Posts Tagged ‘success’

Dear Student,

I am positive that you have probably heard from from your parents, those in your community, your teachers, and so many others the importance of getting an education. You were probably told that a college degree is a must if you want to earn more money and get better positions and more pay.

“83% of college students and parents strongly agreed that higher education is an investment in the future, college is needed now more than ever (70%), and the path to earning more money (69%).”

How America Pays for College 2012 Study by Sallie Mae

Yet despite this strong sentiment toward higher education, the glaring problem of unemployment or underemployment of those holding college degrees poses a serious problem.

“A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.”

1 in 2 New Grads Jobless Or Underemployed” by Hope Yen

As a student, you are or will be spending a lot of money for a college education and taking on student loans to pay for it, only to be left with a 50/50 chance of landing a job in your chosen field of study.  Do you like those odds? What if you could do something to beat those odds and increase your chance of getting the job you want or begin building the skills necessary to creating your own business?

The time has come for a change. A change from a mindset that an education by itself is enough to get you where you want to go. You have to make a decision to do something that will make you stand out from all the rest of the graduates.

Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.”

Seth Godin, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

What is true for a business to succeed in today’s world is true for individuals who want to succeed in this world. You need to be REMARKABLE. Let’s face it:  What is remarkable about graduating from college? Yes, it is an accomplishment worthy of being proud of accomplishing; but, using Seth Godin’s words, “It’s a brown cow.”

I am offering you an opportunity to do something over the next four years of your life that will make you remarkable. We have created a mentoring program designed to make you stand out like a “purple cow” in the midst of a herd of brown cows. Take a look at the first year’s program objectives.

In the first year, you will learn a foundation of leadership principles as we study The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. We will study the laws and discover how each one of them applies in your own interactions as a leader.

You will be required to serve in a leadership role with an organization or create a project to make a positive impact on the community where you live. You will be able to take the principles we discuss and apply them directly to your experience. As you serve, you will also be making valuable contribution to your community and start building a network of people who will see you in action.

We will study Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It has been included to help you create a framework to build a life of success. The principles Napoleon shares in his work come from a study of thousands of people to find out what made some successful and so many fail. The principles in this work, if put into practice, will set you apart from the majority of people, who refuse to do what successful people do.

And the final component of the first year is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This small yet powerful book will share principles that will shape your character and give you a set of principles upon which will steer you toward “stratospheric success” in business and life.

Over the course of nine months, we will have 32 live one-hour-long sessions to discuss the material for the week via teleconference. There will be a private forum to connect and share ideas with other participants. You will have 24/7 email access to our mentoring team.

If you want to stand out as “remarkable” and accelerate your success, then consider being a part of our mentoring program. Sign-up for our newsletter to stay connected and be notified when open enrollment begins. Invest in your future, build a network of connections, and be the one people will choose first over all the rest.

LIVE your dream,

Greg “Big Z” Zander
Cultural Architect and CEO ~ EPIC Journey, Inc.
Founder ~ Catalyzing Leaders

“Not all people are so constituted that they wish to know the truth about all matters vitally affecting life. One of the great surprises the author of this course has met with, in connection with his research activities, is that so few people are willing to hear the truth when it shows up their own weaknesses.

We prefer illusions to realities!”

Napoleon Hill, Laws of Success

Click on the picture to see the illusion.

A few years ago, I applied for a sales position with a company who was expanding in our area. They asked me a question during the interview that went something like this: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as a salesperson?” They were a little taken back by my answer as I replied that I was an 8 or 9. My answer prompted the question, “Why an 8 or 9 and not a 10?” They were looking for someone who had the illusion that they were a 10. Who can really say they have no room for improvement?

Too often, we hide behind the illusions we create to hide what we really know to be true. We grow comfortable  hiding behind a mask and not dealing with reality. To acknowledge our weaknesses induces fear, a fear that is based on an inherent idea that the only the strong survive. So we create these facades to keep us from being devoured by those who appear to be stronger.

Only when we choose to dismantle the illusions do we really free ourselves to succeed. Once we know our weaknesses, we can then create plans to strengthen those areas. While I believe you should play to your strengths, you also need to take steps to improve upon your weaknesses. This may be done in a variety of ways including accountability, delegation, coaching, creating a well-rounded team, to name a few.

Be willing to listen and acknowledge the truth when it shows up. Stop hiding behind the illusions and create a reality of success.

Kayla Cruz shares some amazing insights as a recent college graduate and her experience in the workplace. Her drive to become the best she can be is an inspiration. A great post to share with my readers.

Gen Y Girl

Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of these Ted Talks.

I saw this one today and thought I’d share.

Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Positive psychology… It seems to be a topic of great interest lately.

There are thousands of books teaching people things like how to be happy… how to make the best out of really crappy situations… that your attitude determines your success.

Well it does, but that’s not what I want to write about at the moment.

Achor makes many great points in his talk, but the one that I really loved was his emphasis on the fact that we need to stop focusing on the average (start the video at about 4 mins).

You see, when it comes to business and success, it’s no secret that some people and some companies are…

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“There are millions of people who BELIEVE themselves ‘doomed’ to poverty and failure, because of some strange force over which they BELIEVE they have no control. They are the creators of their own ‘misfortunes,’ because of this negative BELIEF, which is picked up by the subconscious mind, and translated into its physical equivalent.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

This is our final post in this series as we finish out the 30 causes of failure Napoleon Hill revealed in his book, Think and Grow Rich. As we mentioned with the previous 25, you can work to correct these as well. Be sure these final five are not holding you back from from achieving the success you want.

26. POSSESSION OF POWER THAT WAS NOT ACQUIRED THROUGH SELF EFFORT – Those who inherit either a position or wealth have a tendency (not always the case) to not handle either properly. Studies have been done on those who have won large sums of money through the purchase of lottery tickets. What is interesting about their findings rings true with this cause of failure. Most winners find themselves back in the same place they were financially prior to winning the money. They have not developed a mindset nor the habits necessary to handle such an influx of wealth.

If you have been the recipient of a position of power or wealth, you will have to work hard to earn the respect of others who have given of themselves to achieve their success. You may have to forgo some luxuries or humble yourself to find out what it is truly like to work your way up the ladder. Only then, will you truly understand what it takes to achieve high levels of success and gain the respect of those around you.

27. INTENTIONAL DISHONESTY – There is no substitute for being honest. Those who intentionally lie and deceive will find themselves failing to reach success. The results of dishonesty can be devastating and the hopes of ever reaching success are slim to none.

No one likes to work with or do business with someone they cannot trust. Once word gets out about a person’s dishonesty, their reputation is tarnished. Depending on the severity of their dishonesty, they may even lose their liberty (Bernie Madoff ring any bells?). There is no place for intentional dishonesty on the road to success.

28. EGOTISM AND VANITY – A recent gathering of friends had interesting results. One person with whom I was formerly associated with was bragging about his levels of wealth and success to a couple of my other friends whom neither had ever met. Afterwards, my former associate wanted to set an appointment to meet the newly introduced couple who wanted nothing to do with that man. They said a red light went off in their minds when a total stranger began boasting about how much money he had made in the past. A person’s ego can get in the way of developing profitable relationships.

Check your ego at the door and don’t become so vain that people can’t see the real you. Both of these things can have negative affects on your reaching the success you want to have. They hinder relationships from being developed which are crucial to anyone wanting to succeed.

29. GUESSING INSTEAD OF THINKING – “It was on the internet, so it must be true.” We live in an information age and it has become easy to find information quickly. What Napoleon discovered in his time, is valid toady. People who fail have a tendency to guess rather than think through or truly research the facts. How many of us have been the recipients of emails or Facebook posts of outlandish claims without any proof? People pass things along as if they are true without even thinking or finding the facts.

The path to success requires us to find the facts. When we are well informed and educated, we are able to make the best judgment calls and decisions that will move us forward. Be sure you acquire the facts!

30. LACK OF CAPITAL – Those who begin new business ventures without any capital to fall back on when things don’t take off as quickly as they’d like, find themselves struggling to succeed. Mistakes, setbacks, or market conditions may cause financial stress that will possibly be a cause for failure.

The best thing you can do before venturing forth with a new business is to make sure you have the financial reserves to take care of needs if it takes longer than expected to produce income. A well stocked savings would be best and first choice. A part-time job is always an option while you build your company or continuing with your full-time position until you have your savings or adequate income from your new business to replace it.

31. Is there something you have experienced that is not on the list that has been a cause of failure for you? We know that every list has exceptions or additions. Please share anything that has been a cause of failure to you so others may learn from your experiences (don’t worry, you can post them anonymously if you want).

I am putting all 30 of these causes into one downloadable document. If you would like to have a copy, sign up on the right to receive it and share it.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, we had stone boundaries around our property lines. Now we didn’t put up any of those boundaries, they were there from years gone by. The fields in PA are full of stones and rocks. Every time a farmer plowed his field, a new harvest of stones popped up. They would be picked up and stacked along the property lines forming the boundary walls. You knew when you came to a stone wall, you were at the boundary of that property.

Mentoring relationships need to establish healthy boundaries just like any other relationship. To remain healthy, good communication of expectations should take place when establishing an official mentoring relationship (some mentoring is very casual and there is no structure). When everyone involved understands what the other is expecting and it is agreeable to the terms, you have established the boundaries of the relationship.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind in establishing your boundaries:

  • Establish a reasonable schedule of time either of you are available. If you have a mentor in your workplace, don’t take up so much of their time that they cannot finish their tasks or responsibilities. Likewise, don’t overburden your mentee so that he/she cannot accomplish their tasks. More often than not, this relationship will not be 24/7. Respect the other person’s time.
  • Define the areas of your life you will allow your mentor to give you guidance. Some people are looking for a holistic approach while others are looking only for only professional mentoring. Know what areas of life are open for direction or direction is to be given.
  • Remember that the mentoring relationship is between you and your mentor and does not extend to the rest of your family nor does it extend into their family. Keep the relationship between the two parties only.

For the more casual mentoring relationships where there isn’t set times, agendas, or program for development, the need for boundaries is just as important. In these types of relationships, the boundaries may not be spoken or shared. They are more likely boundaries you set for yourself and guarded. You are responsible for being the gatekeeper in those situations.

Remember that uninvited guests who cross boundary lines are considered trespassers. And you have seen the signs concerning trespassers, right?


“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do.

“More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

We continue our series covering the 30 major causes of failure that Napoleon Hill discovered in his research and interviews of thousands of people. We are not only sharing the causes, we are sharing how to correct these causes so you can be back on the road to success.

21. THE HABIT OF INDISCRIMINATE SPENDING – Those who have the habit of spending everything they get, cannot succeed. Only when you develop a habit of systematic savings do you begin to create a safety net to pursue your goals without the fear of poverty taking hold. Knowing you have a significant amount of savings allows you to act with courage, not with desperate need to take anything offered.

A couple of things you can do to correct this problem. One, begin to set aside a certain percentage of your income for savings (not investments). Do this regardless. Make it a habit because there is always something else to buy or an expense that comes along. Two, track your spending for a month, I mean everything. Be sure to include the money you drop into the vending machines at work and the extra items you pick up at the gas station. You might be surprised how much you could cut back and put into savings.

22. LACK OF ENTHUSIASM – Are you more likely to buy a product from someone who displays an enthusiastic demeanor or the person who appears to be uninterested? A person’s enthusiasm is what generates a sense of convincing.  Enthusiasm is a contagious attitude that when it is under control, lights up a room.

If you are a sports fan, you will notice that the teams who are winning will have the most enthusiastic fans. Those fans exude an energy that is felt by the players. Go to a stadium where a team has been on a losing streak, and the level of enthusiasm is so low, it drains any positive energy. It leaves you feeling dejected.

Be enthused about your goals, your purpose, your company, your products, or in whatever you are doing to create success for yourself. Your enthusiasm will overflow into the lives of others who will help you succeed.

23. INTOLERANCE – Those who go through life with a closed mind about anything seldom find success. The most damaging aspect of intolerance is when it relates to people’s race, religious beliefs, gender, political differences, age, or sexual preferences.

Unfortunately, this is one of those issues you may not realize how intolerant you are to others. You may need some close, trusted friends to be brutally honest with you about this one. This one takes an effort to begin opening up to new ideas, new thought processes, and accepting people for who they are. Here’s a challenge for you if you are intolerant of others: Make it a point to engage in meaningful conversation with a person whom you have shown intolerance and get to know the person. You just may be surprised what you learn.

24. INTEMPERANCE – People who overindulge in their base appetites (food, alcohol, and sexual activity) often find themselves struggling to reach success. Moderation and self-control of our desires is key to success.

Think about how much energy that is stolen from your body by overindulging in food. You know the feeling. You ate so much that your body is using so much energy to digest the food, you want to take a nap. Anytime we are intemperant, we will find it hindering our ability to reach success.

25. INABILITY TO COOPERATE WITH OTHERS -No one cares about your success more than you. However, to achieve great success, you need the cooperation of others. There is no such thing as lone ranger success. You need to learn how to cooperate with others.

I have found a couple of great resources that will help you learn how to better cooperate with others. The first is a classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The second, Winning Without Intimidation, by Bob Burg. This would be an excellent resource to study. You can learn new skill sets to help you become a more cooperative person.

Don’t let these causes keep you from reaching success. Do what it takes to correct these, and you will be much closer to LIVING your dream.

“I have what I refer to as my top-50 list. At all times, I have a list of 50 people or companies I am eager to do business with. I never wait for the phone to ring to see who just happens to come my way. Instead I work proactively to pursue the people I want to do business with.”

Tory Johnson, Success Magazine, March 2012

The business application to creating a top 50 list is really brilliant and easy to grasp. You target who you want to do business with and focus your energy, talent, and resources to go after that list. Far better than just randomly scattering seeds hoping something will grow.

There is another perspective to this that is also important to grasp. For the college student who is finishing up their degree, creating a top 50 list of companies you would want to work for is a great idea. By creating the list, you begin to investigate each of the potential companies you want to work for and start proactively making yourself marketable for those companies. This list would be just as flexible with names coming and going as you learn more about each one. More than likely, your list will start to become fewer as you begin to really hone in on the ones you like the best.

Creating a top 50 list essentially allows you to narrow your focus. The more you know about those you want to connect with to do business, to work for, or to recruit to your organization, the better results you will have. Begin creating your top 50 list and work that list. It will make a difference.