The Exercise Habits of Highly Successful People

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If you wish to reach the same level of success as the top CEOs and business leaders, you are going to be required to put in long days, all nighters, and outwork all your competitors. You must also be willing to adopt the same habits and routines as these high performers. Outperforming and outlasting your competitors is necessary for achieving success in the Sport of Business. 

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is the first one in and the last one out of the office every day. Even with working such long hours, he is commonly described as being extremely energetic regardless of the amount of hours he has worked. Like many other CEOs and leaders, he attributes his energy and ability to work such long hours to working out and maintaining his fitness. Cook is one of the many CEOs who uses exercise as a tool to keep him sharp and energetic throughout the day. 

Here is a list of 7 other CEOs and leaders who make exercise a priority and attribute their ability to perform at such high levels to their fitness regime: 

President Obama: The President begins most of his days with a 45 minute workout before he starts work. He does a combination of cardio and weight training to stay fit and make sure that he is mentally prepared to deal with the country’s most important issues. 

Richard Branson: The serial entrepreneur and CEO of Virgin doesn’t miss a day of working out regardless of where he is. Even when partying on his private island at night, Branson gets up and swims for an hour in the morning to clear his head and prepare for the day. He is also known to play tennis, sail, and do a variety of extreme sports. The Virgin CEO claims that exercise allows him to gain an extra four hours of productivity each day. 

Mark Parker: The CEO of Nike is an avid runner, having previously competed at the college level. He rises at 5am every morning to work out for two hours before heading into the office. 

Frits van Paasschen: CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, van Paasschen is arguably one of the fittest CEOs in America. He’s competed in an ironman triathlon and bikes or runs six days a week. Even when he is traveling he makes sure to workout, usually at one of the gyms in his multiple hotels. 

Mike Cassidy: The Director of Development at Google is extremely dedicated to his fitness regime. If necessary, he will schedule meetings over a bike ride to make sure that he never misses a day of exercise. He is also known for working out during his lunch hour and then eating at his desk. Cassidy says that exercising reduces his stress, clears his mind, and allows him to maintain a sharp focus throughout the day.          

T Boone Pickens: The 85 year old Chairman of BP Capital Management begins each day by hitting the gym at 6:30am where he does a mix of cardio and strength training. Pickens attributes his longevity and high energy levels to his active lifestyle and making his health a priority.          

Mark Cuban: The billionaire and Shark Tank investor does cardio six or seven days a week, preferring to use the elliptical and stair machines. He is also known to take kickboxing and aerobics classes to add some variety to his workouts. 

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

How To Accelerate Your Learning And Master New Skills

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image from fourhourworkweek.com

When competing in the Sport of Business, any type of advantage helps. With the amount of competition in the business world, it is crucial that you are constantly looking for ways to excel and outperform your competitors. One way to do so is by accelerating your learning. By teaching yourself how to learn at a much faster pace than normal, you give yourself the ability to master new skills in a fraction of the time it would take the average person. The ability to shorten the learning process will allow you to increase productivity and rapidly develop an arsenal of skills which will benefit you on your journey to success.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, has devoted years to studying the process of accelerated learning. Through interviewing many successful people and undergoing extreme experiments in rapid learning he has created a process to significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to learn a new skill. It is his belief that anyone can learn to perform a new skill at a world-class level within six months if they go about the learning process properly. The system that he created for accelerated learning is called DiSSS. It stands for deconstruction, selection, sequencing, and stakes.

Deconstruction

Deconstruct the learning process into small, manageable chunks of information. Look at the end result that you are wishing to achieve and work backwards. Go about the learning process the same way you would construct a puzzle. When building a puzzle, you can’t just start putting the pieces together. You have to group similarly colored pieces and begin to build from there once you’ve established a plan of attack.

Selection

Tim uses the Pareto Principle, also know as the 80/20 principle, during the selection stage of the accelerated learning process. The 80/20 principle states that 80% of results come from only 20% of the input. Once you’ve deconstructed the skill you wish to learn, look for the most crucial 20% of the foundation needed to develop that skill. For example, if you’re looking to learn Spanish, determine the 20% of the Spanish language that makes up 80% of typical conversations and interactions. You’ll find that when learning any new skill, there is only a small portion of the components of that skill that you need to master in order to achieve proficiency.

Sequencing

After deconstructing the skill into manageable chunks and determining which chunks are most important in the learning process, decide the best order to go about learning them. Naturally there will be some foundational skills that need to be learnt before other more complex ones. Establish the most effective order for the individual components of the skill to be developed so that you can master it as quickly as possible.

Stakes

Whenever you set out to achieve something; whether it be learning a new language, transforming your body, or changing your behaviour, there needs to be sufficient motivation for you to follow it through to completion. Make sure that the stakes are high enough when you go about learning a new skill or making a change. If the pain of failing to achieve your goal is not sufficient enough to motivate you on a daily basis, then you will ultimately fail. Clearly outline the beneficial reasons as to why you want to learn this new skill and the consequences that will result if you don’t reach it. Don’t give yourself any opportunities or excuses to slack off.

Pick a skill that you’ve been meaning to learn for a while and implement the DiSSS method. You’ll be surprised as to how much quicker you can master a new skill when you systematically approach the learning process. By increasing the rate at which you’re able to learn new skills, you significantly increase your opportunities for success in the Sport of Business.

“Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.” – Kurt Lewin

Role Model of The Month: Pat Flynn

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image from Smart Passive Income 

The Sport of Business’ Role Model of the Month for May is one of today’s leaders in lifestyle entrepreneurship. In 2008, Pat Flynn was laid off from his dream job as an architect and unsure of what to do next. Fast forward to last month and he earned more than $75,000 through his online businesses. Yes, you read that correctly, $75,000 in one month. Pat began earning money online through the creation of his first blog, GreenExamAcademy. The blog was designed to help people pass the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) exam. After creating an e-book and monetizing his blog, Pat earned $8000 his first month and never looked back. For the full details of how he started his first online business, click here.

For anyone interested in starting an online business or monetizing their blog, Pat’s website Smart Passive Income is an absolute must read. The website is an invaluable resource for any blogger or lifestyle entrepreneur who’s looking to achieve success in online business. One of the main aspects that makes the Smart Passive Income blog stand out is from other sites is Pat’s complete transparency with his audience. Each month he posts a complete summary of all his earnings and expenses, hiding nothing from his viewers. 

The Smart Passive Income podcast, another one of Pat’s many business ventures, is one of the top-ranked business podcasts on iTunes. It features interviews with many of the top lifestyle business experts and offers practical advice for those who are looking to create a business and earn an income online. 

The creation of his online businesses has allowed Pat to design his ideal lifestyle as he is no longer constrained by a 9 to 5 job. He now has the flexibility and financial freedom to do what he wants, when he wants. Pat was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule and answer some questions for The Sport of Business as well as offer advice to those who are seeking to achieve their own success. 

Pat’s Role Models for Success:

Elon Musk, Tim Ferriss & Michael Hyatt – all for different reasons. 

Elon for his inspiration to think big – to think beyond the norm. Tim for his ability to find the minimum effective dosage, and Michael Hyatt for his principles and dedication to his family.

Pat’s 3 Qualities for Success:

1. Patience / Endurance – Success does NOT happen overnight, it’s a long term game. Get bored or tired, and you’re out.

2. Adaptability – The business environment changes all of the time. If you’re stuck in your old ways, you’re going to lose because it’s those who adapt to the times, and the needs of their audience are the ones who succeed. 

3. Honesty – Honesty with your customers, but also to yourself too as a business owner. 

Recommended Reads:

1. How to Win and Influence Friends by Dale Carnegie

2. The 80/20 Principle by Koch

3. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

Advice for Anyone Starting an Online Business:

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t try to be perfect right from the start. Mistakes are good – they tell you what not to do the next time, so expect them, embrace them and learn from them. And perfection – well – that’s just an excuse to delay getting started. Start now, work on perfecting it along the way. 

“I’d much rather live a life full of ‘oh wells’ than a life full of ‘what ifs’” – Pat Flynn

Book of the Month: The Education of Millionaires (Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How To Be Successful)

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As a follow up to my post, “Reading: The 1 Habit Business Leaders Have In Common”, I’ve decided to implement a Book of the Month section. Every month I will focus on a different book that provides valuable advice and inspiration for competing in the Sport of Business. I will summarize the main ideas and include an inspirational quote from the book. Most importantly I want to discover.  If you have recommendations for future books to focus on I’d love to hear them.

For the month of May, I’ve chosen “The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How To Be Successful” by Michael Ellsberg. As the title suggests, Ellsberg examines the educational system in America and its shortcomings in teaching skills critical for success. Through interviews with successful individuals, from marketing expert Seth Godin to self-made billionaire Phillip Ruffin, Ellsberg explores the skills necessary for success and most importantly, how to achieve them without paying a fortune for college.

This book is a required read for anyone looking to invest in themselves on their way to achieving success. It covers practical skills useful in becoming successful either through developing your own business or within your current place of employment.  Real world success stories are presented as evidence for these practical skills. Ellsberg does not beat around the bush, voicing his opinion on the lack of practical application in many “wishy-washy” college courses.  While he does not completely disregard the significance of a formal education, he emphasizes the importance of developing practical skills that can be used in our every day lives. In a day and age where a Bachelor’s Degree is the norm, we must find alternate ways to differentiate ourselves from the crowd and this book offers a variety of ways to do just that.

 Here are the 7 Success Skills covered in The Education of Millionaires:

  1. How To Make Your Work Meaningful and Your Meaning Work
  2. How To Find Great Mentors And Teachers, Connect With Powerful and Influential People, And Build A World-Class Network
  3. What Every Successful Person Needs To Know About Marketing, And How To Teach Yourself
  4. What Every Successful Person Needs To Know About Sales, And How To Teach Yourself
  5. How To Invest For Success (The Art of Bootstrapping)
  6. Build The Brand Of You (or, To Hell with Resumes!)
  7. The Entrepreneurial Mind-Set vs. The Employee Mind-Set

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Read it as soon as possible. It will not only provide you with practical advice from a variety of successful entrepreneurs but it will also compel you to take action and invest in yourself immediately. Comment and let me know what you think of the book and which success skills you find most useful. Again, I’d love to hear your opinion and any recommendations you may have for the June Book of the Month.

We don’t get to choose what happens to us. But we get to choose what it means. And in that choice is a tremendous power…The choice to become the active ingredient in your own life.” – Michael Ellsberg The Education of Millionaires

How To Get More Accomplished: 7 Productivity Hacks To Increase Your Efficiency

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You head into work at 6:00 in the morning, excited to put in a long day of work and get lots accomplished. You’ve got a huge proposal coming up tomorrow so you need to have a productive day. You get into the office and sit down at your desk to work, then remember you haven’t had your morning coffee yet. You run down to your local cafe, grab a coffee and chat with the barista for a few minutes. 25 minutes later you’re back at your desk all ready to go. You boot up your computer, open up the presentation you need to be working on and then remember that you forgot to message your friend about meeting for dinner that night. You quickly log on to Facebook for two minutes to shoot them a quick message and next thing you know you’ve spent an hour browsing through photos of all of the parties you missed out on the past weekend. By now, people are starting to trickle in to the office, each one of them sparking up a conversation with you on their way past. You realize that you’ve been in the office for three hours and accomplished nothing. Now you’re going to have to work late and cancel the dinner plans you made with your friend just to get your proposal done on time. Sound familiar?

If you wish to seriously compete in the Sport of Business and be successful in your endeavors, you simply cannot afford to waste hours each day accomplishing nothing. Every hour that you spend browsing social media, watching television, or doing anything else that doesn’t align with your ultimate goals, is an hour that someone else is spending working on theirs. Who do you think will have a better chance of achieving success?

Now, before you complain about how unrealistic it is to spend every hour of every day working towards achieving success, think about what your definition of success is. Success is not just achieved in business. It can be achieved in terms of relationships, health, or however else you define it. Every hour that you spend procrastinating and avoiding getting your work done, is an hour less that you have to spend with your family or friends. It’s an hour less to pursue your hobbies or work on your fitness. When you procrastinate and are inefficient in the way you get your work done, you’re not only affecting your success in terms of your career, but also your success in every other area of your life. 

Here are 7 productivity hacks that will help you make the most out of your day:

Follow The 1 Minute Rule

If it can be done in less than a minute, do it now. Don’t procrastinate and let small tasks build up throughout the day. As it arises, get it out of the way and move on.

Learn To Say No

Often one of the most difficult skills to master. Learning how to say no is an important skill you must acquire if you wish to be successful. Prioritize which tasks are important to you and be able to say no to anything that will interfere with you completing them. 

Work When Others Are Sleeping

By waking up a few hours earlier, you can work when everyone else is sleeping. Early in the morning is the one time of day when you won’t be interrupted by meaningless office chatter or phone calls and text messages. Check out my article “8 Ways To Wake Up Earlier And Get A Jumpstart On Your Day” if want tips on waking up earlier.

Manage Your Mobile

Advice from serial entrepreneur Richard Branson, “Manage your mobile, don’t let it manage you.” Use your phone as a tool for productivity and communication. Don’t fall into the trap of needing to check your messages and emails every 5 minutes. 

Create A To-Do List

Create a list of the three most important things you need to get done that day and get them out of the way as soon as possible. You’ll find that once you begin to organize your day and work efficiently, you’ll have much more free time than you thought you had.

Exercise

Exercising regularly allows you to work longer hours and function at an optimal level. By getting your heart rate up and your blood flowing, you’ll put yourself in a much more productive state than you would if the only exercise you get is walking to and from the water cooler each day.  

Prepare Beforehand

When you have a large project to complete, eliminate all possible distractions before you begin working on it. Get your coffee, go to the washroom, and ensure you have all the necessary materials with you so that you don’t have any excuses to take a break shortly after starting.

Don’t waste your days scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. Remember that the more efficient you are while working, the more free time you’ll have later on to do whatever you’d like. If you want to be successful you need to take action and get your ass in gear. No one achieves success without taking massive action, every single day, to work towards their goals and dreams. Implement these productivity hacks and see how much more you’re accomplishing. You’ll be amazed by how much more free time you’ll have once you actually get down to work and stop procrastinating. 

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

How To Get What You Want: The 6 Principles of Persuasion

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image from IntelligentHQ

Anyone who wishes to have a significant impact, whether it is in their home, workplace, or on a larger scale, must be skilled in the art of persuasion. If you are unable to convince others of the viability of your thoughts and ideas, you will never see them come to fruition. You can create the greatest product ever developed, but if you’re not able to persuade people to purchase it, what good is it? You could start a charity for a great cause, but if you can’t persuade others to support you and donate, who will benefit? If you’ve developed a new strategy to take your business to the next level but can’t persuade your employees to get on board, will you see any results?

When it comes down to it you have two choices. You can either persuade and get what you want, or be persuaded and give others what they want. By learning how to master the art of persuasion, you give yourself the ability to take charge and control your life. Instead of letting others decide what’s best for you, be a leader and enroll others in contributing towards your vision of success. 

Here are the 6 Principles of Persuasion as outlined by Robert B. Cialdini, the author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. 

1. Reciprocity 

The most basic form of persuasion is the principle of reciprocity. If you do something for someone else, they’re going to feel compelled to return the favor. It’s human nature. Find ways to add value to others and you’ll find they’re much more willing to help you out in return.

2. Scarcity

Whenever something is labelled as an exclusive or limited edition item people are significantly more likely to purchase it. Everyone has a fear of missing out on a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. When selling an idea or product, by focusing on the uniqueness of your proposition as well as what the person stands to lose by not taking part, you will greatly increase your chances of success. 

3. Authority

Being perceived as a figure of authority or credible expert in your field, is crucial to success in the art of persuasion. Most people don’t want to spend time thinking for themselves, they want to be told what to do by someone more knowledgable and experienced than themselves. When your boss, teacher, or even a police officer tells you what to do, you generally accept their orders without thinking because you assume they know what they’re doing due to them being a figure of authority. The same principle applies to persuading others to buy your product or accept your idea.

4. Consistency

Generally speaking, everyone wants their actions to remain consistent with their opinions and beliefs. The foot-in-door-technique is a commonly used tactic of persuasion. Let’s say you want a friend to buy a ticket to attend a concert with you. Before asking them to purchase the ticket, start off small. Simply get them talking about how big of a fan they are and how much they’ve been dying to see this particular band or musician live. Once they’ve made these statements, it is unlikely they will turn down your request to go to the concert, for the fear of being perceived as inconsistent with the their opinions and beliefs. 

5. Liking

Not surprisingly, people are more easily persuaded by those that they like. No one wants to do business with someone that they don’t enjoy dealing with. The more likable you are, the easier it will be for you to win others over. The three factors that influence ones likability, as stated by Cialdini, are attractiveness, trustworthiness, and relatability. 

6. Consensus

When most people are not sure of which course of action they should take, they look at what their fellow peers and colleagues are doing and follow suit. During the process of persuasion, it is greatly beneficial to let the other person know that people from their social group have already jumped on board or are doing the same thing. For example, if you were trying to sell landscaping services, telling a potential customer that you’ve already done the lawns of five of his neighbours will make him much more willing to buy your services. This works both because people have a fear of missing out on what others around them have and because they assume that it must be a good idea if everyone else is doing it. 

Click here for an animation providing examples and explanations of the six principles of persuasion. 

“If you wish to win a man over to your ideas, first make him your friend.” – Abraham Lincoln