This is the key to success in one lesson


Key to SuccessDear reader, would you like to know the key to success? It’s simple really.

Success starts with making a decision. You decide what you want to achieve; then you decide that you will go out and get it. Once your decision has been made you pursue your objective with determination and tenacity and you don’t allow anyone or anything stop you.

In 1960 the US President John Kennedy made a speech in which he said that by the end of that decade the United States would put a man on the moon. And in 1969 the United States fulfilled that promise made by Kennedy.

Now Kennedy didn’t know how they would achieve the goal he articulated in 1960.

However he believed in their ability to do it; he believed they could develop the technology to do it; and he made a decision that they would do it; but ultimately in making his promise there was an element of risk.

There is risk in everything we do and nothing exceptional will ever be achieved without some degree of risk along the way.

Lesser men and women may allow fear to stop them. However men and women destined for great things will feel the fear and they’ll do it anyway.

Greatness cannot be achieved without paying your dues along the way. That is a fact.

Anything worth having will come with a price tag, namely blood, sweat and tears. So be bold, be strong and pursue your dream with passion.

Yes it will be challenging mentally and emotionally. And yes, plenty of people will tell you that it’s not possible or that you’re not quite good enough.

Well don’t listen to the naysayers and negative Nellies.

If you really want it, whatever it is, just keep pushing and never, ever give up until you get to where it is you want to be.

Greatness can be achieved by anyone with sufficient determination.

So whatever it is you really want to do, just go out there and do the damn thing. Do it now. Believe you can and you will.

If you’re still not convinced then take a look at this video which I think is a really fantastic motivational speech.

Watch it now and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. And the bottom line is; you’ve got to be fearless.

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21 thought-provoking quotes by the most influential women

The late, former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher once said, If you want something said, ask a man but if you want something done, ask a women.”

Certainly if you want anything done then it’s probably better if you ask a woman. In my experience, they’ll do a good job for you and they’ll do it when they say they’ll do it.

However women are perfectly capable of saying something profound too.

To prove the point, here are 21 quotes by women.

Quotes by Women:

  1. I was smart enough to go through any door that opened. ~Joan Rivers
  2. You can’t give up! If you give up, you’re like everybody else. ~Chris Evert
  3. I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life ~Louise Hay
  4. In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. ~Coco Chanel
  5. One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism. ~Eva Perón
  6. Done is better than perfect. ~Sheryl Sandberg
  7. If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. ~Erica Jong
  8. The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. ~Peggy O’Mara
  9. If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. ~Dolly Parton
  10. Knowing what must be done does away with fear. ~Rosa Parks
  11. Power’s not given to you. You have to take it. ~Beyoncé
  12. A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. ~Sonia Sotomayor
  13. You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you. ~Katie Couric
  14. You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness. ~Diane von Furstenberg
  15. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ~Golda Meir
  16. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. ~Amelia Earhart
  17. The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves. ~Barbara Corcoran
  18. I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. ~Lucille Ball
  19. If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities. ~Ann Richards
  20. One of the secrets to staying young is to always do things you don’t know how to do, to keep learning. ~Ruth Reichl
  21. Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create. ~Oprah Winfrey

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15 Quotes by Steve Jobs

Quotes by Steve JobsSteve Jobs was an American entrepreneur and best known as the driving force behind the success of Apple Inc. Together with Steve Wozniak, he was a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Famously he dropped out of college and proved, if proof were needed, that you don’t necessarily need qualifications or a college Degree to make an impact and leave a genuine legacy to the world.

What you need is passion and a desire to do something well and to do it better than everyone else. And Steve Jobs had that in spades.

Sadly Steve Jobs died, far too early, at age 56 on October 5, 2011. His death being due to respiratory arrest related to the pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour for which he was being treated at the time.

However his influence on business and technology was enormous and his ideas resonate with people to this day.

In my opinion, he was one of life’s great thinkers and I think his views on life and work are worth reflecting on.

So here are 15 quotes by Steve Jobs which I think are worth a few minutes of your time.

Read them; reflect on them. And then consider your life and where you’re going. Are you living your life with passion or are you just going through the motions?

As Steve Jobs implied, our time is precious. We must live our own lives our own way. And we cannot be defined by how other people think we should be. We must be ourselves.

Quotes by Steve Jobs:

  1. Stay hungry, stay foolish. ~Steve Jobs
  2. I want to put a ding in the universe. ~Steve Jobs
  3. We’re just enthusiastic about what we do. ~Steve Jobs
  4. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ~Steve Jobs
  5. My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. ~Steve Jobs
  6. We hire people who want to make the best things in the world. ~Steve Jobs
  7. Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me. ~Steve Jobs
  8. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. ~Steve Jobs
  9. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~Steve Jobs
  10. That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. ~Steve Jobs
  11. For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. ~Steve Jobs
  12. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. ~Steve Jobs
  13. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. ~Steve Jobs
  14. I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things. It enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback. ~Steve Jobs
  15. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids. ~Steve Jobs

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Why you should respect your money

Respect your moneyRiches have wings. ~English Proverb

If you live in the UK, then in the last couple of days you might have read about the lucky couple who scooped £115 Million on the EuroMillions lottery. If you’re like me then you probably thought, “Wow, how lucky they are.”

In theory they should never need to work again. Although really they’ve just swapped one set of problems for another.

Winning money is one thing; keeping hold of it is quite another. There are plenty of examples of people who’ve won large sums of money through lotteries, or other gambling, only to lose it all within a few years.

As the English proverb above suggests, money can disappear easily if you’re not careful with it.

You have to look after your money; you have to manage it carefully.

Money can be like a bird with wings; it can fly away if you are not careful.

Too many people spend their money far too freely on things they really don’t need and things they could live without. And plenty of professionals will be offering them help, only then to help themselves, if you know what I mean?

Today’s message is that you should respect your money and look after it. Otherwise you won’t have it very long.

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Why you must spend some time learning the art of negotiation

Learning the Art of NegotiationYou have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl. ~Claire Danes

A new year is often a time when people decide that it’s the right time to change jobs. For whatever reason they decide it’s time to move on.

That’s fair enough; if you’re not enjoying doing whatever you’re doing or you no longer feel challenged by whatever you’re doing then it’s important to find something that really does get you feeling energised again.

However whilst finding a new job is one thing, getting fair recompense for the value you will add is quite another.

As a hiring manager I’ve always been amazed by how many people settled for the first figure offered to them. It’s surprising just how many people have little or no sense of their own worth relative to their skill-set and the real market value of jobs.

Now it’s important to remember that hiring managers work within budgets obviously and they have a duty to their employers to keep costs as low as possible.

When hiring managers are recruiting they’ll know the market rate for the job on offer, or at least the HR department will and they will have advised the hiring manager accordingly.

Nevertheless dear reader you must recognise that the market rate for any job is not a single figure. The market rate falls within a range and it’s the range that will have been supplied by the HR department.

So when the hiring manager decides that you’re the person they want to hire then in negotiating a package with you they will have that range in mind.

Naturally they’ll want to minimise the impact on their budget and so they will attempt to recruit you at the lower end of that range if that’s possible.

Yes, they’ll recognise that they have to offer you a premium on your current salary if it’s to make sense for you to leave your current employer. After all you’re always taking a degree of risk when you change jobs. And so a risk premium must be paid by the hiring manager.

That premium typically will be an uplift of around 10% – 20% above your current salary.

Beyond that, for the hiring manager, it’s all about securing your services for the lowest rate possible within the market rate range. And from a business standpoint that’s fair enough.

It’s the nature of business after all. If fact in our daily lives we’re all trying to purchase products and services for the lowest rate possible; so why should we expect businesses to be any different?

However as a jobseeker, you should be trying to sell your services for the highest price possible. That too is fair game. You must always look after your own interests because if you don’t then no one else will, that’s for sure.

Think about it. In selling products and services, businesses are trying to sell at the highest price the market will stand so they can generate the highest margins possible for their shareholders.

So why shouldn’t you get the best deal possible for yourself, relative to what the market will stand? You must know your own value and you shouldn’t just accept the first figure on offer.

Essentially it’s all a game of horse-trading. The company almost always makes a low offer, so you must try to negotiate a better offer.

To do that, before going into any negotiation, it’s important that you have some idea of the market rate for the role.

That means you need to have done some research to establish the likely range the hiring manager will be working within.

You also need to have a sales pitch available so you can highlight your own unique selling proposition and why you are worth a bit more.

The key message here is that you don’t just accept the first offer.

In today’s quote, originally recorded in the British newspaper the Financial Times, actress Claire Danes reminds us that there will be more money available and if you ask for more you might just surprise yourself.

In making this observation, modestly Ms Danes said that this was what she had learned from older actresses.

It’s a useful tip for every jobseeker, female or male.

Never be afraid to negotiate and when you leave the table make sure you’re taking away as much as you can within reason.

Once again I cannot emphasise this point too much. You must know your own worth, always.

Don’t be bashful; be business-like and make sure you get a fair share of the pie.

As I said earlier, if you don’t look after your own interests, no one else will.

In the year ahead I recommend that you spend some time learning the art of negotiation. It really is a very useful skill to develop.

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Habits of Success

Habits of successHave you ever wondered why some people are successful and others are not?

In this video Brian Tracy provides some useful advice on the habits you will need to develop if you really do want to be successful.

As always Brian provides us with some great insight into how successful people behave and the structured way in which they work towards turning their goals into achievements.

Whether you’re a fan of Brian Tracy or you just want to be successful, this video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Watch and learn.

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Why your time is valuable

Time is valuableDo you want to make money from Facebook? It’s easy. Just go to your Account Setting; deactivate your account; and go to work! ~Author Unknown

Dear reader, if you’re not currently successful, would you like to be?

Many readers will answer in the affirmative of course but then they don’t quite know how to realise their dreams. You may be one of them, perhaps?

Well today I offer you one tip that will be useful to you whatever it is you’d really like to do with your life.

If you’re not sure how to become successful then start by looking closely at successful people and you’ll find at least a few clues there.

However allow me to offer you one of those clues now. And that is that if there’s one thing all successful and wealthy people have in common it is that they don’t waste their time.

They know that time is a precious and limited resource and they recognise that they must use it wisely. And in using it wisely they avoid ‘time sucks’.

The biggest time wasters by far are television and social media. People waste hours of their time on both, particularly on social media nowadays.

Now don’t get me wrong, social media can be a very useful tool as a vehicle for communication both professionally and with friends and family.

However it can also be a distraction. And if it’s a distraction then it might just limit your earning power.

Social media really is just a tool. It might be a useful tool but it’s still just a tool.

Use it by all means but be disciplined in your use of social media.

Your time is precious and, if you want to be successful and make serious money, then you need to use your time wisely. That is today’s underlying message.

Spending your time on social media might be entertaining and informative but it’s unlikely to be profitable.

You can spend your time on social media or you can work hard, with a sense of purpose, on realising your goals and your dreams. The choice is yours; and the consequences will be too.

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Why you must know your why

know your whyIt’s the first day of a brand new year and our lives are full of possibility once again.

No matter how bad the old year proved to be for you dear reader, it’s gone now and so you start afresh.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably come up with a few resolutions already. And if you’re serious about your resolutions then perhaps you’re serious about being successful too.

However, what’s the real secret of success?

Why is it that some people are successful and others will never be?

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve, if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially he has no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Identify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his why, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your why will always, eventually, lead you to your how.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your why, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste yours. Put every minute to good use.

Know your why

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your why.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start in this brand new year if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Other people achieve success and so can you. Good luck.

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The importance of saving for a rainy day

Saving for a rainy dayWhen I bought my boat, a Fairline Squadron 55, it cost me about £2,000 in fuel every time I filled it up. I don’t have it anymore. ~Gavin Henson

The former, Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson provided us all with a useful underlying message when he made this comment originally quoted in the British newspaper The Daily Express, albeit a few years ago now.

In making this comment he was talking about the most money he’d blown in one go. I used the word blown rather than spent to emphasise the questionable nature of this expenditure.

When you’re enjoying a little success in your career, and the financial dividend it brings, then it’s easy to think it will all last forever. So you start spending your money on expensive luxuries and enjoying the finer things in life.

That’s fair enough, to a degree, because there’s no point in being successful if you can’t enjoy some of the fruits of your success. That’s what it’s all about, surely?

The problem is that when the big money starts rolling in it can disappear just as quickly as you get it, if you’re not careful. Then, if you can’t sustain your success, before you know it you have nothing at all.

So if you’re lucky enough to earn big money then make sure that you put some of it away for a rainy day. It will rain one day, it always does.

Never underestimate the importance of saving for a rainy day. You need to make sure that you can weather the storm when it comes. It really is a good idea to be prepared.

Enjoy your success of course but never be foolish with money. It’s as important to life as the air we breathe. Make sure you can cope with a change of season.

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Lifestyle or people? Which is more important?

Lifestyle or peopleMoney, past a certain point, cannot buy you anything worth having. ~Giles Coren

I wrote a post recently about the importance of money versus life and I received some interesting feedback from readers. Some agreed with my underlying point that your life matters more than obsessing about money.

However others thought that their quality of life was in direct proportion to the money they’ve got. Essentially money equals lifestyle and so ultimately they thought it mattered more.

So I think it’s worth reflecting on this issue again.

Yes, having money is nice insofar as you can live in a nice house, drive a nice car, wear fine clothes and eat in the best restaurants. All of that is wonderful no doubt.

However money can’t buy you love and it can’t buy you the wag of a dog’s tail.

Money simply cannot buy genuine affection from others, whether that’s your partner, your children, your family, your friends or your pets.

If you could only have either the finest things money can buy or strong, well-balanced relationships with the people who matter most to you, which one would you really choose?

I don’t know about you but I think people matter most. If push comes to shove I can live with very little money but I couldn’t get by without my loved ones.

All of the most memorable times in my life have had other people at the core.

It is people who’ve made the difference to me. It’s people who’ve made me smile. It’s people who’ve been there for me when life’s been a challenge. We all need people more than we need things, surely?

Having money is very nice of course, but having people in my life has been much nicer.

Money is like oxygen, we can’t live without it. That’s true.

We must ensure that we’ve got some money, but we shouldn’t pursue money at the expense of our loved ones.

I would rather be poor than lose those people who matter most to me.

Then again, that’s just my point of view but what do you think?

Would you agree with me? Perhaps for you lifestyle matters more? Let us know via the comments below.

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