If I Could Tell You (WH Auden)

Time will say nothing but I told you so
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reason why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

O Where Are You Going? (WH Auden)

“O where are you going?” said reader to rider,
“That valley is fatal when furnaces burn,
Yonder’s the midden whose odors will madden,
That gap is the grave where the tall return.”

“O do you imagine,” said fearer to farer,
“That dusk will delay on your path to the pass,
Your diligent looking discover the lacking
Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?”

“O what was that bird,” said horror to hearer,
“Did you see that shape in the twisted trees?
Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly,
The spot on your skin is a shocking disease?”

“Out of this house” ‚ said rider to reader,
“Yours never will” ‚ said farer to fearer,
“They’re looking for you” ‚ said hearer to horror,
As he left them there, as he left them there.

Dream big. Aim high. Fulfill your potential

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high, but that it is too low and we reach it

Michelangelo

Demand more of yourself. Put the work in. Push yourself and challenge your limits to discover what you are truly capable of. We were not given the gift of life, making it this far, to now simply stumble along. We are here for a reason and have an untapped well of  potential within us. I say it’s time that we made the most of it.

Reflection, planning and goal setting are things that we should all be doing at regular intervals. Along with reviewing progress, reflecting on experiences and learning and adapting. Sprinkle that with a healthy dose of unglamorous, thankless hard work, and you have the recipe for achievement and success. There is, however, a catch.

The steps above, as with the act of learning itself, are a lifelong process. If you stop setting goals and pursuing them with hunger and determination, you will eventually stagnate. That is why New Year’s Resolutions do not work. Resolutions are made once a year and with no plan  of action. Therefore, when the initial excitement and novelty wears off, resolutions going out of the window for another year.

When you do set goals and take action, make sure that they are your own. Another thing that we see all too often is people watching and wanting to become like the latest social media influencer or celebrity. Be yourself. More importantly, be true to yourself. What I mean by this is that when you set a goal for yourself, it should be to achieve something that you want for yourself. It should be dictated by a desire which burns deep within you and won’t go away.

One of the main reasons people play it safe and don’t push themselves as far as they could, is self-doubt. They pay too much attention to that little negative voice, the one which tells them that they are not smart enough, experienced enough or skilled enough to succeed. If you have started to believe that you are not talented enough, and are letting a perceived lack of talent hold you back, you need to stop and get a grip of yourself. Talent is actually far less important than people assume. It’s hard work and perseverance which really matter.

Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything.

Tim Grover

Do yourself a favour and ignore that negative voice. Actually, you can do yourself an even bigger favour, and stop letting negative people dissuade you from chasing big scary goals. When people belittle your ambitions, it’s a reflection of their limitations and not yours. Swap these naysayers for people who believe in you and support your goals.

Surround yourself with those who want you to succeed. people who don’t pursue their own dreams won’t encourage you to pursue yours

Tim Grover

You have nothing to lose by setting ambitious goals and pursuing them. Along the way you will grow and develop, achieving wonderful things and becoming the best version of yourself. That’s not such a bad thing is it?

 

What’s the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?

Grant Cardone

It Might Have Been (Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

We will be what we could be. Do not say,
“It might have been, had not this, or that, or this.”
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase “It might have been!”
It lacks force, and life’s best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.

Thinking of starting your own blog?

I regularly get asked for advice on how to start a blog, what to write about and how often to post on a blog. While I respond as quickly as possible and as best I can, it’s about time that I share what I have learned on my journey in the hope that it might help other aspiring bloggers.

Before you start, you need to have an idea of what you want to share via your blog. Will it be related to your personal or your professional interests? My personal interest and passion is in personal development and how our mindset and attitude determines whether we will fulfill our potential or fall short. I share advice based on what i’ve learned through research and experience, inspirational and motivational poetry and book reviews. You don’t need to have it all figured out at this stage, but you need to know what you want to talk about. This will help to ensure that your message is clear and runs throughout your blog posts.

Starting a blog is pretty easy. There are a number of platforms out there, with WordPress and Blogger among the most popular. Do your homework on what each platform offers and pick the most appropriate one for your needs.

Once you have chosen a platform, registered a name and set-up your blog it’s time to start writing. Don’t spend months waiting for the perfect topic to come to mind, or the perfect time as I did. Search for, read and follow other blogs with a similar theme to yours for ideas and inspiration. Use your other social media platforms to connect with similar-minded people and keep reading up on your area of interest. Then, start blogging.

As you post on your blog, you will learn and grow, which will help you to develop your blog. Respond to messages and feedback from readers. Engaging with your readership and inviting feedback is how many blogs increase in quality as well as popularity. You don’t need to have your writing style figured out, just keep blogging and that will come to you over time.

When I write, I just open the page and let it all out. Then I go back to proof-read and edit, but you need to determine the style and process which works for you. Depending on your theme and your proficiency with your blogging platform, your posts may have graphics, charts, links to other pages or other interactive elements. This is your own space which you can have fun with and fill as you like. Experiment with it and have fun.

Don’t get caught up in the statistics and numbers. When I started, I posted many items which didn’t receive a single “like”. It still happens sometimes. Don’t take it to heart, just keep blogging. It’s easy to get discouraged by a lack of interest but please understand that there are countless blogs online all vying for peoples’ attention. It just might be taking a little longer for yours to get noticed, that’s all. The only person you should be writing for is yourself. You need to be satisfied with the quality and content of what you post. Not everyone will appreciate it, but a blog should be an expression, and outlet, of what is burning inside you and struggling to get out. While it may entertain or inform the reader, it is also an indication of who the writer is as a person, what motivates, inspires and drives them.

As for the length of your posts and how often you should blog, the best advice I can give is to do what feels right for you. The more time you can spare and the more you feel you have to share, the more often you will be posting. Don’t get caught up in this, because as you post on your blog, you will get a feel for how much you can write and how often.

Most of all, enjoy the process. If you are planning on blogging to earn fame and fortune, you are setting yourself up to fail as your priorities and intentions are wrong and you are putting extra pressure on yourself. You should be blogging because you enjoy it, because it means something to you, because you want to inspire or motivate others. Fame and fortune may very well come your way, but it should be as a happy coincidence while you do something you enjoy and not the reason why you started blogging in the first place.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, I wish you the best of luck. It’s a wonderful experience which can teach you so much, and I personally would not change it for the world.

Happy Blogging!!!

How Did You Die? (Edmund Vance Cooke)

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there — that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight —  and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

 

 

A Psalm of Life (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

A little different from the poetry which I usually share, I chose A Psalm of Life because of the optimistic tone of the poem and how inspirational it is.

The poet reveals to the reader his disdain for pessimists, in particular with a negative outlook of life, before reinforcing his belief that life is full of opportunities and possibilities. Life is not  just a race to the grave. Everyone interprets poetry in different ways but this more than just a poem, it’s also a call for us to keep faith in life’s power and potential.

The positivity running throughout the poem is infectious. Not only that, but it has a valuable lesson for everyone. Life is full of opportunities and possibilities which we can take advantage of when we use our time wisely and work hard

Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

I love the defiance, determination, confidence and self respect in this poem. Ultimately representing the struggles of African Americans, and women in particular, it is as powerful as it is poignant.

The reason why I decided to share it here is because it offers a lesson which anybody can benefit from. The poet, Maya Angelou, is declaring that no matter what life throws at her, or what other people may attempt, she will overcome and rise above it. There is no hesitation or self-doubt, but just a strong confidence and determination to always get up when life knocks her down.

Therein lies the lesson and the message. This poem is a call to action, for people to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back to work whenever life knocks them down.

Whether through circumstances beyond our control or the machinations of others, we will all face setbacks at some point. There are two ways in which people respond to these situations; some will label the experience as a learning curve and draw what lessons they can from it before picking themselves up and getting back to work, wiser for the experience. Others, on the other hand, will be beset with self-doubt and the temptation to give up. Rather than focus on the experience and what could be learned, attention is turned inwards and all thought revolves around how the individual was affected.

The poem calls for us to follow the poet’s example and be more like the first group, as detailed as above. When faced with difficulties in life, no matter what they are, we should approach them with the same levels of determination and confidence to get back up. After all, our response to setbacks is all in the mind. With a positive mindset, an individual will look at what they can learn from the experience and have the self belief that they can recover.

So, the next time you hit a roadblock on your path towards your ultimate goals, will you give up or will you rise?

Roll The Dice (Charles Bukowski)

As we hit the midpoint in the week, which is for many the hardest day to get through, I would like to share with you another poem from Henry Charles Bukowski, Roll the Dice. This is an inspirational poem, in which we are told that we should chase after what we are passionate about. Wholeheartedly. You must have goals and be willing to sacrifice everything and work tirelessly in pursuit of them. If you can do this, the poet explains that the resulting feeling of accomplishment will be unlike anything else which you have experienced. In true Bukowski style, it is honest, gritty  and truthful rather than overly positive. He tells us that in chasing our passions, we give meaning and purpose to our lives. However we must also be realistic and understand that there are risks involved. Much in the same way as when a dice is rolled, the outcome of that which we attempt in life cannot be known in advance.

The title reminds us that there are few guarantees and certainties in life. With that in mind, you should follow your passion. Do whatever it is that you secretly desire. Regardless of what it is, do it. When you decide to pursue your goals though, you must devote yourself wholeheartedly to it. No half-measures. There may be hardships and challenges to be overcome, but with persistence you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. The feeling when you accomplish your goals will make it all worthwhile.

 

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. 

Otherwise, don’t even start. 

This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.

It could mean not eating for three or four days. 

It could mean freezing on a park bench. 

It could mean jail. 

It could mean derision. 

It could mean mockery–isolation.

Isolation is the gift. 

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. 

And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. 

And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. 

If you’re going to try, go all the way. 

There is no other feeling like that. 

You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. 

You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. 

It’s the only good fight there is.”

A Farewell (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Today’s poem is slightly different to the others so far. It is a reminder of our mortality, and for me, a call for us to remain humble, enjoy the time we have and create something of value which lasts.

Tennyson compares his time on Earth to the seemingly eternal lifespan of nature, with a hint of regret that his life is so relatively short. The message is clear, that nature lives on forever, while humans don’t. The rivulet moves on to becomes a river and then it merges in to the sea where it stays for eternity. In reading this poem it becomes clear that even though his lifespan may have been limited, the great poet’s work lives on even after their death.

If we want to leave something behind us of value, we don’t need to follow Tennyson’s lead and become poets. Life is to savoured and enjoyed but while we are here, we  just need to do our bit to try and make the world a better place to live in. Take a moment to ask yourself; how would you like to be remembered by future generations?  What lasting value do you want to create? It could be a business which you hope to build and which will outlive you, or you may want to write a novel, paint or create music. Or your dream could be to meet that special someone and raise a family. Whatever it is, if we were to close our eyes we could all picture exactly what kind of legacy we would like to leave.

 

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river:
Nowhere by thee my steps shall be
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

 

Life is short, so we need to make the most of it and not waste time on things which don’t ultimately matter. Even though we are not sure of what tomorrow will bring, life is to be enjoyed and not wasted or regretted, and while we are here we have an opportunity to create something of value which lasts.

“You can leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think”

 – Marcus Aurelius

Success (Bessie Anderson Stanley)

While there is much debate about who actually wrote the poem which I am sharing with you today, there is no doubting its value. Having long been attributed to philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is now believed to have been written in 1904 by the writer Bessie Anderson Stanley. Somewhat similar in style to Rudyard Kipling’s If, the poem is written as though a teacher, parent or grandparent is sharing their wisdom.

The poet questions what success actually means and what it looks like. Ask that question today, and due to the influence of social media, a number people will likely tell you that success for them means fame and fortune, big houses, fast cars and lavish holidays. Of course, that is not true for everyone, and others may define success as finding a cure for a terrible disease, protecting an endangered species from extinction or any other way in which they can make a meaningful difference and inspire change for the better.

The poet here reminds us that the successful person is also one who has lived well, enjoyed themselves and fostered good relationships with all kinds of people. To Stanley, success is about the intangible things, which cannot be bought and are difficult to measure. Success is not just about material things, but as with those who strive to make the world a better place, it’s about what we can accomplish, and how we can contribute to the betterment of society and the world around us.

So, you don’t need status or wealth to be considered successful. You are a success if you achieve something worthwhile, and leave the world in a better state than it was when you found it. Success is about interactions and whether you are able to inspire, lead or lift others. Success is about enjoying, and making the most of the beauty of life. For this, you don’t need social status or a well-paid job. All you need is kindness, compassion, empathy and respect, and we are all capable of these.

So, what is success? I hope the poem provokes some thought and reflection on what success means to you.

Success
He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of
pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

IF (Rudyard Kipling)

Today, as we hit the midpoint in the week, I have yet another of my favourite poems to share. My hope is that it will encourage you to keep working hard at your goals and personal development, and finish the week strongly.
In the anticipation of motivating and inspiring you, I have chosen If by Rudyard Kipling. Widely quoted, it was written in 1909 and the tone is very upbeat and positive. Despite using words such as man and son, this is a poem for everybody. To me, the poem is a reminder of the amount of potential we all have within us to succeed in life.
Kipling advises the reader that they will face adversity in life, but then proceeds to offer ways in which these challenges can be overcome. Furthermore, he tells the reader that it is not only possible to overcome adversity but that they could go further, thrive and achieve success. Again, Kipling offers his advice as to how this can be done, and implies that the choice is theirs as to whether they make it happen or not.
What I love most about this poem, though, is the use of “if”. In reading these 2 innocent letters, we become aware that the life which they lead is our choice. It’s up to each of us if we succeed in life or not. The potential is within us, but the ultimate outcome depends on what we do with that potential.
If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

A Psalm of Life (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Another day, and I have another poem which I would like to share with you. Also known as What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist, this poem brims with optimism. This is the perfect tonic for daily life, which can at times feel heavy and as though it is weighing us down.
The poem below, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is a reminder that life is full of possibilities and opportunities for those who work hard and are patient. Essentially, the poet tells us that we can make progress from day to day, and achieve our goals, if we make the full use of our time. That said, our time has to be used wisely, by working hard, but we should also never lose faith in the power and potential of life.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
   Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
   And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
   Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
   Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
   Learn to labor and to wait.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this poem as much as I did after I was introduced to it for the first time. Most of all though, I hope that you heed the poet’s message, that we should all aim to make the most out of this life.
Instead of just watching life pass us by we should take action, as life is full of possibilities. So, if you have a talent within you aching to be released, stop wasting time and just express yourself. Draw, paint, sing, read, write….whatever it is that makes your heart sing, start doing it today. Likewise your dreams, ambitions, goals and plans. We all have something which we want to do or achieve, and now is the time to start working towards making them a reality. Slowly, one step at a time and one day at a time.
Have faith, work hard and make the most of life’s inherent potential.

The Winners (Rudyard Kipling)

This Monday morning, as the world heads back to work or study, I would like to share another of my favourite poems.

 

Collaboration, cooperation and teamwork are terms which we encounter many times each day, especially in the workplace. They all refer to the same thing, the sharing of knowledge and experiences with others in order to achieve shared goals and objectives. It does work, and the ability to work closely with others effectively is a valuable skill.

Kipling, however, raises in this poem the question as to whether collaboration is always necessary, or indeed the best option. He explains that whenever someone wants to accomplish something important, they have to decide whether it would be better to tackle the task with the aid of another, or to just trust in your own abilities and judgment. In warning that “He travels the fastest who travels alone” the poet explains that there is a potential downside to collaboration, as others can distract or impede progress to the point where the goal may never be achieved.

Simply put, the message is that if you have a goal which you believe you can reach alone, don’t wait for someone else, but go after it and reap the rewards of doing your best on your own terms.

 

What the moral? Who rides may read.
When the night is thick and the tracks are blind
A friend at a pinch is a friend, indeed,
But a fool to wait for the laggard behind.
Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
He travels the fastest who travels alone.

White hands cling to the tightened rein,
Slipping the spur from the booted heel,
Tenderest voices cry ” Turn again!”
Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel,
High hopes faint on a warm hearth-stone–
He travels the fastest who travels alone.

One may fall but he falls by himself–
Falls by himself with himself to blame.
One may attain and to him is pelf–
Loot of the city in Gold or Fame.
Plunder of earth shall be all his own
Who travels the fastest and travels alone.

Wherefore the more ye be helpen-.en and stayed,
Stayed by a friend in the hour of toil,
Sing the heretical song I have made–
His be the labour and yours be the spoil.
Win by his aid and the aid disown–
He travels the fastest who travels alone!

 

I love this poem because it is different. Kipling depicts the other side to working closely with others, and highlights the uncomfortable truth that sometimes collaboration can impede progress. Instead, the poet suggests that we muster up the courage to take a leap of faith anyway, go it alone and work on our own terms.

Published in 1888 but still relevant today, the poet implores the reader that, if they want to accomplish something important, they have to carefully consider if they have the ability to complete it on their own, and whether it really is necessary to ask someone else for help?

Are you brave enough to go it alone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey so far..

For my 100th blog post, I would like to share a little about myself and the journey which I have been on since starting Fulfill Your Potential.

I didn’t set out to start a blog, it kind of..happened. Writing, however, is something which i’ve always enjoyed. Until I started Fulfill Your Potential, though, I only ever wrote for myself in notebooks and journals. I have boxes of them which I revisit from time to time, as they provide a powerful reminder of how far i’ve come and how far I have yet to go. I’d reflect on myself and my own personal development, as well as anything which i’ve come across and has stuck in my mind. Wherever I go, I always have a notepad and pen with me, just in case inspiration strikes.

In the last couple of years, I have left the teaching profession to pursue a career in Human Resources. This is a broad field, of which Learning and Development interests me the most. I am not only fascinated by how much potential we all have within us, but also the power which each of us has to fulfil that potential. During this time I have studied for a Master’s in Human Resource Management, read countless books and journal articles, gained a wealth of experience and consulted with numerous academics, coaches and professionals. Furthermore I have enhanced my knowledge, skills and professional network.

The problem I faced was that I now found myself with all this research, knowledge and a wealth of resources but not enough of an outlet. At the same time, social media was full of gurus and coaches selling training packages which offered all the secrets to success for a fee. Despite my skepticism, I read a few books and visited numerous blogs and websites but found many of them distinctly lacking any real substance. They were motivational, but didn’t offer anything other than what I felt I already knew. That is, however, the genius of these offerings; because there are no lasting benefits you keep going back to top up your levels of motivation.

I decided that I was being selfish in withholding what I had learned and experienced, and needed to share it with the world. So I started this blog. I actually created it last November, then…nothing. I was waiting for the perfect time and topic before starting. So I waited and waited and waited. Then I remembered that the perfect time does not exist, and if I kept waiting the blog would not get started. In April, I finally took the plunge and posted for the first time.

I am, and have always been, an introvert so this was rather scary. I worried that nobody would read it. Then I worried about being ridiculed. It was slow going at first, and there were many times when I questioned what I was doing and whether I should give up, but I kept writing. Once a week at first, I now write daily and love it. I love being able to share something of value with the world but I enjoy the interactions with readers more. It’s easy to get carried away and become obsessed with the statistics (visitors, likes..) but I am fixated on value. I want to offer something worthwhile and helpful to as any people as possible. I want people to know that it is possible to find help and inspiration for free. You don’t have to pay significant amounts of money for well-marketed programmes, which are often common sense sprinkled with anecdotes of people who have achieved success against all odds. That is not to say that they are all bad. There are indeed a number of very successful coaches who offer a great service, but only if you pay a premium.

Most of all I write in the hope that I can provide value to others by providing a source of motivation or inspiration through the sharing of knowledge and experience. This is simply a labour of love, and something I strongly believe in, so I will continue to write and pay it forward for as long as anyone finds value in this blog.

If you like what your read, I only ask that you please leave a comment and let me know how I can improve my blog for you. If you feel inclined to share any of my posts, that would also be greatly appreciated. If there is a topic which resonates with you, please let me know and I will promise to revisit it in more depth.

Alternatively, if you hate it, I would love to hear from you too. I am on a mission to write to the best of my ability and provide something of value, so any constructive feedback would help me to help you, the reader. If you believe that you could do better, please do so. After all, the world needs more people to find the courage to share their talents, providing value and beauty while asking nothing in return.

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for joining me on this rollercoaster ride over the past 100 posts. There is plenty more yet to come, and in the pipeline is a podcast, which will be launching as soon as I manage to iron out a few technical issues.

The Blueprint

“All you need is the plan, the road map and the course to press on to your destination”

Earl Nightingale

As the weekend draws to a close and we turn our thoughts to the week ahead, I would like to offer two more of my favourite quotes.

The first, is all about the quest for success, and tells you at a glance what you need to get started. The plan is your overall vision, your big goals and the timeframe in which you will achieve them. The road map describes the small goals along the way and your strategy for achieving them. Your strategy, in this case, is simply how you will be making the most of your strengths and resources in order to achieve your goals. The course is the journey which you will be on. This is, arguably, the most important part as this is where you learn and develop. Throughout the journey, you gain knowledge and skills while improving your strengths and addressing your weaknesses. Finally, the destination  is your ultimate goal. This is not the end of the process or the journey at all, though. Once you reach your destination, reflect on the skills and knowledge which you have acquired before starting again. Life is a journey of continuous progression and personal development after all.

There is one element which i’d add to the above, though, and that is the initial reflection. I strongly believe that you should first reflect on who you are and what you want to achieve before you can set goals and pursue them. You have to know what you are good at, and where your weaknesses lie. You also need an idea of what success would look like to you. Without this, how would you know that you have achieved success?

As for the second quote, it’s about taking action now and not wasting time.

Taken together, both quotes offer an important piece of advice. You don’t need much to get started on your journey towards success. Reflect, formulate a clear idea of what you want to achieve, set your goals and get after them. Don’t waste time overthinking it.

I’ll leave you with quote number two from one of my favourite actors, Robert de Niro;

“Time goes on. So whatever you’re going to do, do it. Do it now. Don’t wait”

Be mindful of the company you keep

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room”

Michael Dell

We tend to surround ourselves with what is familiar. We know what we like, and search for it. Why? Because it’s easy, comfortable and makes us feel good. This applies to the people who we choose to spend time with too. If you really want to lead a successful and fulfilled life, though, you need to step outside your comfort zone. Too many of us still fear the unknown and avoid it wherever possible. What they don’t realise, however, is that these unknowns have within them the opportunities which could transform their lives.

Growing up,I was taught that there is always someone in life, there is always  someone better than you out there. The key is to be humble, seek out these people and learn from them. In order to really develop and grow both both personally and professionally, you need to spend time around people who are more successful, more intelligent, more experienced than you.  It may seem daunting and scary at first but these are the people who will challenge you, stretch you, motivate and inspire you. Not to mention the fact that they may have the knowledge, skills or networks to help you overcome a particular challenge which you may be facing.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t devote time to your family and friends. These are the people who bring joy and meaning into our lives. Even if they don’t challenge us, the love, understanding, friendship and support which they offer us is a welcome support. You can still maintain your relationships, while also seeking out new groups which will help your professional development. There are a number of ways in which you can do this with minimal impact to your personal life.

For those who lack confidence in social situations, there are countless forums and groups on social media with a common interest, such as business networking, which can be joined. Or you can search for the nearest networking event or meeting taking place on a topic which interests you, and attend. In fact, many universities and colleges host such events which are open to the public and free to attend.

Alternatively, look to join a group with which you share a common interest and which holds regular meetings. Personally, I benefited most from joining 2 cigar clubs in London. Cigars are my guilty pleasure, which I allow myself when I have cause for celebration. After a bit of research I picked 2 clubs and joined, each of which meet once a month for tasting sessions, for the experience. The aim was to learn more about, and try, more cigars in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. This I definitely got, but there was something else which these groups gave me. I gained the opportunity to meet and learn from new people. On attending the first meeting of each of these clubs, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was in the presence of entrepreneurs, successful businessmen and women, diplomats and creators of government policy to name but a few. That said, the atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly when we meet as everyone has  a shared interest, which in this case is the humble cigar. In the time which I have been a member at both of these clubs, my professional network has grown as have my opportunities for personal development. Better yet, as the groups only meet once a  month, I have plenty of time outside of these 2 meetings to spend with the people who really matter, my nearest and dearest.

I am not saying that everyone should now start smoking cigars. Some would even argue that it’s a filthy habit. What I would suggest, though, is joining a group based on something which interests you. An increasing number of workplaces have groups which meet on a number of subjects, so find the one which interests you the most and give it a go. Universities have societies for virtually everything you can think of, and allow you to create your own if you can’t find one you like. You never know which doors it might open for you.

Your family and friends, whether they challenge or comfort you, are important and should never be neglected. That is not to say, however, that you can’t find a group or society to join which will give you the challenge and motivation to keep learning and developing.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17)

 

 

 

 

 

Circumstances and taking control

“Man is not a creature of circumstances, but a creator of circumstances. He makes his own circumstances, his own opportunities”

Napoleon Hill

 As we head into the weekend, and prepare to switch off and unwind for 2 days, I thought it would be appropriate to share the above quote with you.

I love it because it really speaks volumes. It reinforces what we all know, deep down, namely that we each control our own destiny. If you know yourself well enough to know what you want, as well as your strengths and weaknesses, then good things will come your way if your put in the hard work. Through your consistent efforts, you lay the foundations for future success.

You can’t do it without hard work though. Of course, the easier option would be to sit back and wait for success to come knocking at your door. The problem with this, however, is that I am yet to meet anybody for whom this approach has actually worked. In fact, this is the quickest path to disappointment, disengagement, despair and even depression.

The hard truth is that if you really want something, you have to put the work in to get it. In being proactive, you take a certain amount of control over your circumstances. When you do this, you will notice that opportunities suddenly start to seek you out. It’s almost as if the universe has seen the work which you are putting in, and decided to give you a helping hand. This is a far better approach than the reactive one, in which people wait for things to happen to them before even thinking about doing anything about it. This second approach is lazy, and laziness will not help your personal or professional development. Lazy, not just in their reluctance to take action, but also lazy in how they react when circumstances  do not work in their favour and opportunities seem to never present themselves. This is because they simply choose to blame others or lady luck herself, rather than do anything which could help to improve their situation.

So, the next time things do not go your way and you stop to curse your bad luck or start telling yourself that you can’t catch a break, ask yourself this simple question;

“Am I really doing all I can to move forward in the direction of my goals or could I do more?”

Carpe Diem

Seize the day. The time is now. There is no time like the present…

These are phrases which we hear all too often, but despite being overused they remain relevant. We all start out with big dreams, goals and ambitions which we chase relentlessly, until we reach a point where we become comfortable and content. So we stop. From there, we fall into a routine and stop striving for constant growth and development because we are happy as we are. Our lives become a cycle of work, play and home life, which is not a bad thing as long as you are not only happy, but also confident that you won’t be filled with regret later. For many people, though, daily life continues merrily until they wake up one morning feeling as though something is missing. This is followed by reflection on time misspent and opportunities missed.

The good news is that it is never too late to put that reflection to good use. Rather than dwell on what may have been missed out on so far, identify what it is that you really want and go after it. Regardless of your age or current circumstances, anybody can set themselves goals for personal development and chase them with vigour and determination. If you want something bad enough and are prepared to put the work in, you will find a way to make it happen. Anybody, absolutely anybody, can make minor adjustments to their daily lives which will help them to take steps towards their goals. These steps may be very small, but each one gets you closer to what it is that you’re aiming for. Darren Hardy calls this “The Compound Effect” and it really does work.

Ideally, you will be carving out a few minutes each day for a little reflection, and acting upon it. I find that this works best for me at night, just before bed, when I look back on my day and ask myself;

  • What have I got to be grateful for (usually 3 things) ?
  • What have I learned today?
  • Did I take any steps in the direction of my goals? Could I have done more? Tried harder? What do I need to work harder on?
  • Did I make a difference to anybody other than myself? Did I pay it forward? Did I help anybody or provide a service? If not, why?
  • What steps can I take tomorrow to get me closer to my goals? Where are the gaps in my skills or knowledge which need to be addressed?

With this done, I get a more restful sleep with a clear mind, and wake up energised and ready to continue my journey towards my goals.

It is by no accident that I post this call to action today, a Friday in August. August is traditionally a month of downtime, when people take holidays to unwind and recharge their batteries. Furthermore, Fridays tend to be quieter days as people switch their focus to the weekend. So on this quiet Friday in the quiet month of August, I would like to ask you this; What if you were to take a different view? What if I told you that there was a golden opportunity to be had if you didn’t follow the lead of others?

A large number of people right now have turned their attention to rest and relaxation while on holiday, or their plans for the weekend. If, however, you chose instead to take action in the direction of your goals, you could gain a huge advantage. Success is not just a matter of hard work and determination, but also having the ability to sense an opportunity and seizing it.

So, while others are working on their suntan or planning their weekend shenanigans, use this to your advantage. The more headway you make now towards your goals, the harder others will have to work to catch you or reach your level when they return from their break.

How to keep on winning..

You’ve achieved your goals, personal or business, and success is yours. Finally, you are living the life you had until now only dreamed of. So what do you do next?! KEEP GOING!!! After all, success is an ongoing journey of learning and development. It doesn’t just come to you one night, at random, and stay for a lifetime. It requires an incredible amount of hard work before you can even think of tasting success, and even more of the same to remain successful.

All too often people hit the dizzying heights of success only to then fail, fade away or be overtaken by competitors. This is especially true in the business world. Why does this happen? How does it happen? One big reason why some ventures fade into obscurity after a very strong start, is the naivety and the misunderstanding of what success really is. Too many people see it as an endpoint or a finish line. As soon as they achieve their big goals, they become comfortable and complacent. Most telling of all, though, is that they stop doing what made them successful in the first place. The hunger and desire which drove them this far is now replaced with satisfaction and contentment. Focus turns to living a comfortable lifestyle with nice houses, cars and luxury goods which they can show off to the world through social media.

Unfortunately, success does not last forever. Tastes change, new inventions come to market, new writers or artists release their work and competitors emerge to challenge you for your market share. The problem is that, during this time, you’ve taken a step back in order to enjoy the fruits of your labour. From there, you won’t be able to see, let alone react, to the challenges you will be facing. Before you know it, you are yesterday’s news and scrambling to catch up with everyone else.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. Not at all. Take, for example, our personal lives. As we achieve the goals we set for ourselves, we simply stop to reflect before setting more challenging goals. In this sense, our development is ongoing and we are never truly finished learning and growing;

  • We begin with reflection on who we are, our values, what we want from life and our strengths and weaknesses.
  • Once the above has been established, we determine our purpose and then set ourselves goals, both short-term and long-term.
  • At regular intervals, we reflect on our progress so far
  • As we meet each goal, we return to the beginning and reflect before replacing it with another, more challenging, goal.

Sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but this is a formula which can work for anyone willing to put in the required work and effort. Moreover, it can be applied to a business venture too. The only real difference is that the reflection being done and the goals being set are not for yourself but for the business as a whole.

In order to maintain the momentum built by your initial success, you need to be proactive. This is regardless of whether the success is for yourself personally or a business you have launched. You can’t afford to sit back and wait for events to unfold and then react to them. It is far better, and far less stressful to reflect on your progress at regular intervals, adapting or updating your goals whenever necessary. Take a proactive approach and let others strive to catch up with you.

Naturally, when the bad times come, you should maintain your focus and keep going in the direction of your goals. The exact same is true of when the good times come. Keep doing what brought you success in the first place, and fight off complacency with a proactive approach. Don’t lose the passion, desire, hunger and determination which drove you towards achieving what you set out to. Just keep learning, developing, growing and moving forward.

 

 

The “self-made” Myth

Self made. It was all down to me. I did it all by myself. I wanted it bad enough that I went out and made it happen…

How often do we hear the statements like the above when successful people are interviewed? How true are they? Are these people alone responsible for their own success, or is there more to it? Don’t get me wrong, I am not against these comments at all. Narratives like these can provide a fantastic source of motivation and inspiration for others. The message sent is that you don’t have to wait for the right conditions or time for success to come, because the power is in your hands. You control your destiny and have the ability in you to achieve success if you want it badly enough. If doors keep slamming in your face? No problem, just keep banging on more of them until one eventually opens and you get given a chance to prove yourself.

Nobody can achieve success for you. There is no denying this. Others can only teach, advise, guide or assist you to a certain point, after which the rest depends on you. You have to put the work in. The passion, desire and drive needs to come from you. You will be the only one facing the challenges, and in order to overcome them and keep going, sacrifices and compromises will be made. But are you truly going through all of this alone?

No, is the short answer. In the last post, Pay It Forward, we looked at how many of us got to where we are today because somebody took a gamble on us. We were given a chance even though we lacked experience, or another of the key factors which they were looking for. Someone simply saw potential in us and gave us an opportunity, where others would’ve turned us down or shown us the door. So, unless we have been living alone on an island in the middle of nowhere while creating our art or building our business, we have someone to thank for helping us on our journey.

However, it’s not just to the people who gave us a chance and showed faith in us that we have to show our appreciation. While there are some who do manage to go it alone, the majority of us have the love and support of family, friends and communities to support us. These are the people who did everything they could to help us on our journey and asked for nothing in return.

Take credit for your achievements, because they came as a result of your relentless effort and hard work. Be sure to tell the world, as this is a story which could inspire and motivate others. When you do tell your story, though, please give credit to those who helped, supported, influenced or inspired you along the way. Many of these people did all they could to help you and asked for nothing, so please be sure to thank them. “Thank You” is made of just 2 words but when they are said with genuine feeling, they can mean the world to those who helped and believed in you. Mention also your influences too, such as philosophers or businessmen, so that others may read their work and become inspired too.

When success comes, it stands to reason that you should be proud of your achievements and enjoy the accolades. However, telling the world that you are “self made” and alone responsible for your success, is only telling half of the story. Remain humble and grounded during these exciting times and express gratitude for the help, support and inspiration which you received. After all, would you be able to recreate your success if you had to do it all again without the helping hand of family, friends or a mentor?

Pay It Forward

At some point in our lives, someone gave us a chance when nobody else would. We received a random act of kindness and nothing was asked in return. Somebody believed in us, and helped us. Maybe we were offered a job despite lacking experience. Perhaps we were caught doing something we shouldn’t have, but were given a second chance. Whatever form it may have taken, if we think hard enough, we can all bring to mind at least one instance in which somebody saw enough in us that they were prepared to take a gamble.

In times gone by, helping others was a more common practice but somewhere along the way we seem to have become a bit more selfish. Today, people are becoming increasingly driven by self-interest and self-promotion, and ignorant of the world around them. Self confidence is good, and we do need to work on ourselves before we can help others BUT it’s the last part that we are forgetting. We are focusing on ourselves and forgetting that our experiences and knowledge can be a source of help for someone else. Social media posts increasingly seem to revolve around somebody’s latest luxury purchase or their luxurious lifestyle. While we should absolutely share what makes us happy and motivates us, I feel that there is an opportunity being wasted. Rather than your latest watch, why not share some of your knowledge or experience so that you might inspire and motivate others? Share what you have learned on your journey and how you have developed along the way. Or give a glimpse of what life is really like, when the cameras are off, for an entrepreneur, writer, actor, artist…

What I am asking, is for you to pay it forward. Take that kindness, belief, trust or opportunity which you benefited from, and use it to help somebody else who has no real way of returning the favour. Inspire them, in turn, to pay it forward themselves when the opportunity presents itself. In this way, we have something of a virtuous cycle, in which we help others through random acts of kindness and they then do the same for someone else. This is applicable in all areas of life, from business to personal relationships and has the potential to be a huge force for good.

Let’s return to the social media example for a moment. Even if there is a social media strategy in place, and the self-promotion is helping to grow your account and increase your influence, you can still pay it forward. Even if you only devote one Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat post to helping others, it has the potential to be seen by, and inspire, millions of people around the world. This inspirational or informative post might help someone in Australia find the strength to over come a challenge they are facing. It might provide the spark for someone in India who dreams of launching their own business. It might give strength to someone in England who is trying to overcome issues with their self confidence. With the help of the internet, your act of kindness can help people all over the world in a multitude of ways. As a happy coincidence, the more awareness that spreads of what you have posted, it could even serve to enhance your online presence and reputation. Rather than compete with others in showing the world how great you are and what you have, stand out from the crowd and share instead some of your wisdom.

It’s not just online that we can pay it forward. You might be interviewing a candidate who doesn’t quite tick all of the boxes, but if they interview well perhaps you might give them a chance to prove themselves. You might have a friend who is launching a business and would welcome your support. When the opportunity presents itself, however it presents itself, please take it. As well as good art, music and literature, the world needs us to be more considerate towards, and supportive of, each other. Help someone who just needs a chance, and in the future they may be the one helping you.

You already have the answers…

..so stop making excuses for not taking action. Stop doubting your knowledge, ability or skills. Stop playing it safe, for fear of failure. Take action. What is the worst that can happen? You stumble and fall short of your goals? If that does happen, learn from the experience and get back to work.

You already have the answers to many of your questions. You also know what you have to do, and even know how to do it. For those questions which you can’t answer yourself immediately, a quick internet search could help. The real obstacle here is not a lack of knowledge or ability, but a crippling fear. You are being held back from leaving your comfort zone and fulfilling your potential because fear is leading you to doubt yourself.

While I do believe in mentoring and coaching, I also believe that they come much later in the personal development process. First, listen to yourself before you seek counsel from anybody else. In my own experience, the following process has really helped;

  • Quieten your mind. Whether it’s a quiet room in your house, or a walk in the forest, go there and get away from the fast pace of daily life. Now, you can clear and quieten your mind.
  • Reflection and goal-setting. You can’t discuss personal development without mentioning reflection and goal-setting. Both are crucial, as this is where you identify your strengths, skills and abilities as well as your weaknesses and areas for improvement. You define what success looks like to you and set goals which can get you there.
  • Research. Having identified gaps in your knowledge, search online and read books to help find the answers you seek.
  • Trust your instincts. Now is the time to act. No excuses or waiting for the perfect opportunity or time. Trust your instincts and listen to your inner voice. What are they telling you? Just put the work in to get yourself closer to your goals.
  • Checkpoints. At regular intervals, reflect on your progress so far. What have you learned? Every experience, even a bad one can offer us a valuable opportunity to learn and grow. Learn, adapt and then get back to work. If you have hit a wall on your journey and can see no clear way forward, this is the perfect time to seek a coach or a mentor whose fresh perspective can make all the difference to your progress.

Stop telling yourself that you don’t have the answers or know what to do. In looking everywhere for answers, you are just procrastinating and wasting time. Quiet your mind, reflect and the answers will come to you.

If you are ever in doubt as to how much you already know, ask yourself what advice you would give to someone else if they were in your situation. This simple act of taking a step back and looking at a problem from a different perspective, could be all you need.

You have a choice; Are you going to trust your instincts and act in order to take a step towards your goals and dreams? OR are you going to play it safe while you procrastinate and search for  more answers?

 

 

Hustle

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you”

Mark Cuban

You have the power within you to go from good to great. Don’t wait for a spark of inspiration to motivate you. Don’t wait for the offer of a reward. Don’t wait for a push. Don’t settle when you become good, but use that as a springboard to greatness. Even when you think you have achieved everything, keep going and be relentless in your pursuit of greatness. What am I talking about? Allow me to set the scene and put it into a business context…

So, you’ve carried out your research, set your goals, planned and put in the hard work. It’s been a bumpy road, but you have reflected and learned on your experiences and, as a result, have continued to adapt and grow. Now, comes the most challenging point of all. Your effort and dedication is starting to pay off and you are tasting sweet success in your chosen arena. What do you do next?

The temptation is to take a holiday or treat yourself to a shopping spree in Harrods. Or maybe just to take some time off to recharge your batteries. Appealing as each of those options may be, they could do more harm than good to your progress and stall the success of that which you have created.

As your strategy and hard work pay off, things start moving in the right direction. This isn’t the end point, but rather the perfect opportunity to create some real progress. Don’t leave it to chance, but work for it like you have never worked before. Rather than taking a step back to savour your success, build on what you have created. In getting attention and successfully launching your venture, you have opened a door and taken the first step. Now is the time to build forward momentum. Keep growing and developing your business, until you reach a point where you have enough market share that you can’t be unseated or replaced by a competitor. This will take different forms for different people but there are some general steps which anybody could benefit from;

  • Re-evaluate your situation. On a personal level, reflect on where you are at the moment and where you would like to get to. Identify your strengths and areas for improvement. Update your goals and how you plan to achieve them. Now, with a renewed focus, carry out exactly the same audit for your business.
  • Spread the word. With the knowledge that you have a successful product or service, and a clear idea of the direction in which you want it to go, make sure people know about it. Network. Get out there and meet people. If you don’t have one already, think also about a marketing and social media strategy. How will you be engaging with people? Which social media outlets will you be using? Will you be using influencers to increase awareness?
  • Hustle. Do that which brought you success in the first place; work hard with passion and determination. Of course, the goalposts have moved and your business is in a better position but if you want to remain successful and build on what you have created, you need to keep working at it. Keep pushing forward, be bold and take calculated risks. Take note of what works well so that you can do more of it, and learn from bad experiences so that they won’t be repeated.