Category Archives: Mindset

TBT: Simon Sinek’s 10 Rules For Success

Last week, this post jumped into first place as the most popular post this year.  Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from January.

Author and speaker Simon Sinek has become a sensation through his popular TED talk presentations.  Evan Charmichael has put together video clips of Simon Simek and through the clips he has distilled down Simek’s 10 Rules for Success.

These are my notes on the presentation.  If you prefer watching to reading, click here (it’s almost 53 minutes long).

Sinek’s 10 Rules For Success

  1. Break the rules.  There are two ways to see the world.  One way is to see what you want.  The second way is to see the obstacle(s) to what you want.  You don’t have to do it the way everyone else is doing it. You can do it your own way to get what you want, but you can’t get in the way of someone else getting what they want.
  2. Train your mind.  You can interpret your experience any way that you want to.  Sinek uses the example of Olympic athletes who when asked if they are nervous, invariably respond that they are excited, not nervous.  As Sinek explains, the two emotions have some of the same characteristics – faster heart rate, sense of tension and stress, becoming sweaty, with an expectation of what’s coming.  We can interpret that as nervousness or excitement.  We can train our minds to think positive by reinterpreting negative emotions.
  3. Be patient.  Work hard and patiently pursue what you want.  Enjoy the journey – don’t quit.
  4. Take accountability.  Sometimes, you’re the problem.  Take stock and accept responsibility for your actions.
  5. Outdo yourself.  Finite players seek to beat their competition. Infinite players seek to beat themselves. They question how they can outdo what they’ve already done.  Make yourself and every thing you produce better today than yesterday.  You are your competition.  Your joy will come from your advancement.
  6. Stack the deck.  Put yourself in places where you are appreciated. Choose environments that take advantage of your strengths.
  7. Be the last to speak.  Learn to listen and hold your opinions to yourself until everyone else has had a chance to speak. Don’t nod yes and no to what others say.  Ask questions to understand what others are saying.  When everyone else has spoken, and you’ve understood what the others were saying, then you can speak.
  8. Be authentic.  Say and do what you actually believe.  Otherwise, you won’t establish trust with others.  The goal is to attract others who believe what you believe.  Just be yourself.  Otherwise, you’re living a lie and people won’t trust you.  Work for people and clients who believe what you believe.   The companies who are crystal clear on what they believe are successful.  We surround ourselves with products and brands that believe what we believe.
  9. Find your passion.  Where does passion come from?  Passion is a result; passion is an energy.  Passion is the feeling that what we do we’d do for free.  What are you excited to do?  What do you love to do?  What are the things that you’d do for free?  Who are the people that you love?
  10. Start with why.  The world’s simplest idea is the golden circle –  Why/How/What – this explains why some organizations can inspire and others can’t.  They know why they do what they do – their purpose, cause, or belief.  We think from the outside in – from fuzzy ideas to clear ideas.  Great organizations think inside out – the why, how, and what of what they are doing.Sinek’s Golden Circle

Here is how Apple communicates: Everything we do, we believe in changing the status quo.  We believe in thinking differently. The way that we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly.  We just happen to make great computers.  Wanna buy a computer?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you’re doing it.  Gateway and Dell make great products, but they are perceived as computer companies, so why would you or anyone buy and a flat screen t.v. from them (Gateway) or an MP3 player (Dell)?

The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. This is based in biology.  Our neo-cortex is the place in our brain where we process analytic thought.  Our limbic system is the feeling center of our brain and it controls our decision making.  Features, benefits, facts, and figures don’t sell.  Decisions are made by feeling and then we rationalize our decisions.

The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.  People do what they believe.  Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to 250,000 people on the mall in Washington, D.C. He told them what he believes and those who believed what he believed showed up.  He gave them the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan speech.”  Start with why.

The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

The law of the diffusion of innovation has to do with how people receive innovation – 15-18% is the tipping point.  You must cross the chasm to become profitable with any new venture.

Simon Sinek is a brilliant guy who practices what he preaches.  He believes that success comes from working with the right people doing the right things.  It works for him and it can work for you.

Again, If you’d like to watch Sinek yourself, click here (it’s almost 53 minutes long).

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

How To Organize Your Thoughts With Mind Mapping

Today’s Throwback Thursday post on mind mapping is the third most popular post this year.  It first appeared in February.

Are you looking for an effective way to help you organize your thoughts and motivate your action? Mind maps are a great way to move your life and business forward by expanding creativity and unlocking action steps through the process.  Mind maps are an effective tool for planning, learning, organizing, managing, goal setting, and problem solving.

What is a mind map?

A mind map is a visual representation tool that uses words, symbols, pictures, images, numbers, and colors to take a lot of information and organize it in a brain-friendly way.  A mind map is memorable which is one of the reasons it can be so helpful.  A mind map is a great way to break down complex issues.  Mind mapping is a way to organize information that utilizes our natural visual thinking abilities, and by doing so it can unlock our creativity.

Mind maps help us organize, store, learn, prioritize, review and memorize information.  It helps us to see the bigger picture and the complexity of the bigger picture in smaller chunks of manageable information.  It can help us find hidden insights and explore new ideas.

How to Create a Mind Map

First, start with your main idea or subject and put it in the center of a blank piece of paper (unlined, by the way) that is oriented in landscape mode. Don’t use small paper – that just limits you.  We’re looking for plenty of room to grow our ideas.

Your main idea or subject  could be your business, relationships, your health or any number of areas in your life,   If you will make your main idea or subject a picture it will improve your memory of it and it can be a catalyst for your imagination.

Second, use plenty of colors as you create branches off your main idea.  The branches that emanate from the center are associations with your main idea.  These could be things, ideas, sounds, emotions, images – the key is to allow your brain to get creative at this stage.  Each branch represents a key idea or image that radiates from your main idea.

Tony Buzan, the creator of mind maps, says to curve the lines that come out of your main idea.  He says that our brains are bored by straight lines, so the curved lines help our creativity.

You may choose to brainstorm ideas before beginning your mind map.  If so, this is step two.

Third, create twigs that naturally grow out of your branches.  These are secondary ideas that relate to the key ideas of your branches.  You can think of your branches as topics and your twigs as sub-topics.  Make your branches thicker than your twigs to give them emphasis.

Helpful Info on Mind Mapping

Color is not only used for creating branches off of your main idea.  Use color also for emphasis and to separate ideas.  The thickness of branches and words bring emphasis, as does UPPER CASE.  Size of letters and images, symbols, etc. is another way of drawing attention to key information.

Here’s a mind map representation of some helpful rules for mind mapping effectiveness:


If you’d like more on mind mapping, Adam Sicinski’s How to Mind Map is a great place to start. Try mind mapping for your business or your life (or both!).  It can be a helpful tool in your quest for greater success.

You might also enjoy this post: 

10 Surprising Ways To Boost Your Creativity


How’s Your Focus?

Are you drowning in a sea of distractions?

You could be losing up to 40% of your productive time through something that many think is a great ability. What’s that great ability? Multi-tasking.

I received a video last week from Tim Tarango of NLP fame. He points out that losing 40% of productive time is losing almost 4 hours of an 8 hour workday. Think about that – jumping from one task to another is costing you time, efficiency, and the quality of your work is likely suffering as well.

How are you managing your workload?  Do you have a system to track your tasks and create a daily and weekly schedule for maximum productivity?  Are you making consistent progress toward achieving your goals?

Are you spending too much time working?  Are you able to meet deadlines and still maintain sufficient time downtime outside of work?  Or are you taking on more than you can accomplish? Do you have enough free time to take care of your family, friends, and to truly enjoy life?  Would others say that you do quality work on time and on budget?

Productivity means that you work faster and get more quality work accomplished in less time. When you are productive, you get to spend time on what matters most to you. Your ability to focus gets you there.

Whether it’s distractions from email or social media, or the telephone or co-workers, productivity suffers from lack of focus.  Tim compares multi-tasking to shifting gears on a race car – every time you do so, you’re losing momentum.  If you’re a business owner, how much is that loss of momentum costing you?

Multi-tasking makes you’re less productive.  It means that you are not as successful as you could be.  It will limit your money-making potential and can cut into your free time as you have to expend more time completing tasks that you would do much faster if you were focused.

What’s the answer?  In The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance, authors Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann examine the flow state and how mental focus sharpens performance.  The flow state is the state of mind when you are the most creative and productive.  Athletes call this “being in the zone.”  It will greatly increase your productivity and help you create the margins you need to enjoy life.  How do you get there?

In a 2004 TED talk, Dr. Mihaly Csiksentmihaly used the following chart to explain the balance that must exist to achieve optimal mental flow.  It is the balance between the challenge of a particular task and the skill of the person seeking to achieve that task.

Let’s break down how the challenge of a task and the skill of a performer achieve different levels of productivity.

  • Apathy is the state of lowest challenge and lowest skill level meet.  Our productivity is hurt because we’re not mentally engaged in what we’re doing.
  • Boredom is the mental state where a low-level challenge is met by a medium level of skill.  Again, we’re not really engaged mentally.
  • Worry happens where a medium difficulty and a low skill level meet.  Our worry cuts into our productivity.
  • Anxiety occurs when a challenge is high and the skill level to meet that challenge is low.  Again, our productivity is negatively affected by our emotions.
  • Arousal happens when the challenge is high and there is a medium level of skill.  Similar to worry and anxiety, arousal is not the optimum emotional place to be for optimal productivity.
  • Relaxation happens when the challenge is easy and the skill level is high.  We can accomplish a lot when we’re relaxed, but not as much as when there’s a higher challenge.
  • Control occurs when there is a medium challenge that is met with a high skill level.  Similar to the relaxation state, we’re not sufficiently challenged to perform at our best.
  • The mental flow state is the nexus between high challenges and high skill levels.  The challenges are difficult, but not overwhelming; the skill level is high enough to meet the challenges.  This is the mental state where we can offer our best efforts.

How can we get to the mental flow state where we are most productive?

Finding the Mental Flow State

First, we can develop our skills so that we can meet the highest standards in our niche or industry to meet the tasks and activities required with the highest skill level possible.

Second, develop the discipline that the highest mental flow state requires.  This level of discipline can come through prayer, meditation, exercise, martial arts, practicing or performing music, or a host of other activities that require us to stay focused on the present moment.

Third, set well-defined goals that challenge you to achieve your best.  What is it that you want to achieve?  It may be completing an important project, or meeting a deadline or challenge. Doing work that demands our full attention and concentration can get us into the highest mental flow state.  Flow experiences happen when we are fully immersed in what we are doing. This is when excellence happens.

Fourth, set aside sufficient time to complete the task.  While the flow state will save you time and increase your productivity, you cannot rush into it.  It happens as you fully immerse yourself in your challenge.

Fifth, focus completely on the task at hand – this is where the mental flow state happens and this is where distractions like multitasking will destroy any hope of getting there.  Often when your attention is broken, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get back to the flow state where you are most productive.

Be aware that your emotional state can inhibit your ability to find the flow state.  Negative emotions like anger, anxiety, apathy, boredom, or worry, will be barriers to you finding the flow state – consult the chart above.

In a 2013 study, Owen Schaffer of Human Factors International describes “the zone” of mental flow as “an intense and focused concentration on the present moment.”  He found seven conditions of the optimal flow state:

  1. High challenges
  2. High skills sufficient to meet high challenges
  3. Knowing what to do (the task or challenge)
  4. Knowing how to do it (knowledge and skill)
  5. Knowing how well you’re doing (feedback)
  6. Knowing where to go next (workflow)
  7. Freedom from distraction

As you work, seek to set conditions so that you can be most productive.  Understanding mental flow can help you do that.

I welcome your questions and comments, and your likes and shares.


11 Surprising Insights From Successful Entrepreneurs

Are you waiting for your big break?  Or are you working your tail off to create your “big break.” There’s a big difference.  Business success happens for entrepreneurs when they make it happen.  Here’s 11 tips from those who’ve made it big.

  1. Early to rise.  Richard Branson says, “Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life,” explains the Virgin Group founder.  What’s considered early?  Before 7 a.m.  To get the most out of your day, rise early AFTER sufficient sleep.  That means 7-9 hours of sleep for most people in order to feel rested and refreshed.  Being early to rise, but still feeling groggy defeats the purpose.
  2. Do what you need to do to get you in the best possible frame of mind for productivity. Eat a healthy breakfast, exercise, pray, meditate, read something inspiring – whatever it takes to get your day off to a good start, do it.  And make a routine of what works for you to increase your productivity every day.
  3. Richard Branson built eight billion dollar companies in eight different fields.  He says that his greatest motivators are challenges.  Branson and legendary investor Warren Buffett agree – find your passion and pursue it.  Find something that you’re excited about, that gets you out of bed ready to take on the day, and you have a much better chance of success than doing something you really don’t care about.  It’s been said that if you can do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life.  The hard part can be finding that something!
  4. Don’t be afraid of risk.  Being an entrepreneur, by its very nature is risky.  Embrace good risks, eliminate bad risks, and work hard at what you believe in.  Fear is a killer, so face into your fears and overcome them through productive work that moves you closer to achieving your dreams.
  5. Learn from your mistakes.  Making the same mistakes over and over again is frustrating and will decimate your forward progress.  Learn the lessons from them and move on.
  6. Set goals, write them down, and create systems that will help you achieve your goals. When you blow through your goals, set new ones.  The old saying, plan your work and work your plan, is still good advice.  Plan your days and weeks, prioritizing those tasks that are most important for you to meet your goals.
  7. Make one of your goals over-delivering.  That’s how you create “wow” experiences for your customers and clients, and their enthusiasm for what you’re doing will push your business forward like nothing else.  Word of mouth and testimonials are the best kind of advertising available to you.  Over-deliver and your buyers will become your greatest advocates.
  8. Hit the ground running.  When your workday starts, don’t procrastinate – jump into your work with enthusiasm.
  9. Don’t quit.  Believe in yourself and your goals and work until you achieve what you set out to achieve.  Persistence is a common trait among successful entrepreneurs.
  10. Work according to your strengths, delegate according to your weaknesses.  Your strengths are the basis of the best that you have to offer the world.  Get better at what you’re already good at in order to make your best efforts for success.   Use your strengths, build even greater skills in your strong areas, and delegate what you’re not good at.  Whether it’s using or other sites featuring freelancers, or hiring a Virtual Assistant, there are people good at what you’re bad at, and often you can hire them for cheaper than you may think.
  11. Take care of your team.  If you do hire people for regular work, rather than just freelancers, take care of them.  A good team can push you further faster, so take good care of those who help you move forward.  it’s a good thing to do, it will have a positive effect on productivity, and it will encourage those on your team to stay with you rather than seeking another position elsewhere.

What would you add to these tips?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

3 Ways to Connect with Your List

Your email list is the most valuable part of your online business, and the connection that you make with your list is what determines how valuable your list is to you.  But how do you build relationships with those who have joined your list?

The problem we have to overcome is that world we live in is inundated with an overwhelming amount of advertising messages. Just by taking a walk down to your nearest coffee place, you’ll be greeted with adverts at the bus shelter, promotional signs displayed in shop windows, and don’t forget the ads on your cell phone when you’re browsing web content or using apps.

Too many businesses are competing for a share of your time and attention, and your prospects and customers are not different.  Emails can become just one more part of the avalanche of messages that descends on our subscribers.  The cold truth is that most potential customers do not listen to us if we fail to get their attention in a meaningful way.

There are a number of ways to break through the avalanche and ride above it.  Here are three of the most powerful ways:

1. Be useful or be amazing

Say you’re in business selling pencils. Well, pencils are useful so it shouldn’t be too hard to reach out to your target audience, right? But consider pens, markers and other pencil sellers that make up your  competition.

How are you going to make your pencils stand out among all those other businesses? The key is making a strong connection with your potential customers so that you are the one that they prefer to deal with.   Good branding means that you are front of mind when someone is looking for what you’re selling.

Good branding comes from good products coupled to good marketing.  Take for example, soft drinks.  What comes to mind when I ask what would you like to drink?  Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper?  There’s a fancy marketing term for this – it’s called an “evoked set.”

What it means is the group of brands in a product category that consumers remember at the time when making a purchase.  Being in an evoked set is crucial to building brand loyalty in the long run.  When your products are useful or amazing, or both, and your marketing matches the quality of your products, your email list will be your best asset for finding buyers.

2. Take Time to Connect

The best step to take to connect with your potential customers is to build your relationship with them through regularly offering them valuable content.

These days, utilizing social media is one of the most powerful ways of communicating and this popular choice can help you make the positive connection that will build your business.

Because of its 24/7 accessibility, plus the reasonable cost factor (free to economical), social media can be a great part of your marketing mix.  I believe that all online businesses should use social media extensively to establish and grow an online presence beyond a basic website. But this requires a consistent investment of time as you build traction initially, and keep that momentum going through regular messages.

3. Lock Your Brand into Front of Mind

To be found online by your best target audience, it’s important that you develop and share content that is popular with members of your target market.  Different demographics exhibit different behaviors and have different interests in your published content – harness this to your advantage by segmenting your traffic and capitalizing on what content is popular with each segment.

We covered some of this by talking about evoked sets above, and as you grow your following, let’s consider how to keep your brand in the minds of your list.  One way is by simply observing what interests them and creating more content around their interests.  This is can be simply done by noting what topics generate the most email opens.  The more that you can help your list by creating valuable content that matches their interests, the more you will become a front of mind brand.

Collecting prospect data to gain insights on how  your products and services are viewed can give you helpful  insights for your marketing efforts. To get this data, you need a way to discover who is visiting your site, how they’re getting there, what they’re interested in, etc. to maximize performance of marketing efforts as well as make the necessary improvements to your products and services.

If you’ve built a WordPress site, much of this information can be gleened by plug-ins like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.  But beware that passive data collection, although fast and convenient, can alienate customers and potential customers.

Passive data collection is when you capture user preferences and usage behavior without involving any consumer interaction, like cookies to capture internet browsing history. For those who regularly review and delete cookies, your passive data collection may not be appreciated.

Fortunately there are other ways to get this information, but unfortunately, your prospects and customers must be willing to cooperate with you by providing it.  You can involve them and provide transparency in your methods to learn more about them by using quizzes, polls and surveys with an email to follow up on the improvements you plan to make in time to come. When your customers feel like they’re being heard and that their opinions matter, you can be sure of their loyalty.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

4 Surprising Creativity Boosters and 9 Creativity Killers

Creativity is the essential ingredient in many successful businesses, and particularly in businesses that major in product creation and marketing like many internet businesses. If your internet business includes information marketing, affiliate marketing, content marketing, or other marketing-related elements, creativity is an imperative for you.

If your internet business includes information marketing, affiliate marketing, content marketing, or other marketing-related elements, creativity is an imperative for you.

But how do you get those creative juices flowing?  Here are five surprising findings about boosting creativity and avoiding the practices that kill creativity.

  1. Studies have found that creativity often happens when we’re tired.  In those times when we think we’re most unproductive, new ideas can flourish.When we’re hyper-focused, we tend not to be as creative as when we are worn down and distracted.
    The reason for this is that hyper focus is great for solving analytical problems, but creativity works from a different base.  Insight often comes from a different place than analytic thinking.  Being less focused enables us to consider more alternatives than a strict, linear approach to problem-solving.Studies have also shown that creativity flourishes when there is an ambient level of noise.  This is better than total silence or loud noise.Loud noise overloads our systems; total silence sharpens our concentration, which is great for analytical thinking, but less so for creativity.
  2. Dim lighting is best for creativity, according to six different studies.  Two other studies suggest that the reason for this is a sense of freedom that is elicited in a darker environment.
  3. A warm room promotes creativity, according to a Cornell University study.  77 degrees/25 degrees celsius is considered perfect.   A too-cool environment is distracting in a bad way; we end up putting too much effort into becoming more comfortable.There’s an inverse to this, which is that being hot also lowers creativity, for the same reason that cold doesn’t work either – we end up putting to much effort into becoming more comfortable.
  4. Some of the biggest creativity killers are stress, fear, pain, time constraints, personal problems, mundane tasks, procrastination, busyness, or perfectionism.

So, let’s put together the perfect physical environment for creativity: a dimly lit 77 degrees temperature room, with a low level of ambient sound.

Now, let’s put together the best personal mindset for creativity: tired, but relaxed; free from stress, fear, busyness, and mundane tasks.  Freedom from procrastination and perfectionism, as well as time constraints and personal problems.

Can you create the perfect physical environment and mindset to be at your creative best?  Probably not totally, but the closer you can get to the ideal, the closer you will be to unleashing your creative self.

I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

The Entrepreneurial “Leap Of Death”

That’s author Adam Grant above, but the title for this post came from Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.  It’s Halpern’s phrase for those entrepreneurs who go “all in” by quitting their jobs when they start their own business.  The myth is that this is the best way to entrepreneurial success.

As Halpern says, it’s also a huge myth.  Adam Grant proved that it’s a myth in his book, Originals.

Going all in sounds so courageous and it has some attraction to entrepreneurial types – go for broke, give it your all, put everything on the line…

… and some do make it big.  But many more fail.  For every success story, there are probably nine failures.  I’m basing that on the failure rate of internet businesses.  While focus is very important for success, putting everything on the line can also cause stress in a number of different areas – in your business, at home, and with friends – and you personally can suffer immeasurably.

In his book, Originals, Wharton School professor Adam Grant reports on a study of 5,000 American entrepreneurs.  These entrepreneurs were tracked from 1994 to 2008. The finding of the study was that those who kept their regular jobs had a 33% less failure rate than those who quit their previous work.

From their study, we have to conclude that it is better to create your business as a source of additional income and allow it to grow into a full-time job before making the leap out of whatever is supporting you financially right now.  Handling the transition this way lowers your risk of failure, increases your chances for success, and also gives you a continuing stream of income that will lower your stress throughout the process.

Let’s dig into more of what Grant has to say in Originals.

        1. Originals who succeed try a lot, fail a lot, and succeed a lot.  It’s not that successful entrepreneurs are smarter or that they have better ideas than others.  It is that they are persistent, they keep at it, and they don’t stop until they’re successful.  In fact, they generally don’t stop when they’re successful either.
        2. Originals generate a lot of ideas.  By the sheer number of all their ideas, every once in a while, a great idea pops out and the rest is history.  Best ideas come out of the pool of most ideas.
        3. The First Mover advantage is a myth.  There is no advantage to being first; it’s actually a disadvantage.  The failure rate for First Movers is 47%.  The failure rate for Second Movers is 8%.

      An example of this is Google.  Before Google, there was Ask Jeeves, Lychos, AltaVista, and Yahoo.  Another example is Facebook.  Before Facebook, there was Friendster and MySpace.  Don’t be afraid to build a better mouse trap.  Be cautious if your business idea is something completely original.

      4. Originals are pretty ordinary people with an extraordinary work ethic.  So, work hard, don’t be afraid to try new things, spill out plenty of ideas, and be extremely persistent.

    1. I welcome your comments and questions, your likes and shares.

Why Passion is King

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is one of the most popular on  It returns from October 2015.

I normally say that copy is king, but honestly, without passion you will not write great advertising copy and your business will suffer.  Passion is why I believe that you can be your best copywriter.  Hired guns will never have passion for your products and services like you have.  Once you learn how to write copy, which is the reason I’m here, you will become your best copywriter.

Today, let’s focus on the inner drive that has the power to send your business to new heights.

The Secret Ingredient

Benjamin Disraeli, a 19th century British Prime Minister, once said, “Man is only great when he acts from passion.”  It’s the secret ingredient that creates success.

Passion is the jet fuel that can propel you through difficult times and obstacles to your success.  It is the power within you that will push you forward at the most critical junctures for your business.  Passionate people have the energy necessary to overcome whatever comes between them and success.

There are many elements in internet marketing, but your attitude toward your business is one element that is rarely covered and it is an essential aspect of all that you do.  Do you have the jet fuel that will lift your business upward and move it forward?

Without passion for both your business and your products and services, it will be extremely difficult for you to profit.  It’s that simple and it’s what separates great performers from mediocre ones.  Passion powers achievement.  It is the obsession for excellence that drives consistent performance and mastery.

Passion Defined

The word “passion” comes from the Latin for suffer or endure. For high achievers, this is the ingredient that takes dull work or drudgery and turns it into fulfilling a strong internal need.  This is it cannot be faked – it’s either there or not.  Those who lack this inner drive for a particular task or job will often also lack the essential mindset to suffer or endure in order to succeed. It is the energy that provides motivation and determination.

David Lucatch, founder and CEO of Yappn Corp., says,

“The people I have seen achieve the greatest success in their professional and personal lives are passionate people that lead, support, and mentor others with that ‘zeal and zest’ for the work and people,” he explains.

Passion is the key missing ingredient in most failed businesses. Businesses can start with excitement, but without passion the daily grind dooms them to failure.  Lucatch applies his views on passion to a multi-person work environment, but they are just as applicable to a solo business venture.

3 Reasons Why Passion Leads to Success

Lucatch gives three reasons why passion leads to success:

  1. Passion Breeds Confidence.  Lucatch explains, “A person with passion typically exudes confidence, and confidence creates value for themselves and others by leading the way, not showing the way.”  Confidence is contagious and a confident person can lead others to achieve far more.  Confidence can provide the positive energy needed for great achievement.
  2. Passion Creates Excitement.  According to Lucatch, “Professionals who are excited create enthusiasm in their teams and with others, and are viewed as great supporters.” This contributes to their success, as well.”  Excitement is contagious and when a leader is excited that excitement moves others.
  3. Passion is Contagious.  “A person who exudes passion creates group dynamics and value, not dissension. Professionals who are passionate maximize the energy of the team and are viewed as great mentors.”

    The Passion And Confidence Combo

    Passion and confidence combined are rocket fuel for your business. Passion creates a contagious excitement that will propel your business skyward.  Whether you’re a solo business or a multi-employee venture, find your passion and allow it to fuel your business.

  4. You may wonder at this point, where does passion come from?

    Some believe that we are born with it (or not).  For example, Monica Seles loved practicing tennis for hours on end. What would bore many was the path for Seles to achieve world-class status in her chosen sport.  Passion drives perseverance and perseverance drives consistent performance.

    Others believe that passion can be developed over time through disciplined practice.  In this understanding, as mastery builds, so does passion, which fuels a growing desire for greater mastery, and so on.  Let’s work from this second understanding.

    How do you find your passion?

    First, what are you naturally good at?  It could be sports, music, writing, sales, sciences, working with people… One way to find your passion is to look at your childhood – what did you most enjoy doing as a child?

    Second, follow your curiosity.  What interests would you like to investigate?  If money were no object, what would you like to be doing?  Steve Jobs had a fascination with typefaces.  This interest led him to take a course on typography which gave him a feel for design that he used in creating Apple products.

    In a Fast Company article, Warren Berger offers eight questions to find your passion.  Here’s one of them: “What are your superpowers?”Rather than rehearse the rest of them, why not read the article there?

    You’ve no doubt heard the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.”  That’s the power of passion. Another power of passion is magnetism.  People are attracted by passion and your passion for what you do will attract others to join you.  When that happens, your business will explode (in a good way!).

    I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

5 Business Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Today’s Throwback Thursday on business mistakes from January 2015 has been updated for 2017.


We’re a month shy of the halfway mark in 2017.  Are you hitting your business targets?  If not, is one of these business mistakes holding you back?

The truth is you will never outperform your self-belief.  Your self-belief is part of the foundation for your success.  Your self-doubt can completely undermine any success that you are capable of achieving.

To move beyond self-imposed limitations, we need to dream.  Dream big.  It’s time to let your imagination take you to new heights that to this point you thought weren’t possible.

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in 2017 to get to sail to new heights:

1. We often set goals that we know we can achieve – what we know we can do.  Safe goals are not really satisfying – achieving them can feel something like punching a clock day -in and day-out.   Insert yawn here.

If you are doing this, realize that there’s no big reward or payoff for ordinary goals.  You’ve heard the saying – no pain, no gain?  Here’s another one: If the pain is greater than the pleasure you’ll surrender the goal every time. Without inspiration, your goals will not be sufficient enough to cause you to attempt great things.

Without sufficient inspiration, our efforts at lofty goals will come up short.  Most goals that people set are not based on what they’d love to do – the goals lack passion, so the effort to achieve them lacks passion.

When the pain comes, the goal is set aside.  Create loftier goals based on your passions, envision a great future, and you will have the motivation necessary to stretch yourself to achieve greater outcomes.  What great goal can you create for the next seven months of 2017?

2. Setting goals based on what we think we can do according to a plan is another mistake. Too often, we fall in love with an elaborate plan.  In the back of our minds we’re convinced that if we can plan the work, we’ll be able to work the plan and achieve our goals.

The problem with this is that we cannot control the outside conditions and circumstances of the world.  We can be working our plan and changes in conditions and circumstances can make our plan obsolete. Now what?  Too often when conditions and circumstances change, we lower our goals to fit the new reality.  Our plans turn out to limit us rather than enable us to achieve greater outcomes.

Think about how you can revise your goals upward when new conditions and circumstances warrant that kind of adjustment.  When you meet your targets, reset to new targets to keep your momentum working for your greatest success.

3. Too often we require knowing exactly how we will do it in order to set a goal.  Our mistake is believing that we have to know the how before we will commit to our dream.  This also limits our outcomes.  We can dream big and then allow our doubts to creep in and quash our passions because we don’t see the how.

The truth is that often we don’t know the how until we start working toward fulfilling our dream.  When we dream and let our passions lead us, we have the motivation to find the way forward.  Dreams and passions drive creativity.  Creativity often happens as we attempt new things.  Dream the dream and let the how come out of the process of achieving the dream.  Take the first step and trust that succeeding steps will become clear as you move forward.

4. Too often we question our right to be, do, or have whatever it is we want in our life.  We question our worthiness or our capability to achieve our dreams.  This is incredibly limiting and will take away from you the very resources that are within you that will enable you to achieve your goals. Never question your worth.  Marshall your abilities, skills, talents, and resources, and use all that you are and all that you have to reach your highest potential and achieve your dreams. You can do it!  Believe this and act on it.

5. Another limiting thought is that the purpose of the goal is to achieve the goal.  The purpose of the goal is to cause you to grow, to become the person who can have the best rewards of life.  Unlocking the deep reservoirs of ability within yourself is a great achievement in itself. There are other rewards, of course, but the satisfaction of doing your best is a great feeling.

You may desire to build a business that will deliver you a six-figure or seven-figure annual income.  That may be your goal, but aren’t the rewards that come from that income what you’re really after?  Maybe that level of income will enable you to pay off your bills, finance a vacation, or fund your children’s educational account, or completely change your lifestyle.  Your business goals can be the catalyst for creating the life you want for yourself and your family.

Use your imagination and intuition to dream big.  If you want to achieve your dreams it’s time to stop playing it safe.

The first law of receiving is giving, so as you set your astonishing goals, think about how your business can serve others.  What is it that you have to offer the world?  If you will take this approach, you will find that the journey can get difficult, but the breakthroughs make it all the more worthwhile.

So, what are your dreams for 2017?  How will you make them reality, starting right now?

I invite your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.


Business versus Busyness

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from May 2014.

It is easy for many of us to be busy, but does our busyness translate into good business?  It might not if our busyness isn’t about the priorities of our business.

Online marketing is a fluid business with best practices and new challenges cropping up every day.  You could spend your entire life keeping up with trends and investigating what’s new, what’s changed, what’s stopped working and what’s now working.

That’s important to a certain extent, but when does business turn into busyness and detract from your pursuit of profits?  Or worse, does busyness keep us from ever becoming profitable?  For the newbie, busyness can be a very poor substitute for business.

Online marketing can be an incredibly profitable business or a really expensive hobby.  We’re either making progress in our business, or we’re missing the mark and running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.

So, what’s the difference between business and busyness?  The difference is focus.  Don’t ever underestimate the power of vision and goals.  What do you want to achieve in your business, short-term, mid-term, and long-term?

Reasonable goals for online marketing are making your first $1,000, then a five figure annual income, six figure income, and even seven figure income is not necessarily out of reach.  Why not? What’s holding you back?

If your long-term goal is six or seven figure annual income, how are you going to get there?  Setting good goals that lead to focusing on the priorities that will get you there is an essential first step.  How long will it take to get there?

Once you have your goals, set out your timetable.  Then break down your timetable into smaller chunks (annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly).  Once you’ve done your timetable, figure out what you need to do this week to make progress toward your longer term goals.  

Then it’s a question of prioritizing your tasks to complete your goals in your different time frames.  Each day, focus on completing the tasks that lead to completing the most important project that contributes to reaching your goals.  This process is a blueprint for business success.

Once you’ve focused on business, you can get rid of the wasteful busyness that eats up your time and stymies your progress.  Do this and you will be well on your way to reach your goals.

I welcome your comments and questions, your likes and shares.