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How a Mind In Neutral Can Set You Back Years

How a Mind In Neutral Can Set You Back Years

Today I saw something that made me laugh and shake my head in incredulous wonder.

I had just driven my youngest daughter to her football camp and as I pulled out onto the road, I spotted these two guys cutting back the vegetation that had grown too dense alongside the cycle path. They were obviously working for the municipality, I recognized their bright orange overalls with the name of our county displayed in large black letters on their backs.

What brought a grin to my face, moments after having passed them, was the way in which they were working. You see, they had this system where one guy would cut the branches with his mini chainsaw and the other guy would collect these and then feed them into a portable shredder attached to the back of their vehicle. All fine really, except for the way the shredded wood chips would come blasting out from the top funnel, which was placed just too far away from the collection container to be in any way collecting the chips. Subsequently, they were spraying their pick up truck with sticky, resin-coated sludge from the top down to the wheel rims. The fixed, orange emergency light rack was no longer recognizable.

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The false economy of laziness

It was stupidity in motion to say the least. And they had been at it for a while, which I could also tell from not only the way the poor vehicle looked, but from the multiple imprints of a car having been parked under a torrent of wood chips in several spots further up the cycle path.

Was this consequence unknown to them? Hardly.

Did they in some way plan it this way? Possibly.

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It could be as simple as laziness. Perhaps they had calculated that it would be far easier and less work-intensive to a) brush the chips to the sides of the pathway, and b) hose down the truck afterwards. By letting 99% of the shredded material land on and around the truck, maybe they were saved from having to drive to some far away collection point for wood chips, to sign forms etc.

Or perhaps they just didn’t care. Either way, it made my morning to say the least. And more so because I knew they were wrong. That sticky resin was going to need much more than a quick hose-down to come off, something their manager would remind them of, no doubt.

The importance of goal setting

Why am I telling you this story you might wonder?

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Well, it reminded me of a major way in which we can manage to wreck our start-up businesses, which is through sheer laziness and by taking our eyes off our goals. If you let your mind stay in neutral too long, it has a way of doing something anyway. It doesn’t just remain in neutral: it drifts and does something that is quite possibly detrimental to the future of your business.

I remember specifically how my mind switched off for a couple of weeks after completing my e-book. This was due to having been working so hard on writing it for months. I nearly abandoned my plan right there as I was parked between completion and the next step — marketing it on Clickbank and Amazon. What brought me back on track was my set of goals, which were written down on my laptop.

Stick to your goals or lose your lead

I know it is near impossible to constantly stay focused and sharp on where your business is heading. There’s always going to be a time lag between when you started something and when it is up and running in the direction you want. It is this time lag that needs controlling from your behalf, and the best way to do this is by having your goals written down — everything from daily tasks to weekly, monthly and yearly goals. In a way, these are like the rails that you laid and that you are now following to reach what you have set out to achieve.

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So as such, we more often than not do ‘stupid’ things with our minds in neutral: we forget our kids’ lunch, we get locked out of our house, we step out into the road without looking, we sell stocks for emotional reasons rather than from researched reason, and we give up on promising projects out of laziness and lack of resolve.

Here’s to staying sharp and focused in the months ahead!

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Last Updated on June 25, 2019

5 Books You Must Read if You Want to Be a Millionaire in Your 20’s

5 Books You Must Read if You Want to Be a Millionaire in Your 20’s

Millionaires and billionaires read more than you think. In fact, the likes of Warren Buffet are said to read 1.000 pages a day. As the old saying goes “There’s no smoke without fire”; so, start off with these 5 incredible books!

1. The 48 Laws of Power

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    “If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”

    On your journey to becoming a millionaire in your 20’s, there will be many people trying to manipulate you into doing what they want. This international bestseller by Robert Greene is the widely read by those in the entertainment industry because of its dog-eat-dog environment. This book is a must-read for anybody who wants to claim power and keep it. it’s a fun read that tells the story of some of the most powerful people in history.

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    An example of a law of power is: Always say less than necessary.

    • When trying to impress, the more you say the more common you look and less in control.
    • Be vague.
    • Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.

    2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

    influence-the-psychology-of-persuasion

      “Often we don’t realize that our attitude toward something has been influenced by the number of times we have been exposed to it in the past.”

      This book explains the core strategies people use to influence others using real world examples. Robert Cialdini’s book goes over human quirks like the need to be consistent, and how you can use that in your marketing strategy to make more money. “People’s ability to understand the factors that affect their behaviour is surprisingly poor,” Cialdini says, “which leads to people making poor decisions without realising why.”

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      Cialdini includes real world examples of why people join cults, buy certain jewellery, or give to charity.

      3. Blue Ocean Strategy

      blue-ocean-strategy

        “Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. We call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. Value innovation places equal emphasis on value.”

        This book argues that leading companies don’t succeed by battling competitors in “Red Oceans”, but by creating “Blue Oceans” where they have uncontested market space to grow. It goes over case studies like “Cirque Du Soleil” who created a blue ocean by creating a circus platform that didn’t include animals or more than one act on at once but instead, decided to focus on talented performers and music who created a mystical storyline.

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        4. The Fountainhead

        the-fountainhead

          “A man’s spirit is himself. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are functions of the ego.”

          The Fountainhead takes place in the United States, mostly in New York City, during the 1920s and 1930s. Billionaire Mark Cuban named his yacht “Fountainhead” after this book. This classic novel is about the struggles of an innovative architect named Howard Roark and his effort to achieve success on his own terms. Many entrepreneurs are inspired by this book because it depicts how you should be uncompromising when it comes to your vision and your goals. If you follow this way of life, you develop the ability to change the world and creating something unique.

          5. The Compound Effect

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          the-compound-effect

            “Do you know how the casinos make so much money in Vegas? Because they track every table, every winner, every hour. Why do Olympic trainers get paid top dollar? Because they track every workout, every calorie, and every micronutrient for their athletes. All winners are trackers.”

            This book is by Darren Hardy the CEO of Success Magazine, he goes over how it’s the small, seemingly insignificant choices that compound to create success or failure over time. No one has a plan to be broke and fat but that’s what happens when you don’t have a plan and go along the path of least resistance. Hardy argues that you cannot improve something until you measure it and to always take 100 percent responsibility for everything that happens to you.

            So, those are five books you must read if you want to give it a try to become a millionaire in your 20’s. What are the best books you have ever read? Leave a comment and share these life-changing books with your friends to help them become successful like you.

            Featured photo credit: Bill Gates Foundation via businessinsider.com

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