The Gratitude Challenge

High-Five

How many struggles have you encountered this week?
How many times have you bounced back quickly from each one?

Struggles are a part of everyday life, especially if you’re in sales. Each time you walk in a new door, you don’t know who you’re going to face, how you should address their concerns about your product, or what rebuttals you need to have ready. Living with so many variables is a touchy way to live.

Yes, you do your homework, but until you’re in the trenches and have come face-to-face with their situation, you don’t really know who they are or what they need to hear.

Then, say you don’t close. There’s another struggle (or three) because you have a quota to reach this week and you aren’t on target for said quota. Sales is a jungle. Period. And even if you’re the king of the beasts, it’s a difficult life.

Unless you’re grateful.

An attitude of gratitude makes the difference between feast and famine. Well, you won’t actually get rich just because you’re grateful, but you’ll feel like it.

And if you feel like it, you’ll perform better at your job, as well as at home.

Shawn Achor has been studying the effects of gratitude for decades and in all of his research, he’s discovered that gratitude: Makes us healthier, allows for better quality of sleep, gives us a greater sense of well-being, enables us to emotionally help and support others, and allows us to achieve more goals.

“…and allows us to be more successful.” Really.

The Gratitude Challenge

Are you ready to put yourself to a gratitude test? I challenge you, for the next 10 weeks to sit down each night and write down three things you’re grateful for. Three things. That’s all. If you can come up with more, that’s great, let’s see them.

But at the very least, I want you to think back on your day (and I don’t care if you had to walk 10 miles to the nearest gas station because your Lexus ran out of gas on the highway) and think about a minimum of three things that you’re grateful for.

They don’t even have to be monumental events. Getting out of bed can be one of them. Because, truly, if you think about it, that’s where it all starts. If you’re able to get out of bed, then you accomplished A LOT more than so many others.

Don’t Get Lost

You see, we get tangled up in the details. We get tangled up in the “woes me”. We get tangled up in the crap that doesn’t matter. And we let it bring us down. And when we’re down? We don’t perform well. We can’t think clearly, and we struggle with the smallest things.

But if we take on this challenge, if we work hard to find things we’re grateful for, then, all the crap falls away. We’re left with the positive vibes and energy that we need to power through to the next phase of the day.

So developing an attitude of gratitude isn’t something for the weak, or the faint of heart. It’s for those of us who are ready to conquer the world. And you, my friend, are ready.

Let’s do this!

WestJet Christmas Miracle: Spirit of Giving

What is your company doing to give back?

Become Unstoppable

Habits make up most of our lives. It’s not because you had the same steak dinner three Saturdays in a row. Or because you drive the same route to and from the gym everyday. It’s not because you’re boring.

It’s because habits are a means of survival. They protect our brains from implosion because we can handle only so many decisions a day before we snap. And snapping? Isn’t pretty.

So we create habits.

Think about it. What did you do this morning when you got out of bed? Chances are it’s the same thing that you did every morning before that. What route did you drive to work? Probably the same route you always drive.

It’s you. Surviving.

So why aren’t you creating habits that make you better? Happier?

As an individual, you’re either evolving and changing or you’re falling behind. You don’t want to fall behind. You can’t afford to fall behind. You don’t want your competition inching ahead while you’re left scrounging for their scraps. Leftovers are over-rated.

You’re a contender. You’re a fighter. So why are you sitting back on your hunches?

Get up. Get moving forward by creating habits of success that will shift your game from “oh well, this is my destiny” to “Raawwwrrrr! Let’s OWN this!”

Develop Success Habits

I WILL CLOSE today

Get up in the morning and go straight to your mirror, look yourself in the eye and say, “I WILL close today.” But don’t just say it. FEEL it. You have to believe it. Make it a habit to make yourself believe in your own abilities. Do it EVERYDAY FOR 21 DAYS.

Give them their due

When you feel doubt and sadness creeping in, give them their moments. Moments. Then, move on – quickly. It’s okay to feel like crap once in a while. It’s not okay to stay that way. Make it a habit to move on quickly – by acknowledging and shifting.

Make the shift

When the world has pooped on you, and you’ve given the bad feelings their rights, move on to the next emotion by creating it. Create some Happiness by getting off your rear end and getting some exercise. Do NOT roll your eyes at me. Force yourself to smile. Stop and think of the good things in your life. Whatever it takes to make you use those smile muscles.

Because when happiness becomes a habit… You will be unstoppable.

Create a Life Fit for Pharrell

You went to work today dreading it. And what happened? Did a magical unicorn come and drop a bomb of happy on you?

No.

Your boss called you in his office, first thing, and asks why you made a decision you made last week. He proceeds to rip you a new one, so before you walk out of his office, you’re left feeling even smaller than you did when you walked in to work this morning.

Or maybe you got up on the wrong side of the bed (because hey! that happens every other day), went to the fridge and found someone had finished all the milk, so you had to eat dry cereal since you were out of Sprite, too. Thus setting the tone for the rest of your day.

Regardless of what happens, it’s your outlook that matters.

Your brain can change it all.

If you see rain as bits of life enveloped into a tiny drop, then that’s what it is. If you see it as a roadblock or barrier to seeing your favorite band in the amphitheater, then that’s what it is.

The person who sees it as bits of life, is going to be happy when it rains. No matter what. They see opportunity. They see growth. They see newness.

The person who sees it as a roadblock is going to be frustrated and aggravated. No matter what. They see struggle. They see inconvenience.

The fact is, it’s going to rain. And the person who opens their eyes to the positive side of that rain, isn’t going to suffer. They aren’t going to be troubled by it. They’ll welcome it. No matter what.

And that’s why they’ll stay happier. That’s why they are more content in their jobs, they have more friends, and they don’t let a little rain stop them from living a good life.

Happy starts with you.

You want more happiness in your office or on this planet? Start with you.

Start with your vision of this life and the obstacles that come with it. See happiness and there will be happiness. Then what you will attract is more of that goodness. And who couldn’t use a better office environment or happier people to hang with?

Now.

If you’re not usually the rose-colored glasses type and you struggle to see that sunshine, it’s going to be difficult to shift your mind, but it can be done with changing your habits.

Acknowledge the good stuff. Regardless of the bad that’s around, stop and pinpoint some of the silver in it. Boss wrote you up? The good part? You’re now that much closer to success because you’ve now grown and developed. Car broke down on the side of the road? No worries, you have a chance to spend some extra time with your significant other while she carts you around for a little while. Every storm has its benefit, find it.

Start your day with the good stuff. Look past the frustration of yesterday to see what’s beautiful today. Did you sleep well? Do you have a roof over your head so you don’t have to haul everything you own around on a bicycle all day long? Are you breathing? Look for every positive. No matter how small. You may choose to write them down. You may choose just to acknowledge them. Either way, give them significance.

End your day the same. Reflect on your day and look for every sliver of a pearl. Did you get out of bed when you didn’t want to? Did you enjoy the leftovers your spouse packed for you (even though you’re not a fan, but she was busy and took time to squeeze in something for you instead of making you go through the drive thru again)? Total up all the goodness for the day and sleep on them.

Never let an opportunity to praise someone pass you by. When you give others props, you open the door for your success and theirs. Spit it out. Give compliments. Make them feel good. It’ll make YOU feel good.

You are the captain. No one can give you happiness. It doesn’t come from money. It doesn’t come from fame (ask Zsa Zsa Gabor or Elizabeth Taylor). It doesn’t even come from closing deals. Yeah, believe that.

Happiness is a pill you swallow alone. You’re the only one who can cultivate a mindset of Happy that will allow you to see the good in the bad, to feel the positive with the negative, and, more importantly, help you live a life fit for Pharrell.

What You Missed in that Last TED Talk You Watched

I know what you did this week.

You spent hours combing through your Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook feeds while also listening to a few TED talks, searching for that one nugget that’s going to change everything for you. But guess what. It won’t. And you wasted your time. Sorry!

Think about what you found. Did you find anything new? Did you hear, see or read that one thing that is going to hand you the key to success? You did not. I guarantee it.

You have to stop swimming through your feeds, looking for everybody else’s good fortune to see what you can capitalize on. Because what you’re doing? Is nothing.

You’re reading and learning and blowing up your brain with info, but not putting one bit of it into action.

Stop.

Stop reading to “learn” because what you need to know? Is already there. It’s already in you. You just don’t trust yourself.

You feel like you’re not enough. That what you know isn’t enough. That your competition or colleagues are better than you and you think sitting and reading about their success is going to make you as good as they are.

It’s not.

When you start to trust your instincts, your brains, your guts? Your world changes. And you can then change the world.

Stop letting fear silence you.

Fear

Fear stops you from putting anything that you’ve read about into action and making it happen. Fear stops you from transforming into the success that you know you SHOULD be. Fear stops you from listening to the voice deep inside you that KNOWS what you should be doing, instead of reading about.

You have to get over that fear.

You have to let yourself be who you know you are. You have to get over worrying about what everyone else thinks, what they are doing, or what they’ve had success with.

What they did or what they do doesn’t matter in the least. Not to you. What matters is what you do because if you are reading but not executing? You will never, ever become who you want to be or what you want your business to be.

Stop being scared. You are a powerhouse. You are a winner. You are the only key to your success.

Stop Fear

If you’re worried about failure? Get out and fail. Because nothing is going to rocket you forward faster than failure. Learn to love it. Learn to look for it. Learn to make failure happen. Because the more you fail? The faster you succeed.

Fail. Fail often. Fail fast.

Become a Speed-Learner

There are things you won’t know how to do. Study one successful person’s approach, figure out why it worked and TWEAK IT. Don’t use it as is. Because if you tweak it and make it yours, you’ve created something brand new. And if THAT is a success, your confidence level will shoot far past the moon and the stars.

Stop listening to everyone else. Look deep inside for the passion and knowledge you already have because you are a rockstar. You know what you can achieve. Now let yourself do it.

It all comes down to one thing: Trust. When you trust that you are good enough the way you are? It will all fall into place like a gorgeous puzzle.

Here is the permission slip you’ve been waiting for: Go out and make your dreams come true.

5 Steps to Developing a Success Mindset

devin c hughes
Your success is not in your hands. It never was or will be.

It’s in your mind.

I saw you snicker and that’s not some psycho mumbo jumbo. When you make up your mind to be a success, your mind leads your actions. Those actions lead you to success because you become what you think about most.

You know it’s true. Remember the gorgeous blonde you saw in the bar and you fell all over yourself trying to pick her up? It didn’t work. Because you had in your mind that she was out of your league, but you tried anyway. She thought it was hilarious that you couldn’t talk like a grown man, but she wasn’t going out of there with someone who wasn’t ready for her level of class.

It’s a tough life. You didn’t get the girl. But you did get the sale two days later.

You didn’t go into it wondering if you were going to close it. You knew you were going to. You smart rascal, you.

Your mind led your words and your actions when dealing with your customer and you anticipated what they needed and wanted before they did.

So the question is…why do you continue to doubt yourself? Why do you continue to think you can’t, when if all you need to think is you will?

I WILL

The most powerful two words in the English language: I WILL. Once you KNOW you will, there’s nothing that can stand in your way.

But you have to believe them. Not just say them. Saying them’s the easy part. Believing them is, well, akin to taking out your own wisdom teeth sometimes.

We let our competition make us doubt ourselves. We let insecurity in: Is what we’re doing enough? We let our lack of self-confidence sabotage our actions.

When you get past that “what if” mindset and develop your iron “I WILL” mindset, you’ll become unstoppable. And not only will you achieve the things you weren’t sure you could achieve before, you’ll bolster confidence in yourself so the “what if” mindset disappears.

How to Develop Your I Will Mindset

1. Log your successes and refer to them daily. You’ve made a sale or two, right? (If not, you’ve succeeded at something, even if was asking out that girl that made the butterflies feel like jackknives in your belly or it may have been simply getting out of bed when you didn’t want to.) Write down every success you can think of that you’ve had and read it nightly.

2. Go to bed with the knowledge that you are a success. Never go to sleep on self-doubt. Ever. Make that’s one of those rules you can never break, like not missing a Game of Thrones episode. Because when you go to sleep on self-doubt, you can guarantee that the next morning you’ll still feel like the gum you stepped on in the parking lot today.

3. Approach each and every challenge with the endgame in mind. Think about the task in front of you. What do you want to happen? See it. FEEL it. How does that success feel to you? You’re smiling right now, aren’t you? You should be. It feels like your hard work has paid off. It feels like relief. It feels like you’re wearing your favorite, most expensive suit and the rest of humanity is standing in awe of your greatness. Okay, let’s not get TOO carried away. But it does feel amazing.

4. Use that feeling to develop your confidence. When you envision success, you create chemicals in your brain that make you think you actually achieved your goal. Thus, boosting your confidence giving you a springboard for actually making it happen.

5. Write down an affirmative statement about yourself that envelops the level of confidence and achievement you want. For example: I am worthy of the blonde at the table in the corner of the room. Focus. We’re talking salesmanship. Try that again: I am a successful salesman with the ability to control and close every sale I walk into. Write that statement and read it out loud everyday. Eventually, your brain will begin to believe it. Then? Well. You know know the rest.

What you want most in your life is to win at sales, and as soon as you develop your I WILL Mindset, no one can stand in your way.

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The One Choice You Need to Make to Allow for Success

1 in 10 businesses will succeed.

One. In. Ten. That’s a huge failure rate when it comes to starting a business. The odds are already stacked against you. If you want to improve your chances of success at anything you do, you have one choice to make that will create a foundation on which all your successes can be built.

That choice is happiness.
devin c hughes
Just ask Jane

She started a business just to start a business. She needed to pay the bills, so she opened network marketing site that everyone raved about (that’s how you get people to sign up under you, isn’t it?) because she believed she could make it.

Turns out, her heart wasn’t anywhere close to being in it. In fact, there was no passion for what she was doing at all.

So guess what happened to Jane’s business?

She made exactly 7 sales in 6 months, and only 2 of them weren’t to family.

She didn’t love what she was doing. She couldn’t find it in herself to push a product she wasn’t happy with. And she hated throwing those parties to help sell her products.

Jane got out of that biz. She didn’t succeed at it.

Because she wasn’t happy. She wasn’t happy with the business or herself.

Not Rebecca

Rebecca, on the other hand, was in love with her job. She got up every morning ready to tackle the day. Selling was her forte and nothing made her happier than closing deals.

Three months into it, Rebecca was named the regional director.

Because she was happy. She looked for new challenges, set new goals for herself, and each time she reached a goal? It piled on the confidence in herself that she could, in fact, win at the game she was playing.

Jane and Rebecca’s stories are typical. Jane’s solution should have been to look beyond her financial situation and dig deep into herself and a business she could fall in love with.

So many employees and business owners drag themselves out of bed to do the work they have to do to survive. They hit the snooze button so many times, the letters have worn off. They sit hunched over. They don’t give it their all. Why should they? Life sucks, right?

But then you have the others, who see what they have in front of them and appreciate it, are nurtured by it, and look forward to it. They rarely see the yucky side of things and are, therefore, rarely brought down by unfortunate events (like working a job they hate).

According to the research, people who are happier, are more productive and experience positive moods more often. This leads them to seek out opportunities for growth and challenge. If they don’t like their job, they work to find another. If they don’t the business they’re in, they work to open one they do.

But being happy isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. I’m not saying happy people don’t get sad, they do. Yet, the sadness passes on. Their happy lenses invariably take over and cast new visions in front of them, making them content again, showing them the potential in the situation they are in and themselves.

Find YOUR Happiness, Find Your Success

1. Let go of negativity in your life. Lose the people that don’t want to see you happy, the ones who are always bringing everyone else down in order to make themselves feel better.

2. Look for things to be grateful for. Don’t like the shirt you wore to work today? The guy in the street would give anything to have it since the one he’s wearing is filthy and riddled with holes because he doesn’t have a closet to keep his clothes in.

3. Appreciate people. You live your life in constant contact with society, look for the good in the each individual you meet.

4. When you’re down, acknowledge it. And move on. Don’t let the “down” keep you down for long.

5. See down times as opportunities for growth. You didn’t get a sale? Mope about it for 15 minutes, then figure out why. What will you do differently next time to ensure you close that deal?

Do what you have to do to find happiness, success will follow.

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Lessons Lead to the Gold

Your plan
You want the gold. That’s why you became an entrepreneur. And that’s why you’re sitting around waiting for your next big break. Because when it rears its magnificent head, you’re jumping on it with both feet!

That’s also why you’ll never jump. And you’ll never get the gold.

You see, people who sit around waiting for their next break, are rarely the ones who get it. Karma, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, isn’t packaging your fortune in a nice, tidy little gift box complete with a satin bow to hand over to you at the right time.
Nor is the fortune teller with the wart on her left nostril going to accurately predict when or IF you’ll finally succeed.

It just doesn’t happen.

What does happen is that entrepreneurs who take risks are the ones who reap the rewards. And they reap them BIG. They go out and make things happen, rather than just waiting for them to happen.

Risks and Rewards

Not sure if your product is so stellar everyone will drool all over? So? TRY it. What happens if you do, isn’t guaranteed. What happens if you don’t, is.

Steve Fossett flew Virgin Atlantic’s Global Flyer nonstop around the world. Had Steve avoided that risk, Boeing and Airbus would not have adopted the carbon fiber construction that made the Global Flyer flight a success and the worlds’ largest fleets wouldn’t be doing their share to create a more eco-friendly and lighter jet.

Jeff Bezos took a risk by opening his first business out of his garage. Three years after he opened, he was heading up a $22.1 Billion marketplace. Had he not taken on that challenge, you wouldn’t be able to buy and sell your favorite wares on the site we know as Amazon.

Tim Westergren took a risk and followed his passion to create one of the Net’s leading streaming music sites. Had Westergren listened to everyone else, he wouldn’t founded the $2.5 Billion Pandora and millions of pop culture teens wouldn’t have a way to share all their Justin Beiber and One Direction passion. Okay, so maybe we have a bittersweet relationship with Pandora. Nevertheless, it’s a convenient service that paved the way for all the current music streaming services.

These entrepreneurs took risks. They took on their challenges. And won. They reaped the rewards, BIG. But not every entrepreneur experiences these big rewards. Some just walk away with lessons of gold to use to create their success.

There Are Only Lessons

Each goal that isn’t achieved is not a failure, but a lesson. Looking at risk as a reward/failure-only system creates fear around what you want to achieve, causing paralysis (from fear or perfectionism) instead of action.

Your goal? Always get results, regardless if they’re positive or negative.

Of course, we all want positive ones, but each negative gets you closer to that BIG reward you’re working for, too. And sometimes lots of negative results (rather than strings of positive results) lead to a greater success in the end.

Create Your Success

1. Decide on your end goal. Where are you heading? What do you want to be your final outcome?
2. Figure out the best route to get there. When you’re heading to new places, a map always makes sure you get to the right destination. (Unless you’re using Siri, sometimes she’ll throw you off course.)
3. Start taking those steps on the map. This is where it’s easy to get off track. Be sure you’re working your plan since this is how you’ll measure your results.
4. Predict and evaluate often. Set your reward/lesson criteria for each step in your plan and evaluate them after you take each one. Did you get the result you wanted? NO? Time to decide if you should go on to the next step or claim a re-do (because you absolutely can do that) and work that same step again – in a different way.
5. Assess WHY it didn’t work, if it didn’t, and use that knowledge to establish each next steps’ validity and viability.

Your map is a living breathing…thing…and should grow and evolve with each lesson you learn from each step in it. Doing that, it won’t matter if Product A didn’t succeed. It will matter that Product B is even better because of that lesson from Product A.

It’s your job as an entrepreneur, NOT to sit on your hands waiting for anything. It’s your job to get out there, learn as much as you can (as quickly as you can), not living in fear of something that doesn’t exist (failure).

Now, go. Create your roadmap. Live and learn from lessons you achieve. And earn the gold you’re worth.

If this post inspired you, pay it forward and share to inspire someone else. Thanks!

Life is Best Lived

What Don’t You Do That You Should Be Doing?

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