I had an interesting, encouraging and painful experience recently: I decided to do my annual accounts for one of my companies. It wasn’t painful for the obvious reasons, and it helped me realize the importance of the title of this article.

What am I talking about?

First: here’s the pain:

Some things I did in my company didn’t work, and I wasted money as a consequence, because of the poor decisions I made.

Here’s the encouragement:

Others activities I managed well produced a profitable result.

No big deal – every company has accountants and CFO’s to tell them this good and bad news, on an on-going basis.

So, how do these revelations relate to the title?

As you can tell from my last entry (Winners Know How to Lose Well), I’m on a journey at the moment.

I’m hungry for change.

Hungry, not so much for change around me (my circumstances), but more hungry for change within me.

I see shortcomings in my life that I no longer want to accept as an inevitable part of me. I look back at the last financial year of my main income-producing business, and see the litter of my shortcomings, and the successes of my character mixed together.

I want to let go of the things within me and within my business activities that I know that lead to loss – not just in monetary terms, but also in the effects that they have on others around me, both clients and personal relationships.

Is this a hard thing to do? You bet.

Do I need to do this? Absolutely.

Part of the art of life is learning to develop a keen sense of letting go of things that don’t work. I’m talking here much more about internal realities than external ones.

Why?

Because it matters anyway.

I’ve come to realize that if I want to be really successful in life (I prefer to use the term ‘fruitful’ but it amounts to the same thing), I must learn to let go of things sooner rather than later, because the wake of those decisions matter to me and to those around me in incalculable ways.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Well, it’s part of the nature of the fruitful aspects of my character to share with others what I know does and doesn’t work, because I know it helps others, and it also helps me.

This new decade started with a muted beginning, and only 12 days in many were devastated by events that literally rocked and destroyed their world.

But the reality is that there are events that happen within ourselves on a daily basis that can lead to our survival, growth and success, or our ultimate loss, if we choose not heed their lessons.

"Letting go before it matters" is really about making decisions to change and remove those things within me before the external consequences of those character flaws become so overwhelmingly obvious that it becomes too challenging to solve the problems that arise in their wake.

And in my business, it means deciding not to do things that although might seem good, actually limit my capacity to do those things that might become great.

So I’m on a journey. And I want to share it with those who are willing to walk with me in this process.

If that’s you, contact me, or comment below, and let’s begin the conversation together.

Dez.

In his groundbreaking book Integrity, The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, Dr Henry Cloud outlines what he considers to be one of the most important character traits that any child can gain as they grow up. As the title suggests, the ability or skill in learning how to lose well is that character trait. Why is this? What is Henry Could wanting to communicate here?

After all, if you’ve read the book or seen the film Apollo 13, you’ll probably remember the phrase that echoes down the corridors of time, cheering us on:

"Failure is not an option!".

The tenacity, brilliance, creativity and sheer dogged determinism to save the precious lives of the astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft will be studied and remember for decades, if not centuries.

So, is failure ever an option? What would 77 year old Gene Kranz say to Henry Cloud’s ideas?

Obviously I think they both have some valid things to say.

Here’s my angle on it: winners want to be successful in what they work at, they are not satisfied with second best. They want to achieve the best possible result for the goal they have in mind. They don’t want anything else. When winners don’t achieve their original goal however, they recognize that they have lost, but they know that they haven’t failed.

This is a very important point. Think about the last time you lost. Did you feel like a failure, coming down hard on yourself for not having achieved what you might have done had you just been that much smarter or perhaps if you had worked that bit harder….

It’s an easy thing to do.

But, and listen up here: it’s a killer way to analyze your loss. Losing is, after all, is as much part of life as winning. But in a real sense, failure is not an option, winning or losing. If Gene Kranz hadn’t managed to pull the team together, if they hadn’t been able to save the lives of their friends some 250,000 miles from home, they would have indeed lost.

But they would have done everything in their power to make a success – to get a win – out of what was understandably an almost impossible situation.

How they responded to their reality made ALL the difference.

They were tenacious, focused and determined. But they knew that success was not an automatic given.. Gene Kranz and his team of engineers, scientists and technicians also knew that their mindset would play a huge part in the chances of success, however. AND THIS IS THE KEY.

How we respond to the challenges, setbacks, lack of desired outcomes, makes all the difference to whether or not we are winners or not.

You see, I believe, we can be winners whether or not we get what we want. We might not always succeed in our goals. We might, if our lives are anything like the other billions of people on the planet, sometimes suffer hardship, pain, or disappointment.

But despite this, if we have the right mindset – if we know how to lose well – to accept that things might not always go the way we want – then we are far more likely to maintain our sense of destiny, courage, tenacity and enthusiasm for life. Whilst there is always something to be sad about in life, there are many things a grateful heart has to be thankful for.

So make it your goal to know how to lose well, to gain the type of thinking which has resilience and creativity in the face of adversity.

How do you do that? Well, the only way I know is by letting others into my space, either via my personal development through books and courses, or ultimately via the process of relationship with an important other or others. In my case, my wife, family  and my faith in God are the biggest influence on an on-going basis.

But if you have a different outlook on life, or are not in a close relationship, you can achieve a very high degree of success by surrounding yourself with a like-minded community of people who all share the same quest for wholeness (one of the six faces of integrity as Henry Cloud defines it).

Masterminding, finding a group of people with whom you can be honest with, and many other methods, can all help improve our mindset, our outlook on the world, our perception of ourselves and others.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing this with developing skills. Real winners know that the main difference between winners and failures is not skill. It’s our mindset and character.

As Jim Rohn famously said: work harder on yourself than your job. More than ever n the current economy, we know that a job is a fleeting hope for many. But real winners have the courage to face the reality of their situations and turn them to a new direction to create the circumstances for success.

They know they might not always achieve what they want. But they know how lose well.

Dez.

PS: I’ve recently started a new website called the 365 Secrets of Success Please do pay the website a visit and add your comments. Share your wisdom and insight.

 

Pennies on the parapet from Clifton College #haiti on Twitpic

Sometimes it’s easy to think that giving just a small part of what we have and who we are won’t  make much of a difference, and that’s certainly true if we act alone. Today, students and teachers at my school laid a total of 640 feet of coins,

Pennies (stretching 640 feet) on the parapet for Haiti from C... on Twitpic

stretching from the College’s Memorial Arch, to the chapel, and back again.

 

 

 

 

 Whilst each contribution may not have amount to any significant sum, the total amost certainly will.

The idea was the brainchild of the College’s charity coordinator, Fiona Hallworth, here seen sweeping up the coins after the 640 foot line was complete:

The takeaway from this brilliant idea, which turned into a memorable way to raise money is this: don’t discount your small contribution, but make sure that whatever you can give, find a group of like-minded people who feel the same way as you. When you do this, you can achieve amazing results that really can bring significant change.

 

Pennies on the parapet from Clifton College #haiti on Twitpic

 

Click on this image to see a wider range of pictures (uploaded to TwitPic).

1:25:52 PM: Quotes to Feed the Soul: 1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

1:26:14 PM: 2. If you want something different to happen, you have to do something different.

1:26:29 PM: 3. When others slack off, you increase you game.

1:26:47 PM: Blog update: / Quick Twitter Test…” http://tinyurl.com/ybq48gs

1:26:58 PM: 4. Create your goals, then stay focused until you achieve them.

1:27:18 PM: 5. Don’t just work alone, find others to share your vision.

1:27:35 PM: 6. Find the biggest why that gets you out of bed every day.

1:27:54 PM: 7. If you want to be *really* successful, double your rate of failure.

1:28:38 PM: Check out http:/nowskip.to/365success for more quotes to feed your soul…

For anyone that’s been around for a while, you have almost certainly heard of the legendary rise of Gary Vaynerchuk. If not, just use Google.com or even better – search.twitter.com.

Gary definitely has what I call SIX APPEAL.

So, what is Six Appeal, and why would you want it?

Well, here it is in a nutshell:

Six Essential Qualities That Are Guaranteed to Get Others to Follow You And Buy Your Stuff.

So, what are these six essential qualities?

You know the first three:

  • Know you
  • Like you
  • Trust you

It’s almost become a mantra that personal branding mentors, network marketers and home business owners soothingly send themselves to sleep with every night, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Seriously a minute: we all know there is nothing new in the KLT formula above. It’s not new to the world of direct sales or marketing. It’s fundamental to the way societies hold together: everyone wants to be known, liked and trusted, and/or be part of a community which reflects and shares those values.

What about the other three keys to Six Appeal?

As usual, someone (OK, it was me) always likes to come up with a simple "It’s as easy as A,B,C" system to help you remember this sort of thing, so here it is:

People want to follow others who are:

  • Able
  • Bold
  • Clever

Now before you shoot me down here, let me qualify where I’m going:

Able – someone who has a high degree of skill or experience in a particular field, in other words an expert. Gary clearly knew a lot about wine when he launched his web-business. Score 1.

Bold – someone who is not afraid to take risks and try things others have never done before. http://tv.winelibrary.com was an unheard of and untried phenomenon before Gary got there. Score 2.

Clever – someone who is able to creatively put together ideas and thoughts to make something new, brilliant, or incredibly useful. Or some combination of all of those, or more. Score 3 Gary.

 

So, by my definition, Gary Vaynerchuk scores 6/6. So he DEFINITELY has Six Appeal.

Hey – but what if you don’t like him? Well, not everybody like his raw language. But that’s who he is. Raw. Uncut. Not afraid. Gary. Himself.

So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who is trying to carve out a niche, gain a following, become a leader in your own right, take a leaf ouf of WineLibrary.tv ‘s founder.

Don’t just be liked, known and trusted. Add the other three ingredients to the mix, because when you have something of great value to others, you’ll have the A, B, C as well as the K, L, T.

Right, I’m off to study Hungarian basket weaving like nobody has ever done it before. <joke>.

 

Dez.

Admission: I started this article purely as a way of being able to record my thoughts online from my mobile phone – this wasn’t aimed as being a blog post to start with 🙂

Without further ado, here’s what is going through my mind at the moment: How do I become more productive in my business with my daily routine?

Here’s the plan: – Organise my most productive hours (before everyone else in my family is awake) to focus on the key traffic-generation strategies that are essential tol my online business. – Use less productive times to exercise, eat, rest, relax, communicate, do admin tasks such as cashflow analysis, filing, emails.

Eban Pagan & other "productive experts" reckon we have at most 2-4 hours/day when we can create the most effective results.

For me, the ideal time is between 5-7am, but it will obviously be different for you.

So, in my case, getting high quality leads for my business is my top priority every day, and I know I must make good use of those first two hours of the day to grow and maintain traffic generation strategies which work in my sector.

I’ll be sharing more about what I do over the next few posts, so stay tuned. Dez.

If you’ve followed my progress on YouTube last year, you will be aware that I did a 90 day video series on internet marketing.

At the start of this new decade, I’m announcing a new challenge I’m setting myself:

Complete one hundred articles (using Ezine Articles) in one hundred days.

Easy? Perhaps for some, but consider my circumstances:

  • Family: lovely wife & 3 lovely children
  • Work: Nearly full time Physics Teacher
  • Two Businesses: Several clients for my web development business, very active online marketer for one of the top direct internet marketing education companies, and I provide marketing services for businesses in my locality

Obviously I don’t try and work all these at the same.

But I’ve had to give up a lot of things to be able to work the above in harmony.

Here’s how extreme it is:

  • I don’t have a TV
  • I rarely keep up with the news
  • I only check emails once/day, if that (maybe that’s a luxury!)
  • My only hobbies are photography and driving a car

If that sounds hard, yes, sometimes it is. But I have a rock solid vision for my family and our future.

True success always requires consistent discipline and hard work. There are no real short cuts.

So, writing one hundred articles in a hundred days isn’t going to be easy. I will have to sacrifice some sleep.

But I know the benefits to my online business will be huge. And that feeds into my vision like nobody’s business.

So, why not star the year with a S.M.A.R.T. goal which will propel your life, (and your  business if you have one) to a completely new level?

Oh, by the way: here’s another added spin-off when you set such challenges:

IT BECOMES MUCH, MUCH EASIER TO TAKE ON SUBSEQUENT CHALLENGES IN THE FUTURE.

I make no apologies for shouting this. I just want the message to be loud and clear.

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade. Make this *the* year that makes a positive difference to you, to those who you care about, and to those who aren’t  in such a privileged position as yourself, whatever and wherever that may be.

Dez.