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.
How Influencer Marketing Helps You Put Your Business on the Map
In today’s times, social media is a life-changing tool for small businesses. The plethora of platforms available at our disposal to use – to benefit us and our businesses in ways that didn’t seem possible earlier – offers huge opportunity to engage with a community of prospects at a fraction of cost.
The key, however, is targetting the right audience and then coming up with resourceful ideas to pull them in. This is where influencer marketing comes in. Influencers are people who have a community of people following them with same interests.
“Influencers are people. People (or maybe personas) with a brand and an audience. What makes them attractive to advertisers is their ability to speak to a very defined group of fans. The way the ecosystem is maturing looks a lot like the internet in the early days.”
You don’t have to go out there to look for individuals with same interests, you can look for influencers that work with your field and have millions of potential customers ready for you to convert into leads.
This practice has made marketing so much more lucrative and easier. You will be a fool to not use social media to its full potential when it comes to affluential marketing. The success of a good social media marketing campaign is in its ability to reach out to the audience and engage with them, rather than to sell stuff.
Simply running your social media accounts on autopilot or pushing content only to put your products out through Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts to a huge number of fake followers is simply not the right way to do it.
This is when you can use influencers to do the work for you. Though it’s kind of a new landscape for a substantially large number of people even in the marketing industry, influencer marketing has been around for quite a long time. What people don’t realize is that they exist and function within a nuclear testing ground of marketing strategies and yet, for the most part, is unaffected by it.
Influencer marketing was a concept spawned out of this idea – It’s not what is being said that’s important, it’s WHO says it that makes it count.
What is an Influencer
In essence, brand marketers “inspire” or reward strategic “influencers” to get the sales pitch out to the target customer base instead of doing it themselves directly. Influencers are basically entities (people or enterprises) who have a definite large number of followers who appreciate the content put out by the influencer.
This credibility is built over years of research, building networks, and regular engagement with authoritative figures. This is largely evidenced through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Over time, the influencers garner a fan base. This fan base could also be supporting an idea or philosophy that the Influencer represents through his actions or body of work, such as published articles online, political/non-political campaigns, video content, podcasts, or other multimedia content.
Corporate marketing personnel utilize social media and content marketing to drive the message across to a target audience. Influencers are expected to spread these specially crafted content through their personal social media channels and blogs.
In some scenarios, the content is created by brand marketers. But most of the time, influencers create their own customized content.
So how exactly does this all work out?
“Influencer marketing is the first real consumer-driven marketing channel. It’s real people talking to real people. If you look back, consumers have really only had a voice for about the last 10 years. As that happened, people started to talk about things they were passionate about, building audiences and providing real valuable content to people.”
In today’s setting, an influencer can work by reaching out to your target audience and persuading them to pay attention to your business through the following techniques:
- Writing blogs about your business, reviewing products and services.
- Posting information or updates about your products and services through social media accounts.
- YouTube review videos on products and services.
- They can provide you permission to guest post on their portals, which is subscribed to by your target audience.
Influencers can do any one of the above or any combination of the above to help your business brand make an impact on your target audience.
But how exactly do you set this in motion?
Influencing the Influencer
One thing to keep in mind is that influencers are running a business themselves. They are not going to be helping you just for the sake of it unless you have a pre-existing relationship with them. Make sure to research the market value for the niche and approach the influencer with a proposal based on their influence and work. Making use of influencers essentially translates to the two following scenarios:
You will need to cultivate relationships with some of these major influencers so they end up subscribing to your blog and/or start following you on your social media channels. To make this happen, your existing content needs to be relevant to their content and needs to have solid verifiable credibility. If these influencers link to your content from their sites or share it on their social network channels, you have scored major points for your business.
You get in touch with influencers directly and persuade them to publish your content on their personal social media platforms, thereby getting an audience of their followers. Of course, for that to work, again you need to have established credibility in the first place. In this scenario, you score points as soon as your content gets published on their platforms.
Your interactions with influencers need to be based on genuine rapport and common interests. You have to prove that you are happy and capable to add value to whatever enterprise or campaign your influencers may be running. You have to show that you have a genuine interest in developing a favorable network while facilitating authors of quality content to gain exposure online.
With the influx in the influencer marketing business, it is smart to invest in people who can bring you targeted leads. You have to be thorough in your research because it is a numbers game, some influencers are not above using fake followers to show a big number to you. Along with their following, be sure to check their engagement activity – the huge number of followers isn’t going to be buying your products but the people taking the time to engage probably are.
“Any influencer can get a ‘one-night stand’. Trusted social influencers leverage data and help the brand define success to get a call back the next day.”
7 Steps to Make Your Dreams See the Light of the Day
Every person who has ever thought of starting a start-up and hasn’t seen it through has started with an idea and somewhere along the line stopped at the idea. What makes a business idea work is the persistence to see that idea be converted into a sellable product.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
It takes time and hard work to bring an idea to fruition. Growing a business will need more work than a job ever would, which many people transitioning do not realize. You will need to sacrifice more than you bothered to consider, you will have to work more hours, you will lose sleep, but in the end, it will be all worth it.
If you plan everything properly and keep your vision set on the goal, it becomes easier. Keep moving forward and keep taking baby steps. Here are a few things you can do to finally make your dreams see the light of the day without you feeling overwhelmed and ditching your ideas before they even take their first breath.
1. Document Everything
Whenever an idea strikes, putting it all on paper is the best way to go. Having everything laid out will give you a clear idea as to what is needed to make that idea become a reality. You will get to see all the pre-requisites right in front of you and it will give you a pretty good clue of the amount of effort you will need to put in.
“Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing.”
You will not be moving forward with an unrealistic approach toward the project. Making a mission statement or writing down your vision in a document and keeping on visiting it from time to time will help you stay true to your dream. Whenever you feel like you are losing track of things, you can revisit this document to remind yourself what your goal was.
2. Research Your Idea
Once you know what all you are going to need or want to get to the starting point of the action sequence, to get the ball rolling, pull all stops to gather information. Information gathering is a crucial phase of any project.
A preliminary check on your target market, manufacturing and distribution costs, comparing the costs of similar products, studying the demand, etc. is a no-brainer. This is important to know that there is a profit to be made before you invest a great deal of time and money developing your dream into reality.
3. Find a Mentor
Now you have an idea and you have spent considerable time researching the market and the product, but you don’t know where to go from there. If it is a field that is completely foreign to you then the hurdles are at every corner and even if you are quite familiar with the technicalities of the field, the experiences of someone can give you invaluable insight.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
-John C. Maxwell
Find a mentor who can help you guide through the process, someone who has been there and done that, or someone who has bright ideas as to how you can proceed and can provide you with a logical argument to whatever you have at your disposal.
4. Design a Prototype/Working Model
Having a real-life example of how your product is going to work or how it is going to be received in the market makes you ready to deal with the real deal before it even becomes a reality.
It also helps you make a more informed pitch to your investors. Having everything ready to be explained and showing how much thought and research has been put into every decision is a great way to show investors how serious you are. It also helps you discover all the flaws or kinks before your idea can be patented or the production can be started.
5. Find the Right Investors
If you do not have the capital to invest, chances are you don’t, then you will have to find an investor who believes in your vision and is willing to invest in it. This is where thorough research and having adequate documentation comes in.
Knowing the market of your product inside out will help you sell your idea to investors. Finding the right investor is important because when both the parties are on board with the idea and have the same vision, working becomes that much easier and there are fewer decision clashes.
6. Marketing and Distribution
Marketing is when you create a business plan and figure out how you would bring your product to the market. It includes decisions like whether you want to manufacture and sell the product all by yourself or you want to license another company for sale.
Distribution channels need to be figured out. Comparisons need to be made to decide what option will help you make the most profit and what fits in with the vision of your product, of your company.
7. Marketing Channels and Advertising
You might have a great product but if people don’t know it exists then there is no point of it existing. You have to put your product out there for people to discover it and try it. You have to figure out what channels are the best for the product you are planning to launch.
“Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.”
Learn about the tools at your disposal. Use social media to create a brand presence and to generate leads. Social media channels are also great to track customer feedback and get suggestions. It helps you make a direct connection with the customers and reach out to potential customers.
Having an idea is just not enough if you want to see your dream turn into reality. Steps are meant to be taken not stared at. No matter how good your idea is, if you don’t do anything about it, it is as good as not existing.
If it feels overwhelming, take one thing at a time. Go through the process one step at a time. Focus on developing your idea, then focus on researching – not everyone can multitask and manage different phases of the process together. It is okay to work a phase in isolation – as long as you don’t stop working toward your goal, it is okay to go as slow as you like.
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
Perfection has somehow become a term we use to measure our expertise in something. Rather than focusing on learning as well as we can and as much as we can, we tend to focus on achieving perfection.
While striving for perfection isn’t wrong, because that means we expect the best from ourselves, chasing perfection surely is futile.
Because perfection isn’t exactly a measurable term, we can’t be sure if we have achieved the state of perfection. What you can call perfection when you learn something is knowing all the ins and outs of the subject matter, even then there will always be something new to learn.
“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”
Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.
While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.
“Perfection cannot be defined or seen; it can only be found in your heart.”
Everyone has their own definition of things. Because everyone has a different perception of things, different priorities, different dreams – there is no one thing that can sound perfect to everyone – that is what makes ‘perfection’ a very relative term. What sounds perfect to one person, might not even be worth considering for someone else.
If you don’t realize that perfection is nothing but another societal norm we have been working to achieve that isn’t realistic, you will be chasing a dream nonstop with no end to it whatsoever. It is like rolling off the hill, you will only keep tumbling downwards until you reach rock bottom.
Chasing perfection also leads you to a state of analysis paralysis rendering you to inaction. Whenever there is a huge change to be made or a big risk to be taken, we tend to overthink a lot. Yes, research is important. Yes, giving enough thought to your decision is essential. The problem arises when we try to get our solution to the state of perfection. Under the pretence of working on perfecting your course of action, you somehow get stuck and are often too late to be taking any action.
You can only think about so much, you can only do so many things to ensure everything goes smoothly, you can only think about so many risks that you can counter – unless you actually get down in the water you are not going to learn how to swim is basically my point. You aren’t going to be a national level swimmer when you start and that shouldn’t be your goal either. Your goal should be getting better than you were yesterday.
Let’s talk about the impact you will have on the way you work and the way you approach things once you stop chasing perfection.
“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”
1. You Feel More Happiness and Gratitude
When you are in the pursuit of happiness, you often feel powerless because nothing brings satisfaction. No matter what you achieve, no matter what perks you get, no matter the heights you reach – you will always be chasing more instead of taking a moment to be thankful for what you have and be happy of the things you have managed to achieve.
Instead of being grateful for the feat you have pulled right now and giving yourself credit, you will start planning what more you do to do it better the next time. While striving to be the best isn’t wrong, not being appreciative of what you have managed to do is. When you do not give yourself credit, you start losing confidence in yourself.
When you don’t appreciate your efforts, there is no feeling of happiness or contentment to come by. You jump to your next course of action in the next heartbeat without giving yourself time to relax and cope.
“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.”
But, when you stop chasing perfection, you give yourself a chance to feel happy about yourself, your work, and your efforts. Gratitude is a feeling that helps you stay humble. When you are humble, you are pleasant to work around and you don’t let your pride or ego ruin your hard work.
2. You Get an Optimistic Outlook on Life
When you let yourself bask in the positive feelings surrounding you, you create a positive bubble for your thoughts. When you are happy, your thoughts are happy. When you feel gratitude, you appreciate the things you have and the opportunities you have been given. Being thankful allows you to have an optimistic outlook on life.
When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.
Letting go of negativity is one of the important steps that help in unleashing your full potential. The more negative you are, the more your mind festers in the feeling, and the more it reflects in the way you carry yourself and your work.
When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life.
3. You Start Feeling More Confident
Now, that you have are happy, feel thankful for what you have, and have a positive mindset – it is natural to start feeling confidence seep into your every step. A happy mind will help you achieve a lot more than you could have ever imagined.
When chasing perfection, you never stop to look at your achievements as achievements, instead, you jump to the next stage of doing it better, getting it to perfection. This never gives you the time to analyze what you have done and derive confidence in yourself from the results.
Acknowledging your achievements is as important as learning from your failures. When you don’t give yourself time to feel good about the things you have managed to do and focus on only what you could have done better, it will eat away your self-confidence and that will take you a step back rather than a step forward.
Giving up on the notion of ‘perfection’ lets you develop confidence in yourself and your work. So, after a little wait, when you do go for betterment, you will know that you can do it and that will help you move faster toward your goal.
“If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence.”
4. You Strive to Achieve More
When you chasing perfection, you most likely are aiming too high. When you are told to take a moment to praise your own achievements, it is not only to help your pride. It also helps you learn what worked and what needs more work. When you are content enough with your current accomplishment is when you can look at it objectively to understand how to be better.
Because this thing you did gave you a positive feeling and boosted your confidence, you are more likely to feel motivated to achieve more. Setting the benchmark too high because you are hell-bent on achieving perfection makes the very thing unachievable or at the very most you feel unsatisfied even if you do end up achieving it.
You have to know your skills and your limitations when you set goals for yourself so that you can give yourself ample room to put your best foot forward. When you have realistic expectations and see real results, it pushes you to achieve more as a result.
5. You Feel Content
When you are striving to reach the stage of perfection, you let that idea hold you in its clutches. Your idea of perfection can stop you from admiring something wonderful that is present right in front of you. Chasing what is out of your reach can lead you to reach what is in your hand.
“We adore perfection because we can’t have it; it would disgust us if we had it. Perfect is inhuman because human is imperfect.”
When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. Being content with what you have, frees you from feeling pity and sympathy for yourself, giving you a boost to go ahead with all your focus. You learn to use your resources to the fullest and make the most of your circumstances.
“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”
-David D. Burns
Instead of chasing perfect, strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.
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