5 truly inspirational quotes that are thoughtful and deep

Truly Inspirational QuotesWe can all use a little inspiration occasionally, I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader. So here are what I believe to be 5 truly inspirational quotes.

Truly Inspirational Quotes:

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. ~Bernard Meltzer

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller

In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant. He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever. You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you can’t buy courage and decency. You can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much-maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character – the courage and heart – to see it through.  ~Peggy Noonan

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them and every day begin the task anew. ~Saint Francis de Sales

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7 tips for becoming your best self in 2021

Best SelfSuccessful people are generally regarded as being the best at whatever they do.

However, to be the best at what you do, you must start with becoming the best person you can be. That is, you must be your best self. In other words, you must find the hero that lies within you.

There’s infinite capacity within you to excel but to realize at least some of your potential you must work at becoming the exceptional person you really can be.

The obvious question is, where do you start?

So today I offer you 7 tips to help you become your best self:-

1. Know your purpose:

If you’re going to be the best person you can be then you cannot just drift through life hoping that it will all just fall into place. It won’t. Nothing happens by accident.

You cannot drift through life with little direction or purpose, not if success is your aim.

Drifting may seem attractive to some but it’s not the way to discover contentment, health and wealth?

It never has been and it never will be.

You must determine your life’s purpose, or your mission if you like.

Having a sense of purpose is essential. With it you’ll have your own compass that will guide you to your true north all the time.

2. Know your values:

What really matters to you dear reader?

Having a set of values is important. Having a moral code is important too.

Civilization is underpinned by accepted values and a moral code.

Values are the benchmark against which we measure ourselves and any successes we may achieve.

For instance, achieving success by cheating will not make us feel good about ourselves because we’ll know we didn’t play fair. We were dishonest and we’ll know we were dishonest.

It can only feel like a real achievement if it was won in a fair fight. A bit of gamesmanship is one thing but cheating is quite another.

So what is it you value most dear reader? Pause for a minute and give that question some thought.

Make a list of your top three values.

Then check your goals against those values. Are your goals congruent with your values? Certainly they’ll need to be.

If a goal doesn’t align with any of your top three values then you must get rid of it.

Anything you achieve that is inconsistent with your values will not make you feel good about yourself.

You will only recognize you as your best self when you consider yourself against the values that matter most to you.

3. Know your needs:

Every human being has needs. Having needs is part of the human condition.

Abraham Maslow put it best when he described the hierarchy of needs.

Physiological needs, the need for safety and security, the need for love and belonging, the need for self-esteem, and the need for self-actualization.

We all need these things to varying degrees.

We all need certainty. However certainty can be boring, so we also need a little uncertainty or change to make life more interesting. The problem is uncertainty can make us feel insecure which is why we tend to feel uncomfortable when we experience change.

You’ll have your own specific needs dear reader and it’s important to identify them.

If you’re to live authentically then the life you live should be consistent with your needs. You can only be you. Anything else would be a fake.

Perhaps attention and recognition are your greatest needs?

Then again, perhaps what truly matters most to you is family and friends?

Perhaps you have a need to become a mum or a dad?

Alternatively, perhaps you have a burning need to play a musical instrument or to write?

Whatever your needs if they remain unmet it will stop you living authentically.

So list your top five needs and make sure any goals you have are consistent with meeting them.

Know your needs and make sure you work towards meeting them before it is too late.

Best Self4. Know your passions:

It’s often said that the three things we need in life are a passion, a purpose and a pastime.

Passion is important.

If you have a passion for what you do, you’ll do it well.

If it really matters to you of course you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. And when people start to notice then demand for your services will increase. And once demand for your services increases then your value will increase.

So it’s a virtuous circle.

Knowing what you truly like and enjoy doing is part of really knowing who you are as a person.

Knowing your passions allows you to express yourself and to make your own unique contribution to life.

And by expressing yourself and leaving a legacy you’ll pay tribute to all those people who inspired you to become the very person you really could be. To become your best self.

5. Live from the inside out:

Your body is the temple in which you will live your entire life.

If that temple is in bad shape then that’s hardly a basis for you becoming your best self, is it?

So be in tune with your body and take care of it.

Eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Put your physical and mental well-being at the heart of everything you do.

Appreciate the world around you. Stop to smell the roses occasionally. Allow yourself to be in spiritual contact with nature and the world around you.

When you feel stressed and pressured, take the time to breathe deeply. This will help you relax and quiet your distracted mind.

Above all, listen to what your heart is saying. Follow your heart but take your brain with you, of course.

6. Know your strengths and work to them

We all have our own strengths. We all have a natural talent for something and there are things that others will recognize that we’re very good at.

You’re no different dear reader. So what are your strengths?

At what do you excel in comparison to other people? For what are you recognised as the ‘go-to’ person by your colleagues?

Knowing your strengths and making sure you’re working to your strengths is essential if you’re to be your best self. Certainly you won’t get far if you’re working to your weaknesses.

So what positive traits do you possess?

What would other people say are your strengths?

Your authentic self will be expressed best by working to your strengths, naturally.

If you’re good at what you do then you’ll do it well. And doing it well will increase your self-confidence.

And confidence is an essential ingredient to you being your best self.

7. Serve others:

Human beings are social animals and we live naturally in groups and societies.

Being part of society means making a contribution to it.

We must all make a contribution particularly if we are striving to be our best self.

Living authentic lives means we must develop an interconnected sense of being.

If you’re true to who you are, living your life’s purpose and giving your talents to the world around you then you are providing a service to others.

To contribute to society you must serve others in some way. And giving your best in what you do is the service you share with others. That is your spirit; your very essence. That is your raison d’etre.

Service to others provides its own rewards.

Sharing your gifts with the world can be pleasing indeed. Knowing your contribution was a contribution only you can make can be truly satisfying.

Know you’ve made a real difference and then you’ll have achieved your best self.

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How the power of words can change lives

The power of wordsHave you ever considered just how powerful words can be? In my experience, the power of words can have a much greater impact than you might imagine.

Let me tell you a heartwarming story to emphasize today’s point.

The reunion:

Not long ago I had lunch with a group of old friends.

Now there’s nothing unusual about that, you might say.

Even given the fact that it was the first time we’d all been together in the same place, at the same time since the summer of 1979 was nothing exceptional.

Such reunions happen all the time, don’t they?

Anyway it was a genuine pleasure to see them all again and swap stories about how our lives had progressed since those far off days.

However it’s the story of one of my fellow diners that day that’s worthy of sharing with you now because I think it’s a source of inspiration and it reinforces the importance of just how powerful words can be.

Saeed’s story:

Back in those distant days, we were all working together for the national telecommunications operator in Bahrain.

Three of us had been young, graduate engineers on an upward career trajectory, with the future seemingly ours for the taking. We had it all.

The other member of our group, let’s call him Saeed, had been the handyman and tea boy in the department at that time.

Saeed was then just a young teenager, straight out of school.

He was a bright and willing fellow but he had no academic qualifications and he spoke very little English at the time.

Now Arabic was his mother tongue, of course, but in the international business we were in, a good command of spoken English was essential, if you were to have any chance of career success.

Saeed came from a poor village and his perceived failure at school had left him feeling that, at just 16, he’d blown his chances and was destined for a life filled with a series of low paid, low skilled jobs.

The power of words:

Fast forward 40 years and Saeed’s now every bit the poor-boy-made-good story.

Not only is he now a wealthy international businessman with two very successful businesses. He also has a string of qualifications including two doctorate degrees. Now completing one PhD is hard work but two? Wow.

In short, his success is impressive by any measure.

Nevertheless, how did Saeed get from where he was then to where he is now?

The simple answer of course is with determination and a lot of hard work.

You cannot achieve anything without those ingredients.

However, he also needed a reason to believe; a spark to light the fire. And that for me is where the story gets interesting.

The power of wordsThe spark that lit the fire:

Over lunch Saeed explained that it was a kind and encouraging word, all those years ago, from one of our fellow diners that had made him believe that he could make a success of his life, despite a poor start.

My fellow diner in question, let’s call him Tom, didn’t even remember the conversation.

However back in the day, it seems Tom had explained to Saeed that your future is not defined by your past.

The future, Tom had stressed, is an endless stream of opportunities which you can choose to take, or not, and you can make your life whatever you want it to be.

The life you want can be yours if you work hard for it.

The impact:

The power of these well-timed words of encouragement had an impact on Saeed so profound that they propelled him down the road to a destiny which otherwise he did not think possible. And in that is today’s underlying point.

Words can be very powerful, so always choose them wisely.

A few well-timed words can really inspire young people.

And never, ever forget that young people need encouragement much more than they need critics.

The power of wordsEncourage young people:

So next time you’re working with someone in the early stages of life’s journey, remember your words can have the power to encourage them.

Unfortunately, they also have the potential to discourage them too, if you’re not careful.

What you say, and the tone with which you say it, really does matter.

Always offer young people positive words of encouragement, rather than harsh words of criticism.

Never, ever forget how powerful your words can be. The right words, at the right time, really can inspire young people to achieve their full potential.

Leave a legacy:

If you want to leave a legacy behind you; then it would be hard to improve on encouraging a young person to become the best and most successful person he or she could possibly be.

You really do have that power with your words. Use it wisely.

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How to build confidence and self-esteem

How to build confidence and self-esteemRealizing your full potential would be an excellent definition for success, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, of course.

For many, if not most, people what’s going on in their head can be the greatest barrier to achieving their full potential. Could you be one of those people?

You want to achieve success but you’re full of self-doubt?

You don’t believe you’re worthy enough, perhaps?

Perhaps, you just don’t believe you can do it and generally you find it hard to believe in yourself.

And then there’s that old chestnut from which we all suffer occasionally, namely the fear of being found out. The fear we’ll be rumbled.

Build confidence and self-esteem:

It all boils down to lacking self-belief, a lack of confidence and low levels of self-esteem.

Ultimately all those negative thoughts prevent you from achieving your full potential and they’re a drain on your confidence and self-esteem too.

Negative self-talk not only drains your confidence, but it also drains your emotions and it can rob you of the energy you need to work towards achieving your goals and becoming the person you’d like to be.

And, let’s face it, becoming the incredible person you really could be too, surely?

Within us, we all have enormous potential.

That’s a fact that many people fail to appreciate.

We have so much to offer but for many people that potential goes unrealized.

Essentially many of us just waste so much of the potential we have to offer.

How to build confidence and self-esteemSo how do we become more confident and increase our self-esteem? Now there’s an important question.

The late, great Jim Rohn used to say, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” And he was right, in my opinion.

The more you work on yourself, the more confident you’ll become and the greater will be your sense of self-esteem. It really can be that simple.

In the embedded video included below, Oprah Winfrey gives us her views on why it’s important to work on yourself.

And let’s face it, Oprah Winfrey is extremely successful by any measure, so she’s one person to which we should all be listening, or at least those people for whom success is a goal.

If success is your aim, then listening to successful people on a regular basis is a very good idea. Find out a few of their secrets and copy them and you’ll be well on your way to achieving and sustaining success yourself.

This is an excellent video and I can recommend it.

Working on yourself:

If this video has ignited your curiosity about Oprah Winfrey’s ideas then she’s written many books and they’re all worth reading. You’ll find them all on Amazon. JUST CLICK HERE

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Top 10 Tips for How to Manage Your Time

How to manage your timeHow to manage your time? A question that is frequently asked but few actually manage to master the art of effective time management, in my experience.

If only I had time!” is an expression I hear constantly.

People will say to me, “Oh I’d love to do that, if only I had the time.

However, we all have exactly the same amount of time. We all have 168 hours each week and it all comes down to how we make the best use of it. In other words, our priorities.

Time is our most precious resource, wouldn’t you agree dear reader? Yet far too many people don’t use their time as wisely as they should.

So here are my Top 10 tips for how to manage your time.

How to manage your time:

1. Be in control: Just because someone makes a demand on your time, it doesn’t mean that you have to agree to it. You are the captain of your own ship and you should always be in control. And you’re mindset should always be, “I am in control of my life and if anyone wants a piece of my time then they’ll need to provide me with a very good reason as to why I should agree to their request.”

2. Keep your life and your desk free of clutter: Dealing with clutter just stresses you out, so be ruthless and get rid of it. You cannot work efficiently at a desk which is full of clutter. And you will waste so much time looking for things you need. So clear your desk and get rid of anything in your life that will prevent you from managing your time as efficiently as possible.

3. Be organized: A place for everything and everything in its place. If everything is in its place then you’ll know where to find it should you need it. And that reduces clutter and makes for a better environment in which to work, be it in the workplace or your personal life.

4. Make lists: You need to plan your week and plan each day too. Write it all down so you won’t forget it. Having a weekly planner is a good idea. Knowing what needs to be achieved each week, allows you to identify ‘must do’ activities each day. At the end of each day make a list of what needs to be done the next day in order to achieve your objectives. And do not rest until your list has been completed each day.

5. Prioritize: Everything is urgent these days, so you have to identify those things that are important to you achieving your objectives. Those are then the activities on which you must focus. You should know your priorities and they are the things that will allow you to achieve your objectives and meet your deadlines.

6. Develop routines: Having a proper routine will allow you to get very efficient at what you do. For instance, rather than responding to emails as and when they arrive in your inbox, set aside two or three time windows each day when you will deal with email. That could be for exactly one hour at the beginning of each day; half an hour just before lunch and then say half an hour at the end of the day just before you leave your desk. Be very strict about these windows for dealing with email and don’t allow email to become a distraction at other times.

7. Set deadlines and stick to them: If you have a piece of work to complete, judge how long it will take, use that to set a deadline for completion and then focus on that work such that you complete it within your deadline.

8. Delegate whenever possible: You should only be doing those things which absolutely have to be done by you. If you are lucky enough to have people to whom you can delegate then make use of them as much as you possibly can.

9. Don’t procrastinate: Procrastination is the thief of time. If you have got something to do, then get on with it. Don’t mess around. The sooner you start the sooner you’ll finish.

10. Learn to say No: Master this skill and it is the biggest time saver of them all. Far too often we agree do something for someone else simply because we don’t like saying no. It may not even be our responsibility but we do it anyway rather than say no. Always be polite but it is perfectly reasonable to say, “I’d love to help you but I’m busy right now.

Master your time management skills:

Whilst this is not a comprehensive list, it’s a good basis on which to start improving your time management skills.

If you want to be successful then effective time management is an essential skill.

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How to sell anything to anybody and make money

Selling is a subject that often gets a bad name. Some people even look down on those who choose to make their living by selling.

However we’re all trying to sell something all of the time. Even if it’s just the skills we have or a service we can provide, if we’re to make a living then we must sell something, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?

Learning the art of successful selling is actually very important and everyone should seek to improve their selling skills, if only to ensure that they can sell themselves effectively.

Selling is a process and by learning a few simple techniques you can improve your ability to sell.

So what are these techniques?

1. Know your product:

Ultimately, it’s all about the product.

If you want to sell anything successfully then you need to know your product really well and you need to believe in your product too.

That product has to be something that you would buy yourself.

You need to know the product in detail, all the features and all the benefits; all the advantages and all the disadvantages.

Then you need to know all about your competitors’ products that your customers could buy as an alternative to your own.

This is important if you are to position your product against that of the competition and to counter any reasons given by your customer as to why they might be reluctant to buy from you.

You really do need to be able to talk about your product favourably, relative to any other options that may be available to your customer.

2. Know the problem your product solves:

Ultimately, every product must solve a problem for the customer. A product must make the customer’s life easier in some way.

If a product doesn’t solve a problem for the target customer, why would they buy it? Why would any customer part with good money unless the product made their life easier?

So it’s simple really. You must have a good understanding of the problem or problems for which your product can be an excellent solution.

And you must be able to explain this is simple, straightforward language.

How to sell anything to anybody3. Capture buying intent:

Cold-calling is the most inefficient and soul-destroying sales approach there could possibly be. Phoning or door-stepping people and saying, “Want to buy this?” will have a very low success rate.

The key to successful selling is capturing warm sales leads. In other words, you must capture buying intent.

If a customer walks into a shirt shop then you know they’re looking for a shirt and therefore you have a very good chance of selling them one.

So find ways to engage people who are actively looking for something like the product which you are selling.

To do this you’ll need to ensure that your customers and potential customers have visibility of your product.

You must raise awareness of the product, as well the features and benefits and the value it offers. You must create desirability too.

4. Know the customer’s needs:

Your product should have a target customer. You must know the sort of person for whom the product offers an ideal solution.

In other words, you must know who the product is aimed at and what their needs are likely to be.

To understand the customer’s needs you may need to ask some questions first.

For instance, using the shirt selling example again, a customer may be looking for something to wear for a formal occasion or perhaps they’re looking for something more casual. You want to ensure that the shirt you sell them is right for their needs.

So you must identify the ways in which your product will satisfy the customer’s needs because, if you make a sale, you want the customer to feel they’ve got exactly what they wanted.

You want to ensure that they get a good buying experience. You certainly don’t want them to feel like they’ve been cheated in some way.

5. Sell the benefits:

You don’t sell the product to the customer, you sell the benefits.

In what ways will your product improve the customer’s life? In what ways will your product potentially be an answer to the customer’s prayers?

In what ways does your product offer good value for money?

You don’t have to be the cheapest on the market but you do need to be able to convince a customer that it makes sense to buy your product rather than simply going for the cheapest product on the market.

A customer won’t part with good money unless they believe your product will add value to them in some way.

6. Know why your product is their best option:

Now dear reader, if you’re in business, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s a highly competitive world out there.

Put simply, today’s customers have plenty of options.

You must be able to convince a customer on why your product is their best option.

If you’ve got a good story to tell about your product then you can stimulate the customer’s interest.

And once you’ve got the customer interested then you can gently apply pressure to close the sale.

And don’t be shy when it comes to applying pressure gradually.

Business is business and if you don’t close the sale you can be sure that someone else will.

There’s an art to knowing how much pressure to apply of course.

You shouldn’t push too hard because that can result in a negative reaction from the customer.

It can also leave customers feeling like they’ve been sold something they didn’t really need.

If that happens, you’ve made a sale but lost a customer. That’s counter-productive.

The last thing you want is an unhappy customer because they’re likely to tell a lot of people about a bad experience.

Bad publicity and customers bad-mouthing you can really hurt your business if you’re not careful, needless to say, I’m sure.

 Conclusion:

No business or individual can succeed without making sales.

If it’s your job to sell then you really have got to sell. And if you don’t sell, you’ve failed. Simple!

If you don’t make sales and meet your targets, then the result is likely to be that you’ll lose your job very quickly.

Business can be an unforgiving environment, as I’m sure you’re only too well aware dear reader.

No company can afford the luxury of having people on the payroll who don’t deliver the results for which they are paid.

And let’s face it, we’re all paid to deliver results.

In order to sell, the question to which you must have a very good answer is, “Why should the customer buy my product?

If you’ve got a good answer and you’ve targeted the right customer, with buying intent, then you’ve got a good chance of making a sale.

You also want to be confident that you can leave the customer feeling that in exchange for the money they’ve spent, they’ve received good value and a good buying experience.

So learn the art of successful selling. It will pay you a handsome dividend.

Further reading:

Now there are plenty of good books and excellent authors on the subject of selling.

Here are some I really like and which I’ve found very useful for improving my own sales skills. I recommend them to you, dear reader:-

  1. The Psychology of Selling: The Art of Closing Sales – By Brian Tracy
  2. The Art of Closing the Sale – By Brian Tracy
  3. How to Master the Art of Selling – by Tom Hopkins

All of these books are available on Amazon and you can check them out further by clicking on the links above.

DISCLOSURE: Please be aware that there are Amazon affiliate links in this post. So should you make a purchase via one of the links then this website will receive a small commission from Amazon. There will be no extra charge to you as the purchaser. These commissions serve only to pay for the upkeep of this website. Your understanding is appreciated. Thank you.

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So please share it now. If you do I will be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

You’ll be helping your friends and you’ll be helping me too. So you really can make a difference to the lives of others.

Thank you.

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How to spot a liar and be your own lie detector

How to spot a liarIntroduction:

Liar, Liar pants on fire” as the old saying goes but how to spot a liar in any situation? If only it was so easy to spot a liar, simply by looking at whether his or her pants were actually on fire.

Unfortunately that’s not really the way life works is it?

And handy as it might be to carry around a lie detector at all times, well that wouldn’t be very practical either, would it? Well, not a lie detector of the physical variety anyway.

So what’s the next best thing?

The next best thing would be if we could become our own lie detector, surely?

However, would that be possible?

The answer is yes. With a little effort, it’s possible to develop the skills to spot a liar. You just need to think about the signs.

Become a lie detector:

Now this is really important because we live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with fake news, weasel words, half-truths, untruths and outright lies.

Politicians are definitely the worst culprits but just about everyone in life tells the occasional lie when they feel it’s necessary.

That’s human nature, of course. Which means it’s essential we learn the skills that will allow us to judge whether what we are being told is the truth or a lie at any given time.

How to spot a liar:

So how do you spot a liar?

Essentially it’s all about looking for clues.

Those little signs that will reveal whether what we’re being told is likely to be true or not. A lie detector looks for clues and we can too.

In the TED Talk video embedded here, Pamela Meyer offers her observations on the signs or clues to watch out for to see if someone is lying to you.

I must say that I found this video both useful and interesting and it’s definitely worth a few moments of your time.

The ability to spot lies is a powerful skill which everyone can develop.

You really can become your own lie detector and it’s worth the effort.

If you can only work on developing one skill then lie spotting would be a good one I think.

Recommended books:

If the video whetted your appetite for developing your lie detector skills then you might consider adding some books to your personal reference library.

A good start would be Pamela Meyer’s own book Liespotting.

However there are a couple more I can recommend too. My Top 3 are:-

  1. Liespotting by Pamela Meyer
  2. How To Spot A Liar: Why People Don’t Tell the Truth and How You Can Catch Them by Gregory Hartley
  3. 100 Ingenious Ways To Detect Lies: How To Spot A Liar Like A Pro by W. Kenn

Click on the links above and take a quick look at them.

You’ll not lose anything just by checking them out. So do it now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind.

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9 tips for getting the most from your work

getting the most from your workDo you feel valued by your employer? Now just think about that question for a second, dear reader.

I’m sure you’re aware that companies are very good at circulating messages which include platitudes such as, “Our employees are our most important asset. We value our employees.

However, you have to ask yourself how many of them really mean it?

The answer is few, if any, in my experience.

Now to be fair, many employers probably think they mean it at the time such messages are circulated to the workforce.

Staff in the Human Resources department may be genuine when they issue such statements. Nevertheless, the reality is almost always quite different, however right on and trendy your employer tries to be.

Rarely are employees truly valued by their employers.

Most companies regard people as a commodity to be used when they’re useful and then discarded when they’re perceived to be no longer of use.

So what does this all mean for you?

Well for a start it means that you have to look after your own interests.

If you don’t look after your own interests then no one else will, that’s for sure.

If you think someone, somewhere is thinking about your best interests then, with the exception of your parents, then that’s unlikely at best.

It’s all down to you to get the most from your job and your career.

You must decide what you want; you must decide where and how you can add the greatest value; you must decide what’s the next logical move for you, in pursuit of your goals; and you must decide on the timing of when it’s appropriate to move.

Occasionally you might get lucky and a great opportunity will fall straight into your lap. However, that doesn’t happen often, if at all.

Remember that you are the captain of your own ship.

So you decide where it goes and you must steer it accordingly.

It would be a mistake to rely on others to plan your career, quite simply because they won’t and it would be naïve to think otherwise.

So here are my 9 tips for getting the most from work.

Getting the most from your work1. Take a pragmatic view:

Now, reading this, you might think that I have a jaundiced view of companies and corporate life.

Actually I don’t; this is simply a realistic and pragmatic view based on many years of experience.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in return for money.

If a company has stuff that needs doing then they are willing to pay good money to get it done.

However once that work’s been done, or is no longer required, then employers see no reason to retain people. Why would they? After all, they’re in business to make money, surely?

So be realistic and take a pragmatic view. That way you won’t be disappointed.

2. Recognise the psychological contract:

Let’s be fair, the company’s approach is no different than the one we’d take as individuals.

If we need our house painting, we hire a painter and decorator. Our house gets painted and when the job’s been done we pay the painter for the work completed.

We don’t start worrying about the painter’s job satisfaction or career development. The psychological contract between us and the painter ends when the bill has been settled for the work completed. That’s the way it is. Simple.

So why should we expect our employers to be any different?

Companies are not charities or job creation schemes. Commercial companies have to make a profit, if they’re to grow and survive, and costs have an impact on profit, obviously.

The psychological contract we have with our employer is one where we do stuff for them and then we’re paid for our efforts at the end of each month.

We’re the hired help and once we’ve been paid that’s where the psychological contract ends as far as our employer is concerned.

Your employer will not spend his or her time worrying about your aspirations or your dreams. Once again, it would be naïve to think otherwise.

3. Accept commercial reality:

Commercial reality whether we like it not is that all companies exist to make money for their owners. It’s that simple. Why would anyone start a company for any other reason?

So if you think that your loyalty will be appreciated by the average employer then I think you’re either mistaken or deluded.

Employers will take everything you give and a bit more besides, but once you’re no longer required they will be as ruthless as they have to be. If it’s their survival versus your career aspirations, there’s only one outcome, and it will have nothing to do with your aspirations.

If they weren’t able to be ruthless when necessary then that could put the whole company and the jobs of everyone involved at risk. So there’s a good business reason for the way companies tend to operate.

Furthermore, ordinary people don’t spend their money unnecessarily, so why should we expect a company to be any different?

From time to time you’ll meet leaders of real stature and class who will treat you very well. However they’re the exception rather than the rule.

Most senior executives are driven only by self-interest, in my experience. Once you’re no longer of use, they will be as ruthless as they have to be. That’s the way the world works, so don’t expect it to be any different for you.

4. Don’t expect loyalty to be reciprocated:

The point I’m making is that you must be ruthless too. You must look after your own interests, constantly.

It’s perfectly reasonable for you to be working with your own agenda in mind. Deliver the results for which you’re being paid of course but always with one eye on your own best interests.

In any job you should make sure that you know what you’re meant to be doing and what you’re meant to be delivering.

What you’re delivering must add value. You should know what that value is and you should be confident that it’s not something that can be done by a machine. If it is, then the chances are that one day it will be and you will be out of a job.

Never do anything out of a misplaced sense of loyalty because that loyalty is unlikely to be reciprocated. At work you have to be very business-like in everything you do.

The name of the game from your standpoint is to earn a living. If it’s not obvious to you what your contribution is meant to be then you should start to worry. And if you cannot explain what you’re meant to be doing in a couple of lines then it’s time to move on.

If you don’t know what you’re meant to be doing then the chances are that your boss is wondering too. And once your boss starts to question your role then there is a risk that it won’t be too long before your job is eliminated in a future cost-saving exercise.

5. Look after your own interests:

Remember this: No one owes you anything.

Life is what you make it.

As I said earlier, you’re the captain of your own ship. You should be steering that ship in a direction that suits you and your ambitions. Steer the good ship ‘Me’ in the direction you wish to go and not in the direction someone else wants you to go.

You should be following your own agenda and within the framework of your own plans.

If you think your employer has plans for you then you’re fooling yourself.

You will only figure in your employer’s plans for as long as it makes good business sense for them to include you in those plans.

If they can’t see how you’ll add value to their plans then a parting of the ways might not be far away.

6. Take every opportunity to develop your experience:

You may make mistakes occasionally and you may do things for employers which for whatever reason come back to bite you. If you do, don’t worry. Just learn any lessons from the experience and move on.

Lessons learned are far more valuable to you than anything someone else can tell you. That commodity based on life’s lessons is known as experience and it’s a very valuable commodity indeed.

Take every opportunity to broaden your experience and grow. Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. The more you have to offer the more employable you’ll be and the greater will be your financial rewards.

7. Have realistic expectations:

Never expect loyalty from your employer and you won’t be disappointed.

You’re not indispensable and neither is anyone else.

If you weren’t around then someone else would be hired quickly and the business would move on. And in all probability you’ll soon be forgotten.

The chances are that someone else will take the credit for any significant contribution you’ve made but you’ll probably take the blame for everything that’s wrong, including things in which you had no involvement at all.

That’s life, unfortunately.

8. Work to you own agenda:

If you make sure you look after your own interests, then your achievements will be all yours and you’ll be on the road to success.

You have to carve out the success you want; no one else will do it for you.

Add real value to your employer for as long as you can or for as long as it makes sense within your own plans for you to do so and then it’s time to move on to the next opportunity.

Don’t get overly sentimental; you’ve got to be as ruthless with your employer as they would be with you. It’s perfectly reasonable to work to your own agenda, and that’s exactly what successful people do.

9. Keep reading; keep learning:

Never underestimate the value of reading and continual learning.

The more you read, the more you learn and the more you learn the greater will be your value.

Read one good book related to your work or personal development each week and over a year that’s the equivalent of a PhD‘s worth of knowledge gained.

Increase your knowledge by that amount every year and you’ll be light years ahead of your colleagues.

Increase your value and you increase your ability to earn more. And what’s not to like about that?

So, make sure you allocate at least 30 minutes per day for your reading, and more time if you can.

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How to turn enterprise into money and riches

Turn enterprise into moneyBeing poor is shit. ~Bob Geldof

The media personality and former rock star Bob Geldof’s communication style tends to be blunt and to the point. He’s not a man to sugarcoat his words, or so it seems. However, he does make an important point here.

People may tell you that money isn’t important but next to oxygen it’s essential for a life worth living. In fact you couldn’t live long without it today.

Exactly how much money you need depends on your preferred lifestyle of course. However even for a fairly basic lifestyle a reasonable income is necessary.

None of us want to be poor or destitute of course. And fortunately we don’t have to be. It’s possible to turn enterprise into money, and money into wealth and riches.

And what do I mean by enterprise? I mean your energy, your resourcefulness, your imagination, your knowhow and skills, your ambition, and your determination to make life better for you and your loved ones.

Essentially, you can make your life better simply by making life better for other people.

What is work?

In essence, work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money, surely?

However, the key message here is that you don’t need to be employed by a commercial enterprise or corporation to earn money.

Whilst being employed is one way to earn money, it’s also perfectly feasible to establish your own business and earn your living by being self-employed.

And in the age of the Internet, it’s never been easier to start a business, even if you have very little money to invest.

Remember also, you can start a business initially as a part-time side-hustle, whilst being employed, until it’s generating enough income for that business to become your primary means for making a living.

And never forget, for most people, the only way you’ll ever get seriously rich is through your own business.

Certainly, unless you’re a Wall Street investment banker or a lawyer, you’re unlikely to get seriously rich being someone’s employee, trading your time for money.

The key to success in business:

The key to success in your own business is to find a way to solve problems for people for profit. That’s the way to turn your own enterprise into money. And it’s a lot easier than you might imagine.

Let’s face it, there’ll always be plenty of customers for products and services, some yet to be invented.

People will always have problems and they’ll always have a need for solutions to those problems.

And every product sold by a company is a solution to a problem, or at least it should be.

Turn enterprise into money:

If you continually educate yourself for skills and know-how, then you can create wealth by seeking out customers for whom you can deliver solutions to their problems and/or provide them with services for which they have a need.

If you can satisfy those customers then you’ll make money, and quite possibly a lot of money, if you can scale-up that business as your customer base grows.

Manage your money wisely and you can build your own personal wealth too.

Determination, hard work and an eye for problems to be solved are the main ingredients for success in business. Your enterprise really can lead you to great wealth.

You don’t have to be poor:

You don’t have to be poor unless you’ve given up and you’re just accepting that being poor is your lot in life. It’s not, and nor should it be.

You’re perfectly capable of generating your own income dear reader.

You just need to do stuff for other people and find a way to add value to their lives. In this case adding value means solving problems or making their lives easier and/or better in some way.

Help yourself by helping others get what they need:

It all comes down to your willingness to find a way to serve others. Simple!

There are opportunities there for the taking every single day of the week, if you’re enterprising and ready to solve problems for other people. However you do need to be fleet-footed.

The best time to start a business might have been last year but the next best time is right now.

And age is no barrier to starting a business either. Remember, Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he started KFC, and Ray Kroc was 52 when he started building the business we know as McDonald’s.

It can be done and people do. Why not you? Go on, just go for it! Real riches can be yours.

Good luck!

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21 quotes to inspire you to greatness and beyond

Quotes to inspire you to greatnessTo achieve greatness we all need a little inspiration we can refer to frequently. So here are 21 quotes to inspire you to greatness. Feel free to bookmark this page and refer to them as often as necessary:

Quotes to inspire you to greatness:

  1. If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Author Unknown
  2. If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary. ~Jim Rohn
  3. Everyone is good at something and once you find it, what you can achieve is limitless. ~Andrew Flintoff
  4. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney
  5. Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. ~Chris Grosser
  6. Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. ~Albert Einstein
  7. The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it. ~Henry Ford
  8. If you’re going through hell keep going. ~Winston Churchill
  9. The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~Author Unknown
  10. Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument. ~Author Unknown
  11. What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. ~Author Unknown
  12. When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you. ~Lolly Daskal
  13. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams. ~Oprah Winfrey
  14. What’s the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable. ~Author Unknown
  15. You can do anything, but not everything. ~Author Unknown
  16. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~Steve Jobs
  17. The starting point of all achievement is desire. ~Napoleon Hill
  18. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. ~Robert Collier
  19. Greatness is achieved beyond your comfort zone. No one ever made their mark in life by taking the easy way every time. ~Roy Sutton
  20. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown
  21. The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. ~Bruce Lee

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