- Stay single. Let’s be honest, you can can get more things done without getting distracted from being in a relationship. Relationships can be emotionally and physically tiring – an energy which you could save and be invested into learning instead. I know this is not for everyone – move on if feel so!
- Start your day early. I always find the most productive time to get most things done are in the mornings. Our brains (and body) are fresh from hours of sleep raring to start the day. If you had a good deep sleep, your performance in the morning is going to be much better.
- Put your mobile phones on silent mode when working. How often do you check your phone during work? Often. Remove the distraction by putting it on silent mode while at work and you’ll see the level of productivity will improve.
- A nice trick I’d use to stay focus is to simply have a pen or pencil in your hand – ready to take notes of what you’re reading. The pen acts as a focus point for you to not easily get distracted by your surroundings. It sounds trivial, but it’s not. Try to give it a shot.
- I used to think that I’m able to work well with accompanying music. I was wrong. It started off well, at first. But as years go by, I began to realize some of the things I read did not really materialized. As it turns out, our brain is only able to process limited amount of info at a time. In short, try to minimize the distractions around you to ensure your brain processes what you’re reading or studying.
- Don’t rely on video lectures or tutorials completely. Don’t get me wrong. Videos are great – for introductory levelled people. To become a learned person, you still need to go the old fashion way – which is to read books or e-books. In fact, audio books are great too if you prefer it that way. I know I do.
- Again, who you associate yourself with plays important part here. Try to avoid or minimize contact with people who you feel demotivate you from studying or working. Peer pressure or their influence can be very dangerous. It’s infectious.
- Don’t be discouraged when a person is able to read 30 pages in an hour. Most of these people are able to do so due to constant training of reading. So, start spending more time reading – give it some time.
- Visit Quora.com to enhance your knowledge further. Quite frankly, it’s one of the best sites to keep your knowledge up to date. Most people there prefer discussions – not argument which I find very rare these days.
“Your best teachers are your failures.” I thought I’d like to start with this quote.
Seeking criticism is tough. It’s an exhausting process.
But if you do it right, it will lead to many long term benefits.
We, humans, find comfort in compliments – but comfort often leads to complacency.
The only effective way of moving forward is by learning – and what better way to learn other than criticisms, or essentially from your failures.
By constantly seeking criticisms, you (or your team) will relentlessly become pro-active in the search of ‘perfection’.
Your team continues to innovate, making products work better – or reducing service time for customers and so on.
More quotes by Elon Musk regarding the topic:
“When I spoke with someone about the Tesla Model S, I didn’t really want to know what’s right about the car. I want to know what’s wrong about the car.
When my friends get a product, I ask them to please not tell me what they like. Rather, tell me what you don’t like. And if I’ve asked that a few times of people, then they will start automatically telling me without me having to always ask the question.”
“You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”
– Elon Musk
Challenge reality (by understanding the fundamentals)
Elon Musk is a pro when it comes to breaking the norm.
While many argue that batteries will always be expensive – hence, electric cars will never become cost-effective, Musk did not bother.
He challenged the so-called industry experts by breaking down batteries into their basic components, and build it on your own – the cost of producing batteries could drop dramatically.
This discovery also led to the founding of Tesla Energy, a challenger of status quo in sustainable energy story for homes and businesses.
Obviously, we are mostly not capable of challenging the status quo in similar sense as Musk. The idea here is often question and challenge yourself whenever someone says “It can’t be done. That’s just hot it is and how it’s always been.”
“Boil things down to the most fundamental truths. Then reason up from there.”
– Elon Musk
Focus on signal over noise
Most successful people are relentless on stressing the importance of focus – including Musk himself.
Mr Musk simply has no time to entertain ideas other than product development.
This approach is synonymous to Mark Zuckerberg’s, “I will not entertain any idea unless it helps Facebook grow the total number of users.”
It’s a well-known fact that most companies love to invest lots of money into marketing than they do product development. This is something that Musk is against, as he believes promoting an incredible product requires less promotion – a good product speaks for itself.
“At Tesla, we’ve never spent any money on advertising. We’ve put all our money into R&D, engineering, design, and manufacturing to build the best car possible. When we consider spending money, we ask, ‘Will this create a better product?’ If not, we don’t proceed with spending the money.”
“Will this activity result in a better product? If not, stop those efforts.”
– Elon Musk
Make failure an option (by defining a contingency plan)
This goes back to my first point.
Becoming successful is not by avoiding mistakes. That never happens. If you look at Elon Musk’s success stories, it was all with pains and sufferings from failures. What Musk stresses importantly, is to continue learning from mistakes which leads to success.
Starting a space exploration company takes guts. The possibility of failure seems not too far out.
While most of us would surrender, Elon Musk carried on, anticipating failure while creating a contingency plan for SpaceX.
“If we don’t get the first SpaceX rocket launch to succeed by the time we’ve spent $100 million, we will stop the company. That will be enough for three attempted launches.”
We all know what happened. It took him the third attempt to succeed at SpaceX – which he finally managed to win a contract from NASA worth $1.6 billion.
So what can we learn here?
Accept failure as a possibility. Be smart when you take on high-risk situation by creating contingency plan when things go south.
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
– Elon Musk
Remove worries (by living the worst-case scenario)
When Elon was 17 years old, he experimented with himself to live off $1 per day. He managed to do it with just eating hotdogs and oranges.
Why did he do this? He wanted to become an entrepreneur.
He did so because he wanted to see if he has what it takes to become a business owner. Having successfully go through the experiment, he knew money would not be an issue.
He has removed that fear by living the worst-case scenario.
“I figured if I could live off a dollar a day then, at least from a food stand point, it’s pretty easy to earn $30 a month.”
– Elon Musk
Solve Problems Beyond Yourself
If you haven’t noticed it yet, Elon Musk rarely talks about profits in interviews.
He often prefers to talk about how SpaceX can achieve the goals he set out making humanity into a multi-planetary species.
When he started Tesla, he never talked (or none I could find) about how much money he’s making from the growing trend of consumers buying electric cars. Instead, he pointed out how the tech can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; and make the world a better place to live in, still, in the future.
Musk solves problems not to improve his world, but the ‘world’.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
– Elon Musk
Dietrich Mateschitz was traveling through Thailand in 1984, drinking a bottle of Krating Daeng, an energy drink popular in the country.
The drink was especially known among drivers and others who endure long working hours.
He decided to set up a company in Austria to sell energy drinks after having his jetlag cured by the canned drink – now known as Red Bull.
Traveling in Japan, Vicky Tsai discovered something that helped her dermatitis. It was petal-thin blotting papers.
After discovering what it was, she sold off her engagement ring – and even her car to finance the purchase of 10,000 sheets – and sold them online!
Tsai soon continued to learn more about the traditional Japanese beauty techniques based off the infamous geishas.
This has inspired her to start her own cosmetic company, Tatcha.
Howard Schultz joined Starbucks in the 1980s as the marketing director.
While traveling Italy, he became fascinated with the coffee culture there, which stressed on the relationship between the barista and the customers.
The baristas in Italy prepare and present the coffees they make with reverence.
Discovering this, Schultz became fascinated with the ritual and sense of community that he felt in Italy’s coffee houses.
He returned to the States and managed to convince Starbucks’ founders to test similar concept. It changed Starbucks forever.
They never looked back since.
Logan Green discovered how locals in Zimbabwe use crowd-sourced carpool networks while traveling around Africa.
These vehicles could be anything ranging from pickup trucks, minibuses to whatever was available that can be used as a form of transport. They are called kombis.
Green learned more about the concept, and brought the idea back home which was called Zimride – offering long-distance carpooling between campuses.
Years later, the company has evolved into a ride-sharing company known as Lyft.
Koel Thomae was back home Australia to have her boyfriend spend time with her family.
During a trip to the Noosa Heads Beach, Thomae and her boyfriend bought passionfruit yoghurt at a shop. They liked it.
Koel was amazed by the taste, she decided to bring the recipe back to United States to launch her own yoghurt company, Noosa Yoghurt.
Everyone loves a good social media hack. They save us time and usually show us some interesting things we didn’t know were possible.
Whether you’re a business using the social network or an individual using Instagram, these 15 hacks you can do to ‘up’ your game in the space.
- Get notifications when your favorite people post. Leave witty comments early on to have better chances of being responded. Getting responses and high number of Likes is a good way for your account to be spotted.
- Tag photos of other accounts in similar space. People do still go through tagged photos of a public figure – this is your chance to be discovered too. Have their permission first, of course.
- Look at the posts and comments the people you are following. Like and comment on their comments to start conversations. This is a great idea to be spotted by them.
- When you write caption, make sure the first line that appears on the post attracts people to read more. It’s not only about storytelling – but it’s about the ability of being able to pull people to your account through captivating caption is just as important.
- Search hashtags which are trending and include them in your caption. You can just Google ‘trending hashtags Instagram’ to find countless websites that offer this service for free.
- Design your posts that best represent you or your business. Don’t forget to always include your website url on each post. This helps drive traffic to your website.
- Don’t go overboard with your editing of photos. Be genuine and relatable to people.
- Insert line breaks into your bio and captions
- Add links to your business on bio – it helps to drive traffic to your account.
- Create Groups in your DM and invite people in similar space to participate. Talk to them first before inviting. Give yourself a good impression.
- Tell people what you do in the first line of your bio link.
- Reaching 10K followers, post more Stories that link to your website. Be creative in your approach. Do not oversell.
- Exchange shoutouts with another social media account(s). Tell them that you will promote his/her account on feed or Stories for similar return.
- Post more videos with subtitles and don’t forget to include your website url in the videos.
- Post long videos on IGTV to provide information for people who are interested to know more about you. Add subtitles too.
Something different I have for you guys this time. I’ve finally compiled 20 strategies to grow your Instagram followers in form of list. Here it goes:
- Promote your own hashtag(s) on your other social profiles, on your website, business cards and your email blast.
- Get creative with your hashtags. Be relatable. Be memorable.
- Pay attention to relevant and trending hashtags. Join these conversations to get in front of more people.
- Use your bio link to drive traffic to your newest or most popular content.
- Write descriptive captions. Storytelling will help generate engagement and potentially more sharing.
- Have conversations with top influencers in your space and become one of their favorite people or brands.
- Don’t want a tagged photo of you or your brand on your profile? Edit Tags to hide images from your profile.
- Change settings if you do not want to be tagged by embarrassing photos.
- Develop your own unique, recognizable visual style. Make sure people know your brand the moment they see your posts.
- Visit the Places tab to see what’s happening locally – your neighborhood, a city you’re targeting in ads, or an event in a certain location.
- Use a call to action to tell people what you want them to do with your posts. Be creative to get people share your content.
- Post videos on your feed with subtitles. This enables your audience to watch the videos without fearing of loud or annoying sounds.
- Post multiple clips on Instagram Stories & add locations near your business to attract people from outside your city.
- Create two accounts for your business; Account 1 promotes your product, Account 2 displays behind the scenes. Each account support one another to extend your reach in market.
- Add polls on your Instagram Stories; ask them what they’d like to see next, or what do they think about latest post – the opportunities to open up conversations are endless!
- Create Q&A session on your Instagram Stories! Let your fans get to know you more by answering questions about you (the owner) and the business. These sessions can seriously catapult your engagement.
- If you travel frequently (even domestic destinations), make full use of Instagram Location each time your post on feed, or your Stories. This allows your business to extend its reach in the market.
- Request a shoutout for a shoutout to important figures in the industry. Don’t approach the big players yet if your account is small. It won’t make sense for them to exchange shoutouts with a small Instagram account.
- Create 3 Highlights that best describe what you or your business does; I’d recommend to create ‘Website’, ‘Testimony’ & ‘Behind the Scene’ Highlights. These can help translate your business somewhat relatable to people – which is a big plus for your business.
- Link your Instagram account with other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
Use failure to drive yourself
Your failures are your best teachers. I’ll never forget these words even till today.
Nobody gets it right the first time. Everyone makes mistakes. So stop whining.
The deal is whether or not you learn from those mistakes.
If you do, you’ll remember the painful lessons and sworn to never do it again. It is a part of who you are. You’ve learned.
Best of all, you’ll know how to deal with it next time you face it.
By constantly fueling your passion and knowledge from these mistakes, you will often not rest till you’ve accomplished certain targets. These will push you harder to work hard.
Always Shoot for the moon
I don’t think this is the first time I’ve said this. Set yourself impossible targets and try to make it public.
By setting up yourself impossible tasks, you’ll attuned to higher standards of work ethics & thinking.
By making these targets known to public, it will only drive you further so you get to say ‘I told you so’ by the end of that journey.
So, take a paper and write down 5 impossible tasks you want to achieve this year, tell your friends about it. They will laugh, but that’s good. It’s your chance to prove them wrong.
Network with Successful People
Like minded people think alike.
If your friends like to talk about things that don’t help progress in life; then you’ll end up like one.
However, if you surround yourself with friends who like to talk about ideas, opportunities etc, then you’re gonna become like one.
This is nothing new. It’s not rocket science. You are who you are friends with.
If you find it difficult to make new friends, go online; look for people in the entrepreneurial space.
Even website such as Meetup allows like-minded people to create event for them to meet.
Just jump on the bandwagon. Get a move on in your life!
Travel To 3rd World Country
This may seem trivial – it’s not. Living in a country where we have everything; water, electricity, internet, food deliveries and so on, we tend to forget how unappreciative we have become as a modern society.
This is why I recommend you to travel to third world country, or somewhere isolated if you can’t travel.
Go and see how people are living in poor countries. Witness their daily life routines; hunting and gathering for food, walk miles just to get fresh water etc.
How will this make you to work hard? Well, having seen how poor people live, you’ll start to appreciate the little of things and most important of all, you’ll quit whining.
You’ll begin to realize that work is nothing compared to what these people go through everyday of their lives!
Set Long, Short Term Goals; and To-Do Lists
It’s strange that I’d put this last. Personally, mentality comes first.
When you’re able to manifest the best version of you inside your mind, then, we can get to work itself.
So how does setting up goals can help you work harder?
To put simply, setting up long and short term goals will allow you to see the bigger picture.
You have a preview of that journey down the line. You know what it takes to get there.
This general outlook will help strengthen your view of success and that there is no shortcut.
Write down where do you want to see yourself in the next 20 years; this is your long term goal.
Then, list down essential achievements to get to your long term goal within that 20 years; these are your short term goals.
Finally, write down daily tasks en route to achieving your short term goals; this is your to-do lists.