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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

outliersThere is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.<

In The Tipping Point Gladwell changed the way we understand the world. In Blink he changed the way we think about thinking. In OUTLIERS he transforms the way we understand success.

8 Ways to Measure Your Success

Success is hard. We all want it; we’re not always sure when we get there. It doesn’t always feel like you’re achieving the success you have your eyes on, but are you measuring your success correctly?

Here are our top 8 ways to measure your success:

1. You’re willing to ask for help.

Being successful doesn’t mean doing everything by yourself. A measure of your success could be your willingness to work on a team. Finding the strength the ask for help is a sign your headed in the right direction.

2. The art of letting go.

The unsuccessful can cling to things that aren’t good for them and don’t make them happy. As a successful person, you’re able to let it go to seek your greater happiness.

3. You aren’t afraid of failure

Failure is only the opposite of success if you let it win. Successful people know that failure is just part of the process of growing.

4. You’re happy for others success

People who haven’t achieved personal success are jealous of the people who have. If you can be happy for people who have found their success, it’s a good sign for you. Also, it’s healthy.

5. You look forward to the future

The successful have things they look forward to. Is there something coming up in your future that you’re excited for? What do you anticipate? If you don’t look forward to anything, maybe try finding a meetup or conference that can kickstart your excitement.

6. You can measure your goals

Just because you haven’t reached your ultimate goal doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved some. I you’re feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything, take a look back over the past few years and see what you have done. You might find a list of goals that you knocked out of the park.

7. You aren’t the victim

People with a victim mentality have a problem being successful. If you spend your life thinking “why me?” then you never get around to saying “why not me?”

8. You focus on the things you can change.

There are a lot of things you can’t change. Successful people focus on the things they can change. If you spend too much time focusing on what you can’t change, you’re not changing things for the better.

How do you measure your success? What are some things you look at to mark your progress? Share in the comments.

Inspiration: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Unforgettable Advice For Achieving Great Success

CEO & Founder of “Joel Brown” recently caught up with the Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur “Gary Vaynerchuk” at the VaynerMedia HQ in New York to discuss what it takes to become successful.

This video interview is full of unforgettable points from Gary who has proven to the doubters that no matter what your passion is, you can profit from it if you are willing to be resourceful and work your face off!

Required Reading: How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Required Reading: How Children Succeed by Paul Tough“Drop the flashcards—grit, character, and curiosity matter even more than cognitive skills. A persuasive wake-up call.”—People

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

“Illuminates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids, a safety net drawn so tight it’s a harness; for poor kids, almost nothing to break their fall.”—New York Times

“I learned so much reading this book and I came away full of hope about how we can make life better for all kinds of kids.”—Slate

Tips on Successful Entrepreneurship

As an entrepreneur, you’re focused with your eyes on the prize. But, in order to be a real success, you need take stock of Tips on Successful Entrepreneurshipwhat you’re doing. Stop. Look around. And follow these tips to get you to that next level of success.

1. Find the next challenge.

There are two ways you can live your life: acting and reacting. If you and your business are always reacting, you aren’t going to find success. Don’t wait for something bad to happen. Go out and seek the next challenge. If you have to course correct along the way, that’s okay. But, you can’t wait for success to find you. You have to go out and seek it.

2. Don’t be afraid

As an entrepreneur, you’re doing something new. Everything is new ground to you. As you push forward, you can’t be afraid of what is ahead. There will be crossroads where you can’t see the outcome and won’t know the consequences, but if you don’t push ahead, you’re going to fall back on the defensive. Choosing to not make a decision is still a decision. It’s easier to dive off the cliff to try to control where you land than get pushed over the edge.

3. “No” isn’t a dealbreaker

Just because someone said no to you at this stage in your business, doesn’t mean it’s a no that lasts forever. You might have spoken to someone at the wrong time, or gotten the wrong person in the company. Just because someone says no to your business venture doesn’t mean you should sever all ties. Continue to develop relationships. Down the road, when you’re both ready, that “no” might become a “yes.”

4. Find the expert

It’s not easy being the smartest person in the room. You give off a vibe. People can sense it. You don’t have to try so hard. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re the expert, get out of that situation. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. Surround yourself with people who challenge you. Do you think outside of the box? Find someone who can think in it. Do you have the connection to the best in the business? Find someone with a connection to a different business. If you’re the expert already, there’s no room left for you to grow.

If you do it right, you don’t have to constantly be selling yourself. As an entrepreneur, you can get to a place where people will come to you.

What are some tips you have for successful entrepreneurs? Share them in the comments below.

5 Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

Okay, so maybe “secrets” is an exaggeration, but entrepreneurs due tend to share similar mindsets. Here are the top five traits of successful entrepreneurs:

1. Stay focused on opportunity
Too many entrepreneurs sink because they take on too much. Successful entrepreneurs find something to focus on to the point where they become really good at it. Look at Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter. His next big venture was Square, and while Square might seem far and away from Twitter, there are many similarities between the two companies. Dorsey saw a platform and looked for potential in it. Find the opportunity and stay focused.

2. Work hard and enjoy the journey
5 Secrets of successful entrepreneursYou aren’t going to be an overnight success. The road to success is paved with blood, sweat, and tears. Mostly sweat. Maybe some elbow grease? However you look at it, being an entrepreneur means long hours, long days, and long weeks. Don’t forget to set some milestones and celebrate them when you reach these goals. If all you look for is the end, you’re going to miss a lot of sites along the way.

3. Tune your gut
A lot of entrepreneurs say trust your gut. Go with what you feel. That’s great advice, but before you can trust your gut, you need to get in tune with it. Sometimes your gut can be wrong. You need to find the difference between labor pains and stomach cramps. Both can scream, “it’s time to go!” but only one is actually going to result in new life.

4. Build your team.
After that last, maybe too graphic, advice, I have this piece. Trust your teammates. This is a hard for most entrepreneurs because they have to trust in something outside of their control. But, let’s think about it from the opposite side: your team members/employees/advisors know when you don’t trust them and it doesn’t feel good. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself? Not necessarily. If you want something done, you have to be honest. Tell people what you want done. Give them a deadline. Trust them to meet your expectations. If they don’t, you need to tell them why.
Maybe the problem is your expectation.

5. Pay it forward
Some people don’t understand the concept of integrity. If they do you a favor, they expect something in return almost immediately. But, remember, someone has taken a chance on you at some point without expecting anything in return. You can do that, too. I’m not saying you should blindly hand out favors but remember when all you had was passion and vision? There are people out there just like you who will take whatever you give them and make it greater. Don’t be afraid to help someone along.

There you have it. What do you think is a trait of the successful entrepreneur? Share it in the comments below!

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