Archives for posts with tag: goals

Just Say No
It’s not just their discipline to work hard to reach a goal, but their ability to say NO to those things, which on the surface appear to be important, but in reality are distractions. Saying “no” is a gift you give yourself.

When you choose to only focus on what’s truly important, it will make you available physically and mentally for the things that are really critical to reaching your goals.

By saying “no” you inevitably protect your most important fixed resource- TIME.

You and I have 24 hours in a day. So do President Obama, Tim Cook and Katy Perry. Your success no longer just depends on your ability to prove yourself, but more on your ability to prioritize what’s important.

As Steve Jobs once said, “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” Jobs followed his advice in 1998 when he cut Apple’s product line from 350 down to 10. Watch this 1-minute video with Mark Parker, the CEO of Nike talking about a call he got from Steve Jobs.

When you’re focused, it’s easy to see what you need to do to become remarkable and manage your brand. Herb Kelleher, the Founder of Southwest Airlines applies a simple mindset to every issue: Will this help Southwest continue to make the airline THE low-cost provider with remarkable customer service? Southwest was recently named to Fortune’s 2015 list of World’s Most Admired Companies for the 21st consecutive year with a record 42 consecutive years of profitability.

I Carry Free Bags
That’s why remarkably effective people are so decisive.

Indecision is usually the result of a lack of focus. Take a look at this video of Kobe Bryant’s insane work ethic that earned him a net worth of $300 million as a 37-year-old basketball player.

Your career is not a ladder where you have unlimited time to reach your goals. It’s a mountain that has to be climbed. If you want to make it to the top, you’ve got to carry only what’s necessary, and nothing more. Because what you carry will either slow you down or help you get to the top faster before you run out of time.

March Blog Pic
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since Reese Witherspoon starred in the movie Legally Blonde. At that time, she was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. But after Witherspoon won an Academy Award in 2006, she got divorced and her career floundered.

Fast-forward 8 years. Reese has made a dramatic comeback. She recently produced one of the highest grossing movies of 2014, “Gone Girl” proving that when you take control of your career and stop waiting for someone else to create what you want, you can change your life.

Witherspoon read a story in the New Yorker in 2012 involving a profile of Ben Stiller and a list of actors who were big stars 10 years ago and now they are not. She was on that list.

Within 2 years of starting her own production company, “Wild” was released, and this year, she was back at the Academy Awards as a nominee for “Gone Girl”. In her words, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up on yourself.”

Take some time and watch the last 5 minutes of the movie “Legally Blonde” and see how she inspired others to realize their dreams in life. The movie is a comedy, yet it underscores the often hidden truth that success is not dependent on always being successful, but how you handle failure or unexpected challenges.

If You Don’t Like What You See, Do Something About It

Witherspoon did not like the roles she was being offered, so she created her own production company, Pacific Standard. It’s focused on creating interesting and complex roles for women. Since she never knows which project will be a hit, her company has 16 television and movie productions in development.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself, What is the lifestyle you want to architect?

What career or job changes do you need to focus on to reach your goals? The odds are, you’ll need to try or evaluate many options before you discover the right formula for your success. Failure or dead-ends are your friends.

More often than not, it’s the process of trying and sometimes failing that will help you uncover the golden opportunity that was waiting for you to find it.

So many times you may have heard, “you become what you think about most often”. Hidden within that statement is a key component that many of us forget – it all comes down to your personal expectation as to whether or not you’re going to ultimately succeed.

That’s where it all starts. You’re not going to get anything if you don’t work hard to achieve it. But you’re not going to work hard in the first place unless you have a strong enough expectation that you’ll be successful. This is how life works. Your motivation to take action, and to follow through until the job is done, is directly proportional to your belief that you will succeed.

Food for thought:

When you believe that success is going to be the end result of you never giving up, then you are going to attack your objective with a greater passion. You’re going to be excited about what you’re doing, because you know that it matters. You know that whatever it is you’re doing, it will eventually translate into the result you want.

When you believe strongly enough that you will succeed at something, success is practically guaranteed – not because your belief creates the result, but because you don’t give up taking dedicated action until you get what you want.

The perspective of certainty gives you the ability to see obstacles as challenges that fuel your growth. Focus on “How can I, instead of Why can’t I … ?” The late author Dorothea Brande, in her book, Wake Up & Live, wrote, “Live as though it was impossible to fail.”

You’ll know when what you decide to do is the right thing – you just need to go for it with proper planning. Just don’t get “analysis paralysis” and never get started.

If you’ve got a major goal you want to achieve, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1.       You have to have the expectation that you (specifically YOU) can achieve this goal. People typically have a lot easier time believing something is “possible” than believing it’s possible for them.” They don’t fully believe that they will be capable of achieving a goal because they are missing something – the time, the talent, the resources, whatever.
2.       You have to have the expectation that you will close the resource gap, no matter how wide it is. How can you compete with a dyslexic college kid like Richard Branson who took on the music industry and the airlines (and succeeded).  A lack of time, money, connections … it doesn’t matter, because there’s a number of creative solutions out there that you’re going to come up with to overcome them. If you have the expectation that it will eventually be resolved, guess what’s going to happen.
3.       You have to have the expectation that every action you take matters. Recognize that action accumulates – that pyramids are built brick by brick. “Live as though it was impossible to fail.” Become a dreamer again.


Sometimes it’s what you STOP doing that allows you START doing what will make you more productive and ultimately more successful.

Surprisingly, a key variable in getting what you want relates to having clarity, which leads to focus, which motivates you to take action.

Author Greg McKeown in his latest book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less, highlights the importance of discerning between external noise and your internal voice.

Greg draws on experience and insights from working with key executives from some of the most innovative companies in the world to show you how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of less to get more.

His core message isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the RIGHT things done.

It’s about challenging the core assumption of ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

Take a look at the online shoe retailer It’s projected to make $1 billion in sales this year, yet profits weren’t its top priority when it was a start-up.

Their initial focus was on making improvements to the customer experience thinking that the more loyal customers they had, the more word-of-mouth business growth they would get.

They essentially adopted the ‘Essentialist Mindset’ of primarily focusing on building customer relationships instead of just selling shoes.

This perspective targeted customer service and made their customers raving fans who told their friends about why doing business with Zappos was remarkable.

They probably could have sold anything and still ended up being a great success.

By focusing on what is essential, doing less non-productive things allow you to take control of your choices so you can focus your time and effort into working on activities that matter.

Something as simple as trying to do too many things may cause you to lose a lot.

Maybe it’s time you consider becoming an Essentialist. It isn’t about getting more done in less time.

It’s about getting only the RIGHT things done by eliminating non value-added activities that are nothing more than distractions.

Consider these insights to get your goals on track while using an Essentialism Mindset:

Write Things Down

  • A goal that you can see is 10 times more powerful than a goal you just think about.

Get a Vision Board

  • Cut out pictures from magazines that represent your goals and look at your board when you wake up and when you go to bed.

Talk About Your Goal

  • Talking with others about your goals will help keep you on track and make you accountable to do what you say.

Set a Date

  • If you give yourself a deadline, you’re more likely to reach it.

Day by day, you may think that nothing changes but when you look back, you’ll see that many things about you are different because of how you spend your time.

Begin today to decide what you will STOP doing to START what you need to be doing to reach your clearly defined and written down goals.

Change your mindset from I have to do everything and I don’t have enough time, to your new “Essentialism Mindset” where you discipline yourself to Pursue Less to do More. 

For many people, the start of the New Year reminds them of the saying, “If You Do What You’ve Been Doing, You’ll Get What You’ve Been Getting”. To make 2014 better than 2013, it’s time to change your thoughts to change your world and realize that “Average is Over” and going forward, you need to become REMARKABLE to achieve great success.

In the past 12 months, the Internet has radically changed the way we do business, how we connect to others and most importantly the critical requirement for all of us to develop our own Personal Brand. Consider these New Year’s Resolutions to maximize your potential and truly become REMARKABLE in your area of expertise.

1.     Expand Your Professional Network – relationships and referrals are still the #1 factor in your being successful. Take time to acquaint yourself with NEW people who are aligned with your goals.

2.     Learn A New Job Skill – take time to expand on what you know to include a NEW skill that is in demand and marketable.
Set aside time to refresh your continuing education so you feel “brand new” again.

3.     Quantify Your Accomplishments – remember the saying, “You Can’t Manage It if You Can’t Measure It”. Set up a spreadsheet to track personal development metrics to measure your success in reaching your goals.

4.     Find a Mentor – the research is conclusive; get a mentor who can offer you qualified feedback and help you stay on track and you can DOUBLE your productivity.

5.   Brand Yourself As Someone Who Can Help a Company Make Money, Save Money, or Solve a Problem. Companies are not in the business of hiring people. They are in the business of making money. They use their money for increased automation, improved technology, leaner manufacturing and streamlining processes.

   Create Your Own Self Marketing SystemTo land your dream job you must be both FINDABLE and RELEVANT. With a well-designed “self-marketing plan”, you can have potential employers and or customers calling you! In the “old” job market, the adage used to be, “It is not what you know but who you know.” In today’s new job market, It’s who knows you, can you be found AND is what you are offering marketable and in demand.  Become an industry expert or the “go-to” person in your professional circle. Join organizations within your professional specialty and become an active participant in LinkedIn groups.

7.   Stop Setting Goals (seriously) and Start Making Habits– It is the small things that occur on a regular basis, that truly define who you are. Commit to a PROCESS of improvement, not just a goal. When you focus more on the practice instead of just the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time. It frees you from the need for immediate results. Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term but having a SYSTEM is what matters.  What’s the difference between goals and systems?

  •   If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship.
    Your system is what your team does at practice each day
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book.
    Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business.
    Your system is your sales and marketing process

8.   Life is Like A Cafeteria– A man came to America from Europe and went into a cafeteria to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order.  Nobody did. Finally, a woman with a tray full of food sat down next to him and told him how a cafeteria worked. “Start out at that end,” she said. “Just go along the line and pick out what you want. At the other end they’ll tell you how much you have to pay”. He soon learned that that’s how most things work in the world. Life’s a lot like a cafeteria. You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to pay the price, but you’ll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself.

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Will Smith – Actor, Rapper & Producer

Newsweek called him the most powerful actor on the planet. He has been nominated for 4 Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards and has won multiple Grammy Awards. In the late eighties, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, though, his celebrity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for nearly six years (1990 – 1996) on NBC and has been syndicated on various networks since then.

In the mid-nineties, Smith transitioned from television to film, and he ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films that received broad box office success. He is the only actor in history to have 8 consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office as well as being the only actor to have 8 consecutive films in which he’s starred open at the #1 spot in the domestic box office tally. 14 of the nineteen fiction films he’s acted in have grossed of over $100 million, with 4 of them taking in over $500 million in global box office receipts.

His 12 rules for life:
Watch the video for his ideas on these key points.

1. Greatness exists in all of us.
2. Life can be easy if we let it be.
3. There is greatness in all of us.
4. Lay one brick at a time.
5. Focus on making a difference.
6. Represent an idea…represent possibilities.
7. You have to believe in yourself.
8. Nothing is unrealistic.
9. Our thoughts are physical.
10. You really got to focus.
11. Attack your fears.
12. Be willing to die for the truth.

What are your thoughts on how you will become successful?

Your personal brand is the collective impression people get not only from you and your marketing efforts, but from their interactions with you. By adding a social branding component (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) to your personal brand as part of your job search, you can leverage technology to promote yourself in a viral way by expanding who knows you related to on-line referrals and the search capabilities of the web. To enhance your personal brand with social branding technologies, consider incorporating these 4 ideas:

1. “Become What You Want To Be Right Now.” Who you are and what you want to be is as unique as a fingerprint. Act as if you are already a specialist in your area of expertise and you will become that person.

2. “Speak Your Message In Their Language.” Everyone in the virtual employment marketplace is talking at once so your brand has to rise above the noise. Your message, the nutshell of who you are and why people need what you have to offer, has to be short and shareable.

3. “Look The Part And Be The Part.” Your visual identity is a symbol that carries the weight of 1000 words. It’s a combination of elements you own (your name, logo, tagline, etc.) as well as elements you come to own through repeated use like writing/speaking styles and even the way you dress. Consider UPS. The color brown is part of their brand.

4. “Branding Is A Process, Not An Event.” Peoples interests change and technology tools change. Social branding is a dynamic process requiring you to be aware of what’s happening in your field. Become a student of your employment marketplace to ensure you know the latest trends and what your competitors have to offer.

Study the concepts of personal AND social branding and leverage them to reach your employment goals. Now more than ever, you need to be remarkable or you’ll be invisible.

A giant chalk board decorates the side of a bar in San Diego. It’s part of global art project called “Before I Die”. The bar owner says the 98 slots usually fill up in a day and when he sees it’s full, he wipes it down so that everyone who walks by has the opportunity to write something.  As I read the board comments, I was surprised how many of them embodied thoughts of something that the person was passionate about. It made me think about how many people jobs have but few seem to have a career linked to something they are passionate about.

Now more than ever, your job search needs to be more than just a process to discover what’s “available” but rather the building of a “bridge” to get what you want – something you can truly be excited about! Consider your income as fuel for what you really want to do, not as a goal in and of itself.

The Harvard Business School did a study on the financial status of its students 10 years after graduating and found that:

  • 27% of them needed financial assistance.
  • 60% of them were living paycheck to paycheck.
  • 10% of them were living comfortably.
  • 3% of them were financially independent.

The study also looked at goal setting and found that:

  • The 27% that needed financial assistance had absolutely no goal setting process in their lives.
  • The 60% that were living paycheck to paycheck had basic survival goals to just get by.
  • The 10% that were living comfortably said they knew where they were going to be in the next 5 years.
  • The 3% that were financially independent had written out their goals AND had clearly defined steps to reach their goals.

Perhaps the JOB SEARCH process needs to be changed to a GOAL SETTING process tied to matching a career to work that gets you excited. Take the time to architect the lifestyle and the career you want and see what happens. You’ll discover that there’s something magical about writing things down that empowers the subconscious mind to alter your thinking and your motivation to take action.

Make your “Before I Die” chalkboard a written plan of clearly defined steps to reach a career goal that gets you excited.  Look at it before you go to bed and when you wake up. Then use the magic of 30 days to develop a pattern of thinking that proves that “when you change your thoughts you change your world” and “you become what you think about most often”.

Most people look for posted job openings as their primary focus in a job search. However, statistics confirm that REFERRALS are the # 1 way to get an interview.  Consider using your web presence and your influence to motivate others to give you job referrals.

Take a look at established by a San Francisco start-up in 2008. Klout scrapes social network data and creates profiles on individuals who are assigned a “Klout score”. 100 million profiles are currently being tracked. Klout is not an “opt-in” service, but if you register with Klout, you enable your social networks to be accessed and evaluated to get a Klout score. Data from your social networks is used to give you a Klout Score based on (1) True Reach: How many people you influence (2) Amplification: How much you influence them and (3) Network Impact: The influence of your network. Klout also builds profiles of individuals who are connected to those who register at Klout.

The 2012 Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World have recently been announced, and this year, the list underscores a shift from well-known people within well- known companies to individual people who are personally influential. Influence is quickly becoming more valuable because of how it impacts the actions of others instead of just creating an awareness of someone generated by public relations and mass marketing. Now, a simple tweet can reach millions in a second and the internet’s metric tracking capabilities give us the opportunity to measure how people who are active in social media actually influence each other online.

Taking a closer look at Klout scores reveals another interesting perspective. Not all people with high Klout scores are celebrities or in the music or movie industry. 50% of the 2012 “Time 100” have Klout Scores ranging from 95 to 23. The average Klout Score on the list is 62.  Alexei Navalni, a Russian lawyer, politician, and political activist has a Klout score of 81, higher than the average of all U.S. politicians on the list (80).  Billionaire Eike Batista, listed by Forbes Magazine as the 8th richest person in the world, has a score of 77, higher than Warren Buffet (64). The only person with a perfect 100 Klout score is Justin Bieber, an 18 year old pop star.

Almost equally important as someone’s score, are the lists they are a part of. Klout Lists are a great way to discover and interact with people in your “influence network”. Klout essentially makes it easier to connect with new people through social media by helping you find influencers in your areas of interest.  Find the influencers and then work on getting referrals to get an interview and land a job. Recognize that relationships are the key to getting a job referral, not just contacts. Focus on using your talent to influence opinions, processes, perspectives or the actions of others. Then quantify your results with Klout and measure the effectiveness of your job search related to building relationships that lead to referrals.

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. Being safe is risky.

A lack of clarity in what you want out of life or too many options can cause “analysis paralysis”. In today’s world of constant and rapid change, you have to be committed to a goal, not just curious if you can reach the goal. You can be comfortable or remarkable, but not both. The key to going from invisible to remarkable is to get out of your comfort zone and into your passion zone.

Employers (customers) today want to see and feel that interacting with your personal brand is something that is unique or compelling relative to your competition. You have to differentiate yourself from being ordinary to becoming extraordinary. More often than not, it’s your passion about what you represent that makes the difference in you being a success or not.

Realize that it’s often what you STOP doing that makes you a success or failure. If you’re looking for work, stop scanning job boards and start focusing on building relationships with industry leaders. If you don’t have time to think about building a personal brand, decide what you need to stop to free up time to get things going. It’s that simple.

Consider, Dilbert, a comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams. It’s known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the key character. The strip has generated several books, an animated television series, a video game, and hundreds of Dilbert-themed merchandise items. Dilbert appears in 2000 newspapers worldwide in 70 countries and 25 languages.

For 6 years, he worked at a day job while doing the Dilbert comic strip mornings, evenings and weekends. Then Adams bought a book called “1986 Artist Markets” and followed the instructions on how to get syndicated. He drew 50 sample strips and mailed copies to the major cartoon syndicates. United Media called a few weeks later and offered him a contract. was the first syndicated comic strip to go online in 1995 and is now the most widely read syndicated comic on the Internet. Scott essentially built a bridge from where he was to what he wanted. He passionately focused on making his goal to be syndicated a reality. The rest is history.

If you take risks, expect to fail many times. Failure is part of the process of learning. In fact, negative feedback is often some of the most important information you can get, if you use it to redirect yourself in reaching your goals.

Look at people who are successful and you will almost always see a path of rejection followed by success. If you knew you only had 3 years to live, what would you do differently?  Clearly define what you want as a career and go for it! The time has come to stop looking for what’s available and build a bridge to what you really want.

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