Tag Archive | "success"

6 Skills of Self-Made Millionaires That You Should Be Using, Too

Heed the advice of those who have reaped success. Here are six skills used by self-made millionaires that you should be using and building upon each day, reports Entrepreneur

1. Be able to identify fruitful opportunities.

Carlos Slim Helu, Mexican business magnate and philanthropist, said, “When there is a crisis, that’s when some are interested in getting out, and that’s when we are interested in getting in.”

Learn to identify open doors when they appear, then consider the risks and weigh them against potential benefits. An opportunity can be a great one regardless of whether no one or everyone is rushing to grab it — if no one is, that’s your cue to move forward; if everyone is, that’s your chance to prove you’re better than the rest.

2. Focus on actions over words.

“Actions speak louder than words,” supposedly, and the late Andrew Carnegie agreed. As his career grew, he said, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

Understand that a shining business plan or investment presentation means little when you don’t demonstrate the ability to carry out your ideas well. Customers and clients want to see flawless application of your company’s core values and mission statement. Keep this formula in mind when seeking out employees, as well. A perfect resume doesn’t necessarily constitute a perfect employee, if that person can’t properly act on his qualifications and intentions.

3. Maintain a clear vision of success.

“Vision is perhaps our greatest strength… it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.”

Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-Shing, the richest person in all of Asia, believes in vision as a motivational tool for success. What does success look like to you? If your answer is just “a lot of money,” this may not be the article for you.

Many people envision success as finally seeing their product on store shelves, making up for initial overhead costs, gaining a certain following or changing the community in which they live. In order to stay on track toward fulfilling your goals, it’s important to maintain a clear vision of what that goal is — and what things will look like once it’s achieved.

4. Never stop learning.

Entrepreneurs who don’t acknowledge the need to constantly learn new things are denying themselves and their businesses the chance to grow. Even once you achieve some degree of success, understand that those around you (even those who are less successful) know something you don’t.

Listen to what others have to say about their experiences. Learn from their achievements and their mistakes. If you don’t want to base your development on other people, try taking a step back and exploring the areas of entrepreneurship you can still improve upon. Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, says “that’s the single best piece of advice — constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

5. Get the job done.

This one sounds simple, but you’re likely procrastinating without even knowing it. Those who spend an immense amount of time marketing a business before there’s even a business to advertise are putting off actually building a brand. The same goes for those who spend time attempting to perform Web or graphic design themselves, obsessively organize finances and legal paperwork, and so on.

Even as an entrepreneur, you can’t wear every hat, and it’s often smart to assign tasks that aren’t immediately related to building your business to someone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a small team of employees or some remote freelancers if it means you’ll be able to turn your company into everything you dreamed.

“Getting the job done has been the basis for the success my company has achieved,” said Michael Bloomberg, entrepreneur, investor and former mayor of New York City.

6. Only hire rock stars.

You can’t exemplify greatness if the people who make up your company aren’t great, too. My brother Matthew and I have always made a point of carefully selecting those we hire on to our teams, even if it takes a little extra time. We like people with a heavy determination to GSD (Get Stuff Done).

As we have such grand expectations for our employees, we always make sure to treat them as more than just that. Matthew and I strive to take care of them as we would with family. Matthew and I also allow our employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and provide bonuses from time to time to thank them for their trustworthiness and flexible capability. The extra appreciation certainly goes a long way in enhancing work ethic and promoting remote teamwork.

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10 Behaviors of Genuinely Successful People

We live in a strange time. People can call themselves anything they want and get away with it, reports Entrepreneur. If you believe what they write about themselves, pretty much everyone’s a CEO, an entrepreneur, a leader, a startup founder, an award-winning keynote speaker, a best-selling author, or a self-made millionaire.

That’s how it seems, anyway. In reality, the only people these phonies fool are fools. Granted, there must be a lot of fools out there, but you don’t have to be one of them.

Look, the world is full of successful people. As a veteran of the high-tech industry, I live and work in Silicon Valley. You can’t walk down University Avenue in Palo Alto without bumping into at least four or five CEOs and VCs – not the fake kind, but the real deal. Unfortunately, you’d never know it. They’re not that easy to recognize.

The question is, how can you tell the difference between truly accomplished executives and business leaders who have something to offer you and the “fake it ‘til you make it” shysters who spew all sorts of BS all over the blogosphere, social media, and self-help business books? Simple. By their behavior. This is how real successful people behave.

They run real companies.

They have real careers. They run real companies with real products and customers. They have real experience managing businesses and leading organizations that you’ve probably heard of. If all their bio talks about are books, seminars, and speeches, they’re not the real deal.

They love their work.

If you ask Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, or Satya Nadella what they do for a living, all you’ll hear about is Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. They’re passionate about their work and proud of their company’s products and achievements. Success may come with the territory, but it’s not what drives them.

They do things their own way.

The way they lead and the culture they build is never copied and pasted from somewhere else. Sure, they have mentors and sometimes stand on the shoulders of giants, but they still do things their own way, follow their own instincts, and have little patience for the status quo.

They know what they don’t know.

The vast majority of accomplished people possess humility. The ones who don’t usually pay for their hubris, sooner or later. That’s not to say that CEOs don’t have strong egos, but when you’re smart and experienced, you simply know that you don’t have all the answers … and that anyone who acts like he does is full of it.

They have common sense.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If it sounds utopian, it isn’t real. If it sounds like wishful thinking, it’s nothing but fluff. If it’s a quick fix, a magic bullet, a miracle cure, or some personal habit, it’s just a foolish fad. Successful people are savvy. They think for themselves. They have common sense. And they can smell BS a mile away.

They’re never satisfied with their own accomplishments.

Great CEOs and VCs are usually perfectionists who are never satisfied with their own achievements. They always want to do better – to build the next product customers love or fund the next great startup. They know that business success is about growth; it’s a marathon without a finish line.

They’re not super-visible.

Of course there are successful people who are highly visible – Mark Cuban and Donald Trump come to mind – but they’re rare. Most are not the slightest bit interested in being famous. If fame and fortune is what drives you, I’m afraid you’re going to be gravely disappointed with the outcome.

They’re not trying to sell you anything.

Real executives and business leaders may write a book or a blog, and after they retire they may give a speech or two, but in general, they made their living running and growing their companies and selling products, not getting you to break out your wallet to hear their pearls of wisdom.

They don’t self-promote.

They don’t have to. Their careers, their accomplishments, the success of their companies speak for themselves. You’ll never hear them breath a word about how much money they have or make. They tend to be fairly modest. There are some flashy exceptions but they’re few and far between.

They don’t preach.

They’re generally not inspirational or motivational – unless, of course, you’re one of their employees or customers. They don’t think they possess the key to success, happiness, productivity, or any of that nonsense. They may offer lessons learned from real world experience, but they don’t do shtick. If it sounds gimmicky, then it is.

Look at it this way. How well you do in life is based entirely on the work you do, the decisions you make, and the actions you take. When all is said and done, you want to look back and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. You want to feel good about the life you led and the impact you had on others. And you want to know you lived your own life on your own terms.

None of that will ever come to pass if you’re a fool who follows phonies.

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Build Your Business Profile On LinkedIn

Most people think of LinkedIn as an online resume, but it is also a great tool for small business owners. With up to 85 per cent of business conducted via referral (word of mouth), now is the time to build your business profile on LinkedIn, reports YAHOO News.

There are some time honoured traditions in business – and one of the most well-known is that the best source of business is word-of-mouth (or referral).

So if you have asked a friend or professional adviser for the details of someone in business, I can almost guarantee that the next thing you will do is Google them! If you Google their name, their LinkedIn Profile (if they have one), is likely to come up on the first page of Google Search Results.

If they have also created a LinkedIn Company Profile, there is a good chance that this will also appear on the first page of Google Search Results, provided they have an active LinkedIn Company Profile. Even if they don’t have a LinkedIn Company Profile on LinkedIn, their Personal LinkedIn Profile is still very likely to come up on the first page of Google Search Results.

So it’s extremely worthwhile to spend a bit of time refreshing your business details on LinkedIn. Here are seven tips to do it.

1. Add your Business Website details to your LinkedIn Personal Profile

You can add your business website in your Personal Profile ‘Contact Info’ section, but when you add your website, don’t choose the Option ‘Company Website,’ choose the Option ‘Other.’ This way you can write the name of your website in the box and then add your link in as well (great backlink).

In your current job (the Experience Section), if you have already added your business as a ‘Company’ on LinkedIn, when you start typing the name of your Company Name, it should appear as a choice in the drop down box – so make sure you choose it!

In the Description box, I encourage you to provide a brief description of your business, then describe your tasks and achievements and include your business website link as http://xyzbusiness.com. Although this box is only ‘plain text’ on a computer and the link is not clickable, this text will convert to a link on a mobile device and enable people to visit your business website immediately.

I also recommend that you add your text business link in your ‘Summary’ and ‘Advice for Contacting’ sections. If your main goal is to build the brand of your business, listing it multiple times throughout your LinkedIn Personal Profile will help.

2. Create your LinkedIn Company Profile

You may already have a LinkedIn Company Profile, but LinkedIn often changes the range of information you can include on your Company Profile. I recommend that you:

  • supply very good quality logos in the dimensions requested (which are also consistent with the logos that appear on your business website and other social media)
  • provide an excellent quality Company Description (up to 2,000 characters) that includes your key message, keywords and a call to action and contact details
  • include the various specialties you have
  • fill in all of the other requested information (Founded, Operating Status, Industry etc)

Remember that complete Company Profiles have a much better chance of appearing in search results.

3. Connect your LinkedIn Company Profile to your other online content

Every business needs to have a digital footprint that they eventually build into a digital asset that constantly generates business opportunities. If you have gone through the process of creating a LinkedIn Company Page, make an effort to link to it on your other online content including:

  •  your business website (either on your About Us or Contact Us page)
  • your Google+ Local Business Page (so that you can tell Google where to find your business online)
  • your Google+ Personal Profile (so that you can tell Google to present your LinkedIn Company Profile in Google Search Results for your name as content on LinkedIn often performs better than your own website)
  • encouraging your business clients, suppliers, stakeholders etc to Follow your LinkedIn Company Profile (so that your Company Updates appear in their newsfeed) as well as connect to you personally (particularly if you are the business owner)

4. Decide on your Posting Schedule for your Company Profile

Many business owners are disappointed that their LinkedIn Company Profile doesn’t always generate as much interest (via an Update) as their Personal Profile does.

For example, most small business owners have a lot more Connections associated with their Personal Profile and a lot less Followers of their Company Profile so when they send out a personal Update, it goes to a lot more people via a Personal Update than it would if it was sent out as a Company Update.

However, it is extremely important to still post Updates via your Company Profile. Anyone who is conducting thorough due diligence of your business will check you out personally and they will also visit your company profile on LinkedIn.

If you have three followers but 30 Updates on your LinkedIn Company Profile, it is a lot better than three followers and no updates.

Although you may be in business on your own right now, if or when you sell your business, you can include the number of Followers you have on the Company Profile as part of the Asset of your business – and transfer this following to the new owner – so ultimately, the more Followers your Company Profile has on LinkedIn, the better. So remember to record the number of Followers you have on a regular basis (this number is only available as a real time statistic).

LinkedIn encourages you to post an Update via your Company Profile every day. I do not recommend this level of frequency in Australia. In my view, it is better to post good quality content less often than poor quality content regularly.

Always provide content that is of information or benefit to your target audience – this may include either new original content (70 per cent), shared content from somewhere reputable (20 per cent) and if you absolutely must, sales content (10 per cent). A minimum schedule for Updates would be once a month.

5. Consider creating Showcase Pages

Once you are on your LinkedIn Company Page, there is a blue box on the top right hand side of your screen that has a drop down menu and it allows you to create a Showcase Page.

This will create a live page on LinkedIn that is highly optimised – whatever you call the page becomes your URL e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/company/description-appears-here – so if you are trying to optimise individual products or services online, this feature could be useful.

That said, it does mean that you then have to go through the process of sharing Updates here and maintaining this profile as well, so it is not always my first recommendation due to the extra time required.

6. Choose your overall LinkedIn Strategy

Web developers, marketers and advisers often suggest that as a business owner, you need to constantly create content online to build your brand, reputation and eventually leads. However, there is a lot to be said for considering some of the other business profile building options on LinkedIn like:

  • liking, commenting or sharing other people’s great content (that you have fully proof read)
  • tagging your Connections or saving Followers to your Contacts and giving them a Tag and setting a reminder to follow up with them at some later point
  • making sure you include images and/or videos in your Updates to increase your views and conversions
  • saying thank you on a regular basis (one of the most under-utilised free business tools you can use at any time)

7. Review and reflect on your performance

I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel, so check out what your competitors or inspirers are doing.

Monitor the analytics from your Company Updates and see what performs well. You may like to consider paying for Sponsored Updates (but I wouldn’t do this until you had posted at least 50 or more Updates and had some analytics to decide what would be worth sponsoring).

Remember that LinkedIn is an amazing research tool and you can also test and try a few things to see what works in your industry and for your clients.

However, I will warn you against non-personalised script style emails or bulk messaging – these are probably the least effective ways to build your business on LinkedIn – and you may be penalised by LinkedIn or reported as a spammer. Remember that givers gain!

Completing your profiles adequately, participating respectfully and constantly providing value to your target audience will help you build your business profile on LinkedIn.

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How To Be A Strong Business Competitor In Your 20s

As a business professional in my 20s, I faced many challenges. Some were real. Some were imagined. But, there was one inescapable truth through which others viewed, and often judged, me: “You’re young. What do you really know?” Having recently escaped my 20s, I can look back with clarity of hindsight and see how exciting, yet trying, that decade can be, reports Forbes.

Exciting because I was bold and adventurous. Trying because I struggled to figure out how I fit into a fast-moving world. I tried new things, knowing that if I failed, it wasn’t the end of the world. I had a lot of life left to find something that would work. I dove head-first into new opportunities, determined to “take on hell with a squirt gun,” inspired by numerous examples of people in their 20s accomplishing greatness.

As Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Every day we can and should learn something. As I look back, I learned many lessons, mostly the hard way, on my journey as a 20-something in business:

1. Be conservative

I enjoy changing haircuts and clothing styles often to be cutting edge, but I learned that people judged me by how I looked. So, I decided that I would not let my clothing be out of step with the norm in my industry. If someone notices what you are wearing (for good or bad), they will automatically attribute it to your youth. “Fitting-in” in this instance is a good thing because it allows people to focus on you as a professional and not on you as a young person or fashion victim. It’s better to play it safe; dress and act conservatively for the sake of “winning the game.”

2. Be thorough

What I lacked in experience I made up for in research and study. Like me, you grew up with the Internet, so use it. Do your homework—a lot of it. At a young age, mental absorption capabilities and brain elasticity are very strong, letting you to retain information easier than your older colleagues.

Within your industry, study everything you can get your hands on. Read as many books (or listen to audiobooks) as are available. Set a Google Alert and read news on your topic. Don’t let anything happen in your industry without knowing about it. It won’t take long before you are on the cutting edge with the trends in your field.

As I reached out for advice from older colleagues in my industry, I sadly and repeatedly found that burnout and previous success (or lack thereof) caused the vast majority of them be jaded, complacent, comfortable, uninterested and often ignorant of technological or methodological advancements. I developed an edge over them with my extensive research and study.

3. Be sure

I had strong opinions, but because I was young, most people were unlikely to give credence to what I said until I was able to cite reputable sources supporting my position. Therefore, use the information you gather to validate your statements when you can. Your aptitude for accuracy will be a breath of fresh air that others will grow to rely on.

4. Be confident

You’re now conservative in your appearance, thorough in your studies, and sure in your statements. Add confidence to the mix. I’ve found that people often doubt their own positions and when pressed will give in to the view of someone with more confidence.

Since you have compiled and absorbed the latest and greatest information in your industry, speak with the confidence that comes not only from your own informed mind but also with the added authority that comes from those you study and from whom you learn. If you sound weak, you will not inspire confidence in others.

5. Be humble

Contrary to popular belief, humility is not thinking less of yourself, or denying your gifts or abilities. It is thinking about yourself less and about others more. This mindset is exemplified in a service-based attitude which frees you to focus on being a person of value who contributes to the well-being of others through your work. I’ve found that when I started to focus on adding value to other people, I became valuable to them, thus increasing my value at large.

When you’re humble you realize that you have a right to disagree with other people, but never the right to disrespect them.

6. Be consistent

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in awhile that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” — Tony Robbins

Because my attention span is short, I am naturally distracted by “bright and shiny things.” WARNING: This does lead to the road of consistency. In the past, it has caused me to pivot at the drop of a hat to something new if I caught a whiff of success in a different method or organization. Big mistake. Recognizing that this is part of my nature has helped me develop a series of internal “checks and balances” that helped me manage this and in doing so, have improved my ability to act with consistency.

Have patience and remain steadfast in your work and research, so as to give yourself a fighting chance so that you do not come across as impulsive to those around you, which will be interpreted as a weakness. Or worse.

Be consistent or else you’ll be seen as untrustworthy. Remember, “Trust is built with consistency.” — Lincoln Chafee

7. Be kind

The only thing worse than a “know-it-all” is a young know-it-all. Remember that people already have prejudices about you because you’re young. Don’t let your knowledge become annoying because you’re cocky. There is a big difference between confidence and cockiness that lies in the delivery of what you say. My mom always said, “It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.” Additionally, let your manner of speech be clean so as not to unnecessarily offend anyone.

Be considerate and remember that while you are here to do a job, so is everyone else. And, for the most part, everyone is trying their best. Be respectful of that.

Go out of your way to be nice. Care about others. Help them. When we treat others the way we would like them to treat us, good things happen.

Being intelligent and helpful in your 20s paves the way for a career and life filled with connections and accomplishments that will carry you through to the very end, as long as you continue to learn and grow.

When you’re conservative, thorough, sure, confident, humble, consistent and kind, you will receive attention and naturally endear yourself to people. They will see you as a powerful young professional, full of potential.

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11 Signs You Have The Grit You Need To Succeed

There are a ton of qualities that can help you succeed, and the more carefully a quality has been studied, the more you know it’s worth your time and energy.

Angela Lee Duckworth was teaching seventh grade when she noticed that the material wasn’t too advanced for any of her students. They all had the ability to grasp the material if they put in the time and effort. Her highest performing students weren’t those who had the most natural talent; they were the students who had that extra something that motivated them to work harder than everyone else.

Angela grew fascinated by this “extra something” in her students and, since she had a fair amount of it herself, she quit her teaching job so that she could study the concept while obtaining a graduate degree in psychology at UPenn.

Her study, which is ongoing, has already yielded some interesting findings. She’s analyzed a bevy of people to whom success is important: students, military personnel, salespeople, and spelling bee contestants, to name a few. Over time, she has come to the conclusion that the majority of successful people all share one critical thing—grit.

Grit is that “extra something” that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.

Developing grit is all about habitually doing the things that no one else is willing to do. There are quite a few signs that you have grit, and if you aren’t doing the following on a regular basis, you should be.

1. You have to make mistakes, look like an idiot, and try again, without even flinching. In a recent study at the College of William and Mary, they interviewed over 800 entrepreneurs and found that the most successful among them tend to have two critical things in common: They’re terrible at imagining failure and they tend not to care what other people think of them. In other words, the most successful entrepreneurs put no time or energy into stressing about their failures as they see failure as a small and necessary step in the process of reaching their goals.

2. You have to fight when you already feel defeated. A reporter once asked Muhammad Ali how many sit-ups he does every day. He responded, “I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, cause that’s when it really matters.” The same applies to success in the workplace. You always have two choices when things begin to get tough: you can either overcome an obstacle and grow in the process or let it beat you. Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you.

3. You have to make the calls you’re afraid to make. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do because we know they’re for the best in the long-run: fire someone, cold call a stranger, pull an all-nighter to get the company server back up, or scrap a project and start over. It’s easy to let the looming challenge paralyze you, but the most successful people know that in these moments, the best thing they can do is to get started right away. Every moment spent dreading the task subtracts time and energy from actually getting it done. People that learn to habitually make the tough calls stand out like flamingos in a flock of seagulls.

4. You have to keep your emotions in check. Negative emotions will challenge your grit every step of the way. While it’s impossible not to feel your emotions, it’s completely under your power to manage them effectively and to keep yourself in a position of control. When you let your emotions overtake your ability to think clearly, it’s easy to lose your resolve. A bad mood can make you lash out or stray from your chosen direction just as easily as a good mood can make you overconfident and impulsive.

5. You have to trust your gut. There’s a fine line between trusting your gut and being impulsive. Trusting your gut is a matter of looking at decisions from every possible angle, and when the facts don’t present a clear alternative, you believe in your ability to choose; you go with what looks and feels right.

6. You have to give more than you get in return. There’s a famous Stanford experiment where an administrator leaves a child in a room with a marshmallow for 15 minutes, telling the child that she’s welcome to eat the marshmallow, but if she can wait until the experimenter gets back without eating it, she will get a second marshmallow. The children that were able to wait until the experimenter returned experienced better outcomes in life, including higher SAT scores, greater career success, and even lower body mass indexes. The point being that delay of gratification and patience are essential to success. People with grit know that real results only materialize when you put in the time and forego instant gratification.

7. You have to lead when no one else follows. It’s easy to set a direction and believe in yourself when you have support, but the true test of grit is how well you maintain your resolve when nobody else believes in what you’re doing. People with grit believe in themselves no matter what and they stay the course until they win people over to their way of thinking.

8. You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that exceed expectations. Successful people find a way to say yes and still honor their existing commitments. They know the best way to stand out from everyone else is to outwork them. For this reason, they have a tendency to over deliver, even when they over promise.

9. You have to focus on the details even when it makes your mind numb. Nothing tests your grit like mind-numbing details, especially when you’re tired. The more people with grit are challenged, the more they dig in and welcome that challenge, and numbers and details are no exception to this.

10. You have to be kind to people who have been rude to you. When people treat you poorly, it’s tempting to stoop to their level and return the favor. People with grit don’t allow others to walk all over them, but that doesn’t mean they’re rude to them, either. Instead, they treat rude and cruel people with the same kindness they extend to anyone else, because they won’t allow another person’s negativity to bring them down.

11. You have to be accountable for your actions, no matter what. People are far more likely to remember how you dealt with a problem than they are how you created it in the first place. By holding yourself accountable, even when making excuses is an option, you show that you care about results more than your image or ego.

Bringing It All Together

Grit is as rare as it is important. The good news is any of us can get grittier with a little extra focus and effort.

This article was written by Travis Bradberry and published in Forbes.

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9 Habits Of Profoundly Influential People

Influential people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves, reports Forbes.

We see only their outside.

We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things.

And, yet, we’re missing the best part.

The confidence and wherewithal that make their influence possible are earned. It’s a labor of love that influential people pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of influential people remain constant. Their focused pursuit of excellence is driven by nine habits that you can emulate and absorb until your influence expands:

1. They think for themselves

Influential people aren’t buffeted by the latest trend or by public opinion. They form their opinions carefully, based on the facts. They’re more than willing to change their mind when the facts support it, but they aren’t influenced by what other people think, only by what theyknow.

2. They are graciously disruptive

Influential people are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re the ones who constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, and they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better.

3. They inspire conversation

When influential people speak, conversations spread like ripples in a pond. And those ripples are multidirectional; influencers inspireeveryone around them to explore new ideas and think differently about their work.

4. They leverage their networks

Influential people know how to make lasting connections. Not only do they know a lot of people, they get to know their connections’ connections. More importantly, they add value to everyone in their network. They share advice and know how, and they make connections between people who should get to know each other.

5. They focus only on what really matters

Influential people aren’t distracted by trivialities. They’re able to cut through the static and clutter, focus on what matters, and point it out to everyone else. They speak only when they have something important to say, and they never bore people with idle banter.

6. They welcome disagreement

Influential people do not react emotionally and defensively to dissenting opinions—they welcome them. They’re humble enough to know that they don’t know everything and that someone else might see something they missed. And if that person is right, they embrace the idea wholeheartedly because they care more about the end result than being right.

7. They are proactive

Influential people don’t wait for things like new ideas and new technologies to find them; they seek those things out. These early adopters always want to anticipate what’s next. They’re influential because they see what’s coming, and they see what’s coming because they intentionally look for it. Then they spread the word.

8. They respond rather than react

If someone criticizes an influential person for making a mistake, or if someone else makes a critical mistake, influential people don’t react immediately and emotionally. They wait. They think. And then they deliver an appropriate response. Influential people know how important relationships are, and they won’t let an emotional overreaction harm theirs. They also know that emotions are contagious, and overreacting has a negative influence on everyone around them.

9. They believe

Influential people always expect the best. They believe in their own power to achieve their dreams, and they believe others share that same power. They believe that nothing is out of reach, and that belief inspires those around them to stretch for their own goals. They firmly believe that one person can change the world.

Bringing It All Together

To increase your influence, you need to freely share your skills and insights, and you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.

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