September 30, 2016

Be Honest with Yourself...How Hard Are You Really Working?

Coming from a small town in the Midwest, I cannot count how many times I've met someone who has fallen into a routine of simply working for a paycheck. Each and every day of their lives, they wake up, go to work for 8-10 hours, and then go home. This happens day after day, week after week, month after month, and if you ask these people how they feel about their jobs, they respond with the notion that they don't particularly love what they do. They'll say things like, "Well it's a paycheck" or "I'm just getting through the week, waiting for Friday".

But if you're somebody who is searching for more, there's no reason you should be wasting your time by coming home from work only to sit on the couch. If you truly want to accomplish something worthwhile, you know you have to put in the work. After your 8-10 hours of working, you need to come home and put in 4-5 hours of your personal time working on whatever it is that you envision yourself doing in the future. That is the only way that you will ever see those goals through. Not by making the excuse of, "Work was rough today. I need a beer" and then binge-watching a show on Netflix. You won't accomplish that one goal by going out to eat with  friends every weekend. No, you have to put aside those luxuries and find the time to put in the work.

"If you live for weekends and vacations, your shit is broken" - Gary Vaynerchuk

Getting back to the example of people that I've met who don't like their job, so many individuals use the excuse of, "But I work hard already. I work 50-60 hours a week" or "I have children, and I just don't have the time. I'm constantly running here and there". They'll give reasons why they are working the same job for 15 years, a job that they hate or that drains them physically and psychologically, and they refuse to acknowledge that the only reason they are still in that job is because of their lack of work. What so many people fail to realize is that they are not truly working that hard. They've become lazy, and through the lens of their laziness, they think they're working hard simply because they work a full-time job. They've convinced themselves that their job justifies their lack of action once they punch the clock and head home. In their minds, they deserve a break, right? That's what they tell themselves while they spend 4 hours sitting on their ass at home, accomplishing absolutely nothing before going to bed and then doing it all over again the next day.

"There is no substitute for hard work" - Thomas Edison

So I want you to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, "How hard am I really working?" It's a simple question, but the answer can be difficult to hear. The simplest way to answer this question is to write down the actions that fill your day from the time that you wake up until the time that you go to bed. Map out everything that you do, from going to work to cooking to watching television or reading a book. Everything. Once you've done this, identify if those actions help or hinder you from accomplishing the highest level of personal success. Is your time being used effectively to increase your chances of accomplishing that large goal that you know you've always thought about? If not, you're not working that hard.

The easiest way that I've found to motivate myself from wasting time is to use a simple comparison technique. I've identified successful individuals who have accomplished what I dream of accomplishing, and then when I'm doing something throughout my day that I think may be a waste of time, I ask myself, "Would that individual use their time to do this? Or would they be working on something else?" If the answer is "No", I stop what I'm doing and refocus my efforts. This means that if you truly want to change your life as bad as you say that you do, you'll have to give up playing Angry Birds or Pok√©mon Go on your phone. It means you need to stop spending an hour each week watching Survivor or Grey's Anatomy. If you are tired of the same thing day after day, then the free time that you have should be the time that you put in the work.

"Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work for it." - Napoleon Hill

My message with this post is simple: Chances are you're not working as hard as you think you are, and you're full of shit if you truly believe you don't have the time to become successful. Every single person on this planet who has built a business, travelled the world, or created a product has the same amount of time that you have in their day. The same 24 hours that you use to scroll through Facebook is being used by someone else to research diseases. The same 24 hours that you waste taking selfies for Instagram are being used by someone else to run their restaurant in order to open a second or a third location in three years.

I'll close with one final thought...I'm disgusted with how many people hate Mondays. Around 7 or 8 o'clock on Sunday night, millions of people in this country start to get depressed because they know that in 12 hours, they have to go to a job that they hate for five consecutive days. But the most mind-blowing part about this scenario is that they use Sunday night as a few hours of laziness instead of working to create an escape from that very job! It's unbelievable how many people sit on their asses while complaining about their circumstances at the same time.

I'm challenging you to not be one of these people. Recognize the opportunity that you have within the next 24 hours to change your life. Use that time wisely and to your highest potential. Make the next 24 hours the most productive of your life, and you'll see amazing results.

Daniel Moffett

Follow me on Twitter: @dmoffett2306

September 26, 2016

I Work 18 Hours a Day....And You Should, Too

Is there anything more comforting than the idea of lying in bed with a thick blanket, knowing that you have two or three hours before you have to get up for work? You know the feeling…You wake up, roll over to check your phone, and thank the heavens above that you get to bury your face into your pillow and go back to sleep.
But I want to challenge you to question this habit. If you’re someone who says they want to become successful, getting a few extra hours of sleep is something that you are going to have to give up if you want to see results. Why? Because waking up at 4:00 am every morning to put in two hours of extra work is what’s going to separate you from everyone else. If you want to train for that marathon, the early morning is when you can get a run in while your competition is sleeping. If you want learn how to become a more productive financial advisor, waking up before work to study market trends and research company financial statements is how you will obtain the knowledge to rise above other people that are fighting for the same clients as you.
I’m a firm believer in using the morning hours to get work done. I have the alarm on my phone set for 3:45 am for each day of the week. That’s 3:45 am Sunday-Saturday. I don’t take weekends off. I don’t stay up until 11:30 watching football with my buddies. I don’t hit the snooze button and say, “I’ll do it later.” I lay my son down for bed at 8:00 pm, spend close to full two hours alone with my wife, and then we’re both in bed and asleep by 10:00-10:15 pm. That gives my nearly 6 hours of sleep each night. So for 18 hours/day, I’m awake and working on my goals.
“The difference between dreams and success is, dreams need effortless sleep and success needs sleepless efforts.” – Nishan Panwar
One of the most common questions that people have when I present the idea of waking up early is: “But what am I supposed to do in the morning?” It’s simple. Use the time to map out a plan of action that aligns with your goals. Whatever it is that motivates you, align your actions with that vision. Do you want to be an artist and sell paintings/drawings for a living? Good…wake up and work on your craft. Do you dream about developing an app? Great…spent an hour or two each morning learning how to write code for mobile games/apps. I don’t care what it is that you want to do, wake up 60-120 minutes earlier than normal and use that time to make progress. If you’re not sure where to begin, research those who have been successful in your chosen field and learn their habits.
The wonderful thing about waking up early is that once you start to see results, your passion will fuel your desire to jump out of bed in the morning to keep working. When I was waking up at 3:45 am each morning to research how to launch my business, it took me a few weeks before I had compiled enough information that I felt comfortable sharing all of it with my wife and close friends. Once I did that, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get up each morning to work on cash-flow spreadsheets, our business plan, a timeline for the business development guidelines, etc… Every step that I took towards launching our business was another log that kept my fire burning. I was beginning to see the fruits of my labor, and it was an intoxicating experience.
If you spend your mornings working on whatever it is that you desire, you’ll eventually see the results. If it’s working out to get in shape, you’ll see the results after a few weeks of hard dieting and exercise. If you need to study to take the GRE test to finally go back for your graduate degree, the material will start to settle in and you’ll be more comfortable for the test. Whatever it is that you’ve decided to accomplish, the results will come. You just need to put in the time.
“Some people dream of success…Others wake up and work hard at it.” – Anonymous
The last point that I want to make regarding rising early is the long-term benefits of the extra two hours you gain. If you’re someone who is sick of your job and you want something more with your life, two hours every day gives you fourteen additional hours of work each week that everyone else around you is not putting in. That means over the course of a month, you’ve gained nearly 60 hours of work. That work, if executed correctly, will give you the advantage to finally achieve that one goal that’s always been in the back of your mind. If you put in the work and are relentless in your efforts, you will have the opportunity to leave behind everyone else that continues to complain about their circumstances but refuses to do anything about it.
So wake up early, put in the time, and never lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish. On mornings that your alarm goes off and you don’t want to wake up, picture that goal in your mind. See yourself crossing the finish line of the marathon, or opening the front door of your business, or standing in an art gallery in front of your paintings. Just know that the work will pay off. But first, you have to get up.

Daniel Moffett

Follow me on Twitter: @dmoffett2306

September 24, 2016

Networking: Create an Inner Circle That Pushes You to Success

 If you are looking to improve your life in any way (personally/financially/professionally), one of the first things you must do is consider who you are spending the most time around and how they are influence your decisions. It’s no secret that our inner circle of friends and colleagues has an enormous impact on our mental state, productivity, and overall outlook on life, and only be auditing who we share our time with can we hope to improve that circle of influence.
Let’s begin with why our inner circle is so influential. World-renowned personal development coach Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around.” If we take this to be true, it’s incredibly important that you surround yourself with others who are driven, motivated for success, and who do not accept an average lifestyle. If you find like-minded individuals who have the same goals as you and who share a passion for greatness, their ideas and mindsets will begin to rub off onto you. It’s as if we cross-pollinate with each other as we grow, and your goal should be to grow with as many successful individuals as you can.
Seek out people who are in the same fields as you and try to interact with them on a regular basis. Attend classes they might give/attend. Follow them on social media. Try and speak with them about what they’ve accomplished and how you could implement their work ethic into your life. Before you know it, you’ll begin to see enormous challenges as nothing more than detours that you can navigate with the new skills you’ve acquired. As your circle of influence begins to grow, you’ll begin to spend more time around additional groups of people, all while making new connections that can help push you farther than you’ve ever imagined.

"The person you become is influenced largely by the books you read and the people you keep around you." - Anonymous
To use an example of this from my own life, I have experienced the power of personal influence. Early last year, I was looking for opportunities to serve in a volunteer role, and my former boss introduced me to a 12-week leadership program sponsored by our local Chamber of Commerce. During this program, I was introduced to a number of city and business leaders throughout my town that provided me with a collection of great information regarding economic and social development, as well as how to become more involved in the community.
During the graduation dinner for the program, I had the honor of sitting with the mayor and two individuals who sat on the Economic Development Board for our town. As I conversed with them about the issues surrounding our town, including unused commercial buildings and our ever-growing housing complexes, I realized that the encounter with these three men was due solely to my willingness to reach out and place myself with individuals who shared my desire to grow and expand as an individual. My conversation with my former boss about joining local volunteer groups led to that graduation dinner with the mayor.

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around" - Jim Rohn

If you are trying to find new ways to improve your situation, I cannot stress how important your inner circle is to your success. The most important step on this journey is to identify exactly what it is that you want to accomplish, and then to find someone who has either already accomplished that goal or is currently in the process. Find them, talk with them, meet with them on a regular basis, and learn from them. Their knowledge will rub off on you, and you will be that much more experienced for the future.
One fear that many people have when confronted with the idea of changing their circle of influence is the fear of losing old friends. You’ve been best friends with two or three people since high school or college, right? There’s a certain sense of nostalgia that we have with our old friends. The problem with never seeking out new influences is that we grow complacent with our lives, and more times than not, our close friends have done the same.
When you find those successful individuals that you idolize, the goal should be to spend enough time around them that you acquire many of their skills, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely disregard the previous members of your circle. It simply means that you should be focused on prioritizing time for those that want to see you succeed. If your old friends support you and are able to provide much-needed guidance and suggestions, then by all means keep them around and listen to them. But if they’ve become accepting of an average lifestyle or if they keep you from growing as an individual, business leader, or parent, it might be time to reevaluate your inner circle.
Adopting a new group of influencers can be challenging. It requires a serious look at yourself and those around you, and the most important step is being honest with yourself regarding who it is that you want to become. Using that guideline, focus on those that you feel would help you achieve that goal and then position yourself to be around those individuals. Doing this will help you learn new skills while also providing your mentors a chance to teach a new generation of men and women who want to achieve what they’ve achieved.

Daniel Moffett
Follow me on Twitter: @dmoffett2306

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the power of influence. Thank you!

September 21, 2016

Four Fears That are Ruininig Your Life

It’s easy to look at those who accomplish great things in their lives and say that they are simply lucky. We sit back and make assumptions that they were born into money, had parents who set them up with a great job, or had one breakthrough that set them on the path to success early on in their lives. But what so many people often fail to realize is that their own lives are representations of their fears, and that successful people are not lucky. They’re fearless in their pursuit of success and they do not let their doubts or uncertainties dictate their lives.

But surely you’re thinking to yourself, “Of course I’m not afraid of success. If I had the time or the money, I’d accomplish my dreams.” But you’re full of crap, and deep down you know it. Because you’re afraid of taking a risk on yourself and on your future. You’re afraid that you might fail…or that people will judge you because you’re taking a different path that them. But whatever your reason, you’re being held back in your life because of some form of fear.

Generally, there are four types of fear that keep average men and women from ever achieving greatness. These fears are:

#1. The Fear of Failure –

Every single day, people settle for mediocre jobs and hide behind the excuse of safety. Somewhere along the line between their childhood dreams and their adult responsibilities, they have given up on that one thing that they wanted to do when they were younger and have now settled for a “safe” job. They’re an accountant for a local firm, or they’ve become a mid-level manager at a grocery store or gas station. Maybe they’ve worked their way to supervisor at a factory.

Regardless of the position, they more than likely don’t dream about their current job. They don’t wish they could wake up every day and go to work, but they’ve accepted that job because of the safety that it provides. It’s not what they want to do, but they already have the job. They don’t have to put in any work. It’s already there…even if it’s not what makes them happy.

But deep down, they’ve settled for that job and that life because the alternative, which is to work towards an ambitious goal, is incredibly difficult. It’s difficult to work full-time and get a degree in an area that excites you. It’s difficult to work 40-50 hours a week and then come home only to turn around and build a business. It’s difficult to put in the extra work and build a career in an unusual way, such as freelancing. There’s fear associated with the unknown. People fear that if they leave their “safe” job, they’ll fail at whatever it is that they want to accomplish. And then what? According to them, the world will end. It’s all over, right? They’d rather just accept a job they hate than take a risk. The fear that they feel has crippled them into a life of inaction. That fear has left them with mediocrity in every aspect of their life…Their career, their income, their relationships.

Overcoming the Fear of Failure: The simplest way of facing this fear is to take the first step on the road to your goal. Taking actions creates a positive mindset because you feel accomplished, even if you haven’t finished everything you’ve set out to finish. Entrepreneur and life-coach Tony Robbins says, “The key to happiness is action…The moment you quit progressing, you die inside.” So by deciding to take the first step, you will feel more confident in your abilities, and your fear of failure will be replaced with a vision for success.

#2. The Fear of Success –

The idea of fearing success seems odd on the face of it, but it’s a common fear that keeps people from acting. It boils down to truly understanding what it is that you want to accomplish with your life, and then having the will power to pursue it. People fear success because it is something new to them, and that sense of uncertainty can be frightening. People think things like: “If I spend all of this money to go back to college for my M.B.A., what happens if I don’t find a job? How will I pay back my student loans? Am I good enough for that promotion?”

These fears stem from our subconscious mind. Even if we are not willing to admit it out loud, we know that we are capable of greatness. Those who seem to achieve their goals so easily are not made from any different material than you. Their DNA is created from the same molecules as everyone else in the world. The only difference is that they seek out success instead of hiding from it. The fear of success is a reflection of our self-doubts. We either fear that we cannot reach the lofty goals that we have set ,or that we will reach them and then be unable to maintain that level of excellence.

Overcoming the Fear of Success: See your vision clearly in your mind. If you bounce from one idea to another, you’ll never have the focus to accomplish what you wish to accomplish. More importantly, your focus will help you push through any failures you experience along the way. Your complete understanding of your goals will be your guiding light when things become difficult or when those around you doubt your ambitions.

#3: The Fear of Disappointing Your Friends/Family -

The individuals that you spend the most time around influence your thoughts and actions, and when those individuals mean so much to you, it is easy to let them become your excuse for inaction. People use their husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, and children as the reasons they don’t take that major risk in their lives, but they make excuses such as, “I can’t travel the world because of my son/daughter. I can’t take them with me” or “How can I go back to school? I’d never have time to do homework with my kid’s crazy schedule. There’s no way.” If it's a physical goal that they dream about (such as completing a triathlon or training for an event such as a Spartan Race), they'll claim lack of time as their excuse, but then immediately follow that up with knowledge on the newest episode of Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black. 

When people say things like this, what they are really saying is that if they step out on a limb and attempt something difficult, they’re afraid they’ll fail and let their husband/wife/child/parent down. They’ll be seen as a failure in the eyes of someone who means a lot to them, and that scares them enough to keep them from even trying. And to hide that fear, they use what they feel are practical excuses to keep themselves from having to explain why they don’t go for that particular goal

Overcome the Fear of Disappointing Your Friends/Family: Your friends and family should be a source of inspiration and support, not a scapegoat that you use to worm out of hard work. Focus on the life that your children/spouse deserve(s), and use that vision as your motivation to accomplish whatever goal it is that you’ve set for yourself or your family. Instead of setting an example of average for your children, show them what it means to put in that bit of extra work in order to achieve a lofty goal that so few people achieve. It will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will show them how much they mean to you and how far you are willing to go to set an example for them.

#4: The Fear of Being Different –

We’ve been programmed from an early age to fit in with the status quo. As children, we learn harsh lessons about bullies who pick on kids that are small, incredibly smart, or different in any way from the rest of the class, and as we grow older we develop the idea that being different is something to avoid. Beneath our outward confidence, we hide this fear that if we step away from what the masses believe, we become a lightning rod for criticism.

But if you want to truly do something in your life that you feel is worthwhile, you will need to be different from everyone else. As you begin to put in the extra effort that no one else is willing to put in, you will start to separate yourself from others who have accepted an average life. As you increase your abilities and skills, you force yourself to become more valuable in terms of what you have to offer, and you will begin to realize that those who refuse to push themselves have no influence on your life. Their opinions do not matter in terms of how far you are able to go with your successes.

Overcome the Fear of Being Different: Life so many other fears, you will begin to lose your worry about being different from the masses as soon as you start down your path of self-improvement. Intentional action and progress will create momentum for you that can help fuel the fire inside of you, and as you make more progress and come closer to accomplishing whatever it is that you’ve chosen to do, you will care less and less about the opinions of others.

September 19, 2016

How to Successfully Plan for the Next 90 Days

So few people take the time to actually plan out their day, their week, or the following month. So few people understand the importance of having a structured life, and the benefits that arise from understanding what it is that you want to accomplish and consciously working to see that accomplishment through. And that is why properly planning the next 90 days is so important. Because if you make the effort to create a schedule and write down ideas, goals, and tasks, you are much more likely to see these things through and you will make far more progress towards your goals.

So, how do you begin? If you’re somebody like I was 18 months ago and you’re struggling to take that first step, my first piece of advice for you is to purchase a planner. Go to your local Wal-Mart or dollar store and buy an 18-month planner that you can use to write out your day/week/month. This planner will become like your Bible. You’ll look at it every day…You’ll write down meetings that you set, chunks of time that you dedicate to your work, and ideas that strike you during the most random of times. And this planner will become an extension of your body. It goes with you EVERYWHERE!! Why does it go with you wherever you go? Because motivation and inspiration can strike at any time, and you need to be ready to schedule an appointment, or write down an exciting idea that you have while brainstorming with a friend.

You have your planner and you have a goal that you’d like to accomplish. Now what? You probably feel pretty silly sitting at your kitchen table staring at an empty planner, don’t you? The next step is to take this enormous goal that you have and break it down into four or five manageable steps. And when you do this, it’s important that you create milestones along the way so that you can measure your success, because this will not only give you guidelines that you’ll use along your journey but it will help inspire you and provide feedback on your work and progress. In creating these steps, remember to make them goals that don’t feel too daunting. That’s the purpose of creating smaller goals: so that this huge, impossible tasks becomes more manageable.

Let me give you some examples of what I’m talking about when I say break apart a goal. Let’s use blogging: Let’s assume my goal with my blog is to reach an average monthly activity rate of 2,000 views/month within the next six months. Well, for someone who is currently averaging between 300-400 views/month, this seems rather difficult. So in my planner, I will schedule time twice a week that I will use to brainstorm new blog post ideas and write out that week’s posts. By scheduling the time and writing in my planner, it becomes a solid commitment that I’ve made with myself to do this tasks. Too many times, people simply say, “Oh, I’ll definitely do that on Tuesday”, but then Tuesday comes and it never happens. Schedule the time…Make the commitment…Do the work.

So I use my planner and make the commitment to blog twice a week. After I’ve set my commitments, I need to establish guidelines and smaller goals for my journey. Reaching 2,000 views/month won’t happen overnight, so I decide that within the next 60 days, my blog should be receiving 1,000 views/month. And while brainstorming goals is fine, what creates true results is action. So make sure that you’re researching new ways to expose your work (whatever it is that you do or are trying to accomplish). Continuing with the example of blogging, that means I need to increase the quality of my content to keep current viewers coming back to my blog, research new marketing channels to spread the word about my blog, and find ways to share my message with new audiences. All of these actions will help drive traffic to my sight and help me reach that goal of 1,000 views/month.

I’ve decided that 1,000 views/month is my goal for the next 60 days. In my new shiny planner, I dictate in the space 60 days from now “1000 views/month!”. This creates a visual source of motivation that I can check back on if I need to spark my fuel in the future. It also helps create a sense of urgency as that date approaches.

As my 90-day deadline approaches, I should be constantly monitoring my progress to see how close I am to my goal of 2,000. At the same time, I should be analyzing what is working on my blog and what is not working well with my readers. This will provide me with the feedback necessary to help improve my blog and see the results that I want.

Once you’ve established short-term goals, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll have to put in the work. If your long-term goal is to become Sales Manager for your company, you need to establish the sales numbers that you need to hit over the next 3-6 months to be qualified for the Manager position. And then once you understand those numbers, get out and make those sales a reality. Don’t do like so many other people do and simply accept the status quo and then complain that they didn’t get the position. Use the knowledge you have to create a timeline and then hold yourself responsible to maintaining the work ethic.
It’s important to remember that the example I used above will obviously differ slightly depending upon what it is that you want to accomplish. But if it’s something larger (going back to college, learning a new language, checking items off of a bucket list), remember that short-term goals are far more important in reaching success than long-term goals. If you can find a way to take that dream and break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks, you’ll find yourself making progress that you couldn’t have ever dreamed of making. So get to work and don’t forget to have fun doing it!

Daniel Moffett
Follow me on Twitter: @dmoffett2306

September 15, 2016

10 Quotes to Motivate You to Take Action

It is no secret that we all experience a period in our lives when we feel burnt out. We've worked so hard day in and day out, and regardless of the outcome, we are often exhausted by our efforts. Even worse is the experience of receiving no positive results for our hard work. Your business isn't gaining the traction that you had hoped. Your boss took the presentation you worked on for weeks and didn't mention his/her thanks. You network for months but can't seem to find that one connection that can help you accelerate your career.

When these frustrations appear, our motivation often goes right out the window. We begin to question our work ethic, wondering if our hard work is even worth the effort. We lose focus, hope, and all desire for excellence.

A great way to refuel your motivation each and every day is to read through the thoughts and ideas of those who have accomplished similar dreams that you're working towards. Some of the most brilliant minds in history have left us with quotes that can provide insight into the workings of their minds and can give people around the world the tools necessary to accomplish their goals.

Below is a collection of 10 quotes that I have pulled together to help spark a fire underneath you on your road to success. The individuals who have provided these quotes are some of the most successful entrepreneurs of the past century (or more), but regardless of the time in which they accomplish success, their advice is timeless and transitions the different fields of success. So here they are

"Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out." -John Wooden

"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." - Jim Rohn

"Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life--think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success." Swami Vivekananda

"Opportunities don't happen, you create them." Chris Grosser

"The biggest risk is not taking any risk." - Mark Zuckerberg

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case you fail by default." - J.K. Rowling

"The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one's destiny to do, and then do it." - Henry Ford

"Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, "What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?'...Do that." Gary Vaynerchuk

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Anonymous

"If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you." - Steve Jobs

Nobody accomplishes success on their own. As you work towards your chosen goal, make sure to study those before you that have paved the way for you and others like you. Take the time to listen to advice, even if it wasn't intended for you directly. Researching quotes is a great way to better understand the minds of successful individuals, and who knows what you can accomplish when you're fired up and motivated to take action.

Do you have a favorite quote or inspiration figure that you follow? Post it in the comments below!

Daniel Moffett

September 13, 2016

Self-Investment: How Spending an Hour Each Day on Yourself Can Increase Your Chance of Success

With our schedules stretched to the max, how can we ever hope to find the time to develop our personal skills? Between working 40 hours a week (or more), our children’s sports schedules, and responsibilities that overwhelm our every waking minute, finding the time to increase our self-knowledge and individuality seems impossible.
Investing in yourself is often overlooked when people search for ways to increase the value of their work and their lives. So many people are searching for meaning in their lives, but they fail to understand that only by taking the time to improve themselves can they ever hope to elevate the quality of their lives. If you want to move up in your organization, what is going to separate you from the rest of your colleagues? When your marriage is struggling and you need to improve your communication with your spouse, what is going to help strengthen the bonds between the two of you? If you're suddenly put in a leadership role at work or in your business and you need to acquire the skills to properly develop those around you, what will help you along the way? The answer to all of these questions is: Self-Investment.
But what exactly do I mean by "Self-Investment"? The phrase is the culmination of a conscious effort to improve your skills, developmental processes, and overall personal quality. Self-Investment, simply put, is a way for you to increase your awareness of your own skills while also acknowledging your weaknesses. Luckily, there are a number of relatively cheap and easy ways to do this:

1. Read Books:
I've mentioned this in a number of previous posts, but reading has the power to improve your understanding of a number of important topics. Books that focus on leadership, business, personal development, and life motivation can help you take advantage of situations that otherwise might have passed you by, and they create a guideline for you to improve your daily activities that can lead to long-term success.
If you don't have the money to purchase books, try visiting your local library or used bookstore. For less than you'd spend on a few gallons of gas, you could purchase a handful of books while helping a local business. The great thing about books is that their ideas are usually timeless.

2. Listen to Podcasts:
Again, this is a tool that I've fallen in love with over the past two years. This is a free resource that is available to anyone at anytime of the day. Using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can listen to some of the greatest minds in the world discuss topics that include political, business, family values, scientific discoveries, leadership, and hundreds of other ideas, and the great thing is that these podcasts can be viewed at your leisure.
Personally, I use the app "Podcast Addict" and follow a handful of podcasts that I check at least once a week for new episodes, but you can use whatever resource you find most pleasurable. If you are stretched for time, try listening to the episodes while you mow the lawn, clean the house, or drive to work (using Bluetooth in your car, not through headphones).

3. Force Yourself into New Situations:
So many people wake up each day, go to work, and then come home. Their schedules after 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm include nothing but making supper, going to the store, or watching television, and then they have the audacity to gripe about their lives being boring. My question for those people is this: What are you doing to break the monotony? Nothing!
You need to venture out and find new experiences for yourself. Sign up for the basketball league at your local YMCA. Find a dance studio and take weekly lessons for at least 8-10 weeks. Volunteer at your local food pantry or homeless shelter. Find a nonprofit in your area and ask how you can help spread the word about the organization. My point is simple: By forcing yourself into situations that make you uncomfortable, you will make new connections and learn new skills that will be helpful in the future. You learn to network with individuals that can help you grow your business or might be interested in hearing about what you do for a living. This creates priceless connections for everyone involved.

4. Exercise/Meditation:
I'm grouping exercise and meditation into one bullet point, although they are very different activities that provide their own unique benefits to your life. Exercising regularly can help improve your overall fitness level and longevity of life, and studies have found that individuals that exercise have more energy and mental  focus than those who do not. Exercise is almost a great channel through which you can push yourself to the limit and truly find out how strong you are inside. Every day is a new challenge.
Meditation is another overlooked activity, and it is one that I have struggled to implement into my daily schedule. But when I do meditate regularly, I've found that my days are less stressful and that I am more productive. I use the time to clear my mind and focus on what I want to accomplish.

All of these activities are ones that can be accomplished in an hour or less, and each can help you increase your physical or mental productivity. The important thing to remember is that investing in yourself is one of the easiest and most important efforts you can give during your life, and if done correctly, it can provide some amazing benefits.
These four steps take time, so don't expect results in a week or two. But if you consistently engage in self-investment and truly work on improving yourself and the effort that you give in chasing your goals, you'll find that your productivity and efficiency will increase tremendously.

Follow me on Twitter at @dmoffett2306

Dan Moffett

September 5, 2016

Six Books to Help Motivate You to Success

One of the most overlooked avenues to success is reading. Carving out an hour each day to read can have a tremendous impact on your ability to learn new skills and open your mind to new possibilities. When we try to plan for success, we so often think of working hard for 16 hours a day, but this often leads to exhaustion, frustration, and feeling burnt out. Reading the right books gives you the chance to learn from those that have experienced what you are attempting to accomplish, and their insight may just be the tool you are missing on your road to success.

There are hundreds of books that I could recommend if you are searching for motivation, and each goal that you wish to accomplish will require unique books that pertain to your work, but the six that I have compiled here include life-changing insights into what truly motivates us at the larger levels. These authors have spent their lives understanding what is required for personal and professional success, and these six books have had a profound impact on my life. Here is the list:

1. The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes-

Lewis Howes is a former NFL player who had his career cut short by a significant injury. After his dream of playing in the NFL ended, he went on to start a podcast series titled "The School of Greatness" where he interviews successful entrepreneurs, business executives, athletes, and motivational individuals. His podcast has won numerous awards and continues to be downloaded by  thousands of people each week. I strongly recommend his podcast to those who are looking for a boost of motivation.

What makes Lewis Howes' book so important is the simple way that Howes is able to lay out his guides for success. He describes specific steps that the reader should take to organize their day, become more efficient, and find a nice work/relaxation balance, all while providing great tools and resources to help the reader accomplish these simple goals. Howes understands that the schedule that he has set for himself may not work for every reader, and he explains how to balance your day to get more rest while also increasing your productivity.

2. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell -

There is not much I can say about John Maxwell that has not already been said by readers and fans the world over. Maxwell's books have transformed thousands of lives by providing motivational steps for personal transformation in the fields of leadership, personal development, and connectivity.

I have read five or six books by John Maxwell and while I've taken great nuggets of information from each book, the key lessons behind The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth were fundamental steps for personal success that I found incredibly helpful in my journey. In this book, Maxwell describes how to not only wish for success but to grow into the kind of person that attracts success. He helps the reader understand the importance behind surrounding yourself with the right environment, being consistent in your pursuit of your dreams, believing in your abilities, and a number of other key elements. It was one of the first books that truly motivated me to improve myself and my personal situation.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey -

This book has become one of the most referenced personal development books of  the past few decades. CEO's, military personnel, and self-help gurus around the world have used this book to teach important lessons on effective leadership and networking. Covey's lessons revolve largely around developing personal habits that can increase your awareness of self in order to strengthen your ability to effectively manage your life and your work. Lessons such as sharpening your already acquired skills and learning from more experienced individuals are laid out in easy-to-understand platforms for the reader. Easily one of the most important books in this list, I strong suggest this book to everyone who is interested in improving themselves.

4. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Since Elon Musk burst onto the scene with companies such as Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX, I have been a fan of his determination to progress human exploration as well as his dream to see our dependence on oil diminished. He has become a visionary for scientific discoveries and his companies have used new technology to make privatized space exploration and electric cars the future of human transportation.

In this book, Ashlee Vance provides the reader with a rare glimpse into Musk's childhood and the lessons that made him so motivated for future success. We learn how Musk was able to help build PayPal and then use his proceeds from the company's sale to finance Tesla and SpaceX. What makes this book one of my favorites in terms of motivation is the personality of Musk. He has a way to motivate and inspire those around him despite the overwhelming odds for failure, and I believe that is why he has been able to push the envelope with SpaceX and Tesla. His ability to share a progressive vision with so many is obviously applicable for anyone who has an idea they wish to act on for their own lives.

5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This choice may seem a little off-the-wall for those that are seeking motivation for self-improvement, but the Harry Potter books have at their core a lesson of friendship, growth, and good vs. evil. The characters in these books are often overwhelmed as they face the forces of evil that threaten their world, but they never attempt to fight these forces alone. Time and time again, Harry Potter used his friends, his family, and his professors to defeat the evil wizards that wish him harm.

This lesson is important for anyone who is attempting something drastic in their own lives. If you are working and have children but dream of going back to college, there is no way you can accomplish this goal alone. You must lean on your spouse or your friends for help, or else you will more than likely be overwhelmed with work. If you want to start a business, having close friends or colleagues that know how to operate different departments of a business can be a helpful asset on your road to success. Use the resources that you have and don't forget about those that are there to support you with your journey.

6. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Another book that has been around for a number of years, Think and Grow Rich is a collecting of thought-provoking lessons that help the reader better understand their own motivation for success. Napoleon Hill questions the personal and psychological working of the reader in order to expose why exactly they are reaching for personal development. By understanding these inner thoughts, the reader can tighter their own focus and fuel their actions with the right form of inspiration. Hill also uses many well-known names to express his points, including the famous Henry Ford and his original failure of a car company.

This list was compiled from my own collection of books, and the fact that I have mentioned only six does not mean that these are the only books I recommend. On the contrary, I recommend that you read these six and then explore other books by these others in order to broaden your own literary horizons. Like an avalanche that begins with the falling of a single pebble, these books can lead to an avalanche of information for you if you allow them. So take the lessons provided by these authors and use them to act on your motivation. And along your journey, do not forget that reading is the shortcut to success.

Follow me on twitter @dmoffett2306

Daniel Moffett