I’m going to share a shocking truth that I experience practically on a daily basis. It still, even after decades of entrepreneurialism, never ceases to render me speechless. I want to share it so that it will help you to attain far greater success in shorter time frames. So, here it goes…
The truth is that there exist two classes of achievers. There is the genuine achiever and then there is the counterfeit variety. And, here’s the tricky part. It’s sometimes very difficult to discern which one a person is. One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to decipher is that a large segment of the counterfeit achiever class truly believes they are the real deal! They go to work each day, have all the key social media channels up and running, network, make sales calls and set appointments. On the face of it, they appear to be doing what successful people do. But, they have certain habits that if you aren’t aware of or chose to ignore, will rob you of achieving maximum success in minimum time.
Here Are the Top 6 Habits of the Success Bandit:
1. Catfishes: Lures prospects into a relationship (business or personal) by means of a fictional online or offline persona. Yes, they do this not only on Facebook, but also on Linked In.
2. Disrespects Your Time: Sets appointments only to cancel at the last minute, stand you up or show up late. And, often has the gumption to continue to contact you time and time again.
3. Doesn’t Follow Through: Has a great offering, but doesn’t ever put in the work to close the deal.
4. Talk and No Walk: The smooth talker. Charismatic, smart, knows what they are talking about and repeatedly makes promises and fails to honor them.
5. Regularly Goes Dark: Here one day and gone the next which always leaves you wondering if you will ever hear from them again. Until, yep, you get that text, email or call saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m still here and working on it”, only to disappear again.
6. Unrealistic: They frequently pursue that which is beyond their level of expertise
The number 1 way to avoid both the intentional and unintentional success bandit is to do your due diligence no matter how good something sounds or looks. Due diligence means you never rush into anything regardless of your need to have something happen right away. Before you formally engage someone, ask for and call 3 references that they’ve done business with in the last 6 to 12 months. And, most importantly, do not ignore the signs of the success bandit!
Lastly, if you identify with some or all of the signs, and consistently wonder why you aren’t achieving the kind of success you feel you should be having, be honest with yourself, modify your habits and behavior, and watch as you finally become a genuine achiever.
This is not a personal rant. This is me, sharing my direct experience, to help you in becoming hyper-vigilant to quickly and expertly recognize who to choose to associate with that will most easily and effortlessly expedite your time to achieving the outcomes you desire. Cut to the chase and weed out the chaff! It doesn’t make you mean, it makes you smart and successful.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I was interviewing companies to award a contract to handle a very important aspect of a global operation. I reached out to my colleagues to get recommendations feeling like that was the smartest way to cut to the chase and weed out the chaff. I was excited and confident about the prospects because they came from high profile and highly reputable corporations. Wow, was I shocked and disappointed. The CEO of the #1 prospect arranged three separate conference calls over a protracted period of time (often leaving me wondering if she was ever going to follow through) pulling in different senior executives each time to be a part of the needs analysis. I documented each call with a follow up email. On the last call, we clearly defined next steps. I never heard from them again, they never sent the needed documents. I moved on to my next best candidate. Lo and behold, many weeks later, I get a phone call from the CEO asking me to call her back. There was nothing more to talk about. The Success Bandit had already wasted enough time and energy.
My mistake here was that I had failed to perform my standard due diligence practice of talking to at least 3 references and had ignored the red flags because she had been referred by a hugely successful global corporation.
Need to break a bad habit?
We all know it’s harder to overcome bad habits than form good ones. We vow repeatedly to make improvements in our lives, and we might succeed temporarily. But usually our willpower fails and we’re back at square one.
So, what’s the secret to kicking your vices?
I was asked, along with a dozen other members of the Forbes Coaches Council to offer insights on this topic.
You’ll have to be honest with yourself about any bad habits…and you might need some outside help to overcome them.
Find 13 accountability tricks to help you break a bad habit in this Forbes article. Enjoy!
Digital overload can prevent us from living our lives fully and doing our jobs to the best of our ability. It results in reduced productivity and engagement at the office and at home. In addition, it’s costly to businesses and the economy.
How can you minimize overwhelm and maximize your focus, energy and ability to achieve success?
I was asked to answer this question along with 14 other members of the Forbes Coaches Council.
We share our thoughts on this important topic in this article on digital overload at Forbes.
Everyone wants more money, whether they admit it or not. Some people are ashamed to admit they want more because they think it makes them a bad person. It doesn’t make you bad for wanting to improve the quality of your own or others’ lives! Admit it! Go ahead and say it out loud “I want more money”! Own it! And, if you can’t own the fact that you want more, then the deficit of intention and desire is going to cause a deficit in the amount of financial well-being that you can create.
Yes, belief and intention are a strong part of the wealth creation process and you must have both the belief that you CAN have it and the intention that you WILL have it. But, the most powerful step in wealth creation lies beyond mindset. Positive mindset must move you from thinking to doing the things that support your belief and intention. Otherwise, the disharmony will prevent wealth creation. So, go ahead and master your mind, but then you must mind your habits.
Don’t make a HABIT out of choosing what feels good over what’s actually good for you.”
The mind ignites the mind over matter process, but it’s one’s habits that cause the manifestation of one’s goal.
Here are the Five Common Bad Money Habits to Avoid in Your Quest for Wealth:
1. Lack of Impulse Control: You see it and you must have it. You can’t stop yourself from spending when you’re confronted with that yummy thing even when you know it’s not good for you or your pocket book. Avoid places you know trigger spending on what you can’t afford or the things that don’t assist you in attaining your goals.
2. Not Asking for What You Want: Fear of asking for what you rationally and realistically deserve. Understand your worth, conquer your fear and just do it. Those who don’t ask, don’t get.
3. Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket: Entire Countries have gone bankrupt and banks have gone under. Mitigate potential loss, preserve and grow your wealth by diversifying. Don’t wait until “some day when I ..”.
4. Avoiding Reality: I know it’s easier to be in denial rather than to accept the reality of what you have, don’t have and what needs to be done to get control over your financial situation. But, you must face reality head on and get outside help if you need it. Face the facts and reap the rewards.
5. Harmfully Rewarding yourself: I witness this one all the time. Yes, you’ve worked hard and you’ve just accomplished a goal and you deserve to reward yourself. But, rewarding yourself with something that feels good today, yet causes you a loss tomorrow, is not a reward, it’s self-punishment. A reward isn’t something that hurts your financial or physical health.
Make up your mind to give yourself a money make-over by taking a fearless inventory of your top five bad money habits. Write them down. Next, write down the positive new ones that you commit to replacing them with.
Now, go out and prosper! YOU GOT THIS! If I could do it, you can too.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I like nice things. Period. It’s in my blood LOL. But, I have great impulse control. I do not indulge in any behavior or bad habit that causes me financial or physical harm. That’s just how I roll. Nowadays that is. But, I wasn’t always this way. Quite the opposite. There were those years before I transformed myself, that I thought it really cool and a sign of success to buy that brand-new Porsche that I couldn’t really afford or score some drugs and go out on a 2 day “celebration” bender when I closed deals. Thank God, I figured out that trading what feels good in the moment for what actually is good for me, is the key to success.
What !#@! Don’t make decisions? Now, how can that possibly be sound success advice? Let me tell you how too much decision making can afflict you with decision making madness disorder (I just made that up), but, it’s true! Too much decision making can deplete your brain power and cause you to suffer from decision fatigue. When your brain is in decision making overload it adversely affects your judgement, creativity and stamina. Not good for achieving your goals.
The question then begs to be answered — how then does one make all the many decisions that an entrepreneur must make without becoming victim of brain drain, losing focus and distancing one’s self from achieving their goals?
Here are the Top Five Strategies to Avoid Decision Fatigue:
1. Keep It Simple:
Get in the habit of not overly stressing about things that aren’t directly related to accomplishing your goal. Many people overly stress about their clothes, the right business card style, every single word in a speech, etc. Essentially, becoming obsessed with perfection and minutiae. Over-perfectionism will delay your time lines to success. Keeping it simple also applies to minimalism. To become super successful, less stressed, and avoid decision fatigue, strive for minimalism in all areas of your life. Less is more!
2. Use Discernment:
Each and every day we are confronted with many decisions that need to be made. The successful person knows how to prioritize decision making. Avoid becoming involved in any unnecessary or frivolous decision making. Be honest with yourself when you find yourself becoming mired in unimportant decision making (which color legal paper you are going to buy). It may be a sign you are avoiding an important, yet uncomfortable, decision that needs to be made or you are avoiding going for your goal all together.
3. Empower Not Disempower:
High achievers are naturally adept at problem solving and everyone around you is keenly aware of your ability to problem solve, take action and make decisions. And, they want your help to do the same for them. As achievers and entrepreneurs, we always want to go the extra mile for our families, friends, clients and coworkers. But, over-doing or doing what they are fully capable of doing for themselves, is not being of service. Rather than empowering them to achieve the results they want (and the self-esteem that goes along with it), it disempowers them. And, it also causes you brain drain.
4. Learn to Say No:
The best mentor I’ve ever had in my life taught me a very valuable lesson. She told me “Linda, no is a complete sentence. Practice it.” To avoid decision making fatigue, learn to say no — period. End of sentence. You do not have to give a defensive speech as why you’re saying no. Super successful people are very discerning with their time and energy. And, it’s not just from a time-management standpoint. It’s also from a Brain management standpoint.
They know they need to conserve their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy for what can positively contribute to outcomes in their own lives, others and the world.
5. Stay Focused on Your Master Goal:
For every single decision you need to make ask yourself these two very important questions 1) Is this decision going to take me closer to accomplishing my goal or further away from it? 2) Is this decision going to support my values or violate them?
If the answer to either is the latter, then you know it is not a sound decision and avoiding making an unsound decision will keep you on track to attain your goal and from going down a dark hole of having to make a whole bunch of future damage control decisions.
The super successful and super rich know that decision making fatigue is real. They create habits to avoid it to keep them on the path of productivity, innovation and success. President Obama for example says “You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” And, Mark Zuckerberg is a well-known advocate of avoiding early morning frivolous decision making which he says leads him to making better decisions on things that really matter throughout the day.
In closing my shocking confession: I was an intern as a Marriage, Family, Child Counselor because my dream was to help people. I was so shocked when I learned I couldn’t help every person that came through my door. I learned that some people weren’t really ready to be helped and that I had to know when I was helping or actually hurting their chances of success. I quickly got myself into CODA (Codependency Anonymous) and learned how not to be an enabler. In order to help, I had to focus on taking on those who were willing to help themselves. I learned that saying “no” is sometimes the most compassionate thing to do in honor of being of service, both to others and to myself.