11 Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Bounce Back After Failure

Success is not always what it seems.

Steven Spielberg had his share of failures and setbacks before becoming successful. So did Walt Disney and Michael Jordan. Arianne Huffington, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates experienced many ups and downs before they became successful in their respective fields. Henry Ford and Steve Jobs also had a bumpy journey to success. These icons are perfect examples that the road to success is anything but smooth.

Failure is inescapable and inevitable. There is no denying it or escaping it. No one is immune to it. No matter how good you are in your field or area of expertise, there is no guarantee or immunity against failure nor is there a surety that you’ll succeed the first time around or make it every single time.

Failure is bitter no matter how you see it. The sting of a letdown, the agony of experiencing disappointment and the pain of defeat is hard to endure. In plain words, failure sucks. It crushes you, hurts you deeply and leaves your ego bruised. There is no feeling worse than having hit rock bottom. No wonder everyone dreads failure, but keep in mind that no amount of hating or detesting it can help you avoid it.

Failure is a part of life and the success process. J.K Rowling, the bestselling author with the phenomenal rags to riches story, has beautifully summed it with this line: ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.’

But, failure doesn’t have to discourage, demoralize you or end your success journey. Looking at it in the right perspective, failure doesn’t mean it’s all over. It just means that you didn’t succeed this time around.

Sometimes you’ll face situations where the odds are stacked up against you. Other times, despite your best efforts and preparation, you will still experience failure. You have to train yourself to be tough, take the hits and be able to deal with it all.

Failure can work for you big time if you look at it the right way. It, by itself, is not detrimental. What is damaging about failure is its paralyzing effect once you let it get to you. Your chances of recovering from failure and regaining lost confidence depend heavily on how you approach it.

Failure doesn’t care about how you feel. It makes no concessions. It only throws two choices in your way: either give up or fight again. It’s up to you to decide and take the call. You can choose to opt for the easy way out, step back and quit or make the hard choice of picking yourself up, getting back on your feet and starting all over again. The right choice will help you steer yourself towards success and transform your life.

Here are 11 ways you can bounce back from failure and get back on track again.

Accept what happened

The first thing you should do after you have failed is to accept it and come to terms with it. Don’t ignore, deny or hide it. You have failed and there’s nothing you can do to reverse it now.

Accept it and know that it’s okay. Failure happens all the time. It’s no big deal if you accept it and decide to do something about it. That’s how you start learning how to overcome failure.

Take total responsibility

Own your failure. There’s no shame in it. Everyone fails sometimes.

Things won’t always pan out the way you want them, but the sole responsibility should always be yours to take. You must be accountable for your actions, choices, and decisions. Never blame others and hold them responsible for your failures. Passing the buck is a sure recipe for disaster.

Analyze what happened

You cannot undo what happened, but, by taking stock of what happened, you can dispassionately assess and gain insight into what went wrong and where. It will also enable you to understand what worked and what didn’t so that you can begin with a whole new approach.

Analyzing can help you in revising your strategy, preparing yourself, working on your weak points and improving your future performance. It will also give you the confidence to bounce back and begin more confidently.

Learn from your mistakes

There is much truth in the words of Henry Ford when he said that the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. Failure teaches you like none other can teach you. You must learn from your mistakes and ‘heed the lessons of failure’, as Bill Gates put it.

Make the best of your mistakes. Embrace them, learn from them and never repeat them. Identify your weaknesses, work on them and turn them into your strength.

See Also: 9 Powerful Lessons from the Success Story of Bill Gates

Don’t dwell on failure

dont dwell on failure

The worst way to deal with failure is to take it to heart. What has happened has happened. No amount of crying, complaining or regretting can help you overcome it.

So, stop ruminating over it, re-running it in your mind and feeling sorry for yourself. It will not serve any useful purpose and will only take you deeper into sorrow and unhappiness.

Get over it; Move on

Failure is ‘a temporary detour, not a dead-end’, as Denis Waitley, the American bestselling author is once known to have said. Failure only lasts until you succeed again. So, don’t let it become permanent and scar your psyche.

A negative feeling cannot have any positive outcome. It is best forgotten. Wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Look ahead, move on, and give yourself a chance to recover and rebuild yourself.

Develop mental toughness to triumph over failure

Setbacks should not dishearten or break you. Failure is not an end in itself so, don’t let it steal your confidence. Train yourself to take bad hits in life. Use failure to learn, grow and better yourself. Maintain a positive attitude in the face of failure. That’s how you can strengthen your mental toughness.

Jump into a positive frame of mind

When you face defeat, you are engulfed by fear and self-doubt. Failure brings with it a dark cloud of negativity. You begin to question yourself and start to doubt your ability. Positive thoughts are the last thing on your mind and that’s how it is. Recovery and rebounding

Recovery and rebounding take time. To facilitate and make the process faster, you must fight all negative thoughts that cross your mind and fill yourself with positivity. Look back and reflect on your own life how you faced past failures and overcame them.

Nothing can inspire you more than your personal experience and your own success story. You know you have dealt with it before and can do it again.

Let go of fear

let go of fear

When you experience failure, one thing is sure. The worst has struck you, but things can’t go bad from there.

When you fall down, you can’t go further down. So, what is there to fear?

From there, you can only move towards the positive direction. So, get up, gather your broken pieces and start building yourself again. Success is achieved by those who don’t fear failure. Don’t let failure hold you back or stop you from realizing your dreams.

See Also: How To Conquer The Fear Of Success (Or Failure)

Focus on bettering yourself

Everyone faces failure but how you look at it and what you do about it is what makes all the difference. In most cases, failure happens because a person wasn’t able to prepare well, didn’t plan properly or was ill-equipped. It can also be because he’s just plain unlucky.

Disregarding the last one, everything else can be fixed. So, make a list of all the things which you think contributed to your failure and start working on them, one thing at a time. Do everything within your power to rectify, resolve, improve, develop and put right.

Begin again

Failure can devastate you if you allow it to. It can also help you rebuild yourself and restart your journey if you choose to.

Failure shouldn’t be the end of your dreams, goals, and aspirations. The power of failure should motivate you to chase your goals, take a fresh start and make a new beginning. Let failure make you stronger, tougher and more resilient so that you don’t just survive it but you’ll bounce back stronger.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. -Nelson Mandela

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Understanding Your Personality: Discover How To Grow Using The Rule Of Four

The ‘rule of four’ has been around for centuries. The first recorded reference to it was Empedocles’ four elements — Earth, Air, Fire and Water — which he related to the mythical gods that ruled the world 444 years B.C.

Hippocrates, the great Greek physician, developed his thinking around the ‘4 humors which are the body fluids that caused our moods, emotions, and behaviors. They involved the yellow bile, blood, phlegm and black bile.

As the field of medicine advanced, these ‘humors’ were updated to ‘temperaments’ and an increased understanding of human personality developed. The “humors” were upgraded to the following classifications:

• Choleric which relates to the active, ambitious and assertive types
• Sanguine which relates to the lively, impulsive and sociable types
• Phlegmatic which relates to the slow, stable and supportive types
• Melancholic which relates to the thoughtful worriers and cautious types

Here is a good example.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as described in the Book of Revelation, tells the tale of Jesus Christ opening the first four of God’s seven seals. This act brought forth the four riders on the backs of a white, red, black and pale horse, respectively. What these actually mean has been debated for centuries and interpretations still differ.

four horsemen of apocalypse

However, the rule of four, as related to DISC personality traits, gives us some clue as to what they could mean on a human level.

DISC is derived from the work of Dr. William Marston who wanted to look at how normal people interacted with their environment at the time when other psychologists and psychiatrists were focused on the abnormal and deviant.

From a DISC perspective then:

• The white rider is generally known as ‘conquest’ or ‘victory’. Carrying a bow and wearing a victor’s crown, it has all the hallmarks of a Dominant personality. It’s where power, success, control and being a winner are the order of the day.

• The red rider is often referred to as ‘war’ due to the sword and the color red representing spilled blood. Fiery red, in particular, has connotations of impulsiveness and the ability to motivate people to great collective endeavors associated with an Influencer personality.

• The black rider is often called ‘famine’, although it is shown carrying a pair of ‘scales’. This has resulted in some people seeing this horseman as the law-giver who holds the balance. This represents the Steadiness personality.

• The pale rider is generally referred to as ‘death’. Death is the great compiler. He never gets it wrong and is meticulous in enforcing the rule of ‘when your time is up’. This has all the traits of a Conscientious personality, along with its need for systems and accuracy.

But, how can it help you in understanding your personality?

Here are some specific examples to help you.

• People who have a high D personality trait are likely to approach things through ‘telling’, wanting things done ‘now’ and ‘their way’. If you have these traits and are looking to grow, you might need to take a more collaborative and conciliatory approach to gain the engagement and support of others who will help you reach your goal.

• People with a high I personality trait are likely to want lots of interaction, recognition, and fun. However, to grow and reach those things, you might need to take a more focused approach. This will keep you on track and ensure you follow through until you gain the recognition you seek.

• People with a high S personality trait might be resistance to the very change needed to grow. They might need to step outside their comfort zone and allow for greater flexibility than they would normally like.

• People with a high C personality trait can have a tendency to push for excellence. To fully grow, they need to consider the perfection they are after so that they can avoid paralysis by analysis. They can easily get caught in a perpetual cycle of planning, without much doing.

While reflection is the prerequisite to growth, it is not sufficient on its own. We also need the openness to stretch and challenge ourselves as well as a clear set of actions that will take us out of our comfort zones.

“They say that the only true and able helper is one that has suffered themselves. Someone who has found their own way out of the ‘hole’ – discovering and using tools that work – who is then in a position to pass-it-on. Only when you have it can you start giving it away to others.”

This is precisely what Robert is doing in DISCover the Power of You: How to Cultivate Change for Positive and Productive Cultures. Take notice and believe. It’s a powerful stuff!” Peter Mitchell, Yorkshire in Business.

Bringing it all together

We might believe in the prophetic interpretation of God’s judgment before a great catastrophe or the historical interpretation of the fall of the Roman Empire. We might go for the symbolic interpretation of the four riders as the four great Angels (Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel), the four humors or the four temperaments or personality traits.

four great angels

Whichever you prefer to believe in, we can’t deny the great conundrum of ‘the rule of four’, the power of self-awareness and how they can help you in understanding your personality.

See Also: How To Conquer The Four Horsemen of Productivity Apocalypse

 

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The Millennials’ Mania Over Social Media

In 2017, millennials’ inclination to technology is expected to slowly reshape the digital landscape. The way they take back steps to evaluate their social media use, which platforms they should use, and what content they want to have access to can greatly affect the way social media works.

The Millennials’ Take on Facebook

facebook

Facebook started out as a social platform for college students. It quickly expanded and became accessible even to the older people. Despite the expansion, millennials continue to be the biggest force in there.

According to a recent survey, 41% of millennials still use Facebook every day. However, a big part of this number also favors Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and Twitter, just to name a few. One reason for this shift is that millennials are no longer happy using Facebook. Comparison of feeds and activities are no longer exciting for them.

But, despite the statistics, the universality of Facebook still stands out. Millennials who are still using Facebook say that looking for good and interesting articles is one of the reasons why they keep using the platform.

Younger Millennials Favor Disappearing Media

Older millennials have become accustomed to the idea that once something is posted on the internet, it is there to stay forever. And we’re okay with that, even as new technologies claim to make this notion moot.

But, for most younger millennials, the hype of disappearing digital content is just too tempting to ignore. They like the idea that intimate thoughts, daring pictures, and incomprehensible ramblings could disappear forever.

As much as technology and the users are constantly evolving, so is our reasoning on what we should post. A recent study conducted by Fluent found that millennials are using social media apps, like Snapchat, because they allow them to post contents that will eventually disappear.

While most older millennials understand the attraction, some of us roll our eyes while watching our younger brothers and sisters immaturely use Snapchat and Instagram.

See Also: Adulting Isn’t Just Instagramming Your Dinner – Soft Skills For Millennials

World of Live Videos and Filters

instagram photos

The capabilities to share videos in real-time on almost every social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube is overwhelming. You won’t find any shortage of these videos.

A study conducted by Animoto suggests that almost 80% of millennials refer to videos before making a purchase decision while 76% of them follow brands or companies streamlining in Youtube.

Edited, produced and posted video contents are continuously capturing the attention of online users in a world of photos with filters, 6-second Snapchats and 140-character feeds. Through live streaming, everyone can contribute to the already populated daily uploads on different social media sites.

Last year’s buzz with Pokémon Go foreshadowed the widespread attraction millennials have toward augmented reality (AR).

It’s entirely possible that Facebook, attempting to remain relevant, will become a major leader in the AR scene. Live video, AR lenses, and filters are likely to be the biggest trends in 2017.

Technology Makes Life Easier

The everyday life of millennials has become completely dependent on technology and there’s no doubt about that. They are no longer asking for ample technology resources at work, they expect it. It some cases, it’s even viewed as an entitlement.

The bottom line is that millennials continue to seek ways to make their everyday activities more automated and easier. To make their goals happen, they continuously look for the newest trends available in the market.

In fact, they couldn’t care less that we’re speaking to machines, unless, of course, the interaction goes wrong. The more technologically advanced, the better. Gone were the days where we need to do everything manually. It’s all about comfort and seamlessness right now.

See Also: Technology in the Classroom — Should Technology Take Over The Education System?

Takeaway

It might be hard to accept that millennials take social media seriously, but, yes, they do. It has become a part of their culture.

We can no longer impose on this generation the traditional living standards that we used to grow up with. We just have to accept it as it is.

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The Tell-Tale Signs You May Have Alcoholism

Am I an alcoholic?

A lot of people think of an alcoholic as someone who’s homeless and lives in the park or panhandles on the street corner. In reality, however, not all alcoholics are homeless. Most of them live well in their own homes and have well-paying jobs.

Most people who suffer from alcoholism don’t even know they’re alcoholic.

For example, if a guy comes home from work every day and has one to three beers, he’s likely to argue that he’s not alcoholic. A college student who drinks for fun might likely say the same thing.

Most people consider alcoholism as suffering consequences from the drinking. However, in my opinion, I would say that it’s not always the case.

To know if you have this issue, try to answer the following questions:

  1. If you have a beer every night after work and don’t have one for 1-3 days, how do you react?
  2. Remember the last time you drank. Do you remember what happened?
  3. If you only drink at parties, do you get comments on how belligerent or obnoxious you were being?
  4. Have you woken up the following day of your drinking and realized you don’t know where you are?

See Also: 5 Seriously Easy Ways to Get Home Safe from Your Holiday Party

These questions are just some of the basic questions that can help you determine if you’re an alcoholic or not. Answering them can either give you a definite answer or urge you to think deeper about the underlying issues.

Take note that there are many classifications of alcoholism.

What are the signs and symptoms of alcoholism?

• Hiding your drinking or drinking alone is a very common sign that you’re an alcoholic or beginning to have a problem. If you find yourself sleeping with a bottle or having to disguise vodka in your cup to function properly at work, you may be an alcoholic.

drinking alone • Having trouble with memory loss is a big part of what they call “black out drinking.” Many who’ve suffered consequences like vehicular homicide and other legal discord have stated that they don’t remember a thing after the incident.

• Feeling guilty about drinking is also a big part of suffering from alcoholism. You most likely already know your drinking is becoming an issue, yet you drink anyway.

• You get flashbacks while you’re sober or having recaps of embarrassing incidents you experienced while drunk.

• Gastro Intestinal problems are also a clear-cut sign you’re drinking too much. Many who are alcoholic don’t eat properly. This results in alcohol tearing away at the stomach lining until ulcers or some other GI problem develops.

• Lying about your drinking is always a telltale sign of a drinking problem. Many who realize that their drinking has become a problem will hide it from their loved ones due to guilt.

• Suffering consequences from your drinking is also a sign that your drinking is spiraling out of control. Some of the consequences could be losing a job, getting in legal trouble, losing a spouse or a loved one or waking up in strange places.

• Trying to quit drinking but can’t or trying to quit or stop completely without success is one of the bigger signs of alcoholism. Many who realize that they may have a drinking problem frequently say “I will never drink again!” only to find themselves drunk within a few days.

• Feeling withdrawal symptoms from alcohol are clear cut signs of alcoholism. Getting the shakes, clammy hands, and/or obsessing over getting the next drink is clear evidence of alcoholism.

Is there a solution to the problem or can I eventually go back to drinking?

signs of alcoholism

Well, that is your choice.

However, everyone has a different reaction to alcoholism. In most cases, however, the only answer is complete abstinence.

A lot of alcoholics who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms realize that they just want to stop, but can’t. Many find a solution in self-help groups, 12-step fellowships, and other treatment programs.

See Also: Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

Even if others see you as an alcoholic, you won’t be able to help yourself if you haven’t realized the problem yet. You are just bound to repeat the process over and over again.

Once you recognize that there’s a problem, your next step is to find a solution to solve it. Only you will know when enough is enough. Although many people wait till they lose everything before they act, I don’t really advise that.

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5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat

Not all good call center agents can be great live chat experts. Talking through a live chat requires a special kind of training and it’s more than just typing responses.

For instance, a call center agent providing support via phone is expected to sound patient and relaxed. A live chat agent, on the other hand, should be a multi-tasker who can handle multiple chats and tasks at the same time.

To help you develop those skills, let’s examine the best live chat customer service tips.

Make the most out of the initial seconds

friendly customer support

As a lot of people say, “ the first impression is the last impression”. You should bear this statement in mind, especially if you are into a customer service job.

Some might argue that working as a live chat customer service representative is easy since clients won’t be able to see or hear you. The truth is it’s the other way around.

Creating an impression when you are just typing words can easily lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Because of this, you need to be extra careful when chatting with a customer.

Here are a few tips you can use:

• Be cheerful and friendly. Your words and sentences should reflect positivity and politeness. These things can help a customer stressing over an unresolved issue.

• Never be sarcastic even if the customer is. Stay helpful and never joke irreverently with anyone.

• Avoid being blunt and use complete sentences, grammar, phrases, and punctuations. Always reply with a complete answer, even if you believe it’s not necessary.

All you want is good feedback from the customer, and that can only be obtained by using the right tone and the right words.

Speak the customer’s language

Having a refreshing and cheerful attitude is important, but so is speaking in a way your customer feels most comfortable in. For example, if a customer is direct and formal in his/her tone, you should reply accordingly.

On the other hand, if the customer seems to be a conversational-type, then you can start the discussion by asking him how he’s doing. This will help both of you to feel at ease.

In addition to that, you should also know how to approach a customer that’s not too familiar with the English language. In such cases, it’s best if your department can invest in language translation tools or use agents who are multi-lingual.

Avoid jargon

When communicating with a customer, most live chat agents often make the mistake of assuming that the customer is very familiar with their products or services.

To avoid confusion, assume every customer is a new prospect to your offerings. Avoid using jargon or overly complex terms to describe the product’s features and benefits. Instead, keep the conversation as simple and clear as possible.

The point is to make the customer understand the nature of the business and products without making them feel intimidated by their technical aspects.

Remember that you’re not a robot

To counter language and other communication issues, most companies have a defined ‘style guide’ that teaches agents on how to talk to their target audience. Such style guides may teach you the basics of communication within your industry, but you shouldn’t rely on them too much. Remember, you’re not a robot!

Since most companies tend to hear the same concerns over and over again, they believe that creating standard responses to such concerns can save them time. Unfortunately, not all customers will have the same concerns.

Ideally, it should go well if the customer asks something that is exactly in the style guide. If that’s not the case, you have to be prepared to come up with your own resolution. Get used to modifying each reply before sending it to the customer. Keep in mind that agents are there to solve each customer’s issues!

Unlike robots, humans are naturally sympathetic to the specific needs and emotions of their customers.

Take product A and product B for example. A customer might be interested in product A, but as a professional having a clear understanding of what the customer needs, you think product B would be a much better choice for him. So, instead of explaining the features and benefits of both, you try to emphasize why and how product B would meet his needs more than A.

Be honest and work it right

customer support

Continuing the above discussion, you suggested product B over A to the customer because it was a better problem solver. But, what if product A was more expensive than B, and its sales could easily uplift your revenue figures? What would be your preference in such a situation?

No matter how much it tempts you, you should avoid misleading a customer into making a wrong purchase. Always express the most authentic and honest opinion to your customers. The clearer the facts, the easier it will be for them to make the right decision. In the end, a satisfied customer is most likely to be a repeat customer.

Also, if you aren’t thoroughly informed about a product or an item, never lie to your customers. Some live chat features allow the agents to redirect the call to relevant personnel who might be able to provide your customers with the information they need. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if the situation requires it.

See Also: 11 Key Tips for Improving Customer Support

Conclusion

If you are currently working as a live chat agent or you’re undergoing a related training, take those live chat customer service tips into consideration. They won’t only help you build a long-lasting relationship with your customers, but they can also helo boost your sales.

See Also: 5 Steps to Creating a More Productive Sales Team 

 

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Why The Right Product Packaging Is Essential to Your Business’ Success

For any business selling a product, the right product packaging should be a major consideration. Your packaging can say a lot about your brand, business, and, frankly, the quality of your products.

And we all know that getting the branding right is essential for the success of your business, too.

Although consumers buy out of necessity, it’s also a fact that most people buy with their eyes. When we see a beautifully packaged product with the right branding, it can be hard not to make a purchase.

Because of this, it’s important that you pay more attention to your product packaging. Whether you are going to display your products at a trade show or your local shops, make sure that they will stand out from your competitors.

Why packaging?

product logo

When you are branding a product or business, the effects need to be across the board. This means that everything, from your logo to the packaging, needs to be on point.

Your branding will be useless if you neglect other factors. For example, make sure you pay attention to your logo as much as you do with your packaging.

See Also: 6 Tips for Designing the Perfect Logo for Your Brand 

What makes a great packaging?

Although product packaging should match your brand, it’s not a definite rule. In fact, keeping it simple can also be effective.

Other things to consider include:

  • Make sure people know what your product is – either by showing the product or by telling them
  • Ensure that it adequately protects your product
  • Determine it fits your branding and your company ethics
  • Ensure that it offers the best quality
  • If you are going to use a cheaper packing, make it look stylish and chic

When it comes to packaging, you need to consider three things.

One, it should work for your business and brand. Second, the right product packaging should also do what it’s supposed to do and that includes keeping the product inside safe. Finally, it must also be easy to carry and transport to your customers.

Remember that everything you are doing is for your customers. Your focus should always involve your customers’ needs and wants.

Asking yourself the following questions can help:

  • Is the packaging of my product easy carriable?
  • Is it worth spending much money on?
  • Will it force the customers to remember the product?
  • Is it functional?
  • Is it eye-catching?
  • Will it be reusable or not?

The majority of the most popular brands on the market today have completely mastered their packaging. Think of Apple or Tiffany & Co. You’d know that a product is theirs even before you get to hold it.

product branding

Some things we can learn from the successful packaging of these brands include:

  • Consumers are left with no doubt about whose product it is
  • The packaging is made part of the experience
  • They know who their target consumers are and design their branding and packaging around them

If you can incorporate these ideas into the branding and packaging of your product, then you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful business which people will know, love and, ultimately, buy from. 

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness 

*Article written on behalf of OSI Creative

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A Beginner’s Guide To Personal Development

What is personal development? How can it change your life?

Personal development can be difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t started his journey yet. Conversations around this topic can often create more confusion than clarity.

To help you figure out exactly what it means, here are the basic concepts of personal development you need to know about.

Sharpening the saw

In Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he describes a concept that is an excellent first stop for all personal development practices. It’s called sharpening the saw.

The premise is based on this analogy:

If you’re sawing through a log and never stop to sharpen your blade, it’ll likely be an arduous task that will ultimately lead to failure. But, if you take the time to sharpen your blade, you’ll get through the process quicker and with less effort. Although it may take you away from your goal momentarily, it’s more likely to give you a successful result.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have enough time to sharpen your saw. Personal development highlights the importance of tuning yourself up mentally, and how that can help you achieve your goals faster.

Paradigm Shift

new perspective

A paradigm shift occurs when you view a piece of information from a totally new perspective that flips your entire view of it.

Here is my personal experience:

I never invested in self-education, which is essentially ‘sharpening my saw’ from point one. I never really learned how the mind works, and how I could utilize it to become successful.

A few life events occurred that made me question everything. I was adamant that a current mechanic and high school drop out would not become successful. I knew it was possible to learn skills but believed it wouldn’t work for me because I was unlucky. It’s like the more I planned, the more horribly it all went awry.

From that point, I realized that I needed a big paradigm shift to open my mind to possibilities. I needed to change the way I look at life and how I can make things work in my favor.

A year after this shift, I was a self-made millionaire.

That is personal development. It’s what can change your mind and point of view about reality. It is what can convince you that if you just believe, you can achieve absolutely anything you desire.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Psycho-Cybernetics

I learned about the concept of Psycho-Cybernetics from Maxwell Maltz, an internationally renowned Plastic Surgeon who performs disfigurement surgery and documents his follow-ups. He found out that majority of post-surgery patients walk around as if they still have their disfigurements and all the internal baggage they come with.

Like those patients, we generally build our self-images through negative life experiences and act as if they are the truth.

So, if your self-image involves being blue-collar worker earning $36K a year, that’s pretty much what you’ll aspire for. That idea can greatly limit your potential.

On Starting With Your Personal Development

personal development

What is personal development?

In essence, it highlights the power of self-affirmation and mental visualization and how these things can connect your mind and body. Acknowledging the importance of your inner thoughts about yourself is an essential step in every personal development journey.

To change your life, you must change how you think of yourself. Once you become successful with that, your life will change to match your perception.

These principles are an excellent start to understanding what personal development is. Once you start seeing life through these concepts, you’ll be able to peel off the negative layers of your inner self-image.

By instinct, you’ll start changing your perspectives and seek out people with a similar mindset. You’ll start to realize that you have the willpower you thought you didn’t have before. You’ll have emotional resilience and confidence in making decisions.

Personal development starts with the premise that you are perfect. It’s understanding that, with your mind and body, you have the power to achieve anything you desire.

We are all born to prosper. Once you find the courage to start, that’s exactly your cue to start your journey.

See Also: 3 Fundamental Personal Development Steps You Need to Take

 

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9 Stats About Small Business Digital Marketing in 2017

In order to help small business digital marketing agencies and SEO professionals effectively forecast this year’s online marketing trends, white label SEO company HubShout conducted a survey which collected data on the digital marketing investments of small- to mid-size agencies.

This report details the online marketing data for 2017 and compares it to the data taken from HubShout’s 2016, 2015, and 2014 surveys. Before exploring the findings, however, it is important to note the range in size and revenue of the agencies represented in the survey:
revenue graph

Size

Of the respondents, 43% had between two and five employees while 16% were entirely run by one person. Only 9% of the agencies that participated in the survey employed more than 50 people.

Revenue

These small- to mid-size agencies tend to have limited budgets, which becomes clear when reviewing their 2016 revenue. Nearly half (48%) reported a revenue of $250,000 or less last year and 23% of the surveyed businesses earned between $250,001 and $500,000.

Digital Marketing Expenditure

The survey posed the question, “What did your typical client spend per month on online marketing?”

digital marketing expenditure

Comparing the responses to this question over the past three years, a pattern is clear: small- to mid-size businesses are boosting their digital marketing expenditures.

Back in 2014, more than one-third of these businesses invested $500 or less each month. However, that cohort dropped to 20% in 2015. Last year, only 14% invested such minimal funding.

When asked to predict how their clients’ budgets will change in 2017, 63% of respondents replied that they expected online marketing expenditure to increase.

digital marketing budget

Digital Marketing Budget Allocation

Search engine optimization (SEO), website development, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and email marketing are the five areas essential to an online marketing campaign. While small- to mid-size businesses tended to invest most extensively in web development in the past, 2016 turned out to be a big year for SEO.

online marketing spending

See Also: The 5 Internet Marketing Trends That Will Dominate in 2017

For the first time ever, survey respondents reported that 30.3% of their online marketing budget went to SEO while 28.4% went to web development.

What’s in store for 2017?

Of the agencies surveyed, 35.7% predicted that SEO will be the most sought after service once again, beating out web development and PPC for the second consecutive year.

Revenue Generation

HubShout asked survey participants which services generated the most revenue for them.

revenue generation

SEO and web development tied for the top spot, with 31.6%. The rest were reported as follows:

PPC — 12.3%

Content Marketing — 10.5%

Other — 8.8%

Social Media — 3.5%

Email Marketing — 1.8%

Outsourcing

outsourcing graph

SEO is one of the most common services that’s likely to be outsourced to a third party firm. In 2016, 68% of agencies outsourced SEO and this was 1% higher than the numbers from 2015.

Website development, on the other hand, is being outsourced by fewer and fewer marketing agencies. While over 50% outsourced web development in 2015, only 24% of agencies did that last year.

Yet, digital marketing budget allocation trends show that businesses are still investing in web development. With fewer agencies outsourcing this service, it’s easy to conclude that more are choosing to set up in-house web development and design departments.

After all, compared to the dynamic nature of SEO, creating and selling a website is a much simpler task.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Optimizing a website for mobile use is more important now than ever before, especially since Google has begun experimenting with mobile-first indexing. In order to gauge respondents’ levels of understanding and implementation, HubShout asked the following question:

“What percentage of your clients have mobile-friendly websites with a phone number, location and business hours prominently displayed for mobile users?”

survey graph

A full 50% of survey participants replied that 100% of their clients met the outlined criteria.

Almost all (98%) of the respondents said that they value the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. The 2%, on the other hand, which do not inform their clients of the said pieces of information do not provide SEO services at all.

seo campaign graph

The 2017 Outlook

HubShout’s findings paint a fairly positive picture for digital marketing professionals selling their services in 2017. SEO firms, in particular, will still be in demand as Google continues to alter and update its algorithm.

Marketing agencies that cater to small- and mid-size businesses may also see their revenues increase as more of these companies begin to allocate funds to online marketing initiatives.

service survey graph

 

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7 Easy Tips On How To Find Happiness

Knowing how to find happiness is easy, but actually attaining it is a different story. If you have been chasing happiness without positive results, read through the tips below to open yourself up and to let happiness come to you.

Understand That Happiness Can’t Be Defined

Happiness is something that we must define for ourselves. What one person may find happiness in, others may see sadness or contempt.

For example, many people consider high-paying jobs and large houses to be the definition of happiness. For other people, happiness is being with their family and spending time with them even in a small house.

Happiness can be found in all things, but it is up to you to discover which things should hold a special place in your heart.

Realize That Happiness Is in Your Life Already

happiness in life

Happiness is already in your life. Just think about the way you feel when you hug your friend or when you feel that hint of fresh air when you step outside. Think about that moment when your head hits the pillow after a long day of work.

We often overlook the small bits of happiness in our lives because we are so focused on obtaining objects and titles that we believe will make us happy. In reality, the key to being happy is in realizing that happiness is already around you and within you. You just have to be receptive to it.

Open Yourself Up to the Universe

You will not be able to fill a cup of water if you’re holding your hand over the opening of the glass. Similarly, you will not be able to allow happiness to fill your life if you are closing yourself to the universe.

Pain and hardships will come into your life from time to time, and they will make you want to shut yourself down. Fight this instinct. Only fighting through the pain and darkness will you be able to find the joy and the light.

Express Gratitude to the World

Have you ever wondered why we teach children to ask politely and say thank you after receiving something?

It’s because we all know that we should show gratitude to those who have been good to us. Much like those people, we should also express our gratitude to the world around us. Thank it for anything and everything. The world will be much more willing to provide you with what you need if you express gratitude for what you have.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

Meditate Daily

meditate daily

More often than not, we allow our emotions and our thoughts to dictate our behaviors and mindset. Meditation helps you become more grounded, mindful, and peaceful.

Through becoming more grounded and aware of yourself, you will be able to find happiness around you much easier. A simple 10 minutes a day is all you will need to begin experiencing the benefits of meditation.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Seek to Better Yourself

People who are happy with themselves and their lives are constantly seeking to become better people. Search for resources and people who can help you achieve these goals.

Bettering yourself will help increase your self-awareness giving you the ability to know what areas of your life are lacking happiness so you may improve upon them.

Know That You Can’t Always Be Happy

Those who chase happiness are under the impression that once they find it, every moment of their lives will be filled with overpowering happiness. This is absolutely not true. Not every day will be happy, and it shouldn’t be.

Happiness is special because it is something that you can’t experience all the time. That being said, you can find pieces of happiness every day even in unexpected places, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to give in during times when it seems as though things won’t ever get better.

Happiness is like the air around us. You can’t always see it, and it’s not always obvious that it’s there, but if you sit still and stop seeking it, you will be able to find it. If you use the tips in this article properly, chasing happiness will become a thing of the past.

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Top 9 Things To Give Up Immediately If You Want To Become Happy

Are you truly happy?

A lot of people forget that happiness is a choice. They overlook the fact that being happy is a conscious choice one has to make each day.

Many people live their lives blaming everyone and everything for their problems. Others just can’t let go of the past and, instead of enjoying the moment, they become nagging pessimists.

If you wish to be happy, here are 9 things to give up to be happy immediately:

Give up control

We often wish to control everything that happens in our lives. We want to control people, events, situations and even our coworkers. Literally, we wish to control every part of our lives.

However, the truth is that we cannot control everything that happens. The only thing we can control is our mind.

Be willing to give up your need to be in control always and see the beauty in letting it go. Let life unfold itself.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength” – Marcus Aurelius

See Also: Changing Perceptions: Understanding What We Can Control In Life

Give up on negative self-talk

The most destructive force in the universe is the person you see in the mirror. Negative self-talk can have such a hold on you and your psyche that it can literally destroy you.

Don’t hurt yourself by having a negative, destructive and self-defeating mindset. Don’t believe yourself all the time. Often you are lying to yourself.

The truth is that you are more than what your negative mind tells you.

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways” – Buddha

Give up the need for validation

Many people go through life trying to impress others constantly. Their whole lives revolve around impressing others.

People will often change their look and personality just to have a better appeal to others.

Unfortunately, trying to get validation from others has never made anyone happier so stop trying so hard to impress others. Take off your mask and let the world see who you truly are. Embrace the real you and let your lovely mannerism, warm heart and kindness speak out. Give yourself the chance to impress others by being you.

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde.

life-sayings-and-quotes

Give up attachment

As soon as you are ready to understand the world around you, you’ll find yourself looking for attachment. Most of the time, it is presented as love.

From early on, we learn to attach ourselves to family, jobs, friends and to one special person. If you want to become happier, detach yourself from all of these people. Keep in mind that not because you detach yourself from them means you don’t love them anymore. Love and attachment actually have nothing to do with each other.

Love is a kind of selfless act where you would treat others the same way you would like to be treated. Love comes from a place of kindness, joy, happiness, empathy, while attachment comes from a place of fear of not wanting or being able to do something. You might not fully grasp this at first, but keep practicing and, soon enough, you’ll learn how to let go of attachment.

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be obtained only by someone who is detached.” – Simone Weil

Never place your worth on your career

Have you met someone whose whole life revolves around his career?

There are literally thousands of people like that walking around. These people tryy really hard to please their bosses in every possible way.

Yes, we all need to work to survive and feed our families. Often, this also involves relying on someone else for recognition and approval. In general, there are nothing wrong with these things.

The problem starts when we base our happiness solely on our employer’s validation. Basing your happiness on external validation is a sure way to become unhappy because you are letting your employer decide your value.

Instead, don’t wait for your bosses’ validation. Validate yourself every day and tell yourself how good you are with your job.

What if you don’t get the promotion you worked so hard for? You are going to be tanked, aren’t you?

So, instead of waiting on someone else’s validation; validate yourself every day.

“Expectations feed frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things and outcomes we wish to control; but don’t” – Steve Maraboli

Let go of the past

Often times, when things don’t seem to go as planned, we look back at the past and regret our decisions. These actions contribute more to our unhappiness.

Instead of looking back, it’s better if we let it go. It will be hard, but you have to realize that there is nothing you can do to change the past.

“To get over the past, you first have to accept that the past is over. No matter how many times you revisit it, analyze it, regret it, or sweat it…it’s over. It can hurt you no more.” – Mandy Hale.

Give up future results

Remember the last time you reached your goal?

You feel successful, confident, smart and very proud of yourself. Reaching a goal, especially a major one, makes you feel extreme happiness. However, this amazing feeling is often soon gone.

But, what happens if we try and never reach our goals?

We usually get very disappointed and give it all up. We feel like failures. Despite that, you should learn how to take pride in the knowledge that you tried and tried really hard.

Understand that setting goals is a good thing, but don’t base your happiness only on that goal. Take action towards it but make sure your happiness won’t suffer if you fail to achieve it.

“Happy people plan action they don’t plan results” – Dennis Wholey

Give up the expectation of a perfect partner

As we grow up, we start to establish what we consider as an ideal partner. We even fantasize about how the person should walk, what job he should have and, most important of all, what his character is. We immediately reject someone who doesn’t fit our perfect picture.

But, the truth is, there is no perfect person on this planet. We are all born with flaws.

Instead of concentrating on your partner’s flaws, just realize that it may be their characteristic that is showing. People’s characteristics make them who they are and in no way should you ever strive to change that. Trying to change someone else is a sure way to destroy a relationship.

Instead, embrace your partner for who he is. Accept your partner 100% as you would wish to be accepted.

“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love“– Tom Robbins

love quotes

Don’t resist change

Even though change is a vital part of our lives, we still fear it so much. In reality, however, change is actually good. It will help you grow and transform into a better human being. Instead of fearing it, change should be embraced without any resistance.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls’ Joseph Campbell

See Also: Follow Your Bliss

A happy life is not something that falls out of the sky or that we get by being around other people or having a relationship. A happy life is one we create. Use these tips and start cultivating your happy life today.

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