Rejection and Success

Rejection

Rejection is one of the greatest obstacles getting in the way of your success. Have you ever been so passionate about an idea that you knew it would have to be actioned on? Then you receive feedback that it just doesn’t seem right. It’s out of place. It’s not quite the expected version.

Feedback can come in two ways: external and internal. Internally, you give yourself feedback before the idea even launches. Externally you take in the feedback from public opinion. How you handle feedback will determine your ability to handle rejection.

In my line of work I am responsible for business and creative decisions. For business, the decision is pretty clear-cut. For creative, the final decision can be derived from a number of iterations, based on continuous feedback – after all, everyone knows their choice of blue or red or yellow is the correct one.

Creative decisions should almost always be made in a silo to avoid the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ expression. Jony Ive at Apple runs a top-secret design department for a reason – the iPhone would never be an iPhone if he allowed everyone on campus to contribute to ideas and give feedback.

Successful people will take rejection, learn from it and grow.

Mediocre people will take rejection and stop trying.

Unsuccessful people will take rejection and blame everyone as if it were their fault.

Which category do you fall under?

Oristand: first impressions

Oristand

We are testing out the recently released Oristand at our office. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check out the product, click here to learn more about Oristand.

What really intrigued me was the fact that the entire product is just cardboard. How could this be useful to the office space, especially when I recycle cardboard daily?

Turns out the simplest inventions are the most innovative. The Oristand is collapsable, so you can take it anywhere. It holds about 60 pounds, so you can throw a few monitors on there, no problem. As a standing desk unit, this is the best value if you’re entering into the market.

In terms of my overall opinion, stay tuned, I will report on my findings after one week of office use.

What successful people buy at the grocery store

Groceries

When shopping at the grocery store this week I had a conversation with a very successful business executive. Midway through the discussion I noticed his buggy was loaded with fruits, vegetables, coffee and some relatively healthy snacks – a well-balanced, normal set of groceries. I couldn’t help but take a picture at the cashier till (above).

On a number of occasions I notice successful people do not buy fancy items, just the basic essentials. They have the discipline to stick to a buying routine.

On my journey to being more successful, I notice my food purchasing routines changing as well. I walk past the junk-food aisles with distaste – even the smell turns me off. Coming from an obsessed cookie and ice cream habit, that is a major habit shift from the old Trev.

What are your eating habits like? Do you think healthy, disciplined eating is correlated with success?

Why the sexiest brands are boring

When you look at the Apple logo on your iPhone, iPad or MacBook, do you ever wonder why the brand is so popular? I mean, let’s be honest, how simple can we get with the logo! No words, just a practical image of a fruit as the logomark.


That is the essence of sexy brands, whether it be Apple, Chanel or Nike – the subtlety, the simplicity, is the reason for mass emotional appeal. As the world population grows exponentially year-over-year, more and more advertisers are trying to get a piece of the eyeball pie. That means there is an increase in the perceived need to be noisy, fancy and in-your-face. That technique only works temporarily as you become an overhyped fad brand.

The brands that excel past the noise are the brands that stay true to their core essence. Nike = competition. Apple = design. Chanel = luxury. Imagine if Chanel came along and decided to be cute like all of the pop star fragrances released these days. Chanel would lose their identity and likely fall off the face of the earth.

When building your brand, how are you crafting your message? Try to be boring, or what I like to call simple; it will actually pay off in the long-run as you build your brand.

21 steps for setting and achieving goals, and for living a wonderful life

Here are the 21 steps for setting and achieving goals, and for living a wonderful life, written by famous Personal Development guru Brian Tracy.

 

1. Unlock Your Potential.

Always remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.

 

2. Take Charge of Your Life.

You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others. Instead, make progress toward your goals every day.

 

3. Create Your Own Future.

Imagine that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.

 

4. Clarify Your Values.

Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.

 

5. Determine Your True Goals.

Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.

 

6. Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose.

You need a central purpose to build your life around. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.

 

7. Analyze Your Beliefs.

Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the world around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.

 

8. Start At The Beginning.

Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.

 

9. Measure Your Progress.

Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.

 

10. Remove The Roadblocks.

Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.

 

11. Become An Expert In Your Field.

You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.

 

12. Associate With The Right People.

Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.

 

13. Make a Plan Of Action.

An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.

 

14. Manage Your Time Well.

Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.

 

15. Review Your Goals Daily.

Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.

 

16. Visualize Your Goals Continually.

Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.

 

17. Activate Your Superconscious Mind.

You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.

 

18. Remain Flexible At All Times.

Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.

 

19. Unlock Your Inborn Creativity.

You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.

 

20. Do Something Every Day.

Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.

 

21. Persist Until You Succeed.

In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!

21 days a vegan

Vegan

I challenged myself for the month of November to eat healthier. In the span of 21 days I eliminated refined sugar, meats and dairy in a quest to do a cleanse of my body and mind. Some benefits from doing the strict vegan diet, even after just one week, include:

Energy gains.

I could wake up easily without feeling groggy in the morning. I never yawned anymore, as I usually do midway through the day. I could run and play sports longer without huffing and puffing. My overall energy was better in every activity I participated in.

Emotional control.

I can be an extremely negative, moody person at times. With the diet implementation, I found myself arguing less and focusing more on the positive things in my life. I felt completely in control of my emotions because my body and mind were being fed healthy foods, rather than the usual calorie-high greasy concoctions I typically consumed. Any signs of depressive or negative thinking went out the door after going vegan.

Weight loss.

I lost 15 pounds in three weeks, due to the lack of fat and sugar consumed (other than from avocados and natural sugars). My abdominal area looked better, I saw a natural six-pack forming and my cravings for unhealthy food actually disappeared after one week. For anyone considering a weight loss program, I recommend going vegan to see quick results.

Sleep improvement.

I could fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning without needing midday naps. I felt well-rested as the quality of my sleeping improved.

Bowel movements.

I won’t get into the specifics, but I must say that things are smooth now!

Improved cooking quality.

I’m by no means an executive chef, but veganism forces you to cook all of your meals. I’d be mixing vegetables and beans together almost every day, and I started to enjoy how everything turned out. Eating out, once a daily occurrence, was uninteresting to me. I started to feel like the restaurant meals paled in comparison to anything I could cook.

Less spending.

Instead of eating out and spending on tips, you’re forced to purchase and cook your own food. Although you’re spending more on quality foods, your overall spending decreases as you eat out less. I used to spend $500 per month on food. Going vegan, I was able to cut my spending in half.

Less waste.

Less packaged, processed foods and more of the compostable kind. I was conscious of consuming all of my food as I’d have about a week before the produce would go rotten.

Summary.

If you’re considering the vegan diet, I think it’s worthwhile to give it a try, if only for a week. There are some shortcomings to the diet, such as the lack of vitamin B12, which comes from animal products. You can use supplements (I used almond milk), but you’re better off to include animal protein in your diet. I’ve talked with nutritionists and the consensus is that there are more benefits to be had from sticking to the four food groups. Refined sugar, at the very least, can be removed entirely from your diet to reap the same benefits as mentioned above. Would I go vegan again? Yes, absolutely, it’ll do wonders for your body and mind. If you have any questions about veganism, reach out anytime, I’d love to chat with you about it!

21 steps to build your personal brand

After studying marketing experts such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin, I’ve compiled the 21 steps necessary to build a successful personal brand for yourself (inspired by Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It):

  1. Identify your passion. What activity makes time go by quickly for you?
  2. Come up with at least twenty awesome blog topics around your niche to ensure this isn’t short-lived.
  3. Answer the following questions:
    1. Is this really my passion?
    2. Can I talk about it better than others?
    3. Why is this my passion? (If you can clearly answer this, you’re ahead of most people)
  4. Name your personal brand. You don’t have to refer to it anywhere in your content, but you should have a clear idea of what it is. For example, “The no-bs real-estate agent,” “The connoisseur of cookware,” “The master of youth entrepreneurship.”
  5. Buy your-user-name.com at GoDaddy.com. Although new domain types are available, .com is still the gold standard. Try not to settle on lower-value domains such as .cc.
  6. Choose your medium: video, audio, written word, photo. A combination of these would maximize engagement, but have a main focus.
  7. Start an account at WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or any of the new platforms available. For design, I recommend Squarespace. For Evernote posting: Postach.io. For quality writing: Medium.
  8. Hire a designer for the creation of social media profile images, logos, etc.
  9. Include a Facebook Connect link, Call-to-Action button, Share functions, and a button that invites people to do business with you in a prominent place on your blog.
  10. Create a Facebook fan page.
  11. If you’re a minimalist like me and love automation, write your content in one place and auto-post to other sites as a distribution method. Google AdWords or Facebook Ads are excellent ways to gain visibility as well – they come at a usage cost though.
  12. Post your content. Focus on quality, uniqueness and personal voice. I call those the 3 pillars of content creation.
  13. Start building community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and forums and replying to comments with your own comment. Guest posting is also a fantastic way to drive visitors from other sites to yours.
  14. Use Twitter Search to find as many people as possible talking about your topic, and communicate with them. Try to answer their questions and problems instead of hard-selling yourself.
  15. Find more blogs that are relevant to your subject via Google Search, i.e., “Your-Topic” blog.
  16. Join as many active Facebook fan pages and groups relating to your blog topic as possible.
  17. Repeat steps 12 through 16 over and over.
  18. Do it again.
  19. When you feel your personal brand has gained sufficient attention and stickiness, build in a compelling call-to-action form to begin converting your community to sales opportunities.
  20. Start reaching out to advertisers and begin monetizing.
  21. Enjoy the ride.