Archive for April, 2010

WHY DO WE FAIL? AND HOW DO WE FIX IT?

Posted in Business Plan, Life Management, Why Do We Fail? And How Can We Fix It? with tags , , , , on April 23, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

Just to mix things up a little, I’ve decided to add some of the writings of various thought leaders. Like the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, and the recommended reading list, I trust you’ll like this new addition to Behind the Scenes.

WHY DO WE FAIL? AND HOW DO WE FIX IT?
by Harvey Mackay

As any successful person will honestly admit, I’ve had my share of failures. Since this article is limited to 750 words, I won’t bore you with the details!

But, from every failure, I learn equally valuable lessons. The first lesson I learn is that there was at least one reason I failed. The second lesson I learn is that I can rebound from that failure.

According to Shiv Khera, author of You Can Win, failures most often occur for one of the following seven reasons:

1. Lack of persistence. More people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent, but just because they quit. It is important to remember two words: persistence and resistance. Persist in what must be done, and resist what ought not to be done. We all have had setbacks in life. Failing does not mean we are failures!

2. Lack of conviction. People who lack conviction take the middle of the road. But what happens in the middle of the road? You get run over. People without conviction go along to get along because they lack confidence and courage. They conform in order to be accepted, even when they know that what they are doing is wrong.

3. Rationalizing. Winners may analyze but never rationalize. Losers rationalize and have a book full of excuses to tell you why they could not succeed.

4. Not learning from past mistakes. Some people live and learn, and some only live. Wise people learn from their mistakes. Failure is a teacher, if we have the right attitude. I’ve always said experience is the name we give to our mistakes.

5. Lack of discipline. Anyone who has accomplished anything worthwhile has never done it without discipline. Discipline takes self-control, sacrifice, and avoiding distractions and temptations. It means staying focused.

6. Poor self-esteem. Poor self-esteem is a lack of self-respect and self-worth. People with low self-esteem are constantly trying to find themselves, rather than creating the person they want to be.

7. Fatalistic attitude. A fatalistic attitude prevents people from accepting responsibility for their position in life. They attribute success and failure to luck. They resign themselves to their fate, regardless of their efforts, that whatever has to happen will happen anyway.

The rebound lesson is the more pleasant part of the equation, but it is not without challenges. Here are professor Mackay’s lessons learned from the problems posed above:

1a. Try new approaches. Persistence is important, but repeating the same actions over and over again, hoping that this time you’ll succeed, probably won’t get you any closer to your objective. Look at your previous unsuccessful efforts and decide what to change. Keep making adjustments and midcourse corrections, using your experience as a guide.

2a. Decide what is important to you. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right and doing well. Let your passion show in even mundane tasks. It’s OK to collaborate and cooperate for success, but it’s not OK to compromise your values—ever.

3a. Change your perspective. Don’t think of every unsuccessful attempt as a failure. Few people succeed at everything the first time. Most of us attain our goals only through repeated effort. Do your best to learn everything you can about what happened and why.

4a. Define the problem better. Analyze the situation—what you want to achieve, what your strategy is, why it didn’t work, and so on. Are you really viewing the problem correctly? If you need money, you have more options than increasing revenue. You could also cut expenses. Think about what you’re really trying to do.

5a. Don’t be a perfectionist. You may have an idealized vision of what success will look and feel like. Although that can be motivational, it may not be realistic. Succeeding at one goal won’t eliminate all your problems. Be clear on what will satisfy your objectives, and don’t obsess about superficial details.

6a. Don’t label yourself. You may have failed, but you’re not a failure until you stop trying. Think of yourself as someone still striving toward a goal, and you’ll be better able to maintain your patience and perseverance for the long haul.

7a. Look in the mirror every day and say, “I am in charge.” You may not have control over every phase of your life, but you have more control than you realize. You are responsible for your own happiness and success. As I like to say, “Your attitude determines your altitude!”

Mackay’s Moral: You can turn “down and out” into “up and at ’em.”

– Harvey Mackay

If you’re interested in a business consultation, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

Recommended Reading – Updated

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Recommended Reading with tags , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

Every Saturday, I update my Recommended Reading list. Three new books each week. I think you’ll find my suggestions thought-provoking, inspiring and educational.

This week: Great books on BUILDING MORALE

To see the entire Recommended Reading list, all 102 titles, please click on the link. “Recommended Reading

*If you’re interested in purchasing any of the books on my Recommended Reading list, for your convenience, I’ve linked all the covers directly to their respective pages on Amazon.*

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Life and business tools for a more successful you.” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

SIMPLE WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR GOALS AND MAKE THEM WORK! by Chris Widener

Posted in General Management, Life Management with tags , , , , on April 11, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

Just to mix things up a little, I’ve decided to add some of the writings of various thought leaders. Like the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, and the recommended reading list, I trust you’ll like this new addition to Behind the Scenes.

SIMPLE WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR GOALS AND MAKE THEM WORK! by Chris Widener

Goals. Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals. They love them because they are such a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate us to achieve, as well as evaluate our progress, but hate them because, for many, they more often than not go unattained and simply frustrate them. This isn’t what goals should do!

So here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you see change in your life this year.

Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this…” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus down to a couple. This way you can get some victory in these areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three total.

Keep the long term in mind, but set your sights on achieving your goals in the short term. Do you want to lose 75 pounds? Good. Long term, you will. But for now, think short term. Don’t think about losing 75 pound by the end of the year. Think about losing 5 pounds in the first two weeks. This does two things. First, it makes it urgent. Instead of blowing it and saying, “Oh well, I still have 10 months to lose the 75 pounds” (because eventually that becomes 2 months to lose 75 pounds), your goal is only two weeks out. This is better in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these shorter goals, it gives you regular victories instead of regular progress. Progress feels good, but achieving a goal is awesome!

Reward yourself when you achieve the goal. When you lose the 5 pounds in two weeks, treat yourself to a grandé whole-milk mocha. But just one! Then get back to your goal for the next two weeks. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to the reward, and when the going gets tough, you will say, “two more weeks, two more pounds, then…”

That’s it. I truly believe that it can be that simple for you.

If you need a little bit more help, I’ve added a few more ideas.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead of saying, “I am going to quit my three packs a day habit, cold turkey,” say “I am going to drop to a pack and a half a day.” You can always make new short-term objectives when you have achieved the first ones. Give yourself small victories a little at a time. Instead of saying “I am going to lose 75 pounds,” say “I am going to lose 20 pounds.”

2. Be specific in your timeline. Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by April 15th.” This way, when you start to be tempted in the ice cream aisle in the middle of February, you can say, “Nope, only 10 more pounds to go in a month and I am not going to blow it.”

3. Post your resolutions where you will see them every day. This will keep the resolution in the front of your mind at all times. Instead of forgetting that you are trying to lose weight and ordering a big, thick porterhouse, you will have been reminded earlier that day that you need to go with something a little on the lighter side. It will help your will beat your desire.

4. Find an encouraging person, who you respect, to keep you accountable. This person should ask you, at an interval established by the both of you, how it is going. They must be the encouraging type, though. If you are blowing it, they can say, “Well, that’s okay, get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “Awesome job. I’ll talk to you next week.” You will look forward to their weekly encouragement.

5. Find a partner. That’s right, someone who is trying to accomplish the same thing (or something different if need be). Just make sure that they really want to change, or they will end up just bellyaching about how hard it is and you will both fall into the abyss.

6. Write down a list of all of the benefits that will come if you accomplish this. If it is losing weight it might be something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, no more time spent sewing on popped buttons, wife says you look 22 again, etc. If it is quitting smoking, it may look like this: Better breath, no more brown fingers, no more wrinkles on my face, no more red eyes, no more smelly clothes, longer life, wife don’t make me spend two hours a day on the back porch, etc. This will help you see what you will get from accomplishing your resolution.

7. Plan a reward if you accomplish your goal. It can be anything from small to large. If you drop the 20 pounds, go out for dinner and dessert. Then get back to losing the next 20. If it is quitting smoking, go on a mini-vacation. Whatever you do, reward yourself. Or let a spouse or a friend pick the reward. Then splurge and enjoy!

– Chris Widner –

If you’re interested in a business consultation, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

Recommended Reading – Updated

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Recommended Reading with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

Every Saturday, I update my Recommended Reading list. Three new books each week. I think you’ll find my suggestions thought-provoking, inspiring and educational.

This week: Great books on SALES

To see the entire Recommended Reading list, all 102 titles, please click on the link. “Recommended Reading

*If you’re interested in purchasing any of the books on my Recommended Reading list, for your convenience, I’ve linked all the covers directly to their respective pages on Amazon.*

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Life and business tools for a more successful you.” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Inspirational Quotes and Images – Updated

Posted in General Management, Inspirational Quotes and Images, Life Management with tags , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

“When enthusiasm is inspired by reason; controlled by caution; sound in theory; practical in application; reflects confidence; spreads good cheer; raises morale; inspires associates; arouses loyalty, and laughs at adversity; it is beyond price.” – Coleman Cox

My Inspirational Quotes and Images page is updated daily.

To see the entire list, please click on this link.
Inspirational Quotes and Images

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Life and business tools for a more successful you.” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Recommended Reading – Updated

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Recommended Reading with tags , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

Every Saturday, I update my Recommended Reading list. Three new books each week. I think you’ll find my suggestions thought-provoking, inspiring and educational.

This week: Great books on NETWORKING

To see the entire Recommended Reading list, all 99 titles, please click on the link. “Recommended Reading

*If you’re interested in purchasing any of the books on my Recommended Reading list, for your convenience, I’ve linked all the covers directly to their respective pages on Amazon.*

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Life and business tools for a more successful you.” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Inspirational Quotes and Images – Updated

Posted in General Management, Inspirational Quotes and Images, Life Management with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

“What is powerful is when what you say is just the tip of the iceberg of what you know.” – Jim Rohn

My Inspirational Quotes and Images page is updated daily.

To see the entire list, please click on this link.
Inspirational Quotes and Images

I invite you to subscribe to my blog, “Behind the Scenes – Life and business tools for a more successful you.” You’ll find the “Email Subscription” box on each page of my blog. If you have any business questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.