Do you regularly chair team meetings? Do you find yourself frustrated with controlling those meetings? Perhaps you have issues with certain individuals? This may be a possible solution for you and your team.

I have been participating in a lot of group work recently and it has made me reflect back on the times when I used to facilitate team meetings in the work place. These rules are transferable to any type of meeting and will help set the ground rules. They worked for me and I’m sure you will be able to adapt the concept for your own team too.

Rule 1

Turn Up On Time

Rule 2

Listen whilst someone else is talking

Rule 3

Listen with the intent to underst and, not reply

Rule 4

No bad language is allowed

Rule 5

No idea is a bad idea

Rule 6

If you have a problem, please follow up with a possible solution

You’ll notice that none of the rules are complicated. As the chair of the meeting you have to lead by example…so make sure you follow your rules too.

Applying the rules

What I did to apply the rules was print them out on A4 paper with a big font size and display them at each meeting I chaired. You could do the same with your own version.

You could also ask your team to put the rules together themselves, and if you know what you are looking for you could guide them through the process.

What would you do?

  1. What else would you include on the list?
  2. Do you think this is too simple?
  3. Do you think it would help your meeting run smoother?

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

So, you’ve decided to start a new business (or anything new) and you’re really excited about it. But be careful out there…these ‘Four D’s’ will try to stop you, be aware of them and put things in place to stop them.

Doubt – Make sure self doubt doesn’t get the better of you. Speak to and hang around inspirational people that believe in you.

Disappointment – Things rarely work out first time. Be prepared to try many times.

Distractions – Be ruthless with your time…make sure you spend it on what really matters. Don’t let life’s little issues get in the way.

Dream Stealers – these are the people who, when you tell them what you want to do with your life, try to take your dreams away from you. They don’t want you to be wealthy, successful, or happy. Choose carefully who you share your dreams with.

What could you do to stop these things from demoralising and stopping you from succeeding?

Credit to Paul Greenoch for sharing this with me.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

I think a lot about things, and about what things mean and how they impact upon my life. The main reason I do this is because I want to be better, wiser, improve and learn from what happens in my life.

Do you underst and what it means to express humility? Is it something that you are aware of everyday? Well, for me, the word ‘humility’ was, until recently, not a word I used in my vocabulary, in fact I didn’t really know when it would be appropriate to use in context…but now I do.

Recently at a workshop I was delivering I received some feedback from a delegate whom mentioned that she would have expected more humility to be expressed in the delivery of our content.

Humility is the ability to have a modest or low view of one’s importance.

I immediately felt as though I had been overly strong in my delivery of the content and perhaps I should have toned it down slightly. My colleague mentioned to me that you can’t always appeal to everyone, and although your presentation may appeal to the vast majority, there is always a small percentage of the audience that you won’t ‘connect’ with. It think that’s a fair assumption and I’m not here to moan or complain about it, this blog is about reflecting and learning and hopefully to try and help you learn from my experiences.

Learning Everyday

LearningEveryday_iconThe thing is, I named my company Learning Everyday, and although humility isn’t a word I have used before, the very foundation of my company is based upon the underst anding that we don’t know everything and that we are willing to learn from other people. Learning everyday is a huge part of my life and I am comfortable knowing, not only that I don’t know everything, but also that others have fantastic ideas, stories, experience and knowledge and that I can learn from everyone in some way.

The following day I watched a video with Sir Ken Robinson and Eckhart Tolle about a slightly unrelated topic (which has now been removed from YouTube!).

However there is a small part of this video that caught my ear and it’s all about having the courage to admit that you don’t know the answer to something, or that you simply just don’t underst and. Eckhart uses an example of the Dalai Lama being publicly asked a question of which he doesn’t know the answer to. Instead of the Dalai Lama fretting over not knowing the answer, because of his importance and the perception that he should know the answer to everything, he happily answers with “I don’t know”.

Are you comfortable not knowing?

dalai-lama
This really got me thinking. Firstly, this has an amazing impact on the audience. Because the Dali Lama admitted not knowing, this immediately gave the audience the permission to also ‘not know’, which is a powerful thing to achieve. Most of us are not comfortable admitting we don’t know things for several reasons, here are my thoughts: –

  • We don’t want to appear stupid on unintelligent
  • We don’t want to appear as if we have some weaknesses
  • We are too proud
  • Our ego’s are too big
  • The fear of being mocked

My second though about this was about how I can make sure humility comes across in my delivery when public speaking or presenting information.

Reflecting back on the comment I received I feel I have learned something. I am always forward in admitting when I don’t know something but perhaps I can improve somehow by being more aware of humility and how others may react to what I’m saying and how I am saying it.

As a consultant I think there is a lesson to be learned, and that is to be aware of humility when not only speaking to an audience, but also when working with people one-to-one.

I spoke to my Dad about this, whom has been a consultant for many years, and he summed it up nicely – “Instead of trying to simply provide solutions, work with people to help find the solutions”, i.e. don’t feel like you need to have all the answers, but work with people to find the solutions by asking the correct questions and facilitating the creativity and thinking processes. Spot on Dad!

After reading this, what are your thoughts?

How do you behave when you don’t know the answer to something? How do you feel when you don’t underst and something? Are you comfortable not knowing? Have you ever experienced the impact of humility or been in a situation where humility was not present? Please feel free to share your story and experiences.

Comments & Feedback

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Take the time to fill in any gaps in what I have written about, or share your feelings or story.

I just completed reading Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki. It’s a book that has been sitting in my library for a while and I was prompted to read it because it’s on my University reading list this year!

Enchantment transforms situations and relationships, turns cynics into believers and changes hearts and minds.

As soon as I started to read it I quickly realised the similarities between Enchantment and How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. You could say that this is the 21st Century version of the same book, although I have to say that I took a lot more from How To Win Friends.

The book is written in a way that makes it easy to dip in and out of, and it’s only a few hundred pages short. Not everything you read in the book will apply directly to your life, although I would suggest reading the book and using it to pick up the things that you think will work for you….there is always something to learn!

 

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

My Top Three Lessons

There are some great lessons in the book and I’ve reproduced my top three lessons.

Lesson 1 – Improve your decision making (p. 181)

I’m a really big fan of checklists and this list really appeals to me! I’m going to print this off and put it up in my office and every time I need to make a decision I’ll refer to it.

  • If I waited a week, I’d still make the same decision
  • A year from now, this decision would still be a good one
  • I’ve done my home work by reading independent reports and reviews of the product/service/organisation/idea
  • I am fully aware of the total cost of this decision, including installation, support, maintenance, subscriptions, and upgrades
  • This decision will not harm people
  • This decision will not unduly harm the environment
  • This decision isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal
  • This decisions will not set a bad example for my children
  • If no one could see that I was doing this, I would still do it
  • If everyone could see that I was doing this, I would still do it

Lesson 2 – Become the kind of person others want to follow (p. 29)

These pointers may seem quite obvious, but there are probably one or two things you could do here to invoke more trustworthiness. I think this is a great list of key qualities for anyone who wants to make friends.

  • Always act with honesty
  • Treat people who have wronged you with civility
  • Fulfill your unkept promises from the past
  • Help someone who can be of absolutely no use to you
  • Suspend the blame when something goes wrong and ask, “What can we learn”
  • Hire people who are as smart or smarter than you and give them opportunities for growth
  • Don’t interrupt people; don’t dismiss their concerns offh and; don’t rush to give advice; don’t change the subject. Allow people their moment.
  • Do no harm in anything you undertake
  • Don’t be too quick to shoot down others’ ideas
  • Share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with others
  • Focus on good will – focus on positive actions that make the world a better place
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt

Lesson 3 – Use Japanese wisdom to help you increase the effectiveness of your use of technology (p.148-9)

This list is a little different, and one of the reasons that I quite like it. Guy has reproduced this list from Garr Reynold’s book, Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations.

Kanso – Eliminating clutter and expressing things in plain and simple ways. Application: Reduce the crap in your presentation, on your website and blog, and in your emails, tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn updates.

Fukinsie – Using asymmetry or irregularity to achieve balance. Application: Use asymmetrical photos on your website and in your presentations. Google the ‘ rule of thirds‘ to learn more about the power of asymmetry in photography

Shibui – Underst anding and not elaborating upon things. Application: Reduce the hard sell approach in every form of communication

Shizen – Depicting naturalness with the absence of pre tense and artificiality. Application: Simplify the user interface of your web properties and remove the flashy intro video on your website.

Yugen – Using subtle and symbolic suggestion rather than obviousness. Application: Create a presentation that moves people’s souls rather than beats them into submission and, more likely, boredom

Datsuzoku – Transcending habit, formula, and conventionality. Application: Break away from the tired text- and-bullet-points method of telling your story by using evocative pictures and cool diagrams. Or, don’t use Powerpoint and Keynote at all.

Seijaku – Achieving a state of tranquility and energised calm. Application: Removing the jarring and intrusive elements from your blog and website

Wa – Embodying harmony and balance and avoiding self-assertion. Application: Meld the needs of your customers, employees, and shareholders into a win-win, pie-baking approach.

Ma – Providing an emptiness, spatial void, or silence to provide a focal point. Application: Remove the glitz from your slides and increase white space in your presentation, website and blog.

Yohaku-no-bi – Appreciating the beauty of what is implied, unstated, and unexpressed. Application: Don’t sell past the close in your enchantment efforts.

Buy Enchantment

Comments & Feedback

How many mentors do you have at the moment? Do you feel like there is just far too much information coming at you from every guru or mentor? If you feel like you don’t have time to put all the great ideas into practice, this might get you thinking about how you can be more productive with the information you are receiving. About a year ago I felt like I needed to take an ‘information diet’ and this is what I did.

After reading personal and business developing books for a number of years I was feeling a little unsatisfied. I didn’t have enough time to read everything I wanted to and thus felt I was continually missing out on key information. People still recommend books to me everyday; how can one possibly read every single book? In short, you can’t read everything!

The only way I was going to feel more satisfied was if I could stop worrying about trying to read everything and start taking the key messages and putting them into practice from the books I did choose to read. Using my time a little more effectively. It was back in February of 2012 that I decided to fire some of my mentors and only follow a few key people, which I now call my key mentors.

A major lesson…

What I have found is that, in one way or another, these successful people all have the same messages, i.e. they all say the same thing, the only difference is that they express it in their own individual way. This isn’t a bad thing, the fact that they are saying the same fundamental things signals to me that the concepts are solid and that they work. After realising that there was a lot of repetition I knew I could afford to cut down the amount of information to allow me to have time to put things into practice.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because you might not realise that you’re having the exact same problem as I was.

Some tips for your information diet

  1. Pick out the key mentors that are the leaders in your field or industry of concern.
  2. Pick out the key mentors that you can connect with the most. The mentors you can connect with the most and who’s personality you can resonate with. Those you could never get tired of listening to or learning from.
  3. Pick out the key mentors that are going to stay fresh and current. These are the people you want to keep an eye on and learn from as you know they will keep you up to date.
  4. Pick out the key mentors that are willing to help you the most and share the most information with you.
  5. Keep your list short so you can get the most from each one – pick between 1 and 4, and follow them with the intent to learn and implement their lessons.

I have met a few people who like to go from one thing to the next without really learning, changing or internalising the concepts and ideas. These people are normally very busy, but don’t get much done. I believe the answer is to stick with key people and implement their lessons.

Some Examples

Nigel Botterill
Who – The UK king of Information Marketing, franchise development and small business development.
Why – I can totally relate to him and I get excited about watching his videos and can’t wait to see him again in 2013. He is going to be at least 1 step ahead of the game and I know that I can learn a lot from him.
What – Nigel is my resource for Marketing, productivity and business development

Darren Hardy
Who – I see him as a younger, and alive(!), version of Jim Rohn. Darren Hardy is the visionary force behind SUCCESS magazine as its Publisher and Founding Editor.
Why – He is a success story and every lesson I have learned from him has been completely worthwhile.
What – Darren is my resource for focus, discipline, productivity and living a better life

One thing to note

In both these examples, each of my mentors is alive and well. This means they have much more chance of producing up to date and current material than the people that aren’t around any more, which in turn keeps me relevant too. They have also both ‘walked the walk’ meaning that they their advice is evidence based, a very important consideration for your mentor selection process.

I’m not saying that my mentors won’t change over time, in fact I’m sure that they will. As I grow and look for different information for the different problems I encounter I’m sure I will seek out different people for advice and mentorship, and I’m sure you will too.

Now that I have decided to concentrate on what these people are saying, I no longer feel guilty about missing out on all the other information. The great thing is that the information that I’m missing will still be there when I need it. I have learned to let go of worrying about missing out so I can spend more time implementing the practices and lessons I’m learning.

Who are your mentors? Are you getting the best from them? Which of your mentors could you fire and give yourself more time to implement ideas from only just a few?

Chris.

Comments & Feedback

 

When I was 25 my brother Colin (23) was killed tragically. I know this seems a little morbid with regards to all my previous entries, however stick with me…there is a lesson here, as you have probably guessed!

Two distinct events happened this past week that have inspired this blog: –

  • I received an email from Nigel Botterill that got me thinking a little differently about the impact that the death of Colin has had on me.
  • I was at lunch with a really good friend, who has far more life experience than me. She was telling me a story about her youngest niece (in her early 20’s), about how she apparently hates her Dad so much that she wishes he was dead! I feel sorry for my friends niece and I think she may regret saying that in the future. But I’m not here to judge other people, I just want to reflect on this situation and how it applies to life learning.

Having a sense of mortality from a young age isn’t something that you’d ever be glad or happy to have, although I think it can at times give you an edge on life.

I was reminded of my own circumstances and how precious time is, especially time with your family and closest loved ones. On reflection, experiencing death at a young age gives you a different perspective on life compared to other people.

Having a sense of mortality has impacted me significantly in two ways: –

  • I have to do as much as possible with the time I’ve got…”no fannying about”, as I like to say! You can’t get your time back once it’s gone, so spend it wisely.
  • I have managed to develop an amazing resilience to all the BS that takes place around me. I just don’t let things get in my way (more on resilience in another blog).

Losing my brother at such a young age has made me appreciate life and how precious it is. It has made me determined and focussed to get what I want and not let anything get in the way. I also really appreciate the time I have with all my family and friends, because one day the inevitable will take place.

My Step-Dad says “[Of death/growing old]: It’s the one thing we’ve all got in common” and it is so true. Interestingly, he lost an older brother at a young age and his determination and focus is a distinct element of his personality, do you think that’s a coincidence?

I would do anything to have my brother back here beside me. The reality is that I could negatively dwell on this all the time and do nothing with my life, or learn from it and get the most I possibly can out of life whilst I’m here.

Has anything significant happened in your life that has made you more focussed and determined? Do you let circumstances get in the way of getting what you want?

Chris.

Comments & Feedback

Introduction

Because this is a slightly longer blog than normal – here’s a short summary about what’s included.

I put this together to inspire you to build your library, consistently read books and educate yourself. The sole purpose of reading is to advance your self-education and continue to improve yourself. For example, I make sure that I read for 30 minutes a day, and I think it’s one of the best habits I have, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you here.

This topic heavily influenced by Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009), and I listen to him almost everyday. I’ve said it before, he’s a very wise man and some of the most successful people have learned from and implemented his practices and lessons of life. If you don’t already have some of his books or audio I highly recommed you make that your first task…directly after reading my blog of course!

I hope you find some value here. As always, thanks for reading.

Collections

I’ve always been good at collecting things. From graphic novels to guitar magazines, from Lego Technics to Corgi cars, from Baseball and Ice Hockey cards to UK and EU Stamps! I just love to collect things that I find interesting and important. If you are anything like me you’ll get annoyed when you’re missing a part of your collection…you just want to have the complete collection and have it sitting on your shelf…it’s a great feeling when it’s complete!! You’re probably a collector too, if so I’m sure you can relate. Btw, it’s cool to collect stuff, it’s a little nerdy, but it’s cool in my book.

As I’ve grown I’ve slipped away from the collections of my childhood into collecting books and building a library, which, I’d like to admit, still includes comic books and guitar magazines!

In the last year I’ve really concentrated on finding the best books in the subjects that I want to study, which include marketing, business development and living a better life/philosophy.

Where To Start Reading

In a previous blog, I wrote about becoming an expert, and one of the first things the list advised us to do is read the top 10 books in our industry, or we could read the top 20 or 50 if we wanted to. I think one of the toughest things to do is find out what the top 10 or 50 books actually are; you don’t want to waste your time reading the mediocre books or the trash. I’m sure you’d rather skip past that stuff and head straight to the good stuff…the books that’ll really make a difference to what you do. So where’s the best place to start?

Perhaps one way to find a good place to start is to speak to those who inspire you, or whom you view as a mentor or a leader in your particular field or industry. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to give you a reading list, here are the books I recommend. One other option is a Google search! Have a think about other ways to get the correct recommendations.

Balancing Your Library

Getting balance into your library is very important. As an example, it’s like going to the gym and only working on your upper body…you’ll end up all out of proportion – big arms and chest, but skinny spindly legs! You need to get a balance across the major subjects in order to have a balanced education.

Jim Rohn really stresses how important a library is to your future wealth and well-being, and also that of your friends and family. Here are the major subjects to think about in order to strike the balance: –

  1. Philosophy & Attitude
  2. Sales & Marketing
  3. Finance & Accounting
  4. Leadership & Management
  5. History
  6. …think about what else would you add in here?

Studying the Books

As you’re most likely aware, there’s a major difference between reading the books and studying the books. If you want to get the most out of them you have to study them. Here’s a tip: For each book I’ve got a ‘one-use’ bookmark that I can write on (to take note of recommended books in the text), along with a sharp pencil. I write notes all over the pages, underline and circle key words, phrases, and sentences. At the end of each section or chapter I write down everything I remember along with any ideas that have come to mind. Doing these little things makes it easy for me to flick back through and pick out the main parts and nuggets from the book. Perhaps you do something similar or you have your own technique? I would be interested to find out what you do when studying books. My advice would be to not be afraid to write on the pages and mess the book up a little, just get stuck in!

Don’t give your books away!

It doesn’t matter if you rip the pages out or write and draw all over them, because you aren’t going to give them away or sell them, are you? My advice would be to never give anyone a book from your library. There have been too many times that I have let someone borrow a book that contains all my notes… and it’s never returned! So bloody frustrating! It is especially annoying when the book isn’t at h and for you to grab when you need it for reference. Here’s my advice for those whom express an interest in what you’re reading: –

  1. Either buy them the book as a gift, OR
  2. Get them to buy it for themselves – they’ll be more inclined to read it if they buy it.

Remember, these books are your investment in your library, your education, your future and your family’s future.

Planing Your Reading

A Daily Habit

Try to build in a habit of reading for 30 minutes per day. Just for benchmarking purposes, I can get through about 20 pages in 30 minutes and I’m not particularly slow or fast. Therefore, a book of around 250 pages takes me about 2 weeks. I also try to get in an additional 20 minutes before bed, which is usually a positive thinking book, and typically a repeat read which doesn’t require too much thinking, but keeps my brain ticking over while I’m sleeping.

Perhaps you think that’s slow progress but I take pride in the ability to get through a book in 2 weeks; I read it from cover to cover and, at the end, I know exactly what I got from the book and I can apply the concepts almost immediately.

This is what works for me, you just have to find what works for you. Just try something until you find your flow.

Thinking about what book is next

Make sure you’ve got a book lined up for after you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading, and one for after that too. This will encourage you to keep the habit going, and through planning you can make sure you’re getting the right balance into your reading.

Taking Action

I know a lot of people who fly through books…sometimes 2 a week! OK, they might be speed readers but I still struggle to figure out how they’d get the most out of it. 30 minutes per day over 2 weeks gives me time to synthesise the material and figure out how it applies to what I do. Again, you just have to find what works for you. I’m a bit of a thinker…so it suits me to take in small sections at a time.

Whatever your technique is, it is important that you actually take something from the books you are reading and apply the ideas and concepts, otherwise what’s the point? There’s no point in just being inspired, you have to be educated, you have to take action and you should be implementing your lessons.

Book Lists & Recommendations

Here’s a great list – the top 25 books for success published on the Success.com blog. I’ve read some of the books on the list and I’m sure you have too. This looks to me like a fantastic place to start building your library…these are the success classics!

Why not pick a book from the list and buy it from Amazon today? Just do it…what’s £10 or £12 invested in your education? It’s certainly not a barrier.

Here are the top 5 Books that are continually recommended by super successful people: –

  1. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
  2. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  3. Awaken The Giant Within – Anthony Robbins
  4. Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson
  5. The Yes! Attitude – Jeffrey Gitomer

If you were going to do any reading at all you should really read these 5.

Have fun building your library and have a great time learning and educating yourself! Invest the money in your self-education and start building your library today. Remember, you’ve got to put something in before you get anything out!

Have you got any Recommendations?

If you could recommend a book to me, something that has had an impact on your life, that would be greatly appreciated! I’d like to find out what books are important to you.

Thanks and all the best!

Chris.

Comments and Feedback

“There are three things to leave behind: your photographs, your library and your personal journals. These things are certainly going to be more valuable to future generations than your furniture”
– Jim Rohn

This quote from Jim Rohn is a small snippet of his advice on what to leave behind as your legacy, and to benefit your family when you are no longer around. Mr Rohn is a wise man and should be listened to with the intent to improve and develop your life and the life of others.

Listening to Mr Rohn has really reminded me of a current issue that I am dealing with; I don’t have enough photos of my younger brother who died 5 years ago, and there is nothing I can do about that now. I have been looking through all my digital photos from the past decade and I never made enough effort to take more photos and capture the memories. I mean, the last thing you think about is not getting another opportunity to take another photo, you just don’t expect people to leave you so young… and for me, a very hard lesson is learned.

With this in mind I’m getting my camera out. I’m going to take it everywhere with me and take photos of all the important people in my life.

I appreciate that digital technology and smartphones have come a long way in the past 10 years, and thus memories are a lot easier to capture. However, I still feel that I don’t take enough pictures of the people that I love the most. You might be thinking the same, if so get your camera primed!

Can I ask you…

…how many photos have you taken of your parents from the past 6 months? How many of your gr andparents? Brothers? Sisters? Children? Think about this, once they are gone you can’t do anything about it, the time is now!

It takes a fraction of a second to capture a memory and it takes a fraction of a second to miss it.

A picture speaks a thous and words. Take more pictures.
– Jim Rohn


Feedback & Comments…

There are 2 main ways to provide feedback and/or comment. Either using the Facebook application below or scroll down further to comment directly on the website.

All the best,

Chris.

I recently stumbled across a great list of things to do if you want to become an expert at something. The list could be extended by adding other tasks, and it would be great to hear your thoughts on what you think could, or should, be added.

This really got me thinking, and I noted the list in my journal for future reference and reflection. This also reminded me about Malcolm Gladwell and his theory of it taking 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at any one thing, which is a great metric…but it requires planned action during those 10,000 hours to achieve expert status.

Creating a Vision

If you work hard towards an end goal of becoming an expert in something, which might take 10-15 years, and you are constantly refining your craft and developing yourself personally, then you are probably doing most of the right things.

I think one of the main points is about having a long term vision of where you want to end up, what you want to be, what you want to have, what experiences you want to have, etc. With that long term vision firm in your mind and dreams you can then begin to make a plan, create a path to that goal, work out what you need to do and who you need to become in order to achieve what you want. This is where the list below comes in to play; the list helps to underst and what it might take to get you to expert status.

If you want to have more, you have to become more
– Jim Rohn

Improve Yourself

Don’t you think it would be great to be an expert in something…something you love to do?

Most people go from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, decade to decade, just plodding along. Why not climb the ladder? Why not become more valuable? Why not become better, stronger, wiser?

Building Your Path to Becoming an Expert

I came across this list on the Glazer Kennedy Inside Circle Facebook Page, credit to them for posting this.

  1. Legitimate personal experience
  2. Read the top 10 books in the field
  3. Read the two years back issues of the industry journals
  4. Join the trade associations
  5. Attend the major trade show, convention or conference
  6. Attend the industry leaders’ seminar
  7. Keep a note book of unanswered questions, and get them answered
  8. Seek out several leaders in the industry & consult with them personally (informally or formally)

What do you think? What would you add? Where would you start?

I think it’s a great place to start. It may seem like a lot of work, but it makes sense. If you are going to do something, you should get really interested and immerse yourself in your topic or industry.

Work harder on yourself than you do in your job
– Jim Rohn

Comments

I look forward to discussing this with you and perhaps discussing what you might add or remove from the list.

There are 2 main ways to comment. Either using the Facebook application below or scroll down further to comment directly on the website.

All the best,

Chris.

The more I read books that are written by super successful people, the more I am able to synthesise key points and key learnings. This is one of the major points that comes up time and again – who you hang around with matters!

What I am about to discuss is mentioned specifically by Jeffrey Gitomer, Darren Hardy, Jim Rohn & Nigel Botterill (my mentors). To add context to this I have reproduced a small section from The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude.

“We become the combined average of the 5 people we hang around the most” – Jim Rohn

We are normally completely unaware of the influence these 5 people have on our lives. The information below provides a platform for us to think about our associations and our environments, how they influence us and what we can do to change them if we need/want to.

Your Environments and Your Associations

(Excerpt directly from The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude p124-125)

Think about where you work, where you live, and where you hang out. Those are your environments.

Think about the people in your life: Your family, your spouse, your significant other, your kids, your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your customers, and your professional connections. Those are your associations.

Environments and associations do more to shape your daily attitude and your long term success than any other elements of your life.

My questions and challenges to you:
  • Where are you living?
  • Where are you working?
  • Who are you associating with that is helping your attitude and your success?
And if they are not the best environments or the best associations:
  • How can you change them?
  • How can you invert them?
  • How can you restructure them?
  • How can you influence them?

If you just understood that by adjusting some of your existing environments and associations your life would take a quantum leap forward, you’d do it in a second. The reason that you don’t [take the] step is that you are comfortable where you are st anding – however crappy that might be.

Step back now and look at the big picture of your life. If you want to grow it and make it permanently positive, you will need to assess your surroundings – living, working, and the people you come into contact with.

Rate the positive impact of your people and places. If the ratings are low, it’s time to graduate. Go gracefully, go ethically, go with class – but go.

Further Reading and Development

In The Compound Effect Darren Hardy mentions that your ‘reference group’ (those you hang around with the most) determine 95% of your successes and failures in life.

Darren Hardy has a few great exercises that you can download, print and work through. The Association Evaluator exercise is great for thinking about who you associate yourself with and it gives you the opportunity to see what relationships you might want to change and for what reasons.

The Input Influencer exercise helps you think about what you are feeding into your mind…which is another very important factor that affects your attitude and your potential success.

Action!

I really enjoy repeatedly doing this exercise and I bet you will too! You will discover who you want to hang around more and perhaps discover associations that you need to limit.

Remember that your thoughts and workings are private, so please be honest with yourself and take the time to reflect on your associations without feeling guilty or selfish.

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