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Business Marketing

5 Tips to increase your sales

One of the best uses of your time is to increase your competence in your key result areas” ~ Brian Tracy. At the very core of every business is a sale. Many of the strategies to increase sales offline are also applicable online, but not all of them are well adapted for online sales. On the Internet, everybody can afford to fail fast and learn from it. Better still, after years of testing and tracking what works online, people can just learn from other people’s experience and cut the learning curve tremendously. The Internet has changed how people do their business. Even small business owners are able to reach global markets inexpensively nowadays, selling anything from apparel, collectibles, to computer software, services and coaching.

The best thing the internet has done is to have your business exposed to millions if not billions of would be customers. If you have an internet business you will agree with me that your website has the potential to reach millions of people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The biggest challenge faced by most of us is getting and letting those would be customers know about your products/services and convert them to customers. It does not matter what sort of business you are promoting the need to have loyal satisfied customers is the key to life time earnings. Imagine how much a loyal and satisfied customer will give you if they keep coming and buying from you? Increasing your sales revenue cannot be done in isolation without promoting your site. In other words the more traffic your site has the more chances of increased sales. In this article I will restrict myself to increasing sales only. I will endeavour to write about how to increase traffic.

Establish a sound product/service
First things first you need to have a product/service that you are selling or marketing. If you are an affiliate program marketer like me you need to find or create a good one. Find something that flows naturally from you. Sell or promote something you enjoy doing. If it is just another affiliate program, then don’t expect to have different results. Focus on building a sound affiliate program, with the tools and materials to support affiliates to promote a program easily. After all, affiliates work like clockwork and should be seen as a team. Provide them with the right promotion tools and they will more likely promote the program. Click here learn about qualities of a good affiliate marketing program.

Give the customers an option to join the affiliate program after purchase. Satisfied customers are one of the best marketing for any business. Spread the good words through word of mouth. Best of all, they are paid just for doing that. Having a good affiliate program is the key to enhancing your sales. There are many people and businesses selling stuff out there. The best affiliate marketers are those who have their customers at heart. Offer such incentives as 30/60/90 days guarantees for an unsatisfied customers and honour your promises. A good affiliate program or product/services will ensure that you build loyal customers who can extend to buying other products that you are promoting.

After sale follow up
The hardest task in any business is acquiring the first sale. Make sure that capturing customers’ name and email addresses are the least information gathered from a sale. You need this information for future interaction with the customer. As a way of keeping in touch with my customers I have created a mailing list and send out a newsletter once every month. This helps me promote other products and services that my affiliate program offers. Most experienced marketers will agree with me that creating a mailing list one sure best way of increasing your sales. The trick however, is not to spam your mailing list. You will also need to respect people’s privacy and learn not to share private information with third parties.

This effort has been proven to decrease refund on products and increase customers’ satisfaction. Every once in a while, mention a related product that might be of interest to the customers. Write a review and provide real results. Such promotion is extremely inexpensive, but very effective in practice. The product can be anything, including an affiliate program. I know that creating a mailing list can be very hard but it is worthwhile when you have a responsive one. There are many ways you can use to create one others prefer the cheap way that is buying one rather than the hard route of creating one from scratch. I have a problem though with going the easy way when it comes to mailing lists. The chances that you will buy a non-responsive list are very high. You may end up having people unsubscribing from your list as they may feel cheated.

Apart from sending newsletters to your mailing list engage them. Especially those that have just bought something from you, find out if they are satisfied with the quality of the product; has the mode of delivery been meet; is it what they expected and many other questions that can help you improve in future. By doing so you are telling your customers that it is not just the money you are interested in but to meet and satisfy their needs. People want to be appreciated when they spend money add some freebies to their purchases. This will surely guarantee you loyal customers which will lead to an increase in your sales.

Up-sell technique
One up-sell technique that I find very effective is just before a customer check out to the payment gateway, I prompt for optional upgrade to the better, bigger, or nicer product for a fairly steep discount, do not over do this though as some people will just want to get on with what they are buying. I recommend just having one optional upgrade and nothing more. It can be very irritating and confusing when you are just about to buy something and you are receiving a lot other offers. If you have more than one optional upgrade offer you have to find a better way of promoting the other offers. Preferably, sometime after the first offer has been purchased. You risk losing your first sale if you have to subject your would be customer to a lot of offers at the same time.

I would like to mention here that we all have different abilities and techniques what may work for me might not necessarily produce the desired results for some. It is there very important that you monitor and possibly document the methods you are imploring so as to make better judgment and concentrate on the methods that produce your desired results. In affiliate marketing patience and perseverance are key to increase your sales. You should learn to treat your online business just the same way as you would treat an offline business. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to think that online businesses are different from offline businesses. For any business to succeed you need to learn the tricks of the trade.

Provide discount coupons
Don’t we all love quality and inexpensive things? Coupons urge customers to come back and shop. Promotional coupons work for both advertising and some forms of joint venture. Customers love to know that they get lower price for what they buy. Coupons make it so real and tangible. This brings me back to the earlier point I made about offering guarantees. If you know you are selling a superior and quality product you will put your head on the chopping board by offering money back guarantees. Believe me I would rather buy from someone who offers to pay me back if I feel their product is of inferior quality or does not do what they claim it should do.

Discount coupons can be provided for bulk buying or whatever, marketing reason you can give. But always remember that discounts should not eat into your profits. Only give discounts where you can afford and give them sensibly. Remember that discounts are a cost to your business that should be handled carefully. People love discounts as this provides some form of servings. Giving discounts can significantly increase your sales as people will be lured by them.

Promote with related products
There is no limit as to how this could be accomplished. Joint venture with other business or even competitors is feasible as long as it brings a win-win situation. One example would be to give away sample of other product or service as part of the whole package. As long as the sample is relevant to the customer, this promotion could only be seen as an added value instead of pure advertising. Packaging your products with many related others gives you the added advantage and spoils the customer for choice. That is why it is very important that you join an affiliate program that has multiple products/services to offer. There is no harm in enticing your customers with different other products to choose from provided they are well documented and explained. You should try to help the customer by mentioning the major differences and advantages where possible.

Always remember that you are there to offer the customer a solution to his needs. Most people will make purchases if they feel that they are being offered a solution ate the right price. Before I forget let me mention here that costing of your products is also another important aspect of your business. Do not over price your products/services. It would be wise to have a little business knowledge before you venture out in to business be it online of offline. Some people think that high prices mean more money and forget that money is made at the rate of turnover. When deciding on a price, take all other aspects in to consideration and come up with a fairly reasonable price.

Conclusion
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” ~ Robert Collier. There are many other tactics to increase your sales but the above tips have been proven to work again and again. Choose one at a time and take action. Success in business is not instant but a gradual process. Affiliate marketing programs can be a source of serious income if managed and nurtured well. I have below some recommended products to get you started. These are products that have been proved by me and are giving me results. Please bear in mind that levels of success depend largely on self-commitment and methods implored. Good luck and remember to always “standout tall and be counted”.

Recommended products
SFI Affiliate Marketing Program
TripleClicks

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Mental Health Personal Development Self Growth Success

5 principles to help you set your goals

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals” ~ Henry Ford. As the year comes to an end and as you prepare for the New coming Year, I thought I could just remind you and probably give you a few tips on how to set out your future goals. Goal setting is one activity that distinguishes successful people from the average ones. It is hence important in life to set your own achievable targets that are measurable. Before you set your goals, have your life’s intended purpose written down. The goals you set are aimed at helping you achieve your intended life’s purpose. For more on goal setting please read this article Goal setting Tips.

What are your strengths?
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender that is strength” ~ Mahatma Gandhi. It is very important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are as a human being. Before you step out to set your goals know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Know what flows from you naturally. I have noticed that the best goals are those set around our strengths.

This makes life very easy and the journey to success enjoyable. You cannot set a goal as being a better mathematics teacher when your God given call is being an athlete. You will surely fail terribly. This goes to parents who are in the bad habit of deciding their children’s careers. Just because you are the one paying school fees, you have no right to force your children to study what they do not want. Or put straight, forcing them to become what you failed to be. I have two boys and all that I do is help them build on what they want to be.

My first son tells me he wants to be a medical doctor because he feels pity when he sees sick people. He wants to help them get better. The only thing I do is to help him work hard and tell him that he needs to work extra hard in sciences, be accepted in medical school. So far so good and I pray to God that he continues on this path.

Write down your goals
There is power in writing down something. One sure way of reminding yourself about your goals is to put them in black and white. Please make sure that you are the one deciding your own goals and they are not borrowed. It is much better and easier to set your own targets than copying some else’s.

The targets you set must be your own blue print that can be adjusted as you go along. Writing also acts a measure and monitor, as this helps you to review them from time and again. I find goal writing fun and interesting. A lot of things pop up that I could have easily forgotten about if I had not put them in writing. Your targets are your blue print; the final product is your white print. All successful people have their life’s intended purposes written down and broken down into smaller manageable and achievable targets.

Dream Big
“If one advances confidently in the direction of their goals and endeavours to live the life that they have imagined, they will meet with success unexpected in un common hours” ~ Henry David Thoreau. Our lives are made of what we dream about. It all starts with your mind. If you dream, small you are more likely to achieve less in life. The bigger your dreams are the bigger your requirement to dedication and the bigger your expectations are. Zig Zigglar rightly says “if you can dream it, then you can achieve it”.

Am sure that you have dreams of what you want to be. I believe that every one of us dreams of what they want to be. There is nothing wrong in dreaming big. You are only increasing your chances of success.

Imagine yourself succeeding
I would say dreaming and imagination go hand in hand. When you are dreaming you are visualising yourself living your dream. Use your imagination to keep your dreams alive. If you want to achieve your goals you need to continue imagining yourself as a success. Such positive thoughts send out strong energies that attract complimentary thoughts from people that can help us achieve what we want.

Constructive imagination means mental labour, by some considered to be the hardest kind of labour, but, if so, it yields the greatest returns, for all the great things in life have come to men and women who had the capacity to think, to imagine, and to make their dreams come true. “The cultivation of the imagination leads to the development of the ideal out of which your future will emerge” ~ The Master Key.

Pursue you goals with passion
The driving force behind your goal achievement is your desire. You must develop a burning desire that transcends everything else to achieve your purpose. That is why I said in the first place that you set your goals based on your strengths. Whatever life’s purpose you have in life always make sure that you enjoy what you do. Life’s too short to be lived miserably.

Inject some passion in thing that you do. If you are an artist’s draw like that is your last drawing. Imagine that you are going away and you want people to remember you for something you will surely give them the very best of your being. If you are in the service industry being good and just smiling at your customers makes them come back frequently. Live life with passion.

Conclusion
I will end with one of my favourite quotes by Thomas Jefferson ~ “nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude”. Lastly as always “standout tall and be counted”.

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5 Personal success questions

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will” ~ Vince Lombardi. All normal human beings want to have personal success at whatever they are doing.  Any normal and ambitious being will pride themselves in whatever endeavours they are engaged in. I want to believe that no single person wants to show their failed results before they succeed. Usually we will brag and talk about our failures only after success has been realized or achieved. In my quest to achieve my personal intended goals I have asked myself some questions and these I hope will help guide you as well. Simple though they may seem, these questions can literally change your life.

Have I neglected a fundamental skill?
Before you answer this question ask yourself if you even have the basic skill. Regardless of what you do for a living, you cannot succeed if you’re failing to master the basics. In every area and aspect of our lives there are basics. You do not expect a baby to start running before it learns how to walk and sit for example. You need to identify the basic requirements for whatever endeavours you are involved with and ensure that you have the skill set. Many of the times people set out to do something without the necessary fundamental skill set.

For example to succeed in any business you need to gather the needed basic skill set before you even venture out. If you want to own and run a home business, say an affiliate marketing program. You will off course need to do a market research and understand the niche you are entering into. You must acquire the basic knowledge and apply it in your business for better results and success. Same applies if you are involved with personal development and coaching.

The lesson here is simple learn and do the basics of your job. Unless you’re doing that, you can forget about success, because it’s just not going to happen. It is better not to reinvent the wheel but improve on the wheel.

Is there a bad habit I should stop?
Great! You’re doing the basics, so now it’s time to look at the stuff that’s getting in your way. Look at your daily routine, your weekly activities, your monthly commitments. If you’re like most people, you’re probably doing things that aren’t just useless, but counterproductive. You are doing business as usual. Stop and check your daily activities and start doing “business unusual”.

Yes even for me there are a lot of bad habits I am working on that are very detrimental to my progress. Things like computer games, web surfing and more, these I find very destructive to my progress. I am slowly learning how to use the web for my growth and not otherwise. Take care on how you use the internet.

Whatever it is for you, you’ll get a huge burst of productivity when you limit (or stop) these behavioral impediments to your success.

Do I need to upgrade my basic skills?
Now it’s time to examine the basic skills required for your job and identify any that need improvement. For example, if you’re in sales, maybe you’re good at asking questions and presenting solutions, but tend to hem and haw when it’s time to close the deal. If so, work on your closing skill.

There are many ways you can use to improve your skill set. The one I use most is reading relevant material. You could choose further training if you want to have a recognized qualification depending on what your demands are with your current situation. Upgrading your basic skill set will definitely give an edge over your competition. I encourage you to have an open mind and always embrace change.

If you are a manager be a good listener to your subordinates. Do not feel threatened if you have a member who has more knowledge than you. Instead embrace them and learn from them and use them to get better results. Besides it does not mean that when you are the manager you are the most intelligent no no no.

What extra skill will bring me the greatest success?
It’s time to take a big step in your endeavours. From this perspective, identify a skill or habit that today is totally foreign to you but which, if you mastered it, would also propel you to a level of success far beyond your current situation. Do not remain stagnant or content with your current skills set. Find a new skill to propel even further with your success.

For example, suppose you’re a brilliant innovator and have mastered all the basics of engineering. What would happen if you mastered the ability to sell your ideas to anyone? Similarly, suppose you’re making a decent living in Sales. How much more successful would you become if you mastered business accounting?

Conclusion
There are many more questions you can ask yourself that will help propel you to even greater heights. Make sure that you answer them honestly and always improve on them. It is always better to have a written down life’s mission that should be read on a daily basis and used to monitor your success progress. Bye for now and remember to always “standout tall and be counted”.

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Business Success

5 Tools for a successful business

We all want to have a successful business do we? But, what tools do you need to have for a successful business? Many of us focus too much on the money part and neglect other important ingredients of a successful business. Yes I know and understand that money is important so are the tools you use to generate it. Any business cannot generate enough revenue without tools. In this article I discuss a list of key ingredients for business to succeed. These I have proven and think they will be helpful to you, especially if you are just starting out.

1)  Time
You must understand that time is money and it is of essence. Time is an important tool in anything we do. In business, your objective is to make money period. How do you make money? You utilize time accordingly. But the question is how productively you convert your time into money. Are you making full use of your time or you just let the time pass by you? Time once lost cannot be recovered.

How much you make depends on how good you are at converting time to money. If you are already productive, then you may want to ask; what are the things you can do to improve further. Remember time is the most valuable asset and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Also time is also the fairest distribution of resources every human being receives. If there is anything God has given us all in equal proportion it is time. Everybody on earth experiences the same hours of day and night. I have never heard of anyone saying that he enjoys more time than 24 hrs per day.

2)  People
The second tool for me is people. To be successful in business, you must have people connections. I mean the right people. People consist of customers, suppliers, partners, staff, and associates. I cannot imagine a business that is successful without people. If there are no people connected to your business I can guarantee you that you are wasting your time.

One thing that you must not leave out is your mentor or coach. Having genuine mentors or coaches is very important and it can make a very big difference in your business. What a mentor does is that they will help you grow through your business. You will gain valuable knowledge if you have a good mentor. You should also have a mentor not just for your business also for your personal growth.

To make sure that you have more profits, you must serve people well. Organize your database of people connections. By simply knowing who does what, who supplies what, who needs what, where to get what make your miles ahead of other people. Even if you are doing affiliate marketing you need to know the needs of your affiliates.

3)  Knowledge and Skills
The third tools you need are a combination of set of knowledge and skills. When I talk about knowledge and skills, I am not referring to academic knowledge that you find in schools or colleges including universities. What’s more important to you is knowledge and skills that can bring you the kind of results you want and usually these are not found in schools.

How many MBA holders that you know of have become business owners and have made tones of money or are running successful businesses? That shows you that getting the right knowledge and skills is important. Don’t blindly go after knowledge that could drown you. Go for knowledge and skills that are universally tested and proven. Get knowledge that is relevant to your business. Study what other related businesses are doing and do it better.

Examples of right knowledge and skills are where to get what from who, money making trends, marketing strategies, art of dealing with people, negotiation skills, selling skills, skills of managing and growing money, investment skills, universal laws of success, and more. Don’t waste time on unnecessary knowledge. There’s only so much that you need to know and learn. Be sharp and focus when you acquire knowledge and skills. Don’t follow what normal people do. Above all put your knowledge and skill set to practice.

4)  Personal Health
You cannot make money when you are in bad health. My number 4 tool is good personal health. In fact, this is the most important tool of all. How can you run a business without a healthy body? In order to maintain an optimum health, you have to provide your body with proper nutrients and sufficient exercise. And also don’t forget about your emotional well being  Don’t let anger and other negative emotions control you.

This is where positive and empowering attitudes come into play. Maintaining your body is just like maintaining your car. If you send your car to a workshop for regular service and pump petrol regularly, why don’t you do the same for your body? It’s something for you to think about. Don’t be stingy over spending money for your own health because physical and mental health can cost you a lot of money in the long run if your body is not taken care of properly.

5)  Resources
Let’s face it. It takes money to make money even you need a little. But you might not need a lot of money to start a business because there are many ways to start one with low capital especially affiliate marketing programs.

I meet a lot of people who want to be rich but are not willing to invest the money. You must invest in something in order for you to get something. The law of sowing and reaping is at work. Don’t expect something without investing anything. Money is one of the investments you need to make.

Even though you don’t need to have a capital for your business, but at least you must be able to cover your expenses while building your business. You also need resources to buy products to stock up and other stuff. So, you must at least come up with whatever amount that you have to start a business.

Conclusion
These are the five basic tools of business success. I call them tools because you need to use them in order for your business to succeed. Do your best to acquire or grow or invest in these personal tools. These tools have worked for me even in the area of personal development. But the good thing is you don’t need to have a perfect combination of tools to get started. You can still perfect the tools along the way. Somehow, get it started with what you’ve got. Remember to always “standout tall and be counted

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5 Qualities of leaders and motivators part 2

This is the final part of a two part series. If you missed out on part 1 please click here before you continue. In part one I talked about the first two qualities and these are vision and courage. We learned that we are all born with these qualities and that the difference between leaders and followers is the expression of them to the world. I also talked about the importance of vision and courage in leadership. In this issue I will write about integrity; realism and responsibility as the other qualities of leadership and motivation.

Integrity

“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action “~ Aristotle. My third quality is integrity. I believe integrity underlines all other qualities. The measure of integrity is determined by how honest you are in your critical areas of your life. How honest do you handle other peoples finances. Can someone trust you with their valuable possessions? Can you be trusted with handling say public matters even when it means that you will lose popularity in the short term?

Integrity means that you, as a leader, admit your shortcomings. It means that you work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Integrity means that you tell the truth, and that you live the truth in everything that you do and in all your relationships. Integrity means that you deal straight forwardly with people and situations and that you do not compromise what you believe to be true. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock”. ~ Thomas Jefferson

 Realism

True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing” ~ Jean Cocteau. The fourth quality of motivational leadership is realism. Realism is a form of intellectual honesty. The realist insists upon seeing the world as it really is, not as he wishes it were. This objectivity, this refusal to engage in self-delusion, is a mark of the true leader. A leader accepts situations as they are and transforms them to his advantage.

Those who exhibit the quality of realism do not trust to luck, hope for miracles, pray for exceptions to basic business principles, expect rewards without working or hope that problems will go away by themselves. These all are examples of self-delusion, of living in a fantasy land. Yes I know that miracles do happen but not without you playing a part. The part you play and the amount of faith you have will definitely be a determining factor.

The motivational leader insists on seeing things exactly as they are and encourages others to look at life the same way. As a motivational leader, you get the facts, whatever they are. You deal with people honestly and tell them exactly what you perceive to be the truth. This doesn’t mean that you will always be right, but you will always be expressing the truth in the best way you know how. There by excising your integrity in the process.

Responsibility

It is said by Brian Tracy that “the happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life”. This is the mark of a true leader. The fifth of motivational leadership is responsibility. This is perhaps the hardest to develop. It is the duty of a good leader to accept responsibility no matter what the outcome is. In the same manner as when the out is positive he takes all the parting on the back. He should take the brunt when things have failed.

If, instead of accepting responsibility when things go wrong, you make excuses, blame someone else and simultaneously become angry and resentful and blow up, this may cost you. Personal leadership and motivational leadership are very much the same. To lead others, you must first lead yourself. To be an example or a role model for others, you must first become an excellent person yourself.

There is no dodging responsibility. Know also that you are responsible for your own life. Your very own life is in your hands. You are responsible for your actions. Wrong or right, bad or good they are your actions. If you want to become more, more of you is expected. “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more”. ~ Tony Robins

Conclusion

Finally, take action. You know that all mental preparation and character building is merely a prelude to action. You become a motivational leader by motivating yourself. And you motivate yourself by striving toward excellence, by committing yourself to becoming everything you are capable of becoming. You motivate yourself and others by continually looking for ways to help others to improve their lives and achieve their goals. You become a motivational leader by becoming the kind of person others want to get behind and support in every way and remember that we all have the five qualities in us wake them up and see how far you can go. “Standout tall and be counted”.

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5 Qualities of leaders and motivators part 1

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams. This is a two part series in which I am illustrating the 5 qualities of leadership and motivation. We are all born with leadership qualities regardless of our situation the difference is how much of it, do we show the world. I thought to talk about these just so as to remind us about our leadership qualities. You may not be in a leadership position but you are the leader of yourself. If you are a parent like me then you are responsible for providing leadership to your family. Men and women are leaders and bot posses almost the same leadership qualities. Find herewith, the five qualities of leaders and motivators.

Vision
The first quality is vision. I have never come across great leader without vision. All great leaders have a vision. Perhaps vision is the single most quality that, more than anything else separates great leaders from average leaders.  The more vision you have the more likely you are to succeed. “All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose”. ~ Brian Tracy. A good leader does not get caught up in the day to day activities this is the work for his followers. The Bible says “where there is no vision the people perish” ~ Proverbs.

But remember that we are all born with this quality called vision. If you focus in your area of interest it does not matter what area is, you will be a great leader in that respect. “Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements” ~ Napoleon Hill.

The best way to motivate others is to firstly motivate yourself. I have attended some personal development workshops and the first thing that strikes me is the level of motivation by the speakers. Believe me if you yourself are not motivated and are trying to motivate others it will show. Example you cannot talk to people about how to make money when you do not have the money to show for it. You must at least show some potential for earning the money or demonstrate that you are actually earning the money. I sometimes come across adverts in the streets, about how someone will give you some lucky charms for getting rich when they themselves are living in poverty.

One of the most powerful tools for all motivators is the commitment to excellence. The best motivational vision you can have for yourself and others is to strive to be the best. Be in business or in whatever area of leadership you are be the best. If you are not the best strive to be among the best at least standout.

Courage
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” ~ The Bible. The second quality of a leader is courage and is the distinguishing characteristic of a true leader. You can often see it in a leader’s words and action.  A true leader speaks with courage and boldness. It is always easy to set a vision and standards for yourself. But it takes a lot of courage and humility to abiding to your aspirations. We all have what we want to be in life or rather achieve. At least I have formulated my life’s purpose and moving towards achieving it. The distinguishing factor is having the courage to make certain unpleasant decisions that will help us in the long run. When you set certain standards for yourself trust me temptations will come your way so as you compromise with your standards and this is when your show your courage by resisting them.

Remember when I said that we are all born with these qualities? It is the level of growth that differentiates leaders from followers. I believe that all growth is from inside. And that what we are, is as a result of what has developed from the inside.

The foundation of character is the combination of courage and integrity. The first form of courage is your ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in and to refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to step out in faith, to launch out into the unknown and then to face the inevitable doubt and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

I give the example of Alexander the great, the king of Macedonia. He became king at the age of 19 and managed to conquer great nations with mightier armies than he had at the time. Simply because he refused to remain at home when his soldiers went to battle instead he was the first one to charge at the war front. He lead by example by letting his men know that he believed in the outcome of every war or battle they fought and that motivated the soldiers to do even more.

Conclusion
For now I end here. In the next series I will mention the remaining three qualities of leaders and motivators that is integrity; realism and responsibility. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” remember to always “standout tall and be counted”.

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Motivational Personal Development Self Growth

5 Ways to improve your confidence

This is one of my long articles. Feel free to bookmark it and come back later to finish reading it. Self-confidence is something that people find difficult to have. There are people who find low self-confidence influences the way they see themselves and their performance. Contrary to what most people think, self confidence is not something that only the gifted and blessed could have.  With the help of personal mastery, individuals could now start building on their self-confidence. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face” Eleanor Roosevelt. Self confidence is a requisite to personal development. Having an improved self-confidence can really improve your general work out put.

Personal mastery is about self-development and self-improvement. It is about loving yourself and accepting yourself as you are. You need to acknowledge your weaknesses and at the same time strengthen them. To improve your self confidence it is important to know and accept your weaknesses. I believe that identifying your weaknesses is the first step to personal improvement. Many of the times we like to ignore our weaknesses and concentrate mainly on perfecting our strengths. I have written down my weaknesses and strengths and keep reviewing them from time and again. I have found this very helpful and would recommend it to anyone.

To attain personal mastery and confidence, it is important to believe in yourself. It is also important to be content with yourself. Self belief and contentment lead to building a solid self-confidence. It is very difficult to achieve personal development without being content with yourself. To develop self-confidence, self-acceptance should occur.  Self-acceptance is about accepting not only the good things in life, but also the failures in life. Failure is only failure if accepted. You must always treat failure as a learning curve. When you fail the first time re-organise yourself, analyse your failure and move on. Do not stop at failure.

And now the suggested five ways to help you improve your self-confidence

Understand your thoughts and emotions

Many of us find it very difficult to understand our thoughts and emotions, yet understanding these can unlock huge potentials for improving self confidence. Forgetting about a bad habit or behaviour would make us more aware about our thoughts and emotions. By becoming aware of our emotions and behaviour, then we will be able to overcome and correct our behaviour. Behavioural control and correction is one of the key important elements to improving self confidence. I have noticed that a lack of confidence is mainly our negative behaviour and most of the times we are very aware of it. It is very rare that if you put on your positive behaviour you will experience a low self confidence.

Understanding your emotions is very critical. Your emotions will usually dictate your mood. It is therefore important that we always try to replace our negative emotions with good ones. A few practical ways to know your emotions is to observe and write down the feelings and emotions you experience; observe and or write down the preceding events and duration of your emotions. I have noticed with time that my emotions are largely affected by my thoughts. Hence I always try to keep my thoughts positive.

By knowing the root cause for your emotions you can learn to take control of them. Flee from sorrowful emotions and make the decision to improve your mood. You deserve to be happy.

Self discipline

Self discipline is perhaps the number one factor for self growth. Without discipline very little can be achieved in life. I have not come across a successful who is indisciplined. When we set our goals on achieving our intended purposes in life, discipline and focus in what keeps us from swaying away from them. We graduate from school because we are disciplined to study hard.

Changing attitude and behaviour, or even perspective might take a while. Change does not happen overnight. You need to gather enough knowledge and start learning and practicing the skills that you would like to improve and develop. To do this you need to be disciplined. This is an essential ingredient that is found wanting in many of us. Discipline comes through self control. This means that one must control negative qualities.

Have a clear vision

To be able to move forward in your life, it is important to have clarity. Have a purpose written down. Seeing what you want to have in a clearer image would encourage you to work for it. That is why it is important that you write down your intended purpose in life and read it every day. I would encourage you read it every night. I read my every night before going to sleep.

Having a defined purpose in life, acts as a guide and motivation for living. I know that most of us live by the day. If you do not have a defined purpose and vision for yourself I would encourage you to think about formulating one. At first your vision might not be as clear as possible but just start working on it. You will begin to see a clearer picture of your destination. You will be amazed at how much self-confidence you can have just by writing down your intended purpose in life.

You have a choice

You can choose what you want to experience. Doing something important for you and something you love, would give you enough confidence to continue with what you have started. The beauty about being human is that God gave us a choice. You have the will to choose whatever you want to be. You can choose to be confident or not. We are made up of the choices we make in life. If you take a look at yourself you will realize that you are where you are because of the choices you have previously made.

It is their wise to make choices that are self building. I know that some choices are difficult to make but, remember that choices are there to be made and they have to be made. You have a choice and the choice is yours. Bear in mind that the choices we make today have a direct effect on our tomorrow. We are continuously shaping our future by the choices we are making today.

Commitment and trusting

To be able to attain personal mastery for development and growth, you need to trust yourself that you can undergo the process and commit yourself on the process.

When developing self-confidence through personal mastery, we would have to develop some characteristics. We would develop self awareness, which is about our readiness to look at our past, accept it and the same goes for the present.  Aside from this, we also develop self-knowledge which is about understanding our past and our attitude. Not only should we understand them but also be able to comprehend the basis for such attitude or experience. Last, we develop self discipline.  Self-discipline is about how we make sure that our goals and vision are translated in action and achieved.  We need self discipline to make sure that we do not back-out just because of simple and little disappointments and setbacks.

Conclusion

Building self-confidence can’t be done on just a snap. Self-improvement is a never-ending process. There are people who even acknowledge that self-improvement can last even for a life-time.  Sometimes, we can only say that we are fully masterful of our life if we have reached our dreams and goals. Improving our confidence can help with growth and eventually with success. We just need to continue with our dreams and be patient and so always “standout tall and be counted”.

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