Influences that Guarantee Success
By Chris King

About a week ago I took part in a lively tele-seminar that was presented by a panel of renowned Internet successes. These four are known for their lucrative on-line businesses, their sincerity, honesty, integrity and obvious desire to help others succeed. Not only was the information shared helpful and thought provoking, but it was down-to-earth and doable.

One of the panelists made a statement that inspired me to think about and write this article, along with using the theme of "Influence" for an upcoming e-newsletter, Portfolio Potpourri. Alexandria Brown, the E-Zine Queen, said that she wasn't sure where she heard it but to paraphrase, "As people, we are the average of those people we hang around with." This started me thinking about those who have and still are influencing me, my life and my business. It also made me think of other influences - both good and bad - that have directed my journey. In this article, I share thoughts, experiences, ideas and questions that will help you on your successful journey as a free agent, independent professional and freelancer.

Early influences - the good, the bad and the ugly - must be addressed. You and I both know people who dwell on the past. They talk about how their parents messed them up; their friends as they grew up were a "terrible" influence; they had poor teachers, few or no privileges and a continual struggle for everything they wanted or needed. I submit to you that no matter how good or bad our pasts were, we can find nuggets of influence that will still prove to be positive strengths and helps today. The success stories abound about those who grew up in poverty and are now millionaires, those who were raised by illiterate parents and today have their PhDs, and those who have faced incredible challenges health wise, yet keep on plugging along with determination.

You know by now how I value making lists. Look way back and make a list of all of the hard times, obstacles and challenges in your past. Next to each, write how these unsavory experiences influenced you for the better. Usually, it is the obstacles and failures that we face that spur us on to greatness. When you finish this exercise, you will be surprised by how much better those past times will appear to be. Now, for the fun part!

Make a list of all of the good influences you enjoyed in the past. Here are some of the questions to answer:

  • What are some of the lessons my parent(s) taught me that have helped over the years?
  • What teacher made the most impact on my future? How and why?
  • Who are the friends that I still think of with love and how did they affect my life and influence me?
  • What books and movies did I love as a child? Why?
  • What games and sports did I pursue and what did I learn from participating?
  • What did I want to be when "I grew up?" Do I still have that goal, or am I already living it? Should I be?
  • What are the very best and happiest memories from my childhood? Why?

By now, you should be re-evaluating the past influences in your life and the ways you can make them work to your advantage today. What have you learned that you can use to enliven your business and bolster your success?

Let's examine present and recently past influences:

  • The people we know, work and play with. Yes, I agree with Alexandria that we are heavily influenced by the people we let into our lives. If we hang out with negative, critical, complaining people, we can easily lose our enthusiasm and drive. If we join groups and make friends with those we want to emulate, we will be on our way. It is just like tennis and chess. The way one gets better is to play with someone who is better than we are. I am not suggesting that you drop the friends you have now, but I am suggesting that you join groups of winners, network with people who are known as successes and volunteer for worthy causes.
  • Life-long learning with books, tapes and magazines. It is astonishing to find out how few people read a book after graduation. I am sure that none of you reading this article would fall into that category - or you wouldn't be here on my site. However, I must mention the wonderful scope of topics available today in book form, the plethora of tapes that inform and motivate - I listen and re-listen to tapes by Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Earl Nightingale and am always influenced to take a new action step toward success. Visit your public library. It offers a wealth of influence. And, yes, there are almost too many magazines to read. I have found that the best way to benefit from the great information is to scan and then only read those articles that pertain to some part of my business or life. No matter what your specialty is, there are magazines that address your problems and situations.
  • Physical activity and a focus on health. One of the strongest influences on my well-being, business acumen, and energy level is daily exercise and sensible nutrition. Studies have shown that there are so many side benefits from regular exercise and proper eating that one could easily fill a wall with post-it notes listing them. By pushing oxygen to the heart and brain, we keep both healthy and smart. If you are having a difficult time getting started, I suggest finding a buddy to go to the gym with you or work out with you. In the fitness classes I teach, the people who participate have become friends and they cheer each other on - another positive influence.

So, I ask you, what are the influences in your freelance living? Are they helping or hindering your progress? What new and better influences can you and will you embrace in the future? What bad influences and toxic companions are presently draining you of your energy and passion for living? It is time to make another list, but on this one add an action step and a new influence to replace each of the bad ones.

Let me know how you do! I love getting your FEEDBACK!


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