Thursday, April 26, 2012

How To Be More Likable in 10 Easy Steps!

When we get all caught up in the daily grind it’s easy to overlook some basics regarding our personal conduct. There are certain types of favorable behavior that are not as common as they once were and I think this is a good time to consider a few of them.
We all know the difference between good manners and rudeness, but sometimes we can benefit from a little reminder. Hopefully, this list will reiterate some of the simple things that each of us can do to make the world a more pleasant place.
1. Say please and thank you. Simple, yet so often overlooked. When you want something, you say please. When someone does something nice for you, you say thank you. This may sound like a minor thing, but when you let people know that you appreciate what they do for you, it helps establish a friendly and respectful rapport. And guess what, they will see you as likable.
2. Be courteous. Usually, this is just a matter of seeing things from another person’s perspective. If you notice something that you can do to make their situation easier, then do it. And yes, it may require that you go a little bit out of your way, but how hard is it to hold the door open for someone or stop your car to let someone cross the street?  Kind deeds have a tendency to repay themselves many times over. It may not happen right away, but there is still a sense of satisfaction that comes from doing the right thing.
3. Follow the Golden Rule. Simply stated, treat others the way you would like to be treated. The beautiful thing about this is how straight forward it is. Think how different everything would be if everyone followed this simple principle. There would be no crime, no war, and no murder. Granted, we cannot control the actions of other people, but we can control how we behave. When you treat others with this level of respect, they will naturally view you as likable?
4. Work with others. There are plenty of opportunities to show cooperation and teamwork in all areas of life. Whether you are in a crowded store or heavy traffic, cooperation will make the experience more manageable. If you are driving a bit slower than some, move to the slow lane and allow others to pass. If you are grocery shopping, don’t leave your cart in the middle of the isle. By being aware of those around you and showing consideration you will be more likable
5. Smile often. Never underestimate the power of a smile. The effect is two-fold. It tends to elevate your mood and it lifts the spirits of those you smile at. If you don’t believe me, try this little experiment. For an entire day, before you say a word to anyone, smile first. If you’re walking past them, smile and say hello. Notice their reaction. Most will smile back and when they do, you will feel even better. When you look at other people, who do you view as more likable? Isn’t it true that a person with a smile on their face wins every time?
6. Say I’m sorry. This is one of the first lessons we learn in life, yet some of us quickly forget it as we get older. The principle is very simple. If you wrong someone, or if you make a mistake, or if you hurt another person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize for it. Don’t waste your time trying to assign blame. Be the first one to say I’m sorry and you will instantly be more likable.
7. Be honest. Tell the truth, even when it doesn’t seem to be in your best interest to do so. There is a lot to be said for the person who can admit they’re wrong (see above) and come clean with their mistake. It should also be noted that telling a lie doesn’t fix anything. The problem or issue is still there, under the blanket of the lie, and it will stay there until the truth comes out. Honesty is a reflection of one’s self-dignity and integrity. By being honest and tactful, other honest people will find you more likable.
8. Listen. Although it is typically our first instinct to talk first, listening can actually be an advantage. A primary benefit of listening is the amount that can be learned. If we spend most of our time talking then how can we learn anything? One of the best ways to be viewed as more likable is to be a good listener. It’s not always easy, but listening tells others that you are genuinely interested in them as a person, and who doesn’t like that?
9. Be complimentary. Have you ever received an unexpected compliment? How did that make you feel? Everyone likes to be noticed in a good way. In a world that tends to be overly critical, a sincere compliment can be very encouraging. Notice I said a sincere compliment. If our compliments aren’t sincere they could be viewed as patronizing, so when you compliment make sure that you are being truthful. This is guaranteed to make you more likable.
10. Laugh. Everyone likes to laugh. Laughing releases endorphins that make you feel happy and relaxed. Laughing is both therapeutic and contagious. When you laugh, you will also be encouraging laughter from others. When you contribute to the happiness of others, they can’t help liking you. So never underestimate the value in laughter.

It really is simple to be more likable

All of these ideas are simple and universally acknowledged. Sadly, many of them seem to have been forgotten in today’s world. At times, the pressures or stress in our lives may cause us to show less consideration or patience for other people. The truth is that every one of these simple ideas can make a significant contribution to the quality of our life and the lives of others. Along with making us more likable, they actually reduce stress and make life more enjoyable.
When you do any of these 10 things,
what results have you noticed?
Think. Grow. Live!
Roland N. Gilbert
Roland works one-on-one – via phone, Skype and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at            800-974-3692     or to determine if coaching is right for you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Change Your Life With the 80-20 Rule!

Have you ever felt that you are so busy trying to keep up with your life that you just can’t get anything done?
Do you find yourself constantly putting things off because you just don’t have enough time to do it all?
Have you experienced the lack of progress that comes from never getting to the things that would make a real difference in your life?

Let the 80-20 rule work for you

There is a general principle that many business people are aware of called the Pareto Principle or 80-20 Rule. The premise is that you get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. This principle seems to apply to just about every area of life. 
In sales, it’s the top 20% of your customers that create 80% of your income. In relationships, it’s the first 20% of the time you spend with a person that reveals 80% of their personality.
In the case of personal development, you will get the biggest gains in the beginning – 80% of your results will come from the first 20% of your effort.

Put more focus where it will have the biggest impact

What is the real difference between those whose performance is average and those who excel? The ones who excel are those who focus more of their time and effort developing the abilities that have the greatest impact on their life.
That’s why we expect professionals to be more accomplished. And as it turns out, 80% of business is done by the best 20% in any given field.
The best 20% of all doctors will make 80% of all the money paid to doctors. The best 20% of all the books published account for 80% of all book sales. The most popular 20% of all musicians get 80% of the money spent on concert tickets and CD sales.

Make it work for you!

So here’s the application – If you want to get the best results from your efforts in life, you need to focus your time accordingly. Why not structure your life so you can take advantage of the 80-20 rule?
Why are some couples happier than others? Obviously, there are a variety of factors that come into play here, but the bottom line is this. The people involved in those relationships have put forth the effort to develop their communication skills and their efforts have paid off.
Those with the best relationship skills tend to have the best relationships. It is very likely that if you were to calculate the percentages, the 80-20 Rule would apply.

Develop the needed skills

For the most part, we all understand that the better we are at what we do, the greater the results we will get from our efforts. But, here’s another important point that people tend to overlook.  When you’re really good at what you do, you can do much less and still get the same results!
Now I need to ask, why would you want to spend 40 hours a week earning a living if you could generate the same income in just 5 hours? Why spend months trying to work through a relationship problem if you can develop the skills to do it in a day?

Multiply you results and get more free time

Would you rather spend your life struggling for every inch of progress or put your time and energy where it can do the most good? We all have “other things” we would like to do if we just had the time and money.
Why not take the time to figure out which areas of your life really matter and which ones are just consuming your valuable time. Once you clearly understand the difference, learn the life skills that will allow you to leverage the 80-20 rule.
Life is full of unnecessary busy work and distractions. How much better would your life be if you could spend most of your time and energy doing the things that really matter to you?
What kind of busy work is consuming your time?
What skills would enable you to better leverage your efforts?
Think. Grow. Live!
Roland N. Gilbert
Roland works one-on-one – via phone, Skype and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at            800-974-3692     or to determine if coaching is right for you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3 Successful Growth Strategies for Every Entrepreneur

With so much information and advice bombarding you from every conceivable source, how can a budding entrepreneur distinguish between real opportunities and mere busy work? Answering this one question correctly can literally mean the difference between massive success and unknown obscurity.
If you try to have a big presence on all the social media sites, comment on all the top blogs in your niche, listen to all the free training from every new launch, do all of your own SEO, design work, and content creation,  how busy will you be? As an entrepreneur, time is your most valuable resource, and like everyone else, you only have so much of it.

Will doing all these things really grow your business?

Each of the things I mentioned can add to your overall growth when done correctly, but there is a downside. If you spend too much time focused on those activities, you won’t have enough left over to do the things that really matter. Instead, you will be working twelve hours a day and not making any money.
Here’s where things get a little tricky. You probably do need to do some of these time consuming tasks unless you are in a position to outsource them. So, how can you fit everything in and still have time for a life?

Choices need to be made, that’s how!

If you try to do everything you won’t accomplish anything worthwhile. You’ll be incredibly busy, but you won’t have much to show for it and eventually you’ll burn out. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am reasonably sure that your reasons for wanting to be an entrepreneur didn’t include working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and making little or no money. And yet, that is exactly the experience many are having by following all the popular trends.
Instead of focusing on the latest flash, I prefer a more pragmatic approach. In every area of life there are always simple, profound truths that will outperform flash over the long run. Granted, when it comes to building a successful business these simple truths may not seem very glamorous compared to the lure of the latest get rich with the click of a button product, but they work and that’s what I care about.

Simplicity is an entrepreneur’s best friend

Complicated strategies can be intellectually appealing because they usually have a big wow factor, but I prefer to go with simple whenever possible. That’s what I have for you today, 3 simple, common sense solution for making the most of your time and effort while trying to grow your business.
1. Do more of what works. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, all tasks are not created equal. Some activities make a direct or indirect contribution to your income, others are much less important with little or no influence to your bottom line. You need to distinguish between the two and prioritize you time and energy accordingly.
I’m not saying you can completely ignore everything that doesn’t grow your income. What I am saying is that the bulk of your time needs to be spent on things that you know are contributing to the growth of your business. Instead of chasing every new moneymaking scheme that comes along, identify what is already working for you and find a way to take it to the next level. The 80-20 rule works well for this.
2. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Thanks to the internet you may have a worldwide audience, but the whole world is not your niche. You need to figure out who your product or service resonates with and focus on them. It is much more effective (and profitable) to fine tune your message for a specific crowd rather than trying to appeal to everyone.
The world is a big place made up of thousands of specialized niches large and small. You only need a small tribe of loyal customers to be a successful entrepreneur. Avoid the temptation of the broad market because it will dilute the effectiveness of everything you do.
3. Personalize your approach. Would you rather do business with the impersonal corporate world or with a real person who is personally involved? Personal branding can transform an unknown entrepreneur into a wildly successful business person.
We all prefer to do business with those we view as authorities and those we trust. Personal branding makes it possible for an entrepreneur to fill both these criteria. When your audience feels connected with you in a deeply motivating way, they will be eager to do business with you.

Narrow your focus to grow your business

Crafting a business breakthrough strategy for my business coaching clients often requires a great deal of creative innovation. But before we move to that stage, we always cover the tried and true fundamental growth strategies first. These are the kind of strategies that should form the foundation of your entrepreneurial efforts.
If you do more of what works and less of what doesn’t, your business will grow. If you focus your efforts and attention on those who already need what you have to offer, your customer base will expand and so will your income. If you are transparent and sincere with your audience in a way that makes them feel connected to you and your message, they will carry you to success.
Are you building your dream on proven growth strategies?
Have you allowed busy work to get in the way of success?
Think. Grow. Live!
Roland N. Gilbert
Roland works one-on-one – via phone, Skype and face-to-face – and with MasterMind Groups. Through Couples Coaching Roland helps clients communicate better, find the love they want, and create relationships of significance. Contact Roland at            800-974-3692     or to determine if coaching is right for you.