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Published on September 30, 2019

Pave Your Road to Success with These 7 Golden Rules

Pave Your Road to Success with These 7 Golden Rules

At some point in our lives, we’ll question whether we are successful. But what is success, and can you really pave your road to success without knowing what you’re striving for?

The reality is, success means different things to different people. For many, it’s financial wealth and freedom. As an entrepreneur, I’m able to choose where and when I work as well as whom I work with—that’s what’s really important to me. But to others, success might be working in a career that brings joy, ensures the bills are paid, and guarantees security.

It’s essential that you don’t compare where you are now to others because that’s not what success looks like. Think about this: You can be a multi-millionaire and miserable. If you’re working 16-hour a day, never see your family, and can’t remember what it feels like to take a vacation, are you really successful?

Personally, my road to success took too long. I spent way too many years trying to scale my first startup. I wasted thousands of dollars on advertising that didn’t connect with my audience. I spent many sleepless nights worrying about making payroll and keeping the lights on, and that negatively impacted my personal life and my health.

I don’t want this for you, and that’s why I’m going to share the seven golden rules which I’ve found to be crucial in paving my road to success. Let’s dive in.

1. Change Your Mindset

Often what’s holding us back on our road to success has nothing to do with skillset or financial backing, and everything to do with mindset.

Take entrepreneurship, for example. The biggest barrier to success for most business owners is thinking you’re in the business of selling a service or product. You put all your energy into perfecting it, but if your prospect has never heard of you, why would they buy from you? Where’s the proof that what you’re offering is the gold standard?

You see, you’re not in the business of selling the thing you do, you’re in the business of marketing a service or product. You need to make this shift in your thinking if you want to be successful.

The same can be applied to professionals seeking a promotion or those who are looking to change jobs. What’s going to differentiate you from your competition? Why should you be hired? Don’t focus on your skills or how many years of experience you have. What have you achieved that would be attractive to another company?

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In both instances, it’s about understanding what the pain points of your target market are, and how you can be the relief they’re searching for.

So you have to change your mindset.

2. Ask for Help

There is no shame in recognizing that you need help. The road to success is not meant to be lonely.

Unfortunately, school conditions us to work alone. We have to rely on our intellect to figure out a solution, and when we apply this thinking to a work scenario, well, that’s when we cease to achieve.

To be successful in business, you need to be able to rely on your colleagues or mentors to help you achieve your goals. A study by Olivet Nazarene University found that 76 percent of people who have mentors view those individuals as critical to their success in life.[1]

Mentors provide clarity and a roadmap to success. But, you need to find someone who’s right for you. This is a person who will challenge your ways of thinking. They’ll provide actionable advice and hold you accountable.

More importantly, they’ll celebrate your wins because they’re invested in your success. It’s a reflection of their mentorship.

So don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take a look at this article if you’re still not sure how to ask for help: How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So

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3. Learn to Delegate

The world’s most successful people all have one thing in common: They recognize where their strength lies, and that’s where they focus their energies. Everything else gets delegated.

Richard Branson once said,

“The art of delegation is one of the key skills that any entrepreneur must master.”

This couldn’t be more relevant to our lives than now. A report by Xero found that 77 percent of business owners experience burnout,[2] and Gallup’s 2018 report stated that 44 percent of employees feel burned out sometimes.[3]

How can you do what you do best when you’re physically and mentally at your worst?

Learning to let go is tough, but 80 percent out the drawer is better than 100 percent in the drawer. It takes a team to build a profitable business. Whether you’re the owner or an aspiring leader, you need to understand that your team will help you to achieve your goals far quicker than you could ever do on your own.

That’s why you need to surround yourself with people you trust, and those who can work autonomously.

Here’s a guide to help you learn how to delegate: How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

4. Embrace Failure

Don’t be fearful of making mistakes. The truth is, you will fail at some point on your road to success. In fact, you might fail many times. But failure is not an indicator of your capabilities, it’s just another learning experience.

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No one likes to fail. But if we never experienced the lows that come with losing or making a mistake, would we really appreciate and celebrate our successes?

The most successful people are risk-takers, and with that, comes failure. But this doesn’t stop them from chasing their goals.

When things go wrong, don’t try to sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. Ask questions and figure out what was missing and what you could’ve done differently. This type of thinking leads to success.

So, embrace your mistakes. Own them, but more importantly, learn from them.

5. Invest in Yourself

Always strive to be a better version of yourself. That’s why you should never stop learning.

Be tenacious. Say yes to opportunities that come your way, whether it’s a free online course, a networking event, a webinar, or a chance to engage with a well-known mentor, jump at these opportunities.

You’ll meet people who can help to further your career or grow your business. Remember, they’ve been where you are. Some have achieved success, and some are still on the road to success, but they can all help you.

6. Formulate a Plan of Action

Now that you know what success looks like to you, how are you going to achieve it? What’s your plan of action?

Write it down. A study found that people who wrote down their goals were 33 percent more successful in achieving them.[4]

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Once you’ve clearly defined what your roadmap to success looks like, put it up on your wall. Take a moment each day to review your goals and tick off those you’ve already achieved. This will help to motivate you and keep you committed to the dream.

Don’t be afraid to alter your plan. You may decide after a few months that your goals have changed. That’s okay. Just make sure that you adapt your plan to reflect these changes.

7. Never Give Up

How badly do you want it?

Yes, the road to success is paved with failure. You will experience setbacks. This is completely normal. If it were smooth sailing, everyone would be highly successful. And then, who would we have to aspire to be?

I’ve found that persistence and consistency are the keys to achieving success. I’ve watched brilliant individuals fail because they gave up too soon. I’ve also known people with little to no talent achieve massive success because they had grit. They were determined to make it work, and every setback was just another lesson on their path to success.

If you really want to be successful, then you need to be relentless in your pursuit of success. Celebrate every win. They all matter.

Learn more about how to stay motivated during difficult times here: Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

The Bottom Line

You can’t begin to chart your road to success without knowing what it is you’re chasing. Define this first. Write it down and review it. Be clear about what you believe it will take to achieve your goals. Then ask yourself, What am I capable of achieving on my own? Where do I need help? Am I willing to make sacrifices? Am I willing to fail? Do I need to invest in a mentorship program?

When you have clarity about where you’re going, and what you need to do to get there, you have a clear plan of action. Be consistent in taking actionable steps each day, and you will be well on your way to success.

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Featured photo credit: Bruno Bergher via unsplash.com

Reference

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Allan Dib

Rebellious Marketer, Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, and #1 Bestselling Author

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

5. Learn to Say “No”

I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

7. Be Intentional

The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

The Bottom Line

The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

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Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

Reference

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