Fear: Why is it the Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

index Fear: Why is it the Entrepreneurs Best Friend   The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – Franklin D. Roosevelt

What does it take that helps me get up and keep fighting the entrepreneurial good fight every day? My answer: It’s called fear.

There’s something really powerful about the idea of fear within the entrepreneurial experience. Entrepreneurship is, at its heart, an incredibly scary thing; individuals are laying everything on the line to pursue an idea, dream or passion. Often, new business founders are putting themselves at an incredible risk, not mention their investors, families, leadership team and friends.

I don’t view fear as a brick wall. No matter the form it takes, fear provides the push I need to succeed. If you feel overwhelmed by fear in your professional life, read on to see how I flipped the script and turned fear into one of my greatest allies.

Why Fear Is the Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

1. Identifying the sources of fear.

Fear, as a psychological response, keeps people safe. It triggers their “fight or flight” response as a way of coping with dangerous situations.

While you’re probably not fighting for your life at work, the impulse of fear helps people avoid pitfalls.

One of the most important steps toward turning fear from an enemy into an ally is identifying the sources of anxiety.

If a new idea is freaking you out, take time to analyze and figure out why. Is it too risky or are you simply feeling the pressure as you contemplate shaking up the status quo? Are you afraid because you haven’t yet analyzed a problem from every angle or are you simply experiencing the fear that arises before taking the plunge with a new project?

Identifying and compartmentalizing the sources of your fear is an essential tactic for evaluating your decisions. Getting out of your comfort zone is healthy and encouraged. But throwing your business plan and projections off a cliff because you haven’t vetted every outcome is not.

2. Finding motivation

I grew up in a household that was poor. A combined income of less than $25,000 a year. We collected food stamps and other assistance. I was the only boy with 3 sisters. The stereotypical poor insecurities are still alive and well in me today. The fear of struggling is always on the dashboard of my mind. This fear drove me to be competitive in life.

Even if I was just mowing grass or shoveling snow as a kid, that success was mine. It was something that no one else could claim or take from me. It was my answer to the fear of being poor. Ultimately, it was that insecurity that lighted the fire that would become my entrepreneurial passion.

Today, insecurity is just as powerful a motivator as it was when I was young. As humbled and thankful as I am for the success I’ve had, fear still lurks behind every action: the worries about not being worthy enough, or being beaten to the punch.

3. Embracing the challenge

Regardless of whether you are running an established business or just launching a startup, never let yourself become complacent. Your business can be overtaken by competitors practically overnight. Fear is a healthy, essential way to avoid complacency and challenge yourself to excel and succeed — only if you learn to embrace and harness those feelings.

What I’ve found over the years is that fear manifests itself in different ways. Call it whatever you like — a drive, ambition, passion, and the fire. But what it boils down to is fear — of losing, letting yourself down, disappointing your loved ones, forfeiting what you’ve built.

Once you recognize that it’s all just a game of semantics and that fear and drive are two ways to say the same thing, you can embrace fear for what it truly is.

Recognizing the potential power of fear as a motivator is the key to understanding it as an ally for your business and goals. You can’t just ignore it or pretend you’re invincible and untouchable. Rather, let in the fear. Embrace it. Allow it to keep you honest and constantly driving you forward.

Don’t let fear hold you back from greatness.

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

10 Ways To Make Each Day A Leadership Masterpiece

make each day your masterpiece 300x200 10 Ways To Make Each Day A Leadership Masterpiece Guest Post by Brian Layer, Brigadier General, United States Army (Retired)

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day – John Wooden

10 Ways To Make Each Day A Leadership Masterpiece

Make each day your masterpiece! Living at that level is a powerful and challenging concept. Most of us fall short and it‘s easy to blame our circumstances and those around us for their distraction. Yet, a leader has a duty to perform at the highest possible level and an honest assessment may reveal days laden with missed leadership opportunities.

The riddle of a leadership masterpiece is the hands of others reveal our artistry. Therefore, we must make their performance and growth our daily focus. How much time do we really spend helping, leading and developing others? That’s an important question because it reveals our priorities.

The following daily goals will help assess your performance. You can use them to review your leadership opportunities at the beginning of the day and assess your performance at the end. In time, these goals will become habits and when they do, you may find you are making each day your leadership masterpiece.

1) Excel in the moment. Your focused attention is true barometer of your interest. Presence in the moment requires discipline, preparation and empathy.

2) Invest in a relationship and build trust. Relationships built on trust hold up in tough conditions. Every interaction alters the well of trust between two people. A wise leader fills the well at every opportunity. Listen!

3) Help someone else achieve and grow. The success and growth of others is the legacy of great leadership and worthy of your time, energy, and passion.

4) Listen. Take time to listen to a variety of voices. A leader who fails to listen is likely to fail.

5) Connect someone to your vision, mission, and priorities. Every organization has noise and distortion. A leader’s clarity sets the course, builds confidence and saves time. Never miss an opportunity to tie another effort to the greater purpose.

6) Thank someone. Expressing gratitude is an essential leadership task. The two most powerful words in a leader’s vocabulary are thank you.

7) Prepare for the known and study for the unknown. Adequate preparation allows you to excel in the present. Yet, every leadership environment is uncertain and the unexpected will demand great leadership too. Education is the best hedge against uncertainty.

8) Prepare for an important decision. Charisma makes you interesting, good decisions make you effective. They spring from preparation, wisdom and timing and are the proof of thoughtful leadership. Remember, deciding what not to do is also your responsibility.

9) Leverage white space. Avoid the trap of filling every minute of your calendar. Leaders need white space to respond to unexpected opportunities and issues. Better to commit to less and deliver more than to promise and not come through.

10) Grow physically, mentally, spiritually. Making each day a masterpiece takes stamina. Leadership challenges are unpredictable and you need strength to face them when they arise. Get stronger today for an uncertain tomorrow.

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski All Rights Reserved.

20 Signs You’re Succeeding in Life Even if You Don’t Feel You Are

images 20 Signs You’re Succeeding in Life Even if You Don’t Feel You AreGuest Post by Carol Morgan

We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be – Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.

2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more
– Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals. Asking or help is a sign that you have grown as a person.

3. You have raised your standards – You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.

4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good
– No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.

5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror – Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.

6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth – Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you - If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.

8. You don’t complain much – Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.

9. You can celebrate others’ successes – Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.

10. You have passions that you pursue
– You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.

11. You have things to look forward to – If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.

12. You have goals that have come true
– Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have some tastes of victory. It fuels you.

13. You have empathy for others – A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others
– Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.

15. You refuse to be be a victim – You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.

16. You don’t care what other people think
– You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.

17. You always look on the bright side – Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.

18. You accept what you can’t change – Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.

19. You change what you can - And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!

20. You are happy
– To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is, or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

Even if you don’t see yourself in many of these 20 things, don’t fret. It’s okay. Be happy that you see yourself in just a few. In time, the rest will come. You just need to keep moving onward and upward.

The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die

Bucket list The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You DieCourtesy of Thomas Mondel

What are your most rewarding life experiences? Here is a list of 60 things that others have said are their most rewarding experiences. Things which, when mastered, are life changing. Check out the list below and get inspired, add your favorites to your personal list and then cross them off one by one as you go!

1. Master your emotions – Nobody likes grumpy people who drag other people down. Over the time you will learn to master your emotions and you tend to no longer get upset over little (mostly unimportant) things. Your goal should be to lift people up by your sheer presence instead of dragging them down because you feel like they owe you something. Master your own emotions first and then use your happy attitude to help others to do the same. This should be on your bucket list now and you should work on it every day.

2. Take care of your body – Eat good and healthy. Just be curious about it. Try to limit the toxic stuff you put into your body, because you actually care about it. Learn to value health over instant and short-term pleasure provided by fast food, sugary candy and alcohol. Finally get in shape and get the body you really want for yourself. You don’t have to go super crazy here and become the next Mr. or Mrs. Olympic but just take care over your body, because you only have one (and you might want it for several years to last).

3. Learn to apologize – Show strength by admitting your mistakes and wrongdoings. Don’t act all cool and tough. If you messed up, stand your ground and admit that you screwed up. People value this kind of behavior.

4. Forgive the people who treated you poorly – There is nothing more refreshing than to sincerely forgive somebody. It allows you to get rid of the anger and it frees up your mind. It enables you to allow new better stuff to enter your life. If you keep holding on to the people who treated you disrespectfully because you think they owe you an apology you might use up a lot of your own energy and nobody is helped here. Just forgive them and move on.

5. Also, make peace with yourself -Don’t forget to do the same with yourself. Be nice to yourself. Everyday.

6. Learn how to appreciate being alone – There is power in spending time with yourself and really finding out how you work and tick.

7. Question your convictions – Think about all the stuff you believed was true when you were 10 years old and now you know is completely wrong. Think about all the stuff people in general believed to be true like 100-200 years ago. Don’t you think that you might be wrong about something right now as well? Learn to be open-minded and non-judgmental to other people’s opinions and ideas. This way magical connections and things might happen.

8. Get rid of the emotional baggage – If something is holding you back, learn to get rid of it. Time is valuable and better spent “unchained”.

9. Be curious about people – Be interested in people. Often, the people interested in others are the most interesting people themselves. Become one of these people. Learn to listen and learn something new from everybody you meet. Everybody can teach you something. They have x years of their own, unique life experience which you don’t have.

10. Work on your relationships – Make it a habit to deepen your relationships and constantly bring them to the next level.

11. Love deeply (and mean it) – It is rewarding in itself, but it also comes around.

12. Deepen your adventurous side – Adventurous have more cool stories to tell. Become one of them!

13. Swim naked – In the best case under the crystal clear sky.

14. Sail continuously for three days and nights on the open ocean – You can combine that with the one point above.

15. Expose yourself to new stimuli – Always expand your mind and try new things.

16. Do something you might regret later (but probably won’t) – It’s fun to do something “stupid” from time to time. Just don’t do something dumb!

17. Tackle your inner wanderlust – Do something you feel like doing without justifying yourself to anybody else. Just listen to the voice which tries to tell you to explore and see the world.

18. Live somewhere vastly different from your hometown – It will give you great new insights, you will become more open-minded and you widen your horizon.

19. Visit a new country every year – Why not go somewhere you have not yet been before? Why not do it every year?

20. Spend a year abroad – Study abroad or just go for a travel. There is something magical that happens when you spend a long time in a new surrounding.

21. Travel without being a tourist – Resist the urge to take a picture of every attraction all the time. Just look and experience instead of watching it through a small lens and then applying a filter to distort it again. Use your own eyes and see the vibrant colors by yourself!

22. Camp in the wilderness hundreds of miles from civilization – Do it and experience the clear and wide sky with all the stars that brighten the night. The farther you are away, the clearer the night!

23. Pick two to four friends and go on annual vacations – It’s fun and it will reconnect you with your friends again. Doing stuff together gets more and more difficult the older we get because of more pressing responsibilities and other issues. But taking a time off together might be a nice and new chance to bond again.

24. Learn how to get by on the bare minimum – Cut down on your expenses. You will find out you need far less than you think you do.

25. Expand your comfort zone – Once you have stretched your mind it can no longer go back to its default state.

26. Get comfortable meeting and talking to strangers – Strangers are your friends! We are all humans and we are social creatures.

27. Be of service without expecting something in return – Volunteer or run for some position of leadership. Work a service job. Offer your service to charity. Give them some money to work with. Bring a homeless person a coffee. Go out of your way to help a stranger. Simply do something which has no direct payback for you and see what happens. Often, these selfless acts make us realize how fulfilling these kind of human interactions can be. Little (easy) things can mean a huge difference for somebody else in need!

28. Offer value to people – Offer value to people and people will give you back in return.

29. Make something with your hands – Create something with your hands. It’s cool.

30. Master a profession – And then another one. You are no longer meant to learn one thing and then do this very task until you die. We live in a very fast-paced and flexible world and you can be just like that as well. If you feel the urge to do something different, which might give you more joy and happiness, why not awaken your inner curious side and try something new! Maybe the time to start something new is right now!

31. Start your own business – Don’t hold back just because of fear. If you have the desire to do it you should just go for it. Trying and maybe not liking it is always a better story than saying: “I don’t know, I have never dared to try it!”

32. Fail really hard – Everybody fails at his first attempts to achieve something great. Try to be one of them and double your “fail rate”.

33. And recover from a big setback again – The trick is to recover from your failures again and go stronger next time. That is how people succeed in life.

34. Hire someone – You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Hire experts who can help you out.

35. Fire someone – Not every hire was a great idea!:)

36. Get fired yourself – Well, that might happen as well. But you will realize that it is not the end and oftentimes even a blessing in disguise.

37. Quit your job – Especially if you are miserable.

38. Drop a bad habit – Drop them one by one and try to reach your full potential. They are called “bad habits” for a reason.

39. Execute on an idea you had for a while but never tackled – Finally decide to do it.

40. Email one of your heroes – Get inspiration talking to people you value or you feel inspired by. Try to reach out for them. It is a fun thing to do and you might learn something new with little to no efforts. You can ask for help or advice. But if you don’t ask you will never get an answer. But if you do and your hero actually responds, how awesome would that be?

41. Meet up with one of your heroes – Get starstruck. Get inspired.

42. See a band’s last show ever – Especially if you love that very band.

43. Educate yourself – Become a life-long learner and dedicate yourself to life long improvement.

44. Read 1000 books – There is so much wisdom in books. Why not read it and get inspired by what the people who wrote these books have gone through and found out? Also, read the novels you “read” in high school and be amazed.

45. Pass on your own life lessons – Blog about your experiences. Tell other people. Teach your wisdom to other people. Don’t be selfish and hold back, people want to know. A lot of people think what they might have to say is of no value to others, but they forget that there is a lot of stuff they know which other people have no idea of. Share your insights!

46. Become comfortable speaking in public – There is no need to be afraid of talking in public. It’s a crucial skill everybody should decide to tackle. It’s important for you in order to share your hard earned wisdom.

47. Perform on stage – If you have now mastered talking in public, why don’t you bring it to the next level and perform on stage (karaoke counts)?

48. Try a new sport – Try it and master it if you love it.

49. Run a marathon – Or participate in any other endurance trial. Just to find out how far you can push yourself and to learn that persistence and training pays off in the end.

50. Go scuba diving – Explore the deep sea and be blown away.

51. Learn to dance – It’s a fun way to express yourself. And it impresses the girls!:)

52. Fly down a mountain on skis or a snowboard – What better activity to do in the snowy winter months?

53. Develop a bond with an animal – Bonding with an animal can teach you some very valuable lessons.

54. Ride a horse – Learn to give it commands and create a connection to such a strong and majestic creature.

55. Ride an elephant – It’s exotic and fun. Why would you not want to do that?

56. Fly through the air – Go paragliding/parasailing/skydiving. There is something great in conquering this fear. It requires trust. And being able to trust in yourself or somebody else is always a bonus in life!

57. Spend quality time with your parents – The older you get the more you see how your parents were right about a lot of things. Better spend as much time as possible with them and soak up their life experience. They care about you and you should appreciate what they have done for you.

58. Witness the birth of a child – It’s kinda magical. Don’t you think?

59. Hold a newborn’s hand – They are so young and yet so strong already. It’s a cool experience.

60. Be happy – In the end everybody wants to be happy! But oftentimes it is harder than we think. I guess the ultimate thing on the bucket list of everybody should be “being happy”! Find something you really enjoy doing. Something that gives you so much joy and happiness that you would never want to do something different ever again. If you can look into the mirror every day and love what you see, I guess this is so much more valuable than any other thing you checked off your bucket list.

Be happy and appreciate the little things!

Are You Disciplined with Your Finances?

savings Are You Disciplined with Your Finances? Watch your finances like a hawk – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

If there is one thing I have learned from being in business, is that you must watch your finances like a hawk. This has not only evolved my financial intelligence in business, but it has carried over into my personal finances as well. (I want this to do the same for you)

Are You Disciplined with Your Finances?

No money, no problem? Not exactly. We know it can be challenging, but when it comes to your business the goal should be to stay ahead of the cash flow situation. Open a savings account to be prepared for business woes. Deposit things like tax returns or reduce a bill and stock away what you save from eliminating the cup of coffee, or cable in your office. Any extra income can create a nice soft spot to break a financial fall.

Here are some tips I have learned and are now incorporating into my business and personal finances:

1) Create a savings fund:

I know exactly what you are thinking, “This is easier said than done”. (It is easy if you are disciplined). Put any tax refund into the savings fund. The refund is essentially found money. Do the same with any other found money, such as rebates on purchases and bonuses or extra payments from customers.

2) Reduce your expenses:

The money you save from reducing a bill, car payment, mortgage payment, credit card payment add the savings to a fund, savings or retirement account. Refuse to allow this money to find another place to go. Trust me, it will if you allow it to.

3) Call around to find the best price:

I just recently took one hour out of my day to call the cable and insurance companies to see about getting my fees reduced. Guess what, it worked. I reduced my cable bill from $125.00 a month down to $75.00 a month. I reduced my vehicle insurance (for my low speed EZGO golf car I have at the beach) down from $603.00 a year to $203.00 a year. I also increased my coverage from just liability to full coverage. (WOW) Now, what will I do with the $1,000 annual savings, you may ask? It will go into one of the accounts I mentioned above.

I refuse to allow these savings to find somewhere else to go and you should too.

To Your Financial Future,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

7 Things Great Entrepreneurs DON’T Do

7 things great entrepreneurs dont do 300x191 7 Things Great Entrepreneurs DONT Do Courtesy of Steve Tobak of Entrepreneur.com

These days, everyone with a MacBook and a blog thinks he’s an entrepreneur. Well, here’s a little tough love for the entrepreneurial generation: Calling yourself a CEO doesn’t make you one and a small army of Twitter followers doesn’t make you a leader, either.

As a wise VC who’s name escapes me once said, “There are entrepreneurs and there are Entrepreneurs.”

Not to dash your hopes and dreams, but the truth is the vast majority of you simply aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs or leaders. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. And the sooner you realize you’re not going to be the second coming of Mark Zuckerberg, the better.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to reach for the stars. As Robert Browning said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” But having grown up in the high-tech industry and worked with hundreds of real CEOs, VCs, and Entrepreneurs for decades, one thing I can tell you is the word has become so overused, it’s almost meaningless.

So while there is no one-size-fits-all model for true entrepreneurs, in my experience, there are some things they seem to have in common. This might surprise you, but what sets them apart isn’t some laundry list of attributes. It’s their actions. What makes them unique is what they do and, perhaps more importantly, what they don’t do.

1. They don’t think about work-life balance.

They’re mostly workaholics. What that means is their work comes first. It’s what they live for. They’re not freewheeling, fun-loving people who live for the weekend. They live to do what they love, and that’s work.

2. They don’t try to be what they’re not.

Probably the most damaging business myth to come along in decades is personal branding. You are not a product, and you can’t change who you are. Besides, real entrepreneurs don’t think about themselves. They think about their ideas and how to turn them into great products and services. And they deliver.

3. They don’t do it for the money.

They don’t whine about how hard they work for peanuts. They just do it. And because they’re passionate about what they do and focused like a laser beam, the money eventually comes, big-time.

4. They don’t have day jobs.

Great entrepreneurs don’t just dip their toes in the water. They jump in headfirst without a thought about the rocks below. They don’t do a little of this and a little of that. When they hit on something they think is really cool and exciting, they go all in.

5. They don’t give in to fear.

They don’t pay attention to those voices in their heads – you know, the ones that haunt you with everything that can go wrong. They’re not fearless, mind you. Nobody is. They just don’t let their fear stop them from taking risks. They do listen to some voices, though: the voice of reason and their instincts.

6. They don’t have grand visions.

While some do have grand delusions that they’re destined for greatness – a prophecy that’s often self-fulfilling, interestingly enough – for the most part, they generally don’t have grand visions for their companies. Zuckerberg, for example, wasn’t trying to create a company. He just wanted to rate the looks of fellow classmates.

7. They don’t have virtual mentors.

Most people follow all sorts of writers, bloggers and tweeters these days. That’s fine, but to get somewhere in life, to do great things, you have to have real mentors in the real world. Former Intel chairman Andy Grove mentored Steve Jobs. Jobs, in turn, advised Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Behind every great entrepreneur is at least one great mentor. A real one.

Most importantly, real entrepreneurs don’t call themselves entrepreneurs. They don’t do what everyone else is doing. They don’t follow the status quo, conventional wisdom or popular fads. They carve their own unique path. They’re leaders of their own destiny. That’s what drives them. And that’s why they succeed.

Do You Have a Fat Head?

index Do You Have a Fat Head?  What you feed your mind is just as important as what you feed your body. Start today and go on an information diet – John Salkowski

Do You Have a Fat Head?

We all know that there is a serious obesity problem in our country. It’s because of the food system has become so industrialized, mass-producing an overload of cheap, fatty, processed foods. Some of those foods with a shelf life of 5, 10, 15 years. (Gross)

However, this is not why people get fat. People choose whatever it is they stick into their mouths. We all know the difference between healthy and just plain bad for you foods. Okay, I digress on this subject.

However, we have another obesity problem in our country and for that matter all over the world.

This epidemic is by far more toxic and deadly to one’s life and potential. We live in a world of ever-increasing negative information overload that comes from the news, magazines, newspapers, radios, social media and TV shows. It’s 95% of brain numbing, wasteful junk and most people are attracted to it in high doses. (Sad, very sad)

If you are physically obese this is generally caused by the over consumption of low-quality processed foods. The same is true for mental obesity.

Don’t blame the overload of available information; blame should be placed on the over consumption of low-quality, negative, worthless information. And mental obesity has consequences to your health just as physical obesity does.

The solution to a fat head is the same as for a fat body: You need to go on a diet, an information diet.

Avoid all low-quality, negative and wasteful information such as the news, magazine with useless celebrity non-sense, fantasy television, radio, social media and other mind-numbing useless commentary that only pollutes your mind. Just because it’s around you doesn’t mean you need to consume it. Be disciplined enough to avoid it at all cost. There is no doubt you will be tempted to indulge yourself at every turn, but trust me, if you can abstain and discipline yourself to stay away from it, you’ll lose your taste for it altogether.

This is what you must do in its place: read, watch, listen (CD’s in your car) head-healthy, nutrient-rich information every day. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure the information you are consuming is head and mind healthy.

Eventually, and you must trust me on this, that by doing this on a continual basis by making this a life style it will change the direction of your life in all areas. There is no doubt you will catch the attention and envy of all your friends and competitors. (Ha! Awesome)

To your consumption of healthy, rich nutrient information!

Your Friend,

John Salkowski

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

For a Limited Time Only – John Salkowski’s Blog

$6.99 For a Limited Time Only (Amazon.com) I am offering my hardcovers:

For a Limited Time Only I am offering my hardcover, Leadership in The Line of Duty: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations and Success Thoughts & Quotes for Leaders on Amazon for $6.99.

fullcoverleadership 206x300 For a Limited Time Only    John Salkowskis Blog

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Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Why Not You? | John Salkowski Blog

Why Not You 2 300x90 Why Not You? | John Salkowski BlogFor true success ask yourself these 4 questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now? – James Allen

Why not you? When I ask myself this I get the chills. Why you may ask? It excites me to think, Why not you, John? Everything is possible. I’ve never been a doubter of my ability. I truly feel with every ounce of my being, that I can accomplish anything I put my mind too. And I want you to feel the same way.

Too often, I see people merely existing in life, not truly living. Living without passion. Hating what they do for a living, saying it’s easier to stay than leave or I’ve been here too long to follow my dreams. I’m too old. I don’t have the money or the resources and so on. I get all that. I’ve said it all before too.

But one day, I knew it was over. I knew I wanted to find and follow my passion, live my dreams, create freedom in my life. See, it’s not all about money. It’s not all about the shiny things. It’s all about living life on your own terms. So ask yourself, “Why Not You”?

Do something new, brave and with confidence today……..why not you?

The first step in growing and moving forward is expressing what you’re grateful for……..why not you?

If your passion in life scares you, why not do the thing you fear and overcome……..why not you?

Be that inspiration in someone’s life that needs it the most……..why not you?

Sit tall in that interview and repeat to yourself, “This job is mine if I want it”……..why not you?

Stand in front of that group, be yourself, have fun and who cares what people say……..why not you?

Stop watching the negative television that puts you in a bad mood……..why not you?

Take the initiative to say hello and smile first……..why not you?

Walk directly up to one of our veterans, shake their hand and thank them for serving our country……..why not you?

Let go of your past, rewire your present and rewrite your future……..why not you?

Wake up every morning with a great attitude and conquer your day……..why not you?

Start a new habit, break an old one and recreate yourself……..why not you?

Block out that time to sit down to write 5 thank you letters to people who have positively impacted your life……..why not you?

Start writing your story for the next book that can change the lives of thousands……..why not you?

Turn your fear into power, turn your pain into pleasure……..why not you?

Stop spending foolishly, pay off your debt and start saving for your future……..why not you?

Go get that sale and close that deal with every ounce of passion, integrity and enthusiasm……..why not you?

Turn your dreams and passion into mastery and celebrate your excellence……..why not you?

Begin today by writing down your goals and aspirations by creating a plan to achieve them……..why not you?

Take that leap of faith, take that bigger risk and set no limits on your potential……..why not you?

Rid your life of greed, selfishness and watch how your life changes for the better……..why not you?

Be a giver, not a taker and leave those you touch better than you found them……..why not you?

Rid yourself of the excuses, crush your doubts and begin to break free from the decisions holding you back……..why not you?

Wake up every day with an attitude of gratitude that every day on this earth is a real blessing……..why not you?

You were born to make a difference, you were born to live life on your terms, you were born to come and go as you please, you were created to make a lasting legacy so……..why not you?

Why? Why not? Why not you? Why not now?

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Do You Invest Your Time or Do You Spend it?

Invest your time Do You Invest Your Time or Do You Spend it?To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter ~ Aleister Crowley

Is there a Secret to Success?

You bet there is a secret to success. Keep reading on and you will find out what makes some successful and others, well not so successful.

The success that you desire is found in your daily routines and your attitude. What you do every day, what you feed your mind with will determine what you achieve in life. People that achieve extraordinary success do so because they invest in themselves every day. They take the necessary time to invest in their lives and are always learning. Because they invest into their lives, they add value to the lives of others as well.

It all starts the minute to you step out of bed until you lay your head down to sleep that night. What you do during this time, what you feed your mind will determine how successful you become.

1- How You Think is everything. Always be Positive. Think Success, Think Achievement not Failure. Be aware of and stay away from negative people and environments. Turn off the television. Don’t watch the news. Don’t pick up or dare open that newspaper. How you think is one of the most important things you must master. Your belief and mind-set that you can accomplish your goals must be unwavering. I’ve found that from time-to-time my attitude waivers. A mentor of mine once said “it’s ok to get down or feel sorry for yourself; however you must not stay there”. Immediately upon catching yourself in this mind-set, say to yourself, “Cancel these thoughts”. Remember positive things happen to positive people.

2- Take Action. Goals are nothing without action and a strategic plan. Seek out someone that is doing what you want to do. Be like Nike and “Just do it”. Every day I try to take some action towards my goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action. Have you taken action towards your goals?

3- Never Stop Learning. Attend a seminar, read a book, seek out a mentor or a mastermind group. Becoming a lifelong learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our children. Would you stick a garden hose into your cars gas tank and fill it up with water? Of course not. Then why would you put junk into your body and mind? You become what you feed your mind and body.

4- Never Give Up. Be Persistent. Working hard is not enough. Working hard at the wrong things will not bring you success. You must work right and hard at the right things. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve heard about the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race.

5- Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people and environments that believe in you. Don’t get distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals. You must concentrate and stay laser focused on the goal at hand. This is what some of the most successful people in the world do. Why not follow their lead? Don’t reinvent the wheel.

6- Lastly, take responsibility for your daily actions and attitude. Invest your time, don’t spend it. Invest in worthwhile things. If you make a few adjustments into your daily agenda, you too can achieve whatever you set your mind too.

It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through ~ Zig Ziglar

To Your Greatness,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Living an Extraordinary Life by John Salkowski

Unlocking Your Potential Living an Extraordinary Life by John Salkowski
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence – Confucius

The world is full of opportunity and you are filled with potential. Here are a few lessons to help you change your business and life for the better.

1- Remember the gifts you were born with. When you stop to remember what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have or may not be getting, it changes your perspective for the better.

2- Start your day the night before. The most successful people I know end their workday by making a list of what they have to do the following day or two ahead.

3- You need to grow up. Adults have the ability to delay gratification, but we also have a choice as to how to behave when things don’t go our way. If you remember to take the high road, you’ll end up where you want to be.

4- Lose your attitude. If you think for one second that the world owes you a living, you better reevaluate yourself immediately.

5- Don’t ignore your emotions, but remember that your feelings aren’t facts. Emotions need to be felt, however they don’t have to be justified. Just because you have an emotion doesn’t mean that you’re right.

6- Be aware of negative thinking. We all get into negative feedback loops from time to time and don’t even know it. If negative thoughts such as failure, helplessness and/or hopelessness continue to enter your mind, you might just need to take a breath or talk with someone who can help.

7- Create a routine. We are creatures of habit, and good habits make us feel better. Maintaining good habits makes us feel in control of our lives.

8- Let go of resentments. We all have them. Let them go. They take up to much psychic space to allow us to function properly. Make the decision now to let go of them.

9- Enjoy a part of every day. You can’t always keep your nose to the grind. Take time to look for those little bright moments that we often fail to recognize.
Making your business and life better is about picking a destination and place one foot in front of the other. Being serious and making the decision about making improvements is where it starts.

Be decisive and unlock all that potential you have inside you so you can live an extraordinary life.

You have it within you!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski. All Rights Reserved.

27 Tips for Mastering Anything

mastery 27 Tips for Mastering Anything27 Tips for Mastering Anything by Jenna Goudreau

What does it take to become a master at your craft? Is genius innate, or can it be learned? In his book, “Mastery,” Robert Greene draws from the latest research, interviews modern masters, and examines the lives of former greats like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mozart to discover what it takes to achieve excellence. He argues that success is within anyone’s reach, if they have discipline, patience, and follow a number of important steps.

With permission from Greene, we’ve excerpted the following tips for mastering anything from his book:

1. Find your life’s task.

Many people have an intense feeling about what they’re best at. Too often, they’re driven away from it by other people. The first step is to trust yourself and aim your career path at what’s unique about you. Leonardo da Vinci didn’t come into his own as an artist alone, but when he followed his childhood curiosity about everything, he became an advisor and expert in subjects from architecture to anatomy for his patrons.

2. Rather than compete in a crowded field, find a niche where you can dominate.

Legendary neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran was at once a restless and dissatisfied professor of psychology. What was supposed to be a calling felt like a job. When he began the study of phantom limbs and anomalous brain disorders, he found questions about the brain and consciousness that fascinate him to this day. Find your perfect niche, and stand out.

3. Rebel against the wrong path, and use that anger as motivation.

Mozart was a child prodigy on the piano. At a very young age, his domineering father toured Europe with him. When he discovered a talent for unique composition, his father suppressed it. It wasn’t until he rejected his father entirely that he became a master. We are often attracted to the wrong things, whether it be money, fame, or approval.

4. Love your subject at a very basic level.

The things that transfixed you as a child, that you found most exciting was not a passing fancy, but a message about what you’re supposed to do. For Marie Curie, it was wandering into her father’s laboratory and being fascinated by his instruments.

5. Find the ideal apprenticeship.

Charles Darwin was a mediocre student. He scraped by in school, more interested in specimens than classes. When the chance to join an expedition to the Americas came, he almost didn’t go. What he saw on that boat lead to his life’s work, and one of the most influential theories of all time. We are often raised as dependents then given over to teachers. It’s experience and exploration that can transform us and lead to mastery.

6. Engage in deep observation, practice incessantly, and experiment.

Deep observation. You don’t need to impress people. You need to watch them. By learning the rules, you can dominate. Practice, practice, practice. Our brains are set up to master skills. By repeating one thing over and over again, neurons are recruited, hardwired, and mirrored. That’s one of the reasons you never forget how to ride a bike. Experiment; You don’t know if you’re a master until you test it. Do it before you’re ready so you actually learn.

7. Value learning over money so you’re not a slave to everyone’s opinion.

Instead of a more lucrative, time-consuming commercial job, Martha Graham took a poorly paying teaching job that allowed her time to train and develop the innovations in dance that made her as revolutionary as Picasso was for painting. Training, learning, and mentorship don’t come from the highest-paying, highest-pressure jobs. Those lead you down a conservative path of pleasing others.

8. Revert to a feeling of inferiority in order to truly learn.

Daniel Everett, a gifted linguist, was failing to learn the language of the Paraha tribe in the Amazon, which stumped researchers for years. He failed because he approached it as a linguist and Christian missionary, from a position of superiority. He didn’t master the language until he learned it like one of the Paraha’s children, dependent on the tribe, and subject to the same restraints, inferiority, and need for support that they were. Entering a new place or path you need to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Lingering prejudices and feelings of superiority hamper that.

9. Engage in intense practice and lean toward resistance and pain.

Hall of Famer Bill Bradley was suited for basketball only in height. He was slow, couldn’t jump, and had no feel for the game. He practiced three or more hours after school, on weekends, put weights in his shoes, and taped cardboard to the bottom of his glasses so he could dribble without seeing the ball. That was just the beginning of his regimen. Intense practice with resistance can be twice as effective as what’s easy.

10. Rely on trial and error more than anything.

Paul Graham was always fascinated by computers. He eventually found that he learned by tackling problems, failing, and trying again, not by being taught. That experience eventually lead to the creation of YCombinator, which gives entrepreneurs the support to do what he did. Now, apprenticeships are less likely to be formal. You have to make your own based on your unique style of learning.

11. Absorb a master’s power.

The right mentor-protege relationship is the most efficient and fastest way to learn; you focus on one excellent source of knowledge instead of casting about for many. You can learn a masterful way of thinking that takes a lifetime to develop in a fraction of the time. But the goal must always be to surpass them.

12. Choose a mentor who will intensely challenge you.

Carl Jung worshiped Freud as a pioneer in his field, but was ambivalent about certain parts of his theory. By using him as a mentor, even though they eventually split, he better understood where he disagreed with Freud, learned a great deal, and sharpened his own core ideas and identity. The more your mentor challenges others, the more they’ll challenge you.

13. Absorb your master’s knowledge completely — and then transform it.

Glenn Gould was his legendary teacher Alberto Guerrero’s most promising piano student. Gould would take what Guerrero taught him and quickly move it in an entirely different direction. At 19 he went out on his own, but years later, Guerrero could still see the things he taught Gould, totally absorbed, but utterly transformed by his genius. It is almost a curse to learn form somebody brilliant; it can be very intimidating. But overcome this by absorbing everything, and then going beyond.

14. Create a back-and-forth dynamic with all of your relationships.

Freddie Roach, one of boxing’s most legendary trainers, found his greatest student in future 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao. He was Roach’s most intense, teachable student, and over time, he learned to take Roach’s strategies and instructions a step beyond what he ever could have alone. The best relationships are interactive. Learning someone else’s dogma is never as effective as adapting and improving it.

15. Master social intelligence.

One of the biggest barriers to becoming a master is dealing with others. It’s far too easy to live life as a series of battles and skirmishes over power that turn out to be minor. The idea that people can be so brilliant they don’t need to deal with society is a misleading one. Masters use social intelligence to amplify their skills, rather than turning others into an obstacle.

16. Accept criticism and adapt to power structures and society.

Ignaz Semmelweis was one of the earliest pioneers of using antiseptic techniques, something that could have and since has saved millions of lives. It was never fully adopted in his time because of the high handed, arrogant way he dealt with his superiors, and his refusal to actually prove his ideas. He died penniless and abandoned at 47. Use those in power, don’t alienate them. Otherwise, genius goes to waste.

17. Meticulously craft your persona.

Teresita Fernandez, a sculptor and winner of a MacArthur “Genius Fellowship” could have let others define her. Sculpture, and working in metal in particular was a largely male medium, and she could have easily been perceived as as a fleeting novelty. By spending time on her persona, as well as on her art, she added to her success. We all wear masks in society. Being aware of that rather than self conscious about it allows you to be more effective in any situation.

18. Suffer fools, and learn to exploit them.

The German poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent a period of his youth in the court of a prominent Duke. Upon accepting it, he found himself in a claustrophobic and petty court culture. Rather than engaging, he used their behavior as the basis for later plays and novels. There are simply too many fools to avoid. Don’t engage or sink to their level.

19. Awaken the dimensional mind, and be bold.

After emerging from an apprenticeship, the inclination is to be conservative, to work firmly within a field and established, familiar rules. The key to mastery is rejecting conservatism and becoming increasingly bold.

20. Absorb everything, and then let your brain make connections for you.

The brain is designed to make connections. When we focus too intently on a given task, we can grow tense, and our brain closes off. Masters read and absorb everything that could be related to stimulate the brain into making a leap. That’s how Louis Pasteur made the leap that lead to vaccines. He spent years developing germ theory, which enabled him to see the importance of a group of chickens that survived injection with an old culture of disease. As he said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.”

21. Avoid putting things into familiar categories.

The most creative minds resist one of the brain’s signature tendencies, to put things in easy categories, to use a mental shorthand to simplify everything. With an effort to alter perspective, that can change. Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the insight that made Google by seeing what seemed to be a trivial flaw, bad results in search engines that ranked pages by how often something was mentioned. One anomaly led them to a vastly more effective path.

22. Don’t let impatience derail your plans.

John Coltrane’s greatest strength, improvisation, was once a weakness. He would resort to imitation rather than innovation. After years of absorbing other’s styles and learning a vast technical vocabulary, he learned how to bend it into something intensely personal and different from everybody else. One of the greatest impediments to creativity is impatience. Stay the course and develop your authentic voice.

23. Value mechanical and abstract intelligence equally.

The most brilliant engineers in the world failed to create a working flying machine. Orville and Wilbur Wright were bicycle mechanics. A simple insight, that a flying machine needed to be able to bank like a bicycle rather than moving in straight horizontal lines like a ship, helped them beat men who had attacked the problem for years. Mechanical intelligence, the focus on functionality, can be equally as vital and creative as the abstract.

24. Avoid “technical lock,” or getting wrapped up in technical artistry instead of the real problem.

Honeybee Robotics “Neurobotics” pioneer Yoky Matsuoka had an impossible goal, to build a robotic hand that was lifelike. To her, it wasn’t a series of mechanical puzzles, but a learning process to understand the human hand. Seemingly irrelevant anatomical details turned out to be extremely important for function. Technical lock makes people lose sight of larger questions. By looking at the human hand, already weirdly perfect, Matsuoka surpassed people who had been absorbed in technical issues for years.

25. Fuse the intuitive and the rational.

This is the final step. Deep immersion in a particular field, experience in an apprenticeship, time under a mentor, and unlocking creative potential create an extraordinary depth of knowledge and an ability to quickly and instinctively respond to any situation. Combining that instinct with rational processes allows people to achieve their greatest potential, to become masters.

26. Shape your world around your strengths.

Albert Einstein was a bad scientist. He hated the way physics was taught and didn’t like experiments. His greatest insights came from elsewhere. His theory of simple relativity, came partially from thinking about an image in his head of trains, beams of light, men and women. By deciding at 20 to stray away from conventional, experimental science, and to use his distaste for authority to remove conventions that held him back, Einstein did something that felt intuitive, looked illogical, but was intensely rational.

27. Know that practice is just as important as innate skill.

Cesar Rodriguez, nicknamed “America’s Last Ace” wasn’t a naturally gifted pilot. He fell behind at first. He caught up, then passed everyone through endless practice. He knew every control in his bones, and reacted better than those who relied on talent. That helped him make three aerial kills and earn his nickname. Achievement through thousands of hours of practice seems so ordinary somehow. But it’s how most people become masters.

Jenna Goudreau is a senior editor at Business Insider and oversees the Strategy, Careers, and Your Money sections.

6 Insights From Tony Robbins That Will Change Your Sales Game

1395765298 6 tony robbins insights that change your sales game 300x191 6 Insights From Tony Robbins That Will Change Your Sales GameGuest Post BY KYLE PORTER FROM SALESFORCE

When it comes to helping people improve their lives there is nobody in the game with stronger credentials than Tony Robbins. The “Michael Jordan” of thought leaders, Tony has affected millions of people around the world through his performance coaching. And his words of wisdom has also had a huge impact in the business world.

Through his books, videos and presentations, Robbins provides insight into effective selling.

Here are the six lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Robbins on the secret to successful selling.

1. Know your purpose. In your day-to-day sales world, you MUST have a sense of meaning. Walking into the office, grabbing a coffee, checking your email and taking your day “on the fly” is just not going to get it done. When you’re at the office everyday you have got to know what you’re going to get done that day. Knowing your purpose will make the biggest impact you can imagine.

2. Give positive meaning to everything. The sales rep’s life is all about risks. The more you take the more you win (and lose). It’s how you respond to the losses that makes you special. Keeping a positive attitude (regardless of the issue) will keep your head in the game and ready for the next opportunity.

3. Realize that everything you do has a consequence. There’s no neutral in sales: A sales rep’s interactions with customers will either be positive or negative. Every action you take matters. It’s not just about being on your best behavior, it’s about knowing your strengths and lining them up to reach your desired outcome.

4. Know that everyone is unique, different and amazing. Sales is a competitive world where people put themselves on the line every day. They often get shot down. Looking at the world through the lens that everyone has meaning will positively affect every facet of your performance. Don’t get deflated when buyers and competitors don’t behave like you want.

5. Be driven by your desire for adventure. What drives you? Your past? Your competitors? Or even your fears? Or are you focused on your successes — on solving the next client problem and taking the next step for your company? It’s important to know what moves us and makes us do what we do.

6. Expect the unexpected. What are you going to do when something unexpected happens in sales? (By the way, something crazy always happens in sales.) Why do you think we’re always the storytelling life of the party? When any situation arises, it’s important to respond with the right action that helps you solve a customer problem and take the next step.

Tony has coached presidents, celebrities and olympic athletes to perform at their top of their game. Putting the secrets above into action will improve your performance too. The mark of a great leader is one who is highly coachable. So let these ideas guide you to higher commissions, happier clients and ultimate satisfaction.

Celebrate Those That Matter – John Salkowski’s Blog

mothers Celebrate Those That Matter   John Salkowskis BlogThe most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother – Theodore Hesburgh

Celebrate Those That Matter

If there is one lesson that I have learned in my 44 years of being alive is that we should celebrate those who celebrate us. It’s funny how we sometimes take the people in our lives that matter most, for granted. We often feel that no matter what we do, what we say, they will always be there for us. We just need to stop what we are doing and think about how important the people are in our lives that celebrate us.

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I just wanted to write this to remind you to stop being busy for a moment, sit back, spend time with and reflect on those who matter so much in our lives. Think about those who have your back when things are tough. Those that are there for us no matter what and those that loves us unconditionally. There is no greater love than the love we have for our mothers and the love that our mothers have for you.

For those that have lost their mother, sit back and just reflect on all the good times. Don’t think about your regrets. Smile and know that you had that special someone in your life and know they are watching over you.

For those that still have their mothers, please enjoy them, talk to them often and spend as much time as you can with them. Let go of the past and know that one day they will not be there. When you think like this, it really puts the most important things into perspective.

I call my mother every day just to say hello whether it’s just for a minute, to say hello and to see how everything is going for her. Celebrate those that matter. Celebrate those that celebrate us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski . All Rights Reserved.

Why Transparency Leads to More Success – John Salkowski’s Blog

Transparency 300x147 Why Transparency Leads to More Success   John Salkowskis Blog“As a small-business person, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” – John Whittier

Definition of Transparency:

Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. It has been defined simply as “the perceived quality of intentionally shared information from a sender”.[1] For example, a cashier making change after a point of sale transaction by offering a record of the items purchased (e.g., a receipt) as well as counting out the customer’s change on the counter demonstrates transparency.

Why Transparency Leads to More Success

It’s sad but true; however so many people, including small business and even large corporations have a difficult time being transparent to their customers and employees. We as entrepreneurs, have an advantage if we can just embrace this value called transparency. My philosophy has always been, be me, be honest, tell the truth, hold my integrity at the top of the chart and I can’t go wrong. You are not going to please everyone, nor do you want to please everyone. However, I believe coming from this place of transparency is the best life and business policy. If you practice transparency, I believe it gives you a business advantage. Build relationships through transparency should be every company’s mission statement and every person’s life mission statement.

It seems simple, but it’s not. There’s a difference between honesty (telling the truth) and transparency (telling everyone everything). Transparency is one of hardest values to approach in business, as many people are stuck on secrecy and fear. Customers want to give their business to transparent companies, and great talent wants to work for transparent companies. The moment you, as an entrepreneur, embrace transparency is the moment you gain that advantage over companies that haven’t.

Here are 13 quotes I’ve come across to inspire you to be more transparent:

“There is no persuasiveness more effectual than the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.” – Joseph Barber Lightfoot

“Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, works in businesses at all times.” – John Gerzema

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” - Dalai Lama

“I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgment.” – Pharrell Williams

“Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen.” – Theophile Gautier

“Transparency is not the same as looking straight through a building: It’s not just a physical idea; it’s also an intellectual one.” - Helmut Jahn

“I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.” – Simone de Beauvoir

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“He had shown her all the workings of his soul, mistaking this for love.” – E.M. Forster

“Our whole philosophy is one of transparency.” – Valerie Jarrett

“A basic tenet of healthy democracy is open dialogue and transparency.” – Peter Fenn

“I just think we need more accountability and more transparency.” – John Thune

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

Transparency should be your most important life and business value.

Being transparent is your unique way of being yourself and by being yourself, you can’t go wrong – John Salkowski

How important is transparency to you and your business?

Be transparent in all you do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Why You Must Operate Your Business Like This – John Salkowski’s Blog

business success Why You Must Operate Your Business Like This   John Salkowskis BlogIn a world of fast-diminishing customer and employee loyalty, for-profits can learn substantial lessons from nonprofits in three areas: identifying and serving an irresistible mission that emphasizes a higher purpose; cultivating passionate employees; and keeping customers engaged and loyal. These practices should be considered.

Why You Must Operate Your Business like This

Focus on Mission, Not Money

In the social sector, money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The ultimate goal is to fulfill the organization’s mission.

Just as nonprofits need to generate revenue to fulfill their mission, a successful business’s mission must recognize the world at large. A company’s social values create the cornerstone of its appeal to all constituencies: customers, employees, stockholders. In the process, it reaps the same benefits as good nonprofits: public admiration motivated and dedicated employees and satisfaction from doing good in the world.

Treat Employees like Volunteers

Your best employees are a lot like volunteers: They have other options and can leave.

Most businesses mistakenly assume that their most valued employees will stay put and stay happy if they pay them enough. But research indicates that salary is not the most effective motivator, and the cost of disengagement is high. A 2013 Gallup study showed a direct link between employee engagement and shareholder return; companies where 90% of employees felt engaged had earnings per share 147% higher than their competitors in 2010 and 2011.

With money for salaries always in short supply, the non-profit sector has mastered the intangibles that keep people engaged. Provide training and incentives for those who want to become leaders.

Daniel Pink, in his bestselling book Drive, tells us that money is a motivator, but that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are at least as powerful. Autonomy gives people a great deal of latitude in determining how they will complete their tasks. Mastery allows them to keep getting better at something meaningful. Purpose gives them a reason to work beyond self-interest.

Just as important as Pink’s “purpose motives” are three other factors that keep a nonprofit’s volunteers dedicated: power, community, and recognition. Volunteers feel empowered to reshape themselves and help others; enjoy the experience of being part of a passionate community unified around a common purpose; and are appreciated and recognized for their work.

All these motivational triggers apply to employees at for-profit companies as well. Successful companies embed them into their culture.

Creating such a culture takes time and money. But employees who think like volunteers perform better, leading to stronger performance, as the Gallup study showed.

Treat Customers like Donors

Nonprofits rely on people voluntarily opening their wallets without expecting anything in return. They do this by nurturing attachment and loyalty to their brands, just as businesses do, but without a huge advertising budget. Here are three things a good nonprofit does well:

1. It identifies target audiences and envisions the actions it wants to elicit from those audiences. It creates a ladder of engagement that it hopes each person will climb, and works to move people up the rungs. Ultimately, the success of the organization depends upon how successful it is at moving larger numbers of people to the next rung.

2. It says thank you again and again, via letters, phone calls, and emails. It knows that donors who feel deeply appreciated are likely to give again.

3. Its messages emphasize not the organization but the good things its donors have helped it accomplish in the world. “You” is the important pronoun to use with donors.

This is my biggest pet peeve: Businesses work hard to encourage customers to purchase their products, and then do little or nothing to make customers feel glad they did. Think about the last time you bought a major appliance. Did you get any messages from the manufacturer other than offers to buy warranty extensions?

Like nonprofits, businesses should nurture ongoing relationships with their customers. That means thanking them often. They should also share interesting company news and stress how customer loyalty helped make it possible.

Treating customers like donors, through multiple forms of communications, will build brand loyalty and good word-of-mouth advertising. This, by the way, is the best kind.

If you treat a customer or client the way you treated them to get their business, you should continually treat them the same way to keep their business.

It’s our customers and clients that make us successful. Never, ever forget that!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

The Top Qualities You Never Want to Possess – John Salkowski’s Blog

Find your greatness 300x154 The Top Qualities You Never Want to Possess   John Salkowskis BlogWe weren’t born to be mediocre. We were born to be champions. If you don’t want to be a champion in life, then why be on this planet ~ John Salkowski

I truly believe everyone on earth has what it takes to be a success. To live an extraordinary life. Being successful in life is more than money. Being successful is living life on your terms but also making an influential, impactful mark on those around you. However, there is a reason why you are not in the top 1% of your field and/or profession.

Below are the top reasons why you are a 99%er and not living up to your true potential of being a top 1%er.

1. Laziness

This may offend a lot of people however you are lazy if you are not accomplishing what you want. Ask yourself, “Are you lazy?”

2. Entitlement

If there is one word I despise, it’s this word. The only thing we as human beings are entitled to is the opportunity we create for ourselves. No one owes you a living! Get over yourself.

3. Fear

Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real. Stop being afraid of failure, stop being afraid of what others may think. Are they putting food on your table? Are they paying your bills? No! So move pass fear and just make it happen. Remember this, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain”.

4. Negativity

Great minds discuss opportunities, small minds discuss people. You are who you associate with. Do they drag you down? Do they talk about others? If so, make a change today and boot these negative losers out of your life for good. Surround yourself with people that lift, push and encourage you to go farther.

5. Make a Decision

Do you have a hard time deciding on things? The quickest way to failure is analysis, paralysis. Stop over thinking things. Doers get what they want and the rest get what they get.

6. Having No Goals

What you focus on focuses on you. Stop waiting for something to happen. Stop playing things by ear. There is no such thing as magic. Success will not just appear.

7. Blaming Other People

Blaming others is for the weak. Pointing the finger is poor leadership. We see that going on a lot in this world today. You are the only one that controls your destiny. Blaming others makes you look bad. Take responsibility for your own life and make it happen!

8. Excuses

Making excuses is lame. It’s for people that refuse to take responsibility. It’s for those that are spineless.

9. Wasting Time

Stop wasting your life away by doing things that don’t matter. Work on things that are productive. The things that will get you to where you want to be.

10. Social B.S.

Is playing games on face book or idle chatter making you any better? Is it making you any money? If it’s not pushing you closer to achieving your goals, stop doing it.

11. Thinking Too Small

You need to dream big dreams. You need to understand that you can accomplish anything you put your mind too.

12. Not Wanting It Enough

You need to want success as bad as you need the air you breathe. Period! If not, then you don’t want it bad enough.

13. Not Believing

We are trained to believe we aren’t worthy. That’s BS. Success is only reserved for those people, right? Wrong! Success all starts with a believing mind-set! It all starts in your head.

You have greatness within you,

John

Copyright © 2013 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

11 Books You Must Read For Entrepreneurial, Business & Life Success – John Salkowski’s Blog

reading 300x260 11 Books You Must Read For Entrepreneurial, Business & Life Success   John Salkowskis BlogYou cannot open a book without learning something – Confucius

We all know that reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body. If you are not reading at least 10 pages a day of a book that can change the direction of your business or life, you’re wasting your time reading. That is just my opinion.

Now I’m settled into creative mode. Bottled water. Book-filled, sun drenched office. Listening to soft classical music. So, I wanted to share some more good information with you in my ongoing OBSESSION to help you “Lead in The Line of Duty”, that makes for an extraordinary life, business and entrepreneurial endeavors. I’m often asked which books are most transformational for people like us who want to do fantastic work and lead our best lives.

So here are 11 of my favorites: Read them, Share them, Study them, Live them and Re-read them….

1) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

2) How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

3) Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller–Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill

4) Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allan

5) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

6) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

7) Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

8) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

9) Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins

10) Stop Acting Rich by Thomas Stanley

11) Leadership in the Line of Duty by John R. Salkowski

So there have it. Some of my favorite books. Go read them, study them. Please remember, ideas flawlessly translated into reality are the keys to massive success and you becoming more of who you truly are. Oh, and definitely make some time each day to read. Small little advances in your knowledge base leads to quantum leaps in your performance over time. Thanks for making the time to read my posts. I work hard to make them valuable for you so we get you to your very best.

Be great and be decisive!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

True Wealth is Learning to Live Below Your Means

frugal True Wealth is Learning to Live Below Your Means“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ― Elise Boulding

The Frugal Leader

I wasn’t always frugal but if there’s one thing that I have learned the hard way is that you must spend less than you earn and invest the rest. Becoming financially free is very important to me. It may not be too you and that’s ok, however if there’s any advice that I may lend is that you do not want to suffer financially in your golden years. Some of the biggest regrets from older folks is not being wise with their money.

However, I’m not recommending that you live like a miser, but there are many ways to cut back on spending and live a more frugal lifestyle.

Here are some of my tips below on living a frugal lifestyle:

1- Go with one car if you can. Besides your home, your car is probably your most expensive item. If you can do with one, you should.

2- Go with a smaller house. Just because you can afford a larger house, doesn’t mean you should live in one. Live in as small a house as you can and still be comfortable. You can save thousands a year with a smaller house.

3- Look for used first. When it comes to cars, look for used first.

4- Eat out less. This is one of the largest expenses in our daily lives. Plus, it’s not healthy. It’s much cheaper to cook your own food.

5- Brown bag it to work. Instead of eating out for lunch, bring your lunch.

6- Don’t go shopping just to shop. Go to a store if you know what you need and then get out.

7- Stop impulse buying. Use a 30-day list. When you want to buy something put it on this list. Discipline yourself to not buying anything for at least 30 days after you put it on the list. Stick to it. You’ll find that you buy a lot less with this one discipline.

8- Cancel expensive gym memberships. Exercise is very important, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Work out at home; find a cheaper gym but stay away from the glamorous expensive gyms.

9- Stop going to Starbucks.
Remember there are no bucks in Starbucks. Drink water. Make your own coffee. Stop spending $5-10 bucks a day on caffeine. Plus, I’d rather eat my calories that drink them.

10- Stay home more often. It’s quiet and peaceful, I can read or watch a good movie or respond to comments on my blog or write. Staying home can save tons, in eating out expenses, shopping expenses, gas, and incidentals.

11- Stop using credit cards.
Credit cards are not evil if you can control yourself. Buy it with cash or if you do have to use a credit card make sure to pay it in full every month.

12- Cancel subscriptions. With the wealth of information online, do you really need magazine subscriptions?

13- Stop paying interest. I consider paying interest a waste of money. Stop paying if you can and as quickly as you can.

14- Travel frugally. Some advance planning can save you money. Airfare is expensive so look to buy your ticket in advance.

15- Cook your meals for the week.
I cook my meals one week in advance. This saves time and from eating out.

16- Save on groceries by clipping coupons. I buy organic meats, veggies and fruits. This is rarely on sale but when I can use a coupon you bet your bottom dollar I do.

There you have a few of my frugality tips. Again, don’t live like a miser but save where you can. Be smart with your money. It’s hard to make but real easy to spend.

To your financial freedom,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

10 Critical Things You Need for Business & Life Success

life success 10 Critical Things You Need for Business & Life SuccessArticle BY DAVID K. WILLIAM

If you had to choose critical things you need for success, what would they be? Maybe top on your list would be a well-paying job as a critical factor for success. Whatever it is, you can be sure that success comes not from one, but a combination of many factors that make it happen. Cars, money, houses, a good job are results of success. These things are NOT success.

Success is an inside-out concept. What is on the inside of you determines what you achieve on the outside. If you have it right inside, you can be (and do) anything you want out there. You don’t even need tons of money to be successful at all. Here are 10 factors that rank highly on lists of critical things you need for life success.

1. Belief

The mere belief that you can succeed is critical to your success. You cannot perform at your best if all you have is self-doubt. You need to believe in yourself and your dreams if you are going to have a chance at success. When your heart and mind are fully convinced that you can do it, nothing can stop you. You can soar to any height and be everything you ever wanted. Just believe.

2. Action

Belief is not enough on its own. You need to follow it up with consistent action. Take the first initiative and plan a concrete course of action to gain focus. Act upon those plans wholeheartedly to reach your goals and achieve success. Remember nothing moves until you do.

3. Discipline

Action alone is also not enough. You need discipline to succeed. Discipline means having self-control in thought and action over base desires like immediate satisfaction. Discipline means making no excuses for poor or inadequate execution of your plans and course of action for success. Discipline is asserting your willpower to succeed.

4. Effort

Hard work and effort are irreproachable virtues. You may not know exactly how something is done or have all the right answers to questions, but if you put effort and work hard to learn and understand you are already a winner. Success comes to those who put in hard and dedicated effort.

5. Persistence

The most successful people are persistent in their causes and practice. They don’t waiver from their core goals and objectives even when things are not going their way. They remain focused and committed to what they are working toward because they believe in it. If what you are doing or working toward is important, you will stick with it to the end no matter what. Success doesn’t come without persistence, patience and practice.

6. Attitude — The right attitude

The right attitude is a rational, positive attitude. A rational, positive attitude enables optimism, builds confidence and facilitates genuine friendships. These things drive people over the worst of life’s storms and bring them to shore in one piece. If you can think positively and act optimistically, then you are destined for great things. Your attitude determines your altitude.

7. Character

Character is who you are when no one is seeing you. It is the real you. You can smile and laugh when in company and be angry and vengeful when alone. Who you really are determines how well you relate with others and build relationships. Choose to be a man or woman of integrity even when no one else is looking. Your integrity and good character will shine through and help establish healthy relationships and a good reputation that precedes you and opens doors of opportunity and success for you.

8. Sacrifice

Success comes with sacrifice. You must be ready to make some concessions on the path to success. For example, you will need to sacrifice some personal time to do important initiatives. Similarly, you will need to sacrifice a certain degree of your comfort to commit to your goals fully. As with most things in life: “No pain; no gain” holds true here.

9. Creativity

Although creativity cannot deliver success on its own, it is an important ingredient for success. Your creative power, talents and skills can help you perform dynamically and solve problems intuitively. Tune in to the infinite intelligence of your creative spirit and talents to stamp your authority in your practice. Your creativity is the one thing that can set you apart from the competition and guarantee your survival and ultimate success.

10. Gratitude

True success comes from a place of gratitude. Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

If you ever manage to be successful, remember gratitude is the cherry on the cake!

13 Reasons You’re Not As Successful As You Should Be

success or unsuccessful 300x165 13 Reasons Youre Not As Successful As You Should BeBy Jim Kukral

Feeling down about your small business these days? Is the broken economy hurting your sales and keeping you up at night? Need some motivation and tough love to help you stop pitying yourself? Well, here you go: 13 reasons you might have in your head about why you’re not as successful as you should be.

#1 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Laziness

I don’t think there’s an easy way to put this. I have to assume that you’re lazy. Every single successful person works their butts off to get where they are. It’s ok to be lazy. Just admit it. But don’t whine about not being rich and successful, ok?

#2 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Entitlement

Only a few people in the world are part of the lucky sperm club. You and me? We got to work to get what we want. Quit thinking you are owed something. You’re not. Get to work.

#3 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Fear

You are afraid, plain and simple. Afraid of looking silly. Afraid of what your friends and family will say. Afraid of everything. Look, you’re either going to stop being afraid, or you’re not. Nobody can convince you to stop. Imagine though… what awaits you when you stop with the fear excuses?

#4 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Negativity

You may not realize it, but the people you associate with might be negative [orifices]. They could be soul-sucking beings who don’t want anyone to be successful. Get rid of them, now! Surround yourself with successful people. People you want to be like.

#5 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Stop Thinking

How much do you want to bet you have paralysis by analysis? You think way too much about what you could or should do. Doers get what they want, and everyone else gets what they get. Stop analyzing and start doing.

#6 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – No Goals

You plan nothing. You believe that someway, somehow, everything you always wanted will just magically happen. So you “play it by ear” and wait. You need goals to shoot for. Otherwise, you’re just treading water.

#7 Reason you’re Not as Successful as You Should Be – “They”

There’s no “they”. There’s no secret group of people that controls your success or failure. You’ve made that up to make you feel better about yourself. The truth is you, and you alone, control your success in life/business/everything. It’s easy to blame “them” though, isn’t it? Weak.

#8 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – No “X” Factor

You can’t do it because you’re not pretty enough. Or don’t have a strong personality? You don’t have the “X” factor? Wow, what an unbelievably lame excuse. The truth is even jerks; idiots and boring people can be just as successful as anyone else. Your problem is you don’t believe it yet.

#9 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Time Waste

You’re a classic time-waster. You spend hours and hours every day working on not-working. You do things that aren’t productive. How are you ever going to get anything done, or reach any goal if you keep wasting time? You’re not. So you might as well give up now if you’re going to keep this path.

#10 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Social B.S.

You spend way too much time in social media land. You waste probably about 50% of your productive hours of the day doing this. The sad part is, you know it, but you can’t stop. So you can’t get anything done that matters.

#11 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Think Small

You think way too small. You are constantly looking only a day or a week ahead instead of years ahead. Because of this, you never get anywhere, and you never lead; you always follow.

#12 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Don’t Want It

You don’t really want to be successful. Sure, you like to dream about it like everyone else. But in your heart you are afraid of what might happen if you really get it. That’s B.S. fear your brain is feeding you. Success is change, and it feels really, really good. Tell your brain to shut the [foolishness] up.

#13 Reason you’re not as successful as You Should Be – Don’t Believe

You never believed that it’s possible. Society taught you that only a few “exceptional” people get what they want. Everyone else should just settle. If you really want to believe that, go ahead. The rest of us will be at the front of the line because we believe.

A Book That Can Change Your Life

Dan Kennedy A Book That Can Change Your LifeEvery once in a while a book is published that is life changing. Time management is one discipline that must be mastered if you truly want to succeed in business and life. This is one of those books. – John Salkowski

In his book No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, business coach and consultant Dan Kennedy reveals the steps behind making the most of your frantic, time-pressured days so you can turn time into money. In this edited excerpt, the author describes the one habit you should adopt–and stick to without fail–if you want to be successful.

If you haven’t heard of or read any of Dan Kennedy’s books you are doing yourself a huge disservice. This is one man that gets it. Here is Dan Kennedy in a nut shell:

He is a multi-millionaire, serial entrepreneur that directly influences over one-million business owners annually as an advisor, consultant, coach, author and speaker.

His business adventures have included ownership of an advertising agency, a manufacturing company, a nutrition company, publishing companies and cosmetics; he has built, bought and sold businesses. As a speaker for 30 years, he has repeatedly addressed audiences as large as 10,000 to 35,000, and appeared for nine consecutive years on the No. 1 seminar tour in America. He has often shared the platform with former U.S. Presidents, General Colin Powell, even Margaret Thatcher, as well as legendary entrepreneurs Donald Trump, Gene Simmons of KISS, Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Cookies), Jim McCann (1-800-Flowers), Terry Jones (Travelocity founder), sports and entertainment celebrities, and other leading business speakers including Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Tom Hopkins. He is the author of the popular No B.S. series of books, including No B.S. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs, No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent, No B.S. DIRECT Marketing for NON-Direct Marketing businesses and the recently released No B.S. Business Success for The New Economy and No B.S. Sales Success for The New Economy, available at all booksellers and accessible for free preview at www.NoBSBooks.com.

His No B.S. Marketing Letter is the most widely read paid subscription newsletter of its kind. Its publisher, GKIC.com, has a membership of over 25,000 entrepreneurs plus over 250,000 online subscribers. Additionally there are local Chapters and Kennedy Study/Mastermind Groups in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, major events attended by over 1,000 members twice annually, and a portfolio of online courses and resources. Dan is also widely acknowledged as the leader in developing the modern information marketing industry, is a co-founder of the Information Marketing Association, and one of the authors of The Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing.

Kennedy is not for everyone and may be an acquired taste. Widely celebrated as “the millionaire-maker” with long track record of taking entrepreneurs to 7-figure incomes and to multi-millionaire wealth, his deliberately provocative, blunt, “No B.S.” approach has also earned him the title “Professor of Harsh Reality.”

Look him up, go to amazon.com or go to your local book store and buy his books. Especially his No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs.

Decisive leaders are successful leaders,

John

Leadership Traits That You May Be an Entrepreneur

entrepreneur Leadership Traits That You May Be an EntrepreneurThe best way to predict the future is to create it – Peter Drucker

Entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people. They think differently and they act differently. They draw on personality traits, habits and mind-sets to come up with ideas that straddle the line between crazy and brilliant. However, just because you came up with an idea doesn’t mean you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur.

If you ever wondered if you were an entrepreneur, check out the list below. You may not have all these traits or skills; however, these are a pretty good indicator that you might have what it takes.

1- You’re determined. You have to make the impossible possible.

2- Rules don’t apply to you. We’re not talking about breaking the law. Instead, you believe in efficiency and will bend rules to make things run smoothly.

3- You think outside of the box.

4- Your dress code is casual and your suit is just collecting dust. You prefer an under armor or champion sweat suit or T-shirts and jeans over a suit any day.

5- On a daily basis, you always think of it in terms of delivering a return on investment.

6- You’re self-motivated. You start something and don’t give up on it until it’s completed.

7- You’re a people person. You have no problem communicating with people.

8- You’re a problem solver. You love solving people’s problems.

9- You’re a master at the different personalities.

10- Your idea of a holiday is a working day without anything interfering with the tasks you really need to get done.

11- You are competitive by nature.

12- You don’t like to lose and if you do lose, you work on it until mastery so it doesn’t happen again.

13- You don’t take no seriously. An entrepreneur never gives up, ever.

14- You’re passionate. There will be times when you spend an excessive amount of time and do not make a dollar. It’s your passion that will keep you going.

15-
You’re self-confident.

16- You’re optimistic but a realist.

17- You hate the status quo. You’re a person who is always questioning why people do the things they do. You strive to make things better and are willing to take action on it.

18- You believe your time is the most valuable asset. You don’t like to waste it.

19- You surround yourself with quality people. No losers who will bring you down.

20- You’re unpredictable. You know how quickly things can change. Change is good. You’re ready and willing to make adjustments.

There you have it. My short list of traits that you just may have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Be Decisive in All You Do,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Choose the Right Mentor

mentor1 How to Choose the Right MentorThe delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves – Steven Spielberg

How to Choose the Right Mentor

I’m often asked if they really need a mentor. The answer is “yes, everyone needs a mentor if you want to succeed.” It has been researched and documented the benefits of mentoring. Studies reveal higher incomes, higher career and entrepreneurial satisfaction, greater involvement and commitment to your/the firm than those not being mentored.

Given the benefits of having a mentor, the next question is how to acquire one. Before you ask someone to be your mentor, a few suggestions are in order:

First, demonstrate effective leadership and performance not only in business but in life as well. Mentors attract people who want to achieve high-levels of performance in both areas. Mentors look for your potential for success based on your capabilities.

Second, think about what you hope to get out of the mentoring relationship. There is a difference between a mentor and a coach. Write down your goals on what you want to establish as well as accomplish. Remember that mentoring should be about your longer-term professional, business and life development, not just about your short term goals.

Third, if you’ve had previous mentoring relationships before, think about what made them successful or not. This will help you to think about what you would do differently or similarly in a new mentoring relationship.

Fourth, do some research on the person you want to mentor you? Check out their professional profile on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

When you do find someone that meets your needs let them know how much you admire their own success. However, remember that if the person is successful, they’re probably very busy. So, be respectful of their time.

What qualities should you look for in an effective mentor?

They should be successful in their field or as leaders and highly respected. They need to be a positive role model for you.

Once you identify the mentor you want, make sure they are willing to share their skills, knowledge and expertise with you. Pick people who seem to take a personal interest in helping you succeed and feel invested in you.

Make sure the mentor you pick values learning and development in the field. They should also have good communication skills and be able to provide you with guidance and constructive feedback. You want them to be honest with you, sharing their thoughts about your strengths and your weaknesses as well as ways you can improve.

Finally, remember that people do not mentor just to be nice. Mentoring can take considerable time and effort. Though they may enjoy the intrinsic rewards of mentoring and be willing to help you out, they will be more inclined to continue the relationship if they are also gaining something from it. What could they gain? Appreciation, loyalty and the knowledge that you are actually using their advice. Or they may be pleased that you are willing to mentor others with less experience than yourself. Ask them what you can do to help them out. What is really important is showing initiative to “give back” to the mentor rather than simply looking to “take” from the relationship.

Having the right mentor will improve your life in all areas, Guaranteed.

Be decisive and be great in all you do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Why Having Routines Makes You More Productive

routines Why Having Routines Makes You More Productive Post by Joel Runyon

The most successful people have structured routines – and for good reason. Structured routines make you more productive and effective. Instead of running around with a vague idea of what you want to accomplish, the right lifestyle routine can turn you into a productivity monster. Here’s how:

Routines Create Structure

Most people either don’t know what they want or don’t have a focused way of going about getting what they want. Having a routine eliminates both of those problems by forcing you to do a few things:
1. Know what you want.
2. Figure out how to get it.
3. Add that activity somewhere in your schedule.

Once you have those three steps in place, you’re farther ahead than 90% of people flitting around from task to task with no real outcome or goal in mind.

Routines Eliminate Distraction

Without structure, it’s easy to let non-essential things get in the way of actual work. Because you haven’t designed exactly how you want to spend your time, it’s easy to let other people come in and steal 15 minutes here, and 30 minutes there.

With a routine, you have a game plan.

You don’t get the luxury of indulging people in things that distract you from your goals because you know exactly what you must do in order to get the end result that you desire.

You Don’t Have To Think About Work – You Just Have To Work

The best benefit to creating routines is that you don’t have to think about work – you just work. I think the number one productivity hack in the world is simply deciding what to do.

Most people start “working” without knowing what they want to accomplish.

By creating a routine and having exactly what you want to accomplish laid out, you take the guess work out of “what” to do and can focus on just doing it.

You’re no longer thinking about all the work that you have to and how you’re going to do it – you can simply go ahead and get it done.

You Can Find Your Rhythm

Ever been in “the zone?” That place where everything is easy, you zoom through work, and obstacles seem to scatter out of the way?

Chances are there were a certain set of circumstances and surroundings that allowed for that to happen and helped you perform optimally. A routine lets you take those circumstances and creates a scenario where they happen regularly and predictably – making “the zone” that much easier to find. Once you have the basics in place, over time you can tweak that routine to become more and more effective.

This makes finding that zone more likely to happen more often, and when it does happen, lets you perform better – being more efficient and more effective across the board.

This is essentially how I ended up creating what I call workstation popcorn – my daily work flow for achieving optimum productivity while writing out of multiple coffee shops a day.

A System for Your Life

If you think about it, a routine is nothing more than a system for your life. Just like programmers create a certain program that will execute a function whenever it runs – a routine creates an environment and structure to your life that lets you execute certain tasks at will.

Meanwhile, implementing them seemingly melts any obstacle in the way, since you’ve created a routine that eliminates the distractions in your day and lets you focus on only the tasks at hand that you must do.

How has using routines helped you become more productive in your career?

5 Ways to Overcome Poor Decision Making by John Salkowski

decision making 5 Ways to Overcome Poor Decision Making by John SalkowskiNever cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come – Robert H. Schuler

Why do we make unhealthy and unproductive decisions even when we know better? If you ask most people, they will say that poor decisions are a result of a lack of willpower. But recent research from a credible University is beginning to reveal that willpower doesn’t quite work that way.

Here are 5 ways to overcome poor decision making:

1. Plan daily decisions the night before.

There will always be decisions that pop up that you can’t plan for. It’s part of life. The decisions that are hard to make are the ones that we make over and over again. Decision making should be automated or planned in advance. For example, decisions like…What am I going to wear to work? What should I eat for breakfast? Should I go to the gym before or after work? And so on. All of those examples above can be decided in 3 minutes or less the night before, which means you won’t be wasting your time on those choices the next day. Taking time to plan out, simplify, and design the repeated daily decisions will give you more mental space to make the important choices each day.

2. Do the most important thing first.

If there was the most important surgery in the world, when would you want the doctor to perform it? Based on the research above, first thing in the morning. You want their best attention, energy, and focus to go toward the decisions that are most important. The same thing goes for your business and life. Whatever it is for you, put your best energy toward it. Do what needs to be done whether it’s waking up 30 minutes earlier, going to bed 30 minutes earlier or exercising first thing in the morning then do that. Start your day by working on the most important thing in your life and your business.

3. Stop making decisions. Start making commitments.

Rather than hoping that I’ll make the right decision each day, I’ve found much more success by scheduling the things that are important to me the night before. For example, my schedule for writing is Monday and Friday. My schedule for cross fit is Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I no longer have to decide what I am doing. It’s already on the schedule. If you sit back and hope that you’ll be able to make the right decisions each day, then you will certainly fall victim to making poor decisions.

4. If you have to make good decisions later in the day, then eat something first.

It’s no coincidence that we make better decision makers after eating. I’m not saying eat junk because I am certain you won’t reap the same results. But taking a break to feed your brain with healthy food is a great way to make better decisions. It’s always recommended to do the most important thing first, however it’s not always possible. When you want to make better decisions, put better food into your body.

5. Simplify your life.

Find ways to simplify your life in all areas. If something isn’t important to you, eliminate it. It’s pulling precious time and energy from the things that matter most. As I always say, “It either contributes to my life or contaminates it”.

I hope this helps. Remember, it takes small steps to achieve greatness. Nothing is created over night. It takes disciplined time.

Be decisive in all you do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

12 Toxic Thoughts You Need To Drop For A Better Life

change 12 Toxic Thoughts You Need To Drop For A Better LifeCommunication Motivation by Carol Morgan

One of my mottoes is “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!” I’m a big believer that our thoughts and emotions shape our experiences. The problem is that most people aren’t even aware of their negative thoughts. It’s almost like they have just become a habit, so it seems normal to them. Here are 12 common toxic thoughts that you need to drop in order to have a better life:

1. Thinking that you are a victim.

You’re not a victim. So stop blaming other people or your circumstances for your problems. Just because you don’t like where you are now doesn’t mean that you can’t take personal responsibility to change it for the better. So get rid of that victim-mentality because it doesn’t help anything. In fact, it acts as an obstacle to success. Realize that you, and only you, are responsible for your destiny.

2. Thinking that you can change other people.

You can’t. I had to learn this the hard way. There was a time in my life when I thought I could “motivate” and “inspire” people to be their best selves. It took me a while to realize that the only thing that can change other people is themselves. If they don’t want to change—or don’t know how—then all of your efforts will be wasted. So don’t worry about other people. If you don’t like them “as is,” then you have the choice to not hang out with them anymore. But you don’t have the right to change them.

3. Thoughts that constantly resist “What Is.”

Some things you can change. In fact, a LOT of things you can change. You can lose weight. You can find a better job. You can go back to school. You can work on your marriage. But there are some things you can’t change. Those things are simply “what is.” You can’t change that your boss is a jerk. You can change jobs, but you can’t change your boss. You can’t change the fact that you have to pay rent or your mortgage. But you can stop resisting it. Resisting the unchangeable does nothing more than frustrate you and make you miserable. So change what you can, and accept what you can’t.

4. Thinking that “The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side.”

“If only I was as pretty as that girl, then I’d be happy.” Or “If only I was as rich as that guy, then I’d be happy.” Those kinds of thoughts aren’t true. Just because you think someone else has it better than you doesn’t mean they do. Maybe the pretty girl came from an abusive home and can’t get her life in order. And maybe the rich guy spends so much time at work that he never gets to see his family. The grass is not greener on the other side. So appreciate the grass you have. It’s your grass. So love it.

5. Having expectations of other people.

Expectations can be deadly to happiness, even if you think your expectation is reasonable, such as having your roommate or spouse do his/her share of the chores around the house. Just because you expect it doesn’t mean they will do it. Realize that your expectations come from your personal experiences and biases. They are not necessarily other people’s priority. You probably don’t like being expected to do things that you don’t want to do, so don’t impose your expectations on others. If you don’t like their behavior, either accept it, or move on.

6. Thinking that having a significant other will complete you.

If you are not a whole person already, then having a romantic partner will not make you whole. Plus, it puts a lot of pressure on the other person to “make you happy.” You need to be happy with yourself with or without someone. Having a significant other doesn’t make you happier. Only you can make yourself happy.

7. Feeling that you always need to prove that you are right.

I always wonder why people will fight to the death to prove they are “right.” What’s the point? I think it’s because they don’t want to look weak. Or vulnerable. Or stupid. But I think admitting you are wrong is a much more noble and mature thing to do. Besides, everyone has a different opinion. So why not have yours and let them have theirs?

8. Worrying about what other people think.

Why do you care? Do you think they are judging you? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. No one is judging you as much as you are judging yourself. Other people are too busy judging themselves just like you that they probably don’t even give you a second thought! So do what makes you happy. And if others are judging you, then it’s their problem, not yours. Ignore them and be happy anyway.

9. Thinking there is only ONE right and ONE wrong.

We live in a world where we like to think there is an objective reality. But guess what? Objective reality is an illusion. It doesn’t exist. Only subjective realities do. What one person thinks is the “truth” is not the truth for someone else. For example—who’s right? The Republicans or the Democrats? Well, it depends on who you ask, right? Everyone thinks something is right because it fits their life and the way they look at the world. And that’s it. Period. End of story.

10. Worrying about the future because you feel unprepared.

I love this saying: “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” And if you believe in the power of prayer, then you know that sending out thoughts and emotions into the Universe/God (whatever your belief system) works much of the time. So instead, be here in the NOW. Now is all you have. So be present and stop worrying about the future because you can only control it to a certain extent.

11. Thinking that money equals happiness.

We live in a capitalistic culture that values money and achievement. We think that people who have a lot of money are somehow better than those who don’t. But that’s simply not true. I’m sure there are plenty of happy monks in the world who probably don’t hold a dollar to their names. Or someone working at McDonald’s may be really happy while some billionaires aren’t. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to be rich to be happy. It simply isn’t true. Money is nice, but it doesn’t make you happy. Only you can do that.

12. Believing that the past determines your future.

Just because you came from a poor family, or made mistakes in the past does not mean that you can’t make your future better. If you have labeled yourself as a “failure” because of your past, then you will only continue your “failure” attitude into the future. And if you’ve heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy phenomenon, then you know that what you think, you become. So like I said in the opening paragraph: “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!”

I hope that this article has made you think long and hard about the toxic thoughts that probably go through your mind every day. And I bet you didn’t even know it! So start paying attention to what you think, and when you catch your negative thoughts, hit the “cancel” and “delete” buttons—FAST!

The Importance of Tracking Your Progress

Tracking Progress The Importance of Tracking Your ProgressHuman progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tracking your progress

There is a very simple truth that is often overlooked. It is, “If you do not measure you cannot improve”. You will plateau very quickly if you don’t have measurements to support your business plans, goals and accomplishments. Measuring you progress will hold you accountable. You should measure everything that matters to you. If you start measuring your progress early on, you will thank yourself for it later.

Don’t count on your memory

You have too much going on to depend on your memory. Your memory will be colored by a lot of things, such as everyday life. When you try to think back to see what has worked for you, there is no way you can make sound adjustments based only on memories. This is where documenting and tracking your progress becomes very powerful: hard-recorded facts don’t lie!

Gather your facts

The number one thing you need to keep on top of your progress is a journal. A journal will take the stress out of remembering everything. It will fill up with solid facts that you can refer back to. When you want to look back and see what has been working for you, all you need to do is to look back in your journal. Below are some ways of keeping track of what you do.

Pen and journal

The old fashioned written journal is in my opinion still the best tool. You certainly can track your progress on your smart phone however I prefer my journal. You can use whatever you prefer as long as you discipline yourself to tracking your progress. Simply keep your journal by your side and write down everything that matters to you in regards to progression. Write down as much information as possible: what you did, when you did it, etc. The more information you gather the better.

Spreadsheet

One step up on the technology scale is to use a program such as Excel, or Google doc’s spreadsheet. You would basically collect the same information as with a written journal, but the spreadsheet itself will make the analysis much easier if you track relevant data.

What do you use to keep track of your progress in all that matters in your life? Would love to hear your feedback?

Until next time, be decisive in all you do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How Leaders Inspire Others to Take Action by John Salkowski

456 How Leaders Inspire Others to Take Action by John SalkowskiMake a decision, be decisive and take action. Indecisiveness breeds failure. Live by choice, not by chance. Make changes, not excuses. Get motivated, not manipulated. Work to excel, not compete – John Salkowski

This is the way to inspire people to make decisions, take action and make a positive difference in their lives. This is how you can grow into the best version of YOU! Listen to your inner voice, it’s always right and be selective on who you take advice from not the jumbled opinions of everyone out there.

Here are the Top 5 ways to Inspire Others to be Decisive and Take Action Now:

1- Care about Others. People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.

2- Challenge others to do their Best. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” If people know we expect great things from them, they will often go to great lengths to live up to our expectations.

3- Share Personal Experiences from your Failures to your Successes. Always be a resource to those around you. If you have access to essential information, don’t hoard it, share it openly. You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. Others will relate to you. They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.

4- Express your Enthusiasm. Passion is something you must be willing to express if you want to inspire others. You will gain a lot of influence just by publicly expressing that you’re excited and passionate about a topic. Expressive passion is contagious. You’ll get people inspired by having them wonder why you love what you love so much. Most will and some won’t take the time necessary to understand what it is about the topic that moves you so much.

5- Be Authentic and True to Yourself. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, or as I call it “PC or Political Correctness”, find the courage to keep being your awesome self. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths, wisdom and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – be the person you want to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart and soul into it, take yourself out of it. No it won’t always be easy; because when it comes to living as a compassionate, empathetic, non-judgmental human being, the only challenge greater than learning to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, is learning to walk a lifetime in your own.

There you have my 5 ways to inspire others to take action. I hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave a comment below and share with those that matter most.

Be Decisive in All You Do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

The Frugal Leader by John Salkowski

frugal The Frugal Leader by John Salkowski“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” ― Elise Boulding

The Frugal Leader

I wasn’t always frugal but if there’s one thing that I have learned the hard way is that you must spend less than you earn and invest the rest. Becoming financially free is very important to me. It may not be too you and that’s ok, however if there’s any advice that I may lend is that you do not want to suffer financially in your golden years. Some of the biggest regrets from older folks is not being wise with their money.

However, I’m not recommending that you live like a miser, but there are many ways to cut back on spending and live a more frugal lifestyle.

Here are some of my tips below on living a frugal lifestyle:

1- Go with one car if you can. Besides your home, your car is probably your most expensive item. If you can do with one, you should.

2- Go with a smaller house. Just because you can afford a larger house, doesn’t mean you should live in one. Live in as small a house as you can and still be comfortable. You can save thousands a year with a smaller house.

3- Look for used first. When it comes to cars, look for used first.

4- Eat out less. This is one of the largest expenses in our daily lives. Plus, it’s not healthy. It’s much cheaper to cook your own food.

5- Brown bag it to work. Instead of eating out for lunch, bring your lunch.

6- Don’t go shopping just to shop. Go to a store if you know what you need and then get out.

7- Stop impulse buying. Use a 30-day list. When you want to buy something put it on this list. Discipline yourself to not buying anything for at least 30 days after you put it on the list. Stick to it. You’ll find that you buy a lot less with this one discipline.

8- Cancel expensive gym memberships. Exercise is very important, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Work out at home; find a cheaper gym but stay away from the glamorous expensive gyms.

9- Stop going to Starbucks.
Remember there are no bucks in Starbucks. Drink water. Make your own coffee. Stop spending $5-10 bucks a day on caffeine. Plus, I’d rather eat my calories that drink them.

10- Stay home more often. It’s quiet and peaceful, I can read or watch a good movie or respond to comments on my blog or write. Staying home can save tons, in eating out expenses, shopping expenses, gas, and incidentals.

11- Stop using credit cards.
Credit cards are not evil if you can control yourself. Buy it with cash or if you do have to use a credit card make sure to pay it in full every month.

12- Cancel subscriptions. With the wealth of information online, do you really need magazine subscriptions?

13- Stop paying interest. I consider paying interest a waste of money. Stop paying if you can and as quickly as you can.

14- Travel frugally. Some advance planning can save you money. Airfare is expensive so look to buy your ticket in advance.

15- Cook your meals for the week.
I cook my meals one week in advance. This saves time and from eating out.

16- Save on groceries by clipping coupons. I buy organic meats, veggies and fruits. This is rarely on sale but when I can use a coupon you bet your bottom dollar I do.

There you have a few of my frugality tips. Again, don’t live like a miser but save where you can. Be smart with your money. It’s hard to make but real easy to spend.

To your financial freedom,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Train Yourself to Be a Great Leader by John Salkowski

Steve Jobs How to Train Yourself to Be a Great Leader by John Salkowski A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. — Lao Tzu

Most leaders take it upon themselves for their training to be effective. Whether you learn from the wisdom of others or get insights from personal experience, becoming a more effective leader is about what you do, not what know.

Here are five things you can do to train yourself to be a great leader:

1. Keep and make promises.

Never make promises you can’t keep. Nothing kills your credibility quicker than a broken promise or unfulfilled expectation.

2. Dress to influence, not to impress.

Dress to influence, not to impress. Make your appearance consistent with your personal and professional brand. Ask yourself how a leader with your aspirations should appear to others. Don’t limit appearance to just yourself. Apply it to your company. UPS or United Parcel Service has always prided itself on having the cleanest trucks on the road.

3. Treat your team as you expect them to treat customers.

Asking your team to be courteous to customers and being a jerk to them is incongruent and hypocritical. The way you treat people is a ruler to everyone on your team. Robert Greenleaf coined the term “servant leadership” in the 1960’s. It isn’t about being servile, but about finding ways to support your employees so they can become successful. Periodically ask: “What can I do to help?”

4. Show your commitment to personal growth.

There are ultimately only two ways to grow your business: grow yourself and grow your team. A small company of twenty employees based in Tampa, Florida pay their employees to read books that benefit both their personal and professional lives. Through the company’s reading program, called Making People Better, books are distributed to employees, along with a “read by” date. Employees have approximately one month to read the book and are given $50 after completing it. At the end of the month, they meet to discuss the book.

5. Ask for feedback, don’t wait for it.

Some leaders react to feedback as criticism instead of an opportunity to learn. Don’t ask employees what they like or dislike about you. You’ll get better information by asking: “In your opinion, what might I do to become a more effective leader?” Then ask for examples.

Which of these actions will you take first to train yourself to be a better leader?

Be Decisive!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

9 Lessons That Will Unlock Your Potential by John Salkowski

unlocking potential 9 Lessons That Will Unlock Your Potential by John SalkowskiThe will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence – Confucius

The world is full of opportunity and you are filled with potential. Here are a few lessons to help you change your business and life for the better.

1- Remember the gifts you were born with. When you stop to remember what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t have or may not be getting, it changes your perspective for the better.

2- Start your day the night before. The most successful people I know end their workday by making a list of what they have to do the following day or two ahead.

3- You need to grow up. Adults have the ability to delay gratification, but we also have a choice as to how to behave when things don’t go our way. If you remember to take the high road, you’ll end up where you want to be.

4- Lose your attitude. If you think for one second that the world owes you a living, you better reevaluate yourself immediately.

5- Don’t ignore your emotions, but remember that your feelings aren’t facts. Emotions need to be felt, however they don’t have to be justified. Just because you have an emotion doesn’t mean that you’re right.

6- Be aware of negative thinking. We all get into negative feedback loops from time to time and don’t even know it. If negative thoughts such as failure, helplessness and/or hopelessness continue to enter your mind, you might just need to take a breath or talk with someone who can help.

7- Create a routine. We are creatures of habit, and good habits make us feel better. Maintaining good habits makes us feel in control of our lives.

8- Let go of resentments. We all have them. Let them go. They take up to much psychic space to allow us to function properly. Make the decision now to let go of them.

9- Enjoy a part of every day. You can’t always keep your nose to the grind. Take time to look for those little bright moments that we often fail to recognize.

Making your business and life better is about picking a destination and place one foot in front of the other. Being serious and making the decision about making improvements is where it starts.

Be decisive and unlock all that potential you have inside you. You can do it!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Raise an Empowering Leader by John Salkowski

me and alexa 300x225 How to Raise an Empowering Leader by John SalkowskiAs we groom our own children to become the planet’s future leaders, remember that what we tell them will influence how they show up for life. Whether we realize it or not, most of us operate on default based upon the messages our parents communicated to us as children. Raise your children with a mission of empowerment. The chances are much better that they will take a sense of confidence, high self-esteem into the world every day.

The best things you can say to your children so they grow up to be an empowering leader:

1- “I love you.”

I must say this to my daughter a thousand times a day. We all need to hear it and feel it. Not hearing the words, “I love you,” could impair a child’s future ability to express love and affection to others.

2- “You can do it.”

In the eyes and heart of a child, the smallest of things can look and feel scarier than they should. A parent who tells their child they “can do it” is teaching that child to face life’s fears and obstacles with courage, resolve and tenacity. This child will grow into an adult who will be willing to take risks by looking fear straight in the eye and saying, “Let’s do it!”

3- “Everything is going to be OK.”

In today’s world, kids face far more different challenges than any of us ever could have imagined. Unfortunately, more kids are turning to permanent solutions (like suicide) to solve temporary problems. When your child is going through pain, make them a promise. Promise your child that if they just hang on, the pain will eventually pass and everything will be fine. By helping to strengthen your child’s determination when life gets to be too much, you will be empowering them with the feeling of hope we all need to feel sometimes. Your child will also learn hard times aren’t forever, and by experiencing pain, a person can come out the other end stronger, wiser, and happier.

4- “Be kind.”

People can be mean. The best way to disarm someone else’s meanness is with kindness. When your child is dealing with a situation, remind them that responding with unkindness will only breed more hostility and drama. It’s important for a child to stand up for themselves in a situation where they are being mistreated, but coach your child to do this with dignity and respect. If your child will be placing themselves in harm’s way by responding (even with kindness), give your child permission to do what they can to remove the mean person from their life (with your support, if necessary).

5- “Be yourself.”

This is the mantra of many parents. It is, however, difficult for parents to truly allow their kids to be themselves. The fact is that each of us, including our children, is here to realize our own purpose. It’s difficult to let kids make their own mistakes when we know how things are going to turn out. As parents, we should understand our children’s decisions are necessary for their personal growth. The lessons they learn from acting authentically will be much stronger than any lesson they might learn from parents. Continue to coach, guide and reprimand your child. However, by giving your kid some freedom to grow into their fullest potential, you give the both of you a gift: the gift of letting go (for you) and the gift of expression (for them).

6- “After you eat your salad, brush, floss and it’s time for bed.”

To keep your body and mind in optimum performance mode, you must take care of yourself by eating right, getting exercise, and getting enough rest. Lead your children by example; give yourself the gift of whole, healthy food and adequate sleep. Help your kids by removing the physical, mental and emotional issues that come with poor health and poor lifestyle choices. Raise your little ones to be thankful for their beautiful, perfect bodies and to treat those bodies like the temple it is.

7- “Time out.”

Life isn’t fair. We don’t always get what we want. When things go sideways, cultivate in your child the value of taking a ‘time out.’ By learning to stop, step back, and breathe, your kid will learn to regroup. A time out will allow your child the chance to consider a different perspective and potentially redefine the situation in a way that works for him or her. The ability to do this as an adult enables us to create our own happiness by choosing how we will manage things that don’t go our way.

8- “Say, Thank you.”

Raise a child to say, “Thank you,” so they can learn good manners. More importantly, teach your child to feel gratitude in their heart for every minute of every day. Regardless of what drama and pain might be happening, there is always an opportunity for something greater in that difficult experience. By raising a child to be thankful in the midst of turmoil, you will be nurturing a resilient human being with the power to shift any circumstance into something amazing.

9- “Never quit.”

Life can be hard, even for a kid. Whatever it is your child wants to accomplish, they should remember to keep forging ahead even after failure strikes once, twice, or hundreds of times. Your child should understand that just because they haven’t gotten something ‘right’ yet, things aren’t over. Tell your child that if they hold a dream, they should never quit, and should take little steps every day for as long as they have that dream in their heart.

10- “It’s OK to quit.”

Sometimes dreams change. Sometimes we realize we don’t want something we once did. However, sometimes giving up the pursuit of a dream feels like failure even if we really don’t want the dream anymore. Give your child permission to call it quits. Remind them that if they are quitting something because that’s what they truly want, there is power in quitting. This will serve your child well as they grow into an adult who wants to make a change. Be it a college major, a job, a career, or a relationship.

As a parent, we must choose our words wisely. Those words will be largely responsible for your child’s destiny and their future here on earth.

35 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

Inspirational Movies 35 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your LifeLifestyle February 7 by Alex Morris

The best inspirational movies leave an indelible impression on the viewer. In this selection I’ve chosen 35; from Oscar winners to cult favorites, they’re worthy of anyone’s DVD collection.

In an attempt to avoid this list being cliché, I’ve picked films you may not have seen before, and ones which may have slipped from your memory. As a result, you won’t find certain well known films below, such as Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, and Shawshank Redemption. The exceptional films on offer should, hopefully, make up for it!

1. Amadeus

This wonderful period epic, loosely based on Mozart’s genius, boasts fine performances and exceptional music.

“This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing.” A description of Mozart’s music.

2. The Madness of King George

King George III loses his mind, throwing government into chaos. Revolutionary medical man Dr. Willis is called in to restore order in this brilliant drama.

“No life is without its regrets yet none is without its consolations.” King George III.

3. Mary and Max

A quirky, life-affirming claymation film. Two loners become pen pals and strike up a long distance friendship.

“My fifth job was a garbage collector. I cleaned up after litter bugs and didn’t have to talk to anybody. Sometimes I liked to pretend I was an intergalactic robot.” Max.

4. Princess Mononoke

A sweeping masterpiece from Studio Ghibli. Young warrior Ashitaka fights to restore order between supernatural forces and the human world.

“This is what hatred looks like! This is what it does when it catches hold of you!”Ashitaki.

5. Spirited Away

Schoolgirl Chihiro is inadvertently transferred to the spirit world, forcing her to work in a Japanese bathhouse to reclaim her freedom.

“Once you’ve met someone you never really forget them. It just takes a while for your memories to return.” Advice for Chihiro

6. The Kings of Summer

Three teenage boys, annoyed by their families, take to the woods to live in a house they’ve built, embracing life along the way.

“You’re right, it’s a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta.” Frank, an irritated parent.

7. Rush

A thrilling account of the 1976 Formula 1 season. James Hunt and Niki Lauda battled for the World Title, the latter overcoming an appalling accident in the process.

“It’s impossible to perspire through a skin graft, so sweat will never run into my eyes again, which is good for a driver.” Lauda following his accident.

8. Punch-Drunk Love

A quirky romantic drama. Adam Sandler’s eccentric loner Barry Egan is wooed by Emily Watson’s mysterious Lena.

“I have a lot of puddings, and in six to eight weeks it can be redeemed. So if you could just give me that much time, I think I can get enough mileage to go with you wherever you go.” Barry to Lena.

9. Of Mice and Men

Gary Sinise’s excellent adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novella. Strong willed George, and mentally disabled Lennie, travel around America as farm hands, dreaming of one day owning their own land..

“We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” George.

10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s book, this poignant French film tells of his life after a paralysing stroke. Suffering locked-in syndrome, he nevertheless wrote a novel.

“I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren’t paralysed, my imagination and my memory.” Bauby.

11. The Squid and the Whale

A couple divorce, forcing their children (Walt and Frank) to cope with the psychological games which erupt between their parents.

“We’d look at the knight armor at the Met. The scary fish at the Natural History Museum. I was always afraid of the squid and whale fighting.” Walt.

12. The Illusionist

Sylvain Chomet’s sublime animated tale of a struggling magician as he travels across Europe, bonding with a young fan on the way.

“Magicians do not exist.” The Magician’s note.

13. Adaptation

Anxiety ridden Charlie Kaufman (Nic Cage) is a screenwriter adapting a difficult novel, becoming increasingly unstable during his attempts.

“All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I’ll still be ugly, though.” Charlie.

14. Beasts of the Southern Wild

This fantasy drama centres around six year old Hushpuppy. As her community is stricken with environmental issues, she learns to adapt to a new world.

“I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right.” Hushpuppy.

15. Life of Pi

The story of Pi’s fight for survival whilst stranded in the Pacific Ocean. A volatile Bengal tiger is his sole company.

“The whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Pi.

16. Awakenings

Based on neurologist Oliver Sack’s book. Robin Williams stars as introverted Dr. Sayer, who discovers a drug which awakens catatonic patients.

“Another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug—and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter.” Dr. Sayer.

17. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Jack Nicholson stars as Randal P. McMurphy. A maverick, he feigns madness to escape prison time in a mental institute, causing mayhem in the process.

“What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets.” McMurphy.

18. The Straight Story

WWII veteran Alvin hears his estranged brother has had a stroke, so sets off on a 240 mile journey to see him—via his tractor.

“There’s no one knows your life better than a brother that’s near your age. He knows who you are and what you are better than anyone.” Alvin.

19. The Pianist

Roman Polanski’s account of Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman’s remarkable fight for survival during Nazi deportation of Jews in WWII.

“[taking off his watch] Here, sell this. Food is more important than time.” Szpilman.

20. My Left Foot

Daniel Day-Lewis gives an exceptional performance as Irishman Christy Brown. He suffered with severe cerebral palsy, yet became a noted writer.

“This is Christy Brown, my son. Genius.” Christy Brown’s father.

21. Life is Beautiful

Roberto Benigni’s WWII film of a father who uses his imagination to protect his son from the horrors of war.

“This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me.” The son narrates.

22. Rescue Dawn

A tense survival tale by Werner Herzog, featuring Christian Bale as POW Dieter Dengler. A true story, Dengler’s bravery and charmisma are truly inspiring.

“Empty what is full. Fill what is empty. Scratch what itches.” Dieter Dengler.

23. Empire of the Sun

Young Brit Jim becomes a POW at a WWII internment camp. Over the years, whilst fighting for survival, he matures from a petulant child to a mature young adult.

“First one side feeds you and the other side tries to get you killed, then it’s turned around; it’s all timing.” Advice for Jim.

24. Mud

Two teenage boys discover the enigmatic Mud living on a sparse island. As they become friends, it’s soon apparent the law are after him.

“There are fierce powers at work in the world, boys. Good, evil, poor luck, best luck. As men, we’ve got to take advantage where we can.” Mud.

25. Sideways

Following a painful divorce, struggling author Miles heads off for a wine tasting weekend with hedonistic friend Jack. Chaos, and new love, ensues.

“Its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.” Miles.

26. The Truman Show

Truman Burbank lives an ordinary middle class life, unaware he’s actually the star of the most popular TV show on Earth.

“There’s nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn’t always Shakespeare, but it’s genuine. It’s a life.” Christof, the show’s creator.

27. 127 Hours

Aron Ralston traps his arm whilst hiking, leading to an unnerving realization.

“This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life.” Ralston.

28. Léon: The Professional

Léon is a hitman and loner. Suddenly forced to care for a child (a young Natalie Portman), he finds his humane side and seeks a change.

“You’ve given me a taste for life. I wanna be happy. Sleep in a bed, have roots. And you’ll never be alone again, Mathilda.” Léon.

29. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Shy Joel and hedonistic Clementine begin a relationship, unaware they already share a unique history.

“Are we like those bored couples you feel sorry for in restaurants? Are we the dining dead?” Joel.

30. Million Dollar Baby

A rags to riches story. Maggie, a humble waitress, makes a break as a boxer and rapidly shoots to stardom.

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”

31. The Savages

Estranged siblings Jon and Wendy Savage are reunited when their father displays signs of dementia.

“This upward mobility fixation of yours, it’s counterproductive and, frankly, pretty selfish. Because it’s not about Dad, it’s about you and your guilt.” Jon Savage.

32. The Descendants

When his wife is hospitalized, wealthy Matt King (George Clooney) and his family must adapt to sweeping changes.

“You give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing.” Matt King.

33. Another Year

A British drama focusing on a happily married couple. Over four seasons they observe their unhappy friends as they attempt to structure their lives.

“Young people. Everything’s for young people. Those bars, you know, they’re full of young people shouting about nothing.” A friend laments life.

34. Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell performs against type as introverted Harold Crick, who starts to hear a voice in his head (Emma Thompson) narrating his every move.

“I’m cursing you, you stupid voice, so shut up and leave me alone!” Harold Crick.

35. Gravity

Last but not least, 2013′s thrilling sci-fi epic. Boasting exceptional special effects, this inspiring look at space is a visual treat.

”Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell! Or I burn up in the next ten minutes.” Dr. Stone.

How to Ways to Sustain a High-Performance Mentality by John Salkowski

Quote 300x300 How to Ways to Sustain a High Performance Mentality by John SalkowskiIt’s time for you to stop looking in the rear view mirror and start mastering your skill set to take it to the next level. Many people describe themselves as high-performance leaders, but only a few have the mindset, discipline, rituals, habits and wherewithal to deliver on that promise every single day.

Here are six ways to sustain a high-performance mentality:

1- Know Your Competition

Learn from and get to know other individuals who excel in positions similar to yours. Don’t allow anyone to define your performance standards – define them yourself by learning what your competitors are doing. Create a job description based on what you believe defines the highest level of performance for your job. Challenge yourself to exceed your competitors’ standards.

2- Constantly, Constantly Improve Yourself

I cannot stress this enough. In a high-performance world, mediocrity is unacceptable. Mediocrity is the prey in this competitive world. Work tirelessly to improve your performance and skills to separate yourself from the wolves. The competitive landscape in today’s world is fierce. Learn all you can about your competition.

3- Invest time in Relationships

Learn all you can about how this generation is wired to think and operate in the virtual world, and how social media influences their perceptions of the world around them. Learn how to work faster by using all of the technology you can.

4- Learn More about International Marketplace

Learn what’s happening in the international world as they are rapidly developing. Join your local Rotary Club or another business organization that has connections with international business leaders. Learn how those international leaders operate.

5- Establish Mastery in What You Do

In my book, “Leadership in The Line of Duty: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life & Death Situations” will show you how to see opportunity by looking beyond the obvious; combining vision with consistent execution by mastering the most important overlooked component in business and life, our daily decisions.

6- Journal, Blog and Hold Yourself Accountable

To keep track of your progress, you’ll need to write about your successes, challenges, failures and lessons learned. Tracking your progress is the most valuable tool for keeping yourself accountable. Approach it like a journal that tracks your performance. Every month, review, make adjustments and read through it to identify what your action plan should be to move forward.

In today’s survival-of-the-fittest world we live in, you must hold yourself to the highest possible standards, regardless of the attitudes of those around you. That means measuring yourself against the competition and focusing on continual self-improvement.

Be decisive in all you do. Decisive leaders are successful leaders!

John

How to Improve You Every Day by John Salkowski

images2FP1X3JW How to Improve You Every Day by John SalkowskiTo improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often – Winston Churchill

If you’re reading this article, than you are as passionate as I am for growth in all areas of life. It was 2003-2004 when I discovered my passion for growing and helping others grow. At that time, I was 33 and working as a police officer. In 2000, I was involved in a fatal shooting and knew my career was coming to an end. As I thought about the meaning of life, I realized there was nothing more meaningful than to pursue a life of leadership and personal development. It is through improving ourselves that we get the most out of life. It is through helping others live a better life that we live a fulfilled life.

Here are 7 Lessons on How to Improve You Every Day. I hope you enjoy.

1- Wake up early

I wake up at 5am every morning and journal and read for 2hrs. Waking up early has been acknowledged by many to improve your productivity and your quality of life. Start your day off with journaling and reading something positive and inspirational. This will set the tone for the day.

2- Exercise & Eat Healthy Daily

To live the part you must look and feel the part. To live a life fulfilled and with growth, you must work on your health. This consists of eating well and exercising daily.

3- Stand on the shoulders of giants

Think about people you admire. People who have already accomplished what you want. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too. Read, study and follow their lead. Success leaves clues.

4- Turn off the TV

I have not watched TV since 2004 and it’s been a very liberating experience. TV is negative. TV is filled with drama. TV is filled with violence. In exchange for TV, my time now is constructively used for other purposes, such as reading, studying and writing.

5- Show love to your haters

If you stand for something, you will have haters. It’s very easy to hate them back. The challenging part is to love them back. Forgiving and letting go requires magnanimity and an open heart. Reach out to someone you hate or who hates you. Even if they refuse to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’ll be liberating to say the least.

6- Show kindness to all people

Being extra friendly and kind will not only make you feel better but it will make that person feel better. What other feeling is better than touching someone and leaving them better than you found them.

7- Commit to your personal growth

There are so many ways to improve yourself, but if you have no intention to committing yourself to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write. Make the decision now to commit yourself to a life long journey of personal growth and change. Take baby steps. Anything worth being or having takes times. I promise you that as long as you keep at it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in all areas of your life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article or anything about personal growth. Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below and I’ll get back to you personally. If you have any other suggestions to add to the list, please share with us too!

Decisive leaders are successful leaders. Be decisive in all you do!

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

My Top Favorite Personal Development Books by John Salkowski

John 300x300 My Top Favorite Personal Development Books by John SalkowskiBy John Salkowski, Author of the best seller, “Leadership in The Line of Duty: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations

You cannot open a book without learning something – Confucius

Greetings from snowing Pennsylvania. At 5am I woke up and began reading articles for 2 hours in my field of authority as I do every morning. I then went to the gym and did interval training for 30 minutes straight. This workout consisted of a kettle bell and push-ups. Unreal, non-stop workout. You definitely should try intense interval training. Cuts back on time in the gym but boy does it kick butt.

Now I’m settled into creative mode. Bottled water. Book-filled, sun drenched office. Listening to soft classical music. So, I wanted to share some more good information with you in my ongoing OBSESSION to help you “Lead in The Line of Duty”, that makes for an extraordinary life and career. I’m often asked which books are most transformational for people like us who want to do fantastic work and lead our best lives. So here are 10 of the best.

Read them. Share them. Study them. Live them….

1) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

2) How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

3) Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller–Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill

4) Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allan

5) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

6) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

7) Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

8) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

9) Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins

10) Stop Acting Rich by Thomas Stanley

Ok, so there have it. Some of my favorite books. Go read them, study them. Please remember, ideas flawlessly translated into reality are the keys to massive success and you becoming more of who you truly are. Oh, and definitely make some time each day to read. Small little advances in your knowledge base leads to quantum leaps in your performance over time. Thanks for making the time to read my posts. I work hard to make them valuable for you so we get you to your very best.

Be great and be decisive!

Looking forward to speaking soon,

John

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Why Your Inner Critic is Holding You Back by John R. Salkowski

Gremlin Why Your Inner Critic is Holding You Back by John R. SalkowskiIf you wouldn’t tolerate someone else disrespecting you, why would you tolerate it from yourself – John R. Salkowski

Why Your Inner Critic is Holding You Back

Our self-talk determines what we achieve in life and what we do not achieve. What we say to others is not nearly as important as what we say to ourselves. All day, every day our minds are flooded with thoughts that guides us to leading the lives that we choose to live.

If you want to move mountains of achievement in any aspect of your life, whether it be health, wealth, happiness, fitness, business or personal, it all begins and ends with how you speak to yourself.

If I may just give you a brief instruction on self-talk, our subconscious and conscious mind. It’ll be short, I promise.

What is Self-Talk? What is Conscious Mind vs. Subconscious Mind?

Studies show that we talk to ourselves at the rate of 150-300 words minute or nearly 50,000 thoughts per day. This internal thinking or self-talk, occurs through the conscious area of our mind. What most of us are unaware of is that our self-talk becomes instructions to our subconscious, whose duty is to carry out the “instructions” given to it by the conscious mind. The subconscious is our own personal servo-mechanism that works on our behalf 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our subconscious never sleeps.

So, what we say to ourselves occurs through the conscious level of thought which in turn is believed by our subconscious mind.
If we are constantly saying,

“I hate myself for that.”

“I can’t do that.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“I’m not smart enough.”

etc., etc., etc…. You get the drift.

It’s important to note that we don’t get what we WANT in life, we get what we EXPECT, unless our wants and expects are the same. It’s also important for us to realize that our self-concept is created by our own self talk and it’s our self-concept that determines our level of achievement in any area of our lives.

Change Your Life by Changing Your Thoughts

If you have a hard time fighting your negative self-talk, I recommend a good read, “The New Psycho-Cybernatics.” Below is a link to Amazon. Please note, I’m not affiliated with, nor, do I get paid to promote it. It is, in my opinion, one of the best books on self-improvement out there. One lesson I have learned from this book, that I will share, is that when a negative thought enters your mind, it recommends saying, “cancel”, “cancel”, “cancel.” This has helped me tremendously.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Psycho-Cybernetics-Maxwell-Maltz/dp/0735202850/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392240740&sr=1-2&keywords=psycho+cybernetics

If we want to improve your level of performance or effectiveness in any area of life, you need to improve your self-concept. We improve our self-concept by creating new language that describes our new desired result. Through repetition our revised self-talk provides new instructions to our subconscious which immediately goes to work to fulfill these “new instructions”.

If you want to change your life, start by changing how you speak to yourself – John R. Salkowski

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the direction and success of your organization depends on it”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

What’s Your Biggest Challenge in Business & Life by John R. Salkowski

Gandi Whats Your Biggest Challenge in Business & Life by John R. SalkowskiBeing aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person ~ Seth Godin

What’s Your Biggest Challenge?

We all face tough and difficult challenges in business and life. Some become difficult to overcome, especially when the odds are stacked against us. Going against all odds, is something we’re capable of doing. To overcome your biggest challenges you need to have that “never quit” attitude in life. If you develop it, you’ll overcome those challenges.

I want this article to be interactive. I want you to post your biggest challenges that you are facing at this present time in your life. It can be emotional, spiritually, physically, relational, business, personal etc. What I will do is respond personally to each and every one of you with a solution, advice, tips or how to’s that I believe will get you past it your challenge. Please, don’t be shy. The first step to overcoming any challenge or fear that may be holding you back is taking action. If you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain.

Here are some tips to overcoming your biggest challenges that may be holding you back:

1- Motivate yourself. Say YES I CAN. Develop a winning mindset that you will overcome anything life throws at you. Remember, everything we do or overcome in business or life is 80% mental and 20% mechanics.

2- Stay calm, cool and rational. Take a deep breath, relax, and slow it down. Think things through but be decisive in your action.

3- Let the challenge be your fuel. Most people avoid challenges because of their fear of failure. It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count. It’s how many times you get back up in life that matters. Learning from your challenges is the first step to greatness.

4- Seek out someone you trust, a mentor or coach. Having someone to lean on when things get tough is how we learn and grow. Let go of the ego. Be transparent. Ask for help. Remember, success leaves clues.

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it ~ Moliere

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the direction and success of your organization depends on it”

Invest in your future NOW: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Leadership Lessons from a Navy Seal by John R. Salkowski

Navy Seal How to Leadership Lessons from a Navy Seal by John R. Salkowski
Courtesy of NavySeal.com

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – U.S. Navy SEALs

How to Leadership Lessons from a Navy Seal

The view was stunning, compensating for the bone-chilling cold that pushed through my light outer layer of clothing. As my son and I crested the small rise that lay before the downhill slope, I took a moment to appreciate the opportunity to spend this time with him. Life can get so busy and complicated – taking precious time to ski with Devon was a real treat. This particular day was special in other ways as well, I would soon learn.

The slope dropped off precipitously and soon I was looking down a very steep terrain. If this had moguls it would be a black diamond, I thought. Shucks. Devon is a beginner and this will really challenge him. I crossed my mental fingers and began to model a slow traverse across the slope. He turned his snow-plow skis downhill and picked up speed, a look of terror crossing his face. Then he just stopped and sat down. “I’m not doing this,” he told me point blank. A half hour later I was still pleading and using every tool in my tool kit to get him moving. His fear turned to negativity and the downhill slope became a metaphor for his positive attitude slipping away into the snowy distance. Nothing seemed to work and for the first time in a long time I felt helpless. I couldn’t leave him and I couldn’t get him moving. The nuclear option was to just remove our skis and walk or slide down the entire hill – a long way to defeat.

As my humbling moment began to sink in, I opened up to the possibility that this was a powerful learning moment for both of us. In this blog I would like to share some of the insights that I had that day which apply to leading in any team environment. Here they are, in no particular order of importance:

1. Guess what: It is not about you! Leading is about the other person and the quicker you realize that your needs are subordinate to your teammate’s needs, the quicker you will find your leadership stride. Devon did not really care how good a skier I was, or how well I could teach others. Bottom line, he was not moving until he could convince himself he wasn’t going to die on that slope.

2. Set reasonable expectations. Yes we want our teammates to knock the ball out of the park every time, and we know that they have the potential. But realistically they won’t. Learning any complex skill, like skiing, CrossFit or launching a new product is a long-term process with the victories interrupted by set-backs. Of course, how the set-backs are framed and turned into valuable learning moments is a defining skill of winners. It is the leader’s jobs to help them find that skill and not get attached to their performance at each turn. I needed to personally reframe Devon’s failure to perform in this moment and find victory for him (and me) in a new way.

3. Patience is not a virtue, it is an imperative. Success is often like a SEAL mission: Twenty three hours and fifty minutes of tedious, boring work…interrupted by ten minutes of adrenaline pumping intense activity leading to victory. The twenty three hours of preparation, planning and waiting are just as important as the ten minutes of blazing glory. When I finally got Devon moving it took us ten minutes to get to the bottom, victorious. But the real learning happened before the trip down.

4. Negativity has many sources. We speak of a negative, self-defeating attitude as if it were a learned behavior that can be overridden simply by shifting to positive self-talk. This is a gross oversimplification of negativity. I learned from Devon that not only can fear trigger negativity, but so can a lack of adequate fuel. This was a big aha moment because I work so hard to keep negativity from affecting my own attitude and I optimistically try to teach this concept to others. I do believe it is a key to peak performance and momentum building. Once I stopped telling Devon what to do and started to listen to how he was feeling, I learned that not only was he scared shitless but that he hadn’t eaten any breakfast. Acknowledging the fear was the first order of business; setting the short term goal of getting fuel in his belly the second. These steps were enough to get him out of his negative rut and face the prospect of getting down to eat! Once he had food in the belly he was a happy camper, and never looked back. Don’t underestimate the power of food to maintain positive attitudes, and conversely, if your team is sliding into negative territory consider that they may just be hungry.

5. It takes a team to teach. Whether it was my method or his “Dad filter,” Devon was not “getting it” from my expert instruction. But as we sat there pondering what was next, another Dad (who was part of our trip) cruised by and casually said: “Devon, you can do this…just lean into the ball of your foot in the direction you want to go. Your knees will turn in that direction and your skis will follow. Try it – it is easy.” To my astonishment, Devon slowly got up and started moving down the slope, leaning into his turns exactly as he was just coached. Eureka…breakthrough! And it came from an unexpected, but respected, source using a different set of words than mine. As a leader you may have expert skill and be a good teacher, but you may not be the one who can teach each of your teammates the skill. Learn to accept help from unlikely sources and to rely on the team to teach the team. Devon’s victory was my victory…and I had little to do with it!

6. Presence is magic. Ultimately, all the coaching, mentoring, cajoling, telling and motivating pales in comparison to even a few moments of total presence. When I finally let go of trying to teach my son, of trying to shift his attitude from negative to positive, of trying to convince him that he could do it…and just allowed him to feel what he was feeling and to understand his world…he stopped pushing back against me and began to sense that it was ok to be scared and to take his time. When I let go, he let go, and we both just sat in presence for some precious moments together. The opening this created allowed us both to accept new learning.

Leadership is a tricky skill that relies on trust and authenticity to work well. If we can lead well on the home front we can lead well anywhere. Often when parenting we strive to control our child’s learning while they push back, unwilling to abdicate control. This locks parent and child into a rigid pattern that diminishes energy and trust. Same goes for leading your team. Practicing presence allows you to let go of needing to control the outcome and just be in it together. Being present, patient, with reasonable expectations and making it about the team (and scheduling snack time) will open up the possibility for new learning to occur in surprising ways! Thanks Devon.

You Were Born to Excel. Permission Granted. – Navy SEALs

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Create a Work-Life Balance for Maximum Success by John R. Salkowski

balance 7 300x300 How to Create a Work Life Balance for Maximum Success by John R. SalkowskiWork is what you do, life is how you live and the two need separation for the ultimate balance ~ John R. Salkowski

This article is a tad long, but rest assured it will be worth the read. I wanted to share with you some of my boundaries and guidelines on how I have established a work-life balance. In order to truly maximize your potential in all areas of your life you need a balance. Work and life need to be separate.

Here are some steps to follow in no particular order:

1: Set your priorities

You must figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself, “If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?” Your answer is your top priority. Then focus on the second, third and so forth. This way you’ve identified your top priorities in order.

2: Track your time

I carry a journal and track everything I spend time on. How much time do you spend doing things that don’t matter to you? By tracking, it’ll certainly open your eyes to how much time you waste on things that don’t align with your priorities. Eliminate these things from your life, or delegate them.

3: Focus on one thing at a time

There is no such thing as multi-tasking. It’s not possible to focus on two things at the same time. Instead, devote your full attention to the task at hand. When you’re working, work. When you’re spending time with your family, focus solely on them.

4: Schedule one thing you look forward to each day

Block out time to do what you want to do. Put aside an hour on your schedule to read a book, take a walk, or just to be alone. The activity doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated, or expensive.

5: Respect your private time

Protect your private time like your life depended on it. Give your time the respect it deserves. Once you’ve blocked out your private time on your schedule and protect it like you would protect your child.

6: Take a look at your personal habits and disciplines in your life

Here are some of the habits and disciplines that can cause you to feel out of balance; lack of sleep, poor nutrition, lack of exercise habits. Get these priorities in order.

7: Take a vacation or a get-away

I like taking 5 days every 8 weeks. This may be too much for you, however you don’t need to go far and you don’t need to spend lots of money. But you must take the time to recharge your batteries in order to be the most productive, creative, and happy person possible. Relax and enjoy.

8: Hire a personal coach or mentor

This is paramount to one’s success. A personal coach or mentor can assess your current work-life balance, and can tell you what you can do to achieve maximum balance.

9: Set boundaries and guidelines

You must draw the line in the sand on this one and never, ever cross it. Turn off your cell phone, laptop when you’re with your family. If you want change your voice message on your phone that you will be returning important calls between certain times. If you don’t respect your time, no one else will either.

10: Learn to say “NO”

Be firm yet very professional. Don’t jump to every request that comes your way. If it doesn’t fit into your schedule or align with your priorities, don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on more. Say NO!

11: Evaluate & re-evaluate your work-life balance once a month

Achieving work-life balance is a journey, not a destination. Block out time on your schedule once a month to reflect on your current balance. Adjust it accordingly and devise a plan to make it happen.

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the direction and success of your organization depends on it”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Top Leadership Books Everyone Must Read by John R. Salkowski

reading 300x260 Top Leadership Books Everyone Must Read by John R. SalkowskiA truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting ~ Henry David Thoreau

Reading is an essential life skill. There are limitless volumes containing invaluable insights on the human experience. Generations of people have scribed their experiences and struggles, their emotions and confessions onto blank pages, transforming them into rich resources. Reading truly is to the mind what exercise is to your body.

If you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have time to eat and drink. The truth is that you do have the time: “reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you.” You don’t have to read 52 books a year, but you do have to make time for more reading. And when you do, this list of the best leadership books will inform and inspire you for more leadership success.

Leadership MUST Reads for more leadership success:

Lead yourself. Before you can lead someone else, a group, or a company, you must be able to lead yourself. That means discipline, self-actualization, sense of purpose, and humility.

1. Leadership in the Line of Duty: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death situations by John R. Salkowski

This book is a road map for becoming a great leader by sharing some principles on how great leaders make decisions. If you follow and implement the lessons in this book, you will become a better you, have a better life and be on your way to achieving high levels of leadership success.

2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

This book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust. Through all the pain and suffering Frankel was able to maintain perspective and conclude that there “must be meaning in suffering.” He reminds us that the meaning of life is to define that meaning for ourselves through action.

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Life is a journey. Each one of us should be trying to follow our own personal legend (that is, what you have always wanted to accomplish). The tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, reveals what happens when we pursue our own legend: “the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Define leadership. After building your foundation from which to lead, it’s important to understand exactly what leadership is and how it’s applied. It’s also helpful to study other successful leaders and businesses.

4. The Truth About Leadership by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

There are some things that will always play a role in effective leadership. Trust, credibility, and ethics are among those things. Kouzes and Posner reveal 30 years of research that support these and other core principles.

5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Some companies succeed, but most fail. Jim Collins evaluated thousands of articles and interview transcripts to figure out why exactly that is. Then he packaged it all into this book to show you what traits you’ll need to build a great company.

6. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey

Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. This process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.

7. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

As CEO of Zappo, Tony Hsieh built a massively successful business by doing what everyone else talks about: putting the customer first and hiring the right people. Serving customers and company culture were the main focus. As a result employees and customers were happy and satisfied. Hsieh was able to dismantle traditional corporate leadership and deliver happiness and loads of profit along the way

8. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Here Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen lays out the path to “disruptive innovation.” This, as described by Christensen, requires rejecting the needs of the customer right now in favor of adopting new methods and technologies that will meet their needs in the future. Early adopters and innovators get ahead; all of the others fall behind.

9. Tribes by Seth Godin

Start by reading Tribes and then continue on reading everything Godin has written. From his blog to his books and everything in between, Godin is sharing a winning formula for stepping outside of the status quo to do meaningful work. It’s this kind of work that will inspire others to follow, help you get noticed, and leave a legacy long after you’re gone. Communicate and motivate. To lead you must inspire others to follow your example or orders. It helps if you’re able to attract, engage, and encourage employees, business partners, and potential clients to get on board with your plan or proposal.

10. Drive by Daniel H. Pink

The ability to motivate is central to leadership. That’s what makes Pink’s book so valuable. Packed with the secrets of motivation, Pink suggests we move away from rewards and punishment, opting for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead.

11. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Everyone wants to feel important. In Win Friends Carnegie shows you how to use that in your favor to make people like you and win people over. It’s a book about how to communicate and interact with people in a meaningful way. It all comes down to showing interest in the people you interact with and the work that they are doing. If you make that connection you will have won a friend.

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the direction and success of your organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

Gratitude Wednesday: Thank You For Reading My Blogs by John R. Salkowski

Gratitude Gratitude Wednesday: Thank You For Reading My Blogs by John R. SalkowskiDevelop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation ~ Brian Tracy

Thank You!

I wanted to send this quick blog out to all my loyal leaders thanking you for your time and loyalty. I am very grateful that you have subscribed and are reading my articles. How often do we hear compliments in our society? I believe people are quicker to complain than pay a compliment.

Being in the service industry practically my whole adult life, I have experienced just this. As a police officer we are quick to hear complaints and everything else associated with the negativity of everyday life. I vowed to never live my life like that. I believe that when someone deserves a compliment, a thank you, a smile or anything else you can associate with giving thanks, we should share it immediately. People tend to allow their egos to get in the way, therefore not paying that compliment, or say thank you or apologizing when they need too.

Life is short. Too short to allow something to go unsaid that someone needs to hear ~ John R. Salkowski

Thank you again for subscribing to my free blog updates. I’d like to ask you a favor. If you have found my blog posts valuable, would you share them with others? I would greatly appreciate this. This is what I am willing to do for the next person that shares my blogs with their friends, family, associates or colleagues. The next person that subscribes because of you, I will send you an autographed copy of my book, Leadership in the Line of Duty: 50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life & Death Situations, postage included for free! All you need to do is email me at info@JohnSalkowski.com with the person’s name and email address, along with your full name and address. Once they subscribe to my blog, I will have my team put your autograph copy in the mail.

Again, thank you for being a loyal reader.

Gratitude is the highest form of personal development one can experience ~ John R. Salkowski

About the Author

John R. Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the direction and success of your organization depends on it”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Become a Decisive Problem Solver by John R. Salkowski

images1 How to Become a Decisive Problem Solver by John R. SalkowskiTo solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ Jim Rohn

Problem solvers make money while messengers merely get by. Your ability to make money is directly proportionate to how well you solve problems for your clients or customers. Problem solving is one of the most highly valued characteristics you can have as an entrepreneur, business executive or professional. Master this skill and you reap the benefits of saving time & making money in your business.

Following these steps will help you become a masterful problem solver.

1. Identify

Identifying the correct problem to work on is often where people trip up. It’s not as simple as you might think. Think about a business that has revenue issues. There could be a few hundred reasons for that issue. Asking the right questions and being a smart decisive detective can help you zero in on the problem with precision. The master problem solver asks a lot of questions about what the problem really is, instead of guessing and making snap decisions about it.

2. Brainstorm

Now that you have the problem identified, brainstorm all the possible solutions. The best brainstorming happens when you have the opportunity to bounce ideas off others. Get the right people in the room and think of as many solutions as you can. This is for brainstorming only. The physiological brain process of generating ideas is not the same as evaluating them, and they cannot be switched on at the same time.

3. Evaluate

This is when you evaluate the ideas you came up with during the brainstorming phase. Evaluate ideas first based on their impact on a goal, and secondly, on the complexity of the idea. Complexity is not about difficulty. Instead, it is determined by only two things: time and money. Can the idea bring about successful results in the time constraints you have, and does it fit any known budget constraints you have? Ask yourself how large an impact the idea has.

4. Execute

This is another step average problem solvers often skip. It does no good to come up with a great idea and then not execute it. Come up with a plan to get your idea executed. As a masterful problem solver, you have the responsibility for implementing the solution.

5. Re-Evaluate

The final step is to re-evaluate and check in on the solution’s progress. Determine if it’s still the right one. There will be times when the problem still exists because the solution wasn’t right. Don’t give up. Never give up. Go back to step two and get going on the next solution to try.

Problem solving is a skill that pays handsomely. Practice the steps so that you become efficient at them. Require it of others you’re surrounded by. Then execute. Get them in the habit of always bringing at least one solution idea for every problem you identify.

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Do you have a problem you need help with solving? I would love to hear about it.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Business Coach and Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

“Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations”

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to be More Productive by John R. Salkowski

untitled2 How to be More Productive by John R. SalkowskiProductivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort ~ Paul J. Meyer

How to be More Productive

How can we be more productive with our time? Productivity and time management seems to be the white elephant in the room most of the time. With so many distractions in this day and age how does one become laser focused on tasks and expectations that we’re expected to accomplish and fulfill. We have all heard the saying, “Success leaves clues”, so why don’t we follow some of the most productive leaders, entrepreneurs and business people in the world today. We all have the same amount of hours in a day so why are some more productive than others you may ask…here are five of the best productivity tips you can implement today with laser focused disciplined action.

1. Have a Single Purpose

Focus on what matters most. When we focus on one task, all off our energy flows in that direction. You can’t catch two rabbits at the same time so why would you even attempt multi-task? Prioritize your focus on one single thing at a time until completion of that task. Once that task is complete, move to the next.

2. Eliminate All Distractions

Don’t just limit your distractions, eliminate them. Turn off your cell phone and email alert. Lock your office door and allow no one to bother you. If you want to get something done all of your attention and energy must be laser focused on it.

3. Set Strict Time Limits and Guide Lines on Meetings

Setting strict time limits on certain topics to be discussed creates a more productive flow to the meeting. It allows for more things to be handled which cuts down on wasted time and in turn increases productivity.

4. Create Implementation Rituals and Habits

Your daily rituals and habits will dictate whether you’ll be productive or not. Once you discipline yourself to establishing productivity rituals and habits, you will operate like that well-oiled machine you are and can be.

5. Get up early or Stay up Late

I mastermind with some of the most successful leaders, entrepreneurs and business people in my industry. There is a common trait amongst all of them. They are either early risers or night owls. It doesn’t matter what time of day you decide to be productive. What matters most is that you are productive. Period. Whatever floats your boat? If you don’t like mornings, than utilize your natural body clock and do what needs to be done no matter what time of the day.

There you have it, my top 5 productivity rules. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking time out of your precious day to read this article. I love your feedback and comments so please keep them coming. Until next time…Decisive Leaders are Successful Leaders.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Habits for Successful Leadership

untitled1 How to Habits for Successful LeadershipWe are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

In order to achieve any level of success in our lives whether it be personal, spiritual, emotional, relational or professional we must form successful habits and disciplines.

Here is my short list to work from:

1) Overcome your fears
2) Get out of your comfort zone
3) Identify and acknowledge the areas you lack
4) Set huge goals
5) Take action
6) Learn from others that are successful
7) Create new successful habits
8) End your bad habits
9) Avoid negative people
10) Start journaling your goals
11) Start writing what inspires you
12) Get a mentor or coach
13) Master your time
14) Stop watching Television
15) Read a book on personal development once a month
16) Eat healthy
17) Start an exercise regimen
18) Be grateful and document it everyday
19) Start your day off by reading an inspiration article
20) Be generous toward others
21) Be kind and caring toward others
22) Stay focused because where you focus your energy flows
23) Commit to mastery in all you do
24) Sleep sound for 7-8hrs a night
25) Meditate 15-20 minutes a day

There you have it, my short list for creating successful habits.

I love receiving your feedback and comments so please keep them coming. If there is an area or topic that you would like help in, please comment below and I will respond personally. Not only will I respond, it will become the topic of my next article.

The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going ~ Napoleon Hill

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

15 Signs That You Are Emotionally Intelligent

images 15 Signs That You Are Emotionally Intelligent Article By Daniel Wallen

Emotionally intelligent people aren’t ruled by their thoughts; they are the master of them. Discover your emotional strength today with these 15 signs that you are emotionally intelligent.

1. You’re Fascinated by What Makes People Tick.

Emotionally intelligent people are fascinated by human behavior. They notice things like body language, dialect, and personal tics. Being a people-watcher helps them find clues about what makes each individual special.

2. You’re an Enthusiastic Leader Who Walks the Walk.

Emotionally intelligent people know it’s silly to talk the talk if they’re not willing to walk the walk. Instead of leading behind by delivering commands, they lead from the front by setting an example.

3. You’re Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people know you’re not as weak as your weakest link; you are as strong as your strongest link. They use their greatest strengths as much as possible to make their weaknesses a moot point.

4. You’re at Peace with the Past.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t have time for regret. They drop their baggage and move forward into the present, because that’s where progress happens.

5. You’re Not Freaked Out About the Future.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t obsess with future events outside of their control. They are comfortable living in a world that doesn’t come with a crystal ball, because life is meant to be an exciting adventure (not a scripted routine).

6. You’re Tuned in to the Present Moment.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t merely “get through” their hectic day. Instead, they actively experience the nuances of every single moment of every single day.

7. You’re a Skilled Active Listener.

Emotionally intelligent people know that “hearing” and “listening” are two different things. They re-phrase a person’s statements in the form of a question to make sure nothing got lost in translation.

8. You’re Capable of Figuring Out Why You’re Upset.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t let a chorus of negative self-talk take over their brain. They are detectives who explore their environment, searching for clues that reveal why they feel the way they do and (most importantly) what they can do to make it better.

9. You’re Comfortable Talking with Friends and Strangers.

Emotionally intelligent people never met a stranger they didn’t like. They don’t care about a person’s age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation; they love everybody equally, because we’re all human here.

10. You’re Ethical in Business and Relationships.

Emotionally intelligent people follow their moral compass in business and life. Their values might differ from person to person, but high standards govern their behavior.

11. You’re Eager to Help People.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t need a reason to help others. They help elderly women with their grocery bags; offer to wash the dishes if a friend or partner prepared dinner; and hold doors open, not just for ladies, but gentlemen as well.

12. You’re Able to Read People Like a Book.

Emotionally intelligent people can translate the meaning of gestures, expressions, and body-language. They know you can’t depend on language alone, because a person’s physical presence is often at odds with the words they express.

13. You’re Firm in Your Desire to Achieve.

Emotionally intelligent people strive for success, no matter how long it takes. They are willing to deal with setbacks and address shortcomings, because you don’t lose until you quit.

14. You’re Motivated for Reasons Inside of Yourself.

Emotionally intelligent people build motivation that lasts. They detach themselves from the end result and focus on enjoying the process. Personal development doesn’t happen at the moment of achievement, but during the growth process that leads to success.

15. You’re Willing to Say “No” When You Have To.

Emotionally intelligent people know there can be too much of a good thing. They know they can’t do everything, so they set priorities determined by what is most important to them.

Where do you rate among the 15 signs? Would love to hear your feedback and comments.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Decisive Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Celebrate Your Small Victories

MattPortraitNoBackgroundWebsite 285x300 How to Celebrate Your Small VictoriesCHICKEN FINGERS & FRIES – CELEBRATING YOUR SMALL VICTORIES

Guest Blogger: Matt Patterson

Note: The following is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book, We’ve Got This! by Amazon international best-selling author and inspirational speaker Matt Patterson.

Although it was more than 20 years ago, I can still remember sitting in our daughter’s hospital room with knots in my stomach waiting for test results. Whether it was waiting for just simple blood count results or the confirmation of a clean spinal tap, there were times when it was absolutely excruciating.

Throughout Emily’s treatment for leukemia, we would anxiously reach out and take any type of small victory we could lay our hands on.

Normal blood counts? Sign me up!

No adverse reaction to chemotherapy? Oh yeah, we’d definitely take that!

We’d give anything if she could just have a good night’s sleep.

In the day-to-day battle against this hideous disease, these small victories meant the world to us. There had to be a positive focus. I took any tiny positive and celebrated in a big way.

Well, at least to us it was big.

Try Burger King chicken fingers and fries – complete with cardboard crowns.

For you and your organization, focus on the positive and build on the momentum toward something greater. As we learn to celebrate our small victories, it creates a positive energy. As a leader you need to find those tiny nuggets of victory to celebrate within your organization.

Find something to be happy about.

One thing. Just one thing to celebrate.

Discover a small victory that will lift others to push toward the next level.

Often times, adversity can teach us so many lessons and instill habits which will assist in overcoming any challenge – individually or organizationally. Celebrate every step of the marathon because it will place you that much closer to your goal.

My questions for you:

What is YOUR chicken fingers and fries? What is YOUR next small victory?

How will YOU celebrate YOUR next small victory – as a leader or as a team?

Last, but not least – how many cardboard crowns will you need to order?

About Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson is a highly sought-after inspirational speaker, as well as an award-winning and international best-selling author.
His first published work – My Emily – has been an Amazon international top-rated best-seller. This debut book has also received recognition as an award winner and finalist in the Readers Favorite Book Reviews & Awards Contest, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, as well as the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Matt’s background includes 20-plus years in marketing communications, public and media relations, as well as print and broadcast journalism.
In addition to speaking and writing, he volunteers his time to helping organizations and charities dedicated to assisting families with children who have special needs or those battling pediatric cancers.

To learn more about Matt and how you can bring him to speak at your next conference or event, please visit www.mattpatterson.me.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations of all levels. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Decisive Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Create Instant Accountability by John R. Salkowski

Accountability How to Create Instant Accountability by John R. SalkowskiAccountability is just this: What we feed will grow, what we starve will die ~ John Salkowski

As we head into the New Year we all set new goals and aspirations on the things that we want to accomplish in the year ahead. So, what do we do, we create resolutions. Your typical resolution that just about everyone creates is losing weight, eating right, exercising more etc. However, I wanted to create something way more powerful than a resolution. I want to create an absolute strict regimen of accountability in my life, without having to depend on a partner.

We’ve all had accountability partners at one time or another. Don’t get me wrong, they’re extremely helpful and it’s a great concept, however, they don’t last. There’s always something popping up in their schedule that prevents them for making a call or meeting. I get it; life is busy and things just happen. So what did I commit to doing, I committed to holding myself accountable by this one simple trick.

Keep reading……

It’s such a simple concept and you’re probably saying to yourself, I knew this but we all know how simple goes, right? As simple as it may seem to do, it’s just as simple not to do. So, I committed to journaling everything I do throughout my day from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night. I write everything down, and I mean everything. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, I even write down when I use the bathroom.
Did you know that 99% of the population that sets a New Year’s Resolution quits by January 16th? That’s how disciplined our society is and people wonder why they don’t accomplish more things in life. They turn to the complaining and blaming game. If you’re reading this I know you’re not one of them.

You’re probably thinking that journaling everything you do all day will consume huge amounts of time, right? Wrong! Instead of wasting time on Facebook, reading the newspaper about all the violence that happened the day before or watching CNN, take out your journal and write down everything you did the few hours before. Every two hours, take out your journal and spend 5-15 minutes writing everything you did leading up to where you presently are. Let me give you an example of how simple it is. This is how I journal….

6am: Wake Up

6:05am: Read 10 pages of book and listen to 30 minutes of inspirational video

7:05am: Exercise….

You get the idea. Try this! I guarantee that your productivity will go up and your waist line will go down. It will make you think about how you spend your time and what you feed your body and mind.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Decisive Leadership Lessons for Making Better Decisions in Business and Life from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

How to Overcome Everyday Setbacks

untitled How to Overcome Everyday SetbacksThe first thing we must remember is that failure is nothing more than a temporary setback ~ John Salkowski

In business, as in life, it’s inevitable that we’ll be faced with unexpected setbacks. Sometimes these setbacks are an advantage in disguise and ultimately help us achieve our goals and aspirations. However, more often than not, we face setbacks that have the potential to permanently side track us from fulfilling our goals.

Control Your Reactions

No matter what the setback, there is one thing that you can control and that is your reaction. If you’re having one of those days, there’s no need to allow that setback affect everyone and everything around you. Man up or woman up, carry on and go about your business.

Whatever the problem may be, you’ll need to address it quickly and come up with a solution. The best way to do this is by remaining calm, focused and levelheaded. Emotion can and will cloud your judgment, so keep it in check because that small problem can quickly escalate into a big one.

Temporary Setbacks

For most people setbacks are not always easy to swallow especially for ambitious, competitive, achievement orientated ones. By our very nature, we do not like to fail. The first time you did something, I’m certain it wasn’t very good. However, if you enjoyed it you did it again and again until mastery. Correct? You didn’t just quit, pack up and leave? I’m sure you didn’t.

How do you handle failure today? Is it the same way you handled it in the past?

The first thing we must remember is that failure is nothing more than a temporary setback. Once you put failure into perspective and realize that failure is a byproduct of success, provided you learn from it and keep at it until you get it right. Never quit!

Quitting is permanent, failure is temporary ~ John Salkowski

Tomorrow is a Fresh Start

Now that you know that failure is nothing more than a temporary setback, here’s another great way to quickly get back on track. Always keep in mind that tomorrow is a fresh start to get back at it harder than you did yesterday.

Now, are you ready for this? What separates the truly successful from everyone else is that they take their lumps, absorb the pain and then come back re-focused and ready for full-out war the next day. They don’t let the previous day’s defeat hold them back from achieving their dreams, goals or aspirations. They do not waste time worrying or complaining about yesterday because this only costs them money.

Be Like a Duck

Have you ever heard the saying, “be like a duck”? When you see ducks swimming, they look as if they are floating along quietly, not moving a muscle. However, if you look underwater, you’ll discover that they are “paddling” furiously in order to move forward.

Take failure in stride by allowing it to roll of your back like a duck.

About the Author

John Salkowski is a retired Police Officer after an impressive 15 year career who is now a Highly Sought-After Leadership, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Business Consultant. John shares his unique Leadership strategies in his signature presentation:

Leadership in the Line of Duty™
50 Leadership Lessons for Making Split-Second Decisions from a Cop Who Has Been in Life and Death Situations.

John regularly speaks for a variety of leaders (ranging from entry level to experienced executives) for corporations, business groups, associations, colleges, universities, youth groups and sports organizations. Pulling from his 15 years of real world, in-the-trenches (and even life and death) Law Enforcement experiences, John now teaches leaders one of the most important key components of leadership (that is often overlooked):

“How to make Split-Second Leadership Decisions when the Direction and Success of your Organization depends on it!”

Invest in your future: http://amzn.to/16wLJBv & http://amzn.to/16FRDcH

Copyright © 2014 John Salkowski International. All Rights Reserved.

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