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6 Traits That Make Thai Lee A Self-Made Billionaire

6 Traits That Make Thai Lee A Self-Made Billionaire

Just in case you don’t know her well, here’s her introduction in one line: Thai Lee is the owner, CEO and president of the largest female-owned business in America, SHI International.

She’s one of the most inspirational women alive today! Who wouldn’t like to learn some lessons from her life so that some of her success rubs off on us?

We may not be able to copy her success exactly, but here are six traits of Thai Lee that you and I need to know about and learn from.

1. She’s focused

Not knowing your goals, wishes, strengths or weaknesses is a sure recipe for disaster. If you look at Lee’s life, she has always been very clear and focused about what she wants to achieve.

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Even during her studies, she was clear that she wanted to become an entrepreneur and not work for someone else. Due to this quality of hers, she didn’t waver and ultimately ended up where she is today.

2. She values people

Many of the successful people in our world are above-intelligent, resourceful and wealthy, and possess other similar qualities. What sets Thai apart is that she values humans above everything else.

She’s as concerned about her employees as she is about her clients, which is unusual to find in today’s brutal business world.

3. She takes charge of her own chores

Who can imagine a billionaire doing small stuff like booking flights themselves? Astonishing though it may be, Thai does it all herself!

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She takes care of all of her small chores herself. Instead of depending on others, she likes to take charge of things; whether they are big or small.

This is something that we can all learn from. Doing things yourself can definitely lend you more control over your day-to-day life and, ultimately, can have a huge impact on your life in general.

4. She’s modest

Despite Thai being an exceptional person in today’s world, she likes to keep mostly to herself. You won’t find her involved in many publicity exercises, let alone bragging about her status or achievements.

This is definitely a unique trait in an overly-connected world that puts almost everything in highlights.

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Modesty and humility are also important in a self-made billionaire – this just means that you consider yourself to be an eternal student, so you always make it a point to learn from experts, even if they’re older (or even younger!) than you are.

5. She’s an excellent planner

There’s this saying, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

Knowing what one wants to do is the first step for success; planning for its execution is the next!

Thai knew from the beginning that she wanted to do her own thing and become an entrepreneur, but for that she made proper plans and then executed them.

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To achieve this end, she worked for two years at Procter & Gamble and then two years at American Express. Thus, instead of jumping into a business, she spent her time learning the tricks of the trade and ultimately applied them well in her own business.

6. She had a long-term vision

This is something that all successful people have in common; they focus on the long-term instead of the present. When Lee bought her current business, it was a struggling software company that didn’t seem to have much potential but with her vision and relentless hard work, she managed to turn it around and today, it is no doubt one of the most successful businesses in America.

What do you think of her story? What is her most outstanding trait according to you? Let us know in the comment below!

Featured photo credit: davidewalt/0521_power-women-thai-le via blogs-images.forbes.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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