary step to getting back on track. Once you have identified the problem, try one or more of the strategies below to get back on an even keel.

2. Make or Mend Something

Try doing something practical, constructive and creative. You don’t need to spend 10 hours completing a scale model of the Empire State Building but mending something, using your ingenuity and problem-solving skills will take your mind into a more positive area. Make sure that you do something quick, quantifiable and achievable and the sense of satisfaction that you get from it will start to work wonders.

Doing a boring, simple, menial task that you have been putting off for ages can also work well. This type of activity has a good return on the amount of effort required to carry it out. It will probably be simple to achieve and not require much brain power. However, being able to tick its long standing presence off your “to do” list will give you a positive boost.

Whenever you are in a mood, setting yourself very small, achievable goals and tasks rather than looking too hard at the over view is a good strategy. Set yourself up for success rather than failure.

3. Watch TV Comedy/Stand Up

You can’t really be in a bad mood and laugh at the same time. You really won’t feel like doing it but, if you can take even a few minutes and watch a TV show or a video of a comedian that you know makes you laugh, your mood will probably dissolve away.

If you feel you can’t take time out then what about listening to something funny and entertaining whilst you work or try to get on with being in a bad mood? Having a few “anti mood” tracks on your phone ready to go can be a great way of preparing for the worst. When you feel your mood coming on, you can just plug in your headphones and hopefully pull yourself out of it.

The point is that you are making an intervention. You recognise that you are in a bad mood and, rather than indulging in it, you take action to direct yourself out of it. Laughter is known to be a great remedy, it relaxes you and relieves tension for up to 45 minutes afterwards. It’s even known to boost the immune system!

4. Create and Eat Some Healthy Food

Giving your body some great, high-quality nutrition has a calming and cleansing effect that can also powerfully affect your mood. There’s something therapeutic about thinking about what to create, then actually taking the time to make it and finally consuming it.

Eating is often comforting and, if you’re eating something that just feels good and healthy, it will put you in a better mood. There’s also something very empowering about indulging in some self-care as well. Taking the time to fuel your body properly will make you physically feel good which has a knock-on effect on your mood too.

5. Dance Like an Idiot

This one works wonders and, if you can pull it off, will snap you out of a bad mood in minutes. Basically, you need to pull the curtains, put on some loud and crazy music and dance yourself back into a good mood!

Musically, you need your guilty feel-good indulgence tracks then close your eyes, imagine you are at a massive gig and just let yourself go! There’s no one watching, no one need ever know you did it but, if you can make the mental transition effectively, you will be back in a good mood in a matter of moments.

6. Get Outside and Dig the Garden

There’s something incredibly therapeutic about gardening. It’s the combination of fresh air, being at one with nature and nurturing plants that can give an almost instant sense of well-being.

Digging the garden has the added advantage of being a physical exercise as well as a very positive “back to basics” activity. Clearing away weeds and preparing the ground for planting for new growth has obvious positive connotations. Simplistic as it may seem, these types of activities tap into a fundamental part of our psyche and can give an almost instant sense of well-being.

7. Get Off Screens and Social Media

Passively absorbing information can stupefy the brain and social media often has the effect of just making us feel inadequate as we compare ourselves to others. Blankly staring at a screen will not help get you out of your mood, blindly scrolling through social media updates is depressing.

If you know you are in a bad mood then I would go as far as suggesting that you switch your phone off. Get away from your computer screen if possible and try to do something practical and physical instead.

8. Do Something Nice for Someone Else

It’s very easy when you are in a bad mood to become introspective and self-absorbed. If you can turn this around and help someone else out, you will also be helping yourself get out of your mood.

It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose or complicated but simply the act of thinking about someone else rather than yourself and putting someone else’s needs before your own can have a very positive effect on your mood.

9. Shout and Lose Your Temper

The natural conclusion for a bad mood is probably most likely that you will completely lose your temper. Often, the pressure just builds and builds. Sometimes it might take several hours to reach a climax but often there will be a trigger point, maybe something completely trivial that will be “the straw that broke the camels back” and you will just let rip!

I’ve lost my temper many times over the years and it’s never really achieved anything positive. If we are not careful, losing our temper can put us in all sorts of potentially destructive situations. We can quickly and painfully damage relationships and put ourselves in all sorts of danger.

The point is that there’s nothing actually wrong with losing your temper. Sometimes it just has to be done. It’s the way that you do it that’s important.

So, firstly give yourself permission to “go into one” but, most importantly prepare for it. You need to do it in a safe space, with safe people who know what’s going on and at a safe time.

Personally, I find throwing things and shouting is a great stress reliever! I look like a 49-year-old toddler having a tantrum and it’s potentially frightening to watch. However, if I manage to warn the family, go into the garden, shout at myself and jump up and down on the lawn it usually does the trick as I basically quickly start to feel like an idiot!

You will find your own method!

The important thing is that it is planned and controlled. If you can’t do yourself or anyone else any harm when you lose your temper it can be a quick and effective way to get your self back on an even keel!

***

I hope you have found the above tips helpful! Have you found any other quick and effective ways to get yourself out of a bad mood? If you have, leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

– About the Writer –

Andrew Hind is a Dad to three teenage girls, photographer and musician as well as a keen cyclist. He is also the blogger at The Road Cyclist’s Guide, a blog about cycling, life and thriving. You can also connect at Facebook.

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3 Things to Keep in Mind When the Going Gets Tough

Your startup is barely getting off the ground.

Or maybe you’ve been working your butt off for that promotion and you don’t see any progress.

It could even be your last semester in college and you’re struggling to review for your very last finals ‘til you’re off applying for jobs.

We all have our own battles.

And it’s extremely tempting to give up when nothing seems to go right.

I’ve been having hardships getting my online business to its goals, but I know that if I put in the work, make mistakes early, learn from it right away and go from there, I’ll be closer to the success I want to achieve.

The same goes for everybody reading this too.

I know it’s difficult.

So here are three things to keep in mind whenever you feel like everything’s a burden on your heart and shoulders:

1. Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

You’ve heard this countless times, but you’re reading this for a reason. We’re human and it’s perfectly natural to be impatient.

But oftentimes we allow it to get to our hearts, then later on we find ourselves unable to function to our full potential after again being faced with that fact.

Even right now as I write this, I’m still a bit upset that I remembered that it will take more loads of work to be done to get where I want to be.

However, the sooner we accept that success doesn’t happen overnight, the better.

Whether you believe it or not, that’s still the harsh truth.

I could spew content here and there all day, every day, but that doesn’t mean I’ll wake up the next day with my desired lifestyle.

In fact, avoid working all day every day! That could be detrimental to your health and decrease the chances of seeing the results of your labor (I mean death due to unhealthy practices here).

So take it one step at a time.

Slowly but surely.

You have to fall in love with the process, dear reader.

If you’re not already in love with what you’re doing, better think of doing something else or looking at your work with a new perspective.

It makes the long days and nights a little more bearable.

2. Mistakes Are Normal but You Need to Learn from Them

If it happens once, it’s a mistake. If it happens twice, it’s a choice.

Heard of that quote?

You see, mistakes are encouraged by the most successful people because it gives you something to learn from.

But there’s no point in committing the same mistake over and over.

If you’re going through rough patches right now because of your mistakes, don’t take it too personally.

There are always other factors why mistakes happen, and the ultimate thing is they already happened and we can’t do anything about them anymore except to learn from them.

Make sure they don’t happen again in the future.

Whether it’s choosing the wrong business partner or investing in the wrong company, it’s done.

It’s in the past.

But the past isn’t meant to be forgotten, it’s meant to gain lessons from.

3. The Fruits of Hard Work Are Sweet

Keep going.

Don’t worry if you’re on the right path or not.

It will reveal itself to you when it’s time, as long as you’re consistent with your work.

Compare yourself today versus last year.

Amazing how one year can change a lot of things, right?

Guess what? The time will pass anyway, so might as well do what you need to do.

I hope you never ever find yourself saying this a lot, “I wish I started last year! Imagine what I could’ve accomplished by today.”

When I was starting out with blogging last year, I didn’t even know what domain names are.

I read their definition over and over until I got it, and how hosting works to get websites on the internet.

I felt dumb and uncomfortable, but I persisted because I knew what I wanted to achieve.

Nobody in my family has any background with online business, so in terms of looking for mentors in real life, I didn’t have anyone but myself.

Thankfully, along my journey, I’ve discovered more people within reach who I could relate to.

It took a lot of networking and branding yourself for people to find out about you, but the fruits are oh, so sweet!

I’m part of a community of like-minded people who share the same goals now, and it wouldn’t have happened if I never put in the work needed.

I’ve had niche changes along the way, but I continued working until I found one that was fit for me and there was a market for.

Don’t be intimidated by the work needed to be done.

It will all be worth it in the end.

– About the Writer –

Nicah Caramba is an entrepreneur who is passionate about public speaking, travel and Japanese food. Aside from chasing the next adventure, she is constantly looking for ways to help people communicate their ideas better in her blog todayimchanging.com

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How to Be More Charismatic: 4 Quick Hacks

Charisma is a powerful skill to have.

All of the top leaders, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and celebrities have charisma. When people talk to them, they feel like they’ve known them all their life. It’s as if there is a magnetic attraction pulling them in. That’s the power of charisma.

If you learn how to cultivate and master this skill, it will have a huge effect on every area of your life. You’ll be able to influence people to do what you want them to do. You’ll be able to get what you want out of life. You’ll be able to build a cult-like following of people. Whatever your goals are, having charisma can get you to your final destination much faster.

But what if you don’t consider yourself charismatic at all?

No worries.

Even if you don’t think you are super charming or outgoing, you can still improve your charisma. Here are four quick hacks on how to be more charismatic.

1. Start Smiling More

One of the easiest ways to be more charismatic is to smile more.

If this is something you struggle with, go and practice right now. Find a mirror and start smiling in front of it. Keep doing this until it looks genuine and not forced. Nothing is worse than receiving a fake smile from someone. It screams dishonesty and makes building rapport much harder.

Smile. Smile. Smile.

It’s going to make you feel better, and it’s going to make the person you’re talking to feel better.

2. Give Strong Eye Contact

Have you ever given someone eye contact and feel like there’s energy flowing between you?

You feel the pressure. That’s the power of strong eye contact.

When you’re talking to somebody, lock eyes with them. Look them directly in the eye. Do not waver or look away.

Doing this is one of the easiest ways to build rapport with people. For example, Bill Clinton, who is known as one of the most charismatic individuals on Earth, is known for his strong eye contact.

If you Google, “Bill Clinton charisma”, you’ll find hundreds of blog posts and articles talking all about it.

People who have interacted with him have raved about his charisma. They describe him as being hypnotizing to talk too. He makes you want to be around him more. Here’s the funny part – Republicans, who normally wouldn’t agree with his policies or viewpoints, have said that after talking to him they felt themselves wanting to support him.

And you know what he did?

Give them strong eye contact.

Do it.

3. Be Interested

Notice I didn’t say be interesting.

Nope.

It’s important that you’re interested in people.

You know what people care the most about?

Themselves.

You can use this to your advantage. If you show interest in them, they’re going to automatically like you.

Why?

Because you made them feel good about themselves.

And you can show interest in people without having to kiss their butt either. Ask them genuine questions. Make statements about them. Show enthusiasm and excitement towards them.

Doing this helps you have more engaged conversations with people.

4. Practice Self-Amusement

The last hack you can do to become more charismatic is to be self-amused.

What is self-amusement?

It’s when you say or do something for the sole reason that you find it amusing or entertaining. You’re not trying to get a reaction out of someone. You’re not looking for validation. You’re purely doing something because you felt like it.

That is self-amusement.

Here’s how you can develop this skill – Lower the bar of what you find funny.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

For example, people who have a “sophisticated” sense of humor usually are very ego-centric. They want to look and feel smart, thus they only allow themselves to laugh at “high-level” jokes.

That’s your ego talking.

What are you trying to prove? That’s a boring way to live life. The happiest people are those who don’t take themselves too seriously. They don’t care what anyone thinks of them.

Say something because it makes you happy. Don’t care what other people think about it. Don’t care if they find it funny or not. Say it because you find it hilarious.

There’s something called the “Law of State Transference.” The law states that whatever emotion you’re feeling the other person is going to feel it too. Feeling awkward? They’re going to feel awkward. Feeling happy? They’re going to feel happy.

Knowing this, you can use it to your advantage when it comes to self-amusement. When you say something you find hilarious, there’s a high chance they’re going to find it funny too. It’s all thanks to the “Law of State Transference.” Try it out.

***

And there we go.

Those are four quick hacks you can use today to be more charismatic. Go out and practice them right now.

– About the Writer –

Edwin Torres is on a mission to show you how to “next level” every area of your life. If you’re struggling with your self-confidence, click here to learn a “hack” you can use to boost your confidence in 5-minutes.

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5 Best Motivational Books That Push You to Take Action

Note: This post is written by Rose Martin

When the going gets tough, the tough get reading.

There’s no better way to instantly lift your spirits up, change your chain of thought and escape to a whole new world, than reading.  Reading a good book is akin to living in the author’s world and learning from their treasure of experience.

There are some people who lived incredible lives, fought all kinds of challenges and emerged winners. Fortunately, a lot of these people penned books for the world to know of their journey and be inspired by it.

Every time you are feeling lost and need a healthy dose of motivation to get you back on track with renewed vigor, just pick up one of the following books. We’ve handpicked five of the best motivational books for your perusals.

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

There is a reason this particular book features at the very top of all self-help books. If you don’t understand why it is so, then you need to read it right now to see for yourself.

Published way back in 1937, the book is still relevant today as it draws from the life experience of over 500 hundred successful men, spanning the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and John D Rockefeller.

Napoleon Hill distils the very best of all the knowledge gathered from these eminent men in his 20 years of research and serves you just the elixir you need. It gives you thirteen completely practical, actionable steps to achieve your goal, whatever it is.

“Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking.”
– Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

2. See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar

See You at the Top is the extract of Zig Ziglar’s three decades worth of traveling the world and motivating people across continents. The founding thought of the book is that you can get everything you want in life if you help other people get what they want.

The book reinforces on the significance of the basic human values we all must preserve and practice, such as faith, loyalty, honesty, and integrity. The book truly inspires you to become a good human being and assure that as long as you believe in yourself and be good unto others around you, good things will happen to you.

The book is structured like a staircase to success, saying if you build the foundation of each step firmly, you will certainly reach the top.

“The story of life repeatedly assures you that if you will use what you have, you will be given more to use.”
– Zig Ziglar, See You at the Top

3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes you into the depths of human mind and backed by scientific principles, tells you how good habits can be (and must be) developed and kept. He emphasizes that even the most adamant of bad habits can be defeated by ardent practice and will.

He presents a plethora of real life examples of people who transformed their lives by harnessing the power of habit. A woman who quit smoking and ran a marathon, a CEO who modified one common pattern among his employees and turned his firm into a top performing business, and even a marketer who, with one small change in advertising strategy makes his product go on to make a billion dollars a year.

Read The Power of Habit to see just how you too can transform your life for real, just by understanding how habits work.

“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”
– Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

4. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

With so much negativity floating out and about in the world today, preserving and exercising a positive mindset is the hardest thing and yet, the only way.

In this book that has stood the test of time, Norman Vincent Peale gives you some truly practical advice on how to stay positive and not get bogged down by the stress, anxiety, and depression that shrouds our lives.

Read this book to free your mind of its self-limiting habits and spread its wings to happiness.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
-Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

5. Just Start by Leonard A. Schlesinger

How often have you struggled to do something, and felt – if only you could get the right start? You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know how things will shape out in the future. Then how can you succeed?

Don’t try to predict, don’t theorize; don’t waste time mulling over results. Just start. That’s what Schlesinger and his two equally successful businessman friends try to tell you in this masterpiece of practical life advice.

The book is so motivational, you will be eager to get up and get started on something spectacular right away.

Enrollment is not about getting somebody to do something that you want them to do. It’s about offering them the chance to do something they might want to do.”
– Leonard A. Schlesinger, Just Start

Wrapping Up

When life is just too hard to win over and you are feeling totally lost, even when you know you have the power in you, you need someone to stoke the fire and nudge you into action. Motivation is something we all need, at some times more than others, and the above books give you just that.

Every time you feel you need a friend who can take your hand and pull you out of the slump, reach out to one of these motivational books and see just how much power you have in you, waiting to be utilized. These books will give you not just motivation but real, actionable advice on how you can change things for yourself starting today.

– About the Writer –

Rose Martin is an editor at Book Siren. Her main interest in blogging is for self-improvement, business, start-ups and lifestyle. When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, sipping a cold beer and spending time with family.

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8 Ways to Get Motivated to Start Your Own Business

Note: This post is written by Swati Kapoor

So, you’re excited about the breakthrough idea that you truly believe is worth transforming into a business!

You’ve planned it in detail, created a blueprint, thought about the financial aspects, and analyzed the market. What’s next? What’s stopping you?

Is it the mental block of taking the risk of starting your own business? You know you’re not comfortable working for someone, but not sure if you’ll be able to make a mark as your own boss either, right?

These doubts have the potential to hold you back from pursuing your dream.

Every entrepreneur, big or small, has gone through all these hesitations before taking the plunge in the world of business. The first step forward is the toughest and requires a lot of motivation and courage.

Here are eight ways to get motivated to start your own business.

1. Set a Personal Mission for Yourself

Just like every business needs a cause to work towards, you must also have a mission for yourself that motivates you to strive hard.

The mission statement of a company defines its broader goals, core values, and the direction for the organization to follow. Similarly, a mission statement for you should involve your dreams and the measures to realize them.

Carry it along, read it aloud, memorize it, or get a tattoo done; ensure you always have it handy as a constant reminder of your goal to become an entrepreneur. Constant reminders of the core reasons can drive you towards becoming an entrepreneur, and help in moving forward even when the going gets tough.

2. Read Inspiring Books

Read books, but not just any book. Grab motivational books that instill confidence in you.

If you’re planning to become an entrepreneur, you’d probably already have read a lot of industry-related content. But, motivational books such as biographies of successful entrepreneurs who inspire you and stories of impresarios who’ve lived the rags-to-riches tales can inspire you.

Reading about people who once stood the same place as you and are now successful can be highly inspiring.

3. Take Inspiration from Quotes

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you want to truly become.”- Steve Jobs

Sometimes, a few lines of inspiration are all you need to get back on track, and inspirational quotes work perfectly in lifting your spirit and infusing positivity in you. Most of these inspirational quotes are the life experiences summed up in powerful, hard-hitting words.

Scientifically, motivational quotes are instrumental in activating an emotional pulse in our minds and hearts. The right quote has the power to help us see light at the end of the tunnel.

4. Adopt Perseverance as Your Life Mantra

One of the biggest reasons for not starting a business is the fear of failure. From your marketing strategy backfiring to having trouble creating a website, anything can go wrong.

On the road of entrepreneurship, you are susceptible to fall over and over again. But, it is important to be ready to rise up and move ahead taking your failures in your stride as learning experiences. This attitude will help you overcome the fear of letdowns.

Failures, essentially, help you in getting better. There are possibilities that you may do things wrong, but that is how you learn the art of doing business. Failure is essential to learning.

Perseverance is fighting for an aim, past your comfort zone, and entrepreneurial aspirations require perseverance to succeed. Being perseverant in pursuing your aim increases your chances of being successful in your endeavors.

5. Read Case Studies

Every day, numerous businesses emerge in the market to make a place for themselves. Not all of them offer ground-breaking products/services, but their success stories constitute several underlying factors that together make it a success.

These case studies help a budding entrepreneur in more ways than one. Not only do they offer essential business insights, but they also help in understanding that it is not just about the product/service. The way a business plan is executed also contributes in bringing long-term sustainable success.

6. Indulge in Motivating Activities

To travel the road of entrepreneurial success, it is imperative to consciously help yourself in staying motivated. Talking to your mentors, being in the company of positive people, and attending TED Talks and seminars help in developing a confident mindset.Not only are these sessions encouraging, they also help you in crafting better strategies for your business.

Giving yourself practical deadlines for tasks also helps in keeping the motivation level up. Don’t forget to reward yourself with little treats on completing targets. The simplicity of taking baby steps towards your dream and achieving small milestones is a great motivation in itself.

7. Go for a Run Alone

It is important not to undermine the importance of self-motivation. Spending some time with yourself every day allows you the much-required time to reflect on your strategies and business plans.

Running not only keeps you active and fit, it is a proven way of lifting your self-esteem, staying positive, and boosting memory. Running alone also helps in clearing your mind. It offers better clarity and infuses positivity. It allows you to get involved in your own thoughts, sort them out, decide on the priorities, and follow a plan of action.

8. Remind Yourself About the Advantages of Becoming an Entrepreneur

One of the best ways to get motivated to launch your own business is to remind yourself of your goal of becoming an entrepreneur and the advantages associated with it.

Remember how you always felt that you don’t belong to the 9-to-5 rut. The feeling of being your own boss, taking a break whenever you want, executing a plan the way you perceived it, and accountability to no one but yourself are some of the best perks of being an entrepreneur.

Constantly reminding yourself of these liberating benefits can offer great motivation to follow your dreams.

Conclusion

Becoming an entrepreneur is an experience that frees you from pre-set goals and bestows the power of creating your future in your own hands.

Don’t let the inhibitions of failure and obstacles hold you down and keep fueling yourself with the adrenaline to succeed and achieve your dreams.

– About the Writer –

Swati Kapoor is a qualified dietitian at Practo. She has a Masters degree in Dietetics and Food Service Management. She is a strong believer in spreading the goodness of ‘nutrition through healthy eating’.

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How to Change Habits: 5 Proven Tips

Note: This post is written by Gabriel Smith

Almost half of the decisions you make are simply based on habits.

According to a paper published by Duke University, habits are neurological shorthand that frees our minds from the stress of decision making. This behavioral shorthand gives us more bandwidth to focus on unique tasks of our lives.

Most of us form habits unconsciously, wiring our brains into life-sucking routines that are seemingly impossible to short circuit. Quitting bad habits can be hard, but new research shows you can make a permanent change with the right tools.

Here are five tips on how to change habits.

1. Recognize Your Triggers

Recent research in neurobiology has changed how researchers think about habits. Past research focused on changing the routine of the habit, not on which cue triggers it. By studying triggers and rewards, researchers have gained more insight into how habits really form.

Habits are routines triggered by cues, like a time of day, and reinforced with a reward, like food or socialization. In order to change the routine, you need to become aware of the cues that create a habit and what reward you gain out of it.

Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power Habits,” summarizes this research well:

“Scientists have explained that every habit is made up of a cue, a routine, and a reward. The cue is a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine — the behavior itself — which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular habit is worth remembering for the future. Over time, this loop — cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward — becomes more automatic as the cue and reward become neurologically intertwined.”

So, the first step to change a habit is to recognize in what context your habit is triggered. For example, is your desire to smoke increased by being around certain people, a certain place, or after a meal? Gaining consciousness of these subconscious cues empowers you to take the next step for change.

2. Rewire Your Routine

Once you are aware of what triggers your habit, the next step is to either create a plan that hijacks these old cues with a new routine and reward or find a new cue to create a routine and reward around.

After you have created a plan for the new habit you want to cultivate, you are on your way to creating your new routine. Once you are able to identify how your habits work, you have the tools to override your “bad” habits with new ones.

3. Reward Yourself

When evaluating what habit you want to change, you also have to recognize the benefit that habit provides and replicate that reward in the new habit you are creating. Choose a reward that you truly enjoy. For example, if you want to start exercising, your reward could be a small piece of chocolate.

Depriving yourself of a genuinely satisfying reward and relying on “willpower” to create a new habit goes against how your brain creates new neural pathways and habits. Or as Jocelyn Glei, author of “Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distraction, and Get Real Work Done,” puts it:

“If you want to get rid of a bad habit, you have to find out how to implement a healthier routine to yield the same reward.”

4. Sleep and Eat Appropriately

A good night’s sleep rests our brain as well as our body. A well-rested brain handles the stresses of decision making better than a sleep-deprived one. If you are sleep-deprived, your brain is tired and stressed, reducing your ability to make decisions that are not habitual. A tired brain slips into old habits quicker than a well-rested one.

Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program and a sleep expert for Mattress Firm, recommends, “For adults, a full night’s sleep is typically between seven and nine hours, but everyone is different. So, how do you figure out how much sleep is best for you? If you don’t have any other sleep problems (e.g. sleep apnea), you should wake up feeling refreshed in the morning after a full night of sleep.”

Low blood sugar also stresses out your body and brain. If you don’t eat good food every couple of hours, your blood sugar drops, causing you to be cranky and crave carbs. This state of mind and body inhibits your ability to make rational decisions.

To avoid a drop in your blood sugar, and thus your decision-making ability, it is recommended that you eat a snack or meal every three to five hours.

5. Forgive Relapses and Keep Going

Changing a habit is hard because you are creating new neural pathways or rewiring your brain. You are going to fall back into old habits once in a while—especially in times of stress. Don’t let a relapse discourage you. The best thing to do if you fail is to keep trying.

Remember, once you know how your habit works, you have the power to change it.

“What we know from lab studies is that it’s never too late to break a habit. Habits are malleable throughout your entire life. But we also know that the best way to change a habit is to understand its structure — that once you tell people about the cue and the reward and you force them to recognize what those factors are in a behavior, it becomes much, much easier to change,” said Charles Duhigg in an NPR interview.

– About the Writer –

Gabriel Smith is an ex-business student turned writer and health and wellness expert, finding motivation from his former life as a competitive athlete and trainer. He regularly shares insight on self improvement, self sufficiency, and how humans can better their lives.

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