Tag Archives: Success

Reflect & Keep Going: 3 Keys I’ve Learned This Year

This year has been by far one of the best years I’ve had regarding on growth. The amount of knowledge that I have acquired is twice as much as I did in the previous year. I am to say that I am happy with the amount of work I did and consumed, yet I still find more desire to grow from my capacity.

I want to give out three keys that I’ve learned that can help other individuals grow from where they currently are, and get to where they want to be. I believe they are a great starting point for those who want an advantage. The three key factors that I’ve learn that helped me grow this year are: people, books, and execution.

People:

This year I set out to spend more time with the people that were experienced with the area of expertise that I wanted to be. Examples of this are going to networking events that you are most interested in, conferences, seminars, it was all about getting in there and not be afraid of the outcome. It makes such a huge difference as you spend more time with them. Your mindset adapts, and you learn insights better than on your own. The saying of ” you are the average of the five people you spend your time with” is about right. You feed what they bring in, however; we can’t always be selfish, we as well have to bring something to the table and show them that we appreciate their time for giving us their time. It’s one of the best keys I could tell someone that has helped me so much this year.

Books:

Reading is nourishment for the mind, need I say anymore? Reading the books on the area that you want to further expand your abilities will give you the knowledge and confidence that helps you gain results you want them to be. There is something about reading I think that gets you way ahead of your competitors that don’t read. Of course you need to put in the time to get reading checked off, but there are alternatives. Some people read, while others would rather listen to the audio form. A great time to read I recommend would be first thing when you wake up in the morning. Your mind is empty, at peace, and having your brain consume what you picked up, is the first thing it will think about.

Execution:

Many of us have placed in mind that someday we will start a business, they keep procrastinating, and soon it becomes their habit that someday they will. This is quite irritating and frustrating for the person receiving these words and the one saying it. I know starting a business is hard, it’s not easy, but there are small methods we can do that can at least get the foot in the door so you can start a business. Worried about something going wrong? Get the knowledge on what to look for by meeting people or reading books. Starting something and doing it is all the experience you need. This is how I learned quickly. JFDI

These three key factors are a great starting point that helped me gain a vast amount of knowledge and skills in order for me to get ahead to where I want to get, and I believe this will help you out also. If you have any other key factors you would like to add, please do so as I would like to know what three factors have helped you further grow this year.

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Defining What Value Is: How We Use It

What is the meaning of value to you? What is it mean to your team? It seems we often get confused with what the true meaning of value is upon giving it to the customers. We get distracted with our businesses that we tend to focus more on the money and if the money will be there at the end of the financial quarter. When this happens it’s mostly likely our customers start to decline or better yet, when we are starting to plan for a business, we often go into this mindset of asking ourselves if this market we are getting into will bring us a good amount of ROI. Upon this brainstorming phase, we get ourselves stuck and it starts to get painful because the indecisive thinking we can’t get out of.

I have a great friend of mine who is planning to launch his business but he asked me recently about what I thought about the product he was going to release to  public. I liked the idea and told him he should go for it, why is he worried or not executing it right away. He was worried that he wouldn’t make enough profit and all the time putting into it would be wasted, instead he’d be focusing on something else.

It came to me that this issue he was dealing with is very common. Many people who want to start a business have the idea that the only purpose for them to start a business is to make large amounts of money.

Perhaps some is true, but most of whom I’ve spoken with have stated the sole purpose of entrepreneurship is not to make money, but rather to give value to customers. Making customers’ lives easier by solving their problems.

This is the mindset we need when we plan to start a business, we have to deliver value unto customers instead of putting money in our minds. That value people will love and of course will trade in their value (money) in exchange, which will duplicate in time. A history lesson I was taught was that before there was paper as a way to exchange for currency, people would trade something valuable they had in exchange for something they wanted from the other person. This made complete sense; now people are taught to worry more about money thus creating mind full of selfishness and greediness.

Y Combinator’s own Paul Graham says it best in his essays about the true meaning of value and what it really is. How much value is worth is determined by how we and our customers see it. If it doesn’t solve a painful problem they face, that value isn’t worth much. But if the value you create solves their pain and makes their day go by better, that value becomes worth millions.

Instead of focusing if a business idea will make us rich, focus more on if this idea will bring in value to customers with their everyday needs. In other words: value=profits.

I think this is why starting a successful business again for entrepreneurs who already had success with one or more of their businesses is easier because they tend to think more about what is the next value they want to give out to customers and serving them with their needs. It’s something I’ve learned now as I’m maturing more into this leadership phase and this mindset of value can actually be applied to anything we do.

When we work for others as an employee, don’t put yourself with a negative attitude about not doing a certain role because it’s not what the job description stated. Let’s remember that anything we do at work, let’s do it with the cause of value. Not because it’s for the company itself, but for us as well. You may not notice, but others will notice the value you start to give. The more value, the more profit.

As my friend got into that mindset, we began to brainstorm more thorough ideas on how this business would give better value instead if the profits would be there. There is profits everywhere, millionaires know how to make profit anywhere because they understand that giving value first turns it into money in the end.

Now thinking of great ideas to solve customers needs are much simpler, the next part would be having your mind set only on that idea.

As this post comes to conclude, what is the meaning of value for your business to customers? Have you had the thought of value being the same as you previously thought? What would your advice be for someone that is solely focused on a revenue driven mindset?

Setting Up Our Goals

What goals do we tend to set ourselves in life for? Have you accomplished them or have they slowly become disinterested and faded away? What techniques do you use to set your goals in life of what you want to achieve? I want to give you some advice of my own to describe to you what I do to set up and accomplish my goals.

One of the first things I do when preparing to set up goals is to go to a setting I know I will feel comfortable without being disrupted by others. It helps clear my mind and gives me more focus to what I want to achieve.

After sitting down at a comfortable setting, write it down in pen and paper so you can see it everyday. Why write it down? There’s some form to it that the mind pays more attention to a physical thing rather than something that hasn’t been written down- don’t keep it in your mind.

Let’s get more into this: what strategy do you use setting up your goals? Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar both demonstrate their planning strategy, which is highly helpful. I took some advice from them and when strategizing my goals, I tend to be specific.

The first thing I look at is the dream, what do I want to be or have accomplished? I write down the end results. After writing down my dreams goals I start with the realistic and reachable goals, I write what I want to accomplish this week, followed by this month, six months, and 12 months.

Usually by 12 months I want to accomplish a big goal, something I could be proud of, therefore; when I write a goal for this week, I’ll have something that will benefit me getting close to what I want to achieve for next week, followed by month, etc. Making those small steps.

However, we shouldn’t just write one goal that we keep all our focus on. Instead make more than one goal for yourself such as goals for your health, and your finances, family, but make sure they’re enough to have yourself focused on, don’t carried away.

Once I’ve written my goals down I visualize and review them to myself. Visualizing the end results of my goals gives positive motivation and keeps me focused. I also tend to share my goals with people who are also in the same experience.

As the time goes by, I often go back and mark out the small goals/steps that I’ve accomplished getting me closer to the bigger goals I set myself. Remember to keep in mind that we may become distracted, not having enough time, or slowly lose interest in our goals. The key here is consistency and discipline.

Are there any other techniques you use to plan your goals? One question I look at is, what do you do when you accomplish your goal before a deadline? I hope these tips will help guide you through making your own goals today and in the near future.

“Me” Is Not Better Than Team

When you start to brainstorm on your idea, do you tend to seclude yourself from the outside that you start to lose motivation and gain exhaustion? You’ve reached the limit and are stuck where to go? That’s what happened to me recently.

I’ve stumbled upon a great idea and began working out on the layout of the plan, and the business model. What I immediately did afterwards was to start making a small illustration of what the product would look like. After putting in several hours onto this idea, I came to a complete stop. The reason being was because my mind felt blank with nothing else to add or what I could do to change it up a bit, I felt exhausted.

Having lunch with a few close friends of mine, I mentioned to them about this idea I had that could work out and describe to them what the whole concept was about. They loved it. To my surprise, they started to brainstorm as well.

They removed some features which I was okay with, and added other small things that could make it better. What was even better was they took the opportunity to take their time and come up with the design for the layouts and logo, which I’m fortunate to have great graphic designers as friends.

What I’m learning here is that, it’s good to share your ideas with everyone. Two or more minds is obviously better than one mind. When you have people that believe in your idea, you’re creating strong motivation amongst everyone who’s in on the conversation and the chances of executing it is even greater.

However, one of them asked if I was afraid someone might steal/copy my idea. Of course I responded to him with the simple no. He seemed a little bit shocked.

There may be innovators out there who are very sensitive with their ideas, but one of the most important things to not worry about is whether or not they will steal your idea. The reason being is because you’ve already captured it in your mind, and the purpose along side with the end results of where you want it to go will be different than that person who decided to copy what you were doing. In fact I would encourage them to copy it because I yet still have no clue how good the idea would work out in the market.

As I come to conclude this post, the point of this story is that we should invite more people to share their opinions, feedbacks and any other comments they have about our ideas. When you feel exhausted or frustrated, I think that’s the best time to open up opportunities and let others in on your idea. Not only will it re-create great motivation, but getting the work done is greater than you going at it alone.

Dealing with our Failures

I’m sure most of us through our lives have failed once, the problem however, is how do you come to admitting it to your team? What are the first words you say to your team and how do you bounce back from it?

In churches or the business organization, it probably is about the most embarrassing thing to say up in front of your team with all eyes on you and have them note we didn’t accomplish it or are on a pitfall. So what do we do?

We all have to note that part of becoming a great leader is to willingly admit to your mistakes. We can’t hide them because they will build up and cause havoc amongst you and your team. Especially with pastors. Many pastors at church I have noticed will not acknowledge their errors with the congregation due to the fact many members may leave, and want to make believe that the church has a firm standing.

I think that’s not the case. Once we admit that we have failed in front of everyone, the congregation will not get up and walk away. Instead since we are a team, this creates a tighter bond and much stronger motivation planning out how to bounce back up.

And how do we bounce back up?

Well we already establish ourselves to be motivated so that’s done. The next thing to do is to strategize what we are looking to aim for. What are the goals for the month? The year? Three years from now and how are we going to do it? Is everyone committed to be on board? When planning out, we have to be specific and give details in order to not come across failure again.

Another thought we have to keep in focus is not to listen to those who keep bringing us down (naysayers). If some of the members of the team left and decide to talk about the rest behind their backs, don’t listen to them. Listening to them will only cause more fuel to fail.

As leaders, when we fail, we should most importantly learn from it. This is how leaders become great. We build experience and gain knowledge if the path we are taking is the correct one to succeed. And what I love about this is that when we start to admit to our failures and learn from them, we then will gain more respect from our team or congregation, and that strong bond will be difficult to break.

To conclude, as leaders, how do you handle yourself when wanting to admit to your team of your failures? Do you address everyone about it at the same time or individually have them aware of what’s going on? If you’ve already had them aware, what was the experience like bouncing back up?

One important thing to keep note is that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. Robert Kennedy quotes:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Act of Acquiring Skills

A great quote that I’ve read earlier this week stated that the greatest ingredient of mastering a skill is time. And this is true to what new things we want to gain. However, with the few people I’ve spoken to, many came that they don’t have the time to do a certain thing because they have a job, kids, and all these other excuses. But I believe in reality, we all can find that time to focus on something.

What’s so true is that if we have time to sleep, to eat, to be on the phone and surf the net, then we have the time to focus on a skill we want to acquire. What I mean by this is that we should tend to get up a little early or go to bed a little late just to make time for that skill or project we want to get.

Someone recently asked me about ways they could improve with their skills in music. I answered them with just by listening to music, getting a better understanding of the rhythm, and practicing on a drum pad that will be of good use. I additionally told him that when he comes home from work he can get out the practice pad and just practice away. But his response was: I don’t have the time.

I explained to him that he does have the time, it’s just he doesn’t know how to use it properly. If the only time he practices is when the whole group reunites, then there’s a major problem. Why? Because reason being is that he’s not making a major contribution within himself.

The time when we make the most of our skills is when we are on our own. You will be stuck and will find it difficult and uncomfortable when everyone passes you by because they’ve all made a contribution within themselves. And the results will be holding everyone back when it comes time to perform.

He quickly understood and took hold of the concept. If they don’t have that much time of their own to make, make it happen!

On a weekend for example, out of work coming home and the wife says we’re going to a family picnic. I’m sure he can find ten minutes of that time to practice on his own. It’s by applying at least just a small portion of his time to focus on something. In the end, that small portion he did will turn out to be a big result. The 80/20 role correct?

When we’re really into gaining something within ourselves, making time for it doesn’t become a problem. It’s a matter of motivation and discipline I think. If they can’t find the time, then I think it’s because they really don’t want to acquire something new. Not only will they hold back or hurt those around them, but will also most definitely hold themselves back.

As I come to conclude, how do you use your time to focus on a skill you want to acquire? Have your results been successful? And how did you overcome the obstacle of patiences, for those who aren’t patient? Time is very important and we have to understand that the more time we give to something the more likely the great results will be.

Breaks May Cause Barriers

I woke up one morning on a weekend thinking to myself that after the whole week of studying, working and focusing on goals, I wanted to take a break. Most people enjoy taking time off when over a period of time they’ve been consistent, and l consider people should do it when they face exhaustion. I took that time to relax, clear my head and get away from what I usually do.

Heading down to the park visiting friends, it felt great and made me forget just about everything. However; after getting back into focus that following week, taking these breaks frequently I tended to feel too comfortable with it and I felt that it dragged me off course of what I was originally doing.

The problem that occurred here is that when we start to feel too comfortable, we tend to not let go and returning back to what we did before becomes difficult.

It may ruin your following week or perhaps even your month because the comfort of not doing anything starts to become a habit. Your mind is filled with distractions and it’s lost somewhere else. I think we all know how controlling habits can be, and how difficult it is changing one to another.

How do you put your focus back into that mindset you’ve been having?

One of the critical things I do is try self motivation. Finding things that bring me back into that mindset. Listening to audio, or videos in relation to what I was doing before. It’s a big help and I’m sure it can help you too.

Another method that helped being me get back to that mindset is by making a list of what I will be doing the following week; I have a small whiteboard by my bed, you may say it’s a goal setting form for the week if you wish. This helped me also because it is in physical writing and by hanging it or displaying it somewhere you can easily be reminded of what you should be doing if distractions arise.

We all love taking time off its a good thing, but when we tend to love it too much it can become a negative thing loosing consistency and carrying you somewhere else you didn’t intended it to go. What do you do when you lose interest in what you were doing before? Is that method your number one thing you do that instantly snaps you back into your focused mindset? Have you tried sharing it with others that may be in the same situation? If so, has it worked for them?