Thursday, April 11, 2013

15 Success Principles!

The 15 Success Principles You’ll Never Want To Forget

By on March 12, 2013
Success Principles
You can’t assure success, but you can increase the chances of it happening. After all, opportunity favors the prepared. With the following 15 success principles, you can dramatically increase the chances of success in your life.

1 – Prepare

The first success principle is preparation. It’s the foundation of success. With preparation you create your own opportunities. Once you have all the different elements lined up, it only takes a small opening to realize your goal. At the same time, taking advantage of big opportunities without enough preparation means risking your success, as you’re building without a well-laid foundation.

2 – Do something you love

You have to work very hard whatever it is you choose to do. Your work or your project will dominate much of your time and your life. Therefore, find something that you enjoy doing and do that.

3 – Get started

You have to start somewhere. Today is as good a day as any to start. Get into action today and start moving in the direction you want. Putting it off can only lead to failure, whereas if you start and see an early setback, at least you conquered that setback early on.

4 – Move in the right direction

Keep everything moving in the direction you want. It doesn’t matter if things go slowly initially. As long as the overall direction is favorable, you’ll get where you want to go eventually.

5 – Use the power of dreams and your imagination

What you dream and visualize today will become true tomorrow. You just have to work on turning it into reality. Just as your dreams can only influence your life if you let them, the cities you build in your imagination can only become real if you build them.

6 – Think big

If you set your aim a bit too high you might fall short. If you set your aim too low you might achieve your goal… and miss out on the other opportunities. By thinking bigger, the only limit is what is possible. You’re no longer limited by what you think is possible.

7 – Focus on growth

Seemingly impossible challenges are just cleverly disguised opportunities for growth. If you take those challenges and, in solving them, improve yourself, you’ll find yourself continually moving in the right direction.

8 – Maintain your determination

With enough determination, you can succeed through almost any odds. Enough determination means you’ll find a way no matter the situation.

9 – Set a clear vision

Think through where you’ll want to go. Develop a clear sense of what your final goal is, and keep this with you. By knowing the destination you want to reach, you can continually look at your current path and decide if it’s a route that will help you get where you want to go.

10 – Set goals along the way

A final goal isn’t enough. You need intermediate goals that set the path. These goals should be specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, and timely. These intermediate goals define the steps that you need to take to get to the final one.

11 - Work out plans of action for your work

For each goal, it helps to have plans to reach them. Your plan describes how you can reach each step from where you are, or where you will be. Keep in mind that the future is never certain. Things rarely work out exactly how you plan. Therefore, see these plans as showing one or more possible routes, not necessarily the route you’ll end up taking.
Still, knowing the plan means you can avoid long detours that might compromise your chances of reaching a goal on time — or at all.

12 - Commit to taking action

Once you start going, keep going. Never, never, never give up. If you find an obstacle in your way, chip away at it or go around it. The only way to really fail is to give up. If you keep going you’ll succeed. If you hit the limits of what’s possible, you can regroup and find another way.

13 - Use affirmations

Affirmations are just short, positive, and above all direct phrases in present tense. Things like “I’m getting more and more successful.” The idea is that they reinforce a positive world view. With affirmations, you are defining your own reality. By transmitting a positive world view to your mind, it adopts this view. As your mind adopts this view, it helps shape the world around you to fit it, which means it helps make the world around you one that reflects a reality of you getting more successful every day.

14 - Get rid of negative influences

Avoid harmful influences around you that might shake you from your goal. Keep people and ideas around you that support your success and your belief in yourself.

15 - Be grateful and appreciate what you have

The final success principle is to appreciate what you have already. Realize that — by sheer virtue of the fact that you can be reasonably certain you’ll live from one day to the next — you already have enough. Enjoy it! Appreciate what you’ve achieved so far, and see that what you want, where you’re going, is not what you need or what you must do. Rather, these are things and actions that will make your situation even better.

Article By James Meyer |

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Business Books That Will Change Your Life!

I recently came across this article posted on LinkedIn Today and wanted to share it here. Reading is such an important part of professional development in any career. In the last few months we have been super focused on developing our professional business skills and leadership ability with the people that we work with. Take a few minutes to look over the summaries provided by Dave Kerpen. Which books have you read? Would you add any others to this list?

Business Books that Will Change Your Life by Dave Kerpen
Great leaders learn every day, and reading great books is the one of the best ways to learn. I've been fortunate enough to read some excellent books over the last fifteen years - books that have inspired me to change the way I see the world, my business, and the opportunities in front of me. In the order in which I've read them, here is a list of nine books which have changed my life. May they change yours as well:

1) What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Seekers by Richard Bolles
I read this book when I was 21 years old and didn't know what to do with the rest of my life. It helped me go from a Crunch n Munch vendor at the ballpark to a top salesperson at Radio Disney. Ffifteen years later, I have given at least 40 copies away to interns, staff and friends who are searching for their career purpose. It's difficult work - because not only will you read the book, but you'll have to do a lot of exercises and soul searching throughout - but whether you're 21 or 61, you'll emerge with a clearer vision of what you want to do next and where you'll want to work.

2) Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends & Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin
No author has influenced me more as a marketer, business person and writer than Seth Godin. I could have easily included 9 books just by Godin - Purple Cow, Tribes, Linchpin, Poke the Box & his latest, Icarus Deception are all amongst my favorites. But Permission Marketing described social media marketing before it existed. Seth understood push-vs-pull marketing long before others, and this book, published in 1999, is still a must read for anyone in marketing today.

3) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
This classic, one of three by Gladwell (Blink & Outliers are the others), demonstrates how successful products are launched, how ideas spread and how a trend can take off. It's influenced me a great deal, as a word of mouth and social media marketer. And it's an essential read, whether you're in marketing or sales, or just want to become better at getting your ideas to spread.

4) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap - and Others Don't by Jim Collins
Collins is scientist of great companies - and this is his best work - chock full of case studies and simple yet profound principles like Level 5 Leadership. Even though I read this book when my company was only a handful of employees, it inspired me to want to build something great, and enduring. Whether you work at a large company that has the potential itself to become great and enduring, or you have a vision of a company you'd like to one day build, this is a must-read.

5) Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase The Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish
It's hard to believe I even had a business before I read this book by the founder of my favorite business group, Entrepreneurs Organization. Verne's 1-page strategic plan is now used by both companies I've founded, and thousands of other companies. And our management teams use much of the methodology from this book. What's great is that it's both inspirational and quite practical - an excellent read for any entrepreneur or manager at a small business.

6) The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work, and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
This is a must read for any small business owner - especially "technical" owners such as lawyers, accountants, florists, restaurateurs, consultants and dentists. Gerber inspires the small business owner to get out of his/her own way, and to build systems and processes that scale and allow the business owner to work "on" the business and not "in" the business.

7) Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You by John Warrilow
Make no mistake - if you are an owner or leader at a business - this is a great, super valuable read, even if you or your owners have no intention or ever selling the business. The idea isn't to create a business in order to sell it - it's to create a business that has sustaining value beyond you and without you. Warrilow's book is a short, easy story - with powerful, unforgettable lessons - so much so, that after my business partner and I read it, we gave copies to the entire Likeable team to read.

8) Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
No matter what you do, this easy read will change the way you think about your work. It is so simply written, with small words and big pictures - and yet contains profound wisdom about how to be more productive and successful without being a workaholic or sacrificing anything. I read it in an hour on a plane, and have since shared it with two dozen colleagues, and referred back to it myself at least a dozen times.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

13 Things Overachievers Do!

13 Things Overachievers Do

 1. They laugh — at themselves. And with others.

2. “They steal stuff.”
I have to come clean right here. This post is completely inspired by Penelope Trunk and her blog post: 15 Things Overachievers Do. Her post is way better, filled with links, and you need to read it, in full, to start 2013 off properly.  Link at the end of this post, too, since I hope you’ll read to the end and then go visit her site and post. I find most of her career posts a huge breath of fresh air in a world of stale content. She has a great sense of humor, too.

Continuing the #2 item, overachievers know they have plenty of ideas, says Penelope, so they don’t care if people take their ideas. And they bend the rules to make their own lives better. They know that ideas are a dime-a-dozen, really, and that execution is what matters.
So, when she says they steal stuff, she is talking about how people build, iterate, incubate on ideas. It is #15 on her list. Like me, for instance, I borrowed a number of Penelope’s ideas, but rounded them out with my own thoughts and attempts at humor.

3. They are notorious list makers. Sometimes they make lists after they complete the task so they can enjoy that feeling of greater productivity. I’m not sure if list makers are more successful in life, but I believe they have more fun putting sticky notes on everything.

4. Their desk is usually clean and everything is organized. They love IKEA because they can buy lots of organizing bins and boxes.

5. They don’t mind when a door shuts. They know that a window might be open. Or they go buy a DeWalt Sawzall and make a door. Seriously, Penelope points out that go-getters know that life is about tough choices sometimes and you have to be willing to give up one thing in order to get something else. 

6. They are not shy about their weaknesses because they are uber-confident in their strengths. Every strength comes with a weakness and if you can share that awareness, that wisdom, with potential employers, or your employees if it is your company, then people will see you as a real person.

7. They get tons of mentoring or coaching. They seek out mentors. Overachievers know that top athletes have coaches for a reason. To get to the top of your game, you need help. You don’t get there alone. They are willing to pay for someone to push them.

8. They don’t write books. The book industry is dead, Penelope reminds us. She points out a post by my Forbes colleague Suw Charman-Anderson: Amazon Is Ripe For Disruption. People who have something to share are putting those thoughts down in blogs. Or, in my mind, in ebooks. Of course, I’m a bit biased as I’m finally finishing a simple book I’m publishing on the Kindle platform about building websites. I’m hoping that books are not yet dead.

9. They don’t let themselves get fat  soft. Soft in any sense of the word. They work out regularly, fanatically, and they take care of their bodies and minds. 12/30/2012 update: My conscience bothered me. My goal in any of my writing is to uplift and encourage people. So I edited this section. My intent was not to target people who are overweight, myself included, but more appropriate is type-A personalities don’t let themselves get soft, in any way, if they can avoid it. You can be skinny and soft, by the way.

10. They like to start things. They like saying they are the “founder” of a project or company or initiative. I’ve seen many overachievers lay claim to being the founder of a hashtag. You know those Twitter tags, such as, #SmallBusiness or #Journalism or #Marketing. Their ego and confidence allows them to take ownership of things that can’t possibly be owned. Many of them love to finish things, too.

11. They ask about you so they can get a turn to talk about themselves. As Bette Midler said as one of her characters after talking about herself for a long time, “Enough about me; What do you think about me?” Ha. They do thrive on being able to tell of their exploits — that’s half the reason (or more) for why they do them. Time is not money; Time is Life. When you listen to an overachiever, you have a choice: You can either hate them or be inspired to your own greatness by listening to all they have achieved.

12. (Speaking about Goals) They are rabid about lists because they are crazy about achieving their goals. Uh, hello, that’s why the word “over” is in front of achiever. They have a bucket list for life, for each year, and perhaps each week. Many of their goals include a fair amount of adventure-seeking and the stuff that takes them out of their comfort zone. Because that’s where stuff gets done — outside the comfort zone.

13. They have an “I Love Me” wall in their home or office. That’s what we used to call it when I was in the US Air Force. Every officer or NCO that had an office would have all of their awards and commendations displayed for all to see. Awards are like a list in 3D — you can hang that item on the wall instead of checking it off a list.
But this award mania isn’t bad — it is one of the ways overachievers keep score for themselves. They are out to change the world. And, in reality, the best and brightest overachievers are not competing with you, but only themselves. They are happy for you to succeed and often want to help you achieve, too. Just as long as you spend a bit of time listening to how they helped you get there…

You can find the original article from HERE

Friday, January 4, 2013

Holiday Raffle Winners!

Congrats to the Holiday Raffle winners!

The raffle started at the beginning of the holidays in November and each rep was awarded tickets for their performance. Winners were chosen this week and some really great prizes to handed out!

IPads, Tv's, PS3, Kindle's, and wireless speakers! You guys made out pretty good!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Working in the Post-Recession Economy

Looking to thrive in our new, post-recession economy? Then it’s essential to focus on doing work that it would be near-impossible to program a computer or robot to do.

A fascinating study, published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics in 2012, found that Americans in the creative class — those in jobs such as engineers, artists, scientists, educators and entrepreneurs—  had a lower chance of being unemployed from 2006 to 2011 than those employed in the service sector or working class jobs, such as construction or manufacturing.

Other research has already showed that those with college degrees fared better than those who lack them in the last recession. This study looked beyond education levels alone and drilled down into how the jobs people do and the skills required to do them affected their employment rates.

Having a college degree alone isn’t a vaccine against unemployment, as many recent graduates know all too well. As the study shows, those who are most valued in today’s economy are applying whatever education they have–whether it’s a high school diploma or a graduate degree — to fields that require a high degree of knowledge, creativity and human judgement. The work they do can’t easily be automated.
The study, “The Creative Class and the crisis,” was written by Todd Gabe at the University of Maine, Richard Florida at the University of Toronto and Charlotta Mellander of Jönköping International Business School in Sweden.

Even if you’re self-employed, the conclusions are fascinating and offer a road map to economic relevance in the years to come.

Florida, an expert on urban studies, has called the Great Recession the “Great Reset,” in which the economy made a profound shift toward favoring “knowledge-based creative activities.” The study suggests that many of us need to reset our career planning to reflect this dramatic change.

About 8.4 million jobs in the U.S. disappeared from January 2008 to December 2009, the study notes.
While unemployment rose among all major classes of jobs in the recession, those in the creative class fared the best. They had an unemployment rate of 4.1% in 2010 and 2011, after the recession officially ended, according to the researchers’ analysis of data from the U.S. Current Population Survey. Before the recession, in 2006 and 2007, their unemployment rate was 1.9%, and during the crisis, in 2008 and 2009, their jobless rate was 3%.

In contrast, those in service class jobs, in fields like retail, had an unemployment rate of 9.3% in the post-recession years. They had a 5% unemployment rate before the recession and 6.9% during the recession.

Those in working class jobs in fields such as construction and manufacturing had an unemployment rate of 14.6% after the recession. Before the crisis hit, their unemployment rate was 6.5%. During the recession, it was 11.1%.

Interestingly, those in the creative class had lower likelihood of unemployment than those with the same level of education who worked in service and working class jobs.

For instance, unemployment among college-educated members of the creative classes was 3.2% after the recession, compared to a 5.9% unemployment rate among college grads in service class careers and 8.7% among college grads in working class careers.

Among members of the creative class with no college degree, the post-recession unemployment rate was 5.7%, compared to 10% among service sector workers and 15.1% among counterparts who also had no college degree and had previously been employed in working class jobs.

Some of the hardest hit workers, the authors noted, were employed in fields like construction that suffered severe downturns during the economic crisis or were based in cities that were disproportionately affected by the housing bust.

The authors also pointed out that, prior to the Great Recession, growth of residential and commercial construction fueled expansion of service sector businesses. When the housing market collapsed, that also affected service sector jobs that had taken shape in the housing boom.

But they also point to a structural change in the workplace that will affect many Americans. While companies’ investments in technology in recent years have complemented the work done by problem-solving creative workers, tools like computers did not replace what they do. Technology expanded their reach. However, that was not the case for workers doing routine jobs that entail following rigid corporate instructions repeatedly. Computers and other tech tools began replacing some of the work they do.
The creative class also benefited from another trend that showed up in the worldwide economic crisis: Their work was not as heavily affected by export-related conditions as, say, manufacturing workers’ jobs are. It is more tied to local consumption.

Studies like this have profound implications not just for workers but for both educators and employers.
Many schools still follow an old model focused on preparing workers for an industrial economy. While well-financed private schools and wealthy public school districts have for years offered students classes in disciplines like web design and robotics, many poorly financed schools lag behind them and miss opportunities to ignite students’ interest in fields like this.

We all need to look at what is being taught in the schools in our community and make sure it reflects what students need to know today, not just what mattered 40 years ago. You don’t necessarily need a college degree to excel in a field like web design, yet we do little to promote careers like this among high school graduates who aren’t college bound.

We also need to do more to spread entrepreneurship education, which is ignored in many schools. Many in the creative classes are self-employed or run small businesses, from marketing shops to architecture firms. However, most of us graduate from high school without a clue as to how to run a business, unless we happened to be part of a family that owned one.

Entrepreneurs and other employers also need to keep pace with the changes. The customers of the future will either want products and services that can be purchased at the rock-bottom prices automation allows–or offer something special, that only humans can bring. What types of highly customized service, unique expertise or cutting-edge skills do you have to offer? Many of us need to be able to answer questions like these, or we’ll find ourselves sidelined.

Original article from can be found HERE