The Words of Influence

We live in a world where influence and “exposure” became terms of necessity. Numbers and numbers of people and companies are trying to reach out to you consciously and unconsciously every minute of the day. This is because they understand how much they can affect what you like, what you think and what you believe. In short, they can influence you as a person to the extent that what they want you to think becomes a mainstream thought – most people will start thinking in this way. This has been especially the case in the recent decade when digital media developed to the scale where the people behind these adds have the power to reach out to you without you actively looking for their help. In the past, businesses aimed to answer an already existing need or want. Now, they are turning to need and want creation. This can be done through heavy marketing. Heavy to the extent which limits your ability of ignorance. They are able to basically make you feel like you need something, even though you don’t. Apart from this perspective, you should also think about this in a personal sense. Who do you listen to? Who do you allow to have a greater influence over what you do? This is what I will be looking into throughout this article.

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External Influences

You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. That is the number one factor you need to worry about. What do your friends talk about? Where are they heading? Are they stuck in the past, or are they forward-looking? Are they process-oriented or are they outcome-oriented? Are they always complaining, or are they bringing positivity into your life? Apart from the people closest to you, you also need to make sure that you are not consuming anything that would be pulling you away from where you want to be – that is mentally or physically. Are you dealing with depression? Stop reading depressing quotes on IG. Are you dealing with a break-up? Stop listening to all those break-up songs. Doing this will allow you to limit the negative influences of the outside world so that you can control your own thinking and your own direction. To fully understand how to do this, check out our article here.

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The #1 Person You Listen To

You need to identify this person in your life. Who do you go to for advice? I strongly believe that if we want to achieve something, we need to find a person who is already there and who is willing to help us get there as well. Why? Because that person has gone through most of the hard stuff you won’t necessarily have to go through, if you follow that person’s tips. How do you find that person? That is very specific to your situation. Make sure it’s not some random online mentor who will take your money but doesn’t devote any time to you. Make sure you work with someone who actually cares about your success, someone with whom you can create a personal bond that will stick for a lifetime. When I have done that, it has changed my life. There are numbers and numbers of people out there who say “I have a mentor.” But if you ask them how often they meet that person, they will probably say something like “once a month” or “never.”

The People You Don’t Listen To

The other side of the coin is the people you need to identify in order to not listen to them. I think that this is also very specific to what kind of situation you find yourself in. Is it a mental problem? You might consider talking about that with your parents or with someone who has been through that and can offer advice, but you won’t go to your second best friend who is the most negative person you know for advice. Are you looking to build the business? Maybe it’s not the best idea to talk to your doctor parents that have spent their entire life in a hospital with no connection to the business world whatsoever. In short, make sure you listen to the people who have the fruit on the tree. Would you go to the coniferous forest looking for apples? I doubt it!

When making a decision, it is always good to have an external perspective. However, you need to be able to differentiate positive criticism (that involves negative feedback as well) from negative criticism (which is just a bunch of insults or negative words). Make sure that the person who makes the decision is you, not your friends nor your parents!

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Use These 3 Tips to Connect With Anyone

We live in a society where many people fear talking to strangers. Many people are able to verbally fight you on social media as if they were professional martial artists. The issue is, when they get to actually speak to people directly, they shy away. I am not saying that social media is the root of this problem, but the way people use it and the way people prioritize their methods of communication leaves them with little or no skill in terms of personal face-to-face communication. In his article, I aim to provide you with the 3 basic tips of interpersonal communication that can help you connect with pretty much anyone. Make sure you understand each of the tips and then practice. Communication is a skill – you need to practice loads and fail loads before you master it. Give it some time and you will see great results in your relationships as you will be able to deepen your conversations more effectively.Výsledek obrázku pro comic meeting a stranger

Ice Breaker

What do we first need to do to start a conversation? Breaking the ice is one of the scariest parts of having a conversation, which also makes it one of the harder parts (even though it is technically very simple). There are generally two ways you can do this. The first one is very simple – just say hi. Coming up to someone saying something like “Hi, how was your day?” is a very quick and straight forward way of starting a conversation. This has an advantage and a disadvantage. The good part is its simplicity – you don’t have to know much to do this. The bad part is the awkwardness and the lack of connection it might create. The connection you make with a person might not be strong enough to continue the conversation. A good solution for this issue would be following up the first sentence with a  question or with a compliment. That is also the second, more advanced method. Breaking the ice through a compliment is something very powerful. Why? Because we all love being complimented. Imagine a person coming up to you saying “Hey! I love your jacket, where did you get it?” This gives the person instant rapport and likability in your eyes. Use these two methods to break the ice when you want to speak to someone. Additionally, don’t be scared to talk to people. Most people will really appreciate if you have a short conversation with them. It is a great feeling if you compliment someone and improve their mood instantly! If you still feel a bit nervous about this, utilize the 5 Second Rule! What is the 5-second rule? We will definitely explain this in detail in one of our future articles. In short, when the idea of speaking to someone comes to your mind, you count from 5 to 1 and then you make a move. What this does for you is that it breaks the thought of doubt in your mind and skips directly to taking the action.

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Controlling The Direction of The Convo

What’s the best kind of conversation you can have? The one that you can control. Now don’t get me wrong – you don’t want to be a control freak or something like that. What you want to do though is ask loads of questions. Why? Because that is how you control the direction of a conversation. Being the one who asks questions allows you to direct the conversation and to deepen it much better. Bear in mind that in order to deepen the conversation, you need to ask open-ended questions, such as “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you think about …?” You don’t want to ask the kind of questions that can be answered by a yes/no or a one-word answer. You want the other person to talk as much as possible. Through the questions, you learn about the other person and you can take the conversation in the directions that will interest the other person. This will allow you to increase your likability and trust in the other person’s eyes. We all love talking about ourselves, so let the other person speak.

Always, Always Use Their Name

What makes you feel closer to the person? “What is your favorite football player?” or “What is your favorite player, James?” Using other people’s names will bring you even closer to them and will improve the connection between the two of you. Even more, the best way to remember a person’s name is by continuous repetition of the name in the conversation. An example would be:

A: What’s your name mate?

B: I am James. And yours?

A: I am Bob, nice to meet you, James. Are you a student here James?

B: Yeah, I am in my second year.

A: That is really cool, man. Do you do something outside of your studies James? Any sports or societies?

You can see that you don’t always have to say the name, but you should somewhat incorporate it into the convo. This will help you remember the person’s name and will create a sense of likability for you in the other person’s eyes.

Extra: Don’t Be Awkward

I know it can be hard at times to overcome the mental barrier and talk to someone, but the worst thing you can do is making things weird. Be yourself and use the tips from this article to improve your conversational skills. Most importantly, have fun!

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You Are Asking The Wrong Questions

The society we live in is seriously messed up. How come? Why are there so many people who hate their lives? Why are there so many people who find themselves in their 80s with nothing but regrets? The reason is – we are programmed by the society to think in a very specific way. We are all pressured by the society to follow the tradition. Our minds are formed into this sheep mindset, just do what others tell you to do, follow the crowd, get a good education, work for 40 years of your life and you’ll be set. But will you? The reason why most people never really question this mindset is, they simply ask the wrong questions. They look for the “What” and the “How” ignoring the most important question there is – the “Why“.

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Mindset Transformation

As I went through my basic education and high school, I have always thought about what I wanted to do and how I will get there. Education was always the answer. Get a good degree, find a good job and you’re set, is what I had embedded in my mind. I finished my high school in Beijing, China where I had the privilege to attend an international school. I saw this as a major boost in my potential in the academic and the employment world. A European guy, who has traveled around the world, studied in 3 different languages and reached a great level of success in his education – this is what I thought would make me successful. And I reached exactly that – I got an offer from a few of the best universities in the world. This was something I was particularly proud about. I was the first one from my family who reached this level, the first one who studied abroad, the first one who could speak Chinese, the first one who had such a great potential. What I missed was the bottom line of everything. I never really asked myself “How do you want to live your life?” I never thought about the “Why” behind what I was doing. What has happened then completely shifted my mindset. One of the unis I had a conditional offer for declined it and I thought to myself “This is it, I am done with.” I was really stressed for a period of time. I decided to hide it because I didn’t want others to see me fail, I didn’t want to be a nuisance to others. What I didn’t understand back then was that this event was a blessing. I started looking for a way out of this crap. I started reading loads of self-development books, I started learning new things about myself and I really started focusing on my own personal development. How come? I still ask myself this question now. Maybe it was Rich Dad Poor Dad that has changed my perspective, maybe it was something else. Either way, shortly after this has happened, me and my friend started The Real Life Education. We were set to help others reach their goals through the journey of self-development and self-education – we wanted people to understand that the traditional education is not even close to the actual self-growth. Why? Because we learned it the hard way. At this moment of time, I have also met my current business team and mentor who have truly changed my mindset. They taught me to understand that whatever we do, we need to have a strong why, a strong reason. This was something that completely blew my mind back then, because I was never taught this lesson. Nobody ever asked me – “How do you want to live your life?” The only thing I have been asked was: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

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Asking The Right Question

So what have I learned? Why are most people so depressed and regretful? It is exactly because they have been asking themselves the wrong questions throughout their lives. Many of us look to be investment bankers, accountants, financial asset managers, etc. But when we’re asked: “So why do you want to do this?” We are clueless. Actually, most people say that they really enjoy the job. REALLY?! If they would not pay you, would you still do the job? That’s what I thought… Absolutely not. We need to start asking ourselves the right questions! Why am I doing what I am doing? How do I want to live? How does my dream life look like? We need to set the final goal, the destination where we are going first. As Friedrich Nietzsche put it: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” We need to understand our purpose first, then we can look for a platform to reach that. Most people are climbing their ladders and they’re climbing them fast. What they don’t realise is that they are climbing the wrong ladder! Make sure your ladder is the correct one! And if it’s not, don’t just stop and climb down. You need to jump and look for a new ladder now!! Your time is precious, make it count.

 

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Where to Start?

You start at the beginning. Sit down, forget about anything you’ve been taught. Take a pen and paper and write/draw your dreams. Be as specific as possible. Do you want a house on the beach? Draw it out,  look up its picture and print it out for yourself. Do you want to help underprivileged kids? Write it down and identify what you need to do to be able to do that. Visualise your dreams, visualise your WHY.

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Never Curse Your Crises

“Never curse your crises, never give up, learn through your setbacks, set a short bounce-back time.” These are the phrases I have become extremely familiar with in the last 6-7 months. My personal life has been a rollercoaster, especially in the last few months of the last year. Don’t get me wrong, the issues I had to deal with definitely could have been much worse. However, it is an understatement to say that the struggle was real. I have been through a rough time in my previous relationship, followed by a break-up. At the same time, we have been working on launching this blog together with our Instagram page and I have been also preparing to launch my other business here in the UK. Not to mention that these few months were also the first few months of my university studies here in UK. I want to dedicate this article to every single one of you who feels like things are getting insane, who is struggling and who is looking for ways to break through the roadblocks life has prepared for us. You’ve got this!

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The Struggle

The ending of the last year might’ve been arguably the hardest time of my life. I finished my high school as a valedictorian, I have had a conditional offer to one of the greatest universities in the world and I was set to go the traditional way to my success. However, in few weeks after my graduation, things started falling apart. I have learned that my high school final exams have gone worse than I expected and even some of my internal assessments that have been marked by my school teachers internally as excellent, have been remarked externally as almost failures. Nobody really understood what happened, but that is not what the university admissions cared about. So there I was, “happy” that the university of my second choice has admitted me to study there. Back then I tried to tell myself that it was only a minor issue and that I would get to that amazing university for masters. What I didn’t realise was that this was a blessing from the heavens. I will explain why later in the text.

At that point, I was in a relationship with a girl whom I loved, but we were having issues. More specifically, I thought that we had issues in terms of our “existential opinions”. I think that’s what I called it. Anyways, the issue in my head was essentially that I wanted to work hard, hustle and change the world and she wanted to chill and enjoy life. What I didn’t understand back then was that our ideologies weren’t what has led to our issues, it was the way we communicated these to each other. In short, we ended up breaking up after a few weeks spent here at university.

Furthermore, at this same time, I spent hours every day working on this blog and on our Instagram page with my friend. In addition to which, I was also working on launching my other business here in the UK. This all happened during my first weeks here at uni – not to metion the process of getting used to the new university environment. These provided me with a huge challenge, which made my “struggle” even worse. Many people laughed at me and doubted my path, many told me I should focus on my studies and just go with my life. During these times, I finally started slowly understanding what people mean by the “entrepreneurial pain.” All of these issues, these emotional pains led to some slight health issues of mine. I have been always prone to skin issues with acne – I got rid of these during my high school so I thought I’d never have to deal with that again. Well, I was wrong. From my experience, one of the most important factors that influence acne is your emotional state. How come? Hormones. So during these times, I also started developing skin issues on my face, which as you can imagine, killed my confidence back then. I am still dealing with the cyclical effects of that. In my case, acne is something that doesn’t simply come and go. If it comes, it stays for long before it goes away. And by long, I mean months, even years. It is a contemporary fight.

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Staying Strong

Even though I had all of these issues, I kept going. I decided to focus on myself and myself only. I decided to focus on my personal development. Why? Because that was what I found necessary to overcome my struggle and to start walking towards my dreams once again.

In addition to that, I had people around me that believed in me. I had my parents, my friends, my mentor and my business team. The people I had around me helped me enormously, even though they might not realise that. I could boast around that I made it through because of my inner strengths or my strong character, but the simple truth is that I am extremely lucky. I  have the people who support me no matter what in my life, which I am incredibly grateful for.

What was the greatest motivation that kept me going? What is the bottom line? It was my why. I know, as I always knew, that I am going to help millions, if not billions of people around the globe to live a better life. This is my why and this is why I can overcome anything. This is the reason I am here and this is the reason I will never back down.

Never Curse Your Crises

What I haven’t realised back then, but what I see now is that all the “bad” stuff I went through was there only for me to become stronger. It wasn’t too much of a curse, rather a blessing. The major lesson I took from everything I went through is that

in every adversity, there is a seed of an equal, or a greater opportunity.

I absolutely believe in this law. Everything that has happened in my life led me to the person I am now and will further continue to shape the person I am growing into. All these lessons I have learned will help me help others in the future. Whenever I look back at what has happened in these 6-7 months, I get super excited. I get extremely excited because this is what it took me to learn that I don’t want to simply live an average life. This is what taught me that the traditional life of schooling – uni – work simply is not for me. Will I drop out of uni? That is very unlikely. Will I look for a job after I graduate? That is also very unlikely. Why? Because I know that I will have my business grown enough so that I can support myself and focus on growing it further through helping others and through developing strong leaders all around the world.

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Throw Your Ego Out of The Window: Leadership 101

When we hear the word leadership, names like Abraham Lincoln, Angela Merkel or Steve Jobs come into our minds. We often see the leaders of the modern world as the “gifted” or as the “extraordinary.” Why is that? Because we assume that leadership is a quality we are born with. What if I told you that leadership is a skill and thus can be learned? Do you think Steve Jobs was a great leader in his elementary? Do you think he was a great leader when he started Apple? He might’ve been a great character, but he had to learn a lot in order to become the amazing leader he was in his last couple of years. In this article, we’ll look at 3 developable qualities every leader needs to possess.

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Every Leader “Started from The Bottom”

Before we get to the actual qualities, we need to acknowledge something incredibly important, yet overlooked by most. If you look at any leader out there, you’ll see a strong person, a character, but there is something you might overlook. The person’s scars. Every leader has a story to tell, every leader went through some kind of a hardship, some kind of a challenge he had to overcome. That is what has created them, that is what has made them into the person they are now. It is really important for you to understand that becoming a stronger person, a leader, is not an easy path to take. If you fail to understand this, you will most likely give up half-way.

#1 Ego Will Cost You Money

The first very important quality you need to understand and develop is to let go of your ego. In order to lead others, you first need to accept your mistakes, learn from your lessons and open your mind to suggestions and improvements. A true leader is not someone who orders people around. A true leader is someone who listens, leads discussions, and considers the views of others. Why? Because the true leader understands that we all have a limited range of perspectives and that others can help us broaden that range. Another important reason why you need to let go of your ego is that the best leaders don’t position themselves above others. What does that mean? Very simply, you respect everyone and you treat everyone equally. Every leader understands that every single person deserves his respect. This will in return provide the leader with the respect and love of others. Why? Because they will feel important around the leader, which is something  everyone seeks. Regardless of whether this is conscious or subconscious, the result is the same. In addition, the best leaders are the most loving people. They not only make you feel important, but also loved. Love and respect attractsthe same.

 

#2 Be The Example

Now is the time we take a look at the difference between a leader and a manager. A manager is someone who focuses on the short-term gain. He gets things done through orders. He uses people to get the job done. Management is focused on finishing objectives on time. In comparison, a leader is someone who aims to inspire and motivate others. A leader is someone who stands in the front line and does the hard job first. A leader is someone who makes the step first, so that others can follow. Leadership is focused on the long-term. A great part of leadership is vision and growth. A manager uses people to grow his business, a leader uses the business to grow his people. As a leader, you understand that you can never make someone do something and expect an amazing result without first doing that same thing yourself.

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#3 Be The Biggest Dreamer in The Room

If you look at the greatest leaders and you compare them with the average people, what is the greatest difference you’ll see? The greater the person, the greater the leader, the greater the size of her dream. The dream is something that gives the leader her direction. The dream is something that keeps the leader on her path as she overcomes setbacks and it is something that inspires others to follow her. When people spend more time around a leader with a strong dream, they become dreamers as well. This is the ultimate skill of a true leader, she is able to turn people from blind sheep into dreamers with a strong vision. A leader always has a cause to fight for, which attracts others. It is always better to stand for something than to fall for anything.

These 3 qualities will not only turn you into a great leader, they will also help you grow immensely as a person. You can not be a great leader and a crappy person. The bottom line is, believe in personal growth, find your purpose and be nice. It gets as simple as that.

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