“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Most people have the best of intentions—why is it, then, that extraordinary success is seemingly reserved for so few people?
We all know that action is an essential ingredient to success, but there are many different types of action. Your choice determines the difference between those who keep running around in circles versus those who are able to continuously level-up.
You might have heard that the best way to predict the future is to create it. It’s a brilliant quote.
Who has put this idea into practice?
You get the idea. There are endless examples, and I’m sure you can think of a few yourself!
Let’s think again about the episode quote: “You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.” What I love about that quote is how directly it talks about the importance of purposeful action. Your reputation is built on what you’ve already done. It is not built on how well you talk about what you’re going to do.
This quote is even more powerful when considered in context. In Henry Ford’s time, and we’re talking around the year 1900, horses were the primary mode of transportation. They filled the streets of every city and were used for mail, transport, and entertainment.
But they weren’t perfect.
Horse dung was left all over the streets (a problem so offensive that it became an expression in itself), and when horses died they would leave behind a heavy, smelly carcass that would need at least one more horse to drag it away. They were vulnerable in bad weather. Not to mention the dozens of other complexities with having an actual animal as the engine—the primary mode of transportation.
There had to be a better way. Alas, horses had been commonplace for so long that most people simply assumed they would be around forever—just like they did with Kodak, Blockbuster, and Nokia. After all, horses changed the face of warfare, revolutionized numerous other industries, and today we still use the expression ‘send in the cavalry.'
Seeing the future, Ford had a dream to build a horseless carriage. His aim was to provide a product that boasted all the benefits of this dependable mode of transportation, while eliminating the problems that had caused frustration for owners, passengers, and government officials.
When hearing about Ford’s idea, everyone scoffed and said that would be impossible. If it wasn’t the pipe-dream that turned them off, it was probably the fact that Ford didn’t have a degree from a fancy university. In fact, not only did not Ford not attend university, he never even went to high school.
This is an interesting juncture in our story because I am assuming that everyone reading this has either owned a Ford or gone for a ride in a Ford vehicle?
So we know how the story ends.
But how was a poor, uneducated man able to completely revolutionize transportation, and in the process become one of the wealthiest and most famous people on the planet?
Ford was crystal clear about his dream, but then he realized there was one problem—he could only do so much alone. Many people abandon their dream at that point, when the odds seem insurmountable and they start listening to the ill-informed opinions of others, and many others would have forfeited before even getting to that point.
But Ford realized that he didn’t need to have all the answers himself. He used purposeful action. He surrounded himself with people who aligned with his values and got them excited in his mission. As his extraordinary journey continued, and more and more people joined the ride—all working in harmony toward a single aim—Ford realized that his pie-in-the-sky dream would soon become a reality.
In the 109 years since it was founded, the Ford Motor Company has built more than 350 million automobiles, averaging a new car every 10 seconds. So enamored was Napoleon Hill with Ford’s methods that he references it profusely in Think and Grow Rich, the bestselling book of all time.
Henry Ford passed away in 1947 with a net worth of more than US $200 billion (adjusted for inflation). Not bad for a poor, illiterate kid who was even labelled “an ignorant anarchist” by The Chicago Tribune.
To change the world, you need to:
To finish, I just want to leave you with something Barbara Corcoran told me during our interview:
“When I heard what [Henry] Ford did, it made me realize I didn’t need to know everything. I could build an empire on someone else’s knowledge.”
If you’re not tapping into the efforts of others, you’re going to get run-over by those who are.
Onwards and upwards always,
In case you missed it:
How to Become a Financial Winner
“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
There’s one element that all those who have achieved enormous success hold in high esteem: failure. Whether industry titans of old, such as Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford, or more contemporary worldbeaters, such as Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos, failure has been the catalyst to not only creating extraordinary wealth but maintaining it too.
The headline quote from Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors in history, was written by a man who, from the moment he set his mind to a definite chief aim, was obsessed with the goal until it became a reality.
Incredulously, before unveiling the world’s first lightbulb for practical use, Edison went through more than 3,000 designs for light bulbs and another 6,000 tests trying to find the right material for the filament. He would go on to hold more than 1,000 patents, and his other inventions—such as the motion picture camera and phonograph—transformed almost every industry on Earth. “When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting, I go about it, and make trial after trial, until it comes,” the American once said.
While Edison’s obsession might seem crazy to outsiders, it was a perfectly rational state of mind to the man himself. Think about today’s true innovators and changemakers, from Sara Blakely to Elon Musk and the late Steve Jobs: all have been described by adjectives far harsher than “crazy”.
Edison’s close friend, Waltor Mallory, once visited the inventor in his workshop. Having personally observed some of the countless hours of dedication, effort and sacrifice, Mallory lamented the lack of results. With a smile, Edison quickly replied, “Results? I have gotten lots of results! I now know several thousand things that won’t work.”
That simple response sums up Thomas Edison’s growth mindset and reveals how he became such a prolific achiever, despite not having a formal education.
Those with a growth mindset:
In contrast, those with a fixed mindset:
To win in the long-term, you must open yourself up to the prospect of losing in the short-term, or longer. Simply continuing is one of the surest paths to success, but so many people give up because they accept temporary failure as permanent defeat. This is true in ALL areas of life; in fact, you can probably think of at least one person who remains bitter despite a divorce or business hardship that occurred years prior.
If you allow yourself to be defined by how you’ve been wronged or some other misfortune, you’ll go through life with a chip on your shoulder and likely stay within an ever-shrinking comfort zone. However, those who keep their sights on long-term victory—and can quickly dust themselves off when they do fail—are the ones who enjoy far greater happiness and success.
Embrace failure because it means you’ve tried.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos understands this better than most. “I’ve made billions of failures at Amazon. Literally,” he was quoted. Further reinforcing his counterintuitive love for hardship, Bezos wrote to his shareholders, “I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!)” But he is acutely aware that every failure increases his chance of hitting a home run, as Amazon has done with numerous innovations that catapulted the company from a simple online bookstore to, on 7 January 2019, officially becoming the world’s most valuable company.
Even with the recent breakdown of their 25-year marriage, Bezos and his partner MacKenzie were able to quickly and amicably move on, wishing each other well, reducing any undue pressure on their four children, and calming nervous Amazon shareholders.
True innovators like Edison, Bezos, Winfrey, Jobs and Musk do not view the word ‘failure’ as a negative. Rather, they view it as an omnipresent companion on the journey to achievement—a stepping stone to success. Every failure brings us closer to success, just as surrendering to adversity guarantees defeat.
In fact, the quote for today’s episode in its entirety is: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Choose to be a victor rather than a victim. Regardless of what life throws your way, promise to try just one more time.
Onwards and upwards always,
In case you missed it:
‘The Secret to Happiness’
“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
“If people should take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.” – Eminem
“All people have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward—sometimes to death, but always to victory.” – Dale Carnegie
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
“The only easy day was yesterday.” – US Navy SEALs
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling
“Fall down seven times. Stand up eight.” – Proverb
“Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.” – Steve Jobs
“Failure is success in progress.” – Albert Einstein
“Never accept temporary failure as permanent defeat.” – James Whittaker
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” – Jonathan Winters
“Find a way or make a way.” – Elon Musk
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” – John Wooden
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney
“At any moment you can make a decision to change your life.” – Janine Shepherd
“Failure is a stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
“If I had listened to the naysayers, I would still be in the Austrian Alps yodeling.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers
“You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” – Lebron James
“Fear is the result of a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence is the result of not knowing what you can do. A lack of knowing what you can do is caused by a lack of experience. A lack of experience is caused by a lack of doing something new.” – Dale Carnegie
“Most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” – Napoleon Hill
“The freedom to fail is vital if you’re going to succeed. Most successful people fail time and time again, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.” – Michael Korda
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
“Even if we crash and burn, and lose everything, the experience will have been worth ten times the cost.” – Steve Jobs
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden
“Sometimes an expensive lesson is worth every penny.” – Noel Whittaker
“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie
“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it. That is the quickest and surest way to conquer fear.” – Dale Carnegie
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
“You can’t discover new oceans unless you have the courage to leave the shore.” – Anonymous
“Thinking will not overcome your fear, but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.” – Dale Carnegie
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
“All is possible for the believers.” – Laird Hamilton
“Action breeds confidence and courage.” – Dale Carnegie
“I’ve made billions of failures at Amazon. Literally.” – Jeff Bezos
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard Baruch
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you’re not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk
“Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past.” – Tyron Edwards
“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” – Dale Carnegie
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth
“Bravery is the solution to regret.” – Robin Sharma
“Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.” – Robert Greene
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr (Serenity Prayer)
“Know your enemy, and know yourself, and you’ll never be in peril.” – Sun Tzu
“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” – Neale Donald Walsch
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
“I believe we [Amazon] are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!).” – Jeff Bezos
“The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” – Steve Maraboli
“Try and enjoy yourself. Because, actually, life’s pretty good.” – Elon Musk
“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
“You can’t have courage without fear.” – Jocko Willink
“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity. You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.”
As the modern world increasingly exposes us to the criticism of others, it’s more important than ever to protect your energy and stay focused on your own actions.
Here are 10 tips for dealing with the haters.
Our mental state has an enormous correlation with the meaning we assign to a given situation. To help create a positive outcome, ask yourself: What else could this mean? An errant comment mightn’t always be as harsh as it appears. For example, perhaps:
To change your state of mind, get moving. Change your posture, breathing and thinking to align with happiness, love and gratitude—after all, positive motion leads to positive emotion. Avoid or limit your exposure to things that sap your energy.
Napoleon Hill once said, “One of the unappreciated benefits of adversity is that it accelerates the process of identifying your true friends.” If people do not reciprocate your positive energy, take comfort knowing that the quicker they’re out of your life the better.
The world is a big place, yet so many of us cling to friendships that no longer serve us. Channel your energy into supporting those who bring out the best in you, and you in them.
One thing the world will never be short of is opinions. However, criticism and judgement are generally based on the sender’s own insecurities and ego, and it says much more about their character than it does yours. Interestingly, people who support the critics will eventually find out the hard way that those who talk trash on someone will happily do it to everyone.
If someone in your life allows their mind to be possessed with jealousy, envy and resentment, wish them the best and run like the wind.
The most successful people on the planet actively seek out feedback to help them improve. Tech visionary Elon Musk famously said: “Pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.”
A “congratulations” won’t help you, but a specific tip might. Action what you can then willingly discard the rest.
Think about the athlete, entrepreneur, musician or politician you look up to the most. Are they immune from criticism? Absolutely not. In fact, those who make the decision to stand for what they believe in attract a whole swarm of haters. On the naysayers, UFC President Dana White said: “No matter how successful you become, one thing never goes away: negativity. Let it fuel you to get up and fight every day.”
If you’re willing to surrender to the critics, you’re not ready for success.
Today, almost every post comes with a like, share and comment button. This has given every single person, no matter how ill-informed (e.g. internet trolls), a platform to vent their feelings. Instead, revisit your Success Plan—why do you want to achieve everything you’ve got listed? The clearer and more emotionally invested you are on what you want, the more resilient you’ll be.
Opinions comes with the territory, but as you’ve heard me say before: never EVER let those people who have given up on their dreams talk you out of yours.
Too many people go through life wanting to balance the ledger. Yet, all you’re doing is robbing yourself of happiness in the present. As my mum (who continues to prove she’s wise beyond her years) once said after I had been wronged by someone I regarded as a close friend, “It’s not your job to dish out the karma.” She was right.
Stay resolute and focused on your success, and let the universe take care of the rest.
Here’s the hard truth: it’s not everyone else’s job to support you, believe in you, or give you a pat on the back when you feel like you deserve it. For new entrepreneurs, especially, it can be a tough realization that—after investing all your time and money in a venture—the overwhelming support you thought you would receive from your social circle disappears as soon as your product/service is available. In fact, most people would rather buy from a celebrity who they don’t know in favor of supporting their friends.
Rather than let it frustrate you, continue to focus on creating more value and you will quickly attract a large audience of people excited in you.
One of the best ways to feel better about yourself is to help those less fortunate—when you see their faces light up, it will give you gratitude and an instant attitude adjustment. I used to do a lot of work mentoring high school students, and I spoke to one of them last week who is now a successful professional in his early 20s. Of course, I’m immensely proud of the life he’s made for himself, but what made me happiest was hearing that he now volunteers at his old high school to help others.
Pay kindness forward, while the haters hold themselves back.
People are typically jealous of short-term success. The best way to prove them wrong is to continually work on your own version of excellence every single day.
Over time, even the most ardent critic can come to appreciate the sustained effort you took to make your mark on the world.
My challenge to you is to be you. Not a discount version, but your best self. Use your actions to win the day, every day. While others gossip, your results will say more than words ever could.
Onwards and upwards always,
In case you missed it: ‘How to Overcome Bad Days’
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard Baruch
“People will always have an answer for the question they won’t have to answer themselves.” – Conor McGregor
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” – Will Smith
“One of my greatest weaknesses is also one of my greatest strengths: being underestimated.” – Sara Blakely
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard
“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.” – Napoleon Hill
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey
“When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.” – Marcus Aurelius
“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity. You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.” – Robert Greene
“Most haters are stuck in a poisonous mental prison of jealousy and self-doubt that blinds them to their own potentiality.” – Steve Maraboli
“Never take constructive criticism from people who haven’t constructed anything.” – John Shin
“I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen a statue of a critic.” – Leonard Bernstein
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
“If anyone can refute me—show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The time you spend hating on someone robs you of your own time. You are literally hating on yourself and you don’t even realize it.” – Joe Rogan
“He who has a why can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” – Napoleon Hill
“Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.” – Nishan Panwar
“There will always be haters. And the more you grow the more they hate; the more they hate the more you grow.” – Anthony Liccione
“The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.” – Jordan Peterson
“Never EVER let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours.” – James Whittaker
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston S. Churchill
“Put your foot on the neck of criticism by reaching a decision not to worry about what other people think, do or say.” – Napoleon Hill
“There will be haters, there will be doubters, there will be non-believers, and then there will be you proving them wrong.” – Jennifer Van Allen
“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.” – Jordan Peterson
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” – Marcus Aurelius
“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.” – Booker T. Washington
“The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you.” – Tim Ferriss
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” – Napoleon Hill
“A critic is a legless man who teaches other people to run.” – Channing Pollock
“I don’t worry about the haters. They are just angry because the truth I speak contradicts the lie they live.” – Steve Maraboli
“It’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation. It’s a lot more difficult to perform one.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” – Jim Rohn
“Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” – Jordan Peterson
“Haters are all failures. It’s 100% across the board. No one who is truly brilliant at anything is a hater.” – Joe Rogan
“Learn to use the criticism as fuel and you will never run out of energy.” – Orrin Woodward
“When you are able to maintain your own highest standards of integrity—regardless of what others may do—you are destined for greatness.” – Napoleon Hill
“People work better when they know what the goal is and why.” – Elon Musk
“I was born to make mistakes, not to fake perfection.” – Drake
“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” – Henry Ford
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
“I don’t have time, energy, or interest in hating the haters; I’m too busy loving the lovers.” – Steve Maraboli
“No matter how successful you become, one thing never goes away: negativity. Let it fuel you to get up and fight every day.” – Dana White
“The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them.” – Chris Jammi
“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Don’t believe me? Just watch.” – Bruno Mars
“Haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves; because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be.” – Yaira N. Juan
“We must all wage an intense, lifelong battle against the constant downward pull. If we relax, the bugs and weeds of negativity will move into the garden and take away everything of value.” – Jim Rohn
“The more successful you become, the more haters you get.” – Daymond John
New Facebook Group:
Join our brand new Facebook Group ‘Win the Day‘ and surround yourself with positive energy!
“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”
From the moment our eyes flicker awake each morning, it’s on. The day’s first fork in the road.
Get up or stay in bed?
The path we choose from this, and the hundreds of other daily decisions we face, determines our month, our year … our life.
As the day progresses, everyone hears the same voices. You know the ones:
“Just a bit more sleep.”
“I’ll do it later.”
“Let’s put it on the credit card.”
High performers quickly ward off these negative voices with positive and purposeful action:
Experience has taught me that when my own mental and physical health sputters, the rest of my life unravels too. When I wake up feeling good, I will include some form of physical exercise into the day, usually a gym workout but occasionally a surf or yoga session. On those days, because I want the best result, I make a point of eating extra healthy.
Then, with a successful day in the books, I sleep well. The next day, I wake up a little happier for progress and feel confident knowing that I can push a bit harder.
But what happens when life sends one of its faith-testers along?
Whether it’s ill health, relationship problems, or even something simple like work travel, these variables can add up. Excellence is not a single act, but a habit—and so is failure.
Before you know it, when wrong decisions are compounded, plans derail, and you lament having to start from square one … again.
Seven years ago, on Thanksgiving Day in Vermont, I was invited for a social game (and my first ever attempt) of American football. Growing up in Australia, I played every sport I could, and loved any opportunity to get on the field, so looked forward to this new challenge.
Half an hour into the game, I let ego creep in and dove well beyond my limits for a catch. I’ll never forget the feeling—it was a bone-chilling crush, like an NBA player stomping on an empty Coke can. The pain was all-consuming.
The result? A grade three shoulder separation.
Over the next few weeks, I swallowed the powerful prescription pills that swapped pain for haze. Doctors were overcautious and said I needed to rest, eliminating any hope I had to stay active. I struggled through course work (it occurred while I was studying an MBA program in Boston), and I was eating for convenience rather than nourishment.
I wanted to dispose of the painkillers, but they seemed to be the only way I could sleep. Besides, I had about three months’ worth in my possession—why would the doctor give me that much if I shouldn’t take it? When friends invited me out drinking, I obliged, staying out late and feeling miserable the next day.
It was ‘Win the day’ in reverse, and at 28 years old it ultimately led to the most depressed I’d ever felt.
This is the dichotomy of life: unless we decide each day to live in the light, darkness will take over. Our exposure to this darkness is evident in how our career, health, finances and relationships are progressing. After all, without a clear purpose in each area, we’re easily lured to short-term gratification.
When a tragic event outside of our control happens—like my football injury—it’s even easier to absolve ourselves from making the decision to win. Today, I’m grateful for that period because it taught me so much about consistently applying positive action, trusting your instinct (and avoiding unnecessary medication), and being kind to yourself.
The most successful people on the planet are experts at making the decision to win and ensuring their actions align with their dreams.
Think about SEAL Team Six, one of the world’s preeminent special forces units. When they received confirmation that Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted person, had been positively ID’d in Pakistan, they built a life-size replica of the house and repeatedly simulated the raid. This allowed them to play out every possible scenario and get increasingly comfortable with the unknown.
It only took nine minutes for the team to find and neutralize their target. A near flawless mission.
While people on their couches criticize high achievers for “being lucky” or “having it easy”, Usain Bolt works on shaving one-tenth of a second off his time and Tom Brady combs through mundane game footage looking for any advantage. Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk give no energy to all those who say it can’t be done, instead choosing to act bolder than ever before, possessed by their own self-will.
The results speak for themselves.
Instead of picking apart those who achieved great success, we should be piecing together their habits and modelling them in our own lives.
Make the decision to win or you’ve automatically made the decision to lose.
Onwards and upwards always,
In case you missed it: ‘10 Questions to Transform Your Life’
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
The foundation of ALL great achievement is a clear definition of success. If you have not already done so, download and complete the Success Plan Template. This will provide a comprehensive outline of what’s most important to you and what steps you need to take each day to inch you closer to your perfect destination.
Following on from the last newsletter How to Harness True Power, let’s talk about how to get people excited in you. Contrary to what pessimistic people say—and what sensationalist media outlets print—most of the world is brimming with kind, generous and loving people who want to help you achieve success.
There’s just one problem: they don’t know how. Here are three ways to get people excited in you.
An important part of completing the Success Plan is having the most important people in your life complete it, too. Not only does it create a bond for you to grow together, it provides clarity on the support you need individually. Equally applicable to both individuals and business, important components of this are: purpose, mission and values.
You will be amazed at how much help you will receive from people organically when you are:
Remember to update your social media profiles, website, marketing collateral (if applicable), and willingly offer it when prompted during conversations—just remember to ask others where they’re going and how you can help them, too.
I recently spoke with accomplished speaker and entrepreneur Adam Carroll best known for his TEDx Talk “When Money Isn’t Real”. Earlier in his career, speaking at a TEDx event was such an important goal for Carroll that he included a reference to it in his email signature.
Sure enough, with hundreds of emails going out each week, someone eventually saw it who was able to help: Carroll was granted a speaker spot at a University of Milwaukee TEDx event. Positive feedback from that presentation led to him being invited to speak at another TEDx event, this time at the London Business School.
With an entirely new presentation, Carroll delivered an inspirational talk that has since amassed more than 2 million views. All because he included his goal in a simple email signature. If people don’t know how they can help you, they can’t and won’t.
If you frequently and unconditionally add value to others, people will jump at the opportunity to return the favor—on the condition that the instructions on what you need are clear.
You cannot have authenticity without vulnerability. Due to the limited programming drilled in to us since we were young, many of us have developed a fear of criticism. This manifests in a constant loop that we don’t have a story worth telling.
The truth? We ALL have an incredible story to tell … every single one of us.
If you’re not resonating with your audience, it might be time to turn your attention to the packaging. Excitedly craft your purpose and your vulnerabilities into an easily engaging story, looping in your mastermind group as needed for the best final outcome.
The best entrepreneurs, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk, are not only happier living their authentic self, they’re experts at packaging their purpose and their vulnerabilities. This creates a far greater connection between them and their audience, and enables them to quickly connect with others.
When properly packaged, your audience engages with you from a foundation of authenticity that establishes belief, trust and, importantly, action.
Think about how you can apply these three steps in your own life. When done correctly, you’ll have an army of people willing to open their rolodex and introduce you to resources that will get you where you want to go, irrespective of the goal.
As Oscar Wilde said: “Be YOU. Everyone else is already taken.”
Onwards and upwards always,
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”
Today, we talk about the most valuable weapon in your arsenal—the power of the mastermind.
Great success never comes solely on the back of one’s own efforts. Think about some of the most iconic business leaders on the planet:
Bezos, Musk and Blakely are undoubtedly brilliant in their respective fields and were quite literally hands-on when their companies launched, but their most valuable—and by far the most underrated— attribute is their ability to build a team of inspired individuals who align with their values, believe in their mission, and commit to making their shared dreams a reality. Their own contributions were just the tip of the iceberg.
When efforts toward a common purpose are aligned, the results are amplified exponentially. Napoleon Hill believed this principle to be so valuable that he dedicated an entire chapter to it in Think and Grow Rich, the bestselling self-help book of all time.
For those new to the mastermind world, the below criteria will help you get the ball rolling. Look for people who:
It’s human nature to want to recruit your best friends, but diversity is the spice of life—especially when it comes to mastermind groups (or any effective management team). Only bring in those who fulfill all the above characteristics.
Start off with 4-6 people so enough time can be allocated to each person. Elect a chairperson to lead each meeting, share responsibilities, and set action items. Learn from experience and calibrate as much as you need (e.g. agenda, participants, frequency or venue) so you can continuously increase your effectiveness.
Over time, you’ll feel comfortable branching out your mastermind abilities to achieve superior performance in all areas of your life. The below scenario, “Mastermind in Practice”, is an example of how it might be used when brainstorming new business ideas.
The mastermind principle can be used for superior success regardless of where you’re at in life. To help illustrate the process, let’s look at one scenario in detail. Enter “Josh” and “Gabrielle” who both want to brainstorm ideas for a new business.
With a sip of coffee, Josh excitedly strolls to his desk and turns on his laptop. The aspiring entrepreneur has big dreams and a good work ethic, two qualities he hopes will help him realize his goal of being his own boss.
Josh spends most of his time sitting at home mapping out ideas, researching industries that excite him, and jotting down any “a-ha” moments. Residing almost completely in his comfort zone, Josh doesn’t realize the importance of exposure, accountability andassistance.
Eventually, the 26-year-old comes up with what he fervently believes is a comprehensive strategy. Drawing mostly on instincts, he brings his product to market alone.
On the other side of town, Gabrielle smiles. She’s just finished writing down a list of eight people in her network who, despite being from different backgrounds, are already working on ideas they’re passionate about. Although it seemed like a call out of the blue, Gabrielle contacts them and suggests they all catch up to tap into their combined expertise. Of the eight she contacted, five are able to attend.
Before they catch up, Gabrielle has each person complete the Success Plan Template (Excel | PDF). In the first meeting, they enthusiastically discuss their values and what’s most important to them. With each participant crystal clear on everyone’s unique definition of success, the group now has total clarity on how they can help each person individually. Connected by their ambition, integrity and passion, the group bond quickly. They willingly help Gabrielle brainstorm her ideas, elevate her belief in what’s possible, and add in missing pieces she never could have considered. The group also introduce her to others in their respective networks who can help her succeed.
With a comprehensive plan that has been acid-tested by dozens of people, Gabrielle brings her product to market. Using her tremendous faith in the mastermind principle, she then builds out a team who believe in the mission and are excited to change lives with the new product.
If Josh and Gabrielle had a product launch in the same industry, who do you think would be the most successful over the long-term?
Using our analogy from earlier, the tip of the iceberg is what we can do alone. Instead, peek underwater at the rest of the iceberg and harness true power.
It is impossible to succeed alone; in fact, going it alone might be your death knell. To paraphrase from Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy:
“In the free market, those who ignore the mastermind principle will inevitably find themselves tied to the tracks as a thundering locomotive approaches. Instead, use the power of the mastermind to build your own locomotive.”
Those who harness the true power of the mastermind—defined as “organized and intelligently directed knowledge”—change the world. Create your own definition of success, find your tribe, and feel the thrill of victory.
Onwards and upwards always,
PS – Here’s a step by step guide to turbocharging your personal brand.
“Find a way or make a way.”
One of the most important actions you can ever take is creating your own definition of success. It is the foundation on which all great achievement is built and paves the way for everything else to flow in to your life at the right time.
To help you on your journey, I’m giving you my Success Plan Template (updated for 2021). Simply download, complete and start taking action. There are two tabs: i) the Template, and ii) Instructions to explain the steps in more detail. If you have any questions on how to complete it, let us know and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
Also, here are four tips inspired by my conversations with more than 100 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, business icons and athletes to help you turn dreams into actions and, most importantly, results.
1. Identify what you want from all areas of your life.
Yes, that’s right – not money, but ALL areas of your life. Perhaps it’s to:
There are infinite possibilities. While it can be very beneficial, even advisable, to sit down with the most important people in your personal and professional lives to ask for honest feedback on how you can improve, this ultimately needs to be your definition of success so it aligns with your ‘why.’
With a clear idea of what success looks like to you, turn your attention to goals.
2. Write your goals down.
Dr Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently studied the power of goal setting. Matthews discovered that those who write down their goals on a regular basis are 42% more likely to achieve them. That’s a huge advantage! Remember to write them down as specifically as possible.
In Think and Grow Rich, the bestselling self-help book of all time, Napoleon Hill wrote about the relationship between goals and the subconscious mind: “The subconscious mind alone is the medium through which prayer may be transmitted to the source capable of answering prayer.” By writing our goals down we’re putting a rocket under our subconscious, instructing it to take the necessary actions that will make those goals a reality.
3. Take simple and consistent action.
Channel any inspiration and excitement to mapping out your goals, but when it comes to execution the surest path to victory is simple and consistent action. A lot of people aren’t sure what action they should be taking, but when you’ve got your perfect destination in mind the first, second and third steps are much more obvious. Fill out the ‘Perfect Destination’ column on the Success Plan Template, then notice how much easier it is to complete the rest.
Also, remember to begin on step one. If your goal was to run a marathon, you wouldn’t start your first training session by actually doing a marathon. Play the long game and do the work that day one requires. Regardless of the goal, the key to victory is simple and consistent action.
4. Win the day.
It can be easy to feel impatient or frustrated at a perceived lack of progress. Instead of worrying about the harvest you reap (the results), focus on the seeds you sow (the daily actions). Each day, be grateful for the opportunity to take ownership of your life and stay committed to excitedly working to bring your goals to life.
Remember, no one is born with a gold medal around their neck. Every great endeavor, innovation or achievement—whether you’re Elon Musk, Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey—was once a simple thought impulse. Create your own definition of success, share it with those closest to you, and start living with intent, passion and purpose.
Get out there and make some magic!
Onwards and upwards always,
PS – Subscribe to the Win the Day™ with James Whittaker podcast and get access to episodes (we've got some BIG ones coming up shortly!) as soon as they're released.