I write about social media and social selling frequently (because it is vital to success and most professionals need to improve). Today I want to emphasize that, while it is important, there are many other things you should be doing to insure your success. I want to be clear, I do not proclaim myself as an expert. Rather, I am in the trenches with the 85% of you reading this and it is a learning process for me too. This past year has been a real uptick in my personal development, let’s begin there.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL (SO IS LISTENING)
The number of people that do not read ONE SINGLE BOOK, after graduating from college is staggering. I am going to give this audience some credit and assume more of you read than the statistic, but I have seen reports that as many as 90% of people never read a book again. Until this year. I was part of that guilty party. I would occasionally read a novel. But for the purpose of truly learning and making myself better, I had not read a single book in over a decade. In 2015, as of this writing, I have read 17 books and I am working on three different books right now. Too busy to read? Take that commute to the office, turn off the sports, news and music and plug into an audio book. In 2015 I have listened to over a dozen books, and several I have listened two multiple times. Here is the key, start small. Commit yourself to reading 5 pages a day, then 10 pages and then increase from one book to two, to three. It’s not a contest, remember, even if you can only do 5 pages a day & five days a week you will end up reading over 1200 pages in the coming year (which mean 406 good books)
ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER AND OR MASTERMIND GROUP
An accountability partner is a peer you meet with regularly, to share your success, discuss your losses (in a productive manner) and keep one another on course. This should be a slow process, meaning you carefully select someone you know you can work with, know you can learn from and know will be committed. Once you add a third person, you have the beginning of a mastermind group. Generally, these groups should not be bigger than four or five people. Consistent meetings where people share ideas and inspire one another, that is what you are working towards. My group currently has three people. If you are interested in joining our group in Baltimore, let me know.
Zig Ziglar famously said
“You need a checkup from the neck up”
I actually know one person in my life who, regardless of the situation, always seems to take that moment with a sense of grace, understanding, compassion and peace. The rest of us really need some work. 1) Start with gratitude: sure something bad happened to you. But think about the 900 good things that also happened in the last 24 hours. 2) Focus on perspective. The majority of arguments start because two people have different opinions and they refuse to concede to the other person’s opinion. Take a moment to recognize the other perspective and the valuable points it has ( especially when the point itself is counter to how you see things) 3) Laugh: remember folks, don’t take this moment so seriously. We are all in this together and we are all working towards the same end. The time in-between, is what we are in control of.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
Pick out your first book to read, TODAY! Pick your first book to listen to, TODAY! Think about who you want in your mastermind group. Draw up a list of 5-10 people and contact each one by phone TODAY! Your next engagement with a person, (spouse, child, family, co-worker, the cashier). Listen to them and try to understand why they are telling you, what they are telling you, from their point of view. I kept this list short (kinda) Let me know your favorite practices for being a great business professional and share your success stories. Even better, tell us about how you learned from a key failure and became even better.