ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire:  When All Else Fails…Do This

ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire: When All Else Fails…Do This

You’ve spent endless amounts of time, energy and resources on developing that plan for success. It could be that you’ve poured your resources into a plan for a successful long-term relationship, business contract, new job, fund raising or even to hire someone to do some renovations in your home or office.

You think everything is going according to plan, then BAM, something happens outside of your control to derail your plan.  We’ve all been there at one time or other.

What you decide to do amid the deconstruction of your plan (sounds so scary, but that’s how it feels), will be the deciding factor if you will convert the perceived loss into a win and come out of the situation successfully.

Here Are the Seven To Do’s to Convert Failure to Success:

1. Rationally and realistically assess the situation: Emotions get triggered when we don’t get our way. When things go awry, get in a calm state of mind and rationally assess the situation to determine if there is anything that can turn the situation around or if it’s time to put closure on the situation.

2. Take first things first: After the analysis in #1, it’s important to focus and prioritize the most imminent actions you must take, one step at a time, and not try to solve all your problems at once or out of rational sequential order. This ensures you highest chances of success most rapidly.

3. Stand up for yourself, your rights and your truth: If you have been wrongfully injured, stand up for yourself asap and seek the best support to represent your interests. Many fear this will make the situation worse, but the opposite is true. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to maximally protect yourself and your interests and empower yourself to convert a loss to a win.

4. Know when to cut your losses and move on: After assessing the situation, be honest with yourself if the situation is no longer good for your wealth or well-being. Then move up and out with a strategy that is drama free as possible which may mean you may have to cut your losses by giving something up that ultimately serves to preserve your wealth and well-being in the long run.

5. Stay out of ego: When in conflict with others, stay out of ego and refuse to be baited into a power struggle. Ego will kick your butt every time and prevent you from being rational. Ego causes failure, but humility succeeds every time.

6. Always position yourself to maintain self-sufficiency: The mistake so many make, is to put all one’s eggs in one basket and often that basket is outside of one’s control. Don’t box yourself into a corner by turning your power over to just any one person, place or thing. Strive to keep independent and always to be self-sufficient.

7. Don’t give up on your goal: Failure is synonymous for “new beginning”. Those who succeed understand that failure is never permanent unless you let it be. Don’t ever quit on your goal. It will be achieved if you keep on keeping on. The situation, people or places my change, but your goal stays alive.

 The time to quit on your goal is never. Take time to regroup, refresh, restore and then keep on moving forward. That’s how maximum success is achieved.

“I failed my way to success.”  ~Thomas Edison

In Closing My Shocking Confession: As a child, I watched women of my mother’s generation suffer emotionally, physically and financially in many ways—at home, work or out in the world because they had been taught to be subservient and that the world was a patriarchal one. They had no voice, and no way to support themselves. They left or were forced to leave the “security” of their homes often to find themselves penniless and without shelter. It’s heartbreaking. And yet, this is still happening in the world today. And, not just among women. I have strived my whole life to stay empowered by understanding that people are human beings. None of us is perfect and people will fail us from time to time.  But, if we rely on our faith, our own gifts and talents and ask for help, we can overcome any failure and triumph.

ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire:  Top Five Ways to Make Mistakes Work For Not Against You

ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire: Top Five Ways to Make Mistakes Work For Not Against You

Mistakes happen. That’s just life. No more than now in our time in history, have human beings had more things pinging us, taking up our time and attention and causing us distractions.

Plus, none of us are perfect. We are all perfectly human, which means we are going to make mistakes from time to time. Making a mistake doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But, it does become bad to the bone if you don’t take responsibility for them.

I’ve seen people lose contracts, relationships, jobs, all their money and their own lives, by not owning up to their mistakes early on. The erroneous thinking behind the just say “no, I didn’t do it” mentality seems to stem from a belief that if they don’t assume responsibility for their error, they will avoid any negative consequences. But, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is that the damage done will compound daily making it harder and harder to make it right and causing the cost of damages to skyrocket.

All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.
~Winston Churchill

The Top Five Ways to Make Mistakes Work For Not Against You:

1. Remember honestly is always the best policy. If you are tempted to cover up a mistake, just take a moment to reflect on any of the multitude of events in history, whether it be in politics, entertainment or the news that prove the fact that there is no escaping mistakes and that the longer one waits to come clean, the worse the fall-out. Cut your losses, admit the truth and move on with creating success in your life.

2. Tender a sincere apology. There is nothing more disarming than a heartfelt apology and willingness to fix the mistake. Fighting begets more fighting, but taking responsibility paves the way for a better and stronger future with or without the other party.

3. Take stock of how/why the mistake was made. Were you working while too tired, trying to do too much on your own or to cut corners? Maybe you were engaging in a compulsive behavior or did something out of fear rather than out of rational thinking. Get to the bottom of why it happened and learn from it to make yourself become wiser, healthier, stronger and smarter.

4. Have compassion for yourself and others. Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. Make an amends, forgive yourself and move on. The more time and energy you spend on dwelling on it, only robs you of opportunities for greater success.

5. Take the 2nd step after sorry. Saying your sorry, is just the 1st step in the making an amends process. To move out of damages and into success, one must make a behavioral amends by taking the action now and in the future to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

If you want to achieve and sustain success, take responsibility for your mistakes and address them head on and early on to avoid losses and potentially permanent failure.

In Closing My Shocking Confession: I had asked my mortgage lender to modify my loan. Simple ask. Commonly done, especially during the great recession. I did it through the proper channels. I was being advised by my attorney how to do it within the proper guidelines of lending practices. Next thing I know, I receive direct contact from the CFO of this National Bank. I think that’s super cool…until…he turned into a predator. But, I didn’t know it until it was too late. All the documents he was requesting via email from me,  I supplied easily and effortlessly, without ado. His tone started to become aggressive, argumentative and accusatory. Things started to spiral out of control. He tried to block me from making my mortgage payments forcing me into default. It was a nightmare. What he didn’t know, was that he just messed with the wrong person. I’m a champion of the truth. I had all his emails proving out his lies and when I confronted him with the lies, he just wouldn’t back down. He brought legal action against me. In the meantime, I contacted the lending oversight authorities and the Founder of the bank and supplied them with the evidence. Within a short time, I had a formal apology from the bank CEO, the legal suit dropped and a letter from the Founder letting me know that the CFO had been fired.

 

Seven Pillars Of Powerful Persuasion For Entrepreneurs

Seven Pillars Of Powerful Persuasion For Entrepreneurs

This article was originally published at Forbes.com

To attain and sustain success, one must become skilled at the art of persuasion.

When I first entered the sales force at the early age of 19, I learned that I must master the art of persuasion to attain my goal of becoming the top-ranked salesperson. My gut reaction was that learning to become persuasive would mean I’d have to become disingenuous. And there wasn’t anything in the world that could incentivize or induce me to become a fake or a fibber. I wasn’t going to become one of those unethical salespeople you hear about who will say or do anything to get the sale. I shrugged off the advice and went about doing it my way. I’ve always been a hardcore values-driven person, and honesty has always been my No. 1 value. I proceeded to go on sales calls with my hardline honesty approach and though people did appreciate my honesty, I wasn’t closing many deals.

The turning point came for me when quite by accident (or as fate would have it), I came across Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book is a basic sales primer, but what enticed me was the book’s description. It promised that the principles contained in the book would teach readers how to make people feel important and appreciated. That resonated with me. Upon further reading, I learned that Carnegie believed that success in life can be attributed to how well one learns to effectively deal with people. As noted in a now out-of-print report, he also believed 85% of a person’s job success can be attributed to interpersonal skills, while the remaining 15% is a result of technical knowledge. These ideas instantly ignited a passion and enthusiasm in me. I set my intention to become adept at the power of persuasion while staying true to myself, and I set a goal to become an inspiring, well-liked and respected top-ranked sales professional.

Over the course of the next decade of my sales career, I achieved my goals well beyond my expectations. In the process, I identified my personal top seven pillars of persuasion that helped me achieve and exceed my goals — including becoming a self-sustaining entrepreneur and self-made millionaire while staying true to my values:

Do prospect research. Gather as much intel as possible prior to the first contact with your prospect. Too many businesspeople neglect to get to know their prospective client or customer, which leaves too much room for creating a barrier right from the start. Having a clear picture of who they are, what they invest in, their company’s core values and any outside interests can help quicken your path to a successful outcome.

Build rapport. Be likable. The art of being likable includes being on time and well-groomed, smiling, looking directly at the person you’re talking to, not over- or under-talking, and looking for and expressing the commonalities between you.

Ask the two most important questions. The answers to these two questions will give you valuable information to become more persuasive. They’ll also make you stand out over your competition and help you achieve your client’s goals, which is the most important aspect of sustainable success. First, what is the most imminent and critical thing for you to achieve? Second, what is the one thing that others have been unable or unwilling to accomplish for you?

Be an active listener. Too many salespeople are stuck in their own heads because they’re trying to remember the facts, figures and presentations that they want to deliver. Remember, it’s more important to build rapport, ask questions and really hear what your prospect is saying than to remember every detail of your pitch. You may find that some of it becomes unnecessary or needs amending so it’s tailored to what you’re hearing. Canned pitches leave prospects feeling unmotivated, like a number, and like they’re not perceived or valued as unique individuals.

Perform a soft close. Do a soft close by asking if you’ve been able to provide them with everything they need to decide today. If they say no, ask them what else you can provide them to help — not only to reach a decision about doing business with you but also to help them in their business going forward. Let them know your goal is to earn the privilege of developing a long-term relationship. Be prepared to go the extra mile and give them some freebies.

Overcome objections non-aggressively. Overcoming objections must be done in a personalized and compassionate way by using the information you gained from actively listening to their hopes, dreams and goals. Using a soft tone of voice, take one objection at a time and illustrate what you personally can do to overcome it. Explain why it’s important to their own success to allow you to do this on their behalf. And, if there truly isn’t a fair or reasonable way to give them what they want, present the facts that illustrate how their objection is preventing them from achieving their goal. Inform them about the payoff of letting go of the objection.

Discern hard-close timing. A hard close doesn’t happen on your timeline. Instead, it should happen when you believe your prospect is fully informed, ready and able, but is delaying their decision. Too many entrepreneurs hold on to their own timelines too tightly to meet a sales quota or out of a sense of desperation. Remember, it’s not about you — it’s about their success.

The art of powerful persuasion begins and ends with always putting your prospects’ best interests and success ahead of yours by being willing to go the extra mile to earn their trust and to make them feel honored, respected and uniquely special. In so doing, their success becomes your success.

ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire: 6 Growth Hacking Questions to Consistently Grow Your Success

ON THE COUCH: Shocking Confessions of a Self-Made Millionaire: 6 Growth Hacking Questions to Consistently Grow Your Success

There is only one strategy that works to continuously grow your success and that’s through consistently evolving yourself.

As one rises to ever-increasing levels of success, one’s life becomes more complex. There simply are far more decisions that need to be made, new strategies to learn, more demands placed on your time and energy, more people pursuing you, and more energy spent on how to keep one’s life in balance and not lose one’s self in the process.

There is only one asset that one can’t afford to lose and that’s oneself. How then does one, amid the crush of the overwhelming tidal wave of increasing success, ensure that they keep themselves from diminishing themselves thereby diminishing their success or compromising their #1 asset which is themselves? The answer is to have a set of questions that you can routinely ask yourself that will reliably give you an accurate assessment if you are stagnating or growing your success.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
~John Maxwell

The Top 6 Success Growth Hack Questions to Routinely Ask Yourself:

1. Am I primarily focusing on having more or becoming more?
Example: You are not spending any time on inner growth, self-reflection or investing in personal development.

2. What can I do to evolve myself to the next level right now?
Example: An honest realization of a character defect that is preventing you from self-growth exhibited through a bad habit.

3. Am I striving daily to maintain a balanced achievement of both wealth and well-being?
Example: Are you taking time to nourish your body, mind, spirit, relationships and effectively managing your money.

4. If I’m being 100% honest with myself, one bad habit I have that keeps me from expanding my wealth and well-being is?
Example:  Expecting or allowing others to do for you what you should be doing for yourself.

5. What New habit can I start right now that will get me outside of my current rut and into taking new action to achieve my next level of success?
Example: Stop isolating and get out to new events and meet new people.

6. Am I being honest and true to myself or am I compromising myself and my values to get ahead or get along?
Example: Not being honest or forthright in fear of losing something or someone.

There are two ways to grow. Either you initiate it or outside forces will foist it upon you.  By being proactive in routinely growing yourself, when unexpected challenges present themselves, you will be optimally equipped to handle them with grace, dignity, strength and personal power. Most importantly, you will be rock solid in remaining true to yourself while adeptly converting any challenge into an opportunity to grow yourself, your wealth and well-being.

In Closing My Shocking Confession: It’s so easy to blame, point fingers, get frustrated and angry and think the problem is somebody else. And, maybe it is a problem within the other person.  But one day, I realized that if I can’t unhook from allowing myself to get so frustrated that it disrupts my peace of mind, then who am I to cast judgement on someone else’s character if I lack self-control? I decided right then and there to practice not getting angry. As silly as it sounds, I had a goal not to swear or get angry before noon each day. I failed a lot. I saw 1st hand how easy it was to trigger my emotions. Did I take out these feelings of anger on the other person? No. And, for a long time, I thought that was good enough. But, I realized that to grow myself, I had to control myself to the next highest level.

Top 10 Tenets Of Successful Decision Making For Entrepreneurs

Top 10 Tenets Of Successful Decision Making For Entrepreneurs

This article originally published on Forbes.com

Entrepreneurs are faced with an endless array of daily decision making. And, if not handled with conscious control and discernment, it can lead to decision fatigue, causing a decrease in productivity, effectiveness and ability to achieve and sustain success.

As a veteran entrepreneur who has conducted business worldwide, I’ve been directly involved in extensive decision making processes, both on my own behalf and as agent for others. I’ve had the opportunity to witness decision making habits of executives of private and publicly traded companies, Fortune 50 company executives (including their legal counsel and primary partners) and solopreneurs.

Through decades of that direct personal experience, I’ve discovered a pattern of what works to deliver the minimum amount of decision making stress and strain possible and the maximum successful outcome.

1. Eliminate and/or minimize daily, nonessential decision making. When it comes to your daily agenda, use self-control to focus only on what is essential. This keeps your mind fresh and sharp, enabling it to think optimally to achieve the highest outcomes.

2. Avoid polarization. When it comes to business agreements, seek out the core values of the company or person you’re making a decision about. Make sure those values are compatible with yours. When core values are in alignment, communication, problem-solving and shared responsibility flow more easily and effortlessly. When they are not aligned, there is a predisposition toward roadblocks, delays or even failure to achieve success.

3. Avoid people-pleasing. There is a natural human tendency to engage in people-pleasing with the people we like as opposed to those we don’t. Liking someone makes it more challenging to say no or to set a boundary when it’s required and can lead to poor decision making. No matter how much you like another person, don’t lower your standards when it comes to doing your homework. It’s business.

4. Assess personality compatibility. If you don’t like someone yet choose to do business with them anyway, you add extra stress, strain and fatigue to the business relationship and can diminish positive returns. Find someone you have more synergy with.

5. Don’t feel pressured to make decisions on someone else’s “need-by” timeline. Rushing your decision making process to accommodate someone else’s timeline is never a good idea. If the timeline can’t be negotiated to match your needs, it’s a sign that it’s not a good match and will lead to other hard-lining behavior in the future.

6. When in any doubt, don’t make a final decision. Making a final decision in spite of lingering doubts is allowing an unconscious or conscious fear to drive your decision. This is an emotional decision, not a rational one, and it often leads to making poor choices. Wait until you are free from doubt.

7. Don’t rush your contract negotiations for any reason. Rushing negotiations is often a sign of being too hungry for success. It means that you are coming from a place of fear or desperation, which will not net you the positive returns you’re seeking. This will only cause a delay in achieving the success that you want or need.

8. Get references, no matter how renowned or grand the recommendation. It’s imperative, in every circumstance, to do your due diligence to make the wisest, risk-averse decision as possible. You need to hear firsthand the answers to your specific questions. Assuming the answers is a risky proposition.

9. Don’t allow fear to rule your decision making process. Fear is an irrational feeling, and not a rational thought. An irrational mindset leads to mistake-making. Take the time to do all the research, investigation and rational analysis prior to making a decision so fear doesn’t override your rational judgment.

10. Get advice, trust your gut and make your own final decisions. Nobody knows your goals, values, wants, needs or point of view like you do.  Not even the most seasoned expert is likely coming from the same position as you, which can lead you astray. It’s important to get expert advice, but it’s imperative to make your own decisions to achieve the outcomes that you want and need.

Getting mired in too much decision making can lead to decision fatigue, and therefore, failure. Both Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg know this all too well. That’s why they eliminate all the nonessential decisions. When Obama was president, he chose to only wear blue or grey suits every day. “I’m trying to pare down decisions,” he said in an interview. “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg almost always wears a grey T-shirt and jeans for the same reason. “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. And there’s actually a bunch of psychology theory that even making small decisions around what you wear, or what you eat for breakfast, or things like that, they kind of make you tired and consume your energy.”

If not made carefully, every decision, big or small, can deplete your time and energy. By consciously and consistently abiding by the top 10 tenets of successful decision making, you’ll optimally be conditioned to avert decision fatigue and achieve maximum returns and success on your energy spent making decisions.