The Success Path of Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders

The year is coming to a close.  Another round of retrospection will color the stories, the accomplishments, the milestones, and the misses to establish their rightful place in the history books.

 

As you reflect on them, you get to decide if these are the tales you want repeated.  Do they reflect the legacy you want to leave behind?  Has it paved the road for the success you want to experience?

 

These are big questions to answer.  Your answer is very telling.  While you have yet another opportunity to make new promises, set new goals, dream new dreams, you have to realize that you had this same opportunity a year ago.  You’ll have the same opportunity next year.

 

So, what’s different now?

 

I’ve promised myself to do a lot of things over the years only to see much of it vanish like a puff of smoke.  But just because it vanishes, doesn’t mean it disappears.  The truth is, if you have something in you that wants to rise up, do better, become more, you know it.  I believe it’s part of our nature.  That part of you doesn’t change.  I’m not sure it ever gets satisfied.  There always seems to be a next level.  And with each new level, a greater version of you gets revealed.  If you allow it.

 

As a Success Alignment® Expert, I coach people ready to allow that next level of success in their lives.  We typically work together for a minimum of 6 months, but I prefer to be with them for a full year.  Why?  Not so that I have a guaranteed client.  In fact, having a client for a year limits me to working with only a handful of clients at a time.  I coach this way because it takes that kind of commitment of doing the hard work that makes the difference to develop yourself and make the shift to being an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader.

 

Can you write a book in a weekend?  Sure, but not a good one.  Typically, those books are sales letters in disguise.  You’re not really fooling anyone.

 

Writing a book that delivers value takes time to develop.  There’s real work involved in writing a book.  There’s research, creativity, and thought leadership to name but a few activities needed to produce the quality that makes an impact.  People talk about things that make an impact.  That takes time to develop.

 

Look, it takes a human baby 9 months (not to mention the time the parents invested to get there) for a human baby to develop.  We consider it a miracle.  No one tries to rush a pregnancy.  We want to give that baby every chance of being healthy.

 

It takes humans 50, 70, 100 years to master living.  Many waste their opportunity and don’t get to the level of mastery of their own lives.  Some are fooled into thinking they have mastered what they need but find themselves blinded by their own arrogance.

 

It takes a diamond between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years to form.  That’s why it’s so valuable when it becomes available.  You can’t rush the process.

 

So, while you can’t have everything you want in a year, you can make a significant impact toward getting there.  Every year counts.  Every year builds on the last one.

 

While I think it’s important to have a long-view guiding Vision for your life, I like the idea of knowing what you want for the coming year.  A year is a long time to do something of significance, yet short enough that you can experience a viable result.  And we humans are encouraged by our own progress.

 

Just look at this list of significant things that can be achieved in a year.  This list includes items that if you do them will forever change your life.  These are ‘next-level’ achievements that will transform your very being.

Make a baby

Lose 50lbs

Learn piano basics

Write and publish a book

Make a full-length feature film

Take a gap year to go find your Self

Build a house

Establish a business

 

What’s on your list?

 

 

We all go through a similar journey, yet each one is dotted with its own stories, its own depth of wisdom, its own path to becoming who you are meant to be.

 

When you start out, it’s all about making and establishing a living.  No one can argue that.  You need to make enough money to live without concern for it.  At least to have enough that you don’t feel like you’re drowning in debt.  This includes having a place to live that feels safe, having enough food to never go hungry and have good friends to share your time with.  It’s only when you have this that you are able to even consider the next phase.

 

In the early stages of growth, you move on to wanting to achieve something.  You want to be well compensated.  You want to be recognized (whether you’ve earned it or not).  You want to feel like you have what it takes to reach the top.  You want your name to be known.  You want to level up your living conditions and gain access to more privileges – better vehicles, vacations, clothes, entertainment and perhaps living in a different neighborhood.

 

Later on, you want to be accomplished.  Your status doesn’t matter as much as what you’ve been able to do.  Where you’ve made a difference or left a mark.  This is the beginning of legacy work.  It becomes more about making a difference than making an impact but making an impact matters here too.

 

You’ll understand the next level phases if you’ve had a sense of stability in your life, where you have been able to support yourself and those that matter to you.  Until you have this stability, it’s nearly impossible to move to the next level.  When you don’t have the stability, it can either drag you down, making you bitter or worse, feel defeated.   Or it can act as the catalyst to get you to the next level.

 

It’s the early growth stage that is the most curious for me.  It’s where the majority of people live.  It comes with a lot of stress often peppered with a sense of missing something or feeling unfulfilled, wrapped in a veil of compromise.  It appears like you have everything, yet something is still off.  You’ve reached milestones worthy of bragging about, but it’s not the thing you want to be bragging about.  Secretly, you wish things were different.

 

The accomplished stage is where you get a second wind, a second chance for some, if you will.  Now wiser, with experience under your belt, you’re beginning to think of success in ways that are meaningful to you.  You’re thinking of things that matter to you.  And you want to apply yourself and your efforts elevating to new levels of accomplishment.  Success looks different now.

 

Do you recognize the stage you’re in?

 

Not everyone moves through these stages.  Not everyone wants to.  Not everyone understands that this is an option.  Some reach a level and settle there.  Others end up in a level and feel like they’ve ‘made it’ never realizing that there is more available to them.  They feel exhausted, proud of their accomplishments but don’t want to go through growth again.  It took a lot of work just to get here and they feel like they’re done.

 

And then there are some who are destined for greatness.  They’re willing to know what stepping into the life they were meant for is like.  While already accomplished, they feel the hunger.

 

They know there is more available to them.  They know there is something more for them to do.  It may not be easy to find.  It’s going to be difficult to describe.  They can’t see it.  They just know there’s something in them, something greater than what they have done up until now.  And they want it.

 

The reality is, that ‘something more’ is available to anyone.  It doesn’t always look the same.  It may be difficult to define and the path will be different for everyone who seeks it.  But know that it is available to you, to me, and to everyone you know.

 

In our lives, we have been given the gift of Free Will.  You don’t have the Free Will to become anyone you want.  I believe you were created to be someone of specific significance.  You have the Free Will to step into your greatness or dismiss it.

 

While the path to success may seem elusive or difficult to find or even hard to define, there are certain truths that show up for everyone that has been through the journey.  These truths are evident in all success journeys.  While they look different, they are common.  While they are common, they are not obvious.  When they seem obvious, they are difficult to manifest.  What seems easy or obvious in this regard is never as easy or obvious as you may anticipate.

 

 

The Truths of Success 

Below is an outline of what it takes to succeed.  Each item builds on the other.  And like a recipe, without any one ingredient mixed in just the right way in the right proportions, you end up with something else.

 

These are the Truths of Success,

You’ve got to want it.

If you want it, you have to go get it.

If you’re going to go get it, you have to be in the right condition to endure it.

If you’re in the right condition, you need the right environment to help you see it through.

When you’re in the right condition, supported by the right environment, you need the right game plan to make the right moves.

And finally, you have to make the moves.

 

All of it matters.

 

Over the years, I have been privileged to coach many high-caliber people.  You’ve shared your dreams.  You’ve shared your heartbreaks.  You’ve shared your fears.  And you’ve shared your joys.

 

When you stepped up to coaching, together we’ve accomplished many great things.  Through our coaching sessions, I’ve witnessed you transform into your next level of success.  I applaud each of you for continuing to show up, especially when it wasn’t easy.

 

The work of success is not an easy path.  It’s why so many settle when there is more available to them (whether they recognize it or not).  It all must start with the desire to have it.

 

No matter the size of your dreams, they are important if they are important to you.

 

Don’t let them vanish.  They never disappear.  Those dreams are your greatness calling to you to be released.  That’s the work of the Expert, Influencer and Thought Leader.  You have to go there to get to where you want to be.

 

As this next phase of your life unfolds, be the one doing the unfolding.  Take control of that power.  It’s already yours.

 

 

 

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SUMMER READING 2019

 

Summertime and the living is easy.  We all like to slow down a little during the summer months. As we unplug from the daily hustle, we seek to have more fun, more family time and enjoy more of the good life we work so hard to have.  I love summer.

 

I spent most of my life in a four-season climate. Summers were always special to me. There was a playfulness in the air. You felt a sense of freedom and creativity.  Somehow, those summer months seemed to linger longer than any other season.  The days were full yet there was a lot of leisure time. I could feel an elevated vibrancy in my energy but also an increased willingness to lay still in the middle of the day.

 

There are so many things to do during the summer you just don’t get a chance to or don’t think about in other seasons.  Some of my favorites were going to outdoor concerts, spending a day at the beach, campfires, biking, hiking, BBQ’s and of course eating ice cream.

 

Summer was also a time when I could lounge and read without feeling stressed, pressured or guilty.  I don’t know what it is about summer that allowed me this freedom, but it placed reading high up on my list of summer memories I cherish.

 

Today, I enjoy a lot more reading all year long.  Yet, it still feels special when I take my book (yes, I prefer the printed version) outdoors with me along with a beverage. While I enjoy the sun, my preference is to lounge under a large patio umbrella.  And while I still love the beach, I do most of my lounging by the pool. (As I’ve matured, comfort has risen high up my priority list.)

 

No matter how you do summer or where you like to spend your day, I hope you’ll add reading to your list of favorite activities. Not only will you be entertained and informed, but you’ll keep your mind fresh and sharp, ready to step up your success game when the time is right.

 

For now, I’ve pulled together a few summer reading lists that caught my attention.  My genre of choice is non-fiction typically in the categories of Business, Growth, Leadership, Personal Development, Success and Human Behavior.  I wanted to share these lists with you in case you’re looking for a good book or few to enjoy your summer with while filling up your mind and feeding your desire to optimize your life.

 

Not sure where to start?  I have some tips at the bottom of the lists to help you decide which book(s) to choose.

 

 

2019 SUMMER READING LISTS

 

 

8 Self-Improvement Books to Devour This Summer

 

Best Business Books For Summer 2019

 

Amazon’s list of best business and leadership books of 2019 so far

 

32 Best New Success Books To Read In 2019

 

TED’s giant summer reading list: 151 books to dive into right now

 

8 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read in 2019

 

11 of the Best Self-Development Books of All Time

 

19 Books to Read to Be Successful in 2019

 

Read These 6 Books to Be Better in 2019

 

 

TIPS TO CHOOSING A BOOK

  1. Review the lists and notice what jumps out at you
  2. Notice which books repeat themselves on all the lists
  3. Choose a book that speaks to an area you want to develop
  4. Choose an interesting topic outside of your regular reading style
  5. Pick an author whose name you recognize
  6. Choose a topic that speaks directly to your success goals
  7. Pick a subject you know you need to develop, but shy away from
  8. Pick the #1 and #2 books from a list that’s of interest to you
  9. Read the book you’ve been meaning to read for a long time
  10. Check out book reviews and go with their recommendations.  This article provides 10 different resources;  10 Best Book Recommendation Sites You Need To Know

 

It doesn’t matter whether you buy paperbacks, hardcovers, kindle versions, classics or today’s bestsellers.  Choose a book you find interesting or helpful, figure out how you like to read and make time to read regularly this summer.  Find a great place where you get to relax and be undisturbed if you can.  And make this a great summer.

 

 

[button_2 color=”light-green” align=”center” href=”https://www.facebook.com/3cfusion/” new_window=”Y”]My Summer 2019 Book Selection[/button_2]

 

Did you pick a book from any of these lists?  I’d love to hear from you.  Which one(s) did you choose?  Click on the button above to post it on my Facebook page and tell me why you choose it.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

1 Step Forward

 

Success never happens right away.

 

It takes time, effort, perseverance (and so much more). There is not only one recipe, one set of strategies or tactics to follow.  There are a myriad.  It’s complex and complicated.

 

Success begins when you make an informed move.  Sometimes it works out.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  But one thing I know for sure, if you never give it a shot, it never works out 100% of the time.

 

Imagine you have 31 flavors of ice cream in front of you. All of them are new.  Not all of them are appealing to you.  But ten are.  You pick one to sample.  It’s nothing like what you imagined.  If the experience was good, you’ll make a mental note and order it.  If it wasn’t, you’ll make a mental note never to have it again. Then you move on until you find one that satisfies you.

 

 

The risk factor in this example is very low.  But it draws a clear, simplistic picture of how stepping forward toward success works.

 

First, you find the things that you feel called to, are passionate about or are drawn to.

 

You pick the one that’s most appealing and offers the greatest potential and then you try it out in an intelligent way.

 

Based on the experience, you either continue in that direction or you use that experience to move onto the next thing.  It’s only when you give yourself the chance to test things out that you know whether it’s for you or not.

 

But what if you never sample any of them.  How would you even know if it’s for you?

 

You’ve been used to vanilla.  It’s what you’ve always had.  It’s not bad.  It satisfies a need.  You can continue on with just vanilla forever.  Nothing bad will happen because of it.

 

This is how many people approach life.  Nothing ventured.  Nothing gained.  To have success, to have a life of significance, to live like your time here mattered needs a different approach.

 

To reach levels of success that are meaningful to you requires you to step up to a bigger version of yourself.  It means being willing to do what most others are not willing to do.  It means working on your Self until you become aware of what it is you are meant to do. It means putting in the time, effort and persistence to keep going, until.

 

 

Some people aren’t even aware of the other flavors. They carry on oblivious.  And that’s good enough for them.  But you, you know there are other flavors out there.  You can’t ignore them.  The only thing standing between you and the other flavors is your willingness to take the first step forward.

 

If you recognize yourself as someone who senses there are other flavors available to you, yet you never seek them out, what’s stopping you?

 

 

THE EXCUSES THAT KEEP YOU SPINNING

 

After years of working with clients who want to have more success but can’t seem to get going, three key excuses come up repeatedly. These are the most common excuses that stop people from moving forward to a better life, to the very life they say they’re working towards.

 

I’m so busy.  I don’t have time.

 

No matter your stage in life, there are things you’re doing now that are time wasters.

 

An example of this is how you spend your downtime, like watching TV.  I enjoy a good series as much as the next guy.  Just be mindful of how much time you’re actually spending there.

 

Maybe you’re caught up needing to spend time on social media.  You start out with good intentions, and before you know it, you’ve been sucked down the internet black hole.

 

Or how often do you find yourself in activities because you’re guilted into doing things, but they don’t serve you and your greater vision?

 

It may be that you’re in the wrong job.  It’s a job that has nothing to do with your aspirations. You stay for the paycheck or maybe for the benefits, but it’s sucking the life out of you and keeping you from the life you really want.

 

To step forward, you have to be willing to identify these time wasters and swap them out for things that are going to move you forward toward the life of success you really want.

 

It’s going to cost me.  I don’t have the money.

 

What most people look at is the money coming out of their pocket.  They see a program or event they know will help them understand the industry they want to be a part of, but all they see is the price tag.

 

What they don’t evaluate is the cost of keeping the money in your pocket vs the investment of having information that’s going to help you make informed decisions about your future success.

 

Getting the right training, mentoring or coaching has the potential to accelerate your results much faster than if you have to figure it all out on your own.  If it moves you forward while minimizing risk, the ROI of these investments is exponential.

 

I don’t know if it’s right for me.

 

This is a classic example of someone that doesn’t have the confidence to do what they dream of having.  The dream is bigger than their desire to have it.

 

They’re not sure they have what it takes.  They doubt they have something valuable enough people would pay for.  It’s outside of their comfort zone.  They have no experience with it.  They compare themselves to others already doing this thing and struggle to see themselves doing it.  They may feel it’s already too late.  They don’t have people in their lives that understand their need to go for it.

 

The reality is, if they don’t try, they’ll never find out. If you’re feeling pulled to a bigger life, you owe it to yourself to go there.

 

 

Any one of these excuses is enough to stop people from doing anything at all.  That’s living with vanilla knowing there are other flavors to be savored.  That’s how the spinning lifecycle works (otherwise known as the hamster wheel).

 

Something inside you aches.  You go out searching – watch webinars, read books, listen to podcasts, attend events.  And that’s as far as you go.  You keep looking, searching, but never do anything with the information you gather. You get stuck in a loop that can go on for years, even decades until you run out of time.

 

What a shame that would be.

 

The only way to break this cycle is to take 1 Step Forward. You need to go from thinking to doing. From wishing to happening.  From wondering to exploring.  From exploring to discovering.  From discovering to becoming.

 

 

3 TIPS TO HELP YOU TAKE THE FIRST STEP FORWARD

 

Vote for yourself.

Give yourself the credit you deserve.  You have more potential than your current conditions will have you believe.  The very fact that you’re here, reading this article, is evidence that you have something valuable to offer.  Your mission is to figure it out.  Give yourself permission to go there.

 

Take a risk.

Stepping into the unknown may seem a little scary, but you won’t know until you go there.  Just one step in a new direction is enough to change the trajectory of your life.  The results you see from taking the step may seem small at first, but over time, you’ll find yourself in a completely different location than if you had stayed where you are.

 

 

Be willing to be wrong.

Not every move is going to work out the way you hope it will.  The only way to find out is to test it out.  Just because it doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean it’s a failure.  If it doesn’t work out, it’s not failure, it’s information.

 

That information is what you need to keep you moving forward.  You now know what doesn’t work and are in a better position to move toward what will.  There’s a refining process that takes place when you step into a bigger life.  Work with the process.

 

 

 

One caveat here. Take 1 step forward without gambling away everything you already have.  Go as fast or slow as you need to.  You’ve spent a lifetime getting to where you are, you’re going to need some time to shift gears.

 

Not everyone can just step away from everything already going on in life.  You may have responsibilities, like people in your life who rely on you.  You may have debt that needs to be cleared up.  You have bills to pay.  Stepping forward does not mean you get to be irresponsible.

 

You’re going to take a step forward.  You’re going to need to make adjustments.  Put measures in place that allow you to grow as you continue to take care of things already belonging to you.  We’re talking about making progress as you shift closer to the success you desire.

 

There’s a maturity involved in having success.  Use your intelligence as you balance the period between exploration and transition.

 

 

SUCCESS IS CREATED IN STEPS

 

Making a decision to work toward the success you desire is where success begins.  Taking 1 step forward is how success is created.

 

Success is a culmination of many ingredients.  It’s also the accumulation of many steps. Each step is significant.  Each one matters.  The only time it doesn’t count is when you can’t count them.  If you’re not taking steps to have the success you want, the success you want will always just live in your imagination.

 

It’s not until you take the first step that you have the ability to make a footprint.  The footprint you make is the legacy you create.  Be mindful of the footprint you’re leaving behind.

 

Your footprint is the expression of your life. It moves in a forward direction, while it leaves an impression behind.  That’s powerful.  Our mission at 3C FUSION is to help you

 

‘Turn Your Vision Into Your Footprint’

 

It’s your life.  It’s your legacy.  1 step forward will take you there.

 

 

Success Habits Are Meant To Serve You

 

We are creatures of habit.

 

One scientific study monitored people going about their day.  It revealed that a good 90 percent of what most people do in any day follows routines so complete that their behavior can be predicted with just a few mathematical equations.

 

We would like to think that we control our every action.  Psychologist John Bargh of Yale University once said, “most of a person’s everyday life is determined not by their conscious intentions and deliberate choices, but by mental processes put into motion by the environment.”  In other words, we operate mainly by instinctual responses to what’s going on around us.

 

So how do we take control over our day?

 

Even when we take ourselves into a new environment, we organize ourselves into a schedule of activities to help us get through the day with efficiency.

 

I remember when that revelation struck me.  I was on a vacation at an all-inclusive resort.  for a week with a group of friends.  But by the second day, we already had our meal times figured out, we claimed our spot on the beach, had chosen our vacation drink and scheduled the activities we wanted to participate in.  While we thought we were being wild and free, we left little room for spontaneity.

 

Once we develop habits, we tend to dig our heels in. Developing new habits, then, takes a tremendous amount of desire and effort.  By deciding to create better habits, we’re not only changing what once worked for us (whether it was good or bad), but we now have to make the new habit more desirable at the unconscious level.

 

Until we get the unconscious part of our psyche to come on board, changing, dropping or creating a new habit is nearly impossible.  Habits, it turns out, are hard to change.  So, if developing success habits is new to you, be patient with yourself.  Success habits are particularly hard because not only are you trying to change a behavior, you’re trying to upgrade your life.

 

 

CONSIDER TWO HABIT FACTORS

 

Success is a culmination of many things going on at the same time.  Like the rare orchid, success requires the right balance of ingredients to thrive.  Miss any one of them and the struggle becomes palpable.  Apply too much or too little of an ingredient and you suffer from the wrong results.  The aim of developing the right success habits is to provide you with the right conditions for success to take root and grow in a healthy, enjoyable way.

 

There are two significant factors to think about when considering your habits.  First, you have the habits you live with.  Second, you have habits you live with that work against you.  Both exist simultaneously.  Both play a significant role in your ability to reach your desired success goals.

 

Since established habits are mostly an unconscious behavior, your first task is to identify which habits you currently have that are working for you and which are working against you. It won’t be hard for you to figure these out.

 

Your next task is to identify what habits you’re missing that would help you to reach your success goals.  Once you have these three lists, you can begin to figure out what you need to do to minimize or eliminate the habits that keep you from success.  Only then can you begin to develop the habits that will guarantee you success.  That last sentence packs a lot of punch.  It’s easy to say, but very hard to do.

 

 

HABIT MISCONCEPTIONS

 

There are some ideas floating around out there when it comes to habits.  I want to bust a few misconceptions about habits.

 

A mindset is not a habit.

 

A mindset is a mindset. A mindset influences habits.  The habit is the activity you do because of a mindset.  It’s not the mindset.

 

As an example, you want to be healthy.  Being healthy isn’t a habit.  It’s a state of being.  Drinking 2 glasses of water on waking is a habit. This is a habit you can develop that supports your intention of being healthy.  The mindset behind wanting to be healthy is that you decided that being healthy is a better way to approach being successful.  You know it will help you live into what being successful looks like to you.

 

Habits support mindsets. Drinking water is the habit that supports the mindset.

 

Routines are not habits.

 

Routines are routines. We establish routines to make our lives more manageable.  Grocery shopping on Thursday.  Laundry on Monday.  Call Mom once a week.

 

Inside of our routines, we do things habitually, like running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It’s a great fitness activity, but it’s not a habit.  It’s in the likeness of a habit.  How do I know?  No matter how committed you are, you still have to manage it.  You have to have the right gear.  You spend time creating playlists.  You have to make time for it.  At times you have to convince yourself to ‘just do it’.

 

Habits are automatic. There’s little to no thinking involved. You don’t plan them.  They just happen.  Every time.  Regularly. You actually have to think about what to do if it’s not happening.

 

Routines can develop habits, such as always grabbing a snack when you sit down to watch TV.  The routine is sitting down to watch TV at the end of your day.  The habit is grabbing the snack whether you need nourishment or not.

 

Goals and aspirations are not habits.

 

I find this one gets confused the most.  I’ve even heard some of the big leaders in the training space use guidelines or principles and mistake them for habits.  One example is to Be Present.  It’s an awesome quality to have in any meaningful relationship.  It’s just not a habit.  It’s something you work at.  Being Present is a quality and a behavior.  You can cultivate habits inside the behavior such as folding your hands together as a trigger anytime you want to give the person in front of you your full attention.

 

In this example, the aspiration is to be more present with others.  The habit is to clasp your hands together to activate that behavior.  A habit doesn’t aspire to anything.  It simply ensures a behavior is conducted, consistently when the right cue presents itself.

 

MAKE HABITS YOUR OWN

 

Habits are formed through repetition.  Habits aren’t habits until you no longer have to convince yourself to do them.  Consistency is key.  Until that time, it’s going to take a repetitive, conscious effort to set the habit in place.

 

Habits are mindless activities.  They are so ingrained, you don’t give them much (if any) thought.  There’s no convincing.  There are no second thoughts.  They just get done.

 

If you’ve identified a habit that is key to your success, make it non-negotiable – like brushing your teeth. Schedule it, preferably at the same time on the same day(s) if you can.  Then show up.  Every time. Keep doing it until doing anything else will feel uncomfortable.  Or if you miss doing it, something feels off.  That’s when you know you’re well on your way to developing this habit.

 

Learn to love the habits you put in place.  Make them fun.  Appreciate the benefit of doing the habit.  Find the good in it.  Find something about it you can look forward to.  Just thinking about your new habit in this way, activates the reward center in your brain that produces pleasure.  The more you learn to love the new habit, the more you’re going to want to do it.

 

INSPIRATION TO FIND YOUR SUCCESS HABITS

 

The right habits provide tremendous benefits and support to having the success you want.  Done right, they take care of doing the things that matter with little effort on your part.  This frees up your time for thinking about other things that need your attention.

 

Alternately, the wrong habits can keep you from having the success you desire.  Be very clear about the habit(s) you need to put in place and which ones you need to eliminate.  There are many useless or hurtful habits you have that are no longer visible to you.  Working with a qualified coach will help you gain clarity about these.

 

Be consistent until you no longer have to think about it.  It takes time to form a habit.  It takes an effort to form a habit.  Find the motivation in your intention.  Use that energy to push you through the tough times.  Put it on your calendar if you need to.  And be religious in your approach.

 

Never stop developing habits that work to serve you and your success.  The more awareness you develop around your habits, the more refined your habits will become.  Leave room to allow your habits to grow with you.  You change.  Life changes. New information becomes available and something has to change.  Even though habits are hard to change, remain open enough to continue evolving your habits.

 

Well-formed habits do much of the work for you.  The more aligned your habits are with the success and lifestyle you desire, the more time you have to actually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

 

That’s a benefit I’ll take all day, every day.

 

 

 

PRIORITIES; Get Them Right, Set Them Right

 

An important key to having the success you want is knowing how to select, set and utilize priorities.

 

You have so many things vying for your attention in your day-to-day world.  Without priorities, it’s easy to get sucked into activities that end up working against you.  Without priorities it’s easy to lose days, weeks, even years giving your attention – and more importantly, your time – to the wrong things.

 

Having your priorities in order goes way beyond time management skills or finding hacks to increase your productivity.  Having your priorities in order helps you to create the life you want.  Having the life you want is the definition of success.

 

Doesn’t it make sense then to work on your priorities?

 

 

WHY BOTHER

 

Priorities are those things in life you decide to make more important above all else.  Another way to look at it is if you were to place your priorities in a ranking order you would see what you care about or take responsibility for from most to least important.

 

Priorities play a significant role in achieving success because they encompass every aspect of your life.  While you can narrow your focus to just one aspect of life to work on, such as your business or your health, it’s best to consider the big picture first.

 

Once you determine the big ideas, only then should you hone in on the specifics.

 

 

3 TYPES OF PRIORITIES TO KNOW

 

Priorities can be something you’re working towards, like breaking the million-dollar mark in your business.  They can also be something you’re maintaining, like your health.  Likewise, they can be aspirational, like becoming a best-selling author.  Knowing the type of priority you’re dealing with helps put it in perspective and easier to put into practice.

 

I like looking at it in those 3 categories – Achieving, Maintaining, and Aspirational.

 

Achieving typically means you’ll put action strategies in place toward reaching a goal.  You may be in year 5 of your business showing steady growth potential, but you have a ways to go before hitting that million dollar mark.  Continuing to operate the way you have been will not get you there. You need to establish a new course of action to bring the business up to that level.  Developing a plan with strategies will become the priority.

 

Maintaining typically means, you’ve reached an ideal you wish to keep.  Having an optimal fitness level is a great example of this.  You already have an established fitness habit that fits into your week.  In this case, you’re not trying to reach a new level or get to an ideal weight, you’ve already done that.  Maintaining means you now have a set of criteria you follow to ensure you continue to have the benefits you’ve already achieved.  The priority is that your fitness habits become non-negotiable.

 

Aspirational means it’s important to you, you’re going to put measures in place toward getting it.  You may not get there, but if you do, it’s a bonus.  If you don’t, it’s still worth it.  Bestselling author is an honorable credential to have.  I know, I’ve done it twice so far.  It adds a recognizable value to the work you do (if it’s related) and increases the rates you are able to charge for your services.  But even if you don’t get to the end goal, you will have reached a new pinnacle that will add value to both you and your services. As an example, if you were reaching for bestselling author but didn’t make the cut, you will still have a book that you’ve published.  And that’s something worth having.

 

 

3 KEY BENEFITS OF HAVING THE RIGHT PRIORITIES

 

Priorities are chock full of benefits.  In this article, I will highlight just three, but each one carries a lot of weight toward your success.

 

[feature_block style=”icon” overall_style=”image” columns=”1″ icon_style=”1″][feature title=”Priorities%20help%20you%20to%20get%20things%20done.%20%20″ icon=”1.png” upload_icon=”http://3cfusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/1-BLUE-ARROW-64×40.png” bg_color=”” href=””]They help you to keep the important things top of mind.  When you know what needs your attention, it’s easier to take the necessary steps to get there.  With your priorities clear, you are more likely to take the necessary action toward achieving them.  By putting first things first, you inevitably make progress toward your goals. 

[/feature] [feature title=”Priorities%20allow%20you%20to%20focus%20on%20the%20things%20that%20matter.%20″ icon=”1.png” upload_icon=”http://3cfusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2-BLUE-ARROW-64×40.png” bg_color=”” href=””]And step away from the things that don’t.  By making the main thing the main thing, you’re able to apply your attention to the things you want to accomplish for the right reasons.  The ‘what you need to do’ becomes evident.  The ‘what not to do’ also becomes clear, which simplifies your effort without guilt, and without doubting yourself.  This also creates more room for doing the things that truly matter.

[/feature] [feature title=”Priorities%20keep%20you%20on%20track.%20%20″ icon=”1.png” upload_icon=”http://3cfusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/3-BLUE-ARROW-64×40.png” bg_color=”” href=””]Do what needs to be done now so you can have the tomorrow you desire.  It’s not always fun.  You sometimes wish you already had what you are working toward, but keeping priorities in perspective reminds you that this step is necessary to get to the next one.  Priorities put your hard work into perspective and put your perspective on the work that needs to get done.

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A FEW CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Everything has its season.  In the big picture, there’s a time for establishing a career, having a family, making a contribution, running a business.  It’s different for everyone.  And each one of these seasons has seasons within them.  Your job is to manage the priorities within each major life category as well as making them all work in tandem.  That’s a big task.  Don’t take it lightly.

 

The more clear you are on the priorities, the better equipped you will be to handle them and even thrive with them.  The one warning I will provide here is not to rush through or wish away the season you’re in.  Some of your best memories and biggest growth opportunities are destined to come out of them.

 

DEVOTED TIME

You will have multiple roles operating simultaneously. Parent.  Entrepreneur.  Coach. When it’s time to run your business, run your business.  When it’s time to coach a client, be there with your client.  When it’s time to be a parent, set the business aside.

 

It’s not always easy to set clear boundaries between all the roles you hold, but you can organize your days to optimize each role.  Take an hour over dinner to connect with family. Put your phone on silent when engaging with your client.  Put up the Do Not Disturb sign when placing business calls.  Give your friend your full attention over lunch.

 

SHIFTING PRIORITIES

What’s important today may not be important tomorrow.  Depending on your position in life, certain areas of interest are going to dominate.  Until you reach a level of income to sustain your lifestyle, making money is going to overtake every other priority you have.  When you have a newborn, taking care of raising that child will be a constant source of your attention until the child becomes independent.  As you get older, taking care of your physical (and mental) health becomes a growing concern, particularly if you haven’t paid attention to it before.

 

This is all normal and a healthy part of life.  It’s when you don’t recognize these shifting priorities that you become susceptible to unwarranted anxiety and stress.  Being able to welcome and shift your priorities is a trait of the successful.

 

Be flexible and work with the flow of life.  It’s always more challenging to row upstream.

 

 

 

 

 

In order to set priorities, you need to know what priorities you have.  The difficulty my clients run into is they often haven’t identified the priorities that matter.  They end up working on the wrong things.  Then they end up with the wrong results.  Some work with priorities that don’t serve them.  And yet others are running a race taking them in the opposite direction of their actualized selves.  In other words, they are out of alignment.

 

When you are not in Success Alignment®, you spend your time either spinning your wheels, trying to re-invent the wheel or riding wheels in someone else’s race.

 

When you don’t have your priorities right, you end up wasting a lot of time.

 

If you haven’t identified the right priorities for you, you end up losing a lot of time.

 

When you get into Success Alignment®, your priorities become clear, your strategy becomes evident and you get the life you have always wanted.

 

With the right priorities in place, managing everything you do becomes so much easier.  The mark of a genius is knowing what your priorities are and using them to manage your life.

 

 

Successful Leaders Are Readers

 

Put a group of leaders in a room and ask them if they’ve seen the latest blockbuster movie. You’ll get a mixed bag of reactions.  Some will have seen it.  Some won’t care to see it.  Some aren’t even aware of it.  But ask them about a best-selling book and they will eagerly dive into a conversation about it.

 

The uber-successful are always being studied. What time do they wake up?  What do they eat for breakfast?  How do they manage their time?  Which sock do they put on first?

 

One habit they share is their appetite for reading.

 

‘Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.’

~  Harry S. Truman

 

 

We turn to reading for a variety of reasons ranging from entertainment to education to inspiration and personal development.  See if you recognize your reason to read in this list;

  • To gain perspective
  • To learn something new
  • To keep informed
  • Research
  • Curiosity
  • It’s part of your job
  • Develop your Self
  • For Pleasure or Entertainment

 

If you have one to add to this list, leave me a comment at the end of this blog.

 

Reading is such a useful activity.  It teaches you to focus.  It gives you time to think about what you’re absorbing.  Reading develops important cognitive skills like deductive reasoning, critical analysis, and reflection.

 

Reading takes you deeper.  It gives you time to evaluate what you just read.  You respond with your thoughts by either validating or challenging what you already know or think you know.  You gain insight.  This gives you a jumping off point to develop an opinion.  Having an informed opinion is a trait leaders share.

 

A PROMINENT TRAIT

 

In speaking and working with leaders on the subject, several reasons they love to read revealed themselves to me.

 

One reason they read is to broaden their limited scope.  No matter what business you’re in, you tend to circulate within set parameters.  You learn to function within those boundaries. You can even develop a comfortable, successful life there.  But those aspiring to do great things look outside of those boundaries to see what else is possible.  Operating at a functional level is enough to sustain a business. But taking it to the next level, that’s how you make a difference.  It’s how you make your mark.

 

Another reason leaders read non-fiction is to connect to an untapped part of themselves.  Success on the level of fulfillment becomes personal. Many great leaders pay attention to the part of themselves that is yearning to plug into their personal value in such a way that goes beyond running a successful organization.  They know they are competent at what they do.  But they want to surpass competence and reach for greatness.  Contribution and meaningful success are on the table for them.  When I work with them to recognize this aspect, it’s like they go through an awakening that’s been waiting for them to arrive.  They re-energize with a renewed purpose and sense of Self that gets them feeling excited about the next steps.  Success Alignment® is like that.

 

The final reason I’ll share here is they take responsibility for their position.  If you’re aiming to be an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, you have a responsibility to the people you serve.  They look to you for knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.  You need to be informed and well-versed in your topical area. Reading and staying informed about your subject matter, your industry, and your clients’ needs become a relevant, contributing factor to your success.

 

THE BEST ROI

 

Although the traditional publishing industry is going through disruptive changes, we are left with so many resources to gather information today.  You still might turn to TV or Social Media to get today’s headline news stories.  But you’ll turn to print when you want a deeper dive into a subject.

 

Today you can buy a print version, digital version or often an audio version of a book.  In my view, a good book provides one of the best ROI’s.  When an author carefully distills years of knowledge or wisdom into a few chapters, that’s a gift that not only saves you precious time and money but raises your value.

 

Just think of the experienced cook who presents meal plans, recipes and cooking techniques between two covers.  You’re buying the years they invested in training, dozens of hours it took to develop their skills, the recipes and hundreds or thousands of dollars spent on ingredients, possibly staffing and equipment.  And you get to own it for just a few dollars.  I think it’s one of the best investments going.

 

Books are not the only resource we’re turning to these days.  We can now tap into informative websites, blog sites, newsletters, magazines, article sites, and many podcasts are being transcribed for your reading pleasure.

 

 

I recently began publishing the STEPPING UP TOGETHER™ Roundup.  I realized that I was reading, writing and sharing so much information (and still do), that a lot of people missed out on.  So, I now regularly gather up the resources and share these articles, tips, and ideas in one publication that goes out to the subscribers of my blog.  Each edition features one subject that pertains to Success, Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship with the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader in mind.

 

This blog post is part of a series titled, ‘LEADERS READ’.  If you’d like to subscribe to the blog and receive each Roundup edition, you can click on the link below.

 

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ELEVATE YOUR READING

 

Reading, like exercise, is something only you can do to have the benefits it offers.  Here are some tips to take your reading to the next level.

 

Always know what your top 3 favorite books are and what your 3 most influential books are.  These are great conversation pieces to have.  If you coach or mentor, these are valued resources your clients will appreciate.  Knowing you’re top 3 are a great value add when networking.

 

Read outside of your industry.  Our thoughts can become stale and rigid when they are contained within the confines of our own industry.  Go outside of your regular conversations and listen to what they’re saying elsewhere.  It could be quite insightful.  It might be a breath of fresh air.  It may inspire new ideas to bring to your industry.  It broadens your horizons.  You may see new opportunities, and it helps put things in perspective. 


Practice Deep Reading. This is the practice of reading slower, deliberately and thoughtfully.  It’s an intentional act carried out purposefully to increase or deepen comprehension and enjoyment.  Ahhh, that makes me want to take a deep breath.  This requires your full engagement and participation, unlike watching video, which is passive.

 

 

Be cautious with reviews. You don’t know if the person writing has the same taste or is as advanced as you.  You don’t know if that person is an absolute beginner or someone much further down the path.  These things matter to your reading experience.  Instead, take a minute to look up the author.  You’ll probably find their blog or social media channels. Check out their opinions, their history to see if you’re interested in pursuing what they have to say further.

 

Make reading a habit.  For Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders this is non-negotiable.  Reading needs to become a part of your workday.  It’s that important.  For you, reading is not an option.  It’s a necessity.

 

Identify 3 key takeaways from every book you read. Make it an intention when you begin. This will put you on alert and deepen your learning.  Take notes. Highlight passages.  Mark the page with a Post It flag.  Or find your own way to keep track of your favorites.  Once you have them, share them.  This deepens what you learn even further.

 

Someone who is well-read is considered to be of a higher intellect.  They are often good conversationalists.  They have a knack for starting or contributing to conversations with ease. A skilled leader also has the ability to hear what the other person has to say.  Reading helps you hone this skill too.  This makes you a welcome addition at any event or function. 

 

As you develop your perspective, knowledge base and learn to have great conversations, you become a sought-after authority. That bodes well for Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders.

 

For those who develop their Success Alignment®, reading becomes both useful and enjoyable.  As you set out to make reading a part of your success journey, aim to have both.

 

 

Successful Entrepreneurs Know Stress

 

Something that’s familiar to every entrepreneur is STRESS.  When you choose the path of Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, it’s amplified. It’s tough enough getting a business up and running.  Doing it in the spotlight, under scrutiny, is enough to take you out of the game before you go up to bat.

 

April is National Stress Awareness Month.  I’ll be highlighting various articles and resources through my social channels and provide a summary in the Stepping Up Together™ Roundup that’s available to anyone subscribed to the Success Alignment® blog.  If you’d like to be included, subscribe here,

 

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Stress is the body’s natural defense against danger.  The body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to improve our ability to respond to a hazardous or challenging situation.

 

We know that stress has usefulness.  Prolonged stress can be damaging.  There are a number of ways that stress affects our health and vitality, which in turn affects our ability to produce quality work.

 

When stress is out of balance, it;

  • Depletes our energy
  • Assaults our self-esteem
  • Can make us sick
  • Stokes our worry and anxiety
  • Affects mental clarity
  • Messes with sex hormones
  • Causes brain damage
  • Increases Inflammation
  • May induce physical pain
  • May lead to weight gain
  • Promotes cardiovascular diseases
  • Often leads to depression
  • Disrupts sleep quality

 

That’s a long list, and it’s far from complete. What we know is that stress is a part of everyone’s life.  We’re all exposed to it.  No one is immune.  It’s up to each of us to manage the stress we do have.  To do it effectively, it helps to recognize and understand it.

 

 

3 TYPES OF STRESS

 

There are primarily three different types of stress.  Acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.  Let’s take a look at their differences.

Acute stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. It comes from demands and pressures of the recent past as well as anticipated demands and pressures of the near future.  Acute stress is short-lived.  It passes without lingering.  Acute stress can even be experienced as exciting, like the rush of skiing the next level slope.  It’s a little scary, but you want to go there.

 

Acute stress is what you would have when you’re caught in a traffic jam, or you may be running late for an appointment or you spill coffee on yourself before an interview.  It’s painful, but it’s over fairly quickly and you move on.

 

Episodic acute stress

These are people who frequently experience acute stress, or whose lives present frequent triggers of stress.

 

They’re always in a rush, have too many irons in the fire, and their lives are in constant disorder.  They’re recognized by their short-temperament, irritability, or anxious and tense behavior.  Type A anyone?  They are often seen as pessimistic, catastrophizing everything.  The classic worry wart falls into this category.

 

Chronic stress

Chronic stress comes when a person never sees a way out of a miserable situation. It’s the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time. Chronic stress is damaging.  Without proper care and attention, it can ruin lives.

 

A big problem of chronic stress is that people get used to it. They forget it’s there. It becomes a part of their daily existence, so they just think that’s the way it is.  Or more accurately, they’re probably not thinking about it at all, so it gets ignored.

 

 

WHAT IS STRESSING US?

 

We are living in a time where we are mostly well educated, well informed and have access to many luxuries that we mistake for everyday necessities.  That brings with it the pressures of having the latest version of things, staying informed (avoiding FOMO), and not just keeping up with the Jones’, but surpassing them.

 

We carry a burden of responsibility and a self-imposed pressure for providing a success lifestyle even if we haven’t attained it yet. That means we’re at risk for extending ourselves by taking on debt and not putting away savings to protect our future.

 

We also have more options in front of us than ever. We can choose to work for an organization or we can choose to branch out on our own.  Both are good options.  Yet both contribute to the excessive stress assault we encounter.

 

It’s no surprise that the following items are near the top of every list or study about stress I came across;

 

On top of our stress lists are:

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  • Financial stability
  • Workplace stress
  • Not enough time
  • Long Term Health
  • Retirement
  • Social Isolation

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  • Environmental Issues
  • Personal appearance
  • Technology
  • Illness
  • Major life events;  marriage, divorce, moving

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There are many interesting studies on the topic of stress.  I’ll share just a few points that stood out from the ones I reviewed.  Some of these may seem obvious, but like chronic stress, they don’t go away without addressing them.  Some of these issues have been lingering in our lifestyles for far too long.

 

Those most likely to be stressed about their work are well-educated, white-collar workers with nearly 50% represented in households earning $100,000 or more.

 

Those most likely to be stressed about finances are in less skilled jobs with nearly 40% represented in households earning less than $60,000.

 

Those who site not having enough time have children at home.

 

Women are more likely to be stressed over family matters.

 

Relationships with friends suffer because of time pressures at work and family obligations.  We know that healthy, supportive communities are linked with happiness and longevity, yet we willingly set these aside.

 

One study reported 57 percent of respondents claiming to be paralyzed by stress.

 

Young people are more stressed than ever indicated by a 33 percent spike since 1989 in two types of perfectionism – self-oriented, or holding rigorous standards for others.

 

Gen Zers (born between 1995 and 2010) are the most stressed out group. They are carrying lots of debt and competing for jobs in a tight gig economy.  And while they are the most social generation, they’re not taking time to build relationships.  That makes for people who aren’t alone but are lonely, which is a fast-rising challenge in today’s modern world.

 

 

I came across a report that indicated the most and least stressful jobs out there.  I’ll list the top three from each and include links if you’d like to see the full report (just click on the title).

 

2019 Most Stressful Jobs

  1. Enlisted Military Personnel
  2. Firefighter
  3. Airline Pilot

Note;  For any Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders running their own events, Event Coordinator placed #6 on this list and Public Relations Executive #8.  These are both valuable activities to include in your marketing mix.

 

2019 Least Stressful Jobs

  1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  2. Compliance Officer
  3. Hair Stylist

 

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT

Much of our time is used up at our jobs.  The job you have and how you relate to it has a tremendous impact on your stress.  I would expect to see Entrepreneurs, such as Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders, on both lists mentioned above. They have all the stresses that come with running a sustainable, profitable business and they have the freedom and fulfillment doing work that is meaning.  Too much emphasis on the former will wipe out the benefits of the latter.

 

Stress can be toxic.  Toxic stress means that you don’t have enough control over your life.  When it becomes chronic, it damages the body and the brain in ways that leave us particularly sensitive to factors that can stress us out.

 

Stress is associated with an increase in the hormone cortisol, which leads to disrupted sleep, poor immune function, higher blood pressure, systemic inflammation, and mental health issues such as depression, cognitive decline, and dementia.

 

 

It’s been shown that people choose coping mechanisms and distractions over stress management, which only feeds into the problem. What they need is to incorporate Stress Management or Self Care as a normal way of life.  The way to deal with the stressors of life is to make yourself a priority.

 

Stress management can help to:

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  • Alleviate stress symptoms
  • Eliminate or change the source of the stress
  • Shift your perspective of the stress
  • Recalibrate your body into a healthier state
  • Gain confidence in your ability to deal with stress
  • Provide you tools to get you through stressful situations

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Adopt methods of tackling stress throughout your day. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a walk outdoors.  Cuddle with your pet.  Listen to relaxing music.

 

Beautify your environment.  Bring in fresh flowers.  Fill the room with the essence of a good quality essential oil.  I use one that’s eucalyptus based.  Send me an email to connect@3CFusion.com to inquire about the product I use.

 

One of my favorite ways to reduce stress in my day is through laughter.  I’ve been watching Seinfeld reruns since the new year.  They make me laugh out loud.  That’s what you want.  That’s time well spent.

 

Think about these aspects of Self Care when developing your Stress Management strategy;

 

Exercise, Nutrition & Hydration, Rest Periods & Sleep, Reflection & Introspection, Unplug with Time Off, Feed your Passions, and Increase Joy.

 

 

 

HOW BAD IS IT?

With all this talk about the damaging effects of stress, there is another type of stress that needs to be talked about.  It’s not talked about very often, but it’s a stress that has helped established Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders reach their goals.  It’s a stress that will help you too when you learn to utilize it.  It’s called Eustress.

 

According to Hans Selye, the Hungarian endocrinologist who coined the terms stress and eustress, eustress has emotional and physical health benefits.  Eustress may enable us to live more fulfilling, meaningful lives. It can also instigate the motivation we need to go after our goals.  It increases focus and performance.  Eustress is the feeling of excitement.

 

Think of eustress as positive stress that supports our efforts.

In order to build muscle, you must subject your body to physical stress.

To lose weight and have the body you want, your body gets stressed.

A woman’s body undergoes tremendous stress through pregnancy and then through the birthing stage.

The stress of hunger can cause you to become resourceful.

Learning stresses the brain keeping it sharp.

You have a speech to give so you rehearse for weeks to nail it.

You set a deadline for your new course and announce it publicly, which thrusts you into action.

 

These are all examples of eustress.

 

In the same study that cited 57 percent of respondents feeling paralyzed by stress; 43 percent said they are invigorated by stress.

 

 

 

WHAT’S THE POINT OF ALL THIS? 

Being successful as an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is going to come with its share of stress.  Too much stress is unhealthy and can cause much damage physically and mentally.  Too little stress is also unhealthy leaving a person weak and lethargic with a cloudy mind. The key is to minimize the harmful stress that keeps you from getting to your goals and maximize the beneficial stress you’ll need to get you there.

 

I’ll leave you with three ideas to help you accomplish just that.

 

#1 BALANCE

Aim for a balanced life, but stretch yourself to reach new levels.  A balanced life includes all the key areas that are important to you.  Allot the necessary time to each and reduce the amount of time spent in all other domains.  Get a mentor or coach that can provide encouragement and support to your degree of balance.  Balance isn’t about doing it all.  It’s about doing the necessary things well.

 

Incorporate the key elements identified above in your strategy.  Supplement with quality vitamins and an adaptogen.  Adaptogens are natural botanicals that have unique characteristics, that help your body combat stress, focus your mind, and elevate your daily performance.  It’s nature’s answer to stress.

 

The adaptogen I use daily promotes balance and homeostasis in the body.  It helps the body adapt to everyday stressors and supports healthy aging.  Ask me about it by sending me an email to connect@3CFusion.com.

 

#2 APPRECIATE & ENJOY

Learn to enjoy the journey.  Every journey to success is colored with varying degrees of conflict, chaos, and confusion, highlighted by your wins.  Learn to appreciate all the moments as an important part of the journey and you learn to keep the stress in perspective.  Apply gratitude to the simple things you encounter in your day.  It’s a reminder of the success you already have.

 

#3 ALIGNMENT

Learn to live in Success Alignment® where your inner world agrees with your outer world, where your goals reflect your purpose and your wealth is generated by your valuable contribution to the world you influence.

 

Success Alignment® is the key to living a beautiful life.  It is the path of Success.  It’s where you come alive.  The journey becomes as delicious as the destiny.

 

 

 

Stress is a part of life.  No one promised it was going to be easy.  Our drive as a species is to continue to evolve.  We are constantly creating, pushing toward the next new adventure.  It’s that drive that has brought us to our current societal norms.  We get to live with the benefits it has produced.  The paradox is, this same drive has caused us a lot of stress.

 

Evolving.  Keeping up. Adapting.  It’s what we do.  As someone who is striving to be more and have more and live more, you now know stress can hurt you or you can use stress to your advantage.  What you’re aiming for is not always going to be comfortable, but it’s worth the effort.  Stress Management and Self Care strategies are going to be necessary to carry you through.

 

When I established the Success Alignment®? brand, I discovered a surprising side effect that neutralized the effects of harmful stress and elevated the presence of eustress.  Not only does it support my clients’ efforts in getting them to their next level, but it provides them the confidence and clarity they need to stay engaged and focused.

 

Stress is going to be there.  Managing it is going to be your choice.  How you deal with it is a decision you have to make.  For the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, Self Care and Stress Management are not options.  They are non-negotiable.

 

 

 

 

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Experts, Influencers And Thought Leaders Know This About Marketing

 

One of the greatest joys I had when operating my Speakers Bureau was working with the speakers.  They were professional.  They were prepared and eager to work together.  They made sure I had what I needed before I needed to ask.  And they always left me having a better day after talking to them.

 

This has stuck with me over the years.  I’ve never had an experience since that could match this level of professionalism.  They understood the industry.  They knew how to position themselves.  They were interested in the markets I served.  They built a trustworthy relationship with me.  They kept me up to date with any new developments they were up to. They were marketing themselves to me.

 

Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders are in a unique position when it comes to marketing.  They are the draw to the business.  They represent the business.  They often are the business, which makes them an integral part of the marketing effort.

 

For the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, you are marketing all the time.  You are the primary representation of your brand.  What you do, what you say, who you talk to all need to be purposeful to the mission of your business.

 

It’s important for you to be informed about your industry.  Where do you fit in?  You need to decide what the stakes are and how to position yourself in that landscape. Once you figure that out, the light is green and stays on indefinitely.  The light doesn’t change to yellow or red and go back to green. It either stays green or is turned off. Those are the options.

 

These are three considerations that will help you gain the advantage of a lucrative, successful business as an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader.

 

BE THE BRAND

 

Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders need to think and act like celebrity or politicians do.  They have a job to do, but they’re never off the job.  It’s not enough to run your business without paying attention to how you are perceived.  Being an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is not a 9-5 job.  It’s a life decision.  Once you step into this arena, you trade your life for the spotlight. You now represent your brand everywhere you go.

 

In this arena, you have to live as though all eyes are on you.  The more recognized you become, the truer this will be for you.  What you do, who you’re with, how you look is under scrutiny. All the time.  Your success or failure will be linked to the choices you make and the behaviors you display.  No matter where you are, no matter what time of day, marketing is something the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader must embody.

 

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

 

Many Experts, Influencers and Thought Leaders operate with either a small team or on their own.  You can’t be everywhere, doing everything.  Marketing for the Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader is an activity that not only requires time and energy but your presence too.  Do it well and you’ll hit your stride securing the future you crave.  Miss the mark and you may never get past the starting gate.

 

Align yourself only with the avenues that parallel with the standards and values of your business.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a speaker at an event that is not congruent with the messaging of the event.

 

A mismatch like this can cause serious damage to the reputation of an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader.  Damaged reputations are extremely difficult to recover.  Find the right match at the onset and everyone wins – the event host, the audience, the person who booked you and you.

 

BE WHERE THE BUYER IS LOOKING

 

A key aspect of marketing is to let people know about you, get interested in you and ultimately hire you or buy from you.  The buyer today has the ability to ‘check you out’ before giving you the first dollar.  They may learn about you by your marketing efforts, stumble across a podcast you were on or come across your book as they were trying to find an answer to a concern they had.

 

Whichever way they come across your name, if they’re interested, they will do some research on you.  And they want it at their fingertips.  That’s marketing today.  You want to have a presence in the places they would look to find you or someone like you.  And then they want to check you out to see if they approve of you.

 

 

Simply stated, marketing is helping people get what they want.  You want to be there when they want it.

 

 

Learn to put your best foot forward every time you are seen or heard.  Make your presence visible.  As soon as you decide you want to be an Expert, Influencer or Thought Leader, you become the brand.  Paying attention to how you represent yourself and your business is an important contributor to your success or failure.

 

You are the brand.

 

Let them see you.  Let them know you.  Let them want to remember you.

 

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3 TYPES OF CONNECTION YOU NEED TO SUCCEED

 

What do you do?

 

Who do you do it for?

 

What’s your why?

 

Any answer you give likely involves people in some capacity.  Without people, those questions are moot.  People are a reason problems exist and solutions are created.  So, let’s face it, in business you need people.  Ok, simple enough.

 

The way to get to those people is through some sort of connection.  It could be through a referral, through marketing efforts, or through an established platform. It’s possible they sought you out or stumbled across you in an article.  They may have learned about you at an event or joined a group you belong to.  Whichever way they made the link, a connection has been established and the potential to do business together opens up.

 

In terms of success, connection to people is just one of 3 types of connections you need.  In the context of this article, success goes far beyond meeting your corporate objectives or exceeding sales.  Success includes reaching those goals as well as finding fulfillment in the work you do and having the ability to live the lifestyle you desire to have shared with the people who bring you the most joy.  With that understanding, let me continue.

 

To have the success you want, you need a connection with:

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  • Your Self
  • Others
  • Your Work

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CONNECTION WITH YOUR SELF

 

Connection with your Self is the most fundamental and crucial of all connections.  Simply pushing yourself toward success to achieve notable accomplishments misses the mark, every time.  Connection with the Self allows you to bring out the best in you, which means you’ll be able to tap into a purpose that lights up your life.  When you’re lit up, you have the power to light up the world around you.

 

At some point, you will experience a need to make a connection with that which is greater than you.  It may come in the form of inner guidance, an intuitive pull or a need to figure out your place in this world.  Finding and connecting with this part of you brings great solace and tremendous strength to forge ahead, even if you’re not sure where it’s taking you. This connection is personal and only to be understood by you.

 

Connection with the Self requires taking responsibility for the life and work you were intended for.  How you navigate your way through circumstances, the way you show up, how you manage your life demands leadership.  Self Leadership is a skill that needs to be developed if you are to maximize the potential you were given.

 

 

CONNECTION WITH OTHERS

 

Without people in your life, life would be hollow. While most problems you encounter stem from a connection to people, you wouldn’t want to live without them.  In fact, you couldn’t.  You need them.  You need them for your wellbeing.  And you need them to be able to do your work.

 

We place others into categories to manage and make sense of our lives.

 

There are those that we love, be it our significant other, our offspring, our families or the people we choose to call friends.

 

There is a group of people we need in order to operate our lives, that without them, life would be much more complicated. These are the service professionals you hire, those who deliver supplies like groceries or gas, and those who take care of things you simply take for granted, like the roads we drive on.  These are the folks you are least connected to.

 

And then you have a group of people that you provide value or service to, most often expressed by the work you do.

 

Without others, it may be impossible to know love.  Without others, it may be impossible to produce your best work.  Without others, it may be impossible to know what it feels like to matter.  You stand to experience tremendous joy within these groups when you take care of and appreciate them.  One way to do that is through connection.  One thing I know for sure, if you take care of them by bringing your best Self, you’ll be taken care of.

 

 

CONNECTION WITH YOUR WORK

 

Beyond survival and reproduction, humans come with built-in desires.  The desire to produce.  The desire to create.  The desire to contribute.  The desire to evolve.  We get to fulfill those desires through our work.

 

In return, we have a desire to be valued.  We have a desire to be paid fairly for the work we produce.  We all want the opportunity to do work that gives us great pleasure while being valued and handsomely rewarded.  While it is possible to obtain, it’s not where most of us live.

 

Getting to do the work you were meant for is work in itself.  It’s not very likely you were shown how to find or develop that type of work, yet it’s the work we crave.  Instead, you were groomed to find a job so that you could pay your bills.  That’s one way to do life, but it’s not the only way. And if you’re reading this, I would assume it’s not your preferred way.

 

 

TIME TO CONNECT

 

There is an awakening across the globe of people trying to figure this out.  Maybe you recognize yourself in that statement.  Maybe you feel the longing of it.  The most important and most rewarding work you can do is to figure it out.

 

Doing work you are meant for is the contribution you get to make.  It’s where you can make the biggest difference.  If executed well, it’s where you’ll leave your mark on the planet and where you’ll find your significance.

 

It takes connection with your Self, with Others and with the Work you are meant for, to reap the rewards of living your best life. Connecting these forces brings you closer to the reason you’re here.  An excess in any one area will throw you off balance and repel your best opportunities.  A lack in any area produces unnecessary suffering and hardship.

 

The harmony of these 3 types of connection brings you closer to being in Success Alignment®?.  Success Alignment®? helps you connect your Truth, which connects with your Awareness, which connects with your Effort.  Being in Success Alignment®? is when you get to do your best work, be valued for the work you do and generate the kind of success that makes you love your life.

 

We need people to provide value to in exchange for money, which gives us access to the quality of life we desire to have.  Connection helps us to get there.  When we consistently give our best, we evolve our best.  As we evolve our best, we narrow our expertise while simultaneously elevating our value.

 

Connection is a key factor in producing and living your success.

 

 

BEST OF THE SUCCESS ALIGNMENT® BLOG

 

I’ve been blogging about Success, Alignment, Self-Leadership and Legacy for 3 years now.  During that time I became a Bestselling Author, twice.  After reviewing my blog history, I uncovered the most popular posts.

 

I thought this would be a great time to share the top 3 with you.  Gobble them up.  They’re juicy.  And I included a Bonus read I think you’ll really enjoy.

 

Dig in, then tell me which is your favorite by telling me what you got out of it. You can leave your comments below each blog post.

 

 

MOST POPULAR SUCCESS ALIGNMENT® BLOG POSTS OF ALL TIME 

(SO FAR)

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT STARTING OVER, IT’S ABOUT BECOMING MORE

Life is continually providing you opportunities to become all you were designed for. Don’t dismiss the gifts.

 

 

 

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO GET READY FOR SUCCESS IN 2017

(originally published on August 30, 2016)

Trust me, you’ll understand why August is the time to plan for the following year. But don’t worry, right now you need to set your sights on how 2019 is going to play out for you.  This will help.

 

 

 

YOU HAVE TO START IF YOU’RE GOING TO SUCCEED

No one is able to have the success you are meant to have.  And no one can do it for you.  There is something special you are meant to do.

 

 

 

BONUS:  MY FAVORITE PICKS

These didn’t make onto the most popular list, but they are some of my favorites. I think you’ll get a lot out of them too.

 

 

YOUR INFINITE POTENTIAL

Infinite Potential is not about doing anything you want, it’s about honoring what you are meant for.  When you connect with that, your levels of Success speed up exponentially.

 

 

 

GO AFTER YOUR DREAM

There is nothing sadder than a dream unrealized.  Pay attention to what’s stirring in you.

 

 

 

THE ONE WORD YOU NEED TO SUCCEED IN 2019

(This one happens to be the last post of 2018.)  It’s about such a powerful success tool.  Having this one word in your back pocket can be the difference to make or break your success this year.

 

 

 

If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Success Alignment®? blog.  Simply click on the link and fill in your name and email in the subscription box on the right side of the page.

Let’s make this the year that makes the difference.

 

 

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