Are The People in Your Life an Engine or an Anchor?

Over the years I’ve recognized that there are some people who are positive and supportive individuals that I really want to be around.  They areid-100109424 solutions focused relating to most problems and are almost always willing to talk through challenges with a positive end in mind.  These people are engines.  They help me be my best self and they motivate me to drive forward.

I’ve also noticed, as I’m sure you have, that there are some people who complain as though it were an Olympic event (for the record – it’s not!).  They tend to be negative, argumentative, and obsessed with problems.  I’ve learned not to spend much time with these people because they focus on all the things that are wrong relating to most challenges.   If all someone does is focus on problems – they become an expert on problems and not on the solutions.   These people are anchors, they hold me back and weigh me down.

id-100381604Who do you surround yourself with: engines or anchors? This is an important question for everyone.  It’s particularly important if you are trying to build a powerful personal network of people around you.  Is your network full of people who are engines helping you go to the next level in your life or your career?  Or, are they anchors weighing you down with the plethora of issues, problems, and complaints? Do they hold you back, or do they drive you forward?

The funny thing here is that no-one thinks they’re an anchor.  No one!  Of course they’ll tell you that they are an engine – they just do not like the direction you are going and that’s why they come across the way they do.  For the record – they’re an anchor – with a motor attached. My advice is to call for “all hands on deck,” cut loose the anchors in your life, partner up with your fellow engines and go full-speed ahead.

Never, Never, Never Give Up

As part of a commencement speech, Winston Churchill is believed to have once said, “Never, never, never give up!”

I love this quote-however, the left side of my brain says that when it comes to business, that’s just not logical. You must know when the time is to give up. Fortunately, my right brain often wins the battle on this issue. You see, I may not be smartest or most successful person in the room, but I am almost always the most determined.

I believe that if you have great information and feel confident in your vision and your goals, then you need to be a “dog with a bone” in your focus and never give up. I have applied that approach throughout most of my life.

In 1992, I completed the manuscript for The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret; over an 18-month period, I sent my manuscript to 45 publishers all over North America. It’s difficult enough to write a book-but to then send it out and hope someone else sees its potential the way you do, is even more difficult. I sent it out to 45 publishers and received 44 rejections–until number 45 came along. I was that dog with a bone; I was not going to give up until someone gave me a chance. In 1994, the book was published and since then, its been through four editions, translated in more than 10 languages and sold more than 200,000 copies.  44-rejections

A few months ago, I was going through some old files and I found the records I kept of everyone I submitted to, and it made me remember the determination I felt. Had I given up on number 44, I may have never become a best-selling author in multiple markets around the world. That, and many other experiences I’ve had over my lifetime, have led me to believe that if you are confident in what you are doing-never give up. Never, never, never give up.

 

 

The printed copy of World’s Best Known Marketing Secret can be found here.

The audio version (yes – we have it as an audio book!) can be found here.

Pillars of Business: Passion and Commitment

Let’s say you own your own business. You’re toiling away, working harder than you ever have because it’s something you LOVE–this business is your passion. But you feel yourself getting distracted; you sense the urge to cut and run. What do you do? Do you give in and find something else that isn’t quite as time consuming or difficult-or-do you stick it out and make this potentially the best endeavor you’ve ever sought out?

Three words comes to mind: don’t give up.

You can have as much passion as any entrepreneur ever has; but if you don’t couple your passion with commitment, you’ll never see the results you hoped for. You’ve heard me say, “Be a dog with a bone.” It applies well here-it means don’t let go. Hold on to that bone as tightly as you can.

But HOW do you commit? It’s true-it’s easier said, than done. I’ll tell you how-but it’s up to you to apply it to your own life, and your own business.

Decisions Aren’t Always Easy

I’ve been a member of the Transformational Leadership Council for the last 12 years.  It is a group of innovative and out-of-the-box leaders that meet twice a year from all around the world, and last week we met in Napa Valley, California.  I use this time to expand my mind, brainstorm new content for my blog and articles and most of, all learn from the incredible teachers around me.

One of the topics that really got my attention was the idea of “decision fatigue.”   

In decision making and social psychology, decision fatigue refers to the exhaustion that sets in when someone is presented with the need to make one decision after another, back to back, over and over again.  This can play out in several ways–for example, it can be as simple as going to a grocery store and being confronted with one bad choice for food after another. By the time you are checking out, your willpower becomes weak and you buy that candy on the way out of the check stand (that’s why they have it there!)

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 It can also be related to a very long day of making many decisions. If you’re making tough calls all day long, the quality of the decisions will drastically diminish by days end.  Or it might play out over a very long period of time (weeks, months, or years) where you are confronted with one challenging decision after another.  Over an extended period of time, you feel exhausted and drained from having to make so many decisions about so many different issues that it is easy to experience “burnout” as a result.

In running a global organization with an incredible amount of competing demands, this last consideration really rang true for me.  I often felt that the serious nature of the ongoing decisions that needed to be made, could create a massive amount of long-term stress for me. One way I combated this stress was to schedule dedicated “mental health days” to reset my mindset and get in a better place.  

I spoke about this several years ago in my blog here. 

Decision fatigue is a real condition.  What, if anything, do you do to combat this feeling in your life?

What is a Lifestyle Business?

LBSSummit_IvanMisner_FBWhat defines happiness and success? Everyone has a different answer, but I can tell you one thing that most would agree on: money does not solely define success and certainly cannot buy happiness.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the LifeStyle Business Summit, hosted by Michelle Villalobos. In telling her own story, Michelle said she was climbing the ladder like we all do, but when she examined her life, she in fact wasn’t happy–and so she left to find her own path to fulfillment. She started her own business, making upwards of $300,000 a year–which society tells us should make a us happy–but that as time went on, she had actually become what she disliked most in people and became the boss she herself had always feared. She never gave herself any breaks or time off, and sacrificed her own happiness and health for a corporate lifestyle.

Two years went by and then Michelle realized she had to make a change in order to find true happiness. She wanted to run a business that revolved around her life and contributed something positive to the world–and she did, by changing her perspective, her business model and her definition of success. Michelle calls her new business model a “lifestyle business,” a term which I found fascinating as it resonated with some many of the concepts I talk and write a.

In a lifestyle business model, you have to determine which things are satisfiers and which are dissatisfiers. Keep in mind that while money can be a quick satisfier, it often doesn’t lead to long-term happiness. Long-term satisfiers can be things like opportunity, recognition and working in your flame (finding you passion.) I’m a real believer in following your passion and finding things that are new and innovative within that passion to keep the flame burning. Dissatisfiers include things like working in your wax (not doing what makes you happy), climbing the ladder and yes–even money.

A great example of this theory is a school teacher. A man or woman doesn’t become a teacher to make money, but to make a significant change in the world around them. I’ve known Wall Street executives who made millions, but admitted that their life was hollow.

I strongly encourage you to join me at the virtual Lifestyle Business Summit on August 11. Register here to not only hear me, but several other top business and lifestyle experts talk about finding what truly makes you happy in your professional life.

 

 

 

Conquering the Fear of Rejection

Fear is a powerful driver in most people’s lives. It dictates what we take risks on, it makes us hold back, and it even hinders us from reaching our potential.

The fear of rejection is an emotion that many of us carry in our personal lives, but it can very easily seep into our professional one as well. We all come to that nexus point in our lives: we can do something, or we can do nothing. The fear of rejection almost held me back from promoting my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, because I was worried some book stores wouldn’t want to carry my book. But you know what I realized?

Some will, some won’t–so what?

Watch the video below for more on conquering the fear of rejection.

What Are Your Values?

valuesYour values shape you and your career decisions more than you may realize. Before making any changes in your professional life, you may want to sit and think about what you value. You may be surprised what answers you come up with.

Your values are qualities that are important in the way you live and work. These are different for everybody, so you should be sure to answer this question for yourself and not take another’s answer. Values help us to determine our priorities, and when our actions stray from our values, we can feel the negative ramifications in all aspects of life.

To start with, we all have core values that resonate in our lives. These core values are the building blocks that all of our other values build upon. These values will be stable throughout your life, and typically won’t change based on that situation. To determine some of your core values, answer the following:

  • What career should I pursue?
  • Should I accept this new job/promotion?
  • Should I compromise in this?
  • Should I follow tradition in my family/circle?
  • What do I want from my personal life?

After figuring out your core values, you can move on to the values specific to helping you move forward in life. When thinking about new opportunities in your life, it is important to understand your values – particularly the ones that may play into the changes. To determine these values, follow the following steps.

  1. Identify times when you were happiest. Find examples from both your personal and professional lives, and figure out what factors and people played into this happiness.
  2. Identify the times you felt a sense of pride. Ask yourself, “why was I proud?” and figure out what factors played into that.
  3. Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied. What need or desire was fulfilled to leave you feeling satisfied? Why was the experience memorable, and how can you recreate it?
  4. Determine your top values, based on your past experiences of happiness, pride and fulfillment.

Each person’s experiences will help them build a unique set of values, and staying true to your values can help you get the most out of your professional life to be the happiest in your personal life.

What are some of your most important values? What questions above helped you find these values? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

How to Combat the Fear of Failure

We all deal with the fear of failure from time to time.  I know I certainly do.  It’s a part of life and it can sometimes cripple us to the point where we’re so afraid of failing at something that we’d rather not even try.  So, what can we do about it?  How can we move past it in order to achieve our greatest goals, dreams, and desires?

Well, the answer is simple.  We stop worrying about whether or not we are going to fail because–guess what?–we very well may and that’s okay!  It’s inevitable; we are all going to be successful at some things and we’re going to fail at other things.  The key is to refuse to define ourselves by our failures and commit instead to both learning from our failures and defining ourselves by our successes.

In this video, I tell a personal story about a time when I was virtually frozen in fear because I was so preoccupied with the prospect of failure, and I explain how it helped me to realize the key to combatting the fear of failure.  The fact is, if we always try, we can eventually win.  But if we let fear keep us from even trying, we will fail without a doubt.

Is there something that you currently want to accomplish, big or small, but haven’t attempted to start because you’re afraid of failing?  If so, make a list of one action you can take each day (no matter how small) for the next week which will help get the ball rolling and move you toward accomplishing what you want to do.  Then, when the week is over, repeat the process of mapping out and completing small daily actions every coming week–before you know it, you will have made real progress!

If you have a story about a time fear of failure stopped you from doing something, or a time you overcame your fear of failure and accomplished something important to you, please share it in the comment forum below–I’d love to hear from you!

Adversity and Risk Taking

One law of human nature is to want more–more horsepower, more serenity, more intimacy, more money, more power, more life.  But getting more is often an uncomfortable business.  To reach the juiciest apples, we have to climb high, reach out, and risk falling off the ladder.  Such risk taking tends to be uncomfortable–physically, financially, socially, especially emotionally.  We spend a lot of time feeling awkward, inept, out of our element.  Terror and exhilaration dance a reckless tango on our nerves.

Reaching for more takes learning, and learning makes us feel like children again, with all the excitement, wonder, and fear that spiced our earliest years.  And it’s not what we’re learning, it’s where we’re starting from and how far we’re trying to reach that make the difference.  Learning is relative.  The experience of a paraplegic rediscovering the complexities of walking is as intense as that of a teenager learning to drive, a downhill skier learning to snowboard the half-pipe, a manicurist learning to run their own shop.  What is routine for one is unimaginable success for another.

In learning, we all start from adversity.  We don’t make enough money, can’t stand our job, don’t know enough, can’t climb the mountain.  Adversity may creep into our awareness as dissatisfaction, a natural manifestation of personal growth, or it may be forced on us by accident or catastrophic illness.  Whatever the case, we desire intensely to move from adversity to triumph.  And in moving, we encounter new ideas, learn new skills, acquire new beliefs, adopt new attitudes.  We face down adversity and stretch ourselves toward success.  We improve.

To improve, we must weigh the desired end against the pain of getting there.  No risk, no gain.  If we opt for comfort and ease, we forgo the rewards of accomplishment.  But if we take to heart what professional athletes are taught and “do something every day that scares you a little,” we stretch our boundaries and move into new territory.  We gain in self-confidence, which makes it easier to push back the limits and tackle bigger challenges.  We convert nervous energy–the jitters–into kinetic energy.  We become unstoppable.

Do you have a story about how you took a risk or faced adversity in order to grow?  If so, I’d love for you to share it in the comment forum below.  You never know who you’ll inspire . . .

 

 

 

 

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