Don’t fall victim to Parkinson’s Law

‘Expenditures rise to meet income.’ C. Northcote Parkinson

Parkinson’s Law is one of the best known and the most important laws of money and wealth accumulation. It was developed by Englishman, C. Northcote Parkinson, in 1955 and it explains why most people retire poor.

Parkinson’s Law says that, no matter how much money people earn, they will tend to spend the entire amount plus a little more. Their expenses rise in step with their earnings. Many people are earning today several times what they were earning at their first jobs, but for some reason, they need every single cent to maintain their current lifestyles. No matter how much they earn, there is somehow never enough.

Financial independence comes as a consequence of breaking Parkinson’s Law. You need to develop a plan and sufficient willpower to resist the urge to spend everything you earn. You must ensure that your expenses grow at a slower rate than your earnings, then save or invest the difference.

Other wonderful quotes by C. Northcote Parkinson:

‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’

‘It is better to be a has–been than a never-was.’

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

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Money, money, money!

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in the environment; it is not in luck or chance, or in the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden

How many times have you heard these phrases? Money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees (I always laugh at this one, as money is made of paper, and where does paper come from?). What am I, made of money?

As a kid, I unfortunately grew up with these phrases as my key source of financial motivation. These thoughts had been tattooed into my brain so, by the age of eighteen, I was in serious need of a money mindset makeover. And it was difficult to make this change.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard these phrases over and over since you were a little kid. What you might not have heard before is that phrases like these, the things you’ve seen, and the experiences you’ve had with money all have a profound influence on your money blueprint or prosperity consciousness. You can have all the knowledge and skills in the world, but if your money blueprint isn’t set for success, you’re financial prospects are gloomy.

Just what is a money blueprint? It’s like an internal thermostat, and your ability to achieve is limited by the level of success that your blueprint is set to. If your own thermostat is set low, then you will always have problems in comfortably making, owning, investing and growing money. This concept is often proved by lotto winners who feel that are not worthy or don’t know how to handle vast sums of money. Most of these winners end up broke and unhappy. Another example is of the drug dealer who leaves his stash of money in the taxi. It happens!

Our earning power is linked to our value system and we will always earn in accordance to our highest set of values. Are you aware whether your own blueprint is set for wealth, moderate success or poverty? The answer is simple! Look at your results as they stand today: your income, assets and net worth. Your results are like a mirror and will always reflect your inner blueprint. But, looking at results is just the beginning – you also have to take action.

The starting point of all wealth creation is the development of your prosperity consciousness. You must become a financial success in your thinking long before you achieve it in your reality. The greatest minds in history have concluded that your outer life is merely a reflection of your inner life. Both poverty and wealth are the result of a state of mind, and the most important single step you ever take on the road to wealth and financial independence is the decision to change your thinking, to impress into your mind the unstoppable belief that you can and will achieve your financial goals. This is the starting point to all riches.

Money is not everything and does not guarantee happiness, but I’d rather drive towards my problems in a limousine than go by bus. So go and reset your financial thermostat right now. Good luck on your road to wealth. Get going and keep going.

“When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Your attitude is more important than your aptitude

‘Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.’ Robert Louis Stevenson 

This is a great time to be alive. There are so many positives around us and there have never been more opportunities and possibilities for ambitious people to achieve success.

I believe that ninety per cent of your success in life will be determined by your attitude, and only ten per cent by your aptitude. So it stands to reason that if you find ways to positively manage, develop and improve your attitude, then you are ninety per cent of the way to personal success.

I urge you to open your eyes to the opportunities that surround you today. Here are a few practical ideas that I believe, if practiced, will offer you the opportunity to move your career skywards. These are the behaviours that all managers wish every employee knew, and these are the behaviours that will get you earning more and promoted faster.

  1. Take responsibility for your own career

Write your own career script rather than waiting for someone to write it for you. Go the extra mile and work well beyond your job description. Confidently build your skill level and continually look for ways to make yourself more valuable. Identify, focus on and develop your strengths.

  1. Focus on your career goals

Develop absolute clarity about the goals that you wish to accomplish in your career. Without goals you have no direction and you will end up going nowhere. You must decide with clarity what you want to achieve and why. Your goals should have a clear result and purpose, backed up with effective action plans. Write your career goals in a journal and ensure that you do something each and every day that moves you towards these goals.

  1. Ask for what you want

The future belongs to people who ask with clarity for what they want. Don’t be part of the majority who sit back, hoping that things will improve. Ask in a courteous and polite manner, but persistently ask. This will effectively communicate your ambition, intent and leadership potential to your boss.

  1. Develop the ability to communicate in a powerful and persuasive manner

Can you effectively and quickly capture your listener’s attention and get your message across? Can you write clearly, persuasively and with impact? Get books on these subjects and improve these stand-out skills. The good communicators tend to attract the best jobs and projects.

  1. Commit to continuous learning

Attend seminars, read books and continuously learn and develop new skills. The never-ending quest for improvement will give you motivation, energy and drive. This learning attitude will always show in a person’s performance.

  1. Guard your reputation

All successful business and personal relationships are based on trust. Your character and reputation is your single most valuable asset – guard it as sacred. It takes years to build a great reputation, but only one cocktail party to destroy it.

  1. Stay abreast of business trends

Do you regularly read the business section of your newspaper or business magazines? Can you identify three trends that will have an impact on your industry over the next year? What are the potential threats to your industry or profession? The ability to anticipate trends is a superb business skill.

  1. Develop a positive attitude

Your attitude at work will always determine your level of eventual success. People who are cheerful and optimistic will always be liked more than the moaners and groaners. In the workplace it is vital that you get on with your clients and colleagues. The best team players are those who display a supportive and positive demeanour.

  1. Create a successful image

People do and will always judge you on what you look like. Make every effort to look like the winner you are at work. Create your own personal vision statement that purposely declares you as a remarkable individual with a great future.

  1. Always treat people well

Treat all people in the manner that you would wish to be treated. The more people that like, trust and respect you, the bigger your chance of success.

And finally, commit to small increments of improvement every single day. You have abilities, talents and strengths that you haven’t begun to reach towards. You have unlimited power within you. Use this power.

‘Where the loser saw barriers, the winner saw hurdles.’ Robert Brault

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Become a red hot master of persuasion with just one word

“Negotiation is the art of letting them have your way.” – Daniel Vare

Imagine if you could increase the chances of someone saying yes to you by over thirty per cent by simply changing one word in your request? That word is because.

Because is an influential word. Because is persuasive because it’s a trigger. When people use the word because, it typically serves to justify a request that they have just made.

For example, in their now legendary Xerox research study, Langer, Blank, and Chanowitz explored how the language of requests influences the willingness of people to comply. To do this, they observed how well different requests, to cut into the line at the library copier, worked. They found when people ask to cut into the line to make five copies, they are successful about sixty per cent of the time, no questions asked. When the requestors add a reasonable justification for cutting into the line (‘. . . because I’m in a hurry’) the request becomes much more persuasive and compliance rockets to ninety-four per cent.

Why is the compliance level so improved? The use of the word because, that’s why!

The part of the study that really captured people’s attention though, is what happens when you add ‘because . . .’  paired with a meaningless justification: ‘Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I need to make copies?’ Duh! That surely would be why you’d be waiting to use the Xerox machine in the first place.

Despite the meaningless reason, the compliance rate for the ‘because I need to make copies’ request was a stunning ninety-three per cent. Giving no relevant reason was just as effective as giving a good one. This finding suggests that you don’t really need to bother with the reason why, you just need to say because and compliance happens.

I think these results have stunning implications for you. The implication is that we may be able to add huge power to our own messages by simply including the word because in the text. Try using the word because in all your influence, persuasion and negotiating situations and I believe that you will get far more compliance from others.

Why? Just because! 

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

What would you do with an extra 30 days per year?

“I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me to use it,
I must suffer if I lose it,
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.”

– Author Unknown

Time is not renewable. Once it is gone, it’s gone forever. We can try to make up for lost time, but we can never replace it. It is essential that we recognise the value of our time, and that we respect it.

What would you do with an extra 30 days a year? That’s a whole month! I know what I’d do, and it would be very valuable to my clients!

All you need to do is grab one extra hour every day and you’ve achieved that goal.

Here are some things you can do that will easily achieve this:

  • Plan your day the night before, and set your alarm to wake up one hour earlier. You can use this golden hour to effectively plan what will make this a successful day.
  • Make a will-do list and stick to it. It’s sometimes challenging to do everything that you want to do in a day, so make a will-do list, things that will actually save you time in the long run.
  • Watch out for time thieves. These time vampires are lurking everywhere. Be mindful of others who waste your time. Cutting down on wasted emails, phone calls, interruptions and meetings can easily buy you back some valuable time.
  • Delegate effectively. This will give you time to focus on the tasks that only you can perform. Can you get someone to help you with admin or follow-up work? This will free you up to do the tasks only you can complete.
  • Work hardest at the times when you are most alert and have more energy. This could be early morning or late afternoon. All of us are most efficient and effective at certain times, so achieve more when you are feeling at your best.

I guarantee that if you take action on the ideas from this list, that it will drive you to achieve more in less time and you will create positive energy from gaining a valuable extra hour every day. Go for it!   

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

How to beat your ‘Upper Limit Problem’

An Upper Limit Problem (ULP) is a concept defined in Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap.

The key idea is this: Each of us possesses an inner thermostat that determines the amount of success, love, happiness and wealth that we allow ourselves. This is our upper limit setting and when we exceed our setting, we tend to sabotage ourselves so that we can return to the old, familiar comfort zone where we feel safer. Your thermostat was probably set well before you could think for yourself, usually in early childhood.

When we exceed our internal thermostat by achieving something significant, it blows the mercury in our thermostat and creates discomfort. Something negative sabotages the success or positivity created: we get injured, computer meltdowns happen, family and relational issues arise, we overeat, become wasteful and fall ill. We start looking for external reasons for our disappointment, we start playing the blame game and slowdown any possible success with self-sabotage. We create a stampede of negative emotions to stop our progress.

Why do we allow this to happen? Because it brings us back down to our normal range of capacity where we feel most comfortable.

How can you eliminate your upper limit problem? Awareness is the first step to understanding how you conquer the problem. Your belief system is at the root of this challenge. Unless you fully understand the reason for this upper limit problem, you may erroneously believe that you’re not good enough, flawed or simply not deserving to handle a big jump in your success, circumstances or happiness.

A simple example of this upper limit problem is lottery winners. They instantly achieve incredible wealth way beyond their limits which creates a pressure situation that they are unable to manage. The majority of big lottery winners end up broke and unhappy. Another example is the drug dealer who leaves the case filled with money behind because he does not have ability to manage the responsibility and pressure of massive wealth. It happens!

Every single living person has varying degrees of ‘upper limit problems’.

Be aware that any time you’re in the midst of busting through your own upper limits, it’s bound to be a little daunting and uncomfortable. You may want to pull back and contract to the safety of your comfort zone. Don’t! Hang with the discomfort. It’s a good sign that you’re limit is expanding. It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience a higher level of wealth, happiness, success and love.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Developing the powerful art of visualisation

I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.’ – Jack Nicklaus

The crowd goes quiet. Open champion, Ernie Els stands over the ball. He tunes out all other distractions and focuses only on the task at hand. He knows the precise distance to the pin, the force and direction of the wind and the exact position on the green where he plans to pitch the ball. He effortlessly makes his practice swing, then with the identical rhythm, repeats and completes his shot. The ball pitches exactly where he planned and ends up five feet from the flag.

By now you must be thinking that I’ve gone mad with delusions of becoming a golf writer. Does visualisation work? The reason I have made this golfing analogy is to describe the immense power of visualisation and how it can give you the focus, confidence and belief to achieve anything. During his pre-shot routine, he visualises exactly how he would successfully execute the shot and, nine times out of ten, this is what materialises.

Developing the ability to clearly visualise your goals and objectives in your mind’s eye is a very powerful tool in your efforts to attain optimum career and personal success. The effective use of visualisation activates your focus and enhances your performance. It is an exercise that helps you to create the future in advance. You mentally create a goal that you desire to happen in reality, and you use the power of your imagination to help you achieve the situation or results that you want.

Six steps to make visualisation work for you:

1. Define your goals with total clarity

The first step in effective goal setting is clarity. Be very clear about what you want and why you want it. This clarity gives you the power to be able to more effectively visualise your goal.

2. Write it down in great detail

Be absolutely clear about your purpose. List every detail of your goal that you can imagine. Use the exact words that describe what you desire.

3. Believe

The Law of Belief states that whatever you consistently believe in with emotion becomes your reality. Convert your beliefs into feelings of absolute certainty.

4. Regularly visualise your desired result

Visualise your goals as reality. Repeatedly play the movie of you achieving your goal on the screen of your mind. This will develop a strong conviction in your subconscious mind that your goals are attainable and it is only a matter of time before you achieve them. These positive thoughts and images that you hold in your mind are powerful. Make an effort to increase the frequency and length of time that you spend holding these powerful pictures in your mind.

5. Visualise each and every step to successfully achieving your goal

Begin your visualisation by imagining the final result you wish to achieve. Work backwards from this goal and mentally create the sequence of steps needed to achieve your ultimate outcome. Visualise yourself taking each of these steps to ultimate success.

6. Ensure that your thoughts are always positive

All of our behaviour results from the thoughts that precede it. Be careful not to visualise negative or disempowering thoughts. We waste valuable time worrying about negative things that never happen. Remember that negative mental pictures that are fed to your subconscious mind will attract negative outcomes. Focus on the positive aspects of your goals. Positive thinking will always make you do everything better than negative thinking will.

Clear and positive visualisation is a powerful tool, used to successfully create the quality of life and career that you desire. Use this power from today and you will be amazed what happens.

‘You can bring into your life more power, more wealth, more health, more happiness, and more joy by learning to contact and release the hidden power of your subconscious mind.’ – Dr. Joseph Murphy

‘Developing the powerful art of visualisation’ is a short extract from my book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times. I am offering Smart Thinking subscribers the very special price of R129 per copy (includes packaging and postage/ in SA only). You may buy more than one copy. Please contact karen@brandstorm.co.za to order your copy today. Happy reading!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

 

The two most powerful words in the world

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.’ – G.B. Stern
 
God gave you the gift of 86 400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?

There are no more powerful words in our language than ‘thank you’. These two magical words make other people feel good. Thanking works so powerfully, because it expresses one of our most basic emotions – gratitude. But if saying thank you is so powerful, why don’t we say it more often? Do we forget to do so because we are too preoccupied with ourselves? Has this silenced our voice of appreciation? Developing the habit of saying thank you not only benefits others but, like all gifts we give, benefits ourselves as well.

I googled the words thank you and I got 1 560 000 000 hits. So there are many thank yous out there.
 
Here’s a valuable action tip for you – the best thing about thank you is that it creates closure in any potentially explosive discussion. What can you say after someone thanks you? You can’t argue with them. You can’t try to prove them wrong. The only response is to utter two of the most gracious, inviting words in our language – ‘you’re welcome’. It’s music to anyone’s ears.

How about expressing an unexpected thank you right now?
 
‘I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.’ – Author Unknown

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

It’s a kind of magic

‘Those who speak most of illness have illness; those who speak most of prosperity have it, etc.’ From the movie The Secret

 I have met many successful people in my life and they all have one element in common. They’re optimists – their glass is always half full, not half empty.

Positive thinking and a positive mindset is very important and can dramatically change your life. Remember the old wise saying, ‘The way you think is the way you are’. Work at thinking positively a little bit at a time and you will be surprised at how your life will change. And when people start saying, ‘You look so upbeat. You’re looking great. You’re full of energy. What has happened to you?’ then you’ll know that you’re on the right track! Make positive thinking a habit. Positive thinking will always serve you better than negative thinking.

Positive thinking – it is like magic! 
 

‘I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.’ – Arthur Rubinstein 

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The 10.5 Commandments of Winners

1. Choose your attitude at the start of the day. Consciously choose the attitude you take to work each day. Positive, enthusiastic and a can-do attitude can move mountains – regardless of how you feel inside.

2. Focus on opportunity. Realise that each day you are offered a dozen leadership opportunities on a silver platter, regardless of your age, experience, seniority and status. You will use the three words “Try it! Now!” as often as possible.

3. Arrive early. Leave late.

4. Listen aggressively. Formally practice and improve your listening skills. Effective listening is life’s no. 1 skill. Effective listening builds rapport.

5. Learn something new today. Meet someone new today. Eat lunch with someone new today. Live permanently on the edge of your discomfort zone because that’s where all the growth is.

6. Welcome failure! No screw-ups mean that you are not giving it your all. Those whose records include few or no failures only suggests an unwillingness to brave the unknown.

7. Develop an attitude of gratitude! Say thanks for the tiniest bit of helpfulness. Make this a big priority.  Master the art of appreciation and be generous in your use of the words “Thank you” to honour assistance or achievement of even the most minor sort.

8. Smile! (A key to building great rapport)

9. Eye contact is essential. (Another rapport building winner)

10. Wholeheartedly acknowledge the value of analysis, but in the end swear by the motto that “Actions speak louder than words”. Take massive action!

10.5 YOU will unfailingly aim for EXCELLENCE in all you do. You will use excellence as the principal benchmark in the assessment of yourself and your work and your impact on your clients, colleagues and all who you come in contact with.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                    

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za