What It Takes To Become Truly Influential

What It Takes To Become Truly Influential

When it comes to being truly influential in a positive way, you need two things: Awareness & Strategy.

So many people are completely unaware of what they take in and what they put out into the world.

As a result they wind up focusing on things like problems, controversy, tragedy and all kinds of negativity.

When you feed all this garbage to your mind, your mind has no choice but to regurgitate it back into the world. And that's where your ability to become a truly influential person ends.

Realize that people don't care about you. They care about themselves.

Self preservation is our number one goal.

Therefore, people will not allow themselves to be influenced by you unless you can either solve a problem or provide some form of pleasure.

Focusing on problems and negatively doesn't solve any problems or make people feel better.

It actually makes them feel worse and repels them.

Instead try focusing on positive things and providing solutions for others.

This is how powerful, positive influence is engineered.

Master Influence Key: Mind Set

Master Influence Key: Mind Set

I wasn't always self-employed.

My longest stint at having a "real job" was working in the fitness industry; first in sales and then in magangement.

I guess if I had to have a job it would be in a gym.

It's pretty cool.

You meet a lot of people.

Every day is different.

And it's one thing you can sell the hell out of people without feeling any kind of guilt because everyone needs it.

As cool as it was it was still a job. And the thought of all that accountability and order taking (in many cases from people who couldn't shine my shoes when it came to experience and common sense) gave me the willies.

I remember when I decided to finally quit and jump into my own business full time.

Everyone (including my wife, mom and even some of closet friends who are entrepreneurs themselves) thought I was nuts.

People often ask me what the "secret" to getting into online publishing and online marketing is and how I did it.

I've thought about how I could answer this a thousand different times. Most of the answers I came up with were really self righteous.

They were all centered around my experience.

My risk taking.

My knowledge.

My business savvy.

My balls to take the plunge, etc.

And while I like to tell myself that story - we all tell ourselves stories by the way - the fact is I wanted to come with an answer that actually helps people.

This isn't exactly the "full version" but it's a damn good start.

Here it is.

When you're an expert at something, you feel extremely confident about the outcome. For example, you might have a task that you do every day on your job. Whether you like doing it or not doesn't matter. It's a task that you perform every single day. You've done it for so long that if I were to ask you to get onstage and perform it in front of a hundred people, you could probably do so without even being nervous.

What if I were to ask you to execute a different task—one that you're not so good at doing but that is something you aspire to be good at?

Let's say your dream is to become a professional guitar player. That's your passion. That's what you've always dreamed about. That's what you've always wanted to do. That's where your heart is.

Unfortunately, you're a lousy guitar player.

Now, if I were to put you onstage and ask you to play a guitar in front of a hundred people, you'd probably be a lot more nervous doing that than you would be performing the task you do every day at your job—the task that's mundane, that you hate, that has absolutely nothing to do with where you want to go in life. The only difference between the two is the level of expertise that you have, and that plays directly into your state of mind when you begin to work with what I call stealth magnetism.

Every moment of our lives, we're shifting from one emotional state to another. It's always happening. Sometimes we're in a happy state. Sometimes we're in a focused state. Sometimes we're in a sad state. Sometimes we just transition from one state to another. And stealth magnetism is about creating a positive emotional state in your mind so that other people are magnetically drawn to you.

In order for you to be able get there, you first need to gain control over your state of mind. Your mind has to be in a state of calmness and confidence, and this becomes easier once you have developed a particular expertise. My definition of expertise is purposeful engagement is greater than fixed ability. Let me explain what I mean by that.

Some people believe that expertise is something you're born with, like a natural talent or ability. Granted, in some cases, this can happen. But my experience and my research has taught me that purposeful engagement is a better indicator of expertise; because when you're purposely engaged in doing something, you're constantly learning. You're constantly using your mind.

Therefore, you develop a higher level of expertise just through your experience.

I want to take a moment to talk about IQ. I know many of you may struggle with the concept of IQ when you're doing tasks you don't enjoy. You think you're not smart enough, or good enough, or that some task is beyond your level of intelligence. And many of you think your IQ is set in stone—that it is something that will ultimately dictate what you will excel at or what will hold you back in life.

Alfred Binet invented the IQ test in order to help identify children who were not profiting from the public school system in Paris. He created the test so that new educational programs could be designed to get these kids back on track. You may believe that the IQ test was designed to summarize someone's intelligence and that is can't be changed. In reality, the purpose of the test is to change your intelligence.

Fixed Mind-set Versus Growth Mind-set

The fixed mind-set is a limited mind-set. It requires a constant state of proof. It includes immense levels of self-doubt. When you are dealing with the fixed mind-set, your hand is constantly bluffed (and I'll explain more about that in a minute). Alternatively, with the growth mind-set, all positive traits are cultivated or created from effort.

The formula for this is Application + Experience = Changes and Growth.

And in this mind-set, the hand is played instead of bluffed.

Let's go back to the real purpose of the IQ test. So many of you make false assumptions about yourselves and what you're capable of doing based on your past experiences. Again, the real purpose of the IQ test was to determine how to improve someone's intelligence. And I'm here today telling you that you can improve your intelligence and your skill set in anything you wish. I'm here to tell you that you can keep a fixed mind-set or a growth mind-set.

A fixed mind-set means you believe your capabilities are limited. No matter what, there are aspects of your life with which you'll never excel. No matter what, there will always be a barrier. Something is going to stop you from succeeding in a particular area of your life. When you're in this state of mind, you're constantly trying to prove yourself. You're constantly thinking about those areas of your life where you do feel comfortable.

This circles back to something I talk about a lot; the theory of illusory superiority, which in layman's terms means that the average person believes that they are smarter than the average person—that there are certain elements you feel you're better at than the average person. And when you're in that fixed- mind state, you constantly need to accentuate them. You constantly need to prove yourself. You feel it's important to show people exactly how good you are at some things to compensate for the fact that you're terrible at other things. This is all tied into your having immense self-doubt.

Of course, we all have strengths and weaknesses, but that's a different conversation. What I'm trying to get you to think about is whether you're in that constant state of proving yourself. When you're in this state, you're bluffing. You're taking the cards that you were dealt, and instead of playing the hand with a growth mind-set (which I'll talk about in a second), you're looking to see what other people think about you and think about the hand that you hold. You're trying to use illusion to change the way your hand is perceived.

With the growth mind-set, you have the awareness that all positive traits can be developed or created through effort. The growth mind-set means Application + Experience = Change and Growth. You're aware that you can easily change and grow as a human being. Here you take the hand that you are dealt, and strategically play that hand to the best of your ability instead of trying to make it seem as if it's something else. That's the difference between the fixed mind-set and the growth mind-set.

Most of the things that you do in life are because you feel like there is a certain level of safety, control and predictability. For most of my friends, it's that steady paycheck. It's having a place to go every day. It's knowing that there's a certain level of predictability in his life.

For me, it's the complete opposite. I feel like I'm being restrained and have no control when I'm in that type of environment. Here's what I told my friend about moving from the fixed mind-set to the growth mind-set.

Let's say you quit your job today. Instead of thinking, "Well, I'm not going to have a guaranteed paycheck on Friday", and letting that scare the life out of you; think about all the possibilities. Think about doing your homework and doing some strategic planning. If you have things lined up the right way, then you'll be able to do certain things on Monday that will create the desired level of income that you want on Friday.

That's a completely different way of looking at the equation. Now, I realize that in some cases, that's easier to say than to do. I get that. So I also explained to him that before I quit my job in sales and started running my own business, I asked myself three questions. I suggest you write these down, because this is really important for anything you choose to do with your life.

What have I done to get to this point?

Can I repeat this process over and over?

What's the absolute worst-case scenario?

If I've made any other money besides what I made from my job, what have I done to make that money? Can I turn this into a sustainable thing that I can keep doing over and over—or was this just a one-off where I got lucky this time—and if I try it again, it's probably not going to pan out. And what's the worst- case scenario?

When I quit my job, I thought about what I did to get there and what I did to generate the money. Well, I had written sales copy for some of the biggest online Internet marketers, and that had put a decent amount of money in my pocket. I had also started researching and publishing information, much like I'm doing in this program right now. I asked myself whether I could continue writing sales copy if I needed to, even though that's not really what I wanted to focus my career on (I wanted to focus my career on sharing all the information I had learned throughout my life with people like you).

The second question I asked myself was whether I could continue to publish information. The answer to that was yes.

And then the third question was about my worst-case scenario. My worst-case scenario was that everything that I had done would turn out to be a fluke.

That the moment that I quit my job, all of the forces would turn against me. The universe would not work in my favor, and I would fall flat on my face and not make a dime. That was the worst-case scenario.

Then I asked myself how long I could go without having an income—where I could pay all my bills, make sure there's food on the table, and make sure there's a roof over my family's head without draining my savings. I was able to come up with a number that I felt comfortable with, and that was three months. I could live for three months with absolutely no money coming in. In addition, I realized that in that three-month period, I probably would be able to figure out how to get things moving again. But if I couldn't, I could always get another job. That was my worst case scenario.

My point is this. I'm not saying that once you decide to make a change, you just believe that everything is going to magically happen. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is if you ask yourself those three questions, the first two (what have I done to get here, and can I repeat the process) will force you into developing a strategic plan. Once you have your strategic plan developed, and you're ready to put it into place; that's when you can begin to take control. Once you have that in place, then it's time to shift your mind-set.

Instead of waking up on that first Monday morning and thinking, "Oh my God, I don't have a guaranteed paycheck coming on Friday"—instead, you should think, "I don't have a guaranteed paycheck coming on Friday, so now I really need to execute this plan to the best of my ability to supplement my income". Once you're able to do that, you can repeat the process. As you get better at it, that's when the shift starts to happen. Instead of looking at it as a problem, you start to look at it as an advantage.

The way I see it, I'm glad that someone else isn't controlling the amount of money I make, because that's something I can decide. I can decide how much work I want to do, and what things I want to do in order to generate the amount of income that I want for that particular week; rather than it being governed by someone else. That's the difference between having a growth mind-set rather than a fixed mind-set.

The Trick To Money

The Trick To Money

I love to read. You might even say I'm a book junkie.

Well let me correct that. I love to read stuff that's interesting to me.

Stuff like fiction, love stories and most magazines don't fit into this category (for me anyway).

But reading material that shows you how to achieve a specific result? I'm on board.  Especially when that result involves MONEY.

Yes, I have no shame in saying it. I love money.

I love learning how the energy of money works. I love learning what NOT to do if I actually want money to flow freely and easily to me. I love learning how other people made their fortunes.

And most of all I love learning how I can make more and more of it.

This may should shallow or greedy to you. And that's fine. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

But here's the thing. Tp be truly free on this earth, you need it.

And money in and of itself is nothing but energy.

And because it is energy it's actually naturally abundant just like everything else in this world.

The same way that the air you breath doesn't suddenly become scarce and comes to you easily and naturally, so can money.

The problem is the emotional attachments that most people (including me at one time in my life) have about money and what it means to us.

And what it means to most people is really just a bunch of B.S. that was shoved down our throats from childhood.

The paper currency as we know it which represents money is just that. It's merely paper that represents the energy of money.Most people however believe that money is this giant set amount of paper that is floating around the world which is extremely limited.

We also believe that money (by nature) is hard to get a hold of.

This thought process makes sense because it supports the initial one of money being scarce and limited.

Makes sense right? I mean most things that are scarce and limited are usually difficult to get a hold of.

This is why most people will tell you that the only way you can attain money in large amounts is to work hard.

Bust your ass.



Pay you dues.

I've heard all this before. In fact, I've even heard it from people who've done nothing of the sort to amass their fortunes.

So why do they say it?

Because it sounds like the right thing to say. And it feels good.

People constantly tell themselves stories about everything in life.

This has to do with the mind's need to constantly make sense of things.

It's natural for people to tell themselves (and then others) stories about how they worked hard, planned strategically, took calculated risks, invested blood, sweat and tears and all that fun stuff to become rich because it's simply a good story to tell.

But the truth is I know PLENTY of people who did none of that stuff (in fact, they aren't even capable of thinking of half that stuff let alone doing it) and still became wealthy.

Now don't get me wrong.

I'm not saying that there aren't people who have done all that stuff and became wealthy as a result. What I'm saying is that it's not necessarily necessary (if that makes sense).

The fastest and most effective ways that I know of to get money are to:

1.) Change your entire thought process about it

2.) Take massive action to attain it

For some people number is harder than number two.

For some people the opposite is true.

For others, neither is a realistic option.

Sadly, there's probably no hope for them (in getting rich that is).

So what about you?

Do you want to learn the "secrets" to attaining massive wealth?

Well as much as I would love to tell you I'm the guy who can show you how the truth is there are people out there far more qualified than me to teach you.

Remember earlier when I said I was a book junkie?

Well there's one book that served as my "drug of choice" when it comes to money.

Just so you know. I don't get one red cent from promoting this book.

I have no relationship to the author or publisher.

I just really like the book because it helped me a lot and I think it can help you too.

You can grab the Kindle edition on Amazon for less than 10 bucks.

Hope it helps.

The Real Reason People Value Certain Things

French marketing professor Ziv Carmon teamed up MIT's Dan Ariely to perform a study on nearly 100 students from Duke University.

They divided the students into 2 groups. The students in group A were asked to state the highest price they would pay for a ticket to the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament while the students in group B were asked what's the lowest price they would be willing to sell such a ticket for if they had it in their possession.

The median selling price was $1,500 while the median buying price was $150. In other words, the sellers perceived the value of their ticket to be worth ten times more than the buyers did.

What does this tell us?

Well for me, it says that people place a higher value on things that are already in their possession. Once someone takes true ownership over something (no matter how large or small) it becomes a part of their identity.

It becomes - on some level - a piece of the puzzle that makes them who they are. Perhaps someone with tickets like the ones mentioned in the study creates a subconscious identity with being a huge basketball fan.

And surely, a real fan would never part with tickets to the finals unless it was really worth it.

How can you leverage this information?

Make every attempt to get what you have to offer in the hands of as many people as possible.

This is certainly nothing new. All different types of companies have been using this strategy for years. Things like free samples and risk free trials are designed with this thought in mind.

The theory is that if you let people try your stuff first they will eventually come to like it and therefore purchase it.

While there is something to be said about the actual "experience" that a product/service provides, I think there is really something much more subliminal going on here.

In his masterpiece Breakthrough Advertising, world renowned copywriter Eugene Schwartz explains that people make purchases based on desires that are related to one of two different types of roles that they play in life.

The first are character roles which describe the type of person he/she is/wants to be perceived as. Brilliant, intelligent, well-rounded, etc. are all examples of character roles.

The second are achievement  roles which have to do with the level of status one maintains in society.

Schwartz's findings show us that people use certain products/services to help solidify these roles which ultimately define their identities.

Therefore, if you can get your product/service into the hands of your target (and he/she actually likes it or is at least interested in it) it will become a part of their identity.

Once that happens, the person will place an extremely high value on it.

This is often why we see people who cannot break habits for years; even when they know they should while others can break them instantly and never look back.

The difference lies in the identity. People who have been overweight for a long time and can't seem to stick to a diet or workout regimen do so because they haven't yet created the identity of a healthy, toned person.

People who lose weight and keep it off often become gym rats almost obsessed with fitness because thy've created the identity of a healthy, toned person and the gym is a staple in that identity.

Realize this, it's very difficult to behave in ways that contradict your identity. Doing so, creates cognitive dissonance which no one likes to experience.

There is so much that can be learned from this information but the key takeaway for this particular post is to get people to associate what you have to offer as a strong element in their identity.

That's how you gain unshakable loyalty.

Does Admitting Mistakes Hurt Your Credibility?

I’ve never been a fan of blaming other people for my mistakes. It just seems cowardly and childish.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect as I have PLENTY of faults.

Take for example my habit of sneaking to my favorite roast beef joint 3 nights a week with my friend and completely destroying whatever work I did in the gym that day.

Or perhaps my ability to be extremely interested, immersed and even obsessed with something one day and then have absolutely no desire to even look at it the next…..talk about lack of consistency.

Point being is that I’m far from perfect but the one thing I’ve always prided myself on was the fact that I can usually admit when I’m wrong. This is just something that I’ve never had a problem with like many people do.

You see, many people get caught up with always wanting to be right or never making mistakes but the truth is mistakes are part of being human.

“But Paul doesn’t admitting that you make mistakes damage your credibility which in turn has a negative effect on your ability to influence?” The answer (much to many people’s surprise) is no; it actually enhances your ability to influence.

There are 2 reasons why I say that. The first has to do with personal experience and the other has to do with flat out proof from case studies.

If you personally couldn’t care less about my personal experience and just want the facts, feel free to skip down a few more lines to the case studies.

In my personal experience, anytime you can admit that you’ve made a mistake, you automatically increase your credibility because you appear to be humble and honest; both of which lead to credibility.

Admitting you’re wrong also makes you appear to be well rounded and conscious of all factors when presenting an opinion. This way, when there is a time where you find yourself in debate or disagreement with someone and you’re standing firm, people will respect your position. They won’t just write you off as someone who “always thinks they’re right.”

Admitting you made a mistake also reinforces the fact that you are human which helps people to connect more easily with you. Anytime a person feels they can connect with you, your ability to influence them increases.

Ok, now for the proof. Social scientist Fiona Lee and her colleagues conducted a study to determine if organizations that performed poorly over the course of a year are viewed more positively by the public when they take responsibility for their mistakes and attribute them to something internal or when they shift blame and suggest that external factors were the cause.

They divided participants into 2 groups. One group was an annual report which blamed internal (and potentially controllable) factors while the second group was given a report that blamed external factors.

The results showed that participants who viewed report A (which focused on internal mistakes) viewed the company more positively on number of different levels than the second group who viewed the other report.

Here’s where things get really interesting. The researchers wanted to take things one step further to see if their hypotheses were in fact correct so they collected similar statements from the annual reports of fourteen different companies over 21 years.

They discovered a very interesting trend in that those companies which essentially took accountability and blamed internal, controllable factors on poor earnings,  actually had higher stock process one year later than companies that blamed external factors.

This confirms that people are generally more likely to comply and do business with people or organizations that take responsibility for their mistakes.

Now I’m not insinuating that simply admitting to mistakes gives you the privilege to keep making them and get away with it.  In fact, my belief is that much of these results are predicated on the actual mistake itself meaning that the level of severity does in fact play a role.

Admitting that you made the wrong choice when you hired someone or that you picked a bad stock is different than admitting you outright stole from someone. Each will have a different set of consequences.

That being said, never assume that admitting mistakes will negatively affect you ability to influence.

In most cases, it can actually help.

Persuasion Key Number One: Begin With The End In Mind

One of the greatest books I ever read in my life is called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.  In his book, Stephen mentions habit number two, which is “Begin with the end in mind.”  This is one of the most powerful habits that anyone could ever have, because it involves visualization.  This step is extremely powerful for a number of reasons.

First, the mind cannot distinguish the difference between a dream and reality.  This is the reason why oftentimes when we dream, we wake up and feel like the dream is still happening.  Experience in life makes us better at certain things, because it equips us with knowledge and it helps build confidence and experience.  The mind can't really distinguish the difference between events that actually take place in your life versus events that are imagined.

One of the best ways to gain the experience of a real-life situation is by imagining it in your mind.  So if you can effectively visualize yourself becoming an expert at persuasion, and more specifically, clearly envision yourself persuading the person that you're about to begin speaking to, the odds are that you will become that much more effective.

Beginning with the end in mind also allows you to clearly see every step that's about to take place.  Oftentimes when we start from the beginning with no picture of what the end will look like, we can often be going through a sequence of steps that can change direction at various different times, because we think that making that change in direction will help us.  However, in reality, what this does sometimes is take us off the path to where we wind up in a completely different destination than where we started.

This is why it's extremely important to begin with the end in mind.  If you can begin with the end in mind, than you already know where your destination is.  Then it's just a matter of figuring out the steps that you need to take prior to getting there that lead up to where you are right now.  This leaves no room for straying off your path and winding up in unknown territory.

Persuasion begins in the mind.  The only way to better the chances of you getting what you want is to be clear about it. Once you are clear, everything else begins to fall into place.

I ask people all the time about what they want out of life and in most cases, the answers are so ambiguous. "I want more money, a better career, a perfect soul mate, etc."

While these desires are certainly nice and much better than wanting to get high and drunk all day, they are not clearly defined. When you are not clear about the specific outcome that you want (in any given situation) it is very unlikely that you will experience that outcome.

This is especially true of the persuasion process. If you want someone to do something specific, be clear about it and then begin to put a plan in place to make it happen.

As the old saying goes "ask and you shall receive". Believe it or not, you have mental faculties way beyond what you can even imagine. Even if the outcome seems impossible at first, it doesn't matter. Think of the outcome that you desire and keep asking yourself how it can be achieved. Eventually, the mind will start providing you with answers.

At first, those answers may be ridiculous or way off the mark but you have at least begun the process of getting closer to answers you want.

Think of whatever it is that you want from your target and visualize what the process of them complying with you looks like. Then, begin to envision every event that would have to take place prior for that to happen.

How To Get Moving Toward Your Goals

Many people believe knowledge is power but in reality, knowledge by itself is useless. It only becomes powerful when it’s combined with inspired action.

The action part is usually the toughest part for most people. They have an idea, buy a product, do the research, study the material but never actually take action.

This is what we call procrastination. I know it’s an ugly word and no one likes to admit they procrastinate but EVERYONE does. It’s when you decide that you will no longer do it that the positive changes start happening.

The first step in making that decision become a reality is to figure out what your goals are based on what’s important to you and then committing them to writing.

The easiest way to do this is to think of where you want to be in one year from now.

Think about what you want your life to look like spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially and mentally in one year from now.

Be specific when answering all of these questions.

What kind of income do you want?

What kind of relationships do you want?

What level of health will you be at?

What will you be doing to earn the income you desire?

Now once you can answer those questions, write them down immediately! (Yes, you REALLY have to do this part).

One Harvard study revealed that 3 % of students earn incomes ten times those that make up the other 97%.

What’s the difference between the groups? The 3% who make more had clear, written goals.

So take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down these goals right now.

Now that you’ve got those goals written down, think carefully about why these goals are important to you and write that down next to each of them.

Here are the three questions you should answer about each?

What will I feel like once I achieve this goal?

How will my life better when I achieve this goal?

What do I have to lose if I do not achieve this goal?

Once you understand what this goal means to you and why it’s important, ask yourself why you haven’t achieved this goal in the past?

Perhaps you never thought about it or you did think about it but didn’t think you had the resources needed to achieve it?

Whatever your reason for not achieving the goal was, write it down.

Now ask yourself, what’s different this time? What will you do differently to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Take a look at the answers to your questions.

The purpose of this exercise was to consciously determine why these goals are important to you, what has stopped you in the past from achieving them and what you will do differently this time around.

Now that last part can get a little tricky because you might not necessarily know what’s going to be different this time around. You may know that this time you want to get things done but you probably don’t have specific plan on how you’re actually going to do it just yet.

That’s what the next step is all about. It’s time to figure out what you need to do to get where you want to be.

The easiest way to do this is to work backwards. In his bestselling book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen R. Covey talks about habit #2, “Begin With The End In Mind”.

Well, now that we know what the goal at the end of the year looks like and why it’s important, let’s break it down.

What needs to happen each month for your goal to come to fruition at the end of the year? Then think about what needs to happen each week and then each day.

Once you have an idea of what needs to happen each day, begin scheduling the time needed to get these things done.

If you’re not 100 percent sure of what needs to be done, it’s ok. Just write down what you think you would need to do. Use your imagination. It’s one of the greatest gifts you have.

Aside from that, think about who you need to get help from in order to achieve your goal.

This is where your ability to influence will begin to serve you.

If you don’t know exactly what you should be doing each day to get closer to your goals, think about a person that DOES have the answer and begin putting a plan together to get in contact with them.

When you do finally reach out to them, you must be ready to do it tactfully. Don’t just ask how they can help you. Instead, ask how you can help them or (even better) determine that first and outline a plan that shows them how you can help them.

People often forget that the reciprocity trigger only works when you do something for someone else FIRST.

Now once you’ve started thinking about what you need to do and who can help you, you will see that your planning process will become more effective.

This exercise serves 2 purposes: First, it begins the process of you using your mind to discover what opportunities and resources are available to you and secondly, it enables you to create structure in your plan.

Procrastination often comes from overwhelm. Overwhelm is the result of chaos. Structure prevents chaos.

Therefore, your ability to create structure will have a direct effect on your ability to stop procrastinating.

Perhaps without even realizing it, you have already begun to end your procrastination habits.

You have already begun taking action. The mere act of writing down your goals, why they are important to you and what you think you need to do to achieve them each year, month, week and day means that you are no longer thinking about taking action; you’re actually doing something that will move you closer.

They key now is to remain consistent and begin developing habits that support your success.

The dictionary defines a habit as an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. It’s not hard to see how much of an impact something like this can have on one’s life.

Now that type of impact is up to you. Positive habits will bring your life to levels you never thought possible while negative ones can destroy you.

Factors Of Failure

People always ask me "what's the secret to success?" The truth is there are many answers. It really depends on what you want out of life.

Sometimes knowing what NOT to do is just as important. Here are 18 factors that I have identified which will guarentee failure no matter how hard you try:

1. Inability To Control Emotions - Emotions are a part of human existence. All throughout our lives, we will experience emotions that will ultimately make the experience of life interesting. 

When we lose control of certain emotions however, that’s when the problems begin. 

Lack of control over one’s emotions can cause you to make the wrong decisions and isolate yourself from the right people. Both of which can negatively impact any area of your life. 

2. Negative Programming - This occurs when a person’s mind is programmed for failure.  Have you ever heard a person say “if I won the lottery, I would do this”? Without realizing it, these people are programmed for failure. 

Reason being is they obviously want money and they have dreams but they have programmed themselves to believe that the only way for them to obtain the money they need to make those dreams come true is by an extreme stroke of luck like winning the lottery. 

Basically, they relinquish any thought of being capable to have an abundant life by simply putting their mind to it and getting it done. To them, luck is the deciding factor.

Negative programming can manifest itself in many different ways including the way you speak about your life, what you feel is realistic for you to have, what you feel you are capable of or what you deserve. 

Because I’m not an expert in psychology, I can’t say why people become negatively programmed but regardless of what you may think it’s a decision that a person makes. 

Even people who grow up in households with parents that are completely unfit to raise children who have been “doomed from the start” so to speak still choose to be negatively programmed by not taking the action to correct it. 

Your reality is nothing more than your perceived reality. Meaning whatever you choose to believe will become your reality. 

If you have been programmed to fail, you will always fail. Even in situations where you achieve success, you ultimately sabotage that success because failure is what you attract by being negatively programmed. 

3. Bad Timing - Perhaps the most crucial factor in terms of how your actions will play out, timing is indeed everything. 

Good timing is the stuff miracles are made of and bad timing can make all of your hard work, efforts and hope seem like a waste of time. 

I have seen people make inordinate amounts of money because they capitalized on an opportunity at the right time and I have seen relationships between people who love each other deeply shatter and never materialize because the timing wasn’t right. 

Since timing is in many cases, something we cannot control, the only thing you must remember is that things will always balance out.   

Timing will not always be bad or good. It will be a little of both. 

4. Not Taking Accountability - Not taking one-hundred percent accountability for where your life is right now suggests that you lack control over your life. When you send a message to the subconscious like this, the Universe will answer accordingly and ensure that you will never gain control. 

You can choose to have a mind set of control or a mind set of being controlled. Each one will bring forth an extremely different set of results. 

Every time you blame a person, place or thing for your experience, you place yourself in the mind set of being controlled and therefore you will continue to be controlled. 

5. Ineffective Planning - It seems pretty obvious that to achieve a result, you need to plan. The problem is most people have no idea what real planning actually consists of. 

It consists of beginning with the end in mind, having a clear vision of what the desired result looks like and a realistic action plan to achieve that result. 

Writing down your plan is the first step because it brings it from an idea in your mind to something tangible that can take on a life of its own. 

If it’s not written, it’s not real.  

6. Inability To Infleunce Others - You will never achieve anything on your own. No one ever has. To truly succeed you will need the help of others in some way. Whether it is convincing them to invest their time, money, resources or feelings, you will need to persuade them on some level. 

When you can effectively influence others, your life experiences will be magnified on spiritual, emotional, physical, mental and financial levels. 

7. Misinterpretation of Risk - Risk is part of the game. If there was no downside, there would be no balance. You can only gain a reward if there is a chance of consequence. Often times, people don’t understand that and either never take action or act without really understanding what’s at stake for them to lose. 

Risk must be assed; not turned a “blind eye” to. 

8. Failing To Identify Opportunities - A great man once said, success is all about identifying opportunities. You could have all the talent, skill, intellect, passion, desire and drive in the world but if you cannot identify opportunities and capitalize off of them, you will either never achieve success or it will take you an extremely long time to do so. 

The world is filled with opportunities; the only difference between those who are successful from those who are not is that successful people identify them first. 

9. Lack of Awareness - Lack of awareness prevents you from many things with the 2 most important being inability to identify opportunities and not understanding what your strengths and weakness are. 

Without complete awareness of who you are and who those around you are, you’re basically living in the dark and not in reality. 

10. Lack of A Clear Concise Vision - All too many times, people tell you what they want but in reality they have no vision. They say things like they want true love or more money but they either aren’t 100 percent clear on what they want or they do not have a clear vision of the both the outcome and what it would take to get there. 

In the first case, the person is doomed altogether because their wants or desires are vague. You cannot attract something unless you’re clear about it.

In the second case, the vision is not real. You can imagine yourself making $1,000 per hour every of the day of the week all you want but if part of that vision does not include what you will do to get it, it’s nothing more than a fantasy. 

11. Inability To Deal With Others - As stated earlier, to achieve anything great in life, you will need the help of others. That help is not only essential but it will magnify your results tremendously. The better you are at dealing with others, the more your results will be magnified. 

This not only includes the ability to influence and persuade but dealing with others includes avoiding conflict and picking and choosing your battles. If you are combative 100 percent of the time, people will NEVER take you seriously when you need to stand firm on an issue. 

They will just assume you are being combative as usual.

 It also doesn’t help your attractiveness nor have people desire you. 

12. Negative Habits - Habits by definition are acquired behavior patterns that are followed so regularly that they become almost involuntary. It doesn’t take a genius to see the impact that something like this will have on one’s life.

13. Failure To Use Leverage - Leverage makes things easier. Why work hard when you can work smart? 

All too many times people follow a plan simply because others tell them it’s the right way to do things. The only thing that matters is the RESULT. 

If the result can be achieved faster by doing things a little differently than the traditional method, by all means capitalize off of that information. 

14. Inability To Embrace And Adapt To Change - This inability means one cannot grow. If you are not growing you are dying.

Change is a part of life that cannot be avoided. The great thing about change is that it helps you step out of your comfort zone which is crucial to risk taking. 

15. Surrounding Yourself With Negative Energy - Whatever you surround yourself with, you will eventually become. The mind is a powerful thing but it is also extremely susceptible to pollution or contamination from other people. 

Negative energy can easily be transmitted from one person to another as can positive energy. 

Why choose one that can destroy when you can choose one that will strengthen? 

16. Failure To Make And Keep Commitments - Commitments are extremely important and keeping them requires discipline. Discipline - in many cases - is what differentiates someone who succeeds from someone who fails. 

The reason why is simple. All results come from consistent action and discipline is defined as doing the things that HAVE to do that you don’t want to do.

When you’re constantly doing the rights things, your chances of success become greater.  Lack of discipline leads to laziness and inaction; both of which will lead you to failure. 

Additionally, people who cannot keep their commitments are frowned upon by others. 

17. Poor Health - Without good health, nothing else is possible. Why work to create something that you will not live long enough to enjoy? 

It may sound cliché but exercising and the right food intake will not only add years onto your life, the will strengthen your mental abilities causing you to make better decisions. 

18. Failure to Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone - Achieving success is going to involve many things that aren’t going to feel comfortable. In fact, many of them may even be downright terrifying. But that’s what taking it to the next level is all about.

If you remain in a place of comfort at all times, you cannot avoid missing out on some of the wonderful that life has to offer. 

You need to get used to taking chances and looking at things from a different perspective.

Overcoming Procrastination

Today I want you to think about all of your dreams. Think about everything you want out of life. Think about every goal that you want to achieve.

Now think about the progress you are making in achieving each goal. If you are not where you should be or want to be, ask yourself what is holding you back. 

Chances are you will come up with a hundred different reasons. And many of them – in your mind – will seem justified. In reality however, you’re probably suffering from something called procrastination.

I know, it’s an ugly word. And nobody likes to admit that they procrastinate. But the truth is, most people do and the sooner you realize and accept it, the better. 

When it comes to self improvement, there is never one magical thing that works for everyone. It really all depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are. 

For some people, investing time learning about how to properly set goals is most beneficial. Whereas for others, learning how to better manage time is the best course for action.

One thing is for sure though; there is one thing that can completely halt any chance you have at success. And that one thing is procrastination. 

You see, regardless of what course of action you take to improve yourself and achieve success, if you never actually take action, nothing will happen. It sounds pretty simple yet this is a big problem for many people. 

Some people suffer from something called analysis paralysis where they spends their entire lives analyzing their next move or decision but never actually “do” anything. 

Others suffer from a fear of failure or even success. 

Some people suffer from the dream syndrome where they constantly educate themselves and think that every resource they invest their time and money into will fulfill their dreams. They just keep buying resources because that keeps the dream alive but again, they never actually take action. 

Whatever your reason may be for not taking action, the bottom line is your chances of success are already shattered if you do not change. 

Now no one says change is easy. In fact, sometimes change involves a complete paradigm shift. In other words, you must completely alter the way you see the world. 

For example, your reason for not taking the action to achieve a certain goal may be that it involves time that you simply do not have. Your schedule will not allow you to invest time in anything other than all of the things you are currently involved in…or so you may think. 

You see, we as humans make time for the things which we view as valuable. The level of value attached each activity determines how much time we can dedicate toward that activity. 

When it comes to exercise – which is an invaluable activity – because it brings forth so many benefits physically and emotionally, the biggest reason people have for not working out is not having the time. They say things like “I work 12 hours a day and have an hour and half commute each way to work”.  “There is no way I could get to a gym 3 times per week for an hour each time.”

Ask these same people if they would come to the gym 3 times per week for 1 hour if they were given $500 dollars every time they came and see how fast they would find the time to come. 

It may seem a little funny but what you have is a person who places a higher value on money than they do on their health. For that reason, they will find the time to invest in getting the money. 

When your health is good, it is easy to place a higher value on money. But ask any person on their death bed – who has lost heir health – if any amount of money could compensate for what they are going through. 

Back to my point; you may have countless reasons why you are not taking action. What it really boils down to is that taking action toward achieving a goal just doesn’t have a high enough value attached to it yet; because if it did, you would be getting busy. 

So once again, I want to think about all of your dreams and everything you want out of life. Think about every goal that you want to achieve and think about the progress you are making in achieving each goal.

If you're not making progress, think about what you have to lose. Statistics show that pain is a greater motivator than pleasure; meaning that people generally do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure.

I guess that's becuase pleasure attainment can be percieved as a luxury and pain avoidance can be viewed as a necessity.

The problem is that often times painful consequences don't come on slowly, they usually just appear out of nowhere in your face leaving you in a state of emergency. Things like disease, job loss, relationship failure, etc. may take time to build up but once they arrive, it usually catches you off guard.

And if you're not prepared, the damage can be immense.

So how do you prepare?

You prepare by ending procrastination and taking action toward achieving financial freedom, investing in a relatiionship (or moving away from a toxic one), changing your bad eating habits or whatever else kind of action will eventually payoff and prevent pain from coming.

Remember, pain isn't always easy to see coming but one it arrives, there's no denying it.

Take action toward your goals TODAY.

What It Really Takes To Build Wealth

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wondered how people built wealth.

When I was 22 years old, someone gave me a copy of Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill and it changed my life just as it has for many others.

After reading that masterpiece, I read countless others. But then I decided to take what I read and cross reference it with what I observed in REAL life.

Here are my findings. This will invlove a short (but very true) story about 2 friends of mine and how the path that one took led him to finanical freedeom in only 6 years.

By the way, his advice lead me to finiancial freedeom as well.

Here it is.

In high school, two of my best friends were John and Bill.

John was your typical grade A student. He worked hard, studied, got great grades and never missed a day of school. He was a teacher’s ideal pupil.

Bill on the other hand, hated anything even related to school, work or authority. Sometimes, he would even pay other students lunch money to do his homework.

He was always playing hookie and when he did come to school, he was never on time.

In fact, if I remember correctly in his last year of high school, he may have even taken more days off then he showed up for.

The teachers in school constantly told Bill that he would never amount to anything because he would never get into a good college and therefore, would never get a good job and wind up broke.

After high school, John spent almost his entire adult life continuing his education.

After attending a trade school to learn a skill, he went to a business school to get an Associates Degree, then a Bachelor’s and then his Master’s because his trade school education just wasn't enough.

John spent most of his time working on projects and studying for exams which he always did well on.

Bill took a bit of a different path. He refused to go to college and got a job making $7.50 per hour (plus tips) delivering pizzas while he began figuring out what he was going to do with his life.

Even as a delivery boy, Bill was terrible. He was always late and called out sick almost all the time. He was a lousy employee.

He realized that working for someone else just wasn’t for him and he started a small drop shipping website.

Bill dreaded any kind of mundane or tedious work so he saved whatever money he made from delivering pizzas and used it to outsource the work he didn’t enjoy doing.

In the same 6 years that John spent getting an education so he could get a job; Bill simply hired more and more people to help run his website.

When all was said and done, John and Bill found themselves in 2 completely different places.

John began to realize that he couldn’t even get an interview with his education as all the big companies were looking for people with experience AND education. 

And since he could never get the right kind of job to get the experience because he didn’t have the education, he had to start out at the bottom.

He basically took a job making $40k per year even though he had the credentials for a job making close to $80k.

It didn’t matter. John had to pay his dues and work his way up to hopefully get the $80k he felt he deserved.

Bill on the other hand now had a multi-million dollar company that he ran from his living room table on his laptop computer.

The hardest part of his day was keeping track of everyone he had to pay; so eventually he just hired someone to do that as well.

Now I don’t know about you but as I observed these events taking place, I thought to myself “Doesn’t what’s happened here contradict everything I’ve ever been taught about building wealth?”

I was told things like “You have to work hard, be persistent, never give up, have self discipline, etc.” yet Bill had none of those things and wound up finincially free while John – who had all those attributes and more – was struggling to make in a year what Bill made in one month.

It was at that moment that I knew there was more to the story of building wealth.

And here it is...

Everyone who has learned and practiced what I'm about to tell you has not only created a financial life for themselves that most others dream of but they continue to attract more and more money even if they mess everything else in their life up.

Attaining wealth has nothing to do with what you do physically if you are not equipped mentally.

While you have to take action in order to achieve results, the action by itself will not determine your results. 

It is your state of mind that ultimately drives you to become wealthy. The only time where your actions alone get you more money is when you physically take it by force from someone else (and my guess is you want to become wealthy the right way; not the illegal way). 

Other than that, your mind will ultimately attract wealth to you.

That’s exactly what happened with Bill. Bill’s state of mind was to never work for someone else and never be controlled. And even though in most people’s eyes, he was lazy and always tried to take short-cuts, it didn’t matter. 

When your state of mind is focused on one specific desire, you will always attract results that support that desire. 

Since Bill’s ultimate desire was to be free from control, he attracted the ideas, opportunities and resources that enabled him to become free.

In fact, he didn’t even have a choice. His desire was so strong that he simply couldn’t stop freedom from entering his life even if he tried. 

The Universe was equipping him with what he needed to become truly free from the control of others. 

And in a world where monetary exchange is the main method by which people achieve physical freedom, he had no choice but to become wealthy because wealth = freedom.

This story tells us that whatever your focus your energy and desire on will eventually become your reality.

If you really want to become wealthy, think about how you do it constantly. Eventually you will get the answers you need.

It all begins with your mind set. This is the reason why most poor people who win the lottery wind up broke again while most self made millionaries can lose everything and regain it all.