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10 Essential Keys to Success

10 Essential Keys to Success

I’ve traveled around the country, and regardless of your definition of success, or the level of success you’ve achieved, there are 10 distinct characteristics that differentiate successful people from the rest of the globe. I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with and learn from incredibly wealthy individuals with incomes ranging up to $100,000 a month. These individuals have lived ordinary lives but took the extra steps necessary to create extraordinary opportunities for themselves. Here I want to share with you the 10 keys to success that make these individuals stand apart.

1. They Are Fearless.

“To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.” Taylor Swift

It’s not what you know that matters; it’s what you do with what you know that matters. Every action has a consequence, but to be successful it’s necessary to be patient and have faith. While you’re probably familiar with the quote, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” the truth is, “The grass is greener where you water it.” By tracking your behavior and actions you become aware of the results and consequences, making it easier to achieve your goals. We are lazy, so if something is inconvenient we have a tendency not to do it. Successful people understand that not doing it is not an option, so they step into challenging situations and get rejected thousands of times before getting any kind of recognition for their work or achievements. They understand that it isn’t how hard, fast, or much you can do, but how long you can endure.

2. They Are Passionate.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Successful people are incredibly passionate about what they do. In fact, they don’t do anything they aren’t passionate about. You will never catch them muttering the phrase, “I never have time to do what I want,” because they know that they are already investing their time doing what they value most. Successful people are extremely focused on using and building their strengths—and outsourcing their weaknesses—to get the best results and feel fulfilled both personally and professionally. Passion is the driving force behind every action they take.

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3. They Invest In A Coach.

“People before profits. Relationships before results.” Melissa Krivachek

When it comes to investing in a coach, successful players don’t leave anything to chance. In fact, investing in a coach isn’t even an option, it’s a priority and a necessity because the biggest difference between where you are and where you want to be is knowing how to get there. An average financial advisor makes $60-80k per year, yet Dave Ramsey makes $50-60 million. The average personal trainer makes $45-50k per year, yet Jillian Michaels makes $14-17 million. No matter where you are in your business there is someone better than you and you should invest the time, effort, and energy in listening to what they have to say. Stop being a smart ass, cheap ass, wise ass, and broke ass! Start taking your knowledge, adding value, changing lives and living the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. It isn’t about what you know, it’s about who you know and what they know. So how do you know when it’s the right time to get a coach? If you are fulfilled personally, professionally, or financially then you probably don’t need one (which is 1% of people). If you want to transform your mindset, life, and finances, then there is no better time to invest in a coach than the present.

4. They Remove All Distractions, Mentally And Physically.

“If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” Charles Barkley (Phoenix Suns)

Distractions cost employers $650 billion a year. They crush potential, limit progress and cripple success. Ever wonder why you are derailed, diverted, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, under-producing, under-performing, over-stressing, over-scheduled, and overtired? The epic battle for all of us is the six inches between our ears. The #1 threat is distractions. Here are some staggering statistics. There are:

  • 145 million emails sent per day
  • 175 million Tweets sent per minute
  • 1,000 new posts on Facebook per second
  • 2.7 billion “Likes” on Facebook per day
  • 75 million new blog posts per day
  • 100 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute

So what do elite performers and successful individuals do that others don’t? They remove all roadblocks to success. Setting a timer and working in 90 minute increments on one thing—and one thing only—that’s what differentiates these high performing individuals.

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5. They Are A Master At One Thing Vs. Mediocre At Many

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” Leonardo da Vinci

Successful people master the vital few things: functions, priorities, metrics, improvements, and support. They don’t do everything, they do the one thing they’ve mastered. Let’s look at some examples: Joel Osteen runs a $700 million a year organization, yet only focuses on the 22 minute speech he gives each week at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas; Dr. Mehmet Oz has his own TV show, book, is one of the most recognized heart surgeons in New York City, and is highly involved in the community, yet he only focuses on performing the surgery, letting others plan, prepare, and execute everything else for him. Steve Jobs spent three hours of his own personal time every single day on the number one thing that would propel his organization forward. When they perform they only perform these vital few functions and they aren’t distracted by anything. They use this technique to elevate mental and physical capacities and increase skills, making them the absolute best at what they do.

6. They Have An Undeniable Drive To Succeed.

“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” Norman Vincent Peale

Staying up late, waking up early, getting no sleep at all is what successful people learn to do from the very beginning. Building a business is just like harvesting a crop: you have to prepare to plant, water, wait, commit and harvest. The same goes for reaching any kind of success: you have to prepare, build relationships, drip market, consistently take action, commit to getting a result, and reap the rewards. While many people think it’s easy, it really is anything but. Successful crops, just like successful businesses, take time to build, hours of planning, years of experimenting and changing directions, and an unwavering commitment from the farmer or entrepreneur to make a difference regardless of the circumstances. Old equipment, new equipment, dry ground, wet ground, corn, beans, it doesn’t make a difference. The farmer’s drive to succeed is relentless and so is the successful entrepreneur’s.

7. They Define Success In Their Own Terms.

“Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality.” Ross Perot

The definition of success varies across the country. The value of family, friends, and faith supersede the need to make millions of dollars, although making millions is often the result. Successful people know that success is an action not a definition.

8. They Are Incredibly Creative.

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh

Many businesses bootstrap it while picking up the momentum needed to succeed. The ability to be creative without an investment is what many communities teach growing up. It doesn’t always take money to make money. In fact, the support of the community is often the driving force behind the success of both a person and a business. There is no doubt that entrepreneurs are not afraid to get down and dirty, and lend a helping hand in times of need. While many start-ups have little to no funding to begin with, they focus on the tools, resources, and knowledge they do have and become as resourceful as possible to achieve their end goal.
What are the qualifications of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Ty Warner, Ted Turner and 29 other billionaires? They are all college drop outs! They didn’t have the luxury of buying opportunities, support, or even the basic things they needed to start their new venture. Successful people understand applied knowledge is more important than the consumption of knowledge, so they use what they have to create what they desire.

9. They Refuse To Give Up Even When The Going Gets Tough.

“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” Calvin Coolidge

Times are tough across the country but that doesn’t deter business owners, entrepreneurs or already successful companies from giving up the hope of wanting something more. In fact, it drives them to keep going. Many successful business owners aren’t rich, they are abundant. And while they don’t have a formal education, they embrace lifelong education. The same applies for entrepreneurs. This willingness to face adversity and come up with creative solutions to get through tough times with the support of the community separates those who become successful from those who don’t. Many of the successful individuals I’ve been fortunate enough to be around give 10-20%, or more, of their yearly income to charities within their own community, while investing additionally in their own personal growth.

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10. They Understand Minor Semantics Mean Major Differences.

“He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” William James.

Do you know the This Guy Got Lucky Syndrome? (This is a real example, using real numbers) People ask successful people how they got so lucky. It wasn’t luck! The root of all your results is the small things: success is not a result of heroic feats, grand acts of bravery, and quantum leaps. It is the result of making small, good decisions over time. Here are small changes you can make that can completely transform your life, even if you’re making $40k a year:

Daily:

  • Read 10 pages of a good book (15 minutes)
  • Listen to 30 minutes of an instructional CD
  • Eat 125 calories less each day then you normally eat
  • Drink two bottles of water a day
  • Walk 2,000 steps a day, roughly one mile
  • Make a few more prospecting calls instead of calling it a day
  • Make date night with your significant other a priority

27 months later you’ve:

  • Read 47 books
  • Listened to 465 hours of audio on success and improvement
  • Saved 117,500 calories = lost 33.5 lbs.
  • Drank 3,720 gallons of water
  • Walked 900 miles = an additional 30 lbs. lost (that’s 63.5 lbs in total!)
  • Had 124 dates with your partner = XOXOXO!!!
  • Made 1,860 extra calls at a 3% closing rate (which is a terrible rate that would increase with the books and audios) = $279,000 increase in yearly revenue. That’s five times more than your friends because they are treading water, falling behind, becoming disenchanted, bored, apathetic, passionless and disengaged.

I want to leave you with this thought the next time you think success isn’t within reach: consider implementing these small steps, they will leave you living the life of your dreams.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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