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10 Free Online Courses To Make You More Successful

10 Free Online Courses To Make You More Successful

Success is not an act; it is a slow process that involves growth, change and failure. It involves all aspects of your life, from how you manage your credit card bills to how to discipline your children. Here is a selection of free courses that cover all aspects of your life that you need to control in order to be successful. This list has all you need to know to be successful on a whole new level.

1. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

https://www.coursera.org/learn/work-smarter-not-harder

4-8 hours of videos, readings, and quizzes

Lots of people say that time is your most valuable resource. With this course at UC Irvine, you can learn how to use your time to make yourself more successful. This course covers personal and professional productivity, which is useful because a poor personal routine can undermine your efforts to be successful. Learn how to use your time more productively to reach a new level of success.Stick with this course to learn more about being a more productive person. 

2. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

https://www.coursera.org/learn/negotiation-skills

8.5 hours of videos

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Learn how to negotiate with a course from the University of Michigan. It teaches you how to work a negotiation to ensure you get the better deal. You will benefit from the tips, tricks and advice that have been gathered from studies into human behavior. It can help make you successful through teaching you how to negotiate your way into a better wage, mortgage, and into a better job. They work on the four steps to successful negotiation.

3. Love Your Money

http://loveyourmoney.org/

Ongoing

In a joint venture with the University of Tennessee and FINRA, you can figure out how to achieve all the success you want by managing your money better. The course teaches you how to be successful with things such as building wealth, setting budgets, setting goals, debt, pensions and so much more. It runs through many of the money issues you are going to face throughout your life and teaches you how to handle them to ensure your future success. Take this course to improve the way you use your money throughout the rest of your lifetime. 

4. Effective Altruism

https://www.coursera.org/learn/altruism

10-15 hours of videos and assignments

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With Princeton University you can learn how give away your money more effectively. Sometimes you can do damage with the money you give away if you don’t check out the background of the organization you are giving to. In addition, many people squander there money on risky ventures with family and friends. This course teaches you how to avoid such traps and make practical and unsentimental decisions giving away money.Throughout a lifetime of giving, you deserve to know that the organizations you are giving to are ones that represent your values. 

5. Psychology of Popularity

https://www.coursera.org/course/popularity

6 weeks of study at 1-2 hours per week

The key to success is often the ability to influence people, and with the University of North Carolina, you can learn how popularity works. You can discover the psychology behind popularity and how to use it. They feature the works of Steve Siebold, a famous public speaker, and with the help of the course, you may find how to capitalize on the predictable nature of popularity. While this type of popularity is different than the type worshiped in high school, popularity can be quite effective in your professional and personal life in making connections that are genuine. 

6. Behavioral Economics in Action

https://www.edx.org/course/behavioural-economics-action-university-torontox-be101x

6 weeks with 4 – 5 hours per week

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This is a course from the University of Toronto. The class gives practical ways to change how you behave in every aspect of life. For example, people in our time have been taught by the TV and media to spend money as soon as they get it. This is a behavior that you can change. The course gives you practical advice that you can use to change how you are programmed with regards to money and temptation. Master your mind, and you are one-step closer to success.

7. Personal & Family Financial Planning

https://www.coursera.org/course/uffinancialplanning

8 weeks of study for 5-7 hours per week

Success means being able to balance and manage your home life as well as your career. With the University of Florida, you can learn how to balance your home and work life and you can learn how to plan for a career. You no longer need to choose between having a family and having a career, with the help of this course you can have both. You can learn how to manage risk, work on your taxes and invest so that you have the money to fund your new family.

8. The Language and Tools of Financial Analysis

https://www.coursera.org/course/financialanalysis

4 weeks at 6 hours per week

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With the University of Melbourne, you can learn how investors, analysts and CEOs make their decisions. It teaches you computer skills along with financial decision-making skills. Learn basic accounting principles and combine it all to figure out how to manage and use your money more effectively. You can measure the value of your investments and figure out where to put your money where it will work its hardest for you. It is a core lesson in the productivity of the money you invest. If you start today, your investments will pay off in the long-run. 

9. Financial Markets

https://www.coursera.org/course/financialmarkets

8 weeks of study at 6-12 hours per week

With this course at Yale University, you can learn how the world markets work via guest speakers such as Hank Greenberg and Carl Icahn. You can learn the theory behind banking and the financial markets. They tie into everything from the rate you pay for your mortgage, to how much stock you should buy for the coming month. With this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions at home and in business. They even help you guess how the financial markets are going to change in the future.

10. Financial Evaluation and Strategy: Investments

https://www.coursera.org/course/investments

4 weeks of study at 4-6 hours per week

This is a very useful course you can take with the University of Illinois. It teaches key principles such as risk and return, optimization, and security pricing. It works well when trying to figure out your future investments, but it ties into hundreds of different aspects of your life, from how you make decisions about staff members to how you discipline your children. Learn how to look to the future and how you should invest in your own success and what risks you should take.

Featured photo credit: Gabriela Pinto / Project 365 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 22, 2021

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

Motivation Is Not the Answer

How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

1. Define What a Win Looks Like

In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

4 Steps to Define a Win
  • Know the outcome you desire.
  • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
  • Write the outcome down.
  • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

2. Evaluate Your Activity

Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

  • Do now
  • Plan to do it later
  • Delegate to someone else
  • Delete it

Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

  • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
  • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
  • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
  • Does this activity have to be done at all?

Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

3. Prioritize Your Calendar

If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

    But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

    “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

    Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

    Use these questions to reflect on your day:

    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go well?
    • What can I change?
    • What do I need to start doing?
    • What do I need to stop doing?

    The Bottom Line

    Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

    Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

    “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

    Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

    That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

    More on Creating Healthy Routines

    Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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