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The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know

The Life Secrets That 8 Self-Made Billionaires Want You To Know
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As the world’s richest man, I feel I’m somewhat of an authority on the subject, so listen up.

Okay, just kidding. But I do have some quotes from some of the most successful people of our time explaining their perseverance, struggles, and triumphs. This group of highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs all have words of wisdom to impart on us all pertaining to integrity, innovation, and courage. Regardless of our ambitions in life, we should all take a minute to listen to what they have to say.

1. Jeff Bezos talks about standing alone

The founder of Amazon has offered his advice in the past, but none of his words stand out more than the following:

“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate.”

It makes sense: If your ideas were easily understood, everyone would have them, and they wouldn’t be multi-billion dollar ideas. There are a few ways to go about being misunderstood. One, you must find a way to connect your extravagant ideas to everyday life (which Bezos clearly has done, knowing how many people would rather order from Amazon than step foot in the mall). Two, you must be able to explain your ideas clearly. Though your thoughts may be pie-in-the-sky, you must keep yourself grounded.

2. Sara Blakely wants you to make mistakes

No, not so she can keep the success all to herself. This businesswoman wants you to not be afraid of making mistakes.

She says “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”

Think of it like this: If you try one hundred different ideas, ninety-nine of them might fail. But if just one of those ideas is a $10 million idea, you earned $100,000 for each idea you came up with, even if the vast majority of them failed. That’s not a bad return on investment at all.

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3. Michael Bloomberg can never lose a dare

The former mayor of New York City seems intent on proving people wrong.

“To a contrarian like me, constant advice not to do something almost always starts me quickly down the risky, unpopular path,” he says.

My mother is the same way (except she’s no billionaire, unfortunately). Any time someone told her “we can’t do it that way,” she would respond with “why not?” and proceed to complete whatever task she had set her mind to, and do it her own way. It might not make her incredibly popular with her peers and colleagues, but she can go home every day knowing she’s made her own mark on this world in some way or another.

4. Warren Buffett talks simplicity

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

Here freakin’ here. The self-made billionaire is talking about wasting time placing blame and becoming complacent, which only serves to dig us deeper into a rut. Instead of all of this, Buffett advises we keep pushing forward, and not dwelling on past mistakes or shortcomings. By letting go of this excess baggage, we are better able to focus on the task at hand, as well as issues that may arise in the future.

5. Larry Ellison talks lack of privilege

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.”

In that short sentence, Ellison sums up a lifetime of hard work. He earned everything he ever owned, and because of that, never grew to think he was owed something by the outside world. Especially in today’s age, many of us feel like the world owes us something, when in actuality it’s the other way around. Acknowledging that the world only owes us that which we give back to it is the first step toward becoming self-sufficient and successful.

6. Bill Gates wants you to listen to the critics

It might be hard, but hearing what you’re doing wrong is the first step toward changing up your approach to make it more successful.

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“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” Gates says.

Imagine if nobody ever told you your ideas were terrible? You’d wake up one day at 60 years old wondering why you never accomplished anything. Though many critics (read: trolls) exist simply to bruise your ego, most critics want to see you succeed, and will offer advice on how to get there. Even though it may be hard to hear about your shortcomings, listen to the naysayers, and use their comments as a springboard to success.

7. Elon Musk wants you to strive to be the best you

“Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Along with Gates’ suggestions, entrepreneur Elon Musk wants you to be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you constantly think you’re the best at something, you’ll never get any better. If you acknowledge you have a lot to learn, you will start on the path to learning it. And as you go, you’ll realize you still have more to learn, and will keep going down that path. The minute you stop and think you know it all is when you truly will fail.

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8. Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should be yourself

The founder of Facebook, and one of the youngest billionaires in the world, says “I think that people just have this core desire to express who they are. And I think that’s always existed.”

Of course. It’s so simple. Be yourself! Why didn’t I think of that? In all honesty, so many of us actually don’t think this way. Almost anyone I could ask would rather be doing something else than the job they’re currently stuck in. Even my friends who make good money didn’t see themselves doing what they’re currently doing. Sure, you have to pay the bills somehow, but you should never give up the passions you have in life in exchange for the almighty dollar. The most successful people in the world got there not by following the dollar; they got there by following their dreams, and the money followed them.

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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