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7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

Whatever career you are pursuing, you have an ambition to succeed. That success is measured by your aspirations, and not everyone has the same idea of success. We have been learning about it our whole lives, but let’s see what eccentrics can teach us about success. Maybe you’ll find something that you haven’t heard or thought about before.

1. Quentin Tarantino on never giving up and staying true to yourself

“There are two ways: my way and the highway.”

Quentin Tarantino is one of the best and most famous directors in the world. His success didn’t happen overnight and without effort. We can learn a lot from Quentin Tarantino, but the most important lesson he has taught us is to always be original and not to stop after the first bad review.

Because of his eccentric nature, and an incredibly unique point of view on how films should be made, he has faced many bad reviews from critics in the past. Even his film True Romance was rejected many times by the studios. No matter what some people from the movie industry said, he stayed true to himself and his work; he never changed to fit a mold and he never gave up on his work.

Just like Quentin Tarantino, you should always stand up for yourself, stay true to yourself, and proudly fight for your work. On your path to success, you will face many rejections and not everyone will say nice things about you. The most important thing is not to get discouraged and never give up if you want to succeed.

2. Hetty Green (aka “The Witch of Wall Street”) on thinking smart and being determined

“There is no great secret in fortune making. All you do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent.”

Hetty Green was the richest woman in the world 100 years ago. She inherited a lot of money from her father, but she reached true success on her own. She was the textbook definition of a miser and she didn’t really enjoy her fortune. But, what she enjoyed even less was the idea that someone else would get their hands on her wealth, so she made a will to ensure that her relatives didn’t inherit a cent of her vast fortune.

There are many funny stories about her and her temper, but she made it possible for women to get into the business world. She was fierce and many men were were afraid of her — they just couldn’t keep up with her smart moves and strategies. She taught us is that there is no secret in fortune making when it comes to Wall Street, you just need to buy cheap and wait for the hype to build, then sell for a lot of money.

What we can learn about success from “The Witch of Wall Street” is that, no matter how hard it is out there, a smart strategy combined with determination can take you to the top.

3. Hunter S. Thompson on luck in life

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

Hunter S. Thompson was an eccentric journalist who never regretted his way of life and, as he said, had a different perspective on life. One of his most famous works, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was based on actual personal experiences and is a perfect testament to the man’s exquisite eccentricity.

As Hunter knew very well, luck constantly swings back and forth, and most of us cannot control it. However, what we should learn is to take the best of what luck brings us, and try to find a solution when it betrays us. Many people are just surviving in the business world, and many of them, unfortunately, give in to disaster.

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Success doesn’t depend solely on luck, although luck can significantly contribute to it. We have to learn to get the best out of the good times, when luck is on our side, and prepare for the hard times equipped with knowledge and solutions.

4. Björk on believing in happiness

“You can’t say no to hope. Can’t say no to happiness!”

She is an eccentric singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who released her first album with when she was 27 years old. Björk had released an album previously, in which she sang covers of popular songs, but when offered another record deal, she refused. Instead, she bought a piano with the money she’d earned and started composing her own tunes.

Through her music and life choices, she always believed in nature, goodness, hope, and happiness. When she went to music school and released an album, she didn’t give up on making it on her own by infusing it with her unique and eccentric style. Björk managed to do everything she wanted, because she never stopped believing in happiness and hope.

Those are the two things you need to have all the time. Otherwise, you will give in to disaster and not be able to keep the balance. If you don’t believe strongly that you will succeed, why start your career at all? Becoming successful in any field is tough, and you will fail many times before you find your way to the top. What will keep you motivated and determined is your hope.

Believe, hope, work on your success, and always choose happiness.

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5. Nikola Tesla on failure

“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”

The textbook example of an eccentric genius inventor, Tesla paved the road for many of the technologies we take for granted in this modern age. He knew a thing or two about solid work ethic. As Nikola Tesla said, our virtues and failings are inseparable, and there’s no successful person in the world who hasn’t failed. You cannot simply got through life without making a wrong move, because it’s the only way to learn.

In short, there’s no success without failure.

6. Lord Byron on being a leader

“When we think we lead, we are most led.”

When you get to become a leader of a team, you will probably have a lot on your mind. By reading about being a great leader, you can get a basic grasp of the core principles, but you won’t truly become a great leader until you’ve been in the trenches with your team and made tough judgement calls.

A good leader isn’t focused on leading, but on being led by their team members. This doesn’t mean being manipulated by them, but having open conversations and meetings with them and, together, coming up with solutions. Your employees will lead you through their advice and comments on how to make them the best they can be.

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A great leader is constantly learning, while being led by their employees.

7. Woody Allen on the key to success

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

According to Woody Allen, the key to success is showing up — this is a rule everyone should follow. There is no way to catch a good opportunity if you don’t show up. Even if you think some interview or meeting is meaningless, show up and find out for sure. It may be a waste of time, but it may also bring you success. Never assume you won’t get some opportunity. You never know who you might meet and who can help you out.

This formula applies to other spheres of your life, like achieving your fitness goals and learning new skills. The way to guarantee steady results is to show up for work, show up for the classes, and drag your butt to the gym. You have to stay consistent with your efforts and put in the work. The rest will come naturally.

These famous eccentrics never gave up on their unique points of view, and they all succeeded in their fields. Some of their traits and strategies might have been wrong, but in the end, we will always know them as great minds. Always stay true to yourself, fail, believe, and only then will your success become an inevitability.

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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