Everyone wants to be successful. Different people have different criteria for success. While some pine for fame, others prefer wealth; they’re those who want to be respected above all else, and then there are people who define success as the peace of mind and ability to be free.
However you define success, dreaming about it and reaching that pedestal are two different things. What separates them is actually just one simple thing – the willingness to change one’s behavior and thought process. You must first admit that you are where you are right now because of the choices you’ve thus far made in life.
Like Marshall Goldsmith, the famous leadership thinker put it, “What got you here, won’t get you there.” He actually wrote a whole book on that. So, if you need to achieve that lofty goal, you need to get your thoughts in place, redefine mental models and pick up your act. Success is a result of choices. So, start choosing good from now on.
People who remain stuck with negative behaviors will never be a success and are destined to only dream of it. But those who are willing to learn about and understand where they go wrong and are open to modifying them, will always be on the path to success. It’s just a matter of time for these folks. Consistency is the key to success in whatever you want to achieve.
And if you are such a person (of course you are, why else would you be reading this) who is willing to change themselves to be successful, understand the mechanics of success, whether in your career or personal life, then you have to give up the negative attitudes mentioned below.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of Your Abilities
“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.”
Some people have a tendency to hold back their abilities just so that they don’t make other people feel inferior. Such an attitude will only keep you in a secondary position, never letting you get the taste of being a leader.
After all, being at the top means you have to outsmart everyone else competing for the position. When you hold yourself back, it is inevitable that you will never be ‘numero uno’. So, if you have a tendency to downplay abilities while in a team, then you should stop doing that. Use all your talents on whatever task you are assigned and come out on top.
There will obviously be people who don’t like the fact that you are number one. But you don’t have to mind them. Instead, associate with those who appreciate your effort and value you for the talents you have displayed.
2. Get Rid of Toxic People
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
– Jim Rohn
There will likely be lots of toxic people around you who aim to keep you in your current state, never allowing you to be successful. Such people might be acting this way due to a number of reasons, ranging from jealousy to their own insecurities.
Whatever be their motivations, get rid of such toxic people and cut off all relationships with them. Maintaining any sort of contact with them is not only useless, but will also be counterproductive, and will hold you back from your goal.
Instead, develop relationships with people who value your growth, appreciate your success, and give you suggestions as to how to improve yourself. Surrounding yourself with such supportive people alone will give you a huge confidence boost.
Even better, surround yourself with people the likes of which you wish to achieve, i.e. those who are better than you.
3. Avoid Being Fixated on Idealistic Standards of Perfection
“Done is better than perfect.”
There is nothing perfect in this world. And this is something that many people who naively chase an idealistic sense of perfectionism need to understand. Without grasping this concept and being happy with achieving a realistic goal, you will only waste life on a wild goose chase, remaining in the same position at all times, never improving and becoming successful.
For example, imagine that you are an artist tasked with creating four paintings for a company with a deadline of 2 months. Once the client has agreed on your basic concepts, you should move on to creating the painting one by one.
But if during the process of creating the first painting, you come up with an idea to make it even better then you might think of adapting your painting to the new idea. Don’t do it. Since the client has already approved an idea, go ahead with it and complete it. Overthinking should be avoided.
If you think of implementing the new idea, then you might come up with yet another idea that is better than everything you had till now. And this stream of ideas will never cease and you will never be able to complete the paintings in time.
This will obviously hurt your reputation as a painter and people will opt not to hire you because of your inability to meet deadlines, thereby hurting your chances of being successful. So, forget about idealistic perfection, and instead focus on meeting achievable targets.
4. Don’t Seek Validation From Others
“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–It is: Try to please everybody.”
– Herbert Bayard Swope
When you do something, focus on doing it well. Don’t act in order to please someone else and gain their appreciation. That is definitely not the attitude of a winner. Successful people don’t do things just because they will receive appreciation.
In turn, they do whatever they are tasked with, in the right way. And this makes them successful, eventually getting them praise from all corners. So, focus on doing the job at hand the best way possible, and you will have the mindset of a winner.
Only when there is truth in what you do, can you understand it completely, and improve upon it to achieve real success.
5. Stay Fit And Healthy
Be sure to keep yourself healthy and fit. If you pursue an unhealthy lifestyle filled with fatty foods and zero exercises, then success will be out of reach. Cut down on the junk food and start eating healthy, nutritious meals. Join a gym and get your body in shape. You don’t have to get a six-pack. You just have to be fit. And this will ensure that you have the energy to remain completely focused on your goal all day long.
Doing one good thing, however small, in a disciplined manner will lead to larger changes that will have an impact on the rest of your decisions, and eventually, change the course of your life. For more on this, read about Kaizen, the Japanese method of taking small steps to achieve large goals.
Go about everything at a steady pace, there’s no need to try to conquer the world in one day. Start tackling the problem areas one by one to achieve success with everything.
Ways to Improve Marketing Results Using Data from Social Channels
Marketing is aimed at making a product or service look as desirable as possible so that people feel a need to buy and use it. While there are many tactics that can be used to boost marketing and increase sales, ‘social proof’ is one of the most underused tactics by many marketers.
And honestly, this is quite unfortunate since social proof can be used to create a huge positive impact on how the public perceives your product and service. Here are some simple methods of using social proof to improve the results of your marketing campaign.
One of the easiest ways to use social proof in marketing is to use statistics that display the standing of your business, product, or service.
For example, if you manufacture baby talcum powder, find out how many people buy them, its market share, how many people prefer it over other brands, and so on. You can then publish such statistics which will act as social proof that the product or service you offer is indeed of high-quality and in good demand.
When people see statistics like “2 in 3 mothers use our talcum powder for their kids” or “60% of first-time buyers prefer to buy our brand for the next time,” they tend to have a positive impression about the business. This makes the customers feel more comfortable because it sways them to think that they are making an informed decision.
Another simple tactic you can use to boost sales through social proof is by publishing testimonials. A testimonial is simply a statement from the users of your product or service on how they benefited from it, how the product or service produced much better results compared to those of other similar brands, and so on.
The effect such testimonials have on people is tremendous. People generally end up developing a favorable view of something that is viewed positively by numerous other people. And this will make them try out that specific product or service. This is also why influencers are becoming far more valuable to marketing.
Visual proof is one of the most potent tactics out there. Visuals can be such a strong social proof that the audience may even go out and buy the product being promoted solely on the basis of these pictures and videos.
For example, imagine that you conduct a weight loss workshop that guarantees a person will lose almost 20 kilos in just about 3 months. Now, you can publish a detailed text on how the regimen works, what results to expect, etc., but they will have far less impact than a few pictures that show the participants of the program before and after joining it. When the audience sees the visuals of people having lost belly fat, it will act as a strong reconfirmation in their minds that the program is worthy of their investment.
Visual cues are easier for people to remember and act upon. It makes sense to make the launch or advert of your product as visually appealing as possible so that people actually take time out to look at it.
There are also companies that use expert opinions in order to boost sales. This is also the use of social proof, which in this case are the opinions of a few respectable intellectuals from a particular field.
A business that sells anti-virus software can use the expert opinion of tech experts and professionals from the field of safety and security. Positive reviews about your software will let the audience know that what you offer is a completely secure anti-virus software that has been approved for purchase by some of the best people in the industry. This will obviously boost the sales figures for your product.
While expert opinions are good social proof, a much stronger source of social proof is consumer reviews. Expert opinions are about people who just test your product for a few days and state their observations. In contrast, consumer reviews are created by people who have already bought your product because of their interest it, used it and then stating their observations about it.
People generally tend to trust consumer reviews a lot more than expert opinions. This is mostly because of the understanding that such reviews are written by people who are just like them.
So, ensure that you get as many positive reviews about your product or service and publish them on websites and social media to show potential customers that you have a strong existing consumer base.
Yet another form of social proof is a survey. You can conduct surveys on subjects relating to your product or service and publish the positive results online.
For example, if you manufacture shampoo that guarantees to reduce hair fall and strengthening the strands of hair, you can set up an online poll on social media asking your followers as to how many of them experienced an improvement in their hair quality after using the product for three weeks.
Once the survey is finished and the results come out positive, you can publish it and let them know that a good majority of users have benefitted immensely from the hair shampoo.
The positive results from the live survey will surely influence the people who have not used your product to at least consider buying and trying it out.
In the social media space, there are people who are known as ‘influencers.’ These are basically people who have a large following and are therefore in a position to influence how their followers feel about something.
You can use such influencer marketing tactics to create a positive image of your business by enticing the influencers to post a few lines that say good things about you and your products. Using multiple influencers in multiple time periods is the best way to ensure that a constant stream of social proof about your product keeps appearing in social media.
Keep in mind, the influencers you choose to represent your product must have a strong base of followers that come within your ideal target consumer group.
This is one of the most expensive social proof tactics on the list. But this can also be the most impactful.
Big businesses always use celebrities to promote products and services. The status and positive image of the celebrity makes the product look trustworthy in the eyes of the audience. Your business can try out the simple tactic by hiring a popular celebrity if you can afford one.
Although, the influencer market is getting so big in the current space that you won’t be missing out on much if you can’t afford celebrity endorsement.
Social media has given businesses a valuable tool to understand their customer base and to tap into their target audience market. Approaching potential customers was never easier. To quote myself from when I wrote an article about making the most of social channels –
We have so many amazing channels available to us to reach out to the customers and making the best use of these channels to cultivate a loyal customer base directly correlates to the success of the business moving forward.
Understanding your customer base and attracting the right customer base is important to start a business and keep it running. Social media provides valuable feedback from real users and also helps you lead your target audience back to your products. It helps your business make a one-on-one connection that has a huge impact on the overall standing a brand has in the market.
How to Build a Thriving Community on the World’s Largest Social Media Platform
Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform. And if you have a community page on the site, then you have limitless potential to grow it into an active meeting place for people who are interested in the same things as you.
But even though starting an online community on Facebook is an easy process, attracting new members and keeping them interested in the community can be difficult since there will be many competing pages that cover interests similar to yours.
If you have just started a community and are unsure of the steps to take next, then the following tips will definitely help you in building a thriving community on the world’s biggest social media platform.
Always Publish Relevant, Informative Content
When publishing content to your Facebook community, you have to focus on two core areas – relevance and information.
Firstly, only publish posts that are completely relevant to the members of your community. For example, if you have started the community with a description which states that it will deal with superhero movies, then you must only publish content in that specific genre. You should also only encourage discussions within the topic.
Just because you saw a meme of a cat that got a million likes, it does not mean you share it with the members. Never do such a thing. Although you might benefit from such a move in the short term, you will dilute the focus of the community by sharing unrelated stuff.
And other members might stop being active in the community since they are not always getting what they expected – superhero updates.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”
Secondly, always make sure that most of the posts you share within your community have information which the members find valuable, unique and interesting. For example, if your community is focused on topics like home care, then you can share content that helps them rectify air filter problems in the air conditioning.
The tips that are immediately effective, while remaining unique and not shared a million times before, will be valued.
The methods you share should be workable enough that the member can implement the tips and correct air filter issues. If your methods do not produce desired results, then too, the members will start losing interest in the community.
So, as long as the material you share is both relevant and informative, your community is guaranteed to grow.
Use Facebook Live
If you have been avoiding using Facebook Live, then it is time you rethink your decision. Facebook Live is one of the fastest-growing aspects of the platform. And the reason for its growth lies in the fact that people like to see other people live on-screen rather than read their ideas through a post on the community page.
And in certain subject matters, having a regular Facebook Live session can bring about greater bonding among community members, while also attracting newer users.
For example, if you have a community page dedicated to the NBA, then you can use Facebook Live to stream your reaction and viewpoints about a game in real-time. And if you are really good at presenting fresh insights into the game in a way that interests the audience, then the members will definitely wait to watch your live reaction to the next game.
Share Member Questions and Suggestions
Try to let the members know that you care about them and value their opinions. A good way to do this will be to answer some of the member questions and discuss suggestions. You can do this through a regular text-based post, but a video post is ideal since your audience will see you and are more likely to connect with what you express.
For example, if you run a community that focuses on hair care, and someone raises a question as to how hair can be made shinier, then be sure to cover the topic in your next post while mentioning the name of the person who brought it up.
Similarly, if someone suggests an effective method of removing dandruff from hair, their solution should also be shared with the community. When the members see that their questions and suggestions are being valued, they are more likely to remain active in the community.
Another good way to build a thriving community is by conducting exclusive interviews. The interview need not be with a big shot. Instead, you can conduct a video interview with someone who has achieved some success in the particular field that you are interested in.
If the interviews are informative and useful to the members, they will continue to actively participate in the community.
For example, imagine that you have a Facebook community covering, ‘Counter-Strike Global Offensive.’ You can conduct weekly or bi-monthly interviews with people who have jumped in the rankings, inquiring how they did it and discussing tips and tricks that can help other players.
If your interview makes the members more knowledgeable about the game, then you will definitely succeed in keeping the community active and growing.
If your community page mostly consists of members who are concentrated in specific geographic areas, then you can consider setting up special meet-up events as well.
For example, if your community is focused on Photoshop Tips, and you are an expert when it comes to the software, then you can conduct special training seminars at a few cities for free or a nominal amount.
This will bring members together at a physical location and will likely increase their commitment to the community. And if you are solid on the business side, you can even conduct such events at zero cost and turn in a profit by soliciting sponsorship and selling Photoshop add-ons and relevant software as an affiliate.
In addition to the above, there is one more important thing that you have to remember – always treat your members with respect. Just because you own the community does not mean that you go about rejecting differing viewpoints of the members and behave negatively with them.
Work up your leadership skills when you manage a community. People need to know they can trust you and count on you. If you’re respected, what you say and do becomes more valuable.
Whatever suggestions they provide, accept them if right, and politely reject if not. If you remain fair with the members, then they will see you as a good administrator, which will ensure that the community remains active for a long time.
Facebook is a very powerful tool that comprises of a widespread audience. You should be dedicated to creating a community because you want to bond with people not because you want to push your business. If you keep pushing your business, chances are that people won’t stay around long. Build a relationship first, and it will automatically convert into business.
Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success
We often have a lot of things that we would like to do – some short term and some part of our long term goals. There are only so many hours in the day. Knowing how to dedicate those hours to goals that actually matter is very important to achieve success.
Everyone has the same hours given to them in a day and how we spend those hours defines what we are going to achieve. You see many people working non-stop yet some of them succeed while others don’t. What do you think sets these people apart?
The people who are crushing it have realized the importance of prioritizing the tasks they dedicate their time to. The importance of time management is something that when learned will help you achieve wonders.
“Think of your priorities, not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.”
To achieve what you want, it is really important to learn how to prioritize – there will always be a plethora of things you want to do but they will never all be at the same level in the priority chart. You need to learn to teach yourself to decide on what is important and stick to doing that.
Under the guise to achieving success and doing as much as we can, we’ve all had that feeling where we’re working at an incredible pace and intensity. Even after that, we see ourselves making very little progress.
The reason it feels like our progress is low or we are making no progress at all is because it is exactly that. The notion that we can possibly be doing a million things back-to-back and still be effective is preposterous, to say the least.
People often mistake being busy with being productive. When you keep all your tasks at the same level of priority, it is easy to be sucked down the path of being busy rather than being productive. Busy without productivity is one of the major reasons for failure. It is sad because you won’t know that the issue is you, the feeling of doing a lot and still failing is enough to demotivate you into doing nothing.
It is Important to Remember That We Have Constraints
You need not be doing the most to succeed, you need to be doing the things that you need to succeed. Individuals and businesses alike need to prioritize their focus. As individuals or as growing businesses we have constraints in terms of resources and time.
None of these things come in abundance so we need to be highly vigilant when doling out our time and resources to certain tasks.
It is highly important for a person or business to spend their time on the most important areas that can drive success.
“In all planning, you make a list and you set priorities.”
To work our best and to make the most with the constraints we need to take into account, it is important to not take up unnecessary work. This applies to professionals heavily. When you are working with others, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to extra work that keeps coming your way but you need to understand that it is not rude or unprofessional to say ‘no’ time to time when you have your own important tasks you would rather be doing.
We somehow grow up with the notion that we need to fill our plates as high as we can – that might come with attending weddings and buffets and trying to make the most of the spread. It doesn’t work in the professional sense though, all it will do is overwhelm you. Do not take on more work than you can manage to do.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good’.”
Otherwise what happens is that all the unnecessary tasks keep us from doing the work that we are actually supposed to do. It also stems from our inability and hesitance to say ‘No.’ Most people have a hard time saying ‘no’ to requests, if you are one of them, then you better start asserting yourself and start turning down requests that take away from your productivity. If you start doing extra work for everyone else, you will never be able to get the free time you need to enjoy your life or take care of your priorities or to take care of yourself. No matter how busy you are, you need to find time for self-care.
How Does Prioritizing Your Tasks Work
Like we have already established, it is really important to know what tasks need to be done when. You can use any indicators that make the most sense to you when setting priorities. My process includes dividing all the tasks into high-priority, priority, and low-priority. You can also call them must-do, should-do, would-like-to-do – whatever clicks with you. Give them a number, or assign a letter or color to make it simpler for you to consult the list.
A is high-priority,
B is priority,
C is low-priority,
now write down the letters next to the tasks; now you know which ones to do first. This also helps isolate the tasks to further organize your tasks in a workable fashion.
One thing to keep in mind is to not add more than 2-3 tasks in the high-priority section. Chances are that the high-priority tasks are the most stressful ones and there is only so much stress we can handle in a day. If all your tasks for the day fall in that section then you are most probably setting yourself up for failure.
“When you have too many top priorities, you effectively have no top priorities.”
Also, try to get the MITs (Most Important Tasks) out of your way first. Many people just try to handle various activities as per their instinct or according to whatever they are in the mood for and end up never doing the important things. Later, they might blame it on ‘not having enough time’, which obviously is untrue.
It can be tempting to do all the smaller tasks first so that you have more completed tasks on your list. While it might seem like a good idea and might make you feel that that will make you feel accomplished and push you toward working more, it is rarely what will happen. The reality is that your mind will be tired doing a myriad of mundane tasks and by the time you reach the important and heavy work for the day, your mind will not be at the sharpest causing you to procrastinate.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
For example, imagine that you are required to submit a report by tomorrow evening. But you have a few personal activities that are pending, including watching a movie, a send-off party, and visiting your friend who is in the hospital.
Now, if you give priority to your personal activities, then your report might not be ready by evening the next day. This can lead to various complications on the professional front while not tending to your personal work might do the same to your personal life. To avoid this, you have to arrange the activities as per their importance to you.
Here are the tasks you have –
- Complete the report
- Watch a movie
- Attend the send-off party
- Visit your friend in the hospital
Tasks like watching a movie can be done any other day so it has the least importance in the bunch. Next, visiting a friend who is at the hospital may be necessary. But again, since you can visit them on any of the upcoming days depending on how serious they are and how long they are going to be in the hospital, you can postpone it. If this friend is close to you, then it will be a priority. See that this particular task has a lot more branches to consider to make a decision than a simple root cause.
Next, the send-off party that is scheduled today can be one of your priorities since you won’t be able to attend it on any other day. And lastly, the report will come at the top of the priority list since it is related to your work.
“In all planning, you make a list and you set priorities.”
Now that you have identified the priority of the activities, the only thing left to do is to follow them. So, start doing your project today and check-in at the party later in the night for a few hours if you can’t put it off. Tomorrow, you can continue with the project and finish it off.
Then, you can visit your friend in the hospital after you submit your report. Most hospitals will have visiting hours so that is another thing you have to take into account. If the hours are in the evening, you can drop by before you go to the party.
You can then finish the day by watching a movie late at night. And by following this tactic, you will never make an excuse for ‘not having enough time’ when required to do something within a time limit. That being said, managing all the things in quick successions takes a lot of determination, self-restraint, and a sense of commitment and accountability.
This becomes easier over time. If you are new to the game, you might have to let go of the party altogether along with the movie because the report and a friend bound to the hospital will take precedence.
Without priorities, the tasks we have lose their luster. For us to do our best and keep working toward our goal, we need to identify the tasks that require most of our attention. Because without knowing what tasks will help us achieve our long-term goals and dreams, it becomes easy to be sucked into doing a lot of unrelated tasks daily without making an actual impact. Prioritizing tasks makes sure that you do not stray from the path of achieving success.
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