Tag Archives: lessons

Lessons

I left my phone at the karate school so I went on a phone diet. I had to use an old clock from my son to set the alarm for the morning. I had a good night sleep and I woke up at six am but went back to sleep. God shows me something he needed me to understand. When I lost the business which was supposed to help pay the personal and business bills, my friend from the job at the hospital who I thought cared about me told me that her brother needed help at the family business. her brother knew that I was making money with my blogs which mean I have a large follower on social media. I understood that he wanted to use my network to build his business which he inherited from his father and mother. I learned the business and most of the times he had me write checks for a large sum of money to pay another company. I am familiar with handling a large amount of money. I did some of the quickbook for the business also but he needed someone to run the business full-time while he goes in the field. His mother came to the factory every day and she brought him foods. They had a big room for the employees to meet and for him to meet with other business people. I watched how his mother took care of him and she brought a large plate of foods from the restaurant that her daughter owned with her husband. The foods tasted so good and I was able to take some foods home, however, the pay was not good enough. As a single mother with two children, I need to make at least three thousand dollars.

What Make You Sexier?

The Surprising Things That Make You Sexier, According to Science

Sacha Strebe

Apps to Help Your Business

5 Ways Mobile Apps Helps You Improve Business Revenue

By Urvish Shangvis

1) Acquire More Customers:

A Mobile App is an effective and efficient medium to connect with customers. Asking desktop users to download a mobile app, helps acquire new customers. Offering a 10-30% discount to new mobile app users on their first order, will make them repeat customers. Research indicates that users prefer mobile apps to a mobile or desktop website, as mobile apps can be accessed offline too. Users spend more time on a mobile app than a mobile or desktop site. Mobile apps can help you gain new customers, by running various offers and discounts.

Read the rest of the ways mobile apps can add value.

Path To Success

Persistence is a sure path to success with quality activities. Never, ever, ever, give up.” – Kekich Credo #75

The Quickest Way to Success

By Ryan Holiday

On my first day of my first job as a lowly assistant in Hollywood, someone gave me some advice that would shape the course of my entire career. They said: “Just make your boss look good.”

Now in Hollywood, a world of big egos obsessed with getting credit, there is really no other way for someone just starting out to survive. But it turns out that across industries and across history, aspiring young men and women have used this same approach to get ahead.

They realized that the best way to advance their own interests was to do something simple but counterintuitive: provide opportunities for other people. Not only because it makes their boss look good, but because it creates its own opportunities for the pupil to learn and explore.

For instance, many people know that as a young man Benjamin Franklin published numerous letters written under fake names like Silence Dogwood. What they don’t know is that Franklin wrote those letters, sub­mitted them by sliding them under the print­shop door, and received absolutely no credit for them until much later in his life. In fact, it was his brother, the owner, who profited from their immense popularity, regularly running them on the front page of his newspaper. Franklin was playing the long game, though — learning how public opinion worked, generating awareness of what he believed in, crafting his style and tone and wit. It was a strategy he used time and again over his career — once even publishing in his compet­itor’s paper in order to undermine a third competitor — for Franklin saw the constant benefit in making other people look good and letting them take credit for his ideas.

One must master their ego to be able to completely ignore getting credit, getting ahead, even throwing out what your job is supposed to be on paper. It takes a special type of humility to focus your energy on finding, presenting, and facilitating opportunities that help other people succeed.

But this is essential.

Bill Belichick, the now four-time Super Bowl-winning coach of the New England Patriots, made his way up the ranks of the NFL by loving and mastering how to do the one thing that coaches hated at the time: analyzing film.

His first job in professional football for the Baltimore Colts was one he volunteered to take without pay — and his insights, which provided ammunition and critical strategies for the game, were attributed exclusively to the other public-facing coaches.  “He was like a sponge, tak­ing it all in, listening to everything,” one coach said. “You gave him an assignment and he disappeared into a room and you didn’t see him again until it was done, and then he wanted to do more,” said another.

*

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This gave him two things: first, a role in the organization that allowed him to thrive and carve out space for himself, two, an understanding of the game that today cannot be matched. And today, Beli­chick has no problem getting paid.

A few years ago there was some controversy because Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, was looking for an unpaid intern. How dare she?! bloggers shouted and yelled. She can afford to pay! Of course, she could. But can you afford to pass on that opportunity?

The attitude of the angry, unappreciated genius—that gets us nowhere. Nowhere but living back at home with our parents because “we’re overqualified” for an entry-level position. Nowhere but a reputation for being a person who doesn’t work well with others, who is entitled and obnoxious.

Meanwhile, the apprenticeship model is responsible for some of the greatest art in the history of the world—everyone from Michelangelo to Leonardo da Vinci to Benjamin Franklin has been forced to navigate such a system. The greatest networkers in the world practice their art by delivering extraordinary amounts of value to everyone they meet.

It’s because they realize what most people’s ego’s prevent them from seeing: that by serving and helping others now, you’re really helping yourself.

I’ve seen this in my own life. For many years, I was a research assistant and apprentice for the author Robert Greene, creator of the 48 Laws of Power. My job was to contribute little bits and pieces to his books that 99% of the public would have no idea I was responsible for. But I loved it. I did it for years.

Working in that system, also taught me the fatal consequences of ego. One slip up, one false belief that you were indispensable to the project, and the door would be shut on you. Important people don’t have time for that. But the quieter and more helpful I could be? The more opportunities I had to contribute. The more I learned. The more trust I was given.

Slowly I developed my own abilities and was able to pursue my own career. I’m writing this article (and now my own books) because of it.

There is an old saying, “Say little, do much.” What we really ought to do is update and apply a version of that to our early approach. Be lesser, do more. Imagine if for every person you met, you thought of some way to help them, something you could do for them? And you looked at it in a way that entirely benefited them and not you. The cumu­lative effect this would have over time would be profound: You’d learn a great deal by solving diverse problems. You’d develop a reputation for being indispensable. You’d have countless new relationships. You’d have an enormous bank of favors to call upon down the road.

That’s what this strategy is about — helping yourself by helping others. Making a concerted effort to trade your short­ term gratification for a longer­term payoff. Whereas everyone else wants to get credit and be “respected,” you can forget credit. You can forget it so hard that you’re glad when others get it instead of you — that was your aim, after all. Consider it all an investment.

This approach is here for you at anytime. There is no expiration date on it either. It’s one of the few that age does not limit — on either side, young or old. You can start at any time — before you have a job, before you’re hired and while you’re doing something else, or if you’re starting something new or find yourself inside an organization with­out strong allies or support. You may even find that there’s no reason to ever stop doing it, even once you’ve graduated to heading your own projects. Let it become natural and permanent — always, always find opportunities for other people.

Editor’s Note: This piece is adapted from the book Ego is the Enemy, published by Penguin/Portfolio.

Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Ego Is The Enemy and three other books. His monthly reading recommendations which go out to 50,000+ subscribers are found here.

How To Get A Mentor

 


Need a Powerful Mentor? Here’s How You Get One

By Minda Zetlin @MindaZetlin

 

“I would be a success if only I had the right connections.” I’ve heard this complaint over and over. It’s as self-defeating as saying, “I could have had a great business, only I didn’t have any customers.” In both cases, the answer is the same: Go out and get some!

There’s a lot of great advice about how to do just that in Susan Shapiro’s Only as Good as Your Word, a book devoted entirely to mentorship. Shapiro is a poet and memoirist so her mentors are literary types. But her advice about how to make the connections that matter apply just as well to anyone in any career, and especially to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Wish you could enlist the kind of powerful mentors who can help you reach your loftiest goals? You can. Here’s how:

  1. Go where the action is.

Shapiro started life in Michigan, but as soon as she was able, she relocated to New York City, the center of the publishing world. That’s where she met nearly all the mentors who helped her along the way. Admittedly, New York is expensive and Silicon Valley is worse. And even if it were affordable, it might not be feasible for you to move there.

 

But even if you can’t or don’t want to relocate, look for opportunities to visit the places and events where potential mentors might be. Attend a conference–always a great way to meet all kinds of people–or plan a pleasure trip to a hot location and then ask for a quick meeting while you “happen to be” in town.

  1. Don’t act entitled.

“Don’t assume somebody will assist you out of benevolence or awe, or because you’re so incredibly cool and special,” Shapiro advises. Instead, as she points out, keep in mind that successful people are almost always incredibly busy. Chances are they won’t have time to bother with you unless you make them really like you. So first and foremost, be likable.

  1. Look for personal connections.

Yes, Warren Buffett would probably be a great mentor to have in your corner. But unless you have a personal connection, sending a blind email or letter to Buffett is unlikely to get you very far.

 

The mentors who are likeliest to help you the most are those that have some personal reason to wish you success. That might be because you have friends or colleagues in common, went to the same schools, come from similar backgrounds or have some other connection. One of Susan Shapiro’s mentors was the late poet Harvey Shapiro–they weren’t related, but she used their shared last name to create a bond.

When you reach out to someone based on a personal connection, make sure you put that information right up front–ideally in the subject line of your email. Start by talking about yourself and your wonderful project and the recipient may not read down to the paragraph about how you were referred by a good friend.

  1. Do a little research.

Before you ask someone for help, learn what you can about him or her. If you can refer to a pet project, book, blog post, or presentation, you’ll start out on your prospective mentor’s good side. A few minutes of searching and perusing social media may tell you that your target is especially interested in saving the rain forest, or has backed a new product, or plays the banjo. Knowing these things may help you connect as a person, and not just someone looking for a favor. And it will show that you’re serious enough to put in some time and effort.

  1. Give before you ask.

Shapiro recalls how an acquaintance called her. She had a new book out and he began by apologizing for having missed her several readings and book party. Then he proceeded to ask her for a valuable contact. She apologized herself and said she was too busy to help him just then. “He might have saved the day by simply saying, ‘I just ordered your book from Amazon. Can’t wait to read it,'” she adds.

If you’re asking advice, introductions, feedback about your business idea, investment or anything else, you should always be looking for ways to give as well. Shapiro advises showing up to events–preferably with friends–bringing gifts, sending congratulations when warranted, and treating for drinks and meals. Donating to your prospective mentor’s favorite charity is always a good idea as well.

  1. Respect your prospective mentor’s time.

“I would love it if you would check out my new app.” I get this kind of email all the time. Even more often, I get a request for an introductory conversation with some executive or other. In each case, it seems like a small and completely reasonable request for my time. In the aggregate, it’s impossible to say yes to everyone, so I generally say no.

This is one reason why meeting prospective mentors at a conference or other event is a great idea–they’re already there so you’re not asking for an extra investment of time. If you can’t do this, then do everything you can to use your target’s time with maximum efficiency. Mention any personal connection right up front, along with full information about your project and the help you’re seeking. If you leave a phone message (which I would never recommend as a first point of contact), include your email address and mobile number for texting. If you send an email, include your phone number in case the recipient would prefer to call.

  1. Flattery will get you everywhere.

Saying how much you liked someone’s book, blog post, or video interview will always get you more attention than if you just ask for a favor. Even from me–though it’s an old PR trick that I’ve long ago recognized to begin a pitch by saying you liked one of my stories, I always do open those emails whereas I don’t open most others. As Shapiro says, “Though I’d usually ignore a total stranger’s request…I answer nice fan letters from anybody who appears sane.”

  1. Start with an easy request.

Don’t make the mistake of asking your prospective mentor to invest/introduce you to a bigwig contact/sit on your advisory board when you first make contact. You want your initial request to be something very easy to say yes to. “Can I send you a little information about my project?” is usually a fairly safe place to start.

  1. Share only relevant information about yourself.

Don’t make the fatal mistake of going on and on about how wonderful you and/or your project are. “One executive I know says if the first lines of the cover letter contain three ‘I’s in a row, the answer is already no,” Shapiro notes.

Yes, you must blow your own horn so that your target understands why spending time on you would be worthwhile. But only include information that’s likely to really matter to him or her. Y Combinator invested in your startup? Definitely mention that. You graduated Phi Beta Kappa? Unless contacting an academic, keep that to yourself.

  1. Don’t brag about your failures.

It’s surprising how many people begin their pitches by saying how many times they’ve been rejected, Shapiro says. Yes, it denotes tenacity which is a good thing. But if you tell people you’ve been rejected 50 times, they will inevitably wonder why that is. Instead, reframe your failures as near misses, or look for the small successes within them. (Maybe your product failed but you did a good job of getting it to market quickly, for instance.)

  1. Look for chances to return the favor.

Any time someone mentors you or does you a favor, keep your eyes open for chances to give back. This might mean promoting product on your blog, promoting their next event on your social media, or even investing in a pet project of theirs.

Another way to pay back is to pay forward–by becoming a valued mentor yourself. No matter who you are, there are people who could benefit from your advice and assistance, whether newcomers to your industry, interns, entry-level employees, or students. So extend yourself because it’s good karma. It’s also unfair to expect to receive if you aren’t willing to give.

How to Fulfill Your Vision

Keys to Fulfilling Your Vision
by Lawrence Powell

Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart. Some people have eyes to see, but they have no vision. Faith is the ability to see farther than your natural eyes can look. Vision makes the unseen visible and the unknown possible. It is the bridge between the present and the future; without it, we perish or go unrestrained. The vision includes perimeters. When you understand your calling, you will know that every good idea is not a God idea. There are some things and some people that you will need to avoid when you are clear on vision. If you want to be wise, you’ve got to walk with the wise. And you have to walk with the visionaries if you want to have a clear vision.

Vision is seeing the ultimate purpose of God for your life. Often were so determined to do our own thing we head down the wrong path; that will always bring us to a Damascus Road experience. Remember Paul, a man who thought he was doing the work of God, but in reality was opposing Gods work? What got him on track? His encounter with God on the Damascus Road.

God has a vision for each of us. He that hath begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future. Vision gives us a clear sense of purpose and direction. What is it that you want to do with your life? As believers in Christ, we should have a vision beyond where we are right now. It doesn’t matter how old you are: you should have a vision for tomorrow.

Vision helps us to set meaningful goals and keep things in perspective. It helps us to avoid being defined by circumstances and people’s opinions. People will try to define and limit you. Don’t allow it. Stop believing the negative things people say. See yourself as God sees you as a citizen of the Kingdom, seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Stop seeing yourself as broken, busted and disgusted! If that’s all you can see in your future, then that’s all you will ever have.

There is much that we can learn from the prophet Habakkuk. He was discouraged with the nation of Israel. The people were double-minded, walking with God one day and turning their backs on Him the next. Habakkuk went to God about it, and the Lord gave him a vision. He needed that vision to bring him hope and purpose. Sometimes we need the same!

Let’s look at the principles involved in visions, as we consider Habakkuk’s experience in Habakkuk 2:1-4:

1) Pray: If you don’t know what your vision is, get in touch with God. Talk to your Creator. Proverbs 20:5 says, The purposes of a person heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. Proverbs 19:20-21, says, Many is the plans and purposes of a person’s heart, but its the Lords purpose that prevails. You might think you’re headed in one direction, but God says, I’ve got a different plan for you. So get quiet before the Lord. God doesn’t want you to live aimlessly. He will teach you and show you the way to go if you let Him (Psalm 32:8).

2) Identify your passion: Habakkuk 2:1 says, I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart and watch and see what He will say to me. Vision is often birthed out of a burden God places on our hearts or from a personal experience or particular problem. Some people see a problem and discover they have a passion to resolve that problem. What are you passionate about? Godly passion is the key to discovering your vision. Standing watch has to do with being intensely attentive; it also involves separation from crowds, people, and distractions. Why is this necessary? Because your vision is uncommon. You are uncommon!

3) Write the vision: If it was important to God that Habakkuk write out the vision and make it plain (v.2), then you should do it as well. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. And if it’s out of mind, you’re not doing anything about it. At first, your vision might not make a lot of sense to you, but write down what you see and hear. A vision that is not written will be a vision that is soon forgotten. A written vision gives you something that you can look at, pray over and declare. Writing your vision is an expression of your faith.

4) Run with the vision: Habakkuk was told to run with the vision, not run from it (v.2). Some people get a vision, then get scared and back off. But if God has given you a vision, He wants you to run with it. Your vision must be your constant focus. You must wake up in the morning with it and dream about it at night. Your activities must be in line with the vision to which God has called you. But be aware: If God has called you in one direction and you’re moving in another, then you need to get on track with the vision. Live for it every day. Vision + Action = Realization.

5) Rest in Gods timing: This is the most difficult, yet most important thing to do! Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come… (v.3). God’s timing and ways are rarely the same as ours. Waiting on God can be quite challenging because we’re impatient. We want things now; however, our lives must line up with Gods desires in His timing. We must be careful not to allow impatience to lead us astray like it did with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was in the mind of God. But Abraham and Sarah, given the impatience that is often born out of delay, said, Maybe God wants us to help Him out. So they schemed and planned, and as a result, they produced Ishmael. Whenever we allow impatience to take the lead, it will produce Ishmaels in our lives, too.

6) Don’t give up: Wait for your vision to unfold. It will manifest. Wait without murmuring or complaining. While you wait, serve faithfully in the Kingdom. Often your vision will unfold in stages. Everything doesn’t happen overnight. One door leads to other open doors. Be sensitive, and you’ll be in the right place at the right time. Don’t hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere. If you do, you’ll end up in the same place nowhere! Instead, get with people who can speak into your life, encourage you, help you set the stage, and figure out some strategy they will help you to get where you need to go!

7) Live by faith: …but the just shall live by faith (v.4). We must live our faith and live by faith. That’s the Christian edict. We find in Scripture that we live, walk and stand by faith. When God gives you a vision, it will be God-sized! If it requires finances that you don’t have, God will supply them; wherever God guides you, He will provide for you. Faith without works is dead. Remember, the blessing is in the doing, according to James 1:25. Keep this in mind, my friend, as you go ahead in life to fulfill your vision.

What Happen When a Real Leader Enters a Room

 


5 Things That Happen When a Real Leader Enters a Room

By Benjamin P. Hardy @BenjaminPHardy

“There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” –Jocko Willink

Leadership is what determines how successful you and those around you are. If there is minimal success, there is minimal leadership.

There are very few real leaders:

  • Who genuinely stand for something and brightly reflect those standards.
  • Who are willing to put everything on the line for what they believe in.
  • Who create change and lead.

Here’s what abruptly happens when you take ownership of your life and situation:

1. Inject a winning standard of performance before you start winning.

“How would your life change if you made decisions TODAY as if you were already the person you want to become TOMORROW? We tend to live up to our own feelings of ourselves (for better or for worse). If we plan to become something else, what better way to do so than to step into that skin now?”  — Richie Norton

It doesn’t matter what your current circumstances are. Winners act like winners before they start winning.

Your mindset is what you grow into. Mental creation always precedes physical creation. Who you are in your head is who you eventually become.

The first thing that happens when you step up as a leader is that you and everyone around you begin looking toward success. You start craving it, and believing it’s possible. In turn, your behavior starts changing.

It all starts with you.

2. Constancy among chaos and success.

“Consistent effort is a consistent challenge.” Bill Walsh

Most people can’t handle failure or success. They’re on a behavioral roller coaster depending entirely on external circumstances. When things aren’t going well, they’re overwhelmed or depressed. When things are going well, they’re overconfident and lazy.

However, when you show up as a leader, your mindset and behavior remain constant regardless of success or defeat.

You are marching forward to the beat of your own drum. Everything outside you is noise. You’re compelled forward by intrinsic vision and values. Your consistency reflects your conversion to your cause.

3. A clear point of reference is established to keep you consistent.

When you decide to lead, you provide a clear standard of excellence. Your standard of excellence becomes your point of reference, keeping you honest and consistent in all circumstances.

It ensures you don’t have too many bad days in a row. Or get derailed by haters. Or get overconfident when successful.

Your point of reference is what you really believe in. It’s why you do it.

When you’re struggling and failing, you look to your point of reference. When you’re crushing it, you look to your point of reference.

What’s your point of reference?

4. Clear performance metrics are established to keep you accountable.

“Where performance is measured, performance improves. Where performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” — Thomas S. Monson

What does success look like for you, behaviorally? What is your actual job? What do you need to do?

How do you determine if you’re failing or succeeding?

There should be clear metrics to measure yourself against. However, simply knowing what you should be doing isn’t enough. Clear accountability needs to be put in place.

That accountability, if possible, should be to an actual person, not just a spreadsheet. When you are required to report your progress — especially to someone you respect — your performance will improve.

5. As the leader, you reflect the standard of excellence and recognize you are the ultimate bottleneck.

You are the example of what optimal performance looks like. You become the living and breathing standard of excellence for others to emulate. You reflect your mission and values.

One thing is absolutely certain: Those following you will mimic your performance — whether good or bad. Thus, you are the ultimate bottleneck. Your failure to get to the next level hinders everyone relying on you. You can’t take people beyond where you currently are, personally and professionally.

Hence, Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, has said, “Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.”

Who you follow determines where you get in life. If your leader isn’t moving forward, you’re not moving forward, because your results are a reflection of your leader’s results.

Conclusion.

The better you become, the more clearly you can help others get where they need to go, because you’ve been there yourself. The essence of true leadership is pure ownership. You’re no longer doing it for yourself, but so you can take those you lead further.

What I Learn About Happiness

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus

3 Secrets to Happiness

By Craig Ballantyne
One morning, a friend called me in distress about her relationship with her boyfriend. There was one misunderstanding after another, and now they weren’t talking. After 20 minutes we worked out a plan and I’ll share it below. But it got me thinking about how easy it is for us to slip from what I call, The Simple & Happy Life Plan.

The source of this plan, one that has made me happier and less stressed than any other resource, is called, The Art Of Living.

It’s a series of short lessons translated from the ancient Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, and it gave me the 3-C Formula for life:

  • Control what you can

  • Cope with what you can’t

  • Concentrate on what counts

I take this to mean:

  • You can only control your thoughts, words and deeds. What you say, how you think, and what you do can make a situation better or worse, so choose wisely

  • You can’t control other people or their moods, or the weather, or traffic. That means we must be prepared to cope with the wild and wacky ups-and-downs of friends, family, and yes, even the weather. Always remember: You control your reaction. You can raise your voice, or you can be calm. It’s your choice.)

  • You must concentrate on what counts. Focus on what really matters in life, not the things that won’t matter in 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, or 3 hours from now.

But wait, what really matters?

The answer, according to science from Harvard University, is that we must focus our time and energy on people and experiences — these two things matter more than anything else in life when it comes to our happiness.

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In a study that started all the way back in 1938, and has since tracked over 700 people (including JFK!), if you want to be happy, don’t chase money or fame. Instead, spend more time with others that you love.

The most important factor in happiness, long-term health, and wellbeing is:

The strength of your relationships with your family, friends, and spouse.

The study has also led to other interesting findings such as:

  • The #1 thing you can do for your health is to avoid smoking.

  • Alcohol was the primary cause of divorce.

  • Alcohol abuse often precedes depression.

But most importantly…

“The people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline — even if the relationships had ups and downs. Those good relationships don’t have to be smooth all the time,” said Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current leader of the research study.

“Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker day in and day out. But as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.”

So what does the Harvard study suggest we do?

Well, it’s the same sort of plan I gave my friend to help her relationship… (yep, I’m a regular ol’ Dr. Phil here, ha!)

The Plan for My Friend to Regain Her Happiness & Relationship

  1. Stop trying to have the difficult conversations via email. You must talk things through face-to-face. When he gets home tonight, go for a walk. We communicate — and understand one another — better in person, especially when the conversations are difficult.

  2. Once you sort out the issue, do something new together. The Harvard study recommends livening up stale relationships with long walks or date nights. My good friends, Bedros and Di Keuilian, go out every Tuesday for a date night. It’s one of the foundations of their strong marriage.

  3. Don’t ignore conflict. The old saying about “Never go to bed mad” is great advice that stands the test of time. This goes for family relationships, too. According to the Harvard study, we should “reach out to the family member we haven’t spoken to in years — because those family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.”

No one’s perfect, myself included, and we won’t ever live a life free of conflict, but as long as we work to strengthen the relationships with our loved ones, and focus on people and experiences, we’ll live a long, satisfied, and healthy life.

That’s what it’s about, not money in the bank, job titles, or hours spent at work.

About the Author: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and author of The Perfect Day Formula. His straightforward, sometimes “politically-incorrect” advice has helped millions of people transform their lives both physically and financially. Craig’s secret weapons for success include his personal commandments, his 5 pillars, and his Perfect Life vision. Click here to learn more about how you can implement his 3 secrets to success and live your Perfect Days.

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires
By Mark Ford
There is no shortage of billionaires today. In 1985, there were fewer than 20 of them. Today, there are more than 1,800. As many as 536 of them are American. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Nor is their collective net worth of around $2.5 trillion.

At the moment, the U.S. has the world’s largest and most-profitable economy. But, India and China are catching up. Their economies are growing fast. And they are not wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars.

One of the best ways you can create and maintain wealth is by following the lead of people who’ve already done so.

About 33% of the very rich got their money through inheritance. Take the Waltons (founders of Wal-Mart), for instance. The rest — two out of three — created their wealth through business. About half of those mega-entrepreneurs started with family money, and the other half started from scratch.

These are the people — like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page — who earned the wealth they have. These are the people I’d listen to if I wanted advice on how to succeed today.

I don’t know any of these billionaire entrepreneurs (BEs) personally, but I do know lots of multimillionaires —  entrepreneurs, authors, professionals, and even a few successful artists. And in my experience, they share the following traits with billionaires:

9 Wealth-Building Lessons From Billionaires
By Mark Ford
There is no shortage of billionaires today. In 1985, there were fewer than 20 of them. Today, there are more than 1,800. As many as 536 of them are American. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Nor is their collective net worth of around $2.5 trillion.

At the moment, the U.S. has the world’s largest and most-profitable economy. But, India and China are catching up. Their economies are growing fast. And they are not wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars.

One of the best ways you can create and maintain wealth is by following the lead of people who’ve already done so.

About 33% of the very rich got their money through inheritance. Take the Waltons (founders of Wal-Mart), for instance. The rest — two out of three — created their wealth through business. About half of those mega-entrepreneurs started with family money, and the other half started from scratch.

These are the people — like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page — who earned the wealth they have. These are the people I’d listen to if I wanted advice on how to succeed today.

I don’t know any of these billionaire entrepreneurs (BEs) personally, but I do know lots of multimillionaires —  entrepreneurs, authors, professionals, and even a few successful artists. And in my experience, they share the following traits with billionaires:

1. Most, but not all, have college degrees.

The great majority of BEs — about 90% — have college degrees. But it’s not necessary for success. Among the world’s super-rich today, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Fred DeLuca, David Geffen, and Andrey Melnichenko didn’t graduate from college. And David Murdock (Dole Foods) and Richard Desmond (British publishing magnate) never finished high school. That same percentage (90%) feels roughly true in terms of the most successful people I know. Those who lacked college educations were plenty smart and had the most important skills: thinking, writing, and speaking.

2. BEs work harder and longer than the people who work for them. 

Most say they work 50-55 hours per week. Canadian communication mogul Ted Rogers worked 12 hours per day. And some, like Bill Gates (when he worked at Microsoft) and Jeff Skoll (dot-com legend and eBay’s first president) took no vacations for years while their businesses were growing. These days, I probably work about 60 hours per week, but when I was in my “growth” phase, I was working 80-plus hours and not taking vacations.

Every successful person I know works long and works hard. But, I do know a few people who seem to be able to have some balance in their lives. Bill Bonner, for example, has always kept his weekends free for building stone walls or repairing roofs on his various global mansions. But he works 16 hours per day Monday through Friday.

3. BEs are constantly looking for profit opportunities. 

When they hear about an economic or business development, they don’t hear it as some bit of abstract news about someone else. Instead, they think, “How could I profit from that?”

In this respect, you’d have to say BEs are self-centered. Like all super-successful people, they are constantly relating the facts of their lives back to their personal careers. I can’t get through a magazine, any magazine — even one about architecture or science — without having these sorts of personal profit questions pop into my mind.

4. BEs don’t dwell on mistakes. 

They view problems as learning opportunities. “I don’t remember any mistakes,” late pharmaceutical billionaire James Sorenson told Forbes, “only opportunities to overcome problems.” I know some successful people who DO dwell on mistakes — mistakes made by other people. Usually, people who work for them. But, these same people are quick to forgive themselves.

I used to beat myself up over mistakes, but I eventually got over them. I realized it’s not about having a perfect batting average… it’s about how many times you get up to the plate.

5. BEs think neither completely positively nor negatively, but strategically. 

Instead of thinking, “That’s impossible,” or “I can do anything,” they think, “Is that possible?” and “If it is, how could I do it?” This is a big point. Most people, when they hear a new idea, think immediately about all the problems it might cause, or how difficult it might be to implement, or what obstacles one might have to overcome. When I see smart businesspeople doing this, I think to myself, “These people will never get beyond a certain point. They are limited by these instinctively negative mindsets.”

When someone suggests an idea to me, I try to shut down the critical part of my mind and listen to the potential of the idea. If my positive mind likes the potential, then I allow the critical part of my brain to raise questions and concerns. I then use both sides of my brain to come up with answers and solutions.

6. BEs don’t believe in luck.

In a recent Forbes poll of the 400 richest people in the world, none said they had become wealthy entirely by luck. Some said they considered luck to be a minor factor. Most, like Oprah Winfrey, consider luck an outsider’s way of describing someone who works hard and seizes opportunity. “Luck,” Winfrey says, “is preparation meeting a moment of opportunity.”

7. BEs are not driven primarily by money.

“Studies show the desire for financial success is no stronger among entrepreneurs than among those not starting a company,” says entrepreneur expert Kelly Shaver. Wharton School management professor Raphael Amit agrees: “No one is saying they don’t like their wealth. What matters more is the innovation, the intense commitment they have to an idea, and the difference it can make. Money is a byproduct.” I find this to be 100% true.

BEs are motivated primarily by challenge. They want to prove something — all kinds of things. They want to prove they are smart and their ideas are good and their critics are wrong. They want to show the world there is a place for better products and better services and things done the way they believe they should be done. These are their primary motivators.But, don’t fool yourself. The BE wants to get paid. He wants every dollar he’s entitled to. If you try to deny him that money, you will lose him.

8. BEs make friends. Business is never about money. 

Business is about people. It’s about who you know and who you trust. Billionaires work within their circles to get things done.

9. BEs know they can’t do anything alone. 

Instead, they create important partnerships, and work with these partners to collaborate on great projects. Most importantly, they remember to give credit where it’s due. If you want to survive and prosper in the 21st century, emulate the habits of the world’s richest people.

Educate yourself about money. Make conservative investments. And seize opportunities to start and/or invest in entrepreneurial businesses.