Tag: Business

Perception in Business

 

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are”

​Anaïs Nin

 

Perception is a major and old area of study in the field of Psychology. Perception is how we organize, understand and interpret the world around us: what we see, what we hear, what we feel, what we smell, and what we taste. Dependent upon the business you are in, all five senses may play a role or perhaps just one or two. There is the belief that perception alters and may distort our vision of reality, perhaps masking the truth. If people come to a situation with a preconceived notion of what should be, they might tend to see what they expect, not what is there.  So, we tend to bring to a given situation an inherent bias that may color the reality. The point of note here is that in viewing a business situation you need to see what is there, not what you expect to be there based upon previous experience, training, or expectations. That may be difficult to do.

Without a doubt, perception is a complex phenomenon influenced by personal values and/or beliefs, experience, attitude, education and training.  An individual’s level of perception also may have some hereditary basis. Perception operates in all aspects of our life: our personal life; our social life; and, most certainly, our business life.


Specifically, what role is played by perception in business? If one accepts and understands that developing a vision, or predicting where a market will develop, or identifying major trends that impact the basic fabric of society, or determining how best to take advantage of an opportunity, is an essential part of running any business, then you accept perception as a basic ingredient in those processes. Sometimes, that hunch or gut feeling one gets is a form of perception. Remember that perception is how we see things and how we arrange and interpret those things to come to a conclusion or to make a decision.  Consequently, perception is a principal ingredient in the management of a business and it can be a powerful tool in business, if properly recognized and applied.

A new wave of business leaders are doing much to change their perceptions, particularly in the tech industry, which is leading the drive for a more positive future for the human race. At Skylab, CEO&Founder Dean Grey is known in the network marketing industry as one of the most inspirational and charismatic keynote speakers and his perception relies on the idea to help others: “It’s a Reward Within Itself”.


Perception in business is a reality. It is an essential part of one’s package of business skills. It is a core competency. To deny these statements is to deny a basic attribute of entrepreneurship, leadership and decision-making. Perception is basic and integral to how we see and assess opportunities and how we will pursue opportunities. It is how we view our business environment and the elements that make up that environment both internal (staff, resources, equipment, services, products) and external (the market, the customer/client, the competition); and, it is much more.  It is also the identification and understanding of major trends, especially long-term trends, that affect the basic structure of society (aging population, empty-nesters, women returning en masse to the workforce, decline in manufacturing jobs and the increase in service sector jobs, global economics, growth in the health care industry, information technology and the trend to inter-company collaboration).

Peter Drucker, business management sage of the 20th Century, considered perception the skill essential to making bold, creative decisions. In Managing in a Time of Great Change, he said :

“Today, perceptiveness is more important than analysis. In the new society of organizations, you need to be able to recognize patterns to see what is there rather than what you expect to see.”

Peter Drucker

 

Therein lays the key benefit to applying or invoking the right perception. There also is the core problem. We need to see what is there, not what we expect to see. How do we do that? Here are a few suggestions.

Eliminating the ego in decision-making is the major component. The ego is personal baggage based on previous knowledge, previous experience and expectations. It may not be all bad, but, then again, it may. It colors one’s view and may even distort the image that you ought to be seeing.  Clearing one’s mind and taking, as much as possible, an open and simple view of the business environment, to see it as it is and not as one wants it to be is the objective.  The results of eliminating ego, hopefully, are a fresh view and through that fresh view the identification of new business opportunities.


Related to eliminating ego is this: assume nothing. Assumptions must fit reality. That means having a good grasp on your business environment: the existing situation, the opportunities for growth, what the competition is doing what the client wants (always a moving target), to mention a few. So, assume nothing; get the facts; check and re-check and check again.
Acquire a clear and working knowledge of those long-term trends we spoke of in Part One of this Article. These are the trends or shifts in society, existing and emerging, which change the basic structure of society, including the business sector. These long-term trends significantly affect the business decisions we take, or ought to take.
Perception has always been an important part of the business management decision-making process and will always remain so. Perception, appropriately understood and applied, is a key business skill and is the leading edge in recognizing and developing business opportunities.

“This gives us the opportunity to change our environment and thus, change ourselves for the better.”

Dean Grey

To learn more about the environments’ shaping towards success, follow this link 

What do you see on this image ? A rabbit ? Or maybe it’s a duck ! See ! It’s all about perception !

 

 

 

 

You can learn more about perception through the Gamified E-learning System on the Trilogy app. Skylab has worked with Greg Rex to develop this Healthy and Well Being app. 

 

 

Now Is The Perfect Time To Be A Women Entrepreneur

 

“Women who walks with purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities.  Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.”

Dr. Farrah Gray

 

In Silicon Valley, the percentage of women entrepreneur starting technology companies is astronomically low, at a rate around 3 percent. Of privately held companies, only 6.5 percent have a female CEO, and 1.3 percent have a female founder. How is this the case, when women are earning more than half of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees for the first time in history?

Despite these disappointing numbers and the gender issues, there is good news too. Women who are in tech are doing well and getting noticed. Recent data has shown that women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment. Companies founded by women also represented a record 13 percent of venture capital deals through the first half of 2013, up from only 4 percent in 2004. In other words, investors are starting to notice that it pays to have a woman in charge.

As a women entrepreneur and sole founder and CEO of a venture-backed digital healthcare startup, I’ve experienced a positive shift in how I’m treated as a woman in tech compared to the horror stories of women who came before me. This leads me to believe that now is the perfect time to make the leap into entrepreneurship as a women.

Women Entrepreneur

Women entrepreneur are being recognized as powerful leaders

Heavy-hitting women such as Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg and Ginni Rometty are in C-suite roles, running major Fortune 500 companies. Their leadership, and the headlines they garner, have popularized the image of women in high-level roles and opened the door for a conversation about the need for more female leadership in tech and beyond.

Fortunately, women outside of the spotlight are also excelling and being recognized for their outstanding leadership skills. A 2011 study in the Harvard Business Review evaluating men and women in the workplace found that:

“At every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows. Specifically, at all levels, women are rated higher in fully 12 of the 16 competencies that go into outstanding leadership. And two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree — taking initiative and driving for results — have long been thought of as particularly male strengths.”

Considering it wasn’t very long ago that women were relegated to the home and shunned from the boardroom, that is a pretty amazing and inspiring update. And for enterprising female entrepreneurs, the timing of this shift couldn’t be better.

​At Skylab, Dean Grey has perfectly understood that it is clearly essential to have women with high status : our CPO (Chief Product Officer), one of our Design Developer, our Client Engagement/Creative Producer and our Operations Officer are Women and they are awesome at what they do.

Women-led businesses are succeeding

With strong women entrepreneur at the helm, something interesting (but unsurprising) is happening to their businesses: They are growing at a higher rate than their traditional, male-led counterparts. Over the past 10 years, the growth in the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in revenues has increased by 56.6 percent, a rate 47 percent faster than the rate of growth of all $10 million-plus firms.

Women in leadership roles also seem to be key in driving the success of an enterprise. The failure rate of startups with two or fewer female executives is 50.3 percent, but with five or more women in high-level positions, the success rate jumps to 61 percent.

In particular, women are emerging as key players in healthcare, both on the ground and in the C-suite. Women entrepreneur account for 73 percent of medical and health services managers, making them the face of healthcare to the general population. And over the last decade, not only has the number of high-revenue, women-owned healthcare and social assistance firms nearly tripled, but those companies are growing at an impressive rate – 54.9 percent across all healthcare and social assistance firms, and nearly 183 percent for firms with over $10 million in revenue.

With healthcare in the national spotlight, women are emerging as successful leaders capable of shepherding America into a new era of health and wellness. Skylab Apps recognizes this trend and has partnered with healthcare professionals creating “Skylab Medical” a Skylab Apps incubator partner company. See more about this here.

The VC snowball effect

Women entrepreneur firms are succeeding and in turn, attracting more venture capital investment, leading to even higher growth. During the height of the dot-com bubble, venture capital investments in women-led businesses lagged pathetically, receiving less than 6 percent of total funds invested in the U.S. between 1997 and 2000. But between 2000 and 2011, that number shot up to 41 percent.

Combine that with the fact that when venture-backed, women-led technology companies bring in 12 percent higher revenue than male-owned tech companies and you have a Pandora’s box of potential.

As VC firms continue to be positively rewarded for investing in women-led companies, they will be more open to future investments. I’d be hard-pressed – and reluctant – to stop this snowball from reaching warp speed.

 

The women-supporting-women movement is just starting

There are more women entrepreneurs supporting younger and less-experienced female entrepreneurs today than ever before. For example, I had a mentor who had a huge impact on my growth and success, so I’m paying it forward.

Over the past year, I’ve been mentoring a young female entrepreneur who recently raised $1 million for her own startup and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. The great thing is, 80 percent of female tech entrepreneurs reported having mentors and, in my experience, that bodes well for their future success.

There are more women investors looking for women-led companies, or great companies to invest in and add women to their leadership teams or advisory boards because the numbers don’t lie — the odds of success with women calling the shots.

“It is important to take an active role in shaping our personal and professional networks in order to live the most fulfilling lives possible.”

Dean Grey

At Skylab, We are proud to work with a great VAR (Value Added Reseller), The Gravity Network. 

The Gravity’s Team is composed of 4 women and one man. Gravity’s Founder is also a woman and she has done a wonderful job so far !

In my last blog I wrote about the Joy’s and freedoms of working remotely. If you missed it, read it here! This will give you a little better context of what I am writing about in this 5-Step process to finding the perfect remote job to keep you traveling and experiencing the world all while making money from your lap top.

Here is my 5-Step Process.

1 – Find a job, skill, or way that you can actually do that will produce income with out you physically needing to be there.

This is going to be your most difficult task. You may be saying to yourself “well I am a doctor, how could I possibly practice medicine from a laptop?” Well this comes down to how resourceful you want to be. My dad is doctor, a Podiatrist to be exact and he has been looking into what is know as “tele-medicine” which is basically on call and on demand video conferencing from doctors to patients. Say you have a foot problem, you go on the site, set an appointment, my dad would accept it, you are instantly connected, he gives your advice and recommendations and your done. The system charges the patients credit card and they go on their way. Booya, there is a way a doctor can work 100% remotely. You may be surprised what you find if you really start thinking of all the different ways you could monetize your skill sets right from a computer from anywhere in the world, don’t worry, we will get to that in number 2.

2. Get really good with technology.

If you are going to have any chance at being an entrepreneur on the road, then you are going to have to get really good with leveraging technology and automation. What do I mean by this. Well put it this way, I can pretty much run all of my business from my iPhone. Everything from a CRM to a VOIP telephone system that allows me to communicate effortlessly through WIFI any where in the world. This means that if you are planning on getting in to a business that has to ship “real” goods and logistics as well as a customer service dept. will be necessary, than you are going to have your work cut out for you. I am not saying that it is impossible, just going to take a couple extra steps of strategic planning and utilization of technology that automates the process.

3. Simple is better.

A good business is not necessarily a complex business. I would consider a solid business to be one that is profitable, allows you to live the life you desire and takes care of it’s employees and it’s customers. Some of the best businesses that I know of were born out of the simplest ideas or needs by a consumer. Take for example the work we do at the FX365 Institute, we teach people how to trade currencies all over the world from office in San Diego. We have students in 20 U.S. States and 4 countries that take our course 100% remotely and learn a skill set that allows them to make money in the foreign currencies market anywhere in the world from a laptop.  Don’t over complicate this part. The less you need to run your business, the better off you will be.

4.How much do you really need to make?

My favorite part of explaining these concepts to people is conveying the fact that a business only needs to make you a “enough” money in order for it to change your life. If you added up all of your expenses annually, and then added in the costs to live in another country or to travel a couple months out of the year I think you will be surprised to find that you don’t need to make $300K per year to achieve your goals. In fact, I have been able to travel about 2 months out of every year for the past decade making around $100k per year. The best part is that I only really needed about $60K to sustain so any extra money that I make on top of my yearly nut goes in to savings and investments. This allows me to stay diversified, active in the markets using online portfolio managers, and open to new ideas and businesses while I can keep the quality of life I have come to enjoy. The point is to make enough and then a little more. You don’t need to be a millionaire to pull this off.

5. Multiple Streams of Income remotely

 I know you have heard this one before, but maybe not through the lens of doing it remotely. Every book I have read on this topic is about real estate and multiple businesses that would require you to physically be somewhere to manage those streams. When you start to venture down the road of working remotely you start looking at businesses in a whole new light.

I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely, follow the links below to check them out:

Does your Remote business pass the litmus test? Could you actually leave the country for weeks or months at a time and still count on the business to grow on its own and produce income.

In this article I am going to share with you some of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself to avoid a career that is going to keep you chained to your desk.

When I am approached with a business or come up with an idea, I ask myself these following questions to help me decide if I should even consider pursing the business. I wrote a blog recently about The Joys of working remotely and also my 5-Step process to finding the perfect career where you can travel the world and work from a laptop.

I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going to go a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely.

Now for the smell test questions:

1.  If I spent a year building this business and I left the country for 2-4 weeks with out being able to call back or answer any emails would it still be standing when I go home?

This may take some introspection and some deep thinking about what the business is, who it would involve and what you would need to figure out to get all of the pieces together. This type of think and evaluation will become paramount when assessing situations for your business in the future, so play the tape out and visualise as best as you can where you would see yourself and the business in a year or two.

2.  Is this a business I can run myself, or will I need to hire or contract out work to properly run it and if I do, will I be able to effectively manage the team remotely? 

If you can do it on your own, great, do it! Unfortunately most enterprises even small ones will need to depend on others to accomplish what ever it is your business will do or provide for people. The question you need to concern yourself with is can you effectively manage then from a far or set the business up in a way where employees or partners can or would be self serving and motivated to accomplish tasks day to day to keep the company running smoothly. 

3.  On a scale from 0%-100% how much of the business can I automate?

(0%-60% is no good / 60%-80% is ok / 80%-100% is ideal). Automation is going to be key for you to managing efficiently from a far. It will allow you to batch work and delegate important work properly. Also it really allows you to step away from the business or parts of the business for days or weeks at a time and then come back to spot check at a later date. Most importantly automation usually takes the place of what human used to do and will allow you to perform more high value activities for the business.

4. Will it make me enough money to give me the life I desire to have and if so how long will it take to get me to that point? 60 Days? 6 months? A year? 

For more on this topic check out my blog I wrote on Time vs. Money! This will really put this step in to perspective for you.

5. Pros and cons list – Now for the final step, write down all of the great things about how the business is going to get you what you want out of it. Examples could be things like “90% automation” or “allows me to travel 6 months per year” etc and then do the same for all of the potentially negative elements about the business. Make sure to be real with yourself here. Don’t sugar coat this part.

Once you have completed all of these steps, then you will have a solid understanding about what you could potentially be getting involved in. I can’t stress the importance of the exercises!

Working as a management consultant for a number of years I have a keen ability to understand what is going to make a business succeed or fail. Unfortunately most folks don’t even think about these things when starting a business. Instead they get excited about the idea, or one aspect of the new business and run with it throwing caution to the wind and ignoring or simply not flushing out the idea and all the pit falls that would ensue first.

Be smart, be savvy and get the business that will give you the life you desire but don’t ever be afraid to give your idea a litmus test! It will save you time, money and heartache in the future. These simple actions will keep you on the right track helping you to avoid a business or an idea that will stand in the way of a more well suited business or opportunity that will give you everything you need.

 

 

 

Do you ever dream of being able to run a business from anywhere in the world? Have you ever found yourself looking online for different ways you could travel abroad and somehow make an income while you were half way around the world.

Over the past decade I have been perfecting this skill. The truth is that it is not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true if you are used to a 9 to 5 standard day job. The dream of one day quitting that job and breaking free from the chains of the corporate world can be elusive and fleeting.

When I was 22 I left the country for the first time. I had always wanted to travel but I was a troublemaker growing up and spent the later part of my teen years in rehab getting sober. By the time I was 20, I had been sober for a couple of years and my life was back on track, so I decided to leave America and embark on an adventure.

I signed up for a study abroad trip to Spain, paid the money and prepared to leave home. To be perfectly honest, this trip wouldn’t be my first time out of America, I frequently went to Mexico in my teen years growing up in San Diego. None of my trips to Mexico had any real cultural importance. In fact, I don’t even really remember what transpired during most of those trips and never really made farther the the Tijuana bars on Revolution Blvd. This trip was going to be different, I was with college kids, and there was some structure, so I figured that was a good place to start.

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I remember getting off the plane in Madrid. I was bustled away from the group with my host mom who didn’t speak a lick of English and was given a room in her little apartment. I was super jet lagged and had never been on a flight that long in my life so I passed out immediately.  When I woke up it was dusk outside. I walked down the 4 flights of stairs and sat out on the side walk in the neighborhood I was staying in listening to all of the sounds of the city and taking it all in. The smells, the cars, the food, everything was different, I didn’t know anyone around, and I was far from home. I was in LOVE.

This first encounter of Wanderlust was intoxicating to me. I vividly remember it and I was so grateful to be in that moment experiencing life again in a new way for the first time.

I thought to myself, what if I could do this all of the time, what if I could just travel a lot? It was sometime on that trip that I decided I was going to need to find a line of work that was going to allow me to do this. About a week before the program ended, I told my professors running the program that I wouldn’t be accompanying them back to America, and stayed in western Europe an additional 4 months traveling around Spain, Italy and France.

Once I ran out of money, I came home. At that time I was running a Mortgage office which surprisingly was still standing after my almost 5 months of me being gone. It didn’t matter though because I came home in September 2008 just in time to watch the housing market collapse completely. I was screwed. I had done really well for a kid who dropped out of college to get rich but it was all back firing now and traveling was the last thing on my mind.

After the dust settled I was about $190,000 in debt and in need of a new career. I had decided to go back to college a year earlier and had about a year and a half left for my undergrad degree so I figured I would spend the next 2 years finishing college and finding a career that would set me up to travel the globe and make money while I was doing so.

The first business that I found that worked really well for me was multi-level marketing. It seemed like a great fit, I was recruited in to a company being sold the dream that if I spent a couple years working hard at building an organization, it would eventually take off and continue to pay me residually. This was PERFECT. I could build the business for a couple years to about $100K per year then disappear to Indonesia

For a first timer in MLM, I did incredibly well, and I build that $100k per year income in a short amount of time but it was short live. The first company I was with asked me to leave and the second company I joined eventually went belly up. Also every time I would leave the country on a trip, I found myself on my phone or laptop the whole time putting out fires and that was just plane stupid.

When I finally walked away from the industry I decided to put my entrepreneur hat back on. I had raised some money for a tech start-up and was actively learning how to trade currencies in the FOREX market.

I never lost site of my desires and dreams of being able to make money from a Laptop; I just needed to be a little more resourceful. I found that as long as I can offer real value to a client even being a great distance away, that my capability to earn money anywhere where I was in the world would be there.

So over the past 5 years I have been doing just that. Most of the consulting work that I do is never from an office, maybe my home office. I do keep an office at the Currency trading school that I have a long-term contract with but they have always been cool with me leaving and making my own schedule. Again, I attribute that leniency to the results I am able to deliver. The moral of the story is that there is a million ways to make money and add value to a person, place or business, however you need to be resourceful if you are going to do this from a laptop half a world away.

I have put together my top 5 tips to finding your own way to take your business on the road with you for good. Read “Top 5 Tips to Working remotely.” To see what it’s all about

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When I was 17, my mentor Mike Watson asked me to write a list of all the things I wanted in my life. Here is what I wrote

-Get my own place.

-Get a car.

-Get a girlfriend

-Get a job and be able to support myself with out the help of my family.

By the time I was 18 years old, I had gotten these things. I had a little apartment in South Los Angeles, bought a 95 Acura Integra for $5,000 and met a pretty girl that I was with. I was working at Guitar Center in Lawndale CA as sales rep which was a step up from my last job working the burrito line at Chipotle. I went back to my mentor and told him that I had gotten everything that I wrote down on my list. He told me to go make another list, but this time dream bigger.

My next list looked something like this.

-Go to Jr. College.

-Move in to a bigger place.

-Make enough money to where I have some left after bills at the end of the month.

-Get a truck!

-Start a businessAEF

When I turned 20, again I finished these things. I enrolled at El Camino Jr. College paid for by a scholarship I won in a persuasive speech contest. I found a nice little house in Lomita CA I moved in with a couple of friends and started my first business, a clothing company called All Else Failed Ind. He told me to keep going, that I can have whatever I wanted as long as I put it down on paper and was willing to work for it. (So I did, but I went big on this one)

-Make 100k or more per year

-Transfer into a UC/CSU school to finish my undergraduate degree.

-Write a book

-Make an album (Im a musician)

-Buy a house

-Buy a nice Car

07 TravelsBy age 23, I published my first book The Rich Kid Syndrome.” I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego to buy my first home in Oceanside CA, and then transferred to CSU San Marcos after spending the summer of 2007 Studying abroad in Spain, Italy and France. This was also my first $100,000 year and I earned quite a bit more the following year with my little brokerage firm that started in Carlsbad. I was doing so well, I decided to buy and new BMW, and I bought it with Cash 🙂 I also finally completed my first full-length solo album entitled The  Midnight Songbook.”

As my 24th birthday passed, it seemed as if I could do anything. It was like every single year, I would just write a new list of things down that I wanted, and then I would get them. I felt unstoppable, and invincible. Then the year 2008 came and everything changed.

It only took about 6 months after the economy crashed to lose just about everything that I had worked for. Aside from the fact that I had lost all steams of income, I ended up being 160K in debt to boot.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I broke up with the girlfriend of 2 years, my dad went to prison, my mentor Mike (pictured above) died from cancer, my best friend screwed me over and I was conned out of my last $10,000 by a person posing as a roommate of mine who stole my identity and flew the coop. That’s what I call a bad year. I was so beaten down by all the loss in and around my life that it was hard to get back up and keep going. In fact some days it was down right direly depressing and some very bad thoughts entered my mind.

I realized that even though I had some major setbacks, and life threw me a couple of shit sandwiches, I had 2 choices. 1)Quit and kill yourself 2) Eat the shit sandwiches and make a list of things you want (as it has always seem to work before). So after a long day of gathering my thoughts and some  meditation at the beach, here is the list that I made.

-Finish college

-Publish my second book

-Find a new industry to work in

-Surround myself with better people.

-Climb out of the hole (meaning get out of debt)

So, I picked up the pieces of my life and got back to work. I was 24, in serious debt, couldn’t find a job that would pay me nearly anything I was making in the mortgage game and all my “friends” or at least the people who I thought were my friends seemed to disappear with the money, the girlfriend and the stuff. I literally just had to hit the reset button on my life and start over.

24-28I got in to Multi-level marketing, first with a company called Mona-Vie and then eventually in a company called RevvNRG. I always thought MLM was a scam but saw a lot of people making money in it. I figured if some barley high-school educated bozo’s from the Utah could make a couple million bucks on the Network Marketing game, how hard could it be? So I jumped in with both feet.

It took me about 18 months before I saw my first $10,000 month. As it turns out, you really can make some money in MLM. The next 3 years of my life seemed as if I was getting back in to my groove. I was traveling around the country, building a huge organization, making great money again and speaking on stages around the world telling stories of success and rising back up once life had knocked me down. I graduated college, published my next book The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life.”

I felt relieved in a lot of ways. I felt as if I had a handle on things, life threw me some curve balls but I learned how to bend and fold in the situations and survive. As I was nearing 28 Years old, I began to reach my peak again. Now that I had the money game on point it was time for me to start living again, for me, this meant lifestyle.

What do I mean by lifestyle? Well to me “life” encapsulates all the things a human being has to do to live. Meaning we need to eat sleep, make a living, have friends etc. “Style” is a manner of doing something, so when you put those two together what you have is how a human being goes about living. I’ve come to understand that living life can be done many ways. Some people live very safe, they like a 9-5 job with benefits and 2 weeks vacation. Some people don’t even get that choice, they feel stuck in their life due to circumstances. Example: The man who worked as a mechanic his whole life because that’s what his father did and grandfather father did before him or the idea that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, thats all bullshit at least to me it was.

So I picked up a few new hobbies, and got back in to someones that I had neglected due my crazy ass work schedule. Here is what it looked like.

So I finished, college, published my new book, completely changed the people I surrounded myself with and found myself 5 years in to a promising industry that was allowing my to travel the world, live my dreams and crawl out of the black hole that I had lived in. I wish i could end the story here, because then it would be a happy ending, but there was one more twist that was going to happen to me before I hit the age of 30. But I at least got my dream trip of traveling around South East Asia and Surfing in Bali twice before shit hit the fan again. (see below)

And then I got back to America. in fact it was Early May of 2013 when I arrived home from Bali for the second time that year to find out the master distributor of the Network Marketing company I was involved in was trying to do an end-run on the distributor base and secretly move them in to another company all together. When I caught him in the middle of it, I blew the whistle (get that full story here). 

In a mad rush to try to save what was left of the company, I began negotiations to broker a buyout from another MLM company. In fact that is where I was last year on my 29th birthday. Even though we were able to get a deal done, it ultimately fell apart because as it turns out the owner of the company I was staying loyal to was scarred and greedy.

Fortunately, being down the “put all your eggs in to one basket” road before, I had some back up plans this time around. I had learned how to trade the FOREX market (read that story here) for some time and I had a little Tech-Start-up called Roommatefax.com that I had been working on for a little time. Although I though I would have at least another year of residual income to count on from my network marketing ventures, I didn’t so I had to execute that back-up plans a little faster and take some side consulting work to make ends meet till I got them off the ground.

That brings us to the present, and as I cross the threshold into my thirties, I took some time to reflect, and these are the questions that kept repeating to me in my head.

-Have I lived honestly and had the best intentions?

-Did I take all the risks necessary to pursue success no matter the cost and safety?

-Would those (dead or alive) who came before me and made sacrifices for me so I could get ahead in life be proud of the man I have become?

-Will I be able to look my child in the eyes one day and proudly tell him or her about the choices I have made?

-If I were to die tomorrow, did I accomplish everything I set out to do? and when some of those things failed, did I see them through till the end and learn something from the experience? 

-Have I lived with Honor, Integrity and loyalty?

-Was I a good son, brother, friend and human being?

I can honestly and confidently answer yes to all these questions, and that makes me grateful. I always thought by 30 years old, I’d have a million dollars and today I’m 30 and  I don’t have a million dollars, in fact, I’m far from it, but what I do have is something that money can’t buy. What I have is something a lot of rich men spent their entire life chasing but could never seem to find. It’s the thing that most people live their whole life trying to find but it eludes them. What is it? Love. I’m surrounded by it and all the things that happened to me in my life were for a reason, they were to keep me safe from people, places and things, and sometimes from myself. I had lots of guardian angels that came in the form of people and circumstances.

I did my best to put Love out in the world, to give it when I could and try to keep the faith that it was there even when I couldn’t see it. I found hope, even when good people died or went to jail. I make hard amends to people I disliked, and let go of hatred for those I could justifiably hold resentments against. I found out what kind of man I was when life got hard, and saw what I was capable of when surrounded by the right people and situations. I learned to have a thick skin, be fearless and most importantly, not take life to seriously.

So all that’s left to do is make a new list. The list will probably have some things like get married, have kids etc. For me, it’s an open book. A big blank canvas waiting to be filled with life, love and memories. Fortunately, I’ve got quite a bit of experience now and I believe my best years are ahead. My 20’s were the minor leagues, and now its time for the major’s and I can’t wait to start playing!

Thanks for all the love and support! See you at the top!

-Steve Wolf

 

 

In 2012 while vacationing in Bali I was looking for additional ways to make income while I was traveling abroad. After looking at all kinds of different money making opportunities that could be done online I landed on FOREX trading.

So what is FOREX?

imagesThe Forex (Short for foreign exchange) market  is the market in which world currencies are traded. The forex market is the largest, most liquid market in the world with an average traded value that exceeds $1.9 trillion per day and includes all of the currencies in the world. There is no central marketplace for currency exchange; trade is conducted over the counter. The forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week and currencies are traded worldwide among the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zürich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney. The forex is the largest market in the world in terms of the total cash value traded, and any person, firm or country may participate in this market. forex-marketThe greatest part about it is that it is truly a recession proof way to make money because it is never based on any one country’s economy. With so much cash going through the market each day, becoming profitable based off a conservative approach is not all that hard to do. It is also much more stable of a market and in a lot of ways more predictable that the stock or futures market once you learn the basics.

Sounds Complicated, how do I get involved and not lose money?

If you are anything like I was, I didn’t know a thing about FOREX trading and am not a math or numbers guy at all! I had a preconceived notion about the Forex market. All I ever had experienced about Stocks, bonds, futures, commodities or FOREX was that there was some really smart people that worked on Wallstreet who understood how all this stuff works and that in order to not get slaughtered in the market you must give these people your money and they some how make you money with the money you invest minus their commission of course. When I was 23 I had about $50,000 in the market being managed by Smith Barney. When the economy bottomed out in 2008, my bank roll was decimated by about 75%. I pulled the rest of my money out to cover losses on other real estate investment deals that had gone bad. So all in all, my experience was horrible to say the least. I told myself back then, that I was never going to give my money to someone else like that ever again and just trust that they were going to manage it like I would. Sure they may be smarter than me at investing in domestic markets than I am and I wasn’t personally about to go learn how to be a day trader, but I always believed there had to be some  happy medium where I could conservatively invest, control and manage the money I put in to anything hoping for the best return.I found this in the FOREX market.

So how did I get involved and not get slaughtered? 

Now this is the million dollar question because if you look on the internet and google FOREX, you find all kinds of crazy stuff about the market ranging from the “follow my system and be a millionaire in a week” – guy to the horror stories of the person who funded their account with 100K not knowing what they were doing and lost it all or most of it. I was extremely skeptical myself and I went looking for a person, school, formula or mentor to help me make some sense of all of this and what I found was amazing.

I live in San Diego, so I was looking for something local. I found a school called the FX365i Institute that was known mostly for it’s ability to teach FOREX trading online. They were teaching people from all walks of life the discipline and proper education to becoming a successful trader. I went in to the school (because it was local to me) to sit in for an orientation. Much to my surprise, these guys weren’t selling some get rich quick scam. More importantly they were speaking from experience explaining that the method they teach is not typical, instead it’s what they call the “Un-cola” meaning that what they teach is the direct opposite of what can commonly be found at any other Forex trading school online or in a physical classroom. They told me that I could physically come in to the trading floor every morning or just log on to the webinar, it was up to me, but the tuition gave me both.

By the end of the presentation I was sold, but before I spent my hard earned cash on the course to the tune of $4,500 I wanted to see some success stories and I wasn’t looking for the guys who were in the 30’s with a ivy league education who were finding success in the Forex market, I was looking for the average Joe’s who were plumbers and auto mechanics by trade and successfully applied the education from the FX365i school in to their trading strategy and were winning.

So I showed up on a tuesday morning at 5AM PST time when they started a normal trading day and what I found was a classroom full of people that were a hodgepodge of young and old from all walks of life that were figuring this thing out. Some had been trading for up to 4 years with the school and some as new as 1 month, but what they all had in common was that they were producing more positive trades than negative rendering them a profit and more importantly a skill set the will eventually lead them away from their day jobs and to a life of freedom and early retirement.

I signed up the very next day, gladly paid the $4,500 tuition and was on my way to pro-trader freedom.

Since then, I have been trading with the Fx365i Institute for about 6 months, my account in the Black, I’ve been trading real money in small lot sizes for about half that time and I couldn’t be anymore happy with the results. When I go off traveling it’s no problem either because I just tune in to the live webinars every morning and trade with the class from anywhere in the world. I’m never alone in this which is very important because the market can be intimidating at times and thats why I really like the hand-holding process that the FX365i Institute has adopted in taking a new student from not knowing the first thing about trading currencies to a pro-trader in a year that can live off the profit he or she is making in the Forex market.

In fact I have had so much fun and success with theses guys that I want to begin to share it with the world so other people can have the same experience that I have had. A way to financial freedom and abundance through the FOREX market.

So if you are interested in finding out more about FOREX, or how to become a student at the FX365i Institute, click the button below the video to find out more.

You can also follow this link to the the fx365 Institutes website.

I WANT MORE INFO!
To your success and bright future

-Steve 🙂

 

jack-nicholson-the-shining

So, as most of my readers know, my blogs have a lot to do with business, working hard, making a life for yourself an most importantly living. All to many times, we get caught up in our day-to-day grind and lose perspective. If you lose perspective for too long, the mind starts to slip and unless you do something about it, you might end up like Jack smashing through doors with an axe trying to kill your wife and child.

Although that may be an extreme example, a life of monotonous mediocrity is really no life at all, or at least to me it’s not. Think of all the movies you have seen with this type of protagonist plot-line, Fight Club, The Shinning, Life of Walter Mitty to name a few, These stories are so commonly told because they relate to so many people.

You see, you don’t need to take a trip around the world, or start a fight club to break out of your daily grind, however, if that is what you want to do, then go for it and I will come with 🙂 Most people simply miss the little things. I know, because I do it too, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but today I intend to explain how to escape it.

Today, I am up in San Francisco, with a very busy week of clients to see, things to do, and deals to sell. The days can fly by real quick. The funny thing is that my performance across the board is in direct correlation with how I am feeling. If I am in a place of scarcity, I am may very well come off desperate blowing a sale or a potential investor. People have an innate sense for that kind of thing. If you walk in to place to sell anything gleaming with anything else but confidence and a bright smile, the person will know something is up with you automatically, and it will severely hinder your chance of success.

A sale by definition is “a transfer of energy,” and that is my favorite definition because at the end of the day, it’s a performance, and if you blow it, the customer is not going to buy your product or invest in your company. Why? Simple, because no one want to buy or invest in to a person who suck, is sad, desperate or incompetent. What ever your product is doesn’t really matter, nor the company you represent, it is you who they are buying, and if they don’t like you, they probably will not buy or invest.

Here is a great example of what not to do…. Love this movie

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1EyN9xTK94

So, if getting to correct state of mind is imperative,  what you do before and after your performances (aka sale / investment pitch). Coming prepared and making sure that you are in a peak state will change the game. Whether or not you get the investor to invest, the buyer to buy should have no effect on you.

So how does one get there? Well in order to come to the table calm, collected and prepared, you have to take care of your mind, body and soul. For example, if you spend all of your time hustling and making money, you probably don’t worry about what kind of food you are putting in your body. I know this all to well especially when traveling, some days I get going, get caught up in appointments and realize I haven’t eaten anything all day and it’s already 3PM. Not good.

Then what about my body, sometimes after being out all day long driving around the city and using all of my brain power to convince customers and investors to buy me, the last thing I want to go do is shed my suit and tie, and take my ass to the gym. You see where I am going with this?

The hardest thing I have found to do especially when traveling for work is keeping a routine, and of course it is, you are away from your comfort zone and everything you know. It’s ok though, because if you can find out how to manage this routine even while your on the road, then it will become even more reinforced when your back on your home turf. The point is that you can’t afford to get caught up in the hustle, you have to take time for yourself and make sure you are taking care of your body, exercising, eating right and taking small breaks to appreciate where you are.

1800453_10152158012789477_272882097_n

Look how beautiful Pacifica is

It can be as simple as taking an afternoon to yourself and enjoying the beauty of the place you’re in. I did it just the other day. Again I’m in San Francisco on business, so there is plenty to see but the city doesn’t calm me, it’s fun to hang out in and catch up with friends, but it doesn’t put me at ease. So what I did was took the afternoon off in Pacifica (That’s a little city in south San Francisco on the beach) and spent some time just watching the waves and taking in the beauty that was surrounding me. I was a little worried because I was really trying to get another deal closed for the week, but knew that if I didn’t give myself some down time, it would hinder my performance.

I also found a Krav Maga Gym in San Francisco, for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a style of hand-to-hand combat / Mixed Martial arts that I have been practicing for almost 2 years. Click here link for an explanation. It beats going to the gym and I go about 4 times a week back at home so to be able to keep that in my routine while traveling up here has been a bonus, usually I’m stuck going to good ol’ 24 hour fitness or if I am lucky finding a boxing or jiu-jitsu gym that will allow me to drop in for a couple of days knowing very well that I am not going to buy a membership or even return there in the near future.  Either way, taking care of my fitness is also crucially important to my sate of mind, so adding that in with my day in Pacifica was healing to my soul.

Then, just like that I closed a deal later that day. Went back to the hotel, got a good nights sleep, woke up at 5 AM to trade on the FOREX market and then closed another deal that day!!! AWESOME, absolutely crushed it this last week, and it’s not just because I am a good sales guy but I attribute much of that success with being able to keep the routine and take care of my mind and body which always comes before making money!.

So here are a couple of tips for what to do to stay in a positive peak state while traveling

1. Get situated – When you arrive, go to google, plan your week, figure out where everything is, the gym, appointments, dry cleaners, post office, basically all of the places that you will need to go through out the week.

2. Pick out some fun things that you want to do in between appointments while you are there. This includes catching up with friends who live where you are traveling and things you are interested in that you can only see or do in that place you are traveling, something you couldn’t do back home. For example, I am going to see Alcatraz on Sunday! I have been to S.F. many times, but have never gone, so I’m doing it!

3. Get to bed early! I am up at 5 AM everyday trading on the FOREX market, I’m not saying you need to get up at 5 am, but I will tell you that I have a huge competitive advantage over any competition simply based on the fact that I have been up using my brain, showered, ready to go with all my shit together for literally hours before I see my first client. It’s a very empowering feeling.

4. Take pictures and Check-in on Facebook – Duh, you want to remember the experience, bottom line is even if you had a bad sales week, at least you got to travel to a new place on the companies dime and saw/experienced some cool stuff so have fun with it!

5. Work-out! You always feel better after you do, not only will your body love you for this but it is a great way to network to meet new people and get out of the hotel room.

6. Eat right, and if possible, never eat alone. A meal is a great opportunity to have someones attention for 30-45 minutes. Also when dealing with clients, they can tell a lot about you by what or where you eat, and vice-versa for them. Never eat alone if you can help it, it a waisted networking opportunity or simply a reason to meet someone new.

7. Check in Back home – Whether your married, have a significant other, or are a single person, checking in with familiar people back home will always raise moral! I do this often for a couple of reasons but mainly to reconnect because hotel rooms can get a little lonely sometimes and it’s important to remember that you are there on a mission and will return home soon, a friends and supporters back home remind us of this.

8. Have Fun. If you leave on a trip and go to a new place and don’t have fun, the only one to blame is yourself. I can find something interesting, exciting or beautiful about any place I have ever been, and I have been to some shitty places. The beauty is in the ey of the beholder. Boring people get bored. You can look at it as a shitty work trip in Wichita or an exciting adventure to a place unknown on a mission to find something cool about. That is up to you, but even I can’t fix a person who doesn’t want to be fixed, and I sure as hell can’t make a person who is hell-bent having a horrible time have fun.

I hope this brightened up your day! Ok now Im off to go explore the city, enough blog writing for today!!!

-Steve

Super-Bowl-48-e1390842398179So as I am watching Super 48 come to a close I can’t help but think what a guy like Payton Manning does from the time after tonight to the pre-season months from now. Most athletes are kind of like Entrepreneurs: they never work in offices, they travel a lot, they are paid for performance not time spent on the job and sometimes things don’t always go down the way you have planned.

I think for a guy like Payton, even though he missed this attempt at another super bowl championship and there will be hours of peyton-manning-ties-nfl-record-with-7-touchdown-passes-in-a-single-gameridiculous commentary on what he could have done differently for weeks on end, this isn’t his first rodeo. In fact, I think that it is any professional football players dream to play and win in the Superbowl just like every entrepreneur myself included wants to build a fortune 500 company take it public and get the BIG money.

Unfortunately that isn’t the reality for most, in fact most players don’t make it to a Super Bowl in their career, and if they do, it doesn’t mean they won. Further more, think how hard it is to actually get in to the NFL, and after that factor in your chances of doing all that more than once. Bottom line, is that Payton has a lot to be happy about even though he didn’t get this one, and much like Entrepreneurs you may only have one big hit in your business life. Most of the entrepreneurs you have heard about in your life time all sound like they just had an idea and hit a home run with it, but that’s about as ridiculous as saying Payton Manning woke up one day we he was 25, decided to play pro football and won multiple super bowls.

To win and succeed, it takes work, time, and practice but one thing it also takes is LOSING. I know what your thinking, how can you win if your losing, well you can’t, but you can’t actually win all the time either. If you did, people would just think you’re cheating. The resilience it takes to get your ass kicked and get back up to do it again is only known by few, athletes and hardcore entrepreneurs fit comfortably in that category.

For me personally, I haven’t had my home run yet, but I’m early on in my career, and to my credit, I have only had one major failure due to the market crash in 2008. One thing I have always devoutly believed in is averages. Remember, and incredible baseball player has an ERA of 300 or better. (a 500 ERA us unheard of) and what this mean is that the best in the league hit 3 out of 10 times and strike or fly out the rest.

Business is very much the same way, and all so many times I see young entrepreneurs get bounced out of the atmosphere on their first attempt at business and it makes me sad because they could be the next Bill Gates, but they are just to scared to look bad, you have to get a thick skin to survive. Much like the Athletes, Entrepreneurs go for broke all the time. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. At the end of the day we go in to it knowing that we my fail every time and never get that 100 million dollar idea, and you know what, it’s no t so bad.

300_77787 dan-fouts marino-smThink about guys like Dan Marino, Warren Moon, and Dan Fouts, these were some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, who are in the hall of fame and know what they have in common, not one has a super bowl championship, and by no means does that mean they failed in life, the stars just simply didn’t align for them to get a super bowl championship under their belts.

I really believe in going the distance. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s  a marathon. I think most people can get lucky once or twice, but to have the type of repeat success that guys like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have takes skill, wisdom, patience and the ability to take risks. After your 3rd million dollar company you launched, no one can claim the luck card, it’s  habit.

But just like the Sammy Sosa’s, and Ken Griffy Jr’s of the MLB world, you don’t get to lead the league in the most home runs unless you get enough times at bat. So for us entrepreneurs, what we do, and most importantly what were a part of before we hit our “home-run” says a lot about what we are going to do once that train ends. Will our product become out dated, will we get bought out by a competitor, will the technology become out dated. Maybe the government will regulate something that will go against us. So how do we stay on top, stay innovative or on top of our game?

Well a mentor of mine Perry P would tell me the story of the big oak tree and the skinny palm tree. The oak tree would make fun of the skinny palm tree that even a little gust of wind would blow around until one day a monsoon came knocking the oak over and killing it completely. The moral of the story was that in order to survive, you need to learn how to bend and fold in all of life’s situations. Furthermore we need to be prepared for what ever life is going to throw at us.

So this is what I have always done. In my last book I wrote, “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life”  I write about 100 entrepreneurs who dropped out or never went to college. Some of the people on that list include folks like, Steve Jobs, David Geffin, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney to name a few, and I have read these guys biographies, in fact I recommend doing that to any aspiring entrepreneur if in the very least to protect them from throwing in the towel when their first deal doesn’t work out.

success-graph-demetri-martin-squiggly-line-300x215This picture resonated with me when I first saw it because I identified with it. When I got my ass handed to me a couple of times in business it was refreshing to meet very successful people who told me they to had bitten the dust a couple of time before they knocked it out of the park. They encouraged me to always continue on. At the end of the day, if my life is spent pursuing my dreams and trying to make the world a better place never wavering against what I believe my purpose is here on this planet than I successfully lived. Whether or not I have a bunch of money in the bank or cars and shit doesn’t matter to me, how I get there though means the world.

I’m a smart guy and I can sell. I could get a sales job that pays well, work my ass off all week and take home 120K per year. I could get a corporate job as well, do a 9-5 Mon-Fri Gig with benefits and 401K, and during some of my failures in my own entrepreneurial endeavors those jobs starting looking amazing, but when I played the tape out, I could just never bring myself to sitting in a 10X10 ft space 40 hours a week selling some shit I could care less about only having the weekends and small trips away from reality to look forward to. I would always take the path less traveled.

If your Dan Marino, or Steve Jobs, my decision makes perfect sense to you, if your everyone else, you just think we are crazy, and that’s ok, because if everyone thought like we did there would be no one to run our companies or play tight-end as well as all of the other positions that are crucial in winning games or in life for that matter.

The bottom line is to stay in the game as long as possible. The longer you stay in the game, the better the chance to have to win. So if your reading this and thinking of starting your own deal for the first time, good for you. Go out there and fail a couple of time, get it over with, get your ass kicked and back up again, it’s all a part of the process. If your down and out, don’t worry, you’ll get it as long as you stay in the game, just don’t give up, consult those mentors and elders, go in to accumulation mode, learn some new things, bend and fold and most importantly get back in to a positive mental state.

If your on the other end of this and you just won your “super-bowl,” congratulations, you worked hard and deserve it. So celebrate and soak up every awesome moment, but when it’s over, you had better get back to work because there is going to be 1000 more coming to take it from you next year!

Have a great week everyone!!!!

Now For a little Fun…. Enjoy

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5zytfm9No

self-help_guru

The Self-Help Buddah

80% Mental, 40% Physical equals 120% Confusing right? Yes if you are used to giving only 100%, but it makes perfect sense if you play at 120%

I’m in the final week of my 30 day transformation and my brain is firing on all cylinders. I’m so pumped for 2014, and I have a lot running through my mind so I want to get it all out on this blog before I forget. I’ll post one more blog from the 30-Day transformation series at the end of the week re-capping the entire experience. In the mean time, enjoy this one!

Is this just mental masturbation or am I actually going  somewhere with this? Well, let me explain. As I was driving out to Lancaster CA,( known for its gangs and the home-based Meth Lab Industry) I was listening to the audio version of “The Secret.”  Weather or not you’re a fan of this type of spiritual quantum physics or even know of the book there is definitely something too it. Here is a brief synopsis

The Secret highlights gratitude and visualization as the two most powerful processes to help manifest one’s desires. It asserts that being grateful both lifts your frequency higher and affirms that you believe you will receive your desire. Visualization is said to help focus the mind to send out the clearest message to the universe. Several techniques are given for the visualization process, as well as examples of people claimed to have used it successfully to manifest their dreams..

Self_helpFinally it introduces a 3-Step process on how to receive anything that you want in life, 1. Ask 2. Believe 3. Receive. Now before I go in to this I want everyone reading this to know that I started out not believing in personal development / self-help in general. I thought it was cult-like pseudo science and only really impressionable people got caught up in it.

The world of personal development was first introduced to me at 23 years old in my first network marketing company. At first, I thought it was all a bunch of bullS*&%. When I was first exposed to it, this scene best describes how corny it felt to me.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJqr6LBFelI

Then over time, I started to pick up a couple more books, audios and even attended my first Personal development seminar, it was a Millionaire mind intensive based off of the teachings in T-Harv Ecker’s book, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” The event was a sell-fest, and half way through it, I realized that this wasn’t the first P.D. seminar I had ever been to. Turns out that these concepts were first introduced to me at the ripe young age of 12 when my mom sent me to a Landmark Seminar for children. I though it was cult-like, and can’t remember all that much from the actual seminar but all the people seemed to be happy and really motivated. Maybe they programmed something deep in to my sub-conscious and are planning to activate me later like some kind of Manchurian candidate situation, but I doubt it because when you start to understand how personal development “gurus” use phycology, you can dive deep in to what makes them so successful at what they do, but before I get into that, lets back up a second to where it all began for me.

My first real exposure to any kind of personal development concepts was actually in Alcoholics Anonymous. I got sober when I was 16 years old and haven’t had a drink since. I am still an active member in AA and work with new members constantly. I didn’t realize how much personal development is embedded in the 12-steps until I was re-introduced to the P.D. world  later in life at 23 years old. Now keep in mind, I had been sober going to AA for more than 7 years before I was re-introduced to the personal development world. When I saw the concepts that were being taught in the world of P.D. for the second time in my life, I was much more open to it because I was a product of what success can be had from a 12-step group oriented self-help organization which in many ways has similar results of any good P.D. system.

You see, there are a lot of critics out there. In fact you can find a whole world of people who will call anything that comes from the personal development world pseudo-science and throw out any value it creates because there is no scientific merit behind it and the curriculum is not being taught by people with a Ph.D behind their name. Instead, most of the big names from the P.D. world like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Zig Zigglar, and Jim Rhone to name a few don’t even have a college degree let alone a high school diploma. Instead they speak and teach from personal experience and everything they have developed comes from interaction and experiences with real people. Much like AA, there are no doctors, no professors, or Ph.d’s, just a couple of normal everyday people who have had some pretty incredible experiences in life and then decided to share those experiences as a way to help others breakthrough problems and barriers that are in their life so they can go on to actually living again.

To me, none of the semantics matter. It either works or it doesn’t, and that is the only measuring stick that I need. AA was the last place that I ever thought I would end up at 16 years old. In fact my only knowledge of it was what I had heard here and there combined with the satirical portrayal seen in movies and on T.V. I though AA was for homeless people who lived in dumpsters and drank Mad Dog 20/20 out of a paper bag. When I got there, it was quite different from anything I could have anticipated. I was shocked to find out that the only requirement for membership was a desire to stop drinking, no dues or fees, and to my surprise were not affiliated in any way, shape or form with a religion, political, governmental, scientific or even non-profit organization. It was started by two guys, “Bill and Bob” who stumbled on to the idea of creating a support group to help other alcoholics through an experience they had together.  What they found was a way to help themselves and others stop drinking and using drugs where science and religion had failed to do so. Moreover, they orchestrated a method or system of how to have a better life or in many cases, get any kind of life at all back.

Strangely enough, to this day, all the doctors, scientists and governments in the world have not been able to “Cure” alcoholism or addiction. Since AA was founded in 1935, millions of people have not only been able to quit drinking, but their lives changed dramatically for the better. I wrote a paper about AA back in college arguing that Alcoholics Anonymous is the most significant social movement of the 20th and 21st centuries, but because it’s anonymous no census or accounting has ever been done, and will never be done because it violates the traditions. There is an estimated 2 million+ members with over 160,000 meetings all over the world. The most significant part of all of this is that until 1935, the only option all of those people would have had was to spin dry in a sanitarium, go to jail, or just die. It starts to become exponentially significant when you begin to think of all the people, families, kids, employers etc. that have been positively effected by all of those generations of people who stopped being a down and out drug addict alcoholic and turned in to a positive productive member of society. Now multiply that number 6 times, and you will have you get 6.4e+37 aka a lot of f^%#$%^ people. That ripple effect equates to roughly the earths total population a couple of times over.

So what does all of this have to do with personal development. Simple, not everyone is meant to go to AA. You may not have a life ending alcohol or drug problem. You might just be a normal person looking to find deeper meaning to your own life. For me, I found that I needed AA but desired to have what the self-help personal development world taught as well. AA to help me recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body and then the philosophies from the personal development world to help me take that life I got back thanks to AA and turn it in to something incredible.

self-helpMost people think that sharing feelings and showing emotion makes you weak. Kind of like if you see a psychologist you don’t shout it from the roof tops, you keep it private. The P.D. world has a much different formula, usually group settings and as one on one time with a guru, well that can get expensive. I have seen a type of human interaction being done in large group seminars which is completely contrary to anything most psychologists would think is a good idea, but something happens there. You feel elated and empowered by the group and a feeling of community and togetherness knowing that you are not the only person in the world who experiences pain, suffering, loss and hardships. This feeling is usually experienced at a church of some kind which is why a lot of the religious world frowns upon personal development because they are stealing the churches age-old techniques and giving people something a little more tangible the a bible and a confession box. Not to say church or God are bad in any way, I’m very spiritual myself just not religious. You should see some of the people who have bridged that gap and have turned a religiously motivated personal development method in to a CASH COW like Joel Olsteen with an estimated net worth of $40-Million. I’d say having Jesus on your side doesn’t hurt 🙂

My belief is that if it works for you do it. There is no set way or one simple cookie-cutter method that is going to work for everyone. Personally it has taken me more than 10 years to find my spirituality, and I was actually searching for it the whole time. My journey will never be the same for any other person, similar perhaps, but never exactly the same. What worked for me, may not necessarily for you but what I can tell you is that I have learned some capital “T” truths through my years in the personal development world. I’ll take this time to share a couple of the profound nuggets of wisdom with you know.

– Faith without work = Jack Shit

– You can manifest positive things, but if another person is manifesting the same thing and willing to work 40 more hours a week for it, he or she is probably going to get it before you.

– Spending money on Personal development is great and I believe in it 100% do it, it’s worth every penny.

– If you start something, finish it! If you don’t plan to finish it, don’t even start it, just go back to sleep.

– Never stop learning!

– Always keep your belief system negotiable, be stubborn, stick to your morals, but if presented with a better way, be quick to adapt it and then slow to change it.

– Mentor’s aren’t just a good suggestion, they are imperative to your success in life in any and all situations.

– You are the company you keep, meaning the 5-closest people to you define exactly what your habits, morals, and what your net worth probably equates to, if you don’t believe me, write those names down and do the math.

– A mentor is not a friend, he or she is the person to kick you in the ass and give you life saving advice. So don’t get mad, upset or hurt when they tell you something you don’t want to hear, that’s the point.

– You don’t know what you don’t know, because if you knew you would have, and to know and not have is not knowing at all.  🙂  (Thanks Casey, I think I got that one right)

– People/Friends are assets or liabilities. Know what you can afford.

– If you can’t manage $10 you will never be able to manage $1,000,000

– Delayed gratification is the truest sign of maturity and wisdom.

– Keep it real, stop lying to yourself, and be great, don just think it, talk about it, or write about it, do it!

What I love about most personal development is that it is so simple, that it’s kind of hard to accept. I mean seriously, I’ve read some books that I thought were going to give the most profound pieces of paradigm shifting information, instead I got catch phrases like “keep it simple” and “mind your business.” What? Are you kidding, I paid 4 grand to go to a 4,ooo person Tony Robbins event, and he told me that “my past doesn’t define me?” Exactly, and that precisely why it works. The times where I thought “this shit is stupid, I could have come up with this!” But then the next questions I asked myself spelled out exactly why I needed it and why it was so valuable: It was because even though it was so simple, I didn’t come up with it, or simply overlooked it because I believed that nothing that profound could be so simple.

Then one day while I was getting interviewed on a nationally syndicated radio show, I was asked the questions “Steve, you do so much, your so successful at such a young age, how do you do it?” What came out of my mouth astonished me to, and I said: “lists, I make lists of things I need to do, and then I cross the items off one-by-one until they are all done.” The radio host looked puzzled, as if she was waiting to here the rest of the answer, but that was it, if I added anymore it would have just been me adding fillers to make it sound better.  

In the theme of keeping it simple, here are some of my favorite clips from Will Smith being asked very similar questions and giving very simple answers. I guess I’m not the only successful dude who believes in keeping it simple and just sticking to answers that even 3rd graders can wrap their head around.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5nVqeVhgQE

In conclusion, I will to circle back to where i started. 80% mental and 40% physical. A very wise man once told me that I could push myself 100 times harder than I even thought I could, and until he told me that, I never thought it was even possible. Much like if you asked 100 people in a room in the year 1901 if humans would ever fly, 98% of them would have thought you were crazy, and maybe 2% of them would be optimistic enough to think it’s possible, but if you asked that same question in 1903 after the Wright Brothers flew for the first tim, 100% would agree that it is was the capital “T” Truth type possible!

Quantum Physics, Metaphysics, and spirituality pick up where modern science and religion ends, and to me the study of the unknown or imagining what could be possible is the only way to move humanity forward. If fellas like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein didn’t think like that, we might still be living in the dark and have never gone to space. Crazy right? Wrong, makes perfect sense actually. The line between genius and insanity is a fine line, and it takes a real confident (and a tad bit crazy) human being to continue to have faith and believe when 98% of the people in a room don’t think what you’re doing or saying is possible and that you are some kind of charlatan.

This is what the message of personal development always meant to me. It reinforced the fact that anything is possible if I set my mind to it. It gave me tools to deal with the people who would try to pull me down and shit on my dreams. It gave me a community of like-minded people who believe that we were put on this earth to do a little more than work a 9-5 job for 40 years and retire with a gold watch. P.D. helped shape and develop my entrepreneurial mind because god knows they don’t teach that shit in college, and finally and most importantly, It restored faith and gave me hope that as long as there are people on this earth pushing to move us forward then we may just pull this whole thing called life off with out killing each other and starting wars and conflict with our fellows.

I like to think how far we would have advanced as a human race if we spent all of the time, money and effort we have spent on fighting with each other and put all that to advancing the human race across the board in Science, phycology, renewable energy and educating the masses. Maybe we can start that type of campaign in 2014 🙂 Whoever that guys is, he’s got my vote!

To find out more about the books I have written and a more in-depth look in to what I have learned through my years of personal development, check out my book The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life.” I hope this blog motivated you. Happy NEW YEAR, let’s make 2014 incredible.