How Successful People Stay Calm

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a emotionsmillion people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

If you’ve followed my work, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as the Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.


New research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells.

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” Kirby says. For animals, intermittent stress is the bulk of what they experience, in the form of physical threats in their immediate environment. Long ago, this was also the case for humans. As the human brain evolved and increased in complexity, we’ve developed the ability to worry and perseverate on events, which creates frequent experiences of prolonged stress.

lionBesides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.

They Appreciate What They Have

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

They Avoid Asking “What If?”

“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.

They Stay PositivePositive

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.

They Disconnect

Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.

Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.

They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

redbullDrinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.

They Sleep

I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When sleepyou sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.

They Squash Negative Self-Talk

A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, your inner voice says, “It’s time to stop and write them down.” Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.

You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

They Reframe Their Perspective

Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.

They Breathe

beatheThe easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.

This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.

They Use Their Support System

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.


Travis Bradbury,

5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 AM

5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 AM

images (33)Rise and shine! Morning time just became your new best friend. Love it or hate it, utilizing the morning hours before work may be the key to a successful and healthy lifestyle. That’s right, early rising is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people. Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5 a.m.; Frank Lloyd Wright at 4 am and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney wakes at 4:30am just to name a few. I know what you’re thinking – you do your best work at night. Not so fast. According to Inc. Magazine, morning people have been found to be more proactive and more productive. In addition, the health benefits for those with a life before work go on and on. Let’s explore 5 of the things successful people do before 8 am.

1. Exercise. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Most people that work out daily, work out inithinkfit050
the morning. Whether it’s a morning yoga session or a trip to the gym, exercising before work gives you a boost of energy for the day and that deserved sense of accomplishment. Anyone can tackle a pile of paperwork after 200 ab reps! Morning workouts also eliminate the possibility of flaking out on your cardio after a long day at work. Even if you aren’t bright eyed and bushy tailed at the thought of a 5 am jog, try waking up 15 minutes early for a quick bedside set of pushups or stretching. It’ll help wake up your body, and prep you for your day.

2. Map Out Your Day. Maximize your potential by mapping out your schedule for the day, as well as your goals and to dos. The morning is a good time for this as it is often one of the only quiet times a person gets throughout the day. The early hours foster easier reflection that helps when prioritizing your activities. They also allow for uninterrupted problem solving when trying to fit everything into your timetable. While scheduling, don’t forget about your mental health. Plan a 10 minute break after that stressful meeting for a quick walk around the block or a moment of meditation at your desk. Trying to eat healthy? Schedule a small window in the evening to pack a few nutritious snacks to bring to work the next day.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. We all know that rush out the door with a cup of coffee and Healthy Ban empty stomach feeling. You sit down at your desk, and you’re already wondering how early that taco truck sets up camp outside your office. No good. Take that extra time in the morning to fuel your body for the tasks ahead of it. It will help keep you mind on what’s at hand and not your growling stomach. Not only is breakfast good for your physical health, it is also a good time to connect socially. Even five minutes of talking with your kids or spouse while eating a quick bowl of oatmeal can boost your spirits before heading out the door.

4. Visualization. These days we talk about our physical health ad nauseam, but sometimes our mental health gets overlooked. The morning is the perfect time to spend some quiet time inside your mind meditating or visualizing. Take a moment to visualize your day ahead of you, focusing on the successes you will have. Even just a minute of visualization and positive thinking can help improve your mood and outlook on your work load for the day.

5. Make Your Day Top Heavy. We all have that one item on our to do list that we dread. Itdo it looms over you all day (or week) until you finally suck it up and do it after much procrastination. Here’s an easy tip to save yourself the stress – do that least desirable task on your list first. Instead of anticipating the unpleasantness of it from first coffee through your lunch break, get it out of the way. The morning is the time when you are (generally) more well rested and your energy level is up. Therefore, you are more well equipped to handle more difficult projects. And look at it this way, your day will get progressively easier, not the other way around. By the time your work day is ending, you’re winding down with easier to dos and heading into your free time more relaxed. Success!

20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get, But Need to Know!

Jason Nazar, Forbes

 I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I see this generation making their own.  In response, here are my 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated - Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.”  Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results.  Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.  (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)

We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis.  I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone.  But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours.  Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.

execwomen2Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.  Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career.  You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove.  There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.  (Watch: Millennials in the Workplace Training Video)

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career.  But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your F-ups.  You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.

1123933You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked –
Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have.  This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career.  Working for someone that demands excellence and pushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company.  It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion.  It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship.  Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.

People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings.  Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left.  Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do.  Keep your eye on the prize.   Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.  That should be all the incentive you need.  If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.

Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers.  In your workplace this is a cancer.  If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP.  Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards.  If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is myNetworking Advice)

images (33)You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be.  Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive.  (TIP:  “The Secret to Finding and Keeping Mentors”)

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does.  I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.”  If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals?  You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine.   (Shout out to Tony Robbins for the tip)

TheClickMomentCover300dpi1Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters:  all breadth and no depth.  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.  All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.  Make sure to read a book a month  (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big.  Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment).  Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential.  You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income.  No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life.  It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.images (1)

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business.  It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity.  Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure.  It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.

10 Ways To Help Others That Will Lead You To Success



Helping others should be a natural extension of every business leader’s responsibilities.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come as easy as you would think. As leaders, we often get too caught up in operations or our own problems to give people the help they need. However, in the last year, I’ve realized that most of my best clients, partners and relationships have come from me helping someone. Here are 10 thoughts that can remind you to help others.

  1. Sharing knowledge
    One of the easiest ways to help others is to simply share your knowledge. You don’t have to be in front of a classroom to teach. Every day there is an opportunity to educate someone about your area of expertise. The key is to keep educating yourself so you can stay ahead of the curve.
  2. Finding out what’s valuable to them
    The number one rule of helping people should be to find out what’s actually valuable to someone. You may spend time and effort helping someone with something that they didn’t even want help with. Make an effort to ask them where they need help, and keep that in mind when you see an opportunity.
  3. Sharing your resources
    Think about the resources you’ve invested in and be mindful of whether they can help someone else. Maybe a developer on your team has some extra time and one of your contacts needed some help on a quick job. Or, maybe you have Cardinals season tickets and there’s a game that you won’t be able to attend. Keep those under- or unused resources in the back of your mind and try to connect them to people who can use them.
  4. Making them aware of an opportunity
    It’s important to keep an eye out for opportunities. It could be good press, a potential partner, or a general business opportunity. Once you see an opportunity, think about who could benefit from knowing about it. One of the ways I like to help my employees is to help their friends, relatives or significant others if they’re looking for a job. A lot of times I can use my business connections to find a potential good fit.
  5. Giving them transparent feedback
    Transparent feedback can be tough because some people don’t take constructive criticism well.  There is a difference between telling someone that they suck and giving them good examples of how they can improve.  Some people won’t take it well but, in the long run, you will help the people that you want to work with and improve the efficiency and success of your company as well.
  6. Being a brand advocate
    I was at a conference the other day and an American Airlines employee was going on and on about how she loved her Modify watch. She truly wanted to help the company because she loved the product and wanted to see them succeed. Think about the products and services that you love, and don’t be shy about letting people know about them.
  7. Giving introductions
    There’s a lot of big talk out there. Someone knows somebody who is a great contact or client, but they never actually make the introduction. Rather than making and breaking promises, make an effort to actually send out several intros each week. However, don’t let your credibility take a hit: make sure the people you’re advocating are legit.
  8. Volunteering your time
    Time is valuable and most people understand that.  When you take time out of your day to help a friend, they remember it. I try and do a guest webinar every couple of weeks for contacts so they know I’m willing to take time out of my day to share my experience with the community. Even if it’s not something as public as a webinar or podcast, set aside some time to help a contact. It could be as simple as helping them move to a new home.
  9. Recognizing them
    There are a variety of ways to give someone recognition. You can include them in an article that you’ve written or mention them in a speech or presentation. An easy way to recognize someone is to nominate them for an award. There are countless awards out there that could really help out your network. It will mean a lot to the nominee that you thought of them and wanted to recognize them. On a smaller scale, you can have internal recognition within your company. We have an award called “the belt” that looks like a WWF belt. Each week the current winner chooses the next winner. It’s an easy way to make an employee feel good about the solid work they’ve done for your company.
  10. Giving gifts
    Gifts can be tricky because you don’t want to “buy” peoples’ favor. You want to get them a gift that makes sense and will help them.  When Hurricane Sandy hit, we sent care packages with items that survivors could use as they recovered from the devastation. People tend to remember who helped them when they were in need, so it’s important to make an extra effort during these times.

Helping others isn’t always easy. It can sometimes derail your schedule and cost you time, money and other resources. It can even be interpreted the wrong way. However, keep these tips in mind for some easy ways to show your connections that they truly matter to you.


Source: John HallCEO of Influence & Co.

Your Potential is Limitless!

How many of you have had the opportunity to watch the movie Limitless? What a great movie starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.limitless

The premise of the movie is that there is a drug that allows the average human who only uses 20% of his brain to access 100% of it!

I won’t give away the secrets of the movie but it is very well done and entertaining.

Obviously the pill doesn’t exit, but consider the fact that we all have so much unused potential and unlocking it should be a goal for every one of us.

The kinds of things that happen in the movie are possible if we choose to achieve them. Maybe not converting a few thousand dollars into a few million in a week or two but great things are out there for all of us.

So the question becomes, what do we need to do to unlock our true potential?

Here are 5 things that will provide some of that power:

Never be satisfied with “average” or status quo.

Just like young children always Ask Why. No one has all of the correct answers. Use your judgment and ask for more information.

Set goals that are higher than what you are comfortable with and manage those goals. This is key to all success. You cannot achieve what you have not envisioned.

Read as much as you can. Knowledge is Power.

Here are 10 great books to take a look at:

Join a group or organization that specializes in a topic that interests you. This will provide connections and information you need to get the job done.

Do these things and you will discover that your Potential is Limitless!

Watch the movie with this mindset. It will inspire you. You will succeed.








10 Great Do’s and Don’ts to Help you Connect and Profit.

Tell only your best friends!

Tell only your best friends!

Your Presence and Demeanor control many of the experiences and opportunities that come your way.

Here are a few things to consider today….

1. Never sit with your Arms Crossed.

In the next few days notice people that sit or stand with their arms crossed. What do you see? No matter what they are actually thinking or doing they appear closed and appear to be putting up a road block to you and those around you. Make it an objective to never cross your arms. This will allow more people to open up to you and interact with you.

2. When looking around, don’t look out of the Corner of your Eyes.young business man doubt at office

This seems kind of funny when you think about it, but I believe it is the difference between coming across Very Confident or Insecure. By turning your head and looking straight at someone you are saying “I am here, and I am looking at you” By looking out of the corner of your eyes you are saying “I hope you don’t notice that I am looking at you” Turning your head where you are looking is the powerful way to go. Watch others glance out of the corners of their eyes and let me know what you think.

3. Use great eye contact in everything you do.

Eye contact is incredibly important in everything you do. This takes work if you have neglected this part of your presence. When engaging others or simply passing by in the mall keep your head up, shoulders back and look those around you in the eye with a smile. People will notice a great presence from you and know you are a confident individual. If you are interested in reading more about this topic see Mastering Your People Skills from an earlier post.

                             A few ideas regarding dress code….

4. Avoid wearing tennis shoes with slacks or jeans when going out.Tennisshoes

I know! Some of you are yelling C’mon!! Save the sneakers for athletic shorts. There are so many great looking shoes that will dress your jeans up instead of making them look shabby. This is especially important when traveling abroad. Most of the rest of the World wouldn’t even consider sneakers when not out for a run or on the gym floor! Before you say “I’m skipping this one,” Get a full length mirror and check out each look and make the decision.

5. Never wear a Tie with a Short Sleeve Shirt.Tie

This look screams Dwight from “The Office”. Just don’t do it. If the event requires a tie it also requires a long sleeve shirt.

6. No Jeans or Jean Shorts on the Golf Course.

Ok, This is a new one for me! Read Golf Attire and you will see why I no longer wear jeans on the golf course. I freely admit, that when it was cool outside I used to wear jeans on the golf course and didn’t give it a second thought. I’m not going to do that again.

7. Suit and Tie ONLY at Funerals and Weddings.

tie1The two Dressiest Events that you will ever attend in your life are Funerals and Weddings. Wear the best stuff you have to these two events. No sport coats and no open collars for the guys.

8. When coming across and individual in a business you are calling on (or other situations) assume that person is the owner.

It’s much better to say “Hi, are you the owner? I’m looking for Fred Smith” rather than “Hi, are you the shipping and receiving clerk? I am looking for Fred Smith” The point is, an error in asking if they are the owner is a great compliment. An error when talking with the owner is uncomfortable for all involved. This may seem like a small thing, but every little bit helps!

9. When leaving a group early after eating or drinking on a group tab, leave more tipmoney than you think you should and don’t ask for a broken out check just for you.

Whether at a business outing or with a group of friends everyone there will really appreciate your being generous and leaving more than you should. Remember, you are leaving Tax and Tip too (as much as 30% more than what you ate and drank)! The opposite is not very pleasant. Nobody appreciates the cheap person leaving early before the check is delivered!

10. Treat your children as adults when speaking with them or helping them with childrendecisions as early as 5 years old.

I did this with my son Tyler and it has paid dividends ever since. When you do this, you empower them to make their own decisions and to become their own boss. Helping them make the right decision is so much more powerful than making the decision for them. You can use this strategy in everything they do.

Put some thought into these things and decide which ones you want to consider. I think you will find them useful.







5 Things I Tell Siri That Help Me Run My Business

From Steve Cooper.

Back in January Apple released an update to their mobile operating system. With that came a few upgrades to the personal virtual assistant, Siri. While those specific updates will be helpful for recreational applications (e.g., buying movie tickets) I thought now would be a good time to share how I’ve been using Siri on a regular basis, helping me save time while running my business.


1. “Remind me…”I’m constantly juggling three or four projects at a time—and within each project there’s usually 10 or more things to accomplish. To help get things straight I set a lot of reminders. The great thing about Reminders within iOS is that I can have it remind me based on location. For example, if I’m out at lunch I can say, “Remind me to write my next Forbes column when I arrive at work.” Setting times is also very helpful when I need to return a call or fire off an e-mail before the end of the day. I can say, “Remind me to call John at 4:45pm.” When the reminder goes off, I can then tell Siri to “Call John.”

2. “Take a note…” As a writer, editor and CEO, I’m constantly brainstorming new ideas and taking notes. The quickest and easiest way I’ve ever found was to just tell Siri what I wanted and have it transcribe. The convenience of not having to grab pen and paper or even open a laptop is remarkably liberating. So I’ll say for example, “Take a note…Create a special Valentine’s Day section for the website and feature it on the homepage.” Sometimes I’ll create lists. With these you can tell Siri “new line” to create a line break for the subsequent item. If you are synced through iCloud (and this applies to other apps as well) your notes will be waiting for you on your computer when you’re sitting at your desk.

3. “Set a timer for…” Time management is a huge issue made much easier when I set time limits for myself. When I’m really in a crunch, I’ll give myself just a certain amount of time to accomplish something then move on, regardless of where I am in the process. The easiest way to make this happen is to set a timer. I simply tell Siri, “Set a timer for 45 minutes.” The timer begins counting down and in less than an hour I’m moving on to my next project. I find this works particularly well when I’m going through social network feeds where time magically vanishes as I dig through the information.

4. “Search the web for…” With all the fancy apps on the iPhone, this command almost seems like a quaint throwback to how we previously looked up information. Of course, that’s not the case. Whether it’s a business, a person or a query to see how a search term ranks on a mobile device, I’m regularly asking Siri for things like, “Search the web for Valentine’s Day ideas on a shoestring budget.”

5. “Launch…” Amongst many things that I do, I also write app reviews, which means I have pages and pages of apps. Even when I try to keep things organized with folders, it can be cumbersome to navigate the more than 200 apps I have on my iPhone. So I just tell Siri to “Open” or “Launch” a particular app by the app name. The best part is that Siri  is “smart” enough to open apps even if you don’t get the name exactly right. In fact, if I’m launching the Bank of America app, for example, I can say, “Open B of A.”

Do you have any Siri tips or tricks that help you? Please share them in the comments below.



Source: Steve Cooper

Use Supply and Demand to Profit in Everything you Do.

I am constantly analyzing how my endeavors are affected by supply and demand.

I believe that this effect is paramount in almost everything we do. Start taking this into account and begin profiting today.images (2)




Let’s look at a few specific examples.

Choosing Your Career

Decide on a career that has something that the other professions do not. Or more importantly will prepare you to do a very wide variety of things in the future.

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So let’s look at a few. Let’s consider Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers and Accountants. All are extremely great educations to get and all of them will allow you to provide a very nice living for yourself. I would argue that the Accounting role is the best here because it gives you the best education to tackle a very wide range of endeavors. You will be able to take that education and experience at a CPA firm and apply it to your investments and running any business you choose. In this case the Supply of directions you can go is virtually unlimited. I would recommend Accounting to anyone who is interested in business but doesn’t really know what they want to do yet.

Purchasing your Principle Residencehome


Look for a home that is special in some way compared to all the other homes in your price range. Real estate people are often heard saying “location, location, location” What they are really saying is, buy in an area that has a real advantage. So how can we apply this to our house hunting trip? Only buy in the really popular area or corridor. Never buy a home in the middle of a street. Go for the corner or the culti-sac. There needs to be something very special about your purchase. This will assure you get the most money for your home at re-sale.

Buying a Vacation home

miamiUse the Supply and Demand concept here to smooth out the bumps when the economy lulls and prices go down. Condos and homes hit all-time highs in 2007 and 2008. Some of these properties got killed when things cooled off. The ones that were on the right side of the supply and demand concept did very well. A good example of this happened in Miami, Florida. Condos downtown were hit very hard. Why is that? Virtually every tower downtown was similar to the next one. Why do I care if I am in one or the other? Many of them were in walking distance to the places people wanted to go so the supply was huge. On the other hand the buildings that were on the beach in the hot part of South Beach saw only a 10-15% decrease at the time and are currently again at all time highs! The Whole World looks at condos in the hot part of South Beach creating a very low supply and high demand. They are not looking at downtown Miami. This is also true for Vail, Colorado, Parts of New York City and Aspen, Colorado to name a few. I am not saying that you need to invest in one of these locations; I feel you need to be aware of the principle when making your choices. Always purchase the property that has some edge or niche like view, layout, location etc.

Investment Ideasinvestments

This is an area you need to look at the supply and demand concept regularly. Putting your investment dollars to work is definitely a key in achieving your financial goals. Make sure you have big time demand working in your favor. Several years ago I invested with some friends in a Luxury Suite at the new TD Ameritrade Ball Park in Omaha. This was not designed to be a big money maker but we wanted to earn back some of the expense of owning it by leasing it out during the College World Series.  We knew that the demand of fans both Corporate and individual would be high and the supply of luxury suites would be very low. This has worked out great for us. Many people saw the initial investment in the suite as extremely risky. The supply and demand concept worked beautifully. Keep this concept in mind every time you invest!

Picking a location for a Family Trip

vacationHere’s one that is a little more light hearted and doesn’t come with a lot of consequences. As we all get older and more successful we will want to take some great vacations with family and friends. By simply doing your homework you can find incredible resorts and destinations that are not quite yet to Peak Season or have just ended their Peak season. Pursue these to make your vacation dollars go much further. You will be amazed at the beautiful places you can stay at greatly reduced prices.

Action Steps for using Supply and Demand to Profit:

1. Unless you are set on a certain career path, get an education that allows you to do many different things. Most likely you will enjoy a wide variety of money making endeavors over the course of your life

2. When buying property, make sure your property is set apart from the others. Don’t be afraid to pay a little more for the great location, View etc. When it comes time to sell you will enjoy the same advantage.

3. When investing analyze how supply and demand will affect your deal.

4. Look when others are not for deals and discounts like booking a vacation, buying a new car or purchasing a summer lake home.

The Click Moment

I had the opportunity to see Frans speak last week at the EO University in Miami about his new book.

The Click Moment refers to keeping an open and inquisitive mind to seize the moment when you think of that great new idea. Frans mentioned that he thinks it is randomness and serendipity that makes us stand out and this is where great ideas are born.

Passion, often times is the best predictor of success. If you are passionate and pour your entire heart and soul into a project or business your success chances skyrocket. Follow your passion when encountering your click moments.

TheClickMomentCover300dpi1It’s not always the large company with all of the big bucks and planning sessions that gets the job done.

Often times it is momentum and surprise that are leading indicators of success to come.

Never tell yourself, ”if that was such a good idea someone would have already thought about it!”

I ordered the book on Amazon after I saw him speak and am anxious to start looking at it. Based on his presentation I would recommend you get it too!