the true entrepreneur – 3 tips for your success

improve yourself

“Most of you would agree that an entrepreneur is one who is a risk taker, a visionary, thinks outside the box, is passionate and determined, driven and courageous, strong work ethics, highly motivated and creative, a learner and a maverick. These are just the basic characteristics of an entrepreneur.

However, to be a true entrepreneur you must also be a charismatic leader with integrity, who knows how to listen and make decisions, is disciplined and a passionate servant, humble, driven, loyal, a good listener and influential. To be successful, you must be the combination of the two. In addition, you need to develop a procedure of leading that becomes the foundation of your business’ growth and prosperity.

Now, let’s look at why a lot of businesses fail and what you need to do in order to become successful. Here are the 3 tips for your success:

1_Change your mindset!

Most people fail because their mindset remains focused on steady paychecks, job security, benefits, promotions and time off. They get discouraged and give up. Being self-employed means changing your focus from an employee’s mindset, to focusing on being your own boss and doing things your way. Starting a business takes serious focus, day-in and day-out, all hours of the day. Don’t burn yourself out by doing all the work yourself. To be successful, look for others who are the best to do the work for you. Strive to use other people’s time and other people’s talents (OPT). The true entrepreneur will find the best employees or the best specialists to run their business.

2_Be a leader!

Get out of the mindset of having employees and start thinking about building a team. Employees compete with one another and have a win/lose mentality. Build a team that works together, helping one another for a common goal. Teamwork is not just something you teach. It is a lifestyle you live every day. It starts with you. A true leader will take responsibility for the success, as well as, the failure of the team. Learn how to communicate effectively with your people and develop great people skills if you really want be successful.

3_Adjust your focus!

Life has a way of bringing distractions in front of us. Distractions can prevent us from seeing what’s on the other side. If you want your business to be a success, you must look beyond the distractions in life and focus on the joy of gaining possession of your dreams. Allow your focus to bring out the best in you. Robert Kiyosaki has a great definition for focus. In his book entitled Midas Touch, he defines the word FOCUS as Follow One Course Until Successful. You need the strength of character and the ability to stay on course until successful.

When you apply these 3 tips in your life, you position yourself for success. You don’t have to be another statistic. You now have the power to be a success for everyone to read about and follow your example. Develop the qualities of being a true entrepreneur and live the life you were destined to live.”

 Matthew Habbis

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forget about setting goals: focus on systems

work smarter

“We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives: getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on. And for most of us, the path to those things starts by setting a specific and actionable goal. At least, this is how I approached my life until recently. I would set goals for classes I took, for weights that I wanted to lift in the gym, and for clients I wanted in my business.

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things. It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems. Let me explain.

What’s the difference between goals and systems?

  • If you’re a coach, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.
  • If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.
  • If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.

As an example, I just added up the total word count for the articles I’ve written this year: in the last 12 months I’ve written over 115,000 words (the typical book is about 50,000 to 60,000 words, so I have written enough to fill two books this year).

All of this is such a surprise because I never set a goal for my writing. I didn’t measure my progress in relation to some benchmark. I never set a word count goal for any particular article. I never said: “I want to write two books this year”.

What I did focus on was writing one article every monday and thursday. And after sticking to that schedule for 11 months, the result was 115,000 words. I focused on my system and the process of doing the work. In the end, I enjoyed the same (or perhaps better) results.

None of this is to say that goals are useless. However, I’ve found that goals are good forplanning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.”

James Clear (jamesclear.com)

3 ways to earn more money from client work

work smarter

“Mainly, the thing working against us is fear. We’re afraid that if we charge too much, it’ll backfire and we’ll lose clients. We’re afraid that we’re not as good as we think we are. Or worse, that others will see right through us and realize we’re frauds.

The other obstacle is that we only want to focus on the work. Raising rates and negotiating pricing? That’s for sleazy salespeople. But counter intuitively, pricing has everything to do with the work. You pour your time and energy into work that you can be proud of — work that can make a difference. So it is in service to your talents and the work that you maximize the value you receive.

Never forget: Clients are looking for someone to help them solve a business problem and they’re more than happy to pay top dollar when you help them solve that problem. Not to mention that charging a fair price teaches them to value you and your work.

Ok, so how do we get there?

1_Master the art of up-selling

Up-selling lets you make more money by providing clients with additional services. It creates a win-win situation, but only if you’re willing to take the initiative and ask. Up-sell only natural extensions to your service, not unnecessary add-on products. A lot of people try to up-sell unrelated services, which make their proposals longer and clients hesitant. Smart up-sells —like a logo redesign to complement a homepage redesign— point out needs clients hadn’t even anticipated themselves.

Don’t present your clients with too many options. Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University, conducted a study at Draeger’s Supermarket on two consecutive Saturdays. On the first Saturday, she set up a tasting booth offering 24 choices of jam. Only 3 percent of the shoppers who tasted jam made a purchase. On the following Saturday, Iyengar set up a booth with only six choices. This time, 30 percent of the shoppers who tried the jam made a purchase.

The same goes for up-selling. We recently conducted research of over 25,000 estimates and proposals. That research revealed that up-selling with just one or two options converted the best. Additional options decreased conversion rates.

Finally, resist the temptation to up-sell in your initial conversations with clients. Up-selling at the point of decision – when you present your services and price within a proposal – is ideal. Up-selling in your proposal doesn’t pressure clients like up-selling right away does, and it gives them complete control to accept or reject your recommendations.

2_Make your competitors’ prices irrelevant

When you go shoe shopping, you have a general idea of what you expect to pay. Unless you’re shopping somewhere like Gucci, seeing “$795” on a price tag would probably make you run for the exits.

Your potential clients do this too. Dan Ariely calls it “arbitrary coherence”. Making past purchases (or seriously considering purchases) influences how similar decisions will be made going forward. Understanding how this works is the first step to avoid getting lumped together with bargain-basement competitors in your potential clients’ minds.

“Similar” is the key word here. Arbitrary coherence only kicks in when the decisions are close enough in the prospect’s mind to trigger the previous price point. Starbucks customers don’t use Dunkin’ Donuts prices as anchors to consider how much coffee should cost at Starbucks. Why not? Both sell coffee, but each business creates a completely different experience. Dunkin’ Donuts is a blue collar, hurry to work place. Starbucks is a nice environment to lounge and relax.

Crafting a unique experience for your clients can make your competitors’ prices irrelevant. When you start out, you may be tempted to emulate the language of more established players, but check their price point. Do everything you can to create a distinct experience from people charging less than you.

One of my favorite examples is the proposal process. Take a close look at what lower priced competitors do when someone asks for an estimate. What does that experience look like?

Maybe, you see that it’s something like this:

  1. Client submits web form asking for a price estimate
  2. There’s a brief email exchange nailing down project requirements
  3. A quick price estimate is given through email

Compare that to higher-end competitors:

  1. Client submits web form asking for a price estimate
  2. A brief client questionnaire is sent back and minimum budget expectations are set
  3. Email exchange and/or phone call to nail down business objectives and project requirements
  4. A professional looking proposal is sent for approval

For high paying clients, the proposal process of higher-end companies is more inline with what they expect.

Look at everything from messaging on websites and emails, to the way they position their services.  You’ll avoid preconceived notions of what your price should be and make clients more receptive to paying what you’re worth.

3_Use persuasive words to command higher rates

One tiny word can make the difference between winning and losing a client. In a Carnegie Mellon University study, Professors Scott Rick and George Loewenstein tested phrases to describe a fee associated with shipping a DVD box set by overnight delivery. Here are the two variations they tested:

  • “A $5 fee”
  • “A small $5 fee”

Just by adding “small,” the second phrase improved the response rate by 20 percent. Pay attention to how you word your estimates and proposals. Using words like “small,” “minor,” and “low” might not seem like a big deal to you, but they matter enough to clients to justify higher rates.

If your proposal offers “Design Services” and a simple price quote, you aren’t separating yourself from your competitors. You blend into the pack, which increases the likelihood of clients relying on price anchors set by lower-priced competitors and rejecting your bid.

Reframing your services as solutions to clients’ problems helps them focus on the value you can deliver instead of the price. “Increasing Customers Through a Redesign” is more persuasive than “Design Services”, and is more likely to justify higher rates.

“Rebranding for Company” doesn’t demand top dollar like “Rebranding to Enter Billion Dollar Market” does. Or if their goal is to double online leads and they want a new design to help accomplish that; instead of “Website Design for Company” you’ll be a better match if you say, “Doubling Online Leads with a Website Design”.

You’ll also want to make sure you use the most persuasive words you can. What are the most persuasive words a client can read? Their own words.

Use the client’s own language when describing what you’ll do for them. This can be a very powerful technique if you’re using words that have a lot of energy behind them.

You can do that by asking the following two questions:

  1. “What’s the biggest concern you have with this project?”
  2. “What’s most important to you about the person/company that you hire?”

Listen to their answers and pick up on the words that they use. For example, a client may answer: “We’re looking for a reliable company. We had a terrible experience with another company. They kept missing deadlines and our project kept being delayed”.

From that answer, you’ll get a better idea of what they’re looking for, and you’ll have several persuasive words you can use in your estimate or proposal (reliable, deadlines, and delayed).”

Ruben Gamez founder of Bidsketch (a web app that helps freelancers create professional looking proposals in minutes)

define your goals the night before

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“If the first thing you do in the morning is check your email, you’re setting yourself up for a day filled with reactive work. This can easily lock you into a cycle of dealing with pseudo-emergencies well into your evenings, leaving you drained and with little to no control over your larger priorities.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek offers some simple advice on how to focus on your goals: define your one or two most important to-dos before dinner, the day before.

Dan Pink, the NYT bestselling author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, gives similar advice: by spending some time the night before to write your goals down for the following day, you’ll return to the driver’s seat.

By Hamza Khan for 99u.com

mission and vision

concepts & definitions

_Why you need it? It fosters discipline, alignes effort and creates focus.
> A mission and vision are crucial for your company: your mission is your reason for being, while your vision provides you the focus for that mission.

_What is a mission? It’s a formal, short statement of the purpose of a company.
> A mission tells everyon why you exist. It’s the reason why your company was first created: to fill a need. So keep it short, simple and operative. And it must clearly define what you do, how you do it and whom you are doing it for.

_What is a vision? It’s about what you want to be and become.
> A vision is complementary to the mission: it helps to provide a focus for it. A vision takes into account the current status of your company and serves to point the direction of where your company whishes to go. So it must be aspirational and it must inspire.”

 Henrik-Jan Van der Pol entrepreneur, management consultant, OKR evangelist

9 strategies for becoming the best CEO you can be

work smarter

“Learning to be a better CEO is key for entrepreneurs who don’t set off to be managers and have fallen into the role by virtue of their own creation. Below are the top nine lessons from Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO at PeoplePerHour.

1_Learn to ask what’s important. Learn to have three major priorities at any one time. Sure, you will always have a backlog of little things. But don’t become a victim of your to-do list. Develop daily amnesia — ask yourself what is most important every day.

2_Focus on stakeholder value. It’s easy to get too absorbed in your deep passion for what you do and lose sight of what you are there to do as CEO: drive stakeholder value. Create value for your customers, value for your team and value for your shareholders.

3_Tell stories. The best way to get your message across is through storytelling. Don’t use buzzwords, geek talk and heavy corporate language. Keep it human, light and humorous. You need to charm you team, your customers, your shareholders. People relate to stories, not buzzwords.

4_Have a deep sense of purpose. Ask yourself: if your business disappeared tomorrow, would it really matter? To whom? And why? Make a difference to the world.

5_Be the gatekeeper. Don’t confuse delegation with gatekeeping. You need to be the ultimate gatekeeper in your company — you are the one defining and setting the standard. People will push you to compromise your standards for the sake of moving faster or for more freedom. Don’t be tricked and stay true to yourself.

6_Set high goals. Don’t start small. Your team members will often tell you to to “start small.” If you start small you stay small! Start big and set big bold goals. If you set the goalpost low, you will be good at best. Stretch staff beyond their limits. They may complain that you expect too much, but in the end they will thank you for it. There is no greater reward then helping your employees achieve what they thought was unachievable.

7_Self-reflect and step up. Don’t confuse confidence with self-reflection. Great CEOs are very self-reflective and demanding of themselves. Don’t doubt yourself in front of your team. Doubt yourself when you go home and look in the mirror. Figure out what your team needs from you. If you’re not stepping up every day, you will remain stagnant.

8_Serve others. Your job as a CEO is to serve others more than they serve you. Stop thinking about what you need from people and ask them what they need from you. Figure out what your customers need, what your team needs, and what your shareholders need. Then help them make it happen.

9_Develop a thick skin. Being CEO of a business – especially if you are the founder – is an emotional roller coaster. You will have some very low moments. Don’t let the emotional pressure break you. People will read you better than you think, and if they smell vulnerability and weakness, you wield less power.”

Vía StartupCollective

 

15 daily habits of the rich and successful

improve yourself

“Want to grow rich? Why not follow the example of wealthy people by doing some of the very same things they do? You never know, these habits could be the key to your future success — at least, it’s worth a try!

1_Wake Up Early: You’re probably groaning at the very thought of it! But apparently, rich people are way more likely to do it than the rest of us.

2_Keep a To Do List: According to study author Tom Corley, “The daily To Do list is one of the tools the wealthy use to avoid procrastination, accomplish their goals, and maintain control over their day. Wealthy people understand that you cannot become wealthy if you procrastinate”.

3_Read: Love to read? If so, you’re in fine company! 86% of rich people love reading, compared to only 26% of poor people. And most of them make a habit of it. A staggering 88% of rich people read for 30 or more minutes each day — compared to a mere 2% of poor people.

4_Watch Less TV: If you’re one of the world’s richest people, you’re less likely to watch much TV. Maybe that’s because you’re too busy building and maintaining your wealth. Or maybe it’s just not a priority. 65% of the rich limit their TV watching to 1 hour or less per day. Only 24% of the poor do the same.

5_Avoid Reality TV: And when wealthy people do watch TV, it’s less likely to be the reality variety that they turn to. Only 10% watch reality TV — compared to 77% of poor people.

6_Get Your Kids to Volunteer: Giving back is something many rich people take seriously — as is teaching their children to do the right thing. Around 70% of rich people make their kids volunteer for at least 10 hours per month. Only 3% of poor people find themselves able to do the same.

7_Write Down Your Goals: How do the rich achieve so much? Maybe it’s because they’re so goal-oriented. They not only have goals — they also make a point of writing them down. Around 67% of the world’s wealthiest people put their goals into writing, compared to just 17% of the poorest.

8_Focus on Accomplishing a Specific Goal: The well off not only have a list of goals — they prioritize them and work hard to achieve them. A high 80% of wealthy people focus on accomplishing a specific goal. That compares to just 12% of poor people.

9_Listen to Audiobooks: Many rich people find an alternative way of squeezing extra reading time into their day. Around 63% of the wealthy listen to audiobooks during their commute. But only 5% of poor people are believed to do the same.

10_Limit Junk Food: Junk food might be cheap, but it’s also horrible for your health. Perhaps that’s why 70% of rich people limit junk food calories to 300 per day — whereas 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories each day.

11_Exercise: Most rich people place a high value on physical fitness. Around 76% of the wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days per week — compared to just 23% of the poor. Why? According to Tom Corley, “Wealthy people are healthy people. To wealthy people being healthy is about making more money. If they’re healthy they have fewer sick days, they’re exercising, they have more energy, they maintain health their entire lives so they can work longer careers”.

12_Network: Rich people realize the power of networking. 79% of the wealthy network for 5 or more hours each month. Poor people are less likely to put a lot of time into networking — only 16% say they spend over 5 hours doing so per month.

13_Encourage Your Kids to Read Non-Fiction: Rich people may be more likely to instill the importance of reading non-fiction into their children. Approximately 63% of rich people encourage their kids to read at least 2 non-fiction books each month — compared to just 3% of poor people.

14_Believe Good Habits Create Opportunity: A high proportion of rich people believe in establishing and maintaining good habits. Roughly 84% of the wealthy believe good habits create opportunity. Only 4% of the poor believe that. Conversely, 76% of the rich think bad habits have a negative impact. Only 9% of poor people are inclined to agree with them.

15_Believe in Lifelong Educational Opportunity: A high percentage of wealthy people see the benefits of a lifetime of learning. Roughly 86% believe in lifelong educational self-improvement — whereas only 5% of poor people can say the same.”

http://www.teendayz.com

 

the difference between successful and very successful people

improve yourself

“We’ve been sold on a heroic ideal of the uber-man and super-women who kill themselves saying yes to everyone, sleeping four hours a night and straining to fit everything in. How often have you heard people say, “I am so busy right now!” But it almost seemed like a back-door brag. Below are a few of the myths of success that hold us back from becoming very successful.

Myth 1: Successful people say, “If I can fit it in, I should fit it in.”
Truth: Very successful people are absurdly selective.

As Warren Buffet is credited with having said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

Myth 2: Successful people sleep four hours a night.
Truth: Very successful people rest well so they can be at peak performance.

In K. Anders Ericsson’s famous study of violinists, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell as the “10,000 hour rule,” Anders found that the best violinists spent more time practicing than the merely good students. What is less well known is that the second most important factor differentiating the best violinists from the good ones was actually sleep. The best violinists averaged 8.6 hours of sleep in every 24 hour period.

Myth 3: Successful people think play is a waste of time.
Truth: Very successful people see play as essential for creativity.

Just think of Sir Ken Robinson, who has made the study of creativity in school’s his life’s work. He has observed that instead of fueling creativity through play, schools actually kill it.

Myth 4: Successful people are the first ones to jump in with an answer.
Truth: Very successful people are powerful listeners.

As the saying goes, the people who talk the most don’t always have the most to say. Powerful listeners get to the real story. They find the signal in the sound. They listen to what is not being said.

Myth 5: Successful people focus on what the competition is doing.
Truth: Very successful people focus on what they can do better.

The “winningest coach in America” is Larry Gelwix, the former Head of the Highland High School rugby team. His team won 418 games with only 10 losses in over 36 years. One of the key questions he challenged his players to ask was “What’s important now?” He didn’t want his players getting distracted with what the other team was doing. He wanted them to play their own game.”

Greg McKeown author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

21 time management tips to hack productivity

work smarter

“Managing my time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into my day as possible. It’s about simplifying how I work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.

1_Complete most important tasks first (this is the golden rule of time management; each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first)

2_Learn to say “no”

3_Sleep at least 7-8 hours

4_Devote your entire focus to the task at hand

5_Get an early start

6_Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down

7_Turn key tasks into habits.

8_Be conscientious of amount of TV/Internet/gaming time.

9_Delineate a time limit in which to complete task.

10_Leave a buffer-time between tasks

11_Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list

12_Exercise and eat healthily

13_Do less (do less things that create more value, rather than more things that are mostly empty)

14_Utilize weekends, just a little bit

15_Create organizing systems

16_Do something during waiting time

17_Lock yourself in

18_Commit to your plan to do something

19_Batch related tasks together

20_Find time for stillness

21_Eliminate the non-essential

22_One last tip (the best one!): enjoyment should always be the goal; work can be play

We get so caught up in busyness that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done. This should never be the point. Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing? The goal should be to arrange your commitments in a way that you’re happy living out the details of your daily life, even while you’re working.”

Jordan Bates english teacher in South Korea who loves reading novels and spending time in the woods

6 ways to fight distractions

work smarter

“According to studies, workers are interrupted by distractions roughly every three minutes (shockingly, it can then take up to 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand).

1) Focus on you. In fact, 89 percent of workers are most productive when working alone. Don’t be afraid to shut your office door for a little peace and quiet. This allows you to center yourself and focus more fully on work.

2) Stop multitasking. Every time you stop a task to quickly check Twitter or answer a text, you’re breaking up your concentration. Put your devices on silent and give your full attention to your work for more productive results.

3) Kick your email addiction. Schedule specific times during your day to check your email and only check it then. Otherwise, turn off the notifications on your email and focus on your tasks. Your phone still works, so don’t worry about missing out on something important.

4) Follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of what you do everyday produces 80 percent of your results. Cut the fat from your workday in order to get the most out of your efforts.

5) Make tough choices. Shut out distractions by being tough and realistic with yourself about your tendencies. This might mean putting locks on your Internet usage and blocking certain sites during working hours.

6) Skip social media and pick up the phone. Instead of wading through a never-ending deluge of emails, picking up the phone can be a much faster and more personal way of getting the information you need. Not only will you be building connections with your coworkers, you’ll be cutting down on your distraction-filled inbox.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

6 secrets of highly optimistic people

improve yourself

“Everyone wants to be an optimist, but it’s not always easy when life gets you down. While some folks a naturally sunny disposition, most people have to work to maintain an optimistic viewpoint. It’s worth the work, however, since optimists enjoy better health and even do better in their careers.

1) Optimists are passionate about their work. Do you need to drag yourself to work every morning? Optimists don’t, because they spring out of bed excited to face the day. This is because optimists have chosen to pursue jobs and careers for which they have real, genuine passion.

2) Optimists focus on the good… even though it’s far easier to focus on the bad.

3) Optimists practice mindfulness. It’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed when you’re always on-the-go. Especially in today’s work reality when we’re reachable at all hours thanks to email, smartphones, and cloud computing. You need to take some “you time” in order to get refocused and let go of negative emotions.

4) Optimists dream big. Dreaming is believing — and if you reach for the stars, you actually will achieve better results.

5) Optimists journal. As we’ve mentioned, it’s all too easy to focus on the negative events in our lives and mentally skim over the positive. Journaling can help you focus on dispelling negative energy and focusing on upbeat emotions.

6) Optimists surround themselves with good vibes. If you surround yourself with supportive people and things you enjoy, you’ll improve your mood and your day. The next time your attention wanders and you find yourself looking at a picture of a piglet, don’t feel so bad about your lost productivity. Research has shown looking at pictures of baby animals actually makes you more productive.

The secret to optimism is that it doesn’t just happen — highly optimistic people have to work on maintaining their sunny attitudes. If you want to get ahead in your career, improve your relationships, and just plain enjoy your professional life, it’s time to give optimism a try. Highly optimistic people aren’t just happier, they’re also more successful.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Open Me and Ciplex

what we wear affects how we think

improve yourself

“There is a large amount of evidence showing the profound effect clothing has on our thinking style, how we feel, and on the way others perceive us. Use clothing and props to improve your work performance through these simple steps:

a) Dress for the task: the “lab coat” effect
Consider the findings of a study published last year by the Kellogg School of Management. They showed that students were far more accurate on tests of attentional focus and sustained concentration while wearing the white lab coat of a scientist.

b) Be yourself and respect your own style
As well as affecting our mindset, our clothes can also alter how we feel about ourselves. U.S. research published in 2007 found that employees described themselves as feeling more productive, trustworthy, and authoritative when they were wore a business suit at work, but more friendly when wearing casual clothes.

c) Choose your weapons (and accessories) wisely
The psychological effects of clothing on performance extend to tools and props. A 2011 study led by Charles Lee at the University of Virginia showed that university students perceived a putting hole to be larger (thus making more putts) when they used a putter that they thought belonged to the pro player Ben Curtis, as compared with a standard putter.

d) Dress to impress
If you want to appear authoritative it really does make sense to dress smart. A raft of studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops, have more luck soliciting charity donations, and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic. A study that looked specifically at female applicants for a managerial job found those who dressed in a smart masculine style were perceived as more forceful and aggressive and were more likely to get hired.

e) Consider your audience
Formal suits aren’t always the way to go. Research shows that people who wear more daring outfits are perceived as more attractive and individual, which could be advantageous in more creative industries. Casual dress can also be more persuasive, depending on your audience. In 2010, a female experimenter reported that students were far more diligent in following her detailed instructions when she was dressed casually (like they were), as opposed to smart and professional.

So the next time you’re getting dressed for work in the morning, be mindful of the psychological impact that clothes can have. Your choice could literally affect your mindset, so try to match your outfit to the type of work you’re planning to do. If interacting with other people is on the cards – consider who they are, the impression you want to make, and especially whether you want to impress them or be one of them. A polished professional look can certainly give you authority. But if you’re collaborating with quirky creatives, or you want to cultivate a friendly atmosphere, you may find it’s advantageous to adopt a more casual, individual style for the day.”

Dr. Christian Jarrett psychologist turned writer

the 4 ways you can use body language to influence success

improve yourself

“Your body language doesn’t merely reflect your emotions, it’s often the cause.
By learning some of the principal ways that your own posture, gestures, facial expression and even tone of voice affect your mind, you will be more aware of the factors influencing your mood, and give yourself an edge in presentations and negotiations.

1_Know the ‘power posture’
Opening up your body and filling more space – known as a ‘power posture’ – has been shown in studies to have a range of confidence-boosting effects.

2_Avoid handheld devices
Even the size of computer you’re working on can change your posture, and thus, your behavior. Before an important phone call or meeting, make sure you spend some time away from the phone or tablet. Not only will the lack of distractions help you focus and organize your thoughts, avoiding cramping over a touchscreen will also leave you more confident.

3_Be mindful of your facial expression
It’s not just the position of our bodies that can affect our emotions, the expression on our faces can too. For instance, for some people, spending time deliberately smiling can help them to feel more positive and increase the accessibility of positive memories. It’s a similar story with tone of voice. Research shows that when people speak with a lower pitch they feel more powerful.

4_Gesture when you speak
We tend to see gesticulation as a behavioral quirk, but research shows these hand movements actually assist our mental processes. As a bonus, gesturing while you speak won’t only aid your thought processes, it likely will also help you make a good impression.”

Christian Jarret psychologist turned writer

losing sight of the forest for the trees

concepts & definitions

“The idea behind this metaphor is that when you are too close to something, you can get mired in the details and have difficulty focusing on the way those details fit together into a big picture.

During the past 10 years, psychologists Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman, and their colleagues have provided a lot of evidence for what they call “construal level theory:” The closer you are to an object or event, the more specifically you think about it. While the more distant you are to that object or event, the more abstractly you think about it. This idea has important implications for your creativity.

So to help yourself think about a problem you are solving more abstractly, it is useful to give yourself some distance from that problem. There are several ways to create that distance: imagine that you are solving the problem for someone else rather than for yourself; think about what the solution to the problem will look like 5 years in the future rather than right now, think about how people 1.000 miles away might be conceptualizing the problem. Each of these methods helps to create some distance, and that can help you focus on the more abstract parts of the situation.

After you re-think the problem, though, it is important to focus on the details again. So, once you have an insight that changes the way you think about the problem, focus on it close up again. In that way, you can ensure that the solution you develop will also address the little things that can make the difference between success and failure.”

Art Markman for 99u (Behance)

8 things productive people do during the workday

improve yourself

“Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

1. Create a smaller to-do list
Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours.

2. Take breaks
Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule
Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results?

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself
If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day
Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh.

6. Pick up the phone
Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter.

7. Create a system
If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness
While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity.”

Ilya Pozin founder of Ciplex