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The Secret Of Getting Ahead Is Getting Started

The Secret Of Getting Ahead Is Getting Started

When was the last time you went out for a run, but when you got outside you decided “nevermind”?

My guess is never…

That’s because the hardest part of accomplishing anything is just starting. The hardest part of going for a daily run is just convincing yourself to go out the door! Once you start, you’re going to finish. In business and in life, we’re all struck with ambitions and great ideas. I’d be willing to bet that you’ve had at least 1 business idea in the last year. But somehow, the timing is never right. There are always roadblocks that will stop you from starting your dog-walking empire, or convince you that it’s not the right time to quit your job and travel the world.

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And we always seem to look up to the people who are doing this with envy. For some reason, they have something that we don’t, and it’s allowed them a great amount of success. And you know what? I’ve found out what that great “something” is. Do you want to know what it is?

They just get started.

In an entrepreneurial summit in Moscow, Sir Richard Branson is quoted giving this advice: “Screw it, just get on and do it.” Yes, it really does come down to that. Do you think that mega-stars and the world’s best anything are smarter than you? Probably not. They did, however, just make a choice to do something, then they started.

“If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase, it’s this: successful people start before they feel ready.”

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There is no secret sauce. There isn’t a special gene that some people are born with and some aren’t. There is simply the courage to try something new. And you know what? It is going to be scary, and you will fail from time to time.

The Worst Thing That Can Happen?

One of our greatest fears is appearing to be a failure. That’s a pretty bizarre idea. We aren’t afraid of failure half as much as we are afraid of looking like a failure. You’ll be a laughing stock, you’ll have to hang your head and go back to life before you set out to accomplish this thing.

Of course, we all know that life is full of failures and successes, and usually the successes happen after a major failure. That’s because failing is awesome. You’ll learn more from first-hand failure than you ever will from studying or reading. So let’s say you want to start a business, and you have to shut down because you’re losing money. If you start another business, you have this wealth of experience to pull from to ensure that you don’t make the same mistake again!

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“Trust me, I never lose. Either I win, or I learn from it.” – Tupac Shakur

The Actual Worst Thing That Can Happen

So if failing isn’t the worst thing that can happen, what is?  If success is a series of failures, then how can we actually fail? If we know that we have to fail again and again to learn how to win, is it possible to actually fail? Yes, it is. There’s only one way to completely fail: to never start.

Whether you’re not starting your first business, or giving up after a failure, the only way to truly fail is to not try at all. When you start, or take any action at all, you’re making progress. Even slow progress is moving in a direction that matters. Don’t stand still, and don’t be afraid to start.

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The Good News

One giant fear that holds people back from starting anything is that they aren’t ready. Let’s take business as an example again. If you’re trying to start an ice cream business, you may think you need all the answers about ice cream, finances, and business management. So you spend all your time learning, and no time doing!  While learning is a great way to be prepared, you won’t actually know what information you need until you need to know.

And the best time to stumble in a business (or any pursuit) is in the beginning. And in the end, you’ll still feel like you don’t know enough. The process of doing anything worthwhile is a perpetual learning cycle, and the sooner you start the better you’ll learn.

The best part is, that once you get started, you’ll realize that nothing is as scary as you thought it’d be. In fact, it’s quite a bit less complicated than you imagined. Business is a matter of logistics. Gaining a great skill is a product of consistent training. There is no secret sauce, you just have to start!

Featured photo credit: QuoteFancy via quotefancy.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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